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clwk
07-03-2008, 06:07 PM
I'll be willing to betcha over which methods offers the greater potential for control over another humans violent actions without causing harm.;)
Dan, I was waiting for a reply to my response, but I realized you probably assumed it was a joke -- since that was the note on which I entered the conversation.

My more serious question concerns the extent to which you mean 'without causing harm'. I understand what you mean as a somewhat rhetorical expression -- the more so if the emphasis is on the 'potential'. I probably agree that the methods you use have 'greater potential' for that outcome than many highly technique-oriented approaches. That having been said, I don't actually know what you do.

What I wanted to know is: do you, personally, feel that you can take 'control over other humans violent actions without causing harm'? I can accomplish this with my two-year-old, as long as he is not being *too* violent (so far so good), but I wouldn't nearly trust myself to do so with a trained adult. If you *can* do that, then that is very impressive. If you just hold it up as an ideal, I understand that too. Many people hold it up as an ideal, so I am just trying to understand the extent to which you are saying you can actually accomplish it. My general feeling from much of what you have written is that you are saying you can. Please accept my apology if I have misunderstood. Is that what you were proposing we bet about?

Regards,
Chhi'mèd

rob_liberti
07-03-2008, 07:17 PM
I can field this as I already posted this exact topic on a different thread in the past. It is my impression after having worked with him that one trained in that way can much more realisticaly take control of another adult as if they were a 2 year old (because the power differential is about the same).

I also find that Dan is working on is how to deal with other people similarly trained. That makes him farily unique in the scope of things.

Rob

clwk
07-04-2008, 02:03 AM
I can field this as I already posted this exact topic on a different thread in the past.
No offense, Rob, but can you? Dan stated a willingness to wager. Now it might well have been a rhetorical flourish, but *I* would bet you don't manage his purse.

It is my impression after having worked with him that one trained in that way can much more realisticaly take control of another adult as if they were a 2 year old (because the power differential is about the same).
I understand and accept the principle, but you are exaggerating. I work with horses, and they can't overpower me to the extent I could my two-year-old. I have no problem with the general sentiment, but it *is* possible to muddy the waters with exaggeration. It need not be malicious exaggeration either. What do you think personally: does the exaggeration of certain aspects of what should reasonably be expected from given training methods sometimes mislead? Based on your extensive posting, I would guess you would say, "Yes, the promise held out by some training paradigms can mislead those unqualified to judge them yet." I am open to correction.

I also find that Dan is working on is how to deal with other people similarly trained. That makes him farily unique in the scope of things.
Well, he's either unique or he's not. Can you clarify which it is? Personally, I don't think Dan would claim to be unique -- which is why I'm not sure you speak for him.

Going back to my real question: you say (and I believe you completely) that Dan is 'working on' how to do this. Dan is 'willing to bet . . . which methods offer the greater potential'. So my question was whether he can actually demonstrate that his methods can accomplish what he says they can -- and with such clear superiority over all other methods. It's not that I disagree with the general thrust of Dan's points. I don't. But he did throw down a challenge, so I just want to understand what he is actually claiming. For example, I don't doubt that Dan can beat the crap out of me -- but I'm not sure he can do it without hurting me. It's not something I really want to test though, if you see what I mean. Hell, if I could win bets just by getting beat up, I wouldn't need a day job.

Chhi'mèd

rob_liberti
07-04-2008, 02:59 AM
Well, first I have a 4 year old who might swing wild sometimes and I've picked him up and calmed him down without hurting him.

I can say that I've had my body completely taken over by what Dan was doing - so that starts to make the impression.

But I was skeptical myself about how well that would work on a well trained martial artists beyond myself.

So, I brought the strongest and best one I knew with me one of the visits - who I saw completely dominated. (all in good fun - but the power differential was plainly obvious to all). That friend continues to come back like I do to learn.

I've been martial arts long enough to know who is good and who sucks. It literally occured to me on my own that someone who developed such skills would - in general - command a power differential over most people that would be similar to what I have over my own child where I can stop him from hurting me and not hurt him in the process.

Of course I am not Dan. And I have not been authorized to speak for him. However the premise of the thread is for people who have trained with him to provide their feedback and give their impressions. Dan repeatedly wrote things like "ask them". Since he obviously reads this thread, I would assume he will certainly chime in if I overstate something so I'm not feeling like I'm taking some big risk here.

My experience(s) with Dan left me with the impression that one who is engaging with Dan will get fairly dominated fairly quickly - and the power differential would be similar to that between an adult and a child. And I posted that myself in a different thread, so I felt it appropriate to respond to your question about that exact idea.

I'm 100% certain that there are SOME people out there well trained in external martial arts that could have a much closer fight with Dan say like 70% to Dan and 30% to them. (The friend I brought maybe being more in that category.) Fine, no one is claiming indestructable and undefeatable. Dan often writes that he is still just beginning to learn this stuff himself.

Regarding "fairly unique". Well I dish out citations from the sematic police myself, but I'm sticking to my guns on this one. Dan teaches anti-aiki. As far as I know, that is his term, and his study. Which is unique. However, it would be plausable that this kind of aspect is done to some degree by some of the rare others who also work these skills. So I qualified unique. There are levels of infinity in math, it doesn't seem like such a stretch to say "fairly unique". Call it poetic license.

Rob

clwk
07-04-2008, 11:03 AM
Rob, thanks for the reply.
Well, first I have a 4 year old who might swing wild sometimes and I've picked him up and calmed him down without hurting him.
I know, I know. But 'calming him down' when you're his dad is different than if he was really freaking out and trying to get you. That's part of what I was saying. I really hope neither you nor I ever experiences 'real physical aggression' from our children, whatever age.

I can say that I've had my body completely taken over by what Dan was doing - so that starts to make the impression.I am entirely curious about this 'completely taken over'. I am not being disingenuous. For example, while you are in this state of being completely taken over, could Dan make you pick up an object on the table next to you without using verbal commands? Like I said, I can understand a certain (high) level of 'unexpected control' over another person. 'Completely taken over' is something else. It smacks of exaggeration, but I just don't know. That's why I'm asking and giving you and/or Dan a chance to clarify -- rather than assume these statements are exaggerated. I can see how you might feel completely taken over if you had never before felt whatever Dan does, but if you think you *were* completely taken over, it *might* say more about you than about Dan.

But I was skeptical myself about how well that would work on a well trained martial artists beyond myself.Doesn't that imply that before you met Dan you were well-trained, though? If it's true that what he taught you was the foundation required to make your art work; and if that foundation was utterly foreign to you; were you really well-trained at that time?

So, I brought the strongest and best one I knew with me one of the visits - who I saw completely dominated. (all in good fun - but the power differential was plainly obvious to all). That friend continues to come back like I do to learn.I don't doubt it, and I don't doubt that Dan is a very powerful, well-rounded martial artist. That has been obvious to me for a long time from reading what he and others write. I wanted to be clear about that.

I've been martial arts long enough to know who is good and who sucks. It literally occured to me on my own that someone who developed such skills would - in general - command a power differential over most people that would be similar to what I have over my own child where I can stop him from hurting me and not hurt him in the process.
I do understand that principle. I am actually trying to look closely at this 'without harm' clause. That is, in my opinion, an incredibly high bar. It's a great goal for some situations, and probably impossible in others. So my ears perked up the same way they would if someone told me they had a perpetual motion machine. It might be a supremely efficient generator, but 'perpetual motion' puts it in another class. What I was trying to understand is whether Dan is encouraging people on with the language of 'without harm'. Now, I understand very well why he would say this, and in the general conversation it doesn't bother me. But remember, he said this to me directly -- implying that what he does accomplishes this goal enough better than whatever I might have in mind that he was willing to bet on it. I'm not a big better, but I'll take a sucker bet if someone walks into it. I'm just trying to figure out exactly what it was Dan said he was 'willing to bet' about. If it was just a figure of speech fine, but that's what I am asking about. I don't usually offer to make bets exactly because I don't like to bet.

To put it even more plainly, Dan has drawn a distinction between AIkido(™) and Aiki...do (I think I got all that right.) It seems like Dan's claim is one that belongs more to the Aikido(™) category -- even if Aiki...do facilitates the general skill. I would think Aiki...do would take a broader view -- one that allowed the possibility of giving someone a 'broken everything'. That's why I highlighted Dan's post originally. I *appreciated* that he was including it in his rant about Aiki...do. For him to turn around and offer to school me in 'without harm' -- for appreciating the other side of the coin -- just seemed incongruous. I think they *are* two sides of the same coin, and I would probably be willing to bet that coin if I could figure out *what the proposed bet might be*.


Of course I am not Dan. And I have not been authorized to speak for him.That's not entirely given. I do remember you saying that you might take on a rôle as his secretary for dealing with others. I am not to know whether that has happened or not. As I said, I would have bet against it though.

However the premise of the thread is for people who have trained with him to provide their feedback and give their impressions.
I thought it was for people who had trained in Aikido and then had also trained with Dan, Mike, Rob, Akuzawa, or others who teach the fundamental ki/kokyu (to use Aikido terms) body skills that have occupied hundreds of pages of discussion on Aikiweb in the last few years. I did not realize it was only for those who had trained with Dan specifically. I would not have commented in that case -- since I would be unqualified to do anything other than ask you questions.

Dan repeatedly wrote things like "ask them". Since he obviously reads this thread, I would assume he will certainly chime in if I overstate something so I'm not feeling like I'm taking some big risk here.I guess that's for Dan to decide. On the other hand, it puts Dan in an awkward position if people make extraordinary claims for him -- and these claims are presumed to represent him unless he explicitly disclaims them. What if Dan wanted to quietly avoid my pointed questions? Now he has to address them or seemingly give his implicit agreement with your observations.

My experience(s) with Dan left me with the impression that one who is engaging with Dan will get fairly dominated fairly quickly - and the power differential would be similar to that between an adult and a child. And I posted that myself in a different thread, so I felt it appropriate to respond to your question about that exact idea.
Fair enough.

I'm 100% certain that there are SOME people out there well trained in external martial arts that could have a much closer fight with Dan say like 70% to Dan and 30% to them. (The friend I brought maybe being more in that category.) Fine, no one is claiming indestructable and undefeatable.No, the claim is *much* more ambitious. In order to subdue 'violent actions without causing harm', you would need to be far more than just undefeatable. Man with rifle really is undefeatable against an unarmed man at 100 yards. But there is no way he can do his thing without causing harm. It's really that distinction that I'm looking at. And then what happens when the other guy has a rifle too. Dan may be the greatest martial artist in the world, but his claim would *still* require that he be much better than everyone else to really make sense.

Dan often writes that he is still just beginning to learn this stuff himself.I have noticed Dan's humility too, which is why I credit him with exaggerating rather than really meaning what he said.

Regarding "fairly unique". Well I dish out citations from the sematic police myself, but I'm sticking to my guns on this one.Rob, I was going to let you off with a warning. Why'd you have to go and argue the point?
Dan teaches anti-aiki. As far as I know, that is his term, and his study. Which is unique. However, it would be plausable that this kind of aspect is done to some degree by some of the rare others who also work these skills.
When I asked Chen Xiao Wang if I could try to joint-lock him, he happily let me do my best. It wasn't nearly good enough, and he was able to have his way with me. Now, I can do the same to my two-year-old (and a much lesser approximation to adults with less training). I can also sometimes (I'm not claiming great skill) joint-lock someone who knows how to block the lock in this way (if crudely) -- so that's a first-degree approximation of the skillset, even if I suck at it. So CXW's ability to shut me down cold suggests that he also trains in this way. Just the other day I heard privately of a different Taiji teacher for whom this field of study is part of the normal pedagogy. So it may not be *that* rare, even if it's unusual. If you had said his training approach is unique that would be fine, as long as you allowed that others also use this unique approach. You said *Dan* is fairly unique. I dinged you because you're implying that his approach is unique and that you think few if any others use it. You're mixing up Dan with his approach and using the ambiguity that might exist from diluting the meaning of 'unique' to cover that up. That conflation actually pre-commits you to ad hominem attacks on Dan's approach -- which would then be very hard to refute since you've bought into their premise. I think Dan's approach is probably pretty good, so I would rather decouple them from Dan, the man, however exemplary his demonstration of its result.

In any case, your 'semantic violation' is an entirely forgivable mistake of speech -- basically a typo; but it still demonstrates exactly the mistake in question. That wouldn't matter if the *actual meaning of unique* was not largely what is at stake in this discussion.

So I qualified unique. There are levels of infinity in math, it doesn't seem like such a stretch to say "fairly unique". Call it poetic license.
So would you say that something is 'fairly infinite'? No, of course not. You would say it is infinite, or you would qualify that infinity in a mathematically precise way. Most charitably, you just used 'fairly unique' to mean 'unusual or quite rare'. You're the one dragging the letter of the statute into the discussion here. By the way, as far as I am concerned, you *can* qualify unique -- but not through degrees of uniqueness (unless you want to try to go the precise route and actually explain the type of uniqueness alleged -- say, 'genetically unique'). For example, you could have said that Dan is 'probably unique' indicating that you do not know whether others train as he does (which is true) but that you *believe* him to be so. That's what I might have said in your position -- but I'm not sure it's what *you* actually meant.

Chhi'mèd

DH
07-04-2008, 11:06 AM
Hi Rob
To stick to the idea of the thread and to answer Chhi'mèd more directly:
How exactly do you see the dominate force affecting the opponent? How would you see a power differential as being the studd of aiki? Some may wonder and equate it with the effect of using muscle or MMA skills, sicne their predominate repsonse may be to blend and move out of the way.
Do you suppost that if I attacked you you could blend and take me or control me? How would that be different then what you do now?
How is this control of forces beffiting of aiki? Say if you throw a punch or try to grab me?.
Your friend was experienced in tuning MMAers-including one who appeared on the UFC, how did you perceive aiki...do affecting his movement when he tried to enter for a throw?
Have you formed any opinions of your own about how aiki...do can truly transform your own Aikido™ and make it very potent as a martial art?

Really this is open to Mark, Ron, Chris anyone who has gone to train with various people and may have thoughts on how this would effect their Aikido™-hopefully both in attack ro defense. How do you see it as making a change in connection values-for you?

Erick Mead
07-04-2008, 11:39 AM
.... Hell, if I could win bets just by getting beat up, I wouldn't need a day job. Heck, I'm a lawyer -- that is my day job...

I have started a separate thread on structure and dynamics for those that care:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=210336#post210336

And for those that don't :D

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/7/7f/Mickey_Mouse.svg/344px-Mickey_Mouse.svg.png&imgrefurl=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Mickey_Mouse.svg&h=395&w=344&sz=35&tbnid=4Ejblr6rn8sJ::&tbnh=124&tbnw=108&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dmickey%2Bmouse&hl=en&sa=X&oi=image_result&resnum=1&ct=image&cd=1

DH
07-04-2008, 11:43 AM
Chhi'mèd
Are we really interested in stretching and turning every phrase and word to unsreasonable and ridiculous lengths? No I don't make people lift up pencils and do automatic writing and make me coffee. Feeling like your movements are being totally controlled when attacking someone is well within hundreds of defintiions of high level aiki. If you are unaware of it-well...that pretty much speaks for itself doesn't it.
If you are aware and have felt it, then knock it off and just talk plainly. Are you doubting that the same level of control can happen under more intense attacks? What?
Can you state your questions to me in more simple and direct terms please?;)

clwk
07-04-2008, 12:13 PM
Chhi'mèd
Are we really interested in stretching and turning every phrase and word to unsreasonable and ridiculous lengths?
No, Dan, I was just shooting the breeze with Rob -- since I didn't feel he was qualified to speak for you but chose to do so anyway.

No I don't make people lift up pencils and do automatic writing and make me coffee. Feeling like your movements are being totally controlled when attacking someone is well within hundreds of defintiions of high level aiki. If you are unaware of it-well...that pretty much speaks for itself doesn't it.
If you are aware and have felt it, then knock it off and just talk plainly.
Sure, I understand -- at least in general terms. That caveat is because I wouldn't claim great expertise, or to know specifically what you can do or teach.

Are you doubting that the same level of control can happen under more intense attacks? What?
I don't doubt it at all. I think it becomes exponentially harder with the seriousness of the attack. Especially if the attacker is a) also aware of the dynamic and has a modicum of skill in it; and b) willing to let *himself* be hurt in order to accomplish his goals (whatever they may be). Under those circumstances, I wasn't sure if what you were describing can be successful. With a great enough skill/strength/size differential any approach can be successful, or course, but I think every approach has practical limits.

To be clear, I applaud the ideal, and I respect your acknowledgment of the pragmatics as well. Since you didn't know what position I was representing when you made your statement, I made the logical assumption that you felt your position could hold up against mine *without* knowing it. That implies a very strong claim. You would not be the first person in history to make such claims (or have them made for you) so I was genuinely interested in knowing if you *are* making it. I'm trying to ask this pointed question with as much humor and friendliness as possible.

Can you state your questions to me in more simple and direct terms please?;)I'll try. Please let me know if the above was clear enough or you want me to refine it.

Chhi'mèd

DH
07-04-2008, 12:45 PM
-I got it, but i'm going to be gone all day. I'll try to answer tomm. My position such as it is -has held up and been tested in many different venues. Exerience is a bitch to deal with on both sides; to carry its lessons and to refute them.

Happy independance day to everyone!
And may I be the first to say "Thank you" to Dennis, William, Kevin, Mike Sigman, and also Kit and any others I missed- for all that you did or do to keep us independant.

clwk
07-04-2008, 01:23 PM
My position such as it is -has held up and been tested in many different venues. Exerience is a bitch to deal with on both sides; to carry its lessons and to refute them.Thanks, Dan. I look forward to hearing exactly what the position is. I won't know if I agree with it or not until I hear it, and I have no attachment to either outcome. If I do disagree with it, I will be happy to help find a way for you to convince me, if you're willing to. If you could convince me of the strong position I'm not yet sure you hold, that would be the greatest outcome of all -- because it's one I would love to believe. I just have not yet met anyone who could convince me of it, and not for lack of me trying. That's not a criticism of anyone either. So I look forward to hearing more -- in the spirit of constructive dialog.

-ck

rob_liberti
07-04-2008, 01:54 PM
Chhi'mèd,

I tried to answer that post after waking up at like 3 am for no good reason. I have no problems with the percision you would like to hold me to. But since you seemed to guess right about my intentions and restate them better it seems I was fairly successfull in communicating in my blurry-eyed state.

You are of course right that I said aikido folks who worked with Dan and it was for aikido folks who worked with Dan, Mike, Aukuzawa, Rob J, and any other fast track folks. But that didn't really seem to confuse you much. This is just silly one-up-manship which you're welcome to have. I can't argue against Erick Mead even if I were right. He's too careful and I am not willing to put in the time on such things. I'm happy to just take some correction - if it is really helping clear up confusion - and keep moving forward.

The secretary offer was not meant to imply PRESS SECRETARY. :) Just willing to organize things if requested.

As far as being completely taken over. Well, I've been completely taken over by a large wave - and it couldn't make me pick up an object on a table next to me either. I just mean that I didn't get to chose what actions I took next - at all! My body went in some bizzare direction and my mind tried to catch up to what was happening.

As far as how well trained I am. Well, it's always a matter of perspective. My body can take a hell of a lot of aiki power into it and take decent ukemi from most people but I could doubtfully succeed in a fight in the UFC very well. So I brought a friend. :)

I was thinking about the power differential between you and a horse. While the horse has more power - I don't think that the horse has trained to take power away from you as you try to manipuate it. So I'm not saying Dan is stronger than a horse. I'm saying he is strong and makes you weaker than you would normally be against someone not trained like that.

And given that, his approach is much more likely to produce the results of being able to subdue a violent aggressor while doing no harm than any other approaches I have encountered thus far in my constantly looking for such things for all of my adult life.

So while I'm not Dan, I think I have a decent level of understanding which can probably add value to the discussion and answer some questions a bit. This being an online forum, and a topic I'm interested in, I hope you don't mind if I continue to dare to respond. :)

I'll try to get back to Dan's questions, I have some plans today - that involve a 4 year old and a playground!

Special thanks to all Military and LEO from me as well!

Rob

PS. a funny story about one-up-manship. I was in a car stopped in traffic at a light. My wife had her feet up on the dash (she was feeling very sick) and her seat was reclined. The guy next to me, beeps his horn. I roll down the window, and he goes into a long explanation about how dangerous it is for her to be doing that because of the air bag. I thanked him, my wife didn't change position one bit. And I simply remaked to my wife and our friend Jen in my car - "I notice there are no females in that car." :)

rob_liberti
07-04-2008, 09:07 PM
First it should be noted that the title of this spin off thread (Using Daito-Ryu's Aiki Without Harm) would make a reasonable definition for "aikido".

To stick to the idea of the thread and to answer Chhi'mèd more directly:
How exactly do you see the dominate force affecting the opponent? How would you see a power differential as being the studd of aiki? Some may wonder and equate it with the effect of using muscle or MMA skills, sicne their predominate repsonse may be to blend and move out of the way.

I see the dominate force affecting the opponent such that the opponent is immediately weakened and basically shut down on contact to falling straight down at nage's feet and/or going into self-maintenence mode. The feeling is something like all of a sudden finding yourself underwater by suprise.

However, I'm sure some people attack such that they protect both more kamikazi types as well as have pretty good structure as well as have fantastic internal/external fighting skills. My assumption is that this situation would probably wind up trading blows. The thing to note is that aiki blows are pretty much fight-enders. There simply cannot be too many people who can take several of those.

In 10 years, will Dan be able to even handle that kind of attack and do no harm? Not sure, but I'll say that approach has the best chance I've seen so far. (The approach I HAD been going for was to develop even better keep away skills so that by the time contact was ever made I would have some tactical advantage from them over-reaching themselves on top of my having developed superior aiki power from my aikido-proper training. Now I see that I can focus on the aiki a lot more and learn to do no harm from this paridigm.)

These skills are not the same as the typical MMA skills (although I have great respect for them). I would say my opinion at present is that: MMA with aiki power - turned into a force of doing least harm SHOULD BE the physical aspect of aikido that powers misogi training as well as provides proper context for the spiritual studies of aikido if you ask me. If you don't agree, that's fine, but that's where I plan to take it myself. (Ha and when I do, I can post about it and it will not belong in non-aikido martial traditions.)

Do you suppost that if I attacked you you could blend and take me or control me? How would that be different then what you do now? How is this control of forces beffiting of aiki? Say if you throw a punch or try to grab me?. Your friend was experienced in tuning MMAers-including one who appeared on the UFC, how did you perceive aiki...do affecting his movement when he tried to enter for a throw?


You maintain your internal harmony the entire time you move, so while I can _possibly_ blend with you and play keep away while staying relatively close, there is no way that I can take control of you until my internal harmony is on par are superior to yours. Which is the case in aikido-proper as well I might add. It's just that your internal harmony takes things to an entirely new level for me.

Compared to the average joe my internal power and my finesse to hide my weaknesses were generally more than enough to deal with people from all sorts of other martial arts fairly well. Against people who do not have well developed internal power/aiki - I can move, blend, and control lots of people inside and out of aikido. I was just on my slow aproach to attempting to re-invent what you've already been doing for 12-14 years when I met you and happily realized I had a chance of getting much further than I had dreamed possible.

Have you formed any opinions of your own about how aiki...do can truly transform your own Aikido™ and make it very potent as a martial art?

As I said: MMA with aiki power - turned into a force of doing least harm SHOULD BE the physical aspect of aikido that powers misogi training as well as provides proper context for the spiritual studies of aikido if you ask me.

Rob

rob_liberti
07-04-2008, 09:41 PM
A picture of Dan training me:

http://members.tripod.com/JediApprentice/yoda.gif

He's the muppet... :)

Ok seriously, it is a bit what it "feels" like.

Rob

clwk
07-04-2008, 11:23 PM
Rob, no hard feelings from my side. Conversations take funny turns, so let's just focus on whatever meat might be in here and forget about the banter for the moment. Now that the thread has moved we can probably discuss more technical details if we want to, so even though I know it miffs you, it's probably better, right?

Anyhow, it looks like Dan's post to which you're replying got lost in the thread split. I'll wait and see if it shows up, since I can't really follow the conversation without it.

Chhi'mèd

clwk
07-04-2008, 11:49 PM
Never mind. I see the post now, sorry about that. I'll still just wait for Dan's direct reply.

Chhi'mèd

rob_liberti
07-05-2008, 06:13 AM
No hard feeling at all. My previous post wasn't exactly serious. :)

clwk
07-05-2008, 08:38 AM
Rob, the image doesn't show up for me, so I just assumed it was a formal portrait.

rob_liberti
07-05-2008, 10:42 AM
Darn, it was luke skywalker upside down in a 1 handed handstand with yoda sitting on his foot. Oh well, I never tried to link to an image here too bad.

The funny thing is that I do end up having to hold strange postures, and focus my mental intention. I just don't make rocks fly around...
Maybe that will be next. :)

Rob

clwk
07-07-2008, 11:26 PM
Hi Dan, I'm just writing in to this thread again in case you hadn't realized it has been moved. I know it confused me. Anyhow, if you happen to see this post -- please let me know if you need me to clarify my questions. I'm sure I will be able to figure out a way to put them very directly if we go back and forth a few times to refine it.

