PDA

View Full Version : How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


MM
07-07-2008, 11:29 AM
It's an interesting thing, history. It tells a lot while telling nothing at all.

So, while perusing Aikido Journal, I read Stan's wonderful account of Ueshiba and aikido.

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=34


I think it is due primarily to the fact that very few of O-Sensei's students trained under him for any protracted length of time. With the exception of Yoichiro (Hoken) Inoue, a nephew of Ueshiba, Gozo Shioda, the founder of Yoshinkan Aikido, and Tsutomu Yukawa, O-Sensei's prewar uchideshi studied a maximum of perhaps five to six years. Certainly this was enough time to become proficient in the art, but not enough to master the vast technical repertoire of aiki budo with its many subtleties. Most of these vigorous young men who enrolled as uchideshi were forced to prematurely end their martial arts training to enter military service. Furthermore, only a handful of these early deshi resumed their practice after the war.

That's interesting. Five to six years.

But, wait, there's more:


The same can be said of the postwar period. The initiates of that period include such well-known figures as Sadateru Arikawa, Hiroshi Tada, Seigo Yamaguchi, Shoji Nishio, Nobuyoshi Tamura, Yasuo Kobayashi, and later Yoshimitsu Yamada, Mitsunari Kanai, Kazuo Chiba, Seiichi Sugano, Mitsugi Saotome and various others. Shigenobu Okumura, Koichi Tohei, and Kisaburo Osawa form a somewhat unique group in that they practiced only briefly before the war, but achieved master status after World War II. None of these teachers spent any lengthy period studying directly under O- Sensei.

And then we tie some of it up with:


It means further that O-Sensei Morihei Ueshiba was not seriously involved in the instruction or administration of aikido in the postwar years.

Now, let's take a look at two of the greats in Aikido: Shioda and Tomiki.

Shioda -- according to the wiki (yeah, if it's right), Shioda trained on and off for ten years with Ueshiba.

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

Tomiki -- 1926 started. By 1940, 8th dan. 14 years. And that period of time was on and off training, too.

And what I think is really appropriate is that, by far, most of the greats in Aikido trained under Ueshiba learning ... Daito ryu.

How long? Well, it seems that with the right training methods, the greats only took 10-15 years.

In What Manner? Why, they studied Daito ryu, of course.

It doesn't take genius to realize that there was a definite training method that Takeda passed down to learning aiki. It was, after all, Deguchi who suggested Takeda change the art's name to Daito ryu aikijujutsu. An outsider that understood aiki to be the heart of Takeda's art. Interesting. And Ueshiba later adopted aikido as a name for his art. Commonalities?

And it doesn't take a genius to see that Ueshiba was still working on the Daito ryu aiki while teaching to pre-war students. (Whether he actually taught it is another matter.)

How, then, does one analyze current aikido training in regards to length of time and ability? If you've studied for 10-15 years, are you nearing the abilities of Tomiki, Shioda, etc? If not, why?

There are training methods that work better than others. And the amount of time put into training methods matters. But, considering that quite a lot of the greats had solo training methods, where are they in current aikido training? For example, it seems that shiko was a method used by many greats in Daito ryu. Where did it go in Aikido? Has anyone ever asked Tomiki, Shioda, etc about their solo training? Using shiko? What exactly were they doing?

Again, how long? Certainly under 20 years to be very good.

In what manner? The very essence of Daito ryu that made it to Aikido but was not passed through to current training methodologies. Forget the "ai-ki" of spiritual joining of harmonious love. Look to the "aiki" that Ueshiba knew from Daito ryu. Ueshiba was Daito ryu to the core. It was on top of that, that he overlayed his spiritual insight and outlook.

Kevin Leavitt
07-07-2008, 12:25 PM
How, then, does one analyze current aikido training in regards to length of time and ability? If you've studied for 10-15 years, are you nearing the abilities of Tomiki, Shioda, etc? If not, why?

What is the criteria for measuring and comparison?

All good questions, but how do you define where you currently are in the process?

Chuck Clark
07-07-2008, 01:02 PM
Don't forget that many of the early students of Ueshiba were already well-trained judoka of yodan - godan level. Tomiki and his brother were already famous as "the Tomiki of Waseda" when Kenji Tomiki first began training with Ueshiba. His brother suffered an illness and had to stop active budo training. Many people tell the story of Tomiki being sent by Kano to train with Ueshiba, but it's not true. He met Ueshiba through Tomita and was impressed with his abilities and then Kano agreed that it would be good to train with Ueshiba. Mochizuki and one other that I can't remember just now were sent by Kano to train with Ueshiba.

Regards,

ChrisMoses
07-07-2008, 01:18 PM
Chuck beat me to it. Just imagine what a godan (particularly from that period) could do with a couple years training with someone like Ueshiba? :)

MM
09-10-2008, 08:00 AM
Ueshiba: 1915-1919 and he started teaching. Was being regarded as strong. He only got better. Never any long time frames of training with Takeda.

Tomiki: 1925-1936 and he started teaching ... in Manchuria.

Shioda: 1932-1937 and then sent to China. Supposedly trained on and off for about ten years.

Tohei: 1940 - Noted as being only 6 months before teaching.

Why did it take them so few years to become good? Tomiki had a background before he met Ueshiba and it did him no good. Ueshiba had a background when he met Takeda and it did him no good. If those backgrounds were so solid that they "helped" them get better, why was it that every one of them (Ueshiba meeting Takeda, Tomiki meeting Ueshiba, well, everyone meeting Takeda and everyone meeting Ueshiba) was tossed like a rag doll and treated as if they were children in the hands of a parent? Their prior training counted for nothing. Their prior training could do nothing to stop or counter anything.

So, Ueshiba, with all his prior "training" gets manhandled. But then goes on in less than ten years to become someone who manhandles. Tomiki with all his prior training gets tossed about effortlessly like a rag doll some 63 different ways but then in very little time starts tossing judoka around. Tohei brags that it only took him 6 months (but not under Ueshiba's teaching).

Why?

DH
09-10-2008, 09:24 AM
Ueshiba: 1915-1919 and he started teaching. Was being regarded as strong. He only got better. Never any long time frames of training with Takeda.

Tomiki: 1925-1936 and he started teaching ... in Manchuria.

Shioda: 1932-1937 and then sent to China. Supposedly trained on and off for about ten years.

Tohei: 1940 - Noted as being only 6 months before teaching.

Why did it take them so few years to become good? Tomiki had a background before he met Ueshiba and it did him no good. Ueshiba had a background when he met Takeda and it did him no good. If those backgrounds were so solid that they "helped" them get better, why was it that every one of them (Ueshiba meeting Takeda, Tomiki meeting Ueshiba, well, everyone meeting Takeda and everyone meeting Ueshiba) was tossed like a rag doll and treated as if they were children in the hands of a parent? Their prior training counted for nothing. Their prior training could do nothing to stop or counter anything.

So, Ueshiba, with all his prior "training" gets manhandled. But then goes on in less than ten years to become someone who manhandles. Tomiki with all his prior training gets tossed about effortlessly like a rag doll some 63 different ways but then in very little time starts tossing judoka around. Tohei brags that it only took him 6 months (but not under Ueshiba's teaching).

Why?
You missed Tenryu, who did all kinds of pushing with Ueshiba. In three months Ueshiba told him he "got it" now no one could throw him. What did he show him that Tenryu could combine with his training?
You missed the Judo guy who was unthrowable in matches
Funny how if you read and dig, the ones who got it, and were seen here and there doing it -all demonstrated tricks to demonstrate it outside of waza.

As to why?
I'd bet because they were taught the body skills to make aiki
Everything else is icing on the cake.
If you recall the Judo guy who gave a large donation was given a "gift" in return. they...brought him to an aikijujutsu guy who showed him what? Waza? No. he demonstrated aiki power through static tricks to let the American see real power, that he was told made certain guys unthrowable. Further, that few men knew of it, and fewer still practiced it.
I think it is obvious that it is rare and it not openly taught. Thousands sweat it out and spend thousands looking for it. For some smart guys -technique 267 variation b. didn't come close to cutting it, they started looking elsewhere.
.
Not to worry though, Sagawa, Kodo, Hisa, Ueshiba, all had many contemporaries training with them who never got it.

MM
09-10-2008, 01:18 PM
From Aikido Journal Issue 109


With the exception of Yoichiro (Hoken) Inoue, Ueshiba's nephew, Gozo Shioda, the founder of Yoshinkan Aikido, and Tsutomu Yukawa, O-Sensei's prewar uchideshi studied a maximum of perhaps five to six years.


and


The same can be said of the postwar period. The initiates of that period include such well-known figures as Sadateru Arikawa, Hiroshi Tada, Seigo Yamaguchi, Shoji Nishio, Nobuyoshi Tamura, Yasuo Kobayashi, and later Yoshimitsu Yamada, Mitsunari Kanai, Kazuo Chiba, Seiichi Sugano, Mitsugi Saotome and various others. Shigenobu Okumura, Koichi Tohei, and Kisaburo Osawa form a somewhat unique group in that they practiced only briefly before the war, but achieved master status after World War II. None of these teachers spent any lengthy period studying directly under O-Sensei.

MM
09-13-2008, 09:21 AM
From Westbrook and Ratti's Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere. The authors quote Tohei in the book.


... the physical techniques can be easily learned within a short time span, like other Martial Arts.

What exactly should we be focusing on, if not techniques?

Erick Mead
09-13-2008, 11:14 AM
From Westbrook and Ratti's Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere. The authors quote Tohei in the book.

... the physical techniques can be easily learned within a short time span, like other Martial Arts.]What exactly should we be focusing on, if not techniques?According to Sagawa, after he deigned to "teach" through Kimura, the concept can be grasped very quickly (seventeen in his case) but the achievement of aiki requires "decades" of tanren. What part of "decades" is difficult to understand? Nothing here rebuts that point.

In the case of those whose training incorporates regular kokyu undo and is mindful and rigorous, only the proper application and conceptual or perceptual change is necessary to bring the two into alignment -- as occurred with Tenryu. I contend it is in the nature of a kinesthetic perceptual shift like that of many optical "illusions."

Tenryu had decades of sumo tanren in his background (and Takeda's initial training was sumo, actually, and Ueshiba began in sumo, too). Ueshiba only gave Tenryu the concept with which to shift his perception and then simply apply his innate training to the new perception.

This, I submit, our good friend Rob L. is experiencing. I believe he misjudges his level of inherent preparation. He therefore mistakes the causes of his perceived arc of present gain. Beginning students with significant body movement training would be similarly pre-disposed to make quick gains when exposed to explicit concepts of this type. That could be even non-martial types of training, (Ueshiba's Hokkaido farming and later Aiki-en 合氣園 for example). I have specifically illustrated the similarities of Ark's tanren methods with heavy load-bearing/shifting skills). I have empasized the difference between learning efficient load movement with minimal musclura inputs versus wieghtlifting to build more powerful muscluature.

You assume that there is a necessary order to body training and the conceptual or perceptual shift that is entailed in developing aiki. The history shows that decades of tanren and a conceptual or perceptual shift are required -- and both are necessary to proper aiki. What the history rebuts is that they must occur in a particular order. So on this evidence, the building of body and learning the concept to apply it to are not required to be done in an invariable order. Even if some "poor" aikido training has departed from proper concepts, the tanren aspect in mainline aikido training may not be nearly as lacking as you assume.

DH
09-13-2008, 04:13 PM
This, I submit, our good friend Rob L. is experiencing. I believe he misjudges his level of inherent preparation. He therefore mistakes the causes of his perceived arc of present gain. Beginning students with significant body movement training would be similarly pre-disposed to make quick gains when exposed to explicit concepts of this type.
That is utter nonesense, and more reason why I continually ask you stop giving bad advice and misinformation to honest hard working people who are out -actually- trying to learn these things, or looking for a training model.
You are not quallified to make these comments.

I have taught hundreds of students, among whom were absolute putzes with no experience whatsoever, and some very talented ones. Currently I have people with no prior training, with decades of training, from MMA, and Judo, to aikido training, and with ICMA training with some serious grandmaster level teachers.
They all seem to pretty much be on the same track.

I think someone would have to
a) know how to do these things that you are only "talking about"
b) have some experience teaching them over a decade or so

I thought it was known that you don't know these skills in the first place and you agreed? Are you now stating you do?How many have you taught-"these concepts" too ?
May we meet- even a single one?
Ask questions stop making statements or giving advice about things you know nothing about.

rob_liberti
09-13-2008, 05:35 PM
I'm finding that people who come in with wrestling backgrounds do the best in terms of catching on to aiki skills.

I have a lot more years in previous training than Tom H (who had zero) - but I would NOT want to go punch for punch with him.

Face it, what we learned was great! But...it was NOT aiki in depth.

The problem is that the bar is set way too low in terms of the scale people outside of the "know" are measuring with.

You see some strong aikido teachers who are WAY FREAKEN STRONGER in terms of body skills than the 3rd and 4th dans attacking them and you think wow that is maybe a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of power. In fact given my opinion, these teachers are probably a 2 where everyone else in class are 1s and 0s.

I have experienced my share of powerful teachers. I've jammed the stink out of some shihans BEFORE I met Dan. I'm telling you, it's an entirely different scale of power.

This scale issue is what is confusing Erick. Decades of training after you are already (almost immediately) far off the scale that he must be using.

Trust me - or if not, go find out for yourself.

Rob

DH
09-13-2008, 06:24 PM
Good graplers are thinkers and very much attuned to their bodies. We are thee most uderated MAers out there.

I don't even know how to rate this stuff. I think you have to view it outside of waza. You know what I think of good grapplers as a measure of everything:D ....so lets not even go there.

From there I think its tough to judge. There are days I get all full of myself and think I'm a 4. Other days I get more real and think I'm a 2. I can't wait to see what ten more years will bring...twenty.
I have no idea what some of these people out there teaching aiki are thinking...wow!

Erick Mead
09-14-2008, 09:09 PM
You are not quallified to make these comments. ... Ask questions stop making statements or giving advice about things you know nothing about. I made an on topic point that the history revelas and you are shouting people down again. Which is entertaining -- in the sense that one is pleased to see that Gilligan goofs it again in every episode -- but it isn't Twelfth Night, is it?

I am not here claiming anyone's qualification -- I claim observation, description and reason. But, if it's questions about qualifications you want -- where's your menkyo ? Who granted it ? :)
I have taught hundreds of students, ... absolute putzes .. .some very talented ones. ... no prior training, with decades ... MMA, ... Judo, ... aikido ICMA [of] grandmaster level teachers.
They all seem to pretty much be on the same track. Marvelous. Doesn't really address the specific point I made.

Pace Rob -- Scale doesn't matter here. I am merely looking and saying what I see in terms of physical systems. Everything is on a spectrum and the principle is the thing. Tenryu and Sagawa are the cases in point.

I pointed out that the order or form of development is historically shown to be variable, and the order in which physical training and accomplishments were obtained is demonstrated to begin with concept and decades of training (e.g. -- Sagawa) or to begin with decades of training and then a realization of concept (Tenryu).

None of that remotely depends on anyone's qualifications, other than the ability to read and reason. SO, I have to take the swipe as rather gratuitous -- which they always are of course. ;)

rob_liberti
09-14-2008, 10:12 PM
I'm not looking to pick on your Erick. I just see two concepts you _seem_ to be hung up on from what I would consider you misreading/misinterpreting Sagawa's words.

I mean to confront without being rude. I'm not sure I can achieve it this time, but please consider I'd had good intentions.

First, MY understanding of Sagawa talking about decades of training - is that once you have a well trained body for budo -which is way beyond what most people in the world have - and which you can develop in about 5 years- you need to put decades of work to take it to level he took it or beyond. That doesn't mean to me that it takes decades of training to get beyond the best of the rest. Tom Holz for instance doesn't have decades of training. He has like 2 years of aiki training There are plenty of other examples, He is just the most obvious one. It's almost hyperbolic.

Second, Sagawa talking about "thinking" would never result in my THINKING THAT the words or advice from someone who does not claim to be able to do it or teach it should be considered to the same degree as the words and advice of someone I know can do it and is teaching it.

For instance,I can see a torsion tube model here and there in my current training. I just cannot see how that is at all helpful in any way shape or form. It's just an aside. Knowing that does help develop the skills in self nor in students.

Rob

DH
09-14-2008, 10:14 PM
I made an on topic point that the history reveals and you are shouting
people down again. (sacasm deleted

Erick Lets review. This was your -on topic point.
This, I submit, our good friend Rob L. is experiencing. I believe he misjudges his level of inherent preparation. He therefore mistakes the causes of his perceived arc of present gain. Beginning students with significant body movement training would be similarly pre-disposed to make quick gains when exposed to explicit concepts of this type.
You are judging Rob’s experiences now in training in a method that
a) you know nothing about
b) have no comparative observations of your own and no understanding of being exposed to explicit concepts of this type
I went on to the next logical step. That was to draw a comparison.
1. you have stated you cannot do these things. you therefore cannot teach these things, therefore you have no knowledge of any comparison of you learning them, your teaching them, and the various learning curves and previous preconditioning effects on others as well as yourself. None, whatsoever.
You just assume everything.

I compared that with my experiences
2. Having taught hundreds and seeing the effect prior conditioning has had between grapplers, aikidoka of various ranks, Daito ryu practitioners, TKD, Karate, MMA, taiji, Bagau, etc

Yours is what____________________________?


I am not here claiming anyone's qualification -- I claim observation, description and reason. But, if it's questions about qualifications you want --
where's your menkyo ? Who granted it ? :)
Yeah you are. In every post highlighting analysis of things you claim to understand but admit being unable to do.
Mine is definitive observations of things I most certainly can do, and teach and the experience it has brought me and those who train here.
The experience has afforded me some interesting chances to compare, contrast, and form conclusions
This ties in with your assertions about Sagawa and Tenryu and other models which are not the same-not even remotely similar. Therefore the historical references you cite, and attempt to compare this newer direct method to such broad ranges of MAers is without precedent. Your references are invalid.

That said, your comment about Menkyo is meaningless in that there is no menkyo I know of who shares this body of knowledge used within a MMA framework and the resultant experience in teaching it (not an art) as a condensed set of skills to then be used in their arts and that being such a variety itself. Some Menkyo's are instead becoming interested in learning and practicing these skills themselves, Erick. How about you?
.
.... Doesn't really address the specific point I made. None of that remotely depends on anyone's qualifications, other than the ability to read and reason. So, I have to take the swipe as rather gratuitous -- which they always are of course. ;)

Well, I think it continues to remain clear to the readers-that my answers to you remain definitive and on point. Your replies continue to be peppered with off topic cheap shots at me, and off topic vagueries that don’t help those searching. It should not go without notice that your comments do not jibe with anyone…any…one… person who trains this way. Your opinions and observations so far are without meaning or relevance and do not connect to their publicly stated, very real and widely diverse experiences.

Erick Mead
09-14-2008, 11:15 PM
I'm not looking to pick on your Erick. ... I mean to confront without being rude. I'm not sure I can achieve it this time, but please consider I'd had good intentions.
Rob -- you are always good. No issue here.

I just see two concepts you _seem_ to be hung up on from what I would consider you misreading/misinterpreting Sagawa's words. ... First, MY understanding of Sagawa talking about decades of training - is that once you have a well trained body for budo -which is way beyond what most people in the world have - and which you can develop in about 5 years- you need to put decades of work to take it to level he took it or beyond. That doesn't mean to me that it takes decades of training to get beyond the best of the rest. Well I am hostage here to Kimura's translator -- but in my copy Sagawa says in his section on "Discourse on Training": There is no such thing as "special" training. Training must be done EVERYDAY for the rest of your life. That is <the meaning of> "Shugyo." No matter how much muscle you think you aren't using (you're only misleading yourself.) The true execution of Aiki requires an enormous amount of Tanren. It is not easy to attain.
You won't be able to manifest this skill unless you continue tanren of the body everyday for decades.

You must train the body, think and have the techniques "seep out" from the body itself. Even if you train everyday all the while innovating yourself, it will take at least 20 years. Ten years or so isn't nearly enough time.
Your body has to truly be ready; otherwise no matter what you do you won't be able to do "Aiki."
Most people would probably shirk if they knew what my training regimen consisted of.
This martial art is only powerful because it is secret. It is because I know what others do not. If I were to teach this to foreigners that are of a larger build, they would have a definite advantage. Kimura has been training (tanren) on his own, so his lower back and legs are becoming different than others <around him.> I don't often talk about how to train the body, but when I do mention it, Kimura goes out and does it. You can't stop after two or three years. You must continue this and use it to change yourself everyday for the rest of your life. Clearly -- two elements 1) a secret and 2) decades of tough but NOT "special" training preparing the body to utilize that secret.

