PDA

View Full Version : Shane, come back


Please visit our sponsor:
 

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


C. David Henderson
10-20-2008, 08:24 PM
A quick view of this forum shows three recent threads between them generated 474 posts, and more than 10,000 views. Then, after some contraversy, which appeared resolved, the posts pretty much dried up.

I hope this lull is just that. The level of interest in these topics speaks for itself.

So, should I keep looking for something on this forum, or has everyone retired to their respective tents before the walls of Troy?

DH

gdandscompserv
10-20-2008, 10:18 PM
http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b379/deserthippie/dunno.gif

MM
10-21-2008, 06:38 AM
Dan was given a "time-out". I don't know about the others, but I don't really think that was called for and so I haven't felt like discussing much here.

If on one hand, someone states that they want discussions added to posted videos and then on the other hand gives someone a "time-out" for doing just that, albeit with a picture -- then I'm not sure where the line is drawn. Who's next for a "time-out"?

And when someone gets in a hissy fit just because someone else talked about their publicly posted picture, well, I guess we all like to *think* we're adults and can take criticism. Guess reality shows us the truth.

And when someone posts about suing based upon unfounded, illogical, and untrue facts --- and then gets away with it, well, it certainly doesn't promote a healthy atmosphere.

Finally, the only person to apologize was the one given the "time-out".

Shane come back? He'd be a saint if he did. He'd be more like Ueshiba than anyone here, that's for sure. But, I guess "harmony" was restored to AikiWeb. If that's the kind of "harmony" that is wanted ... I sure don't feel like participating.

Mark

phitruong
10-21-2008, 08:24 AM
Mark, let it go, please? interestingly enough, seeing a lot of passive-aggressive stuffs. aikidoka are human after all. the thing about harmony is folks who seek it the most tend to need it the most. :)

isn't there a saying that bad things happen when good folks do nothing?

one thing about Dan is that telling folks how badly they are doing their stuffs will get into people nerves after awhile. maybe he should discuss about what need to be done to make stuffs good instead. then again, i am not Dan or you. who am i to tell folks what they should or shouldn't? ;)

please continue with the internal stuffs.... and stay away from picture, unless the picture of me in speedo doing aikido, then you have my permission. :D

Ron Tisdale
10-21-2008, 08:57 AM
Maybe we can just go back to talking about the training as best we can, and leave some of the dross behind.

People (on both sides) make mistakes. Get up, dust yourself off, and start again. Don't take it so personal.

Best,
Ron (Nanakorobi yaoki, jinsei wa kore kara da... )

Jim Sorrentino
10-21-2008, 09:20 AM
Mark,

Why don't you start a closed forum for Dan and his students, acolytes, and proteges?

Jim

C. David Henderson
10-21-2008, 09:43 AM
Mark,

I'm glad I asked then, and I apologize to you if the title sounded glib. I hope you decide to participate here again, but whatever you decide, peace.

DH

Ron Tisdale
10-21-2008, 09:54 AM
Jim, do you actually think that suggestion is helpful? :confused:

I'll repeat myself...Mistakes were made on both sides. That means both sides will have to make an effort to keep things cool if we expect Jun to tolerate our discussions on his board.

Best,
Ron

David Orange
10-21-2008, 10:12 AM
Mark,

Why don't you start a closed forum for Dan and his students, acolytes, and proteges?

Jim

I have to say, Tim Fong has done a fantastic job with this wiki:

http://unleashingfong.com/martialmovement/index.php?title=Main_Page

I had been thinking about somehow compiling a lot of the best threads and posts from the internal discussions recently--clipping out the irrelevant posts (including many of my own) to show the real meat of the subject.

However, Tim has collected massive information on this site, including the old neijia mailing list, important threads from various forums, information on groups, video clips, etc. It's a lot better than what I had in mind.

The only thing, it's not a forum. It's just a compilation of resources. On the one hand, that takes away the fun of "discussion." On the other, it just puts the information out there without the noise distorting the signal.

We owe Tim a big thanks and kudos for this one!

David

Jim Sorrentino
10-21-2008, 11:08 AM
Hi Ron,Jim, do you actually think that suggestion is helpful? :confused:Yes, I do. Try as I might, I have not been able to find even one post in which Dan praises the aikido of anyone other than Ueshiba Morihei --- and even then, Dan often seems to temper his praise of Ueshiba M. with unflattering comparisons to Sagawa, Kodo, Horikawa and Takeda Sokaku. I asked Dan repeatedly for a photo or video example of body movement in Japanese martial arts that meets with his approval, but he did not provide even one. However, he has an ample supply of criticism.

It's not sufficient to say that "both sides" made mistakes in their posts. As Jun states at the top of the page, "AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information." Look at the vast number of comments that Dan has made on AikiWeb, e-budo, etc. Given his long experience, either Dan should know better how to engage in a dialogue, or he really is not interested in having a conversation with those of us who have legitimate questions about the issues he raises, but who may lack his depth of knowledge. Perhaps if Dan has a closed forum of his own, he (and his followers) can work out their issues with aikido as many people practice it today, and then return to this forum and have better discussions with the rest of us.

Sincerely,

Jim

C. David Henderson
10-21-2008, 11:15 AM
Respectfully, I don't think that would be a likely result of a lack of dialogue.

Ron Tisdale
10-21-2008, 11:22 AM
Hi David, I'm with you on that one.

Best,
Ron

Mike Sigman
10-21-2008, 08:11 PM
Respectfully, I don't think that would be a likely result of a lack of dialogue.Not to butt in, but there are already enough Aikido people, just from the last year or two of training on these specific skills, who know enough to discuss the matters intelligently. Sure there is still a certain amount of obfuscation and "we already do that, too" and stuff floating around, but that will always be there. Maybe some of the Aikido people should start their own dialogue within their own art and not really maintain the dependence on 'outside' contributors? Part of the problem, IMO, is the perceived and actual mindset within the Aikido community about "avoiding conflict", etc.

Frankly, I don't think that mindset helped in these matters so maybe some of the Aikido people should just grab the bull by the horns? No offense.... it's just a thought. And sure, a lot of Aikido 'practitioners' are never going to really want to explore Aikido as a martial art, so I'd suggest not worrying so much about pleasing the everyone, not making waves, and so on. If Ueshiba had been as constrained by peer pressure, he'd have never left home. How about some Aikido guys instead of Shane? ;)

2 Centavos.

Mike Sigman

Cady Goldfield
10-21-2008, 08:57 PM
I see the presense of "Non-Aikido" people here as a valuable perspective, particularly of aspects of aikido's past and its aiki heritage that so few aikidoka are aware of.

With such a dearth of people on the 'net who have a thorough grasp of internal methodology, Mike and Dan are among the few voices available to provide a balanced perspective. Fortunately, they are both here on AikiWeb, so even when one is on a time out, the other one can remain to keep the discussions cogent and productive.

Sometimes they seem like kind of a Time-Out Tag Team. And when they both get timed-out at the same time, things get pretty quiet on the "Non-Aikido Martial Traditions" forum. That's when AikiWeb readers are most productive on their day jobs. ;)

Tim Fong
10-21-2008, 11:29 PM
David,
Thanks very much for the compliment. Actually, I just host the site and have posted a few link compilations. Rob John, Dave Findlay, Hunter Lonsberry and a number of others wrote most of the material.

Best,
Tim

David Orange
10-22-2008, 09:07 AM
David,
Thanks very much for the compliment. Actually, I just host the site and have posted a few link compilations. Rob John, Dave Findlay, Hunter Lonsberry and a number of others wrote most of the material.

Best,
Tim

Tim,

It's a great site. I've been trying to find the old nejia list and since I found it on your site, I've been spending a lot of time there. It's a great site, pure information quiet as a library! Great job, all you guys!

Thanks.

David

C. David Henderson
10-22-2008, 10:06 AM
Hi Mike,

My comment, which you quote, was directed at Jim's comment -- i.e., that if people group together, go their separate ways, and have their own discussions was likely to lead to some rejoining of the discussion here at a future time in a more agreeable fashion.

I'm not saying that outcome is a good thing, a bad thing, or a mediocre thing. Nor was I suggesting we should all play nice in order to fill space.

Dialogue can handle a certain degree of tension. That's okay.

As for whether it would be better to continue the discussion without relying on "outside" sources, I guess that's a different issue. To me, there is still the question of defining the parameters of what is "inside" and "outside." Nor was the OP directed at one person's [virtual] presence, absence, or exile.

We'll see; this may be a sorting out of boundaries.

I guess I would, however, find it ironic if practitioners of arts that emphasize everything from flowing and connecting to absorbing and redirecting would, in the end, be unable to communicate rationally in writing. Oh, Irony -- you're just God's tablecloth trick.

DH

Erick Mead
10-22-2008, 10:11 AM
It's not sufficient to say that "both sides" made mistakes in their posts. [Some] should know better how to engage in a dialogue, ... Dialogue is like walking - a continuous pivot from the affirmative leg to the negative leg, always advancing the position of the discussion, so that the cycle of affirmation and criticism never are repeated from the same point.

This has been missing. Trying to move forward hopping on the single negative leg of irony, apart from being mildly comical and inefficient, becomes tiresome when it is continually demanded that one adopt an identical posture in order to attempt to participate.

I find the following instructive in many areas of important dialogue:
Any attempt, then to say what is happening in the world to-day must be taken as being conscious of its own irony. [F]or the very reason that we are unable to have directly complete knowledge of reality, there is nothing for us but arbitrarily to construct a reality, to suppose that things are happening after a certain fashion. This provides us with an outline, a concept or framework of concepts.

Every concept, the simplest and the most technical is framed in its own irony [the] concept tells us quite seriously: "This thing is "A", that thing is "B." But the seriousness is that of a man who is playing a joke on you It knows very well that this thing is not just merely A, or that that thing is no just merely B. What the concept really thinks is a little bit different from what it says, and herein the irony lies. What it really thinks is this: I know that, strictly speaking, this thing is not A, nor that thing B; but by taking them as A and B, I come to an understanding with myself for the purposes of my practical attitude towards both of these things.

This theory of rational knowledge would have displeased the Greeks. For the Greek believed that he had discovered in the reason, in the concept, reality itself. We, on the contrary, believe the concept is one of man's household utensils, which he needs and uses in order to make clear his own position in the midst of the infinite and very problematic reality which is his life. Life is a struggle with things to maintain itself to maintain itself among them. Concepts are the strategic plan we form in answer to the attack.

That said -- while subjective (and necessarily selective) observations are fair game for recharacterization, objective truth is not a negotiable. Idealists think they are realists and realists think they are idealists -- and really, we cannot afford to be either one with perfect consistency.

