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thisisnotreal
04-07-2009, 07:10 PM
Informative podcast by Ellis Amdur.

http://usaikido.com/?p=21

This was really great. Thanks for posting the interview (to both of you gents).

If anyone has anything of this caliber; please post 'em.

(btw: I wish there was a how-to book! Dan, Mike, Ellis?)
;)
i kno. ihtbf.

I loved the explanation of sankyo, nikkyo, etc...atemi.
Aikido is 90 % atemi.
The lines are in the techniques.

if you're in a rush; internal references directly start at 40:00 onwards

Josh

thisisnotreal
04-28-2009, 10:52 AM
Here is a good interview with Feldenkrais about ki.

I like how he talks about it as a learnable skill. A bodily organization.
http://www.feldenkrais-wien.at/article-4.htm

I am very curious about the 'levels' of neuromuscular organization which he claims is outlined by Jackson. Can anyone please share with me who and what he may be referring to?

Some favourite quotes:


You were talking the other day about the ki, chi, that kind of thing. I'd like to know what you think about that.

Ki and chi are the same thing. You better, about ki and chi, ask Chinese people or other Asian people. Because they talk about ki and chi. I can tell you only that Koizumi, when he wanted to talk about it, there was an international congress of Judo black belts in London and I was one of them. There were about 500 there. And we had a special course conducted by Koizumi. And then in the middle of the course, on the fifth day, suddenly he says, "Now I am going to talk to you about the most important principle in Judo training, about the saika-tanden." Some people call it tantien, the seat of chi, ki, or whatever you like, but it's the saika-tanden in Japanese. "But Feldenkrais come here," and he said to the whole assemblage, "I believe he will talk to you about the saika-tanden more sensibly and in a way in which you'll understand. It is something which I feel and know, but which I cannot explain." And then he let me explain that for the people there. And he wrote the preface to my book. The thing is this, when you talk of such matters in my way, nobody will take it for ki and chi or anything you like. You see, most people talk about that as if it's a mysterious kind of thing in the lower abdomen with all sorts of metaphysical meanings and powers. I have no connection with that. And therefore, my way of thinking is actually a useless thing to such people. If you challenge them on that they'll say, "Ah, what does he know? He is only a scientist."

But this is only a semantic difference, isn't it?

Oh, no. A semantic difference? No. Ghosts are a semantic difference? Ghosts are something which if you believe in and you are afraid of a ghost, you are afraid of a ghost You will never go into a haunted house.

Yes, but you must know . It's not semantic, but you must know from your practice something, the importance of this, what they call in the language, tanden.

Of course, I know.

And their description of it, while it may be .

My description of it is only in movement, I am not concerned with any of the other things.

But does it not come to the same thing?

No, it doesn't because, you see, in the one, if you say you've got chi, many people would try to be like you and do like you, and if they fail will say, "Oh, I could never get chi." To get chi, you have to possess moral courage, you have to be connected with the higher spheres of things. Therefore, you find that this is an impediment in the learning. (To a questioner) Have you chi?

I could not say that.

Oh, therefore, if you can't say it, that's what I'm talking about. You can work 20 years and you don't show it. You're not sure if you have it or you don't. Because if it's a mysterious quantity, then you must deserve it, you must be a part of an elite group, or you must be born in China. How will you get chi if it's a metaphysical thing that nobody knows what it is? Well, it's a quality like psychic healing, if you're a healer, you're a healer. If you don't heal, you are not. Now, chi is the same thing. Either you've got it or you ain't got it. If you've got it, you've got it. If you ain't got it, you ain't got it (Laughter) It's almost like EST.

But what you're talking about is different.

Yes. I told you. In movement, I can show you what chi is, what ki is, on you or anybody else. Can you see that my notions on breathing are different from anything you heard before and you will ever hear? You can see it, you can test it, on yourself, and there is a marked difference between the one and the other, provided that you can make the contrast.

Okay, for example, in martial arts training, in Aikido, where they have the notion of the unbendable arm or they talk about focusing somewhere, like a couple of inches below the navel and a couple of inches inside the lower abdomen, and then having your weight underside and not being stiff, but not relaxed, but having your attention .

Well, I don't know that it's a few inches here and a few inches there. It has to do with the full organization of your body, you can see it in whatever you do. You actually get chi through using the pelvis and the lower abdominal muscles, the strong muscles of the body as a unit concentrated from where all push or pull is issued. The rest of the body and the arms needn't be powerful. It is not a muscle, it is not a point. It has nothing to do with this point, because if it were a point . Look, if you move your body like that, the point is gone (makes a move to demonstrate, a shift in the center of gravity to outside the body). A point a few inches there, a few inches here, if you go there, you will find that it is full of shit, literally. (Laughter) That point is full of shit. And this is the point of chi.

So, will you teach us this organization?

What do you want it for? You don't want to fight. You don't. What do you want?

Is it used only in fighting or is it a whole organization that is serving you in any other action?

Oh, of course, it serves me. I believe a dancer is not a dancer without that reorganization. That is why most dancers are half-cooked dancers.

Why would we go through life without it?

You wouldn't know it. And nobody would do the amount of work that is necessary to get it because they will have to change their dancing.

But people like us can learn it?

I am teaching you whether you want it or not. The improvement in your movement that you get moving the head free so that the pelvis can produce the necessary power, that's ki. What did Kano do? That's all. He stands there, you can't push him. If he wants to push you, you go wherever he wants. So the mysterious development of chi is efficient use of the equipment that everybody has. It is that question which needs, in order to understand it, a tremendous amount of knowledge. And as usual, it's easier to teach people without teaching understanding, by saying, look, this is it, imitate me. Look,I stand here unmovable. You can't move me. Now push me, you can't push me. If I push you, you move.

Now and then they have you send the chi down to the ground and bring it back up, each way. It is a marvelous technique. But you know in a way, it's interesting that they teach that way because, if the motor cortex is responsible for directing the organization of the body, then to tell someone to send their energy down would cause them to organize their body differently and so their weight would be more difficult to move. But, if you say you send your energy . how do you send energy here or there, show me any instance where you can send energy anywhere. In our work we can do something with awareness and without awareness, something just purely done in a mechanical fashion and we can also pay attention to making some movement. So I see the concept of ki and chi as an incredible impediment to learning and I see people in classes, Aikido and Kung Fu and whatever, and it's just a struggle. They can never get it. They never get it because the idea of chi or ki is preposterous. How can you get it if it's a point in your stomach? What would you do with such a point? What can you do with it? What change will it make to you? Now, it sounds a mysterious kind of super power that you get from somewhere in the point in your stomach, and that point described properly, is the duodenum Iying there and is literally full of shit.

""""It's not that I don't want to talk about it, but for me this starts with the organization of the body. To me, ki is not a thing and not a spirit and not an anything, but the way a body is organized to function and that way in which it functions best. It means that a body can produce with it's weight, with the muscles that it has, with the brain it has, the greatest amount of work possible with a particular organization of that body and that particular organization turns out to be central to the thing we are talking about. It's a complex appreciation of how a human body is made, how it functions: That it has a head that must not be involved in the movement but which must be free, whatever the movement is, to move anywhere and that the lower abdomen must be in such a state that it can do all the things that it needs to do without disturbing the head. The rest of the body and the arms are not to be used to produce strength. And that is the truth. Once you get that, if you do, you can do Judo throws, the most difficult ones; the heaviest person, you can throw him if you get that. But to the people who are keen on mysterious things of ki and chi, this is a complete come-down, and they are not interested. They don't want to listen to it. They don't want it to be like that."""


Why the hell is there a link with Ki and the Supernatural? Let us say it is a bodily skill. Why then is it incorporated as the hidden/inner teaching of religions? I don't get this.


But this is only a semantic difference, isn't it?

Oh, no. A semantic difference? No. Ghosts are a semantic difference? Ghosts are something which if you believe in and you are afraid of a ghost, you are afraid of a ghost You will never go into a haunted house.


Best,
Josh P.

p.s. Yeah, i know i'm talking to myself. I'm okay with that. Kind of. Where's the action? I know you guys are out there. Take care.

Erick Mead
04-28-2009, 09:22 PM
Here is a good interview with Feldenkrais about ki.
.....
I like how he talks about it as a learnable skill. A bodily organization.
http://www.feldenkrais-wien.at/article-4.htm
...
I am very curious about the 'levels' of neuromuscular organization which he claims is outlined by Jackson. Can anyone please share with me who and what he may be referring to?
....
Why the hell is there a link with Ki and the Supernatural? Let us say it is a bodily skill. Why then is it incorporated as the hidden/inner teaching of religions? I don't get this.Because it is not really a "what" it is a "how," and so it does not easily fit our material categories of mass or energy because it is actually aspects of both, and neither, really. This http://www.aikiweb.com/blogs/but-why-7854/physical-theory-of-aiki-a-dialogue-3404/ is my best attempt, so far, at explaining it in physical terms.

Mike Sigman
05-04-2009, 01:13 PM
Here is a good interview with Feldenkrais about ki.

I like how he talks about it as a learnable skill. A bodily organization.
http://www.feldenkrais-wien.at/article-4.htm

I am very curious about the 'levels' of neuromuscular organization which he claims is outlined by Jackson. Can anyone please share with me who and what he may be referring to?

Some favourite quotes:

Why the hell is there a link with Ki and the Supernatural? Let us say it is a bodily skill. Why then is it incorporated as the hidden/inner teaching of religions? I don't get this.
I'm not even sure I want to get into this on this forum, Josh, but I'll hit a few highlights.

First of all, what Feldenkrais *says* is essentially true, particularly about the reorganization of the body. The old terms of ki/qi did their best to describe some things about force manipulation, body traits, etc., but I agree more with Feldenkrais' view.

I first read that interview a few years back and since then I've tried to find one of the older "studied with Moshe himself" students to see what they can do. From what I've seen of most Feldenkrais practitioners, they don't really demonstrate what would be called "ki" skills, although I know of one Feldie who is getting into that area. My general reasoning was that if Feldenkrais himself had something, he wasn't very successful in transmitting it (the ki part, I mean) to his students. I haven't seen this skills in Feldies, but I have to caveat that I haven't seen all that many practitioners and my mind is still open to the possibility.

Interestingly enough, it's clear in the Feldenkrais interview that he is mentioning at least one basic ki/kokyu/qi/jin skill that Kano could do and the clear inference is that Kano called it "ki". Now, Feldenkrais was a good judo practitioner and he reports this thing about Kano and ki. People like Trevor Leggett, E.J. Harrison, and other old hands in judo report these same phenomenon associated with judo, yet today's "experts" don't know anything about it and deny it left and right. Sounds like some of the recent history in Aikido, doesn't it? ;) And just like in Aikido, most judo practitioners don't really care about this ki essence (called "ju" in the old days, hence "ju"-jutsu, "ju"do, etc.). You don't miss what you never knew you were supposed to have if you've never had it.

There have been a number of discussions about reorganizing the body and sourcing forces, etc., on this forum and too many of them have exploded unnecessarily. But they're in the archives, if you'll look for them.

From a humorous perspective, look at how even the topic of ki in Aikido is relegated to "Non-Aikido Martial Traditions". To be fair, AikiWeb at least keeps the topic as one under consideration while in a number of other forums the topic is pretty much bannished by the admins and moderators (Judo Forum and eBudo are classic examples where "seniors" who have no knowledge of what ki is are ruling the roost and deciding what can be discussed within range of their wisdom). ;)

From experience, I'd suggest that if you want answers you're going to have to make the effort to go see someone who can demonstrate the skills, particularly (if you're just starting) the static versions of "ki tests", which are IMO a good place to start. Try David Shaner Sensei, Ikeda Sensei, maybe the karateka Ushiro Sensei, and so on. In Japan I'm know there are many more good sources. In terms of "outsiders" who can do the same skills, I think you'll find that because the ki skills and qi skills are the same basic things, there are others you could locate to at least get an idea of what it feels like.

What's fascinating to me is the ho-hum reaction in the general martial populations of Aikido, Karate, Iaido, Taiji, etc., in terms of learning these core-to-Asian-martial-arts skills. It just shows that most people are not really interested in a particular art or even a "Dao"... they're there for other reasons. When I was trying to find out stuff I was willing to go just about anywhere to grab some information and I could never get enough. I wanted to find out what the core of the Asian arts was. Feldenkrais apparently was the same way, as have been others. Maybe you'll be one, too. ;) All interesting stuff to think about.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

akiy
05-04-2009, 01:47 PM
From a humorous perspective, look at how even the topic of ki in Aikido is relegated to "Non-Aikido Martial Traditions".
To clarify this misunderstanding, the Non-Aikido Martial Traditions forum is used to discuss topics whose underlying training methodologies stem from arts other than aikido. There are plenty of discussions about the topic of "ki" as practiced within the art of aikido in the other forums.

Now, back to the discussion at hand.

-- Jun

MM
05-05-2009, 07:59 AM
To clarify this misunderstanding, the Non-Aikido Martial Traditions forum is used to discuss topics whose underlying training methodologies stem from arts other than aikido. There are plenty of discussions about the topic of "ki" as practiced within the art of aikido in the other forums.

Now, back to the discussion at hand.

-- Jun

I'm confused by your clarification of the Non-Aikido Martial Traditions forum.

1. We know for sure that Ueshiba's main training was Daito ryu from Takeda.

2. We know that Ueshiba and Deguchi influenced Takeda to add "aiki" to the art's name.

3. We can see Kodo doing the same push demo as Ueshiba.
Kodo:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ch7fWWpNn_c
5:07-5:21

Ueshiba:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYmZPdSyqcQ
3:50-4:15

4. We have Kazuaki Tanahashi talking about commonly doing push tests with Ueshiba:
2:00-2:36 and 2:47-3:00 (although he notes that he doesn't understand why Ueshiba did these push tests.)

5. We have Ueshiba on video doing the same demos that other Daito ryu people do.
Ueshiba:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XTlWDOQBno
4:05 - 4:20 DR technique (multiple ukes)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79PMWGtl0qM
6:00 - 6:06 DR technique (pin multiples)
8:50 - 9:02 DR technique (pin multiples)

Okamoto
1:53-1:58 DR technique (multiple ukes)

6. I've a whole thread to push tests with various students of Ueshiba here in the non-aikido forum:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14991

7. Ueshiba's strength wasn't based in the physical but from the aiki that Takeda taught him.
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15035

8. We have the connection from Daito ryu aiki to Ueshiba's aikido explained by Dan here:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=215999&postcount=4

9. We have aikido people from me to Rob Liberti to Gleason sensei to various others all claiming that this is the aiki that Ueshiba had.

So, I'm a bit confused as to why all of the direct influences to Ueshiba and his version of Aikido are not considered "aikido"? Are you saying that Ueshiba's Aikido, which included Daito ryu aiki, is not what you consider as "aikido"? That you believe that the training methodologies that Ueshiba learned from Takeda and used to build aiki, which allowed him to create his vision of Aikido, aren't what you consider as "aikido"?

John Brockington
05-05-2009, 08:03 AM
I'm beginning to think that eventually there will be two main approaches in aikido, not dissimilar from the two approaches to interpretation of Law by the Supreme court, or from the two basic ways of interpreting the Bible.
In both of these instances, there is one side that pursues a highly literal interpretation, going strictly by the document/source for any and all explanations. In this manner, all questions are answered by the source itself. Broadly speaking, this manner of interpretation is understood as a c(C)onservative perspective or ideology and its advocates are viewed accordingly. This would be analogous to aikido practitioners who feel that all of aikido, its very essence and internal skills as well as philosphical underpinnings can be found in the waza or in O Sensei's specific words.
The other side of interpretation is metaphorical or figurative, taking the source information as emblematic of an idea that can be further explored or compared to outside information. This is considered to be a l(L)iberal stance, politically and theologically. Not better or worse than the conservative methodology necessarily, just poised on the opposite side of the spectrum. I think those who are looking for the link between aikido and other arts in terms of exploring internal skills are in this group, although I am not judging its validity or whether or not it is "the way" one should practice aikido.
While there are obviously major schools or subdivisions within aikdo methodology today- the Aikikai, Yoshinkan, Ki society, Tomiki, Yoseikan, etc etc etc, I have to wonder if ultimately there will really be only two schools, in effect. That would be one group which primarily adheres to whatever its given parent organization has mandated as curriculum, basically unchanged and unquestioned, and another group who has decided to link its practice to that of a larger and, more importantly, antecedent martial arts community. Time will tell, of course, and again I don't think one can say which perspective is correct. In fact, it does seem that things work best when there is voice given to both sides, or at least I'd like to think that.:)

FWIW-

John

Mike Sigman
05-05-2009, 08:49 AM
I have no doubt that Ueshiba learned some of his ki/kokyu skills from Takeda, although if you look at all the demonstrations of ki/kokyu they generally conform to typical demonstrations found long ago in China, India, and other places. These skills are far older than just Takeda and Takeda also had to have places he "borrowed" these skills from.

If you look at the Douka and other literary references to these skills, Ueshiba justifies (and traditionally so) his martial art by references to the old Chinese classics that explain and propound upon the place of these skills in the Chinese cosmology. However, it appears that some of the developments in these skills (it's a broader topic than just the few tricks we talk about on this forum) comes from ancient times in India, perhaps. It's very hard to say exactly where the various facets of these skills came from because they were developed so very long ago.

