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rob_liberti
08-03-2009, 09:18 PM
Wonderful. Then it ought to be simple to describe. Shall I assume there is no lack of willingness to share perspectives? If it should be spread more widely it would be good to be able to describe it. It doesn't require physics-speak. Just think concretely, describe what you do and what happens in doing it.

I did the best descriptions I could already. It's not hard to DRIVE either. Come feel it and describe it yourself. Do you really think I have better descriptions that I am holding back? Mike and Dan describe an aweful lot. You have to feel it. Really. -Rob

Erick Mead
08-03-2009, 09:23 PM
As usual, I know this reflects more on me than anything else, but what I've taken away from this thread is that whatever It is, don't try to use physics to describe it, because unless you've got the formula complete, it's not useful to anyone (even someone who likes to think in those terms, apparently); other uncertain terms are ok though. Am I wrong in perceiving this? How so?
My feeling is that if Erick says something wrong, folks should be able to pinpoint the exact phrases and restate those phrases correctly. If the phrases aren't conclusive enough, then that's where the debate should end.Fair enough - But it isn't about formulas. It is about thinking in structures. Like you can think in poetic ways, or think in narrative ways, or think in calculating ways. there is also a way to think in structure, and motion. The language of physics is not to calculate or derive some novel physics. It isn't novel, it is just an odd perspective and an uncommon use of something you would instantly recognize from another angle, and use without thinking about it atall, but not in such powerfully coordinated ways as this. It is a way to see in a concrete concept what is really happening to the structures of the bodies involved.

Shear and the ways in which structures wave, wiggle and shimmy is a concept in civil engineering to be avoided, minimized and reinforced against. They only care about it so as to be able to stop worrying about it. In a perfectly rigid structures shear is neglibile -- but there are no perfectly rigid structures. Structures are in varying ways flexible within limits. When a structure is put in bending it resists with a internal shear. Conversely, when you induce an internal shear, it results in bending forces (moments) along other planes. But those are relatively static. Flow structures, aerodynamics, hydrodynamics, and the like, use shear mechanics actively, and they have words that break it down into finer sub-concepts -- like wave mechanics and vorticity -- as the Eskimo have more words than we do for snow.

If you are trying to work with snow for a variety of uses, it cannot hurt to have terminology and concepts that allow you to think concretely about differences in its various types and uses, even if it is at root the same substance -- in its arrangement, and thus in its functional qualities -- it can be very different.

dps
08-03-2009, 11:14 PM
Mike and Dan describe an aweful lot.
Okay, lets hear a description of what they think aiki is and how it works.

David

mathewjgano
08-04-2009, 12:52 AM
Fair enough - But it isn't about formulas. It is about thinking in structures. Like you can think in poetic ways, or think in narrative ways, or think in calculating ways. there is also a way to think in structure, and motion.

I might not have worded my post very well because I completely agree with this idea. I get the sense folks are essentially saying you shouldn't use your terminology because it doesn't describe everything (i.e. no complete formula). Personally, I say if the language seems useful to you, it probably is. I suppose what I was trying to say is that it seems the folks who dislike your descriptions seem to do so for one or two reasons that I've picked up on: 1. the language falls short, in which case I have yet to hear any language that didn't seem to have the same problem, and 2. you don't back it up with the physical proof of handling people, which is meaningless to me in an online forum.
I feel like much of these conversations go in the same circles so I was trying to gently suggest folks offer better descriptions instead of criticizing yours. I have no idea what you can and can't do or what you do and don't know (except that your language base is far superior to my own), but I do like the effort you're making to explaining things in physical terms.
I guess I'm just getting a little tired of the apparent debate over what constitutes acceptable language...or at least, what I'm perceiving to be that. I know I may simply be way off base here and if so I appologize to all for that.

The language of physics is not to calculate or derive some novel physics. It isn't novel, it is just an odd perspective and an uncommon use of something you would instantly recognize from another angle.

I love the language of science; I wish I hadn't stopped its serious study because even if we suppose you know nothing about how to do aiki (for the sake of argument) with what little I do recall, I'm finding some interesting ideas to consider and I'd like to understand more of your thinking.

rob_liberti
08-04-2009, 03:50 AM
Okay, lets hear a description of what they think aiki is and how it works.

Well, maybe they will respond, but I would say:
1 - aikiweb's "advanced search" is your friend
2 - Show up to Mike or Dan's workshops and I'm sure that's exactly what you will hear.
3 - you might try google for "sigman internal body skills" or "sigman ground path" or "sigman jin kokyu" or read some of the other forums like, aikido journal, ebudo, emptyflower, etc..

But aren't you reading enough about the RESULTS of what thy have been talking about to understand that if IT were in aikido such results wouldn't sound so amazing to pretty much EVERYONE in aikido?

Rob

dps
08-04-2009, 06:36 AM
Well, maybe they will respond, but I would say:
1 - aikiweb's "advanced search" is your friend
2 - Show up to Mike or Dan's workshops and I'm sure that's exactly what you will hear.
3 - you might try google for "sigman internal body skills" or "sigman ground path" or "sigman jin kokyu" or read some of the other forums like, aikido journal, ebudo, emptyflower, etc..
4. The information is already out there and they could restate it here and now. What are they afraid of ?

But aren't you reading enough about the RESULTS of what thy have been talking about to understand that if IT were in aikido such results wouldn't sound so amazing to pretty much EVERYONE in aikido?

Rob

That is a ridiculous statement considering the approximately 1.5 million people practicing Aikido.

David

Tom H.
08-04-2009, 07:09 AM
4. The information is already out there and they could restate it here and now. What are they afraid of ?
...
That is a ridiculous statement considering the approximately 1.5 million people practicing Aikido.
David, it sounds like you are arguing that the experiences of people who sought special attention (e.g. hands-on time at a seminar) don't matter--right after you asked for special attention yourself. Which way do you want it? :)

If you aren't convinced enough to do the background research in the easily searchable archives here, then let it go, or try asking others who were held similar positions, who *did* meet these guys, and ask them what they thought. Take responsibility for your own research. If you wait around to be spoon-fed, you may get hungry. ;)

Have you read through the baseline skillset thread (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11629)? There are some very specific gems buried in that one. (Ironically, I haven't done the research to see where and how you have been part of these conversations. There's a free opening for you.)

Tom H.
08-04-2009, 07:32 AM
If you wait around to be spoon-fed, you may get hungry.
That line is so cheesy and self-satisfied, I'm already embarrassed. Ew.

dps
08-04-2009, 07:53 AM
Rob,

Your sensei is William Gleason Sensei. He learned from an impressive list of respected sensei:

Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba
Yamaguchi Seigo Sensei.
Takeda Sensei
Osawa Sensei,
Watanabe Sensei,
Koichi Tohei Sensei,
Sasaki Sensei,
Endo Sensei,
Saotome Sensei.

I do not intend any disrespect to you Rob or the sensei in your lineage so with all due respect to your sensei and his sensei;

Is there anyone on the above list you think did not have aiki?

Where do you think the disconnect was in the transmission of aiki in your lineage?

David

:

Mary Eastland
08-04-2009, 08:51 AM
A while back, I enjoyed working out with a shodan from your dojo at my Yale dojo. His name was Joel and I really liked him. I'm just saying that people training 6 months with Dan generate much much MUCH more power and have much MUCH more stability than what I felt in my friend Joel- and I'm not denigrating Joel or your school's teaching in any way. I found him to be an excellent shodan and a very good person.

So I'm not saying you are wrong. I'm just saying that there is a whole different level of IT achievable in a much shorter amount of time. The step by step approach Dan is teaching is skipping people years and years of time to develop such skills compared to what is taught at the best ki aikido schools I've encountered.

It's that whole different level of IT that is missing in aikido. I gave a bunch of examples of achievable skills. Who after training under 6 years with no prior martial skills in any aikido dojo can achieve that? None. Which is why many ho have some experience with IT are saying IT is missing in aikido.

I know you all (this is not to just Mary) have felt people with more structure and intent than average new people off the street and some elite few with more structure and intent than many muscly aikidoka. And I suspect that you think that is IT. I used to think so too. I have found that IT goes very far beyond that. What Dan shows is far far far beyond that. Dan tells us that he is just learning it, and Mike keeps reminding us that what we are experiencing (which Dan openly admits) is the tip of the iceberg. It's just that what most people think is the IT that IS in aikido is a much much much smaller tip of that iceberg at even most of the elite levels of ability within aikido.

Hope that clears it up.

Rob

Hi Rob:

Here is the thing...I am not searching for IT,,,I have found IT.
It may not be the IT you are looking for. I am relaxed and strong. I love to train in Aikido. I don't need to leave Aikido to find IT. IT is available to all who seek IT.

I am content in my training....I don't care how long it takes...I plan to train for the rest of my life.
Please don't judge me by Joel...if you have questions about our IT come and visit...we would love to see you.
Mary

rob_liberti
08-04-2009, 10:20 AM
I do not in any way judge Mary and Ron negatively for the student of theirs that I met. I judge that student to be excellent for aikido or any gendi budo for that matter. And Mary, I would love to take you up on your offer. I'll try to bring Dan too when his home life calms down a bit.

Mary, I'm absolutely clear that you are satisfied with your level of IT, with the speed at which you have developed your level of IT, and with the speed at which you have developed a level of IT in your students.

What I was attempting to say was that the amount/depth of IT has been dramatically increased and the speed to develop such a significant level of IT has been dramatically reduced making a much more deep level of IT possible within a lifetime - to the absurd point that compared to that level, I can say that pretty much everyone - including 1.5 million members of aikido - do not have IT.

David, I don't find that question disrespectful at all. Here is my perspective. Gleason sensei learned by kinesthetic perception, a ton of research and dedication, and his own brillance to approach aikido from the perspective of manifesting principles he gleened out of his deep research.

He was teaching things like sending energy upward into the uke's body on touch, and cutting the uke with your mind for kotegaeshi years before I started learning Dan's step by step approach to being able to do such things effectively and quickly. He was significantly further along in his ability than most I had ever come across in aikido. Gleason sensei did not have the benefit of such step by step instruction for his 40 years or so of research and basically had to re-invent a lot of IT. Since Dan's influence, some things have changed dramatically, but the orientation of Gleason sensei's approach is still very much inline with what it had been. It's much more of a faster/efficient path toward the baseline skill. This is exciting because he (and I guess we all) can take IT much further than he would have been able to otherwise.

As far as where the breakdown occured, Mark Murray has addressed that a lot right here on aikiweb. I can give an example from my own knowledge. My understanding is that Saotome sensei was told a hint by O-sensei to try to squeeze his anus together for added stability. I have been at seminars where Saotome sensei has suggested that kind of hint to us. While this kind of hint might help people get started down the right mental path of where to look for stability, that advice was not ideal for developing structure and intent. So my guess is that the breakdown started right at the top, in an older type of mindset where information had to be basically stolen by the student as apposed to hande to them.

Both Dan's and Gleason sensei's approach always has been to hold nothing back, and let people excell by the amount of hard work they put in. I have no issues with Saotome sensei in this area as well, I fully suspect he was not given a step by step approach to follow either, and has done quite an amazing job with what he could steal.

As far as Yamaguchi sensei goes, he was a koryu man before he met O-sensei. I suspect he was able to make connections with what he was learning that gave him a significant advantage to learning what was and what was not being taught. Also, I think that what was being taught by O-sensei in general declined over time, which Mark Murray has addressed in many threads right here on aikiweb.

Some other examples would be Tohei sensei. He had to look outside of aikido for a lot of information. Seems to be that teaching IT basically caused his split. What I seem to be unable to explain adequately so far is that the IT that he was teaching seems to have been a lot more of WHATs (weight underside, keep one point, extend, etc..) and not very specific and helpful HOWs.

Keeping one point, is far less than 1/2 the picture. How about the upper center? How about the breath work to unite the upper and lower center. What about windings and suspending yourself in the middle while you move? I read a lot of his books and trained in a ki society dojo for a while and nerver heard or experienced anything like that. (They were impressive compared to the norm of aikido for sure, but nothing like the level of IT that we are talking about - that I'm certain O-sensei had very well developed.) That's what we are saying is IT. And so, IT is really missing in aikido - all 1.5 million or so - with extremely few exceptions.

And now IT is available. If that is your interest then there are paths to get IT now. Dan, Mike, and Ark are doing workshops. I would strongly suggest you attend them and then tell us if you have IT or if you have ever experienced that level of IT in aikido.

Rob

rob_liberti
08-04-2009, 10:36 AM
And to head off what I suspect a follow up will be. Erick, please for the love of God do NOT ask me to describe the physical model of the windings I mentioned. GO FEEL IT, then describe it to us yourself. Please. -Rob

Kevin Leavitt
08-04-2009, 11:31 AM
I think we simply need to develop a 10 step "how to" book/process and sell it to the masses. Just like all the weight loss and other types of programs out there. we'd get rich. They couldn't prove us wrong, and they would have someone else to blame when they don't "get it".

See everyone goes away happy from the transaction!

Erick Mead
08-04-2009, 11:55 AM
I think we simply need to develop a 10 step "how to" book/process and sell it to the masses. Just like all the weight loss and other types of programs out there. we'd get rich. They couldn't prove us wrong, and they would have someone else to blame when they don't "get it".

See everyone goes away happy from the transaction!Too late. Billy Mays is dead. http://www.ethanwiner.com/Smileys/Crying.gif
-- And I just don't trust that "Slap-chop" "Sham-wow" guy...:yuck:

dps
08-04-2009, 12:20 PM
Rob,

Given the insight to aiki you have learned from Dan, can you teach aiki using the aiki taiso exercises such as, but not limited to, these (http://members.tripod.com/~jakarta_aikikai/aiki.html)

Thanks
David

rob_liberti
08-04-2009, 12:44 PM
Rob,

Given the insight to aiki you have learned from Dan, can you teach aiki using the aiki taiso exercises such as, but not limited to, these (http://members.tripod.com/~jakarta_aikikai/aiki.html)


These are good examples of what I would currently consider the cart before the horse.

I practiced all of those things and taught all of those things for years. I wouldn't try to teach aiki using those things alone (any more). The phrase "the slow boat to China" comes to mind (but you have to extend the analogy so that the boat's compase is broken and it's pretty cloudy for the trip).

I suppose I could build people up to have a decent structure and manifest intent in a methodical approach such that they could then practice moving with aiki while doing all of these things listed on that web page. The rowing would be done significantly differently - but I don't want to go into it since that is a really good example of "cart before the horse" type topic. In my opinion, you'd be better off practicing shikou. Dan did a writeup on that on aikiweb I believe.

Rob

Erick Mead
08-04-2009, 01:24 PM
What I was attempting to say was that the amount/depth of IT has been dramatically increased and the speed to develop such a significant level of IT has been dramatically reduced making a much more deep level of IT possible within a lifetime - to the absurd point that compared to that level, I can say that pretty much everyone - including 1.5 million members of aikido - do not have IT. ...It's much more of a faster/efficient path toward the baseline skill. This is exciting because he (and I guess we all) can take IT much further than he would have been able to otherwise. ...Keeping one point, is far less that 1/2 the picture. How about the upper center? How about the breath work to unite the upper and lower center. What about windings and suspending yourself in the middle while you move?... That's what we are saying is IT. And so, IT is really missing in aikido - all 1.5 million or so - with extremely few exceptions. Don't take this as anything other than the constructive criticism intended. How is that NOT the height of presumption? 1.5 million? Really? When Nixon was elected, Pauline Kael said she did not understand how, "Nobody I know voted for him."

And now IT is available. If that is your interest then there are paths to get IT now. Dan, Mike, and Ark are doing workshops. I would strongly suggest you attend them and then tell us if you have IT or if you have ever experienced that level of IT in aikido. Rob your enthusiasm for what seems a useful method is commendable. I have no idea if the prior fault lay in your stars or elsewhere.

But.

(And Ark is to be commended for his public approach to matters, so this is in no way critical). Things like this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snYlMC6gUoM&feature=PlayList&p=DFCFDCBB85345B6D&index=2) or this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDCbZhTFAkU&feature=PlayList&p=DFCFDCBB85345B6D&index=1) or this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbvipmVYGzA&feature=PlayList&p=DFCFDCBB85345B6D&index=0) -- are not in any way surprising to me, nor anything out of my own experience and performance. It is not that I quibble with methods if they work, proof is in the pudding, I suppose. It is just that the results are not materially different.

Keeping one point, is far less that 1/2 the picture. How about the upper center? How about the breath work to unite the upper and lower center. What about windings and suspending yourself in the middle while you move?... That's what we are saying is IT. And so, IT is really missing in aikido - all 1.5 million or so - with extremely few exceptions. If you see it operating -- IT is in the structure of the opening and closing morning glory flower (http://ksjtracker.mit.edu/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/wingtip-vortices.jpg[/IMG] Those, [U]literally, are the action of breath, your windings, and your suspension in the middle of them, the upper and lower centers -- in aerodynamic (http://quest.nasa.gov/aero/planetary/atmospheric/images/liftup.gif) (or hydrodynamic (http://www.marineengineering.org.uk/navarch/stabil6.gif)) stability, which are the stabilizing "contradictory forces" as well.

IT is all there.

And if you don't see IT operating -- according to Clarke's law -- it is just like magic. The material composition of the body through which structural energy moves and acts is irrelevant, be it an air mass or a human body, it does not change the nature of the thing -- only its resulting effects.

There is nothing in those or in this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIc5NIfrnJs) (which has been presented as another example of IT), that is beyond me. I watch the double "whip-saw" motion of the opponent's head at 00:30-00:36 and I know EXACTLY what is happening to him, and how to do it.

Maybe they all have faster, better ways of getting there, I reserve judgment -- but if IT is what Ark does -- IT is not novel nor unknown, though it may be a bit neglected here and there..

Rather than sowing doubts on thin evidence, or making judgments about the universal applications of methods from a limited sample -- Can we talk more profitably about what IT is? -- how to identify IT -- how to see the gradient toward IT in one's training -- whatever the method or process may be in which it occurs -- and how to rule out those things that are not IT, or are demonstrably detrimental to perceiving and developing IT.

That would be worthwhile.

rob_liberti
08-04-2009, 01:32 PM
Don't take this as anything other than the constructive criticism intended. How is that NOT the height of presumption? 1.5 million? Really? When Nixon was elected, Pauline Kael said she did not understand how, "Nobody I know voted for him."

There were 10+ years that both Mike and Dan were on the aikido-List and elsewhere asking who in aikido had IT to the level they were looking for. In that amount of time looking, NONE of the many many many people online in the art could come up with many people in aikido who had IT. Give me a break, it's not like there are 1.5 million shihan. How many aikido people are at the top in ability - it's a much shorter list don't you think? That kind of thickens the evidence to me...

Rob

rob_liberti
08-04-2009, 01:38 PM
(And Ark is to be commended for his public approach to matters, so this is in no way critical). Things like this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snYlMC6gUoM&feature=PlayList&p=DFCFDCBB85345B6D&index=2) or this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDCbZhTFAkU&feature=PlayList&p=DFCFDCBB85345B6D&index=1) or this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbvipmVYGzA&feature=PlayList&p=DFCFDCBB85345B6D&index=0) -- are not in any way surprising to me, nor anything out of my own experience and performance. It is not that I quibble with methods if they work, proof is in the pudding, I suppose. It is just that the results are not materially different.

I can't watch those vids right now, but name someone in aikido who is willing to let a tai boxer kick them like Ark did, and someone in aikido who can then deliver a kick to a tai boxer that lifts the tai boxer up off of their legs. I don't know by experience if Ark has IT as strong or stronger than Mike or Dan. But he has some fairly impressive feats, and he is producing people with remarkably improved skills. Did you check out Rob John yet? Produce ANYONE in aikido yourself that could deal with Rob John in anyway? I don't know. I agree with you that the proof is in the pudding.

dps
08-04-2009, 01:44 PM
opening and closing morning glory flower

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuJfhhaxdz8&feature=related

rob_liberti
08-04-2009, 01:50 PM
Erick,

I really don't know how to describe how to approach intent from a physical model. I suspect my intent moves my fascia in some way that is instantly detectible by a person who is touching me, and unless they have excellent training they generally get influenced by what they feel. That's the best guess I can make. But developing IT to a level that is so palpible and real in so short of a time is now a reality. I can't meet you in a physical explanation. Meet me physically for real. You can feel what I can do and I'll introduce you to Dan. Then you can describe how what Dan did is like an airplane and it will have some chance of being helpful. Right now, I think it is nothing more than a distraction.

Rob

mathewjgano
08-04-2009, 01:58 PM
These are good examples of what I would currently consider the cart before the horse.

I practiced all of those things and taught all of those things for years. I wouldn't try to teach aiki using those things alone (any more). The phrase "the slow boat to China" comes to mind (but you have to extend the analogy so that the boat's compase is broken and it's pretty cloudy for the trip).

I suppose I could build people up to have a decent structure and manifest intent in a methodical approach such that they could then practice moving with aiki while doing all of these things listed on that web page. The rowing would be done significantly differently - but I don't want to go into it since that is a really good example of "cart before the horse" type topic. In my opinion, you'd be better off practicing shikou. Dan did a writeup on that on aikiweb I believe.

Rob
The thing I like about what I can see of shikou is it's symetrical movement about a somewhat fixed centerline. I get the feeling it might be good at returning the spine to the center of the overall tone of the body (and thus the basis for conveying the power of the hara "upwards" to the upper body?). Is this corrective, centering quality I'm perceiving, the horse you're referring to? I can see how doing the taiso might be difficult because many of the movements can be fudged to not include the center or the spine (a very vertically oriented centerline).
I'm not sure about my impressions at all, so maybe I should just leave it at:
could you try to describe what would be putting the horse before the cart? Do you mean finding someone who can make sure you get a strong sense of what internal strength feels like before you start trying to do movements with it?

Erick Mead
08-04-2009, 02:14 PM
These are good examples of what I would currently consider the cart before the horse.

I practiced all of those things and taught all of those things for years. I wouldn't try to teach aiki using those things alone (any more). The phrase "the slow boat to China" comes to mind (but you have to extend the analogy so that the boat's compase is broken and it's pretty cloudy for the trip). Now see, I did the same, but then I was taught practical structural dynamics, in college and in naval aviation. So I had some structural intuition developed to look at them for what they represented, structurally, rather than simply doing uncritical rote imitation without a ready means of self-correction or self-criticism . That predisposition in physical observation that I had is one reason for my emphasis on greater rigor in description -- and I take that direction from the instructions of both Saotome and M. Ueshiba. Learning to observe clearly and truly is not as easy as it may seem. Even on a purely physical level, a student's preconceptions can place blinders on his vision. If people can have such difficulty observing what is front of their eyes, you may imagine how much more difficult it is to be receptive to the more subtle and elusive motivations that inform the physical movement. ... I believe that training yourself in the art of perception precedes the ability to train basic technique properly. To observe carefully requires names for the differences in the things we observe. The more precise your names for the things you observe, the closer you can catalog the difference in what you have seen and felt. This is a question of applying a stringent rigor to observaton. It is just as necessary as the rigor in physical training.

I suppose I could build people up to have a decent structure and manifest intent in a methodical approach such that they could then practice moving with aiki while doing all of these things listed on that web page. The rowing would be done significantly differently - but I don't want to go into it since that is a really good example of "cart before the horse" type topic. In my opinion, you'd be better off practicing shikou. Dan did a writeup on that on aikiweb I believe. And I have done a form of shikou -- without the leg lift and stamp -- but with a continuous asagao movement (windings, if you like) -- since I began ... twenty-four... (sheesh) years ago, now... though I was ignorant of the traditional name for that expression of movement until three years ago. So not new, a little different in variation and labelling is all. Only the thing is, about six years ago I started moving from my more intuitional mechanics (seat of pants flying), and nature analogies, toward nailing down the explicit description to provide others with a more rigorous basis for explanation and correction of their training from their own observations.

So please, do go into it ... :) How would it be different than what you thought you saw when you learned it ?

rob_liberti
08-04-2009, 02:38 PM
When I learned such things the lines of intent were not identified and burned in. I had no idea where and how to direct my mental intention, and how to hold it in many opposing directions with the slack out of my body. People said things like "just relax". I sincerely doubt that the people saying and teaching such things had the lines of intent identified and burned in any structured way if at all. I sincerely doubt that the people saying and teaching such things had any idea where and how to direct their mental intentions, and how to hold it in many opposing directions with the slack out of their body to any degree . I admit I did not learn those exercises from Saotome sensei or Gleason initially. But the person I did learn those from did study directly with Tohei sensei for a long time and was very powerful for the standards of the time.

Rob

Kevin Leavitt
08-04-2009, 02:59 PM
Rob wrote:

I had no idea where and how to direct my mental intention, and how to hold it in many opposing directions with the slack out of my body. People said things like "just relax".

and hence the crux of the whole issue at hand. It is just so dang hard to communicate the "feel" or "concept". Mike Sigman and Ark both tried over and over to communicate using all three methods when I met with them (Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthic.)

It is hard, hard, hard to do this...even in a weekend seminar, then go home and learn it. Especially when you realize during the seminar that you simply have not even developed your body enough to begin to understand structurally or kinesthetically what they are attempting to communicate.

All the labeling and documentation cannot help with this process I think.

I like the Airplane example you provide Erick. It really drives the point home for me. I personally agree with you that this stuff should and can be described much like how you get an airplane to fly. However, intellectually understanding that, does not mean I can actually fly the 747. In fact, I would submit that you don't need to know any of that at all.

You simply need the experience of being behind the controls and doing it...over and over and over again until you can do it.

AND flying a 747 should actually be EASIER than learning what we are doing. They have feedback in the form of computers and dials and gauges that tell you what you need to do in many cases.

No, doing this stuff is more like flying a wright flyer in which it is totally seat of the pants by feel.

Erick Mead
08-04-2009, 04:53 PM
... you realize during the seminar that you simply have not even developed your body enough to begin to understand structurally or kinesthetically what they are attempting to communicate. ... and hence you do not have the conceptual tools to look at your own performance later and say "go/nogo" on whether it is uptrend or downtrend for the goal

All the labeling and documentation cannot help with this process I think.

I like the Airplane example you provide Erick. It really drives the point home for me. I personally agree with you that this stuff should and can be described much like how you get an airplane to fly. However, intellectually understanding that, does not mean I can actually fly the 747. ...
No, doing this stuff is more like flying a wright flyer in which it is totally seat of the pants by feel. You are righter than I think you meant. The labelling does not help with the flying -- it helps with building the vehicle. The body is at once the instrument and the object of work. As with the the Wrights, you must not only fly the plane correctly -- but also design, and construct the plane so that it should fly at all, much less fly optimally (and rebuild it after many a crash). That was a process of trial and error to find the correct shapes as well. But we know much more than they did about the parameters of good and bad design and the nature of the things that make it work or not work, so we can name the problems we are trying to fix and therefore more easily find solutions made by others.

Erick Mead
08-04-2009, 05:04 PM
When I learned such things the lines of intent were not identified and burned in. I had no idea where and how to direct my mental intention, and how to hold it in many opposing directions with the slack out of my body. People said things like "just relax". I sincerely doubt that the people saying and teaching such things had the lines of intent identified and burned in any structured way if at all. I sincerely doubt that the people saying and teaching such things had any idea where and how to direct their mental intentions, and how to hold it in many opposing directions with the slack out of their body to any degree . I admit I did not learn those exercises from Saotome sensei or Gleason initially. But the person I did learn those from did study directly with Tohei sensei for a long time and was very powerful for the standards of the time. I will ask you a straightforward question about your imagery. Imagery tends to be concrete, and is better guide than not, IMO, because structural intuitions work well on concrete images. If I asked you to envision in an concrete image, what the lines of intent looked like as they relate to the windings in the body that take out the slack -- does it look to you anything like this:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=509&d=1215185239

MM
08-04-2009, 06:07 PM
But.

(And Ark is to be commended for his public approach to matters, so this is in no way critical). Things like this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snYlMC6gUoM&feature=PlayList&p=DFCFDCBB85345B6D&index=2) or this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDCbZhTFAkU&feature=PlayList&p=DFCFDCBB85345B6D&index=1) or this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbvipmVYGzA&feature=PlayList&p=DFCFDCBB85345B6D&index=0) -- are not in any way surprising to me, nor anything out of my own experience and performance. It is not that I quibble with methods if they work, proof is in the pudding, I suppose. It is just that the results are not materially different.

There is nothing in those or in this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIc5NIfrnJs) (which has been presented as another example of IT), that is beyond me. I watch the double "whip-saw" motion of the opponent's head at 00:30-00:36 and I know EXACTLY what is happening to him, and how to do it.

Maybe they all have faster, better ways of getting there, I reserve judgment -- but if IT is what Ark does -- IT is not novel nor unknown, though it may be a bit neglected here and there..


I find it very hopeful that there is another person who can do what Ark, Dan, Mike, and Chen Bing are doing. That someone else can work with grapplers, wrestlers, Aikido shihan, karate shihan, and high ranking Chinese martial artists and can replicate not only what is on the videos that you noted, but also what they've written as well.

