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gromph
07-25-2008, 11:13 PM
Great discussions, my favorite thread hands down :)

Check out the aiki skills of these Russian guys:

http://ca.youtube.com/profile_videos?user=budovan

(sorry my youtube defaults to the Canadian version, the user's name is budovan, if that link doesn't work).

Dan,

Is that what your aiki skills look like when applied???

Cheers,

Mike Preradovic

DH
07-31-2008, 02:52 PM
Great discussions, my favorite thread hands down :)

Check out the aiki skills of these Russian guys:

http://ca.youtube.com/profile_videos?user=budovan

(sorry my youtube defaults to the Canadian version, the user's name is budovan, if that link doesn't work).

Dan,

Is that what your aiki skills look like when applied???

Cheers,

Mike Preradovic
Mike I have been away training and got back and have been training.and missed the whole thread.

If you mean like this-then no.
http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=tPWTJrYyWsY

I can do aiki waza and wrist grabs like the DR and aikido stuff and have done so with students in those arts to demonstrate what their teachers are doing. It just doesn't interest me. It ties in with all the joint locks and pretzel logic of improbable jujutsu as well. I have waza coming out my ears. I just could care less about most of it.
My idea of aiki is throwing someone upside down on their head, or back, or take their legs out and land on them and choke them out while they are trying to throw me.
Or have someone keep trying to single leg or throw me and counter them while not doing much to move and dump them and start the above all over again. Or do stand up PK with aiki blasting through their arms as they try to punch me, or let them hit my trunk and keep going. Punching through a punch or punching through a defense.
I don't have much interest or patience in ukemi and preconditioning people to take technique or ukemi from me or each other. In fact I think it's stupid and expresses a lower level of training in the martial arts. Learning to fall down should be learning to take someone with you or take their legs out when you land. Learning to throw someone should involve beating the crap out of them as you do so. This can de done safely and with fun. Its just a different dynamic than aiki waza and "taking ukemi."
I train people who come here how not to be thrown, not how to fall down, how to stand there and stare at someone trying to lock them. So you learn a lock, and how they can be stopped easily. Then how to do a lock with aiki that is much more applicable. As an example doing Yonkyo or nikkyo on someone who has trained with me for even a short while is simply a wasted effort. So there is a whole different emphasis in what I do than most of what I have seen or been shown. It is very difficult to discuss Aiki with me without discussind aiki as anti-aiki as well. With most folks they see it as blending movement. My thoughts are almost completely out of sync with where they are coming from and trying to accomplish in their training, so there is a cognitive disconnect from the start.
Naturally we all have opinions based on our own understanding and training.

All that said, I can also train in thee most standard, Kata based rote scenario you care to imagine, or in body conditioning aiki training. It's a choice. So to answer you in a different way-aiki skills in application do not "look like" anything. They are in everything- as you choose to use them. Why? It is your body that has changed, not waza. Once your body conditioning is in place, then you change.
Think of it like this
1. Internal power
2. Internal power in use=internal skills
3. Internal skills create waza

That waza
3.Is external. That is based off of
2 Which is the applicable use of
1. which is your changed body
So what you do with it is up to you. You can make it work in anything you want to train in.

DonMagee
07-31-2008, 03:07 PM
I'm sorry I can not go with you on not teaching ukemi. I have started a few students into judo without teaching any ukemi. It was NOT pretty.

Learning how to fall safely is a very important skill that is required if you are going to be throw. Sure you should not be taught to 'go with it' but if you do not know how to fall and get throw by a good judoka you are not getting up. I've seen badly hurt necks, knees, backs, arms, wrists, etc from guys who could of been spared if only they learned a simple break fall.

DH
07-31-2008, 03:16 PM
For about the ten thousandth time I am not saying that I don't teach ukemi. I do. It just isn't the same idea.
I just watched a series of throws done by Randi. Never once did his opponent "take ukemi" but they all got thrown.
AND NO ONE GOT HURT DOING SO.
Attacking, and continuing to do so in a throw changes the body dynamic, it is also more protective.
Then again I'm not your teacher nor trying to convince you of anything, so have fun and stay safe.

mathewjgano
07-31-2008, 04:07 PM
I don't have much interest or patience in ukemi and preconditioning people to take technique or ukemi from me or each other. In fact I think it's stupid and expresses a lower level of training in the martial arts.
Maybe that ten thousandth time had something to do with your phrasing. Taken by itself I also would have thought you were saying ukemi is stupid. From reading your posts I've read a huge emphasis on not falling so it doesn't necessarily seem like such a huge leap.

DH
07-31-2008, 06:01 PM
Mathew
there are several threads where it is discussed in depth. There is a difference between knowing how to fall, and being preconditioned TOO fall.
Secondly, and you will see this everywhere in videos, men attack, and their body dynamic changes to a receiving mode-to take ukemi.
It is a very different dynamic in the body to continue the attack AS YOU FALL.
As a separate issue, but consistent with the topic at hand, is how to teach someone to be extremely throw resistent (internal power or aiki) so as to not fall and increase the ability to counter throw. This increases the ability of a martial artist within a given style to manage himself with far more integrity of his space.
It just happens to wreck allot of teaching styles.
Does that make more sense?

gromph
07-31-2008, 07:43 PM
Thank you Dan.

What you are talking about is really blowing me away...

I know that you do not publicly talk about your training methods, and unfortunately those of with careers/families/limited vacation etc will probably never get a chance to train with you even though it seems like you are quite open with your teaching (unless I am mistaken) if one can actually make it to see you!

What I am trying to say??

Is there any pointers you can give to the rest of us (without giving away your teaching/secrets etc)...

From what I seem to be able to gleam is that your aiki training is transforming the insides of your body to use "different" muscles - i.e. fascia etc and also that you are creating NEW power pathways throughout your body??

I recently switched from a harder style of aikido to ki aikido because quite simply I am old now and my body is trashed! I do find the ki training interesting, and although I can have people push/pull me etc I don't think that's even in the same universe as the stuff you are doing (especially from the descriptions you give).

In fact Mike Sigman talks about this on his aikido journal articles. (I believe his point is that these ki skills are a start and are actually quite basic in themselves):

http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=4634

and

http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=3831

This is the statement that I find of interest:

"When the sourcing is arranged properly, the body will surprising conform to help convey the forces according to the new sources, but only up to the level to which the body is conditioned. In other words, a person can use kokyu power correctly only up to the level the body has conditioned to sustain the new arrangement of patterning; if too heavy a load is put on an unprepared body, the new patterning breaks down to some extent and the normal muscles (like shoulder, arm, etc.) kick in and the training becomes diluted."

How does one "break through" that point WITHOUT being diluted??

Ok, so someone can push on you and you are ok, now they run at you and hit you - you crumble! How do you get BEYOND that crumpling? Is it physical (training new muscles) or is it mental training???

Do you ever travel and teach seminars??

Cheers,

Mike

mathewjgano
08-01-2008, 11:52 PM
Mathew
there are several threads where it is discussed in depth. There is a difference between knowing how to fall, and being preconditioned TOO fall.

Hi Dan,
I was just saying I could see why Don said what he did. I know that taken into the fuller context of other threads you're not saying don't do/teach ukemi.

Secondly, and you will see this everywhere in videos, men attack, and their body dynamic changes to a receiving mode-to take ukemi.
It is a very different dynamic in the body to continue the attack AS YOU FALL.
Would you say the uke is ceasing to reach for nage's center in these cases (i.e. the switching to receiving mode cases)?

As a separate issue, but consistent with the topic at hand, is how to teach someone to be extremely throw resistent (internal power or aiki) so as to not fall and increase the ability to counter throw. This increases the ability of a martial artist within a given style to manage himself with far more integrity of his space.
It just happens to wreck allot of teaching styles.
Does that make more sense?
That makes sense, i was just mentioning that part as an example of why Don might have made the assumption he did. Do you view the throw resistance you described as being more a product of being grounded/"immoveable" or of being able to "roll with the punches," as it were? Or is it a fusion of the two?

MM
08-02-2008, 10:07 AM
Is there any pointers you can give to the rest of us (without giving away your teaching/secrets etc)...

From what I seem to be able to gleam is that your aiki training is transforming the insides of your body to use "different" muscles - i.e. fascia etc and also that you are creating NEW power pathways throughout your body??


Hi Mike,

I'm not Dan, but I thought I'd give you my thoughts. Hope they help. And yes, I think you have a good idea of what's happening.


I recently switched from a harder style of aikido to ki aikido because quite simply I am old now and my body is trashed! I do find the ki training interesting, and although I can have people push/pull me etc I don't think that's even in the same universe as the stuff you are doing (especially from the descriptions you give).


No, I have found that it isn't in the same universe. :)

Speaking of push and pull -- how hard do they push and pull? Are they using a small push or are they really pushing hard, trying to move you or tip you over? Are you in a natural posture with feet side by side? Or in a hanmi of sorts with one leg back? There are all sorts of different ways of pushing/pulling.


In fact Mike Sigman talks about this on his aikido journal articles. (I believe his point is that these ki skills are a start and are actually quite basic in themselves):


From my view, saying the ki skills are a start is okay. It's more like dipping your toe in the water and saying I have a start on learning how to swim. :)


This is the statement that I find of interest:

"When the sourcing is arranged properly, the body will surprising conform to help convey the forces according to the new sources, but only up to the level to which the body is conditioned. In other words, a person can use kokyu power correctly only up to the level the body has conditioned to sustain the new arrangement of patterning; if too heavy a load is put on an unprepared body, the new patterning breaks down to some extent and the normal muscles (like shoulder, arm, etc.) kick in and the training becomes diluted."


I've found that to be very, very true.


How does one "break through" that point WITHOUT being diluted??

Ok, so someone can push on you and you are ok, now they run at you and hit you - you crumble! How do you get BEYOND that crumpling? Is it physical (training new muscles) or is it mental training???


Try this:

Stand in a natural stance, feet side by side, shoulder width apart. Then, put your arms straight out to your sides, palms facing out, fingers up. Have someone push (start with a light push) on your outstretched right palm. Since your arm is straight, it's going to be a straight push directly into your shoulders. What you have to do is to take the energy that's coming in from that push and let it go through your arm, your shoulder, down your spine, down your left leg (opposite leg) and into the ground.

To illustrate some different feelings, have the person pushing give you a decent push (not too light but not strong enough to cause you to strain). Then, you tighten all your muscles in your arm and shoulder. Feel and see what happens. Go back to a decent push and "relax completely". I mean really relax your arm and shoulders to the point of jelly. In the tense muscle example, you should have felt top heavy and been pushed over. In the relaxed example, your arm should have crumpled into your side. So, if you find that on a harder push, your arm is bending, then you're being too relaxed and if you're feeling top heavy and being pushed over, you're muscles are too taut. Picture the energy going through your bones from palm to ground.

If you're good with a light push, have the person start slowly adding more force to their push. Can you withstand a full force push? Either starting slowly and building up to it -- or just directly.

(If you can do that, either way, then, using the example above, I picture that as having taken off your shoes and socks and just thought about putting your toe in the water to test the temperature before you get in the water and start learning to swim. :) )

Once you have that pathway built in, you start working it more and more with stronger forces and from different angles. The hardest one I've found so far is standing in a natural stance and having someone push on your chest.

Mark

MM
08-02-2008, 10:20 AM
That makes sense, i was just mentioning that part as an example of why Don might have made the assumption he did. Do you view the throw resistance you described as being more a product of being grounded/"immoveable" or of being able to "roll with the punches," as it were? Or is it a fusion of the two?

Hi Matthew,

Here's my thoughts ...

"Grounded" and "resistant" seem to be terms that are taken various ways.

The "grounded" I'm working on is like this:

Instead of my body offering any resistance (remember Ueshiba's no resistance thing?) to someone trying to throw me, I have a pathway set up in my body that takes the incoming force and allows it to go to the ground -- no matter what position or placement my body is in. The person trying to throw feels like they are actually pushing the ground. No matter where I move or how I move, I have no internal resistance to the force coming in. It goes to ground.

"Grounded" to me does not mean "planted" or "immovable". Ever.

The "resistant" I'm working on is to not be easily thrown or my center captured. Even when I bring the ground back out and into the person, I am still not using resistance.

"Resistant" to me does not mean fighting or using muscle. On the flip side being "non resistant" does not mean tenkan out of the way of an attack.

Mark

Upyu
08-03-2008, 01:40 AM
Hi Matthew,

Here's my thoughts ...

"Grounded" and "resistant" seem to be terms that are taken various ways.

The "grounded" I'm working on is like this:

Instead of my body offering any resistance (remember Ueshiba's no resistance thing?) to someone trying to throw me, I have a pathway set up in my body that takes the incoming force and allows it to go to the ground -- no matter what position or placement my body is in. The person trying to throw feels like they are actually pushing the ground. No matter where I move or how I move, I have no internal resistance to the force coming in. It goes to ground.

"Grounded" to me does not mean "planted" or "immovable". Ever.

The "resistant" I'm working on is to not be easily thrown or my center captured. Even when I bring the ground back out and into the person, I am still not using resistance.

"Resistant" to me does not mean fighting or using muscle. On the flip side being "non resistant" does not mean tenkan out of the way of an attack.

Mark

I think this is a good, basic example of what it means to be "grounded" without being simply planted

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMw_Jtn3Avc

Ignore the craptastic knife defense at the end though :p

edit:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aS6Bgk9aws&feature=related
2:09 has some good stuff in it as well

Upyu
08-03-2008, 01:50 AM
How does one "break through" that point WITHOUT being diluted??

Ok, so someone can push on you and you are ok, now they run at you and hit you - you crumble! How do you get BEYOND that crumpling? Is it physical (training new muscles) or is it mental training???


I'm not Dan, but this question is pretty easy to answer.
I think Mike would answer it, but I think he's been placed on sabbatical :D

It's physical training, ie, you have to condition your body, certain muscles, tissue etc need to be able to take the loads if they are to be used in that manner. Like was mentioned in the article, if it can't sustain the load, it'll switch back to older patterned usage of muscles.

Part of it is mental training: Ishiki/Yi/I/intent, but should be trained alongside the conditioning. The use of mental intent should go hand in hand with the physical and be developed as a result. You need someone to show you clearly how to do this.
It's nothing mystical, btw, simply a skill most people don't really use or practice.

In a nutshell, do the above repeatedly(in whatever training method that floats your boat, sword cutting, spear thrusting, solo exercises from various Chinese,JP arts etc) all the while increasing the amount of loads you can take, and the complexity with which you manipulate the body.
There's a reason there's often a progression to learning this stuff. You can't simply copy the shape of some form and expect to do the more complicated stuff, simply because the physical components in the body, not to mention the mental skills required to manipulate them are inadequate.

Erick Mead
08-03-2008, 10:40 AM
I think this is a good, basic example of what it means to be "grounded" without being simply planted

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMw_Jtn3Avc

Ignore the craptastic knife defense at the end though :p

edit:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aS6Bgk9aws&feature=related
2:09 has some good stuff in it as wellSee, this is an example of the misleading nature of your terminology -- specifically, "ground." (I don't mean you personally, but the conceptual image is disconnected from the reality.)

Mifune can in no way be using "ground" when he is literally disconnected from it. It is not just gravity, either. He is plainly using active control of his momentum and the moment of his body, in one case curling the leg under to allow a counter-moment on the top of the throw, and in another arcing his legs actively back and up to increase counter moment in the throw, and create shear at the connection.

Ain't no ground. What you mean as "ground" is defining a moment or angular momentum in relation to it -- but that is merely a convenient reference -- not the active principle in the action. It's like saying that lift is generated by a speed with a certain angle with respect to the plane of the "ground." In many cases it is so, but that reference is violated when updrafts or downdrafts are present, and if using a pure ground reference you can easily stall and fall out of the sky. Attitude with respect to the ground may be convenient in most cases, but it is a phlogiston theory, and leads to errors of its own -- the image of "planting" being one of them.

Erick Mead
08-03-2008, 10:43 AM
On the flip side being "non resistant" does not mean tenkan out of the way of an attack.That's why it is "irimi-tenkan" -- tenkan INTO the attack.

Cady Goldfield
08-03-2008, 01:57 PM
Mifune can in no way be using "ground" when he is literally disconnected from it.

I wouldn't say that it's a given that there would be a disconnect when a person is off the ground. An adept may be "disconnected" from the ground in the sense that his feet are not in physical contact with it, when lifted up by his opponent, but he can still be connected to the ground -through- his opponent.

Demetrio Cereijo
08-03-2008, 06:15 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aS6Bgk9aws&feature=related
2:09 has some good stuff in it as well
And the fun starts at 5:55.

eyrie
08-03-2008, 07:25 PM
Somewhere I have a video clip of Don Angier explaining how this works. Suffice to say, rotational dynamics is not the answer to everything... 42 is. :p

Upyu
08-03-2008, 07:36 PM
See, this is an example of the misleading nature of your terminology -- specifically, "ground." (I don't mean you personally, but the conceptual image is disconnected from the reality.)

Mifune can in no way be using "ground" when he is literally disconnected from it. It is not just gravity, either. He is plainly using active control of his momentum and the moment of his body, in one case curling the leg under to allow a counter-moment on the top of the throw, and in another arcing his legs actively back and up to increase counter moment in the throw, and create shear at the connection.

Misleading? Not really, at least not to anyone that can actually do this stuff Erick.
But then again I don't know anyone that's met you and vouched that you can do any of these things anyways :D

Maybe you can come up with a step by step instructional vid explaining in your own terms of momentum circular omega force dysfunctional vectors, how "grounds" a push on one leg, and how that skill translates into helping with throws etc ;)

mathewjgano
08-03-2008, 11:14 PM
Somewhere I have a video clip of Don Angier explaining how this works. Suffice to say, rotational dynamics is not the answer to everything... 42 is. :p

I hate to do this, but you're incorrect.
42 is not the answer to everything...only the Ultimate Question of Life. Who knew that question was, "what is the perfect number of jelly beans one should consume in any given sitting?"

eyrie
08-03-2008, 11:23 PM
The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything is... 42

And it was meant as a joke... and apparently so did Adams. :)

mathewjgano
08-03-2008, 11:27 PM
Misleading? Not really, at least not to anyone that can actually do this stuff Erick.
But then again I don't know anyone that's met you and vouched that you can do any of these things anyways :D


Isn't that a bit beside the point Erick is trying to make? One of the criticisms on Aikido's means of teaching aiki is the idea that the language is too subjective, right? Of course any term used among a group of people who can do something is obviously going to be understood by those who can do it in that group...whether it's the "Earthly ki of the kami" or "grounding" or whatever. I'm not knocking the term. It makes sense to me enough that I think I can use it meaningfully, but you didn't really seem to do much here but offer an ad hominem.:p

mathewjgano
08-03-2008, 11:30 PM
The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything is... 42

And it was meant as a joke... and apparently so did Adams. :)

Of course it was a joke...so was my reply...poorly made though it seem to be.

DH
08-04-2008, 12:36 AM
Isn't that a bit beside the point Erick is trying to make? ... you didn't really seem to do much here but offer an ad hominem.:p

Actually it is spot on. Rob wasn't attacking Eric, he wasn't questioning his understanding of the potential terms- he was questioning his knowledge of the skills in the first place to even have a discussion of terms. If you don't know the skills- what's the point in defining your terms? Particularly in agonizingly long posts?

Some people really care about folks being led astray like most of us were for years. I think that was either due to ignorance of our teachers (on a grand scale) intentional holding back and screwing with us, and / or just plain poor teaching ability. More and more, it seems people are thinking-most of use have simply missed what we were supposed to be doing and discussing in the arts.
Rob was pointing out that men who entered into the discussion to talk about how to get it have been vetted. They have been tested, compared, and those training this way all agree it is different and shares many common themes.
I hate to see people come on who cannot do these things with measurable results, and more importantly do not have a record of proving they can teach it to people with measurable results being given any sort of support.
Why? I care more about honest hard working students who are trusting they are getting useful information, so they avoid so much wasted time.
I was recently with a friend and we were discussing time and distance in training. Most people travel to get this stuff. They really need accurate models and hands on tune-ups to stay on track and not waste so much time. That hurts and it's painful to have to realize you just wasted so much time. The last thing you need is naysayers who can't do, laying out detailed information on...how to fail like them.
That isn't harsh. It's kind. Fortunately, as the network grows of people who are now training in aiki-they run into those who offer mis-information here. They are increasingly getting checked out, and self selected out of the discussion for lack of any real abilities.
You will go farther in budo checking behind the scenes than you ever will "on air."

Erick Mead
08-04-2008, 01:01 AM
I wouldn't say that it's a given that there would be a disconnect when a person is off the ground. An adept may be "disconnected" from the ground in the sense that his feet are not in physical contact with it, when lifted up by his opponent, but he can still be connected to the ground -through- his opponent. I didn't say it was wrong -- I said it was misleading (not intentionally so) and calling something "ground" when you are out of contact with it is no simplification. It is obfuscation.
Any term used among a group of people who can do something is obviously going to be understood by those who can do it in that group...whether it's the "Earthly ki of the kami" or "grounding" or whatever. I'm not knocking the term. It makes sense to me enough that I think I can use it meaningfully, but you didn't really seem to do much here but offer an ad hominem It's OK. One day they'll tire of it - and they can swing wildly for all I care until they actually engage or connect which they are not doing either in the aikido or boxing sense. :) ...video clip of Don Angier explaining how this works. Suffice to say, rotational dynamics is not the answer to everything... 42 is. You forgot to add "life, the universe {and everything]." And pace the reference to our dear departed Dougie A. -- and for the love of vogonity, we can all wax teary-eyed at paeans to the Great Green Arkle-Seizure for all I care -- but it need not be so flipping arcane or so afeared of a little basic physical analysis. The necessary adjunct of kata is bunkai. Being intentionally esoteric, (which the consistent ad hom is part of, BTW) is not useful to advance learning -- transparency is. Western learning is not esoteric. You've taken the work that Ark has done a good way down that road in your depictions and descriptions of what eh does and how he does it, and it's a credit to you. Don't stop. Take it the rest of the way, and break it down -- bunkai

If Don Angier teaches that in-yo ho is a ncessary aspect of aiki, then there is no escaping rotational dynamics. That concept and the math that goes with it defines cyclic alternation of negative and positive phase. When I feel the ground with my own feet I push the ground and the ground pushes back. In-yo. So, to sense anything by touch, sight or hearing there must be both positive and negative action, alternating. While you may choose to ignore it, it is inescapably true, and that straightforward observation has things to teach.

And what might we call this positive-negative thing connecting Mifune to the ground through his opponent? What is it that throwing his legs up and out or under and across manipulates ? What is transferred when you shift weight from one hip to the other? As O Sensei said : "In Aikido you must understand every phenomenon in the universe. For example, the rotation of the Earth and the most intricate and far-reaching system of the universe. " To your way of thinking that statement gets sent down as so much religious mumbo jumbo. To my approach that is a perfectly good attribution of things that the SAME physical laws also describe.

Come on. It has a name. You can say it... :)

Here, fill in the blanks: ang ___ar mom___um

eyrie
08-04-2008, 01:33 AM
Erick, I believe you've misattributed a quote by me as coming from Rob.

As far as what Don Angier does or doesn't teach, I'm in no position to comment or presume. I did not intend to drag Don's name into this, only to point out that the explanation he provided on that particular video clip is precisely what Cady said, and has nothing to do with rotational dynamics - at least not in the way he explained it.

BTW, I didn't "forget" anything... I figured fandom would get the gist without my being superfluous. ;)

Erick Mead
08-04-2008, 01:51 AM
Actually it is spot on. Rob wasn't attacking Eric, he wasn't questioning his understanding of the potential terms- he was questioning his knowledge of the skills in the first place to even have a discussion of terms. That wasn't a question -- because he wasn't interested in an answer. Nor are you. As far as you all are concerned you have The Answer. And my push for truly objective physical standards and principles really must threaten that for some bizarre reason that the cicadas in these backwoods West Florida pines aren't telling tonight.
... I hate to see people come on who cannot do these things with measurable results, and more importantly do not have a record of proving they can teach it to people with measurable results being given any sort of support.
Why? I care more about honest hard working students who are trusting they are getting useful information, so they avoid so much wasted time. One doesn't have to doubt ability (I don't have any reason to) to question motives. Gee, and while we're "questioning" motivations and agendas, ulterior and otherwise -- who will vet the new order?

Dan just defined himself as politician -- deciding who will meet (and enforce) sound Aiki™ standards (his usage -- NOT mine) and ALL for the sake of the "little people". Oh, and shall we have objective physical standards? NOOOO, too much trouble -- gets in the way of efficient enforcement against all them wicked people all the "right people" just know are bad, bad bad ... I've heard this all somewhere before. :yuck:
They are increasingly getting checked out, and self-selected out of the discussion for lack of any real abilities.
You will go farther in budo checking behind the scenes than you ever will "on air." Oh, and spies and whisper campaigns, too, touting reliance on "those in the know." So much cleaner and simpler than old fashioned yaburi. Quite the little commissariat Dan is working on. People were speaking so well of Dan but it makes me wonder.

Don't you think he sounds tired?

Since I am not "going" anywhere in budo, and have no aspiration beyond showing up to train, I'll stay out of it for both our sakes, and he's tired anyway, so I shouldn't bother him, and I am not in the way to anywhere, anyway, really.

Does seem tired though. Taking on responsibility for all those poor people's lack of decent training. Must be positively exhausting. Deserves a break.

Erick Mead
08-04-2008, 01:57 AM
Erick, I believe you've misattributed a quote by me as coming from Rob. Apologies.

As far as what Don Angier does or doesn't teach, ...the explanation he provided on that particular video clip is precisely what Cady said, and has nothing to do with rotational dynamics - at least not in the way he explained it.Love to see it. Reputedly, he is very practically minded in his teaching. "Feet pull -- hands push" is one that I have read as attributed to him. What does that combination make if not a coupled rotation around center?

DH
08-04-2008, 07:49 AM
Ah but Erick, neither I or anyone else is narrowing a definition to any single person or art are they? It's much bigger than that. Which has been the stated view all along. I think the sting is that aiki was always a safe bet. It was so etherial and was surrounded by so much cooperative training and quasi religious trappings that it was easy to muddy the waters. Attaching a demand of physical results to aiki, and the worst of all afronts- that it can tested outside of waza-further still that is has testable martial power and prowess in use- blows the lid of that safe haven.

You're making an argument that "you" can describe aiki in universally recognized physics terminology. How do you then object that it can also be recognized by an increasing number of people growing aware of it by a universally recognized medium-that being-experience in touch or feel? It is they who are out making their own discoveries and opinions. They come from all types of arts and are looking in all corners to compare their research.

Those are the people doing the vetting-by default. The people out doing the research. Their vetting is more honest than politics will allow for. And less it escapes your attention- its been done this way in the arts probably as long as there have been fighting men-for generations. Its how men showed up in Japan and China looking for this or that "guy" they had heard of, from men they trusted or in print. These people out looking are no different. They talk and share one to another.So let's not be overly wrought or surprised to see men doing the same they have done for hundreds if not thousands of years -but now through a different medium. Today boards are yesterdays print media filled with reviews of teachers, and methods. It led me out to meet people and test and feel those in the Japanese and Chinese arts. Rob, simply pointed out -as have I- that sometimes there is a distinction between some mens written knowledge and their knowledge or skills in their bodies. It's just the way of it.

Tired? I'm just getting started. I think I have a long way to go in learning myself. There are more people training this way every month, now joining with others who are just getting started. I think people are happy about discovering they can "do" aiki and have their power grow in a practical and teachable method.
That's good news bud.

Erick Mead
08-04-2008, 09:27 AM
Ah but Erick, neither I or anyone else is narrowing a definition to any single person or art are they? It's much bigger than that. Which has been the stated view all along. ... I think the sting is that aiki was always a safe bet. It was so etherial and was surrounded by so much cooperative training and quasi religious trappings that it was easy to muddy the waters.
Attaching a demand of physical results to aiki, and the worst of all afronts- that it can tested outside of waza-further still that is has testable martial power and prowess in use- blows the lid of that safe haven. And quasi-mechanical trappings are no less subject to abuse. The premise -- of your own paragon Sagawa --is that NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO -- the training of aiki takes at least twenty years. His strong suggestion (if Clear Power is to be believed) that mindful approach to a diligent practice will reveal it, in whole or in part, and once a part is grasped the whole begins to reveal itself to effort and study. Argue with him.

I take a different tone, because a claim to "save the exploited" (added to the knee-jerk resort to ad hom attack) is a mark of a narcissistic ego typical amongst political animals. People who tell other people how to do things because they have resolved themselves to be better, more talented and well, just darn well more noble than the poor oppressed peonage.

You're making an argument that "you" can describe aiki in universally recognized physics terminology. No. I am arguing that it can and should be. If it is so described -- then who did it makes no never mind, as the fact is independent of its manner of being revealed. I very likely have many portions more muddled than not in my efforts to digest a HIGHLY non-linear subject into linear terms, and to advance a long-neglected subject area. All I care about is the knowledge and its correctness and in the service of that I am entirely willing to dare and to correct significant conceptual error -- in public. You notably discuss nothing of your actual training process in public. Holding back knowladge is suspect; it ain't nuclear weapons. And you can look that up on the internet anyway, since it takes far more in hard capital and time investment to make it useable any way -- sort of similar, actually.

But the terms I use become steadily clearer by this process. Comparing data to construct and refining the construct to fit the data. It's called science. It may have managed one or two rather more complicated areas of knowledge in its time, but I could well be wrong about that, too.

How do you then object that it can also be recognized by an increasing number of people growing aware of it by a universally recognized medium-that being-experience in touch or feel? Never contested it - nor in the least belittled it. I have been complimentary of Rob's approach to describe the training and the purpose of their training approach -- and because of the relative transparency. I have no problem with it. I have criticized certain persons' demonstrably wrong mechanical explanations and have endured one or two person's competently challenging some minor points in my own. I'm willing to take what I dish out.

It is they who are out making their own discoveries and opinions. They come from all types of arts and are looking in all corners to compare their research. They are highly motivated, competent self-learners who have come as far as they have on their own resources and have reached a the top of a growth curve, as occurs in any endeavor. As with any topped out growth curve ,it requires substantial additional investment and the endurance of actual retrenchment before new growth can begin again. That's the real meaning of "beginner's mind." It's not a mark of fresh vision, but a willingness to faithfully work through a period where little hopeful is seen. One might observe that such people are just vulnerable as beginners to such a pitch -- to save them from that unavoidable dark night -- but day comes again all on its own, if they do not give up.

