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ChrisHein
04-05-2010, 07:27 PM
So a few of us got to talking about what we call "Aiki" on another thread: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17873

And it came up that maybe we should post videos showing how we define "Aiki". So I agreed to make a video of my definition of "Aiki" :

http://www.aikidostudent.com/content/?p=736

I also made some videos of what I think some people call "Aiki" (which may very well be Aiki) but I call by different names.

Alignment and Structure:

http://www.aikidostudent.com/content/?p=739

Mental Suggestion via a jo trick:

http://www.aikidostudent.com/content/?p=742

Hopefully this will give a place for those who are trying to push their ideas about "Aiki" to post some videos, to help clear up what it is that they are talking about.

Mike Sigman
04-05-2010, 08:15 PM
So a few of us got to talking about what we call "Aiki" on another thread: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17873

And it came up that maybe we should post videos showing how we define "Aiki". So I agreed to make a video of my definition of "Aiki" :

http://www.aikidostudent.com/content/?p=736

I also made some videos of what I think some people call "Aiki" (which may very well be Aiki) but I call by different names.

Alignment and Structure:

http://www.aikidostudent.com/content/?p=739

Mental Suggestion via a jo trick:

http://www.aikidostudent.com/content/?p=742

Hopefully this will give a place for those who are trying to push their ideas about "Aiki" to post some videos, to help clear up what it is that they are talking about.Hi Chris:

Well, thanks for taking the time to make the videos; I hope the discussion becomes fruitful.

Your first video has a lot to do with timing and I think timing is critical in most encounters, whether they are "aiki" or not. So while I agree that there is "timing" in aiki, I don't think it is particularly defining of Aiki.

Besides, we have something like this from Ueshiba: " I asked someone at my side who this person was. It was explained to me that he was the famous Tenryu who had withdrawn from the Sumo Wrestler's Association. I was then introduced to him. Finally, we ended up pitting our strength against each other. I sat down and said to Tenryu, "Please try to push me over. Push hard, there's no need to hold back." Since I knew the secret of Aikido, I could not be moved an inch. "

Obviously just standing still to Tenryu's push is does not really have a lot to do with "timing", so accepting that there is timing in most good techniques of any martial style, it looks like your ideas about "structure" are perhaps closer to the point the Ueshiba was talking about.

However, while I think you're going in the right direction, I don't think you've gone far enough. Your comments on structure and spine, etc., are a start, but they don't encompass a next-step like this one:

http://www.neijia.com/OneLegPushOriginal.jpg

In the above picture the comments about spine, etc., begin to go by the wayside because there's more going on than just 'structure'. Further down the road, it gets even more complicated because 'structure' (as you're speaking of it) only plays a minor role and the mental menipulation of force vectors becomes the dominant factor (the Divine Will, as O-Sensei put it) and mental manipulation of those forces so that they combine with forces from an opponent become more of a focus. Don't get me wrong... I'm not saying that some of the things you mention never come into play, I'm just saying that at a more sophisticated level things are, well, more sophisticated. ;)

Best.

Mike Sigman

ChrisHein
04-05-2010, 10:47 PM
Sweet Mike. Let's see some video's of the more sophisticated stuff! Stories and pictures are great, but as you brought up in the last thread, videos of people doing these things would really help.

Mike Sigman
04-06-2010, 08:22 AM
Let's let some Aikido people do most of the talking, Chris. I might join in later, but I don't want this to become another 'outsider' discussion. I know of a number of Aikido people who can demonstrate what I was talking about and I think it's better if stay out of the way for the moment.

Best.

Mike Sigman

Patrick Hutchinson
04-06-2010, 10:25 AM
Hi Chris (if I may)

thanks for posting the vids.
In the second video (Alignment and structure) what would happen if, in the first example, your uke suddenly removed the pushing force? Would you react the same way your uke did when you turned? I would guess not, but I think if that's true, it would be a point worth emphasizing. Hard to tell from video.

All the best,
Patrick

ChrisHein
04-06-2010, 10:57 AM
Hello Patrick,
(and you can call me Chris, thanks for asking)
If I would have thought about it I would have asked him to suddenly let go. We do that in our alignment training sometimes to make sure the pushie isn't just pushing.

If he would have suddenly let go I would have stayed put. I'm not pushing into him, he is pushing against me. Like pushing against a tree, if you suddenly let go, the tree doesn't topple over.

Mike, I know what you mean. I wish some Aikido/Aiki-related people would post as well.

chillzATL
04-06-2010, 01:07 PM
So a few of us got to talking about what we call "Aiki" on another thread: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17873

And it came up that maybe we should post videos showing how we define "Aiki". So I agreed to make a video of my definition of "Aiki" :

http://www.aikidostudent.com/content/?p=736

I also made some videos of what I think some people call "Aiki" (which may very well be Aiki) but I call by different names.

Alignment and Structure:

http://www.aikidostudent.com/content/?p=739

Mental Suggestion via a jo trick:

http://www.aikidostudent.com/content/?p=742

Hopefully this will give a place for those who are trying to push their ideas about "Aiki" to post some videos, to help clear up what it is that they are talking about.

I agree with Mike about your first video. That's just timing and over-commitment by your uke. The notion of that being aiki falls apart when you have someone attack who can deliver power without committing themselves to "sitting in your chair". I don't think any of the people who are widely recognized as having aiki (Ueshiba, Takeda, Sagawa, etc). ever needed anyone to commit to giving them anything in order for them to feel their Aiki.

Your second video is getting somewhere, IMO. What you're doing there is not difficult for anyone to replicate. The questions are:

1. how much muscle are you using to maintain that structure?

2. how long can you maintain that against a hard push before even more muscles jump in to assist and likewise begin to fail?

3. Can you do that with a push from any direction?

4. Can you manifest that structure in an instant, from any direction?

5. Can you move while maintaining that structure against active resistance?

all while being relaxed, without relying on muscle to do things for you.

while there are a lot more things at work in Aiki than just skeletal structure, I think that if you take your example and add the five things above, you get closer to what aiki is and from that you can form a solid understanding of what it can do. I'm sure other people could add more things to it as well.

I didn't comment on your third video as I don't see it having any relevance to the discussion.

MM
04-06-2010, 02:11 PM
Thanks for the vids, Chris. No promises, but I'll see if I can film something myself.

I agree with Mike about your first video. That's just timing and over-commitment by your uke.


Yeah, not what I'd define as aiki at all. As I noted in the other thread, my definition and implementation of aiki is completely different than yours, Chris.


Your second video is getting somewhere, IMO. What you're doing there is not difficult for anyone to replicate. The questions are:


I'd agree here, too. Although I thought Chris looked pretty good while being pushed on the outstretched arm. I didn't have the same question as Patrick because I thought you looked fairly structured and you didn't look like you were pushing back. But, as Patrick noted, it's hard to tell with video. I thought Jason's follow up questions were pretty good. I'd call these things structure, but for the rest of your examples in this vid, I wouldn't. They were more "tricks" as you called them.

Here's my followup questions for the second vid.

On the push test where you are sitting, it looks like the vector that Mike is pushing is fairly straight down your spine. Can you have Mike push in a more 90 degree vector to your head (i.e. more horizontal force) and still remain unmoved? Also, can you straighten your back so that your spine is 90 degrees to the mat and do this?

When you have Mike push on your shoulders, you use your hands under his arms to create a physical leverage. And yes, I'd call it a trick, too. :) So, can you remove your arms completely, let Mike push, and not be pushed over?

As Sigman noted with the graphic, in Tohei's one foot push test, he doesn't use the "trick" of placing a hand under uke's arm. Can you stand on one foot, have Mike push you without resorting to placing your arm under his, and not be pushed over?

If you can do these things, then that's what I'd call having a structured body. Still not aiki, but it's a start. :)


while there are a lot more things at work in Aiki than just skeletal structure, I think that if you take your example and add the five things above, you get closer to what aiki is and from that you can form a solid understanding of what it can do. I'm sure other people could add more things to it as well.

I didn't comment on your third video as I don't see it having any relevance to the discussion.

agree.

ChrisHein
04-06-2010, 07:14 PM
Hmm, This is the kind of stuff I thought you guys were talking about. I personally think it's less interesting then what I described in the first video. But to each his own.

As for the first video, it is a gross example of what I would call "Aiki". It does require commitment on the part of the attacker, but not over commitment. It is by far the most powerful single tool I've personally seen in the martial arts. Its implications are much farther reaching then anyone yet seems to have touched on. Mastering the ability to use this one concept eliminates the need for all other technique.

Jason,

1. I'm using as much muscle is required to align my body.
2. I can maintain that posture until the pusher falls onto the ground in a heap of sweat. Staying relaxed myself. It is effortless.
3. I can do that from most directions, but I must align myself. There is no magic holding me up, only the alignment of my bones.
4. I can manifest structure as quickly as need be, it's not a matter of speed.
5. Depends on who I'm dealing with. People who are as good as me are harder to deal with then people who are not as good as me.

All of the things I showed "require muscle" without muscle the human body cannot move. However I can align so that holding the position becomes effortless. That doesn't mean no muscle, it just means that it is very easy for me to do.

Mark,
While sitting I must align my structure to the push. Ueshiba did as well, if you watch his videos, it looks much the same.

I cannot stand on one foot without joining structures with the pusher. Nor can I stay at 90 degrees. No one can, without using what I showed in video 3 (mental suggestion).

If anyone can do this, please post videos! I've heard of these things, but when it comes to showing them, strange enough no one can.

If you can't understand the importance of video 3 (mental suggestion) then you are probably very susceptible to it.

Lets see some videos!!

Mike Sigman
04-06-2010, 07:28 PM
I cannot stand on one foot without joining structures with the pusher. Nor can I stay at 90 degrees. No one can, without using what I showed in video 3 (mental suggestion).

If anyone can do this, please post videos! I've heard of these things, but when it comes to showing them, strange enough no one can.
Hmmmmm.... well, I tend to show how to do this at most first workshops, Chris. I don't use that example, since it's just a beginning workshop, but what I tend to do is have a partner push on the person's chest with one hand and the "nage" stands first with one foot forward and then shifts into two feet parallel. I.e., it's a reasonable approximation for a first-time attempt; the principles are the same. Maybe someone can make a video of it and show it.

I've explained this type of demonstration a couple of times on this very web-forum, IIRC. And realistically, once someone understands how to do these things, "aiki" isn't too far away. Well, understanding isn't too far away; expertise comes with practice, as in most things.

