PDA

View Full Version : Internal Power Development Methods


Pages : [1] 2

Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


eyrie
10-20-2009, 05:48 PM
There are many approaches to internal strength development, ranging from the "harder" Shaolin derived approaches, to the "softer" methods - and everything else in between.

What is your (preferred) approach and why?

thisisnotreal
10-21-2009, 11:26 AM
Hard Shaolin. Things should always hurt as much as possible.

gregstec
10-21-2009, 11:36 AM
Soft - because you can 'feel' more - and feeling, well, just feels good :)

Jeff Scheurer
10-21-2009, 12:10 PM
Soft. Because my two focuses on IT are health and integrating it into my Aikido, and the softer method seems better suited for both.

jss
10-21-2009, 01:01 PM
Why does this thread immediately starts to sound like a Yoshinkan - Ki Aikido discussion? :D

I prefer the soft approach. Apparently you need it for the really nifty tricks. And the training feels better, but that's just a personal preference.

phitruong
10-21-2009, 02:51 PM
i saw the iron eggs shaolin kungfu video clips. i decided right there and then that i will dedicate the rest of my practice to the soft approach. :D

besides, most of the painful and powerful hits i got from folks (yes, you know who you are and your names are on my kill bill list) who were pretty soft.

JangChoe
10-21-2009, 03:59 PM
Hard shaolin because you look more manly.

Thomas Campbell
10-21-2009, 04:18 PM
Rather than "hard" v. "soft" approaches, I prefer to look at it as management of tension across the full spectrum from soft-as-cotton to tight-as-testicles-caught-in-a-workbench-clamp. The successful training approaches that I've seen embrace that full range. For example, Aunkai methods build with high degrees of tension in specific areas (e.g., identifying and maintaining the sense of juji in the upper body), then back off the tension as basic conditioning improves the connection. Dan Harden works with specific exercises, including partner work, that can be performed with varying degrees of tension (from soft to very hard), depending on the purpose. This just reflects my very limited experience and understanding to date.

ashe
10-21-2009, 04:41 PM
Rather than "hard" v. "soft" approaches, I prefer to look at it as management of tension across the full spectrum from soft-as-cotton to tight-as-testicles-caught-in-a-workbench-clamp. The successful training approaches that I've seen embrace that full range. For example, Aunkai methods build with high degrees of tension in specific areas (e.g., identifying and maintaining the sense of juji in the upper body), then back off the tension as basic conditioning improves the connection. Dan Harden works with specific exercises, including partner work, that can be performed with varying degrees of tension (from soft to very hard), depending on the purpose. This just reflects my very limited experience and understanding to date.

we use a similar approach in ILC as well.

both light and heavy on touch. sometimes during our spinning hands training we go very heavy on touch, which we call "grinding hand" (moa shou). here's an example (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmggvsjOHZQ)

we also use a similar type of training in solo practice which we call wrapping in which involves lots of tension.

Keith Larman
10-21-2009, 04:59 PM
Whatever works...

Mike Sigman
10-21-2009, 05:42 PM
we use a similar approach in ILC as well.

both light and heavy on touch. sometimes during our spinning hands training we go very heavy on touch, which we call "grinding hand" (moa shou). here's an example (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmggvsjOHZQ)

we also use a similar type of training in solo practice which we call wrapping in which involves lots of tension.Not to single you out, Ashe, but let me make a meant-to-be-helpful suggestion. And it honestly is. That use of arm and shoulder is *not* what I see Sam Chin doing and it's certainly not ever going to lead to using the dantien and thus into the realm of real "internal martial arts". Now I realize that I can just be silent or I can say "great video, Ashe".... but that would be done only with a smirk on my face and some ill-intent -- and that's not my personality.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

eyrie
10-21-2009, 05:55 PM
Rather than "hard" v. "soft" approaches, I prefer to look at it as management of tension across the full spectrum from soft-as-cotton to tight-as-testicles-caught-in-a-workbench-clamp. The successful training approaches that I've seen embrace that full range. For example, Aunkai methods build with high degrees of tension in specific areas (e.g., identifying and maintaining the sense of juji in the upper body), then back off the tension as basic conditioning improves the connection. Dan Harden works with specific exercises, including partner work, that can be performed with varying degrees of tension (from soft to very hard), depending on the purpose. This just reflects my very limited experience and understanding to date. When I re-read the OP, I realized my faux pas. It wasn't my intent to merely feel out people's preferences on a single dimension, but more to get a feel for the cross-section of different approaches, and perhaps generate further discussion on the broad spectrum of approaches.

So, thanks for the thoughtful post Thomas.

Mike Sigman
10-21-2009, 06:03 PM
Rather than "hard" v. "soft" approaches, I prefer to look at it as management of tension across the full spectrum from soft-as-cotton to tight-as-testicles-caught-in-a-workbench-clamp. The successful training approaches that I've seen embrace that full range. For example, Aunkai methods build with high degrees of tension in specific areas (e.g., identifying and maintaining the sense of juji in the upper body), then back off the tension as basic conditioning improves the connection. Dan Harden works with specific exercises, including partner work, that can be performed with varying degrees of tension (from soft to very hard), depending on the purpose. This just reflects my very limited experience and understanding to date.So how do you ever really train the real Qi/Ki if you do some hard, some soft? Don't you wind up with some (sure it can be strong, but that's not the Full Banana) muscle-based jin?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

eyrie
10-21-2009, 06:07 PM
...use of arm and shoulder is *not* what I see Sam Chin doing and it's certainly not ever going to lead to using the dantien and thus into the realm of real "internal martial arts". I first saw this clip maybe 3 years ago on another forum, and I thought exactly the same thing. But back then, I wasn't prepared to "share" it on THAT particular forum, given the various personalities in the audience. ;)

ashe
10-21-2009, 06:08 PM
Not to single you out, Ashe, but let me make a meant-to-be-helpful suggestion. And it honestly is. That use of arm and shoulder is *not* what I see Sam Chin doing and it's certainly not ever going to lead to using the dantien and thus into the realm of real "internal martial arts". Now I realize that I can just be silent or I can say "great video, Ashe".... but that would be done only with a smirk on my face and some ill-intent -- and that's not my personality.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

a) the clip is old and outdated but it's what i had available. since that time i've been tested and validated on our spinning hands method by my Sifu personally and so i'm quite confident that i know what i'm doing and that i can guide others in that method.

b) i can already tell your going to chase after me on this forum and try to poo-poo anything i post in an effort to assure everyone that you're the only one who knows what he's talking about. after the vitriolic PM's you can save the nice guy act for someone else.

Mike Sigman
10-21-2009, 06:14 PM
a) the clip is old and outdated but it's what i had available. since that time i've been tested and validated on our spinning hands method by my Sifu personally and so i'm quite confident that i know what i'm doing and that i can guide others in that method.

b) i can already tell your going to chase after me on this forum and try to poo-poo anything i post in an effort to assure everyone that you're the only one who knows what he's talking about. after the vitriolic PM's you can save the nice guy act for someone else.Why not just, instead of doing the usual "go for the personal argument", see if you can logically say something other than "my Sifu validated me" stuff? If you ask many Aikido guys in re these discussions about "internal power", they'd also tell you "I got my dan ranking from a respected Shihan so that ends the discussion". Except that it didn't. If you can explain how you shifted from arm to dantien, I'd be interested in hearing it. If you want to go to personalities in order to avoid a legitimate discussion, you'll only fulfill a widely held view of people from some forums (whose name I will not mention).

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
10-21-2009, 06:22 PM
i can already tell your going to chase after me on this forum and try to poo-poo anything i post in an effort to assure everyone that you're the only one who knows what he's talking about. Incidentally, the old Neijia List has a number of archived posts showing that when anyone came on with "a better idea" he was allowed to expand upon it and things were debated (sometimes endlessly and sometimes with bickering). No one was ever shut out unless they went to the personal attack BS. There was no "club of insiders" that protected each other. Things were debated and researched; opinions changed, etc. It was a legitimate martial-arts forum. These forums that constantly try to shift the discussions to the personal attacks make me sick about some of the stuff that claims to be "martial arts". Admins (and Ashe is an admin on RumSoakedFist) should know enough to curtail any attempt to take a discussion into the personal.

My opinion, FWIW

Mike Sigman

eyrie
10-21-2009, 06:48 PM
If you can explain how you shifted from arm to dantien, I'd be interested in hearing it. Me too.... as I'm sure others here would as well. Coz in my mind, until one can feel the dantien/tanden/hara, and work out how to connect dantien to hand, without engaging the shoulder and arm, it's nigh near impossible. And any help, would be appreciated.

ashe
10-21-2009, 06:59 PM
I first saw this clip maybe 3 years ago on another forum, and I thought exactly the same thing. But back then, I wasn't prepared to "share" it on THAT particular forum, given the various personalities in the audience. ;)

the clip gives a general idea of what the training looks like
but you have to go through a process of structure, relaxation and then energy. one of the problems with a lot of the "internal" stuff that's floating around out there today is that they try and go straight for the "high energy" right away rather than going through the process which yields actual results.

in other words, they want to imitate the masters rather than clock in the hard work it takes to get there.

as an example, within the spinning hands training you'd follow a process that looks something like flow, one force,two forces, four forces, six forces, circle to center, center with cross and then center to center (on the point).

the clip i posted was around the time when i was at the "six forces" stage in my development.

as i said, those are qualities observed and manifested on the point. within the body are the 13 points and the five qualities of unification.

Me too.... as I'm sure others here would as well. Coz in my mind, until one can feel the dantien/tanden/hara, and work out how to connect dantien to hand, without engaging the shoulder and arm, it's nigh near impossible. And any help, would be appreciated.

in our system, it's not just about the dan tien. dan tien is only halfway to the ground so it's about connecting from the point (wherever that is, usually on the hand or arm somewhere) all the way down to the feet, and then extending that point all the way into the opponents feet.

for us, we say that dan tien is only a reservoir for storage. we use the ming men for power.

Mike Sigman
10-21-2009, 07:08 PM
the clip i posted was around the time when i was at the "six forces" stage in my development.

as i said, those are qualities observed and manifested on the point. within the body are the 13 points and the five qualities of unification.So how about simply posting a recent video? As I understand it, you're saying that the old video was no good, you don't like people commenting on it (even though YOU posted it), and you're well beyond that now. The easy way to do it is to post another video rather than indicate that people who looked at the video YOU posted don't understand where you are now.

Another possibility might be to functionally describe HOW you changed over from the rather obvious arm usage to your current better performance.

Incidentally, even Sam Chin is constrained (if he wants to legitimize ILC) to the classical arguments and admonitions. If you notice the ILC commentaries, a lot of the old classics are referred to. I happen to know and understand those old classical statements and would be happy to see a pointer to the "13 points and five qualities of unification". I'm always open to finding a better way.

Thanks. And please note that I'm responding to public comments that you yourself have made. If asking followup questions is going to result in you suddenly not posting anymore, etc., please note that AikiWeb already has a person that does all of that. ;) (Sorry Ashe... that's an inside joke and is not meant to pique you)

Regards,

Mike Sigman

eyrie
10-21-2009, 07:20 PM
Can I gently remind folk that this thread is intended to discuss, debate, compare, critique (in the sense of analyzing, questioning, clarifying, etc.), various approaches - preferred or otherwise.

That said, thank you for your contributions Ashe. I have a few questions:

you have to go through a process of structure, relaxation and then energy. Can you clarify your use of the word "energy"?

a process that looks something like flow, one force,two forces, four forces, six forces, circle to center, center with cross and then center to center (on the point). For edification, can you expand what each of these terms mean?

within the body are the 13 points and the five qualities of unification. Mike has already asked this, but I'll ask again.

dan tien is only halfway to the ground so it's about connecting from the point (wherever that is, usually on the hand or arm somewhere) all the way down to the feet, and then extending that point all the way into the opponents feet. I understand the first part of the legs supporting the dantien, but I haven't come across the last part - extending the point to the opponents feet. Can you clarify that please?

dan tien is only a reservoir for storage. we use the ming men for power. Can you expand more on this? Why? How?

Mike Sigman
10-21-2009, 07:31 PM
for us, we say that dan tien is only a reservoir for storage. we use the ming men for power. The mingmen is technically the back of the dantien, FWIW. The mingmen is the point for power going upward (up the back; see all the acupuncture charts, even) and the dantien on the front of the body is fine, but normal movement uses the the power down the front of the body after the power has gone up the back. 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. And I'm only responding to a publicly asserted comment.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

M. McPherson
10-21-2009, 08:31 PM
If you notice the ILC commentaries, a lot of the old classics are referred to. I happen to know and understand those old classical statements and would be happy to see a pointer to the "13 points and five qualities of unification". I'm always open to finding a better way.

Hi Mr. Sigman,

I've seen the classical texts referred to here and in other posts with regard to IT, and I was wondering if you could share some of those with me. I've just spent the last couple of years getting my feet wet with Spring and Autumn Period and Warring States literature, as well as Japanese medieval texts, and it would be a blast to wade through any of the period work with an eye for references to IT (no, not looking for the secrets of the universe in any of this; I figure I'm doing the textual analysis anyway - might as well try to have a little bit of extraneous fun as I wade through it all).
I know this is pretty tangential, so feel free to p.m. if you want.

Best,
Murray McPherson

Thomas Campbell
10-21-2009, 10:15 PM
Mike,

Is there any recent video of you that you could post that demonstrates some of your current IS work, or teaching specific points like "down" power? I've seen clips from some older videos that you made several years ago, but it would be interesting to see more recent video, say from the past couple of years, maybe from one of the seminars that you do. If not, that's fine.

Thanks.

thisisnotreal
10-21-2009, 10:30 PM
re: energy.
This week i think: energy means to flex. to keep the channels open. to peristaltically be able to pass the momentum wave.
In Aikido canon; 'the ki of the snake', as it were.

Ashe, Tom, thank you for your posts. Very very interesting.

p.s. 'Ki of the bees'? Is it more than fajin? (Not that that's not deep enough...mind you). Anyone? anyone..? Bueller?

With respect.
Josh

btw; very weird vibe in this thread. fwiw, I personally prefer polite manners to taunting and japing. although not strictly ad hominem it certainly violates that same spirit.

Thomas Campbell
10-21-2009, 10:34 PM
So how do you ever really train the real Qi/Ki if you do some hard, some soft? Don't you wind up with some (sure it can be strong, but that's not the Full Banana) muscle-based jin?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

hi Mike:

I don't really know enough about qi/ki or jin for them to be useful concepts for my training. I've found it more fruitful (for me personally) to focus on elements like alignment, breath, proprioceptive and kinesthetic awareness. I think I'm getting a little understanding of "intent" as it is talked about here on Aikiweb, but even that is not something I'm sure about in practice. So when I have the opportunity to work with someone like you or Ark or Dan, I'm really interested in the hands-on work, watching and feeling what you guys do, watching and feeling what partners do, trying to get a non-verbal kinesthetic grok on that, and keeping any discussion or questions to plain English.

So I don't know what real qi or full-banana jin is. I think I understand you to be alluding to a danger of hard/tension work building a reliance or habit of muscling and rigid frame. That may be true, and something I'll have to be on the lookout for. I guess I think about Ark's discussion about building the budo body, and seeing how he teaches and demonstrates the Aunkai exercises for beginners. There is a lot of tension work initially, and later (again, in my limited understanding), partly with improving physical condition and partly with increased internal awareness, the student can "back off" from an emphasis on tension. I can't put it any more specifically than that, given my limited experience with Aunkai.

The "soft" or cotton-end of the tension range is, in my personal experience and training, more useful with identifying an internal connection or path and following/sensing where it goes inside my body.

Don't know if any of that makes sense or relates to your question, but I tried.

Mark Jakabcsin
10-21-2009, 10:49 PM
So how do you ever really train the real Qi/Ki if you do some hard, some soft? Don't you wind up with some (sure it can be strong, but that's not the Full Banana) muscle-based jin?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Is life hard all the time?

Is life soft all the time?

Shouldn't any system be adaptable to the situation at hand, whether, soft, hard or more likely somewhere in between?

Perhaps I am missing the point but it seems to be the ability to adjust to the current situation and apply the correct amount of hardness, softness or combination of the two allows for the greatest amount of flexibility, options and opportunity for success.

Mark J.

ashe
10-22-2009, 01:16 AM
Can you clarify your use of the word "energy"?

let's do basics first...

For edification, can you expand what each of these terms mean?

13 points are the reference points for attention within the body. things like tucking the ribs, condense to the dan tien, expand from the ming men, suspend the crown etc. since we don't have defined techniques you still need to use something to use as reference to act, so you put your attention on yourself, but that's a very vague statement, so it's been broken down into these 13 points.

the five qualities of unification are universal to all movement. absorb and project, expand and condense, the three planes, open and close and concave and convex. no matter how you move you'll be moving using those qualities, just a matter of whether or not they're coordinated properly.

I understand the first part of the legs supporting the dantien, but I haven't come across the last part - extending the point to the opponents feet. Can you clarify that please?

Can you expand more on this? Why? How?

there's two things here.

1. yang path and yin path form two X' on the body, yang travels away from the ming men to the hands and feet and yin travels back to the dan tien. the yang actually wraps around the hips (from the ming men) to travel down the front of the legs, to the big toe, to the little toe where it joins the yin path from the little toe to the center of the foot, up the rear of the leg, into the groin, the perineum and to the dan tien. on the upper body it travels from the ming men, across the back, down the outside of the arm to the hands and back up the inside of the arms to the front of the body to the dan tien.

it's the macrocosmic energy cycle of yin and yang, basically like two figure eights, one in the upper or one in the lower, OR one on the left and one on the right, however you want to look at it.

but that's the foundational level, before you get into spiraling out from the fascia to the skin and back into the bones.

we train to drop the breath into the dan tien and compress it there, but it's like the cylinder. the ming men is the piston, so you compress the breath into the dan tien but the power is issued from the ming men (kidney area).

2. now as far as extending the point of contact into the opponents feet is a matter of preciseness on touch.

when you touch do you only capture the opponents hands?

in this way you can at least help prevent him from acting wildly, but much of your own power is wasted.

can you capture hands and upper mass?

if so then now you have the opponent more under your control. you can prevent him from striking freely, and you can inhibit his actions more fully but he's still free to step and to kick, etc. because you haven't used the upper mass to pressure the lower mass.

if you can control the hands and the upper and lower masses, then you will in effect have "jammed" or "frozen" the opponent on touch.

it's a matter of extending your leverage and applying force precisely. if i can apply more force in such a way that i can effect your feet, then i own you.

ashe
10-22-2009, 01:23 AM
on the hard / soft issue we say that "it's cotton wrapped steel" so without the steel, there's no point in having the cotton.

cotton is the soft touch, the preciseness, but you have to do some heavy training to develop the power. you're not going to build up the ligaments and tendons with breath work alone...

here's a clip showing the wrapping training i discussed earlier. it should be done with quite a bit of tension...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLlBZx7jq0g

and another more recent clip of me doing some moving step spinning hands training with my Sifu

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zz1pYD2EuY

Upyu
10-22-2009, 02:37 AM
on the hard / soft issue we say that "it's cotton wrapped steel" so without the steel, there's no point in having the cotton.


I guess a more pertinent question would be... where do you think the "hardness" comes from? I got my own ideas but I'm curious to hear what you think first.


now as far as extending the point of contact into the opponents feet is a matter of preciseness on touch


Actually I'm also curious to hear your thoughts on this.
When you say "preciseness on touch" what do you exactly mean? The touch at point of contact?
Physically how do you capture the other person's lower mass?

jss
10-22-2009, 02:38 AM
Perhaps I am missing the point but it seems to be the ability to adjust to the current situation and apply the correct amount of hardness, softness or combination of the two allows for the greatest amount of flexibility, options and opportunity for success.
Are you talking about the training or about the application of internal power? When talking about application I can agree with you. The wider your tactical options, the better. With regards to training the question boils down to how much do you want to rely on muscle? So you have to make a choice there. Even if it would be possible (which I don't think it is) to only practice exercises that are on the limits of the hardness-softness scale, you'd still average out somewhere in the middle.

ashe
10-22-2009, 02:42 AM
I guess a more pertinent question would be... where do you think the "hardness" comes from? I got my own ideas but I'm curious to hear what you think first.

structure. the ligaments, tendons and bones. at least in the beginning. you gatta have the structure backing you up.

Actually I'm also curious to hear your thoughts on this.
When you say "preciseness on touch" what do you exactly mean? The touch at point of contact?
Physically how do you capture the other person's lower mass?

yes, preciseness on the point of contact. you use the upper mass to pressure the lower mass. i was looking through my list of clips and couldn't find one of the Sifu demonstrating. it, so i'll try and describe it in better detail in the morining... :(

Upyu
10-22-2009, 02:51 AM
structure. the ligaments, tendons and bones. at least in the beginning. you gatta have the structure backing you up.


Mmm... but you can be completely "out of structure" and still generate "hardness." The "structure" part provides hardness sure, but I'd say that's only in the beginning. There's something else that provides "hardness", yet is still "flexible." Alternatively it can be soft. At least ime.
It's also what allows the "SJT" (stupid jin tricks), where you can be completely out of structure, yet still generate Jin.


yes, preciseness on the point of contact. you use the upper mass to pressure the lower mass. i was looking through my list of clips and couldn't find one of the Sifu demonstrating. it, so i'll try and describe it in better detail in the morining... :(

Looking forward to it. By preciseness on point of contact, do you mean the angle of point of contact, pressure you give out etc?

jss
10-22-2009, 02:53 AM
you're not going to build up the ligaments and tendons with breath work alone...

here's a clip showing the wrapping training i discussed earlier. it should be done with quite a bit of tension...
The question remains where the tension comes from. Would you agree if I said that the basis for the tension comes from maintaining the 13 points? (Not that I know much about them, btw. I had to look them up and not all of them make sense to me based on their short description.)

For reference: the 13 points from http://ucbprogram.com/node/165
1. Center of Gravity Force - Center of the feet
2. Perineum pointing down to the balance beam line
3. Dantien - Suction & Condense
4. Mingmen - Projection & Expand
5. Crown - Suspended
6. Sternum - Suction & Condense
7. Qua - Maintain the energy on the center of the hips
8. Drop shoulders over the hips
9. Tucking of the ribs
10. Nine solid & one empty on the feet
11. Elbows always pointing down
12. Knee pointing to the toe
13. Balance the body of Yin & Yang

Mike Sigman
10-22-2009, 10:03 AM
Is life hard all the time?

Is life soft all the time?

Shouldn't any system be adaptable to the situation at hand, whether, soft, hard or more likely somewhere in between?

Perhaps I am missing the point but it seems to be the ability to adjust to the current situation and apply the correct amount of hardness, softness or combination of the two allows for the greatest amount of flexibility, options and opportunity for success.

Mark J.I think we're talking about different things, Mark. I could think of a number of examples, but the quickest would probably be to point at the fact that in real traditional Taiji there is no use of "hard" in the training for a few years while they train the qi and jin. There's a reason for that which is very important. The "hard and soft" comparisons in Shaolin training (which is what most people on this thread are talking about) is something else.

However, as I've said before, I think it's better for people to get at least *some* skills rather than no skills, so I'm happy to see the conversations moving forward. This would be a good thread to capture, BTW, and ask some of the participants to look back on in a few years. ;)

Best.

Mike

Mike Sigman
10-22-2009, 10:05 AM
Mmm... but you can be completely "out of structure" and still generate "hardness." The "structure" part provides hardness sure, but I'd say that's only in the beginning. There's something else that provides "hardness", yet is still "flexible." Alternatively it can be soft. At least ime.
It's also what allows the "SJT" (stupid jin tricks), where you can be completely out of structure, yet still generate Jin.

Looking forward to it. By preciseness on point of contact, do you mean the angle of point of contact, pressure you give out etc?

Nice. See, it's possible to have some pretty good discussions without even a single word about anyone else's personality! Good discussion, folks.

Best.

Mike

Adman
10-22-2009, 10:28 AM
The "soft" or cotton-end of the tension range is, in my personal experience and training, more useful with identifying an internal connection or path and following/sensing where it goes inside my body.

Emphasis mine.

It's my understanding (and I mean that in mostly the intellectual sense) that that is the key. That internal path/connection is what is then strengthened, creating the "steel" aspect, isn't it? The jin/kokyu is the backbone of the "strength," which is discovered and felt through a relaxed (soft?) body. Then, there is the development of the supporting "structure" once the "path" can be found and manipulated. Isn't much of the connection/jin/kokyu a learned skill? The re-wiring, as it were? In learning any new coordinated skill, I would think a relaxed "soft" approach tends toward picking that skill up quicker. During the process, some of the key aspects of "structure" are unavoidably strengthened and identified, to then be further conditioned. Perhaps this next round of conditioning is what some are referring to as "soft" and "hard"?

I am a bit confused, however, in how what gets classified as "hard" and "soft". I think most of the time we're entering into something shoe-horned into a classification that doesn't really fit into what's going on. Not to mention the distinction between training and application.

I'll sit back now and hope the rest of you can clear up my confusion. ;)

Thanks,
Adam

P.S. Sorry about my lavish use of quotes, but I'm trying to use the common phrases bandied about, without committing to them, until I know more.

Adman
10-22-2009, 11:06 AM
here's a clip showing the wrapping training i discussed earlier. it should be done with quite a bit of tension...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLlBZx7jq0g

That's an interesting clip. I need to study it more along with what he's saying. However, with my cursory glance, what is gained by performing this exercise with tension, over remaining as relaxed as possible? I'm asking because, I'd be worried that an exercise, such as this, performed with "tension" might encourage unnecessary tightness in the shoulders and lower back. Unless I'm misunderstanding your use of the word, "tension"? Not to mention an implied amount of previous training that would supposedly address these issues?

Thanks,
Adam

jss
10-22-2009, 11:33 AM
here's a clip showing the wrapping training i discussed earlier. it should be done with quite a bit of tension...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLlBZx7jq0g
Seems to be similar to what this guy is doing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzDsAzbsyH4, only the movements are bigger.

Thomas Campbell
10-22-2009, 01:28 PM
Emphasis mine.

It's my understanding (and I mean that in mostly the intellectual sense) that that is the key. That internal path/connection is what is then strengthened, creating the "steel" aspect, isn't it?

Well, Adam, I probably know even less than you on how to credibly explain, in words, what I'm working on. Again, I don't refer to or use jin, kokyu or ki in my personal efforts to work on this stuff. I appreciate others' use of such terminology, and that it gives a nod to Asian sources for specific concepts and exercises, but for me it's an overlay that's been somewhat confusing. What I do understand are ideas like groundpath, and structure, and awareness, and breath. I'm even beginning to get a faint idea of what "internal connection" means. :)

That is why I appreciate the pioneering efforts of people like Dan Harden and Mike Sigman, and more recently, Akuzawa Minoru, who emphasize hands-on work and are open to questions about what they are showing and how they do what they do. When I compare the insights and material I've gotten from working in person versus flailing around on the Internet, the difference is huge.

So, back to your question about "soft" practices building the awareness of internal connection, which can then be further strengthened through conditioning that includes "hard" practices. I think that awareness of the internal path and internal connection can also be found in the contrast between working in an area with tension and then working in the area with significantly less tension. For example, in working on finding and maintaining the "juji" or cross in the upper body that Akuzawa teaches about (I use the Aunkai term juji, but I think of it as cross), when I relax somewhat after holding a position with significant tension, the remembered sensation of that cross remains, and I can "find" it again with much less tension. In that context, I've found alternating relatively "hard" with relatively "soft" degrees of tension to be useful in establishing awareness and the ability to return to a structure or connection.

I agree that there is not a black-and-white categorization for hard and soft, at least for me. That's why I tried to describe it as managing a full spectrum or range of degrees of tension. The more I work with these ideas and practices, the more I think of them in terms of a sophisticated coordination involving internal connections, rather than "hard" and "soft."

For example, sometimes people interested in internal strength skill talk about getting the large skeletal movers out of the way and working with the frame and deeper core muscles to lessen the overall effort of maintaining a frame and moving the opponent's force through or generating force back out. To me this means becoming aware of and learning to coordinate and control connections, structures and musculature in ways not typically found in conventional, everyday movement and neuromuscular habits (that's why these skills have to be trained, right?). And in that initial step of becoming aware of what is going on inside, I've found alternation of more and less tension in the area being worked to be helpful.

I agree that working primarily with high-tension exercises initially could induce neuromusculature habits that might be counterproductive. I've just found that working with a full range of tension from hard to soft, or tight to loose, can be useful. Now let's see where it leaves me in a year or five. :D

What about working fast versus slow? Again, I think working in a range of speeds can be interesting. Working slow makes it easier to pay attention, for example, to the coordination from the hips down to the feet and the hips through the shoulders to the hands in different martial movements. Increasing the speed gradually until you're really snapping out, say, a punch can help point out the "breaks" in the series of connections that a beginner like me inevitably has. So I go back to working slow.

Another example comes with deep squats, of the kind a friend who does Russian martial arts introduced me to. Moving quickly and lightly through a deep squat induces less tension for me than squatting slowly through the same full range. But the contrast between fast and slow squats relating to how breath fills and binds connections for me was illuminating. I took that insight over to the Aunkai "tenchijin" (Heaven Earth Man) exercise--which can't be done "fast" and correctly--and got much better awareness of what is happening inside when I do the exercise.

While it's absolutely important to be systematic in order to make progress, a certain degree of playful exploration is helpful too.

I'm working on this material for certain specific personal reasons, and I don't aspire to teach it. You've got much better resources in folks with demonstrated skills and understanding who are out there teaching this.

Cheers.

ashe
10-22-2009, 01:31 PM
Mmm... but you can be completely "out of structure" and still generate "hardness." The "structure" part provides hardness sure, but I'd say that's only in the beginning. There's something else that provides "hardness", yet is still "flexible." Alternatively it can be soft. At least ime.

mmm, i don't know. as long as the structure (bones) is being supported by the ligaments and tendons and not the muscles, then you can be relaxed and generate force. it's the muscular tension that screws up the power.

Looking forward to it. By preciseness on point of contact, do you mean the angle of point of contact, pressure you give out etc?

pretty much.

BTW, did you know Nozomo is back in Japan? He went to Malaysia this year with Sifu and the others.

That's an interesting clip. I need to study it more along with what he's saying. However, with my cursory glance, what is gained by performing this exercise with tension, over remaining as relaxed as possible? I'm asking because, I'd be worried that an exercise, such as this, performed with "tension" might encourage unnecessary tightness in the shoulders and lower back. Unless I'm misunderstanding your use of the word, "tension"? Not to mention an implied amount of previous training that would supposedly address these issues?

Thanks,
Adam

well, physically you want to develop the ligaments and tendons (and fascia). it's will give you that type of power that lasts into old age. but you also want to train to maintain the 13 points, recognize / coordinate the five qualities as well as concepts like recognizing circle with center, center with cross and center to center within your movements. (lot's of awareness training going on here).

( you can see a short clip of a couple guys working with circle to center here, scroll down a little, it's the second video clip. you should be able to view without being logged in.circle with center) (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=22530147538)

but, tension isn't the same thing as being stiff or rigid. it's a type of elasticness. you start out drawing your circles loosley, then you start winding them tighter into softness and then tighter still into elasticness, then you can draw them tighter still and then release (fa jin).

Seems to be similar to what this guy is doing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzDsAzbsyH4, only the movements are bigger.

yes, the idea is the same.

Mike Sigman
10-22-2009, 02:05 PM
( you can see a short clip of a couple guys working with circle to center here, scroll down a little, it's the second video clip. you should be able to view without being logged in.circle with center) (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=22530147538)I'm missing the point. Sam is using jin. The other guy doesn't know how to use jin. Sam is not very clear in explaining it, so I expect it will be a long time before the jin concept is understood.

In terms of "tension" and all that, I think it's an interesting topic and it's a good way to go down a path toward muscle-jin. But then, having offered that good advice, I think I'm going to start taking Dan's advice and just let people I don't know do what they want to do. Wasting a few years is just part of the learning process. ;)

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Upyu
10-22-2009, 02:14 PM
yes, the idea is the same.

I was going to say that more than the ligaments/tendons/bone it's the connective fascia that also can provide an alternate sort of hardness, as well as the softness.

But isn't capturing mass more dependent on how you manage the forces in the body, with external angles ad nausem being of only tertiary importance?

Adman
10-22-2009, 02:24 PM
...but, tension isn't the same thing as being stiff or rigid. it's a type of elasticness. you start out drawing your circles loosley, then you start winding them tighter into softness and then tighter still into elasticness, then you can draw them tighter still and then release (fa jin

What you wrote above makes more sense, then what might be typically meant by "tension". For instance, I would refer to it as "taking out the slack" (a by-product term from my aikido upbringing ;) ) and it's not a muscular thing. However, shouldn't any type of exercise have "taking out the slack" as a requirement? This is where the distinction between hard and soft sometimes gets lost on me. 'cause what Sam Chin displays in the video looks like good, soft training to me.

Thanks,
Adam

jss
10-22-2009, 02:41 PM
you start out drawing your circles loosley, then you start winding them tighter into softness and then tighter still into elasticness, then you can draw them tighter still and then release (fa jin).
That's not very helpful, is it? Why not say that it's the manipulation by the mind of the tension created by adhering to the 13 points that draws the circles?