And less it escapes your attention- its been done this way in the arts probably as long as there have been fighting men-for generations. Its how men showed up in Japan and China looking for this or that "guy" they had heard of, from men they trusted or in print. Yes. And they have so far trounced Western thinking on warfare in the last hundred years, have they? Might do to follow the demonstrably more successful strategy in that regard. The PLAN is not following the naval architectural plan of Zheng He.

I think people are happy about discovering they can "do" aiki and have their power grow in a practical and teachable method.
That's good news bud. Who said it wasn't? I just think that some of those you preach to lost faith at a point because of the natural progression of growth requires periods of no progress or actual regression to foster new growth. People are always impatient of the plow and the seed, and vulnerable to products that will purport to hasten nature ( and may well . But hastened nature is not the same product as steady growth -- ask any lumberman. As long as they continue to tend their patch with diligence and attention, they'll get through it with you or without you -- and how do I know that? Simple -- because they got this far.

DH
08-04-2008, 10:44 AM
And quasi-mechanical trappings are no less subject to abuse. The premise -- of your own paragon Sagawa --is that NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO -- the training of aiki takes at least twenty years. His strong suggestion (if Clear Power is to be believed) that mindful approach to a diligent practice will reveal it, in whole or in part, and once a part is grasped the whole begins to reveal itself to effort and study. Argue with him.
No need. The same guy stated he didn't teach, his student didn't get it, admitted witholding and stated that finally toward the end of his career he started to show how. Viola! What does he say the results were?
People started getting it.
All the rest of the twenty year stuff is more patting us on the head and telling us to eat more rice. I say teach what you were doing in training yourself, and let the chips fall where they may. After all, if it isn't in fact ego, then you would do what I do share openly within my group and show them how to stop me and others, then how to get better. Placing the burden-on them-and challenging me and them.
Iron sharpens iron. Enjoy it.
I think more often than not it is exactly about ego and also protectionism.

I take a different tone, because a claim to "save the exploited" (added to the knee-jerk resort to ad hom attack) is a mark of a narcissistic ego typical amongst political animals. People who tell other people how to do things because they have resolved themselves to be better, more talented and well, just darn well more noble than the poor oppressed peonage.
Well to take the tone I mean to convey... I would never engage in a debate over terms and methodology to perform complex gymnastic floor exercises on the net. And that to someone whos never done them. Descriptions would not help one bit.
It's good enough to talk about their existance and where to go to train.

I deleted the comments about debate style. I not only agree with you, I have complimented you many times in both your honesty and willingness. All I am saying is that first-you don't know the material. And second, that its a waste to try and "describe" these things if you don't. No big deal really.

highly motivated, competent self-learners who have come as far as they have on their own resources and have reached a the top of a growth curve, as occurs in any endeavor. As with any topped out growth curve ,it requires substantial additional investment and the endurance of actual
snip......
I just think that some of those you preach to lost faith at a point because of the natural progression of growth requires periods of no progress or actual regression to foster new growth. People are always impatient of the plow and the seed, and vulnerable to products that will purport to hasten nature ( and may well . But hastened nature is not the same product as steady growth -- ask any lumberman. As long as they continue to tend their patch with diligence and attention, they'll get through it with you or without you -- and how do I know that? Simple -- because they got this far.
Of course this is presuming everyone is trying to learn the same thing, and that it is there in their art and with that teacher to learn.
Hm...I know too many guys who have just encountered this training after 30 or so years in the arts. They were flummoxed. I mean one or two? Okay. Three, four twenty, a hundred? I think it paints a picture both to them and those of us showing things. I think we have heard enough voices stating that there was no way they were going to have figured this out by themselves or by doing kata.

Personally were I you, I'd seriously consider Sagawa's comments out two sides of his mouth, in conjunction with me telling I watched my teacher not teach rooms of people, to Peters new column about the omote of aikido taught outside Japan and the Ura reserved for Japanese teachers. I would take that and review the ICMA which have so many guys who haven't any more clue to developing real power than their Japanese counter parts. And they at least know its there.

Good luck in your training

Thomas Campbell
08-04-2008, 11:36 AM
review the ICMA which have so many guys who haven't any more clue to developing real power than their Japanese counter parts. And they at least know its there.

Good luck in your training

Aye, we do know it's there. And that it's not a type of training you'll find at WalMart.

DH
08-04-2008, 12:20 PM
Hi Tom
Yea I was a little suprised and kinda disappointed at how well allot of them can discuss the terminology better than I certainly can ;) but when it came to a show and tell..er...well.
Then again some of their master level teachers?? Wham!
So it ties in with the Japanese model with arts that have internal power; just who, is teaching what, to whom...and when? And is there a better more efficient way to learn it to power their arts?

Erick Mead
08-04-2008, 02:12 PM
Iron sharpens iron. Enjoy it. I do. But a waterstone sharpens better; ceramic sharpens even better than that, and diamonds, better yet. And whoever heard of a Japanese sword sharpened with a steel, outside of some garage wallhanger collection? {Shudder.]

(For what it's worth ceramic and diamond hones required some amount of technical work to make, and to improve in making them even more effective, and they probably looked really messy while they were sorting out the correct principles.)

I would never engage in a debate over terms and methodology to perform complex gymnastic floor exercises on the net. Funny. My daughters are gymnasts. And even funnier, you seem to be alone in that regard, since the gymnastic folks seem to make perfectly good use of it:
http://www.gymnasticsrevolution.com/Parents.htm

In fact, by careful study of principles, people have even have been able to invent new things, and novel applications, which I believe Sagawa discusses also. Go figure!. http://www.gymnasticsrevolution.com/Parents%2021.html

mathewjgano
08-04-2008, 05:18 PM
Actually it is spot on. Rob wasn't attacking Eric, he wasn't questioning his understanding of the potential terms- he was questioning his knowledge of the skills in the first place to even have a discussion of terms. If you don't know the skills- what's the point in defining your terms? Particularly in agonizingly long posts?
I'm just saying it seemed to me Erick gave an argument describing a premise and rather than address the argument, Rob basically replied with "you don't know what you're talking about." I'd like to read more than that. I know you all have gone over this stuff ad nauseum though so I suppose I can see why folks would get tired of repeating themselves. I probably should just go back and do some reading.

Some people really care about folks being led astray like most of us were for years.
I respect that. It helps the martial arts community a lot.

I hate to see people come on who cannot do these things with measurable results, and more importantly do not have a record of proving they can teach it to people with measurable results being given any sort of support.
Absence of evidence isn't evidence of fallacy...but I'll read the conversations.

I was recently with a friend and we were discussing time and distance in training. Most people travel to get this stuff. They really need accurate models and hands on tune-ups to stay on track and not waste so much time.
It pays to train with exceptional people. I mean, it's all relative, but I agree strongly with the notion that if you want to get better faster you have to train with folks who are a lot better than you, whatever the skill. They tend to hold things to a more greatly refined standard. I've also noticed what little I've learned of aikido fades a bit when I don't practice it regularly, so I completely agree with what you're saying about hands-on tune ups.

You will go farther in budo checking behind the scenes than you ever will "on air."
True in probably all things other than budo as well. Buyer beware; always.

Erick Mead
08-04-2008, 06:13 PM
Erick gave an argument describing a premise and rather than address the argument .... Plus ca change...

Some people really care about folks being led astray like most of us were for years. I respect that. It helps the martial arts community a lot. Where I get off the train is in the assumption of ill-motive in the study and teaching of these things, but like Dan I am a product of MY experience in that regard. My grandfather had a maxim and it has stood me in good stead in a working environment where real frauds and cheats actually have to be brought to ground.

"Never ascribe to malice what stupidity will explain."

It is more charitable to allow that the ignorance or conceptual limitations in which they worked, worked against them than to assume they leveraged limitations in ways that were abusive of trust. Either way, remove the conceptual limitations and both problems tend to be corrected more easily -- and real frauds have even fewer places to hide. Dan's approach to the problem of that ( real or perceived) abuse of trust actually requires far MORE personal trust than a more analytic and critical approach.

--- if you want to get better faster you have to train with folks who are a lot better than you, whatever the skill. They tend to hold things to a more greatly refined standard. I've also noticed what little I've learned of aikido fades a bit when I don't practice it regularly, so I completely agree with what you're saying about hands-on tune ups. What matters more than anything is that you demand more of yourself -- mentally and physically, and try to rely on your teacher less and less for cooking your dinner, apart from providing the ingredient selections of the day).

Learning physical skills is like anything else -- without labeled buckets to store information, it gets easily lost, confused or over-written. One can only more slowly gain sensitivity in sensation and criticality in movement (which no one here disagrees is necessary) without ways to more closely distinguish between them.

The analytic and intellectual comprehension is not at odds or a substitute for the physical, it is a part of the making the whole more refined and sharp, and less ambiguous and confusing. Unlike Dan, I do not believe it was intended to be confusing by most teachers, it just had no other good way to be, at least in Western terms.

It need not stay that way. And nobody yet refuted my observation about the proffered good example of Mifune's "grounding" method.

gromph
08-06-2008, 12:25 AM
Thanks all for the great advise!

No just feel, train and train!

Cheers,

DH
08-06-2008, 01:00 AM
HI Erick
I think you mistated my points there, bud. I agree that part of it is abuse of trust-but only part. I have stated many times that it is sometimes a teacher not knowing how to teach any other way then to hold back till you advance. Other times they may just not know how to teach, and other times...
they just don't know.
I think intentional misuse is far lower. but then we have Petes article about the Omote outside of Japan and the Ura of aikido held for Aikikai teachers. I would like to test that theory hands on. But none-the less it was stated. As a statement and model. It has several sharp business angles that can be exploited.
Anyway, I have expressed views much broader than its all a conspiracy of silence.;)

Erick Mead
08-06-2008, 08:16 AM
...but then we have Petes article about the Omote outside of Japan and the Ura of aikido held for Aikikai teachers. I would like to test that theory hands on. In fairness to the Prof. he is talking about the details and nature of the history of the founder and the art -- NOT the training. In any event it has seemed that your criticisms have relied on questions about practice AT HOMBU, as much as they are about the overseas training, or so it has seemed to me.

As to the latter point, that can be taken up easily. Some of the Founder's deshi specifically desired to come HERE to train and teach somewhat independently (at some measure of initial disapproval of Hombu) -- notably (and vastly different in personal style) both Saotome and Chiba. Chiba I have trained with personally, and with senior students of Saotome, but never with himself. I believe Jim Sorrentino, one of those latter, has offered for you to come compare notes. He's very nice; I've even visited once at the Ballston dojo at Aikido of No.Va, though I doubt he would remember or recall me. You can get there within a block's walk by Metro, so you can get there completely by train from Boston. I think its three hour train ride, if I recall. Could be a day trip. :)

Sadly, we recall in these days of ballistic fuel prices that Gen. Sherman burnt our trains. :(

gromph
08-06-2008, 12:46 PM
Where is the omote/ura article by Peter??

Cheers

DH
08-06-2008, 01:57 PM
In fairness to the Prof. he is talking about the details and nature of the history of the founder and the art -- NOT the training. In any event it has seemed that your criticisms have relied on questions about practice AT HOMBU, as much as they are about the overseas training, or so it has seemed to me.

As to the latter point, that can be taken up easily. Some of the Founder's deshi specifically desired to come HERE to train and teach somewhat independently (at some measure of initial disapproval of Hombu) -- notably (and vastly different in personal style) both Saotome and Chiba. Chiba I have trained with personally, and with senior students of Saotome, but never with himself. I believe Jim Sorrentino, one of those latter, has offered for you to come compare notes. He's very nice; I've even visited once at the Ballston dojo at Aikido of No.Va, though I doubt he would remember or recall me. You can get there within a block's walk by Metro, so you can get there completely by train from Boston. I think its three hour train ride, if I recall. Could be a day trip. :) . :(
Erick
You're kidding right? Day late and a dollar short. And you missed the point.
FWIW I have trained with several Shihan from the aikikai. I found them to be no trouble whatsoever and could stop them easily, and that was almost sixteen years ago when I was just starting to get this stuff. On the whole It was exactly why I left Aikido. They were stiff, and easy to connect to an control. I figured "If this is the best ya got...then see ya." I was taken aback that this supposedly soft art, was no where near what I considered to be soft. they were shoulder stiff, frame extenders. The lessor lights, were...lesser than them. I am sure you're convinced that there is something for -me- to gain by "comparing notes" in VA. -I was suggesting something far more substantial. If there was an ura to be had -as suggested - in some senior, internally developed researcher in Aikido- I would welcome a chance to test it and feel it up close and personal. All due respect-I'm not going to find anything like that in VA. They are just now starting down a road I started down almost twenty years ago. And I wish them well.
I was thinking of Japan and some senior researcher who would like to demonstrate his internals from within aikido and play; minus, politics, ego and the protectionist baggage you often run into. I would rather hook up with a guy like that, bent on perfecting himself and testing theories and personal study of what he was taught or gained later. That is more my style. That's the kind of guy I would want to "compare notes with", Erick. To prove out the depth, or at least potentials of internal skills possibly hidden in the art of Aikido.

stan baker
08-06-2008, 06:20 PM
Hi Dan.
If there is someone like that in japan or china I would be amazed.

stan

Erick Mead
08-06-2008, 10:31 PM
Erick
You're kidding right? Day late and a dollar short. And you missed the point.
FWIW I have trained with several Shihan from the aikikai. No, actually, I was pointing you to some who are acknowledged in their own ways to be somewhat maverick.

I found them to be no trouble whatsoever and could stop them easily, and that was almost sixteen years ago when I was just starting to get this stuff. On the whole It was exactly why I left Aikido. They were stiff, and easy to connect to an control. I figured "If this is the best ya got...then see ya." Have you heard of sample selection bias ? If you haven't trained with them or their senior students, why don't you just say so? Over- generalization is, among other things, a statistical error, a logical fallacy and also, just plain wrong.

I am sure you're convinced that there is something for -me- to gain by "comparing notes" in VA. -I was suggesting something far more substantial. If there was an ura to be had -as suggested - in some senior, internally developed researcher in Aikido- I would welcome a chance to test it and feel it up close and personal. Actually, I don't think there is an ura, or if there is, as Amdur suggests, it is right there in plain sight, hidden only by commonplace assumption. But, of course, I also don't think there was a second gunman.

Your stated interest does not run to gaining understanding of the thing itself, but only its successful uses, for you. Both the religious and the scientific mind cherish the illuminating error, not the opaque success. But enough of your philosophy, Horatio.

But, since those I mentioned are mavericks, if the "ura" you think to exist (in the sense of training method, vice historical account) were to be in the open here -- they are more likely to have brought and shared it. It was what you said you wanted.

I would rather hook up with a guy like that, bent on perfecting himself and testing theories and personal study of what he was taught or gained later. That is more my style.And that is demonstrably a false statement. You consistently seek people here who are testing YOUR theories and seeking your ideal of perfection. It is my observation that you seek people who are already are in your own mold. Also, you essentially shout down anyone who has a view that you do not immediately comprehend. That does not make them right, but it doesn't make you right either.

It's not a complaint, just a true observation -- like those who work for "tolerance" by suppressing views deemed insufficiently "tolerant." There is a historical word for that, but I won't use it.

If even such a well understood phenomenon like magnetism can be understood in two completely different and irreconcilable conventions, Aiki is not presumptively subsumed in YOUR convention of understanding. A model can be controlled. Reality cannot -- and examples like magnetism show that it readily escapes our easy categories and models.

"Reality-based" training -- does not mean no rules nor does it mean a set of more aggressive, less carefully drawn rules. It means an honest examination of the reality of every element of the encounter, the principles that flow through them, and the whole of it together. I don't contend your approach is lacking in that regard. You do not reciprocate and have no basis other than your preconceptions to have adjudged otherwise. But I suppose if I were a proselyte of the doom you are here to save us from, I might judge more harshly.

stan baker
08-06-2008, 11:40 PM
why do people have to be in denial. I will say it in plain english so the smart ones can understand. If there is any body with stronger aiki power then Dan Harden please let me know. Maybe there is a powerful master in aikido that I do not know about.

stan

mathewjgano
08-07-2008, 07:50 AM
why do people have to be in denial. I will say it in plain english so the smart ones can understand. If there is any body with stronger aiki power then Dan Harden please let me know. Maybe there is a powerful master in aikido that I do not know about.

stan

Denial about what? I'm missing your plain english point (admittedly the only thing smart about me is my behind:o ).
Take care,
Matt

stan baker
08-07-2008, 08:25 AM
Dan Harden has better aiki power then any of the shihans out there.

stan

Gernot Hassenpflug
08-07-2008, 08:56 AM
Dan Harden has better aiki power then any of the shihans out there.

Well, all good and kudos to Dan for all he has done and continues to do. I must say though that it does not take much to be more sensible and less dumb than many shihans. I just heard tonight about another blowhard thickhead shihan at the honbu dojo, who advocated punching the partner who was giving "trouble" with nikkyo. I mean, how dumb can one get?!? Of course, the upshot was that the poor student who tried to follow this so-called advice got punched in the sternum and protested to his partner, who told him "well, if you're going to be punching I'm not just going to be standing there grabbing your wrist right? You're got to learn how to do nikkyo, not punch people when it doesn't work". He should have punched the stupid shihan as well. It's not so bad that the shihan is dumb (he'll age and go away), its awful that students have not frigging clue about what they are supposed to be learning.

mathewjgano
08-07-2008, 09:16 AM
Dan Harden has better aiki power then any of the shihans out there.

stan

He may well indeed...And that's a fairly good number of people, I'd assume.

DH
08-07-2008, 10:15 AM
Whoa...Whaaat??
That's neither provable, germane or relevant to my point.
Stan has been around, and felt many top people in ICMA, Aikido and now the Daito ryu reps.. He is expressing his views and experiences and doesn't speak for me. Gees Stan.

Once again all this talk of fighting and punching and "reality based training" is a great mask for the real discussion and what I stated. Which was how interesting it would be to meet one of these "so called" ura trained Japanese Aikido guys who "got it." And secondly to meet one who was a non defensive researcher type that would be open to testing the depth of what they got in any parameter that would effectively test aiki, one to one.
Why people default to discussing punching and fighting is beyond me. Perhaps it expresses their level of understanding at this time. There is a way to display power without going at it guys. Where you been?
How odd that one would not be intrigued by the idea that there was an ura to aikido held to Japanese Shihan. Admittedly, I don't believe it will prove to have much hands-on value. I felt a couple of Ueshiba's Deshi and they sure as hell didn't have it. So if someone else figured it out-which is entirely possible, even probable- but is holding it to Japanese shihan I would be intrigued to see it, feel it, and see compare notes on their training methods and understanding. Seems a fairly inoccuous statement. I mean-who wouldn't?

gdandscompserv
08-07-2008, 11:59 AM
I have a new student that is displaying some very unusual power generation. She is ten years old. It feels a little bit like an unrefined version of what my sensei used to feel like. This should be interesting.

Erick Mead
08-08-2008, 01:21 PM
Which was how interesting it would be to meet one of these "so called" ura trained Japanese Aikido guys who "got it." And secondly to meet one who was a non defensive researcher type that would be open to testing the depth of what they got in any parameter that would effectively test aiki, one to one. There is a way to display power without going at it guys... How odd that one would not be intrigued by the idea that there was an ura to aikido held to Japanese Shihan. Admittedly, I don't believe it will prove to have much hands-on value. I felt a couple of Ueshiba's Deshi and they sure as hell didn't have it. So if someone else figured it out-which is entirely possible, even probable- but is holding it to Japanese shihan I would be intrigued to see it, feel it, and see compare notes on their training methods and understanding. Seems a fairly inoccuous statement. I mean-who wouldn't?And who wouldn't want to be right behind that guy that was crouched on that grassy knoll? I mean who knows what you could learn from him about what REALLY happened? IF only ...:hypno:

Lesson is -- if you put anything out of context it loses meaning, and it needs to gain native context in its new setting in order to regain it. Nothing has been "hidden," it just does not stand in relief because the angle of the light is wrong. No conspiracy involved.

That is the nature of a growth process which always follows a transplantation. Those follow "S" curves. In the beginning of its new growth, there is actual retrenchment and loss of old growth, dieback and loss of real progress. Why? Because resources and accommodations to the new soil and its native organisms are being built up in the roots for future growth. Only after that is there sustainable growth with vigor and good fruit.

Patience water and light are required, not ripping the plant out see what's wrong with it in the places you can't ordinarily see (ura). "Grow, damn you, grow!" while beating the sapling with a stick is a poor response to the problem; as is paranoid imaginings about the neighbors secretly sneaking to poison your new tree; or cursing the guy you got it from selling you a weed tree just because it takes more time than you wanted to bear fruit.

Wanting to "display power" is a symptom of a disease that is endemic in modern society. It is not a personal cricitism as you are hardly alone in the tendency, which is shared by many people, many in very good company. Most never even really thought seriously about it. It is an instrumental approach to reality, things people, organizations or anything or anyone, as the servant of my desires, the means to my ends. The converse lies in seeking understanding of the thing in the value of its original nature apart from my purposes in using it for my ends -- even if I must and desire to do so. I've done plenty of that, seen plenty of it done and learned its costs.

You seem quite uninterested in discovering the nature of Aiki apart from its uses to display "your power." Some of us are trying to abandon that instrumentalist view of the world. One of the reasons that you demean me is that I do try not jump at the chances you present to display power. Thus, you frequently mischaracterize my inquiry to increase understanding of you and your approach to some presumed lack of ability or power -- because that is your ONLY focus. Dismiss me as having none if it suits you because I do not choose to be so childishly called out, quite frankly because I just don't care.

One lesson my first teacher taught me in training has stayed with me through a career in dealing with human conflict because of the larger lesson implied within it: "Smile, and never let him see the knife." For that, and other reasons, I have never had much interest in the age-old contest over which male's knife is bigger. The size of the knife matters not after it is lodged in its proper target. And my knife makes its target with fair regularity. :D

In your objective display of power, you may well be far better than I am or anybody I have or may ever train with. So? That is entirely beside the point. A gun or some other instrument of superior power fixes that little problem. I doubt that superior power is what aiki is really about. If Aiki is about anything, then MY power is beside the point. Real battles are not lost to lack of power, but to lack of knowledge.

The power of reality toward its own ends is beyond any I could achieve toward my own. That seems O Sensei's revelation, the orientation of which I perceive dimly and the one that I seek to know and follow. Indeed, warping that reality to my ends actually diminishes the power that is there to seek.

DH
08-08-2008, 02:05 PM
Erick
I hate this passive aggressive type of discussion.
I do not demean you. I have complimented your debate style, your intelligence, I offered to come teach you for free, Bud. I have stated how well you hold up your end in a debate and are honest in what you can and cannot do! Please...go back and read. Come on man!
The only thing I have a said that you could possibly take as negative is that you can't do it, so why listen to anything you have to say about how we do-do it.

How weird is that? that I have to listen to you in every thread try and tell me how I do something that you admit you cannot do?????

I don't get insulted. I just think its ridiculous. Yet you my friend, are thee only guy in all my years here that I have offered to come to- to teach. Why________________?
Because I think you have a sincere interest, but are totally wrong. What does that say?

If you take that honesty of yours and put it work, I think you will see that your retort was not the best of you. Basically telling me I have a disease and want to display power and measure knife sizes, and that I am unable -as yet- to see the big picture of aiki isn't productive. Thankfully I don't think a single person from right here on aikiweb who has trained here has found that to be true. At least I hope not.

A couple of things we certainly do not agree on.
Aiki...is about power Erick. Its just not in the way you think it is. It's like I am speaking a different language to you.
Ueshiba whom you hold up as model knew it and trained it. SO did so many guys in the asian arts that any who disagrees pretty much points to themselves as ignorant.
What you searching for-what everyone is searching for is the magic, that happens when that held power within the body contacts others. It allows you read their every effort and weight change and match and control them. It is so far above what most consider aiki in aikido that it is like talking a different language...to them. It is also why those who have felt it-want it. It speaks for itself.
I'de bet, in ten years, there will be no place in aikido, for those who do not have aiki. Both parties will espouse the spiritual side, both acknowledge the path of Ueshiba and what he desired, but those who do not train aiki, will be judged as incompetent, hollow voices by those...in aikido. Hell its already starting to happen behind the scenes.
One by one Erick, one by one, aikidoka are going out and finding it wherever they can. They feel it, they want it, and they are training it. This -is- the one true aiki that Ueshiba was pointing to.
Hope to still do that meet up one day.

Erick Mead
08-08-2008, 05:40 PM
I hate this passive aggressive type of discussion.
I do not demean you. Ah, you approve of me, then ? I thank you for your support. I have no brief against you personally. People who are reasonable with me say you are, in person, a genuine sort of guy. But even nice guys with tough attitudes (I would hope you consider that a compliment) can also make errors even when trying to do the right thing.

I find that doing dozen's is not a necessary preliminary for substantive criticism and hard questioning of methods and motives. You are proposing things for your own reasons -- so please get over having them questioned and start answering, instead of taking offense that you should be questioned, or merely replying to questions with rhetorical questions that suggest every bad thing but answer nothing. But maybe a few of the same back your way on the larger potential problems with tough attitudes will illustrate the problem -- as below.

And it is not passive -- I just have the manners I respect my grandfather too much to leave aside and I respect the integrity of Jun's forum too much not to concern myself with maintaining here. Heinlein's Law applies down here, even if it is much diminished in Yankeedom.
How weird is that? that I have to listen to you in every thread try and tell me how I do something that you admit you cannot do????? Yes, weird, since I have NEVER said how you should or shouldn't be doing anything, and since you never delve into your understanding of the "how" of anything you do, you haven't exactly rebutted anything there. You cannot cite a post with me saying what you falsely attribute me saying. Cheap debate tactics are not substantive. It is a repeated example, among other things, of a reason for my continued attention and criticism on the subject of this discussion. It is of your own making; I just value this art too much, and find misleading argument too distasteful, to let that kind of approach to matters of importance simply go unchecked. I am here in this thread only commenting on what it is said that you are doing, and why you have said you are doing it. I can't change what you say, only you can.

Basically telling me I have a disease and want to display power and measure knife sizes, and that I am unable -as yet- to see the big picture of aiki isn't productive. No. I am so sorry. You only said you had weighed the shihan here and found them wanting, and would like to test some select Japanese shihan by your own measures, one-on one (though you doubt they'll measure up, either). Nope, no stick-measuring there, no sirree. I notice you do not and have never named names -- as that would involve taking personal responsibility for such statements, instead of the benefit of cheap and easy innuendo.

Since I expressly included myself (along with most everyone else in modern Western culture) in the cultural disease of instrumentalism, and in need of treatment (among several other very good remedies) of the practice of aikido -- I will disregard the point as misdirected.

A couple of things we certainly do not agree on.
Aiki...is about power Erick. Its just not in the way you think it is. If aiki is about power -- the most power wins. I hardly need aiki to have more power, whether I choose to content myself with a .45 longslide with laser sight or a phased plasma rifle in the 40 watt range. Your discussion of power constantly seems to aspire to the spirit of the image I just alluded to.

Aikido is about remolding the will AND the body in accord with the nature of aiki, not forging aiki in the body in the service of the will. The first is a moral effort -- the latter is an amoral effort, because it does not concern itself with the quality or purposes of the will.

That is an instrumental approach and part of the same disease. It is directly antithetical to Ueshiba's very specific teaching on aikido and the nature of true budo. Hence, aiki is NOT about power, not in the way you think it is.

You have mentioned before what seems a good deal of resentment at not being taught something. Like it or lump it I have had cause to respect all my lessons. You HAVE said that you do not aspire to teach, haven't you? To teach well one has to take not merely technical responsibility but a moral responsibility for those taught, how they are taught, and what they may do with it. So given some reputation communicated to me, I wonder, what it is you would do if we met to teach me? "Lessons?"

Maybe your unmistakable sense of mission in these discussions is energetic and in that sense commendable.. Maybe it is some sense of retributive or restorative justice for what you feel was withheld from you, I don't know. I do know that it is possible that a teacher may have a moral fault in failing to teach a student something, so I do not disregard the possibility of legitimacy in such resentment. But not all resentment is necessarily justified.

So on to the rhetorical questions:

Since there is no tradition of yaburi in aikido, how can one be sure that a shihan necessarily feels any need to "test" themselves against some impromptu offer of examination? Is it also possible that a teacher who takes the role seriously might fail to teach something for moral concerns intrinsic to someone other than the teacher? Certainly, those concerns may have resolved themselves through later experience and gain of wisdom, might they not? But does that not still color the perception of the earlier denial? Is it not easier on the ego to believe something was inherently defective in the teaching than to acknowledge that one may have been intentionally denied the teaching, and for just cause or personal fault? Is there perspective enough, perhaps now, to consider such possibilities seriously, and to approach the question with a bit more objectivity?

MM
08-08-2008, 10:22 PM
Erick,
As nicely as I can say it, you don't have a clue. Did you ever wonder why most of us who have gone to experience aiki in person have pretty much stopped replying to your posts? Did it ever occur to you that all the times we've said you have it wrong, that maybe, the simplest solution is really the correct one? Get out there and meet Dan. Then apply that mind of yours to what you experience. At that point, I think things would get interesting.

Mark

Lee Salzman
08-08-2008, 11:00 PM
Erick,
As nicely as I can say it, you don't have a clue. Did you ever wonder why most of us who have gone to experience aiki in person have pretty much stopped replying to your posts? Did it ever occur to you that all the times we've said you have it wrong, that maybe, the simplest solution is really the correct one? Get out there and meet Dan. Then apply that mind of yours to what you experience. At that point, I think things would get interesting.

Mark

Are we reading the same post from Erick? As far as I read, he is saying the discussion has turned in on itself where there is no possibility of actual discussion. The only resolution has been proposed to go out and find an approved-of individual and make sure you come back with an understanding of what other people hope you would find.

But after finding cold shoulders and dead-ends, you try to discuss the information in hopes of starting a dialogue to learn more about it and where to find it, and are met with the same "Go out and figure out what aiki is, then we can discuss it." when that is exactly why people are trying to discuss the topic in depth, on these forums, in the first place?

If for every time someone told another person to "go out and feel it", they themselves raised their hands to lived up to their talk, and actually share with people in person, we'd be getting a lot farther.