All I'm saying is that "no one can" may be a bit of exaggeration. It's all in knowing how. One of the things I've suggested numerous times is that people estimate the size and direction of the incoming force (in that Tohei-related photograph) and back figure the necessary force vector that is required to put the two people into stasis... and the how-to becomes obvious.

Best.

Mike Sigman

ChrisHein
04-06-2010, 07:45 PM
Sweet Mike, lets see some video.

MM
04-06-2010, 09:04 PM
In the Push Test 02 video, we are working on structure. And no, I can't withstand a full force push to the chest yet. We start slow and work from there. The push coming in to my chest is almost a 90 degree push and I'm in a natural stance.

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

In the Push Test 03 video, we're working on structure and non dedicated weight. It's a good test to see if your structure is working properly. You should always have mobility, even when under some force or load.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kd6lSElsS8s

Mike Sigman
04-06-2010, 09:27 PM
In the Push Test 02 video, we are working on structure. And no, I can't withstand a full force push to the chest yet. We start slow and work from there. The push coming in to my chest is almost a 90 degree push and I'm in a natural stance.

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

In the Push Test 03 video, we're working on structure and non dedicated weight. It's a good test to see if your structure is working properly. You should always have mobility, even when under some force or load.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kd6lSElsS8sHi Mark:

In the first video I can't really judge how well you're doing (assuming a reasonable and legitimate push from your uke) because I can't see your feet. It appears that you have a slight lean, though. However, all of that being said, words like "relax the chest", "six directions", and so on, don't really tell anyone how or why you can resist a push to the chest.

Suppose that you were on rollerskates... could you resist the push? I don't think so, so (assuming I'm correct), there's a lot more to the story than just "relax the chest", etc. What do you think the rest of the story is?

In the second video, which is truncated, you appear (to my eyes) to be duplicating what Chris Hein showed, at first. When you turn to the chest push, my feeling is that the push from uke changes, although of course I could be wrong. But the same question arises. How does it work? There is an incoming force of a certain force magnitude and direction and if you don't move then the force magnitude and direction must be met by a counter-acting force and direction, right? If you don't agree, please tell me. If you do agree, then the question becomes one of "how do you generate the counteracting force?".

Again, as I said a few years ago, all you need to do is figure out what it takes to counteract the incoming force and meet it with an equal and opposite force (Newton's third law) in order to put the system into equilibrium. How do you generate these stasis forces? With intent. How do you do it the next step up, in dynamic rather than static situations? With intent and practice and using the hara to manipulate the forces within a trained/conditioned body.

Static forces are easy. ;) I.e., "aiki" is more complex than simple demonstrations in reasonably static situations.... *and* there are levels of ways to manipulate the dynamic forces.

Best.

Mike

ChrisHein
04-06-2010, 10:10 PM
Hey Mark,
Thanks for the videos, now we are starting something.

In the first video, if that is what you mean by staying 90 degrees in that situation, I stand corrected. You can receive some force in this manner. When you asked the first time, I thought you meant a full force push (as I showed in my second video). To a degree, everyone can resist some force this way, but the amount is minor.

This brings me to my next point about what you call "Aiki" (if these are examples of what you call "Aiki"). There is a major limit to what it can do with it. Even if this limit seems better then normal, it is still very limited. For example, with my push (second video) I can do that with a normal person, I've even done it with two people pushing as hard as they can, but there is a limit. For example if a Bull were trying to push me like that, he would just run me over, his structure is stronger then mine.

However looking at "Aiki" the way I do has no limit. You can use what I call "Aiki" on a bull easily, in fact people do it in Spain all the time.

My point here is, how much force must one be able to receive to be considered to have good "Aiki"? What is the point of being able to receive all this force? Isn't lifting weights something that could compare to this, in terms of force taking ability? Besides being an interesting novelty with some application, what good is this kind of practice, why develop a whole martial art system around it?

Mike Sigman
04-06-2010, 10:20 PM
In the first video, if that is what you mean by staying 90 degrees in that situation, I stand corrected. You can receive some force in this manner. When you asked the first time, I thought you meant a full force push (as I showed in my second video). To a degree, everyone can resist some force this way, but the amount is minor.Hi Chris:

Wouldn't that also depend upon, say, what Mark knows versus what you know, debatably? If someone knows how to manipulate forces, he can train to withstand a lot more force than you'd think, in a static situation, although no one can withstand the onslaught of a runaway 1955 Chevrolate pickup truck, I agree.

The point is that if you know how to do this trick, *and* you can do it in static and dynamic situations at will, you can manipulate an incoming force and not only negate that force by 'grounding' it but also can train to manipulate the attacking force so that the attacker's force works against him and helps to throw him. If you understand what I just said, then you can begin to understand what Inaba Sensei, Ueshiba, Tohei, Shioda, and others were talking about when they were discussing the importance of "aiki".

Best.

Mike Sigman

ChrisHein
04-06-2010, 11:04 PM
you can manipulate an incoming force and not only negate that force by 'grounding' it but also can train to manipulate the attacking force so that the attacker's force works against him and helps to throw him. If you understand what I just said, then you can begin to understand what Inaba Sensei, Ueshiba, Tohei, Shioda, and others were talking about when they were discussing the importance of "aiki".


You can also do this with what I would call "Aiki". But you can do it without making contact, and with a 55' Chevy.

rroeserr
04-07-2010, 02:40 AM
Besides being an interesting novelty with some application, what good is this kind of practice, why develop a whole martial art system around it?

So you can do cool stuff like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIc5NIfrnJs&feature=related

MM
04-07-2010, 06:03 AM
Hi Mark:

In the first video I can't really judge how well you're doing (assuming a reasonable and legitimate push from your uke) because I can't see your feet. It appears that you have a slight lean, though. However, all of that being said, words like "relax the chest", "six directions", and so on, don't really tell anyone how or why you can resist a push to the chest.

Suppose that you were on rollerskates... could you resist the push? I don't think so, so (assuming I'm correct), there's a lot more to the story than just "relax the chest", etc. What do you think the rest of the story is?


Hi Mike,
I think the rest of the story is ... practice. :) This vid was done about a year ago and yeah, I leaned. The force coming in was decent but not what I'd consider strong. Hard to tell with video.


In the second video, which is truncated, you appear (to my eyes) to be duplicating what Chris Hein showed, at first. When you turn to the chest push, my feeling is that the push from uke changes, although of course I could be wrong. But the same question arises. How does it work? There is an incoming force of a certain force magnitude and direction and if you don't move then the force magnitude and direction must be met by a counter-acting force and direction, right? If you don't agree, please tell me. If you do agree, then the question becomes one of "how do you generate the counteracting force?".

Again, as I said a few years ago, all you need to do is figure out what it takes to counteract the incoming force and meet it with an equal and opposite force (Newton's third law) in order to put the system into equilibrium. How do you generate these stasis forces? With intent. How do you do it the next step up, in dynamic rather than static situations? With intent and practice and using the hara to manipulate the forces within a trained/conditioned body.

Static forces are easy. ;) I.e., "aiki" is more complex than simple demonstrations in reasonably static situations.... *and* there are levels of ways to manipulate the dynamic forces.

Best.

Mike

I generally don't think about counteracting forces. Yes, they have to be there, but I have a hard enough time keeping intent and structure going let alone trying to figure out how physics is working in my body. :) That's a headache for sure.

But, I definitely agree on your last paragraph.

MM
04-07-2010, 06:38 AM
Hey Mark,
Thanks for the videos, now we are starting something.

In the first video, if that is what you mean by staying 90 degrees in that situation, I stand corrected. You can receive some force in this manner. When you asked the first time, I thought you meant a full force push (as I showed in my second video). To a degree, everyone can resist some force this way, but the amount is minor.


So, now that we have an agreement that it can be done, we can turn to talking about the level that it can be done. :)

So, if I can start to do this, then think about what someone who has been training for 10 years can do. For 20. The possibility is that someone *can* withstand a full force push to the chest at a 90 degree angle.


This brings me to my next point about what you call "Aiki" (if these are examples of what you call "Aiki").


Oh, sorry, should have clarified more. These are examples of structure, not really aiki. But, I wanted to get a base established because without good structure, there can be no aiki.


There is a major limit to what it can do with it. Even if this limit seems better then normal, it is still very limited. For example, with my push (second video) I can do that with a normal person, I've even done it with two people pushing as hard as they can, but there is a limit. For example if a Bull were trying to push me like that, he would just run me over, his structure is stronger then mine.


There are limits to most everything. :) But, I keep expanding my limits with training in aiki and I see other people doing the same. I also see what can be done when someone has 10-20 years of this kind of training. And their limitations are far less than mine and it isn't what I'd call "very limited". Keep in mind that I'm just a beginner at this stuff.


However looking at "Aiki" the way I do has no limit. You can use what I call "Aiki" on a bull easily, in fact people do it in Spain all the time.


But that isn't the aiki that Ueshiba had. That's the "aiki" that was invented by modern students. Well, perhaps not "invented". Jujutsu always had principles of timing, body placement, etc.


My point here is, how much force must one be able to receive to be considered to have good "Aiki"? What is the point of being able to receive all this force?


Take the video where I'm practicing a push to the chest. When I can push on someone like that with full force and not be able to move them, then I consider that very good structure. Especially, since the person isn't cemented to the ground but very, very mobile with non-dedicated weight.

What is the point? Well, if you can withstand a full force push to the chest and then have that ability in a dynamic manner, why would anyone's unarmed attack have much affect on you? In armed, when a sword contacts your sword, how will the attacker move your sword? Remember, the attacker can't physically move you, how do they accomplish that from the tip of a sword?

Then add in aiki. Which we haven't even started talking about. :)


Isn't lifting weights something that could compare to this, in terms of force taking ability? Besides being an interesting novelty with some application, what good is this kind of practice, why develop a whole martial art system around it?

Actually, if you do think about the *process* of lifting weights, I guess it's comparable. When lifting weights, one trains to lift heavier and heavier weights. In structure, one trains to receive more and more force/energy.

Well, so far, we've gotten to talking about structure and its uses. And you've had good questions about what it can be used for. If there are questions about the martial validity of basic structure, then we should make sure we go over them. Structure is part of aiki, IMO, but not nearly the whole thing.

Er, how about a really bad example? Let's say aiki is a custom built, very powerful, high horsepower engine. Let's say you want to use that engine in a car. So, you have a car frame made of plastic. Would it do any good to put that engine on that frame? How about a normal steel frame from a basic car? Now, what if you take that normal frame and add more structural stability to it so that it can handle the torque and stress of that engine? You rebuild the structural integrity of that frame to handle more power and stress?

