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dps
07-20-2009, 06:00 AM
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

lbb
07-20-2009, 07:42 AM
I'd guess it has less to do with style and more to do with whether you're predisposed to see the donut or the hole (or perhaps whether you expect anything, whether it be aikido or religion or romance or politics, to be all things for you).

Ron Tisdale
07-20-2009, 09:23 AM
When participating in events focused on "internal training", I have seen adherents from many different organizations, including some of the ones you mentioned above, as well as independent organizations.

I don't remember hearing too many claim that the depth of experience in that area was something they felt familiar with (using the instructors at those events as a comparative example).

Personally, I'm trying to avoid speaking of this "skill set" in terms of organizations. Organizations don't practice this skill set. Individuals do.

Best,
Ron

Shadowfax
07-20-2009, 09:52 AM
I practice Aikiki and I have yet to notice anything missing. Certainly in need of development and work but not missing altogether.

A good friend of mine practices Yoshinkan and I have to tell ya that guy isn't missing a thing as far as I can tell.

DH
07-20-2009, 11:42 AM
Not making any sort of judgment here, but just hoping to add a certain level of honest assessment.
Who can tell what is missing if they haven't felt what is missing?

I had a twenty year student of one of the top men in the internal Chinese arts come and train here. He made an interesting comment that the people who train here have never forgotten
"I didn't know, that I didn't know."
While the comment is clear enough at face value, the reason many of the teachers from different arts took it to heart, is that it expressed their own broader experiences and thoughts in one succinct line.
So, while I can read various comments from people, I assign a relative weight to them being that I have met so many senior men in the arts who would completely disagree with them about just what is missing from where.
If that is true- then how does one assess accurately whether or not something is missing?
All you may really get for replies here is the equivalent of:
1. Are you happy with your training?
To which you may get a “Yes!”
2. Do you feel something is missing?
To which you might get "Yes" or "No" or “I dunno, but my teacher will tell me when I am ready to receive more.”
And so it goes.
I keep suggesting people get out and check it out for themselves. I have faith in people that once felt they will make the best choice for themsevles.
Cheers
Dan
P.S. Oh...my ICMA friend? He quit the world famous Chinese teacher and went and found someone less famous- who could and would, actually teach internal power within the movements!

Scott Stahurski
07-20-2009, 12:03 PM
I used to know what It was, until they changed It, now It seems weird and scary.....and it will happen to you.

thisisnotreal
07-20-2009, 12:06 PM
Hi Scott,
What are you talking about?

dps
07-20-2009, 12:11 PM
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

I should have mentioned Ki Aikido, my apologies.

I was trying to separate the different versions of Aikido based on when the individuals who went their own way from O'Sensei's Aikido before the his son was in charged of the Aikikai. Although Tohei didn't break off until after the second doshu was in charged.

Erick Mead
07-20-2009, 12:12 PM
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?This is like wife-beating questions. The premise presumes the conclusion. The presumption does address something, but not the thing it presumes.

There is good and bad everywhere, in everything to be seen and to be learned from in both good and bad examples. If observant, and diligent, and with honesty and decent respect -- learning becomes self-directed, rather than merely dependent. For those who remain primarily dependent on anything or anyone else, well, ...

"Men at some time are masters of their fates: The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings". Julius Caesar, Act I, Scene II.

Scott Stahurski
07-20-2009, 12:13 PM
I'm talking about It.... :b

BTW that was a Simpsons quote....just struck me funny how the title was "Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?"

Man serious internets on this forum.

mickeygelum
07-20-2009, 12:14 PM
I keep suggesting people get out and check it out for themselves. I have faith in people that once felt they will make the best choice for themsevles.

Dan Harden
Absolutely a true statement.

Train well,

Mickey

crbateman
07-20-2009, 01:08 PM
If one thinks there are aspects lacking in his training, he needs only to explore them further. What is there to prevent it? What each of us wants may vary from the others. Stock your own cupboard.

SeiserL
07-20-2009, 01:35 PM
Missing?
Can't say its there yet.
But, I am working in that direction.

Eric Joyce
07-20-2009, 01:43 PM
P.S. Oh...my ICMA friend? He quit the world famous Chinese teacher and went and found someone less famous- who could and would, actually teach internal power within the movements!

If you don't mind me asking, who did they go to?

Basia Halliop
07-20-2009, 01:53 PM
Do you get the impression from people you come across in practice that there are a lot of people in the Aikikai who feel that way? Or are you more going by discussion on the internet? Because I have really never personally got that impression.

DH
07-20-2009, 01:54 PM
If you don't mind me asking, who did they go to?
Eric Joyce
Hello Eric
I'll let the story stand on its own. I just used it to make the point. There's no point in embarrasing anybody by using names.
Cheers
Dan

mathewjgano
07-20-2009, 03:05 PM
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
First, I'm going to take the "gimme" and answer the title and say, no, because I'm willing to bet at least one person's Aikido has It. I'm assuming It is a high degree of ability in using the largely non-muscular center-based internal power structure.
I'm not sure of how important that ability is to everyone, but I doubt most practicioners are willing to spend the amount of time developing it (and maintaining it?) as it seems to require. So, where that is the case, I think you will see differenetiation in the final product, the "Aikido." My sense is that this is natural to any system of learning: different people focus on different aspects and thus develop a specialty. It seems very hard to be an expert in all facets...or at least, to take up more time than most people are willing to afford. Personally, when my training has been regular, I don't feel anything missing: I get a lot better at "handling" my friends, I get in great shape, and I feel mentally sharper; these are all things I seek in my training. But like Dan said, unless you've directly experienced something, it can be hard to say whether you'd know if it wasn't there to be missed...or desired in the first place.
Of course, the nice thing about the information age is that we can travel and communicate easier than ever before so where someone has hold on something particularly sought after, we can find it and learn from it.
Here's my somewhat loaded question though: how important is It?

thisisnotreal
07-20-2009, 03:44 PM
del

Ron Tisdale
07-20-2009, 04:06 PM
Here's my somewhat loaded question though: how important is It?

I think the answer to that is based on the answer to another question. Do you believe that this is the base skill in aikido and other asian martial arts? If you think this is a base skill, a requirement, then it becomes VERY important. If you don't think that, then not so much.

Best,
Ron (each person will have their own reasons for their answer. I think it is VERY important...)

gdandscompserv
07-20-2009, 04:25 PM
I think we need more possessor's of It, willing to share It.:cool:

mathewjgano
07-20-2009, 05:33 PM
I think the answer to that is based on the answer to another question. Do you believe that this is the base skill in aikido and other asian martial arts? If you think this is a base skill, a requirement, then it becomes VERY important. If you don't think that, then not so much.

Best,
Ron (each person will have their own reasons for their answer. I think it is VERY important...)

I agree. And speaking personally, yes, it's definately the kind of thing I'm looking to learn from my lessons in aikido so it's important to me as well. In the sense that muscle strength ideally shouldn't be the central force of the power, I'd have to guess that it is fundemental to the physical waza.
I guess my next question is: is it "missing" or often simply under-developed? It seems Tohei Sensei felt these things (or what he knew of them) should be focused on more explicitly. I don't know why of course, but to me it suggests he might have felt they were under-developed.
If they're present to some degree, but poorly understood, how much is enough? If I'm studying as a hobby or simply with the idea that something is better than nothing, what constitutes "enough?" Because it sounds like a lot of folks are essentially dismissing what a lot of other folks are doing...I could be reading too much into things though...and probably am :)

eyrie
07-20-2009, 05:54 PM
This applies equally to ANY body of knowledge:
How do you know what's missing, if you don't know what IT is that you're looking for?

RED
07-20-2009, 06:16 PM
Everything that's missing is centered around my lacking or inability to completely perceive at this point in my practice. It's a life long endeavor I think.

dps
07-20-2009, 06:18 PM
Do you get the impression from people you come across in practice that there are a lot of people in the Aikikai who feel that way? Or are you more going by discussion on the internet? Because I have really never personally got that impression.

Discussion on the internet. I am recovering from physical problems and am not currently practicing.

David

lbb
07-20-2009, 06:22 PM
This applies equally to ANY body of knowledge:
How do you know what's missing, if you don't know what IT is that you're looking for?

You may not be looking at all. You may be okay with where you are.

Erick Mead
07-20-2009, 09:40 PM
This applies equally to ANY body of knowledge:
How do you know what's missing, if you don't know what IT is that you're looking for?









jss
07-21-2009, 02:40 AM
In the sense that muscle strength ideally shouldn't be the central force of the power, I'd have to guess that it is fundemental to the physical waza.
<snip>
Because it sounds like a lot of folks are essentially dismissing what a lot of other folks are doing...I could be reading too much into things though...and probably am :)
If it is fundamental to physical waza then you have no choice but to dismiss what a lot of other folks are doing. No matter how subtle and technically rich their use of muscle strength is, if they are not using internal skills, they are not executing the physical waza correctly and thus they are not doing aikido.
I'd say the reason you think you're reading too much into it is that most people have been quite polite about it or have been reluctant to accept the inescapable conclusion one has to draw after discovering the fundamental nature of these skills to aikido.

lbb
07-21-2009, 07:26 AM
If it is fundamental to physical waza then you have no choice but to dismiss what a lot of other folks are doing. No matter how subtle and technically rich their use of muscle strength is, if they are not using internal skills, they are not executing the physical waza correctly and thus they are not doing aikido.

To say that you "have no choice" implies that you are a)qualified to make such a judgment, b)unbiased enough to make such a judgment and c)compelled to make such a judgment.

a) is probably rare.
b) is probably much more rare.
c) is absolutely rarest still, and yet an awful lot of people seem to feel that the making of such judgments is the reason why they were placed on this earth.

From my perspective, this is the A-number-one thing that has always bugged me most about aikido: it is packed to the rafters with people whose favorite recreation is passing judgment and condemning others as not practicing aikido. Couch it in all the elevated terms you want, but I can't help but see this as exceptionally childish behavior.

Ron Tisdale
07-21-2009, 07:58 AM
Hi Mary,

That is why I couched it in the terms that I used. I think all too often we do waste a lot of time passing judgement on others, rather than making correct judgements for ourselves.

I'd like to hope that I come across as making correct judgements for myself, and sharing the information so that others can decide for themselves. As others have also stressed, there are all kinds of levels of this area of endeavor...I think each of us that decide this is the way to go, will also have to decide what level is appropriate for them, and what uses of the skills at that level are appropriate for THEIR aikido.

Frankly, this is difficult enough without a lot of the baggage that seems to come along with it.

Best,
Ron

MM
07-21-2009, 08:21 AM
To say that you "have no choice" implies that you are a)qualified to make such a judgment, b)unbiased enough to make such a judgment and c)compelled to make such a judgment.

a) is probably rare.
b) is probably much more rare.
c) is absolutely rarest still, and yet an awful lot of people seem to feel that the making of such judgments is the reason why they were placed on this earth.

From my perspective, this is the A-number-one thing that has always bugged me most about aikido: it is packed to the rafters with people whose favorite recreation is passing judgment and condemning others as not practicing aikido. Couch it in all the elevated terms you want, but I can't help but see this as exceptionally childish behavior.

Hmm ... let me play Devil's Advocate here. :)

On the other side of the fence, you have people stating, "what I'm doing is aikido. Those other folks are being childish in stating that I'm not."

But, that implies that the person on this other side of the fence is a)qualified to make such a judgment, b)unbiased enough to make such a judgment and c)compelled to make such a judgment.

From there, one could make the same assertions that you have about rarity. In fact, one could make the same assertions about childish behavior on this side of the fence. Sort of like a kid chanting, I am right, I am right while holding hands over his/her ears. Or more appropriately, I am doing aikido, I am doing aikido.

Okay, end Devil's Advocate.

Looking at the situation, I find one thing very interesting. Not that one side keeps stating internal structure and aiki. Not that one side keeps stating what I'm doing is aikido.

No, the very interesting fact is this: The side that keeps stating what I'm doing is aikido has a 100% conversion rate to the former side when directly, physically experiencing aiki from Daito ryu. This includes people from mudansha to high ranking yudansha in the Aikido World.

Now, certainly one could make the argument that these kinds of people who go out and experience stuff "outside" their organization are the kind of people who would be swayed. It is an argument that I have yet to hear from anyone. However, some of "these kinds of people" are those with 20 to 40 years of direct experience in the Aikido World. It is hard to lump them with younger, not so experienced people who might be swayed.

While the Internet created a dividing line, the opposite has happened in the "real" world. Many people from across organizations have come together and created bonds working towards making aikido better. It's hard to find easily swayed people in this kind of environment.

In the end, as someone has told me, "your training is in your hands".

Wishing you the best in your training.

Mark

lbb
07-21-2009, 08:42 AM
That's not being a devil's advocate, Mark -- that's called "making stuff up". In five minutes of browsing through threads on aikiweb, I can show you a few dozen examples of the behavior I'm talking about. Can you provide me with a single example of your "devils' advocate" situation?

I don't care what elevated terms anyone wants to couch it in, I don't care what kind of sanctimonious aiki-high-ground you want to claim you stand on. It's petty, childish, sandbox behavior and I won't call it anything else.

jss
07-21-2009, 09:03 AM
From my perspective, this is the A-number-one thing that has always bugged me most about aikido: it is packed to the rafters with people whose favorite recreation is passing judgment and condemning others as not practicing aikido.
By "dismissing what other folks are doing" I mean deciding that these folks are not practicing the aikido I'd like to practice. As such I will treat them the same as all the other people training non-internal Japanese ju jutsu. And sure, I can learn a lot from these people about ju jutsu, but not about internal skills. And that's quite a fundamental divider.
But what I absolutely have no interest in doing is dismissing other people's aikido as worthless, just because it's not internal. If they find their practice valuable, more power to them. And to about the same degree I am not interested in visiting other aikido dojos and after finding out they don't have internal skills, point out to them they are actually not doing aikido. That would require a huge amount of arrogance.

It's basically what Ron said: I'll make my judgments about what I want my aikido to be, you do the same for yours. And hopefully we can have discussions in a way that enriches both our aikido.

That's the reason I said "you have no choice". If you accept that
Major: Internal skills are fundamental to aikido.
Minor: Most people's aikido lacks internal skills.
You cannot escape the conclusion that most people are not practicing aikido. So while I agree one needs to be qualified and unbiased to make such a judgment, I disagree when you say one needs to be compelled to make this judgment. It's just logic. Except if one desires to be the internal skills messiah of aikido, to go around and pass judgment on everyone's aikido, but I don't think anybody here has that ambition.
To be honest, it actually sucks big time to realize that most aikido dojos are not teaching what you want to learn.:(

MM
07-21-2009, 09:31 AM
That's not being a devil's advocate, Mark -- that's called "making stuff up". In five minutes of browsing through threads on aikiweb, I can show you a few dozen examples of the behavior I'm talking about. Can you provide me with a single example of your "devils' advocate" situation?

I don't care what elevated terms anyone wants to couch it in, I don't care what kind of sanctimonious aiki-high-ground you want to claim you stand on. It's petty, childish, sandbox behavior and I won't call it anything else.

Well, Mary, if I *had* to choose one, I'd probably use your post. You would have to have direct experience with all those other people, that you like to call petty and childish, to be a)qualified to make such a judgment, b)unbiased enough to make such a judgment and c)compelled to make such a judgment.

If you'd enlighten me to all that experience which qualifies you to make such judgments, all the experience that allows you to see both sides to form an unbiased judgment, and the experienced reasoning of knowing both sides which compelled your judgment; I'd certainly provide an apology and offer to buy you dinner.

As it is, I can only offer to buy you dinner so that we can debate in person where the environment is more cheerful than this black-hole of an Internet. Ask anyone that knows me. I'm a likeable guy. :) I certainly am not picturing you as a villain.

Amir Krause
07-21-2009, 09:41 AM
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

I guess as the only Korindo practitioner here, I too should answer, as vague as my answer is abotu to be:

I do not feel anything is mising in Korindo.
But that does not mean the "body of knowldge" Dan writes about is inlculded. I can not know of things I did not experiance.

The way I am taught, techniches often utilize structure (to borrow the chinise M.A. trm) and when muscular strength is used, it is normally the larger muscles and\or whole body movement against one part of the others structure. In this way a weaker lighter person can easily perfrom most techniques on an heavier stronger person, if the first one is less significantly less skilled. Yet, I doubt we are talking of the same thing - timing and sensitivity play at least as much as the structure in the way I am taught.

I would also point out that unlike Ueshiba aikido, Korindo is not based on Daito-ryu. For some reason, this seems to be an issue of this discussion.

Amir

Basia Halliop
07-21-2009, 09:41 AM
It seems to become a question about who has the right to the name, in the end, which to me personally just doesn't seem important enough to argue about.

It seems more important to figure out if you personally are practicing what you wish to be practicing, and learning the skills you want to be learning, rather than what the correct name would be for what you're practicing. So I _can_ see the value of sharing different experiences of skills people have experienced and where they learned them or what they found personally valuable about them, in case others find they would like to learn more about this...

But if someone tells me what I do "isn't really aikido", it just seems like a silly thing to argue about, because I don't really care about what it's called (or even, frankly, who the heck invented it), as long as I get to keep studying what I'm studying.

lbb
07-21-2009, 09:47 AM
Well, Mary, if I *had* to choose one, I'd probably use your post. You would have to have direct experience with all those other people, that you like to call petty and childish, to be a)qualified to make such a judgment, b)unbiased enough to make such a judgment and c)compelled to make such a judgment.

Why would I need direct experience? I can see what they write right here. They state their views, and their views are what I'm judging them on. You're moving the goalposts, Mark.

As it is, I can only offer to buy you dinner so that we can debate in person where the environment is more cheerful than this black-hole of an Internet. Ask anyone that knows me. I'm a likeable guy. :) I certainly am not picturing you as a villain.

I'm sure you're a nice guy. I just think the whole debate is tedious and stupid, and I don't admire those who delight in passing judgment -- sight unseen -- on others' practice as "not aikido". The whole grasping after "internal skills" strikes me as being about 2% real and 98% a case of the emperor's suit of clothes. Is there reality to it? Sure. But it's also a convenient and irrefutable tool that you can use any time you want to claim superiority or proclaim another's inferiority. My practice is REAL aikido because it's soooo internal! Your practice is hard and physical and external and it sucks! What's that you say? You don't see that my internalness is all that? Well, that's just because you're just not internal enough. If you were, you'd get it, and you'd admit your inferiority and strive to be like me, but you don't get it, so that means you suck. Don't you see that any wannabee can put on this emperor's suit of clothes and get others to agree that yes indeed that is haut couture?

A self-referential argument. How convenient.

Lan Powers
07-21-2009, 09:56 AM
touche'

Ron Tisdale
07-21-2009, 10:25 AM
Can you provide me with a single example of your "devils' advocate" situation?

Many. I think you just gave one above.

I don't care what elevated terms anyone wants to couch it in, I don't care what kind of sanctimonious aiki-high-ground you want to claim you stand on. It's petty, childish, sandbox behavior and I won't call it anything else.

I'm sorry that's the way it comes across. Sincerely, if you can find me doing this, feel free to specifically break down the example and post it here. I will most certainly appologize to the board if that is what I do. It is certainly not MY intent. I cannot speak for others.

Best,
Ron

rob_liberti
07-21-2009, 10:36 AM
I've written this before:

For aikido, I would evaluate someone by questions like:
Can you do ikkyo without pushing?
Can you do iriminage without pulling?
Can you do shihonage without lifting?
(At the time, this was meant to be in terms of uke's without internal skills of course)

I do not know many people in any style of aikido who can do those things. But that is how I evaluated if people have "*it* in aikido before I knew anything about the internal skills I've been focused on lately.

For internal skills I want to know:
Can you deliver force without committing weight?
Can you move freely without your balance being vulnerable to pushes and pulls on the line from anus to navel?
Are the hips driving your power or not? (added by Mark Murray)
How long did it take you to develop such things?

I suppose, IF the internal skills I am describing are *the* answer to how I evaluate someone in aikido, then pretty much almost no one has *it*.

IF there are other ways to do those things I listed as what I think is important in aikido devoid of internal skills, then I'm actually good with that. But I'd like to feel it myself. I'll show you mine if you show me yours. :)

Does this mean that people who do not measure up to *my* criteria are invalid or whatever? - no, it just means that *I* probably won't travel to try to learn from them. Everyone gets to decide for them selves.

Rob

Mike Sigman
07-21-2009, 10:37 AM
The whole grasping after "internal skills" strikes me as being about 2% real and 98% a case of the emperor's suit of clothes. Is there reality to it? Sure. But it's also a convenient and irrefutable tool that you can use any time you want to claim superiority or proclaim another's inferiority. My practice is REAL aikido because it's soooo internal! Your practice is hard and physical and external and it sucks! What's that you say? You don't see that my internalness is all that? Well, that's just because you're just not internal enough. If you were, you'd get it, and you'd admit your inferiority and strive to be like me, but you don't get it, so that means you suck. Don't you see that any wannabee can put on this emperor's suit of clothes and get others to agree that yes indeed that is haut couture?

A self-referential argument. How convenient.I think the ad hominem arguments sort of miss the point. One of the more realistic bases for debate seems to be (IMO) all the ki/kokyu demonstrations that Ueshiba, Tohei, Shioda, and others did/do for demonstration. If anyone thinks back to some of the posts in recent years, there were Aikido experts dismissing those demonstrations by Ueshiba et al as "parlour tricks" that had little to do with Aikido. Now a lot of people realize that those "parlour tricks" were instead actual demonstrations of some of the body mechanics of ki/kokyu skills. And that should have been obvious a long time ago.

So rather than have an argument that is based on the idea that "internal skills" is just a state of mind or pretense, why not take the argument to who can demonstrate well the typical static and moving "ki tricks"? I.e., "Show Me" seems to be a good way to go, although admittedly if someone simply won't take the time (after all these years) to go look they cannot be convinced. Ultimately, there are so many blatant clues in Aikido that these things are the norm (including copious comments in the literature that were misunderstood by many translators) that I don't see how anyone can miss the idea that the skills are a valid part of Aikido... and perhaps a crucial aspect which defines what Aikido is all about.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Erick Mead
07-21-2009, 11:09 AM
In the end, as someone has told me, "your training is in your hands". I'll say it again:






"Knowing and acting are one." Wang Yang-ming (J. -- Oyomei)

There are echoes here of an old error. Oyomei-gaku was abused by the Japanese nationalists. They believed that if they "knew" what had to be, then that justified their acting by any means to bring it to pass.

Their error was in applying Oyomei's principles as justification for their initial bias, rather than as a tool to explore the validity and limitations of both their initial understanding -- as well as their determination to act, and the choice of their manner of acting. What was meant as a check to action and a cause for reflection, was instead used as a license for action and a call to end all debate.

This is not an indictment of the putative aiki-bunnies or the near-messianic DTR aiki apostles, or anybody in between. According to this approach, everyone fails in various ways -- and in their own ways -- if they fail to think more actively and act more mindfully.

On the one hand, some claim superiority because they believe they know how to "act," but do not comprehend the principle of the action that they employ. This is error -- according to Oyomei. The result is that they perform actions they do not understand, within real limits or boundaries of those principles that they do not perceive -- until they exceed them, and generally, disastrously.

On the other hand, there are those that claim superiority because they "know" principles but then fail to act upon them or put them into practice. This is also error -- according to Oyomei. The result is that they fail realize the circumstantial and contingent limitations in employing the principles, until met with circumstances and contingencies their "knowledge" failed to account.

Through varieties of action, and careful reflection on the manner of and distinctions between forms of action, one can explore (and expand) personal limitations and envisioned possibilities in employing the principles -- and only to that limit may one be said to know and to act in a whole manner.

Everything else remains contingent.

thisisnotreal
07-21-2009, 11:51 AM
Does someone who is color blind ever truly know it, or do they eventually just trust the people telling them so?

jss
07-21-2009, 12:21 PM
I just think the whole debate is tedious and stupid, and I don't admire those who delight in passing judgment -- sight unseen -- on others' practice as "not aikido".
Then every debate about the fundamentals of aikido is tedious and stupid. If I say "Skill A is fundamental to aikido and occasionally I meet aikido practitioners that do not have skill A.", I am judging the aikido of those people that do not have skill A as 'not aikido'. The fact that in this thread skill A = internal skills, is just coincidental.

The whole grasping after "internal skills" strikes me as being about 2% real and 98% a case of the emperor's suit of clothes. Is there reality to it? Sure. But it's also a convenient and irrefutable tool that you can use any time you want to claim superiority or proclaim another's inferiority.
It's not irrefutable, as Mike pointed out. And anyone who uses it as the irrefutable tool you describe, should be ignored as the ignorant twits they are.
As far as these skills make a difference, they can be shown, they can be explained, they can be discussed about. If this was not the case, I might as well claim that I have an invisible pet elephant that actually throws you, although to anyone else but me, it just looks and feels like I am performing the technique myself. Should anyone care about this elephant? Apart from perhaps my shrink, I think not.

Basically, Mary, I think you have the following options:
- Argue why internal skills are not fundamental to aikido.
- Argue you have internal skills.
- Ignore the issue, because you don't have to believe everything that's said by some people on the internet.
- Continue as you're doing now.

