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AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10! Buck 08-09-2009, 12:35 AM I got that impression specifically from these lines: Maybe you were not talking about this current fad of actually trying to inject aiki in AIKIdo. But if you were, it was very disheartening to read those comments. Injecting a new fad, REALLY? People are trying to resolve the issue that they have long recognized - that they didn't have much of a "choice" - unless it was more of a stylized symbolic attack. The path depends on the actual ability to CHOOSE peace. I'm not saying EVERYONE who trains aikido devoid of aiki is a control addict who uses control to avoid feeling, but it is certainly not UNCOMMON. I think I can recognize that to varying degrees, in a lot of aikido people. That's not a true path at all - I lived it. Beware of false enlightenment. I'm not saying I have all of the answers, but I'm pretty sure I can tell you where NOT to look. Rob Rob, I am not the type of person who jumps on band wagons, clings to new trends and fads, or desperately seeking something out that is the cure-all. I am skeptical and I believe 1/2 or what I read, hear and see. I am not lured in by pitchmen and their products. But when something like the understanding that if I become violent it has a high probability of enacting more or equal violence, then I respect it. Why because if you live by the sword you die by the sword. That isn't a way I want to live. The real unseen power, the real internal strength is life changing. It comes from challenges, goals, and over-coming difficulties that test you and your limits. Where you know who you really are. I think violence really struggle for control. It really is a simple and not a complex idea. And the world is full of examples. Internal strength is that of the mind, and not the body. It is the will of a victim to fight off an attacker. It is the will of a survivor, to survive in an unforgiving place. A prisoner of war defying the captors. It is climbing Mount Everest and reaching the summit alive with frost bitten limbs, and defeating elevation sickness. It is being in an Iron Man race and not quitting when your feet are bleeding and dehydration brings on hallucinations, and disorientation. It is a fireman, who rushes into a burning building to see if there is anyone needs to be rescued. It isn't the new retro martial arts fad or buzz word that can be interjected into any martial art giving it that extra little something. Maybe, if you had a better opportunity to exercise your internal strength and not mistake that for a physical remedy to a lacking ability in your Aikido, than you might feel differently about things. You might look a peace differently. Peace is another means of control. It is another way to get what you want. It isn't as easy as violence. Violence is instinctive. It is an emotional reaction. When someone get anger they don't get a overwhelming need NOT to react violently. When the Hatfields and the McCoys, the Montagues and the Capulets, or what took place between those at the gunfight at the O.K. Corral for example didn't invoke act of peaceful behavior. How hard was for those who followed Gandhi to sit there and get beat by the British and not fight back. What great demonstration of internal strength that was. Now that is control. Gandhi seen a more powerful control with non-violence then with violence than if both sides engaged in violence. But that isn't what happened. In all cases, violence took place, for what ever justification, the end result wasn't pretty. Violence in all cases, as an example, shows that violence was the easiest thing to do. The result are quick, and immediate, it is high stress by the true definition of the word stress. Maybe as a means for the body going to its preferred state of homostatsis there is all those stimulating feelings that are expressed as feelings of of victory, power and control you don't get with peace when defeating others as in the examples I mentioned where internal strength to restraining violent action could have been used. We are not taking a self-defensive situation where you life is threatened or are threatened with rape, and such where you may have no choice to use violence. I am not saying you should or shouldn't use violence if your are threatened. I am saying you just don't resolve common conflicts with violence in a knee-jerk reaction. Or you if you want your neighbor to turn down the music at 3:00am, and it is annoying the heck out of you, you don't knock on the door and when they answer you proceed to beat them. That isn't the best method of control. I am saying internal strength is the ability to not use knee-jerk and alike violence in a situation that has other choices, results or ways. It is a matter of mental disciple in such situations. Internal strength is not about, swing first and ask questions later. It is a host of other things like diplomacy, tolerance, confidence, self-control and all that stuff. Rob, that is what true internal strength is all about. If that is difficult for you to understand, and you choose to employ violence as your common instrument for a solution to common situations then all I can do is hope you one day hang up your guns for good and walk the path of Peace that true Aikido is about. Janet Rosen 08-09-2009, 01:01 AM Phil, as Kevin pointed out in your original thread, you and Rob are using the term differently. What you are talking about is totally valid - and what he is talking about is also, it happens to be the same words describing something totally different and based on the very old idea of "internal" vs. "external" martial arts. I hate to see folks spinning their wheels over what is a semantic confusion. rob_liberti 08-09-2009, 07:27 AM My gosh. Okay, first. I'm pretty serious about yoga and internal skills solo training (which are very supportive and compatible). Let me assure you that Ghandi's physical practice was a whole hell of lot more like mine than what is done in typical aikido. No one is suggesting that peace is not good. I'm suggesting that you are attempting - in vain - to validate aikido devoid of aiki - by calling the current movement to put aiki back into aikido a fad and devalue the goals of the people trying to do so. It just so happens that EVERYONE in my current *fad* (which is not going away - don't kid yourself) has been there and done that and got the tee shirts. I'm wearing one right now. We are not overlooking the value of training. I am further pointing out that more effective training is now available and that you can get just as much - and probably more - self development out of not spinning your wheels. Rob Buck 08-09-2009, 10:48 AM Rob, I really am having a hard time understanding where you are coming from. In this thread it is one thing and in my other thread it is another. It is evident you have an issue over something that is going on here. Many people have told you it isn't the issue, you think it is. But, for some reason you feel it is. So I don't know what to tell you. That is all I can say. :) David Orange 08-09-2009, 12:22 PM Internal strength is not about, swing first and ask questions later. Buck, Where do you even get any inkling of "violence" in what Rob is talking about? It is a host of other things like diplomacy, tolerance, confidence, self-control and all that stuff. Sure, that's a kind of "internal strength" but it's completely unrelated to the discussion. It's like saying an architect's power must be friendliness and respect for all people, rather than knowledge of physics and materials. The IS discussions I've come to know are simply concerned with how best to build our bodies to handle incoming power without being moved and return that power in spades without throwing oneself off balance. It's a lot more like architecture than it is about ethics. And it's a lot more like real ethics than it is about dealing violently or having "violence as your common instrument." It's like saying that making a building "strong and stable" is far less important than making it "diplomatic". In other words, it's a rather nonsensical approach to a very rational subject. Rob, that is what true internal strength is all about. Buck, what you're describing is along the lines of what Chuck Norris wrote in his book "Inner Strength." Fine, but most people I know who talk that way are good up until they get clocked one good time or find themselves mounted with a bad guy about to rain blows on their face. Then the switch flips and lack of real martial foundation transforms into a hopeless effort to "kill them, no matter what it takes." If he has already beaten you at your best game, it's too late to improvise without foundation and beat him at his best game. But if you have a better game than him from the beginning, you don't have to fight. You don't end up with him sitting on your chest and you don't have to try to kill him. See the difference? If that is difficult for you to understand, and you choose to employ violence as your common instrument for a solution to common situations then all I can do is hope you one day hang up your guns for good and walk the path of Peace that true Aikido is about. For most of us, the path of aikido is to be able to do what Morihei Ueshiba could do. That includes immoveability against pushes from one or more strong men and the ability to move a few inches and bounce the attacker back and up into the air. In addition to being nice guys. It's easier to be nice when you have tons of extra power available at a heartbeat. David Buck 08-09-2009, 01:25 PM Buck, For most of us, the path of aikido is to be able to do what Morihei Ueshiba could do. That includes immoveability against pushes from one or more strong men and the ability to move a few inches and bounce the attacker back and up into the air. In addition to being nice guys. David I can agree with that! Your preaching to the choir! :) But that isn't the only skill O'Sensei as a martial artist had. He had character. He had mental and physical discipline and all that. That is my focus here on talking about what true internal strength. True is used as narrowest or strictest sense of the word internal strength. Meaning like our internal thoughts or internal being/soul. What we are, who we are. etc. Not in the translated Chinese sense of the word relating to the mystical Chinese interpretation of physics. A term that his regained some popularity in use and trend in some circles :) Two different things. :) David Orange 08-09-2009, 01:40 PM ...that isn't the only skill O'Sensei as a martial artist had. He had character. He had mental and physical discipline and all that. That is my focus here on talking about what true internal strength. True is used as narrowest or strictest sense of the word internal strength. Meaning like our internal thoughts or internal being/soul. What we are, who we are. etc. Sure, but then you get down to the same thing Christianity has come to: our leader had integrity, therefore we have integrity. I've met so many aikido teachers who give you that insipid smile and tell you about being "spiritual" but they can only operate within very narrow limits before that facade tumbles down. Then what do they have left??? It's not pretty, I can tell you that. And it's not what I'd call "spiritual" or any kind of "internal strength." Sorry. It makes the "spiritual" aspect of aikido look like a fraud. And without the technical strength, it makes the "martial" aspect of aikido look like a fraud, as well. David mathewjgano 08-09-2009, 02:39 PM To me it sounds as if "true internal strength/power" might be described this way: without internal (physical) power, our internal (mental) power is less potent overall. without internal (mental) power, our internal (physical) power is more blind overall. I'm usually inclined to think like Buck here because I place a lot more importance on mental than physical accuity, so I feel like I understand what he means by saying true internal strength is the kind generated by an indominable (always successful) character/mind. I grew up knowing lots of guys who were physically powerful and so not only does that kind of thing not impress me, it carries the baggage of my experiences with it. Physical dudes tend to lack perception where I come from, but of course that's a highly specific situation...and somewhat of an overgeneralization...even if it's still true.:p It's also one of the reasons I was so attracted to martial arts in the first place. In martial arts, it seemed to me, people were interested in developing that physical power so many of my friends valued growing up, but they also did so with an effort to use it wisely and with altruistic aims (helping "The Little Guy"). ...I've always been prone to romantic thinking.:D Kevin Leavitt 08-09-2009, 03:22 PM There are lots of spiritual paths that can produce the kind of internal strength that Buck is referring to. Lots of them. Yoga is probably the closest physical spiritual path to martial arts without being martial. I think these paths are wonderful and for each person..well they need to find the path that resonates with them. Aikido is one that is has a martial base. It has that martial base for a reason and if we are on that TRUE Path to realize TRUE INTERNAL STRENGTH, then we need to be on that path...and not revising it to something else that we WISH is were. It may simply not be the right path for some folks. At its core Budo is about resolving violence both external and ultimately internally, understanding it, studying it, and coming to grips with it. I honestly don't think you can study it without being open to and studying as much as you can the full realm of the martial practices. We need to do this without judgement, that is without passing bias. I think that as in everything though there is a middle way. I think it is important to study these so-called internal skills and to see how they apply to budo, techniques, fighting, or whatever else is within the realm of martial arts. After all, this is a martial practice....and it is NOT yoga. It is a Martial Art. mathewjgano 08-09-2009, 03:35 PM Aikido is one that is has a martial base. It has that martial base for a reason and if we are on that TRUE Path to realize TRUE INTERNAL STRENGTH, then we need to be on that path...and not revising it to something else that we WISH is were. I think it is important to study these so-called internal skills and to see how they apply to budo, techniques, fighting, or whatever else is within the realm of martial arts. After all, this is a martial practice....and it is NOT yoga. It is a Martial Art. I agree some degree of physical power must accompany the mental and spiritual, but I try to leave it to the individual to sort out exactly where that line should be drawn...and if that means someone wants only 1% physical focus, as far as this non-authority is concerned, that's ok. Kevin Leavitt 08-09-2009, 03:56 PM No I agree Matthew. Everyone is on their own path and needs to go down it on their own way. The thing I struggle with though is how long do we let folks dawdle on the edge of the pool just putting their toes in the cold water without ever really swimming? I think sometimes we have a tendency to accept lower standard of training for fear of losing people or not gaining people cause our practice is "uncomfortable" to them. It Should be a little uncomfortable all the time. Once it becomes comfortable...you are no longer growing. Sure, in the beginning we certainly need to be cognizant that people learn at different rates, have different emotional states, needs, physical make up...all that. That is fine. The struggle is staying the course and bring them along the path of growth. You know eventually, some folks will just say. "Okay, that is enough for me". my cup is full, I am leaving the table and going out to do something else! And that is okay. I shouldn't feel a need to chase them down the road with the pitcher. (What is up with my stupid analogies????) Ron Tisdale 08-10-2009, 08:53 AM agree some degree of physical power must accompany the mental and spiritual, but I try to leave it to the individual to sort out exactly where that line should be drawn...and if that means someone wants only 1% physical focus, as far as this non-authority is concerned, that's ok. I don't have an issue with that. I just think both sides should be willing to respect the other. Phrases like "fad" carry some baggage of their own. If the core martial strength behind aikido is referred to as a "fad", I personally believe that is symptomatic of an overall condition in aikido. That condition being that some large proportion put more emphasis on the touchy feely spiritual aspects, without a solid foundation in the martial, or in the body skills required. A balance is always nice. Best, Ron Marc Abrams 08-10-2009, 09:03 AM I can agree with that! Your preaching to the choir! :) But that isn't the only skill O'Sensei as a martial artist had. He had character. He had mental and physical discipline and all that. That is my focus here on talking about what true internal strength. True is used as narrowest or strictest sense of the word internal strength. Meaning like our internal thoughts or internal being/soul. What we are, who we are. etc. Not in the translated Chinese sense of the word relating to the mystical Chinese interpretation of physics. A term that his regained some popularity in use and trend in some circles :) Two different things. :) Philip: 1) You seem to idealize the founder of Aikido. I would suggest that you read some more about him. Ellis Amdur's work is a good place to start. 2) Your concept of "inner strength" might be better described by using the term "fortitude." No one is questioning the importance of fortitude. Fortitude is entirely unrelated to the internal body strength that is being talked about at length on some forums. O'Sensei certainly exhibited those VERY IMPORTANT skills. 3) Internal body strength is anything but a fad. That people are recognizing the importance of developing that "body skill" is a genuine attempt to "raise the level" of one's martial arts abilities. I would suggest that you attend a workshop from some of those people who are out there teaching those skills before you comment as though you know what those "skill sets" are and importance and place of them in one's martial art. 4) You can develop all of the fortitude in the world and can "understand" all of the "philosophy" of Aikido, but that will be of no use to you if you are attacked and have to rely on trying to stay safe by utilizing martial arts skills that do not have the important foundation of the internal body strength that is being discussed on the internet and practiced by some. Marc Abrams aikilouis 08-10-2009, 04:42 PM The problem with what Philip expresses is that he defines aikido uniquely from its place in his own history. Every element of this picture is shaped to reinforce that : the Founder as a model of moral excellence, internal strength defined as the answer to his (Philip's) own particular problem, aikido practise being a process of finding self confidence. It is a possible interpretation but I find it very self centered. Even worse, by defining it as the True Internal Strength, he disqualifies any other possible interpretation and diverging experience. Buck 08-10-2009, 06:02 PM Philip: 1) You seem to idealize the founder of Aikido. I would suggest that you read some more about him. Ellis Amdur's work is a good place to start. It may come across as that to some who really don't read what I post, see what they want to see or put allot of credit into Aikido and O'Sensei, or those who just misread me. I am a person who recognizes his skill and understands it is a difficult road to reach the heights he did. And I look at myself as person who feels looking at O'Sensei in his original/pure/honest way is beneficial. It's like looking at any sports star as they are not as the press or others describes them to be. That includes looking at the warts and all. It means taking my rose colored glasses off, it means clearing the stars out of my eyes. Not putting him on a pedestal and stuff. Looking at him as a Japanese, a human, and not someone who I project upon. Am not a fan. He is an object of study. The Chinese use of Internal body strength has been a fad. Those who feel developing "body skill" to raise the level of their martial art where or are lacking it, and hence seek it. I am not sure exactly what defines "body skill" as you mean it. We don't have to discuss it. I would rather not in this thread. If you precisely define it and give visual example that can be solidly discuss I would be glad too in another thread. My use of internal strength is pretty clear and very common to many disciplines. I was to keep my views and ideas apart from O'Sensei. I don't want also to sound as if I am interpreting him with what I say. It is all me, my views, not O'Sensei's. I have been attacked numerous times in my life. I firmly believe you can be the most knowledgable and skill martial artist or fighter with all the stuff you profess. That will not do me any good, if I don't have true internal strength. I am talking about things like will, determination, intent, fortitude and stuff. I have run across a few people who have never taken a martial arts class in their life and defended themselves very successfully. And I have seen the opposite as well. I have also seen paired martial artist go toe-to-toe and because of internal strength turn a losing situation into a winning situation without any special training, or skill other then having true internal strength. I have see in matches those who are very skill lack true internal strength and be defeated. As you see Mark, true internal strength isn't a skill set someone put together for others who need to improve their skill by those parameters. Those who feel a plug in, or patch, skill set, is the answer to their problems. I have no problem or issue if a person goes that route in general- but that is a different thread. But what I am talking about and you are talking about in terms of internal strength are two completely different things. I don't know why some are concerned over it. Buck 08-10-2009, 06:10 PM The problem with what Philip expresses is that he defines aikido uniquely from its place in his own history. Every element of this picture is shaped to reinforce that : the Founder as a model of moral excellence, internal strength defined as the answer to his (Philip's) own particular problem, aikido practise being a process of finding self confidence. It is a possible interpretation but I find it very self centered. Even worse, by defining it as the True Internal Strength, he disqualifies any other possible interpretation and diverging experience. I have not done such a thing. Buck 08-10-2009, 06:16 PM I don't have an issue with that. I just think both sides should be willing to respect the other. Phrases like "fad" carry some baggage of their own. If the core martial strength behind aikido is referred to as a "fad", I personally believe that is symptomatic of an overall condition in aikido. That condition being that some large proportion put more emphasis on the touchy feely spiritual aspects, without a solid foundation in the martial, or in the body skills required. A balance is always nice. Best, Ron Ron, I would also like to add that when words are used that have connotations, which are at times ever-changing, people tend to associate it with the negative, either out of ignorance, misunderstanding, or agenda. That is also something we have to consider as well in the balance of things. Mike Sigman 08-10-2009, 06:50 PM I just think both sides should be willing to respect the other. I dunno, Ron... I think that at a math convention it is probably a waste of time to treat the guy talking about "The Sacred Wisdom of the Kami", etc., with some kind of equivalence if he shows that he obviously doesn't know the subject of math and is applying his own definitions to it. One of the reasons Aikido and Aikido discussions get dismissed so easily in the Outer World is because of this imbued equivalency and "aikispeak" that needlessly clouds so many issues. If there's a question, Buck should go see and then report on what he saw and what he showed could be done. Period. Ueshiba didn't answer challenges with "thought experiments". Anyone can post countless posts. Everything is not equivalent. Not all interpretations of Aikido are equally valid. Remind me to tell you a funny story about Saotome blowing his cool one time just because he got tired of the BS "all views are valid" inputs and questions. Only in a fat, dumb, and happy culture would all of this flummery be treated as serious discussion about a martial art. Ueshiba carried a sword, not a keyboard. ;) Best. Mike Sigman Keith Larman 08-10-2009, 06:53 PM Ueshiba carried a sword, not a keyboard. ;) So, speak softly but have a solid ground-path? ;) Darn, and I promised myself to stay away from discussion forums for at least a month... Mike Sigman 08-10-2009, 06:56 PM So, speak softly but have a solid ground-path? ;) Well.... even if you don't have a solid ground-path, at least have a clue on-board. :D Best. Mike Buck 08-10-2009, 07:44 PM I dunno, Ron... I think that at a math convention it is probably a waste of time to treat the guy talking about "The Sacred Wisdom of the Kami", etc., with some kind of equivalence if he shows that he obviously doesn't know the subject of math and is applying his own definitions to it. One of the reasons Aikido and Aikido discussions get dismissed so easily in the Outer World is because of this imbued equivalency and "aikispeak" that needlessly clouds so many issues. If there's a question, Buck should go see and then report on what he saw and what he showed could be done. Period. Ueshiba didn't answer challenges with "thought experiments". Anyone can post countless posts. Everything is not equivalent. Not all interpretations of Aikido are equally valid. Remind me to tell you a funny story about Saotome blowing his cool one time just because he got tired of the BS "all views are valid" inputs and questions. Only in a fat, dumb, and happy culture would all of this flummery be treated as serious discussion about a martial art. Ueshiba carried a sword, not a keyboard. ;) Best. Mike Sigman Mike, I really don't understand you and your company very well. It's worse than telling some fanatical religious group, "sorry, I disagree, I don't believe in God the way you do, and the get all weird, defensive and stuff. :crazy: Second of all how do you know that I have experience what you talk about? It seems too that you and a few others seem to think your the only one's that have it, and no one else is capable of figuring IT out but you guys. :hypno: I give you props over others because you are more straight forward and you put your stuff on the net. I criticized it, I thought fairly. I also think your are less favored over the other guys by many here. I tend to not agree with that. But, now you post about me like a wounded puppy. Where is the professionalism in that? :eek: Chinese arts are and have been very available for decades. There is so much on the net, there are so many teachers of it. That is great. But it isn't Aikido. You want people to do what you do, you want people to come to you. Sorry. I am not one of those people. I happen to like Aikido. And I happen to value what true internal strength is about and how I can apply that, without being dependent on anyone or any martial art fad (for the word police, "in thing" ) that comes along. I am sorry you feel the way you do. I am sorry that I am not a believer. Not to say what you do isn't valid, probably more then the other guy, but sorry I will pass on it. Isn't that ok? Do I have to, with keyboard pointing to my head, jump on yours or the other guys internal strength bandwagon. I can't understand btw, the discussion muggings am getting from the faithful, it is starting to be a good tell. Am sorry if you took my evaluations of what I see as you re-framing Aikido with the Chinese arts, personally. I didn't divulge everything I seen when watching your video, that I though might be too much, I didn't want to sound if I was trashing you. Again, I give you props for putting your vids on the web. When you do that you have to understand you are going to get criticism. I didn't trash you. Aikido offers me many things, which I have talked about and stuff. I like it, I am not jaded by it, I am angry at it, I am not disillusioned by it, I don't worship it, and all that. I am satisfied with it, warts and all, as it is. I find it a challenge and I find new things in it, I just don't do it for the ability to have the tightest waza, that will make me invincible. I am not doing aikido for any other reason then for me. Mike Sigman 08-10-2009, 08:00 PM Mike, I really don't understand you and your company very well. It's worse than telling some fanatical religious group, "sorry, I disagree, I don't believe in God the way you do, and the get all weird, defensive and stuff. :crazy: Second of all how do you know that I have experience what you talk about? It seems too that you and a few others seem to think your the only one's that have it, and no one else is capable of figuring IT out but you guys. :hypno: I give you props over others because you are more straight forward and you put your stuff on the net. I criticized it, I thought fairly. I also think your are less favored over the other guys by many here. I tend to not agree with that. But, now you post about me like a wounded puppy. Where is the professionalism in that? :eek: Chinese arts are and have been very available for decades. There is so much on the net, there are so many teachers of it. That is great. But it isn't Aikido. You want people to do what you do, you want people to come to you. Sorry. I am not one of those people. I happen to like Aikido. And I happen to value what true internal strength is about and how I can apply that, without being dependent on anyone or any martial art fad (for the word police, "in thing" ) that comes along. I am sorry you feel the way you do. I am sorry that I am not a believer. Not to say what you do isn't valid, probably more then the other guy, but sorry I will pass on it. Isn't that ok? Do I have to, with keyboard pointing to my head, jump on yours or the other guys internal strength bandwagon. I can't understand btw, the discussion muggings am getting from the faithful, it is starting to be a good tell. Am sorry if you took my evaluations of what I see as you re-framing Aikido with the Chinese arts, personally. I didn't divulge everything I seen when watching your video, that I though might be too much, I did want to sound if I was trashing you. Again, I give you props for putting your vids on the web. When you do that you have to understand you are going to get criticism. I didn't trash you. Aikido offers me many things, which I have talked about and stuff. I like it, I am not jaded by it, I am angry at it, I am not disillusioned by it, I don't worship it, and all that. I am satisfied with it, warts and all, as it is. I find it a challenge and I find new things in it, I just don't do it for the ability to have the tightest waza, that will make me invincible. I am not doing aikido for any other reason then for me.Sorry, but I agree with Dan on this one. If you've seen this much discussion by Aikido teachers in favor of the legitimacy of the discussion and you still don't want to do more than offer your opinions with the idea that your ideas are equally valid, then you're in the situation to which I referred. In years past I actually had people fly into Colorado to check it out and debate it (all on a very friendly basis). So far all I've seen from you is a plethora of "here's my take on things" posts. At some point in time you have to play tennis and not keep calling on the other guy to serve while only criticizing his serve. Do you understand what the "ante" in a poker game is for? FWIW Mike Sigman Buck 08-10-2009, 08:20 PM Sorry, but I agree with Dan on this one. If you've seen this much discussion by Aikido teachers in favor of the legitimacy of the discussion and you still don't want to do more than offer your opinions with the idea that your ideas are equally valid, then you're in the situation to which I referred. In years past I actually had people fly into Colorado to check it out and debate it (all on a very friendly basis). So far all I've seen from you is a plethora of "here's my take on things" posts. At some point in time you have to play tennis and not keep calling on the other guy to serve while only criticizing his serve. Do you understand what the "ante" in a poker game is for? FWIW Mike Sigman No that isn't what it is at all, you showed your stuff, and personally I didn't feel it was anything different than I experienced from Chinese arts instructors. I feel you have valid internal Chinese arts skill demonstrated in your clip. And for those who want to seek for something outside Aikido, for reason they are not getting it in Aikido, great they can do it. But I am not one of those persons. Just as you are not going to stop what you are doing for Aikido. Aikido is working for me just fine. If I need something for my Aikido, I will look at the arts O'Sensei studied careful, and figure it out from there if, I feel the need. That is how I roll. Again, am sorry am not a believer which is clearly upsetting to you. I would think also you would be able to handle some criticism. But again that is another tell that reinforces me saying, "thank you, but no thank you, I will stay the course with Aikido, for better or worse." :) 'nuff said. Mike Sigman 08-10-2009, 08:28 PM No that isn't what it is at all, you showed your stuff, and personally I didn't feel it was anything different than I experienced from Chinese arts instructors. I feel you have valid internal Chinese arts skill demonstrated in your clip. And for those who want to seek for something outside Aikido, for reason they are not getting it in Aikido, great they can do it. But I am not one of those persons. Just as you are not going to stop what you are doing for Aikido. Aikido is working for me just fine. If I need something for my Aikido, I will look at the arts O'Sensei studied careful, and figure it out from there if, I feel the need. That is how I roll. Again, am sorry am not a believer which is clearly upsetting to you. I would think also you would be able to handle some criticism. But again that is another tell that reinforces me saying, "thank you, but no thank you, I will stay the course with Aikido, for better or worse." :) 'nuff said.Well, the typical trivializing doesn't work with me, Buck. I did between 21-24 years in Japanese martial arts. How many do you have that you can discount what I do and know as "Chinese martial arts"? I'd like and answer. In other words, you appear to read and hear only what you want to read and hear.... exactly what I was talking about. Get out from behind the keyboard theorisms and check it out. If you can't (yet Ueshiba did), how can you claim any expertise in any martial art? Regards, Mike Sigman Buck 08-10-2009, 09:18 PM Mike, I hear ya, will take it into consideration. Now back to the subject of True Internal Strength. Due to my experiences I have come to understand the value of true internal strength. I think it is a common thing shared and understood by many. In conclusion, the mind is powerful and I believe we are all intelligent enough to know that. There are so many examples and testimonials how powerful the mind is over the body, so much so each individual has their own experience. And I think that is why the mind is so valued. That is the eternal spring of power, true internal power that I am getting at. Developing true internal power as we all know is often the signal deciding factor of many physical contests, from an Iron man race to a tennis match, to MMA fights, to self-defense situations. Developing it isn't difficult or complex, it is all inside of us to achieve such power. For some that may be a physical trainer, a coach or a friend, or no one at all. What I am saying is nothing new, we all know it, we all understand it. We sometimes get caught up in other things, in the mechanics of technique, and such that we over look it. :) rob_liberti 08-10-2009, 10:14 PM When you post nonsense on a forum, you have to expect to get called on it. If you choose a word or words that have meanings other than what you intend, don't complain about all of the readers. Here's the deal, aiki is NOT some "je ne sais quoi". It is a skill - specifically giving strength based on internal arts. Some have a better way to develop it than others. If you mean fortitude, then say that. You like your aikido devoid of aiki, fine. Enjoy. You feel that putting aiki back into aikido is a fad. Good luck with that approach. To me, it's just an idea and its time has come. (This is absurd as the people who demand video of INTERNAL martial arts and wonder why they can't see it. Hint, because it is "internal"...) Rob thisisnotreal 08-10-2009, 10:17 PM m2c, Ultimately; Mike has to be right. MA is Martial Art. The ultimate goals of a MA has to be martial. It's in the f*n name. Pursuing MA means doing it the absolute best you can. The most earnest. This, by definition must include the best way to move your body. This is the IT we shall not mention. That said; we now have gendai budo, and the general modern redefinition of martial arts. Where little johnny goes to mcdojo and has a blackbelt at 14 years old. Like everyone else who started 3 years ago. What about this: aikido is a tool that can be used for a multitude of purposes. vs studying aikido for mastery is the only legitimate/honest way. Agree or disagree?: This is a slight reframing of 'Blarg is what I want it to be'. Is it a substantial difference? Is it valid, or dishonest? If its a tool; people will use if for different things. Some of those things have to be less than the ultimate possibility. At the end, in reality, we find ourselves where few or none have hit this 'ultimate' marked by O Sensei. Ignorance is bliss in many ways. the flipside of that: Whosoever increases their knowledge increases their sorrow. I think aiki can definitely increase your sorrow. physically, for one. it seems to be marked a difficult path. right? if someone chooses not to undertake it, is it less of them? If someone has an engineering or physics degree but doesn't have the PhD, is that the same? Not genuine? Cowardice? Weak? Kidding themselves? Not the best? i guess we all judge it different. But in all honesty; there is only 1 'the Best'. That is its definition. Here is something else I found: If you are vectored on some goal; say like being the ultimate Martial Artist..then that is the target. This means that you have now forfeited many future decisions, due to their not being in line & helpful in attaining the goal. So, when earnestly pursuing something to its ultimate end; I have found practically this amounts to a loss of ability to choose freely...which can amount to a loss of free-will. It is for this reason that I think it *extraordinarily* important what you focus your intent on. Dan repeatedly says that this training isn't for everybody. I think that it must be true. AFAIK it is too hard for everyone. Isn't there always a level that is just out of reach anyway? Doesn't the whole martial arts 'process' have this built into it...where we start in a broad road...and it gets narrower and narrower (and people fall off) as things get more and more dangerous, fast, powerful & elite.... Where we all find ourselves somewhere on this road...whether it be at the peak (Sagawa, Ueshiba, ..) or the perennial white belt grandma whose victory is just showing up after her hip replacement. there's gotta be room for that. no? aikido is for the world? That doesn't mean everybody gets a big red ribbon with 'winner' on it. But it kind of does. When we take responsibility for our training..I guess your understanding is in your own hands. I think, truth be told, many people doing martial arts are not 'martial artists'. They will always stand alone. In Dan's .sig it says "Aiki requires an enormous amount of solo training. Only amateurs think that techniques are enough. They understand nothing." I have been thinking about that. It is said that on average people are average. In fact, that is the definition. Does anyone think the average person will be doing Aiki/bodyskill? Is that realistic? This is the pinnacle of the MA.. the _highest_ manifestation of martial body skill. Long after that road has narrowed and narrowed and narrowed it appears.... that said...It is a strange thing that so many of us even know ITs name now. As if it were a common thing. Not having each of ourselves having traveled and survived that harrowing road. It is because of efforts of Mike, Dan, Ark and the other outspoken brothers, on whose shoulders we now (fortunately) find ourselves. But we know how to name IT. That, in itself is HUGE!! I think. IT is there to pursue for those l33t enough to undertake it. That is enough. To know its name..and that the challenge is there if you seek it. Isn't this how it always was? I do not think it is for everybody. Do you? .... But I also think that self-delusion is a great evil..and one of the easiest things in the world to do. sorry if this is OT, Buck... i just wanted to share some thoughts. Josh mathewjgano 08-10-2009, 10:39 PM I don't have an issue with that. I just think both sides should be willing to respect the other. Phrases like "fad" carry some baggage of their own. Very true! I think it's also important to remember people think of terms differently. To some, "fad" might be somewhat darogatory; to others it might not be. What ever the case, it's important for people to maintain respect...or at least to keep working in that direction. Otherwise, what's the point of the conversation other than to bang your own drum? A balance is always nice. Best, Ron I agree. I think balance is the best option: I like the full meal deal. Kevin Leavitt 08-10-2009, 10:39 PM Buck Wrote: It may come across as that to some who really don't read what I post, see what they want to see or put allot of credit into Aikido and O'Sensei, or those who just misread me. I am a person who recognizes his skill and understands it is a difficult road to reach the heights he did. And I look at myself as person who feels looking at O'Sensei in his original/pure/honest way is beneficial. But how do you know any of this. Did you actually meet him and study with him? Have you layed hands on anyone that actually studied with him for any great length of time? Have you layed hands on the Next generation after that...you know the 6th Dans that learned from his Ushi Deshi? I have, and I still can't say for sure what is honest and pure about any of it. I will tell you that in all cases, I felt what they had and I didn't. Then I get with Ark and Mike and feel that they have it as well AND in addition, they are willing to show me a way to develop this stuff. I am a part of ASU which is Saotome Sensei's organization. I have taken Ukemi for Saotome Sensei and Ikeda Sensei. Saotome Sensei (Shihan) was Ushi Deshi for 15 years or so with O Sensei. If this type of training is good for Saotome's senior students and Ikeda sensei then I feel pretty comfortable that they have a inkling of understanding of what O Sensei wanted and was about. More so than me for sure. Buck, if you don't mind, from what authority or experiences are you drawing your conclusion about being able to recognize what O sensei's "real aikido" is all about? I am not challenging you...but since you make this statement, I think it would be beneficial to the conversation to have a better understanding about how you are forming your conclusions? I layed mine out above. Buck 08-10-2009, 10:55 PM When you post nonsense on a forum, you have to expect to get called on it. If you choose a word or words that have meanings other than what you intend, don't complain about all of the readers. Here's the deal, aiki is NOT some "je ne sais quoi". It is a skill - specifically giving strength based on internal arts. Some have a better way to develop it than others. If you mean fortitude, then say that. You like your aikido devoid of aiki, fine. Enjoy. You feel that putting aiki back into aikido is a fad. Good luck with that approach. To me, it's just an idea and its time has come. (This is absurd as the people who demand video of INTERNAL martial arts and wonder why they can't see it. Hint, because it is "internal"...) Rob Rob and all ( and you know who you are) calm down, things are really getting out of hand with you guys! I am sorry that I don't feel the same why you do. So what, am I that important for all this effort you are putting into me? You clearly, demonstrate an a insistence to rational and reasonable communication. It is very much like what bullies do, I suggest taking a different approach then what you are doing now. Now if you feel the need to continue with this OT and unproductive posting behavior, I will be glad to respectfully read what you and everyone else in your camp has to say. Please write it all out in your next post, get it all off your chests. Flame me, I can take it. But just get it all off your chests. I am just concerned from reading yours and other post from your camp that one of you is going to have a heat attack or something. : ) Rob.....umm I am not demanding a video from your camp or anyone else. I am not demanding anything actually. The simple fact is, from your camp there isn't a vid out there. Mike put one out, I got a good look at what he does without spending$1500.00 for a plane ticket, hotel, rental car, gas, food, PLUS the cost for me to see him do his thing. That isn't what it will cost me in lost wages. I know that is how you make your living be teaching people our methods of what we are all missing, but why not come to me if you what to show me something. My goodness people I am a middle management, I am not made of money.