Then he cautions: "Kitaeru" or "train" means that you must train in a manner that allows you to affect the opponent with minimal effort. If you used 100% of your ability (zenryoku) then it means you haven't really trained. The body must be trained until it is a veritable fortress, then should you body-check (tai atari) another person bigger than yourself, they will be sent flying.
However, if you train too much before you grasp the concept of Aiki, then this is no good. If you will note, I distingushed Harden's assumption about "musclebuilding" in the preparatory aspects of hard labor that I see paralleled in the simlated load training of Aunkai exercises, for example. I have made clear that I, like Sagawa am speaking of EFFICIENT body movement, with minimal muscular input -- not maximum muscular effort. Muscular exhaustion, however, may lead to learning intuitive aspects of minimal effort load movement. Thus, if "every day training" is accomplished in the wrong way -- maximal effort -- it does nothing. Harden, I and Sagawa agree on that point. If it is done in accord with the principles of heavy load minimal effort -- maximal efficiency -- then it does prepare the body in accord with aiki and makes the realization of the secret

Tom Holz for instance doesn't have decades of training. He has like 2 years of aiki training There are plenty of other examples, He is just the most obvious one. It's almost hyperbolic. And what is his work or hobby background?

Erick Mead
09-15-2008, 12:38 AM
I went on to the next logical step. That was to draw a comparison.
1. you have stated you cannot do these things. That's -- oh -- about five times now -- so let's just get this over wiht once and for all, shall we, -- because there really is no other way to do it.

You ... lie. Lying. Liar. Falsehood. Untruth. Mendacity. Get a thesaurus, look it up. A big fat whopper. Link a post where I said that -- rather than your twisting of attempts to get you to ever lay out specific mechanics of your "push tests." (Mark Murray did more on that score in one video than you have in numerous posts). I've challenged you three times to prove your falsehood on that one now with no response. And if not -- Please, as a favor, keep your words in your own mouth.

You've allowed yourself to go on attack on this kind of basis to the point of getting two discussions closed in one day quite recently (a record to my knowledge). Eric Hoffer. You should read Hoffer -- You'd like him.
But why don't we try to keep this discussion civil and useful. Use a little of that martial discipline people who like you say you have. Respond to the arguments -- not to your image of me.

Specifically, the point is that decades of the right hard work and disclosure or discovery of certain principles coincide in Aiki. The order of their occurrences is argued as being variable by specific contrasting examples of Tenryu and Sagawa, both favorite examples of yours. What say you?
That said, your comment about Menkyo is meaningless in that there is no menkyo I know of who shares this body of knowledge used within a MMA framework and the resultant experience in teaching it (not an art) as a condensed set of skills to then be used in their arts and that being such a variety itself. Some Menkyo's are instead becoming interested in learning and practicing these skills themselves, Erick. How about you? Just wanted to clear the floor of any arguments about "qualification" vice reason and observation.

Tom H.
09-15-2008, 05:33 AM
And what is his work or hobby background?

Rob keeps pulling me into this :)

In my spare time I enjoy reading, taking pictures, trading foreign currencies, and learning programming languages. At work I'm an engineer, but I don't do real engineering, I basically coral computers to process data. I once did Aikido for three months, and I once did bodybuilding irregularly for maybe a year, and I once did racquetball for almost as long.

Tom

rob_liberti
09-15-2008, 07:04 AM
First I made a typo I need to fix:
Knowing that does help develop the skills in self nor in students.
Was supposed to be:
Knowing that [the torsion tube analogy] does NOT help develop the skills in self nor in students.

Sorry about pulling you in Tom. You just happen to be a hyperbolic example. You had no prior martial arts training. You didn't work on a farm or construction, etc. for any amount of heavy lifting. You were just Joe normal guy.

In terms of Sagawa's translated works, the terms "special" and "secret" seem to jump out at me.

So it's not "special" - coming from his perspective where already had a well trained body for internal power and internal skill most likely for MANY years prior to those statements. It seems reasonable that it would be special to most of the rest of us.

But it was considered "secret". I think the point here is that Dan, Mike, Aukuzawa have at least a bit of that secret _as demonstrated by ability_ and are sharing with others.

The body trained in this way throws many things which are thought to be normal "truths" out of the window.

The idea of pushing or pulling someone off balance through the line from navel to anus - out the window. Laughably so really...

The idea that people deliver weight with force - completely out of the window. This kind of training offers the delivery of force with weight held back.

Erick, let's really get this over with once and for all.

If you have at least that amount of skill - to not have a weakness in balance in the line through anus to navel - and can deliver force without weight, then state so now. Otherwise, everyone is going to continue to assume you cannot. But put an end to the assumption. If you cannot do these things state so as well. I'll even go first.

I can do these things minimally. I can withstand a very good push square in the chest when I have 1 leg forward. I can even make the person pushing feel like they are being crushed down with my mental intention (which I assume controls fascia - but maybe it is just magic!) When my feet are should width apart, I openly admit that I have a bit more trouble but I'm getting there. (Note there is no configuration I can come up with where I would expect to successfully off balance Dan or some of his students on that line from anus to navel. I don't even think they would need to be paying attention to me while I tried to push and pull them off balance on that normally weak vector.)

In terms of delivering force without weight. I'm making significant progress here. I know exactly what I'm doing correctly and incorrectly, so I am confident that I'll get it to an impressive level in the very near term (hopefully thing month, maybe a few months, but not YEARS and YEARS for sure). People like Dan, Mike, and Aukuzawa can deliver for without weight. Mike has an infamous shoulder bump. I don't think you can take advantage of such a thing. You just have to avoid it, or know how to do it yourself and meet it head on with your forearm or something. God help you if you try without a trained body for these things.

Erick, I will be shocked out of my chair if you state that you can do either of these things to any degree beyond total beginner. Nothing in aikido teaches these things to any degree. We just learn to avoid those weak lines and how to deliver force with weight that we protect a bit with certain set ups and angles. I sincerely doubt that anything in weight-baring hard physical labor teaches these things either.

This kind of direct request was made earlier. You declined to answer so I believe we assumed you conceded the point that you cannot do it or teach it yourself. Please put an end to assumption on this matter. There is no need to defer with questions about the specifics. You can by all means detail the specifics of what you think best represents the highest degree of your current abilities in these areas.

I'll tell you right now that Gleason sensei uses weight to deliver force. I'll tell you further than he could not withstand a solid push on the line from anus to navel. (Good luck trying to push him on that line. :) ) I would assume that this will not always be the case as he really likes what I've been showing him from what I learned from Dan. He feels this is stuff is very important to aikido. And I'll say no more about his thoughts until he says more... ;)

Erick, the bottomline is that we all feel that observation and analysis from someone who really cannot do the things is only so valuable AND no one thinks you can do or teach these things. If you can, please explain what you can do - use my example if you like. If you cannot, please concede the point and let us move on discussing this stuff.

Thanks,
Rob

Tom H.
09-15-2008, 08:04 AM
Sorry about pulling you in Tom. You just happen to be a hyperbolic example. You had no prior martial arts training. You didn't work on a farm or construction, etc. for any amount of heavy lifting. You were just Joe normal guy.Rob, I reject your apology :-P because I have no problem being pulled into this. I'm interested in watching my own progress, too, as an experiment, exactly because of where I started. Even the first time you met me I was already putting some things together. Before that I could not tell the difference between aiki and not-aiki, I could not control or sense my own body enough to stand still, much less move with connection or intention. My body was wired to either noodle or muscle, and I had no technique, timing, or positional skills.

Tom

Mike Sigman
09-15-2008, 09:33 AM
First I made a typo I need to fix:

Was supposed to be:
Knowing that [the torsion tube analogy] does NOT help develop the skills in self nor in students.

Sorry about pulling you in Tom. You just happen to be a hyperbolic example. You had no prior martial arts training. You didn't work on a farm or construction, etc. for any amount of heavy lifting. You were just Joe normal guy.

In terms of Sagawa's translated works, the terms "special" and "secret" seem to jump out at me.

So it's not "special" - coming from his perspective where already had a well trained body for internal power and internal skill most likely for MANY years prior to those statements. It seems reasonable that it would be special to most of the rest of us.

But it was considered "secret". I think the point here is that Dan, Mike, Aukuzawa have at least a bit of that secret _as demonstrated by ability_ and are sharing with others.

The body trained in this way throws many things which are thought to be normal "truths" out of the window.

The idea of pushing or pulling someone off balance through the line from navel to anus - out the window. Laughably so really...

The idea that people deliver weight with force - completely out of the window. This kind of training offers the delivery of force with weight held back.

Erick, let's really get this over with once and for all.

If you have at least that amount of skill - to not have a weakness in balance in the line through anus to navel - and can deliver force without weight, then state so now. Otherwise, everyone is going to continue to assume you cannot. But put an end to the assumption. If you cannot do these things state so as well. I'll even go first.

I can do these things minimally. I can withstand a very good push square in the chest when I have 1 leg forward. I can even make the person pushing feel like they are being crushed down with my mental intention (which I assume controls fascia - but maybe it is just magic!) When my feet are should width apart, I openly admit that I have a bit more trouble but I'm getting there. (Note there is no configuration I can come up with where I would expect to successfully off balance Dan or some of his students on that line from anus to navel. I don't even think they would need to be paying attention to me while I tried to push and pull them off balance on that normally weak vector.)

In terms of delivering force without weight. I'm making significant progress here. I know exactly what I'm doing correctly and incorrectly, so I am confident that I'll get it to an impressive level in the very near term (hopefully thing month, maybe a few months, but not YEARS and YEARS for sure). People like Dan, Mike, and Aukuzawa can deliver for without weight. Mike has an infamous shoulder bump. I don't think you can take advantage of such a thing. You just have to avoid it, or know how to do it yourself and meet it head on with your forearm or something. God help you if you try without a trained body for these things.

Erick, I will be shocked out of my chair if you state that you can do either of these things to any degree beyond total beginner. Nothing in aikido teaches these things to any degree. We just learn to avoid those weak lines and how to deliver force with weight that we protect a bit with certain set ups and angles. I sincerely doubt that anything in weight-baring hard physical labor teaches these things either.

This kind of direct request was made earlier. You declined to answer so I believe we assumed you conceded the point that you cannot do it or teach it yourself. Please put an end to assumption on this matter. There is no need to defer with questions about the specifics. You can by all means detail the specifics of what you think best represents the highest degree of your current abilities in these areas.

I'll tell you right now that Gleason sensei uses weight to deliver force. I'll tell you further than he could not withstand a solid push on the line from anus to navel. (Good luck trying to push him on that line. :) ) I would assume that this will not always be the case as he really likes what I've been showing him from what I learned from Dan. He feels this is stuff is very important to aikido. And I'll say no more about his thoughts until he says more... ;)

Erick, the bottomline is that we all feel that observation and analysis from someone who really cannot do the things is only so valuable AND no one thinks you can do or teach these things. If you can, please explain what you can do - use my example if you like. If you cannot, please concede the point and let us move on discussing this stuff.Hi Rob:

Well, you're not only pulling Tom Holz in, you're pulling me in. ;) My "shoulder bump" may be infamous as a demonstration, but think for a minute what would happen if I used the same power in my pointy little elbow or fist. I.e., there's a reason I use that shoulder as a demo sometimes (sparingly), but it's mainly so that people can feel what the amount of momentum transfer is. Once they feel that, they are cued rapidly (and subconsciously) about many of the desired components that are involved.

One point I'd make is one that I've made before. I think that these things should be placed back in Aikido proper as soon as possible.... but I mean that in the sense that everyone should have access to the basics. Beyond those basics, I'm not so sure. It's now 40 years after Tohei tried to get the ball rolling with these skills. It's what, about 15 years since the big "ki wars" where the then-ensconced "name" sensei's were able to prevail and convince everyone that there was no such thing as these skills? And it's now about 3-4 years since the topic was reintroduced, again to a lot of fuss and pecking-order noise (I think the archives of 3 or 4 years ago would be an interesting read for some people).

I think also that there are a limited number of people who are interested enough about Aikido and Asian martial arts to find what the "ki" powers are that are used to "aiki" with an opponent's force. Trying to fix all of Aikido is an impossible task and I'd suggest that it's not going to do Aikido any good by wasting effort on people who haven't shown much interest before now. Besides, the effectiveness of these skills is diminished if everyone knows them. It's easy to move around and control someone if you have these skills; if he has them too it's a different ballgame. There's a reason why the information has been limited for thousands of years. ;)

FWIW

Mike Sigman

gdandscompserv
09-15-2008, 11:11 AM
Welcome back Mike!:D

DH
09-15-2008, 11:21 AM
You ... lie. Lying. Liar.....You've allowed yourself to go on attack on this kind of basis to the point of getting two discussions closed in one day
You once again prove my point. When you can't argue the merits-you attack- than state you were the one attacked. I ask questions – you call it an attack, and get agressive. Its bizarre, but there it is for all to read.
Why can't you follow a line of discussion with logic presented to refute your points-and that includes questions about your ability and knowledge of the material being discussed- without you losing it?

When it comes to this information I cited a very logical approach as to why your comparisons and opinions are not useful to anyone who trains this way (including those who train who keep telling you the same thing-over and over anyway). You call that an attack!
So, what do you want?
Do you really expect dozens of Aikido people who train this way and –actually know what they are talking about- and have rejected your information, to just lie and agree with you?
Those in Aikido who are training to do real aiki have been discussing it in the Non-aikido forum. You pursue us around the forums; trying to take place in a discussion you know nothing about- you continue to describe mechanical analysis that have been rejected. In short-you keep butting in. We've asked you not to-you do it anyway. We have asked if people have come down and tested you like aikiweb did to me and then Ark and Mike. At any rate, you admitted to Mike and to me that you could not pull off the examples we cited three years ago. Look them up yourself.

Because people with these skills are so uncommon, many people here on aikiweb (many who are teachers themselves) are protective of people being scammed by posseurs and being led astray by false information. You have presented no credible information, or abilities all while stating you understand the material. Some aikido folks have objected to that.
There is a fellow who lives ten miles from you. He wants to come train here. How about we let that happen and he comes to see what your teacher is able to do-then you? Your descriptions have failed to jibe with everyone who can do these things. Your logic has been rejected as well. How about we now see if you know anything at all about this material by way of your physical skills?
It’s a discussion of knowledge Erick, not an attack on you as a person.

MM
09-15-2008, 01:08 PM
You ... lie. Lying. Liar. Falsehood. Untruth. Mendacity. Get a thesaurus, look it up. A big fat whopper.


Jun, that has to be some kind of slander against Dan. Is there nothing that can be done about this? I could understand if Erick said, I don't believe you, etc. But he's calling Dan an outright liar.


You've allowed yourself to go on attack on this kind of basis to the point of getting two discussions closed in one day quite recently (a record to my knowledge).


Actually, Erick. I view those threads closing as being your fault. I see this one going down the same road primarily because of you and your posts.

guest945984
09-15-2008, 01:31 PM
You know, I put Erick on my ignore list long ago, but now when you guys quote him in your messages, I get to see what he is writing. That's not fair! I thought I had escaped his aiki once and for all, but now am caught reading him again -- and my eyes hurt.

akiy
09-15-2008, 01:52 PM
I am one step away from closing this thread due to personal attacks and discussions.

Address the topic -- not the person.

Shape up, folks.

-- Jun

DH
09-15-2008, 01:53 PM
At least lets keep some measure of civility. Credibility is different from a disagreement on point.

Demetrio Cereijo
09-15-2008, 02:00 PM
You ... lie. Lying. Liar. Falsehood. Untruth. Mendacity. Get a thesaurus, look it up. A big fat whopper.
Thems gong sau words

guest945984
09-15-2008, 05:30 PM
To clarify my earlier post, what hurt my eyes were the following words specifically:

"You ... lie. Lying. Liar. Falsehood."

I can't see how people can have discourse in an environment where those kind of statements are given a free pass and people who call them out are taken to task.

I'll be leaving the house now. Feel free to delete my account.

rob_liberti
09-15-2008, 06:05 PM
Okay, how about everyone let that liar business go.

If we close this thread down before Erick has a chance to respond to me, then a bunch of thought work I did goes wasted. I would really like to get to the bottom of what he says he can do. I think it would be good for everyone. Not to win a fight, but to put a reasonable context around the source of the observations and analysis.

And Hi Mike. I hear your point.

Rob

Erick Mead
09-15-2008, 11:13 PM
Erick, let's really get this over with once and for all. If you are willing, and will be prepared to clarify your terms of art carefully. I take no issue with their use as long as we are both clear on what we are meaning.
If you have at least that amount of skill - to not have a weakness in balance in the line through anus to navel - and can deliver force without weight, then state so now. Otherwise, everyone is going to continue to assume you cannot. But put an end to the assumption. If you cannot do these things state so as well. I'll even go first. "force without weight." One of those terms of art -- and which differs from a physical convention since f=ma. That's fine as long as we are clear on the difference of convention. I will assume a bit and say that if you mean a strike or push, starting from contact or not, in which my center is not "leaning" or committing outside its stability zone at and continuing through the impact in order to create the impulse into the target -- done. I use no-inch punches to demonstrate/illustrate stable nagewaza projection. This was one of Mike's "instructor tests," as I recall.
I can do these things minimally. I can withstand a very good push square in the chest when I have 1 leg forward. Ditto. You are the first person on a "chest push" to specify a " leg forward." I can even make the person pushing feel like they are being crushed down with my mental intention (which I assume controls fascia - but maybe it is just magic!) Don't know what this convention is meaning, as it is a static display that does not fit with our common practice. On the other hand, when I "bow" ( like arrow not rei ) into a munetsuki, it buckles uke's balance downward. When I "bow" into a iriminage it has similar effect, and does not require foot movement to accomplish . It has elements of "shoulder bump" I suppose, since it feels very like the release of a no-inch punch but with a definite downward component

When my feet are should width apart, I openly admit that I have a bit more trouble but I'm getting there. (Note there is no configuration I can come up with where I would expect to successfully off balance Dan or some of his students on that line from anus to navel. Another term of art. You will need to be clear what the significance of the line is to the manner of push, as you have simply named it not described it. Specifically, it is unclear where the contact is for the push. We do not train to push on one anothers hips, if that is suggested, so I would not be able to say off hand. On the other hand, I can stably hold an able two hand tekubitori push, from flat footed to tippy toe and in between.

I don't even think they would need to be paying attention to me while I tried to push and pull them off balance on that normally weak vector.)I've knocked people down without doing anything who ran into me while I wasn't looking. Beyond that, set-up demonstraitons are different because they provoke conscious interference with a subconscious intuitive system.

Erick, I will be shocked out of my chair if you state that you can do either of these things to any degree beyond total beginner. Again, there are no objective standards so it cannot be said what degree one could establish. I do what I do, and I understand it as you have read. I have no need to assume other than Dan and his students are better at these isolated things, and even better able to swab decks with me. It does not alter my understanding one way or the other. Anyone can find someone better than they are. It is not clear to me that it is very significant except as a question of degree, since such things are not an explicit focus of my training.

Nothing in aikido teaches these things to any degree. We just learn to avoid those weak lines and how to deliver force with weight that we protect a bit with certain set ups and angles. I sincerely doubt that anything in weight-baring hard physical labor teaches these things either. I don't know what to tell you except that apart from a college semester in shotokan, that's it -- 22 years of aikido, summer radio tower climbing in college, lots of solo residential construction, and two deployments where I did learn (by necessity) to use solo training visualization work. AIkido teaches what I have learned, whether explicitly or not.

This kind of direct request was made earlier. You declined to answer so I believe we assumed you conceded the point that you cannot do it or teach it yourself. Please put an end to assumption on this matter. I trust by now it is clear that recurrent uncivil responses to my observations (apart from yours and some others) has formed a firm conviction that unilateral hostility is no environment in which to ask for trust or belief, so, really, what was the point? Given the experience, I relate this expecting no better now -- but I have been surprised before. :D

rob_liberti
09-16-2008, 07:07 AM
Just to be clear - you can push or pull Dan (or I assume Mike or Aukuzawa) with their feet shoulder width apart (without 1 foot forward) on any line in any direction and they will not lose balance - meaning their feet will not move regardless of the manner in which you push.

I'm making much better progress doing that, but I find I am stronger with 1 foot forward these days. (I used to not be! I practiced feet shoulder width apart a lot more initially, but I was cheating by bending forward with my knees way too much.)

The line from anus to navel is the traditional weak vector of people's stances. That weakness disappears if you have the kind of internal power and skills we are discussing.

The make the person crush down thing, has nothing to do with a bow - I'm not bending anything. Just moving my mind and assuming that is moving stuff inside that I can't tell. It really doesn't have much to do with the discussion other than to mention that there are really cool other things once you get beyond the structure stuff to some degree.

Your description of delivering force without weight is accurate enough for me. Obviously f=ma still. :)

My point is that these basic things to our training that we can all do are so different from what normal aikido teaches, that someone from normal aikido trying to make observations and analysis has GOT to be far off of the mark. I'm trying to help you as kindly as I can come to the conclusion that statements like 'Dan uses too much earth ki (or ground ki or whatever)' really is just silly. You and anyone else from normal aikido simple cannot know enough about what we are doing to make such observations and analysis.

Adding your insight - without the experience of what we actually do is counter productive and misleading to the people who want to understand what we are talking about.

