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MM
11-16-2009, 12:48 PM
Mark, how can you make this statement?

Hi Toby,

I can make the statement because your post just goes to confirm it. With a broad brush, I can say there is no aiki in BJJ just as I can say there is no aiki in aikido. It's a generality and it stands true. As you noted, the "skills" in Gracie jujutsu were reserved for a handful. Hence, there really isn't those same "skills" in the rest of the GJJ world, is there? Let alone the whole BJJ world.

And while I agree that there can be a certain amount of "internal training" going on (as I noted in my response to Kevin), I disagree that it can be labeled as aiki.

I also made the statement, "So, no, I don't believe those good jujutsu people that have been mentioned here by you and Toby have aiki" because IMO, it's true. Those people that were mentioned by you and Kevin prior to your post #245, IMO, don't have aiki. It's an opinion. I'm sure a lot of people disagree with me. I'm fine with that. :)


To claim that someone in BJJ can't be manifesting "aiki" in one form or another demonstrates you either can't recognize these skills outside your limited understanding of them or that you must be talking about a different "aiki" than I or any of the other experienced practitioners here talk about and teach.

( FWIW - I hate terms like aiki because no one can define exactly what "aiki" is. (I say tomato, you say tomato. ) I prefer internal skills because that is more accurate reference to what so many people are talking about. )


either ... or ... well, I guess it could be either of those, or something else ...

As to aiki ... I am learning how to define it -- exactly. In words, in teaching, and in doing. I think I've done a decent job of explaining the concept in some of my many posts here on Aikiweb. In fact, I was told at one point that I was talking over people's heads because they didn't have the experience to grasp the concepts I had put forth.

Now, I may not yet be fully capable in any of them (words, teaching, doing), but looking to others who are doing the same but are 5-15 years ahead, I know where I will be.

Great post Toby.

I get so very tired of these lists and arbitrary distinctions. All they do is help us put people into boxes.

"He has aiki, he doesn't..."
"It's all jujutsu, there's no aiki..."



Hi Chris,

We have them because The Way It's Always Been Done has failed us. There is a very serious lack of aiki in aikido. To change that is to define what is missing and either reintroduce it, find someone who has it to teach it, or to add it back. But, to do that, you have to define that IT (Internal Training) and aiki are missing.

We're barely past that point where people are starting to "believe" that aiki is really missing in aikido. And even then, it's not a majority of people. But enough that these people want to know how, when, where to make aikido what it was when Ueshiba Morihei had aiki.

To downplay that is to derive people of finding and really getting aiki. Does anyone really think that pushing aikido people off to cross train in BJJ/GJJ/jujutsu is going to give them aiki? People are relying upon some of us because we have had the fortune/luck/whatever to experience training that they have not been able to have or get. I take that seriously and try to help whenever and wherever I can.

In this instance, it's saying that I don't believe good jujutsu/BJJ people are going to be able to teach aiki. Do some of them have types of internal training? Sure. But, as Toby noted, how many will actually teach it outside a select handful? Do a few of the top people have aiki? I don't know but I'll keep an open mind that they could. Will they teach it? Considering the majority of the BJJ/GJJ/jujutsu world, I doubt it. Except to a select handful.

Toby Threadgill
11-16-2009, 01:01 PM
That's a pretty good example, Toby. In most first-time/begginer/general-purpose workshops I lead people through a number of jin/kokyu drills and end up showing people how to do that item. It is technically "aiki" because it lets you blend your internally-generated forces with the forces/resistance of your partner and off-balance him without moving. But just because someone can do that trick during a first workshop, does that mean that they are accomplished in the sense that they have good "internal" skills? Not in my opinion. People who mostly use arm/shoulder, have no dantien development, etc., can learn to do that type of skill, but it's just a rough facet of the whole-body skills, so it doesn't mean a lot in terms of the whole picture.

Agreed.... The thing I tell my own people is that once you start to preceive the internal sensitivity required for this stuff you can't suddenly assume you've "got it" and build exclusively on that alone. You must continually seek to go farther in creating a cohesive...I don't know what to call it...link of sensitivity and coordination throughout your whole body structure. To do otherwise inculcates habits and patterns you may later depend on in a way that is detrimental to further progess.

So this idea of "aiki" being proof of much escapes me, too, in terms of any overall definition.... there's a lot more to it than what many of the conversations indicate.

It's nice to know its not just me.....

Another real problem with not being able to do more that a few aspects of jin/kokyu training is that while someone may think that now his Aikido (or other art) is "internal" and that he has arrived is that he can pattern himself into a type of movement that forever the realm of shoulder and muscle with odd bits of jin/kokyu showing through. Because of that permanent patterning, it's very difficult to change after that. Yet people who learn a few bits and take off "teaching it" are pretty certain to fall into that category.

LOL. I think I just repeated this above. Maybe we are on at least a similar page.

Regards,

Toby Threadgill / TSYR

MM
11-16-2009, 01:03 PM
That's a pretty good example, Toby. In most first-time/begginer/general-purpose workshops I lead people through a number of jin/kokyu drills and end up showing people how to do that item. It is technically "aiki" because it lets you blend your internally-generated forces with the forces/resistance of your partner and off-balance him without moving.

Hi Mike,

While I would agree, in a literal sense, that your example can be defined as "aiki", I would never call that Daito ryu aiki, nor would I say that it's the aiki as Ueshiba had. There is just so much more to it.

As an example, here's one of my posts:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=239135&postcount=39

If I can do all of what I mention at the same time, I think it's a good beginning because, IMO, there is still more to aiki than all of that. If I remember, I may have posted more stuff in another thread.

Toby Threadgill
11-16-2009, 01:40 PM
Hi Toby,

I can make the statement because your post just goes to confirm it. With a broad brush, I can say there is no aiki in BJJ just as I can say there is no aiki in aikido.

Mark,

You must have a affinity for boxes and really big brushes.

With a broad enough brush you can justify saying anything, but that's not what Kevin Leavitt was referring to. He used a very specific brush based on Rob's Liberti's definition, and concluded that given Rob's definition BJJ was aikijujutsu. Nobody asked for your definition of aiki. Nobody said anything about your definition of aiki, and frankly I couldn't give a rats butt how anyone defines "aiki" because no one will ever agree. It's all rather pointless semantics. Look, even the greater Daito ryu community can't agree on what defines "aiki" but you think you can define it for the rest of us? Good luck with that!

As far as BJJ and internal skills go.....

Sure people early in BJJ only taught the high level stuff to high level practitioners. Are you surprised? The problem only becomes systemic when the high level representatives don't have the skills. This is what makes BJJ different from Aikido. In Aikido we had advanced practitioners totally devoid of skills coinsidered absolutely necessary. That's a very different situation from BJJ where the crucible of using and applying these skills is much more direct.

Now, we can argue all day whether its good or not for these skills to be considered advanced foundational or beginning foundational, but if guys like Helio obviously had the skills and actively taught these skills to his best students.....and these skills are now being taught farther down the food chain in open seminars like that taught by Rickson ( Invisible jujutsu - Tim Fong ), your proposition is simply......wrong.

Toby Threadgill / TSYR

Thomas Campbell
11-16-2009, 02:18 PM
Tell you what I'll do, Tom. I haven't put out any substantive videos of things since the mid-1990's, although I've put out a few specialized videos for some people on QiJin, etc. You put out a couple of videos of you even doing basic stuff, so we can get an idea of where you are in your skills and then I'll reciprocate by putting out some equally-telling videos. How's that?

Oh... and by the way... what do you even mean by "down power"? Is it something that has some explicit technical meaning or is it simply some sort of buzzword? Tell us what "down power" utilizes and what it means so we can get an idea of where you're coming from. Perhaps this can give us an idea of where an administrator on the Rum Soaked Fist forum, a "CMA" forum, sees things from.

Mike Sigman

Thanks for the clarification, Mike. I hadn't seen any video footage of your work since those early tapes you put together back in the mid-1990s (how time flies). I know you've evolved and developed your ideas since then, and was just curious if you'd put out any additional teaching or demo footage reflecting that development that people could be pointed to. I already direct people to your QiJin list if they want a clearer idea of what you're working on.

The reference to "down power" was in your post #22 on this thread
(http://aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=243649&postcount=22), where you wrote:

To take the "not using the dantien" comment literally, there is no down-power in ILC. I would make a personal bet that Sam Chin wouldn't be rash enough to say that. However, I don't want to argue trivial techno-babble, other than to point out that the statement simply won't work. [bold added for emphasis]

I was asking if you had any video footage demonstrating or explaining what "down power" is, since that's not a term I am familiar with, nor would I want to assume that I knew what you meant. I also don't train ILC and have not met and felt Sam Chin.

However, like you, I don't want to argue "trivial techno-babble." Nor do I want to put you on the spot by requesting you to make a video clip on a specific point. I'll just look forward to the next time I get to work with you.

rroeserr
11-16-2009, 05:49 PM
Mark,

You must have a affinity for boxes and really big brushes.

With a broad enough brush you can justify saying anything, but that's not what Kevin Leavitt was referring to. He used a very specific brush based on Rob's Liberti's definition, and concluded that given Rob's definition BJJ was aikijujutsu. Nobody asked for your definition of aiki. Nobody said anything about your definition of aiki, and frankly I couldn't give a rats butt how anyone defines "aiki" because no one will ever agree. It's all rather pointless semantics. Look, even the greater Daito ryu community can't agree on what defines "aiki" but you think you can define it for the rest of us? Good luck with that!

As far as BJJ and internal skills go.....

Sure people early in BJJ only taught the high level stuff to high level practitioners. Are you surprised? The problem only becomes systemic when the high level representatives don't have the skills. This is what makes BJJ different from Aikido. In Aikido we had advanced practitioners totally devoid of skills coinsidered absolutely necessary. That's a very different situation from BJJ where the crucible of using and applying these skills is much more direct.

Now, we can argue all day whether its good or not for these skills to be considered advanced foundational or beginning foundational, but if guys like Helio obviously had the skills and actively taught these skills to his best students.....and these skills are now being taught farther down the food chain in open seminars like that taught by Rickson ( Invisible jujutsu - Tim Fong ), your proposition is simply......wrong.

Toby Threadgill / TSYR

Why does teaching something called invisible jujitsu make it internal or signify internal power? I've randori'd with Judo and BJJ guys and I can't tell the difference between the two, and none of it feels internally powered.

Isn't internal power/ki cultivation separate from martial arts? Traditional dance, and calligraphy uses these skills. If one looked you'd find other examples. People do Qi gongs for health.

I don't see why everything at the 'highest level' now is automatically internal? You can suck and still move internally.

Toby Threadgill
11-16-2009, 06:51 PM
Why does teaching something called invisible jujitsu make it internal or signify internal power? I've randori'd with Judo and BJJ guys and I can't tell the difference between the two, and none of it feels internally powered.

Robert,

Have you randori'd with any of the very best BJJ guys? If you have rolled with someone like Carlos Machado or Rickson Gracie, have you asked him how he does what he does? Have you asked him to explain in his own terminology exactly what he's doing and then observed how he teaches it? If not, I'd keep an open mind and consider the opinions of those who have. The problem with defining "internal power" in a BJJ guy is that the context, terminology and manifestation are so different that you need to do some serious translation work to see the connections. At first I was stumped, but then I started to see connections I already understood. I just hadn't translated them into the newaza environment in my head.

FWIW....Others with similar experiences to mine have come to similar conclusions.

Isn't internal power/ki cultivation separate from martial arts? Traditional dance, and calligraphy uses these skills. If one looked you'd find other examples. People do Qi gongs for health.

Yes. So what's your point? If these skills can be utilized in calligraphy why would they not be found in BJJ? Keep in mind that I'm not saying BJJ depends on the inclusion of internal skills like aikido does, but that in my experience it is present in varying degrees and manners among the higher level BJJ guys. I'm convinced you can be a damn good BBJ guy without internal skills but it appears the best practitioners, especially those beyond their youth are embracing principles and skills associated with IT.

I don't see why everything at the 'highest level' now is automatically internal? You can suck and still move internally.

Absolutely. And you can be frighteningly effective and have virtually no internal skills. I used to train in Muay Thai with guys that had minimal if any internal skills and they could knock my friggin head into orbit. They were also blindingly fast. Does anyone here think Fedor Emelianenko is doing internal training? Would it matter..LOL?

I keep saying this. Internal skills are only one among many that can be used in a cohesive manner to create a well rounded and successful budoka. Internal skills are not necessarily required for someone to be an impressive and formidable martial artist unless the art you pursue technically depends on their inclusion. That's why this topic is so important to aikidoka. Aikido demands a certain level of it, as does TSYR.

I hope that clarifies things.

Toby Threadgill / TSYR

Thomas Campbell
11-16-2009, 08:25 PM
Does anyone here think Fedor Emelianenko is doing internal training? Would it matter..LOL?



Fedor and internal training . . . that is an interesting question. Three qualities that consistently impress me about him are his composure under pressure, his resilience, and his timing/perception (when and where to turn it on). I'd be very interested in finding out what he trained in during his (approximately) two years in the Russian army. I know his assignment was as a military firefighter, but I wonder what level of their basic physical training he engaged in. By the end of his military service, he was a Master of Sports (a high-level official certification in Russia) in Judo and Sambo.

Here is one account of Fedor's physical training regimen:

Fedor Emelianenko's Training and Fighting Style

Many would love to know Fedor Emelianenko's training regimen so they could copy it. After all, he is widely considered the best mixed martial arts heavyweight in the world today and possibly in the history of MMA. Well, here's as much of it as he's giving out.

As a child, Fedor trained in Sambo and Judo, two similar styles that focus on takedowns and, especially in the case of Sambo, submissions (Sambo is particularly known for its leg locks). Even after he started in MMA, Fedor managed to compete successfully in Sambo, becoming the Russian Combat Sambo Champion (2002), World Combat Sambo Champion (Heavyweight Division- 2002, 2005), and World Combat Sambo Champion (Absolute- 2002).

By 2000, however, Fedor was extremely well- versed in these techniques and because of this began to learn striking under coach Alexander Vasilievich Michkov.

Fedor will sometimes train three times per day. Further, it's widely known that although he used to weight train quite a bit, he hardly ever uses weights anymore. Instead, he focuses on strength exercises that utilize his own body including pull- ups, push- ups on parallel bars, and crunches.

According to an official website interview, Fedor runs 7.5- 9.3 miles per day. Beyond that his workouts consist of grappling, kickboxing, and boxing; in other words, the things he's asked to do in the ring. He often chooses to train in Kislovodsk, Russia. The reason- high altitude.

In 2005, Fedor started focusing on his kickboxing skills in a large way. The probable reason for this was his upcoming match with Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic. So who did he decide to work with? Cro Cop's old nemesis from kickboxing, Ernesto Hoost. In addition, he has added a Muay Thai coach (Ruslan Nagnibida).

In terms of fighting style, Fedor has one all his own. He's got great takedowns and ground control skills. Further, he's the most devastating fighter the MMA landscape has ever seen when in someone else's guard, literally raining down punches with tremendous force on his opponents while in a position where most would be somewhat cautious.

However, one reason that Fedor seems able to do this is that he has shown the ability, time and time again, to literally power out of submission attempts that other fighters would be tapping from (see the Nogueira fights for examples).

Last, Fedor's striking skills have improved tremendously. He hits very hard, has knockout power in both hands, and is a particularly devastating striker inside (as he showed in the fight against Cro Cop). Beyond that, he's a master game planner (his team also deserves some credit for this). All fighters walk into bouts with a plan, but unlike most, Fedor follows through. He simply doesn't wilt under pressure and seems calm no matter what the circumstances.

http://www.extremeprosports.com/full_contact_fighting/fedor_emelianenko.html

No, I don't think he trains aiki as it's discussed here on the forum . . . but he does train hard and he fights intelligently, He's extremely interesting to me in that he's developed into an amazingly effective fighter from an apparently undistinguished--pre-military--background. I love watching Fedor at work.

Tim Fong
11-16-2009, 08:28 PM
Robert,
My understanding is that if you attend one of Rickson's seminars, you have an opportunity to roll with the man himself. If you are that curious, just go and see what the guy feels like in a freestyle situation. Ask questions etc. I for one would be curious what he says.

I am going to say it again, even though I keep saying it and apparently no one is listening: until there is a physiological understanding of what the various factors are in the internal skills, it is difficult to have any kind of substantive discussion about what to train and how to train it. Otherwise we get stuck in the same situation where people all put forward their subjective (but probably relevant) phenomenological language. This of course is not too useful unless one is initiated into the particular tradition discussed. I guess one just has to feel it.

When I say physiological understanding, I'm talking about objectively** determining what is happening inside the body. Just because someone says "well I tell you, I feel the fascia, and that's that" isn't good enough for me.

Naturally someone is going to come out now and go "but Tim, science is just anotherrrrrrrrr way of knowwwwwwwing why should we privilege thaaaaaaaaaat." Whatever. But it's one into which far more people are initiated.

