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rdavid445
09-01-2009, 02:41 PM
I have a specific question for Mr. Amdur,

I haven't read through the whole book yet, but I have absolutely loved it so far. My question is this:

Would you be willing to discuss some of the specific internal training methods you've been practicing?

I ask because recently, through reading your books and doing some of my own research, I've become very interested in augmenting my own training with some internal practices. I know that the Aunkai sells a couple of DVDs, but otherwise, I'm a bit in the dark about how to begin a study of internal practices.

phitruong
09-01-2009, 04:46 PM
I have a specific question for Mr. Amdur,

I haven't read through the whole book yet, but I have absolutely loved it so far. My question is this:

Would you be willing to discuss some of the specific internal training methods you've been practicing?

I ask because recently, through reading your books and doing some of my own research, I've become very interested in augmenting my own training with some internal practices. I know that the Aunkai sells a couple of DVDs, but otherwise, I'm a bit in the dark about how to begin a study of internal practices.

not Ellis, but could pretend to be Ellis, if i am on stills and shaved my head and looked real fierce and ....

i was like you. saw a bunch of posting about internal and no aiki in aikido and so on. started to pay attention to some of the posters. some of the folks that i believed could get you started. no reason for the order.

Howard Popkin of Roppokai DR from NY. good luck in getting him to come out to OK. he goes where the big fishes go. i believed he got his aiki from fighting with big fishes. can't trust jewjutsu! :D

Dan Harden of somewhere north east. he hid in a big barn somewhere doing god awful internal/aiki stuffs with large animals or people, can't remember which. heard he also know a bit about blade smith. don't know if you can trust him either; he might try to sell you steak knives. :)

Mike Sigman of CO. don't know if you can trust a guy who has been breathing open mountain air. bit of a questioner who kept asking all these questions about details in internal training and why aren't aiki in aikido like O Sensei. it's not like he could do anything other than send you flying into the next county, laugh at you as you throw on various aikido locks, wouldn't move out of the way like a ton of bricks, so on and so forth. boring stuffs really. who wants to learn about those things really? :D

you already heard about aunkai. those guys just make you stand in horse stands for hours on end. only caused pain and suffering.

there are other folks who know internal stuffs that can't teach or won't teach. there are folks who know and can teach. there are folks who don't know and can teach as well as can't teach.

are you sure you want to go down the internal path? it's just lots of pain and suffering like eating a big burrito then attending functions at your in-law where you can't move a few paces away from the mother-in-law and the methane build-up. it's just going to make your life miserable.

thisisnotreal
09-01-2009, 05:16 PM
that, my friend, is hilarious.*Lmao*

Ellis Amdur
09-01-2009, 07:47 PM
Sorry - just saw this thread. My book doesn't get into the specifics of internal training (well the last chapter tells how to become Osensei in 16 easy lessons, but I suggest psychedelic mushrooms among the training tools, so I don't know how much I can be trusted . . .).

I am a beginner in this training method. Phi has named the most prominent people "out there" who are not ryu/martial art specific. I do not want to discuss details of my training, because any mistakes I might make, although they will eventually be corrected by my instructors, would live forever in the web.

For me, this book was similar to wandering past a table where someone had left a big jigsaw puzzle, and after idly fitting together some pieces, then feeling compelled to fit together the whole thing. And I was just walking past the table, anyway, on my way, originally towards something else!
And what was the jigsaw puzzle? The existence of IT within the Japanese martial paradigm, that's part of it. And a host of other things that make reading the book the best route to finding out what's in it.

I will say that I will consider it a personal failure if the only thing that I get from this journey is to have written a book <about> internal training. So back to training.

Best
Ellis Amdur

aikidoc
09-01-2009, 08:26 PM
Those who are working on this stuff are all making mistakes. However, honest attempts at discussing what we are learning and feeling, all contribute to the journey. Given of course we don't get sidetracked with terminology arguments.

I'm working hard on learning to ground strongly with an impetus from some of Mikes videos. One thing I found out for example is that with multiple attackers grabbing morotedori that if I ground them on initial contact-not just connect with their centers but ground their centers as well then I can more them easier and I'm a hell of a lot harder to move. Even with two on each arm and one choking from behind. It also makes the unliftable body work better for me. I'm sure this is not new but no one taught it to me so I had to figure it out myself. That and some neat little pelvic tucks that unweight the uke. Just throwing it out.

rdavid445
09-01-2009, 08:28 PM
Here's a question:

Would it be a worthwhile investment to buy the Aunkai dvds? And where can I find any of Mike Sigman's videos (I assume that's the Mike you were talking about)?

Ellis Amdur
09-01-2009, 09:19 PM
Robert - straight-up, you got to find someone to train with. Videos are helpful, once you've been taught. I do not think you can learn properly form videos alone. I would check out the various t'ai chi teachers in the area. That is another huge area of bogusity - people who emulate ferns rather than willows - but it's a start. You should be able to feel what they have, too. You should be impressed with a kind of power - not tricks - but power that is out of proportion to the apparent effot. Or, you logically should be able to grab them or lock them, and it's like grabbing smoke.
I am NOT the person to certify at a distance who is good and who is not. But you gotta feel it and learn it in person.

Best
Ellis Amdur

Kevin Leavitt
09-01-2009, 09:43 PM
Not that I am anybody, but I would second Ellis' recommendation. Videos are a waste of time unless you have worked with the person in the video. Even then I am not sure they are so helpful other than to help you remember the basics.

It is not until you actually lay hands on someone that you can even understand what it is that they are talking about. Even then it opens up more questions than answers..so while Phi was kinda being a smart ass...he is really pretty accurate..I had to laugh as it is damn accurate.

rdavid445
09-01-2009, 11:04 PM
I, of course, understand that training personally with someone qualified would be ideal, so I'll start looking. Unfortunately, I live in Oklahoma, so there are A LOT of bogus martial arts teachers, tai chi included. There is a woman in my aikido class that teaches tai chi at our school on another night, so I may try that. Just have to find the time.