Mike Sigman
10-22-2008, 10:27 AM
I guess I would, however, find it ironic if practitioners of arts that emphasize everything from flowing and connecting to absorbing and redirecting would, in the end, be unable to communicate rationally in writing. Oh, Irony -- you're just God's tablecloth trick.I'm reminded of an instance I saw where Yamada Sensei was doing a workshop section on bokken techniques. The Uke was some white guy fantasy-role-player who instead of just handing back the bokken to Yamada would make a lot of on-the-floor bows going "su-su-su-su" under his breath. Yamada finally got exaperated and said, "Just give it to me... it's only a stick!". Loved it. :D

But what I'm getting at is that many Aikido forums pick up their own gloss of special ways to talk and interract which are fine as long as you're just playing at Aikido appearances, but when it comes to trying to delineate and usefully structure a discourse like these "internal" skills, protocol things get in the way. What I'm suggesting is that there is a weakness in Aikido forums when it comes to really discussing substantive issues and having "outsiders" seems to be one way address the problem. <<shrugs>> I just don't think outsiders are that necessary anymore and was promoting the idea that a discussion between Aikido people about these skills would be good. ;) Just pick up the stick!

FWIW

Mike

C. David Henderson
10-22-2008, 10:54 AM
Mike,

I don't disagree with your suggestion, which I understand is generally directed. I think it's even possible the tenor of discussions between "outsiders/insiders" (however permeable that membrame proves to be) also may become percieved more favorably by "picking up the stick." (How can you point at the moon with no stick?)

DH

DH

Marc Abrams
10-22-2008, 12:47 PM
I think that there are very distinct issues that have unfortunately overlapped here.

1) Outside influences: I can find very few reasonable people who do not find a benefit from exploring, comparing, experimenting with, ..... other ar3eas and aspects in the martial arts world. With Aikido, the "internal arts" exploration has been very fruitful for many people (myself included). Stanley Pranin's efforts to provide us the Aiki Expos was an effort that many regard as being critical to the healthy development of Aikido in the United States.

2) The Manner in which some people has chosen to discuss various issues: Anybody who attended the Aiki Expos found that people from a variety of backgrounds and arts found a way to have a CIVIL dialogue that bridged gaps that existed solely for political reasons. The end result was of benefit for everybody in attendance.

Some people have found a way to discuss "controversial" issues in a manner that simply creates ill-will. This is Jun's "house!" He has made it perfectly clear to all of us that he expects people to be civil in his "house." I have crossed that line myself and had to be appropriately "scolded" to behave. Jun is entirely correct in enforcing the rules that he wants to exist in this forum.

People need to rethink how they are trying to discuss information. We can agree to disagree and still be civil. Those people who cannot find a way to alter how they choose to discuss information are simply hurting themselves and others who might benefit from the experience, ideas, suggestions, training, .... that they can offer, that have become buried under the weight of holier-than-thou criticisms and sermons from the mount.

Marc Abrams

Mike Sigman
10-22-2008, 01:23 PM
People need to rethink how they are trying to discuss information. We can agree to disagree and still be civil. I absolutely agree such a thing is possible, Marc, and my recommendation over and over again is to stick strictly to the issue. One of the problems I see often in Aikido is that "civil" often means "taking passive-aggressive shots under the guise of being aiki". ;) In other words, I agree with your terms, but I think we have to be careful. "Civil" is often a code-word for "conform with the norm" and if you look at all the years that have been wasted when "civil" attempts were made to discuss these same "internal" concepts in the past, certainly a flag has to raise about why things never changed?

On the other hand, I personally dislike seeing so much personality injected into these discussions, so someone "outside" of Aikido isn't by default the smoothest way to go either. Incidentally, to answer the question of why I introduced "insider versus outsider" to the conversation, I'm simply acknowledging the theme implied in the header where "Shane" in the movie was an outsider and winds up leaving town at the end of the movie. "Shane, come back" was about the last line of the movie as Shane rode off from town and I assumed that was the reference.

Again, my major point has little to do with anything other than suggest that people who "have been training in these skills" in the last few years from Ushiro, Dan, Akuzawa, whatever, should be able to mount some pretty good discussions now. I don't think there's any necessity for vague and rambling maunderings from outside "experts" so much anymore. I.e., I'm encouraging Shane to keep on riding and let the townsfolk do more for themselves. Oddly enough, I remember a few years back there were some pointed discussions about too many conversations being herded by "outsiders" and now I think it really is time for the "people who actually do Aikido" to take it and run with it. I'd be happy to watch such conversations take place.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Marc Abrams
10-22-2008, 02:22 PM
Mike:

I thoroughly dislike the passive-aggressiveness of some as much as I dislike the "cult of personalities." I do not think that Aikidoka hold the patent on passive-aggressiveness. Heck, you should spend time with some of my colleagues (psychologists, etc.) to get a sense of how deep in that stuff people can be.

I frankly find myself becoming more reluctant to discuss these "hot" topics in open forums. I find that the more that I am discovering, the more I realize how little I have begun to grasp and how my understandings have been transforming over these ensuing years. I have no problem having personal discussions with people and enjoy the give and take of trying things out with others on the path towards similar discoveries.

I would personally become involved in an effort to get an event planned (akin to the Aiki Expo) where many of the people whose names are being discussed and some who few who are well known within their communities to get together for several days of workshops and training.

Unfortunately, this forum and others have devolved where people, in absence of really knowing what somebody else brings to the table, belittle others while hoist their own idols up to dizzying heights. Talk has become both cheap and inflammatory, closing the minds of others, rather than opening them. Until people find a way to discuss controversial ideas without the baggage that closes minds, then we will keep on coming back to this logjam.

I have to finish preparing for Ushiro Sensei's arrival tomorrow. After a 1/2 week of some good hard work, I will hopefully have progressed some more and become more befuddled than I am now!

Marc Abrams

Mike Sigman
10-22-2008, 02:44 PM
I frankly find myself becoming more reluctant to discuss these "hot" topics in open forums. I find that the more that I am discovering, the more I realize how little I have begun to grasp and how my understandings have been transforming over these ensuing years. I have no problem having personal discussions with people and enjoy the give and take of trying things out with others on the path towards similar discoveries. Well, this was one of my thoughts..... it's odd that as people have begun to get hold of some of the ki/kokyu skills they've gone quieter (I'm speaking generally; not about you in particular). Sure, some of it has to do with realizing that there's more there than one thinks initially. Another factor that hits people (been there) is that "whoa.... this stuff is easy to extrapolate; it's potentially very potent and I ain't giving this away to my competition!". Exactly what happens and essentially it becomes a variation of the normal power-play when that happens. It becomes fairly obvious from the potential power that whoever (I mean that in the plural) gains the upper hand in these skills winds up being King For A Day (mild joke, folks). ;) So that affects how much and how willing people are to discuss things.

Knowing all that, I keep encouraging people to get it out there and discuss basics openly so the King syndrome doesn't get too much of a foothold. I think it's more important that these skills filter into typical Aikido dojos as *baseline* skills, not the default purview of a few. If someone is really good, no sweat... their skills should be enough to keep them above the masses. So I'm encouraging the Aikido people to speak out more about the baseline level. If nothing else let me offer the idea that I seriously doubt that anything will be discussed for the next few years on this forum that's not already archived somewhere on the web already, for anyone who wants to look.

My supporting point would be that in my experience one of the strong contributing factors to improvement is the thinking processes started by open discussions. What more can I say? ;) I would personally become involved in an effort to get an event planned (akin to the Aiki Expo) where many of the people whose names are being discussed and some who few who are well known within their communities to get together for several days of workshops and training. I wouldn't do it. IMO the "show and tell" stuff is just too short and too shallow to take the time. Each to his own, though. ;)

Best.

Mike Sigman

C. David Henderson
10-22-2008, 03:38 PM
I'm simply acknowledging the theme implied in the header where "Shane" in the movie was an outsider and winds up leaving town at the end of the movie. "Shane, come back" was about the last line of the movie as Shane rode off from town and I assumed that was the reference.


You are right that is the reference. A number of people went silent quickly, though. Anyway, any theme worth its salt means more than one thing.

David

Cady Goldfield
10-22-2008, 04:06 PM
Mike,
Are you sure people are "going quieter" because they don't want to share? Or might it be because they are still digesting what they are experiencing for themselves, before they start talking about it in any detail on the Web?

This is profound stuff, and requires thoughtful analysis before dissecting it in front of an audience. No one wants to look like an overnight master, or, -worse- not have the right words to describe what they are experiencing so they come across as incompetent to discuss these things. And, some who have trained for a while may be reticent about describing things because they have not yet determined how they will work it into their aikido (or other arts).

I suggest that you give it time. In the meanwhile, I do believe that those outside aikido who have the internal skills that are aikido's inheritance, still have plenty of value to contribute, and can serve as helpful sounding boards as a new generation of internal-skills practitioners work their way along.

If you didn't believe so yourself, Mike, then why are you still participating here? Did someone steal your horse? :)

Mike Sigman
10-22-2008, 04:27 PM
Mike,
Are you sure people are "going quieter" because they don't want to share? Hi Katie:

I didn't say I was "sure" of anything like that, I'm afraid.
Or might it be because they are still digesting what they are experiencing for themselves, before they start talking about it in any detail on the Web? Could be. Various people are at various levels, though. Not everyone is at the "digesting" stage anymore... some people are at the "progressing" stage for sure and part of my point was that it helps to progress when you formulate and articulate your thinking and practice. This is profound stuff, and requires thoughtful analysis before dissecting it in front of an audience. No one wants to look like an overnight master, or, -worse- not have the right words to describe what they are experiencing so they come across as incompetent to discuss these things. And, some who have trained for a while may be reticent about describing things because they have not yet determined how they will work it into their aikido (or other arts). True. But there may also be people who have some general principles down fairly well and are in a position to discuss more than the cases you've mentioned. Be positive, Cady! ;) I suggest that you give it time. In the meanwhile, I do believe that those outside aikido who have the internal skills that are aikido's inheritance, still have plenty of value to contribute, and can serve as helpful sounding boards as a new generation of internal-skills practitioners work their way along. I never said anything about people not contributing anymore, Cady. I simply suggested that there are some people in the Aikido ranks right now that have the understanding to post right now. In fact, I think there are some people in Aikido right now who have as much/more understanding as some of the 'outsiders' did a few years ago and who could contribute quite a bit. But then again, I'm not insisting anything; I'm simply offering an alternative suggestion to waiting for Shane or his horse to ride back into town. If you didn't believe so yourself, Mike, then why are you still participating here? Did someone steal your horse? :)Why does the conversation devolve to me rather than stick strictly to the issue????

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Kevin Leavitt
10-22-2008, 05:46 PM
I personally have nothing to say that hasn't been said already. I reached a level of understanding of what I need to do in order to further explore this area of study. Working on incorporating it, trying to find the right balance of my training time on various training methodologies that I have to work.

There has been no real new material to post and frankly getting tired of the same old round robin discussion between the various extremes.

Those that say continue to want to argue it.
Those that want to continue to "think it to death",
and those that have drank way too much of the Kool Aid.

Yeah, enough blame to go all the way around if you ask me.

The one thing I think is important is defining the goals or end state of your training and how you are managing to get there.

I frankly have found the people I am looking for that want to study the various aspects of martial training. We talk and I read their stuff (like Tim Fong's stuff) and find the time spent with those folks much more productive than continuing to discuss the low level of conversation that continues to go on here.

At some point you simply have to get over it and "shut up and train".

Cady Goldfield
10-22-2008, 06:44 PM
Why does the conversation devolve to me rather than stick strictly to the issue????