**yes, I know some people claim there is no objective reality either because it's all some hegemonic discourse blah blah blah. Again I say : whatever.
Best,
Tim

thisisnotreal
11-16-2009, 09:11 PM
token post of Rickson Gracie training scene from Choke (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLaHM6kT-3M)

thisisnotreal
11-16-2009, 09:29 PM
..
I am going to say it again, even though I keep saying it and apparently no one is listening: until there is a physiological understanding of what the various factors are in the internal skills, it is difficult to have any kind of substantive discussion about what to train and how to train it. Otherwise we get stuck in the same situation where people all put forward their subjective (but probably relevant) phenomenological language. This of course is not too useful unless one is initiated into the particular tradition discussed. I guess one just has to feel it.

When I say physiological understanding, I'm talking about objectively** determining what is happening inside the body.
nice. fwiw I'm listening.
i think you are on the money. but some people in this room have experienced that; and you are right; we don't know what we don't know. what else can you say? should we not discuss it? ...i argue that there is value...sometimes hearing or seeing something at the right time in a different way is the lynch pin in a new understanding. whether or not it was the 'real thing' is not certain; but some things of value can still have intrinsic value (even if it misses the mark)
so yeah; gong fu cannot be typed out. what else is new?
i still wish there was more concrete methods (check out Rickson's situps); as it really opens up how others think about the training of the body; there were a few gems earlier in this thread (thanks ll, do, tc, ah, dh, mm, rl, rj, by, cm, tt)...but i think these things are golden...and some people hoard them or consolidatepolitick because of it. others share and find it multiplies. i know; weird thought.

whatever. this is extremely likely not life and death for most of us, nor does it mean a raise at work; but i will say it is pretty damned interesting. and it's pretty wicked to read all `yer thoughts on this most difficult of subjects.:cool:
best indeed,
josh

Kevin Leavitt
11-16-2009, 09:37 PM
Josh, that video reminds me of my MMA instructor in Germany. I "contracted" him a few years ago and drove 3 hours to Stuttgart to train a long weekend with him. I stayed at his house. Friday night he said, lets grab a quick bite and sit down and watch some vids. I thought we were going to watch fight vids. Nope 2 hours of Ashtanga Yoga with him pausing it along the way to show how it worked and related to JJ.

Anyway, he basically told me that unless I developed some baseline structure and framwork...that I would never really get it.

I remember distinctly how he would put me in closed guard and this without moving much or at all, he'd drop center and then I'd feel myself rising up through the bottom of my spine and him coming underneath me. It was not from a curling of the abs where the pressure comes from the closed guard on your back...that you can resist, now it went down, up my spine and out my head.

there were a few other things, but this one stuck with me.

Thanks for the post on Rickson's video. I really want to have the opportunity to train with him someday.

Thomas Campbell
11-16-2009, 09:50 PM
until there is a physiological understanding of what the various factors are in the internal skills, it is difficult to have any kind of substantive discussion about what to train and how to train it. Otherwise we get stuck in the same situation where people all put forward their subjective (but probably relevant) phenomenological language.

The explanation of the physiological basis for "internal strength" seems to me to be relatively unnecessary for the question of "how to train it." For example, knowing that fascia is expanding or spiraling is an interesting thought, but is not of itself going to provide much useable precision to the specific training I am doing.

The "how-to" is my own primary interest. The "what is happening" descriptive element that a physiological understanding would bring might provide a basis for comparing/evaluating different methods or exercises purporting to develop internal strength, and for refining training methods, but I don't think it is absolutely critical in order to identify at least some people who have "internal skills" and who are willing to demonstrate what they think is important in their own training to develop internal skill.

If I encounter someone who can demonstrate aspects of what I consider to be internal strength skill, I will ask him/her to (please) show me what you do, how to do it . . . and I'll practice it as intelligently and perseveringly as I can, and test my progress. Ark, Mike, Dan and others have all shared their own approaches to this work, and it seems like a number of people who have worked with those teachers in the past few years are making some real progress--progress despite somewhat ambiguous terminology. The IHTBF paradigm provides a rough-and-ready utilitarian degree of empiricism for purposes of improving our practice.

It's not that a physiological (and neurophysiological) understanding wouldn't be of general benefit in the long run. I'm trying to interest some people with the facilities and experience to measure these kinds of physiological changes in designing ways to observe and document what is going on in skilled practitioners' bodies and brains during demonstrations or tests of internal strength skill. Scanning technology is growing increasingly comprehensive and accurate, but at this point it would be difficult to measure "internal" dimensions of a real-time demo of a full-range technique like a judo throw. Comparatively static, basic partner exercises like aiki age, or Ark's and Dan's different versions of the "push-out," and solo work like zhan zhuang (holding different stances with contradictory force) or Mike's "universal exercise" will probably be easier to observe and measure.

Since there is no pharmaceutical or biotech company eager to delve into the secrets of Aikiweb, though, it may be awhile before just plain ol' scientific curiosity frees up time and interest in one of the labs. There may be real interest for this kind of investigation in China, from what I know, and I wouldn't be surprised to see interest develop in Japan as well.

In the meantime, I practice the "how-to" as best as I can understand it. :)

Kevin Leavitt
11-16-2009, 09:54 PM
I only know what I know and what I have experienced, and I have tried to listen as carefully as I can, while maintaining a foot in my own criteria for assessment.

In working with all the guys I consider "good" at what they do...there is a consistent theme. Rickson's video you post also confirms this as well.

There is a certain baseline of conditioning, structure, and development you need to really get good at this stuff...whether you call it internal or external.

I'd say the more you have, the better you will probably be...or at least you have the framework ready to hang the art.

I really think it is a simple as that in alot of cases. I am betting that giving the command that Rickson has over his body....he'd probably do pretty good if he decided to take up a strictly internal practice and get proficient at Jo test or what not. Probably faster than alot of us that have been doing this stuff for years and whining about how our art and teachers have ripped us off!

Most of these guys, MIke, Ark, Toby, and Dan...have been fairly forthright about their experiences. I don't believe any of them have said anything other than "here is how I do things, you can take it or leave it...it is a framework for you to expand upon."

All of them I think have also said, it probably doesn't matter much what you do as long as you do something consistently.

Thomas Campbell
11-16-2009, 10:49 PM
There is a certain baseline of conditioning, structure, and development you need to really get good at this stuff...whether you call it internal or external.

I'd say the more you have, the better you will probably be...or at least you have the framework ready to hang the art.

I really think it is a simple as that in alot of cases. I am betting that giving the command that Rickson has over his body....he'd probably do pretty good if he decided to take up a strictly internal practice and get proficient at Jo test or what not. Probably faster than alot of us that have been doing this stuff for years and whining about how our art and teachers have ripped us off!



+ 1

:)

eyrie
11-17-2009, 12:51 AM
Gentlemen,

Whilst the discussion about who's got it or doesn't is all good and interesting, it's not germane to the topic. There's a separate thread somewhere else for that, for the so inclined.

Internal skills are only one among many that can be used in a cohesive manner to create a well rounded and successful budoka. Internal skills are not necessarily required for someone to be an impressive and formidable martial artist unless the art you pursue technically depends on their inclusion. That's why this topic is so important to aikidoka. Aikido demands a certain level of it, as does TSYR. What Toby said here is pertinent though... because aikido demands a certain level of it... it begs the question, are all internal power development methods the same, and would *any* (internal power development) method suffice as a satisfactory adjunct/supplement to one's "aikido"?

Demetrio Cereijo
11-17-2009, 06:28 AM
Does anyone here think Fedor Emelianenko is doing internal training?
Err...
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=245656&postcount=244

Would it matter.
Not really.

Kevin Leavitt
11-17-2009, 06:37 AM
Gentlemen,

Whilst the discussion about who's got it or doesn't is all good and interesting, it's not germane to the topic. There's a separate thread somewhere else for that, for the so inclined.

What Toby said here is pertinent though... because aikido demands a certain level of it... it begs the question, are all internal power development methods the same, and would *any* (internal power development) method suffice as a satisfactory adjunct/supplement to one's "aikido"?

Another question might be is aikido the end to the means...or the means to the end?

Budd
11-17-2009, 12:13 PM
I am quite interested by where I see this discussion going . .

We've somewhat moved beyond "does internal exist and have value?" (thank goodness) and looking at methods . . but an important part of this discussion has to do with one's methods of developing internal power. Namely, is your practice of developing internal power . . one of the results of a martial art or tradition that you participate in (which has many other attributes besides internal training) . . or do you chase internal development for its own sake and your martial art is merely a container for how you express it?

Of those genuinely interested in the topic and incorporating it into their training, I think that's part of where the disconnect is coming in,with one side perhaps legitimately saying "This is the stuff, this is it and here's how I've been training it!!" while another side, also perhaps legimitately saying, "This is my martial tradition and it also/already includes internal training!!"

So, then it comes down to figuring out what your goals are for training and then honestly working towards fulfilling those goals. Neither of which is easy and both can be an evolving process that happens over time and is impacted by what's available to you. I think what's been interesting . . and something that Ellis's book hints at - is regarding how skills are lost over time . .

But a difficulty in ever truly assessing these things is that they have to be felt . . and you need something of an edcuated assessment filter to identify degrees of internal skill. I think there's something to the generic powerful hard, powerful soft and powerful ghost-like progression that I've seen come up more than once. But I'm still just a bum working on this stuff like a lot of other folks.

Budd
11-17-2009, 02:56 PM
This interview with the head of a Chinese system is quite apropos, methinks, in that the students are led through methods in such a way to have a framework for expressing internal strength in a martial context . . might just be me, but I definitely see some relevance towards an application-based method of developing Takemusu Aiki:

http://www.yichuankungfu.com/cheuk-fung/hunyuan/

ChrisMoses
11-17-2009, 03:27 PM
This interview with the head of a Chinese system is quite apropos, methinks, in that the students are led through methods in such a way to have a framework for expressing internal strength in a martial context . . might just be me, but I definitely see some relevance towards an application-based method of developing Takemusu Aiki:

http://www.yichuankungfu.com/cheuk-fung/hunyuan/

Except that it's a bunch of crap... (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/sitemap/index.php/t-26578.html)

Magnetic auras???:crazy:

Budd
11-17-2009, 03:41 PM
Except that it's a bunch of crap... (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/sitemap/index.php/t-26578.html)

Magnetic auras???:crazy:

Ugh, read through the thread - 2005, that's about the time I stopped reading that site too readily . . which is a shame because I do like the logic that's set forth . . ah well.

eyrie
11-17-2009, 05:04 PM
an important part of this discussion has to do with one's methods of developing internal power. Namely, is your practice of developing internal power . . one of the results of a martial art or tradition that you participate in (which has many other attributes besides internal training) . . or do you chase internal development for its own sake and your martial art is merely a container for how you express it? Hi Budd, that's a good point, and I know where you're going with it, but let's not confuse power development methods with technical application - even if they are co-dependent.

The corollary to your same question would be: is one chasing internal power development from various outside sources to better see what one is missing from within one's chosen art/style? And would one be able to discern the subtleties and differences in other approaches? Or whether such methods are indeed compatible with the art, or would significant re-wiring/re-learning be required?

Demetrio Cereijo
11-17-2009, 06:42 PM
Ugh, read through the thread - 2005, that's about the time I stopped reading that site too readily . . which is a shame because I do like the logic that's set forth . . ah well.
I miss you down there.

PS. And I miss you too, Kevin. Don't be jealous. :)

Kevin Leavitt
11-17-2009, 08:21 PM
Well maybe I will have to start posting again on bullshido. BIt of trivia...one of the founding admins, was an NCO in my battalion that kicked my ass and set me straight on my martial path.

It is a small world.

There was so, so much garbage on Bullshido in between the gems, that I simply got bored with it. That and they do have a fair number of squared away guys there too...it just didn't do it for me.

Kevin Leavitt
11-17-2009, 08:36 PM
Hi Budd, that's a good point, and I know where you're going with it, but let's not confuse power development methods with technical application - even if they are co-dependent.

The corollary to your same question would be: is one chasing internal power development from various outside sources to better see what one is missing from within one's chosen art/style? And would one be able to discern the subtleties and differences in other approaches? Or whether such methods are indeed compatible with the art, or would significant re-wiring/re-learning be required?

Well I think what happens is in when you are doing your "art" you tend to do those things that you are comfortable with. If you want to continue to progress you will invest in failure. The problem is, that most of us will invest just enough in failure to "get by" and once we improve we will stop doing those things and then get compliacent again.

What I am finding is that the IT is definitely helping me improve my BJJ and Aikido, just studying and investing a little time in it is helping and I am improving. However, even though I am improving, I am not using IT skills directly...just improving as my balance, posture, sensitivity etc are getting better. As such, It is easy to be happy with those things and then begin to coast again.

Nothing wrong with that of course, but wanting to take my training to higher and higher levels of mastery are going to require me to invest in a great deal more failure and stepping outside of my comfort zone...it is not easy to do.

I think alot of what we see are many of us (most) are struggling with letting go of what we know and it gets scary and lonely when you do this. Then we attempt to define, pinpoint, measure, and quantify what it is that we are doing to maintain some degree of sanity and positive reinforcement.

For some, I think it is taken to an extreme and comes across as fundamentalism, dogmatic, and exclusionary unfortunately.

I think it would be best if we all simply realize that what we are trying to do is not done by very many people in the world, that we are a very unique and specailized group, let go of our differences and work together to help each other out, vice bickering back and forth trying to nail down what arts have it, who has it, who doesn't etc.

At the same time, it also requires us to be brutally honest with each other and not blow smoke up each others wazoo when what we think we are doing is getting us somewhere when it is not....that requires a great deal of trust and thick skin to be able to handle this...some can and some can't.

Sure we get mad and frustrated with each other from time to time, I think that is natural. That said, I personally, have no problems training with anyone here on aikiweb, even those I have disagreements with, because in the bigger scheme of things, I think that the differences are petty and minor and natural to go through....that is, if the other person can let go of this crap and train honestly without the ego crap.

Anyway, it has been a good discussion! Not sure if it is what Rob Liberti intended, but it certainly has proven very enlightening to me! Thanks Rob.

Thomas Campbell
11-17-2009, 09:12 PM
This interview with the head of a Chinese system is quite apropos, methinks, in that the students are led through methods in such a way to have a framework for expressing internal strength in a martial context . . might just be me, but I definitely see some relevance towards an application-based method of developing Takemusu Aiki:

http://www.yichuankungfu.com/cheuk-fung/hunyuan/

Budd--

The art of yiquan (i-chuan) itself is not a bunch of crap, just the particular teacher/teaching referenced. The methods developed by Wang Xiangzhai are clear, understandable, and logically ordered. But a clear, rational path of training does not necessarily mean a high percentage of practitioners of the path achieve significant internal skill. The simple can be just as difficult to make progress with as the vague and mysterious.

I've trained yiquan and dipped a little into Aunkai's methods. Both demand much of the student to make real progress, and there is no substitute for hands-on correction and plenty of IHTBF time in either art.

Here are some articles that provide a good introduction to Yiquan:

http://www.yiquan-academy.eu/articles.php

The basic training path is

(1) zhan zhuang / mojin (holding stances and postures, with specific visualization and contradictory tensions maintained to varying degrees)
(2) shili (friction stepping, or stepping with resistance, derived from baguazhang's tangnibu or mud stepping)
(3) fali (training and testing of release of power, often with a shaking kind of energy, the basis for strikes)
(4) push hands (with a fair amount of resistance, more than taiji push-hands)
(5) san shou (sparring)
(6) pole (moving and shaking a long pole, usually wood, in different patterns, used to develop whole-body coordination and power).

There are also other related practices, including voice/sound training, eye training, and other things. The actual order of training is fairly flexible, depending on the teacher's predilection and the student's abilities.

Wang specifically developed Yiquan to be a direct path to internal power and fighting skill using internal power. Whether he succeeded . . . well Wang himself by most independent accounts was very capable and demonstrated a high level of internal skill. Some of his students and grand-students have reached decent levels, too. Again, whether it's a higher percentage than other Chinese internal martial arts like taijiquan, or than Daito ryu or aikido . . . well that's difficult to say.

Mike Sigman
11-17-2009, 09:23 PM
I was asking if you had any video footage demonstrating or explaining what "down power" is, since that's not a term I am familiar with, nor would I want to assume that I knew what you meant. I also don't train ILC and have not met and felt Sam Chin.
I'm decidedly not a fan of Cheuk Fong's, but his interview that you panned actually refers pretty clearly to down-power, if you read it. As a matter of fact, the idea is found all throughout Yiquan literature. So is "groundpath" to anyone who already has an idea of how these things work. ;)

Best.