God knows the way your posting toward me, ya'd think it was the second coming of the Spanish Inquisition, or the Salem Witch Trials revisited. If that is how you convince people, by bashing them. WOW. I wouldn't be in my right mind not make a visit and stay 3 states away you guys :eek:

Buck
08-10-2009, 11:10 PM
Buck Wrote:

But how do you know any of this. Did you actually meet him and study with him?

Have you layed hands on anyone that actually studied with him for any great length of time?

Have you layed hands on the Next generation after that...you know the 6th Dans that learned from his Ushi Deshi?

I have, and I still can't say for sure what is honest and pure about any of it.

I will tell you that in all cases, I felt what they had and I didn't.

Then I get with Ark and Mike and feel that they have it as well AND in addition, they are willing to show me a way to develop this stuff.

I am a part of ASU which is Saotome Sensei's organization. I have taken Ukemi for Saotome Sensei and Ikeda Sensei. Saotome Sensei (Shihan) was Ushi Deshi for 15 years or so with O Sensei.

If this type of training is good for Saotome's senior students and Ikeda sensei then I feel pretty comfortable that they have a inkling of understanding of what O Sensei wanted and was about.

More so than me for sure.

Buck, if you don't mind, from what authority or experiences are you drawing your conclusion about being able to recognize what O sensei's "real aikido" is all about?

I am not challenging you...but since you make this statement, I think it would be beneficial to the conversation to have a better understanding about how you are forming your conclusions?

I layed mine out above.

Kevin,

If you haven't noticed this thread isn't about that. Sorry, I know this is your favorite subject and all, but the thread is about true internal strength. Not everything is about the "internal strength" movement, for lack of a better phrase

In all sincereness, what you guys don't realize your are pretty selfish, and self-absorded, and for some obsessed and fanatical about your "internal strength" movement. And it is pretty inconsiderate to others who share similar experiences that I did, to sideswipe this thread because it interferes with your branding. There are people out there who might need a boost of confidence to know where they can get the strength to get through another day, to over-come the over-whelming challenges they face. By knowing they can dig down deep inside and find strength, and that is what other people have done too, and are doing the same thing, can be inspiring to make positive changes. And that for some might be taking an Aikido class something they might that isn't intimidating, like other martial arts and MMA can be. Because as far as I know this is still an Aikido board.

Sometimes it isn't all about you.
-----------------

Buck
08-10-2009, 11:23 PM
Josh thanks for the nice post.

Kevin Leavitt
08-10-2009, 11:31 PM
Buck,

I am only responding to what you write. You say you KNOW what O Sensei meant and I am asking you a very simple question. HOW DO YOU KNOW?

I personally believe you are wrong in your view point, but I am willing to listen and give you the benefit of the doubt provided that you provide qualified answers.

It seems like when I ask you a direct question you redirect the question saying that it isn't about what I am talking about.

That is not fair to me.

BTW, no one is talking about anything intimidating or about any macho crap.

If you knew me and the others that are posting here we are being anything but selfish.

You would also find that we are a very kind and generous bunch of guys. I have personally met many of the guys on that are posting here and I actually resent that you form that assumption. It is not fair and unfounded.

No one that has ever been on the mat with me would say that I am make them uncomfortable or intimidated in anyway.

Anyway, I am starting to think that TRUE IINTERNAL STRENGTH is the ability to refrain further from paying any attention to you since you are not really interested in discussing things normal discourse which means if you make a statement you are willing to argue/debate your point in a proper way.

Buck
08-10-2009, 11:41 PM
Buck,

I am only responding to what you write. You say you KNOW what O Sensei meant and I am asking you a very simple question. HOW DO YOU KNOW?

I personally believe you are wrong in your view point, but I am willing to listen and give you the benefit of the doubt provided that you provide qualified answers.

It seems like when I ask you a direct question you redirect the question saying that it isn't about what I am talking about.

That is not fair to me.

BTW, no one is talking about anything intimidating or about any macho crap.

If you knew me and the others that are posting here we are being anything but selfish.

You would also find that we are a very kind and generous bunch of guys. I have personally met many of the guys on that are posting here and I actually resent that you form that assumption. It is not fair and unfounded.

No one that has ever been on the mat with me would say that I am make them uncomfortable or intimidated in anyway.

Anyway, I am starting to think that TRUE IINTERNAL STRENGTH is the ability to refrain further from paying any attention to you since you are not really interested in discussing things normal discourse which means if you make a statement you are willing to argue/debate your point in a proper way.

And I am simply asking you let's put it to rest. Its not a game I want to play, the endless circling the wagons, and never resolving anything. Remember what I said. It isn't about that and your stuff.
Why can't you respect that, why are you against giving it a rest? Besides it has nothing to do with you, I didn't mention you, I was responding to Mike- my bad. Life is too short for looping . There are other people out there, like myself, who could benefit from an Aikido class or hearing you talk as a military person on true internal strength. Like making it through a tough situation. Why expend all your time on this game you want to play? I think you have a lot of valuable knowledge to share in terms of building confidence, and character, over coming difficulties reaching deep down in side and getting internal strength, and how the relates to Aikido, since you are an Aikidoka. Be the the bridge, not the troll - you know that old story "Bill Goat Gruff", faciliate the positive. Don't prove me wrong.

Buck
08-10-2009, 11:58 PM
I want to apologize if I stepped on anyone's toes -wearing zori -concerning the OT stuff. People its not worth it to continue. Really, believe it or not I do have a life. And the past few days posting doesn't prove that at all, but I do. :D And am sure many of you all do too. Let's get back to that. Well, at least I know I will, I have too. :)

Tim Fong
08-11-2009, 12:58 AM
Rob,

The real unseen power, the real internal strength is life changing. It comes from challenges, goals, and over-coming difficulties that test you and your limits. Where you know who you really are.

Internal strength is that of the mind, and not the body. It is the will of a victim to fight off an attacker. It is the will of a survivor, to survive in an unforgiving place.

You're making a pretty strong assumption that strength of will and knowing oneself are not something developed through solo practice.

Kevin Leavitt
08-11-2009, 01:42 AM
And I am simply asking you let's put it to rest. Its not a game I want to play, the endless circling the wagons, and never resolving anything. Remember what I said. It isn't about that and your stuff.
Why can't you respect that, why are you against giving it a rest? Besides it has nothing to do with you, I didn't mention you, I was responding to Mike- my bad. Life is too short for looping . There are other people out there, like myself, who could benefit from an Aikido class or hearing you talk as a military person on true internal strength. Like making it through a tough situation. Why expend all your time on this game you want to play? I think you have a lot of valuable knowledge to share in terms of building confidence, and character, over coming difficulties reaching deep down in side and getting internal strength, and how the relates to Aikido, since you are an Aikidoka. Be the the bridge, not the troll - you know that old story "Bill Goat Gruff", faciliate the positive. Don't prove me wrong.

I'll probably get an admonishment from Jun on this Buck, but iMO you Passive Aggressive and I should have realized it a while ago.

I have no issues with your experiences and what aikido means to you and what you draw from it.

I do have issues with the empirical statements that you make on various topics with no proven factual basis. All I was asking was for you to explain in a little greater detail on what experience, basis, literature etc you are basing your conclusions in an attempt to better understand your positions which I do not necessarily agree with

I thought I was doing it in a constructive manner.

It is as simple as that, nothing more nothing less.

You are correct, I will give it a rest.

Upyu
08-11-2009, 05:37 AM
The simple fact is, from your camp there isn't a vid out there. Mike put one out, I got a good look at what he does without spending $1500.00 for a plane ticket, hotel, rental car, gas, food, PLUS the cost for me to see him do his thing. That isn't what it will cost me in lost wages. I know that is how you make your living be teaching people our methods of what we are all missing, but why not come to me if you what to show me something. My goodness people I am a middle management, I am not made of money. Looking isn't the same as feeling...as has been reiterated before. It's exactly that kind of attitude that exacts mockery from the very people that took it on themselves to go and check it out. I think you should get some hands on time with someone if time and money permits. I think you'll be surprised to find that if you could hack the training (and yes, the unavoidable fact is that a large part of it is still physical), it provides everything you've just been ranting about, and more. And it would make sense as to why Ueshiba started spouting about love, peace, teddy bears, and the universal theory of everything. jss 08-11-2009, 06:18 AM There are people out there who might need a boost of confidence to know where they can get the strength to get through another day, to over-come the over-whelming challenges they face. By knowing they can dig down deep inside and find strength, and that is what other people have done too, and are doing the same thing, can be inspiring to make positive changes. And that for some might be taking an Aikido class something they might that isn't intimidating, like other martial arts and MMA can be. So Aikido is for people with such a low self-esteem any martial art besides Aikido is too intimidating to practice? And what makes Aikido such a good practice to develop True Internal Strength? Why not go rock climbing, marathon running, build model ships or anything else in which you participate in a community that is involved with activities that require fortitude, etc.? Ron Tisdale 08-11-2009, 07:39 AM No real arguement there with me, Mike. If someone wants to redefine words to suit their own purposes though, it doesn't really affect my practice. I'll call them on it, and then move on (hopefully) so that others can see a different perspective. As long as the disinformation is countered, I don't think a public board is the place to squabble over it, necessarily. This board doesn't function like an engineering conference, or a mathmatics conference. For one thing, in those cases, most anyone who has a slot for a presentation has been subjected to peer review BEFORE they present. That isn't the case here. So yeah, people have the right to say things *I* might think are ill advised, or wrong, or whatever. The only means to deal with it is to speak up from my own perspective. If someone wants more of a peer review process, QiJin can provide that. I only get a little ticked when the same person who wants to redifine stuff, also wants to control what others can say in response...then they should put up their own board, and talk to themselves all day, since that is all they want to hear. Say, remember the old rec.martial-arts.moderated? That was an attempt for a more peer reviewed process. Is it still around? Best, Ron I dunno, Ron... I think that at a math convention it is probably a waste of time to treat the guy talking about "The Sacred Wisdom of the Kami", etc., with some kind of equivalence if he shows that he obviously doesn't know the subject of math and is applying his own definitions to it. One of the reasons Aikido and Aikido discussions get dismissed so easily in the Outer World is because of this imbued equivalency and "aikispeak" that needlessly clouds so many issues. If there's a question, Buck should go see and then report on what he saw and what he showed could be done. Period. Ueshiba didn't answer challenges with "thought experiments". Anyone can post countless posts. Everything is not equivalent. Not all interpretations of Aikido are equally valid. Remind me to tell you a funny story about Saotome blowing his cool one time just because he got tired of the BS "all views are valid" inputs and questions. Only in a fat, dumb, and happy culture would all of this flummery be treated as serious discussion about a martial art. Ueshiba carried a sword, not a keyboard. ;) Best. Mike Sigman jss 08-11-2009, 07:55 AM Say, remember the old rec.martial-arts.moderated? That was an attempt for a more peer reviewed process. Is it still around? It is! Look here (http://groups.google.com/group/rec.martial-arts.moderated/topics?lnk). And it still provides answers to most common questions on martial arts. :rolleyes: rob_liberti 08-11-2009, 08:02 AM I clearly laid why I took issue with the post that started this whole thread. You want to validate the experience of aikido devoid of aiki, by all means go ahead. I got a lot out of aikido too. However, if you want to send that message as well as the other message you sent - that trying to develop aiki in aikido is a "fad", and further that such a fad is off the mark in terms of the "do" --> well, you spoke up on a forum, and you can expect to get a reply or two from the members of that "fad". Don't complain about reaping what you sow. -Rob Ron Tisdale 08-11-2009, 08:10 AM I think we just have to accept that whenever Phil posts something, no matter what it is, and no matter how polite we make any discussion, unless we agree with him 100%, he will cast aspersions our way. I'm ok with that, since I know it going in. I think this thread would do much better if it was titled something like Fudoshin, or Gambatte, or Nana Korobi Ya Oki, or any number of terms that represents what Phil seems to be trying to say. But when you pick a term that others are using specifically, you give the impression that you are responding to that topic. You can't really blame others for your own poor word choice. Best, Ron (well, you can, but don't expect us to buy it ;)) ps, Hey Mike, what was that expression you used to use? Stamp your little feet, shake your golden curls, and walk off in a huff? I think that was it... lbb 08-11-2009, 08:25 AM I think we just have to accept that whenever Phil posts something, no matter what it is, and no matter how polite we make any discussion, unless we agree with him 100%, he will cast aspersions our way.. He's not alone in that, nor is he alone in appropriating words from the English language (such as "internal strength") and claiming ownership over what they are allowed to mean. It's a bit like the Judean People's Front vs. the People's Front of Judea, you know? Yeah yeah yeah, I know, the internal strength/Judean People's Front crowd will claim that the proof is in the pudding, and that they can show such proof -- but let's not forget that what they're proving is the worth of what they're teaching, not ownership of words and phrases. And, yeah, I take Mike's and Ron's point that there are objective truths that are determined by facts rather than opinions and subjective experience. I just find the verbal tactics on both sides distasteful. Ron Tisdale 08-11-2009, 08:38 AM but let's not forget that what they're proving is the worth of what they're teaching, not ownership of words and phrases. Quite true, and something I definately need to remember. And, yeah, I take Mike's and Ron's point that there are objective truths that are determined by facts rather than opinions and subjective experience. I just find the verbal tactics on both sides distasteful. Something else I'll try to keep in mind! As I said, the peer review comes after the fact here. I always admire the way Peter Goldsbury phrases things...but then he is smarter (and wiser) than I am... ;) Best, Ron thisisnotreal 08-11-2009, 09:03 AM true internal strength would be me being able to resist clicking refresh in firefox. Ron Tisdale 08-11-2009, 09:22 AM Josh, step away from the pop corn! Munch munch... ;) And put that soda down! :eek: Best, Ron :D rob_liberti 08-11-2009, 09:34 AM I just find the verbal tactics on both sides distasteful. I was responding to THESE distasteful verbal tactics from Buck: It isn't about injecting it with the latest fad martial art or what not to make it better, more effective. That is the very shallowest level of Aikido and These types of things are always over-looked when someone offers a new "customization, enhancement, or retro fit" to Aikido. It shouldn't be that way, IT shouldn't be over-looked. That is the heart, and soul of Aikido is character, personal change and growth. From a personal level, I think: Who is Buck to say that these things are being overlooked without first hand experience, and further that the topic at hand was a "fad"? And then to play victim when called on it... I'm not buying it. But I don't want to attack the person, I want to challenge the idea. HOW does anyone with no experience of the thing arrive at that conclusion? My perspective is that it's like we stopped having much left to debate about regarding if what we are doing is "AIKI", so now we shifted to is what we are doing "DO"? And while I'm not going to say it IS or that "it will be"; why the heck would anyone that does not have any experience with IT- tell me it isn't? About visiting: There are people I will visit to show them what I am talking about. I think I can trade the information for things they seems willing to share, making it worth my travel. I would love to see a ki society type person deal with IT and get their perspective on how they integrate ki development with aikido practice. I would love to visit William Hazen because he has an integration of aikido against more martial attacks that would be interesting to me. I would love to visit Shaun Ravens because he has insight to misogi exercises that I suspect will be tremendously valuable. However, I don't see myself going to visit Buck simply because he does not believe in IT. Why would I want to do that? If he wants to attend an event about IT, that's up to him. Honestly, if he were not discussing IT being a "fad" and that those members of the "fad" were overlooking the important aspects of aikido, I would certainly NOT be addressing any of his posts about how wonderful his past aikido experiences have been for him at all. There is no major conspiracy theory here. If Buck is feeling ganged up on, maybe it is because he spoke up about a topic that a gang of people are interested in - in a way that none of them agree with... Rob Ron Tisdale 08-11-2009, 09:42 AM Hey Rob, the funny thing is, the people he seems to be denigrating are all his seniors in martial art and many of them in aikido as well. Yet he feels free to assume that they somehow just never saw the wonderfull things he sees. But I'm sure this exact same shoe can be put on the exact other foot... :D That's why it's best to just leave the personalities out of it. In the long run, it just pays more dividends. Best, Ron (hey, just read your sig...now I have coffee on my keyboard, thanks! :grrrrr:) ;) David Orange 08-11-2009, 10:54 AM Rob and all ( and you know who you are) calm down, things are really getting out of hand with you guys! Aren't they? It's like the time I went into a room full of neurologists and tried to tell them that their take on the nervous system is just one way of looking at things. You should have seen them get all uppity! I tried to tell them that the nervous system is all about attitude and that all those silly diagrams of "nerves" and "tissues" and "reflexes" is just one way of looking at things. I mean, I have a nervous system. Mine is just as good as theirs. And they think just because they've studied the accumulated "OPINIONS" of decades of scientific studies, surgeries, CAT scans, X-Rays and all that other stuff the "scientific community" LEANS on (a big fad if you want to know the real truth) that their opinion is better than my knowledge even though I, too have my own nervous system. They're just weak-minded people who have to have the group to tell them how to think. Another group just like that, is French speakers. I tell those bunch of elitist hooie-hoos that elan vital can also mean "to read a newspaper" and they just go nuts. Also mathematicians. I tell them "Pi is exactly 3!" and they just go crazy! They insist that I prove it and I show them how I prove it. It's completely valid, perfect mathematical proof, and they just reject it out of knee-jerk elitism, trying to hold onto their positions in Universities and such. It's just sad. We need more "open-minded" folks like you to set this world straight, Buck. Of course, I would advise you not to talk that way about aikiwhen you're actually with someone like Dan Harden or Ark Akuzawa. They might want you to prove what you're saying. I am sorry that I don't feel the same why you do. So what, am I that important for all this effort you are putting into me? You clearly, demonstrate an a insistence to rational and reasonable communication. It is very much like what bullies do... Exactly. Just like those elitist neurologists and mathematicians. But it's everywhere, really. Take home builders. I told them that "plumb" is not necessarily the same as vertical and that "level" means "level to the eye". I can look at something and see that it's level, but they want to pull out these little floaty-bubble things and say, "See? The bubble goes up! That thing's tilted." And I say, "That's your opinion that it's tilted," but they don't get it. Rob.....from your camp there isn't a vid out there. Mike put one out, I got a good look at what he does without spending$1500.00 for a plane ticket, hotel, rental car, gas, food, PLUS the cost for me to see him do his thing.....

Right! And you can get everything there is to know about O Sensei by watching videos of him, too. Or Shioda. You can clearly see what he does in the videos. Folks that spend money and travel the world to meet those folks are just wasting resources. And then they have to come back with those wacky tales of fantastic powers (please!!! :hypno: ) just to make people think they didn't waste their money.