DH
08-08-2008, 11:49 PM
Cold shoulders and dead ends?
There are dozens and dozens of people who managed to get out and make it happen. Did you not go to any of the get togethers? There are also guys in various areas training together. Have you tried contacting them?
I can understand the frustration, but the one thing that has hampered things is that the very, very few who know things and are willing to share don't do it for a living. So it's hard. The good news is that
a) enough witness has shown they are real and accessible
b) They can be learned in a far shorter time frame than the typical 20 yr long do kata cycle and hope for the best

So it stands to reason that as we get out legs under us- more will happen. I guess I'm trying to point out that it isn't a question of a lack of integrity, or holding back and giving a cold shoulder, its more human, and nicer than that. If I may speak personally I am swamped with requests Lee. I can't even respond to them all. So I am trying to figure out how to do more get togethers here, but not as a formal "seminar" where I have to get geared up to "present materials" and be judged on how well I presented. If I can manage to do them in a more relaxed loose format like I normally do in my own dojo I would be willing to do it more often. Case in point is that I am spending the weekend preparing for a Zoning variance with pictures, drawings, legal arguments, and area precedence for approval. It isn't fun.
Budo for me is fun. When it isn't I won't do it anymore. Anyway just some thoughts from one person trying to figure out how to manage sharing material. So you have some sources out there and at least a few opportunities at least every year. And most of the work is done back at home anyway.

Lee Salzman
08-09-2008, 12:11 AM
Cold shoulders and dead ends?
There are dozens and dozens of people who managed to get out and make it happen. Did you not go to any of the get togethers? There are also guys in various areas training together. Have you tried contacting them?
I can understand the frustration, but the one thing that has hampered things is that the very, very few who know things and are willing to share don't do it for a living. So it's hard. The good news is that
a) enough witness has shown they are real and accessible
b) They can be learned in a far shorter time frame than the typical 20 yr long do kata cycle and hope for the best

So it stands to reason that as we get out legs under us- more will happen. I guess I'm trying to point out that it isn't a question of a lack of integrity, or holding back and giving a cold shoulder, its more human, and nicer than that. If I may speak personally I am swamped with requests Lee. I can't even respond to them all. So I am trying to figure out how to do more get togethers here, but not as a formal "seminar" where I have to get geared up to "present materials" and be judged on how well I presented. If I can manage to do them in a more relaxed loose format like I normally do in my own dojo I would be willing to do it more often. Case in point is that I am spending the weekend preparing for a Zoning variance with pictures, drawings, legal arguments, and area precedence for approval. It isn't fun.
Budo for me is fun. When it isn't I won't do it anymore. Anyway just some thoughts from one person trying to figure out how to manage sharing material. So you have some sources out there and at least a few opportunities at least every year. And most of the work is done back at home anyway.

If people are busy, or have any number of personal reasons for not discussing something, I'm not gonna fault them for it and it's perfectly fine. But when people are a bit cavalier in saying "go out and find it" and in the same sentence pointing at others to shoulder the responsibility of showing, it's just sending people in circles, because no one is ultimately accepting the responsibility.

And yep, I have gone out, and I've felt - Akuzawa and others - and the what I learned is the bulk of my training today. And ya know what, I've come to believe, based on what I felt, that the subject ain't as simple as many are making it out be. There are differences between what you all are doing - they might lead to pseudo-similar ends, but they are definitely not the same. Maybe it is because I found something well off the beaten path and had a grounding in it before going out to see people like Akuzwawa to compare, but I just can no longer see it as a one method, one result thing anymore. There is still a TON to be learned by discussion of what various camps are doing and how the methods differ. But the discussion never ever progresses that far to the level of true interchange.

Erick Mead
08-09-2008, 01:08 AM
As nicely as I can say it, you don't have a clue. Nicely said. But a suggestion. You are a writer? You should make closer distinctions. What is the difference between clues and evidence? Simply stated, one is used to find knowledge to solve a mystery, something you don't know. The other is used of something you know to be true, but to prove objectively why it is true.

I didn't need to understand aerodynamics to learn to fly, but there are things that one may learn to to do with a flying machine in some flight regimes that, in wanting to extend that performance into other flight regimes it would really be helpful to prove or disprove the several plausible principles by which it occurs. Sometimes, despite best efforts (of better minds than mine) it can't resolve to one principle or another and one has two (or more) equally good, but mutually exclusive ones -- like with magnetic field conventions. In that context, a disagreement by someone who believes that only one convention can possibly be "true" evidences a lack of understanding of the proper uses and limits of such conventions.

I don't know what you know or don't, and the situation is mutual.
Did you ever wonder why most of us who have gone to experience aiki in person have pretty much stopped replying to your posts? Actually, it really didn't cross my mind, because despite addressing these discussions critically, I am not really that concerned one way or the other with those of you who have. Check your assumptions.

MM
08-09-2008, 08:00 AM
Are we reading the same post from Erick? As far as I read, he is saying the discussion has turned in on itself where there is no possibility of actual discussion. The only resolution has been proposed to go out and find an approved-of individual and make sure you come back with an understanding of what other people hope you would find.


I don't know. How many posts of Erick's have you read? In regards to Erick's posting quantitatively and qualitatively, I would say that there is little in the way of discussing "aiki".

As for proposed solution -- no one, and I have yet to see any of them, has ever said anything remotely about coming back with "an understanding of what other people hope you would find."

But, coming from quite a few people, IHTBF is important. For those who don't know, IHTBF means It Has To Be Felt. What you take away after that is your own personal experience. *And* coming from quite a few people, what they *thought* they knew before and what they began to understand after experience it, was completely different.

But, then again, we've been over these same things again and again. If you haven't read all the posts, might be a good read. :)


But after finding cold shoulders and dead-ends, you try to discuss the information in hopes of starting a dialogue to learn more about it and where to find it, and are met with the same "Go out and figure out what aiki is, then we can discuss it." when that is exactly why people are trying to discuss the topic in depth, on these forums, in the first place?

If for every time someone told another person to "go out and feel it", they themselves raised their hands to lived up to their talk, and actually share with people in person, we'd be getting a lot farther.

Hmmm ... maybe you just missed all the posts? I don't know, Lee. But, if you go back and reread some threads, you'll find that some of us have started a dialogue to learn more about it and where to find it.

Off top of my head, see AikidoTM and Aiki...do thread here. See http://www.internal-aiki.com/ . See E-Budo threads. Budd has posted that he travels and is up to meeting people. Rob has said as much. I've posted that when I travel, I'd be up for meeting people.

I've posted a few times about exercises I thought would help people. Rob did before me. Dan and Mike have. There is, literally, hundreds of pages of material covering theory to exercises out there. I know, I spent a long time doing the research and putting it together. There's more there than I can digest in months. I've started threads with questions that have gone nowhere.

So, from my perspective, I see things completely, 180 degrees, different than what you do. I see us talking and no one wanting to listen or engage in conversation. I see people staying in their box and trying to drag our version of "aiki" into it with them when we've said repeatedly, from experience, that it doesn't fit and isn't the same.

YMMV, I guess.

Mark

MM
08-09-2008, 08:07 AM
And yep, I have gone out, and I've felt - Akuzawa and others - and the what I learned is the bulk of my training today. And ya know what, I've come to believe, based on what I felt, that the subject ain't as simple as many are making it out be. There are differences between what you all are doing - they might lead to pseudo-similar ends, but they are definitely not the same. Maybe it is because I found something well off the beaten path and had a grounding in it before going out to see people like Akuzwawa to compare, but I just can no longer see it as a one method, one result thing anymore. There is still a TON to be learned by discussion of what various camps are doing and how the methods differ. But the discussion never ever progresses that far to the level of true interchange.

Well, we're certainly all eyes and ears. If you think it isn't as simple as what we're making it out to be, please explain. I'm being serious here. I don't think it's simple, either. I think it gets complex and hard. But, I also think there are exercises one can do that aren't as complex or hard and still help. In that aspect, working on things can be "simple".

And if it's not one method, one result and you've had experiences to be able to compare and have had the grounding in it for a start, then, I, for one, am interested. What made them different? What are the different results? What makes the methods differ? Can you compare and contrast them? I'm asking questions so that we can progress further into the level of interchange. You seem to have found information that possibly some of us have yet to reach. Or maybe we've experienced things but haven't put it together yet?

Thanks,
Mark

MM
08-09-2008, 08:16 AM
Nicely said. But a suggestion. You are a writer? You should make closer distinctions. What is the difference between clues and evidence? Simply stated, one is used to find knowledge to solve a mystery, something you don't know. The other is used of something you know to be true, but to prove objectively why it is true.


Not a very good attempt to sidetrack the issue. Being as smart as you are, and yes, I think you are smart and intelligent, I had thought that you would recognize an idiom. Of course, breaking things down into rotational dynamics as you do, It would be my guess that you broke the structured sentence down into words and focused on specific parts. Rather like missing the forest for the trees, I would surmise.

Anyway, best of luck in your efforts. Maybe one of these days, we'll have a chance to meet up in person.

Thanks,
Mark

Erick Mead
08-09-2008, 09:17 AM
It would be my guess that you broke the structured sentence down into words and focused on specific parts. Rather like missing the forest for the trees, I would surmise.

Anyway, best of luck in your efforts. Maybe one of these days, we'll have a chance to meet up in person. I studied the Chinese side of Yomeigaku, with some degree of depth, and he is the thinker outside of Western tradition that I take most seriously, and the reason I train rather than merely read. Making a judgment, much less a guess, distinguishing what other people know from what they do, in that specific context, is yet more problematic than distinguishing what you or I know from what you or I do.

I commend to you the study of that principle of his, and look forward to meeting some time.

Gernot Hassenpflug
08-09-2008, 10:05 AM
Are we reading the same post from Erick? /../ The only resolution has been proposed to go out and find an approved-of individual and make sure you come back with an understanding of what other people hope you would find.

/../ try to discuss the information in hopes of starting a dialogue to learn more about it and where to find it, and are met with the same "Go out and figure out what aiki is, then we can discuss it." when that is exactly why people are trying to discuss the topic in depth, on these forums, in the first place?

If for every time someone told another person to "go out and feel it", they themselves raised their hands to lived up to their talk, and actually share with people in person, we'd be getting a lot farther.

Sorry, nothing personal, but you're talking absolute nonsense here (just to clarify, I don't read any of Eric's posts because he's long since added to my ignore list). Eric doesn't do what he's been told to do, and instead attempts to bring discussions around to his pet theories and expositions of a fantastic reality in his own head, which is all well and good by itself and educational and all that, but has nothing remotely to do with internal power in aikido. Since he's oblivious to taking even the absolutely most important and basic advice from countless people here, he doesn't deserve any further audience, nor support for his views.

As for people sharing after having felt some "goods" someplace: there is so much of it now around that one cannot even read one thread without coming across people talking about it. There is, to put it bluntly, no excuse for stubbornly held ignorance.

And yes, I agree with you (and I think Mark Murray, you read Lee incorrectly here) that things are most defintely not as simple as they are made out to be: but the complexity that can be recognized and also tackled practically is a function of the training effort put in, and the basic ideas (the only ones that can currently easily be discussed online I think) are about as simple as they have been exposited here. In fact, things could be phrased in a much more complex manner too, without any benefit to any reader. Similarly, since you mentioned Akuzawa sensei, using the supposeldy simple concepts of "frame", "reconfiguration" thereof, and use of such in movement so that there is no more such thing as "punching" and "kicking" simply cannot easily be comprehended without direct feel, some years (?) of training.

Cheers, Gernot

Gernot Hassenpflug
08-09-2008, 10:23 AM
You might get some appreciation for the practical complexity inherent in intellectually simple (or simplified) principles by reading the latest posts on the Aunkai BBS (http://www.aunkai.net/cgi-bin/aunkai/aunk.cgi).

Cheers, Gernot

Erick Mead
08-09-2008, 12:41 PM
Sorry, nothing personal, but you're talking absolute nonsense here (just to clarify, I don't read any of Eric's posts because he's long since added to my ignore list). The hallmark of the open mind.

Eric doesn't do what he's been told to do, ... Well, kudos to you, 'cause you ABSOLUTELY nailed that one. Of course, you won't read this so the comment is really not for your benefit anyway. You need the criticism, whether you know it or not. Of course, you don't know it, because you quit listening. Is this a principle of your budo? Sorry, I forgot. You are "Not Listening." Let me know how that works out for you. IS there some way to signal online that you have your fingers in yours ears making nonsense sounds to avoid listening to things you do not already agree with? Healthy, that.

Erick Mead
08-09-2008, 01:05 PM
You might get some appreciation for the practical complexity inherent in intellectually simple (or simplified) principles by reading the latest posts on the Aunkai BBS (http://www.aunkai.net/cgi-bin/aunkai/aunk.cgi). The bulk of which I have seen better in time-share brochures with testimonials, less the kana, of course. Sorry, forgot the "Not Listening" thing. Please disregard (oh, you already are).;)

It is not that it is not useful, just that it is not unique. Only this quote of Ark sparked familiarity: "If it is free, the body will act spontaneously and will hit without awareness." That actually sums the foundation of my experience in aikido as it was initially demonstrated to me in the beginning and as I have come to know it in three separate traditions of practice, all good in their own ways, so I have no training method to sell or create a market share for. The mindfulness that I have to maintain NOT to hit my partner a couple of times through the course of the movement that I did not plan just seems really quite daunting, at times -- and I have partners who take rare (and wincingly capable) delight in hitting me if I give them the opening to do it. :eek:

Those who have stopped listening to different questions, always seem to have the same answer.

Lee Salzman
08-09-2008, 02:48 PM
And if it's not one method, one result and you've had experiences to be able to compare and have had the grounding in it for a start, then, I, for one, am interested. What made them different? What are the different results? What makes the methods differ? Can you compare and contrast them? I'm asking questions so that we can progress further into the level of interchange. You seem to have found information that possibly some of us have yet to reach. Or maybe we've experienced things but haven't put it together yet?

Thanks,
Mark

Okay, here's an example: a pathway from one shoulder to the opposite foot. I can think of a bunch of different questions surrounding it and how you might train it.

I have so far seen what I would broadly paint out as strategies for how this movement organization is trained, I would list: 1) passive - by subjecting the pathway to external stress such that force will fail to get from point A to point B if all joints in the chain are not properly active, 2) semi-active - putting mental awareness along said pathway but without any external stress, 3) active - actively engaging muscular functions along said pathway but without any external stress. All of these can be expressed both in movement or in complete stillness. All of this has some relation to the following stuff.

And just because the brain can properly organize all that movement, do all the joints/muscular functions along the chain need to be strengthened independently of the actual wiring in of movement organization to be able to utilize it to best effect? How so?

Is the pathway from A to B's only purpose in life to conduct force two ways, or can it conduct force in any direction, by translating or contracting as a unit in any direction? How do you make the pathway agile so that, under rapidly varying stress, its direction can also rapidly vary, and that its direction can rapidly vary at will?

In so far as it relates to removing slack in movement, is being in a state of movement or stillness the only function of this pathway that needs to be studied? What about movement to non-movement? Non-movement to movement? Is non-movement relative relaxation, or relative tensing, or either depending on circumstance? How quickly and drastically can these transitions be mediated? These translate into acceleration from a point, and impact at a point. How does that relate to striking, blocking, throwing, stepping, etc. and how to train it?

And once I've got that pathway wired in according to various desired purposes, what do I do with it in someone else? If it makes me strong in a circumstance, can I utilize what I know about it to stress it and break it apart in another person? Do I stress it by merely giving them an obstacle they can not overcome, by putting it under an active level of stress they are not accustomed to, by shocking it with such rapidity that it engenders a reflexive response? How does that relate to my own pathway, that it is always properly active or passively there, as the case may be, and ensuring it can't be shut down, under static or moving conditions?

That's the lens under which I was originally taught to view the subject and which I am biased towards now. Can all these issues be navigated by different means and produce the same results? YMMV I guess!

rob_liberti
08-09-2008, 08:33 PM
Man this is turning into so much bickering that I cannot pull out a reasonable problem statement to address.

As I understand it:

a) There are several people teaching skills and producing faster results than the vast majority of everyone else.

b) Everyone who has experienced those people have reported being impressed without exception.

c) People who have only been training with these people for relatively short amounts of time 2-3 years are impressing many people that they meet.

d) While there are different levels of depth an/or focus among these people who are teaching aiki skills directly and relatively faster than most - they all agree on common expressions for what they are doing.

Now is it possible that they are all a bit tricked by exactly what is happening to produce such impressive resuts - and really missing a better explanation? Sure. Are they EVER going to consider the source of a new more universal theory as remotely interesting if the person proposing the new ideas does not have a similar reputation for being able to do these things themselves AND doesn't go to see them to discuss the matter from a common experience? No. Of course not.

So what is the confusion?

Rob

ChrisMoses
08-09-2008, 08:51 PM
Man this is turning into so much bickering that I cannot pull out a reasonable problem statement to address.

As I understand it:

a) There are several people teaching skills and producing faster results than the vast majority of everyone else.

b) Everyone who has experienced those people have reported being impressed without exception.

c) People who have only been training with these people for relatively short amounts of time 2-3 years are impressing many people that they meet.

d) While there are different levels of depth an/or focus among these people who are teaching aiki skills directly and relatively faster than most - they all agree on common expressions for what they are doing.

Now is it possible that they are all a bit tricked by exactly what is happening to produce such impressive resuts - and really missing a better explanation? Sure. Are they EVER going to consider the source of a new more universal theory as remotely interesting if the person proposing the new ideas does not have a similar reputation for being able to do these things themselves AND doesn't go to see them to discuss the matter from a common experience? No. Of course not.

So what is the confusion?

Rob

That about sums up my thoughts. People who are interested know where to go, those who aren't are welcome to however they intellectualize/train.

Erick Mead
08-10-2008, 12:41 AM
Man this is turning into so much bickering that I cannot pull out a reasonable problem statement to address. It is not meant to be. Let me summarize your accurate summation to get to the point of the criticism -- you notably take my comments, even the critical ones in a somewhat different spirit from, well, other people.

a) .. several people producing faster results ... those people have reported being impressed without exception ... c) People training for relatively short amounts of time 2-3 years are impressing many people that they meet. ... these people who are teaching aiki skills directly and relatively faster than most - they all agree on common expressions for what they are doing. Indisputably, that is what is reported. Now the two themes of your observation are 1) faster results and 2) impressing others.

And then lastly:
.. the source of a new more universal theory ... does not have a similar reputation ... AND doesn't go to see them to discuss the matter from a common experience? No. Of course not. .. So what is the confusion? None at all. Now, my points in kind. In most organic things, faster growth tends not to to be deep or durable growth. Your situation coming from a firm base is an entirely different matter when it arises from a simple desire to broaden experience.

Plateau stages of growth, everyone gets them, because it is the natural pattern of all growth. That is also an aspect of of In-Yo pattern.Vulnerability exists to such entreaties (faster, more impressive). Shifting to an accelerated mode may have its commendations, but let us not pretend they are without possible costs.

Impressing others is a door into the moral problem that troubles me seeming creeping more into aikido. It was always there, of course, people are still human, but it was a recognized fault and aberration -- not a sought for attribute of training or teaching. A number of those people you mention "impressed" many people without ever meeting them. As to the type of problem presented with this I suggest reading closely Prof. Goldsbury's most recent "transmission essay." about the role and the nature of the influence wielded by Deguchi.

Reputation is only as good as the critical opinions of a person with personal knowledge that form it. But when reputation is framed on how impressive person is, well, again read that portion of the essay.

If someone gets personality and reputation in front of the work it makes the person the issue and not the work. One may interpret that badly, of course, but only if one is wishing to be impressed rather than reading to see if something is simply true or useful. If reputation is the issue then even merely physical or conceptual criticisms is too easily perceived as tearing reputation down.

But if I am successful in my effort, reputation will not matter as much, -- more people will have the tools to be far more critical -- of themselves and what they are, and should be taught. And of what they are actually seeing in the videos that started the thread.

rob_liberti
08-10-2008, 07:03 AM
2 Issues form that - and 1 personal one from me.

1) Common Experience. We can all discuss aikido waza for instance with some degree of "aikiweb-universal" understanding. We all have felt kotegaeshi as uke and nage at various levels of understanding. We we can all discuss it. Same goes for sankyo. Really, same goes for teachers who are complaining about the prices of insurance, the troubles getting new students interested these days, what-have-you.

There is little common experience out there to discuss aiki...do. There is some, and this may be the best place to discuss it. But coming up with ways to evaluate it critically devoid of that common experience really has little chance of acceptance. It is too much like asking people to mold their experience into something they don't feels represents it too well.

2) Second issue: the will.

Aikido is about remolding the will AND the body in accord with the nature of aiki, not forging aiki in the body in the service of the will. The first is a moral effort -- the latter is an amoral effort, because it does not concern itself with the quality or purposes of the will.

I think this is super interesting. However, here is where my personal issue comes in. I WILL NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES discuss any further my thoughts on individual will matching up with universal will and how I think aiki training achieves that in a thread which is in the "non-aikido category. I'm drawing a line in the sand on that one. That IS AIKIDO. I'll discuss it in the general forum, or the spiritual forum but I just cannot do it here. Sorry but it is a personal boundary.

In most organic things, faster growth tends not to to be deep or durable growth.
I have no issue with this. However, I'll offer a different perspective. Having solved many extemely complex problems in my day job, I have found that once I get to the heart of the issue, I tend to start making much faster progress - which ends up being the only durable growth. Seems to apply to the aiki issue as well.

Rob

Dan Austin
08-10-2008, 03:57 PM
Dan Harden has better aiki power then any of the shihans out there.

stan

Would you say that he's more powerful than Wang Hai Jun?

mathewjgano
08-10-2008, 06:16 PM
I see us talking and no one wanting to listen or engage in conversation. I see people staying in their box and trying to drag our version of "aiki" into it with them when we've said repeatedly, from experience, that it doesn't fit and isn't the same.


My view is that this occurs plenty all around. I won't get too metaphysical, but I think this is the central issue to the Human Condition in a nutshell, something none of us is particularly good at. I'd describe the primary problem you're refering to as being one of personality differences; not of whether or not folks are listening to what you all have to say. In fact, as for the regulars around here, I've seen people mostly listening, but maybe you're describing other venues too.

As for the matter of how a person becomes as good as possible at performing aiki, I don't think language has much to do with it. Acquisition of physical skills seems very much to be a physical process; the surrounding language used becomes almost meaningless to me next to this fact. So with that in mind most of these conversations don't seem to really apply to how you get better, but in how you should describe that process. That description doesn't seem to go very far beyond some general references to grounding and then saying go out and experience it (apart from some awesome descriptions by Rob Job I've read on how to do some of the Aunkai exercises). And that's not so bad in and of itself...in fact it's ideal, from my perspective, but unless you're going to correct the actual message from someone like Erick, I don't see how there should be much more to say beyond that reminder to go out and experience it.
Now that I've said that, I feel it's important to note that I've so far only been skimming this enormous multi-thread topic, so my observations are far from comprehensive. I'm just giving my lay-person's take on this and hoping to get some food for thought so i can continue to refine my impressions.

gdandscompserv
08-10-2008, 08:33 PM
For what it's worth, Erick seems able to draw more information out of Dan than anybody else.:D

rob_liberti
08-10-2008, 08:59 PM
Would you say that he's more powerful than Wang Hai Jun?

Well, as I understand it, WHJ has impressed many experienced people AND is only 36 years old. (I think he started when he was 9.)

Raw power devoid ot technique - my money would be on Dan, but really only Dan and WHJ know from when they met and got hands on each other.

In terms of techniques, well it's an obvious matter of style/focus:

Push Hands - my money is on WHJ hands down

DR, aikido, judo, MMA type techniques - my money is on Dan

Who will have more power when they reach 90 years old? No clue!

My question would be more about ability to deliver the aiki power to students. Who is the most impressive student of WHJ and how long training did it take to get impressive?

Rob

Erick Mead
08-10-2008, 09:36 PM
There is little common experience out there to discuss aiki...do. ... There is some, and this may be the best place to discuss it. But coming up with ways to evaluate it critically devoid of that common experience ... If I am right, and I always acknowledge that I may be proved wrong in aspects of the whole or the parts, then aiki is NOT a conscious experience, no matter how you train it. The biomechanical limits of action mediated by spinal reflexes and some learned cerebellar patterning, does not leave time for cerebral appreciation in the moment of action. One recognizes that it HAS happened, but one is not consciously directing that it happen or be deployed in particular way. It may be restrained or leashed, in many regards, but that gets into the issues of the place of will in training, so I leave it there.

If so, then it cannot be a matter of common experience, because what is occurring is not within the realm of conscious experience. The brain has difficulty communicating the experience to other parts of the brain, much less symbolically to other people. These debates therefore will always recur. The variety of the ways that O Sensei's Deshi responded to their perceptions of the art are testament to that. Even if the repeat players in these debates all kicked off tomorrow, the debate would resume with new people and perspectives, because everyone of them is looking at an experience that must be reconstructed cerebrally, when it is primarily reflexive and cerebellar, and not within easy reach of our symbolic representation.

It is in the realm of conscious awareness to create training for improving such intuitive action, but only the training, not the action, is subject to the conscious will. But the critical view ofthe action sought, by whatever method, is always at one remove from the reality of the thing itself. It is in this sense (as much as the ethical sense, which I will leave aside as you request) that I address the place of the will in directing the body in training.

Having solved many extremely complex problems in my day job, I have found that once I get to the heart of the issue, I tend to start making much faster progress - which ends up being the only durable growth. Seems to apply to the aiki issue as well. But is aiki a problem to be solved? Despite my technical bent in its study, I do not think this is so. You mentioned above that people who are teaching your understanding of internal skills -- all agree on common expressions.

I am not trying to solve a problem; I am trying to describe conditions of action. Which is one reason why I run afoul of their socially defined discussion, not because I think they are wrong in the larger sense, nor necessarily even in the narrower, nor yet because of wanting to ruin the party. The conflict arises because I want to provide for terms of discussion that are largely independent of any need for agreement on terms -- and because of my premise, for which I have objective support, that all discussions of this topic are derived from an abstracted experience in ways that their approach only tends to disguise, rather than illuminate.

Lee Salzman
08-10-2008, 10:18 PM
If I am right, and I always acknowledge that I may be proved wrong in aspects of the whole or the parts, then aiki is NOT a conscious experience, no matter how you train it. The biomechanical limits of action mediated by spinal reflexes and some learned cerebellar patterning, does not leave time for cerebral appreciation in the moment of action. One recognizes that it HAS happened, but one is not consciously directing that it happen or be deployed in particular way. It may be restrained or leashed, in many regards, but that gets into the issues of the place of will in training, so I leave it there.

If so, then it cannot be a matter of common experience, because what is occurring is not within the realm of conscious experience. The brain has difficulty communicating the experience to other parts of the brain, much less symbolically to other people. These debates therefore will always recur. The variety of the ways that O Sensei's Deshi responded to their perceptions of the art are testament to that. Even if the repeat players in these debates all kicked off tomorrow, the debate would resume with new people and perspectives, because everyone of them is looking at an experience that must be reconstructed cerebrally, when it is primarily reflexive and cerebellar, and not within easy reach of our symbolic representation.

It is in the realm of conscious awareness to create training for improving such intuitive action, but only the training, not the action, is subject to the conscious will. But the critical view ofthe action sought, by whatever method, is always at one remove from the reality of the thing itself. It is in this sense (as much as the ethical sense, which I will leave aside as you request) that I address the place of the will in directing the body in training.


Is this really THAT profound an idea, though? When put in a violent, uncontrolled situation where events are happening and changing faster than the conscious mind can process, then the barrier to speed of action is conscious thought.

The only method I learned for training this is conditioning via automation and association, that movement must be drilled to a point where it can be executed, with reference to an actual observable event (via one of the senses), so that it just happens with as little conscious intervention as possible. Likewise, that the body has to be trained to deal with stresses in a variety of improvised situations, but this improvisation has to be done up front - by simply practicing movement from and to as varied a set of practical positions as possible - and that they have to be reinforced while being careful to remove all deliberate delay or habitual thinking preceding or interrupting action.

What other way would there be?

rob_liberti
08-10-2008, 10:45 PM
Well, I believe that there is some degree of a common experience of:

- maintaining the central equalibrium which is the basic level of internal power. People training aiki all have experienced holding their lines of intention to the degree that they are able to resist random pushs and/or pulls without any conscious adjustments (that I am aware of).

- rotating your trunk around your spine to either dissapate stronger pushes or simply create instant center to center contact.

- holding those lines of intention and communicating them to someone pushing on you. For instance, your intention of "up" get _wierldly_ percieved by the pusher and they feel lifted as they push on you, you can instantly change your dominant mental line of intention to be "down" (without changing anything else) and that pusher starts feeling crushed. (People more experienced can achieve that degree of weird communication _instantly_ against strikes in real time with hardly any contact. There is at least a common experience of being on the receiving end of that.)

- combining the lines of intention up and/or down with power of rotating the trunk around the spine to completely mess up the "victum" of that.

- then using all of that stuff above to recover balance from absurd positions, to shut down/reverse throw attempts and attack with absurd amount of grounded power while feeling more "elastic" as opposed to "rigid".

I'm too much of a novice at this stuff to explain it better. But that's kind of my point. If you never even experienced it at all, how can you explain it better?

As far as the problem to be solved, I would say the problem statement would be what is the best/most efficient way to develop and teach aiki? So far for me - that answer has been Dan's training methodology.

Rob

Erick Mead
08-10-2008, 11:08 PM
Is this really THAT profound an idea, though? I didn't say it was profound, I suggested it was overlooked in what we SAY we know about such things, intellectually or practically speaking.
When put in a violent, uncontrolled situation where events are happening and changing faster than the conscious mind can process, then the barrier to speed of action is conscious thought. Actually, I was suggesting that conscious thought is NOT a barrier to speed of action, but conscious thought is a barrier to understanding action taken at such speeds. Resources of the brain are wasted in vain trying keeping up with planning action that is already outrunning it. Mindfulness rather than planning is called for. The reflective mind can use its finite resources either to observe a greater density of the instant or to take up bandwidth with useless predictive modeling. Density of observation is perceived as slow-timing in action. There is still no time for the brain to plan, but there is more detail for the mind to reflect upon and to conform itself and the body to. If added to that, there is a certain form of action that by its nature always "fits" any dynamic presented, well, so much the better.

Because the action was unplanned, it is difficult to to reconstruct consciously. Without a plan there was no construct (and little bandwidth) to attach the typical associational memory data in the interaction. We don;t forget it, we just don't have an allocation table for it. The closest thing there is to a "plan" to help reconstruct is to study that form of action, which if course it is hard to recall without a planned action. If you see the chicken and egg problem, then you have it.