Rob Watson
09-02-2009, 12:30 AM
I, of course, understand that training personally with someone qualified would be ideal, so I'll start looking. Unfortunately, I live in Oklahoma, so there are A LOT of bogus martial arts teachers, tai chi included. There is a woman in my aikido class that teaches tai chi at our school on another night, so I may try that. Just have to find the time.

Have you asked your sensei about specifics for training the internal aspects of the art? Maybe they are just waiting for someone to step up and show interest.

At least I'm always amazed at how many questions I have that I don't bother even asking my sensei. I wonder why that is?

rdavid445
09-02-2009, 12:45 AM
Have you asked your sensei about specifics for training the internal aspects of the art? Maybe they are just waiting for someone to step up and show interest.

At least I'm always amazed at how many questions I have that I don't bother even asking my sensei. I wonder why that is?

Well, in the past, the school of aikido that I had been training at (Shodokan -Tomiki- Aikido/JAA) did not offer any sort of internal training. The drills and exercises we did outside of technical training pretty strictly focused on developing physical abilities, timing, ma ai, etc. And, I have to admit, that when I was really training at that school, I was dismissive of internal training concerns, wanting to focus on my technical development only. However, as I'm now training in the Jiyushinkai system, and am slowly being introduced to all that the organization has to offer, I'm definitely becoming more open to different approaches to Tomiki aikido, and will make a point of discussing it with my instructor.

Within the next few years, my wife and I may well be moving up into Mr. Amdur's neck of the woods, so I hope to be able to continue my research up there.

MM
09-02-2009, 08:39 AM
Well, in the past, the school of aikido that I had been training at (Shodokan -Tomiki- Aikido/JAA) did not offer any sort of internal training. The drills and exercises we did outside of technical training pretty strictly focused on developing physical abilities, timing, ma ai, etc. And, I have to admit, that when I was really training at that school, I was dismissive of internal training concerns, wanting to focus on my technical development only. However, as I'm now training in the Jiyushinkai system, and am slowly being introduced to all that the organization has to offer, I'm definitely becoming more open to different approaches to Tomiki aikido, and will make a point of discussing it with my instructor.

Within the next few years, my wife and I may well be moving up into Mr. Amdur's neck of the woods, so I hope to be able to continue my research up there.

I always have the best of things to say about the Jiyushinkai. Chuck Clark built a phenomenal organization and I have the utmost respect for quite a lot of the members. I started my aikido training out there at Shobu Aiki Dojo many years ago. I was out there a few years back on one of the hottest days ever in Oklahoma history. It'd be nice to visit again sometime soon ... but I don't think that'll happen this year. I would recommend training with the Jiyushinkai to anyone.

Back to the original topic. I would echo what Phi, Ellis, and Kevin have posted. It really does take some hands-on training to get a start.

I think a post by David Orange in another thread is applicable here:


I don't know that I would have ever been so interested in Sagawa or a book about him if I hadn't experienced Aunkai, though. Of course, Dan points to Sagawa, but in times past, when I've seen pictures of an old guy like that gesturing with his hand and sending people flying...I just wasn't interested. I used to think the photos and clips Okamoto were all fakery, too. And then I got hold of Ark and Rob and I could certainly feel the great potential of that kind of energy. I realized that those little hand gestures were conveying something I had never learned in aikido and had only rarely seen.

With Ark, Dan and Mike all teaching the fundamentals of internal power, I'm hopeful not only for the future of aiki in America, but specifically, I'm hoping this thread will bring up some technical concepts that can maybe aid in actual how to develop skills in manipulating those potentials.

phitruong
09-02-2009, 10:03 AM
sorry about the little jest in earlier posting. it's all fun and game until some bugger messed with your ki and you couldn't do a thing about it.

serious advices follow (maybe)

1. invest a bit of time (a weekend or two) and go to those folks, whether workshop/seminar or call them up and ask them if you can visit to learn. ask them one question: "how do i train my body to do aiki works?" please hold the philosophy, moral imperative, pickles and mayo. just the how-to, thank you very much.

2. attitude when you come and train with these folks: please leave the "we are already doing that", "that's not aiki", "i have commune with O Sensei spirit and he said that's not the really stuffs", "i would like to pick up stuffs so i can declare myself an aiki-grand-lord-of-aiki" and so on at home; better yet, if you have those things, don't bother to come. shoshin, right? learn as much as you can and take notes.

3. go home and train like demon. most of those folks are. your focus is "i want to be able to kick their rear-end in the future". not that you want to, because they are nice folks, but it would give you incentive to train and to be better than they are. i am pretty sure, they are the kind of folks who would expect you to be better than them. this is what i called training ethics.

4. don't be surprised that they will withhold information from you. it's not because of some malice, but because until you get to a certain level, more information does you no good whatsoever. they won't give you calculus if you can't handle addition. also, pace your training, i.e. don't try to do algebra if you can't do subtraction.

i am sure other folks will give you good advices as well.

L. Camejo
09-02-2009, 01:18 PM
Well, in the past, the school of aikido that I had been training at (Shodokan -Tomiki- Aikido/JAA) did not offer any sort of internal training. The drills and exercises we did outside of technical training pretty strictly focused on developing physical abilities, timing, ma ai, etc. And, I have to admit, that when I was really training at that school, I was dismissive of internal training concerns, wanting to focus on my technical development only. However, as I'm now training in the Jiyushinkai system, and am slowly being introduced to all that the organization has to offer, I'm definitely becoming more open to different approaches to Tomiki aikido, and will make a point of discussing it with my instructor. Sorry to hear that. I've been privy to some yet unpublished info that indicates (at least to me) that Tomiki was one of those who did develop quite a bit of the internal skills while training with Ueshiba M. This was at a time when things were still taught as Daito Ryu / Aikibudo. Apparently the internal development and Aiki training for Shodokan was blended within Tomiki's theories and training methods on Kuzushi. A recent seminar with Shishida Shihan provided even more information on this for my own training. A lot of what Shodokan calls "warm ups" and "drills" include internal training elements "hidden in plain sight" an example is Shotei Awase when done properly.