So, basically if your world consists of plastic frames, you're in a silly world. :) Seriously, though, if you're in a world of normal frames, then you twist and collapse under torque, pressure, and stress. And it'd be hard to grasp the concept that you could withstand much greater amounts, especially when most of the rest of the world is normal frame vehicles.

But, if you rebuild your structure for that kind of environment, then you can withstand and generate a lot more. You have a few McClaren F-1s among hundreds of millions of normal cars. It's only when a normal car actually experiences the interaction with a McClaren that the normal car realizes there is more to the functionality of a car.

Or the short answer is Jonathan Livingston Seagull. :)

MM
04-07-2010, 06:55 AM
Forewarning: This vid looks fake and somewhat silly. When you get into the realm of aiki, things look fake and silly on video. This vid shows a good reason why videos on aiki aren't really useful. It's all internal. :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ck7s_lPTM7s

So, the explanation as I put on Youtube.

In this video, I'm using intent to internally turn my spine. From my internal intent and connection to uke through the wrist grab, uke feels the effects and is displaced either left or right, depending on if I'm turning clockwise or counterclockwise. I try not to move physically as this is an intent driven exercise.

Once you start building structure, it starts to remove slack in the body. Slack you never knew you had. It integrates the body into a whole. For example, shoulder joints are notorious for being disconnected. Structure training corrects this (or should if you do it right and quit trying to use your chest muscles to drive movement -- sorry, personal experience). Current theory is that this training involves fascia. I'm no physio PhD, so I'll leave all the theories to other people. The Chinese call some of this training tendon changing or marrow changing or both. Dunno. It's just training to make the body work differently and to be able to receive and generate more force/energy.

Now, once you start building this structure, you start using "intent". I like the Ki Society unbendable arm example here. You're told to imagine your arm is a firehose and water is flowing out the hose. You are using intent, or imagination, to get your body to do something specific. If you tense your biceps while doing this exercise, things fail.

NOTE: You can view this Ki Society example of intent as being the very tip of one snowflake sitting on top of the very tip of a large iceberg. That's how deep and huge aiki is, IMO.

In this video, I'm using another intent exercise. This time, I have a semi decent push coming in from uke. Not full force but not light. Enough to get me to have correct structure but not to cause me to fail and be pushed over. (Video doesn't show levels of force or how that force is generated.) I'm then using intent to turn my spine either clockwise or counterclockwise while physically remaining in place. I'm not thinking about uke or trying to get uke to move. It's all internally driven around me.

Intent isn't aiki. It's like structure, another component of aiki.

Mike Sigman
04-07-2010, 08:08 AM
You can also do this with what I would call "Aiki". But you can do it without making contact, and with a 55' Chevy.Well, I agree that you're calling something "aiki" that I wouldn't call "aiki". Actually, I would just say jin manipulation for what I do; sometimes it's jin manipulation that does a vector-add with an incoming force and then I might call it "ai ki" (harmonizing with an incoming force). My experience with a number of Asians over a lot of years is that I'm using a pretty standard view of how these forces work, in terms of internal strength. Your view is that dynamic technique and attendant timing is what "aiki" is, yet I offered you the scenario of Ueshiba engaging with Tenryu in a situation where timing had nothing to do with it. So, we disagree. ;)

Best.

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
04-07-2010, 08:11 AM
In this video, I'm using intent to internally turn my spine. From my internal intent and connection to uke through the wrist grab, uke feels the effects and is displaced either left or right, depending on if I'm turning clockwise or counterclockwise. I try not to move physically as this is an intent driven exercise.Hi Mark:

Why "turn the spine"? Back in the old days and in all the old lore, everyone just turned their dantien/hara. Has that gone out of fashion, then? ;)

Best.

Mike

MM
04-07-2010, 08:30 AM
Hi Mark:

Why "turn the spine"? Back in the old days and in all the old lore, everyone just turned their dantien/hara. Has that gone out of fashion, then? ;)

Best.

Mike

Just an exercise. Everything I do is an exercise. So much to rewire/remold/rebuild, so little time. :)

Mike Sigman
04-07-2010, 08:37 AM
Think about this one, Mark:

"External martial arts use strengthen the bones, the muscles, the tendons; internal martial arts use the qi".

You don't move the qi with the spine. ;)

FWIW

Mike

gregstec
04-07-2010, 08:43 AM
Er, how about a really bad example? Let's say aiki is a custom built, very powerful, high horsepower engine. Let's say you want to use that engine in a car. So, you have a car frame made of plastic. Would it do any good to put that engine on that frame? How about a normal steel frame from a basic car? Now, what if you take that normal frame and add more structural stability to it so that it can handle the torque and stress of that engine? You rebuild the structural integrity of that frame to handle more power and stress?

So, basically if your world consists of plastic frames, you're in a silly world. :) Seriously, though, if you're in a world of normal frames, then you twist and collapse under torque, pressure, and stress. And it'd be hard to grasp the concept that you could withstand much greater amounts, especially when most of the rest of the world is normal frame vehicles.

But, if you rebuild your structure for that kind of environment, then you can withstand and generate a lot more. You have a few McClaren F-1s among hundreds of millions of normal cars. It's only when a normal car actually experiences the interaction with a McClaren that the normal car realizes there is more to the functionality of a car.

Or the short answer is Jonathan Livingston Seagull. :)

Oh, I don't think it is such a bad analogy. I think it shows a good relationship between the physical structure and the internal energy that can be generated and controlled by the aiki 'engine'

Greg

gregstec
04-07-2010, 08:55 AM
Hi Mark:

Why "turn the spine"? Back in the old days and in all the old lore, everyone just turned their dantien/hara. Has that gone out of fashion, then? ;)

Best.

Mike

I'll do you guys one better - I don't move the spine nor the hara - I just use the old Ki Society extend ki out into uke to effect their movement - now if my ki is moving my spine, hara, or fascia, so be it, but it is the ki that is moving first :)

Greg

mickeygelum
04-07-2010, 09:03 AM
So you can do cool stuff like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIc5N...eature=related

Yeppers...can you?

I think most of us need to concentrate on training..not discussion.

Some of you esteemed gentlemen spend more time at the keyboard than training. You would develop more ability and understanding with more experience.

Train well,

Mickey

thisisnotreal
04-07-2010, 09:22 AM
Why "turn the spine"?
..a way to coax the windings directly?

Budd
04-07-2010, 09:32 AM
Well, in addition to posting here, quite a few of us have gotten together and trained in person, Mickey. I'm talking offline with some folks about the possibilities of a meetup in Ohio this summer. So there might be an opportunity for peeps to get some hands-on time then.

chillzATL
04-07-2010, 09:33 AM
Yeppers...can you?

I think most of us need to concentrate on training..not discussion.

Some of you esteemed gentlemen spend more time at the keyboard than training. You would develop more ability and understanding with more experience.

Train well,

Mickey

he was making a statement, not asking a question...

Budd
04-07-2010, 09:42 AM
I'll do you guys one better - I don't move the spine nor the hara - I just use the old Ki Society extend ki out into uke to effect their movement - now if my ki is moving my spine, hara, or fascia, so be it, but it is the ki that is moving first :)

Greg

And how are you extending ki, Greg? From the peeps I've talked to from Ki Society, there's been some varying definitions of exactly how that works . . . let alone how it then gets expressed.

ChrisHein
04-07-2010, 11:17 AM
Hey Mark,
I like your plastic frame analogy. Explains why Ueshiba said that you must have kokyu before you can have "Aiki".

So we are also agreed then that structure and alignment are not "Aiki"? Perhaps a prerequisite, but not "Aiki".

I say "Aiki" has to do with understanding your opponents rhythms, putting yourself in sink with that, and using them against him. You say "Aiki" is What?

I can explain a "no touch" throw with my explanation of "Aiki" how would you explain it with yours?

Your latest video, we do a very similar exercise. I use it to develop sensitivity. I would explain what you are doing with Automatism and Sympathetic response. It comes from within but requires a sympathetic partner, not something you're likely to find in a martial situation.

I would like to hear more from the Ki society people (and all off shoots there of), and how they define "Aiki". And some videos!!

Adman
04-07-2010, 11:48 AM
I would like to hear more from the Ki society people (and all off shoots there of), and how they define "Aiki". And some videos!!

Coming from Ki Society, I can only remember one time (my memory being what it is) where someone (a visiting instructor) ventured a description on "Aiki". He said something to the effect that, "aiki is sneaky". At the time, what he showed paid less attention to timing as it did with what (I thought) he had going on within himself, and what happened to uke as a result of that. In place of what many people here refer to aiki, in Ki Society, you'll typically hear, "mind and body coordination". How many people actually have it or knows what it means is something else entirely. I realize I'm only just now scratching the surface.

Thanks,
Adam

Alfonso
04-07-2010, 12:10 PM
Mark, I think what you call "having an aiki body" would make more sense as "having a body capable of aiki". This underscores that its not *just* a trick , but that it requires conditioning work.

I'm familiar with how Chris is describing "Aiki" .. and fwiw i think he's describing something more in the realm of "Kiai" as described by Ellis Amdur, and conceptually you can argue the semantics of the word and the claim to the term , but its just doesn't match up to the skill described by Mike, which he just once again explained quite clearly..

Strategy wise, anything that's unexpected (disrupting to the OODA loop if you want) can be either sneaky or overwhelming, that's probably not the best feature to distinguish "aiki" from "aiki"

gregstec
04-07-2010, 12:55 PM
And how are you extending ki, Greg? From the peeps I've talked to from Ki Society, there's been some varying definitions of exactly how that works . . . let alone how it then gets expressed.

Well, that certainly is the million dollar question, isn't it - and any answer could very easily lead into the start of another Ki war:)

Being a private type of person, I normally don't put too much personal stuff out on the open web, but maybe its time I shared some of this for what its worth. First, let me just state that my Ki society training and experience is all from the early days of the Ki society when I was stationed in Guam with the Navy during the mid 70s. Training was conducted by Kalama Sensei (chief instructor of the Marianas Aiki Kwai) and Korestoshi Maruyama (chief instructor of the Ki Society at that time) who made extended visits to the island to teach. I have not trained with any current members of the Ki Society, nor with any members of the Ki Society from the US, so I have no idea whether they were taught the same way we were taught on Guam. With all that said, I can only tell you what was taught to me and what I found to work for me in this area - and as you mention, there are many views on this.