By all means, don't sacrifice anything to find out if what someone says is true. You have the videos: just post on the 'net that you understand them and let those elitists go!!!:p

David

David Orange
08-11-2009, 11:06 AM
...the thread is about true internal strength. Not everything is about the "internal strength" movement, for lack of a better phrase

We're on the same page, Buck. I told those mathematicians, "You all want to talk about your precious "pi" like it's something fixed and unchanging, but I'm talking about "true pi," which is sometimes exactly 3 and other times is between 2.8 and 3. Or sometimes it's 5!"

They were just too closed minded to even listen!

You know, I've been thinking that since "true internal strength" is really "mental" strength, there's no reason it can't be portrayed strictly via the internet. And since "true inner strength" is the real essence of "true aikido," in a few years all aikido teaching and training can be done over the internet. You'll be able to train hard with the greatest aikido masters in the world without leaving the comfort of your chair!!!

What a day that will be!

I think you and I should work this out together and get the patent because when these "internal strength" guys get tired of their silly physical "plug-in patch" "internal strength training," they're naturally going to look for another fad to follow. And if we play our cards right, that next thing can be "true internal strength" and full integration of all aikido training to the internet.

Let's get the patent before they try to get on our thing!

David

C. David Henderson
08-11-2009, 11:13 AM
Ouch

David Orange
08-11-2009, 11:16 AM
Why can't you respect that, why are you against giving it a rest?

I guess people with knowledge and experience just hate to hear someone pushing unfounded and silly ideas as legitimate forms of the thing they know. For one, it's insulting to them to spout such ludicrous bilge. For another, we're well aware that lots of total newbies to aikido may read your stuff and think it's legitimate and no one with sincere teaching background wants to see people inundated with such useless thinking.

There are other people out there, like myself, who could benefit from an Aikido class or hearing you talk as a military person on true internal strength.

Buck: that's what he is talking about. Why aren't you listening.

It's like saying to a mathematician, "But I want to hear you talk about true pi, which can be either exactly 3, somewhere between 2.8 and 3, or sometimes maybe 4."

Like making it through a tough situation. Why expend all your time on this game you want to play? I think you have a lot of valuable knowledge to share in terms of building confidence, and character, over coming difficulties reaching deep down in side and getting internal strength, and how the relates to Aikido, since you are an Aikidoka. Be the the bridge, not the troll - you know that old story "Bill Goat Gruff", faciliate the positive. Don't prove me wrong.

Buck....take a deep breath, buddy. And tell yourself, "The first foundation of character is unswerving devotion to the truth." Then start building character in yourself by giving up the need to redefine a globally-understood term to your own peculiar and idiosyncratic meaning.

There's where you start.

Hoping for you.

David

Tim Fong
08-11-2009, 11:20 AM
And it would make sense as to why Ueshiba started spouting about love, peace, teddy bears, and the universal theory of everything.

For the record I do not own any teddy bears, but just a Sanrio stuffed penguin. It has the real aiki because it can change color in hot water.

David Orange
08-11-2009, 11:22 AM
He's not alone in that, nor is he alone in appropriating words from the English language (such as "internal strength") and claiming ownership over what they are allowed to mean.

The problem here is that "internal strength" is a longstanding translation of the concept of neijia in the Chinese martial arts and it has also been used for literally decades to describe the same kind of thing in Japanese martial arts. It's not like "internal strength" has only been used in the last couple of months and so its meaning is still up for grabs.

David

David Orange
08-11-2009, 11:27 AM
Ouch

Don't you mean, "TRUE ouch"????

C. David Henderson
08-11-2009, 11:50 AM
No, just "ouch." "True" appears taken.

To me, the premise of this thread is a study in false dichotomy.

C. David Henderson
08-11-2009, 12:51 PM
The problem here is that "internal strength" is a longstanding translation ..... It's not like "internal strength" has only been used in the last couple of months and so its meaning is still up for grabs.

David

Alternatively,

When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.'
The question is,' said Alice, whether you can make words mean so many different things.'
The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, which is to be master -- that's all.'

Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll; Chapter VI, Humpty Dumpty

:D

lbb
08-11-2009, 01:51 PM
I was responding to THESE distasteful verbal tactics from Buck:

"But HE did it first, Mom!"

Rob, believe me, I'm well acquainted with Buck's "argumentation". I have been there and done that, as have many others. But if you view it as outrageous that he would co-opt a phrase and redefine it for its own purposes, can you see that you and your camp are doing, if not quite the same thing, something along that spectrum? You too claim ownership of terms. You claim that you own the definition of what is "internal strength", and assert that no one can possibly have it who hasn't drunk your kool-ade...and hey, it may be fabulous kool-ade, but that's not really the point. The point is that while Buck is serving up who knows what and smiling and saying, "My kool-ade is just as good as your kool-ade", you are yelling, "We are the only kool-ade stand in town, and the rest of you are NOT SELLING KOOL-ADE!" Honestly, it's enough to make a person stick to plain water.

dps
08-11-2009, 02:12 PM
Buck,

Why don't you do like the others are, have a seminar. You can charge $100 bucks a pop and teach those who have more Aikido experience than you how to make their Aikido better by learning "Aikido, My Way" with "True Internal Strength". You can have free advertising here on Aikiweb by posting ad infinitum about yourself. David David Orange 08-11-2009, 02:19 PM ...if you view it as outrageous that he would co-opt a phrase and redefine it for its own purposes, can you see that you and your camp are doing, if not quite the same thing, something along that spectrum? You too claim ownership of terms. Not at all, Mary. The term "internal strength" is well established as a reference for "internal martial arts" and has been a central aspect of MA discussions for years and years and years. It would be hard to pick a more ridiculous target to try to co-opt--especially when the re-definition is so remotely unrelated to the actual meaning. Of course, "Brand Name" aikido has so successfully redefined the nature of aikido itself to the point that people like Buck believe that the internal mechanics are "recent add-ons" or "plug-ins" when in fact Ueshiba demonstrated these things all the time. You claim that you own the definition of what is "internal strength", and assert that no one can possibly have it who hasn't drunk your kool-ade...and hey, it may be fabulous kool-ade, but that's not really the point. Again, Mary, you miss the point so elegantly that it begins to seem to be your basic intent. Neither Rob nor any of the other IS proponents claim to "own the definition," of IS. But the many, many long and on-going discussions of the subject have established its meaning. Or are you saying that mathematicians "claim to own" the definition of "pi"? No, it's just a matter of Buck's strenuous efforts to redefine a term that has been well established for a long time. Pointless and ridiculous, which is why it gets ridiculed. Second, no one claims that "no one can possibly have it who hasn't drunk your kool-ade"--certainly not Rob Liberti. Ark didn't drink Dan's "kool ade" and Forrest Chang didn't drink Mike's "kool ade". They all developed the skills of internal strength separately through relentless investigation of internal martial arts. In other words, "internal strength" is the technical essence of internal martial arts. And that internal strength is far from a monolithic thing. There are many methods and different approaches to developing and using internal strength in these arts. Bagua's internal strength and usage of that strength is very different from Xing Yi's development and usage; and Tai Ji's development and usage is different from both of those. Those three are the internal martial arts of China and they all vary. On top of that, many "external" martial arts include some degree of "internal" training, so there are many sources and many different versions that all fall within a fairly wide range of methods but have certain consistent qualities. So where do you get that anyone said "no one can possibly have it who hasn't drunk your kool ade? The point is that while Buck is serving up who knows what and smiling and saying, "My kool-ade is just as good as your kool-ade", you are yelling, "We are the only kool-ade stand in town, and the rest of you are NOT SELLING KOOL-ADE!" Honestly, it's enough to make a person stick to plain water. Unless your version of "plain water" includes "energy supplements" and "artificial flavorings and sweeteners" like a lot of what's sold as "water" these days. That's really more like the truth. There are a lot of people hawking that stuff as water when we can simply analyze the content and see who has plain water. And since internal mechanics was certainly a major part of Ueshiba's aikido, you need to recognize that the IS camp is simply searching for pure water instead of a brand name "Aikido (TM) water." David Ron Tisdale 08-11-2009, 02:21 PM Buck, Why don't you do like the others are, have a seminar. You can charge$100 bucks a pop and teach those who have more Aikido experience than you how to make their Aikido better by learning "Aikido, My Way" with "True Internal Strength". You can have free advertising here on Aikiweb by posting ad infinitum about yourself.

David
I think that already happened once David.

The guy tried to shoot on George Ledyard. :O :eek:

B,
R (OMG) :D

HL1978
08-11-2009, 02:25 PM
"But HE did it first, Mom!"

Rob, believe me, I'm well acquainted with Buck's "argumentation". I have been there and done that, as have many others. But if you view it as outrageous that he would co-opt a phrase and redefine it for its own purposes, can you see that you and your camp are doing, if not quite the same thing, something along that spectrum? You too claim ownership of terms. You claim that you own the definition of what is "internal strength", and assert that no one can possibly have it who hasn't drunk your kool-ade...and hey, it may be fabulous kool-ade, but that's not really the point. The point is that while Buck is serving up who knows what and smiling and saying, "My kool-ade is just as good as your kool-ade", you are yelling, "We are the only kool-ade stand in town, and the rest of you are NOT SELLING KOOL-ADE!" Honestly, it's enough to make a person stick to plain water.

As a martial term of the art, "內勁"has a pretty specific meaning of internal strength. The term internal strength when applied to martial arts in general has a fairly specific context in which it is used and which has existed as a term of the art for several centuries (at least according to Wikipedia).

As pointed out earlier, Phillip is referring to a different concept of which we have other more appropriate words in the english language to describe. If Phillip had selected a different word then perhaps this discussion would be in a different sub forum.

dps
08-11-2009, 02:27 PM
I think that already happened once David.

The guy tried to shoot on George Ledyard. :O :eek:

B,
R (OMG) :D

Ohh, flat as a pancake was he?

I learned in high school wrestling never ever shoot a leg on someone larger than you.

David

gregstec
08-11-2009, 06:48 PM
Wow - what an exchange - If I was in another forum, I would think a troll was on the loose - but since we are all good aiki type folks, that just could not happen here :)

gdandscompserv
08-11-2009, 07:07 PM
As a martial term of the art, "內勁"has a pretty specific meaning of internal strength. The term internal strength when applied to martial arts in general has a fairly specific context in which it is used and which has existed as a term of the art for several centuries (at least according to Wikipedia).

As pointed out earlier, Phillip is referring to a different concept of which we have other more appropriate words in the english language to describe. If Phillip had selected a different word then perhaps this discussion would be in a different sub forum.
My Pop use to refer to it as "mental toughness" and "instestinal fortitude.":D

Buck
08-11-2009, 09:56 PM
As a martial term of the art, "內勁"has a pretty specific meaning of internal strength. The term internal strength when applied to martial arts in general has a fairly specific context in which it is used and which has existed as a term of the art for several centuries (at least according to Wikipedia).

As pointed out earlier, Phillip is referring to a different concept of which we have other more appropriate words in the english language to describe. If Phillip had selected a different word then perhaps this discussion would be in a different sub forum.

Perhaps....Hunter....perhaps.

Buck
08-11-2009, 10:44 PM
I was unaware of Mike Sigman's magazine titled similarly, and the another web thngy by the same title that came up associated to Mike. Might be the point of contention for some with my use of true internal strength. Might be a branding issue. I don't know. :confused:

Going back on track. I guess terms are differently used in different circles, dialects, and places. I have allways associated the term internal strength with what I talked about. I hope These definitions helps to further define what I mean. And some other interesting stuff. First from Websters (internal see 2nd defination):

Main Entry: in·ter·nal
Pronunciation: \in-ˈtər-nəl, ˈin-ˌ\
Etymology: Middle English internalle, from Latin internus; akin to Latin inter between
Date: 15th century
1 : existing or situated within the limits or surface of something: as a (1) : situated near the inside of the body (2) : situated on the side toward the median plane of the body b : of, relating to, or occurring on the inside of an organized structure (as a club, company, or state) <internal affairs>
2 : relating or belonging to or existing within the mind
3 : intrinsic, inherent <internal evidence of forgery in a document>
4 : present or arising within an organism or one of its parts <internal stimulus>
5 : applied or intended for application through the stomach by being swallowed <an internal remedy>

— in·ter·nal·i·ty \ˌin-ˌtər-ˈna-lə-tē\ noun

Main Entry: strength
Pronunciation: \ˈstreŋ(k)th, ˈstren(t)th\
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural strengths \ˈstreŋ(k)ths, ˈstren(t)ths, ˈstreŋks\
Etymology: Middle English strengthe, from Old English strengthu; akin to Old High German strengi strong — more at strong
Date: before 12th century
1 : the quality or state of being strong : capacity for exertion or endurance
2 : power to resist force : solidity, toughness
3 : power of resisting attack : impregnability
4 a : legal, logical, or moral force b : a strong attribute or inherent asset <the strengths and the weaknesses of the book are evident>
5 a : degree of potency of effect or of concentration <chili peppers in varying strengths> b : intensity of light, color, sound, or odor c : vigor of expression
6 : force as measured in numbers : effective numbers of any body or organization <an army at full strength>
7 : one regarded as embodying or affording force or firmness : support <you are my love and my strength>
8 : maintenance of or a rising tendency in a price level : firmness of prices <the strength of the dollar>
9 : basis —used in the phrase on the strength of

synonyms see power

— from strength to strength : vigorously forward : from one high point to the next

1.

Internal Strength Definitions And Elaborations
By Peter Lim Tian Tek
Below are some definitions from Chinese sources concerning Internal Strength. Whilst important, Internal Strength is not the sole purpose of Internal martial arts.
(http://www.itcca.it/peterlim/neigong.htm)

2.
zhan-zhuang (http://www.yiquan.org.uk/art-zz.html)

3.
Mo Jing: In Search of Internal Strength
By Tu-Ky Lam
(Excerpts)
Do you know what to do when you practice zhan-zhuang? Many people do not. During zhan-zhuang, we do an exercise called "Mo-jing", which means feeling or searching for internal strength. Once we have found or built up our internal strength, it will accumulate and our internal strength will get stronger and stronger. Mo-jing requires that we have a correct posture with good zheng-li (which means opposite tension), use mind and not force, and move slowly with very small movements. We will discuss this in greater details in here.

ZHENG-LI

USE MIND AND NOT FORCE

No movement in zhan-zhuang does not mean absolutely motionless. It is mo-jing at its highest level where the movement is so tiny and not noticeable. Here our internal strength is placed at the best optimal position, ready for us to pounce at the enemy. That is why no movement is better than small movements.

Enjoy! :)

Buck
08-11-2009, 11:11 PM
Other points of interest for some:

http://www.geocities.com/tukylam/mojing.html
To find this “lump” and to be able to use it, we have to be very relaxed. If we use force which can make our whole body tense up, we will never find it. It will certainly help if we try to feel our body weight shifting forwards and backwards during zhan-zhuang. We usually feel the “outer” body weight which will slowly move inside our body to give us the feeling of a big lump.

Our internal strength is this big “lump” plus the movement of the whole body as described in the section “Mo-jing movements”. As for how internal strength works, see my article “How Does Hunyuanli Works?” also posted on this website.

CONCLUSION
Our internal strength is this big “lump” plus the movement of the whole body as described in the section “Mo-jing movements”. As for how internal strength works, see my article “How Does Hunyuanli Works?” also posted on this website.

How Does “Hun yuan li” Works?
http://www.geocities.com/tukylam/hunyuanli.html

STEPPING

“Mo cha bu” (ground rubbing or mud-walking) is the foundation of all Yiquan stepping. When doing Mo cha bu, we should not just move our foot forward or backward by itself as doing so has no strength. We should use our hips and our legs to move our foot. For example, we start from an “Embrace-a-Tree” posture with one foot in front and the other at the back with our body weight more on the back leg. Then we rotate our palms to make them face the ground with our fingers pointing the front. This is “Fu-an” ji ji zhuang (Hold and Push posture in a fighting stance).

Before we lift our back foot up and move it forward, we have to shift our body weight to the front foot, and sit properly on our front leg. We lift the top of our head up, make our front foot gently push into ground and raise our body slightly. That way our back foot is lifted off the ground. We now have to use our hips and our legs to move our back foot closer to our front foot before moving it out to the front and form a fighting stance. Now the front foot becomes the back foot. We will repeat the same process to move the back foot forward again. This is how “mo ca bu” should be done. (When we practice Mo cha bu going backwards, the movements are reverse.)

In Mo cha bu, the distance between our feet is only the width of our shoulders (just like when we stand in the “Embrace-a-Tree” posture). The distance can be much widened to become a big stepping exercise (twice as wide). The movements are exactly the same as in Mo cha bu except that the speed is faster and we move forward with our head leading the move and our back leg pushes our body forwards.

Another useful stepping is that we move our front foot one step forward and our back foot follows suit. Here we should remember to use our head to lead the move and our back leg to push our body forwards. With this kind of stepping, we can move in a straight line forward or move diagonally forward in a 45 degree angle. All the stepping should be trained in backward movements as well.

Stepping is good training to our legs. It complements shi-li movements in which we mainly use our hands. Of course, we also practice shi-li with stepping, which is much harder because we do two at the same time. But if we can do stepping (Zou bu) and shi-li well respectively, with some effort we can quickly combine the two. Stepping is useful in push-hands and sparring. Good stepping can confuse our opponents and can help us attack more efficiently. It can also help us step out of danger quickly.

jss
08-12-2009, 02:43 AM
Other points of interest for some:
http://www.geocities.com/tukylam/mojing.html
How Does “Hun yuan li” Works?
http://www.geocities.com/tukylam/hunyuanli.html
STEPPING
Before we lift our back foot up and move it forward, we have to shift our body weight to the front foot, and sit properly on our front leg. We lift the top of our head up, make our front foot gently push into ground and raise our body slightly. That way our back foot is lifted off the ground. We now have to use our hips and our legs to move our back foot closer to our front foot before moving it out to the front and form a fighting stance. Now the front foot becomes the back foot. We will repeat the same process to move the back foot forward again. This is how “mo ca bu” should be done. (When we practice Mo cha bu going backwards, the movements are reverse.)
1) So in Yiquan one should raise the foot by stretching the other leg? One wonders how they manage to perform kicks...
2) The only way I know to move my feet is to use my hips and legs, as the muscles in my feet move the toes. (Unless I'm doing a hand stand or something. ;)) So as an explanation on how 'mo ca bu' should be done, it is not helpful.
3) What has Yiquan stepping to do with your True Internal Strength?

Upyu
08-12-2009, 04:38 AM
1) So in Yiquan one should raise the foot by stretching the other leg? One wonders how they manage to perform kicks...
2) The only way I know to move my feet is to use my hips and legs, as the muscles in my feet move the toes. (Unless I'm doing a hand stand or something. ;)) So as an explanation on how 'mo ca bu' should be done, it is not helpful.
3) What has Yiquan stepping to do with your True Internal Strength?

To be fair to Buck, that quote isn't too far off Joep.
You do use the left leg to "kick" with the right leg.
There's a "stretch" component that allows for this kind of movement. It's not immediately obvious, takes some conditioning, but once you get it, you would never think of going back to the other way of kicking.

and to be fair to Joep though, as far as 3) is concerned:
Absolutely nothing

jss
08-12-2009, 05:35 AM
To be fair to Buck, that quote isn't too far off Joep.
You do use the left leg to "kick" with the right leg.
There's a "stretch" component that allows for this kind of movement. It's not immediately obvious, takes some conditioning, but once you get it, you would never think of going back to the other way of kicking.
Agreed, but when I read this
We lift the top of our head up, make our front foot gently push into ground and raise our body slightly. That way our back foot is lifted off the ground.[emphasis mine]
I see someone bobbing up and down while walking, because to raise his foot off the ground, he keeps his body rigid and extends the supporting leg. Then he moves the foot forwards and puts it on the ground by bending the supporting (back) leg. Not a good way to step, in my opinion.
A better description would be: "We lift the top of our head up, make our front foot gently push into ground [that's up-down contradictory tension and groundpath if you're generous] and draw the back foot upwards and inwards."
Apart from the bobbing issue, it becomes clear that lifting the foot is not really different from moving the foot forwards. (And thus there is no need to talk about moving the foot with the legs and hips, which is the only way to move your foot anyhow.)

So perhaps the quote is not too far off, but it's far enough off to lead you in the wrong direction. Especially since it doesn't mention the conditioning that is needed. If nobody tells you about the 'stretch', you probably won't discover it and end up doing it wrong.

Upyu
08-12-2009, 07:50 AM
A better description would be: "We lift the top of our head up, make our front foot gently push into ground [that's up-down contradictory tension and groundpath if you're generous] and draw the back foot upwards and inwards."

Yup, in definite agreement on this. The front foot pushing into the ground is a dead giveaway that it's supposed to be kokyu ryoku/jin.

I think your comments just serve as another reminder as to why this stuff can't be picked up by simply reading. :D

Mike Sigman
08-12-2009, 08:40 AM
(modified from a post on the QiJin forum)

Pretty much all the Asian martial arts use or previously used some degree of qi and jin (ki and kokyu) skills. So to call jin or suit stuff "internal" is not accurate unless you specify that it has to do with "internal strength" ("nei jin" in Chinese). Both "internal styles" (nei jia) and "external styles" (wai jia) have "nei gongs" ("internal exercises") that develop "nei jin".

When someone says that Taijiquan, Xingyquan, Baguazhang, Wujiquan, Liu He Ba Fa, etc., are "internal styles", the general inference points to the fact that they use the dantien as a major motivator of all movements and the "six harmonies" natural winding of the body is present. The problem is that there is no clear line, in many cases, where some style fully or partially or not-very-much uses the dantien.

In a case I was talking about to someone in p.m., I noted that a certain Taiji person actually had a strong Bajiquan (fairly linear, but very powerful) way of moving. But Baji is a so-called "external martial art" and Taiji is an "internal martial art", so what the crossover highlights is that the basic qi and jin skills are common. The mode of movement is different enough that just about anyone with a modicum of experience can spot the Baji dominance in a supposed Taiji expert.

In Aikido there is a similar problem. Watching Ueshiba perform some swordwork in the 1930's (on film) I could see that he had more idea of store-and-release than I would have thought. And because movements get smaller with practice over the years, it's a hard thing to pick up in later films of him. I've never seen Tohei do this sort of thing even though I've watched many films very closely; in my opinion Tohei does not know how to do them. So the point I'd make is that there is a potential disparity between Ueshiba's use of the dantien/hara and that of Tohei. It's enough of a disparity that it's similar to the "internal" versus "external" discussion in CMA's. So what's the correct mode of training for Aikido?

If my evaluation of Ueshiba's movement and knowledge is correct, then Ueshiba used backbow and dantien in a whole-body method that was different from Tohei's more linear use of qi and jin. Both Ueshiba and Tohei used the soft-repetition method of developing suit to augment their jin, but I suspect that Ueshiba's training was probably more vigorous and broad-spectrum, overall. I don't think that either of these men used any of the more Shaolin-derived methods of extended tension and "squeezing" conditioning, that I see offered as substitutes for Ueshiba's qi and jin development methods. I.e., I tend to suggest people do a little thinking about exactly the mode of training that was used originally.

There are a number of methods to train "nei jin". Traditionally, the extended postures, "structure", dynamic-tension, etc., approaches are more from the "external" modes. The softer approach of jin training accompanied with breathing/suit training are going to mark the "internal styles". Being extraordinarily strong and conditioned though isn't going to handle the question of just how "wholebody" a method is, nor does it address the question of how dominant is the control of the dantien/hara. As I've said before, there are many levels and gradations of these skills.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Ron Tisdale
08-12-2009, 09:31 AM
Thanks Mike! This puts more flesh on the bones for me, and gives me good things to note on my travels...
Best,
Ron

lbb
08-12-2009, 10:16 AM
Mike, what does "suit" mean in this context?

Mike Sigman
08-12-2009, 11:02 AM
Mike, what does "suit" mean in this context?Hi Mary:

It means more or less the fascia-related structures and their coordination which are developed during breathing practices, proper practice of Aiki Taiso and qigongs, yogic postures done correctly (and knowledgeably)., etc. There's forces and then there's "suit" and together with the proper coordinations they make up most of the physical parts of what "ki" actually is.

Best.

Mike

thisisnotreal
08-12-2009, 11:08 AM
Thanks Mike. That is interesting.

dps
08-12-2009, 11:27 AM
Thanks Mike. That is interesting.

Maybe this will help.

"Connective tissue, also known as "fascia", is one of the most ignored aspects of the human body by modern day medicine. Fascia holds and supports all body systems in place creating a soft tissue structural evironment for all of the systems to function together. It might be helpful to think of fascia in your own body as your "soft tissue body suit".

What exactly is Fascia and why should it be treated?

Fascia manifests as a dense connective tissue layered three dimensionally throughout the body from head to toe without interruption. It permeates muscles, makes up tendons and ligaments, and wraps and holds internal organs in place. Nerves and blood vessels run through fascia and are suspended in place throughout the body. Trauma and inflammatory responses can create restrictions in fascia of approximately 2,000 lbs per square inch that do not show up on any standard tests such as x-rays, MRI's, and CAT scans. This results in a dynamic where the body ends up squeezing itself. This internal straight jacket applies pressure to pain sensitive structures such as muscles, nerves, and blood vessels resulting in chronic pain, headaches, restricted range-of-motion, and disease. "

http://www.cedronsterling.com/Treatment_Approach

Another interesting topic along this line, Google 'biotensegrity'.

David

David

dps
08-12-2009, 12:07 PM

http://www.rmaxinternational.com/flowcoach/?p=320

I am not endorsing the product but consider the information presented.

David

Buck
08-14-2009, 10:43 PM
Other points of interest for some:

http://www.geocities.com/tukylam/mojing.html
To find this “lump” and to be able to use it, we have to be very relaxed. If we use force which can make our whole body tense up, we will never find it. It will certainly help if we try to feel our body weight shifting forwards and backwards during zhan-zhuang. We usually feel the “outer” body weight which will slowly move inside our body to give us the feeling of a big lump.

Our internal strength is this big “lump” plus the movement of the whole body as described in the section “Mo-jing movements”. As for how internal strength works, see my article “How Does Hunyuanli Works?” also posted on this website.

CONCLUSION
Our internal strength is this big “lump” plus the movement of the whole body as described in the section “Mo-jing movements”. As for how internal strength works, see my article “How Does Hunyuanli Works?” also posted on this website.

How Does “Hun yuan li” Works?
http://www.geocities.com/tukylam/hunyuanli.html

STEPPING

“Mo cha bu” (ground rubbing or mud-walking) is the foundation of all Yiquan stepping. When doing Mo cha bu, we should not just move our foot forward or backward by itself as doing so has no strength. We should use our hips and our legs to move our foot. For example, we start from an “Embrace-a-Tree” posture with one foot in front and the other at the back with our body weight more on the back leg. Then we rotate our palms to make them face the ground with our fingers pointing the front. This is “Fu-an” ji ji zhuang (Hold and Push posture in a fighting stance).