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
11-17-2009, 09:28 PM
Except that it's a bunch of crap... (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/sitemap/index.php/t-26578.html)

Magnetic auras???:crazy:Just for the fun of it, I sometimes show one of the "external qi" qigongs at some workshops in order to show that there's actually something behind a lot of the old traditional comments about qi as a magnetic feeling, etc. (or at least a facet thereof). It's not just a bunch of crap, but actually an interesting phenomenon to think about. "Fascia" and "magnetic auras" are interrelated. However, I expect it'll take some time for people to begin to take in the whole picture, rather than scoff as they did about the whole concept of what I.S. is. ;)

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Thomas Campbell
11-17-2009, 10:29 PM
I'm decidedly not a fan of Cheuk Fong's, but his interview that you panned actually refers pretty clearly to down-power, if you read it. As a matter of fact, the idea is found all throughout Yiquan literature. So is "groundpath" to anyone who already has an idea of how these things work. ;)

Best.

Mike Sigman

I didn't pan Cheuk's interview, Mike. I panned the teacher/teaching, based on personal experience with certain aspects of it that are also alluded to in the account linked in Chris Moses' previous post.

Curiously, though, the term "down-power" is not used in the interview--if you read it. Neither is the term "ground path."

"Ground-path" is a common term in martial and movement arts generally--for anyone who already has an idea of how these things work. My Pilates and jazz dance teachers used it. ;)

Now I will hazard a guess as to what you mean by "down-power," and I'm happy to be corrected as to your understanding of the term. In Yiquan we speak of Zheng Li, 争力, the strength cultivated and conditioned by use of visualization to develop contradictory tension (of varying degrees) in opposite directions: front/back, left/right, up/down. The ultimate goal is to develop the Hunyuan li, or balanced power in six directions--one of which is down.

Back to "ground-path": I don't find that specific term commonly used in the Yiquan literature I'm familiar with (let alone "all throughout Yiquan literature"), nor in translations of terms by Chinese teachers of Yiquan I've worked with. That's not to say the concept isn't there--it is, I think in somewhat different terms. I did find one piece of Yiquan literature (below) that specifically references the term "ground path"--and he attributes it to you. ;)

J. P. Lau's synopsis of Hunyuan zhuang is very detailed:

http://mysite.verizon.net/reswv21m/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/smallstepposture.pdf

Whether or not someone already has an idea of how these things work, Lau's article is worth reading for a good description of an important piece of Yiquan training that encapsulates much of the essence of the art.

Mike Sigman
11-17-2009, 10:56 PM
Curiously, though, the term "down-power" is not used in the interview--if you read it. Neither is the term "ground path." [snip] That's not to say the concept isn't there--it is, I think in somewhat different terms.Exactly. Notice how both Rob and Dan, as simple examples to prove my point, caught on to what I meant by "groundpath", even if they used different terms or concepts to envision it. If you know how to do it, the term is self-evident.

Notice how Wang XiangZhai, who admittedly borrowed the basic principles from arts including Taiji, never cavilled about "groundpath" (the jin which starts from the feet, is controlled by the waist, and is expressed in the fingers" by any name. It is the core strength; it is the basis of Tohei's "ki tests", and so on. I don't think it's a discussion of "what is it.... never heard of the concept" unless the conversation is kept to simple worries about semantics. For some reason, a number of westerners keep arguing about *words*, but the people who understand the concepts seem to have a common vocabulary. There is no Chinese word that means "groundpath" literally: it's just jin based on the support of the earth.

ChrisMoses
11-18-2009, 12:56 AM
Just for the fun of it, I sometimes show one of the "external qi" qigongs at some workshops in order to show that there's actually something behind a lot of the old traditional comments about qi as a magnetic feeling, etc. (or at least a facet thereof). It's not just a bunch of crap, but actually an interesting phenomenon to think about. "Fascia" and "magnetic auras" are interrelated. However, I expect it'll take some time for people to begin to take in the whole picture, rather than scoff as they did about the whole concept of what I.S. is. ;)

FWIW

Mike Sigman

To be clear, my comments were about that guy, not Yi Chuan. If I see a bunch of videos that are clearly crap, I'm not going to listen to the guy.

As for magnetism, something can 'feel' like magnetism. In a portion of the solo stuff we do, it is very clear when you coordinate the breath that it *feels* like magnetic repulsion that drives your arms apart. It is a similar feeling. It's not magnetism, if it was magnetism, you would be able to measure the effect. No one has ever measured this. You can stand in a doorway and press your arms out into the walls for a minute, and when you let go it will *feel* like your arms float up without you trying. It *feels* like magnetism, it isn't. There is a huge difference between the analogy of magnetic attraction/repulsion and actually generating a magnetic field of that intensity. In order for a magnetic field of that intensity to exist (such that moved the iron in the blood) steel would be flying across the room. It's NOT magnetism.

Tim Fong
11-18-2009, 01:23 AM
If there is magnetism going on, why won't a gauss meter show it? Or will it? Would love to see it if that is what is happening.

MM
11-18-2009, 08:01 AM
Nothing wrong with that of course, but wanting to take my training to higher and higher levels of mastery are going to require me to invest in a great deal more failure and stepping outside of my comfort zone...it is not easy to do.

I think alot of what we see are many of us (most) are struggling with letting go of what we know and it gets scary and lonely when you do this. Then we attempt to define, pinpoint, measure, and quantify what it is that we are doing to maintain some degree of sanity and positive reinforcement.

For some, I think it is taken to an extreme and comes across as fundamentalism, dogmatic, and exclusionary unfortunately.

I think it would be best if we all simply realize that what we are trying to do is not done by very many people in the world, that we are a very unique and specailized group, let go of our differences and work together to help each other out, vice bickering back and forth trying to nail down what arts have it, who has it, who doesn't etc.

At the same time, it also requires us to be brutally honest with each other and not blow smoke up each others wazoo when what we think we are doing is getting us somewhere when it is not....that requires a great deal of trust and thick skin to be able to handle this...some can and some can't.


For those looking to put aiki back into aikido, I think we're to a point that, at times, we have to become a bit exclusionary. I mean look at the history. We've had people cross train in different aikido schools, cross train in different arts, etc. And still the aikido world lacks aiki. At this point in time, we have to be diligent in our efforts.

If someone is looking to put Internal Power (IP)/aiki/Internal Skills(IS) back into their aikido, we should be looking to those skills that were contained in the body of knowledge that Ueshiba had. Not every system, school, dojo, teacher will have them. And I'm sure people don't want to spend 20 more years in some system only to find out it didn't have IP/aiki.**

And it's my opinion that you won't find them in BJJ or GJJ or judo. I don't believe that there is IP/aiki in the BJJ world ... but I'm always open to the possibility that there might be one or two who could have learned it somewhere. However, that's a possibility, not a probability. ***

For those out there who think what I'm saying is a bad thing, please don't read it that way. As many here have pointed out, BJJ, etc can teach some very good skills. Skills most definitely worth having. And as the Gracies (and others) have proven, you don't need IP/aiki to be martial, effective, good, etc. High level jujutsu isn't to be dismissed. It can be very effective, soft, flowing, centered, and structured. But it is completely different from the aiki versions of those qualities.

We're talking about IP development methods in this thread and the BJJ world won't have it.

So, while I would recommend people to train in some style of BJJ, I would do so for all the very good qualities that have been posted here and elsewhere. But, I would not recommend training in some style of BJJ for developing IP/aiki. IMO, it just isn't there.

---
** It shouldn't take 20 anyway. You should see very defining differences by 5 years provided you are putting in the work.

*** As a side note here, we can look to the Judo world where most in the Kodokan in Kano's time lacked IP/aiki. More to the point, those few from the Kodokan who went out into the world and started mixing it up with other people most likely did not have IP/aiki. And if they didn't have it, then the people they taught most likely didn't have it. But, there were singular individuals at the Kodokan who had exemplary skills, such as Mifune. However, Mifune was a rarity.

Mike Sigman
11-18-2009, 08:03 AM
As for magnetism, something can 'feel' like magnetism. In a portion of the solo stuff we do, it is very clear when you coordinate the breath that it *feels* like magnetic repulsion that drives your arms apart. It is a similar feeling. It's not magnetism, if it was magnetism, you would be able to measure the effect. No one has ever measured this.

It might be worth your time to read "Energy Medicine" by James L. Oschman. As Cheuk Fong mentions, there is a "field effect", meaning something in the electromagnetic spectrum, not specifically a magnetic field. I agree; there's something like that. Oschman's book gives notes and references on measurements, experiments, etc., about these effects as they have been studied in the West for, what, around a 100 years. He also discusses the relationship of these effects to the fascial tissues of the body.

Traditionally, as someone's "qi" skills (in the I.S. area) increase, the related fascia tissues increase in development, etc., so it would be reasonable to expect some growth of the "magnetic feeling" effect, and in fact many traditional teachers all for that in evaluating someone's progress. Is it something other than a noticeable phenomenon? I personally don't think you can meditate on it and become one of the X-Men and most CMA experts I know don't treat it as more than an odd phenomenon, either. But there's something there that is interesting to observe (without dwelling on it).

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Kevin Leavitt
11-18-2009, 09:05 AM
Mark Murray wrote:

For those looking to put aiki back into aikido, I think we're to a point that, at times, we have to become a bit exclusionary. I mean look at the history. We've had people cross train in different aikido schools, cross train in different arts, etc. And still the aikido world lacks aiki. At this point in time, we have to be diligent in our efforts.


At the sake of what? friends, family, martial ability, functionality, sanity? I train with a few folks in Aikido that are very interested in "putting the aiki back in aiki", that said, we are not throwing the baby out with the bath water either. That was my only point. I don't believe devisiveness gets us anywhere. Maybe exclusionary is not the best word?

And it's my opinion that you won't find them in BJJ or GJJ or judo. I don't believe that there is IP/aiki in the BJJ world ... but I'm always open to the possibility that there might be one or two who could have learned it somewhere. However, that's a possibility, not a probability. ***


Again, I think you missed the whole logic point of what this was orignially stated. No one, ever stated that BJJ randori and waza that is commonly done is the best way to study this stuff, and just like every other martial art, you have the mainstream that is concerned with a very fundamental and basic practice.

However, if you pay attention to what Rickson does, says, and is...you will see that there is alot more than what is out there that you could include. Ever think that maybe Rickson thinks like you? Ever think that maybe he wants to "put aiki in BJJ". Are you familar with how he trains? Are you familiar with every practicioner? Everyone who studies BJJ?

It is no different than Aikido, Tai Chi, or any other practice.

All I can say is I lay hands on guys like Rickson (whom I haven't), Saulo and Xande Riberiro, who I have and others and feel what they are doing and I say..."hey I want that too". They steer me to develop baseline skills through Ginastica Natural, Yoga and other things. hmmm. Lots of the same advice, same form, same type of conditioning that I see in say...Ark's practice, albeit slightly different.

All I can say is I look at Rickson at 50 years old and say...hey I wanna be like him. Wow.

I see others out there...hmmmm not so much.

And as the Gracies (and others) have proven, you don't need IP/aiki to be martial, effective, good, etc. High level jujutsu isn't to be dismissed. It can be very effective, soft, flowing, centered, and structured. But it is completely different from the aiki versions of those qualities.


How is it different? what is different about it? what does Aiki do for you that is different?

No you don't need aiki to be effective, but again..what is it that you are trying to do with all this accumulated training?

As a side note here, we can look to the Judo world where most in the Kodokan in Kano's time lacked IP/aiki. More to the point, those few from the Kodokan who went out into the world and started mixing it up with other people most likely did not have IP/aiki. And if they didn't have it, then the people they taught most likely didn't have it. But, there were singular individuals at the Kodokan who had exemplary skills, such as Mifune. However, Mifune was a rarity.

So how is the fact that they had a few people such as Mifune any different than say....aikido, tai chi...or anything else? I think it is pretty well established that very few people actually pick this stuff up, can teach it, and can integrate it. In any given system worth it's weight in gold...I think this statisitic pretty much holds true...very few.

I wrote:

Sure we get mad and frustrated with each other from time to time, I think that is natural. That said, I personally, have no problems training with anyone here on aikiweb, even those I have disagreements with, because in the bigger scheme of things, I think that the differences are petty and minor and natural to go through....that is, if the other person can let go of this crap and train honestly without the ego crap.

I still stand by this, so if you can set this aside, I can and I would welcome the opportunity to train any time.

Lorel Latorilla
11-18-2009, 09:37 AM
"All I can say is I lay hands on guys like Rickson (whom I haven't), Saulo and Xande Riberiro, who I have and others and feel what they are doing and I say..."hey I want that too". They steer me to develop baseline skills through Ginastica Natural, Yoga and other things. hmmm. Lots of the same advice, same form, same type of conditioning that I see in say...Ark's practice, albeit slightly different."

I find this interesting Kevin. What kind of conditioning methods, advice, and forms do these guys give/offer that are similar to Ark's practise? Do you think that by practising BJJ you are somewhat practising Aunkai? Is this only limited to the names you've given above or are the methods widespread in the BJJ world?

"No you don't need aiki to be effective, but again..what is it that you are trying to do with all this accumulated training?"

You practise aiki because it simply gives you an upperhand. All things considered, a BJJ guy can still beat a guy who has aiki. But if you were to put two men who are equal in will, experience, drive, speed, strength, etc. ...the guy with aiki will definitely beat him. For one, the guy who doesn't have the aiki body quality wouldn't know how to deal with aiki--it would be something new to him. It's just another weapon in your arsenal, and it's quite a formidable one too, one that made guys like Takeda, Sagawa, and Ueshiba stand out in the budo world.

Kevin Leavitt
11-18-2009, 10:32 AM
I find this interesting Kevin. What kind of conditioning methods, advice, and forms do these guys give/offer that are similar to Ark's practise? Do you think that by practising BJJ you are somewhat practising Aunkai? Is this only limited to the names you've given above or are the methods widespread in the BJJ world

Hey Lorel. No I am not saying it is the same, nor am I saying you will get the same benefits, as Ark has developed a very specific practice designed to enhance some very specific skills.

G.N. is specific towards developing and conditioning the body for grappling, jiu jitsu, so it will be slightly different as they work in a different plane of orientation.

Again, I am only pointing out parallels that I have identified in training.

One thing I am noted when training with Ark is that I had not even developed the baseline that was needed to make much use of the stuff he was teaching us at the seminar.

So, I think that level of core building, wiring, and conditioning needs to be done first...however you do it...developing a strong, connected and feeling body.

Once you have the frame, I think you can then specialize and do whatever you want with it.

As G.N. is geared towards grappling, of course they are going to have specificity in that as well.

Then you have to layer on the relative value of skills etc that are needed to do whatever it is that you want to do.

For sake of illustration, a BJJ guy might depend 70% of timing, speed, and technique and 30% of internal skills.

Whereas a Aikido guy doing aikido in a demonstration might inverse this and use 70% internal skills and 30% timing, speed, and technique.

I think it all depends on what your goals of training are and the degree of specialization you want to obtain.

You practise aiki because it simply gives you an upperhand. All things considered, a BJJ guy can still beat a guy who has aiki. But if you were to put two men who are equal in will, experience, drive, speed, strength, etc. ...the guy with aiki will definitely beat him. For one, the guy who doesn't have the aiki body quality wouldn't know how to deal with aiki--it would be something new to him. It's just another weapon in your arsenal, and it's quite a formidable one too, one that made guys like Takeda, Sagawa, and Ueshiba stand out in the budo world.

Absolutely, I agree, which is why I think balance is key and why I hang around and try and spend time doing this stuff.

I have rolled with a few top guys and their BJJ is different than others. VERY different.

Talk about hidden in plan sight....I then ask them, "hey, how do I do that?"

In all cases they didn't point me to learning more techniques, running, lifting weights, drills...no they pointed me to things like Yoga, Ginastica natural...etc.

So, when I then get hands on the impressive guys with IT skills, and feel them and go to the seminar...they are stressing alot of the same fundamental base line things...albeit with all of them with a slightly different take and degree of specialization.

I can't really do a frame by frame or blow by blow..."hey check this out, it is exactly what ark is doing". As none of it is exactly the same, but when you look at it from a macroscopic Kineseiology view of what is going on...fundamentally it is all based on the same principles.

Does that a guy like Rickson can do the Jo trick? Probably not, he hasn't probably ever done it. No more than Ark can show you the fundamentals of the guard and the use of IP.

But I bet if you put those two guys in the room together within an hour they'd have each other doing a pretty damn good job of each of those things...better than say you or I with that same amount of time!

If Rickson can't do the Jo trick...it doesn't necessarily mean that he doesn't have IT....as that is a test based on specialization.

But, if Ark and Rickson layed hands on each other, I'd bet they'd both get a smile on their face with what they felt once they were able to communicate internally.

However, it could be that Rickson has also only devleoped his skills enough to suit his purposes...I don't know. It could be that Ark has chosen to specialize so much that he has alot more ability in this area than Rickson....Okay...so what?

I am also betting that Rickson would learn alot from Ark if he wanted/needed to.

and Vice Versa.