Because it provided an opening to drag out yet one more "Shane" reference. Nothing more. Hence, the smilie.

[chop-busting mode]
To avoid be addressed directly or communicated with as an individual with a unique personal identity, maybe next time just sign your posts "Anonymous" and refrain from using personal pronouns. That should help.[/chop-busting mode]

;)

Mike Sigman
10-22-2008, 06:49 PM
The one thing I think is important is defining the goals or end state of your training and how you are managing to get there. I absolutely agree. But if there is no conversation on these 2 things then there is no feel for what the true baseline is. There must be communication or we're back to the problem of everybody's impression of "Oh yeah, I'm already doing that". What I called several years ago the "Oh Yeah" stuff.
At some point you simply have to get over it and "shut up and train".That's true, but even the guys who are doing it wrong think that they're just "shutting up and training". The smart guys are always cross-checking anywhere they can for fresh ideas and pointers. Show me someone who is not pushing and shoving and thinking and I'll show you a guy who is not really getting it. Everytime. My bet. ;)

There is a great discussion sometime about Chinese martial-arts that claim to "mix internal and external". The meaning of that discussion if pretty profound and maybe rates its own thread someday. But the basic thing I'd point to is that most people who think they're doing the equivalent of "internal" martial arts are *at best* doing what is simply mid-level "external" martial-arts in reality. My point is that it helps to have these discussions. Are we even close to those discussions yet? No. But if there are no discussions, even useless ones, nobody goes anywhere. Even wasted discussions and occasional bickering have their uses. If we do as was suggested on Aikido Journal and cut off all discussions that don't conform to a certain level of "aiki", no one ever finds there way. The way is always tricky.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
10-22-2008, 06:53 PM
[chop-busting mode]
To avoid be addressed directly or communicated with as an individual with a unique personal identity, maybe next time just sign your posts "Anonymous" and refrain from using personal pronouns. That should help.[/chop-busting mode] Boosheet. "In my opinion" and "I think" about issues are not the same thing as addressing ad hominem rather than the issue. Rebutt the issue without dragging in the person. ;)

Mike

Cady Goldfield
10-22-2008, 06:56 PM
How about the horse he rode in on?

:^P

ChrisMoses
10-23-2008, 11:09 AM
Well, this was one of my thoughts..... it's odd that as people have begun to get hold of some of the ki/kokyu skills they've gone quieter (I'm speaking generally; not about you in particular). Sure, some of it has to do with realizing that there's more there than one thinks initially. Another factor that hits people (been there) is that "whoa.... this stuff is easy to extrapolate; it's potentially very potent and I ain't giving this away to my competition!".

Or some of us have just gotten completely sick of the constant mis-understanding and bickering that the topic seems to draw out and would rather spend our time practicing it in person with other interested folks. :)

phitruong
10-23-2008, 12:30 PM
Or some of us have just gotten completely sick of the constant mis-understanding and bickering that the topic seems to draw out and would rather spend our time practicing it in person with other interested folks. :)

if there are no discussions then how would other folks be interested or not.

wondering if i should start a thread on internal baseline skills .....hmmm thinking .....thinking... *do i still have any asbestos zebra striped speedo left????* ..... thinking..... :(

Mike Sigman
10-23-2008, 12:45 PM
wondering if i should start a thread on internal baseline skills .....hmmm thinking .....thinking... *do i still have any asbestos zebra striped speedo left????* ..... thinking..... :(
I think you should, Phi. You have enough personal understanding of the skills that you're more than aware there can be "baseline" discussions that serve a purpose yet which don't dip that deeply into the "secrets" range. Besides, it's hard enough to learn these things and the topic is so broad that there's no way to do it justice on a discussion board. What does happen though is that a reference point is given to the Aikido community as a whole from which to mentally gauge what's what. Personally, I think such a reference point is unavoidably important.

People who don't want to contribute.... fine. No problem. That's their choice. Of course, I'd expect they would be the first to understand why people wouldn't share information with them, in return, if the opportunity arose. Other than that, it just seems to me that it's pretty obvious that some baseline discussion for and by Aikido people is such a plus for the art and the community. ;)

Best.

Mike Sigman

C. David Henderson
10-23-2008, 01:53 PM
Or some of us have just gotten completely sick of the constant mis-understanding and bickering that the topic seems to draw out and would rather spend our time practicing it in person with other interested folks. :)

Not to pick on Chris, but isn't this one of the underlying questions -- can the topic be discussed without the bickering?

DH

Mike Sigman
10-23-2008, 02:03 PM
Not to pick on Chris, but isn't this one of the underlying questions -- can the topic be discussed without the bickering?There may always be *some* bickering on a public forum. Think about the scenario for a sec.... Aikido is supposed to be a martial-art and if you get a bunch of people who are ballsy enough to do martial-arts you'd expect at least *some* occasional bickering, right? The trick is to confine it meaningfully.

On the QiJin forum it's a private discussion and therefore being able to keep only the serious people on the forum keeps the bickering out almost completely. If anything I encourage at least some disagreements, etc., so that we don't turn into a mutual back-slapping, pump-air-into-each-others'-tires society. Notice how on most Aikido forum where "no bickering" is the rule and "AikiSpeak" is king.... you tend to have more of the mutual backslapping while the bickering raises its ugly head in another guise called "passive-aggressive speak". Very stagnant and look how it's dead-ended most Aikido forums (and forums for other martial-arts, too). :D

So yeah... it's tricky. No doubt about it. The more the personal discussions (no matter how artfully slipped in) are constrained, the less bickering there is, though. Period.

My 2 cents.

Mike

Ron Tisdale
10-23-2008, 02:03 PM
Hi Mike,

Apparently not...

Best,
Ron (shame, but hey...it is what it is)

Oops, that was David who said that...

Mike Sigman
10-23-2008, 02:05 PM
Hi Mike,

Apparently not...

Best,
Ron (shame, but hey...it is what it is)That's "shane", Ron. Didn't you read the thread?:p

Ron Tisdale
10-23-2008, 02:06 PM
:D good one! I needed a laugh...
B,
R

Kevin Leavitt
10-23-2008, 06:25 PM
I absolutely agree. But if there is no conversation on these 2 things then there is no feel for what the true baseline is. There must be communication or we're back to the problem of everybody's impression of "Oh yeah, I'm already doing that". What I called several years ago the "Oh Yeah" stuff. That's true, but even the guys who are doing it wrong think that they're just "shutting up and training". The smart guys are always cross-checking anywhere they can for fresh ideas and pointers. Show me someone who is not pushing and shoving and thinking and I'll show you a guy who is not really getting it. Everytime. My bet. ;)

There is a great discussion sometime about Chinese martial-arts that claim to "mix internal and external". The meaning of that discussion if pretty profound and maybe rates its own thread someday. But the basic thing I'd point to is that most people who think they're doing the equivalent of "internal" martial arts are *at best* doing what is simply mid-level "external" martial-arts in reality. My point is that it helps to have these discussions. Are we even close to those discussions yet? No. But if there are no discussions, even useless ones, nobody goes anywhere. Even wasted discussions and occasional bickering have their uses. If we do as was suggested on Aikido Journal and cut off all discussions that don't conform to a certain level of "aiki", no one ever finds there way. The way is always tricky.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Good points Mike.

I concur that the discussions are good to have. I hope that they do not get cut off.

I simply am stating why I am not responding much these days. I still keep up and read what is being discussed. There is much to be learned from the conversations.

I simply have nothing of any value to add to them at this point.

phitruong
10-24-2008, 05:48 AM
I think you should, Phi. You have enough personal understanding of the skills that you're more than aware there can be "baseline" discussions that serve a purpose yet which don't dip that deeply into the "secrets" range. Besides, it's hard enough to learn these things and the topic is so broad that there's no way to do it justice on a discussion board. What does happen though is that a reference point is given to the Aikido community as a whole from which to mentally gauge what's what. Personally, I think such a reference point is unavoidably important.

People who don't want to contribute.... fine. No problem. That's their choice. Of course, I'd expect they would be the first to understand why people wouldn't share information with them, in return, if the opportunity arose. Other than that, it just seems to me that it's pretty obvious that some baseline discussion for and by Aikido people is such a plus for the art and the community. ;)

Best.

Mike Sigman

There are "secrets range"? you're kidding me! would you show me those if you promised not to kill me afterward? on second thought, not to kill me before, during and after. :)

If I am going to start on the baseline IS skills, then I would like to set some ground rules first; otherwise, it will be a melee. it would be something along the line:
1. no personal attack, snide remark, sarcasm - keep to the topic (some jokes are ok)
2. use plain english that us farmer folks could understand - keep to the topic
3. keep your rank and years of experience out of the discussion - keep to the topic
4. keep your "oh ya I/We already done that" out of the discussion - keep to the topic
5. KISS principle apply - keep to the topic

did i mention that we should "keep to the topic"? :)

Mike Sigman
10-24-2008, 09:41 AM
There are "secrets range"? you're kidding me! would you show me those if you promised not to kill me afterward? on second thought, not to kill me before, during and after. :) Like I told you before. I'll be happy to show you the secrets but I'll have to give you a forgetfulness drug when we're done. Remember?
If I am going to start on the baseline IS skills, then I would like to set some ground rules first; otherwise, it will be a melee. it would be something along the line:
1. no personal attack, snide remark, sarcasm - keep to the topic (some jokes are ok)
2. use plain english that us farmer folks could understand - keep to the topic
3. keep your rank and years of experience out of the discussion - keep to the topic
4. keep your "oh ya I/We already done that" out of the discussion - keep to the topic
5. KISS principle apply - keep to the topic

did i mention that we should "keep to the topic"? :)Go for it. ;)

Mike

ChrisMoses
10-24-2008, 12:04 PM
if there are no discussions then how would other folks be interested or not.

wondering if i should start a thread on internal baseline skills .....hmmm thinking .....thinking... *do i still have any asbestos zebra striped speedo left????* ..... thinking..... :(

You mean like THE baseline skillset (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11629&highlight=baseline+skillset) thread that's already 51 pages long?

Aikibu
10-24-2008, 12:10 PM
Good points Mike.

I concur that the discussions are good to have. I hope that they do not get cut off.

I simply am stating why I am not responding much these days. I still keep up and read what is being discussed. There is much to be learned from the conversations.

I simply have nothing of any value to add to them at this point.

Concur....I am too busy training anyway. I also agree that you can think things to death but what do you expect with a discussion board? I am tired of some of the IA experts obtuse personalities as well. There is no excuse to hold someone in contempt if they do not have your knowledge or articulation of the subject. We're all just guests here.

Argumentum Ad Authoritum NADA BRO! :D LOL

William Hazen

PS. I was blessed to surf with dolphins this morning. :)

Mike Sigman
10-24-2008, 01:02 PM
On second thought, Phi, I think you should start a thread on another forum. ;) It's probably a lot more productive.

Best.

Mike

Aikibu
10-25-2008, 11:26 AM
On second thought, Phi, I think you should start a thread on another forum. ;) It's probably a lot more productive.

Best.

Mike

Great Idea!

William Hazen

Tim Fong
10-25-2008, 11:43 AM
Phi,
Tim Walters-Kleinert has a great forum set up here:
http://www.internal-aiki.com/

In fact, the forum has ground rules very similar to the ones you posted.