The point I'm getting to is that these skills are so old and come from so many sources that they are not the exclusive territory of any one martial art or martial-artist. Even trying to define the ki/kokyu skills in Aikido as coming from Aikido is illogical, as Mark is hinting at. Defining these skills as being the strict purview of the "ju" arts is impossible. Trying to say (as some in the past have said on this forum) that the Japanese ki/kokyu skills are different from the Chinese skills of qi/jin won't withstand scrutiny. Nor would a Chinese claim to be the developer of these skills withstand scrutiny.

If you look into any credible tome or manuscript from the Koryu arts of Japan, the martial-arts of China, the martial-arts of India, etc., you'll see that there is always a justification that has basic underpinnings in the study of the body as it functions in relation to strength and health. The ubiquitous presence of the Yin-Yang symbol or its counterparts in In-Yo, A-Un, Heng-Ha, etc., is a certain sign that an art is based on the general principles of strength and health that are the essence of the Ki-Kokyu skills. And that's pretty much all of the Asian arts. So how do we take such an omnipresent and *core* skill of Asian martial arts and decide what part of it is "Aikido only"? Or that Takeda and the other places Ueshiba picked up facets of these skills is the true original owner of the skills in Aikido? It's an impossibility.

Going back to the earlier posting about Feldenkrais, I think Feldenkrais did the right thing by trying to analyse the skills and pass them forward (whether he did it well or not is another question). In other words, instead of bickering about these skills, one would think that Aikido would be the one art where curiosity and acceptance would be the standard, rather than the place where so much bickering, etc., takes place. Aikido has, IMO, the best chance to be morally superior of all the current Asian arts that are popular. Let's hope that it does so.

BTW, as far as I know, Ikeda Sensei is one of the really credible teachers who is attempting to work, explain, and transmit these skills forward. Some of his knowledge of these core skills comes via Ushiro Sensei, but Ikeda will have read and heard of these things from various other sources in his life, also. It's not the source of the knowledge that is important, but the utilization of these skills as a basis for Aikido that is important. I don't think he'd be interested much in public disputes about the exact origin of the skills (he will know that these skills have been around for a long, long time) or their exact placement in Aikido discussions. He just practices and teaches quietly. He's to be admired for that.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

thisisnotreal
05-05-2009, 09:18 AM
However, it appears that some of the developments in these skills (it's a broader topic than just the few tricks we talk about on this forum) comes from ancient times in India, perhaps..


So many things to say, and so frustrated in my inability to communicate.

This quote goes near to the heart of my intention of opening this thread.

Put Bluntly:
Do you include kundalini in these set of skills. Perhaps even the superset of all these skills?

You can guess what my mind on this is.

Is the set of ki, ground path, kokyu, zero-balance by pumping hara and moving tension to equilibrate the body a study in it's own.
Is the division artificial and wishful thinking (i.e. analog to "Aikido is what i want it to be"...True in that it is your opinion, but "False" as in there is not much supporting evidence). Or does it lead ...always ... and inextricably to the deeper esoteric. And the Chinese have nicely answered this with a thundering YES. All things hidden...occult...if you will.

For me; this now goes closer, in a strange way to John's post about the views of the Bible.. One way is a bit ... academic..cold.. easy to handle . If you will. The other gets *waaaay* too close for comfort. Because if that's really true..then..

See, for a long time I thought I could steal the jewels.... Body training for strength, Equalization for balance (zero-point, as I love that term). If there was no line drawn, there'd be no line to cross. Now I am not so sure.

If you want to share PM me, if you can't or don't want to handle posting it.

I know you guys give your best and I love you for it.
Best,
Josh

Erick Mead
05-05-2009, 10:29 AM
So many things to say, and so frustrated in my inability to communicate.

This quote goes near to the heart of my intention of opening this thread.

Put Bluntly:
Do you include kundalini in these set of skills. Perhaps even the superset of all these skills?

You can guess what my mind on this is.The honored techniques of KI
May manifest the spirit of the Great Snake
Or that of Bees
To make such spirits (tama) appear
Is the Way of Takemusu
Seems a giveaway to me. The "coiling" kundalini serpent -- a spiral dynamic nature. The coiling wreaths of steam in the image of ki and the coiling kundalini snake, and the interlaced sine-wave oscillations of buzzing bees are all the same concrete images.

Viz, the practical applicaiton versus the esoteric, cosmic ordering principle -- they are not opposed but mutually essential. There is no way to understand (in the full practical sense) what the Chinese meant by qi or the Hindu by prana unless it embraces and also explains the cosmic ordering as well as practically effective physical technique -- because they meant it to explain that broad reach of limits. If the particular interpretation of this body of thinking does not reach those limits -- it may explain some limited set of practical applications, or merely answer some philosophical speculations -- but it does not reach the whole of what they meant by it. Nor does it reach the limits of how they meant it to be practically applied -- Nor does it reach the limits of the useful practical applications not yet conceived of (takemusu), for the same reason.

One can choose to apply a certain aspect of knowledge, and defend that knowledge for its certainty. But it is made certain only by virtue of the limits placed upon it. Or, one can try to understand that knowledge intuitively, practically and expressively, all at the same time. There must be a balance between the conceptual, the practical and aesthetic -- none of them are dispensable -- because each of them relates essential things that are often incomprehensible to the other two.

There is a saying in the building trades -- if a building is built by an architect without an engineer -- it will fall down; if it is built by an engineer without an architect it will be torn down. The same practical people will work just as actively to build it as to tear it down -- and all three are necessary to a whole and living structure.

A construction worker can usually build something he has built or seen built -- he may (or may not) be able to build something he has never built or seen built. An engineer may (or may not) have the manual skill to build what he can envision as correctly and structurally buildable. An architect may (or may not) be able to construct the materials or determine the full structural integrity of a building and yet in every other way assure that it is comfortable, inspiring, useful, or comprehensible for those that inhabit it.

In aiki triaining -- in aikido or or outside of its formal bounds -- some are relentless'y practical -- to the exclusion of all aesthetic appreciation or conceptual description of what they are doing or trying to do. Some are conceptual without regard to aesthetic appeal or practical application. Some are aesthetically minded to the exclusion of practicality or conceptual rigor. And everybody else is somewhere between these three basins of preference. For every one of us, the question is to figure out which of these three aspects of the teaching in the building of aiki are our weaker points -- and find ways to build up those weak spots.

Mike Sigman
05-05-2009, 11:17 AM
Seems a giveaway to me. The "coiling" kundalini serpent -- a spiral dynamic nature. The coiling wreaths of steam in the image of ki and the coiling kundalini snake,Well, bear in mind that in Chinese tradition (and Ueshiba, Kano, and any educated Japanese would have read Chinese classics as part of their education) the snake is considered the embodiment of qi strength in the sense of full-body coordination. If you feel someone whose power is well-developed, it's easy to understand why the feel/coiling of a snake is chosen for that role.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

akiy
05-05-2009, 11:31 AM
So, I'm a bit confused as to why all of the direct influences to Ueshiba and his version of Aikido are not considered "aikido"?
Just because something is influential to a certain subject does not, in my mind, make it a part of the subject.

-- Jun

Mike Sigman
05-05-2009, 11:33 AM
Put Bluntly:
Do you include kundalini in these set of skills. Perhaps even the superset of all these skills? Sure. At a higher level the practice of taking "essence" from the lower-hara and moving it up the spine to the upper-hara is the same in India, China, and Japan. Same roots.
Is the set of ki, ground path, kokyu, zero-balance by pumping hara and moving tension to equilibrate the body a study in it's own.
Is the division artificial and wishful thinking (i.e. analog to "Aikido is what i want it to be"...True in that it is your opinion, but "False" as in there is not much supporting evidence). Or does it lead ...always ... and inextricably to the deeper esoteric. And the Chinese have nicely answered this with a thundering YES. All things hidden...occult...if you will.

For me; this now goes closer, in a strange way to John's post about the views of the Bible.. One way is a bit ... academic..cold.. easy to handle . If you will. The other gets *waaaay* too close for comfort. Because if that's really true..then..

See, for a long time I thought I could steal the jewels.... Body training for strength, Equalization for balance (zero-point, as I love that term). If there was no line drawn, there'd be no line to cross. Now I am not so sure.

Interestingly enough, Koichi Tohei's learning of Ki things was largely from Tempu Nakamura, who in turn credits his ki abilities/knowledge to an Indian man.

http://www.aikidointhefan.com/docs/Heaven%27s_Wind_Part_II.pdf

Yet Tohei had no problem understanding that this was the same stuff that Ueshiba was doing while not overtly teaching it and thus Tohei attempted to re-establish "Ki" studies back into Aikido-proper via India. Nice twist, eh?

All of these things are intertwined, yet most westerners doing Asian martial-arts are totally unaware of it because the relationships are not made clear in normal teaching and different styles notoriously use different terms to describe the basic ki/kokyu skills. Shioda mentions that problem of terminology in "Aikido Shugyo":

"Another important point is that kokyu power is not limited to Aikido alone. Originally, it was certainly a part of all Japanese martial arts. While it was referred to by different names, Judo, Karate or any of the various other martial arts all had ways of practising kokyu power. But somewhere along the line it fell into disuse. I believe that therein lies the decline of Japanese martial arts. So in this chapter I would like to discuss kokyu power, the basis of Aikido." (p. 76).

FWIW

Mike Sigman

John Brockington
05-05-2009, 12:03 PM
Mike-

Do you think that variance in terminology is the basis for the loss of "kokyu power" skills in traditional JMA? Shioda seems a little vague about this, maybe intentionally so?

John

MM
05-05-2009, 12:15 PM
Just because something is influential to a certain subject does not, in my mind, make it a part of the subject.

-- Jun

Thank you for the reply, Jun. I think we differ greatly in our views. Because of that, could you delete all of my posts in the Non-Aikido Forum? I'd rather not have them there to confuse people who are at AikiWeb for aikido information. I would really appreciate it if you would do that for me.

Thank you for all that you have done. I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors and training.

Mark

Mike Sigman
05-05-2009, 12:23 PM
Mike-

Do you think that variance in terminology is the basis for the loss of "kokyu power" skills in traditional JMA? Shioda seems a little vague about this, maybe intentionally so?
Hi John:

No, I think it's just a matter of these things not being taught methodically and with clear explanation. A lot of these things (the ki/kokyu skills) are part of the hidden/reserved techniques of many arts and are considered something reserved for just the few. Functionally, in the days when skill in martial-arts was important, it would not be advantageous to openly teach everyone how to do these things because it takes away your edge. Another big problem is that the methodology for teaching is/was often very vague. Since some of the techniques are somewhat alien to natural intuition, etc., things have to be shown anyway, so there is/was not very much importance placed on the exact words/terms.

Best.

Mike

John Brockington
05-05-2009, 12:44 PM
Hi Mike-

Thanks for your response, and in reading it I wonder if that isn't going on to some extent today, as well. You know, the more things change.......;)

Also, check out the last thing Shioda says on page 81, same book "Aikido Shugyo." You might find it interesting.

John

Erick Mead
05-05-2009, 01:00 PM
Well, bear in mind that in Chinese tradition (and Ueshiba, Kano, and any educated Japanese would have read Chinese classics as part of their education) the snake is considered the embodiment of qi strength in the sense of full-body coordination. If you feel someone whose power is well-developed, it's easy to understand why the feel/coiling of a snake is chosen for that role.

FWIW

Mike SigmanI was born in the Year of the Snake. :D And yes, it is. The bees image too, for that matter, may well come through China from India in this context. Vishnu (preserver) is shown as a blue bee, and Kama, the god of Love, bears as his signature weapon, a bow -- whose string is made of bees. Sounds a bit too coincidental to me, in our specific context Aiki, love, snake, bees and all that . :)

The Orochi (Demon-serpent referred to in the Doka) was a multi-headed serpent -- coincident with the seven-headed naga of India, protectors of the shrine of Shiva (destroyer). Varuna, king of the nagas, was lord of the storm. Compare Ueshiba: Aikido is the work of Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara Ryu-ou Murakumo:- cloud-cutter -- kuki: double-edged sword -- samuhara: praise for deeds of merit -- Ryu-Ou refers to the Dragon King of the East Sea (Ueshiba had himself painted as the embodiment of this entity) -- who has control of storms and rain, and who bequeathed to the Monkey King an iron rod, a weapon of infinitely variable size, that controlled ebb and flow of tides, among other things, (compare the same function of the red and white jewels in the Doka). Ryu-Ou, while serving as a mediator between the heavenely and earthly realm ( comapre the "floating bridge" Ukihashi) and is nearly beaten to death by Nezha -- the trickster -- compare Susanou's similar misbehaviors.)

Say what you like, Ueshiba's imagery is dense, deep, overlaid and incessantly suggestive of the "feel" of the subject matter. So we have all these rather suggestive "double-edged" oppositions -- buzzing bees/undulating snake, love/protection, preserver/destroyer, mediator/trickster, severing-sword/connecting-bridge, ebb/flow ... etc.

But mythic elements in Chinese thought are terribly difficult to trace historically, because of the extreme multiplicity of ethnic traditions (often unknown to Westerners until relatively late) which have all begged, borrowed and stolen from one another with great freedom (never mind the Indian imports). The systematizing impulse in Chinese culture is partly a result of this.

But that is not necessarily important to sort out. All of this essentially tantric take on Shinto mythic imagery would have come to Ueshiba in any event from his early Shingon teaching. Tantra views myth as an operative form of knowledge -- placed in use by contemplation in the context of a series of revelatory initiations. Or, as Prof. Goldsbury and others would have it -- IHTBF. One could just as easily fit Aikido into that tantric model of training as anything else. But just IHBTF is not enough standing alone if we are dealing with a tantric type of understanding, because the how or what that one is feeling has no easy comparisons or one-off reductions to simpler terms.

James Hillman's approach to myth (direct student of Jung) is from that perspective. Myth is an image or a set of relations between contemporaneous images whose power appears spontaneously in a particular history (or circumstnatial context) , and disappears just as easily in the same way. Ancient Hebrews knew what image "cherubim" referred to so presumptively that we have only the vaguest possible description of how these unique and highly significant mythological creatures were depicted. Myth has a face but has "no back," no history, i.e. -- not just timeless and ahistorical in its representation of the reality it describes, but that there is no "there" behind the overt history of the representation. It cannot be reduced, even with initiatory experience of it or IHTBF.

If you perceive its face in concrete terms you have it, but if you examine what you presume to be behind the development of that image, in other than concrete comparison to immediate practice, you lose it. This is an aspect of why Tantra is "esoteric." Not secret -- just not obvious, and difficult to be any less involved in attempting to communicate it. (Other, non-aesthetic tools are needed to do that more systematic examination of the concrete things the image points to -- not detracting from the aesthetic, intuitive perception).

thisisnotreal
05-05-2009, 05:27 PM
...check out the last thing Shioda says on page 81, same book "Aikido Shugyo." You might find it interesting.


yes....
John, that reminds me of a joke my older brother used to tell.


How do you keep an a$$hole in suspense..?


Josh

Peter Goldsbury
05-06-2009, 05:08 AM
But that is not necessarily important to sort out. All of this essentially tantric take on Shinto mythic imagery would have come to Ueshiba in any event from his early Shingon teaching. Tantra views myth as an operative form of knowledge -- placed in use by contemplation in the context of a series of revelatory initiations. Or, as Prof. Goldsbury and others would have it -- IHTBF. One could just as easily fit Aikido into that tantric model of training as anything else. But just IHBTF is not enough standing alone if we are dealing with a tantric type of understanding, because the how or what that one is feeling has no easy comparisons or one-off reductions to simpler terms.

This is not what I actually stated. What I did state was:

"Why is it that language is so necessary for aikido that we need to fill acres of Internet space in discussing the art—and in telling each other with great fluency that IHTBF (It has to be felt): that mere words cannot really explain what aikido is?" (Column 11)

"Even people who appear to believe wholeheartedly in the IHTBF (It has to be felt) doctrine give others verbal explanations of what the latter are supposed to be feeling and assume without question or further explanation that verbally expressed ‘intentions' can be ‘projected' around the body..." (Column 12)

You cannot conclude from these statements that I myself 'would have it that IHTBF'. I am simply noting the paradox that IHTBF also requires complex verbal explanations, in order to explain what HTBF and how IHTBF in a correct way.

PAG

Erick Mead
05-06-2009, 07:32 AM
This is not what I actually stated. What I did state was:

"Why is it that language is so necessary for aikido that we need to fill acres of Internet space in discussing the art—and in telling each other with great fluency that IHTBF (It has to be felt): that mere words cannot really explain what aikido is?" (Column 11)

"Even people who appear to believe wholeheartedly in the IHTBF (It has to be felt) doctrine give others verbal explanations of what the latter are supposed to be feeling and assume without question or further explanation that verbally expressed ‘intentions' can be ‘projected' around the body..." (Column 12)

You cannot conclude from these statements that I myself 'would have it that IHTBF'. I am simply noting the paradox that IHTBF also requires complex verbal explanations, in order to explain what HTBF and how IHTBF in a correct way.

PAGThank you for the clarification, but I see that I did not adequately express what I understood you position to be. It wwas a passing comment in this discussion, so I did not have the opportunity to give full flesh to your position.

