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MikeLogan
09-19-2008, 12:05 AM
I've seen many people on many different forums observe, over the years, that Aikido forums have a reputation for passive-aggressive behavior. It's true... although I'd also suggest that the same behaviour can be found in some karate forums, some judo forums, some CMA forums, and so on.If I may and ever so humbly, I'd like to offer the above as, hopefully a trully un-intentional insult.

It's an aikido forum, and the chance exists that at least one of thousands of users here might find the above insulting. They may have read it out of context, as you do mention other martial arts, but it was a little pointed, with a whiff of 'see I told you so'. It all still falls within the realm of unintentional as far as I see it.

The funny thing to me here is that I enjoy all of these threads on what you and people like Dan Harden, Robert John are training in. I have an interest in knowing what my body is doing (I'm one of those "myriads of people who train in pure aikido"), and what it could be doing (like "someone who trained in internal training")

I also enjoy Erick's postings, they're excellent grist for the mill that is my brain. I like to think of myself as a deep reader, but even I sometimes have to pull my chair back from the machine after getting through a particular heady vintage of Mead. That's a joke.
The point is that I'm a word nerd, I'm an engineer. I started aikido training with a group of physicists, nano-material scientists, gurus of radar and RF communications.
They all saw their training from the context of their lives. We all base our understanding and process of learning out of our past experiences.

We (everyone) can't walk the gaussian surface of, say, a magnetic field, but we can understand it as a concept, and work with it at a distance, and achieve results verifiable through other more concrete means. This reasoning ability lets us(everyone) talk when it's impossible to walk. It's impossible for me to walk with you, you're in Colorado, I can't physically experience what you're doing, so I have to ask stupid, probably under-informed questions that are based in my own experiences.

When it comes to discussing something like the development internal skills, most aikidoka, Erick, myself, among so many others can only talk about it, and hope to first have some understanding of how, why, and to what degree it differs from our aikido experience.

Now it makes perfect sense to be able to demand that someone walk the walk if or before they talk the talk. But, the internet being what it is, all talk, we must either not bring it up, or deal with it until we can all go for a walk together.

I've got to say I've not had the fire in my gut to sustain me through every (or perhaps even one) thread that these internal training topics have come up in, because it seems that in every one
of them a wick gets lit and sparks fly, drowning out the signal.

The signal. Actual information instead of Bark - Hiss! There is at least something that can be conveyed here, be it physical metaphor, an agreement of word convention, or at least something like "well, no, I disagree, let's meet on the mat in a month and see how this works in body-language, since words aren't cutting it"

Even these possibilities often seem to be set aside in favor of "calling someone out" as if one could simply will another into admitting they're the worst kind of loser in the history of the internet.

Ah, oh well. May I ask the next time there may be a workshop on internal training in the maryland/delaware/phili south jersey region?

michael logan.

DH
09-19-2008, 09:03 AM
Hi Mike
The sparks can still be avoided. We're just flawed human beings.
When someone pretends to know the material and clearly doesn't. I openly state it when I see it. I don't call people liars though. I just make it known that they in fact haven't a clue about the subject being discussed. It makes them as uncomfortable hearing it as it does for me to read them saying it.
The reason, as you say, it centers around the internal discussions, is because people want to particpate and be included when they clearly just aren't qualified.

I am waiting for this simple fact to finally sink in
Every aikido person -from here- who has come has said.
1. Nope, I didn't know that
2. I didn't know how to even train for that
3. I want that

We get people angry when we state
1. Nope, you don't know this
2. You don't know how to even train for this
3. If you felt it, you would want to do it

I admit to being flawed. You will read where I apologize if I offend. It's simple for me. Its not my intention to do so, so its easy to apologize.
To date, after years of speculation, challenges and heated debate. It should not escape anyone attention that we have NEVER had to apologize about the following.
Those that came...in fact didn't know. they just thought they did. This to include shodans to sixth dans with forty years of experience.

And other than Rob Liberti I have yet to see someone write in with nearly the same...er... passion about just how much they were in fact....totally wrong.

It's the single greatest training in the world. There is nothing better. Unfortunately it is conveyed through us mere mortals.

I leave you with one more observable truth
Everyone writes back how nice and fun we all are in person and how pleasant the experience is
Why is that?
Because in person, someones utter lack of ability, skill and knowledge of this material is known instantly. Therefore...their...attitude changes and they are receptive and pleasant. No longer is there debate, no longer are they trying to get it through words, no longer is there resentment. All is known
That's why every one who comes back here...magically agrees. The material speaks for itself

Thats why I intend on visiting Erick and his teacher. It will instantly end all of this debate and those loooong explanations that are, for everyone who now knows the subject...meaningless. Remember my examples above?
Keep hoping for the positive. Its not insulting to not know something. Happens to me all the time.

FWIW I am in Mass. about 4 hours from you

Mike Sigman
09-19-2008, 10:55 AM
If I may and ever so humbly, I'd like to offer the above as, hopefully a trully un-intentional insult.

It's an aikido forum, and the chance exists that at least one of thousands of users here might find the above insulting. Hi Mike:

That's possible, but let's differentiate between a personal insult and a comment that offends *some* people, shall we? They're two different things. Besides, if you do the Google search I recommended and think you'll find that the correlation between "Aikido" and "passive-aggressive" has been established for a long time and even has been noted by Aikido teachers before, on this very forum. So I don't see it as a big issue worth getting into. The funny thing to me here is that I enjoy all of these threads on what you and people like Dan Harden, Robert John are training in. I have an interest in knowing what my body is doing (I'm one of those "myriads of people who train in pure aikido"), and what it could be doing (like "someone who trained in internal training")

I also enjoy Erick's postings, they're excellent grist for the mill that is my brain. I like to think of myself as a deep reader, but even I sometimes have to pull my chair back from the machine after getting through a particular heady vintage of Mead. That's a joke.
The point is that I'm a word nerd, I'm an engineer. I started aikido training with a group of physicists, nano-material scientists, gurus of radar and RF communications.
They all saw their training from the context of their lives. We all base our understanding and process of learning out of our past experiences.

We (everyone) can't walk the gaussian surface of, say, a magnetic field, but we can understand it as a concept, and work with it at a distance, and achieve results verifiable through other more concrete means. This reasoning ability lets us(everyone) talk when it's impossible to walk. It's impossible for me to walk with you, you're in Colorado, I can't physically experience what you're doing, so I have to ask stupid, probably under-informed questions that are based in my own experiences.

When it comes to discussing something like the development internal skills, most aikidoka, Erick, myself, among so many others can only talk about it, and hope to first have some understanding of how, why, and to what degree it differs from our aikido experience.

Now it makes perfect sense to be able to demand that someone walk the walk if or before they talk the talk. But, the internet being what it is, all talk, we must either not bring it up, or deal with it until we can all go for a walk together.

I've got to say I've not had the fire in my gut to sustain me through every (or perhaps even one) thread that these internal training topics have come up in, because it seems that in every one
of them a wick gets lit and sparks fly, drowning out the signal.

The signal. Actual information instead of Bark - Hiss! There is at least something that can be conveyed here, be it physical metaphor, an agreement of word convention, or at least something like "well, no, I disagree, let's meet on the mat in a month and see how this works in body-language, since words aren't cutting it"

Even these possibilities often seem to be set aside in favor of "calling someone out" as if one could simply will another into admitting they're the worst kind of loser in the history of the internet.

Ah, oh well. May I ask the next time there may be a workshop on internal training in the maryland/delaware/phili south jersey region?
I'm tired enough of the whole personalities issue that I'd rather drop it, if you don't mind. I see the personalities and I hear the comments (some of them pretty funny) about how important it is to like someone before some people will deign to learn from them. On the other hand, off any list and in real life, I actively exclude some people from ever coming to workshops, personal visits, etc., not because I don't like the way they talk but because they've indicated to me in some way that they are self-absorbed, not really serious, etc., and only want some information so that they can do a bit of self-aggrandizement. So yeah, we all know that stuff happens on the side... the trick is to try to leave it at the door when it comes to a public-forum discussion.

Personally, I tend to look only for the serious players with what is called "good heart". Oddly, I've never had much real trouble getting along with any of them. Good discussions tend to be serious ones that discuss the issues and not so much the participants. Keep your eye on some of the current discussions and watch how much of the talk is about a person or persons as opposed to "how to", etc. You might see what I see. ;)

Best.

Mike Sigman

rob_liberti
09-19-2008, 01:27 PM
I'm an engineer too. Engineers rarely ever mind being wrong when we discover how to approach the right answer, because we passionately love solving difficult problems. To us, it's like being a kid in a candy store. And so, it's fun to talk about.

As far as passive aggressive goes, I say be humble and go for active assertive. And I'd say that if you (you meaning you in general) cannot honestly laugh it off when someone calls you tedious and pretentious, then you probably are... :)

Rob

Gary David
09-19-2008, 03:03 PM
It seems to me to be a matter of timing and the question....After thirty years of training and touching other martial arts the question that had been forming for sometime in my mind about this subject came to the forefront. The timing was right so I started searching around and came across Mike's name. Pulled stuff up, read old email lists, looked at video's, read what I could find and then sent Mike an email asking a few questions. He was kind enough to answer and I had enough interest to make sure I met up with him. Face to face changes the dynamic.... if you get past the handshake it is hard not to be more respectful of what is happening and what is said...you listen. Over the internet there is no handshake. With Mike I have felt the shoulder strike and been pushed around some. Mike is what he sez he is and nice guy on top of that.

With Dan I have gone back and read what he has written in lists and forums...back some years. What I have seen with the tone of his writing is an opening up and a sharing (to some degree) of what he knows. Maybe you just have to put the pieces together yourself. It seems to me that Dan has stepped up more than he may have been willing to do a few years ago. If I didn't live on the left coast I would try to drop by and meet him.

I know William Hazen and I may take the opportunity to go done to San Diego in November when Mark Murray is planning on being in town. So I'll get to check in with him.

What I am getting at is until the question comes up in yourself, all of this is just a challenge to what you know and you will likely resist. Once you ask the question of yourself it is an opportunity to learn. It seems that you can learn a lot from just grabbing someone wrist...go grab a wrist.
Gary

DH
09-19-2008, 04:48 PM
Face to face changes the dynamic.... if you get past the handshake it is hard not to be more respectful of what is happening and what is said...you listen. Over the internet there is no handshake. With Mike I have felt the shoulder strike and been pushed around some. Mike is what he sez he is and nice guy on top of that.

With Dan I have gone back and read what he has written in lists and forums...back some years. What I have seen with the tone of his writing is an opening up and a sharing (to some degree) of what he knows. Maybe you just have to put the pieces together yourself. It seems to me that Dan has stepped up more than he may have been willing to do a few years ago. If I didn't live on the left coast I would try to drop by and meet him.
It seems that you can learn a lot from just grabbing someone wrist...go grab a wrist.
Gary

Hi Gary
That change you spoke of was all due to Ellis Amdur, a few Mojito's and him reminding me that there were serious, and sincere people out there looking-much like I was 20 years ago when I first felt this stuff gave me a change of heart.

My "stepping-up" is perhaps an unfair term. I have an eimoroku-many from here have seen it and signed it. Since I started having people sign in-it has over 250 names in it. So I have been "stepping up" for a very long time. This doesn't include judo, mma, bjj, Bagau, Taiji, and Xing-I people I have played with either. Stepping-up is not an appropriate term. Perhaps you mean finally showing people from the net.

Don't worry about a hand shake. I've welcomed people of all types to try things in a much more serious venue from Taiji grandmasters, Aikido 6 th dans, BJJers to Navy boxers, stick fighting to knives. Its a bit of a different spin on internals and what they can deliver than wrist grabs.

I agree about the debate...ending in person. It's why I wrote:
That upon meeting, for some strange reason all the trouble and the self-confidence in what people thought they knew and were willing to debate-goes right out the window and the exchange becomes respectful and friendly and the work can begin. No more debate.
It's why I also encourage people to go feel anyone and everyone claiming to know this stuff. Get around and feel. Both the depth, and the ability to test these people and their students brings a fresh look to the subject. You need to figure out how you can best train and learn for your own progess.

Come on up if you'd like. Ya might enjoy my shoulder "bump" as well.

DH
09-19-2008, 05:29 PM
Speaking of training, instead of the eclectic approaches you may get from Ark, Mike or me, if you are interested in a more traditional arts specific approach with power look up Toby and Howard at the Aikiweb expo.
Ask Howard to hit you.
Try and throw Toby.;)
Write back what you found

Mike Sigman
09-19-2008, 06:17 PM
Speaking of training, instead of the eclectic approaches you may get from Ark, Mike or me, if you are interested in a more traditional arts specific approach with power look up Toby and Howard at the Aikiweb expo.
Ask Howard to hit you.
Try and throw Toby.;)
Write back what you foundI don't know Toby or Howard, but I'm satisfied that Dan has some degree of jin skills from what he's written, Rob John has some degree of jin skills from what he's written, Mark Murray is working on things (from vids, etc., that he's posting), and so on. I've seen what Ushiro does and what others in the Aikido or related community have done. But the point I'd make is that if someone has something that they're contributing to the public community, for instance if they're "showing things" at seminars, I'd feel better if they'd post more on "how-to's". If they can't post to the public, then my assumption is that they're somehow "prohibited" from disclosing what they know to outsiders, so how much they would actually teach of these specific skills at a workshop comes into question.