Before we lift our back foot up and move it forward, we have to shift our body weight to the front foot, and sit properly on our front leg. We lift the top of our head up, make our front foot gently push into ground and raise our body slightly. That way our back foot is lifted off the ground. We now have to use our hips and our legs to move our back foot closer to our front foot before moving it out to the front and form a fighting stance. Now the front foot becomes the back foot. We will repeat the same process to move the back foot forward again. This is how “mo ca bu” should be done. (When we practice Mo cha bu going backwards, the movements are reverse.)

In Mo cha bu, the distance between our feet is only the width of our shoulders (just like when we stand in the “Embrace-a-Tree” posture). The distance can be much widened to become a big stepping exercise (twice as wide). The movements are exactly the same as in Mo cha bu except that the speed is faster and we move forward with our head leading the move and our back leg pushes our body forwards.

Another useful stepping is that we move our front foot one step forward and our back foot follows suit. Here we should remember to use our head to lead the move and our back leg to push our body forwards. With this kind of stepping, we can move in a straight line forward or move diagonally forward in a 45 degree angle. All the stepping should be trained in backward movements as well.

Stepping is good training to our legs. It complements shi-li movements in which we mainly use our hands. Of course, we also practice shi-li with stepping, which is much harder because we do two at the same time. But if we can do stepping (Zou bu) and shi-li well respectively, with some effort we can quickly combine the two. Stepping is useful in push-hands and sparring. Good stepping can confuse our opponents and can help us attack more efficiently. It can also help us step out of danger quickly.

In case, it may have not been noticed by some, but I didn't write this, I included the whole thing for those like me, who want to read the whole passage and not just part.
I have no agenda, or investment and alike stuff on what I am saying. It is the fact that I have faith in Aikido (O’Sensei’s Aikido, the original Aikido), if O'Sensei did under the conditions of his learning and instruction, he must have had have True Internal Strength as well.

I see allot of relation to and similarities Aikido in ways, shared stuff and all that. For those of a sort, I am not saying anything is exact in everyway, but rather illustrating common ground or similar properties recognized that are shared with Aikido and Chinese internal strength stuff, and exercises. I am not arguing that Chinese Internal arts aren't effective. I am suggesting (willing to explore it on a sophisticated level) that Aikido too has such internal stuff like the Chinese MA. But, it is used differently in Aikido. I am not saying there isn't any influence from the Chinese MA to Aikido. O'Sensei used the same polar opposites, like in the Chinese MA- Those relating details are not important here now. What is important, is knowing Aikido teaches both types of internal strength; the true internal strength of one's self, and that physical stuff of the Chinese MA.

And add this too from my other post:

Internal Strength Definitions And Elaborations
By Peter Lim Tian Tek
Below are some definitions from Chinese sources concerning Internal Strength. Whilst important, Internal Strength is not the sole purpose of Internal martial arts.

and

zhan-zhuang (is for body strengthing and conditioning done without a partner, by yourself. )

FWIW :)

Upyu
08-15-2009, 05:11 AM
I am not arguing that Chinese Internal arts aren't effective. I am suggesting (willing to explore it on a sophisticated level) that Aikido too has such internal stuff like the Chinese MA. But, it is used differently in Aikido.

That's definitely a quote that would come back to haunt you.
I mean, can you do the basics of these things yourself Buck?

For one thing, there's over...400-500 different "Chinese" martial styles...which is more like saying there's over 4-500 different approaches to developing this stuff. On first glance it looks like a lot, but in reality that figure is reduced down to several different approaches, with the other numbers just subtle variations on some major approaches/methods, or a mixture of several different approaches, each with varying results.

Saying "but our approach is special!," is fine, don't get me wrong...

but maybe it would be more illuminating if you told us what you think those differences in uses are?

rob_liberti
08-15-2009, 05:28 AM
I am suggesting (willing to explore it on a sophisticated level) that Aikido too has such internal stuff like the Chinese MA. But, it is used differently in Aikido. I am not saying there isn't any influence from the Chinese MA to Aikido. O'Sensei used the same polar opposites, like in the Chinese MA- Those relating details are not important here now. What is important, is knowing Aikido teaches both types of internal strength; the true internal strength of one's self, and that physical stuff of the Chinese MA.

I'm mainly on board with this.
I have no idea if Chinese IMA have a "do least amount of damage" approach with a "do no harm" ideal. But I assume that is where Buck was going. I do not think he was suggesting the approach toward learning/developing IMA.

My belief is that not only does aikido with AIKI have both things:
-true internal fortitude, as well as the physical internal strength, but that also that you can develop true internal fortitude to a much deeper level by means of practicing the physical internal strength simply because it challenges you to stop trying to control things externally, and you can be much more successful at being more severely pressure tested on mainly levels.

Rob

eyrie
08-15-2009, 05:47 AM
But, it is used differently in Aikido... What is important, is knowing Aikido teaches both types of internal strength; the true internal strength of one's self, and that physical stuff of the Chinese MA. <delurk>
Well, Rob, not only is the kind of TRUE™ "internal strength" in Aikido totally different than the "other" internal strength, it is also used differently, BUT Aikido teaches BOTH - the TRUE™ stuff and THAT OTHER "physical" stuff....

Wait a minute, is it the same thing or different thing? Or is it simply a case of Truth™, like Beauty®*, being in the eye of the beholder? :D

*Just so I could use ™ and ® in the same sentence...
</delurk>

Back to lurking... oh what the heck... © for good measure. ;)

Buck
08-15-2009, 11:41 AM
Now, true internal strength is a property of the individual that here relates to the stuff of the mind, mental strength in turn relates to character building.

Aikido creates an opportunity, I believe, for character building. Not everyone is able to or takes advantage of this opportunity to build character. Aikido an art, I am dedicated in the same way as others are dedicated and believing other things, like being on a sports team, believing in and being dedicated in something you create, build, or produce. An example, relating to me is, being in a band. Yes, there is a sense of pride I take in Aikido.

This sense of pride is a result of, having the opportunity like so many other fellow Aikidokas the opportunity to build character. I find there are many people in Aikido who focus strictly on being waza performance. That is all they are about when it comes to Aikido. They simply take Aikido at that level, and it is reflected upon all the other things in Aikido and the way they see it. Some of these people have a limited sense of pride when it comes to Aikido. There pride lays in an attitude that has really nothing to do with Aikido, but more with their own personal stuff, and reasons for taking Aikido. That is unfortunate, because when there is an absence of pride in anything, it become hallow, empty, disposable. It lacks a soul. IMO.

That is why character building is so important in Aikido and is stressed in so many worthwhile martial arts. It starts with true internal strength and without struggle to overcome something difficult, to see things in a positive way that maybe frustrating and seemingly impossible to achieve.

I am glad, despite the fact it is a mysterious conundrum, that O'Sensei felt it was important to put spirituality into Aikido. At best from what I understand generally a spirituality of positive character behaviors according to his times and his culture. Something that can be applied to our generation. I am generally speaking toward, of course, his views of violence, love, and peace.

It takes allot of internal strength not be violent, and we see that precept in allot of important and influential world philosophies and religions. This of course says peace also takes allot of internal strength. It is clear and obvious to me, that the majority of the world's societies recognize the value of peace over violence. That reflects upon the community level, and on the personal level. Most of us want to live in peace and not in violence, and often times that can be difficult, especially when we are faced with a situation where violence would seemly be easy to enact.

People get really emotional. They allow their emotions to over-ride and dictate reason and other parts of their personally. What I mean is people with quick-tempers, and has no internal strength to control it. People who have (adult tantrums) when frustrated, upset over-something, when they don't understand something, and stuff like that. All behavior we started with as children and haven't grown out of. Behavior that isn't or should be accepted in the dojo.

When in practice we have to discipline ourselves from being confrontational, quick-tempered, and belligerent and all that raw uncultured emotional stuff. Otherwise, if we don't discipline our emotions, our tongues, our thinking, and attitudes then there no learning, no harmony, and stuff. It becomes a violent and not a peaceful place where cooperation happens among people to reach their goals. Most of all, not having a pleasant environment to enjoy practice.

Here is our first step to true internal strength. Our first step in understanding the benefits of developing character that leads IMO to greater learning, greater knowledge and skill mentally and then physically universally in all things we do. And at least for me, that is what Aikido is about, true internal strength, not to be confused with the Chinese martial arts term of internal strength refering to the physical applications, and principles of the body in Chinese martial arts.

eyrie
08-15-2009, 07:11 PM
Any activity requiring a person to invest significant emotional, mental and/or physical effort *can* build character, but the activity itself doesn't necessarily cause one to develop character.

I know people who have great internal strength of the sort you refer to, yet, they have never done one iota of MA training. OTOH, I know of some people who have done MA, and they're not the sort of people I would generally want to associate with, nor let my children anywhere near. ;)

Kevin Leavitt
08-15-2009, 11:13 PM
Character in aikido is defined by many by the following virtues/values.

Yuki = courage, valor, bravery
Jin = humanity, charity, benevolence
Gi = justice, righteousness, integrity
Rei = etiquette, courtesy, civility
Makoto = sincerity, honesty, reality
Chugi = loyalty, fidelity, devotion
Meiyo = honor, credit, glory; also reputation, dignity, prestige

Pretty much the same ones I learned in the Army and In the Boy Scouts as well.

eyrie
08-16-2009, 01:46 AM
Wait a sec, Kevin... aren't we confusing Confucian precepts of "virtue" and "values" with "character" - rather than attributes of "character"?

What if we substituted Roman Catholic dogma for those same "virtues and values", will we have priests with "better character"?

Kevin Leavitt
08-16-2009, 09:02 AM
well if you look at it instutionally, sure there are alot of folks that hide behind the virtures/values of an organization that are not actually practicing them.

For example, those Priest wtih "better character" might be violating several of them. Humanity, Honor, Truthfulness.

I think this is a big problem with institutions we have to over come. that is, in many cases simply by forming an affinity with the insitution many of us (all probably) some how feel our weaknesses and shortfalls are absolved by our membership, and/or we take shelter behind the concept of the institution. Throw on some robes, a hakama...whatever...and POOF! we gain character!

When you look at internalizing values, it means you can strip away the authority/dogma/structure of the institution and you can stand on your own two feet and BE those things.

That is hard to do.

Lorel Latorilla
08-16-2009, 09:24 AM
I can't believe this thread has gone so far. This is a well-thought out troll job done by a person who has no capacity to join conversations on 'internal strength (not the true one mind you) and who sorely wants attention from you guys.

stan baker
08-16-2009, 02:27 PM
Hi Phillip,
I think you are confusing character development with internal strength.
Who do you study aikido with.

stan

eyrie
08-16-2009, 07:55 PM
...confusing character development with internal strength. My point. Precisely.

mathewjgano
08-17-2009, 12:20 AM
Hi Phillip,
I think you are confusing character development with internal strength.
Who do you study aikido with.

stan
Would it be better if he called it "inner strength" instead? I get the sense Phillip is simply saying that improved character leads to improved training in a general sense. "Internal strength" and "character" can be synonyms, can't they?

Upyu
08-17-2009, 12:55 AM
Would it be better if he called it "inner strength" instead? I get the sense Phillip is simply saying that improved character leads to improved training in a general sense. "Internal strength" and "character" can be synonyms, can't they?

Of what I have seen as your solution to Aikido, has already been explained and demonstrated by so many, such as Erle Montaigue, Robert Chuckrow, Peter Ralston, Bruce Lee, and all the other on the Barn's and Noble book shelf, and YouTube. I think if a person takes the perspective of Tai chi, and Chinese martial art and applies it to Aikido , over time will they find, they really weren't missing anything at all in their Aikido.

Got called on it by others, including myself, asking to elaborate on how they could be the "same," and on top of that asking what he could do, to which he simply changed the subject to being... "oh but now I'm talking about a 'different' kind of inner strength."
:rolleyes:

Upyu
08-17-2009, 12:57 AM
I can't believe this thread has gone so far. This is a well-thought out troll job done by a person who has no capacity to join conversations on 'internal strength (not the true one mind you) and who sorely wants attention from you guys.

Lighten up, feeding the trolls can be fun once in a while.
Kinda like walkin down Center Road in Shibuya and fishing for gyaru :D
It's a guilty pleasure.

Misogi-no-Gyo
08-17-2009, 02:05 AM
Who do you study aikido with.

(mouth moves ahead of overdubbed engrish)

OH NO HE DIDN'T!!!!

Stan, I can think of only one thing to say to you...

(mouth moves ahead of overdubbed engrish)

best in training to you and all...

PS - only racists can see racism here... oh, the irony of it.

.

Lorel Latorilla
08-17-2009, 06:51 AM
Lighten up, feeding the trolls can be fun once in a while.
Kinda like walkin down Center Road in Shibuya and fishing for gyaru :D
It's a guilty pleasure.

Ha! You know me, trolls and gyaru and interchangeable. On the other hand, college onee-kei and filipino-american girlz...hmmmm.:eek:

eyrie
08-17-2009, 07:08 AM
LOL.... I wonder what else you Aunkai peeps get up to... gyaru, onee-kei, and nampa... no doubt? Do you actually have time to train between all of that? :D

Lorel Latorilla
08-17-2009, 08:28 AM
LOL.... I wonder what else you Aunkai peeps get up to... gyaru, onee-kei, and nampa... no doubt? Do you actually have time to train between all of that? :D

LOL. You forgot to add "cone-smashing". Put it this way, we're really young guys that are interested in ancient body conditioning methods that only grumpy old men are interested in ;).

"Japan is not an amusement park!"

HL1978
08-17-2009, 08:42 AM
LOL. You forgot to add "cone-smashing". Put it this way, we're really young guys that are interested in ancient body conditioning methods that only grumpy old men are interested in ;).

"Japan is not an amusement park!"

Lorel, the actual quote by my old roommate was, "Japan is not a theme park!" It is a small part of a much larger and at least from my viewpoint (and probably yours too) unintentionally funny conversation.

Lorel Latorilla
08-17-2009, 08:51 AM
Lorel, the actual quote by my old roommate was, "Japan is not a theme park!" It is asmall snipped of a much larger and at least from my viewpoint (and probably yours too) rather funny conversation.

Dammit, I messed it up. But yeah, Rob and M1st3rX told me all about this comical quotation.

HL1978
08-17-2009, 09:50 AM
Dammit, I messed it up. But yeah, Rob and M1st3rX told me all about this comical quotation.

Of course the funny thing is its true.

mathewjgano
08-17-2009, 02:29 PM

Got called on it by others, including myself, asking to elaborate on how they could be the "same," and on top of that asking what he could do, to which he simply changed the subject to being... "oh but now I'm talking about a 'different' kind of inner strength."
:rolleyes:

You may be right about his overall argument(s) on internal aiki, but it seemed this thread was about a different sense of internal strength...I haven't read all of it though so I guess I could still be wrong. It happened once before...I believe it was a tuesday. :D

Marc Abrams
08-17-2009, 02:40 PM
You may be right about his overall argument(s) on internal aiki, but it seemed this thread was about a different sense of internal strength...I haven't read all of it though so I guess I could still be wrong. It happened once before...I believe it was a tuesday. :D

Matthew:

I think that the other posters were referring to a not-so-uncommon occurrence where a keypad warrior is asked to step away from the keypad and step up to the proverbial batter's box. The keypad warrior turns out to be a want-to-prince without his clothing, who is unable to hit the balls that are pitched towards him :eek: .

Marc Abrams

David Orange
08-17-2009, 02:57 PM
You may be right about his overall argument(s) on internal aiki, but it seemed this thread was about a different sense of internal strength...

And that might have flown, in a naive kind of way, if he hadn't also declared that all the talk of internal mechanics is a fad and unrelated to "true" internal strength. And it just got worse from there.

David

C. David Henderson
08-17-2009, 03:26 PM
I think it isn't plausible to look at this thread just in terms of an affirmative meaning of "internal strength."

Rather, it is clearly a reaction to proponents of IT methods, as it defines "true internal strength" expressly by distinguishing "TIS" from "IT" (a/k/a, "not-true internal strength," or "NTIS.")

Reading the OP makes it abundantly clear the writer's appropriation of a well-established term of art, "internal strength," to talk about "character development," and the elevation of the later as the posited "true" purpose of aikido training is simultaneously a way of disparaging the importance of IT ("NTIS") as it normally is understood:

Rob,

I am not the type of person who jumps on band wagons, clings to new trends and fads, or desperately seeking something out that is the cure-all. ....

[True Internal Strength] [I]isn't the new retro martial arts fad or buzz word that can be interjected into any martial art giving it that extra little something.

Maybe, if you had a better opportunity to exercise your internal strength and not mistake that for a physical remedy to a lacking ability in your Aikido, than you might feel differently about things. You might look a peace differently.

Rob, that is what true internal strength is all about.

This is why it struck me as a violation of norms of debate for the advocate of this view to declare posts "OT" when they react to the posited distinction he first made and declare those reacting to be overly sensitive.

The point of view advocated also begs some pretty basic questions, IMO. Such as:

1. Isn't martial effectiveness of prime concern to any serious follower of a "martial path," even if that person practices for the "-do" rather than just to master the "jutsu?"

2. What factual basis exists to suggest that internal strength training is somehow contrary to character development in a martial art, much less an exercise in violence?

3. Should someone truly committed to self-transformation through a martial practice restrict their point of view, their experience, and their training, apparently based on pride and/or loyalty?

4. Is it consistent with the ideals of traditional Aikido to enter into an interaction -- even a virtual one -- that is laden with overtones of conflict, obtain the predictable reaction, and then effectively withhold one's center from the interaction (i.e., act as though the other person is just confused or overly sensitive)?

We certainly can choose to ignore the false dichotomy at the heart of this thread to the extent the topic of "character development in the martial arts" is an interesting or important topic.

Alternatively, we can go on talking about internal training issues -- some of those posts were very interesting.

But in my view it's no accident that these posts both have spun off of the OP, and its no misperception that the OP takes a shot -- gratuitously, to my way of thinking -- at "IT."

YMMV

cdh

Ron Tisdale
08-17-2009, 03:30 PM
David H.,

I am in awe. You said that very well, and I know I couldn't have said that as well.

Best,
Ron

Kevin Leavitt
08-17-2009, 04:11 PM
Good post David! Couple of comments.

1. Isn't martial effectiveness of prime concern to any serious follower of a "martial path," even if that person practices for the "-do" rather than just to master the "jutsu?"

I think so, I know it was true for me. Ironically, today I would not come to DO arts for this as there is way too much inefficiency to become martially efficient. When you say martial efficiency, of course, you have to define the conditions and parameters and desired endstates of that efficiency, which narrows the whole topic down to learning Techniques, Tactics, and Procedures (TTPs), which is a very, very narrow set of things that you learn to do in order to solve that problem. No need to practice a "DO" art to do that. Although the principles are there in the TTPs, I don't believe there is a big need to dwell on them indepth.

To me it is akin thinking you need to understand the physics of combustion down to the molecular level in order to simply drive a car.

We'd never consider doing that to drive to the store, but somehow when we look at martial efficiency, all of a suddened it becomes this big secret and mysterious thing full of philosophy, ethics, and secret techniques!

2. What factual basis exists to suggest that internal strength training is somehow contrary to character development in a martial art, much less an exercise in violence?

None of course, as there are many ways people can "Self Realize" to use a clinical, non-emotional base description.

Again, for some reason when we couple this with the martial arts, all of a sudden it becomes mysterious and deep when Ironically I think the practice itself is pretty upfront and easy to understand. We train hard and properly and we learn alot about ourselves and how to do things differently IF (BIG IF) we get out of our own way, open our minds, and honestly LET GO of our egos and attachments. This has been a huge thing for me to do.

I thought I was OPEN, but meeting many of these guys in the past two years has shown me that I wasn't and that I really wasn't committed to training and doing the really difficult and mundane stuff. Still hard, but I am starting, slowly!

It is simple and not mysterious.

3. Should someone truly committed to self-transformation through a martial practice restrict their point of view, their experience, and their training, apparently based on pride and/or loyalty?

LOL, I think I just covered this one above in #2 as well!

4. Is it consistent with the ideals of traditional Aikido to enter into an interaction -- even a virtual one -- that is laden with overtones of conflict, obtain the predictable reaction, and then effectively withhold one's center from the interaction (i.e., act as though the other person is just confused or overly sensitive)?

I don't know....I guess I always like a "Entering" into a challenge and conflict, but there is always a chance that I am going to get cold cocked as well. (learned that the hard way over the years). What I do believe in though is knowing that I attacked hard and fast and so when I do get hit, I don't cry "foul" and "bully"...as I am the one that asked for the fight, and I know it.

Nothing wrong with asking tough questions and being critical, that is how we learn. Then again, there is "Einsteins Theory of Insanity as well!".

I agree that character develop is a good topic to discuss, specifically how we use martial practices to develop it.

I do feel though that we place way too much attachment on the whole spiritual/character development realm at the expense of training.

Aikido and Budo in general are very specific (or should be) about how we do those things. It is through (or should be) hard, tough, realistic training. The Martial training leads and shapes the character development...not the other way around.

We should not mold the training to the precieved "ethics" or the philosophy that we want to achieve. That is what I think we do wrong in aikido.

We somehow start to look at particular styles, training, and techniques as somehow being more or less ethical than others. Dangerous cause we start discarding stuff that we think does not fit.

Character can be developed through other practices and stuff. Boy Scouts, Dharma Groups, Yoga, Church, community work....whatever you want to do.

You can certainly live a very wholesome, spiritual and ethical life without ever setting foot in a dojo.

There is something special about what we do in Aikido and Budo and that is we study violence. We need to come to grips with this subject and understand it. The power of it to control us and our world, and how we can best go about skillfully controlling it within ourselves and others around us.

So, yes, I think discussing Character Development is a very good topic!

mathewjgano
08-17-2009, 04:13 PM
And that might have flown, in a naive kind of way, if he hadn't also declared that all the talk of internal mechanics is a fad and unrelated to "true" internal strength. And it just got worse from there.
Well I definately think a person should be ready for a variety of replies whenever they start talking about "true-such-and-such," but I figured it was a rhetorical device...kind of like saying there's absolutely no aiki in aikido today.
In terms of a sudden swell of popularity, I can see why someone might call the internal mechanics issues as being a fad, but I think you could say that about other aspects of Aikido at different times too. The Beatles were a fad, but they're still perfectly valid.

mathewjgano
08-17-2009, 04:19 PM
You may be right about Phillip's actions on this topic...I try hard to take things at face value...sometimes a little too hard maybe.

Kevin Leavitt
08-17-2009, 04:28 PM
Well I definately think a person should be ready for a variety of replies whenever they start talking about "true-such-and-such," but I figured it was a rhetorical device...kind of like saying there's absolutely no aiki in aikido today.
In terms of a sudden swell of popularity, I can see why someone might call the internal mechanics issues as being a fad, but I think you could say that about other aspects of Aikido at different times too. The Beatles were a fad, but they're still perfectly valid.

You mean like saying "HI...Jack" on an airplane?

Mike Sigman
08-17-2009, 04:40 PM
Long ago I lived in Haight-Ashbury and played guitar in a bar while I explored life among the Flower Children (aka "Hippies"). The one major aspect that has always stuck with me was the number of FC's who did a lot of talking about "spiritual", "personal development", and all that while it wasn't hard for anyone with common sense to spot that a lot of the "spiritual" talk was really self-serving and a sort of affected role ... of the "Look At Me" variety.

I've met some pretty spiritual people in my life, but none of them talked about it a lot and didn't go out of their way to use a lot of spiritual buzzwords all the time. Cultivating oneself probably doesn't have a lot to do with buzzword-utility. ;)

YMMV

Mike

C. David Henderson
08-17-2009, 04:55 PM
Thanks Ron and Kevin.

Kevin, you write:

****

There is something special about what we do in Aikido and Budo and that is we study violence. We need to come to grips with this subject and understand it. The power of it to control us and our world, and how we can best go about skillfully controlling it within ourselves and others around us.

Of the many points you made to which I am largely in agreement, this one may be the most fundamental point for me. I think it puts into bold perspective the distinctive opening Budo provides for self-exploration, self-understanding, and growth. If we enter.

Best,
David

Marc Abrams
08-17-2009, 05:04 PM
Well I definately think a person should be ready for a variety of replies whenever they start talking about "true-such-and-such," but I figured it was a rhetorical device...kind of like saying there's absolutely no aiki in aikido today.
In terms of a sudden swell of popularity, I can see why someone might call the internal mechanics issues as being a fad, but I think you could say that about other aspects of Aikido at different times too. The Beatles were a fad, but they're still perfectly valid.

Matthew:

I think that people have sought to delineate between the person and the ideas being discussed. A person who has put many hard years of work into something (eg. Dan & Mike) can speak from experience about the differences in ideas, philosophies, etc.. When a person who either assumes or pretends to have knowledge, when it is clear that he/she does not, posits self-serving questions, then that is an entirely different situation all together.

For example, the individual members of the Beatles were all musicians who put their time into their craft BEFORE being recognized by the public at large.

Character development is important, and is associated with DO. The hard work that is involved in changing the person helps to create the conditions that lead to that type of character development. Those that assume that they experience "character development" in absence of the hard work typically become evident to others when they are suddenly and unexpectedly confronted with a real conflict. It is akin to one of my "Marcisms" in my other job: "The strength of a relationship is not really seen in how well two people get along, but in how well they fight." In unexpected and/or heated conflicts, true natures tend to emerge. Many times it is not what we want to see in ourselves, but it is what we need to see in ourselves in order to realize real change. That takes a lot of hard work in any venue.

Marc Abrams

mathewjgano
08-17-2009, 05:06 PM
Playing a bit of devil's advocate for the sake of furthering the conversation (i.e. my understanding of things):

I think it isn't plausible to look at this thread just in terms of an affirmative meaning of "internal strength."

Rather, it is clearly a reaction to proponents of IT methods, as it defines "true internal strength" expressly by distinguishing "TIS" from "IT" (a/k/a, "not-true internal strength," or "NTIS.")

Reading the OP makes it abundantly clear the writer's appropriation of a well-established term of art, "internal strength," to talk about "character development," and the elevation of the later as the posited "true" purpose of aikido training is simultaneously a way of disparaging the importance of IT ("NTIS") as it normally is understood:
You may be right. I didn't read it that way. I read it as being a spin-off title, but not a contradiction to the idea that internal skills are important. Although, based on the idea that O Sensei didn't care if his students got "it" wouldn't it seem debatable to suggest that character development is more important than "it"?

1. Isn't martial effectiveness of prime concern to any serious follower of a "martial path," even if that person practices for the "-do" rather than just to master the "jutsu?"
I suppose that depends on what you mean by prime. I mean, I certainly don't want to get worse at it; I want to get better, but I can also get behind the idea that lesson content isn't always the primary lesson itself.

2. What factual basis exists to suggest that internal strength training is somehow [I]contrary to character development in a martial art, much less an exercise in violence?
Is this the same issue as brought forth by the "does seeking power impair aiki" thread? Considering the amount of dedication internal development requires, I'm inclined to think it's more prone toward character building than not.

3. Should someone truly committed to self-transformation through a martial practice restrict their point of view, their experience, and their training, apparently based on pride and/or loyalty?
There was more to the purpose expressed than pride and loyalty wasn't there?