The only method I learned for training this is conditioning via automation and association, that movement must be drilled to a point where it can be executed, with reference to an actual observable event (via one of the senses), so that it just happens with as little conscious intervention as possible. ... What other way would there be?"That movement" or any linear set of movements -- I may be wrong, but seems to be what Dan et al. decry as "kata." Close order drill has a long and successful martial tradition, too. Boxing combinations do, too. But I think we are speaking of something else. What we are after is not that linear nor planned, even if some set forms give us good reference points on a more complex set of of paths.

The immediate course of contingent action in combat has no predictive possibility, nevertheless there is a spatial dynamic form within which efficient movement occurs --if looked at over the iteration of thousand of such encounters. ( if you know what a chaotic attractor is, that is one.) It is that shape which is the goal -- for any method.

stan baker
08-10-2008, 11:23 PM
Would you say that he's more powerful than Wang Hai Jun?

Dan will be able to answer that some day. They have met but no real exchange. Wang has amazing fa jin, greatest I have ever seen or felt.
How Dan will feel it we will just have to see, he will be a better judge.
Wang is coming this fall.

stan

DH
08-10-2008, 11:29 PM
I will say that the small exchange we did have was telling in some limited ways. I think my exchange with Liu Cheng De was a hell of allot more...uhm... Dynamic! And fun, as well as informative.

I think Rob's return question is by far thee most important one of all. But Rob it isn't just one student or one WOW guy. The question is what guy can transmit to more people across the board. Say, on average, give them managable tools to gain replicable skills.
I don't know about you guys but being "wowed" has limited value to me if there is no way to acces the skills. I mean who gives a rip. Worse is getting sucked in, training for 20 years and finding out someone else could get you there in 5 or 6. Worse would standing in a room and publicly watching a guy "Not teach" people who were trusting him and counting on him, while he held back. Then hear him chuckle about it.
The bigger picture is- what can you "steal", be honestly taught, build on, cross train and compare with others/betters, not get sucked into a cult of personality while doing so, and best benefit your own training?

Dan Austin
08-10-2008, 11:36 PM
Wang has amazing fa jin, greatest I have ever seen or felt.

So you're saying Wang Hai Jun is more powerful, yes?

Dan Austin
08-10-2008, 11:37 PM
I will say that the small exchange we did have was telling in some limited ways. I think my exchange with Liu Cheng De was a hell of allot more...uhm... Dynamic and fun, as well as informative.

In what way? What was your experience of each?

Lee Salzman
08-10-2008, 11:59 PM
I didn't say it was profound, I suggested it was overlooked in what we SAY we know about such things, intellectually or practically speaking.
Actually, I was suggesting that conscious thought is NOT a barrier to speed of action, but conscious thought is a barrier to understanding action taken at such speeds. Resources of the brain are wasted in vain trying keeping up with planning action that is already outrunning it. Mindfulness rather than planning is called for. The reflective mind can use its finite resources either to observe a greater density of the instant or to take up bandwidth with useless predictive modeling. Density of observation is perceived as slow-timing in action. There is still no time for the brain to plan, but there is more detail for the mind to reflect upon and to conform itself and the body to. If added to that, there is a certain form of action that by its nature always "fits" any dynamic presented, well, so much the better.

Because the action was unplanned, it is difficult to to reconstruct consciously. Without a plan there was no construct (and little bandwidth) to attach the typical associational memory data in the interaction. We don;t forget it, we just don't have an allocation table for it. The closest thing there is to a "plan" to help reconstruct is to study that form of action, which if course it is hard to recall without a planned action. If you see the chicken and egg problem, then you have it.


Doesn't that just point out that the biggest goal of any method is transmission? If I subjectively experience something, I must find some objective/agreed-upon way to induce this state in someone else's subjective experience. Once they have that seed experience, they can go and train it further, otherwise they are just grasping at random straws until they find some part of their own experience that reliably predicts what the other guy appeared to be doing. Even trying to "feel" someone else to "steal" technique has this same problem. I can feel someone's wound all I want, but I won't know what pain is till I just prick myself with a sharp object. If the training method can be built off inducing the state in the subject to begin with, then how this state really manifests in a more complex situations beyond one's momentary ability to understand is kinda moot, since it is a progression of that initial state.

"That movement" or any linear set of movements -- I may be wrong, but seems to be what Dan et al. decry as "kata." Close order drill has a long and successful martial tradition, too. Boxing combinations do, too. But I think we are speaking of something else. What we are after is not that linear nor planned, even if some set forms give us good reference points on a more complex set of of paths.

The immediate course of contingent action in combat has no predictive possibility, nevertheless there is a spatial dynamic form within which efficient movement occurs --if looked at over the iteration of thousand of such encounters. ( if you know what a chaotic attractor is, that is one.) It is that shape which is the goal -- for any method.

I am using "movement" REALLY loosely as a term - as in any mental intent that draws upon those faculties that organize movement, even if it doesn't manifest as movement - and even if these intents happen to be very simple such as singular or combinations of directions - i.e. Rob's "intention of up" would be one. You can't plan what you are going to do, but you can throw down some building blocks which your brain will later spontaneously organize, however it may, based on what it observes in the moment.

Lee Salzman
08-11-2008, 01:56 AM
Okay, some serious questions for you, Rob. :)

Well, I believe that there is some degree of a common experience of:

- maintaining the central equalibrium which is the basic level of internal power. People training aiki all have experienced holding their lines of intention to the degree that they are able to resist random pushs and/or pulls without any conscious adjustments (that I am aware of).


Is this a resistance to deformation that is constantly maintained, or is it an awareness that is maintained that produces resistance to deformation on demand where it is needed?


- rotating your trunk around your spine to either dissapate stronger pushes or simply create instant center to center contact.


What joint is the pivot anchored to? What about the rotation necessarily creates a center to center contact?


- holding those lines of intention and communicating them to someone pushing on you. For instance, your intention of "up" get _wierldly_ percieved by the pusher and they feel lifted as they push on you, you can instantly change your dominant mental line of intention to be "down" (without changing anything else) and that pusher starts feeling crushed. (People more experienced can achieve that degree of weird communication _instantly_ against strikes in real time with hardly any contact. There is at least a common experience of being on the receiving end of that.)


How are the lines distinguished and what is their gross function - are they merely distinguished by side and reinforcing said sides, or something else? What is the subjective driver of the intention of up - is it an actual low level intention to move, is it an awareness placed along the line coupled with an idea of up, just a visualization of going up, or something else?


- combining the lines of intention up and/or down with power of rotating the trunk around the spine to completely mess up the "victum" of that.


And/or... so it is possibly a combination of more than one intention at times, combined with overt movement in yet another intended direction (rotational)? If it's a combination, are they employed along the same lines of the body simultaneously, or must they be conveyed along separate ones?


- then using all of that stuff above to recover balance from absurd positions, to shut down/reverse throw attempts and attack with absurd amount of grounded power while feeling more "elastic" as opposed to "rigid".


So the body is left deformed along these lines, while an intention remains to bring them back straight, or merely an awareness to keep the line active?

Erick Mead
08-11-2008, 07:08 AM
Well, I believe that there is some degree of a common experience of: Let me illustrate by highlighting what you are using as either terms of art or jargon -- which either have been or could be points of contention with other schemes of definition and use.

- maintaining the central equilibrium ... holding their lines of intention ... resist random pushs and/or pulls ... "dissapate stronger pushes ... instant center to center contact. ... communicating [lines of intention]
intention of "up" ... intention to be "down" ... (without changing anything else) ... grounded power ... more "elastic" ... "rigid".Let nothing go unquestioned. I am quite sure that you understand what you all mean. I won't assume anything about such terms. I won't elaborate on the problems with the above unless you ask me to.

I'm too much of a novice at this stuff to explain it better. But that's kind of my point. If you never even experienced it at all, how can you explain it better?First of all I don't know that I can explain it better becasue better for one is not better for another. As for myself, I am fairly confident that I have an explanation, it just requires fully examining those conclusions.

As to the rest, I know there are unquestioned assumptions. How do you know what my experience revealed? How do I know that? Just because I haven't experienced THOSE GUYS? You yourself said that your primary teacher has "it", you simply had difficulty observing it in him consistently enough to learn from him. It is therefore in the realm of possibility that others also did, and that people like Dan, like you and others, flock together because your type of perception is similar.

Amdur's hidden in plain sight thesis is exactly the issue. To question what to others seems obvious is deemed mad, and often enough, highly exasperating to those who deal in what everyone agrees on from their "common experience." Hiding in plain sight is by definition something that few others see. Accepting that does not mean that those who have seen have all it perceived it in the same ways.

stan baker
08-11-2008, 09:16 AM
So you're saying Wang Hai Jun is more powerful, yes?

I think we have to come down to earth. Wang and Dan are some best guys out there. But what Dan Harden is saying is the main point. Dan has a clearer presentation on how to develop internal skills. He can explain things without all the mumbo jumbo and two he has methods that hone in on what to practice. Not to down play Wang Hai Jun he has amazing natural abilities and is also a good teacher but he is not as innovative as Dan when it comes to teaching.

stan

DH
08-11-2008, 09:32 AM
In what way? What was your experience of each?
Hi Dan
Both had power only one showed it in a dynamic mobile fashion. Not that WHJ couldn't we just didn't in that venue.
LCD
He was far more open, willing to go at it, and not be concerned with teaching as much as playing /testing. He also taught two of Sagawa’s students and could talk Daito ryu. That...was a stunner. He had me get pushed on by one of his guys and he had his hands all over me to see what I was doing. This went on for a while. Then he pushed on me and pulled. Then "I got the feeling" he decided he could play and unload. Which he did, over and over and over. There were several moments where he tried to trap me and I got out rather easily, and he was trying to unload these shoulder bombs on me, maybe you’d have to know taiji to know what these can deliver by way of power. When I absorbed them, he whacked me repeatedly very fast as a follow up. When I barely bounced, his eyes said it all. He also gave me some serous elbows, then, wham, wham!! At one point he tried to trap me in this odd wrist lock, when I pushed him off and got out of it, We had a moment-eye to eye. Stan asked him to show that technique but he said...the classic Japanese line. “He only does it once!”
Anyway, suffice to say I found his power, speed and mobility to be amazing. In him my respect for taiji was born. And he was 70 at the time. I am telling you that old man could kick ass.
What would have happened if we fought or -I- unloaded. I dunno. I don't care. I was there to learn from an expert not showboat my measely skills.
At the end of that exchange he started showing me some forms, again he had his hands all over me. I asked him some very explicit questions about his opinions of DR and I got them point blank. Good and bad. I then got two very fascinating things he taught two of Sagawa's men about Body work to strengthen an approach to DR that he believed DR was lacking. Again, he had his hands all over me having me do some things. We went back and forth like this for quite a while. We went way over our time limit, and at the end of the exchange through his interpreter he asked me if I would like to learn taiji. He said he had a very good feeling about me and we could share and be friends. The guy was radiating good will. The next thing that happened, I cannot explain clearly in writing. He asked me this question while beaming at me. Then, it was like his student didn't know how to react. He asked him to repeat it or something, then they exchanged some awkward moments and you could tell by inference that LCD more or less just said "Say what I told you!" The interpreter said "Sifu (sp) asked if you would come live with him in China for a while, that he would like to share his Taiji with you. Then the interpreter (which I found out later was a senior student) looked me in the eyes and asked me if I knew just what that meant? What he was really saying. I told him yes I had had this type of question before and I understood the implication.
As we were winding down His students told me they had never seen him do that or share like that with anyone. I was greatly impressed by his power (I really hadn't met any ICMA person that was willing to unload and offer some power), sensitivity, and mobility. I have to say, that more than any MA person I have ever met his spirit, demeanor, confidence and power just filled a room. Were I able to do so I would have gone to China and stayed with him. It is a profound regret to me that I couldn't. I think I would have formed a bond. It is not an exaggeration in any way to say we "hit off-big time." Did I say he had his hands all over me?:o
I think his students are lucky. I joke about his hands all over me but there were very specific reasons for it.

WHJ
We did allot of taking, discussed some ground work at a guys house with pride on the tube and me and another guy on the floor talking about peng from the knees, about the connection from knee to elbow on the gruund, how to press without popping, and various other things. He was laughing and seemed both surprised and amused. I couldn’t really tell if he was laughing with or at. but he did ask some questions. In private training I kept trying to engage him but all he wanted to do was stick to lessons. After a while he would answer some things, he was surprised when I told him I had never done taiji before. After an hour or so he finally let me get my hands on him to ask some questions. I was pushing on his chest 45deg up and backward and he tried to do the same to me. We tested back and forth but nothing dynamic where he showed power. So there was no play at the level I really wanted to do it at. It was more low key.
I have been told he has been asked from long time students about training this stuff and he insists that all he knows is forms. Do more correct forms
As you have heard me Say Dan, I dunno taiji from baji from Xing-I. I know they look different;)
I did play with another ICMA group with a grandmaster champion teacher that was less than impressive. I considered their guy both in feel and in movement to be a very good jujutsu guy, no more no less. I can only say if there were power to be had in that room-I didn't see it or feel it.
Again though the real key here is-their students. How is it transmitted. Is the group grwing as a group or not. Can the teacher point out things and actually figure your body out and help raise -you-up. Isn't that the key?

Of course there are men with power. So.....next.
It is more important to know who is surrounded by people with power on the rise, instead of students wandering and trying to figure it out but not showing much.

HL1978
08-11-2008, 09:51 AM
It is not meant to be. Let me summarize your accurate summation to get to the point of the criticism -- you notably take my comments, even the critical ones in a somewhat different spirit from, well, other people.

Indisputably, that is what is reported. Now the two themes of your observation are 1) faster results and 2) impressing others.

And then lastly:
None at all. Now, my points in kind. In most organic things, faster growth tends not to to be deep or durable growth. Your situation coming from a firm base is an entirely different matter when it arises from a simple desire to broaden experience.

Plateau stages of growth, everyone gets them, because it is the natural pattern of all growth. That is also an aspect of of In-Yo pattern.Vulnerability exists to such entreaties (faster, more impressive). Shifting to an accelerated mode may have its commendations, but let us not pretend they are without possible costs.

Impressing others is a door into the moral problem that troubles me seeming creeping more into aikido. It was always there, of course, people are still human, but it was a recognized fault and aberration -- not a sought for attribute of training or teaching. A number of those people you mention "impressed" many people without ever meeting them. As to the type of problem presented with this I suggest reading closely Prof. Goldsbury's most recent "transmission essay." about the role and the nature of the influence wielded by Deguchi.

Reputation is only as good as the critical opinions of a person with personal knowledge that form it. But when reputation is framed on how impressive person is, well, again read that portion of the essay.

If someone gets personality and reputation in front of the work it makes the person the issue and not the work. One may interpret that badly, of course, but only if one is wishing to be impressed rather than reading to see if something is simply true or useful. If reputation is the issue then even merely physical or conceptual criticisms is too easily perceived as tearing reputation down.

But if I am successful in my effort, reputation will not matter as much, -- more people will have the tools to be far more critical -- of themselves and what they are, and should be taught. And of what they are actually seeing in the videos that started the thread.

I would take impressing others simply to mean, that they skills that they have developed work on people who are unfamiliar with those skills. When you work on this stuff, you have to be careful that you are really training everything properly and not relying on muscle.

I would not take it as going out and impressing people for the sake of impressing people.

rob_liberti
08-11-2008, 03:43 PM
Lee,

I'll give you the best answers I can, but remember that I'm still a novice - and I brought that up because these are all ideas that I would assume are in common. (Also note I took the things I thought would be common in order from simple to more complex or at least more integrated.)

Initially, I was talking about "an awareness that is maintained that produces resistance to deformation on demand where it is needed" without any more sonscious thought about it.

About the central pivot, it seems you pivot around the spine. No idea what join that is. In terms of instant center to center contact the idea is if you say have your arm forward, and they grab it, when you do a bit of the pivoting (while maintaining your central equlibrium) you instantly contact their center. In my mind, "center on contact" is kind of a catch phrase for aikido.

I have no idea how to address you question about how the lines of intention are distinguished or what is their gross function is. They seems to be the 6 (arguably 8 directions) inward and outward from center. I really don't understand what you mean by "what is the subjective driver of the intention of up" but my guess is that it is more inline with "an awareness placed along the line coupled with an idea of up" which initially seems to be "just a visualization of going up" while you are visualizing the other directions as well - but I assume the idea is that you do that to train a feeling. Eventually the feeling is maintained and the visualizations are no longer as necessary. Maybe I'm wrong. Point here is that anyone reading this that trains this way most likely is following what I mean.

It is definately "a combination of more than one intention at times, combined with overt movement in yet another intended direction". I believe (and I couldbe wrong) that they can be "employed along the same lines of the body simultaneously" or "along separate ones".

About using aiki to recover. I think that "the body is left deformed" but is stays in line with the lines, while many intentions remain, and one is focused on to which communicates to the pusher, resulting in the bring the body back straight. At my level I have to keep my awareness to keep the lines active. I don't think that is the case with people more adept at this sort of training.

Rob

Lee Salzman
08-11-2008, 05:20 PM
Lee,

I'll give you the best answers I can, but remember that I'm still a novice - and I brought that up because these are all ideas that I would assume are in common. (Also note I took the things I thought would be common in order from simple to more complex or at least more integrated.)


Thanks for the answers. Novice or no, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. :)


I have no idea how to address you question about how the lines of intention are distinguished or what is their gross function is. They seems to be the 6 (arguably 8 directions) inward and outward from center. I really don't understand what you mean by "what is the subjective driver of the intention of up" but my guess is that it is more inline with "an awareness placed along the line coupled with an idea of up" which initially seems to be "just a visualization of going up" while you are visualizing the other directions as well - but I assume the idea is that you do that to train a feeling. Eventually the feeling is maintained and the visualizations are no longer as necessary. Maybe I'm wrong. Point here is that anyone reading this that trains this way most likely is following what I mean.


By distinguishing lines, I mean if you had to identify new lines, or to evaluate the worth of a line you already have (to decide whether it is worth keeping), could you do this and how might you go about doing it?

I guess what I mean by subjective driver is what you feel you are doing to produce an effect. Kinda an example based on what I was taught - that one is to take an external object in the distance - a car, a tree, a house, etc. - and literally attempt to move it... without externally moving, and without trying to imagine it, but to produce a physical activation of the body. Eventually this association is to become so strong that it feels indistinguishable from actually really moving something, even though nothing really moved, so that any time I try to really move something, that the effect of the training carries directly over. So in this case, I am literally trying to move something so that it produces a physical effect in the body, but without external movement happening.

But okay, that is different from an awareness coupled with an idea. The idea can be "up" that I have labeled it, but if it is not an attempt at movement, then it is something other than actual "up", just that it feels "up". So what the mind feels it is doing to produce that "up" becomes a more important description of it. That still being different from visualization by itself, "imagined skill" to borrow a term from someone else, where there is visualization but without producing any physical effect that you can feel whatsoever.


It is definately "a combination of more than one intention at times, combined with overt movement in yet another intended direction". I believe (and I couldbe wrong) that they can be "employed along the same lines of the body simultaneously" or "along separate ones".


And when they are combined, is sensation of the combined intentions distributed along the entirety of the body lines, or is it more a feeling of one end repelling the other end?

rob_liberti
08-11-2008, 07:59 PM
Lee,

Well there are times when I'm all lined up and I have all my intentions working so to speak, than my idea to walk without actually walking also seems to communicate. I don't really understand it all - at least WHY such things seem to communicate - but they do and it's just plain weird!

Again I think the visualization stuff will fade away eventually a bit and the feeling left behind is what will remain while I put my mental focus on the next aspect - like breath (which would be supported by that structured feeling and of course add what I assume would be the next level of power).

I don't know the answer to you last question. I only experience such things from the point of contact - so MAYBE - maybe not. I really don't know. :)

Erick,

My primary teacher certainly manifests "it" in some specific aikido waza - and better than most in my experience. But I've never seen him generalize it like Dan does - and never seen him specifically teach it like Dan does, and no one in his dojo learned as fast as people do in Dan's dojo. I do think that Gleason sensei offers insight into how to use "it", and what "it" means on a spiritual level that is not available many other places if at all.

I actually watched Gleason trying to do so at a knife seminar where he couldn't rely on his hand forms (because he was holding a knife!) and watched him basically re-wiring himself. The guy is awesome and all, but it hasn't been his focus to do or teach such things outside of aikido waza - and my opinion is that "it" is too well hidden in plain sight in aikido waza --- I'm just not brilliant enough or talented enough to figure it out from that way.

On the other hand, people subscribing to the conventions that Dan is using both in terminology and practice are making more progress than I did in literaly decades. So I'm a believer. And until people are making similar progress some "other" way or with some better explanation or using better weights and measures, there isn't going to be a mad rush to adopt such things - because we've all been down slower or unproven (or proven to be slower) paths before and no one wants to spend 1 second longer on such a thing. This is where all the resistance to your posts is coming from in my opinion.

Rob

Dan Austin
08-11-2008, 08:51 PM
I think we have to come down to earth. Wang and Dan are some best guys out there. But what Dan Harden is saying is the main point. Dan has a clearer presentation on how to develop internal skills. He can explain things without all the mumbo jumbo and two he has methods that hone in on what to practice. Not to down play Wang Hai Jun he has amazing natural abilities and is also a good teacher but he is not as innovative as Dan when it comes to teaching.

stan

Hi Stan,

I'm just trying to get a feel for what skill levels exist. It's been discussed many times before that lineage is not a reliable indicator of ability, so it's important to get eyewitness testimony about the skills of various teachers. I don't disagree with the general idea that it's not how good the teacher's skills are, it's how good he can make me. I'm not a fan of withholding information in general, particularly from people who are willing to put a lot of hard effort in, and in cases where hard work is the only way you'd get anything out of it anyway. I mean, why make someone search years for an exercise they have to do for years to get real benefits?

Dan Austin
08-11-2008, 09:13 PM
Hi Dan

Hi Dan,

Thanks for the extended response. Maybe there is something good from having Erick in a thread, people you actually want to read start typing more. ;)

What would have happened if we fought or -I- unloaded. I dunno. I don't care. I was there to learn from an expert not showboat my measely skills.


Not only that but you can never really win by beating a 70 yr old. ;)

As we were winding down His students told me they had never seen him do that or share like that with anyone. I was greatly impressed by his power (I really hadn't met any ICMA person that was willing to unload and offer some power), sensitivity, and mobility. I have to say, that more than any MA person I have ever met his spirit, demeanor, confidence and power just filled a room. Were I able to do so I would have gone to China and stayed with him. It is a profound regret to me that I couldn't.

Sounds like you made a very good impression indeed. I wouldn't want to move to China either, but with an offer like that I might have visited once in a while. ;)

WHJ
I have been told he has been asked from long time students about training this stuff and he insists that all he knows is forms. Do more correct forms

Sure. ;)

Again though the real key here is-their students. How is it transmitted. Is the group grwing as a group or not. Can the teacher point out things and actually figure your body out and help raise -you-up. Isn't that the key?


Absolutely, I'm no fan of teachers who are good but hold back from their students.

Of course there are men with power. So.....next.
It is more important to know who is surrounded by people with power on the rise, instead of students wandering and trying to figure it out but not showing much.

To an extent I understand the reticence of some asian instructors to share the goods with westerners, particularly if teaching is the family business, although I've read various opinions to the effect that even formerly secretive methods are more likely to see the light of day now because the lineage holders are afraid the knowledge will simply die out. Then there's the question of relevance in the modern world. Most people are office workers and don't have time to dedicate years without some assurance of results.

Unfortunately the pool of native Enlish speakers who have a level of knowledge appears to be very small. I'm perfectly willing to perform traditional exercises if I can get good details on how to do them correctly at some point, and I suspect plenty of other people are as well. I agree with what you're saying, but I'm a little bit confused by your obvious enthusiasm for the method and getting the word out that it exists, yet I've never seen a description of Harden exercise #1, the most basic thing you would have people work on if they manage to meet up with you. There is either openness or secrecy. Rob L. is teaching three Aikido dojos, apparently, so either you're being open with him and he's being open with his students in turn, or else things are being held back. It sounds like you're clearly against the latter practice.

I guess my question is, given your enthusiasm and the fact that you are clearly not a fan of teachers who don't teach the authentic methods, why doesn't at least a wiki similar to Akuzawa's exist so that people don't have to wait years for a chance opportunity to gain an insight into your method? If for example I know that Akuzawa will be giving a seminar I can attend six months from now, I can work on his exercises even without technical feedback, and be that much better able to understand his corrections when I get the chance to train with him than if I walk in cold. Otherwise at best you'll succeed in creating a spike of demand without adequate supply. The more people that understand the rudiments, the more the asian masters will be forced to reveal as they realize people have the playbook if not the experience. For example without your existing base it's rather unlikely you would have gotten an enthusiastic reception with Liu Cheng De, from which you could have gained more knowledge under more favorable conditions. If it becomes generally known which teachers don't really teach, this is a clear benefit to serious enthusiasts as well. Ultimately secrecy has no benefit at all considering that it's a long hard road no matter what. While I haven't seen anyone visit you, Mike, Ark, or Rob and not be positively things, I don't think anyone has gained overnight superpowers either. A secret that takes years of sweat and toil to master is perfectly safe in the open. ;)

Lee Salzman
08-11-2008, 09:47 PM
Lee,

Well there are times when I'm all lined up and I have all my intentions working so to speak, than my idea to walk without actually walking also seems to communicate. I don't really understand it all - at least WHY such things seem to communicate - but they do and it's just plain weird!

Again I think the visualization stuff will fade away eventually a bit and the feeling left behind is what will remain while I put my mental focus on the next aspect - like breath (which would be supported by that structured feeling and of course add what I assume would be the next level of power).


Are there any simple examples you can think of that would allow one to replicate this feeling of communicating intention, or is it pretty much a situation where you just need to go feel someone who can do it (which would go back to square #1 - who, where, how, etc. :))? Structure is one thing, as I have seen a few ways to handle that, but communicating intention with it in that sense is really alien to me, and I am very curious about it.

rob_liberti
08-11-2008, 09:52 PM
I can barely do it - and only with a lot of help getting all set up to do it! - Which I think addresses both Lee and Dan Austin.

Rob

rob_liberti
08-11-2008, 10:20 PM
I suppose I should follow up on this.
I trained Harden exercise #1 diligently for over a year before I felt that I made any progress. The issue was that I only went to see him to check out what I was doing and get correction about 5 or 6 times during that first year. I think the progress is a lot more to do with the hands on feedback than the solo exercises - at least initially. So I don't see a whole lot of value of training something - most likely wrong before you meet him. But then again, maybe I just learn better with hands on (but I think it is likely that it is more than just me).

So I don't think Dan is holding back once you touch him. It's like drinking from a fire hose. It takes _me_ a lot of daily work in processing, stretching, and solo exercises as well as more more frequent visits to Dan.

Rob

Dan Austin
08-12-2008, 09:30 PM
I suppose I should follow up on this.
I trained Harden exercise #1 diligently for over a year before I felt that I made any progress. The issue was that I only went to see him to check out what I was doing and get correction about 5 or 6 times during that first year. I think the progress is a lot more to do with the hands on feedback than the solo exercises - at least initially. So I don't see a whole lot of value of training something - most likely wrong before you meet him. But then again, maybe I just learn better with hands on (but I think it is likely that it is more than just me).

So I don't think Dan is holding back once you touch him. It's like drinking from a fire hose. It takes _me_ a lot of daily work in processing, stretching, and solo exercises as well as more more frequent visits to Dan.

Rob

Perhaps, but people are different in how they process information. For some it would be useful to know the theory and/or goals of an exercise. For example what are the lines you're talking about, are they similar to the axes Akuzawa uses. Akuzawa and Chinese systems talk about six directions, etc. Seeing where there is overlap is useful in determining common principles. Ultimately to effectively teach you have to understand the principles at work and how what you're doing achieves a particular goal.

DH
08-13-2008, 09:23 AM
Hi Dan,
Thanks for the extended response. Maybe there is something good from having Erick in a thread, people you actually want to read start typing more. ;)

Really? It was -you-I replied to, Dan. Not Erick.:D
For this discussion Erick is a waste of time. Now he is reduced himself to debating the points of the debate.

Then there's the question of relevance in the modern world. Most people are office workers and don't have time to dedicate years without some assurance of results.
I dunno, the people who train with me learn steadily. I don't have those problems. If you train here-you will improve. Most people are just going to get this, if you teach them and they train.
How long it takes and who has the ability to actually teach and or learn is a very worthy discussion. When I see a group, sacrificing and trusting I care more about them then the idiot at the front of the room. He is supposed to be serving them, not lording it over them. Sad to say, I keep ending up the idiot at the front of the room these days. But at least I am trying to serve those who come seeking..

I agree with what you're saying, but I'm a little bit confused by your obvious enthusiasm for the method and getting the word out that it exists, yet I've never seen a description of Harden exercise #1, the most basic thing you would have people work on if they manage to meet up with you.
Ya. I don't talk much about things that really are meaningless to read on the net. I have people doing them in person who fail to get it right. Why go through loong explanations that guarantee to have them screw it up? Here’s an example,
When doing Shiko "Open your pelvis, put your intent from your left foot to your right hand. Cross-line body work is very important. Draw yourself over with your right hand, "pull yourself back upright with your left leg pulling your right side hand back up, while your left hand draws your right leg up and you right leg is pulling down. Maintain and hold these six contradicting lines in your body; up/ down, left / right, front/ back, and while you are doing that hold a connection from your feet to each opposite hand. If you can; try rising up in the back and sinking through the front, at the same time. Do it till your intent is so refined that "your will" pops you off your own feet when you go back upright. Oops I see your spine let your sort of slide over and your postural alignment broke!" Er...good luck with that.;)
At any one point- with people doing these things together with me- they are failing to maintain something or other all over the place. So why talk about it on the net when they can’t do it in person? Another point that I cannot stress enough is that when I work with people I work with them individually. Everyone has their own kinks or sticking points to work through. I had one guy who has trained in ICMA has trained with Ark and Mike, understood the exercises and was working his butt off. He made progress, but was falling apart at a certain point every time. Its only after working with him hands-on (yes I think Ark or Mike would have spotted it too) that I realized his problem was that-although he knew exactly what to do and could describe things better than I do-his connections were a mess due to the way he "broke" under stress in his upper center. He couldn't tell what was falling apart or how to fix it. So what point would outlining exercises on the net be?
I think a whole bunch of us have been led down merry little paths by people who don’t know what they're doing. Whether by design or by innocence we still have a bunch of people who didn't get the magic, they Asian arts were known for and we are ourselves kept hearing about. I want to make sure that at least in my small contribution, I put tools in their hands they can use. I talk "about it" on the net, not how to do it.