Adman
10-22-2009, 03:43 PM
So, back to your question about "soft" practices building the awareness of internal connection, which can then be further strengthened through conditioning that includes "hard" practices. I think that awareness of the internal path and internal connection can also be found in the contrast between working in an area with tension and then working in the area with significantly less tension. For example, in working on finding and maintaining the "juji" or cross in the upper body that Akuzawa teaches about (I use the Aunkai term juji, but I think of it as cross), when I relax somewhat after holding a position with significant tension, the remembered sensation of that cross remains, and I can "find" it again with much less tension. In that context, I've found alternating relatively "hard" with relatively "soft" degrees of tension to be useful in establishing awareness and the ability to return to a structure or connection.

Hi Thomas,

Thanks for the response. In your above example, I could do a similar exercise (as far as remembered sensations) by isometrically pushing the backs of my wrists into a door jam for a good minute, walk away from the door and suddenly, without any effort, allow my hands/arms to rise up to my shoulders. Not an internal training method (I'm pretty sure), and more than likely not the intent of the use of "tension" with the Aunkai training. However, could it be that some of what your describing could be attributed to that phenomenon? Not saying thats a bad thing, and it may be a great training device. I just haven't pursued that direction, so bare with me as...I'm in the dark.

Now that I think of it, this sounds like it would place emphasis on what Mike Sigman would refer to as the "suit". For example, in my crude door-jam example, my arms rose from a sort of flexed memory, as opposed to any form of support pushing up from the ground (so I guess my example is definitely not an internal method :D ). Since "tension" seems to have different meanings in different training methodologies, would "stretch" be a better fit than "tension," as far as the Aunkai is concerned? Or does it mean exactly what "tension" commonly means?

Thanks,
Adam

(I think this is the most I've ever posted in one day. Excuse me while I take a nap.)

Mike Sigman
10-22-2009, 03:57 PM
Now that I think of it, this sounds like it would place emphasis on what Mike Sigman would refer to as the "suit". For example, in my crude door-jam example, my arms rose from a sort of flexed memory, as opposed to any form of support pushing up from the ground (so I guess my example is definitely not an internal method :D ). Since "tension" seems to have different meanings in different training methodologies, would "stretch" be a better fit than "tension," as far as the Aunkai is concerned? Or does it mean exactly what "tension" commonly means?
Hi Adam:

Just to interject a word of caution... you're right that there are different meanings to "tension" and one of the famously known errors between "internal" and "external" arts is this type of misunderstanding. Like I said, I've finally come around to letting people just pick for themselves, since they've historically done such a good job... so Dan and I agree on this part of it, finally.

Frankly, as long as someone is still using arm and shoulder power, none of this matters a lot, because the arm and shoulder usage will obviate any worries about what is the proper meaning of "tension".

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Thomas Campbell
10-22-2009, 04:33 PM
[snip] this sounds like it would place emphasis on what Mike Sigman would refer to as the "suit".

[snip]

Since "tension" seems to have different meanings in different training methodologies, would "stretch" be a better fit than "tension," as far as the Aunkai is concerned? Or does it mean exactly what "tension" commonly means?

Thanks,
Adam



Adam,

I only have an ambiguous idea of what the "suit" or "body suit" means in actual practice as far as how Mike uses it. So beyond generally acknowledging that there is a reference to the connective tissue winding through the body, I would refer you to Mike for specific questions on that.

I'm similarly not in a position to distinguish between "stretch" and "tension" as it is "commonly" used means, in terms of the Aunkai methodology.

The one thing I can specifically agree with you on is that "tension seems to have different meanings in different training methodologies." That is probably safe to say.:) And it's a good reminder that the most carefully thought out exchanges on a forum may turn out to be way off base when it comes to getting together--with someone who has some measure of these skills--and training.

I hope I'm not frustrating you too much. I'm not very good with internal skills and I'm not a teacher. I only wanted to say something on this thread about my personal perspective on training a full spectrum of tension instead of seeing things simply as "hard" or "soft."

Adman
10-22-2009, 05:02 PM
I hope I'm not frustrating you too much. I'm not very good with internal skills and I'm not a teacher. I only wanted to say something on this thread about my personal perspective on training a full spectrum of tension instead of seeing things simply as "hard" or "soft."

Oh, I'm not frustrated. I appreciate the idea of the OP and the discussion it was meant to spark. And I'm in the same boat you are (while trying to keep the water out ;) ). Just thought I'd add to the racket and see what popped up. Thanks for taking the time.

Adam

Upyu
10-22-2009, 08:08 PM
different meanings in different training methodologies, would "stretch" be a better fit than "tension," as far as the Aunkai is concerned?

Yes, bingo :)

eyrie
10-22-2009, 10:10 PM
As I mentioned before, the hard/soft reference was less about the arbitrary dichotomy in terms of the quality of tension, as it is an indication of the broad spectrum of approaches. In that respect, Mike's caution regarding the tendency towards "muscle-based jin" warrants careful consideration.

Whilst I am familiar with some of the classical admonitions - some of which are evident in Ashe's 13 points, practically, I see little difference compared with, say, (what little I know of) the Aunkai methods, in terms of "building the frame". The differences may be purely semantic, or in the minute details, or how individuals approach it - depending on what level they're at.

And although I understand that Sam Chin is trying to articulate these concepts more clearly, I feel it could be made clearer and simpler.

In that respect, I think folks are going to have to more clearly define their use of certain terms, and nut out the fine detail...

ashe
10-22-2009, 10:40 PM
But isn't capturing mass more dependent on how you manage the forces in the body, with external angles ad nausem being of only tertiary importance?

no i wouldn't say that at all.

the process of unifying yourself is only half the game (i.e. managing force within the body / 13 points), you still have to unify / flow with opponent (i.e. applying force accurately on the opponent.)

This is where the distinction between hard and soft sometimes gets lost on me. 'cause what Sam Chin displays in the video looks like good, soft training to me.


maybe tension is a bad word. the clip just is during lecture, but in practice should be done with... force? maybe that's the right word.

That's not very helpful, is it? Why not say that it's the manipulation by the mind of the tension created by adhering to the 13 points that draws the circles?

because i wouldn't say that's accurate. ;)

And although I understand that Sam Chin is trying to articulate these concepts more clearly, I feel it could be made clearer and simpler.

some concepts just have to be discussed in depth if you actually want to achieve some skill. :)

eyrie
10-23-2009, 12:22 AM
some concepts just have to be discussed in depth if you actually want to achieve some skill I think that would be my entrée to invite you, and others, to discuss some of these concepts, in greater depth... ;)

Perhaps, the 13 points you listed would be a good start?

Upyu
10-23-2009, 01:18 AM
no i wouldn't say that at all.

the process of unifying yourself is only half the game (i.e. managing force within the body / 13 points), you still have to unify / flow with opponent (i.e. applying force accurately on the opponent.)


Well, what I was trying to say was that the act of unifying/flowing with the opponent was less an external adjustment, so much as a manifestation of the adjustment happening from the inside.
I.E. I can change the force vectors based on intent, on the internal configuration, rather than relying on the actual angle/pressure of the point of contact (although it can help).

The way in which you describe is that you're adding a separate layer of good old "external" vectors (angle of the limbs etc) ...as opposed to concentrating on achieving the same effect from within.

And I just don't think Sam actually focuses so much on the external factor as much, despite what he says.

Just to clarify I'm not here to to say one is "right" or "wrong," but trying to shed some light on what you're trying to say.

Upyu
10-23-2009, 01:48 AM
Hit the post button by mistake too early:

[Taking a simple thought exercise as an example:
Let's say you have two people, A&B.
A & B are facing each other, feet shoulder width apart, knees relatively straight, hands down by sides.
A then reaches over and holds B down with both hands applying a dumb force (non-jin), to hold the wrists down. If you were A how would you off balance them, and take their balance? Would you "have" to move the arms to do so?

ashe
10-23-2009, 04:33 AM
Posting from my phone, so you'll have to forgive me for not quoting, but...

Of course a lot of what I'm posting will seem unclear, because it's being posted out of context of where it belongs in a specific curriculum. I'm not here to "teach" anybody, but I am here to share how we train, and to learn a little about how you guys approach your training.

Let's be honest, all of us have made our commitments to the systems that we feel work for us, so I'm not here to convert anybody, but at the same time I hope that some folks will be interested enough to dig a little deeper and find out where some of the things I'm talking about fit in.

I have to confess myself very interested in Dan Hardens stuff. (if only HE'D post some video) :)

Re: Rob, just out of curiosity, how long did you train with Sifu before moving to Japan?

As far as your post; I'll say 'its really hard to say'. Straight off I'd say I disagree. At this point I have a fairly good understanding of ILC, and the reason Sifu insists on testing student level 5 and above himself is because that's the point where you really break into ILC's method, where you really begin to manifest the right feel 'on touch'. Not coincidentally, that's also the beginning of 'unifying self with opponent'.

Lot's of systems teach how to unify yourself / build the frame, etc. But REALLY learning how to unify yourself with the opponent, in such a way that you learn to manifest offense/defense simultaneously on the point is something else altogether. ;)

ashe
10-23-2009, 04:44 AM
Sorry for posting back to back, but I'm on my phone after all...
Re: Ron's A&B scenario;

You should already be unifying yourself with the opponent before contact is even made so that as the process of contact is under way your maintaining opponent outside of your circle while penetrating opponents circle simultaneously.

At that point there,a no need to off balance since you can just strike in, unless opponent can manage to recover enough to manifest some defense (brushing power) at which point you can start to off balance while looking to re-penetrate his sphere to you can strike in or off balance enough to throw.

Upyu
10-23-2009, 05:15 AM
Re: Rob, just out of curiosity, how long did you train with Sifu before moving to Japan?

Ashe,

It was only for a scat of two years, and I'd have to say the bulk of the training I owed to Dave.
Let me be clear though, at that point I didn't have any internal dev whatsoever. However, I was privy to be able to touch Sam and Dave a lot, and they gave me a litmus test for what was "actual" skill.
Though I did develop a lot of muscle backed structure...something that takes a while to undo :-p


Lot's of systems teach how to unify yourself / build the frame, etc. But REALLY learning how to unify yourself with the opponent, in such a way that you learn to manifest offense/defense simultaneously on the point is something else altogether. ;)

I dunno Ashe, having felt Sam, and others, all of them shoot for manifesting "offense/defense simultaneously on the point of contact."
The more I look, the more I see commonalities.


You should already be unifying yourself with the opponent before contact is even made so that as the process of contact is under way your maintaining opponent outside of your circle while penetrating opponents circle simultaneously.

That's a given, but you bring up a good point. But rather than looking at it that way, maybe it would be easy to reduce it to simpler force vectors. To be honest, at this point you sound like you're simply regurgitating Sam, and I've got faith that you can do better, and explain it in your own vocab ;)


At that point there,a no need to off balance since you can just strike in, unless opponent can manage to recover enough to manifest some defense (brushing power) at which point you can start to off balance while looking to re-penetrate his sphere to you can strike in or off balance enough to throw.

To clarify, the exercise is not a technique, but a construct to conveniently examine the generation of forces etc.(Hell, it's a stupid position to be in, as are most exercises, but they're formed that way for a reason)

Let's leave strikes etc out of it for now.
Your arms are down by your sides, and someone is hold your wrists. He's giving you a dumb force, how do you deal with it?
No one's stepping, we're simply talking shenfa/body method.

I'm trying to get a bit of style-independent analyzation going on, which I know from personal experience, is possible between people that have the basics hammered in.

To short circuit something that might come up, one way to look at it from Sam's perspective might be that it's a Yin (front side) on Yang (back side) scenario, where B is contacting your Yang with his Yin, with you playing underhand instead of top-hands. (If you weren't going to go down this path forgive me).
I'm advocating throwing this out as well for now.

phitruong
10-23-2009, 08:05 AM
Since "tension" seems to have different meanings in different training methodologies, would "stretch" be a better fit than "tension," as far as the Aunkai is concerned? Or does it mean exactly what "tension" commonly means?


methink, the tension is the result of the stretch, not tension as in tighten up muscle. think of a fully inflated basketball versus half-inflated one. the fully inflated one stretch the skin tight which created a tension that spread the applied force to every part of the ball. the question is how do you stretch your body? isometric or breath or something else?

DH
10-23-2009, 11:07 AM
I continue to suggest people go meet people. Not all methods are the same, not all will lead in the same direction. Stop listening to these guys who set up court and tell you who they will or will not recommend.
It is enough that you now have an awareness that IP/ Aiki exists and has been the driver behind these mysterious skills that have been talked about in the arts. As many of you are (thank God) finally realizing some have had an agenda all along. Now you need to start checking people and methods out.

Some of the people teaching "internals" are in fact-not; but are marginal, using tensioned paths that will sooner or later have to be discarded and reworked,
Some have skills in traditional arts, with only basic understanding.
Some have a more well rounded education but who's actual skill level in use goes from laughable to mediocre.
Then you have the master class;
Some of whom are nothing more than good jujutsu men with basic linear jin skills and cool waza
Some are the real powerhouses and sources for information.
And knowledge is not wisdom or skill
If you are going to be content with listening to the blow hards...well then you get what you paid for.

Be Martial Art researchers. You can spend all of your money and time investing in the teachers who have by and large screwed us up and taught only surface skills, or you can find people with unusual skills who know how to teach you to do the same.
Some of you are going to-in the end- only want to stay within a tradition and mask your own weaknesses with waza.
Some of you will settle for simple skills that enhance your waza,
Some will pick a camp
Some of you are going to really get it.

I've had some interesting phone calls recently about what is being said around town and some of the real ugliness involved. For some this has stopped being an honest discussion a long time ago. It's all an aggenda. There are those who know it is true, but like the martial artists they are, they aren't saying a word.
There are many of you who have met me and know I am consistent and transparent. As one teacher put it "Brutally honest"; for that reason I want no part of the new "pick a side and spread lies" agenda and politicing -now setting itself up around IP/Aiki...and all done while claiming to be so nice and open on the web. Interestingly enough there are people with information that can "out" certain aggenda's at the core of much of the BS but no one wants to make the move. SSDD. It does nothing for me. I have better things to do

Ladies and gents, I don't have to say a word or name names, that niggling little nudge you have, that "guess" your instincts have warned you about-is shared by others as well.
Get out and check people out. Compare and take care of you. These are the finest skill the arts have to offer -don't let the some of the people involved in the discussion of them, get in your way.
Good luck in your training.
Dan

ashe
10-23-2009, 06:33 PM
To be honest, at this point you sound like you're simply regurgitating Sam, and I've got faith that you can do better, and explain it in your own vocab ;)

how many different ways do you need to say the sky is blue? ;)

ashe
10-23-2009, 06:35 PM
well put Dan! respex mang, as always.

eyrie
10-23-2009, 07:11 PM
I'm not here to "teach" anybody, but I am here to share how we train, and to learn a little about how you guys approach your training. Not speaking to you directly Ashe, but generally to the good folk listening in - that is the whole point of my starting this thread. As Rob said, it's about looking for common ground.

Let's be honest, all of us have made our commitments to the systems that we feel work for us, so I'm not here to convert anybody, but at the same time I hope that some folks will be interested enough to dig a little deeper and find out where some of the things I'm talking about fit in. Again, I'm not speaking to you directly, but, people, that is the whole point of this thread, and I'm glad you picked up on it.

But REALLY learning how to unify yourself with the opponent, in such a way that you learn to manifest offense/defense simultaneously on the point is something else altogether. IOW... Aiki!

how many different ways do you need to say the sky is blue? Yes, but to a visually impaired person, what is sky and what is blue?

Speaking generally again, Rob's hypothetical is a good example because it is demonstrates the basic concept of "unifying" one's self with another... and is the first thing shown/taught in Aikido. Most Aikido folk would/should recognize this as a standing variation of kokyu-ho.

thisisnotreal
10-23-2009, 11:59 PM
So I don't know what real qi or full-banana jin is.
would anyone debate:
real qi = energy. "Ki of the Snake"
full-banana jin = fajin. "Ki of the Bees"
?

eyrie, mon. how do you clarify the use of the word energy. hope I can ask. I mean, I know you didn't use it first; but you must think about it. It is a natural concept in this training, methink.

thisisnotreal
10-24-2009, 12:10 AM
is it 'ting jin' that allows you to feel pulses easier?

thisisnotreal
10-24-2009, 12:22 AM
(could just be high blood pressure)
sorry for the back to back posts.
to back

DH
10-24-2009, 09:51 AM
Speaking generally again, Rob's hypothetical is a good example because it is demonstrates the basic concept of "unifying" one's self with another... and is the first thing shown/taught in Aikido. Most Aikido folk would/should recognize this as a standing variation of kokyu-ho.
Actually it is an example fraught with misunderstanding. There are external ways to handle that force / there are internal ways to handle that force and both can handle and capture the guy exerting on you with dumb and even trained force-hence the reason so many are fooled or confused by so called “expert” martial artists.
It's another reason I am often disappointed with these discussions. You set up an example and talk about THEE way to do it as if there is only one internal method or means to accomplish the task and one external and they are delineated as absolutes. Than you sit around and wait for some approved guy to put his approved stamp on it and say it is correct. Granted there are correct means and commonalities that are internal, no disagreement from me; but talking about it as a singular thing is just nonsense.

Getting under
Getting under with intent will do it-external will not cut it there- and it becomes a very potent little ditty to use. The "straights" (and those just learning} will move the body down to help them feel the down and up as a vector and never move forward from there. Maybe some will teach to "just use intent"... forever, which is just as stupid. I can stand stalk straight and make people rise by getting under without moving; many of you have felt me do it...and yet if you try that BS in grappling you are the moron for your effort. In that venue you need intent and movement. So how ironic is it to use movement joined with intent at the newbie level, to get to pure intent without movement that does some pretty startling things in a trained body, so that in the end you can arrive at movement again. Only this time it is pure intent driven movement. At any stage in between you need a coach, need to check, and 99% of the MA population will be clueless to see, and most will not be able to feel, except to say What the______?

Capturing
You can stand there and use your frame in a way that will lift him off of his base into you and then control him. This is done by and large without overall use of structure and uses frame and intent.
But then you can stand there stalk straight and breath him in, without really using frame much at all (other than basic support, instead you are using a trained connection between your hands, feet, through dantien (hara)

Entering / leaving
Or you can capture him with just a little breath work (or frame) and if you know how to use your connection you can enter him -while leaving; causing a rotation in his center
Or
You can "set" a contact point (there are different reasons for thinking this way) and cause rotation around himself or you
These "contact points" can happen anywhere along a spiraling arc at any point in your body; making for some interesting work in "actual fighting (MMA).
Now at any point in time, you are not going to just get "dumb force" for a grip either- so you need to add more intent driven motion to move people. Dumb force is a term I find to be rather "dumb" in itself; there are many grapplers who have learned some basic soft jin and even segmented assigned movement and heightened listening skills. It is very crude quasi internal work, but it is anything but dumb, and why they are such a good test for internal people. I have met some masters of arts with supposed internal power and I could handle them with soft "dumb force" and others where I had to be "on"

Trying to build a consensus among the latest IP' aiki craze is about as effective as was building a consensus among the MA community who didn't have a clue about IP/Aiki.
Just remember you all were among the former, before you became the later.
You have some internal guys showing you interesting things, Maybe you have one who can't or wont fight with what he supposedly knows, a few who will fight and move with what they supposedly know. Of the ones who can and will fight you, what part is basic jin skill, what part is more developed but just linear skills, what part is a more fully developed compliment of skills, and you are trying to figure out what's what.

I look at films of three or four of the acknowledged Japanese art "experts" teaching traditional arts with internals and I just see basic linear movement. And read some books on “Ki in the martial arts” by yet another expert that don't address “ki in the martial arts” at all. So I sit and shrug; if you say anything it makes divided camps and their supporters argue "You just have to feel him its amazing" It -is- amazing to those who can't do it. What am I going to say "I'm amazed that you are so amazed?
And the net becomes contentious.
So I might not be so sure of exactly who you are trying to build a consensus with. Some are for you and some are for themselves as the new experts doling out advice. The community has choices and resources; so get out and about and test-the smart guys are already figuring things out.
Good luck in your training
Dan

Upyu
10-24-2009, 10:52 AM
You set up an example and talk about THEE way to do it as if there is only one internal method or means to accomplish the task and one external and they are delineated as absolutes. Than you sit around and wait for some approved guy to put his approved stamp on it and say it is correct. Granted there are correct means and commonalities that are internal, no disagreement from me; but talking about it as a singular thing is just nonsense.

I totally agree, and to be clear I think there's multiple ways to solve this particular problem, some different than others, which doesn't make the other ways any less "correct."

And I could give a rats ass over whether someone "approves" of a given solution or not, I think it's important to keep your own council. We're all learning.

"Dumb force" is dumb, again I agree. But it could help to establish a baseline as to how different people approach a problem. Otherwise it's a hassle to talk about it in terms of other kinds of force generation.

Say for instance,
Getting under + utilizing the winding along the inner lines etc (lines of connection running on the inside of the legs, or in Sam's terms, the yin side), to cause person B to be drawn inwards and off balance.

Not necessarily the best solution, but a possible one.
I prefer drawing in, as opposed to popping someone off since it's more viable to have them stuck to you as opposed to simply bouncing them away.

In any event, what I iterated above could be completely off-base, in which case I'm fair game to be called on as well. :crazy:

thisisnotreal
10-24-2009, 10:58 AM
wow
:rolleyes: :cool:

DH
10-24-2009, 05:18 PM
Hi Rob
Well, I knew you would agree anyway. That was not so much for you personally as it was for the discussion in general.:D
Dan

Budd
10-24-2009, 08:07 PM
Nice discussion here. I think what's being bandied about is that there's a desired way of doing things (via intent having tangible effect), there's less optimal ways (via overt movement, local muscles, relying on timing and external tricks, etc) . . but presuming that you are going for soft . . what ways are you training to get there . . checkpoints, etc. Per what Dan wrote, there's different ways, so how to get to the optimal way, allowing for the requisite conditioning and rewiring the body?

eyrie
10-25-2009, 05:54 PM
Actually it is an example fraught with misunderstanding. There are external ways to handle that force / there are internal ways to handle that force and both can handle and capture the guy exerting on you with dumb and even trained force-hence the reason so many are fooled or confused by so called “expert” martial artists. Misunderstanding the example, due to misperception, or lack of instruction, is not the fault of the example. But I see your point, Dan.

You set up an example and talk about THEE way to do it as if there is only one internal method or means to accomplish the task and one external and they are delineated as absolutes. Than you sit around and wait for some approved guy to put his approved stamp on it and say it is correct. Granted there are correct means and commonalities that are internal, no disagreement from me; but talking about it as a singular thing is just nonsense. I don't think that is the case here, Dan. As you well know, there are many different approaches, some more external than others. Just trying to get to the heart of the internals - the overlap of correct means and commonalities... so to speak.

<snip>Thanks for the clarification here. Much appreciated.

Trying to build a consensus among the latest IP' aiki craze is about as effective as was building a consensus among the MA community who didn't have a clue about IP/Aiki. I don't think that is the case here either... comparing approaches is not building consensus. IF consensus is the result of such comparisons, then fair enough... but it's not the goal - at least not my intent for starting the thread. Hope this clarifies things.

thisisnotreal
10-26-2009, 03:45 PM
...and yet if you try that BS in grappling you are the moron for your effort

I have been that moron.
Is it just me, or is it at the beginning of this stuff you have no idea of its extents…so you do/try some pretty stupid things? trying to find the 'boundaries'? Probably just me.


So how ironic is it to use movement joined with intent at the newbie level, to get to pure intent without movement that does some pretty startling things in a trained body, so that in the end you can arrive at movement again. Only this time it is pure intent driven movement.

Totally Ironic. HA!
What's that saying? Before enlightenment chop wood, carry water, after enlightenment chop wood carry water. Same but different, eh?

Are there other such roadmaps to IP? I don't see what other pattern it could be. I had not seen the pattern in this way…


Entering / leaving
Or you can capture him with just a little breath work (or frame) and if you know how to use your connection you can enter him -while leaving; causing a rotation in his center

You remind me of this clip of Liu Chengde you posted a while back< (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zZDtCZVURY#t=0m33s). ooooh..."Amazing!" In fact. And no…I have no idea what you'd say. ; ) Just thinking out loud...but it occurs to me the uke actually spins himself as he 'uncoils' from the parting-implanted-load?!? Pretty neat thought.

Josh
I really hope other people feel empowered to share more, as it seems everyone wants others to do the same. Perhaps we each hold some of the keys for others' understandings and only ‘get' when we give.
I am not a hippy.

Why it it so quiet in here? We are all learning, no?
Thanks for reading.

DH
10-26-2009, 08:11 PM
Are there other such roadmaps to IP? I don't see what other pattern it could be. I had not seen the pattern in this way…
Hi Josh
I prefer to teach:
Intent, no external movement
Then
Movement with intent
But for some they have trouble so I combine certain *patterned* movements that will (in the end) be very useful *new* ways to move in a fight, (once re-combined with trained intent).

A most interesting factor is the nature of that movemment; not all is the same. Thinking all you need do is some breath work and "move with ki" and incorporate that into any movement is just simply ridiculous and is going to have people end up stronger but by and large still "moving" with many of the same problems they did before. It's not enough to get people where I suspect they want to go. And they will be bested by those with more intelligent and in depth training.

There are methods to use IP/Aiki in patterned movement. I am talking about ways to move that are not normal, that cannot in fact even be done or pulled off with external mechanics and these are very powerful in fighting. The ways to express power from IP/Aiki has a rationale in physical movement, movement, that put quite plainly-will simply take most Martial artists apart in any number of ways.
I guess it all depends on your experience in teaching and your experience in fighting with IP/aiki to know the difference and be able to both demonstrate and teach it.

Why it it so quiet in here? We are all learning, no?
I was never much interested in teaching and coaching on the internet in the first place. Then this idea was proposed, Josh; to openly share and be all "good golly lets swap information." Due to certain parameters, and certain people- I never trusted that, but talked more openly behind the scene and shared. Then the reality set in. There are some guys playing this game with a devisive and self-serving agenda, Josh. In the end it was the same old Martial Art crap, now wrapped up in a different package. I want nothing from these men. I'm going to support the teachers I commit to and a few other select people that I trust and that just may be it for me. Why? I have grown truly disgusted by some of the people involved in this new "movement." They're not my kind of people.

You remind me of this clip of Liu Chengde you posted a while back (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zZDtCZVURY#t=0m33s). ooooh..."Amazing!" In fact. And no…I have no idea what you'd say. ; ) Just thinking out loud...but it occurs to me the uke actually spins himself as he 'uncoils' from the parting-implanted-load?!? Pretty neat thought.

Well this one was good too.
here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BW11hkQOEEQ&feature=related)
He was fun to play with, though he never got me to move like any of those guys, and I got repetitive shoulder and elbow bombs to boot!
Wonderful guy! There are some very interesting and valuable lessons in those two videos.
Cheers
Dan

osaya
10-26-2009, 08:25 PM
I look at films of three or four of the acknowledged Japanese art "experts" teaching traditional arts with internals and I just see basic linear movement.

Hi Dan,

Who are some of these 'experts' that you speak of? I'm a very piqued n00b and am trying to establish some starting points for further research/training. I appreciate that different people will have different opinions, but you appear to be highly regarded in this arena, and I would appreciate your views.

On that note, I happen to have access to a training DVD of Endo Seishiro (Atari and Musubi), of which I am extremely fascinated with [ref:- youtube sample clip (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VM-reduvM8k). I'm wondering if what he is demonstrating is/can be considered 'internal power' or is merely 'stupid jin tricks' or something else?

Cheers.

DH
10-27-2009, 10:13 AM
Hello
I don't like to recommend people; good or bad, when I don't know what they know and how well or willingly they will teach.
Example: The teacher in your video is doing a very basic jin "trick"
Most of the Aunkai guys can do that; as it is a spin off of one of their very basic training drills. Most of my people can do that as well.
It will be sad if this stuff is considered "high level" or even extraordinary when it is kindergarten work. in fact, the skill is so low level that one wonders why the film was not done with the students doing it to each other. And to really get the point across-why the video is not of students cancelling out each other. That skill is not exactly something I would be "showing off" any day soon!

Once you have established a basic frame, you can handle simple muscle force-in. What you do after that can be simple mechanical tricks (frequently considered high level jujutsu), or it can be even more developed internal mechanics.
Were we to meet I could show you how that skill was the original skill used to do most of the basic wrist grabs things, and why it is thee only correct way to move for single and double wrist grab tenkans. One you understand it; there are ways to develop yourself so that no point of contact on your body matters at all, the same rules apply. Some of the Japanese art big name guys demonstrate some forms of that as well.

Everyone that keeps talking about ten chi jin and gravity and "getting under" are really only discussing first step things in IP/Aiki. You have to go through it in order to train it and be able to use it, but many of the visible skills you see, have several ways of being performed. Let's just say that one can "meet" by absorbing and entering at the same time and that-THAT- can be in several places at once! Further, that the means do to so can happen in several ways.
At this point I will stop as I reserve information for public places where it can be verified that the receiver of the information could not do it, or understand it, had ever heard of it before and didn't have a clue. That way when he or she appears later and tells everyone they knew it along; they can be outed for the kind of people they really are.
We must of course recognize that some, or even most of this knowledge really is out there in various places, right? So we can wonder why it is that to date; we don't see IP/Aiki being demonstrated all that well by anyone in the JMA. For that reason I will continue to reserve "how to's.".

Past simple tricks
At a point, the Japanese arts fail in reaching higher level skills. You will simply not advance to anything meaningful until people stop the Tori / Uke training model. At some point you have to take your "high level skills" and go out and test against freestyle attacks from people outside the system, or better still; people with high level skills train against high level people and test each other.
It is my opinion that the former was the chief reason Takeda traveled so much to supposedly "teach." It is patently obvious he didn't really teach many people at all. I think that he was doing shugyo and teaching himself.
In the same vein, I think the smartest thing that traditional Japanese art shihans could ever do in their entire professional career would be to "take-on" someone like me. Once more and more traditional Japanese shihan feel aiki's real potential without restriction and in total freedom of expression- it will open their eyes to the marvelous potential ahead of them.

The traditional Japanese art teachers I spoke of that I would not recommend; was for the simple reason that their skills in this area are apparently not that well developed. There is a lot you can do with some basic skills and good waza that impress quite a few people. When I see the antics of many of the big name men in the JMA training with their ukes, and the JMA community being impressed with that, I just scratch my head and say "Really guys... I mean...really?"

Watching the current crop of Japanese Shihans, limiting themselves to only going to other Japanese teachers is really quite appropriate and typical. Unless something changes, the next ten years will demonstrate their own lack of vision as their highest level skills simply will no longer be able to cut it in an ever growing, increasiingly aware and educated, community.

It's why it's best to get out and about to see what's out there. Don't settle for internet "blow hards," or men who have only "tested" themselves with ukes from their own art.
Cheers
Dan

MM
10-27-2009, 10:50 AM
On that note, I happen to have access to a training DVD of Endo Seishiro (Atari and Musubi), of which I am extremely fascinated with [ref:- youtube sample clip (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VM-reduvM8k). I'm wondering if what he is demonstrating is/can be considered 'internal power' or is merely 'stupid jin tricks' or something else?

Cheers.

Watching your posted vid and then watching this vid by Bill Gleason:

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

IMO, Gleason is explaining "how-to" better.

Budd
10-27-2009, 11:44 AM
I was never much interested in teaching and coaching on the internet in the first place. Then this idea was proposed, Josh; to openly share and be all "good golly lets swap information." Due to certain parameters, and certain people- I never trusted that, but talked more openly behind the scene and shared. Then the reality set in. There are some guys playing this game with a devisive and self-serving agenda, Josh. In the end it was the same old Martial Art crap, now wrapped up in a different package. I want nothing from these men. I'm going to support the teachers I commit to and a few other select people that I trust and that just may be it for me. Why? I have grown truly disgusted by some of the people involved in this new "movement." They're not my kind of people.


You know, I think it is unfortunate that there is this division happening when on surface everyone appears to be chasing the same . . er . . beast . . dragon? (nah, that's a different drug), but public discussions end up being about personalities. In general, I think there's a lot of talking past each other and button pushing happening that is usually indicative that basic communication has broken down somewhere.

I think parts of the elements of factionalism are a result of some people seeing IT as a kind of "club" that you do or don't belong to . . rather than understanding (at least it looks this way from my limited view) how much of a frustrating and often solitary pursuit it becomes as you struggle to condition yourself from the inside out and "get it".

Dan, you've mentioned more than once going out to see what people are doing. I agree with this completely, but it also seems like - to get a foot in the door, so to speak, you have to pick a methodology to start from in order to develop a base, or have a basic education in "this stuff". For example, if I push on Person A and can't move him and then push on Person B and can't move him - person A tells me it's because of XYZ, while Person B tells me it's because of ABC . . and they both feel a little different, but that's as much as my limited exposure allows me to discern . . who to believe and who to follow? You get the conundrum?