Back in those days, we were taught Ki as presented by Tohei in his many books about Mind and Body Coordination. To make it work, you had to believe in Ki as Tohei explained it - it is as simple as that - you just had to believe. Now once you were a believer, you just had to learn how to recognize ki within you, then you moved into learning how to control it consciously, then into controlling it subconsciously within all your movements - really a very simple model. So, how did I stumble upon recognizing what ki was within me? well, it was by accident. I was at my sempai's house talking to him in the kitchen when I remembered that I had something in the next room I wanted to show him, so I said wait here, I will be right back. I turned and started into the next room when I realized I left something in the kitchen that I needed, so I just swung around and proceed back into the kitchen. What I did not realize was that my sempai was right behind me following me into the other room. Needless to say when I turned I pivoted into him and literally threw him across the room without even realizing it - All he could say was "fantastic ki" and all I could say was "so that is what ki feels like" it was a real epiphany - when I touched him I hardly felt him and he just flew off of me; by the way, he was substantially larger and heavier than me. After that incident, I just dissected mentally and physically all aspects of the experience and started to incorporate things into my waza until I was at the point I could duplicate the feeling and employ it into my techniques. When I left Guam in late 1977, Kalama Sensei said to me in his broken English and Hawaiian accent: "Greg, you have strong ki - when you go back to the States, no one will be able to put you down"

Back in the States, I was only able to train on and off due family and work issues and unfortunately a lot of what I learned went dormant for a while. Back in the latter part of 2003 and early 2004, I actively stared to train more (this is when we first met, Budd) and I could not find anyone that was training like we did in Guam with a focus on ki. Actually, most places made fun of it ( Budd, this was before Itten started looking into the internal stuff) and I even trained with a AAA dojo (Toyoda of the AAA was one of Tohei's people in the US before he started the AAA) and even though they talked about ki, they did not teach it nor practice it the way we did in the old days. Anyway, I started to become disillusioned with the whole ki bit since no one was doing it and for the most part said it did not exist. My focus on the waza started to take a more physical approach because that is what I was being taught, but it just did not feel like it used to from the old days; which I just attributed to being rusty. However, on occasion, some of the old stuff came out and I had some flashes of brilliance. Eventfully, I ended up just trying to focus on the ki and the soft internal stuff I was taught that was part of the whole ki thing. This lead me to Mike Sigman, Howard Popkin, and Dan Harden. Although these guys can come across as being quite different in a lot of areas, they also are a lot closer than either of them may want to admit :) and my training with all of them has brought me full circle back to Tohei and his teachings on ki; which will give you that first foot in the door of IS - but as Dan and Mike say, you need to take it to the next step, which they both do.

So, to answer your question Budd, you simply just have to believe in Ki as a force within and outside the body that you can control with your mind. I am not talking about ki balls or flashes of energy, but there is something there and the mind is where the control starts. How you learn how to do that is a very individual thing since there just is not a step by step process to recognize and learn it. But it can be taught - it just has to be in a coached hands on environment where the instructor has immediate feedback to their directions on extending the mental intent. I always knew I could do it based on passed experience (not an expert, still learning more) from the old days, as well as recent feedback from Dan and some of his students - but the challenge was in teaching someone else to do it; especially someone that did not believe in Ki. Just recently, I hit that plateau by having two of my guys being able to move uke off center via just mental intent as Mark demonstrates in one of his videos - and one of the guys has no real martial background and has only been training for a few months.

Short answer to learning all of this is to start with your mind and place it in your center (Tohei's One Point) and then have the Universe rotate around that - still a bit esoteric, but that is just the nature of the beast for this; there really is no simply answer :)

Greg

Budd
04-07-2010, 01:55 PM
Greg, I appreciate the personal and revealing explanation, even if i don't really buy into that model as a method of study or transmission..

thisisnotreal
04-07-2010, 02:34 PM
hi Greg,

You simply just have to believe in Ki as a force within and outside the body that you can control with your mind. I am not talking about ki balls or flashes of energy, but there is something there and the mind is where the control start....
How you learn how to do that is a very individual thing since there just is not a step by step process to recognize and learn it. But it can be taught -

a few thoughts ... i think: another way to connect with your post
As an example:
-your heart consumes energy and beats automatically. you don't have to believe in it. But you can effect it with your beliefs (imagine someone kicking your dog. Dammit).
-it is effected by your subconscious as well as mediated by your autonomic system
-you can train your body to take control of normally subconscious/automatic things and train and refine them. Visualization can be used to tap into this. I think this is where what you call 'belief' can accurately be mapped to 'intent' by others. my opinion.
-you can feel and know -it- directly. but it does require training to become sensitive to 'the water we, as fish, swim in'. The fish analog here is to the energy in the human body< (http://www.williamccchen.com/Internal.htm), part of which is under volitional control; and part under the brain/subconscious. 'belief' is one way to tap into the subconscious. it can be dangerous; as you are messing with your very own Tuner.
-in fact this 'belief' part, I find, is where it can fork off into a million other things (potentially delusional). This was helpful to me:: 'the energy can play with your mind'. In my thinking: Don't forget we are talking about hacking both the hardware(body/shenfa/chi) and software (mind/body programming/methods/shenfa /chi(yes; counted in both columns)/balance/proprioception/flexing patterns/etc). We are talking about changing the way things 'work' today... and I think it would be negligent to think changing them doesn't have subsequent effects somehow (i.e.... and how we see, feel and think with that very same hardware platform)
just some thoughts you put in my head! All only "In my opinion". Errors are mine alone.

Thanks a lot for sharing, Greg. Always interesting.

gregstec
04-07-2010, 02:37 PM
Greg, I appreciate the personal and revealing explanation, even if i don't really buy into that model as a method of study or transmission..

Well, as been said many times: "Your mileage may vary..."

You asked a question and I answered it. I did not put that information out there for acceptance nor approval from anyone. It is simply what works for me and I have skills that have been developed from it as well as skills that continue to grow from additional methods that support and compliment the basic method.

When you are younger, peer acceptance is of major importance. However, as you progress down the path of life, it becomes significantly less and less - eventually, you get to the point where it really means absolutely nothing - for those out there that are in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, you may start to realize this when you get past your mid 50s and older :)

What is important is the open minded sharing. Of course, not everyone will see things the same as you, but maybe your thoughts, and/or experiences, may get them thinking in another perspective - that is how we intellectually grow as a society. Just think about how boring and un-challenging life would be if everyone thought alike because everyone agreed with everyone else - that would just drive me into the mountains to be a hermit where I could commune with the kami :D

gregstec
04-07-2010, 02:52 PM
hi Greg,

a few thoughts ... i think: another way to connect with your post
As an example:
-your heart consumes energy and beats automatically. you don't have to believe in it. But you can effect it with your beliefs (imagine someone kicking your dog. Dammit).
-it is effected by your subconscious as well as mediated by your autonomic system
-you can train your body to take control of normally subconscious/automatic things and train and refine them. Visualization can be used to tap into this. I think this is where what you call 'belief' can accurately be mapped to 'intent' by others. my opinion.
-you can feel and know -it- directly. but it does require training to become sensitive to 'the water we, as fish, swim in'. The fish analog here is to the energy in the human body< (http://www.williamccchen.com/Internal.htm), part of which is under volitional control; and part under the brain/subconscious. 'belief' is one way to tap into the subconscious. it can be dangerous; as you are messing with your very own Tuner.
-in fact this 'belief' part, I find, is where it can fork off into a million other things (potentially delusional). This was helpful to me:: 'the energy can play with your mind'. In my thinking: Don't forget we are talking about hacking both the hardware(body/shenfa/chi) and software (mind/body programming/methods/shenfa /chi(yes; counted in both columns)/balance/proprioception/flexing patterns/etc). We are talking about changing the way things 'work' today... and I think it would be negligent to think changing them doesn't have subsequent effects somehow (i.e.... and how we see, feel and think with that very same hardware platform)
just some thoughts you put in my head! All only "In my opinion". Errors are mine alone.

Thanks a lot for sharing, Greg. Always interesting.

Hi Josh,

As usual, you put an interesting slant on things, that after some reflection, I can not disagree with. Without going into too much detail, I can see how you can take 'belief' and relate it to 'intent', as well as your hook into the emotional side - all that is internal and in the mind as well as belief. My use of the word belief was really meant to infer that it all starts in the mind, you just brought that point out in a different way.

I also like your analogy about hacking into the hardware AND software of the body - need to think about that some more.

Greg

phitruong
04-07-2010, 02:59 PM
Greg, thanks for sharing. however, i don't agree with the whole esoteric approach. personally, i believed it (aiki) can be trained in a methodical fashion. take the example of the keeping the one point. to me, using learning the alphabet analogy, is like learning letter A then jump to letter G (the one point). folks don't realize that in order to get to G you need to know B,C, D, E and F. you can definitely train for B, then C, then D, then E, then F. by the time you get to F, the one point would be apparent. similarly, i heard Ikeda sensei said to move your inside for years, and i watched folks, from low (me) to high rank, couldn't do what he did for years and years. what wrong with that picture? the answer is: folks don't realize "to move your inside" is letter O, but to Ikeda, it's B. in order to move your inside, you have to train (personal training) a number of prerequisite things before you can do that.

in short (since i am a short person), it's a trainable and in a progressive process. it's not esoteric or mystic. and it doesn't take 20 years or even 10.

as far as timing and distance, most fighting arts already done it through generations. the ones that don't, usually are 6 feet under and never get the chance to pass on the knowledge. but we are not talking about timing and distance. to me, aiki is about dealing with actual contact energy at the contact point. that's the defining moment.

of course, my definition might change the next second when someone else smacks me in the head.

phitruong
04-07-2010, 03:07 PM
one more thing to add. years ago, at a seminar, Hooker sensei said "teach the mind through the body, then teach the body through the mind." it applies here. doing physical things to teach your mind how to use intent, then use the intent to make your body to do physical things.

gregstec
04-07-2010, 03:11 PM
Greg, thanks for sharing. however, i don't agree with the whole esoteric approach. personally, i believed it (aiki) can be trained in a methodical fashion. take the example of the keeping the one point. to me, using learning the alphabet analogy, is like learning letter A then jump to letter G (the one point). folks don't realize that in order to get to G you need to know B,C, D, E and F. you can definitely train for B, then C, then D, then E, then F. by the time you get to F, the one point would be apparent. similarly, i heard Ikeda sensei said to move your inside for years, and i watched folks, from low (me) to high rank, couldn't do what he did for years and years. what wrong with that picture? the answer is: folks don't realize "to move your inside" is letter O, but to Ikeda, it's B. in order to move your inside, you have to train (personal training) a number of prerequisite things before you can do that.

in short (since i am a short person), it's a trainable and in a progressive process. it's not esoteric or mystic. and it doesn't take 20 years or even 10.



