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ashe
11-08-2009, 04:29 PM
hey folks, hope your training is going well!

i just shot this real quick in class today to address some of the concerns about whether or not ILC training led to stiff and muscular type force.

from the video description;

I have my partner put their feet behind their hips and do push ups so that it should be obvious that they are A) applying force on me and b) not in a stiff and rigid way and just show that from here I can be relaxed so that I can change yet still support my partners weight (i.e. channel their force down to the ground, which in ILC terms we call "absorb and project").

but i hope the clip speaks for itself! ;)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CRc-6yULYI

DH
11-08-2009, 05:51 PM
Hi Ashe
I don't want to start any kind of flap, but I really have to tell you that everything in that video can be done with external jujutsu waza, without the guy knowing a damn thing about internals.

There are sophisticated ways of using body mechanics that can mimic internal movement and some movement gives away slack, one side weightedness, and low-level internal understanding while demonstrating excellent technique. I have crossed hands with some "famous" Master class ICMA teachers who have been masquerading as expert internal guys for years- when in my estimation they are nothing more than really good jujutsu men. I just addressed some of this on RSF.

Too many guys on the ICMA side approach internal skills as the techniques or applications from Bagua, Taiji and so one without really having any IP to speak of. Others (many of which I assume you already know there) talk a very good game and know all the right terms, but who stink up the joint in person.
Its the same thing here. You have some people who pride themselves on their "knowledge" and parade about as experts- but in application against people with real skills or fighters they reveal themselves to be anything *but* experts.

Video
I am not saying you do not have internal connection to one degree or another, so please don't "read" into my comments okay?
If I felt that way I would say so, well... scratch that. actually I won't anymore. There isn't a fair and honest interest in having this discussion on the net as it will not bode well for many teachers making a living out there. Its harder still when experts in many arts can be identified as not having it, discussed in detail in their movement and then were they willing-tested and proved.
As people grow more aware of IP/ Aiki and assess and appraise its real value as the pre-eminent quality in the arts, it is going to be even more divisive. You simply cannot hide whether you have IP /aiki or not.

If your claiming to be an internal or aiki guy- producing video or teaching publicly is proving to be a lot tougher then it used to be to be considered an expert at aiki, and will only get tougher for those posing as experts in the field. or for that matter BETTER for those looking for instruction.

Testing
You might want to look at Arks "push out test" for comparison of less gaming and more basic internal connection displayed.
My test is even stricter than Arks.
I stand stalk straight with legs locked and arms out with no movement and instead of the guy "falling" into me I have them push into me with them in a figting stance and try to step into me without my manipulating them externally...at all. In other words I have to demonstrate "internal movement" without moving at all. There are dozens of guys here who can tell you what it feel like as I have done it to them.
Its just a more "clean" way to show IP aiki to those unfamilar with the concept and ability.

Still looking forward to playing with you guys.
Cheers
Dan

ashe
11-08-2009, 06:11 PM
Hi Ashe
I don't want to start any kind of flap, but I really have to tell you that everything in that video can be done with external jujutsu waza, without the guy knowing a damn thing about internals.

hey Dan, no problem. believe me i understand that the limited nature of ANY demo, especially one done via video, but hey, we gotta have something to discuss right? ;-)

there's pro's and con's to any demo, since it's basically showing just ONE thing or a couple things out of context (i.e. fighting).

In this case I like to have the guy really lean in and do the push up because many times, especially in a video demo, it can be hard to tell if the demo partner is really even applying force or not, or how much. at least in this case, it's obvious that force is indeed being applied.

i like to move around and show the relaxation because, of course, if you can't change and move than what good is the skill? basically i'm trying to make it a bit more obvious that these skills can actually applied during some kind of real movement.

my thing is that this sort of thing at he very least is not really possible using "arm and shoulder strength" unless maybe you can bench press 800 lbs. :)

EDIT- re: your comment about jujutsu waza, i would admit that my own skill level is actually only "mid-level" at least as far as ILC is concerned. (i'm only half way through the system) and we also say that this type of skill has to go through the three stages of structure, relaxation and then energy. my own level of skill on touch is pretty well into the "relaxation" kind of stage so again, right in the mid-level range of skill. i don't think there's any shame to admitting that, because at the very least we can show a cross section of skill from someone like my Sifu who has the whole package to someone who's only just on the way, but at least shows that the skills can be taught clearly.

ashe
11-08-2009, 06:30 PM
crap, can't edit again...

anyway, i'm always happy to get honest critisism as well, since i can learn how to better present what we're doing. ;)

Mike Sigman
11-08-2009, 08:10 PM
since i can learn how to better present what we're doing. ;)??? Better present what you're already doing? If there's no real problem with what you're doing but the presentation, it shouldn't be too hard to fix.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

bob_stra
11-08-2009, 08:29 PM
crap, can't edit again...

anyway, i'm always happy to get honest critisism as well, since i can learn how to better present what we're doing. ;)

It's an interesting demo, Ashe.

Would you be able to replicate what's done here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKxmKQqR1cU

or here,

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

and then talk us through the ILC logic. Like - how does he shut the guy down in the first clip and how would you do it? They seem to be compatible demonstrations (though Ark does lean a bit too far fwd's in these for my tastes, it's still the same principle...if it's the same principle?)

DH
11-08-2009, 09:39 PM
Ashe
Ark is the guy in the grey track suit.
Now that we have a video for reference, once again; the way I do this is to stand with my hands straight out and in a neutral stance. It looks like I should just fall over backward, I then let the other guy stand in a fighting stance and try to walk trough me with our hands out straight.
Again as I said I don't "move" anything. At various points I bounce them, or plant them so they can't move at all, and all you see is me doing little body adjustments.
All that said, it's a test, so it all depends who's playing with who as they are learning.
And one more time, so as to be clear. I offered commentary only to outline that those methods are a much more clear way to eliminate any possibility to jujutsu being applied. It's all internal. Even then it goes from basic jin to more sophisticated body skills.
Cheers
Dan

MM
11-09-2009, 07:04 AM
In this case I like to have the guy really lean in and do the push up because many times, especially in a video demo, it can be hard to tell if the demo partner is really even applying force or not, or how much. at least in this case, it's obvious that force is indeed being applied.


Hi Ashe,

Here's a vid of me showing a push test. There's a part in there where we show that the pushing person is really pushing. Basically, I move aside without giving notice. If the pushing person just stands there, you can see on the video that he wasn't pushing. On the flip side, the pushing person can pull away at any time, without warning, and if you move, then that's a good indication that you were fighting the force and not using internal skills.

For the aikido side of things, no resistance in aikido. So, if the pushing person pulls away quickly and you don't move, then you had no resistance. However, if you do move, then it's an indication that you were using muscle to push against the incoming force and you had resistance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVCZf53XIE0

Here's another push test we work on. Since we're all beginner's at this, we start slow and easy and build up to harder pushes. We didn't do the pull away quickly thing because I wanted to show the exercise more than how much effort was being exerted (which wasn't full force, btw.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gr17-NgGdSs

ChrisMoses
11-09-2009, 09:02 AM
Testing
You might want to look at Arks "push out test" for comparison of less gaming and more basic internal connection displayed.
My test is even stricter than Arks.
I stand stalk straight with legs locked and arms out with no movement and instead of the guy "falling" into me I have them push into me with them in a figting stance and try to step into me without my manipulating them externally...at all. In other words I have to demonstrate "internal movement" without moving at all. There are dozens of guys here who can tell you what it feel like as I have done it to them.
Its just a more "clean" way to show IP aiki to those unfamilar with the concept and ability.

Still looking forward to playing with you guys.
Cheers
Dan

Dan, just to clarify, the guy pushing is pushing on your hands specifically or are they allowed to push on your chest? If I read this correctly (that they're pushing on your extended straight arms) then you're basically at the out phase of a push-out, while the tester is allowed to be in a more supported 'stronger' stance. Correct?

The pushout is a great test and training device. We meant to use it as a quick warmup during Saturdays class and were still geeking out on it thirty minutes later...

MM
11-09-2009, 09:11 AM
Dan, just to clarify, the guy pushing is pushing on your hands specifically or are they allowed to push on your chest? If I read this correctly (that they're pushing on your extended straight arms) then you're basically at the out phase of a push-out, while the tester is allowed to be in a more supported 'stronger' stance. Correct?

The pushout is a great test and training device. We meant to use it as a quick warmup during Saturdays class and were still geeking out on it thirty minutes later...

Hi Chris,

Not Dan, but will give an answer. Yes. That pushout exercise is with arms extended straight out, locked, pushing on extended arms, not chest.

One of the interesting things that we'll do is that both people are at full arms length and you can't collapse the arms. Everything is done from there.

DH
11-09-2009, 01:26 PM
My arms are out but NOT locked, the elbows are a bit bent.
And Chris this is just one of a series of testing. The other is on body parts, and yet another is in throw attempts from mild to severe where you are again not allowed to do anything externally. Form there you go on to very specific movement drills to retrain the body to a new way of moving. Then it is back to testing all over again, over and over.

Of course in fighting you would never do that.
So, the key is to train
1. intent
2. recondition the body with intent
3. breath work where intent further supports the body
4. then train certain specific movements and paths to softly retrain the newly conditioned body. The body has to learn new ways to move with intent that are not the normal way to move or carry the weight.

Contrary to some of the misleading info that newbies are buying into. Not all internal method are the same, nor will they result in the same quality of movement in the body.

I want the most efficient and effective way to condition the body...and to fight with it -all out, with weapons and without. It just so happens it makes mince meat out of aikido and Daito ryu as methods of defense. It cuts right through anything they can deliver. But to put it another way, it makes thee, finest, most capable Aikido or Daito ryu in execution that I have ever seen or felt..