Having said that, I know many Shodokan dojo focus on shiai and competition-specific training and if this is ones primary focus one can forget about developing internal skills imho. This is funny however, since resistance tanto or toshu randori provides a very good opportunity to test ones internal skills and Aiki imho both as Tori and Uke, simultaneously.

The Jiyushinkai are really good guys however. I respect what they do a lot. Would love to train with them sometime.

Happy training. Hope you find what you are looking for.

LC

Ellis Amdur
09-02-2009, 01:35 PM
I read an interview with Ohba Sensei one time, which, for the life of me, I've never been able to find again. He described seeing Takeda Tokimune doing what was, to him, a pretty remarkable demonstration of aiki - I think it was being pinned down by four guys, and sending them flying with an apparently small movement. Tomiki sensei said something like, "Oh, that. Like this?" And did the same thing on Ohba (and maybe some others). The sense I got from the interview was that Tomiki thought these things kind of show-offy and didn't like demonstrating. And they may have been peripheral to his goals, I think.
I noted elsewhere the story told to me by Hal Sharp, 8th dan, Kodokan - where Tomiki sensei challenged the group of foreign kenkyusei at the Kodokan to throw him, sticking out one arm for an accommodating lever, and no one could budge him, and then he sat in a chair and did the same thing.
If these stories are accurate, and his skill was that high, imagine that all the politics had had no influence on him and somehow Tomiki sensei had managed to fully combine aikido-judo-Daito-ryu as a curriculum, with his modern scientific views.

best
Ellis Amdur

Chuck Clark
09-02-2009, 02:29 PM
...If these stories are accurate, and his skill was that high, imagine that all the politics had had no influence on him and somehow Tomiki sensei had managed to fully combine aikido-judo-Daito-ryu as a curriculum, with his modern scientific views.

I agree. And, quite timely, lots of really great training methods "Hidden In Plain Sight" that have been overlooked for a long time.

I'm just coming to the end of your book Ellis (read it quickly first and now am close to finishing the second go-through with many more visits in the future as things take form in my questioning mind...) and am enjoying it as I have all your work. Thanks.

Best regards,

Chuck Clark
09-02-2009, 02:35 PM
Larry, You're welcome to train with us whenever you get a chance. I look forward to feeling your Tomiki history in your practice. The more views we get the better.

Best regards,

rdavid445
09-02-2009, 03:11 PM
Sorry to hear that. I've been privy to some yet unpublished info that indicates (at least to me) that Tomiki was one of those who did develop quite a bit of the internal skills while training with Ueshiba M. This was at a time when things were still taught as Daito Ryu / Aikibudo. Apparently the internal development and Aiki training for Shodokan was blended within Tomiki's theories and training methods on Kuzushi. A recent seminar with Shishida Shihan provided even more information on this for my own training. A lot of what Shodokan calls "warm ups" and "drills" include internal training elements "hidden in plain sight" an example is Shotei Awase when done properly.

Having said that, I know many Shodokan dojo focus on shiai and competition-specific training and if this is ones primary focus one can forget about developing internal skills imho. This is funny however, since resistance tanto or toshu randori provides a very good opportunity to test ones internal skills and Aiki imho both as Tori and Uke, simultaneously.

The Jiyushinkai are really good guys however. I respect what they do a lot. Would love to train with them sometime.

Happy training. Hope you find what you are looking for.

LC

The school I was at didn't really focus on shiai at all. My instructor was a lifelong judo and jujutsu student, and as such, approached aikido from a very technical standpoint (though I wouldn't say all instructors who come from a judo or jujutsu background are the same way). As such, while we may have been developing internal strength, etc. there was no awareness of those things being developed as a function of our training. It was never discussed, to the point where I thought IT was something separate from what I was practicing in Shodokan Aikido. As I look back on some of my training, I do see where the drills and exercises we did simultaneously trained distancing and timing, as well as reorganized our bodies, forming them to better express technique, which could be seen as the very beginning stages of internal training, I suppose.

Thank you, Mr. Amdur, for brining up the issue of internal training in aikido, in book form or otherwise. It's caused me to do a lot of thinking about my own training.

Pat Togher
09-02-2009, 03:58 PM
Interesting exchange here with Tomiki sensei on some of the Ki Test/internals.

AJ: We’ve actually come to an important point. There’s one thing I have a hard time explaining away and I am a skeptical person by nature, I like to see to believe. I don’t like to say, “Well, you know if he raises his hand all of his opponents just fall down.” However, I have in my possession films of Ueshiba Sensei. He takes a jo about 3 and 1/2 feet long and holds it out to his side. People come and push on it and he can hold them here from the side; from a perpendicular angle! That’s one thing. Another is this. He sits with his feet crossed underneath, hands relaxed three men come close before him and try to push him over. They can’t. Now either it’s all faked or people are doing it on purpose. If it’s true though I know of no physical principle which can explain those physical feats. This is why I wonder if what happened, was all faked or if he was at a very special “place?” I’ve seen these things on film with my own eyes….

Tomiki Sensei: This problem is one of modern physical education’s muscle training. It’s called isometrics. That is to say, by pushing or pulling you train either the outer muscles or the inner muscles. When you get perfect at this form of training you can hardly see any muscle movement at all during the exercise. When you can’t see any movement you are using the muscle very skillfully. But, in the educational field if you demand a similar level of perfection then you are making a big mistake. If anyone trains sufficiently it is possible to do it to some degree, but, of course, there are limits what a human being can do. Perfection is a problem of belief. Can we call it religious faith? If we have to disrupt our partner’s psychological state through some hypnotic technique it would not be a matter of religion as we usually think of the word. I for one, take the normal point of view that education appropriate for the general public is correct and I think aikido should be something usual, or normal, as well.