4. Is it consistent with the ideals of traditional Aikido to enter into an interaction -- even a virtual one -- that is laden with overtones of conflict, obtain the predictable reaction, and then effectively withhold one's center from the interaction (i.e., act as though the other person is just confused or overly sensitive)?
Certainly not.

But in my view it's no accident that these posts both have spun off of the OP, and its no misperception that the OP takes a shot -- gratuitously, to my way of thinking -- at "IT."

Well I hope it wasn't a shot at "It," and those who are interested in it. I think people should respect the fact that different people hold different values in different proportions.
Anyhoo, my two bits.
Take care,
Matthew

mathewjgano
08-17-2009, 05:55 PM
FWIW...
Matthew:

I think that people have sought to delineate between the person and the ideas being discussed.
I'm not sure I understand what you mean here. Would you be willing to paraphrase it?

When a person who either assumes or pretends to have knowledge, when it is clear that he/she does not, posits self-serving questions...
From the objective standpoint that people with first-hand knowledge of something are truer authoritties than those who haven't understanding (or less understanding), then, yes there is greater validity to their words. From the subjective standpoint of someone like me who cannot always tell the difference, all we have are the words themselves...and to me the questions don't seem self-serving because they leave it to others to rebut: everyone says what they think and the conversation goes on until it's no longer interesting/entertaining. If the questions are just veiled means of expressing an opinion, it still leaves it to others to disagree. I guess I don't see a problem with people expressing potentially ignorant opinions...even doggedly or indirectly. And really, do the opinions of the ignorant (such as myself) weigh that much?

Those that assume that they experience "character development" in absence of the hard work typically become evident to others when they are suddenly and unexpectedly confronted with a real conflict.
I agree that people who look for the easy excuse are not helping themselves AND are setting themselves up for bigger problems. I also would agree it's easy to sit in front of a computer and lay down line after line and feel like they've done more to contribute to their understanding of aikido than they actually have. I know I've been guilty of that.

"The strength of a relationship is not really seen in how well two people get along, but in how well they fight." In unexpected and/or heated conflicts, true natures tend to emerge.
I would disagree, but I'd really just be getting into semantics; I think I agree with the essence of your meaning here.

Many times it is not what we want to see in ourselves, but it is what we need to see in ourselves in order to realize real change. That takes a lot of hard work in any venue.

Marc Abrams
Amen to that, brother!:)

C. David Henderson
08-17-2009, 06:09 PM
Hi Matthew.

Playing a bit of devil's advocate for the sake of furthering the conversation (i.e. my understanding of things)

"Friend of the devil is a friend of mine," as the song goes. I'm happy to let you know my point of view, as long as you understand my limited expertise.

....Based on the idea that O Sensei didn't care if his students got "it" wouldn't it seem debatable to suggest that character development is more important than "it"?

I'm not sure the record is clear enough for a categorical statement about O'Sensei and his students, and my impression is that what he taught and how he taught differed not only over time but depending on where he was teaching/demonstrating.

Speaking for myself, I still say your question mixes processes and end-states in a way that suggests false choices.

I suppose that depends on what you mean by prime. I certainly don't want to get worse at it; I want to get better, but I can also get behind the idea that lesson content isn't always the primary lesson itself.

Yet when I think about those other "lessons," they still depend, in my view, on Aikido as martially effective

Take something as mundane as yonkyo, as traditionally practiced. I've seen men and women struggle with their pain reaction to the point of being emotionally overwhelmed in the moment. It's what they do with the reaction that then matters, in terms of -Do.

Affirming the one at the expense of the other just seems foolish and false to me.

Is this the same issue as brought forth by the "does seeking power impair aiki" thread? .

Erick should address that, if anyone. I think they are related but not the same. This one might be, "does seeking power impair -do?"

Considering the amount of dedication internal development requires, I'm inclined to think it's more prone toward character building than not

I'm inclined to agree. IT seems aimed at development of an ability to become and stay both self-aware and connected in a profound physical way in the midst of physical conflict. Surely there is alot there to contemplate for those so inclined.

There was more to the purpose expressed than pride and loyalty wasn't there?

OK, such as? In any event whatever mix of motives lies behind the decision to have a closed mind, you still end up with a closed mind, no?

Well I hope it wasn't a shot at "It," and those who are interested in it. I think people should respect the fact that different people hold different values in different proportions.

Matthew, you are a kind soul.

Take care,
Matthew

You too.

David

Buck
08-17-2009, 10:41 PM
And that might have flown, in a naive kind of way, if he hadn't also declared that all the talk of internal mechanics is a fad and unrelated to "true" internal strength. And it just got worse from there.

David

Function: noun
Etymology: origin unknown
Date: 1867
: a practice or interest followed for a time with exaggerated zeal : craze

Main Entry: zeal
Pronunciation: \ˈzēl\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English zele, from Late Latin zelus, from Greek zēlos
Date: 14th century
: eagerness and ardent interest in pursuit of something : fervor <her zeal to succeed strained her relationships>

synonyms see passion

Main Entry: craze
Pronunciation: \ˈkrāz\
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): crazed; craz·ing
Etymology: Middle English crasen to crush, craze, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Swedish krasa to crush
Date: 14th century
transitive verb
1 obsolete : break, shatter
2 : to produce minute cracks on the surface or glaze of <crazed glass>
3 : to make insane or as if insane <crazed by pain and fear>
intransitive verb
1 archaic : shatter, break
2 : to become insane
3 : to develop a mesh of fine cracks

Kevin Leavitt
08-17-2009, 10:57 PM
Buck, what is your point? Please if you will summarize and make a point other than simply cutting and pasting examples of thing that other folks right, or from another authority.

The purpose of boards is to synthesize facts and concepts into statements or arguments. You use authorities or facts such as the above to support those facts.

I think we have covered the subject that you believe that Internal strength as a "Craze or a Fad" or that folks have a Zeal for it that is somewhat a fanatical. Got it that is your opinion and you are entitled to it.

You also go on to declare what O'Sensei's true purpose of Aikido was.

I asked you several days ago for you to establish the basis for the statement. What books you've read, who you talked to, studied with or any number of sources that have led you to form this conclusion.

I am not even saying that you are wrong. Heck, I for one go on record as saying I really do not know what O'Sensei wanted or intended in AIkido at all!

I can only interpret what I learn from others that have more experience than I.

So, when someone makes such a declarative statement, I really honestly want to know.

I only know what my Instructors tell me. One, that studied directly with him and many that are the senior students (second/third generation) and they tell me a consistent message....so that is all I have to go on!

Buck
08-17-2009, 11:50 PM
By providing the defination, of "Fad" I hope that cleared it up. :)

Lorel Latorilla
08-17-2009, 11:55 PM
troll on a roll, yeah! troll on a roll....on a roll, on a roll.

gdandscompserv
08-18-2009, 12:00 AM
http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b379/deserthippie/troller.jpg

Buck
08-18-2009, 12:56 AM
Since so many people of late I feel are having trouble with this thread. I would like to post what started this thread. Which is in my first post here responding to Rob.

I was trying to explain to Rob, not argue as so many like to do, either formally or not. I am not into to that. But I have realize that some people here no matter how much you or others try to explain something will, or try and avoid an unproductive argument will always be resistant. That is fine. It is my philosophy that the beauty of the net is you just don't have read something you don't agree on.

I understand those who argue passionately about something, and that fire comes throughout the posts. If it isn't directed personally a someone and it is still on topic.

But because this thread has taken a shape I didn't intend it to be, which is fine, I am not in to control, and I am not sensitive about these things. Hey I respect the freedom of speech, and feel everyone should voice their opinion (if it isn't done in a way that it brakes the rules here). I am not going to shut down, condemn, harass, get my ego hurt, and that kind of stuff, because of someone's post that I didn't like what they say. Or because I disagree. I am not that kind of person. Though, I may tell you what I think, passionately, but take it FWIW. I am not out to change the world, or what ever.

It may upset people that I am a dedicated Aikidoka who has decided to focus strictly on O'Sensei and how he seen Aikido. That I am dedicated to Aikido, and feel Aikido is great art that has helped. But I am not going to apologize for that. Nor do I care, if that offends some people who don't have the same constitution, devotion, or love of Aikido. Or that don't look at Aikido as highly as other arts they do. Yes, I will defend Aikido, but it will be done in a civil manner like I just did. All without personal attacks, and stuff. That isn't my way, or do I feel is my Aikido way. I don't need to fight from a keyboard or not. Being defensive doesn't you have to be belligerent, confrontational, and stuff. Exercising internal strength, the stuff that is taught in Aikido and other true martial arts is a refection of character. Yes, character means not being belligerent, confrontaional, and stuff. It means being civil,doesn't it. That is why I like Aikido, it teaches to civility, and good character in words and deeds.

Here is the original post that the first post I quoted Rob that started the thread. I did so because it was OT.

I hope what is see is the complexity
Philip Burgess (in Aikido My Way thread) wrote: I have realized Aikido is about personal character, it is about people being better and refraining from violence on its most understandable level. It isn't about injecting it with the latest fad martial art or what not to make it better, more effective. That is the very shallowest level of Aikido, I had realized early on. If I was to over-come past and future bullies I first must over-come myself.

These types of things are always over-looked when someone offers a new "customization, enhancement, or retro fit" to Aikido. It shouldn't be that way, IT shouldn't be over-looked. That is the heart, and soul of Aikido is character, personal change and growth. There lays the strength and power of Aikido, knowing violence is the struggle for control. Violence means not having control. Where as peace is control. Aikido is about control.

If you went back to the original post and referenced though all the responses you will see Rob presented a very complex thing. I responded the best way I knew. And I have made reasonable attempts and made apologies early on, to clarify anything hurt feelings, misunderstandings,infringed on others territory, or toes stepped on. All of which for some reason hasn't an effect, and ignored, and I expect that to continue. All of which reinforces my personal belief that all I can do is present my opinon, and refrain from discussing things. I really don't like to argue, for me it to discuss opinions on topics. Now, like I said I will just present opinions, and make clarifications when needed.

FWIAW.

:)

Tim Fong
08-18-2009, 01:11 AM
Ha! You know me, trolls and gyaru and interchangeable. On the other hand, college onee-kei and filipino-american girlz...hmmmm.:eek:

Shoot, son. You oughta move to the Bay then. You can kick it with Fil-Am females, bang at an mma gym and meet up with folks to work your internal skills. I also hear that there are a few cats who can teach you how to swing a pinuti.:)

Buck
08-18-2009, 01:26 AM
It may upset people that I am a dedicated Aikidoka who has decided to focus strictly on O'Sensei and how he seen Aikido.

:)

This means I love Aikido, if I didn't I would be dedicated to it. I am dedicated to Aikido with all its flaws, and warts, its imperfections. Many people interpret Aikido to a wide range of ways. Some of the ways I disagree- my opinion. And because there is so many different perspectives that range from one extreme to another, some of which I subscribed to. I feel now, because of that, it is best for me to focus on what O'Sensei intended Aikido to be to the my best of my understanding and ability. If that is upsetting to some who feel Aikido is flawed or incomplete or dedicated to a different view, I am sorry, but there is no apologize coming. I am not going to apologize for being commited and dedicated, for working hard at, and not giving up on Aikido.

I hope those who feel different will find what they are looking for and that will bring them great happiness.

Lorel Latorilla
08-18-2009, 06:18 AM
Shoot, son. You oughta move to the Bay then. You can kick it with Fil-Am females, bang at an mma gym and meet up with folks to work your internal skills. I also hear that there are a few cats who can teach you how to swing a pinuti.:)

Tempting, all too very tempting Timmy boy. If only I had the dough flow.

Marc Abrams
08-18-2009, 08:06 AM
It may upset people that I am a dedicated Aikidoka who has decided to focus strictly on O'Sensei and how he seen Aikido. That I am dedicated to Aikido, and feel Aikido is great art that has helped. But I am not going to apologize for that. Nor do I care, if that offends some people who don't have the same constitution, devotion, or love of Aikido. Or that don't look at Aikido as highly as other arts they do. Yes, I will defend Aikido, but it will be done in a civil manner like I just did. All without personal attacks, and stuff. That isn't my way, or do I feel is my Aikido way. I don't need to fight from a keyboard or not. Being defensive doesn't you have to be belligerent, confrontational, and stuff. Exercising internal strength, the stuff that is taught in Aikido and other true martial arts is a refection of character. Yes, character means not being belligerent, confrontaional, and stuff. It means being civil,doesn't it. That is why I like Aikido, it teaches to civility, and good character in words and deeds.

:)

Phillip:

Please enlighten us as to how it is that you have this inside track into O'Sensei and how he saw Aikido. In order to do so, please provide all us of with a list of the dojo and instructors with whom you train with and how long you have been training with them. I for one, would love to get your teacher's opinions on how it is that you so ardently represent and know so much about O'Sensei's thoughts and opinions.

You then go on to assume that other people do not have the same "constitution, devotion, or love of Aikido." When were you appointed the judge others in those areas? You have my personal invitation to come and teach an adult class at my dojo so that myself and my students can learn from such an apparently pure representative of Aikido. You will have an opportunity to civilly step away from your comfy keyboard and show us what you so ardently say that you represent. My students and myself will independently write reviews of your class and post them so that other people can reflect upon how you impacted a dojo full of dedicated students.

Since you seemingly have a background that enables you to compare other martial arts to Aikido. Please let us know what experiences you have in other arts that enable you to make such an opinion. We would then like a public demonstration as to how you utilize your Aikido and all of the great internal strength that it has brought you to handle attacks from marital artists of other disciplines.

You so tactfully set yourself up as a victim and defender of those who seek to "attack" Aikido. It is no wonder that people are sending out a troll alert on this thread. I sent you a succinct, private pm regarding your postings and hoped that it would allow you some quiet time for reflection. Obviously, you need to continue your patterned behaviors. In absence of anything substantial behind what you can do that backs up what you can say, you will continue to be viewed by many as someone who cannot walk the talk. At the end of the day, true character is measures by someone who can walk the talk.

Marc Abrams

David Orange
08-18-2009, 08:39 AM
By providing the defination, of "Fad" I hope that cleared it up. :)

Except your use of "fad" is backward, buddy. IS was in aikido when Ueshiba was doing it. The "fad" is to practice aikido as a brand name product without the IS component.

A bit dim, at best...

Good luck with that.

David

David Orange
08-18-2009, 08:47 AM
It may upset people that I am a dedicated Aikidoka who has decided to focus strictly on O'Sensei and how he seen Aikido.

Buck, I was uchi-deshi to one of Morihei Ueshiba's earliest uchi-deshi. And the syrupy goo-goo you're ladling out here is nothing like anything I ever saw. If you really want to get an idea of "how he seen Aikido," then you should go to Japan and live as an uchi-deshi in any aikido dojo. I would recommend Iwama, where, technically, they are very close to what O Sensei consistently did through many decades, but even at aikikai hombu, where they're teaching something that is considerably whittled down from that, you will find it to contain none of the claptrap you're spewing here. You will also find it considerably tougher and far less concerned with your inner feelings and imaginations than you seem to believe is the essence of the art.

That I am dedicated to Aikido, and feel Aikido is great art that has helped.

How dedicated are you, Buck? Do you train six hours a week at a community school somewhere? That's a lot for most Americans. Give us some idea of how "real" your dedication is. That speaks more than this "radio preacher" stuff you're posting here.

David

Lorel Latorilla
08-18-2009, 11:34 AM
Guys, true internal strength has nothing to do with fascia, jin, structure, torque, aiki, etc. It also has nothing to do with character. True internal strength is the ability to resist the urge to nampa onee-kei hime gyarus walking the streets of Ameri-mura in Osaka. Buck, do you agree with this?

C. David Henderson
08-18-2009, 11:34 AM

Look closely at your recent posts. Suppose I said, parallelling your latest self-presentation:

"It may upset people that I am a dedicated True American who has decided to focus strictly on America as its founders intended it to be. That I am dedicated to America, and feel America is a great country. But I am not going to apologize for that. Nor do I care, if that offends some people who don't have the same constitution, devotion, or love of America."

(Emphasized words substituted for the original.)

Most of us would recognize this as a classic form of divisive political rhetoric, irrespective of the person's substantive beliefs about their country.

Similarly, several people have just told you that your original statement, substituting "Aikido" for country, also is .... ill received.

I am willing, as yet, to accept that there is an underlying felt sincerity behind your posts. That you feel "passionately" about what you understand to be traditional Aikido. That you think it needs to be studied as it has been presented, rather than changed or supplemented. And that it's true purpose is to make better people.

I also have a number of notions about the kind of character development a martial art should facilitate. Some of those qualities I would include are self awareness, and a certain flexibility in perception and action. They don't include denial, playing the martyr, or boasting.

Would you agree with that?

regards,

cdh
.

David Orange
08-18-2009, 12:02 PM
"It may upset people that I am a dedicated True American who has decided to focus strictly on America as its founders intended it to be. That I am dedicated to America, and feel America is a great country. But I am not going to apologize for that. Nor do I care, if that offends some people who don't have the same constitution, devotion, or love of America."

Isn't that a quote from that rube who showed up at the Obama meeting carrying an assault rifle?:p

Actually, though, that kind of statement plays very well with a significant portion of the populace. And that's just sad.

David

Marc Abrams
08-18-2009, 12:06 PM
To All:

I frankly think that until such time that Phillip can demonstrate his real knowledge about anything that he discusses in a dojo with someone respected on the Aikiweb through his practice of Aikido, or any other art for that matter, that we simply turn our attentions to people and ideas that truly add to our Aikido/budo/bujutsu community as a whole. Until such time, talk is cheap and I am frankly tired of giving him the benefit of doubt and time of day.

Marc Abrams

stan baker
08-18-2009, 09:15 PM
Hi Shaun.
Do you practice aikido and with who.

stan

Buck
08-18-2009, 09:47 PM
Because of my original post quoting Rob, has lead me to post more toward discussing true internal strength, something we can achieve. And in my experience can be done in Aikido.

The definitions I presented for each word and what the phrase means has been established many posts back. There is no reason to go over old ground. But, I would like to thank sincerely all those who contributed and helped establish that true internal strength is different from the translated Chinese concept.

Early on prior to this thread, I came across this, "How practicing yoga builds internal strength for day to day living."
February 16, 2009 by Seka Ojdrovic. I was struck by what she wrote. And what keyed me in and made a parallel experience for me in Aikido.

" ... my journey with others. I'm also interested in learning about what other people go through in helping themselves and others to create a better world.

I'm still not at my grandfather's level of spiritual strength, but I'm taking steps to get there. He is an inspiration to me in the way he lived his life -- not by loudly proclaiming his beliefs to people uninterested in listening, but by quietly living his life with his beliefs at the forefront of his actions.

Practicing yoga draws our focus inward, so it's our responsibility to truly evaluate what kind of impact we're making on this planet for however long we're here. What kind of legacy would I like to leave in my absence?"

It is important to read the article (http://pranaflownz.com/2009/02/16/how-practicing-yoga-builds-internal-strength-for-day-to-day-living/)in its entirety to get her tone and stuff. Because, the quoted is out of context the tone might be misleading.

Now I seen allot of truths in this persons life, and things that are parallel to Aikido's philosophy. Like in this quote,[/I] "Practicing yoga draws our focus inward, so it's our responsibility to truly evaluate what kind of impact we're making on this planet for however long we're here. What kind of legacy would I like to leave in my absence?" [/I] For me I felt the same, practicing Aikido which can draw our focus inward, where we take responsibility to truly evaluate impact on the plant.

For me this isn't so much being "Green," instead it is the complexity of us being human, and the whole range and scope of being that. It makes me focus on, and think about the complexity of violence in our culture, and how we violence in so many cultures is acceptable. And how, as individuals, we can change that acceptance of violence both in ourselves and other. That doesn't me the eradication of all violence. But rather change the tolerance levels for violence.

"I’ve begun to really question what I hold most important in life. Family. Love. Acceptance. Support. These are all significant on a personal level… but how can I use the strength created by the practice of yoga to reach out to the world around me?" For me, this is true as well in Aikido. A bit different of course when it comes to Aikido, since Aikido practice isn't yoga practice.

It is rather a result of discipline both mental and physical and through the struggle of learning something very difficult such as technique. Like where you fail thousands of times, come close a million times before you get it once. Or where by the nature of Aikido practice seeks to resolve conflict, and to control violence or aggression. Aikido in general is instead about de-escalating conflict, where you don't have to go toe-to-toe, force against force to get result. Aikido teaches through practice to blend when confronted with violence, and aggression, and then be able to control it. Aikido don't have to meet violence on its own terms, you don't have to be a typical fighter to have control over violence.

The mind through the practice of the body in Aikido has changed the way many people look at themselves. Over years of practice this can have an effect on people. And people have posted that truth how Aikido change them from being aggressive and violent to not. Or how these people where able to avoid violence, because of Aikido.

It takes true internal strength to avoid violence when otherwise you might engage in it. I was told by a Chinese Professor who practiced both Chinese internal arts, and external arts the goal of a good Chinese martial artist is to avoid conflict (referring to violence as well). And that idea has also worked its way into the Chinese way of life- goings without saying, of course that is to a degree, and he doesn't mean everyone. But the point is that parallels Aikido philosophy on certain level.

True internal strength helps us to discover, evaluate and draws our focus inward. That might not be true for everyone, it is lost on some, it is ignored by others, and some just don't get it. Point is it is not something EVERYONE experiences, and I don't want the reader to think I meant everyone- of course I don't that goes without saying. That is something to get people to look inward, and change. I credit Aikido for the internal strength I found. :)

Lorel Latorilla
08-18-2009, 10:06 PM
Guys, true internal strength has nothing to do with fascia, jin, structure, torque, aiki, etc. It also has nothing to do with character. True internal strength is the ability to resist the urge to nampa onee-kei hime gyarus walking the streets of Ameri-mura in Osaka. Buck, do you agree with this?

REpeat.

Buck
08-18-2009, 10:07 PM
Note I didn't add to my last post: I said before, way back in other posts, that I don't associate true internal strength with being a component of Aikido. And I alluded to that in the last post. I think this is an important distinction.

For example of what I mean, there are many pagan practices that are practiced by Christians who are unaware these practices are pagan in origin. One I can think of off hand is lent. This type of thing is what I want to avoid. And it is my reasoning for the many times, up to this point, of my demarcation of true internal strength and Aikido.

Buck
08-19-2009, 12:33 AM
Since am at it, I don't know if I mentioned it in this post, but it did cause a concern in this thread when I mentioned O'Sensei and his original intent for Aikido, and how I want to focus on that. This relates to demarcation of the Aikido practiced by O'Sensei and everyone else's interpretation or design. That means I don't want to add anything to what I think Aikido should be or what anyone else thinks it should be. Now everyone else is entitled to interpret or change the design how they see fit. As much as I appreciate that, I feel I haven't seen or touched the original.

This is my personal experience. My personal point of interest. Whether it is possible or not, at least is strips away all or some of the myths and misconceptions that I was told and believed Aikido to be. Now I have been told that I risk creating my own misconceptions and myths. Being well aware of that at the start of my changing views, that is the risk ( a low one at that) I will have to take. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. And I fault no one except myself, if I do so. :)

eyrie
08-19-2009, 02:42 AM
...O'Sensei and his original intent for Aikido, and how I want to focus on that..... That means I don't want to add anything to what I think Aikido should be or what anyone else thinks it should be. Now here's a nice little thought experiment...

1. How do you know what his original intent was?
Know? For certain? Beyond a shadow of a doubt? At best, you can perhaps make an educated guess, surmise, postulate, or presume what his original intent might be. But to "know" for certain?

2. How do you know that what you think you know, is nothing more than your own current perception and intepretation of the subject?
Everyone perceives and interprets things differently - based on knowledge, experience, value systems, and just plain 'ol how we are all "wired" differently. Can you definitively say there is no perception and/or interpretive bias on your part?

3. How do you know that there is absolutely nothing to be added to or taken away from?
How do you know IF the art IS complete, or that even the transmission of the art from your teacher to you is complete? From their teacher to them? And so on? How do you know if aspects of the art aren't merely extraneous vestigial and ritual artifacts from a bygone era, or from a culture far removed from yours, that has little or no bearing on the art itself, but is merely the "packaging" in which it came?

(Note, when I say "you" I mean "anyone".. not YOU specifically)

Lorel Latorilla
08-19-2009, 03:20 AM
Since am at it, I don't know if I mentioned it in this post, but it did cause a concern in this thread when I mentioned O'Sensei and his original intent for Aikido, and how I want to focus on that. This relates to demarcation of the Aikido practiced by O'Sensei and everyone else's interpretation or design. That means I don't want to add anything to what I think Aikido should be or what anyone else thinks it should be. Now everyone else is entitled to interpret or change the design how they see fit. As much as I appreciate that, I feel I haven't seen or touched the original.

This is my personal experience. My personal point of interest. Whether it is possible or not, at least is strips away all or some of the myths and misconceptions that I was told and believed Aikido to be. Now I have been told that I risk creating my own misconceptions and myths. Being well aware of that at the start of my changing views, that is the risk ( a low one at that) I will have to take. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. And I fault no one except myself, if I do so. :)

Do you think that Aikido will give me the internal strength to resist the urge to nampa Shibuya gyarus that hang around 109?

Upyu
08-19-2009, 03:33 AM
Since am at it, I don't know if I mentioned it in this post, but it did cause a concern in this thread when I mentioned O'Sensei and his original intent for Aikido, and how I want to focus on that.

Here's another thought experiment. How do you figure

'If one of you can punch a hole through a shoji with just your ejaculation, then you'll be a real martial artist!'
(that's a quote from Ueshiba, actually)

fits into Ueshiba's au naturelle approach to holy budo? :D

Misogi-no-Gyo
08-19-2009, 03:46 AM
Hi Shaun.
Do you practice aikido and with who.

stan

Stan, after questions like that, no wonder that The Silence is Deafening. Its a Well known Secret that asking rhetorical questions like that will have you Going Nowhere fast. The whole point of this thread reminds me of the inert virtues of Fighting for Peace. But enough of the Painless Torture of these and similarly astute oxymoron such as your, "PRACTICE AIKIDO" which I most humbly leave to you and whoever else feels the need for such nonsense.

Truthfully, dude... if your question was meant to be funny, then poke me in the gut so I can crack a smile and start laughing. Otherwise, feel free to use the "View Profile" button by right-clicking on my username anytime before midnight.

Best in training to you and all.

...and in honor of another ridiculous thread currently growing in size here on AikiWeb I will repeat two things Seagal Sensei used to say

1. If you don't want to get hit, don't be there...

and my personal favorite

2. Watch me slowly...

Lorel Latorilla
08-19-2009, 06:38 AM
Here's another thought experiment. How do you figure

'If one of you can punch a hole through a shoji with just your ejaculation, then you'll be a real martial artist!'
(that's a quote from Ueshiba, actually)

fits into Ueshiba's au naturelle approach to holy budo? :D

Haha I remember this one. Good times.

lbb
08-19-2009, 09:49 AM
For example of what I mean, there are many pagan practices that are practiced by Christians who are unaware these practices are pagan in origin. One I can think of off hand is lent.