Regards,
Chhi'mèd

Aikibu
07-08-2008, 05:17 PM
Without "Harm" is a manner of intention not just technique or method.... I would say dozens of times a day all over the US Police Officers draw their service weapon and point it at a suspect who may mean them harm and.... In over 98% (or higher) of these incidents no harm is committed in the act of "resolving" the conflict...

Knowing Aiki or expressing it is one thing... Your intentions are something else. In Aikido I would like to think we train ourselves to commit a minimal amount of "harm" by polishing our intentions...

As Shoji Nishio put it....

"People who practice Aikido should be recognized as the best artists in the world. It's easy to create something good with good materials, however, we perform a martial art that is designed to destroy and kill people, which, is something people dislike.
With these poor materials, we cultivate a society of friendship and build peaceful minds that people desire.

Every Aikido technique has that mind/heart"

So while all this talk of great skill is wonderful all I am interested in is what kind of man or woman it makes you into...

That is Budo... and I think Fred Little said much the same thing in referring to Terry Dobson's last few classes at Bond Street before he died on a similar thread a few days back.

William Hazen

clwk
07-08-2008, 05:49 PM
Knowing Aiki or expressing it is one thing... Your intentions are something else. In Aikido I would like to think we train ourselves to commit a minimal amount of "harm" by polishing our intentions...

As Shoji Nishio put it....

"People who practice Aikido should be recognized as the best artists in the world. It's easy to create something good with good materials, however, we perform a martial art that is designed to destroy and kill people, which, is something people dislike.
With these poor materials, we cultivate a society of friendship and build peaceful minds that people desire.

Every Aikido technique has that mind/heart"
Thanks, William. I appreciate the sentiment. However, let's respect Jun's wishes and keep the discussion to Non-Aikido Martial Traditions. We're specifically examining the extent to which the 'aiki' skillset provides a technical basis for actual success in preventing harm. I take it for granted that no-one in these discussions *wants* to cause gratuitous harm.

Chhi'mèd

Aikibu
07-08-2008, 07:34 PM
We're specifically examining the extent to which the 'aiki' skillset provides a technical basis for actual success in preventing harm.
Chhi'mèd

I think you've misread my "intentions" :) ANY "technical" skillset including Aiki as expressed in Daito-Ryu, Firearms, Nuclear Weapons ect ect ect
can provide "success without harm." Only a man bent on suicide would continue attacking someone who has "technical mastery" over him.

To me it's all about intention since the technical aspect of Budo as expressed in Daito-Ryu is a moot point.

William Hazen

Kevin Leavitt
07-08-2008, 10:20 PM
It's not the skill sets that are special. Aikido has nothing that I have not seen in any other martial art as far as a skill set that is unique or sets it apart from stopping harm. IMO, there is nothing special in aikido in that respect. Nothing.

I agree with WIlliam Hazen, guns, nukes, whatever are the same as anything we learn in aikido.

So, what is it that sets it apart? It has more to do with the holistic approach to budo than anything else. Budo is the answer.

That should not be an excuse for us to not learn good martial skills. Quite the contrary, the study of budo done properly COMPELLS us to learn martial skills correctly. To look at the lethality correctly, to embrace it.

I think if you start looking at aiki from that perspective it really changes things. It did for me.

Krav Maga, BJJ, Judo, Aikido, or Internal Skills training...it all starts to be apart of aikido waza once you realize it ain't about the skills, but about the holistic study of budo.

AIkido provides us a structure in order to study budo. A wonderful one!

It does require us, I think to LET GO, of the notion of aikido as a set of skills though.

William is dead on.

clwk
07-08-2008, 11:11 PM
Only a man bent on suicide would continue attacking someone who has "technical mastery" over him.
William, it is fortunate that we live in a world in which such an illogical tactic would never be employed -- whether with 'Firearms, Nuclear Weapons ect ect ect'. If we did not, it might make 'control without harm' an unattainable goal *in the general case*. Sure, it would remain a valuable ideal (as I have stated), but I guess it would break down in cases like the ones you describe . . . which fortunately never occur.

Chhi'mèd

DH
07-08-2008, 11:48 PM
Chhi'mèd
Sorry it took so long to get back. I had a great weekend and we train on Tues.
I think Rob did a fine job of explaining my own views in answering your questions in his posts #12 and #13. In fact his responses, spelled out as views of an Aikidoka who is not only experiencing these things, but challenging them and me, and bringing others as well speaks with more authority here than my words should. In fact I would think an aikidoka like yourself would find the personal testimony of a very vocal former naysayer (Rob L.) to be very compelling. I must say Rob is one of the more blunt and very direct visitors I have met. He has not interest whatsoever in anything but the work, and in testing it. And he keeps showing up. I find his it hilarious to see his views now being doubted. Something which I delight in kidding him about.
I'm not much interested in training to do no harm in the first place, but your line of questioning began when I said this type of training has much greater potential to allow someone to deal with greater levels of pressure and still not cause harm.
While I am fully capable of demonstrating that in various venues, and have done so, my own proclivities lean more to winning in the most expedient means possible. What ever that may mean at the time. Maybe my ideas of not causing harm include a broader range of responses then yours.
In any event, I think your questioning reveals a lack of understanding of the power potential of this type of training so there really isn't a point in pursuing it further on line.
Again, until Jun sidelined this and it vanished-I thought we were talking about aiki and the thoughts of those who felt it. While I learned it in DR, I still see DR and Aikido as cousins in every way. You have the personal testimony of more than a few men in many posts here pretty much telling you this training, and the power delivery was way more than they thought possible. I simply brought to that years of learning to use it in a very direct fashion. You had mentioned my convincing you of something or other. I'll let others try. For me it's more of the same old argument, long since resolved. if you'd like to meet sometime it may answer your questions better than another on-line debate.

Aikibu
07-09-2008, 12:00 AM
William, it is fortunate that we live in a world in which such an illogical tactic would never be employed -- whether with 'Firearms, Nuclear Weapons ect ect ect'. If we did not, it might make 'control without harm' an unattainable goal *in the general case*. Sure, it would remain a valuable ideal (as I have stated), but I guess it would break down in cases like the ones you describe . . . which fortunately never occur.

Chhi'mèd
Amen my friend...:)

With a couple of caveats they don't most of the time.
The Caveats... "Suicide by Cop."

Martial Hubris about ones own "tactical abilities" is another... like...The Roman Legions at Cannae,The French Knights at Crecy, The Zulu at Roarke's Drift, The BEF at the Somme, The German's at Kursk, and dozens of others...

We have a name for it in the Martial Arts I've practiced....

Blackbelt Disease...

Budo is the cure....:) What a man knows is nothing compared to how he acts using what he has learned.

William Hazen

Aikibu
07-09-2008, 12:03 AM
traingulate

CHOOO CHOOO? or MUUUU MUUUU??? :D

William Hazen

clwk
07-09-2008, 03:49 AM
Dan,

Thanks for the reply, and I'm glad you had a good weekend.
I think Rob did a fine job of explaining my own views in answering your questions in his posts #12 and #13.

Okay. Here's what he said:

However, I'm sure some people attack such that they protect both more kamikazi types as well as have pretty good structure as well as have fantastic internal/external fighting skills. My assumption is that this situation would probably wind up trading blows. The thing to note is that aiki blows are pretty much fight-enders. There simply cannot be too many people who can take several of those.

And you said:

I'm not much interested in training to do no harm in the first place . . . .

That's all fine by me. I have no problem with that. Remember, this all started when I got a chuckle out of your 'with a broken everything' comment.

In fact I would think an aikidoka like yourself would find the personal testimony of a very vocal former naysayer (Rob L.) to be very compelling.
Actually, I don't practice Aikido anymore. I don't like to talk too much about that on AikiWeb, since it's an Aikido forum. The aspect of your comments which did not sit well with me is part of a larger pattern. I'm willing to try to explain it if you're actually interested.

You immediately responded to my appreciation for your 'with a broken everything' comment by trying to convince me of your superior training methodology -- presumably on the basis that I am one of the group you are trying to convince.

In point of fact, my personal history puts me squarely in the category of people you explicitly asked to voice their opinions. I don't know Rob at all -- other than having gotten into some arguments with him in the last few days. You are right, he was a 'vocal naysayer'. I remember very well his long drawn-out arguments with Mike Sigman. I learned a great deal from reading those arguments, and one of those things was that I did not want to pattern how I judged such topics on Rob. Now, I hope Rob does not take offense at this -- since he has publicly admitted that he also regrets the stance he took.

After much private correspondence with Mike, I had the opportunity to meet him, and he showed me some very basic things. I am not a quick study, although I am clever with words; and I needed to meet with Mike again later to really understand some of what he was trying to explain. I had not improved much, but the concepts had soaked in so I could hear more. Now I really don't want to put words into Mike's mouth, but I *think* he would agree about two things: 1) I don't have a great deal of skill, and 2) I do have a *generally* accurate understanding of the *basic* skillset he has discussed in this forum -- the skillset which many consider to be common to *all* of the asian martial arts, and which even extend into numerous non-martial fields such as medicine, religion, dance, calligraphy, etc.

In the end, I chose not to pursue Aikido as the major venue for my training of these skills. I did try to do that for a while, and although the little I was able to integrate went a very long way in the dojo, I eventually stopped training there. My life simply went in a different direction. I realize that an exhaustive analysis of that situation might seem helpful to others in the same situation, but it probably wouldn't help much in the big picture. Meeting Mike helped me to recognize the manner in which these core skills are present within the religious tradition I practice. I am now actively involved in receiving teachings that facilitate deepening that understanding. I don't think this rates much discussion on AikiWeb though, even though it pertains very much to my own study of martial art.


While I am fully capable of demonstrating that in various venues, and have done so, my own proclivities lean more to winning in the most expedient means possible. What ever that may mean at the time. Maybe my ideas of not causing harm include a broader range of responses then yours.
It sounds like it probably does. For myself, I do not see the need to equivocate about what is and is not harm -- because I do not hold to the belief that it is always possible to avoid causing harm. Since both positions probably acknowledge an *actual* spectrum of harm which might befall those who engage in physical conflicts, the difference is probably semantic. The value I find in my position is that when that real harm which may be caused is recognized as such -- rather than sugared over as some form of transcendent non-harm kind of harm -- it casts the circumstances in a clearer light. If the harm one causes is real harm then the responsibility to avoid it when possible is greater. If I simply explain away whatever harm I may cause by designating it part of a broader version of non-harm, then I am likely to use less restraint. I do not say this to criticize your version of non-harm, but I did advance the conversation to try to clarify my understanding of it. I thought it incongruous that you would turn around and justify 'with a broken everything' as needing to be somehow 'harmonious' (no pun intended, if that's a pun). I felt like you were doing that in order to 'sell' your training methods to Aikidoka; and I thought that was a shame because I don't think they need to be sold. If they are what you say they are then they will sell themselves. Or, as you suggested, those *Aikidoka* who have experienced them will sell them for you.

Given all that, why did you feel you needed to jump in to educate me -- and in a fairly condescending manner? My purpose was to contribute to what you would otherwise have considered 'your side' of the discussion. I think I made it abundantly clear at every turn that I understood and sided with your general position. I simply objected to your apparent need to proselytize to me -- without knowing my position -- in a thread where you had promised to refrain from doing so.

This was especially irksome since you had explicitly and specifically designated your thread to solicit input from a relatively small handful of people (of which I am one), and went out of your way at many points to make certain that no one deviated from allowing these people to voice their opinions. So it was somewhat weird for you to start whipping me into line before I had even had a chance to express a view. Did I enter the conversation obliquely? Yes, I did -- but that's just my personal style.

You said, "I'll be willing to betcha over which methods offers the greater potential for control over another humans violent actions without causing harm." Fine. I'll take the ki/kokyu/aiki methods (whatever language you want to use to describe them). What are you betting on?

In any event, I think your questioning reveals a lack of understanding of the power potential of this type of training so there really isn't a point in pursuing it further on line.
I appreciate your frank assessment of my understanding. I am quite certain I do not underestimate it. I have never questioned the value of the skills being discussed here. What I have questioned is whether it is accurate or beneficial to represent these skills as being a road to the level of dominance which Rob has asserted for you, and which you have done nothing to discourage. I keep hearing you talk about what you can do, and I believe you can do wonderful things. But I am not sure that the uniform disdain you display for everyone else is helpful to your stated cause. My understanding of the original thread was that you were hoping to encourage the uptake of your type of training for people interested in studying Aikido. Believe it or not, based on a *great deal* of research and consideration, I happen to think that this is a very good idea. Maybe not your training methods in particular -- but *some* kind of direct training in the fundamental body skills is invaluable. What I fail to see is how all the rhetoric about your 'better way' is helpful. That is why I asked you initially: a better way than what? The methods I practice cannot be blamed on Mike -- although he certainly helped get me on the right path and has always provided sound advice. Nevertheless, I feel safe in saying that how I practice is not fundamentally incongruent with what he advocates as the core, common, baseline skillset. So when you assert -- without even making an effort to hear what my position might be -- the categorical superiority of your methods, it makes it sound like you don't really mean 'Dan, Mike, Rob, etc.' It almost sounds like you just mean, 'Dan'. I just don't see that this is necessarily the most helpful way to accomplish your stated goals -- of *helping* Aikidoka connect with the heart of their own art if for whatever reason they feel technically estranged from it.

Again, until Jun sidelined this and it vanished-I thought we were talking about aiki and the thoughts of those who felt it.So did I, and that is why I was wondering what this 'better way' you were going to show me was -- since what you call 'aiki' is a core component of what I consider to be vital to a truly viable martial arts practice.

You had mentioned my convincing you of something or other. I'll let others try.
I was referring to your proposed bet. I couldn't quite tell if the bet was that you had a vastly superior method -- or that you could control my violent actions without harming me. I did ask you to clarify, or even to just tell me if the 'betcha' was meant rhetorically.

For me it's more of the same old argument, long since resolved.
And that's what's so very strange. I haven't been having that argument at all. Why do you keep having the same argument even when others are not? What could this possible have to do with how *you* present yourself -- as opposed to the material itself -- *given that we probably more-or-less agree about the basic material*, as I have been saying all along?

If you'd like to meet sometime it may answer your questions better than another on-line debate.Sure, if it happens to works out sometime. I have no doubt you will be able to demonstrate well-practiced applications and display power in ways which I will find educational. By every report I have heard from you or others, you dominate everyone you meet, no matter how skilled. I have gone out of my way to touch hands with martial artists who can demonstrate unusual feelings and skill, and another experience is always welcome.

Chhi'mèd

DH
07-09-2008, 07:10 AM
Chhi'mèd
Thank you for the expanded and finally forthright explanation of your views. I'll not be lengthy as I feel any single word or phrase will be turned on it's head to fit into your opinions of how I supposedly feel. Curiously I find that they do not express my views at all.

The issue of levels of violence and not causing harm has been addressed.
The issue of me only advocating training with me is simply hilarious. In this short exchange where the thread was highjacked, then rightfully split off from its original intent and I responded- I chose to respond and discuss my methods for fighting with these skills. Since I don't know anyone else's method-it makes sense that I was discussing my approach. This is not to be confused with training these skills.

Where those are concerned, you apparently missed all the many posts where I advocated training with not only Mike and Ark, but any and everyone who can help, Then making your training your own. Consistent with that internet dialogue-there is no one who trains with me who has not been advised to get out and meet-not in any order- MIke, Ark and Rob, Howard, several Chen Taiji teachers and certain DR teachers...and on another note to go to various dojo and gyms to train then comparing notes and find the best training-FOR THEM. This is something which others have stated-on the net- that I repeatedly say to them as well when they come to train here. And it is nothing new to anyone who has known me for many years. I have been rather insistent upon it long before you ever heard my name.
Curiously, I find myself surrounded by people who have done that very thing. Coincidence maybe?
Internet speak, and investiture in an argument for argument sake cannot change something which is just ...simply true. Those who enjoy word games, and clever turns of phrase to make a point do not alter many years of personal interactions and consistent action.
The rest of your post seems to take me to task for confusing you with the group of people who haven't gotten out themselves. Since you admittedly chose to enter the discussion obliquely and disguise your experience and opinions, I'll let my comments stand and I take me leave of the discussion with you.

rob_liberti
07-09-2008, 07:14 AM
Well, as I recall my many many discussions with Mike:

1) I argued with Mike about personality more than anything else. There was a nicer way to say many of the things and there was no good reason to be a nasty pants - which seems like your issue with Dan about beating people over the head with it. :)

2) I RARELY argued with Mike about internal skills. The only arguments we had about internal skills were:

(a) the level of how much was needed in aikido. I am now on his side about how much internal skills/aiki is needed for aikido to be truly effective. I have great appreciation for his help in getting me to see that.

(b) how much was available with the aikido teachers. He has formally retracted his statements about how much aiki skills were available in some of the aikido teachers.

c) about TEACHING internal skills. I felt: So what?! You can theoretically teach someone faster - since you don't ACTUALLY do that, I'm not interested in your dismissal of us flawed aikido teachers. Seems reasonable even now.

If I could go back in time, I'd still take him on - on many of those issues - I'd just do it more constructively and be more of a gentleman about it.

As far as your approach to this discussion, maybe you might think about that whole "constructive" concept a bit more yourself.

My goal is clear. Help other serious aikido folks. What exaclty was your goal?

Rob

rob_liberti
07-09-2008, 08:14 AM
(a) the level of how much was needed in aikido. I am now on his side about how much internal skills/aiki is needed for aikido to be truly effective. I have great appreciation for his help in getting me to see that.


I thought a bit more about this and the linch pin for my reversal was that
1- I met someone who could deliver internal power while attacking and moving around in general. All of my previous experience was pretty much that some people had such power but pretty much only commanded it well when they stayed in one pace. Like they were almost stuck in a flower pot. Just don't attack the guy stuck in that flower pot over there - OKAY. Big deal. When I met Dan, my opinion of how to power attacks changed. That was very helpful and convincing - but still I thought well okay but how many people are trained like that - that I will have to deal with? 4 in the world, I can avoid them!!! I figured, heck I can shoot them if need be. :)

2- Dan's approach was that he could deliver such abilities to people in a much smaller amount of time than anyone else I had encountered AND HE WAS AND IS STILL DOING THAT.

Those things amounted to being the linch pin of my reversal on the subject. Had I not had those experiences, I would have continued to dismiss most of Mike's and others criticisms of aikido. The Nisho camp were dealing with MMA type attacks and watching Saotome sensei move around trained martial artists attacking him was impressive enough. Seemed like no one was teaching it any better or faster. Now I see a way to leverage that kind of finesse and more productive power development. I was given a lot of help and I feel responsible to give back and help convince anyone who is also serious about making aikido effective. Testing it that way will help me with my personal goal of applying those physical/mental principles to the spiritual understanding of aikido - which Osensei seemed pretty interested in teaching.

Rob

DH
07-09-2008, 08:21 AM
Hi Rob
Would you mind placing your last two posts in the "Aikido where are we at?" thread.
They are directly related to my request for that thread and would be a better resource point for those looking for guys like you, Mark, Chris, hunter, etc.who want to share aiki within their Aikido. After all you do still teach Aikido.
My thread got hijacked split twice and is now getting back on topic by getting off topic within the split!!!!!...my head hurts

Thanks

clwk
07-09-2008, 11:33 AM
Dear Dan and Rob,

You are right that this discussion has played out. In answer to your implicit and explicit questions about my purpose, I will try to answer. I should say to begin with that I do not have some great over-arching purpose which drives my every interaction. Rob mentioned wanting to help serious Aikidoka. That goal resonates with me because I was once in that category. I did not find that the standard Aikido pedagogical framework proved most effective *for me* to accomplish my goals. I do not regret my many years of practicing Aikido though. People move on in and life, and I really do not want to belabor whatever difficulties I may have had -- because people always experience difficulties when trying to make big changes *in anything*. Because I do believe there is knowledge in the world which can be valuable to anyone practicing Aikido, I wanted to enter your thread to share my perspective -- in whatever way might prove possible.

What I found instead is a dynamic which is *in some ways* part of what made it difficult for me to continue my Aikido training. Dan rightly points out that I do not know him or what he advocates in person. Nevertheless, I *have* assiduously read much of what he has written over the years. I happily give him credit for having helped me see the value of these skills -- based on his long history of internet posting. But the internet is not the whole of the 'real world'. I would have been happy to establish a personal dialog with either of you. In fact, I have emailed both of you in the past in just such an attempt (without the slightest confrontational content, I add). Whether the lack of response is due to technical problems or to a lack of interest in establishing communication is immaterial at this point. What matters is that lacking a 'private' option, I took the 'public' route.

Since you bring up long-standing interpersonal histories, etc. and do so almost in such a way as to cast doubt on my good faith while elevating your own -- I should say something on this topic. I have also, over the course of years, done my best to communicate with people -- even and especially those with whom I disagree if I also respect them in some ways. Rob says that he cannot make the effort necessary to discuss things with Erick Mead, for example. I do make that effort sometimes -- because there is a part of Erick's process I respect and which resonates with me, even though I often disagree with his surface conclusions and presentation. Given that discussion can only ever be conducted through words, I give them perhaps undue weight -- but that is the coin of the realm. If and when personal meetings become possible and seem potentially productive, I attempt to make them; and I am glad to say that *for me*, the process of rigorous discussion has frequently led to deeper acquaintance and even friendship -- even in conversations which began with disagreement. It is true that -- by default -- it is always easier not to engage deeply and substantively with a topic. This is especially the case when there is contention. However, without really exploring points of contention, real communication is almost impossible. Instead, one gets either knee-jerk agreement or knee-jerk disagreement. The difficulty I have found in establishing a substantive conversation with the two of you is related to the patterns of communication which are latent in the dynamic which has been established here. This can be seen quite clearly in the original thread, and in the frustration we have all experienced when I attempted to ask Dan some simple, but direct and pointed questions.

Rather than simply have a technical discussion with me about the complex moral, philosophical, pedagogical, and technical issues surrounding the question of 'controlling violence without harm', Dan left that job to Rob. He avoids the specific questions and treats them like personal attacks, while leaving Rob to explain his position. One of many reasons I find that method so exasperating is that Rob does not seem to be in a position to see Dan's methodology objectively. What should and could be discussions of the nature of the method become pissing contests about how much power has, or which tough martial artists he has rendered helpless. Now, it is fine for a student to view his teacher in such a light -- and it obviously helps one to have confidence in one's chosen path when he can see the end product of that path. So I do not *blame* Rob for resolving discussion to his personal observations of Dan's prowess. However, *given that Rob has publicly taken that stance* -- I find it utterly unfair of Dan to pass the explanatory buck to Rob. I do not *want* to conclude that Dan endorses the use of his own prowess as the primary argument for his position. There are several reasons for my hesitation. First, it leaves nothing whatsoever to be discussed verbally. If and when I meet Dan then I will know what he can and cannot do. I will then be able to compare it with my experiences of Mike Sigman, Vladimir Vasiliev, Chen Xiao Wang, and others whose skill levels range from extensive to less so. I have no problem at all with the importance of meeting up. However, if so much discussion time is going to be given over to the topic *on an internet forum* then I would like to be able to *discuss* the topic itself. Second, if Dan really were deferring to Rob's explanations in order to avoid direct discussion, then this would not speak well of his motivations. By letting Rob do his bragging for him, he seemingly keeps a moral high ground; and this allows him to act as though he is not indirectly boasting. It makes it almost impossible to call him on the boasting -- which, however accurate -- really confuses the issue for people who might want to learn what he has to teach. The general impression created by the original thread is that anyone who goes to meet Dan will be so impressed with his prowess that he is immediately and completely converted to Dan's methodology -- so much so that he will front for Dan and offload the boasting which is an unfortunate aspect of his personal style. I say unfortunate only because it is exactly this 'boasting' which confuses the situation for many Aikido practitioners. People want to believe that what they are learning will get them to their goals, and often their instructors are skilled enough to effectively 'boast' for the art. When people begin not to question the claims made in that way, then they initiate a process which makes it very hard for them to understand what they are trying to do. Even minor deviations from what may be strictly possible can create major problems for someone trying to replicate those effects in training. So when I hear this kind of boasting going on, directly or indirectly, I hope to hear it clarified. This is especially because I *do* think the training methods are probably quite valuable -- even without knowing specifically what they may be.

In the end, that message is probably the best I can do for readers of this forum. I do not expect to significantly influence the two of you because you have chosen the style of communication with which you want to present your information. I simply wanted -- as a qualified member of the constituency whose input you solicited -- to voice my objection to that style. I believe this is a non-trivial objection. When a 'group think' mentality becomes prevalent, it is easy for those who may be peripherally within a group to simply go silent rather than oppose that mentality. This unfortunately creates the impression that there is no dissent. I wanted to make it clear that not everyone who has experienced the general skillset you discuss takes on the characteristics the two of you display in discussion. You rightly point out that my example speaks for itself -- and I completely understand that by getting down and dirty and trying to address these difficult issues with you I quite probably discredit myself in the eyes of this forum. That is because a general consensus has been established that the mode to which I object is an acceptable status quo. Fortunately for me, I do not need to establish credibility here. Whatever credibility I have or do not have comes through personal interactions; and *for me* the fundamental thread which authenticates personal interaction as meaningful is precision and willingness to see questions through, even when they are uncomfortable. That is why I have continued this conversation (and others) even when it became obvious that nothing substantive would be accomplished. Sometimes pounding one's head against a wall is necessary -- because I do not like to judge people prematurely. I would therefore prefer to bloody my head to some small extent than to avoid doing so in the false belief that the person I am addressing is incapable of reciprocating a good faith effort to communicate.