Pat Togher
09-02-2009, 04:31 PM
I read an interview with Ohba Sensei one time, which, for the life of me, I've never been able to find again. He described seeing Takeda Tokimune doing what was, to him, a pretty remarkable demonstration of aiki - I think it was being pinned down by four guys, and sending them flying with an apparently small movement. Tomiki sensei said something like, "Oh, that. Like this?" And did the same thing on Ohba (and maybe some others). The sense I got from the interview was that Tomiki thought these things kind of show-offy and didn't like demonstrating. And they may have been peripheral to his goals, I think.
Ellis Amdur

Hi Ellis,
http://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/en/oshie3.html

Describes a similar demonstration. No author cited on the website, but presumably it's Nariyama. Text below.

About the same time there was some special training with a Daitoryu Aikijujitsu teacher in the small dojo in the Japan Budokan and we joined in immediately. During his demonstration he showed a technique that left an impression on me in particular. He was spread-eagled face up on the tatami with four people holding his ankles and wrists and in an instant these four people were thrown off. We had difficulty believing this because it was difficult enough against just one person in randori practice or a match. It was a very strange spectacle but the talk of all my fellow students was that it didn't appear to be a fake technique. Later I asked Tomiki Shihan about it and his unexpected reply was, "I can do that anytime!". However, straight away I didn't believe him and doubt remained somewhere in my mind.

In July 1979, more than ten years later, the 2nd All Japan Competitive Aikido Meeting was held following on from the previous year. It was organised by the JAA and took place in Shihan's home town of Kakunodate in Akita prefecture. He had only just made a comeback from abdominal surgery in August of the previous year and taught with bandages wrapped around his abdomen. I was nominated as his uke for both days. It was an opportunity for him to show me the technique that I had been shown more than ten years earlier by the Daitoryu teacher. He did it very easily and without effort. Once again, needless to say, I was astonished at the depth of techniques.

Ellis Amdur
09-02-2009, 04:34 PM
That's probably why I couldn't find it. It wasn't Ohba, after all!

Best
Ellis

Pat Togher
09-02-2009, 05:11 PM
I seem to recall reading other examples of this - I'll see if I can scare them up from my pc at home. It may be in posts you wrote, though :)

Tomiki was a fascinating character,

Pat

PeterR
09-02-2009, 10:05 PM
Hi Ellis,
http://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/en/oshie3.html

Describes a similar demonstration. No author cited on the website, but presumably it's Nariyama. Text below.

About the same time there was some special training with a Daitoryu Aikijujitsu teacher in the small dojo in the Japan Budokan and we joined in immediately. During his demonstration he showed a technique that left an impression on me in particular. He was spread-eagled face up on the tatami with four people holding his ankles and wrists and in an instant these four people were thrown off. We had difficulty believing this because it was difficult enough against just one person in randori practice or a match. It was a very strange spectacle but the talk of all my fellow students was that it didn't appear to be a fake technique. Later I asked Tomiki Shihan about it and his unexpected reply was, "I can do that anytime!". However, straight away I didn't believe him and doubt remained somewhere in my mind.

In July 1979, more than ten years later, the 2nd All Japan Competitive Aikido Meeting was held following on from the previous year. It was organised by the JAA and took place in Shihan's home town of Kakunodate in Akita prefecture. He had only just made a comeback from abdominal surgery in August of the previous year and taught with bandages wrapped around his abdomen. I was nominated as his uke for both days. It was an opportunity for him to show me the technique that I had been shown more than ten years earlier by the Daitoryu teacher. He did it very easily and without effort. Once again, needless to say, I was astonished at the depth of techniques.

I remember Nariyama Shihan doing that during one class. Only once though.

Ellis Amdur
09-02-2009, 10:36 PM
Peter!
1. Get him to do it again!
2. Ask him how he did it!
3. Ask him how he trained to do it!
(and if you get a chance to feel it, don't be a dive bunny! Just as he's putting it on, think to yourself JUDO! :)

BTW - Kobayashi was, by repute, another one of those guys who allegedly retained some of the pre-war training methods.

Man, I keep hearing these stories of people like yourself SEEING it, and somehow the "ma-ai" is just not right to ask. But I have found that, in fact, that's the ma-ai - they only tell you if you ask anyway.

Best
Ellis

L. Camejo
09-03-2009, 01:32 AM
Larry, You're welcome to train with us whenever you get a chance. I look forward to feeling your Tomiki history in your practice. The more views we get the better.Thank you for the invitation Clark Sensei. Hopefully one day soon I can act on it. I totally agree about sharing different views, sometimes all it takes is a slightly different point of view to illuminate a world of new possibilities.

...while we may have been developing internal strength, etc. there was no awareness of those things being developed as a function of our training. I think this is an important point. Regardless of where one may be able to access this sort of training within Aikido, DRAJJ or any other system, the mental switch that happens when one is actually aware of what one should be trying to achieve is very important. It changes what may be a passive effect of general training (taking decades to make any progress) to a more active and targeted approach where one focuses on specific activities and exercises to attain specific goals, just like any other specific skill in training e.g. ukemi, atemi, kuzushi etc.

I think if nothing else, these discussions on internal power and books like HIPS have highlighted the need to have this sort of specific focus and awareness while under proper instruction if one is to develop any skill in it.

I guess one question we have now is how do we unhide it from plain sight in the few places where these elements still exist in Aikido practice.

Just some thoughts. Good discussion.

Best
LC

P.S. Finally received my copy of HIPS today. Should be an interesting time in training this week. :)

PeterR
09-03-2009, 01:43 AM
As I look back on some of my training, I do see where the drills and exercises we did simultaneously trained distancing and timing, as well as reorganized our bodies, forming them to better express technique, which could be seen as the very beginning stages of internal training, I suppose.