Let me tell you, I'm not too thrilled about being an aikido teacher who is not allowed to discuss what I am teachign in my aikido classes in the aikido forums. But, I accept this is not my call, so I go here to a forum called non-aikido. If normal aikido people come in and start giving advice, I kind feel like - okay so where do I get to discuss these things with people who actually do them?

I'm happy to discuss what I am learning and try to help the uninitiated. But it seems like you were not taking the position of being the uninitiated and that is confusing to everyone.

I hope that clarifies my position.

Rob

Peter Goldsbury
09-16-2008, 08:14 AM
Adding your insight - without the experience of what we actually do is counter productive and misleading to the people who want to understand what we are talking about.

Let me tell you, I'm not too thrilled about being an aikido teacher who is not allowed to discuss what I am teaching in my aikido classes in the aikido forums. But, I accept this is not my call, so I go here to a forum called non-aikido. If normal aikido people come in and start giving advice, I kind feel like - okay so where do I get to discuss these things with people who actually do them?

I hope that clarifies my position.

Rob

Hello Rob,

To me, it does to some extent. However, I am curious whether you have discussed these issues with William Gleason? One of my own students in the Netherlands (a new 3rd dan) has attended training sessions with Akuzawa Sensei. He was very enthusiastic, but needed to tell me all about it. So we spent several hours discussing all the issues, including what he should teach in his own aikido dojo.

In reading threads like this, I feel that I am in the same position that Mr Gleason might be in: that students (quite rightly) are developing in ways of which the teacher might not have had precisely the same experience. I mention Mr Gleason because he is your main teacher and because he and I have trained extensively with Seigo Yamaguchi Sensei. So I suspect that we might see aikido in a similar way.

However, there is a 'messianic' element here, a seemingly compulsive sense of being 'initiated' and having a 'mission', that worries me. The corollary is that the supposedly 'initiated' are too ready to condemn those who have not had precisely the same vision, expressed in the same terms. I am reminded of the story about someone who recently entered Heaven. He was taken round by St Peter and encountered a wall. On being asked about the wall, St Peter replied, "Ah, this is for the Catholics: they think they are the only ones here".

As for the issue of where you discuss non-Aikido issues in an Aikido forum, the short answer is that this is Aikiweb, which is a forum dedicated to discussing aikido issues. So a blunt answer would be: create your own forum and also create the necessary 'spam' filters, so that you can enjoy your discussions in the Realm of the Blessed, without having to deal with people like Erick Mead.

I have read all the material that Mark gave in his early posts about how long it takes to achieve mastery (how long it took for certain uchi-deshi of Takeda and Ueshiba to achieve mastery) and, yes, it is hard to disagree with the evidence presented, always assuming that we are comparing apples with apples and not with oranges. However, I also tend to agree with the views recently expressed by Ellis in another thread.

Best wishes,

PAG

Allen Beebe
09-16-2008, 09:04 AM
Hi Peter,

Can you post a link to the thread that Ellis posted in recently? I think I missed it.

Thanks,
Allen

DH
09-16-2008, 09:09 AM
Peter
Bill Gleason came to train here. He was the 6th dan I refered to in an earlier post.
He did so after watching Rob's skills make a remarkable jump. after training for four hours we went to dinner. At dinner he stated that this ...this training...was what he was searching for throughout his career. It was the cornerstone power he was looking to find by researching the spiritual aspects of Ueshiba's life for his book.
He further stated that he was going on a teaching tour and -this training- was going to be outlined every where he went.
He came back to train the following week. It is my understanding that he will be incorporating this into his art for the remainder of his career.

Once again, and I cannot stress this enough. Mr Gleason was there and saw Taiji, Bagau, Daito ryu, MMA, Karate...teachers all present and training this way and every one of them stating this training was the heart of their art as well.
More'se the point, every, singel, one of them was certain, completely convinced of two things
a) That they were already doing "it" to one degree or another
after feeling me and my people
b) They were completelty wrong, could in fact NOT do it, and were going to spend the rest of their careers pursuing it.

You may see certain people replies to me, calling me a liar as equal to me stating they don't know the material, and how that "harms" their reputation.
I have a different sort of experience than you Peter.
What's it like for me to stand there and feel, touch, test, then see and hear so many Martial artists from shodan to Menkyo all say the same things, all share the same experience. Each one, all thought they knew too, only to find out they didn't.
Then to come here and find out about Mike and then Ark, who are strangely having such oddly similar experiences as me. It leaves me with certain observable points.
There is a body of knowledge unknown to the vast msajority of martial artists. We missed it.
Most don't even know what it is.
As one recent bagau student stated after coming here and feeling what he consideres essential to his art..
I thought I knew. I didn't know, that I didn't know.

This is my experience with most of the Martial artist I meet. That experience may be different from most of your experiences.

to answer your query to Rob about How this relates to Aikido, aikiweb and the non aikido forum?
That this is being discussed in the Non aikido forum I find quite poignant. It cam to aikido through Ueshiba's initial studies with Takeda, but it is and always was the very heart of Aikido and what all its movement and connection is based on.
Sadly, everyone I have met, and most I have read, are by an large almost totally ignorant of what it is, and most importantly ways to train it.

rob_liberti
09-16-2008, 09:31 AM
Well here are my personal thoughts about my aikido and the value to having a path. Everything I think seems to relate very well to everything Gleason sensei has taught me. Which is why I believe he was also so interested in this approach. I asked him to come with me because I was concerned that otherwise I would have to figure out on my own how to take things to the next level in terms of what aikido is and what is non-aikido.

As I understand it, the first degree blackbelt in aikido represents a concept called aratama (fire energy). This basically means having an undefeatable spirit. (You are also supposed to know basic waza from a technical perspective to defeat "external strength" in the symbolic attacks and be able to take ukemi from all basic waza.) The term "undefeatable" doesn't means you can beat anyone up (although I'm starting to redefine that in my mind these days) it means that if you get thrown to the ground 100 times you get up 100 times and are ready to do some more.

Taking ukemi from people who can throw you in random ways enough encourages physical "listening skills". This was super valuable because it became important to me to start really listening with my body. I felt people's emotions through that contact. I learned that my emotions were obviously being felt by my partner when I was uke. I discovered that if I were working out with a nage having who was having a bad day that I could just concentrate my joy as uke and within 3 throws or so the nage would be laughing. I could even do it to big shot senseis (any who actually listen with their bodies) and I could do it 100% of the time. I though wow I am a master! :)

Then I discovered that such communication (opening up the body and listening) when both people were doing it, made the communication bi-directional. (It's just that joy has a way of winning out over fear/insecurity or maybe just more plainly termed "lack of joy"). This was a problem for me as I was teaching everyone how to do this on both sides. I realized that I had to face myself. I could no longer be outwardly civil to someone and inwardly not like them - because they would feel it. I realized this and therefore I realized "I have to change". The intimacy made me face the differences between being civil and being respectful, between apologizing and being sorry, and between thanking someone and being grateful.

Luckily, having such "physical confidence" that I would always get up again, gave me the confidence to make the logical leap to the emotional level where I became willing to take emotional chances. I knew I would be able to pick myself up again. It was a tremendously valuable source of confidence to help me continue to make positive personal changes.

To me that is the shodan level of aikido and aikido's initial "special" value.

For nidan the lesson was nigitama (water energy). Basically this is getting very smooth transitions from technique to technique which just required a depth of understanding in applying the techniques. (The even levels of blackbelts seem to represent better usage of the power skills developed on the previous odd number ranks.) At nidan I was really trying to apply that kind of smoothness to my life in general. I also decided that I needed to change my eating habits so I wouldn't be having such sugar highs and lows (to keep things smoother).

For sandan the lesson was sakitama (growth energy). This is supposed to be the whole mind-body unification concept. (In sandan level we are just happy if you can get your mind and body doing the same thing as opposed to yondan level where they can be used separately to achieve an overall goal.) I pretty much blew it on that one. I had learned to hide my weaknesses in posture and stance so well in the nidan stage that I just then took advantage of knowing how to mess up other people's structural weaknesses in their attacks, and used my mental focus to add power to my external muscle movement to take further advantage of those situations. The only thing I really developed any internal power on at that rank was that I could remove all of the slack out of my forearm from elbow to the back of my hand. I had the idea that I needed to learn how to remove more slack but I thought I was going to do that learning the Alexander Method a bit in terms of extending and relaxing but not enough for me to understand how to really use mental intention and move within myself. I did decide that I had to start regulating my sleeping more. That was helpful.

For yondan the lesson was kushitama (perfect wisdom). While this is my current ranking, I would not claim perfect wisdom as one of my characteristics just yet! Here is where I started learning to really use my mind and body separately to achieve an overall goal. And I'm learning by training primarily with Dan these days. (Although I will ALWAYS look to Gleason sensei for aikido especially now that I think I will have a chance to one day really understand the hard work he put into studying the kotodama.) I also started stretching using Forrest yoga, Tai massage, active isolated stretching, and fasting. I got off of all pharma products. I started practicing non-violent communication. I learned to look for people’s feelings and in so doing become able to bypass my ego stuff and relate directly to people on my feeling level. (Still working on that one.)

I still have a long way to go. The interesting problem I have is that I am learning much more efficient ways of using my mind and body to the absurd degree that I am confident that I will be able to jump most of my students (and all new students) straight to yondan/godan aikido ability within 5 years or so (maybe faster as I have some really helpful insights in how to shorten the learning curve more using some stretching). The question is, am I cheating them out of the growth experiences I went through on my MUCH LONGER road to this skill level?

I think I won't, but I also think I need to get to the level of using these skills in ground fighting so people can further have to opportunity to work out their deeply rooted emotional insecurities in a physical way – and encourage that over just building bravado. This direction seems to take me out of "aikido proper" as it is taught today. I'm not saying that is a bad thing, but I'm concerned non-the-less.

There is a value to having aikido as a path. I don't want to lose any value while I try to improve things for the next generation.

Rob

Peter Goldsbury
09-16-2008, 09:48 AM
Peter
Bill Gleason came to train here. He was the 6th dan I refered to in an earlier post.
He did so after watching Rob's skills make a remarkable jump. after training for four hours we went to dinner. At dinner he stated that this ...this training...was what he was searching for throughout his career. It was the cornerstone power he was looking to find by researching the spiritual aspects of Ueshiba's life for his book.
He further stated that he was going on a teaching tour and -this training- was going to be outlined every where he went.
He came back to train the following week. It is my understanding that he will be incorporating this into his art for the remainder of his career.

Once again, and I cannot stress this enough. Mr Gleason was there and saw Taiji, Bagau, Daito ryu, MMA, Karate...teachers all present and training this way and every one of them stating this training was the heart of their art as well.
More'se the point, every, singel, one of them was certain, completely convinced of two things
a) That they were already doing "it" to one degree or another
after feeling me and my people
b) They were completelty wrong, could in fact NOT do it, and were going to spend the rest of their careers pursuing it.

You may see certain people replies to me, calling me a liar as equal to me stating they don't know the material, and how that "harms" their reputation.
I have a different sort of experience than you Peter.
What's it like for me to stand there and feel, touch, test, then see and hear so many Martial artists from shodan to Menkyo all say the same things, all share the same experience. Each one, all thought they knew too, only to find out they didn't.
Then to come here and find out about Mike and then Ark, who are strangely having such oddly similar experiences as me. It leaves me with certain observable points.
There is a body of knowledge unknown to the vast msajority of martial artists. We missed it.
Most don't even know what it is.
As one recent bagau student stated after coming here and feeling what he consideres essential to his art..
I thought I knew. I didn't know, that I didn't know.

This is my experience with most of the Martial artist I meet. That experience may be different from most of your experiences.

to answer your query to Rob about How this relates to Aikido, aikiweb and the non aikido forum?
That this is being discussed in the Non aikido forum I find quite poignant. It cam to aikido through Ueshiba's initial studies with Takeda, but it is and always was the very heart of Aikido and what all its movement and connection is based on.
Sadly, everyone I have met, and most I have read, are by an large almost totally ignorant of what it is, and most importantly ways to train it.

Hello Dan,

Many thanks for posting this reply.

If I were in the US, you can be assured that I would come and seek you out and train with you, if you would accept me. Since I do not live in the US, I have to seek other ways, one of which is training with Akuzawa Sensei.

My question to Rob concerned the degree to which Mr Gleason understood the issues that Rob was grappling with. You have answered this question, and have answered it in a way that increases my respect for Mr Gleason as a teacher. I hope that you understand that if I had been Rob's teacher, I would have done the same.

As for discussing these issues here on Aikiweb, well, I think that in the last analysis we have to trust Jun's judgment.

Best wishes,

PAG

Peter Goldsbury
09-16-2008, 10:23 AM
Hi Peter,

Can you post a link to the thread that Ellis posted in recently? I think I missed it.

Thanks,
Allen

Hello Allen,

It is in the forum entitled 'On Closing Threads', at the very bottom of the Forums menu.

PAG.

DH
09-16-2008, 11:03 AM
Hi Peter
I have the utmost respect for Mr. Gleason. I was -very- impressed with his demeanor and his devastatingly honest assessment of himself and aikido in general in what he saw and felt. It is always remarkable to listen to men of such experience once they felt you to and had the materials presented elucidate on its relevance to their art.
I hold it in context of my experiences with those of equal time-in, in other art who have said the same things to me and more importantly to the others beside myself who are teaching this openly as a separate body of knowledge
I think the art of aikido should be honored to have a guy like Bill Gleason representing the art.
I could not say the same of some of the Japanese Shihan you guys sent over here and I have had the dubious honor of "meeting."
Were I interested in doing Aikido or asked where to go in New England I know who I would recommend.

It is yet another step, in the right direction for Aikido. We'll have to see what becomes of it. It was Bill who after feeling me and seeing me move who observed "This would wreak havoc on Aikido practice as we know it."
I couldn't agree more. I can't do aikido. Not that I don't know how, but that were my body to express and move in such big movements people would get hurt. Moreover, I can't be thrown with aikido technique. So it's going to be up to those in aikido to try and figure out how to introduce aiki into aikido to make something of it. In the end I think the art will no longer function or look the way it does now. In the hands of men with aiki- it will be both devastatingly effective and different.

I am pleased to hear you went to see and train with Ark. From what I hear my approach is different-softer in its approach, hopefully I will get there soon. This economy is killing my business, so we'll see.
The fact that you are pursuing this speaks volumes to me-of you, Peter. In a time where so many are lamenting the decline of the arts, I think ancient skill of internal power / aiki is about to make a comeback and take over the arts again. Not in the sense that everyone will get it. But that those with it are going to be looked at and regarded in a whole new light.

The internet
I think it is well worth considering the trouble allot of this causes Jun. Jun had been kind enough to share some of his frustrations with the manner in which this topic is discussed. Therefore, I can't be neutral about it as I really feel for what Jun is trying to offer to his readers. He has asked me to try and extend some extra effort. You may be surprised to learn I have privately asked him to help me...to help him, where ever I can, in that regard.
That said, I am left to examine all sides as best and try to constrain myself in a lengthy debate when I know...all along, we are the ones who are not only right, about this topic, but in many respects we hold the knowledge this or that person kicking at us has been looking for all along!
So from the outside it may look one way to you / from my side sitting here and meeting, testing, and then listening to your adepts words after feeling it, then coming back here to read yet another guy thinking he gets it, and starts analyzing it- just starts to become so absurd, so ludicrous, and to be doing so in the Non- aikido related forum, that I just throw up my hands, or worse, get frustrated and fail in my response.

So, do I consider my input equal? No, quite frankly no, I don't. All I can say is, I get very frustrated, as I try to manage to live up to my promised efforts for Jun and Aikiweb.

If we review...I think some things become clear. The recent revelation of this training is causing problems all over the internet. On empty flower, E-budo, and here at Aikiweb. Moderators are having trouble with how to deal with some very ticked off senior MAers from all walks, who are sometimes friends of theirs and long time supporters with their own student base now being told they missed it. It's tough going. More and more people from the ICMA are meeting people from DR and Aikido, and they are finally...starting to get it. That there was, after all, a common bond that gave these Asian arts the magic we were all looking for. The smart guys are going after it.
Sadly there is no shortage of those who are waiting in line for their teacher to reveal it to them after the second scroll of knowledge is unrolled. :rolleyes: I'm not really concerned with them as that personality type is not someone I'd be willing to show this to. This requires innovative more self-aware and critical thinking people.

So, here we sit, teaching some your teacherst, what they now call -the heart of aiki- and discussing it in the Non-Aikido forum.
For what reason?

The arguments
So, think of this. We were sent down here because of what we couldn't say up there in the aikido forums. Now we have stalkers coming down here to chastise and now we are not allowed to tell him -here-that he doesn't get this material? I really don't think telling someone they don't know the material under discussion is untoward or rude. This isn't the public school system where everyone passes. If you don't get it...you just don't get it.
In light of your comments and so many others I can't even keep track, it should be obvious that most still don't know the material. So having a pretender come to try and take part and being allowed to get away with it to fool others?
That is rude.

So here we have a conundrum.
This training is the very heart of Aikido. I really could care less that so many- tens of thousands-, have missed it and are fighting to retain their own corner of ignorance against the growing tide,
It is being judged vetted and adopted by so many its getting to be absurd, completely ludicrous to see it discussed here in this forum. In fact this forum should be names How to train for Aiki, the heart of Aikido and placed at the top of all things.
All other forums relegated to adjunct training in non- aiki...do related waza.

gdandscompserv
09-16-2008, 11:23 AM
Dan,
I hope you do not underestimate the profound effect you have had on me, and I'm sure many others. It is of little consequence to me what forum you have been 'banished' to. I read your postings with great interest trying to glean as much as I can from your words until I am able to meet you in person and learn what I can from you. I have great respect for what you are doing, and see you as a pioneer in MA. I would be honored to learn from you. You have a standing invitation from me, to stop by my dojo anytime. You have said you have no interest in going to Las Vegas but there is a nice dojo there that could be rented for a great seminar. If you ever change your mind I would love to be a part of making that happen. Perhaps now that your business is slow you might be willing to do more seminars?:D

phitruong
09-16-2008, 12:21 PM
You have said you have no interest in going to Las Vegas but there is a nice dojo there that could be rented for a great seminar. If you ever change your mind I would love to be a part of making that happen. Perhaps now that your business is slow you might be willing to do more seminars?:D

Dan doing seminar in Las Vegas? such a chancy proposition; however if you play your cards right, you might be able to get him to show his hands. :D

Rob L., I was going to skip the whole Dan rank stuffs and looping around to the kyu. Oh wait! I am in kyu. Nevermind!

Eric, I did manual labor stuffs in Asia as well as in the States. not the same. However, we, farm boys, tend to be stronger than we look. It's the manure ki that powered our stuffs. :)

I attended a number of seminar with Ikeda sensei. big fan of his. bought lots of stuffs from bujin (methink, he got my credit card number memorized). his explanation of what he's doing bounced around in my head (lots of empty spaces) but wouldn't stick. Spent a weekend with Mike (missed Ark because of other commitment) and his explanations somehow made lots of sense, especially, when he shown it. light bulbs when off in my head the whole time. got the shoulder bump thingy a couple of times. he was being gentle (thanks Mike). What Mike shown was some very very basic stuffs, but it jumped start me a couple of years (at least from my point of view, others might say that I was an idiot). I now understand what Ikeda sensei meant when he said "change your inside" (methink) and could do some simple stuffs, like picking bottle from below with your hands on top or where i source my power. I went back and read through the stuffs that Rob John wrote and it made a lot more sense now than before. This stuffs aren't happen overnight. it will take constant and heavy personal commitment to make it work. don't have problem with that. we, farm boys, know about hard work and perseverance.

the previous masters, they didn't have the distraction of modern life; bet most of them don't even know how to cook or change diaper or building your fort out of furniture because your kids waging nerf war on you :D different times and places, different expectations.

on the non serious note, I was hoping to boost my aiki by going high tech using this ki supercharger http://www.happyaikido.com/yabaa-prod.php?p1=0&p2=5. hopefully, the alligator clips don't chaff my skin. :) If this work, then I am going to challenge all of you internal masters for a duel at the local dimsum. :D

rob_liberti
09-16-2008, 12:29 PM
Well, I there is a bigger issue to consider.

Many people WANT the ability of Osensei to be unattainable. It is an excuse to continue to do what makes us comfortable. Making him out to be a God pisses me off frankly. People then do the same thing to their shihan, and their teachers. They almost take pleasure in thinking that "I can never be as good as that guy...."

That is just not the way I am wired. I want to pass out Gleason sensei, Saotome sensei, Osensei, as well as Dan Harden, and whatever level Sagawa and Takeda were. And I want those people who are on this kind of wavelength to pass me out so we can push each other and support each other.

I have some ideas about stretching that may make it possible for people to learn the basics of what Dan is teaching in even much shorter time. Not only do I want to pass my teachers, I want my students to pass me - because I'm not a god (although if some one wants to write that about me on the women's locker room, then please by all means!).