To your point, it becomes a matter of who will teach you, who can you best learn from, who can reproduce the skills in you. Maybe another addendum to that is who is accessible for questions and followups, who is teaching discrete bodyskills versus bundling it with a martial system (or even showing how the skills express in any martial art) . . I think those are important factors when looking at Internal Power Development Methods, also, and I'm sure there's others, too.

David Orange
10-27-2009, 11:53 AM
Watching your posted vid and then watching this vid by Bill Gleason:

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

IMO, Gleason is explaining "how-to" better.

After meeting him, I understood why Bill Gleason is so highly respected.

I also like how he's showing Dan's stuff.

Didn't much care for Endo's clip.

Kevin Leavitt
10-27-2009, 12:14 PM
Good post Budd!

I agree. Personalities and egos are in the way. Also agree about the club mentality as well. This needs to stop if we are all going to get along and have anyone to train with at all.

Spent the last two weekends study with two very fine Gentleman and friends, and I have learned alot.

A big part of the process for me has been the friendships and relationships I have built with people that this "IT" training has afforded me.

Ushiro Sensei spent alot of time talking about letting go and love and openening up. about engaging and moving forward....not only physically, but mentally. In fact, I think he really did a good job of stressing this over the physical this weekend.

I learned alot in the past two weekends, and I actually am beginning to believe that there is hope for me and I was able to experience some new things that are staying with me.

As such, I am also beginning to become aware that if I discuss this stuff as a separate element of my training, or idolize it, or become fanatical about it in the pursuit...that it is wrong and will become an obstacle.

As such, I am finding myself less wanting to discuss this stuff or debate who has it, who doesn't, and what you need to do to find it.

All I can do is be myself and share my training experience with others and maybe they will find joy and use in my practice, maybe they won't. I won't hide anything or keep secrets...but plenty of folks that I come in contact are so closed, so closed to reaching out and wanting to take risk and to let go...that I realize that I can't make them or prostelitize them into my way of thinking.

As such, it is really pointless discussing this stuff in this manner as it causes no love, no joy...only discord.

The folks that I have met that are on the path both advance and new are simply wonderful people...they have to be to possess it I am finding out!

I am finding out that they are all generous and eager to share and they will give you as much as you are willing to see or able to see.

So, if someone doesn't want to open up and take a chance to look at things differently, meet with me, doesn't care to share...or wants to hide...that is fine too...I no longer care as I now know that person has nothing to offer me at all.

You can only try and reach out so much and then you have to move on with your training and life...it is no loss to you as they have nothing of real value.

DH
10-27-2009, 12:19 PM
Hi Budd
I Hope all is well.
Your assessment about what to do and where to go is spot on, isn't it. I remain open in that regard. I think it best to let people go out and test. I just strongly object when some are "looked up to" and I then read some of the comments, and hear some of the mud being slung about who so and so will recommend and who people should avoid.

I think folks need to just do the research themsevles. It seems to me that MA'ers spend all sorts of money to go feel these big shots in TMA; I say let em. Others may choose to spend time and money exploring the alternates; let them do that as well. People will waste time, and others will get it, while others are ogling over Johnnies really cool waza, some men will get real power and skill that negates Samurai Johnnies really cool waza!

No one is going to really change anyone Else's mind by talking about it are they? The most we are going to do is to generate interest, and that's about it.

To address your point about "How do you know which ones to go to-who all feel powerful but stress ABC or XYZ?" You don't and never will, till later on. and what if part of both methods is right even if it is all each party knows? What someone knows a better way than both? In the end people will pick a teacher or a method for a host of reasons; some of them wise, some of them not so wise. But here's the thing;
Who's being honest with their recommendations
Who really has the level of skill to be offering any kind of recommendations to start with?

I opt out. You guys can fight that fight and leave me out of it. I suggest you listen to other people you trust, and try as many as you can and find out for yourself.
I was...and still am open to sharing. My point is that it never was an honest and open exchange on the net. There was an agenda attached to it by certain people. I "called it" for what it was, and thankfully I am pleased that others have recently gotten that as well all on their own. No big deal, we're all used to that in the TMA; it's SSDD. It's the way it always was and I suspect always will be. We all just have to do the best we can to find what we need.
Good luck in your search Budd
Cheers
Dan

Toby Threadgill
10-27-2009, 12:43 PM
Kusaimen -Stinky Noodles

Takamura sensei used to say this from time to time. It was one of his funny Japanese idioms. I finally asked him to explain the term. In his uniquely humorous manner he laid it out in a story.

So Tobysan, you have a bowl. You fill it with very expensive noodles and the highest quality ingredients. You spare no expense in creating the best bowl of noodles possible. A true masterpiece of noodle making. Then, you crap in the noodles. You know what? It all tastes like crap!

No matter how wonderful or enlightening the information, if the teacher is a jerk, he's a jerk. The information is not worth it because its corrupted. Why? Because there's someone out there with the same or better information, who's also a nice guy. Who's not interested in self-aggrandizement, but into the graciousness and honor that comes with seeing his student's progress. He's not interested publicly demeaning others or arguing about who's best or who knows what. He's just teaching and proudly standing beside his students on their quest.

As leader of koryu I have a unique and complex responsibility beyond that of individual enjoyment, but at the end of the day I still do what I do because I enjoy it. It enriches my life. The day that ceases to be true, I will stop and pass my responsibilities to another out of fear I will become .......kusaimen.

Respectfully,

Toby Threadgill / TSYR

Kevin Leavitt
10-27-2009, 12:48 PM
and that is what I learned the most from you Toby! Your joy and love for what you do shows over everything else.

Now I swim away...very fast!

DH
10-27-2009, 12:50 PM
Kevin
While I agree with most of your points, the idea of not obsessing with this type of training is where we differ
a) there is no single "This type of training" that is defined.
b) if it is more or less in the same direction, then "this type of training" is the only thing in the martial arts to be obsessed about.

What did the recent past teach us?
I seem to recall similar statements being made about Grappling against TMA years ago. These statements and arguments can often be called "ego." I know the Gracies were often accused of that.
What happened?
In the end, their "position," and what they said, proved to be true, over and over. By now it is well known how the Grappling V TJMA equation ended up.

We know how the IP/ Aiki V TJMA equation is ending up in person, one be one; TJMA does not stand up very well, if at all. It consistently fails to deliver in the face of well developed IP/ Aiki. So, when does a "point of view" become just plain fact? Some are angered by this, some are delighted to see the real power of the Japanese arts IP/Aiki; finally coming to the light of day. Even if it means most Japanese Shihan simply missed it.
On the whole, the Japanese training methodology has kept a lot of innovation, experimentation, and genius beat down. I think of this as a very good time to be in the martial arts. And probably the best time to be in Aikido since Ueshiba was alive.

Cheers
Dan

Budd
10-27-2009, 12:55 PM
Thanks, Kevin.

And thanks, Dan, for the thoughtful response. All is well, here - great, even. My son turned one last month and everyone's healthy and happy. And of course I hope all is well with you and yours.

I think that the main thrust of the last few years - getting people interested in "this stuff" - has been successful in that it's now more openly looked at, by those whom have interest, as a discrete skillset, regardless of martial art. There are now avenues for people to pursue to try to get their own foot in the door and getting started in building it up in themselves.

I get the frustration with "authority" being placed in some viewpoints versus others - but I'm hoping that with time, if the brewing factions can be prevented from getting too toxic, that "authority" continues to be based on people getting out and more and more people being "vetted" by as objective a set of criteria as possible. At this point, it seems few enough people have been "vetted" and the objective criteria (and I really am not talking about "feats", because they ought to be a "result" of good training, methinks, rather than the end goal as I've witnessed the case to be at times) is still being somewhat defined . .

So taking the example from my first post that you added to . . If I get experienced enough to "feel" differences then maybe I can say from a static push that Person A feels like pushing a wall, Person B feels like I'm pushing myself away, Person C seems to make any force I exert disappear, Person D can exhibit any and all of the three previous persons' characterisitcs on demand . . I think that will be another step forward, even if it's not happening publicly, but behind the scenes while people all chase the skills and train their butts off, compare notes, etc.

And even if you do opt out publicly from things, I think there's plenty of debt owed to your participation and putting discussions of IS on the frontburner (in addition to following up to meet people, etc.) that it's not going to be overlooked even as, hopefully, we all collectively move forward.

Best Regards,

DH
10-27-2009, 01:19 PM
Great point, Toby. It is also complex.
When is the crap that stunk up the place- the result of a lot of bad teaching; and the fine ingredients by and large are best found outside the bowl!

I agree whole heartedly about the teacher being a jerk; it's why I find comments like this so atrocious

Dan Harden wrote:
I make it easy. I don't recommend anyone. I tell people to go out and feel and make their own choices. Then they own their choices.
Why? It's the only way I currently know to be fair and open about it

Mike wrote:
I'm tell 'em the same thing. And I always suggest that it's very important to find a guy they like and who seems like a nice guy, because that's how so much progress was made over the last 30 or so years. People I like and I think are serious, I give the best advice I can.
FWIW
Mike Sigman

It's as if being nice is a sin. Of course "nice" is no qualification, but rarely have I heard it so consistently denigrated as a negative!

I'm not sure sure I agree about competition, testing and talking plainly though. if someone is looking for some thing that is rare and hard to find, there is a measure of plain talk that helps and it sometimes isn't exaclty equally complimentary of everyones efforts. I think some teachers efforts (not them as a person) are less than stellar and will not hold up to scrutiny in terms of Ip/Aiki. Others with skills are horrible people and or horrible teachers; and sometimes (as you recently noted to me privately)...they are both.
IOW, Mike is not all wrong in his sarcastic wit.
When is talking fact; talking smack?
When is not speaking plainly...talking smack to one searching?

There is a Japanese TMA teacher making the rounds who is crude, and rude to his students (all in the name of bujutsu); abusive at the slightest hint of challenge of his skills, and has proved rather conclusively that he sucks at teaching. On top of all of that, his skills are not exactly what some of the "IT" crowd would ever consider high level.
So...when does recommending him in public- while telling the truth behind closed doors- do anyone any good?
As I said, great point...but in truth it is a little more complex than a simple metaphor.
Cheers
Dan

Kevin Leavitt
10-27-2009, 01:29 PM
Dan,

There is alot we agree on...I think most of it is lost in the communication process in digits here.

"This type of training".....

I agree with you on this and my sarcasm in my post simply does not come through in the beginning of it when I mention it.

I will see if I can explain it a little bit better. For me, as I am learning more, it is becoming less and less objectified as a separate and distinct part of training and more and more of my focus and what I am doing. I simply don't have enough skill or context to do it very well.

So I see it more as a conversion process from external focus to internal focus as I learn more and more..so yeah...I agree.

Although most of us begin from the paradigm that says that it is "this kinda training" since it is new and different than what we do.

A good example is how I viewed the distinction between BJJ and Aikido. Today I give no thought what-so-ever about that distinction...it is the same for me...training context is a little different...but no conscious thought at all.

So as I am exposed to the best guys I can find in TMA, Koryu, BJJ or what not....I find out that there are alot of things I thought were correct ways of training...only to discover that what I was doing was not good and incorrect...and now I do things that are correct.

That simple.

So yes, I do agree with what you are saying here I think which is there are efficient ways of doing things, inefficent/ineffective ways of doing them...and middle of the road ways of doing them too.

So, as you learn more efficient ways and they take over what you do in waza/application...your training becomes "more correct or efficient".

Some choose to look at these ways as being "the IT way". Which is really the point I was making...having a big "ah hah" moment over the past couple of weeks.

This really became very apparent to me with Ushiro this weekend watching him doing karate. The same karate I did for many years...although he did it in a way that was greatly different than anything I had ever experienced. Yes, Karate!

Aikido folks might look at him and say..."hey that is aikido...with a little karate flair added!".

Which kinda leads into your UFC/Gracie/TMA example..which is a whole nuther subject, as there was alot going on there as well politically as well.....but that is best left for a discussion over beers as having that discussion in the open here would cause the whole point of the conversation to get mudded and lost.

"We know how the IP/ Aiki V TJMA equation is ending up in person, one be one; TJMA does not stand up very well, if at all. It consistently fails to deliver in the face of well developed IP/ Aiki.
"

Well Dissonance is a bitch isn't it.

However, you have to be careful not to swing hard back the other way and throw the baby out with the bath water.

I am seeing alot of folks feeling like they have gotten ripped off by their past training, sold a bill of goods by their organization, all their training was wasted and then getting on the band wagon in some very extreme ways.

This is a concern of mine and it is not healthy.

I have seen this in other areas as well. Such as military Chaplains abandoning their religions outright after experiencing the horrors of war down range and then feeling empty cause their seminary training did not equip them personally and spiritually to deal with such situations.

Do you really need to abandon your whole religion because of this, or do you need to figure out what is really going on in the situation and fix what is broke?

I have been through this a few times myself and it did me no good to jump to extremes.

I spent this past weekend talking to alot of aikido folks at the seminar...these are the ones that are not afraid to step outside of their comfort zones and try new things...and they are not abandoning their art. We talked alot what is right and what is wrong with budo in general and forming visions for changes on an interpersonal level and in their dojos. Those conversations though I think are ones that need to happen in private as they will cause more harm than good in public. I think alot of talk about this is public is harmful as it hurts egos, feelings, and generally causes folks to "move away" from change rather than embrace it.

I think though that you would find that we actually agree on most of this stuff Dan, ironically, and that having this conversation face to face would be very enjoyable and fun!

George S. Ledyard
10-27-2009, 01:29 PM
Kusaimen -Stinky Noodles

Takamura sensei used to say this from time to time. It was one of his funny Japanese idioms. I finally asked him to explain the term. In his uniquely humorous manner he laid it out in a story.

So Tobysan, you have a bowl. You fill it with very expensive noodles and the highest quality ingredients. You spare no expense in creating the best bowl of noodles possible. A true masterpiece of noodle making. Then, you crap in the noodles. You know what? It all tastes like crap!

No matter how wonderful or enlightening the information, if the teacher is a jerk, he's a jerk. The information is not worth it because its corrupted. Why? Because there's someone out there with the same or better information, who's also a nice guy. Who's not interested in self-aggrandizement, but into the graciousness and honor that comes with seeing his student's progress. He's not interested publicly demeaning others or arguing about who's best or who knows what. He's just teaching and proudly standing beside his students on their quest.

As leader of koryu I have a unique and complex responsibility beyond that of individual enjoyment, but at the end of the day I still do what I do because I enjoy it. It enriches my life. The day that ceases to be true, I will stop and pass my responsibilities to another out of fear I will become .......kusaimen.

Respectfully,

Toby Threadgill / TSYR
Toby,
You crack me up... never fails.
- George

Budd
10-27-2009, 01:39 PM
I think it's also worth noting in this "Non-Aikido Martial Tradition" forum that there's different levels and layers of teacher/student relationship. Sometime the teacher demands that the student submit themselves wholly to what the teacher is doing and requires that the student blindly follow. One could argue that is something of a traditional approach. There's also perhaps a more modern approach that some martial studies (and IS as a discrete skillset) are more based on examining them as tradecraft (which can require an apprenticeship similar to the above scenario - or a more casual, let's get together and talk shop, even when one amongst the group is a more senior practitioner doing most of the sharing). Then there's sports-based athlete/coach relationships . . then there's every hybrid and in-between version you can imagine.

In either case, I suspect, you would want to be sure that someone in whom you've placed your trust and well-being, is going to treat that appropriately and with regard. Question is - what are your standards for assessing if someone is going to appropriately handle the trust you give them when you set out to learn something they have to teach?

Personally, I am always wary when I first meet someone and I play ball with what they're doing, trying my best not to let what I think or think I know get in the way of what they want to show me. But I am also guarded and if I decide that they're going to try to hurt me intentionally, it's game on and I respond accordingly. Deducing whether someone is a stinky noodle, however, I don't claim to be able to determine easily, because I've had perfectly charming teachers demonstrate seemingly sociopathic tendencies in varying degrees . . so it gets to be a crap shoot, either way.

Now, factor in trying to determine the quality of goods they have for sale (to use a crude term) - and you've got additional layers of complexity. Whether it's a koryu with a guarded gate or an MMA gym where all you have to do is show up - the culture and content you're only going to get exposure to by stepping through the entryway and getting stinky (to use another crude term) ;)

YMMV.

DH
10-27-2009, 01:45 PM
And thanks, Dan, for the thoughtful response. All is well, here - great, even. My son turned one last month and everyone's healthy and happy.
Good times ahead for you eh?
I get the frustration with "authority" being placed in some viewpoints versus others - but I'm hoping that with time, if the brewing factions can be prevented from getting too toxic, that "authority" continues to be based on people getting out and more and more people being "vetted" by as objective a set of criteria as possible. At this point, it seems few enough people have been "vetted" and the objective criteria (and I really am not talking about "feats", because they ought to be a "result" of good training, methinks, rather than the end goal as I've witnessed the case to be at times) is still being somewhat defined . .

Maybe I didn't state my points well.
1. I don't think anyone of the "experts" I have read, seen on film, or met (on the Japanese side of things) *qualifies* as an authority on IP/ aiki. They're simply not good enough. So reading "recommendations" about others from any of the "amateurs" being currently "looked up to" is simply hilarious to me. I include myself here, and its why I refuse to make suggestions other than to get out and feel and test everyone.
2. Of course each guy is going to vett certain people according to his own past experience and after feeling "so and so." Of course!! It's what we have always done, it's all we can do. But it doesn't make them an authority, either. I think we should just let it be what it is; a vetting process and...THE HONEST SEARCH AND SHARING, IT WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE BEEN.

That way no one is constantly trying to one-up someone else, no one is getting information than lying about the source; it's just straight talk and straight training.

And even if you do opt out publicly from things, I think there's plenty of debt owed to your participation and putting discussions of IS on the frontburner (in addition to following up to meet people, etc.) that it's not going to be overlooked even as, hopefully, we all collectively move forward.

Best Regards,
Budd
I meant opting out on giving instructions on the net. I am supporting teachers on a weekly basis, and next month I am teaching another national "Teachers only" seminar for a Karate style. I am not opposed to helping, but in person it's just more honest and straight, and teachers have the best chance of getting the information out there with approved training time in their dojo's.
Cheers
Dan

Erick Mead
10-27-2009, 01:48 PM
Watching your posted vid and then watching this vid by Bill Gleason:

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

IMO, Gleason is explaining "how-to" better. I'll hazard the expense of pixels. You can see that -- but you can't see the chopstick (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=243470&postcount=125) ? :D

Motion and stress are equivalent and interchangeable. By EITHER dropping weight (in visible motion as he does) OR setting a line of equivalent stress in the same orientation (i.e, -- in juuji -- right angles), the effect is the same -- if you let the torsional shear take over to cause a slight gyration in the contact angle. The attacker's support (in the video) tends to shear away behind him (like the chopstick) -- his push is mainly cancelled by adverse moment at his base -- not leverage at his contact. It's the same thing (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=243470&postcount=125) -- just looser. Only a shear can do this.

Watching Shioda's tippy-toe randori -- is like watching some elfin rhinoceros doing demolition ballet, and often shearing the base toward instead of away. Shioda often tends to like going up (releasing the compression spiral and extending), instead of down (releasing the tensile spiral and retracting or dropping). But it's all still the same action. Action in one spiral is potential in the other. Both stresses are always available if you start in shear, and initial up or down orientation of action is equally available if you start in tenchi.

Both the tensile spiral line or the compression spiral line can draw the base in any direction, depending on only a slight imparted gyrational moment -- supplied by the shear torsion stress itself. As Endo shows (and as push-hands does), these stress-and-motion lines easily alternate continuously and seamlessly -- in-yo ho and if not compensated by the same mechanism, cause waves of progressive joint buckling -- up to and including the juncture at the base of support.

Please tell me you guys really can see all this ?

Budd
10-27-2009, 02:12 PM
Good times ahead for you eh?

Yeah, good enough that insanity may mean going for two!! (someone can slap me at any time, really)


Maybe I didn't state my points well.
1. I don't think anyone of the "experts" I have read, seen on film, or met (on the Japanese side of things) *qualifies* as an authority on IP/ aiki. They're simply not good enough. So reading "recommendations" about others from any of the "amateurs" being currently "looked up to" is simply hilarious to me. I include myself here, and its why I refuse to make suggestions other than to get out and feel and test everyone.
2. Of course each guy is going to vett certain people according to his own past experience and after feeling "so and so." Of course!! It's what we have always done, it's all we can do. But it doesn't make them an authority, either. I think we should just let it be what it is; a vetting process and...THE HONEST SEARCH AND SHARING, IT WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE BEEN.


Absolutely, I think I was onboard with what you were saying before, but I definitely cannot argue with what's written above. And it's very telling that some folks that have been "vetted" here on Aikiweb point farther up the pyramid to others as examples of "big dogs" to get their hands on. I think the kind of exposure you get access to is going to come down to who you're connected with, how you get introduced to someone, how you filter what they show you, how you move forward with progressing and doing the work, then how you represent yourself publicly and in person - just like it's always likely been to some degree or another.


That way no one is constantly trying to one-up someone else, no one is getting information than lying about the source; it's just straight talk and straight training.

Defo works for me *nods*.


I meant opting out on giving instructions on the net. I am supporting teachers on a weekly basis, and next month I am teaching another national "Teachers only" seminar for a Karate style. I am not opposed to helping, but in person it's just more honest and straight.
Cheers
Dan

Hell yes in person is more honest and straight. I circle back to a point I've made repeatedly over the last couple of years. The best thing about the internet with regards to martial arts forums has been to spread more information to give pointers about who and what kinds of people you want to try to hook up with in person. I still believe that. But my comment about there being a debt to you - even for folks that haven't met you but were inspired to go figure things out for themselves . . still stands for sure.

Kevin Leavitt
10-27-2009, 02:24 PM
Budd wrote:

get the frustration with "authority" being placed in some viewpoints versus others - but I'm hoping that with time, if the brewing factions can be prevented from getting too toxic, that "authority" continues to be based on people getting out and more and more people being "vetted" by as objective a set of criteria as possible. At this point, it seems few enough people have been "vetted" and the objective criteria (and I really am not talking about "feats", because they ought to be a "result" of good training, methinks, rather than the end goal as I've witnessed the case to be at times) is still being somewhat defined

Budd, what was encouraging at the Ushiro seminar was the folks that were there from Kokyushin, Aikido, Shindo Ryu, BJJ and other arts is that there are lots of folks that are committted to laying down their differences and we have some very high level folks in all these communities that are able to get together and train.

Who'd ever thunk that aikido folks and kokyushin could get together in the same room and have a productive weekend? I've done it before years ago and it was a disaster!

Now you have these guys that can come together and form a community? it is awesome! think about it.

Vetting? none of us talked about vetting we simply trained together and tried to help each other learn. We talked about "hey you should really get with this guy...he is awesome...or have you spent time with so and so...he is fun and a great guy. yadayada....it was all in the joy of celebrating the sharing...not the dacronian vetting process.

I don't understand the whole vetting process really.....if anything it should be a friendly...hey you should really go train with this guy, I think you'd learn some things from him.

Some how this has gotten way out of hand.

thisisnotreal
10-27-2009, 02:28 PM
Kevin, what's your problem with Dacron? It's a hell of a fiber.

Kevin Leavitt
10-27-2009, 02:31 PM
Budd, we need to do another get together at your dojo sometime, I'd really llike to meet up with you, Ron T and the rest of the guys in this area and do some training!

Kevin Leavitt
10-27-2009, 02:32 PM
Josh, damn what's the issue?...I guess you just don't "get it" ...sigh!

Budd
10-27-2009, 02:38 PM
Well, Kevin, my own "take" is that it's great to get together in the spirit of budo fellowship and play and see what happens (been doing that for years, though on a little bit of a sabbattical from that while I focus on some things). But on the flip side, to me, the vetting process is generally no more than "hey you should check out this guy" and that's that.

Caveat, though . . if someone says to me, "Hey, you should go check out the internal skills of XYZ" and they are primarily a judo player whom I've not felt much internal skill development from when I've had hands on them . . while I won't dismiss their input, I may ask more follow-up questions, regarding, "What did you work on? What were the explicit takeaways you got from them? How did they feel compared to (insert someone we both know)?" Who'm I kidding, I'm going to ask those questions anyways ;)

But do you see what I mean? It's just one part of the information gathering process and in no way means that someone is on or off my radar because of one comment . . but certain opinions by certain people are going to carry weight. The more informed the opinion (based on criteria we all apply individually or collectively), the more weight, etc.

And in the area of Internal Strength training, as public information is slowly being more revealed, there also needs to be something of an assessment given to it, because it wasnt' that long ago (heck, it's still happening here on Aikiweb, but thankfully in smaller doses) that everyone was weighing in with . . "I believe ki is a big ball of gas that I can use in my aikido", or "I will get ki skills if I just do suburi and tenkan" or "ki strength is best reflected by being really stubborn". . it's not like that still doesn't happen . .but there's now beginning to be a more publicly acknowledged (but still gross) framework and vocabulary around 'this stuff' where people can speak more directly to it and about it, rather than around it or past each other . . presuming the participants want to.

EDIT: Absolutely, Kevin, we should hook up sometime. My rolling is really rusty so I need to get schooled!

gregstec
10-27-2009, 02:41 PM
Then, you crap in the noodles. You know what? It all tastes like crap!


Just when I was thinking of having noodles for dinner....:eek:

Nice analogy with some very good points :)

Greg Steckel

Kevin Leavitt
10-27-2009, 03:12 PM
Yea I see what you mean Budd. I also see the break down and your analysis is done in a positive manner meant to understand, not to compare 'haves and have nots". There is a difference.

That said, I my friends are asking me to tell them how various people feel compared to others...and I really don't know how to answer that question anymore. Not that anyone is asking the wrong question...it is just simply not something I can answer in a way that is constructive.

It could be my own lack of ability to distill and summarize, but I really think it is getting harder to do as I am moving more out of a comparitive phase of "wow that was cool to feel", to a stage of "he showed me some things...can I do them" or "what take aways did I get that I feel I am going to be able to replicate".

I am kinda over the "wow that was fun to play with"....as it is easy I think to go to a 3 ring circus and be entertained....what did you take away from the seminar to work on and what feedback process do you have to measure and adjust on.

So, that is a good point, we could all get together and have a good time, but yea...what is the objective of the meeting and what are the take aways going to be? A very good point indeed, otherwise we just of a "in club" meeting of the "he man women haters society" and we all go home feeling cool!

That is a very good point indeed!

DH
10-27-2009, 04:38 PM
Hi Kevin
I don't think the vetting preciess has been a problem at all. Which is why I encourage it so much. In fact I am big fan of people meeting testing, feeling, sparring, or fighting as many people as they can. I think it's the best thing right now to check, "IT" as a stand alone skill, or those who can actually use for real in something other than kata or a few tests. Go for it.
In particular I would STRONGLY suggest people keep putting hands on every master class teacher they can, then meeting the few guys outside of TMA talking aobut IP/ Aiki and how to effectively train it, and compare methods.
Not everyone is looking for the same thing are they? Therefore it stands to reason that not all will be happy with the same methods. That seems friendly, open and honest to me. The hard part is going to be deciding on something long enough to get all it can do for you, while checking other things out and or when do you see something else you want to train to incorporate into your internals. Some guys are just not going to be able to help you get to where you are trying to go, where others could.
Opinions of methods and approaches are just going to change over time, as people get more conversent in their own skills. IOW, some people who are impressed with so and so right now, are going to change their mind. I guarantee it.
There are no hard feelings that I can see.

Proper credit for information is another issue, but lets put that aside.

Dan,
There is alot we agree on...I think most of it is lost in the communication process in digits here.

"This type of training".....
I agree with you on this and my sarcasm in my post simply does not come through in the beginning of it when I mention it.

I will see if I can explain it a little bit better. For me, as I am learning more, it is becoming less and less objectified as a separate and distinct part of training and more and more of my focus and what I am doing. I simply don't have enough skill or context to do it very well.

So I see it more as a conversion process from external focus to internal focus as I learn more and more..so yeah...I agree.

Although most of us begin from the paradigm that says that it is "this kinda training" since it is new and different than what we do.

A good example is how I viewed the distinction between BJJ and Aikido. Today I give no thought what-so-ever about that distinction...it is the same for me...training context is a little different...but no conscious thought at all.
So as I am exposed to the best guys I can find in TMA, Koryu, BJJ or what not....I find out that there are alot of things I thought were correct ways of training...only to discover that what I was doing was not good and incorrect...and now I do things that are correct.
That simple.


Well I can agree on the one hand but then not on others. I can only say that there is a lot of sophisticated jujutsu and weapons work that is soft but is not internal. And it is....very impressive.
And that statement is not a way to make friends and influence people is it?. Is it better to say it straight, find better PC ways to say it? Or just let it go and not say it at all?

So yes, I do agree with what you are saying here I think which is there are efficient ways of doing things, inefficent/ineffective ways of doing them...and middle of the road ways of doing them too.
So, as you learn more efficient ways and they take over what you do in waza/application...your training becomes "more correct or efficient".
Some choose to look at these ways as being "the IT way". Which is really the point I was making...having a big "ah hah" moment over the past couple of weeks.

Efficiency is not really an issue here. There are many ways to do external arts more *efficiently* than others...far more efficiently in fact; and none of that is internal either, It's just better jujutsu, better weapons work, but in the end thats all it really is. More efficient movement. .

his really became very apparent to me with Ushiro this weekend watching him doing karate. The same karate I did for many years...although he did it in a way that was greatly different than anything I had ever experienced. Yes, Karate!

Aikido folks might look at him and say..."hey that is aikido...with a little karate flair added!".
I am not overly impressed with Ushiro's movement, neither are some others in the current IT crowd.
IMO, he, like a few others have developed a certain part of these skills. No, I am not talking about their fighting skills, or waza, I am talking about IP/Aiki.
FWIW, I would be counted among those stating it is not aikido, nor will it necessarily produce better aikido. there are other methods more in keeping with aikido is.

Dan wrote:
"We know how the IP/ Aiki V TJMA equation is ending up in person, one be one; TJMA does not stand up very well, if at all. It consistently fails to deliver in the face of well developed IP/ Aiki."

Well Dissonance is a bitch isn't it.

However, you have to be careful not to swing hard back the other way and throw the baby out with the bath water.

I am seeing alot of folks feeling like they have gotten ripped off by their past training, sold a bill of goods by their organization, all their training was wasted and then getting on the band wagon in some very extreme ways.This is a concern of mine and it is not healthy.I have seen this in other areas as well. Such as military Chaplains abandoning their religions outright after experiencing the horrors of war down range and then feeling empty cause their seminary training did not equip them personally and spiritually to deal with such situations.

Do you really need to abandon your whole religion because of this, or do you need to figure out what is really going on in the situation and fix what is broke?
Sigh...
Well, there is a lot to be said for summations. I think some people were ripped off. I've seen it happen. Others were not taught because some Japanese teachers simply are poor teachers. SOme Japanese teachers were not taught themselves. the lack of IP/Aiki skills in the arts speaks for itself.
I think the truth is always best. It usually let's the best in the arts rise to the fore, and the ones who should sink to the bottom usually do. I am virtually surounded on a weekly basis by spin, obfuscating and PC correctiveness in public presentations. In Budo, all that does is support organizations that produce more of the same.

I leave you with this. If I, or Mike, or Ark had remained...in... any of those "organizations"...we wouldn't be having this discussion, and you woudn't even know what you were missing.

Note, I don't suggest people abandon aikido do I? Is that what you think? I am actively teaching in Aikido dojos weekly as well as teaching MMA. I just prefer IP/Aiki in MMA.

Cheers
Dan

eyrie
10-27-2009, 06:19 PM
Good posts Budd... and thanks for bringing this thread back on track.

David Orange
10-27-2009, 07:22 PM
I'll hazard the expense of pixels. You can see that -- but you can't see the chopstick (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=243470&postcount=125) ? :D

Motion and stress are equivalent and interchangeable. By EITHER dropping weight (in visible motion as he does) OR setting a line of equivalent stress in the same orientation (i.e, -- in juuji -- right angles), the effect is the same -- if you let the torsional shear take over to cause a slight gyration in the contact angle. The attacker's support (in the video) tends to shear away behind him (like the chopstick) -- his push is mainly cancelled by adverse moment at his base -- not leverage at his contact. It's the same thing (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=243470&postcount=125) -- just looser. Only a shear can do this.

Well, to me that pretty well describes the external mechanics but knowing more about what Gleason Sensei is doing internally, what Dan showed us in August, this is the kind of thing that makes me believe you don't yet see the difference between external and internal--or more correctly, you don't yet see that there is something different going on internally than what appears mechanically visible.

Watching Shioda's tippy-toe randori -- is like watching some elfin rhinoceros doing demolition ballet, and often shearing the base toward instead of away. Shioda often tends to like going up (releasing the compression spiral and extending), instead of down (releasing the tensile spiral and retracting or dropping). But it's all still the same action. Action in one spiral is potential in the other. Both stresses are always available if you start in shear, and initial up or down orientation of action is equally available if you start in tenchi.

Both the tensile spiral line or the compression spiral line can draw the base in any direction, depending on only a slight imparted gyrational moment -- supplied by the shear torsion stress itself. As Endo shows (and as push-hands does), these stress-and-motion lines easily alternate continuously and seamlessly -- in-yo ho and if not compensated by the same mechanism, cause waves of progressive joint buckling -- up to and including the juncture at the base of support.