In other words, I'd be happier if I could "get a taste" from some public discussion of simple basics rather than just a "go see" recommendation. The forums are a better clearing house, in my opinion, of what people actually understand when I can see what they can verbalize about even simple basics. If some one is willing to show "the public" outside of their koryu, etc., at a workshop, surely they can show "the public" a taste on the internet?

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Allen Beebe
09-19-2008, 08:03 PM
I don't know Toby or Howard, but I'm satisfied that Dan has some degree of jin skills from what he's written, Rob John has some degree of jin skills from what he's written, Mark Murray is working on things (from vids, etc., that he's posting), and so on. I've seen what Ushiro does and what others in the Aikido or related community have done.

Well, that is something. And I suppose Dan is "satisfied" that Toby and Howard have "some degree" of skills based on his recommendation.

But the point I'd make is that if someone has something that they're contributing to the public community, for instance if they're "showing things" at seminars, I'd feel better if they'd post more on "how-to's".

Yes, but how does your "feel[ing] better" concern others? I can see how a plug from someone generally recognized by others (who have felt them) could benefit a seminar, but it sounds as though you think that they *require* some form of recognition from some "authority" to allow themselves to be experienced. This doesn't seem to reflect the realism that you have conveyed in your most recent posts nor does it seem fair.

If they can't post to the public, then my assumption is that they're somehow "prohibited" from disclosing what they know to outsiders, so how much they would actually teach of these specific skills at a workshop comes into question.

This reasoning holds true if they "can't" post to the public. It doesn't hold true if they simply "don't" post to the public. Furthermore, George Ledyard has felt you, Ushiro Kenji, Ark Aizawa, Rob John, and Howard and Toby, and obviously feels training (and teaching) with both Howard (repeatedly) and Toby is beneficial.

In other words, I'd be happier if I could "get a taste" from some public discussion of simple basics rather than just a "go see" recommendation.

So I'm guessing I won't be seeing you there Mike. Too bad. I'd still like to see you in the future though!

The forums are a better clearing house, in my opinion, of what people actually understand when I can see what they can verbalize about even simple basics.

This may be more true of you than of others though.

If some one is willing to show "the public" outside of their koryu, etc., at a workshop, surely they can show "the public" a taste on the internet?

Once again, "can show" and "choose to show" are two different things.

These guys probably don't feel like they have anything to prove to us any more than a Chen family member probably feels compelled to verbally vet themselves on the boards.

If there are doubts, folks can go out and feel for themselves. No?

That being said, I am grateful for those that do share as much as they choose to. (Even though the sharing is rather restricted compared to all that they COULD share wouldn't you agree? Everyone draws a line somewhere.)

All the best,
Allen

Cady Goldfield
09-19-2008, 08:17 PM
I'd be happier if I could "get a taste" from some public discussion of simple basics rather than just a "go see" recommendation. The forums are a better clearing house, in my opinion, of what people actually understand when I can see what they can verbalize about even simple basics. If some one is willing to show "the public" outside of their koryu, etc., at a workshop, surely they can show "the public" a taste on the internet?

Dang it, Mike, you know darned well that IHTBF.
;)

Mike Sigman
09-19-2008, 08:28 PM
Dang it, Mike, you know darned well that IHTBF.
;)Actually, I know darned well that after you've felt it and used that to learn it well enough to teach it, you should be able to communicate the basics with people who also know how to do it. I have copies of Chinese and Japanese stuff that's very clear to anyone who already knows "it". What I'm saying is that I'd like to get a little reassurance from some people other than just Dan, Rob, etc., that they know how to do it. If I get the impression that they really know how to do these things *and* they're actually teaching those things, I'll also be on the bandwagon recommending them. Fairly simple, honest idea, IMO. ;)

Best.

Mike

Mike Sigman
09-19-2008, 08:40 PM
Well, that is something. And I suppose Dan is "satisfied" that Toby and Howard have "some degree" of skills based on his recommendation.

Yes, but how does your "feel[ing] better" concern others? I can see how a plug from someone generally recognized by others (who have felt them) could benefit a seminar, but it sounds as though you think that they *require* some form of recognition from some "authority" to allow themselves to be experienced. This doesn't seem to reflect the realism that you have conveyed in your most recent posts nor does it seem fair.

This reasoning holds true if they "can't" post to the public. It doesn't hold true if they simply "don't" post to the public. Furthermore, George Ledyard has felt you, Ushiro Kenji, Ark Aizawa, Rob John, and Howard and Toby, and obviously feels training (and teaching) with both Howard (repeatedly) and Toby is beneficial.

So I'm guessing I won't be seeing you there Mike. Too bad. I'd still like to see you in the future though!

This may be more true of you than of others though.

Once again, "can show" and "choose to show" are two different things.

These guys probably don't feel like they have anything to prove to us any more than a Chen family member probably feels compelled to verbally vet themselves on the boards.

If there are doubts, folks can go out and feel for themselves. No?

That being said, I am grateful for those that do share as much as they choose to. (Even though the sharing is rather restricted compared to all that they COULD share wouldn't you agree? Everyone draws a line somewhere.)

All the best,
AllenWell, I don't expect everyone to agree with me, Allen. Each to his own. I simply stated my opinion that people who "know" stuff well enough should be able to at least express how to do them, even if at a basic level. Your opinion may differ.

As has been noted before, the people who have at least some basic knowledge of the basic skills (not who is "very powerful".. a different topic entirely) seem to have no problem with at least a very basic dialogue. It's the basic dialogue that I look for before I start spending time and money to go check out the "just in case" stuff. I hope you'll allow me to think that there should be some indicator other than just friendly recommendations?

What compounds the problem is the number of people who "already do this stuff"... but as Dan and others have pointed out, this doesn't always turn out to be true when the rubber meets the road. What I'm suggesting is that there were an awful lot of discussions on this and other forums where a few simple words would have been enough to indicate who really "already knew this stuff" and who didn't. One of the big questions, and a valid one given the lack of dialogue over the last few years, is who really "knows this stuff" and who doesn't. Bear in mind that I think a lot of thought should be given to making sure the same problems of the past don't just slip in under new guises. Don't you think that's a good idea?

Regards,

Mike

gdandscompserv
09-19-2008, 08:47 PM
One of the big questions, and a valid one given the lack of dialogue over the last few years, is who really "knows this stuff" and who doesn't.
That's what I've been asking for Mike. A 'short' list if you will.

Cady Goldfield
09-19-2008, 09:02 PM
Actually, I know darned well that after you've felt it and used that to learn it well enough to teach it, you should be able to communicate the basics with people who also know how to do it. I have copies of Chinese and Japanese stuff that's very clear to anyone who already knows "it". What I'm saying is that I'd like to get a little reassurance from some people other than just Dan, Rob, etc., that they know how to do it. If I get the impression that they really know how to do these things *and* they're actually teaching those things, I'll also be on the bandwagon recommending them. Fairly simple, honest idea, IMO. ;)

Best.

Mike

That would be making the assumption that there are more than just a handful of men out there who both can do and teach the stuff and who participate on the Internet.

We can be pretty confident, at this point, that there are more than a few people out there who are capable and are training and teaching, particularly some of the old gents in CIMA; but, I have a sneaking suspicion that the number of adepts that also post on Internet forums like this one is limited pretty much to what you see here and maybe a couple other MA bulletin boards.

So, don't hold your breath waiting to hear reassurance, or anything other than the song of crickets, from anyone besides you and the short list you just ticked off, on an Internet forum. At least, not until Rob Liberti hits his stride in a couple of years. Though he probably would just say that IHTBF. :)

Mike Sigman
09-19-2008, 10:29 PM
So, don't hold your breath waiting to hear reassurance, or anything other than the song of crickets, from anyone besides you and the short list you just ticked off, on an Internet forum. At least, not until Rob Liberti hits his stride in a couple of years. Though he probably would just say that IHTBF. :)Well, I'm not holding my breath for anything, Cady. I simply stated my opinion that someone who really knows these things and is directly or indirectly making the claim to know something and teach something... they should be able to indicate something verbally in all of these discussions that focus on the specific topic, don't you think?

And I'll say it again. I think that a bit of caution should be taken to be sure that we don't open the gate to the corral and then walk right back into the same old corral again. People being what they are, and so forth.

But again, each to his own opinion. I'm satisfied that a sufficient first step has been taken. I don't see any need to spend a lot of energy discussing the details.

Regards,

Mike

Allen Beebe
09-19-2008, 11:26 PM
I simply stated my opinion that people who "know" stuff well enough should be able to at least express how to do them, even if at a basic level. Your opinion may differ.

I agree completely. It seems to me that one should especially be able to expect such an ability from those that claim to teach.

Where it seems we differ (and of course you are entitled to your opinion and to express your opinion, I'm often glad that you do) is that I don't necessarily expect all individuals that 'can do' and 'can teach' to necessarily do so in the place and manner of my choosing. Would I like them to? Sure! Do I expect them to? No.

As has been noted before, the people who have at least some basic knowledge of the basic skills (not who is "very powerful".. a different topic entirely) seem to have no problem with at least a very basic dialogue.

Sure. And some folks just choose different venues for that dialogue.

It's the basic dialogue that I look for before I start spending time and money to go check out the "just in case" stuff.

I can see where this is very reasonable especially for you.

I hope you'll allow me to think that there should be some indicator other than just friendly recommendations?

Of course. However, I'll bet that if you received a "friendly recommendation" from someone you know knows this stuff and trusted, that would be good enough.

How about all the folks that can't recognize the tell tale signs of the "basic dialogue?" You can. But many others can't. Are they to take it on faith that all the dialogs on these boards are reflective of internal structure reality? I think you agree with me that that is inadvisable. So what do folks do to judge who to listen to? Take a friendly recommendation? Yes, at times. And that friendly recommendation is consistently, "Go out and feel it." Go out and feel it is pretty much the "mantra" of these boards.

It seems to me that people are left to go do what you and many others have done for years . . . go out and feel, and feel some more, until they have a basis of comparison and experience. Once that is established, then they can get pickier. And even then, like you, they should probably remain cautiously open to "unknowns."

What compounds the problem is the number of people who "already do this stuff"... but as Dan and others have pointed out, this doesn't always turn out to be true when the rubber meets the road.

Indeed. "The rubber meets the road" when there is the opportunity for physical contact though.

What I'm suggesting is that there were an awful lot of discussions on this and other forums where a few simple words would have been enough to indicate who really "already knew this stuff" and who didn't.

Indeed. But all of the dialog seems to indicate that dialog alone just doesn't cut it for those that don't know what to look for.

One of the big questions, and a valid one given the lack of dialogue over the last few years, is who really "knows this stuff" and who doesn't.

Well that raises another problem too doesn't it, one that you have expressed before? With a modicum on intelligence and a fair amount of reading one could possibly portray themselves as knowing more (the basic dialog) than they really are cracked up to be . . . when the rubber meet the road. This too is another argument, your argument actually, for IHTBF.

Bear in mind that I think a lot of thought should be given to making sure the same problems of the past don't just slip in under new guises. Don't you think that's a good idea?

Yes I do. I also agree with you when you posted this:

"It's a matter of 'you pays your money you takes your choice'.... hit or miss and you have to be careful. The full range of skills is bigger than most people think, so some caution is needed.

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

BTW, the advertisement for the seminar states:

These three instructors from three different lineages will share their budo experience during this three-day workshop. They will present different but compatible approaches to the physical application of techniques and principles from their arts of Aikido, Daito-Ryu Aikijujutsu Roppokai, and Takamura-ha Shindo Yoshin Ryu.

No mention is made of the teaching of "IT" specifically so this entire discussion may just be pointless!

Regards,
Allen

rob_liberti
09-19-2008, 11:36 PM
Well, in the past, telling me that you have a method of doing aikido that is better than the norm wouldn't get my attention too much because frankly I felt from a bit of experience that did too.

Mike wrote about the jo trick. I know it was a clever way to get people thinking about stuff Osensei could do that his students couldn't, but unfortunately it reinforced the idea that he was more of a Michael Jordan type and that we could never get to THAT degree because we are the normal people.

I didn't read about aiki/internal skills giving people the ability to deliver force without committing weight. I read hints that described in some minimal detail about stability with no bracing. I never read too much detail about rooting. Just that people could do it. I think we all have met IMA types who had some degree of impressive power but couldn't seem to deliver it while moving around that much. You could almost imagine them sort of stuck in a flower pot. Just don't go near that flower pot and you'll be all right. I read ideas about it being the lifeblood of all your movements but there wasn't much description for it other than some talk about walking while someone pushed on your body. Since I never experienced anyone moving around staying so connected super connected - other than some of the better aikido folks as a matter of fact - I just dismissed that idea a bit more than I wish I had. It just seemed like some claim that was likely to be a bit more of an exaggeration and maybe a bit due to a suspected limited experience by the person making the claims.