In conclusion, I have written so much precisely because I was once in the position that *some* readers will be in. I have no interest in being the winner of a debate, but I do have interest in seeing that the discussion itself be furthered -- for the benefit of those who may be like I once was. There are many personality types in the world, and I am painfully aware that many are pushed away from Dan's otherwise good points by the way he expresses them. If many are similarly repulsed by my expression that is not a problem at all -- because I am not trying to sway anyone to my way of thinking. I simply wanted to provide a dialectic counterpoint to Dan and Rob's approach -- so that those who cannot appreciate the latter might still see that the investigation is worth pursuing. In that way, this discussion (or lack of it) has proven your position well, and you have definitely had the best of it. I am seen to be the contrarian that I am, and my substantive questions about the importance of precision in goal-setting have been left where they belong -- in the vaccuum of unanswered and unanswerable mysteries to which we must all submit if we wish to progress. All that having been said, I welcome the future point at which we may meet up and hopefully establish a more productive dialog. I am sure that Dan is much more persuasive in person than he is on the internet. I just wish it was important enough to him to take up the slack -- because *that* is how I see Aikido best benefiting from his obvious ability to assist others.

Chhi'mèd

jennifer paige smith
07-09-2008, 11:57 AM
Dear Chhi'mèd,
Your dissent has been welcome and refreshing.
I feel similarly to you about the style and approach of Dan, Rob, etc's.....communication. The domination of technique that is espoused by Dan , in my experience, isn't exclusive to MA's but to conversation itself. It is a door shutter to people who want the product they are constatly advertising and then holding to their chest when you ask em for it.
I'm not sure what is behind all of this but it definitely comes across as verbal bullying.
If that approach were to change, you can bet it would be a good day for all of us.

For now I see the holy trinity of the IMA threads as : Triangulate,obfuscate,vacate.
I hope that changes.

clwk
07-09-2008, 12:10 PM
Your dissent has been welcome and refreshing.
I feel similarly to you about the style and approach of Dan, Rob, etc's.....communication.

<snip>

For now I see the holy trinity of the IMA threads as : Triangulate,obfuscate,vacate.
Jennifer, thanks for the kind word. I don't know what you mean by triangulate in this context. It sounds like a specialized tactical term, but it is not one that lies within my experience. Can you clarify?

Thanks,
Chhi'mèd

jennifer paige smith
07-09-2008, 12:31 PM
Jennifer, thanks for the kind word. I don't know what you mean by triangulate in this context. It sounds like a specialized tactical term, but it is not one that lies within my experience. Can you clarify?

Thanks,
Chhi'mèd

Hi Right Back to You,

You're correct. It is a tactical term.A political tactic.
And after trying to use my own words to further describe this I decided it would be best to call upon the 'great spirit of wikipedia':
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triangulation_(politics).
If that doesn't help, I'll give it another swing at the plate.

Best,
Jen

clwk
07-09-2008, 12:40 PM
You're correct. It is a tactical term.A political tactic.
And after trying to use my own words to further describe this I decided it would be best to call upon the 'great spirit of wikipedia':
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triangulation_(politics).
If that doesn't help, I'll give it another swing at the plate.

No Jen, that was very clear; and I understand why you use the term. I do not follow that stuff very closely. I avoid politics because they are distasteful, but I expedite their aims more effectively in my own way. Did I get that right?

Thanks for a new word.

Chhi'mèd

DH
07-09-2008, 12:44 PM
... It is a door shutter to people who want the product they are constatly advertising and then holding to their chest when you ask em for it.
Sorry to hear that Jenn
When have you asked to come train and been denied? I have given over time and taught nights, weekends, and interuppted classes to teach for free. I hardly call that holding anything to my chest or holding it away. FWIW While some are teaching this stuff and charging, and thus you may say they are 'advertizing" something or other-I am discussing training ideas and goals and "sharing." I gain nothing in the process. I discuss and then attempt show this training at least exists and to offer a leg up to those who want to train.
Conversely while we hear from those who take offense, we seem to hear equally from all those who welcomed the discusions and training with open arms, and are pursuing it at a rapid pace.
For now I see the holy trinity of the IMA threads as : Triangulate,obfuscate,vacate.
I hope that changes.
I can't see me having any fruitful discussions of Nature spirits and auras and cosmic ki while discussing the very real training of aiki. So there will be difficulties in communicating. Funny that I see the other side of these discussions in much the same light as you see me. I faced having to forcefully accept the status quo and a blind eye to the stunningly obvious. I also have seen it is usually that side that all too typically goes personal and starts discussing the people instead of the issues.
In any event, once again sorry to see you feel that way Jenn. Though. the discussions are sometimes difficult in nature I try to stick with issues and not people.

jennifer paige smith
07-09-2008, 12:46 PM
No Jen, that was very clear; and I understand why you use the term. I do not follow that stuff very closely. I avoid politics because they are distasteful, but I expedite their aims more effectively in my own way. Did I get that right?

Thanks for a new word.

Chhi'mèd

Hi,
You definitely got it right.
And 'me too' for the rest of your post.

PM me if you'd like to talk more, so Jun doesn't have to split us up;)

jennifer paige smith
07-09-2008, 12:57 PM
Sorry to hear that Jenn
When have you asked to come train and been denied? I have given over time and taught nights, weekends, and interuppted classes to teach for free. I hardly call that holding anything to my chest or holding it away. FWIW While some are teaching this stuff and charging, and thus you may say they are 'advertizing" something or other-I am discussing training ideas and goals and "sharing." I gain nothing in the process. I discuss and then attempt show this training at least exists and to offer a leg up to those who want to train.
Conversely while we hear from those who take offense, we seem to hear equally from all those who welcomed the discusions and training with open arms, and are pursuing it at a rapid pace.

I can't see me having any fruitful discussions of Nature spirits and auras and cosmic ki while discussing the very real training of aiki. So there will be difficulties in communicating. Funny that I see the other side of these discussions in much the same light as you see me. I faced having to forcefully accept the status quo and a blind eye to the stunningly obvious. I also have seen it is usually that side that all too typically goes personal and starts discussing the people instead of the issues.
In any event, once again sorry to see you feel that way Jenn. Though. the discussions are sometimes difficult in nature I try to stick with issues and not people.

I see that we do have a lot in common in that I don't fit in with the status quo, despite what might appear otherwise. I have a unique and missing from aikido today bent that is from a developed spiritual focused core that has come from shugyo. Your core seems to be physical and unconventional in aikido terms, too. Same difference to me. We would both like for people to train in real skills and we don't cotton to a lot of mumbo jumbo.And our verbage can be difficult to grasp. I try with yours,honestly.

And to answer your question: I asked you to come to train with me in CA in the Aikido...aiki do thread and you didn't respond. The offer remains open. If you'd like to discuss it, please PM me.

I've said my piece and I wish you, in brotherhood, good training.

Best,
Jen

DH
07-09-2008, 01:10 PM
Chhi'mèd
You wanted to know my opinions on what levels these skills can be used to stop violence and cause no harm. I only have personal experience to draw on and was not going to go there with you.
a) I did not want to discuss the very real and practical aspects of what I have seen and done.
b) Get into a debate about where the line crosses between these skills, and where they may blend/ be accented. Or be superseded or overlap fighting skills.
c) Wind up in another debate about all of that-and- then have to defend debate things involving me.
d) So I chose to dodge any discussion involving what I have done. It would have been counter productive. The obverse, to discuss the "potentials" I see in any depth, I think would have been disingenuous and transparent. Why? I really would have been discussing, once again, personal experiences, now disguised as theories.

I have in the past here and in recent threads openly discussed and commented about training these skills and coming back to a Judo MMA dojo and getting my ass handed to me when I was learning to move this way, and going back to my teacher and asking what to do? Or why I quit formal training in the Aiki arts to try and get it for myself since there was no way to get it while doing what I normally did in grappling? I asked others to share personal experiences of their successes and failures, and I have shared my own. You apparently keyed on some of the successes. This sort of debate reminds of the Biblical passage “I played a funeral dirge and you didn’t want to mourn. I played a jig-you didn't want to dance. There’s no pleasing you- so why try.”

Rob threw some stuff out there unexpectedly. I didn’t feel a need to respond further.
He’s and Aikido teacher with dojos. Ask him his views

As for transparency, I'm glad you chose to speak your mind and offer your views both of me, what I know, what I have done, what I should do, how I should discuss things, and the various improvements I should make in my internet presence and the way I express myself. It speaks for itself and judging from my P.M.s and the responses here it is resonating with both sides. Good job.
I think once you choose to take offence and parse words the dialogue really just becomes declarations of firm and fixed views and ceases to be any real communication.
Thank you for sharing anyway.

DH
07-09-2008, 01:15 PM
I see that we do have a lot in common in that I don't fit in with the status quo, despite what might appear otherwise. I have a unique and missing from aikido today bent that is from a developed spiritual focused core that has come from shugyo. Your core seems to be physical and unconventional in aikido terms, too. Same difference to me. We would both like for people to train in real skills and we don't cotton to a lot of mumbo jumbo.And our verbage can be difficult to grasp. I try with yours,honestly.

And to answer your question: I asked you to come to train with me in CA in the Aikido...aiki do thread and you didn't respond. The offer remains open. If you'd like to discuss it, please PM me.

I've said my piece and I wish you, in brotherhood, good training.

Best,
Jen
Hi Jenn

I must have missed it. As you may have noticed I don't get out often. When I can I have my own Koryu training that takes priority above all others. Other than that folks come here. I am currently trying to put together a seminar type thingy. I just have zero interest in doing it, but I care about the people who keep asking me to do it.
Now that you drew my attention to your offer, If I am ever out that way I'll P.M. you.

Unconventional we may not agree on. I think this training is thee most conventional way to do aiki..do. It is what has happened to Aikido™, largely because of Kissomaru that is unconventional. See there? Totally different, maybe even exact opposite view. But its an issue that needn't cause personal strife.
Once again, no offense intended.

Aikibu
07-09-2008, 01:17 PM
I see that we do have a lot in common in that I don't fit in with the status quo, despite what might appear otherwise. I have a unique and missing from aikido today bent that is from a developed spiritual focused core that has come from shugyo. Your core seems to be physical and unconventional in aikido terms, too. Same difference to me. We would both like for people to train in real skills and we don't cotton to a lot of mumbo jumbo.And our verbage can be difficult to grasp. I try with yours,honestly.

And to answer your question: I asked you to come to train with me in CA in the Aikido...aiki do thread and you didn't respond. The offer remains open. If you'd like to discuss it, please PM me.

I've said my piece and I wish you, in brotherhood, good training.

Best,
Jen

I think we are all kindred spirits and as long as I honor and nurture each Shguyosha's martial discipline, and support it... Then we will all progress to a point where technique does not matter.

From the days of yore

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-167.html

Sincere Heart through Austere Training Shoji Nishio Shihan

William Hazen

Ron Tisdale
07-09-2008, 01:21 PM
I wanted to make it clear that not everyone who has experienced the general skillset you discuss takes on the characteristics the two of you display in discussion. You rightly point out that my example speaks for itself -- and I completely understand that by getting down and dirty and trying to address these difficult issues with you I quite probably discredit myself in the eyes of this forum. That is because a general consensus has been established that the mode to which I object is an acceptable status quo.

Hi Chhi'mèd,

I think I understand your perspective, even while I do not necessarily share it. I have heard these comments relative to Dan's presentation before, but I guess I am somehow able to overlook this, just as I try to overlook some other foibles on the net, to get to the substance of the discussion. Personally, I might try email to get your point accross...without an audience is often helpfull.

Hi Jen,
Personally, I think that term (verbal bullying) gets thrown around a bit too much and too loosely. Especially of late. Just my perspective.

Best,
Ron

clwk
07-09-2008, 01:44 PM
Dan,

a) I did not want to discuss the very real and practical aspects of what I have seen and done.
b) Get into a debate about where the line crosses between these skills, and where they may blend/ be accented. Or be superseded or overlap fighting skills.
c) Wind up in another debate about all of that-and- then have to defend debate things involving me.
d) So I chose to dodge any discussion involving what I have done. It would have been counter productive. The obverse, to discuss the "potentials" I see in any depth, I think would have been disingenuous and transparent. Why? I really would have been discussing, once again, personal experiences, now disguised as theories.
That's all fine. I really wish that if you did not want to discuss either the specifics or the potentials that you would have just said so. You did seemingly open up that discussion with your provocative comments to me. That's part of what I'm finding difficult here.

As for transparency, I'm glad you chose to speak your mind and offer your views both of me, what I know, what I have done, what I should do, how I should discuss things, and the various improvements I should make in my internet presence and the way I express myself.
Come on, Dan. I haven't expressed views about what you know or what you have done -- other than to note that all reports are positive. As far as discussion, yes I have been trying to ask you to discuss the issues more directly if you want to bring them up. As far as your 'internet presence' goes, that has more to do with Rob's question about the function of this thread than anything else. I don't expect you to change, but I would *nevertheless* like to encourage people to train with you: that's what I was trying to say.

It speaks for itself and judging from my P.M.s and the responses here it is resonating with both sides.
Come on, Dan. It's that kind of dig I object to. If our conversation is helping people to realize your methods are helpful, then good -- I *want* people to be exposed to it. I have no problem with that. If I incidentally encouraged some of the people you disagree with, that's fine too. It's not a popularity contest or a clique battle, as far as I'm concerned.

You say you just stick to issues and don't get personal. It seems to me, and I feel like you just said so yourself, that you are avoiding issues and focusing on personality. You keep saying you are done with the discussion -- but then you come back to get the last word. I think it's entirely obvious that we have a disagreement about how to discuss the topic, and since that's what we've been reduced to talking about, I am willing to be straightforward in acknowledging it. I have stated my disagreement directly, and you have stated yours by implication. We're both guilty of being personal here, and it has nothing to do with the substantive issues. You have now said that you don't want to discuss the issues. Fine, I can find the posts you have referred to if I want more information. On the other hand, why bring it up if you didn't want to discuss it?

Chhi'mèd

clwk
07-09-2008, 02:12 PM
I think I understand your perspective, even while I do not necessarily share it. I have heard these comments relative to Dan's presentation before, but I guess I am somehow able to overlook this, just as I try to overlook some other foibles on the net, to get to the substance of the discussion. Personally, I might try email to get your point accross...without an audience is often helpfull.of late. Just my perspective.
Thanks, Ron. I'm not trying to sugar-coat Dan for the masses. My actual interest is in the thread's subject. Dan's comments didn't sit right with me, and I was hoping to clarify them. All this personal back-and-forth is incredibly tedious, and it necessarily turns into a meta-discussion. Believe it or not, I just want to have a simple technical discussion -- because that is what I think can benefit people trying to or considering learn these skills.

What do you think, Ron? Is it a realistic goal to shoot for 'controlling without harm'? I will repeat my position:

1) I think it is a good goal -- in terms of the cases where it is possible.

2) I think it is not always possible.

3) I think some kinds of training (we can leave individual names out of it) make it much more plausible.

4) But it just isn't always possible, for example if the other person has similar training, or if they are not acting according to their own intelligent self-interest in the moment.

5) The preceding point does not in any way detract from the value of the training because 'controlling without harm' need not be the sole or primary focus of training. It is simply one aspect of a much larger topic.

These have always been my position, and I have done my best to bring them to the forefront of discussion -- and to find out whether this is or is not what other people think. I got the distinct impression that Rob and Dan (in some amorphous combination) were suggesting that their skill set makes a greater attainment of 'controling without harm' possible than I happen to think is. For example, I would not want to rely on being able to handle other trained adults as though they are two-year-olds. That strikes me as over-the-top. Yet it is one of the specific arguments that was put forth. So you can see why I think clarification would be helpful.

Since this thread is not inherently about Dan, Rob, and my somewhat pointless quarrel, we *could* look at those questions themselves. I should say that I am not qualified to discuss "Daito-Ryu's Aiki" but I think that thread title is more an accident of circumstance than anything. So what do you think?

Chhi'mèd

rob_liberti
07-09-2008, 02:49 PM
Still just popping in here while I have a spare minute or two.

1 - If I had Dan's ability I would go on tour. I have offered to visit many people for nothing at my own expense once I develop something worth sharing. I can't speak for Dan on this, that's his business. I have read MANY online invitations from Dan to go visit him to many people. So I'm nto sure why there is some idea that the secrets are being held closely to the chest. We often say you can't learn aikido from a book. So why would learning aiki be something one could share on an internet thread?! You gotta go train with someone who can teach it.

2 - I didn't mean to say I wouldn't discuss with Erick and I hope he didn't take it that way. I actually find him brilliant (and I've said so many times) and so I try harder to give him well thought out answers. But I actually feel like it is helping me and others interested in the subject. I meant to explain that I didn't want to have to put in that much time to perfecting silly semantics to appease Chhi'mèd because each and every "clarification" was so obviously what I meant and since no one else seemed to be having trouble understanding either - it just seemed to be silly verbal one up-manship, and I have better things to do than to play those games. Especially becuase I've been misquoted too - it's not like he's being all super carefull to inspire me.

3 - As far as the style - I'll always be blunt but as helpful as I can. I'm not intending to brag about someone else. I really intend to report what I saw (because I was asked to) and give my opinions on what where that training can potentially go. It is my feeling that you can have enough of a power differential to be able to stop someone without harm. Obviously, if the person has more training than you in those same skills - it's not going to work. Did we really need clarification on such an obvious thing? Who exactly did that help? Only answer I can come up with is that it would help Chhi'mèd feel like he's verbally one upped me again. (I wrote my thoughts about social one-up-manship already. It just engenders pity at best.)

Rob

Ron Tisdale
07-09-2008, 03:56 PM
What do you think, Ron? Is it a realistic goal to shoot for 'controlling without harm'? I will repeat my position:

1) I think it is a good goal -- in terms of the cases where it is possible.

Agreed!

2) I think it is not always possible.

Agreed!

3) I think some kinds of training (we can leave individual names out of it) make it much more plausible.

Agreed!

4) But it just isn't always possible, for example if the other person has similar training, or if they are not acting according to their own intelligent self-interest in the moment.

Agreed!

5) The preceding point does not in any way detract from the value of the training because 'controlling without harm' need not be the sole or primary focus of training. It is simply one aspect of a much larger topic.

Agreed! I hate to get specific to people (makes me look bad, anyway) but my comment to Dan after training with him was "I am not even in the same room with you...not even in the same freakin' building!".

I was not happy about it. Did he handle me like a two year old? No clue. I specifically was not willing to endure more pain to ensure what was already painfully obvious. Plus, while I'm not large by any sense, I was a reasonably fit 46 year old 175 to 180 at that time. I'm not used to being "handled".

Part of the problem in these discussions is that it is hard to

a) stay on topic about physical skills when people constantly try to to bring in ethical or moral statements...usually *seeming* to try to make proponants look like thugs. I haven't met any thugs in these groups yet.

b) find a way to discuss these physical things that makes a lot of sense...without setting down ground rules for basics that people adhere to consistantly.

This is one of the reasons I like Mike's list, and the internal-Aiki list. Most of the noise is left out, and high signal kept.

BUT you are correct...we really do need to be careful not to do the chest thumping thingy or any me me me stuff...because that does not help the message. But I just did it up above here, didn't I??

Surely you can see the difficulty...

Best,
Ron

clwk
07-09-2008, 04:34 PM
Ron,

Agreed! I hate to get specific to people (makes me look bad, anyway) but my comment to Dan after training with him was "I am not even in the same room with you...not even in the same freakin' building!".

Thanks for putting yourself out there, even at the risk of being too specific. I appreciate your contribution to this conversation.

I was not happy about it. Did he handle me like a two year old? No clue. I specifically was not willing to endure more pain to ensure what was already painfully obvious. Plus, while I'm not large by any sense, I was a reasonably fit 46 year old 175 to 180 at that time. I'm not used to being "handled".
And that gets to the essential quandary. In general, I would hope that any non-harmful 'handling' I might use to demonstrate control of a two-year-old could be accomplished without the idea of pain entering the equation. Of course, even two-year-olds may require a touch of pain from time to time -- and that reinforces my point about how difficult it is to truly control violence without harm. I am not saying that any application of pain is harmful, but control that depends on pain skirts the borders of potential harm, whether physical or psychological. This isn't meant to be a politically-correct rejection of pain in martial arts. Far from it. Pain comes with the territory. But by exactly that token, so does the possibility of harm. That is my point. I am not calling or attempting to subtly imply that anyone is a thug. I do not see it in such black-and-white terms. The options are not 'thug' or 'master'. There is an enormous area between in which careful consideration of the types of harm that can be caused seems extremely important. That is why I wanted to look at the question in detail. I very much wanted to avoid the stereotypes mentioned above, if at all possible.

This is one of the reasons I like Mike's list, and the internal-Aiki list. Most of the noise is left out, and high signal kept.
Agreed. Signal good, noise bad.

BUT you are correct...we really do need to be careful not to do the chest thumping thingy or any me me me stuff...because that does not help the message. But I just did it up above here, didn't I??Ron, you're one of the few people I know (using the term loosely) who can get away with being self-effacing without projecting false humility.

Chhi'mèd

DH
07-09-2008, 05:50 PM
Hi Ron
I don’t like the analogy of someone being handled like a two year old-I think Rob was just trying to fashion a clear power/ skill differential within a dojo setting. Then again rocketing 180 lb men off the ground from kokyu ho so that they are standing back on their feet, or giving them concussion from aikiage (kokyu ho) or launching them through walls, cutting swords and knives out their hands and decking people with single blows gives an idea of what he is trying to convey. Seeing and feeling students with power helps in that regard. Hey, at least he’s trying to learn and discuss some of the power potential he is seeing and feeling. The way he keeps showing up and that blunt no B.S. research and hard work attitude of his is going to pay off. There is no need to harm to do the above things although it may hurt sometimes. Then again we can sort of chsange the subject and add stand up chokes, throws, leg and hip locks, heel hooks, RNC's on the ground, arm bars and all manner of locks to illicit a tap out. None of which needs to cause harm-just the threat of harm. the real key being just what captures and how, and hwy can you NOT be captured while controlling their centers and they have such trouble getting away or getting you off them. Sticking and smothering and controlling with the retained potential to deliver a knockout while in close and all at the same time can be daunting.
So from aiki to control and repel or capture, to aiki to lock up and throw, to aiki to knock out or to work on the ground, its all aiki to me.
Anyway, the connections made and then used to manipulate, move and handle force is internal power being used as internal skills. The two are not the same. The internal training you do prepares your body for aiki-in use.
It is rare to see someone experiment with an open field in DR as well-most just follow along with the program. There are only two men here I know who can address the many means and ways this is accomplished in an open format with that art. And they are specific and defined. I don’t believe he will, neither will I

clwk
07-09-2008, 06:27 PM
Dan,

I'm glad you're back to talk turkey (or whatever).
I don't like the analogy of being handled like a two year old-I think Rob was just trying to fashion a clear power/ skill differential within a dojo setting.
Well, I guess we can put that baby to bed now. It's part of the whole reason I wanted to just talk to you directly. Anyhow, on to the bathwater. I mean . . .

Then again rocketing 180 lb men off the ground from kokyu ho so that they are standing back on their feet,
When they 'rocket' do they leave the ground (out of curiosity)? I think I know what you're describing, and I think it depends on a *relatively* untrained reaction -- but it's still impressive. Do you find that you can still do this after people gain more experience -- or does its effectiveness go down over time?

or giving them concussion from aikiage (kokyu ho) or launching them threw walls,

Okay, I'd say potential for harm probably comes into play there. Still no problem with it -- just separating displays of power from examples of control without harm.

cutting swords and knives out their hands and decking people with single blows gives an idea of what he is trying to convey.
Again, 'decking with single blows' sounds dicey to me. I mean, power-wise, great -- but that's not a risk-free operation, is it? What if they're not trained to fall? I'm not trying to be awkward here.

The way he keeps showing up and that blunt no B.S. research and hard work attitude of his is going to pay off.
It was only the trace odor of BS that set me off in the first place, so if it was a misunderstanding then great.

Then again we can sort of chsange the subject and add stand up chokes, throws, leg and hip locks, heel hooks, RNC's on the ground, arm bars and all manner of locks to illicit a tap out.
Sure, I have no doubt grappling skills are good for controlling people.