...wait, what?

Mike Sigman
08-19-2009, 09:54 AM
...wait, what?

He meant lint, Mary. Once it gets on your hand, it's hard to get offhand, as he says. Even pagans used to have that problem, so it truly is one that comes to us from pagan times.

HTH

Mike

C. David Henderson
08-19-2009, 03:01 PM
****
Early on prior to this thread, I came across this, "How practicing yoga builds internal strength for day to day living."
February 16, 2009 by Seka Ojdrovic. I was struck by what she wrote. And what keyed me in and made a parallel experience for me in Aikido.

****

Now I see[] allot of truths in this person[']s life, and things that are parallel to Aikido's philosophy. Like in this quote,[/I] "Practicing yoga draws our focus inward, so it's our responsibility to truly evaluate what kind of impact we're making on this planet for however long we're here. What kind of legacy would I like to leave in my absence?" [/I] For me I felt the same, practicing Aikido which can draw our focus inward, where we take responsibility to truly evaluate impact on the plan[e]t.

******

[It's a] bit different of course when it comes to Aikido, since Aikido practice isn't yoga practice.

It is rather [1] a result of discipline both mental and physical and through the struggle of learning something very difficult such as technique. Like where you fail thousands of times, come close a million times before you get it once. Or [2] . Aikido in general is instead about de-escalating conflict, where you don't have to go toe-to-toe, force against force to get result. Aikido teaches through practice to blend when confronted with violence, and aggression, and then be able to control it.

*****

. :)

(Bracketed material, omissions, and emphasis mine.)

Buck,

This is an interesting post.

As someone who has practiced yoga for a number of years, often on a daily basis, in addition to Aikido, it stirred up some thoughts for me.

I do think that the aims of asana practice are not dissimilar to the more "spiritual" aspirations of Aikido. And you are right that they are clearly not the same. However, I would compare and contrast a bit differently:

First, while Aikido practice certainly has given me cause to be self-reflective, I tend to see it as different from yoga in terms of "draw focus inward."

Most asana practice in this country at least is solo practice; yoga class often resembles the "parallel play" of small children, where a room full of people are all doing the same poses without much interaction.

In Aikido, class time is usually dominated by paired practice.

One of the primary differences, to me, is that much of asana practice doesn't involve touching or interacting with other people. In fact, I found it amusing to read on another forum the reactions of yogi's and yogini's to paired asana practice.

A number of men and women reported they found it disturbing and disrupting of their inward focus to be touched by another, often sweaty, human being -- many times a relative stranger.

I also found it interesting that multiple posters on that forum who were [I]not bothered by the experience self-reported they also were martial artists.

Conversely, I believe its possible for someone whose Aikido practice consists mainly or solely of going to class and training with other people to find the perception of what his or her own body is actually doing gets swamped by the perceptual and physical input from the other person.

Second, I don't think its accurate to suggest that mastery of Aikido, but not yoga, is "a result of discipline both mental and physical and through the struggle of learning something very difficult such as technique. Like where you fail thousands of times, come close a million times before you get it once."

There is as much to explore in most asana as in most Aikido waza, and getting the outward form approximately correct in either doesn't really cut it. It takes years and "10,000 repetitions."

Third, I do agree with you that a basic contrast between the two lies in "the nature of Aikido practice seeks to resolve conflict, and to control violence or aggression," or as Kevin put it earlier in this thread, budo necessarily involves "the study of violence."

I have, in fact, heard yoga instructors exhort folks to go out into the world with their hearts "open" (which has intended, quasi-physical as well as emotional/philosophical connotations). That's a nice aspiration, but coming from an Aikido perspective, it struck me as foolish more than brave in an often violent, psychologically unhealthy, and unpleasant world.

Finally, for me, by comparing yoga with Aikido, your post strongly suggests an equal level of complementarity between IT and aikido --in terms of your own emphasis on "making better people."

I personally don't see either as in conflict with my traditional Aikido practice.

YMMV.

cdh

lbb
08-19-2009, 03:05 PM
He meant lint, Mary. Once it gets on your hand, it's hard to get offhand, as he says. Even pagans used to have that problem, so it truly is one that comes to us from pagan times.

HTH

Mike

Oh. I thought maybe he meant when you're out at a bar and a friend comes up short and needs to borrow money from you. Thanks for clarifying.

Kevin Leavitt
08-19-2009, 04:21 PM
David, very, very good post. I agree 100% with your assessment. It parallels mine as well.

stan baker
08-19-2009, 06:19 PM
Hi Shaun,
I am glad you have a sense of humor,come north and visit us.

stan

Misogi-no-Gyo
08-19-2009, 06:28 PM
Hi Shaun,
I am glad you have a sense of humor,come north and visit us.

stan

I have a sense of humor? I have never been so wrongly accused! I think I killed that off around the same time as I burnt my heart black and then killed of my inner child. Gee, now that I think about it that was so long ago I think I was still a child.

I do appreciate the invitation, though. Thanks.

Best in training to you and all...

.

Buck
08-19-2009, 08:28 PM
In my last post I pointed out that the term and its use of "internal strength" was used by a person in yoga. I also touched on how that is similar for me in Aikido and how I use the term.

It is pretty clear the term "internal strength" isn't a solely a translated Chinese martial arts phrase, but rather universal where different meaning can be attached be depending to whom you are speaking. In my use and the use of the article about "internal strength is about focusing on yourself, and that leads to many things such as self-evaluation. Which in turn also can lead a person to evaluate themselves. The result can be a better character. Possibly, for example, in my case where I sought revenge prior to Aikido and as a result of Aikido changed my mind. True internal strength is a very power thing.

True internal strength some each person experiences differently and uniquely. Some people get it, some people don't. That is an individual thing. Being an individual thing does it enhance an individual's skill. I don't think, so but there are exceptions to every rule. Does it effect a person's personality. Yes, it can. It did me, and others I know. But, certainly we can tell those who have it and those who don't.

Doesn't it matter if people get develop true internal strength. I don't think so. I think it would be a better world if they did. People would be more disciplined in thought, words, and actions if they did.

It's one thing to have all the skill in the world and be a real jerk either on the net and not in person. It is another to not save such great skill and have great true internal strength (like some I know) and not a jerk. It would be ideal to have great skill equally true internal strength. We don't live in a ideal world, people chase (values) what glitters and shines that sadly blinds them from a truth(s).

What am saying is that true internal strength draws our focus inward, where self evaluation and others such things occur for the betterment of the self. In my case that is what happen, because of true internal strength that happened through the practice of Aikido. I re-adjusted my attitude, and seen revenge as not an effective way to go.

Now, currently, I see through true internal strength from practicing Aikido, the huge role of a certain type of ego seen in martial arts, as it often reflect great insecurities, lack of self confidence, and stuff like that.

Point is Aikido is a great journey because it isn't just about how well you throw someone, or what you can do something, or what ever on or off the mat. That is important to some more than others, and that is O.K. But, skill isn't all of what can be gained/learned from Aikido. And I have pointed out one thing, it being true internal strength that leads to many positive things, at least for me.:)

Buck
08-19-2009, 08:43 PM
Now that I have come to the end of my discussion on true internal strength something that I felt has great benefits to me, and hopefully for others. I feel fortunate to be able to have this discussion and have it here on Aikiweb. Lastly, I would like to thank Rob for his comment that I used to spark this topic and opportunity. :)

Buck
08-19-2009, 08:49 PM
I just read something great about Aikido that I think is really great and relates to my post #151. I really like how this is said. "I really miss having participated [Aikido class]! In a sort of visceral "missing someone" sense. I've felt kind of off-balance since then."

"Interesting how much Aikido becomes part of us (and how quickly)."
http://www.aikiweb.com/blogs/my-path-17246/skipping-class-missing-3593/

Beautifully said! :) :)

eyrie
08-19-2009, 10:16 PM
Oh. I thought maybe he meant when you're out at a bar and a friend comes up short and needs to borrow money from you. Thanks for clarifying. I think he did mean Lent... which is "pagan" in origin - c/f Babylonian/early Mesopotamian, in which a quadrigesimal (40-day) period of fasting was preceded by a festival of wild debauchery. The period of "fasting" (due largely to the fact that winter stores have now been depleted and food is scarce), lasts from late-winter solstice/early-spring equinox, was supposedly held in honour of the Goddess of Fertility and heralds the start of next cycle.

And then we have Easter and Christmas, which are also both pagan in origin. Note "pagan" (or heathen), is used in this context to derogatorily refer to "uncivilized country folk", who still practiced polytheism, and which had not yet been - i.e. refused to - converted to Catholicism.

I see the 40-hour famine is back on here.... hmmm.... the timing is somewhat coincidental, since over here in the Antipodes, spring is nearly upon us.

But, back on point... I'm not sure what paganism, Christianity, or character development has anything to do with Aikido or True™ Internal Strength. I think Buck is making a point about understanding what it is one is "practising" - hence the pagan reference.

Or maybe he did mean lint after all... Either that, or I'm not following his convoluted line of argument.... I'm slow like that. :p

Mike Sigman
08-19-2009, 10:46 PM
I think he did mean Lent... [[snip]]Or maybe he did mean lint after all... Either that, or I'm not following his convoluted line of argument.... I'm slow like that. :pI think we just got a bite, Mary. :rolleyes: Ignatius... Mary Malmros is one of the champion leg-pullers of all time. No one missed the Lenten reference. ;) Whether it was germane is another thing entirely.

Mike

eyrie
08-20-2009, 12:23 AM
Like I's sed... I is kinda slow like that.... :p

OR mehbee, jus mehbee, I's talkin at dem heathen pagans.... ;)

Lorel Latorilla
08-20-2009, 12:37 AM
If Buck can't do it, can anybody offer a reply to my question?

Can true internal strength give me the ability to fight the urge to nampa gyarus hanging around Shibuya 109?

gdandscompserv
08-20-2009, 12:45 AM
If Buck can't do it, can anybody offer a reply to my question?

Can true internal strength give me the ability to fight the urge to nampa gyarus hanging around Shibuya 109?
http://nubreednampa.blogspot.com/2009/08/are-you-pua-nubreed.html
:rolleyes:

Kevin Leavitt
08-20-2009, 12:59 AM
Funny Ricky I was just looking at that website too....it is funny as all get out!

Buck
08-20-2009, 01:06 AM
Here is something I think puts a good cap on True Internal Strength. (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12546)

BTW, I wasn't the first to coin the term. :D

eyrie
08-20-2009, 01:08 AM
Can true internal strength give me the ability to fight the urge to nampa gyarus hanging around Shibuya 109? Dang it boy... why would you want to fight the urge - at YOUR age??? (Or for that matter... at ANY age?) :D

OTOH, you might need True™ Internal Strength® to fight off the nampa competition and other c**kbl**kers. :eek:

Buck
08-20-2009, 01:09 AM
The response by Kevin to Lynn writing on True Internal Strength. The link is worth a looksee (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12546) (same link as above). :)

Thank you for your perspective Lynn! I think you have focused wonderfully on what is the core of why we need to practice Budo, and what we get out of it.

I like you concepts of internal and external. I agree, they are more a state of mind and perspective than anything else. The concepts of internal and external may manifest themselves physically, but they begin with a single point of thought.

As has been proven throughout history and time, battles, wars, and conflict start way before the actual physical (external) manifestation of violence begins.

To me this is what being internal is all about. the realization and mindfulness that the thoughts we think, the values we live, and the choices we make....all impact the world around us!

Thanks again!

"To me this is what being internal is all about. the realization and mindfulness that the thoughts we think, the values we live, and the choices we make....all impact the world around us!"

I hear ya Bra, it is exactly the same general idea I was getting across with the yoga article, and in my last comments on True Internal Strength. Hallelujah!... Kevin... Hallelujah!

eyrie
08-20-2009, 01:11 AM
Here is something I think puts a good cap on True Internal Strength. (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12546)

BTW, I wasn't the first to coin the term. :D Inner Strength, INNER strength.... God give me strength... or a whisky please... :dead:

C. David Henderson
08-20-2009, 08:05 AM
Here is something I think puts a good cap on True Internal Strength. (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12546)

BTW, I wasn't the first to coin the term. :D

OTOH, maybe you don't mean the same thing, as Lynn writes:

"IMHO, true internal strength, is not pushing people away, but getting them to invite and welcome you into their practice and lives."

As an occasion to apply that maxim, and illustrate your own "TIS," how would you rate your own relative success, or lack thereof, in this thread?

I also notice, relative to the prior discussion on "rhetorical devices," that Lynn deftly "invite[s the reader] in," by acknowledging the value of the discussion about IS as normally understood. And, characteristically, ends with an exhortation to get back to training.

I love the smell of irony in the morning...smells like...well, irony.

lbb
08-20-2009, 08:09 AM
Now that I have come to the end of my discussion on true internal strength

Buck, you're as reliable as the B line.

Buck
08-20-2009, 10:13 AM
maybe you don't mean the same thing, as Lynn writes:

David brought up a good question. I think this is a good question (in the quote) because it maybe something many might be wondering.

What Lynn wrote about True Internal Strength explores a deeper and more dynamic stuff relating to Aikido. The author on Yoga Internal Strength explores another area that shares some of the same things related to True Internal Strength. And the benefits both authors highlight. And that is what is wonderful about True Internal Strength, it is so vast, so dynamic, so powerful and stuff.

I hope by understanding True Internal Strength better it will be recognized and practiced by those who may have not been aware of it and stuff before, and benefit them and their lives. That is the real measure of success! :)

C. David Henderson
08-20-2009, 10:53 AM
So what's the answer to my questions -- the good one or the bad one?

Here's another, is it consistent with TIS, in your view, to avoid difficult questions raised by your own statements on a public forum, addressing instead only the ones that can be bent to your own purposes?

Regards,

cdh

Kevin Leavitt
08-20-2009, 11:05 AM
In the context I was responding to Lynn it is essentially "Mind leads the body".

If you go back and read closely what most internal guys talk bout, believe Dan Harden talks a great deal about this concerning intent.

However, there is a distinction between "mind leads the body" and "mind leads the mind".

Mind leads the body means that you command your body to action and that is what we are trying to refine and improve.

Mind leading the mind is mental masturbation and leads to nothing in budo but a bunch of digits and good conversation in a Starbucks.

thisisnotreal
08-20-2009, 11:41 PM
a distinction between "mind leads the body" and "mind leads the mind".

have you ever heard the phrase 'slave to the mind'?

Kevin Leavitt
08-20-2009, 11:58 PM
I believe so Josh, in what context though? as ego?

thisisnotreal
08-21-2009, 12:05 AM
what did you make of it, Kevin? have you thought about it?
i'm not sure if i cna put a ;context; on it. like all of perception of reality. the camera thru which you view life passing before your eyes. in that way. and how you experience your own brain. and thoughts. and such.

thisisnotreal
08-21-2009, 12:30 AM
If Buck can't do it, can anybody offer a reply to my question?

Can true internal strength give me the ability to fight the urge to nampa gyarus hanging around Shibuya 109?
No. Not that alone.
Lorel, buddy, the only think i can think of for you (and i don't know you but through your earnest sounding request onlin3) is that perhaps you release some of your inner essence by using some outer strength so that your internal strength can dominate your inner weakness so you can get back to training internal strength. do it all well my brother.
cheers,
josh

Kevin Leavitt
08-21-2009, 12:55 AM
Josh, heck I don't know. What is important I think is to recognize that we are all products of our own experiences. To manage the information and knowledge we take in, we have to make tradeoffs and act accordingly to what we feel is right. Many times we let our emotional centers lead. Many times it is the rational/logic centers. Sometimes it is the instinctual/intuitive part as well. Heck, I am not a brain expert!

Take the Healthcare debate...what do you make of how folks are responding? Are they taking the time to process the information themselves, study it, ask deep probing questions, or are many people acting on the opinions and emotions of others? It is very scarey if you ask me!

Back to budo though.

I think we need to be constantly aware that we are prone to form our own perceptions of reality and we form responses. Sometimes the responses that we form feel right, but in reality they may not be right.

I tell you, learning about the Alexander Technique from Paulinna L a couple of years ago really brought this to the forefront to me.

So, recoginizing that the mind leads the body...and that many times, the mind is not correct...we need to work hard to expose ourselves to other options and methods as much as we can I think and work with others to guide us, so we can expand our ability to see and experience options and perspectives.

I think this is how we improve, and is more along the lines of what I would call "Internal Strength".....than simply Self Realizing and Feeling good about our practice...or Strengthening our Character.

We can Self Actualize or Realize...feel good about ourselves, feel like we have Strong Values and Strong Character...that is all fine and all that....until something comes along to challenge it...something that we never understood or considered, and it can rock our world and cause us to experience Dissonance, which leads us to no longer trust ourselves or our mind, or we make inappropriate actions because we have no clue what to do!

Is this along the lines of what you are talking about?

thisisnotreal
08-21-2009, 01:23 AM
Take the Healthcare debate...wwhat do you make of how folks are responding?

weeellllllllll.....I'm afraid this may create an irrecoverable thread drift ....and i don't know that it'll survive. oh well.
i'll respond to this; and then i'm blearilyoff to bed. (did you get sagawa's book? dang interesting).

honestly; here are some stream-of-consciousness responses.
-sheeple
-why is this still a fn issue?
-why each election are the same fn issues brought up?
-you know why a scientist or engineer would be bad to be in charge of this stuff? because they would just look at it like a problem; assess options/solutions and pick the best one; and everyone could go home. -- but people and the system just don't do that.
-what do you think Kevin, I haven't been following it too closely; but what i do see is scary. it's a commin'. dammit. I don't like it one bit.
-more just gets crazier from here; and i'm waay tired.

cause us to experience Dissonance
indeed. understood. experiencing reality is quit disturbing in some ways. in some ways being in an airplane should be terrifying. in some ways flying through space at 380,000 km/h through outer space on a big rock would be. indeed.

Can you tell me about some of the principles or lessons you took away from Alexander Technique? Is it mostly about posture, and mindfullness?

which leads us to no longer trust ourselves or our mind, or we make inappropriate actions because we have no clue what to do!

that is interesting. i read a bruce lee quote: something like; 'why should you be anxious? look at me; I have the most insecure job on the planet; and i'm not nervous. because I know i'm gonna make it.' (loosely quoted
It seems to me that a part of martial arts is to pursue a mindset where above all else you believe in yourself. is that right? I remember I heard that in the gym at Westpoint is the slogan "Fatigue makes cowards of all men". Not sure if I got that right. .. but i was thinking about that. Everyone has an end to their rope. At some point the ultimate-fudoshin-unwavering-mind-faith in your own self would falter, wouldn't it? Making some..'inapproprate action' at some point.
(afterthought: meaning you'd abandon yourself. But if aiki is based on the thing that holds the body together, then that is the first and last thing with you (bodily)... then it is a a way to hold together after fatigue.) dunno..just thinking out loud.

can you say more about what you meant in the last para?

Is this along the lines of what you are talking about?

not at all, but it was interesting anyway ;^)

take it easy.
goodnight and goodluck.

oh yeah;
.. 'slave to the mind'. what does that mean to you?

Kevin Leavitt
08-21-2009, 07:45 AM
Can you tell me about some of the principles or lessons you took away from Alexander Technique? Is it mostly about posture, and mindfullness?

I am not really qualified to discuss in detail AT. I would recommend doing some web searches or read a book about it. One of the main points of AT is that the mind leads the body, or every movement begins with a thought. This is an important concept to understand and the very basic level of study of what we do I believe if we are going to change our responses to what we want to do in aikido.

It is hard to do I believe as we have patterns of movement, feeling, and perceptions that respond in a way that we have learned and we may be approaching the re-learning/re-programming process the wrong way since most of us are never really trained how to learn except through memorization of facts or trial and error.

Worth reading about AT stuff if you are really interested in the learning aiki...a big "AH HAH" should go off once you start seeing some of the methodologies we use in aikido and what guys like Mike Sigman, Ark, and Dan are using.

"Fatigue makes cowards of all men". Not sure if I got that right. .. but i was thinking about that. Everyone has an end to their rope. At some point the ultimate-fudoshin-unwavering-mind-faith in your own self would falter, wouldn't it? Making some..'inapproprate action' at some point.
(afterthought: meaning you'd abandon yourself. But if aiki is based on the thing that holds the body together, then that is the first and last thing with you (bodily)... then it is a a way to hold together after fatigue.) dunno..just thinking out loud.

Hmmm, not sure I completely understand where you are going with this, but.....

Breaking points....

Army sent me to a wonderful school about 13 years ago called Ranger School. Pretty much it's sole purpose was to spend 3 months working me at the edge of my physical and mental capabilities. (There are a few others that have similar training on the list as well through SEAL, Ranger, SF, maybe they will offer their comments as well).

I learned alot about myself. One that the mind is very strong and it can overcome the physical body. I was willing to let go and kill myself rather than give up mentally. So, I have that going for me.

I think there is some truth to your quote above, given situations, I mean, there are things I make my mind up about that I frankly don't want to spend anymore energy on cause it seems too difficult to do....at one level....sure. What I try and recognize is that it is a conscious decsion that I MADE! to stop and quit....not what someone else did to me, or there was no way I could succeed...I MADE the choice.

Really drove this home in Ranger School which is why I learned that I have the capacity to not quit. You see mentally weak individuals leave the program, like 80% of those who start. Most make excuses after the fact about how unfair the program was, "He didn't like me". "I got hurt and injured". Rarely do you hear, It was hard and I couldn't cut it.

It is not about being macho...it is about internal fortitude...it is a mental thing 100%. So, when you look at it that way...Fatique or Fear makes cowards out of men. Weak men that are not honest with themselves. They were cowards to begin with, they just didn't know it! They only needed an excuse.

I think we see alot of this in Aikido. Folks looking for the magic pill, meaning that is not there, faith in a sensei...or any number of reasons to not do what they need to do in Budo in order to really learn it. It is hard to train and put faith into something and maybe possibly not succeed. If we adopt the sheep mentality and look for ways to absolve ourselves of responsibility, there are a multitude of attachment points that are all too present and willing to present themselves to us and either placate us into believe we have really accomplished something through affinity..that is getting up, putting on a hakama and bowing, or we can scream, my sensei was a farce and did not teach me the hidden meanings in aikido! or we can chase the latest "GURU" out there and say "Hope is around the corner!"

What ever angle you want to pick.

Anyway, another good thing to read is Vicktor Frankl (sic). about his experiences in a Nazi Concentration camp.

It is important to learn how our mind works for us!

Ron Tisdale
08-21-2009, 07:51 AM
Good post Kevin. Thanks,
Ron

mathewjgano
08-21-2009, 06:04 PM
I think we need to be constantly aware that we are prone to form our own perceptions of reality and we form responses. Sometimes the responses that we form feel right, but in reality they may not be right.

Nicely put! If I were to guess that there is one "internal strength/ability" that is most useful, I'd argue it's the ability to address this issue right here because it affects every aspect of our lives, but especially our capacity to learn, to make that which is outside our perception/sensibility/awareness inside of it.
...at least, that's my response based on my perception. :D

Kevin Leavitt
08-21-2009, 06:25 PM
Just gotta keep asking the tough question...Why?

mathewjgano
08-21-2009, 08:11 PM
Just gotta keep asking the tough question...Why?

Why?:p

rob_liberti
08-21-2009, 08:36 PM
Can we all demonstrate true internal strength by closing this dreadful thread?

mathewjgano
08-21-2009, 09:47 PM
Can we all demonstrate true internal strength by closing this dreadful thread?

Why?

...sorry, couldn't resist.

thisisnotreal
08-21-2009, 10:10 PM
Can we all demonstrate true internal strength by closing this dreadful thread?

seriously why? it snapshots and summarizes the dysfunctional nature of the aiki in aikido conversation in a zenperfect kind of way. this thread should live forever. Or do you not have the _True Internal Strength? ..perhaps that is it. hmm? eh? methinks the lady doth protest too much.

thisisnotreal
08-21-2009, 10:44 PM
Kevin nice post. Thank you.
You sound like you've been through a lot. Training sounds like nothing else.
Here;s a question for you; with respect, are you denying that every man has an ultimate breaking point? like for instance in a brainwashing scenario. don't they say that no one is unbreakable, ultimately?
you don't have to address that; but it was something i was thinking.

Can you tell me about some of the principles or lessons you took away from Alexander Technique? Is it mostly about posture, and mindfullness?

so the answer is no, then? you can't tell me about any of your 'Ah Hah! Moment' with internal training and the Alexander Technique.? Just curious; because i liked some of the descriptions you gave before. ... stuff to look for etc....

cheers mang,

Kevin Leavitt
08-21-2009, 10:59 PM
I am sure everyone has some sort of breaking point. Read Frankl and see how he deals with it.

Well on AT, you really need to read about it, I cannot really explain it. The basic of it is that our perceptions both physically and mentally may not be correct. What we think we are doing correctly, we may not. Alexander figured some of this stuff out and developed a methodology for correcting things for people that is kinda different from how we normally would think to solve problems. It deals with the whole mind leading the body.

I had always heard this in Martial arts, but when I heard it in AT terms, which is a western process for the most part...it made sense to me and I began to see how I practice and train much differently.

Kevin Leavitt
08-21-2009, 11:00 PM
What bugs you about it Rob? Thought there was actually some good discussion coming out of it.

thisisnotreal
08-21-2009, 11:24 PM
Well on AT, you really need to read about it, I cannot really explain it. The basic of it is that our perceptions both physically and mentally may not be correct. What we think we are doing correctly, we may not. Alexander figured some of this stuff out and developed a methodology for correcting things for people that is kinda different from how we normally would think to solve problems. It deals with the whole mind leading the body.

Good. thanks a lot. That is more or less what I thought as well.
Studying Internals is about investing heavily on listening to the exact way the human body moves (to state something obvious). Do you agree?
Characterizing what you presently do is one step.
Then targeting a desired movement pattern..repeating. recognizing failures and failure patterns. listening for posture. gaining that as a skill. then never going out of posture. including chinks or gaps in 'the suit' or breath. steadying that. and the suspended feeling. (i really like that term). also heard of zero balance.
-I like to personally think of where my bonesuit (i.e. skeleton) doesn't poke through the meatsuit in any where or any way that it shouldn't. ...all the while feeling floating .. I remember they said Ueshiba had impeccable posture. always. *That* was part of his Aikido...always it *being* him, and on.

I will definitely check up the Frankl book, it sounds very interesting. thanks for the tip.

Lorel Latorilla
08-22-2009, 12:08 AM
What bugs you about it Rob? Thought there was actually some good discussion coming out of it.

It was a started by a troll. He also didn't answer my question about tanned brown haired Japanese girls.

Buck
08-22-2009, 01:10 AM
Nicely put! If I were to guess that there is one "internal strength/ability" that is most useful, I'd argue it's the ability to address this issue right here because it affects every aspect of our lives, but especially our capacity to learn, to make that which is outside our perception/sensibility/awareness inside of it.
...at least, that's my response based on my perception. :D

Matt, you make a good point, as always. And as always enhancing a discussion with your thoughts. I appreciate your thoughts. :)

Kevin Leavitt
08-22-2009, 05:49 AM
It was a started by a troll. He also didn't answer my question about tanned brown haired Japanese girls.