See my point?

It is all relatvie I think to what you want to do and/or what interest you.

ChrisMoses
11-18-2009, 10:51 AM
It might be worth your time to read "Energy Medicine" by James L. Oschman. As Cheuk Fong mentions, there is a "field effect", meaning something in the electromagnetic spectrum, not specifically a magnetic field. I agree; there's something like that. Oschman's book gives notes and references on measurements, experiments, etc., about these effects as they have been studied in the West for, what, around a 100 years. He also discusses the relationship of these effects to the fascial tissues of the body.

The Cliff's Notes are pretty interesting. (http://quackfiles.blogspot.com/2006/01/review-of-energy-medicine-scientific.html)

gregstec
11-18-2009, 11:11 AM
J. P. Lau's synopsis of Hunyuan zhuang is very detailed:

http://mysite.verizon.net/reswv21m/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/smallstepposture.pdf

Whether or not someone already has an idea of how these things work, Lau's article is worth reading for a good description of an important piece of Yiquan training that encapsulates much of the essence of the art.

Excellent article that brings together in one place many core points on IT posture and mental intent that I have picked up from Tohei's Ki development, Dan, Mike, as well as other sources.

Greg Steckel

Lorel Latorilla
11-18-2009, 11:14 AM
It's recommended by some of the IT guys that you stop fighting altogether and focus on re-wiring your movement for some time. I did BJJ for a couple of months last year, but it did not help me at all with what I was trying to develop, so I stopped (granted the BJJ guys said I was really strong and fast). Maybe you're smarter than I am, but for me, 'balance' as you define it is not key.

"So, when I then get hands on the impressive guys with IT skills, and feel them and go to the seminar...they are stressing alot of the same fundamental base line things...albeit with all of them with a slightly different take and degree of specialization.

I can't really do a frame by frame or blow by blow..."hey check this out, it is exactly what ark is doing". As none of it is exactly the same, but when you look at it from a macroscopic Kineseiology view of what is going on...fundamentally it is all based on the same principles"

This is where I don't follow you. In the same paragraph, there is a contradiction. You're saying these things are not the same, but yet they are all fundamentally based on the same principles. In any case, if we are to take the idea that BJJ is based on the same fundamental principles (whatever they are) as Daito-Ryu but is different from, it in terms of specialization, then it's possible that you're suggesting that aiki is being worked and trained in BJJ methods, only it is reserved/limited strictly to the ground whereas Daito-Ryu uses aiki in stand-up grappling. In that case, the aiki that you acquire in BJJ should be translatable to striking, to stand up grappling. I think it would be a worthwhile experiment to teach high-level BJJ guys (black belts) some aiki-age and aiki-sage dynamics in punches and also hand lifting. If they already had aiki, a little tweaking here and there would make these guys the best fighters in the world. They wouldn't need Muay Thai for stand-up.

Also, if it is in BJJ, for guys who are interested in MMA/freestyle grappling/sparring, I think it would be worthless to study IT discretely. For the reason that you can develop IT in BJJ while learning how to fight with it. Wouldn't it be more efficient to just train BJJ, learning IT and learning how to fight at the same time, instead of focusing on just IT? Who cares about the jo trick when you can learn aiki by choking someone out?

Keith Larman
11-18-2009, 11:20 AM
WRT to the idea of aiki within arts of varied types... I think it was Ellis Amdur who wrote (and I'm paraphrasing as I can't find the original -- all apologies and mistakes are mine solely) "Aiki is like a fine spirit. But without a container it's all over the floor." (again, paraphrased -- blame me for any screwups).

I really liked that comment because it pointed out that for many of us the aiki thing is part of a vastly larger context. I've grappled a bit with a friend who is highly ranked in BJJ. One day from the clinch I felt him essentially do a sort of internal tenchinage on me. I felt him take my center and start to drop it. It felt very much like a tenchinage we do in our style but also like what I felt from George Ledyard at the aikiweb seminar. I just laughed because in the clinch I could feel the probing of the center going on at both a gross but also at a very subtle level. It wasn't just strength or "mechanical advantage". We were connected structurally and he used it.

So I showed him how we do tenchinage and then he laughed as well...

The only point here is that I think a few develop these skills to some extent or another accidentally. Or maybe it is more accurate to say that after sufficient time being involved in grappling and ukemi with sufficient intent and having the problem of not always being the stronger guy, sometimes these skills start to develop. Especially among some who are "apt" to do so. Our lineage (offshoot from Tohei) focused on aiki taiso and ki as fundamental. That said I've learned a lot by training with, listening to, and simply watching guys like Toby Threadgill, Mike Sigman, et al. Much of it has caused me to "reposition" and reconsider much of what I thought I knew. But nothing has been "throw what you know away" as much as clarifying, expanding, and clearing up missing detail. It's like having a theory to explain a phenomena for a long time. Then suddenly seeing new details and being told something from a different perspective that causes you to "reconstruct" your web of belief. The web is much the same, but stronger, wider, more nuanced and as a result suddenly much more useful. You jump a plateau.

So all that said... Speaking for myself I'm *very* interested in this stuff. I've been doing a lot of exercises lately I learned from Mike Sigman and Toby Threadgill with a promise to myself to stay relatively quiet and open minded for a while as I practice. I.e., my motto for myself with respect to this stuff is "shut up and train". But I'm also integrating this understanding into my aikido. Expanding my understanding of my aikido. And coming to grips with the very profound title of Mr. Amdur's book -- hidden in plain sight. Yes. Always there but always slightly out of reach. Seems closer now. But... For me it is about improving a vastly larger picture of the art I love. And improving my own abilities.

So I fully respect those who work solely in developing IS. Cool. But I think it is naive at best to think that only a few hold the keys or that the skills are a sort of binary absolutely have it/absolutely don't have it proposition. It is a continuum. Some teach it overtly and well. Others teach something that looks like it but is total BS and empty (confusing the external movement with the internal action). And then there are those who don't talk about it at all but where at the highest levels you find evidence of the same stuff (my BJJ friend essentially locking up my structure and sending me to the ground -- to him it wasn't IS or "aiki" or whatever you want to call it -- it was just good, subtle, high level grappling -- I'm the one who said it was something different.).

So for me, as my health permits, it is "Damatte keikoshiro". Shut up and train. I make the time to see the guys who've got good stuff, regardless of what that good stuff is. And I try to integrate it into my practice. Is that Aikido? Seems a semantics question to me. It is what I do, however.

As an aside, if my life were different, if I were single without a wife and daughter I would have moved to Colorado years ago to train as often as possible with Toby Threadgill. I'm still trying to figure out a way to convince my wife that I'd really like to drive out to visit Elias and Lovato regularly and join up with them. But life, time and family simply don't permit me to give the focus *they* would deserve. I don't believe in doing something half-assed. But the bigger point for this thread is that I'm not interested in the IS as an end in and of itself. I'm interested in the bigger picture. The arts themselves, the whole deal -- the big banana. Which is of course defined by my interests, wants and needs.

Rambling, meandering, probably off topic post has now concluded... :D

Thomas Campbell
11-18-2009, 12:12 PM
WRT to the idea of aiki within arts of varied types... I think it was Ellis Amdur who wrote (and I'm paraphrasing as I can't find the original -- all apologies and mistakes are mine solely) "Aiki is like a fine spirit. But without a container it's all over the floor." (again, paraphrased -- blame me for any screwups).

[snip]

Much of it has caused me to "reposition" and reconsider much of what I thought I knew. But nothing has been "throw what you know away" as much as clarifying, expanding, and clearing up missing detail. It's like having a theory to explain a phenomena for a long time. Then suddenly seeing new details and being told something from a different perspective that causes you to "reconstruct" your web of belief. The web is much the same, but stronger, wider, more nuanced and as a result suddenly much more useful. You jump a plateau.

[snip]

So for me, as my health permits, it is "Damatte keikoshiro". Shut up and train. I make the time to see the guys who've got good stuff, regardless of what that good stuff is. And I try to integrate it into my practice. Is that Aikido? Seems a semantics question to me. It is what I do, however.

[snip]

Rambling, meandering, probably off topic post has now concluded... :D

Very on-topic post, Keith. Well-stated, and I really like that perspective. Thanks.

Budd
11-18-2009, 12:38 PM
Well, my somewhat counter to Keith's post above (without disagreeing with his choice for him) is that if your goal is to train internal strength, then you need to be doing that and seeing measurable results. If your goal is to train a martial art and add components of internal strength, then I think it's worth considering and working out exactly how you're doing it - especially since it seems that there's different approaches . .

So, if there's an optimal IS approach for say . .aikido . . what are you concretely doing to develop your IS for aikido? Is it integrated right into your aikido practice? (if so, how?) Is it a collection of exercises you've picked up that are training different things, the same? (if so, how are you measuring progress)

If your objective is to just train and enjoy the process of training, then maybe it doesn't matter so much as long as you kinda seem like you're making progress . . To each their own . . but if you have concrete goals, then it seems to me to make sense to have as close to a concrete methodology as possible (and making sure that your training adheres to the latter and enables the former).

I tend to agree with the "shuddup and train" method when it comes to people wondering aloud about this or that . . or spending too much time around the campfire telling stories or offering their assertion based on how they "feel" about something . . but I think this is a different beast . . there's a core logic that a number of people are following or working towards, but different ways of talking around it. If the intent of this thread (as well sorta as Kevin's in the Off-Topic area) is to give a sounding board for peeps to articulate what they are doing . . I think that's an important part of the training process as well (and different from offering your "take").

Kevin Leavitt
11-18-2009, 01:36 PM
Keith, your my long lost brother. Amen!

Budd,

I honestly thought you were gonna offer something counter? I don't see it that way at all.

I agree that you need a feedback process.

The feedback process is important when training so you can feel and learn as you do these things.

I flip back and forth between IT/IS training, "normal" aikido waza, BJJ, and Yoga.

In each of these methods the training conditions and feeback mechanisms are different, some more subtle than others, and each offers there own ways of helping you become better at whatever it is you want to do.

So, if there's an optimal IS approach for say . .aikido . . what are you concretely doing to develop your IS for aikido? Is it integrated right into your aikido practice? (if so, how?) Is it a collection of exercises you've picked up that are training different things, the same? (if so, how are you measuring progress)


Well, I think aikido is pretty much all about this. I can't really think what else it is for. On this issue, ironically, I agree with Mark Murray.

Where I might differ is on the degree or assessment of what is missing and the relative importance it plays in the over all practice, which is Budo, not IT/IS development. I believe there is a difference.

So, if our aikido practice has somewhat lost this abilty for whatever reason thruogh failure to properly transmit, then I think getting help is warranted to get us back on track. All in due time, and not at the expense of damaging relationships, friends, losing sight of priorities.

If your objective is to just train and enjoy the process of training, then maybe it doesn't matter so much as long as you kinda seem like you're making progress . . To each their own . . but if you have concrete goals, then it seems to me to make sense to have as close to a concrete methodology as possible (and making sure that your training adheres to the latter and enables the former

I agree. I also think that you have as many goals as you have people studying, many of these goals are personal and private. I think all we can really do is present possibilities, a framework, and encourage people to explore the realm of possibilities. Most people I think find what they are looking for (or maybe they don't), but whatever....I think, like you do, to eaches own.

Along that line, I think we have to be careful to keep the fundamentalism and Parochialism out of the mix and all will be well in aikiland!

Kevin Leavitt
11-18-2009, 02:07 PM
Pre-script: I keep thinking about the book Freakanomics as I am writing here. Worth a read if you are interested at what is really going on with paradigms, assumptions, and inferences.

Lorel wrote:

You're saying these things are not the same, but yet they are all fundamentally based on the same principles

Like the difference between a duck and a woodpecker. Both have feathers, both can fly..but a duck can't drill holes in a tree and a woodpecker can't swim! It depends on the level of categorization you want to impose.

It's recommended by some of the IT guys that you stop fighting altogether and focus on re-wiring your movement for some time. I did BJJ for a couple of months last year, but it did not help me at all with what I was trying to develop, so I stopped (granted the BJJ guys said I was really strong and fast). Maybe you're smarter than I am, but for me, 'balance' as you define it is not key.

How long did you have under your belt in BJJ Lorel?

I have like 5 solid years of on average about 8 hours of training per week, with a few major competitions and a fair amount of stick time with some quality guys. This is not to mention the "full time" training I recieved through the Army over the past few years.

This is not alot of time either mind you, but enough I think to begin understanding it.

I bring this up, not to say...you don't know anything son....but to illustrate that I'd make the same recommendation to you concerning investment of time.

With a little bit of time in BJJ, or any MA for that matter, the learning curve is steep and investment cost is high. Whereas I won't abandon it...i'd also probably recommend that you not start it either if your goals are what the are.

Kinda goes hand in hand with that whole 20 years of mastery thing that people talk about.

Toby Threadgill is a wonderful instructor, impressive at what he does and like Keith, I'd love to have the opportunity to drop what I am doing and spend time learning TYSR from him. However, I can't and studying from a distance, not fully committed is not gonna do me much good as I would have to put a great deal of time in this in order to get out of it what Toby has today....for the same reasons, I'd recommend not doing TYSR!

So how can you achieve balance with BJJ unless you are gonna devote the time necessary to learn it...it is a huge, huge investment...BJJ is not easy! Not only do you have to spend time in class, but you have to work out on your own, and do lots of reading, video watching, visualization, meditation, diet...

BJJ gets a bad rap just like AIkido does because some guy goes to a dojo rolls with a Blue Belt and thinks that is BJJ and draws his conclusion there based on a guy that has studied for about 2 years.

So, no, BJJ will not help your internal development what-so-ever! The learning curve is so steep for you to develop the baseline framework, that until you get through that initial investment time....you'd be better off doing something else in your IT training.

That is, unless your goal is to be a good BJJ guy.

I think it would be a worthwhile experiment to teach high-level BJJ guys (black belts) some aiki-age and aiki-sage dynamics in punches and also hand lifting. If they already had aiki, a little tweaking here and there would make these guys the best fighters in the world. They wouldn't need Muay Thai for stand-up.


I agree that would be cool. Again, back to the whole Freakanomics thing....

I think there are simply some exceptional people in the world. The rest of us are just normal and can rise to do some exceptional things every once in a while if we work hard at it.

It could be that we want to be O Sensei, Rickson Gracie, Ark, Ushiro or any number of people we hold in high regard.

The fact of the matter is we will probably never get there for any number of reasons that are beyond our control.

You could throw Ark and Rickson together and I am betting you'd see some amazing stuff happen.

You could throw any other IT guy and a BJJ black belt in the same room and maybe not have the same experience.

Tim Fong and Takeo Eda took Ark out to shoot skeet. From the account it was interesting to watch how quickly he picked this up. Why? is it because of his training or is it because he is just Ark.

We sometimes need to let ourselves off the hook and just be happy sometimes. We can only be the best you can be, and that should be good enough!

Also, if it is in BJJ, for guys who are interested in MMA/freestyle grappling/sparring, I think it would be worthless to study IT discretely. For the reason that you can develop IT in BJJ while learning how to fight with it. Wouldn't it be more efficient to just train BJJ, learning IT and learning how to fight at the same time, instead of focusing on just IT? Who cares about the jo trick when you can learn aiki by choking someone out?

I agree with your assessment here for the most part. This is something I struggle with. Somedays I feel like I should just drop my aikdo studies all together and do BJJ. At the same time, my experiences have taught me that it is easy to crawl inside one paradigm and get comfortable.

No, I think there is more to all this than the concrete physical skills. Alot of it has to do with a different way of learning, progressing, and growing. I have yet to find a complete art, practice, methodology or teacher.

For me, it has never been an issue on the training, simply finding a midway to balance my life out. I want to grow old and have a great quality of life. As such, I think doing things maybe my own way is a way to do this. I think each one of us will find a slightly different way to do all this stuff, which is fine and wonderful.

It is an investment of time and effort, but each of us has to figure out what the right mix is for ourselves.

Budd
11-18-2009, 02:13 PM
I did say "somewhat" counter and implied that I didn't necessarily disagree . . ;)

And of course, Kevin, the other things you reference are definitely important . . but I think one of the things you reference and has been implied elsewhere by others is the idea that you do some IS . .then "normal" aikido, then yoga, BJJ . .etc. Are you doing completely different practices when you do them? How much does one enable another? How much can they potentially conflict? Have you resolved them in your approach so that they are all kinda "one thing" that is expressed differently (based on activity format). . or do you practice them segmentedly as each being their own thing . .

More to the point when you do IS . .are you doing some of Akuzawa's exercises . . some of what you learned from Mike Sigman, some of what you learned from Toby Threadgill, Ushiro, etc.? Do you see them all as one and the same? How are you measuring progress made in IS as it's own thing . . versus how you apply it in other endeavors (aikido, bjj, yoga, etc.) . .

I think those kinds of considerations are pretty critical when you talk about Internal Power Development "methods".