Keith Larman
07-21-2009, 12:23 PM
My experience fwiw... The following are my personal opinions *ONLY*. I am simply speaking for myself and in no way do I want my words to represent any group, style, etc. I am simply speaking as an individual...

I did other arts pre-aikido. Got pretty good at a couple different things. Kept watching aikido wondering "is that real?". I found that Seidokan had its world HQ near me so I did research on R. Kobayashi. Read through the history and lineage. Okay, trained often with Tohei and was there during the "early" years in Hawaii. And made hard decisions when Tohei split. And eventually split from Tohei himself. So I figured there was a place to go see if what I'd seen at demos were "real" (I was more a fighter at that point) as Tohei (and his students) was about as close to the "source" as I could get outside of Japan.

Went to a few classes and tried to keep an open mind. Many other students struck me initially as not having anything special going for them (yeah, I was cocky but trying to learn). But a few times some of the higher ranked sensei would demonstrate on me. And there I'd feel a power that I couldn't quite comprehend -- powerful but soft, hard to resist and hard to "take over". Grounded, smooth but undeniably forceful. I began to understand there was something there all along.

Fast forward a lot of years... I'm still learning. And I've come to realize that some really do have "it". Some teach "it" better than others. Some teach it somewhat overtly. Others teach it through technical details. But it is there. But I really like Mr. Amdur's title for his new book -- "Hidden in Plain Sight".

But then again I look around on the mat and find that most people (from all styles) are looking for very different things. Not surprising given each individual comes with his or her own expectations, baggage, needs and desires. And back to my original impressions -- some get "it", some don't, but then again, "it" may not be what they're looking for anyway. But... what *I'm* looking for I've found.

But I just don't know if it is the same "it" as everyone else is talking about.

I went to the Aikiweb seminar this year up in Seattle (thanks again Jun!). I felt a lot of "it" in Toby Threadgill. A *lot*! Enough for me to fantasize about relocating to Colorado... Aaron Clark showed a lot of "it" as well IMHO. A very different manifestation than Toby's, but very real nonetheless. And George Ledyard was speaking more in my the "aikido" vocabulary and interestingly enough the first thing he taught at the seminar was a technique that he presented as being somewhat different than conventional. Interestingly for me that was the way I had been taught that technique all along. So lots of "it" was there. And at that seminar it most certainly wasn't "hidden" in plain sight. It was just there.

Much of what guys like Dan Harden, Mike Sigman, et al (ignoring their differences) are pointing to has a resonance with me. And since I do tend to explore other styles I have noticed that the emphasis seems to vary quite a bit. Ironically some of the styles that have reps for being technically demanding and "powerful" have seemed (in my experiences) to have less of that illusive "it" for me. That doesn't mean they aren't fantastic -- I think they are! Just not the same flavor of "fantastic" that I'm looking for. And on the other side some of the really softer ones seem to lack *it* almost completely having moved into what I think of as a sort of empty shell of cooperative role-playing. Really not my cup of tea.

But... "suum cuique". Truly. I'm a lot more relaxed about this stuff than I used to be.

I'm rambling. Back to productive work for me.

Mike Sigman
07-21-2009, 01:09 PM
But I just don't know if it is the same "it" as everyone else is talking about.
I was sort of astounded as I began to see more and more of the big picture that these skills were foundational in Asian martial arts. As I've mentioned before, the Yin-Yang (In-Yo, A-Un), Five Elements, etc., etc., preludes you find in almost all the arts is not some acknowledgement to tradition for tradition's sake, as so many people think, it's actually an acknowledgement of the raison d'etre for these arts.... the core ki/qi skills. The people who have been around martial arts for a while should have an epiphany just from the ubiquity of the Yin-Yang concepts. It refers to these skills.

So yeah, it means that a lot of people are doing arts that miss the basic point, but frankly that's considered the norm (over hundreds of years) and is not all that surprising to a knowledgeable Asian martial artist. Many/most western Asian-martial-arts aficianados cannot get their head around the concept that *they* may be missing something essential to the very martial-art they feel they are expert in (and they have the belts and diplomas to prove it!). And that too is considered the norm.

But from there on up are a number of stages of learning the basic skills that offers the same trap.... at each level of accomplishment, many people feel like they've "got it". And there's always a higher level. So nobody is safe in resting on their laurels or bragging what they can do *now*... there's more ahead. So yeah.... it's not all the same "it". Remember that Ueshiba did a certain level and variant of "it".

In my opinion, Aikidoists should learn what they can where they can, but they need to keep open the idea of different approaches and emphases and focus on what Ueshiba did. However, that's not to gainsay the differences in "it" that Tohei did/espoused, Shioda did/espoused, and so on. Those are valid variations on the theme.

My two cents.

Mike Sigman

Erick Mead
07-21-2009, 01:28 PM
Then every debate about the fundamentals of aikido is tedious and stupid. If I say "Skill A is fundamental to aikido and occasionally I meet aikido practitioners that do not have skill A.", I am judging the aikido of those people that do not have skill A as 'not aikido'.

The fact that in this thread skill A = internal skills, is just coincidental.Basically, Mary, I think you have the following options:
- Argue why internal skills are not fundamental to aikido.
- Argue you have internal skills.
- Ignore the issue, because you don't have to believe everything that's said by some people on the internet.
- Continue as you're doing now. First, in fairness to her YOU have to define the terms of the argument you are intending to make -- and state "Skill A" in objective mechanical terms. If you cannot, or simply choose not to -- then whatever you are able to do (which I do not question in the least) -- you do not understand either in its limits or its potential. While I do not deny the reality of IHTBF as part of the equation, I do deny the ability of anyone in discussion to determine what any one else has already felt or done. The only way to do so is to have a model -- but unless it is an objective mechanical model, it suffers from the same metaphorical mismatch -- like having an argument in two different languages over the proper name of water. "Water!" "Mizu! "Water!" "Mizu!"

Define what "it" is -- in plain, objective mechanical terms, then you can more easily determine whether anyone else is discussing the same thing while describing it in a different subjective metaphor.

Metaphorical descriptions are slippery unless you can relate each of them to an objective basis. And further, more meaningful discussion is foreclosed -- as is so often the case -- unless an objective definition is stated. I have done so, and so far (IMO) no one has stated a better one, but you are perfectly free to criticize or disagree with it, or substitute another one, and I in fact, I invite it.

A mechanical basis alone is not rich enough to communicate the exceedingly critical aspects of developing and following "feel." But with a mechanical model you can see even wildly different metaphorical descriptions that all fit the same objective core. Then the different metaphors enrich each other and are able to work with one another instead of conflicting all the time..

In other words, until you do that, the ringing of the changes on this type of discussion will continue, without end and without the truly meaningful development that it clearly deserves.

Basia Halliop
07-21-2009, 01:35 PM
Many/most western Asian-martial-arts aficianados cannot get their head around the concept that *they* may be missing something essential to the very martial-art they feel they are expert in

It's very hard to define 'essential' though in an objective way... it depends on the person's goals, doesn't it? I mean I guess you could define it in a historical way (i.e.,to what degree is what such and such a person is doing really the 'same' art as some person in a previous generation was doing). To judge whether someone is successful at something (anything), you need to know what they are trying to do. Again, to me it seems like mostly a debate about names.

Mike Sigman
07-21-2009, 01:39 PM
Define what "it" is -- in plain, objective mechanical terms, then you can more easily determine whether anyone else is discussing the same thing while describing it in a different subjective metaphor. Interestingly enough, traditional transmission and teaching of these skills rejects that "define ..in mechanical terms" notion out of hand. They rejected it out of experience over long centuries that showed it had to be felt, demonstrated, and so on. The general approach is that there can be no true transmission without "it has to be felt". That's also the way you know if someone really knows anything, generally. Someone with experience can tell at a touch or often can watch someone for mistakes that would not be correct if real skills were being used. Similarly, it's possible to read someone's descriptions, if they're far enough off, and have an idea of what they really know.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
07-21-2009, 01:51 PM
It's very hard to define 'essential' though in an objective way... it depends on the person's goals, doesn't it? I mean I guess you could define it in a historical way (i.e.,to what degree is what such and such a person is doing really the 'same' art as some person in a previous generation was doing). To judge whether someone is successful at something (anything), you need to know what they are trying to do. Again, to me it seems like mostly a debate about names.Well, your argument appears to resolve to the old trope of "Aikido is whatever you want it to be". Hence we wind up with ideas that Aikido is self-help psychology or conflict-resolution or "Aikido is the Dance of the Souls" (as I was once fiercely admonished by a woman at the Boulder Aikikai!), and so on.

Generally, I try to avoid that sort of discussion by pointing to "ki" demonstrations in Aikido that were done by Ueshiba, Tohei, and others. They called those physical demonstrations "ki", so that tells us that "ki" has a tangible aspect and is not just whatever you want it to be. It can be shown/demonstrated.

So if there is a tangible "ki" in "Ai-ki-do", someone who is just rolling around in a pair of black culottes and assigning definitions to words like "ki" at whim is not really doing Aikido. In other words, the equivalency argument doesn't really work when it is examined closely; there *is* a general but acceptable definition of "this is Aikido" and "this is not Aikido" that overrides an argument like "goals". If someone purports to do Aikido, they should stay somewhat within the demonstrable aspeces (including "ki tests) of Aikido; otherwise they may be doing something else while propping that something else against the reputation of an art developed by Ueshiba Morihei. It becomes an ethical discussion at that point.

Frankly, I still think that the basic ki-tests are a good foot in the door for everyone to attempt. As understanding and ability in those ki-tests progresses, progress is also going to be made in understanding Aikido.

YMMV

Mike Sigman

thisisnotreal
07-21-2009, 01:54 PM
Define what "it" is -- in plain, objective mechanical terms,

Too hard. Not useful.

i.e. describe in mechanical terms how to properly ballet dance the Nutcracker (or any other physical thing requiring insane amounts of refinement and practice).

will. never. happen.

plus this specific 'It' (it=aiki) is so weirdly out of the normal realm of experience.

m 2 c

Ron Tisdale
07-21-2009, 02:02 PM
Something else that occurs to me...

The "Internal crowd" did not start this thread. Someone asked. I assumed they wanted an answer. I gave it my best shot.

Frankly, if you ask, you usually shall recieve...even if you don't like the answer.

Best,
Ron (guess I'm loosing patience with how carefull you have to be about all of this)

mathewjgano
07-21-2009, 02:06 PM
My experience fwiw... The following are my personal opinions *ONLY*. I am simply speaking for myself and in no way do I want my words to represent any group, style, etc. I am simply speaking as an individual...

But then again I look around on the mat and find that most people (from all styles) are looking for very different things. Not surprising given each individual comes with his or her own expectations, baggage, needs and desires. And back to my original impressions -- some get "it", some don't, but then again, "it" may not be what they're looking for anyway. But... what *I'm* looking for I've found.

But I just don't know if it is the same "it" as everyone else is talking about.


Keith! Thank you for that! That is basically what I was trying to say, but without the experience to set the context, or the eloquence to express it very well.
Thank you, again,
Matt

jss
07-21-2009, 02:07 PM
First, in fairness to her YOU have to define the terms of the argument you are intending to make -- and state "Skill A" in objective mechanical terms.
I'd agree with you, if only she were challenging the statement that "skill A" is fundamental to aikido. I haven't read her doing so, only questioning my ability and intentions to evaluate other people's aikido. (It's a good thing I'm not easily offended.)

HL1978
07-21-2009, 02:25 PM
Is it the waza that makes it aikido, or being able to apply aiki?

jss
07-21-2009, 02:29 PM
Is it the waza that makes it aikido, or being able to apply aiki?
Depends on how specific you define 'waza' and 'aiki'. :D

thisisnotreal
07-21-2009, 02:36 PM
Is it the waza that makes it aikido, or being able to apply aiki?

i was personally struggling to define how many different "It"s there are.

1. is it aiki?
2. is it being able to fight with aiki?
3. is it being able to summon spirits into your hara? becoming an avatar of the gods?
4. is it access to supernatural?
5. is it 'enlightenment'?
6. is it to have aiki in all that you do and that you are?
7. access to the gokui of DR and Aikido?
8. developing psychic power (?)

M 2 c:

Aiki? I assume that is what we are talking about. And I am aware I don't know the limits of what is meant by that word. (A man's posting should always transcend his understanding, or why even bother, right!?)

Is the goal of Aikido, to have aiki? I think that makes sense and is consistent. At the very least, it is plausible.
Or is *it* to be able to fight with it? Well.. consensus would say ; no…(right?) that's not what Aikido is about.
Is the Meaning of Aikido then: To do or practice aiki as an isolated bodyskill (i.e. have *it* but not able to fight w/ *it*)? Is using it as a guide to *the way*, part of that? The main part? Is that aikido?

These are just some thoughts… please forgive me if it comes out rudely… but they are my questions. And I was wondering what you all thought..

Josh

Matthew:
Interesting post. I always wondered if anyone ever turned their back on the training? And what would happen to the body if you stopped the work. Just normal degeneration? Or something...else?

lbb
07-21-2009, 03:05 PM
I'd agree with you, if only she were challenging the statement that "skill A" is fundamental to aikido. I haven't read her doing so, only questioning my ability and intentions to evaluate other people's aikido. (It's a good thing I'm not easily offended.)

Well, Joep, you are the one who said, "If it is fundamental to physical waza then you have no choice but to dismiss what a lot of other folks are doing." Is that true if you've never seen them practice?

FWIW, I don't know or care if the "skill A", or any other skill, is fundamental to aikido. I came to aikido as a beginner, without the experience and knowledge to judge what is and isn't "fundamental". I practice what I practice because it's worthwhile for me to practice it, for my own reasons and not to meet some arbitrary "standard" that may not even exist. I think of aikido today like any practice that's been passed on for decades -- as being like the result of a game of telephone, where one person whispers something to another, who passes it on to a third, and so on around the circle...and what comes out the end has great potential to be very different from what originated. That being the case, I take modern-day claims about what aikido is and isn't with a large grain of salt. I think we'd be fooling ourselves if we thought that there was a "pure" aikido today (and then there's the additional question of whether that's even a desirable goal...but I digress).

So you see, with regard to the question of internal skills, what they are, and what their proper place is in aikido, I'm not an atheist...but I'm very much an agnostic. I don't know, and I know that I don't know. That bothers some people, but I really can't be held responsible for that.

Basia Halliop
07-21-2009, 03:45 PM
For my part I actually didn't intend to argue that all things are the same or that it's all in one's head or whatever... more that many people may just not care one way or another (in reference to the original question). In a sense I think most people join and stay with a _dojo_ or a _teacher_ (i.e., they are drawn and kept by whatever it is that they experience personally) rather than having 'aikido' in their minds and studying for years 'because it's aikido'. Perhaps there is some subset of people who do the latter, in which case I can see that the name discussion becomes less abstract.

From what some of you are saying, actually, it sounds to me less like you disagree that's it's a debate about names and more like you simply believe that names are important, which is fair enough I guess.

Erick Mead
07-21-2009, 05:12 PM
I think of aikido today like any practice that's been passed on for decades -- as being like the result of a game of telephone, where one person whispers something to another, who passes it on to a third, and so on around the circle...and what comes out the end has great potential to be very different from what originated. I think something very like that description is what troubled George Ledyard, judging from his comments in lo these many threads.

So you see, with regard to the question of internal skills, what they are, and what their proper place is in aikido, I'm not an atheist...but I'm very much an agnostic. I don't know, and I know that I don't know.
The emphasized portion is really the crux for a common conversation. Most are primarily looking to the "how" -- to replicate certain desirable observed performances and reliably perform them.

Maybe that works for some people, -- for others that can't be done by mere mimicry nor without really understanding the what and why of things. That is especially a point of caution in a matter that -- according to the guy we strive to emulate -- is supposed to involve "divine" or spontaneously creative actions of a complex nature.

"What" it is, is the modulation of shear and shearing moments, also comprehensible as vorticity, or as moment and angular momentum with shifting centers of moment or rotation.

The "how" depends quite a lot more on the "who" who is doing it because the perception and action are one, as my earlier post hopefully makes clear. No one quite perceives the action in precisely the same way or using the same benchmarks.

Fundamental variations in perceptive preferences, learning styles and performance modes determine the different approaches of individuals attacking the same problem. Any discussion that does not charitably recognize the quite broad spectrum of ways of understanding and acting, will never get very far, because both sides will be constantly tripping over large piles of unnoticed and unspoken perceptual and conceptual biases, which everyone has.

Erick Mead
07-21-2009, 05:25 PM
i was personally struggling to define how many different "It"s there are.

1. is it aiki?
2. is it being able to fight with aiki?
3. is it being able to summon spirits into your hara? becoming an avatar of the gods?
4. is it access to supernatural?
5. is it 'enlightenment'?
6. is it to have aiki in all that you do and that you are?
7. access to the gokui of DR and Aikido?
8. developing psychic power (?)

1. Yes, but of course, circular reasoning.
2. Yes, but better -- fighting with aiki so as not having to fight with -- something else. I could fight viciously enough without aiki -- and did not like who that made me.
3. Are there not spirits already in my hara? (And if not we need another bottle.) Am I not already an avatar of the divine, in explicit terms -- both East and West? I do not need aiki for that, but it does not hurt, I think -- to help the better angels come forward.
4. Again, if you have no access to the supernatural -- you weren't paying attention -- and again, aiki is not necessary, (but see #4)
5. Enlightenment is a delusion. But aiki helps with both -- or neither or --- whatever .... :D
6. Gokui -- I don't know -- Amdur says there are none that are hidden, and I believe him. because I can't see anything that is hidden. :p
7. By reading this -- you know my mind -- Ta-da! I am a psychic. But -- you are, too in reading my mind in that way, so ... well, heck, what good is it anyway -- if we have to share ...?

Chuck Clark
07-21-2009, 06:27 PM
This is the best post that I've read from you Eric... well said. Thanks.

rob_liberti
07-21-2009, 11:42 PM
Regarding the OP, I personally know some people in the ASU and in the aikikai that are training IT in a very productive way. Based on my knowledge and experience, there are just not many in any system doing so - and that does not make the majority invalid or dismissed - just less productive/efficient regarding developing aiki in comparison.

You may not be looking at all. You may be okay with where you are.

Really?! This is interesting to me. I am very okay with where I am, BUT I cannot EVER remember even one time of not actively looking for how to improve.

Honestly, I didn't even know that there were people training who were not "looking at all". What are they training for? Is it more of a preference for renshu over keiko? Or some matter of preference to the degree of change/dedication?

I must be missing something here, but it seems like if I wrote up and ad like: "Come pay money to do aikido and make little to no progress in ability compared to just sitting home and watching TV for free..." I wouldn't get too many new students. ;)

Keith Larman
07-22-2009, 01:16 AM
Come on, Rob, that's unfair. That's not what Mary meant and I think you know it. Practice in these things is by definition multi-faceted and as such "improvement" will also be judged against a multi-dimensional set of criterion. What you think "it" is or what you think Aikido "needs" depends on a whole slew of assumptions. And that's solely about your own needs. It is very difficult if not totally impossible to talk about people you don't know doing things you likely know nothing about. And while I am sympathetic to your point of view frankly I think the very attitude underlying your post is exactly what turns people off and what Mary was talking about.

jss
07-22-2009, 04:44 AM
Well, Joep, you are the one who said, "If it is fundamental to physical waza then you have no choice but to dismiss what a lot of other folks are doing." Is that true if you've never seen them practice?
Based on my own experiences in aikido, the discussions here at Aikiweb and other forums and the aikido videos I've seen on Youtube, I am quite confident in stating that most people practice aikido without internal skills. It all boils down to this: if a lot of people are practicing aikido with internal skills, why haven't I heard of them?

If you could figure this stuff out by yourself, I would feel a lot less confident in drawing this conclusion based on a limited set of observations. This is not the case: these skills have to be shown/felt and taught, so you can trace back the lineages. Within aikido there is no tradition of teaching these internal skills. Even O-sensei seemed to be of the idea "Either they figure it out or they don't." Only Koichi Tohei attempted to teach this stuff explicitly and as far as I can tell, with quite limited success.

rob_liberti
07-22-2009, 06:31 AM
Come on, Rob, that's unfair. That's not what Mary meant and I think you know it. Practice in these things is by definition multi-faceted and as such "improvement" will also be judged against a multi-dimensional set of criterion. What you think "it" is or what you think Aikido "needs" depends on a whole slew of assumptions. And that's solely about your own needs. It is very difficult if not totally impossible to talk about people you don't know doing things you likely know nothing about. And while I am sympathetic to your point of view frankly I think the very attitude underlying your post is exactly what turns people off and what Mary was talking about.

So what now I'm the nasty red knight and you are the white knight in shiny armor? Fine.

#1, I wrote:
Based on my knowledge and experience, there are just not many in any system doing so - and that does not make the majority invalid or dismissed - just less productive/efficient regarding developing aiki in comparison.

If you look back at any of my posts (which have been fairly rare these days) I'm not looking to give anyone a hard time. When someone says "you cannot even define it" I might jump in and give my personal criteria.

#2, SHE wrote:
post 25 in this thread:
http://aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=235117&postcount=25
I think that is exactly what she meant. If someone wants to use the *maybe someone is not looking at all* argument for any "do" you get what you get. If she meant *maybe someone is satisfied growing at their current rate* I am sure she was more than capable of stringing those words together. In my view, she went to the extreme and it's a silly argument.

As a matter of fact, sometimes Dan goes off about principle-based aikido training. The first time I heard him say that, I challenged him. I told him that what he is showing me are principles. And he explained that that is not what he meant...

The world has enough white knights. They are all clean and not messy. If you ask me the world can use a few more black knights. Judge me anyway you want. I'm fine with that.

Rob

Erick Mead
07-22-2009, 07:55 AM
Based on my own experiences in aikido, the discussions here at Aikiweb and other forums and the aikido videos I've seen on Youtube, I am quite confident in stating that most people practice aikido without internal skills. It all boils down to this: if a lot of people are practicing aikido with internal skills, why haven't I heard of them? Question is, do you know what you are listening for -- apart from what you happen to have heard? Example: "I am listening for any cars coming down the street a block over. I haven't heard any -- and I know what they sound like because I have heard a V8 Corvette with glasspacks, and I have not heard that, so there have not been any cars."

"All men are mortal. Socrates is mortal. All men are Socrates."

If you could figure this stuff out by yourself, I would feel a lot less confident in drawing this conclusion based on a limited set of observations. This is not the case: these skills have to be shown/felt and taught, so you can trace back the lineages. Within aikido there is no tradition of teaching these internal skills. I would agree that it requires some introduction and a change of perspective, but that is all in the aiki taiso or kokyu undo -- if one is paying attention to them and what they physically express.

@ Rob -- please give your personal criteria -- but how would you define it in objective terms?

jss
07-22-2009, 08:46 AM
Question is, do you know what you are listening for -- apart from what you happen to have heard
Good question. What makes you think I don't know what to listen for?

I would agree that it requires some introduction and a change of perspective, but that is all in the aiki taiso or kokyu undo -- if one is paying attention to them and what they physically express.
Sure, the shape of the exercises is taught, just no the skills that go with them.

Ron Tisdale
07-22-2009, 09:37 AM
Sure, the shape of the exercises is taught, just no the skills that go with them.

That is one of the things that confused me so much. I could go to 3 different dojo, and find 3 different sets of details for performing any one of these taiso. BUT...I found little to no understanding of the internal mechanics behind the taiso that would help explain why each of these dojo do them differently. I had no overall frame of reference to fit the differences into (I still don't have anywhere near as much of a framework as I would like).

Pole pole (slowly, slowly),
Best,
Ron

Keith Larman
07-22-2009, 10:01 AM
So what now I'm the nasty red knight and you are the white knight in shiny armor? Fine.

That's funny -- that is most certainly the first time I've ever been given that label. But let's both stick with what was said rather than making any more characterizations.

#1, I wrote:

If you look back at any of my posts (which have been fairly rare these days) I'm not looking to give anyone a hard time. When someone says "you cannot even define it" I might jump in and give my personal criteria.

#2, SHE wrote:
post 25 in this thread:
http://aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=235117&postcount=25
I think that is exactly what she meant. If someone wants to use the *maybe someone is not looking at all* argument for any "do" you get what you get. If she meant *maybe someone is satisfied growing at their current rate* I am sure she was more than capable of stringing those words together. In my view, she went to the extreme and it's a silly argument.

As a matter of fact, sometimes Dan goes off about principle-based aikido training. The first time I heard him say that, I challenged him. I told him that what he is showing me are principles. And he explained that that is not what he meant...

Rather than posting a link, here is Mary's exact quote.

You may not be looking at all. You may be okay with where you are.

I read that as saying that there may be people who find the entire discussion of internal arts irrelevant to their context. Maybe it is already covered in what they do to their satisfaction. Maybe it isn't covered and they don't feel the current emphasis that some place on it is warranted. Maybe they feel the challenges faces by their training are more than enough as it is right now. All sorts of possibilities.

My point was that you read her comment in a very unflattering manner in essence presenting it as a head in the sand attitude of someone who doesn't care about their training. Which to my reading is *clearly* not what she intended. What you wrote was:

Really?! This is interesting to me. I am very okay with where I am, BUT I cannot EVER remember even one time of not actively looking for how to improve.