None of which needs to cause harm-just the threat of harm.
But threats have to be tested sometimes, so I don't really buy choke-threats as *reliably* no harm. In some cases, sure -- but you might very occasionally have to apply the choke, and they don't *always* wake back up, right? It's just like a firearm. Yes, you might be able to hold someone at gunpoint and get them to surrender. Other people could comment on that better than I can -- perhaps based on real experience. But my point is that once you draw that weapon, you have committed to the possibility of using it. If not, I doubt any control can be reliably established.

the real key being just what captures and how, and hwy can you NOT be captured while controlling their centers and they have such trouble getting away or getting you off them. Sticking and smothering and controlling with the retained potential to deliver a knockout while in close and all at the same time can be daunting.
This whole section is what I actually find interesting. Do you want to offer any thoughts about this? Maybe not techniques, but personal insights about the *relationship* between the conditioning/training and the application?

It is rare to see someone experiment with an open field in DR as well. There are only two men here I know here who can address the many means and ways this is accomplished in an open format with that art. And they are specific and defined. I don't believe he will, neither will I
I don't mind if you don't want to talk about secret stuff, but it shouldn't be a big surprise if people ask questions about things once you bring them up. So feel free to keep those thoughts to yourself, but if they contain the key to your arguments please also understand why that leaves us feeling a little empty. If the key to control without harm is a closely-held DR secret, how will that help Aikido people who don't train with you specifically?

Chhi'mèd

rob_liberti
07-09-2008, 09:08 PM
I suppose the Aikido people who do train with those fellas will have to decide who to share with and who not to share with. Or maybe more likely if those people happen to find someone tedious and pretentious that the possibility for "misunderstanding" in relating such lessons might significantly increase. It's a long road with many a turn...

Rob

clwk
07-09-2008, 10:56 PM
Indeed it is, Rob.

Chhi'mèd

rob_liberti
07-10-2008, 12:16 AM
Frankly I'm disappointed. I checked back here expecting to read yet another scooby-do type ending like "HA! I'm really Mike Sigman's uchi deshi for the past 25 years and my name is really steve or fred or something". :)

Anywhoo, the question about what is meant by internal harmonies is in question.
I'm still working on a desciption but I didn't want to take too long so I'll write what I have so far. You focus your mental intentions in vaious directions all at the same time. Somehow when a force acts on you this helps you instantly resist a push or a pull in what seems to be an effortless way that is happening without any conscious thought to resist the force (that I am aware of). It seems to disperse through out your body the better you maintain all of your lines of intention. This is definately one of those situations where it's better to experience it physically than have someone try to explain it in writing. It seems that there are different mental images that all seem to work to do this and I'm not skilled/experienced enough to understand which image is best for a particular situation yet.

This is an aside, but the whole things makes me wonder if therapeudic deep tissue massage would benefit from the patient holding certain mental intentions while being worked on. If this is a new idea and it actually works well I claim it as "liberti-method massage".

Rob

DH
07-10-2008, 08:10 AM
Chhi'mèd
While I appreciate your continued advice on what I should say, how I should say it and what I should refrain from saying-I think I'll just do fine figuring it out on my own. I am glad you left me feel free to write though. Thanks for that.
You remind me of someone else here who continues to make things personal by talking about the posters themselves, then is the very first to cry foul and take insult when his own sense of "personal" is breached. Just so you know, I'm not really concerned about "what you buy". I'm not debating anything with you, nor trying to convince you of anything. I am talking about what I do, that's all. It's cleaner that way.
Enjoy your training

Rob
I think managing opposing forces and lines in your body, makes the addition of their force just an 'addition" to the forces you are already managing. This is the "why" in why you don't feel you have to do much to manage them. The better and more efficient you become at it, the less you worry about their force. I think that is an easier way to "say it" or see what is happening. When they think they have you-you have them, sort of thing. This is of course, without starting to discuss enhanced manipulations of forces and directive forces. Zero balance or central equilibrium is just the start of some interesting fun down the road.

Ron Tisdale
07-10-2008, 08:28 AM
And that gets to the essential quandary. In general, I would hope that any non-harmful 'handling' I might use to demonstrate control of a two-year-old could be accomplished without the idea of pain entering the equation. ...

...but control that depends on pain skirts the borders of potential harm, whether physical or psychological. This isn't meant to be a politically-correct rejection of pain in martial arts. Far from it. Pain comes with the territory.

Well, I should be clearer...nothing Dan did really depended at all on pain compliance. The pain (in my experience) was not the point of control...my lack of structure and his structure ***and control over that structure*** simply sometimes had a by product of pain. And what is it that the Marines say? Are you hurt or are you injured? I was never injured. But man, sometimes (I distinctly remember sankajo) sometimes it did hurt! :D

But by exactly that token, so does the possibility of harm. That is my point. I am not calling or attempting to subtly imply that anyone is a thug. I do not see it in such black-and-white terms. The options are not 'thug' or 'master'.

Of course not! That was my less than subtle attempt to clue in some others who seem to see that issue in black and white. My appologies...

There is an enormous area between in which careful consideration of the types of harm that can be caused seems extremely important. That is why I wanted to look at the question in detail. I very much wanted to avoid the stereotypes mentioned above, if at all possible.

Me too.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
07-10-2008, 08:31 AM
Anyway, the connections made and then used to manipulate, move and handle force is internal power being used as internal skills. The two are not the same. The internal training you do prepares your body for aiki-in use.

This is the crux of that matter. What you then choose to do (or not to do) with that ability once achieved is entirely up to you.

Thanks for your response, and I hope I haven't cast anything in an incorrect light.

Best,
Ron (still not training this enough, but working on it)

clwk
07-10-2008, 10:55 AM
While I appreciate your continued advice on what I should say, how I should say it and what I should refrain from saying-I think I'll just do fine figuring it out on my own.
Dan, it is too bad my use of language feels so insulting to you. I am sorry to have chosen words having that effect. I could try to go back and rephrase everything in a way that could not possibly be construed as insulting, but it would be easier if you just chose to read the substance of what I am saying and dispense with the other stuff. You don't have to give me the benefit of the doubt, but if you only react to perceived threats then there will not be any substantive discussion.

I am glad you left me feel free to write though. Thanks for that. You remind me of someone else here who continues to make things personal by talking about the posters themselves, then is the very first to cry foul and take insult when his own sense of "personal" is breached. Just so you know, I'm not really concerned about "what you buy". I'm not debating anything with you, nor trying to convince you of anything. I am talking about what I do, that's all. It's cleaner that way.
Okay, Dan -- but you said before that you didn't want to talk about what you do; and what you do isn't really the topic of this thread. Controlling violence without harm is the topic of the thread. If you choose to use examples of what you do to support a position in that discussion then they become part of the discussion. So, without advising you personally, let me just say that in general, if someone brings up personal or secret information as part of an argument, they should not be surprised if that information is then treated as just that, part of an argument to be weighed and evaluated. If it does not deserve equal weight then why use it.

As for use of the phrase 'buy that' to mean 'agree with that', I was never all that interested in political correctness. If you don't want to discuss whether giving someone a concussion, throwing them through a wall, or threatening to choke them unconscious constitutes potential harm, that's fine -- but it is a little disingenuous to cloak that unwillingness to discuss in a concern over the words I used to voice my skepticism. The language used in verbal contention is necessarily confrontative. Ironically, I tried to lessen the effect of that irreducible confrontation by taking a more casual tone, but apparently that was not effective. Please accept my apologies.

Anyhow, if it is true that you are not debating anything with me, would it be too much for me to ask you not to post comments directly relating to the topic of this thread? It is more than a little confusing to have someone inject debate points into a debate and then refuse to debate them. I had hoped your post regarding the topic was a signal that you were now willing to put aside the personal tangents and discuss 'controlling violence without harm'. If you would prefer to discuss personal anecdotes, or give instruction and encouragement to your student, could you please do it in a different thread. I would not even mind it so much here if you did not insist on excluding me from the ensuing discussion. In general, I have no problems with threads drifting, but this one was split and created especially to accommodate this discussion. It was intended to be a discussion with you. If you do not want to participate in that, fine -- but it should not become a thread about *what you do* divorced from the thread's reason for existing. There are many of those already, as you rightly pointed out.

Enjoy your training

Thank you very much indeed. I hope your training is enjoyable too.

Chhi'mèd

clwk
07-10-2008, 11:24 AM
Well, I should be clearer...nothing Dan did really depended at all on pain compliance. The pain (in my experience) was not the point of control...my lack of structure and his structure ***and control over that structure*** simply sometimes had a by product of pain. And what is it that the Marines say? Are you hurt or are you injured? I was never injured. But man, sometimes (I distinctly remember sankajo) sometimes it did hurt! :D
Thanks for clarifying that Ron. Do you think that a sankajo that hurts can be applied without causing damage if the recipient is willing to ignore the pain? Even if pain is not used to produce compliance, it signals (at least in a joint lock) the potential for impending damage. To use an obvious example: if I get hit in the chest by a large log swinging on a chain, it will probably hurt. I will also probably move. Even though the pain is not what caused me to move, it is inextricably linked with what *did* cause me to move. If I managed not to move, I would feel more pain and suffer more damage. If joint locks hurt, it is because the structural connection they provide is being taken to its limit. It may well be that one can use that connection to control in a way which does not depend on the pain. But do you think that doing so eliminates the risk of damage if you choose to fight it intelligently?

You said that you didn't push further because you didn't need to experience more pain to be convinced. You also said that on the day of that encounter you were utterly outmatched. (Please forgive me if I am misrepresenting your position.) Do you think that if you had *not* decided that you had experienced enough pain and enough control that you could have managed to hurt yourself by going too hard? In other words, do you believe that some measure of responsibility for your own safety was in your hands -- or did you feel that Dan had fully assumed that responsibility and would take care of you no matter how violently or stupidly you thrashed against his painful joint locks?

Of course not! That was my less than subtle attempt to clue in some others who seem to see that issue in black and white. My appologies...
None needed. You and I agree, I believe.

Chhi'mèd

Ron Tisdale
07-10-2008, 11:56 AM
If joint locks hurt, it is because the structural connection they provide is being taken to its limit. It may well be that one can use that connection to control in a way which does not depend on the pain. But do you think that doing so eliminates the risk of damage if you choose to fight it intelligently?

Hard to say...I know various ways to work against various painful and non painful sankajo applications One way when working with people not that experienced is simply to connect my elbow to my center for them and drop the elbow ;) That didn't even present itself in Dan's application. Another basic method (I call it basic because I first learned it around 4th kyu...but it has surprised dan ranked people in jujutsu at least) is simply to use my mind and what little trained structure I have to keep enough control to spin under the arm and go into a throw of my own. That wasn't working against Dan's application either ;)

So, I guess I was "intelligently" fighting the control as much as I could...it wasn't working though :D The risk in my opinion, was if I stupidly tried to *force* one of the possible reversals. Well, if I run into a wall with my head because I didn't see it, I tend not to run into the same wall a second time. :D I don't suffer under the dellusion that that makes me smart...but it certainly doesn't make me stupid :)

You said that you didn't push further because you didn't need to experience more pain to be convinced. You also said that on the day of that encounter you were utterly outmatched. (Please forgive me if I am misrepresenting your position.) Do you think that if you had *not* decided that you had experienced enough pain and enough control that you could have managed to hurt yourself by going too hard? In other words, do you believe that some measure of responsibility for your own safety was in your hands -- or did you feel that Dan had fully assumed that responsibility and would take care of you no matter how violently or stupidly you thrashed against his painful joint locks?

I think I get what you mean, but come on...a certain measure of our own safety is ALWAYS in our hands. I mean, I've told beginners they may do as they like, but they should always keep in mind they might not like the ukemi. Both because in some situations I'm not good enough to protect them, and because they are simply not experienced enough to fall at whatever angle and or speed.

If some mope on the street decides to attack me, well...he's taken his own safety and put it at risk, hasn't he? Part of life is being responsible for the choices you make.

I will say this though...what gives shite the ability to be kind is having the kind of control Dan had over me. He could take me to the edge, and encourage me not to go further. He could be merciful, BECAUSE he had that level of control. Without that level of control, fast movments on my part, silly attempts at reversals, etc. would be both much more harmful, AND much more likely.
Best,
Ron

rob_liberti
07-10-2008, 12:01 PM
This thread was split off AFTER I initially engaged. But I agree that I have no more business on this thread as long as there are no more comments calling to question why I engaged in the first place.

Since I'm posting, I will add that conversations oganically grow naturally. Splitting off every single slightly tangential topic just adds to the tedium.

Lastly, while there is an "ignore" button, there is no "don't let this other guy post about this topic I don't like anymore" button probably becuase it is a bit too much to expect that anyone else should get to control that.

Rob

jennifer paige smith
07-10-2008, 12:11 PM
I think we are all kindred spirits and as long as I honor and nurture each Shguyosha's martial discipline, and support it... Then we will all progress to a point where technique does not matter.

From the days of yore

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-167.html

Sincere Heart through Austere Training Shoji Nishio Shihan

William Hazen

I couldn't have said it better.
Thanks

clwk
07-10-2008, 12:29 PM
So, I guess I was "intelligently" fighting the control as much as I could...it wasn't working though :D The risk in my opinion, was if I stupidly tried to *force* one of the possible reversals. Well, if I run into a wall with my head because I didn't see it, I tend not to run into the same wall a second time. :D I don't suffer the illusion that that makes me smart...but it certainly doesn't make me stupid :)

Thanks, Ron. I have no problem with that. I have no expectation that brick walls will control me without harm either. That does not mean I don't respect what they represent.

I think I get what you mean, but come on...a certain measure of our own safety is ALWAYS in our hands. I mean, I've told beginners they may do as they like, but they should always keep in mind they might not like the ukemi. Both because in some situations I'm not good enough to protect them, and because they are simply not experienced enough to fall at whatever angle and or speed.
I agree with you entirely. The combination of your (in the abstract) imperfection and his inexperience make it vanishingly unlikely to guarantee lack of harm. On the contrary, both parties need to work diligently to avoid it -- precisely because it is such a difficult goal to achieve. It remains a valuable ideal, but it is important to differentiate between unattainable ideals and attainable ones. For example, the Ideal Miler can run a mile in less than one second. The closer I can come to approximating the performance of this Ideal Miler, the better I will be as a miler. But I will probably train more effectively and perform better if I train to improve my performance within the realistic spectrum of what is possible. I am not questioning Dan's training methods at all. I imagine (note, I am speculating, based on Dan's direct and indirect comments, not telling Dan what he does) that he trains in a pragmatic way and gets very good results. I just think the Ideal Miler tangent is a bit of rhetoric that distracts from the pragmatic training issues -- despite its unquestionable value as the ideal which can always be approached more closely.

If some mope on the street decides to attack me, well...he's taken his own safety and put it at risk, hasn't he? Part of life is being responsible for the choices you make.
That is my opinion as well. However, if I actually *can* 'control his violent actions without harm' then he has only put his safety at risk to the extent that I *choose* to inflict injury. *Of course* I do not believe that if one is randomly attacked it is a moral failing to defend oneself -- but that is because I do not believe it is possible to hold anyone to the standard of being able to unilaterally control violence without harm. It is an inherently mutual situation. You are stating my position for me.

I will say this though...what gives shite the ability to be kind is having the kind of control Dan had over me. He could take me to the edge, and encourage me not to go further. He could be merciful, BECAUSE he had that level of control. Without that level of control, fast movments on my part, silly attempts at reversals, etc. would be both much more harmful, AND much more likely.
Acknkowledge, appreciated, and respected. I am more concerned with how that valuable skill is represented. As I have repeatedly stated, I value what you describe. I once read a book called 'The Rhetoric of Immediacy' (http://press.princeton.edu/titles/4933.html). The author discussed the cultural phenomenon of Zen Buddhism's language emphasizing 'immediacy' -- an apparent disdain for pragmatic methods -- which stands in contrast to its actual practice. This is just meant to be a summary of the author's position reconstructed after many years, so I apologize to Bernard Faure for any misrepresentation. My reference is not meant to be a critique of Zen Buddhism either. I bring it up to point out that there is a complex dialog associated with the relationship between expressed ideals and how those ideals are pursued. To relate this reference to our topic, I would say that what I am pointing out is a 'Rhetoric of Harmlessness'. It is not even necessarily a bad thing -- as I have tried to elaborate on above. It is simply a kind of apparent inconsistency that can be confusing -- which therefore makes it a valuable area to examine. The benefit of such an examination is that it can help all of the following:

1) Individuals whose examination of the subject has not yet led them to *recognize* even the apparent inconsistency.

2) Individuals who recognize but cannot *reconcile* the apparent inconsistency -- and may therefore be troubled by it.

3) Individuals who have recognized and reconciled the apparent inconsistency -- but can nevertheless not *articulate* the nature of that reconciliation.

4) The existing articulated consensus knowledge of both the apparent inconsistency and its actual reconciliation.

Even category 3) individuals can be part of the problem for category 1) and 2) individuals because they are not yet best equipped to clarify confusion. So let's assume that everyone wanting to participate in a discussion like this (about the ideal of controlling violence without harm -- unrelated to any particular martial system, despite the thread's incidental and unfortunate title) is some version of category 3). It is *still* valuable to talk through the parameters of the problem. Finding the problem utterly unaddressable is evidence -- in itself -- of not acknowledging and working toward improving 4) -- for whatever reason. Choosing to withhold 4) might be a personal choice, but it is not one that confers any obvious benefit to anyone. My purpose in this discussion is to examine 4), and in my opinion that necessarily entails acknowledging the rhetorical function of idealized claims of harmlessness.

Chhi'mèd

clwk
07-10-2008, 12:37 PM
Lastly, while there is an "ignore" button, there is no "don't let this other guy post about this topic I don't like anymore" button probably becuase it is a bit too much to expect that anyone else should get to control that.
I don't know if you are addressing me or not, Rob -- but I don't think I was addressing you. In any case, the precedent I am following is the one set by Dan in the parent thread. The split was performed by Jun. The reason both Dan and I use a respectful request to remain on-topic in threads devoted to topics we have chosen is *precisely* because such a button does not exist. I do not need to ask you to refrain from ever posting to AikiWeb again, for example, because I could always 'ignore' you if I chose to. If there were a button that would keep this thread on topic, I would push it -- and that would eliminate the need for posts like this one which serve the same purpose in a much less direct manner, as you point out.

Chhi'mèd

rob_liberti
07-11-2008, 06:21 AM
I don't mind if you don't want to talk about secret stuff, but it shouldn't be a big surprise if people ask questions about things once you bring them up. So feel free to keep those thoughts to yourself, but if they contain the key to your arguments please also understand why that leaves us feeling a little empty.

Well, here is how I see this in the reverse a bit.

I don't mind if you want to control everything - what people get to say and how to say things so precisely, and do so in long posts that don't add a ton of value to the obvious points, but it shouldn't be a big surprise if people you ask questions to don't respond all that much. We typically do martial arts because we are not all that thrilled about people controlling us. So feel free to keep those controlling thoughts to yourself or post them as you see fit, but if they contain the key reason why no one is further addressing your arguments please also understand why that leaves us feeling a little annoyed and frustrated.

Rob

DH
07-11-2008, 07:07 AM
Hi Rob
I had a long response to Ron talking about how the locks tie into the bodywork on both sides of the coin and what I was doing to him so that he couldn't counter it and I threw it out.
As I said earlier this spin off thread's title is interesting. There are only two men I know of here who I would trust to answer it.

There. Was my grammar Ok? Was the second sentence imprecise or not fully convey the intent, or was it not inclusive and expansive enough to allow for a definitive conclusion?

I feel like this "discussion" is as productive as this;
Is the sky blue?
Well, when? What day are you speaking of? I mean, are you interested in having a discussion or not? WhyareyousoevasiveandalwaysoffendedwhenIpointouttoyouthattherearespectrumsofcolo randconditionsofviewingthatyouseemeitherwholeyunawareoforuntinerestedindiscussin g.Areyouawareoftheeffectyourstylehasonthegreaterwheatherwatchingcommunitythattak espartinthesediscusions. YouneedtospeakinamoreclearmannerIthinkyourproblemsare......Zzzzz.
Then when you write back it's "Why are YOU being personal instead of on topic? Whydoyoualwayschoosetoattackthepersonwhoisaksingquestionsandtellingyoueverything wrongaboutyourwritingstyleandtheeffectyouhaveonpeopleandhowwe"feel"andhowyoushoudladdressourfeelingswhen...Zzzzz.

clwk
07-11-2008, 12:29 PM
Dan and Rob,

A few general points:

1) Daito-ryu's aiki is a red herring. No one is asking about it because we know it's a secret. If you do not understand that the title was created by Jun when he split the thread, I'm not sure what to think. Jun obviously associates Dan with DR because he self-identifies in that way, so he gave the thread that title. The thread should have been titled 'Controlling Violence Without Harm' or something like that. I have said as much several times. Now, if you do not want to discuss that topic -- fine. But it is pretty silly to go on and on about how you don't want to discuss something that no one is asking you to discuss. It's like going to a party, sitting in the corner and whispering loudly -- and then hushing up and looking askance at anyone who dares to join your conversation. It is bad manners, plain and simple. Maybe other people reading this thread but not contributing are just dying to know about DR's secrets -- but I am not. If it really is the case that you feel the real topic of this thread cannot be discussed without reference to those secrets, then shame on you for having introduced the topic in the first place. All of this has been an attempt for clarification of your own provocative remarks.

The current questions being evaded relate to what it means to control violence without harm -- particularly with respect to such methods as giving a concussion, throwing through a wall, and threatening to choke unconscious. I submit that all of these displays of power, while possibly quite wonderful, fail to provide control without the significant potential for harm -- particularly if one is actually dealing with violence rather than simply demonstrating skill for those wishing to observe and absorb it.

I don't mind if you want to control everything - what people get to say and how to say things so precisely, and do so in long posts that don't add a ton of value to the obvious points, but it shouldn't be a big surprise if people you ask questions to don't respond all that much. We typically do martial arts because we are not all that thrilled about people controlling us. So feel free to keep those controlling thoughts to yourself or post them as you see fit, but if they contain the key reason why no one is further addressing your arguments please also understand why that leaves us feeling a little annoyed and frustrated.

Rob, that's a very on-topic remark -- so thank you. It seems to me that if you think I am trying to control you, you are missing the point. There are certain conventions that exist in the world surrounding things like conversation and human interactions. Asking that those with whom one interacts hold themselves to those standards -- in order to facilitate communication -- is not about control, it's about facilitating a mutually conducive situation. That is why I invited you to take your side discussions elsewhere. Since this is a 'virtual space' where real estate is virtually free, I don't see any reason why you would need to intentionally stay here and pollute what could be a civil discourse. The only explanation I can think of is that the existence of this discussion is somehow threatening to you, so you want to obscure it and distract from the issues. That would be the logical observation.

As far as the length of my posts go, well -- I am guilty as charged. But if you want to criticize me for my communicative style then look around. Your posts are often garbled, you post pictures of Luke and Yoda as a joking reference to your training with Dan, you imply that you find me tedious and pretentious, etc. You are the indirect source of almost all the meta-discussion here because you keep popping up to fire procedural salvos which I feel compelled to address. I feel compelled to address them exactly because I find this tactic of distracting from discussion by simply flooding it with noise to be tedious. In order to maintain some form of reasonable signal-to-noise ratio I am writing more than would otherwise be necessary. That is because *for me* these meta-issues of personal communication style are actually as interesting as the physical issues. To me they cannot be separated. When I *did* study Aikido, I was taught that 'Budo begins and ends with rei.' I feel that in matters of public discourse it is better to be too formal and tedious than the contrary -- particularly when the possibility of offence exists. That ensures the greatest likelihood of focusing on issues rather than becoming lost in perceived insults. It is not my fault that words have precise meanings. Sloppiness of verbal expression is not a crime, and if it were I should certainly be guilty myself. However, intentional sloppiness and justification of that sloppiness is an offense against clarity. It's only real purpose is to obscure. It is like shouting "nanny nanny nanny nanny" when you do not want to hear something -- or do not want others to hear it.

So again, with respect to control. You say that you practice martial arts because you do not want to be controlled. Let me ask you this then: how does that philosophy square with the idea (which I *believe* you have sided with) that control without harm is a pragmatic possibility? I personally believe that the desire to control others is inherently problematic and leads almost certainly to harm. That is not to say I do not see a measure of control as necessary when violence appears. However, I believe control should be applied only with respect to the violence itself -- and that one must therefore accept the tradeoff involved. I must realize that by asking you to remain on the topic I may be hurting you (or your feelings). I certainly know that your continued attacks on me are hurtful, but I am not so thin-skinned as to let that deter me. You see, from my perspective you are trying to control me -- and since I am not willing to let the pain you are definitely inflicting on me actually stop me, that attempted control is simply not successful. The attempted control *is* the violence. The only way to avoid harm is to avoid violence. Etiquette is the method by which the violence of attempted control can be avoided -- because individuals control themselves and conform to cultural norms designed to facilitate ordinary interactions. That is why I continue to politely request a discussion of the topic. That you see this as an attempt to control you indicates *to me* that you do not want to be bound by the *normal controls* which govern a civil society -- even though you want to pursue the goal of controlling others physically, hopefully without harming them. But if one cannot control another person's mind without becoming vicious, how in the world could physically manhandling them make the situation better?