I also never read about anyone making the basic skills learn-able in a short time like 2-4 or 5 years. Everyone else's paths seemed to be on the 25-30 year path to get to some degree of intermediate. In fact, Mike didn't have any active students at the time I was reading a lot of what he was writing a few years back. So it seemed like it wasn't very available...

This is one of the main reasons why I am writing so much, I just felt that the things that actually got my attention would be a bit more interesting to other aikido people than a lot of the stuff I had read about it in the past.

Rob

Allen Beebe
09-19-2008, 11:44 PM
This is one of the main reasons why I am writing so much, I just felt that the things that actually got my attention would be a bit more interesting to other aikido people than a lot of the stuff I had read about it in the past.

And you're getting others to share, and share more, too. And you are an Aikido(tm) guy on an Aikido(tm) board. You go Rob!

Mike Sigman
09-19-2008, 11:45 PM
[[snipsky]] this entire discussion may just be pointless!
Very true!!! ;)

However, I think the fact that I am throwing out cautions! may be helpful as a thinking exercise for the people that aren't sure, don't you?

Regards,

Mike

Mike Sigman
09-19-2008, 11:50 PM
This is one of the main reasons why I am writing so much,Rob, the more you write, the more you think out loud and in your head, the more you are challenged to think through the actual processes, the better you will be. Believe me. There is a very strong and compelling reason to share these discussions out loud, for everyone involved. The people who sit and guard their two silver quarters zealously will never be able to play the $100-tables at the casino. ;)

Mike

Allen Beebe
09-20-2008, 12:16 AM
Very true!!! ;)

However, I think the fact that I am throwing out cautions! may be helpful as a thinking exercise for the people that aren't sure, don't you?

Regards,

Mike

I should think that caution would be implicitly called for in any activity claiming to be "martial," and "Caveat Emptor" is an appropriate and wise motto. (especially where what I think is concerned!!)

Best,
Allen

DH
09-20-2008, 08:29 AM
In regards to Howard and Toby:
They are both stand-up guys in their teaching and representing their arts. However, like it or not, agree or not. They are restricted and very unlikely to just show everything to everyone who decides to show up. That's just the way traditional arts are.
It doesn't mean they won't teach- if you're a signed up student. Demo's are a show and ask questions sort of thing, so go and ask questions.
Since they will show some things in public- people who have felt various internal guys and some ICMA masters can go feel these guys, ask questions and make some decisions. Then, more importantly feel their students.
Both arts, Daito ryu and Shindo Yoshin ryu have internal components. Fortunately or unfortunately they will not be let out or taught except to trusted students. As Allen stated there is no compelling reason to share. But Mike is also correct-probably more than he realizes- in that some in the traditional arts, (I happen to know a few who have argued with him) really haven't a clue-they just think they do. They argue from a point of being disenfranchised from within their own arts they are defending-and they don't even know it. It's sad to watch.

As I continually say to people who have felt internal power: "Go and feel various teachers of the traditional arts and decide." Talking about it simply won't due. Their understanding is in their hands and their ability or willingness to help you may best be expressed in the hands of their students. Do it, if only to disclude them and write them off in your search.

Internal power
There is a truth behind these arts. It is a defining one. Wthin the discussions we have lost sight of the fact that it being revealed. This is GREAT NEWS.
IMO most people out there teaching shouldn't be. And the WOW factor that captured students for years is going to change as the potential students get educated about the real power behind these Asian arts. People may get somewhat discouraged about these discussions because by their nature they do disclude many fine people. In the end they will disclude by natural selection teachers who have no real understanding of the Asian arts. But the upside is what really should be our focus.
These discussion are revealing and puttig on display teachers who have real skills and a genuine understanding of the true power in the Asian arts-to whatever degree it is in their art. Highlighting these useful sources of information and men who at least have some of these skills is a POSITVE thing, that many here have benefited from. Some have come here and stated it was the defining moment in their entire martial art career. So while it is ruffling some feathers, it's also creating the most beneficial move in understanding the Asian arts arts that I have ever seen.

I know that post was sort of all over the place. I'm in a rush to go train myself and with who? Men from about eight different arts, many of whom are teachers. Ask them if they feel its positive or negative?

And all of them found out about internal training and found me through aikiweb
I think Jun should charge admission
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/payments.php
See ya

Mike Sigman
09-20-2008, 11:02 AM
In regards to Howard and Toby:
They are both stand-up guys in their teaching and representing their arts. However, like it or not, agree or not. They are restricted and very unlikely to just show everything to everyone who decides to show up. That's just the way traditional arts are.
It doesn't mean they won't teach- if you're a signed up student. Demo's are a show and ask questions sort of thing, so go and ask questions.
Since they will show some things in public- people who have felt various internal guys and some ICMA masters can go feel these guys, ask questions and make some decisions. Then, more importantly feel their students.
Both arts, Daito ryu and Shindo Yoshin ryu have internal components. Fortunately or unfortunately they will not be let out or taught except to trusted students. As Allen stated there is no compelling reason to share. But Mike is also correct-probably more than he realizes- in that some in the traditional arts, (I happen to know a few who have argued with him) really haven't a clue-they just think they do. They argue from a point of being disenfranchised from within their own arts they are defending-and they don't even know it. It's sad to watch. I think the techniques and strategies within any given martial-art are fair game for "secrecy". My comments about openness have never been related to the depths of any art or even specific training methods. I meant simply the basics. The basics are already out there... but the trick is that these are far more complex subjects than they appear on the surface. My general point is more along the lines of "why should I go study the 'depths' with someone when I'm not sure he even knows the basics?".

And of course I'm not a dummy... I hear the reasoning. But I then say to myself, why should I share anything on a public forum (like the many how-to's, diagrams, etc.) with someone who is not sharing back in return? In most cases, over many years of experience, I've found what we already know... most people don't know more than a few bits and pieces. So let's look at it from the perspective than an open discussion is actually a bonus for them, in most regards. If nothing else they gain in general knowledge which contributes to their own abilities and teaching curriculum, benefits their students, and so on. That's the essence of my position.

On the other hand, there are many people who don't know much but who grab what bits and pieces they can, cobble it together, and use it to reinforce their own power/position as a teacher with special knowledge. In that case an open forum actually works to the detriment of many well-meaning students because the 'teacher' is able to grab buzz-terms, etc., and parade them in class as his own intrinsic knowledge. Which is why we're careful about who gets onto the QiJin forum, in a nutshell. We don't want to contribute to the delinquency of a minor. ;)
And all of them found out about internal training and found me through aikiweb.
BTW, I'm a little uncomfortable with this idea of identifying people who come to study or even implying such in public. We all start from ignorance and make our way up the ladder from there. I don't know any westerner who is in such a position that they're not closer to the bottom of the ladder than the top, so my personal opinion is that testifying for Jesus is probably a bit out of place at this early stage in reinstating these skills in various Asian martial-arts.

Granted it's a momentous issue, these basics that belong in Aikido, but let's remember that Tohei attempted to say exactly the same thing almost 40 years ago. Part of the failure of Tohei's training approach had to do with personality and politics. Maybe we'll be more successful this time if we leave the personality and politics out?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Gernot Hassenpflug
09-20-2008, 11:54 AM
I'm reading this thread after hearing about it from a fellow member at training, and after some chatting about training and how our minds work.

I think I can see that "IHTBF" is simply an acknowledgement that "reasoning" and "reality" are two different things. If one wants to experience reality, and then reason about future reality, then IHTBF.

In the same manner, practice without explanations and reasoning serves this purpose: while simultaneously the person needs to feel the reality---because the objective is a very deep realization of the body ("ninshiki" in Japanese).

By this process, both a body frame and a sensory network are built in conjunction with one another, giving the tools whereby reality can be experienced and "blended" with instantaneously, without a gap caused by reasoning (which only serves to fill the void of uncertainty caused by an inability to adapt to reality while experiencing it, without making any productive contribution).

Reasoning has its uses, particularly in areas which are not directly experiencable, as has been pointed out here with examples of magnetic fields, etc. This avoids the point that reasoning is not useful in the situations in which we are find it necessary to apply our bujutsu.

rob_liberti
09-20-2008, 01:20 PM
Yes, IHTBF because until you do, reasoning is generally not willing to throw several things you normally consider to be "facts" out of the window. As I mentioned before, feeling that someone is not vulnerable to pushes and pulls on the line from anus to navel is different from reading about it. Feeling that someone can deliver force without committing weight is another of those types of experiences that would be remarkably harder to swallow by reading about it.

As far as what I think I'm actually doing, I'm not volunteering that level or degree of information to the uninitiated yet. I'm simply not good enough to do it properly and I'm not sure that those basics SHOULD be described in a public forum. Seems like a pandora's box type of thing to me. Just because there are bigger weapons than knifes, I still wouldn't feel right about giving them indiscriminately away especially if there were only a few sources for them...

Rob

Mike Sigman
09-20-2008, 01:33 PM
As far as what I think I'm actually doing, I'm not volunteering that level or degree of information to the uninitiated yet. I'm simply not good enough to do it properly and I'm not sure that those basics SHOULD be described in a public forum. Seems like a pandora's box type of thing to me. Just because there are bigger weapons than knifes, I still wouldn't feel right about giving them indiscriminately away especially if there were only a few sources for them...
Hmmmmm.... well, don't we get into the "now that I'm in the club I think we should shut the door" syndrome? From my experience, there's a lot more to it than just the elementary basics that a lot of people are enjoying at first. If we keep the discussions so limited that people have to beg to even get basic information then we get back to this limited approach that cost Aikido and other arts so heavily by reserving who gets even the starter information.

Heck, if nothing else remember that Tohei put his stuff out there 40 years ago and it died off. I remember putting out 2 different sets of very basic how-to's videos back in the 1990's and even with explicit directions most people couldn't progress because you can't "feel" what to do through a video. So the worries about talking basics on an internet forum are way overdone, IMO. Besides, it keeps people honest when they talk publicly about skills they're professing to teach; it's easy to fool beginners, but even the densest poster begins to realize that he's not really fooling someone who has real or better skills. It's helpful all the way around to encourage discussion.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

rob_liberti
09-20-2008, 07:15 PM
I am really hoping not to get into a clash with you after we achieved peace.

don't we get into the "now that I'm in the club I think we should shut the door" syndrome?
Maybe I'm just a bit off tonight, but this reads to me as if you are commenting on my personality and/or politics - which just seems odd... If I got it wrong, please by all means explain. If not then lets just just save a lot of time and effort and ask Jun to close this thread down right now. :)

There are obviously much more senior people in "the club" to be the ones to describe the how-to-s right here on aikiweb.

I feel that if someone is right there in the room with me, and I misstate something, they can ask questions, feel what I am doing, we can go back and forth directly until I/we clarify what I'm trying to explain. I am just not ready to take responsibility for people to be reading MY instructions about how to do internal power and internal skill on the internet.

Rob

Mike Sigman
09-20-2008, 07:43 PM
Maybe I'm just a bit off tonight, but this reads to me as if you are commenting on my personality and/or politics - which just seems odd... If I got it wrong, please by all means explain. If not then lets just just save a lot of time and effort and ask Jun to close this thread down right now. :) Not a bit of it... I was debating a position that you mentioned. I wasn't talking about you singularly but anyone who gets some information about these skills but who then thinks that we should be careful from now on, etc. I.e., I asked a serious question and I don't even want to discuss "you and me". I feel that if someone is right there in the room with me, and I misstate something, they can ask questions, feel what I am doing, we can go back and forth directly until I/we clarify what I'm trying to explain. I am just not ready to take responsibility for people to be reading MY instructions about how to do internal power and internal skill on the internet. Pooh. If you simply state "in my opinion" and then describe what you think, it's obvious that an open-ended discussion is ensuing and "instructions". My recommendation is that not only on AikiWeb but anywhere you can, you hash these things out, think out loud, etc. Same with everyone else... they should also. No one is an ultimate authority (unless, of course, I tell Ricky Wood someone is an absolute authority ;) ). The basics are critical as a discussion platform if these things are to become re-established, IMO.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

rob_liberti
09-20-2008, 10:38 PM
Okay, we're good. But don't call me "Pooh". I'm more of a Tigger until I work out for a few hours then I am more of an Eeor.

In my opinion, I should teach these skills in the same manner I learned them. That just happens to mean not over the internet and also that the person teaching has them down quite well. ;)

If you seriously want to write how-tos, I'll happily read them, try them, and comment on them.

Rob

Mike Sigman
09-20-2008, 10:48 PM
If you seriously want to write how-tos, I'll happily read them, try them, and comment on them.Please... let's don't turn the subject to me personally. That was *not* the point I made or the issue I raised.