I took your position to be that IHTBF is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition -- and that other conditions on what, as you put it, "HTBF," are also necessary -- both a priori to guide attention to the correct sensation of action, and a posteriori to interpret the results or correctives in the action. And that people differ widely on what those additional conditions may or should be. If I have it wrong, please let me know.

But what of John's larger point? Do you see a tantric link or model at play in the teaching? Do you have an opinion whether these mythic comparisons are some evidence of more direct influences on Ueshiba, more an artifact of Japan's syncretic history or something more abstruse, like an individual irruption of Jung's archetypes? (I myself don't see these as mutually exclusive categories.)

jzimba
05-06-2009, 09:57 AM
As a Feldenkrais practitioner, I have been spending lots of time contemplating the relationship between internal skills and what part of such similar teachings may have influenced Dr. Feldenkrais.

As I understand the method, it is not about teaching a specific body organization. It's about optimal body use for a specific application. Ultimately, better self organization makes all things work better. This is true not just in physical movement.

Freedom of the head and neck in any organization does lead to a more unified way of moving and thinking. The equalization of tonus across the flexors and extensors changes posture, movement and mental attitude.

At what point does this more efficient body organization lead to internal skills? That's the question.

I imagine Awareness Through Movement could be used to teach these skills more effectively, but I don't quite get the internal stuff well enough to make lessons specifically for that purpose.

I would enjoy talking to the practitioner Mike mentions, to see what their take on this subject is.

A story I have heard from a couple of people about Dr. F.: He would occasionally have someone press on his belly. I have heard two reports that the person pressing could feel his spine through his soft abdomin. Then he would bounce them across the room by inflating his lower torso. I've yet to see the lowering of tonus to the degree which would let someone feel the lumbar vtibre from the front. He was not a thin man at the time.

Cheers,

Joel

thisisnotreal
05-06-2009, 10:24 AM
As a Feldenkrais practitioner, I have been spending lots of time contemplating the relationship between internal skills and what part of such similar teachings may have influenced Dr. Feldenkrais.
Cheers,
Joel

Hi Joel,
Can you say anything about a general approach or philosophy in regards to the 'hara' or seika-tanden and Feldenkrais? (Other than, brace, flex, ... 'use it'...)
Does he teach any approaches specifically?
Best,
Josh P.

Mike Sigman
05-06-2009, 11:09 AM
I would enjoy talking to the practitioner Mike mentions, to see what their take on this subject is.
Hi Joel:

I'll make it a point to report (even if only generally) what transpires in the conversation if I get to meet this person in July, as I plan to do. There's also another "old-time" Feldie that is in Boulder whom I'm going to attempt to meet with in the near future. I'll try to give a clinical synopsis of the conversation there, also.

In my mind, too many of Feldenkrais' comments directly and indirectly indicate *some* degree of knowledge or some perception of the ki skills. He uses the terms correctly, mentions the demonstrations, and so on. I'm not totally clear (again, this is just my perception) whether Feldenkrais' perceptions and attempts to replicate were "spot on", but I'm intrigued with the possibility that he could do a certain amount of the ki skills, he then formulated a scientific explanation and approach, etc., but then there seem to be a loss of the information down-line among his students. It's enough of a *possible* puzzle that I'm interested into following up to see if I can get some whiffs of ideas.

Best.

Mike

Allen Beebe
05-06-2009, 06:03 PM
Hi Mark,

I'm no historian, but it is my understanding that the Magna Carta is seen as the predecessor to the 17th English Law in use at the time of the original 13 (American) Colonies' declaration of independence. When Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence he used the English Law of the 17th century and its foundation of the Magna Carta as the basis from which he argued that not only was the 13 Colonies' declaration of independence from royal tyranny justified but even demanded by the law of his day.

Not only did Jefferson state that his views, and that of the members of the 13 Colonies, differed greatly from the King, he argued that the King's rulings and actions were in violation of the very law supposedly represented and protected by the monarchy itself and therefore he and his fellow citizens had a responsibility to rectify the situation.

Fast forward to India and later America during the Civil Right "Era." Pivotal individuals used the venues available and resources present at the time, flawed, limited, or biased as they may have been, as a pulpit upon which to present and argue their case until change occurred. Sometimes those venues served as a pyre upon which individuals were publicly sacrificed. However, those movements succeeded not because of the wrongs or violence perpetrated. Rather those movements were successful despite of war, violence, and wrong. True change came about because of the indefatigable persistence of those that would not give up prompting a slow tidal shift from old accepted and often un-questioned ideas and beliefs.

I don't equate Aiki or I.S. or whatever, to the importance of American's or India's struggle for self rule or America's ongoing struggle to live up to its ideals. I do think, however, that it would be a shame to erase the contributions to AikiWeb of posters such as yourself. Our American forefathers didn't ask to have the Magna Carta deleted from record. The fact that your, and other's, posts prompt questioning, introspection, debate,and may even foment descent is of value I think . . . even if that questioning, introspection, debate and descent has to take place in pubs, attics or Non-Aikido Martial Tradition threads! ;) :D

(Jun, I'm hoping that there is no Aiki-Web equivalent to stocks or gallows for those caught spreading sedition. Once again, thanks for the forum. It is appreciated. :p )

Allen

Thank you for the reply, Jun. I think we differ greatly in our views. Because of that, could you delete all of my posts in the Non-Aikido Forum? I'd rather not have them there to confuse people who are at AikiWeb for aikido information. I would really appreciate it if you would do that for me.

Thank you for all that you have done. I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors and training.

Mark

thisisnotreal
05-06-2009, 07:00 PM
For what it's worth, i agree with Allen's post.
It would be a shame.

But I understand Mark at the same time.

thisisnotreal
05-06-2009, 07:35 PM
Hi Mike -
I have been thinking about somethings you said a while back.

You mention that you seek to understand (/manifest/etc.) the 'more refined levels' of this stuff. Would you agree then to...get *it*, it will be required to swap 'operating systems'. Is this not consistent with the method and formula of all the systems/religions which have ki-phenomena in it?
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6815007842947302386&hl=en
For the record; i don't see the exchange as worthy. The cost is too high. Do you agree with any of this? Does it make any sense to a practical guy like you?

It occurs to me that one can only go so far in a certain mindset. i.e. I'm not talking simple ignorance of 'it' but a wholesale exchange of 'perspective'. I think the 'gate' is in viewing ki beyond the boundary of the skin... I say this because I can understand things somewhat in a physics sense .. but it goes highly 'nonlinear' somewhere. And i do not understand this gate between the two regimes. Mind you i admit that the 'body skills' are elusive enough; but i can 'understand' them. Having an eye here on the body breath, link between stretching and strength and the choice between the two, moving the 'pressure', anchoring to the Dan Tien, condensing..etc.. The other stuff is waay the f* beyond that. Way. This requires a shift in world view. Let us call it, an alchemical exchange. A deal. And that entails ...

Also; I have long been wondering about another thing you posted. About picking up a knife at it's edge with ki skills.
The best i can come up with is essentially letting the knife cut the tips but using ki to surge around it and seal the 'wound'. Hence the 'trick' Am I wrong?

Josh

Mike Sigman
05-06-2009, 08:12 PM
Hi Mike -
I have been thinking about somethings you said a while back.

You mention that you seek to understand (/manifest/etc.) the 'more refined levels' of this stuff. Would you agree then to...get *it*, it will be required to swap 'operating systems'. Is this not consistent with the method and formula of all the systems/religions which have ki-phenomena in it? Frankly, I'm not into belief systems. Unless you're one of the disembodied minds of Arisia and have no knowledge of what energy is and how it must be balanced, I'd suggest that we stay with the concept of "physical reactions can only be caused by physical effects". I.e., all of the bona fide ki effects are caused by subtle physical skills; all of the bogus ki effects are caused usually by skewed psychological effects. ;)

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6815007842947302386&hl=en Total BS. I've met a number of guys like the instructor and asked them to do those things to me. They can't. Almost invariably they are working with highly cooperative students (aka "Dive Bunnies"). It's an interesting tangent, but really not germane to the topic of the thread. One of the problems with many people in many different martial-arts is that they fall into the category of "wannabelieves". You always have to factor that in.

Just to toss in a telling comment I heard in a discussion with a number of Asian m-a teachers one time, one of them said something to the effect of "Why are the good teachers in martial-arts so much like engineers, yet most of the students are more like liberal-arts majors?". It's a point that should make many people wonder a bit more about what a "Do" or "Dao" is truly about.

For the record; i don't see the exchange as worthy. The cost is too high. Do you agree with any of this? Does it make any sense to a practical guy like you? I'm not sure what you mean. Are you suggesting that the dream is more valuable than the reality? That the misunderstanding is more important than the actuality? There are many sides to consider, eh? ;)
It occurs to me that one can only go so far in a certain mindset. My suggestion is to test all "mindsets" against reality. Tohei's "ki tests" are a good start toward reality. But make that reality as objectively difficult as you can. If you have to BS yourself that you're sorta doing the right thing because you can rationalize (versus demonstrate), then you've just found the dividing line between what they call "the sheep and the goats". :D I think the 'gate' is in viewing ki beyond the boundary of the skin... I say this because I can understand things somewhat in a physics sense .. but it goes highly 'nonlinear' somewhere. And i do not understand this gate between the two regimes. Mind you i admit that the 'body skills' are elusive enough; but i can 'understand' them. Having an eye here on the body breath, link between stretching and strength and the choice between the two, moving the 'pressure', anchoring to the Dan Tien, condensing..etc.. The other stuff is waay the f* beyond that. Way. This requires a shift in world view. Let us call it, an alchemical exchange. A deal. And that entails ... I once knew a Taiji teacher in Boulder, CO that told me that "it takes 20 years to get results when practicing Taijiquan". I've always been of the opinion that no Chinese person in their right mind would have devised a self-defense martial-art that took 20 years of practice before it would work, but.. whatever.

I met her one day a few years later (after her 20 years kicked in) in the parking lot of Alfalfa's (which soon after that time became Whole Foods) and she started talking to me about "qi". She told me that her current theory was that qi worked at a molecular level. I sort of diplomatically asked if she could show me what she meant. She said, "Oh, no... it takes 40 years for this to develop".

Some people perennially theorize. At some point in time, real people should be able to say "here is this, I can do it, and this is why". I realize that's disappointing to many who want life to be a fantasy, but remember that in ancient Asia the people were not stupid... if it didn't work, they didn't waste their time on it. If a practitioner's stuff can't replicate the simple "ki tests" that Tohei showed in his primer, then that person needs to face up to some facts and consider (again) what the "Dao" was to a very practical people. Also; I have long been wondering about another thing you posted. About picking up a knife at it's edge with ki skills.
The best i can come up with is essentially letting the knife cut the tips but using ki to surge around it and seal the 'wound'. Hence the 'trick' Am I wrong? Huh? Where did I ever say that? Sounds like a misunderstanding. Perhaps you're referring to the idea that the skin becomes harder to lacerate with good ki practice? That's a known phenomenon that comes from correct breathing practice. It's more of a toughening of sorts, but quite different than just toughening. I gave a basic indication of how to start in some "breathing" thread I commented on at one time.

Best.

Mike Sigman

David Orange
05-07-2009, 02:58 PM
I'm intrigued with the possibility that (Feldenkrais) could do a certain amount of the ki skills, he then formulated a scientific explanation and approach, etc., but then there seem to be a loss of the information down-line among his students. It's enough of a *possible* puzzle that I'm interested into following up to see if I can get some whiffs of ideas.

Mike,

The thing is, The Feldenkrais Method (TM) is not a martial art but strictly a method for developing personal awareness of one's own mind/body to improve one's method of doing whatever thing one is trying to do.

He taught judo in France and England before he developed The Method but I don't think you'll find much trace of MA-specific function in the Method that remains today. Very few of his students were involved in martial arts at all. He worked with dancers, musicians, politicians, actors and many other types of people who were concerned with fully expressing the intentions of their minds through their actions. So while his stuff is great for anyone in any walk of life, very few of the teachers of the Feldenkrais Method would be able to show you anything like you're interested in.

I, on the other hand, came to Feldenkrais after some seriously debilitating injuries while training in aikido in Japan with Mochizuki Sensei. What I learned helped me to get back to the mat and train seriously and I think that material would be very useful to any martial artist but I don't think you'll find anything specifically martial in the content itself.

If you could find one of his old judo students who had carried on with judo and had also learned the Feldenkrais Method, I think you'd have a real gem for learning some deep material.

But most of his judo students learned before there was a Feldenkrais Method and most of the people who learned the Method were never martial artists, so I think Feldenkrais, himself, would have been the only person who could really tell you what you want to know.

I do think that anyone exploring IS matters would benefit by a deep study of Feldenkrais because of the finer degree of awareness of effort his Method produces. I think what makes martial arts generally difficult for most people is a lack of such fine perception. Really, very few people have very deep ability to notice the kinds of small changes inside the body that are necessary for high development of martial arts. But I think that the Feldenkrais approach can help people develop that fine level of awareness much more effectively than any other method I've encountered.

It won't make you a martial artist if you weren't one to begin with and it won't teach you IS if you didn't already know it, but it can help you progress in any endeavor by developing greater awareness of smaller and smaller things.

FWIW.

David

Mike Sigman
05-07-2009, 03:13 PM
The thing is, The Feldenkrais Method (TM) is not a martial art but strictly a method for developing personal awareness of one's own mind/body to improve one's method of doing whatever thing one is trying to do. Well, in actuality, the ki/kokyu/qi/jin things are all ways of developing "ki". In other words, most real qigongs, when done correctly and *fully* (not all qigongs pay attention to the jin/kokyu skills, but very many do) develop the ki skills. Think, for instance about Tohei's ki-skills teacher, Tempu Nakamura, and the Indian man that Nakamura learned from... those people practiced these skills but did not to them martially to any real extent.

Once you understand that martial-arts is just one way to use these skills out of many, you can perhaps see my general perspective of the skills. Whether or not they're done in a martial-art, these skills are considered the "natural" way for the body to move and that's a common viewpoint in the ancient literature and cosmology. So I wasn't thinking that Feldenkrais was analysing the martial-art... my thought was that while his inspiration may have been through Judo, he was savvy enough to realize that this was all about how the body moves "naturally" and that was what he built his theory upon.

But as I said and regardless of Judo or no martial emphasis, my personal curiosity is about how accurate Feldenkrais was in his analysis. If one of his students can do this form of movement even in a qigong mode, I should be able to spot it. If I can't spot it in any of his students, then it is a curiosity indeed. Did Feldenkrais miss the mark? Did he hit the mark and just wasn't successful in transmitting it? It's hard to say. Whatever he saw and attributed to Kano with the unmoveable stance and which apparently Kano called "ki" is the same thing you find in shodo, traditional dance, Aikido, karate, reiki, and so forth. If all of that was Feldenkrais' inspiration, then why doesn't Feldenkrais treatment/movement accord with the ki stuff found all over Asia? A nice puzzle. ;)

Mike

David Orange
05-07-2009, 09:30 PM
Well, in actuality, the ki/kokyu/qi/jin things are all ways of developing "ki". In other words, most real qigongs, when done correctly and *fully* (not all qigongs pay attention to the jin/kokyu skills, but very many do) develop the ki skills. Think, for instance about Tohei's ki-skills teacher, Tempu Nakamura, and the Indian man that Nakamura learned from... those people practiced these skills but did not to them martially to any real extent.

Feldenkrais, I think, was primarily interested in coming back to optimal function after injury. He had had a vigorous youth, including "skirmishes" in Palestine before he went to Paris. If you read that interview, he thinks, when Kano tells him to choke him, something like "no one had ever gotten out of my choke alive."

And of course, Kano chokes him unconscious as Feldenkrais thinks he's going in for full effect.

And with that kind of attitude at the beginning of his judo career, and a direct first experience from Jigoro Kano, he was the first western teacher to really get judo going in Europe. He says. I don't really know. But Kano sent him some good teachers and the interview gives some really great descriptions of some films Kano sent him of the clear gradation in dan capabilities from first through seventh or so. You can just imagine how Feldenkrais felt seeing that.

But his downfall was his knee. He fouled it up doing soccer, apparently, and had lifelong repercussions from that. And he applied his judo experience and his engineering background to a study of the connection between mind and body, assisted by his wife's knowledge as a pediatrician, and created The Feldenkrais Method, which not only helps people recover from injuries but well aids the balance of psychological blocks and conditions through manipulating the body to call the awareness of the mind.

It's a fascinating system that gives one a lot of tools to use for whatever purpose he conceives.

Once you understand that martial-arts is just one way to use these skills out of many, you can perhaps see my general perspective of the skills.

I think the beauty of Feldenkrais is that he focuses on a sort of pre-skill level, to bring the awareness to the point where the decision to do something translates into muscular action to realize that decision. It's "pre-anything". It's only about that moment when the thought translates to action. And the exercises are all designed to follow Kano's precept of "maximum efficiency of energy". He puts you in positions that challenge you to accomplish what he asks you to do next, but when you feel the way, it's easy. That's what "awareness through movement" is about. It's just becoming aware of how your mind connects with your body and you apply it to whatever you want to achieve.

It helps with improving any martial art, I think, but it doesn't teach the inner applications of any art, to a recognizable degree.

Whether or not they're done in a martial-art, these skills are considered the "natural" way for the body to move and that's a common viewpoint in the ancient literature and cosmology.