One of the first rules of martial arts _should be_ that no one is on a pedastol. If you see someone up on one, do them a kindness and knock them down off of it (or take some lumps trying!).

I'm grateful to Mike Sigman for starting to discuss this stuff. I had no idea the level of efficacy that could be achieved by the average joe (meaning non-super physically gifted people like Michael Jordon for instance). I LOVE that this can be trained. You just have to be smart enough to hold so many things in your mind all at once.

I think one of the problems for people like Mike and Dan is that they really don't know what IS in aikido proper to know what to say to speak to us. If I had read that you could deliver power rapidly without committing weight and that you could completely resist a push or a pull in the typically weakest vector (through anus and navel) and further that people can maintain that kind of connection while moving rapidly around a dojo I would have looked more actively and found Dan a few years earlier. I think for them, they look at typical aikido people and don' know where to start. They probably think, wow that guy isn't very connected.

This is the issue in terms of "degree". I think Erick could barely imagine the degree of difference we are discussing. Asking about the orientation of where the feet are for the push test and thinking he can do it to some degree is fine. But when you put that degree in context, our best in aikido wouldn't be measured on the same scale of Dan or Mike or Aukuzawa or even several of their students. Which results in the "degree"of the uninitiated - while maybe far above average - to be considered basically zero.

Regardless, I continue to wonder if I can steal some of the ideas from the ki society type dojos to help transition normal aikido into aiki...do. I might have a niche there where I can be helpful. I'm fairly confident that I may end up being one of the go-to people in terms of body stretching exercises to increase the speed by which this stuff is learned.

Rob

Allen Beebe
09-16-2008, 03:35 PM
Hello Allen,

It is in the forum entitled 'On Closing Threads', at the very bottom of the Forums menu.

PAG.

Thanks Peter!

Allen

Erick Mead
09-16-2008, 05:32 PM
The line from anus to navel is the traditional weak vector of people's stances. That weakness disappears if you have the kind of internal power and skills we are discussing. Statically, most of our work is done in seated kokyu dosa. The closest thing I can offhand see using that particular weakness is a technique wherein nage slides past the strike, pivoting behind and connecting the arms/hands to uke's hips or torso, typically, and then cutting down and back as nage moves forward again (but headed the same way as uke now). It's kind of an extended version of an aiki-otoshi, but without taking him over your hips. After training in three lineages I gave up on waza names as being too confusing a while ago, (I have to force myself to name them when we train) so don't ask me -- it's here somewhere I am sure:http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15096 .

The technique itself actually requires the inverse of the "force without weight" used in the no-inch punch, as one is drawing in, not extending. I can reverse most those of pretty well with an anchoring that stalls nage's attempted shift and then allows a slight reversing hip shift to throw him into kuzushi behind me (particularly those that use the arms to pull vice cutting motion).

A more static example is where uke is taking nikkyo and rather than the typical take-down it is reversed and (now that you make me think about it) also goes through the line from navel to anus even though uke is roughly in hanmi. I can hold that as uke at least unitl my wrist is sore enough to want to stop.

I'm trying to help you as kindly as I can come to the conclusion that statements like 'Dan uses too much earth ki (or ground ki or whatever)' really is just silly. You and anyone else from normal aikido simple cannot know enough about what we are doing to make such observations and analysis. Since I would accept a comment on most of aikido as too exclusively emphasizing the "ki of heaven" I have always thought it was merely an observational comment -- not the criticism that is assumed. I don't mean nor did the person who made the comment mean anything other than that. "Ki of heaven/earth" is a structural and dynamic term -- none of us invented them, one is not superior to the other per se, nor are they some new-agey construct: http://books.google.com/books?id=ccJguTM0jy8C&pg=PA24&dq=miura+baien++ki+heaven+earth+spokes+axle&sig=ACfU3U0sDW0ln6vMAIDcHqsTqvDzs45HWw
I'm happy to discuss what I am learning and try to help the uninitiated. But it seems like you were not taking the position of being the uninitiated and that is confusing to everyone. I am happier as well. And you are correct, but different paths does not mean that we cannot usefully relieve needless confusion between us. As you just demonstrated. All I am doing in most cases is commenting on the struggle( and it is a struggle to come up with ways of description that do not require too much in the way of explaining -- as for instance, "force without weight" which means neither "force" nor "weight" in the conventional sense. I would call it something else, but then you know that.

As I have tried to gently say in the last two posts, you are all satisfied with your terms of art, which is fine amongst the initiates. But, as you have seen, they require much explaining to relieve the confusion or ambiguity that they tend to create when using otherwise common terms with the uninitiated. When you say force I assume you mean "force" and only by dint of this controversy have we come the conclusion that your force does not mean that "force" and yet now we have agreed implicitly on what we mean. Alot of heartache at me over many posts has stemmed from trying to get defined or refined terms on similar points -- they have never been challenges or ukases on standards, they were just asking for what you just provided in two simple posts.

But using a convention also means that you remove barriers to participation in the discussion. To me that seems a good thing, but that depends on the purpose. It allows for placement of the particular study to be more closely compared in similar terms to other things. That reduces the air of unfamiliarity. I am very comfortable digesting and bringing often odd-seeming things within the margins of conventional descriptions and categories. That's most of what a lawyer does, actually -- not just argue for the sake of it, but to nail down proper names for things. To call a thing by the right name is the beginning of wisdom, say the Chinese. The cachet of perceived exclusivity by simple naming is seductive and has a very long history. It is worth begin concerned about, particularly when people get upset when you merely question the naming.

rob_liberti
09-16-2008, 08:43 PM
Erick,

To clarify further using your hips as the primary generator for that kind of hitting it not going to work too well against people who have internal power and internal skill because the moment you shift your hips you will find that they instantly take your balance (probably without noticing).

Also, I do mean that people are hit and hit incredibly hard - so there is plenty of real force. It's just that the way we are doing it results in the weight of the body not traveling with it or bracing it so it is not easily taken advantage of. I have a good friend with a fantastically powerful 1 inch punch. But he braces to do it. It's powerful for sure, but it is way too committed in terms of structure - and the structural weakness it exposes him to if he were say fighting 2 people at the same time. He is an accomplished martial artiest. He now trains with Dan because aiki is so obviously better.

As far as that vector of typical weakness. I'm floored that it doesn't resonate with you. Think about shihonage. The uke is raised up on the line from anus to navel, then thrown down on the line from navel to anus. Kotegaeshi for example works the same way. There are a lot of other examples.

To be fair, I don't think that asking for more concretely defined terms is "all you are doing". I'm happy to clear up confusion. However, I think your observations and comparisons are very far off simply because you cannot comprehend the degree of power differential. Even if it is because of our terminology - it really doesn't matter. The question is what this new training means to the future of aikido - any other observations and analysis from so far off base is really just distracting and unnecessarily confusing when they are asserted in the declarative.

Hope that clarifies the issue(s).

Rob

DH
09-16-2008, 11:31 PM
To clarify further using your hips as the primary generator for that kind of hitting it not going to work too well against people who have internal power and internal skill because the moment you shift your hips you will find that they instantly take your balance (probably without noticing).
Hi Rob
Again to quote one visitor an ICMA fellow "I didn't know, that I didn't know"
And it explains certain peoples almost utter lack of ability to deal with this. I can only say the materila I am reading here once again clearly and definitively demonstrates an ignorance of this training and therefore any credibility in the discussion. This ICMA fellow I mentioned stood there- virtually unable to move. We laughed about it. But he was clearly stunned. I think it makes it demonstable that any discussion with him prior to that-with him expressing his views would have proved to be yet another dead end and a waste of time. Yet he was absolutely sure.
IHTBF once again comes to the fore since so far 100% of the time, people are faced with training that they are inept to explain or deal with and had to admit they were in fact...all along...wrong.

Also, I do mean that people are hit and hit incredibly hard - so there is plenty of real force. It's just that the way we are doing it results in the weight of the body not traveling with it or bracing it so it is not easily taken advantage of. I have a good friend with a fantastically powerful 1 inch punch. But he braces to do it. It's powerful for sure, but it is way too committed in terms of structure - and the structural weakness it exposes him to if he were say fighting 2 people at the same time. He is an accomplished martial artiest. He now trains with Dan because aiki is so obviously better.
It bears repeating that the generation of that punch of his is entirely external, and he like some here, Would have virtuallly no ability to enter into a meaningful discussion. Sadly though there is an inverse to that. You can go on other boards where the discussion is laid out and detailed. I have trained with two particular internal folks who wrote very detailed and lengthy explanations...who it turns out, have nothing, I mean nothing by way of skills. So possuers exist in all forms. you really need to get out and test those who want to talk about things on the internet. So far the vast majority I have read over the years don't bring anything to the table. Others aren't worth having a discussion with, only because they still think they get it when its obvous they don't, and others just mislead the public, mostly due to pride

As far as that vector of typical weakness. I'm floored that it doesn't resonate with you. Think about shihonage. The uke is raised up on the line from anus to navel, then thrown down on the line from navel to anus. Kotegaeshi for example works the same way. There are a lot of other examples.
I donlt go on about vecotr weakness because its a limited view. As you now know and have seen we just take the whole bodies center. People who move according to the methods outlined by folks in this thread just get dumped. Irs just more of the same stuff that all of you guys are existing and quickly walking away from. It certainly isnlt any type of training an aiki men should be advocating.

However, I think your observations and comparisons are very far off simply because you cannot comprehend the degree of power differential. Even if it is because of our terminology - it really doesn't matter. The question is what this new training means to the future of aikido - any other observations and analysis from so far off base is really just distracting and unnecessarily confusing when they are asserted in the declarative.

Hope that clarifies the issue(s).

Rob

I think you have very neatly defined the core of the problem in discussing this. As you have now personally witnessed with so many other visitors from a myriad of arts, they were completely unprepared for both the power differential and the ability to have their balance and center taking that had them simply undone.

It is -or I should say it -should be-noted how many people with serious credentials and decades of experience in Budo, not the least of which is some of its highest ranked western teachers who have felt this type of training with various men, have admitted it was beyond them and they are training in it.

When you start getting out there to show and train I think you're going to run into what Mike, Ark and I have all over. That is, while It has been very encouraging to see substantial men embrace and admit to information and training beyond their experience. Others...just don't have it in them.

For that reason Mike's advice proves true. Concentrate your energy on those who are asking for help. Even then, weed them out to ones who will work.
Let the ones who are convinced of their training stay where the're at.
I think the real discussion is past these ever decreasing nayayers, or those who still presume to know this. Why do you waste your time talking with them?

Heres a question. What do you think the manner is going to be for the road to great mastery?
Does it even involve Aikido™ as we now know it? Or any other singular art?

Is there another great art...in the development stage?

rob_liberti
09-17-2008, 05:27 AM
Understood.
Is there another great art...in the development stage
I've been thinking we should call it "Sho shin rob" :)

If we come up with another name, maybe we can change the name of the "non-aikido" section?

However, "the way of aiki" fits so well. I was hoping to popularize what I'm doing now to the point that people not doing it wouldn't want to have seminars or open schools using the name "aikido" for fear of someone with aiki skills showing up.

Rob

DH
09-17-2008, 09:43 AM
Understood.

I've been thinking we should call it "Sho shin rob" :)

If we come up with another name, maybe we can change the name of the "non-aikido" section?

However, "the way of aiki" fits so well. I was hoping to popularize what I'm doing now to the point that people not doing it wouldn't want to have seminars or open schools using the name "aikido" for fear of someone with aiki skills showing up.

Rob

Well I think Aiki...do is just fine, I meant to infer that the brand new art emerging was going to be aiki...do hopefully coming on strong as a powerful art against all manner of doubts these days in a brand new way
And while you are rigthfully concentrating on *you and your students*, I was thinking of everyone who is embracing this training with Mike, Ark, Ueshiro, Ikeda, etc.
As I say, I think Aikido™ as practiced as aiki...do will be seeing a resurgence that will remove all doubt in any quarter as to its power.
As for *that guy* showing up with aiki skills to shut everyone up? That will always be rare, but I hope it will start to include aiki...do guys showing up in DR dojos,the local MMA clubs and with ICMA students and teachers. Trust me, it can happen

rob_liberti
09-17-2008, 10:07 AM
Okay. I got the message.

So in this thread, how about to actually discuss "in what manner" which is what I would like to focus on discussing - anyone who is not obviously initiated to the skill set is more than welcome to PM me and expect replies. However, I will do my best to refrain from continuing to discuss the differences in this "non-aikido" forum. There is enough for people to search through anyway.

So back to "in what manner"?

I posted a lot of valuable personal gains I got from my path of aikido before I started learning internal power so directly.

I would like to make those valuable experiences available to my students in what I teach going into the future. Preserving the "waza" until shodan or something can do that to some degree but then we are back into the having to unlearn physical habits model.

How can I make such valuable things available teaching aiki directly? Suggestions?

Rob

Walker
09-17-2008, 12:51 PM
I can say that for us there was a time when we flirted with the idea of "renaming", based on differences in technical syllabus (so called 'pre-war') and and training method, but in the end we decided that our teacher called it aikido, and it is aikido, so we are going to call it Aikido. Deal with it.

As far as "in what manner", Rob, I'm not sure it will be the problem you think it is.

As we do the kata, out understanding of the kata evolves, our ability to perform the kata evolves and our ability to express power in the kata evolves. In turn our unique expression, henka, evolve out of that and in turn our ability beyond or outside of kata and henka, pure art, let's say, arises from such a process.

This is the theory I was taught (in more than one venue) and it seems to be in operation in my training (but is in no way completed).

I suppose you could rearrange the pieces somewhat. I hear tell that the Chinese model has you standing and building power for years before they start teaching how to use that power in a form. It seems that the Japanese model is to teach forms and add power into them.

I think we all have experienced that jujutsu will work with raw leverage and muscle power. I think that is fine for some and you find that joy of athleticism in sport forms that dropped the rest away. Even in aikido, I'm sure that there are plenty for whom the joy of the physical workout in the company of friends is enough. But, if the kata are pure, they are always available, in my opinion, to receive power and propel one beyond form.

Jim Sorrentino
09-17-2008, 12:54 PM
Hello Dan,Bill Gleason came to train here. He was the 6th dan I refered to in an earlier post.Thank you very much for this post. I heartily agree with Prof. Goldsbury's comments.

I do not have a lot of time these days to post. I work for the Federal Housing Administration in the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and we have been... busy. :)

I look forward to seeing Gleason-sensei (and Rob L.) sooner, rather than later.

Sincerely,

Jim

rob_liberti
09-17-2008, 02:11 PM
Umm well, I have some further spine stretching to do before I am ready to go on tour. :)

Funny story really. It turns out that I was not physically stretching enough due to my misunderstanding some directions/advice. I had that stupid moment when I was explaining to Dan that I found it odd that I had to stretch up MORE when I used the skills to throw him than when I do my solo work. I actually could see him having that internal struggle to not slap his forehead. Oh well, I'm not the best and brightest! But luckily there is plenty of room for the not-so-bright hard workers in the spectrum!

It's an exciting time for me for sure.

Rob

mjchip
09-17-2008, 02:20 PM
Umm well, I have some further spine stretching to do before I am ready to go on tour. :)

Funny story really. It turns out that I was not physically stretching enough due to my misunderstanding some directions/advice. I had that stupid moment when I was explaining to Dan that I found it odd that I had to stretch up MORE when I used the skills to throw him than when I do my solo work. I actually could see him having that internal struggle to not slap his forehead. Oh well, I'm not the best and brightest! But luckily there is plenty of room for the not-so-bright hard workers in the spectrum!

It's an exciting time for me for sure.

Rob

Rob,

Just to make sure I'm not making the same mistake along with all of the other mistakes I'm making, can you clarify what you (I) should be doing?

Thanks,

Mark

rob_liberti
09-17-2008, 04:44 PM
Mark, it turns out that "stretch up" means literally physically stretch up (not in the chest of course) as well as intention up, and I wasn't doing the physical aspect enough. So I didn't have enough slack out of my body to do anything very useful.

I can show you a lot better than I can describe it for sure.
Rob

mjchip
09-17-2008, 05:21 PM
Mark, it turns out that "stretch up" means literally physically stretch up (not in the chest of course) as well as intention up, and I wasn't doing the physical aspect enough. So I didn't have enough slack out of my body to do anything very useful.

I can show you a lot better than I can describe it for sure.
Rob

Got it, thanks. Off to the dojo to do solo training before my class.....

Mark

phitruong
09-18-2008, 08:18 AM
Understood.

I've been thinking we should call it "Sho shin rob" :)

If we come up with another name, maybe we can change the name of the "non-aikido" section?

However, "the way of aiki" fits so well. I was hoping to popularize what I'm doing now to the point that people not doing it wouldn't want to have seminars or open schools using the name "aikido" for fear of someone with aiki skills showing up.

Rob

I was going to put in my vote for phido, failing that then aikidoki, and lastly aikidunotdo. Those names just roll right off the tongues.

Don't know what Dan teaches as basic, but the basic stuffs that I learned from Mike could easily incorporate into aikido and by the time a person got all the stuffs sorted out, he/she/it will be shodan or somewhere close. he/she/it can do waza with noticeable aiki (i hope, maybe, possibly).

As far as folks with aiki skills show up, we have two solutions 1) open a can of aiki-whup-ass on them or 2) invite them to sushi and beer. Take for example, the last time Howard came to our dojo, he opened a can of aiki-whup-ass on us, so we invited him out for sushi and beer. harmony restored. nobody got hurt, except for a bunch of fishes, but hey they were in a better place. :)

rob_liberti
09-18-2008, 11:38 AM
I'm good with phildo.

I have a friend named Don who teachs "sho shi ryu" that trains aiki with me now. I joked with him that we soon call his art "sho shin rob" and I'll call my art "aiki don". But I digress..

I have had several requests for me to go visit people and help show what do now. I would love to do that right away but:
1) I'm not yet good enough
2) I'd rather spend my time with my learning and my own dojo unless I feel the person I visit is going to be serious about perusing this stuff - so it becomes an investment where someday they can take it to places I haven't tried yet like "aiki" meets "hung gar" for instance.

There are of course several people I am close enough friends with that I'll be happy to share what I know so far with the moment I am blessed to do so and not misrepresent "the mad budo skillz" I'm learning.

I'm certainly open to suggestions on this point of "in what manner"...

Rob

Ron Tisdale
09-18-2008, 11:41 AM
Hi Rob,

I understand your teacher will be in the Philly area again rather soon...any chance you will come down with him? It would be a pleasure to meet you!
Best,
Ron

DH
09-18-2008, 02:20 PM
Just a word of caution.
Everyone needs to remain self-aware. Rob openly states he doesn't have it yet. That's good. But in balance after 18 years training it- I don't think I "have it" yet either. And what about other methods? So, I hope everyone is self-effacing of where they may be at, and don't start to think they have it-when they clearly don't. We've already seen it with some posters here-who go on and on about something they obviously haven't a clue about.
We don't want folks who might accidentally think they understand more than they do and cause more harm than good. Mike's cautions were sound and good advice. It's a balance you have to reach between when you want to share and when you actually are able ...to share. Add to that, just who you should be sharing with in the first place.
Think of it this way.
What is it going to gain any of us, if more hall-ass MAers start showing skills they barely know to other MAer's (who may already be doubting, or who are searching fro answers) who may go..."Bleck!..Thats nothing worth learning!" And in so doing you actually screw that person out of a great training tool they both wanted and needed but will now pass-up. You weren't intentionally misleading them, but screwed them none-the-less by misrepresentation. All due to your lousy skills in showing it.
All that does is bring us right back to more hobbyists MAers ruining the reputation of what was once good Martial arts all due to our ego's. No, I'm not meaning a "Hey look at what I can do" ego, but rather a "Here let me teach you. I know this cool stuff" type ego. How aweful would it be to find out -you- were the one to screw someone over by misleading them in their training?

We need to be careful about rushing around with barely learned skills-not the least of which might be a lack of an intuitive and experienced ability to teach it, while eagerly willing to show it to all and sundry. We've all seen enough of that with hundreds of teachers out there who have no business teaching. None.

I'm hoping for more introspection and hard work types over the- I can't wait to break out and teach types. to really latch on to this training, and lead the way.

Mike Sigman
09-18-2008, 03:27 PM
Just a word of caution.
Everyone needs to remain self-aware. Rob openly states he doesn't have it yet. That's good. But in balance after 18 years training it- I don't think I "have it" yet either. And what about other methods? So, I hope everyone is self-effacing of where they may be at, and don't start to think they have it-when they clearly don't. We've already seen it with some posters here-who go on and on about something they obviously haven't a clue about.
We don't want folks who might accidentally think they understand more than they do and cause more harm than good. Mike's cautions were sound and good advice. It's a balance you have to reach between when you want to share and when you actually are able ...to share. Add to that, just who you should be sharing with in the first place.The way I look at it is that by accident, ego, and design a lot of western practitioners missed or discounted a set of physical skills that were the core/goal of Asian martial arts for at least a couple of thousand years. Those skills aren't intuitive and must be taught... which is why the skills declined in availability as martial usage declined.