.

ChrisMoses
11-09-2009, 02:55 PM
Thanks Dan, that makes sense, just wanted to clarify my mental image.

Ark had me do some similar stuff on him when I first met him in Tokyo. That was one of the "WTF?!?!" moments when he just stood there, square to me and had me just shove on him. All of my taijutsu stuff is telling me, "he's gonna be weak on this line" and yet all the physical sensation was that he was going to be nearly impossible to move.

We often do push testing integrated with our static postures work, so while someone is cycling through tenchijin or one of Neil's postures a partner will give pressure to various parts of the body and in different directions. Some angles are understandably easier to deal with than others, and if a push overcomes the testee, the tester backs off, lets them get stable again and tries it again.

The push-out has become one of my stock devices for convincing folks that what I'm working on really is different. :)

DH
11-09-2009, 03:29 PM
As fun as pushing is -it's so low level that its bores the crap out of me. The real fun is in moving. The problem is that the movements have to be driven by a conditioned, intent driven body and the best way to train that at the beginning is...standing (solo) and then pushing.

Internal movement and conditioning of the body with that movement
Once the body connection is being established the real fun begins.
There are further things people need to learn that have to do with reconditioning the way the body moves and thus carries its weight and reacts to forces. They can get pretty complex and hilariously fun. Over time they change you in profound ways. Think of it like ways to actually use IP to create Aiki.

Things are not all the same and IMO there are methods that are indeed supperior for all out fighting. Even in You can face certain ICMA styles (who have internal conditioning) who move from their hips in tune with the shoulders and you could learn there is a different way to carry and train the body to move that will take other methods apart. Same thing with some ICMA "methods for fighting that are inane against capable fighters. I have covered that here before, where you get these noobs who try to fajin with the dantien to mingmen and do a power release. That might work on some people but on a fighter you might as well put a stamp on it, send it snail mail, and then text message its imminent arrival; even a decent high school wrestler is going to feel that coming. It makes me think that most internal guys have never actually met a good fighter.

There are other ways to power release that will actually work in a freakin fight, instead of that nonsense. As a fighter, or someone who thinks in martial terms, I'm just happy that there are guys focusing on breath work and fajin. It's less people for me to worry about in the future.;)
It's the same thing with lock resistance and manipulation. You can try and resist nikyo or Sankyo with just breath-power body conditioning till the cows come home. Breath power is great, but its only going to get you so far. And if its all you know...well...there ya go. There's a reason that most add it later in the training. I just hope folks aren't buying some of this crap from the internet blow hards that "breath training" is some kind of absolute to aikido training. There is a lot more to this than some weekend seminar is going to offer.

Cheers
Dan

jss
11-09-2009, 04:12 PM
Same thing with some ICMA "methods for fighting that are inane against capable fighters. I have covered that here before, where you get these noobs who try to fajin with the dantien to mingmen and do a power release. That might work on some people but on a fighter you might as well put a stamp on it, send it snail mail, and then text message its imminent arrival; even a decent high school wrestler is going to feel that coming. It makes me think that most internal guys have never actually met a good fighter.
Or you have never been shown by someone who could actually do it in a decent way?

For the record: I haven't seen/felt much myself with regards to fajin, but I'm curious what makes you so sure it's impossible to pull off a fajin with the dantien to mingmen against even a decent high school wrestler. If you'd say that it would just take to much effort to get a decent fajin with the dantien to mingmen to be worthit, that would be something else, btw.

Mike Sigman
11-09-2009, 04:24 PM
I'm curious what makes you so sure it's impossible to pull off a fajin with the dantien to mingmen I'm curious, too. Particularly since the mingmen is just the backside of the dantien. Even the statement is an oxymoron to anyone that knows how.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

DH
11-09-2009, 05:04 PM
Or you have never been shown by someone who could actually do it in a decent way?

For the record: I haven't seen/felt much myself with regards to fajin, but I'm curious what makes you so sure it's impossible to pull off a fajin with the dantien to mingmen against even a decent high school wrestler. If you'd say that it would just take to much effort to get a decent fajin with the dantien to mingmen to be worthit, that would be something else, btw.

It can be felt. And since we can't discuss Aikido teachers I won't discuss ICMA teachers. Since all this IP talk was supposed to be about research and going out to test and find men with power and I have done so- I'll be the first to let you know when someone can nail me in Chin na or nikyo or sankyo or can use elbow or shoulder bombs, toss me or even get much of anywhere at all in the TMA.
So far it hasn't happened.

Heres one back at ya.
Are you sure that it's not just the level of skill of the amateurs you have been talking to and reading from who are "impressed" by a skill that others can easily neutralize?
How sure are you that there is simply not better ways to train and move that can sense certain movement and neutralize it?
Is it from personal experience with testing powerful men in the TMA? Or is it because someone told you so?
If he's willing ya might want to ask Ark's opinion about that as well.

I'll give you that it is an interesting question.
So, while you are at it, ya might want to consider and think about just who is impressed by what and why that is and what it might say about both sides of the equation?
Cheers
Dan

Mike Sigman
11-09-2009, 05:13 PM
I realize that you're superior to Wang Hai Jun and others you've met and bested and no one can do anything to you, but the question was what you mean by "dantien to mingmen". It doesn't make any sense. What do you mean by it? How is it done?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

ashe
11-09-2009, 07:35 PM
It's an interesting demo, Ashe.

Would you be able to replicate what's done here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKxmKQqR1cU

or here,

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

and then talk us through the ILC logic. Like - how does he shut the guy down in the first clip and how would you do it? They seem to be compatible demonstrations (though Ark does lean a bit too far fwd's in these for my tastes, it's still the same principle...if it's the same principle?)

i think as dan said, it would depend on who i was playing with. we sometimes will practice spinning hands in the sort of parallel stance, but i think the goal is different, and posture would be different as well. like for us, we try to stay away from the open sternum posture, since it's "past the limit", according to tai chi principles (as they relate to the body).

that's not meant to be a dig at anukai stuff, since i don't know what they're working on here (it's always tough to comment on other arts).

Mike Sigman
11-09-2009, 08:11 PM
that's not meant to be a dig at anukai stuff, since i don't know what they're working on here (it's always tough to comment on other arts).Hmmmmm. Well, it looks like a simple jin exercise to me. Like in, ummmm, lemessee.... OK, Tai Chi uses it. In Tai Chi they talk about: "The source of jin is: "It is rooted in the feet, issues through the legs, is governed by the waist, and is expressed through the fingers." Rooted in the feet and coming out through the hands/fingers is sort of a path from the ground, as in "groundpath" (which I realize a number of people on RSF are unfamiliar with ;) ). But, if ILC doesn't use those things, I can see how it might be unfamiliar.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

ashe
11-09-2009, 08:38 PM
For the record: I haven't seen/felt much myself with regards to fajin, but I'm curious what makes you so sure it's impossible to pull off a fajin with the dantien to mingmen against even a decent high school wrestler. If you'd say that it would just take to much effort to get a decent fajin with the dantien to mingmen to be worthit, that would be something else, btw.

it might be a wrong assumption, but i'll offer this anyway;

i think what Dan might be talking about is what we call "splitting force", where even though we consider the ming men to be the main yang point, and in the beginning we put a lot of stress on feeling the x from the ming men to the hands and fee and feeling that during projection, later on you learn to develop "splitting force" where you can choose any point on the body (usually the point of contact or somewhere close) and explode from there, using that point as the "base" rather than the ground itself. it's faster and doesn't telegraph.

Mike Sigman
11-09-2009, 08:56 PM
later on you learn to develop "splitting force" where you can choose any point on the body (usually the point of contact or somewhere close) and explode from there, using that point as the "base" rather than the ground itself. it's faster and doesn't telegraph.If you pick an arbitrary point and "explode from there", how does that work, assuming Newton's Third Law of Motion still exists? Imagine this: I am on a skateboard facing my opponent (no ground support upon which to base my force) and I hit my opponent... what do you think happens? I'm having trouble imagining how a force appears as you've described it. Nice conversation, though, although it's tougher when it goes beyond the one-liners and gets into the facts of how something works, isn't it? ;)

FWIW

Mike Sigman

jss
11-10-2009, 01:41 AM
Since all this IP talk was supposed to be about research and going out to test and find men with power and I have done so- I'll be the first to let you know when someone can nail me in Chin na or nikyo or sankyo or can use elbow or shoulder bombs, toss me or even get much of anywhere at all in the TMA.
So far it hasn't happened.
Cool. Your initial statement seemed stronger than that, but then again, I don't know how many of men with power you have tested by now.

Are you sure that it's not just the level of skill of the amateurs you have been talking to and reading from who are "impressed" by a skill that others can easily neutralize?
How sure are you that there is simply not better ways to train and move that can sense certain movement and neutralize it?
Is it from personal experience with testing powerful men in the TMA? Or is it because someone told you so?
No.
Not very, but a lot depends on your training goals, of course. Do you want to fight with these skills or just explore the body skills as such?
No.
Mostly yes, but that's supported by some of the simple stuff I can do.

If he's willing ya might want to ask Ark's opinion about that as well.
So that there will be two people that have told me so? ;)

So, while you are at it, ya might want to consider and think about just who is impressed by what and why that is and what it might say about both sides of the equation?
That's good advice. And the only way to find people with real skill.

Tim Fong
11-10-2009, 02:57 PM
Or you have never been shown by someone who could actually do it in a decent way?

For the record: I haven't seen/felt much myself with regards to fajin, but I'm curious what makes you so sure it's impossible to pull off a fajin with the dantien to mingmen against even a decent high school wrestler. If you'd say that it would just take to much effort to get a decent fajin with the dantien to mingmen to be worthit, that would be something else, btw.