It is encouraging to a lot of people that there is someone else that they can go to and train with and learn these internal skills that we are all trying to learn. The load on Mike, Dan, and Ark can be split between 4 people instead of 3.

Ark sort of travels on the coasts while Mike makes sporadic workshops. Dan is in the northeast and now you are in the south. I think it's a great coverage of the U.S. I'm sure that a lot of people would come train with you.

If anyone has a chance to train with Erick and is in the area, his dojo information is below.

It will be interesting to see, Erick, how your teaching methodology compares to Dan, Mike, and Ark. We have quite a few people who have posted about comparing/contrasting methodology between Dan, Mike, and Ark; so it's going to be illuminating when we can add yours to the others.

Erick, I just gotta say, thanks for stepping up and stating that these things are not beyond you, not out of your 24 years of experience, that you know exactly what's going on, and are not outside your performance. There are loads of people out there trying to get training with Mike, Dan, and Ark. Now that we have a fourth person, I'm pretty sure those in your area will look you up. Probably people outside your area, too, since a few from California came to Dan's seminar.

Info:

http://www.aikidowestflorida.com

2447 Executive Plaza, Suite 5, Pensacola, Florida 32504

Class Schedule is:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday from 6:30pm until 8pm
Saturday from 10am-11:30am (Weapons Class using Bokken and Jo)

thisisnotreal
08-04-2009, 06:46 PM
This is all very normal. H.A.F.E. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_altitude_flatus_expulsion) Don't panic.

RonRagusa
08-04-2009, 09:07 PM
Mary, I'm absolutely clear that you are satisfied with your level of IT, with the speed at which you have developed your level of IT, and with the speed at which you have developed a level of IT in your students.

What I was attempting to say was that the amount/depth of IT has been dramatically increased and the speed to develop such a significant level of IT has been dramatically reduced making a much more deep level of IT possible within a lifetime - to the absurd point that compared to that level, I can say that pretty much everyone - including 1.5 million members of aikido - do not have IT.

Hi Rob -

Please correct me if I'm wrong, this is how I read what you have written above:

You seem to be saying that while IT may be experienced by any number of Aikido practitioners, the amount/depth of their/our experience of IT is so insignificant when compared to, say, Dan that we can pretty much agree that it can't even be measured on the same scale. Also, there are training methodologies out there that allow for a quicker and much deeper development of IT than exist within the Aikido paradigm.

I'm totally ok with accepting your conclusions at face value. Between the lines your statement gives rise to some other interesting deductions. First your acknowledgement that within Aikido there are people who do indeed have IT although at a relatively insignificant level of development. Second, this leads to the idea that within Aikido there must already exist methods of teaching IT, albeit methods that require long periods of study on the part of the student; long periods that on average yield results that pale when compared to the methods you have been introduced to while studying with Dan.

So while, when speaking in a relative sense, IT may not be present in modern day Aikido due to differences of orders of magnitude in demonstrable results, I don't think that IT is missing in Aikido in any absolute sense. I think it's pretty much a matter of choice as to where the student wants to focus his/her training, a focus mind you, which is apt to change over the course of the students Aikido life.

I don't see IT as being an endstate of my Aikido study; nor is it the primary focus of my efforts. The development of IT has been an integral part of my Aikido, but only a part, not the whole. In the past you have written that you'd like the power of Superman and while you may have been writing somewhat tongue in cheek I can understand your desire to possess that kind of power. It's very seductive.

All the best in your training.

Ron

Misogi-no-Gyo
08-04-2009, 09:29 PM
Rob,

Your sensei is William Gleason Sensei. He learned from an impressive list of respected sensei:

Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba
Yamaguchi Seigo Sensei.
Takeda Sensei
Osawa Sensei,
Watanabe Sensei,
Koichi Tohei Sensei,
Sasaki Sensei,
Endo Sensei,
Saotome Sensei.

I do not intend any disrespect to you Rob or the sensei in your lineage so with all due respect to your sensei and his sensei;

Is there anyone on the above list you think did not have aiki?

Where do you think the disconnect was in the transmission of aiki in your lineage?

David

:

Perhaps I am just getting dumber watching this thread go round and round, but I simply can't see how having the answer to your questions in any way helps you understand anything about how to improve your Aikido. It is almost like you are trying to prove some point to yourself, and in the process somehow help Rob, in this case, improve his own Aikido, or better understand yours. Again, seeking any of those results makes no sense to me whatsoever. What I can definitely say at this point is that your whole approach exhibited in this thread does not seem to be moving you forward one inch. Of course you might just reply that you don't feel like you need to move forward one inch, to which I can only wonder, "then what is your point?." This is not an example of Aiki in terms of approach, methodology or result. Therefore I judge thee un-aiki, at least in those terms.

Truly, until you come together in the real world and feel for yourself what it is that someone of Mike or Dan's caliber is exhibiting, how can you expect anyone to accept your motivations, regardless of whatever intentions with which you manifest them, be seen as anything worthy of serious engagement?

Should you simply get out there and feel things for yourself, your words would carry a weight that is simply missing from them at this juncture. Imagine you came back and feel the same way you now do, at least then you could talk from experience. That alone would server you well. More importantly, your ability to speak to the subject would carry you far to helping the Aikido community as a whole, which is what you seem to want to do today.

Best in training (and Aiki) to you and all...

.

Kevin Leavitt
08-04-2009, 09:32 PM
Ummm, FWIW, I will be in over at Hurlburt Field doing some work over near Fort Walton Beach for the next two weeks! Right outside of Pensacola!

rob_liberti
08-04-2009, 09:32 PM
Ron, I believe you re-expressed what I believe very well. Our only point of divergence is that in comparison to the IT that is now available, I feel that an infinitesimal amount of IT doesn't even count as IT. In much the same way that I don't think of even a strong gust of wind as a hurricane.

For just one example of many: IT is the only way I can see an aikidoka having any real chance of doing minimum damage to an attacker that is say attacking someone you care about near you.

I agree that the power of IT is seductive. I feel it is positive seduction. I *personally* would feel it to be negative seduction if I paid good money for AIKIdo and only got an infinitesimal amount of aiki -do when highly developed AIKI was readily available (which is going to be the case more and more). But that's just me, and for the record I'd ALSO like the power of green lantern. :)

Rob

Kevin Leavitt
08-04-2009, 09:39 PM
Ron Ragusa Wrote:

So while, when speaking in a relative sense, IT may not be present in modern day Aikido due to differences of orders of magnitude in demonstrable results, I don't think that IT is missing in Aikido in any absolute sense. I think it's pretty much a matter of choice as to where the student wants to focus his/her training, a focus mind you, which is apt to change over the course of the students Aikido life.

I don't see IT as being an endstate of my Aikido study; nor is it the primary focus of my efforts. The development of IT has been an integral part of my Aikido, but only a part, not the whole. In the past you have written that you'd like the power of Superman and while you may have been writing somewhat tongue in cheek I can understand your desire to possess that kind of power. It's very seductive.

I agree whole heartedly Ron! I think it is important to not become over obsessed with this.

However, I also see great value i concentrating my practice on some thing that have not been emphasized in my training.

It gets frustrating training for years and years and then hitting a plateau where you really don't progress much.

The big eye opener for me in training especially with Ark is that I have not been doing alot of simple things that were holding me back.

The big thing for me was basically getting my body in better shape and conditioning it. That was a start for me.

I do agree though that everything needs to be done in moderation, and this is not the only thing that needs to be focused on or valued in what we do. BUT it shouldn't also be an excuse not to put in the hard work. (No Whiners please!...that is my motto!)

Mike Sigman
08-04-2009, 09:52 PM
For just one example of many: IT is the only way I can see an aikidoka having any real chance of doing minimum damage to an attacker that is say attacking someone you care about near you.

I agree that the power of IT is seductive. I feel it is positive seduction. I *personally* would feel it to be negative seduction if I paid good money for AIKIdo and only got an infinitesimal amount of aiki -do when highly developed AIKI was readily available (which is going to be the case more and more). But that's just me, and for the record I'd ALSO like the power of green lantern. :)
Exactly. There's nothing wrong with Aikido nor is Aikido "missing" anything... except what so many people missed because the information wasn't laid out for every casual observer. Aikido doesn't need other arts to complement it, it just needs a little bit more knowledge about what ki actually/functionally is. And BTW... I think people are just chipping at the surface. Does anyone think that so much of Asia was enamored of a simple overlay to martial-arts, qigong, etc., .. or was it much deeper than that?

FWIW

Mike Sigman

rob_liberti
08-04-2009, 10:02 PM
I will ask you a straightforward question about your imagery. Imagery tends to be concrete, and is better guide than not, IMO, because structural intuitions work well on concrete images. If I asked you to envision in an concrete image, what the lines of intent looked like as they relate to the windings in the body that take out the slack -- does it look to you anything like this:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=509&d=1215185239

Of course that is an aspect of it. But it's limited in many ways that I continue to encourage you to go feel IT and describe/model it yourself. This approach kind of reminds me of when I did EE. I tried to start every single problem from f=ma, and it can be done. In this case, it is not that easy - for me anyway. Erick, I am so consistently impressed with your mind. Please go feel this and stop trying to get me to model IT for you... I can't do it. I don't think anyone can, but I believe you need to experience that for yourself.

Rob

dps
08-04-2009, 10:02 PM
Perhaps I am just getting dumber watching this thread go round and round,but I simply can't see how having the answer to your questions in any way helps you understand anything about how to improve your Aikido.

I am not surprised Shaun, I don't think you understand what this entire thread is about.

David

Misogi-no-Gyo
08-04-2009, 10:06 PM
I am not surprised Shaun, I don't think you understand what this entire thread is about.

David

Yes David,

You are right, once again... It should have been ever so clear to me given the strength of logic found within your posts

OK, then... if we start off with where you are now, it is just as evident that if you work hard enough you can come back as Bruce Baker in your next life

...and now you are officially a troll.

Enjoy!

rob_liberti
08-04-2009, 10:15 PM
And BTW... I think people are just chipping at the surface.

Agreed. I actually said that too:
Dan tells us that he is just learning it, and Mike keeps reminding us that what we are experiencing (which Dan openly admits) is the tip of the iceberg.

It's just that I'm a lot more interested in discovering that iceberg from Dan's approach because it serves my other goals quite well.

David, I know you wrote the original post, but I do not believe that an entire thread has to be "defined" by the original post. The thread just starts there, and then it kind of takes on a life of its own with many many POINTS that are just connected in some way. Otherwise, it wouldn't be a thread. The initial point of the thread was three things IIRC:
1) presupposing that the members of aikikai felt that IT was not present (which I do not agree they will typically agree with)
2) stating you did not feel IT was missing - which seemed to be a way of saying your approach was just fine, and
3) further questioning if other aikido organizations felt that they missed out on IT - which I took as you looking for some kind of support that either everyone else missed IT but your lineage OR if some other people felt their lineage had IT.

In this case, however, I think Shaun's assessment it quite in line with the OP.

Rob

dps
08-04-2009, 10:22 PM
...and now you are officially a troll.[2]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_(Internet)
In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional or disciplinary response[1] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

Shaun I started this thread and have contributed to it throughout the entire thread. You are a late comer to the discussion who does not understand what the thread is about.

David

Misogi-no-Gyo
08-04-2009, 10:33 PM
In this case, however, I think Shaun's assessment it quite in line with the OP.

Rob

Hi Rob,

Are you suggesting with your above statement that my opinion regarding if Aikido is missing it is in line with David's?

Interestingly, and I don't want to speak for David on this, my ideas on the subject have both developed anew on certain issues as well as have remained the same in some regards. I have learned quite a bit about what others (those whose approaches/methods/ideas have value to me) are thinking (from what they have said here). I have also refined my own rebuttal to certain aspects of arguments those same individuals try to pass off using flimsy evidence to restate conclusions that tend to put them at the top of the heap, so to speak. At the same time, I am certainly more comfortable stating that I believe people like David and Erick go and train with people outside their own comfort zones, as I know they will not have any real understanding until they do, but more importantly because of how they will help others once they do. Again, I am not speaking for David, as to whether or not he has moved far forward from where he was at when he made the original post. I know that i am. However, from what I can tell David and other posters, too, seem to be asking the same questions, making the same assumptions and coming to the same conclusions as they always have and that is that they already have everything they need and are completely comfortable with the path they are on and have no intention of deviating from it.

I can unequivocally state that is the absolute antithesis to my own approach, as I know if that were my attitude, I would never reach my own goals.

Best in training to you and all...

.

Misogi-no-Gyo
08-04-2009, 10:40 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_(Internet)
In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional or disciplinary response[1] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

Shaun I started this thread and have contributed to it throughout the entire thread. You are a late comer to the discussion who does not understand what the thread is about.

David

Yes David,

You are right, once again... It should have been ever so clear to me given the strength of logic found within your posts. I mean I am absolutely clueless with regards to things found within Aikido. I can't imagine why I have been wasting my time here on Aikiweb and should immediately stop posting and wasting countless bytes on the internet. :confused:

I am sure that now you will block me, as I have absolutely nothing to offer you...along with anyone else who finds your approach annoying enough to step up and tell you, :straightf

Is that how they do it in Ohio? Please tell me you are oh-so-unique! :square:

....................................When

http://mises.org/images4/TwoCents.gif

....................................equals

http://img2.allposters.com/images/QUOMAG/M02.jpg

Best in training to you and all others who will never get it...

.

DH
08-04-2009, 10:42 PM
Exactly. There's nothing wrong with Aikido nor is Aikido "missing" anything... except what so many people missed because the information wasn't laid out for every casual observer. Aikido doesn't need other arts to complement it, it just needs a little bit more knowledge about what ki actually/functionally is. And BTW... I think people are just chipping at the surface. Does anyone think that so much of Asia was enamored of a simple overlay to martial-arts, qigong, etc., .. or was it much deeper than that?

FWIW

Mike Sigman
Well, that's one view.
There is more to what is wrong with modern aikido than what ki alone can fix, and more to internal power than just ki. Further, the disconnect between Ueshiba and the rest of modern aikido does not rest soley on ki either. Internal power and internal skills are inexorably intertwined with movement for very good reasons and strengthening the ki paradigm in a modern aikidoka will not begin to cover it.
Nor will it help with an aikidoka who wishes to strengthen his art to handle very stressfull encounters. Ueshiba did not move or carry his body like a modern aikidoka, right from the start ;) and Ki alone will never fix that either. You would have to understand aikido, internal power, and classical movement;with and without weapons in order to see it and teach it. Not everyone is up to the task, that's why it's good to be careful out there.
Cheers
Dan

dps
08-04-2009, 10:51 PM
The initial point of the thread was three things IIRC:
1) presupposing that the members of aikikai felt that IT was not present (which I do not agree they will typically agree with)
[2) stating you did not feel IT was missing - which seemed to be a way of saying your approach was just fine, and
3) further questioning if other aikido organizations felt that they missed out on IT - which I took as you looking for some kind of support that either everyone else missed IT but your lineage OR if some other people felt their lineage had IT.

Post #1
Is it just the people who practice Aikikai Aikido who feel that something is missing in their practice ( internal strength, connection, intent, etc) or do the people who practice Yoseikan Aikido, Yoshinkan Aikido, Shodokan Aikido and Korindo Aikido feel that there is something missing also?David

Post #135

My question was posed to bring out what the people who practice Aikido ( not me) who post on Aikiweb felt was missing in their Aikido to gauge the state of Aikdo today.

I have read that there is approaching 1.5 million people practicing Aikido just under the Aikikai umbrella.

An additional question would be how representative are the people who post here are to the entire Aikido community.David

Post 352
.
" Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?" thread was started after reading on internet posts from people inside and outside of Aikido that somethings were missing or not taught correctly in todays Aikido.
The basics I was taught some 20 years ago when I first started Aikido included what is shown on this website,http://www.iay.org.uk/internal-strength/ and in this video http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=mike+sigman&hl=en&emb=0&aq=f#. different words but the same thing.
Then I read that there were approaching 1.5 million people under the Aikikai umbrella practicing Aikido.

Hence the thought is the things these people are saying are missing or not taught (IT) missing in over 1.5 million ( this includes those outside of Aikikai) people's Aikido.

David

No Ron the initial point of the thread was to have a discussion just like this thread has turned out to be.

rob_liberti
08-04-2009, 10:54 PM
Are you suggesting with your above statement that my opinion regarding if Aikido is missing it is in line with David's?

Sorry, for any confusion. I was responding to this:

I am not surprised Shaun, I don't think you understand what this entire thread is about.

That I agreed with your assessment in post 531:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=236613&postcount=531

The thread moved on a bit before my statement.

Rob

rob_liberti
08-04-2009, 11:09 PM
David, you mention post 135. but you left out the part that I was thinking about (which I admit I thought was in the OP):

After a 17 year hiatus I came back to formal practice in Aikido. During the hiatus I practice on my own the things that I was taught. I started practicing again at a dojo and spent a lot of time reading the martial art forums ( no internet 20 years ago) and asking questions here on Aikiweb to find out what I had missed. The talk about what is not present or taught in Aikido confused me. The descriptions of what is missing was present in what I was taught some twenty years ago.

My question was posed to bring out what the people who practice Aikido ( not me) who post on Aikiweb felt was missing in their Aikido to gauge the state of Aikdo today.

I have read that there is approaching 1.5 million people practicing Aikido just under the Aikikai umbrella.

The part I bolded is where I got the second point I made:
"2) stating you did not feel IT was missing - which seemed to be a way of saying your approach was just fine"

And my response was best stated in post 84:
I'm starting to think about what exactly is the difference between a client and a student? What is the difference between a dojo and a McDojo? And, most interestingly, if "aiki" becomes main-stream will that bar be raised for that line between student/client and dojo/McDojo? Something to think about anyway.

Rob

mickeygelum
08-04-2009, 11:24 PM
...and now you are officially a troll.


Finally, the truth is told.

Mr. Skaggs does not train, and has misrepresented his experience and skill. I am able to say this due to his short stint at my dojo, approximately three months.

Mr. Skaggs stated that he trained under Charles Cycyk Sensei, at the long defunct Youngstown Aikikai. Cycyk Sensei was a unique individual, and passed away years ago. I was an acquaintance of his, not a student or close friend.
Without going any further, unless Mr. Skaggs pushes the envelope, I will leave it at that being enough said.

Mickey Gelum

dps
08-04-2009, 11:25 PM
The part I bolded is where I got the second point I made:
"2) stating you did not feel IT was missing - which seemed to be a way of saying your approach was just fine"

During my seventeen years hiatus I read the books that I had, watched the movies that I had and other then a few months in the middle of the hiatus ( where I reinjured my knee) I did not practice in a dojo or have contact with other people practicing Aikido. My practice was mostly solo and some with my son.

When I decided to return to Aikido and started to research on the internet I was surprised by what people were saying what was not in Aikido, the stuff I was taught some twenty years ago. The bolded sentence was my surprise at what was supposedly missing.

David

dps
08-04-2009, 11:41 PM
Finally, the truth is told.

Mr. Skaggs does not train, and has misrepresented his experience and skill. I am able to say this due to his short stint at my dojo, approximately three months.

Mr. Skaggs stated that he trained under Charles Cycyk Sensei, at the long defunct Youngstown Aikikai. Cycyk Sensei was a unique individual, and passed away years ago. I was an acquaintance of his, not a student or close friend.
Without going any further, unless Mr. Skaggs pushes the envelope, I will leave it at that being enough said.

Mickey Gelum

I was a student of Sensei Cycyk and a friend. I trained with Sensei CyCyk some twenty years ago.
I currently do not practice due to physical problems, mainly my knees, which I have posted on this thread and others.

As far as how long you were my Sensei, I have the attendance records of the Aikido Club at my church , a satellite of your dojo, that you were the sensei at to prove how long I was your student.

From the dojo listing of the JAA/USA website (Shodokan Aikido)
http://www.tomiki.org/members.html

Ohio
Churchill Aikido Club Sensei Michael Gelum 189 Churchill-Hubbard Rd
Liberty, OH
330-219-0146
SenseiArashi@WarrenBudokan.com
http://warrenbudokan.com M-W 6:00-8:00

This video was shot at my church's Aikido Club.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-107400978272423588&ei=kg95SpvxDaHaqAKa2_0G&q=shodokan+aikido+&hl=en

David

rob_liberti
08-04-2009, 11:41 PM
When I decided to return to Aikido and started to research on the internet I was surprised by what people were saying what was not in Aikido, the stuff I was taught some twenty years ago. The bolded sentence was my surprise at what was supposedly missing.

Got it. And Posts:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=236609&postcount=530
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=236615&postcount=533

...sum up my position about what IS missing.

So I've been saying go check out Dan and Mike, and it turns out that you are not even training regularly. I take it back, please do not go see Dan or Mike.

Rob

dps
08-04-2009, 11:45 PM
Got it. And Posts:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=236609&postcount=530
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=236615&postcount=533

...sum up my position about what IS missing.

So I've been saying go check out Dan and Mike, and it turns out that you are not even training regularly. I take it back, please do not go see Dan or Mike.

Rob

I understand Ron. I have stated repeatedly that I am not currently training in this thread and others. I have nothing to hide.

David

rob_liberti
08-04-2009, 11:54 PM
I understand Ron. I have stated repeatedly that I am not currently training in this thread and others. I have nothing to hide.

I just find it a bit odd that your position is not even a vote for complacency in a current training method, it is instead support for a whole new level of complacency to the point that what you learned 20 years ago was more than enough.

Look everyone has their own goals. I'm not attempting to judge you. You started this thread with an agenda. I just happen to disagree with that agenda, but I appreciate your setting up this soap box for me to stand on.

Rob

dps
08-04-2009, 11:57 PM
I just find it a bit odd that your position is not even a vote for complacency in a current training method, it is instead support for a whole new level of complacency to the point that what you learned 20 years ago was more than enough.

Look everyone has their own goals. I'm not attempting to judge you. You started this thread with an agenda. I just happen to disagree with that agenda, but I appreciate your setting up this soap box for me to stand on.

Rob
It is a soap box for everyone to stand on within the confines of the thread topic. The thread has gone on for 532 posts. Do you think the discussion was worthwhile?

David

dps
08-05-2009, 12:32 AM
Finally, the truth is told.

Mr. Skaggs does not train, and has misrepresented his experience and skill. I am able to say this due to his short stint at my dojo, approximately three months.

Mr. Skaggs stated that he trained under Charles Cycyk Sensei, at the long defunct Youngstown Aikikai. Cycyk Sensei was a unique individual, and passed away years ago. I was an acquaintance of his, not a student or close friend.
Without going any further, unless Mr. Skaggs pushes the envelope, I will leave it at that being enough said.

Mickey Gelum


I was a student of Sensei Cycyk and a friend. I trained with Sensei CyCyk some twenty years ago.
I currently do not practice due to physical problems, mainly my knees, which I have posted on this thread and others.

As far as how long you were my Sensei, I have the attendance records of the Aikido Club at my church , a satellite of your dojo, that you were the sensei at to prove how long I was your student.

From the dojo listing of the JAA/USA website (Shodokan Aikido)
http://www.tomiki.org/members.html

Ohio
Churchill Aikido Club Sensei Michael Gelum 189 Churchill-Hubbard Rd
Liberty, OH
330-219-0146
SenseiArashi@WarrenBudokan.com
http://warrenbudokan.com M-W 6:00-8:00

This video was shot at my church's Aikido Club.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-107400978272423588&ei=kg95SpvxDaHaqAKa2_0G&q=shodokan+aikido+&hl=en

David

Mickey,

I started at your dojo in April 2006, the video was taped 01:08 - Mar 18, 2008.

Post#1
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=138047#post138047

04-18-2006, 01:12 AM

Hello,
My name is David Skaggs from Youngstown, Ohio in the United States.
I started Aikido in 1984 at Youngstown State University under
Sensei Larry Hlywa and continued until 1990 under Sensei Chuck
Cycyk. Because of a work injury to my right knee I had to stop.
A couple weeks ago I started again under Sensei Michael Gelum of
Shizuka na Arashi Dojo in Warren, Ohio. It feels great to be practicing again even with my Rice Krispy knees ( they snap, crackle, and pop now) and not so flexible back.

The records from the church Aikido club shows that March of 2008 was the last month you were sensei at the church club.

David

dps
08-05-2009, 02:09 AM
http://www.edgework.info/article_naturalmovement.html
Natural Movement and Its Relationship to Martial Arts©
Ellis Amdur M.A., N.C.C., C.M.H.S

Execerpt #1

"A "natural" life is a powerful life -- one is using one's body at all times, responding to challenges every day, because to fail is to die -- the human organism is required to act with everything he or she has. The power and endurance that so-called primitive people display can be amazing. The same is true with those who still labor to survive: carrying heavy loads, or building structures with little more than one's body and simple tools, or such repetitive acts as milking one hundred cows by hand, pulling up one hundred rows of carrots, or laying thousands of bricks in a single day. Anyone who has to do hard physical labor, particularly when bearing heavy loads, begins to develop the ability to channel outside forces through one's body into the ground, and conversely, using the ground to "brace" so that one can push and pull with all one's power, no iota dissipating tangential to this alignment."

Excerpt #2

"This ability is the product of systematic practice including long periods of standing -- immobile -- rebooting the organization of the body, so to speak, by standing in the same kind of active relaxation that the Inuit hunter must have maintained while poised with spear in ready position over a breathing hole in the ice.

Why is standing still so valuable? If you move, you take the stress off the nervous system and the body, and simply continue to compensate in a way that you are used to. But if you practice "not-moving" long enough, the brain gets the information that it is going to have to deal with the fact that this body will stay in this position, like it or not. The result is that the brain begins to reorganize to make the posture less stressful, and hence begins to enervate the muscles differently to aid in maximum efficiency. Almost all so-called internal arts either practice include standing practice, or use simple repetitive movements, through which one achieves similar results, in essence achieving "immobility within motion."

From http://www.edgework.info/article_naturalmovement.html

Natural Movement and Its Relationship to Martial Arts©

Ellis Amdur M.A., N.C.C., C.M.H.S

David

Tenyu
08-05-2009, 02:11 AM
(And Ark is to be commended for his public approach to matters, so this is in no way critical). Things like this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snYlMC6gUoM&feature=PlayList&p=DFCFDCBB85345B6D&index=2) or this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDCbZhTFAkU&feature=PlayList&p=DFCFDCBB85345B6D&index=1) or this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbvipmVYGzA&feature=PlayList&p=DFCFDCBB85345B6D&index=0) -- are not in any way surprising to me, nor anything out of my own experience and performance. It is not that I quibble with methods if they work, proof is in the pudding, I suppose. It is just that the results are not materially different.


In these videos, especially the katate and ryote dori techniques, nage visibly disconnects from uke with the initial ‘reception' and immediately creates two discordant rhythms. By rushing(clipping) the acceleration nage is violating the implicit demand and explicit frequency of uke. Training oneself to separate from uke prior to throw completion is poor budo and definitely not Aiki. Nage can easily compensate such errors quite well on a practical level but ‘success' through chaotic dominance will always be relative to uke's skill level. Only truly harmonic action has access to infinite power.

jss
08-05-2009, 04:58 AM
Ellis Amdur quote:
"But if you practice "not-moving" long enough, the brain gets the information that it is going to have to deal with the fact that this body will stay in this position, like it or not. The result is that the brain begins to reorganize to make the posture less stressful, and hence begins to enervate the muscles differently to aid in maximum efficiency. Almost all so-called internal arts either practice include standing practice, or use simple repetitive movements, through which one achieves similar results, in essence achieving "immobility within motion."
And yet I know of no internal art that claims that just standing there or doing simple movements is all you have to do to develop 'it'.

Ron Tisdale
08-05-2009, 08:23 AM
...you can come back as Bruce Baker in your next life...

Oh No! He who must not be named!!!! :D

Just kidding, hope he is well in what ever he is doing... :)
Best,
Ron (just couldn't resist)

Kevin Leavitt
08-05-2009, 08:26 AM
Yes, I hope Bruce is doing well and has resolved some of his anger.

rob_liberti
08-05-2009, 08:54 AM
How long will it be before someone else comes along with a synthesis of martial arts, doing what O'Sensei did, only better? It is inevitable

hmmm.... funny!

DH
08-05-2009, 08:59 AM
We need to make room for all opinions and theories-even from those who have no skills (that are worthy of note) outside their own walls. It is clear they have never felt or encountered the level of aiki we are talking about in the hands of men capable of using it, so their comparisons and opinions stand on their own merit. I just hope that fact doesn't go unnoticed or keep people in a state of complacency.

This material once pursued will change your budo forever. It was always the bastion of the few who undertook it, and most would not openly share it. It is unprecedented to see men-for the first time- teaching these things openly and across party lines.

Hidden in plain site?
Daito ryu teacher who went to Tokimune for aiki (he was given a set of solo training and paired exercises to bring back to his school) "Sensei, no one wants to do them. They just want to do techniques!" Tokimune said "No one wants to do them here either- they want more and more techniques."
Juxtapose that to Sagawa who openly stated he refused to teach it until the end of his life, further that Takeda told him not to teach it to westerners.;) And then noted that when he started teaching his own men they dramatically improved!
Thats just one art-there are many examples in others. What about the ki society work that was bashed during the "ki wars" here? Oddly enough the person best able to grasp at least "some" of the training at a recent event was from the ki society!