She didn't say she wasn't looking to improve. You've jumped from discussion of internal mechanics to the vastly larger and vastly more comprehensive and multi-faceted issue of improvement. Quite a leap.

Honestly, I didn't even know that there were people training who were not "looking at all". What are they training for? Is it more of a preference for renshu over keiko? Or some matter of preference to the degree of change/dedication?

Again, this discussion has been about actively searching for some "thing" or "it" as it has been described. Some seem quite content that their art contains "it" already to their satisfaction. Training and learning what is already present and accounted for in their organization may in fact be all that they need to do in that case. It is good to be happy with the quality of your training.

I must be missing something here, but it seems like if I wrote up and ad like: "Come pay money to do aikido and make little to no progress in ability compared to just sitting home and watching TV for free..." I wouldn't get too many new students. ;)

Again you've made a whole slew of assumptions. You've jumped from a very simple statement about not looking for what *you* think is important to comparing someone else's training and attitude to sitting around watching TV.

The world has enough white knights. They are all clean and not messy. If you ask me the world can use a few more black knights. Judge me anyway you want. I'm fine with that.

Fine, Rob, sorry you feel that way, but my point was never to defend Mary but to say that I find the points she made rather simple to understand and quite reasonable. What I found problematic was that it seems to me that you've made a huge jump from the content of her comments to making a comment about many people's quality of training. You don't have to agree with what they're "looking for" in their training but you should recognize that intelligent people may differ on what is important. And that not everyone is so convinced that one thing is the end-all thing that must be addressed. I cannot comment on anyone else's training as I simply don't know their training. Maybe they're already got it, maybe they need it, maybe they don't need it, maybe they don't want it, maybe they do it but weight it differently, and on and on. It is quite a jump, however, to go from a simple statement to a comment like

I must be missing something here, but it seems like if I wrote up and ad like: "Come pay money to do aikido and make little to no progress in ability compared to just sitting home and watching TV for free..." I wouldn't get too many new students. ;)

That's simply not an accurate representation of what had been said. And it reads somewhat as somewhat insulting and dismissive of someone else's training.

Basia Halliop
07-22-2009, 10:07 AM
Within aikido there is no tradition of teaching these internal skills. Even O-sensei seemed to be of the idea "Either they figure it out or they don't." Only Koichi Tohei attempted to teach this stuff explicitly and as far as I can tell, with quite limited success.

That's one of the things that makes it hard for me personally to think of these skills I hear people talking about as 'essential', or of aikido without them as 'not truely aikido' -- if aikido is the art that O-sensei 'created', and he personally chose who to give ranks to, then he had some criteria in mind when he gave out those ranks, and he gave ranks to all these Shihans who I'm told don't have or teach these skills -- so how can he himself have considered them to be 'fundamental' or 'part of the basic definition of doing aikido, without which it's something else and not aikido'? How can one fairly criticize someone for their right to teach aikido if O-sensei himself is the one who picked them to go teach it? To me that doesn't make sense logically or seem fair.

I understand that's a totally different question from whether some particular skill is great or wonderful to have or part of a very long tradition that included O-sensei, or will totally revolutionalize and improve your aikido, etc. Those kinds of assertions I have no real problem with (without having experienced it I have no idea if they're true, but I have no reason to dismiss them).

Keith Larman
07-22-2009, 10:09 AM
Oh, and by the way, I really feel no need to defend Mary or anyone else. I've seen Mary's posts over the years and have had a few pointed at me as well. She's quite capable of handling herself.

I was addressing the point of her post. Her point I found quite reasonable and that's what I wanted to discuss. But it seems to have jumped from the content of what was written to characterizations of those doing the writing. And that I want to stay out of.

Ron Tisdale
07-22-2009, 10:24 AM
Hi Keith,

I agree with the need to stay away from characterizations...but the one that initially struck me was this one:

From my perspective, this is the A-number-one thing that has always bugged me most about aikido: it is packed to the rafters with people whose favorite recreation is passing judgment and condemning others as not practicing aikido. Couch it in all the elevated terms you want, but I can't help but see this as exceptionally childish behavior.

I respect Mary's experience, and the majority of her posts, but feel she painted with a rather broad brush here, and I can't really describe it as "quite reasonable" either. I think if that characterization had been skipped, or was more focused, much of the tone in the rest of the thread would be different.

I could be wrong though.

Best,
Ron

Keith Larman
07-22-2009, 10:49 AM
I respect Mary's experience, and the majority of her posts, but feel she painted with a rather broad brush here, and I can't really describe it as "quite reasonable" either. I think if that characterization had been skipped, or was more focused, much of the tone in the rest of the thread would be different.

I could be wrong though.

Best,
Ron
I agree that the quote you posted was over the top too. I will also point out that ironically enough subsequent posts seemed to demonstrate precisely what she was complaining about.

There is a good topic under all this.

Too many evangelists in one room... :)

Ron Tisdale
07-22-2009, 11:01 AM
Too many evangelists in one room...

LOL! :D

Agreed...
Best,
Ron

rob_liberti
07-22-2009, 11:13 AM
Oh, and by the way, I really feel no need to defend Mary or anyone else. I've seen Mary's posts over the years and have had a few pointed at me as well. She's quite capable of handling herself.

I was addressing the point of her post. Her point I found quite reasonable and that's what I wanted to discuss. But it seems to have jumped from the content of what was written to characterizations of those doing the writing. And that I want to stay out of.

Okay fine, you have shown me the errors of my ways. I'll explain myself:

I thought I was in a safe zone because since Mary wrote what if "you" not what if "I" (meaning her), so I felt it could not be taken personally or defended as if I were making a personal attack.

My issue is that the entire position 'what if someone is "not looking at all"' is a hyberbolic extreme that basically shuts down any discussion about what/why/how to best approach improving. It didn't seem terribly fair that it okay for someone to take things to such an extreme and then it not be okay for me to follow the logical progression of that extreme to a further extreme to highlight the absurdity of the initial position - but I'll stop trying to argue that point as it is not productive.

If someone used to be looking, but now they are satisified with their approach, I really cannot relate to that person. I am not satisfied with what I'm doing now, I want to do it better. I always felt that way.

IF someone is not looking at all, do them a favor and throw them out of the dojo.

IF you are looking, the questions are typically: looking for WHAT?, HOW are you appoaching that?, how well is that working for people in general? etc...

Rob

thisisnotreal
07-22-2009, 11:21 AM
Here are some more thoughts I had (speaking of 'extremes'). Please forgive any unintended offense. (and the length). no answers. only more questions.

here's what I wonder about "it" and the people who are going after 'It' the *best* they can:

say you were really a bottom-line kind of guy.
You want to do Aikido. That is job 1.
You do it *thee* absolute best you can. You then find, along the way, that best aikido is done pursuing internal skills. That is/becomes job 2.
Then you really want to do that purely; as it helps you accomplish job 1. It is thee singular thing encompassing getting job 1 done.
so you do it. then you find that to do this (job 2) the best you have to learn about the subtle body/systems. That becomes job 3.
Then you find that to master that, you need to learn about TCM. Then you learn to become a healer,etc. That is job 4.
Then you find that meditative/guru/shaman techniques/TM/mikkyo/esoteric/inner/ura of eastern religions helps you to do the medicine/subtleThings/'energyWork'/etc better. That is job 5. You may have just now signed up for a worldview (read: religion)
I think from then on it is more of the same until the end of the line (i.e. we only last ~100years); as these things have no end.
you go deeper. you go up. ‘you' kind of ceases to have meaning. micro/macrocosmos. yoga. meditation, visions, etc. yoking with the Brahman. unity consciousness/harmony with ki/tao of universe, etc...
and *you* have exchanged what you are for .. something else. (and it's not necessarily better, true or something you would have deliberately chosen at the outset, but became 'logical' because of what you were ultimately pursuing, which was *what* again?)

is our eventual apathy/contentment with who or what we are the main thing that prevents us from following that entire sequence?

What is the flaw in the reasoning? This cannot be unavoidable(?). Or is that what is meant by the ‘Do'/way?
I do not think what I wrote can be right. Where is the error?
Where does always seeking to get 'better' go? How do you measure 'better'. Is more 'power' the 'better'? Something is always 'missing', right? It is said there is no end to these ways.

why was i even doing Aikido at the beginning, anyway?
Wasn't it just a martial art? A hobby? For fun? A way to fight so as not to fight?
That's why I like the approach of the guys who 'stole' the jewel of aiki, outside of the systems, used it and polished it for the one clear purpose. Fighting and building the body. One thing was kept as one thing.

I thought this was good: "Be careful what you look for. You just may find it."

All the best to everyone,
Josh

Lyle Bogin
07-22-2009, 12:09 PM
From my perspective, this is the A-number-one thing that has always bugged me most about aikido: it is packed to the rafters with people whose favorite recreation is passing judgment and condemning others as not practicing aikido. Couch it in all the elevated terms you want, but I can't help but see this as exceptionally childish behavior.

This is the problem I have with most martial artists.

Imaizumi Sensei, in my experience, doesn't trash talk anyone's art...to the point that his own students have incredibly diverse expressions of aikido. It drives some people so crazy they have to move on.

It's frightening, I think, to feel that no one has the answer. That deep need for comfort and stability we all have forces us into the judgment trap. We are entitled to our opinions of people's individual skills, of course. But I find that trying to follow the lead of people you disagree with on the mat is often more fruitful than staying in your comfort zone.

So folks can tell me my stuff "isn't aikido" (or my other favorite fall back "you need to relax"), and I can think that their stuff is about as useful as a pecker on a pope. We still need each other to progress.

Remember 15 years ago when all you had to say was "well I practice BJJ and blahblahblah" :)?

jxa127
07-22-2009, 12:27 PM
Basia made a good point that I hope won't be lost:

That's one of the things that makes it hard for me personally to think of these skills I hear people talking about as 'essential', or of aikido without them as 'not truely aikido' -- if aikido is the art that O-sensei 'created', and he personally chose who to give ranks to, then he had some criteria in mind when he gave out those ranks, and he gave ranks to all these Shihans who I'm told don't have or teach these skills -- so how can he himself have considered them to be 'fundamental' or 'part of the basic definition of doing aikido, without which it's something else and not aikido'? How can one fairly criticize someone for their right to teach aikido if O-sensei himself is the one who picked them to go teach it? To me that doesn't make sense logically or seem fair.

Peter's series of articles on "Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation" (best to start at the beginning: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?filter[1]=Peter%20Goldsbury&t=12008) deals precisely with those questions.

From what I've read, I don't think we can assume that O Sensei was concerned about his students being able to replicate exactly what he was doing. I'm also not convinced that the ranks he gave correlated all that well with the students' ability to demonstrate a deep understanding of aikido as O Sensei saw it.

I don't doubt that his students were darned good martial artists. Nor do I doubt that many of them got an appreciation for internal skills. It's just that (based on what I've read by Ellis and Peter), O Sensei didn't have transmission of the art as his primary goal. Rather, aikido was a religious expression for O Sensei, who saw himself as a shaman dedicated to the divinity of the Japanese emperor because of his understanding of Japanese creation myths, and (at least until his move to Iwama in 1942) who was tightly associated with right-wing militarism. O Sensei saw the power of aikido coming from the kotodama -- which contains mystical word-sounds with innate power. O Sensei did not see it as his responsibility to explicitly teach what he was doing, nor did he expect his students to adopt his religious views. It was enough for them to study aikido and master what they could.

So this leads to a very fundamental question: what is aikido? Or to put it more carefully, what characteristics should an art have to be considered aikido?

O Sensei's approach seemed to result in a messy hodgepodge of "stuff" comprising aikido that really only made complete sense to him. The first thing his senior students and his son seemed to do was somehow create a system of techniques and principles for what they learned so that aikido could be taught more efficiently. That seems to be the problem. The conventional wisdom is that O Sensei's son "watered down" aikido when he developed a standard curriculum. Yet it seems that what most people consider to be "aikido" is much closer to the standard curricula developed by Tohei, Saito, or Kisshomaru Ueshiba than what O Sensei was doing.

Whatever aikido is, people seem to agree that O Sensei and his direct students had it (or some version of it), and could demonstrate powerful technique. Even generations removed, lots of people have used their training successfully in violent encounters -- I have twice.

But if we're doing some version of aikido one or more generations removed from O Sensei's aikido, are we even doing aikido? Do we even want to do O Sensei's aikido? Is it possible to do O Sensei's aikido without also adopting O Sensei's religious and cultural views? Finally, is there some sort of empirical way to know when or if we're doing O Sensei's aikido? Is it only strong, effective technique, or is there something mystical we should understand?

I've posed a lot of the questions to Peter, who implied that he'll deal with many of them in future articles. For my own part, I'm convinced that the internal strength skills are an essential part of aikido. Beyond that, even after almost ten years of study, I'm not sure what exactly makes aikido different from other arts or how to precisely define aikido. I know the definition goes beyond the form of certain techniques. But other than that, I'm somewhat stumped.

Regards,

Ron Tisdale
07-22-2009, 12:57 PM
Nice post Drew, Thanks!
Best,
Ron

Keith Larman
07-22-2009, 01:20 PM
If someone used to be looking, but now they are satisified with their approach, I really cannot relate to that person. I am not satisfied with what I'm doing now, I want to do it better. I always felt that way.

You seem quite satisfied with your training with Dan H. Have you already transcended him or are you still learning? So can we say you're satisfied with your training there? And receptive to what he's teaching you? Isn't that the way it should be no matter where you train?

So, assuming that can you accept that can you also accept that there may be other instructors out there who can and do provide everything another student may be looking for in their training who may be doing very different things from your teacher?

This is not limited to Aikido. It encompasses all things of non-trivial value. I find my own training in a variety of things quite time consuming and comprehensive. I haven't mastered what I'm trying to master yet so I'm content working on what I need to work on now. That's not shutting down and giving up --- that's recognizing I have a lot to learn and I'm at a place where I have the opportunity to learn a lot more. None of that precludes me from having a drive to improve. In fact that drive is what gets me into my workshop every day to destroy my back and eyes working harder to master what I'm trying to master. Just to show it to some grumpy fella next month who'll say "do it over and change this..."

IF someone is not looking at all, do them a favor and throw them out of the dojo.

Who said anyone is training as a complete, mindless drone? Again this is a caricature of the position. If I'm in a setting that is challenging and fulfilling my needs why can't I focus on learning what's being offered? I expect my students to be engaged, involved and asking questions when I teach. I do the same when I take someone else's class. Again you are taking her statement about not looking as equating to giving up. Or to put it another way, I don't need to be "looking" for something if I sincerely believe I've already got it. Or if I sincerely believe I don't need that particular thing.

Not all agree on what is important.

IF you are looking, the questions are typically: looking for WHAT?, HOW are you appoaching that?, how well is that working for people in general? etc...

Which will generally result in somewhat different answers for each person who sincerely asks themselves that question...

rob_liberti
07-22-2009, 01:45 PM
I would hope that one would be somehow both satisfied and insatiable at the same time no matter where you train.

So, while I have not transcended Dan, I will try EVERY SINGLE DAY and I will continue to train with others who I think can help me do that.

I'm totally okay with other teachers. I simply cannot relate well at all to any non-insatiable attitude towards martial arts. To suggest the extreme of completely satisfied (which I admit I just took at face value of what was written) - still just seems like hyperbole to me.

Rob

jason jordan
07-22-2009, 02:15 PM
Not making any sort of judgment here, but just hoping to add a certain level of honest assessment.
Who can tell what is missing if they haven't felt what is missing?

I had a twenty year student of one of the top men in the internal Chinese arts come and train here. He made an interesting comment that the people who train here have never forgotten
"I didn't know, that I didn't know."
While the comment is clear enough at face value, the reason many of the teachers from different arts took it to heart, is that it expressed their own broader experiences and thoughts in one succinct line.
So, while I can read various comments from people, I assign a relative weight to them being that I have met so many senior men in the arts who would completely disagree with them about just what is missing from where.
If that is true- then how does one assess accurately whether or not something is missing?
All you may really get for replies here is the equivalent of:
1. Are you happy with your training?
To which you may get a "Yes!"
2. Do you feel something is missing?
To which you might get "Yes" or "No" or "I dunno, but my teacher will tell me when I am ready to receive more."
And so it goes.
I keep suggesting people get out and check it out for themselves. I have faith in people that once felt they will make the best choice for themsevles.
Cheers
Dan
P.S. Oh...my ICMA friend? He quit the world famous Chinese teacher and went and found someone less famous- who could and would, actually teach internal power within the movements!

I totally agree with this statement. (Not that you need me to)
I think this is why training with other people and styles and arts is necessary. I remember to this day that the greatest Irimi Nage I have ever felt was from a lil lady who at that time was Nidan. She moved me soo effortlessly but I had absolutely no control. My point is, that until I went out and trained with someone else I didn't know that I didn't know. To me this is what makes a true MARTIAL ARTIST. I don't think there are very many Martial Artist around anymore. I think a lot of people have become Martial Stylist instead.

Just stating my humble opinion.

Whatever is missing is not the fault of the art but rather the fault of the practioner not searching or striving for more.

Basia Halliop
07-22-2009, 02:34 PM
I'm totally okay with other teachers. I simply cannot relate well at all to any non-insatiable attitude towards martial arts. To suggest the extreme of completely satisfied (which I admit I just took at face value of what was written) - still just seems like hyperbole to me.

I think you can be satisfied with your environment (teacher/curriculum/etc) without any implication that you're satisfied in you own skill or learning.

If you extend your metaphor of insatiability, you may be the hungriest person on earth but if you live in a supermarket you may still feel no need to go down the street to another store.

rob_liberti
07-22-2009, 03:03 PM
I think you can be satisfied with your environment (teacher/curriculum/etc) without any implication that you're satisfied in you own skill or learning.

If you extend your metaphor of insatiability, you may be the hungriest person on earth but if you live in a supermarket you may still feel no need to go down the street to another store.

I don't know. I lived in a supermarket (to the extent of your analogy) - and I still felt compelled to try other stores.

There is something about not being a baby-bird anymore.

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

jss
07-22-2009, 03:30 PM
I simply cannot relate well at all to any non-insatiable attitude towards martial arts.
Do you have a hobby besides the consuming passion that is aikido or martial arts? I'd guess not if your passion is big enough.:D
Anyhow, that's what I think aikido is to a lot of people: a hobby they practice once/twice/... a week. And that's cool, but for those people training in a good dojo and going to the occasional seminar when their schedule allows it, is enough.

(p.s.: Please don't read the above as a description of people who may have participated in this thread. Posting in this forum already places these posters outside the group of the most minimal hobbyists.)

gdandscompserv
07-22-2009, 03:39 PM
Posting in this forum already places these posters outside the group of the most minimal hobbyists.)
huh?:eek:

Basia Halliop
07-22-2009, 03:40 PM
I don't know. I lived in a supermarket (to the extent of your analogy) - and I still felt compelled to try other stores.

That would mean missing out on a lot of the stuff in the original supermarket. A person can only eat so much so fast.

One person prefers to weight their experience towards the depth side of the scale and another is comparatively more concerned about being well-rounded?

Ron Tisdale
07-22-2009, 03:42 PM
(p.s.: Please don't read the above as a description of people who may have participated in this thread. Posting in this forum already places these posters outside the group of the most minimal hobbyists.)

Oh I don't know...most would probably describe me these days as a hobbiest. Maybe not minimal...but still a hobbiest.

Best,
Ron (hobbiests can have high goals too, you know) ;)

Keith Larman
07-22-2009, 03:48 PM
I'll also point out that there is no shortage of what are rather disparagingly called "salad bar" martial artists. Those who go from one teacher to the next always looking for that special something, loading up a little of everything, but ultimately tasting next to nothing. Sampling a little of everything but never actually learning anything of depth or value. Most end up being the proverbial "Jack of all trades, master of none". There can be an insatiable appetite for learning, but it needs to be tempered, focused and nurtured. The very same desire to learn as much as possible can often lead someone to never spend the time to really learn any single thing well.

Heck, I remember a guy I trained with *years* ago. Sensei told him to do something specific because of a habit he had. So he told him to do this one thing. That guy spent years totally focused on the "trick" to doing the technique "correctly". Did it work? Yes, it did for him because it fixed a variety of things that one guy was doing wrong. But that "trick" was specific to him, his needs, his build, his "way" of moving. Fast forward years later and I see him confiding in a student that there is this special "trick" to doing it well... It didn't work. Not at all. Because he confused the one small lesson with the entire scope of how to do the particular art and all that is assumed underneath all of that.

Rob, it's great that you're gung-ho and doing so well training with Dan. Obviously he lit up inspiration in you that was missing before. That's what is supposed to happen with a sensei/student relationship. But given that Aikido is something that tends to defy description and is something that is practiced on all sorts of levels by many practitioners (meaning not just waza), it shouldn't be surprising that others teaching different things may inspire their students just as much doing very different things from you.

Finally, your inability to understand what motivates someone else or to understand why someone may want to do things differently from you is a statement about your understanding, not their practice. I made a small joke about evangelism earlier -- I meant that only partially in jest. I have a dear, dear friend who is extremely religious. He simply cannot fathom how I don't see God in every molecule around me. More power to him in his beliefs. I just don't see it. But his inability to fathom my agnostic nature has no relevance to the truth value of my thoughts and beliefs. His understanding is not necessary for something to be the case. Neither is mine. And neither is yours.

Basia Halliop
07-22-2009, 03:49 PM
hobby: An activity or interest pursued outside one's regular occupation and engaged in primarily for pleasure.

http://www.answers.com/topic/hobby

Nothing wrong with being a hobbyist.

Keith Larman
07-22-2009, 03:50 PM
Frankly for most of us the best we can aspire to is be a serious, obsessive hobbiest. In the end we all have to pay the bills and for the overwhelming majority of us that isn't done by pursuing our own training in Aikido.

jss
07-22-2009, 03:58 PM
Nothing wrong with being a hobbyist.
I wouldn't claim there is, but there's a difference between a hobby and a passion.

Nicholas Eschenbruch
07-22-2009, 04:01 PM
Finally, your inability to understand what motivates someone else or to understand why someone may want to do things differently from you is a statement about your understanding, not their practice.

That is a hell of a statement, thanks! First, it really made me laugh, and now that I start thinking about it in relation to myself, it gives me a lot of stuff to ponder and be humble.

Keith Larman
07-22-2009, 04:58 PM
That is a hell of a statement, thanks! First, it really made me laugh, and now that I start thinking about it in relation to myself, it gives me a lot of stuff to ponder and be humble.

Thanks, it's something I tend to remind myself of on a fairly regular basis. Unfortunately it is usually just after I've blathered on for way too long about an obscure swordsmith to some poor person at a party who couldn't possibly care less about it...

But hey, it interests me!

dps
07-22-2009, 05:01 PM
Whatever is missing is not the fault of the art but rather the fault of the practioner not searching or striving for more.

Or recognizing that he or she already have it but don't know.

David

Mike Sigman
07-22-2009, 06:23 PM
Rob, it's great that you're gung-ho and doing so well training with Dan. Obviously he lit up inspiration in you that was missing before. That's what is supposed to happen with a sensei/student relationship. But given that Aikido is something that tends to defy description and is something that is practiced on all sorts of levels by many practitioners (meaning not just waza), it shouldn't be surprising that others teaching different things may inspire their students just as much doing very different things from you.

Finally, your inability to understand what motivates someone else or to understand why someone may want to do things differently from you is a statement about your understanding, not their practice. I made a small joke about evangelism earlier -- I meant that only partially in jest. I have a dear, dear friend who is extremely religious. He simply cannot fathom how I don't see God in every molecule around me. More power to him in his beliefs. I just don't see it. But his inability to fathom my agnostic nature has no relevance to the truth value of my thoughts and beliefs. His understanding is not necessary for something to be the case. Neither is mine. And neither is yours.Hi Keith:

I'm not sure I'd agree with the above perspective. For instance, in Tohei's book "This is Aikido" (written under the auspices of Hombu Dojo, at the time before the split) he shows pictures of physical demonstrations of what you should be able to do with "ki". That's not inpiration... that's a demonstration of what should be in Aikido. For someone else to believe that a person should be able to also demonstrate the physical phenomena of "ki" demonstrations is not quite in the realm of "inspiration", but more of a valid debate point. Rob seems to be on the side of people who believe that the demonstrations of the founder of Aikido and of the head instructor of Aikido (at that time) are valid and necessary parts of Aikido. I think the "belief" and "inspiration" part of the debate actually belongs on the side of the people who believe that Tohei and Ueshiba didn't quite understand Aikido as well as they do. ;)

Again, I think the ultimate argument in terms of "it" missing resolves not to belief but to what was demonstrably shown to be in Aikido. Some people believe that anything is Aikido, regardless of what Ueshiba and Tohei demonstrated. Some people think that Aikido is more what Ueshiba and Tohei plainly showed. The perspective that these two disparate viewpoints are equally valid is actually a vote for the first perspective, logically (IMO).

Of course that's a simplified analysis, but I think it's reasonably valid. ;)

Best.