Joep,
I find that the extreme backbow training is useful for more than just power-- also to gain awareness/conditioning of the use of the backside to off balance someone. One doesn't have to make some giant backbow movement to get this feeling, once you have trained it for a while.

It's one thing to have shenfa (body skill) ,but fighting in a modern striking environment means dealing with boxers who train their accuracy and target recognition on focus mits. Someone like that can be very dangerous, in my experience. Shenfa or no shenfa.

The real question, as I think you alluded to, is , what are a person's goals? There's only so much training time.

Tim

bob_stra
11-10-2009, 04:47 PM
i think as dan said, it would depend on who i was playing with. we sometimes will practice spinning hands in the sort of parallel stance, but i think the goal is different, and posture would be different as well. like for us, we try to stay away from the open sternum posture, since it's "past the limit", according to tai chi principles (as they relate to the body).

that's not meant to be a dig at anukai stuff, since i don't know what they're working on here (it's always tough to comment on other arts).

Hi Ashe

Well no, tactics aside, I meant are you willing and able to replicate / film Akuzawa's setup and then provide your analysis of it? You've put one video out there, but as Dan says, there are many ways to do something like that, not all of which are 'internal'

If there was a 'standardized' thing to look it, it might make comparisons and discussions easier. Not that the pushout is the end all and be all, but it does seem to be a handy 'default' that most are familiar with.

FWIW. YMMV.

DH
11-10-2009, 04:54 PM
Hi Ashe

Well no, tactics aside, I meant are you willing and able to replicate / film Akuzawa's setup and then provide your analysis of it? You've put one video out there, but as Dan says, there are many ways to do something like that, not all of which are 'internal'

If there was a 'standardized' thing to look it, it might make comparisons and discussions easier. Not that the pushout is the end all and be all, but it does seem to be a handy 'default' that most are fimiliar with.

FWIW. YMMV.
Which is why I do it the way I do. It severely limits motion. and offsets it to their advantage. Instead of the equal stances where you are both forward with feet side to side; letting them get in a braced fighting stance and allowing them to try to walk through you, with you in a stork straight stance really brings the message home. Internal motion comes to the fore; when you are not allowed to move.You just can't B.S. them or yourself.
The you can get down to the work.

Hmm..I don't mean B.S. as in fraud. I mean fooling yourself or masking with jujutsu skills. The way I do it is far more 'pure." Doubters can talk all they want- it brings the message home loud and clear that what is going on just isn't normal body mechanics.
Cheers
Dan

Mike Sigman
11-11-2009, 09:20 AM
I'm curious, too. Particularly since the mingmen is just the backside of the dantien. Even the statement is an oxymoron to anyone that knows how.


Bump. This has got to be about the 20th archived time (at least) in the last 4-5 years that a serious and germane question has been asked about a supposedly knowledgeable assertion, resulting in silence or avoidance. Very easy matter to discuss, as a number of people/lurkers are aware. Regardless of peoples assertions about what they can do, all we can *meaningfully* do in a written forum is discuss how's, facts, and so on. When it comes to I.S., there is a codified viewpoint that goes back very far in history (Ueshiba constantly referred to these traditional writings). If the conversations are reduced to other matters, personal observations about "some people", "senior experts I've astounded", etc., we go no where.

In regard to another topic, Ashe's video: Ashe, let me see if I can get you on the same wavelength. In your video you have a guy leaning in and *downward* (hence his force is pointed down toward your feet, for the most part). Your arms are moving. I'm very used to these scenarios and I don't see any dantien usage (you say you don't use dantien, so 'check'), nor are the hips meaningfully engaged in the movement of your arms. How are your arms moving? How does it work?

The actual limits of the dantien controls are bordered by the perineum, the front of the dantien, the mingmen, and the diaphragm. I.e., the mingmen is more or less 'the back side of the ball' that is the whole dantien region. The dantien area can be thought of as a, ummm, let's say a muscular ball attached to the base/lower-end of the spine. So anyway you look at it, whether an art is Shaolin or one of the Neijia arts, if it mentions using the hara/dantien then the dantien exercises control over movements. When a CMA expert says "no dantien", he means that someone is using local control, regardless of whether they've built up some level of rudimentary jin (no matter how strong), etc. One suggestion I often make, in an honest attempt to be helpful, is that people analyse their movements, particularly starting with the shoulders, and honestly evaluate where motion is originating, and so forth.

Because your partner is leaning downward, you are indeed taking a portion of his force to your feet... it's pretty easy to do in that position with a downward vector. But IMO you're going to be blocked for a pretty long time at that level of performance if you don't get someone to show you how to change the other factors and re-pattern your movements accordingly.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Kevin Leavitt
11-11-2009, 10:40 AM
Well Mike, After meeting with a number of you guys I personally realized how much I didn't really know and how much I needed to learn, so I pretty much shut up about this stuff as I don't really know much about it...so I think I at least have that much going for me in my level of knowledge now. LOL!

I prefer to sit back and read right now, maybe ask a clarifying question every now and then, but I am learning alot through the discourse so thanks alot!

Mike Sigman
11-11-2009, 12:34 PM
I prefer to sit back and read right now, maybe ask a clarifying question every now and then, but I am learning alot through the discourse so thanks alot!Hi Kevin:

I prefer to keep the conversations focused on facts and how-to's. Instead of discussing personalities and things we've heard about people (don't we all have a lot of things we've heard about people that we could talk about if that was a compulsion we couldn't control?), I suggest that everyone would be better of asking more specific 'how-to' questions. But I've said that for years.

IMO I don't think anyone gets very far with these skills if don't constantly think and ask questions. Ueshiba and a number of others have all remarked how many years and how much thinking and practice it takes to do these skills. No one can fully figure things out for themselves.

As a side comment, I'd also note that it's important to be able to use these skills in a demonstrable way, but the idea that someone can prove their worth with some limited sparring, "rolling", "push hands", etc., is a proven dead end with a lot of potentially misleading directions. Unless, of course, the person making the noise about proving their qi/jin/kokyu/ki skills is the world's most unbeatable fighter. Once you tie these skills to proving it by who beats whom in sparring, rolling, push-hands, etc., you begin to make it a "my skills are correct because I kicked Joe Blow's butt" sort of conversation. The Chinese have dealt with those kinds of brags for centuries and they usually boil it back down to the "if you're the world's best unbeaten fighter, cool..... what big names have you won against?". It also boils down to "I could beat Ueshiba when he was 85 so therefore my knowledge/skills are better than his were." I recently saw that inference and I give it short shrift. The knowledge is what it is and is demonstrable. The levels of practical application are a different subject, unless, of course no one in the world can beat you. ;)

The way around all the noise? Ask pertinent questions, try to state how-to-facts, and be ready to defend factually any assertions you make. Of course many attempts to answer via personal attack are going to happen on a lot of the chat forums, but isn't it a given that the statistical majority of most people in martial arts are not really serious? It's to be expected. The idea is to talk around it.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Kevin Leavitt
11-11-2009, 03:28 PM
Thanks for the reply MIke. I agree. Right now, for me, I have had enough "how to" shown to me, and enough laid out to me that it is now all about training and logging time, which I am doing. So short of actually training hands on, I really don't have much I can ask over a chat session.

Not that my opinion on this matters at all....just wanted to chime in and say that I am out here listening/reading even though I am not getting much involved in the discussion, as I have very little to contribute!

Thanks again for all your efforts and communication!

Thomas Campbell
11-11-2009, 03:33 PM
there's pro's and con's to any demo, since it's basically showing just ONE thing or a couple things out of context (i.e. fighting).

In this case I like to have the guy really lean in and do the push up because many times, especially in a video demo, it can be hard to tell if the demo partner is really even applying force or not, or how much. at least in this case, it's obvious that force is indeed being applied.

i like to move around and show the relaxation because, of course, if you can't change and move than what good is the skill? basically i'm trying to make it a bit more obvious that these skills can actually applied during some kind of real movement.

my thing is that this sort of thing at he very least is not really possible using "arm and shoulder strength" unless maybe you can bench press 800 lbs. :)



hi Ashe--

Sorry I haven't had time to look at your video clip until just now. Thanks for posting it. I think it achieves your main aim of showing how "these skills can actually (be) applied during some kind of real movement." You take on the downward load and move with it while staying pretty relaxed--particularly in the shoulders, which for a lot of us (including me) remain a sticking point. Looks like the load is moving right down your spine and through your hips, which remain loose and adjustable in transferring the load (allowing for kicks, for example). I see where becoming aware of and training the use of the mingmen area comes into play, more clearly with your demo than with most of the taiji push-hands work I've done or seen.

As was noted, the demo clip you posted is different than the sort of "static" (in terms of external movement) standing test that Dan describes, or the Aunkai "push-out" test. In my own partner practice with different static/standing postures, exploring how to most effectively engage the lower spine and supporting tissues (fascial and muscular) is becoming more important with time.

For me the question of fajin, release of power, seems qualitatively different than taking on the load of an opponent's weight, or incoming force, and absorbing/neutralizing/returning it. Exploring how the breath can support (or interfere with!) fajin and neutralization is giving me some (very tentative) ideas about deeper internal connections at work with both fajin and neutralization that might bridge that perceived difference. In particular, keeping the breath relatively smooth and continuous and not locking up the diaphragm under load seems important in these very early stages of learning.

Ark and Dan both often do, to varying degrees, something at the point of contact (with their partners) that felt to me, in different circumstances, like it either drains my force or alternatively impinges into my center--with hardly any overt movement on their part. If there is any "path" at all in their bodies it seems very short. So it may point to the difference between "short" and "long" paths and energies described (with less than stunning clarity) in taiji writings.