This training is defining. Those undertaking it in earnest will simply be the better martial artists. For those who are trying to compare the "IT" of those being discussed to yourselves and are thinking you can invite certain people to your dojo to share what you do with them on an equal footing in abilities? I would suggest you revisit that and consider the comparisons might best be left to the most capable Shihan you can find. When it comes to "IT" it tends to speak for itself. you might just find you won't have anything to "share" that compares.
While there will always be men who stand out against the budo wallpaper, I'm always shocked to see how so many are willing to be the wallpaper when the path to the single greatest power in the arts is staring them in the face. In the fullness of time-these same people will be scrambling to learn from the Aikido folks choosing to undertake this training now. Why? They will simply be outclassed from within the art of Aikido by their fellow Aikidoists who are pursuing "IT." Well, that's already happening isn't it? You already have shihan and 6th dans training outside the art to get "IT." And they, like me, are unconcerned with those who cannot yet see the essence of their own art that has gone untrained.
Cheers
Dan

Mike Sigman
08-05-2009, 09:19 AM
Just to toss out a caution from experience.

There were a number of Chinese who came to the U.S. (and other countries) who had studied White Crane, Hung Gar, and many other arts that all had their own brand and approach to ki/kokyu/qi/jin skills. In order to make a living, many of these people included "Tai Chi" in their curriculum, since it's a known money-maker, and they essentially taught their "Tai Chi" while demonstrating the physical skills from other arts. But who's to know that, among westerners?

So what you wound up with is a lot of "Tai Chi" that was actually White Crane powered, Long Fist powered, and so on. I know of several big "names" in England who dominate the scene because they use some pretty hardcore posture and breathing training to get people powerful and then enter these people into the mad-scrabble bs they call "Tai Chi Tournaments". These strong people dominate, using the mainly southern shaolin neigong training that they do, so "Tai Chi" in England is often nothing like what Tai Chi actually is... or was intended to be. It's become something else. A parody.

The point is that some concern has to be had about people inserting various other arts/origins into Aikido in ways that fundamentally change Aikido while the effort is being made to put "IT" back into Aikido. I've made that same point for a number of years now... sorry... but I think it's an important consideration. Put back what's "missing", sure. "Change" Aikido, no (hmmmm.... would that be Obamaikido?). ;)

FWIW

Mike Sigman

dps
08-05-2009, 09:20 AM
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/newreply.php?do=newreply&p=16854

02-27-2002, 01:01 PM

Post #1


I see a lot of posturing about the different types of AIKIDO and the different effectiveness of styles? You all miss the point. Aikido in the synthesis of many arts by O'Sensei. His contribution included the study of many arts, and the final results, for us, was Aikido. Have any of you looked into Pressure Points? Use of Chi/Ki with the positive and negative effects found in Aikido? Or even the use of sounds to draw upon the power of the universe itself? NO? Then you have studied the western way. Once you understand these things, then you will begin to see the secrets O'Sensei left to us in this art! If you want to yell like children immitating what they have seen without understanding why, have fun. If you want to learn, you must study pressure points, Chi/Ki, and the sounds of elements to start on the road O'Sensei began for us?

Connective tissue (http://www.acupuncturetoday.com/mpacms/at/article.php?id=28247),
aiki
and Kotodama.

Was he wrong?

David

DH
08-05-2009, 09:37 AM
...But who's to know that, among westerners?
...It's become something else. A parody.

The point is that some concern has to be had about people inserting various other arts/origins into Aikido in ways that fundamentally change Aikido while the effort is being made to put "IT" back into Aikido. I've made that same point for a number of years now... sorry... but I think it's an important consideration. Put back what's "missing", sure. "Change" Aikido, no (hmmmm.... would that be Obamaikido?). ;)
FWIW
Mike Sigman
While good points in and of themselves- another caution needs to be interjected.
There is a history of aikido teachers-including shihan- training in taiji, koryu and other arts that have internal aspects and bringing that training into their aikido. Then you have the classic-Tohei- who went outside the art as well to bring in skills that saw him recognized and promoted to 10th dan, and then Shioda who went to DR etc etc. So, I think the final arbiter of what is good for aikido might best be left to those in it- to judge for themselves- once they train with various sources.

I would hate to presume or make it sound like Aikido teachers are stupid or ignorant, and have no ability to discern what is good for their art. I have found them -thus far- to be pretty good judges of what might fit or not, and where things can be incorporated without changing their art. Aikido is fluid enough to allow for personal expression. Something which remains one of the strengths of the art.
Cheers
Dan

rob_liberti
08-05-2009, 09:39 AM
David,

No, he was not so terribly wrong in THOSE ideas - which is why it is so funny.

Personally, I'm not a big believer in the value of "pressure points". Something interesting to know for sure.

I do have a fairly decent working understanding of kotodama. My influence generally comes from a synthesis of the kojiki and the Takeuchi scrolls. Somehow, I don't think Bruce was hep to that, but I could be wrong...

What's your point? I'm all about O-sensei's aikido. I even plan to some day get together with Shaun Ravens and beg him to show me any of the misogi drills he is willing to share.

If O-sensei were alive today and came to my dojo, I wouldn't be terribly concerned that what I was doing would be considered so much of a "change" of aikido, but I'd certainly welcome his insight.

Rob

Kevin Leavitt
08-05-2009, 09:41 AM
David, totally don't get the point you are making? Can you state a clear sentence or two about what it is that you are trying to say.

Got it, accupunction, meridians, pressure points,chi, kotodama....

But what is the connection (no pun intended) or conclusion that you are making. It is not clear to me. Sorry.

dps
08-05-2009, 11:12 AM
David, totally don't get the point you are making? Can you state a clear sentence or two about what it is that you are trying to say.

Got it, accupunction, meridians, pressure points,chi, kotodama....

But what is the connection (no pun intended) or conclusion that you are making. It is not clear to me. Sorry.

It is in response to these posts.

OK, then... if we start off with where you are now, it is just as evident that if you work hard enough you can come back as Bruce Baker in your next life

Oh No! He who must not be named!!!! :D

Just kidding, hope he is well in what ever he is doing... :)
Best,
Ron (just couldn't resist)

Yes, I hope Bruce is doing well and has resolved some of his anger.

Bruce Baker wrote:
How long will it be before someone else comes along with a synthesis of martial arts, doing what O'Sensei did, only better? It is inevitable.

hmmm.... funny!

These are things that are being discussed in current threads on AikiWeb.
I was wondering why they thought he was wrong about what he stated.

David

Erick Mead
08-05-2009, 12:11 PM
In these videos, especially the katate and ryote dori techniques, nage visibly disconnects from uke with the initial ‘reception' and immediately creates two discordant rhythms. By rushing(clipping) the acceleration nage is violating the implicit demand and explicit frequency of uke. ... ‘success' through chaotic dominance will always be relative to uke's skill level. Only truly harmonic action has access to infinite power."What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" :D Success is always proportional to skill even in this framework. I agree there is a driven frequency. I agree there is a chaotic collapse. I do not necessarily agree that the two rhythms are discordant. They are in fact harmonic.

While it is true that a discordant chaotic pulse (also known, technically speaking, as "hammering the crap out of somebody") can create a resulting chaotic movement, it also just naturally results from a driven harmonic at a fundamental frequency, which erupts into a resonant chaos.

The result suggests the latter -- and the reflexive head bob is, in my view, conclusive, and the reflexive triggering of the leg extensors ( ryote) and flexors (katate) in succession is quite apparent. The grossly noticeable buckling/shimmy thing going on is a sure sign. Just arbitrarily snatching on or beating into someone's structure does not do that. Of course, if you know what is happening and can do it, you can damp it by a similar means, which involves no leverage.

Ark is popping the guy's gamma motor spindles and Golgi tendon organs. Think of them like structural circuit breakers. Driven resonance goes asymptotic and becomes destructive very quickly. The body does not have the margin to wait for conscious feedback in that case. Either it reflexively acts or it risks a stability loss (or structural damage) that is not recoverable.

Simple harmonic action is linear. Complex harmonic action is non-linear and resonant. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_pendulum
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/45/Double-compound-pendulum.gifMy arm is a double pendulum. The upper and lower centers form a double inverted pendulum Two people (simplified) can be considered double inverted pendulums. A multiple n-pendulum as n becomes > ~ 3 is a chain.

Driven resonance (90 degrees out of phase -- temporally, spatially or BOTH :hypno:) at a whole number frequency within the pahse space leads to chaotic movement. Resonance (at the fundamental frequency of a structure) will find any discontinuity in a the shear path in that system and collapse it at that point. Furitama is that fundamental frequency. Funetori undo, ude furi, sayu undo, happo undo, all define the limits of a moving phase space for a periodic dynamic stability region (the length of one simple natural pendulum swing) all of which can be made harmonic spatially (i.e -- 90 degree or Juuji 十字] relationship) with connected another phase space when they interact -- as the the two pendulums do when linked.

On the third one, that you did not mention, Mr. Chen. In the animation above, if the two pendulum are seen as crude representations of the two bodies connected, the periods where the system undergoes the single or doubled "whoop-de-do" rotations of the lower pendulum -- correspond to the throwing opportunities in the complex phase space, as used by Mr. Chen. The other periodic back and forth in-phase, leading phase or lagging phase oscillations where there is no full rotation are the "wait for it" part. Where it is commencing a full rotation -- that suddenly becomes "downhill" in the phase space for a throw -- and a throw if you go with it. Surf the break, man. If you attempt a throw anywhere else in that phase space -- you are working seriously uphill, and are likely to get caught inside.

The boundary of the above 2D pendulums figure may viewed as a the projection of a limacon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lima%C3%A7on), (the pedal of a circle (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedal_curve)) rotated around the axis of its cusp. Roughly, imagine seeing the profile of a squat apple shape constructed of loops of yarn with a deep cusp at the stem and a hollow teardrop core -- See below), or like a doughnut contracted to the point that the inner ring overlaps itself to make the center hole an internal lozenge or teardrop volume.

If you consider and look for the related bounding figures (cycloids and trochoids) of this kind of action. you have some better concrete imagery to prime your intuition about the spatial boundaries of the dynamics you are trying to achieve (regardless of scale -- the cusp can be arbitrarily large or miniscule) --- and the pedal curve (below) shows the explicit presence of juuji in the relationship.

Limacon http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/8b/PedalCurve2.gif

Another family of boundary curves of useful interest where cusp discontinuity and shear are immediately evident and yet have a seamless transition are the hyperboloids, catenoids and helicoids:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/ce/Helicatenoid.gif

thisisnotreal
08-05-2009, 12:16 PM
unbelievable

Ron Tisdale
08-05-2009, 12:17 PM
It's not so much that he was wrong in what he stated in a general sense...it was more that the way he stated things and the extremes to which he took them were not so well recieved.

He was an interesting fellow...last I knew him. Just didn't appear all that qualified to be lecturing people on what made up aikido. And inspite of being a very large fellow...he displayed none of the power of Dan, Mike, Akuzawa, etc.

Best,
Ron (so we got a little off-topic...we can just as easily get back on)

Erick Mead
08-05-2009, 12:18 PM
Personally, I'm not a big believer in the value of "pressure points". Something interesting to know for sure. These are also triggering muscle spindles and golgi tendon organs, among possibly several other things at other traditional locations. So it is plainly related, although the mechanism is more direct in approach.

Ron Tisdale
08-05-2009, 12:23 PM
Preasure points have their uses...but when you consider trying to hit a specific place on different bodies where it is not always obvious where that person's point is while you are understress and the person is hitting back...

The utility ratio drops rather quickly. If you follow the general form of Daito ryu or Aikido forms, it's likely that you'd be able to activate one or more of them...they are an interesting clue to correct placement of your limbs in relation to an opponant.

I'd hesitate to consider them much more than that. Any trained fighter is more likely to ignore them than anything else, and it might just piss them off. Aside from certain well known knock out points (base of skull, arteries in the neck, points along the jaw, etc.).

Best,
Ron

rob_liberti
08-05-2009, 12:28 PM
David, I do not believe that the part I quoted had anything to do with the "anger" issues that Kevin mentioned. I took Shaun's comment to mean that he was drawing a comparison in terms of inappropriateness - but that's just my take on it. I just brought that particular quote up for the humor of it all. Apparently, he should be remembered just as much for being a visionary as his congeniality. :)

Erick, I didn't mean to suggest that I didn't understand pressure points (to some degree anyway). They are just kind of a low percentage thing to go for until things are already over.

Rob

dps
08-05-2009, 01:03 PM
Will the Hanmi in Aikido achieve the same thing as pole standing in the Chinese Internal Martial Arts?

From http://www.traditional-aikido.com/Technique/ideal_stance.htm

The Ideal Hanmi in Aikido
"The mechanics of the stance are as follows: Point your front foot straight ahead. Turn your rear foot until it is approximately perpendicular to the front foot. Align the ball of your front foot with the ball of your rear foot; this creates the triangular stance. Bend your knees. Your front knee should be in a straight vertical line with the toes of the front foot—in other words, do not bend your knee so far that it hangs past your toes. Your weight is evenly placed between both feet, as though your weight is going down from your center, between your feet, and into the ground.

Like so:

Stance.gif (897 bytes)

O'Sensei called this stance ushiro-sankaku (rear triangle). Your weight sits in this triangle, relaxed, centered. Drop your hips. Imagine a line going from the top of your head, down through your hara (center), hips, between your feet, and into the ground to the center of the earth. If you can achieve this mental state, your body will be immovable."

jss
08-05-2009, 01:10 PM
Will the Hanmi in Aikido achieve the same thing as pole standing in the Chinese Internal Martial Arts?
Depends if you're doing the work during the standing or not. But I think you can use the hanmi stance, it's similar enough to what this Yiquan guy is using:
http://www.yiquan.org.uk/images/Yao.jpg
Drop your hips. Imagine a line going from the top of your head, down through your hara (center), hips, between your feet, and into the ground to the center of the earth. If you can achieve this mental state, your body will be immovable."
Now that's interesting. Being immovable while maintaining just one of the three pairs of opposing forces...

rob_liberti
08-05-2009, 01:10 PM
That hanmi shown on David's last link is good for straight external power and good for pivoting. I avoid it. It is a clear indication that IT is missing in aikido.

jss
08-05-2009, 01:14 PM
That hanmi shown on David's last link is good for straight external power and good for pivoting. I avoid it. It is a clear indication that IT is missing in aikido.
Then what is your favorite posture for IT and why?

Mike Sigman
08-05-2009, 01:16 PM
While good points in and of themselves- another caution needs to be interjected.
There is a history of aikido teachers-including shihan- training in taiji, koryu and other arts that have internal aspects and bringing that training into their aikido. Then you have the classic-Tohei- who went outside the art as well to bring in skills that saw him recognized and promoted to 10th dan, and then Shioda who went to DR etc etc. So, I think the final arbiter of what is good for aikido might best be left to those in it- to judge for themselves- once they train with various sources. Actually, that same argument has been made by a lot of Tai Chi teachers, too, in line with the issue I mentioned. One woman even tole me, "We do American Tai Chi... like in so many situations, we took something from someplace else and made it better.". I'm not particularly going to make a point I've already made that is in the archives about Ueshiba's training methods, Tohei's training methods, etc.
I would hate to presume or make it sound like Aikido teachers are stupid or ignorant, and have no ability to discern what is good for their art. I have found them -thus far- to be pretty good judges of what might fit or not, and where things can be incorporated without changing their art. Aikido is fluid enough to allow for personal expression. Something which remains one of the strengths of the art.
Well, considering the years of conversations on the topic and the newness of the skills to a lot of people... well, I'll take your word for it, Dan.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Eric Joyce
08-05-2009, 01:20 PM
"What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" :D Success is always proportional to skill even in this framework. I agree there is a driven frequency. I agree there is a chaotic collapse. I do not necessarily agree that the two rhythms are discordant. They are in fact harmonic.

While it is true that a discordant chaotic pulse (also known, technically speaking, as "hammering the crap out of somebody") can create a resulting chaotic movement, it also just naturally results from a driven harmonic at a fundamental frequency, which erupts into a resonant chaos.

The result suggests the latter -- and the reflexive head bob is, in my view, conclusive, and the reflexive triggering of the leg extensors ( ryote) and flexors (katate) in succession is quite apparent. The grossly noticeable buckling/shimmy thing going on is a sure sign. Just arbitrarily snatching on or beating into someone's structure does not do that. Of course, if you know what is happening and can do it, you can damp it by a similar means, which involves no leverage.

Ark is popping the guy's gamma motor spindles and Golgi tendon organs. Think of them like structural circuit breakers. Driven resonance goes asymptotic and becomes destructive very quickly. The body does not have the margin to wait for conscious feedback in that case. Either it reflexively acts or it risks a stability loss (or structural damage) that is not recoverable.

Simple harmonic action is linear. Complex harmonic action is non-linear and resonant. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_pendulum
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/45/Double-compound-pendulum.gifMy arm is a double pendulum. The upper and lower centers form a double inverted pendulum Two people (simplified) can be considered double inverted pendulums. A multiple n-pendulum as n becomes > ~ 3 is a chain.

Driven resonance (90 degrees out of phase -- temporally, spatially or BOTH :hypno:) at a whole number frequency within the pahse space leads to chaotic movement. Resonance (at the fundamental frequency of a structure) will find any discontinuity in a the shear path in that system and collapse it at that point. Furitama is that fundamental frequency. Funetori undo, ude furi, sayu undo, happo undo, all define the limits of a moving phase space for a periodic dynamic stability region (the length of one simple natural pendulum swing) all of which can be made harmonic spatially (i.e -- 90 degree or Juuji 十字] relationship) with connected another phase space when they interact -- as the the two pendulums do when linked.

On the third one, that you did not mention, Mr. Chen. In the animation above, if the two pendulum are seen as crude representations of the two bodies connected, the periods where the system undergoes the single or doubled "whoop-de-do" rotations of the lower pendulum -- correspond to the throwing opportunities in the complex phase space, as used by Mr. Chen. The other periodic back and forth in-phase, leading phase or lagging phase oscillations where there is no full rotation are the "wait for it" part. Where it is commencing a full rotation -- that suddenly becomes "downhill" in the phase space for a throw -- and a throw if you go with it. Surf the break, man. If you attempt a throw anywhere else in that phase space -- you are working seriously uphill, and are likely to get caught inside.

The boundary of the above 2D pendulums figure may viewed as a the projection of a limacon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lima%C3%A7on), (the pedal of a circle (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedal_curve)) rotated around the axis of its cusp. Roughly, imagine seeing the profile of a squat apple shape constructed of loops of yarn with a deep cusp at the stem and a hollow teardrop core -- See below), or like a doughnut contracted to the point that the inner ring overlaps itself to make the center hole an internal lozenge or teardrop volume.

If you consider and look for the related bounding figures (cycloids and trochoids) of this kind of action. you have some better concrete imagery to prime your intuition about the spatial boundaries of the dynamics you are trying to achieve (regardless of scale -- the cusp can be arbitrarily large or miniscule) --- and the pedal curve (below) shows the explicit presence of juuji in the relationship.

Limacon http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/8b/PedalCurve2.gif

Another family of boundary curves of useful interest where cusp discontinuity and shear are immediately evident and yet have a seamless transition are the hyperboloids, catenoids and helicoids:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/ce/Helicatenoid.gif

Wow!! That is some cool stuff Erick. I hope you work for NASA or something. Simply fascinating.

phitruong
08-05-2009, 01:31 PM
Then what is your favorite posture for IT and why?

prefer this posture meself. http://www.iwatchstuff.com/images/2006/08/planet-terror-2.jpg
no missing IT in that pose :D

rob_liberti
08-05-2009, 01:39 PM
Then what is your favorite posture for IT and why?

If you are into yoga, I would say my favorite foot orientation is closer to warrior1 than warrior2.

I'm a bit distracted by all of the spinning graphics that somehow bring into my mind this scene of a slick salesman that is trying to sell a piece of modern art; where it is not selling, so the salesman rotates it 90 degrees, waves his arms back and forth, and says, WHAT ABOUT NOW?! I'm just not buying what is being sold on that. I'm sure some physical model's apply but they are doubtfully complete or in any way useful thus far. I strongly doubt that IT will be found in aikido by working that out in this thread.

The fact is that IT exists, and is coming to aikido. And anything about IT already being in aikido to the depth we are talking about or that IT is not coming pretty much brings to mind the term "polite fiction" at best. IT is the elephant in the room that will hopefully be in your own dojo sooner or later.

Rob

jss
08-05-2009, 03:14 PM
If you are into yoga, I would say my favorite foot orientation is closer to warrior1 than warrior2.
You mean as in the back foot rather pointing west-northwest than west? (when facing North.)

Misogi-no-Gyo
08-05-2009, 03:16 PM
David (the OP) made the following statement and then asks us a follow-up question.it is a soap box for everyone to stand on within the confines of the thread topic. The thread has gone on for 532 posts. Do you think the discussion was worthwhile?I have personally stated that this thread, above many other great threads in the past, has been a turning point for me. I am sure that the adage, "...timing is everything..." is also at play.Had this exact thread come up just a few years ago, it would have played out just the same as threads from back at that time. This time around there are many of the same voices, mine included saying many of the same things. However, I do believe that the cloud of suspicion, the fear of the unknown and the experience of people coming together to train have brought us all forward - at least enough so that there is a consensus among us that allows for greater understanding and has brought forth enough common ground that the differences in what is being discussed can be put aside long enough to focus on that which is similar.

Mike, Dan and I, our students, training partners and those casual readers that cheer us on via the internet, and to some extent even our detractors can be said to agree on many things and disagree on many things. That doesn't make any of us right, or wrong for that matter. It may come out that we are each a bit right and a bit wrong. Ultimately, the martial arts community has already been effected by our dialogue and debates. AikiWeb is only one forum and there are others. Whether they be on the net, in our private conversations with each other, via email or on the mat, it is often the case that when people come together and share ideas and experience perspectives other than our own - we grow.

If all that is accomplished by this thread is an acknowledgment of that progress then I can say that this thread should be permanently marked in some way so that others seeking to enhance their current level of training can easily find it separated from the vast AikiWeb archive.

To go further, I believe the thread has been effective on multiple levels. This also sets it apart, and in my opinion, above many of its predecessors. While my above paragraphs speak to the benefit of recognizing the similarities I would like to highlight what Mike has said (quote, below) which point to the importance of the differences, too. It is the differences that make Aikido what it is and what separates it from other martial arts. With that, he draws a line, one that is a clear line of demarcation, one from which there is no returning....
The point is that some concern has to be had about people inserting various other arts/origins into Aikido in ways that fundamentally change Aikido while the effort is being made to put "IT" back into Aikido. I've made that same point for a number of years now... sorry... but I think it's an important consideration. Put back what's "missing", sure. "Change" Aikido, no (hmmmm.... would that be Obamaikido?). ;)

FWIW

Mike SigmanI am not pointing to that quote and saying this it the first time he has said this, (while that may be the case) but rather that this is the premier point I have been trying to make (to Mike, Dan and others) all along. Obviously I completely agree with Mike. I don't say this lightly, nor from a place of authority. I say it from a place of that which I have had the pleasure and honor to have experienced, something I hope to have the opportunity to share at some point in time.

I look forward to that time, indeed. I am sure that just as in the past few years, as much passion, effort dialogue and debate will go into the illumination of that idea and that the process that comes forth from it will again focus a light on that which has always been at the center of Aikido all along. I say all of this in the spirit with which my teachers have shared their thoughts, ideas and experience with me, that being, "...If we, as teachers do our jobs right, our students will have the tools with which to surpass us in every way."


Best in training to all...

.

Min Kang
08-05-2009, 03:36 PM
Wow.

I don't presume to have trained nearly as long as many posters have, and I certainly don't presume to have as much skill or knowledge. But in sixteen years of Aikido training, and a smattering of this and that beforehand, I can pretty much tell what works and doesn't, and sometimes, even why it works or doesn't ;)

I first felt Gleason Sensei fifteen years ago and he was very, very good. I felt him several years ago and he was better. I felt him this year and he was better in an eye-opening *different* way. There was a VERY palpable difference in his structure and movement. I understand he trains with Dan Harden - and I would jump at the chance to train with Dan.

Similarly, Ikeda Sensei has evolved over the years I've seen him and felt him. And I would leap at the opportunity if I have a chance to train with Mike Sigman.

I give the benefit of doubt to those respected by people I respect, but bottom line: I personally felt the difference in these two very accomplished martial artists - and man, I'm excited not only by where their aikido is going, but by the fact that these very senior people had the confidence and courage to step out of their comfort zone and challenge themselves, and learn.

donhebert
08-05-2009, 04:17 PM
Hi All,

I have been very interested in this discussion regarding what might be missing from Aikido. Having practiced Aikido for good many years I find myself continually drawn back to the fundamental question of why do I continue to practice this art. The way I see it practiced and what I often encounter on the mat as I practice in different venues can be discouraging.

To simplify my perspective, let's say that the fundamentals of Aikido can exist along a spectrum that has martial effectiveness on one end and spiritual attainment on the other. I believe that O'Sensei's vision was to somehow unify these two elements so as to enrich the life of the practitioner as well as the condition of society. It is difficult to interpret O'Sensei from modern day America. He was from a very different era and culture and was considered a bit of an anachronism even in his own time. Who knows what he would make of today's spiritual paths or transpersonal psychology, just to give an example. In any case, he deeply pursued martial effectiveness and in doing so came to feel a need to place this skill into a context of larger meaning.

Most of the discussions on this forum appear to be concerned with Aikido's effectiveness as a martial art, the physical end of spectrum. Aikido is susceptible to criticism along these lines. Most aikidoists I know do not have a strong martial ability. Even the ones that do seem to obtain it via their size, attitude, agility, etc. but not really because they have learned some sort of powerful aiki. I will be the first to admit that I don't have a natural proclivity for fighting. My natural impulse is to be retiring and avoid confrontation. This, of course, is why Aikido is good for me. It pushes on my edges and thus makes me grow. However, investing lots of effort into embodying martial power for its own sake is not very nourishing to me. In fact it is ultimately disheartening. There world is full of violence for its own sake and seductiveness of martial prowess has lead to many disasters. Aren't there better ways to spend my very short life?

Interestingly, the spiritual side of Aikido can only be explored from a place of martial integrity. It is the dangerous side of the art that makes me confront myself, the nature of war and conflict, the problem of suffering, the potential for reconciliation, the fear that manifests itself in my movements, the power of kindness. So if I have inclination to explore the meaning of my life and how I participate in the world, the martial edge of my practice is what helps me really make progress.

The problem I see in the current state of Aikido is that we are at risk at losing both ends of the spectrum and ending up with a kind of a ghost of an art. If we are in need of re-introducing true aiki skills into the art to make it martially real, then I would also say we also have a big problem on the spiritual side. Allowing that many of the shihan level instructors can exhibit martial skill, very few of them seem to have anything to say about spirituality. In fact, most them seem unable to model a spiritual path and are all too human and dysfunctional. If our teachers are not manifesting this, then how is it getting taught? Why continue to associate spirituality with Aikido? If fake martial ability is bad, fake spirituality is even worse. Going deeper, what would it mean for Aikido to be spiritual? How can we practice and teach it? Are there training methods analogous to Dan's aiki training will help us to grow as human beings? What can happen during training that is true spiritual work?

These are important questions for me personally and perhaps many who are reading this are not troubled by them. However, I just recently read a quote from a holy man that unless one is on the verge of abandoning a chosen path, then one isn't really seeking. I don't know how true this is, but I found it encouraging all the same.

Best regards,

Don Hebert

PS. I went to Dan's seminar last weekend and it was absolutely amazing. Dan is a powerful martial artist and a gifted teacher. I find myself at looking at the bottom rung a dauntingly tall ladder. Everything I do in Aikido is going to change.

rob_liberti
08-05-2009, 05:48 PM
Q: Are there training methods analogous to Dan's aiki training will help us to grow as human beings?

my Answer: I have been investigating Rod Stryker's parayoga. So far it is in line with all of the body conditioning that Dan is trying to burn into me. I have also been very impressed by a shaman connected to http://www.thefourwinds.com

Q: What can happen during training that is true spiritual work?

my Answer: I think we have to investigate having REAL CHOICE about protecting or maximum damage, and get away from so much finesse to control (avoid feeling) and avoid exposing yor structural weaknesses.

But that's just my approach. I also think learning universal principles of kotodama based on the eperience of manifesting universal principles of aiki is important as well as the misogi exercises Shaun knows about.

Rob

Kevin Leavitt
08-05-2009, 06:09 PM
Rob, have you had any experience with Rod Stryker? just curious as to what you think might be unique or different about his approach to yoga that is applicable.

eyrie
08-05-2009, 07:11 PM
Depends if you're doing the work during the standing or not. But I think you can use the hanmi stance, it's similar enough to what this Yiquan guy is using:
http://www.yiquan.org.uk/images/Yao.jpg

Now that's interesting. Being immovable while maintaining just one of the three pairs of opposing forces... Hmmm... "looks" similar, but it's not... there are a few key differences - one you've already pointed out. Another is where the weight is centered... and how it is distributed.