At the moment there are a number of people who have become interested in the skills and who are trying to access whatever information is available in order to recreate/replicate some of the skills, to varying degrees. However, I don't know of any westerners (me included) who are really even close to being "experts" yet at these skills, and I know from experience that not all that many Asian martial artists are full-blown "experts" either. It's a matter of 'you pays your money you takes your choice'.... hit or miss and you have to be careful. The full range of skills is bigger than most people think, so some caution is needed.

All that being said, I don't think there's any real way to stop every Tom, Dick, and Harry who has even some bit skills (or thinks he does) from getting out there and teaching before his time. It's just human nature and it's going to happen. The important thing, in my opinion, is to get the basics out there so that the die-off of the core skills doesn't happen again. Beyond that I wouldn't get too excited about it because on the whole it's an occasion for satisfaction that something that went wrong is (maybe) going to be put right for some of this generation and the next generation. So what if the basics get spread, sometimes incorrectly or incompletely? In that case, it's caveat emptor and it's certainly a lot better situation than we've had up until now. And no matter who thinks they're good now and have "got it", there's going to be someone(s) better in the next generation. That's a good thing. ;)

FWIW

Mike Sigman

rob_liberti
09-18-2008, 08:04 PM
My gosh...


I have had several requests for me to go visit people and help show what do now. I would love to do that right away but:
1) I'm not yet good enough
2) I'd rather spend my time with my learning and my own dojo unless I feel the person I visit is going to be serious about perusing this stuff - so it becomes an investment where someday they can take it to places I haven't tried yet like "aiki" meets "hung gar" for instance.

There are of course several people I am close enough friends with that I'll be happy to share what I know so far with the moment I am blessed to do so and not misrepresent "the mad budo skillz" I'm learning.


This was expressed poorly. Sorry for any potential confusion. So:
I stand fully behind what I wrote for #1 - I'm not good enough yet

But #2 should be more like - WHEN I AM GOOD ENOUGH (not expert but much more connected and able to use the skills so I don't screw anyone up more than help them) I still would rather concentrate on my training and my own students (who only do the solo exercises along side of me currently before normal aikido class). However, once I am at that level, I'll be willing to go out and visit some people who I know are very serious that would be worth the investment of me NOT going to train myself. People who I know understand shugyo, and hopefully people who do other interesting things that would be interesting to learn what they are like when powered by this kind of aiki skill set.

Hope that clears up any confusion.

So Dan or Mike, what "level" of this skill set do you think it good enough before it is shared with the uninitiated? I was thinking once I could do a series of those super punches (you tell me what to call them). But maybe that is not yet good enough either. I still don't know enough to even evaluate what the level should be myself. We can talk off line too. It's just that this is the "in what manner" thread...

Rob

Mike Sigman
09-18-2008, 08:25 PM
So Dan or Mike, what "level" of this skill set do you think it good enough before it is shared with the uninitiated? I was thinking once I could do a series of those super punches (you tell me what to call them). But maybe that is not yet good enough either. I still don't know enough to even evaluate what the level should be myself. We can talk off line too. It's just that this is the "in what manner" thread...There is a problem in gauging exactly what level is appropriate for various martial arts. The same question arises for a number of arts. Let's take an art outside of Aikido, for instance Judo, and try to decide what is the appropriate level of ki/kokyu skills.

First of all, we have to decide what the founder of Judo (Jigoro Kano) knew and intended. Let's say, as a talking point, that Jigoro Kano had skills of level 5 (on a 1-to-10 scale) and that his Judo consisted of all viable Judo waza plus his own personal skills of level 5. The problem is that most people going into Judo have no idea that Kano had some skills in these areas (later records indicate that he did, BTW). So most people think that Judo has to do with the many Judo techniques (same is true of Aikido) and the smoothness with which they are executed.

But let's say that Judo people begin to understand via various indicators (like the kata in Judo, old films, etc.) that Kano had some specific skills that relate to ki/kokyu. How much of those skills did he have? We don't know precisely. But generally we could postulate that anyone with less than those skills is not complete enough (as a legitimate debate point), right? How about if one of Kano's students like Mifune actually had more ki/kokyu skills than Kano himself did? Would that still be legitimate Judo if even more ki/kokyu skills were applied to Judo? You see the point, which is the same basic question that Rob is asking... what is the level of ki/kokyu skills that is legitimately a requisite before teaching them as part of "Aikido"?

Tohei answered this question by setting up a separate ranking system for ki/kokyu skills. Now that I understand what Tohei did (and believe me, we *all* start from ignorance), I think he brilliantly foresaw the problem and stepped around it.

What is the rest of Aikido going to do, though?

Honestly, I think that remains to be seen and the answer is going to be determined by the rank and file of Aikido (for instance the readers of AikiWeb, other forums, various Aikido organizations, etc.).

For the moment, my personal and general answer would be that someone should be able to replicate some general ki-ability tests similar to the ones that Tohei set up (BTW, I am not a Tohei student or even a particular fan of his). That's the first thing. Secondly, they need to be able to move (sans shoulder reliance) with these skills before they are qualified to *teach* these skills as part of Aikido. But that's just my personal and general answer. In reality I realize that during this transition from chaos to order there will be a lot of different answers. And that's fair enough. All I would personally ask is that teachers respect the idea that their students are humans too, and if you lead them wrong you do them wrong. Be sure you're right before you start preaching the gospel. ;)

Best.

Mike Sigman

gdandscompserv
09-18-2008, 10:38 PM
I don't see the worry. If I don't know how to do something, you're sure as hell not going to have to worry about me attempting to teach it.
Aikido as I was taught, didn't include very much weapon's work. Consequently I do not attempt to teach that aspect of the art. Besides, I'm inclined to believe Dan when he says he sees very little good weapon work from aikidoka.
I know very little about internal stuffs (thanks phi:D ), consequently you aint gonna catch me attempting to teach them. I guess what I'm sayin is that worrying about posers teaching internal stuffs seems a little paranoid to me. I pretty much teach nothing but basics. As I see it, I can spend a lifetime just perfecting basic aikido and be very happy with it. Of course, now I want to spend another lifetime learning internal stuffs but you aint gonna catch me trying to teach something I don't know.
Of course, the more I know, the less I know. Sometimes I wonder if I have any business teaching anything at all. I do however love training and since I'm the only one in town, I do what I can.
Besides, if you internal guys would just get out and teach more of us, there would be less posers around to worry about.
:D

Mike Sigman
09-18-2008, 10:44 PM
I guess what I'm sayin is that worrying about posers teaching internal stuffs seems a little paranoid to me. I pretty much teach nothing but basics. Heh. That was a classic, Ricky. :D

Mike

gdandscompserv
09-18-2008, 11:11 PM
Heh. That was a classic, Ricky. :D

Mike
lol, Yeah, from your perspective I'm sure. I'm well aware that you consider internal stuffs to be basic, but you and I both know we're talking about different things. I profess no skills in the basics as you have defined them, but by your own admission these basics are quite rare anyway, right? I do basic waza, nothing more, nothing less, but I am also a lifetime student of budo, grasping at knowledge where ever I can find it. Even from you, like it or not.:D

rob_liberti
09-18-2008, 11:35 PM
Hey Robert John - you are about 3 years into this stuff right? A what point did you feel you were doing people more good than harm by showing them stuff on your own?

Rob

Upyu
09-19-2008, 10:47 AM
Hey Robert John - you are about 3 years into this stuff right? A what point did you feel you were doing people more good than harm by showing them stuff on your own?

Rob

Well first off, I rarely show people "on my own." This past workshop was only the second one I've ever done, and frankly it gives me the jitters since I realize the distinct possibility of sending someone down an errant side road is huge.
I try to show only what I'm pretty certain is "true" from a general context, not to mention cross checking the material with Ark.

Fortunately, so far none of the stuff I've posted, (including some of the other "training for martial movement posts" ) have been wrong, even after looking back a year or two later. While there are significantly deeper aspects I've mined since then, all the basic concepts still hold true.

Mike Sigman
09-19-2008, 11:11 AM
Hey Robert John - you are about 3 years into this stuff right? A what point did you feel you were doing people more good than harm by showing them stuff on your own?
Heh. No offense to anyone involved (i.e., both Robs) but when I read that last question I had to laugh out loud. I'm sure Rob L. didn't mean it, but I sort of read the last question as being similar to asking "At what point did you feel like you had quit beating your wife and were now helping her?". I.e., the question presumes that Rob John must have been misdirecting his students at some point.

On a more serious note, I would offer the suggestion that there would be 3 serious steps in the process, which I'll take a personal stab at trying to define:

(1.) A person should not be "teaching" others or "showing the way" until they can easily replicate, let's say, the static "ki-tests" that Tohei uses in Ki-Aikido (well, I'm talking about the ones I used to see in books years ago).

(2.) A person should not be teaching moving exercises before they themselves can exhibit reasonable/consistent movement that has ki/kokyu skills throughout it at all times and movement is led by the hara.

(3.) A person should not be teaching Aikido waza, in my personal opinion, until they're fairly consistent at #1 and #2, but of course this is not going to be the case, in reality.

The trick at the moment is to slide as much and as pure ki/kokyu skills into existing organizations as possible. It's going to be very hard to do it adequately. A lot of schools, etc., couldn't care less about putting ki into Aikido, but that's actually a positive thing. Let them go; it's just less to worry about.

One thought I have is that it's best to work with a whole school and not individuals. Piece-mealing things seems to just not work as well as when an active group makes an effort to change over. That's an important point. If you don't have a school working together, someone who is focusing on the skills almost invariably is forced to drop out and work by himself in order to get the engine running (I think Mark Murray and a number of others will vouch for this).

Anyway, those are just some thoughts, FWIW.

Best.

Mike

gdandscompserv
09-19-2008, 11:58 AM
(1.) A person should not be "teaching" others or "showing the way" until they can easily replicate, let's say, the static "ki-tests" that Tohei uses in Ki-Aikido (well, I'm talking about the ones I used to see in books years ago).

(2.) A person should not be teaching moving exercises before they themselves can exhibit reasonable/consistent movement that has ki/kokyu skills throughout it at all times and movement is led by the hara.

(3.) A person should not be teaching Aikido waza, in my personal opinion, until they're fairly consistent at #1 and #2, but of course this is not going to be the case, in reality.
Would you be so kind as to provide a 'short' list of those that you believe are qualified to teach aikido waza?

rob_liberti
09-19-2008, 01:12 PM
Thanks. I agree I could have stated that better. It's becoming a reoccurring theme. I just have time to post quickly and not spend too much time proof reading.

Rob

eyrie
09-19-2008, 04:44 PM
Would you be so kind as to provide a 'short' list of those that you believe are qualified to teach aikido waza? Rick,

Mike was merely offering a personal opinion as to the steps anyone would need to introduce ki/kokyu (back) into aikido. I don't think it needs to be taken the way you phrased the question. ;)

gdandscompserv
09-19-2008, 05:33 PM
Rick,

Mike was merely offering a personal opinion as to the steps anyone would need to introduce ki/kokyu (back) into aikido. I don't think it needs to be taken the way you phrased the question. ;)
Ignatius,
I am very interested in learning internal stuffs. If Mike knows anybody in the aikido world that has these skills I would like to know who they are. Not sure how you took it, but my interest is sincere.

MM
09-24-2008, 04:22 PM
From Abundant Peace by John Stevens.

http://www.amazon.com/Abundant-Peace-John-Stevens/dp/0877733503/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1222290355&sr=1-1


When Sokaku returned to Hokkaido a few years later, inevitably he and Morihei crossed paths. Morihei had known of Sokaku's presence in Hokkaido for some time. Once, after thrashing a sumo wrestler in an impromptu contest, Morihei was asked if he was the "famous Sokaku Takeda." On a trip to Engaru, Morihei learned that Sokaku was conducting a session in a nearby inn and immediately rushed there to attend.

After witnessing an impressive demonstration and being deftly handled by the skinny Sokaku, Morihei applied for admission to the "Daito Ryu," as Sokaku styled his teaching, and was accepted. Morihei forgot about everything else, staying at the inn for a month, training day and night with Sokaku; following thirty days of practice, Morihei was presented with a first-level teaching license.


The next para states that Morihei returned to Shirataki and invited Sokaku there.


... and received private instruction each morning for two hours. Sokaku also taught a group lesson later in the day.


Quite a bit of what has been written follows this example. Ueshiba doesn't have a lot of time with Takeda to learn. Thirty days of practice, even morning and night doesn't add up to much.

If you train 2 hours a day, 3 days a week for a year -- that gives you about 26 days of training if you were to factor in each day's training lasting 12 hours.

So, really, that month is about one year of training. Two at most. Adding up the training times for Ueshiba, it wasn't all that long. I would venture to guess that most people in Aikido who have 20 years of training have way more time on the mat than Ueshiba had with Takeda.

And judging by how well Ueshiba did with the first meeting, his vaunted skills were useless. According to Stevens, Ueshiba was even mistaken for Takeda. Skilled? Yes. Skilled in a way that Takeda was? Not even close. Ueshiba's skills were as nothing to Takeda.

MM
09-24-2008, 04:35 PM
Abundant Peace by John Stevens.

He talks about Ueshiba pretty much splitting from Takeda around 1922. Stevens goes on to say that by 1925, Ueshiba was "invincible as a martial artist".

Ueshiba trains with Takeda 1915-1922, but mostly in short periods of time. And between 1922 and 1925, it seems Ueshiba learned on his own. Solo training? Whatever it was, Ueshiba got better and better from the teachings of Takeda -- and Ueshiba didn't need Takeda there all the time to do it.

DH
09-24-2008, 05:58 PM
Ueshiba was training with Takeda into the 30's
The total days of training in seminars have been counted to add up to 70+ to 90+ days depending on who's counting.
It doesn't count all the private training. More important than those days are the days he kept training with his own people. All of those early guys only saw Takeda now and then. They kept training over and over practicing. That's probably the main source of their improvement.

As for 1922 period. I disagree with some people's assessment.
I do not believe that Ueshiba had aiki until then. And it is why after Takeda's long stay in Ayabe that Deguchi was so impressed by the aiki of Takeda's Daito ryu that he suggested Takeda change the name to Aiki-jujutsu. Why? because he stated the aiki was what was so magnificent. Takeda did change the name.

Some want to suggest that it was in Ayabe that Ueshiba was given jujutsu. Personally I think Deguchi and sooo many there knew and had seen all too much jujutsu, and that they were not impressed by more waza. I believe Ueshiba learned jujutsu with Takeda until his stay at Ayabe. During that long live-in period Takeda gave aiki to Ueshiba and only after that...did he allow Ueshiba to teach.

To follow that logic to Stevens quote- I can only say that making an argument that Daito ryu jujutsu would make anyone invincible- I find completely ridiculous.

Daito ryu aiki is the power of Daito ryu and the power of Takeda and thence Ueshiba's invincibility and Deguchi's amazement at Takeda's what???
Aiki.
Apparently, Deguchi got that much....loud and clear, if no one else has since.

raul rodrigo
09-24-2008, 11:43 PM
I guess what I'm sayin is that worrying about posers teaching internal stuffs seems a little paranoid to me. I pretty much teach nothing but basics.

Take kokyu-ho, the most basic exercise we have in aikido for building internal power. Many teachers I've met do teach it without any kokyu ryoku at all. They have no idea that they're missing it and their students have no idea either--until they lay their hands on an aikidoka from a different lineage and wonder what the hell is going on.

eyrie
09-25-2008, 04:17 AM
They have no idea that they're missing it and their students have no idea either--until they lay their hands on an aikidoka from a different lineage and wonder what the hell is going on. Or they meet someone "stronger" in a different way and go... WTF! How...??? :D

Peter Goldsbury
09-25-2008, 04:25 AM
Hello Mark,

You should be aware that John Stevens extensively revised Perpetual Peace and published the revised work as Invincible Warrior in 1997. It is not clear that the newer work is more reliable than the older work with respect to matters of fact.

PAG

MM
09-25-2008, 07:23 AM
Hello Mark,

You should be aware that John Stevens extensively revised Perpetual Peace and published the revised work as Invincible Warrior in 1997. It is not clear that the newer work is more reliable than the older work with respect to matters of fact.

PAG

Peter,

Thank you. I'll keep an eye out for Invincible Warrior as I go through some of the books I have now. It's interesting to reread them and find correlations to ideas like this thread. Although Stevens puts more emphasis on Omoto kyo as being a cause for Ueshiba's martial power, Stevens still shows a very limited time frame for it to happen. It will be interesting to read more of Steven's work to see what changes or remains the same.

Mark

Peter Goldsbury
09-25-2008, 07:50 AM
Peter,

Thank you. I'll keep an eye out for Invincible Warrior as I go through some of the books I have now. It's interesting to reread them and find correlations to ideas like this thread. Although Stevens puts more emphasis on Omoto kyo as being a cause for Ueshiba's martial power, Stevens still shows a very limited time frame for it to happen. It will be interesting to read more of Steven's work to see what changes or remains the same.

Mark

Hello Mark,

Rather than search for Invincible Warrior, which, after all, is a biography of Morihei Ueshiba based on secondary sources, I suggest that you obtain a copy of the English translation of Kisshomaru's biography (I quoted a long section in my latest post in the TIE 10 thread), but then read it very critically, in the light of Stan Pranin's research in Aikido Journal.

However, you have devoted a number of threads to giving 'raw' quotes from interviews in Aikido Masters and then drawing conclusions about Sokaku Takeda or Morihei Ueshiba. I have taught comparative culture for many years and I know that most research in this field is based on interviews. However, the type of interview in which the interviewer simply allows the interviewee free reign is notoriously unreliable. It has to be supplemented with more reliable data, which has never been done in aikido.

Best wishes,

Patrick Hutchinson
09-25-2008, 08:47 AM
I'm wondering whether the single greatest impediment to the development of internal power is the overuse of chairs. :D
Do they ever screw up your alignment.

MM
09-25-2008, 09:32 AM
Hello Mark,

Rather than search for Invincible Warrior, which, after all, is a biography of Morihei Ueshiba based on secondary sources, I suggest that you obtain a copy of the English translation of Kisshomaru's biography (I quoted a long section in my latest post in the TIE 10 thread), but then read it very critically, in the light of Stan Pranin's research in Aikido Journal.

However, you have devoted a number of threads to giving 'raw' quotes from interviews in Aikido Masters and then drawing conclusions about Sokaku Takeda or Morihei Ueshiba. I have taught comparative culture for many years and I know that most research in this field is based on interviews. However, the type of interview in which the interviewer simply allows the interviewee free reign is notoriously unreliable. It has to be supplemented with more reliable data, which has never been done in aikido.

Best wishes,

Hi Peter,

Your quoted part in TIE was interesting. The rest of the book, I imagine, would be worth reading. I am finding, though, from reading through the books, interviews, lectures, etc that there are some common elements showing through. While it is true that research based upon these elements is risky at times, it is also true that denying certain common elements is hard to do ... unless there is a conspiracy theory at play.

Take for example the push test thread. While we have only sporadic quotes from the founder, we have many common quotes from multiple sources surrounding the founder. It would be very hard to deny that the founder had people push on him as some sort of test. It would still be hard to deny that this happened often. Unless everyone interviewed has agreed to spread this kind of misinformation.

Mining data from interviews can be unreliable. It is why I opened the threads. Because I wanted to pull data from as many sources as I could and examine the common elements. My interpretation and analysis can be faulty, so the threads are there for others to view and add their own. There are few places to pull reliable data, so I try to make do with what I have at the time.

raul rodrigo
09-25-2008, 09:52 AM
Or they meet someone "stronger" in a different way and go... WTF! How...??? :D

Exactly.

R

DH
09-25-2008, 09:52 AM
Assuming we are talking of the body of work including solo training as well as various forms of pushing-is it a coincidence that Takeda told Sagawa to keep it to himself? That Sagawa stated something along the lines of "This type of training was always something one kept to himself." ? That even in arts that had it they never stressed it? and instead relied on kata as a transmission vehicle?
As one senior teacher noted after feeling this for the first time statte "This would wreak havoc on Aikido as we now know it."
I like to think it answers the question of how long and what manner to great mastery to aiki in short order. While not being the only tools needed, they so outstrip all others combined that they should be the single most active part of training.
For that reason is it any wonder that so many did in fact keep the knowledge of how to train this way to themselves? Is it a conspiracy of silence? The motives for so many who have the skills to somehow not have taught them, and the fact that they are so rarely known or practiced today does speak to that. More so when you consider that other schools had them and dropped training them, and still others train them and kept them to theirselves.
Funny how Ellis's "Hidden in plain site" just keeps coming back around isn't it?