Mike Sigman
11-11-2009, 09:32 PM
Looks like the load is moving right down your spine and through your hips, which remain loose and adjustable in transferring the load (allowing for kicks, for example). I see where becoming aware of and training the use of the mingmen area comes into play, more clearly with your demo than with most of the taiji push-hands work I've done or seen.

So Tom, if and when I come visit Seattle and ask you to show me... can you explain how a load goes to the hips, yada, yada, but the arms are moving, how those arms happen to be moving if the shoulders aren't moving them? It's going to be interesting to see. I think you missed the whole point, but I'm willing to listen.

Mike Sigman

Thomas Campbell
11-11-2009, 10:19 PM
So Tom, if and when I come visit Seattle and ask you to show me... can you explain how a load goes to the hips, yada, yada, but the arms are moving, how those arms happen to be moving if the shoulders aren't moving them? It's going to be interesting to see. I think you missed the whole point, but I'm willing to listen.

Mike Sigman

Jeepers, Mike, my comment was directed to Ashe. I would never presume to show you anything. I'm not sure where I wrote that the shoulders aren't involved in the movement of the arms, though.

As far as me missing the whole point, yours or anyone else's, well, it wouldn't be the first time.

Mike Sigman
11-11-2009, 11:09 PM
If the load is moving to the hips, why would the shoulders be involved? In other words, here's a chance to do something rather than just opine on a chat forum... try following the logic. It's the same basic question I was asking Josh to try and figure out. The idea of "steal this technique" has to do with figuring things out, not waiting for someone to tell you and then, aha, you "know" it and will be able to do it someday. ;)

Mike Sigman

dalen7
12-14-2009, 04:17 PM
From what I understand on the forums here, in regards to I.T., it appears that many are of the opinion that I.T. is what actually makes Aikido tick, and that even some of the Shihans are missing it. [Again, going by memory on a post I recall concerning this.]

I myself have been trying to find out how things work, which circumstances Aikido is effective with, etc.

Recently I have been mingling Aikido with Thai Boxing/grappling.
[actually just in the grappling bit.] Point is to see how Aikido works in a fast paced environment, etc.

My findings are interesting and kind of align with my original theory... though they are not all conclusive as of yet.

What I am wondering is if anyone who is really involved in I.T., [specifically those who feel that the Shihans are missing it and that Aikido is headed in a new direction], if they have ever applied this to a sparring match. [Whether it be grappling, boxing, what have you.]

What I am finding is that various principles are true, but it depends in what context.

And while I believe that I.T. can help benefit ones game in MMA, at least in theory, the question is has anyone done this yet?

i.e.,
In Aikido the theory of how we are taught to block and use an atemi punch when chudan Tsuki is used is great - but I have a strange feeling if your going against a boxer who is coming in with combinations you will have had to have some 'live' mat time to make any headway... regardless of how fast you practiced the 'one punch' technique.

Same with I.T.
In theory this should just be part of every movement as I understand it, but I would love to see a match between someone with I.T. and MMA to see the outward benefits in an environment that is slightly different than what Aikido would present per say.

Reminds me of a Krav Maga video I saw where someone was patting a guys arm... [not saying this is a bad idea, but if the guy has any skill in any art, he probably will have you in a guillotine and not just resting his arm on your chest. [but what do I know about this.] :)

A lot is great in theory to a certain level, but then it steps up to the next... and I feel a lot of the time we dont have the most suitable environment to push what we have to its max to truly understand it.

This may or may not be clear... starting to get late here. :)

Peace

dAlen

p.s.
If any of you guys that do I.T. are ever in Hungary, please let me know... would love to try it out.

Kevin Leavitt
12-14-2009, 04:38 PM
dAlen,

Dan Harden is probably the guy to ask about this I'd say based on his post. I am hoping to one day meet up with him on this very subject.

My thoughts on this whole subject is that "It is realitive". That is...there is a Cost/Benefit ratio to everything and you must find the balance that is right for you.

I think it depends on your goals and the time you want to be "effective".

BJJ is my grappling background of course. Should I spend time doing BJJ or doing some arcane exercises if I want to get good at BJJ?

Well the answer is I need to spend time dong BJJ primarily, but I also believe that IT/IP training is of benefit, so I try and spend some time doing this as well. The struggle for me has been prioritizing and placing a "optimal weight or ratio" on the time spent doing these things.

However, if you are looking at a longer term picture or maybe a different objective in your training, then maybe your investment would be best spent stopping trraining in MT and Grappling all together and devote several years to doing IT/IP training, then coming back to it? Not sure personally.

For me, I am not willing to risk what I am gaining through BJJ to stop training this as a majority of my time. I believe in a integrative approach which involves cardio, drills, yoga, and some core training as well.

I do try and spend time each day and several hours a week doing IT/IP related type training as I can as I do believe it has helped me quite a bit.

Anyway, hopefully someone with more experience will come on here and talk about it.

dalen7
12-14-2009, 05:41 PM
I think it depends on your goals and the time you want to be "effective".

However, if you are looking at a longer term picture or maybe a different objective in your training, then maybe your investment would be best spent stopping trraining in MT and Grappling all together and devote several years to doing IT/IP training, then coming back to it?

For me, I am not willing to risk what I am gaining through BJJ to stop training this as a majority of my time. I believe in a integrative approach which involves cardio, drills, yoga, and some core training as well.


From martial arts I am hoping to gain an in-depth understanding of body mechanics, [what, why, when techniques work], as well as gain improved co-ordination, flexibility, etc., in the process.
[Basically getting to know and use my body more efficiently. You should see my Thai-boxing kicks... they are horrible! lol]

I suppose Im looking for a holistic approach which bridges the gap between the philosophy/ideas of non-competitive martial arts and the techniques of those which are competitive.

To me non-competitive martial arts are missing a key point due to their lack of experience with a more dynamic art where you can test your skill... same as the competitive arts are missing out by neglecting the inner aspects offered by these non-competitive martial arts.

If I ever teach this stuff for money one day, I would like to give a no B.S. course which is applicable in competition as well as out of it. - There is too much stuff out there with people trying to understand and put the pieces together, suppose I would like to take the edges off of it a bit. :)

Peace

dAlen

Kevin Leavitt
12-14-2009, 09:15 PM
You and I are a sort of on the same boat it appears. I think a moderate path is the way to go. Masters the fundamentals of the arts/practices you want to teach and then spend some time exploring the esoteric aspects of them to be able to teach the finer points/principles that are important.

Upyu
12-14-2009, 09:22 PM
[Basically getting to know and use my body more efficiently. You should see my Thai-boxing kicks... they are horrible! lol]


Not to knock it, since sparring and pressure based training is important, but the mechanics behind a Thai-boxing kick, boxing punch, or any hip, shoulder, rotational move etc, are completely and utterly different from I.P. I.S. based movements. Which means when you finally get down to doing the hard work in rewiring your body, it's going to be a bitch and a half to retrain.

That being said, if you don't have a teacher out in your area to teach actual I.S. ... I'd probably still take the live training anyways.
It's kind of like being caught between being a rock and a hard place.

Ark has a systematic approach to combining those I.S. skills in a a stand-up environment, though it's pared down due to the fact that you're mainly limited to striking with your legs, knees and gloves.

It takes a lot of rewiring to simply get your body to move correctly, and then even more effort to "keep it together" when moving under pressure. Good rule of thumb I've found is that, in the beginning I lost about 80% connectivity under pressure. The 20% I kept made all the difference of course. The more relaxed you are under pressure though, the easier it is to maintain...and that's something you can only get through progressively difficult pressure testing.

Once you start to rewire your body though, throwing a thai kick, punch etc will simply feel "weird" or even "wrong" for lack of a better term :D

DH
12-14-2009, 10:28 PM
I agree with Rob with the exception of losing 80% connectivity under pressure. I haven't met the guy who could pressure me that far....yet.
This was the post I was going to write and then said screw it.

For me IP/aiki is all about it's use in fighting-real and whole.
I don't talk about it much anymore. I'm sick of thousands of words wasted in debate, that always ends up the same in person. So when I read how someone just "wants to add it to his game" I say...uhm...sure, okay. You're going to start over

*Notes on attributes
Practical applied power
less gassing,-less effort to do things
More control of the outcome-they have a bitch of a time controlling you
Knockout power

*Note
I am not saying it makes you superman-anyone can get tagged- "S____ happens." So lets not go there either. It offers very distinct and real world advantages to a fighters game Over external movement.

IP /aiki is instantly notable as being a different way to move (it's hard for them to feel where the kicks and punches are coming from as they don't feel the weight shifts, its extremely hard to find our centers to throw or manipulate, and on the whole our bodies feel like hard rubber to hit or try to deal with, and we have knockout power; even on the ground, and there is a very responsive, almost artificially fast feel.

Many MAer's are full of crap and waste of time. They want to "check you out, and check you "off" of their BTDT list. They really don't want it bad enough to give up what they are doing to pursue this. As one recent P/Ker said. "I just don't want to give up the fun I am having and what I am very good at to switch to this type of training." That's cool. But ...I... have better things to do with MY time as well. So those who want to just "add this to their game" need not apply.
It's like taking up Golf at 60. Why would you do that to yourself?

Everyone lives their lives and has their views. Personally, I would never change back...ever! I would never go back to lifting and cardio for fighting power (although I still do cardio and very specific weight drills of a different type) I am living a continuing experiment; a truth, for my own self; IP/ aiki that is practical in all out force-on-force fighting. I have no vested interest in proving it to anyone. So, although I would recommend this type of training to everyone, as I believe it is the best training in the world for MA; I know that most will never do the work. Its just the way it is.
Good luck in your training
Dan

dalen7
12-15-2009, 03:37 AM
Which means when you finally get down to doing the hard work in rewiring your body, it's going to be a bitch and a half to retrain.