Mike

Keith Larman
07-22-2009, 06:54 PM
Hi Keith:

I'm not sure I'd agree with the above perspective. For instance, in Tohei's book "This is Aikido" (written under the auspices of Hombu Dojo, at the time before the split) he shows pictures of physical demonstrations of what you should be able to do with "ki". That's not inpiration... that's a demonstration of what should be in Aikido. For someone else to believe that a person should be able to also demonstrate the physical phenomena of "ki" demonstrations is not quite in the realm of "inspiration", but more of a valid debate point. Rob seems to be on the side of people who believe that the demonstrations of the founder of Aikido and of the head instructor of Aikido (at that time) are valid and necessary parts of Aikido. I think the "belief" and "inspiration" part of the debate actually belongs on the side of the people who believe that Tohei and Ueshiba didn't quite understand Aikido as well as they do. ;)

Again, I think the ultimate argument in terms of "it" missing resolves not to belief but to what was demonstrably shown to be in Aikido. Some people believe that anything is Aikido, regardless of what Ueshiba and Tohei demonstrated. Some people think that Aikido is more what Ueshiba and Tohei plainly showed. The perspective that these two disparate viewpoints are equally valid is actually a vote for the first perspective, logically (IMO).

Of course that's a simplified analysis, but I think it's reasonably valid. ;)

Best.

Mike

Mike:

I don't disagree at all -- one of my sensei is fond of berating the junior instructors about not teaching it enough. He tends to say we might as well be teaching "Ai Do" if we're not going to bother with the ki part. But this is moving to a different area of discussion than what I was trying to deal with.

Rob's perspective does resonate with me fairly well. I was commenting on the much bigger issue of how it is taught, how it is approached, and how each individual students finds "value" in what they do. Rob's "repositioning" of another person's comment was unfair IMO and implied a lot of things that were never stated. As I said I do think ki is fundamental to what I'm looking for in Aikido as my style comes quite strongly from Tohei's line. Ki tests, exercises, etc. are all integral to our training from day 1. But Aikido has long morphed and the word itself covers a vast cross section of styles, ideas, training and lineages. It has become something of quite varied nature. So what is important to me (and you and Rob and others) may not necessarily be a shared view of what Aikido has "become". Or should become. We could argue the validity of styles that don't demonstrate or don't well integrate that stuff (the magical "it"), but the reality is that things have changes, morphed, expanded and gone off in a variety of directions. Or even another perspective is to say that there are so many thing involved in learning Aikido. I will even agree that internal skills are very important, but I'd also say there is a lot more to learn, discuss, and work on. And how each group balances the larger picture will vary. Some seem to focus almost exclusively on one aspect and then leave the impression that anyone who doesn't similarly focus almost exclusively on the same thing isn't doing "real" (tm) Aikido. I was just trying to point out that it just ain't so simple.

Finally, the reason I posted at all about some of the comments was that I thought they were unfair from a discussion point of view and logically dubious at best. A very simple and straightforward comment was taken and expanded into something that I seriously doubt anyone would think was really there to begin with.

Anyway, I'm truly sorry I ever posted to the topic. Lord knows there's enough blather on-line to fill a septic tank and there's little reason for me to contribute more myself.

You still coming to So Cal in next month? I just got a hall pass from the wife for that weekend -- I thought I was going to have to go on a family thing on Saturday but she offered to take care of things and the kid herself. So suddenly I find myself free...

I'll send Gary an e-mail tonight...

Mike Sigman
07-22-2009, 07:05 PM
Anyway, I'm truly sorry I ever posted to the topic. Lord knows there's enough blather on-line to fill a septic tank and there's little reason for me to contribute more myself. You know, in my experience a lot of discussion is indeed blather, but in substantive discussions there is almost always a certain amount of "bickering", so a lot of useful information gets through before, during, and after that bickering. I.e., it's part of the process. ;)

You still coming to So Cal in next month? I just got a hall pass from the wife for that weekend -- I thought I was going to have to go on a family thing on Saturday but she offered to take care of things and the kid herself. So suddenly I find myself free...

I'll send Gary an e-mail tonight...Sure. Still coming. I'll email Gary, too, and tell him that regardless of where he is in enrollments to certainly include you. We can have some good, enjoyable discussions/show-and-tell about ki skills. I'm looking forward to it.

Best.

Mike

Keith Larman
07-22-2009, 07:07 PM
Great. I just dropped Gary an e-mail myself. Saturday for sure, maybe Sunday as well (I'm pushing my luck considering I've go the San Francisco Token Kai the next weekend -- lord knows how far behind I'll be...).

Mike Sigman
07-22-2009, 07:14 PM
Great. I just dropped Gary an e-mail myself. Saturday for sure, maybe Sunday as well (I'm pushing my luck considering I've go the San Francisco Token Kai the next weekend -- lord knows how far behind I'll be...).Well, I hope you can make Sunday since there's going to be a lot on a massively important area of "ki" that no one has really addressed on this forum. ;)

Best.

Mike

mathewjgano
07-22-2009, 07:56 PM
It was enough for them to study aikido and master what they could.

So this leads to a very fundamental question: what is aikido? Or to put it more carefully, what characteristics should an art have to be considered aikido?

O Sensei's approach seemed to result in a messy hodgepodge of "stuff" comprising aikido that really only made complete sense to him.

Nicely said. This certainly fits with my own impressions of Aikido. I've usually meant "Aikido" to denote the process of studying the lineages that came from O Sensei. As a result of that process, I've called some quesitonable things, "Aikido." Part of me still considers them "Aikido" in the sense that I'm trying to find indominable positions/postures (of mind and body) based on natural strengths/virtues...being in concordance with the (demands of the) world around me (I'd say universe, but that seems a bit lofty to me right now:D)...but now I've also begun to delineate a difference between Aikido proper and inspired expression. My guess is that O Sensei had a sense of what pure Aikido was supposed to be, but that the practice itself, particularly for the newer students, is rarely much of a measure of that ideal. Are they practicing Aikido? Yes and no. This isn't to say we can't speak in concrete terms, but exactly what those terms are and what exactly they mean seem to vary somewhat...and the interpreted correlations even more so. As a result of this, I agree whole-heartedly with Mike's notion that while the exchanges can be frustrating (just like good keiko can be), what's important is we communicate and continue to try our best; it's a part of the process.
My guess is that O Sensei would probably say we all have things missing in our Aikido.

Connor Haberland
07-22-2009, 08:20 PM
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

As a practitioner of Yoshinkan Aikido, I have, and most likely always will, felt/feel that something is missing. In my opinion I think it is a human response and unless you're perfect you'll always feel it.

Erick Mead
07-22-2009, 08:33 PM
Good question. What makes you think I don't know what to listen for?

Sure, the shape of the exercises is taught, just no the skills that go with them.I don't know if you do or not -- which is part of the point. The nature of thing in question in my perspective is not adequately captured by the sense of "skill" being deeper and less amenable to overt linear instruction. To put my point of view toward the aiki taiso -- if the shape is "made" to occur -- the "skills" are not (yet) present. If they simply occur when acting -- then they are. There is a nonchalance to it that belies what actually goes into training it.

After the Baseline thread went on for 1500 plus posts, it became relatively clear that there were (at least four) divergent perspectives, all highly committed to their own point of view (not a sin, in itself) but therefore, regularly talking past one another from their own subjective impressions. It is not that the signal/noise ratio was so terribly low, quite the opposite, but the channel had little modulation/demodulation to convert those crossing signals into compatible handshakes. In Aikido terms, they hardly ever gained connection with one another.

I gave you my concept of the objective content -- if you give your idea of the objective content of the 'skills,' then maybe we have a ground to work on in common -- in this setting . Objective points are not the entirety of the issue, by any means, but without that there is little chance of reconciling these legitimately differing subjective impressions into a coherent and conceptually expressible whole.

Keith Larman
07-22-2009, 09:27 PM
Well, I hope you can make Sunday since there's going to be a lot on a massively important area of "ki" that no one has really addressed on this forum. ;)

Best.

Mike

Ha, okay, I'll try to get free for both days. Man, too much on the schedule this summer...

thisisnotreal
07-22-2009, 09:48 PM
guess it was time to move into the "I've got a secret" phase, huh? ;)

rob_liberti
07-22-2009, 11:02 PM
Ha! Oh my gosh. So I'm not sure if Keith is waiting for me to tap out or not, but I'm not tapping. :) I have nothing against Mary. I think she expressed a bullsh*t extreme position as an argument. If someone else (Dan, Gleason sensei, anyone) expressed that I would have done the exact same thing (and have actually on other things I thought were BS). I just dislike that specific position (I disliked it before I met Dan) and I disagree with it's usage as a fair argument. But hey, if my not being able to understand people not like me is all that telling, I'm fine with that.

About the salad bar thing, there is that idea that goes something like: from 1000 things comes 1 thing, and from 1 thing comes a 1000 things.

In my opinion, the "salad bar" thing describes when you are in phase of trying to learn the 1000 things desperately hoping to find the 1 kernel.

I admit I tried a bit of the salad bar thing until I found the best kernel I could find. Then trained that for about 20 years and was not satisfied that I had what I wanted well enough. I started trying to apply what I had of it to other things to test it, and instead/eventually I found Dan H. What he was/is teaching turned out to be a more fundamental kernel. It is clearly a specific focus on the art within all arts I have had experience with. So I continued to practice aikido as well as Dan's aiki and MMA for the past couple years, and I am more and more convinced. I'm excited that I am starting to get to the utility phase where I can start applying it more directly to aikido as well as MMA, arnis, knife/cali, etc. which will all make my aikido better.

And for the curious, yes I have other hobbies. I love yoga, active isolated stretching, and most importantly playing with my little boy.

And, lastly, I actually do believe Mike has a secret. Probably several. -Rob

Keith Larman
07-23-2009, 12:00 AM
Wow, well, this isn't a fight nor is it a competition. No need to "tap out". No need to ascribe me motivations of being the "white knight" and then hop onto the cross giving yourself the title of the "black knight", no bullsh*t discussions, etc. Obviously I'm not able to communicate my discomfort with the content your posts. Not with you, mind you but the content, the ideas, or the notions of your posts.

Honestly if you sincerely say that you took what Mary said at "face value" then what you posted as instances of her attitude were all self-serving interpretations and IMHO intellectually dishonest. There is simply no point to discussing it in that case. I simply disagree completely about your interpretations of what was posted.

It seems to me you're seeing the world through those rose colored lenses of what you think is already the case. It become self-fulfilling.

Best of luck. I'll "tap out" of this conversation to use your term.

rob_liberti
07-23-2009, 12:25 AM
No Keith. Not "her attitude" - she described a generic "you". I think you rode in to HER rescue and I was surprised by that. And left me thinking about a phrase ending with "and the horse you rode in on".

Honestly, I'm perfectly fine with your interpretation. I actually appreciate it. Somehow, though it seems to me that I went after an attitude about training aikido of a generic "you" and you... went - somewhat relentlessly - after me and my daring. From unfair, dishonest, rose colored glasses, self-serving, and my favorite was the "salad bar" analogy (but I'm not sure if that came from you). And I picked on Mary and you - zero times to my count.

FWIW, I assigned me the role of red knight - maybe due to the color of my specticals. :)

I think Mike and Dan are both Black Knights. And the aikido world needs more of them.

Peace or not, you choose - Rob

Josh Reyer
07-23-2009, 01:17 AM
Just wanted to say well said to Keith for everything he's posted in this thread.

Nothing against you, Rob. I normally enjoy your posts. But everything since your reply to Mary has struck me as a rather weird overreaction.

thisisnotreal
07-23-2009, 01:49 AM
..
And, lastly, I actually do believe Mike has a secret. Probably several. -Rob

yeah. i know. i think so too.
<grumble...mumble..mumble> ;)

thisisnotreal
07-23-2009, 02:01 AM
And for the curious, yes I have other hobbies. I love yoga, active isolated stretching, ...

Hi Rob,
Can I ask you about that?
Are these other hobbies (yoga, AIS==PNF?) in any substantive way contributing to (/extensions to) your pursuit of *it* in Aikido? If so, would you mind elaborating a bit?
I am thinking: They are both modes of changing the body...aren't they? Do they help toward that end? (aiki) Or is it more "a besides" thing?
Cheers,
Josh

rob_liberti
07-23-2009, 06:17 AM
Josh Phillipson - yes in the fact that those things get me out of my own way.

Josh Reyer - well okay, I'll take your feedback. I suppose I really like aikido so in general I'm going to agree with everyone else who likes aikido on most things pro-aikido. The thing is I really dislike that attitude that goes so well with "clients" and "McDojos" over "students" and "real dojos". (I'm sure they are all nice people.)

I never thought Mary was suggesting that she, herself, was a client. I thought I was reading an argument to progress in martial arts using what seems to be the hyperbolic-client's perspective. That to me is against aikido, it is against aikido students, it is against my personal blood, sweat, and tears. I never thought Mary was suggesting she, herself, was a client. I still don't. I just started taking what I would term the hyperbolic-client-attitude to what seems to be the logical progression.

I didn't think that was unfair and I didn't think some one playing captain justice would rush in to set me straight. So, maybe I got it all wrong, and maybe Keith and I will turn out to be great friends some day, who knows.

Since I've been standing on a soapbox lately, I'll continue. All I can say is that BEFORE I met Dan H, I pretty much had formed the very unpopular opinion that the VAST majority of aikido is crap (yes yes even my own) due to "strong-arming" EVERYWHERE and that opinion was based on years and years of my personal blood, sweat, and tears. I traveled and traveled hoping for some/ANY insight into how I could make the leap to be able to do aikido without directly pushing, pulling, lifting, etc. Only a very select few could do it (shihan included - meaning many/most were the biggest strong-armer-s out there). I could not relate to most people's attitude about aikido THEN. I wanted awesome aikido; and so many people just spoke about O-sensei as a god who could do things we normal humans could never do. I cannot relate to that. To me he was a man, and I want to surpass him. Now I have a chance of doing that so I'm psyched and maybe a little crazed - so I acknowledge that maybe I have a screw loose. But from where I am standing, I think that mostly everyone else is crazy.

The argument I thought Mary used seemed to be a validation of the hyperbolic client-attitude - which I could never relate to - to invalidate the hyperbolic student-attitude (which I tend to favor). Such an argument, goes in the same category in my brain as if someone tried to argue from the perspective of the world being flat and/or the Sun revolving around the Earth... I'm not sure I *want* to understand that perspective.

Hugs,
Rob

Mary Eastland
07-23-2009, 07:29 AM
This is a very interesting marketing tool. First people get on the boards and say they never do workshops. Then they say when they do a work shop they don't charge anything.
Next thing you know they are offering a workshop, charging and offering secrets.
Why not just say we are doing workshops, charging money and exploring Ki development?
Honesty and reality have a lot to do with ki development.
Just some thoughts.
Mary

rob_liberti
07-23-2009, 07:45 AM
Dan has never charged me anything. I don't charge anything when I teach that stuff after the normal aikido class at my place.

Let's see, my main dojo made a profit of $30 last year, and the dues are 45, 55, or 65 per month depending on when you joined. (I pay $150/month for my 5 year old to go to 2 martial arts classes per week.) So I'm not seeing the big *money* conspiracy here.

I think what changed was that Dan recognized that *it has to be felt* would be felt a lot more if he made it more accessible by doing a workshop - but that's my guess.

Mary E - I remember Dan offering for you to come visit him and that he would even come visit you. I'm positive he wasn't planning on charging. I think he was offering to buy dinner. I assume you haven't taken him up on that yet...

Rob

lbb
07-23-2009, 07:54 AM
My apologies, but there's too much of substance (not to mention the silliness of knights' color and who rode to whose rescue) in this thread for me to keep up with right now. A number of people (most particularly Keith, Basia and Drew) have said things that resonate with me, and said them better than I could, but I'll make a brief attempt at my own summary. Stasis, stagnation, complacency, and "being here now" are all different things, yet if you dial down the resolution enough on your monitor, I'm sure they all look pretty much the same.

...and that's all I've got to say about that.

Mary Eastland
07-23-2009, 07:55 AM
The seminar that was talked about on the other thread was priced at $180.
A fair price. But a price nonetheless.
There is nothing wrong with charging.
Actually... we invited Dan to the Berkshires to exchange ideas and offered to buy him and his wife dinner. The offer still stands.
Mary

phitruong
07-23-2009, 07:59 AM
yeah. i know. i think so too.
<grumble...mumble..mumble> ;)

he doesn't have secrets. go ahead and ask him. he might even show them to you. however, whether you can learn from that or not is a whole different planet altogether. ;) i believed one of those old proverb about keeping secrets in plain sight, which reminded me that i need to order a copy of Ellis's new book. now if i can keep that a secret from my wife; otherwise, she will be grumbling about i spent more money on martial arts stuffs than her, of which i had the misfortune of open my mouth and stated that she spent more money on shoes. sometimes irimi just get you a smack-down! :D

you know! all these internal stuffs talks give the urge to go for a good dimsum.

Ron Tisdale
07-23-2009, 08:00 AM
Silly thoughts, Mary. They didn't do them, people asked them to do them, they obliged.

Then someone (words omitted here) comes up and calls them dis-honest and unrealistic for kindly obliging those who asked.

Jesus...
Ron

Mary Eastland
07-23-2009, 08:15 AM
No silly... Ron.
But thank you for your judgement. True words.
Read back and look.
Leading the mind is leading the mind...nothing wrong with it...but can't you see you are being led.
Wake up. Train at your key board...find ki...lol.
Mary

Josh Reyer
07-23-2009, 08:26 AM
I never thought Mary was suggesting that she, herself, was a client. I thought I was reading an argument to progress in martial arts using what seems to be the hyperbolic-client's perspective. That to me is against aikido, it is against aikido students, it is against my personal blood, sweat, and tears. I never thought Mary was suggesting she, herself, was a client. I still don't. I just started taking what I would term the hyperbolic-client-attitude to what seems to be the logical progression.

I didn't think that was unfair and I didn't think some one playing captain justice would rush in to set me straight. So, maybe I got it all wrong, and maybe Keith and I will turn out to be great friends some day, who knows.
Well, certainly, I hope you and Keith can work things out. It looks like one big miscommunication to me.

I, for one, didn't think Mary was talking about herself. I don't think you were talking about Mary herself, and I can't speak for Keith, but I don't think even he was talking about Mary herself. From my perspective, it looked like both of you were talking about what Mary was saying, and were talking past each other. Which happens. But it did strike me that Keith was talking about your argument as being unfair, and about the tone of your argument, but you took it personally and responded ad hominem.

I understand that these discussions often get heated, and looking in from the outside it seems like everyone feels in someway like the underdog, like they're under attack from the other side. But I think a promising discussion between you and Keith got sidetracked because you took it personally and responded in kind. There's room for honest disagreement, and (dare I say it?!) even empathy and concord.

All that said, along with the heat of your exchange, I think there was some light as well.

Ron Tisdale
07-23-2009, 08:27 AM
This is a very interesting marketing tool. First people get on the boards and say they never do workshops. Then they say when they do a work shop they don't charge anything.
Next thing you know they are offering a workshop, charging and offering secrets.
Why not just say we are doing workshops, charging money and exploring Ki development?
Honesty and reality have a lot to do with ki development.
Just some thoughts.

Speaking of judgement...OH BOY, it's hard to get more judgemental than that.

R

rob_liberti
07-23-2009, 08:35 AM
Mary M - you have my humble apology.

Mary E - I'll remind Dan to go visit you. I'm not Dan is going to agree with you that in order for him to stay consistent with what he has done at his own dojo that he needs to pay for the space and the insurance out of his own pocket. I really have no idea what the profit will be if there will be any, but that's really not *my* business.

Peter Goldsbury
07-23-2009, 09:00 AM
Hello Ron,

Just for those of us who have no dogs to hunt in this thread, but who are interested bystanders, there are two Marys who are participating in this discussion. Which Mary were you referring to?

All the best to you and yours,

PAG

Silly thoughts, Mary. They didn't do them, people asked them to do them, they obliged.

Then someone (words omitted here) comes up and calls them dis-honest and unrealistic for kindly obliging those who asked.

Jesus...
Ron

rob_liberti
07-23-2009, 09:04 AM
Peter, that was Mary E.

MM
07-23-2009, 09:20 AM
Well, certainly, I hope you and Keith can work things out. It looks like one big miscommunication to me.


Personally, I think so, too.

Rob, it took me a few posts to start understanding your point. I think I finally did, but really, I think you did a poor job of communicating your point.

Keith, If I got Rob's point right, you mistook what he was saying. But, hey, it wasn't clear to me either.

I got kind of a whirlwind feeling, so I just started ignoring things. :) I wouldn't blame Mary M at all for doing the same.

Mary E. I took your post like Ron did. If there was some other point, both Ron and I missed it.

Seems that a lot of miscommunication is going on here. Dunno, but I find less and less of it is worth reading. So, going back to the first post:

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

David, can you clarify what you mean by "something is missing". Are you actually referring to an overall, general sense? Or do you have more specific things in mind, like aiki/internal body skills?

rob_liberti
07-23-2009, 09:24 AM
Okay - Joshua Reyer (and apparently Mark M while I was writing this) says Keith was going after my argument and not me - and I took it wrong. I certainly couldn't see that, but for whatever reason I can buy that it is true coming from a 3rd party. Josh (and also Mark), thank you. Keith, I'm sorry I misunderstood you and probably gave you a headache. -Rob

Mike Sigman
07-23-2009, 09:31 AM
And, lastly, I actually do believe Mike has a secret. Probably several. Welllllllllll..... I'm not sure how "something I'm going to teach openly at the L.A. workshop" fully qualifies as a "secret". Josh just tries to get people to tell him stuff on the internet rather than going to Dan's workshop, etc., so when he cries "secrets!" it's more of a ploy. ;)

And yeah, there are "secrets", but a lot of it has to do with how big the "It" really is. Most of the people I see talking about and describing "It" leave me with the impression that they're talking about some limited aspect of skills (the ki/kokyu/qi/jin skills) that are to be learned much like Calculus as part of your math education. Problem is, it's a wider-ranging topic than that, so the limited discussions (mostly about jin/kokyu skills) on this forum have tended to bypass some important complementary issues.

A second problem is the levels of skills. As an example, a kokyu throw can be done at different levels of power and body-training. E.g., a beginner may make a robotic, obvious movement of the body to do a kokyu throw, but an expert may have a number of contributive skills (say, a strong, articulate hara/dantien) and other factors which allow an opponent to be tossed across the dojo. Someone who doesn't know how to do a proper kokyu throw has to start from scratch and develop his skills, etc.... so wanting to know how an expert develops all that power is actually a fairly useless question. It's pointless to try and cross a bridge before you get to it, generally speaking.

So the "It" that is missing is not just a definable "It" ("the It that can be named is not the true It" ;) ), it's an It that has great scope and a number of levels. I.e., if you just learn Tohei's "ki tests" you're just getting started. Why else would Ueshiba have remarked about how many years it took him to progress?

FWIW

Mike

Mary Eastland
07-23-2009, 09:40 AM
What is wrong with marketing...I am marketing when I say anything on here...aren't you?
Mary

thisisnotreal
07-23-2009, 09:41 AM
Hey Mike,
Thanks for continuing to have a wicked sense of humor.
I wasn't hoping for explicative stuff...maybe just an opening of the kimono just a crack so that I could see the name of this whole field of ki that I do not know the name of.

Not a ploy. Just not sure how to approach these conversations any more. There is a line in detail that won't be crossed...but the naming the thing? Is that past the line? And i only try that with you anyway! Seems that you respect a good poke in the eye! (and sometimes respond forthwith!) ;)

And I would absolutely love to go see Dan, but the seminar is for teachers, isn't it? That precludes me.. (big time)
All the Best,
Josh

akiy
07-23-2009, 10:01 AM
Hi folks,

Now that it looks like the communications difficulties, mix-ups, and misunderstandings have seemingly been cleared up, can we please direct the thread towards discussing the original topic at hand?

The original topic-starting post is as follows:

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

Thanks,

-- Jun

Ron Tisdale
07-23-2009, 10:12 AM
Hi Peter, I was lately referring to Mary E.'s comments, but since I seem to have lost my center, I'll bow out of the conversation. Sorry to have gotten off topic.

Best,
Ron

rob_liberti
07-23-2009, 10:27 AM
(I lost my post!, so this is take 2)
OP -
Did I read somewhere that Yoshinkan incorporated some BJJ-like stuff into their art?

Misogi-no-Gyo
07-23-2009, 10:57 AM
That's one of the things that makes it hard for me personally to think of these skills I hear people talking about as 'essential', or of aikido without them as 'not truely aikido' -- if aikido is the art that O-sensei 'created', and he personally chose who to give ranks to, then he had some criteria in mind when he gave out those ranks, and he gave ranks to all these Shihans who I'm told don't have or teach these skills -- so how can he himself have considered them to be 'fundamental' or 'part of the basic definition of doing aikido, without which it's something else and not aikido'? How can one fairly criticize someone for their right to teach aikido if O-sensei himself is the one who picked them to go teach it? To me that doesn't make sense logically or seem fair.

I understand that's a totally different question from whether some particular skill is great or wonderful to have or part of a very long tradition that included O-sensei, or will totally revolutionalize and improve your aikido, etc. Those kinds of assertions I have no real problem with (without having experienced it I have no idea if they're true, but I have no reason to dismiss them).