Mike Sigman

Aikibu
09-21-2008, 12:47 AM
Well, that is something. And I suppose Dan is "satisfied" that Toby and Howard have "some degree" of skills based on his recommendation.

Yes, but how does your "feel[ing] better" concern others? I can see how a plug from someone generally recognized by others (who have felt them) could benefit a seminar, but it sounds as though you think that they *require* some form of recognition from some "authority" to allow themselves to be experienced. This doesn't seem to reflect the realism that you have conveyed in your most recent posts nor does it seem fair.

This reasoning holds true if they "can't" post to the public. It doesn't hold true if they simply "don't" post to the public. Furthermore, George Ledyard has felt you, Ushiro Kenji, Ark Aizawa, Rob John, and Howard and Toby, and obviously feels training (and teaching) with both Howard (repeatedly) and Toby is beneficial.

So I'm guessing I won't be seeing you there Mike. Too bad. I'd still like to see you in the future though!

This may be more true of you than of others though.

Once again, "can show" and "choose to show" are two different things.

These guys probably don't feel like they have anything to prove to us any more than a Chen family member probably feels compelled to verbally vet themselves on the boards.

If there are doubts, folks can go out and feel for themselves. No?

That being said, I am grateful for those that do share as much as they choose to. (Even though the sharing is rather restricted compared to all that they COULD share wouldn't you agree? Everyone draws a line somewhere.)

All the best,
Allen

My thoughts exactly. Great thread. I have been away for a while but I now look forward to experiencing what I can with some of the folks I have met here. :)

William Hazen

rob_liberti
09-21-2008, 08:43 AM
Please... let's don't turn the subject to me personally. That was *not* the point I made or the issue I raised.

No fooling. It was MY position that it makes a lot more sense for senior members of "the club" to go first in terms of how-tos. It may be personal to you - but only because you are a senior member of "the club" you brought up in the first place.

I am fairly sure that if Dan wanted his methodology on the internet he'd post about it himself. I haven't read your methodology in posts either. Maybe I missed it, but you have so many posts, a search would be like a needle in a hay stack.

You are posting that you want people to write about the basics. You know them, and I'm sure you know them well. Go ahead and write to your hearts content.

I posted just informing about my position. It's not really open to debate. It read to me like my position was quoted, and then my character was challenged. The way I see it, challenging my position would not have had:

"now that I'm in the club I think we should shut the door"

For challenging my position without challenging my character, I would have expected something more like "don't worry about misinforming people, Dan and I are participating in the thread and we'll ensure the information is correct."

So just to be clear on the topic of "On Talking About Internal Training" - I feel that it should probably be talked about in depth by more senior people. In talking about what it means to aikido, aikido people should probably do more of the talking.

Does anyone remember that silly program called eliza?

Rob

Budd
09-21-2008, 08:43 AM
I like where this discussion is going. Frankly, I'm far less interested in hearing how someone gets "bounced" away at a touch than what you're training to do to yourself - that happens to produce that effect.

rob_liberti
09-21-2008, 08:51 AM
I agree Bud. Now, who would you be more interested in reading that from? The new guy to it, or the people who have been doing it and teaching it for years and years?

gdandscompserv
09-21-2008, 09:31 AM
Does anyone remember that silly program called eliza?
My kids thought it was great fun to get eliza to swear.

gdandscompserv
09-21-2008, 09:36 AM
I like where this discussion is going. Frankly, I'm far less interested in hearing how someone gets "bounced" away at a touch than what you're training to do to yourself - that happens to produce that effect.
Mike mentioned something about clicking your heels together in another thread.;)
I'm with you Budd. There has got to be some physical movements/exercises that can be described that would be helpful.

DH
09-21-2008, 12:34 PM
I disagree with writing about it on the internet. I always have-I've never changed my position. Initially it was a way to vet people who were claiming to be able to do some things. I held back. Some wrote descriptions of exercises, I wrote some things that Rob included in his training descriptions, but I never wrote how-to's. I limited my involvement to descriptions of effects in your body and the affect it had on those trying to throw you. Those weren't "how-to's", but descriptions of "what happens" when you train this way.
In fact I squarely placed my discussions on the potentials of training this way, and what people should be judging others by, and the standard they could be reaching for. In others words, open up a dialogue of potentials and point to those who have the skills. Let people go and feel. Let them assess the worth, good, bad or indifferent, and decided if they want it.
Since that description has produced a 100% conversion rate to training this way, and the internet has only resulted in a firestorm of non-defensible position taking-sometimes even defying the writing on the wall, I fail to see any point in how-to's anymore.

Another reason I reserve showing "how-to's" to "hands-on", was:
1. I really DON"T want to teach someone who hasn't been vetted by me or those I know. If I'm going to spend time training someone, I'd rather know I am not empowering someone who struts around the dojo abusing lesser folks.
2. All writing does is give someone enough information to "sound like" they know what they're talking about and enter into a discussion where they don't belong.
3. Spend more time endlessly debating with a hollow voice on the other end who I thought was debating something they can actually do when it's all theory. Thus contributing to yet another dead end.
Having all the intellectual knowledge in the world isn't going to help those who will not and have not done the work.
Case in point: I have had some inroads into the ICMA that were -more- disappointing than aikido, in that I READ detailed descriptions from some guys on certain lists, public and private-who sucked in person. They weren't bad...they sucked, they had nothing. They, like so many MA'ers, were approaching their internal arts through forms and movement. But man...they knew everyone and everything and could talk the talk like no bodies business. The guys with real skills still are rare.

Here are two threads where you can see the same sort of empty discussion going on-in a forum that specializes in internal training.

http://emptyflower.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1748&sid=3db7e43eb05d933e8782e4b09ea2623f

http://emptyflower.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1782&p=28334#p28334

In one of the threads you will read of a bagua guy with some 15 years of training under a grandmaster and hi linage holding student who made a comment I've never forgoten. "I didn't know, that I didn't know." That is a fair assessment of my experience in training Aikido people so far.
If you scan through years of threads on that internal art forum you will see *some* good advice peppered through a ton of nonsense, including the lengthy discussions UFC and Boxing. Again, although you will hear some great writing-all from people who really have no physical understanding of the skills they write so eloquently about. So there, on an internal forum, specializing in these skills? IHTBF comes right back to smack you.

So, people can tell everybody, everything, all the time and teach everybody who shows up with a nickel in their hand. That's none of my business. I just won't be a part.

a) I want to know who I am teaching
b) I at least want to have a commitment to a follow through
c) I have a short list of Aikido people who already intentionally hurt their juniors. I can feign ignorance, teach things to everyone, and let the chips fall where they may, but honestly, I'd rather deck some aikido teachers, instead of showing them how to wreck more people,or at least teach their students how to stop them in their tracks and denf their bodies.

I'd also rather spend more time on a smaller segment of Aikido teachers who will follow through and become the future by reclaiming aikido and making it among the finest, and most powerful arts known.
It is the only way to fulfill Ueshiba's duality.

Budd
09-21-2008, 12:35 PM
I agree Bud. Now, who would you be more interested in reading that from? The new guy to it, or the people who have been doing it and teaching it for years and years?

Robb, pretty much anybody that says they're training to be able to do it, I'd like to hear what they're training specifically to do in themselves . . in whatever terminology they can describe (lots of squats, pulling perineum down while straightening spine against a wall, starting with a push to the shoulder, then moving back into the push, etc.). A newbie's perspective can be valuable to others just getting started, while someone that has been doing it and teaching it for years and years should be able to articulate the levels and stages they've reached, ie the checkpoints they've encountered so far . . or heck even be better at just describing the basics . .

Especially since every advanced skill I've seen has required at least a reasonable proficiency at "the basics".

Allen Beebe
09-21-2008, 02:30 PM
Hi Guys,

Just observing the way things are - as opposed to how I might like them to be - or think they should be - it is clear that we are not all in a "club" or organization that dictates and norms our conduct, provides protocols, lists rules of engagement, etc, outside of perhaps Jun and/or other outside limiting commitments we may, or may not, have.

Consequently, we all come here as individuals and are free to participate, or not, in the manner and to the degree of our choosing. Individuals are also free to argue for their particular approach, but that is no guarantee (unless Jun decides otherwise) that others will conform. Still, folks could just vote with their feet.

So there you go. It seems to me that this is a good as it gets on an open board. The web master of a private board can of course do more (choose membership, dictate rules of participation, etc.)

I'm thankful for what I've got . . . and, being human, am always on the lookout for more, more more! ;) :D

gdandscompserv
09-21-2008, 03:23 PM
I'm thankful for what I've got . . . and, being human, am always on the lookout for more, more more! ;) :D
Ditto for me.

rob_liberti
09-21-2008, 09:12 PM
Budd,

The BEST advice I can give you is:
1) ASAP, go to what ever workshops that you can find from Mike, Aukuzawa, Dan, Howard, Toby - that crowd.. I've heard good things about Sam Chin as well.

2) Get your body in good shape. I don't mean you need to run miles, or have huge chest muscles or even be super lean. I just mean find all of the kinks in your body and start working them out. Stretch, get massage, ensure that your bones are lined up - work to eliminate anything that restricts your body's movement. Pay attention to your ability to bring your breath into your ribs, etc. I think Alexander Technique is relevant as well. It won't teach you internal power, but it will certainly help get you a body that has a good chance of doing this kind of stuff.

3) Until you hook up with regular training in this way, if you want it, you can at least read some of the exercises that Robert John posted. Maybe start trying to do those by yourself.

4) You can also start wrestling/judo to build your body awareness and sensitivity.

That is the best advice I can give you other than packing up and moving somewhere like Japan to train with aukuzawa, or near Dan's barn, etc.. (But you might want to get yourself invited to train before you pack your suitcase.)

Rob

DH
09-21-2008, 09:50 PM
Hi Rob
Just a heads up. Budd Has been to see Mike, Ark and me. He is also actively training these skills with a group of people in their own dojo.He's also a grappler.:D

Toby Threadgill
09-22-2008, 12:09 AM
But the point I'd make is that if someone has something that they're contributing to the public community, for instance if they're "showing things" at seminars, I'd feel better if they'd post more on "how-to's".

Hello,

Being a crummy typist this is going to be quite an investment in time.....but here goes.

A few things. I know I've locked horns with Dan and Mike in the past and I still look askance at some of their communication methods. That said, I have no problem with a vast majority of what they are saying concerning internal training. I believe they are very capable martial artists and I have personally heard good things about their teaching from people who have attended their workshops. I have no reason to believe that they do not reflect excellent internal skills and I admire their passion in this arena. The reason I've never really participated in these discussions is, why should I? It seems these discussions are going along fine without my participation. I'm not really interested in tooting my own horn or having my students toot my horn for me. If I had nothing valuable to teach my students (some of them are posting on these very threads) they wouldn't be training with me. That should speak for itself.

I ask the readers here to appreciate that I am a very busy man. Maintaining my own training regimen, teaching my own students and representing TSYR around the globe is quite time intensive. I enjoy my life with my wife in the Rocky Mountains, but my teaching responsibilities often take me away from my home, frequently out of the country. I like to believe that because of my investment in time and effort the Shindo Yoshin Kai is growing steadily without the need for promotion via internet budo infomercials. Because of this, I fail to see what benefit I or the TSYR would realize by entering into frequent and lengthy internet prognostications describing what we do. My responsibility is to Takamura sensei, TSYR and its student base, not the public at large. It's not as if I have an aversion to public discourse, it's just that I have only so many hours in each day and I prefer spending my time in ways that I find pleasant and fulfilling. Internet budo banter just doesn't tickle my fancy like it obviously does for Mike, Dan and many others posting on this subject.

Something I must confess I'm rather uncomfortable with is the idea that anyone should present themselves as the clearing house of expertise on this topic. I suppose it's a good thing that people are talking about internal body training but I also think its problematic when anyone starts appointing themselves as the public arbiters of who's got "it", and who doesn't. Budo is full of mutual masterbation societies so I really hope this "internal budo brotherhood" doesn't go off in that direction. I know that it is inevitable that personalities and skills will be discussed but I would hope these things be kept as positive as possible.

I know that I should be flattered by being identified as one who "gets it" but frankly its a bit discomfiting. I simply do what I do to the best of my abilities, nothing more. I try to improve everyday and still have much to improve on and much to learn from the teachings I received. Whats really flattering to me is being invited to teach with other people I admire and enjoy spending time with, be it the Aiki Expo, the Aiki Summit or now Jun Akiyama's Aikiweb Workshop. So...in celebration of, and for the benefit of Jun's Aikiweb Workshop, I'll make an attempt, probably flawed, to describe the basics of what we do in TSYR related to internal body training.

Please don't bombard me with further questions about advanced specifics. I simply don't have the time to respond to such inquiries. FWIW....I'm working on a book with budo historian Shingo Ohgami in which I intend to cover TSYR's internal training in more detail. So...If you really want more info on the topic of TSYR's internal training, buy the book when it comes out......LOL

So.....