Peter Goldsbury
09-25-2008, 10:20 AM
Hi Peter,

Your quoted part in TIE was interesting. The rest of the book, I imagine, would be worth reading. I am finding, though, from reading through the books, interviews, lectures, etc that there are some common elements showing through. While it is true that research based upon these elements is risky at times, it is also true that denying certain common elements is hard to do ... unless there is a conspiracy theory at play.
PAG. The issue here is how you characterize these 'common elements'. Do you assume that all aikidoka would naturally recognize these common elements? You can think of the difference between truth and rumor, so I do not think it is necessary to resort to conspiracy theories. You can take it that I do not agree that these 'common elements' are obvious to those who read all the books, interviews, lectures, etc.
For example, some have argued that there are common elements running through O Sensei's douka: a kind of code that establishes that he really understood all the subtleties of the Chinese tradition concerning 'internal' arts. However this has never been established in detail and the usual response is that it is simply obvious to those who have read the Chinese texts.

Take for example the push test thread. While we have only sporadic quotes from the founder, we have many common quotes from multiple sources surrounding the founder. It would be very hard to deny that the founder had people push on him as some sort of test. It would still be hard to deny that this happened often. Unless everyone interviewed has agreed to spread this kind of misinformation.
PAG. I agree. However, I think you need to show more clearly and more exactly what the ability to pass the push test is supposed to show, or prove. My own teacher in the UK regularly had several students push on his head while he was sitting cross-legged, just like O Sensei. But we never thought that he had any special internal skills. Of course, he might have had, but neither he nor we realized it. However, this is another issue, which cannot be resolved by appealing to the push test.

Mining data from interviews can be unreliable. It is why I opened the threads. Because I wanted to pull data from as many sources as I could and examine the common elements. My interpretation and analysis can be faulty, so the threads are there for others to view and add their own. There are few places to pull reliable data, so I try to make do with what I have at the time.
PAG. Yes, but I think you need to understand the unreliability of the 'data' that you are mining. You mentioned 'reliable' data, but you appear to assume that the volume of data somehow makes the data reliable. In my opinion, any common element in unreliable data is just as unreliable as the elements.

Best wishes,

PAG

MM
09-25-2008, 12:28 PM
PAG. The issue here is how you characterize these 'common elements'. Do you assume that all aikidoka would naturally recognize these common elements? You can think of the difference between truth and rumor, so I do not think it is necessary to resort to conspiracy theories. You can take it that I do not agree that these 'common elements' are obvious to those who read all the books, interviews, lectures, etc.
For example, some have argued that there are common elements running through O Sensei's douka: a kind of code that establishes that he really understood all the subtleties of the Chinese tradition concerning 'internal' arts. However this has never been established in detail and the usual response is that it is simply obvious to those who have read the Chinese texts.


Well, the "how" is my own theories. And hopefully, others would post their theories or in some way show that mine are flawed. :)


PAG. I agree. However, I think you need to show more clearly and more exactly what the ability to pass the push test is supposed to show, or prove. My own teacher in the UK regularly had several students push on his head while he was sitting cross-legged, just like O Sensei. But we never thought that he had any special internal skills. Of course, he might have had, but neither he nor we realized it. However, this is another issue, which cannot be resolved by appealing to the push test.


This is the border between mining the data from unreliable sources, forming the theory and then proving the theory. And I do agree with your posts. My theories are just that. It is what I think is happening. But, I'm not really done gathering the commonalities, so I can only theorize at this point. I don't think everyone will agree with me and I hope that others will shed some light on what they see.


PAG. Yes, but I think you need to understand the unreliability of the 'data' that you are mining. You mentioned 'reliable' data, but you appear to assume that the volume of data somehow makes the data reliable. In my opinion, any common element in unreliable data is just as unreliable as the elements.

Best wishes,

PAG

I think the volume of data that I am mining currently is reliable in the sense that it shows certain events happening. For example, in the push thread, Ueshiba was pushed and it happened often. Where it crosses over to theory is why was Ueshiba being pushed? What was Ueshiba working on? Etc.

I'm open to other theories and ideas.

Erick Mead
09-26-2008, 11:08 PM
PAG. ... some have argued that there are common elements running through O Sensei's douka: a kind of code that establishes that he really understood all the subtleties of the Chinese tradition concerning 'internal' arts. However this has never been established in detail and the usual response is that it is simply obvious to those who have read the Chinese texts. 這個人可以閱讀漢語的, 也 不是太明顯.

Erick Mead
09-26-2008, 11:10 PM
I'm open to other theories and ideas. :eek: :blush: :rolleyes::D

rob_liberti
09-27-2008, 09:10 AM
The last 2 posts were peanut gallery style only resorting to a foreign language and pictures... Methinks that when people tell you to shut up, you take them a bit too seriously. :)

Rob

Mike Sigman
09-27-2008, 10:25 AM
For example, some have argued that there are common elements running through O Sensei's douka: a kind of code that establishes that he really understood all the subtleties of the Chinese tradition concerning 'internal' arts. However this has never been established in detail and the usual response is that it is simply obvious to those who have read the Chinese texts. Well, I grant that the idea has never been "established" as a fact in a rigorous academic manner, but I'd be willing to bet my house on it. To me it's an aside and that does indeed seem obvious for a number of reasons, but my focus has been more on the functionals of these skills. Let's just say that if the Chinese have used cars for a couple of thousand years and I find that O-Sensei turns out to have driven a Shinto-mobile that maneuvers exactly like a Chinese car and his douka make obvious references to gasoline and oil, I'm not too surprised. ;) If someone says those references are not rigorous proof that Ueshiba drove a Shinto-mobile, I take the point as valid, but I'm not too concerned because I'm considering a wealth of other contributing data about the functional aspects and the douka are, to me, simply tangential additions to all the other indicators.

The more important question in my perspective has little to do with Ueshiba's Buddhist-derived Shinto references, but toward a more important consideration of whether the Yin-Yang cosmology came first and the body studies came later... or whether the body studies came first and the cosmology (the same things Ueshiba was cryptically referring to) developed out of the observations about how the body worked.

Incidentally, I'm still (as always) uncomfortable about the reference to "internal" without someone saying "internal strength" (nei jin) in some way. Even the external arts used these basic skills.

All the Best.

Mike Sigman

Allen Beebe
09-27-2008, 11:09 AM
Hi Guys,

You know it seems to me very unlikely that Ueshiba got his internal power skills in a religious content free manner. My understanding is that receiving such training in some form of religious content was the norm rather than the exception. So regardless of where it came from, I would be very surprised if it didn't come in the normal packaging. (Yes, I know, they may not be taught that way now . . . but that isn't what we're talking about.)

Furthermore, it seems to me very unlikely that Ueshiba probably didn't get his primary instruction about internal strength from Onisaburo Deguchi. I think this simply because there is no evidence that I am aware of that Onisaburo Deguchi produced any other individuals with that power from among the many, many followers of Omoto.

Takeda, on the other hand, did produce others with internal strength.

This is no proof that I am aware of that Ueshiba learned his internal stuff from Takeda outside of some sort of religious context, nor is there proof, that I am aware of, that Takeda learned it outside of some sort of religious context.

One doesn't necessarily have to "drink the koolaid" to learn the technology that was so often dilivered within a religious context however.

(As an aside I'd encourage readers not to limit their thinking to tori fune kogi, tama furi, and the like. Shiko and the like - breath control - intent - were all a part of the Yamabushi no Gyo that my teacher taught me (which can exist in either a Buddhist or Shinto context) and according to what Toby Threadgill wrote Shindo Yoshin Ryu's Nairiki is fully taught in a similar vein.)

FWIW,

Allen

MM
09-28-2008, 08:22 AM
1. Push test. Ueshiba had people push on him often and with everything they could muster. That is not arguable. It happened. Ueshiba's students said it in interviews, Ueshiba is interviewed talking about it, Ueshiba demonstrates on video, and As Takahashi stated it on a Youtube video. No one could push him over. No one with any kind of jujutsu or judo or sumo or kendo could push him over. Theoretically, that says that there is something different that Ueshiba did that the others, who had these backgrounds, could not.

2. Time. None of the greats studied more than 15 years to get as good as they did. Some did it in far less time -- 5 to 10 years. This, too, is not arguable. It is fact -- once they started training with Ueshiba.

3. Teaching. The skills were taught in some manner. Takeda to Ueshiba, Sagawa, Kodo. Ueshiba to Tomiki, Shioda. (Yes, I leave out other names. Who got it, at this point, isn't as important as it was passed on.) And those taught had varied backgrounds that didn't help them before they started learning. See point #2.

So, here is my thought process. For the below items, I use Dan as an example, but the who isn't important. There are others who can do this. I use Dan because I have more experience with him.

1A. Dan lets people push on him. I couldn't move him. I know others that couldn't. I have a background in aikido. Others had varied backgrounds. The push test here is indicative of some specific skill. Does that specific skill relate to #1 above? Theoretically, I believe it does. But, more research was needed.

2A. I see Dan's students from ground zero to almost 15 years. I see the skill levels between them and it is interesting to note that someone with 3-5 years is strong (budo strong). They withstand pushes well. They move with structure and can apply it. The one person with almost 15 years is, in my opinion, beyond Tohei's skill level. Does that apply to #2 above? Added with #1A, it starts to paint a very strong theory. More research.

3. Dan has a teaching methodology that creates strong (budo strong) students in 3-5 years and it just progresses from there. The skills he has can be taught and in a short (relatively in the martial world *and* with the student putting in the solo and paired work) time. Does that apply to #3 above? Again, with 1A and 2A, it looks pretty good.

So, that was just my basic approach. The skill set itself added to the research, but I won't go into that part right now. I want to keep this simple.

Background. The above was the start and the experience. But, it still doesn't really tie them all together. So, I started digging on the Internet and asking questions.

1B. Someone else who trained under Ueshiba stated that what Dan was doing was what Ueshiba did. As in #1 above, we have direct evidence (for those that do the research). Also, every aikido student who went has come back stating that, yes, this is what aikido is all about. This is the skill set. It's hard to argue with 4th degrees to 6th degrees about what constitutes aikido.

2B. People who have invested 20 to 40 years have experienced these skills and said it was what they were looking for. They have invested long years of training trying to achieve these skills and when confronted with direct, physical experience, they have said these are *the* skills of Aikido. 20 plus years of training. Yet, the greats never trained that long to be strong. What was it that was missed? 100% conversion rate is hard to overlook.

3B. If you do the research, you can find where Dan trained, who he trained with, and what school. I'll give you a hint -- DR. So, here is someone who trained in the precursor to aikido showing skills from that lineage. Ueshiba didn't get his skills from Deguchi. Stan Pranin's research nullifies that theory. Ueshiba got his skills from Takeda. Takeda taught Ueshiba, Sagawa, Kodo. Each student of Takeda used the DR aiki in their own way.

The conclusion that I have reached is that these skills *are* aiki. They are what Ueshiba used.

Allen Beebe
09-28-2008, 08:55 AM
Furthermore, it seems to me very unlikely that Ueshiba probably didn't get his primary instruction about internal strength from Onisaburo Deguchi. I think this simply because there is no evidence that I am aware of that Onisaburo Deguchi produced any other individuals with that power from among the many, many followers of Omoto.


Oops! Meant to write, "Furthermore, it seems to me very unlikely that Ueshiba got his primary instruction about internal strength from Onisaburo Deguchi. . . "

Deguchi may have influenced Ueshiba with how to spin, market, package, frame, interpret, his internal strength . . . he seems to have influenced Takada's packaging (naming of Daito ryu).

The timing of this influence and name change (if accurate) made me remember that there is a picture of Yoshida Kenji in front of a kakejiku upon which was written "Yanagi Ryu Aikijujutsu" (if memory serves) dated about this same time. Kotaro Yoshida and Takeda Sokaku had a pretty tight connection, which leads me to wonder if there was any tangential Deguchi influence upon that art's naming.

Just drawing lines between various dots floating in my vacuous brain . . .

Allen

rob_liberti
09-28-2008, 10:19 AM
You know the funny thing about this is that the length of time to have the basic skill set screws up a lot of things I thought were facts.

I used to read posts here and on other forums about aikido where people wrote some incredible assertions, and when you asked them what their background was it would be like: "I was an uchideshi for 4 or 5 years!" and I'd think "yawn". But I didn't give them too hard of a time because in many other fields 4-5 years brings you close to expert status. We give people "masters" and "PHDs" in a short amount of focused time. People who work on computer systems for that much time can get near expert status in their field. Then you have aikido, where 40 years used to "scratch the surface".

Now a different training methodology brings us back into the 4-5 years range. You still will have just barely scratched the surface, but it is actually scratched. I don't know what to think about this, in 50 more years will I still think after 5 years of this stuff that I indeed scratched the surface? It seems like the depth to be discovered is potentially far beyond what I thought possible in a lifetime. At what point do we say "great mastery".

Rob

Ron Tisdale
09-29-2008, 04:06 PM
Hey Allen,

At what point do we say "great mastery".

Hey, in my case, I just don't... ;)

Best,
Ron

MM
09-29-2008, 04:23 PM
The question is dual in its scope. What Manner to Great Mastery? It has two sides. The first being in what training method did the "greats" use to gain such skill. However, there is a flip side to the question. Exactly how were the "greats" perceived as having "Great Mastery"? Others viewed them as being great, but why? What manner gave them this view?

We can all see Shioda on video trouncing his ukes. We can see Tohei tossing people. Ueshiba. Etc. However, nowhere do we ever see any students who are comparable to the teacher. It is as if the students are there only to show the great mastery of the teacher. Shioda, Tomiki, etc were *taught* something. They learned how to be strong. It was knowledge and training passed to them by other teachers. Where, then, are their students that they passed on this training? Could they not teach as they were taught? Was the teaching method flawed? Was there only a few taught the specific skills?

It is easy to show great mastery when the students are of such a vast difference in skill and abilities. If the training method is not flawed, where are the students to match the teacher? These "greats" taught over many years. And if they (the greats) learned in such short time, where are their students who also learned?

What "Great Mastery" lies within the vast skill differences between two people?

Allen Beebe
09-29-2008, 04:51 PM
Hey Allen,

Hey, in my case, I just don't... ;)

Best,
Ron

Hi Ron,

I think you may have read Rob Liberti's post and thought it was me. At least the quote you posted was his.

I'm with you. I'm very uncomfortable with terms like "mastery," "master," etc. They imply a lot and prove very little. I also am a proponent of letting one's ability speak for itself.

Hope you're well,
Allen
(Reminder: Come to Washington!)

Mark Gibbons
09-29-2008, 05:08 PM
....Others viewed them as being great, but why? What manner gave them this view?

We can all see Shioda on video trouncing his ukes. We can see Tohei tossing people. Ueshiba. Etc. However, nowhere do we ever see any students who are comparable to the teacher. ....

I've seen endless examples of teachers, live and video, trouncing their students so I don't think this criteria means much. Do you have some other means of judging skill that leads you to say we don't see students comparable to their teachers.

Even hands on I think you have to be very good yourself in order to tell the subtle differences between very good, great mastery and something you wanted to believe in.

Regards,
Mark

DH
09-29-2008, 10:23 PM
Do you have some other means of judging skill that leads you to say we don't see students comparable to their teachers.
Yes
Can they stop their teachers in their tracks.
Are encouraged to do so.
Are being specifically and in great detail taught how to stop the teacher in their tracks.
And they -the students- have skills that are increasingly challenging the teachers to stay ahead in their own pursuits or have the student shoot past.
And without knowing rank, you can sort them by skills
.
.
Even hands on I think you have to be very good yourself in order to tell the subtle differences between very good, great mastery and something you wanted to believe in.
Regards,
Mark
I don't think that's true at all. On one level you are going to get handled regardless of your efforts-you'll know straight away you are far outmatched.
On another level you should be also dealing with power far beyond your abilities. And that power should be unusual and obvious.
And so far I haven't mentioned waza or subtleties in anyway.

Subtleties in waza? Depends on what you mean. Most of what I have seen in various arts that is subtle isn't really worth much. Most wouldn't work and is nonsense against able fighters..
Subtleties in movement? That's more realistic to carry forward in more stressful environments

gdandscompserv
09-29-2008, 10:48 PM
Yes
Can they stop their teachers in their tracks.
Are encouraged to do so.
Are being specifically and in great detail taught how to stop the teacher in their tracks.
And they -the students- have skills that are increasingly challenging the teachers to stay ahead in their own pursuits or have the student shoot past.
And without knowing rank, you can sort them by skills

I don't think that's true at all. On one level you are going to get handled regardless of your efforts-you'll know straight away you are far outmatched.
On another level you should be also dealing with power far beyond your abilities. And that power should be unusual and obvious.
And so far I haven't mentioned waza or subtleties in anyway.

Subtleties in waza? Depends on what you mean. Most of what I have seen in various arts that is subtle isn't really worth much. Most wouldn't work and is nonsense against able fighters..
Subtleties in movement? That's more realistic to carry forward in more stressful environments
You know Dan, it's posts like this that keep me waiting for your posts. Some very good stuff in that one.:cool:

Mark Gibbons
09-30-2008, 12:51 PM
Yes
Can they stop their teachers in their tracks.
Are encouraged to do so.
Are being specifically and in great detail taught how to stop the teacher in their tracks.
And they -the students- have skills that are increasingly challenging the teachers to stay ahead in their own pursuits or have the student shoot past.
And without knowing rank, you can sort them by skills
.

Thanks for the list Dan.


Even hands on I think you have to be very good yourself in order to tell the subtle differences between very good, great mastery and something you wanted to believe in.
Regards,
Mark



I don't think that's true at all. On one level you are going to get handled regardless of your efforts-you'll know straight away you are far outmatched.
On another level you should be also dealing with power far beyond your abilities. And that power should be unusual and obvious.
And so far I haven't mentioned waza or subtleties in anyway.

Subtleties in waza? ....



I wasn't talking about waza at all. I was failing to make the point that even hands on it is difficult to tell how good someone is.Its easy to tell they are a lot better than me. But, from my level of suckiness, its almost impossible to tell the difference between the good and very good, much last great masters. In most fields I'm familiar with the distinctions between the the highly skilled are subtle distinctions.

Thanks,
Mark

rob_liberti
09-30-2008, 03:41 PM
I agree with this to a degree. I kind of think about this issue in terms of 2 dumbbells look identical (same size no markings, etc.) with different density. One is a thousand pounds. The other is a million pounds. If someone asks me which one is heavier, I say I have no idea because I can't lift either.

With aiki skills I think there are some ways to tell a bit. The push on the chest in natural stance avoids a lot of external skills tricking you. Mike's instructor test where you push someone without physically moving (maybe I'm not describing it that well) for another example.

Rob

Jim Sorrentino
09-30-2008, 03:45 PM
Hello Mark, 1. Push test. Ueshiba had people push on him often and with everything they could muster. That is not arguable. It happened. Ueshiba's students said it in interviews, Ueshiba is interviewed talking about it, Ueshiba demonstrates on video, and As Takahashi stated it on a Youtube video. No one could push him over. No one with any kind of jujutsu or judo or sumo or kendo could push him over. Theoretically, that says that there is something different that Ueshiba did that the others, who had these backgrounds, could not. And yet nobody suggested that Ueshiba should enter the sumo world and compete --- they all seemed to accept that he and his art did not have to "prove" themselves in that arena. What do you make of that?

The push test here is indicative of some specific skill. Does that specific skill relate to #1 above? Theoretically, I believe it does. But, more research was needed.And what of Ueshiba's (or Sagawa's or Kodo's or Takeda's) other skills? They were all more than "guys who could pass the push test".

3. Dan has a teaching methodology that creates strong (budo strong) students in 3-5 years and it just progresses from there. The skills he has can be taught and in a short (relatively in the martial world *and* with the student putting in the solo and paired work) time. Please describe this methodology. In the past, Dan seemed to suggest that he would develop a unique training program for each person who came to him to study.

1B. Someone else who trained under Ueshiba stated that what Dan was doing was what Ueshiba did. Who? How long did he or she "train under Ueshiba"? When? When did he or she see Dan and make this pronouncement? If you can't (or won't) answer these questions, please don't bother to cite this as support. Argument from anonymous authority is worthless --- and you may quote me on that. :)

It's hard to argue with 4th degrees to 6th degrees about what constitutes aikido. Oh, come on --- we do it all the time! :) That's one of the charms of the internet! :D

20 plus years of training. Yet, the greats never trained that long to be strong. What was it that was missed? Just for starters, the "greats": 1) trained obsessively, maniacally, to the exclusion of normal relationships with others; 2) lived far more physically challenging lives than the average post-war, Western aikidoka; and 3) practiced frequently with kohai, sempai and sensei who were quite skilled themselves.

3B. If you do the research, you can find where Dan trained, who he trained with, and what school. I'll give you a hint -- DR. With most of us, there is no need for someone to "do the research". Instead, (with apologies to Dan) a simple, straightforward exchange is sufficient: "Hi, my name is ___. I practice ____. I started training with ____ in 19 (or 20)__." But that would be so ordinary... ;)

See you on the mat eventually ---

Jim

rob_liberti
09-30-2008, 04:03 PM
As far as anonymous authority is concerned, well the source is good enough for me. YMMV. It's kind of like publicly describing his training methodology. The first rule of Dan's barn is you don't talk about Dan's barn. It's like fight club you just have to accept that or not, and get what info you can around that reality.