Best,
Tim Fong

jss
10-26-2008, 01:24 PM
Phi,
Tim Walters-Kleinert has a great forum set up here:
http://www.internal-aiki.com/

In fact, the forum has ground rules very similar to the ones you posted.

Best,
Tim Fong
The thing is/was basically dead. So I started a thread about book recommendations to get things started again. I might open one on zhan zhuang as well...

Timothy WK
10-26-2008, 04:28 PM
The thing is/was basically dead. So I started a thread about book recommendations to get things started again. I might open one on zhan zhuang as well...

Just to let people know what's up---I didn't abandon Internal-Aiki (http://www.internal-aiki.com), I've just been occupied with moving cross country these last couple months. Things are, um... starting to get settled, so as I get the time I'll probably start doing some more posting.

phitruong
10-27-2008, 08:32 AM
I could take the discussion to another forum. but... there is a big but (pun intended). If I had not seen the discussion on internal stuffs here, I would not have know about it. I would not have tried to track down IS folks. I would not have learn that my knowledge or lack thereof of IS was junk and the simple basic IS stuffs would rocket my aikido (providing that I work at it). Same thing with systema. if I didn't have a chance to do some hand-on with them, I would not have known all the good stuffs that they have to offer to improve my aikido.

I believed some of the IS discussion needs to be here on aiki-web for folks who are curious about it and for folks who wanted to dispute it. personally, it was the dispute that raised my interest. I will join other forum and participate in the discussion with folks who are working on IS for knowledge exchange. Here, there will be those who will not walk this path. but there will be those few who come to the cross road and wondering which path he/she/it wants to traverse. those are the few that might choose to walk the IS path and perhaps reach some place where they want to be.

you also heard folks who went and experience with systema, IS, DR and decided to abandon aikido and joined those practices. That is OK. but there are those who, like me, and at this place want to express ourselves through aikido and would love a chance to learn from systema, IS, DR and take those ideas and practices back into our aikido. it might not be the way O Sensei or his deshi's aikido, but in OUR PLACE and OUR TIME it will be OUR AIKIDO! O Sensei isn't my limit. Death is.

Adman
10-27-2008, 11:06 AM
I believed some of the IS discussion needs to be here on aiki-web for folks who are curious about it and for folks who wanted to dispute it.

I agree. I also don't see any reason why these discussions can't be a major part of the "General" and/or "Training" forums. And I mean straight-forward discussions in the hows, whys and application of this training, for aikido. Not that I care where an interesting discussion is placed. But if you train in aikido and want to take a stab at the aikido spin on internal training, then ... well ...

Mike Sigman
10-27-2008, 10:43 PM
Good points, guys. I'll be happy to see your discussions, logic, musings, etc. ;)

Best.

Mike

jss
10-28-2008, 03:08 AM
for[/I] aikido. Not that I care where an interesting discussion is placed. But if you train in aikido and want to take a stab at the aikido spin on internal training, then ... well ...
You'll probably have to convince Jun first to allow this in the General or Training section. I've been thinking about his decision to create the 'Non-Aikido Martial Traditions' section and I think it was a wise decision. The people who felt Aikiweb was taken hostage by all the internal strength discussions have their old Aikiweb back and the others have their own section.
Besides that, there's also the fact that although we have exercises like aiki taiso whose main reason of existence is developing internal strength, no one has received transmission of how to specifically use them, so we need to reverse engineer the whole thing. That will lead us to discuss other arts and their ways in using internal strength. If discussions go in that direction (and I'm sure they will), the Non-Aikido section makes a lot of sense/

So in conclusion: although I don't disagree with your point as such, I doubt it will happen on Aikiweb. Of course, all you'd need to do is ask for Jun's opinion and see what he says.;)

phitruong
10-28-2008, 08:43 AM
personally i believed that the ki, in aikido, is IS stuffs. but this is Jun's house - every nation has its laws, every house has its rules. We can discuss the how here. if Jun think it should be somewhere else then he would let us know, and we pickup our tents and build the bonfire and dancing naked somewhere else. :)

Erick Mead
10-28-2008, 09:34 AM
Besides that, there's also the fact that although we have exercises like aiki taiso whose main reason of existence is developing internal strength, no one has received transmission of how to specifically use them, so we need to reverse engineer the whole thing. ... I doubt it will happen on Aikiweb. The debate foundered over two points, in my opinion. The first was an insistence on conducting an involved discussion of physical and physiological dynamics without a good vocabulary understood or agreed for the principles being discussed (not necessarily anyone's fault). It was asserted by some that "those that know" understood what they meant, so there was no need. That resulted in an adamant insistence that privileged their discussion in what were essentially ad hoc terms. It led to a recurrent events of simply talking past one another. It also tended to lead to the assertion that not engaging the debate in those ad hoc terms thus reflected poorly on those whose thinking is framed by received aikido. Since many of the terms at issue were ad hoc, the insistence was troubling; it seemed quite exclusionary in effect, if not intent.

It led to a basically vague and untethered discussion. This is not to say that any practice itself discussed here is vague and untethered, but that a discussion here requires more careful and critical thought into how we describe what we all do and what the performance we seek is ideally doing.

The result was inaccessible to anyone using using primarily the vocabulary of received aikido and its aiki taiso who did not have the interest or facility in critical observation and the physical experience to deal with other forms of description. The majority of folks on AikiWeb are expecting and looking for the vocabulary of received aikido, not this ad hoc form of discussion -- and that, standing alone, justifies Jun's approach to this topic.

The noted nature of the aiki taiso in this regard is a fair observation. e.g. -- http://www.internal-aiki.com/?CommentID=474. The point has been made before and by several, myself included. It would be a good place to resume practical discussion in the main forums, actually. One could take individual aiki taiso, describe them carefully, and compare or contrast them to other training forms or methods and ask for comment or criticism of the observations.

The second point is that while some in certain quarters tried to map out possibilities of a more generalized and physically consistent vocabulary,some in other quarters took this adversarially, and insistently ascribed without foundation, that such thinking out loud about various choices for the best terms of reference, somehow reflects a systemic lack in practical performance. That melded in to a premise of some disproof of that (unwarranted) assumption before even engaging the discussion, sometimes descending into a kind of "Did you stop beating your wife?" quality in the arguments.

It was not healthy, all around.

Timothy WK
10-28-2008, 09:47 AM
personally i believed that the ki, in aikido, is IS stuffs. but this is Jun's house - every nation has its laws, every house has its rules. We can discuss the how here. if Jun think it should be somewhere else then he would let us know, and we pickup our tents and build the bonfire and dancing naked somewhere else. :)

Jun has gone over this a number of times now (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12078), and has made his call. We should let it be.

And to clarify, Jun has said (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=211198&postcount=51):
I am very happy to have people discussing historical, technical, and other aspects of arts outside of aikido and how it relates to aikido in the general aikido forums here -- as long as those discussions are focused on their relationship to aikido.

I believe that means people can discuss internal methods that are either native to Aikido, or have some sort of direct connection to native Aikido methods.

The big problem with that, of course, is that Ueshiba did not leave a coherent internal training regiment, so that doesn't leave a whole lot for discussion.

The other issue is that, even though an increasing number of people have begun training this way, there are still only a small, small handful of people who have a real level of skill AND have incorporated it into an Aikido paradigm. So there isn't really anyone here who's qualified to talk about these skills---in the general forum---under the conditions Jun wants them to be discussed.

jss
10-28-2008, 10:32 AM
The result was inaccessible to anyone using using primarily the vocabulary of received aikido and its aiki taiso who did not have the interest or facility in critical observation and the physical experience to deal with other forms of description. The majority of folks on AikiWeb are expecting and looking for the vocabulary of received aikido, not this ad hoc form of discussion -- <snip>
But (imho) the majority of folks on Aikiweb have received the aikido terms, but not their meaning with regards to internal strength. So whether we chooses the aikido vocabulary or an ad-hoc vocabulary, we're screwed either way. Neither will faciliate communication easily.
It led to a basically vague and untethered discussion. This is not to say that any practice itself discussed here is vague and untethered, but that a discussion here requires more careful and critical thought into how we describe what we all do and what the performance we seek is ideally doing.
That would be really cool, irrespective of the amount of internal strength one seeks to acquire, but I'm quite pessimistic about this actually happening. If we have this discussion, people are going to get hurt by the public dissection of their practice.
The noted nature of the aiki taiso in this regard is a fair observation. e.g. -- http://www.internal-aiki.com/?CommentID=474. The point has been made before and by several, myself included. It would be a good place to resume practical discussion in the main forums, actually. One could take individual aiki taiso, describe them carefully, and compare or contrast them to other training forms or methods and ask for comment or criticism of the observations.
In my best Mike Sigman impression: "Be my guest!":D

C. David Henderson
10-28-2008, 10:33 AM
The debate foundered over two points, in my opinion. The first was an insistence on conducting an involved discussion of physical and physiological dynamics without a good vocabulary understood or agreed for the principles being discussed (not necessarily anyone's fault).

The second point is that while some in certain quarters tried to map out possibilities of a more generalized and physically consistent vocabulary,some in other quarters took this adversarially ....

It was not healthy, all around.

Hi Erick,

As one who watched from the sidelines, I think the above is a fair summary of many but not all of the conflicts.

Ironically, I would note, it was not the basis for the problem that arose in using photos posted for other purposes as a basis to critique Aikido waza. (I use the phrase irony advisedly, given your recent post).

The irony to me is that use of photos potentially provides a tool to address your first point -- developing terms of description as to which there is what Habermas terms "intersubjective agreement."

I for one always was interested in your efforts to describe things in the language of physics. I also think, however, taking the role of observer, in the scientific sense of the term, does not necessarily generate an ideal language for participants, but still may create reference points that help make sense of any phenomenologocial description participants might agree makes sense of their experience.

Consider for example this site -- picked at random about modern Olymipic weightlifiting -- http://www.dynamic-eleiko.com/sportivny/library/farticles010.html, where it says:

"The specific limitations of the human body to produce great muscular force quickly (because of the brevity of the snatch and the clean and jerk) and at the same time execute a movement of complex coordination structure compel the weightlifter unconsciously to rely heavily on employing the so called "reactive forces" to lift a maximum weight. The lifter has to rely on the body's innate mechanisms to utilize these forces. The speed with which force is applied to the barbell and the speed of the body's movement in the snatch and the clean and jerk involve actions that cannot be carried out effectively under conscious control.

Therefore, the coordination structure of the snatch and the clean and jerk with near maximum and maximum weights require the athlete's actions to be automatic, i.e., a motor program is formed to carry out a movement too quick to be under conscious control. The weightlifter not only switches muscle groups quickly in lifting a maximum weight but also switches the type of muscular contraction (from concentric to eccentric and so on). The high speed of muscular contraction and the speed with which the body and its individual links move from one position to the next during the snatch and the clean and jerk effectively limit conscious control.