Yeah, I know. Phil has never answered any of my questions either, so I gave up and moved on to deal with folks that where interested in having a conversation.

Besides, I would have never learned about Japanese social culture from you!

Kevin Leavitt
08-22-2009, 06:03 AM
Good. thanks a lot. That is more or less what I thought as well.
Studying Internals is about investing heavily on listening to the exact way the human body moves (to state something obvious). Do you agree?
Characterizing what you presently do is one step.
Then targeting a desired movement pattern..repeating. recognizing failures and failure patterns. listening for posture. gaining that as a skill. then never going out of posture. including chinks or gaps in 'the suit' or breath. steadying that. and the suspended feeling. (i really like that term). also heard of zero balance.
-I like to personally think of where my bonesuit (i.e. skeleton) doesn't poke through the meatsuit in any where or any way that it shouldn't. ...all the while feeling floating .. I remember they said Ueshiba had impeccable posture. always. *That* was part of his Aikido...always it *being* him, and on. I will definitely check up the Frankl book, it sounds very interesting. thanks for the tip.

No, "listening" is not enough. That is the problem and the generation of all this stuff about internal training! Our mind and bodies are generally not connected properly for what we are trying to do with it. This is the whole point. It is akin to having a poorly tuned radio station, and we listen harder and harder to try and pick out the words and melodies. We "Listen" by getting closer to the speaker and cutting the volume up. We try harder and harder to "tune" in this way thinking that any day now we can ignore the static and everything will be clear. Then someone comes along and says "Hey, did you know that if you turn the other knob that you can tune it in better".

Poor analogy, but listening is not enough, we need others to coach us and provide us feedback constructively. Ever watch yourself do martial arts on a video? How much Dissonance exisit there? You think you feel cool and look cool while doing it, then you review the video and go "OMG"!

I think there is much you can fix on your own, but it requires more than just listening to a crappy tuned radio station. You have to learn to listen differently than most folks have learned.

I think this is the key to many of the heated discussions here on Aikiweb. Some folks think that listening means that they are breathing deeply, imagine themselves moving correctly, feeling good, peaceful, and harmonizing....that is all important. I really don't desire to take that away from anyone.

But is it not possible to have those feelings and STILL not be doing the best we could possibly be? No, I think there is alot to the concept of listening!

Not to say that you are wrong at all in what you are doing, just that I think there is alot to "listening" that we need to consider.

thisisnotreal
08-22-2009, 07:48 AM
Kevin, I agree with what you wrote. Would you not say, though, once you catch 'it', is there not a certain feeling to guide what is 'correct'?

Mary Eastland
08-22-2009, 09:00 AM
Kevin...I agree with what you are saying.
And who is to say that what Rob and Mike and Dan are doing is the only way..besides them..
Our way works for us...we are not criticizing others.
When we chime into the discussions our ideas are poo pooed or minimized. It just feels fruitless.
Correct feeling can be learned without competition... which in my mind is in the spirit of Aikido.
Mary

Buck
08-22-2009, 09:34 AM
So what's the answer to my questions -- the good one or the bad one?

Here's another, is it consistent with TIS, in your view, to avoid difficult questions raised by your own statements on a public forum, addressing instead only the ones that can be bent to your own purposes?

Regards,

cdh

My view is to avoid those with intentions of asking questions that have an agenda of maliciousness, and stuff. Which result in discussions that go no where. I avoid the flamers and ilk. And I avoid those not sincere, and or those who carry their egos and emotions on their sleeves.

David if you want to carry a conversation like we use too, please resolve to your previous discussion cantor.

Kevin Leavitt
08-22-2009, 09:54 AM
Kevin, I agree with what you wrote. Would you not say, though, once you catch 'it', is there not a certain feeling to guide what is 'correct'?

Sure, I think (I hope), once you are able to recoginize, that is, your body/mind connection learns the new way of doing something that it becomes a habit and you don't revert back to your old ways, and it provides a foundation for other new stuff to be learned.

It does seem to be a never ending process though and from my experiences, once I learn it either something else breaks or I find something else is broken.

I also find that alot of times I am having to go back to start all over again which is not fun.

Hence the phrases "Letting Go", "Beginners Mind"...things like that.

Buck
08-22-2009, 10:12 AM
So what's the answer to my questions -- the good one or the bad one?

Here's another, is it consistent with TIS, in your view, to avoid difficult questions raised by your own statements on a public forum, addressing instead only the ones that can be bent to your own purposes?

Regards,

cdh

But I forgot the other reason, which leans more toward your response of "bent" to my "purposes", I don't want to go OT. I want to respect the rules as best as possible here. I understand there is a margin that is acceptable but I don't want take advantage of that and abuse the forum. So if you have a sense of me "bending" responses for my own "purposes" that is the second.

The third is I try not to argue as I said, what 10 times before or something like that. I state my opinion FWIW. If someone whats to criticize that opinion. fine. It is their right. We are suppose to have free speech right? People are welcome to disagree, or what ever. They are entitled. I think the Salem Witch trials ended hundreds of years ago, and am certainly not the Clique-ish type. Or do I carry either my ego, or emotions on my sleeve.

Yes, I am selective on who I respond to for various reasons in this thread of True Internal Strength.

mathewjgano
08-22-2009, 01:23 PM
My view is to avoid those with intentions of asking questions that have an agenda of maliciousness, and stuff. Which result in discussions that go no where. I avoid the flamers and ilk. And I avoid those not sincere, and or those who carry their egos and emotions on their sleeves.

First I want to say thank you for your kind words earlier. I deeply appreciate it when people express that what I have to say seems useful to them. As a wanna-be teacher there are few compliments I can receive that feel as gratifying as that. I'm not saying that I'm here to teach, I don't feel even remotely qualified for that, but I am here to share in a process...a written process, but still one of shared learning.
That said, I think it's almost useless to assume maliciousness in people...and for the record I don't get that impression from David. I think you're in a position where many people are criticizing you (some more constructively than others) and that that might be coloring the tone of things for you a bit. And even if people are being malicious I still think they have something to offer which can be turned around into something more pleasant, more positive. One of my greatest "teachers" was a roomate who was a serious A-hole. He wasn't nearly as smart as he thought he was, but it's fascinating to me how regularly i think of what he had to say and I honestly think I'm a much better person because of my interactions with him...both in what to do and in what not to do. For me it's all about finding the usefulness to everything I encounter and I humbly submit (to all) that this might be a good thing to consider a bit more in our interactions.
This is a forum of martial artists and in my blunt opinion (I'm such a hard-ass:D ), martial artists tend to be a bit rougher than non-martial artists, particularly those who are interested in no-nonsense practical application. My personal opinion is that most of the disconnect that goes on in aikiweb had less to do with intent and more to do with style of expression. Personally, I think many people could do with a bit more practice in forming an argument (myself fully included!); in your case I'd like to recommend the same bit of advice that was implied to me: try saying more with less. I feel uncomfortable telling people directly what I think they should do, so I hope you don't take this as anything other than one person offering something to consider to another. It's good to express opinions...vital in some ways (speaking as a person who's been known for not expressing them). However, it's also very important to respect the opinions coming at you, to receive them and hold onto them for further consideration. You never know when something that's been said will later seem to take on a whole world of validity. Anyway...food for thought.
Sincerely,
Matt
P.S. I say this because I believe it relates to the version of internal strength you're describing. Through efforts of reaching out with our communications and the efforts of finding useful meaning, I believe we strengthen the core of our being (mind).
...and now to self-consciously press the submit reply button...:)
Best in training to you all.

rob_liberti
08-22-2009, 11:01 PM
Kevin...I agree with what you are saying.
And who is to say that what Rob and Mike and Dan are doing is the only way..besides them..
Our way works for us...we are not criticizing others.
When we chime into the discussions our ideas are poo pooed or minimized. It just feels fruitless.
Correct feeling can be learned without competition... which in my mind is in the spirit of Aikido.
Mary

Sorry you feel that way. I cannot speak to everyone's threads, but please feel invited to chime in to your heart's content in my resent thread about how to best incorporate DR aiki back into aikido. I would actually love your input about how you approach teaching ki with aikido.

As far as competition vs cooperation, I think there is always a spectrum with regard to level appropriate resistance.

Rob

MM
08-23-2009, 09:22 AM
Kevin...I agree with what you are saying.
And who is to say that what Rob and Mike and Dan are doing is the only way..besides them..
Our way works for us...we are not criticizing others.
When we chime into the discussions our ideas are poo pooed or minimized. It just feels fruitless.
Correct feeling can be learned without competition... which in my mind is in the spirit of Aikido.
Mary

Hello Mary,

I wonder if you'd take a moment to view a scenario from a slightly different perspective? Imagine that you've spent 30 years learning and teaching Aikido. Imagine that you look to all the Aikido greats and to Ueshiba himself and you know that you could spend the rest of your life and another 60 years and still not attain the martial level that Ueshiba had.

I think those training for 20 years understand the above perspective, let alone those studying for 40 years.

So, now that you've spent 30 years and you know you aren't anywhere close to Ueshiba's level, you take a chance and train with someone who has a Daito ryu background, just like Ueshiba had. You find yourself being softly and deftly controlled with a layer of power underneath that you cannot defy. It isn't muscle, it isn't moving and blending, and it defies the logic of years of training techniques.

Now, Mary, here's the moral of the perspective. It isn't about aiki at all. The moral is that you know that with this training, you can reach Ueshiba's level. It isn't out of reach or unattainable. You begin to understand why it only took the greats 10 years of training to be very good. And doing this training throughout the years only made them better.

What if there was a training methodology that would allow you to be exactly as skillful as Mary Heiny, but it only took 5 years instead of a lifetime? Would you be interested in that?

Now, let's jump back to normal again. Do I care if you train this way? Yes and no. I do care because I think it would not only add positive aspects to your training but also it would benefit Aikido, as a whole, greatly. But, if you really don't want this training, then, no, I'm not going to care.

It's up to you, as it always has. Like I mentioned, I would love to see you able to achieve a martial level of Ueshiba so that you can blend that with your spirituality. But if you're content with what you are doing, then I wish you the best in your training. Seriously, with no sarcasm or malice intended.

K. Abrams
08-23-2009, 11:45 AM
It seems unrealistic to believe that one person can attain near superhuman abilities and noone else can. I have always wondered why only O-Sensei could do those things.

Weren't the citizens of Oz in awe of the Wizard's powers until Dorothy pulled back the curtain? Why is it that we can't acknowledge that one man can't possibly be such a physical genius that the rest of us could tain all our lives and not be able to do what he accomplish.

As long as it's not involving needing genuis level understanding of mathematics or quantum physics, I'm willing to believe that any of us could become as good as or better than (yes, I dare say that) O-Sensei!

dps
08-23-2009, 01:22 PM
It seems unrealistic to believe that one person can attain near superhuman abilities and noone else can. I have always wondered why only O-Sensei could do those things.

Weren't the citizens of Oz in awe of the Wizard's powers until Dorothy pulled back the curtain? Why is it that we can't acknowledge that one man can't possibly be such a physical genius that the rest of us could tain all our lives and not be able to do what he accomplish.

As long as it's not involving needing genuis level understanding of mathematics or quantum physics, I'm willing to believe that any of us could become as good as or better than (yes, I dare say that) O-Sensei!

Two sides of a river by Nasrettin Hoca

"Nasrudin sat on a river bank when someone shouted to him from the opposite side:
- "Hey! how do I get to the other side?"
- "You are on the other side!" Nasrudin shouted back."

David

K. Abrams
08-23-2009, 04:27 PM
Two sides of a river by Nasrettin Hoca

"Nasrudin sat on a river bank when someone shouted to him from the opposite side:
- "Hey! how do I get to the other side?"
- "You are on the other side!" Nasrudin shouted back."

David

I've heard that joke before, but it was told as a Blonde Joke:

A blonde is walking along the river and sees another blonde on the other side. She calls over, "Hey -- how do I get to the other side?" The other blonde says "Teehee! Silly! You ARE on the other side!"

rob_liberti
08-23-2009, 09:04 PM
I've heard that joke before, but it was told as a Blonde Joke:

A blonde is walking along the river and sees another blonde on the other sMde. She calls over, "Hey -- how do I get to the other side?" The other blonde says "Teehee! Silly! You ARE on the other side!"

My grandfather got pulled over for driving the wrong way down a 1 way street. Just like the joke, the officer said "this is a 1 way street" and my grandfather really said and meant "I am only going 1 way!"...

Rob

dps
08-23-2009, 09:17 PM
I've heard that joke before, but it was told as a Blonde Joke:

A blonde is walking along the river and sees another blonde on the other side. She calls over, "Hey -- how do I get to the other side?" The other blonde says "Teehee! Silly! You ARE on the other side!"

I am sorry, I can't resist a good blond (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3UGhRjPry4)joke.

David

dps
08-23-2009, 09:18 PM
My grandfather got pulled over for driving the wrong way down a 1 way street. Just like the joke, the officer said "this is a 1 way street" and my grandfather really said and meant "I am only going 1 way!"...

Rob

Did the officer find it amusing and laugh? :D

David

K. Abrams
08-23-2009, 09:29 PM
I am sorry, I can't resist a good blond (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3UGhRjPry4)joke.

David

Oh, tee-hee. ;)
I couldn't help noticing all of the "related" videos about dumb blondes on that YouTube page. :freaky:

Rob,
Somewhere else I heard someone use that wiseacre "But I'm only going one way" line. It probably dif not tickle the cop's funnybone, as a ticket was issued.

thisisnotreal
08-23-2009, 09:32 PM
Mark,
That was a very cool post. I liked how you wrote that.

you find yourself being softly and deftly controlled with a layer of power underneath that you cannot defy. It isn't muscle, it isn't moving and blending, and it defies the logic of years of training techniques.
...
What if there was a training methodology that would allow you to be exactly as skillful as Mary Heiny, but it only took 5 years instead of a lifetime? Would you be interested in that?

What do you think: How should the average schmoe go about IT?

just some thoughts on your post.
-Why on earth didn't Ueshiba explictly make this the focus of aikido. Or can it be debated that he did? i don't necessarily see it.
-Why wouldn't he talk and explain things? (following Takeda and traditional teaching method?)
-The way you describe it seems that IT is a functional definition of what 'aikido' is. bizarre that we are here.
-Do you think maybe he thought it was up to the individual to steal it. or somehow in line with the 'karma' (ie. their "True Internal Strength") of the individual to be able to steal it if he was 'worthy'?
-Do you think that with learning aiki there is a lot of responsibility incurred (in many ways) and he did not want to be responsible for any one person? (i.e. sink or swim; step up and learn or not. I am here showing you *now*). Do you think maybe it has to do with the potential danger of learning aiki (if any)? Physical, mental? spiritual?
-I can't see why he would go out of his way to make it so right-in-front-of-your-face and yet not go the extra mile and explain *what* he was doing? Or is this the tatamae/honne/smilingfaces thing? I somehow don't think that is it.
-Can you think of a reason it was okay (/and or encouraged) that students go elsewhere for 'this' knowledge? Do you think it was to ensure that they were fellow seekers of the way, and get them 'refined'/'purified' via the search, and then (and only then) help the high level students directly?

just some thoughts, like i said.

It is all so strange..

Upyu
08-23-2009, 10:30 PM
-Why wouldn't he talk and explain things? (following Takeda and traditional teaching method?)

You're assuming Takeda actually "taught" anything.
He was notorious for hiding things, and according to one source,literally called a given technique "XXXX" in Aomori, but in Tokyo he would call it "ZZZZ.
Though assuming Ueshiba got his skill from Takeda, you have to remember he literally sold his house to train with the man :crazy:

thisisnotreal
08-23-2009, 10:46 PM
You're assuming Takeda actually "taught" anything.
He was notorious for hiding things, and according to one source,literally called a given technique "XXXX" in Aomori, but in Tokyo he would call it "ZZZZ.
Though assuming Ueshiba got his skill from Takeda, you have to remember he literally sold his house to train with the man :crazy:

Hi-
I think you are right. I'm just reading Sagawa's account of learning from the man, and it fits with what you say.
I meant (although phrased badly) in my question:Was Ueshiba following Takeda in the *not* teaching... IOW is this the 'traditional' way/model Ueshiba was following?
..Sold his house, eh? :crazy:
(I remember reading about the prices Takeda was charging...pretty exorbitant...but then again supply/demand gets f*d up when the supply =1.)

jss
08-24-2009, 02:49 AM
As long as it's not involving needing genuis level understanding of mathematics or quantum physics, I'm willing to believe that any of us could become as good as or better than (yes, I dare say that) O-Sensei!
An what if O-Sensei was to the martial arts of his time as Usain Bolt is to sprinting in our time? We can improve our own sprinting by training in the same way as Bolt, but we have little chance of becoming as good or better...

Ron Tisdale
08-24-2009, 08:11 AM
Correct feeling can be learned without competition... which in my mind is in the spirit of Aikido.
Mary

What method currently under discussion involves competition?

Just Currious, as none of the methods I've been exposed to involve competition.

Best,
Ron

lbb
08-24-2009, 08:59 AM
What method currently under discussion involves competition?

I'm not sure if Mary meant "competition" in the sense of a sporting event, or in the sense of...um...genitalia size comparisons. The former is rare in aikido, the latter about as common as anywhere else in society (maybe more so).

K. Abrams
08-24-2009, 10:21 AM
An what if O-Sensei was to the martial arts of his time as Usain Bolt is to sprinting in our time? We can improve our own sprinting by training in the same way as Bolt, but we have little chance of becoming as good or better...

The discussions here about aiki and Internal Strength are new to me, but in my reading I am learning something new. Now I believe that there is a difference in the ways the body is being used between an athletic activing like sprinting sprinting, and the complicated process of making a martial art. There is quite evidently more to this than meets the eye.

Besides, look at the YouTube demonstrations of O-Sensei doing incredible things as a very old man. Do you think Usain Bolt will be able to sprint as well as Morihei Ueshiba did aikido in his old age? Are you saying that you and I cannot attain a level of skill that could match that of a fragile looking 80-plus-year-old man?

C. David Henderson
08-24-2009, 10:48 AM
Respectfully, what I read was not that O'Sensei was able to master these principles of movement because he was an uber-athlete -- although many anecdotes circulate about feats of strength as a younger man.

It seems a reasonable hypothesis that O'Sensei went a great deal further in developing these posited abilities as he grew older because of a combination of (a) a capacity to train longer and harder than most people, (b) exposure to the right "stuff," as well as (c) a combination of physiological, kenisthetic, and mental attributes that facilitated mastery of this "right 'stuff''."

(I purposefully leave undefined the components and proportions of this "right 'stuff,'" both in terms of "aiki-" and in terms of "-do.")

Note that to test for ones self the hypothesis that O'Sensei had a greater nature "talent" for this training would require conditions (a) and (b) to be fullfilled over the course of a lifetime of study and training.

An ambitious agenda that, I feel certain, would require a great deal of strength of character.

FWIW

Kevin Leavitt
08-24-2009, 12:50 PM
Well I think Bolt would be able to teach sprinters at age 80 and still be able to demonstrate proper mechanics, principles, alignment, and proprioceptions.

I am sure that O'Sensei's students could have wiped the floor with him in his 80's, but that is not really the point of what they were studying which is an extreme subset mind/body movements.

There is a difference between training to sprint and sprinting in the olympics, just as there is a difference between training to fight and actual fighting. I have never seen in any video clip where O'Sensei was attacked by someone that actually meant him harm. It was alll within the parameters of the kata/waza being performed.

RonRagusa
08-24-2009, 01:57 PM
An what if O-Sensei was to the martial arts of his time as Usain Bolt is to sprinting in our time? We can improve our own sprinting by training in the same way as Bolt, but we have little chance of becoming as good or better...

Well, with sprinters, there is a clear cut method of determining who is the kingpin of the lot. A bunch of guys get out on a track and run for a predetermined distance. The one who covers the distance in the least amount of time "wins". Now if this runner can duplicate this feat over and over it becomes pretty evident to everyone that he is the best at what he does.

Aikido has no such method of determining preeminent practitioners. Fame is generally accorded by commendation which is the result of a whole host of factors that more often than not have nothing to do with martial effectiveness. As Kevin pointed out, O Sensei, on film at least, performed his demonstrations within the Aikido paradigm.

My question to you Joep is: other than by arriving at a subjective judgement as to how good or not one's technique looks and/or feels, how do you determine "betterness" within Aikido?

Ron

K. Abrams
08-24-2009, 02:05 PM
I have been reading many of the posts on AikiWeb that discuss Internal Strength, "aiki" and comparitive or analagous activities in some of the Chinese arts, and it looks to me as though there are already people who either matched or surpassed O-Sensei in their understanding and ability.

I'm sure that, as with any life discipline, doing the actual work is a very important part. In addition, there probably are people who do not have the emotional desire and drive, nor the physical drive, to attain excellence. That much is a given. But in reading the comments of the "everyman" even here on AikiWeb, who are just discovering a new way of training (Internal Strength) and who are already making progress after just a short time, I have to believe that given 20 years and some drive and passion, they should be able to perform amazing feats just as O-Sensei did.

Maybe it won't be EXACTLY what O-Sensei did, because he had his own personal vision. Aikido is an art, and by its very nature an art is subject to individual interpretation and expression. But the technical things, the science, is something everyone can learn the same before spinning off into his or her personal interpretation and way of expressing.

It's that technical science that I am most interested in and which I believe that many of us can learn and practice to the extent that we reach or even pass O-Sensei's skill level. Again, there are already people who have considerable Internal Strength. Why does it have to be seen as something mysterious?

Didn't the Beatles sing, "There's nothing you can sing that can't be sung.There's nothing you can do that can't be done..."? ;)

Frankly, I am completely fascinated by all of this talk and would like to attend one of those seminars that were listed here and elsewhere by some of the people reputed to have exceedingly high levels of Internal Strength and skill.

thisisnotreal
08-24-2009, 02:29 PM
Hello Kreyna,
That was a very interesting post.
I think a lot of what underlies what is being spoken about is "intent".

It's that technical science that I am most interested in and which I believe that many of us can learn and practice to the extent that we reach or even pass O-Sensei's skill level. Again, there are already people who have considerable Internal Strength. Why does it have to be seen as something mysterious?

The technical science part is my interest as well. I think the way it has been presented, as a learnable, but difficult body skill, is an area worth deep study. In this way; I think IT is mysterious because it plumbs the depths of the human body. But I do not find that alone is the cause for mystery.

I think it is mysterious in a different way (mysticism) because of the cultures from which it sprang. Also; I have found, because these bodyskills link closely with (/are) some(/the) bodily yogic skills. And yoga is ultimately an immutable part of Hinduism. If I understand correctly. It is the body practice without which the religion is not complete. It is the *how* to yoke with Brahmin. Here you can define religion as 'a world view' or an 'experiential "reality"'. From my research...I could be wrong. Please correct me (anyone) if so.
This now becomes a "-do" or way, in the big sense of the word.
These choices are now earnestly/deadly serious and will have big ramifications on your life, choices and mindset. AAh..i don't think i wrote that well....but ultimately I think this is also a reason for the mystery surrounding this area of Internal Strength.

Frankly, I am completely fascinated by all of this talk and would like to attend one of those seminars that were listed here and elsewhere by some of the people reputed to have exceedingly high levels of Internal Strength and skill.
Me too.
And the crazy thing is, by all accounts, out of everyone who has gone, no one said they were disappointed.
That's like an even higher approval rating than for the new Star Trek movie. (i haven't seen it yet!)

Just some thoughts...on the mystery of it all.
Best,
Josh

jss
08-24-2009, 02:56 PM
Now I believe that there is a difference in the ways the body is being used between an athletic activing like sprinting sprinting, and the complicated process of making a martial art.
Let me try that again: perhaps O-Sensei was to the Japanese martial arts oh time what Bach was to Baroque music. (Which is not fair to e.g. Sagawa probably. ;))

Do you think Usain Bolt will be able to sprint as well as Morihei Ueshiba did aikido in his old age?
He may not be as fast as he is now, but if he keeps practicing into old age, he will still be quite fast and he will have perfected his running skills. When athletes grow older, they become coaches (or change careers) and train a lot less. If Usain keeps training into old age, why wouldn't he still be able to run incredibly fast? He'll be slower and would be compensating strength with skill, but who are we to say he'd be a poorer runner than O-Sensei was an aikidoka?

Are you saying that you and I cannot attain a level of skill that could match that of a fragile looking 80-plus-year-old man?
Our chances are slim: O-Sensei had access to someone teaching him all the good stuff and he practiced full-time. And as an old man he may not have been as strong as he used to be, but these skills can be refined until the day you die, so he still was getting better at it, although not stronger.
So can we attain the level of skill of one of the greats in martial arts after a life of training? I would not bet on it. Aiming for or beyond the level of O-Sensei may be a bit naive (OTOH, I’d rather aim high and miss, than aim low and hit. - Les Brown):
Do you have access to a skilled teacher, willing to teach you?
Do you have the required talent?
Are you sufficiently passionate/obsessed with these skills?
Can you put in 10.000 hours of practice in a relatively short amount of time? (Studies show one needs 10.000 hours of practice for mastery.)
etc.

jss
08-24-2009, 03:06 PM
It's that technical science that I am most interested in and which I believe that many of us can learn and practice to the extent that we reach or even pass O-Sensei's skill level. Again, there are already people who have considerable Internal Strength. Why does it have to be seen as something mysterious?
It's not mysterious. It's just lots and lots and lots of hard work. (And that's ignoring lots and lots of other factors.)
Saying that we can reach or even pass O-Sensei's skill level is like saying we can reach or even pass Schumacher's skill in Formula 1 racing, Yehudi Menuhin's skills in violin playing, James Joyce's skill in writing, Steven Spielber's skill in directing, Rintje Ritmsa's skill in speed skating, Eddy Merckx's skill in bicycle racing, etc.

And sure there are people who (one can argue) have surpassed O-Sensei's skills, but those were all people with the talent, the teachers, the passion and the amount of training needed to do so. And sure we can learn these skills and do some amazing feats, but most of us will never pass the amateur level. And O-Sensei was no amateur.

jss
08-24-2009, 03:09 PM
My question to you Joep is: other than by arriving at a subjective judgement as to how good or not one's technique looks and/or feels, how do you determine "betterness" within Aikido?
There is no other way, but there's different kinds of subjectivity and seeing how you phrase your question, you seem to confuse intersubjectivity between experts with relativity. (Not that I'm an expert, btw.)