In TSYR our internal training is divided into two categories, the Happo Shinden Nairiki no gyo and Happo Shinden Misogi no gyo. The category exhibiting the most common traits to those being discussed here is the Happo Shinden Nairiki no gyo. The Nairiki no gyo are 8 kata manifesting both an omote and ura version. The omote versions are sotoden, or teachings I'm allowed to demonstrate or teach openly. The ura versions are uchiden, or teachings only demonstrated or taught within the kai membership.

The Nairiki no gyo are solo kata that incorporate specific body movement and physical dynamics required for proper execution of our paired kata. They are both specific and general in their value as a training tool. The omote versions are usually taught in three levels of complexity, starting as simple movement & relaxation, then progressing to include specific structural alignment and finally stressing specific muscular dynamics. In the ura versions, the kata are more complex with much more intricate attention given to relaxation, structural dynamics, muscular dynamics, and finally incorporating breathing methods taught via the recitation of proprietary Shinto prayers.

The most fundamental benefit obtained thru the performance the omote Nairiki no gyo is the cultivation of integrated muscular strengthening. The greater benefit of this type of body training is that it inculcates an integrated form of muscular power rather than one that is sectional or isolated. Modern weight training, especially machine based weight training purposely strengthens muscles in isolation, inhibiting the strengthening of surrounding muscles and other associated structures. Such training also inhibits the realization of coordinated muscular awareness. Without developing the body in an integrated way, isolated strength training makes it more difficult to apply, feel, recognize or resist forces as efficiently as we are capable of. A body trained in the isolated method may look impressive for its aesthetics but it is usually insensitive and weak in some fashion, like a chain that is only as strong as its weakest link.

Another important aspect of our omote kata relates to developing bone structure awareness. Proper structural awareness allows the body to "rest" efficiently on its framework utilizing minimum muscular tension to remain erect. Structural relaxation of the musculature increases body awareness with the goal of increasing levels of internal sensitivity and connection to ones base (ground). Once a practitioner can stand with a truly relaxed body, movement can then be employed in a manner that encourages and reinforces a more efficient relationship between the bone structure and musculature. This creates the sense of having a truly connected body, one that feels and moves in unified harmony. When opposing forces are met by this body it is able to feel and respond in a coordinated manner that is a genuine expression of the body's unified capabilities. When an uncoordinated and unconnected body meets opposing forces, isolated muscular tension is employed, resulting in resistance without a solid or efficient connection to ones base. As a result, one is easily moved or manipulated into a compromised position.

Building upon the previous two concepts, the next benefit of our omote kata relates to creating energy pathways that allow us to re-channel energy away from our center of gravity. This is not mystical clap trap but the utilization of structural alignment and controlled relaxation to rechannel forces so they travel thru our bodies and into our base, making our base stronger and more able to resist opposing forces without the accompanying tension employed in an unconnected body structure. Without the ability to manifest selective relaxation, a unified muscular body and a properly arranged bone structure, effectively utilizing energy pathways is very difficult if not impossible. In a primitive attempt to resist an attacking force the common body attempts to shore up its center of gravity thru the implementation of isolated tension and simple leverage. Unfortunately this provides an energy pathway to the center of gravity and base allowing an adversary to employ primitive strength and weight as determining factors for success.
In short, the idea here is to "touch" your adversary's center without him being able to "touch" yours. When you can do that you are well on your way.

The last thing I'd like to discuss concerns how the the concepts and principles in the solo kata are integrated into our paired kata. Every paired kata in the TSYR mokuroku employs numerous theories found in the solo kata. The solo kata were created to function as "identifiers" or customized training methods that allow the student concentrated access to the specific body skills deemed necessary for successful application of TSYR technique. Some of these principles are obvious while others are hidden deeply inside the kata waiting to be discovered by the student. It is impossible to explain many of these details in written form so they remain kuden or oral teachings, not identified or even alluded to in our densho (teaching scrolls).

So, Mike and Dan, there you go. Basic for sure but now you can't accuse me of being one of those antisocial koryu types hiding behind the veil of mystery budo voodoo.

I look forward to the Aikiweb Workshop in Seattle and hope to meet many of you there. Again, my thanks to Jun Akiyama for the honor of being asked to teach at his event with the likes of George Ledyard and Howard Popkin.

All my best,

Toby Threadgill / TSYR

DH
09-22-2008, 12:38 AM
Something I must confess I'm rather uncomfortable with is the idea that anyone should present themselves as the clearing house of expertise on this topic. I suppose it's a good thing that people are talking about internal body training but I also think its problematic when anyone starts appointing themselves as the public arbiters of who's got "it", and who doesn't. Budo is full of mutual masterbation societies so I really hope this "internal budo brotherhood" doesn't go off in that direction. I know that it is inevitable that personalities and skills will be discussed but I would hope these things be kept as positive as possible.

Hi Toby
I think your missed the point in a couple of places. There is no Mike and Dan. Mike barely tolerates me.
Also, if you go back and read there is no one offering or willing to be an arbiter for judging everyone. It's more honest than that. If you take the time to read, everyone is travelling and making their own own judgments, and finding a method that best suits them. Your comment was a bit out of place in what -most everyone's- goals are.

All that said, as we discussed there is a specific way to train the body outside of all kata and form that developes power in all movement. It is a substantial and worthwhile body of work. From there, a body of skills to use that conditioned body- that at least in my experience is proving to be pretty damn universal in application. Again with no one...not one- claiming either expertise or being an arbiter.
It's more of a workshop idea, with those searching doing the judging.

Time for bed for me.

DH
09-22-2008, 01:03 AM
One other quick thought to close this out.
There is no "internal budo club" either. Everyone I know training this way is staying in their own art. And it is a staggeringly divergent spread of arts. And they make their own assessments based on training with several people teaching internal power from divergent backgrounds themselves. The guys doing the research are themselves, many times substantial, experienced and very jaded men, not prone to accepting someones B.S.-your's, mine, or others, being judged for their search choices in their budo, nor being a part of someone's "club."

I think in five years or so, they will just become powerful so and so's in whatever it is they are teaching. It's all about them, it's all about the arts. More specifically to help those that do not have access to this type of training within their arts. Not surprisingly, they are being noticed by their own teachers in a very short time span.

So, I look past some minor squabbles here and there to the hundreds who are greatful and benefiting from skills that were not availible to them in their arts (for various reasons).Then, I look past them -at more modern grappling arts putting down many Traditional budo styles-myself included. I think this movement will be a resurgence of power and true ability in more traditional forms of budo, and I think that's a good thing.
.

Toby Threadgill
09-22-2008, 01:28 AM
Hi Toby
I think your missed the point in a couple of places. There is no Mike and Dan. Mike barely tolerates me.

LOL.... I didn't mean to imply you guys were married or anything, just that you've both publicly asked me to expound on the topic at hand in previous discussions.

Also, if you go back and read there is no one offering or willing to be an arbiter for judging everyone. It's more honest than that. If you take the time to read, everyone is travelling and making their own own judgments, and finding a method that best suits them. Your comment was a bit out of place in what -most everyone's- goals are.

I apologize as I may not have been clear. I did not mean to imply that anyone intended to represent themselves as the arbiter of truth on this topic but that it might be wise to exercise caution when evaluating someone who's expertise is unknown to avoid such interpretation. The second I was mentioned as one who's "got it" on this thread I started recieving e-mails and phone calls asking "What happened? Did Dan and you get together?" It made me laugh out loud.....So whether you realize it or not, some readers do consider you guys arbiters of who's got "it". That may not be fair or your intention, but there you go......

I'm not trying to condemn anyone but just suggesting caution.

All my best,

Toby

DH
09-22-2008, 01:35 AM
Hah!
Well look at it this way...when I mentioned you and Howard, I also suggested people go and feel and test various teachers ( in my best magnanimous tone- also see post #7for my suggestions of some budo fun) so they can at least... write them off and disclude them from the "list"!! hah! :eek:
We give out secret decoder rings at the door to these events. You send me one of your's- I'll send one of mine.

Seriously though-that was funny. I expect-as it is 2:30 am here- I will be getting the same emails and phone calls. Oy!

I'm going to bed..........see ya.

Budd
09-22-2008, 09:29 AM
Hi Rob,

I don't have any beef with your bits of advice for pretty much ANY martial artist, but . . for someone that's talking about how they're training internals . . I'm more curious as to what that person is doing than the general "You should do this" . . . advice. Even if it's just working the basics and sure, I'm sensitive to things that are considered private . . but if we're looking at "the basics" as the common ground, then maybe some discussion around what those are could be good, also.

Budd

As Dan mentioned, I'm kinda working on this stuff, too . . but I figure I need to get a bit better at it before i say too much publicly about it . .

Budd,

The BEST advice I can give you is:
1) ASAP, go to what ever workshops that you can find from Mike, Aukuzawa, Dan, Howard, Toby - that crowd.. I've heard good things about Sam Chin as well.

2) Get your body in good shape. I don't mean you need to run miles, or have huge chest muscles or even be super lean. I just mean find all of the kinks in your body and start working them out. Stretch, get massage, ensure that your bones are lined up - work to eliminate anything that restricts your body's movement. Pay attention to your ability to bring your breath into your ribs, etc. I think Alexander Technique is relevant as well. It won't teach you internal power, but it will certainly help get you a body that has a good chance of doing this kind of stuff.

3) Until you hook up with regular training in this way, if you want it, you can at least read some of the exercises that Robert John posted. Maybe start trying to do those by yourself.

4) You can also start wrestling/judo to build your body awareness and sensitivity.

That is the best advice I can give you other than packing up and moving somewhere like Japan to train with aukuzawa, or near Dan's barn, etc.. (But you might want to get yourself invited to train before you pack your suitcase.)

Rob

Budd
09-22-2008, 09:53 AM
Hi Dan,

I had a great time with you and yours at your barn that July afternoon (damn is it more than a year already?).

Just a clarification, though . . I have not gotten to meet Ark, yet. Sadly, I was not able to attend his visit to the NOVA dojo this past year. Hoping I can catch him next time around.

Best/Budd

Hi Rob
Just a heads up. Budd Has been to see Mike, Ark and me. He is also actively training these skills with a group of people in their own dojo.He's also a grappler.:D

Gernot Hassenpflug
09-22-2008, 10:37 AM
Toby, that was a great exposition there. Very interesting to see how that all relates to Akuzawa sensei's teachings of the basics---the bone structure and unified musculature for one thing in the basic exercises and movements/kata, and then the generation of different paths in the body (which none of us are really concerned with at our level yet).

Regards, Gernot

C. David Henderson
10-04-2008, 01:46 PM
I am writing this with the hope that it is constructive and hope it is not seen as criticism. Yet another thread here is smoldering if not flaming, and has drifted from a discussion of aiki to a dissection of motives and personalities. I'm just an interested reader, with no claim to anything but sincere interest in these discussions.

Several aspects of the exchanges that stand out:

I perceive those here who are passionate about the value of internal training to be sincere; untempered, however, this sincerity and enthusiasm can alienate the "uninitiated." That seems to be the feedback that a lot of people gave in the "Closing Threads" thread.

In that regard, though, the more recent thread may have touched on a process issue for those who are studying these skills and want to discuss them:

How can you find appropriate visual examples to illustrate your points?

One option is of course to post examples of yourselves in action, as Mark Murray has. Seems like this is very simple, clear, and clean. But it may be limited by the willingness of volunteers.

Another that has appeared uncontroversial is using clips of renowned martial arts from You Tube or other sites.

If there is a lesson from the aiki thread at issue, it seems to be that using a picture of another poster's Aikido waza as a model for discussing principles of internal training will work more smoothly if permission is sought and given first. I'm not sure about obscuring faces, but that's just me...

Finally, there seems to be a tendency for conflict to spill over from the original parties to include other posters. I'm not sure what's going on there, and may have done it as well. But I offer this observation -- the exchanges are no longer between the two original parties, and the thread is, last I checked, still bogged down. So maybe discretion is well advised.

DH

rob_liberti
10-04-2008, 07:59 PM
I agree. We all are encouraged to offer our perspective. I admit that sometimes I get "confused" or maybe I should say more easily distracted by the particularly whizzing sound of a rock being thrown from a glass house. But maybe those harmonics just work that way on me... :)

Rob

Demetrio Cereijo
10-05-2008, 10:34 AM
I perceive those here who are passionate about the value of internal training to be sincere; untempered, however, this sincerity and enthusiasm can alienate the "uninitiated."

IMO, what alienates the uninitiated is the amount of talk but no walk demonstrated while at the same time claiming everybody except the initiated sucks.

C. David Henderson
10-05-2008, 11:30 AM
OK. I think for me this falls under the heading of a limited quantity of volunteers. But those who are in a position to demonstrate-the-walk probably need to reach their own conclusions about how, given their views on posting images, they intend to show, not tell.
IMO, too.