Once you start to rewire your body though, throwing a thai kick, punch etc will simply feel "weird" or even "wrong" for lack of a better term :D

I suppose maybe a better analogy of what it is Im trying to do is simply this: Ballet.

If given the opportunity to have some serious Ballet & Yoga classes, I would believe I could achieve, [a lot of] the goals Im am seeking to do with understanding body mechanics/movements... and then quickly adapt to whatever martial arts I may choose to do.

The point for me is to have my body adapted to what is and isnt possible, a honed 'machine' that is not limited to a certain range, etc.

For now, Thai Boxing is doing this for me, as I cannot kick high at all, and my balance is shot. Of course Im pulling out of it what ideas I think are practical for a sport fight, etc.

Ill say this straight up... I do not see the value in any high kicks - at least not in theory, as I have already on more than one occasion accidentally caught the guys leg and remembered your not supposed to catch the leg and hold on. [Or can you... need to clarify that bit.]

I will say it does not make for natural training to withhold form certain natural tendencies like to grab the leg, and even more so not to practice taking them down then as it is quite easy to do seeing they are not rooted to the ground.

From Thai Boxing I think the practicality lies in the clinch & the knees [and elbows for those who use it.] A good boxing footwork and combos is nothing to sneeze at either, and again something someone in Aikido just is not ready for as they practice for the one punch.

So, Ballet/Yoga, [the benefits that come from], is really more of an ultimate goal in terms of what I believe it will offer me as it concerns a full range of control, balance, flexibility, and knowledge of what movements are more natural for the body and how to maximize it... but until then Ill figure it out the best I can this way. [As I am interested in the martial aspect, of which the former seems to be the foundation.]

Peace

dAlen

Stormcrow34
12-15-2009, 08:20 AM
So, although I would recommend this type of training to everyone, as I believe it is the best training in the world for MA; I know that most will never do the work. Its just the way it is.

Good luck in your training
Dan

Good morning Dan.

I hope you don't take this question the wrong way, because I am sincere in trying to understand. I've read this a few times about internal training and I have to ask; if the rewards are so great, remarkable, measurable, why are people so unwilling to do the work? That just doesn't make sense to someone who trains hard and is constantly trying to improve themselves.

So...Is it really that tedious? Boring? Painful? Time consuming? Does it become even more so as you progress? The more you advance and the more breakthroughs you have, the more you have to continue to challenge yourself, which leads to even more pain, isolation and monotony?

I'm just trying to understand the big picture.

Thanks.

Mike C.

MM
12-15-2009, 09:00 AM
Quick post pointing to part of one of Dan's posts in another thread:

Hi George

All to true. But in the end I think-utterly meaningless. It's still a lively debate as to who is even doing these things. You've seen the reaction AFTER folks felt it up front. Even they aren't interested in discussing it much in detail. all. They saw it, and felt it and were dumfounded by it. And most realized its start-over time.
So we agree that serious debate over these things is probably over-the how-to is what becomes dicey.
First, someone who can impart the skills they know is needed.
Second, someone who will give the time.
Third, a student willing to devote countless hours of alone time working.
So in the end few- Mikes 2% suggestion- will likely achieve good results.
Everyone wants it described and spelled out for them here. While the ways and ideals can be spoken in a few paragraphs, there is little point. Even single sentences can take years of effort. The work takes much concentration and inglorious alone time. For most the wisest choice would be to stop practice for years to rebuild, rewire. Few will.

Cheers
Dan

Upyu
12-15-2009, 09:27 AM
I suppose maybe a better analogy of what it is Im trying to do is simply this: Ballet.

Er well... Ballet has almost nothing to do with this stuff.

Maybe Gernot would want to comment?

The balance instilled by I.S. is a physical skill, trained, and very specific ;)

Dan:
Sorry I should've clarified, it can fall apart to some degree in the beginning under pressure. It was meant more as a caution for those hoping that this would somehow and suddenly magically up their game in sparring.:D

dalen7
12-15-2009, 09:38 AM
Er well... Ballet has almost nothing to do with this stuff.



Perhaps not, but for what Im talking about wanting to accomplish it does. ;)
[I believe the paradigm is there, I just was not able to bring it out in what I wrote.] :)

Peace

dAlen

JW
12-15-2009, 11:23 AM
Perhaps not, but for what Im talking about wanting to accomplish it does. ;)
[I believe the paradigm is there, I just was not able to bring it out in what I wrote.] :)


Hi Dalen- I think you guys might be talking past each other. From what you wrote, I think I see where you are coming from-- we don't use our bodies to full capacity and it would be fun to find out just what it can do.

But the point here is, there are 2 roads or schools of thought or types of moving, and you have to decide which one you are wanting to go down. You can fight with internal strength or with normal mechanics, and they are 2 different things. You can walk with either, dance with either. But they are 2 different realms, like 2 different languages. Or shall we say one is like prose/fiction and one is like poetry. So which will it be? You could spend a lifetime in either one, and be getting better the whole time. So it isn't like one is a dead end.
Rather, if you spend a lifetime in prose you won't be much of a better poet, and vice versa. They have different rules, theories, and modalities for creating effect in the reader. But both do stuff and so both could be seen as worth studying.
But you have to personally make a choice, unless you have 2 lifetimes. BTW what if poetry gave you a longer lifetime than prose, wouldn't that factor in too?

I think this speaks to Mike C.'s question though I am just a rambling lurker. If you want to totally suck for a few years, you are a rare kind of martial artist, even though it is ultimately in line with what all MA claim to pursue-- perfecting the self continually. Instead of sucking for a few years and MAYBE becoming great if you work hard enough, how about not sucking (if you are already a decent 'external' MAist) at all now, and maybe never becoming as great as you could have been? In other words, not changing has its benefits, especially for the ego.
The choice seems obvoius on the forum. But in real life that is a serious decision, for the heart moreso than the head.
--JW

DH
12-15-2009, 12:19 PM
But the point here is, there are 2 roads or schools of thought or types of moving, and you have to decide which one you are wanting to go down.

If you want to totally suck for a few years, you are a rare kind of martial artist, even though it is ultimately in line with what all MA claim to pursue-- perfecting the self continually. The choice seems obvoius on the forum.
But in real life that is a serious decision, for the heart moreso than the head.
--JW
I was a very capable and proven fighter when I chose to pursue this. And when I did- I kept failing at it...for years. Yet I was willing to invest in that failure-to the point of friends mocking me- to reach a deeper level. In some aspects, it was one of the hardest things I have ever done-both in ego and in effort. The mindset has never changed, I will never allow myelf to "hold on" to something ever again. I test and test and I remain open to change.

I am realizing, now, more and more, just how rare that is. Having won, or achieved a certain level it can be difficult to let go of everything you knew. The smartest thing I ever did was to walk away from my strength to pursue and discover my power.
Cheers
Dan

Stormcrow34
12-15-2009, 01:17 PM
I was a very capable and proven fighter when I chose to pursue this. And when I did- I kept failing at it...for years.

Again, not doubting you here and excuse my ignorance, but why? If you were already a capable and proven fighter why did you step into the unknown and away from the training paradigm that you know yields legitimate results? I understand investing in failure and the idea of learning more from losing than winning. And I have no doubt that there is something to IT that is worth investigating, but is it really that much of a leap in power and ability?

Upyu
12-15-2009, 05:12 PM
Perhaps not, but for what Im talking about wanting to accomplish it does. ;)
[I believe the paradigm is there, I just was not able to bring it out in what I wrote.] :)


No doubt Dalen, and don't take this the wrong way.
I'm just trying to say it as straight as possible when I say, the paradigm has very little overlap. On the surface it looks like it might (straight posture, alignment yatta yatta yatta), but the development is different, as are the results.
Look at it this way, if the paradigms even remotely overlapped then you'd see physical development that was more in keeping with say Ueshiba's mid-drift, or increased overall thickness of the body etc.

What I'd consider to be "overlapping paradigms" is say, the Karate approach vs, the Aikido approach vs the Yoga approach etc.

Btw, for the most part I'm talking past you here. FWIW I understand what you're trying to achieve, (completely understandable, and I'm not arguing on your goals at all) I just wouldn't put it in the same box and assume that it would help you achieve IT/IS.

JW
12-15-2009, 08:58 PM
And I have no doubt that there is something to IT that is worth investigating, but is it really that much of a leap in power and ability?

I'm sure we'll all enjoy Dan's answer to your question, but I would like to point out that it is NOT a "leap in power and ability" as I understand it. It is more like the doorway a totally separate and unrelated world. You just can't enter the world of aiki with regular body mechanics, so you either go down the path, or you choose not to re-forge your body and thus choose not to follow the path. And yes, I admit that is still a controversial thing to say, but take it from O-sensei.. he beckons for us to go down the path:

Doka of the Day - December 15, 2009
The Pine, the Bamboo, and the Plum.
The make up of Ki that we are training to purify
From where do they arise?
The Water and Fire of the change in the self.

The meaning I'm sure can be looked at from a lot of angles (spiritual, moral, intellectual..) but for the physical angle-- you have to change the body to approach the goals that O-sensei was espousing. No matter how well you appreciate the goals, you don't get them from imitating the form of the goals (those trees' atttributes), rather you have to turn to "water" and "fire," which are on the surface not the goals you are shooting for. But they are the gateway to the path, so you either go down it or you forsake it.

JW
12-15-2009, 09:07 PM
I was a very capable and proven fighter when I chose to pursue this. And when I did- I kept failing at it...for years. Yet I was willing to invest in that failure-to the point of friends mocking me- to reach a deeper level.