Lee Salzman
08-05-2009, 07:19 PM
Hmmm... "looks" similar, but it's not... there are a few key differences - one you've already pointed out. Another is where the weight is centered... and how it is distributed.

It should be noted that how he (Yao Chengguang) is using stance there goes beyond the stance. That is one stance among many, and those stances are merely bridges to being without any fixed stance at all, such that regardless of where your body or balance is placed, force is well coordinated. The coordination is primary, the positioning is not. I would not read too much into the external appearance of it, since that's not really the goal of it at all.

Mike Sigman
08-05-2009, 08:49 PM
It should be noted that how he (Yao Chengguang) is using stance there goes beyond the stance. That is one stance among many, and those stances are merely bridges to being without any fixed stance at all, such that regardless of where your body or balance is placed, force is well coordinated. The coordination is primary, the positioning is not. I would not read too much into the external appearance of it, since that's not really the goal of it at all.So, how does it work, Lee?

Best.

Mike Sigman

Misogi-no-Gyo
08-05-2009, 08:55 PM
Rob,

While the following two quotes are yours, they echo sentiments I have been hearing from many DRAJ, CMA, internal strength proponents and the like for years. I have taken issue with what is openly being said all along. However, while I point at them, they are illustrative more about a conversion of attitude than the change in methodology that lay at their source. The latter change I understand and agree with. The former one gives me great trepidation.

The fact is that IT exists, and is coming to aikido. And anything about IT already being in aikido to the depth we are talking about or that IT is not coming pretty much brings to mind the term "polite fiction" at best. IT is the elephant in the room that will hopefully be in your own dojo sooner or lateand
If O-Sensei were alive today and came to my dojo, I wouldn't be terribly concerned that what I was doing would be considered so much of a "change" of aikido, but I'd certainly welcome his insight.

With your first quote you seem to be making a sweeping conclusion about Aikido based upon your own limited experience. Now, I know that you have a more broad approach, both having taken your cues from many sources within Aikido and from without. Your experience is probably less than some, but I am sure more than most. At the same time, your statement tells me that you haven't had the opportunity to experience that level within Aikido. I have experienced that level and levels beyond that, too. Therefore, my conclusions differ from yours.

Your second quote frightens me even more. If O-Sensei were somehow alive and he came to my dojo, I would bow, take off my belt and carry buckets of hot water with it strewn over my back just to fill up his bath before I did anything else. After I prepared a meal for him and let him get some rest after his travels, observing him all the while I would just take ukemi from him until he was done with me. If I had the opportunity to ask any questions, well lets just say I have a whole list of them already written down. I wouldn't really ever be comfortable nor would I think be able to receive any insights at my level, and that's even if somehow as magically as he arrived, my Japanese was such to understand what he said without hesitation. Had you asked me what would Rob do? a few years ago, I would have answered, bout the same as me. Now, I am not sure...

Putting all of that aside for the moment, your next two quotes have me looking forward rather than back.
I do have a fairly decent working understanding of kotodama. My influence generally comes from a synthesis of the kojiki and the Takeuchi scrolls. Somehow, I don't think Bruce was hep to that, but I could be wrong...From my own experience, I haven't come across anyone outside of one source who had a real, working knowledge of the subject. Historical knowledge, yes... Religious take on it, sure... But a working knowledge like the one you are undertaking in internals...? Not one. Given that, I would be most interested in hearing/seeing/experiencing your take on this, Rob. In person of course...

What's your point? I'm all about O-sensei's aikido. I even plan to some day get together with Shaun Ravens and beg him to show me any of the misogi drills he is willing to share.Rob, my invitation to you has been open for years... As Mike's, Dan's and others have been for me. I understand that sometimes, life, finances and other opportunities often line up against you and keep some of the things high on our list from ever happening... til the time is right, of course. My last post about a time in the future when the passions run hot for such knowledge, combined with Mike's recent point about keeping the Aikido in Aikido and understanding that merely melting in internal power, doesn't really speak in full to what might be missing from Aikido, hidden in plain sight, or openly being taught to those openly seeking it from the right sources. I have plans for when that time in the future comes to be the present. I am sure I will see you, along with many others in this very thread, there on the mat, at that time.

FWIW
I have always made the effort to be a conduit for seekers who come my way. I maintain the attitude that I am a "voice of experience than any "voice of authority." As such, anyone coming to me for anything has had the opportunity to learn directly from my teacher. Once they made their own connections, I preferred to get out of the way and encouraged them to go and get whatever they could directly from the sources I had the chance to seek out and learn from. When I met Abe Sensei he seemed very old at 77. Even then we said to ourselves, "Better make the most of the time we have..." and that is why I chose to dedicate the next 10 years of my life to tapping the source as often and as deeply as I could manage. Abe Sensei is now 94. Many things have changed in the last 17 years. That is both good and bad. There is so much more to learn, but little time within which to experience certain things first hand.There are things he is now willing to share that both eclipse and explain all of the past teachings. I can only hope to be lucky enough for things in my life to align themselves so that I can make one or two more visits. Fortunately Dan and Mike are young. Perhaps they will have even more to teach when they are in their 90's.

When I see that people seem to be after "power" of whatever sort, I am kind of dumbfounded given what really is available when it comes to understanding O-Sensei's Aikido. Power will always be there, but the sources who can and will confirm if the path you are on will lead you to the place you are seeking will not be there much longer.

Best in training to you and all...

.

Lee Salzman
08-05-2009, 09:10 PM
So, how does it work, Lee?

Best.

Mike Sigman

He sells a correspondence course which explains it. Last I heard, he has trouble making ends meet, so if you would be so kind as to support him by purchasing it, I am sure he would be greatful. They can be found here: http://www.yiquan.com/v3/en/index.htm

Mike Sigman
08-05-2009, 09:17 PM
He sells a correspondence course which explains it. Ummmm.... I've seen his correspondence course. I don't think it explains anything. More vague generalities. That's why Yiquan training by foreigners gets such a pan. Regardless, the question was directed to you, not to a correspondence course... if you're a reasonably longterm student of Yiquan, can't you explain how it works?

Best.

Mike Sigman

Misogi-no-Gyo
08-05-2009, 09:30 PM
The problem I see in the current state of Aikido is that we are at risk at losing both ends of the spectrum and ending up with a kind of a ghost of an art. If we are in need of re-introducing true aiki skills into the art to make it martially real, then I would also say we also have a big problem on the spiritual side. Allowing that many of the shihan level instructors can exhibit martial skill, very few of them seem to have anything to say about spirituality. In fact, most them seem unable to model a spiritual path and are all too human and dysfunctional. If our teachers are not manifesting this, then how is it getting taught? Why continue to associate spirituality with Aikido? If fake martial ability is bad, fake spirituality is even worse. Going deeper, what would it mean for Aikido to be spiritual? How can we practice and teach it? Are there training methods analogous to Dan's aiki training will help us to grow as human beings? What can happen during training that is true spiritual work?

Don,

You have managed to hit on the exact point I have been making all along. There seems to be so much emphasis by some to deconstruct O-Sensei's Aikido and pare it down to what they know at the sake of losing a focus on the unification of mind, body and spirit that is essential to achieving chinkon-kishin. To answer your questions, Yes - there is a method of training that O-Sensei passed down and has been taught ever since. You won't find it in many places, and that is a shame. Then again, the teaching is market driven. Even in O-Sensei's time, there were few who had both the passion for the subject and the willingness to let go of power and ego as a first step. I am not talking in the Buddhist sense, but in the real sense of letting go of one's own humanity as a first step. Interestingly enough, I had an advantage of sorts in that I had come to the table having already surmounted that great mountain by taking up another path that focused on just this sort of unification. Once achieved - and its experience is quite undeniable - O-Sensei's teachings happen to make quite a bit more sense. When be asked to let go as a way of emptying the cup, it is understood. This is as opposed to when someone says "relax," but doesn't offer a method of how in any real sense. They also don't offer any way of measuring relaxation to know when you are relaxed, so what good is that as a method of instruction. When you "become the universe" there really isn't any denial of it, and when someone tries to tell you about it you immediately know if they are just talking, or if they have actually experienced it for themselves.

These are important questions for me personally and perhaps many who are reading this are not troubled by them. However, I just recently read a quote from a holy man that unless one is on the verge of abandoning a chosen path, then one isn't really seeking. I don't know how true this is, but I found it encouraging all the same.Can't say much about the holy man's quote except I give up my path every night when I go to sleep and am often surprised that I choose to pick it up at some point the next day. As for your point, I can say that I am quite troubled. Just see my reply to Rob Liberti, above and you will see me state just that... and more...

Best in training to you and all...

.

Lee Salzman
08-05-2009, 09:37 PM
Ummmm.... I've seen his correspondence course. I don't think it explains anything. More vague generalities. That's why Yiquan training by foreigners gets such a pan. Regardless, the question was directed to you, not to a correspondence course... if you're a reasonably longterm student of Yiquan, can't you explain how it works?

Best.

Mike Sigman

The stances are used as a framework within which coordination of movement is initially practiced. This is movement stopped to a point, such that coordination of movement can be more easily practiced. Once in movement, maintaining the coordination is much more difficult, and having the coordination reinforced to sufficient levels of automation within static postures makes attaining the coordination in movement simpler. Various postures are useful for representing various phases of movement and also because they place different loading patterns on the musculature that can enhance the learning of awareness within certain body areas. Once a sufficient base of coordination is built, it is to be practiced outside static forms or postures, so that in the end form is discarded in favor of spontaneous free movement and coordination is maintained regardless. Coordination there has various meanings, in terms of being able to engage the spectrum from relaxation to tension, an understanding of the transitions between them, and optimal patterns of musculature utilization for exerting force under varying circumstances.

Misogi-no-Gyo
08-05-2009, 09:37 PM
Ummmm.... I've seen his correspondence course. I don't think it explains anything. More vague generalities. That's why Yiquan training by foreigners gets such a pan. Regardless, the question was directed to you, not to a correspondence course... if you're a reasonably longterm student of Yiquan, can't you explain how it works?

Best.

Mike SigmanMike,

What if he can? Can you? What if he can't? Does that mean that he doesn't have a valid point? The point here is, no one is really explaining anything here that amounts to much other than a mere qualifier to some that they are qualified to not explain anything in great detail beyond that. I think we have moved beyond just putting a question out there for the mere sake of trying to decide for ourselves if said person is qualified to not really answer the question when asked by someone else with less knowledge. So you asked him... and now I am asking you? Can you explain it? Not that I care for the explanation, but it sure would be interesting for you to answer a direct question with just the answer and not much more... in the way of qualifiers, of course...:straightf

Best in training to you and all...

.

dps
08-05-2009, 09:45 PM
The stances are used as a framework within which coordination of movement is initially practiced. This is movement stopped to a point, such that coordination of movement can be more easily practiced. Once in movement, maintaining the coordination is much more difficult, and having the coordination reinforced to sufficient levels of automation within static postures makes attaining the coordination in movement simpler. Various postures are useful for representing various phases of movement and also because they place different loading patterns on the musculature that can enhance the learning of awareness within certain body areas. Once a sufficient base of coordination is built, it is to be practiced outside static forms or postures, so that in the end form is discarded in favor of spontaneous free movement and coordination is maintained regardless. Coordination there has various meanings, in terms of being able to engage the spectrum from relaxation to tension, an understanding of the transitions between them, and optimal patterns of musculature utilization for exerting force under varying circumstances.

Could you do this with ikkyo?

David

Lee Salzman
08-05-2009, 09:54 PM
Could you do this with ikkyo?

David

As far as I know, yes. My teacher had me working everything from stepping, punches, kicks, knees, and elbows to wrestling throws, tumbling, bridging, shrimping, and sweeping moves on the ground within that framework.

gdandscompserv
08-05-2009, 10:16 PM
If O-Sensei were somehow alive and he came to my dojo, I would bow, take off my belt and carry buckets of hot water with it strewn over my back just to fill up his bath before I did anything else. After I prepared a meal for him and let him get some rest after his travels, observing him all the while I would just take ukemi from him until he was done with me. If I had the opportunity to ask any questions, well lets just say I have a whole list of them already written down. I wouldn't really ever be comfortable nor would I think be able to receive any insights at my level, and that's even if somehow as magically as he arrived, my Japanese was such to understand what he said without hesitation.
Is this also how you would behave if Dan H. came to visit your dojo?:D

Misogi-no-Gyo
08-05-2009, 10:22 PM
Could you do this with ikkyo?

David

David,

Ok, given that we now know that you are not asking this frmo a place of experience... Would you please, please, please tell us what does it means if he can...? and What does it mean if it can't?

I liked Lee's explanation. I understood everything he said. I have a clear picture of what he is talking about from his basic (not too in depth) description. As much as I both like it and understand it, I am not at all interested if he can do it from Ikkyo, nikkyo or any other outward waza, Aikido or otherwise. If you are asking, "Can this be done from Ikkyo? The answer would be yes. It would also be yes to nikkyo, shihonage, and every other waza, Aikido or otherwise. Lee's point is more about being able to do technique from any postural alignment whether it seems to be one of obvious advantage or one from just as obvious a disadvantage. This is more about applying any technique once the base principles are in place.

Whether you find that to be true or even interesting, is not really the issue.. The issue is asking an open ended question (a-la Mike's recent one to Lee) which neither offers any reason for the question, any qualifier as to what it means if the answer is yes, no, or whatever... and just hangs out there in the universe without any understanding by the casual reader as to why you are even asking that.

In any case, I have met people who can do ikkyo without any perceptible movement. They can do this from any angle, any postural alignment and from every position of disadvantage that you might be able to imagine. In every instance the attacker is driven straight into the ground without the ability (or even the chance) for the attacker to move from the spot upon which he is standing or just happens to be at the moment he connects with his attack.

Please... share with the readers here on AikiWeb... from your perspective... WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

Best in training to you and all...

.

dps
08-05-2009, 10:35 PM
If you are asking, "Can this be done from Ikkyo?

Maybe a better way of saying it would be "Can this be done with Ikkyo?".

Lee answered my question so I think he understood what I was asking?

David

Misogi-no-Gyo
08-05-2009, 10:37 PM
Is this also how you would behave if Dan H. came to visit your dojo?:D

Well, don't know if Dan is into baths, and I would of course temper it more towards American tastes, but otherwise, yes. That is how I would treat any teacher I invited to my dojo. I will go even further and say that I have said as much to Dan already in so many words.

I do this because that is what my teacher showed me as the proper way to receive someone of Dan's caliber, reputation and importance. I just hope it wouldn't make him feel uncomfortable. However, I was also taught that it would be improper to issue such an invitation without first being accepted as a student and spending time enough with Dan that he would feel coming to my dojo would be worth his while. I would do the same for Mike, too, should anyone really be interested. Alas, with the way things are at the moment, I am just trying to muster up enough to get back to Japan after my current six month commitment is complete before I undertake anything so grand as contemplating accepting a new teacher after some 20 years with Matsuoka Sensei. Then again cross training, while not my thing, is said to be nice.

Best in training to you and all...

.

dps
08-05-2009, 10:40 PM
Is this also how you would behave if Dan H. came to visit your dojo?:D

What about me? You know if I came to your dojo?:)

David

gdandscompserv
08-05-2009, 10:42 PM
Well, don't know if Dan is into baths, and I would of course temper it more towards American tastes, but otherwise, yes. That is how I would treat any teacher I invited to my dojo. I will go even further and say that I have said as much to Dan already in so many words.

I do this because that is what my teacher showed me as the proper way to receive someone of Dan's caliber, reputation and importance. I just hope it wouldn't make him feel uncomfortable. However, I was also taught that it would be improper to issue such an invitation without first being accepted as a student and spending time enough with Dan that he would feel coming to my dojo would be worth his while. I would do the same for Mike, too, should anyone really be interested. Alas, with the way things are at the moment, I am just trying to muster up enough to get back to Japan after my current six month commitment is complete before I undertake anything so grand as contemplating accepting a new teacher after some 20 years with Matsuoka Sensei. Then again cross training, while not my thing, is said to be nice.

Best in training to you and all...

.
Thank you for your reply Shaun. I now know a bit more about you than I did.

rob_liberti
08-05-2009, 10:48 PM
Shaun,

I'm all for a meeting when I can manage it. I'm hoping for sometime next Spring. It will certainly be interesting comparing levels, approaches, and exchanging info in person. I've been the uke while Gleason sensei chanted kotodama as he threw me. I have sounds identified feelings in my body. I'm very excited to see where this kind of research goes as our levels of understanding in physical universal principles increases by leaps and bounds.

If a big sensei shows up to my place, I'll be nice to them and all, but I'm not into worshiping anyone. I don't want to be put on a pedestal and I certainly do not think it is kind or helpful to put that kind of pressure on anyone else. Now, I suppose if O-sensei showed up, I admit I would do a bit more kissing up because I would want to know about how he came back and what it was like while he was gone. :)

Rob

Misogi-no-Gyo
08-05-2009, 10:51 PM
Thank you for your reply Shaun. I now know a bit more about you than I did.

...Oh, no!!!

feel free to send me a private message noting any damage I have managed to do to myself and my public image. I really didn't think I could do any more damage, but...

.

Misogi-no-Gyo
08-05-2009, 10:55 PM
Now, I suppose if O-sensei showed up, I admit I would do a bit more kissing up because I would want to know about how he came back and what it was like while he was gone. :)

Rob

You mean Dan isn't teaching that sort of thing at his dojo? So he is holding back, after all! :eek:

Spring sounds about right, but you may find me lurking around your dojo before then complete with an old coffee cup with some coins in it and a scruffy beard and unwashed hakama. I'll be answering to the name, Slappy... just so you know.

Misogi-no-Gyo
08-05-2009, 10:56 PM
What about me? You know if I came to your dojo?:)

David

David,

Was this for me?

...:confused:

dps
08-05-2009, 10:56 PM
David,

Was this for me?

...:confused:

Yes.

David

Misogi-no-Gyo
08-05-2009, 11:32 PM
What about me? You know if I came to your dojo?:)

David

FWIW...
Hmm, well I run a private dojo on my property, so I am particular about who I let in. My senior students will tell you that getting in without an introduction and a letter of recommendation takes about six to nine months, and that's if I like the introduction, the letter of recommendation and the attitude they are presented in. Some people have been trying to see me for years. Thing is, they keep trying the same thing that didn't work last year.

Then again, there is always the occasional open enrollment call. It is rare, but it does happen. I don't think I have had any of those students stay longer than a month or two. I am not really surprised which is why I fall back to the approach I mentioned above.

Of course there is always Hatsu-Geiko, where it is traditional to open the doors and let anyone come on by. I even encourage my junior students to don fundoshi (I provide new ones for a small fee) and experience outdoor misogi using ice and snow. I am sure my neighbors think I am running some kind of crazy, male only underwear cult, but hey... I have been accused and guilty of much, much worse.

More importantly, any of my students will tell you that once you are accepted I am there to cater to your needs. I answer every question that comes to me, tell the source of my information and invite further questioning of my methods approach and sources. I let everyone feel anything and everything they want to experience and often let them come up with ways to try and stymie my explanation and effectiveness at every turn. I also make tea for my students, cook them macrobiotic meals at times and even make them medicine when they are sick... to mention just a few of the ways in which I attempt to share with the attitude with which my teachers shared with me, and one with which they would expect me to carry things forward...

David,

Feel free to contact me privately if are you interested in filling out an application... I promise to be as open as you are to the idea. Let's see how far that gets us...

Best in training to you and all...

.

dps
08-06-2009, 12:45 AM
Interestingly, the spiritual side of Aikido can only be explored from a place of martial integrity.

My feelings exactly Don.

Thank you.

David

dps
08-06-2009, 12:59 AM
The stances are used as a framework within which coordination of movement is initially practiced. This is movement stopped to a point, such that coordination of movement can be more easily practiced. Once in movement, maintaining the coordination is much more difficult, and having the coordination reinforced to sufficient levels of automation within static postures makes attaining the coordination in movement simpler. Various postures are useful for representing various phases of movement and also because they place different loading patterns on the musculature that can enhance the learning of awareness within certain body areas. Once a sufficient base of coordination is built, it is to be practiced outside static forms or postures, so that in the end form is discarded in favor of spontaneous free movement and coordination is maintained regardless. Coordination there has various meanings, in terms of being able to engage the spectrum from relaxation to tension, an understanding of the transitions between them, and optimal patterns of musculature utilization for exerting force under varying circumstances.

What you described is very similar to the way I was taught the basic techniques of Aikido ( ikkyo, nikyo,sankyo, shiho nage, etc). Your explanation is a lot more detailed then what I received.


Thank You
David

jss
08-06-2009, 01:30 AM
The coordination is primary, the positioning is not. I would not read too much into the external appearance of it, since that's not really the goal of it at all.
I agree the positioning is not the goal, but if the positioning were irrelevant, why would he give detailed instructions about his "oblique T-step"? And why not have a different positioning of the feet? Or perhaps Yao Chengguang (not that this stuff is originally his anyway) is smart enough to place his feet in such a way that he can most easily achieve his goals in practice?
I may not be all that knowledgeable about this internal stuff, but often plain old logic can get you a long way. ;)

jss
08-06-2009, 04:10 AM
Coordination there has various meanings, in terms of being able to engage the spectrum from relaxation to tension, an understanding of the transitions between them, and optimal patterns of musculature utilization for exerting force under varying circumstances.
And what makes this form of coordination superior to what for instance a good gymnastics coach can teach you?

Erick Mead
08-06-2009, 07:59 AM
To simplify my perspective, let's say that the fundamentals of Aikido can exist along a spectrum that has martial effectiveness on one end and spiritual attainment on the other. I believe that O'Sensei's vision was to somehow unify these two elements so as to enrich the life of the practitioner as well as the condition of society. It is difficult to interpret O'Sensei from modern day America. ...
Interestingly, the spiritual side of Aikido can only be explored from a place of martial integrity. I have learned to think in concrete images. Look at the diagram. See it. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/45/Double-compound-pendulum.gif

If the upper pendulum is the Universe, Divine, God, choose your name, and the lower one is Man it shows an image of both a fundamental Order and essential but dependent Freedom.

The system does not sweep out the same path twice. While its motion is completely determined -- its ultimate path is not and both the human action and the divine action cooperate in the ultimate path that occurs. But, as with a child's swing, if you depart from the essential order that is the basis for magnifying your freedom then you just hang there, wobbling.

Now, seeing this image in concrete forms look at Morihei Ueshiba performing Chinkon Kishin with the jo. Tell me you do not see the dynamic of the image above in inverted form. "Calm the soul -- return to the Divine."

Martiality, mathematics and mysticism are not divorced.

Erick Mead
08-06-2009, 08:04 AM
I even encourage my junior students to don fundoshi (I provide new ones for a small fee) and experience outdoor misogi using ice and snow. .Yet another good reason to live in the glorious South... Cut-offs, a rope swing and a coldwater creek, now there's some water misogi, boy!

rob_liberti
08-06-2009, 08:26 AM
You mean as in the back foot rather pointing west-northwest than west? (when facing North.)

It is more about the hip orientation than foot rotation. How the back foot is rotated doesn't matter all that much to me as long as there is a clean path to the ground.

Erick, Oh my gosh...
"Martiality, mathematics and mysticism are not divorced" but it seems you want martiality and mathematics to be married before they meet... I keep getting that mental image of a lot of hand waving (or cool graphics) and someone saying "WHAT ABOUT NOW?!" Step 1 of a process to mathematically decribe something should be to go experience it, THEN describe it.

Rob
P.S. If "Slappy" wants to visit my dojo, call my cell so I make sure I'm there.

Lee Salzman
08-06-2009, 09:29 AM
I agree the positioning is not the goal, but if the positioning were irrelevant, why would he give detailed instructions about his "oblique T-step"? And why not have a different positioning of the feet? Or perhaps Yao Chengguang (not that this stuff is originally his anyway) is smart enough to place his feet in such a way that he can most easily achieve his goals in practice?
I may not be all that knowledgeable about this internal stuff, but often plain old logic can get you a long way. ;)

There are stories about Wang Xiangzhai calling himself "old man contradiction", because he advocated arriving at formlessness through methods. The Yaos have their methods, and other different practicioners of yiquan have different methods yet again.

And what makes this form of coordination superior to what for instance a good gymnastics coach can teach you?

The extent to which the resulting skill is martially applicable. The final expression of those methods is explosive strength, and a certain kind of explosive strength that is developed along with the responsiveness and ability to change to employ it in unpredictable combat. The method of using stances and movements arises precisely because no fixed external loading pattern can recreate the variety and rapidness of movements that need to be trained.

Any discipline which helps develop awareness and control of muscles within the body is likewise helpful once that control is applied back into the yiquan training and reinforced in the more unpredictable martial context. My teacher really liked Olympic weight lifting, and I had another fellow student of my teacher who liked to use kettlebell lifts. Yiquan was meant to encompass whatever methods get you to the goal, not to be exclusive of them.

The implied question, though, is whether that has relevance to application in aikido? Given the recent experience I had with Dan, I now feel that where yiquan leads is sort of a 180 from where aikido leads, and that it is probably not a good example to hold up of training that would need to be reincorporated within aikido.

Erick Mead
08-06-2009, 09:45 AM
Erick, Oh my gosh...
"Martiality, mathematics and mysticism are not divorced" but it seems you want martiality and mathematics to be married before they meet... I keep getting that mental image of a lot of hand waving (or cool graphics) and someone saying "WHAT ABOUT NOW?!" Step 1 of a process to mathematically decribe something should be to go experience it, THEN describe it. He asked how they can be unified. I showed one way, illustrated by a simple model and a well known preference in training of O Sensei. It was responsive to his legitimate concern, though it may be not the answer he or you are looking for, but there it is. If one knew the answer one was looking for, one wouldn't keep asking, now would one?

The problem always is whether it was the right question. You seem to have become devoted to a particular idiosycnratic way of looking at these things. They are the same things. Doubt is not a basis for assumption. I believe what my senses and reason tell me -- and my reason more particularly because the subjective senses require objective interpretation.

Mine seems similarly idiosyncratic to you. But being unfamiliar to you is not the same as being idiosyncratic. I draw upon universally available images, constructs and relationships that anyone with basic sense of mechanics can begin to appreciate and dig into -- if they want to - which no one is compelled do to do if they don't. And God bless 'em.

I am not making argument. I do that for a living, and this isn't one. I just present good concrete images and known physical relationships of a fundamental nature that relate to this art. How do I know this? Because it is there to be seen and felt, quite simply. I am not reading those images into the art The art drew those those images out for me.

The thing about marriage is that distinction is not subsumed -- even though the entirety of two people is devoted to a common identity. So too, with different ways of knowing things. They can be a different as lightning and marshmallows and yet wholly identify with the same thing.

It is a sad man who cannot hold at least three wildly varying thoughts in his head at once. Certainly, he wouldn't stay married very long if he couldn't.... :D

Erick Mead
08-06-2009, 09:50 AM
And what makes this form of coordination superior to what for instance a good gymnastics coach can teach you?Mechanically? -- gymnastics is linear, inertial and avoids shear like the plague. What we are talking about is non-linear, inherently involves shear, and confounds linear assumptions about inertia.

But apart from that, not much really ...

DH
08-06-2009, 10:06 AM
The implied question, though, is whether that has relevance to application in aikido? Given the recent experience I had with Dan, I now feel that where yiquan leads is sort of a 180 from where aikido leads, and that it is probably not a good example to hold up of training that would need to be reincorporated within aikido.
Why is that Lee?
Dan

Lee Salzman
08-06-2009, 10:25 AM
Why is that Lee?
Dan

It is fair to say that you showed me there is more than one way to skin the cat, which in this case, was probably an entirely different species of cat, for that matter. I'm not sure I can speak so much about what you do without making a total fool of myself, so I will avoid talking myself into a hole too much for the moment. :)

I think you put it best when you were saying "What receives, feeds." That didn't make to me sense before, but once I got to feel and see what that meant, yeah, it is something else.

It is fair to say that yiquan doesn't spend much time worrying about receiving, or for that matter feeding. You work on the ability to explode against a solid target the moment it presents itself, and preferrably before that moment. That difference of application seems to trickle down all the way to the bottom basic foundation of how it is all trained.

That and there were a lot of places I was breaking apart nor had adequate mobility while working on the exercises you showed us (as I said when you were adjusting me - I felt like I was going to the chiropractor), a lot of places that as I do the 'homework' and get greater awareness of those places and how to use them, it will be fun to incorporate back into the yiquan training and see how that improves it as well. What yiquan training I have done to date did not really prepare me to do those things, as anyone who worked with me might have noted.

jss
08-06-2009, 10:55 AM
There are stories about Wang Xiangzhai calling himself "old man contradiction", because he advocated arriving at formlessness through methods. The Yaos have their methods, and other different practicioners of yiquan have different methods yet again.
I just hope all those people have some very good reasons to use their specific methods to acquire their formlessness, because as every post-modernist knows: your formlessness is defined by the methods you used to acquire it.