DH

Gary David
10-05-2008, 11:58 AM
Folks
It has been said that a picture is worth a 1000 words.......if words can't really "tell" the story what good are the pictures? A picture of the Grand Canyon is great, but not like being there. Pictures of great food and talk about it doesn't replace tasting it.......same with smell. Clips of folks help in raising interest and awareness........in the end you got to find someone who you trust to fill in where the pictures and words alone leave off........
Gary

Mike Sigman
10-05-2008, 12:07 PM
OK. I think for me this falls under the heading of a limited quantity of volunteers. But those who are in a position to demonstrate-the-walk probably need to reach their own conclusions about how, given their views on posting images, they intend to show, not tell.
IMO, too.I realize that this has been mentioned a few times before, David, but I'm of the opinion that "showing" people only has limited benefit. In terms of showing people who have no real idea and grasp of the mechanics (almost, let's say, trying to teach them what it's about), video representations and still pictures simply don't do any good. I know. I put out two different sets of videos in the 1990's and I quit selling them both times as it became apparent that for teaching the people who don't know, the vids simply didn't work. A hands-on feel is need to get people started.

In terms of a discussion between people who already know the topic to some degree, I think pictures and videos have a place to compare, discuss, and so forth. But the problem on this forum seems to be that of the people that know anything or supposedly know things, too many of them don't want to show the cards in their hand. ;) The people who want to learn what the discussion is about... unfortunately it's one of those cases where you have to already know before the pictures/discussions make any sense.

I've allowed a number of people on the QiJin forum over time who then have access to about as complete a set of descriptive discussions, etc., as available anywhere on earth. Yet when I meet the people who are on QiJin but who never had any hands-on instruction in person I find that it's the same problem as with the video-tapes which foundered back in the 90's..... without that initial hands-on introduction and corrections, it's almost impossible for anyone to get anywhere.

So you see the problem. It's like trying to teach someone how to palpate for tumors using only a book and a video. ;)

Best.

Mike Sigman

DH
10-05-2008, 01:32 PM
IMO, what alienates the uninitiated is the amount of talk but no walk demonstrated while at the same time claiming everybody except the initiated sucks.
I don't think the discussion revolves around who sucks. Fighting is fighting, skill is skill. Those stand on their own merits. The other discussion is around a definition of aiki and a skill set that many are unfamiliar with, and internal skills that many don't know. I thinkg that get ironed out pretty quickly in person.
It's pretty much stated over and over that the information is known, and since its known it can be identified and discussed. It's just touch in this venue.
As an example:
I had a Hung gar / taiji fighter up yesterday, who's fought in various countries all over and is quite capable. We ended up sharing and talking over a hell of allot of common info, and some defining differences. He had no trouble-nor do I-in splitting the discussion between Internal, and fighting skills and where they overlap and why- in grappling. So here outside of the aiki arts, there were three different arts represented and we had a great physical discussion of "it" that was neutral and informative, without defense or prejudice in any way. On top of that it just so happned to involve humor and a kinship. We intend on following it up again with food and beer.
So knowing "it" or not should be a neutral discussion. Maybe it can only be so in person, where the hands on portion makes it definitive and obvious...and as I pointed out informative and friendly.

I am thinking of trying graphics but Mike may be right in the end about hands-on.

Mike Sigman
10-05-2008, 03:30 PM
As an example:
I had a Hung gar / taiji fighter up yesterday, Just to make a side-point, nothing important, but worth commenting on after seeing this sort of thing for a while. I don't judge Aikido by everyone I meet who claims they do Aikido. There are people who do good Aikido and there are people who "do Aikido". Same with Daito Ryu, I don't casually mention a comparison about some "Daito Ryu fighter" when most of the people I've seen doing DR aren't doing DR a favor by claiming to represent the art. And so on. I don't know anyone in North America who does Taiji well-enough to say that what they do is Taiji... much less to be an honest representative to "Taiji fighting".

The real problem is that Hun Gar (*real* Hun Gar) and Taiji movement are pretty much two different things (think "Teacher Test", etc.). If you've trained yourself to really do one of them, you've pretty much guaranteed yourself that you're not doing the other one in the traditional manner. So a HunGa/Taiji combo is almost an oxymoron. And I'm not saying that to start some bickering. I'm saying that it's probably a little offensive to real Taiji or to real HunGar to say someone is a HunGar/Taiji fighter. It's better to say that someone *claims* to represent HunGar and Taiji fighting, etc., and I'd probably just nod off to sleep without saying anything. Maybe it'd make my point if I said someone was DaitoRyu/Pankration fighter and watch all the D.R. guys flinch. ;)

And BTW, it's often better for a lot of arts if it's left open-ended whether someone fully represents the art they're claiming to represent. I often say that "So-and-so has been doing Taiji for 25 years" and I leave it open like that rather than saying "So-and-so is a senior Taiji expert". Most of the people I know who "teach Taiji" are part of the great unwashed masses with no real skills to speak of, despite the many years they've been dabbling. Same is true of most arts, but you already know that. I want to be considerate of the people about whom I'm speaking.... but I also want to be careful and not let anyone misrepresent a decent martial style by too-carelessly using some names as "what they do".

YMMV

Mike Sigman

C. David Henderson
10-05-2008, 06:57 PM
Mike,

I appreciate your point, and having seen clips of various artists, I am aware of my own limitations in understanding just by seeing. My point, I guess, might be better laid out by talking about multiple audiences. The two groups are those you discuss, and they always will be communicating (talking and understanding) at a different level.

But the fact remains that there are multiple groups of readers who think these posts are worth reading, and a number of actively training posters who think its worth talking about.

For me, I have no interest in intruding on that conversation. If I have a question, I'll ask. But with the realization that this medium limits what can be provided by way of an answer.

That doesn't eliminate the underlying problem for those who are training actively in this area and who are trying to use images to communicate. They still face the same problems.

I think those problems likely go beyond the question of what source to use. But I agree with you that the unwillingness of some to post images of themselves has a role. One way of looking at it, that I'm not sure has been discussed before, however, is the value and viability of posting such images for those of you who do have a basis of knowledge to say what you want to say to each other.

The rest of us will just do what we do.

However, I have to agree with Demetrio that it feels self limiting and unsatisfying when the use of images tilts towards a critique of other martial artists. To Dan Harden I'd suggest it is asking a lot of people to say you are just using them as a model of what is wrong with a particular type of training, and, yes, if he were to perform that same technique, his own acts would show the same kinds of deficits, but then decline to just show what he is talking about.

Ulitmately, I conclude its not viable, because it causes to much friction for the discussion to continue on its merits. YMMV

Regards,
DH

Mike Sigman
10-05-2008, 07:30 PM
But the fact remains that there are multiple groups of readers who think these posts are worth reading, and a number of actively training posters who think its worth talking about. Hi David:

Well, I more or less agree with you. However, this is a tricky topic. Notice how easily it got "lost" for a number of years because it's so tricky. Notice how Jun was so unsure of it as a topic that he put it into "Non-Aikido Martial Traditions", as a matter of fact. If nothing else, that shows clearly that this is a tricky topic and we're watching a period of, perhaps, transition. Your input to the transition itself is good and I think some rules/protocols are going to be developed out of all of these discussions. None of it is going to be easy, although it should be fun to watch develop. ;) [[snipsky]] The rest of us will just do what we do. That you will. And those of those who have information will also do what we will. It's the nature of things. Personally, I know that if it were me and if I were really interested in the topic, I'd go look and get involved in the discussions. I watch with interest the number of people who probably now realize there's something at least somewhat important being discussed, yet they let the years keep slipping by before they can make up their mind to do anything definitive.

Since I personally can't comprehend that kind of behavior from someone who is *really interested* in various Asian arts, I tend to just shrug off people who haven't made much of a move before now. It's why I suggested in an earlier post to not worry too much about trying to convince anyone; the interested people will come, look, evaluate the importance, and so on. Certainly there are enough clues in the literature that someone really interested should have already been motivated by now. Many other people are happy with Aikido (and karate and Taiji and Xingyi and Iaido, etc., etc.) as they know it. I say let them alone, if they're happy.
However, I have to agree with Demetrio that it feels self limiting and unsatisfying when the use of images tilts towards a critique of other martial artists. To Dan Harden I'd suggest it is asking a lot of people to say you are just using them as a model of what is wrong with a particular type of training, and, yes, if he were to perform that same technique, his own acts would show the same kinds of deficits, but then decline to just show what he is talking about. A fair point, IMO. Probably worth an extended discussion. Ulitmately, I conclude its not viable, because it causes to much friction for the discussion to continue on its merits. It's a difficult call. I certainly see your point. On the other hand, I also understand what Dan sees and I can see the rationale for taking a publicly posted picture of any claimant to expertise and examining that expertise in light of the basic skillset that Dan is talking about. These are simply weird times. What has happened is that a set of skills basic to most of Asian martial arts is coming back into play and none of us realized the importance of those skills when we first encountered our basic Asian martial art. Now that the true basic place of those skills is becoming obvious to the first wave (and that's all it is; I don't think there are any true "experts" yet), it's difficult not to point out that obviousness to a lot of people who also claim to be similar enthusiasts. There is no one answer about how to handle these things and we're trying to discuss the protocols and set them sort of arbitrarily. I don't think anyone is trying to be too presumptive in this time of change; then again this is a time of change and there are a number of people who will resist the change because they already have a place in the pecking-order, so there will always be some friction, right or wrong, too.

I'd just suggest that people contribute, as you've done, to the overall discussion and hopefully we all get through it with the most benefit for the most people. Interesting times. ;)

Best.

Mike Sigman

Demetrio Cereijo
10-05-2008, 08:42 PM
I don't think the discussion revolves around who sucks. Fighting is fighting, skill is skill. Those stand on their own merits. The other discussion is around a definition of aiki and a skill set that many are unfamiliar with, and internal skills that many don't know. I thinkg that get ironed out pretty quickly in person.

Let's see, here is a pic of me (the guy wearing the black skirt):
http://img142.imageshack.us/img142/2060/gggua0.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

I do not have any problem with a yoga/pilates/feldenkrais/aikido/judo/kali/mma/kenjutsu/whatever practitioner or instructor saying after watching it that I lack proper posture/ki flow/kokyu/handsomeness/et c.if it is done in good standing.

However if said person also claims to be an awesome martial artist who eats pro fighters for breakfast (unproven claims, btw) and I feel his use of the previous pic is a form of saying "look, this guy sucks but I'm awesome" then he should be aware, if he is at a reasonable distance, that at any moment I can knock at his dojo/gym/club/door asking for a hands crossing session.

I don't dismiss the value of internal training, but making fun or ridiculing people to make a point about the amounts of "it" someone has is, imo, a bad move.

DH
10-05-2008, 09:30 PM
I do not have any problem with a yoga/pilates/feldenkrais/aikido/judo/kali/mma/kenjutsu/whatever practitioner or instructor saying after watching it that I lack proper posture/ki flow/kokyu/handsomeness/et c.if it is done in good standing.

However if said person also claims to be an awesome martial artist who eats pro fighters for breakfast (unproven claims, btw) and I feel his use of the previous pic is a form of saying "look, this guy sucks but I'm awesome" then he should be aware, if he is at a reasonable distance, that at any moment I can knock at his dojo/gym/club/door asking for a hands crossing session.

I don't dismiss the value of internal training, but making fun or ridiculing people to make a point about the amounts of "it" someone has is, imo, a bad move.
Are you addressing me?
I've never said those things. That would be hyperbole. Spend some time searching and show me where statements of this type ...exist. None of the statements I have made or even the tone supports such commentary. If you review even the little I did say in the pictures thread. None of your assertions will stand scrutiny.

As for internal skills and aiki
Please note in your search of threads to make your points... all the posts of those who came to 'air their frustrations -in person." They have all ended up adopting training this way. The posts are all here.
Why do you suppose that is?
Its a 100% conversion.
What manner of rationale can you assign to explaining this phenomenon?
Could it mean that what we have been saying all along...actually is consistently proving to be true, as witnessed by the members here?
Since by all acounts (as reported here) that statement appears to be true time and again, then the only flaw we are discussing is the human frailty factor; poor comminication skills, tough subject, difficult to hear, and difficult to say type things. As a stand alone factual review from visitors?
People who feel it-want to know how to train to get it.

Demetrio Cereijo
10-05-2008, 10:27 PM
Are you addressing me?
Do you feel adressed? Why? You've never said those things. Assume I'm talking about some crazy Pilates instructor and forget about it. Easy, isn't it.

I've never said those things. That would be hyperbole. Spend some time searching and show me where statements of this type ...exist. None of the statements I have made or even the tone supports such commentary. If you review even the little I did say in the pictures thread. None of your assertions will stand scrutiny.
It's not if my assertions stand scrutiny, It's about if someone's attitude can be seen as offensive or disrespectful to others and what can be their reactions. There's people around with no sense of humour. That's life.

As for internal skills and aiki

I've never dismissed the value of internal skills so don't mix things, please.