This thread could use a little hope!
Dan, would you agree that what you went through was much harsher on the ego than what some bumbling but sincere young seeker would have to go through now? For instance, all those aikiweb folks who you have helped guide are having a much nicer time, right? In other words, there are now (as opposed to what you went through) some supportive environments that allow this kind of body skill to be learned in a way that involves "help" (ie some cooperative aspects)? Like training in your barn as opposed to doing your solo work and then showing up at a judo or MMA or BJJ place and just trying to go at it with strangers or even "friends" who are mocking your new direction.

Just saying, all of us who want to do this are going to feel the "I suck" feeling, it's inevitable, but it seems that it doesn't have to sting quite as much as it could.

And without these conversations, seminars, offers to help, we as a community would not have that, so thanks to all you guys who are sharing.
--Jonathan Wong

dalen7
12-16-2009, 03:05 AM
You just can't enter the world of aiki with regular body mechanics, so you either go down the path, or you choose not to re-forge your body and thus choose not to follow the path.

Suppose the way Im looking at it right now is simply this:
There are a ton of good intentions and philosophical musings when it comes to that which is 'just out of reach'. [i.e., you can call it mystical, etc.]

But at the same time I have spent the majority of my life trying to reach certain goals that laid in this realm... [was a missionary over seas, etc. - was a zealot Christian to be sure] - point in all of this is that even in my zeal I was seeking for the core balance of truth, even if it meant dumping what I believed from the age of 4, etc. - or developing a whole new outlook or deeper understanding to what I believed.

... something like that happened a few years back.
To me its about practical results no matter what it is. And there are only so far you can take things before you need to step it up and test it out or figure out if it has its limited applications.

Kind of why I am cross-training, etc. What works why, when, where. [not to cut suddenly off Aikido, but to make what I take from the principles of it to work regardless...] :)

Now my point here is that some people may say they dont want to have to give proof, etc., and may frown upon those who ask it as if they are trying to take something away from them and mock them, as it were.

I know that is not the case with me... though I do lean to being more of a Thomas, as it were in this day and age... already put in my years of faith service... its time for practical, tangible results... and even the most mystical [spiritual, martial arts, whatever] can have tangible and explainable, logical [even if that logic is beyond ours], scientific results. [Everything has a purpose and a place in this chaotic universe... an oxymoron?] :D

All that to say this: Is IT something that is being taught in the US special forces? [Im going beyond fight clubs now], if this is something tangible, then I would suppose the elite would need to benefit from this. [Hey, "men who stare at goats" - try whatever it is you can to stay on top... so if this does have an edge... someone using it? CIA, etc?] ;)

If not, then it begins to question if either we are overcomplicating something that is to some degree related to the concept of learning Ballet [for those of you who may remotely think that is easy, its no more easier than flinging your legs over your back and touching the floor in yoga... and this is why my other post mentioned Ballet, if you can be as aligned, strong, and move your body like they do, and a yoga person... my goodness then you have mastered body mechanics, and from the sound of it that is what IT is about.]

... unless IT isnt about body mechanics and getting your body to move in the best way possible, to be centered, stable, etc. [thats how I have understood it.]

Yes we can talk about subtle chi energies, and I believe in that, for the fact that we know that much happens which we cant see, and that even our thoughts can affect one another - and if your open enough you can basically read someones minds. [like those thoughts jumping back and forth in a short space... which with what we know in Quantum physics isnt so far fetched.]

Anyway... instead of the debates, or rather explanations of why they are different, and why no one can understand it till they try... which I respect and understand you may need someone to help point you through the door... I would like to see someone take it up in the sport arena and just demonstrate it.

From what I heard a Thai Boxers kicks will feel wrong, well I would love to see what an IT would look like when up against a ThaiBoxer, etc..
Why? Because Im defending Thai Boxing? [I have already said I could care less for most of the kicks as I find you are better when rooted on the ground.]

But I want to see this thing that is said to be so opposite demonstrated in a live situation. Surely Im not the only one thinking along these lines - I mean I realize in Aikido where its a non-competitive art and yet here I am trying to get it to work in my grappling/Thai classes, that I may be the odd one out.

Again, I like seeing theory put to the test so I can better understand the difference between a hypothetical situation and the true body dynamic that changes the game completely.

If this were understood by senseis, they would better be able to relay this to their students. Someone is liable to get hurt if they have the wrong impressions of what their art can or cannot do... like the guy on the youtube video that had people falling down without them touching him. [he got to the point he believed this, and then had a guy wipe his rear on the floor!]

Sure there is nothing wrong with the principles he practiced, but you have to be clear about what it is you are doing and where it belongs.

To be clear, if people choose to practice IT without showing how it works in a given situation like the ring, then I totally understand... this is not about picking out people to mock. Each person has their own convictions.

What I am saying is that it would be interesting if there were someone, like me, who wants to try this out and demonstrate what it is they are talking about and how it works against that path which they have chosen not to follow.

At this point, it seems there are limited number of these Aiki trainers, and I dont believe any of them are wanting to go this path... which I respect.

The problem seems to be that its hard to really do anything with these concepts as most of the post say you have to feel it to know what it is... and then keep at it for years.

Ill be honest, I know this has been brought up before, but I still believe that even if something takes awhile to do, we tend to find the longest roads to get there... but perhaps that is what being human is all about. :)

Peace

dAlen

Lorel Latorilla
12-16-2009, 03:40 AM
Suppose the way Im looking at it right now is simply this:
There are a ton of good intentions and philosophical musings when it comes to that which is 'just out of reach'. [i.e., you can call it mystical, etc.]

But at the same time I have spent the majority of my life trying to reach certain goals that laid in this realm... [was a missionary over seas, etc. - was a zealot Christian to be sure] - point in all of this is that even in my zeal I was seeking for the core balance of truth, even if it meant dumping what I believed from the age of 4, etc. - or developing a whole new outlook or deeper understanding to what I believed.

... something like that happened a few years back.
To me its about practical results no matter what it is. And there are only so far you can take things before you need to step it up and test it out or figure out if it has its limited applications.

Kind of why I am cross-training, etc. What works why, when, where. [not to cut suddenly off Aikido, but to make what I take from the principles of it to work regardless...] :)

Now my point here is that some people may say they dont want to have to give proof, etc., and may frown upon those who ask it as if they are trying to take something away from them and mock them, as it were.

I know that is not the case with me... though I do lean to being more of a Thomas, as it were in this day and age... already put in my years of faith service... its time for practical, tangible results... and even the most mystical [spiritual, martial arts, whatever] can have tangible and explainable, logical [even if that logic is beyond ours], scientific results. [Everything has a purpose and a place in this chaotic universe... an oxymoron?] :D

All that to say this: Is IT something that is being taught in the US special forces? [Im going beyond fight clubs now], if this is something tangible, then I would suppose the elite would need to benefit from this. [Hey, "men who stare at goats" - try whatever it is you can to stay on top... so if this does have an edge... someone using it? CIA, etc?] ;)

If not, then it begins to question if either we are overcomplicating something that is to some degree related to the concept of learning Ballet [for those of you who may remotely think that is easy, its no more easier than flinging your legs over your back and touching the floor in yoga... and this is why my other post mentioned Ballet, if you can be as aligned, strong, and move your body like they do, and a yoga person... my goodness then you have mastered body mechanics, and from the sound of it that is what IT is about.]

... unless IT isnt about body mechanics and getting your body to move in the best way possible, to be centered, stable, etc. [thats how I have understood it.]

Yes we can talk about subtle chi energies, and I believe in that, for the fact that we know that much happens which we cant see, and that even our thoughts can affect one another - and if your open enough you can basically read someones minds. [like those thoughts jumping back and forth in a short space... which with what we know in Quantum physics isnt so far fetched.]

Anyway... instead of the debates, or rather explanations of why they are different, and why no one can understand it till they try... which I respect and understand you may need someone to help point you through the door... I would like to see someone take it up in the sport arena and just demonstrate it.

From what I heard a Thai Boxers kicks will feel wrong, well I would love to see what an IT would look like when up against a ThaiBoxer, etc..
Why? Because Im defending Thai Boxing? [I have already said I could care less for most of the kicks as I find you are better when rooted on the ground.]

But I want to see this thing that is said to be so opposite demonstrated in a live situation. Surely Im not the only one thinking along these lines - I mean I realize in Aikido where its a non-competitive art and yet here I am trying to get it to work in my grappling/Thai classes, that I may be the odd one out.

Again, I like seeing theory put to the test so I can better understand the difference between a hypothetical situation and the true body dynamic that changes the game completely.

If this were understood by senseis, they would better be able to relay this to their students. Someone is liable to get hurt if they have the wrong impressions of what their art can or cannot do... like the guy on the youtube video that had people falling down without them touching him. [he got to the point he believed this, and then had a guy wipe his rear on the floor!]

Sure there is nothing wrong with the principles he practiced, but you have to be clear about what it is you are doing and where it belongs.

To be clear, if people choose to practice IT without showing how it works in a given situation like the ring, then I totally understand... this is not about picking out people to mock. Each person has their own convictions.

What I am saying is that it would be interesting if there were someone, like me, who wants to try this out and demonstrate what it is they are talking about and how it works against that path which they have chosen not to follow.

At this point, it seems there are limited number of these Aiki trainers, and I dont believe any of them are wanting to go this path... which I respect.

The problem seems to be that its hard to really do anything with these concepts as most of the post say you have to feel it to know what it is... and then keep at it for years.

Ill be honest, I know this has been brought up before, but I still believe that even if something takes awhile to do, we tend to find the longest roads to get there... but perhaps that is what being human is all about. :)

Peace

dAlen

Dude,

All I have to say is, you have to touch someone who is adept in aiki/IP skills. All ramblings, argument, and useless musings will stop there.