According to Vorobeyev (2), 'An important peculiarity of weightlifting exercises is the brevity of performance, which makes it very difficult and even relatively impossible to implement conscious corrections during the lifting of the barbell,' and 'the possibility to implement corrections of motor acts during the lifting of maximum weights is extremely limited. It should be noted here that there would be less error if the movement were "automatized," from conscious control, in the opinion of N.A. Bernstein, and driven to a lower regulatory level to the lower neural stages.'"

Here, the scientific theory about the limits of conscious control help illuminate a phenomenon experienced by participants in performance, and provides very useful training information. The interesting thing about the information in this instance, however, is it points to the futility of trying to track performance consciously. From the same article:

"For instance, the trunk needs to be pretty much in a vertical position in order for the trapezius muscles (shrugging of the shoulders) to have a strictly vertical affect on the barbell (6). So, why does a coach (even at the international level) tell an athlete, "You didn't shrug at the top of your pull. On your next attempt, make sure you shrug your shoulders." The instructions to the athlete require him/her to remember to perform the aforementioned action approximately at the instant the trunk passes through the point of full extension for some 100 milliseconds."

As a mere lurker, I sometimes thought the conflict was exacerbated by a competition between points of view that each were incomplete, contingent works in progress to displace one another. Throwing no stones here; I merely thought if we look at how sicence is used in sports contexts to analyze action, A) it is recognized as helpful, and B) it may have implications as profound as "now, forget everything you know."

Your thoughts are appreciated, as always.

DH

Mike Sigman
10-28-2008, 10:51 AM
I believe that means people can discuss internal methods that are either native to Aikido, or have some sort of direct connection to native Aikido methods. Well, think of it like this.... There is a basic skillset that has to do with an odd way of movement/strength. That skillset is pretty much Asia-wide and has been around a long, long time. Traditionally, the "how-to's" for this skillset are kept relatively under wraps because the skillset gives a martial advantage. There are a number of variations and approaches to developing this skillset and many styles have developed their own preferred methodology for training and incorporation into techniques.

Aikido, as Ueshiba used it, had certain signature aspects of the skillset as he viewed it and also had certain signature levels of usage. Regardless, what Ueshiba, Tohei, and others used for their skillset and how they used it in the martial art, the skillset is essentially part of the same body/mind skills that are talked about and used all over Asia. So to be able to confine discussions to "only what is found in Aikido" is going to be very hard to do. Inevitably any truly accurate conversation is going to have to deal with the skillset as a part of the greater whole. The other issue is that, even though an increasing number of people have begun training this way, there are still only a small, small handful of people who have a real level of skill AND have incorporated it into an Aikido paradigm. So there isn't really anyone here who's qualified to talk about these skills---in the general forum---under the conditions Jun wants them to be discussed.I dunno. Tohei recognized and allowed for the idea that there are actually two topics: (1.) Aikido Waza and (2.) the Ki/Kokyu skills. It's difficult to have a meaningful "high-level" discussion about waza even right now, so saying that it's difficult to have a meaningful "high-level" discussion about waza that utilizes I.S. ki/kokyu skills isn't any more or less of a problem. What's probably most important is to have a conversation that meaningfully discusses the what's, how-to's, how this works, etc., etc., of these skills, always keeping an eye to how it's all applied in relation to the goals of "aiki" when engaging an opponent.

In my experience, there's always going to be the problem of who actually knows what in a discussion. In many years on the internal-skills lists and forums I've found that often the people who are contributing *think* they know things that they don't know or that they have some skewed grasp of. That's why "meetups" and show-and-tells are so important. Many times I've been on a forum where someone hops in and starts giving advice to people and when someone on the forum meets them, there is often a bit of embarrassment (or worse). It would save a lot of problems, IMO, if there was some sort of baseline "test" that is agreed upon and if people met in a friendly way and started their show-and-tells with these tests. That keeps it all out in the open and honest and friendly.

I don't particularly care if someone is a "keeper of the koryu secrets" or was "sworn to secrecy by my Master" or etc., but at some point in the game there has to be a bit of open show-and-tell and discussion. Personally I don't want to be impious and not respect all Grand Poobah's and take their own word on their skills, but everyone needs to be involved in show and tells in addition to the discussions. Besides, it helps when you meet someone who can do an aspect of these skills better than you can and you immediately become motivated to practice harder so you can kick his butt in the same demo next time. ;)

Tests (like standing up to a steady push, let's say, or being difficult to lift because you can bring jin to where you want it) are better than waza for the general discussions, IMO. The ki/kokyu skills can be checked separate of waza. How good someone incorporates their ki/kokyu skills into technique and "aiki" is a bona fide subject, but a difficult one. If I have to "attack shomenuchi" at a certain speed and you harshly drop me, that's cool, but it obscures the actual amount of and purity of the skills within the technique by adding a number of other factors. So my suggestion would be that for discussion purposes and cross-comparisons, etc., it's just a lot clearer if discussions only use "technique" in a limited sort of way.

BTW, and I've said this before.... you can "feel" the general amount of these skills that someone has in only a brief interaction. The better you get, the easier it is to "read" someone, read how much of their skills is jin or jin-muscle and/or uses the hara for control, and so on. I know when I'm around a skilled person like one of my teachers or a senior student of some other teacher, etc., that they can tell what level of skill I have. It's unavoidable and best of all it helps keep me from playing silly games about having something I don't really have. Potentially embarrassing? Yes. But it's a good thing to know. If you can really do it, another skilled person is going to know it; if you can't do it and you're pretending you can, it makes conversations awkward. ;)

Those are just some of my thoughts, for whatever they're worth.

Best.

Mike Sigman

Erick Mead
10-28-2008, 11:05 AM
As one who watched from the sidelines, I think the above is a fair summary of many but not all of the conflicts.

Ironically, I would note, it was not the basis for the problem that arose in using photos posted for other purposes as a basis to critique Aikido waza. (I use the phrase irony advisedly, given your recent post). The point is well-taken and the position has moved about on the use of videos, for instance, which have been demanded as sine qua non and alternately derided as useless and revealing nothing. The truth is somewhere between, but NOT in the sense of some half-baked compromise on any given point -- what they do tell is inarguable -- what they do miss is undemonstrable.

... taking the role of observer, in the scientific sense of the term, does not necessarily generate an ideal language for participants, but still may create reference points that help make sense of any phenomenologocial description participants might agree makes sense of their experience.
... [things that] involve actions that cannot be carried out effectively under conscious control.
... the limits of conscious control help illuminate a phenomenon experienced by participants in performance, and provides very useful training information. As with many things in these "post-religious" days many arguments take on a quasi-theological cast, (in substitution, I would maintain, but leave that aside).

Things learned from such debates are equally applicable. Everyone needs to walk the inherent tight-rope strung between the opposed poles of "Question all that has been said." -- and yet also "Believe, that you might understand."

phitruong
10-28-2008, 11:33 AM
BTW, and I've said this before.... you can "feel" the general amount of these skills that someone has in only a brief interaction. The better you get, the easier it is to "read" someone, read how much of their skills is jin or jin-muscle and/or uses the hara for control, and so on. I know when I'm around a skilled person like one of my teachers or a senior student of some other teacher, etc., that they can tell what level of skill I have. It's unavoidable and best of all it helps keep me from playing silly games about having something I don't really have. Potentially embarrassing? Yes. But it's a good thing to know. If you can really do it, another skilled person is going to know it; if you can't do it and you're pretending you can, it makes conversations awkward. ;)



I was going to start from the awkward phase by stating my abilities sort of giving an authoritative point of view. :)

my abilities:
1. aikido - might be able to throw one or two persons on a good day if they are cooperative.
2. IS skills - got foot stuck in the door and being smashed by the door. if IS skills have grades like 1-12, I would be in the kindergarten section sucking on my thumbs.
2. other martial things - can run away when crap hits the fan
3. if someone built an idiot-proved thing, i usually could beat it.

here is a topic that i was going to start with, you guys can tell me if it worthwhile and should be here or not.

topic: how to relax where the ability to relax and knowing that you are really really relax would help to ground when being push or pull. tell someone to relax isn't a how-to.

also, i have a selfish reason for discussing the topics here to find out what others have done so i can steal from them. why reinvent the wheel, sort of.

Erick Mead
10-28-2008, 11:34 AM
But (imho) the majority of folks on Aikiweb have received the aikido terms, but not their meaning with regards to internal strength. So whether we chooses the aikido vocabulary or an ad-hoc vocabulary, we're screwed either way. Neither will faciliate communication easily. Not so. The presumption is that mindful practice of the received taiso and the set-piece studies of their application in defined waza is not effective to disclose their meaning by intuitive recognition. I contend otherwise. The willingness to have an ad hoc discussion shows otherwise, even if it is does not allow much categorical expansion or extension, or critical contrast or comparison with other practices. That recognition is what leads to the categorization that allows these things.

What is more likely lacking is not in the explanation of the methods -- which are everywhere repeated in more or less demonstrably related or similar forms (as Mike S. properly notes) -- what is more usually missing is the critical mindfulness in its practice according to well-accepted principles or its performance. Serious men of good repute say recognition of the intuitive aspects of such things takes serious study of years. Haste and impatience is a mark of unseriousness (but not necessarily a conviction of it, I hasten to add, and efficiencies are always possible.)

But any serious practice, conducted unseriously and uncritically, will produced trivial results, whether the unseriousness be a hurry-up impatience or a lackadaisical undirected "going through the motions." The latter is a valid criticism of much received aikido as it is practiced. That is still not an indictment of the effectiveness of proper practice of the received aikido body of practices. The problem (in all areas of endeavor) usually does not lie primarily in the nature of the practice -- but in the approach of the participants to it.

Pilot error is responsible for two-thirds of aircraft mishaps -- the problem causing failures in a reasonably functional platform are predominately NOT with the method or its mechanism.

Mike Sigman
10-28-2008, 11:46 AM
I was going to start from the awkward phase by stating my abilities sort of giving an authoritative point of view. :)

my abilities:
1. aikido - might be able to throw one or two persons on a good day if they are cooperative.
2. IS skills - got foot stuck in the door and being smashed by the door. if IS skills have grades like 1-12, I would be in the kindergarten section sucking on my thumbs.
2. other martial things - can run away when crap hits the fan
3. if someone built an idiot-proved thing, i usually could beat it.

here is a topic that i was going to start with, you guys can tell me if it worthwhile and should be here or not.

topic: how to relax where the ability to relax and knowing that you are really really relax would help to ground when being push or pull. tell someone to relax isn't a how-to.

also, i have a selfish reason for discussing the topics here to find out what others have done so i can steal from them. why reinvent the wheel, sort of.BTW, Phi, I should have made it crystal clear that I wasn't looking at the comments of expertise from the snobbery end, putdowns, etc. What I was trying to say was more of a caution to people about what happens in reality when you meet someone who indeed has some of these "listening" skills (an odd outgrowth of the ki/kokyu skills). It keeps the conversations more moderate if that is laid out in advance. As a general rule, most of the people I've ever met who develop these skills tend to be practical and more or nonchalant about people who think they have more skills than they do... because everyone does it and you get used to it. I've tried dumbass things against some of my teachers and they just placidly accepted it and then critiqued... they didn't get irritated at me. Worst case would have been if I'd been obnoxious and done the same things... I think they would have still been equally nice, but they wouldn't have showed me anything more, even though they continued to smile. ;)

I think your topic sounds interesting. I'll keep checking for a new topic in the forum, started by you. ;)

Best.