You are trying to put back internal skills in aikido, no problem. In fact I'm sure you're correct about it even if there is no available proof of your skills other than some testimonials from visitors who are not the top guys in the business. No sport fighting record data available, no LEO/Military experience data available, no pics, videos or testimonials of recognized pro fighters or athletes, no known students of yours storming NAGA, Olympics Judo or Wrestling, Golden Gloves, Pro Boxing, UFC or even track and field events...

However, I have no problem in assuming you are skilled and a competent trainer both in fighting and in internal skills developement. But this do not mean you have some kind of letter of marque to play the thoughest guy around and quality auditor of everybody at the same time.

Best.

Demetrio

DH
10-05-2008, 11:06 PM
Do you feel adressed? Why?
Well, uhm...you quoted me as the lead-in to your post

I've never dismissed the value of internal skills so don't mix things, please.
Well you pretty much mix the issue in the balance of your post. I try to keep them separate. Here's why.
Any sport fighter is great without them. So how would having them be validated by sport fighting?
Inversley, do the hundreds of men, if not thousands who have these skills and choose not to participate in such venues-no longer have them? Are they now invalidated?

Since the recent re-discovery of this body of work and means to train it have been made by so many members here, and since there are hundreds of posts here that speak so positively of the training method that they have chosen to adopt, and since none of them chose to adopt this training based on being beaten up...:confused:
what does that say about their judgment of the validity of these skills in their training?

How does discussing them, and who has them, how they are displayed in the arts equate to any sort of discussion of beating people up ...yet again?
All that does is mix the value of internal training and fighting. Something which I continue to discuss as separate issues, that may relate or not, depending on personal choice.

phitruong
10-06-2008, 08:30 AM
i wished i have a picture that i can post so folks can critic. i don't even own a camera. sheesh! i do have a picture of me in zebra speedo on the beach that i looked like a bloated whale which quite beautiful in some country (methink), so you folks should not hate me for being beautiful. :)

as far as internal stuffs go, i think IS just have bad marketing process. if you read through the various description of IS, you find stuffs like: guy pushed me and bounce back; guy tried stuffs on me and i didn't do anything and he couldn't make thing happen; i didn't do anything but folks couldn't get their techniques to work; and so on and so far. you noticed the theme "i didn't do much, just internal stuffs, and things either happen or not happen to folks." what sort of marketing is that? lets face it, internal stuffs are just not sexy! :D

whereas, aikido is good looking with guys in swirling skirts and women in pajama pants, flowing, flipping, and in general moving about looking good. and you have judo/bjj with sweaty, muscular guys rolling around in various suggestive poses. and taekwondo folks flying through the air like some kind of super hero while smiling with beautiful white teeth. we just looked good without trying, whereas, internal folks just sort of loitering around the landscape not doing a lot of anything. ;)

on a side note, with all the discussion of IS, it got us aware of the IS folks and a chance to track them down and learn from them.

C. David Henderson
10-06-2008, 09:23 AM
Mike,

Thanks for your response. I understand what you're saying and hope some shared areas of agreement can emerge on how to discuss this topic. I agree its worth the discussion that's occurring.

Regards,

DH

Demetrio Cereijo
10-06-2008, 10:27 AM
Well, uhm...you quoted me as the lead-in to your post
You quoted me first. :)

Well you pretty much mix the issue in the balance of your post. I try to keep them separate.

Dan, you're mixing things again. Me disagreeing with how you adress the value of internal skills developement and your e-attitude doesn't make me a dismisser of internal skills. Read my post again. I accept constructive technical criticism without problem, what put me on my nerves is people who act like if they were the owner of the "Seal of Approval" about other people skills be it internal or external.

And when the people who is stamping the seal of approval is, like in your case, someone who has not given any proof of skills other than some testimonials and obscure references to high ranked aikido practitioneers or kungfu fighters, you tell me...

I'm not against internals. But I'd rather prefer reading something in the line of "Bas Rutten came to me and was converted" than reading about "a quite capable taiji fighter". You is the one who is mixing internals with fighting pointing to testimonials of martial artists/fighters as means of validation. Make available testimonials of highly skilled martial artists about you and let's see what happens.

Of course, this is because we are in a martial arts related forum, what validates your approach to training is the martial side of things. It this were a track and field forum and you were promoting your training method for better performance you'll be asked to demonstrate yourself, or via your students, measurable running, long jump, shot putting or javeline throwing skills or testimonials of high ranked athletes.

Since the recent re-discovery of this body of work and means to train it have been made by so many members here, and since there are hundreds of posts here that speak so positively of the training method that they have chosen to adopt, and since none of them chose to adopt this training based on being beaten up...:confused:
what does that say about their judgment of the validity of these skills in their training?

Well, I haven't seen high level martial performance from the people who has adopted this training.

How does discussing them, and who has them, how they are displayed in the arts equate to any sort of discussion of beating people up ...yet again?

Because we are in a martial arts environment, maybe?

If you want to compare cardio training methods you make people run, if you want to compare strenght training methods you make people move heavy things. How do you measure or compare martial (or martial related) methods for skill developement?

Best.

rob_liberti
10-06-2008, 02:24 PM
How do you measure or compare martial (or martial related) methods for skill development?

We come up with some tests.

C. David Henderson
10-06-2008, 03:16 PM
Rob,

Did you have in mind the kinds of tests you've been suggesting in other recent thread (with accompanying requests for input, additions)? Like applying force without committing weight, push tests, etc?

I had understood these to be tests you suggest using to assess the development of internal skills;

What I understood Demetrio to be pointing at was the ultimate relevance of martial effectiveness to the assessment of those (or any other) skill set; and

What I heard Dan to be saying was that he distinguishes between internal skills and and overall fighting ability, which these skills may enhance but which are not necessary to be a "good fighter" (paraphrasing).

I am wondering -- are the criteria you suggested directly related to the issue of martial effectiveness, or indirectly, to the extent there does exist a relationship between the two? Not saying there isn't,just to be clear, but the question was "testing."

Any thoughts you have would be welcome.

Regards,

DH

DH
10-06-2008, 04:30 PM
David
What I have said is that they were two different topics. Not...that they do not overlap. Just that they can be discussed as two separate issues. There are many excellent fighters who are external. There are probably many lousy fighters who practice internal arts.

If people just want to fight...go for it. One personal prejudice is that it needs to seriously involve grappling. But beyond that-you need read no further.

I think internal training gives distinct advantages if you opt to go down that road. But it needs to be a foundational shift in focus.
In martial applications there are some things that people have written in about that is very simple and effective testing that answeres direct questions; attempting to get kuzushi and a fit-in to throw. The counters in traditional work involve speed and positional change, foot work etc., to counter. With internal skills you don't really have to do much of anything to present a very significant resistance..through change -before- your body moves. Your body cancels and absorbs input before you start moving, and before you even consider positional change. I've said it before that you can feel like you are tryting ot throw someone made out of hard rubber.
Having your body absorb and follow before your body moves to follow, or presenting central axis strength that can be pivoted on, or better still a centered strength that can be revolved "around" is not something I've seen or experienced in any refined sense in most Japanese artists. Most of whom are still one-side weighted, hip driven, and susceptible to being thrown in vectors that remain vulnerable.

How does that present in a martial sense?
Training this way makes you much more difficult to throw or off balance, while being able to issue power simultaneously. Further, the power strikes in short spaces are very damaging as well. in fact the ability to generate striking power in small spaces in grappling is off the charts compared to normal training.
And none of this has anything to do with technique, other than it has a tendency to cancel them out while remaining uncommitted yourself and still remaining mobile. Again, an external artist trying to throw someone with decent internal power and skills will prove to be quite an undertaking.
None of that will do much good if you don't practice to use them that way, example: an opponent stands outside and peppers you with strikes and beats you down with hand speed.

C. David Henderson
10-06-2008, 06:04 PM
Dan,

Thanks for your thoughts. That was very clearly stated for me. I have had a few opportunities in the last several years to work with a friend who has taught CMA for many years, and emphasizes internal skills (sorry I can't be more specific) and their martial application.

You won't be surprised that these concepts are similar to discussions we have had. I have some experience with dropping into a "hole" I didn't know I'd created, and having the rebound lift me off my feet, and other experiences that remind me of things you've described.

So, without getting into degrees and levels of understanding, what you've so clearly laid out resonates with me. I think it also bears thinking about. That I've yet to do.

Regards,

DH

Demetrio Cereijo
10-07-2008, 12:11 PM
Dan,

That was a nice and illustrative post.

Thanks.

Ron Tisdale
10-07-2008, 12:33 PM
I do not have any problem with a ...practitioner or instructor saying after watching it that I lack proper posture/ki flow/kokyu/handsomeness/et c.if it is done in good standing.

What qualifies as "in good standing"?? I think that particular still frame shows too much shoulder use, but then, I have the same problem.

Snip obvious hyperbole...

I don't dismiss the value of internal training, but making fun or ridiculing people to make a point about the amounts of "it" someone has is, imo, a bad move.

'Couse it is. Probably one reason I haven't seen Dan do it.

Oh, I forgot this gem if he is at a reasonable distance, that at any moment I can knock at his dojo/gym/club/door asking for a hands crossing session.

My money would be on Dan hands down 95% of the time. Hey, everyone has a bad day ;) But the real point is, what kind of a jamoke would do such a thing, in this day and age? One who belongs in a prison, that's what. You can get all the fights you like there...

Best,
Ron

gdandscompserv
10-07-2008, 12:48 PM
One who belongs in a prison, that's what. You can get all the fights you like there...
I have often wondered how we 'martial artists' would fare in such an environment. It would be interesting to know if Clint George's aikido skills will be effective in such an environment.

MM
10-07-2008, 06:47 PM
I would guess that talking about Internal Training is still a topic to be feared, dismissed, and regulated. Rather than discussed on its own merits, it appears that things have been reduced to pounding square pegs into round holes. I hope that I am wrong -- for it would be a shame to see people being restricted from having a voice based upon the very legal use of public pictures. I'm sure Dan would agree.

Right, Dan?

Dan ...?

Jim Sorrentino
10-07-2008, 09:00 PM
Mark,I would guess that talking about Internal Training is still a topic to be feared, dismissed, and regulated. Rather than discussed on its own merits, it appears that things have been reduced to pounding square pegs into round holes. I hope that I am wrong -- for it would be a shame to see people being restricted from having a voice based upon the very legal use of public pictures. I'm sure Dan would agree.Perhaps if Dan (and others) would try a more positive approach, this would help. I have asked several times now for Dan to provide an example of a video of traditional Japanese Martial Arts showing body work that impresses him, and to state why it impresses him. Neither he nor any of his students, acolytes, or proteges have responded. Why not?

Sincerely,

Jim

Demetrio Cereijo
10-07-2008, 10:10 PM
My money would be on Dan hands down 95% of the time.
Mine too.
But the real point is, what kind of a jamoke would do such a thing, in this day and age? One who belongs in a prison, that's what. You can get all the fights you like there...
See how easy is e-posturing, acting like a bad-to-the-bone guy and making claims of skill. These are the days of the internet. No proof needed, only words.

Not many years -in geological terms, of course- ago, these things were solved with pistols at ten paces...
:D

I would guess that talking about Internal Training is still a topic to be feared, dismissed, and regulated.

I don't think so. People (or at least me) only asks for:
a) Proof of internal skills developement leading to better performance.
b) To not use people who lacks internal skill as example of what is "wrong" when what is "right" has not been shown.

Do you think this is asking too much?

Buck
10-07-2008, 11:01 PM
I would guess that talking about Internal Training is still a topic to be feared, dismissed, and regulated. Rather than discussed on its own merits, it appears that things have been reduced to pounding square pegs into round holes. I hope that I am wrong -- for it would be a shame to see people being restricted from having a voice based upon the very legal use of public pictures. I'm sure Dan would agree.

Right, Dan?

Dan ...?

This really is a hot topic with copyright laws and the internet, and politics. I didn't get to see the picture. From what I get from the discussions is was not received well. Are these "internal skills" I keep reading about the Holy Grail of martial arts? I don't know much but I am guessing they are from Chinese martial arts. As I thought about it, I did some reading, picked up some books at the local Barnes and Noble. You know to familiarize myself with Chinese martial arts principles. After I read a few books, I over looked a book in Aikido that had a lot of parallels to Chinese stuff. The book was Gozo Shioda's book the advanced Aikido.

Back to this picture and talk about internal training. I figure there are billions of Chinese and millions then who practice internal arts and of those millions there are what at least hundreds of thousand who teach it in China and overseas who are alive now. They write book and do DVDs. And what about those they taught, they have books and do DVDs. Then what about the past teachers who have died of old age, they have written books, and have students. I read that the Japanese absorbed Chinese martial arts, though the Japanese are more closed on that information. But, WOW, I never realized how much information is out there on internal arts, and how many people teach it.