Why isn't it in sports fighting yet? Well, for the most part, Asians have kept it a secret for centuries. It's not as 'open' as, say, Western boxing is, so the study and research appropriate for acquiring this skill is not readily available. I'd say give it 5 years, and you'll see some serious head-hunters who have dedicated their lives to rewiring their body and using bodyskill in MMA do some serious damage in the MMA arena.

dalen7
12-16-2009, 03:42 AM
Dude,

All I have to say is, you have to touch someone who is adept in aiki/IP skills. All ramblings, argument, and useless musings will stop there. .

Your right... a nice quick summary of what I tried to say! ;)
[i.e., time to see it in action!] :D

Peace

dAlen

p.s.
As for the 'ancient Chinese secret' bit:
We have seen those 'mystical' acts of throwing people without the need to touch them videos, just to see a guy who did this get his rear wiped on the ground - as I pointed out in my above post. ;)
[point is that people have a right to be skeptical and question in order to understand without taking everything on blind faith... understanding what serves what purpose and when.]

Also, the comment about useless musings... perhaps to most, but not to me. ;)
Its good to seek and try to understand, and clarify what it is you believe. :)

As not to have this post misunderstood by anyone, please refer to my lengthy post above... though it may not be that much clearer. [The point is, Im not trying to pick on anyone concerning what they believe to work.]

Lorel Latorilla
12-16-2009, 03:45 AM
Your right... a nice quick summary of what I tried to say! ;)
[i.e., time to see it in action!] :D

Peace

dAlen

Cool bro. That's the spirit. Always remember, seek and you shall find ;) .

dalen7
12-16-2009, 03:53 AM
Cool bro. That's the spirit. Always remember, seek and you shall find ;) .

I see we are on the same page then after all. :D

Peace

dAlen

p.s.
Though you used the term body skill - again, I think it needs a clear definition as to what defines body skill.
[Im stuck on the Ballet, Yoga paradigm as those guys can do things with their bodies I can only dream of doing.]

dalen7
12-16-2009, 04:09 AM
Why isn't it in sports fighting yet? Well, for the most part, Asians have kept it a secret for centuries.

I did want to reiterate that its not just the lack of it in sports, but my question is, 'does the US military use it?'. If not, why? [It being an Asian secret doesnt really convince me on this level due to the interaction of the US military with Asia over the years... and who came out on top, as it were in North Korea, Japan, etc.]
[does not mean there is not some mystical Buddhist monk that is keeping it secret for some high spiritual reason... but again, we are talking about modern claims which people want to simply see how it works.]

I will add that perhaps some of the high ranking IT guys should come to Hungary.
You wont make money here, the people are not wealthy like the western neighbors - but instead of waiting decades [like Aikido] to introduce itself, maybe someone can let Hungary in on the game early this time.

[Ive got a place with Mats to train on the side even.] :)

Even my Thai Boxing teacher apparently believes such principles to be true... just figuring it out seems to be the issue. ;)

Lorel Latorilla
12-16-2009, 05:13 AM
I did want to reiterate that its not just the lack of it in sports, but my question is, 'does the US military use it?'. If not, why? [It being an Asian secret doesnt really convince me on this level due to the interaction of the US military with Asia over the years... and who came out on top, as it were in North Korea, Japan, etc.]
[does not mean there is not some mystical Buddhist monk that is keeping it secret for some high spiritual reason... but again, we are talking about modern claims which people want to simply see how it works.]

I will add that perhaps some of the high ranking IT guys should come to Hungary.
You wont make money here, the people are not wealthy like the western neighbors - but instead of waiting decades [like Aikido] to introduce itself, maybe someone can let Hungary in on the game early this time.

[Ive got a place with Mats to train on the side even.] :)

Even my Thai Boxing teacher apparently believes such principles to be true... just figuring it out seems to be the issue. ;)

Dalen, I recommend you read some literature on Chinese or Japanese martial arts, where these skills are most commonly associated to. You will some countless testimonies of teachers that DELIBERATELY do NOT teach their students. The fact that you find so many crappy Chinese/Japanese martial arts teachers is because of this fact I believe. I'm not being facetious about it being an Asian secret. This isn't kn0wl3dg3 u gain from a ub3r budd41st m0nk when u 3nt3r tha 36 ch4mb3rz. Hell, some of these internal gurus that a1k1/tae-chee fairies worship can be inebriated, foul-mouthed whore-mongers.

Some individuals suggest it's 'hard' work, but I don't think it's as hard as any other craft (granted, it's hard because it takes years and years of unlearning years and years of patterned movement). It's mostly hard because most of us who are even exposed to this stuff are navigating ourselves in murky, uncharted waters where ambiguous mystical terminologies surrounding this knowledge make this kind of practise phenomenologically inconvenient. Like I said before, the research and study involved in this is so scant that lack of propagation of internal skills in the wider scene is to be naturally expected. Whether the Delta Force uses such training begs the question of whether these movement and body skills are PROVEN (by military scientists) to be most efficient for military training. For the most part, public discussion on these skills opened up in the recent years, with exception to guys like Mike Sigman and Dan Harden who've been singing the praises of aiki/internal skills for more than a decade now. And they've been discussing this for the most part within the context of modern budo/combatives. The fact of the matter is, discussing aiki/body skills as a 'discrete' thing is hard enough as it is (the thing about this is that the knowledge has to be in your body before you can express it in words), I don't even try to talk about its uses in MMA or modern budo. And you're asking us why it isn't in the military by now? It's gonna take a long time, g. Although, I am practising internal arts, and I do plan to join the military so I'll help you out with your curiousity ;) .

Upyu
12-16-2009, 07:23 AM
but my question is, 'does the US military use it?'. If not, why?

I'll bite, since this is something pops up, and is repeated "why don't MMAers use it, why don't <insert whatever practical ass whupping MA> use it"

Without going into the technical details, transmitting the full-blown "how" to train these skills is hard enough. I'm guessing it was really meant to be, and was transmitted in small teacher:student ratios.
It requires a lot of work on both the teacher and student. Think of it like a Professor vs. pet student. Said Prof may pick several students as being likely candidates to pursue a given subject deeper, and gives them personal instruction. The rest are given a gloss-over by-the-book version.
For most subjects, you can pick some stuff up even in the "by-the-book" version.
Unfortunately for IT, even for the average stuff, it needs to be shown hands on, in order to get your foot in the door.

Take that scenario, now imagine how the hell you'd apply it to thousands of soldiers which need to be trained. And that's not factoring in the time (at minimum 1-2 years) for the unique kind of conditioning that's trained, to kick in.

Not to say that the knowledge in IT could be used to improve some aspects of training (I've used some tricks based off of the workings of IT to obtain quick gains in some of my mma friends stand up game).

In fact the desire to short-cut some of the training and focus on short term gains is where you see a divergence in styles.

Again to clarify, IT/IS are physical skills. They use parts of the body in ways that ...well all I'll say is you have to feel it for yourself.
Being centered, balanced yatta yatta are only peripheral to the core of the matter.

FWIW Ark went to Thailand before, kicked some pads and got the comment from the Thai boxing coaches "You know we get all types...kyokushin guys etc, but they suck...but you, where the hell did you train?" (Course anyone that's been on the receiving end of Ark's kick could attest to that ^^;)

Lorel Latorilla
12-16-2009, 07:35 AM
FWIW Ark went to Thailand before, kicked some pads and got the comment from the Thai boxing coaches "You know we get all types...kyokushin guys etc, but they suck...but you, where the hell did you train?" (Course anyone that's been on the receiving end of Ark's kick could attest to that ^^;)

I can painfully attest to that. Dude kicked me in my thigh and let's just say...the pain in my leg lasted almost for a week.

jss
12-16-2009, 07:49 AM
All that to say this: Is IT something that is being taught in the US special forces? [Im going beyond fight clubs now], if this is something tangible, then I would suppose the elite would need to benefit from this. [Hey, "men who stare at goats" - try whatever it is you can to stay on top... so if this does have an edge... someone using it? CIA, etc?] ;)
Even if they had people of teaching these skills (which I don't think they do), their current approach is better for them. Select people that are exceptionally physically fit and build from that. The IT alternative would be to take a few years and teach these people to move in a totally different way. Not a very smart move, in my opinion.
Secondly, the benefits of IT for the special forces would be mostly limited to carrying stuff and hand-to-hand combat. They're doing fine at the former without IT and the latter is not that important to them (I assume they prefer guns and knives).

As for the 'ancient Chinese secret' bit:
We have seen those 'mystical' acts of throwing people without the need to touch them videos, just to see a guy who did this get his rear wiped on the ground - as I pointed out in my above post. ;)
[point is that people have a right to be skeptical and question in order to understand without taking everything on blind faith... understanding what serves what purpose and when.]
Why throw everything that's secret and Chinese on one big pile? Nobody here is claiming you can use IT in a non-cooperative environment to throw people without touching them. If you're allowed to touch them however, ...

Stormcrow34
12-16-2009, 08:10 AM
I did want to reiterate that its not just the lack of it in sports, but my question is, 'does the US military use it?'. If not, why?

As far as I'm aware, I lack zero knowledge in IT, but I'll venture to say that the U.S. (and any other) military spends the majority of their time training to dispatch an enemy from as far away as possible. Which, in an era where a sniper can hit a target one half a mile away, makes perfect sense to me. No one is suggesting IT can stop bullets are they? If they are then.....I call B.S.