Basia,

You win the prize!!!

Its about time someone asked the most obvious of questions (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=235416&postcount=30) ... and when you discover that the answers are Hidden in Plain Site, (Sorry, Ellis, but I couldn't resist) you (and many others) will kick yourself for having missed it.

best in training to all...

.

lbb
07-23-2009, 11:14 AM
Mary M - you have my humble apology.

No apology needed, I can see how the misunderstanding happened. The difficulty is that there aren't enough words to describe all the nuances of the human mental state, so it's very hard to be precise enough.

There is an inherent paradox to the "contented" feeling I've been trying to describe. Maybe I've learned through hard knocks that seeking often leads to not finding what you seek, and that the harder you try, the further away you get -- but if you just let it alone, sometimes it comes to you. I've also learned that you don't always get that choice, that sometimes life or circumstances deny you whatever it is you might want to reach for. Five and a half years ago, all I wanted was one more day of sailing with my dad. He died before the ice went out, and I never got that one day. Instead, I had to be content with all the days we'd already had...or, I suppose, I could have chosen to be miserable about it. Experiences like that have taught me about the dangers of discontent. Appreciating the value of what's before you is not the same as believing that it is the whole world or the best that the world has to offer. It may, on the other hand, stem from understanding that we don't all always need to have (or be) "the best" in all things. We can't have the best of all things. We need to choose.

dps
07-23-2009, 11:32 AM
David, can you clarify what you mean by "something is missing". Are you actually referring to an overall, general sense? Or do you have more specific things in mind, like aiki/internal body skills?

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.

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

David

rob_liberti
07-23-2009, 12:32 PM
...if aikido is the art that O-sensei 'created', and he personally chose who to give ranks to, then he had some criteria in mind when he gave out those ranks, and he gave ranks to all these Shihans who I'm told don't have or teach these skills

For me, I think it boils down to the fact that I personally am primarily only interested in the aikido that O-sensei taught to himself. What many shihan have done with aikido, is not my cup of tea.

Rob

dps
07-23-2009, 12:40 PM
For me, I think it boils down to the fact that I personally am primarily only interested in the aikido that O-sensei taught to himself. What many shihan have done with aikido, is not my cup of tea.

Rob

How do you know what O'Sensei taught to himself if not by what he showed to those closet to him?

David

rob_liberti
07-23-2009, 12:44 PM
How do you know what O'Sensei taught to himself if not by what he showed to those closet to him?

David, like any good engineer, I tried approaching it from the other direction. Who taught O-sensei? Who else did that person teach? What do people from those lines do that more closely produces the reported results of O-sensei? How can I learn that? etc...

Basia Halliop
07-23-2009, 12:59 PM
For me, I think it boils down to the fact that I personally am primarily only interested in the aikido that O-sensei taught to himself. What many shihan have done with aikido, is not my cup of tea.

Presumably the uchi-deshi didn't each completely reinvent their aikido and remove from it what they already were strong in after he gave them all their ranks, though. To me O-Sensei, or any other teacher, giving someone a high teaching rank in Aikido, is O-Sensei saying 'this person is currently doing pretty good Aikido'... I can see that some people disagree with that and believe there is some other interpretation possible, but it's certainly not an crazy interpretation.

Mike Sigman
07-23-2009, 01:30 PM
Presumably the uchi-deshi didn't each completely reinvent their aikido and remove from it what they already were strong in after he gave them all their ranks, though. To me O-Sensei, or any other teacher, giving someone a high teaching rank in Aikido, is O-Sensei saying 'this person is currently doing pretty good Aikido'... I can see that some people disagree with that and believe there is some other interpretation possible, but it's certainly not an crazy interpretation.Hi Basia:

There are many discussions posted about pre-war and post-war uchi-deshi's, loss of and lack of skills to varying degrees within the teaching ranks (Tohei's history has some interesting discussions about things he tried to show uchi-deshi's because of a putative loss/missing of these skills, etc.). In other words, it's never a safe bet to judge someone by rank, teacher, licenses, and so on... the same credentials can be held by people of widely differing skill, knowledge, and so on. It's known and recognized phenomena in all the martial-arts, BTW.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

dps
07-23-2009, 02:17 PM
Hi Basia:
In other words, it's never a safe bet to judge someone by rank, teacher, licenses, and so on... the same credentials can be held by people of widely differing skill, knowledge, and so on. It's known and recognized phenomena in all the martial-arts, BTW.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
The uchi-deshi of O,Sensei would have the closest knowledge of what O'Sensei was doing than any body else inside and outside of Aikido.

You have to be aware of when a particular uch-deshi was with O'Sensei to understand what that one knew, but if you use Tohei Sensei as an example then you would look at what he taught at the time he was closest to O'Sensei.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuuhW9t11e0&feature=PlayList&p=BA72475915C16821&index=0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbgRGgcBAUg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VSqp2xw8J0&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=op43xEWU8tg&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEoe0fbh_j0&feature=related

David

dps
07-23-2009, 02:24 PM
David, like any good engineer, I tried approaching it from the other direction. Who taught O-sensei? Who else did that person teach? What do people from those lines do that more closely produces the reported results of O-sensei? How can I learn that? etc...

I understand. I have a degree in engineering technology and have spent the majority of my adult life installing, troubleshooting and repairing electrical, mechanical, electrical-mechanical and electronic systems.

Reproducing what O'Sensei learned and who he learned it from that led him to his Aikido. = Reverse Engineer

Practicing what O'Sensei left for us to follow = Reading the User Manual

Mike Sigman
07-23-2009, 02:25 PM
You have to be aware of when a particular uch-deshi was with O'Sensei to understand what that one knew, but if you use Tohei Sensei as an example then you would look at what he taught at the time he was closest to O'Sensei.
Well, I'd also point out the well-known fact that a lot of Tohei's understanding of ki/kokyu skills came from Tempu Nakamura, because Ueshiba wasn't really showing those skills to the Uchi Deshi. Similarly, if you read some of the contemporary histories, Tohei attempted to show some of the current Uchi-deshi's aspects of the same skills we're talking about. Hence, the idea that Ueshiba's giving of rank implicitly indicates full knowledge doesn't fully stand up.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

dps
07-23-2009, 03:28 PM
Well, I'd also point out the well-known fact that a lot of Tohei's understanding of ki/kokyu skills came from Tempu Nakamura, because Ueshiba wasn't really showing those skills to the Uchi Deshi.

If it wasn't something that O'Sensei was teaching then he did not want it passed on and it was not meant to be a part of Aikido. Therefore it is not missing from Aikido and there is no need to discuss the lack of it or reintroduce something that was never meant to be.

David

jss
07-23-2009, 03:44 PM
If it wasn't something that O'Sensei was teaching then he did not want it passed on and it was not meant to be a part of Aikido.
Only if you think O-sensei would explicitly teach everything he wanted you to learn and did not expect you to steal the technique.
(Or is showing something and expecting your students to steal it a proper way of teaching? Then he was teaching.;) )

Mike Sigman
07-23-2009, 03:55 PM
If it wasn't something that O'Sensei was teaching then he did not want it passed on and it was not meant to be a part of Aikido. Therefore it is not missing from Aikido and there is no need to discuss the lack of it or reintroduce something that was never meant to be.
So all the past discussions about Ueshiba saying "steal this technique", etc., (meaning he wasn't going to teach it directly, as is often done in Asian martial arts) means nothing to you? Your judgement of what and how a lot of things are transmitted in Asia is the correct one? As far as I know, the idea of gokui and hiden is a fixture in Asian martial arts, so it would be a surprise to me if people were *not* missing parts of Aikido that were meant to be hidden.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

rob_liberti
07-23-2009, 04:02 PM
If it wasn't something that O'Sensei was teaching then he did not want it passed on and it was not meant to be a part of Aikido. Therefore it is not missing from Aikido and there is no need to discuss the lack of it or reintroduce something that was never meant to be.

THAT was awesome! OR...

Maybe he was a terrible teacher (makes his title a bit odd!)
Maybe he had terrible students (seems odd too...)
Maybe he taught just a select few and they either kept the secret or they themselves only taught a very small number of people who kept the secrets or showed only a few people who continue that pattern...
Maybe he was not allowed to teach what was taught to him directly resulting in generations trying to copy his internal aiki with externalized (to various levels of depth) aiki approximation

(just some crazy thoughts)

Gokuii - means secret. Maybe the secret is out.

Rob

mathewjgano
07-23-2009, 04:07 PM
As far as I know, the idea of gokui and hiden is a fixture in Asian martial arts, so it would be a surprise to me if people were *not* missing parts of Aikido that were meant to be hidden.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Why do you suppose they might've been meant to be hidden?

Mike Sigman
07-23-2009, 04:24 PM
Why do you suppose they might've been meant to be hidden?Because they give an enormous edge over someone who doesn't know them. For example, think of the anecdote about Ueshiba and the Sumo wrestler, Tenryu:
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=350

Without the jin/kokyu/ki skills, Ueshiba could not have triumphed in that minor demonstration. On the other hand, if Tenryu understood jin/kokyu skills, he would have neutralized what Ueshiba did and then it would have all resolved to technique and strength. The point is that these skills are valuable and would not have been openly taught in the days when martial-combat was more common.

Or, as one of my teachers told me when he showed me some 'secret' training method: "If you show everyone how to do it, then everyone will know". Sounded then and now sort of like a Yogi Berra saying. ;)

Mike

DH
07-23-2009, 04:33 PM
Gokuii - means secret. Maybe the secret is out.
Rob
Gokui is frequently misunderstood. It didn't mean students didn't get it. if you were an indoor student you are taught as you move on up.So it's eventually revealed. It just doesn't mean there is any guarantee for any individual.

If it wasn't something that O'Sensei was teaching then he did not want it passed on and it was not meant to be a part of Aikido. Therefore it is not missing from Aikido and there is no need to discuss the lack of it or reintroduce something that was never meant to be.

David
Anyone who thinks that Asian teachers openly taught and or even knew a method to explicitly teach some things just doesn't understand Japanese or Chinese budo. Nothing you will say will change the fact that many, if not most, arts required you to steal things and/ or things were taught intuitively. And in other arts they were withheld for only a few chosen students.
My God man Asian teachers openly stated they do this!:D
Hell I know one Japanese art that asked an American teacher to teach them how to teach better!!
You can argue all you want- with respect- I let my statement stand.
Have you considered there is more to it than you may know in your own experience? Isn’t that fair for you to consider? Please consider that.
Cheers
Dan

DH
07-23-2009, 04:46 PM
Why do you suppose they might've been meant to be hidden?
Just within the aiki lineage you have:
Sagawa openly stating that Takeda told him not to teach it openly. He also stated a reason never to teach foreigners "They are already big and it would give them a great advantage."
Tokimune Takeda then stated he was told only to teach one or two the true techniques.
Choosing only a few to pour yourself into is a centuries old saying in Koryu as well.
Read between the lines about what that is really telling you!

Heres a little ditty about stealing knowledge and about what might have been offered openly- since we are talking about hidden in plain site.
One teacher from one branch of DR went to Tokimune to learn the heart of aiki. Tokimune showed him?... solo waza and breath methods. Guy brings them back to his branch. No one wants to do them. They want to do the waza. Guy goes back to Tokimune and tells him that. Tokimune says "Yeah, no one here wants to do them either. They just want to do techniques!!"
Budo is a funny thing.
Cheers
Dan

mathewjgano
07-23-2009, 06:14 PM
Just within the aiki lineage you have:
Sagawa openly stating that Takeda told him not to teach it openly. He also stated a reason never to teach foreigners "They are already big and it would give them a great advantage."
Tokimune Takeda then stated he was told only to teach one or two the true techniques.
Choosing only a few to pour yourself into is a centuries old saying in Koryu as well.
Read between the lines about what that is really telling you!

Heres a little ditty about stealing knowledge and about what might have been offered openly- since we are talking about hidden in plain site.
One teacher from one branch of DR went to Tokimune to learn the heart of aiki. Tokimune showed him?... solo waza and breath methods. Guy brings them back to his branch. No one wants to do them. They want to do the waza. Guy goes back to Tokimune and tells him that. Tokimune says "Yeah, no one here wants to do them either. They just want to do techniques!!"
Budo is a funny thing.
Cheers
Dan
Hey Dan!
That does make sense for why O Sensei might not have taught it overtly. So do you think it's probably just for the tradition's sake that he would have done that? I can certainly understand the appeal to a sort of trickle-down theory in martial arts where the headmaster would focus hard on developing a student or two and then let them pass on what they were picking up to their own focus-groups, and so on. Based on what Mike was saying about teaching in graspable steps, it seems to make added sense.
While I really love explicit instruction for the ability to pinpoint concrete lessons, I also really love the environment-based approach for putting the impetus of learning almost entirely on the student, reinforcing self-driven and, possibly, more spontaneous learning moments. Is there any evidence that this might also play a role, or played a role in teaching things like aiki? Personally I believe in both at the same time, but I know many people tend to favor one or the other.
Take care!
Matt

thisisnotreal
07-23-2009, 10:51 PM
Here is something I was wondering about regarding other aspects of this 'partial teaching':
Nevermind the fact that the core power building methods of aiki are not shown...what I find almost unbelievable is:
1) the core of what 'it' is you are actually studying to be/do is not made clear from the outset. The origins and ultimate purposes of the techniques (Divine or not?) you do are not explained. It is up to you to figure it out.
2) body changes that these things bring on are not generally carefully monitored or guided. you are kind of then on a course of self study. sink or swim. how much damage can you do to yourself doing these things incorrectly?

For the non-inner student..There is no hand holding.

Erick Mead
07-24-2009, 12:20 AM
Here is something I was wondering about regarding other aspects of this 'partial teaching':
Nevermind the fact that the core power building methods of aiki are not shown...what I find almost unbelievable is:
1) the core of what 'it' is you are actually studying to be/do is not made clear from the outset. The origins and ultimate purposes of the techniques (Divine or not?) you do are not explained. It is up to you to figure it out. You are assuming that there are many common referents to use in explanation for most people to understand -- which is not the case. Shear mechanics, vortices, are among the least well-comprehended classical mechanics we know. Even long known uses of vortex/shear mechanics are surprising (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vortex_tube), and still poorly understood.

2) body changes that these things bring on are not generally carefully monitored or guided. you are kind of then on a course of self study. sink or swim. how much damage can you do to yourself doing these things incorrectly?Most every structure is weaker in shear and most weak in torsional shear. It is a significant reason why tornadoes are so destructive, not just because of the linear force of wind but because of the large and intense aerodynamic shear field they create. Anything loaded in shear can be damaged fairly easily. There are good reasons on this basis alone to wait to introduce this kind of thing until people start to see it for themselves. The principle of shifting centers in aiki means that the shear center can easily end up in places were it can do damage you if you are not prepared to control or dampen it.

FWIW.

DH
07-24-2009, 05:10 AM
If it wasn't something that O'Sensei was teaching then he did not want it passed on and it was not meant to be a part of Aikido. Therefore it is not missing from Aikido and there is no need to discuss the lack of it or reintroduce something that was never meant to be.
David
I completely reject that, but I am not important. What is important is all of -YOU- who are now rejecting that idea as well...one, after another...after another...once YOU feel "IT."
Has it crossed anyone's mind that they should be taking note of just who is converting to training "IT?"

Here are two questions that have been posted before that get ignored because they remain the unanswerable questions to all the detractors who debate "IT" on the net.

"IT"
1. That the collected body of people who have gone to train with Mike, Ark, Ushiro, or me to feel "IT" have simply stopped debating that "IT" is the essence of the aiki arts? How'd that happen?
2. How could someone take a body of knowledge and show it to aikido teachers; 6th dans, 5th dans, 4th dans etc. from widely different branches and have the collected whole, all walk away stating "IT" is the essence of aiki. How would that even be possible were "IT" not the defining truth to their Aikido as they know it?
How can you explain hundreds of people-many of whom are teachers -being exposed to "IT" and all arriving at the same conclusion:
That "IT" actually is thee single most powerful aspect of aikido and "IT" is missing from aikido as "these people" know it. Please note I didn't state as "you" know it-I said as "these people" know their aikido to be.
What is getting troubling for any potential detractors is:
a) just how many of "these people" there are now
b) just who "these people" are turning out to be!

IMO, "IT" only remains controversial because "IT" is so damn defining that the only place left -to- debate "IT" is on the net! Aikido, on the whole, has so far failed to come up with any teacher who can debate the value of "IT" anymore...in person. If they have "IT"-they already do "IT" to some degree. If they don't have "IT"-for some inexplicable reason they start to train "IT" on the spot and want "IT"!!

All that aside I continue to hope we can be civil in discussing "IT"- it's only budo, people. There's no reason we can't disagree but still all be civil. Particularly since people who might never have met are now out their training "IT" and fast becoming friends -all because of the existance of... "IT" :D

Cheers
Dan

dps
07-24-2009, 07:02 AM
because Ueshiba wasn't really showing those skills to the Uchi Deshi.

If it wasn't something that O'Sensei was teaching then he did not want it passed on and it was not meant to be a part of Aikido. Therefore it is not missing from Aikido and there is no need to discuss the lack of it or reintroduce something that was never meant to be.

David

Or it was important to Aikido, O'Sensei was showing his deshi these skills, O'Sensei was satisfied they knew it and allowed them to go teach. He had every opportunity to guide them along their path of growth after they began to teach.

How can you explain hundreds of people-many of whom are teachers -being exposed to "IT" and all arriving at the same conclusion:

Okay, you personally know hundreds of people who don't have it, compared to at least 1.5 million who are practicing Aikido, that is not a high percentage.

David

Budd
07-24-2009, 08:24 AM
Or it was important to Aikido, O'Sensei was showing his deshi these skills, O'Sensei was satisfied they knew it and allowed them to go teach. He had every opportunity to guide them along their path of growth after they began to teach.


David, I'm curious -- what has given you the impression that the above in any way, shape or form represents the standard pedagogy that took place in Hombu dojo between Ueshiba and his deshi?

jss
07-24-2009, 09:02 AM
Or it was important to Aikido, O'Sensei was showing his deshi these skills, O'Sensei was satisfied they knew it and allowed them to go teach.
Then you should have no trouble providing some youtube clips of a number of deshi in which they demonstrate these skills, no?

DH
07-24-2009, 09:15 AM
Or it was important to Aikido, O'Sensei was showing his deshi these skills, O'Sensei was satisfied they knew it and allowed them to go teach. He had every opportunity to guide them along their path of growth after they began to teach.
Hello David
Actually many of the post war deshi got little hands on time training with Osensei -successively less as time wore on-and were sent out to teach with as little as six years under their belt. You really need to check your history.

Okay, you personally know hundreds of people who don't have it, compared to at least 1.5 million who are practicing Aikido, that is not a high percentage.
Well sir, you really shouldn't dismiss the opinion of so many teachers of aikido so easily. Well you can but it’s tenuous to do so.
Lets take some of these teachers-say a couple of 6th dans- as people who have trained for decades with all manner of teachers in and out of Japan- for them to openly state this is the some of the finest skill they have ever felt means more than you are affording it. I was suggesting you take the collective whole, of all of these teachers experiences and examine the consistency of their comparative experiences. I think that is worthy question to put out there.
For these teachers to consistently embrace "IT" to the point that it is altering their practice and by all accounts improving their aikido makes a statement worth other practitioners consideration.
In other words it is not just speaking of “their” personal aikido, but their opinion of everyone each of them has touched, trained under, or with, for decades. It is a declarative statement that they are training in it at all.

You are in Ohio. I go there occasionally. Who do you know who has it? I'd like to check them out.
Cheers
Dan

Ellis Amdur
07-24-2009, 10:23 AM
Dan Harden wrote:

Sagawa openly stating that Takeda told him not to teach it openly. He also stated a reason never to teach foreigners "They are already big and it would give them a great advantage."

The "he" in this would be Sagawa, something that seems to have been passed down among some of his most prominent successors. Takeda, on the other hand, in 1903, taught Charles Perry Daito-ryu. As written in John Steven's, Aikido: The Way of Harmony, Perry demanded a conductor check the ticket of the shabbily dressed little Japanese man in the first class compartment. Sokaku, offended, confronted Perry, who "brandished his fists." Sokaku put him in a double yonkyo, dropping him to his knees and then throwing him to the end of the car. Perry apologized and asked to learn something of the art. Does this not bespeak well of Takeda? Unlike many of his successors, he was not racist in his teaching - if someone wanted to learn, he taught.

Perry was buried in Yokohama. An acquaintance of mine, very close with his research, tried to track down Perry, and did find his landlady in Yokohama. If you are inclined to do a google search, you will find a very odd bit of serendipity. A Professor Charles E. Perry, in 1959, was beaten to death by two drunken Japanese students. Prof Perry worked at the Daito Cultural Center of St. Paul's University in Tokyo. However, Prof Perry was 51. Who knows, he might have been the elder Perry's son or grandson. Kind of an eerie coincidence, nonetheless.

Best
Ellis Amdur

Erick Mead
07-24-2009, 10:32 AM
... All that aside I continue to hope we can be civil in discussing "IT"- .... There's no reason we can't disagree but still all be civil. Objective disagreements can be civil, but that requires objective terms to argue with. Without them, we are left only to argue with conflicting subjective terms, which devolves to conflicting personal histories and perspective, which ... devolves to personal conflicts. As predictable as sunset.

The first objective term to argue is in defining "IT."

rob_liberti
07-24-2009, 10:49 AM
Objective disagreements can be civil, but that requires objective terms to argue with. Without them, we are left only to argue with conflicting subjective terms, which devolves to conflicting personal histories and perspective, which ... devolves to personal conflicts. As predictable as sunset.

The first objective term to argue is in defining "IT."

Or just meeting Dan, or Mike, etc...

"My dear Kepler, what would you say of the learned here, who, replete with the pertinacity of the asp, have steadfastly refused to cast a glance through the telescope? What shall we make of this? Shall we laugh, or shall we cry?"
--Letter from Galileo Galilei to Johannes Kepler

DH
07-24-2009, 11:09 AM
Objective disagreements can be civil, but that requires objective terms to argue with. Without them, we are left only to argue with conflicting subjective terms, which devolves to conflicting personal histories and perspective, which ... devolves to personal conflicts. As predictable as sunset.

The first objective term to argue is in defining "IT."
Hello Eric
I think you left out the part of my post where I talked about every...single...internet debater changing their minds about what "IT" is and what they though "IT" was and what they thought they knew- almost instantaneously upon feeling "IT."
This to include every teacher of martial arts I have met who upon feeling "IT" asked me to show them how to do "IT."
That's a very interesting statement to even be able to make.
Again it begs the question:
How did we manage to get hundreds of aikidoka; including senior teachers (who have felt the best in the world) to want to train "it" if they didn't feel "it" was thee "IT" that has been missing in Aikido? And then to state it is drastically improving their Aikido?
I grant you they went beyond stating it was missing in their own aikido and expanded that to state it is thee essence OF Aikido, but I think its reasonable to state they have the experience to make that judgement.
I think Mr. Scaggs dissmissal of these teachers collective efforts and ability to judge after decades in the art, fails at face value. And it leaves the question open and as yet unanswered- as it always does.
Cheers
Dan

dps
07-24-2009, 11:18 AM
Then you should have no trouble providing some youtube clips of a number of deshi in which they demonstrate these skills, no?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROXaswf5OWo

Nariyama Sensei is a deshi of Tomiki Sensei who was a deshi of O'Sensei
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PL9hQ3yuTaA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMia4J0mRJY&feature=PlayList&p=6A66156E6DF9C891&index=0&playnext=1


Heiny Sensei studied at Hombu Dojo from 1968 to 1973
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMia4J0mRJY&feature=PlayList&p=6A66156E6DF9C891&index=0&playnext=1
any of her Aikido - Principles and Techniques 1-6

David

Rennis Buchner
07-24-2009, 11:22 AM
Sagawa openly stating that Takeda told him not to teach it openly. He also stated a reason never to teach foreigners "They are already big and it would give them a great advantage."

Ironically enough Sagawa seems to have had at least one female foreign student so perhaps that only applied to men?

Random thoughts,
Rennis Buchner

dps
07-24-2009, 11:23 AM
You are in Ohio. I go there occasionally. Who do you know who has it? I'd like to check them out.
Cheers
Dan

I would recommend you go to New York to check out Yoshimitsu Yamada Sensei.

David

Erick Mead
07-24-2009, 11:31 AM
Or just meeting Dan, or Mike, etc...

"My dear Kepler, what would you say of the learned here, who, replete with the pertinacity of the asp, have steadfastly refused to cast a glance through the telescope? What shall we make of this? Shall we laugh, or shall we cry?"
--Letter from Galileo Galilei to Johannes Kepler Have you inventoried my astronomical locker ? ;)

... And yet, it was Kepler's orbital laws that got men back and forth to the moon. Kepler, who relied on Brahe's meticulous observational record and geometry, was correct about elliptical orbital mechanics and the tidal influence of the moon. Galileo, with his telescopic "direct knowledge" and assertion of the "perfection" of circular motion, was wrong. Galileo's story gets better press, but Kepler's mechanics is what gets used.