Why don't we see internal martial artists in MMA, I don't see Tai Chi fighters or Kung fu fighters. Because there are so many out there you would think they would be in the ring or at least MMA would be crediting internal arts like they do jujitsu or muy tai kickboxing training. Anyway that is a different topic, I guess.

Sometimes when there is allot going on, when allot of dust and dirt is being kicked up, you just have to sit back and ask the simple fundamental questions to see what is really going on. Goes along the line when things are complicated you look at the simple to make determinations, discernments, seeing facts, truths and stuff like that. :)

Buck
10-07-2008, 11:35 PM
Internal training as discussed by Dan, has been Dan's flagship and has caused lot of discussion with opinions. It has reminded me of a ugly situation some years ago regarding a Mark Tennenhouse, O.K. In short from what I can remember he was pro-aikido change to meet the demands of the oncoming wave of MMA. And after I re-read his blogs and posts it was similar to what is being discussed, and to me is interesting that almost some years later that bone is still being picked. Sure there are some minor differences but generally over all it is the same bone.

As many know Tennenhouse went down like the Titanic when he took it to the mat. A huge risk that didn't favor him, but a risk never the less. Even though I privately disagreed with him, I did give him credit to walking on the mat. Then on the other end was Kimbo Slice, who was talked up then when put to the mat went down faster than the Titanic. That is at some point all this talk about internal training is talk unless it is brought out of the 2D world into the 3D world. Yea, it is a big risk. Yea, there is ways to play it safe and not risk a reputation, and get street cred- like Kimbo's story. But unless it is put to the mat it is all just talk.

And you know what the talk is, just a heck of allot more than really should exist and more then one can read. I think talk is good, it is where we start but it isn't all of what something is like internal arts. And it should not replace getting out there in the 3D world. I think it is time now to get the ball rolling. With all the talk it really hasn't generated any qualifiable measurements other then the about of bandwidth past the usefulness of meaningful and informative discussion, the getting our attention and answering initial questions. I think at this point of over-saturation of talk, talk has to move on or stop, we need to move to the next phase of this thing by taking it to the mat in a big way. This thing has covered the same ground so much it has dug the equvalent to the Grand Canyon.

Dan has mentioned other people who are doing it, but the results in numbers are really not there. It isn't the next big thing. It could be if...

Just my opinion. And honestly, there is a point when talk needs to move on, or stop and I think we have hit that point. Thats all. :)

Ron Tisdale
10-08-2008, 11:15 AM
I don't think so. People (or at least me) only asks for:
a) Proof of internal skills developement leading to better performance.
b) To not use people who lacks internal skill as example of what is "wrong" when what is "right" has not been shown.

Do you think this is asking too much?

Nope, if that is all you are asking for. To get same,

a) Visit, train, and make up your own mind.

b) handled by a)

That has been the response so far, and I think both sides are quite reasonalbe.

Best,
Ron (which is why I don't understand the hyperbole and threats I mentioned earlier)

Buck
10-08-2008, 04:39 PM
I remember when I was a kid and there was always one kid who did things better then the rest. Like the kid who could do skateboard tricks better then anyone else. We knew he was better because we seen it. It was a gift, a talent, a natural ability for him.

Then there was the kid who said he could do better that he was better, and he convinced a few other kids that like me, who weren't... well, the guys that made up the rest of the antagonizing group.

Buck
10-08-2008, 05:09 PM
After allot of talk none of us got better. I felt bad because when I realized that the kid was all talk, yea, he had some tips but ya know he didn't have the whole package. I felt bad because of by ignores resulting from blindness. I never learned to skateboard well.

We can talk about internal this and that, and point out this and that, and show this tweak here or there. But I think it is about the whole package. If you are going to talk something up like say an after-market product you really need to bring out the product.

Though I think when there is too much talk it leads to argumentation and over a period of time that argumentation takes way from the product ever being put out there. Mystery then keeps the talk alive, and people interested, but buries the product deeper and deeper overtime. Then the product can't be resurrected because the product now has to stand up and deliver so much as a result of the talk. The product can never live up, and you have to be select to whom is allowed to view the product in hopes they will substantiate it. Perhaps that will happen but it is slim because all the talk has turn most people away. We can subsitute the word internal arts for product.

Whether or not the product can enhance not is not the issue anymore, it is not about the talk. Too much of anything is a bad thing. Things do go sour. But I think all the talk is really all about the talk. :)

Kevin Leavitt
10-08-2008, 05:49 PM
Not sure really what your point is Phil.

The interesting things are the guys that have gotten with our aikiweb "Internal guys" have all come back saying that they could do what they said they could do.

I don't see it as a all talk no action situation at all.

I personally walked away from a weekend with Mike Sigman and a weekend with Rob John and Ark impressed and alot to work on as well as many others with many years in aikido and other martial arts than I.

I might discuss and struggle with integrating what i was shown into my training.

I can say for certain that I feel that the training, as little as I have done has benefited my "MMA" skills.

I will also say that I completed a 25KM ruck march in full kit last week and at 43 years old and going cold into it with no running, ruck marching, and doing nothing other than jiujitsu/judo, aiki, and core training, that I did very well, felt the best I have felt in years, had no blisters or feet problems, improved my over all time and I did note as did the guys I was walking with a distinct difference in my approach, gate, and technique to doing it.

So, again, having spent some time focusing on this stuff...even a little has paid off for me in some small ways.

So, again, I don't understand your point as it does not register with me as to why you feel that no one is using it in MMA or daily life.

the product is as advertised and it is on the shelf at a store near you. You just need to go into the store and try it Sam I am.

Buck
10-08-2008, 06:43 PM
What my purpose here is not what I have alluded too, I guess are the words. What I am talking about the internet, and not a person. The internet is a great blind, a thing where we talk but don't see who is talking. I know what some are thinking, I am talking about the internet. Would people have a different views on internal arts and what is all associated with it. Would people talk so much about this and that. The biggest impact here on the martial arts is from the 2-D world of the internet.

Buck
10-08-2008, 07:25 PM
Sorry for the jumble thoughts, I am working and I am a horrible multi-tasker. Kevin l want to be clearer.

The internet has a huge impact that is so much different that in the 3-D world. Talk becomes more important and the only thing important. Because, there are no other elements to communicate within a 2-D world of the internet. You can bounce a ball on the net. You can't prove internal arts are effective in a demonstration. Pre-internet we lived in a 3-D world, now we live in a 2-D world we have greater ability to connect, talk, exchange ideas etc. In communication, talk can't be all of communication. No matter how fast and vast the internet facilitates talk.

The internet is a huge and important tool but we can't forget what we did before the internet, or what it was like.

Kevin Leavitt
10-08-2008, 07:54 PM
pre internet we lived in a world where I was completely ignorant of what was out there in the world outside of oh...say...a 20 mile radius of where I lived.

If a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it.....

that thought comes to mind.

I think it can be good and bad. The net certainly can serve as a medium to fuel the fantasy fires of wannabees that can go look up some factoids and then allow their ego and fantasies to run wild and become a digital warrior or a paper tiger....most certainly.

For the most part though, I think it serves it's purpose, which is to connect people and allow them to get out of it exactly what they are looking for.

I'd say if it weren't for the internet, I'd probably still be hanging out at some local McDojo run by Fred Simmons, dojo master.

Buck
10-08-2008, 08:41 PM
Yea, I hear you, but I am saying that the weight we put on talk when on the internet is far too much. The internal arts or martial arts isn't like proving math formulas which can be done on the net. Internal arts must be experienced in the 3-D, talking about it is only part of it. I think we get way too wrapped up in the art of talk that then becomes everything.

Erick Mead
10-08-2008, 10:19 PM
Yea, I hear you, but I am saying that the weight we put on talk when on the internet is far too much. The internal arts or martial arts isn't like proving math formulas which can be done on the net. Internal arts must be experienced in the 3-D, talking about it is only part of it. I think we get way too wrapped up in the art of talk that then becomes everything.Perception, like action, is unitary, crystalline. Even poor perceptions and ineffective actions are unitary. That's why they are innately hard to improve.

Improvement requires refinements. Refinement cannot be made on unitary processes. Refinements require making distinctions. Distinctions are by definition not unitary. Distinctions require concepts. Concepts require symbolic representation. Binary division requires logical analysis.

Building up the refinements can only be done with manageable units. Building the refinements back into a unitary structure can occur only after we break down things into discrete units. Two intellectual options for symbolic logic -- number or word. But those are not the only possible analytic tools. Aikido waza (much criticized from the holistic perspective) can be used as a form of concrete logic (as with many other physical systems of learning). But so long as the process of distinction (whatever it is) is consistent -- no two processes of analysis need necessarily look a lot like one another.

Building happens according to a holistic, unitary pattern. Building occurs only unit by unit. The units arrived at by analysis do not define the pattern nor the pattern the units. Each must be understood separately. Try building before you have discrete units, and valid pattern, and you get a ramshackle pile. To build you have a valid pattern in mind and manageable units. The two aspects are both necessary to the dependent holistic result -- but are not dependent on one another.

C. David Henderson
10-09-2008, 12:22 PM
Erick,

Can you say more on what you mean by "Perception, like action, is unitary, crystalline. ... That's why they are innately hard to improve."

I think your idea that "Aikido waza ...can be used as a form of concrete logic ..." clearly relates to your statements that acts and perceptions are unitary, that refinement requires distinctions, and that numbers and concepts are not the only available analytic tools.

Does the "unititary" aspect of action you describe relate to its historical singularity as a particular concrete act? To the idea that what might be isolated as "components" into a whole patterned performance were not produced by puting discrete parts together?

Regards,

DH

Erick Mead
10-09-2008, 02:42 PM
Erick,

Can you say more on what you mean by "Perception, like action, is unitary, crystalline. ... That's why they are innately hard to improve." I do not claim the thought as original. A guy who might be nicknamed Sid came to that conclusion about 26 centuries ago.

I think your idea that "Aikido waza ...can be used as a form of concrete logic ..." clearly relates to your statements that acts and perceptions are unitary, that refinement requires distinctions, and that numbers and concepts are not the only available analytic tools. The criticism of waza is typically that they are arbitrary, not realistic, and not applicable in actual engagement -- all of which is true. If that were their purpose then they are useless. They are are an arbiitrary division of concepts, used to set things off agasint things in the other end of a spectrum of relation -- to make distinctions and to anlyze the relationships of the separate parts toward a resumption of a cohesive whole. "Principles" of aiki is the overall idea of the coherent whole in the lineage I am most allied with. Those principles may not be terribly well articulated but they form a gestalt that is seen and felt by those who have routinely trained in it.

Back to the topic at hand -- in all of these discussions there are varying schemes of analysis -- some which verbally articulate the basis for them -- some with a long systemic tradition behind them, some with their own systematic thought developed, and others more ad hoc and pragmatic.

Without naming names, those that approach this from a purely Chinese tradition are in the former category. Others have made their own scheme of concrete analytic movement (Aunkai, for example) Others, notably frustrated with a received tradition they feel was less than forthright have explicitly followed an adhoc and completely physical concrete logic.

All fo these are different in method from the waza-principle scheme. But they are all still analytic -- isolating components of structure and action to correct discrete errors. Ironically, the latter people have not tried (actively resisted, one might say) to articulate their logic of breaking down and building up. That does not mean they are not doing it in practical, concrete ways. Their descriptions, such as they are, reveal that this is their process, though the specific detail remains not entirely clear. Although such schemes of analysis may be almost mutually unintelligible in their terms, the differences of the analytic solutions do not mean that the principles of structure and dynamic they aim at are any different from others.

I am not concerned with relative efficacy, only looking at the nature of methods involved. I would hold that efficacy is highly individualized in any event. Given the arbitrary nature of any scheme of analysis -- for it to be most useful to any given student, any arbitrary division must be sympathetic to that student's own predisposed arbitrary sense of division. Hence, all the controversy over varying schemes of analysis. Like a blind man and deaf man arguing over whether the painting or symphony is the superior work of art. Neither will ever prove his point to the satisfaction of the other.

Does the "unititary" aspect of action you describe relate to its historical singularity as a particular concrete act? To the idea that what might be isolated as "components" into a whole patterned performance were not produced by puting discrete parts together? You have the essential paradox. Actual perception and action (Oyomei gets credit here) are unitary and indivisible -- a patterned whole not produced by putting those discrete parts together. But error in an action or perception is discrete and discontinuous. In fact, it is the discontinuity of such error that disturbs our attention and severs our perception from our action. Dividing perception and action is the first cut of analysis. It is not that we would choose to do it, but so long as there are errors we are thrust into analytical division it by the nature of the problem. Miura Baien describes the process as jori which is difficult to translate, but the characters describe the pattern of winter trees, a discrete branching in finer and finer divisions, but never losing the concrete unity of being one tree.

So we must look for discrete error by resolving to some manageable scale of discrete unit in order to find the distracting flaws and remove them to resotre or sens of systemic conneciton and unity . The nature of whole is always the same and unchanged. Once we recognize the flaws, then we can reunite perception and action without the pattern breaking from the discontinuity of the error.