And after Feldenkrais, I just wouldn't put the quotes around "natural", at least as far as the aikido I learned from Mochizuki Sensei or the judo I learned from him as he learned it from Kano and Mifune. In fact, I'd say my judo benefited very much from the Feldenkrais experience I've had. But these experiences led me to the ideas I've often expressed concerning child movement and aikido. No one told me about it. I noticed it after experiencing the level of nervous system awareness Feldenkrais training makes accessible. So I think he's at the root of what you're talking about, but whatever he may have understood jin as you relate to it, I don't think he included it explicitly in his Method (TM). He may have given it to some judo people but I don't know. I believe Mochizuki's nameless opponent that he threw onto a concrete sidewalk with uchi mata gaeshi must have been one of Feldenkrais' students. I would almost bet.

So I wasn't thinking that Feldenkrais was analysing the martial-art... my thought was that while his inspiration may have been through Judo, he was savvy enough to realize that this was all about how the body moves "naturally" and that was what he built his theory upon.

He did have a lot of psychological theory, but his movement exercises were all derived from judo exercises, with the mind of an engineer. He was working his body mechanically to heal the knee injury he got from soccer playing. That was his only motivation at the time. The doctors had given him a 50/50 chance of recovering use of his knee with surgery, so he decided that he also had 50/50 chance of restoring his knee through educated effort as a mechanical and electrical engineer. He did these exercises alone on the floor and people began to ask him about them and he began to teach the movement sequences and actually manipulate people's bodies to open their awareness of how they used their bodies and how a freer use of the body could open greater potentials of emotional and mental life. He believed there's a natural way for people to move and stand and he believed we could all reach that through feeling the impulses of nature in our bodies. He did not prescribe a specific stance and require you to check yourself against mirrors. Everything in his method is concerned with feeling the body's free adjustment to gravity as it enacts the will of the mind. Awareness through feeling was the key for him.

But as I said and regardless of Judo or no martial emphasis, my personal curiosity is about how accurate Feldenkrais was in his analysis. If one of his students can do this form of movement even in a qigong mode, I should be able to spot it.

I don't think he was teaching that high a level in his Method, frankly. I think he was at a deeper root, which, having attained it, would allow one to learn the skills you describe more easily than someone who had not connected fully with that root. So if a Feldenkrais person sees the value in what you're doing, they should be able to grasp and absorb your instructions more quickly than someone without that awareness. I never thought it was the equivalent of what you do but something that could help people more easily assimilate the fine points of what you're trying to show them.

If I can't spot it in any of his students, then it is a curiosity indeed. Did Feldenkrais miss the mark? Did he hit the mark and just wasn't successful in transmitting it? It's hard to say.

I don't think you'll find it in students of his Method, really. Although Denis Leri, who conducted the interview, was an experienced aikido man before he did train extensively with Moshe Feldenkrais, I believe, in the Feldenkrais Method. Also Elizabeth Berringer, I believe. So if anyone in the world today could give you any insight on that, I think they would be the ones. Never met either of them so I can't say.

Whatever he saw and attributed to Kano with the unmoveable stance and which apparently Kano called "ki" is the same thing you find in shodo, traditional dance, Aikido, karate, reiki, and so forth. If all of that was Feldenkrais' inspiration, then why doesn't Feldenkrais treatment/movement accord with the ki stuff found all over Asia? A nice puzzle. ;)

I think it's because he went to a quantum level and sort of lost interest in the martial aspects in favor of pure human potential. He learned jujutsu in Palestine and fought life-and-death struggles in jujutsu there, went to France where he met Kano and trained in judo and founded the Judo and Jujutsu Club of Paris, left Paris ahead of the Nazis and assisted the British anti-submarine electronic warfare units until the end of the war and it was about that time that he began formulating his Method. I think it may have been an effort, as well, to transcend war, but there was a lot going on in those days along that line and I think he was trying to go to the root of all roots or something like that. His Awareness Through Movement exercises are really great and if you can get a very skilled practitioner to do a Functional Integration for you, it's very nice. If you can get an old hand in Colorado to show you anything, you might be better off just letting him "adjust" you than looking for anything martial from him. Experiencing his ability to listen to your nervous system through the tonus of your body could be very intriguing, but listening to what he might tell you on that level could surprise you.

Let me know if you find that old student. I'd like to know him, too.

And I hope to make one of your seminars in the next few months to a year.

Thanks.

David

MM
05-08-2009, 08:23 AM
Hi Mark,

I'm no historian, but it is my understanding that the Magna Carta is seen as the predecessor to the 17th English Law in use at the time of the original 13 (American) Colonies' declaration of independence. When Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence he used the English Law of the 17th century and its foundation of the Magna Carta as the basis from which he argued that not only was the 13 Colonies' declaration of independence from royal tyranny justified but even demanded by the law of his day.

Not only did Jefferson state that his views, and that of the members of the 13 Colonies, differed greatly from the King, he argued that the King's rulings and actions were in violation of the very law supposedly represented and protected by the monarchy itself and therefore he and his fellow citizens had a responsibility to rectify the situation.

Fast forward to India and later America during the Civil Right "Era." Pivotal individuals used the venues available and resources present at the time, flawed, limited, or biased as they may have been, as a pulpit upon which to present and argue their case until change occurred. Sometimes those venues served as a pyre upon which individuals were publicly sacrificed. However, those movements succeeded not because of the wrongs or violence perpetrated. Rather those movements were successful despite of war, violence, and wrong. True change came about because of the indefatigable persistence of those that would not give up prompting a slow tidal shift from old accepted and often un-questioned ideas and beliefs.

I don't equate Aiki or I.S. or whatever, to the importance of American's or India's struggle for self rule or America's ongoing struggle to live up to its ideals. I do think, however, that it would be a shame to erase the contributions to AikiWeb of posters such as yourself. Our American forefathers didn't ask to have the Magna Carta deleted from record. The fact that your, and other's, posts prompt questioning, introspection, debate,and may even foment descent is of value I think . . . even if that questioning, introspection, debate and descent has to take place in pubs, attics or Non-Aikido Martial Tradition threads! ;) :D

(Jun, I'm hoping that there is no Aiki-Web equivalent to stocks or gallows for those caught spreading sedition. Once again, thanks for the forum. It is appreciated. :p )

Allen

Eloquent ... Probably one of the top ten posts I've reread the most. I find myself both bolstered and torn down. :) (Akin to the example you provided, one with fortitude did not allow naysayers to distract from the message, nor to stop discourse from progressing.)

But, no, I did not take detraction from your post. Instead I found myself unable to rebut. (Insert curse word here, if one curses.)

I'll definitely give things some more thought. Thank you.

Ron Tisdale
05-08-2009, 09:29 AM
Hi Mark,

I'm with Allen as well. But I do understand your position...

B,
R (as always, thanks to Jun for giving us a place to even have this discussion)

Mike Sigman
05-08-2009, 10:14 AM
And after Feldenkrais, I just wouldn't put the quotes around "natural", at least as far as the aikido I learned from Mochizuki Sensei or the judo I learned from him as he learned it from Kano and Mifune. In fact, I'd say my judo benefited very much from the Feldenkrais experience I've had. But these experiences led me to the ideas I've often expressed concerning child movement and aikido. Hi David;

"Natural" movement in the Asian cosmology idea means movement that conforms with the laws of physics/nature. For instance when we "close" (into a near foetal ball, for example) we wind inward with out arms and legs and bend the back over forward; when we "open" we unwind outward to set angles, etc. The theory is that these 'openings' and 'closings' at their optimal levels function ideally using the solidity of the ground to open and the force of gravity/weight to close. This is "natural" movement. It doesn't mean "instinctive" movement, in that sense, although a lot of westerners mistranslate the cosmological idea along those lines. There is a more subtle level of that discussion, but it's not worth buggering up this thread with anymore OT's then we already have. ;)

I think he was at a deeper root, which, having attained it, would allow one to learn the skills you describe more easily than someone who had not connected fully with that root. Or he could have been shallower, rather than deeper. I don't know. But I'm always willing to look around.

Best.

Mike

thisisnotreal
05-08-2009, 10:23 AM
In regards to body movement, sensitivity, awareness, as well as ki-kokyu, Are there systems within them for nomenclature for communicating them?
I found this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laban_Movement_Analysis
Although interesting, I think it would fall far short.

In addition to the problem of direct communication , there is the fact that people start from different places, such as postural deviations and common compensation patterns. When they have them, this alters 'normal' for them...and they have a blind-spot in their perception, without even knowing it. This means everyone will 'hear' things differently in their own bodies. (e.g. muscles that have been 'shut-down' and need to be correctly recruited neurally, or synergistic dominance issues... what is 'normal' in the body for someone will not, in general, be available/relevant in someone elses case).

Is there such a system for common discussion in Feldenkrais? Or in CMA? Or are such systems developed ad hoc, and grafted on as the student and teacher develop common basis for understanding. I guess the latter. Or douka.

I was, for the record, considering how to design a package to illustrate internal connections and flows but after a bit of surveying was blown away by what would be required...and in the end...it is probably irrelevant. As has been said, your own understanding is in your hands. Of what value is it to provide beautiful illustrations or understandings if it does not proffer the value, effort and methods you gain while doing the learning itself. Knowledge without the discipline.

btw; I got that idea while seeing some amazing yoga site with animations of the muscles and flexing, and i think flows were implicit. can't find the site.

pps; Mike; I'm sorry I can't find the post about picking up the knife that way.

Josh

Mike Sigman
05-08-2009, 10:35 AM
In regards to body movement, sensitivity, awareness, as well as ki-kokyu, Are there systems within them for nomenclature for communicating them?
I found this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laban_Movement_Analysis
Although interesting, I think it would fall far short.

In addition to the problem of direct communication , there is the fact that people start from different places, such as postural deviations and common compensation patterns. When they have them, this alters 'normal' for them...and they have a blind-spot in their perception, without even knowing it. This means everyone will 'hear' things differently in their own bodies. I generally agree with what you've said, Josh. On the one hand there are some basic principles that these skills grow from, but on the other hand there are a number of terms developed in different arts to describe the core principles (Shioda noted this, as I said before)... but worse yet is the idea that there are all kinds of levels and gradations of these skills. The important point to keep the eye on, IMO, is that Ueshiba's Aikido used the ki/kokyu skills in a certain way and so an Aikidoist should be fairly consistent in practicing Aikido within the mode that Ueshiba did, IMO.

One thing that bothers me (in relation to all the variations in these skills sets, how 'pure' they are, how muscular, whether they truly use the hara, etc.) is that I see a lot of assumption that Joe Blow's "internal skills" are the same thing as Ueshiba's, Tohei's, Ikeda's, Ushiro's, Inaba's, Dan's, Mike's, Akuzawa's, and so on. So I see a lot of posts that seem to imply that everyone is on the correct route if they're using exercises from any of the above and mixing them all up is even better. My warning flag goes up immediately. People will make progress with the basic principles only if they understand and can physically replicate the basic principles. You don't need anyone's set of "basic exercises" if you really understand the principles... you can make up your own, you can do them in the Aiki Taiso, you can do them in just about anything. Rather than hearing someone post about how he does "so-and-so's exercises", I'd feel a lot better if they were describing the how and why of exactly what they're doing and what they're hoping to accomplish in any given exercise. Nomenclature and pet exercises vary; the principles are constant. ;)

FWIW

Mike

DH
05-08-2009, 11:48 AM
Hi Mark,

I'm with Allen as well. But I do understand your position...

B,
R (as always, thanks to Jun for giving us a place to even have this discussion)



Mark , Ron

And isn't that really saying something? That Jun clearly disagrees that this belongs in the discussions of aikido-or at least feels the jury is still out. At least he--contrary to many other admin- makes room for the discussion anyway? What does that say about him? I think that's pretty good.
So while I share your frustration - it can't be helped.

It will remain an interesting dilemma to see just how many Aikido teachers it takes to make the larger body of practitioners aware that they have been had by the Japanese, or in other cases that the information just honestly wasn't even known.

I think the smart people are going to begin asking why Ikeda, Gleason, Ledyard, and lower level teachers like Liberti Grimaldi, Chiapetta, the D.C and Virginia camps, the Seattle groups etc. who have all pursued this training for their aikido. Add to that a few from Daito ryu who have and do train with the top men in the world and their opinions on this being "aiki" as well. Others will just blindly follow and "trust sensei" like they have always done.

Maybe it will take a few hundred more teachers showing up and blowing away the Japanese shihan and or stopping them in their tracks before Japan, the Americans and everyone else finally wakes up and smells the coffee...or maybe not.
And of the teachers training this way; you are just simply going to get a whole bunch who cannot get out of their own way and will revert back to muscling through or others who are just plain lazy and who have convinced themselves..and their students that -they- get it, and will more than likely do more harm than good.
Then we have the good news-others who will do the work with their students and may change the face of aikido forever.
But hey...you can't convince the whole world -so why bother trying. Focus on yourself and the few who are willing to do the work.

Everyone has an opinion, every opinion has weight and qualative merit; theirs yours, mine, whatever.
If it bothers you so much-do what I do...TRAIN
When you are ready... let the doubters and debaters lay hands on you. When they and their teachers can't do a damn thing to you at all, At least then they will know the real "value" of their opinions on these matters.
In the mean time there is a whole lot of personal training to do and a whole bunch of people who ARE pursuing this training to test. train and learn from.

One of my teachers laid down a challenge to those who wanted to walk down the path of shugyo in their training.

"Everyone talks
You shugyo
Years go by
People are still talking
Then you get up to demonstrate
Then everyone knows the truth."

So we sweat...........and fail and sweat some more.
Cheers
Dan

thisisnotreal
05-28-2009, 11:20 PM
grabbed from another forum. thought it was a worthy question.

It's a real question, in my mind, as to what represents single-minded insanity: focusing exhaustively and perseveringly on the sort of body-skill tanren d....

Yeah, I know, eh? (http://www.google.ca/search?q=chi+sickness+&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a)

What did you come up with?

No Seriously? wtf. "zou huo ru mo" (http://alternativehealing.org/risks_of_qigong.htm)

DH
05-29-2009, 01:00 PM
Here is an idea of how some basic stuff crosses arts and cultures. This guy taught in Japan for 11 years. Among his students were 2 of Sagawa's long time students. He is a very interesting and wonderful man with some intriguing ideas of his own about Daito Ryu and Internal Chinese arts. The spirals the arts share are evident and so is the rising and sinkling energy. There is some interesting things to watch at 2:07, 2:15 to around 2:28, 2:52 or so re: rising and sinking energy. Somemight find some relation to the outer form in Tenchi nage. What is not seen is the spiraling energy happening inside.

Other things are evident in his body turns even into Judo style positioning and steps at about 1:00 in (if you can imagine gi or arm grabbing in his hands and other finishes involving the left leg or hip) -but there is no correlation to what judo does in that step V ChengDe's taiji, though there could be if one new what to do. A steo is not always a step, a turn not always the same turn.
Cheers
Dan

see here (]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zZDtCZVURY&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Frumsoakedfist%2Eorg%2Fucp%2Ephp%3Fi%3Dpm%26mode%3Dview%26f%3D0 %26p%3D7888&feature=player_embedded)

Mike Sigman
05-29-2009, 01:26 PM
I tried to look at the video of what he was doing in the light of the way you described it. Liu is fairly powerful (I wouldn't call him top of the line, though), but most of what he does is fairly typical of the basic body skills as seen in Chinese martial arts. Do I see obvious relationships between Chinese and Japanese martial arts that use the "ki" skills? Of course... there must be, if someone understands the basic principles. However, Liu's use of the dantien appears to me to be markedly different from what you'd normally see in a Japanese martial art. There are a number of different approaches and I'd be reluctant to try and convey the idea that the ki/kokyu skills of *some* Chinese martial arts is very much the same as, say, Ushiro's karate, D.R., Ueshiba's Aikido, and so on, without caveating the differences within the use of the baseline skills. Not that I'm saying anything negative about any style of any person... I'm just noting that I see a reason to be cautious about implying that some fairly distinct different approaches are in fact the same thing (or close enough).

FWIW

Mike Sigman

MM
05-29-2009, 02:36 PM
Here is an idea of how some basic stuff crosses arts and cultures. This guy taught in Japan for 11 years. Among his students were 2 of Sagawa's long time students. He is a very interesting and wonderful man with some intriguing ideas of his own about Daito Ryu and Internal Chinese arts.


What were his ideas about Daito ryu and the Chinese arts? I'm sure that from teaching in Japan for that long and getting hands on with two of Sagawa's students, there were some interesting comments and observations. Similarities? Differences?

thisisnotreal
05-29-2009, 09:53 PM
With Takeda sensei, I've seen personally withnessed his approach to teaching to take things to an exteme (Dan does too by the way). I will say training like that - okay not so far he wasn't touching me at all - but continuing to stretch out toward him as I fell away actually helped me quite a bit with getting my mental intentions "strengthened" (not sure if that is the correct word!) when working with Dan.
from (http://65.102.221.210/forums/showpost.php?p=211309&postcount=100)

Could the word 'surge' be used to describe this?

thisisnotreal
05-30-2009, 09:54 PM
Hi Mike,

...
It's an interesting tangent, but really not germane to the topic of the thread....