I had a long response to Ron talking about how the locks tie into the bodywork on both sides of the coin and what I was doing to him so that he couldn't counter it and I threw it out.
As I said earlier this spin off thread's title is interesting. There are only two men I know of here who I would trust to answer it.

This is just another "I have a secret and you don't know it" response. I repeat my request, as politely as possible, to stop this behavior. The rudeness is not a problem for me -- because it speaks for itself -- but the noise is. You are now *shouting at a whisper*, and it distracts from the rest of the conversation.

I feel like this "discussion" is as productive as this;
Is the sky blue?
Well, when? What day are you speaking of? I mean, are you interested in having a discussion or not? WhyareyousoevasiveandalwaysoffendedwhenIpointouttoyouthattherearespectrumsofcolo randconditionsofview ingthatyouseemeitherwholeyunawareoforuntinerestedindiscussing.Areyouawareoftheef fectyourstylehasonth egreaterwheatherwatchingcommunitythattakespartinthesediscusions. YouneedtospeakinamoreclearmannerIthinkyourproblemsare......Zzzzz.
Then when you write back it's "Why are YOU being personal instead of on topic? Whydoyoualwayschoosetoattackthepersonwhoisaksingquestionsandtellingyoueverything wrongaboutyourwritin gstyleandtheeffectyouhaveonpeopleandhowwe"feel"andhowyoushoudladdressourfeelingswhen...Zzzzz.

I think I understand what you're trying to say here, but there is a problem with this kind of performance art. It's too easy to make fun of attempts to be clear by parodying one's own difficulty doing so. The problems are that a) the display is valueless in itself, and b) it raises the question whether one is actually in control of one's own body, speech, and mind. If this were a live conversation instead of one carried out through text, I would have to wonder whether you were having a seizure or a psychotic breakdown. I imagine you are physically okay, so I will not call emergency services. I will not give you any gratuitous advice about self-presentation either, because your previous sarcastic remarks indicate that you are quite capable of managing your own appearance to create the effect you desire. I hope you are able to get *yourself* under control -- and to do so without harming *any one else* in the process. That, incidentally, is a goal to which we should all aspire -- so I hope you do not take it personally.

Chhi'mèd

clwk
07-11-2008, 12:41 PM
Hmmm ... that would have been an interesting response. Ah well, I'll try to remember to ask you about it offline. :)
<snip>

But, if you wanted to follow Ueshiba, well, that's a harder road to travel. You'd have to have a base skill of DR's aiki and then modify it to spiritual purposes. But, just having those spiritual purposes without the DR's aiki skillset as a base is really like just having another Ghandi, Martin Luther King, etc. While something great can come from it, it isn't Ueshiba's vision nor Ueshiba's Aikido. If I had to guess (and I'm way out of my league here), I'd say that's more along the lines of Kisshomaru's vision. And that's another thread that Goldsbury sensei is more qualified to post about.
Jun, would you please consider splitting this thread and creating a new one titled "The relationship between Daito-Ryu's Aiki and Aikido". That would be a great place for this discussion -- which many may find interesting. Whether that discussion will center around the question of controlling violence without harm or not, I do not know. Those participants of this discussion who would like to hear less of me are likely to accomplish that goal in such a spin-off thread.

If it would not violate protocol, would you also consider amending this thread's title to "Controlling Violence without Harm [was: Using Daito Ryu's Aiki Without Harm]"? I would prefer that to a thread split because I think the actual thread of discussion which has taken place here is vital to an understanding of the points under discussion. I am quite concerned that splitting it up (or even disguising the original thread title) will render the entire discussion incoherent. Then whatever small value it currently has will be lost. Every once in a great while a discussion about discussions is useful -- and those need to be preserved clearly if the effort is to have been worthwhile.

Thank you, and thank you for your patience with this thread -- which although noisy does address an important topic related to non-Aikido martial traditions. I also believe it has a peripheral relationship to Aikido itself, so I thank you for making this space available on AikiWeb.

Chhi'mèd

akiy
07-11-2008, 12:51 PM
Hi Chhi'mèd,

I do not have the time right now to go through the entire thread to figure out how to split it. Please send me a private message to indicate exactly which posts you believe should go into your new thread.

I have changed the title of this thread as you asked.

-- Jun

DH
07-11-2008, 02:06 PM
Actually there have been several discussions where I have talked about DR and Aiki. There really wasn't an issue of it being a red herring. Sometimes things were answered directly sometimes not. We have also discussed how and where the aiki of DR was altered and how its skills were used in the creation of Aikido. Further just how the aiki could have stayed the same while the expression of it became different and what they entailed.
The difference was in the communication style and tone of the posts. Those threads are still here some where
In the larger scope of things nothing but the basics have been discussed in all of these internal or aiki threads. There has never been even a discussion of the various methods for internal power -in use- and how that differs- one art to the next- based off of similar body methods. There is a marked difference in discussing training the body-lets say "for aiki"-and then skills in using it. All of which still has nothing to do with waza. Just aiki skills in use based off the body method
So stating DR alone is a red herring with secrets, with all these other Asian arts who manage to openly not contribute anything of real value to the discussion is a bit much. This to include Peters discussion of the omote and Ura Japanese style of holding back in aikido-something which we have alluded to for years. Anyway, it is clearly not only a DR issue and it speaks for itself.

If you truly want a discussion-with any participaton from me- I would suggest you take your own advice about reconsidering 'style" in posting. If you were not so lengthy, while being so exact and picky in response it would be easeir to talk with you. I mean that in a very positive way. You might note, that there is not one single compelling reason for me to reply, but I try to manage something reasonable when you're not being so difficult. Try asking some simply and direct questions, take what you get for a reply, even if somethings are not answered, and stop taking me to task for what I choose to leave out. Rarely are difficulties in communication all one sided.
BTW I do sincerely appreciate being able to disagree poltitely. It's a nice change around here. It is thee only reason I have responded at all.

clwk
07-11-2008, 02:46 PM
Dan,

Actually there have been several discussions where I have talked about DR and Aiki. There really wasn't an issue of it being a red herring.

What I meant is that it was red herring with respect to the topic of controlling violence without harm. I actually believe it is probably a very interesting topic. If I ever meet someone in person who has real access to that knowledge, and they choose to share it with me based on personal trust, then I have no doubt that I will find it interesting. I understand very well the importance of not discussing some things openly, and I truly do not want to encourage anyone to share what they do not want to. That is why I consider that discussion topic to be a distraction from this one. I think control without harm can be discussed without discussing any Daito Ryu secrets -- and the confusion of sorting out what is on and off-limits for discussion was interfering with the discussion itself.

Try asking some simply and direct questions, tak what you get for a reply, even if somethings are not answered, and stop taking me to task for what I choose to leave out. Rarely are difficulties in communication all one sided.

Of course not. The problems come from both sides. It is part of my real point. No one can unilaterally prevent harm from occurring because the other side can always escalate misunderstanding so that pain is felt as a precursor to real damage. I really do not go in for the pop-psychology approach of comparing conversations to martial arts. But there is a relationship there, and I think we can both be big enough men to see it. We have been standing here trading blows and hoping this would accomplish our individual aims, whatever they may be. This was what you invited in the first place when you said, "Waddya think we wreck each other and throw away the pieces. " I am perfectly willing to throw away the pieces -- because we certainly have wrecked each other. But the important point about our hopefully mature adult ability to accomplish that is that it has to come from both sides. If either one of us is unwilling to find 'harmony' the other cannot force it on him, and instead we will have 'harm'.

Now, to relate this more directly to the physical, here are my simple and direct questions again:

Do you think that giving someone a concussion, throwing them through a wall, and threatening to choke them unconscious are examples of control without harm? I am not trying to pick you apart. I am trying to frame the parameters of the dialog. I do not have any problem with those abilities being part of a martial skillset, and I really do think it is great that you can do those things. Either of your possible answers would lead to an interesting discussion. I simply do not know which one it is.

BTW I do sincerely appreciate being able to disagree poltitely. It's a nice change around here. It is thee only reason I have responded at all.
Thank you. And I likewise appreciate your ability to change gears and be civil. I do not say this sarcastically. I do want to avoid an online love-fest because such exchanges can get a bit too mutually self-congratulatory. That having been said, I think you will find that I always respond in kind to politeness and respect. So if you feel that this is not the case, please consider that it may be a misunderstanding and attempt to adjust from there. As you say, both parties are responsible for taking up the mismatch inherent in conflict -- whether verbal or physical.

The reason I am emphasizing that relationship is that I think it is important. I think your knowledge of DR Aiki probably allows you to see how and why that relationship is important -- in a way which is *not* the standard pop-psychology BS that such a meta-discussion would otherwise be. That is the reason I have tried to invite you to have this conversation with me. We simply cannot demonstrate physical aiki in words, but there *is* a *real* (not imaginary) dynamic link between tangible and intangible expressions of intent. I ask, in all sincerity, whether you also believe this to be the case.

To be clear, these questions are not meant to be argumentative. They are the substance of the discussion, and it is one I think would be interesting. I do not think it is impossible to articulate what I believe to be your points about the relationship between power and harmlessness. I did join the conversation to support those points, and what ensued did so because we did not yet agree on a way of expressing that relationship. Can we pick up from there?

Chhi'mèd

rob_liberti
07-11-2008, 08:30 PM
There are certain conventions that exist in the world surrounding things like conversation and human interactions. Asking that those with whom one interacts hold themselves to those standards -- in order to facilitate communication -- is not about control, it's about facilitating a mutually conducive situation.

Well I certainly do believe it is about control, but we can put that aside. How about this, some other conventions would include:
1) executive summaries, well defined problem statements, and bullet points communicate a hell of a lot better than writing a novel with lots of boring/demotivating corrections of others in them.
2) refraining from correcting the precision of other people's choice of words unless it actually adds value. Otherwise it is just mental materialism resulting in silly one-upmanship which shuts down the desired communication. And ... "It is bad manners, plain and simple."
3) if you are not going to refrain from silly one-upmanship wrapped in politeness then at least stop calling others "disengenuous." There is a clear difference between being civil/polite and respectful. It's similar to the difference between apologizing and being sorry. No one is tricked.

IF we can keep to all the typical conventions then I will be happy to continue.

In my opinion there are spiritual ideals which you can probably never truly achieve (possibly by definition) like "altruism" for instance. One can always argue that doing something for it's own good might in fact really be because the people likes to think of them self as do-gooder. But altruism as an ideal exists and is valuable. There are clearly paths that get you closer to the idea.

"Controlling violence without doing harm" is another example of such an ideal to me. While it is certainly not Dan's primary interest, I see the power training he practices as being the best path to approach such a thing. There is going to be some percentage of the population where the power differential will be such that I can control violence without doing harm. Dan's approach to power building must increase my percentage and in my aikidoka opinion - far beyond anything I could have achieved if I had only continued with aikido. I'm not really sure why this simple idea is so contraversial. Obviously if I train very hard, and Dan attacks me violently then unless he falls into a hole or a snow bank or something like that I won't be able to achieve the necessary power differential to shut him down without hurting him. Other people, who might be about my size who have some decent training who might want to attack me and use judo type throws to rip me to the ground - might find themselves off balancing themselves, losing control of what they are about to do next, and going into self-maintenance mode - snapping them out of their violent attack while we wait for the meds to kick in. Training aikido to be effective while doing the least amount of harm is something I actively tried for a fair amount of dedicated time. Using what Dan has been showing me to then end is so obviously the best chance that I'm at a loss for how to better describe it.

Rob

rob_liberti
07-11-2008, 11:05 PM
Obviously if I train very hard, and Dan attacks me violently then unless he falls into a hole or a snow bank or something like that I won't be able to achieve the necessary power differential to shut him down without hurting him.

Okay I just re-read this. Before this gets taken the wrong way... Realistically, I would be the one shut down. But IF I WERE to be the "winner" there would be extremely little chance that the power differential would be such that I could do it without harm...

Rob

clwk
07-12-2008, 12:42 PM
In my opinion there are spiritual ideals which you can probably never truly achieve (possibly by definition) like "altruism" for instance. One can always argue that doing something for it's own good might in fact really be because the people likes to think of them self as do-gooder. But altruism as an ideal exists and is valuable. There are clearly paths that get you closer to the idea.
Altruism is fairly achievable, it's just not really most people's goal. Every time someone sacrifices his own life to benefit someone else, he accomplishes that goal as perfectly as possible. This does seem to happen in the real world with some regularity.


"Controlling violence without doing harm" is another example of such an ideal to me.

And that is where we differ. I think it is the kind of ideal which cannot just be taken further and further. I think the actual method of approaching the limit of how far it can be taken requires recognizing how very restrictive that limit actually is. Altruism does not require that I recognize the limits of altruism to practice it. I can be as unilaterally altruistic as I choose to be. It is up to me. But controlling violence is not up to me. It requires a measure of cooperation from those I would 'control without harm'. That is the difference.

While it is certainly not Dan's primary interest, I see the power training he practices as being the best path to approach such a thing. There is going to be some percentage of the population where the power differential will be such that I can control violence without doing harm.

Yes, but the same could be said of weightlifting or training in any martial art that allows you to dominate. It is not that this is an invalid approach or argument. It is exactly right in terms of fighting. However, what makes Dan's approach special in terms of *controlling violence without harm* cannot be in the power itself. Otherwise all the problems with aspiring to be the world's best fighter will apply. There must be something else involved. I submit that this *something else* requires a certain degree of unusual power, but that it does not ultimately depend upon overpowering. I would argue that the approach of overpowering (i.e. using a 'power differential' to control) is strictly limited and will not even produce the best possible result in terms of that goal.

Dan's approach to power building must increase my percentage and in my aikidoka opinion - far beyond anything I could have achieved if I had only continued with aikido
Okay, that is fine: but you are condemning the practice of Aikido by saying that. You are saying that Aikido could not have taught you what Dan does -- even though that something is *required* to make your goals for Aikido functional.

I'm not really sure why this simple idea is so contraversial.

Your assessment of your own training goals and how to achieve them is not controversial. I happen to disagree that your evaluation of the options available to you and the apparent conclusions you have drawn are actually universally applicable to the philosophical question of 'controlling violence without harm'. When you use yourself as an example, you confuse the issue -- because it makes it *very hard* for me to argue against your position without you interpreting it as a personal attack.

Training aikido to be effective while doing the least amount of harm is something I actively tried for a fair amount of dedicated time. Using what Dan has been showing me to then end is so obviously the best chance that I'm at a loss for how to better describe it.
I am not suggesting that what Dan is able to add to your Aikido practice is not the best path for you to achieve your goals. It sounds as though you are saying that Aikido (which you say cannot give you what you need) and Dan's power method (which you say provides the missing element) can combine to help you maximally accomplish 'controlling violence without harm'.

Both you and Dan agree that Dan does not share this philosophical goal. I suspect the reason for this is that Dan knows that no amount of power differential will make that goal reasonable. Dan clearly knows enough about how to *approach* that goal to see that it isn't attainable -- and cannot even be asymptotically approached. This is my point: a clear understanding of the nature of the goal and how it might be partially achieved requires giving up the 'power differential' approach in favor of something more refined. This is not to say that more power is not always helpful.

I hear you advocating the 'power differential' approach as the correct and functional way to approach 'controlling violence without harm' as closely as possible, by simply increasing (unusual) power as much as possible. My position is that this is not the right way to view the situation -- even though power is important. Does that clear up the controversy for you?

Let me add one final clarification: this post was directed at Rob. I believe Dan and Rob's positions to be different; and it is *very confusing and distracting* when one argues against points addressed to the other. This is because I believe that, at bottom, Dan and Rob's positions argue against each other. While I am happy to facilitate a 'man-in-the-middle' argument between Dan and Rob -- I do not enjoy being credited with being the author of that inherent conflict. So if we have to be adversarial, I would appreciate being permitted to address your arguments as distinct entities.

Thanks,
Chhi'mèd

rob_liberti
07-12-2008, 09:17 PM
I totally agree that Dan and I do not share that goal.

We can debate altruism and self sacrifice satisfying some psychological selfish need(s) but the point is that there are some goals which are not attainable - world peace, happily ever after, a truly free lunch, etc...

I'm all in for a discussion of "in favor of something more refined". My basic assumption is that the "power differential" training leads to "something more refined". And if you have ideas about what that would be I would love a discussion about that. What are your ideas to that end?

I believe that Osensei could deliver on aikido as protecting your attacker a lot better than any of his students.

I believe that the reason that Osensei could deliver on aikido as protecting your attacker a lot better than any of his students was that he had better training than he was providing in general - probably because he wasn't allowed too.

I believe that Dan can provide a lot closer if not better training than what Osensei provided too that end in general. And further that while some aikido senseis have attained some level of aiki power, that they are certainly not producing students as powerful as quickly as Dan is.

I believe that if I am totally wrong and that "protecting your attacker" is truly impossible in all situations - then training with Dan seems to best prepare me for "plan b". :)

I am reminded of a story about some aikido man who was really attacked by several people. He was throwing one guy at a wall while preparing to deal with the next guy and he realized the first "uke" was about to split his head open on the corner of the brick wall... So he swatted the guy as he passed (and moved into position for the next uke) so that the guy ended up smashing his shoulder on the corner of the brick wall and not opening up his head... This might not be "without harm" but it is a lot closer to "without harm" than it would be to "maximum damage" (the other extreme which many arts teach as primary).

Rob

Erick Mead
07-13-2008, 12:05 AM
My basic assumption is that the "power differential" training leads to "something more refined". And if you have ideas about what that would be I would love a discussion about that. What are your ideas to that end?

I believe that O Sensei could deliver on aikido as protecting your attacker a lot better than any of his students.Or sufficient refinement makes such power irrelevant. To quote a certain legal case -- "zero" is not just another integer. And 90 degrees is not not just another angle.

It occurred to me at a certain point ( during one of my spells of training largely by myself) that too little had been done to take O Sensei's ideas and their expressions VERY seriously, and to unbundle them IN OUR TERMS rather than the three ways that seemed to dominate:

1) Reverently repeating or dwelling on them in a context that is not Western and therefore difficult to understand from the inside -- even for those who have a fair amount of depth in the culture.

2) Those who have tried to communicate that depth seem only to have interpreted it at the level of analogy or metaphor in Western ideas, meaning that no further extension of the ideas could be made in exclusively Western terms.

3) An unfortunate tendency toward ignoring supposed quasi-religious ramblings of a doddering old man as irrelevant to the attainment of power in practice.

The more I delve into this set of questions the more I am confirmed in my initial intuition that there really was something original with O Sensei in his expression of AIKI -- and so original that it called for becoming michi -- not merely another school of battle. I think that many of his students came at it from the power differential side, and while gaining immense expressions of power they attained highly varying degrees of appreciation the essence of a dense, intricate and compact idea, which made this art worthy of study as michi, and justifying its innate appeal across cultural boundaries..

Juji and nonresistant action -- as concrete concepts -- follow from and occur within consistent application of in-yo energy . Those concepts have real honest-to-God concrete physical meanings and the deeper I go into them the more those concepts get mutually reinforced across seemingly unrelated conceptual boundaries.

The things that most effectively generate power are intimately related to those that deny engagement with power. Ethically speaking, if NO POWER is required to contest power, one can be less tempted to add power (and resulting increased likelihood of unnecessary damage or death).

clwk
07-13-2008, 12:06 AM
I totally agree that Dan and I do not share that goal.

Clear enough.

We can debate altruism and self sacrifice satisfying some psychological selfish need(s) but the point is that there are some goals which are not attainable - world peace, happily ever after, a truly free lunch, etc...

Unnecessary. I just wanted to retain the distinction between a realistically approachable goal and one which is inherently rhetorical. World peace is actually approachable, just very slowly. But controlling violence without harm is always going to contain a wildcard. That's why I would avoid betting on it.

I'm all in for a discussion of "in favor of something more refined". My basic assumption is that the "power differential" training leads to "something more refined". And if you have ideas about what that would be I would love a discussion about that. What are your ideas to that end?

Let's table that for now. I'm willing to come back to it -- but only if we can completely clean our plates. It's an interesting discussion, but if it's tainted by any interpersonal nonsense it will go South fast.

I believe that Osensei could deliver on aikido as protecting your attacker a lot better than any of his students.

Sure. Mozart could apparently do some super-cool stuff too. But those who want to do be the best musician they can be are probably not best off shooting for the super-cool stuff. Even though it's floating around in the mix -- if it becomes the be all end all then serious problems arise. To give one small example:

If 'controlling violence without harm' is the goal, then a situation could arise in which anything bearing the appearance of harm is labeled as 'bad' in a politically correct manner. This could very easily lead to a passive-aggressive dynamic which stifles the real training necessary to approach the stated goal.

I believe that the reason that Osensei could deliver on aikido as protecting your attacker a lot better than any of his students was that he had better training than he was providing in general - probably because he wasn't allowed too.

Clarifying question: what do you believe to be the source of his constraints? Obvious guesses: Deguchi or Takeda. Or . . . ?

I believe that Dan can provide a lot closer if not better training than what Osensei provided too that end in general.

Even if it is true -- man Rob! -- don't say that. Dan himself alluded to a distinction between omote and ura. If Dan is a better teacher than O Sensei, than AikiWeb is *not* the place to trumpet the news. Try this:

'Because of his many years training in Daito Ryu Aiki-jujutsu, Dan is nearly as qualified as any US- based Aikido Shihan to instruct students in the fundamentals common to both arts. Because of his eclectic approach to training, some students may even be more able to connect with those fundamentals through his explanations than through traditional Japanese explanations.'

And further that while some aikido senseis have attained some level of aiki power, that they are certainly not producing students as powerful as quickly as Dan is.

Dunno. But MMA also produces powerful students quickly, or so I hear. My point is that in order to tout power as a critical component of the aiki tool-chain, you need to establish some more basic logic. Otherwise it just comes across as the kind of chest-beating those interested in 'controlling violence without harm' abhor anyway.

I believe that if I am totally wrong and that "protecting your attacker" is truly impossible in all situations - then training with Dan seems to best prepare me for "plan b". :)
Why hedge? Why not decide what you actually believe and go for that? I ask only because you seem to be flirting with upsetting a lot of applecarts, and it seems to me that if you want to do that you should be 100% committed to it. If you want to lead a revolution, you can't do it as a dilettante. It's fine for most people to be agnostic, but not the clergy.

I am reminded of a story about some aikido man who was really attacked by several people. He was throwing one guy at a wall while preparing to deal with the next guy and he realized the first "uke" was about to split his head open on the corner of the brick wall... So he swatted the guy as he passed (and moved into position for the next uke) so that the guy ended up smashing his shoulder on the corner of the brick wall and not opening up his head...
And I am reminded of the story of the person who handed the knife back to his attacker and was killed with it. The devil can quote scripture too.

This might not be "without harm" but it is a lot closer to "without harm" than it would be to "maximum damage" (the other extreme which many arts teach as primary).

Let's 'throw away the pieces' of those polarized extremes and try to consider what is actually possible and reasonable. I don't have the slightest problem with audacious aspirations and extraordinary goals. I would simply rather spend time trying to break the three minute mile than the one second mile. See what I mean?

Chhi'mèd

DH
07-13-2008, 01:28 AM
I want to be clear that I approach these discussions as a pleasant past time between working. I'm not writing a book, nor have any intentions or pretense that these casual comments are definitive, declarative or express the entire sum of my goals in training.
To that end, my comments about the aiki power having the greater "potential" of stopping violence without harm are just that-the greater "potential" and that’s about it. There are so many different levels of violence; from drunken behavior where men can get decked from out of the blue, completely unrelated to their own behavior, to being stabbed from someone in a brawl, to an untrained drunk to a predator jumping you to some training in a suburban Dojo. I don't equate the seriously tame shenanigans I have seen called “martial arts” to even the pressure from high school wrestling, or Judo or BJJ or finally MMA. There are just so many levels of violence that the idea of trying to capture it in a singular statement of "stopping violence without harming the attacker" seems moronic to make, much less try to emulate. I have stated many times I found Ueshiba’s goal fabulous and his means of changing the expression of waza in the finishing of the attack from DR’s seizing and breakfalls to the more safer roll-away just great. But without aiki power it’s just pissing into the wind. A hobbyist’s pipe dream. I also wonder if Ueshiba had ever fully embraced his own statement. He had a ferocious temper and he hurt people in demo’s.

Anyway, a more serious discussion could be had about what more intense levels of training MMA style and with weapons does for YOUR preparedness in dealing with violence. An even further and perhaps more realistic model would be to learn verbal skills and be able to read, address, recognize threat, be non-responsive to it, while being able to be cognizant and calmly functioning to de-escalate it. That may be a "required training" of a different order.

As for Aiki power (internal power), it is the best way to express action with the body in virtually any fighting style known. Train the mind body first, the expression or art specific "action / tactic / strategy, come later. All that said, finding the ways and means to train the mind /body connection and to develop internal power, and then to learn to develop internal skill "in use” all happen before you should learn or try to fight with it. Your levels of "fighting” may lead to an ability to "not-fight" many people and handle their force expeditiously enough to be considered handling them without harm, but, I'd never-the-less hesitate to make it a declarative statement any time soon. There are hard men that could hand the best teachers in the world the fight of their lives. Hubris is bitch.