I guess my question is, given your enthusiasm and the fact that you are clearly not a fan of teachers who don't teach the authentic methods, why doesn't at least a wiki similar to Akuzawa's exist so that people don't have to wait years for a chance opportunity to gain an insight into your method?For example I know that Akuzawa will be giving a seminar I can attend six months from now, I can work on his exercises even without technical feedback, and be that much better able to understand his corrections when I get the chance to train with him than if I walk in cold. Otherwise at best you'll succeed in creating a spike of demand without adequate supply. The more people that understand the rudiments, the more the Asian masters will be forced to reveal as they realize people have the playbook if not the experience. For example without your existing base it's rather unlikely you would have gotten an enthusiastic reception with Liu Cheng De, from which you could have gained more knowledge under more favorable conditions. If it becomes generally known which teachers don't really teach, this is a clear benefit to serious enthusiasts as well. Ultimately secrecy has no benefit at all considering that it's a long hard road no matter what. While I haven't seen anyone visit you, Mike, Ark, or Rob and not be positively things, I don't think anyone has gained overnight superpowers either. A secret that takes years of sweat and toil to master is perfectly safe in the open. ;)
See above. I think Arks, mine or anyone else’s on-line descriptions are a waste of time.
That said, there are a couple of points I want to make in reply. First of all I don't think you will read of Mike, or Ark or me holding back "the secrets." Second I shudder at how that sounds. It implies we know everything to hold back!! I don't think anyone who trains this way is in expert yet either. How’s that?
I train very hard, and try to improve me, and if I can manage it I try to give back and share. Other than having some time to share with a community I am convinced by and large missed it and it training in the wrong direction most of the time, I have no vested interest in furthering a lineage, advertizing, or being someone’s “sensei.” I try to make sure I can show and then teach some clear, definitive ways for folks to start getting connected, and then to build on that, later to use those connections through applied skills. I enjoy what I do. If people continue to be fun to hang out with, I’ll continue sharing.

As for hiding, I'm not sure what "Asian masters are hiding" either. I think there are some who honestly don't know how to teach what they do outside of their forms. Others are just not showing, but a few of their students. I have seen it occur personally. It has been my experience that some teachers -flat out lie, others don't know any other way to teach. Then there are some teachers who. after I’ve watched them move, if they could articulate and tell me how they did what they do to make their body move like it does? I would remember it very carefully and avoid EVER doing it, so I didn't end up moving or looking like them.

Last regarding seminars, time and distance. I'm not a fan of training with someone once, then not seeing them for a year. I am -extremely- averse to being part of someone wasting even more of their precious time sweating their butts off somewhere, in the wrong direction. If I can't see someone more often -at least for the first year- then I don't even want to start. I turn down many seminar requests every week for just that reason. Everyone rightfully talks on and on about their needs and their wants to train. No one talks about what a bother it is to teach.
So to answer you question-no wiki, no big seminars for me. Just shugyo. Sweating it out in a barn. I am convinced that I suck, so I have a growing group of people who are letting me practice on them-the fools think I am teaching!!

gdandscompserv
08-13-2008, 09:51 AM
Dan,
That was a very informative post.
Your students are lucky to have you experimenting on them.
Ricky

DH
08-13-2008, 10:47 AM
Dan,
That was a very informative post.
Your students are lucky to have you experimenting on them.
Ricky

Well I did make a mistake in stating "Erick was waste of time." Sorry Erick.
What I meant to say was "For purposes of this discussion Ericks attempts to detail and model what we are doing without any experience is a waste of time for those trying to learn or understand."
As I have noted in the past his contributions otherwise are substative and he is a hell of a good debater and thinker.
For that matter...as I outlined... I think my own descriptions are a waste of time.:o

phitruong
08-13-2008, 10:59 AM
through loong explanations that guarantee to have them screw it up? Here's an example,
When doing Shiko "Open your pelvis, put your intent from your left foot to your right hand. Cross-line body work is very important. Draw yourself over with your right hand, "pull yourself back upright with your left leg pulling your right side hand back up, while your left hand draws your right leg up and you right leg is pulling down. Maintain and hold these six contradicting lines in your body; up/ down, left / right, front/ back, and while you are doing that hold a connection from your feet to each opposite hand. If you can; try rising up in the back and sinking through the front, at the same time. Do it till your intent is so refined that "your will" pops you off your own feet when you go back upright. Oops I see your spine let your sort of slide over and your postural alignment broke!" Er...good luck with that.;)


Hey! That looked like the DUI test I got. I did pretty well; however, my intention wandered a bit. :)

Lee Salzman
08-13-2008, 12:11 PM
Ya. I don't talk much about things that really are meaningless to read on the net. I have people doing them in person who fail to get it right. Why go through loong explanations that guarantee to have them screw it up? Here’s an example,
When doing Shiko "Open your pelvis, put your intent from your left foot to your right hand. Cross-line body work is very important. Draw yourself over with your right hand, "pull yourself back upright with your left leg pulling your right side hand back up, while your left hand draws your right leg up and you right leg is pulling down. Maintain and hold these six contradicting lines in your body; up/ down, left / right, front/ back, and while you are doing that hold a connection from your feet to each opposite hand. If you can; try rising up in the back and sinking through the front, at the same time. Do it till your intent is so refined that "your will" pops you off your own feet when you go back upright. Oops I see your spine let your sort of slide over and your postural alignment broke!" Er...good luck with that.;)
At any one point- with people doing these things together with me- they are failing to maintain something or other all over the place. So why talk about it on the net when they can’t do it in person? Another point that I cannot stress enough is that when I work with people I work with them individually. Everyone has their own kinks or sticking points to work through. I had one guy who has trained in ICMA has trained with Ark and Mike, understood the exercises and was working his butt off. He made progress, but was falling apart at a certain point every time. Its only after working with him hands-on (yes I think Ark or Mike would have spotted it too) that I realized his problem was that-although he knew exactly what to do and could describe things better than I do-his connections were a mess due to the way he "broke" under stress in his upper center. He couldn't tell what was falling apart or how to fix it. So what point would outlining exercises on the net be?
I think a whole bunch of us have been led down merry little paths by people who don’t know what they're doing. Whether by design or by innocence we still have a bunch of people who didn't get the magic, they Asian arts were known for and we are ourselves kept hearing about. I want to make sure that at least in my small contribution, I put tools in their hands they can use. I talk "about it" on the net, not how to do it.

See above. I think Arks, mine or anyone else’s on-line descriptions are a waste of time.


As has been previously discussed, time and opportunities to meet with people in person are very limited. So if we get even one occasion to meet up with someone and bring some homework to do over extremely long stretches of time without supervision, then any and all information is useful. I found your description of points of focus in the shiko exercise informative, having at least gone over the exercise with Akuzawa once myself, because you explained it in a different way than he did! You might have even misinformed me all the same, but if I'm banging away on stuff all by myself and likely to go wrong anyway, how does the added information hurt?

And even though managing all those intentions in one movement are complex and there will be some point where you break down where supervision would be helpful to point out where... there are "intentions for dummies" methods that make it a bit easier (not fool-proof, but easier) to self-study, by giving you more time to reflect on all the stupid stuff you end up doing wrong. :) You could break that shiko exercise down even further by treating it not as a movement, but a path along which you can pick out points of study. So you go along until you fall apart, and rather than keep moving through and skipping the problem, stop there, and just stay there for a while practicing the intents in that one spot, unmoving, until they are strong. Do that for a many points along the way so the coordination in each point is understood. Then go back to movement again. Am I possibly misinforming people by saying that? I'll take the risk! :p

I don't see a forum as a place for instruction so much as a virtual study group. We're all students here, so we can still discuss about things that are helping us, or mistakes we have made and worked through, or mistakes we think we're making and can't find our way out of, regardless of how complex the subject matter is.

Dan Austin
08-13-2008, 10:02 PM
When doing Shiko "Open your pelvis, put your intent from your left foot to your right hand. Cross-line body work is very important. Draw yourself over with your right hand, "pull yourself back upright with your left leg pulling your right side hand back up, while your left hand draws your right leg up and you right leg is pulling down. Maintain and hold these six contradicting lines in your body; up/ down, left / right, front/ back, and while you are doing that hold a connection from your feet to each opposite hand. If you can; try rising up in the back and sinking through the front, at the same time. Do it till your intent is so refined that "your will" pops you off your own feet when you go back upright. Oops I see your spine let your sort of slide over and your postural alignment broke!" Er...good luck with that.;)


Actually since there are videos online of Akuzawa and Rob doing a variant, this makes more sense than you might think. Granted I wouldn't expect to learn it well from just video and asking questions online, but I still think there is potential value because people can compare notes. Rob L. may not know how to do it well, but perhaps well enough that if somebody ran into him they could get some pointers. As long as there are no illusions and people keep refining (as they have to do anyway) I think it would be a benefit.

At any one point- with people doing these things together with me- they are failing to maintain something or other all over the place. So why talk about it on the net when they can't do it in person?

It seems like putting together a puzzle with pieces of collected information, and you never know what bit of information might cause something to click for someone. Rob John could say if anyone made improvement on Ark's material in between seminars. In other words there are probably a number of people who saw him twice, with a year in between. If they made some progress then that shows that while training with someone every week would be great, it's still possible to grind along and get somewhere with infrequent access to any correction.

There will be imperfect transmission and people heading down the wrong path for a little while here and there, and maybe in some cases taking big detours, but that's to be expected with any training process. Information is always better than a lack of information; what people do with it is up to them.

Upyu
08-13-2008, 11:07 PM
It seems like putting together a puzzle with pieces of collected information, and you never know what bit of information might cause something to click for someone. Rob John could say if anyone made improvement on Ark's material in between seminars. In other words there are probably a number of people who saw him twice, with a year in between.

As much as I understand Dan H's pov, there have been times where I've seen Ark pleasantly surprised by people's progress, without mentioning any names, especially considering the fact that they only have long distance access to us.

Putting it in another light,
Ark only had personal contact with his own instructor for a period of two years, and even then it was once a week if he was lucky, but more on the lines of once every two weeks.
Granted, it was a deeper study than what you would probably get in any class, but the point being that for the most part I have the impression that he had to study and think on his own for the most part.

And we have students that come pretty much every week, but still don't get what they're supposed to be doing...so it goes both ways.

Honestly I think it boils down to two factors, most people dont think hard enough about the stuff, and don't put in the practice time.

Dan Austin
08-14-2008, 09:42 AM
As much as I understand Dan H's pov, there have been times where I've seen Ark pleasantly surprised by people's progress, without mentioning any names, especially considering the fact that they only have long distance access to us.


Thanks Rob, that pretty much confirms my suspicions. Some people will not learn even with regular hands-on, whereas other people can do a lot on their own. It's a fact of life that people are not equally talented in all things. So it doesn't make sense to deny information in the general belief that no one can use it. People who are sufficiently talented and motivated can do a lot with a little guidance, and they shouldn't suffer due to the flailings of the less fortunate. ;) If you put information out there, it will be of use to the people who are most likely to make progress anyway.

DH
08-14-2008, 12:34 PM
Actually since there are videos online of Akuzawa and Rob doing a variant, this makes more sense than you might think. Granted I wouldn't expect to learn it well from just video and asking questions online, but I still think there is potential value because people can compare notes. Rob L. may not know how to do it well, but perhaps well enough that if somebody ran into him they could get some pointers. As long as there are no illusions and people keep refining (as they have to do anyway) I think it would be a benefit.

It seems like putting together a puzzle with pieces of collected information, and you never know what bit of information might cause something to click for someone. Rob John could say if anyone made improvement on Ark's material in between seminars. In other words there are probably a number of people who saw him twice, with a year in between. If they made some progress then that shows that while training with someone every week would be great, it's still possible to grind along and get somewhere with infrequent access to any correction.

There will be imperfect transmission and people heading down the wrong path for a little while here and there, and maybe in some cases taking big detours, but that's to be expected with any training process. Information is always better than a lack of information; what people do with it is up to them.

Dan
You missed my point almost entirely. And ironically I couldn't respond. I have had a group of guys here training...long distance! Who have been reading the thread.

So....I didn't say I don't teach long distance-I do. I was arguing nuance and my preferences for starting people off. Your conclusions drawn from that-were more along the lines that I was discounting the method altogether. Which considering how I spend much of my time, either learning, or teaching- is really rather hilarious.:D

As I said, a group of guys just left here after a 2 day seminar. I haven't seen one of them for about 6 months. Yes he made progress, but there was still allot of missteps and burned-in wrong paths in his body. In short order that was fixed and he even had some significant breakthroughs while here. So of course it can still be productive. Its just a question of geting started off correctly -which he did-hence my earlier comments. Had he not. I think the time here would have been almost entirely of re-training rather than tune-ups and new material.
It is for that reason I said for someone starting out with me -I- don't want to do it, if for that first year I only get to see them once. The first steps are critical with me so I want to ensure they get started correctly. a) So I can feel what their body is doing. b) So that they have a clear understanding of what they should be pursuing in that first year.
Most of the time people only discuss students. I was discussing MY TIME. not just theirs. I know how I teach, and what I can do with people. So I want to maximise that proven track record, and minimize wasting both of our times. Otherwise I just don't want to get involved. I'd consider it a failed attempt or false start. That's just my opinion.
Since I trained mostly long distance for 9 years, doing long seminars and coming home and having to innovate and feel propreaceptively. And secondly- having to focus on body work- as no one wanted to do the highly suspect pretzel logic waza much in the first place, and third, considering as I said, I both personally train, and then teach long distance today, then all due respect-I'm probably the last person on earth who needs to be told whats involved or given pointers on the difficulties of either this material, or training long distance in the first place...ohy!:cool:
I live it, and get it...in spades!

All other facets, comparisons of talent and innate ability are of course open for discussion, and there are good points and bad. After getting a good start I think more can be accomplished with folks that are bright, innovative, and hungry. It is the start up I was addressing, and the fact that no amount of descriptions I have seen have helped much without the hands-on explanation accompanying them.
YMMV-I get to see and feel quite a few folks trying to get some connection burned in..Waza isn't gonna a do it-not by a long shot. Its the slowest method out there. And neither is descriptions on the net to those who are not training with someone who can touch them and make corrections in person.
One last thing
I don't have people who train every week who are not getting it. I just don't. If they keep coming they get it and it builds. Those who train with me long distance are getting it as well. I get to see the comparisons of my own methods with my own people weekly or long distance all the time. The weekly training hands-on, is just simply the better way.
Hope that clarifies my view a little better for ya.

Erick Mead
08-14-2008, 05:03 PM
Well I did make a mistake in stating "Erick was waste of time." Sorry Erick.
What I meant to say was "For purposes of this discussion Ericks attempts to detail and model what we are doing without any experience is a waste of time for those trying to learn or understand." Well, let's see about that.
For that matter...as I outlined... I think my own descriptions are a waste of time.:oDon't be so hard on yourself. ;)

When doing Shiko "Open your pelvis, put your intent from your left foot to your right hand. Cross-line body work is very important. pull yourself back upright with your left leg pulling your right side hand back up, while your left hand draws your right leg up and you right leg is pulling down. Maintain and hold these six contradicting lines in your body; up/ down, left / right, front/ back, and while you are doing that hold a connection from your feet to each opposite hand. If you can; try rising up in the back and sinking through the front, at the same time. Do it till your intent is so refined that "your will" pops you off your own feet when you go back upright. Oops I see your spine let your sort of slide over and your postural alignment broke!"

There are two key mechanical points in the exercise:
"Draw yourself over with your right hand, "pull yourself back upright with your left leg pulling your right side hand back up",

"... left hand draws your right leg up and you right leg is pulling down."

Since after you draw yourself over you are supporting weight on one leg, the spiral formed through the torso to the opposite arm is in compression.

The unloaded spiral of the matching opposed arm/leg is not limp, but "pulling, " i.e. --in tension

Look at the torsion tube stress diagram again and see the stress lines in 90 degree offset tension and compression on the bias with respect to the long axis -- matching the opposed tension compression in the limbs in shiko at the elevated position .
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=509&d=1215185239

Cross-body linkage is showing that torsional shear (in the horizontal plane, parallel to the floor) is what you are creating -- while rotating in a perpendicular frame (the transverse plane).

While shiko is ostensibly presented as action in-plane (transverse rotation of the torso -- along the vertical plane cutting you into a front half and back half) the developed shear stress you just described defines a spiral action or potential (torque or moment) rotating in a horizontal plane perpendicular to the plane of the torso rotation.

What name do we use to describe a torque action created by shear on a plane perpendicular to a plane in which a rotation or applied moment is occurring?

Hint: it begins with the letter "G." :)

Since it is a spiral, it has both a horizontal aspect and a longitudinal aspect. If the longitudinal aspect of the spiral is expanding then the horizontal aspect is necessarily contracting, and vice versa. This is asagao, and also an aspect of chan si jing.

This does not necessarily dictate either tension or compression in either setting. A spiral may contract in one of these aspects because it is internally stressed in one way (tension) or because it is externally stressed in the opposite way (compression), or expand if it is given the opposite stresses, internally or externally, respectively. Because these are equivalent, the structure can react to relieve imposed stress (or to express that stress) on any axis allowed by the spiral(s) defined by the shear stress interaction.

rob_liberti
08-14-2008, 09:18 PM
I remember you did this type of analysis before:
http://aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=210336&postcount=1
but my understanding and THE point here is that you do not claim the ability to be able to do any of the things Dan does and teaches in terms of using aiki. If that is the case, and you can model it so well, what's the point? Who does it possibly help? I'm seriously not trying to pick a fight - I'm just really not understanding your intention.

Rob

Erick Mead
08-15-2008, 11:46 AM
I remember you did this type of analysis before:
http://aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=210336&postcount=1
but my understanding and THE point here is that you do not claim the ability to be able to do any of the things Dan does and teaches in terms of using aiki. In this medium, Dan chooses not to be very specific very often about what does do. Should I assume he can't specify because he can't do things? Hardly fair, and yet that is the standard that Dan seems to apply in reverse.

Since Dan comes from a tradition that does not openly share such things, that may be understandable. When he comes into contact with someone who forcefully seeks the transparency and objectivity of Western thought on such topics (not without its own limitations, I assure you), there will be some misunderstandings. I try to treat them charitably so far as I can and I only draw the line at anyone misrepresenting what I have said. I think Dan does try to treat the issue charitably, that point notwithstanding, within his own manner of thinking. But he way over-judges from this medium what he himself says this medium cannot disclose. He is just wrong about what he thinks I have said or what that means.

I have tried to tie him down to objective definitions of jargon of the type that I pointed out that you yourself have now adopted -- as in quantifying and qualifying the issues of "pushing " and moving " and what he means by that. He has taken my attempt to tie his terms of art to objective criteria as a lack of understanding what he says, but when he is as specific as he just was on the point of training shiko it is is simple to show the points of congruence in how he understands things and how I understand them, and their relationship to traditional concepts such as asagao, which is a very rich image.

Jargon is fine as shorthand -- but people have to acknowledge the limitations that closed terms of art have both in extending knowledge beyond what is known, and extending that knowledge to those that do not know it as well.
If that is the case, and you can model it so well, what's the point? Who does it possibly help? I'm seriously not trying to pick a fight - I'm just really not understanding your intention. It is a difference of types of knowledge -- between alchemy and chemistry. Both play with the same stuff, but their approach and ways of describing and understanding what they are doing are radically different. Both can make silver fulminate, for example ( which I most definitely DO NOT recommend, BTW) -- but they understand what that thing is very differently, even if they both handle it with equal care and understanding of its uses and hazards. It leads them to approach other knowledge differently when trying to relate different things to common principles.

As to the applicability of my approach, Dan's training ( as I would perceive it to be from what he has said is in the slow solo structural working of finding the torsional shear paths through the body, as I view the question and just illustrated. (Shioda's "Big toe = kokyu ryoku" comment makes perfect sense from my way of thinking -- but I have no idea how Dan might view that. The mode is as Chris Moses has said, of presenting a relaxed structural "wall" to the opponent. Dan criticizes the rather more loose and pendular action of traditional waza training (which is also present some solo training also, like udefuri undo or happo undo.

As the blog link of mine that you attached shows, they are the same things at a fundamental level. They only appear superficially different. The result being a warning for students of both approaches -- if you concentrate on the differences rather than the similarities (in either mode of action ) you are likely to be led astray. Of course, if one is never aware from the beginning that there even ARE any similarities then it is matter of blind chance if you stumble over them, and even then likely in ways you are predisposed to misperceive.

When you speak of Gleason "rewiring" it is evidence -- to me at least (at an obvious remove) -- that at an intuitive level he has grasped the fundamental similarity in his own terms. Your complaint has been that his understanding has not been made express in ways you were easily grasping. So you seek training in another mode to see what is missing. Kudos to you.

I am trying to make overt what is hidden by altering the perspective in understanding how we train and why we train (read the title of my blog) -- regardless of the mode or type of training. The thing hidden in plain sight can be looked at from the right side or the left side. It can easily disappear from view in either case.

Experience is the best guide. I spent ten years flying and looking at a problem from above enables you to see some aspects of BOTH of those perspectives simultaneously -- thus, there are fewer places for the knowledge to hide. It revolutionized practical warfare; and a similar change of perspective can alter an understanding of aiki and budo. It is a radically different perspective, and may not suffer the same limitations of perception (it has others, certainly).

Dan Austin
08-15-2008, 12:12 PM
Hope that clarifies my view a little better for ya.

It does, thanks for that. I also understand the time demands, and I imagine you, Mike and Rob get bombarded with emails on a regular basis. My only comment would be that it's possible for those who haven't met you to get value out of what you say online if they have prior hands-on with Mike or Akuzawa, or if they've encountered a Wang Hai Jun or similar solid lineage teacher. Even if some of those teachers don't teach very well, the knowledge of what to look for is enhanced by these discussions. I have no problem believing that hands-on is necessary to begin to understand a complex training process, but the more knowledge that's available the more likely people are to seek out more information and make progress, even if it doesn't click before a certain amount of hands-on exposure.

Dan Austin
08-15-2008, 12:28 PM
I remember you did this type of analysis before:
http://aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=210336&postcount=1
but my understanding and THE point here is that you do not claim the ability to be able to do any of the things Dan does and teaches in terms of using aiki. If that is the case, and you can model it so well, what's the point? Who does it possibly help? I'm seriously not trying to pick a fight - I'm just really not understanding your intention.

Rob

I think it's just reflexive bloviating at this point. ;) And no matter how cleverly he tries to spin it, the implication we're supposed to get is that he knows how to do these things. Maybe he can secretly meet up and learn what's really being done, then someday claim that's what he was doing all along. Perhaps this is all laying the groundwork for that, and if so I imagine he won't be the only one to try to pretend he was on the boat all along. In the end the only thing that will matter is the skill level of the individual, and anyone who meets both Dan and Erick will know the deal. As I've said before, I don't see Erick meeting up with anyone for precisely that reason. ;) The thing is, all Erick's meaningless over-analysis might have a use if he actually knew how to do things correctly.He's not wrong that an accurate western understanding could be useful someday, but he would have to physically demonstrate understanding before his discussions can be taken seriously. At this point nobody's ever seen him ride a bike, yet he's jumping into a discussion by people interested in cycling and telling Lance Armstrong about the torque Lance is applying to his bike pedals. And thinking that somehow that doesn't appear ridiculous. ;) People want to hear from the pros Erick, not from the guy in the bleachers holding the oversized foam hand. ;)

rob_liberti
08-15-2008, 03:22 PM
Erick, I don't mean to be unfair. It comes down to demonstrative skills. Lets just look at the ablity to stand there and not lose stabiltiy when someone pushes on you from any angle.

If anyone - anyone at all - meets up with Dan and wants to get started doing this stuff, he'll probably say okay push on me, and then he'll want to push on them.

It won't matter what can possibly be meant by "push" or any other specific. However they push will be fine. He will most likely say - "push harder" or "are you pushing?". He won't be pushed off balance in any way shape or form unless the pushing person has incredible internal skill as well - and we can pretty much count on that not being too common. Wang Hai Jun got Dan lifted up and back a bit, and Dan still managed to not lose balance and recover. (There aren't too many WHJ ability level people out there.)

To compare - if anyone goes to visit you and you say - "push on me"; and that random person pushes you - in whatever way they want - will you be able to avoid losing your balance? If there is even a question about "well - what is meant by 'push'" - then I don't think you are doing things at the same level. Even if you have better understanding physically of what Dan can do. You just can't realistically expect anyone to get too interested in that kind of analysis unless it is actually helping people achieve somewhat similar (or better) results.

Further, if anyone goes to visit Dan, and tries to push on some of his students - pick anyone in the class who has been there for 6months, and compares how resistive they are to a push - odds are extremely good that they will feel a marked difference in stability compared to the average person.

If someone goes to visit your dojo, and tries that with any of your students, would you expect the same results? If no, then again the physical analysis seems to be without much use - to at least me. I think it is better to learn the latest jargon with hands on experience and then use it to fast track success in gaining ability.

I'm not going after you really. I'm just saying that these simple tests of demonstrative skills buy credibility in terms of improving understanding. Theory - no matter how accurate - from someone without such demonstrative skills really has no chance of being heard. Even by me - and I'm fairly open to pretty much any idea if I can imagine a use for it.

Rob

Erick Mead
08-15-2008, 06:05 PM
Erick, I don't mean to be unfair. It comes down to demonstrative skills. Fairness doesn't enter into it. Simple empirical questions do: What are you demonstrating? How do you measure it? One can trivially knock a masonry arch over sideways that will carry static in-plane loads of several tons. It matters how you define what you will demonstrate.

"Not moving" for example. Does it mean the hips don't move? The torso doesn't move? The feet don't move? None of the above move? Or merely that kuzushi is not obtained? Is the video of Ark doing pushout drillls an example of "not moving?" ( -- Because he is, even if subtly).

I don't have a problem with calling that a demonstration of "not moving" as long as we are clear on what that means. If you are not clear on the answer to those questions then you do not fully understand the nature of the skill you are demonstrating -- even if you can demonstrate it -- because I can always find "moving" in a jointed bipedal active dampening structure subject to a lateral eccentric load. Something WILL move, even if you deem it to satisfy what you deem "not moving." in which case your vaunted demonstrative test goes right back to being a pointless semantic dispute. If the terms WERE defined, then the dispute does not exist.

They are also not idle practical questions, if you wish to demonstrate something empirical, because "not moving" in each of the cases I laid out may mean very different things mechanically. But Dan doesn't think in such terms; he is not the analytic type, so he has never answered those kinds of questions. I don't take it amiss.

Lets just look at the ability to stand there and not lose stability when someone pushes on you from any angle.You've changed the criteria from Dan and mike's statemetn of it. They said "not moving." You say "not lose stability. " I actually take that to be helpfully narrower if slightly more abstract, in that "stability" (in most settings) implies a righting moment to regain position from distrubance. Different from "not moving."

Again, simple empirical questions: Do I get to choose what stance he demonstrates the skill from? Is it impulse (momentum) dependent or merely static load (moment) dependent? Does it start in contact or can the push be occurring as contact is obtained? Or none of the above? Does he get a blind fold or other sensory limitations? Where do you draw the line between "push" and "strike?" Does it matter for purposes of the demonstration?

If anyone - anyone at all - meets up with Dan and wants to get started doing this stuff, he'll probably say okay push on me, and then he'll want to push on them.
...
To compare - if anyone goes to visit you and you say - "push on me"; and that random person pushes you - in whatever way they want - will you be able to avoid losing your balance? If there is even a question about "well - what is meant by 'push'" - then I don't think you are doing things at the same level. As to Wang Hai Jun -- you saw that, did you, to see what that actually meant? Or did Wang 老師 tell you how it went himself?

Regardless of "the level" (What does THAT mean?) they are the SAME THINGS. Since the criteria of "level" are not defined, I feel no obligation to self-criticize myself into conformity, or pay deference. If you want me to acknowledge anything -- it is simple -- define your terms and show me wrong. I'll admit it.

I am admittedly operating from a very different perspective, but I don't see that as a "level" -- whether of understanding, performance or otherwise. My effort does not require denigrating anyone to pursue this path -- nor adulating them in the least bit either.

AND If there were no questions then why are we here?
...
I'm not going after you really. I'm just saying that these simple tests of demonstrative skills buy credibility in terms of improving understanding. I am not interested in credibility -- precisely because what I am looking towards is a system of understanding and explanation in terms that COMPLETELY NEGATE credibility as an issue.

Theory - no matter how accurate - from someone without such demonstrative skills really has no chance of being heard. You may believe it or not but nothing I discuss has anything but a basis in experience and observation, internal and otherwise. Your preference is your own. You can ignore me at your leisure. I am not seeking acolytes, but a framework for knowledge. I don't compel anyone to read (although objective evidence suggests that some apparently do) or to respond. The adversary discovery of truth works whether one side values the interaction or not. So questioning me as to ill-defined arbitrary bona fides is irrelevant to the purpose.

I don't usually fall down or even lose balance, even when struck hard (not that getting struck is bright idea in the first place). "Shutting down" technique (as opposed to making its completion utterly immaterial) is not a such a manifest demonstration of talent in my book, so much as it is of an obstinant purpose -- not a good strategic trait, BTW. Beyond that I can't say nor care to speculate without some parameters I could honestly look at. I feel little need for vetting, even if I would fail a test, however defined, and it is by no means clear to me that I would.

Mr. Navier and Mr. Stokes never saw an airplane, much less flew one (they did not exist at the time). But no aircraft flying today has left the drawing board without consulting them. We don't have that for aiki -- but there is absolutely no reason that we shouldn't.

Erick Mead
08-15-2008, 06:26 PM
I think it's just reflexive bloviating at this point. ;) ... The thing is, all Erick's meaningless over-analysis might have a use if he actually knew how to do things correctly. If it is meaningless it has no use, whether I can do anything or not.

But acknowledging the general correctness of your conclusion, I will patiently await the falsification of your implied premise.

At this point nobody's ever seen him ride a bike, yet he's jumping into a discussion by people interested in cycling ... If I tell you how a bike keeps upright would that help??? :D (that dang "G" word again ;) )... If the observation was correct and I couldn't ride the bike would that make it wrong or less useful knowledge? If I could ride with hands but not without hands would that make my understanding of the principles of cycling stability less sound ?.