Again, a lot of this sounds like more or less external mechanical description of physics and the IT usage has a different motive than the externally visible movement. And to my eye, Endo Sensei's movement also reflected that. What I saw there looked like something of an external approximation of what Akuzawa does in a very different way. The relationship I felt between Endo and the uke didn't look to be of the same quality as I've seen and felt with Ark and Dan.

Please tell me you guys really can see all this ?

Yes, I can see what you're saying, but it only describes the measurable physics of the mechanical event--not the internal movement that initiates the outward action you see as the effect. So, yes, I see what you're saying, but it doesn't lead me to believe you have yet seen what most everyone else is discussing.

Sorry.

David

Marc Abrams
10-27-2009, 08:22 PM
Hi Kevin

I am not overly impressed with Ushiro's movement, neither are some others in the current IT crowd.
IMO, he, like a few others have developed a certain part of these skills. No, I am not talking about their fighting skills, or waza, I am talking about IP/Aiki.
FWIW, I would be counted among those stating it is not aikido, nor will it necessarily produce better aikido. there are other methods more in keeping with aikido is.

Dan

Dan:

With all due respect (and you know that I have a lot of respect for you), your impressions about Ushiro Sensei's movements and those un-named other IP people seem to me to be little more than hubris from a distance.

What if he has a set of skills that are simple quantum leaps above with some in the current IP world show to others? Without first hand experience, what certainty would you like to place on your assumptions?

You yourself encourage people to feel what is going on before making comments from a position of supposed and assumed knowledge about what is and what is not going on. He will be back again in May and I fully encourage you to attend and gets some hands on experience before you truly stand behind your comment. Ikeda Sensei would certainly not agree with your position and I would venture to say that he is in a better position than you to comment on what may or may not help Aikido. Then again, everybody is entitled to their opinions. Ushiro Sensei, like you, encourages all to come and see & feel first hand what is really there (as opposed to what you might assume is there or not there). AFTER you have some first-hand knowledge, then we can discuss things from a point of real experience.

Marc Abrams

David Orange
10-27-2009, 08:37 PM
...to my eye, Endo Sensei's movement also reflected that. What I saw there looked like something of an external approximation of what Akuzawa does...

Specifically, see Endo's video at 24 or 25 seconds, where the uke is doing that sort of fish-flopping and actually seems to be exagerrating it, himself.

Compare that to this whole video of Ark. Does that really look the same?

David

Kevin Leavitt
10-27-2009, 08:57 PM
Dan,

Didn't really want to re-quote your whole post....

Nope, you are right you never have said that anyone should leave aikido...there are a few out there that I think are a little hard on themselves and the art and have abandoned it a little too much instead of taking on a leadership roll in the art and trying to actually fix the parts that are broke. Those comments are directed at those observations from the many discussion here on aikiweb that seem to go in that direction for what ever reason.

Comments on Ushiro...not really sure what purpose it serves to come out and say those things, you could have shared that with me or whom ever else would care about that in private, does it really serve any of us any good to say that about him publically?

Doesn't it do more to drive folks underground or away and continue the same old petty crap that Budd addresses?

Maybe I am "under educated" or mis informed in this area of training and I am a bad judge of what quality Aiki training should be. I will be the first to admit that Dan.

Heck, remember the conversations we had a few years back? I wasn't exactly on board with this was I? and we had some pretty heated discussions right?

Well, since then I believe I have had my hands on...well lets see.. MIke, Ark, Toby, and Ushiro now....all of them have provided me with some great training and I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to study with them and believe I have taken away something from all those exposures. all of them except you, who'd of ever thought i'd do that...lol...not me.

So, yea, maybe I am in the best place to judge what is good or not good...got it.

I'd love to get with you some time and train as well so I can better understand what it is that is different and better than what Ushiro does. It would be cool now that I had my hands on him as well!

I have a vacation planned up to New Hampshire 10 - 17 January and I am looking for a place to stay FRI/SAT night on the way up to break up the trip....maybe MA is a good place to stop over???

Or we could meet up in May again when Ushiro comes back, all though that is probably not the best place.

Or not at all...that is cool too with me as I am very happy with where I am right now and have enough on my plate to do for a while...but it would be fun to meet you after all these years and I say that in the most sincere way.

but like I said, not a big deal if not....I am having too good of a time training right now to really care too much about "testing" folks and "trying" it out...I just want to train and as you say...get as many experiences under my belt as I can and grow.

thisisnotreal
10-27-2009, 10:43 PM
Hit the post button by mistake too early:

[Taking a simple thought exercise as an example:
Let's say you have two people, A&B.
A & B are facing each other, feet shoulder width apart, knees relatively straight, hands down by sides.
A then reaches over and holds B down with both hands applying a dumb force (non-jin), to hold the wrists down. If you were A how would you off balance them, and take their balance? Would you "have" to move the arms to do so?
Hey,
Rob John, would you apply atari? To get under?
No, I do not know how to go all Sagawa and get agete up and all over their asses.

thisisnotreal
10-27-2009, 10:50 PM
I guess the question is how would you apply atari?
Not by "having" to move the arms...but by 'breathing' them in?
What do you think happens at the moment of the outbreath? You mentioned the 'other' thing for hardness; care to say a bit more? i would love to hear what you think. cheers bud.

thisisnotreal
10-27-2009, 11:00 PM
...since i'm posting compulsively right now; I thought i'd point out that i really liked this post ----> http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=243670&postcount=28 by ashe. thanks for all of the ideas.

i really loved these bits
the five qualities of unification are universal to all movement. absorb and project, expand and condense, the three planes, open and close and concave and convex. no matter how you move you'll be moving using those qualities, just a matter of whether or not they're coordinated properly.


yang path and yin path form two X' on the body, yang travels away from the ming men to the hands and feet and yin travels back to the dan tien. the yang actually wraps around the hips (from the ming men) to travel down the front of the legs, to the big toe, to the little toe where it joins the yin path from the little toe to the center of the foot, up the rear of the leg, into the groin, the perineum and to the dan tien. on the upper body it travels from the ming men, across the back, down the outside of the arm to the hands and back up the inside of the arms to the front of the body to the dan tien.


is this right?: When using your body in practice:
Yang path is the strong alignment path when pushing away from the body, on that alignment and the limb is getting further from the body.
Yin path is the strong path when pushing out but limb is returning to the body (such as to brace the body on impact when you 'zip-up')

I found there are many ways they label what a yin and what a yang path are? but mostly because i have no clue. anyone care to volunteer the secret of the universe?

if you can control the hands and the upper and lower masses, then you will in effect have "jammed" or "frozen" the opponent on touch.

thisisnotreal
10-27-2009, 11:29 PM
ok; last one; just for fun
Joep asked about what the tension is that is being trained...remember?
ok; well, about that... I had some thoughts. (Don't know ... just thoughts, ok))
I think it is the force exerted by the 'whole body' connected together to itself. It is all bound up in a closed loop, right? It is the force, or tension, if you will, that literally holds us together. The sinews that run from extent-to-extent, in the body. Bone, muscle, fascia, groundpath, suit. All that stuff. Imagine you wanted to actually pull off my shin bone from my knee (!). I know, crazy,eh? Well..Imagine you wanted to violate that 'closed loop' of the body. keep following along: It would take you tremendous force to actually pull that leg bone off. To 'break that circuit'. So, therefore there is tremendous potential energy bound up in the body.... and making it balanced, stable...and flexible...and kokyu conducting groundpath.. (etc). Now train 'it' ....if it, in any way, itt could make all those things better.. I think making yourself into a kokyu alignment makes you non-local(/everywhere) in the way that pretty easily (should you possess the skill) you can manifest the entire body's momentum anywhere on your body into a target. But it has to all be connected, or hooked-up. Trained. Probably, if you have the skill, it is, as Mike says, and it feels like a rubber eraser when you focus the effort and the groundpath to a point. The force(s) that 'zip-up' your body into a cohesive unit are those tensions (which I think) you seek to train.
Also..I think it is the 'general force' that defines just exactly how big your body is (under your skin), and/or grows to. (hence Takeda's big hands)
That is the general idea, anyway...
again; that random thought is sponsored by the events of the last few weeks and months. my opinion subject to change, as always... my0.02$. hope it was interesting.

p.s. Hey Joep - did you get to see the Shioda chest bump to your satisfaction?

jss
10-28-2009, 04:49 AM
ok; last one; just for fun
Joep asked about what the tension is that is being trained...remember?
ok; well, about that... I had some thoughts. (Don't know ... just thoughts, ok))
I think it is the force exerted by the 'whole body' connected together to itself. It is all bound up in a closed loop, right? It is the force, or tension, if you will, that literally holds us together. The sinews that run from extent-to-extent, in the body. Bone, muscle, fascia, groundpath, suit. All that stuff.
To keep it simple, the tension being trained is the stretching of the suit. Groundpath has little to do with it at the beginning. Bone, tendon, fascia makes more sense than bone, muscle, fascia. You could say bone, muscle, fascia and tendon, if you use a hard approach to these skills. Throwing bone, muscle, fascia, groundpath and suit together, is just confusing.

p.s. Hey Joep - did you get to see the Shioda chest bump to your satisfaction?
Nope, didn't get to it.

phitruong
10-28-2009, 07:50 AM
hey, i thought this is a discussion about the hard and soft approaches of IT/IP/aiki trainings? what with all the chest thumping "i got it" and "he doesn't have it" stuffs? cut that out! don't make me go back there and show you my stainless-steel-protector-cup kungfu! :p

discussion of some common pitfalls/warning-signs in hard and soft approaches would be more interesting. things like:

would it take longer or shorter between hard and soft?
would hard approach has the tendency to lean toward more muscle mix into jin/kokyu?
would soft approach has the tendency to give one the illusion of grandeur?
and so on and so forth.... ad spewing-chow ... :)

yes, i know some of you don't like to discuss openly about these things or coaching on the internet, so you folks can go off and doing whatever that you are doing and let us amateurs exchange ideas. remember, that us amateurs are out number you experts, by probably a factor of 10. in another word, don't make us ganging on you! "quantity is a quality of itself!" in the same vein as "never start a fast food restaurant in china!" :D

DH
10-28-2009, 08:33 AM
Hello Marc
I think you missed my point and since it seems to be a sensitive issue I will attempt to expand on it.
You see it as a put down of him, I see it as two different topics within the martial arts, and some times they overlap. As I -also- said, "There are a lot of great martial artists; some are very powerful, others have sophisticated figthing skills, which can be very impressive and feel magical, some have highly refined weapons work etc. but they are not internal guys. While other Maers have developed particular *aspects* of internal movement in their overal skills- it doesn't mean they are the possessor of *everything* by way of IP/Aiki. There are guys who are simply magicians with their arts, it does not make them complete internal experts. Where does technical brilliance of movement in fighting fit in?
My point being- regardless of the quality and sophistication- not all movement is internal, not all internal movement is the same. And where highly refined technical brilliance overlaps with highly developed but singular internal skills, it can confuse a lot of people.

Martial arts
There are any number of men who are excellent at their craft. Opinions vary, but I could probably list a couple of dozen that I personally like. Is there a requirement that they all have to be internal MAers now? Is that the new standard? That would be ridiculous.
There are any number of Koryu guys I like to watch; do all of their movements have to be highly refined internal movement now? Can't I just appreciate the internal aspects here and there, while also appreciating their art?

Of people who train internals; not all of them are the same either. There are ways to train the body that are not part of what aikido movement is, there are ways to train that are more in keeping with aikido movement. There are several things I know how to do that really have nothing to do with aikido movement.

Aikido
I guess the only question is who knows what is what, can do things and explain the difference. I understand your approach; "that aikido people are the best judge of what is fitting for aikido." I say it all the time myself. I think the difference is that when I make the statement there is always an implied qualifier; something like this:

It does no good to try and explain a body of skills that most MAers are completely unaware of, cannot do, and do not know how to train. They are being exposed to a myriad of approaches from several people who themselves have chosen to accent or develop certain areas over others with different personal end goals in mind. Here's where it gets tricky
Some may be very powerful and impressive, but in the end it may turn out to be not the correct approach for aikido. Some, aikido people may like power so they will pick that method, they can call it correct all day long with no one to stop them, but it doesn't make it correct. Now, each of those teachers may have their own opinions of what they do, what the other teachers are doing, and where it all fits into aikido; the power guy may just might say one thing, while the soft guy says another.
Who is going to be the best judge of all of that?
Who do you listen to among the many voices?

The internal guys know more about the subject then the aikido teachers, the aikido teachers know more about what they want in their art, but since they don't know internals, there will be some mistakes made, there will be some correct choices made, and some will change their mind (some already have).
In the end you are your best guide.
So when asked I look at all of that and think "There's no real way to wind your way through that maze other than to just go do it."
So I say "Aikido teachers are ultimately the best judge of what they need for their art."

I've watched some pretty strong opinions here change dramatically over time. I just don't think its over yet.
I see it as a process; not an absolute. Growth and understanding can be difficult. I think all of us will be having a different discussion in a few years when more people start to understand power V soft power.
Cheers
Dan

DH
10-28-2009, 09:04 AM
hey, i thought this is a discussion about the hard and soft approaches of IT/IP/aiki trainings? what with all the chest thumping "i got it" and "he doesn't have it" stuffs? cut that out! don't make me go back there and show you my stainless-steel-protector-cup kungfu! :p

discussion of some common pitfalls/warning-signs in hard and soft approaches would be more interesting. things like:

would it take longer or shorter between hard and soft?
would hard approach has the tendency to lean toward more muscle mix into jin/kokyu?
would soft approach has the tendency to give one the illusion of grandeur?
and so on and so forth.... ad spewing-chow ... :)

yes, i know some of you don't like to discuss openly about these things or coaching on the internet, so you folks can go off and doing whatever that you are doing and let us amateurs exchange ideas. remember, that us amateurs are out number you experts, by probably a factor of 10. in another word, don't make us ganging on you! "quantity is a quality of itself!" in the same vein as "never start a fast food restaurant in china!" :D
Hard is easier
Soft takes longer
Most like hard training
Hard can feel soft...go train with some good jujutsu guys
Soft can feel hard...go get hit by some soft internal guys

One real problem is who to go to and where to find it.
Since "the hard can feel soft" and "the soft can be hard," you might want to also consider that
"Hard can just be...hard"
"Soft can just be useless."
My opinion is soft is the best way to train long term as it contains the best of both qualities and it doesn't fade. Hard cannot do what soft does.

So I guess you just go everywhere and try everyone and you be the judge.
Good luck in your search
Dan

Erick Mead
10-28-2009, 09:27 AM
Well, to me that pretty well describes the external mechanics ... .. then we have that out of the way...

but knowing more about what Gleason Sensei is doing internally, what Dan showed us in August, this is the kind of thing ... .. and without engaging the remainder of this argument, let me simply ask some questions to see if we agree:

Do we agree that unless action is intuitive it cannot function martially?

Do we agree that intuition, to be effective, must be based on something concrete?

Do we agree that intuition can have different foundations of perception (or emphases on perception) on which to operate?

Do we agree that the action through "intent" and these other concepts is a concrete intuitional approach ?

Do we agree that the ideas of "frame" "structure" "enter/leaving" and "capturing" are concrete foundations on which intuition operates ?

Do we agree that those concepts, as used, are idiosyncratic -- simply meaning that they are used in a sense other than their common meaning, and that without direct introduction to the concrete action that they signify (or relating them in some more generally common or objective terms), they communicate very little of the idea?

Do we agree that some of these concretes, as used, refer to immediate impressions of subjective sensation, rather than the objectively described elements of the action occurring ?

Yes, I can see what you're saying, but it only describes the measurable physics of the mechanical event--not the internal movement that initiates the outward action you see as the effect.
...
Sorry.

David Not at all, this is fruitful conversation.

Do we agree that, just as intuition can learn to follow "intent," frame," etc. as a basis to implement action spontaneously, that, intuition might also learn follow objectively described modes of structural response as a basis to implement action spontaneously?

Do we agree that one can usually find ways to explain something one has learned, or recognize it when explained, in terms other than the terms by which it was learned?

Given your response to all of the above, can you describe in other terms what Gleason is doing and what Dan showed you ?

Lorel Latorilla
10-28-2009, 09:44 AM
Erick,

Why are you so intent to displaying what you think is an understanding of internal mechanics as to sabotage the theme of this thread?

Budd
10-28-2009, 09:51 AM
Just to chime in on the "Development Methods" . . not that anyone is necessarily recommending otherwise, but I think it's pretty critical that you pick a method and get some baseline skills going before you do the "Visit person X and do a little bit of A, then Visit person Y and do a little bit of B". They aren't necessarily doing the same thing and the bits of conditioning you are picking up from both aren't necessarily working together to improve you overall.

So, pick something and stick with it long enough to get some demonstrable results. By demonstrable, I mean that you have a laid out set of criteria that have been modeled that you are training towards with checkpoints of success/fail/good/bad along the way. If you get something and then immediately modify it to suit "what you are already doing" then you are in danger of losing the "new stuff" you're supposed to be getting from it at the onset.

So you (obsessively?) work to condition the internal methods you have been given, level setting as best as possible, getting feedback where you can on how you're progressing according to the paradigm laid out in front of you. After that point, that's when I'd recommend getting some additional exposure - with an open mind. Differences in approaches should be more noticeable, your questions will be more informed and it will prevent you from doing the long road to middleground of just doing what you got from the last seminar.

On the other, hand, depending on what you're looking for, there's merit in meeting as many people as possible and seeing which approach works for you the best . . but how will you make that informed decision until you have the information? Especially since this kind of information needs to be communicated, discovered, analyzed, rediscovered, etc . . It's iterative, not just an "I saw it, I get it now" kind of undertaking . .

thisisnotreal
10-28-2009, 09:56 AM
... Bone, tendon, fascia makes more sense than bone, muscle, fascia. You could say bone, muscle, fascia and tendon, if you use a hard approach to these skills. ...

Hi Joep,
`Thanks for your post.
Something I was wondering about... you know in 'western' medicine/bodyview that we usually talk about the myofascia. Myo=muscle & fascia = well, you know. I was thinking it is a 'composite' structure and not really separable. Is that a mistake on my part?! Is this the whole point?! I am not sure what is implied by 'separating' these two parts. Is it what is trained? Is it, among other things, and in other words, that you want to actuate (/move) the fascia separately (i.e. use it in such a way that it physically separates/dissociates/slides from/on the muscle)? In regards to 'the changed body': Is 'hard' 'just' the conditioning (where conditioning = hydrated, soft, connected, capable of swelling) of the fascia and 'soft' the same conditioning plus the ability for *centered* movement of (paths or axes of) it?

just some questions and thoughts... I realize I probably got a whole bunch of stuff wrong; so I'll mention that I do appreciate it when you correct me..

I'm pretty sure I don't understand the difference between hard and soft methods. Anything you can say about that is definitely appreciated.
Cheers man,
Josh

jss
10-28-2009, 10:01 AM
Something I was wondering about... you know in 'western' medicine/bodyview that we usually talk about the myofascia. Myo=muscle & fascia = well, you know. I was thinking it is a 'composite' structure and not really separable. Is that a mistake on my part?!
See my reply about the difference between hard and soft below. It may be very hard to separate muscle and fascia anatomically, but in training the difference does matter.

Is it, among other things, and in other words, that you want to actuate (/move) the fascia separately (i.e. use it in such a way that it physically separates/dissociates/slides from/on the muscle)?
I don't know. I don't think about the fascia while training, but the limited amount of data that is available, points to the involvement of the fascia.

I'm pretty sure I don't understand the difference between hard and soft methods.
As far as I understand, the harder methods use a substantial amount of muscle to train the suit; the softer methods use as little muscle as possible.

Erick Mead
10-28-2009, 10:40 AM
Erick,

Why are you so intent to displaying what you think is an understanding of internal mechanics as to sabotage the theme of this thread?Is inferring the intent of another person a point of this discussion? Is this not a discussion? Is not the theme "development methods" -- as in plural? Is there not a discussion already ongoing as to being open to several perspectives without making prejudgments of supposed motive, rather than of substance -- whether to qualify, question or rebut the substance of the points raised ?

Is it "sabotage" to engage a genuinely civil and questioning criticism with some simple questions about the premises of the critique?

:)

Lorel Latorilla
10-28-2009, 10:42 AM
As far as I understand, the harder methods use a substantial amount of muscle to train the suit; the softer methods use as little muscle as possible.

Overall great discussion guys.

Anyway to clarify, since Aunkai is considered a 'hard' method, my interpretation is that it is hard because it prioritizes the frame and keeping it in tact (even in awkward positions). This serves as a foundation for 'higher', softer skills. It basically sets up the body to understand aiki/soft skills better. Even Sagawa said that you need strong legs and you need to train the back before you can even do aiki. In any case, Aunkai tanren consists of first training the frame--from there you move on and 'throw away the frame' (Ark's words), and my interpretation of that is that you start finding ways to train softer skills in solo tanren, paired exercises, and freestyle sparring/grappling.

Another example is Judo. There is definitely something internal in Judo in the higher levels. Just look at Mifune. Tim Fong and I were discussing this and he said that Kano would say that Judokas should focus on Tsukuri (setting up a good position for athrow) and then polish up Kake (execution of throw). We think that Kuzushi itself was 'higher' level and perhaps (this is what I think) all the dues you pay focusing on tsukuri would develop a frame from which you can understand the kind of Kuzushi that a guy like Mifune can effortlessly do.

I recently played with some Roppokai guys, had some great fun, and the teacher had aiki. The students too were able to do some aiki, but the difference was in the bodies. The instructor had a frame..the students didn't. It was because during the whole class, there was no tanren, no conditioning, just learning how to manipulate the balance of the uke (not through conventional, vector-manipulating ways like in a lot of aikido practise). And upon reflecting, I don't think the students would be able to perform aiki under pressure, their bodies would go out of wack, and prevent them from executing aiki. The teacher would most probably be able to, but I'm not too sure (this is why it's important we test out with guys who don't play the tori/uke game). Developing muscle through 'hard' approaches (particularly muscle in the legs and in the back) is just a byproduct of setting up a balanced and stable body. We don't develop the muscle to 'train' the suit, at least not directly. Aunkai can now then revert to 'softness'--i.e., we now 'throw away the frame'--and rely on less on the strength of the legs and the back and now try to condition the 'suit' to manipulate the uke. It all depends on how you chart your training progress.

David Orange
10-28-2009, 10:50 AM
hey, i thought this is a discussion about the hard and soft approaches of IT/IP/aiki trainings? what with all the chest thumping "i got it" and "he doesn't have it" stuffs? cut that out! don't make me go back there and show you my stainless-steel-protector-cup kungfu! :p

Phi...those things can be dangerous at the wrong moment!

http://news.yahoo.com/comics/ballard-street

Careful out there!!!

David

Marc Abrams
10-28-2009, 10:53 AM
Hello Marc
I think you missed my point and since it seems to be a sensitive issue I will attempt to expand on it.
You see it as a put down of him, I see it as two different topics within the martial arts, and some times they overlap. As I -also- said, "There are a lot of great martial artists; some are very powerful, others have sophisticated figthing skills, which can be very impressive and feel magical, some have highly refined weapons work etc. but they are not internal guys. While other Maers have developed particular *aspects* of internal movement in their overal skills- it doesn't mean they are the possessor of *everything* by way of IP/Aiki. There are guys who are simply magicians with their arts, it does not make them complete internal experts. Where does technical brilliance of movement in fighting fit in?
My point being- regardless of the quality and sophistication- not all movement is internal, not all internal movement is the same. And where highly refined technical brilliance overlaps with highly developed but singular internal skills, it can confuse a lot of people.

Cheers
Dan

Dan:

I did not necessarily take it as a put down. I simply suggest that until you have some hands-on experience with him you might want to qualify your observations. I frankly would be fascinated by your interactions with him. Some of the stuff that he does (not surprisingly, a lot of the unusual stuff is not often times done in public) might lead you to reconsider your ideas of what constitutes internal power and the boundaries and uses of that power. I am not even beginning to talk about his fighting skills. You and I will talk privately about this area. We had a well respected mathematical physicist attend and the talks over the weekend at my house were quite interesting (to say the least).

Marc Abrams

Lorel Latorilla
10-28-2009, 10:55 AM
Is inferring the intent of another person a point of this discussion? Is this not a discussion? Is not the theme "development methods" -- as in plural? Is there not a discussion already ongoing as to being open to several perspectives without making prejudgments of supposed motive, rather than of substance -- whether to qualify, question or rebut the substance of the points raised ?

Is it "sabotage" to engage a genuinely civil and questioning criticism with some simple questions about the premises of the critique?

:)

Huh?

I don't mean to be harsh but nobody cares about what you think about Gleason's movement because 1) to repeat what everyone says: you're not speaking the same language as the guys who're familiar in internal power development methods (namely Rob, Mike, and Dan) 2) it doesn't say anything about comparing 'hard' methods vs. softer methods.

I actually take back the word 'sabotage' because the attention is no longer on you now and nobody is asking you to shut up and telling you that you don't know anything. That would be considered sabotage, because people would go from discussing something valuable like certain dynamics about internal training to useless things like kindly telling a person to shut their yappin and pappin.

But really, I am really genuinely curious why you out of nowhere chime in like that with your physics handbook in a discussion where people know that ou don' tknow anything and that they don't care about what you have to say, no matter how pretty your words might appear.

mathewjgano
10-28-2009, 11:06 AM
I actually take back the word 'sabotage' because the attention is no longer on you now and nobody is asking you to shut up and telling you that you don't know anything. That would be considered sabotage, because people would go from discussing something valuable like certain dynamics about internal training to useless things like kindly telling a person to shut their yappin and pappin.

Seriously?
May I suggest the ignore button then?

David Orange
10-28-2009, 11:08 AM
There is definitely something internal in Judo in the higher levels. Just look at Mifune. Tim Fong and I were discussing this and he said that Kano would say that Judokas should focus on Tsukuri (setting up a good position for athrow) and then polish up Kake (execution of throw). We think that Kuzushi itself was 'higher' level and perhaps (this is what I think) all the dues you pay focusing on tsukuri would develop a frame from which you can understand the kind of Kuzushi that a guy like Mifune can effortlessly do.

Since my teacher was uchi deshi to Mifune, I got a lot more judo experience than I wanted or expected when I trained in his aikido. I definitely believe that aikido in general is much improved by judo experience. If nothing else, it gives a more realistic sense of what a real struggle a fight can be. And it lets the learner "lose" a lot. I think part of the weakness of aikido is that we never "lose" (in most aikido I've experienced) and so the teachers and senior people can get an over-inflated sense of their own abilities to avoid being caught in a real struggle. They tend to think they can't get into that kind of thing. It's good to find out early and not forget.

As for kuzushi, I think Mifune is a great example for what he "doesn't" do to achieve it. It's such a pleasure to watch him go and flip these huge guys and it's hard to see where he does anything until it's just suddenly done and uke is on the floor.

If we can say that judo uses internal skills (and I'll say some does, some doesn't), I think it must be in maintaining correct "frame" until uke makes a slight mistake, then being in shape, form and position to enter tsukuri with only a small movement. In other words, let him step into the spot and you just remain in good organization to capitalize on that. In particular, I worked a lot on the four major sweeps--osoto gari, ko soto gari, o uchi gari and ko uchi gari--looking for the moment where my simply being upright and relaxed would end up with me "fitted in" perfectly to his body to simply perform the reaps.

I think that level of work still amounted to external form, but it was moving more toward internal than anything I'd done prior to that. And I do think that a lot of what Mifune did was just that. Some guy supposedly said, "I'm younger, stronger, bigger and faster than you, so why do you always beat me?" and Mifune just said, "You take two steps, I take one." Which is what I was trying to accomplish with my foot-sweep methods.

As for Aunkai, lately, I'm thinking a lot about my few conversations with Ark in Atlanta, where he explained that his method was "choritsu" or "tuning" the body. Now I think of that (as he's sometimes said) as being like "tuning" a piano string. Or maybe a harp string. He tunes the body between heaven and earth and his technique is all about his own body's adjustment to energy that comes upon him from outside. If you touch him, you pluck that tuned harp string and you get the "ring" back into yourself as his body does whatever it needs to do to maintain its tuning between earth and sky. Of course, the harder you strike or pluck a harp string, the louder and more powerful the feedback will be.

I think it cannot be overemphasized that "internal" refers to the techniques happening within one's own body--not outside or between tori and uke. It happens inside "tori" and the effect on uke is because he is touching tori while tori makes the adjustment within himself.

And that is where I saw the big difference between what Endo showed in that clip on Atari and what Ark showed in the clip on Nyu Ryoku.

Really fascinating.

Best to all.

David

Lorel Latorilla
10-28-2009, 11:13 AM
Seriously?
May I suggest the ignore button then?

LOL. Good idea!

Erick Mead
10-28-2009, 11:22 AM
LOL. Good idea!... And God bless you ...

jss
10-28-2009, 11:54 AM
In any case, Aunkai tanren consists of first training the frame--from there you move on and 'throw away the frame' (Ark's words), and my interpretation of that is that you start finding ways to train softer skills in solo tanren, paired exercises, and freestyle sparring/grappling.
I assume (wish I was more experienced :)) that training the frame first and then train to become softer, will limit how soft your training can become. Unless you not only throw away the frame, but also the results you got from training it. So basically you have to start from scratch (although you'll have a lot more knowledge than someone who hasn't trained their frame first.).
What do you think?

thisisnotreal
10-28-2009, 11:55 AM
Hi David,
That is very interesting, about choritsu.

Your post reminded me of something I saw. On teh internet I came across the concept that Ark was teaching about 'making the body jealous' of itself. Have you heard that? Can you say anything about it? Here's a thought I had: You have the two elements you mention (ground and 'heaven'/bodyweight)..and the tuning between the two. Could the 'making the body jealous' comment refer to the ability to constantly 'pull' between the two elements/sources *in the body* to achieve the razor's edge of balance between them? A dynamic steady-state, if you will. You know, make each side 'jealous' of the other..? Keeping the system 'on' and 'loaded'...so if you 'pluck' the 'string' it will "ring", as you say. Well..that's just how I took it, anyway.

Thanks for your post.
Josh

Lorel Latorilla
10-28-2009, 12:01 PM
Since my teacher was uchi deshi to Mifune, I got a lot more judo experience than I wanted or expected when I trained in his aikido. I definitely believe that aikido in general is much improved by judo experience. If nothing else, it gives a more realistic sense of what a real struggle a fight can be. And it lets the learner "lose" a lot. I think part of the weakness of aikido is that we never "lose" (in most aikido I've experienced) and so the teachers and senior people can get an over-inflated sense of their own abilities to avoid being caught in a real struggle. They tend to think they can't get into that kind of thing. It's good to find out early and not forget.

As for kuzushi, I think Mifune is a great example for what he "doesn't" do to achieve it. It's such a pleasure to watch him go and flip these huge guys and it's hard to see where he does anything until it's just suddenly done and uke is on the floor.

If we can say that judo uses internal skills (and I'll say some does, some doesn't), I think it must be in maintaining correct "frame" until uke makes a slight mistake, then being in shape, form and position to enter tsukuri with only a small movement. In other words, let him step into the spot and you just remain in good organization to capitalize on that. In particular, I worked a lot on the four major sweeps--osoto gari, ko soto gari, o uchi gari and ko uchi gari--looking for the moment where my simply being upright and relaxed would end up with me "fitted in" perfectly to his body to simply perform the reaps.

I think that level of work still amounted to external form, but it was moving more toward internal than anything I'd done prior to that. And I do think that a lot of what Mifune did was just that. Some guy supposedly said, "I'm younger, stronger, bigger and faster than you, so why do you always beat me?" and Mifune just said, "You take two steps, I take one." Which is what I was trying to accomplish with my foot-sweep methods.

As for Aunkai, lately, I'm thinking a lot about my few conversations with Ark in Atlanta, where he explained that his method was "choritsu" or "tuning" the body. Now I think of that (as he's sometimes said) as being like "tuning" a piano string. Or maybe a harp string. He tunes the body between heaven and earth and his technique is all about his own body's adjustment to energy that comes upon him from outside. If you touch him, you pluck that tuned harp string and you get the "ring" back into yourself as his body does whatever it needs to do to maintain its tuning between earth and sky. Of course, the harder you strike or pluck a harp string, the louder and more powerful the feedback will be.

I think it cannot be overemphasized that "internal" refers to the techniques happening within one's own body--not outside or between tori and uke. It happens inside "tori" and the effect on uke is because he is touching tori while tori makes the adjustment within himself.

And that is where I saw the big difference between what Endo showed in that clip on Atari and what Ark showed in the clip on Nyu Ryoku.

Really fascinating.

Best to all.

David

Hi David,

Nice post. I doubt it's just 'maintaining' frame. I myself am a small guy, and whenever I maintain 'frame', it doesn't lead me to throws. It's mostly just a stalemate, especially with strong guys (not necessarily guys with strong frame). Mifune himself is probably my size, with a slighter build, but was throwing big dudes with a lot of experience in Judo (so they most likely had frame). Something else was going on.

But then again, I have no experience in Judo, and from what I understand, those foot-sweeps are deadly dangerous. I never learned how to use those, so maybe Mifune was 'maintaining' frame, had basic jin/aiki skills, but use those footsweeps majorly.