We don't have to discuss the fighting method, in order to discuss internal training. They can be joined or totally separate topics all together. Preparing people and showing ways to train internal power doesn't equate with training in any one style or eclectic pursuit. There are those who train with me who do not want to or care to learn about fighting, others want to do classical kata, others want to do MMA and can and do go out to various gyms as well as train here. I still find it surprising to see people just not getting those distinctions in training and goals. There are many people now training this way all over the country. Their goals are not all the same-not even close.

As one Aikido Shihan (a deshi of Ueshiba's) said in an interview with Stan Prainin. "After seeing what passes for aikido these days, I fear the only peaceful resolution they will ever see is that when they are lying flat on their backs at the feet of their attacker. Is this really any type of serious training?"
I couldn't have said it any better.

If Peter Goldsbury's statement about the omote and Ura of Aikido from West to East proves to be true (And I do not think it is quite as simplistic as it sounds to many readers-lets not assume all Japanese teachers have any clue about the Ura) then it helps explain that Aikido teachers view of modern aikido.
Having felt some of the highest ranked Japanese and American teachers of various arts-I wouldn't be betting on some Japanese magic bullet anytime soon. Maybe some "got it" more than others, but I for one am going to be extremely skeptical about the depths as well as the ability to teach it, or any notion of being willing to be tested by others who may have various levels of understanding themselves.
I light of the recent displays and aikidoka getting out there and felling men with power, The Aikikai expressing a new level of restraint and Japanese control over teaching may be a smart move. It may be the only chance they have left to be taken seriously. As the men in aikido now training in internal Aiki get out and test more and more teachers for their skills- the smart teachers not training this way just may want to stay home.
As the Aikido guys who are now training in Aiki…do continue to advance, they may become the best hope Aikido™ has seen since the days of the founder, for attaining anything close to his goals.

clwk
07-13-2008, 01:46 AM
Dan,

Thank you for a clear and coherent reply. I do not pretend to have specific knowledge of every particular you mention. Nevertheless -- skipping the politics because they are not mine to worry about -- what you say seems to represent a robust and reasonable position. I *believe* you have clarified that you do *not* believe the universal goal of 'controlling violence without harm' is attainable, or at least *worth hanging one's hopes on*. Your word was 'moronic', if I parsed the context correctly. I do not repeat this sarcastically, but to provide 'potential' closure to the discussion.

Regards,
Chhi'mèd

DH
07-13-2008, 01:50 AM
Rob wrote
I'm all in for a discussion of "in favor of something more refined". My basic assumption is that the "power differential" training leads to "something more refined". And if you have ideas about what that would be I would love a discussion about that. What are your ideas to that end?

Chhi'mèd wrote
Let's table that for now. I'm willing to come back to it -- but only if we can completely clean our plates. It's an interesting discussion, but if it's tainted by any interpersonal nonsense it will go South fast.

Come back to it right now. This hasn't reached a level of discussion yet. The information, observations and training experiences have all been one sided. Now, when directly asked-you hedge and again offer nothing to the discussion. I see you talking about ...talking about the topic as an inquiry.
Is that all you have to offer, or as far as you wish to go? No problems if it is, but it means I'm done here.

clwk
07-13-2008, 02:36 AM
Come back to it right now.

Okay, Dan. In fairness that was the first completely topical post Rob had addressed to me in some time, and I was hoping to see it would stay that way.

This hasn't reached a level of discussion yet. The information, observations and training experiences have all been one sided. Now, when directly asked-you hedge and again offer nothing to the discussion. I see you talking about ...talking about the topic as an inquiry.

I'm not hedging. I was waiting for the dust to settle to see if we had a reasonable signal-to-noise ratio. Ron mentioned the issue earlier.

Is that all you have to offer, or as far as you wish to go? No problems if it is, but it means I'm done here.
Stay or go as you like. I asked you questions about your posted examples earlier that would have led to this discussion, and you declined to answer them. A straightforward discussion does not have to be a problem, so it was unclear whether you wanted to talk about such things. However, I appreciate the fairness of your request that I put something forward -- so I will give it a shot, in good faith.

Since if we talk about martial arts directly, every manner of complexity will immediately rear its head again, let me approach this tangentially. Hopefully you will be able to see that this approach, although tangential, is entirely relevant to the topic.

I mentioned earlier to Rob that I work with horses. Now, I am not some kind of horse whisperer or anything like that, but I do handle animals that have no other experience of human contact. As such, they represent a fairly good example of unsocialized behavior. That makes them an okay control group for some kinds of observations.

One thing that can be particularly difficult before a horse is well-trained to accept it, is lifting and trimming his feet. Apart from all the psychological issues, when you pick up a horse's foot, he has to either take all weight off of it or else make you part of his balance system. Unless he is completely comfortable with allowing you to have the foot, he is quite likely to opt for the latter.

Now, if a horse *has* decided to put a significant fraction of his weight on you while you are working with him -- well, that's a lot of weight. So a reasonable amount of strength is required just to hold the foot up while working on it. Of course, if you know how to skillfully let the weight rest on your leg, you can minimize the amount of brute strength required. Still, at least for someone like me, it's quite a leg workout. So there is a basic strength and trained strength skill requirement to even get in the game.

However, above and beyond that, is the question of how the horse responds to what you are doing. Quite often, if he is nervous or anxious, or just plain pissy, he will do some dancing around and jerking on the leg. I want to make clear here that I am not a professional farrier. Those guys are often incredibly strong and incredibly skilled. I can't speak for what they do and how they do it. I'm just talking about how this intersect with my limited experience.

There is a complex dynamic surrounding how I respond to his spastic mounting aggression. I will enumerate some but not all of the possibilities:

1) He jerks his leg away, and I can't do anything about it because he is too strong for me.

2) He tries to jerk his leg away, but I meet that jerk in such a way that he slightly pulls himself forward (assuming it's a front leg -- reverse everything for a rear leg). He supplies the force which pulls himself forward, I simply provide a 'base' for him to pull off of. Because he shifts his weight forward, he now depends on me to support his leg. He therefore puts weight on the leg again. I receive the weight and give him support. He recognizes that I am 'on his side' and he relaxes. This cycle may repeat many times, very rapidly. If I did not recognize what was happening, I might feel that I was just 'calming him down'.

3) Like 2) except that he overcorrects. Instead of just putting his weight back into my hands/leg, he pushes forward. I meet this push and he is then slightly pushed backward. He reacts to this by surging forward. I react to the forward surge by pushing upward. He rises up, pulls back against the rope tying him, and I push myself back off of him and away to safety. He calms down on his own.

4) He kicks me, and I don't avoid it in time.

It is worth noting that all of these are possibilities, although 4) tends to require that I make a mistake. 1-3, however, are not fully determined by what I do. They are situational, and not under my control -- at least not entirely. 2) might correspond to controlling violence without harm (to a minor degree). 3) is the entirely possible result of attempting 2), when things just don't line up right. If instead of a horse, he were a person -- 3) might look like him falling on the ground, perhaps violently. Or it might look like me being pushed away from him. Or, who knows -- we are not talking about techniques.

That is a simple example of a dynamic in which physical aggression might or might not be subverted depending on a combination of skill and circumstance -- and in which a baseline awareness, strength, and physical aptitude is required. The same dynamic can be seen in many physical encounters between two human beings. This is not usually the case when trimming toenails. Usually with my two-year-old, he will *twist* to get away from foot holds. This usually results in him thrashing in various ways. I usually choose to yield so as to spare the torque on his legs and hips -- even though it sometimes results in a messy situation.

I realize that this has not been the most explicit *possible* description. However, I think there is enough information there to balance out the offering. Frankly, I don't have a clear memory of having read anything even that explicit on AikiWeb before -- despite uke having the wrong number of legs. If you would like to discuss the relationship between this and people 'rocketing' up when grabbing your wrists, I would be happy to hear your description of that process.

Chhi'mèd

rob_liberti
07-13-2008, 08:12 AM
Well I think we are all getting along fabulously.

First in terms of Ericks comments. I do not intend to throw away what I have learned about avoiding other people's power. I have said Saotome sensei's ability to move around attackers is impressive and I would love to copy that better.

When I took my yondan test I hadn't slept in over 3 days due to work and some issues with my son's health. So I believe I was legally insane. :) I could perform everything required of me for the test well enough because pretty much all of that stuff was burned in to the point that I think I can do most of it pretty much unconsciously. The end of the test was for 3 other under ranked sandans to attack me in multipl attack. This was a defining moment for me. If I were a bit more awake I could have avoided their power a lot better. I realized that no amount of my excessive training was going to burn in "avoidance" training to the point I could do it well whem my mind gets really tired and foggy.

At that moment I decided I had better find some other way of dealing with people who do get past my primary defense (movement from attacks such that I am facing them and they are not facing me).

Ikeda sensei actually makes this kind of distinction sometimes. He talks about the difference of driving a dump truck vs. a Honda Civic. Against many aikido people I can be quite a dump truck. Against MMA type people - not so much - being a civic was the best plan.

The point here is that when someone closes the distance and I'm now having to deal with them, if I have a clear power differential my chance increases of doing something that causes minial harm (which can be no harm - and CAN BE maximum damage) actually doesn't cause harm.

I understand that I cannot make some gaurantee - but you do become the mind that you train. If you deal with more and more violent attacks and you handle them well AND as peacefully as you can manage while staying safe your chance of that really happening goes up. I don't think Dan would find anything moronic with that. In fact I think he'll help me. I will also continue looking to Gleason sensei as well as other aikido teachers for ideas.

There are some aikido shihan that I have high hopes for in the future. But mainly I think Dan addressed that point in general very well.

Rob

Erick Mead
07-13-2008, 09:02 AM
If Peter Goldsbury's statement about the omote and Ura of Aikido from West to East proves to be true (And I do not think it is quite as simplistic as it sounds to many readers-lets not assume all Japanese teachers have any clue about the Ura) then it helps explain that Aikido teachers view of modern aikido. To be fair to Prof. Goldsbury , the ura he is speaking of is getting behind the layers of tatemae in the history of the art and its development, which is demonstrably messier and less haloed than it has come down. That observation does not diminish or even relate, really, to the revelatory aspects of O Sensei's development of the art (to the extent that one believes what he reported, which is not itself necessary for this discussion). Mark Murray (I think) took that out of context, but explicitly, to make an analogy to the ura/omote aspects of that history by way of comment on these topics -- which is not what was said by Prof. Goldsbury.

The antidote to omote/ura -- tatemae/honne forms of cognitive dissonance is to look carefully at the thing in itself -- by yourself -- and not merely rely on what other people have to say about it, or what they believe about it, however honestly their belief may be held.

Dan, like it or not, to the extent you continue to honor your bounds in not discussing the ura aspects of DTR that have been communicated to you, you perpetuate tatemae in that regard -- which is quite alien to our native ways of thinking. Something you criticize as evidence of a defense mechanism against perceived decadence in aikido circles -- is part of the same cultural package that you have yourself been given and now reflect. They may both be parts of a received wisdom -- which it is is the Western cultural custom to question, pester and challenge from all angles. One cannot be honest to both traditions at the same time -- in the same terms. If the terms are better Westernized then the problem does not arise, because native context in both aspects is strictly maintained without conflict between them. Tatemae is respected and critical challenge is also observed.

Which is what we are discussing. Letting the attack maintain its context while the target does likewise, with (ideally) zero conflict between them, while yet producing new things that neither of them explicitly contemplated. That means that neither of them achieves a predetermined result decided by either one of them unilaterally. Something new is created between them while each retains its essential integrity -- ubuya. Whoever chooses to violate the essential independence of the mutual creation -- is liable to be destroyed by it -- figuratively, structurally, or even actually.

clwk
07-13-2008, 01:52 PM
Juji and nonresistant action -- as concrete concepts -- follow from and occur within consistent application of in-yo energy . Those concepts have real honest-to-God concrete physical meanings and the deeper I go into them the more those concepts get mutually reinforced across seemingly unrelated conceptual boundaries.
.

Erick, I would be careful not to overly-fixate on specific angles or quantitative constraints. If you think about my horse trimming example, it should be obvious that physical strength has to be applied -- at least statically; and that when action occurs, those forces may well rise. To the extent damage is to be minimized one has to be aware of how much energy the relevant structures can absorb. However, that need not be zero -- and in practice it cannot be. If I jump in the air, I load and unload my body; and dynamic interactions between two bodies are not going to magically lose those normal static and dynamic analyses. This isn't the place to argue those details -- but since I was asked to provide an example, I hope it can prove useful in some way. Just think it through and see what you come up with. I appreciate your clean-room approach, but it doesn't have to be reactionary to be clean.

Chhi'mèd

clwk
07-13-2008, 02:38 PM
Erick,

Dan, like it or not, to the extent you continue to honor your bounds in not discussing the ura aspects of DTR that have been communicated to you, you perpetuate tatemae in that regard -- which is quite alien to our native ways of thinking. Something you criticize as evidence of a defense mechanism against perceived decadence in aikido circles -- is part of the same cultural package that you have yourself been given and now reflect. They may both be parts of a received wisdom -- which it is is the Western cultural custom to question, pester and challenge from all angles. One cannot be honest to both traditions at the same time -- in the same terms. If the terms are better Westernized then the problem does not arise, because native context in both aspects is strictly maintained without conflict between them. Tatemae is respected and critical challenge is also observed.

As you know, I tend to disagree with your physical analyses. However, credit where credit is due: I appreciate the concise and cogent formulation of this issue. I do not think I agree entirely, but this might be because I misunderstand the foreign cultural issues. It seems to me that whenever and wherever knowledge is gained and passed through personal transmission then some of these questions arise. Even though the split described is not so elaborately formalized in Western society, it is not unknown. Personal confidence, trust, and loyalty are all bound up in that area to some extent. There is also a budding Western scientific approach to understanding the importance of associative context even in understanding apparently objective scientific information ( (http://www.americanscientist.org/bookshelf/pub/an-interview-with-harry-collins). The upshot is that there is a real phenomenon of 'interactional expertise'. Both 'interactional expertise' and hard knowledge of the underlying math and science are required. In the case of physical methods, one could add physical performance into that mixture. Strangely, the interactional expertise is *required* to fully understand a difficult topic -- because open areas of knowledge cannot be fully encapsulated in their specialized formulas -- so manipulating the tokens of those formulas cannot in itself reproduce the state-of-the-art. Stranger still, 'interactional expertise' can be had independent of the underlying expertise. Although this is obviously second class, it is far better than 'popular science' -- which lacks both interactional expertise and correct knowledge of the underlying particulars, and substitutes instead 'received wisdom' distilled by the real experts.

Which is what we are discussing. Letting the attack maintain its context while the target does likewise, with (ideally) zero conflict between them, while yet producing new things that neither of them explicitly contemplated. That means that neither of them achieves a predetermined result decided by either one of them unilaterally. Something new is created between them while each retains its essential integrity -- ubuya. Whoever chooses to violate the essential independence of the mutual creation -- is liable to be destroyed by it -- figuratively, structurally, or even actually.

Again, when you speak at a high level, I tend to agree with you. Just to expand the scope of the discussion (and to satisfy the request that I contribute something novel), let me point out that this idea of 'ubuya' is not necessarily unique. I cannot unpack what Ueshiba might have meant for it, but there is a pair of Tibetan terms which seem quite relevant. These are:

+ Dzu-kyé: birthplace/insipience/miraculous or spontaneous birth/self-birth
+ Srol-jèd: innovation

As technical terms, these reflect two sides of the coin in terms of how the physical elements come together and recombine. Here we are not talking about 'alchemy' in a gross sense -- but about the physical manifestation of intangible tactile vectors. I mention this to forestall any complaints about my use of the word 'element'. What arises spontaneously in physical interaction is dependent on what contributed to that interaction -- but this dependence is unconditioned and creative. I still hesitate to comment on Ueshiba's terminology, but in terms of *your* investigation, this is why I would tend to avoid treating 'resistance' as a physical parameter. What should not be resisted is the creative result of the particular combination resulting from the interaction of two seemingly-distinct systems. That natural, spontaneous result, might well seem 'resistant' (Ueshiba 'resisting' pushes on many occasions, for example) -- or even 'harmful'. But from this perspective, the real 'harm' or 'resistance' is in *asserting one's will by attempting to control the interaction beyond what is unilaterally possible*. Instead one must *allow* the result to occur. Obviously the more skilled one is, the more one's own cooperation can be honed to encourage a favorable outcome. Although it is undoubtedly tangential, you might want to look into cellular automata (as in Conway's game of Life) for an entirely decoupled conceptual framework.

Chhi'mèd

jennifer paige smith
07-13-2008, 03:10 PM
Erick,
let me point out that this idea of 'ubuya' is not necessarily unique. I cannot unpack what Ueshiba might have meant for it, but there is a pair of Tibetan terms which seem quite relevant. These are:

+ Dzu-kyé: birthplace/insipience/miraculous or spontaneous birth/self-birth
+ Srol-jèd: innovation

Chhi'mèd

This sounds like Takemusubi Aiki to me.

"The budo that embodies the feeling of universal compassion is based on the creative energy of the universe[takemusubi]. All the others are nothing more than arts of destruction. In the beginning I called it takemusubi aiki; later I decided to call it shobu aiki, the budo that creates wisdom, judgement, the mind of a sage.
The true victory of shobu aiki is to strike down and destroy the mind of doubt and conflict within yourself. It is to realize and carry out the destiny you have received from divine providence. Reardless of how this may be philosophically explained, unless it is actually put into practice, you are no different from anyone else. Through the practice pf aikido, this power and ability is added unto you."- O-Sensei

Exerpted from The Spiritual Foundations of Aikido, authored by Bill Gleason.

rob_liberti
07-13-2008, 04:32 PM
I don't see the correlation between the horse example too clearly. I don't think many people weight themselves as naturally as a horse would. Also, when people come into contact with internal skills they tend to start feeling as if they are lifting themselves off the ground and/or getting crushed. They start losing choice in what would be their normal/natural reactions. This makes attackers much more predictable in general. It also cancles out a lot of the x-factors becuase it ceases to matter if they wind up pushing or pulling on your body in just about every way. Fewer x-factors result in fewer worry points and therefore more time to think and choose right in the moment.

Rob

Erick Mead
07-13-2008, 10:00 PM
Erick, I would be careful not to overly-fixate on specific angles or quantitative constraints. No worries there. All quantities are transient (zero or non-zero) as are all normal angles/timing/spacing -- but all transients are recurring. The point is to choose action in synch with these transients, and not others.

clwk
07-13-2008, 10:37 PM
I don't see the correlation between the horse example too clearly. I don't think many people weight themselves as naturally as a horse would. Also, when people come into contact with internal skills they tend to start feeling as if they are lifting themselves off the ground and/or getting crushed. They start losing choice in what would be their normal/natural reactions. This makes attackers much more predictable in general. It also cancles out a lot of the x-factors becuase it ceases to matter if they wind up pushing or pulling on your body in just about every way. Fewer x-factors result in fewer worry points and therefore more time to think and choose right in the moment.
Rob, no problem if you don't see it. You're right that people and horses have different structural configurations. I certainly cannot lift a horse off the ground (although I did mention the case in which he lifts himself up). Are you saying that 'internal skills' wouldn't help with horses -- or that someone more skilled than I am (most people) would actually lift them up in the air, etc.? I could have just said, "He magically either loses the urge to fight or blows up," but I didn't think that would be a very interesting post.

Regards,
Chhi'mèd

clwk
07-13-2008, 10:42 PM
This sounds like Takemusubi Aiki to me.
That thought has occurred to me too. I leave that to others to think about though, because I try to be extremely careful with comparative religion. There are so many mistakes that can be made, it is often safer to leave things distinct. That seems the most respectful course. However, as someone who spent a fair few years of physical practice looking into what Takemusu Aiki might mean -- I think they almost certainly reflect closely-related concepts. The main problem is that these kind of terms cannot be completely extricated from the systems that make them meaningful -- even when they may describe similar states and experiences.

Regards,
Chhi'mèd

clwk
07-13-2008, 10:45 PM
No worries there. All quantities are transient (zero or non-zero) as are all normal angles/timing/spacing -- but all transients are recurring. The point is to choose action in synch with these transients, and not others.
Erick, the Zen Buddhism reference was not from the perspective of being a practitioner -- so I don't think I am up for solving any koans. If that statement contained content I was supposed to be able to extract, could you put it a little more clearly -- perhaps with a concrete example? I'm glad you are not as fixated on particular angles and (lack of) quantities as it sounded -- but I won't pretend to have any idea what you are saying, either.

Regards,
Chhi'mèd

jennifer paige smith
07-13-2008, 11:05 PM
That thought has occurred to me too.
Regards,
Chhi'mèd

Glad to hear it.

jennifer paige smith
07-13-2008, 11:31 PM
That thought has occurred to me too. I leave that to others to think about though, because I try to be extremely careful with comparative religion. There are so many mistakes that can be made, it is often safer to leave things distinct. That seems the most respectful course. However, as someone who spent a fair few years of physical practice looking into what Takemusu Aiki might mean -- I think they almost certainly reflect closely-related concepts. The main problem is that these kind of terms cannot be completely extricated from the systems that make them meaningful -- even when they may describe similar states and experiences.

Regards,
Chhi'mèd

I ran out of time.

You bring up comparative religion which didn't occur to me slightly, and which my high school education couldn't support remotely. But it does move into spiritual, so I will be glad to talk about it in that thread column.
Thanks

clwk
07-14-2008, 01:28 AM
You bring up comparative religion which didn't occur to me slightly, and which my high school education couldn't support remotely.

Sorry for the misunderstanding: I didn't mean to imply anything about your comment. It was just my way of saying I cannot comment on both systems in the same breath; and since I don't practice Aikido anymore, wouldn't presume to if I could. But the reflections are interesting.

Regards,
Chhi'mèd

Erick Mead
07-14-2008, 09:43 AM
All quantities are transient (zero or non-zero) as are all normal angles/timing/spacing -- but all transients are recurring. The point is to choose action in synch with these transients, and not others.... I don't think I am up for solving any koans. If that statement contained content I was supposed to be able to extract, could you put it a little more clearly -- perhaps with a concrete example? I'm glad you are not as fixated on particular angles and (lack of) quantities as it sounded -- but I won't pretend to have any idea what you are saying, either.OK. Zero is a concept -- not a state occupied by any real material object. It is a central tendency only approached, and passed through, by varying degrees of positive or negative error -- therefore establishing oscillations -- waveforms -- in-yo ho. Similarly, a normal (i.e.-- 90 degree) angle (whether of angular rotation, or offset in frequency of event) similarly is only occupied transiently, with varying degrees of positive and negative error around the central tendency -- which central tendency at the normal angle represents the applied vector's zero contribution to the magnitude of the normal vector - with maximal rotation/precession of the resultant.

One could just as easily orient action to maximum or minimum or another aspect of the waveform. But 90 degrees is a quantity that has interesting qualities -- orienting to zero, and maximal non-zero results (e.g. -- resonance) that are both subtle, powerful and exploitable -- a happy combination for any strategic posture.

That clearer?

clwk
07-14-2008, 10:09 AM
That clearer?
Yes. It sounds like you are more-or-less describing a 'return to balance' approach. Here is a serious question -- to which I imagine you have an an answer since this approach derives from your experience flying helicopters. The naïve strategy of simple corrections is not actually very good for complex control of unstable systems -- as far as I can tell. Actual control strategies are complex and not entirely intuitive. If one uses a strategy of oscillating around a particular set of angles, etc. -- doesn't that actually make one predictable, as well as prone to falling into unproductive rhythms? Even if one managed to optimize the training environment to make that strategy successful, might it not be subject to manipulation by an equally-skilled opponent who did *not* subject himself to those constraints? This would be especially true if this hypothetical opponent exploited his knowledge of those constraints to take advantage of their inherent weakness (because it is possible to navigate through the space to find local configurations which fail for the one so constrained). For example, we could construct a turn-taking game using graph paper in which we each got to push a pebble around by applying forces to it. I haven't actually analyzed this game, but I suspect that any control strategy you care to supply based around simple deterministic rules (like 'try to push normal to velocity', for example) can be defeated by something more sophisticated. I suspect this will only become more true the more elaborate and closely approximating real bodies the model becomes.

Regards,
Chhi'mèd

rob_liberti
07-14-2008, 01:44 PM
Regarding the "horse" example. I assume it is a hyperbolic example of dealing with something very strong and the amount of predictablity.

I know that when I push onto Dan, I can get the feeling that I am being lifted up or crushed based pretty much on where he is putting his intention(s). I've witnessed that happen with many other people.

I have no idea if a horse pushed into Dan if the horse would feel lifted up or crushed down! It would be an interesting experiment to try to set up. But IF horses reacted to that kind of intention the way all of the humans I've so far seen reacted, then we could stay with the horse analogy. If not, then the analogy is really not too related. (As there are not too many horse attacks I'm aware of!)

Rob

clwk
07-14-2008, 02:25 PM
Rob,

It wasn't meant to be hyperbolic. It is a real-life example of the kind of intense physical aggression I sometimes deal with on a day-to-day basis. I don't get in a lot of fights, but 'horse attacks', even if not pre-meditated, maliciously-motivated, or seriously murderous are not *that* uncommon -- if you work with horses.