Hi Phi,

I agree with your view on the A, B, C... type of approach - each step does certainty provide a base for understanding and learning the next step or level. The esoteric part comes into play at the Step where you need to understand how to use the mind since we all do that differently. Once that is accomplished, then a logical step by step approach is easily implemented after establishment of your personal mental intent baseline, etc.

As for being short, you must be an expert at getting under someone and doing aiki-agae :D

Greg

gregstec
04-07-2010, 03:13 PM
one more thing to add. years ago, at a seminar, Hooker sensei said "teach the mind through the body, then teach the body through the mind." it applies here. doing physical things to teach your mind how to use intent, then use the intent to make your body to do physical things.

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? :)

Budd
04-07-2010, 03:24 PM
Well, as been said many times: "Your mileage may vary..."


Yep, this thread is a good indicator of that


You asked a question and I answered it. I did not put that information out there for acceptance nor approval from anyone. It is simply what works for me and I have skills that have been developed from it as well as skills that continue to grow from additional methods that support and compliment the basic method.


Well, understood, Greg - and if you get vetted as someone that's got the goods and making progress leaps and bounds with this stuff, believe me I'll line up with everyone else to figure out how to apply that approach.

When you are younger, peer acceptance is of major importance. However, as you progress down the path of life, it becomes significantly less and less - eventually, you get to the point where it really means absolutely nothing - for those out there that are in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, you may start to realize this when you get past your mid 50s and older :)

Well, two things - I'm in my 30s and if peer acceptance were that important I'd be running to find the next dojo or group to "join". But I am really only interested in finding other people that just want to train hard and put things through their paces and see what comes out. Beyond that, meh.

As for progressing down the path of life - it happens and you ride the wave as best you can . . I'd bet that there's lots of folks that are sure they know it all in their 20s, 30s, and 40s and even past their mid 50s . . for the same or different reasons.

What is important is the open minded sharing. Of course, not everyone will see things the same as you, but maybe your thoughts, and/or experiences, may get them thinking in another perspective - that is how we intellectually grow as a society. Just think about how boring and un-challenging life would be if everyone thought alike because everyone agreed with everyone else - that would just drive me into the mountains to be a hermit where I could commune with the kami :D

Well, that I can't argue with, I just get issues around the notion of a belief system as compared to "working with intention, checking results, level setting, etc" . . and it could just be me or semantics or interpretations. .but I think part of the roots of these discussions are around how "this stuff" works and what you can demonstrate as opposed to what you believe. I don't disagree that intention/imagery has a powerful connection to the process . . but then there's a basic body conditioning process (lots of work and sweat) to then be able to manifest that intention into measurable and observable action.

phitruong
04-07-2010, 03:29 PM
The esoteric part comes into play at the Step where you need to understand how to use the mind since we all do that differently. Once that is accomplished, then a logical step by step approach is easily implemented after establishment of your personal mental intent baseline, etc.

As for being short, you must be an expert at getting under someone and doing aiki-agae :D

Greg

i think you hit on the right spot. everyone's mind works differently, i.e. their body responses different as well. this makes learning aiki different for everyone. there is a gross baseline of aiki training that everyone could train. after that, it's all personal.

couldn't get under Sigman. shorter than him and squatting very low and he didn't change his body posture one bit. methink, if i lay on the floor, he probably could still get under me without changing his body posture. it was an eye opener to me. can you imagine what that means to judo/jujutsu folks where you can get under someone without even change your body posture? :)

phitruong
04-07-2010, 03:33 PM
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? :)

making chicken salad (which includes eggs and nuts and some curry and ....) ok. hungry now. forget aiki. foods first. :D

Erick Mead
04-07-2010, 03:40 PM
one more thing to add. years ago, at a seminar, Hooker sensei said "teach the mind through the body, then teach the body through the mind." it applies here. doing physical things to teach your mind how to use intent, then use the intent to make your body to do physical things.Amen to that. He never disappoints. But the same is true of the mind understanding the action it wills/provokes/evokes (however you choose to express it) in objective terms. Not merely subjective impressions, but what is going on that causes those impressions. Not that we do calculation(pace Mark's legitimate objection) in the midst of performance, which is simply silly -- but that we have a sound ruler and categories to analyze our sense impressions and performance on objective measures -- to determine what failed and how to correct it.

As Josh's example of shenfa/qi being in both columns (which FWIW, I agree with totally, in those terms) illustrates why a different set of conceptual categories of action is necessary to capture important distinctions that do not map into our more conventional conceptual suite about this type of action. Linear force/vector/ intent as such does not cut it for that reason -- not because it is wrong (it is not) but because it is dreadfully simplistic, ill-fitting and cumbersome. But that ain't the only wench in the physical mechanics toolbox, folks, and some other ones map EXCEEDINGLY well. Since my ruler works pretty darn well to help my mind identify and remove the sources of bodily failure and to explore depths of my body's natural tendencies that I had not initially expected -- I judge it to be genuinely describing an objective reality I can work with and more than a little useful in the terms Hooker describes.

gregstec
04-07-2010, 04:29 PM
Well, understood, Greg - and if you get vetted as someone that's got the goods and making progress leaps and bounds with this stuff, believe me I'll line up with everyone else to figure out how to apply that approach.

Not sure what you mean by vetted, and no one makes progress by leaps and bounds in this stuff, but just for the record, I have trained with Dan (and I am still training with Dan when I can) and although I am not 'vetted' by him, I have been told I have strong mental intent; which I have already stated elsewhere was simply an application of extending ki as I was taught in the ki society (which I believe led to your original question to me) - and to the best of my recollection, I was not told to stop that. Actually, I was told to quit being lazy and to do more.


As for progressing down the path of life - it happens and you ride the wave as best you can . . I'd bet that there's lots of folks that are sure they know it all in their 20s, 30s, and 40s and even past their mid 50s . . for the same or different reasons.

No one said anything about knowing it all - my comment was simply as you got older, opinion and approvals from others meant a whole lot less to you.


Well, that I can't argue with, I just get issues around the notion of a belief system as compared to "working with intention, checking results, level setting, etc" . . and it could just be me or semantics or interpretations. .but I think part of the roots of these discussions are around how "this stuff" works and what you can demonstrate as opposed to what you believe. I don't disagree that intention/imagery has a powerful connection to the process . . but then there's a basic body conditioning process (lots of work and sweat) to then be able to manifest that intention into measurable and observable action.

Who said anything about a belief system? I simply stated you needed to believe in Tohei's explanation of ki to make his system work as it was taught to us.

As I believe was mentioned in other posts by Dan and Mike, they stated (paraphrase here) that Tohei had the right approach to IS, but that he did not take it to the next level. I believe that and I also believe that Dan and Mike have methods that do take it to the next level and that is why I too have taken my training to the next level with Dan - and no one said that there was not any body conditioning aspects with a lot of work and sweat - actually, after one of Dan's sessions, all you got is an aching body and a lot of sweat.

I am a little puzzled by your obvious tone of condemnation towards my training approach to IS. All I did was answer your question related to how I extend ki. I am starting to think you set me up with a bit of troll here. If you think I am full of it, just state so, as I mentioned, I could care less of your, or anyone's opinion in this area that I do not currently train with. Actually, based on past experience with you, I never did expect you to agree with it anyway and was reluctant to share it at first, but I thought why not, it just may be of interest to someone.

Kevin Leavitt
04-07-2010, 04:54 PM
Budd wrote:
But I am really only interested in finding other people that just want to train hard and put things through their paces and see what comes out. Beyond that, meh.

Best thing that has been written in this thread today, if you ask me. My thoughts exactly.

Charles Hill
04-07-2010, 05:49 PM
Major kudos to Chris and Mark for posting video!

Being able to see what you guys are talking about really raises the bar in any of these discussions. I will be sure to read what you write more carefully from now on.

Thanks.

ChrisHein
04-07-2010, 06:55 PM
Major kudos to Chris and Mark for posting video!

Being able to see what you guys are talking about really raises the bar in any of these discussions. I will be sure to read what you write more carefully from now on.

Thanks.

I would like to see other people get those kudos as well, please post videos!

Budd
04-07-2010, 08:12 PM
Not sure what you mean by vetted, and no one makes progress by leaps and bounds in this stuff, but just for the record, I have trained with Dan (and I am still training with Dan when I can) and although I am not 'vetted' by him, I have been told I have strong mental intent; which I have already stated elsewhere was simply an application of extending ki as I was taught in the ki society (which I believe led to your original question to me) - and to the best of my recollection, I was not told to stop that. Actually, I was told to quit being lazy and to do more.

Yes, the mental taxation is incredible and is reflected by guiding the physical components inside you - stretching the right things, releasing the right things, winding and synching the right things - and I think there's much more going on than "extending ki" (more on that, later), which doesn't mean that the mind doesn't "lead the ki" . . just that the presumption I took from your original post "I'll do you one better" is that you extend the ki and the other stuff just happens. If that's what you meant, then this is the part I do fundamentally disagree with because (and as you mention below) there's also an immense amount of physical conditioning that happens in order to reflect the extension of the ki.


As I believe was mentioned in other posts by Dan and Mike, they stated (paraphrase here) that Tohei had the right approach to IS, but that he did not take it to the next level. I believe that and I also believe that Dan and Mike have methods that do take it to the next level and that is why I too have taken my training to the next level with Dan - and no one said that there was not any body conditioning aspects with a lot of work and sweat - actually, after one of Dan's sessions, all you got is an aching body and a lot of sweat.

Bunch of stuff here . . I think the appeals to authority may be oversimplified, but don't disagree with the gist of the above. Basically, those are the two components of the puzzle I think are being addressed here . . and I think we need to keep highlighting that this stuff is BOTH mentally and physically exhausting. Since part of the disconnect and discourse that's happening (my opinion) in this thread is the highlighting of one over the other (by multiple parties and multiple ends of the spectrum) - rather than discussing how "this stuff" represents a trained skill conditioned in the body guided via intent (or "mentally handling forces via developed jin" . . or or . .)