Keith Larman
11-18-2009, 02:35 PM
To Budd, Kevin, et al.

I'm really not disagreeing with various takes on how to get from point A to B. I will point out, however, that I've met people doing Aikido who are amazing technically (crisp waza, movement, etc.) that seem to have virtually zero of the IS stuff, what we would call aiki in my style. We begin every class with 20 minutes of solo exercises. Our late sensei, Rod Kobayashi, used Tohei's aiki taiso but made changes. And he had his own way of teaching it. His senior students now teaching in his school have their own way as well. We have ways of testing the aiki taiso at every point within the exercises. We test for all the principles we work on. One-point, ki "flowing", weight settled down, controlled relaxation, etc. And I'll say within our school we have a people who exhibit these things at various levels as well. Some are better than others. The point here is that we've had visitors from other styles who move beautifully, have that crisp waza and are quite effective martially but who really can't do many of those things we consider basic.

So the idea here is that there is a really big domain of what we call "aikido". And I am completely open to the idea that for some it *will* be a complete overhaul. For others it might be a "major" change. For some it may be more of an expansion, elucidation and maybe "enlightenment" experience to be exposed to the direct methods some of these guys like Mike and Toby are doing (I used them because I have direct, hands-on with them).

Sure, I might be completely deluded as well. I think before I first met up with Toby and Mike I wasn't so sure about the whole "develop the IS body" deal. Now, I really don't have much of a doubt in that area and I work on various exercises daily and I've seen/felt the results within my own body and work. And given our style had such a strong focus on aiki as defined in the way Tohei taught it as modified by Kobayashi sensei I have found it fairly amenable to directly utilizing the ideas. They're not so much "revolutionary" as they are expansive and explanatory to what we were already doing. Sort of like the differenced between a reading popular science book on quantum mechanics and then really sitting down and taking a formal set of courses at a high level. It's not that the topics are new, but the depth and richness has expanded, filling holes, making things apparent that weren't obvious before, but also greatly enlarging the possibilities. So where I'm at as both a student and an instructor I find it exhilarating to say the least.

I guess what I'm saying is that for some they may be in a position where they're already in a position to take this stuff and run with it. That does not mean going out and teaching IS. But I think each person will find that the integration of this stuff into what they're doing will be unique to that person, their experiences, their training and their aptitudes to begin with. So all the discussion about the "right" way to go about this seems to me to be somewhat simplistic.

Heck, I had been puzzling for years about feelings in my arms and back with ushirotori zenponage movements. I remember years ago feeling this weird connection in my arms from pinky to pinky. I remember realizing I could feel this right across my back as well. Then I remember realizing I could attach that in a sense to my center making the throw so much more smooth and powerful all while I relaxed more. Taking Mike's seminar he started demonstrating suit and the universal exercise and voila, bells go off. Yeah, that's the exact same feeling but explained with new metaphors and images. Suddenly a bunch of things make sense.

Toby spent time talking about how funakogi was done years ago in other styles. Another light bulb. Another insight about things I have been taught that maybe lacked some of that insight due either to my lack of knowledge and imagination or maybe just that the explanation was never given to me.

So anyway, the long ramble is to say that it is a complex issue. And I find those that say "this is the only way to learn -- you must drop all and focus exclusively on this or that" is a bit too rigid a point of view. For some (many?) I would probably agree. But not for all. And I think the view that someone out there like a Rickson can't have IS because they don't do these things the same way is really quite silly. Maybe it wouldn't be as overtly developed as someone else, but there is little doubt the dude is tremendously effective. And his ability to do things with stronger, younger opponents certainly points to a level of skill and subtlety that suggests there's a lot going on in there.

But... Like I said before... Damatte keikoshiro. Talking is easy. The hard part is going out and doing exercises and focusing on where this stuff would have been. I see it in all of our waza. I see how it applies and have little doubt about it. I think in many ways the "loss" of this stuff was more about many of the greats not being able to communicate it that well along with many of their students seeing the outside but missing the soft, chewy and delicious creamy filling. To a great extent it in part explains why aikido broke up into so many different "styles".

So to come full circle... It seems to me that in a few years the question won't be about whether this stuff is valuable. The question then is going to be "okay, fine, but now how valuable is this stuff if we can't figure out how to do it at full speed against committed attackers. This is back to Mr. Amdur's comment about the container. There's a lot involved here. And everyone's experience and level being different will mean there will be a lot of "optimal" paths.

So all that said... Gotta go do the three routines Toby demonstrated. Amazingly subtle. Then it is the universal exercise and some pool noodling compliments of Mike Sigman. And maybe a little time outside with my subarito just practicing cuts generated from my hara/one-point/dantien/....

Kevin Leavitt
11-18-2009, 02:42 PM
Basically Budd, I am confused and talk alot.

I have gone through a couple of stages as it relates to IT stuff.

Denial. I debated ad nausem from a paradigm of "well if this is any good, then why don't we see it in the UFC?" Why hasn't a fat old Chinese guy gone into the ring to show his superior ability.

Mike spent alot of time on getting me straight on the issue here.

Early Acceptance: "Okay, I see it, haven't felt it, but it looks just like X...so I do it."

Acceptance: Went and felt Mike at your dojo and said, okay..I get it now get it, and no I am not able to do this stuff...but cool.

Early enthuaism: Way cool...took back exercises started doing them...got frustrated, distracted...more time goes by...stopped doing them.

Midpoint enthuasm: Went to Arks Seminar. re-energized. "wow" I really need to get in shape man great if I want to do this stuff. Did them...frustrated, distracted, time goes by...stopped.

late enthusaism: "you know, the little bit I was doing seemed to pay off some...wow...if I invested the time...wow".

Let Down: "man this sutff is tough, I wish I had someone to push me give me help".

Wife drags me to Yoga class: Wow, this I can do, and I think it will help me...hmmm that is what my old MMA coach was telling me...do yoga. Feels very complimentary and I can do it...better to do something than nothing...so I will do this for a while.

After several months of doing yoga I start noticing improvement in the way I move. back pain, gone, core strength rising, becoming aware not to use my shoulders..that I have ability to access power elsewhere, getting more stable etc.

Getting back with Toby and Ushiro. Notice that I am able to at least grasp some basic things and replicate them that I could not do a year prior.

BJJ game is improving...how do I know?...I get two promotions in a six month period and great counseling to keep doing my training I am doing from my coach.

Have you resolved them in your approach so that they are all kinda "one thing" that is expressed differently (based on activity format). . or do you practice them segmentedly as each being their own thing .

Good question Budd. One I personally struggle with as there are only so many hours in the day to train so I have to set priorities. I am constantly concerned I don't have the right mix of training.

I segment my training. If I am doing BJJ, then that is what I do. Same with Yoga, Aikido, or IT training. You have to.

Each of them require the exact same proper kineseology, structure, and alignment. So, for example, if I am working on my IT skills, feel, and proprioception, I try and do those things in my BJJ practice to see if I can maintain that.

It is hard to do, of course as there are so many other things going on and I am at the point were my IT skills are very, very low. I have to try like 10 times and have alot of coaching to get something right, but that is an improvement from not being able to do anything at all!

So, how do you integrate something in an alive environment that you can't do in a very controlled environment. You can't...holistically.

However, there are alot of things that I think begin to fix themselves and I think you get some immediate gains simply through core building, posture, maintaining the cross...even though you may not be able to fully do a IT test.

What I do with the material from Ark, Toby, Ushiro, and Mike is I try to review it and as I am ready to see and understand it, I integrate it as I can into my base. Keep in mind...we are talking very, very small things. I have never said I have any IT abilities what-so-ever, and I am probably not the example to follow...just sharing my experiences, frustrations, and discoveries.

From my own hardheaded experiences...I will look back 10 years later and say "if I'd have only listened to ____". Well, unfortunately, I am hardheaded.....it is probably why I am an Infantryman.

Budd
11-18-2009, 03:33 PM
Kevin, I totally understand where you are coming from (I'm a relatively new parent and work loooooong hours - so limited hours in a day) . . I think - especially as we get some years in of training and develop our own methods or approaches, we look to our own kinds of reinforcement as a comfort .. which in some ways is a bit antithetical to getting the foot in the door with IS, because - at least in my little experience - you're asked to work on things based on visualizations, intent . . and told flat out that it takes a lot of work and time to get anywhere . . so we get pumped up, work on it for a bit . . at this point - to what you said, a number fall off the wagon, others go down tangents, others get sucked into SPD (self perception disorder), others just train (at least a little bit) every day and see what happens, others set specific goals and train towards them . .

Like any other activity, really . . Here's the rub, I think . .and it is not that I'm particularly interested in applying a stringent set of "you must do it this way!!" (even if I mean lean a bit in that direction ;P ) . . I think that there is a core, fundamental logic of "how to's" that has been laid out in very eloquently flowing language for many, many years . . deciphering them can be tricky and just because something that your (anyone's) teacher said years ago or you did an exercise that feels different, now . . doesn't mean that it is exhibiting the very basic principles of your center and connective tissue managing the relationship between gravity and the solidity of the ground . . see . . that reads very simple . . training to do this . . starts basic, requires lots of time and effort to recondition the body. . And . . there's the foot in the door to IS, methinks. I really don't think I've said anything particularly controversial (at least I hope I haven't).

And I agree, there's going to be lots of ways/approaches that work towards doing this (held tensions, emphasis on breathing, stretching, pressurization) . . but at the end of the day . . if your training is addressing this as a primary goal then you should at least be fulfilling the requirements as outlined by the VERY BASICS of the approach . . and as of yet, I haven't heard of anyone revealing very much beyond the very basics of IS/foot in the door type stuff (not saying at all it hasn't happened, just going off of reviews and recollections from people posting here and side convos) at the public seminars. . soooo if you're just training like you've always been training and then spending some time working on IS as a separate thing . . does it logically follow that the progress is going to be slower . . just to get a foot in the door?

If they integrate nicely (as in Keith's discussion of how he relates what he's gotten from Mike and Toby back to the stuff derived originally from Tohei's ki-society approach), then that certainly would seem to help . . and I would add on to that there needs to be some objective benchmarks (a la Tohei's ki tests, but perhaps less "feat" driven and more "feat and feel" driven, ha, try making that objective - gets hard, dammit!) . . for peer testing as well as getting level set by someone that knows more than you do. With an eventual goal being able to apply them in a progressively more live environment.

But then like we keep saying . . it depends on what your goals are . . Perhaps for those most interested in this thread (presumably with a goal of developing Internal Strength and the resulting methods to get there) . . I would think something that integrates and pushes you in a coordinated fashion towards being able to progressively manifest purer (less discernibley driven by local muscle) applications with increasingly resulting power (not necessarily someone's end goal, but should be part of the skillset - especially in a martial context) . . it should be something you'd at least want to keep an eye on and work towards . . if you (not you YOU, but you, person training to develop internal strength) are doing the work and the method is failing to get you there in a reasonable amount of time . . at some point it may be worth rethinking.

YMMV

Kevin Leavitt
11-18-2009, 04:29 PM
Great post Budd. Thanks! I agree with your thoughts!

eyrie
11-18-2009, 05:22 PM
Great discussion folks...

It's recommended by some of the IT guys that you stop fighting altogether and focus on re-wiring your movement for some time. Hmmm.... funny... sounds like something Ueshiba may have said, though not in so many words. When I first came across the term "investing in loss", I didn't really understand what that meant. Not until I encountered the idea of "stop fighting" in the literal sense, that it suddenly became clear.

Toby spent time talking about how funakogi was done years ago in other styles. This piqued my curiosity... Keith/Toby, would you (are you at liberty to) elaborate on this?

Rob Watson
11-18-2009, 07:52 PM
Traditionally, as someone's "qi" skills (in the I.S. area) increase, the related fascia tissues increase in development...

Exactly how is this demonstrated-the fascia part I mean? Cadavers? I'm just asking ...

ashe
11-19-2009, 05:50 PM
Exactly how is this demonstrated-the fascia part I mean? Cadavers? I'm just asking ...

my Sifu can show you tendons in his wrist and elbows that look like clothesline that aren't even visible in most people.

when i first started noticing this is when i started to become more convinced of the training methods over methods like weight training.

Mike Sigman
11-19-2009, 06:11 PM
Exactly how is this demonstrated-the fascia part I mean? Cadavers? I'm just asking ...Well.... there's more to the "magnetic feeling" stuff than just the tendons stuff. That (the tendon stuff) is along the branch that is considered to be "Shaolin" (a silly differentiation, IMO). The overall fascia/magnetic stuff is more than just tendons, but it's too complex to go into as a viable tangent.

Sorry for trying to dodge the ones that require extensive replies, but I tend to do that based on my experience that extended replies seldom do more than add to the wear and tear on my keyboard. ;)

If the basis has been laid somewhere else, I can springboard off of that post... if not, I'll wait for some other 'expert' to explain it (Surely these guys who say "nothing new there" know the answers, right?). Overall, some of the questions, while certainly good ones, exceed the "basis already established", so I think we'll have to gradually build our way toward them over time.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

eyrie
11-19-2009, 06:36 PM
*mental note* X'mas pressie for Mike - either a new keyboard or Dragon Naturally Speaking... :p

Mike Sigman
11-19-2009, 06:47 PM
Yeah... someone let me know when Dragon gets to the point that it doesn't take 41 Days and Nights of input in order to work correctly. I've already wasted money on it twice before. ;)

eyrie
11-19-2009, 07:11 PM
Hokay... new keyboard then? :p

Rob Watson
11-19-2009, 08:14 PM
Well.... there's more to the "magnetic feeling" stuff than just the tendons stuff. That (the tendon stuff) is along the branch that is considered to be "Shaolin" (a silly differentiation, IMO). The overall fascia/magnetic stuff is more than just tendons, but it's too complex to go into as a viable tangent.

Sorry for trying to dodge the ones that require extensive replies, but I tend to do that based on my experience that extended replies seldom do more than add to the wear and tear on my keyboard. ;)

If the basis has been laid somewhere else, I can springboard off of that post... if not, I'll wait for some other 'expert' to explain it (Surely these guys who say "nothing new there" know the answers, right?). Overall, some of the questions, while certainly good ones, exceed the "basis already established", so I think we'll have to gradually build our way toward them over time.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Well, you're the one who said the fascia tissues becomes more developed. Does that mean the fascia gets denser, stringier, tougher, more of it, etc. Unless you don't mean the actual fascia tissue but as a metaphor for something else? Certainly one can see tendons get 'ropey' and thicker but can one see fascia (without sugical methods)? Maybe you just mean the properties one attributes to the fascia become developed but any physical changes in the tissue is something else?

Mike Sigman
11-20-2009, 12:37 PM
Well, you're the one who said the fascia tissues becomes more developed. Does that mean the fascia gets denser, stringier, tougher, more of it, etc. Yes.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Rob Watson
11-20-2009, 02:28 PM
Yes.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Cool. And this is confirmed by autopsies of folks known to have IT/IP/IS, aiki? I'd very much like to know how to view the fascia without surgical means. I certainly can't see any of mine .. maybe I don't have enough IT/IP/IS, aiki to yet get pronounced protuberances of fascia.

Mike Sigman
11-20-2009, 02:42 PM
Cool. And this is confirmed by autopsies of folks known to have IT/IP/IS, aiki? I'd very much like to know how to view the fascia without surgical means. I certainly can't see any of mine .. maybe I don't have enough IT/IP/IS, aiki to yet get pronounced protuberances of fascia.???? No one said anything about autopsies. The skin becomes very difficult to lacerate and puncture and there are other phenomena that have to do with strength/power that are commonly demonstrated. It's pretty obvious that all these phenomena come with increased fascia characteristics. The point I was originally making was that one of the increases has to do with the "magnetic feeling" stuff, as mentioned earlier.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Rob Watson
11-20-2009, 06:26 PM
It's pretty obvious that all these phenomena come with increased fascia characteristics.

Obvious? There is a big difference between the properties associated with the activities attributed to fascia development through IT and the actual physical changes in the fascia tissue. Unless there is a way to obviously view the fascia tissue (besides cutting the body open and looking directly at it) then it is pretty much guess work. I suppose one could position the appropriate probes into the fascia to directly measure specifc properties and demonstrate IT guy has numbers significantly 'better' than joe blow.

I guess it comes down to if the fascia and knowledge of its properties/functions do not benefit ones ability to develop IT,IS,IP or aiki then why even mention it? If this knowledge does help then how are the properties of the fasica monitored to demonstrate specifc progress-I mean something besides "my aiki is better therefor my fascia must be more developed?