About your comments on Aunkai:

Yeah, Ark is all about creating a body that is the most adaptable. A body that thinks on its own in a fight. That's why, when you see in his demonstrations, you see his body looking all 'wavy' or you see a lot of twisting/torquing, because this is how things naturally react to incoming energy. A flag for instance creates waves when it's windy, but ONLY if the flag has that 'soft' quality to it. If it was stiff, you wouldn't see the waves.

There are a lot of things I don't understand that Ark talks about it. For instance, he talks about go-ju a lot and how he came make his body hard on the outside and soft on the inside, and vice versa. NO CLUE how he does this. Also, I'm also munching on the idea of a dragon back, which one can develop through shintaijiku. And also torque from spear work.

Focussing on 'softness' or 'aiki skills' at this stage of my training is for me to figure out the implications of training torque, goju, the dragon back, etc. Or perhaps it may lead me to another direction that might not include those skills. In any case, I'm having greate fun exploring :D .

Lorel Latorilla
10-28-2009, 12:28 PM
I assume (wish I was more experienced :)) that training the frame first and then train to become softer, will limit how soft your training can become. Unless you not only throw away the frame, but also the results you got from training it. So basically you have to start from scratch (although you'll have a lot more knowledge than someone who hasn't trained their frame first.).
What do you think?

Hi Joep,

I don't think Ark prefers one to the other. He says that you must have elements of both hard and soft. He's all about using (and mixing) both to create an efficient body that can adapt to any kind of attacks.

I don't know exactly why the frame is prioritized before softness technically, but I accept what Ark has to teach about that (not only his counsel but also Sagawa's, who also prioritized the frame--only he didn't call it the frame and didn't speak of it as clearly as Ark does).

But in my opinion, you have to know what hardness (or strength, or stability) and be acquainted with before you know what softness is. I've been doing the 'hard' thing these past 2 years, maintaining my frame and using my frame's strength to impose my will on others. It hasn't gotten me far--always leads to a stalemate or I end up getting pwned by someone who weighs more than me and has a stronger frame. I'm focussing now on softer skills and you're right, it is hard to 'throw away the frame'. Sometimes, when I do agete, I still get the feeling to 'push' up. I plan to train with some guys who train mainly in agete (I don't livein Tokyo to train regularly with Ark and crew), so I hope to familiarize softness with these guys' methods and to incorporate that into my tanren. Although I've been trying to incorporate it (initiating movement from tilting the pelvis and stretching the lower back), it still feels like I'm doing 'hard' conditioning because it's so frigging painful and more taxing now. Probably because I'm trying to 'stretch' the body suit in deep stances and with my limbs being stretched out. Softness should ideally be effortless in practise but because the conditioning process makes it seem likt I'm not training 'softness' lol.

Jeremy Hulley
10-28-2009, 12:32 PM
Hi David,

Nice post. I doubt it's just 'maintaining' frame. I myself am a small guy, and whenever I maintain 'frame', it doesn't lead me to throws. It's mostly just a stalemate, especially with strong guys (not necessarily guys with strong frame).

Focussing on 'softness' or 'aiki skills' at this stage of my training is for me to figure out the implications of training torque, goju, the dragon back, etc. Or perhaps it may lead me to another direction that might not include those skills. In any case, I'm having greate fun exploring :D .

I think that just maintaining frame and trying to do anything with it has been a huge struggle for me. Stalemate is the word..

Working to find a way to have a "softened" and connected practice and effect another person.

MM
10-28-2009, 12:40 PM
In regards to Mifune and IP, I'd suggest this thread:
http://rumsoakedfist.org/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=3201&start=0&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

In regards to Judo having IP overall, I'd suggest reading Ellis Amdur's Hidden in Plain Sight.

Back to the topic at hand ...

Erick Mead
10-28-2009, 12:57 PM
Since my teacher was uchi deshi to Mifune, ... As for kuzushi, I think Mifune is a great example for what he "doesn't" do to achieve it. I find it fascinating to watch him when the big guys have actually lifted him off the floor and he just drapes and swings around behind them -- or counter-swings his effective moment -- feet entirely off the floor, and they still can't throw him. The reason in my terms is actually quite simple (but not at all easy) He has completed owned the tension component of their common shear system such that his opponent is, literally, stuck in place (i.e. --committed to the compression component, while Mifune is just hanging or swinging there -- he cannot be thrown because his uke cannot extend his structure to actuate it. Watch those again, they are very instructive -- he is not passive at all, but always keeping on a certain line and swing as the guy tries to bring some leverage to throw, and cannot do it -- very much related to a child pumping a swing. As to the difference between what Endo is doing and what Ark is doing -- they are closer to ends of a spectrum -- one relatively "slack" in action and and one relatively "taut" in action -- but Mifune actually demonstrates applications of both taut and slack action in those examples I just mentioned in this (between 0:20-0:60) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMw_Jtn3Avc).

As for Aunkai, lately, I'm thinking a lot about my few conversations with Ark in Atlanta, where he explained that his method was "choritsu" or "tuning" the body. Now I think of that (as he's sometimes said) as being like "tuning" a piano string. Or maybe a harp string. He tunes the body between heaven and earth and his technique is all about his own body's adjustment to energy that comes upon him from outside. If you touch him, you pluck that tuned harp string and you get the "ring" back into yourself as his body does whatever it needs to do to maintain its tuning between earth and sky. Of course, the harder you strike or pluck a harp string, the louder and more powerful the feedback will be. And you wonder why I keep chiming in -- when you keep relating stuff like structural harmonics (http://www.aikiweb.com/blogs/but-why-7854/perception-physical-harmonics-and-aiki-3083/) and the application of resonance (http://www.aikiweb.com/blogs/but-why-7854/rattling-bones-3214/)

I think it cannot be overemphasized that "internal" refers to the techniques happening within one's own body--not outside or between tori and uke. It happens inside "tori" and the effect on uke is because he is touching tori while tori makes the adjustment within himself. Whereas I see that the movement illustrated by Endo in making his uke part of one structural system (though agreeing that his uke is relatively compliant for the demonstration) and the pre-stress deployment by Ark in making his opponent part of his structural system as he alters it are completely of a piece. Taut structure and slack structure obey the same laws -- when applied in this way -- and I fully acknowledge there are many, many things that are not this way.

And that is where I saw the big difference between what Endo showed in that clip on Atari and what Ark showed in the clip on Nyu Ryoku. ... and that (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snYlMC6gUoM) I comprehend, and regularly show. But despite the differences you do see -- they are inherently related, in as profound a way as Mifune's slack/taut "drapery-hanging"/"counter-swinging" (here between 1:33-1:50 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ye5DC7sVTw&feature=related)) are also related. The most exquisite one is at 2:53- 2:57.

I'll bet you missed it, but Mifune just so happens to have ball on the mat as a demonstration aid when showing those precise examples. (at 1:33-1:50) There is a reason for that. (http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/physics/NormalModeSphere.html) Others could tell you that also -- in only slightly variant terms (http://books.google.com/books?id=uEDgHTSZEbQC&lpg=PA33&ots=dAhywxAUY7&dq=ueshiba%20spherical%20rotation&pg=PA40#v=onepage&q=ueshiba%20spherical%20rotation&f=false).

FWIW, another distinction is that Mifune (like Shioda, notably) prefers keeping on his toes in randori and likes using the tension shear component better. Ark, on the other hand, is using the compression shear component more in the clip above -- and making his opponent committed to the tension component.

David Orange
10-28-2009, 01:06 PM
I doubt it's just 'maintaining' frame. I myself am a small guy, and whenever I maintain 'frame', it doesn't lead me to throws. It's mostly just a stalemate, especially with strong guys (not necessarily guys with strong frame).

Well, they say Mifune was "the epitome of judo technique," so you not only have to have good frame, but excellent comprehension of judo technique and finesse at recognizing when the partner is walking into position for you to apply a given technique--instantly recognizing which technique he's walked into and giving him that technique without having to reorganize the body before moving. So that's what I mean by "frame" and "relaxation"--undisturbed posture and mental clarity. Please don't misinterpret my comments to get the idea that I can do that, myself. I just began to sense it and try to develop it. But I do think that's the whole essence of judo--keep your balance and keep your cool and match the technique to the opponent's movement without interfering with him in any way. As they said fighting Kano was like wrestling an empty jacket.

But then again, I have no experience in Judo, and from what I understand, those foot-sweeps are deadly dangerous. I never learned how to use those, so maybe Mifune was 'maintaining' frame, had basic jin/aiki skills, but use those footsweeps majorly.

He had full command of every technique in the judo repertoire and he was just completely adept at matching his technique to the other guy's movement. Mochizuki Sensei said that Mifune was "comparable" to Ueshiba in his ability to throw at will and on contact. So I think all his skills were of the higher degree in general.

Yeah, Ark is all about creating a body that is the most adaptable. A body that thinks on its own in a fight. That's why, when you see in his demonstrations, you see his body looking all 'wavy' or you see a lot of twisting/torquing, because this is how things naturally react to incoming energy. A flag for instance creates waves when it's windy, but ONLY if the flag has that 'soft' quality to it. If it was stiff, you wouldn't see the waves.

It's interesting that Mochizuki Sensei's son, Hiroo, now world leader of yoseikan arts, bases everything on "wave motion" but I didn't get anything like the feel from him that I got from Ark. Not saying Hiroo Sensei doesn't have it, but what I felt from him was much more like standard aikido while working with Ark was like...grabbing a dragon.

As for the body that thinks on its own, I sometimes find my body reacting (in daily life) in a way it didn't do before and I realize, "Hey, that was like Ark does...." but I haven't learned to apply it in a "fighting" situation as yet. But the body self-correcting with a spontaneous full-body response can be pretty startling.

Did you see the early question about making the body "jealous of itself"? I hadn't heard that before. Any ideas on that?

Thanks.

David

thisisnotreal
10-28-2009, 01:15 PM
Working to find a way to have a "softened" and connected practice and effect another person.
Aiki in-yo ho = Yin Yang method, right?

What about these yin-yang pairs to consider:
Not just yin//yang = heaven//earth forces or tensions as written in posts above...
but
yin + yang = muscle/SpiritEffortIntentSystem + kokyu structure system.
or in other words:
yin // yang = 'real qi' // 'full banana jin'

Balance point between these two systems.. playing back and forth across the boundary
between the two. But need to have access to them *in the body*...and that necessitates the changed body. The yin being especially capable of the soft, subtle side. The yang being the hard kokyu structure side. My words, my ideas.. ..my mistakes. sorry. ; ) ..don't know. .. typing out loud again. Hope it means something. Josh

ChrisMoses
10-28-2009, 01:29 PM
Working to find a way to have a "softened" and connected practice and effect another person.

or more to the point, affect Fritz... :freaky:

MM
10-28-2009, 01:39 PM
I think that just maintaining frame and trying to do anything with it has been a huge struggle for me. Stalemate is the word..


Uh, yeah, I can resemble that remark. :) Keeping structure and intent while moving is tough. Keeping both while moving and under some load is even harder.


Working to find a way to have a "softened" and connected practice and effect another person.

Haven't a clue how you guys work or train. Saw the vid and that's about it. :)

So, this is just a toss-it-out-there post. If you're beyond it, ignore me.

We work with "stretching" the spine. Like a hook on your head pulling your spine upwards while a weight between your legs pulling the spine downwards. So, lately when working paired practice and running into uke either grounding or using aiki, we've found that if we, as tori/nage, send intent even further upwards and downwards, that it overcomes uke's use of ground or aiki. Provided uke doesn't do the same thing. :) Course, all other things apply, too, like keeping structure, other intents, etc. And it isn't easy. Especially since my chest goes upwards when I send intent upwards. *sigh* Not relaxing enough.

Mark

Milty66
10-28-2009, 06:34 PM
Dan,

Does this wisdom apply to students that are relatively new (< dan grade) to Aikido or DR or MA?
Is it beneficial for a student to seek out teachers with IP/Aiki skills without the perspective of more years of experience in his/her MA?

Cheers!
-M

MM
10-28-2009, 07:41 PM
Dan,

Does this wisdom apply to students that are relatively new (< dan grade) to Aikido or DR or MA?
Is it beneficial for a student to seek out teachers with IP/Aiki skills without the perspective of more years of experience in his/her MA?

Cheers!
-M

Yes. Anyone from any experience. Those that I know that are training IT come from many various martial art backgrounds and various years of experience, from none to a lot.

Upyu
10-28-2009, 08:04 PM
Dan,

Does this wisdom apply to students that are relatively new (< dan grade) to Aikido or DR or MA?
Is it beneficial for a student to seek out teachers with IP/Aiki skills without the perspective of more years of experience in his/her MA?

Cheers!
-M

I'd say that students that are relatively new have an advantage.

Assuming you're after IP/Aiki, but you spend x years in an art without learning these skills, you can't help but patterning and conditioning your body physically to use your body in a way which conflicts with the way that it is used in IP/Aiki. (This is coming from my exp as well :crazy: )

What this means is that, if you're a rote beginner, you have less to "undo" and "unlearn" (please no starwars/yoda cracks) in the body, and can focus directly on simply patterning/conditioning your body in a manner that is more conducive to IP/Aiki.

People with x years will have muscle memory habits to undo...which can be a pain in the rear. I've got no doubt there's a lot of guys out there that've made some progress that would not quibble with me.

So now, as the beginning student gains a foothold in IP/Aiki, they're now in a position to more clearly see how the curriculum of art Y works in terms IP/Aiki.

Milty66
10-28-2009, 08:15 PM
Thanks, this is encouraging!

Cheers!
M

Kevin Leavitt
10-28-2009, 09:21 PM
I'd say that students that are relatively new have an advantage.

Assuming you're after IP/Aiki, but you spend x years in an art without learning these skills, you can't help but patterning and conditioning your body physically to use your body in a way which conflicts with the way that it is used in IP/Aiki. (This is coming from my exp as well :crazy: )

What this means is that, if you're a rote beginner, you have less to "undo" and "unlearn" (please no starwars/yoda cracks) in the body, and can focus directly on simply patterning/conditioning your body in a manner that is more conducive to IP/Aiki.

People with x years will have muscle memory habits to undo...which can be a pain in the rear. I've got no doubt there's a lot of guys out there that've made some progress that would not quibble with me.

So now, as the beginning student gains a foothold in IP/Aiki, they're now in a position to more clearly see how the curriculum of art Y works in terms IP/Aiki.

Your right of course.

Two things going on. Proprioceptively after years of training I think you have developed things that work for you so of course those are your natural responses and they have afforded you success.

Someone without experience is going to respond, maybe not appropriately at all, but it is still a response and maybe it is not undoing a habit that you learned from years of practice, but undoing in general from not knowing at all.

I tend to think that this is balanced out somewhat. The experienced guy has years of doing stuff that allows him to learn things quicker AND I have found that maybe there is not as much UNDOING from this area as they guy that has to learn from scratch has to learn alot more as he works through things.

That and the experienced guy probably understands methodology somewhat and knows that it will take time to invest in the process.

in short the experienced guy is wired to learn. Just like learning languages.

So, sounds like I don't agree with you so far right?

Well I think the real issue is not so much unlearning as it is the psychological process of having to invest in failure and letting go.

You have developed these habits and things of success and it is just scary to let go of them and have to invest in the ensuing failure that will come as you do this. Some of it is unconscious, but alot of it I think is simply the fact that you have acheived success with those things at a certain level and you don't want to let go.

So, the guy that comes in the door with no experience probably has a psychological advantage over the guy that has lots of experience in martial arts.

Of course, what do I know...this is just all thought and conjecture on my part and is not based on any scientific fact at all.

Upyu
10-28-2009, 10:29 PM
Well I think the real issue is not so much unlearning as it is the psychological process of having to invest in failure and letting go.


I definitely agree with this, and you summed it up pretty well. The largest bottleneck in a sense is the psychological aspect.

But, there is also a physical component that shouldn't be overlooked.
Take for instance Ark, even with his skill, he still comments on how he feels his early gymnastics training, especially doing iron crosses and the like, gets in the way of his own personal progress. He "knows" what he needs to do, but the muscles/tissue won't respond since they tend to respond in their "old" patterened ways.

This is all proprioceptive of course, but I'd lay money that there's some research out there on muscle/tissue patterning that supports this.

Anyways thought I'd toss that out there.

DH
10-28-2009, 10:49 PM
What Rob said!
I just got back from four hours of teaching in an MMA school. I am currently getting a couple of guys ready for their first sanctioned fights in MMA, they are working on this stuff, and have maintained an interest because I can get them to neutralize force and deliver power in a real manner. They will train with me for hours at a wack and have a good sense of their bodies.

That said, the people who have learned things at a faster rate (no not their overall skills level in it so far) are, in order;
An MMA teacher
A Daito ryu teacher
An Aikido teacher.
Why? MMA people will train their bodies in an intelligent manner without preconceived "traditional" unrelated baggage.
The Daito ryu teacher is not doing unrelated baggage just...well....doing more Daito ryu; just in a more highly refined manner.
The aikido teacher is not doing unrelated baggage either. He is doing...well....Daito ryu aiki; in a more highly refined manner than his aikido.

I'm not big on all of this talk of proprioception. Every time I leave someone to self-correct and "feel" they usually go back to what they were doing all their martial career. Proprioception will change and get more sophisticated and helpful as time goes on, and you start to teach yourself. It's a process.
I was just rolling with the guys, had to push to make a postion change and I felt my shoulder "fire", I shook my head for being an idiot... worked through it on the run, flipped him, and just kept going.
Whatcha gonna do?

There are ways to short circuit the "back to your old habits" routine and build new proprioception that is correct, but again that just goes to people who teach this stuff having their own individual methods.
Do I think everyone who talks about teaching internals are all the same both in knowledge, skill level, and actual use in the martial arts?
No. I do not.
Do I think all of the teaching methods are the same?
No, I do not.
Do I think the people who do this have all the same end goals?
No I do not.
Do I think all teachers of this can actually teach it well?
No I do not.
I'll leave it up to the folks in the community to decide what best suits them and who they want to train with. It's the only thing we can do.

I think IP/Aiki is the finest skill set available in all of the martial arts-bar none, and it fits into any art traditional or modern, but no one should feel they can't learn it.
I'm no one special. I mean, if I can do it...anyone can do it. It's just a matter of time-in and getting up off the couch whenever you can.
Good luck in your search
Dan

thisisnotreal
10-28-2009, 11:31 PM
Hi Dan,
I have a few general questions about Internal Power / aiki, and something that relates to the end of your post..
Why to study it? Seriously. I mean that honestly. Why is it the finest skill set? Fighting? Is there anything else? It is hard to think through knowing that the entire journey changes you.

Because of the high level nature of good jujutsu people confuse it with aiki.
Is it easier to get to `good high level jujutsu` or `good level of aiki`?
If you had to invest into only one; why pick which? Which is more reasonable? Which does the body, mind and spirit more value? It is said `Aiki makes your body stronger for old age` .. is that right? I am interested in hearing anyone's 'take' on it...
Is there anything particularly different in pursuing aiki in terms of risks or dangers over and above those faced by pursuing the 'good jujutsu' path? Specific cautions or admonishments, say?
Thanks a lot.
Best,
Josh

Lorel Latorilla
10-28-2009, 11:51 PM
Well, they say Mifune was "the epitome of judo technique," so you not only have to have good frame, but excellent comprehension of judo technique and finesse at recognizing when the partner is walking into position for you to apply a given technique--instantly recognizing which technique he's walked into and giving him that technique without having to reorganize the body before moving. So that's what I mean by "frame" and "relaxation"--undisturbed posture and mental clarity. Please don't misinterpret my comments to get the idea that I can do that, myself. I just began to sense it and try to develop it. But I do think that's the whole essence of judo--keep your balance and keep your cool and match the technique to the opponent's movement without interfering with him in any way. As they said fighting Kano was like wrestling an empty jacket.

He had full command of every technique in the judo repertoire and he was just completely adept at matching his technique to the other guy's movement. Mochizuki Sensei said that Mifune was "comparable" to Ueshiba in his ability to throw at will and on contact. So I think all his skills were of the higher degree in general.

It's interesting that Mochizuki Sensei's son, Hiroo, now world leader of yoseikan arts, bases everything on "wave motion" but I didn't get anything like the feel from him that I got from Ark. Not saying Hiroo Sensei doesn't have it, but what I felt from him was much more like standard aikido while working with Ark was like...grabbing a dragon.

As for the body that thinks on its own, I sometimes find my body reacting (in daily life) in a way it didn't do before and I realize, "Hey, that was like Ark does...." but I haven't learned to apply it in a "fighting" situation as yet. But the body self-correcting with a spontaneous full-body response can be pretty startling.

Did you see the early question about making the body "jealous of itself"? I hadn't heard that before. Any ideas on that?

Thanks.

David

Hi David,

Thanks for your comments. Maybe it's just me, but I don't like the suggestion that only a guy like Mifune can have godly timing, relaxation, and intuition. I don't like to talk about "this genius" or "that genius", because by doing so, we essentially distance away from the skills and "art" they expressed. All this considered, I believe Mifune's skill, whatever it is--external or internal, can be learned by whoever. He was just in the perfect position to learn it--he was at the right place, at the right time, with the right teacher, and with the right mind and heart. It is for this reason that I find Sagawa an unpleasant fella. Like Mifune, "uncontrolled" factors like him meeting Takeda through his dad, the fact that he was able to observe Takeda in every day life and essentially train with him every day, his mental aptitude,etc. set him up for the skills he had. And dude has the gall and arrogance to call people stupid, weak, or whatever even if the person he's calling is seeking truth in the form of martial arts? Whatever man.

In any case, whatever skill MIfune had, I want to know it, and would like to train it. When people will say "he just practised judo really hard", I`d ignore that statement, nod my head, and then move on to a guy like Ueshiba or Takeda, whose skills are known largely as "internal" and observe their paths and perhaps their own training regimes to replicate and gain the skills they had. We will never know whether Mifune had "internal" skill or not, but from the looks of it, he had. "matching" technique to movement suggests that he felt the balance points of his opponent and had extraordinary, and trained "listening" skills, which I think are gained through internal dynamics.

About Ark and "wave motion".

I don't much about Yoseikan training methods, but I think I have an idea of how Ark trains it. He does through opening and closing the front, and for Xingyi guys, this is done through squatting monkey. For the aiki guys, this is done through agete, where you close your front, expand lower back, to "suck" the guy in, and raise the arms to take the opponent's balance. I find Ark's system fascinating because focussing 100% on your body and increasing its range of motion will allow your body to respond appropriately to the incoming energy. Ark's deal is that we have to increase first the body's capabilities and its potential for movement, because no matter how much you want to be like "WATAH" (rip Bruce), your body has to be "ready". Insofar as this is what we want to develop, Aunkai I think is a complete system because it deals with all ranges of motions: you can see torque, aiki type of energy work, and (recently I noticed at least) entering work (through shintaijiku).

I have never heard of the comment about the "body benig jealous of itself".

Jeremy Hulley said "I think that just maintaining frame and trying to do anything with it has been a huge struggle for me. Stalemate is the word..

Working to find a way to have a 'softened' and connected practice and effect another person.".

It is good that you have that awareness. Too many people are caught up with "frame". It makes standing grappling practise much more challenging because you essentially have to weaken your frame (or depend less on your frame) on guys with frame. You"ll get dumped on your ass if you try your premature, soft skills on strong, balanced, agile guys or you will force yourself to depend more on your frame so you can "not lose". Internal arts involves a lot of "investing in loss" I think. So for me, best way to train soft skills is agete, push out, push hands or any other paired exercises like that. That way you familiarize yourself with "soft" motions. Learning it exclusively under heavy pressure right away is simply stupid. You'll never learn soft skills that way. You'd have to do it through paired practise with mild resistance (as you see in agete, push out, etc.). Also learning soft skills without frame as I said before will get you destroyed in a fight I think. Your body has to learn how to be balanced under pressure. Your body needs to be properly aligned/balanced/stable before you can make aiki appear, so when a heavy, strong guy tries to take you down, you won't be able to affect aiki on him because your body integrity will be compromised.

thisisnotreal
10-28-2009, 11:53 PM
..
There are a lot of things I don't understand that Ark talks about it. For instance, he talks about go-ju a lot and how he came make his body hard on the outside and soft on the inside, and vice versa. NO CLUE how he does this. Also, I'm also munching on the idea of a dragon back, which one can develop through shintaijiku. And also torque from spear work.

Focussing on 'softness' or 'aiki skills' at this stage of my training is for me to figure out the implications of training torque, goju, the dragon back, etc. ....

Hi Lorel,
That was a great post. Any chance you could say a bit more about some of that? For instance; what is go-ju... and what is meant by a dragon back?

In regards to the hard on the outside and soft on the inside issue (and vice versa): I think this is the 'separation' of another yin//yang set; where one considers the outer body (yang) and the inner body (yin) separately.. The yin body is the inside; tightly coupled to the dantien region...which is 'highly mobile' all the while the external torso and leg muscles are hard. This reminds me.. Dan once talked about the two yamabiko ('way of the mountain echo'); here< (http://aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=230999&postcount=11) ... i think this points to the two separate modes of being `on`. Taking either of these 'modes' to an extreme could maybe...loosely map to what you were referring to. random thoughts, my friend.
Josh

Lorel Latorilla
10-29-2009, 12:21 AM
Hi Lorel,
That was a great post. Any chance you could say a bit more about some of that? For instance; what is go-ju... and what is meant by a dragon back?

In regards to the hard on the outside and soft on the inside issue (and vice versa): I think this is the 'separation' of another yin//yang set; where one considers the outer body (yang) and the inner body (yin) separately.. The yin body is the inside; tightly coupled to the dantien region...which is 'highly mobile' all the while the external torso and leg muscles are hard. This reminds me.. Dan once talked about the two yamabiko ('way of the mountain echo'); here< (http://aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=230999&postcount=11) ... i think this points to the two separate modes of being `on`. Taking either of these 'modes' to an extreme could maybe...loosely map to what you were referring to. random thoughts, my friend.
Josh

Hi Josh,

I have no idea about goju. It's still an alien concept to me as far as how to develop it or how it is applicable in combat. I don't want to think about it too hard, just let it marinate in mind and come to me as my training progresses. Basically goju is when you "hollow" out the insides, but keep the outside "hard". It is also the ability to make the inside "full", while you keep the outside "light". The former gives you a sense of lightness, and will give you the ability to "ghost" on people. The latter probably involves you making your body lines more "taut" and "hard", giving you much more power in your strikes. I'm not too sure though.

As far as the dragon back is concerned, this is probably trained through shintaijiku and now recently through body-axis training where you keep the "cross" in tact. I've been playing with this lately, and been trying to move the arms not with my arms but initiating movement with the expanded lower back. When you pull down with the butt, or tilt the pelvis (you can achieve this through seiza ki-breathing) this stretches the back suit, giving you leverage to move the arms with the back suit (in the lower back area) with minimal movement. Moving the arms with "arm" intent, you risk moving the arms independently and risk compromising the cross and as a consequence the whole body movement. It's also energy inefficient. If you trained the back suit (and thus the lower back) to a high degree, it can act as a "puppeteer" of sorts, using this area to control the strings (the suit) that connect to the arms and then move the arms to do whatever it needs to do (lift, strike, pull down, etc.) without compromising the cross. Much more energy efficient and it makes your strikes less telegraphed. Someone who has trained this to a high degree will never tilt his body or move his shoulders for a punch in an obvious way. It'll be like an unseen missile suddenly hitting you. It's highly-focussed intent work, and it is painful as hell because to really feel it, you have go into deep stances and from there move from the lower back. There is ALOT of body-stretching involved. But once you finish say a shintajiku work out with this for 15 mins, you really feel some "tingling" sensation under the skin. I think that "sensation" is the fascia and it is what we need to work out.

Rennis Buchner
10-29-2009, 05:13 AM
Hi Josh,

I have no idea about goju. It's still an alien concept to me as far as how to develop it or how it is applicable in combat. I don't want to think about it too hard, just let it marinate in mind and come to me as my training progresses. Basically goju is when you "hollow" out the insides, but keep the outside "hard".

While I have no clue about how Akuzawa explains the concept, it is a concept I have been wrestling with for quite awhile now. Like many my initial ideas were over simplified and miss understood concepts from Goju-ryu karate, but the concept was also a key point in the sword of swordsmanship I am a member of which got me thinking about the concept much more. Like you have trouble really "getting" it, but my own personal impression (this week) is that it can be an inside hard outside soft, or the reverse type of thing. I personally have an easier time wrapping my head around the inside hard and outside soft concept physically than the opposite, which gels both with how Akuzawa felt the times I did get to touch him, as well as a couple of other people whom I have laid hands on over the year that seemed to have something "more than the norm". Actually just typing this has some gotten ideas brewing in my head I want to go ponder for a bit.

Rennis

ChrisMoses
10-29-2009, 09:07 AM
It is good that you have that awareness. Too many people are caught up with "frame". It makes standing grappling practise much more challenging because you essentially have to weaken your frame (or depend less on your frame) on guys with frame. You"ll get dumped on your ass if you try your premature, soft skills on strong, balanced, agile guys or you will force yourself to depend more on your frame so you can "not lose". Internal arts involves a lot of "investing in loss" I think. So for me, best way to train soft skills is agete, push out, push hands or any other paired exercises like that. That way you familiarize yourself with "soft" motions. Learning it exclusively under heavy pressure right away is simply stupid. You'll never learn soft skills that way. You'd have to do it through paired practise with mild resistance (as you see in agete, push out, etc.). Also learning soft skills without frame as I said before will get you destroyed in a fight I think. Your body has to learn how to be balanced under pressure. Your body needs to be properly aligned/balanced/stable before you can make aiki appear, so when a heavy, strong guy tries to take you down, you won't be able to affect aiki on him because your body integrity will be compromised.

We do an exercise that's a lot like push-hands that's good for this. The rules are you have to go slow, no tempo changes and no strikes or grabs. You can hook, wrap, block the legs and take as many steps in any direction as you like. Very hard for newer folks to abide by the rules, but the rules make the exercise worth doing. It basically is the bastard child of judo randori, push-out and push hands. Anyhoo, I find that I get three very distinct sensations depending on how and how well I'm using the frame. When I first started doing this exercise (way before I met Ark) I felt all the pressure through my muscles and got exhausted very quickly. Around the time I first met Rob and Ark, the pressure moved more into my bones, the muscles themselves didn't feel like they were under load the same way, it was much more efficient, but also created openings because folks had this direct connection back into my skeletal system. Lately (last year or so) the sensation has shifted again and now feels more like it's running under my skin rather than through the muscles or through the bone. Not jumping on the fascia! bandwagon, just talking about proprioception. Regardless, I have a lot more live connection now that gives me good drive when I want it, but seems to absorb and redirect incoming force in a way that I was never able to before. Which is good, again because all the usual suspects have gotten so hard to get kuzushi on, I need all the help I can get. :cool:

(Credit where credit is due, it's my understanding this exercise is from Don. Any Ryusters out there want to comment?)

Kevin Leavitt
10-29-2009, 12:47 PM
Dan wrote:

I'm not big on all of this talk of proprioception. Every time I leave someone to self-correct and "feel" they usually go back to what they were doing all their martial career. Proprioception will change and get more sophisticated and helpful as time goes on, and you start to teach yourself. It's a process.
I was just rolling with the guys, had to push to make a postion change and I felt my shoulder "fire", I shook my head for being an idiot... worked through it on the run, flipped him, and just kept going.
Whatcha gonna do?

Well this is the big thing I struggle with, of course on a much more less sophisticated level. I can usually understand what I am doing is wrong and sometimes actually even do it right, however, that moment is very fleeting and I can feel the sense of "habit" over power that and once it happens it takes a while to go back to what I felt was right, especially sense it essentially seemingly caused a point of failure.

Ushiro did a good job working with me at demonstrating how to reset the emotional context/feel necessary to get back to that "state", which was exciting for me...so that is my challenge now, how to I restore myself back to the point/feel that was right...it ain't easy when I guy is trying to choke you or do a knee on belly.

Anyway, I am trying to work through this, but it is very evident to me that I need to invest in failure, but also need to receive constant coaching and adjustment as I proceed.

The good news for me is I look back to where I was a year ago vice now and I can see changes and things are slowing down in my grappling as my opponent has less and less to feed off when we start out.

thisisnotreal
10-29-2009, 03:30 PM
Mark,
That thread on Mifune on RSF was excellent. Thanks for the reference.

Kevin,
Your post is very intriguing. Is it possible to share any 'queues' that you picked up from Ushiro? It is interesting you talked about resetting the 'emotional' context. Why that shift to the 'emotions'? Is that the 'one point' you try (/return to) to hold to keep it all together?

Lorel,
That was great. Thanks for the ideas...and for sharing your research. I got to think about what you wrote..

Chris,
That was great too!! In my mind (i.e. despite my writing) I was trying to point at a similar idea ...but one you managed to put into words much better than I did. I've learned so much by reading all the different ways people think and write about all this.

Cheers gents,
Josh

Kevin Leavitt
10-29-2009, 04:15 PM
Well Ushiro talked/coached me on the issue of intent/focus a fair amount...it is difficult but for him it had alot to do with the eyes. Nothing I had not been told before for sure. your intent must move prior to your body moving as a unit/core. There is alot more to it than that though...lol.