Actually that seems to be a common thread in Shodokan training. Shote awase is a perfect case in point - unless you are told it can just be a hip thrusting exercise but done right its all about alignment and focus. The problem is that some are not told enough and some don't listen when they are told. I suppose that is training experience. Personally I want people taking on a wall and thinking what they are doing rather than the paired exercise. Working with a mismatched partner can work against the experience but a wall is always the perfect match - and it doesn't talk back.

Tegatana dosa is another exercise whose movements need to be understood for proper execution and body development.

Shodokan dogma is that all the secrets are revealed in the first class - it just takes time to understand and appreciate them. Oh and the right teacher.

L. Camejo
09-03-2009, 07:18 AM
Actually that seems to be a common thread in Shodokan training. Shote awase is a perfect case in point - unless you are told it can just be a hip thrusting exercise but done right its all about alignment and focus. The problem is that some are not told enough and some don't listen when they are told. I suppose that is training experience. Personally I want people taking on a wall and thinking what they are doing rather than the paired exercise. Working with a mismatched partner can work against the experience but a wall is always the perfect match - and it doesn't talk back.

Tegatana dosa is another exercise whose movements need to be understood for proper execution and body development.

Shodokan dogma is that all the secrets are revealed in the first class - it just takes time to understand and appreciate them. Oh and the right teacher.So very well said. :)

Best
LC

Larry Feldman
09-03-2009, 12:00 PM
Robert - Just a word of caution. If you do find a teacher who can give you work to do on internal training, it may be difficult to do outwardly in your current class. Your current teacher may not be very accepting of any variations on what he is teaching, or his methods. It may be difficult to get regular practice in outside your regular class.

That said, I can make a suggestion to you of an instructor in Texas, send me an email if you like.

Chuck Clark
09-03-2009, 12:44 PM
Mr. Feldman, do you have any experience with his current instructor? If not, and "if you like", you "may" consider that you "may not" know enough to suggest that Robert would be looking for another instructor in Texas when he lives in Oklahoma.

rdavid445
09-03-2009, 01:34 PM
Robert - Just a word of caution. If you do find a teacher who can give you work to do on internal training, it may be difficult to do outwardly in your current class. Your current teacher may not be very accepting of any variations on what he is teaching, or his methods. It may be difficult to get regular practice in outside your regular class.

That said, I can make a suggestion to you of an instructor in Texas, send me an email if you like.

Actually, one of the aspects of Jiyushinkai training that I've been, frankly, shocked and humbled by is the student's and the instructor's attitude of always being open to new approaches and ideas. I've only been training with them for about 2 months, and I've already made some tremendous strides in my practice, just in terms of the quality of my training. I am fully confident that, in the unlikely event that I would have anything new to offer our class in terms of internal training, my instructor would not only allow us to explore it, but would be excited to try a new approach to an old puzzle.

Clark Sensei -
We worked on koshi waza recently, and I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed myself. I learned o-goshi, uki-goshi, and tsurikomi-goshi a long time ago at another school, and doing those types of techniques from the Jiyushinkai approach was eye opening, indeed. I'm having a fantastic time training with Martin Sensei.

Just wanted to let you know.

Chuck Clark
09-03-2009, 01:42 PM
Hi Robert, Thanks for the feedback. I'll be in Dallas soon and it would be nice to see you there and experience seeing a "big guy's koshi waza".

Best regards,

L. Camejo
09-04-2009, 09:55 AM
Going back to some of what was said about Kito Ryu in HIPS and what I have gleaned from some historical Aiki research, Aiki waza should have the ability to totally anchor ones attacker to the ground on contact (To - falling), or float their weight (Ki - rising) on contact so balance is taken totally and immediately on contact with a person who has the right skills. A third expression of Aiki waza (and attributed to internal training I think) is that skill of "disappearing" when one attempts to strike or grab, part of which comes from manipulation of ma ai (space) and leading of ones attacker. Another part of this comes from skill in powerful, sudden, relaxed, fully controlled movement.

This reminds me of the symbol of Shodokan - taken from the Ten no Maki of Kito Ryu - (http://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/en/symbol.html) The last line in Tomiki's descriptions says "This symbol is composed of red representing fire, blue representing water and white representing infinite space."

Imho: Red = Fire = rising (Ki) = floating kuzushi, Blue = water = falling(To) = grounding kuzushi, White = infinite space = ma ai control and leading (effects being "disappearing" and creation of a "void" with movement). These are all found in the Nanahon no Kuzushi exercise aka Nage no Kata Omote.

I may be reaching here but it seems like Tomiki may have left a lot of information lying around in plain sight for us to discover.

Of course I also reserve the right to be totally wrong. :)

Thoughts?

LC

Ellis Amdur
09-04-2009, 11:49 AM
Larry - that is really fascinating. I cannot believe that Tomiki merely wanted to pretty up his symbol with something old. Given the accounts of his skill, I'm sure that you are right.
I have a lot of doubt that there was a direct transmission in Kito-ryu, for reasons outlined in the book.
There is still some Kito-ryu in Japan - but it is unclear to me if this is a reconstruction of the kata by a couple of judoka, or a direct transmission.
I don't like to volunteer people, without their say-so, so I'm sending a PM regarding a possible resource (whom you probably know).

Best
Elllis

DH
09-04-2009, 01:25 PM
Going back to some of what was said about Kito Ryu in HIPS and what I have gleaned from some historical Aiki research, Aiki waza should have the ability to totally anchor ones attacker to the ground on contact (To - falling), or float their weight (Ki - rising) on contact so balance is taken totally and immediately on contact with a person who has the right skills. A third expression of Aiki waza (and attributed to internal training I think) is that skill of "disappearing" when one attempts to strike or grab, part of which comes from manipulation of ma ai (space) and leading of ones attacker. Another part of this comes from skill in powerful, sudden, relaxed, fully controlled movement.

This reminds me of the symbol of Shodokan - taken from the Ten no Maki of Kito Ryu - (http://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/en/symbol.html) The last line in Tomiki's descriptions says "This symbol is composed of red representing fire, blue representing water and white representing infinite space."