I am a little puzzled by your obvious tone of condemnation towards my training approach to IS. All I did was answer your question related to how I extend ki. I am starting to think you set me up with a bit of troll here. If you think I am full of it, just state so, as I mentioned, I could care less of your, or anyone's opinion in this area that I do not currently train with. Actually, based on past experience with you, I never did expect you to agree with it anyway and was reluctant to share it at first, but I thought why not, it just may be of interest to someone.

Well, I am interested, or wouldn't have asked. Not a setup, not a troll - just trying to get out from people working on "this stuff" how they are approaching "how it works" .. and I think your model of "believing in Tohei's ki approach" or however you're organizing it is a beginning step into tricking the body to not use local muscle (at least how I've seen this stuff demonstrated from a couple sources) . . but then there's the refinement, conditioning, organization . . which are iterative and inform each other over time.

Hence, when you say that you move the "ki" first and imply that the other stuff gets moved appropriately by it . . I'm gonna definitely ask what the heck you mean by that ;)

We don't gotta agree, but don't take my disagreement nor pushback on how terms are approached or defined as lack of interest or even necessarily condemnation. We're all presumably chasing this stuff and I'm keen to hear what other people are discovering along the way. It'll all work itself out down the road as more info is revealed and people develop their skills and get hands on each other (part of the "vetting process").

Budd
04-07-2010, 08:20 PM
I would like to see other people get those kudos as well, please post videos!

Yeah, I'm in a horrible position to do it right now - but give me some time and I'll work on getting something basic loaded up that I hope will at least prompt some more questions regarding structure and manipulating force paths inside you via mental direction inside your body (based on having put in the time to do some conditioning stuffs to handle this appropriately). It will hopefully be very basic and I might just post it up (the exercises) to give others a shot at tackling them first.

But Chris, to your point, I'm hoping it's something that:

1) Addresses your concern regarding structure only
2) Should logically progress from a structure drill to more of a "manipulation of forces inside you drill"

So give me some time and I'll see about getting something posted.

gregstec
04-07-2010, 09:49 PM
Yes, the mental taxation is incredible and is reflected by guiding the physical components inside you - stretching the right things, releasing the right things, winding and synching the right things - and I think there's much more going on than "extending ki" (more on that, later), which doesn't mean that the mind doesn't "lead the ki" . . just that the presumption I took from your original post "I'll do you one better" is that you extend the ki and the other stuff just happens. If that's what you meant, then this is the part I do fundamentally disagree with because (and as you mention below) there's also an immense amount of physical conditioning that happens in order to reflect the extension of the ki.

My intent (no pun) was to add another dimension to the comments of moving spine and hara, which is that the mind (as in ki/intent) leads the physical. It was by no means intended to mean that there is no need for physical conditioning to help establish those internal connections that make all that work.


Bunch of stuff here . . I think the appeals to authority may be oversimplified, but don't disagree with the gist of the above. Basically, those are the two components of the puzzle I think are being addressed here . . and I think we need to keep highlighting that this stuff is BOTH mentally and physically exhausting. Since part of the disconnect and discourse that's happening (my opinion) in this thread is the highlighting of one over the other (by multiple parties and multiple ends of the spectrum) - rather than discussing how "this stuff" represents a trained skill conditioned in the body guided via intent (or "mentally handling forces via developed jin" . . or or . .)

No disagreement with all that - actually, I think too much may be focused on the physical aspects all the time so I may have a tendency to talk more about the mental to help balance things out.


Well, I am interested, or wouldn't have asked. Not a setup, not a troll - just trying to get out from people working on "this stuff" how they are approaching "how it works" .. and I think your model of "believing in Tohei's ki approach" or however you're organizing it is a beginning step into tricking the body to not use local muscle (at least how I've seen this stuff demonstrated from a couple sources) . . but then there's the refinement, conditioning, organization . . which are iterative and inform each other over time.

Understood on your points here - although my recent posts were focused on Tohei's ki extension, his whole position on Mind and Body coordination has four principles; two of the mind and two of the body. A very simplified view of this supports what we both are saying that you need the mental and physical part to make aiki work.


Hence, when you say that you move the "ki" first and imply that the other stuff gets moved appropriately by it . . I'm gonna definitely ask what the heck you mean by that ;)

Maybe that was poorly worded by me - my point was that the mind leads and the body follows as conditioned. The mind here can be expressed as extending ki or mental intent; whichever term floats your boat. Again, a mental and physical partnership or mind and body coordination.


We don't gotta agree, but don't take my disagreement nor pushback on how terms are approached or defined as lack of interest or even necessarily condemnation. We're all presumably chasing this stuff and I'm keen to hear what other people are discovering along the way. It'll all work itself out down the road as more info is revealed and people develop their skills and get hands on each other (part of the "vetting process").

Actually, we are probably in more agreement than what it may appear from this discussion - we are just approaching it from different points of view. Agree with the getting hands on each other, it is truly the quickest way to express your point of view and have it understood for what it really is - web discussions can only lead to more confusion and misunderstandings :)

David Yap
04-07-2010, 09:51 PM
Yeppers...can you?

I think most of us need to concentrate on training..not discussion.

Some of you esteemed gentlemen spend more time at the keyboard than training. You would develop more ability and understanding with more experience.

Train well,

Mickey

Hi Mickey,

The idea here is bring the discussion to the mats. My experience with most "my way or the highway" sensei is that they don't practise the 'aiki' of Aikido let alone understand the concept. Some even practise taichi on the side. They are dependant on leverage, muscle power and physical atemi to make their waza work. Even with 25 years or more years training (or should I say instructing) on the mats, they can't even internalize their aikido but their aiki-do is still legitimate thanks to Steven Seagal's movies.

Happy training

David Y

Mike Sigman
04-07-2010, 10:17 PM
My experience with most "my way or the highway" sensei is that they don't practise the 'aiki' of Aikido let alone understand the concept. Some even practise taichi on the side. They are dependant on leverage, muscle power and physical atemi to make their waza work. Even with 25 years or more years training (or should I say instructing) on the mats, they can't even internalize their aikido but their aiki-do is still legitimate thanks to Steven Seagal's movies.
Nice post, David, and I'm glad people are beginning to get past the "aiki-diplomacy" and into the real world. I think it gets worse than that, personally.

I've seen people come to a workshop, be able to show absolutely nothing of any reals skills, but they're totally convinced that they "already know this stuff and their students assure them that they do"... the point being that they can't even clinically evaluate their own skills so the idea that they "teach" is an obscene joke upon their "students". "Students" being synonymous with "gulls" or fellow "seekers of fantasy". There's something wrong with the whole scenario, but it gets even worse when these guys claim "spirituality" and "namaste" and the rest of the spiel. Not to mention that you can't bring up the problem of "students" getting misled without violating the tenets of "aiki-speak" or psycho-babble.

I think Tohei actually did a pretty good job... he tried to set up "tests" that at least allowed people to have measurable standards. He could have done even better if he'd been firmer in his resolve and wasn't so beholden to the idea of setting up a 'school' of sorts.

To cut to the chase, I encourage people to speak bluntly but factually. Criticize, but be able to point to facts about the issues, not just comments about the messenger you don't like. ;)

FWIW

Mike Sigman

ChrisHein
04-08-2010, 02:52 AM
I still don't think we have any kind of agreed upon definition of "Aiki". We have talked a lot about structure though.

Abasan
04-08-2010, 04:20 AM
I still don't think we have any kind of agreed upon definition of "Aiki". We have talked a lot about structure though.

How about we quote the founder on this, Aiki is the ability to make your opponent powerless.

MM
04-08-2010, 06:50 AM
I still don't think we have any kind of agreed upon definition of "Aiki". We have talked a lot about structure though.

Not yet. But, we've all read the threads about aiki is this and aiki is that. Even in this one, we both have completely different views and definitions on aiki.

However, we did find something of a common ground in structure. While structure alone isn't aiki, it is a component. That's a start. :)

So, rather than jump completely ahead of ourselves and bandy about definitions of aiki, how about we start building up to aiki with some of the components?

With structure, we can see that it isn't just about being solid and resisting someone like a boulder. That'll just get you punched in the face. Resisting someone with muscular strength isn't structure. It's the opposite. Structure is the ability to withstand force while remaining 100% mobile.

Can everyone do that? And some of the answers will be yeah, of course. But, can everyone do that without resorting to timing and rhythm?

In a very basic exercise:

Can you replicate your push test with arms out (uke pushing on the right hand) and then pivot like I did on the non-loaded foot? Yes, it's easy to let the push go from right hand to left foot and let all the load be dedicated to the left foot. Everyone can replicate that but it isn't mobile. That left foot is pinned to the ground. So, structure must include mobility. To continue with a very basic exercise, while receiving the push from right hand outstretched, one must be able to:

1. pick up that left foot and move it without being pushed over.
2. hula hoop the hips to show that the hips are free to move and aren't locked down without being pushed over.
3. lift either foot freely, one after the other, while not being pushed over.
4. able to step forward into the push without losing alignment or structure *and* without leaning into the push.
5. stay upright and not lean forward if uke suddenly disconnects.

These are just the basics of structure. The better your structure, the better you will be at handling force/energy/loads.

How to spot if you are cheating:
1. If you lean and shift your weight onto the right foot, you aren't structurally sound. It just means that instead of the left foot being pinned, you just replaced it with the right foot and right side being pinned. The spine should stay in the middle of both feet.

2. If your upper body sways while you hula hoop your hips. Especially if your shoulder area gets pushed backwards from the incoming energy. Any instability in the upper body shows a lack of structure.

3. As #2, if your upper body gets pushed backwards as you alternate lifting the feet, then you're not structurally sound. And as #1, if you sway to load the other foot, then you're not structurally sound.

4. If you lean into uke, you're not structurally sound. You're more than likely using your body as a lever to push off of the legs and into uke. Keep the body upright and straight.

5. If you lean when uke suddenly disconnects, it means you were using muscle or leverage to push into uke.

For more exercises like this, see my vid of the push test to the head:

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

Please note that I do lean. Yep, not the greatest of structure. But, notice that I don't lean into uke as he disconnects (#5). So, it's not horrible, just not the best it should be.

If we can agree that exercises like these show good structure and if we can replicate these exercises, then it's a step toward how I define aiki. Without structure, there can be no aiki. Then we can move on to intent, which is harder to show on video, let alone spirals. How we get there with video, I don't yet have a clue.

MM
04-08-2010, 06:53 AM
Major kudos to Chris and Mark for posting video!