Sometimes, complete observation needs both immediacy, as well as a length of perspective and remove from the immediacy, in order to see the whole, and thus to make certain practical uses of it. Those are simple objective cautions about how to find the truth, which is never one-sided -- on which a useful discussion can be had.

Erick Mead
07-24-2009, 12:05 PM
Hello Eric
I think you left out the part of my post where I talked about every...single...internet debater changing their minds about what "IT" is and what they though "IT" was and what they thought they knew- almost instantaneously upon feeling "IT." As I said, I am attempting to remove ... or at least distance the issue from persons. Please take the following comments in that light. It is not meant to disregard the persuasiveness of these kinds of argument but to illustrate that they are just not objective -- not wrong, not ineffective -- but based on feeling (often completely legitimate feeling). They address only personal feelings or ways of rhetorically persuading about "IT", but not objective facts on what or how "it" is or should be employed. We tend therefore to end up not arguing about "IT", objectively, if we are only arguing about what we or other people feel about "it."

Again it begs the question: ... ... which is an (often very) persuasive rhetoric of feeling (pathos), but a fallacy of objectively reasoned argument (logos).

How did we manage to get hundreds of aikidoka; including senior teachers (who have felt the best in the world) to want to train "it" if they didn't feel "it" was thee "IT" that has been missing in Aikido? And then to state it is drastically improving their Aikido?Again, "4 out of 5 dentists surveyed..." compels a feeling that one ought to agree, but logically, is an objective fallacy (ad populum). It is also close to the "No true Scotsman" fallacy.

In other words, these kinds of arguments often compel the heart and perhaps correctly in a given case -- but leave the reason unsatisfied. If we are to propose constructive changes to an objective practice, I would prefer to reason together about what is lacking and how those changes should be made, rather than how we all feel about it (good or bad, for or against).

I think Mr. Scaggs dissmissal of these teachers collective efforts and ability to judge after decades in the art, fails at face value. And it leaves the question open and as yet unanswered- as it always does.Which question?

No one here is incapable of good written communication. I propose we each, in our own way, answer this question, as objectively as we are able:

"What is 'IT'?"

Then we can comment on our similarities or differences and the possible reasons for them. I have done so, and I can go on at length, but I think things are better served toward meaningful discussion, by others doing so in turn. Or, take mine apart, constructive criticism, on an objective basis, is gladly invited -- but I learn more by having to explain things than by having them explained. YMMV.

rob_liberti
07-24-2009, 12:30 PM
David, good luck in your training.

Eric, I do not disagree - I just think that you only needed to look "through the telescope" to know there is something different than what is typically believed.

Rob

dps
07-24-2009, 12:33 PM
No one here is incapable of good written communication. I propose we each, in our own way, answer this question, as objectively as we are able:

"What is 'IT'?"


Then we can comment on our similarities or differences and the possible reasons for them. I have done so, and I can go on at length, but I think things are better served toward meaningful discussion, by others doing so in turn. Or, take mine apart, constructive criticism, on an objective basis, is gladly invited -- but I learn more by having to explain things than by having them explained. YMMV.

My definition;
Latent abilities in everyone, from childbirth, that is developed (bar disease or physical impairment) to a certain degree during the growth process. The development of these abilities can be enhanced beyond normal by physical activities that require them or specific exercises designed to. The use of this physical ability is more outwardly noticed by the lack of use of external muscular strength. It is the efficient use of the internal physical structure and musculature of the body. "

David

Erick Mead
07-24-2009, 12:55 PM
My definition;
Latent abilities in everyone, from childbirth, that is developed (bar disease or physical impairment) to a certain degree during the growth process. The development of these abilities can be enhanced beyond normal by physical activities that require them or specific exercises designed to. The use of this physical ability is more outwardly noticed by the lack of use of external muscular strength. It is the efficient use of the internal physical structure and musculature of the body. "

David What is the distinction or development that makes this inherent ability more or less efficient ?

dps
07-24-2009, 12:58 PM
Which question?
I propose we each, in our own way, answer this question, as objectively as we are able:

"What is 'IT'?"

Then we can comment on our similarities or differences and the possible reasons for them. YMMV.

What is the distinction or development that makes this inherent ability more or less efficient ?

First you got to post your definition of it. :)

David

jss
07-24-2009, 01:00 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROXaswf5OWo
Yep, Shioda had the goods. Of course, he was a prewar student and technically O-sensei was still teaching Daito-ryu at the time... So I should have asked just for postwar students, but it's quite a cheap move to do so after you posted these links, so you can have Shioda.
(BTW, the lack of attention for these skills after WW II is probably the reason why so many of O-sensei's prewar students quit after WW II. Many thanks to Stanley Pranin to go interview these people.)
Nariyama Sensei is a deshi of Tomiki Sensei who was a deshi of O'Sensei
I just see a big guy performing good external aikido on a smaller guy. Here's one examples that makes me say so:
At 0:34 it's not a continuous technique. He unbalances uke through uke's grip, then changes his grip to uke's neck to fix him in position, but he's not actively unbalancing him anymore and finally he throws uke. He should be actively unbalancing uke throughout the technique no matter hoiw many times he changes grip.

Heiny Sensei studied at Hombu Dojo from 1968 to 1973
I can't tell. Very friendly ukes and poor video quality.

Do you have any more? So far we have one 'yes', one 'no' and one 'undecided'.

Erick Mead
07-24-2009, 01:01 PM
David, good luck in your training.

Eric, I do not disagree - I just think that you only needed to look "through the telescope" to know there is something different than what is typically believed.

RobThat's why your example was bit ironic -- because it was Kepler's maths that revealed what "something different than what was typically believed" actually was. The neat thing about truth is that it does not matter where you start to make inquiry. Start there, then:

"What is typically believed?"

dps
07-24-2009, 01:15 PM
Yep, Shioda had the goods. Of course, he was a prewar student and technically O-sensei was still teaching Daito-ryu at the time... So I should have asked just for postwar students, but it's quite a cheap move to do so after you posted these links, so you can have Shioda.
(BTW, the lack of attention for these skills after WW II is probably the reason why so many of O-sensei's prewar students quit after WW II. Many thanks to Stanley Pranin to go interview these people.)

I just see a big guy performing good external aikido on a smaller guy. Here's one examples that makes me say so:
At 0:34 it's not a continuous technique. He unbalances uke through uke's grip, then changes his grip to uke's neck to fix him in position, but he's not actively unbalancing him anymore and finally he throws uke. He should be actively unbalancing uke throughout the technique no matter hoiw many times he changes grip.

I can't tell. Very friendly ukes and poor video quality.

Do you have any more? So far we have one 'yes', one 'no' and one 'undecided'.

What is your definition of it?

David

jss
07-24-2009, 01:17 PM
My definition;
Latent abilities in everyone, from childbirth, that is developed (bar disease or physical impairment) to a certain degree during the growth process. The development of these abilities can be enhanced beyond normal by physical activities that require them or specific exercises designed to. The use of this physical ability is more outwardly noticed by the lack of use of external muscular strength. It is the efficient use of the internal physical structure and musculature of the body."
So basically you're saying that it's the skill (that's your first two sentences, btw) of efficient use of the internal physical structure and musculature of the body, more outwardly noticed by the lack of use of external muscular strength.

Questions:
What kind of efficiency are we talking about? Calories per throw?;)
What internal physical structure? Bones? Something else?
How do the internal physical structure and musculature of the body interact? What is it about the skillful use of the combination of these two that produces such efficiency?
If you're not using external musculature strength, where is the power coming from?

dps
07-24-2009, 01:26 PM
So basically you're saying that it's the skill (that's your first two sentences, btw) of efficient use of the internal physical structure and musculature of the body, more outwardly noticed by the lack of use of external muscular strength.


Actually I said physical ability and it was my last two sentences.


My definition;
The use of this physical ability is more outwardly noticed by the lack of use of external muscular strength. It is the efficient use of the internal physical structure and musculature of the body. "

David

What is your definition?

David

jss
07-24-2009, 01:28 PM
What is your definition of it?
To make the most use as possible of the ground (to push from) or your own weight (to weigh something down). How to do this is quite counter-intuitive, so you have to be shown. Then you can start rewiring your body (coordination and conditioning), which is another reason you can't figure this out for yourself. You need a certain amount of skill to see the implications. A person may discover one tiny element by himself, but lacking the minimum amount of skill and more importantly an overview of where it might lead to, he'll just say "Cool." and move on.

When you have developed some skill, you can begin exploring the cool stuff you can do that's not possible with normal strength, such as being unthrowable, unlockable, using uke's force to have him throw himself (=aiki), generating tremendous amounts of power without wind-up, etc.

Erick Mead
07-24-2009, 01:29 PM
So basically you're saying that it's the skill (that's your first two sentences, btw) of efficient use of the internal physical structure and musculature of the body, more outwardly noticed by the lack of use of external muscular strength.Good. Down to basics. What is 'external muscular strength'? I will state my definition, if you would be so kind.

Mike Sigman
07-24-2009, 01:30 PM
My definition;
Latent abilities in everyone, from childbirth, that is developed (bar disease or physical impairment) to a certain degree during the growth process. The development of these abilities can be enhanced beyond normal by physical activities that require them or specific exercises designed to. The use of this physical ability is more outwardly noticed by the lack of use of external muscular strength. It is the efficient use of the internal physical structure and musculature of the body. "
While there is a certain level of "intrinsic energy" (I'm not going to define that further, but I'll tell you that it refers to something tangible, not some etheric idea of "energy"), the main thing you should remember is the old saying that goes something like this:
"These skills are not intuitive; they must be learned". That pretty much stymies your definition, but the point is that the old trope about everyone's opinions being valid really doesn't work. There are set parameters and definitions of these skills. Ueshiba was validating his knowledge of the definitions by the references he made in his douka, etc., so he was well aware that he couldn't just assign arbitrary definitions.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

jss
07-24-2009, 01:36 PM
Actually I said physical ability and it was my last two sentences.
What I meant was that your first two sentences would make a decent definition of 'skill'. (But never mind, not that important.)

Mike Sigman
07-24-2009, 01:39 PM
Good. Down to basics. What is 'external muscular strength'? I will state my definition, if you would be so kind.Hold on a minute, Erick. As far as I know, nobody I know of has vouched that you can demonstrate these skills; Joep has, to my knowledge, some level of ability with these skills. I.e., you're making an assumption for us that you also have these skills and therefore your "definitions" are as valid as Joep's. I don't think your opinions are going to carry much weight until someone knowledgeable in these skills agrees that you have a legitimate grasp of the subject. Based on your theories and what you're writing (and trust me, I have enough of a background in the physical sciences to follow what you've asserted), I don't think you do have a grasp of the subject. Maybe I'm wrong.... but that remains to be seen. Meantime the rest of us have been demonstrating what we can do or know (including Joep), so why not ante-up before you make the assumed equivalency of Joep's skills and your skills?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

dps
07-24-2009, 01:46 PM
the main thing you should remember is the old saying that goes something like this:
"These skills are not intuitive; they must be learned".

Who said that?

What is your defiintion?

David

rob_liberti
07-24-2009, 01:50 PM
Erick, "What is typically believed?" is fairly well represented by David.

I'm not sure how to say this politely. So I'll try a very hypothetical approach. I wonder what would happen to David's opinion if David were to have seen someone take Yamada sensei's nikkyo and just clearly jam the stink out of it say three times in a row - while politely bending their knees and tapping to help demonstrate. Or, if David were to see someone doing kokyu tanden ho with Mary Heiny sensei and just throw her backwards off of her knees - and then switch to grabbing her forearms to keep her from actually falling over. And then I further wonder what David might think if he found out that the uke was a150 pound aikido sandan who hadn't met Dan Harden yet. And let's say that maybe that sandan could not resist ANYTHING Dan wanted to do. Would David still hold on so tightly to his beliefs? I actually kind of think he might.

Mike Sigman
07-24-2009, 01:59 PM
Who said that? Among others, Yang Cheng Fu.
What is your defiintion?
My definition of what? I'm not going to define "It" or "This stuff" because you need to specify exactly what you're trying to define. As I've noted, there are some large areas of the total skills that seem to be missed by most people on this forum, so far, so you're more than likely asking me for a partial definition of some whole thing. I did a post on this forum long ago in which I used some of the physical parameters to define/delineate the range of these skills; somebody good at forum searching (I'm not good) can probably find it. That's one type of definition and it's probably more what should be discussed when more people get on board. For the more limited types of definition, you need to be more specific for what you'd like defined.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

lbb
07-24-2009, 02:00 PM
I'm reminded of a book I once read... (http://books.google.com/books?id=Q2WN0VGG0G0C&printsec=frontcover&dq=the+doubter%27s+companion)

"Today our civilization is not slumbering in unconscious self-confidence. Rather it resembles the wounded and confused animal of the eighteenth century. We are again the prisoners of scholastic rhetoric, which has blocked useful public communications by dividing our language up into thousands of closed specialist dialects. The result is the disappearance of almost any public language that could have a real impact on structures and actions. Instead we have an illusion of unlimited oral communications which are, in practical terms, a vast and murmuring silence."

thisisnotreal
07-24-2009, 02:16 PM
I did a post on this forum long ago in which I used some of the physical parameters to define/delineate the range of these skills;

FWIW

Mike Sigman

I thought this< (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=166792&postcount=291) was an interesting one. But another post comes to mind (looking...)

FWIW

Mary, that was good. Your other (previous) post was poignant and touching. Thanks for sharing.
Josh

Mike Sigman
07-24-2009, 02:22 PM
I thought this< (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=166792&postcount=291) was an interesting one. But another post comes to mind (looking...)
Well, that was a post where I was poking a little bit of fun at Cady, who had previously told me that she could move me around, etc., by something like "getting inside me", but those criteria I mentioned in that post are a partial list of the things I was talking about:

Greatly enhanced personal strength, when done correctly and following a certain path;

The ability to put 2 fingers on top of a polished knife blade and lift up the knife;

Extraordinarily powerful "fa jin" and a number of tangents to that skill;

Difficult-to-puncture skin;

The ability to manipulate pressure pulses within the body;

There's another post somewhere that is more comprehensive than that one and mentions several other things.

FWIW

Mike

rob_liberti
07-24-2009, 03:13 PM
I am a fan of this quote from Mike:
There are essentially two things that comprise ki/qi: mental manipulation of force paths and the development of a facial-structure thingamabob that is fairly complex but which involves breathing exercises, stretches, etc. Those would, in essence, be part of the "baseline skills".

The thing is, before I met Dan, I could do a lot of things that seemed to be that kind of thing - but they were much more external than I had realized at the time - probably because "it has to be felt".

Rob

jss
07-24-2009, 03:25 PM
What is 'external muscular strength'?
Erick, it seems you're asking me to define a term from David's definition. I think you'd better ask David.:)

Mike Sigman
07-24-2009, 03:29 PM
I am a fan of this quote from Mike:
There are essentially two things that comprise ki/qi: mental manipulation of force paths and the development of a facial-structure thingamabob that is fairly complex but which involves breathing exercises, stretches, etc. Those would, in essence, be part of the "baseline skills".

The thing is, before I met Dan, I could do a lot of things that seemed to be that kind of thing - but they were much more external than I had realized at the time - probably because "it has to be felt".
And to be fair, Tohei's "ki tests" and "breathing techniques" address those essential two things, to certain degrees. So none of this is really new, in one sense, although the paucity of explanations did a lot to stop people then and now from knowing exactly what was meant.

In the same sense, these discussions about ki, kokyu, jin, "aiki", Tenchijin, etc., etc., all discuss the same essential two issues... but again only to certain degrees. In other words, I've been trying to indicate that everyone needs to understand that there's more to it and today's stances may turn out to be just as embarrassing tomorrow as some of yesterday's stances are embarrassing today. Recognizing that, maybe we'll all be cautious and balanced in what we're trying to say. ;)

Best.

Mike

Erick Mead
07-24-2009, 03:41 PM
Hold on a minute, Erick. As far as I know, nobody I know of has vouched ... Well, if vouching matters, then presumably the objective version of matters by a vouchee ought presumably be the best we can find.

Let's test that hypothesis, shall we? :)

Erick Mead
07-24-2009, 03:44 PM
Erick, it seems you're asking me to define a term from David's definition. I think you'd better ask David.:)You used it, what do YOU mean by it? He may mean something different, and that would be interesting to know. :) When you want I'll give you mine, but I am more interested in developing everyone's individual lines of thought more thoroughly, to avoid misunderstandings or to resolve some of them if possible..

jss
07-24-2009, 03:50 PM
You used it, what do YOU mean by it?
In post #176 (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=235560&postcount=176) I said:
So basically you're saying that it's the skill (that's your first two sentences, btw) of efficient use of the internal physical structure and musculature of the body, more outwardly noticed by the lack of use of external muscular strength.
<snip>
If you're not using external musculature strength, where is the power coming from?
I don't see how I need to assign any meaning to "external muscular strength" to be able to say that.

Erick Mead
07-24-2009, 04:16 PM
Erick, "What is typically believed?" is fairly well represented by David.

I'm not sure how to say this politely. ... And let's say that maybe that sandan could not resist ANYTHING Dan wanted to do. Would David still hold on so tightly to his beliefs? I actually kind of think he might.Fair and diplomatic answer. Would your hypothetical sandan say the same of (from personal experience) a certain shihan, say, near to the USAF Academy? Or of a certain rokudan in the southerly portion of this state, near a certain famous mouse? That would be interesting to know -- or if not, to know that also.

Now, more to the point, what is "it" that is different? If I may suggest try to be concrete, and as far as I am concerned, direct physical analogy is as good as mechanical lingo. If I may suggest, go at it positively, if you have a model of action in mind, or negatively, if there are models of action you know you can dispose of, and say why. To be clear, I am really just trying to help think through the variety of perspectives, very carefully, without engaging any personality issue at all.. That is not what it is about.

Erick Mead
07-24-2009, 04:23 PM
I don't see how I need to assign any meaning to "external muscular strength" to be able to say that.Plainly you don't, you are free to say what you like. I just wondered if you have a given meaning in mind when you might use it yourself, or if you don't use that phrase in this context, why not?

This issue really does matter, in my view, because there is a definite anatomical way to isolate what is "typically believed" (per Rob) to be "external muscular strength" from something else, which is not.

jss
07-24-2009, 04:44 PM
I just wondered if you have a given meaning in mind when you might use it yourself, or if you don't use that phrase in this context, why not?
I would not use the phrase in any context. "External muscular strength" implies that there is something like "internal muscular strength". The only way I can parse that is to think of the former as mobilizing muscle use and the latter as stabilizing muscle use. And that lands us nicely in this thread (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15991&page=3) starting from post #74, which just happens to be posted by David Skaggs. As you can read there, it works for me as an image, but I would not use it in a definition of 'it'.

dps
07-24-2009, 04:53 PM
I would not use the phrase in any context. "External muscular strength" implies that there is something like "internal muscular strength". The only way I can parse that is to think of the former as mobilizing muscle use and the latter as stabilizing muscle use. And that lands us nicely in this thread (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15991&page=3) starting from post #74, which just happens to be posted by David Skaggs. As you can read there, it works for me as an image, but I would not use it in a definition of 'it'.

To be clear that definition and mine are simplified definitions of a much more complicated definition involving the interaction of all the systems of the human body.

David

dps
07-24-2009, 04:57 PM
What I meant was that your first two sentences would make a decent definition of 'skill'. (But never mind, not that important.)

Okay, I understand.

I did not use the term 'skill to be learned' because to me that means acquiring something we do not have. I use the term " ability to develop" because I believe we already have the ability.

David

jss
07-24-2009, 05:04 PM
To be clear that definition and mine are simplified definitions of a much more complicated definition involving the interaction of all the systems of the human body.
All systems of the human body? That seems a bit vague and all-encompassing. Wikipedia produces the following list (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_systems_of_the_human_body#Major_organ_systems):
* Circulatory system
* Digestive System
* Endocrine system
* Integumentary system
* Immune system
* Lymphatic system
* Musculoskeletal system
* Muscular system
* Nervous system
* Reproductive system
* Respiratory system
* Skeletal system
* Urinary system

Erick Mead
07-24-2009, 05:09 PM
I would not use the phrase in any context. "External muscular strength" implies that there is something like "internal muscular strength". The only way I can parse that is to think of the former as mobilizing muscle use and the latter as stabilizing muscle use. And that lands us nicely in this thread (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15991&page=3) starting from post #74, which just happens to be posted by David Skaggs. As you can read there, it works for me as an image, but I would not use it in a definition of 'it'.Good. Now we are excluding things. "Muscular strength" is typically used as a negative in defining "it." Now I take it you would conclude that they operate -- but differently than is "typically believed?" OK, so far?

"Mobilizing" and "stabilizing." There several ways to look at stabilizing. Muscles can be used to stabilize joints, which is biomechanically unavoidable to exert leverage around a joint - as in a curl for instance. It is, I think, generally agreed that a curl (and by extension the associated use of joint isolation and leverage) is the antithesis of "it" in the context of our discussion.

Let me stop there to see if I exceed the realm of general agreement before we explore other varieties of stabilization.

dps
07-24-2009, 05:16 PM
All systems of the human body? That seems a bit vague and all-encompassing. Wikipedia produces the following list (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_systems_of_the_human_body#Major_organ_systems):
* Circulatory system
* Digestive System
* Endocrine system
* Integumentary system
* Immune system
* Lymphatic system
* Musculoskeletal system
* Muscular system
* Nervous system
* Reproductive system
* Respiratory system
* Skeletal system
* Urinary system

Yes. The human body is a system made up of a lot of subsystems that work together. The condition of one subsystem has an effect on all the other systems.

I prefer to keep explanations as simple as possible.
I do not think that anyone wants to go into a detail explanation of how the different systems effect each other unless it is part of your or someone else definition.

David

jss
07-24-2009, 05:23 PM
Now I take it you would conclude that they operate -- but differently than is "typically believed?"
Agreed. The muscles do operate when using 'it', but in a different way than the simple Western biomechanical view, i.e. bones and joints as levers and power coming from the muscles associated with each lever.

It is, I think, generally agreed that a curl (and by extension the associated use of joint isolation and leverage) is the antithesis of "it" in the context of our discussion.
You mean a curl like this (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/df/StandingBarbellCurl.jpg), right? The normal way of doing it (joint isolation and leverage) is antithetical to 'it', sure, but you could do that curl by using 'it' as well. 'It' has more to do with where the power comes from than with what it looks like, although where the power comes from is observable to some degree.

Erick Mead
07-24-2009, 05:55 PM
Agreed. The muscles do operate when using 'it', but in a different way than the simple Western biomechanical view, i.e. bones and joints as levers and power coming from the muscles associated with each lever. I do hope to try and broaden your view (not an uncommon one) on the horizons of "Western biomechanics" in this context.

You mean a curl like this (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/df/StandingBarbellCurl.jpg), right? The normal way of doing it (joint isolation and leverage) is antithetical to 'it', Quite so.
... sure, but you could do that curl by using 'it' as well. Good, but let's stick with "curl" as meaning the tradition leveraged one . How, if at all, would you differentiate between what is occurring in the musculature in a "curl' (in that leverage sense), and a standing snatch of the weight from suspended at the waist to the same ending position?

Mike Sigman
07-24-2009, 06:26 PM
How, if at all, would you differentiate between what is occurring in the musculature in a "curl' (in that leverage sense), and a standing snatch of the weight from suspended the waist to the same ending position?Joep, this how the "I already knew that" threads always start. Ultimately, it's the students that get caught in these debates.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Erick Mead
07-24-2009, 06:33 PM
Joep, this how the "I already knew that" threads always start. Ultimately, it's the students that get caught in these debates.It is not a debate. There is no proposition to be defended, it is a civil (and it seems, useful) clarifying conversation.

Why suggest foreclosing the conversation just as it gets started in earnest ? If that is not what you meant -- and you intend to offer additional clarification, what do you suggest?

Mike Sigman
07-24-2009, 06:58 PM
Why suggest foreclosing the conversation just as it gets started in earnest ? If that is not what you meant -- and you intend to offer additional clarification, what do you suggest?I think that you've proffered your "angular momentum" and other theories, Erick. Frankly, if you'll notice by the lack of response, none of that seems to work. The assumption by you seems to be that all theories are equally valid. I don't think so. In fact, I think that until someone has established their bona fides in terms of replicating the same demonstrations, etc., that Ueshiba, Tohei, Shioda, etc., have done, it's vague to argue that "we're all talking about the same things".

I can read from others about demonstrations by Ikeda, Ushiro, Dan, Akuzawa, and many others, and I can shrug and say, "sounds like they're doing legitimate jin/kokyu to me". There is nothing to indicate from anyone that you're doing the same demonstrations, nor is there anything in your descriptions that rings a bell to me that you're doing the same thing everyone else is talking about. Hence, your comments that assume your perspective of describing things is as valid as anyone else's strikes me as an argument that you've never established any basis for. So I've brought up the question.... again, as in the past.