Mike

Timothy WK
10-28-2008, 12:20 PM
Hi Mike,

In general, I totally agree with you. I was only attempting to address the specific situation *here at Aikiweb*, where we have to follow Jun's rules. I don't agree with Jun's assessment that these topics are "Non-Aikido", but I respect his vision for the site.

Mike Sigman
10-28-2008, 01:47 PM
Hi Mike,

In general, I totally agree with you. I was only attempting to address the specific situation *here at Aikiweb*, where we have to follow Jun's rules. I don't agree with Jun's assessment that these topics are "Non-Aikido", but I respect his vision for the site.
Other than the fact that ki things are considered "non-Aikido" for a short time in history, I just think that it's humorous and slightly enjoyable as a situation. The longer it stays like that the more interesting it is because it's a sort of marker in history.

First of all, the fact that the ki things more or less got lost is an interesting aspect of history. Secondly, and we're all guilty of this (I fell into the trap also in my early Aikido days), we let Aikido politics convince us that what Tohei was doing was something that "was not the same real Aikido that O-Sensei did". Like we were better judges of Aikido than what the head-instructor at Hombu Dojo would have considered proper. So we didn't take a clue that Tohei began espousing 40 years ago. See the wry humor? ;)

Without involving Jun or anyone else personally in the discussion, let me say that my *impression* (I could be wrong and welcome any corrections) is that there is still not a clarity at Ikeda's dojo about what is Aikido and what is that funny stuff Ikeda Sensei works on with people on Wednesday nights. In other words, I'm not sure that Ikeda Sensei has been able to clarify exactly what the ki aspects are and how they interpenetrate the whole, so his students still may not see a whole picture that includes the topics we're discussing in this separate forum. That makes it sort of a complex topic to address and I've been thinking about it recently (not just in relation to Ikeda's dojo, but his is a good example for me to use to myself as a thought-starter).

Generally the problem is similar to a problem I encountered one time when a woman Tai Chi teacher came to visit me so that I could help her... she was frustrated that after 14 years of doing Tai Chi she could never do any good in push-hands. So I worked with her some and showed her some basic jin things and said that she needed to learn to start moving with jin (think to yourself "fune-kogi undo", "happo-undo", furitama, etc., because that's what those things teach). I told her that she needed to go back and try to do all the movements in her Tai Chi form with jin/qi because if she didn't she'd miss the whole point of Tai Chi. She left the house in a huff saying that there was no way she'd believe that she had being doing Tai Chi for 14 years and wasn't doing *some* of it right. See the problem and how it relates also to Aikido and other arts as well?

If someone has been doing Aikido (or Taiji or any other art) for a number of years, they have it in their mind unequivocally that some certain percentage of what they know is correct (and some are... I'm not trying to imply complete ignorance). We would all do this. I mentioned sometime in the past that I had to go back and relearn my Taiji, Xingyi, etc., stuff from scratch more than a few times. It was humbling. But I'm not practicing in any school with any sort of rank, position, etc., that have become part of my persona, so I don't have a really set view of who I am, what I know, and so on.

The main point I'm getting at is that it's very difficult generally for people *not* to view the topic as two things: Aikido and these skills that are side issues. Viewing the skills as the foundation of Aikido (or any other art that has the ki/kokyu skills as foundational) is a very hard concept for most people to grasp. But if you think about it, Tohei grasped it while at the same time some of his concurrent peers did not. It happens. We need to accept that that's the way it is. ;)

FWIW

Mike Sigman

C. David Henderson
10-28-2008, 02:26 PM
The main point I'm getting at is that it's very difficult generally for people *not* to view the topic as two things: Aikido and these skills that are side issues. Viewing the skills as the foundation of Aikido (or any other art that has the ki/kokyu skills as foundational) is a very hard concept for most people to grasp. But if you think about it, Tohei grasped it while at the same time some of his concurrent peers did not. It happens. We need to accept that that's the way it is. ;)

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Hi Mike.

Question -- when these skills are treated as foundational,do you see a problem expressing these skills in traditional waza? Would you take the view they render traditional waza superfluous?

I am thinking here along the lines of a previous discussion -- http://aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15045 -- because your comment suggests you may see things somewhat differently.

Regards,

DH

Mike Sigman
10-28-2008, 03:58 PM
Hi Mike.

Question -- when these skills are treated as foundational,do you see a problem expressing these skills in traditional waza? Would you take the view they render traditional waza superfluous?
Well, let's use a simple example like a push and let it represent a technique in the discussion. And I think a push is often what many people do while calling it a "kokyunage", so it's not a real stretch to replace "waza" with "push" in this example.

Using jin-forces/kokyu/whatever I can do a pretty surprising "push", even with no room between me and the target. What I'm actually doing, even though it looks externally like a normal push, is to gather a series of force contributors that aren't obvious and I'm doing my "push" with those clever, unseen force contributors. But regardless of how cool the special push looks, an ordinary push (not as strong) is still a good technique/waza to use on an opponent, isn't it? What I'm trying to say is that the traditional waza are just fine, but they're enhanced by the ki/kokyu skills and if you want to learn the waza with "ki" in them, it's best to start off that way rather than try and come back later in an effort to override now-patterned muscular coordination.

As techniques, the waza are good ones. However they were designed (in any ki-focused art) to originally be built around the ki/kokyu skills. Will the waza work without the ki component? Sure. Does the guy who only has some ki/kokyu skills but no martial techniques beat a similar guy who has some martial skills? I would think not. They're complimentary. If all it took was ki/kokyu skills there wouldn't be so many martial arts and techniques.... people would just focus on ki/kokyu stuff and that's simply wrong. ;)

FWIW

Mike Sigman

C. David Henderson
10-28-2008, 04:08 PM
Thanks, Mike.

Adman
10-28-2008, 04:27 PM
BTW, my comment concerning posting within other aikiweb forums, about internal training (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=218658&postcount=52), was not meant as a challenge toward any of Jun's policies. Rather, it was a challenge for those starting and participating in discussions, to honor his policies. Doesn't mean you can't include internal training discussions in other forums, at least the way I interpret Jun's concerns.

I'm also not talking about shaking things up. Just moving on.

jss
10-29-2008, 02:42 AM
The presumption is that mindful practice of the received taiso and the set-piece studies of their application in defined waza is not effective to disclose their meaning by intuitive recognition.
True.
I contend otherwise. The willingness to have an ad hoc discussion shows otherwise, <snip>
I didn't see the need to get into this earlier, but made that discussion an ad hoc discussion? You mentioned the use of ad hoc terms. Well, most of the terms used were the ones coined by Dan Harden, Mike Sigman and Akuzawa/Rob John; they did not just made these up as they participated in the discussion.

That recognition is what leads to the categorization that allows these things.
I don't understand this sentence (has as much to do with my English skills as your writing style, imho). Recognition of what? Categorization as what? What are 'these things'?

What is more likely lacking is not in the explanation of the methods -- which are everywhere repeated in more or less demonstrably related or similar forms (as Mike S. properly notes) -- <snip>
The explanations that are found everywhere are not sufficient to understand these skills. They are clear enough to show 'Look, I know this stuff.' and vague enough to make sure that those who don't know, won't be able to figure it out.
Serious men of good repute say recognition of the intuitive aspects of such things takes serious study of years.
How do you define 'intuitive'? I wouldn't say these skills are intuitive, unless explained as poorly as they often are.
You have no trouble with mentioning Mike Sigman to support your claims, so who are these men?
Speaking of which, Mike Sigman can teach the basic skill set and its logic in two days. So I see two options: Mike Sigman has found a faster way to explain these skills or what you're doing is something different from what Mike Sigman is doing.

That is still not an indictment of the effectiveness of proper practice of the received aikido body of practices. The problem (in all areas of endeavor) usually does not lie primarily in the nature of the practice -- but in the approach of the participants to it.
So aikido just fails in getting people to practice properly? That's as big a defect in teaching methodology as is failing to transmit the contents of the practice.

eyrie
10-29-2008, 04:15 AM
If someone has been doing Aikido (or Taiji or any other art) for a number of years, they have it in their mind unequivocally that some certain percentage of what they know is correct.... There's an easy (and far more humbling) way to find out how much of what you think you know is correct and how much is just plain wrong... go to several different MA venues and "ask for a (free) lesson". ;)

And then go back and look at your MA (Aikido, or taiji or what-have-you) and start from scratch... all over again....

phitruong
10-29-2008, 08:03 AM
There's an easy (and far more humbling) way to find out how much of what you think you know is correct and how much is just plain wrong... go to several different MA venues and "ask for a (free) lesson". ;)


In the old Chinese days, asking for a lesson is equivalent of a challenge. ;)

eyrie
10-29-2008, 07:33 PM
Hey! I'm old, and I'm Chinese... what did you think I meant? ;)

Erick Mead
10-29-2008, 09:28 PM
You mentioned the use of ad hoc terms. Well, most of the terms used were the ones coined by Dan Harden, Mike Sigman and Akuzawa/Rob John; they did not just made these up as they participated in the discussion. In the former case, that is actually pretty much the case, as he seems to have denied or strongly critiqued the usefulness of almost any verbal description. As to Akuzawa, his is ad hoc, but made up prior to any of these discussions, from his particular categorization based on his experience, and is fine as far as it goes. Mike prefers to rely on a more rigorous body of knowledge in the Chinese sources, for his descriptions, but that body of knowledge, while rich and useful, is not analytic, and so serves westerners perhaps less well.

That recognition is what leads to the categorization that allows these things.I don't understand this sentence (has as much to do with my English skills as your writing style, imho). Recognition of what? Categorization as what? What are 'these things'? Sorry, too many transposed references in that sentence. Intuitive recognition of this form of action allows categorization of examples of their use for training purposes. The aikido waza syllabus is one such set of categories. Categories arrived at by any individual are based on individualized experience and therefore start from necessarily ad hoc foundations. At a conceptual level the description of their action need not remain ad hoc, and can be tied to a surer and well explored general set of categories -- whether this be mechanics, or Chinese traditional knowledge -- or mythological imagery from Kojiki, for that matter.

The explanations that are found everywhere are not sufficient to understand these skills. They are clear enough to show 'Look, I know this stuff.' and vague enough to make sure that those who don't know, won't be able to figure it out. Both good reasons for a better system of description.

How do you define 'intuitive'? I wouldn't say these skills are intuitive, unless explained as poorly as they often are. Intuition is knowledge sufficiently concrete to act upon, but not consciously categorized enough yet to articulate or explain.

Serious men of good repute say recognition of the intuitive aspects of such things takes serious study of years.You have no trouble with mentioning Mike Sigman to support your claims, so who are these men? Sagawa, most notably, said twenty years were necessary. Morihei Ueshiba states his realization came in about ten, but most people recognize him as superlatively gifted.