Can you ride without hands? And if not -- how dare you talk about biking stability! Keep to the stands -- you piker ! ::p

Interestingly enough, how a bicycle maintains its stability was one of the first questions I responded to as this line of discussion began, oh ,so many posts ago.

rob_liberti
08-15-2008, 09:19 PM
Erick,

I think with Dan, none of that matters for comparison purposes, but take the simple case:

"not lose stability" given:
-just basic stance, feet about should width apart
-static load dependent
-start in contact
-no sensory limitations

(I draw the line between "push" and "strike" such that if I hit the person that is a strike.)

Regardless of:
who pushes,
how hard they push,
and where they push
The question is can you do maintain stability such that if someone puts an X on the floor, and you stand on the X, at the end of the pushing, you are still on that X and never left it - your feet stayed where they were the whole time. Dan can period. He can do it under more difficult situations as well - but let's keep it simple. Several of his students can do this as well. I'm getting better at it myself. Can you? This is not a challenge, but you see, if you can't then I find the analysis a bit useless. If you can and your students can't then again I would find your analysis a bit useless.

By the way I did not see Wang Hai Jun push Dan and he did not tell me how it went himself. My point was that you have to be somewhere near that level of internal power/skill to have much chance of pushing him past stability.

Why is your goal "to achieve a system of understanding and explanation in terms that COMPLETELY NEGATE credibility as an issue"? To what end? If it helped someone do these things, then yes please continue. If not, it seems like you are just getting in the way or muddying the waters compared to "the jargon with the proven track record" - which seems odd to me.

Rob

Erick Mead
08-15-2008, 10:11 PM
(I draw the line between "push" and "strike" such that if I hit the person that is a strike.) I agree, but the question must be asked.

Why is your goal "to achieve a system of understanding and explanation in terms that COMPLETELY NEGATE credibility as an issue"? To what end? Because objectivity is not an end in itself, but is an essential perspective without which subjectivity is an equally dead end. In-Yo. Credibility is belief. You can believe in gravity or not -- it does not care nor does it change. Things in those terms are not subject to credibility -- they just are.

If it helped someone do these things, then yes please continue. If not, it seems like you are just getting in the way or muddying the waters compared to "the jargon with the proven track record" - which seems odd to me.I had this discussion with a good friend -- on a completely unrelated topic -- that we should study nature because of what it tells us about truth, not merely to see what we can make it do without catastrophic failure. But that verges into your forbidden area on this thread.

It has helped me to understand a great deal. Our students improve. I do not foolishly try to teach in these terms except for very basic concepts-- but understanding things in these terms directs how I teach, and so far with some success. I have no grander ambition than that. I cannot speak for anyone else.

I don't pretend that approaching things in this way is a be all-end-all. But it is a perspective that has been left wanting for development. If you or anyone feels I am trashing it -- one of YOU guys take it up and do better -- in these terms. Why? Not because I want it -- but because it should be done. I'll happily sit back and watch -- and not carp overmuch with undue criticism. Otherwise, quitcher griping. :)

Erick Mead
08-15-2008, 10:54 PM
...if someone puts an X on the floor, and you stand on the X, at the end of the pushing, you are still on that X and never left it - your feet stayed where they were the whole time. Dan can period. He can do it under more difficult situations as well - but let's keep it simple. Several of his students can do this as well. I'm getting better at it myself. Definitely, riding no hands. ;). Or -- does he use his hands/arms? Does he receive merely, or does he express a countering touch or adjustment? Always more with the questions. :)

Now, as rumor has it, it is a bit of a liability being too stuck in one spot against a sword. So how does Dan make his stability practices relate in a coherent way to the required critical INstability that makes for swift maneuver? He doesn't talk much about that.

I've made my relation of those two principles explicit in the link you cited.

rob_liberti
08-15-2008, 11:15 PM
Does he receive merely, or does he express a countering touch or adjustment?
Dan can do either/both.

His ability to stay so super balanced while moving and attacking is the #2 reason I have been so impressed with him. His students' abilities are the #1 reason.

My making it simple was to get a sense of if you can do it as well at the simplest level, and if your students could. I'm assuming (no offense - everyone is assuming the same) that you cannot do the same - unless you state otherwise.

Sorry about my boundry issue, feel free to start a new thread in any thread devoid of "non-aikido" in the title and I'll discuss it as far as I can (admittedly, I'm not sure how far that is, but I'd be willing to try).

As far as someone else doing it - I think that is a terrible idea.
I think the only reasonable idea to do it and have it be worth reading is to actually meet with Dan or one of the other guys and THEN model to your hearts content. Then, show that model to students and tell us about their improvement. IF they do improve to anywhere near the ability of the people using "jargon" everyone will become completely interested. Until then, I think you are asking to describe a truth - no one believes you have any true insight into - and seem to be wondering why no one knows how to help collaborate with you.

I know you want "truth" - I think we (those using jargon) just want what is "best" and your attempt at "truth" doesn't seem to be what's best which makes it difficult for us to consider it "truth".

Rob

mjchip
08-16-2008, 08:33 PM
Hi Guys,

I want to give my quick two cents. I'm a cerebral person. Engineering type, good at scientific analysis, also been doing budo for about 17yrs. I've trained with Dan only 4 or 5 times over the past two years and without the intense hands on approach of his, I feel that I would've gotten nowhere. In fact, I've had teachers tell me to my face some of the same things that Dan tells me but it all went over my head. The more I tried to cerebralize it, the faster it flew by. I'm sure there are some martial genius' that can take the written word and immediately rewire their body but I can not. Nor can I do it when my body is physically placed in the correct position through the hand of someone in the know. I assume I'll get better at "it" if I put the time in given the level of instruction I have at my fingertips. For now I can't do it but I can feel *it* when I encounter it and I WANT IT!!

Okay, I'm rambling but to keep it short: I highly doubt that you can get *it* by reading about *it*. You've got to be open to it, you've got to encounter someone who can do it and teach it, and you have to put in the time to get it. Frankly, I just don't see another way to acquiring the goods.

Oh yeah, one more thing.......the goods are incredible.

Best,

Mark

Erick Mead
08-16-2008, 09:07 PM
I'm sure there are some martial genius' that can take the written word and immediately rewire their body but I can not. ... I highly doubt that you can get *it* by reading about *it*.It is occasionally necessary to repeat my oft ignored refrain. Even an indisputably valid physical description of aiki is not a substitute for sound physical training. A more reliable guide and check for noted errors, perhaps. That's good bunkai. But even that is not the point. The thing itself is the point.

DH
08-17-2008, 09:57 AM
It is occasionally necessary to repeat my oft ignored refrain. Even an indisputably valid physical description of aiki is not a substitute for sound physical training. A more reliable guide and check for noted errors, perhaps. That's good bunkai. But even that is not the point. The thing itself is the point.
And being able to discuss the things itself...as the point is meaningless when
a) you do not know what the thing is.
b) cannot do the thing being discussed.
c) go on trying to describe it from afar by guess work disguised as definitive physical terminology.

In a show of hands for any sort of ability to do or teach these things....you're not even in the room.
THAT...is the point.
And good luck to anyone trying to find...the thing itself, by yourself.
Still hoping to get together some day to train and to point out...the thing itself

mjchip
08-17-2008, 03:14 PM
It is occasionally necessary to repeat my oft ignored refrain. Even an indisputably valid physical description of aiki is not a substitute for sound physical training. A more reliable guide and check for noted errors, perhaps. That's good bunkai. But even that is not the point. The thing itself is the point.

First let me say that I understand this is a message board and as such the method we have of communication is written. However, may I ask what exactly is the point of trying to describe fundamentals of internal power generation, among other extremely difficult concepts, using scientific terminology in this medium? In the best case scenario, what do you think the people reading the material you write will gain from it? Just curious....

Mark

Erick Mead
08-17-2008, 08:18 PM
Why is it so threatening that I can take a substantive description of your exercise (shiko is hardly YOURS anyway) and provide a substantive physical description of consistent physical principles that are involved and illustrated in it? Why does this require attack? And being able to discuss the things itself...as the point is meaningless when ... ... you let people deal in rootless jargon like: - maintaining ... central equalibrium ... holding their lines of intention ... create instant center to center contact ...communicating -- those lines of intention ... intention of "up" ... mental line of intention -- "down" ...
combining the lines of intention ... more "elastic" as opposed to "rigid".

a) you do not know what the thing is.
b) cannot do the thing being discussed.
c) go on trying to describe it from afar by guess work disguised as definitive physical terminology.Is predictability so prominent a feature of your budo as it seems?

In a show of hands for any sort of ability to do or teach these things....you're not even in the room.Your budo is ALSO based on a democratic principle? ;) How intriguing.

Erick Mead
08-17-2008, 08:33 PM
... what exactly is the point of trying to describe fundamentals of internal power generation, among other extremely difficult concepts, using scientific terminology in this medium? Do you have a more likely forum in mind?

While Dan is simply inventing a new form of jargon (see post above) to deal with things that have a functional vocabulary in Non Western terms ("Asagao" being a sterling example he has touched on and then ignored) -- his jargon, while in English, adds nothing to traditional terminology, and does not track actual terminology or concepts of Western mechanics.

One can legitimately dislike as a matter of taste the admittedly densely packed aspects of mechanical terms. But they have a singular advantage. They CAN BE unpacked independently of the ad hoc terminology being addressed by Dan.

Mechanical structure and function are properly described in their own easily verified terms. Once that is accomplished, you are not dependent on anything but your own powers of observation to note and correct errors from a valid mechanical principle. That may or may not be sufficient at any given point of a student's perceptual thresholds but at some point it becomes so -- and thus threatens those who would like to dictate -- literally-- the terms of discussion.

I cannot dictate principles of physics -- I can only suggest choices among the various useful conventions. If I get it wrong (and occasionally I have) I can be called on the point and I will correct it if the error is demonstrated.

A question: Who stands ready to correct (or even seriously question) Dan in HIS terms?
In the best case scenario, what do you think the people reading the material you write will gain from it? Just curious....What they choose to -- or not as the case may be. I demand nothing but being clear in what what one means.

The question, in someone else's idiom that I have trained with, is what terminology belongs to the leaves and what belongs to the roots -- where the tree is now in a new soil.

mathewjgano
08-17-2008, 08:45 PM
And good luck to anyone trying to find...the thing itself, by yourself.

So we're talking about a singular thing? I wonder how it was ever discovered in the first place.

rob_liberti
08-17-2008, 09:04 PM
Well, you I'll explain what I think is threatening...

First a bit of background for analogy:

It was a long time before people could come up with a reasonabe explanation for how a bumble bee was flying. I remember reading not terribly long ago that it seemed to defy physics. IIRC someone finally figured into their equations some aspect about the wings bending or flexing or stretching or something and they finally worked it out.

I suspect that what Dan is doing and teaching - would also defy the best physics attempts for a long while. And explaining things with wrong/failed (meant to mean missing some aspects) terms seems MUCH more likely that we'll be leading people further astray in a world where people have already been lead astray for far too long.

SOOO I keep trying to ask - and I think everyone else is as well - if you wouldn't mind terribly delaying your attempt to describe somethings you don't claim to be able to do yourself until you have enough common experience to have some reasonable chance of factoring in all of the aspects.

As far as dictating terms, I've read Mike and Dan go back and forth on some terminology too - but it was clear to them they were ultimately discussing similar things. I know that Dan has adopted some of the terms being used here on aikiweb from either Mike ot Rob J. It's not like anyone is saying that Dan gets to be the only person who gets to pick the terms. We just want the terms to come from people who are actually demonstrating ability to do and teach those things - at least initially.

But I'm willing to try to approach it from the other way if you think it will help. I honestly don't understand the confusion about the "jargon", but we can try to clarify if you are up for it.

putting your "intention up" - give me a list of multiple choice for what that could mean. If any of them sound like think up, send your mind upward, if you could reach up with your mind - I'd say pretty much all of those would do. I'm having trouble coming up with a possible meaning of that phrase that wouldn't fit.

"holding lines of intention" - would mean if you for instance were keeping your concentration upward - YOU MAINTAIN THAT and all of the other directions at the same time. If you list other possible meanings - I'll pick from your words which one seems to best fit.

"central equalibrium" - We use that phrase in terms of what one is maintaining to deal with a push or pull and not be effected by the push or pull to the point that they move (where "not move" means in simplest terms something like if you are standing on a big X - you never leave the X). Again, you give me possible options - and I'll clarify based on your words as much as possible.

Rob

stan baker
08-17-2008, 09:48 PM
Erick.
You are truly amazing, if one wants to become more confused about internal arts they should keep reading your posts. I suggest you take the next flight and go visit Dan.

stan

Erick Mead
08-18-2008, 12:03 AM
It was a long time before people could come up with a reasonabe explanation for how a bumble bee was flying. I am quite sure the bee was not troubled by the lack, nor cared much about people's opinions of its ability to fly or not. On the other hand, it was not the bee that came to know the nature of its flight. And was that a reason to rest satisfied describing the flight of the bumblebee as though "communicating the intention of up" to the air?

But I'm willing to try to approach it from the other way if you think it will help. I honestly don't understand the confusion about the "jargon", but we can try to clarify if you are up for it. I have expressed criticism of the six directions "springs model." If it is merely a holistic attitude adjustment to a generic sensibility -- then fine. NO issue, and never was, which I have said on more than one occasion. Imagine ants crawling down your arms if it makes it work for you, but realize that the creative and subjective element that you (probably rightfully) find useful does not itself lead to any objective comprehension of what the body is actually doing.

putting your "intention up" - give me a list of multiple choice for what that could mean. I am supposed to hazard a guess at what an ad hoc expression is supposed to signify? I am not the one ascribing any meaning to the term. I have thoughts about the cyclic nature of balance and the phase and anti-phase relationships of those issues. There are macro and micro aspects to that line of thought with functions recurring at different scales (which reinforces a sense of its validity for reasons I will not go into here). They are not idle thoughts and have sound support. I have written about them.

But relating (or excluding) that topic from discussion of what YOU mean with your "intention up" cannot be said without taking care to observe critically what you actually do when you are doing it AND trying to articulate it -- therefore seeking a terminology suited to the task. THAT attention to the empirical facts of what is occurring is the value of this approach -- with DEEP caterories in which to place them -- more than anything else in any particular theory or choice of mechanical convention.

You begin to notice what is mechanically occurring whether you are thinking of doing it or not. I don't know about you but my budo got better the less I had to think about anything. My concern about the moral responsibility incumbent in budo heightened as that became more the rule than the exception. And that's all I'll say about that. You simply observe what is happening better, because you have a non-arbitrary framework in which to retain and relate that knowledge over time. You learn more from failures and you notice them more closely.

Please give a substantive description of what your perceive you body to be DOING at the time that you conceive of "intention is up" or "holding lines of intention", or "central equilibrium" at least as specific as what Dan gave for the description of his version of shiko, and I'd be pleased to oblige with my observations on the matter. Whether it helps or not is up to you.

Erick Mead
08-18-2008, 12:24 AM
Erick.
You are truly amazing, if one wants to become more confused about internal arts they should keep reading your posts. I suggest you take the next flight and go visit Dan. So you have said before. One of the finest minds in the philosophy of the twentieth-century was a self-taught longshoreman. It is important for you to know that to understand when I say that the reason I do not spend time in such incessant brag-baiting is that I don't care about your opinion of me or for trappings of good repute. If I wanted to beat someone I'd simply get a bigger stick -- but I am after bigger fish. Truth is truth no matter your opinion of it, nor whether you are confused about it it or not.

mjchip
08-18-2008, 06:44 AM
Do you have a more likely forum in mind?

"Likely" as in following *and learning from* your explanations? - How about a group of young PhD students gathered in a lecture hall for a kinesiology class?

One can legitimately dislike as a matter of taste the admittedly densely packed aspects of mechanical terms. But they have a singular advantage. They CAN BE unpacked independently of the ad hoc terminology being addressed by Dan.

I don't dislike such explanations as a matter of taste but rather that, in my opinion, they will not get the readers significantly further down the path to develop internal power. In fact, even if they are technically correct in jargon and even in principal they are too complex to be understood and thus instructional to such a varied audience. This is a paradox.

Kudos to you though. You can describe what's happening in the human body when one uses internal power. Can you then take this highly scientific understanding and use it to train your body to generate internal power? Have you? Is there any existence proof of folks learning in this manner?

One final question, if a scientist went up to Takeda after a display of aiki and said "I know how you did that" and then proceeded to describe it in perfectly accurate scientific terms, would he have been able to comprehend? What about Ueshiba or Sagawa? I know you can't say definitively but hazard a guess. Mine is that they'd be clueless (and then they'd probably toss the scientist on their ass)? LOL

Mark

stan baker
08-18-2008, 08:01 AM
Erick.
Like I said the more you talk the greater the confusion, what is your main point, what truth?

stan

Erick Mead
08-18-2008, 09:11 AM
In fact, even if they are technically correct in jargon and even in principal they are too complex to be understood and thus instructional to such a varied audience. This is a paradox. They are not intended to instruct a varied audience. They are intended for me to instruct me, and for whoever wishes to engage them with me. I simply teach what I have been taught, with some additional insights into physical action at practical junctures that I can point out as they crop up. When I am done or least more satisfied with the progress of the thought, it can be simplified into something more digestible for a general audience. The advantage of it is that the simplification (unlike some ad hoc system) will actually lead to deeper description in the same terms -- which more importantly, are independent, and not of my making.

if a scientist went up to Takeda after a display of aiki and said "I know how you did that" and then proceeded to describe it in perfectly accurate scientific terms, would he have been able to comprehend? What about Ueshiba or Sagawa? I know you can't say definitively but hazard a guess. Mine is that they'd be clueless (and then they'd probably toss the scientist on their ass)? LOL Sagawa might be laughing, but at whom is the question:

Many people would say back in the day that all you had to do is practice, and more practice! But after I became able to think for myself I found that this wasn't so....
Indeed, most important is that you keep on thinking. If you don't, you cease to have any <good> thoughts. If you continue to think, then a new thought will pop into your head! And then you must write this thought down immediately so that you may try it out, otherwise you will forget it later. Writing this down is key.
... The secret is in always thinking about it. The reason no one progresses or gets any better, stronger is because no one thinks. They forget about what they do in between practices. It has to become a part of your life.

See! This is why you are no good. You don't do something simply because so and so said so. If you simply go through life by simply thinking you can copy people you'll never get anywhere. The only person that can do this is you. You must create your own understanding for yourself. ... In the end its about accumulating your thoughts and having them act as the foundation for other thoughts. "If the only tool you have is a hammer ..."

All I am discussing is more precise and varied tools for observing and thinking. It may not be to your taste, and I claim no exclusivity of the truth in that regard. Non-western systems are valid if carefully understood in their own terms, although they are less accessible as such. But if you think that such effort, by whatever means, is not important, then you aren't thinking carefully.

And good luck with that.

Upyu
08-18-2008, 10:13 AM
<snip>

All I am discussing is more precise and varied tools for observing and thinking. It may not be to your taste, and I claim no exclusivity of the truth in that regard. Non-western systems are valid if carefully understood in their own terms, although they are less accessible as such. But if you think that such effort, by whatever means, is not important, then you aren't thinking carefully.

And good luck with that.

Nice job with purposely excluding the quote saying where his students DIDNT follow his instructions precisely concerning certain things, and that free thought wasn't always good ;)
Course I figure that's on par for lawyers :D

rob_liberti
08-18-2008, 12:08 PM
I am quite sure the bee was not troubled by the lack, nor cared much about people's opinions of its ability to fly or not. On the other hand, it was not the bee that came to know the nature of its flight. And was that a reason to rest satisfied describing the flight of the bumblebee as though "communicating the intention of up" to the air?

This seems like you are torturing the metaphor on purpose.
If MOST BEES COULD NOT FLY - and someone was able to get them flying, and you came in with a physical description of what goes on in their bodies for flight - that wasn't entirely accurate because you hadn't had any common experience with the people who were taking the non-flying bees and getting them to fly - then we would have a similar situation.

I am supposed to hazard a guess at what an ad hoc expression is supposed to signify? I am not the one ascribing any meaning to the term.

Yes. If I state something as simply as I can, and it confuses you. Then in normal discussion, you typically ask questions like "do you mean A or B, or C" and then I start to get a sense of where the confusion is. I restated intention up like 3 different ways. I'm not sure what is going on in my body when I do that mental trick. But the description of what we ARE doing - which must have some weird physical effects - is as accurate as I can make it. Explain your point of confusion about what I actually know about (what I am doing mentally) and I'll clarify. Demand that I explain what that impact is on my body physically - then I say I have no idea. And at least I'm actually doing it to some degree. How the heck can you attempt to describe it not actually doing it?

Please give a substantive description of what your perceive you body to be DOING at the time that you conceive of "intention is up" or "holding lines of intention", or "central equilibrium" at least as specific as what Dan gave for the description of his version of shiko, and I'd be pleased to oblige with my observations on the matter. Whether it helps or not is up to you.

That seems to be your desire. I don't see value in that myself. But if you do, then YOU show up to Dans dojo - I think he actually volunteered to go meet you - and then give that substantive description of what your perceive you body to be DOING - when you actually have some degree of the common experience. I think Dan expressed a willingness to meet you far MORE than half way. What's the issue?

Rob

mathewjgano
08-18-2008, 03:11 PM
Nice job with purposely excluding the quote saying where his students DIDNT follow his instructions precisely concerning certain things, and that free thought wasn't always good ;)
Course I figure that's on par for lawyers :D
So you think Erick is trying to hide the truth? Ok, so people need to both think for themselves AND follow instructions as precisely as possible (assuming the instructions are good, of course). How does this counter Erick's point that his attempt as describing aiki in physical terms can be a powerful tool for learning, even if only for himself (I tend to find a lot of his descriptions interesting, but I'm probably not a good metric)? Isnt that what's being stated by him here after repeatedly being told his efforts are both a waste of time and are hurting others by confusing them? Or am I missing something key (as is too often the case:o ).

Alfonso
08-18-2008, 03:42 PM
Erick's posts always make more sense to me when seen as strategy / tactics.

But the mechanical description of what's happening doesn't tell me how its being done.

I think there is a body skill involved which never gets mentioned in the descriptions I've read.

mathewjgano
08-18-2008, 04:29 PM
Erick's posts always make more sense to me when seen as strategy / tactics.

But the mechanical description of what's happening doesn't tell me how its being done.

I think there is a body skill involved which never gets mentioned in the descriptions I've read.

Do you think it's even possible to describe the body skill...the "how it's being done?" I mean, the way I see it, there's the left-brained-type (abstract modeling) of conceptualizing the series of events which constitute aiki waza and then there's the right-brained-type (spacial interaction) of sensing and performing the skills themselves. Thinking about how things are moving within the body (left-brained/physical mechanics description) serves as a guide for where to place the awareness so one can then sense and learn how to purposefully engage those skills in the space of reality.

ChrisMoses
08-18-2008, 04:44 PM
Do you think it's even possible to describe the body skill...the "how it's being done?" I mean, the way I see it, there's the left-brained-type (abstract modeling) of conceptualizing the series of events which constitute aiki waza and then there's the right-brained-type (spacial interaction) of sensing and performing the skills themselves. Thinking about how things are moving within the body (left-brained/physical mechanics description) serves as a guide for where to place the awareness so one can then sense and learn how to purposefully engage those skills in the space of reality.

There's also the cerebellum, a part of the brain that takes care of translating the request signals of the conscious brain into the complex patterns/signals to all the various muscle groups that need to fire in harmony for nearly all of out macroscopic movements. This is also why knowing exactly which muscle you need to fire is almost useless unless you have trained the cerebellum to fire that muscle exclusively.

For kicks and giggles sometime, try tightening the muscles of the forearm/wrist and shoulder while relaxing the muscles around the elbow. It's entirely possible to do, but until your cerebellum figures it out, you can wish all you want to do this seemingly simple task. When you try to relax your arm above the elbow, I guarantee you'll relax the muscles of the shoulder and wrist, at least if this is the first time you've tried this.

Intellectualization is great, but words are words.

Erick Mead
08-18-2008, 05:06 PM
This seems like you are torturing the metaphor on purpose.
If MOST BEES COULD NOT FLY Well, I am fond of bees, so I would not willingly torture them ...
Yes. If I state something as simply as I can, and it confuses you. I am not confused. You repeat an expression (e.g. -- "intention up") you have learned -- to convey something from a closed system of reference. I am trying to tie your understanding of it into an open system of reference. It would be as though, in translating a term from your native tongue of, say, Librettish, you are asking me to tell you what I think YOU mean when you say "qwertyuiop." I may have another very specific reference for that series of letters, but it is neither useful nor enlightening as to what YOU mean by it.

My point is to break the discussion OUT of that "hermeneutic circle" on the premise that it can be related to and described in terms of a universe of well accepted physical phenomena.

I'm not sure what is going on in my body when I do that mental trick. But the description of what we ARE doing - which must have some weird physical effects - is as accurate as I can make it. Well, your first point is what I am working on. You are intending and your body is acting -- and there is a severe disconnect between your intention and a comprehension of what that intention is actually directed to, in order to change or maintain (what exactly?) anything. You are entitled to a better understanding than: "Rat hits the push bar -- treat rolls out of slot."

And at least I'm actually doing it to some degree. How the heck can you attempt to describe it not actually doing it?Presumption. What I have to say does not depend on that whole vouching/decrying routine. That is, like, SOoo 12th century. Addressing proper mechanics is specifically intended to make that entrenched sensibility irrelevant. If I were to say that I met and wiped the walls with WHJ it should not persuade you, even if you believed me, and even if it were true -- any more than if I claimed to be Martin Guerre. So, I won't touch any brag-bait as there is no point.

For purposes of common reference let me resort to traditional terminology for a moment and let's build from there. My teacher has pointed out that Dan is overly focused on the ki of earth and not sufficiently concerned with the ki of heaven. We don't train to resist "pushes." That's not to say that we "an't" -- that is saying that we don' We train to enter pushes. We do however train to aiki age and aiki sage, although those terms are not commonly used.

Both aiki age and aiki sage, in my experience, are related to the ways in which the movement of ki (furitama) is connected (musubi) to that of the opponent. Juji frames aiki in musubi . The nature of that relationship and shape drives the interaction. The rest is dynamic consistency of musubi and furitama at a largely subconscious level.

If furitama and/or maai arrive in juji at musubi -- kuzushi results.

Shifting that discussion to the Western side of the table -- I will leave aside for the moment the impact on biomechanical reflex systems. Aiki age or aiki sage are related by complementary mechanical principles, as are the two different modes of asagao and two forms of motion I have presented in more simplified linear terms as "cutting" and "gathering" movements (mechanically distinct from push and pulling motions). They follow the closely related complementary mechanics of torsional shear and harmonic pendulum action.

More generally speaking -- accommodated shear defeats imposed stress and adopted stress defeats imposed shear. Because three dimensional structures are dealing with imposed or adopted rotations and moments, those manipulated shears and stresses shift the action of a translated rotation out of plane. That is to say, spirally -- which is to say, gyroscopically.

Don't accept it because I have said it -- understand it and see for yourself if the forms of the motion and interactions exist in your own perceived structural movements, and in the compromised structure of your opponents.

I think Dan expressed a willingness to meet you far MORE than half way. What's the issue?First of all -- some compelling reason to go to Boston. Second of all -- some compelling reason. Dan wants "credibility" -- someone to be believed. Why? I cannot say. .

I don't care whether you believe ME or not whetehr I am vetted or not. Believe the physics becasue it is long since vetted. Apply it to what your own observations tell you is occurring. If you work on noticing it carefully enough to see what is happening , you can make sense of the mechanics as a foundation for even closer observations of your own. Nothing I say will change any of that -- and nothing I say is intended to go beyond it.

mathewjgano
08-18-2008, 05:28 PM
There's also the cerebellum, a part of the brain that takes care of translating the request signals of the conscious brain into the complex patterns/signals to all the various muscle groups that need to fire in harmony for nearly all of out macroscopic movements. This is also why knowing exactly which muscle you need to fire is almost useless unless you have trained the cerebellum to fire that muscle exclusively.

For kicks and giggles sometime, try tightening the muscles of the forearm/wrist and shoulder while relaxing the muscles around the elbow. It's entirely possible to do, but until your cerebellum figures it out, you can wish all you want to do this seemingly simple task. When you try to relax your arm above the elbow, I guarantee you'll relax the muscles of the shoulder and wrist, at least if this is the first time you've tried this.

Intellectualization is great, but words are words.
Absolutely...and a good point about the cerebellum. I agree that words are almost pointless when it comes to learning how our own bodies can behave. Biofeedback (as I understand it) requires simply that we pay attention to ourselves and try to couple our awareness with our purpose. The words we use, whether they're Erick's efforts at quantified description, or Dan's qualitative efforts mean very little unless we can experience them viscerally.
...er...assuming I'm understanding the words I'm using here:o .
When it comes to being good at aiki, I think the best approach is to experience someone who is very very good. When it comes to describing good aiki, all we have to know are the physiological and physical terms. Ultimately, I'd rather be good at aiki than conceptually understand it, but that doesn't mean I'll knock someone else's attempts at that conceptual understanding.
Anyhoo...
Thanks for the reply, Christian. I always find your posts to be very helpful.
Take care,
Matthew

Erick Mead
08-18-2008, 05:34 PM
Do you think it's even possible to describe the body skill...the "how it's being done?" I mean, the way I see it, there's the left-brained-type (abstract modeling) of conceptualizing the series of events which constitute aiki waza and then there's the right-brained-type (spacial interaction) of sensing and performing the skills themselves. Thinking about how things are moving within the body (left-brained/physical mechanics description) serves as a guide for where to place the awareness so one can then sense and learn how to purposefully engage those skills in the space of reality. The practical aspect that traditionally underlay everything (and is missing in most urbanized sedentary culture today) is in heavy manual labor of almost any suitably varied type. Morihei Ueshiba identified farming -- but that was his experience.

If you learn to deal efficiently at two types of tasks you will have the rudiments of whole- body skills and the "cerebellar" foundations that Chris (correctly) speaks about.

Repetitive center-driven reciprocal limb movements that emphasize sweeping or curling motions or twisting in or out motions.
Bearing, balancing and projecting bulky loads up and or out, and driving objects downward that require your body mass to accomplish.

Examples today that would encompass much of both of them would (still) be farming (cutting/reaping, shifting and tossing bales or sacks, pulling stumps of small trees chopping wood and hauling water, hand or tine-prong weeding (use screwlike motions)).

Construction framing is another good one that leaps to mind (driving heavy framing nails, shifting and lifting lumber and sheet goods, driving ground stakes, excavating, hand augering and screwing). That is all good physical foundation in body skills of the basic type at issue -- not mere general fitness.