Imho: Red = Fire = rising (Ki) = floating kuzushi, Blue = water = falling(To) = grounding kuzushi, White = infinite space = ma ai control and leading (effects being "disappearing" and creation of a "void" with movement). These are all found in the Nanahon no Kuzushi exercise aka Nage no Kata Omote.

I may be reaching here but it seems like Tomiki may have left a lot of information lying around in plain sight for us to discover.
Of course I also reserve the right to be totally wrong. :)
Thoughts?
LC
Question
How is anyone sure of his meaning regardles of his skill?
There are other reasons for teachers to adopt more classical vernacular and symbology in their formal presentations that had not to do with their present state of understanding. In other words, Tomiki's choice for formal presentaion might have gone beyond "prettying up his symbol" to a choice of keeping it in line and validating it with a classical model. His own explanation might have revealed his level of understanding and have been stated "in plain site" instead of hidden in plain site.
There are any number of very good men from the aiki line who really have no vernacular worth discussing in regards to the classical paradigm in what they did.
I think there is a pronounced tendency of late to revisit some of these things and "add" meaning that we may know is true (of classical models) to Japanese teachers who really only borrowed it for use in formally validating their symbols and arts.
Case in point; below is the full quote with Tomiki's expanded definition (bold added to accent his own definition)
The inspiration for this symbol comes from one of the old texts of Kitoryu Jujitsu called Ten no Maki (Scroll of Heaven). This text explains that the characters meaning rise and fall represent the opposites active and passive respectively. Being active can lead to victory but so can being passive by weakness overcoming strength.
The character meaning rise signifies the power of fire, the character meaning fall signifies the power of water. The sun is a source of energy and water has no form or thought but simply adapts to its environment. However, water has the power to outrival everything, to nourish all things yet remain humble. These are the strengths of the most virtuous people and it is said that virtue is the same as water in this sense.
This symbol is composed of red representing fire, blue representing water and white representing infinite space.
Kenji Tomiki
Head of Shodokan
28th March 1976
Coupled with the Japanese tendency to like to find multiple meanings in things, and the well used admonitions given here over and over that the translations are not always trustworthy (contextually and culturally) it can get a bit hazy.
I had a similar conversation with a friend about another VERY capable teacher in the aiki lineage line choosing to use a model of the six-directions in his arts symbol and the presumption that it could mean the classical model of six direction training. I did an ahah! Upon discussion it had absolutely nothing to do with the classical model but it sure sounded compelling-on the surface. Particularly with who he was.

At a point I think we have to be willing to accept that many of the Asian teachers didn't get it either (in whole or in part) and we need to carefully examine where we may be just grasping at straws to retrofit an understanding to a teacher who never had anything beyond a cursory intention of trying to "look" classical in their formal symbology, regardless of their abilities, as opposed to those who knew exactly what they were talking about, but could not really do much, on to all of those somewhere in between. Further, are we willing to accept or discuss that some of the guys we know who did "get it" and got it rather well, in the end really had "gotten it" intuitively and had no classical vernacular to use in the first place, while others had direct training models to go by?
That is a whole other discussion to be had.
I'm not making a statement other than to point out that presumption- either way- can discredit the discussion.

Like Larry, of course I also reserve the right to be totally wrong! Wait I didn't state anything-I just asked questions.
Cheers
Dan

PeterR
09-05-2009, 04:48 AM
Going back to some of what was said about Kito Ryu in HIPS and what I have gleaned from some historical Aiki research, Aiki waza should have the ability to totally anchor ones attacker to the ground on contact (To - falling), or float their weight (Ki - rising) on contact so balance is taken totally and immediately on contact with a person who has the right skills. A third expression of Aiki waza (and attributed to internal training I think) is that skill of "disappearing" when one attempts to strike or grab, part of which comes from manipulation of ma ai (space) and leading of ones attacker. Another part of this comes from skill in powerful, sudden, relaxed, fully controlled movement.

This reminds me of the symbol of Shodokan - taken from the Ten no Maki of Kito Ryu - (http://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/en/symbol.html) The last line in Tomiki's descriptions says "This symbol is composed of red representing fire, blue representing water and white representing infinite space."

Imho: Red = Fire = rising (Ki) = floating kuzushi, Blue = water = falling(To) = grounding kuzushi, White = infinite space = ma ai control and leading (effects being "disappearing" and creation of a "void" with movement). These are all found in the Nanahon no Kuzushi exercise aka Nage no Kata Omote.

I may be reaching here but it seems like Tomiki may have left a lot of information lying around in plain sight for us to discover.

Of course I also reserve the right to be totally wrong. :)

Thoughts?

LC

You are not wrong

L. Camejo
09-05-2009, 09:26 AM
Dan has a point. It is very difficult to determine what someone's meanings might be based on his skill as a martial artist alone. Martial skill and deep knowledge about the history of Japanese Budo etc. are two very different fields of study.

But Tomiki was a scholar of Japanese Budo on many levels, seeing very early on how his Aikido and Judo training fit within the greater reality of all Japanese Budo and the place of Aiki waza within the overall scheme of Japanese armed and unarmed Budo.

From the Shodokan website here - http://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/en/rekishi3.html - we get more details of his knowledge base, which can be seen to be comparable in excellence to his martial skills:

... with Ueshiba's permission, went to Manchukuo to teach as an instructor of Ueshiba-ryu Aikijujitsu. His techniques were praised enthusiastically by the chief of staff Hideki Tojo which promoted the spread of aikido there. In March of 1936 he became a lecturer at the Daido Institute that had been established in Manchukuo. In the spring of 1938 he moved to the newly established Kenkoku University lecturing in budo and was in charge of a new course in aikibudo (the name used by Ueshiba at that time) on the curriculum.