The question to Joep seems to be more like a quest for information. Maybe I'm wrong. Convince me otherwise... preferably by meeting with others, as has been suggested to you by various people over the years.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Erick Mead
07-24-2009, 11:55 PM
I think that you've proffered your "angular momentum" and other theories, Erick. Frankly, if you'll notice by the lack of response, none of that seems to work. Lack of response = does not work? or = has not been understood? I'll take my share of blame if I have not been understood, and am trying at the moment to be sure I remedy that if it were the case.
The assumption by you seems to be that all theories are equally valid. Hardly. Some are flat out wrong. If mine is so wrong -- it should be easy to show. Please do. I'll be the better for the correction.

In fact, I think that until someone has established their bona fides... it's vague to argue that "we're all talking about the same things". So an effort to be "less vague" in what we are all talking about -- be it the same or be it different -- is a problem ... how?

There is nothing to indicate from anyone that you're doing the same demonstrations, nor is there anything in your descriptions that rings a bell to me that you're doing the same thing everyone else is talking about. So shownmanship is the key to skills, then ? :) Doubt demonstrates nothing. I haven't offered that for your judgment, though the fact concerns me not nearly as much as it does you. Why is that? I study, I observe and train. I think carefully, physically and conceptually. Judge that as critically as you care to and with as much challenge as you have to offer. We will all benefit from that -- doubt teaches nothing.

The question to Joep seems to be more like a quest for information. Maybe I'm wrong. You are wrong. It is Socratic dialogue. Hopefully, he'll ask me narrowing and clarifying questions in turn we can all challenge each other to be clear and speak in common rather than past one another, toward a mutual endeavor rather than baseless suspicion causing recurring opportunities for misunderstanding.

dalen7
07-25-2009, 04:13 AM
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

Not in the system of DaiKido [dalens thai aikido] :)
Just kidding, but seriously, as someone pointed out - it really seems where you put your focus.

To a large degree, yes a certain branch of Aikido may have a bigger gap in one area that you have to seek out on your own... kind of like taking the best of all the above and mix and matching it to your taste.

This is not really a fault, per say, in the systems - as much as its a reflection of what Aikido is to them in their current understandings.

Personally I would take what I know and if it were possible go check out some of the other styles. [I would love to do Ki Aikido, but I could not see that being an exclusive, all encompassing method of Aikido for me.]

In the same token Yoshinkan has an appeal as they actually take the time to drill down methods, which you can later add the flow to.

And Yoseikan mixes arts, from my understanding, and again seems to fill a gap the rest of Aikido has in terms of a 'fuller' fight system is concerned. [Throw in this mix Tomiki for the sport aspect, as the these two seem to compliment one another.]

So... in a sense its as if Aikido is split off in different areas of interest... If you want the full meal deal, you have to go the extra mile, and then if you were to open up a dojo you would more than likely see yourself splitting them back down to suite the interest of the students coming to you. [not everyone seeks the larger package, and this is fine... everything has a fit.]

Never heard of Korindo, reminds me of the word coriander.
Did a wiki search and it had one full sentence on this art. [maybe its the art of secrecy?] :)

Peace

dAlen

Mike Sigman
07-25-2009, 07:41 AM
You are wrong. It is Socratic dialogue. It looks to me more like the start of another futile discussion where you insist that you have good ki/kokyu skills while presenting idiosyncratic theories, not understanding the common dialogue, and so forth. I just think it's easier to avoid another fruitless discussion that is based, as far as I can tell, purely on your own assertion of "I do that already". Why not just meet up with some people and establish a common dialogue, as has been suggested to you for several years? Think of all the positive aspects of such a meeting with, say, Ikeda Sensei.

Socratic dialogue doesn't work real well, BTW, with a topic that has long been described in Asia as something that must be transmitted by feel. But you probably already knew that.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Erick Mead
07-25-2009, 08:58 AM
It looks to me more like the start of another futile discussion -- Only if you insist. :)

Think of all the positive aspects of such a meeting with, say, Ikeda Sensei. Met him, thanks. I am quite certain I got much more out of it than he did. What positive aspects would you emphasize?

Socratic dialogue doesn't work real well, BTW, with a topic that has long been described in Asia as something that must be transmitted by feel. But you probably already knew that. And yet, funnily enough, in Philaeus and Meno Socrates did a fair turn on the purely perceptual category of "color" ... as did Aristotle in de Anima, so let's not abandon all hope on those grounds just yet, shall we?

The East has no monopoly on applicable physical wisdom. The West has long abandoned the Eastern cultural habit of secrecy or misdirection , which is fully admitted and present on these topics. So the discussion could be fruitful. Who knows? One of the reasons that the West prevailed in the breadth of applicable physical understanding, winning over both the Indians and the Chinese, is that inquiry is conducted without any guarantee of a particular intended result or even the prospect of success, and without concern over "bona fides" other than good reasoning and good data.

The only failure that does not teach is a failure to attempt.

Erick Mead
07-25-2009, 10:23 AM
While I realize that the sense of an unexamined conformity to a false (or misunderstood) idea is part of this general (and useful) criticism of mainline Aikido, everyone devoted to such a cause should be just as aware that this is a universal human bias. Rebels against the system are no more insulated from risk for unexamined conformity on their own issues than are the 'benighted' mainline adherents.

http://tierneylab.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/23/researcher-condemns-conformity-among-his-peers/?ref=instapundit

In other words, it may pay to be kind to skeptics with information one doesn't have or hasn;t considered, even if one wishes to prove (and firmly believes) they are thoroughly wrong in what that information may mean.

After all, you were one, once.

jss
07-25-2009, 11:05 AM
I do hope to try and broaden your view (not an uncommon one) on the horizons of "Western biomechanics" in this context.
That would be interesting. (But note I did say "simple Western biomechanics"; I realize the field has progressed beyond the simple idea of levers.)
How, if at all, would you differentiate between what is occurring in the musculature in a "curl' (in that leverage sense), and a standing snatch of the weight from suspended at the waist to the same ending position?
In a standing snatch you add a rocking-like motion to the curl, so that you lift the weight using the combined power of the curl and the projecting/throwing of the hands upwards. Both are definitely not 'it'.

Sy Labthavikul
07-25-2009, 11:41 AM
In a standing snatch you add a rocking-like motion to the curl, so that you lift the weight using the combined power of the curl and the projecting/throwing of the hands upwards. Both are definitely not 'it'.

Having done my fair share of hanging snatches (a snatch with weight starting at waist height), I don't think this is an accurate description of whats going on, even on a simple level. "Curling" or bicep flexion plays only a very small part of the overall movement. The hanging snatch is like an explosive wave of a bunch of different muscles firing in sequence.

As taught to me by my lifting coach, the hanging snatch starts with an explosive hip extension, utilizing mostly the hamstrings and glutes, as if you were pelvic thrusting the bar, simultaneously driving the heels into the ground. Its less a muscular contraction and more focusing on locking out the hips. His words were "Like a folding chair being kicked and locked open." That provides the initial momentum, after that the wave almost immediately rides up to the upper back as the lifter performs a massive shrug, where the trapezius, rear and lateral deltoids, and all the other random muscles stabilizing the scapula and shoulder girdle pull upward on the bar. There is some bicep flexion here, but in no way like an isolated curl; if anything, its just to facilitate the elbows moving directly upward, helping to "pull" with the shoulder shrug at the apex of the "catapult" provided by the hip extension. At this point the bar is flying close to the body near the chest level; at this point, I was taught to completely relax, let the bar ride up more, then dive beneath and catch it.

I was also told that if my arms felt sore after a snatch workout, I was doing the exercise wrong, as I was using muscles in isolation. Especially considering a person can usually snatch a weight far, far greater than he or she can bicep curl.

I would say snatches, and most Olympic style lifts, are less about levers and more about compressed springs; a seesaw versus a catapult. Most of the work is done by the posterior chain of hamstrings, lower and upper back.

Erick Mead
07-25-2009, 11:50 AM
That would be interesting. (But note I did say "simple Western biomechanics"; I realize the field has progressed beyond the simple idea of levers.)There is more it is true, but one need not go too far, actually to begin with -- in every pinned lever, there is developed a concurrent shear moment.

In a standing snatch you add a rocking-like motion to the curl, so that you lift the weight using the combined power of the curl and the projecting/throwing of the hands upwards. Both are definitely not 'it'.That is how many weight lifters might describe doing a snatch. Further narrowing. But to clarify, do I presume correctly that you would say that both together (curl and throw) are not 'it'-- and that neither alone are 'it' either?

The point is to isolate as many known mechanics that might be misconstrued and see what is left. What thoughts do you have on Sy's description ? -- Can you describe your way of performing the curl or snatch with aiki -- or if you haven't thought about it in quite that way -- simply do it and then describe it after paying attention to what is different from what you described for the weight lifter -- either curling or snatching.

Lee Salzman
07-25-2009, 12:46 PM
Erick, the funny thing is, we don't see martial artists going and setting powerlifting or weightlifting records in these specialized lifts, because with respect to the conditions of the lifts, the competitive ways of performing the lift are pretty much maximally effective.

The competitive lifter's understanding of making things move involves far more understanding of the spectrum of relaxation, tension, and motion than most martial artists I have encountered seem to assume. So it might be said many aikidoka could benefit from the understanding therein, even if it was never within aikido before, and as such, some might feel it could be an understanding that is also "missing" . This understanding is not just intellectual or even intuitive, it is a level of control of the body they have, especially at the competitive levels, that can't be reproduced unless it is trained in over time, and by that nature overlaps with a spectrum of what is considered "internal" study.

Sy's description was really good. Though lifting a bar, and, say, a sandbag in this manner are way different - the weight can have hugely different properties. Even the bar's manufacturer matters - some of the better competition bars are extremely flexible, whereas cheaper ones or powerlifting bars tend to be far stiffer - and even how much the sleeves of the bar roll the weight varies a lot too. It would be fair to say that no two weights are really alike, and that a human doesn't behave like a barbell and has a behavior that changes drastically depending on what you are doing to it.

Mike Sigman
07-25-2009, 01:50 PM
In other words, it may pay to be kind to skeptics with information one doesn't have or hasn;t considered, even if one wishes to prove (and firmly believes) they are thoroughly wrong in what that information may mean.
There's a peripheral subtopic in the ki/kokyu/qi/jin skills discussion that has to do with judging someone else's level. Essentially it boils down to watching what someone does wrong (through feel or action) or what they say that indicates what they know and don't know. What someone does or says may indicate no knowledge of the skills, some knowledge of the skills, a lot of knowledge, and so on. But "look for what they do or say wrong" is the way evaluations are normally made. The person who makes the mistakes is usually unaware of the mistakes he's made and may think that his words or actions leave no indication of his true knowledge, but, depending upon the level of the observer, usually it's clearer than many people think.

In the topic of "Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido", I've had an interesting time watching this whole phenomenon, partially because of my past affiliation with Aikido and partially because I still have some good friends who have continued doing Aikido, lo these many years. But it's also interesting because the whole ki/kokyu/qi/jin thing is sort of a once-in-a-lifetime event.

In the case of Aikido, one of the big questions is how this body of skill was mostly lost, particularly in the West. Koichi Tohei made a concerted effort to use this baseline skillset as a keystone to his Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido and even though he described a lot of aspects metaphysically, there was enough information presented that it should have clued a lot of people. I was in Aikido in some of those days and I can say unequivocally that the ego and politics of many Aikidoists in the U.S. was a large part of why this essential information was trivialized and dismissed. That was a real case of information overlooked... information from the previous head instructor of mainline Aikido under Ueshiba.

The last few years have been interesting to watch. If people think back to, what, 2005 I think, there was an interesting gauntlet involving conformity of speaking, "outsiders", "what rank do you have?", "my teacher G. Sensei already does all that and he taught me to do it, too", "I don't like you personally", "we already do that and if you want lessons, you have to come to my dojo," and so on. Watching the process has been intriguing.

At the present time, there's a bit of turmoil. Once people get even a rudimentary understanding/ability in the ki/kokyu skills, it becomes very obvious that these skills are indeed baseline and, worse yet, many credentialed 'experts' don't know these baseline skills. So we're in the middle of a transition. Will everyone care or bother to get involved in these baseline skills? No. Most people in Aikido do not and will not care. They are happy with their "Aikido" for whatever it is, whatever their Sensei tells them it is, and so on; they are not curious beyond that. But leaving that large group of Aikidoists aside, what about the rest who tend to be more serious?

Overall, the entrance of the ki/kokyu skills into Aikido has some large ramifications. There is going to be the unavoidable recognition that many well-credentialed practitioners are missing something that should have been basic in Aikido (rest easy... other arts are in the same pickle). Much of the serious literature about Aikido (and other arts) is going to have to be revised. Some people will adapt by gathering a few tricks here and there and claiming they have parity of expertise with everyone else. People with varying levels of information will begin to form coalitions and minor fiefdoms. And so on. The role-playing and politics will adjust accordingly. ;)

On the plus side, as the skills really get good, I think Aikidoists will drop the minor love-affairs with Systema, Daito Ryu, MMA, etc.

My thinking is that during these initial stages where some of western Aikido recovers the ki-skills, it will be chaotic and efforts have to be made to keep the information from instigating more factionalizing (and hence becoming limited again). Along those lines of thought, I personally try to forestall potential factionalizers by making sure that there is more or better information outside of their circles. Ultimately, in my opinion, once the noise subsides and the outsiders' (that includes me) influence contracts, I think the heir-apparent is and should be Hiroshi Ikeda. So I tend to watch what happens at the Boulder Aikikai, for the moment.

Overall, in regard to "information", I think, as I've said a few times already, that there is more information about the topic than I've seen anyone indicate (some posts and opinions would not have been made by someone with more information, IMO). There are going to be a number of people advertising (or their sychophants advertising for them) during this transition and afterward that they have all the information. I'd recommend that everyone take everything with a grain of salt and think carefully how various skills could and *should* be used in Aikido. Don't get me wrong... these are good times for Aikido, despite the turmoil; the turmoil is unavoidable.

YMMV

Mike Sigman

jss
07-25-2009, 02:20 PM
There is more it is true, but one need not go too far, actually to begin with -- in every pinned lever, there is developed a concurrent shear moment.
Cool, but what does the shear add to the equation (pun intended)?
But to clarify, do I presume correctly that you would say that both together (curl and throw) are not 'it'-- and that neither alone are 'it' either?
Correct.

What thoughts do you have on Sy's description ?
A lot better than mine, but it's still a throw and thus not 'it'.

Can you describe your way of performing the curl or snatch with aiki -- <snip>
No can do. Aiki requires the force input of another human being. (Animal would work as well - although differently, with the four legs and all. Or I should start practicing on chickens?:D )

Lee Salzman
07-25-2009, 03:28 PM
Mike, seriously, what is the beef with Erick proposing a hypothesis about what he sees as a predictive model of aikido? I don't see him claiming it fully explains everything there is to know, or that it is the ultimate explanation for what every other or one particular martial artist can do, only that he sees predictive value in it. If you can debunk Erick's proposal on the merit of the concepts, then do so on the grounds of his proposed concepts, but otherwise it is throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

Steering a discussion of whether people feel something is missing in the understanding of aikido into the pigeon-hole of knowledge having to come from a lineage of specific origin does far more harm than good, especially if there is a conceit that everyone else must feel there is one specific thing missing to the exclusion of all else, however right or wrong or utilitarian the view. It just silences and bullies new attempts at (re-)understanding and turns into an echo chamber. It is getting to feel like if you don't claim you can start fires with your mind, that your opinion immediately gets shot down around here.

Misogi-no-Gyo
07-25-2009, 03:32 PM
Or just meeting Dan, or Mike, etc...

"My dear Kepler, what would you say of the learned here, who, replete with the pertinacity of the asp, have steadfastly refused to cast a glance through the telescope? What shall we make of this? Shall we laugh, or shall we cry?"
--Letter from Galileo Galilei to Johannes Kepler

Of course, if the telescope is pointed at the ground, they might have excitedly remarked, "Alas, we have discovered a giant 2nd moon!" What the ultimate value of that would end up being, as well mannered as they may have been is probably on the level of whomever it was that proffered up the idea of "humors" being responsible for disease...

Point in fact, that Dan, Mike, Akuzawa Sensei... and the "hundreds of whom-evers, be they highly recognized aikidoka of any rank, or practitioners of any other art, are still in no place to determine if the "IT" being spoken on here is at the foundation of Aikido or not.
O-Sensei did forward his art to specific teachers, and believe it or not, there actually is a list. You might be surprised by who is on it, but I am positive that many would be completely dumbfounded by who is not on the list.

O-Sensei left very clear markers for those looking to find "IT" so they would know exactly how to do so. Unfortunately, what would be required to assemble these foundational concepts is beyond most people's will, free time, innate ability and mind set. Most can't even see what was put right in front of them to see - and I am not kidding, there are actual, real "signs" maybe even in neon, or back lit that state where to find these things. However, they won't be found on the internet. The bottom line, even with the best of intent, the purist of hearts and the clearest of minds, many will not be able to ever develop the skill level and abilities of the "IT" at the center of Aikido.

What I can say is that unless Dan or Mike or Akuzawa Sensei went to a very small subset of O-Sensei's Deshi, they and their very well-meaning and talented groups are in no real place to determine if the "IT" they are working with is even part of the "IT" that O-Sensei put forward. I am not judging them or their "IT" but I am most certainly questioning the logic used (over, and over and over... and over) whereby they use people who, by their own admission, can't possibly be in the know because they are looking outside of the art for an answer that is not found there, an answer that they have also admitted they do not know, nor have they directly experienced.

Again, I am not judging anyone's abilities or talents nor denying the usefulness in going out and training with anyone not from their organization or art form. I would always recommend it at some levels. At the same time, I have been told that the "IT" that maybe being discussed here is simply not is what at the source of the Aiki in Aikido. I want to be clear, I am not talking about the non-physical component, nor the spiritual side, or the philosophical side of things. I am talking about the actual physical generation, culmination and application of the Aiki within Aikido. Of course, you are free to take that as you will. I am sure there are those who in reading this have already shaken their heads back and forth in denial. What they hope to see with their telescopes pointed at the ground, I cannot say...

What say you?

...best in training to all.

.

Mike Sigman
07-25-2009, 03:40 PM
Mike, seriously, what is the beef with Erick proposing a hypothesis about what he sees as a predictive model of aikido? Hi Lee:

Well, note that Erick's hypothesis has little to support it other than assertion. That's the beef. The demonstrations Ikeda makes, the descriptions of Dan's demonstrations, Ushiro's, Tohei's, Shioda's, etc., etc., all hang together with classical traditional phenomena and classical descriptions AND there has been interplay between a number of those people so that there is satisfactory agreement that they're all talking about and (mostly) doing things based on the same general principles.

Erick's descriptions are simple assertions by himself that he is doing the same things, yet his explanations (even the math and physics ones) mean nothing. Opening a door involves "angular momentum" and shear forces, so that sort of description tells us nothing. So when Erick enters debates that hinge upon the *assumption* that he is doing the same thing (no supporting indicators and no one with known skills has vouched for Erick on the forum), then it's a valid question, don't you think? Or are you suggesting that Erick shouldn't be questioned because all explanations are equally valid?

Regards,

Mike

jss
07-25-2009, 03:46 PM
O-Sensei left very clear markers for those looking to find "IT" so they would know exactly how to do so. Unfortunately, what would be required to assemble these foundational concepts is beyond most people's will, free time, innate ability and mind set. Most can't even see what was put right in front of them to see - and I am not kidding, there are actual, real "signs" maybe even in neon, or back lit that state where to find these things.
This is starting to sound like a Dan Brown novel.;)

Misogi-no-Gyo
07-25-2009, 03:50 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROXaswf5OWo

Nariyama Sensei is a deshi of Tomiki Sensei who was a deshi of O'Sensei
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PL9hQ3yuTaA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMia4J0mRJY&feature=PlayList&p=6A66156E6DF9C891&index=0&playnext=1

Heiny Sensei studied at Hombu Dojo from 1968 to 1973
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMia4J0mRJY&feature=PlayList&p=6A66156E6DF9C891&index=0&playnext=1
any of her Aikido - Principles and Techniques 1-6

David

Personally, I didnt' see "IT" in any of the videos you provided links to. With all due respect, David, You may want to go and visit with Dan, or Mike or Akuzawa Sensei if you have the opportunity so you can, at the very least have some common ground in terms of moving the conversation forward, but more importantly in terms of opening up your own training to levels higher than simplistic ju-jistu level waza.

...best in training to all.

.

Lee Salzman
07-25-2009, 03:54 PM
Hi Lee:

Well, note that Erick's hypothesis has little to support it other than assertion. That's the beef. The demonstrations Ikeda makes, the descriptions of Dan's demonstrations, Ushiro's, Tohei's, Shioda's, etc., etc., all hang together with classical traditional phenomena and classical descriptions AND there has been interplay between a number of those people so that there is satisfactory agreement that they're all talking about and (mostly) doing things based on the same general principles.


But there is an assertion in what you are saying here about these specific people, phenomena, and descriptions are, and also the understanding of your audience as to what those things are. As I see it, you have an equal burden of proof for these things to explain why you hold these opinions without appealing to the authority of others if you are trying to convince others of your position, and the superiority of that position over Erick's. You are not Ushiro, Tohei, Shioda, Dan, Ikeda, or any number of other people... you are you... so implicitly asking that people go to these sources to validate your opinion for you in their minds, without leaving open the possibility that they might actually see these people and disagree with you, is a fallacy to me.


Erick's descriptions are simple assertions by himself that he is doing the same things, yet his explanations (even the math and physics ones) mean nothing. Opening a door involves "angular momentum" and shear forces, so that sort of description tells us nothing. So when Erick enters debates that hinge upon the *assumption* that he is doing the same thing (no supporting indicators and no one with known skills has vouched for Erick on the forum), then it's a valid question, don't you think? Or are you suggesting that Erick shouldn't be questioned because all explanations are equally valid?

Regards,

Mike

I am saying that nobody is yet distinctly questioning Erick at all, but rather pointing to their own opinions and saying, "I am right, so you must be wrong."

Mike Sigman
07-25-2009, 03:55 PM
What I can say is that unless Dan or Mike or Akuzawa Sensei went to a very small subset of O-Sensei's Deshi, they and their very well-meaning and talented groups are in no real place to determine if the "IT" they are working with is even part of the "IT" that O-Sensei put forward. I am not judging them or their "IT" but I am most certainly questioning the logic used (over, and over and over... and over) whereby they use people who, by their own admission, can't possibly be in the know because they are looking outside of the art for an answer that is not found there, an answer that they have also admitted they do not know, nor have they directly experienced.

Again, I am not judging anyone's abilities or talents nor denying the usefulness in going out and training with anyone not from their organization or art form. I would always recommend it at some levels. At the same time, I have been told that the "IT" that maybe being discussed here is simply not is what at the source of the Aiki in Aikido. I want to be clear, I am not talking about the non-physical component, nor the spiritual side, or the philosophical side of things. I am talking about the actual physical generation, culmination and application of the Aiki within Aikido. Well, here's a snippet from the story of Ueshiba standing 'immoveable' against the push of Tenryu, the Sumo wrestler:

... I asked someone at my side who this person was. It was explained to me that he was the famous Tenryu who had withdrawn from the Sumo Wrestler's Association. I was then introduced to him. Finally, we ended up pitting our strength against each other. I sat down and said to Tenryu, "Please try to push me over. Push hard, there's no need to hold back." Since I knew the secret of Aikido, I could not be moved an inch.

I know how that's done and it's called "the secret of Aikido" by Ueshiba and Ueshiba has demonstrated it on film numerous times (along with related demos), as has Tohei, and others. Worse yet, these skills are known all over Asia by numerous people and they're always part of "ki" (as in "Ai-ki-do"), so I toss the ball back you to explain how we got so far off. Or did we?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
07-25-2009, 03:58 PM
I am saying that nobody is yet distinctly questioning Erick at all, but rather pointing to their own opinions and saying, "I am right, so you must be wrong."

Ah. Well, you might as well include me also in that group of people I named. And I can name many more who think this is all fairly basic and are in agreement about what is happening. That's not an "appeal to authority", but I can see how someone who may not know how to do these things may think that all views are valid.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

jss
07-25-2009, 04:05 PM
With all due respect, David, You may want to go and visit with Dan, or Mike or Akuzawa Sensei if you have the opportunity so you can, at the very least have some common ground in terms of moving the conversation forward, but more importantly in terms of opening up your own training to levels higher than simplistic ju-jistu level waza.
Shaun, now you've got me confused. Aren't you leading him astray with that advice as you have also said:
At the same time, I have been told that the "IT" that maybe being discussed here is simply not is what at the source of the Aiki in Aikido. I want to be clear, I am not talking about the non-physical component, nor the spiritual side, or the philosophical side of things. I am talking about the actual physical generation, culmination and application of the Aiki within Aikido.

Misogi-no-Gyo
07-25-2009, 04:11 PM
Erick, "What is typically believed?" is fairly well represented by David.

I'm not sure how to say this politely. So I'll try a very hypothetical approach. I wonder what would happen to David's opinion if David were to have seen someone take Yamada sensei's nikkyo and just clearly jam the stink out of it say three times in a row - while politely bending their knees and tapping to help demonstrate. Or, if David were to see someone doing kokyu tanden ho with Mary Heiny sensei and just throw her backwards off of her knees - and then switch to grabbing her forearms to keep her from actually falling over. And then I further wonder what David might think if he found out that the uke was a150 pound aikido sandan who hadn't met Dan Harden yet. And let's say that maybe that sandan could not resist ANYTHING Dan wanted to do. Would David still hold on so tightly to his beliefs? I actually kind of think he might.