What you build on it is another matter. The latter part is cerebral from that physical foundation and is built physically, but according to an intellectually sound plan.

gdandscompserv
08-18-2008, 06:04 PM
For kicks and giggles sometime, try tightening the muscles of the forearm/wrist and shoulder while relaxing the muscles around the elbow. It's entirely possible to do, but until your cerebellum figures it out, you can wish all you want to do this seemingly simple task. When you try to relax your arm above the elbow, I guarantee you'll relax the muscles of the shoulder and wrist, at least if this is the first time you've tried this.

Intellectualization is great, but words are words.
I was taught early on in my aikido training about relaxing various muscle groups while tightening others. The first was learning to grasp someone firmly with one hand while relaxing the rest of the body, from the elbow up through the shoulder and down through the rest of the body.

ChrisMoses
08-18-2008, 06:58 PM
I was taught early on in my aikido training about relaxing various muscle groups while tightening others. The first was learning to grasp someone firmly with one hand while relaxing the rest of the body, from the elbow up through the shoulder and down through the rest of the body.

Yes, but can you relax intermediary joints, ie keep the wrist and shoulder strong but the elbow loose? :cool:

rob_liberti
08-18-2008, 07:37 PM
Erick,

I think we all know what is meant by "up". (Drop a rock; up is the "other" way. :) ) Also, most of us all know what is meant by "intention". If not, think about it this way:

Think to yourself: Go pick up that pencil.
Just before you actually move, you might notice your mental intention towards where the pencil is.

Anyone reading this knows what intention toward the pencil means. Now imagine same same type of mental direction going upwards... That's the magic...

What did you think "intention up" COULD possibly mean? We are using English.

I can understand you not wanting to go to Boston. But Dan volunteered to go visit you...

I'm not sure how we are talking past each other here.
The reason we want the information to come from someone vetted, is because we've had enough misinformation to last lifetimes.
No one is trying to bait you. No one is interested in bragging.
We all are interested in the best way to learn this stuff.
Your approach devoid of the common experience has no chance of acceptance. If you get that common experience, please please please help explain it. We all want help. We just want help that actually has a chance of helping.

The reason I (we all) presume you cannot do this stuff too, is because you don't know things like what we all mean by "intention up".

Rob

ChrisMoses
08-18-2008, 08:07 PM
I'm not sure how we are talking past each other here.


Read up on how "Debate" works (LD for example), particularly the rules about "flow" and things start to make sense. If I say something, and my opponent cannot refute that thing (or forgets to mention it) it "flows", meaning for the sake of the debate, it is TRUE.

Reread Erick's posts with that in mind. Remember when he said that no one had ever refuted his points? According to debate rules, that means they are TRUE.

This is in stark contrast with the ancient Greek idea of dialectic where two parties come together in order to come to a deeper understanding of the TRUTH through a synthesis of their positions.

I'm not interested in LD debate at all. It's just an exercise in mental master----ey... ;)

rob_liberti
08-18-2008, 08:18 PM
Well, I can't debate Erick. I can't speak whatever that made up language was. I can barely handle English.

But if he wants:This is in stark contrast with the ancient Greek idea of dialectic where two parties come together in order to come to a deeper understanding of the TRUTH through a synthesis of their positions. then we are all game.

If not, then while I understand that physics are vetted. Those same vetted physics couldn't explain the flight of a bumble bee for a long time. And those people actually saw bumble bees fly first hand.

If Erick wants to defeat me in a debate he certainly can. If he wants truth - the kind mentioned above - that's his choice too.

Rob

Dan Austin
08-18-2008, 08:53 PM
Examples today that would encompass much of both of them would (still) be farming (cutting/reaping, shifting and tossing bales or sacks, pulling stumps of small trees chopping wood and hauling water, hand or tine-prong weeding (use screwlike motions)).

Construction framing is another good one that leaps to mind (driving heavy framing nails, shifting and lifting lumber and sheet goods, driving ground stakes, excavating, hand augering and screwing). That is all good physical foundation in body skills of the basic type at issue -- not mere general fitness.


By regurgitating what others have said on the subject you've just proven that all you care about is appearing to be "in the know". Anybody can throw out buzzwords without actually possessing the skills under discussion, and that's you, end of story. Your refusal to take a seat is frankly sad.

You can't do this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIc5NIfrnJs

and any description of how bodies are moving through space is irrelevant because we can all see the end result. According to the comments Chen Bing weighs 154 lbs and his opponent is 40% heavier than he is. I've never seen an Aikidoka be able to do anything like that from an unscripted clinch, let alone against someone much heavier who even has a grappling background, according to other notes.

In this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osLuVmbQ9IY&feature=related

you can clearly see how thin he is, which is about right for 150ish. Yet he is doing *something* with his torso whenever he moves, and his every motion follows some visually consistent body rules that I just don't know the particulars of. Neither do you. He clearly has some method of generating power that is not the normal method. I can't toss somebody 40% heavier than me like that, and neither can you. To me, the prior clip is recorded evidence of everything the internal guys have been saying all along. Apart from that, the idea that you have the nerve to imply you know the first thing about how he moves and generates power, what he's doing inside his body, is galling. You've never fooled anyone on this point, and your refusal to just say "I don't know how to do it" is at this point effectively lying.

Tom H.
08-18-2008, 09:33 PM
Don't accept it because I have said itI, for one, won't accept it just because you've said it. I'm not accepting it because I don't understand your references to dynamics, non-linear systems, linguistics, and other topics. :-)

If someone came to me and said, "I know this guy who wants to learn this stuff. He is a really sharp brain with an analytical bent very good at decomposing objects into systems in order to understand their behavior. He has no physical background like martial arts, dancing, or manual labor, but he's read a lot of books. What do you recommend?" I'd get my hands on him and start showing him what how to use his body using common terms, metaphors, and simple visualizations to trigger certain behaviors. If he started talking theory and dynamics, I'd either let him run his mouth while *I* was training, or I'd politely tell him to shut up.

Not that I ever knew anyone like that, who has seen himself and others, using the hands-on approach, put together more power and connection in their bodies in two years than he almost thought possible :-)

Tom

This guy in question almost doesn't believe it, because he knows how little he actually has, but these other people keep saying there is something to it.

Timothy WK
08-18-2008, 10:23 PM
...*sigh*...

Same old story, Erick...

This has been said before, but if you're looking for a western/scientific explanation for the internal stuff---as someone who's been practicing it for a bit, I find the idea of fascial contraction and tensegrity (http://www.internal-aiki.com/comments.php?DiscussionID=25) to be very compelling. I don't think it explains it 100%, but it goes a LONG way towards explaining how "relaxed" and "unmuscle-y" movement might be possible. (But again, knowing the physiology behind it doesn't really do anything towards explaining how a student does it on a practical level.)

Erick Mead
08-19-2008, 12:07 AM
What did you think "intention up" COULD possibly mean? We are using English.
...
The reason I (we all) presume you cannot do this stuff too, is because you don't know things like what we all mean by "intention up". You are more straightforward in your approach to these issues than most, which is a credit to you, and probably to your teacher. You (and they) can presume all you want, and it will trouble me not at all. If you ignore something useful on a supposition, you have only your supposition to blame.

If you really conceive that asking to define terms is indicative of anything other than care with meaning, then I don't know what to tell you. I've taken care with meaning since before I began the law twelve years ago, with things physical since I began flying twenty years ago, and with things violent since I started aikido and joined the Navy before that.

You admittedly are dwelling on your intention, not primarily dwelling on what your body is actually doing. As Tim noted, your theory is in search of a physical model for its ad hoc training methodology. Effective or not, it has no physical model. Nothing wrong with that, but that's the fact.

The theory of your present training seems to be that if your intention is refined according to the theory of orientation you are using the body will follow suit. You have defined exercises to frame this intention. You have a guru to mold your intention. Fine. It is a yoga and a good one probably. I don't challenge that.

I am focusing on how my body moves and how it moves in relation the movement of another body in connection. Cutting out the middleman, so to speak. When I think less I move better. The less I think about how and why it moves that way when I am moving, the less disconnected my mind is from the doing of the movement. I reflect carefully on the movement after I have ceased doing it rather than being severely intentional while I am doing it.

Erick Mead
08-19-2008, 12:13 AM
I, for one, won't accept it just because you've said it. I'm not accepting it because I don't understand your references to dynamics, non-linear systems, linguistics, and other topics. :-) I must remember to tell people that if Tom Holz does not understand it -- it is not worth understanding.

He has no physical background like martial arts, dancing, or manual labor, but he's read a lot of books. Well, you got one right out of four. I hate dancing. You must be having a good day.;)

Erick Mead
08-19-2008, 12:53 AM
By regurgitating what others have said on the subject you've just proven that all you care about is appearing to be "in the know". Anybody can throw out buzzwords without actually possessing the skills under discussion, and that's you, end of story. Your refusal to take a seat is frankly sad.
Occasionally, I despair of the fact that few people even wish to think for themselves. You seem one of those occasions. No one appears to have instructed you on the martial consequences of rudeness, but you have thoroughly reassured me that one day, likely very soon, someone certainly will. I sincerely hope that you profit from it

Since I am not judging form comments but from what I see based on what I have felt, I'll won't tell you how he does it. I'll show you. Since there are no comments to enlighten you, you may miss it but you can read what I have written and you might figure it out

In this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osLuVmbQ9IY&feature=related Try looking at 4:33 - 4:36; 4:55-4:57 again at 5:02 - 5:04; 5:35 -5:39; 6:05 -6:08. Of course, the same thing is in EVERYTHING he is doing -- but those are the most emphatic ones you might be able to see. You might even try thinking about what you see. You might even go look up things worth thinking about when you see it and try thinking with those tools in hand. It's amazing how that works.

I just don't know the particulars of. Neither do you. A mind reader, too ?
You've never fooled anyone on this point, and your refusal to just say "I don't know how to do it" is at this point effectively lying.Rudeness is not redeemed by a foolish ignorance, much less a headlong foolish ignorance. For your own sake, please don't lead with the chin when insulting people like that -- it will hurt.

Cady Goldfield
08-19-2008, 07:05 AM
In a normal situation, in a rational discussion, a person with a natural curiosity about a topic would simply ask to see and feel what's being talked about. It's only logical and reasonable. But this is not a normal situation. It's dysfunctional. Why not just let Erick go and discontinue further pointless debate and arguement unless and until he decides to come around of his own accord?
Unless y'all enjoy this game, too -- kind of like some people get a weird masochistic pleasure out of chewing the skin on the insides of their cheeks 'til it's raw. :D

Good luck to you, Erick. :)

----------------------------------------------------

'You are old', said the youth, 'and your jaws are too weak
For anything tougher than suet;
Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak -
Pray, how did you manage to do it?'

'In my youth', said his father, 'I took to the law,
And argued each case with my wife;
And the muscular strength, which it gave to my jaw,
Has lasted the rest of my life.'

-- from "You Are Old, Father William" (Lewis Carroll, "Alice in Wonderland")

Dan Austin
08-19-2008, 09:29 AM
Occasionally, I despair of the fact that few people even wish to think for themselves. You seem one of those occasions.

I'm an occasion?

No one appears to have instructed you on the martial consequences of rudeness, but you have thoroughly reassured me that one day, likely very soon, someone certainly will. I sincerely hope that you profit from it


That sounds like a challenge. Trust me I will be more than happy to have you show me the error of my ways in person.

Since I am not judging form comments but from what I see based on what I have felt, I'll won't tell you how he does it. I'll show you. Since there are no comments to enlighten you, you may miss it but you can read what I have written and you might figure it out

More talk, no walk. Typical. And now you're insinuating that you've felt Chen Bing or some relative of his and know what he does. You truly have no shame when it comes to just talking, do you? Who have you felt, and what did you learn? Go ahead, enlighten everyone instead of tapdancing. It's OK, no one believes you can do it. But please, use my "rudeness" as an excuse, I'm sure you were just about to reveal the hidden knowledge for the benefit of all, but I spoiled it. ;)

Try looking at 4:33 - 4:36; 4:55-4:57 again at 5:02 - 5:04; 5:35 -5:39; 6:05 -6:08. Of course, the same thing is in EVERYTHING he is doing -- but those are the most emphatic ones you might be able to see. You might even try thinking about what you see. You might even go look up things worth thinking about when you see it and try thinking with those tools in hand. It's amazing how that works.

It's amazing how you seem to think that people will overlook the fact that you don't actually explain what the "thing" is in terms of how to do it, because you obviously can't. This is not a court of law, where you can hope that by omitting the concession of any point you might get lucky and have it seen your way. This is a court of public opinion, and your behavior simply looks like some sort of emotional issue where you have a need to seem more knowledgeable than you are.

Rudeness is not redeemed by a foolish ignorance, much less a headlong foolish ignorance. For your own sake, please don't lead with the chin when insulting people like that -- it will hurt.

Constantly polluting threads with your pet nonsense is rude. As to your insinuations about leading with the chin and possible consequences, I would be more than happy to do so in person. However I am confident that we will never hear "I've met Erick and his skills are good" because you'll never meet with anyone and demonstrate just how empty your talk is.

akiy
08-19-2008, 10:22 AM
Hi folks,

Please watch your tone and keep what you write respectful. Thank you.

-- Jun

DH
08-19-2008, 10:24 AM
Hi guys. I have been away having some fun in the sun.
WOW!
I agree with Chris and Dan, there is no real debate going on here to model the truth, that's long past. Erick is playing games with the ones presenting their side and mostly debating the debating style rather than offering anything of substance in reply.
Case in point when Rob or I or anyone who can do some things over these last few years offers a description of movement, Erick then states what they are doing in western terms. When the person who can actually do it states that isn't -it-Erick responds "they don't understand his terms."
He is just now debating with two engineers one of whom is (of all things) a robotics engineer, who himself has felt and can do some of these things and who has felt others who do it, and both engineers are telling Erick he's wrong in his descriptions. He has the audacity to tell these engineers they don't understand the math and physics involved.
Were -he-seeking truth he would accept their rebuttal and move the discussion forward. He isn't. Instead he is telling engineers who are more capable then he due to the combination of both education and hands on experience-that they don't get it. For me it pretty much destroyed any credibility to the honesty of the debate. There is no seeking of a truth here. It’s all defense.

One last thing

My teacher has pointed out that Dan is overly focused on the ki of earth and not sufficiently concerned with the ki of heaven. We don't train to resist "pushes." That's not to say that we "can't" -- that is saying that we don't We train to enter pushes. We do however train to aiki age and aiki sage, although those terms are not commonly used.
Both aiki age and aiki sage, in my experience, are related to the ways in which the movement of ki (furitama) is connected (musubi) to that of the opponent. Juji frames aiki in musubi . The nature of that relationship and shape drives the interaction. The rest is dynamic consistency of musubi and furitama at a largely subconscious level. If furitama and/or maai arrive in juji at musubi -- kuzushi results.
This simply isn't true. You are the first to note and then repeatedly chastise folks for presumption, and you don't retract or apologize for it either. Your teacher, or anyone else simply reading has no clue what I do as I don't talk about it on the net. None-the-less you of all people presuming to tell me about aiki-age and aiki-sage is quite over the top. At least you gave me a source to identify your lack of understanding of the subject we keep discussing-your teacher.

First of all -- some compelling reason to go to Boston. Second of all -- some compelling reason. Dan wants "credibility" -- someone to be believed. Why? I cannot say. .
This saddens me Erick. But thanks for letting me kow where you are coming from befor I came to visit. You take just enough care in insulting me, instead of sticking to the points, to fall under acceptable standards for AIkiweb.
Make no mistake, I extended a clear and sincere offer to show you and discuss things-at my expense- during a family vacation, and then buy you dinner after. This is what I get for the trouble? You turn around a kind offer and insult my motives as some "needy act" for extending it? Gees Erick. Come on man, what's up with that?
The offer is now removed. I would however, still like to call on both you and your teacher to see what I am missing in my understanding. Notice I am not insulting you- just sticking to the subject of your argument- that you now understand aiki better than me.
To make it definitive and to address your discussion of me. I state for the record that:
I believe neither you or your teacher have any ability to demonstrate an understanding of this topic in depth and will prove -upon testing- to be incapable of demonstrating anything of practical value regarding the use of ki and aiki to me.

Here is your response to Dan Austin when he mentioned the same things. I repeat your advice to him...back at you.

No one appears to have instructed you on the martial consequences of rudeness, but you have thoroughly reassured me that one day, likely very soon, someone certainly will.
Rudeness is not redeemed by a foolish ignorance, much less a headlong foolish ignorance...For your own sake, please don't lead with the chin when insulting people like that -- it will hurt.
That was rude! I re-read the entire thread amd I am surprised at the level of insult you dish out and you donlt get the same in return. Folks challenge your understanding of the subject-and your debate style. You insult their intelligence and their integrity and motives.

I figure since you and your teacher now want to talk about my limitations on aikiweb, and the aikiweb community set standards by asking me -in very direct terms -many times-to step up and be tested, which I have fulfilled, many times, I guess its you and your teachers turn now. In keeping with budo protocols-unlike the nature of the ones I received previously- I will come to you. I'm a budo guy. That's how it's done.
Now, before I hear all manner of calls of rudeness and such.
a) This is in keeping with your own described cautions and standards offered to Dan Austin
b) It is in keeping with the types of testing and standards asked of some of us right here.
ANd truth be told, according to many many folks here they were thankful to all parties, Mike, Ark and Rob, Me, and most of all Jun for bringing the subject to light and moving the discussion to a mat among budo enthusiasts.
SO, I am asking for you and your teacher to demonstrate my limitations and lack of understanding-you so casually discussed here- on me, in person!
In case you missed it- it is you who are leading with your chin. I am simply doing what you said someone will sooner or later do to Dan A....to you.:cool:
A simple answer will suffice. Lord knows, that accorfing to you- I may not understand anything else!

DH
08-19-2008, 10:44 AM
Edit time ran out
I wanted to state that unlike your caution to Dan A. It doesn't have to hurt when you lead with your chin. I can make my point in many other definitive ways, and still play nice. Its the skills that matter to me foremost. I understand fully that methods of application is my own prejudice. And for that matter-lets use yours and see who does it better!

Erick Mead
08-19-2008, 10:49 AM
More talk, no walk. Typical. And now you're insinuating that you've felt Chen Bing or some relative of his and know what he does. Who have you felt, and what did you learn? No. I've felt my teachers. I need no more apart from doing the work and thinking about it, and doing it better. What do you do? My training arc is no secret here. And I will not deny you the pleasure of looking for it.

It's amazing how you seem to think that people will overlook the fact that you don't actually explain what the "thing" is in terms of how to do it, because you obviously can't. I have explained, at length that either you've not paid attention to or could not be bothered to look for, nor paid attention to what is in the SPECIFIC video portions I directed you to. I don't play hide the ball and according to Jun's magical counter box 50,000-odd views later it seems no secret to anyone but you.

That doesn't mean those folks agree with me or that I am right, but you admit you don't know what you are seeing in that video, but you can tell ME I don't know what I am looking at? And without bothering to work out what I have said on the matter or what errors I may have made. Profound. I've made at least one error, as full disclosure, which was charitably addressed by someone else and which I promptly worked through and then admitted upon confirming. But even that was merely an error of degree, not of principle or application. If you wish to show more errors of mine (and there may be some, Lord knows) step up to the current level of play with your criticism, please.

But if Jun's equally magical "Search" function is too difficult to employ (and in no particular order):

http://www.aikiweb.com/blogs/but-why-7854/aiki-physical-model-structure-dynamic-3259/

http://www.aikiweb.com/blogs/but-why-7854/perception-physical-harmonics-and-aiki-3083/

http://www.aikiweb.com/blogs/but-why-7854/rattling-bones-3214/

http://www.aikiweb.com/blogs/but-why-7854/the-missing-kokyu-training-farming-2948/

http://www.aikiweb.com/blogs/but-why-7854/gyrodynamics-in-aiki-2744/

http://www.aikiweb.com/blogs/but-why-7854/whips-and-chains-2960/

Based on my experience, you will take care of the chin thing, I am sure, sooner or later without my help.

This latest post in another thread may also help.

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=213953&postcount=8

:)

A gentleman always smiles at his enemies, as much to show his manners, as for the baring of his teeth.

Erick Mead
08-19-2008, 12:17 PM
Case in point when Rob or I or anyone who can do some things over these last few years offers a description of movement, Erick then states what they are doing in western terms. When the person who can actually do it states that isn't -it-Erick responds "they don't understand his terms." No. Simply that they have never addressed these arguments in those terms. It is pointless to get into the "argument -- contradiction." "Yes, it is --No it isn't" Monty Python routine. It was funny, once. I've put my thoughts out there to advance my thinking and for reasoned criticism, but that is not why I joined issue with this debate, and why I have never had any real hope to expect any better. You have brought debate to a close, in terms that are now very clear, and were the reason for my entering into it with you.

He is just now debating with two engineers ... Were -he-seeking truth he would accept their rebuttal ... Instead he is telling engineers who are more capable then he due to the combination of both education and hands on experience-that they don't get it. I've no idea what kind of engineers they are, I only know they have not addressed the points presented, which, whether they are engineers or not, shows nothing. I am certain that is not what passes for debate in engineering these days. In my circles, where I hire and regularly examine such engineers, their admission of a lack of understanding does not constitute any "rebuttal" in terms of fact or reason. And pleading on the authority of others or to encounters with famous men does not substitute for fact and reason, no matter how many times you try to do it.
The offer is now removed. I would however, still like to call on both you and your teacher to see what I am missing in my understanding. ... SO, I am asking for you and your teacher to demonstrate my limitations and lack of understanding-you so casually discussed here- on me, in person!
In case you missed it- it is you who are leading with your chin. I am simply doing what you said someone will sooner or later do to Dan A....to you.:cool:
A simple answer will suffice. Lord knows, that accorfing to you- I may not understand anything else! Let me be clear in what you propose. I address a number of points drawn from fact and reason in a forum of discussion. I reply to a long pattern of repeated low jibes with a reasoned criticism that they deserve, and instead of taking a reasoned discussion in its own terms, and seeking to prevailing on fact and reason -- you now claim authority to deny the possibility of reasoned debate, and wish to "take it outside."

Just so we're clear on this. What Dan A. is doing to someone he does not even know, nor has taken time to study what he has stated clearly, will eventually get him in serious trouble, and he is doing it on a presumption of YOUR authority. I've had to put foolish and over-eager people who got themselves led into in such unfortunate circumstances in the brig. The fruit truly falls not far from the tree. YOU are partly responsible for his risk in that regard -- and that risk does not come from me. My concern for him is a legitimate concern -- for him and for others who are led to follow in such a path. It is a poor budo for a whole host of reasons -- and beating anyone will not redeem it.

Now we see that that is also the "aiki" you are offering me, as I was kindly, and specifically forewarned by others is your habitual penchant when the direction of an engagement is not to your liking. With some care taken in an effort to see to it that it would eventually come to light here -- that has now been revealed for all who have eyes to see it.

You may be very good and you may be very dangerous, and no doubt there is no lack of people who wish to be both, but it is not Aiki -- and never will be. And I don't need anyone else to tell me that because you just showed it to me.

You did more to substantiate my concerns and my criticism of your project than I ever could have done without your help.

Onegaishimasu. The training was worthwhile through the endgame.

DH
08-19-2008, 12:50 PM
Hmm.. lets see if we can stick to the topic okay?
For the record I do not know Dan A in any manner shape of form, nor most of the others debating with you.


Erick is playing games with the ones presenting their side mostly debating the debating style rather than offering anything of substance in reply.
Case in point when Rob or I or anyone who can do some things over these last few years offers a description of movement, Erick then states what they are doing in western terms. When the person who can actually do it states that isn't -it-Erick responds "they don't understand his terms."
He is just now debating with two engineers one of whom is (of all things) a robotics engineer, who himself has felt and can do some of these things and who has felt others who do it, and both engineers are telling Erick he's wrong in his descriptions. He has the audacity to tell these engineers they don't understand the math and physics involved.
Were -he-seeking truth he would accept their rebuttal and move the discussion forward. He isn't. Instead he is telling engineers who are more capable then he due to the combination of both education and hands on experience-that they don't get it. For me it pretty much destroyed any credibility to the honesty of the debate. There is no seeking of a truth here. It’s all defense.
1. They didn't use your terms because they do not believe they apply. To which you have stated they simply do not get it.
Respond________________________?

Now we see that that is also the "aiki" you are offering me, as I was kindly, and specifically forewarned by others is your habitual penchant when the direction of an engagement is not to your liking. With some care taken in an effort to see to it that it would eventually come to light here -- that has now been revealed for all who have eyes to see it.
2. Here you reverse the actual occurance that took place. You Erick, told me through your teacher, what I am not doing and what Aiki is.
Then went on to tell me- I am telling you -what aiki is.
see below. Now you state it was an egging on by design That is as ugly as others have said your real aggenda was in the first place. And I stated I thought you were a stand up guy. It appears I was mistaken.
respond_________________________.

Erick Mead wrote:
My teacher has pointed out that Dan is overly focused on the ki of earth and not sufficiently concerned with the ki of heaven. We don't train to resist "pushes." That's not to say that we "can't" -- that is saying that we don't We train to enter pushes. We do however train to aiki age and aiki sage, although those terms are not commonly used.
Both aiki age and aiki sage, in my experience, are related to the ways in which the movement of ki (furitama) is connected (musubi) to that of the opponent. Juji frames aiki in musubi . The nature of that relationship and shape drives the interaction. The rest is dynamic consistency of musubi and furitama at a largely subconscious level. If furitama and/or maai arrive in juji at musubi -- kuzushi results.
So, how's that again? You were the one buddy. I just asked you in no uncertain terms to step up and define my failings and show me in person. And you declined.
respond______________________________
See below
You may be very good and you may be very dangerous, and no doubt there is no lack of people who wish to be both, but it is not Aiki -- and never will be. And I don't need anyone else to tell me that because you just showed it to me.
Again you are telling me I do not know aiki, while stating you do. Why won't you or your teacher step up and demonstrate it for me
respond__________________________?

I do hope this isn't the aiki of passive agressive philosophy you are referring to? You know the, "I'll blend with your daring to question me in person aiki?" You brought up practical uses of aiki; aiki age and aiki sage. Two Daito ryu terms, then told me I do not know them or how to do them
Is this your response to my asking you and your teacher to step up to the assertions you made of my level of understaning-in person. I mean, is this it Erick________________________________?

This saddens me Erick. But thanks for letting me kow where you are coming from before I came to visit. You take just enough care in insulting me, instead of sticking to the points, to fall under acceptable standards for AIkiweb.
Make no mistake, I extended a clear and sincere offer to show you and discuss things-at my expense- during a family vacation, and then buy you dinner after. This is what I get for the trouble? You turn around a kind offer and insult my motives as some "needy act" for extending it? Gees Erick. Come on man, what's up with that?
The offer is now removed.
I think its pretty low of you to take a kind offer and twist it to an insult of me. And I note again, for the record, you impune, and never aplogize. You just go around it and simply ignore the fact that you said it. I have frequently made sure to commend you and apologize if things get personal when they were not intended to be. Which I did just one page back.
Respond_________________________________

I would however, still like to call on both you and your teacher to see what I am missing in my understanding. Notice I am not insulting you- just sticking to the subject of your argument- that you now understand aiki better than me.
To make it definitive and to address your discussion of me. I state for the record that:
I believe neither you or your teacher have any ability to demonstrate an understanding of this topic in depth and will prove -upon testing- to be incapable of demonstrating anything of practical value regarding the use of ki and aiki to me.
I ask again for you to step up and back up your assertions. It can be fun and won't take more than a few minutes. We can use your waza. And Erick
I'll still buy dinner!
Contrary to your quote to Dan A.
I'm a gentleman who is also smilling at my supposed enemy. But not for baring my teeth as you suggest you do- but rather with openess and confidence and a total lack of fear. It is the way to convert them into friends.
How about a response here_________________?

Alfonso
08-19-2008, 01:15 PM
is overly focused on the ki of earth and not sufficiently concerned with the ki of heaven.

I think the reason that the examples tend to stick around the "ki of earth" is because its a good starting point for common understanding. The thing is the whole topic is a lot bigger than just pushing or just grounding.

How is this "ki of earth" used in combination with "Intention" ?

How is this similar or different to "ki of heaven"?

Where does "breathing, breath training, or power derived from such" fit in the picture?

How does someone "fit" their "ki" to another ones "ki" (without moving overtly?)

How does this relate to Ueshiba Morihei standing on a mat and having 10 students fail to push him off, or the Tenryu example?

How does this relate to Chen Bing throwing someone 40% heavier accross the mat?

What kind of training helps to develop this?
What kinds of compatible training are better than others?

Is Aiki A Japanese thing only, just the name?, the concept?

If "aiki" is real can it be analyzed in english/math/physics (that's gotta be obviously true) is there a chance that a description is wrong ?

Is there any chance that O-Sensei was punning spiritually on a body skill?

Dan Austin
08-19-2008, 02:39 PM
I have explained, at length that either you've not paid attention to or could not be bothered to look for, nor paid attention to what is in the SPECIFIC video portions I directed you to.

You've explained nothing. The segments you referred to are called "fajin", it's a feature of the Chen style. So? I can point at them too, but I'm honest enough to admit I don't know what he's doing in the meaningful sense - I can see it clearly, but I can't duplicate it well nor can I teach it to someone else. And neither can you. You claim this is mindreading on my part, so prove me wrong: please explain what he is doing inside his body, not in your obtuse irrelevant jargon, but in plain layman's terms. What is he doing with his joints and muscles, in what sequence? What is his mental intention throughout the process? Is he doing anything particular with his breathing before, during, and after those moves? Where does he initiate the power from? Is he tightening and relaxing particular areas of his body? Go ahead. Say anything, anything at all, take a definite position on some detail that can be independently verified. You won't. You don't want to be pinned down on anything, because you don't know anything, and don't want that fact recorded because you're under the delusion that if you don't say anything definitive people might still believe you know something. You're just killing time until you can find out more. That's what I think, and what I see everybody else saying too. But go ahead, prove everyone wrong.

Based on my experience, you will take care of the chin thing, I am sure, sooner or later without my help.

A lawyer to the end, I wouldn't expect anything less. Here you once again imply that you could or would be capable or willing to "help" straighten me out for having issues with your postings. This and your prior comment to this effect is essentially an incitement to violence against me on your behalf, as if others should care that you get any negative feedback on your posting style. Maybe you can go to HenchmenRUs.com and hire some goons from the safety of your office. ;) While it's doubtful that your incitement rises to a level that violates internet law, there is certainly nothing manly or honorable about it. I fail to see how it complies with Jun's request to be respectful, so I hope he will allow me to address it for what it is. Don't bring up "martial consequences of rudeness" for disagreeing with you and then hope for others to handle those consequences for you.