Rob

MM
09-30-2008, 04:24 PM
Hello Mark, And yet nobody suggested that Ueshiba should enter the sumo world and compete --- they all seemed to accept that he and his art did not have to "prove" themselves in that arena. What do you make of that?


Hi Jim,
Nice to see some other ideas floating out there. As for Ueshiba, he was tested time and time again. I don't think he had to go elsewhere because quite often, people came to him. But, he was tested. And asked to prove himself in those tests. Only after successfully overcoming the tests did people accept him and his art.


And what of Ueshiba's (or Sagawa's or Kodo's or Takeda's) other skills? They were all more than "guys who could pass the push test".


Yes, they had other skills. I've written some exploits about them in other threads. Ueshiba could pin someone with a finger and he could stop/freeze a man standing. Weird, huh? But, it's kind of hard to find more examples of this happening. I do run across them here and there and post them when I find them. And I have found some bits here and there where Takeda asked people to push on him or take his hand and try to do something. It kind of creates a picture of what the greats could do in Daito ryu.


Please describe this methodology. In the past, Dan seemed to suggest that he would develop a unique training program for each person who came to him to study.


I guess you could say that. Everyone is different and has different areas that they have trouble with. For example, I have a hard time getting my hips and lower back to relax properly. And my pecs to relax/not fire. And to not lean. And to keep my hips forward. My shoulders down. Not to look upwards. Etc, etc, etc. :)

But, overall, there are things that are worked on as a group. I've mentioned (I think I have, at least) about contradictory forces going in the hands, spine, and legs. Then there's exercises for working on intent. Shiko. The wall exercise. Quite a bit of these things have been posted about already. The exercises Mike, Dan, and Rob do sometimes are very similar.

I guess I'd have to say that there are general group exercises with specific fine tunings for each individual because everyone has different areas that are trouble spots.


Who? How long did he or she "train under Ueshiba"? When? When did he or she see Dan and make this pronouncement? If you can't (or won't) answer these questions, please don't bother to cite this as support. Argument from anonymous authority is worthless --- and you may quote me on that. :)


I can't say. We eventually found out who the 6th dan was, so maybe one of these days, the above info will come out. Otherwise, just as I did, people will have to do their own research. I'm putting the information out there. People can choose to believe it or not. Allow it to support or detract from my ideas. :)


Oh, come on --- we do it all the time! :) That's one of the charms of the internet! :D


LOL, okay, you have me there.


Just for starters, the "greats": 1) trained obsessively, maniacally, to the exclusion of normal relationships with others; 2) lived far more physically challenging lives than the average post-war, Western aikidoka; and 3) practiced frequently with kohai, sempai and sensei who were quite skilled themselves.


Ah, there we are. Fresh ideas. I don't have answers or ideas yet. It will be interesting to see if someone can dig up information on how obsessively they trained, what the environment was like, and who they practiced with. That could be very interesting. I haven't had the time yet to go into any of these, but they are certainly worth looking at.


With most of us, there is no need for someone to "do the research". Instead, (with apologies to Dan) a simple, straightforward exchange is sufficient: "Hi, my name is ___. I practice ____. I started training with ____ in 19 (or 20)__." But that would be so ordinary... ;)

See you on the mat eventually ---

Jim

Well, I've heard it said that Budo People are weird. :D I know I am.

Erick Mead
09-30-2008, 04:53 PM
With aiki skills I think there are some ways to tell a bit. The push on the chest in natural stance avoids a lot of external skills tricking you. Mike's instructor test where you push someone without physically moving (maybe I'm not describing it that well) for another example It is how it is described -- but your instinct of a problem is right. f = ma ; a = dv/dt ; v = dx/dt

Without a change of position of some mass in a period of time there is no force. No physical movement means no acceleration means no force.

But I know what YOU mean -- the person moves in the zone of stability defined without changing the base of support. In many earlier discussions "not physically moving" was obstinately undefined by some who insisted on using that description. The nature of "base of support" should be also specified in a given case to remove that source of needless ambiguity (which you do in general terms).

Mike Sigman
09-30-2008, 05:14 PM
It is how it is described -- but your instinct of a problem is right. f = ma ; a = dv/dt ; v = dx/dt

Without a change of position of some mass in a period of time there is no force. No physical movement means no acceleration means no force.

But I know what YOU mean -- the person moves in the zone of stability defined without changing the base of support. In many earlier discussions "not physically moving" was obstinately undefined by some who insisted on using that description. The nature of "base of support" should be also specified in a given case to remove that source of needless ambiguity (which you do in general terms).Just to be clear, the infamous "Teacher Test" was not a completely 'no movement' test. What I asked was that someone claiming to be a teacher (hence "teacher test") of "internal martial arts" put his hand on my and hit me as hard as he could *without pulling back his hand or his shoulder*. Of course someone who uses his dantien/hara for power instead of his shoulder, etc., as a bona fide teacher should, would have no real problem with this simple demonstration.

Ultimately, at higher levels, the ability to generate a lot of force with only a small motion is conforming to the old sayings about "motion approaches stillness", and so on. Although the equation of F=ma is always valid, I'd suggest that the variations of that equation which have to do with Impulse and momentum are worth thinking about, also.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

rob_liberti
09-30-2008, 08:32 PM
_That_ and I just did that weird intention bubble expansion thing which somehow pushed the person pushing on my hands back. I assume some kind of fascia / anatomy trains type thing is going on underneath the skin, but as far as I'm concerned no movement muscles are activated, and that is awesome but also a very weird and almost creepy feeling.

Rob

Mike Sigman
09-30-2008, 10:20 PM
It is how it is described -- but your instinct of a problem is right. f = ma ; a = dv/dt ; v = dx/dt

Without a change of position of some mass in a period of time there is no force. No physical movement means no acceleration means no force.
A screwjack is used to lift up a car, so the screwjack exerts a force greater than the weight of the car. What is the mass associated with the force from the screwjack?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Erick Mead
09-30-2008, 11:16 PM
A screwjack is used to lift up a car, so the screwjack exerts a force greater than the weight of the car. What is the mass associated with the force from the screwjack?In that example, the mass of the operator accelerates in a reciprocating cycle to displace a crank, turning a screw in shear. That external force (torque, actually) is applied to the screwjack, which causes a spiral extension (or retraction). A screw exerts no force, it merely holds an extension, The cranked screw provides a mechanical advantage exceeding the proportional difference in mass. The mechanical advantage of the screw is complex but (disregarding friction and angle of attack) is very roughly a function of the proportional difference in the crank length and the radius and spacing of the threads. Very large effective lever arm -- but it all works by shear.

Erick Mead
09-30-2008, 11:50 PM
Just to be clear, the infamous "Teacher Test" was not a completely 'no movement' test. What I asked was that someone claiming to be a teacher (hence "teacher test") of "internal martial arts" put his hand on my and hit me as hard as he could *without pulling back his hand or his shoulder*. Of course someone who uses his dantien/hara for power instead of his shoulder, etc., as a bona fide teacher should, would have no real problem with this simple demonstration. Of course.

Ultimately, at higher levels, the ability to generate a lot of force with only a small motion is conforming to the old sayings about "motion approaches stillness", and so on. Although the equation of F=ma is always valid, I'd suggest that the variations of that equation which have to do with Impulse and momentum are worth thinking about, also. Large mass starts connected mass chain moving. Large mass brakes it s motion against the smaller mass of the chain out of phase (doubling the momentum input (yin+yang)). The momentum cycles to the end of the chain, reducing in radius, and mass, increasing in velocity and therefore impulse, applied to a small target area. Large radial, large mass, cyclic acceleration input -- low radius, low mass, "accelerating" acceleration (impulse) output. Conservation works. :)

rob_liberti
10-01-2008, 05:51 AM
Screwjack humm... I knew there was something screwy going on.
Torque okay whatever is fine... The important point is how to get that stuff happening, and no amount of modeling has produced any appreciable results. As far as "in what manner" is concerned, physics models are unproven in this domain. If such models exist to satisfy people that what we are doing is not "magic", then fine. But I took that as a given.

I continue to get advice from people that what I'm talking about sounds almost like a cult. I thought about it this morning a bit. I would like to point out that I've been going for about 2 years now (7 months more intensively) and have not paid anything - which is not like most cults I know. Whereas in aikido, I've been pressured to go to what can only be called "extortion seminars". Something to think about...

Rob

Mike Sigman
10-01-2008, 09:09 AM
In that example, the mass of the operator accelerates in a reciprocating cycle to displace a crank, turning a screw in shear. That external force (torque, actually) is applied to the screwjack, which causes a spiral extension (or retraction). A screw exerts no force, it merely holds an extension, The cranked screw provides a mechanical advantage exceeding the proportional difference in mass. The mechanical advantage of the screw is complex but (disregarding friction and angle of attack) is very roughly a function of the proportional difference in the crank length and the radius and spacing of the threads. Very large effective lever arm -- but it all works by shear.How about the mass the screwjack is sitting on, though? I.e., in the transfer of forces to the car, the solid connection to the earth plays a role in the mass x acceleration component of the force equation. The mass of the earth is considerable. If you are "straightening out" a force that derives its support from the earth, let's say a punch for example, it affects the whole perspective of F = ma and brings into play some applicable thoughts about Impulse and momentum.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Erick Mead
10-01-2008, 12:06 PM
FYI in case you didn't see the On Closing Threads thread, Mr. Mead should be on everyone's ignore list if these threads are to have a reasonable chance of continuing. ;)Putting fingers in one's ears is not very persuasive as a reasoned argument. ;)

As far as "in what manner" is concerned, physics models are unproven in this domain. If such models exist to satisfy people that what we are doing is not "magic", then fine. But I took that as a given. Physics models are so far mostly unapplied in this domain. Physics models have to be developed through the interaction of experience and principled theory of action. The models themselves are well-accepted and require no proof, only the applicability of a given model to a given action needs to be shown.

"Magic" is perceived for one of two reasons 1) the observer failed to perceive the actual action that occurred, or 2) the observer perceives the action, but does not understand the nature of the action he is witnessing. (OK. Three reasons. 3) the observer understands both one and two but has a delusional belief that it is not so, all appearances to the contrary notwithstanding. We can dismiss item 3) for our purposes.)

So far, the arguments levelled against a "physical model" point of view assume the first -- whereas I am simply investigating the second without making unstated assumptions. So I try to ask that assumptions be stated, mine, yours, Mike's, everyone's.

That is why there is this disconnect in every discussion. We (you and I) are addressing the latter point in divergent terms (not in itself a problem). You and I, (and it seems, perhaps now, Mike S.) are at least acknowledging the existence of valid but divergent terms of reference without making unnecessary assumptions as to the validity of the perception or experience.

Others feel that because they perform the action that they therefore necessarily understand its physical nature. That is an one of those unstated and unwarranted assumptions. It is, quite simply, a non sequitur fallacy and it underlies much of the recurrent dispute. A non sequitur is not an accusation or personal aside. It is just a illogical leap that does not follow from the premise of an argument. The conclusion reached may be right or wrong as a conclusion, but it is not a rational conclusion. Some of those further assume that any point of view that addresses its nature in terms they do not share or wish to be troubled to grasp, necessarily does not grasp the essential performance of the action.

People sailed boats centuries before they understood the nature of the action involved. Most of those in the discussion admit they do not understand the nature of the action, regardless of their performance. Some like Mike S. have alien (China not CE3K) systems of reference which are rigorous in their own right. Some don't disclose their methods, making it impossible to adequately assess in these or any other terms. Others satisfy themselves with speculation on the workings of a "black-box" input-output function. That is completely appropriate for practical sailing. But the difference of sixty years in applied physical models has gotten more areas of knowledge further than it has not.

Erick Mead
10-01-2008, 12:58 PM
How about the mass the screwjack is sitting on, though? I.e., in the transfer of forces to the car, the solid connection to the earth plays a role in the mass x acceleration component of the force equation. The mass of the earth is considerable. If you are "straightening out" a force that derives its support from the earth, let's say a punch for example, it affects the whole perspective of F = ma and brings into play some applicable thoughts about Impulse and momentum.No one said it didn't. The mass the screwjack is sitting on (the earth) is moving, but so is everything else in this relative frame of reference. Relative momentum between the car, the earth, the jack and the driving motor or body is initially zero. The crank is turned by the oscillating driving of the inverted pendulum of the COM about its point of support on the ground. Even kneeling down by the tire wheel the torso has to oscillate as the arm turns the crank to turn the screw to raise the jack, ("which lay in the house that Jack built"). If the body oscillates as a resting reactive mass, the arm will wear out from fatigue because it is doing most of the work pushing on the body as much as it pushes on the crank -- if it oscillates as a tuned driving mass -- the arm muscles are not doing the bulk of the work, and the same impulse that is created in driving the crank, can drive the punch, and is seen in funetori undo, saya undo, ude furi, furitama, tekubifuri. The nature of this oscillating action is, as I comprehend the term, "KI."

The earth is large enough to be both a resting reactive mass (thrust base) and a passive driving mass (gravity), and thinking about those aspects in this way is entirely correct, but they are a special case of a more general principle. If I thrust at the earth to punch, and I miss -- I am launching my own mass off the ground (kuzushi). If I use an mechanically amplified oscillation, pivoting with gravity on that support and recovering with the earht's reactive mass rather than projecting thrust from it, I can more easily stop the action most anywhere at zero. The magnitude of the energy is derived from the difference in potential in separating the positive and negative phases of it. As long as keep them separated I create large magnitude action or potential action and as soon as I bring them together again they inherently restore a zero state. Sword work, working on precision in point, path and placement in strikes thrusts and nagashi in kumitachi, teaches this principle implicitly.

aikilouis
10-01-2008, 02:28 PM
In the case of the screwjack, in the F=ma formula the only m that is relevant is the car's mass (actually a fraction of it, because the screwjack isn't supposed to lift the whole car). Erick explained very clearly how the operator exerts his force through the screwjack's mechanism (itself standing on the ground, hence using the earth's reaction force) to move the car and affect its position. The operator's mass isn't relevant here, what matters is that he exerts force, one way or the other.

If we apply the same model to the teacher's test, the car is the tester, the teacher is both the operator (source of initial force) and the screwjack (whose purpose is to transform the existing forces = gravity, earth's reaction, operator's force).

I'm reading Tohei sensei's Book of Ki, and the way he describes hi famous 4 principles is actually about optimisation of the body's inner tensions (used to sustain the body's structure in static and dynamic situations) as well as the combination of forces that it cannot escape (gravity and the earth's reaction).

MM
10-01-2008, 04:02 PM
Sort of sidetracked from the original topic ... Try to keep it on track, please.

IMO, the example of the car and screwjack is completely useless. I believe I've stated this before (maybe not, my mind might be playing tricks on me), but bare metal is a poor substitute for the human body.

No one (currently known, that is) on the planet Earth can detail in Physics how the human body goes from the walk to the run cycle. No one (currently known) can design robotics using human physics. It is, as yet, out of their grasp. So, I think it is kind of silly to see certain people trying to detail out in physics terms what is going on with internal exercises or skills. The best and brightest minds on this planet can't do it. And the best I've yet to see here, on Aikiweb, is basic, low-level, freshman physics equations that any joe schmoe on the street could fathom in one semester.

So, please, please, please, if you're going to talk about physics models, open a brand new thread and talk about it there. I personally think that not only is it less than useless, but it muddies the water for other people to wade through to get to the better posts.

Mark

Mike Sigman
10-01-2008, 04:17 PM
Sort of sidetracked from the original topic ... Try to keep it on track, please.

IMO, the example of the car and screwjack is completely useless. I believe I've stated this before (maybe not, my mind might be playing tricks on me), but bare metal is a poor substitute for the human body.
Oh well, fair enough, let's drop it. Although I tend to think that an expanding groundpath is quite a bit like an expanding screwjack, what do I know? ;)

Best.

Mike

MM
10-01-2008, 07:39 PM
Oh well, fair enough, let's drop it. Although I tend to think that an expanding groundpath is quite a bit like an expanding screwjack, what do I know? ;)

Best.

Mike

LOL! You already know that I don't know as much as you know. :D But, the illustration just isn't working for me. Course, you can try bashing it into my stubborn head in another thread. :)

Mark

Cady Goldfield
10-01-2008, 07:59 PM
Don't feel bad, Mark. I have no idea what a screw jack is.

Walker
10-01-2008, 08:03 PM
Don't feel bad, Mark. I have no idea what a screw jack is.

pornstar :)

Ron Tisdale
10-01-2008, 08:07 PM
Damn! Just fell out of my chair again! :D

B,
R

Cady Goldfield
10-01-2008, 08:16 PM
Four times in one night, Ron? I thought three's the charm!

DH
10-02-2008, 08:19 AM
Hello Mark, And yet nobody suggested that Ueshiba should enter the sumo world and compete --- they all seemed to accept that he and his art did not have to "prove" themselves in that arena. What do you make of that?

And what of Ueshiba's (or Sagawa's or Kodo's or Takeda's) other skills?
They were all more than "guys who could pass the push test".

Just for starters, the "greats": 1) trained obsessively, maniacally, to the exclusion of normal relationships with others; 2) lived far more physically challenging lives than the average post-war, Western aikidoka; and 3) practiced frequently with kohai, sempai and sensei who were quite skilled themselves.

Jim
Jim
You spend a lot of time being seemingly contrary, and stressing either aikido and or simply skills over the power inherent in this type of training. Or at least that Aikido skills are equal to this training

You have met and trained with people who train this way as well. Your statements - when viewed as a whole in many posts - seem to express an opinion this training appears to be just another *thing* you need to do, just another *tool* in your tool box.that is marginally or partly useful in your Aikido. This would exaplin your notion of obesseeive training against multiple arts and kohei and sempai and many hours training in waza.

Am I correct then in reading you, that apparently you feel you can handle Ark or Mike with your Aikido? That what they do is fine, but really your aikido skills would take them apart? If not-why not?

I find this curious as I have seen a totally different response. Everyone I have met from 3rd Dan to 6th dan, has decided what I am doing....that the training I've shown and what they feel I am displaying- in use-is the essence of aikido. They have decided this almost immediately

So...why do you think there is such a different view between them and you?
You never seem to support the idea that these skills are also stand alone power in use, you don't state it, and only stress the obverse view -such as in your quote above- when the subject is brought up. All while only talking about a push test.
Is this how you currently see these skills-as push tests? That's fine if it's due to the fact that it's all you been shown at your current level is just push tests, so its all you are currently able to assess? However, if you have been shown more, why not talk about that-since you brough it up. In other words, if you have been shown more, are your comments, in reducing these skills only to push tests, designed to demean this type of training or marginalize it? Or genuinely how you feel? If your comments are genuine, and not political I guess it explains why you still see Ueshiba's power as waza training.

I find it curious as I'd bet that on any day I could take your entire Aikido skill set apart and stop you cold, while...only...using these skills without any defined waza at all. For some reason, I think I'd include both Ark and Mike in that bet as well.
Can you see how that can be the case? If not, why do you suppose you can't see that?
Being that I find your sentiments curious I'm wondering;
How do you see these skills- in light of or in comparison to-your aikido skill sets?

DH
10-02-2008, 09:46 AM
I find it curious as I'd bet that on any day I could take your entire Aikido skill set apart and stop you cold, while...only...using these skills without any defined waza at all. For some reason, I think I'd include both Ark and Mike in that bet as well.
Can you see how that can be the case? If not, why do you suppose you can't see that?
Being that I find your sentiments curious I'm wondering;
How do you see these skills- in light of or in comparison to-your aikido skill sets?

Wanted to be clear in what I meant. I think Mike , or Ark could utilize these skills, sans waza to neutralize Jim's aikido. It's not important that its Jim, I addressed Jim only in that he "seems" to discount it. I am attempting to stress that the body training is not being looked at, as its own skill set; it's own potential, to produce powerful effects in motion that inherently nuetralize and control incoming forces and waza attempts.
From there the skills to use a body trained this way-build, and you continue to refine your skills in any venue you choose to use them in, in what ever art. In that sense I don't seem them as an *other tool* in the box.
They are the box.

Mike Sigman
10-02-2008, 09:56 AM
Wanted to be clear in what I meant. I think Mike , or Ark could utilize these skills, sans waza to neutralize Jim's aikido. I'd prefer to be left out these wild speculations, Dan. It's OK for you to say you could kick Jim's butt (I wouldn't take bets either way, personally), but speculating what would happen in some imaginary contest between Jim and me is more than I want to be volunteered for.

Best.