JangChoe
12-16-2009, 08:48 AM
I'll bite, since this is something pops up, and is repeated "why don't MMAers use it, why don't <insert whatever practical ass whupping MA> use it"

Without going into the technical details, transmitting the full-blown "how" to train these skills is hard enough. I'm guessing it was really meant to be, and was transmitted in small teacher:student ratios.
It requires a lot of work on both the teacher and student. Think of it like a Professor vs. pet student. Said Prof may pick several students as being likely candidates to pursue a given subject deeper, and gives them personal instruction. The rest are given a gloss-over by-the-book version.
For most subjects, you can pick some stuff up even in the "by-the-book" version.
Unfortunately for IT, even for the average stuff, it needs to be shown hands on, in order to get your foot in the door.



It's also hard to rewire everything. It's not like, "do this" and you suddenly turn the switch on. For example, you can tell a karate guy to kick the internal way step by step, and he'll have a hard time doing it because he's too used to kick in a certain way. He would have to go home and think, retool, and practice at a boring slow rate to get it.

Also, it takes a lot of thinking and pondering--at least for me-- to do this stuff. You can't just go and mindlessly pound some bags. You have to think about how to do it, set up the 'intention', make sure not to do certain things, etc. etc.

This can take a few years (not many years) to rewire everything depending on the student and coach. But that could be too long for a lot of people who are already good at fighting or need to learn how to fight in a short amount of time.

HL1978
12-16-2009, 10:04 AM
As far as I'm aware, I lack zero knowledge in IT, but I'll venture to say that the U.S. (and any other) military spends the majority of their time training to dispatch an enemy from as far away as possible. Which, in an era where a sniper can hit a target one half a mile away, makes perfect sense to me. No one is suggesting IT can stop bullets are they? If they are then.....I call B.S.

I would say that Rob's discussion above is probably the reason why, but the benefits of the training would be useful, namely carrying larger loads with less fatigue, increased postural stability should allow for more accuracy (anyone who has seen the surprising results of Akuzawa shooting with minimal experience can attest to that).

Kevin Leavitt
12-16-2009, 10:06 AM
dAlen,

Your questions are all very good ones...questions that I have asked over the years that the very same people on this thread are responding too. Some have been answered, some have not, but for the most part I have gotten answers, or have formed my own opinions which we have talked about of course.

Specifically, why isn't the U.S military using it?

I can probably answer that as well as an anyone given my involvement in the Army's Combatives Program and access to the various SMEs we have.

This is an broad and over arching question, and I will attempt to answer it as best I can...as it can be a tricky area to answer directly.

FIrst and foremost, the MIlitary focuses in on what I would call "Good enough" efficiency. that is, we are not trying to be the best martial artist in the world, but to gain skills that are "good enough" to get the job done.

Clearning a room and jacking a guy into a wall in CQB or taking him down...on a realitive scale of skill needed...IT skills don't matter too much really as a specific training methodology.

I simply need learn a few things, achieve suprise, speed, stealth, coupled witth some decent grappling/body skills and I am good to go.

I don't even need to be good a BJJ, I simply a narrow range of skills to be "good enough".

Second, your question assumes that parts of these skills are not already inherent or used in the human body...anyone's human body. Come on, we all have fascia, it all works and supports us...again though...how good does it have to work in order to be "effective"....so to me it becomes a question of skill or realitive value.

I have found much of this training to be helpful to me personally, so the fact that we don't use it in the military does not negate it's value, I think it only puts perspective on the realitive value of actual utility for the military at large...which is an instituion...thus instituional rules/norms/mechanics will apply.

Third point on the whole MMA logic...yea this is kinda a rub with me.

Maybe Dan can clear up a few things that have popped up the last couple of days.

Dan, you mention abandoning your current training is necessary to get gains.

I believe in past conversations that you have also said that MMA guys are using this in their training, which implies and additive practice and can be done as such.

OR, are the MMA guys, which I assume are bonafide competitive fighters with records training in a completely different methodology than say what Pat Militech or any other decent MMA camp is doing.

I would certainly understand if they were gettting a competitive advantage that they'd want to keep it top secret, heck I would....but I think though that since you are training MMA guys and have made that fact public that you could discuss it in general terms.

I don't care about youtube proof etc...just want to understand your perspective on this a little more as I probably have it jacked up some.

JangChoe
12-16-2009, 10:24 AM
I would say that Rob's discussion above is probably the reason why, but the benefits of the training would be useful, namely carrying larger loads with less fatigue, increased postural stability should allow for more accuracy (anyone who has seen the surprising results of Akuzawa shooting with minimal experience can attest to that).

Or hit a golf ball. lol.

Stormcrow34
12-16-2009, 10:49 AM
I would say that Rob's discussion above is probably the reason why, but the benefits of the training would be useful, namely carrying larger loads with less fatigue, increased postural stability should allow for more accuracy (anyone who has seen the surprising results of Akuzawa shooting with minimal experience can attest to that).

I understand what you're saying and I agree that all of those attributes would be beneficial to anyone who has the time to put into IT. Heck, I'd like to learn just so mowing my lawn wouldn't be such a pain!

But in reference to the military; from what I gather it takes up alot of time to even establish a solid baseline foundation, much less get really good at this IT. Time which is spent on doing more important things like functioning under pressure, etc.

And on top of all that, how many people re-enlist after their first enlistment which averages about four years? Not too many in my experience.

Kevin Leavitt
12-16-2009, 11:07 AM
to add to what Hunter and Rob say, I personally see value in IT training for alot of reasons to a degree.

We do alot of stupid stuff in the Army. It is why I have a jacked up back, have seen knee injuries and alot of other problems.

There is much utility in learning to do things "right" from a load bearing, balanced posture and still being able to bring something to a fight..so yeah it applies.

But alas, when you are faced with an institution and you are working in a constrained time environment, you have to make choices about how you spend that time.

Don't be so quick to assume that close fight skills are not relevant, they are VERY relevant. The Cold War, fight from a distance model of engagement is no longer applicable and we are engaging people at arms length mostly. Hopefully shaking hands and smiling, but not always.

It is why we have a very robust Combative program today in the Army.

Of course, when you look at the spectrum of use of force, you are not going to choose to use Grappling if you can use another weapon, but that is not always a choice for various reasons.

JW
12-16-2009, 11:13 AM
I've read Dan say that he has trained MMA fighters WITHOUT going the internal route, for similar reasons discussed as in the military argument (well-laid to rest here I think-- just takes too long and too much teaching effort to get to a level of effectiveness that external ways are really quick at).
So although I also really, really want to see Dan or Akuzawa or any of their students on TV fighting... I have yet to hear that there is any move in that direction. Is there, guys??

But Dalen, your post was still grouping yoga, ballet, and IT in the same boat, and Kevin touched on this-- just because it uses tissue and organs that we all have does not mean it a similar approach. It uses the tissues in a modified way. It uses tissues to do things in IT that they are NOT doing in ballet for instance. Ballet may be really good at getting your body optimized and skilled, but it is the other body, the "regular" body, that it is training. I think you will agree that is a worthy and difficult, and rewarding pusuit. But it is not related. As I understand it.

Josh Lerner
12-16-2009, 12:53 PM
Thought I would post something as someone who has gone from doing "internal" arts (aikido, taijiquan) for decades to doing MMA. It may not have been the smartest decision in terms of injuries, considering I'm starting a competitive combative sport at the age of 40, and since joining an MMA gym I am now always nursing at least some minor problem somewhere, but I'm having more fun than I have in many years.

My experience is probably very similar to everyone else's who has shifted their training after a long-term investment in various arts, though in a sense the opposite of Dan's, since he started as a fighter and I started as a martial "artist" who was preoccupied with internal training. I've never been in a real fight in my life, and haven't done any sparring aside from some limited sparring in my old aikido dojo back in the 80's, so the ego-battering and failure that I'm dealing with now have more to do with just learning to deal with resistive opponents who don't really care what kind of training I've had in the past or what subtle skills I can demonstrate on them in a very restricted setting. It's made me appreciate how delicate of a balance is required for kata- or waza-based training: it's great for learning motor skills and for some aspects of ma-ai and timing, but it's way too easy to start assuming that the power you feel (during what is essentially a role-playing excercise) is real.

I have spent the last three years practicing the basic Aunkai excercises fairly intensively, which helped to prepare my body to withstand the demands of grappling and kickboxing to a pretty significant degree, but I'm finding that the power I can generate is actually not much of an issue yet, in the sense that I don't get much of an opportunity to test it out. I've been more preoccupied with dealing with all the other technical, perceptual and psychological variables that I'm not used to, so it feels like it's going to be a little while longer until I start being able to effectively integrate IS with MMA. Plus, I'm actually really enjoying the technical side of boxing, muay thai and grappling, so it's been fun to put aside everything I would normally do and learn something that is so different from what I'm used to. It's one thing to say that the technical stuff is meaningless if you have IS, but I've noticed that the guys who say that generally have years and years of technical or fighting experience already, so it's all become completely internalized. For now, it really feels like the technical side is a missing piece that I need to spend a few years on, just as I've spent the last few years rewiring things with shiko, tenchijin, etc. I'm not too worried about having to re-rewire things later; I've done it so many times in the last fifteen years I just expect it now. So at least I don't have any anxiety about having to relearn things.

But it feels like a natural progression, and I can feel how things will start to coalesce once I'm more comfortable in this new setting. It's started happening a little bit, enough for me to recognize the truth of Rob's 80% rule above, though maintaining 20% is a little generous in my case when the severe fatigue sets in. Granted, I'm going pretty slowly at the MMA gym, getting my feet wet bit by bit to avoid injuries that are any more severe than strained muscles, so that's a variable in how quickly the IS will come into play. But looking at things long-term, I'm perfectly happy to start off slower, for a number of reasons.

HL1978
12-16-2009, 02:32 PM
Or hit a golf ball. lol.

Too bad the balls aren't a neon colour, its kind of hard to see how far they went from the videos!