The method of using stances and movements arises precisely because no fixed external loading pattern can recreate the variety and rapidness of movements that need to be trained.
I think you're underestimating gymnasts. And most Muay Thai fighters seem to do fine in this respect without the stances and the movements of Yiquan, anyhow. So I still don't get what makes Yiquan's form of coordination superior.

My teacher really liked Olympic weight lifting, and I had another fellow student of my teacher who liked to use kettlebell lifts. Yiquan was meant to encompass whatever methods get you to the goal, not to be exclusive of them.
Weight lifting won't get you there, in my opinion.

Given the recent experience I had with Dan, I now feel that where yiquan leads is sort of a 180 from where aikido leads, and that it is probably not a good example to hold up of training that would need to be reincorporated within aikido.
I don't know your Yiquan and I don't know Dan's methods, but if they don't build on the same foundation skills (and body), at least one of them is wrong.

Lee Salzman
08-06-2009, 11:10 AM
I just hope all those people have some very good reasons to use their specific methods to acquire their formlessness, because as every post-modernist knows: your formlessness is defined by the methods you used to acquire it.


Old man contradiction indeed. :)


I think you're underestimating gymnasts. And most Muay Thai fighters seem to do fine in this respect without the stances and the movements of Yiquan, anyhow. So I still don't get what makes Yiquan's form of coordination superior.

Weight lifting won't get you there, in my opinion.


I think we are underestimating martial artists. My teacher had at one time incorporated some work on gymnastic movements into his own training because he felt it helped in areas. One of my teachers' students competes in muay thai, another sanda, another boxing, and I in brazilian jujitsu. It is a framework for taking what you do, and making it better and working it more intelligently than these disciplines would otherwise do so.


I don't know your Yiquan and I don't know Dan's methods, but if they don't build on the same foundation skills (and body), at least one of them is wrong.

As you said, your formlessness is defined by the methods you used to acquire it, so I don't think there is need to invoke absolutism just yet.

Let's just keep in mind, I only brought this up because yiquan was brought up. Consider me and my rambling as a public service announcement: woe be unto all aikidoka who follow the path of yiquan, for it is a pursuit unto itself and doesn't necessarily take them on the path they may have originally been seeking. I've gone that way and that is what I've found.

DH
08-06-2009, 11:59 AM
It is fair to say that you showed me there is more than one way to skin the cat, which in this case, was probably an entirely different species of cat, for that matter. I'm not sure I can speak so much about what you do without making a total fool of myself, so I will avoid talking myself into a hole too much for the moment. :)

I think you put it best when you were saying "What receives, feeds." That didn't make to me sense before, but once I got to feel and see what that meant, yeah, it is something else.

It is fair to say that yiquan doesn't spend much time worrying about receiving, or for that matter feeding. You work on the ability to explode against a solid target the moment it presents itself, and preferrably before that moment. That difference of application seems to trickle down all the way to the bottom basic foundation of how it is all trained.

That and there were a lot of places I was breaking apart nor had adequate mobility while working on the exercises you showed us (as I said when you were adjusting me - I felt like I was going to the chiropractor), a lot of places that as I do the 'homework' and get greater awareness of those places and how to use them, it will be fun to incorporate back into the yiquan training and see how that improves it as well. What yiquan training I have done to date did not really prepare me to do those things, as anyone who worked with me might have noted.
Ah now I see. Be mindful that -that aspect is only the process for initial identification of paths in the body. It helps to clearly mark them. Later you pay with them, lets say; send them on their way, split and absorb or send, send back, or do some interesting neutral changing in your body that doesn't require an action on your part but they are controlled. It gets much more complicated than the initial steps.

Intent is extremely important, but everyone I have met and continue to meet- their structure is a mess. That is not going to be fixed by standing or intent alone. Force and movement is required to identify the many failures that need to be worked on.
If you noticed the many guys I played with- I "reacted" differently with each one. Why? Structurally they were all different and had different vulnerabilities to play with or strike into. So, intent- while being paramount to real power and sensitivity- has to be bolstered by a good structure which will lead to a familiarity or joining of these things- "in use."

I have played with other Yi quan guys who were very soft. I wonder what part your teacher had some odd or unusual ideas, what part you may or may not have understand his training.
To me softness, is the key to the best training out there.
Cheers
Dan

Lee Salzman
08-06-2009, 12:37 PM
Ah now I see. Be mindful that -that aspect is only the process for initial identification of paths in the body. It helps to clearly mark them. Later you pay with them, lets say; send them on their way, split and absorb or send, send back, or do some interesting neutral changing in your body that doesn't require an action on your part but they are controlled. It gets much more complicated than the initial steps.

Intent is extremely important, but everyone I have met and continue to meet- their structure is a mess. That is not going to be fixed by standing or intent alone. Force and movement is required to identify the many failures that need to be worked on.
If you noticed the many guys I played with- I "reacted" differently with each one. Why? Structurally they were all different and had different vulnerabilities to play with or strike into. So, intent- while being paramount to real power and sensitivity- has to be bolstered by a good structure which will lead to a familiarity or joining of these things- "in use."

I have played with other Yi quan guys who were very soft. I wonder what part your teacher had some odd or unusual ideas, what part you may or may not have understand his training.
To me softness, is the key to the best training out there.
Cheers
Dan

Yah, my structure is a mess, and I really wanna work on those exercises and clear that up within my broken body hopefully!

My teacher was very odd, yes, and my ability to in any way replicate his level of skill is still pretty bad yet. He has me working both ends of the spectrum, relaxation and extreme tensions and all points between.

He did not believe that tension and strength were the problem in the end, but that it was the fact that they broke one's structure, intent, fluidity, and responsiveness without adequate skill behind them - and boy does it break me all over the place right now. And he observed that when he would subject other CMAists to higher levels of pressure testing and force, they would break apart under the stress as well. When he was teaching me clinching and wrestling, it felt like grappling with a python during an earthquake.

That said, he has given me a ton of work on the relaxation end of the spectrum which I am still trying to get into my body, and elaboration on it and being able to view it from the lens of different sources I only view as a good thing to me. Doesn't matter to me where valuable training comes from in the end, I will do it all regardless so long as it improves me!

rob_liberti
08-06-2009, 01:03 PM
He asked how they can be unified. I think the point here is that I just don't think you have experienced the martiality -we- are discussing, which leaves the physical explanations wholly inadequate. Don wasn't asking how martial arts in general can be unified.

It's almost like: "f=ma + intent" now...

Rob

jss
08-06-2009, 02:44 PM
Weight lifting won't get you there, in my opinion.I think we are underestimating martial artists.
No, we're not. And I still don't get what makes Yiquan's form of coordination superior.

As you said, your formlessness is defined by the methods you used to acquire it, so I don't think there is need to invoke absolutism just yet.
I don't see the reasoning behind that, but I'm tired of talking past each other anyhow, so never mind.

Consider me and my rambling as a public service announcement: woe be unto all aikidoka who follow the path of yiquan, for it is a pursuit unto itself and doesn't necessarily take them on the path they may have originally been seeking.
Agreed, but probably based on different reasons.

DH
08-06-2009, 03:20 PM
Wow.

I don't presume to have trained nearly as long as many posters have, and I certainly don't presume to have as much skill or knowledge. But in sixteen years of Aikido training, and a smattering of this and that beforehand, I can pretty much tell what works and doesn't, and sometimes, even why it works or doesn't ;)

I first felt Gleason Sensei fifteen years ago and he was very, very good. I felt him several years ago and he was better. I felt him this year and he was better in an eye-opening *different* way. There was a VERY palpable difference in his structure and movement. I understand he trains with Dan Harden - and I would jump at the chance to train with Dan.

Similarly, Ikeda Sensei has evolved over the years I've seen him and felt him. And I would leap at the opportunity if I have a chance to train with Mike Sigman.

I give the benefit of doubt to those respected by people I respect, but bottom line: I personally felt the difference in these two very accomplished martial artists - and man, I'm excited not only by where their aikido is going, but by the fact that these very senior people had the confidence and courage to step out of their comfort zone and challenge themselves, and learn.
Hello Mr, Kang
You bring up a very good point. No one will really answer it and most will say that of course they would do it too ....but
Does anyone really appreciate and honor what it takes for these men to step up and say "I am learning from this or that source?"
I find it to be thee finest example a budo teacher could offer to anyone. In an arena where so many people are about protectionism and having to be the "it" or "go to guy," these men are making damn well sure they WILL be the "it" and "go to guys" in the years ahead. Bill said to me once about the arguments on aikiweb. He got this fiery gleam in his eye and leaned in "You would have to be a damn fool to feel this and NOT want to learn it. I don't really care what they do. This is like graduate school for aikido teachers. Let em play *catch up* to this old man!!"
Ouch! I Felt like I was talking to this old green beret I know who at 53 was still doing HALO jumps!!
I also told him he reminded me of the old koryu menkyo who trained with Ueshiba and told me and a friend who were doing some push training "This is Ueshiba's aikido! They don't do that anymore you know. It's not in modern aikido." When asked about the debate on the internet I got the sweetest and most poignant answer. "What do they know? Did they train with Ueshiba?

I dearly love the fact that there are old warriors out there who undeterred never lost sight of the vision that drove them from the very beginning and- who's best years......may still be ahead of them! Powerful stuff! :D
Budo is damn good fun!

dps
08-06-2009, 07:29 PM
The stances are used as a framework within which coordination of movement is initially practiced.

Is how much time you spend in each stance important?

David

Lee Salzman
08-06-2009, 07:54 PM
Is how much time you spend in each stance important?

David

The way it was explained to me was that what was important was reinforcing whichever quality was being trained and making sure it overrode the habitual responses acquired in daily life, so frequency was as important or more than duration. Duration also depended on the intensity of the quality being trained, so it could range from a couple minutes at most for heavy tension to a half hour at times for relaxation. Once the quality was maintained in movement in daily life, the focus was to be shifted less from longer bouts of reinforcement to more intense shorter bouts of deepening the state.

dps
08-06-2009, 10:38 PM
Hi Lee,
I found this site.
Is this similar to what you have done?

http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:TLZJa-q0BroJ:mysite.verizon.net/reswv21m/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/isometricopposingforce.pdf+zheng-li+internal+strength&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

David

rob_liberti
08-07-2009, 08:39 AM
The rest, I really think I'm far enough along to give a good enough answer.

Darn, a while back, I missed an important word! That was supposed to be:
I really think I'm NOT far enough along to give a good enough answer.

MM
08-07-2009, 09:16 AM
Hi Rob,
Very interesting. Your descriptions were cool. Can I ask about it?

Do you think that big part of the aiki is literally a pressure manipulation in the body's hydraulic system (i.e. liquid pressure in muscles & tissues)? (I assume that ground path is the major conduit of force, driven by hara). How can nage protect (hide?) his own hara even while simultaneously driving the motion from there?


I think you have a very complex system in the human body. So complex that brilliant physicists can't explain with equations some fundamental movements of our bodies. So complex that brilliant engineers can't create equations to make robots move and resort to non-human equations.

I think that if you want to dabble for fun and create simple physics analogies, then have a blast. If you're an engineer and want to dabble for fun and create simple systems, then have a blast.

I think the major disconnect is if you're not able to physically manifest these skills and you're trying to use physics and engineering to define them. It isn't like non-human physics where equations can define interactions and produce outcomes. It isn't like non-human systems where engineers can define pressures and build systems to hold them.

These are human systems that even the world's most brilliant physicists and robotic engineers can't create equations to define, model, or create systems to replicate human interactions for internal structure skills.

There is a reason that a lot of people say, "How the *&^% are you doing that?" or "What the *&^% was that?" when they get hands on experience.

So, when you or others talk about hydraulics, vectors, shear, etc, you get either silence or replies like mine here. You won't get anywhere talking physics or engineering when working on these skills.

You *will* get somewhere if you're talking physics and engineering *and* you're working on basic jujutsu applications. Sort of like taping two pencils together and pushing them toward each other so that the force coming through from one hand or the other causes the taped point to shift off the line. But, that's just like two people holding out a hand palm up and pushing into each other's palm. And having them push hard while a third person uses their pinky to push 90 degrees to their connected palms. It doesn't take much force to move them. But, again, that's basic level jujutsu theory, not internal structure or aiki.

You want to work on basic jujutsu, sure, theories of levers will help. It's what you're doing with arm bars or joint locks. Using the limbs as levers and fulcrums to get some change in the person's torso. Using the above example to move something while using less force or energy. Pivoting a person as you get them to weight themselves all on one side. Don't get me wrong, there's some good stuff there. Really good stuff. You can be soft, fluid, relaxed and manipulate someone who is bigger and stronger.

but it ain't aiki.

thisisnotreal
08-07-2009, 10:51 AM
Hi Mark,

[just finished writing this. sorry for the length. my lack of understanding stops me from being precise and succint....so i 'open the kimono' and show you what i am thinking...and ramble for some time. with my thoughts. please don't take offense where none is intended..just thoughts.]

Heh.
Crap; just when i thought I was out...they pull me back in <in best deNiro voice>
no way. I don't think we are exactly communicating..(But (i know) lack of hands' on ain't helping). Come on. .. i thought we were connecting more than that. Please don't put talk of pressure in the same camp as the shear; i tried to be very literal and explicative. really; i thought it was at least clear enough to have bs called on it. (that is a major 'want' of mine...just someone to say it is wrong/stupid/unprofitable). There was one poster here who was quick to attack weaknesses in models; but i thought i defended the view okay. i'm not married to this stuff; but have thought about it.. you can't tell me that Dan and Mike don't have a literal (/possibly analogy-driven) model of what is literally happening.) Are the choices: 1) it is magic; kneel & don't approach; 2)it is real; and analytical (no way), 3) it is real and non-linear to the extreme (accounting for structure; muscular issues; pressure, chemical; intent) but approachable via some 'mental model' that is profitable for extrapolation of future possibilities? I think #3 is it FWIW. but that is the imagineer in me.

I think you have a very complex system in the human body.

I could not agree more. The mysteries and complexities hidden under the skin are practically infinite.

I agree with your definition of being unable to simulate this stuff. 100%.
I am trying to understand wtf is going on with the weird feelings.
What is 'happening' in the body. Cause something is. in a nuts-and-bolts way. I think coupling the nuts-and-bolts practical understanding plus the 'feeling' approach is most likely to yield useful stuff. Forget about describing the math. This is not a profitable approach. Simulating or analyzing in a dry scientific way is not the thrust of my thinking. I am well familiar with the intractability of physical problems and have been well humbled (i'm not Spock, dammit) and learned those lessons long ago.
661
My approach;
Something is literally happening. What is that something?

I can understand why the dantien area is called the cinnabar field. (to a point)
I cannot understand why DR manipulations can cause people to cramp up..or the 'wind-touches' of Sagawa (can you guys do that; send you flying with a light touch? If so; HOW!!?!). Thought it was linked to ki manipulations so strong in your body that it effects/influences/becomes/attacks/hypnotizes the opponents ki; given by the field of influence about the rest of nage(i.e. structure, spiral energy, supported in/out/up/down flows). (I think:) At some level becoming strong is by/about flexing your muscle and in a very literal way is about increasing blood pressure in the muscles...and yet all of this IT is in a very real literal way about NOT flexing. I also know that IT is about changing and augmenting your body with fascial development and the knitting spoken of. This allows for the extents of the body to be connected and used in different ways (coupling,storage, release). For all of these reasons (and more): This is why I figure pressure is in-and-about all these things and must figure prominently in any model assumed 'useful' or functional for a discussion. I wrote about what I was thinking/feeling here< (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=233280&postcount=49). Is it wrong? re:Pressure-It is like fish that cannot see the water..it is sooo all around us and part of what we are; that we take it for granted that human beings are composed of pumping systems. pneumatic. hydraulic. (and others) this is only one 'framing' of the understanding of the body (not even talking about hormonal/chemical manipulations; as in triple-burner). there are many other points of view of the body. I'm just thinking and considering ... trying to find a profitable frame-of-reference and point-of-view. After all IT(==aiki) can disorient you and your assumptions(in a multitude of ways). Should I stop talking about it? ...don't think it'll be useful to go on. I *TOTALLY* hope it has not been harmful in any way to anyone.

Mark, you wrote

You want to work on basic jujutsu, sure, theories of levers will help. It's what you're doing with arm bars or joint locks. Using the limbs as levers and fulcrums to get some change in the person's torso. Using the above example to move something while using less force or energy. Pivoting a person as you get them to weight themselves all on one side. Don't get me wrong, there's some good stuff there. Really good stuff. You can be soft, fluid, relaxed and manipulate someone who is bigger and stronger.


I was thinking (to be corrected?) that structure, in terms of literally being *perfectly* aligned within your body is the ultimate jujutsu. Taking it to the next level is about utilizing the intent-systems in the body...about ki, dantien area manipulations. Perfecting finer and finer control of more and more subtle (sub-)systems of the body is the way (right?). This is the 'beyond jujutsu' you point to, i believe. I'm trying to _talk_ about that. it is possible. there are other sites out there with other waay more learned brothers who do just that. succintly, with precision and understanding. and it helps.

i am done with words. my webs tangle myselfs aand it is imminently frustrating.. and english IS my first language. :( I have no excuse.

Anyway; I hope you didn't think i had such a simple view. I would not underestimate the field so badly; nor Dan, Mike or you, Rob, etc..who talk about the depths; and when even now in another thread experienced men are daunted by standing in front of a new huge ladder...seeing the way upwards. What is on that ladder? What is at the top you are climbing to?

Sorry for the rambling;
takeaway points:
Something is happening. We can think about it. Understanding it (literally or by analog) is important to be able to go forwards in training. Doing it properly is thee most important of all. There are principles to guide you to recovery of the 'proper way' to hold your body; when you lose it (either in identifying paths at the beginning, structure, connection, knitting yourself, intent, seamless connection, internal contradictory tensions, on and on.). There must be a unified view that encompasses these facets that are scattering the light..

i'll stop typing now. it hurts.
Rob, Mark, Dan, what do you guys think? (i know; shaddup! train! iHTBF! ... give me time!) ;)
Best,
Josh

p.s. are we gonna let this thread die a peaceful death or is someone gonna lose an eye?

pps. Mark- what is aiki? Making the opponents power go to 0? How do you move the power of the hara/dantien region to where it is needed?

DH
08-07-2009, 11:58 AM
I think this post remains one of the best. In trying to address the spiritual and physical aspects-it gives examples of many of the challenges, and questions.
Yet remains largely ignored.
Thoughts?
Dan
Hi All,

I have been very interested in this discussion regarding what might be missing from Aikido. Having practiced Aikido for good many years I find myself continually drawn back to the fundamental question of why do I continue to practice this art. The way I see it practiced and what I often encounter on the mat as I practice in different venues can be discouraging.

To simplify my perspective, let's say that the fundamentals of Aikido can exist along a spectrum that has martial effectiveness on one end and spiritual attainment on the other. I believe that O'Sensei's vision was to somehow unify these two elements so as to enrich the life of the practitioner as well as the condition of society. It is difficult to interpret O'Sensei from modern day America. He was from a very different era and culture and was considered a bit of an anachronism even in his own time. Who knows what he would make of today's spiritual paths or transpersonal psychology, just to give an example. In any case, he deeply pursued martial effectiveness and in doing so came to feel a need to place this skill into a context of larger meaning.

Most of the discussions on this forum appear to be concerned with Aikido's effectiveness as a martial art, the physical end of spectrum. Aikido is susceptible to criticism along these lines. Most aikidoists I know do not have a strong martial ability. Even the ones that do seem to obtain it via their size, attitude, agility, etc. but not really because they have learned some sort of powerful aiki. I will be the first to admit that I don't have a natural proclivity for fighting. My natural impulse is to be retiring and avoid confrontation. This, of course, is why Aikido is good for me. It pushes on my edges and thus makes me grow. However, investing lots of effort into embodying martial power for its own sake is not very nourishing to me. In fact it is ultimately disheartening. There world is full of violence for its own sake and seductiveness of martial prowess has lead to many disasters. Aren't there better ways to spend my very short life?

Interestingly, the spiritual side of Aikido can only be explored from a place of martial integrity. It is the dangerous side of the art that makes me confront myself, the nature of war and conflict, the problem of suffering, the potential for reconciliation, the fear that manifests itself in my movements, the power of kindness. So if I have inclination to explore the meaning of my life and how I participate in the world, the martial edge of my practice is what helps me really make progress.

The problem I see in the current state of Aikido is that we are at risk at losing both ends of the spectrum and ending up with a kind of a ghost of an art. If we are in need of re-introducing true aiki skills into the art to make it martially real, then I would also say we also have a big problem on the spiritual side. Allowing that many of the shihan level instructors can exhibit martial skill, very few of them seem to have anything to say about spirituality. In fact, most them seem unable to model a spiritual path and are all too human and dysfunctional. If our teachers are not manifesting this, then how is it getting taught? Why continue to associate spirituality with Aikido? If fake martial ability is bad, fake spirituality is even worse. Going deeper, what would it mean for Aikido to be spiritual? How can we practice and teach it? Are there training methods analogous to Dan's aiki training will help us to grow as human beings? What can happen during training that is true spiritual work?

These are important questions for me personally and perhaps many who are reading this are not troubled by them. However, I just recently read a quote from a holy man that unless one is on the verge of abandoning a chosen path, then one isn't really seeking. I don't know how true this is, but I found it encouraging all the same.

Best regards,

Don Hebert

donhebert
08-07-2009, 12:15 PM
Hi Josh,

Wow! What an enthusiastic seething mass of questions. I would like to respond as someone who saw Dan for the first time just six days ago. I saw what he was doing, felt it and was completely convinced. Your right, something is going on that is quite tangible. However, I warn you that, although I was exposed this stuff, I was dismally unable to reproduce it except in the rudimentary manner, and only then after a lot intensive coaching.

Here is analogy. I like to play soccer which involves kicking a ball. Now, I think an engineer would have a grand time analyzing what happens. In the end, the foot connects with ball and the ball goes.

After much work I am sure that engineer could create a convincing mathematical model of what is happening. Now imagine two people standing side by side on the soccer field, each preparing to kick a ball. One is our engineer who has never actually kicked the ball, the other is a world class soccer player. Each kicks. Assuming the engineer hasn't actually missed, the results are going to be vastly different. It should be comically evident to the engineer that, despite his analytical ability, the only way he going to ever kick the ball like Pele is to get some good coaching and put in a huge amount of practice. If he thinks that the soccer player got the ball to go due to some sort of weird magic power, he is likely to go off in an odd pursuit.

That was very much how I felt at Dan's seminar. I hope this is helpful.

Best regards,

Don Hebert

Ron Tisdale
08-07-2009, 12:17 PM
he is likely to go off in an odd pursuit.

and probably look rather like Charlie Brown after Lucy pulls the ball away... :D :D :eek:

B,
R

mickeygelum
08-07-2009, 01:33 PM
... get some good coaching and put in a huge amount of practice.

Thank you, Mr. Hebert.

Train well,

Mickey

Misogi-no-Gyo
08-07-2009, 01:51 PM
I think this post remains one of the best. In trying to address the spiritual and physical aspects-it gives examples of many of the challenges, and questions.
Yet remains largely ignored.
Thoughts?
Dan

Dan,

largely ignored yes, but completely ignored...? not exactly (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=236806&postcount=594). Of course, I know you didn't say that.

You and Mike and Akuzawa Sensei (and others) have come along and been embraced as some of the go-to options to better budo, today. No quams there. Aikidoka, just like others who train in various martial arts have a need to answer the martial integrity/practicality question as a way to validate ourselves as teachers of our respective art forms. While I have always trained with that in mind, and therefore agree with the merits of that method of determining who students should seek out and learn from, I do so only to a point that martial effectiveness is or should be the indicator that one has knowledge of the true of nature of the art. But I digress...

However, if we agree that using the martial integrity/practicality has merit, and it is that very merit which has given rise to the Aikido community's willingness to open its arms and embrace you and others, must we not find some similar standard when it comes to the spiritual side of Aikido? I want to point out that I am not in agreement with the need to deconstruct any art form in this manner, but if we are going to apply a standard with regards to one aspect, then should we not do the same across the board?
If the logic holds, then we need to ask ourselves at that point...
Who are/should be the leaders we recognize when it comes to Aikido's spiritual side?
What are the standards by which we should judge them to be competent?
What might we use as a standard to determine an agreed upon definition of the nature of the spiritual component of O-Sensei's Aikido
Would there be latitude given to other spiritual, or perhaps even religious aspects other senior teachers want to incorporate into Aiki arts that might not be compatible with O-Sensei's Aikido, but might be well founded as part of some other Aikido, like say, Shodokan, or Yoshinkan, or "Real Aikido" as they are accepted as something different than what the Founder was doing?
Should there be competitions to decide competence, or merely debate to find who is the stronger person spiritually?
Will we define testing protocols along the lines of Tohei Sensei's KI tests to determine if people have it?
and the all important question - the one I am really interested to get your thoughts on...

Does a leader with regards to some agreed upon spiritual component within Aikido need to be able to back up their points using a physically/martially/practical version of Aikido?


I certainly have been thinking about these things for at least the last 17 years. Just has you, Mike and others have been working for years on your efforts to bring about some sort of Aiki revolution with the art, I have been working behind the scenes and engaging people with regards to what surely will be known as the spiritual revolution of Aikido should it ever be as successful and firmly take root. However, as I also pointed out (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=236806&postcount=594), looking back to the Founder's time, no one was really interested it listening to him, so I am not too sure how we may actually define success when it comes to revealing another thing hidden in plain sight...

You can be sure that I have a very long list of questions should someone like yourself be willing to discuss the issue, engage in debate about their merits, or even step up and provide some answers... I really can't wait...

Best in training to you and all...

PS - Congratulations on what I am sure was an event whose success will finally be understood when the next generation of budoka surpasses the understanding and abilities of those who brought it about.

.

Kevin Leavitt
08-07-2009, 02:10 PM
I think this post remains one of the best. In trying to address the spiritual and physical aspects-it gives examples of many of the challenges, and questions.
Yet remains largely ignored.
Thoughts?
Dan

Hi Dan,

well I don't really agree that Spirituality and Martial Effectiveness are on Opposite ends of the spectrum.

I think it might be semantics maybe?

I don't think they are even on the same spectrum at all.

You have a two spectrums here. One of Spirituality and one of Martiality.

They are related, but not on the same spectrum.

If they were then, as you became "more spiritual" you would become "less martial".

See the problem?

Maybe this paradigm is a big part of our problem?

That and I think we need definitions about what we consider to be spiritual in order to put it own a spectrum. (Now I am starting to sound like Erick!) :)

What is "More Spiritual"?

I think there is a "Happiness Spectrum", and "Anger Spectrum", and alot of other emotions, but not really sure how you define Spiritual Spectrum.

I think it is not atomic enough to be a spectrum at all. Spirituality simply is a means to an end.

It is the same with Martial Effectiveness. It is a means to an end.

You are either spiritual or your not.

You are either martially effective or you are not.

There is an Use of Force Spectrum....and I think this is what we are really talking about here.

We "judge" that spectrum with our VALUES.

Our Value in aikido is minimal harm. So anything that minimize harm goes on the "good end" anything that maximizes it goes on the other end.

I will submit that a Snipers bullet coming out of a 50 Cal can be done in a very compassonate way and that it CAN be minimal force the person firing it CAN be a spiritual person, and he is obviously MARTIALLY Effective.

I certainly appreciate that most if not all of us don't want to be the guy that has to make that choice, but it can actually be the most ethical and right choice in a given situation I believe.

What we need to do is not adopt a convulted and confused paradigm that would cause us to pass judgement on the trigger puller as being something less evovled than someone else who doesn't pull the trigger at all.

I simply don't think it is that easy.

We need models that allow us to use martial training and effectiveness as a vehicle to better understand violence and compassion and how the two of them work together.

It is our chance to heal and get things right in the long run I believe.

Nor should we use compassion and spirituality always as a justification to do harm...that is not right either.

I think we need a better model than this.

Sorry, I hate to be negative, as I agree with alot of what he said, but I do think the model and paradigm is wrong.

Thomas Campbell
08-07-2009, 02:23 PM
I think we need a better model than this.

Sorry, I hate to be negative, as I agree with alot of what he said, but I do think the model and paradigm is wrong.

Kevin:

Quck question--Could you clarify what you are referring to when you say

" . . . better model than this."

and

"I agree with alot of what he said . . ."

Which model, and who is "he"? Ueshiba?

Thanks.

John Brockington
08-07-2009, 02:41 PM
I think this post remains one of the best. In trying to address the spiritual and physical aspects-it gives examples of many of the challenges, and questions.
Yet remains largely ignored.
Thoughts?
Dan

I asked Akuzawa if he thought his physical training changed him mentally, and he looked at me very hard and said, "This training changes everything about you. Everything. You will never look at things the same again."

Goza Shioda intimates this, too, in his book "Shugyo." Especially at the end, if I recall correctly. Heck, just consider the title.

I suspect that what is in common here, and with O Sensei, is the willingness to basically go off on one's own and train like crazy. Not in a dojo or other place where there is a lot of readily accessible validation or social support. But in a place where there is no one to answer to but yourself. No one to make you train or to train with but yourself. And then question yourself, over and over, test yourself again and again. And do this with brutal honesty and introspection. Then, I think, the spiritual and physical, the "do" and the "jutsu" will converge.