Mike

DH
10-02-2008, 10:07 AM
That's fine, Mike.
But I wasn't even getting close to talking about kicking someones butt. Thats a whole different topic, that doesn't even belong here with the people involved. Jim's a great guy. I'm narrowing the topic down to talking about how he seems to marginalize internal power and its inherent skill sets in use. Thus, I'm talking about training and how sees things- not fighting, in the same way we talk about and train to use these skills in grappling, when we go at pell mell, we don't look at it as getting in a fight either.
In some ways what I am sayng is worse. Aikido is milder. I was making a case for skills sets- internal skills sets,and aikido skills sets; inherent power in what the body alone can do with internal-skills in use, V aikido skills and waza in use. And stating they could nuetrailize his aikido skills *without* using waza. It's not a challenge to a fight or any other such nonsense. I am curious as to why he opts to never discuss that and only stress the other end-trained waza, or waza to support this training, and that "this" training is *push* tests. It reads like someone learning ikkyo and thinking aikido is only ikkyo and believing it.

MM
10-02-2008, 11:04 AM
I'd prefer to be left out these wild speculations, Dan. It's OK for you to say you could kick Jim's butt (I wouldn't take bets either way, personally), but speculating what would happen in some imaginary contest between Jim and me is more than I want to be volunteered for.

Best.

Mike

Mike,
I'm going to be a bit argumentative here. :) The speculations aren't wild.

I think if you ask *anyone* at your Itten workshop just what kind of skill level we were exposed to, *no one* there would answer that they were in your league. In fact, speculation of this kind has been conversational pieces between various people for a little while now. It is just that no one really ever wanted to say it out in public.

Seriously, I see and feel some of what you do and I see vids of Tohei and I don't think Tohei is in your league. Certainly, that is my informed opinion, but I think it's true.

There are people with 30-40 years in the Aikido world that aren't in your league either. We (the aikido world) missed something in the training. It's a bold statement but I think it's almost time for people to start opening their boxes and taking a hard, critical view towards just how long all the greats took versus how long quite a lot of us have spent so far to get nowhere near the greats.

I know you've worked hard to get where you are now. You've had to. I look at just my small start and how tough it is sometimes to do the exercises, the paired work, keeping the mental focus, and not deceiving myself about where I'm at. But, it wasn't the long hard 40 year road to mastery that many are told Aikido takes.

You put a three year student of judo or grappling against a 3 year student of aikido and I know just how many people would bet against the aikido student. We rationalized away that, oh, aikido just takes longer to get proficient in. Time to stop doing that. It's a lie.

And you are part of the proof. So are Dan, his students, Akuzawa and his students. And just to add a more solid case, Ikeda went outside to train with Ushiro to get the skills.

I gotta run, so I'll finish this later ... probably in another thread ...

Mark

Toby Threadgill
10-02-2008, 11:39 AM
And just to add a more solid case, Ikeda went outside to train with Ushiro to get the skills.

Mark,

That's not entirely true. Ikeda and I are good friends. We've taught together and discussed this topic several times. Ikeda had very good internal skills long before he met Ushiro Kenji. It was his previous exposure to internal skills that allowed him to recognize them in others and to pursue them wherever he found them.

I will agree that Ikeda is perhaps outside the norm in the aikido community as he is willing to venture outside the box to evaluate tools he can use to improve his expression of Aikido. That's how Ushiro Kenji ended up being invited to Ikeda's Summer Camp.

Toby Threadgill

MM
10-02-2008, 11:58 AM
Mark,

That's not entirely true. Ikeda and I are good friends. We've taught together and discussed this topic several times. Ikeda had very good internal skills long before he met Ushiro Kenji. It was his previous exposure to internal skills that allowed him to recognize them in others and to pursue them wherever he found them.

I will agree that Ikeda is perhaps outside the norm in the aikido community as he is willing to venture outside the box to evaluate tools he can use to improve his expression of Aikido. That's how Ushiro Kenji ended up being invited to Ikeda's Summer Camp.

Toby Threadgill

Hi Toby,

Thank you for the clarification. Even with it, I still have a lot of respect for Ikeda. I hope that he's progressing rapidly in his training. He was very subtle and soft when I got, ah, about 5 to 10 seconds hands on time with him. :)

I'm looking forward to catching him at another seminar sometime in the upcoming year or two and getting just a bit more hands on time.

Mark

Jim Sorrentino
10-02-2008, 12:10 PM
Dan,Jim
You spend a lot of time being seemingly contrary, and stressing either aikido and or simply skills over the power inherent in this type of training. Or at least that Aikido skills are equal to this trainingWould you please provide an example of this? Honestly, I do not believe that I do this. Sorry to be so contrary! :)

You have met and trained with people who train this way as well. Your statements - when viewed as a whole in many posts - seem to express an opinion this training appears to be just another *thing* you need to do, just another *tool* in your tool box.that is marginally or partly useful in your Aikido. This would exaplin your notion of obesseeive training against multiple arts and kohei and sempai and many hours training in waza.Again, would you please provide an example? Mark Murray asked us to speculate how the "greats" became great, and I offered a few possibilities --- none of which included "many hours of training in waza", by the way --- in addition to "this training".

No, I do not regard "this training" as just another tool in my tool box. But I am also curious about Ueshiba's other skills, such as those displayed and analyzed in the fine article on Aikido Journal here: http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=704. You may recall that Rob Liberti referred to the ability of Mitsugi Saotome and other senior aikidoka under his tutelage to move in such a way that they seemed to "disappear". How does the training that you do relate to the skill that Ueshiba displays in the portion of the film discussed in the article above?

Am I correct then in reading you, that apparently you feel you can handle Ark or Mike with your Aikido? That what they do is fine, but really your aikido skills would take them apart? If not-why not?No, you're not correct --- in fact, I do not believe that I have written anything that would lead a reasonable person to that conclusion. Would you provide an example where I have said something like this?

I find this curious as I have seen a totally different response. Everyone I have met from 3rd Dan to 6th dan, has decided what I am doing....that the training I've shown and what they feel I am displaying- in use-is the essence of aikido. They have decided this almost immediately

So...why do you think there is such a different view between them and you?Again, I need a cite. I believe that in all my writing about my encounters with Mike Sigman, Rob John, and Minoru Akuzawa, I have not said anything disparaging the essential nature of this training for high-quality aikido.

You never seem to support the idea that these skills are also stand alone power in use, you don't state it, and only stress the obverse view -such as in your quote above- when the subject is brought up. All while only talking about a push test. Dan, please correct me if am wrong, but you yourself seem to distinguish between "these skills" and the ability to use them in a dynamic environment. That's what I believe you mean by "stand-alone power in use" --- if not, please explain.

Is this how you currently see these skills-as push tests? That's fine if it's due to the fact that it's all you been shown at your current level is just push tests, so its all you are currently able to assess? However, if you have been shown more, why not talk about that-since you brough it up. In other words, if you have been shown more, are your comments, in reducing these skills only to push tests, designed to demean this type of training or marginalize it? Or genuinely how you feel?No, I do not see these skills as "mere" push-tests. Could you please cite an example where I have said that? It was you (and more recently, Mark Murray) who brought up the push test.

If your comments are genuine, and not political I guess it explains why you still see Ueshiba's power as waza training.My comments are genuine, but I have never expressed the opinion that I view Ueshiba's power as waza training. (If you believe that I have, please provide the cite.) As you know, I study aikido under Mitsugi Saotome and Hiroshi Ikeda. (I believe that you have never been on the mat with either one --- is that correct?) Neither of these teachers is known for his focus on waza --- far from it, in fact. Both focus on principle-based training. That is what interests me. By the way, you should also know that I have nothing but disdain for aikido "politics" --- for example, I have hosted many people at my dojo who are not in my own teachers' tradition/approach --- so please don't try to pin that label on me, thanks.

I find it curious as I'd bet that on any day I could take your entire Aikido skill set apart and stop you cold, while...only...using these skills without any defined waza at all. For some reason, I think I'd include both Ark and Mike in that bet as well.Let's be very clear: you and I have never met. I have never even seen a picture of you. :) Further, I do not believe that there are any videos of me doing aikido floating around --- so all you have to go on concerning my skill set is what you have been told. But let's say that you are correct in your wager: what would that prove? Please remember that I have stated that I found both Mike Sigman's and Minoru Akuzawa's skills and methods inspiring.

Being that I find your sentiments curious I'm wondering;
How do you see these skills- in light of or in comparison to-your aikido skill sets?I've said it before, and I will say it again: "these skills", as I have seen them most recently expressed by Mike Sigman and Minoru Akuzawa, are essential to practicing high-quality aikido --- and you may quote me on that! :)

Sincerely,

Jim

Aikibu
10-02-2008, 12:42 PM
Wheeeew!!!

Where have I read this stuff before???

Aikido sucks ad infinitum...

Aikido sucks because it's not "realistic"

Aikido sucks because there's no fighting...

Aikido sucks because there's no internal power...

Perhaps I started this ball rolling by giving props to some IMA folks out of respect but let me make this perfectly clear...

In one of my favorite movies Doc Holliday once said to Johnny Ringo..." I am your huckleberry." :D

Folks know where to find me too and a few have visited with knowledge of this stuff (and no in the spirit of others here if they wish to identify themselves they can :) )

All I can say is anyone's Aikido will improve with knowledge and training in this skill set but to dismiss Aikido entirely because one cannot kick someone else's a** with it or without it is ridiculous. I KNOW our Aikido's technical curriculum holds up against almost any Martial Art.

I do plan on visiting some folks to be sure so let's try to blend together a bit better shall we when we do meet... I don't want to hurt anyone. :D and I am too old to be hurt too. LOL.

Back to the subject of thread as Joko Beck Roshi once put it to me" Do not be in such a hurry.... The lessons of a lifetime take a lifetime to learn. Learn appreciate each day instead."

Mastery is a JOURNEY not a DESTINATION. One can always improve and polish what they know into something new and become "better"...

William Hazen

rob_liberti
10-02-2008, 12:46 PM
Saotome sensei's ability to disappear is my absolute favorite thing about his aikido. Several - but still only few - of his students can do it. I experienced Pete Trimmer sensei doing it to me on a yokomenuchi strike! That was just weird... Marsha Turner disappeared on me while I was 1 of 3 people attacking freely in randori. I almost attacked one of the other attackers. That was impressive for her and almost embarrassing for me. Jane Doyle disappeared on me once too. That's it in my experience with the ASU. There may be more people who can do it, or do it once and a while. But it's certainly not a common thing. * I * still cannot do it. Outside of the ASU, I experienced this with Takeda Yoshinobu sensei and several of his senior students (he had like 6 people in class that were 6th dans and some of them did it pretty well too). That was fun and inspiring.

I do wonder if the current skill set I'm learning will help me with this kind of thing. It is a totally different way of moving (HA! moving with center and all) then what I had been doing and it is really hard to read. I used to think you MUST learn this skill set to ensure the person attacking you had to commit some weight if they ever were going to seriously try to hit you. I no longer think that this is a MUST - but I will always consider it a NICE TO HAVE.

My personal and most recent experience with Ikeda sensei was that _some_ of the things he tried about 2 years ago do not stand up to the level of internal training I am doing now. I would NOT be entirely shocked if what he was experimenting with 2 years ago has been completely revamped. I like that about him. He tries things, a lot ... and that is inspiring...

Rob

DH
10-02-2008, 01:01 PM
Thanks Jim
That's the type of clarification I was looking for. As I stated it "appeared" -when I go back and read a composite of your views, and consider both what you say and more importantly what you do not say whenever these skills are brought up. It made me curious to read what you think if I asked for a more clear and concise statement.

Dan, please correct me if am wrong, but you yourself seem to distinguish between "these skills" and the ability to use them in a dynamic environment. That's what I believe you mean by "stand-alone power in use" --- if not, please explain.
I separate internal power, from internal skills, from fighting ability using the above. Then in levels of stress and experience. The point I was making is that internal power and skills in and of themselves are so substantial that I use them to stop grapplers without resorting to fighting back. So aikido-which I consider to be far less stressful environment in a martial sense-would be no problem. I mentioned it as it "appeared" you were being overly focused on "Aikido technique" and technical expression. Why did I bring it up? Because you yourself never seem to mention or discuss internal skills as a stand alone potent skillset like so many others who are training this way themselves tend to do. It left me curious as to whether maybe Ark or Mike didn't demonstrate what these skills are capable of in some of their classes or they did and you were unconvinced. I know that both are very capable so again that curious questions of how you relate your abilities to deliver with waza to their ability with internal power and skills.

By the way, you should also know that I have nothing but disdain for aikido "politics" --- for example, I have hosted many people at my dojo who are not in my own teachers' tradition/approach --- so please don't try to pin that label on me, thanks.
Yes, Good on you. It will be interesting to hear where you go with your training after having so many different people in. In others words with correct training in five to seven years, you should become one of the most substantial martial artists in the aikido world, and none of the teachers you are hosting should then be able to do much with or to you without a great deal of trouble.
Good luck in your training

Mike Sigman
10-02-2008, 01:12 PM
I think if you ask *anyone* at your Itten workshop just what kind of skill level we were exposed to, *no one* there would answer that they were in your league. In fact, speculation of this kind has been conversational pieces between various people for a little while now. It is just that no one really ever wanted to say it out in public.

Seriously, I see and feel some of what you do and I see vids of Tohei and I don't think Tohei is in your league. Certainly, that is my informed opinion, but I think it's true. No offense, Mark, and you've met me enough to know that I talk offhand and directly in person exactly as I do in writing... but with no animus.

First of all, I don't like becoming part of a discussion. It's what I meant by "ad hominem"... the actual issue changes to personal stuff and I dislike it because it constantly goes off topic.

Me personally and my skills? They're mediocre, Mark. I've met some real professionals and I'd honestly peg my skills at mediocre because that's my accurate gauge. Tohei's skills? I know a few things he didn't know (I can see that in the way he moves and the things he did in his techniques), but those few extra things I know don't pull the balance toward me being better than Tohei. My judgement of Tohei would easily be that overall he was better than me by a pretty good amount. He is/was a martial artist; I'm someone who focuses on the how's and why's of internal strength development. Probably someone at the Itten Dojo will wind up in the next few years being more skillful than I am and they'll be doing it in more of a martially-organized context than I do.... they will be more in line to be compared to Tohei. I'm not. There are people with 30-40 years in the Aikido world that aren't in your league either. We (the aikido world) missed something in the training. It's a bold statement but I think it's almost time for people to start opening their boxes and taking a hard, critical view towards just how long all the greats took versus how long quite a lot of us have spent so far to get nowhere near the greats. Well sure there are people with a lot of time in Aikido, karate, judo, Tai Chi, etc., who don't have the internal strength skills that I do, but in the Kingdom of the Blind, the one-eyed man is king. In other words, what happened with the loss of the ki skills damaged many peoples' abilities who sincerely applied themselves to a number of various arts. Those arts are simply waiting to be reinvested with the skills. Since I don't practice any specific martial arts anymore, I'm actually outside of that conversation. To me, personally, I feel like an interested spectator watching the denouement of a soap-opera. Nothing more. Seriously. Someday when your own skills get pretty advanced, you'll be able to see what my real level is and you'll appreciate the fact that I didn't over-blow my own horn or allow anyone to do if for me.

I know you've worked hard to get where you are now. You've had to. The best thing we can do right now, in my opinion, is to get off all this talk about personalities and try to keep the topic of these skills as clinical as we can. The personality stuff is, again IMO, an embarrassment that doesn't belong in serious martial arts.

Show me what you can do... that's fine. I appreciated the effort you put into the videos you posted on YouTube. Talk about what you're practicing, what you think is most effective, how to do some basic and necessary skills in Aikido, and so on. But let's get off of the personality discussions (and I know that you mean well by them, so don't take me wrongly). Jim Sorrentino argues well and he can be rebutted factually without anyone's name being mentioned, if the topics are kept clinical. That level of professionalism in Aikido would be, IMO, as great a boon as instilling ki/kokyu skills back into the art. ;)

Best.

Mike Sigman

DH
10-02-2008, 01:13 PM
Wheeeew!!!

Where have I read this stuff before???

Aikido sucks ad infinitum...

Aikido sucks because it's not "realistic"

Aikido sucks because there's no fighting...

Aikido sucks because there's no internal power...

Perhaps I started this ball rolling by giving props to some IMA folks out of respect but let me make this perfectly clear...

In one of my favorite movies Doc Holliday once said to Johnny Ringo..." I am your huckleberry." :D

Folks know where to find me too and a few have visited with knowledge of this stuff (and no in the spirit of others here if they wish to identify themselves they can :) )

All I can say is anyone's Aikido will improve with knowledge and training in this skill set but to dismiss Aikido entirely because one cannot kick someone else's a** with it or without it is ridiculous. I KNOW our Aikido's technical curriculum holds up against almost any Martial Art.

I do plan on visiting some folks to be sure so let's try to blend together a bit better shall we when we do meet... I don't want to hurt anyone. :D and I am too old to be hurt too. LOL.

Back to the subject of thread as Joko Beck Roshi once put it to me" Do not be in such a hurry.... The lessons of a lifetime take a lifetime to learn. Learn appreciate each day instead."

Mastery is a JOURNEY not a DESTINATION. One can always improve and polish what they know into something new and become "better"...

William Hazen
Interesting interpretation of what I said.
If you can do express internapower and internal skills, you would find not trouble with the idea of discussing "internal skills" as a martially viable set of skills without waza. Moreover that were a person to have them in a significant and measurable way...then another just using aikido waza, done without these skills doesn't stand a chance.
Your "feelings" about it wouldn't enter into it or be relevant to the discussion either way. And no where was "kicking someone's butt" a talking point. Why would anyone want to do that? Neutralizing and stopping them cold was. That is a physical debate not a fight. We do it all the time without anger or prejudice.

MM
10-02-2008, 02:15 PM
It's really too bad that we all can't be sitting down over dinner discussing this instead of using the Internet. :) What fun we'd have over drinks. Maybe one of these days.

Mike,
I always enjoy your posts. Never any offense taken with them. I understand your point about personalities and instead talking about the skills. I'll try to keep to that. Someone else once mentioned doing that, too. :)

William,
We should get together when I'm out in San Diego. Any chance of that?

Aikibu
10-02-2008, 03:39 PM
Interesting interpretation of what I said.
If you can do express internapower and internal skills, you would find not trouble with the idea of discussing "internal skills" as a martially viable set of skills without waza. Moreover that were a person to have them in a significant and measurable way...then another just using aikido waza, done without these skills doesn't stand a chance.
Your "feelings" about it wouldn't enter into it or be relevant to the discussion either way. And no where was "kicking someone's butt" a talking point. Why would anyone want to do that? Neutralizing and stopping them cold was. That is a physical debate not a fight. We do it all the time without anger or prejudice.

Is this a discussion about Mastery or Internal Power? Is the only form of "Great Mastery" Aiki as expressed by some of it's proponents here?

I don't think so...

By the way Dan with all due respect. You're not the only one I am referring to in fact my reference is not limited to just those on the IMA side of the "debate" but Aikidoka as well. Perhaps I was not specific enough for you. :)

William Hazen

Aikibu
10-02-2008, 03:43 PM
William,
We should get together when I'm out in San Diego. Any chance of that?

Actually Mark (As we had discussed previously when you first mentioned your visit) a few of us we're planning on it. In my case it's depends on the health of my mom.

Hope to see you. :)

William Hazen

tuturuhan
10-02-2008, 07:53 PM
Wheeeew!!!

Back to the subject of thread as Joko Beck Roshi once put it to me" Do not be in such a hurry.... The lessons of a lifetime take a lifetime to learn. Learn appreciate each day instead."

Mastery is a JOURNEY not a DESTINATION. One can always improve and polish what they know into something new and become "better"...

William Hazen

William,

No one really cares if they have it or we have it or if anyone else has it.

In fact, even if you had "it", you couldn't put it to any kind of use. It will not bring back my loved ones. It will not send my kids to college. It will not put a roof over my head.

But, working hard every day, improving, bettering one's life is quite practical. It allows us the opportunity to choose prosperity in life. Keep doing what you do...keep your eyes open and you will improve.

Best,
Joseph T. Oliva Arriola

rob_liberti
10-02-2008, 07:57 PM
There are pool players who have pretty horrible lives. But they play pool better than everyone else. One of these guys explained that if makes the next shot his life would get just a little better...

I think about that a bit when it comes to training. I want to do each thing I do just a bit better.

Rob

dbotari
10-03-2008, 08:36 AM
I think about that a bit when it comes to training. I want to do each thing I do just a bit better.

Rob

Amen brother.

Jim Sorrentino
10-07-2008, 04:09 PM
Hi Mark,[...]I still have a lot of respect for Ikeda. I hope that he's progressing rapidly in his training. He was very subtle and soft when I got, ah, about 5 to 10 seconds hands on time with him. :)

I'm looking forward to catching him at another seminar sometime in the upcoming year or two and getting just a bit more hands on time.Ikeda-sensei will be at Aikido Shobukan Dojo in Washington, DC, Thursday evening, February 5, 2009 - Sunday morning, February 8. Generally, about 60 to 75 people attend this seminar, and there are many opportunities for direct hands-on interaction with Ikeda-sensei. Also, you can stay in the dojo to reduce costs. There is more information at http://www.aikido-shobukan.org/seminars/?seminarid=73.

See you on the mat!

Jim