I challenge that.
I did start the thread... I find it difficult to define the circumference.

It is The same basic teaching.
What is most worth discussion?

Best,
Josh

Mike Sigman
05-31-2009, 10:59 AM
It is The same basic teaching.
What is most worth discussion?
Basic principles. Like in the baseline skillset thread.

Mike

thisisnotreal
05-31-2009, 06:22 PM
In my opinion, there were a number of outstanding posts in other threads. I hope you don`t mind if I put them here, for context.
Josh

thisisnotreal
05-31-2009, 06:26 PM
Mr. Shanshiry
Aiki is a result of manipulating energy between two people- from tempering and changing your body from within. It is an old concept that existed in India, China and in Japan. The easiest way to conceptualize it is to imagine that someone could have trained their body to remain in balance with contradicting forces held within it, through the use of bone and tendon and fascia more than muscle and that your breath could be trained to enhance that sense of being suspended in balance. Now imagine that someone pushing or pulling on you doesn't really feel like much to you but they have to exert a lot of effort to get nowhere. Now imagine your body were so connected that were you to move even a small amount the power differential between you and other normally trained people was so overwhelming that they felt they were either magnetically drawn to you by their grip or they were manipulated and thrown or locked. Now add waza to that equation.
While it is defined by different "ways" to use it, different arts and their techniques etc. Teachers and students alike from traditional arts like Aikido, Daito ryu, Taiji, Bagua, are noting that for some strange reason it feels like the best in their arts. Others of a more aggressive breed; Judo, MMA, BJJ are noting it is very practical and powerful in freestyle grappling-if you meet someone who knows how to use it in that venue...not everyone does!
Of course it is far more complicated than that but hopefully it helps paint a picture
Cheers
Dan
From (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=231125&postcount=76)

thisisnotreal
05-31-2009, 07:40 PM
Anent many years to understand:
That would be unfortunate since I and others can not only explain it to you but teach it to you over a few years. And you would continue to grow and grow; step by step and with each step noticable. What may be of interest to you, is that many in the arts that like to claim "aiki" as their provinance would then be asking you "what" you are doing "how" you are doing it since they will no longer be able to manage you when you choose to move. Many, even some of their best, may be stumped by you.
It's only a mystery if those who hold the information choose to leave it that way
Cheers
Dan

From (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=231174&postcount=79)

thisisnotreal
05-31-2009, 07:42 PM
It remains one of the fundamental natures of the human bodies structural weaknesses due the way people hold their bodies. It is good to be aware of it since it is the way the "straights" react. Unfortunately it is the way most everyone reacts-even those I have met who were "highly" trained-who instead of having bodeis trained to cancel it, instead have to mask and protect it through waza. There are very rational and explicable means and methods to train your body to cancel out that principle as well as many others held dear to most martial arts by changing your body. That change just happens to also what created aiki to being with. Funny how that works.

What is important is that these methods are attainable and can be learned starting from day one. They are neither high level or require decades of training in aikido or anything else to get it. Many if not most are not shown them, or are shown them much later in their careers-thus waisting a lot of time. You can learn them and in doing so cancel out the waza and skills of most of those "high level guys" and many other experienced MAers in a much shorter time. And you can begin right now. Yes it takes a few years, but at the end you will be decades ahead of most (not all) who train in the arts.

I think we really need to get beyond this belief that aikido -or any other art-holds some deep secret you need to train forty years to get from some teacher or from the kata. It is the way the Japanese chose it does NOT have to be the way WE chose. Those with the information need to help each other out in getting a leg up. I have every intention of helping to do so by teaching teachers and students alike -methods to level the playing field.
Cheers
Dan

From (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=230983&postcount=3)

thisisnotreal
05-31-2009, 07:44 PM
Not really
Trained bodies do not move or react like normal bodies. Not everyone who claims to move from their center has a clue what that means. Not everyone who does know what it means...can actually do anything to a high degree.
You would need to feel people who can do certain things with their bodies to know what I mean. I'd suspect there are quite a few surprises coming in the future for those Shihan you cite who think -they- got it, after they meet more and more juniors in the art who actually do. Just the fact that they teach these things without teaching how to cancel them out within the body (without techniques or movement of any kind) pretty much tells us what they really think of us in the first place. They are NOT helping like they could. Right there, right at that moment, they could teach some pretty substative things that most would adopt and begin to train and would never go back to the way they moved before ...by choice.
Why are we NOT being shown? Pick a reason. People will come along shortly to give you a bevy of excuses for it. Doesn't really matter much when you are the one not being taught though does it?
Cheers
Dan

From (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=230992&postcount=5)

thisisnotreal
05-31-2009, 08:33 PM
Two more posts that I`d like to list here:

Power & Ukemi (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=230467&postcount=65)

Use of Aiki (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=230526&postcount=80)

thisisnotreal
05-31-2009, 10:22 PM
I`m going to keep talking to myself, for a bit.
And yeah, I`m still okay with it.
Josh

thisisnotreal
05-31-2009, 10:34 PM
A few disclaimers...
Josh

thisisnotreal
05-31-2009, 10:38 PM
Basic principles. Like in the baseline skillset thread.

Mike

It is a good answer, and I agree. That said, I have read that whole thread a couple time through...it didn't go all that well. But it was a different time.

But the way I see it ‘Basics' could be in relation to: the bodyskill, definitely could be some mind/body/systemhack aspects, about standing still in one spot (zhan zhuang), about doing one thing 100,000 times, listening inside the body, definitely linked with eastern meditative concepts, religions, definitely plausibly linked with Chi Sickness (/kundalini syndrome), latent powers (psi, etc), qigong, meditation, way of hara, ...alchemy, and other hermetic concerns.

I think it could safely be said that all of these topics, at least, come up at one point or another. And personally speaking, that blows my mind, that so many issues can arise from the acquisition of a specific bodyskill. Or is that not true? Do the one spring from the many? Or are we in fact lumping many separate things into one grab bag...because the grouping is ‘logical' when seen in a certain, chosen, vantage point?

And by basics, others may yet mean the tao itself. knowing here full well that the tao that can be spoken of is not the dao. this dao is the deep magick of nature. the worship of the naturepowers, ultimately. If you so choose. And to be specific this *is* a choice.
Some make the choice implicitly, and others make it deliberately. I do not think that this is the truth of the situation. In this regard, I cannot be more explicit.

But, as you say, as I think, and as Dan implicitly treats it; it is best left in the realm of physical origins causing physical effects.
And in this way; I'll proceed.

Best,
Josh

thisisnotreal
05-31-2009, 10:42 PM
re: What and Why.
Every thread that purported to explain ki/chi that i have ever read on the web was more-or-less a complete disaster. That being said, this will be mine.

It has been recently re-said that budo begins and ends with rei. Let it be so done..
I would personally like to thank the many members of Aikiweb. Never in my life have I ever participated in an on-line forum, and was only moved to do so because of the extraordinary people i have ‘seen' ‘virtually' on-line. This truly is a special time to be alive as the meetings themselves are virtual, but these connections are real. In some cases truly one-sided, but in others I hope to say as real as it gets. If I were a millionaire i would organize a fully paid Aikiweb gathering where we could all meet face to face. I would like to specifically thank the following people, who, over time have given me much to think about; Dan Harden, Mike Sigman, Rob John, Charles Hill, Peter Goldsbury, George Ledyard, Dennis Hooker, Kevin Wilbanks, Ophir Donchin, Ron Tisdale, Ellis Amdur, Mark Murray, Rob Liberti, Aleksey Sundeyev, Shaun Ravens, Gernot Hassenpflug, Damian Lost, Josh Reyer, Josh Lerner, Peter Rehse, Rennis Buchner, Don Modesto, Rupert Atkinson, Chris Li. These posters have taught me so much over time; and I find that the time spent reading their posts was (/almost always) time well spent. I do not say that I agree with everything posted (gah!), but I have always been given things to think about. I am sure I have missed some people. I am sorry that by identifying certain individuals this automatically omits others...this is regrettable. But I believe that excellence should be identified; and in this case it is wholly personal; and I am personally very grateful. I do have a list of people I would like to unthank, but I think it in bad taste to publish, so i'll just skip that.


That is that regardless of who holds what opinion, as a whole it is more important that at least we are holding discussions, civilly debating our personally-held points and cross training in open environments

I agree wholeheartedly with the above sentiment. I'm planning to publish a few letters I have been sitting on for a while. While they are my opinions, my perspective and *a* point of view, I do mean them honestly and I do not mean to give any offence. Truly. I will try not to take any offence either. I am expecting some, as it's said, ‘No Good Deed Goes Unpunished'. Also knowing the fact that statistically the more you speak/write the more likely to make a mistake doesn't help. I talk too much. Well, here, I feel that to keep quiet would be a mistake, and to say something I will certainly make a mistake, so you see my problem. Nothing ventured, Nothing Gained, God willing. I am trying to do my best on a number of fronts, not the least of which is to give back to those who gave to me and to help those looking. I think my main contribution is to advance the discussion...saying that which has not yet been said. I am not sure why it is the case, and left to me, but I will take the chance while it's open. And one last point: While the above quotation hits a very important point, I do not think it hits thee most important point. I think it is most important to untiringly search for the truth, in all things. To seek for Truth, Love and Righteousness above all things will never lead you wrong.
Good Luck to us all.
Best always,
Josh

thisisnotreal
05-31-2009, 10:49 PM
This is a previously unpublished response to a post Dan made in this (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=230999&postcount=11)
thread.

Hi Dan,
Thank you very much for your thoughts.
I would like to do something different.
I am by no means learned in these things. I am not going to pretend I got it. My understanding transcends my skills, and my understanding isn't all that much. I would like to share some of the things I learned, and subject them to my betters. Both to share and also to refine. The problem is that I don't think anything I learned is my own; it was more or less pieced together from bits of others. And no small part is from you. In other words, everything I will write is more or less plagiarized. So; if it's okay i would like to (now and later) respond to other rhetorical questions you have posed over time; with the understanding that my own (mis-)understandings are mine own..

Well in a word...yes. the shock is not nearly the same shock -say on trained body, as compared to an untrained one-a normal martial artist.

I wondered about this. I believe that what you are speaking about above is important in approaching anti-aiki. I couldn't see how else it would go. An experienced person with 'it' would obviously get hit if someone hit him. But the load is somewhat dissipated because of the nature of the changed body.


And thats just a start without the one with the trained body being "on" as well.

That is also something I was thinking about. You can't go walking around 'on' all the time, can you? This would (/must?) have some long term consequences (beyond roundly packed poo). You wrote "energy manifest is energy in use". In an obvious way, it is not good to go around flexed all the time. Who does that? But in an encounter; you must be 'on' from the instant you suspect something's going down, to the end, until you can drop zanshin, right? Does anyone try to go around 'on' all the time? What is the longest you can? Is that even a relevant concern? I would think short intense burst of high tension to be much more critical in actual use. During practice, long-hold postures (i.e. standing practice) would encourage low-intensity high duration tension. Dunno. During my bodywork as I regained lost function and alignments I found i had to maintain awareness and somewhat consciously try to use the new motion, or muscle, or alignment for a while, and then all of the sudden, a 'level-up' where it kind of took care of itself. I would say structure shifted to a new stable one. (I wonder if some rationalize evolution because of this effect; I see it as the healing principle; "The Mitzvah Technique") I extrapolate it is the same with tanden. At some point it is 'on' always, albeit at a lower amount of tension, but still there, nonetheless.
And that is a big difference between on and off, and always on, albeit at a lower scale. Like moving a car at a red light...much easier to go fast with 'some momentum'.


You would have to have had experience in cancelling out, and redirecting power, instantly-sometimes without thought sometimes with -of some pretty substantial people to know and believe what I am talking about. That's okay to doubt it. I would as well.

In the realm of the physical, I do not doubt this power. I have never seen it or felt it in *anyone*, but from what i learned to feel (i.e. by listening *inside* the body), specifically about how to use hara generated tension to reinforce the body structure and even to send hara generated tension, I do not doubt it. I have no ideas about the limits of the physical power, nor the clever uses for it. What I do doubt is the metaphysical stuff attached to it. But everytime i find myself using hara-power, i find things get weird. Beyond this, I cannot say I understand it. Is it the seat of the soul? Who knows? It is where the umbilical cord was attached. Each cell in our living body courses with life, so long as we breathe. What is life? A gift? I certainly didn't do it. The atoms of carbon of a living cell are *IDENTICAL* to the atoms of carbon of the earth. Dunno.

I believe the last part of the above quote is relegated to the 'Need more Practice' answer. The martial ways of the Jp and Cn are extraordinarily clever. It is not like they have different organs or such, but rather very clever uses of all the things we are, and have.

Knowing the little in this area, that i do, I can only see a little way past where I am. I found this stuff not by pursuing power (I think); but rather in trying to fix/rebalance structural problems (i.e. search: malalignment syndrome) i got..damaged while doing Aikido. I don't practice Aikido any more, and why I quit is a topic I have thought much about. I got a toe-hold on this stuff right before I quit, but it is not ‘cause I couldn't play nice given the shift, although I think it would go the way you say. I'll leave it at that for now.


It is not for no good reason that we keep citing "the changing of the body", "the need to temper the body to creat aiki".

I would like to talk much more about specifically this fascinating aspect of the subject. My interest, which lead me to stumble upon this, stems from needing to rebalance (literally the skeletal alignment, length-tension relationships of muscles, postural distortions (upper and lower crossed syndrome)....I was a mess after doing aikido). Something that made crystal clear sense way after was something you wrote: (paraphrased) "What it means to choose strength over flexibility". I will write on that later.

Temper...Change...Aiki

I think I understand. We have to basically increase the baseline amount of latent energy in the body. Must balance structure. Must increase resting tonic of muscles. Must restore length-tension relationships. Must remove any slack within the feedback loop that is the body. It *is* hilariously difficult. That one phrase served as much inspiration to me over time. It is strange and unexpected how our presence on the web can effect others. That is a major reason for my posts. I want to help people to focus on the physical skills, as I spent a lot of time looking in other ratholes..that i never set out to explore. That is probably my bitterness coming out a bit; It was never made clear what the *it* was at the outset. And, for the record, there are lots of rathole deviations to fall into. These things are valuable but the field is laden with mines.

I digress. All of the following is my experience only. R&D on the body can be dangerous; so anyone doing these things MUST be careful. I saw discovering internal principles as likened to a poor beggar man being given a million dollars. It is possible, and even likely that he'd kill himself with ‘good living' and overdo *everything*, all at once. These things require judgement.

Changing the body: We have to become the body. Not be in the body. Not slump. Not to feel a victim of our body. When you have ‘fixed' it then you're cooking with gasoline. Need to "attain energy" in the body, and not worry about flexing individual muscles. The ‘tool' needs to be sharp and in condition to work. The system must be complete and ready to move or conduct force.
To conduct force ‘clearly' from extent to extent. To have strong abs. Transversus, and all the muscles that form the outer hara wall. I believe hara is defined much in the same way that holes are defined in electron-hole solid state theory. A hole is an absence of electrons. Here it's a virtual structure defined by the muscles that define its boundary. The seika tanden itself is a ‘hole of muscle' that can effectively be treated as muscle. Think of a ying-yang ball. Outer body is black...as it gets pushed on the inner body (hara) is white, and it counter rotates to absorb and balance tension in the body. If it's ready for it. You can feel this ‘hara rotation' next time you are in a car banking sharply, with hara ‘on'. It can be used to create tension in the outer-body. Here; I visualize Rob John's craptastic drawings from long-ago showing body axes. The axes are the outer body. The hara the inner body. You can use the hara to draw up excess tension in the body or you can use it to leverage. Or you can use it to ratchet up the body. Or you can send the tension outwards by forced rotating the hara against the direction of rotation it naturally did. I do not think I am sure about the purpose of ‘sending' energy outwards from hara in this method. I think this is the beginning of ‘emitted qi' which may or may not be physical, and then other ‘religious things of the east' such as remote effects beyond the skin, and things I do not know how to classify other than as delusion, chi gung sickness, kundalini syndrome, etc. It definitely will play tricks on your mind. In short this area presents a lot of confusion. I think this now leaves the realm of physical and goes... highly non-linear in human/spirit terms. I am a Christian, and my judgment is that at this point I go no further. I praise God, and know my limits. For example, No Step 8. What does this mean? There is nothing physical at that point and beyond. (http://www.taijiwuxigong.com/cleansing_energy_channels.htm)

I do not know if it is envisioned as extremely bad form to say things this baldly. I hope not, and mean no disrespect to anyone. In fact it is my attempt to honour those that shared with me. I have no sensei, keppan, or anything like that. I am a free man. Free to make a fool of myself. Free to help others. I take a risk here by saying all these things. But I am here, on Aikiweb for a good time. Not for a long time. I need to break up with aikiweb...a phrase that has been bouncing in my head since Chi'imed (sp?) first wrote them.


And that's just the start. You...like so many others keep talking about "doing" stuff and the "timing" of it.

You are right. But I would like to say that I am doubleminded at the moment, with respect to this ‘stuff'. I think where this points to is a different way the body reacts. It is now viewed as a composite device. Not the sum of different parts, but a new changed whole with entirely different dynamics. It just responds in the way you describe. I think that's what you mean. Timing and doing is irrelevant. The body naturally responds this way. This is why it is the "Toolbox"...not a set of techniques. This is how I take your meaning.