Speaking of which, Mike Sigman can teach the basic skill set and its logic in two days. So I see two options: Mike Sigman has found a faster way to explain these skills or what you're doing is something different from what Mike Sigman is doing. We are doing the same things as far as I can tell, and I have no desire to decide a contest with anyone. Faster is not necessarily better, depending on the purpose. Operative use requires intuitional grasp; expanding traing requires conceptual grasp to extend from what is known to what is unknown but suspected. I am not convinced that any conceptual explanation, in itself, leads to any swifter intuitional grasp. I do think that an analytic mechanical foundation gives a way to take points realized in isolation and stitch them in various patchworks, which may better point to the whole. I am more interested in finding a deeper way of exploring the nature of the thing, than finding a speedier way to introduce the rudiments.

So aikido just fails in getting people to practice properly? That's as big a defect in teaching methodology as is failing to transmit the contents of the practice.Sturgeon's Law applies, as with everything else, unfortunately. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sturgeons_law

Mike Sigman
10-29-2008, 11:28 PM
Mike prefers to rely on a more rigorous body of knowledge in the Chinese sources, for his descriptions, but that body of knowledge, while rich and useful, is not analytic, and so serves westerners perhaps less well.Just to defend my good name... I don't think anyone on QiJin thinks I dwell on a "rigorous body of knowledge in the Chinese sources". I cross-reference occasionally to the qi-paradigm, but not all that often. I try to be "analytic" in the ways I think the most people would understand. The correct amount of "analysis".... that's a judgement call and each person can make their own. And good luck to them. You can't analyze your way there; you have to be shown a certain amount or you'll miss too much or take too much time.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

C. David Henderson
10-30-2008, 10:04 AM
Wittgenstein: A fuzzy picture may be a clear represenation of something fuzzy.

Erick Mead
10-30-2008, 01:47 PM
Wittgenstein: A fuzzy picture may be a clear represenation of something fuzzy. Only fuzzy in the sense of a sea urchin -- whose margins are very diffuse but nonetheless extremely pointy and sharp. :D

As I perceive it, when it' s right -- it's laser clear to both participants -- and when it's wrong, it's bluntly obvious. I liken it to a cinema scope with its flashing pictures -- as the thing speeds up the thing comes to life as a whole and the static aspects of each image, clear and precise in still-frame are blended together as performance approaches the limits of discrete perception.

This is a close analogue to the Iwama approach in training waza progression, actually. Although, in actual fact, it seems to work in some ways more like high-speed cinematography "slowing down" very short events into more clearly perceived progressions which seems a mashed-up "Bang!" when seen in real-time by "normal " or untutored perception. If waza are not treated as analytic studies something like this way (physically, not necessarily intellectually), then they are mostly useless. But in several lineages they are treated just so, and are highly useful.

C. David Henderson
10-30-2008, 02:12 PM
As I perceive it, when it' s right -- it's laser clear to both participants -- and when it's wrong, it's bluntly obvious. I liken it to a cinema scope with its flashing pictures -- as the thing speeds up the thing comes to life as a whole and the static aspects of each image, clear and precise in still-frame are blended together as performance approaches the limits of discrete perception.

This is a close analogue to the Iwama approach in training waza progression, actually. Although, in actual fact, it seems to work in some ways more like high-speed cinematography "slowing down" very short events into more clearly perceived progressions which seems a mashed-up "Bang!" when seen in real-time by "normal " or untutored perception. If waza are not treated as analytic studies something like this way (physically, not necessarily intellectually), then they are mostly useless.

This relates back, I believe, to your treatment of aikido waza as a physical container for and mode of "analysis" of physical movement and relationships in a martial encounter (sorry if that way of phrasing it fails to capture your idea fully).

In any event, I think I agree with your comment.

In my view, though, while many aspects of the interaction may be either "laser clear" or "bluntly obvious" to the participants, any attempt to describe what they experienced likely will be less so to any third person, particularly one with no similar experiences to call upon. But to the extent the participants in this "analytic study" find they want or need to talk about "it" with each other, they likely can be clear enough to have some notion about what to do next.

To me, FWIW, this also sound alot like the reactions that have come up when internal training issues get discussed and insiders (who may be "outsiders" to Aikido) try to talk about their experiences as particpants in that practice with outsiders (even when they are "insiders" to Aikido).

Regards,

DH

jss
10-30-2008, 03:36 PM
Sagawa, most notably, said twenty years were necessary. Morihei Ueshiba states his realization came in about ten, but most people recognize him as superlatively gifted.It all depens where you draw the line, I guess. The basic skill set can be explained in a weekend, imho, but to actually apply it in a martial encounter or to go beyond the merest of basics, more time is of course required.
Sturgeon's Law applies, as with everything else, unfortunately.People need to practice a particular skill set to be crap at it. Yet plenty of aikidoka seem quite oblivious to internal skills and their importance to aikido. So until that changes, Sturgeon's Law does not apply and aikido is being poorly taught, deliberately or not.

But I do agree we need both a better system of description for these skills and more critical mindfulness in the practice of these skills.

Erick Mead
10-30-2008, 05:03 PM
It all depens where you draw the line, I guess. The basic skill set can be explained in a weekend, imho, but to actually apply it in a martial encounter or to go beyond the merest of basics, more time is of course required.
People need to practice a particular skill set to be crap at it. Yet plenty of aikidoka seem quite oblivious to internal skills and their importance to aikido. So until that changes, Sturgeon's Law does not apply and aikido is being poorly taught, deliberately or not.

But I do agree we need both a better system of description for these skills and more critical mindfulness in the practice of these skills.Sturgeon's law applies regardless. This is a matter of dogma, and failure to adhere to the creed in this regard is grounds for excommunication from the bounds of Geekdom. :eek:

Seeking to display power vice efficiency, or allowing a situation in which compliance eliminates the testing of efficiency, will both lead to the disease you diagnose. Still crap though. :p

As for practicing the "skill set," it's all in the aiki taiso, kokyu undo, what have you -- and the waza are setpieces to study it in more or less repeatable scenarios. If you use them that way. Or we can dance. But we have had this debate -- and that is not necessarily the best format for all comers or styles of learning, I'll be the first to say.

The order of progression seems, from historical examples, commutative -- which is to say that the basic concepts given in physical form cannot be realized without long years of training to use the body in an inherently efficient manner; and training that places a high premium on efficiency, plus a later brief introduction to the principles -- may accomplish the same thing. Tenryu is the famous example of this -- three months with Ueshiba, a life-time of sumo to make him ready. Unmindful and sloppy work, on the other hand is still crap. (And Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead. SNL is still fresh -- Ted Sturgeon dead, too. :( ) -- and look how old I am getting.)

I can explain rotary-wing flight in ten minutes or less, too, but getting to flying with the subtlety of the non-linear hindbrain instead of the gross binary axe of the cortex is the part that requires a lot of time. Despite the fact that the hindbrain is faster, more focused, more agile and more enduring than us playing behind the neocortical mask for polite company -- that's still the dumb-monkey brain back there, remember, requiring much repetition to learn anything physical that is truly new. But lightning quick to adapt anything it already knows.

Gernot Hassenpflug
10-31-2008, 11:00 AM
Regarding the separateness of ki/kokyu and waza, I find it useful to consider that the latter are essentially mere demonstrations and training tools, and that therefore one requires partner compliance (including things like full resistance). In the absence of any incoming energy there is no incentive or need to force one's body to use internal dynamics to handle the partner.

These internal dynamics are what are trained with specific ki/kokyu solo and partner exercises. Having a good though basic understanding of these dynamics allows a person to get quite good at doing waza even though real bujutsu skill requires a much higher level of the ki/kokyu abilities---I was recently educated about Shioda Gozo being a great example of someone who had rather low-level bujutsu capability but excellent waza skills because of his very thorough though not very high-level body skills combined with loads of experience and less able ukes (who mostly never learnt what he was doing anyway).

That waza can be a useful container for applying ki/kokyu skills pre-supposes that these skills are developed to a fairly high level by some other means---and then, eventually, the waza would fail to work on all ukes and applied training would have to become more free-form. Since this is not the case currently, owing to lack of wide-spread information about such means, I consider that practically waza cannot fulfill any such role at present.

Instead of letting people train in waza building the mistaken impression that they are building some kind of martial skill by virtue of being tori 50% of the time in a technique-centered role-play, it would be more constructive to let people do basic solo and partner exercises (based around low posture training and horse stance training physically), forget entirely about the novelty of taking ukemi or "throwing" a partner, and basically teach them to change their body. Without that change, any "technique" training that appears to work on someone else also without any particular body skills is just a waste of effort and a dangerous illusion to boot.

I agree that some kind of feedback is nice to have, but this feedback needs to come from movements that are so simple that it is clear to everyone whether a change in performance comes from a changing body or from some other effect. In the Aunkai case, simple kicking motions and various body movements are executed and changes can be seen in others and in oneself.

For Aikido, I would not consider something as complex as kokyu-ho (agete), or morote-dori lifting/dropping like Abe sensei teaches, these are way too difficult. In fact, any movement which purports to disrupt the other person is probably a very bad idea. The focus in all movements should be on the person doing the movement, and while the other person (if it is a partner-based movement) will be able to feel improvments, it is not reasonable to make the goal of the exercise the disruption of the partner's balance. So, something like sinking from a grip around the chest, or sinking from a two-handed grip at the elbow, or stepping forward with both arms extended against a resisting partner's chest, or standing in a low kamae and swinging both arms like a baseball bat from the side towards the front against a partner's slow straight chest punch... these kind of movements are simple enough and close enough to real applications of the basic body connection to enable progress to be felt by all participants. After that stage, there are the paired sword and staff exercises too.

Jeremy Hulley
10-31-2008, 11:31 AM
Great Post Gernot,
Thanks

C. David Henderson
10-31-2008, 12:12 PM
ki/kokyu[/i] skills pre-supposes that these skills are developed to a fairly high level by some other means---and then, eventually, the waza would fail to work on all ukes and applied training would have to become more free-form. Since this is not the case currently, owing to lack of wide-spread information about such means, I consider that practically waza cannot fulfill any such role at present.


It appears then, we may have three different views now expressed in this thread about the relationships between waza, internal skills, and martial effectiveness.

At the near certain prospect of putting it badly, here's what I gloss these views to be (with appropriate apologies to those whose names I take thus in vain):

(A) "Erick's" view, that ki/kokyu skills are embedded in waza and may be trained over time using waza as a method. At the same time, through progressive training, waza practice developes martial effectiveness.

This view likely would be seen as the most conventional by Aikido insiders and most problematic by internal skill practitioners;

(B) "Mike's" view, that if internal skills are to be expressed in waza, the skills need to be made a foundational basis for one's art. Certain exercises apart from waza train these skills effectively, and that they provide one way (but maybe not the only way) of making "waza" (even if reduced for didactic purpose to a simple "push") martially effective.

This view arguably might tend to be the most attractive to those with a foot in each camp;

And,

(C) "Gernot's" view, expressed above, that basically without these skills, which must be trained separately, waza are but a "dangerous delusion."

This view tends to be the one ruffles feathers of traditional Aikidoists.

Respectfully, it also has the tendency to conflate the idea that internal skills enhance martial effectiveness with the conclusion that this training is a necessary (and perhaps sufficient) condition for martial effectiveness.