... :straightf

LMFAO!

....:straightf

But he does travel a lot which strangely offers credence to what my teacher said many years ago, "...If you don't want to get hit, don't be there.

.

Misogi-no-Gyo
07-25-2009, 05:02 PM
I'm reminded of a book I once read... (http://books.google.com/books?id=Q2WN0VGG0G0C&printsec=frontcover&dq=the+doubter%27s+companion)

"Today our civilization is not slumbering in unconscious self-confidence. Rather it resembles the wounded and confused animal of the eighteenth century. We are again the prisoners of scholastic rhetoric, which has blocked useful public communications by dividing our language up into thousands of closed specialist dialects. The result is the disappearance of almost any public language that could have a real impact on structures and actions. Instead we have an illusion of unlimited oral communications which are, in practical terms, a vast and murmuring silence."

To me this quote sounds like it comes from someone who just wasn't happy that they weren't in on the joke... Sorry, but common languages we have all day long, for whatever value they may serve in most cases developing one can and often does bring things to a grinding halt all in the name of "progress". I am thankful that although mass mediocrity is always determined to pull things down to the lowest common denominator, there are things, as in this case that can not be as the masses are not privy to a level of conversation that they can not see, hear or even understand. Thank goodness for that, as specialized subject matters which are quietly passed from generation to generation are not subject to outside review and as such, bastardization and mindless and political "adjustments" by those not qualified to make such decisions.

I typically find it ironic when I see who makes and supports such positions and get to see and feel their martial arts... I am hopeful to one day be surprised to find one not in conjunction with the other, but have yet to be.

...best in training to all.

.

dps
07-25-2009, 05:24 PM
Personally, I didnt' see "IT" in any of the videos you provided links to. With all due respect, David, You may want to go and visit with Dan, or Mike or Akuzawa Sensei if you have the opportunity so you can, at the very least have some common ground in terms of moving the conversation forward, but more importantly in terms of opening up your own training to levels higher than simplistic ju-jistu level waza.

...best in training to all.

.

I would like this thread to be less like this tv show:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZgTk6pReeM

and more like this tv show;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJRNkCWJl68

What is your definition of IT Shaun?

David

Sy Labthavikul
07-25-2009, 06:42 PM
A running back with the ball is deep at the 20, zoning in for the touchdown. The only person in his way is a bullet of a defensive back right behind him, who's got the running back in his sights and is closing the distance fast. The running back keeps his beeline for the end zone. The defender sees his opportunity and dives for the tackle, but the running back manages to evade it with a slight twist of his hips and runs on true for the 6. Is this "IT"? Is this aiki?

Chen Xiaowang of Chen village is balanced on one foot as another man pushes quite audibly on him. Chen Xiaowang stands his ground and doesn't budge. This is surely "IT" but is it aiki? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldH40uF_f28)

Roy Dean is rolling with his BJJ teacher, Roy Harris. Their BJJ style is relaxed and wastes little energy. Dean is about to put Harris into an arm bar but doesn't quite have the right setup, as Harris keeps his arm bent and close to his centerline above his head; meanwhile, Harris grabs Dean's leg and puts painful pressure on Dean's ankle using the top of his head. Is this "IT"? Is this aiki? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RuXLocNAkg)

Mohammed Ali and James Toney use rope-a-dope to tire out their opponents, lying on the ropes and using their superior defense and stamina to take punishing blows without much damage, waiting for their opponent to tire and potshotting whenever an opening presents itself. Is this "IT"? Is this aiki?

A matador uses his red cape to lead a charging, enraged bull safely past him. Is this "IT"? Is this aiki?

Wing Tsun practitioners practice chi sau, sticky hands drills, using tactile sensitivity and ingrained instinctual motor responses to form bridges with their partner, sense motion and intention, and respond accordingly. Their bodies don't deviate much from the centerline. The punches come fast and intense. Is this "IT"? Is this aiki?

An old farmer who cannot weigh much more than 150 lbs has spent the majority of his life carrying heavy sacks of grain long distances around his farm and will continue to do so up until the day he dies. Is this "IT"? Is this "aiki"?

Taichichuan practitioners train in push hands, moving slowly and fluidly. They circle and spiral around each other, each seeking to unbalance the other. Is this "IT"? Is this aiki?

A cook is carrying a heavy pot of veal broth in his hands and has difficulty opening a heavy swinging door to get into the freezer. He leans his side up against the door, braces his feet, and pushes with his legs, popping open the door far enough to allow him to slip inside. Is this "IT"? Is this aiki?

A circus performer is forming the base of a human tower, the feet of his fellow performers planted firmly on each others shoulders. He is supporting close to 5 times his own bodyweight. Is this "IT"? Is this aiki?

I don't presume to know the answer to any of these questions, and I'm not trying to cleverly construct some sort of argument with rhetorical questions. I'd just like examples of "IT" and aiki. Is one a method of obtaining the other? Is it the only method? Are they the same thing? If not, can you have one and not the other?

mathewjgano
07-25-2009, 07:17 PM
I would like this thread to be less like this tv show:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZgTk6pReeM

and more like this tv show;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJRNkCWJl68

David

I agree...and I realize this says more about the voice in my head than the conversations I've been reading (in this and other threads), but so often these threads read like infomercials to me. I'm a skimmer here on Aikiweb so I realize I miss a lot and that makes it hard to be very spot on to begin with, but I rarely read anything (on "it") that isn't vague or useless to people who aren't in the know already...apart from go out, find it, feel it and keep training it continually.
How much do you suppose these threads can reveal? (As opposed to entice with secrets). Is the enticement bad when it inspires folks to check out new information?

Misogi-no-Gyo
07-25-2009, 07:23 PM
This is starting to sound like a Dan Brown novel.;)

Joep,

That is quite funny! However, I am glad you stated your critique of my post as such in that nothing could be further from the truth! I really like Ellis Amdur's book title, Hidden in plain sight quite well. To me it is the double meaning of the title which I love so much. I certainly hope, and do imagine that Ellis, himself thought this through completely. You see, there really is nothing hidden at all. It is, however ironic, clearly based upon where you look and if you have the capacity to see what is right in front of you. When it comes to the markings I speak of I mean they are really actual signs, you know like as in storefronts that tell you where to find O-Sensei's Aikido. When someone explained to me where to look, sure enough... there they were, all lit up for everyone to see. The truth is MOST PEOPLE ARE NOT LOOKING... and this is no different than when O-Sensei, himself was looking for those who could bring his Aikido forward.

...but I really would love to write a story using your general idea about how Aikido, hidden in plain sight (as it is not) might be rediscovered should it actually have been hidden for some secret reason and revealed in a controversial novel. I am sure it will get as furiously rejected by whatever Aikido version of "Rome" that there might be and denounced as heresy by the Aikido scholars and the almighty historians devoted to their own cover stories and press releases. Conversely, I am sure there won't be the press that the Da Vinci Code received. In any case I will have a good laugh at their expense.

...best in training to all.

.

dps
07-25-2009, 07:40 PM
How much do you suppose these threads can reveal?

A lot, as long as there is objective common reference points that everyone can understand. Regardless how much you agree with the definition, it is a starting point that most people are able to understand.


(As opposed to entice with secrets). Is the enticement bad when it inspires folks to check out new information?

I am not enticed by the explanation " It is a secret, I can show you" ( reminds of of sideshows at he county fair), I am enticed by an explanation that is openly discussed in seeking the truth.

David

Misogi-no-Gyo
07-25-2009, 07:50 PM
I would like this thread to be less like this tv show:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZgTk6pReeM

and more like this tv show;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJRNkCWJl68

What is your definition of IT Shaun?

David

Well, David... I don't like TV, especially the spoon-fed, morally wounded, drivel proffered up by multi-national, agenda driven media and advertising companies, such as the two examples you put forward. However, the cigarette stuff is quite ironic to me. See, to me, cigarettes are like handguns in that cigarettes cause cancer in about the same way that handguns kill people - they don't. See cigarettes don't cause cancer, someone smoking them gives themselves cancer. In other words, stupid people die because they are too stupid to stop doing stupid things... to themselves. When it comes to this discussion, it becomes glaringly obvious when someone just can't see the forest or the trees because they haven't really ventured out of the city, where there are neither of any real consequence. In reading all of your posts, and as many of Eric's that I can stand reading some amount past the first few sentences it has become most obvious that you prefer the importance of constructing a proper argument (not arguing, mind you) rather than contributing anything of real substance or allowing anything substantive to sink down in and letting it rearrange your DNA or open your eyes enough to stop your mouth from formulating pointless chatter. This is not meant of a criticism of you personally, nor your actual understanding of the subject matter. Rather it is a condemnation of the style of the posts, which I am sure are put forth with the best of spirits and intentions.

With regards to this conversation, I liken the examples to what is often referred to in the IT industry as "PEBKAC" In other words, when asked what is wrong, the correct response is

Problem
Exists
Between
Keyboard
and
Chair

You don't like the discussion, and that is clear. You want it to be one way, when in fact, if it were that way, nothing would ever be understood on any foundational level, and the conversation would never move forward. It doesn't matter to me why you want it that way, because it will not ever be that way. See with many Aikidoka on the internet, like in IT circles... PEBKAC rules the day.

It is more than likely that the problem exists with the one whose two hands are found resting comfortably in your own pockets. Who might that be? I can only wonder... I am sure that both you and Eric might spend weeks deciding on models with which one could be 100% sure you were first talking about the same thing, and then weeks more philosophizing about if the hands were really in the pockets, and then months more rationalizing about the questionable ramifications of both having found out that it was one's own hands in one's own pockets, followed by years discussing the books written on the subject matter, followed by decades deciding whose books were more cogent, followed by the next generation's pondering about should the question even have been asked in the first place, or if the answering of it meant anything at all...

.

Misogi-no-Gyo
07-25-2009, 08:10 PM
A running back with the ball is deep at the 20, zoning in for the touchdown. The only person in his way is a bullet of a defensive back right behind him, who's got the running back in his sights and is closing the distance fast. The running back keeps his beeline for the end zone. The defender sees his opportunity and dives for the tackle, but the running back manages to evade it with a slight twist of his hips and runs on true for the 6. Is this "IT"? Is this aiki?Definitely not! Not even close!

Chen Xiaowang of Chen village is balanced on one foot as another man pushes quite audibly on him. Chen Xiaowang stands his ground and doesn't budge. This is surely "IT" but is it aiki? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldH40uF_f28)Definitely not Aiki! Not even close! However, I am most sure that is not the best he can do, as lowly old me, even with my poor, mostly unproven skills can do that with about 1/10th the effort the sifu seemed to be putting out in that clip. Very, very low level from what I have seen and quite low compared to what I could do almost 10 years ago.

Roy Dean is rolling with his BJJ teacher, Roy Harris. Their BJJ style is relaxed and wastes little energy. Dean is about to put Harris into an arm bar but doesn't quite have the right setup, as Harris keeps his arm bent and close to his centerline above his head; meanwhile, Harris grabs Dean's leg and puts painful pressure on Dean's ankle using the top of his head. Is this "IT"? Is this aiki? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RuXLocNAkg)Definitely not Aiki, or IT! Not even close!

Mohammed Ali and James Toney use rope-a-dope to tire out their opponents, lying on the ropes and using their superior defense and stamina to take punishing blows without much damage, waiting for their opponent to tire and potshotting whenever an opening presents itself. Is this "IT"? Is this aiki?Definitely not Aiki, or IT! Not even close!

A matador uses his red cape to lead a charging, enraged bull safely past him. Is this "IT"? Is this aiki?Definitely not Aiki, or IT! Not even close!

Wing Tsun practitioners practice chi sau, sticky hands drills, using tactile sensitivity and ingrained instinctual motor responses to form bridges with their partner, sense motion and intention, and respond accordingly. Their bodies don't deviate much from the centerline. The punches come fast and intense. Is this "IT"? Is this aiki?Definitely not Aiki! Not even close! However, I do think that properly training with this method may lead somewhat to a subset of IT

An old farmer who cannot weigh much more than 150 lbs has spent the majority of his life carrying heavy sacks of grain long distances around his farm and will continue to do so up until the day he dies. Is this "IT"? Is this "aiki"?Definitely not Aiki, or IT! Not even close!

Taichichuan practitioners train in push hands, moving slowly and fluidly. They circle and spiral around each other, each seeking to unbalance the other. Is this "IT"? Is this aiki?Definitely not Aiki! Not even close! However, I do think that properly training with this method may lead somewhat to a subset of IT

A cook is carrying a heavy pot of veal broth in his hands and has difficulty opening a heavy swinging door to get into the freezer. He leans his side up against the door, braces his feet, and pushes with his legs, popping open the door far enough to allow him to slip inside. Is this "IT"? Is this aiki?Definitely not Aiki, or IT! Not even close! However the same demonstration could be done using both IT and Aiki, but someone who was watching would more than likely never be able to tell that the two things were done differently

A circus performer is forming the base of a human tower, the feet of his fellow performers planted firmly on each others shoulders. He is supporting close to 5 times his own bodyweight. Is this "IT"? Is this aiki?Definitely not Aiki, or IT! Not even close!

I don't presume to know the answer to any of these questions,
Now that you have the answers to your questions, what will you do with them?
I'd just like examples of "IT" and aiki.If you are looking for it, try Dan, Mike, Akuzawa Sensei, as they have all found agreement that they have IT. I would not disagree, and if interested in IT, would more than likely seek them out when the moment presented itself. As for Aiki, if you are referring to the Aiki of O-Sensei, well that is a horse of a different color...
Is one a method of obtaining the other?Most definitely not!
Is it the only method?See above!
Are they the same thing?Again, see above
If not, can you have one and not the other?Most definitely... and I would most certainly go and see Mike, or Akuzawa Sensei if you were interested in doing so.

...best in training to all.

.

dps
07-25-2009, 08:20 PM
This is not meant of a criticism of you personally,

Of course not.;)

David

Misogi-no-Gyo
07-25-2009, 08:24 PM
Well, here's a snippet from the story of Ueshiba standing 'immoveable' against the push of Tenryu, the Sumo wrestler:

... I asked someone at my side who this person was. It was explained to me that he was the famous Tenryu who had withdrawn from the Sumo Wrestler's Association. I was then introduced to him. Finally, we ended up pitting our strength against each other. I sat down and said to Tenryu, "Please try to push me over. Push hard, there's no need to hold back." Since I knew the secret of Aikido, I could not be moved an inch.

I know how that's done and it's called "the secret of Aikido" by Ueshiba and Ueshiba has demonstrated it on film numerous times (along with related demos), as has Tohei, and others. Worse yet, these skills are known all over Asia by numerous people and they're always part of "ki" (as in "Ai-ki-do"), so I toss the ball back you to explain how we got so far off. Or did we?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Thanks Mike, I love that story, too. However, I am sure that O-Sensei most certainly knew what the secret of his Aikido was, and as far as I know, neither you, nor Dan, nor Akuzawa Sensei ever really spent any time with anyone who actually also knew. I mean, if any of you did, then simply tell us who and when that was and we can have a very different conversation. Up until now, all we keep hearing is that you have all convinced the Aikido population, all whom have admitted that they don't have IT, that the IT that you have is the IT of Aikido. However, there isn't one Aikido Teacher who actually does have IT, who has come out and said that the IT that you are speaking of is the IT of Aikido. Demz Da Facts, and Dey are indisputable until we get word otherwise.

I would be the first one to get on a plane and join in on any of your seminars should that ever be confirmed to have taken place. Of course, as I have always stated, I wouldn't mind coming to see you all anyways, as I am most certainly open to learning anything confirmed as practical and real shared with the open spirit I have heard with which you all are training together. Until then, while it might be Aiki-dosa, Aiki-ho or even O-Sensei's Aikido, we just can't say... although you seemingly keep doing so to some extent. No real harm done, but it is making things take a little longer

...best in training to all.

.

Misogi-no-Gyo
07-25-2009, 08:25 PM
Of course not.;)

David

Not even if you or others imagine it to be, but I will leave the imagining to others on the board who are most likely to already be doing so...

:straightf

.

Misogi-no-Gyo
07-25-2009, 08:34 PM
Shaun, now you've got me confused. Aren't you leading him astray with that advice as you have also said:
Joep,

I don't feel that I am leading anyone astray. What I simply stated is that if David wants to have a converstaion about the IT that Dan and the like are discussing that he go and train with one of them. As for my thoughts on whether the IT that they are discussing and the IT of Aikido are the same, I would say that they may or may not be. Feel free to read my other post on that... I would add that while these concepts overlap, I am quite sure there are also many differences. I know of several, and they occur on several different levels. However, I am sure that Dan and Mike and Akuzawa Sensei would all agree with what I just said, and might only disagree with that there may be something that they are not seeing when it comes to Aikido, as it may be hidden in plain sight to them as they are looking in the wrong direction...

Good to point that out though....

,,,best in training to all.

.

lbb
07-25-2009, 08:38 PM
To me this quote sounds like it comes from someone who just wasn't happy that they weren't in on the joke...
.
I should have mentioned the name of the book so that you could be in on the joke yourself :D It's from the introduction to "The Doubter's Companion" by John Ralston Saul. His point was that when specialists and authorities (often self-proclaimed or appointed by one another) claim to own the definitions of terms, they control the dialogue despite the fact that they do not own the truth.

lbb
07-25-2009, 08:50 PM
This is not meant of a criticism of you personally, nor your actual understanding of the subject matter. Rather it is a condemnation of the style of the posts, which I am sure are put forth with the best of spirits and intentions.

Given what preceded this disclaimer, I have to wonder: is this the Aikiweb equivalent of the southerner's "Bless your heart"?

Mike Sigman
07-25-2009, 08:51 PM
Is this "IT"? Is this aiki?

I don't presume to know the answer to any of these questions, and I'm not trying to cleverly construct some sort of argument with rhetorical questions. I'd just like examples of "IT" and aiki. Is one a method of obtaining the other? Is it the only method? Are they the same thing? If not, can you have one and not the other?Hi Sy:

This is sorta why I asked what "IT" was, specifically, in an earlier post. The basis of "aiki" is what Tohei and others referred to as "ki strength" and what the Chinese would maybe call "qi" or "jin" (interchangeably, because it's an idiomatic usage). "Ki strength" involves a specialized strength skill/ability, hence Tohei and Ueshiba showing all those demos that do "immoveable" this and that. However, if you want to strengthen that power, you have to do various training exercises, including things like the Aiki Taiso, breathing exercises, stretching, etc., and the breathing component is a large factor in this type of strength.... hence the idea of "Kokyu" power, "breath power".

But notice that we're already up to two major components and we haven't really hit the idea of "IT" if you mean it as "aiki". "Aiki" is when you blend that type of power with incoming forces from Uke (preferably without resistance, martially, but you can make a lot of demos with kokyu power even if you just do immoveable stuff). If someone wants to argue that there is no way to do true "aikido" with resistance (this was a mainstay of Erick's a couple of years ago), I'd say they're just naive and aren't really thinking... or they don't really understand the topic.

So the essence of "Aiki" is still going to be that core strength, breath additive if you know how to do it and have it, and so on. In other words, until you define what you mean as "IT", I wouldn't want to get too involved or make assumptions about what your unspoken idea of "IT" is.

I would disagree with some of Shaun's replies to you about what "IT" is, BTW. The assumption is that Shaun knows all these things well enough to be an expert and I simply have no idea what he can do and can't do. The idea that he is better than Chen Xiaowang is startling news indeed; perhaps I should go to Shaun and learn from him. :crazy:

Anyway, my point is that "IT" needs to be better defined. One of the problems with this conversation and some of the conversations in years past (there were some doozy assertions made on this forum a few years back) is that some people don't really know the topic very well and they make the assumption that no one knows any more than they do. I think this is the attitude that gets Aikido in general into so much trouble. Notice my earlier comment about how Tohei's knowledge was rejected 40 years ago largely due to ego and politics.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

dps
07-25-2009, 08:53 PM
This is not meant of a criticism of you personally, nor your actual understanding of the subject matter.

I am glad you agree that I know something about the subject matter.

David :)

Misogi-no-Gyo
07-25-2009, 08:59 PM
I should have mentioned the name of the book so that you could be in on the joke yourself :D It's from the introduction to "The Doubter's Companion" by John Ralston Saul. His point was that when specialists and authorities (often self-proclaimed or appointed by one another) claim to own the definitions of terms, they control the dialogue despite the fact that they do not own the truth.

Mary,

You might be surprised by just what I know, or better yet what is not needed to have been know to respond as I did in that post. My repugnant view of philosophy in terms of its usefulness is echoed in two parts

1. My Uncle is a quite well-known philospher, in his own right, and I was quite readily trained as such from a very early age. He was also a math genius as well as a child musical prodigy, too. As far as his great mind took him, and that was quite far, it did not prepare him for what life had queued up for him and thus he now is quite mad. You see, all the philosophy in the world just isn't enough to save even the brightest of minds. As in the case with my uncle and Socrates, alike, it does, often times condemn them...

2. casual search on a review of the author and book to which you have referred unveils this poignant ditty (http://brothersjudd.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/reviews.detail/book_id/1035), to which I must concur, right up at the top of the list...

John Ralston Saul, one of Canada's leading political philosophers, has drawn an apt analogy in comparing himself to Socrates, but pointedly not to Plato, because he offers a great insight (which is essentially liberal in nature) into the Modern condition, but his personal political predilections (which are essentially Liberal in nature) blind him to the implications. Thus, he is an amusing gadfly, puncturing many myths and prejudices, but he backs off of several cows that are sacred to him, unwilling to apply the rigor of his own argument, and he presents no general program or solution to the problems he perceptively delineates, perhaps because such a program would jibe so closely with the conservative agenda.

So, perhaps the joke is not on me, but is your source and its author, instead. I mean, he is from Canada, so what did we really expect. Do you have any French or German philosophers you might care to reference? What I mean is... given their roles in WWll, we can all see where their mindful musings met the road...

...best in training to all.

.

dps
07-25-2009, 09:00 PM
What I simply stated is that if David wants to have a converstaion about the IT that Dan and the like are discussing that he go and train with one of them.
.

Nope, you got it wrong.

David

Misogi-no-Gyo
07-25-2009, 09:01 PM
I am glad you agree that I know something about the subject matter.

David :)

Well, to be honest... I didn't say that, either...

:straightf

I mean, how could I really know? Maybe you could just be playing dumb on TV, err... the internet.

Misogi-no-Gyo
07-25-2009, 09:07 PM
Given what preceded this disclaimer, I have to wonder: is this the Aikiweb equivalent of the southerner's "Bless your heart"?

ECHO... Echo... echo... echo... (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=235702&postcount=239) I mean I am not claiming any psychic abilities here, but I knew who would say something to that effect, just didn't expect to be proven correct that quickly...

In any case, and especially this one, I can tell you Mary... you would not be correct.

.

Erick Mead
07-25-2009, 09:08 PM
Cool, but what does the shear add to the equation (pun intended)? Shear. Shear is hard to "see." When a material completely fails in compression or in tension it almost always fails first in a local shear from some isolated discontinuity or local weakness. That then cascades into linear stress failure because the material is at its elastic limit, and th shear failure is the proverbial straw. In buckling the shear is all that is necessary to cause structural failure, becasue there is no "reserve" structure. See here. http://www.nbcolympics.com/weightlifting/news/newsid=206808.html That man's elbow failed in a buckling shear.

Well, the fact is that all the "forms" of aiki taiso follow the shapes of and implement 3D shear dynamics. Their spiral form follows the same shapes as wingtip vortices of aerodynmaic lift -- also a phenomenon manipulating shear forces. The Aiki Taiso are adapted to express it, and structurally, endure it, and manipulate it and the waza are set piece episodes in which they can be shown linearly for the uninitiated. They can be shown in any other number of forms, if the form and structure are BOTH correct to express them. One has to be able to "see" or feel shear first, however, which is NOT easy -- in part because our bodies take that sense from us by formulating a reflexive reaction well before making it available to conscious response.

No can do. Aiki requires the force input of another human being. Now we are getting somewhere. The spinal reflexes that control involuntary flexion and extension are uniquely sensitive to shear loading - because every structure is weakest in shear. Thus, by applying shear loading (nikkyo, sankyo grossly -- tekubifuri, furitama, much more subtly) one both attacks the weakest structural elements AND also triggers the body's protective mechanisms designed to shield those structures from excessive shear loading -- which can be exploited in "following the failure" if moving in concert with the natural form that such reflexive action takes long before conscious reaction can correct the situation.

Misogi-no-Gyo
07-25-2009, 09:12 PM
Nope, you got it wrong.

David

...and for my last post of the evening, (unless Mike or Dan chime back in..)

David,

Would you please clarify if I got IT wrong, or did I get it wrong? If it was IT I got wrong, I guess you made a funny. If you are merely implying that I got it wrong, then I guess expounding upon your point would help to illustrate it for anyone wanting to actually understand you, outside of you and Mary, that is...

...nighty night.

.