The mounain echo is interesting in that it can be created in the body differently. One is slower than the other and less clean the other more instant and more manipulative.

I think I understand.
Method I
The hara is ‘on' deliberately; and it is somewhat ‘detached' from the rest of the body, in that it can move a relatively large amount of rotation, and is consciously controlled. Because of the mental conscious control it is less clean. This mode is most likely used when ‘playing', doing long-hold postures, yoga, standing practice, push-out, etc.

Method II
The hara is ‘on' deliberately; but it is more rigidly attached to the outer body. This way the body is like a tuning fork. You get hit or pushed and instantly this is related to the hara. This is a much higher energy mode of being in aiki. It is also likely that this mode is used in a real physical encounter. This method is tapped into during the typical verbal setup for unbendable arm.


But, "echo" is an interesting thought. I had some facinating hands-on discussions with a Chinese teacher over here visiting about that very idea.

I do not think I know what this means.
First thought is that this is linked with ‘bouncing someone away', literally storing the incoming energy (I think of: What Receives feeds, and what feeds receives), but due to the two methods you outline, I think I have got this wrong.


Cheers
Dan

Cheers Back at ‘Ya.
And many thanks to you.
Josh

thisisnotreal
05-31-2009, 10:52 PM
Frankly, I'm not into belief systems.
Best.
Mike Sigman

I would argue:
We all are. That is the way we are wired. And to be clear, even not to make a choice, is to choose. There are certain problems in the class I call ‘Equalizers'. Where all men, be they kings or peasants, men of long ago, or us now, face. For instance the question of Ultimate Origin, is one such question. And, if truth be told, we do not have enough facts to show things ultimately clearly one way or another. In fact, whatever beliefs we have, at their ultimate end, require a leap of faith of one sort or another. ALL beliefs are this way. And the best *we* can do is use our faculties to their utmost, be they analysis, critical thinking, earnest searching, honesty, self-reflection and checking them against reality; where the proverbial rubber meets the road.

As Jim Morrison said, ‘No one here gets out alive'.

And since I mention music, I want to mention "Give a Little Bit" by Supertramp. I am trying here and it's already cost a bit.. And yes, everyone has an agenda, even if that means just being the best person that you can be... knowing full well that this means different things to different people.

Best,
Josh

thisisnotreal
05-31-2009, 10:58 PM
Here is an idea of how some basic stuff crosses arts and cultures. This guy taught in Japan for 11 years. Among his students were 2 of Sagawa's long time students. He is a very interesting and wonderful man with some intriguing ideas of his own about Daito Ryu and Internal Chinese arts.
Cheers
Dan

see here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zZDtCZVURY&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Frumsoakedfist%2Eorg%2Fucp%2Ephp%3Fi%3Dpm%26mode%3Dview%26f%3D0 %26p%3D7888&feature=player_embedded)

Hi Dan,
Thank you for the link and thanks for the reference.

I think I saw some of the things you mention.
I would never have looked closely at that video had you not mentioned it.

It's funny, these conversations, as it is like using radar to find a plane. The first one to use radar is actually seen first, as it is like using a flashlight in the dark to find something.

I took a close look, like I say; and would like to share some impressions on how the bodyskills are demoed, as i see them. And then, if you don't mind...a few questions. And, by the way, thank you again.

Your other post confused me. Who should I watch? I watched mostly uke first to see what he felt; and then teacher to see why, maybe, he felt it.
Generally, there is not a lot of movement of the teacher, as is usual for video.

Regarding the timeline 2:07-2:28
-Teacher encouraged student (uke) to gram his arms
-When that happened, teacher absorbed force from his arms through his body, i believe fighting the load at his hara.
-the load, to uke; is still mostly horizontal, pushing him straight backwards, more or less
-teacher skilfully ‘accepts' uke's push into his body. uke locks his body up into a ‘stable' structure, effectively forming kokyu in his body (with no balance, no ki and floating/not grounded). The teacher loads uke's kokyu structure onto his own.
-teacher skilfully shortcircuits connection of uke at his hara, shunted to the earth
-uke is caught completely off balance; since he was pushing horizontally; and investing his weight (+) and his kokyu structure (+) he was double sided. He is suddenly caught ‘weightless' as teacher's upwards vector is both surprising and completely non-compliant...it is the earth itself
-As uke falls into the artificially created void he is further off balanced, then at one point the teacher shunts the ground path back to the student lifting him "violently"
-teacher gets more and more aggressive showing progression to harder and more deliberate movements
-think i saw a nikkyo writs lock coupled with sankyo arm kokyu-lock on uke at 2:37..but i'm mostly talking shit at this point.

Regarding the timeline: 2:52
Honestly have not much idea what's going on here. Wishing I could see teachers right arm. I think with his right arm he just barely locks uke's wrist; so he can control this side of his body, but most of the action is on teacher's left side.
I think here he is showing how he can move the strength across his body to the other side.
I really wish I spoke the language, so I could hear what he is saying.
I see the tenchi nage that you mention, i think it is downward spiral on front leg, along Sartorius spiral to hara, and up through crossline to other arm. Not too sure about this.

Ok; now some questions, If I could:
@0.42
-I notice that it is very very strange how uke is spit out like a whirlpool. That energy put into him was truly circular/rotational. We went around and around and wanted off before the ride was done. It was funny.
-I oftentimes notice when hara is in play that things get ‘weird' like that. "It" was very pure here.
-After thinking about this; I think it may be something like: related to the 10,000 V shock phenomena by uke; but instead of issuing fajing and being sudden and sharp, the joint kokyu alignment structures of uke/teacher (ki no musubi), which is caused by the teacher holding aiki in his body; and then imposing it onto uke; compressing the alignment quite a bit; and then open-circuiting the connection (i.e. comparatively slowly; but not as fast as fajing) with uke lined up rotationally aligned to the load; so that it ‘peacefully' spiralled through uke

@0.46.
I think: He makes an intense kiai. I think this is the moment of rising energy, where he locks his structure in a pulse that propagates from the ground upwards, sequentially and almost simultaneously.
What is he actually trying to teach at that moment. There is something about the kiai I cannot put my finger on. He really does *it* right there.
I like what you said about energy manifest is energy in use. I think this was a big exertion for him, judging from the sound; but I don't know which ways he could use it. I think if you touched him at that moment; you'd bounce off, omnidirectionally. This is conjecture.

@1:22
Is this a demo of the upper cross?
-I was thinking that he was standing strong; with tension going up and down inside, and then he stretched his arms like that to move the tension across the back. His body is thus spring, and ready for action. .
-Again; I wish i could speak the language.

Dan, you said

He is a very interesting and wonderful man with some intriguing ideas of his own about Daito Ryu and Internal Chinese arts

Can you say a bit about what you find intriguing?
Best,
Josh

thisisnotreal
05-31-2009, 11:01 PM
Hi Mike


However, Liu's use of the dantien appears to me to be markedly different from what you'd normally see in a Japanese martial art. There are a number of different approaches and I'd be reluctant to try and convey the idea that the ki/kokyu skills of *some* Chinese martial arts is very much the same as, say, Ushiro's karate, D.R., Ueshiba's Aikido, and so on, without caveating the differences within the use of the baseline skills.

Mike Sigman


Who, then is top of the line? CXW? Clips make him look very powerful. Have no idea what he does; I think #8 mixed with #11 below knowing he could do all of them.
May I ask;
What are traits of top-of-the-line?

You have posed this point a few times, I think; about the differences in use, and approaches. You made me try to think (/extrapolate) about what they may be. Would you mind being a sounding board?

Different approaches to usage of dantien:
(BTW I think of dantien and seika tanden as synonyms. Is it true? )

1. consciously deeply absorb and manipulate the force. "Playing"
2. force-field like early repulsion (aiki cast off), always keeping hara ahead of uke. Contact is light and precise. Refined displays of old masters for example 94 year old ‘bagua wisdom clip' on youtube.
3. Shallow kokyu coupling (tuning fork like early cast off), heavily manipulating with kua. See this in taiji.
4. allow deep kokyu coupling, and slow, conscious manipulation. Playing; push-out
5. allow deep kokyu coupling, and quick repulsion, fajing; Dan's selection of Chengde above.
6. allow deep kokyu coupling, and powerful trap, .
7. absorb at hara (trap), shunt to ground or other path; This may be closer to a technique that a differing use of dantien. The converse case of absorbing at ground, then shunting power at hara.
8. Crushing. Hara powers through linearly behind direct force. (Xingyi ‘crushing'). I guess karate use of dantien may be this.
9. peace. Aikido; Deep kokyu-aiki link, Dissipate or cast off. (That whirlpool in the above)
10. deep kokyu, then internal disruption of uke's kokyu, leading to ‘seize-up'capture (i.e. DR)
11. powerful rapidly direction changing kokyu; omnidirectional shockwave; Like this: Like this! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2v1BXXBTRVM&feature=related) What on earth did he do to uke? Internally speaking.

I am trying to advance the conversation; I do not know if the above is correct. It is opinion and conjecture only. What do you think?

Best,
Josh

Aiki Technique (http://www001.upp.so-net.ne.jp/cranecallsbros/Aikitech.html)

If human body is supposed to computer, then the Aiki might be a kind of computer viruses such as "Trojan horse". The system passes it as "of itself" (because, at first, it does not attempt to do any harm to the system), and then it feels very sorry about this.

Or, it could be said that Aiki is not "punch" but "penetration".

Watching the old black and white files of Morihei UESHIBA Oosensei, it is possible to note that the counterparts could not have any chances to touch the hands of O'sensei. This is nothing but the Aiki.

About the Aiki, it might be possible to write and to speak at length. But as the old saying goes, "to see is to believe". Unfortunately, in our time, the time of the commercialization of combat skills, the Aiki is encountered very rarely.

Because of its rarity and mysteriousness, there are many issues around Aiki. Some regard it with the distrust: they might say this is only fraud; others talk about the black magic. However, as a person who has experienced Aiki himself, I can say that this is anything but fake. It is neither black magic, nor fraud. Aiki does not lie beyond human abilities. This is simply an ancient technique, which, possibly, seems mysterious or even mystical from the side at first glance. However, this is simply a technique.

gdandscompserv
06-01-2009, 01:34 AM
Who, then is top of the line?
maybe this guy?
http://www.qigonginstitute.org/html/Qi_Press/TaiChi%20Stanford.pdf

MM
06-01-2009, 10:27 AM
This is a previously unpublished response to a post Dan made in


Hi Josh,

Um, long post. Read through it. Not sure if it's just semantics or how you're defining concepts, but I wouldn't explain what I was doing the way you did in your post. Your descriptions sound foreign to what I'm doing. Just for an example, there is no flexing or burst of high tension.

Another example, the body is trained to be, so it really isn't a matter of being "'on' from the instant you suspect something's going down". It's what Ueshiba meant when he said that ushiro attacks can be dangerous for uke. Ueshiba didn't need to sense the attack or be "on" for that training.

Unfortunately, the IHTBF (It Has To Be Felt) syndrome applies.

thisisnotreal
06-01-2009, 07:43 PM
Hi Mark,
Hi Josh,
Um, long post.

Yeah I know.


... I wouldn't explain what I was doing the way you did in your post. Your descriptions sound foreign to what I'm doing.

Hey, there are no guarantees about my posts either, eh? I am thinking out loud..
Are you thinking more along <these> (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=230052&postcount=6) lines?


...
So, I have my intent going up, pulling my spine upwards. I have my intent as a heavy weight pulling my spine downwards, stretching my spine. It isn't one then the other, back and forth. They're going at the same time.
..

May I ask a couple of questions?
-What exactly does intent mean? To you, Mark?
-Who taught you to circulate it?
-on a related note I'd like to change my answer (a bit) about the video. I think the hand dithering motion is related to keeping the pressure suit (i.e. the sausage suit that we all wear) in integrity, and actively ‘full'.
-I think this is one part of the entire equation needed for aiki. What is being shown in the vid (my opinion) is keeping full body connection, mechanical structure, and keeping 'ki' in the system....but there are other ingredients for the recipe.
- In the beginning it is hard enough to stay 'full' and with connection. Later it will be easier, the body will learn. But going around 'full' all the time doesn't make intuitive sense. Therefore there is a filling time..this is what I meant by 'on'.
-The tension I spoke of is for application in movement/technique/issuing. The dantien/tanden is the virtual ball that can remove slack from the body....generating tension along mind-directed paths. I extrapolate that doing this quickly can apply a 'load' to uke. Doing it quickly...or in a high tension burst could be valuable. Imagine if you could make this into an attack. Fajing. I think it is called. I do not know if/what there is a Jpn equivalent.

What do you think?
Best,
Josh

thisisnotreal
06-01-2009, 08:39 PM
Hi Ricky,
maybe this guy?
http://www.qigonginstitute.org/html/Qi_Press/TaiChi%20Stanford.pdf
Thanks for the link.
I don't know...but the video i remember seeing had some wicked powerful movements of the guy. Gave a new meaning to 'explosive'. I could imagine the whole body concentrated into a point "clearly".

I guess, to me <this> (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSnUDkCQ0WU&feature=related) kind of thing is even more incredible. It seems nothing is happening at all...but the reactions are big. Or is it a case of the dives? Dunno.

Josh

Mike Sigman
06-01-2009, 08:46 PM
I guess, to me <this> (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSnUDkCQ0WU&feature=related) kind of thing is even more incredible. It seems nothing is happening at all...but the reactions are big. Or is it a case of the dives? Dunno.Not even dives. Pure BS. This is the "WannaBelieve Factor". If you're going to comment about martial-arts, you couldn't do worse than to say you're not sure about that one. Maybe if you sort of got your feet wet instead of theorizing about rain? ;)

Best.

Mike

thisisnotreal
06-01-2009, 08:55 PM
Ok- Well, I don't know. The Bagua Wisdom clip was in the same vein, and you posted that one. I would have done better to have linked to that one. Not so much a 'wannabelive' as wanting to know what's going down. So BS, eh? Good to know. What set off your bs detector?

It is that last leap from visible to truly not, that I would have guessed was what you meant by top-of-the line.

Best,
Josh

Mike - so 'nothing doing' on the other stuff?

Mike Sigman
06-01-2009, 09:03 PM
Ok- Well, I don't know. The Bagua Wisdom clip was in the same vein, and you posted that one. I would have done better to have linked to that one. ?

Ah.... I see. No, those were obviously different clips.

Best.

Mike Sigman

jss
06-02-2009, 03:07 AM
What is being shown in the vid (my opinion) is keeping full body connection, mechanical structure, and keeping 'ki' in the system....but there are other ingredients for the recipe.
Would you mind trying to define those: full body connection, mechanical structure and keeping 'ki' in the system? And why do you use two terms that make sense to my Western mind (the first two) and then add 'ki' as a component?

But going around 'full' all the time doesn't make intuitive sense. Therefore there is a filling time..this is what I meant by 'on'.
Think of the lungs: there always remains a small amount of air in the lungs to keep them from collapsing. So in a way, they are full all the time. Not completely full, as you do breath in and out, but still they are 'on' all the time.

thisisnotreal
06-02-2009, 07:16 AM
Would you mind trying to define those: full body connection, mechanical structure and keeping 'ki' in the system? And why do you use two terms that make sense to my Western mind (the first two) and then add 'ki' as a component?


Full Body Connection: The tension throughout the body. The one we try to train .... to grow it without bounds. Always increasing the internal tensions... That is one way I understand the purpose of Shugyo.

Mechanical Structure: Macroscopic alignment of bones and joints. And the literal paths the muscles and tendons take when wrapped around the skeletal system.

Ki: Energy filling your muscles. Flexing takes muscles. Some 'intent' was sent to flex the muscle. There is much more to this. It is definitely a different and unique component from the first two.


Think of the lungs: there always remains a small amount of air in the lungs to keep them from collapsing. So in a way, they are full all the time. Not completely full, as you do breath in and out, but still they are 'on' all the time.

Yes. I agree with what you say.
Actually; originally when I mentioned 'on' it was in regards to forming the tanden actively. In the previous post to Mark it was in respect to a different aspect.

Best,
Josh

thisisnotreal
06-02-2009, 07:21 AM
Ah.... I see. No, those were obviously different clips.

Best.

Mike Sigman

Wish I saw what you see.
Josh

thisisnotreal
06-02-2009, 08:28 AM
Hi Mike,

re: DR
<It is that last leap from visible to truly not, that I would have guessed was what you meant by top-of-the line> (http://www.daitoryuonline.com/article?articleID=242)


What set off your bs detector?


And just a word about that; Personally my BS meter is usually off the scales when watching all this stuff. A lot of it is utter crap. I just personally cannot believe 'complete crap' is out there in the copious quantities it seems to be. Those people should rightly be ashamed of themselves if it is as you say.
I am trying to suspend my disbelief, temporarily, to sift the truth of it.

In regards to the DR link above;

>>Now this puzzles me; how can a hard hit feel light? Or is it perfectly aligned with uke's structure; that it was a groundpath sure shot down the line? Wouldn't there be a strong compression at the skin contact point? How could *that* feel light? This is a puzzle to me.