I am watching someone do this in another art form right now, and am stunned at how fast and profoundly he is improving, how truly skillful he has become in a short time. Transformed. And I also see how very hard this is for him, and how lonely. But he really doesn't care.

John

Kevin Leavitt
08-07-2009, 02:42 PM
Sorry about that. Better model that puts Martial Effectiveness on one end of the spectrum and spirituality on the other.

Or, more specifically the notion that avoiding or moving away from violence is more spiritual or harmonizing than moving towards it.

I think we tend to over simplfiy the issues at hand in attempt to define Utopia.

To bring it back on topic. I think that developing power and Aiki skill CAN be a vehicle for change and for acheiving an understanding and appreciation for how much potential that we have to do harm. So, therefore, someone training for Dan could actually use the training to become more skillful and powerful. They might even expand their ability to make better, more ethical choices.

However, the attainment or lack of attainment of these skills has no direct correalation to spirituality or can be used as a "test" to see how "spiritual" someone might be. Skills are skills...what you choose to do with them...that is another issue.

Sorry if I drove up the wrong tree on this. I didn't reply initially cause I didn't really want to go there, but since Dan asked.....

Or I didn't really understand the topic. that happens too!

Kevin Leavitt
08-07-2009, 02:45 PM
Kevin:

Quck question--Could you clarify what you are referring to when you say

" . . . better model than this."

and

"I agree with alot of what he said . . ."

Which model, and who is "he"? Ueshiba?

Thanks.

Sorry Thomas...the he I was referring to was the OP that Dan quoted.

Again, I did not mean to pick his post apart...I can tell that it is very heartfelt and I agree with much of what he had to say. But we are dissecting things critically here so I think it is good to do this in the name of learning.

Misogi-no-Gyo
08-07-2009, 02:50 PM
I am watching someone do this in another art form right now, and am stunned at how fast and profoundly he is improving, how truly skillful he has become in a short time. Transformed. And I also see how very hard this is for him, and how lonely. But he really doesn't care.

John

Lonely... so true!

Of course, that is by design, you know.

Best in training to you and all...

.

Misogi-no-Gyo
08-07-2009, 02:58 PM
Sorry if I drove up the wrong tree on this. I didn't reply initially cause I didn't really want to go there, but since Dan asked.....

Or I didn't really understand the topic. that happens too!

Kevin,

I think your points are right on the mark. That is why I have said that is the thing of which we all need to beware. The initial list that I put in my recent post points at this exact thing. I would really like to hear Dan's and Mike's and even Akuzawa Sensei's thoughts on the subject. I think I know what they might say. I have a lot to say if they reply in the manner I have come to expect. Of course, I would love to be surprised. It is important to point out that I have continued to be surprised by the revelations in thought that we have all had over the recent years. Much of that has formalized itself, here in this very thread. That is why I believe Jun should mark it off in some way, denoting its importance as a movement that will more than likely effect great numbers of people practicing Aikido.

Best in training to you and all...

.

DH
08-07-2009, 04:19 PM
I have a lengthy reply I will try to get to at some point.
A few quick comments
This training is spiritual for me.
Also, it not only has changed me but it is a continuing comment I have heard from many people who train here. That it is changing, not only peoples view of the martial paradigm but their need to fight anybody. That in itself becomes a defining point in your training when you realize there isn't much anyone can do to you without an extraordinary effort on their part.
Last, Lonely? I would seriously consider that. I am surrounded by smiling laughing people. Maybe that speaks to our own choices in life
I...am having a blast .
Dan

Lee Salzman
08-07-2009, 05:07 PM
Sorry about that. Better model that puts Martial Effectiveness on one end of the spectrum and spirituality on the other.

Or, more specifically the notion that avoiding or moving away from violence is more spiritual or harmonizing than moving towards it.

I think we tend to over simplfiy the issues at hand in attempt to define Utopia.

To bring it back on topic. I think that developing power and Aiki skill CAN be a vehicle for change and for acheiving an understanding and appreciation for how much potential that we have to do harm. So, therefore, someone training for Dan could actually use the training to become more skillful and powerful. They might even expand their ability to make better, more ethical choices.

However, the attainment or lack of attainment of these skills has no direct correalation to spirituality or can be used as a "test" to see how "spiritual" someone might be. Skills are skills...what you choose to do with them...that is another issue.

Sorry if I drove up the wrong tree on this. I didn't reply initially cause I didn't really want to go there, but since Dan asked.....

Or I didn't really understand the topic. that happens too!

This brings to mind a story I overheard from an acquaintance when I used to train around in different dojos to supplement my own training in my home dojo. I hope I am remembering it right, but I will keep the details hazy because they were not so important. :D

The person in question was at a seminar under a highly placed aikido instructor, and had occasion to ask, when a certain technique being practiced was not working because the other person could not be moved... And after asking the instructor what to do, given the instructor knew this person cross-trained in karate, the reply was essentially, "You train karate. Hit him."

Was that the spirituality that I was supposed to be training for there - so long as it is in the service of an aikido "technique" and I am imagining I am an avatar of the kami and chanting the kotodama, lashing out is okay? If I find myself not powerful enough to make the techniques of aikido work, I should just lash out and beat on the other person till they're weakened enough to offer no resistance? The person in that story never really had a choice, nor did I that I recall throughout any of my training even though the option was never put in those terms to me by my teachers.

But, Isn't the spirituality in aikido precisely stemming from the fact that, operating from a certain base of power and skill, that is no longer necessary?

DH
08-07-2009, 05:35 PM
Hi Dan,
Well I don't really agree that Spirituality and Martial Effectiveness are on opposite ends of the spectrum.
I think it might be semantics maybe?
I don't think they are even on the same spectrum at all.
You have two spectrums here. One of Spirituality and one of Martiality.
They are related, but not on the same spectrum.
If they were then, as you became "more spiritual" you would become "less martial".
See the problem?
Hello Kevin
No, not really. You are placing your own artifice on spirituality. There are many religious warriors from antiquity till the present age. Defining spiritual as a state of being that has to sacrifice one for the other and become less martial is just one definition or an individual or group identity.
I see what I do as spiritual and I see my ability to handle martial artists and fighters efforts in that vein. Mores the point, and as I previously stated I have seen this training change the people who entertain it. They even talk about openly. We created a joking phrase years ago that it makes you feel like you are "Living free in the world.". Hokey and as odd as it sounds-it eventually resonates with a lot of folks who do this.

You are either spiritual or your not.
You are either martially effective or you are not.
The two are neither mutually inclusive or mutually negated. They have, and can, exist as one. Oddly enough you have:
Takeda- A Shinto priest widely regarded for killing criminals and being a dangerous man.
Ueshiba- with his evolving beleif system and state of bliss who seemed to enjoy (even seek out in later years at the kodokan where he broke someone’s hip) active resistance.
Mushashi-who wrote of his vies on transcending the human condition, and was singularly deadly
Tesshu-incredible martial artist who with his spiritual pursuits openly discussed how the spiritual mind effects budo-thus the art of "No-sword" (anyone want to suggest non-resistance) that wins, who announced his death, and gave up the ghost on the spot!
The well established model of Katsujinken /satsujinken
On and on.
Oh, least we forget, we have our own model of how outward violence may force the worldly man to get in touch with his maker before he meets him face to face. "There are no atheist in foxholes"

I think you are attempting to redefine a rather well established pedagogy of the two (spiritual and martial) as joined paths into your own views of two separate spectrums. Which is perfeclty fine.
You could even start a religion!

We "judge" that spectrum with our VALUES.
Our Value in aikido is minimal harm. So anything that minimizes harm goes on the "good end" anything that maximizes it goes on the other end.
I will submit that a Snipers bullet coming out of a 50 Cal can be done in a very compassionate way and that it CAN be minimal force the person firing it CAN be a spiritual person, and he is obviously MARTIALLY Effective.
I certainly appreciate that most if not all of us don't want to be the guy that has to make that choice, but it can actually be the most ethical and right choice in a given situation I believe.
Well nothing new here.
"Kill one to save ten thousand" works for some but not for a Buddhist who'll let the chips fall as they may and call it all good. In any event you're back to Katsujinken /satsujinken in your model.

What we need to do is not adopt a convoluted and confused paradigm that would cause us to pass judgement on the trigger puller as being something less evovled than someone else who doesn't pull the trigger at all.
I simply don't think it is that easy.
We need models that allow us to use martial training and effectiveness as a vehicle to better understand violence and compassion and how the two of them work together.

It is our chance to heal and get things right in the long run I believe.
Nor should we use compassion and spirituality always as a justification to do harm...that is not right either.
I think we need a better model than this.
Sorry, I hate to be negative, as I agree with alot of what he said, but I do think the model and paradigm is wrong.

Actually, I think your earlier statements were much more confusing and contradictory and not in line with budo as a know it. The later statement just above was no more than a restatement of the points Don had initially raised in the first place!
the whole thing, his whole post was addressing definitions and questions of definitions, and personal challenge, and the idea of the notion can personally facing those challenges change you spiritually or lead you to a state of change.
In other words when and how and with what as a vehicle does the physical practice become transformative?
At least that was how I read it. Don?

I don't want to add to any confusion. so I hope my points (even if we need to debate them a little) are at least clear.
Cheers
Dan

DH
08-07-2009, 05:55 PM
Dan,

I certainly have been thinking about these things for at least the last 17 years. Just has you, Mike and others have been working for years on your efforts to bring about some sort of Aiki revolution with the art,
......I have been working behind the scenes and engaging people with regards to what surely will be known as the spiritual revolution of Aikido should it ever be as successful and firmly take root. However, as I also pointed out (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=236806&postcount=594), looking back to the Founder's time, no one was really interested it listening to him, so I am not too sure how we may actually define success when it comes to revealing another thing hidden in plain sight...

Hello Shaun
I have been challenged repeatedly to either describe or demontrate the martial attributes of aiki to the aikido community.
I think it is fair to say, I have done so, now with some three dozen teachers as well as with two from Daito ryu.
Lest it escape anyone attention both Bill and Howard are on record as saying what I am doing is "their" aiki....hmm...What was that? Their aiki....hmm?
How can it fulfill a DR teachers requirements for aiki
And a 6th dan aikido teachers requirements for Aikido?...hmmm.
To move on.

Why don't you step up and clearly define Ueshiba's sprituality____________________________?
How, and where did his spirituality physically effect and manifested itself directly into the physical without physical training_________________?

Who are the aikido teachers who got it?
Have they produced written works?
Can they- upon testing- do the same things Ueshiba did?
Can I test them and meet them?
Thanks
Dan

Kevin Leavitt
08-07-2009, 05:56 PM
Dan,

I have no issue with using the physical practice as a means to an end to get to "spirituality". I think we can all agree on that point right?

I mean the whole reason for us doing this is for this reason right?

But, that does not mean that martial effectiveness is on the opposite end of the spectrum from spirituality. It is the means to the end.

Hard work and toil.....pay....

DH
08-07-2009, 06:15 PM
Dan,

I have no issue with using the physical practice as a means to an end to get to "spirituality". I think we can all agree on that point right?

I mean the whole reason for us doing this is for this reason right?

But, that does not mean that martial effectiveness is on the opposite end of the spectrum from spirituality. It is the means to the end.

No
It may well be for you and I right? But it doesn't do it as a model for everyone. Why?
Because there is no set and prescribed spiritual path to get there!
AND THAT was Don's real point you said you dissagreed with!:D

Katsujinken /satsujinken is a great example of that. Violence does not require moral fortitude. Your sniper or the pilot of the Enola Gay; could have been men of vision and moral stength...or they could have hired cold blooded killers to get the job done. Practicing violence promises no redemptive or transfomative qualities for anyone.

If we want to glorify our practice (Aikido) either way -spiritual and fully martial. We had better damn well come up with better definitions and human examples, because under strict scrutiny...we are failing to fulfill both requirements in one... miserably.;)
Cheers
Dan

Erick Mead
08-07-2009, 07:44 PM
But, that does not mean that martial effectiveness is on the opposite end of the spectrum from spirituality. It is the means to the end.

Hard work and toil.....pay....I would take it little deeper than that. This (http://www.chabad.org/parshah/article_cdo/aid/99748/jewish/Esau-the-Transformer.htm) is an excellent piece on two fundamentally different natures in spiritual effort.,.. embodied in the twins Esau and Jacob who "fought in the womb." It bears reading at length, but suffice it to say there are those who are made to build up and seek after righteousness, and those who were made to strive in the midst of and (hopefully) triumph over evil. An excellent reflection that puts a slightly less binary cast on the katsujinken/satsujinken thought.

Kevin Leavitt
08-07-2009, 08:45 PM
No
It may well be for you and I right? But it doesn't do it as a model for everyone. Why?
Because there is no set and prescribed spiritual path to get there!
AND THAT was Don's real point you said you dissagreed with!:D

Katsujinken /satsujinken is a great example of that. Violence does not require moral fortitude. Your sniper or the pilot of the Enola Gay; could have been men of vision and moral stength...or they could have hired cold blooded killers to get the job done. Practicing violence promises no redemptive or transfomative qualities for anyone.

If we want to glorify our practice (Aikido) either way -spiritual and fully martial. We had better damn well come up with better definitions and human examples, because under strict scrutiny...we are failing to fulfill both requirements in one... miserably.;)
Cheers
Dan

I agree Dan, it doesn't have to be a model for everyone. There are many ways of course.

I don't disagree with Don's point in this respect. Not at all.

Sure, they could have been cold blooded killers or not. Agreed. The context of our training though needs to allow room though for this to even be determined, based on the merits of their true intent, not simply judged on the act of killing alone. That is all I was really saying.

Agreed we need to come up with better definitions. I think this is what our journey is all about though is to critically think about this as we go down the path and learn.

I have really enjoyed the discussion over the past couple of days. To see where we all were 2 and 3 years ago on this subject and the nature and level of the dialogue then verses now is good to see.

I am really curious about what everyone is talking about when it comes to Intent and how important it is in what you are teaching. Do you see this related to this topic?

DH
08-07-2009, 08:53 PM
But, that does not mean that martial effectiveness is on the opposite end of the spectrum from spirituality. It is the means to the end.

Kevin
I should have been clearer. Tied in with my other post,what I meant to demonstrate or show was that ther simply is or never was a constant.
You could me morally bancrupt and find yourself through charitable work
or find your self through God
Or what? Find yourself through fighting with an agreed movement?
Yet there are people who are already found and centered individuals, not damaged goods who enter- in and are "Good to go" who's martial skills are awful
Now add the same qualifier but we meet the same good to go people with great martial abilties
on and on.
Spiritual/ martial
The two can be one, the two can be disparate, the two can be resolved; with various legendary and compelling stories; of the warrior sage putting down his arms or the tender dove rising to the oncoming storm- pick your poison.

Which still leads me to the question offered to Shaun and presented as a statement to you and I. In aikido
There is no set and prescribed spiritual path to get ____________(I dunno, somewhere) that anyone has laid out and defined!
Cheers
Dan

Kevin Leavitt
08-07-2009, 08:59 PM
Cool Dan ...I am with you on this.

DH
08-07-2009, 10:19 PM
Sorry about the imbedded formatting in the last post. operator error I guess.


Agreed we need to come up with better definitions. I think this is what our journey is all about though is to critically think about this as we go down the path and learn.

I have really enjoyed the discussion over the past couple of days. To see where we all were 2 and 3 years ago on this subject and the nature and level of the dialogue then verses now is good to see.
The simple answer- it was the work.
What was perceived as too defining or even braggadocio ended when the preponderance of testimony showed up and almost everyone here…was wrong.
That’s a tough pill to swallow.
In P.C. speak we can say “Over time we established a mutually beneficial dialogue and moved the discussion forward.” And everyone can feel good.
The real change in dialogue was when everyone felt it and went "What the ____ is that?"
We all know what happened.It was after that -that we established "a dialogue."
After IHTBF....
Certain smart people went to work
Others went back to typing

Hey, you know what the best way is to marginalize a detractor? Embrace him, invite him to your dojo, train with him, and then tell your people you checked it out and you don’t need it. It’s not really Aikido.

People like Bill and Ikeda a very rare. They put their stuff aside and dug in. Bill is a veritable lion. There are just simply Aikidoka who were not going to stand for not having this and just got after it.
This is only the beginning of a new standard. A standard that in the fullness of time everyone will be measured by. It's just too defining, too absolute, and altogether too obvious.

It’s Ueshiba’s Aikido-one of the most powerful arts in the world........If you know how to do it.

I am really curious about what everyone is talking about when it comes to Intent and how important it is in what you are teaching. Do you see this related to this topic?
Intent, is everything.
But it springs from the mind/heart/will. And they...are not all the same ;) So what you get as a result...will not always be the same.

This work is not for everyone.
Dan

Kevin Leavitt
08-07-2009, 10:26 PM
Thanks Dan. I do hope I can make it up your way to train someday.

gdandscompserv
08-07-2009, 11:51 PM
I suspect that what is in common here, and with O Sensei, is the willingness to basically go off on one's own and train like crazy. Not in a dojo or other place where there is a lot of readily accessible validation or social support. But in a place where there is no one to answer to but yourself. No one to make you train or to train with but yourself. And then question yourself, over and over, test yourself again and again. And do this with brutal honesty and introspection. Then, I think, the spiritual and physical, the "do" and the "jutsu" will converge.
John,
I think that you are right.
Ricky

gdandscompserv
08-07-2009, 11:59 PM
I have a lengthy reply I will try to get to at some point.
A few quick comments
This training is spiritual for me.
Also, it not only has changed me but it is a continuing comment I have heard from many people who train here. That it is changing, not only peoples view of the martial paradigm but their need to fight anybody. That in itself becomes a defining point in your training when you realize there isn't much anyone can do to you without an extraordinary effort on their part.
Last, Lonely? I would seriously consider that. I am surrounded by smiling laughing people. Maybe that speaks to our own choices in life
I...am having a blast .
Dan
Dan,
You are surrounded by them now, but I suspect the path that you took to refine the skillset you have attained was a lonely one at times. It does take alot of solo work, no? Heck, didn't you even experience that "loneliness" here on aikiweb, being banished to the non-aikido thread here and there.:D
Ricky

dps
08-08-2009, 06:28 AM
Could this be a means of disrupting the internal structure or aiki of your opponent's body?

Langevin HM.

Department of Neurology, University of Vermont, College of Medicine, Burlington, 05405, USA. Helene.Langevin@uvm.edu

Unspecialized "loose" connective tissue forms an anatomical network throughout the body. This paper presents the hypothesis that, in addition, connective tissue functions as a body-wide mechanosensitive signaling network. Three categories of signals are discussed: electrical, cellular and tissue remodeling, each potentially responsive to mechanical forces over different time scales. It is proposed that these types of signals generate dynamic, evolving patterns that interact with one another. Such connective tissue signaling would be affected by changes in movement and posture, and may be altered in pathological conditions (e.g. local decreased mobility due to injury or pain). Connective tissue thus may function as a previously unrecognized whole body communication system]. Since connective tissue is intimately associated with all other tissues (e.g. lung, intestine), connective tissue signaling may coherently influence (and be influenced by) the normal or pathological function of a wide variety of organ systems. Demonstrating the existence of a connective signaling network therefore may profoundly influence our understanding of health and disease.

http://www.springerlink.com/content/juq29r087y2ly3dg/

Download of pdf file; http://www.anatomytrains.com/explore/galleries/show/id/52

Bold print is mine.

David

DH
08-08-2009, 07:37 AM
Dan,
You are surrounded by them now, but I suspect the path that you took to refine the skillset you have attained was a lonely one at times. It does take alot of solo work, no? Heck, didn't you even experience that "loneliness" here on aikiweb, being banished to the non-aikido thread here and there.:D
Ricky
Hello Ricky
Lonely? Never. Not at all. Alone time is a requirement. I revel in solo work and I am very jealous of my alone time as much as my research time with some select students. It's the only way I will stay ahead of you guys....;)
But, I was never alone in the now infamous "barn." I have trained with over 300 people. And that is the other side of the coin. One must experiment and do their research against those who try to see you undone. That, is a requirement also.

All of which leads me to the idea of what’s "missing in Aikido" and the recent turn to discussions of spirituality disseminated in the art.
It is my opinion that this work changes you from the inside out-in more ways than one, and leads you to reach out with an open hand. I grow suspect of what "Budo" has become, with these ranks and politics. Of what it does and is allowed to do to the people in it. Worse, in the casual indifference of some senior teachers- who look at the students and say "Screw em if they don't have the brains to figure it out." It's as if they congratulate themselves for having wound their way through the mess before them and having "arrived" somewhere think it’s just “jolly good business” to now make others follow instead of forcing a change from the top-even if it costs them. I spend my professional life with wealthy men who very much exhibit that mentality at every turn. That is not and will never be my Budo. There should be no place for elitism or lording it over anybody. We need to fix what we find wrong, and share when we can.
We have given the Asians a chance to strut their stuff and teach (and hold back) and tell us we can't understand their culture. All while they make good use of making money over our efforts, controlling the flow of information, being unwilling to learn our ways, with us being told we need to "steal technique” or be found wanting.
I’ve had a belly full of that crap.
People should know that the oldest legitimate Koryu's are making better efforts to find ways to disseminate to a western populace than their modern counterparts.

I say those who would dare to claim they are teaching a modern art with a moral ascendency need to demonstrate that morality and compassion for all of their students from the top down and get to work teaching. Clearly they have failed in both aspects.

Which leads me to Shaun’s comments
Who would ever dare to say they hold the true teachings of Ueshiba, tucked away some where. That it is reserved or "held" for only a few when Ueshiba's every word was to give Aikido to the world. At face value it obvious to me that they failed to truly understand him by the fact of their very existence. That's nothing more than another round of self- serving nonsense and speaks without saying a word. The sooner it dies out, the better.

Cheers
Dan

gdandscompserv
08-08-2009, 08:29 AM
Hello Ricky
Lonely? Never. Not at all. Alone time is a requirement. I revel in solo work and I am very jealous of my alone time as much as my research time with some select students. It's the only way I will stay ahead of you guys....;)
But, I was never alone in the now infamous "barn." I have trained with over 300 people. And that is the other side of the coin. One must experiment and do their research against those who try to see you undone. That, is a requirement also.

All of which leads me to the idea of what's "missing in Aikido" and the recent turn to discussions of spirituality disseminated in the art.
It is my opinion that this work changes you from the inside out-in more ways than one, and leads you to reach out with an open hand. I grow suspect of what "Budo" has become, with these ranks and politics. Of what it does and is allowed to do to the people in it. Worse, in the casual indifference of some senior teachers- who look at the students and say "Screw em if they don't have the brains to figure it out." It's as if they congratulate themselves for having wound their way through the mess before them and having "arrived" somewhere think it's just "jolly good business" to now make others follow instead of forcing a change from the top-even if it costs them. I spend my professional life with wealthy men who very much exhibit that mentality at every turn. That is not and will never be my Budo. There should be no place for elitism or lording it over anybody. We need to fix what we find wrong, and share when we can.
We have given the Asians a chance to strut their stuff and teach (and hold back) and tell us we can't understand their culture. All while they make good use of making money over our efforts, controlling the flow of information, being unwilling to learn our ways, with us being told we need to "steal technique" or be found wanting.
I've had a belly full of that crap.
People should know that the oldest legitimate Koryu's are making better efforts to find ways to disseminate to a western populace than their modern counterparts.

I say those who would dare to claim they are teaching a modern art with a moral ascendency need to demonstrate that morality and compassion for all of their students from the top down and get to work teaching. Clearly they have failed in both aspects.

Which leads me to Shaun's comments
Who would ever dare to say they hold the true teachings of Ueshiba, tucked away some where. That it is reserved or "held" for only a few when Ueshiba's every word was to give Aikido to the world. At face value it obvious to me that they failed to truly understand him by the fact of their very existence. That's nothing more than another round of self- serving nonsense and speaks without saying a word. The sooner it dies out, the better.

Cheers
Dan
Dan,
I am quoting you here because I think it bears repeating.
Thanks for your time and effort! I sincerely hope to train with you someday as I have learnt much just from your words here on aikiweb, and it is obvious to me now that you have so much more to offer than just words.
Sincerely,
Ricky

Erick Mead
08-08-2009, 08:45 AM
Could this be a means of disrupting the internal structure or aiki of your opponent's body?... Such connective tissue signaling would be affected by changes in movement and posture, and may be altered in pathological conditions (e.g. local decreased mobility due to injury or pain). Connective tissue thus may function as a previously unrecognized whole body communication system].It doesn't have to get that speculative. Read this: Jendrassik Maneuver (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jendrassik_maneuver). And this (http://www.springerlink.com/content/n44822007475w64q/) http://www.rettungsforum.com/php_files/lexikon/bilder/jendra.gif

Understand that, in addition to the process of a wound causing histamine release (which contracts the myofascial tissues), so too will oxytocin -- the"love" hormone. Epinephrine doesn't. While adrenaline causes the "rush" of blood pressure changes and other things in the sympathetic nervous system preparing to exert -- love triggers that typical whole body fluttering thrill in the contemplation of the beloved, which is the smooth muscle and the myofascia --part of the parasympathetic system.

If the myofascia are contracted it potentiates the skeletal reflexes, by pretensioning the gamma motorneuron muscle spindles and golgi tendon organs. Doing this means that the entire structure is engaged and not slack, and so it is very difficult to shear any part of it. The Jendrassik maneuver does the same thing mechanically.

When engaging an opponent offensively we can with a pulse of a shearing wave at the correct rhythm and amplitude do the following things:
1) put any structural discontinuity in a shear
2) remove the slack sharply at that joint -- creating a structural stress from the shear
3) trigger an extensor or flexor spinal reflex depending on the phase of the shear opposite the discontinuity
4) the pulse wave automatically reverses phase -- fixing the shear offset in place, and the reflex action now adds to the shear input instead of countering it
5) follow through in rhythm with the correct phase reversal results in either aiki age (extensors) or aiki sage (flexors).

This can be done after loading the structure in compression or in tension, which results in mechanical buckling. The grosser forms of movement in aikido are the SAME DYNAMIC SHAPE, and therefore correct, although they will not engage the above actions directly until they can be scaled to a the correctly consistent rhythm, which involves shorter, sharper action, and proper rhythmic follow through seen in furitama/ funetori and the the various kokyu undo.

On the "love" front, if there are no structural discontinuities -- i.e. -- the slack is out -- the body can't be easily sprung against itself in a shear. The wave simply reverberates in the body and passes out (yamabiko) (or 'receives and feeds,' if you will.). Doing this intentionally is tricky, though. While certainly effective in using the mechanism, it is not systemic, and therefore vulnerable to the lapse of intent. If attention is poor or disrupted or the practice less than completely extensive in the body, it will fail to that degree.

I submit that O Sensei's aikido and his obsession with mystic practice enabled this powerful protective-love response and the release of oxytocin in the body in reaction to threat or falling into the proper and practiced manner of contemplative spirit. It is biomechanically correct. It is neuromuscularly correct. It is suggestive of the otherwise odd-seeming, but longstanding association of martiality and mysticism, and his striking premise that that true budo IS love. It explains more questions that it creates.

Causing this at a systemic level requires no structural "intent." in the sens of conscious attention toward structure. It does require the correct spiritual posture -- and correct approach to the mechanical uses of it -- if it is to make the body inherently function in this way. If that spirit is maintained then the hormonal surge is known to be a positive feedback system. Once engaged it need not stop for many, many hours -- as with another function of oxytocin at even higher levels in childbrith (i.e. - ubuya was not an accidental image in O Sensei's mind). That is what any "true budo" must be able to manage in duration if it was to function in the reality of the world of battle from which it sprang.

rob_liberti
08-08-2009, 09:09 AM
This is what it kind of feels like when you fight with Dan:
http://www.todaysbigthing.com/2009/08/05
(exciting, unstoppable, extends your boundaries of what you think safe may be, and yet somehow predictable)

What is this? Did someone make a video of Dan Harden's latest battle caught on hidden camera?
http://www.todaysbigthing.com/2009/08/03
That's him in the dog suit. (just kidding)

And here is a good representation of how we train and manipulate ki:
http://www.todaysbigthing.com/2009/03/02

Rob

dps
08-08-2009, 10:52 AM
This is what it kind of feels like when you fight with Dan:
http://www.todaysbigthing.com/2009/08/05
(exciting, unstoppable, extends your boundaries of what you think safe may be, and yet somehow predictable)

Going down the slide traces the bottom of a sine wave and flying through the air is the top of the sine wave.

http://www.todaysbigthing.com/2009/08/03[/url]
That's him in the dog suit. (just kidding)

See, all it took was a video from Dan and now I understand.

http://www.todaysbigthing.com/2009/03/02[/url]
Great balls of Ki!!

David

donhebert
08-08-2009, 01:26 PM
Hi All,

In my previous post on spirituality in Aikido, I posed a number of questions, being sincerely interested in what others thought about spirituality and Aikido.

I do have some specific approaches that I use personally and I would like to share some of them here.