From this period Tomiki made great progress in his research and he wrote various books and papers, such as 'The Future Of Judo and Aikibudo' (1937), explaining the significance of judo and budo in aikibudo. As a result, he received recognition and support from many people in budo and judo including Jiro Nango, the second president of Kodokan.

Imho it is known that Tomiki was well studied in Budo history and physical education, using these skills to develop not only Aiki Budo but also Kodokan Judo (the development of the Kime no kata readily comes to mind). So imho he knew exactly what the symbol from the Ten no Maki of Kito Ryu meant and would also know precisely why he selected that symbol and its accompanying concepts to represent his school of Aikido. Of course Dan's point still holds true in that we are reading an English translation of what Tomiki said in the website above and not the original Japanese. But I think given the evidence of the man's high level of theoretical and physical studies in Budo the connection between the Shodokan symbol and Kito Ryu is far from mere coincidence.

To Peter and Ellis, it's good to have the support of people who know a lot more than I do. :) I am learning from you guys all the time.

Just a few thoughts. They may be worth only what you paid for them. :)

Best
LC

crbateman
09-06-2009, 04:21 PM
The more views we get the better.
That is one of the simplest, truest and most relevant statements I have ever heard. And it goes just as well for almost everything one does. Absorb everything... use what you can... don't sweat the rest. Words to live by.

DH
09-08-2009, 01:38 PM
Hello Larry
I was actually trying to suggest something more in the middle; of Tomiki supposedly knowing, or mostly knowing, or partially knowing, or being very good but not really knowing specific means to teach it. It's sort of in between you and Ellis's points. My contention is that there is a way to learn by intuition not real knowledge. I have seen it first hand and a way to learn with exact language of body parts and hands-on approach that is more defining.

1. Ellis was correct in that Tomiki supposedly "had it."
2. But we have little except some personal anecdotes to go by. So that is as "up in the air" as people wanting to leave Daito ryu as a maybe-or-maybe-not, as Ueshiba's source of power.
It's all "up for grabs."
3. The choice of symbol means little to me. I mentioned the fact that other Japanese teachers choose classical symbols for their arts. So what?
4. The definitive language of what was happening in the body would have been the smoking gun for me-not a symbol. And it failed.
If you read Shirata's descriptions of his breathing exercises they will prove to be as useless to an outsider as much everything else most Japanese teachers produce; a bunch of nonsense that could have otherwise been taught in detail and with actual and real body parts being discussed and far better descriptions rendered. Again it's all up in the air and loyal students will debate it so…..

5. Last, and more importantly the thrust of my previous post-was to ask to consider that there was and are men who "got it" -to one degree or another -who cannot teach that well. Some, I have met who had some ability- seem to have really learned it intuitively-mostly through kata. In other words, not everyone has a real depth and not everyone can even manage to teach what they DO know in a manner that surpasses guesswork and experimentation by them and their students and produces consistent results by way of internals in anyone.

Internal training in whole or in part
There is little in writing of specific training. There are those who teach specific training. It is worthwhile to look past many of these guys -to meet and feel "their guys" and who has it or not. My own views are that there are definitive ways to teach that bring about usable skills in people. I have been doing it for years. I have no patience with these guys who can't teach but call themselves teachers.
Case in point: I was listening to a certain guy go on and on about his teacher and his skills and power.
I asked him "How long have you been training with him?"
The answer was "Decades! I am one of his senior men."
I then asked
"What the hell happened to you?"
At a certain point it is the student's responsibility as well. But there is no way...NO WAY, these people should feel the way they do even after 5 years. Twenty- that's inexcusable for their teachers and them. Were this a professional performance review- many of these teachers would get justifiably thrown out for poor results. True master class guys who can actually fight, and who can and will actually teach are rare jewels. I said that ten years ago. Not much has changed, I'll have to see what the next ten years bring.

It is my hope that as a group, we are going to take care of ourselves and change all of this. In the end it will at least help open the eyes of those training, to be able to differentiate from external fighting ability with zero internal skills, to poor skills, to middling skills, and then they can help themselves find real experts. I am finding it interesting to read some of the aikido teachers who have recently stated they are "somewhere in the middle" with internal skills after meeting one or two guys. I find that fascinating on several levels. I would only continue to encourage people to go feel those who supposedly have it and see how they feel and what they are teaching and if their students have anything even worth discussing!

Cheers
Dan

bulevardi
04-01-2010, 06:05 AM
My book doesn't get into the specifics of internal training (well the last chapter tells how to become Osensei in 16 easy lessons, but I suggest psychedelic mushrooms among the training tools, so I don't know how much I can be trusted . . .).


Is there actually a book that does explain the specifics of internal training? Apart from trying mushrooms...
Where explained how to achieve internal strength, how to use it, etc...

In other words, is there anyone here on the forum who has experienced internal power and can do some tricks with it? And can learn how to achieve that to others here on the forum?
I guess no...

jss
04-01-2010, 07:39 AM
Is there actually a book that does explain the specifics of internal training?
No, there is not.

In other words, is there anyone here on the forum who has experienced internal power and can do some tricks with it? And can learn how to achieve that to others here on the forum?
I guess no...
Dan Harden and Mike Sigman are on this forum and have (imo) proven their abilities in both. There probably are some others.

bulevardi
04-01-2010, 09:30 AM
No, there is not.

Dan Harden and Mike Sigman are on this forum and have (imo) proven their abilities in both. There probably are some others.

So actually, on the 500 people here on board, there is 0,4% of them that can achieve that ability caused by their casual training in aikido.

But how many % can achieve that ability when training specifically on Internal Training?
And how much do you have to train for that?
So Joep, you tried practicing that and didn't achieve anything?

MM
04-01-2010, 09:51 AM
In other words, is there anyone here on the forum who has experienced internal power and can do some tricks with it? And can learn how to achieve that to others here on the forum?
I guess no...

Might be misreading what you're trying to ask.

1. Are you asking if there's anyone at Aikiweb who has gotten hands on experience with some people who have internal power *and* then had some sort of advancement in skills from training with them?