Being able to see what you guys are talking about really raises the bar in any of these discussions. I will be sure to read what you write more carefully from now on.

Thanks.

Thanks!

Budd
04-08-2010, 07:20 AM
Darn, Mark, you part of the exercise test I was going to list is what you put up (shocker, I'm sure) . . also, I'd add a next level of funsies to the mix . . do some of those things while someone is applying a nikkyo to you :D

Looking forward to the mix, will put mine up at some point . . just not sure when.

dps
04-08-2010, 07:21 AM
I still don't think we have any kind of agreed upon definition of "Aiki". We have talked a lot about structure though.

How about "Aiki" is the coordination of movement both outside and inside the body.

David

chillzATL
04-08-2010, 08:17 AM
I still don't think we have any kind of agreed upon definition of "Aiki". We have talked a lot about structure though.

This is why you hear, constantly, that it has to be felt... It's the blind men feeling the elephant... everyone feels something different so it's hard for two people to completely agree on what it is.

today, my definition goes like this:

Aiki is the result of a body that is conditioned to instantly convey forces to and from the ground in a relaxed state, free of muscular force/tension and then manipulate that force both physically (movement) and/or mentally (intent).

and that's just based on what I've felt of the elephant so far and what my training is trying to accomplish. Next week I could meet someone who lets me feel another part of the elephant and my definition could change or at least expand.

Also, I made no mention of the various methods one can condition their body to convey those forces, of which skeletal structure is only one.

phitruong
04-08-2010, 08:31 AM
How to spot if you are cheating:

2. If your upper body sways while you hula hoop your hips. Especially if your shoulder area gets pushed backwards from the incoming energy. Any instability in the upper body shows a lack of structure.


question: relax structure where upper, middle and lower move somewhat independently or connected? if you are connected, wouldn't moving your hips also moving everything else? in the same vein as your hand connect to your hara, and your hara moves wouldn't your hand moves as well? or am missing the point somewhere which is very likely?

i would add squatting up and down to make sure you don't brace the legs or circling the knees would work too or do both.

thanks

phitruong
04-08-2010, 08:38 AM
going to add doing the macarena while being push :)

Budd
04-08-2010, 08:48 AM
Also, a quick note on how much force is being delivered. While you're first training/conditioning "this stuff", it's more important to be able to do it right so that your body is learning the right way to behave under loads .. as you improve your abilities you can gradually handle stronger and more dynamic loads. So if you are going to share some efforts - there is really nothing wrong with showing it against a very light, static force and showing how "right" to do it.

YMMV

Mike Sigman
04-08-2010, 09:11 AM
How about we quote the founder on this, Aiki is the ability to make your opponent powerless.

That works for me. When you manipulate the opponent's incoming forces with your jin (er, "aiki") you negate their forces. If you negate the forces to points of no balance, opponent essentially defeats himself with his own forces. And that's the whole idea.

Inaba Sensei said the same thing, BTW.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

MM
04-08-2010, 09:26 AM
question: relax structure where upper, middle and lower move somewhat independently or connected? if you are connected, wouldn't moving your hips also moving everything else? in the same vein as your hand connect to your hara, and your hara moves wouldn't your hand moves as well? or am missing the point somewhere which is very likely?

i would add squatting up and down to make sure you don't brace the legs or circling the knees would work too or do both.

thanks

It's a good question. One that i'll take the long way to answer.

First, let's take a look at a body builder/weight lifter who's lifting weights to gain muscle in the biceps. You start with enough weight to do a set number of reps, a certain amount of time. You condition and build the biceps so that they can handle more and more weight. This is what I call localized muscle usage. You are actively training specific muscles to "resist" incoming force or weight.

At some point, from building localized muscle groups all over the body, you'll become "strong".

Back to your question about connectedness. In building a structured body, you want whole body connectedness, yes. But you want it in a "relaxed" manner. (I think this is very important for later stages of training in spirals.) In other words, yes, definitely, the hands are connected to the feet, the elbows to the knees, the shoulders to the waist/hip area. You want that connection to completely avoid localized muscle usage.

Think of the bones as very flexible water hoses in the body. Think of the push as water coming into the body through a hose that connects the right hand (where uke is pushing) all the way through the body to the left foot where it goes into the ground. Now, think of localized muscle usage as a tightening of the hose such that it closes it off.

You can hula hoop the waist without moving the shoulders or knees because your structure is relaxed, flexible, and yet strong. The push doesn't affect those other areas. Now, if you have localized muscle usage, it blocks the flow and causes pressure to build up in other areas. While you may be strong enough using localized muscle usage to withstand a push to your outstretched hand, you will not be able to hula hoop your hips because it will destabilize your whole body.

I wouldn't do squatting because it changes the vector of the push and you can still "cheat" to accomplish the exercise.

Martial use?

If you're using localized muscle groups, your sensitivity goes down. You aren't relaxed enough to "feel" changes in uke's movements or attacks. Your whole body speed goes down because you're actively tightening or loosening (basically) specific muscle groups which takes more time overall. Adjusting to changes becomes slower because of this, too.

If you use a relaxed, strong, whole body structure, your sensitivity to change sharpens. You can move under pressure or force because your body isn't locked or resisting that incoming weight or pressure. Your speed goes up because you're moving in a very connected internal manner.

Think of a sword to sword interaction if you can get the sword to be a part of your structured, connected body. Just as you can withstand the push, the attacker won't be able to muscle your sword out of the way, won't be able to off balance you, won't be able to move forward without putting himself in danger. Of course, getting the sword to be as one with your structured body is very hard. :) But, hey, didn't someone famous say something about the sword is just part of your body?

Farther along in training, martial uses include being able to generate incredible power from minimal physical movements.

Ernesto Lemke
04-08-2010, 10:55 AM
Hi Mark,

I really liked that vid. Thanks for putting it up.

Q: As you via intent shift the load from back to front foot, do you feel any change in the force vector as it is applied onto your partner?
I did this drill against a wall and noticed that as the front leg gets loaded, the compression of the bodys structure increases and force runs up in a more diagonal/vertical line as opposed to the line when it comes out of/into the back foot. Of course, I just did it as of yesterday so Im curious whether you keep your force going out in a 90 degree angle (aligned with your own arm that is).
Best,

Ernesto Lemke

MM
04-08-2010, 11:05 AM
Hi Mark,

I really liked that vid. Thanks for putting it up.

Ernesto Lemke

Hi Ernesto,

Hope you're doing well. In reference to the video, which one? :) I posted several and I'm confused as to which one you mean.

Thanks,
Mark

gregstec
04-08-2010, 11:07 AM
question: relax structure where upper, middle and lower move somewhat independently or connected? if you are connected, wouldn't moving your hips also moving everything else? in the same vein as your hand connect to your hara, and your hara moves wouldn't your hand moves as well? or am missing the point somewhere which is very likely?

i would add squatting up and down to make sure you don't brace the legs or circling the knees would work too or do both.

thanks

Hi Phi,

Great response from Mark on this already. However, I thought I a saw a post from you somewhere where you mentioned you were in IT. If so, let's take a look at this from a network perspective as well - it just might help some of the technical types to better relate.

To me, I see available energy paths in the body to consist of muscle, bone, ligaments/tendons, and other parts of the fascia. The bone, muscle, and (to some extent) the ligament/tendon paths are mostly linear - the energy comes in and basically follows a straight path through to the destination. However, with fascia, there are multiple paths the energy can go at the same time and still reach the same destination.

If we look at this from a network/telecommunications perspective, consider these linear paths to be essentially dedicated point to point circuits; like Basic Digital Transport (BDT). Now let's consider the fascia to be a meshed network where there are multiple paths to route your data. Of course, in a meshed network you can lock down the routes to simulate point to point paths with a simple routing table, but why limit your options - best to setup a more complex route table that gives you the dynamic flexibility to change things based on the ever changing demand of your data throughput.

Most people have a simple route table for control of their internal energies, and when engaged with an external force, are simply dedicated to dealing with one force at a time that limits thier movements. Now lets say you set up a complicated meshed route table that can handle internal energies in multiple fashions at the same time so you now can handle dealing with ever changing dynamic external forces as well as add some of your own forces to the mix all at the same time. This is what internal aiki training can do for you by establishing new paths for routing energies that you thought were never there because you were locked down in a simple mode.

ChrisHein
04-08-2010, 11:14 AM
Ok, back to our definition theme.

Ahmad Abas:
"Aiki is the ability to make your opponent powerless"

This isn't a definition, but a description. Who cares really, but, things like this can lead us crazy places. For example, are hand cuffs "Aiki", how about anesthetics? The idea of what it does is good, but too vague.

David Skaggs:
"Aiki" is the coordination of movement inside and outside of the body.

I personally think this is a pretty sound definition, certainly reasonable and complete. It fits what I'm talking about, how about for others? Still vague, but we are getting somewhere; no?

Jason Casteel:
Aiki is the result of a body that is conditioned to instantly convey forces to and from the ground in a relaxed state, free of muscular force/tension and then manipulate that force both physically (movement) and/or mentally (intent).

I think this is getting back to what I believe we are now calling structure. Am I wrong? Opinions?

On the note of structure, I would like to introduce the idea of "body skill". I would like to use this word to refer to someone who has the ability to use their body in a powerful manner. For example someone with good internal ability as Mike, or Mark might describe would have good "body skill". However I would like to use this word to describe more. For example some one who has lots of agility, strength, speed or coordination would have good "body skill" as well.

I have an idea that this word might become very useful shortly, as we start to approach an idea of what "Aiki" is.

Brian Griffith
04-08-2010, 11:34 AM
Quick question for those who have been training/developing aiki for sometime...has/does your definition change as you develop...It seems to me as you learn/develop, the more your understanding (of aiki) changes/progresses and since the change is, from my very limited, understanding in "your own" body maybe that is why defining it for the masses is difficult.

chillzATL
04-08-2010, 11:38 AM
Jason Casteel:
Aiki is the result of a body that is conditioned to instantly convey forces to and from the ground in a relaxed state, free of muscular force/tension and then manipulate that force both physically (movement) and/or mentally (intent).

I think this is getting back to what I believe we are now calling structure. Am I wrong? Opinions?

On the note of structure, I would like to introduce the idea of "body skill". I would like to use this word to refer to someone who has the ability to use their body in a powerful manner. For example someone with good internal ability as Mike, or Mark might describe would have good "body skill". However I would like to use this word to describe more. For example some one who has lots of agility, strength, speed or coordination would have good "body skill" as well.