Mike Sigman
11-20-2009, 07:19 PM
Obvious? There is a big difference between the properties associated with the activities attributed to fascia development through IT and the actual physical changes in the fascia tissue. Unless there is a way to obviously view the fascia tissue (besides cutting the body open and looking directly at it) then it is pretty much guess work. This is why I avoided the topic. If you knew what I knew, I think you would agree that it is "obvious". It is demonstrable. It is fairly commonly demonstrated in a lot of CMA's. And so on. Some one who has no idea of the background and other factors is going to say, "It's not obvious to me". I don't have a problem with that. Go back to some of my posts in, what, 2004 and read them in light of what a lot of people now know experientially about "I.S." and you'll see the same sort of "well, we don't know that for sure" comments from people who are now "knowledgeable" in I.S. It becomes a fruitless argument, so I don't see any point in getting into laboratory and cadaver studies just for the sake of discussion. If you see my point. ;)

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Kevin Leavitt
11-20-2009, 07:34 PM
And does it really matter. If you saw what Mike can do then I don't think it really matters. At least to me it doesn't. If he says do this stuf cause it works. Then why is that not enough?

Mike Sigman
11-20-2009, 08:23 PM
And does it really matter. If you saw what Mike can do then I don't think it really matters. At least to me it doesn't. If he says do this stuf cause it works. Then why is that not enough?Well, thanks, Kevin, but I can be wrong. All I was really trying to say was that some of these explanations get impossible complex if we don't all have the same baseline from which to discuss. I don't mind arguing a point (because I realize I could be wrong and I want to learn by debate/exploration), but if we get too much into conversations with disparities in common background, they become fruitless. My mistake for not being more clear.

Best.

Mike

Kevin Leavitt
11-20-2009, 09:02 PM
I think we get too worried about the physics and physiology of the whole process vice focusing on endstates and simply figuring out uses and integration.

To me it is as simple as "hey that is cool, how'd you do that?"

Then it is looking at application.

Could careless personally about the microscopic stuff unless it helps in someway with the visualization or conceptual process of actually doing it.

Budd
11-21-2009, 10:52 AM
Well, it becomes something of a "game" too in that if I can prove via an assertion or trapping of your words that I can somehow be right and you wrong - then that gives me some sort of perceived authority in these discussions - even though in this instance, Internal Power Development methods *appears* like it should be cut and dried . .

Based on a PM I received, someone correctly pointed out that there's some details that we don't go into when comparing methods, because some of the goods are kept for our own . . and while I agree with that . . I also make note of Mike's point above in that if I try to explain exactly how I'm working on connecting my body from the inside out . . if you don't have that same baseline understanding or foot in the door . . you might agree with what I'm saying, but not because you understand what I mean -- conversely you might disagree for the same reason.

So it becomes a trick of 1) enabling the sharing of the same baseline knowledge and 2) speaking enough of a common language around "this stuff" to be on the same page.

I've found that until I get hands on with somebody, I really can't know for sure where they're coming from - especially having encountered enough disconnects (from myself and others) in "what we say vs. what we do" that the safest assumption is the base/core logic and leave the details for face to face.

Kevin Leavitt
11-21-2009, 02:06 PM
Budd wrote:

I've found that until I get hands on with somebody, I really can't know for sure where they're coming from - especially having encountered enough disconnects (from myself and others) in "what we say vs. what we do" that the safest assumption is the base/core logic and leave the details for face to face.

It always ocmes back to this doesn't it?

I agree, it wasn't until I came up to your dojo, what like 2 years ago??? wow time flies! that it made sense Budd, even then, it was hard to understand and conceptualize even with hands on.

So I wouldn't even try and figure it out on the web!

Rob Watson
11-22-2009, 01:00 AM
Go back to some of my posts in, what, 2004

This is too vague and besides the earliest post I can find is Feb 2005.

There is no doubt the fascia is interesting stuff and intimately involved on movement and the senses but the real question is does knowing about fascia help ones improvement in IP,IS, aiki, etc or not?

I found this to be particularly interesting http://www.fasciaresearch.com/InnervationExcerpt.pdf

My main point has been that there is no clear evidence that actual changes in the connective tissues are related to IT. Just how does one detect 'improvements' in the connective tissues with resorting to 'exotic' means like MRI etc? It may well be that IT does alter the connective tissues but how to prove it so?

Perhaps it is only our growing awareness of the sensory elements in the connective tissue matrix and skilled use of this new awareness. One does not need thicker, denser of stronger connective tissues to improve the awareness of the sensory properties?

I may know plenty about gravitation field and general relativity but it does not help me from falling down. In the same way knowledge of the connective tissue may not help ones IT one whit - so why bring it up?

Consider an IT drill that results in improved listening jin. If a connective tissue expert explains that those movements stimulate the Pacini corpuscles (pressure and vibration sensory elements) does that help in any way besides yet another reinforcement that one is on the right path? Maybe that added positive reinforcement is reason enough to make the effort to understand on a deeper level than 'Mike said so'.

If one does not have an interest beyond just doing the drills then there is no point in digging deeper. Some of us just look at things from a different angle.

eyrie
11-22-2009, 04:34 AM
May I gently suggest we all focus on the various methods - rather than cadavers and fascia - which is well beyond the scope of this discussion.

Or take it to a different thread please.

Kevin Leavitt
11-22-2009, 08:06 AM
Agree Ignatius.

Anyway my experiences with Cadavers is that they are really too stiff when doing IT exercises and need to learn to relax a little more.

That and there seems to be little or no difference between cadavers with developed fascia or undeveloped fascia...same result when you try and do a push test with them...so I don't think it has anything to do with fascia development with cadavers.

gregstec
11-22-2009, 08:53 AM
Budd wrote:

It always comes back to this doesn't it?

I agree, it wasn't until I came up to your dojo, what like 2 years ago??? wow time flies! that it made sense Budd, even then, it was hard to understand and conceptualize even with hands on.

So I wouldn't even try and figure it out on the web!

Yes, everything is relative and it is important to align your baseline of understanding with someone else's to even start to try to understand where they are coming from - and even in person, it can be difficult as well.

I just did a few hours at a Gleason seminar yesterday and he totally dissected katetori ikkyo into many facets with a focus on what internals make it work properly. From his explanations, I heard things that I clearly heard from my times with Mike, Dan, and the early Ki Society. However, Gleason put his own slant on it and the result was different, but the same as well.

So, as mentioned, if it is that difficult to try and understand it in person at a seminar with the hands on opportunity, it is impossible to get it from the web environment - it just won't happen.

Greg Steckel

bob_stra
11-22-2009, 09:23 AM
My main point has been that there is no clear evidence that actual changes in the connective tissues are related to IT. Just how does one detect 'improvements' in the connective tissues with resorting to 'exotic' means like MRI etc? It may well be that IT does alter the connective tissues but how to prove it so?


Not to further derail the thread, but it bears pointing out that
there *are* ways to test how much 'fascia' contributes to movement. One example are drop jumps. Typically, one gets the subject to do a series of drop jumps from different heights using different techniques, onto a force plate. The EMG profile allows one to identify neural, muscular and CT involvement whilst correlating it against force plate readings (never perfectly, but close enough to be able to say 'ok, you need more of X...whereas you need more of Y')

Sure, we're talking just legs in this example - so it's limited - but someone may be able to use the literature to come up with a nifty Master's thesis.

Mike Sigman
11-22-2009, 09:43 AM
My main point has been that there is no clear evidence that actual changes in the connective tissues are related to IT. Just how does one detect 'improvements' in the connective tissues with resorting to 'exotic' means like MRI etc? It may well be that IT does alter the connective tissues but how to prove it so?
See the chopstick anecdote I just posted on the "changed body" thread.

I'm reluctant to get to far off into some of these tangential discussions because no background has been established and if people are really curious they'll do a bit more research on their own. I've been trying over the last few years to show what I know (which is admittedly limited) to a reasonable number of people and some of those people are increasing their abilities fairly rapidly. And some of them now have fairly broad-spectrum knowledge, well beyond anything being discussed on AikiWeb.... they'll be the ones to ask questions to, soon enough. If you want some of this information that requires almost a show-and-tell venue, you'll need to get out and meet some of these people and get involved in the discussions and studies and practice. ;)

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Rob Watson
11-22-2009, 10:29 AM
The EMG profile allows one to identify neural, muscular and CT involvement whilst correlating it against force plate readings (never perfectly, but close enough to be able to say 'ok, you need more of X...whereas you need more of Y')

I would consider sticking needle probes into the body exotic methods.

Rob Watson
11-22-2009, 10:39 AM
See the chopstick anecdote I just posted on the "changed body" thread.

I'm reluctant to get to far off into some of these tangential discussions because no background has been established and if people are really curious they'll do a bit more research on their own. I've been trying over the last few years to show what I know (which is admittedly limited) to a reasonable number of people and some of those people are increasing their abilities fairly rapidly. And some of them now have fairly broad-spectrum knowledge, well beyond anything being discussed on AikiWeb.... they'll be the ones to ask questions to, soon enough. If you want some of this information that requires almost a show-and-tell venue, you'll need to get out and meet some of these people and get involved in the discussions and studies and practice. ;)

Regards,

Mike Sigman

I'm not disputing there is amazing stuff to be had in the pursuit of IT.

He had "changed" his body all over like this by years of doing a certain type of neigong.

Did he say this is because the neigongs change the fascia? I suspect there is more to the neigong than repeatedly ripping through chopsticks until one gets it right!

If knowledge of the fascia does not help in ones IT then why bring it up?

thisisnotreal
11-22-2009, 12:10 PM
Hi Robert,
Just a few thoughts:

it's all tissue.

even in naming muscles we give up at some point differentiating different 'structures' and just call it 'smooth muscle'.

it's all tissue; muscles...fascia...when specifically indicating you take them together you refer to myofascia. taking it 'apart' and talking about muscle, then fascia, bone, tendon, ligament. If you are hinted at towards changing the body; muscle being a big part of it; and fascia in turn being a big part of muscle...what's the problem in assuming that, for the time being? (i.e. suspect/subject to reevaluation later..but making it axiomatic at this point?)
all tissue. The bone is a tissue. I just saw a friends presentation at school referring to a paper discussing how bone grows stronger along the specific axis that the body needs it to. This i interpret to refer to the ground path going thru the bone. The point being that the specific vector which bears the weight gets preferentially 'treated' by the body. In that paper it also showed the anisotropic strength #'s for bone going thru different axes and even parallel but off-the-central longitudingal axis (i.e. in femur/etc).
(The following may not be true; but is a point of view:) As the bone is an 'extreme' kind of a living tissue (i.e. no voluntary effort lets you 'bend it', completely inflexible; and muscle is another kind of extreme tissue (i.e. completely responsive to voluntary (and involuntary) effort/intent and completely flexible...maybe fascia is somewhere in the middle of the road. I always try to remember; myofascia is how it it discussed in the 'west' and by osteopaths. *That* is the fundamental unit.
Anyhow; remember this post<: (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=242856&postcount=72)? What about that for a plausibility argument? Fascia can change; it can provide structural reinforcement; therefore it stands to reason it is plausible that this may be harnessed to change the body for the powers of positive development. I am sure there are better, more and more specific reasons to quote 'fascia'..but at this point the pragmatic person in me yields to the fact that (if I understand correctly:) Dan, Rob and Mike all think that that's involved. I know scientifically that is weak; but that is not the standard here; and no one is selling anything. It is about the current state of understanding. Like Bob pointed out; it is a master's thesis waiting to be explored. We will see it in our lifetimes I think.
Good Luck, sorry for the interruption (/ OT)
Josh

thisisnotreal
11-22-2009, 12:18 PM
shoot; I meant to add a p.s.

Mike; thanks for your answer in the other thread. It is really interesting. I always feel like i'm pulling teeth a little when I ask specific points so I won't burden you or anyone with more questions; but if you feel moved to write more on any of those points; just know that it is very interesting and surprisingly often...useful. (in some way). For instance; just practicing windings in the universal exercise.... is that an 'internal power development method'? It seems analogous/similar to the winding exercise Ashe showed? I have been playing with that for some time; and i feel sensitivity and control increasing up along the chain. fwiw.

thisisnotreal
11-22-2009, 12:58 PM
dang!
that came out wrong.
i always feel like i'm pulling teeth when i ask specific questions *of anybody* (not just you). I usually feel like the follow up questions are somewhat automatic and obvious ... and that people have gone as far as they wanted to (deliberately). Anyhow; i hope you understand that I don't want to be rude in my repeated asking towards you, Mike, or anyone in general. I choose to risk it sometimes because .. hey ... you never know. For instance Lorel's posts were great...and surprising..and I was glad I asked in that case.

Ok... enough!
Josh

bob_stra
11-22-2009, 01:31 PM
I would consider sticking needle probes into the body exotic methods.

:freaky:

*Surface* electrodes, Robert.

Anyway, you wanted a 'how'...so there you go. Ponder the literature, design the protocol, get the subjects....you should have the data you want in a year or three.

Or you could just...I dunno...be empirical about it. I mean, does the exact histology really matter...or can we focus on how to whack the bejesus out someone? :D

If all the classic sources says 'do this, because'...and guys in the know (who can evidence these skills) say 'yeah, do that, because'....maybe I'll save myself some time not reinventing the wheel

Rob Watson
11-22-2009, 01:34 PM
The bone is a tissue. I just saw a friends presentation at school referring to a paper discussing how bone grows stronger along the specific axis that the body needs it to.
Hi Josh,
This is a good example. One can use xrays to interrogate the bones and note how they respondsto specific training. One can also simply poke ones fingers into the flesh and directly feel the bones and note changes. Also one can flex the bones (a partner helps here) and note changes in that flexibility to indicate actual changes in the bones density or other properties.

In this way simple means to monitor the various properties of the bone can be used as indications of progress in specific training to guide ones activities. If one internal power development methods rely on developing the bones there is a direct method to verify progress by inspecting the bones. In addition one gets feedback in the application (which is the typical mode of feedback but this requires no knowledge of the changing bone state).

One is certainly able to guage progess by the specific functional means through application and does not need to know anything about bones or connective tissues.

That has been my point (directly on topic by the way) that unless there are specific ways to directly access the properties of the connective tissues one is simply left to rely on the functional aspects through application (the master says 'gee, your fajing is really coming along' as opposed to the connective tissue scientist says 'gee, these readings on the golgi tendon organs are really moving off the chart').

As has been said before when the eastern ways and western ways come together we get the best of both worlds.

Rob Watson
11-22-2009, 01:41 PM
:freaky:

*Surface* electrodes, Robert.

Anyway, you wanted a 'how'...so there you go. Ponder the literature, design the protocol, get the subjects....you should have the data you want in a year or three.

Or you could just...I dunno...be empirical about it.

Needles, surface electrode, SQUIDS, etc hooked up to fancy electronic monitors needing expert interpretation of the signals is still exotic means in my book.

If the transducer picks up signal from the 'wrong' tissue source then it does not help much - that is why the needle electrodes are stick directly into the muscle fibers under investigation. Of course more advanced methods using SQUIDS and FFT help isolate the complex signals so fast twitch and slow twitch (for example) responses can be isolated. Still pretty exotic means unless ones does IT strapped into such gear. Might not be such a bad idea ...

Rob Watson
11-22-2009, 01:47 PM
If all the classic sources says 'do this, because'...and guys in the know (who can evidence these skills) say 'yeah, do that, because'....maybe I'll save myself some time not reinventing the wheel

If the wheel is square then maybe some reinventing is called for despite what all the venerable masters have to say about the matter.

Some may say 'yeah, that is one way to do it but here is a much better way' and out comes the round wheel and then only those from the preservation society prefer the square wheel 'just because that is the tradition'.

It really comes down to exactly what follows 'because ...' and not just because.

bob_stra
11-22-2009, 02:03 PM
Needles, surface electrode, SQUIDS, etc hooked up to fancy electronic monitors needing expert interpretation of the signals is still exotic means in my book.


Yeah, but so what? Your 'we can use X-rays' comment to Josh has the same issue (meanwhile - 'poking into bones to test their density' for you and SQUIDS for me? Hmmm)

:shrugs:

More to the point: review the literature and you'll see that surface electrodes are (generally) used for this stuff - with good reason. Not fine needle etc. So 'invasive' is out.

My comment is - the 'how' and the 'why' are out there...if one were so inclined to adapt it to this purpose (testing IS specific adaptations).

Some may say 'yeah, that is one way to do it but here is a much better way' and out comes the round wheel and then only those from the preservation society prefer the square wheel 'just because that is the tradition'.

It really comes down to exactly what follows 'because ...' and not just because.



Sorry, I came into this thread pretty much at your comment re: testing. Maybe I missed the back story, so am not getting the disconnect

I'm presuming you get the logic of how CT is an augment to power and why developing the CT elements would be important?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaVXhqRhsC0&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxxebP0u31g

Mike Sigman
11-22-2009, 04:03 PM
If knowledge of the fascia does not help in ones IT then why bring it up?"Knowledge of the fascia" wasn't brought up by me as a point. "Fascia" was mentioned as a comment/statement. If you want to pursue the topic in depth, I encourage you to do so.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Rob Watson
11-22-2009, 05:17 PM
It might be worth your time to read "Energy Medicine" by James L. Oschman. As Cheuk Fong mentions, there is a "field effect", meaning something in the electromagnetic spectrum, not specifically a magnetic field. I agree; there's something like that. Oschman's book gives notes and references on measurements, experiments, etc., about these effects as they have been studied in the West for, what, around a 100 years. He also discusses the relationship of these effects to the fascial tissues of the body.