I think we should leave the example of Dan-as-hypothetical out of it. If he wants to add something about his training, he can -- but we will only get into problems if we keep using him as an example without his participation.

Dan asked (well, he kind of commanded, but whatever) that I address the 'something more' beyond simple power differential that contributes to being able to *sometimes* 'control violence without harm'. My example was meant to provide a technical analysis of that skillset. As you are well aware, I am sure, such a body skill has applicability above and beyond 'technique'. Technique may be a vehicle for developing, refining, and delivering the skill though. That is why I used the horse example. People vary in their body types and training too -- even if not as much as horses and people vary. Any truly fundamental 'body skill' should have some applicability into *whatever* live body one contacts -- whether it be man, woman, child, dog, cat, horse, karate, taiji, aikido, etc. If the skill in question *does not* apply, I would suggest that indicates it is more a 'technique' depending on highly-specific parameters -- which is not a problem either.

Of course you may not be familiar with horses in particular, but I had hoped you could see the relationship. I would expect that anyone with a solid technical understanding of the skills I mean *would* immediately recognize what I was describing -- even if my description was lacking in some ways. I already basically said that there is a close relationship between this and (my interpretation of) Dan's report of people 'rocketing' to their feet when they grab his wrists. Dan has so far declined to comment on that, but you are welcome to attempt an analysis if you like. I do not mind whether your analysis agrees with mine -- or alternately diverges from it. We can discuss your view of how things work more if you are willing to share it. I *am* curious as to how you view the 'rocket' phenomenon on the basis of your training with Dan. Presumably you have experienced it firsthand, and he has given you personal instruction in its function -- so you should be quite qualified to explain the mechanics.

Regards,
Chhi'mèd

rob_liberti
07-14-2008, 02:44 PM
Well, I can say this.

I can also hold my intention such that people pushing on me fell lifted up or crushed down. BUT - it takes longer for me to get myself all set up to do that (whereas Dan has it all the time).

Also, I can only maintain it for a short amount of time before I start falling apart somewhere - normally because I don't continue to manage enough mental intentions after a while.

I have had several doubting thomas's push onto me and get the uplifting feeling and/or the crushed feeling. I have no idea if a horse pushed on me if the horse would feel the same type of lift or crush.

Kinethetic preception of some mental intention from human to human seems a lot more likely than from human to horse - but it *may* work well. You have some experience with with Mike Sigman, what is your take on the human to horse lift or crush?

My belief is that Dan has a lot more additives to what I am doing. His body is well trained to kind of automatically manage the forces I'm working so hard to manage myself. He adds breath management and his transferred power increases for instance. I can't add that very well myself yet. But I assume there are other things too which gives him the abilty to create more of a rocket effect than I could manage myself.

I have wrestled him, and been no inch puched in the ribs up and off of him. He was holding back (or would be dead) but I can tell you I rocketed up and away from that. That was awesomely terrible. :)

I'm not sure if I'm helping with this last story but it seems a bit related as well.

Rob

clwk
07-14-2008, 03:15 PM
Rob,

1) You are the one bringing up 'lifting' and 'crushing', so it's not for me to apply it into the example I offered as a way to open the discussion up. I understand what you mean, but I don't see these ideas really representing the single benchmark that needs to be applied. My whole point is that it's more complex than that. You keep coming back to a few specific situations and reporting on subjective experiences -- rather than examining what may or may not be happening *and* why it is relevant to the topic.

2) I think it's great that you can do that, even if less well than Dan -- but it doesn't address either my example or the request for analysis I posed.

3) The closest thing to a 'take' on the so-called 'human-to-horse lift or crush' I am likely to have in the near future is the relatively detailed analysis I already gave of how I use a limited form of rising, sinking, entering, and pulling forces to manipulate a horse's balance in coordination with his reactive additions to that manipulation. My point of the story was not to exhaustively describe every interaction I've ever had. However, if it will make you happy, I will give another example. A while back, I was working with a weanling (in his first year of life). He was bigger than me, but much closer in size than he is now. I had my hands on his withers (above the front legs), and he was shifting his weight in response to my touch. Suddenly his legs buckled and he lay down on the ground. I went with him, and lay on the ground for a while with him. I didn't want to let him up until he had calmed down -- because I did not want him to spaz out and treat the whole thing as a bad experience. Because of the way we had gone to the ground, I was able to hold him down with very little struggle, and he *did* eventually become very calm. At no point in the interaction did I use great force. I did, however, use the weight of my body in my hands in careful conjunction with his balance. I hadn't particularly intended to ask him to lie down, but it happened in a way he probably experienced as unexpected. I hope he did not feel 'crushed', but it is possible that was his subjective experience of it. That is why I kept him pinned down until he accepted my presence on top of him as friendly and not predatory. I am sure you must be able to see the relevance of this example.

4) As regards Mike Sigman, I only ever mentioned his name since you and Dan seemed upset that I was entering into the thread -- so I flashed my invitation to the bouncer. For that reason I will take my own advice and leave Mike out of it. Please respect that decision -- just as I respect Dan's decision not to speak of Daito-ryu.

5) I do believe that Dan can hit very hard. The 'rocketing' to which I refer is the one he described as happening from 'kokyu ho'. I took that to mean the seated/kneeling exercise in which one person grasps the other's wrists. That is the analysis I am interested in. However, if you *prefer* to explain how Dan hitting you extremely hard so that you 'rocketed' up and away is related to 'something more than power differential', I would be interested in hearing that too. I don't know whether it is, so you bear the responsibility of demonstrating that. It obviously relates to 'power differential', but that is quite specifically not what we are discussing here.

Regards,
Chhi'mèd

rob_liberti
07-14-2008, 03:43 PM
I'm sorry. I had the impression that you trained with Mike a bit, and had some idea about the lifting and crushing stuff. I was not and am not upset about you mentioning of Mike at all. I think I misunderstood how much exposure you had to this sort of training.

If when you are manipulating your body with the horse - you are doing it fairly unconsciously and becuase you have all of your other internal forces managed well such that any added force from the horse is also managed without much effort then we are indeed talking about the same type of thing.

I suppose my point is that if you can make people feel lifted up by them pushing or pulling you, then you can see how that take power away from your would-be manipulators - increasing the power differential. I don't know if this works with horses, just people so far. :)

As for rocketing, I think I tried to address the kokyuho as well as the no inch power hit in terms of my best guess about Dan's additive powers to the structure and intentions I'm working on. I can't speak much beyond that because I just can't do it myself at present.

I am sorry if I missed you mark. Can you please take another shot at your problem statement? I'll honestly try to respond as best as I can.

Rob

clwk
07-14-2008, 05:18 PM
If when you are manipulating your body with the horse - you are doing it fairly unconsciously and becuase you have all of your other internal forces managed well such that any added force from the horse is also managed without much effort then we are indeed talking about the same type of thing.
Let's look at the situation where you are on his back then. The 'force management' *has* to be 'fairly unscious' at that point. Actually, it doesn't. One can get by with all kinds of crutches -- or techniques, or whatever. However, when the rubber meets the road, those things will fail you if they are not just *in the body* (to whatever degree). I'm oversimplifying what 'body' means, but you see my point. When a horse spooks, for example, his body will lurch very quickly in an unexpected direction, often with very little or no warning. Horses have very good sudden power, and they can be famously hair-triggered if the wrong stimulus comes along. *In that moment* one either responds correctly or not. Any reactive motion that is strategized is likely to fail and produce a bad feedback loop which ends with you falling off the horse. The situation is the same on the ground -- the parameters are just different. It should be the same with people too, even if most people aren't capable of putting that level of pressure on you. Of course the kind of pressure they can put might not make this as applicable (depending on one's own level): that's fighting, technique, etc. which is obviously it's own topic.

I suppose my point is that if you can make people feel lifted up by them pushing or pulling you, then you can see how that take power away from your would-be manipulators - increasing the power differential.
Rob, do they *feel* lifted, or *are* they lifted? Do you think that distinction is important or not? What actually happens physically, do you think? I'm not sure if you are advocating a 'power differential' based on 'skill' or based on developing as much power as possible. I acknowledge the relationship between the two, but I don't see 'power training' as *directly* developing the 'skill' component. Even though it may be a partial side effect, depending on the nature of that training, the effect/result may be different. Considering the parameters of that equation seems important in evaluating various options for achieving specific goals.

As for rocketing, I think I tried to address the kokyuho as well as the no inch power hit in terms of my best guess about Dan's additive powers to the structure and intentions I'm working on.
Are you saying that from what you are able to glean, a 'no-inch punch' and the wrist-grabbed 'rocketing' seem to be more-or-less the same? That's a serious question. I might just not be picturing the wrist thing correctly. If there isn't a big difference, then that's interesting in itself (to me).

Can you please take another shot at your problem statement?
Sure, can you describe the wrist rocket thing as clearly as possible? First describe the phenomenon (since it's not entirely clear what is actually happening). In other words: what does it look like to an observer, and what does it feel like to the receiver? Then describe what you think is happening, physically -- to produce the effect observed. You don't have to get esoteric, just describe the forces and where they come from. For bonus points, you can explain how it relates to 'controlling violence without harm', if it does.

Regards,
Chhi'mèd

Erick Mead
07-14-2008, 09:28 PM
Yes. It sounds like you are more-or-less describing a 'return to balance' approach. Here is a serious question -- to which I imagine you have an an answer since this approach derives from your experience flying helicopters. The naïve strategy of simple corrections is not actually very good for complex control of unstable systems -- as far as I can tell. Actual control strategies are complex and not entirely intuitive. Yes ... and no. Everything starts with simple (over)correction -- that's just not where it ends. I don't hear these guys saying anything different on that score.

If one uses a strategy of oscillating around a particular set of angles, etc. -- doesn't that actually make one predictable, as well as prone to falling into unproductive rhythms? The question is how critically the oscillations track the central tendency. The degree of departure from the normal (angular or stastistical, take your pick) varies but the degree of departure is more about subtlety than ineffectiveness -- effectiveness is governed by the consistency of the positive and negative excursions from the mean. And yes, the larger they are the more predictable and vulnerable to counter.

Did I mention that the flight controls of a helicopter have a 90 degree phase lag?

rob_liberti
07-14-2008, 09:59 PM
Hmm. I think I feel lifted when I push on Dan because I am lifted. I can tell you for sure that my shoulder starts phyically lifting up. However, I assume I am lifted because I am somehow feeling lifted. So it's a bit confusing! I can say that someone pushing on you whose shoulder start rising loses power. I would say that would be a skill for me, and loss of power for them, and that would result in a power differential. I'm not sure I could do that to a horse - probably because they don't push the way people typically do. :)

As far a rocketing up from kokyuho - I think the whole "aiki age" thing happens where my wrists get glued tothe back of his hands, my shoulders go up, and my neck kind of whip snaps.

As far as the no inch punch, my shoulders don't go up (other than my whole body being hit so hard I lift off the ground), but the cross line power around the straight spine structure and the harmonized internal intentions is the same. I'm sure the power additives like breath management are the same.

Anyway, I think anytime you can make the effect where the power being used to manipulate you gets automatically neutralized on you and lessoned/diminshed your power differential increases. Add the ability to take away more and more options from the attacker by de-structuring them and applying locks, throws, pins, whatever and you increase your ability to controll violence without harm.

Rob

clwk
07-14-2008, 11:40 PM
Yes ... and no. Everything starts with simple (over)correction -- that's just not where it ends. I don't hear these guys saying anything different on that score.
But now it sounds like you're describing a visualization or a heuristic that's used to jump-start an intuition. I don't have a problem with that, but I always thought your complaint with 'these guys' was along exactly those lines.

Did I mention that the flight controls of a helicopter have a 90 degree phase lag?No. Did I mention that I suspect helicopters and live opponents may be such different kinds of systems that *specific* coordinated intuitions might not directly apply? I suspect that you might have found a way to build an isomorphism between your already-wired helicopter-flying and *a way* to make a class of techniques work. I'm not sure building a complete theory around that method is as *general* as you want it to be, that's all.

By the way, I don't really understand what your sentence means. I can intuit a meaning, but since I have never flown a helicopter, it might be completely wrong.

Regards,
Chhi'mèd

clwk
07-15-2008, 12:34 AM
Hmm. I think I feel lifted when I push on Dan because I am lifted. I can tell you for sure that my shoulder starts phyically lifting up. However, I assume I am lifted because I am somehow feeling lifted. So it's a bit confusing.I guess what I'm wondering is why Dan hasn't explained it to you. This isn't really a value judgment. There are a number of reasons why how-to information might be held back, and it's not my place to speculate on what pedagogical function might be served by leaving it unknown. I just note that it doesn't *seem* to have been explained. I'm not trying to be coy -- just wondering what your thoughts might be. Do you not consider it important to know, or is it one of those 'practice it 10,000 times and you will understand' things?

I can say that someone pushing on you whose shoulder start rising loses power. I would say that would be a skill for me, and loss of power for them, and that would result in a power differential.
Do you think their shoulder would rise if they knew how to push correctly and weren't helping you practice that particular trick? What would it mean if the answer is no? Does Dan's shoulder rise when he pushes you? If not, has he explained to you what he does to prevent it from doing so?

I'm not sure I could do that to a horse - probably because they don't push the way people typically do. :)

With horses, you're generally looking more at lateral (horizontal) bending than vertical -- at least at the point that any aspect of 'conflict' is involved. They are ridiculously strong in the front-to-back up-and-down plane, so any concept whatsoever of overpowering is going to fail. That having been said, the *right* push on the nose (which might be a *pull* on a rope or a reign -- but what's the difference) can cause him to push the back of his head/neck up and create a bend. If everything is done just right, you can 'feel' that bend back through his body and he will step back to relieve the pressure. It's subtler than just moving away from the pressure, but I don't want to go into that. In any case, that has to sneak in under his radar so he doesn't really understand where the force is coming from (that bends his neck). Otherwise he will just overpower you, easily. This all works similarly in the horizontal plane, but there is more opportunity for brute force (sadly occasionally necessary). Because you do not have gravity to contend with, far less force is required to get some movement -- which means that what can be done subtly can be enough to instigate change in his body (bending). Exactly the confusion you described about whether the movement is coming from the feeling or from the external input can slightly disorient him into believing it was his own idea. Of course this is only one channel of communication, and you can always cause him to do what you want by triggering various reactions -- but it is quite valuable to work on getting him to be as responsive to intelligent touch as possible. The end result of repeating this is that he starts to cooperate with you, which is good -- because your idea becomes his idea. I have seen the same thing happen in paired human training situations, which can be both good and bad -- depending on the training goals. It is much easier for me to control a horse once he has been trained in this way. He is probably better off too, so it's hopefully mutual. But it is one reason I like working with horses before they have a lot of conditioning also. It can be frustrating, but it's 'honest'. Realistically, all of this stuff requires a certain degree of relaxed cooperation from the horse. When he is completely untrained, you get mostly spastic reactions to stimulus -- which are good if you are trying to get a big reaction out of him, but not so good if you are trying to calm him down and get him to do what you need him to.

As far a rocketing up from kokyuho - I think the whole "aiki age" thing happens where my wrists get glued tothe back of his hands, my shoulders go up, and my neck kind of whip snaps.So do you fly up to your feet as a result of getting hit (like a heavy bag would), or do you participate in that process as a reaction to it? I do have a point, and I will address it. I would just rather have a clear sense of what is being described so we don't talk past each other. You probably have a sense of my point anyway, but we could still talk this through.

As far as the no inch punch, my shoulders don't go up (other than my whole body being hit so hard I lift off the ground), but the cross line power around the straight spine structure and the harmonized internal intentions is the same. I'm sure the power additives like breath management are the same.
Well, it sounds like a really hard hit. I certainly like the idea of hitting very hard. What is the starting position, if I may ask? I'm not really visualizing it very well -- apart from the look on your face.

Anyway, I think anytime you can make the effect where the power being used to manipulate you gets automatically neutralized on you and lessoned/diminshed your power differential increases. Add the ability to take away more and more options from the attacker by de-structuring them and applying locks, throws, pins, whatever and you increase your ability to controll violence without harm.

This part I agree with, for once. I also still think it doesn't quite address what I have in mind -- even though it's obviously a step in that direction. This isn't a value judgment, by the way -- or sour grapes because of not having raw power. I already said I like power (like, not *have*). But since you asked, I don't mind trying to explain (without necessarily over-explaining) what I think is necessarily involved in achieving the greatest degree of 'controlling violence without harm'. Remember, I don't think that degree is anywhere near total -- just that it can be approached as one side of the coin. I personally think that having a clear separation allows *more* 'gentleness', which squeezes a little more of that potential out -- because it isn't expected to do everything for you, and it isn't seen to have failed when it cannot succeed. Gentleness is a touchy-feely word, but I mean it more in a tactile-motile way. Generally, when I get frustrated with a young horse, I'm frustrated with *him*. That *frustration itself* is my contribution to the problem -- and if I express it physically, there is no way I can succeed. I don't know if that makes sense to you or not -- in terms of the physical method you are pursuing.

Regards,
Chhi'mèd

rob_liberti
07-15-2008, 06:54 AM
MY opinion of aikido has always been that you rarely can know something in aikido intellectually first.

You have to become it, and then you can think about and understand it. Dan is giving the clearest explanations I've encountered on the topic. I think Mike Sigman did quite a bit of research into what's going on physically (and otherwise, but I'm talking physically now) - and while I think that is very interesting and all, putting my time into that is just taking away from developing my ability to DO these things myself at present.

The topic of someone who is ALSO trained in the same skills keeps coming up - so I'm confused where we are missing each other. Of course Dan can push with structure and blow through me no matter how awesome my structure gets. But that doesn't help me learn better structure - that helps me learn soft power for blowing through good structure - which is like saying level 2 when I want to focus on level 1.

As far as what I do with my body when I am recieving it depends... Sometimes I'm really thinking about can I hit Dan and get away with it. Yes, I tend to always think that way - the little kid in me I guess. :) Sometimes, I test things by going with it a bit more than one "might" expect and then trying to do what I think my screw up what I think may "really" being happening as opposed to what I'm being told is happening. Sometimes, I just recieve it like I would in normal aikido class to let my own tanden be as purely on the receiving end as possible to "get that feeling" burned in so to speak. Sometimes, - frequently - I resist with everything I have - which is generally not tightness if I can help it. What I do when I get rocketed up is some combination of all of that. I'll have to experiement with it a bit more next time I see Dan if you want more detail in what's going on in my body honestly.

As far as the no-inch punch, I was on Dan passed his gaurd (no I couldn't do that without him letting me get there - but someday... :) )He was lying on his back, and I was lying front to front with him getting in choking position while trying to mess up what he was showing me about his leg positon. His hand was probably touching my shirt but not pressing into my body before I was blown off of him.

Rob

Thomas Campbell
07-15-2008, 09:28 AM
[snip]
As far as the no-inch punch, I was on Dan passed his gaurd (no I couldn't do that without him letting me get there - but someday... :) )He was lying on his back, and I was lying front to front with him getting in choking position while trying to mess up what he was showing me about his leg positon. His hand was probably touching my shirt but not pressing into my body before I was blown off of him.

Rob

At the risk of failing to meet minimum verbosity standards for posting on this thread . . . let me interject that what Rob describes Dan doing is a particularly impressive display of power delivered from a horizontal position, which requires substantial coordination and skill to deliver, and does not make use of the same sequence of power generation and transmission as the more common standing demonstrations of "no-inch punch" do.

It's not just the overt power that Dan--and Mike--seem able to display, but the skill and control to be able to deliver that power at will when, where, and with what intensity they want that is the basis for them being able to have some control over the degree of harm inflicted on the opponent. Obviously a fight is a fluid, chaotic set of circumstances, but the more power, and skill and control over that power, that one brings to a combative situation, the greater the range of responses possible to a physical attack.

One other skill that Dan has remarked about before is the "ghostlike" neutralization of an opponent's grab or hold, which can be used to neutralize and off-balance the opponent before engaging in a counter-attack. This kind of neutralization allows less force/energy to be used in counter-attacking--it's easier to slip a lock onto the opponent. The taijiquan saying about "using 4 ounces to overcome 1000 pounds of force" refers to this kind of neutralization skill (listening, adhering, neutralizing, then locking or issuing, all within a moment).

Knowing that you can neutralize as well as "blow through" an opponent would seem to add substance to feeling like one can extend "loving protection" to all surly sentient beings aiming to take your head off. :)

clwk
07-15-2008, 11:29 AM
MY opinion of aikido has always been that you rarely can know something in aikido intellectually first.
Just a pedantic reminder that we aren't discussing aikido here -- but rather the nebulous region between controlling violence without harm and failing to do so.

I don't doubt either the quality and sincerity of your training, or the quality of the instruction you get from Dan. Nor is it important to me whether you want to think through the physical mechanics carefully. My concern, such as it is, is that if you treat what you are learning as a great and mysterious secret to be doled out to those you choose, then you might recreate a situation you yourself have lamented. But you might not notice that it's a problem if you are in the favored position. I know these remarks might not sit well, so I am asking you to hear them as being meant constructively. I would not have made them if you had not made specific comments about secrecy and withholding information or having 'misunderstandings' with those you find 'tedious and pretentious.' I'm willing to look past those comments if you can convince me they don't represent something that could really be problematic. Maybe it was something you said in the heat of the moment and didn't really mean, for example.

The good thing about a relatively open conversation is that it tends to diminish *accidental* security through obscurity. That should be a good thing for everyone, although it still leaves the intentional security which has to be dealt with on its own terms.

The topic of someone who is ALSO trained in the same skills keeps coming up - so I'm confused where we are missing each other. Of course Dan can push with structure and blow through me no matter how awesome my structure gets. But that doesn't help me learn better structure - that helps me learn soft power for blowing through good structure - which is like saying level 2 when I want to focus on level 1.

That's fine, Rob. But you have now described a pedagogical approach which is not necessarily the only one. I appreciate your laying it out there. You asked me about 'something more' than raw power differential. The approach you just described would seem to acknowledge it. You use the word 'structure'. No matter how good your structure gets, you will always be dominated by someone with 'better structure' and dominate those with 'worse structure', *as long as you operate within that power-differential paradigm*. If that last qualification were not relevant, then you could just let 'structure' stand in for ability, skill, accomplishment or whatever.

Implicit in your description is the idea that 'soft power' can be used to 'blow through good structure', and that this is different from just having 'better structure'. I don't have a problem with that general view. I was trying to call attention to the importance of this -- not to diminish the value of 'good structure', but to point out that this 'something more' will *always* be important if you want to avoid a dynamic based purely on a power differential where the greater power always 'wins'. That's why it keeps coming up. Being the 'strongest' or having the 'best structure' is simply not an option for many people. (Only a few can even hope to imagine they have that, given its relative nature anyway.) But it's within everyone's reach to be able to handle whatever strength they happen to actually encounter in their real lives with some semblance of grace, skill, and relative non-aggression (or to use harsher methods when necessary). So I don't think the implicit assumption that 'something more' needs to be the inscrutable graduate course is necessarily universal. That's all I was saying. Obviously, a certain base is required. If you're still building that then I say great. But you are also putting yourself out there as representing a 'new (or revived), different, (quite possibly) better' approach. If you are saying, "This approach contains N steps, and I haven't even accomplished step 1." -- then that doesn't really qualify you to say how valuable the whole approach is relative to alternate approaches. I'm not judging your approach *or* putting forth an alternative, but I am pointing out that your fervor for a specific sequence and methodology doesn't seem to account for the larger picture as well as it could. You *seem* to have had the experience in which 'technique' is used in exactly the way you are now using 'structure' -- as a magic bullet that, when perfected will give access to the 'really interesting stuff'. But unless and until you actually consider the 'interesting stuff', it seems premature to taut that bullet, even if it's true. You talk about a 'fast track', so why not approach the fast lane as directly as possible? That's just a rhetorical question for consideration.

I'm not actually suggesting you revise your training with Dan. You happen to have access to regular training that many do not. To tie this into the thread topic again, I still think the 'power differential' approach (not the importance of power and 'structure', but the simplistic paradigm you call step 1) is particularly unsuited to 'controlling violence without harm', and I find it interesting that some version of that approach tends to *strengthen* the belief that 'controlling violence without harm' is a realistically achievable goal. My suspicion is that this is because within a fixed training paradigm, one *can* accomplish this with those who are 'lower' on the ladder than oneself, so it seems to make sense that by gaining more and more power one could actually succeed. When I point out that Dan does not subscribe to this belief, it is not to impugn his morality or call him a hypocrite -- or anything remotely like that. It is to point out that he is not operating within the same paradigm that you are, and that this needs to be factored into the equation when you cite his methods as contributing to your goals.

I'll have to experiement with it a bit more next time I see Dan if you want more detail in what's going on in my body honestly.
Sure, it would be interesting to me. But please clear it with Dan before you post detailed descriptions that might be off-limits to a public forum. I really don't want that issue to cloud discussion.

He was lying on his back, and I was lying front to front with him getting in choking position while trying to mess up what he was showing me about his leg positon. His hand was probably touching my shirt but not pressing into my body before I was blown off of him.