First I want to acknowledge that I claim no advanced knowledge of this topic and that I am often impressed with the level of spiritual integrity I encounter in people whether they talk about it or not. This applies to people on this forum.

Secondly, let me admit that this topic can get to sound awfully fatuous - so please, if I start to sound too serious, somebody throw a pie.

My impression of O'Sensei is that he approached Aikido from a shamanic perspective. Shamanism is rooted in the earth religions and involves forming a relationship with ones own personal gods or familiars. I think that when he was demonstrating Aikido for his students, he wasn't teaching techniques at all. He was manifesting the deity as it came through him in the moment. This has caused no end of trouble for Aikido over time. How does one codify such an experience for the purpose of transmission to others? At the same time, this has given wide latitude to individual practitioners to interpret Aikido in an astonishing number of ways.

Dan Harden has argued that there is a fundamental connectedness rooted in the body that can provide power in Aikido practice. The analogous statement for spirituality is there is a fundamental source of wisdom rooted in the unconscious that can provide insight in Aikido practice. The training itself can tap into this. Aikido can be like dreaming -- a source of truth that can be mined by using the will to listen to it.

On a physical level, Aikido training presents the person with a series of predicaments. One of the roles of uke is to create the predicament honestly so that the nage can work on the solution. Nage has to resolve the situation using the principals encoded in the art. I find it important that one measure of success is that the resulting movements are becoming beautiful as well as effective. Personally, I am a bit of klutz having spent my childhood falling off of things and making many visits to the ER for stitches. The idea that I could move in a beautiful way is simultaneously preposterous and sublime.

When we move during Aikido a rather embarrassing amount of who we really are is being revealed. Training is an unsettling mirror. This is why most of wince when we see a video of ourselves in action. Each physical predicament has a corresponding emotional or spiritual predicament. My responses to my partner become a channel for personal insight into my true nature. For example, am I connecting with my partner or am I disconnecting? Do I want to dominate my partner or do I want them to like me? Am open or am I shielding myself. Each of us has our own issues to work with and the trick is not put a lot of judgment on what we are experiencing, but to accurately notice it and then try to shift into a direction that causes growth. Because our internal nature expresses itself in the movements of the body, when we apply aiki principles to our movement there is a corresponding positive influence on our internal being. I believe that this one of the fundamental ways that Aikido can inform our spiritual progress.

This is hard work -- just as hard as the physical work. Here is an example. Once many years ago, sensei was demonstrating shomen-uchi ikkyo. His entering movement was clean and beautiful. After an interval of practice he stopped the class and began criticizing us for the flinching response that we were making before our attackers were really within range. "You are all feeling pain before anything happens!" he yelled at us. Then he imitated us mercilessly. This was a difficult time period of my life and I experienced a sudden, painful, flood of insight. This is what I was doing in my relationship! I was flinching away at every possibility of conflict in the hopes of avoiding the end of the relationship. Of course it was this semi-unconscious response that was fueling a failure with an important person in my life. It was a powerful moment. To be able to then standup and do the work of performing a clean irimi movement was painful and humbling and at the same time empowering and freeing. This basic work with my partner helped me to begin to make a profound shift in how I operated in the world.

This work can be found in the simplest aspects of our training. When I face my partner is my posture slouching because I am lazy or because of how I feel about myself? Am I taking an aggressive approach because I am afraid of looking bad? How do I feel about my partner? And so it goes. One has to be willing to do the work of noticing what is going on and how it connects to the major themes of our lives. I find this work of connection to be profoundly vitalizing and often joyous. If I were to regard Aikido as only as a bunch of fighting techniques I would be missing out on a lot.

The martial edge of Aikido practice has an important role however. Without a good predicament, I am too comfortable. I make the most progress with my learning when I am on the edge of failure or have actually failed. As our Aikido improves, we need to be willing to turn up the martial heat in order to make new progress. This is why the fear of looking bad can be such a major impediment. Of course we don't want to push so far beyond our abilities that we can't get anything. But it is important to consciously put ourselves a little out of our comfort zones on a regular basis. This is how we achieve aliveness.

This topic goes quite bit deeper and has connections webbing out to many things. Does anyone else do what I am describing? I will be interested to continue to read what people think.

I don't want answers to everything. The mystery of existence is as deeply satisfying as discovery. But I do want to experience my life as fully as I can before it comes to an end and I am concerned about the condition of my heart when it does. Aikido is one path (out of many) that can help.

I think I have earned several pies. Make at least one of them with whipped cream.

Best regards,

Don Hebert

Thomas Campbell
08-08-2009, 03:49 PM
Beautifully written post, Don. My comments are in bold italics after the segments I'm responding to.

[snip]
My impression of O'Sensei is that he approached Aikido from a shamanic perspective. Shamanism is rooted in the earth religions and involves forming a relationship with ones own personal gods or familiars. I think that when he was demonstrating Aikido for his students, he wasn't teaching techniques at all. He was manifesting the deity as it came through him in the moment. This has caused no end of trouble for Aikido over time. How does one codify such an experience for the purpose of transmission to others? At the same time, this has given wide latitude to individual practitioners to interpret Aikido in an astonishing number of ways.

I agree with the idea that Ueshiba fit the role of a shaman, saw himself in that kind of priest/healer role in the latter decades of his life.

Dan Harden has argued that there is a fundamental connectedness rooted in the body that can provide power in Aikido practice. [snip]

When we move during Aikido a rather embarrassing amount of who we really are is being revealed. Training is an unsettling mirror. This is why most of wince when we see a video of ourselves in action. Each physical predicament has a corresponding emotional or spiritual predicament. [snip]

This work can be found in the simplest aspects of our training. When I face my partner is my posture slouching because I am lazy or because of how I feel about myself? Am I taking an aggressive approach because I am afraid of looking bad? How do I feel about my partner? And so it goes. One has to be willing to do the work of noticing what is going on and how it connects to the major themes of our lives. I find this work of connection to be profoundly vitalizing and often joyous. If I were to regard Aikido as only as a bunch of fighting techniques I would be missing out on a lot. [snip]

The type of training and the skills being worked on with Dan's approach do force the honest practitioner to confront themselves. All kinds of gaps and breaks and tension and off-center posture and movement becomes apparent in one's own body.

[snip] it is important to consciously put ourselves a little out of our comfort zones on a regular basis. This is how we achieve aliveness. [snip]

Going a little outside of our comfort zone every day will soon add up and synergize into a substantial leap in our internal awareness, sense of internal connection, and eventually in our movement. This is healing and exhilarating at the same time. It is very hard work, though, and requires perseverance, resilience, and huge reserves of patience for often-tedious practice. That in itself is character-building.

[snip]

I don't want answers to everything. The mystery of existence is as deeply satisfying as discovery. But I do want to experience my life as fully as I can before it comes to an end and I am concerned about the condition of my heart when it does. [snip]

Great statement--my attitude as well.

I think I have earned several pies. Make at least one of them with whipped cream.

I'm working on a fresh strawberry-rhubarb pie right now. You're welcome to a piece, but I'm not going to waste it by throwing it at you. :)

Best regards,

Don Hebert

cheers,

Tom

dps
08-08-2009, 05:06 PM
I think that when he was demonstrating Aikido for his students, he wasn't teaching techniques at all. He was manifesting the deity as it came through him in the moment. This has caused no end of trouble for Aikido over time. How does one codify such an experience for the purpose of transmission to others?

You can't. Do we rely on his students? Do we figure it out ourselves? Do we need to take a step back into O'Sensei's past and practice the techniques ( Daito-ryu?) the he did that led him to his Aikido?

David

MM
08-08-2009, 06:02 PM
Hi All,

In my previous post on spirituality in Aikido, I posed a number of questions, being sincerely interested in what others thought about spirituality and Aikido.

I do have some specific approaches that I use personally and I would like to share some of them here.

First I want to acknowledge that I claim no advanced knowledge of this topic and that I am often impressed with the level of spiritual integrity I encounter in people whether they talk about it or not. This applies to people on this forum.

Secondly, let me admit that this topic can get to sound awfully fatuous - so please, if I start to sound too serious, somebody throw a pie.

My impression of O'Sensei is that he approached Aikido from a shamanic perspective. Shamanism is rooted in the earth religions and involves forming a relationship with ones own personal gods or familiars. I think that when he was demonstrating Aikido for his students, he wasn't teaching techniques at all. He was manifesting the deity as it came through him in the moment. This has caused no end of trouble for Aikido over time. How does one codify such an experience for the purpose of transmission to others? At the same time, this has given wide latitude to individual practitioners to interpret Aikido in an astonishing number of ways.


Anyone ever think to take Ueshiba at his words? That he really was being the avatar? That he had visions or dreams of the future? There's a reason all this spiritual mumbo-jumbo has filtered down through the ages in all cultures. People have had unnatural and unexplainable experiences throughout history. It's why we stumble across ancient texts and research and pretty much everything else trying to explain things. And then one day, something unexplainable and unnatural happens. Maybe we should take a hard look at that spiritual side of Ueshiba and keep an open mind. After all, quite a few people thought they were doing aiki until they met someone who actually had it.

But, then again, his son, Kisshomaru, pretty much changed Aikido so that everyone didn't have to believe what his father did. There is enough room in the world for both ... and more. Your aikido is in your hands.

gdandscompserv
08-08-2009, 06:54 PM
There's a reason all this spiritual mumbo-jumbo has filtered down through the ages in all cultures.
What is the "reason" Mark?

Kevin Leavitt
08-08-2009, 07:02 PM
Alot of stupid things have been done in the name of ignorance as well!

Not everything that is unexplained, is really "Unexplained"...maybe it simply means you don't understand it, but somebody else does and it really is not all that big a deal once you pull back the curtain and see the wizard at the controls.

Not saying that their isn't anything to all this...just that I think that very few people can really draw a conclusion about what O Sensei did, why he did it, and what it really meant. Very few folks, everyone else is just hypothesizing or making up legends that fit the stories they really want to believe are true.

MM
08-08-2009, 07:34 PM
What is the "reason" Mark?

Sorry, wasn't clear. The answer was the next sentence, "People have had unnatural and unexplainable experiences throughout history."

gdandscompserv
08-08-2009, 07:40 PM
Sorry, wasn't clear. The answer was the next sentence, "People have had unnatural and unexplainable experiences throughout history."
But is there a reason for those experiences.

gdandscompserv
08-08-2009, 07:50 PM
What is it you are here on the earth for? To simply consume, survive, or exist? Or is there some purpose to your being here? What is that purpose? Does spirituality imply recognition of a higher power? For me it does. And for me, the crux of spirituality boils down to aligning one's own will with that of one's higher power.

Kevin Leavitt
08-08-2009, 10:35 PM
I think sprituality means looking externally at the world or universe in some way and realizing that there is more to this than just you and maybe understanding or recognizing that you are a part of it and that you have a realationship with it.

That "IT" is defined differently by folks. It could be God, it could be a concept of Interconnectedness...or any other thing, belief, or allegory.

But, yes, RIcky, I agree, that it does require you to look externally.

A Higher Power?

Well some may not necessarily identify with it as being Higher per se.

A Power or Force...well maybe maybe not.

Something greater than our selves...or something that we are a part of is greater than us alone....Yes, I think so.

thisisnotreal
08-08-2009, 10:55 PM
Intent, is everything.
But it springs from the mind/heart/will. And they...are not all the same ;)

thanks for this

rob_liberti
08-09-2009, 06:39 AM
You want answers? You want the truth? YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH! Deep down in places that you don't talk about at parties, you WANT aiki back in aikido, you NEED aiki back in aikido... :)

MM
08-09-2009, 07:35 AM
But is there a reason for those experiences.

A good question. :) One that I specifically didn't add to my post.

It's a little like aiki. Until you actually experience these things, it's all words on paper, or blips on screens. Then, when you experience it, things like, What the *&^% was that, come out. How can you explain the reason for why it works, how it works, etc at that stage?

Now, back up a step and ask how those who have never had that experience can explain it? Let alone stating reasons for it.

And then when talking about aiki to those who haven't experienced it, you get a lot of negative views on your experiences. Or people just don't believe you. Or ignore you. Or think that you don't have the experience to have views/opinions/etc.

No, I left that question out for good reasons. Spirituality is a tougher sell than aiki. How can you get someone to experience unnatural or unexplainable things and then teach them to do those things? Instead, I chose to focus on Ueshiba and his life, his words.

How does that change your (plural) views of the spiritual side of Aikido if Ueshiba's words were true. Something to think about, no? It means that there's something far deeper there than the normal "spiritual" aspect that most people talk about. And that would change a lot of the reasons for doing Aikido.

But, as I stated, Kisshomaru Ueshiba changed all that and made Aikido into something the world could learn. Not a bad thing, mind you. Aikido was taught to the masses and spiritual messages did make it through, even if they weren't the same as the founder.

aikilouis
08-09-2009, 08:37 AM
Hikitsuchi sensei chiming in on sincerity in aikido practise :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PfQZ0gM1z4

Buck
08-09-2009, 11:25 AM
If something is missing in Aikido, I guess it is like everything else. As the saying goes, it isn't the instrument that is lacking, it is the person using the instrument.

And like the other saying goes, there is nothing new, it is just re-discovered.

There are many things in my life that I think are new, and then come to find out it by some older and who lived longer says differently that it has been around for decades.

I think another problem for those who feel something is missing relates to many other things that are lost or forgotten, or missed over-time.

I don't think it is the same thing that is always missing with each person in their practice. And if it is, then not everyone is going to assimilate and an apply it equally. Interpretation, understanding and application will vary, wouldn't it since each person is different?

So how do we know if it is one thing or many things that is missing in Aikido? Is there one precise thing that fixes everyone's Aikido meeting everyone's needs? Is everyone missing the same thing from O'Sensei to the newest member of Aikido?

Tangent: I do think O'Sensei wasn't missing anything in his Aikido, he is the model. He had complete scope of knowledge. He is the one setting the mark we are trying to reach. He is the model, he had it, it wasn't given to him, yet he still got it. I don't think we should move away from the model of O'Sensei. I don't know why there is so much resistance from some who feel we should abandon that model for other models. :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:

observer
08-09-2009, 12:40 PM
Somebody asked me once: "Who is an aikidoka?" I answered: "I am an aikidoka, I presume." Why? Because, the first thing I have in mind after waking up is aikido. Same, the last thing before falling asleep is aikido. For 20 long years.

I do not know folks anything about you and your dreams, but in aikido we practice today I miss everything what aikido promises. First of all the way to get the skill. Too many confusing techniques and exercises, weapon, suwari waza, breathing, meditations, endless basics, etiquette and feudal rules. No mention all the spiritual clouds. It is like somebody is building a church and gathering as many members as possible based on never kept promises. Seminars involved 2000 or even 3000 people (?!). Do I need to continue?

dps
08-09-2009, 12:49 PM
Hikitsuchi sensei chiming in on sincerity in aikido practise :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PfQZ0gM1z4

Excellent. Thank you Ludwig .

David

dps
08-09-2009, 12:53 PM
No mention all the spiritual clouds. It is like somebody is building a church and gathering as many members as possible based on never kept promises. Seminars involved 2000 or even 3000 people (?!). Do I need to continue?

Your spiritual practice is when you practice by yourself not in the dojo or at a seminar.

David

Buck
08-09-2009, 12:58 PM
Somebody asked me once: "Who is an aikidoka?" I answered: "I am an aikidoka, I presume." Why? Because, the first thing I have in mind after waking up is aikido. Same, the last thing before falling asleep is aikido. For 20 long years.

I do not know folks anything about you and your dreams, but in aikido we practice today I miss everything what aikido promises. First of all the way to get the skill. Too many confusing techniques and exercises, weapon, suwari waza, breathing, meditations, endless basics, etiquette and feudal rules. No mention all the spiritual clouds. It is like somebody is building a church and gathering as many members as possible based on never kept promises. Seminars involved 2000 or even 3000 people (?!). Do I need to continue?

Good post, like the other few who have posted here and have either gone ignored or little attention has been paid to their wisdom.

mathewjgano
08-09-2009, 01:07 PM
Somebody asked me once: "Who is an aikidoka?" I answered: "I am an aikidoka, I presume." Why? Because, the first thing I have in mind after waking up is aikido. Same, the last thing before falling asleep is aikido. For 20 long years.

I do not know folks anything about you and your dreams, but in aikido we practice today I miss everything what aikido promises. First of all the way to get the skill. Too many confusing techniques and exercises, weapon, suwari waza, breathing, meditations, endless basics, etiquette and feudal rules. No mention all the spiritual clouds. It is like somebody is building a church and gathering as many members as possible based on never kept promises. Seminars involved 2000 or even 3000 people (?!). Do I need to continue?
I can't comment on most of Aikido, but I would agree one of the "problems" is probably the fact that in order for a dojo to survive, it generally needs money and that the more paying students you get, the more "successfull" the dojo appears. Ultimately, whatever is missing within a given group comes down to its individuals. What are they doing? Do they work tirelessly, both in body and mind, to develop their learning?
I think another "problem" might be that Aikido seems to be focused a bit more heavily on the :do:; I presume that to a lot of people, the physical ability is somewhat secondary. I'm sure if I had been less interested in applying the concepts I'd learned to life, my physical ability would have received more attention and thus development. Adding that potentially wider focal lense on top of the fact that most people (in any art) already have to juggle work, family, pre-existing friendships, and other hobbies, and I think a reasonable picture comes forward. Beyond that I can only think of ego as being responsible...but, then again, my opinion is that's responsible for most things in this world (good and bad).

Buck
08-09-2009, 01:07 PM
I have already wrote this in a different thread. but I feel strongly it applies to this topic as well.

Because of the difficult nature of understanding the coded language of O'Sensei had for Aikido, never the less, to me it is pretty clear that there is something missing. The difficultly is understanding completely what O'Sensei was keeping hidden. O'Sensei highly complicated Aikido by interweaving the fabrics of both the spiritual and martial together. Creating the feeling for some, that something is missing.

And that also could be what people feel they are missing. That is because of the complexity crafted by O'Sensei weaving a very complex and intricate cloth called Aikido it is to easy feel there is something missing because all information is readily at hand, and it can result in misinformation and stuff.

How do you crack the Aikido code. And find out what is missing. It isn't going to be with a promotional toy decoder that spells out "Drink your Ovaltine." (making references to the movies "DaVinci Code, and Christmas Story). It would be nice if we all had a Rosetta stone to help. But one step, in toward understanding I think, isn't the quick and easy way, but rather something seen in Maciej Jesmanowicz words some posts back.

dps
08-09-2009, 01:33 PM
David,
I think the point is:
"What is the point of doing this?".

I don't think there is any point in doing large seminars. Your time and money would be better spent going to practice at different dojos.

Shugyo as defined here; http://www.lion-gv.com/v08/shugyo/html/what_is_shugyo.html

" In the shugyo model, the student takes only a handful of skills or forms and repeats them time and time again. Each repetition refining the skill or deepening the knowledge.
The aim here is total mastery over one's object of study and oneself to the point where both subject and object disappear into the void of experience... enlightenment."

David

David Orange
08-09-2009, 01:33 PM
If something is missing in Aikido, I guess it is like everything else. As the saying goes, it isn't the instrument that is lacking, it is the person using the instrument.

Ummmm.....unless it really is the instrument. Want a surgeon cutting on you with a second-hand scalpel? Want him using a scalpel on you that he shaved with this morning? Or one he found on the floor???

I do think O'Sensei wasn't missing anything in his Aikido, he is the model. He had complete scope of knowledge. He is the one setting the mark we are trying to reach. He is the model, he had it, it wasn't given to him, yet he still got it. I don't think we should move away from the model of O'Sensei. I don't know why there is so much resistance from some who feel we should abandon that model for other models. :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:

I think your ending says it best, Buck: confused, confused, confused.

It isn't we who have moved from OSensei's model. Aikido itself (the brand name product) moved away from OSensei's model to something very different. There can be a lot of power in the brand name product, but it just isn't what O Sensei was doing. Clear that up and most of your :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: will clear up as well. The people you're dismissing are the ones you should be listening to.

David

Thomas Campbell
08-09-2009, 02:59 PM
Thought George Ledyard's post from another thread was worth bringing here:

http://http://aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=224330&postcount=14

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

There are two types of folks whom, in my opinion, you don't want to be. First is the True Believer as Eric Hoffer called him. This is the guy that "drinks the cool aid" so to speak. The suspension of common sense, the subjugating of ones own judgment to another person or to an ideology. You can see this within Aikido all the time. Our way is the right way. My teacher was the one who really understood the Founder. This is the real way the Founder did technique and the other folks out there are ruining Aikido.

The True Believer shuts down his own process in order to model himself on some outside set of beliefs or principles. Almost always this seriously restricts his growth as a person and retards any ability to go beyond the external limits placed on him. In Aikido this type of thinking results in practitioners who are good copies of an original. But a copy is never as good as the original because it lacks genuineness, originality, and creativity. But seeking out your own way is far riskier and entails living at the edge of ones comfort level. Most folks prefer to have someone else tell them what to do.

The other extreme is the perennial doubter. In his effort to not "drink the cool aid" he ignores anything that he doesn't feel is proven already to his satisfaction. I guess I don't really understand this deeply rooted fear of "being fooled". But there are many folks who seem so controlled by this fear that they dismiss, out of hand, anything which they don't understand.

I have many friends who a like this. I have watched as they summarily dismissed a teacher or a style based simply on a YouTube video. I have seen people simply turn their backs on some training because it challenged their preconceived notions of what is what. It's much easier to call something fake and walk away than to make the changes needed to understand and maybe do what had previously been thought impossible.

Morihei Ueshiba was clearly a giant in 20th century Japanese martial arts. I am sure he had that rare combination of natural talent and total focus on succeeding required to be great. I once heard someone say that Ueshiba Sensei's true distinguishing character was that he trained harder than anyone this person knew. And that is what yields wisdom.

Yes, it is important that each of us find and develop his own wisdom; find what makes each of genuine. But an attachment to that individuality causes us to ignore what has been done by others before us. The resistance to being drawn into someone else's sphere can cut us off from the synergy of collective effort. It causes us to reinvent the wheel rather than piggy back on the work others have done before us. In fact, if we are talking about the highest levels of teaching, you won't even reinvent the wheel unless you slipstream behind the work done by others.

Myth is very important in a culture. It is at the heart of the drive to better ourselves. In our Aikido culture, the Founder, Morihei Ueshiba, is our central mythical figure. His myth provides the model for our practice and our striving to be better.

The modern trend towards historical deconstruction is valuable. It allows us to see how our reality has failed to match our myths. But I have to say that the facts of reality seldom inspire anyone. It is the power of myth to move people.

It's important to understand the Founder and to this end, historical research, understanding of the cultural and religious influences that shaped his thinking all contribute. But it is not the historical O-Sensei as a man like the rest of us but rather the mythical figure of O-Sensei as a man who has become something greater that inspires us to go the distance and attempt great things.

But myth supplies the inspiration, it is not your reality. The True Believer ceases to exist as himself by subjugating his own reality to the myth. The Doubting Thomas disavows the myth and settles for less than he might otherwise have accomplished because he stays within his own comfort zone and his own understanding.

Training is about developing the strength of character to be centered, to be oneself. If one has this strong sense of himself he will never disappear into some cult or ideology. Nor will he feel threatened by new ideas or things that he can't explain. He is free if he is centered. The myth for such a person provides the target, it is the source of aspiration. It doesn't actually matter if the myth was historically true in every detail; that 's not its power.

We need the myths. A culture that has its myths destroyed is lost, its heart is missing. Every time we destroy one of our myths, we are driven to find another to put in its place. Its how the human mind works. When used correctly it can be a tremendous impetus towards growth. When used incorrectly it can be deadly.

Why would we impute some degree of wisdom to Morihei Ueshiba? Well, he trained longer and harder than any of us doing things most of us will never do. So that's a pretty good start right there. Coupled with the fact that, clearly his intentions were towards the light rather than towards the dark I think that gives us enough of a reason to give his ideas a good hearing. But the "myth" of the Founder is merely a tool we can use in our lives and our training. We can be inspired by it but do not lose ourselves in it. But for me, I am always looking to verify the myth through my own efforts in training rather than spending all my time debunking the myth as many people feel they need to do. That, to me, is the function of the myth.

Thomas Campbell
08-09-2009, 03:11 PM
Because of the difficult nature of understanding the coded language of O'Sensei had for Aikido, never the less, to me it is pretty clear that there is something missing. The difficultly is understanding completely what O'Sensei was keeping hidden. O'Sensei highly complicated Aikido by interweaving the fabrics of both the spiritual and martial together. Creating the feeling for some, that something is missing.

And that also could be what people feel they are missing. That is because of the complexity crafted by O'Sensei weaving a very complex and intricate cloth called Aikido it is to easy feel there is something missing because all information is readily at hand, and it can result in misinformation and stuff.

How do you crack the Aikido code. And find out what is missing.

It could be O'Sensei who was confused. It could be that O'Sensei was still searching when he died. It could be that there is no "code," but rather that the ambiguity in O'Sensei's words and acts reflects the striving and ultimate lack of integration of a human being who did not have final answers or ultimate insights, but who had caught a glimpse of something spiritually greater than his own small self, and his personal practice reflected his yearning for spiritual union with that something greater. Look at Ueshiba the man, not O'Sensei the symbolic projection of aikidokas' collective yearning.

There is no "complex and intricate cloth called Aikido," Philip. There is a worn patchwork blanket of many conflicting partial visions of what Aikido is, with the internecine politics of shihans and wannabe shihans gnawing around the edges. It is said that the only true Christian died on the cross, or perhaps was martyred in Rome. It may be that Aikido is buried at Tanabe.

What does that leave us? The example of Ueshiba the man. Ueshiba followed Takeda Sokaku as martial arts master and Deguchi Onisaburo as spiritual guru. Ultimately Ueshiba left masters and gurus behind, and looked to his own practice for the meaning of Aikido.

The spirit is forged in physical training. The spirit grows and becomes more resilient in the cooperative venture of training hard, both alone and together, where everyone works to help each other's skill, internal strength/connection, and health, grow. That is a dojo, and a forum, and an art--a true community.

Dan Harden (and others) offer a challenge to conventional thinking in aikido, but even more, a positive contribution to moving aikido out of the warm and fuzzy solipsism of conventional training into substantial improvement through which more aikidokas can move closer to the very real body/mind skills that Ueshiba exemplified. To get there requires difficult, often-tedious solo training and investing in loss through sincere, hard partner work. Your training, your progress and your character are truly in your own hands.

How is that really any different than the example Ueshiba himself set?

Misogi-no-Gyo
08-09-2009, 03:18 PM
One of my favorite quotes taken from, I believe, Conrad's, Heart of Darkness says, "...We had to destroy the village in order to save it..."

Among other things, it clearly illustrates the (often widening) gap between the ideas people come up with in their often maligned attempt to reach their own ideals. Lately I find myself reading posts from seasoned Aikidoka such as the one, below...

You want answers? You want the truth? YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH! Deep down in places that you don't talk about at parties, you WANT aiki back in aikido, you NEED aiki back in aikido... :)

I find that statement packed with about as much irony as the one, from Conrad. Again, I am left feeling about as uneasy trying to understand the logic in these statements, when I can only find them being made by people who's ideals have been somehow twisted to fit the ideas they now seem to be having.

Should the village be saved (from communism)?

Does Aikido need to be saved (from being passed down as a hollowed out form)...?

Sure, but...

In both cases I find myself wondering how the people making the statements never seem to ask themselves, nor have an answer to those that ask, "Yeah, but at what cost...?"

FWIW

.

Kevin Leavitt
08-09-2009, 03:43 PM
Well there is alot missing in my Aikido.

It is evident yesterday when my good friend Min Kang simply grabs my wrist and I cannot influence him!

Lots going wrong, lots to learn and discover.

The mind leads the body...and my mind is not leading my body.

It really is a simple as that.

Once my mind begins to lead my body, I will have the power of aiki, and I will be able to influence the wrist grab way before it ever touches me. Then when it does make contact, I will be able to influence the situation properly without having to resort to secondary means of influence such as my physical jitsu/grappling skills.

Min and I worked hard on this yesterday and it is evident that I have lots of neurons firing when they shouldn't be firing in places where they shouldn't be. Others that should be are not getting the message from my mind!

So, I think it is all about learning this process. It really is this simple.

Once we have command over our mind and connect our thinking brain, with our non-thinking brain and wire it to our body...any spirituality pretty much flows out of this connection of mind and body.

Becoming one...commanding as one. Once we have this we have no discord within ourselves and we can pretty much realize some inner peace...this is true spritiuality....becoming happy.

Not happy in the glee since...but happy in the fact that we have unified and are no longer is disharmony or discord.

Budo makes us strong by teaching us to move to discord and resolve it. (Irimi)...it is not done through asthetic practices like monasticism.

I think this is what we are practicing.

I thoughts are that all of this solo training be it Yoga, Ark's stuff, MIke's, or Dan's....leads to develop your body to better be able to acheive this ideal.

Kevin Leavitt
08-09-2009, 03:49 PM
One of my favorite quotes taken from, I believe, Conrad's, Heart of Darkness says, "...We had to destroy the village in order to save it..."