I think the whole one point thing is way over simplistic and not very helpful for me....there are "feelings", proprioceptions etc in the body that need to be developed...that is one thing...then having the ability through myofascial structure to be able to take command of your body and move.

I think alot of us, myself included figured that you can think your way through this..that is focus on one point or think about not firing or relaxing certain parts of your body that you don't wan to move. It ain't that easy I am finding.

Ushiro could coach me to get everything right through a series of "set ups" and conditions and then coach me to move correctly. It was cool, but remembering how to do this on my own is a challenge now.

ashe
10-29-2009, 07:19 PM
this place has been busy! i had to step away from the conversation for a bit as duty called...


is this right?: When using your body in practice:
Yang path is the strong alignment path when pushing away from the body, on that alignment and the limb is getting further from the body.
Yin path is the strong path when pushing out but limb is returning to the body (such as to brace the body on impact when you 'zip-up')

I found there are many ways they label what a yin and what a yang path are? but mostly because i have no clue. anyone care to volunteer the secret of the universe?

i'm not sure what you're asking... could you rephrase?

I think it cannot be overemphasized that "internal" refers to the techniques happening within one's own body--not outside or between tori and uke. It happens inside "tori" and the effect on uke is because he is touching tori while tori makes the adjustment within himself.

my experience and training (thus far) differs (if i understand you correctly).

just in part, using tai chi (principles, not the art) is to recognize (and harmonize with ) the limits. your comment seems to imply otherwise to me...

and

in ILC training we discuss the point of contact a lot, trying to recognize what "energy" is present there, recognizing yin and yang, etc. point of contact IS the relationship between tori/uke. now granted, it's always related back to what we call "the mechanism of the body" (lik hok in hakka), but the point is that sometimes you can get away with making the changes IN your body, and sometimes you have to change the point.

just two examples.

thisisnotreal
10-29-2009, 08:12 PM
Hi Ashe,
Well... I was wondering what Yin and Yang are. In the body...and in terms of those paths. Be warned though; this may be a stupid question..
In your post you detailed major spirals/paths of the body and I did not understand the significance of calling them yin (returning to dantien) and yang (emanating from dantien). I thought it had to do with, when in use, referring to the direction of travel of the limb (from the body's core) and when they are strong. An example: the yang path is engaged (and strong) when, say, the leg is pushing away from the body. Vice versa for the yin path.
Gees...it's pretty clear I can't really explain this very well.

By the 'secret of the universe' comment...i was referring to the special secret decoder ring that... I'm sure exists... that.. kind of makes the yin/yang references all make sense.
..but that's probably asking for a bit much..
Cheers,
Josh

David Orange
10-29-2009, 10:55 PM
David Orange wrote:
I think it cannot be overemphasized that "internal" refers to the techniques happening within one's own body--not outside or between tori and uke. It happens inside "tori" and the effect on uke is because he is touching tori while tori makes the adjustment within himself.

my experience and training (thus far) differs (if i understand you correctly).

just in part, using tai chi (principles, not the art) is to recognize (and harmonize with ) the limits. your comment seems to imply otherwise to me....

Well, your experience is undoubtedly deeper than mine, but I'm going by what Ark said: all the energy remains within your own body. And unless I'm remembering very poorly, Dan Harden said the same thing. Ark went further, I think, by saying that you "choke off" the techniques within yourself, i.e., you do the technique within yourself.

This was such a startling concept to me that it really stuck in my mind and became part of my understanding of the difference between internal and external: the internal relies on the center and manipulation of one's own center to generate power and that the power and techniques are retained entirely in one's own body. And internals use the fascia/connective tissue (suit) far more than muscle. And that became my way of understanding whether someone is talking about internals or externals in MA methods.

Is what I was saying.

Thanks for the response.

David

ChrisMoses
10-29-2009, 11:22 PM
Well, your experience is undoubtedly deeper than mine, but I'm going by what Ark said: all the energy remains within your own body. And unless I'm remembering very poorly, Dan Harden said the same thing. Ark went further, I think, by saying that you "choke off" the techniques within yourself, i.e., you do the technique within yourself.


;) I was just talking about this tonight teaching class. Rob described the concept as "kaeshi" returning.

The best analogy I can think of is the old 'ki' trick of the unbendable arm. Most dojos describe it as an 'arm like fire hose'. And that's exactly what they get, a stiff arm incapable of bending and basically uncontrollable, just like a fire hose being held about 6 feet back from the open end. Now imagine a fire hose folded over on itself to form a loop with a kink and close off the end of the hose (you can actually experience this with just a garden hose). Now you have created a stable structure out of something that's made of fabric and water. Hmm, kinda like people... ;)

When you do push out, you don't just blast into the other person, it's more like you expand, but you never bleed out that energy/intent/bioprasma/midiclorians/whatevah *into* them, they are simply displaced by your biggification.

All usual disclaimers apply: I probably said it wrong, probably doing level 1 version, or it's different now, or I misunderstood or something... But this is what I've been working with, and it's helped.

osaya
10-30-2009, 01:17 AM
I think it cannot be overemphasized that "internal" refers to the techniques happening within one's own body--not outside or between tori and uke. It happens inside "tori" and the effect on uke is because he is touching tori while tori makes the adjustment within himself.

Well, your experience is undoubtedly deeper than mine, but I'm going by what Ark said: all the energy remains within your own body. And unless I'm remembering very poorly, Dan Harden said the same thing. Ark went further, I think, by saying that you "choke off" the techniques within yourself, i.e., you do the technique within yourself.

This was such a startling concept to me that it really stuck in my mind and became part of my understanding of the difference between internal and external: the internal relies on the center and manipulation of one's own center to generate power and that the power and techniques are retained entirely in one's own body.

Hi David, it looks like the thread might just head back on track... Returning to the OP, what in your opinion is the best/suggested way to develop these internal abilities/strength/power that you refer to?

Without having the option/opportunity to 'touch' or get coaching from an expert at the moment, what would be something practical/simple that a person could potential do to train/develop until that opportunity arises? [Ideas from anyone else would be more than welcome of course!]

Thanks.

eyrie
10-30-2009, 02:17 AM
Not sure if you are addressing David or me, the OP...

The whole point of this thread is to point out that there are differences between approaches, some at distinct variance to others.... unless someone mentioned similarities somewhere and I've missed it?

What is "best" is defined by you (IOW, what's "best" for you - only you know) and is somewhat limited by where you are, how far you are willing to go find it. See Dan's various posts regarding this. As for suggestions... ditto.

For a practical "foot-in-the-door" approach, see Mike Sigman's suggestions in the Baseline Skillset thread.

osaya
10-30-2009, 02:53 AM
Not sure if you are addressing David or me, the OP...

oops my bad, I thought OP meant original "post", not "poster". thanks for replying nonetheless.

What is "best" is defined by you (IOW, what's "best" for you - only you know) and is somewhat limited by where you are, how far you are willing to go find it. See Dan's various posts regarding this. As for suggestions... ditto.

For a practical "foot-in-the-door" approach, see Mike Sigman's suggestions in the Baseline Skillset thread.

thanks for pointing it out mate, I'll go have a look there. cheers.

Lorel Latorilla
10-30-2009, 03:10 AM
We do an exercise that's a lot like push-hands that's good for this. The rules are you have to go slow, no tempo changes and no strikes or grabs. You can hook, wrap, block the legs and take as many steps in any direction as you like. Very hard for newer folks to abide by the rules, but the rules make the exercise worth doing. It basically is the bastard child of judo randori, push-out and push hands. Anyhoo, I find that I get three very distinct sensations depending on how and how well I'm using the frame. When I first started doing this exercise (way before I met Ark) I felt all the pressure through my muscles and got exhausted very quickly. Around the time I first met Rob and Ark, the pressure moved more into my bones, the muscles themselves didn't feel like they were under load the same way, it was much more efficient, but also created openings because folks had this direct connection back into my skeletal system. Lately (last year or so) the sensation has shifted again and now feels more like it's running under my skin rather than through the muscles or through the bone. Not jumping on the fascia! bandwagon, just talking about proprioception. Regardless, I have a lot more live connection now that gives me good drive when I want it, but seems to absorb and redirect incoming force in a way that I was never able to before. Which is good, again because all the usual suspects have gotten so hard to get kuzushi on, I need all the help I can get. :cool:

(Credit where credit is due, it's my understanding this exercise is from Don. Any Ryusters out there want to comment?)

It's been 4 months since I've sparred/grappled so I don't know how i would feel against hard resistance. All I know is, that I have a strong ass back, and this might sound good, but it's not. Intent gets stuck there. Especially in the cross/scapula area. So at this stage of my training, I've been focused mostly on relaxing my shoulders. For instance, Rob showed me this one exercise where you do lifts with the spear. This is a good exercise because you can gauge how much shoulder kicks in and you start to be aware of parts of your body that you can use to initiate movement in the arms. Once you gain awareness, you use your intent to move fro there. Lately, I''ve been focusing on tilting the pelvis and expanding lower back to initiate movement.

phitruong
10-30-2009, 07:52 AM
The whole point of this thread is to point out that there are differences between approaches, some at distinct variance to others.... unless someone mentioned similarities somewhere and I've missed it?


thinking out loud through the boot-in-mouth. methink the differences between hard and soft approaches come down to starting point. using the water hose analogy, hard approach builds the strength of the hose first (the suit idea) then builds the water pressure after; whereas, soft approach builds the water pressure first, then builds the strength of the hose. hard - outside in; soft - inside out. both approaches build the lower body strength first, i.e. all the connective tissue strengthening works from L1 of your spine down. so when we talk about frame/structure, we are talking about building the water hose. once we got the water hose and built enough water pressure, then you can ignore the hose, i.e. throw away the structure, because the water pressure can provide structure integrity. of course, once you get to that point, you can start to eat rum-soaked banana and do drunken monkey kungfu. :D

before you blokes asked where i am in the process, i would have you know that i stole the banana, ate the thing, and threw the peels for you internal folks to step on. :)

David Orange
10-30-2009, 09:46 AM
Hi David, it looks like the thread might just head back on track... Returning to the OP, what in your opinion is the best/suggested way to develop these internal abilities/strength/power that you refer to?

Get with someone who can really do it and have them show you how they do it. And then work, work, work on what they show you and go back to see them and get corrections and keep working really hard on it. Make it the most important thing in your life after your family and occupation. And really think about what your skilled teacher is showing you and wonder about it all the time and work hard on it.

Other than that...lots of hard work.

Also, effort.

Sorry, but that's the only thing I can think of since I can't really do much of this stuff at all. I'm pretty good with Ark's push-out (if the other guy is weak). My purpose in posting here is to try to get someone to correct my misconceptions!

Without having the option/opportunity to 'touch' or get coaching from an expert at the moment, what would be something practical/simple that a person could potential do to train/develop until that opportunity arises?

Order Aunkai's solo exercises tape and work like a monster on them. Rewatch it many times and really listen to the explanations and think about them and try to do the exercises as well as you can and keep coming back to the explanations and thinking about them.

I specify Ark's tapes because they're the only ones I know about! However, they are excellent tapes, very well done, organized, photographed and explained. A very worthwile purchase for anyone interested in this subject.

But think about this: I once had a friend who connected with this Philipine woman through a dating service. He wrote to her and sent her gifts and things for several years but could never scrape up the bucks to go to the Philipines and meet her. He finally came up with the idea that he would go to Nicaragua and work for the government there at the time because he had heard (somewhere) that if you would work for the Nicaraguan government for one full year, you could get a free flight anywhere in the world on Aeroflot--the Soviet airline. I told him he could just work in the US for a year and save up a few bucks a month and he could pay for a flight to the Philipines and back, but he must not have really wanted to go because he never did. Finally, after they had been corresponding for eight or nine years, she wrote that she had made some kind of arrangements to immigrate to Canada and would soon be moving there. He told her he would do whatever it took to visit her in Canada. She told him "never mind." So he never met her.

The point being, "MAKE it happen." Do what it takes to meet the best you can find. I see on your blog it looks like you attended Endo Sensei's seminar in DC? From Tasmania, you might as well go to Dan's in Massachusetts. Or Aunkai in Tokyo--an easy flight.

Just decide to get out there and meet the top guys.

Best to you.

David

David Orange
10-30-2009, 09:51 AM
When you do push out, you don't just blast into the other person, it's more like you expand, but you never bleed out that energy/intent/bioprasma/midiclorians/whatevah *into* them, they are simply displaced by your biggification.

Yes. I have found biggification to be very helpful!

It was really a shocking idea to me that you don't put your energy out there into the other guy. In all my reading and training, I thought that "internal" arts meant that you develop some kind of concentrated power inside yourself, then transmit that power in pulses or bursts, of course into the other guy. Same with techniques. But Ark and Dan both showed me that they keep the power inside themselves.

It made me dizzy: not the power, but the very idea.

Thanks.

David

MM
10-30-2009, 09:58 AM
;) I was just talking about this tonight teaching class. Rob described the concept as "kaeshi" returning.

The best analogy I can think of is the old 'ki' trick of the unbendable arm. Most dojos describe it as an 'arm like fire hose'. And that's exactly what they get, a stiff arm incapable of bending and basically uncontrollable, just like a fire hose being held about 6 feet back from the open end. Now imagine a fire hose folded over on itself to form a loop with a kink and close off the end of the hose (you can actually experience this with just a garden hose). Now you have created a stable structure out of something that's made of fabric and water. Hmm, kinda like people... ;)

When you do push out, you don't just blast into the other person, it's more like you expand, but you never bleed out that energy/intent/bioprasma/midiclorians/whatevah *into* them, they are simply displaced by your biggification.

All usual disclaimers apply: I probably said it wrong, probably doing level 1 version, or it's different now, or I misunderstood or something... But this is what I've been working with, and it's helped.

Hmmm ... not getting the hose analogy. Not that it isn't good, but, personally, I'm having a tough time wrapping my head around that idea.

Typically, I think of a water hose-type situation, but instead of one direction of water flow, there are two simultaneous ones. Water going outwards and water coming inwards in the same hose. So, the typical ki trick of unbendable arm only has 1/2 of the full intent. For us, anyway.

Sure, water going out can be strong, especially if you have good grounding skills. I think you can be mobile, too. But, it isn't yin/yang. Or heaven/earth as Ueshiba noted. It's just half of that equation.

Getting both directions to work simultaneously, I find that it doesn't matter whether my arm is extended, bent, or somewhere in between.

I'm horrible at the push out exercise we do. Both people have arms extended out and try to walk forward. No bending of elbows allowed. It's tough. I played around with two different variations,though. On my part, when done correctly, I can walk forward. On uke's part, it has two different "feels". One, I send intent out my arms and imagine reaching out way behind uke to a wall and placing my hands on the wall, then I walk forward. The other, I imagine my "center" is a black hole and everything that I get from uke, goes into the black hole, and then I walk forward. As I recently learned another variation on how to do the push out exercise, I'm sure there's quite a few more I don't know. :)

But, I suck at all of them, so far.

David Orange
10-30-2009, 09:58 AM
...All I know is, that I have a strong ass back, and this might sound good, but it's not.

Of course not. You want "dragon back." Not "ass back.":p

...Intent gets stuck there. Especially in the cross/scapula area. So at this stage of my training, I've been focused mostly on relaxing my shoulders.

I know the feeling. I was watching the Aunkai solo exercises tape last night and one thing I could just feel by watching was how much more relaxed Ark looked than either Rob or Manabu--particularly in the shoulders. He really looks incrediby soft and relaxed, though Rob and Manabu both perform the exercises very well and I know through experience that Rob has tremendous power. But Ark is like a reactor and yet he's so relaxed and soft. Yet he still has trouble from habits built up in gymnastics (according to Rob's earlier post).

...For instance, Rob showed me this one exercise where you do lifts with the spear. This is a good exercise because you can gauge how much shoulder kicks in and you start to be aware of parts of your body that you can use to initiate movement in the arms. Once you gain awareness, you use your intent to move fro there. Lately, I''ve been focusing on tilting the pelvis and expanding lower back to initiate movement.

Must look at that more closely....

Thanks.

David

thisisnotreal
10-30-2009, 10:17 AM
Hi Lorel,
Man, you got to stop with the interesting posts.. too much stuff to do. Not that anything I write here will be directly useful…but maybe it's interesting…
AlI know is, that I have a strong ass back, and this might sound good, but it's not.
Have you considered having your torso surgically removed? Perhaps a shot of novocane in the back before the training session. Okay..ok..i'm just kidding. ^ ^

Intent gets stuck there. Especially in the cross/scapula area.
Did you see this post by Upyu: here< (http://rumsoakedfist.org/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=6656&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&start=15#p111912). He points to this< (http://taiji.org/)book. Oooh… I like some of the teasers on that site. I have not yet bought or read it though. Although I do plan to. I'm going to quote some of the stuff she wrote (which i cannot do!), okay:

The movement, so hard to initiate correctly, becomes perfectly easy once the correct internal connections are found. They are to be sought in a very delicate manner. The error lies in trying to move deliberately. One too easily does too much, too coarsely, and thereby misses the connections. As the arms moving further rightwards turn to go leftwards, there needs to be a kind of slipping into place, a soft and silky sensation along the torso on both sides. Interior linkings create a surface to travel on, a winding path to follow, and once the corner is turned, the way onwards is open.

And I liked this one too

The four positions of double hand Chansigong are found gradually over some years of practice. When one can guide the qi into place at the side of the waist; when one knows its arrival at dantian and how it spirals up the back; when one is able to conduct its passage through the shoulder and along the arm until qi fills the fingers; when one can adjust oneself at any given moment to nudge the flow along these routes - then one may become free from the positions of Chansigong. The inner flowing, linking, and passing through the four stations interiorly is the true enactment of the taiji. The way, marked on a map, takes on life.

When you say that your intent gets stuck there..it reminds me of the bolded portions. About ‘nudging the flow along'. Is that part of the hard/soft conditioning process? Removing these blockages? If you are sensitive enough to identify a blockage….is there…well….a systematic process for unblocking it? I am assuming that soft-tissue bodywork and/or myofascial release just ain't gonna cut it. Idea: For instance, I assume you can feel where your conscious control of the ‘intent' ends…where the ‘blockage' starts and where, loosely, you can feel the ‘intent' resume on the other side? If that is wrong; let me know. Well…is a ‘hard' method something like; creating that intention (with blockage and all) and having someone beat you with a sock full of rocks on the blockage..to trigger the body to increase blood flow, etc…until it comes around? Is the soft method just to say there irradiating your body with intention until the blockage is removed? I don't know.
I wonder about what is the essence of the blockage/'intent getting stuck'.

Lately, I''ve been focusing on tilting the pelvis and expanding lower back to initiate movement.
Is it tilting the pelvis ‘backwards'? Did you see the previous references to back-tipping of the sacrum (i.e. counter-nutation)? Is that what you are talking about? Mind saying a bit more on how you feel that helps you do agete? Is it about ‘loading' uke onto your own body?

Cheers man,
Josh

thisisnotreal
10-30-2009, 10:18 AM
How is a dragon different from a snake, characteristically? Is a dragon a flying snake? naah. I wonder what all that imagery means..

phitruong
10-30-2009, 10:25 AM
How is a dragon different from a snake, characteristically? Is a dragon a flying snake? naah. I wonder what all that imagery means..

flying snake/lizard. both taste like chicken. :)

Budd
10-30-2009, 10:29 AM
How is a dragon different from a snake, characteristically? Is a dragon a flying snake? naah. I wonder what all that imagery means..

A good pointer is to look at the Aun statues . . (someone remind me, please - is that the root of the Aunkai name?) . .

thisisnotreal
10-30-2009, 11:37 AM
My purpose in posting here is to try to get someone to correct my misconceptions!
Me too! Seriously.
Well, I can't correct you ... so either I can conclude either you are ahead of me or we are both wrong. Sorry...what you write makes sense (!?). And is interesting, to boot.

MM
10-30-2009, 11:40 AM
Hi David, it looks like the thread might just head back on track... Returning to the OP, what in your opinion is the best/suggested way to develop these internal abilities/strength/power that you refer to?

Without having the option/opportunity to 'touch' or get coaching from an expert at the moment, what would be something practical/simple that a person could potential do to train/develop until that opportunity arises? [Ideas from anyone else would be more than welcome of course!]

Thanks.

I'll point to my post in another thread:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=243317&postcount=17

It's a start. I'm not saying it's easy to do, especially reading off of a computer screen with no one around to help. If you have questions about it, let me know.

Lorel Latorilla
10-30-2009, 12:04 PM
Of course not. You want "dragon back." Not "ass back.":p

I know the feeling. I was watching the Aunkai solo exercises tape last night and one thing I could just feel by watching was how much more relaxed Ark looked than either Rob or Manabu--particularly in the shoulders. He really looks incrediby soft and relaxed, though Rob and Manabu both perform the exercises very well and I know through experience that Rob has tremendous power. But Ark is like a reactor and yet he's so relaxed and soft. Yet he still has trouble from habits built up in gymnastics (according to Rob's earlier post).

Must look at that more closely....

Thanks.

David

Definitely. Gotta take the power out in the shoulders and in the back. That's the most important thing. Otherwise, you're not doing 'bodyskill' training. I won't call it 'neijia' or 'internal', don't want to get into the 'pure neijia' or 'full banana internal' debate. In any case, the reason why you see Ark so relaxed is because he has destroyed what he would call the 'parasitic elements' in the shoulders and back that impede efficient movement.

"Must look at that more closely...."

Yeah. Take a 6 foot spear, and get into the position of a spear-thrust. But instead of thrusting it forward, you just 'lift' it in an upwards direction. Very simple exercise. Here you learn when to recognize when the shoulder kicks, and to adjust your body to stop your shoulders from firing. At first I would lean back when I feel the shoulder kick in, and continue lifting. As for intent, perhaps you can try to feel the pressure of the spear's weight on the outer hand (because the pressure should be falling the most on that hand) and make the pressure 'fall' to the opposite foot..this should 'lift' the outer hand up and lift the spear. When you raise it to a higher level, the pressure increases (gravity and all that), so your shoulders will react even if you have the intent to lift using jin, so when that happens, readjust again so that your lifting with jin. I did that for about 7 months. Then I started discussing the lower back and expanding it and the back 'suit', so I moved from intent in putting the pressure in the foot, and now I use intent in the lower back (tilt the pelvis) and use the stretch in the back to lift the spear.

David Orange
10-30-2009, 12:53 PM
I'll point to my post in another thread:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=243317&postcount=17

It's a start. I'm not saying it's easy to do, especially reading off of a computer screen with no one around to help. If you have questions about it, let me know.

Always good input, Mark, and thanks for making these posts.

David

David Orange
10-30-2009, 12:56 PM
...your shoulders will react even if you have the intent to lift using jin, so when that happens, readjust again so that your lifting with jin. I did that for about 7 months. Then I started discussing the lower back and expanding it and the back 'suit', so I moved from intent in putting the pressure in the foot, and now I use intent in the lower back (tilt the pelvis) and use the stretch in the back to lift the spear.

Hmmmm.....so much to do.

Thanks.

David

MM
10-30-2009, 01:03 PM
Hmmmm.....so much to do.

Thanks.

David

We joke about that in class. When we first started, we laughed that it was like an iceberg. We only saw the barest tip of something that ran very deep under the water. Then someone said, no, it was worse. What we were working on was like one single snowflake on the very tip of the tip of the iceberg. We hadn't even begun to understand what was under the water. :eek: :crazy: :hypno:

Rob Watson
10-30-2009, 01:04 PM
[QUOTE=Christian Moses;244335];) ... they are simply displaced by your biggification.
QUOTE]

Ha! Oh, sorry, I thought this was the 'obesity' thread.

thisisnotreal
10-30-2009, 01:17 PM
We joke about that in class. When we first started, we laughed that it was like an iceberg. We only saw the barest tip of something that ran very deep under the water. Then someone said, no, it was worse. What we were working on was like one single snowflake on the very tip of the tip of the iceberg. We hadn't even begun to understand what was under the water. :eek: :crazy: :hypno:
Well said! +1 to what Mark wrote. Seriously...that is why I asked if it was *really* worth the effort. Isn't 'high level jujutsu' enough (if you're amazing enough to be able to do that)...it's got to be easier?! ; )
i saw this:
PASSION: There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart. Pursue those.

Why is this stuff so like that... catching your heart..and rousing that passion? ..only more questions

thisisnotreal
10-30-2009, 01:19 PM
Always good input, Mark, and thanks for making these posts.
David
Absolutely. Thank you.

Lorel Latorilla
10-30-2009, 01:21 PM
Hi Lorel,

Did you see this post by Upyu: here< (http://rumsoakedfist.org/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=6656&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&start=15#p111912). He points to this< (http://taiji.org/)book. Oooh… I like some of the teasers on that site. I have not yet bought or read it though. Although I do plan to. I'm going to quote some of the stuff she wrote (which i cannot do!), okay:

When you say that your intent gets stuck there..it reminds me of the bolded portions. About ‘nudging the flow along'. Is that part of the hard/soft conditioning process? Removing these blockages? If you are sensitive enough to identify a blockage….is there…well….a systematic process for unblocking it? I am assuming that soft-tissue bodywork and/or myofascial release just ain't gonna cut it. Idea: For instance, I assume you can feel where your conscious control of the ‘intent' ends…where the ‘blockage' starts and where, loosely, you can feel the ‘intent' resume on the other side? If that is wrong; let me know. Well…is a ‘hard' method something like; creating that intention (with blockage and all) and having someone beat you with a sock full of rocks on the blockage..to trigger the body to increase blood flow, etc…until it comes around? Is the soft method just to say there irradiating your body with intention until the blockage is removed? I don't know.
I wonder about what is the essence of the blockage/'intent getting stuck'.

Is it tilting the pelvis ‘backwards'? Did you see the previous references to back-tipping of the sacrum (i.e. counter-nutation)? Is that what you are talking about? Mind saying a bit more on how you feel that helps you do agete? Is it about ‘loading' uke onto your own body?

Cheers man,
Josh

Hi Josh,

Havne't read the book. Actually, I still have to work on Kumar Franzsis' (however the hell u spell his name) book and Mantak Chia's book. When I go back to Tokyo, I'll ask Rob for this book.

As far as the second paragraph goes, I"m not sure but I think I always had a strong back. Because to this day, I still fight to relax it. It sucks. Funny you mention the soft-tissue thing, because I plan to go in January to get bodyworked, particularly for the back issue, release the fascia in the scapula area and perhaps even the lower back to increase the mobility there. I think bodywork is good. Someone told me of a story that Chen Xiao Wang's son used to get pwned by the other Chen students, but he came back one summer and all of a suddenly he was able to pwn the rest of them. There're rumours that they jacked CXW's with TCM and that was why he was able to pwn them. In any case, i see the logic of soft-tissue bodywork.

But yeah, there are definitely systematic ways to release the blockage. That's what tanren is all about. In paired practise you do exercises like agete, push out, push hands, etc. There you try to affect your partner as relaxed as possible...if you can't, there's a blockage, and you need to identify that. In my case, blockage was in the upper scapular area and in the shoulders so what I did was replicate the dynamics of the paired work into tanren. So for agete, I'd do spear lifts. Push out, push the wall. The neat thing about 'intent' is that you can take it into your other exercises. So if you are practising on initiating movement from the lower back, take that into your shiko and work it somehow, or your shintaijiku, etc.

"For instance, I assume you can feel where your conscious control of the ‘intent' ends…where the ‘blockage' starts and where, loosely, you can feel the ‘intent' resume on the other side?" It's really simple I think. You've trained your body (unknowingly) all your years as an adult. So your body will react to pressure the way it was trained. Once you start bodyskill training, you learn to identify these blockages and you begin to be aware of the 'potential' of your body--but the body will just not allow it. Ark's system teaches you to identify these bad habits, and then erase them. I'm looking at Ushiro Kenji's system intently now because apparently he can get his students to do things that they thought were not possible (suggesting that they bypass intent-blockages purely by the will of the mind). I have a hunch that he is teaching them simple jin tricks that any beginner can do. Maintaining the principle in these simplejin tricks is the goal of bodyskill training.

"Is it tilting the pelvis ‘backwards'? Did you see the previous references to back-tipping of the sacrum (i.e. counter-nutation)? Is that what you are talking about? Mind saying a bit more on how you feel that helps you do agete? Is it about ‘loading' uke onto your own body?"

Nah, it feels like it's going horizontally. Try this. Sit in a seiza position, and breath in. That will tilt the pelvis. Breath out and it will do go back to its vertical position. Also notice that when you breath in, you will feel like your arms are getting lifted..that's cause you're stretching the back suit and pulling it down (also up--tenchi). Also, you should feel like your 'front' side is closing. Me and some of the aunkai guys have been discussing that this dynamic is the same as squatting monkey exercise that you find in Xingyi. Another interesting observation: Ueshiba called aiki sage 'kokyu dosa' and Shioda said aikido is 'kokyu power' and I think I get why now. Breathing does not necessarily give you 'magical powers' but because it allows you to recognize and condition parts of the body that will allow aiki--the core of the aiki arts--to happen. I visited a Roppokai dojo lately, and the guy had skills..he made e touch his lower back and his stomach as he did agete with this other guy and you can guess what he did: inhaled, expanded his lower back, and what happened?...Kuzushi, happened. Aiki happened. But yeah, tilting the pelvis, stretches the back suit, and it 'sucks' or as you said "loads the uke onto you", and you can lift or stick to him and move him around (this was also the new thing i learned while I worked out wih the Roppokai guys..Dan Harden talks about this). The thing is, a lot of us just think of moving the arms when we do agete (and I"m able to do that because my i just do it with my frame), you need kuzushi first before you can do anything to your partner. The freaky thing about aiki isthat you can't really 'feel' your balance being taken, like you feel solid when you're planting yourself on the guy. If you're dealing with an aiki guy, you won't feel him stretching his back suit and loading him on to you..and only when you'r edumped on your ass will you realize that your balance was being taken.

David Orange
10-30-2009, 03:13 PM
Why is this stuff so like that... catching your heart..and rousing that passion? ..only more questions

If you go back to the Chinese "six harmonies," the internal arts are direct expression of the heart. And then you really get into the mess...

David

Upyu
10-30-2009, 07:49 PM
A good pointer is to look at the Aun statues . . (someone remind me, please - is that the root of the Aunkai name?) . .

Budd: Yes, Aunkai comes from the term "Aun" which is again derived from the Indian word "Om" etc etc.

Also a quick note about dragon back, Ark has mentioned that it's a specific skill of moving the back, kind of a "wave" (うねる) motion. I asked if this was different from a simple mechanical "waving," (along with opening/closing the back) which he affirmed. He said it was a result of specific conditioning, a movement which was "unusual" (hi-nichijouteki na ugoki). Talking to him further, I suspect it has to do with the windings in the body, and developing it to a further degree...but I'm not him so I can's say what's what with authority.

All I can say is that when he uses the skill, it allows him to move freakishly fast, be unpredictable, and the movement itself is just...unsettling. It's something best experienced rather than "talked about."

ashe
10-30-2009, 11:38 PM
By the 'secret of the universe' comment...i was referring to the special secret decoder ring that... I'm sure exists... that.. kind of makes the yin/yang references all make sense.
..but that's probably asking for a bit much..
Cheers,
Josh

:D sorry. can't help you there since many people mean different things when they use those terms. :hypno:

i could only give you is what's specific to ILC.


Well, your experience is undoubtedly deeper than mine, but I'm going by what Ark said: all the energy remains within your own body. And unless I'm remembering very poorly, Dan Harden said the same thing. Ark went further, I think, by saying that you "choke off" the techniques within yourself, i.e., you do the technique within yourself.

This was such a startling concept to me that it really stuck in my mind and became part of my understanding of the difference between internal and external: the internal relies on the center and manipulation of one's own center to generate power and that the power and techniques are retained entirely in one's own body. And internals use the fascia/connective tissue (suit) far more than muscle. And that became my way of understanding whether someone is talking about internals or externals in MA methods.


i'm not sure if this has ever been brought up before, but back in the day, nearly ALL chinese martial arts had some kind of "internal" training (nei gong) as part of the over all curriculum meant to condition the ligaments, tendons (i.e. fascia) and bones. the division between internal / external is fairly recent.

now as far as what ark or dan are referring to i cant say since i don't study their stuff and haven't touched hands with either, but what i can say is that we use a similar sounding concept called "completing the loop" (it's actually called circle with cross) which talks about the concept of making sure that your movements form COMPLETE circles at the point of contact as well as in the body. it's creating a tangent force, like using a pull to push or vice versa.

here's a clip talking more about the concept;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHuDb9Ou3Kk

it's important to note that the clip is not showing a technique, just a drill done with very large movements for working with a concept.

Upyu
10-31-2009, 12:40 AM
now as far as what ark or dan are referring to i cant say since i don't study their stuff and haven't touched hands with either, but what i can say is that we use a similar sounding concept called "completing the loop" (it's actually called circle with cross) which talks about the concept of making sure that your movements form COMPLETE circles at the point of contact as well as in the body. it's creating a tangent force, like using a pull to push or vice versa.