Traditionally, as someone's "qi" skills (in the I.S. area) increase, the related fascia tissues increase in development, etc., so it would be reasonable to expect some growth of the "magnetic feeling" effect, and in fact many traditional teachers all for that in evaluating someone's progress. Is it something other than a noticeable phenomenon? I personally don't think you can meditate on it and become one of the X-Men and most CMA experts I know don't treat it as more than an odd phenomenon, either. But there's something there that is interesting to observe (without dwelling on it).

FWIW

Mike Sigman

"Knowledge of the fascia" wasn't brought up by me as a point. "Fascia" was mentioned as a comment/statement. If you want to pursue the topic in depth, I encourage you to do so.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

I was responding to the first post quoted. In particular

Traditionally, as someone's "qi" skills (in the I.S. area) increase, the related fascia tissues increase in development, etc., so it would be reasonable to expect some growth of the "magnetic feeling" effect, and in fact many traditional teachers all for that in evaluating someone's progress. Is it something other than a noticeable phenomenon? I personally don't think you can meditate on it and become one of the X-Men and most CMA experts I know don't treat it as more than an odd phenomenon, either. But there's something there that is interesting to observe (without dwelling on it).

FWIW

Mike Sigman

I was interested in nailing down the "qi skills increase" to "fascia tissue increase" link. If there is a demonstrable link then it stands that an apparatus that specifically stimulates the tissues may lead to more rapid effects than traditional methods alone (this may be a bad thing).

As a not too removed example if one cannot perform a chin up then knowing exactly which muscles are involved in the chin up one can perform isolation or targeted weight training to build up those muscles until a chin up can be done. Then it is likely a combination of continued isolation training as well as chin ups will result in further progress. Certainly there are other ways to get at performing chin ups ...

I recall the 'biography' of Bruce Lee in which he uses electrified contraptions to take his training to the next level. Something along those lines is where I'm headed (as soon as the life insurance gets settled).

Mike Sigman
11-22-2009, 05:42 PM
I was interested in nailing down the "qi skills increase" to "fascia tissue increase" link. If there is a demonstrable link then it stands that an apparatus that specifically stimulates the tissues may lead to more rapid effects than traditional methods alone (this may be a bad thing).

Yes, there are a few mechanisms that do that; they're all more or less related. I mentioned (in a general way) how to do one in a post I made on Aikido Journal a couple of years ago. It's not very complete, but it's not a bad start.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

eyrie
11-22-2009, 07:09 PM
Robert,

I'm going to be blunt. Please start your own thread and refrain from hijacking this thread any further.

eyrie
11-22-2009, 07:11 PM
"Knowledge of the fascia" wasn't brought up by me as a point. "Fascia" was mentioned as a comment/statement. If you want to pursue the topic in depth, I encourage you to do so. By all means, do so in ANOTHER thread please. :)

Mike Sigman
11-22-2009, 07:20 PM
Good point, Ignatius. And I started to, but then I thought about it... this IS an internal power development method. ;)

http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=3838

Sometimes the back and forth in threads leads to relevant ideas. ;)

Best.

Mike

bob_stra
11-22-2009, 11:20 PM
Oh, let's bug the aikipolice Ignatius some more (Hi Ignatius) :p


My main point has been that there is no clear evidence that actual changes in the connective tissues are related to IT.


These are commonly cited 'proofs'

http://www.neijia.com/ICEPICK1.JPG
http://www.neijia.com/ICEPICK2.JPG

http://inlinethumb62.webshots.com/17149/2987394870104237032S600x600Q85.jpg

I'm sure there are others.


Just how does one detect 'improvements' in the connective tissues with resorting to 'exotic' means like MRI etc? It may well be that IT does alter the connective tissues but how to prove it so?


Well, you could be pragmatic about it - insert hook, add weight, watch results - or you could see/test how much CT contributes to the force of an action by the means I outlined. Hell, you might even be able to use ultrasound for a look see. These things are *not* exotic - if you want to talk exotic, let's talk real time fluroscopy, DEXA, SQUID etc.

My point is - if you wanted to (badly enough) you *could* image this stuff (with varying degrees of invasiveness) to settle the matter. Population X does IS exercise for 6 months, population Y doesn't. Test and compare. End of argument. Comments about 'exotic' don't come into it.

OTOH, if you're satisfied by the 'poke a bone, feel it's harder' logic you used before, then I'm sure there are other, rougher indicators.

(The magnetic thing is interesting; that probably deserves some lab time from someone)


In the same way knowledge of the connective tissue may not help ones IT one whit - so why bring it up?


Well, M2c...if you know the tissue at hand...and you know the way it generally responds and acts...then it speaks towards a particular type of training. OTOH, if you think something else is responsible, then you do something else.

The various methods for developing IS relevant CT (breathing, stretching, tapotment, hanging weights, 'plyometrics' etc) seem in line with that.

I could be wrong though - we're all here to learn. Do you have some other ideas?

eyrie
11-23-2009, 03:42 AM
Good point, Ignatius. And I started to, but then I thought about it... this IS an internal power development method. Fair enough.

The fact is, breath work is a significant contributor to overall IS development. Whether the fascia gets worked and strengthened as a result is by-the-by.

If people want to get into the nitty gritty, then perhaps a relevant point of discussion might be the differences (or similarities) in the various breath methods themselves.

Gernot Hassenpflug
11-23-2009, 06:30 AM
The fact is, breath work is a significant contributor to overall IS development. Whether the fascia gets worked and strengthened as a result is by-the-by.

Ignatius, do I understand what you are stating here when I rephrase like so: breath work does two things; a) it helps coordinate disparate parts of the body to work together in a connected whole (including effective relaxation), and b) strengthens various parts of the body, including the fascia. And that in your statement you are emphasizing the former point?
I would in addition say that there are important aspects that breath alone can not help with in relation to IS (let along martial application of such), as illustrated perhaps by the story of Koichi Tohei toppling over monks sitting in zazen.
Regards, Gernot

Mike Sigman
11-23-2009, 07:26 AM
The fact is, breath work is a significant contributor to overall IS development. Whether the fascia gets worked and strengthened as a result is by-the-by.

If people want to get into the nitty gritty, then perhaps a relevant point of discussion might be the differences (or similarities) in the various breath methods themselves.Aye and there's the rub. The "fascia" and the jin/kokyu are interdependent, but they work as a whole in the full banana. In the not-so-full banana breath is just a conditioner of fascia and fascia is an adjunct to the the process (including dantien/hara usage). So 'various breath methods' won't really tell the story by itself, but you don't really get full internal power without practicing correct breath methods. And they take a while to show results.

FWIW

Mike

Rob Watson
11-23-2009, 07:20 PM
The fact is, breath work is a significant contributor to overall IS development. Whether the fascia gets worked and strengthened as a result is by-the-by.

So 'various breath methods' won't really tell the story by itself, but you don't really get full internal power without practicing correct breath methods.

Correct breath methods alone can produce the desired results (of correct breath work) without any need to mention the fascia. If not then what does one need to know about the fascia (or other connective tissues) to be more 'correct' and realize results (better or faster, etc)?

Gernot Hassenpflug
11-23-2009, 07:38 PM
Correct breath methods alone can produce the desired results (of correct breath work) without any need to mention the fascia. If not then what does one need to know about the fascia (or other connective tissues) to be more 'correct' and realize results (better or faster, etc)?I think it's related to the images used, and the development of intent. I'm guessing here, but perhaps the more detailed self-awareness one has, the more effective one's intent becomes in harnessing all available physical resources.
Regards, Gernot

Mike Sigman
11-23-2009, 07:55 PM
I think it's related to the images used, and the development of intent. Nah. As one teacher of mine said about a I.S. skill related to breathing that he showed, "Many people would say it is qi... but really it is just that the human body can be conditioned more than most people think". Breathing exercises are like biceps exercises in that they're deliberate exercises of certain parts of the body. The problem is that someone has to show you how to access the "qi" to develop it. And a lot of people get bits and pieces and think that they know. ;)

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Budd
11-23-2009, 08:51 PM
Correct breath methods alone can produce the desired results (of correct breath work) without any need to mention the fascia.

Pursuant to Internal Power Development Methods, what would you say are the desired results that can be achievable by correct breath work? What would you describe as correct breath work? I'm asking because I'm very curious how you can assert something so definitively, when lots of posts keep mentioning how important it is to train the connective tissue.

If not then what does one need to know about the fascia (or other connective tissues) to be more 'correct' and realize results (better or faster, etc)?

Maybe there's a very telling reason why connective tissue, fascia, etc. keep getting mentioned as parts to condition, along with breath, etc. . . and the answers you've been given should be enough to get you started looking in the right direction.

I think there's more meat in discussions of "how" you condition the connective tissue -- which have already been touched on somewhat with talk of "held tensions", "postures", "stretching" in conjunction with breathwork . . in addition to the importance of not using local muscles . . so if you aren't using local muscle then how are you moving? Ki/Qi? How are you manifesting that, then?

Rob Watson
11-23-2009, 09:34 PM
I'm asking because I'm very curious how you can assert something so definitively, when lots of posts keep mentioning how important it is to train the connective tissue.

Ah, poor phrasing on my part! I posed the phrase that way more to direct attention to the following question (in my previous post). I defer to Mike Sigman, Dan Harden et al as to what constitutes correct methods and expected results. The only real skills I have are critical thinking and general curmudgeoness.

I like Mike Sigmans post about the biceps ... the presumed logic is correct breathing to build up the desirable properties and structure of the fascia (connective tissues) at first locally and then out towards the limbs and the rest of the body. This enhanced connective tissue then aids in whole body movement (directed by the center) as well as the various 'listening abilities' thereby realizing IS, IP, aiki, etc ... or something like that.

Contrast that logic with correct breathing to build up whole body movement (directed by the center) as well as the various 'listening abilities' thereby realizing IS, IP, aiki, etc ... or something like that. No need for mention of connective tissue.

I'm not saying the connective tissue is not involved or required or the main 'source' of these abilities ... just that mentioning the connective tissues seem to be a diversion/distraction unless much more technical understanding about the components and functions of the connective tissues vis-a-vis IT is made much more plain. Honestly, if the muscles and nerves can't do the task (aiki) then there has to be something else and there isn't much left besides the connective tissues! I just prefer not to argue by inference.

Rob Watson
11-23-2009, 09:46 PM
Maybe there's a very telling reason why connective tissue, fascia, etc. keep getting mentioned as parts to condition, along with breath, etc. . . and the answers you've been given should be enough to get you started looking in the right direction.

I think there's more meat in discussions of "how" you condition the connective tissue -- which have already been touched on somewhat with talk of "held tensions", "postures", "stretching" in conjunction with breathwork . . in addition to the importance of not using local muscles . . so if you aren't using local muscle then how are you moving? Ki/Qi? How are you manifesting that, then?

So far the only reason I can be certain of the role of connective tissues is the 'muscle/tendon changing classic' aka Yi Jin Jing and that tendon does not mean just tendons but generically connective tissues being generally considered a primary source for the whole IT business. That is why it keeps getting mentioned - becasue it is brought up in Yi Jin Jing ... the classic appeal to authority!

I'm looking for more reasons that can be supported by technical, scientific and medical means because that is the way I roll. As some consider this type of thinking a diversion or a distraction I apologize for the thread hijack. I've made my piece as clear as I'm able and I'll not disturb this thread anymore.

eyrie
11-24-2009, 04:35 AM
Aye and there's the rub. The "fascia" and the jin/kokyu are interdependent, but they work as a whole in the full banana. In the not-so-full banana breath is just a conditioner of fascia and fascia is an adjunct to the the process (including dantien/hara usage). So 'various breath methods' won't really tell the story by itself, but you don't really get full internal power without practicing correct breath methods. And they take a while to show results. OK. Then let's define "correct" breathing methods. What makes a method "correct"? What's the difference between said correct method and someone doing, say sanchin and/or tensho from a Goju-ryu tradition (as an example)?

Mike Sigman
11-24-2009, 09:07 AM
OK. Then let's define "correct" breathing methods. What makes a method "correct"? What's the difference between said correct method and someone doing, say sanchin and/or tensho from a Goju-ryu tradition (as an example)?That's a good point, Ignatius. Bear in mind that there are a number of approaches to breathing methods by different styles, each of which thinks that it has hit on the *best* way to do breathing exercises. There are also considerations about how to do them so that no physical damage accrues from hypertension, etc., in too-exuberant practitioners. Notice Tohei's methods are of the extremely soft variety, even though he's not very forthcoming on the intricacies of the practices.

What's the correct way? Again, pretend that the fascia is a muscle like the bicep; what's the "correct" way to exercise it so that the muscle becomes strongest? Isolate it and work it in a way that gives the fibers the best incentive to become stronger and with endurance.

This is a discussion that probably belongs on QiJin, BTW. I don't think the background for the discussion has been established on AikiWeb or its archives, so to have a fruitful public discussion would require extensive discussion of background material first. Pretty arduous.

Best.

Mike

eyrie
11-24-2009, 04:56 PM
Bear in mind that there are a number of approaches to breathing methods by different styles, each of which thinks that it has hit on the *best* way to do breathing exercises. I guess the question is - what is the "optimal" method for Aikidoka who are interested in pursuing this avenue, and how to approach it. Particularly, if one's teacher (e.g. you mentioned Tohei) isn't being explicit on the intricacies and details. Or would one be better off pursuing other avenues, such as sanchin with Ushiro (again, for example)?

This is a discussion that probably belongs on QiJin, BTW. I don't think the background for the discussion has been established on AikiWeb or its archives, so to have a fruitful public discussion would require extensive discussion of background material first. You're probably right. A fruitful in-depth discussion? It's only taken 353 posts to get to this point, and we haven't even touched the periphery yet!

Alfonso
11-24-2009, 06:00 PM
Hi Ignatius,

Fwiw the first kind of specific instructions on breathing (and the last) were to inhale into the tanden , allow it to relax and fill out while not allowing the chest to rise. I didnt learn the term "natural breathing" until later, outside of the dojo.

One emphasis was on relaxing the abdomen and noticing how this affected the tightness on my shoulders. Another point was to not exhale forcefully just to let the air escape and then fill out again.

During aikido waza I was also taught to inhale while receiving the attack and to exhale while projecting or pinning . This was to be done gently and practice was paced to be at a comfortable level for beginners.

This training was something I remember clearly as a beginner in the beginner classes. A few months later I was already more interested in learning the "techniques" but I was always supposed to keep this in mind and train accordingly.

This is what I remember from 10yrs ago.

This is one method , i think some people will probably be familiar with this.

The strange thing for me is that I think kokyu-dosa is a different method

eyrie
11-24-2009, 06:16 PM
Sure Alfonso, but is it "optimal".... or just what everyone starts out learning?

Mike Sigman
11-24-2009, 06:20 PM
I guess the question is - what is the "optimal" method for Aikidoka who are interested in pursuing this avenue, and how to approach it. Particularly, if one's teacher (e.g. you mentioned Tohei) isn't being explicit on the intricacies and details. Or would one be better off pursuing other avenues, such as sanchin with Ushiro (again, for example)?Well, I realize that people like Ushiro, Dan, and some others may see an "All Roads Lead to Rome" scenario, but I don't. Neither does Tohei and neither did Ueshiba... there are choices and some of those choices lead in somewhat different directions, even if all of those directions can have some aspects of legitimate "aiki" usage. If any way of training would do it, they wouldn't have specified certain tenets.

As I commented earlier in this thread, "Aiki" as a usage of intent and kokyu skill is not all that hard to do; the whole-body training is a bigger subject than just "aiki".

I'm not saying any particular approach is "wrong" per se. In my opinion some skills, no matter how developed, are better than no skills. However, if someone wants to replicate Ueshiba's skills in Aikido, I think some attention has to be paid to exactly what he did and how he trained. Otherwise you can wind up doing a "hard-style muscle-jin imitation of what Ueshiba was doing" while thinking that you're doing pure "Aiki"-do.

Tohei spent a lot of time up close trying to replicate Aikido as Ueshiba did it, so Tohei's intellectual and physical understanding of Ueshiba's approach to the ki-skills is probably more valid than most peoples'. The problems with Tohei's descriptions though are twofold, in my opinion: (1.) Tohei didn't fully have all of Ueshiba's skills (IMO) and (2.) Tohei's explication of how to train the skills wasn't very complete.

Still, Tohei's general exposition of how to attain Aikido Approved I.S. Skills (tm) had to receive general approbation from Ueshiba or Tohei couldn't have gotten the seal of approval for "This is Aikido".