DH
08-24-2009, 03:19 PM
Well, with sprinters, there is a clear cut method of determining who is the kingpin of the lot. A bunch of guys get out on a track and run for a predetermined distance. The one who covers the distance in the least amount of time "wins". Now if this runner can duplicate this feat over and over it becomes pretty evident to everyone that he is the best at what he does.
.... other than by arriving at a subjective judgement as to how good or not one's technique looks and/or feels, how do you determine "betterness" within Aikido?
Ron
Well let’s see.
What is Aikido exactly by way of physical skills?
1. Aiki power
2. Movement, matching and controlling
3. Throws (Projections mostly which are easier)
4. Locks (standing)
5. Ki tests (Level of intent to control the body)
6. Weapons (sword, stick and knife)

Aiki power and Atemi
How about as an attacker both can strike and let’s see who can literally blow through the defense of the other? With nage demonstrating an inability to do something with the strike coming in?
What if one proves to have no ability to stop the incoming strike?
What if he not only cannot stop it in any manner shape of form, but it blows him back, knocks him down or causes intense pain just from the power- with zero wind up?
What if one can blow someone back with their hand, wrist, forearm, bicep, or shoulder (anything along the chain of movement) or legs and chest wall
What if one proves to have little to no ability to do anything at all; throws, locks, etc to the other?
How about a static test? With shomen-uchi and yokomen-uchi's one guys strikes blow through all manner of static defense to intercept or redirect it and hits the mark every time?

Movement
How about when attacked one of them can enter-in pretty much at will and do what they want DESPITE the other guy's efforts to stop him?
How about the other has no ability that he can muster or manage to enter into the others space in kind?

Throws
How about every time one guy tries to throw the other he either throws himself or he gets tossed?
How about on testing one guy can let the other all the way to the others chest wall and he still can't throw him and he gets thrown again?

Locks
How about you put out a hand and the guy can't lock you and you end up sucking him into a dangerous position?
How about he cannot do that to you?
How about you can lock him every time?

Since everyone knows you do ki tests
How about the amount or level of power offered in that push-that you can resist as ameasure of your ability to manifest your "ki"?
How about the type of resistance quality and visible evidence of internal manipulation on the guy pushing?
How about being able to move around freely with someone pushing directly on your hips driving into you?
How about an independent test where someone pushes on you steadily and they get to read you and tell where your weight is and which leg you are about to lift?
How about you stand stock straight and arms straight out in front and you match the other guy and you have to "walk through him?"
How about if you are allowed to get into a deep hanmi with the other guy still standing there stock straight fully extended and you still can’t budge him?
How about getting punched full on in the gut several times and demonstrating the body’s ability to absorb it?
How about delivering non dedicated power and weight transfer?

Weapons
How about taking a sword and seeing who can cut right through anything the other can offer by way of resistance...anything at all and they get whacked every time.
How about seeing who can control the others weapon every time the weapons touch and cut the other so they are totally owned?
How about taking a knife and proving the other guy completely inept to offer a viable defense?

That seems like a fairly comprehensive list of very basic items in aikido with some added tests for those inclined to discuss aiki or ki in casual and familiar terms. There should be some room in there to find a measureing stick to use

I have -only- outlined aikido oriented movements in the above. I think that all of the above is easy to prove measure and judge in various ways. If folks are friendly and want to play, they can have fun doing it and leave out the damaging parts!! I’ve been using it as a guide for years.

It has been my experience that the internet has offered endless debates for years in what is instantly judged in about 5 minutes, hands-on with what aiki can really do. Seems reasonable to me that if single individuals can pretty much walk-in and be on the top side of the above...over and over and over- that maybe there is something to this Japanese "aiki" stuff after all. Stuff that Aikido might be able to use. But hey, that's just my take on the physical side of things that the art seems to like to show in public.
Cheers
Dan

K. Abrams
08-24-2009, 03:43 PM
Our chances are slim: O-Sensei had access to someone teaching him all the good stuff and he practiced full-time. And as an old man he may not have been as strong as he used to be, but these skills can be refined until the day you die, so he still was getting better at it, although not stronger.
So can we attain the level of skill of one of the greats in martial arts after a life of training? I would not bet on it. Aiming for or beyond the level of O-Sensei may be a bit naive (OTOH, I'd rather aim high and miss, than aim low and hit. - Les Brown):
Do you have access to a skilled teacher, willing to teach you?
Do you have the required talent?
Are you sufficiently passionate/obsessed with these skills?
Can you put in 10.000 hours of practice in a relatively short amount of time? (Studies show one needs 10.000 hours of practice for mastery.)
etc.

So, you are admitting that it IS possible for us to reach O-Sensei's skills level. That the technical possiblity is there. Everything you have listed as a necessity is something that can be had by someone with the determination. In other words, it's not something superhuman, it's something that is simply a matter of logistics and personal drive.

I'd say it's doable. After reading posts by some AikiWeb subscribers who have been starting Internal Strength training, I would also say that it is doable in less than 20 years! Call me an idealist if you like, but it looks like something that is just that: a thing. Things are tangible and obtainable, not mysteriously unreachable by you and me and only attainable by someone who has now been dead for 40 years. With all due respect to O-Sensei.

Josh,
Thank you for your response, too. I share your love of the mysteriousness of the spiritual world and appreciate what you have said about it. I used to think that it was part of aikido, and for O-Sensei I'm sure it was. For me, though, it is becoming more and more a tangible process and thing that I can insert my own philosophical leanings into, but only after I have reached a level of skill that doesn't embarrass me. :) Again, I see this disciplne as a one of concrete knowledge and learned skills, of which I evidently am lacking a critical compenent. That rocks my world. Not in a "mysterious" way, but in a "What am I missing and how do I get it" way.

DH
08-24-2009, 04:10 PM
So, you are admitting that it IS possible for us to reach O-Sensei's skills level.
You should surpass him. Internal power has its limits in any endevour and Ueshiba, Takeda, any one of them would have their hands full in todays more pressured environments.
So the question is where are you? Where is your aiki-power? Where are your actual fighting skills in all venues?
I had only one goal in mind when learning an art- how to be better than the head guy and surpass him. It's the only way to improve. Most don't care about that and the ones that do? Most of them don't have the tenacity and dogged determination to keep doing the work.
Sagawa said it best "If you go to class and only do what the others do you will only be like the others. It then becomes a contest.....of mediocrity!"
There is a reason that the words "great" and "exceptional" have meaning right? It recognizes extraordinary effort over others.

Cheers
Dan

Mike Sigman
08-24-2009, 04:37 PM
I'd say it's doable. After reading posts by some AikiWeb subscribers who have been starting Internal Strength training, I would also say that it is doable in less than 20 years! Call me an idealist if you like, but it looks like something that is just that: a thing. Things are tangible and obtainable, not mysteriously unreachable by you and me and only attainable by someone who has now been dead for 40 years. With all due respect to O-Sensei.
It's an interesting thought, Kreyna, and I personally think you're right that it's doable. Of course, it's going to be difficult to separate the doable from the Dunning-Kruger effect that too often accompanies the claims within the martial-arts domain. ;)

FWIW

Mike Sigman

rob_liberti
08-24-2009, 08:39 PM
Another measuring stick that Dan could have mentioned would be to have 1 or 2 students of a teacher also step up and do everything Dan described as well...

Rob

DH
08-24-2009, 09:19 PM
Well, I wasn't thinking of just me but more along the lines of Ron's idea that aikido cannot be measured. I think that's an interesting idea and probably might prove problematic between styles. I don't think it's accurate overall though. If it has proved to be a road block in the past, I proposed a solution. I've never needed to consider styles and waza in the past while playing with many different styles and I wanted to play with the concept in line with what I do sometimes. Aikido has many common elements. With my list I am sure many, many, more teachers and students alike who could use it as a measure of just where they are in physical skills-sans styles ro waza. By its nature it defy's waza and individual stylings and can be more pure to form. It's also fun. Anyway, it was more of a conversation piece on the concept than anything else.
Cheers
Dan

rob_liberti
08-24-2009, 10:04 PM
I was thinking of my students in the not too distant future...

Keith Larman
08-25-2009, 12:32 AM
... the Dunning-Kruger effect that too often accompanies the claims within the martial-arts domain. ;)

It happens everywhere. A guy showed me a tanto he polished at the recent Token Kai. Horrible. I pointed out the rounded lines, the inconsistent shape, the deep scratches. Confident fella but he clearly had no idea what he was doing. After he kept looking at me with a puzzled look as I tried to explain things I finally pulled a blade off the table that had been polished by a top level togishi in Japan. I showed him the crisp transitions, the clean, vibrant surface, the subtle detail, and the consistency of shape. Side by side -- couldn't be more obvious.

He looked and looked but said "Yeah, but that's just a flashy style. Mine is more subtle. You're just looking for things to criticize."

The differences were like night and day... But sometimes that's too subtle a difference for those who never open their eyes.

jss
08-25-2009, 03:22 AM
So, you are admitting that it IS possible for us to reach O-Sensei's skills level.<snip>
In other words, it's not something superhuman, it's something that is simply a matter of logistics and personal drive.
I never claimed it was something superhuman, so I don't have to 'admit' anything. Aiki is just a skill like there are so many others, but becoming one of the greats in a skill is no small endeavor.

After reading posts by some AikiWeb subscribers who have been starting Internal Strength training, I would also say that it is doable in less than 20 years!
So you're estimating how much time it would take based on what some beginners write on an internet forum?! How would they know how much time it takes to attain a level they can barely dream of?

Mike Sigman
08-25-2009, 07:59 AM
It happens everywhere. A guy showed me a tanto he polished at the recent Token Kai. Horrible. I pointed out the rounded lines, the inconsistent shape, the deep scratches. Confident fella but he clearly had no idea what he was doing. After he kept looking at me with a puzzled look as I tried to explain things I finally pulled a blade off the table that had been polished by a top level togishi in Japan. I showed him the crisp transitions, the clean, vibrant surface, the subtle detail, and the consistency of shape. Side by side -- couldn't be more obvious.

He looked and looked but said "Yeah, but that's just a flashy style. Mine is more subtle. You're just looking for things to criticize."

The differences were like night and day... But sometimes that's too subtle a difference for those who never open their eyes.He'll probably badmouth you from here to kingdom-come now, Keith, because you have this nasty attitude! :D But that's exactly what I was talking about.

Best.

Mike

Marc Abrams
08-25-2009, 08:35 AM
It happens everywhere. A guy showed me a tanto he polished at the recent Token Kai. Horrible. I pointed out the rounded lines, the inconsistent shape, the deep scratches. Confident fella but he clearly had no idea what he was doing. After he kept looking at me with a puzzled look as I tried to explain things I finally pulled a blade off the table that had been polished by a top level togishi in Japan. I showed him the crisp transitions, the clean, vibrant surface, the subtle detail, and the consistency of shape. Side by side -- couldn't be more obvious.

He looked and looked but said "Yeah, but that's just a flashy style. Mine is more subtle. You're just looking for things to criticize."

The differences were like night and day... But sometimes that's too subtle a difference for those who never open their eyes.

Keith:

The problem is that you were not willing to go along with "his reality." People seem to find it rude when other people point out that consensual reality does not line up with theirs. You have some nerve ;) !

This endlessly debated topic will continue to reverberate because some people will want to stay stuck in their own little worlds, rather than apply what they do in the context of a large reality (eg. work with Mike, Dan, ....).

Marc Abrams

Keith Larman
08-25-2009, 08:41 AM
He'll probably badmouth you from here to kingdom-come now, Keith, because you have this nasty attitude! :D But that's exactly what I was talking about.

Best.

Mike

Oh, I already have an "anti-fan" club like that... Some come around eventually; others, well, they don't. It is one hazard in that people show me their work asking for critiques. The problem is the "they don't know what they don't know" syndrome as well. So I end up with the choice of ignoring them, saying something non committal, or going ahead and doing exactly what they ask. Hard to know sometimes what to say. If I do give them the critique they asked for, some are grateful, but there are those who truly felt they'd done wonderful things. For some of those people getting an honest critique either results in a sad but sincere thank you. For others, well, let's just say it doesn't go well. I realized one day that the real problem is that the work may have been very difficult for them to do and since it reflects their lack of knowledge as well as their misconceptions it in fact does represent exactly what they think it should be. Hence to them it is great work -- it realized what they see in their mind's eye. The problem is their "fantastic" work itself only shows how poor their understanding really is.

thisisnotreal
08-25-2009, 09:11 AM
Do you think Usain Bolt will be able to sprint as well as Morihei Ueshiba did aikido in his old age?
I don't know. I think the nature of Ueshiba's training advantageously changed his body, and continuously improved it..allowing him to do what he did. I do not necessarily think that Usain Bolt's training has this same factor in play. For this reason I think physical deterioration over time will not allow Usain Bolt to do his thing as well as Ueshiba did his.

Are you saying that you and I cannot attain a level of skill that could match that of a fragile looking 80-plus-year-old man?
I don't know here either. In general I think what you say is true; but what about an 80 year old zealous mathematician working his whole life? Do you think you can do what he does? Depends on a lot of things...as you and Joep wrote. Fragile or not; I think what we see and hear about O Sensei was the culmination of a lifetime's refinement of a difficult skill. I think it would be difficult in the extreme and a mistake by any stretch to think it a slam dunk. The challenge is real and the bar is set high. But within the realm of possibility, I think...yes. Without the aiki technique and internal strength, no way.
m2c (just some more white noise)

Kevin Leavitt
08-25-2009, 09:15 AM
Talking about the whole "Anti-Fan" club issue. I have been talking to alot of guys that are kinda on the forefront of thought of Military Combatives over the past couple of months. These guys have 20 or so years of experience in TMAs and training/teaching soldiers, institutions etc.

One thing is common among all of them is that they have their detractors. As I mature and hopefully start coming into my own as a "martial professional" I'd had of kinda hoped to avoid this whole issue by being good enough to make everyone see that I was the right way lol.

Looking now, I am starting to realize that eventually you kinda have to stand up for what you believe in, be honest about it, and accept that you can't make everyone happy.

I really like to try and say nothing at all if I don't particularly agree with someone on something vice being critical, but as Dan kinda pointed out to me the other day, you do owe it to the folks you are training with to be honest with them, even if it hurt their feelings a little. That is their problem if they can't get over it. Sure, it can be done tactfully.

I think back to the discussions I have had with Dan and Mike over the past few years on Aikiweb. I appreciate that they stuck to their guns and dealt with the difficult and critical comments. I also appreciate their honesty too even though it may not have been the popular thing to say.

I do think it is better than to maintain the "group think" and "PC" environment at the expense of good training.

I think if someone is truely honest about what they are working on, that they are strong enough to take the criticism and to drive on. It sucks being told you suck, I hate it, but deep down I try and take my licks and drive on, knowing that that person is actually trying to help me.

I think we waste alot of time with folks being nice and polite to each other to the point of dishonesty.

Screw em if they can't get over it! there are plenty of folks that can, and that is the people I want to hang out with and learn from.

thisisnotreal
08-25-2009, 09:17 AM
You should surpass him.

I want to be an optimist as well, but didn't Sagawa also say "It is almost impossible to understand aiki".

What factors / obstacles are in the way?
-body must be conditioned to understand aiki (in the body)
-the technique is difficult (bodily and intellectually)
-the sheer amount of body conditioning is almost prohibitive
-finding a teacher is hard
-training is arduous
-ability to find the time
-need advantageous mix of insight + luck
-must remain free from injury when pressure testing

Am I even in the ball park?
Cheers,
Josh

Keith Larman
08-25-2009, 09:23 AM
Looking now, I am starting to realize that eventually you kinda have to stand up for what you believe in, be honest about it, and accept that you can't make everyone happy.

Yup... Absolutely. There are those you just can't reach even after slapping them silly. ;)

But... That said just because some don't get what you're doing doesn't mean someone else might actually get it and have a valid observation. In other words the Dunning-Kruger effect doesn't discriminate, even among those of us who clearly know everything. :D

Mike Sigman
08-25-2009, 09:26 AM
Oh, I already have an "anti-fan" club like that... Some come around eventually; others, well, they don't. It is one hazard in that people show me their work asking for critiques. The problem is the "they don't know what they don't know" syndrome as well. So I end up with the choice of ignoring them, saying something non committal, or going ahead and doing exactly what they ask. Hard to know sometimes what to say. If I do give them the critique they asked for, some are grateful, but there are those who truly felt they'd done wonderful things. For some of those people getting an honest critique either results in a sad but sincere thank you. For others, well, let's just say it doesn't go well. I realized one day that the real problem is that the work may have been very difficult for them to do and since it reflects their lack of knowledge as well as their misconceptions it in fact does represent exactly what they think it should be. Hence to them it is great work -- it realized what they see in their mind's eye. The problem is their "fantastic" work itself only shows how poor their understanding really is.Well, as this whole issue of "internal skillz" takes off, watch for even more D-K effect to raise its head. The guy who knows a little bit will think he knows a lot (ready to open a dojo! ready to teach others! :rolleyes: ) and there will be all sorts of soap-operatic situations. And the guy who can't see where he really is (or has invested too much in being The Expert to continue studying) will self-limit himself. In short, things will be just as they always are and always have been. ;) Should be fun to watch.

Best.

Mike

thisisnotreal
08-25-2009, 09:32 AM
..I share your love of the mysteriousness of the spiritual world and appreciate what you have said about it.

Hi Kreyna,
Thanks for your response. I was thinking about it.... Actually the mysteriousness is somewhat frustrating to me...it's not so much a love of that (anymore). It is a love of the hunt to find the truth. Moreso; actually a love of the truth itself. The mystery is the thing hanging over it. It is the clearing of the mystery that I love..

I used to think that it was part of Aikido, and for O-Sensei I'm sure it was. For me, though, it is becoming more and more a tangible process and thing
I agree and think the same way. It is strange though in that Aikido was created as a body practice by O Sensei as a manifestation of him trying to harmonize Heaven and Earth realms. Do I understand that correctly (anybody?).
If a thing means what it means (re: Aikido), are we kidding ourselves and trying to "Make Aikido what ever I want it to mean; especially what I am doing"?
Or is the body practice separate from the spiritual world? I think some would say that this is essentially 'destroying' aikido...or denying the True Internal Strength that comes from practicing Aikido. I am not really talking about challenging yourself and seeing what you are made of (fortitude-wise)..but something else. ..Some people hold that these 'movements' in aikido are divine.
I do not believe that a Movement can be divine. But then again I do not believe a Sound can be divine either.

Again, I see this disciple as a one of concrete knowledge and learned skills, of which I evidently am lacking a critical component. That rocks my world. Not in a "mysterious" way, but in a "What am I missing and how do I get it" way.
;) cool.
All the Best,
Josh

thisisnotreal
08-25-2009, 09:35 AM
.. the Dunning-Kruger effect ..

Isn't the cure for that humility and a true spirit of learning and seeking to be better?

What *causes* it?

Keith Larman
08-25-2009, 09:35 AM
I really like to try and say nothing at all if I don't particularly agree with someone on something vice being critical, but as Dan kinda pointed out to me the other day, you do owe it to the folks you are training with to be honest with them, even if it hurt their feelings a little. That is their problem if they can't get over it. Sure, it can be done tactfully.

On that point there is no question or debate in my mind. If you are a teacher you *need* to give the honest feedback to your students. That's part of the job. The difficult part can be doing it such that the student is able to improve without tearing them down too much in the process. But at some point the teacher's responsibility does include telling someone they're doing it all wrong.

I can think of people I know where some teachers have given up on them. We all know students like that. They figure they've got it all figured out, they seem to ignore corrections, and pretty soon you notice sensei is no longer bothering correcting them. Some of those students tend to get very confident as they take the lack of correction as a sort of implicit approval of their form. It is nothing of the sort. So in a weird way I find it most encouraging when one of my sensei comes over and fixes something on me. At least I'm still in their radar as a student...

But that's an in-person, one-on-one kinda deal. And I think part of my discomfort with some threads here is that people are talking about what others are doing that they have never met let alone trained with. And that gets difficult at best.

Shrug...

Keith Larman
08-25-2009, 09:38 AM
Isn't the cure for that humility and a true spirit of learning and seeking to be better?

What *causes* it?

Being human.

Keith Larman
08-25-2009, 09:41 AM
Well, as this whole issue of "internal skillz" takes off, watch for even more D-K effect to raise its head. The guy who knows a little bit will think he knows a lot (ready to open a dojo! ready to teach others! :rolleyes: ) and there will be all sorts of soap-operatic situations. And the guy who can't see where he really is (or has invested too much in being The Expert to continue studying) will self-limit himself. In short, things will be just as they always are and always have been. ;) Should be fun to watch.

Best.

Mike
Yup, give people some shiny new toys and for some it will be irresistible to show them off... And once they start to get marginally better at them some will become excruciatingly difficult to be around... And on that note of self-realization as I typed that last sentence I'm going to go do some exercises with a pool noodle. :straightf

Mike Sigman
08-25-2009, 09:47 AM
I tend to like simple tests to give an indication of where someone's ability in "internal skillz" are. Tohei's "ki tests" are good static tests and you can use them to feel how 'pure' someone's ability to transmit the ground are, how stable, etc. It doesn't take a mind-numbing series of courageous derring-do tests to tell what sort of ability someone has. Usually, someone with experience can tell at a touch or a handshake (hence the dead-fish handshakes that you encounter among a lot of Asian martial artists) what someone's general level is.

Then too, a small, not-too-strong person can be working diligently on very pure and refined ki/kokyu/qi/jin skills and they won't be as strong as a large, strong person with only rudimentary skills that contain a lot of muscle-jin combination (not very pure, regardless of how strong). So setting powerful derring-do tests for that sort of evolving student would do no good.

Personally, I prefer a slight extension of a static test in order to get a feel for where someone is. I usually ask people to push me (I don't particularly try to resist or thwart their push); that gives me a quick idea of how well they use basic principles in a dynamic example. During that push I can tell how 'pure' that person can let the ground through their bodies, whether they actually use their hara/dantien correctly, and how well integrated their body is, in a simple demonstration. If there are errors in a simple, dynamic movement, then it is pointless to have to look at more complex demonstrations.

In terms of the Dunning-Kruger effect ("SPD" or "Self Perception Disorder" is pretty much the same thing), I've seen people push me horribly at the beginning of a workshop, but later with a lot of exercises and corrections, they do much better (not perfect; just "better"). And some of these people walk out convinced that they had been doing all of this stuff before they ever came and that they didn't learn anything really new. And naturally, the next time I see them they won't be any better than before, either; most of the people who were "already doing that" actually revert to where they were when I first saw them. It's pointless to have any feelings about their progress: these people are their own worst enemies. ;)

FWIW

Mike Sigman

thisisnotreal
08-25-2009, 09:55 AM
I think back to the discussions I have had with Dan and Mike over the past few years on Aikiweb. I appreciate that they stuck to their guns and dealt with the difficult and critical comments. I also appreciate their honesty too even though it may not have been the popular thing to say.
Me too. I likewise very much appreciate it. Going over the archives you can see it has been a monumental effort. Almost unbelievable, in fact...

I do think it is better than to maintain the "group think" and "PC" environment at the expense of good training.

Talk like that will either get you fired or promoted. There is no in between. I like it. I hate the PC handcuffing all around; and am so encouraged to read the people around here, on these pages.

I think if someone is truly honest about what they are working on, that they are strong enough to take the criticism and to drive on. It sucks being told you suck, I hate it, but deep down I try and take my licks and drive on, knowing that that person is actually trying to help me.

I think we waste a lot of time with folks being nice and polite to each other to the point of dishonesty.

Screw em if they can't get over it! there are plenty of folks that can, and that is the people I want to hang out with and learn from.
ha. what you wrote is what makes us better, I think. It ain't pretty, and in fact can be ugly and humbling to the extreme. but the refinement process is destructive. Something better comes out.

i remember reading a nice quote, which i am sure to butcher:
"One definition of Mastery means having made every mistake that is possible in a field of study"

Kevin Leavitt
08-25-2009, 10:14 AM
Isn't the cure for that humility and a true spirit of learning and seeking to be better?

What *causes* it?

Not necessarily, because you can also begin to believe that you are more humble than others, which begets the same problem if you ask me.

Also I think we tend to have a phenomea in aikido where folks develop a sense of humility that borders on piety, which causes us to sacrifice real learning and knowledge transferrence as humility becomes a more important quality than the actual transferrence of knowledge!

Sigh!

Kevin Leavitt
08-25-2009, 10:19 AM
Mike Sigman wrote:

Personally, I prefer a slight extension of a static test in order to get a feel for where someone is. I usually ask people to push me (I don't particularly try to resist or thwart their push); that gives me a quick idea of how well they use basic principles in a dynamic example. During that push I can tell how 'pure' that person can let the ground through their bodies, whether they actually use their hara/dantien correctly, and how well integrated their body is, in a simple demonstration. If there are errors in a simple, dynamic movement, then it is pointless to have to look at more complex demonstrations.

Yes, I remember doing this with you probably more than anything else and the fact that you kept saying "nope" that's not it!

thisisnotreal
08-25-2009, 10:22 AM
Not necessarily, because you can also begin to believe that you are more humble than others, which begets the same problem if you ask me.

Also I think we tend to have a phenomea in aikido where folks develop a sense of humility that borders on piety, which causes us to sacrifice real learning and knowledge transferrence as humility becomes a more important quality than the actual transferrence of knowledge!

Sigh!
Hah! that is * h i l a r i o u s. *
and all too true! Then' what's the solution to D-K, Kevin? That's my best answer...

p.s. re Most Humble: Yes; you are right; We should probably have humility contests to see who is the best. We can quantize it and define an arbitrary measurement unit. I hereby nominate the 'quatloo' as the name of the standard unit of humility. I'm sure this'll clear everything up..

Mike Sigman
08-25-2009, 10:24 AM
Mike Sigman wrote:

Yes, I remember doing this with you probably more than anything else and the fact that you kept saying "nope" that's not it!

Heh. And do you really understand what I was looking for and why? Are you better at a simple push now? ;)

Mike

Kevin Leavitt
08-25-2009, 10:30 AM
I don't know Mike...sometimes, at the very minimum I think I know what it isn't. I think I know how it should feel. I can feel when I am using the wrong muscles and I believe I am now able to evaluate exercises and practices that both encourage and discourage development. So, I think that is a start.

Tim Anderson is most helpful in this process, but I can only seem to get together with Tim every now and then cause we run opposite schedules!

Kevin Leavitt
08-25-2009, 10:35 AM
Hah! that is * h i l a r i o u s. *
and all too true! Then' what's the solution to D-K, Kevin? That's my best answer...

p.s. re Most Humble: Yes; you are right; We should probably have humility contests to see who is the best. We can quantize it and define an arbitrary measurement unit. I hereby nominate the 'quatloo' as the name of the standard unit of humility. I'm sure this'll clear everything up..

Solution? Aware that these things affect your judgement and that your sense of reality is constantly being distorted. Try and surround yourself with people that seem to be able to do the things you want to do, and try and develop criteria as objectively as possible for you to test yourself against.

I try and constantly re-evaluate myself and look at different perspectives. If I feel comfortable all the time in my practice, well then I am probably not growing. I think we should constantly feel a slight amount of frustration, dissonance, and what not when we train.

I try and get with as many folks as I can that I do not train with on a daily basis. It is why I approach aikido through BJJ. BJJ through Aikido and Aikido through Judo etc.

I love working with the Military Combatives program as I constantly get beginners that have no clue and they want to fight me. I lose sometimes cause you get in patterns of habit in arts, we all assume certain things. A guy on the street doesn't understand your "rules". So, it is fun to work with folks with no training at all too get an honest perspective of force, pressure.

Things like that I think seem to work for me.