Next, I held my arms firmly in front of me and was thrown as soon as Kimura Sensei made contact, even with a light touch. I thought, "OK, what about soft grab, relaxed one, or even just a touch." Kimura Sensei invited me again, this time to try any soft grip, touch his hand, or just softly grab sleeve of his jersey with my little finger and thumb. I did all this, attempting in many different ways, and every single time I was thrown onto the sofa. Although I could not feel any power being used, the impact of my fall was such that I felt hurt even though I was landing on a soft, comfortable surface. It felt like being thrown by the wind.


My only response to this, other than bewilderment, is that uke's body was so traumatized by the earlier hard 10,000v shocks, that teacher was able to elicit a 'suggestive' response by his later touches. This relies on teacher-student link being established. I believe these light 'wind-touches' would not have worked right at the beginning of the session.

Josh

thisisnotreal
06-02-2009, 09:30 AM
Hi Dan,
I hope you do not mind me copying your posts out of context here in this thread. I am afraid I made a mistake in doing that. I thought you wonderfully captured many sentiments and some feelings I independently had. I copied them here only to frame my posts. I do not mean to insinuate any endorsement from you. I think that I may have, in error, implied some where there is none meant. I think that I have to make that clear.

My (mis-)understandings are mine own.
My posts are a take off on things found, researched and analyzed. I wanted to share, give a hand up, and open up the discussion. As I trust you see, I have thought a lot about some things you've written. My intent was honorable, I assure you.

I hope I have given no offense. If I have, I do publicly apologize.
I am hoping to hear from you, specifically.
I understand if you choose not, as this thread is a hodge podge of one man's take on The same basic teaching...loosely intersecting with ... what I believe, are the things you discuss.

Either way, and as always, thank you for your efforts.
Cheers,
Josh

p.s. How off base was my interpretation of Liu ChengDe's vid?

Mike Sigman
06-02-2009, 10:42 AM
Hi Mike,

re: DR My point is more toward the idea of "The same basic teaching" in the header of the thread. These ki/kokyu/qi/jin skills are part of a logical and interrelated set of skills analogous to, let's say, mathematics. The rules of mathematics work logically (for the most part) and so do the rules of these skills. However, Calculus is not quite the same thing as matrices and linear determinants. Nor is a guy who specializes in long division going to have the same skills as someone who uses Fourier Analysis, even though the basic operations of math are the same. My point, which I've tried to make several times is that when someone lumps everyone together in "doing these skills" they're making a mistake.

I've seen some Shaolin and White Crane guys come to the US from mainland China and Taiwan and start teaching "Tai Chi". It's not really Tai Chi at all, but since the guys can show some power (and the western observers don't know enough to spot the differences), the ruse works. So my point is that yes there is a basic set of principles (just like math has) in these skillsets but not everyone is doing and training toward the same goals with these skillsets... and that needs to be recognized. Of course I've said the same thing on QiJin and people still start lumping exercises together without really understanding that some of that is counter-productive.

All of that being said, I always fall back on the standard Asian IQ test for people who want to a deeper level of understanding of the martial arts..... "you either figure it out or you don't". That's essentially the same thing as "steal this technique if you can; if you can't you don't deserve to have it". ;)

FWIW

Mike

jss
06-02-2009, 12:30 PM
Full Body Connection: The tension throughout the body. The one we try to train .... to grow it without bounds. Always increasing the internal tensions... That is one way I understand the purpose of Shugyo.
How can I recognize this tension when it manifests itself in my body? And what are are the best exercises to train this tension?
Mechanical Structure: Macroscopic alignment of bones and joints. And the literal paths the muscles and tendons take when wrapped around the skeletal system.
What are the differences between correct and incorrect mechanical structure? Should one do specific exercises to improve this alignment?
Ki: Energy filling your muscles. Flexing takes muscles. Some 'intent' was sent to flex the muscle. There is much more to this. It is definitely a different and unique component from the first two.
Can this be trained as well? If so, how?

Could you explain through an example (for instance grounding a push) how these three components work together?

Erick Mead
06-03-2009, 08:47 AM
Full Body Connection: The tension throughout the body. The one we try to train .... to grow it without bounds. Always increasing the internal tensions... That is one way I understand the purpose of Shugyo.

Mechanical Structure: Macroscopic alignment of bones and joints. And the literal paths the muscles and tendons take when wrapped around the skeletal system.

Ki: Energy filling your muscles. Flexing takes muscles. Some 'intent' was sent to flex the muscle. There is much more to this. It is definitely a different and unique component from the first two. Let me give you some elaborating questions to answer -- for yourself. I've answered them, but no one here much likes my answers, it seems (although somebody is obviously reading them-- http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/blogs/top.php?do=topblogs&more=views) -- but they do work -- for me, -- but apparently not for some. Takes all kinds, I suppose... ;)

"What is present when moving and there is no 'tension'?"
"What is there when this same thing is present -- but not moving?"

There is something else, besides tension.

"What is the shape of the structural path when moving?"
"When not moving?"

It has a definite shape, moving or not -- and which the structures of the body may, or may not, express.

"What moves a limb when there is no limb muscle flexion involved in moving it?"
"What is present when no limb muscle flexion is used to not move under an externally applied load?"

The full answer to your concerns, as a Westerner, is in two questions, answered in plain, Western terms:

"What is Ki?" and

"What is not Ki?"

Answer those -- FOR YOURSELF -- and you will have what you seek, and be able to demonstrate it -- to a degree depending on the depth of your answer and your dedication to working on applying it.

Everyone here speaking to the point did -- in one way or another... :)

dps
06-03-2009, 09:28 AM
How can I recognize this tension when it manifests itself in my body? And what are are the best exercises to train this tension?

What are the differences between correct and incorrect mechanical structure? Should one do specific exercises to improve this alignment?

Can this be trained as well? If so, how?

Could you explain through an example (for instance grounding a push) how these three components work together?

The more explanations you hear sooner or later you will find one that you understand better than the rest. This one helps me.
I highlighted two sections in bold print.

"Whole-body Strength
The above three feats of Rock Body, Steel Body and Cotton Body are all expression of what is called whole-body strength. To understand what the whole-body strength is, let's look at body musculature. There are two kinds of skeletal muscles: those that are involved in movement, so called motor muscles or mobilisers, and those that stabilise the body, so called postural muscles or stabilisers. The mobilisers are, on the whole, of the fast-twitch variety; they can contract and relax in a short interval but they get tired quickly. The stabilisers are of the slow-twitch variety; they do not get tired easily but, on the other hand, are quite slow. They are situated deeper in the body than the mobilisers.

The above division into the two kinds of muscles is a somewhat simplified view for the sake of clearer explanation. In reality, there are stabilisers, mobilisers and muscles that act in both roles. We can pretend that any ‘composite' muscle is split into a stabiliser and a mobiliser by extracting the appropriate type of muscle fibres (slow-twitch and fast-twitch respectively) into each of them. The functionality of the body would remain unchanged.

We have very little, if any, conscious control of the stabilisers. But stabilisers have two properties that are very useful. First, given their position with respect to joints, they can make the body structure really strong. Second, most of them are designed to stabilise/balance our body against outside force (usually the force of gravity). We can use both of these properties to our advantage.

Strong Structure
Let's look at the first point. When discussing muscle strength, there is a distinction made between a static and a dynamic strength. Static strength, when the muscle is locked in position, is greater than dynamic strength, when the muscle is expanding or contracting. Locking the body in a very strong static position may be interesting but is not very useful. Especially if any push just topples the whole structure over! This is where the second point comes in.

Dynamic Structure
Let's imagine you are standing on a steep hill, with one foot higher than the other and you are supporting a fairly heavy weight sliding at you from above. Suppose that you support it from underneath, with your arms above your head. You would naturally try to let the weight pass through your body into the rear foot, using the front leg to stabilise yourself against the hill. If the weight were to wobble, you would just adjust your arms and body underneath to keep the weight passing to the rear foot. It would not require any (significant) mental effort and, unless the wobble took the weight too far from your base, not any (significant) extra physical effort. Your stabilisers would perform any adjustments needed automatically, with the mobilisers acting in unison.

Now let's tilt the hill so that the ground underneath becomes horizontal and the weight you were supporting is now represented by a push from someone in front of you. There will be two likely changes to your behaviour. First, you would have to adjust your posture because gravity now acts in a vertical direction. Second (and here I am asking you to pretend you are a beginner again, before you had all that extensive training), because your stabilisers now act in a different direction from the push, you will use your mobilisers to resist the push. In order to stop the push, you will start pushing back with the same force. If your adversary starts changing the direction of his push, there will be nothing automatic in your response! So if you could somehow get your body to act as if the push was a result of a force of gravity, you could relax and let your automatic responses neutralise the push for you. My first Taijiquan teacher told us once to "make gravity your friend". Unfortunately, I had no idea what he was talking about at that time!

What is Zhan Zhuang
Zhan Zhuang is often translated as Pole Standing. It is a name that refers to a number of stance practices in which the body is kept essentially still and mostly upright, though there are some stances where the spine is not vertical. The purpose of these exercises is to become aware of the stabilisers and then gain some measure of control over them.

The first task is to feel how the body acts against gravity. The best way to do that is to stand and feel (observe), in other words - Zhan Zhuang. There are a number of positions to produce different effects on the body but the most popular one is to stand with arms as if embracing a large ball in front of the chest. To isolate the stabilisers, you must relax the mobilisers. Unfortunately, the mobilisers will interfere, as most people, it seems, from a fairly early age will start (mis)using mobilisers to take on the task of stabilising the body. Because you can't really feel the stabilisers, you must try to relax all muscles. As far as your perception is concerned, mobilisers are all the muscles you are aware of. That is, by the way, why my teacher (and yours probably, too) used to say "do not use any muscles". So the first task really is re-educating the body to use the stabilisers. The next one is to try to integrate body's movement to use stabilisers against any resistance that is encountered, as if acting against gravity. This will give you the basis of whole-body strength. As the Taiji classics say, "essential hardness comes from essential softness". Eventually, your arms and body will become very heavy to the touch. Further training will be needed to be able to use the body in a natural way and especially to integrate the mobilisers and fascia (connective fibrous tissue) in issuing of strength (fali or fajing) but that is not the role of Zhan Zhuang any more."

by Karl Koskuba
http://www.yiquan.org.uk/art-pom1.html

David

dps
06-03-2009, 09:52 AM
Also,


"What I have been describing is how to gain control over muscles that we are not even aware of. Clearly, any movement using stabilisers must seem powered by something else than muscles. In Chinese culture, qi is a cause of movement so it is not surprising that the kind of movement I've been describing would be attributed to qi. We have seen how this ‘qi' is trained by the mind (awareness) and activated by the mind. Sometimes ‘bone breathing' or ‘bone squeezing' methods are used to ‘congeal qi into bones'. This is just another way of gaining awareness of the deep muscular structures. Awareness of the stabilisers is felt like a tightness round the bones. Due to the structure of slow-twitch fibres, deliberate use of stabilisers produces more heat than is usual. This can be felt and it is different from a similar, but smaller, effect in the skin brought about by relaxation. Both of these effects, but especially the heat produced deeper in the body, are often taken as a sign of increased ‘qi' flow."

by Karel Koskuba
http://www.yiquan.org.uk/art-pom1.html

David

jss
06-03-2009, 10:30 AM
<snipped the actual content>
by Karl Koskuba
http://www.yiquan.org.uk/art-pom1.html

Thanks, David.
I don't know if I believe the mobiliser/stabiliser thing, but as a practical explanation it makes some sense.

Erick Mead
06-03-2009, 09:57 PM
"What I have been describing is how to gain control over muscles that we are not even aware of. Clearly, any movement using stabilisers must seem powered by something else than muscles. In Chinese culture, qi is a cause of movement so it is not surprising that the kind of movement I've been describing would be attributed to qi. We have seen how this ‘qi' is trained by the mind (awareness) and activated by the mind. Sometimes ‘bone breathing' or ‘bone squeezing' methods are used to ‘congeal qi into bones'. This is just another way of gaining awareness of the deep muscular structures. Awareness of the stabilisers is felt like a tightness round the bones. Due to the structure of slow-twitch fibres, deliberate use of stabilisers produces more heat than is usual. This can be felt and it is different from a similar, but smaller, effect in the skin brought about by relaxation. Both of these effects, but especially the heat produced deeper in the body, are often taken as a sign of increased ‘qi' flow."
All very good. The main problem is that the control sought must necessarily be done by indirect means to learn what alters them.

What does alter them? A simply demonstrated one is repetitive stress. If you have had your hands that won't easily unclench after a good quarter hour or so of heavy raking, or after handling a rotary hammer or after pushing a particularly rough running lawn mower, you know exactly what I mean. [[@ Joep -- Those are the "stabilizers" David is talking about ( there are more complicated names, but that is the right functional description.]] Similarly, if you have had to shift awkward loads (like say bags of cement), the first couple seem very ungainly, but after two or three you have immensely better stability and can project them further, and you didn't consciously DO anything differently. Same action is occurring but in the larger and more central postural elements.

Now in traditional Aiki training we have interesting exercises in this light: furitama "spirit shaking", tekubi-furi "wrist shaking," and funetori "boat rowing" The first two are cognate to the vibrating machinery and the latter to tossing cement. We also beat on our bodies from thighs to finger tips to feel the impulses running through out the body. Done correctly, in all of them you sense resonance in the body and its various scales of movement, moving larger components with a small resonant rhythm, and conversely driving small components with a larger cycling mass.

All of these are directed at teaching the immensely quick spinal reflexes and the cerebellum and its more complex reflexes to modulate these responses in more "clever monkey" ways -- but importantly, in BOTH provoking AND in suppressing that response in variations and at need. An important caveat is that these tissues are hormonally provoked as much or more than they are by the sympathetic nervous system (which itself provokes the adrenal system if sufficiently activated. But these tissues are not responsive to adrenal homromones -- they are responsive to oxytocin (the "love" hormone) -- which suggests a strong empirical support for a certain attitudinal approach to training.

In provoking that response you are modulating the damping function of the structure to absorb and dissipate cyclic loads, and in suppressing it you are opening the body to transmit, more transparently, the same type of cyclic energy transiting the body. "Clear power" Sagawa called it, appropriately enough.

In dynamic form, angular momentum can transmit and concentrate for delivery tremendous kinetic loads in the human body. In static form the same "shape" and elements are adopted but in a "snapshot" as though the motion was caught in a video frame that provokes the stabilizing action but progressively to dampen (like pure alcohol suddenly and progressively turning to stiff molasses) the applied momentum -- ultimately using the summmed dampening potential of every connection in the whole structure to "eat up" the load. Otherwise "odd" aspects of aikido training like the tegatana arm form and the directly related forms and principles of asagao are fully comprehensible when you understand this perspective.

Mike Sigman
06-03-2009, 10:37 PM
The more explanations you hear sooner or later you will find one that you understand better than the rest. This one helps me.
I highlighted two sections in bold print.David, let me make a suggestion: It's easy to overcomplicate things. I remember when Karel started on the mobilisers and stabilisers thing, late in the Neijia List days. It's a grand theory, but he'd have been better off thinking a bit more about making gravity his friend. So would you. "Making gravity your friend" is the modern, "let's-don't-talk-about-ki" way of describing the force manipulations, etc., that have been discussed, diagrammed, etc., already.

The "fascia" stuff is part of all that, but not in the way Karel's unique theory describes. Here's the old traditional way of describing the interrelationship, but if you don't know what it means it may not be very helpful:

Membrane

(Extracted from the "Yi Jin Jing")

A man's body consists of the entrails, spirit, and virility internally; and
of the arms, legs, tendons, bones, and flesh externally. For example,
tendons and bones are outside the entrails, flesh is outside the tendons and
bones. Blood vessels are inside the flesh. But Qi is the dominant factor
for one's physical movement. Thus the secret for cultivating one's physical
and mental capabilities is to improve one's Qi and to invigorate one's blood
circulation. One's spirit and virility are invisible or untouchable, but
one's tendons, bones, and flesh are substantial. To cultivate internal
spirit and virility, one must start doing the practice of the substantial
parts of his body first. Therefore, one should not practice the invisible
and untouchable spirit and virility only or just practice the tendons,
bones, and flesh. The practice of one's body must go along with the
practice of one's spirit and virility. Because of this, the practice of
internal work should be done in thie sequence: Qi, membrane, tendon.

While the practice of the tendon is easy, the practice of the membrane is
difficult, and the practice of Qi is more difficult. Students must start
practicing from Qi first in order to keep Qi moving everywhere within their
bodies. The membrane will stretch automatically at the place where Qi
reaches and be as strong as tendons. If one practices tendons without doing
the practice of the membrane, the membrane will be weak. If he practices
membrane without doing the practice of Qi, his membrane and tendons will not
stretch. If he practices Qi without doing the practice of the tendon and
membrane, the Qi will not circulate smoothly within his body and his tendons
will not be strong. To achieve the practice of internal work, one must keep
doing it until his tendons and membranes stretch and become strong.
Otherwise it would be like plants on the ground without dirt. If you do know what it means, it's got very little to do with mobilisers and stabilisers. ;)

Incidentally, Tohei's soft/relaxed approach (and that was undoubtedly Ueshiba's approach, but Ueshiba left less specifics than Tohei has) is better for developing this part, IMO, than some of the "harder" approaches.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

dps
06-04-2009, 08:45 AM
Students must start
practicing from Qi first in order to keep Qi moving everywhere within their bodies.
Difficult to practice Qi when there is no concrete, tangible explanation of what Qi is to practice, you only feel the effects of the flow of Qi in the body.