That is, the reasoning and description used to advance this view appear to reflect the shared experiences and perspective that precipitate out of particular training methodology.

Parenthetically, I also read this to suggest ukemi skills practiced in Aikido have no clear value in training. (that 50% of the time, when I'm NOT tori, and so NOT in pursuit of my "dangerous illusion," apparently I'm wasting my own time while leading my partner astray...)

Gernot, you suggest Shioda Sensei should be viewed as "someone who had rather low-level bujutsu capability but excellent waza skills because of his very thorough though not very high-level body skills combined with loads of experience and less able ukes."

Were Shioda Sensei to engage with someone that had "rather high-level bujutsu capability" but without "loads of experience," who would be a "more able" to control the interaction?

[Who would win in a fight, Batman or Spiderman?]

Do you have examples of this sort of "match-up" occurring?

Regards,

DH

phitruong
10-31-2008, 01:32 PM
[Who would win in a fight, Batman or Spiderman?]

DH

My bet on Batman. he's smarter, self-made, nastier, cunning and has better rides. plus, he got different good looking woman in each movie. :D

now back to regular scheduled programming of Shane. should I bet on Shane?

C. David Henderson
10-31-2008, 01:54 PM
No; bet on Jack Palance's character.

By the by, I think Spiderman would win because his blood has internal powers.

Mike Sigman
10-31-2008, 02:40 PM
(B) "Mike's" view, that if internal skills are to be expressed in waza, the skills need to be made a foundational basis for one's art. Certain exercises apart from waza train these skills effectively, and that they provide one way (but maybe not the only way) of making "waza" (even if reduced for didactic purpose to a simple "push") martially effective.

This view arguably might tend to be the most attractive to those with a foot in each camp;
Just to be fair and not hog all the credit for this brilliant idea of mine.... it must be noted that Tohei Sensei espoused essentially the same thing. But wait.... didn't Ueshiba also teach foundational movement exercises like fune-kogi-undo apart from the waza? ;)

I don't really differ from the view that the current Aikido curriculum is just fine; my only added thought is that the how to do these things simply needs to be better explained. Also, as an aside, I'd note that in actuality people like Ueshiba and Tohei also did a fair amount of extra-curricular practice outside of the dojo, so that should be factored in as well.

FWIW

Mike

Erick Mead
10-31-2008, 05:19 PM
At the near certain prospect of putting it badly, here's what I gloss these views to be (with appropriate apologies to those whose names I take thus in vain):

(A) "Erick's" view, that ki/kokyu skills are embedded in waza and may be trained over time using waza as a method. At the same time, through progressive training, waza practice developes martial effectiveness. Not badly, but not exactly. As I see it, "waza" used in aikido were deliberately selected (and others eliminated) based on suitability in exemplifying aspects of the aiki-taiso/kokyu-undo. The kokyu-undo contain the manner of movement/structure, divorced from all practical application. The waza do not contain the ki/kokyu skills, as such, they are vessels deemed suitable by the founder to embody their expression in practical applications that can be studied and improved in repeated execution. They can, of course be done in ways that bear no relationship at all to the manner of actuation or loading represented in the kokyu undo, and are routinely done that way by, for instance, many policeman the world over -- but that ain't aiki, either (mostly).

Recursive iteration (with weapons providing an important third complement) is my experience of the value in the "received" aikido training.

I'll let others speak their piece on your other two points.

This view likely would be seen as the most conventional by Aikido insiders and most problematic by internal skill practitioners; On this, there can be no debate -- that is the division of opinion.

Parenthetically, I also read this to suggest ukemi skills practiced in Aikido have no clear value in training. (that 50% of the time, when I'm NOT tori, and so NOT in pursuit of my "dangerous illusion," apparently I'm wasting my own time while leading my partner astray...)I don't know if that is a fair reading of "their" position --and the "they" might represent several different one's. Ukemi as I see it should be taken -- not because all throws are going to take me down, but because not all throws are THROWS -- and if I assume an attack is an empty hand instead of blade/bottle/crowbar, keenly honed combative instincts will run me flat-out into the reality of an oozing bag of guts, or gushing femoral artery. A good knife is hardly ever seen. Distinguishing the appropriateness of the ki of earth from the ki of heaven is a vital (as in life/death) issue on this point, not a metaphysical one, and is the reason for that comment, made by someone else, that I have repeated before here.

Granted that for training purposes this presents tori with a problem of not training against a directly resistant opponent. Instead, he is dealing with an indirectly resistant opponent. Since we are supposed to train finding the space to act without resistance, it is important that uke signal that he could resist, even if he doesn't much -- and the lack of committed resistance is for reason of his own training, not to make nage/tori look good.

Aikido is not boxing or wrestling, or any form of sport. People that practice it that way are not practicing it, period, IMO. Weapons reiterate that in training, for that reason (and for many others). Having said that, all ukemi should also be definitively going somewhere to develop the musubi connection in the throw -- not abandon it --- not destroy it -- and ultimately -- to take it over.

Gernot Hassenpflug
10-31-2008, 06:30 PM
It appears then, we may have three different views /../

(A) "Erick's" view, that ki/kokyu skills are embedded in waza and may be trained over time using waza as a method. /../

(B) "Mike's" view, that if internal skills are to be expressed in waza, the skills need to be made a foundational basis for one's art. /../

Hello David, I'm arguing the same thing as Mike here, not presenting you a "third" view. I want to stress that the format of aikido techniques is a demo format, obviously, since it is not free-form sparring. Thus, while the ability to twist and break someone's structure using various joint locks is indeed waza whose utility depends on the amount of ki/kokyu capability developed, the format for the practice of this ability is important not to conflate with waza.

Parenthetically, I also read this to suggest ukemi skills practiced in Aikido have no clear value in training.
I think it is clear that the point there was that the notion of martial ability brought about by winning over a partner 50% of the time was a delusion, there was no point being made about what the uke feels. Personally, I don't think it is important to discuss the value of ukemi as such---when the thrust of training is connection and ki/kokyu development and application, the discussion of some individual movement or chosen instance of a principle no longer takes precedence.

/../you suggest Shioda Sensei should be viewed as "someone who had rather low-level bujutsu capability but excellent waza skills because of his very thorough though not very high-level body skills combined with loads of experience and less able ukes."

Were Shioda Sensei to engage with someone that had "rather high-level bujutsu capability" but without "loads of experience," who would be a "more able" to control the interaction?

In practice, such a person does not exist, because bujutsu capability is a combination of body skills with martial application---it is not an abstract pursuit of movements fantasized for martial effectiveness using inanimate objects or one's mind o give feedback. The training necessarily includes interaction with others doing the same thing, and has not gotten anywhere until the martial usage is high-level (which requires high-level body skills). Thus, I would say your hypothetical person is a complete fake: I think you may be confusing such a person with someone who has some limited capability to do certain simple exercises and demos. This is very different to bujutsu.

In conclusion, a person who understood and practiced bujutsu to a high level, coming up (in fun) against someone like Shioda, would not be moved by any of Shioda's techniques (because they aren't actually that easy to do, for a start, so Shioda surrepticiously cheated to make them look easier in demos), while still being able to appreciate Shioda's good understanding of the body. This is simply a matter of levels, not of any basic misunderstandings by someone like Shioda.

C. David Henderson
10-31-2008, 09:30 PM
In practice, such a person does not exist, because bujutsu capability is a combination of body skills with martial application---...Thus, I would say your hypothetical person is a complete fake: I think you may be confusing such a person with someone who has some limited capability to do certain simple exercises and demos. This is very different to bujutsu.
.

Hi Gernot.

I appreciate your response, and I think it's helpful on a number of levels to move the conversation forward.

I thought about this particular point as I was writing my question to you, and I think your response is the same one I would have made based on a more limited understanding (such is life).

I think my point was this -- just as my hypothetical doesn't exist, neither does the Shioda you have in mind when you describe what would happen if he encountered another hypothetical bujustu person.

I understand, as well, what you're saying about ukemi, but I fundamentally disagree. One of Bruce Lee's observations about Aikido was to express appreciation for the art's symmetrical treatment of physical interaction.

If you agree with Mike's view, then do you agree with him that the curriculum of Aikido is fine the way it is? I don't think that you can, given your point of view.

Respectfully,

DH

Gernot Hassenpflug
11-01-2008, 12:37 AM
/../ I think my point was this -- just as my hypothetical doesn't exist, neither does the Shioda you have in mind when you describe what would happen if he encountered another hypothetical bujustu person.

I understand, as well, what you're saying about ukemi, but I fundamentally disagree. One of Bruce Lee's observations about Aikido was to express appreciation for the art's symmetrical treatment of physical interaction.

Hi David, thank you too. Yes, you are right there, I left myself open to your rebounder on purpose (else I would not have replied at all to a hypothetical situation <g>). As for Bruce Lee, no comment...

If you agree with Mike's view, then do you agree with him that the curriculum of Aikido is fine the way it is? I don't think that you can, given your point of view.

I'll choose not get into an argument about what other people believe and whether what I wrote matches that :D

I wrote above what I suggest as training in line with what I believe, and I'd be happy to discuss in private, prefereably face-to-face, anything else.

I don't much care about the Aikido curriculum as such, I've already made my decisions. If the majority of people are happy with their training so be it. I'm hopefully helping the others in this thread to throw pointers to better understanding (or better questions) for those who want to look further than the crumbs their masters are throwing them :-)

C. David Henderson
11-01-2008, 07:21 AM
Gernot,

I guess we each left an opening because we each were pointing to a similar conclusion -- interesting.

I respect your choice and your knowledge, and think a lot of what you've said is helpful to better understanding.

But "crumbs their masters are throwing them?" I don't think you need to take on the baggage that formula suggests.

Thanks for your thoughts.

DH

Gernot Hassenpflug
11-01-2008, 09:15 AM
But "crumbs their masters are throwing them?" I don't think you need to take on the baggage that formula suggests.
Hi David, I should have seen that one coming! But hear me out: It's an important life lesson, that one. One really does have to steal certain knowledge---or at least realize that some knowledge *can* not be imparted externally, but that each individual has to realize certain capabilities and understanding in themselves based on the crumbs thrown to them. This is not a depiction of crumbs as unimportant, nor a criticism of masters here, it is a truism that many people in Aikido seem to miss, judging by the many examples to be seen at, for example, the Honbu dojo itself.

Ron Tisdale
11-01-2008, 06:45 PM
I think Gernot might be seen as being derogatory when in fact he is simply...stating facts.

For those who choose to see themselves as masters, or as students of masters...well...

B,
R (life is hard) :D

C. David Henderson
11-01-2008, 11:38 PM
I do agree that (1) some of this knowledge has to be "stolen," (2) each person needs to take full responsibility for their own training (among other things, and not first on the list).

Personally, these principles probably relate to my own interest in the present topic.

But I also spent today in a seminar with a "master" aikidoist. He joyfully and generously gave of his time and understanding. We focused alot on using kokyu in technique.

So, though I think Gernot has cleared up my misunderstanding about the crumb comment, I am feeling grateful right now. Doesn't feel like crumbs. More like a seed. Up to me to give it water and light.

Maybe once again we're pointing at something similar?

Regards,

DH