2. On the last question, I'm reading that as, Can anyone teach these skills through Aikiweb forum posts?

IMO and IME:

As for #1, I have seen very good progressive abilities in other people who have started training internal skills/aiki stuff. They seem to be getting better and better throughout the last 3 years or so (since they started). The short answer to your question is that, yes, there is advancement.

As to #2. No. It Has To Be Felt and you have to have someone teaching you with hands on experience. The good news is that you can do this from a distance. It isn't as fast, it certainly isn't easy, and you still have to make a minimum number of trips per year to get hands on teaching ... but it can be done.

As a side note, if you mean can someone travel to get hands on experience, then come back to their area, and teach what they learned to people they know who want to train but couldn't make the trip themselves --- the answer to that is yes.

Michael Douglas
04-01-2010, 11:18 AM
Hi Dirk.
So actually, on the 500 people here on board, there is 0,4% of them that can achieve that ability caused by their casual training in aikido...
Maybe not ... I don't think casual training in aikido will "cause" anything special.
You might want to explain that in different words?

bulevardi
04-01-2010, 12:04 PM
2. On the last question, I'm reading that as, Can anyone teach these skills through Aikiweb forum posts?


I see, well I meant if it's possible to learn doing Internal Training by self-teaching, by reading books about it and doing the exercises at home.

I guess in my neighbourhood no one knows about Internal Training. In my club, I haven't heard talking about things like that, it's just normal aikikai aikido.
I guess, if it's only possible to achieve it by training with others who have understanding about that, I'd have to move country :D

jss
04-01-2010, 03:01 PM
So actually, on the 500 people here on board, there is 0,4% of them that can achieve that ability caused by their casual training in aikido.
I said there probably are some others, but I have no right to speak for them. Dan and Mike have claimed a certain amount of skill on this forum, so I felt I could mention them.

But how many % can achieve that ability when training specifically on Internal Training?
Plenty. They just need a good teacher, motivation, intelligence and an inquisitive mind.

And how much do you have to train for that?
One hour a day will do fine. You can even take the weekend off.

So Joep, you tried practicing that and didn't achieve anything?
Still practicing. Achieving stuff as well, but haven't achieved enough to make claims on this forum. :D
But let me give it another try:
In other words, is there anyone here on the forum who has experienced internal power and can do some tricks with it? And can learn how to achieve that to others here on the forum?
I have experienced it and can do some tricks with it. Haven't tried teaching yet, but I can explain the stuff I can do. However, my skills are very limited: I can show some basic things to someone who's interested, but I won't be very convincing to someone skeptical of these skills. And I suck even worse in a more free-style environment. :D

thisisnotreal
04-01-2010, 10:39 PM
One hour a day will do fine. You can even take the weekend off.
what do you think you should do on your one hour on? i been doing Wang Ji Wu's, "Body Strengthening and Health Maintenance Exercise", among other stuff as I understand it (fwiw 0%) from Tim Cartmell's "Xing Yi Nei Gong" book. Simple moves. They are his refined 16 moves that he suggests. pretty simple. but...well... you`kno how it goes

bob_stra
04-02-2010, 12:06 AM
Is there actually a book that does explain the specifics of internal training? Apart from trying mushrooms...
Where explained how to achieve internal strength, how to use it, etc...


Sure, but it's like trying to read a calculus book without knowing addition and subtraction first. For example, Shioda's aikido shugyo has some interesting things to say (whilst being pretty vague at times - c'est la vie). Ditto "Chi Kung Empowerment'. There are plenty of free resources too, such as -

http://www.iay.org.uk/internal-strength/

Frankly though...why would you bother trying to learn from a book when you opportunity to interact with people who actually have the goods? Mike Sigman and Akuzawa (amongst others) regularly visit Germany, France etc. If you're really interested, I'd suggest going to see them rather then just trying to academically understand the topic

jss
04-02-2010, 01:37 AM
what do you think you should do on your one hour on?
Exercises of which you know how and why to do them. As detailed instructions are hard to come by, I think it's better to practice a 'mediocre' exercise to it's fullest potential than to dabble a bit in the best I.S. exercise ever (if such even exists).

Budd
04-02-2010, 10:07 AM
What Bob and Joep said.

gregstec
04-02-2010, 10:37 AM
I see, well I meant if it's possible to learn doing Internal Training by self-teaching, by reading books about it and doing the exercises at home.

I guess in my neighbourhood no one knows about Internal Training. In my club, I haven't heard talking about things like that, it's just normal aikikai aikido.
I guess, if it's only possible to achieve it by training with others who have understanding about that, I'd have to move country :D

I will echo what Mark has said about the distance training; he is doing it and so I am I, as well as others we know.

Also, as Mark mentions, it is possible to take your distance learning and teach locally what you have learned. Mark has done it, which was evident when he and a couple of his students attended a seminar at my place with Dan Harden last December - his guys certainly had some level of aiki going on. In addition, I just hit a break though with a couple of my guys who finally broke through into a new dimension with their mental intent while doing what we call a central pivot exercise. IMO, the hardest thing to teach is the mental intent part. With the outward physical aspects, you can see what's going on, but you can't see into their minds (at least not yet :) ) You need to keep having them think and visualize different things until they finally get something that feels right. Once that happens, you need to have them zone in on that and have them work with it so they can instantly recognize it and apply it at will in a static and mobile environment. Not easy, but once they get to that point, then the real training can begin.

Greg

Robert Cowham
05-18-2010, 03:41 AM
I guess, if it's only possible to achieve it by training with others who have understanding about that, I'd have to move country :D
It doesn't take much to go to a workshop and get some hands on experience to set you on a good path for your personal practice. Mike S was in UK end of last year and there were people from around Europe there...

Is it as good as being able to train daily or weekly with one of these guys - well obviously not. But life is full of choices -Belgium has good beer after all, and there is always http://www.famousbelgians.net/ :)

Gambatte!