Among other things, it clearly illustrates the (often widening) gap between the ideas people come up with in their often maligned attempt to reach their own ideals. Lately I find myself reading posts from seasoned Aikidoka such as the one, below...

I find that statement packed with about as much irony as the one, from Conrad. Again, I am left feeling about as uneasy trying to understand the logic in these statements, when I can only find them being made by people who's ideals have been somehow twisted to fit the ideas they now seem to be having.

Should the village be saved (from communism)?

Does Aikido need to be saved (from being passed down as a hollowed out form)...?

Sure, but...

In both cases I find myself wondering how the people making the statements never seem to ask themselves, nor have an answer to those that ask, "Yeah, but at what cost...?"

FWIW

.

Good question Shaun..."At what cost"?

Well I don't think Aikido needs to be saved. I don't think we need to have another Crusade, an inquisition, a protestant reformation, a tent revival or any other fundamentalist type movement to convert the masses to our way of thinking.

It is dangerous ground as history has proven time and time again...one that never seems to end with a happily ever after ending.

I know alot of folks are excited about this stuff and what to share it with others. I applaud the enthusiasm and openness and hope that those in the know continue to be patient and answer questions...

But, I also think we should be careful about how we do things and how our actions are perceived too.

Does Aikido need to be saved?

Naw, I could really care less...I'm selfish that way. I hope that we end up with a few quality individuals that practice and achieve mastery so I don't have to go stand in line to receive their lessons and wait my turn.

I'd rather do this own my own, get better, then open my own dojo so I can pay the bills!

Who wants competition anyway! :)

No aikido doesn't need to be saved....and if we do try it, the cost may be too, too high and for what end?

Thomas Campbell
08-09-2009, 03:52 PM
One of my favorite quotes taken from, I believe, Conrad's, Heart of Darkness says, "...We had to destroy the village in order to save it..."

.

As an aside:

http://http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B%E1%BA%BFn_Tre

One of the most famous quotes of the Vietnam War was a statement attributed to an unnamed U.S. Air Force Major by AP correspondent Peter Arnett. Writing about the provincial capital, Ben Tre, on February 7, 1968, Arnett said: "'it became necessary to destroy the town to save it,' a U.S. major says." To this day, "Ben Tre logic" is a common saying for whenever a "logical" conclusion is to destroy something out of the perceived best interests of everyone involved. Papa Bravo Romeo - U. S. Navy Patrol Boats at War in Vietnam, by Wynn Goldsmith (pages 184 to 186) attributes the quote to USAF Major Chet Brown.

The incident was taped and shown on the news. Peter Arnett said, "So you had to destroy the village in order to save it?" The major said, "Let's get down from here. We're drawing fire."

Mark Mueller
08-09-2009, 03:59 PM
Thought George Ledyard's post from another thread was worth bringing here:

http://http://aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=224330&postcount=14

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

There are two types of folks whom, in my opinion, you don't want to be. First is the True Believer as Eric Hoffer called him. This is the guy that "drinks the cool aid" so to speak. The suspension of common sense, the subjugating of ones own judgment to another person or to an ideology. You can see this within Aikido all the time. Our way is the right way. My teacher was the one who really understood the Founder. This is the real way the Founder did technique and the other folks out there are ruining Aikido.

The True Believer shuts down his own process in order to model himself on some outside set of beliefs or principles. Almost always this seriously restricts his growth as a person and retards any ability to go beyond the external limits placed on him. In Aikido this type of thinking results in practitioners who are good copies of an original. But a copy is never as good as the original because it lacks genuineness, originality, and creativity. But seeking out your own way is far riskier and entails living at the edge of ones comfort level. Most folks prefer to have someone else tell them what to do.

The other extreme is the perennial doubter. In his effort to not "drink the cool aid" he ignores anything that he doesn't feel is proven already to his satisfaction. I guess I don't really understand this deeply rooted fear of "being fooled". But there are many folks who seem so controlled by this fear that they dismiss, out of hand, anything which they don't understand.

I have many friends who a like this. I have watched as they summarily dismissed a teacher or a style based simply on a YouTube video. I have seen people simply turn their backs on some training because it challenged their preconceived notions of what is what. It's much easier to call something fake and walk away than to make the changes needed to understand and maybe do what had previously been thought impossible.

Morihei Ueshiba was clearly a giant in 20th century Japanese martial arts. I am sure he had that rare combination of natural talent and total focus on succeeding required to be great. I once heard someone say that Ueshiba Sensei's true distinguishing character was that he trained harder than anyone this person knew. And that is what yields wisdom.

Yes, it is important that each of us find and develop his own wisdom; find what makes each of genuine. But an attachment to that individuality causes us to ignore what has been done by others before us. The resistance to being drawn into someone else's sphere can cut us off from the synergy of collective effort. It causes us to reinvent the wheel rather than piggy back on the work others have done before us. In fact, if we are talking about the highest levels of teaching, you won't even reinvent the wheel unless you slipstream behind the work done by others.

Myth is very important in a culture. It is at the heart of the drive to better ourselves. In our Aikido culture, the Founder, Morihei Ueshiba, is our central mythical figure. His myth provides the model for our practice and our striving to be better.

The modern trend towards historical deconstruction is valuable. It allows us to see how our reality has failed to match our myths. But I have to say that the facts of reality seldom inspire anyone. It is the power of myth to move people.

It's important to understand the Founder and to this end, historical research, understanding of the cultural and religious influences that shaped his thinking all contribute. But it is not the historical O-Sensei as a man like the rest of us but rather the mythical figure of O-Sensei as a man who has become something greater that inspires us to go the distance and attempt great things.

But myth supplies the inspiration, it is not your reality. The True Believer ceases to exist as himself by subjugating his own reality to the myth. The Doubting Thomas disavows the myth and settles for less than he might otherwise have accomplished because he stays within his own comfort zone and his own understanding.

Training is about developing the strength of character to be centered, to be oneself. If one has this strong sense of himself he will never disappear into some cult or ideology. Nor will he feel threatened by new ideas or things that he can't explain. He is free if he is centered. The myth for such a person provides the target, it is the source of aspiration. It doesn't actually matter if the myth was historically true in every detail; that 's not its power.

We need the myths. A culture that has its myths destroyed is lost, its heart is missing. Every time we destroy one of our myths, we are driven to find another to put in its place. Its how the human mind works. When used correctly it can be a tremendous impetus towards growth. When used incorrectly it can be deadly.

Why would we impute some degree of wisdom to Morihei Ueshiba? Well, he trained longer and harder than any of us doing things most of us will never do. So that's a pretty good start right there. Coupled with the fact that, clearly his intentions were towards the light rather than towards the dark I think that gives us enough of a reason to give his ideas a good hearing. But the "myth" of the Founder is merely a tool we can use in our lives and our training. We can be inspired by it but do not lose ourselves in it. But for me, I am always looking to verify the myth through my own efforts in training rather than spending all my time debunking the myth as many people feel they need to do. That, to me, is the function of the myth.

A timely and thoughtful reminder.....nicely placed Thomas

mickeygelum
08-09-2009, 04:14 PM
Shhh....It's missing:eek:

Shhh....It's a secret:confused:

Shhh...It's too complicated to explain:rolleyes:

Shhh...It's not even the topic of the thread anymore:hypno:

:D

Mickey

Misogi-no-Gyo
08-09-2009, 04:17 PM
It could be O'Sensei who was confused. It could be that O'Sensei was still searching when he died. It could be that there is no "code," but rather that the ambiguity in O'Sensei's words and acts reflects the striving and ultimate lack of integration of a human being who did not have final answers or ultimate insights, but who had caught a glimpse of something spiritually greater than his own small self, and his personal practice reflected his yearning for spiritual union with that something greater. Look at Ueshiba the man, not O'Sensei the symbolic projection of aikidokas' collective yearning.

Thomas, do you really believe that O-Sensei was confused? Is that answer merely a way of justifying some present need to accept some new-found explanation, one easier for the masses to grasp at will, because that which O-Sensei put forth was and is not so easy, and for some people, nearly impossible to grasp? Of course, we are all human. As humans we want to believe that we are all potentially equal. As Aikidoka we all want to feel we are entitled to and deserve delivery on the promises of Aikido. However, when we do not receive it, at what point do we then demand it?

If we take the time to actually listen to what Hikistuchi Sensei says O-Sensei saiid, over and over, that the work of Aikido, the way of Aiki is about understanding how to connect with the divine and being in that place the waza is something other than movement, other than self defense, other than competition... etc. Given this is what the founder said was the substance of his art form isn't it delusion to think that for even a moment that without a complete and true connection with the divine, THERE IS NO AIKI. Perhaps it is just easier to thrown that uncomfortable cloak of perfection in favor of that worn patchwork of mediocrity because let's just face it, the patchwork is easier to obtain and more comfortable to wear for most of us.

There is no "complex and intricate cloth called Aikido," Philip. There is a worn patchwork blanket of many conflicting partial visions of what Aikido is, with the internecine politics of shihans and wannabe shihans gnawing around the edges. It is said that the only true Christian died on the cross, or perhaps was martyred in Rome. It may be that Aikido is buried at Tanabe.
Like I said before, The Jews for Jesus, use "I found it" as their mantra, while the Jews answer back with, "I never lost it." So, while it may be said that the only true christian.... it can definitely be said that the one true christian was no christian at all. He was a Jew. Say it over and over and over, cause he lived and died as a Jew and should he ever come back, he would still be one regardless of how anyone of us feel about that.

What does that leave us? The example of Ueshiba the man. Ueshiba followed Takeda Sokaku as martial arts master and Deguchi Onisaburo as spiritual guru. Ultimately Ueshiba left masters and gurus behind, and looked to his own practice for the meaning of Aikido.
Well, if we accept this model of understanding, then one must ask two questions... Why? and How?

The spirit is forged in physical training. The spirit grows and becomes more resilient in the cooperative venture of training hard, both alone and together, where everyone works to help each other's skill, internal strength/connection, and health, grow. That is a dojo, and a forum, and an art--a true community. While interesting, and possibly even accurate, how does any of this relate to what Hikistuchi Sensei was saying in the video? Does it relate?

Dan Harden (and others) offer a challenge to conventional thinking in aikido, but even more, a positive contribution to moving aikido out of the warm and fuzzy solipsism of conventional training into substantial improvement through which more aikidokas can move closer to the very real body/mind skills that Ueshiba exemplified. To get there requires difficult, often-tedious solo training and investing in loss through sincere, hard partner work. Your training, your progress and your character are truly in your own hands.

Those are some very impassioned remarks, ones we are hearing more and more lately.The idea behind them seems to be to help us all to reach up to the ideals promised by O-Sensei's Aikido. So, Thomas. I ask you, "At what cost...?"

How is that really any different than the example Ueshiba himself set?The example O-Sensei set was clearly verbalized in the video of Hikistuchi Sensei. He said it over and over, "...to absolutely connect oneself to the divine. I might be surprised, but I have to ask as I am wondering... Is Dan teaching that? If not, is he even speaking about it? If not, is he even wondering about that? If not, who is? It leads me to wonder something else, something that perhaps we should discuss in a new thread should someone care to start it, "Based upon O-Sensei's model of Aiki as illustrated in his many writings, interviews and videos, is something missing in Dan's model of Aiki?


Best in training to you and all?

.

Thomas Campbell
08-09-2009, 04:44 PM
Best in training to you and all?

.

Why the question mark, Shaun? :)

Thanks for the detailed response, in which you described a bit more where you are coming from. I honestly don't see any conflict between what Hikitsuchi said and what I said--except in how he and I would view the "divine." I don't want to detract from this thread with my opinion on that topic, however (:D ) and would like to follow up with you via PM when I have time later this week.

This is indeed an engaging thread. Thanks, everyone who is contributing.

gdandscompserv
08-09-2009, 05:33 PM
"At what cost?"
Well, there would be the cost of transportation to get to Dan's barn and the cost of lodging while there. There would also be the cost of leave time from my job. All of that is minimal in comparison to the knowledge I believe I would gain. So in the end, the payback would be greater than the cost.:D

MM
08-09-2009, 08:54 PM
If we take the time to actually listen to what Hikistuchi Sensei says O-Sensei saiid, over and over, that the work of Aikido, the way of Aiki is about understanding how to connect with the divine and being in that place the waza is something other than movement, other than self defense, other than competition... etc. Given this is what the founder said was the substance of his art form isn't it delusion to think that for even a moment that without a complete and true connection with the divine, THERE IS NO AIKI.


Well, perhaps only partially right with "THERE IS NO AIKI".

As to aiki ... with Ueshiba, as we've all said many times before, he had two main people who influenced him: Takeda and Deguchi. Now, Takeda gave Ueshiba Daito ryu aiki. Deguchi's influence gave Ueshiba a spiritual outlook. In essence, you can, and IMO should, look at Ueshiba from both perspectives.

He never stopped doing both. There wasn't one without the other. So, your "THERE IS NO AIKI" in connection with the divine isn't exactly true. There most certainly was aiki in Ueshiba even without the divine spirituality that he espoused. He showed it all the time by having people push on him, etc.

You might want to disagree with that, but it's not really open to debate. It's Daito ryu aiki and Ueshiba had it until he died. He never stopped doing that. And he built his spirituality with that body skill.

So, more to the point, I can agree that without Ueshiba's spiritual component, there isn't the vision of Ueshiba's aikido. And if you want to name that as "aiki", sure, why not? It'll get kind of confusing when we talk about Daito ryu aiki, but it isn't like that won't happen anyway.


The example O-Sensei set was clearly verbalized in the video of Hikistuchi Sensei. He said it over and over, "...to absolutely connect oneself to the divine. I might be surprised, but I have to ask as I am wondering... Is Dan teaching that? If not, is he even speaking about it? If not, is he even wondering about that? If not, who is? It leads me to wonder something else, something that perhaps we should discuss in a new thread should someone care to start it, "Based upon O-Sensei's model of Aiki as illustrated in his many writings, interviews and videos, is something missing in Dan's model of Aiki?


Best in training to you and all?

.

I'm learning aiki filtered down through a Daito ryu lineage. It has the same components that Ueshiba is said to have done and shown. Is there anything missing? Maybe. Maybe not. And maybe I'm learning more than what Ueshiba showed most of the time. Ask me in some years when I've progressed some. I can say that there's more of Ueshiba's aiki to be learned here than anywhere else I've trained. And unlike what you keep harping on, Shaun, none of us have said that this is all there is to Ueshiba's aikido. Yet you keep making that mistake.

So, how about the flip side, Shaun? Can *you* do what Ueshiba is shown doing on video and written about? Can you withstand a push to the chest? Can you sit on the mat and have people push on your head and not be pushed over? Can you do all the Daito ryu aiki tricks that Ueshiba did? IF not, then no matter how much you train in the spiritual, "THERE IS NO AIKI". No Daito ryu aiki and without that, no overall aiki. There is only half a shell without that base of Daito ryu aiki.

As I've said before, Ueshiba had *both* components. Not one, not the other. Both. Unless you train both, you won't be anywhere near Ueshiba's aikido. And like I said before, I really do hope that your training is covering that half of Ueshiba's aikido. It means that not all is lost. And if you do have Daito ryu aiki, let us know because I'm sure a lot of people will be interested. You would be in a singular position to have both parts: spiritual and physical. How many out there are like that? I'd imagine very, very few.

rob_liberti
08-09-2009, 10:09 PM
Shaun,

It was a movie quote joke, about the aiki from DR, followed by a simile face. No need to worry all that much, I think you have something very important that I want to learn about.

At what cost? There is a cost of delusion too... Having paid a bit of THAT price, I'm inclined to risk the cost of the other side for a while.

One last thought, wasn't Hikistuchi Sensei's dojo a full contact aikido dojo in Shingu?

Rob

phitruong
08-10-2009, 07:46 AM
still trying to figure out what the heck is the "spirituality" that everyone is talking about. is it anything like "chop wood and carry water"? :confused:

thisisnotreal
08-10-2009, 08:32 AM
Phi, it is a good question. I believe many mean deep and earnest sincerity as spirituality. Yet others may mean mystical experience.. the At Oneness. At the core of the "tree of knowledge", and the same basic teaching; you will find this the root. A belief and experience in the interconnectedness of all things. In a way this is true. In a way it is not.

DH
08-10-2009, 08:53 AM
Hello Shaun
I have been challenged repeatedly to either describe or demonstrate the martial attributes of aiki to the aikido community. I think it is fair to say, I have done so, repeatedly. Now with some three dozen teachers from various branches. Mike has met a series of teachers and students
So has Ark
Lets add in Ikeda who is doing his own research
There really is no more discussion to be had
Since that issue is now dead (accept for those few who drank the kool-aid) how about we move on to your next point:
The spiritual aspects and how they manifest physically as well as being the true defining aspects of Ueshiba's power.

I am asking you to step up and say, do or offer, something meaningful.

a) I asked for a hands-on demonstration
you reneged and said you no longer teach
b) You suggest you would take me to Osaka. I asked when?
You reneged and said you would have to try and work things out over time
c) You said there was a known list of teachers who got it from Ueshiba and we would be surprised who was and wasn't- on it (right here in this thread)
I asked for that list
You then said there wasn't a list.
d) I wrote you privately. You haven't responded
e) Now you are stating that to train with us (Mike Ark and myself) would bring skill but
"At what cost?" Suggesting you can offer power and a divine inspiration at the same time.

This continued suggestion of something unproved, the constant referral to a claim unknown, the overt statement that you have it and know of select sect of others who do too- is starting to sound rather spurious and arbitrary.

Take heart though. It was the meat and potatoes of much anger and assertion here for years until we all started to meet. Once met, all of that nonsense blew up in everyone's face when they came face-to -face and put hands on us up close and personal. As I said to Kevin, "Let's be frank. We established a dialogue after all of you guys were stopped cold at what aiki really is and can do." The way of aiki is defined, known and can be demonstrated.
We "established the dialogue," one by one, one after the other, Shodan to Shihan, every, single, time, by evidence and explanation. Now there is real work being done and everyone is improving.
So why not join in?
Think positive! Maybe you have something to share!
Since you demand on being part of the ever growing community exchange on the adoption of aiki into aikido training; maybe its time to step up and offer something meaningful.
Continually suggesting that it is "the spiritual practice that creates the power and aiki"- is a fine argument. You're just not making it very well. It just isn't cutting it. It leaves out answers to many crucial questions. How? Where? What physical means? What are the mental drivers? What institutes change? Who knows? Where are they? Who are their students that demonstrably show the veracity of the method?

How about we follow the standard that was set and demanded here.

1. Why don't you step up and clearly define Ueshiba's spirituality____________________________?
2. How, and where did his spirituality physically affect and manifest itself directly into the physical body without physical training_________________?
3. If you are arguing that -like we say- it is a physical training process but it produces different results-state what our results are and where and how they differ from yours___________________?
3. Who are the aikido teachers you keep talking about who "got it?"
4. Have they produced written works?
5. Can they- upon testing- do the same things Ueshiba did?
6. Can I go around you (with the people I know) and meet and test them?

In short, in light of your professed spiritual search- it seems you really aren't interested in helping anyone but yourself. Don't you think the best thing to do is to give Aikido to the world?
Where did I hear that before?
Thanks
Dan

DH
08-10-2009, 10:39 AM
In short, in light of your professed spiritual search- it seems you really aren't interested in helping anyone but yourself. Don't you think the best thing to do is to give Aikido to the world?
Where did I hear that before?
Thanks
Dan
Shaun
I wanted to make sure you understood this was a serious invitation to reach out, if you really have something worthwhile, and if it turns out you don't, its a great opportunity to learn and make friends. A real win/ win . As many people are stating now- there is a new openness that is knocking down barriers and bringing people together. I think that’s a good thing, and for anyone discussing spirituality; helping the community is a great start.

That was a lesson I learned from a rather cantankerous old Jewish guy!;)

Misogi-no-Gyo
08-10-2009, 03:10 PM
Shaun
I wanted to make sure you understood this was a serious invitation to reach out, if you really have something worthwhile, and if it turns out you don't, its a great opportunity to learn and make friends. A real win/ win . As many people are stating now- there is a new openness that is knocking down barriers and bringing people together. I think that's a good thing, and for anyone discussing spirituality; helping the community is a great start.

That was a lesson I learned from a rather cantankerous old Jewish guy!;)

Hi Dan,

Thanks for your thoughtful posts. Clearly I have managed to make you feel that it is necessary to attack me from that corner you found yourself backed into. It wasn't me that put you there, though, so I am not so sure why you feel it necessary to relate things to people here that were included in a private message that I sent to you.

I know you mean well with all that you do. Of course, good intentions and all are not really indicative of good results. Case in point, you aren't getting anywhere with me - not that you really care. I do love it when you and yours love to make the point, "...there really is no more discussion/debate about these things..."

I asked many questions of you that you continually choose not to answer. You do this every time I ask those questions. When I ask them rhetorically of the community at large, you know to illicit responses from people who are not you, either You, Mark, and now Rob Liberti tend to step up and use the all powerful - but Dan can stop everyone dead in their tracks to explain away that you are on the right path. OK Dan, Bravo. So now you come out here and demand answers from me - even though I plainly expressed to you in that very same private message why I am not at liberty to discuss certain things publicly. I know, that just doesn't suit your needs at the moment. However, that will just have to do. So sorry.

The bottom line for me is very simple. I will reiterate it again here for you just so there are no misunderstandings... You seem to be free to do and say as you please. While that is wonderful given your high status and all, I am not so high... I do have such freedoms as you as I have teachers to whom I answer and protocols which I take to heart. I have no intention to put those things aside. None at all. I really don't worry about what you think about that, nor what you will say about that here, or on the private side. Pride and Ego aside, I really don't worry about what others may think about me, even if that means my credibility is questioned or (gasp) even lost. So now we have your list of questions and demands...

Here is where I am at with you calling me out... again:I do not now, nor, short of a miracle, will I ever answer to you.


Feel free to write me off - That is your right
Feel free to not respond when I post questions about your all encompassing model of Aiki - That is your right
Feel free to disparage me personally (again) and then call me out (again) to prove how right you are - That is your right
Feel free to demand that your minions excommunicate me from your kingdom of Aiki never to be granted access again - That, too, is your right


So many rights. Isn't the world grand? Its a shame that all of those rights don't mean you are right. So it goes...

So yes... You can stop us all dead in our tracks... (a point I have never publicly denied, and actually often publicly acknowledged). As wonderful as that might be in that world of Aiki of yours, it doesn't give you the power to stop people from questioning you - even if we just all happen to be wrong

Let's be even clearer, Dan. It is clear that you have opened a door for people to step through, one where the power of Aiki (Aiki as you define it) rules the day. Remember that Ego and Pride, Dan? You are offering a model of Aiki that reeks of such things couched in a smile and a firm grip. Wonderful, Dan. Good on you, mate! It will be very interesting to see what all the powerful folks you develop will do when (metaphorically speaking) the building is on fire, and the door to the room you let people in through is blocked and all those wonderful, powerful men of Aiki are so full of what you have given them in excess that they can't fit themselves out through the small window of hope that I have been alluding to. You know, the one that you blocked their access to, straight on from the beginning.

It's all good, sins of the father and all... there is always time to repent. Or is there?

Best in training to you and all...

.

rob_liberti
08-10-2009, 03:51 PM
I asked many questions of you that you continually choose not to answer. You do this every time I ask those questions. When I ask them rhetorically of the community at large, you know to illicit responses from people who are not you, either You, Mark, and now Rob Liberti tend to step up and use the all powerful - but Dan can stop everyone dead in their tracks to explain away that you are on the right path.

Shaun, I think my confusion with you has been that I believe you are calling "aiki", we consider to be called "do". What we are calling aiki is what the guy who taught O-sensei called aiki, but I'll call it "DR aiki" if that works better for you. It kind of begs the question as to what you consider to be "do"... And I can see why it can be confusing, for instance the point about Hikistuchi Sensei's dojo being a full contact aikido dojo in Shingu - that kind of adds a bit on context to what he was saying on youtube...

Second, if there is ever a time when you don't want me to respond to a question you pose to the community (which I felt I was a member of) just say so and generally I'm a pretty good sport about such requests.

I honestly do not *know* if Dan is on what I consider to be the right path for the "do". I'm not sure *I* am on THE right path. I just know that the path I had been on was problematic, and this latest adjustment has done me a world of good. However, please consider that if I were 100% sold on Dan's approach regarding the "do," I would not be continuing to ask to come meet you and work on misogi things. So if you and I are in (or still in) some sort of disagreement, please send me a PM.

Rob

DH
08-10-2009, 05:25 PM
Hi Dan,
Thanks for your thoughtful posts. Clearly I have managed to make you feel that it is necessary to attack me from that corner you found yourself backed into.....
....Wonderful, Dan. Good on you, mate! It will be very interesting to see what all the powerful folks you develop will do when (metaphorically speaking) the building is on fire, and the door to the room you let people in through is blocked and all those wonderful, powerful men of Aiki are so full of what you have given them in excess that they can't fit themselves out through the small window of hope that I have been alluding to. You know, the one that you blocked their access to, straight on from the beginning.

It's all good, sins of the father and all... there is always time to repent. Or is there?

Best in training to you and all...

Rant off

Er...what? I suspect that they like me will help everyone out before them and offer them a leg up. Just like i am doing now!!
Lets stay on point.
You have offered that you have an insight into what we do from a different direction that was supposed to be pure Ueshiba; over and over.
I told you publicly that I am intrigued.
I told you privately I am intrigued.
You futhered the point by saying it wasn't just you but a group of others on a list.
That got me more intrigued!
I asked to meet you or them or have you describe publicly, then privately; what it was or how you do it.

You have done nothing but blow me off.

I am sorry you feel this level of emotion. There are more than a few of us who are not playing word games but are very interested in what you are saying. What would cause you to go overboard like this?
I hate the disengenouos nonsense on the web. I told you that publcily and privately; that I am sincerely interested and I would like to come to N.Y and feel what you got and go to dinner and over looong drinks talk about Stan's research and your own (remember that?). We said if that works out to go to Osaka together and see if this is a real path with some credible teaching that has physical results.
It's not a heavy hand, Shaun. It's respect and interest.

Have you considered that you might have something to offer? And that you need to go beyond yourself and share it and let the community decide its value to them and their search? What if you can offer me or someone else a leg up? It's not always about power Shaun. We are supposed to be an open hand, remember?
Gees
Dan

stan baker
08-10-2009, 10:33 PM
Hi Shaun,
I am not sure what this talk is all about, but I would be happy to come to NY and practice with you, to much mumbo jumbo. Lets train and share something real.

stan

Mark Mueller
08-12-2009, 09:26 AM
How about we follow the standard that was set and demanded here.

1. Why don't you step up and clearly define Ueshiba's spirituality____________________________?
2. How, and where did his spirituality physically affect and manifest itself directly into the physical body without physical training_________________?
3. If you are arguing that -like we say- it is a physical training process but it produces different results-state what our results are and where and how they differ from yours___________________?
3. Who are the aikido teachers you keep talking about who "got it?"
4. Have they produced written works?
5. Can they- upon testing- do the same things Ueshiba did?
6. Can I go around you (with the people I know) and meet and test them?

In short, in light of your professed spiritual search- it seems you really aren't interested in helping anyone but yourself. Don't you think the best thing to do is to give Aikido to the world?
Where did I hear that before?
Thanks
Dan

Damn Dan....sounds like you are channeling Jim Sorrentino! Sorry!...couldn't resist! just kidding :p

DH
08-12-2009, 10:22 AM
Damn Dan....sounds like you are channeling Jim Sorrentino! Sorry!...couldn't resist! just kidding :p
Hello, Mark.
There are some rather interesting differences in overall approach. Though no one was more pleased with the eventual results of those exchanges than I.
Cheers
Dan

Mark Mueller
08-12-2009, 10:59 AM
I would agree...but I heard you had a sense of humor and couldn't resist the poke.

thisisnotreal
08-20-2009, 11:55 PM
so this thread is done?..

I can go home now?
<applies dim mak>
aaha
i often feel that way after i post.

you know why they say truth is stranger than fiction?
a:because we invented fiction to suit ourselves.

fwiw; i think that we should not redefine words and terms. in other threads that was mentioned. also something about fat dumb and happy. words have to mean what they say. that;s all i'm saying.
Cheers,
Josh

thisisnotreal
08-21-2009, 01:02 AM
Since I dredged this thread from the abyss...
For the Thread:
I think that ~it~ will remain missing in most everybody's aikido.
It was never missing in everybody's aikido. Well, it was, until they were told of ~aiki~ if that is the ~it~, and then had time to change their body to mainfest it. (if we are to believe the stories). ,,but that is another story.

It is missing in somebody's. Most peoples, i would say, in fact. It is hard and will therefore be elusive. No one suggests it will be common, do they? just that it exists and is the highest mode to directly train martial ability. Maybe aikido would be waaay too hardcore if everyone was required to be doing it. Is everyone capable of doing it, within reason? Or is it practically impossible in some cases? I read of some fellow who is reportedly quite amazing who is wheelchair bound.
Would think being to train ~it~ even to some weak level could at least help to hold your body together as you age and slump over time. Agree?