Ashe,
With regards to the tangent force, I'm pretty sure that Sam is talking about Jin/kokyu force usage here.
And while he talks about grabbing the back etc, it assumes the person has a) the ability to project a jin/kokyu force and b) the ability to direct it properly via intent.

Putting that aside
The keeping pressure on the inside has more to do with a concept using "suit", or conditioning developed from Sam's TuNa exercises, and it's role in handling forces.
This part, has less to do with the jin force transmitted through the bones.

FWIW

Upyu
10-31-2009, 12:47 AM
In any case, the reason why you see Ark so relaxed is because he has destroyed what he would call the 'parasitic elements' in the shoulders and back that impede efficient movement.

Careful dude ;)
He's tamed it much more than most, but I'd caveat that he's got his own problems to work out. His statement about gymnastics is extremely telling in this regard.

<Just trying to keep things in perspective>

ashe
10-31-2009, 02:26 AM
Hey Rob, I'm not sure what a 'kokyu' force is... Don't do JMA.

What I can say is everybody can project, you can't get away from it. It's just a matter of wether or not you've got it coordinated properly (can recognize section by section, projecting from the ming men, etc.)

Looking around at some of the other posts, I see a lot of discussion about 'intent', which is not a word I would use in combination with ILC. Attention is our thing and it's a different monster...

eyrie
10-31-2009, 02:57 AM
I'm not sure what a 'kokyu' force is... http://aikiweb.com/wiki/Kokyu - the issue I have with kokyu as a defining term is that it merely implies breath "pressure", whereas, in my mind, it encompasses far more than that. The "jin" that Rob refers to, pertains to ground force/weight. I'm guessing you need both...

What I can say is everybody can project, you can't get away from it. It's just a matter of wether or not you've got it coordinated properly (can recognize section by section, projecting from the ming men, etc.) If you're talking about projecting a force, that force must be generated from somewhere and propagated to somewhere first, no? IYO, where is the force generated from, and how is it propagated to the ming men, and projected from the ming men?

Lorel Latorilla
10-31-2009, 03:10 AM
Careful dude ;)
He's tamed it much more than most, but I'd caveat that he's got his own problems to work out. His statement about gymnastics is extremely telling in this regard.

<Just trying to keep things in perspective>

Aight, my choice of words was too strong. I'd say he destroyed a lot to such a degree that you see him move the way he moves now.

osaya
10-31-2009, 04:34 AM
Order Aunkai's solo exercises tape and work like a monster on them. Rewatch it many times and really listen to the explanations and think about them and try to do the exercises as well as you can and keep coming back to the explanations and thinking about them.

I specify Ark's tapes because they're the only ones I know about! However, they are excellent tapes, very well done, organized, photographed and explained. A very worthwile purchase for anyone interested in this subject.


Thanks for the suggestion. I'll definitely keep that on my wishlist. ;)


The point being, "MAKE it happen." Do what it takes to meet the best you can find. I see on your blog it looks like you attended Endo Sensei's seminar in DC? From Tasmania, you might as well go to Dan's in Massachusetts. Or Aunkai in Tokyo--an easy flight.

Just decide to get out there and meet the top guys.

Best to you.

David

LOL - in my blog i was suggesting that i wished i got a chance to attend Endo sensei's seminar ;). travelling overseas to attend seminars at the moment is not financially feasible for me at the moment, but i certainly look forward to such opportunities in the future. But yeah, it'd be sweet if I could visit Dan or Ark (or any of these internal guys) in the future.

I'll point to my post in another thread:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=243317&postcount=17

It's a start. I'm not saying it's easy to do, especially reading off of a computer screen with no one around to help. If you have questions about it, let me know.

hey, thanks for that Mark. I'll give that a go. i'll PM you if i need specific clarifications. cheers.

Kevin Leavitt
10-31-2009, 11:51 AM
Hey Rob, I'm not sure what a 'kokyu' force is... Don't do JMA.

What I can say is everybody can project, you can't get away from it. It's just a matter of wether or not you've got it coordinated properly (can recognize section by section, projecting from the ming men, etc.)

Looking around at some of the other posts, I see a lot of discussion about 'intent', which is not a word I would use in combination with ILC. Attention is our thing and it's a different monster...

Ashe...waht do you see as the difference between intent and attention?

Erick Mead
10-31-2009, 03:25 PM
... what do you see as the difference between intent and attention?
Not quite a ton ... :D

thisisnotreal
10-31-2009, 10:46 PM
I just realized Kusaimen may be good for something after all...fertilizer.

thisisnotreal
10-31-2009, 10:47 PM
Ashe, Yeah, sure...if you don't mind, I'd love to hear about it. (re: Yin//Yang in ILC)
Cheers,
Josh

thisisnotreal
10-31-2009, 10:49 PM
It made me dizzy: not the power, but the very idea.
I know just what you mean.

thisisnotreal
10-31-2009, 10:53 PM
All I can say is that when he uses the skill, it allows him to move freakishly fast, be unpredictable, and the movement itself is just...unsettling. It's something best experienced rather than "talked about."
Upyu, man. You're freaking me out. Does he only do this 'trick' on halloween, or something?

ashe
11-02-2009, 05:57 PM
Ashe...waht do you see as the difference between intent and attention?

and et al.

i think that's all basically getting WAY off topic. :D

Kevin Leavitt
11-02-2009, 07:42 PM
So your going to throw it out there and then not answer it? If it is off topic, then maybe you could start another thread?

The reason I mention it and believe it relevant as I have recently spent time with a few really good folks who mentioned intention as being very important to internal skills. If you are proposing a difference and it was salient enough to be brought up, I am definitely curious as to what is different about it.

Mike Sigman
11-02-2009, 07:56 PM
I see a lot of discussion about 'intent', which is not a word I would use in combination with ILC. Attention is our thing and it's a different monster...I would have thought that the "I" (the old Wade-Giles way of writing "yi" [in the current Pinyin system]) would be something to consider in "I Liq Chuan". "I" or "yi" means "intent", for all practical purposes. The name translates roughly to "mind-intent-strength fighting system".

FWIW

Mike Sigman

ashe
11-03-2009, 06:50 PM
So your going to throw it out there and then not answer it? If it is off topic, then maybe you could start another thread?

The reason I mention it and believe it relevant as I have recently spent time with a few really good folks who mentioned intention as being very important to internal skills. If you are proposing a difference and it was salient enough to be brought up, I am definitely curious as to what is different about it.

sorry, i don't mean to be evasive about it, just that the topic here is supposed to be methods for developing internal power. certainly from our perspective, awareness plays a significant role in the development of the "internal" but it's not what everyone would normally think of in the sense of breath work and conditioning the ligaments and tendons, etc.

if a topic comes up that seems a better fit to discuss i'd be happy to join in.

just to clarify, the general sense of 意 (i or yi) in 意力拳 is more along the lines of "mental" as opposed to the more common use of yi as will or intent. so a rough translation is more along the lines of mental/physical martial art (as in the unification of), which is why we call ILC "the martial art of awareness". ;)

Mike Sigman
11-03-2009, 06:54 PM
just to clarify, the general sense of 意 (i or yi) in 意力拳 is more along the lines of "mental" as opposed to the more common use of yi as will or intent. so a rough translation is more along the lines of mental/physical martial art (as in the unification of), which is why we call ILC "the martial art of awareness". ;)That's sort of like thinking that the "I" in "Hsing I" (the old Wade-Giles spelling of Xingyi) means "mental". OK... I see your perspective, as you've written it. This is getting off into the 13-year-olds giving their take on automobiles and assuming that everyone knows what they do about cars, so I'm going to bail out right here.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Kevin Leavitt
11-03-2009, 09:31 PM
I'm confused...but that is okay really...it happens alot! Moving along now....

eyrie
11-04-2009, 06:49 AM
just to clarify, the general sense of 意 (i or yi) in 意力拳 is more along the lines of "mental" as opposed to the more common use of yi as will or intent. I can see how this might be a convenient transliteration, but to me, 意力 connotates the power 力 of directed thought 意 - i.e. will, desire, and therefore intent - that is expressed in the fist. It's certainly a powerful name for a pugilistic system - with different layers of meaning.

But I'm not here to debate what meaning one chooses to assign to one's system or style, nor the inadequacies of the English language when it comes to interpreting or translating a contextual language, like Chinese, with its colorful imagery, that is so succinctly encapsulated in its pictographic form. 意 conveys the imagery of sound (tone) [of] the heart (mind)... and... that is that. :)

Let's just try to keep to the topic please, and thank you.

thisisnotreal
11-09-2009, 08:30 PM
I came across the articles a while back... just stumbled on them again..
This is in relation to the muscle-jin mix; and the levels of purity that was brought up. I take it that pursuit of a specific level or training-aspect (or body limit) speaks directly to what kind of 'internal power development method' you use. (agree?) It also reminds me of what I think Mike is talking about when he speaks of seeking 'highly refined' versions of it. Just another point of view.... I thought it was neat. FWIW and IMO.



4 stages of Qi
2009 April 19
by Scott P. Phillips

George Xu has simplified his explanation of the basic process of making martial arts internal.

First there is External-Internal, which means that the jing and qi are mixed. Most martial arts use this method to great effectiveness. It is high quality external martial arts-- muscles, bones and tendons become thick like chocolate.

Second is Internal-External, most advanced taijiquan, xingyiquan, and baguazhang practitioners get stuck here. It means that the body is completely soft and sensitive. While power is constantly available, the yi (mind/intent) is trained to never go against the opponent's force, so that when this kind of practitioner issues power it is in the opponent's most vulnerable place (in friendly practice it is often used to throw the opponent to the ground). Unfortunately, if the opponent gives no opening there is no way to attack. Also, at the moment of attack all jin, no matter how sneaky or subtle, becomes vulnerable to a counter attack.

The third is Pure-Internal, this is very rare. All power is left in a potential state. Because there is no jin, one is not vulnerable to counter attack. To reveal this aspect of a practitioner's true nature requires completely relaxing the physical body so that jing and qi distill from one another. The body becomes like a heavy mass, like a bag of rice, Daoists call it the flesh bag. Then one must go through the four stages of qi:

1. Qi must go through the gates. The most common obstacle to this is strength, either physical, psychological, or based in a world-view. After discarding strength the shoulders must be drawn inward until they unify with the dantian. The same is true for the legs; however, the most common obstacle to qi passing freely through the hip gates is too much qi stored in the dantian. Qi must be distributed upwards and released in order for it to descend.
2. Qi must conform to the rules of Yin-Yang. As much qi as goes into the limbs must simultaneously go back into the torso.
3. The qi must become lively, shrinking expanding and spiraling. (This is what I'm working on.)
4. This one in Chinese is Hua--to transform, like ice changing into water and then steam. But George Xu prefers to translate in as melt the qi.


From< (http://northstarmartialarts.com/blog1/?p=942)

...also remind's me of Marc's recent blog on balancing In-Yo. This is about 'maintaining harmony in the body', no?

p.s. what do you think they mean about 'world view' limiting it?? dunno :confused:

Mike Sigman
11-09-2009, 08:44 PM
...also remind's me of Marc's recent blog on balancing In-Yo. This is about 'maintaining harmony in the body', no?
The idea of "change" is paramount in Chinese cosmology. Taiji and Bagua have both called themselves "the art of Change" at one time or another. I suppose what George Xu is talking about (he's not an expert on IMA's, BTW... his roots are southern Shaolin) relates to the theoretical ideal. The easiest way to explain that ideal is to think of the Yin-Yang symbol (the "Two Fishes") and note that there is a wavy vertical line that separates the white 'fish' from the black 'fish'. In the ideal of the Yin-Yang cosmology (and that also means the Japanese In-Yo cosmology), things arrive at a state where the vertical wavy line disappears and there is no difference between Yin and Yang because they are the same thing. The ideal of that last step is related, but it's a bit of a reach. In reality, martial-arts usually seek to maintain a balance of "hard" and "soft". So the 'ideal' arts will have names like "Tai Chi" or "Go-Ju" or "Six Harmonies" (Liu He) or something like that.

As a for instance, Aikido that is only yielding and passive blending would be too Yin. An Aikido with proper balance would have yielding/blending balanced by Atemi. An idealistic Aikido would have some mythical someone standing quietly, using his mind-intent and qi-skills, and opponents would be defeated (with no movement) whenever they attacked. Nice thought, but probably not workable in some of the bar-fights I've been in. ;)

FWIW

Mike Sigman

phitruong
11-10-2009, 07:02 AM
I came across the articles a while back... just stumbled on them again..
This is in relation to the muscle-jin mix; and the levels of purity that was brought up. I take it that pursuit of a specific level or training-aspect (or body limit) speaks directly to what kind of 'internal power development method' you use. (agree?)


Is there such a thing as "pure internal"? the skeptics in me said "i don't think so". methinking, only folks who have reached such state as "pure internal" would know, right? or folks just theorized such a state? but then the cynical part of me said, such theorists, in the world of martial arts, tends to be extinct rather quickly. or are we talking about those "hand waving, orgasm inducing non-touch mojo" folks that Ellis mentioned? :)

stage #4 "melt the qi"? isn't that what you do when you make grill cheese sandwich to go with tomato soup on a cold day? :D

i am thinking there might be a stage #5 where we can "pour the wine and cut the qi"

*sorry could not help myself. go back to the corner in the bar, behind the bouncers, and use my intent to keep folks away from me*

thisisnotreal
11-10-2009, 10:35 AM
Hi Phi, *I* don't know...and try to keep an open mind, but I lean towards what you think.. heh.Well, that's pretty funny. I don't know. Lotsa BS, as usual, I expect nothing less. But as with all things, there is a spectrum...and i guess there is likely to be an extreme here too, in this type of movement. That said, even just the basic concept of IP/IT _is_ a 'kind of extreme' as considered compared to the 'normal' body movement of an untrained or a 'straight' as Dan calls them (/me). No? It is a 'leap' from one 'domain' to another...why couldn't there be another one nestled inside the previous one (http://nerdapproved.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/strip-2s.jpg). Another 'level of quantization' or potential control...waiting to be tapped....I say that because I assume there must be something very deep here for people like Sagawa and others to have spent a lifetime digging it all out. (NOT to imply that i knew what they were doing)

Well...regarding the progression from solid to liquid to gas...at this point, I took that as a comment on the mobility of it....(i..e just how easily it 'flowed' to where it was needed). I expect this was more a comment on the quality of the trained refined body. You know...the progression and where it will lead. Having to do with: "Being able to move the strength to where it was needed". Different levels of viscosity and ease of doing so. I wonder (out loud) if the same *type* of training that initially got you there to/from the 'basics'...or if indeed training has to adapt and change to get better and better (as I expect). Can't keep doing the same thing to get new results, can you? Seriously; I don't know what the potential is...it is an honest question.
That said..I still have no idea just how many ways _that_ (i.e. qi,etc) mixes or is combined with the groundpath/peng nor what the author actually means...in terms of a body movement types/modes/styles. Honestly...I just thought it was a neat POV...to be considered. But 'being ponderous' and considering that too much will get your ass extinct...as you say. ; )

That's only what I think. (at this point)
*hey grab me a beer back there*


"pour the wine and cut the qi"
just don't cut that cheese near me.

phitruong
11-10-2009, 01:21 PM
Well...regarding the progression from solid to liquid to gas...at this point, I took that as a comment on the mobility of it....(i..e just how easily it 'flowed' to where it was needed). I expect this was more a comment on the quality of the trained refined body. You know...the progression and where it will lead. Having to do with: "Being able to move the strength to where it was needed". Different levels of viscosity and ease of doing so. I wonder (out loud) if the same *type* of training that initially got you there to/from the 'basics'...or if indeed training has to adapt and change to get better and better (as I expect). Can't keep doing the same thing to get new results, can you? Seriously; I don't know what the potential is...it is an honest question.
.

i am sure with the introduction of IP/IT (whatever) training, you are going to have a mixture of normal muscle way and the IP/IT way. i am sure the various IP/IT folks fall within that scale somewhere. from my point of view the first level is conditioning your body for IP/IT/aiki works. methink, this will take the longest. after that, i have no idea because i am not there yet. i am sure the various IP/IT/aiki masters can tell you the levels, but they are kinda mums about it. i don't know if they know either. or they might as well say, you will know when you get there, why asking about it? and get back to practice before i fajin/aiki your ass to the moon! i tell ya, these folks have no sense of humor. :)

interestingly enough, with the information sharing at light speed, we still need to cross hands in order to verify and sharing the right kind of information.

DH
11-10-2009, 02:42 PM
i tell ya, these folks have no sense of humor. :)
Well I won't address who "these people" are but I will tell you this. We have fun and laugh our butts off at my seminars and in my dojo.
I don't like people who are "playing" like they have an open hand when it is an ugly aggenda all along. Even more so when they have a steady reputation for causing trouble behind the scenes.
It takes quite a jerk to bring out my bad side. I men you really got to be a piece of work.

interestingly enough, with the information sharing at light speed, we still need to cross hands in order to verify and sharing the right kind of information.
Always was and always will be the best bet.
Good luck in your training
Dan

thisisnotreal
11-11-2009, 03:51 PM
I have a 'IP methods' / how-to question - if anyone would is willing to share... I think Eyrie mentioned this before too... I would love to hear about it.

"Are there any best-practices for connecting arms to tanden? You know...to *connect* and also to override/rewire the 'typical shoulder' tendencies."

Mike Sigman
11-11-2009, 03:58 PM
"Are there any best-practices for connecting arms to tanden? You know...to *connect* and also to override/rewire the 'typical shoulder' tendencies."Well, let's think about your hand/arm for a second. You gotta move them and they have to have some power in them... if you don't have the shoulder to move them and give the power, what are you going to use in place of it and how do you hook it up? Let me toss out the obverse of that question in this way: If you don't have a developed dantien controlling the body connection and you don't have jin/kokyu skills that the dantien most efficiently points at the hands, then you're undoubtedly using shoulder. And voila', that's been borne out by observation over the years. ;) Notice, BTW, that most people who use shoulder don't think that they really do.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

rob_liberti
11-11-2009, 08:12 PM
You know, in my experience the problem is that there are so many levels of this stuff. I know a 6th dan who has physically damaged shoulders to the point he cannot do a pushup - who threw a professional football player across the dojo in a kokyu nage. For a long while I was convinced that HAD to be THE kokyu skills because he could not possibly be using his shoulder... Today looking back on things, I can see that it was fantastic jujitsu maybe aiki jujitsu. But... it wasn't internal power and it wasn't aiki skills. And then, of the people I know who have some aiki skills they all say they suck (obviously not in comparison to the folks with no aiki or internal power).

Josh, I'll PM you my thoughts. I don't have it in me to post what I consider to be the essence of aikido in a non-aikido martial whatever thread. (I'm not complaining, and I am grateful, I just have to also respect my own personal boundaries.)

Rob

Mike Sigman
11-11-2009, 08:24 PM
I know a 6th dan who has physically damaged shoulders to the point he cannot do a pushup - who threw a professional football player across the dojo in a kokyu nage. For a long while I was convinced that HAD to be THE kokyu skills because he could not possibly be using his shoulder... Today looking back on things, I can see that it was fantastic jujitsu maybe aiki jujitsu. But... it wasn't internal power and it wasn't aiki skills. The answer is always in "how does it work", not in "I can do this and it blew people away". I mentioned this in a post long ago, the question: "Which would you rather do... impress beginners or impress someone who really is an expert".

Too much time is spent trying to portray demonstration scenarios as 'real fighting' scenarios. The practicality of the old Asian martial arts was centered around who really prevailed, not who did the best demo or whose demonstration wasn't the most impressive. It really all boils down to, "who is the really smart guy and who is the showboat who 'grabs the near for the far'?". Many Asian martial-arts stories are developed around that theme.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

thisisnotreal
11-11-2009, 09:01 PM
Hi Mike,
I wasn't sure how to respond to your post.
..You gotta move them and they have to have some power in them... if you don't have the shoulder to move them and give the power, what are you going to use in place of it and how do you hook it up?
Hey...That's what I was asking.

Let me toss out the obverse of that question in this way: If you don't have a developed dantien controlling the body connection and you don't have jin/kokyu skills that the dantien most efficiently points at the hands, then you're undoubtedly using shoulder.
Are you saying that to connect the dantien and the hands I have to have hands and a dantien? : ] Okay, i'm being a wise alek.... i know..but you bring up a point about 'a dantien most efficiently pointing at the hands'. That, I assume is only found after 'searching' in the body for it, for a long time. You remind me of an exercise that you mention in an interview... here< (http://www.iay.org.uk/internal-strength/issue-5/training-tip.htm). I will try it out for some time.

thisisnotreal
11-11-2009, 09:15 PM
The answer is always in "how does it work", not in "I can do this and it blew people away".
Hi, since I'm posting like a rabid monkey; even though no one asked me; I thought all that pointed to was the validity & practicality of it. "Tested in the fires of battle" and all that. That's what I took from it anyway. Especially Rob's story of the broken-shouldered gent. Meaning....if he didn't have the wherewithal to muscle it, therefore it implies the technique was good...and the fact that the guy went flying like that means that the method's potentials are high. fwiw.

thisisnotreal
11-12-2009, 12:35 PM
Hi Mike,
Well, okay; but this is me thinking out loud...and it's ugly (ain't the first time, eh?)..but it does come down to specific how-to nuts and bolts specifics.. ...I'll take another swag at your post.
For reference:

front of body (http://www.daviddarling.info/images/muscles_human_body_front.jpg)
back of body (http://www.daviddarling.info/images/muscles_human_body_back.jpg)


Firstly:
-I take your point about the arms being a conduit to/from the body. Not much 'intervention'/effect should be generated by them...transferring force from inside. What do you make of the fact Takeda and Sagawa had big strong forearms? Is that like a 'funnel' to redirect (locally?) external forces and bring them inside in a controlled fashion?
-I take your point about not using shoulder muscles (you must be talking about deltoids predominantly, yes?)
-I take your point about somatically (i.e. 'in' the body: finding the connections in the torso (i.e. main players must include; scapula, rhomboid, lats (?), traps(?). serratus anterior(?). What would your list be?
-also understood that the 'dantien must point efficiently' to the hands. Any tips? Would you still point me to the same exercise as in the link?

Here are some questions I find myself unable to completely answer:
-is upper dantien passive or active? I don't know what active would mean here exactly..so by elimination..
-should connections be made from torso outwards to hands? or simultaneously from outside to inside, meeting at shoulder? - perhaps fingertip-to-fingertip connection is easiest to do first...then work on connecting that on downwards? comment?
-Are you suggesting (somehow finding &) making the shoulder a true pivot point, manipulated by sets of muscle (scissor jack or crane? (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_jHlx4kIpMds/SjnamMCquNI/AAAAAAAAB8c/mOMZDR-7Nrc/s400/p%2Bh-crane-spare-parts.jpg)
-when you have the right feeling ; does your arm and shoulder feel 'powerful' or 'like nothing'? (like an puppet on a marionette string? In motion do you switch back and forth between the modes? Do you feel that have 'indirect' control of the arm? Does it come to feel 'normal'?
-does how your shoulder feel, exist more or less independently of whether or not there is a load on it?
-is there a trick to using the 'shoulder muscles' in a new way? Or do they (i.e. delts) become vestigial-like?

anyway; you suggested to think...this is what i thunk.

How do you hook it up?

thisisnotreal
11-13-2009, 09:18 PM
You know, in my experience the problem is that there are so many levels ... that it was fantastic jujitsu maybe aiki jujitsu. But... it wasn't internal power and it wasn't aiki skills.
aiki no jutsu? it is a progression isn't it; jutsu, aiki jutsu, aiki no jutsu? one is to lead into the next. What is it then we are training? What quality or thing that should lead one into the next? Why do we get stuck?

rob_liberti
11-13-2009, 11:47 PM
well to me, and I'm doing this off the cuff:

jujitsu is like "soft and/or flowing art"

aiki jujitsu is like the "soft and/or flowing art of blending energy" - or something like that - basically really advanced jujitsu using awesome aiki tricks - but not actually supported and powered by a body with developed internal power (the "aiki body")

aiki no jitsu is like the "art of aiki"

Sometimes we do things and we say well, that is just an aiki trick - and what is usually meant (my perception) is that someone just did really cool blending trick where you do some very good physical (or even just mainly mental "intent") yin/yang pivoting-type movement were something is feeding as much as something is receiving.

When we say aiki in general, we typically mean aiki no jitsu which can be differentiated in that you expect internal power to be there supporting the aiki you are doing with yourself and the other person.

I haven't recognized anyone's aikido at the level of aiki no jitsu.

Now, Dan is doing aiki powered MMA - that is just awesome and he's doing it against people who are also using aiki power (or anti-aiki) in their MMA. That is a whole different level. It brings things outside of theory and asks you to test what you can do - and asks you to put your a*s on the line.

I personally get stuck because the level of intent required is mentally exhausting. I am building it up and making things cleaner and cleaner. (I kinda wish I could learn it like neo learned kungfu in the matrix.)

Rob

rob_liberti
11-15-2009, 12:01 AM
A very kind sempai helped me correct my flawed definition of aikijujitsu... Here is what she wrote:

Jujutsu is the mechanical craft of locks, pins, chokes, throws using good leverage, timing, etc. It's a stand-alone "external" skill set but does not contain subtle "internal" power generation and structure.

Aikijujutsu isn't just jujutsu with "aiki tricks" thrown in. To make aiki application work consistently, you must have aiki inculcated in your body, at least to a basic extent. It's not like the "undbendable arm/unopenable fist" stuff. You may not have an intellectual grasp yet of what it is, but there has to be the intuitive sense and "feel" from hands-on transmission by the teacher. When aikijujutsu is introduced in the curriculum, students start developing the aiki within their training and learn to apply it as a power enhancer to their jujutsu.

Eventually, aiki is taught as a discrete body method and students practice exercises and drills that refine it without using any external martial application (i.e. without jujutsu). At that point, you learn the universality of an "aiki body" and that it is something you don't turn on and off just to perform a martial application; rather, it's an entire method you adapt as a means of carrying yourself as second nature.

It's a natural continuation of what the body has started to learn in aikijujutsu, but the aiki applied in aikijujutsu is not just a bunch of discrete "tricks." It's more of an introduction to the basics of the method and is quite systematic by design.

-- Anyway, sorry for misinforming, and thank you to my sempai. Rob

ChrisMoses
11-15-2009, 10:58 AM
I think it was Don Angier who said, "Aiki is anything you can't do to a chair..."

;)

Kevin Leavitt
11-15-2009, 10:59 AM
Thanks Rob...based on that definition, then I'd classify most BJJ as Aiki jiu jitsu. interested in your thoughts on that.

The word mechanical makes my skin crawl...but yeah, based on the delineation made between the two definitions above then I'd agree.

Based one the pedogogy of BJJ....the same type of breakdown is made by most of the masters, that is between mechanics/techniques...and "inculcating feel".

They don't use the word Aiki in what they talk about because it is not in their vocabulary, but....same idea I think.

The thrid paragraph...teaching aiki void of technique is not something I NOT have seen in BJJ..and may very well be the separation point between "some internal skill" vs "alot of internal skill"...or a distillation of skill and the effective ability to transmit.

Honestly, I have felt very few guys that have this type of skill, but among the top guys in the BJJ world, you feel it, and they talk about it in the way AJJ is defined above.

Again, interested in other's perspective on this.

rroeserr
11-15-2009, 02:03 PM
Thanks Rob...based on that definition, then I'd classify most BJJ as Aiki jiu jitsu. interested in your thoughts on that.

The word mechanical makes my skin crawl...but yeah, based on the delineation made between the two definitions above then I'd agree.

Based one the pedogogy of BJJ....the same type of breakdown is made by most of the masters, that is between mechanics/techniques...and "inculcating feel".

They don't use the word Aiki in what they talk about because it is not in their vocabulary, but....same idea I think.

The thrid paragraph...teaching aiki void of technique is not something I NOT have seen in BJJ..and may very well be the separation point between "some internal skill" vs "alot of internal skill"...or a distillation of skill and the effective ability to transmit.

Honestly, I have felt very few guys that have this type of skill, but among the top guys in the BJJ world, you feel it, and they talk about it in the way AJJ is defined above.

Again, interested in other's perspective on this.

BJJ does not use aiki/ki/kyoku. Just because something is effective does not mean it is using a specific set of body skills and conditioning that changes your physical makeup and how you move all the time. I really wish people would stop saying activity Y is awesome so they must be using internal skillz. BJJ is mechanical ju-jutsu. It's not that different then Judo, except the gi's have more patches. There are places where some of these body skills are 'hidden in plain sight' in Judo like the ju-no-kata, koshiki-no-kata, and itsutsu-no-kata. Of course no one does them any more.

Kevin Leavitt
11-15-2009, 06:49 PM
Really? folks that do BJJ use no aiki/ki/kokyu? No one at all?

No one in Judo either? no one?

This is based on what experiences you have had? With how many people?

No kokyu at all?

A side issue of course....I think you missed my point of my post.

I have set by the side lines for the past couple of weeks and seen alot of folks post alot of things about jiu jitsu and what it is and isn't and frankly most of the stuff I have seen posted as examples of jiu jitsu were not very impressive and frankly embarrassingly poor examples of jiu jitsu.

It makes me wonder if maybe there have never really experienced good forms of jiu jitsu and that part of the issue is simply a big part of the confusion for many.

So when I see definitions of what jiu jitsu is and isn't I start going down my personal checklist.

Speed? Naw can't be it, I go very slow and don't use speed at all. Heck I am moving in slow motion most of the time.

Strength? Nope. I de-emphasize that as well and I am working very hard and reducing proprioceptions, feel, and reference points...all things my BJJ instructors emphasize.

Breathing? Well heck ya. All good BJJ instructors and players understand the importance breath and relaxation play in the process. Kokyu is very, very important.

Timing? Well that is a very important element in BJJ for sure. However, many of us in BJJ will play this down as well too and put ourselves in very bad positions and use very, very small and increasingly small movements to work our way out of bad situations. However, there may be a debate on if it is internal or external technique that is used to do this. I submit that it is a combination of the two at a higher level.

So, Mechanical? I don't think that is a fair description of what jiu jitsu is or should be....if that is what folks think JJ is, then it leads me to believe that they have had some very poor exposure to JJ as this has not been my experience.

At this point, I have enough experience with IT stuff to simply understand the basic concepts, to identify when I feel it, and to know when I am doing it and not doing it.

My personal goal is to synthesize eventually this stuff into my personal training of jiu jitsu.

I don't think some of the definitions and examples of jiu jitsu on here have been very good...personally I think there are alot of folks talking about jiu jitsu that have no real grasp or concept of what it is and isn't...it encompasses alot more.

The current SMEs on IT/IS skills have done a very good job I believe in the past few years defining how to train and isolate these skills in order to improve upon them.

What I have been fascinated with though, is how all of a sudden, everyone with a little exposure or practice is suddenly enlightened on what is and isn't (Insert here whatever you want).

Mechanical? BJJ? As Mike Sigman states about IT skills... that tells me alot about your knowledge of good Jiu Jitsu.

I agree to a degree that you can isolate out Jiu Jitsu (external) skills and Aiki (Internal) skills.

To be honest though, the folks I have seen defining the what is jiu jitsu have not really provided me personally anything useful at all when it comes to a good example of jiu jitsu.

I used to come on here and debate with Mike and Dan over IT and that I really thought that what they were describing was just good jiu jitsu. They told me that I needed to feel it.

So I have...and you know what...I agree...I see their point! I see it loud and clear.

I feel a little better about it now and what the difference is between external and internal skills.

They are correct and I am on board with them.

However, I keep seeing folks talk about Jiu Jitsu...and what it is and what it isn't...and I am beginning to think that not alot of folks really understand what good jiu jitsu is and isn't...aside from the whole IT issue.

Hey Rob Liberiti...this is not an attack on you by any means...so I hope you don't take it that way....I think what you are trying to do is a good thing by defining this...I simply want to discuss it as much as you do.

My fear though is that the what is considered jiu jitsu is being glossed over way too, too much....and that it is not getting much credit for what it is and what is going on...much the way the whole IT discussion is going.

So kudos to Rob for starting this discussion.

I'd be curoius to hear from anyone that is a brown belt or higher in BJJ there impression of this. Not sure how many are out there that read aikiweb...but I think they would take exception or find it laughable that JJ is mechanical.

Kevin Leavitt
11-15-2009, 06:59 PM
This is good jiu jitsu:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeBktuw1ljE&feature=related

at about 2:04...Saulo is on the back of Roy. I am betting the reason Roy does not know where to go is because Saulo has dropped his weight down is aligned and centered on Roy and Roy cannot reference Saulo's center at all.

Having trained with Saulo, He is very good at this. Now, I am not saying that this is Aiki in the sense that alot of you IT guys are describing....but it certainly is not mechanical.

Anyway...this is good, connected Jiu Jitsu.

Kevin Leavitt
11-15-2009, 07:03 PM
I won't say that this is "bad" jiu jitsu...but in the context of what I call or define as "good" jiu jitsu...this is not what I subscribe to in my understanding or goals.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suXxYE3LFr0

Static ukes, heavily relying on speed, movement, and timing, force....also heavily scripted....MECHANICAL.

So, what is the difference and how to these two videos relate to the whole internal discussion?