Tohei's approach can be seen in that 5-part set of videos on YouTube and you can see that it looks nothing like Sanchin. Personally, I could probably use Sanchin as an example and still edge the topic/training around to Ueshiba-like skills, but that has little to do with the choreography of Sanchin... it would involve more of a "here's the basic principles and here's some of the variations" approach. BTW.... remember that "SanChin" translates as something along the lines of "Three Antagonisms": that refers almost certainly to the Three Contradictions or, in other words, Six Directions training.

Another thing to think of: Ueshiba did a lot of private, solo training. He used super-heavy garden implements, weapons, various forms of Aiki Taiso, and so on. Plus he used various breath techniques.

And a last thing to think of: It's unclear how much of the complete hara/dantien usage that Ueshiba had. My opinion of what he knew has grown over the last 4-5 years.

So, what's the optimal training method? I have a general idea that encompasses some "I think Ueshiba may have also had skill "X" that I have to consider, so I'd have to sit down and maybe write out a list. I haven't formulated such a list yet, but I guess I could do it. The problem is that to write it out on AikiWeb would mean that I'd get caught in a morass of explanations in order to explain what some terms, etc., mean to a readership most of whom have no background or common-baseline of terminology. Wouldn't this be easier to do on a forum like QiJin where the baseline is established in the archives and there are a number of people from Aikido who can chip in to the conversation? ;)

Best.

Mike

eyrie
11-24-2009, 06:45 PM
Wouldn't this be easier to do on a forum like QiJin where the baseline is established in the archives and there are a number of people from Aikido who can chip in to the conversation? Done. I think this thread has pretty much run its course.

DH
11-25-2009, 02:01 PM
Well, I realize that people like Ushiro, Dan, and some others may see an "All Roads Lead to Rome" scenario, but I don't.
Mike
You "realize" nothing, and the “view” your erroneously attribute to me is the exact opposite of what I have repeatedly gone on record as saying. There is nothing you can offer to support your opinion either.
From what I know of Ueshiro he doesn't agree with that view either and is quite pointed about differences he sees as well.
This fits in with the pattern of intentional disinformation you spread on public forums just to get a reaction, as you admitted doing publicly on Neijia and E-budo.
Dan

Mike Sigman
11-25-2009, 02:14 PM
You "realize" nothing, and the "view" your erroneously attribute to me is the exact opposite of what I have repeatedly gone on record as saying. There is nothing you can offer to support your opinion either.
From what I know of Ueshiro he doesn't agree with that view either and is quite pointed about differences he sees as well.
This fits in with the pattern of intentional disinformation you spread on public forums just to get a reaction, as you admitted doing publicly on Neijia and E-budo.
DanHmmmm... see your own posts about how different approaches don't mean much, Dan, in relation to "Aiki". You're on record as dismissing posts I've made in relation to people understanding that there are differences.

Similarly, Ushiro openly teaches the kokyu-development methods of karate as being indistinguishable in the sense that it's all kokyu.

Your own posts are archived on this forum, BTW. If you want to caveat something you've said, please clarify/caveat without getting off into the personal attacks. If you don't believe you said those things, tell me and I'll do the search to bring them up (they're there). Everytime you've asked for sourcing of something you've said, I've given it; you have yet to respond to one demand for sourcing of things you've attributed to me. I.e., I don't mind digging up your statements (you made them more than once), but given your own lack of sourcing, let's reach an agreement about how to do a fair and logical discussion; one which doesn't always stoop to making some sort of personal remark.

Mike Sigman

Marc Abrams
11-25-2009, 03:07 PM
Similarly, Ushiro openly teaches the kokyu-development methods of karate as being indistinguishable in the sense that it's all kokyu.

Mike Sigman

Mike:

Exactly what are you basing this statement on? To the best of my knowledge, you have only observed him teaching at the Boulder Camp. Maybe you have seen some of his DVD's. This statement seems to me to be you jumping to conclusions based upon insignificant and inadequate information. As self-assumed, Master Debater that you present yourself out to be, I am ashamed of you for engaging in such shoddy reasoning used in a debate.

For the record, your statement listed above is erroneous.

Regards,

Marc Abrams

Mike Sigman
11-25-2009, 03:14 PM
Exactly what are you basing this statement on? To the best of my knowledge, you have only observed him teaching at the Boulder Camp. Maybe you have seen some of his DVD's. This statement seems to me to be you jumping to conclusions based upon insignificant and inadequate information. As self-assumed, Master Debater that you present yourself out to be, I am ashamed of you for engaging in such shoddy reasoning used in a debate.

For the record, your statement listed above is erroneous.
Hi Mark:

Let's leave the comments about me personally out of the posts, shall we?

I stand by what I said and I've had discussions about the topic with members of Ikeda's dojo. If you want to explain why there's a mistake or overlap in understanding, please do so. This constant shift to personal attack (it's called "ad hominem") is disgusting.

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
11-25-2009, 03:28 PM
For the record, your statement listed above is erroneous.
BTW, Mark.... if Ushiro is teaching kokyu via Sanchin kata to Aikidoka, can you explain why the type of power developed is the same, for instance, as the "soft" methods that Tohei uses in his style and that Ueshiba espoused? That might be a better approach to your argument than anything else.

Do you understand why the kokyu developed in Sanchin is different from the kokyu developed in, say, Tohei's approach? Incidentally, this relates to some earlier comments I made about the different approaches to internal strength, particularly in a discussion about "teachers" teaching too soon what they themselves are just beginning to study.

Mike Sigman

Marc Abrams
11-25-2009, 03:50 PM
Hi Mark:

Let's leave the comments about me personally out of the posts, shall we?

I stand by what I said and I've had discussions about the topic with members of Ikeda's dojo. If you want to explain why there's a mistake or overlap in understanding, please do so. This constant shift to personal attack (it's called "ad hominem") is disgusting.

Mike Sigman

Mike:

I was not aware that any of the students from that dojo are direct students of Ushiro Sensei. So you would like to stand behind your statement because you have had conversations with people from that dojo? You said: "Similarly, Ushiro openly teaches the kokyu-development methods of karate as being indistinguishable in the sense that it's all kokyu."

I said that this statement is simply erroneous. What Ushiro Sensei teaches is not all kokyu, nor is what he does indistinguishable in that it is all kokyu. I frankly think that coming to conclusions based upon inadequate information to be disgusting.

You would like me to to now try and explain how you are wrong. You typically respond to direct inquiry from others about how do to things and how to gain a deeper understanding of things in a cagey manner without giving away details. Here is a good start for you. Kokyu is only one part of a foundational package.

Marc Abrams

Mike Sigman
11-25-2009, 04:06 PM
I said that this statement is simply erroneous. What Ushiro Sensei teaches is not all kokyu, nor is what he does indistinguishable in that it is all kokyu. OK, so Ushiro's much repeated comment and demonstrations and teachings involving "no kokyu, no Aikido" were meant to mean something else? I've just checked with some people who have been to a number of Ushiro's workshops (or classes where he taught) and I don't think anyone has a real quarrel with my comment except you. You, of course, now are in the position of calling Ushiro a personal teacher of yours and I don't want to get into a discussion where only a True Acolyte (tm) is permitted to discuss a teacher. So I pass. You would like me to to now try and explain how you are wrong. You typically respond to direct inquiry from others about how do to things and how to gain a deeper understanding of things in a cagey manner without giving away details. Here is a good start for you. Kokyu is only one part of a foundational package.Check the archives, Mark. I've posted more explanations, definitions, pictures with line drawings, etc., than anyone ever on this forum. What I refuse to do is to go into discussions that require at least a basic understanding of the process; hence, my informational posts have been restricted to what I thought might help people get started. And you know what? While those many posts of mine have helped academically for people to understand some of the processes, I haven't seen where it functionally did more than that, when some of these people came to workshops and showed what they could already do. I.e., there's a limit to what you can tell beginners.

On the other hand, I'm not a beginner. You are. I can follow any explanation you have to offer. I asked you to explain about Sanchin (which I practiced in Uechi Ryu karate) and, as an example, Tohei's training. If you can't explain it, you can't. Either explain it or say you can't. If you don't know the answer and we have the fact that Ushiro teaches Sanchin to Aikido people, then try to find some other factual (no ad hominem) method to approach the problem. If not, it appears that you just made a set of posts with no bearing to the discussion of the thread.

Mike Sigman

Marc Abrams
11-25-2009, 05:25 PM
OK, so Ushiro's much repeated comment and demonstrations and teachings involving "no kokyu, no Aikido" were meant to mean something else? I've just checked with some people who have been to a number of Ushiro's workshops (or classes where he taught) and I don't think anyone has a real quarrel with my comment except you. You, of course, now are in the position of calling Ushiro a personal teacher of yours and I don't want to get into a discussion where only a True Acolyte (tm) is permitted to discuss a teacher. So I pass. Check the archives, Mark. I've posted more explanations, definitions, pictures with line drawings, etc., than anyone ever on this forum. What I refuse to do is to go into discussions that require at least a basic understanding of the process; hence, my informational posts have been restricted to what I thought might help people get started. And you know what? While those many posts of mine have helped academically for people to understand some of the processes, I haven't seen where it functionally did more than that, when some of these people came to workshops and showed what they could already do. I.e., there's a limit to what you can tell beginners.

On the other hand, I'm not a beginner. You are. I can follow any explanation you have to offer. I asked you to explain about Sanchin (which I practiced in Uechi Ryu karate) and, as an example, Tohei's training. If you can't explain it, you can't. Either explain it or say you can't. If you don't know the answer and we have the fact that Ushiro teaches Sanchin to Aikido people, then try to find some other factual (no ad hominem) method to approach the problem. If not, it appears that you just made a set of posts with no bearing to the discussion of the thread.

Mike Sigman

Mike:

Sorry, I had to teach a children's class and could not expound on what I wrote earlier.

OK, so Ushiro's much repeated comment and demonstrations and teachings involving "no kokyu, no Aikido" were meant to mean something else? Mike Sigman

"No kokyu, no Aikido" and you would like to equate that as equaling Ushiro Sensei's Karate? Sorry, but apples and oranges kind of comparison.

You, of course, now are in the position of calling Ushiro a personal teacher of yours and I don't want to get into a discussion where only a True Acolyte (tm) is permitted to discuss a teacher. Mike Sigman

Where do you come to that conclusion? To use your own words: "it's called "ad hominem." It was you, not me, who was making definitive statements about Ushiro Sensei and his karate. I just simply called you out as wrong. Nothing has changed there.

Yes you have provided fruitful information to people. You have also chosen to play cagey and secretive as well.

On to some of your lines of thought:
1) Tohei's breathing exercises are very different than the ones used by Ushiro Sensei. I can say from experience (practicing both), that they do different things.
2) You talk about Tohei's soft power and you talk about Ushiro Sensei's hard power. I would not describe Ushiro Sensei (nor would he) as using hard power. Are you referring to his concept of explosive power? The larger issue is that you can have wonderful kokyu skills and be totally ineffective in a fighting situation without some explosive power skills.
3) You talk about Sanchin kata and kokyu power. Ushiro Sensei taught Sanchin kata as a means of developing some genuine softness and kokyu skills with the Aikidoka present. Sanchin Kata (the way that he teaches it) involves a lot more than that. It helps to lay the foundations for developing explosive power. It helps to develop the ability to neutralize the attacker through the establishment of an in-yo relationship between the two people. It involves some other aspects as well. His Sanchin kata is done very differently than the way that it is done in Uechi Ryu karate.


On the other hand, I'm not a beginner. You are. I can follow any explanation you have to offer. I asked you to explain about Sanchin (which I practiced in Uechi Ryu karate) and, as an example, Tohei's training. If you can't explain it, you can't. Either explain it or say you can't. If you don't know the answer and we have the fact that Ushiro teaches Sanchin to Aikido people, then try to find some other factual (no ad hominem) method to approach the problem. If not, it appears that you just made a set of posts with no bearing to the discussion of the thread.

Mike Sigman

This would not be another example of you engaging in an ad hominem attack would it? You made an erroneous assumption again. I simply had to teach a class.

Frankly speaking, regardless of the levels that I have or do achieve, I will always consider myself a beginner. The day that I begin to sound like you do at times, I will be ashamed of myself for such arrogance.

Again, the comparison with Tohei Sensei and Ushiro Sensei are not all that useful in my opinion.

In conclusion, you made a statement regarding Ushiro Sensei that I know is simply erroneous. You have attempted to try get me "prove things" according to your standards and tests in order to try and justify your statement as somehow being right. It isn't, and your "tests" will not change that fact.

If you would like some more detailed explanations of the limited understanding that I do have, then I have no problem doing so in a PM format. That comes with the basic respect and humility that both of us need to extend to the other as people who are sincere in their pursuits of their chosen arts. I frankly do not have to prove anything to you to prove you right or wrong, or myself right or wrong.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Marc Abrams

eyrie
11-25-2009, 06:07 PM
Apart from the fact that Sanchin is a southern chinese White Crane method, and a passing familiarity with the basic choreography, I don't know much else about Sanchin, or how it might be different/similar in kokyu terms, much less if it would be incompatible with Aikido kokyu. I only mentioned Sanchin as another example of a kiko/qigong method - and not to start a fight. ;)

Mike Sigman
11-25-2009, 06:30 PM
[[snip]]
On to some of your lines of thought:
1) Tohei's breathing exercises are very different than the ones used by Ushiro Sensei. I can say from experience (practicing both), that they do different things. Yet I see them as just being different halves of the same apple. Same basic principle, except for one critical area.
2) You talk about Tohei's soft power and you talk about Ushiro Sensei's hard power. I would not describe Ushiro Sensei (nor would he) as using hard power. Are you referring to his concept of explosive power? The larger issue is that you can have wonderful kokyu skills and be totally ineffective in a fighting situation without some explosive power skills. Well, are we talking about Aikido or Karate? I've pretty much seen/felt the gamut of 'explosive power' and I think it's a separate issue from internal power development as a whole... it's more of a tangent. Besides, if you want to hold up explosive power as an example of what to have, I don't think Ushiro shows what I would call the top example of it, so let's put that one aside. I'll be happy to see what you know about explosive power sometime, as a separate discussion.
3) You talk about Sanchin kata and kokyu power. Ushiro Sensei taught Sanchin kata as a means of developing some genuine softness and kokyu skills with the Aikidoka present. Sanchin Kata (the way that he teaches it) involves a lot more than that. It helps to lay the foundations for developing explosive power. It helps to develop the ability to neutralize the attacker through the establishment of an in-yo relationship between the two people. It involves some other aspects as well. His Sanchin kata is done very differently than the way that it is done in Uechi Ryu karate. Well, I can't see a real reason to get into what Sanchin is with you, in that regard. The basic principles are the same, even though Uechi Ryu seems to have strayed from the original. Tell you what, here's a good site for you to see more of what the original San Zhan kata looks like in a village and surroundings that propagate what things really look like:

http://www.yongchunbaihechuen.com/videos.html

If you have some knowledge of Sanchin/san-zhan at a deeper level than "my teacher does it this way", give me an idea in p.m. and let's see if we can find common ground.


Frankly speaking, regardless of the levels that I have or do achieve, I will always consider myself a beginner. The day that I begin to sound like you do at times, I will be ashamed of myself for such arrogance. Forget the p.m. I'm not the one that keeps going to personal attacks.
Again, the comparison with Tohei Sensei and Ushiro Sensei are not all that useful in my opinion. You're entitled to keep your opinions. I deal more with why and how.
In conclusion, you made a statement regarding Ushiro Sensei that I know is simply erroneous. You have attempted to try get me "prove things" according to your standards and tests in order to try and justify your statement as somehow being right. It isn't, and your "tests" will not change that fact.

If you would like some more detailed explanations of the limited understanding that I do have, then I have no problem doing so in a PM format. That comes with the basic respect and humility that both of us need to extend to the other as people who are sincere in their pursuits of their chosen arts. I frankly do not have to prove anything to you to prove you right or wrong, or myself right or wrong.
I sometimes think that one of my mistakes is not to claim ranks, teachers, or status, but to try to force conversations to facts. Most people in martial-arts are not serious, though, so I accept that there will always be contention with most people in martial arts who are into the "who I am" stuff. And people who don't play the games are going to be pressured. That's the way of the world, isn't it?

Let me know how much information you get your way, sometime, and I'll let you know how much information I get by avoiding the non-serious (regardless of their status, etc.).

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
11-25-2009, 06:33 PM
I only mentioned Sanchin as another example of a kiko/qigong method - and not to start a fight. ;)Oh, there's a number of reasons to worry about Sanchin as a training method. If you want to start another discussion on QiJin about that, I'll be glad to toss in my opinions, for whatever they're worth. We could use the Pan website I just mentioned and compare with a Uechi practitioner and with Ushiro and with some others. I think the differences are pretty obvious, but it's worth taking a look at.

Best.

Mike