What *was* the leg position? I'm honestly interested in understanding and analyzing what you're describing. I don't doubt that it's a useful application. I'm not trying to steal Dan's secrets though, just trying to learn from whatever is offered freely in discussion.

Regards,
Chhi'mèd

clwk
07-15-2008, 12:06 PM
At the risk of failing to meet minimum verbosity standards for posting on this thread . . .
You did okay. Just add a few more comments about the nature of the discussion, and you'll get there.

Let me interject that what Rob describes Dan doing is a particularly impressive display of power delivered from a horizontal position, which requires substantial coordination and skill to deliver, and does not make use of the same sequence of power generation and transmission as the more common standing demonstrations of "no-inch punch" do.
Noted. In case I have been unclear, this sounds like a great technique and one that depends on having a lot of 'unusual power'. I don't discount its value at all. But I don't see this aspect of power generation as being the critical component for realizing whatever measure of 'controlling violence without harm' is possible. This really matters because some people might be interested in pursuing the latter goal and not care that much about optimizing their high end for fighting. So it's somewhat useful to decouple the training goals. That's why I'm protracting the discussion.

It's not just the overt power that Dan--and Mike--seem able to display, but the skill and control to be able to deliver that power at will when, where, and with what intensity they want that is the basis for them being able to have some control over the degree of harm inflicted on the opponent.
I would not argue that point.

Obviously a fight is a fluid, chaotic set of circumstances, but the more power, and skill and control over that power, that one brings to a combative situation, the greater the range of responses possible to a physical attack.
True, but again this is the 'martial skill and dominance' argument based on 'power differential'. It's not wrong or bad, but it's not the one really interesting point at the center of the discussion.

One other skill that Dan has remarked about before is the "ghostlike" neutralization of an opponent's grab or hold, which can be used to neutralize and off-balance the opponent before engaging in a counter-attack.
It sounded good up to 'counter-attack'. I don't debate the use in fighting. But if the idea is not-fighting, then something else needs to replace counter-attack, right?

Knowing that you can neutralize as well as "blow through" an opponent would seem to add substance to feeling like one can extend "loving protection" to all surly sentient beings aiming to take your head off. :)Sure, of course. My argument is that there isn't a great deal of point in building up that feeling (of being able to do that) -- since you often can't. What *is* valuable is building up the ability to the extent you can. What I'm trying to nudge into the conversation is the idea that besides 'neutralizing' or 'blowing through' as part of a martial strategy that might involve mercy -- there is also a specific skillset related to allowing the interaction to unfold itself, and that this approach theoretically leads to the best results in *either* dissipating (word change) violence without harm, or catalyzing it to harm itself out of existence. I'm not trying to imply something purely ethereal, either. That is why I have included the physical examples, even though they are oblique.

Regards,
Chhi'mèd

clwk
07-15-2008, 12:28 PM
His hand was probably touching my shirt but not pressing into my body before I was blown off of him.
Rob, one more question about 'probably touching my shirt'. I assume this means you didn't feel pressure from his hand. How far (whatever units you want, inches, centimeters, millimeters) would you say his hand was from your body before he started the hit. You said 'zero-inch', but I'm just wondering if you can be more specific. I guess I don't know how tight your shirt is.

Thanks,
Chhi'mèd

Thomas Campbell
07-15-2008, 01:02 PM
[snip]there is also a specific skillset related to allowing the interaction to unfold itself, and that this approach theoretically leads to the best results in *either* dissipating (word change) violence without harm, or catalyzing it to harm itself out of existence. I'm not trying to imply something purely ethereal, either. That is why I have included the physical examples, even though they are oblique.

Regards,
Chhi'mèd

I don't think the physical examples are oblique. Awareness is key to survival in any situation involving physical conflict. Knowing one's physical capacities is essential to being able to make intelligent choices gracefully under pressure of imminent attack. The play here on Hemingway's definition of courage is deliberate--fear (of physical threat) can often paralyze the mind or cause a violent reflexive response substantially disproportionate to the threat presented. A well-trained body/mind--because the type of internal training being discussed surely trains the practitioner's mind as well--will be freer to act through a wider range of responses than without such training.

There are of course non-combative alternatives to defuse a threatening situation which should be among the first responses--with appropriate timing, well-chosen words, body posture, distancing, breathing to maintain relaxed body language and tone of voice--all can enter into the situation to help reduce tension between the participants. Perhaps this would be analogous to calming a horse. ;)

Allowing the interaction to unfold itself--every interaction has its own mini-Dao. But the Dao of an interaction where the person being pressed by another has the internal body/mind skills Dan and Rob have been alluding to will have a different Dao than one where the person being pressed lacks those skills and what's more lacks the experience of applying such skills in physical conflict (with practice partners in "live" training).

I'll step back now and let the discussion/interaction between Chhi'med, Rob and Dan continue to unfold itself. Thanks for your earlier comments, Chhi'med.

DH
07-15-2008, 01:36 PM
I'm not trying to imply something purely ethereal, either. That is why I have included the physical examples, even though they are oblique.

Regards,
Chhi'mèd
How about stepping-up and being direct. No one needs oblique. If you can't make a direct point why would anyone want to continue a one sided discussion of cat and mouse with you. You've offered nothing relevant, and have reduced your argument to being a gadfly naysaying and countering every point offered to the realm of carrying the ridicuous- to the sublime. there were and are some excellent comparative examples of power and power in use, or power differential, and WHY what we consider power to be is in fact the very things that matters in any use of skill to control without harm. It isn't "power" as in lifting weights, its a whole different level of meaning in connection and control, and use of skill-all interrelated.

Rob, one more question about 'probably touching my shirt'. I assume this means you didn't feel pressure from his hand. How far (whatever units you want, inches, centimeters, millimeters) would you say his hand was from your body before he started the hit. You said 'zero-inch', but I'm just wondering if you can be more specific. I guess I don't know how tight your shirt is.

Thanks,
Chhi'mèd
I'm done here. This isn't a meaningful discussion on your part-its drivel.
What a waste of time.
See ya.

clwk
07-15-2008, 01:40 PM
There are of course non-combative alternatives to defuse a threatening situation which should be among the first responses--with appropriate timing, well-chosen words, body posture, distancing, breathing to maintain relaxed body language and tone of voice--all can enter into the situation to help reduce tension between the participants. Perhaps this would be analogous to calming a horse. ;)
Maybe. I just want to be clear that the part I wanted to focus on was the *physical* component in which actual physical touch, force, kinetic energy, etc. is the currency of communication -- and in which a range of conflict is somewhat inherent.

Allowing the interaction to unfold itself--every interaction has its own mini-Dao. But the Dao of an interaction where the person being pressed by another has the internal body/mind skills Dan and Rob have been alluding to will have a different Dao than one where the person being pressed lacks those skills and what's more lacks the experience of applying such skills in physical conflict (with practice partners in "live" training).
I agree completely, with the caveat that I don't actually know exactly what Dan and Rob do. If anything, my suggestion has been in the direction of assuming the person doing the pressing is also at least somewhat skilled. So I don't think I'm erring on the side of assuming too little experience on the part of the participants. I'm urging maximum experience for all participants, to all of their benefit.

I'll step back now and let the discussion/interaction between Chhi'med, Rob and Dan continue to unfold itself.I doubt you can get off that easily, Thomas.

Regards,
Chhi'mèd

ps: Regarding fear and aggression: This may be too far outside the scope of common vocabulary, but -- since I alluded to 'the elements' earlier -- I should say something. Those uninterested in Buddhist praxis or philosophy can safely (and probably should) disregard this postscript. From the perspective of Dzogchen, the water element is the source of 'clarity'. The form quality of the water element is *permanence*, but when clarity is not recognized, and the empty quality of that permanence is misapprehended, the result is fear. When emptiness is perceived as impermanence, this *can* be experienced as a threat. The coping strategy associated with fear is anger -- which leads to aggression and also manifests as adverse physical tension felt in the body. Once this tension has manifested, it is too late to 'take it back' (although it can be relinquished). There is fortunately an opportunity to recognize fear before it is concretized as physical aggression. That is something one can do for oneself, but not for someone else -- hence a certain choicelessness within the ability to make one's own choices. I personally believe this has a great deal to do with the topic of aggression, violence, how they may or may not be controlled -- and what the effect may be, in both indirectly *and* directly physical encounters.

clwk
07-15-2008, 02:09 PM
If you can't make a direct point why would anyone want to continue a one sided discussion of cat and mouse with you. You've offered nothing relevant, and have reduced your argument to being a gadfly naysaying and countering every point offered to the realm of carrying the ridicuous- to the sublime.

No problem, Dan. If you do not see the relevance of what I have said then that speaks directly to what you consider relevant. I have no problem whatsoever with the idea that my concerns may be irrelevant to you.

I'm done here. This isn't a meaningful discussion-its drivel.

You can be as insulting as you like. However:

1) If I lean over someone horizontally, the kind of shirts I usually wear will hang down away from my chest. A very tight shirt might actually bind to the body. There is a very great difference between a strike which is 'zero-inch' in the sense that one is already pressing against the target, and one which has room to accelerate before reaching its target. I am sure you know that, so I do not know why you consider the question to be meaningless drivel.

2)If, by 'meaningless drivel', you mean you do not like that I inject some very poor quality humor into my posts, then fine. When tensions are running slightly high, I would prefer to take a lighter tone (even while acknowledging the underlying confrontation). The opposite strategy of overt insults is counter-productive because it leaves little room for both parties to simply move on.

3) You are the one who does not want to talk about physical details. You have repeatedly avoided questions, and that is fine. You also ordered me ('Do it now.') to provide some of my own thoughts on the topic. If you do not like my thoughts and do not want to engage in a rational discussion of their relevance to the topic, then by all means, stop posting here.

4) I have not asked you to remain in the discussion if you did not want to participate. Others, whom you endorse, have used your name as example repeatedly -- despite my request that they not do so, in order to avoid upsetting you. You have repeatedly threatened to leave the discussion if your criteria were not met. That would be fine with me, but I have tried to meet your criteria anyway. I do not know how many times you plan to pop in to steer the discussion only to leave again in a huff. I only know that -- apart from one much-appreciated and detailed post regarding your views of the topic -- your posts seem to large center around your promised or threatened imminent departure. If you do not want to address the questions I have posed, and you do not want to add anything else to the discussion, then please just leave it at that.

5) Finally, since this might be our last exchange in this thread, let me repeat that based on what I know, I think your approach sounds valuable. Based on all personal reports, I have no doubt you are a great person. Based on my own long-standing observation and reading of your posts, I deeply and sincerely believe that should we ever meet I would get a great deal out of training with you, and that I would like you personally. You sound like my kind of guy. Hopefully you can hear that and not take it as a veiled insult -- or as offensive on the basis of what my favor might imply, damning by faint praise, or any of the other possible misunderstandings.

That having been said, you have been so surly in these exchanges that I can understand why those who have not yet met you find it difficult to muster much affection for the positions you advance. I hope that one of these days we will meet, and that on that day you will remember that -- all else aside -- this was my stated and actual position.

Regards,
Chhi'mèd

clwk
07-16-2008, 12:43 PM
It seems this conversation -- such as it was -- has played out. It has not left me with a good feeling, but sometimes that happens. Because I doubt what remains can be reassembled into a viable dialog, I am writing one last reply. This reply is to provide closure for the discussion -- in terms of my personal involvement in it. For that reason it may or may not be of interest to anyone else -- much as the entire content of this thread. I hope those who will only be annoyed by a personal statement will not read it. In any event, I very much hope that it will be my last post on AikiWeb -- which may come as a relief to many.

As I mentioned before, I no longer practice Aikido. I began reading AikiWeb at a time when I did still. Like many, I was sincerely interested in pursuing Aikido's goals and technical methods -- so I was happy for anything I could glean from the web. It was through reading AikiWeb that I first encountered Mike Sigman. I was initially doubtful of his descriptions -- because I assumed that what he described *must* be what I already knew from my practice of Aikido. Mike was extremely patient in slowly convincing me that there was simply *more* to the physical skills than I had previously encountered. It was not until after I met Mike that I felt that I had the tools to make Aikido work as it was meant to do. The training methods and ideas he showed me fit in with the practice in way that seemed entirely obvious, and the manner in which he presented them was entirely non-sectarian -- as simple information.

Integrating that information with my own Aikido practice proved difficult. Others have written about the difficulties they have experienced as well. My reasons for leaving Aikido are complex and personal, and I do not want to leave the impression that there was a direct causal relationship. However, I stayed long enough to know that many people with experiences like mine will find it difficult to integrate these skills into their existing practices -- if they are not already there. That is a difficult thing to accept: that there may be something missing from one's own practice. It may well be that for many there is *not* something missing, but for those who feel there may be, I can relate because it is something I went through.

From what I have read here and discussed with others -- it seems that Aikido may be facing a small crisis. Or, more accurately, an increasing number of Aikido practitioners may be facing small crises like the one I faced. That could be both a good thing and a bad thing. It was good for me. Under different circumstances, it might have been easier or harder. I have thought a lot about this because I would prefer that my experience be somehow helpful. I think a lot by nature, and -- in terms of the topic of the parent thread -- I am one of a still relatively small number who have tried to make the particular transition in question.

My crisis was resolved obliquely, and that is why I speak obliquely. I am almost irrelevant to this discussion because I no longer practice Aikido. I have enough familiarity with Mike's explanatory methods (at a basic level -- I do not represent him or imagine I know the scope of his methods) to present some perspective on that basis. The most important thing Mike gave me was the ability to observe and analyze physical movement in *fundamentally Western terms* which are nevertheless pragmatically consistent with the core body skills. I do not think those who have not met Mike or been exposed to the breadth and depth of discussion he stimulates can really appreciate what a powerful statement this is. The extraordinary benefit of this approach is that it makes possible open and meaningful dialog. It is not that this conceptual strategy in any way replaces physical training. On the contrary, the more carefully one understands the physical basis and mechanisms of the 'ki/kokyu' skills, the more specifically one can focus training efforts -- and maximize value of the training one does perform.

The reason I have tried so hard to drag this thread into specific description is that I wanted to believe it was possible. I do not doubt it is possible *in general*: these discussions are already taking place. It has been of the greatest value *for me* to think through complex skills and training methods in the greatest detail possible -- and to do so in a respectful and focused environment. This has led me to wider associations and helped me to feel part of a community of people all working toward furthering their own personal understanding of the fundamental aspects of so-called 'internal strength'. Whenever possible I meet with those I have engaged in conversation -- in order to put a physical referent to their descriptions.

Having once been a practitioner who would have appreciated such a discussion, I hoped one could be had here. When Jun first created the Non-Aikido Martial Traditions sub-forum, I felt it trivialized the topics which were often placed here. That was because I was an Aikidoka at the time, and I felt my pursuits were marginalized. Now that this is no longer the case, I see that Jun's decision was actually quite rational -- and that it creates a space in which someone like me can feel adequately on-topic to venture *something*. I entered the discussion in the General forum because my history put me squarely within the group whose feedback was solicited. I was happy enough when the thread was split and moved here because I felt that would make possible a discussion of the issues I thought were important.

When I first quoted John Lenin in response to Dan's post, I certainly had no intention of picking a fight. I have read Dan for many years, but never managed to have a conversation with him. Had his doors been open a number of years back I might have driven to see him rather than to Colorado. I do not know. I also planned and organized what was meant to have been Minoru Akuzawa's first US seminar -- but it fell through for logistical reasons. I mention this to point out that I was galvanized by the discussions which made clear there was *something* worth exploring. Something which was enough different from what I had experienced in a dojo setting to make it worth driving sixteen hours both ways to check out.

From the perspective of *having been that person*, I wholeheartedly encourage anyone in a similar position to do just that: make the effort to get a physical reference and to receive instruction. You will know at that point whether what you have discovered is important to you. But having been through that process and *no longer being that person*, I would caution that your Aikido may not survive the process. Even in the best case, how you relate to and perform your practice will have to change -- if you are within the group whose practice is not yet infused with these skills. What I mean is more than that though, and that should be obvious. You may find that your own goals and interests shift and change as you are exposed to something new. A codified art provides great security, and as you explore outside the confines of that security, you may find your horizons shifting. This is all well and good from a personal perspective, but it is worth thinking about.

What would it mean to have the framework by which you organize your martial practice be reorganized? Are you willing to let that happen if it needs to, for you? And if it does have to happen, to what extent will *how* it happens influence the direction you follow. People have *many* reasons for pursuing the disciplines they do, and if that balance is upset the results can be tumultuous. To a certain extent, what we are talking about here is an investigation that could radically alter the course of peoples' training. It could be just what people need to put all the pieces together -- or it could destroy their formal martial practice and their relationship to their training situations. It could tear dojos and organizations apart if not approached with great care, circumspection, sensitivity, and intelligence. This is the case if for no other reason than that the proposition seems to demand that 'outside' knowledge be 'imported'. Even though the holders of this 'outside' knowledge are adamant that what they know is already 'inside' the art, it is a delicate matter. These are simply observations.

I do not want to delve into my personal practice here -- other than to tie up the loose ends I have created along the way. My pursuit of Aikido was always closely tied up with my study of Buddhism. There were obviously significant relationships, both philosophically and psychophysically, between the practices -- but until I met Mike, I did not quite have the tools to see the connections directly -- even though they were latent in the practices. Once I had those tools, my approach to martial arts changed -- because it became more closely integrated with my Buddhist practice. Further avenues I had never imagined began to open up for me, and I continue to explore those with enthusiasm. I mention all this only to reiterate that it is probably fallacious to imagine one can simply 'add in' a few skills and continue as usual. Buzzwords can be integrated easily enough, and this will probably happen, but those who really delve into this topic may find that it delivers on the promises they have made to themselves -- in terms of why they pursued an art like Aikido in the first place. As exciting as that prospect may be, it may also mean more change than can be easily imagined at the outset -- as with any startling and revolutionary personal discovery.

As far as the physical and technical discussion I tried to catalyze here, I will say a bit more. This is probably more than needs to be said, but with it unsaid the discussion here feels incomplete. I have met and felt both Mike Sigman and Chen Xiao Wang. I use them and not others as examples only because I *have* actually felt them -- and their names will be recognized here. To varying degrees, they have a level of power which is -- simply put -- shocking and unsettling. It is a power that can be felt in the body and which has nothing whatsoever to do with technique -- although it can be expressed through technique. If a person developed this kind of power exclusively, the whole question of technique would become increasingly moot. How many ways do you need to twist a wrist if you can break ribs from contact and are essentially impervious to attempted manipulation?

That having been said, there are many ways to develop this 'style' of power and the attendant ability to manipulate it to unusual ends. There are likewise many ways to deploy whatever has been developed. It is not one single interchangeable lump of 'stuff' -- even though proponents here have often seemed to present that view. This view is natural given that many skeptics seem to question the validity of 'this stuff' (as it is often termed). From *that* perspective yes, it is all more the same than it is different. But there is a great deal of variation possible, and how one approaches that variation is going to significantly color the outcome. Without a careful and informed game plan, one is likely to lose 'Aikido' in the process of trying to perfect it. I say this from personal experience. Remember, I do not practice Aikido anymore.

It could be argued that any practice which *can* be overturned therefore *deserves* to be overturned. I would not make that argument though. I do not argue with people about religion (if it can at all be avoided), even though I must feel that my religion is 'best' -- at least for me. It is easy to introduce complexities which threaten the foundation of a system -- and doing that without great regard for what is being threatened can be irresponsible. Without the fundamental physical skills under discussion, I do not feel that the philosophical issues *can* be resolved adequately. Instead of an adequate resolution, a consensus logic seems to have developed -- but I personally find this consensus logic inadequate. The consensus logic I mean is one that puts forth a 'rhetoric of harmlessness' -- as described in an earlier post. This rhetoric is then shored up by ideas of martial dominance and power differential (in a normal sense) as the activating factor which makes 'harmlessness' possible. Even though there is some truth in this, I know that is not the essence of what I had hoped to achieve when I practiced Aikido. I now believe that with the development of this 'other' kind of power, a different *kind* of 'control without harm' is possible in some circumstances.

I tried to address this distinction in many ways and from many angles, but it seems I failed -- and the conversation centered mainly around personalities and specifics. I had hoped that those putting forth a view *very close* to my own would be willing and able to join me in trying to articulate precisely what makes this view interesting. Instead, my attempts seem to have been interpreted as personal attacks or frivolity. This was not my intention. I *do* think this area can be understood and discussed, and I think that understanding will be critical for anyone hoping to manage a personal transition. Like any complex area, this needs to be navigated carefully -- so the more 'map' one can acquire the better off he will be. My specific point was that the functional component which allows 'control without harm' when it is possible, does not depend on great power. A level of power needs to be developed, and the two are naturally developed together -- but the 'power' approach is only one. Optimizing for structural power early will have consequences in terms of how one develops and trains -- and the particular skills one manifests. The option of optimizing for what Rob referred to as 'soft power' is also available. This option may lead to great power only after a longer period of time -- yet it may lead to greater 'control' sooner. I do not want to debate these points, and I am not offering answers. I wanted to raise the issues because they are not trifling side questions. They represent important and signficant decisions which need to be committed to early on in one's training if progress will be made. Much of my own difficulty related to a lack of clarity regarding these issues; and to the extent I have resolved that difficulty it is through having a coherent framework in which to understand and view those relationships -- and the choices they necessitate.

This was a long post, but a necessary one for me. One valuable piece of advice I have received from my teachers is that *if one reads web forums*, then one needs to participate -- at least occasionally. My habit of paying attention to the Aikido world dates to when I was a part of that world. By continuing to pay attention even as I have drifted away, I have required myself to participate. To see and hear but not respond is to cut off communication. At this point, my participation serves little purpose, so I think it is time for me to move on. I feel a bit like the ex-boyfriend who calls just a little too often. Yes, I have a lasting affection for Aikido, and I feel I can be a 'friend'. But maybe I am still too close to be 'just a friend'. I have said more, and in a more personal manner, in this thread than I have tried to elsewhere -- exactly because the topic is still so close to my heart. If the net result of that attempted intimacy has been a 'drunk ex-boyfriend phone call' then I sincerely apologize. Even in that case though, I hope you can use my example as a cautionary one. If, like I did, you feel the need to expand your knowledge both conceptually and physically, do not forget to include your heart -- because it might be broken along with the rest if you are not careful.

Regards,
Chhi'mèd

ps: I do not plan to post to AikiWeb anymore. Life being as it is, I will probably check this thread for a few more days to see if anything demands response. I know better than to promise to disappear before a conversation dies completely. However, I would ask that anyone actually reading this not protract the discussion further for its own sake. That will only make it harder to go. Once more, I would like to thank Jun for making this resource available to the Aikido community -- of which I was once a member.

rob_liberti
07-16-2008, 01:11 PM
Greeze. I don't have time to read all of this yet so this is not a comprehensive response.

I thought we put all that tedious and pretentious business behind us? What happened? I last posted thinking you and I were on the same page and I was openly sharing with you not worrying about crossing every T and dotting every i.

As far as secrets. Here's the deal. Dan asked me not to show my lame skills until they are better. I assume that he's worked hard at this stuff and doesn't want it to be shown in a watered-down version. Regardless of whether the assumption is true it doesn't matter. I am making plans to have visits with several interested people in the near future. Some are a bit more concrete for sure, but I assume I'll go visit a bunch of the people who have been interesting to talk about this stuff with and show them what I'm talking about from my perspective. Now I'm only doing that out of desire the share and make friends/better friends, etc. I don't charge. I have a day job for money. So if I think someone isn't being friendly then I'll probably not share with them. Think of my ability with this skills as "ice cream". Don't tick me off and then ask me to do something for you. Regardless, I'm not dolling out anything. You can go get this information a lot better from Mike Sigman or Aukuzawa/Rob John if you like. I am not even unique in that I'm willing to share it from an aikidoka perspective because Mark Murray is also available.

So are we fighting again? I'm really hoping not.
I'll read some more of this when I can get through all of it. :)

Rob

rob_liberti
07-16-2008, 01:57 PM
Okay when I am on top of someone my teeshirt is held up from handing down by the other person's body. So then we are into how fluffy my teeshirt is? How about .5 inches or so. Not sure exactly how much that matters. I felt his hand and then not so much. I wasn't paying that much attention to it really. I was busy!

I read further and it appears you broke up with me. It's not you it's me? Oh well. I was trying.

Good luck.

Rob

Thomas Campbell
07-16-2008, 04:42 PM
Thanks for the thoughtful post, Chhi'med. I think a major point you made, about the potential difficulty of integrating these skills into the norm of Aikido practice today, is well worth considering. In fact, the internal skills under discussion in this forum are not common in most martial arts I've trained or experienced--including Chinese martial arts--and the challenges and conundrums of training the skills and integrating the training into whatever martial art is practiced, Aikido or not, will be an issue for the practitioner. That practitioner's art(s) will be changed by the training.

Fred Little takes up that question of the norm of Aikido practice in post #280 on this thread:
http://aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=211344#post211344

Thanks again for the insights and discussion. Best wishes in the pursuit of your training path.

cheers,

Tom