Mike Sigman
11-15-2009, 07:07 PM
Mechanical? BJJ? As Mike Sigman states about IT skills... that tells me alot about your knowledge of good Jiu Jitsu.Hi Kevin:

As a favor to me if you use my name, please argue the facts of why jiu jitsu etc., use kokyu, and so on. For instance, this quote:

Breathing? Well heck ya. All good BJJ instructors and players understand the importance breath and relaxation play in the process. Kokyu is very, very important.

That doesn't match my understanding of things at all, other than using the word "breath".

My best suggestion, which I've made over and over again is that if someone wants to set a baseline in which to show that they know I.S. skills well enough to show them, they should be able to easily replicate even the *static* so-called "ki-tests" of Tohei's exposition on Aikido. If they can do the static ki-tests, I'll talk with them. If they can do moving jin/ki without using the shoulders, I'll respect them. ;)

Best.

Mike

Lorel Latorilla
11-15-2009, 08:25 PM
Really? folks that do BJJ use no aiki/ki/kokyu? No one at all?

No one in Judo either? no one?

This is based on what experiences you have had? With how many people?

No kokyu at all?

A side issue of course....I think you missed my point of my post.

I have set by the side lines for the past couple of weeks and seen alot of folks post alot of things about jiu jitsu and what it is and isn't and frankly most of the stuff I have seen posted as examples of jiu jitsu were not very impressive and frankly embarrassingly poor examples of jiu jitsu.

It makes me wonder if maybe there have never really experienced good forms of jiu jitsu and that part of the issue is simply a big part of the confusion for many.

So when I see definitions of what jiu jitsu is and isn't I start going down my personal checklist.

Speed? Naw can't be it, I go very slow and don't use speed at all. Heck I am moving in slow motion most of the time.

Strength? Nope. I de-emphasize that as well and I am working very hard and reducing proprioceptions, feel, and reference points...all things my BJJ instructors emphasize.

Breathing? Well heck ya. All good BJJ instructors and players understand the importance breath and relaxation play in the process. Kokyu is very, very important.

Timing? Well that is a very important element in BJJ for sure. However, many of us in BJJ will play this down as well too and put ourselves in very bad positions and use very, very small and increasingly small movements to work our way out of bad situations. However, there may be a debate on if it is internal or external technique that is used to do this. I submit that it is a combination of the two at a higher level.

So, Mechanical? I don't think that is a fair description of what jiu jitsu is or should be....if that is what folks think JJ is, then it leads me to believe that they have had some very poor exposure to JJ as this has not been my experience.

At this point, I have enough experience with IT stuff to simply understand the basic concepts, to identify when I feel it, and to know when I am doing it and not doing it.

My personal goal is to synthesize eventually this stuff into my personal training of jiu jitsu.

I don't think some of the definitions and examples of jiu jitsu on here have been very good...personally I think there are alot of folks talking about jiu jitsu that have no real grasp or concept of what it is and isn't...it encompasses alot more.

The current SMEs on IT/IS skills have done a very good job I believe in the past few years defining how to train and isolate these skills in order to improve upon them.

What I have been fascinated with though, is how all of a sudden, everyone with a little exposure or practice is suddenly enlightened on what is and isn't (Insert here whatever you want).

Mechanical? BJJ? As Mike Sigman states about IT skills... that tells me alot about your knowledge of good Jiu Jitsu.

I agree to a degree that you can isolate out Jiu Jitsu (external) skills and Aiki (Internal) skills.

To be honest though, the folks I have seen defining the what is jiu jitsu have not really provided me personally anything useful at all when it comes to a good example of jiu jitsu.

I used to come on here and debate with Mike and Dan over IT and that I really thought that what they were describing was just good jiu jitsu. They told me that I needed to feel it.

So I have...and you know what...I agree...I see their point! I see it loud and clear.

I feel a little better about it now and what the difference is between external and internal skills.

They are correct and I am on board with them.

However, I keep seeing folks talk about Jiu Jitsu...and what it is and what it isn't...and I am beginning to think that not alot of folks really understand what good jiu jitsu is and isn't...aside from the whole IT issue.

Hey Rob Liberiti...this is not an attack on you by any means...so I hope you don't take it that way....I think what you are trying to do is a good thing by defining this...I simply want to discuss it as much as you do.

My fear though is that the what is considered jiu jitsu is being glossed over way too, too much....and that it is not getting much credit for what it is and what is going on...much the way the whole IT discussion is going.

So kudos to Rob for starting this discussion.

I'd be curoius to hear from anyone that is a brown belt or higher in BJJ there impression of this. Not sure how many are out there that read aikiweb...but I think they would take exception or find it laughable that JJ is mechanical.

Hey Kevin,

I think first before you say that high-level BJJ players are using aiki/ki/kokyu, you have to define what these things are (since you are using Japanese martial terms, you don't have to explain it in Chinese paradigms), and then once you have done that, you have to show specific examples of how these guys are using these skills. You can either do that by pointing it out in videos or refer to particular teachings from high-level BJJ players and how you interpret these things as IT/IS. Otherwise, people will not believe that BJJ uses aiki/ki/kokyu--you are not qualifying your statements.

There is a possibility that BJJ guys use aiki/kokyu/ki when they are grappling, but even if they do, I think it is only limited in that range of fighting. All those years of grappling, perhaps they can figure out intuitively the best principles to be aware of when they are affecting their opponents. Especially in the case of a smaller guy grappling, he's forced to not use his muscle and strength to achieve a submission. But then again, the guy can still be manipulating force vectors, angles of attack, etc., which is to say, good jiu-jitsu. We talked about this before but I don't believe BJJ will help you develop aiki/kokyu/ki skill in your body, because if it did, you'll definitely see more BJJ guys throwing heavy punches, accepting heavy punches, moving in a way that resembles guys like Ark, being more stable in take-downs, and just generally not going to the ground in general. Royce Gracie for example might be one of the best grapplers in the world, but man is his stand-up game pretty damn weak (not taking away the fact that he is a great fighter too).

Kevin Leavitt
11-15-2009, 08:30 PM
No problem Mike. I understand.

My best suggestion, which I've made over and over again is that if someone wants to set a baseline in which to show that they know I.S. skills well enough to show them, they should be able to easily replicate even the *static* so-called "ki-tests" of Tohei's exposition on Aikido. If they can do the static ki-tests, I'll talk with them. If they can do moving jin/ki without using the shoulders, I'll respect them.

I agree.

My issue is really not even related but a synonymous with the logic really in defining jiu jitsu.

that is, estabilshing a baseline of what JJ is.

I think the waters get muddied when we start talking about things. Aiki skills are hard enough to learn in a very controlled manner without starting to overlay JJ on them.

So, I guess my point is, which I didn't not do a good job at explaining is...how do you determine what is the difference between "Mechanical" Jiu Jitsu and what is Aiki Jiu Jitsu.

My struggle and challenge is integration of this stuff into whatever I am doing in JJ. I have not had much success in doing so.

In listening to you and reading your post, I have really become enlightened to your way of thinking, defining, and testing.

So, when we start to define AIki Jiu Jitsu...I am all ears as I believe I understand Aiki...and I believe I understand Jiu Jitsu...my issue is I don't understand Aikijiujitsu from what is discussed...to me it looks and sounds like good jiu jitsu.

So, I tend to gravitate back to your model of understanding...if you can demonstrate it is different from what I have experienced...then I am all ears (and feel) as to what it may be.

So, far, I have not felt or heard anything that leads me to believe that it is any different or special than good jiu jitsu.

I don't think I am making much sense right now...sorry.

but I do understand your model and method...it makes sense to me...

..And based on the criteria you estabish and test, along with Ark, Ushiro..etc....I certainly can't do these things (Aiki) with any degree of consistency or ease.

I suppose I am just voicing my frustration of reading what many are talking about and other than a few folks, I am not really getting that anyone knows what the hell they are talking about!

I suppose I need to take a break from Aikiweb for a while.

Every time I hear someone talk about Jiu Jitsu...I want to get on the mat with them and roll. That is, not the seminar uke/sensei demo crap...but full on, controlled, alive rolling in which they can demonstrate that they indeed have decent JJ skills...that they have Aiki skills...that they can demonstrate the difference between the two...they can do the Aiki test you outline...and they can show how it is done in a JJ manner without aiki successfully, and then they can show it with aiki show it with and without kokyu.

Maybe that paints a clearer picture of what I am looking at.

Sorry didn't mean to drag you into it other than to compare my way of thinking/rationale in the same line as yours.

At this point, I am not even sure why I care enough to write about it here...and simply get on with my own training.

Thomas Campbell
11-15-2009, 08:45 PM
10/21/09:

Mike,

Is there any recent video of you that you could post that demonstrates some of your current IS work, or teaching specific points like "down" power? I've seen clips from some older videos that you made several years ago, but it would be interesting to see more recent video, say from the past couple of years, maybe from one of the seminars that you do. If not, that's fine.

Thanks.

Still wondering if there is any recent video of Mike's work available. Does anyone know?

Kevin Leavitt
11-15-2009, 08:48 PM
Hey Kevin,

I think first before you say that high-level BJJ players are using aiki/ki/kokyu, you have to define what these things are (since you are using Japanese martial terms, you don't have to explain it in Chinese paradigms), and then once you have done that, you have to show specific examples of how these guys are using these skills. You can either do that by pointing it out in videos or refer to particular teachings from high-level BJJ players and how you interpret these things as IT/IS. Otherwise, people will not believe that BJJ uses aiki/ki/kokyu--you are not qualifying your statements.

There is a possibility that BJJ guys use aiki/kokyu/ki when they are grappling, but even if they do, I think it is only limited in that range of fighting. All those years of grappling, perhaps they can figure out intuitively the best principles to be aware of when they are affecting their opponents. Especially in the case of a smaller guy grappling, he's forced to not use his muscle and strength to achieve a submission. But then again, the guy can still be manipulating force vectors, angles of attack, etc., which is to say, good jiu-jitsu. We talked about this before but I don't believe BJJ will help you develop aiki/kokyu/ki skill in your body, because if it did, you'll definitely see more BJJ guys throwing heavy punches, accepting heavy punches, moving in a way that resembles guys like Ark, being more stable in take-downs, and just generally not going to the ground in general. Royce Gracie for example might be one of the best grapplers in the world, but man is his stand-up game pretty damn weak (not taking away the fact that he is a great fighter too).

Hey Lorel, I agree with your assessment, and you seem to understand the crux of the problem.

How about the concept of tenchi nage from the guard? How about if done properly from the guard there is an ever so slight off balancing that occurs in uke in which he cannot feel the shift, no reference point in which to recatch his balance? In order to do this correctly, how does/should kokyu play in this?

Why can't you put someone in the guard with consistent pressure and then work on connecting, breathing, and moving with intent etc? How about from the mount? why not? Ushiro showed me how to do this..it was pretty damn cool....I then went back, worked with one of my instructors and felt a similar shift..however, granted it was also combined with a great deal of other mechanics such as the UPA etc. I mean, you have to have other stuff going on too..not just IS.

Absolutely, you are correct it must be demonstrated to qualify my statements, I agree. I am not in a position to do so, as I don't have enough ability to do so.

I also agree that they figure out the best principle to use and that what they do is an amalgamation of stuff. I submit that it gravitates to a level of efficiency that "works". As I stated, my frustration is that I have not found an IS guy yet that can do this in a JJ sense. Maybe once I meet up with Dan I will...that is my hope.

Again, this is not a hit on the IT/IS stuff...I am finding it very helpful. It is the balance and integration and balancing the time spent training what things that concern me. As a professional, I can't afford to spend time not training the things I think are a good use of my time. Bottom line: BJJ has proven..IT, while useful has not found it's place yet in my balance of training time...hence why I am very interested and training in it...it is a question of how much time should I spend relative to other things I must do.

I agree, BJJ is not a good method for learning IT skills. Not at all.

I only got excited on this post when Rob started to define AJJ and the delineation of AJJ from JJ.

These days I am investing in alot of failure in training some in IT and trying to change how I approach my JJ. I am trying to take the things I am learning with body integrity, maintaining the cross, intention etc...and do these things while I am doing JJ.

While I feel it is helping...it is very slow..so hence I am very keen and perk up when I hear talk of AJJ...yet all the examples that seem to be provided, while maybe they have Aiki....I am dismayed at the display of JJ skill that I see in the videos...which gets me wondering.

Again, sorry but just frustrated I guess.

Mike Sigman
11-15-2009, 08:50 PM
10/21/09:

Still wondering if there is any recent video of Mike's work available. Does anyone know?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

rob_liberti
11-15-2009, 08:52 PM
I would hope we all respect people regardless of their baseline skill set (seems like that is one of the rules of aikiweb actually LOL).

Kevin, if you want to full on wrestle with me, just visit. I'm not that good at wrestling so you may have a more fun visit if you wait another year or so - but it's up to you. Regardless, I'm open to be corrected on my opinions of these things - online or physically - (which is why I posted a follow-up to my initial late-night ramblings).

I think a lot of the tai atari drills don't make a lot of sense once you start developing more of an aiki-body, but again I'm just giving my lowly opinion. I hope it is respectable... :)

Rob

Mike Sigman
11-15-2009, 09:05 PM
My issue is really not even related but a synonymous with the logic really in defining jiu jitsu.

that is, estabilshing a baseline of what JJ is. How is "jiu" which seems to have been an idiomatic description of I.S. before it came to be skewed into meaning "soft", really any different than anything else, Kevin? There's a pet-peeve I have on QiJin about people just using general terms instead of getting down to the nitty-gritty of defining exactly what is done and how. We can all say "I.S" and "I.P." but I get the feeling many people are throwing the term out without really understanding or being able to define what it is. I think the waters get muddied when we start talking about things. Aiki skills are hard enough to learn in a very controlled manner without starting to overlay JJ on them.

So, I guess my point is, which I didn't not do a good job at explaining is...how do you determine what is the difference between "Mechanical" Jiu Jitsu and what is Aiki Jiu Jitsu.
Why not start there, Kevin? Tell us what "aiki" means and then go on from there with functional comparisons?

Best.

Mike Sigman

Kevin Leavitt
11-15-2009, 09:07 PM
Hey Rob,

Long day, and alot of this did not come out of my mind the way I wanted it to.

Thanks for the invite and I do want to get with you one day.

I only meant to really say that I don't think the definition of AIki Jiu Jitsu is accurate and probably warrants a fair amount of discussion.

I think the synthesis of the two JJ and Aiki are not easy to define...I think Lorel actually is pretty spot on in his assessment.

Having not experienced someone that both does JJ and Aiki IS/IT training and can flip between the two, show me how they are separate etc...of course, I get frustrated at the talk of JJ that goes on here.

Kevin Leavitt
11-15-2009, 09:18 PM
How is "jiu" which seems to have been an idiomatic description of I.S. before it came to be skewed into meaning "soft", really any different than anything else, Kevin? There's a pet-peeve I have on QiJin about people just using general terms instead of getting down to the nitty-gritty of defining exactly what is done and how. We can all say "I.S" and "I.P." but I get the feeling many people are throwing the term out without really understanding or being able to define what it is. Why not start there, Kevin? Tell us what "aiki" means and then go on from there with functional comparisons?

Best.

Mike Sigman

I guess I am still trying to figure out what AIki is Mike. Functionally at least. I suppose I am fairly dense. On a good night I can do a few static things that are true aiki, however I think the crux of the matter is I can't do it with any degree of ability to describe it in functional terms, which is probably why I have the issues I have.

However, the same is applicable to JJ skills. I feel fairly proficient in this area functionally so that is my base of understanding.

So, I try and relate from that functionally when someone says that is just JJ and void of aiki..yet they can't demonstrate to me functionally how JJ should work....not without the whole static set up thing going on which requires a great deal of contruct and positioning in order for them to do what they do.

Heck might as well call it Aiki training drills..and go back to doing the JO trick etc...cause I see no difference in that.

So, based on the Aiki logic, when someone starts talking about AJJ...I wanna demonstrate how AJJ is different from JJ...so I would ask the same question you do....tell me what JJ means and lets go from there...then tell me how JJ differs AJJ.

It is sort of the other side of the coin. On side is looking at the Aiki the other the JJ.

And I am not buying the whole "I'd show you, but I generate so much power Id have to hurt you to show you". I don't buy that, I think anyone with any degree of command of these skills/power and the ability to do JJ should be able to adequately demonstrate in a semi-non competitive, friendly randori situation and not hurt anyone at all.

I am wrong in this logic?

It has been a long night, and probably dug myself into a hole....but what the heck!

Mike Sigman
11-15-2009, 09:35 PM
It has been a long night, and probably dug myself into a hole....but what the heck!I took that last sentence and put it first on purpose, Kevin, although not maliciously. No one gets anywhere without worrying these things out loud... and that's the basic premise of the QiJin forum: no one really thinking about these things can do it without actively mulling over lots of data, thoughts, and physical processes.

I guess I am still trying to figure out what AIki is Mike. Functionally at least. I suppose I am fairly dense. On a good night I can do a few static things that are true aiki, however I think the crux of the matter is I can't do it with any degree of ability to describe it in functional terms, which is probably why I have the issues I have.

However, the same is applicable to JJ skills. I feel fairly proficient in this area functionally so that is my base of understanding.

So, I try and relate from that functionally when someone says that is just JJ and void of aiki..yet they can't demonstrate to me functionally how JJ should work....not without the whole static set up thing going on which requires a great deal of contruct and positioning in order for them to do what they do.

Heck might as well call it Aiki training drills..and go back to doing the JO trick etc...cause I see no difference in that.

So, based on the Aiki logic, when someone starts talking about AJJ...I wanna demonstrate how AJJ is different from JJ...so I would ask the same question you do....tell me what JJ means and lets go from there...then tell me how JJ differs AJJ.

It is sort of the other side of the coin. On side is looking at the Aiki the other the JJ.

And I am not buying the whole "I'd show you, but I generate so much power Id have to hurt you to show you". I don't buy that, I think anyone with any degree of command of these skills/power and the ability to do JJ should be able to adequately demonstrate in a semi-non competitive, friendly randori situation and not hurt anyone at all.

I am wrong in this logic? Generally, I think you're correct. There's a difference between "aiki", though, and "I can kick your ass". As I noted in another post, the guy who thinks "I can kick your ass" is the ultimate gauge of Aiki had better be able to kick everyone's ass in the world or he's just set his own skills up to be worth nothing... assuming someone comes along and kicks his ass. Are we going to say that because Ueshiba in his 80's wouldn't have been able to "roll" with B.J. Penn now that Ueshiba didn't know anything worthwhile? ;)

On the other hand, the guy who doesn't really know what Aiki is should be working at defining it precisely for what it is, rather than defining it in terms of what he already knows. One of the things I pointed out several years ago was that there would be a lot of "Oh yeah, we already do that" and "Oh yeah, understand that pretty well" would be the next stage in the development of I.S. skills. In a worst-case scenario (just to create an example) people who have a rough (but better than average) idea of what I.S. skills are will begin to define them for others, even when they don't really know themselves. In other words, what I predicted a few years back was that a lot of people would grab the terms and some rough skills, throw in some 'kick-ass', start teaching/pontificating, and begin the cycle back toward where no one really knows anything but the buzzwords.... just like where Aikido came from a bare few years ago. Instand experts. They'll put out shingles. Oh, wait.... that's what has always happened, hasn't it? ;)

I'm not faulting or criticizing anyone, Kevin. I'm just suggesting that people delineate what they're talking about, rather than using the general terms. Honestly, I feel that there are going to be only a few people who really "get it" in Aikido. The "kick ass" part maybe some will get, but most won't. As I suggested some time ago... you should visit one of the Chinese experts who is really good just to get an idea of the kind of power someone can generate. It'll change your worldview and maybe give an insight into why Ueshiba was silly enough to think that real atemi was so important. ;)

Best.

Mike Sigman

Toby Threadgill
11-15-2009, 09:48 PM
Kevin.

Ditto. You are right on in my book. Very few people have any idea what really good jujitsu is because they've never felt it in person. I keep saying this. Aiki is just a word utilized in an isolated family of jujutsu schools to describe a particular and rather ubiquitous set of principles. Other jujutsu schools embracing similar skills and principles just utilize different terminology. Aiki, Myoden, Nairiki, etc...These are basicly all the same skills manifesting themselves in ways uniquely linked to a particular schools curriculum. As Mike Sigman alludes to, not all traditions use them, understand them or can apply them, but these skills do exist in varying degrees in Japanese traditions outside the restrictive terminology of "aiki".

FWIW....I have rolled with several top BJJ guys and they are doing way more than basic (leverage based) jujutsu. In fact I'd say some of them like Carlos Machado are definitely embracing what many people define as "aiki" (Is this really that surprising?) but his manifestation of these principles are uniquely developed and tailored to operate in the environment of newaza.

When I observe really sophisticated martial arts application, regardless of environment or origin, I see varying manifestations of internal skills. Some more obvious and others less so.....

Toby Threadgill / TSYR

Kevin Leavitt
11-15-2009, 10:17 PM
Mike Sigman wrote:

I'm just suggesting that people delineate what they're talking about, rather than using the general terms. Honestly, I feel that there are going to be only a few people who really "get it" in Aikido. The "kick ass" part maybe some will get, but most won't. As I suggested some time ago

Agreed. The short and concise version of what I was trying to express. Thanks!

Kevin Leavitt
11-15-2009, 10:27 PM
Toby Threadgill wrote:

I have rolled with several top BJJ guys and they are doing way more than basic (leverage based) jujutsu. In fact I'd say some of them like Carlos Machado are definitely embracing what many people define as aiki principles (Is this really that surprising?) but his manifestation of these principle are uniquely developed to operate in the environment of newaza.

I wanted to write Something in response...but you covered it pretty well I think! Thanks.

rob_liberti
11-15-2009, 10:46 PM
Okay - another correction to my ramblings... (these are mostly not my words but I agree with them:)

Kevin, "mechanical" was not meant as "robotic" or "stiff."

Mechanical in that context was meant to express that jujutsu uses "externally" driven power mechanisms to make its techniques work. It also means that jujutsu focuses on manipulating and controling the "mechanics" of the human body -- particularly the articulated skeleton (though nerves, arteries, muscles, etc. are also attacked in various ways).

By contrast, aikijujutsu manipulates the above using aiki instead of externally driven power sources.

---
I guess I'm not following the logic against ass-kicking ability as a measurement. We learn aiki-body in martial arts to make our martial arts ability better. I'd think that if you cannot actually use it then isn't it... useless?! I don't know, I'm tired and a bit mentally foggy right now..

Rob

Kevin Leavitt
11-15-2009, 10:52 PM
Same here Rob (tired) I will look this over and respond tomorrow after some sleep and thought. thanks for your post.

MM
11-16-2009, 08:18 AM
Thanks Rob...based on that definition, then I'd classify most BJJ as Aiki jiu jitsu. interested in your thoughts on that.

Again, interested in other's perspective on this.


Kevin,
I'm going to disagree with you in quite a few places. BJJ isn't aiki ... and by that small statement, it can't be aikijujutsu.

Now, I'm not saying that BJJ is bad or wrong or that it can't have high level skill. Really good BJJ people can have amazing and valuable skills. So, with what I'll post, keep in mind that I'm not denigrating jujutsu at all. I'm just posting that, IMO, BJJ isn't aiki.


Speed? Naw can't be it, I go very slow and don't use speed at all. Heck I am moving in slow motion most of the time.

Strength? Nope. I de-emphasize that as well and I am working very hard and reducing proprioceptions, feel, and reference points...all things my BJJ instructors emphasize.

Breathing? Well heck ya. All good BJJ instructors and players understand the importance breath and relaxation play in the process. Kokyu is very, very important.

Timing? Well that is a very important element in BJJ for sure. However, many of us in BJJ will play this down as well too and put ourselves in very bad positions and use very, very small and increasingly small movements to work our way out of bad situations. However, there may be a debate on if it is internal or external technique that is used to do this. I submit that it is a combination of the two at a higher level.


All of those are qualities of very good jujutsu and do not equate to having aiki. If you have those qualities then you have some very good jujutsu skills. But, having those qualities doesn't mean you have aiki.


So, I guess my point is, which I didn't not do a good job at explaining is...how do you determine what is the difference between "Mechanical" Jiu Jitsu and what is Aiki Jiu Jitsu.


Couple of things here.

Let's say that jujutsu is the application of using "holes" to exploit weaknesses in the other person's defenses. It's a study in how to "mechanically" position people such that you weaken their structure. That's how I view the "mechanical" part. It isn't mechanical as in blocky movements, but in how one views the application. We have two feet, so mechanically, we are (for the most part) unstable if you draw to a triangle point. A joint only moves in certain ways, so you are unstable if that joint is pressured in a manner that it isn't supposed to work. Jujutsu is the mechanical study of how to take advantage of all these weaknesses.

Now, good jujutsu can be soft, flowing, centered, slow or fast, and doesn't require a lot of muscle to accomplish. In fact, if you have bunched, tight muscles, you're not going to be good at jujutsu. If you just speed through things, no good. Etc. So, just because I define jujutsu as mechanical, doesn't mean it has to be muscle-ridden or have blocky movements.

NOTE: Just read Rob's post. I agree.

Okay - another correction to my ramblings... (these are mostly not my words but I agree with them:)

Kevin, "mechanical" was not meant as "robotic" or "stiff."

Mechanical in that context was meant to express that jujutsu uses "externally" driven power mechanisms to make its techniques work. It also means that jujutsu focuses on manipulating and controling the "mechanics" of the human body -- particularly the articulated skeleton (though nerves, arteries, muscles, etc. are also attacked in various ways).

By contrast, aikijujutsu manipulates the above using aiki instead of externally driven power sources.
Rob

If you're soft, centered, and flowing, you have to have some skill. And here is where I think the confusion starts. I think that some good jujutsu people can have pathways/conduits in their body that allow one way transmissions. In other words, they can feel like a soft wall. They can let the other persons energy go through them into the ground. It allows for less energy to move, you feel stronger, your sensitivity is high, and you can be soft and quick when needed.

But, all of that is not aiki. For a few reasons -- not the least of which is that aiki requires yin/yang, or in/yo. In a crude way of stating it, the flow goes both ways at the same time. Not very helpful, I know. IHTBF.

So, no, I don't believe those good jujutsu people that have been mentioned here by you and Toby have aiki. I think they have skills that, maybe, someone can define as "internal" in some manner and that these skills are very soft, relaxed, and require a basic pathway system inside the body. But, IMO, they aren't aiki.

Kevin Leavitt
11-16-2009, 09:24 AM
Thanks Mark...I really do appreciate you taking the time to post this.

I suppose I am waiting to feel/see someone demonstrate these differences in a jiu jistu context.

Mark wrote:

So, no, I don't believe those good jujutsu people that have been mentioned here by you and Toby have aiki. I think they have skills that, maybe, someone can define as "internal" in some manner and that these skills are very soft, relaxed, and require a basic pathway system inside the body. But, IMO, they aren't aiki

Maybe we can get together sometime with a few others in the know on Jiu Jitsu and then you guys can show me the difference between good jiu jitsu with and without Aiki....that would be really awesome!

Demetrio Cereijo
11-16-2009, 09:28 AM
guys throwing heavy punches, accepting heavy punches, moving in a way that resembles guys like Ark, being more stable in take-downs, and just generally not going to the ground in general.
Fedor?

Toby Threadgill
11-16-2009, 11:20 AM
Kevin,
I'm going to disagree with you in quite a few places. BJJ isn't aiki ... and by that small statement, it can't be aikijujutsu.

&

So, no, I don't believe those good jujutsu people that have been mentioned here by you and Toby have aiki. I think they have skills that, maybe, someone can define as "internal" in some manner and that these skills are very soft, relaxed, and require a basic pathway system inside the body. But, IMO, they aren't aiki.

WTF....????

Mark, how can you make this statement? It is absurd from the very get go. You do know Kito ryu, TSR and Yoshin ryu all taught various forms of IT/aiki? Why couldn't there be some manifestation of aiki in BJJ? Do you have enough direct hands on experience to make such a prognostication? I think not.

The reason this topic is so interesting to so many is because these skills have such broad application. The message Dan, Mike, Ark and others, including me, keep harping at is these skills are foundational. They have existed in many diverse pursuits for a long time but the problem has been how they are taught and why they have not been more accessible. Ellis's recent book presents a compelling story that addresses how these skills either remained underground ( in the koryu schools ) or were "Hidden in Plain Sight" (in modern budo traditions like aikido). Apparantly they are still hidden from some people who love to wax eloquently about them.

I have actual hands on experience with a few of the top BJJ guys around. I likewise have had decades of hands on experience with several instructors in Daito ryu/aikijujutsu who are attributed with manifesting the high levels of "aiki". ( This includes two headmasters. ) Plus, I'm no spring chicken myself given my teacher and his internal skills, so.......I dismiss your opinion absolutely.

Many years ago I met a guy who was an advanced student of a respected aikijujutsu headmaster. We talked about the recent hype concerning Gracie jujutsu. At the time I only had cursory knowledge of BJJ and told him so. He told me he attended a Gracie seminar and was going to visit the Gracie Academy in California. In time he had the opportunity to roll with Rickson, Royce and Helio Gracie in person. He later told me, "Some of the top Gracie guys are doing aikijujutsu on the floor It's amazing. The principles of internal body manipulation and the utilization of their base are the same. You've just got to rewire how you look at their skills to recognize the principles." He then told me about a drill he participated in where Helio would completely off balance him in the guard without even moving. ( If that's not "aiki" I don't know what is! ) The only criticism he had for the Gracies was how they were teaching these skills. He said it was almost like these skills were reserved for the Gracie family members and a few highly ranked others. He said only this limited group of top practitioners seemed to be capable of manifesting what he deemed aiki principles. ( Does any of this sound familiar? ) He said Rorion eventually asked him where he had trained before because he was asking questions they only expected from very advanced students. He explained to Rorion what Daito ryu was and what aikijujutsu principles were. He said Rorion nodded with a wry smile and responded that these sorts of questions were best reserved for him and his brothers.

No aiki in BJJ?

____

Everyone wants to segregate, to put budo skills in nice little boxes. This is this, and that is that, with a wall of separation between them. In fact the development and application of body skills are not black and white like you seem to think they are but instead all shades of grey. The common thread to determine what Kevin is talking about is in the principles driving these diverse "IS" skills. Many different traditions Chinese - Japanese - whatever....have their own name for these internally based skills and "may" apply them in a unique or particular manner determined by the specifics of each martial tradition. 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. )

Toby Threadgill / TSYR

ChrisMoses
11-16-2009, 11:47 AM
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..."

I've had so many PMs and emails from people that basically said, "Hey (Toby, Howard, X) Sensei are going to be in my area, do they have internal skills? I'm only going if they have internal skills..."

Who am I to say? They're good, they can throw me, I learn something every time I train from them. Are they internal mastahs? I duuno, I'm still wrapping my head around what that means. I mean I've heard arguments from folks that Ark isn't doing "real" IMA because it's too much like Southern Kung Fu and not 'real' internal skills.

This is me caring, ready?

:straightf

OK, you got me, I can't even pretend to care... Not even online...

I suppose some of the stuff I'm doing now might be considered internal. When I'm teaching, I never go beyond the terms 'structure' or 'frame'. If people get something from what I'm doing, and I continue to feel that I'm progressing then that's all I'm really concerned about. I see videos of Mifune judan and think, damn, there's a lot there, a lot of subtle-powerful stuff. I can learn from that. I watched a Systema video from Kevin Secours recently mostly on grappling and said, damn, I need to work on that stuff, it follows from all the other structure stuff I've been working on.

Is it aiki? Is it internal?

Maybe, probably, don't care. It's good and it makes me better.

/rant over. :)

Mike Sigman
11-16-2009, 12:17 PM
He then told me about a drill he participated in where Helio would completely off balance him in the guard without even moving. ( If that's not "aiki" I don't know what is! ) The only criticism he had for the Gracies was how they were teaching these skills. He said it was almost like these skills were reserved for the Gracie family members and a few highly ranked others. He said only this limited group of top practitioners seemed to be capable of manifesting what he deemed aiki principles. ( Does any of this sound familiar? ) 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.

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.

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.

Just a comment. People can and will do what they want and I'm fairly content to watch them take off in any direction they want to go. ;)

FWIW

Mike Sigman

ChrisMoses
11-16-2009, 12:19 PM
Also, please read my post with Chris' "wow this is just funny..." and not "Grrr, Chris is mad at the world" voice. :) That gets lost in the text sometimes.

Tim Fong
11-16-2009, 12:44 PM
WTF....????
He said Rorion nodded with a wry smile and responded that these sorts of questions were best reserved for him and his brothers.

No aiki in BJJ?

Toby Threadgill / TSYR
Hi Toby,
I spoke with someone recently who attended a seminar with a man who is an instructor under Rickson. The seminar was about what they call "invisible jujitsu." According to the guy I spoke with, they talked about how to "start the energy in one place in your body, and bring it to another to really make the technique work." Rickson's people consider these small, invisible details to be very important.

No kidding.

Best,
Tim

Tim Fong
11-16-2009, 12:47 PM
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.



Mike,
That's an interesting point that you raise. Do you think that you could elucidate for us what you view as the "whole picture?"

Best,
Tim