A gentleman always smiles at his enemies, as much to show his manners, as for the baring of his teeth.

Let's see, "martial consequences", "enemy", etc. for highlighting the obvious lack of any demonstration of actual knowledge of the subject on your part, or the lack of willingness for anyone to vouch for your knowledge of the subject. You don't take criticism very well, do you? Any other decidedly *un*gentlemanly threatening-but-not-directly-from-you-when-pressed comments you care to toss out, or are you done? Funny, I don't have an issue with Dan, Rob, Mike, or anybody else who talks about the subject from the standpoint of actual knowledge and personal experience. A real mystery, that. ;)

rob_liberti
08-19-2008, 04:26 PM
I'm not looking to fight anyone.
(Okay, sometimes I admit, I wouldn't say no... :) but not in this case.)

You are more straightforward in your approach to these issues than most, which is a credit to you, and probably to your teacher. You (and they) can presume all you want, and it will trouble me not at all. If you ignore something useful on a supposition, you have only your supposition to blame.

I'm really not trying to "trouble" you. I was trying to figure out how to bridge the gap between our perspectives. I defined "intention up" in pain-staking detail. If that is not connecting to anything on your side, then the only reasonable option left is for a visit. Which is what I think everyone was suggesting.

Otherwise you have this statement that what you are offering is "useful" and I can't see any reason to agree with that. Maybe I'm being thick, but unless you are saying you can do or teach these things using your model, what would the "use" be?

If you really conceive that asking to define terms is indicative of anything other than care with meaning, then I don't know what to tell you. I've taken care with meaning since before I began the law twelve years ago, with things physical since I began flying twenty years ago, and with things violent since I started aikido and joined the Navy before that.

Well I think at a certain point of defining terms - we get to such basics like "up" - that it seems like there is no way you could possibly be on the same page as everyone else I've met who had these skills. Gleason sensei who doesn't teach this stuff directly has taught classes of imagery of flowing up through your body like a fire hose that isn't being held by anyone. He discusses the image of how it spirals in the air a bit - and tells you to imagine that and when you stick your arm out for katatetori to think of the arm being supported by those spirals. That is intention up too. Dan about it a bit differently (different image), but EVERYONE and I have traveled a bit and met a lot of people with varying degrees of skills - EVERYONE has some sense of intention up. So if you don't it's a reasonable presumption that you are not doing what they are doing - especially because I thought you were certainly not stating that you had any method for directly teaching these things like the "aiki" skills guys.

You admittedly are dwelling on your intention, not primarily dwelling on what your body is actually doing. As Tim noted, your theory is in search of a physical model for its ad hoc training methodology. Effective or not, it has no physical model. Nothing wrong with that, but that's the fact.

The theory of your present training seems to be that if your intention is refined according to the theory of orientation you are using the body will follow suit. You have defined exercises to frame this intention. You have a guru to mold your intention. Fine. It is a yoga and a good one probably. I don't challenge that.

I am focusing on how my body moves and how it moves in relation the movement of another body in connection. Cutting out the middleman, so to speak. When I think less I move better. The less I think about how and why it moves that way when I am moving, the less disconnected my mind is from the doing of the movement. I reflect carefully on the movement after I have ceased doing it rather than being severely intentional while I am doing it.

Well, my point here is that yes - I'm doing that initially becaue I believe it is the fastest method. The assumptin is that I'll be able to let that mental aspect go and just maintain the feeling after it gets burned in.

The other point is that I don't see how you method can possibly be a faster or better method because I don't see any results to compare them. Until I do, I have to reasonably conclude that this method of studying this is not optimal compared to my current approach.

Can we all get along and just discuss?

And by the way - out of context the "we are speaking English" statement I made looks rude as well - but you had just wrote about an example using some made up language and I was addressing that.

Rob

Erick Mead
08-20-2008, 10:58 AM
Gleason sensei who doesn't teach this stuff directly has taught classes of imagery of flowing up through your body like a fire hose that isn't being held by anyone. He discusses the image of how it spirals in the air a bit - and tells you to imagine that and when you stick your arm out for katatetori to think of the arm being supported by those spirals. I suggest that his intuitive imagery is far closer to mechanical reality than you may give credit. Look again at the stress tube diagram under torsion -- the compressive and tensile stresses resulting from the shear due to torsion are laid in two opposed spirals (90 degrees offset from one another) wrapping the perimeter of the tube -- one in tension the other in compression.

I have sent you some additional material in PM to avoid clobbering the purity of the "other" discussion. ;)

... intention up ... EVERYONE has some sense of intention up. So if you don't it's a reasonable presumption that you are not doing what they are doing - especially because I thought you were certainly not stating that you had any method for directly teaching these things like the "aiki" skills guys. I am practical, despite my interest in the physical models. (I don't consider them impractical as tools). The more common sense perspective is that "intention up" in a loaded condition is NOT the same as "intention up" in an unloaded condition. While it is possible that one might simulate loading with other means ("ground sourcing" I think some have mentioned ) the more practical method for that foundation of skill is to actually handle, bear, shift and project large bulky loads ( and doing tasks involving effort at extension). Toss hay bales, hoe weeds, excavate and move fill, move lumber and sheet goods, hammer nails, chop wood, carry water. Done enough the body learns to adapt itself under actual shifting loads, and to project work. THAT is how people actually developed those foundations historically -- not with arcana of "internal" skills.

I'd be really curious about the physical work history of people who scratch their heads at the internal debate compared to those who find it appealing.

Well, my point here is that yes - I'm doing that initially because I believe it is the fastest method. The assumption is that I'll be able to let that mental aspect go and just maintain the feeling after it gets burned in. I suggest actual traditional manual work will provide that faster than anything -- it forms a large part of what I intuitively understand in how to move.

I look at Rob's (very good) descriptions and illustrations of Ark's exercises and what little has been divulged here of the manner of doing others such as shiko. From that it seems, visually and intuitively that you are simulating the condition of the body in a loaded condition -- but without the load, to which my response is -- most genuinely -- But Why? Why not just work on actually loaded stability (most usefully and traditionally in doing heavy labor of the types mentioned) and then, depending on whether the ACTUAL input loads you or not, then deal with an intuitive actuality rather than some intensively conscious construct of it.

Catching a tossed sack of cement or fertilizer is my idea of handling a push. While my feet don't move, there are definite dynamic components that come very naturally in the rhythm of the loaded input, that the IMA "push" scenarios make arbitrary and artificial. That's what makes me -- well, scratch my head at the artificiality from a pure practicality standpoint. Catching and tossing bags of fertilizer is very close to funetori undo, ude furi and happo undo (Surprise! Surprise!) Things that may seem "magical" in the case of simulating loading conditions and then "testing" with unloaded pushes is a natural consequence of managing and shifting ACTUAL loads.

If you've "trained" by working with actual loads you tend respond instinctively according to ACTUAL loads -- thus the "ki of heaven" and the "ki of earth" are not mental images -- they are felt and intuitive conditions. But it is also clear they are NOT the same either as the skill contructs that are being trained on this topic. . The natural response to an unloaded push is to move not the same as your "push" with a simulated load (and yet still not ACTUALLY loaded). The body perceives it differently. To my way of thinking, I trust the body to know the difference between what is constructed and what is real. And as I see it, that is in agreement with the statement made elsewhere by someone else of some authority that there is too much attention on this topic to the "ki of earth" and not enough to the "ki of heaven."

If a lateral push occurs in an unloaded condition -- quite simply, you move.( ki of heaven) If a lateral push occurs in an loaded condition, you usually don't -- because you are loaded. (ki of earth). Depending on what you are doing, you may be in a position to accept the load or to divert it -- you can catch the sack and hold it, or receive it only to toss it on, or toss it back. Either way the push, practically speaking, is a transient because I am going to shortly stabilize under it, or transfer return that load elsewhere (or back whence it came.) So what you are looking at statically, I am looking at transiently -- pushes are pulses and so my cyclic point of view is not so far afield. I suggest that my outlook is more realistic, and more grounded in tradition.

Load conditions determine whether you are free to move. If the push does not load the structure, I am free to move -- so why wouldn't I move when he is attacking me, and I am unloaded? If I am caught in a loaded condition on the other hand, and he attacks, my options are more limited; I am not so free to move and things have to be done creatively to both handle the load and respond to the attack, or turn load into a counter. But I don't have to worry about "not moving" -- the load largely does that for me.

If I want to move in a loaded condition, why not practice moving loads? If I want to drop or project the load, why not practice dropping and projecting loads?

If you want something more "gym-like" than warehouse, construction or farmwork maybe kettlebells -- but there really is no substitute for dealing with large loads like ungainly bales or sacks of stuff or that have long wobbly awkward moment arms quite like moving lumber or sheets of plywood or drywall by yourself.

Or maybe even, in a pinch, lifting, dropping, and projecting us pantywaists in pleated skirts :D

Timothy WK
08-20-2008, 11:31 AM
I look at Rob's (very good) descriptions and illustrations of Ark's exercises and what little has been divulged here of the manner of doing others such as shiko. From that it seems, visually and intuitively that you are simulating the condition of the body in a loaded condition -- but without the load...
You're simply wrong about what the exercise is doing.

... to which my response is -- most genuinely -- But Why? Why not just work on actually loaded stability...
Ahhh, why indeed... Maybe you should contemplate that question, instead of rushing forward.

Ark will demonstrate shiko with a person on his back (0:34 - 0:44 (http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=mAJVQMCWeOA)), so he obviously can handle the load. But why doesn't he normally practice that way (with 175-200lbs on his back, I mean), if it's better/faster as you suggest? And how is it that he's acquired the skill to handle such a load---with such ease, no less---without regularly lifting that much weight?

As someone who used to load trucks for UPS, I can say with authority that it's not very easy for someone who's only 175 lbs---and that's my weight, I think Ark might be a couple pounds lighter---to lift that much, even when you stay upright and load the weight into your thighs...

Whatever he's doing seems to be working pretty good...

DH
08-20-2008, 11:36 AM
If you want something more "gym-like" than warehouse, construction or farmwork maybe kettlebells -- but there really is no substitute for dealing with large loads like ungainly bales or sacks of stuff or that have long wobbly awkward moment arms quite like moving lumber or sheets of plywood or drywall by yourself
If you tried, you could not be more perfectly...wrong.

Since I was brought up by a farm boy turned contractor, into a family of contractors, taught how to carry and manage loads like shoveling all day, carrying 100lb shingles up a ladder, or bags of mortar or brick, long before I got out, I learned to do everything you just mentioned. I learned a much more practical means of shoveling and carrying than most guys ever would and used more lower leg and back power. Add to that- that I lived in the Gym mostly power lifting and wrestling for fun.
None...of which prepared me for meeting a little man from Japan with a different idea. Which he kept saying to me was "Danny...different" while showing me things to do with my body. And none of that I truly got till I STOPPED lifting and started training solo to change my body.
.
You are far, far from being the only one to have told me all this. I have yet to have a single guy walk through my door or train with me anywhere- who wasn't training internals- and could do anything we do. Most will tell you it feels unnatural and weird, and takes some getting used to. Just the way we train to carry our weight and walk or hit is counter intuitive. Even after being shown, they can't do it and default back to norms they and everyone else uses.
And *THAT* is the mistake in your idea of first training under heavy load. You default...every time.
Most experienced people already know that
This is why it so obvious to most that you..."don't get it."
But since you and your teacher know how I train and discussed my low understanding and where my deficiencies lay, why the questions? Let me come down so you can show me the way. Your post above clearly outlines a common laborers understanding of the martial body-one that you say you embrace. So I wonder in a show and tell, who will be showing the elementary school process and who will be pointing in the direction of the grad school process?
Have you talked to your teacher yet_______________________?

phitruong
08-20-2008, 07:15 PM
may I interrupt you folks on your schedule discussion on what is up and down and side to side.

Got questions for internal folks because I am a bit confused on the subject of breathing. yes, I know I still am breathing. :) I got what Rob John and other internal folks talked about body posture and structure. even tried the squat thing that Rob J. wrote, thighs still burned. going to work on that.

Here is my confusion and hoping for enlightenment or someone to knock me on the head, whichever comes first. in various martial arts, especially striking arts, we taught to breath out when we strike, breath in when we gather energy for the strike; also we need to synchronize our breath to the movements. I read somewhere (can't remember where, getting old and all) that your body got most of the oxygen during in-breath and that you have the most energy during that time, so why don't we strike (or make contact in aikido) during the in-breath? or should we? I asked Ikeda sensei this question what should my breathing at the connection point. He said it doesn't matter. I asked Howie Popkin about the breathing aspect, and he said "small technique, small breath, big technique, big breath". I read the systema breathing book and it said your breathing should be steady regardless of the speed of your movement, i.e. breathing doesn't need to be synchronized with movement. Then adding on top of all that, we have the Buddha breathing and the Taoism breathing approaches. I have done Buddha breathing most of my life, but at the moment I seemed to do half Buddha and half Taoism naturally, i.e. my stomach doesn't contract whether I am breath in or out; it seemed to expand all the time (could be that I am fat but I won't claim that story). Seemed as though there is a big balloon, around my belly button region, moving up as I breath in, and moving down as I breath out. maybe this should be a different topic all together.

btw, I am not claiming that I am doing anything internal. couldn't tell you what internal is other than what I ate at dim sum.

Gernot Hassenpflug
08-20-2008, 10:28 PM
Just to throw in another titbit of data (I'm disinclined to reply to any posts that quote people on my ignore list):

Ability to resist does not mean that resisting is desirable. In fact, it is important to not resist, but instead to move. Freely. Seen from the other side, while it may not be possible to unbalance or throw a partner who is strong and rooted (given a set of rules by which the practice under consideration is done), and attempting to do so might incur severe and unnecessary stress oneself, one may still move oneself freely. Learning to do that is a vital skill.

DH
08-20-2008, 10:39 PM
Shhhh!!!.
It's all about resistence...right??
How do you fall into a hole while getting launched off line?

Gernot Hassenpflug
08-20-2008, 10:47 PM
Shhhh!!!.
It's all about resistence...right??
How do you fall into a hole while getting launched off line?

Hehe, sorry about that. Didn't mean to ruin the sporting event (a rather fitting metaphor I think).

Gernot Hassenpflug
08-20-2008, 11:29 PM
And another thing, going on from there....(I'll leave out one step):

What happens to a person when they realize that the spear is not used to thrust, when for decades that had been the ingrained idea? When they realize that one instead does a super-Zorro impression on the other party with it? And why that is necessary and preferable and universally applicable, and how the training emphasis then changes though the "exercises" look the same. And that this type of movement and intention likely form the same relationship to "empty-hand" (hollow laugh) bujutsu as calligraphy and tea ceremony, noh and so on have when their relationship to martial arts is mentioned.

Finally: what kind of mindset develops then that can meet an opponent's "A" not with "B" or "C" or "D", but with "not A"?

(The answer, in my limited experience: absolutely f**king scary. And seemingly insane because it can't be tracked by ordinarily-developed thinking)

Upyu
08-21-2008, 04:43 AM
<snip>
btw, I am not claiming that I am doing anything internal. couldn't tell you what internal is other than what I ate at dim sum.

Phi:

Breathing mentioned in internal arts is simply another method of conditioning and strengthening some parts of the body that you normally don't have access to. Later the breath doesn't matter. (Btw, I'm not at that stage, not by a long shot! :crazy: )
The thing about breath affecting your "internal" pressure is a good start though.



Just get someone to show you the basics of what is being conditioned, how to condition it, etc.
There's a gazillion different ways, but there are more efficient ways, more subtle ways, softer ways, harder ways, more sophisticated ways etc etc.

Oh, thighs burning in the beginning is a given. The fun starts once you get past that stage. Once your back and crotch start getting sore, then it really starts to get interesting :)

ChrisMoses
08-21-2008, 10:58 AM
Once your back and crotch start getting sore, then it really starts to get interesting :)

:eek: What kinda training are you guys doing over there these days!?!?!

:p I keed, I keed...

Upyu
08-21-2008, 06:21 PM
:eek: What kinda training are you guys doing over there these days!?!?!

:p I keed, I keed...

Ah you know, the kind that gets ridiculed by the Justins and Joes in the world :D

Erick Mead
08-23-2008, 09:09 PM
... And none of that I truly got till I STOPPED lifting and started training solo to change my body.
.
You are far, far from being the only one to have told me all this. As usual, you read what you will -- not what I wrote.

...And *THAT* is the mistake in your idea of first training under heavy load. You default...every time.If you would listen to what people said instead of what you want to respond to, it might be productive.

It is not about training strength bu about what you do having exhausted it -- under circumstances that ordinary muscles cease to predictably obey the will that the mind must drive dynamic and structure by other means.

If you work past strength in typical terms-- all you have left is structure and dynamic. If you are paying attention at the time, you realize how little strength contributes to powerful performance. That's all I have to say about that.

Truth does not come in a zero-sum package. Your experience is evidence of the point about the effect of predisposition through exhaustive work for the things you say you can do. You had that foundation so you are NOT evidence that it was NOT effective.

But can you be so sure that it could not have provided that foundation, when you could not figure it out without some old Japanese guy pointing out? Or was THAT what he saw in you, and you simply remained ignorant of the nature of the thing you had ? Or as Marvin the Martian said you "got the silly thing in reverse." :D

I thought I had been dismissed -- but I don't stand in the way of you inviting who you wish to invite.

rob_liberti
08-23-2008, 09:23 PM
I have some experience here. I tried training past strength. I admit it produces better results than most of the other things I tried. I know quite a few people who made some decent progress that way. Given all of that experience, I still firmly believe that training this stuff directly is better and faster. The case of Tom H demonstrates this to me in 1 year. Other people who have been training with Dan for 6 months are further along than I was after trying to train past strength for a whole lot longer than 6 months...

Rob

Upyu
08-23-2008, 09:31 PM
If you work past strength in typical terms-- all you have left is structure and dynamic. If you are paying attention at the time, you realize how little strength contributes to powerful performance. That's all I have to say about that.

Actually strength plays a big part. A huge part. Just not the same kind of "strength." But it's still a strength derived partly from conditioned musculature ;)

Tom H.
08-23-2008, 11:14 PM
Given all of that experience, I still firmly believe that training this stuff directly is better and faster. The case of Tom H demonstrates this to me in 1 year.IIRC, the first time we met met I was already getting my foot in the door. You should have seen (or just imagine instead) where I was a year before *that*, when I first met Dan, which itself was after I had been working some aunkai basics for six months. It's almost unimaginable how un-martial my body was. Take away: any progress is due entirely to this stuff, with a from-scratch approach, and not due to previous training, body-building, manual labor, or theoreticals.

If anyone in black rock city wants to meet up next week, btw, I'll be staying with friends in the vicinity of 9:00 and bonneville.

DH
08-24-2008, 09:09 AM
The whole "training past strength" idea isn't going to get you one step closer to this. In fact it is yet another clear example of what methods to avoid if you happen to be looking for internal power and aiki. I have seen and /or been part of that whole; run, and lift and carry your mates, blah blah till your tired- as a way to get you to relax and train through fatigue. I rejected it as having any benefit for this type of training at all.
Does zip for me.

I prefer to have folks bright eyed, rested, and focused, and when they get tired I have them stop,and rest, so they can re-engage and think at optimal performance. If you are going to train this way, then train steadily through it to fatigue, rest and do it again, every day. I am also 100% convinced that it is not muscle that is being initially worked, but rather bone, tendons and fascia-and muscle.

Erick
Again , I think this is a good thing for folks reading. Since I am pointing one way, and you are pointing in an entirely different direction-the one they left hehind -they now know it clearly isn't the same. The more you talk about you and your teachers understanding and the schools goals and methods, the clearer and more distinct you make it known that it has nothing in common with what we are talking about- pretty much in its entirety. Oddly though, you seem to think you do understand what I am doing, and now your and your teacher are telling me what I am lacking as well. I for one am interested in feeling these corrections of his in person instead of just on the net.So how bout it?
Talk with your teacher. Or if you don't mind, give me the name and address and your teachers name. He might choose to discuss it with me himself. I would find it facinating see you and he show me my failing to understand aiki in person. I thought of a way to make it worth it for me, and maybe some others who would like to fly-in for the event.. I am now thinking of scheduling a seminar right there close by you, when I come. This way a multitude of people can feel me and can then pay a mat fee and train with your teacher, and get a feel for you and your teachers methods. The people from Aikiweb have expressed an interest in seeing you and me and now your teacher- in a room. Then they can see you publicly demonstrate the corrections of me and my measly skills to my face instead of just on the net. It could be a good symposium on aiki, and give folks an idea for what’s going on in Florida or in Mass.. At the very least it could be yet another positive learning experience for akiweb members and some interested readers who come here from other forums.
Talk to your teacher, or let me do it. Since you want to continually join in, here's your chance to do more than talk.

Gernot Hassenpflug
08-24-2008, 11:37 AM
And of course we want to see the results on YouTube. I mean, when its visible in movie format then everyone can understand it, right?

Recently... thinking... personal issues coming to the fore from far back in childhood ... recognition of what needs to be done ... a sense of closure with many demons and half-perceived truths about myself ... and now recognition of conversations going nowhere: demons in others, their problems not mind.

Back to training.

Erick Mead
08-25-2008, 05:45 PM
I am also 100% convinced that it is not muscle that is being initially worked, but rather bone, tendons and fascia-and muscle. Again who said we differ on that? To strengthen muscles you work TO failure. Working past strength is not to make the muscles stronger but to make them fail, and then continue working. The point is to teach the mind how to work the body when the easy resources are and remained exhausted or essentially unuseable.

Whether a person sees the point or not in that effort -- once getting into that mode -- is a largely question of a shift in perception. Like many optical "illusions," there are also physiological phase-shifts in perception. Not everybody "gets" it, and those that don't will swear until they are blue in the face it is one thing or the other and that it is plain stupid to claim to see something else -- But if you allow your perception to be shifted you may see that it is actually both things, and neither one alone. That defies easy categories. But I am predisposed to like the not-so-easy ones.

Erick
Again , I think this is a good thing for folks reading. I live to serve.

Since I am pointing one way, and you are pointing in an entirely different direction-the one they left hehind -they now know it clearly isn't the same.I have never said they were different. I have said that we had come to understand them differently. That is not the same thing. If either of a balloonist and a glider pilot criticized the other for failing to understand the principles of flight, both would have an imperfect understanding of the nature of the thing in dispute.

But fear not, we will encompass your understanding and add your distinctiveness to our own. Resistance is futile. ;)

The more you talk about you and your teachers understanding and the schools goals and methods,Actually, I haven't talked much about those at all -- not that they are anything removed from very traditional training. What I have talked about is visualization of the work according to actual mechanical principles -- as opposed to an ad hoc training methodology, alien categories, and metaphorical concepts. I'm not even criticizing your methodology. I'm no criticizing its success in practical terms for what you choose to do with it, anymore than I criticize the alien categories of traditional understandings thougt which I was trained. Nor I am I criticizing the efforts of those who are fellow travellers on your road, in so far as you have related it here.

I give you all credit for doing what you say because others I have some cause to trust say you are capable. I don't ask for your credence -- I simply state from observation things that cannot reasonably be rebutted. And so far they haven't. If they could be rebutted through reasoned argument, they long since should have been laid out, instead of the weakest of rhetorical devices, the repetitive ad hominem.

Oddly though, you seem to think you do understand what I am doing, and now your and your teacher are telling me what I am lacking as well. I interpret what you say, in light of objective principle and experience. I speak for myself. All I related was a isolated comment about the apparent focus of your approach in traditional terms as largely disregarding the "ki of heaven." It wasn't even a criticism so much as an observation. If you feel it was critical, the question is -- why? So far, you haven't said it it was an incorrect observation in those terms.

Talk to your teacher, or let me do it. Since you want to continually join in, here's your chance to do more than talk.You may speak to whom you will. I'll let you figure it out -- but it's all here, and it's not a secret. I suspect if fully informed, he might refer you back to Jim Sorrentino, but I could be wrong. He probably even has a low opinion of my ability, but then, he is more than entitled to.

My ability might surprise you, might not. But my points don't depend on my person -- which is THE POINT. Whether my thought and my eye are faster or more subtle than my body or my hands, or any of them meet or exceed any of yours makes absolutely no never mind to me. This is what it is, and I'll use it for what it can offer. Talk is all you or I can do here. I'm not going to curse the cow for not being a horse, I'm going to work on getting the milk.

On balance, the limits of the opportunity that this forum presents and what it naturally allows are not remotely stretched by many of the efforts on this topic.

DH
08-26-2008, 08:54 AM
I have never said they were different. I have said that we had come to understand them differently. That is not the same thing. But fear not, we will encompass your understanding and add your distinctiveness to our own. Resistance is futile. ;)
Hi Erick
Come on man, step up. I'm willing to come to you and have some fun.
Here we are, you once again claim our knowledge is the same.
Once again claim to understand this type of training on equal footing with me. Then when called on it- try to find wiggle room to get out of accountability. This isn't a court room Erick.Nor an episode of Star Trec. And unless you're Seven of Nine ;) you might not find my distinctiveness very pleasant. Mores the point, I have no intention of giving you anything you can add to your collective. What I intend to do is to display a skill set that you will be completely incapable of stopping or matching, and an understanding of aiki out of your reach. It will not take long. Then, I will do something completely out of character for me. I will not show you how or what to do to help you understand. I fully intend to turn around and leave. To leave you standing there wondering what just happened to you and why you couldn't do anything.
Its Budo Erick.You claimed equal understanding-now your teacher claims superior knoweldge. Time to back it up.

I give you all credit for doing what you say because others I have some cause to trust say you are capable. I don't ask for your credence -- I simply state from observation things that cannot reasonably be rebutted. And so far they haven't. If they could be rebutted through reasoned argument, they long since should have been laid out, instead of the weakest of rhetorical devices, the repetitive ad hominem.
Again, you state you can describe what I do, and are equal but understand it differently, then go on through your teacher to tell me what I lack. When I ask you to step up and put your body where your mouth is-you say -that- is ad hominem?
This is budo Erick-not law. No one is attacking you. You have laid claim to equal knowledge of my methods ad now the ability to critique it. Okay, lets see. Like it or not you are being called to be responsible for your...words. Not attacked personally.

I interpret what you say, in light of objective principle and experience. I speak for myself. All I related was a isolated comment about the apparent focus of your approach in traditional terms as largely disregarding the "ki of heaven." It wasn't even a criticism so much as an observation. If you feel it was critical, the question is -- why? So far, you haven't said it it was an incorrect observation in those terms.
You made the statements, defined my limits, now are attempting to control my response to your critiques of my knowledge in this area. Enough already. You claim to equally understand these skills, you continually press me and interupt all my discussions, now through your teacher offer me corrections, thus stating that you are not only equal, but better. Fair enough.
Man-up. I'm calling you on it. Time to show Erick.

You may speak to whom you will. I'll let you figure it out -- but it's all here, and it's not a secret. I suspect if fully informed, he might refer you back to Jim Sorrentino, but I could be wrong. He probably even has a low opinion of my ability, but then, he is more than entitled to.
I think it readily known that Jim Sorrentino is a rank beginner at these skills and has nothing to teach me whatsoever in that regard. Unlike you, he is willing to admit it and is actively seeking and learning these skills and thus is ahead of you in several ways. Referring me to him, at this point in the game is so over the top it's actually funny. Less it has escaped your attention Erick, I am not claiming skills equal to you, or Jims, or your teacher. Someone like you, is going to be completely and totally overwhelmed.
So you might do better referring me to a one-on-one with the highest ranked Shihan from Japan you can find who is willing. You'd at least maybe have a chance at making some point-maybe.
And Erick? With you-I won't use a single technique or harm you in any way. Just aiki.

My ability might surprise you, might not. But my points don't depend on my person -- which is THE POINT. Whether my thought and my eye are faster or more subtle than my body or my hands, or any of them meet or exceed any of yours makes absolutely no never mind to me. This is what it is, and I'll use it for what it can offer. Talk is all you or I can do here. I'm not going to curse the cow for not being a horse, I'm going to work on getting the milk.
Let me make this perfectly clear Erick. You stated over and over you understand these things equally to me and keep telling me what I am doing and how, now have made claim to be able to correct my understanding. I am not interested in these waffling comments that "your skills may surprise me" or "your points do not depend on your person." Or talk is all we can do here."
I want you, face to face. To see you display the power and ability that not only equals my own, but to see both you and your teacher then display the attirbutes that are superior to the way I publicly advocate training. YOu have asked for this for years now. Severl members of Aikiweb woud like to feel you and see you defend your claimed understanding in person. Look at the positive side-now you have more than "just your words here" don't you?

On balance, the limits of the opportunity that this forum presents and what it naturally allows are not remotely stretched by many of the efforts on this topic.
There is no limits to this forum Erick. I am willing to come see you, to test your knowledge of this subject in a venue that is friendly and quite definitive. As I said It now appears that members from Aikiweb, who are as affronted by your continued behavior as I am, and would like to witness your self described abilities and understanding first hand.

Aikiweb is a great host and these calls for get togethers by those who are so forward in their posts have benefitted many. This new (but old) knowledge has helped hundreds and is growing because of accountability, openess and sharing among its members, that started here. Those who have now met Rob, Ark, Mike, or me are now training this way. You have claimed to know these skills and now your teacher claims to know them to the point of correcting me. You interrupt all of my posting and threads-almost to the point of stalking me on Aiki-web- to make it known and lay claim to understanding. So, we want to see it and test it. If you have these skills, and in the above are claiming they are traditionally taught in your dojo and in your line, this will be a great end to the debate that has been going on for years now. Just think, there are high ranked Aikido teachers who have felt this and readily admit they can't do it, and many students who are trying to learn.
So, you can single handedly resolve some questions and years worth of research, or let members honestly know you are not a scourse of information for these skills. I don't think its fair misleading honest people out there searching.
TIme to step up Erick.
Talk to your teacher.

akiy
08-26-2008, 10:49 AM
Hi folks,

Can you all please stop hijacking threads to discuss so-and-so's personal skill abilities and go back to addressing the topic at hand?

I have to say that continuously witnessing multiple threads degenerate into this kind of personal discussion is quite disappointing. You're all adults. You've all been asked to watch both what and how you write. Yet, threads keep devolving into this kind of personal vitriol. I'm tired of it, really.

Shape up, people. STOP IT.

Thread closed.

-- Jun