David, let me make a suggestion: It's easy to overcomplicate things. I remember when Karel started on the mobilisers and stabilisers thing, late in the Neijia List days. It's a grand theory, but he'd have been better off thinking a bit more about making gravity his friend.

No tangible, practical explanation of what qi is complicates things.

Not to be misunderstood, the theory is not Karel, there is research and medical data to support what he says.

David

Erick Mead
06-04-2009, 09:02 AM
Difficult to practice Qi when there is no concrete, tangible explanation of what Qi is to practice, you only feel the effects of the flow of Qi in the body.

No tangible, practical explanation of what qi is complicates things.

Not to be misunderstood, the theory is not Karel, there is research and medical data to support what he says.

David Tangible, practical. http://www.aikiweb.com/blogs/but-why-7854/

Mike Sigman
06-04-2009, 09:06 AM
Difficult to practice Qi when there is no concrete, tangible explanation of what Qi is to practice, you only feel the effects of the flow of Qi in the body. That's true. But then when you feel what they're talking about, finally, you realize that the real problem was the basis/perspective from which they tried to describe things, not that there is no such thing, that it's all a bunch of magical wannabelieve stuff and so on. They were talking about physically observable phenomena; some of them a little odd, granted, but nothing that is outside of the laws of physics. Take Tohei's picture showing basic jin forces:
http://www.neijia.com/OneLegPushOriginal.jpg

Looks odd, but it's just physics and skill. Not to be misunderstood, the theory is not Karel, there is research and medical data to support what he says.

Sure there's research about stabilisers and mobilisers.... just none that ties it into yiquan, Taiji, etc. He assumes they must be talking about the same thing.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

thisisnotreal
06-04-2009, 11:51 AM
a few recent personal feelings...

thisisnotreal
06-04-2009, 11:57 AM
almost out of my system..

thisisnotreal
06-04-2009, 11:58 AM
Done.

MM
06-04-2009, 12:25 PM
Hi Mark,

May I ask a couple of questions?
-What exactly does intent mean? To you, Mark?


Not going to help a whole lot, but when I'm doing exercises like in this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVCZf53XIE0

I'm working on intent. If I wasn't, then I'd just be using muscle and pushing back into uke. Intent up-down for the spine and in-out through the arms. It has to be both going at the same time (i.e. up and down). It's my intent that's driving what my body is doing internally.


-Who taught you to circulate it?


In a basic sense, I don't circulate it. Certain parts do have a circulatory type action, but others do not. But, it's pretty well known who I'm training with now. :)

(EDIT: I just realized that the vid I posted is almost a year old. Wow, time flies.)

Erick Mead
06-04-2009, 12:54 PM
almost out of my system..

THIS image of your mental state: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=619&d=1244138073

... is much, MUCH closer in principle to the physical aspect of this than you may imagine. There (props to Mark) you can see plainly contradictory action located at the center point of support, but with quite remote and surprising effects, because those contradictory components only really meet up in the connections in the periphery. One can see this example in linear terms and others in the body in linear terms. But if you view that structure in terms of the rotations that are not occurring because how the structure is poised and that would occur if different parts were suddenly removed -- you will have a more generally applicable sense of it and the relationship between the dynamic and static aspects.

dps
06-04-2009, 07:36 PM
Here is another explanation that I like.

About Yi (Intention) in Daoqiquan
Copyright IAM Co. 2009
John P. Painter

[For More, Join these Yahoo Groups: Daoqiquan; Jiulong Baguazhang]

Yi Intention

Yi Intention

( snip)

The Word Intention
When we are dealing with most Nei-gong skills we are dealing with training the mind. The Chinese martial artists of old looked at man as not having a conscious and subconscious but as having will or intention and heart or attitude. In Chinese the word for mind and intention is (Yi) and the word for mind and heart or attitude is (Xin).

The best way to describe this is an example. If you want to throw a ball to a friend then you have the intention to throw the ball. This means you are thinking about doing it but nothing has happened yet. During this phase of thought what most people do not realize is that
the brain is already sending signals to the muscles that will be involved with the action of throwing the ball through the nervous system to the motor neurons in the respective muscles. So in other words the power has been turned on slightly and all that is left to do is make the action.

Now if you stand very still and really truly visualize throwing the ball to your friend you are exercising intention this intention to throw feeling will continue during and after the physical action of throwing, but that is not where we are going just now. What is important is that you are not moving, not tensing up any muscle but you are thinking of throwing the ball. If you pay attention you can feel sensations throughout your body that feel as if you are getting ready to do this action.

What you are experiencing with this feeling is what is known as sense memory. Your are having a "waking dream" so to speak that reminds you of throwing a ball. In this "dream" you can feel the sensations of acting on your intention / idea (Yi) as a real sensation even if you are not moving and are still relaxed. In fact the more relaxed you are the stronger you can feel the sensations.

This is the crux of all practice of Nei-gong it begins with intention skill or sense memory arising (Yi-gong). Now when you do throw the ball to a friend the attitude with which you throw it is your (Xin) heart. If you are throwing to a small child the attitude is soft and gentle so as not to hurt him, if it is a buddy and you are playing football it may be much harder and with the strong feeling of blasting the ball right at him, if it is an enemy and you are throwing a rock at him to drop him in his tracks your Xin will change to reflect the way you feel emotionally about this. So the Xin affects the attitude of the intention.

What does all this have to do with sitting and standing? Read my first book Combat baguazhang volume one again to find out more but here is some of it.

"A presentation at the Society for Neuroscience conference in San Diego California in 2001 reported researchers had found a correlation between visualization and strength development. A report on the presentation appeared in New Scientist Magazine, November 21, 2001.
It explains that scientists studying the mind have proven that correctly imagining a specific exercising can increase muscle strength.

How could it be possible to increase strength just by thinking without physically moving a muscle? The answer lies in the fact that when we work out we are sending nerve impulses from the brain to the muscles. These muscles flex or relax in response to impulses from
motor neurons. The firing of those neurons is determined by the strength of electrical impulses sent by the brain.

Exercise physiologist, Dr. Guang Yue, at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio working with a group of researchers found that mentally visualizing exercise movements was enough to increase strength in a single muscle in the little finger, used to move it sideways. Dr. Yue states, "This experiment suggests you can increase muscle strength solely by sending a larger signal to motor neurons from the brain."

Visualization uses Imagination or Imagery
Visualization can and should be used when training intention. We use the imagination when we visualize calling up or creating sense memories. Imagination is whatever is occurring in your mind not directly caused by what you are experiencing from the outside world. If you look at a tree, what you see is not an "image" you are seeing a real tree. But when the tree is not there, and you picture it in your mind, then you are producing an image from your stored memory of
the tree. Normally "imagination" refers to imaging things or events that don't exist except in your "imagination" for example, dragons.

The mind has the ability to see in three specific ways (1) observation of external real objects in real time, (2) A memory of visualized real objects as images in your head, and (3) visualized
imaginary objects in your head. Each of these three ways of seeing involves imagery, because in all cases you are seeing something, and "seeing" is a mental event, happening in your mind. When a person cannot tell whether he or she is seeing a real object or just imagining it, this is a hallucination.

One important principle when dealing with internal training is the second of these factors, neurological strength. If we can improve the signal from the brain to the motor neurons there will be a resultant increase in contractile ability in the muscle especially in the muscle fibers that produce strength known as Mobilizer fibers (fast-twitch and or White muscle Fibers). Science has shown that guided imagery exercises similar to the ones presented here can do just that.

The core of my art called Yi Xin Gong revolves around producing clear palpable sense memories of pushing, pulling, lifting and pressing upon heavy objects. In short we are imagining feats of strength without actually doing them. Employing this technique is a valuable form of internal martial art training. We first begin to work with sense memories in standing meditation (Zhan Zhuang).

It is here that we train every part of the body to develop internal power using mind only. We learn to feel your image as if it is actually occurring although we are not flexing or tensing our
muscles. This is the true meaning of the Chinese axiom, "use mind not strength" (Yong yi bu yong li).

This way of training is much more than just holding your hands or body in a particular way and waiting for something to happen. Sense memories involve truly feeling as if your body is making the effort to accomplish the feat of strength you are imagining yet you are not flexing or moving in the early stages. You remain completely relaxed during the imaging process.

For example imagine lifting a heavy weight like a granite stone sphere with both hands. Once you assume the posture you should remember holding a real heavy object using as many of your senses as possible. If you understand the concept of imagining Dynamically Opposing Forces, that I will explain fully a little later, you will actually be activating motor neurons in muscle fibers associated with this particular imagined activity. The effects of this type of exercise when repeated over a period of time will be an increase in the strength potential of skeletal muscles involved in the imaginary action which improves the capacity to produce speed and strength.

This is the basis of using Yi. I hope it helps you. The best way of course is to read Volume One of the Combat Baguazhang books and then come train with me or one of our certified teachers who knows this material from direct experience so they can help you along each step of the way.

Embedding has been turned off so try this URL:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9cAkxK_Nbo&feature=related

February 1, 2009
Categories: Neigong . Tags: Tai Chi, Taijiquan, Bagua, Baguazhang, Xingyi, Xingyiquan, Neigong, Neijia, Pushing Hands . Author: seattlesilverdragons

http://seattlesilverdragon.wordpress.com/2009/02/01/yi-intention-a-key-to-chinese-internal-martial-arts/

David

Mike Sigman
06-04-2009, 08:23 PM
Here is another explanation that I like.

About Yi (Intention) in Daoqiquan
Copyright IAM Co. 2009
John P. Painter

Heh. So why do you like it? Does it accord with what you can do, what you believe is probably true, or what? Do you figure that this is a knowledgeable style, a knowledgeable teacher, a teacher from a good lineage, or what? What about the theory printed in the post appeals to you?

Mike

Adman
06-05-2009, 07:53 AM
Bold emphasis is mine.

It explains that scientists studying the mind have proven that correctly imagining a specific exercising can increase muscle strength.

How could it be possible to increase strength just by thinking without physically moving a muscle? The answer lies in the fact that when we work out we are sending nerve impulses from the brain to the muscles. These muscles flex or relax in response to impulses from
motor neurons. The firing of those neurons is determined by the strength of electrical impulses sent by the brain.

David,

I know the above quote isn't actually your words so my comments are not directed to you specifically.

Mr. Painter talks about "muscle strength", and muscles flexing and relaxing. I would expect that the goal of this type of training is to keep the muscles from flexing, in order to train something deeper and more global, correct?

And what about the "feeling" created by movement without movement, through a relaxed body? What is that, exactly? Is it like the feeling of a sudden drop in an elevator (just as a crude example)? This isn't just supposed to be a trick of the imagination, is it? Something is supposed to actually happen that triggers a "feeling," that isn't an obvious muscular contraction.

So, what I read from Mr. Painter, sounds off ... or at least incomplete. And this is just to my (mostly) untrained eyes. Of course, I've only read what David posted. There may be something more.

Thanks,
Adam

Adman
06-05-2009, 07:58 AM
we are sending nerve impulses from the brain to the muscles.

I just read this again. If the muscles are being restricted from acting through willful relaxation, are the nerve impulses then being redirected to something else that will get the job done ... or just spreading the load ... or both?

Thanks,
Adam

Mike Sigman
06-05-2009, 08:57 AM
So, what I read from Mr. Painter, sounds off ... or at least incomplete. And this is just to my (mostly) untrained eyes. Of course, I've only read what David posted. There may be something more.
It's always interesting to read the writings of Captain Doctor Painter. I've seen his theories, stories, credentials, lineage, etc., develop since the 1980's. Even the secret style he does that no one has ever heard of. Well, that's all a long story. My point is that there are a lot of people making a lot of claims about what they know, who they learned it from, their own "take" on how things work, loyal groups of students, and so on. You have to be able to pick and choose intelligently.

O-Sensei reportedly said something along the lines of "steal this technique", but he meant that you had to be able to watch what he was doing and be smart enough to figure it out. The Chinese tend to say, "Either they figure it out or they don't". So the tendency is to let the smarter people figure out what is the truth, what is suspiciously foggy stories (even from fairly strong people who can beat you up), what is partially true but not complete, and so on.

True, when done correctly, all these skills work from "the same basic teaching".... but there is also the idea that if you are even "off by one-half an inch, you can miss the target by a mile" ultimately. That's why there are so many variations out there from which to pick and choose.

FWIW

Mike

Mark Freeman
06-05-2009, 09:42 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9cAk...eature=related

Although I appreciate what the teacher is saying and demonstrating, which he seems to do with some skill and humour, my question is one about the co-ordination and balance of the uke's. At about 1:30 the uke is 'balanced/unbalanced' on the tip of one heel, like a pole being toppled.
I am curious to know, would the 'demo' work so well if the uke was more stable/balanced and by that I don't mean 'stuck' as in the example of the second uke who seemed to me to have little or no co ordination at all?

My curiosity comes from when I watch these demo's, I ask myself how would I react or move in these situations? I understand the IHTBFness of so much of what is seen, however balance / unbalance is either/or, isn't it?

regards,

Mark
p.s (could be that I just don't understand what I am watching:confused: )

Erick Mead
06-09-2009, 07:34 AM
And what about the "feeling" created by movement without movement, through a relaxed body? What is that, exactly? Is it like the feeling of a sudden drop in an elevator (just as a crude example)? This isn't just supposed to be a trick of the imagination, is it? Something is supposed to actually happen that triggers a "feeling," that isn't an obvious muscular contraction. :) Dynamically, the transfer of angular momentum -- a wave in a chain. "Statically," the shift of the center of moment, the change of the fulcrum of the moment arm. It isn't really static because there is nothing static about it -- it is just more viscous.

Really. You can look it up.

Aiki is not the movement by leverage in the moment arm -- it is the movement of shear. Relaxation is necessary to feel what is happening, and to make the body transparent to these actions, so that it can happen.

dps
06-09-2009, 09:07 PM
Bold emphasis is mine.

David,

I know the above quote isn't actually your words so my comments are not directed to you specifically.

Mr. Painter talks about "muscle strength", and muscles flexing and relaxing. I would expect that the goal of this type of training is to keep the muscles from flexing, in order to train something deeper and more global, correct?

The muscles whose function is to move are the global muscles and the muscles whose function is to stabilize are the local muscles. You are strengthening the local/stabilizing muscles by relaxing the global/mobilizing muscles so that the global/mobilizing muscles are not doing the function of the local/stabilizing muscles.

From; http://www.physiotherapyclinic.com.au/core_stability.html

"Global muscles are very important for movement of the limbs and trunk. Their job is to move the body. They generate a lot of force, move the body then relax.

The deep stabilizers:
* Attach directly into the lumbar spine at each level
* Turn on before you move to support the spine and pelvis
* Turn on and stay on as you move
* Work at a low intensity and stay on for long periods of time
* Work independently of the global movement muscles"

And what about the "feeling" created by movement without movement, through a relaxed body? What is that, exactly? Is it like the feeling of a sudden drop in an elevator (just as a crude example)? This isn't just supposed to be a trick of the imagination, is it? Something is supposed to actually happen that triggers a "feeling," that isn't an obvious muscular contraction.

You can not directly feel the local/stabilizer muscles contractions, like you can a global/mobilizer muscle.

When the local/stabilizer muscles are doing their job of stabilizing the body, the body is well balanced against the pull of gravity ( good posture) and the global/mobilizer muscles do less work ( not helping to stabilizing the body). My experience is a feeling of lightness and warmth inside the body. The stabilizer muscles at work generate heat that is an indirect indication of them working. Also since the mobilizers are actually doing less work they don't tire as easily or quickly.

David

dps
06-09-2009, 09:13 PM
From; http://www.physiotherapyclinic.com.au/core_stability.html

"Turn on before you move to support the spine and pelvis"

Intent

David

Mike Sigman
06-09-2009, 09:33 PM
Deletes post as a waste of time.

thisisnotreal
06-16-2009, 03:21 PM
I know the feeling.

Hey..by the way; I stumbled into the 'picking up the knife' post.
From_here (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=166792&postcount=291)

I guess right?
Josh

Mike Sigman
06-16-2009, 03:35 PM
I know the feeling.

Hey..by the way; I stumbled into the 'picking up the knife' post.
From_here (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=166792&postcount=291)
The things I mentioned in that posts are known extensions of ki/qi, not stuff that I've made up on my own in some sort of "here's my take on things" approach to these skills. So the people who are working on their own theories simply need to figure out how there's a line from what they're teaching to the things I mentioned. ;)

And BTW.... that's a common scenario even in China: guy comes up with his own theory and people say, "So how does that work with what are known adjuncts of ki/qi". It's been my experience that when I ask that question I tend to get either a tapdance or someone goes silent in their posting until it's safe to come out again. Which is no big deal, as far as I'm concerned, but people need to constantly think and question while these things are getting started. There's an old saying that a lot of westerners don't really take to heart: "These things are very deep". I.e., a guy who gets a few basic skills and thinks he knows everything is simply dooming himself later down the road as students, etc., begin to learn the broader picture. Hence, I keep suggesting that people need to not rush into the "I've got a secret" scenario too quickly.... what they don't know is going to be obvious in just a few years as things progress. Talk things out. ;)

FWIW

Mike