I have an idea that this word might become very useful shortly, as we start to approach an idea of what "Aiki" is.

We're almost talking in circles Chris. I thought at this point it was clear that conditioning the body and that "structure" (again, not just skeletal structure) are a part of this picture, but not the whole picture. Without a body conditioned in this manner, you can't begin to effectively manage or work with these forces.

Body skill is not a new word around these parts in this context. As there is significant body training (or retraining) involved. Again, we have another divergence. What you call body skill, I would simply call body mechanics. No need to change terms or throw a new one into the mix, especially when you're trying to apply the same term to two completely different things.

MM
04-08-2010, 12:00 PM
Ok, back to our definition theme.

Ahmad Abas:
"Aiki is the ability to make your opponent powerless"

This isn't a definition, but a description. Who cares really, but, things like this can lead us crazy places. For example, are hand cuffs "Aiki", how about anesthetics? The idea of what it does is good, but too vague.


Yeah, I'd say this is more of a, "what can I do with aiki" type answer. It's like those "Love is ..." sayings. Sure, it helps narrow down things, but doesn't really define it in one saying. Might be a good approach, though.


David Skaggs:
"Aiki" is the coordination of movement inside and outside of the body.

I personally think this is a pretty sound definition, certainly reasonable and complete. It fits what I'm talking about, how about for others? Still vague, but we are getting somewhere; no?


Too simplistic and lacks quality.


Jason Casteel:
Aiki is the result of a body that is conditioned to instantly convey forces to and from the ground in a relaxed state, free of muscular force/tension and then manipulate that force both physically (movement) and/or mentally (intent).

I think this is getting back to what I believe we are now calling structure. Am I wrong? Opinions?


Better, but as you note, it doesn't really convey more than what a good, structured, internally skilled person can do.


On the note of structure, I would like to introduce the idea of "body skill". I would like to use this word to refer to someone who has the ability to use their body in a powerful manner. For example someone with good internal ability as Mike, or Mark might describe would have good "body skill". However I would like to use this word to describe more. For example some one who has lots of agility, strength, speed or coordination would have good "body skill" as well.

I have an idea that this word might become very useful shortly, as we start to approach an idea of what "Aiki" is.

Hmmm ... I guess I'd use structure to describe those people who are working on internal skills and I'd use "body skill" to describe people who use external methods. To me, good BJJ people definitely have a body skill. I even think some of them have some sort of structure at work. So, you see how both can actually apply to some people?

Then it gets worse because by the very nature of the training, people who have aiki to a decent degree also have agility, strength, speed, coordination, power, sensitivity, etc but in a much different way than other people.

Part of the problem is that when very high level jujutsu people are seen, it can "look" like aiki. But if you take one person and have them uke a technique for a jujutsu person and then an aiki person, that uke will always state that these two people did two very separate and different things. All the while, everyone else that's watching will say, the jujutsu and aiki person did exactly the same thing.

Part of the reason I started and kept to structure is that it is hard to replicate some things that can be done with structure. You almost have to use "cheats" to replicate them when there is no structure.

Hence, my example of the push test (my post #59) to an outstretched arm and the extra moves one makes to show that there is no "cheating". It would be nice if people would just give that a try.

Why? Because if you can't replicate that, then how can you use lines of energy along that structural pathway? Remember the Ki Society example of unbendable arm? Just thinking about water flowing out the arm is only a small fraction of what should be going on. Not only do you have a flow out the arm, but there should be a flow going inwards to the spine -- at the same time. In both arms. With an up and down in the spine. You're creating lines of intent built upon your frame (bones) to help create structure.

So, once you can get that going, then you start using intent along those pathways in exercises designed to work and build other parts of your body (this is where the fascia theory begins). You do this so that, for example in the push test to an outstretched arm, you aren't just letting force go through your body and hampering your mobility, but you're vectoring it into appropriate channels to improve mobility. Instead of the push routing to the opposite foot and pinning it there, you're vectoring that force within you so that you can pick that foot up and move no matter what kind of push is being received.

Then you work on a push coming in to a different area, say the shoulder or chest or hip. Then working on vectoring the force internally in various ways. I think Bill Gleason shows it better than I could explain:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NMqvFeiwzY&feature=related

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

phitruong
04-08-2010, 12:02 PM
Most people have a simple route table for control of their internal energies, and when engaged with an external force, are simply dedicated to dealing with one force at a time that limits thier movements. Now lets say you set up a complicated meshed route table that can handle internal energies in multiple fashions at the same time so you now can handle dealing with ever changing dynamic external forces as well as add some of your own forces to the mix all at the same time. This is what internal aiki training can do for you by establishing new paths for routing energies that you thought were never there because you were locked down in a simple mode.

i like the network analogy. take it a bit further, when you touch another person, you establish a network link between your network cloud with the other person network cloud, so now the information can flow both way through the connection. so depends on how good you are, you can reach into the other person network and manipulate the information (read energy flow).

phitruong
04-08-2010, 12:08 PM
Quick question for those who have been training/developing aiki for sometime...has/does your definition change as you develop...It seems to me as you learn/develop, the more your understanding (of aiki) changes/progresses and since the change is, from my very limited, understanding in "your own" body maybe that is why defining it for the masses is difficult.

have not work on this for long, but the answer is yes. at least for me the definition of aiki changed as my training progress. the path of aiki is constant change. :)

MM
04-08-2010, 12:14 PM
Quick question for those who have been training/developing aiki for sometime...has/does your definition change as you develop...It seems to me as you learn/develop, the more your understanding (of aiki) changes/progresses and since the change is, from my very limited, understanding in "your own" body maybe that is why defining it for the masses is difficult.

Yes, definitely. I don't doubt that in a couple of years I'll have a different view of aiki. Not contradictory, but more in depth view.

The best general defining statement I can think of regarding aiki is this:

Aiki is an internally structured Self within a central equilibrium of infinite opposing spirals.

Course, if you had told me that 4 years ago, I'd have gone ... What in the world are you talking about?!?

So, breaking it down, we have internally structured. That's what we're defining right now in this thread. Then you have central equilibrium which we've only touched on. Finally we have opposing spirals which we haven't gotten to yet.

In person with someone who has a decent amount of aiki ... mere minutes to know and define. 5-10 years to actually understand it in one's body to a workable level. Online ... I imagine people who haven't started training it will begin to train it long before we've finished defining it online. :)

Ernesto Lemke
04-08-2010, 12:18 PM
Hi Mark,

Alls fine over here. Though maybe not training as hard as I could/should I suppose.

I was referring to push test #3.
Hope you are doing well too. Judging from reading your posts on the web I suspect so. Take care.

Ernesto

PS
If this causes too much of a thread drift PM is fine too.

thisisnotreal
04-08-2010, 12:38 PM
please don't PM; i'm interested too!

MM
04-08-2010, 12:56 PM
Hi Mark,

All's fine over here. Though maybe not training as hard as I could/should I suppose.

I was referring to push test #3.
Hope you are doing well too. Judging from reading your posts on the web I suspect so. Take care.

Ernesto

PS
If this causes too much of a thread drift PM is fine too.

I don't feel like I'm training as hard as I should either. I feel bad because I think I'm slacking too much and not training enough. And I suck horribly at this stuff. Then again, I get nearly the same answer from quite a few other people when asked about IT. :)


Q: As you via intent shift the load from back to front foot, do you feel any change in the force vector as it is applied onto your partner?


Actually, I don't really think about my partner/uke. I'm really focusing on me and what I should be doing internally with intent. So, I guess, the answer is no, I don't feel a change. In fact, if I'm doing things right, I shouldn't feel anything from my partner.

Course, I'm not doing things right because I kept getting stronger and stronger pushes from him. :D You can see on the video that his push wasn't a steady one. That's why it took me a few seconds to get things right so that I could move my foot forward. At first, all the energy was going into my left (back) foot and it shouldn't have been doing that. I had to fix that. Bad structural integrity and intent. After that, I was able to move my foot forward.


I did this drill against a wall and noticed that as the front leg gets loaded, the compression of the body's structure increases and force runs up in a more diagonal/vertical line as opposed to the line when it comes out of/into the back foot. Of course, I just did it as of yesterday so I'm curious whether you keep your force going out in a 90 degree angle (aligned with your own arm that is).
Best,

Ernesto Lemke

The idea of the exercise is to train the body for non-dedicated weight under pressure. No matter what pressure is coming in to my body, I should be free to move either foot/leg. When that pressure/energy is loading one leg specifically, then, to me, that means I'm not actually keeping my structural body properly working.

Of course, in the very beginning when I first started, I had to practice getting that push from the right hand over and down to the left foot. But, I had no pathways built in my body at all. I had to first identify and then build/work those pathways. That meant focusing on getting the push/energy/force from my partner's push on my outstretched right hand all the way over to my left foot. So, yeah, I had dedicated weight/force in that foot. But the purpose of that exercise was specifically to identify and build the pathways.

After that's done, it's on to this kind of exercise where it's working the pathways internally and vectoring the force/push/energy within such that there is no dedicated weight on one foot/leg.

If you're working on pushing against the wall, then when you push, you should work to maintain freedom in both feet. While pushing on the wall, you should be able to lift one foot, then the other, back and forth while keeping the same pressure on the wall. Focusing on the spine is an important part. Think of the spine pushing on the wall. Then think of the mid-lower back and the connections there to lift your foot. Don't lift from the quad muscles. (I still have trouble doing this.)

Hope that answers your questions. If not, let me know.

Ernesto Lemke
04-08-2010, 03:10 PM
Hi Mark,

Thanks for the thoughtful reply. Let me try to address some things in a, hopefully, likewise fashion.

Actually, I don't really think about my partner/uke.

I would agree that that is what I want to accomplish myself (masakatsu agatsu) still, at the level I’m at, I can’t surpass his input into/onto my body as of yet. In any case, my question wasn’t so much whether you felt anything from him – in the sense of things he does – but whether you experience that internally shifting your weight affects the (angle of) force coming out of your own body. Your partner may not even feel that adjustment, I was wondering whether you do.

The idea of the exercise is to train the body for non-dedicated weight under pressure. No matter what pressure is coming in to my body, I should be free to move either foot/leg. When that pressure/energy is loading one leg specifically, then, to me, that means I'm not actually keeping my structural body properly working.

I’m aspiring to reach similar goals but it’s a loooooong road ahead.

After that's done, it's on to this kind of exercise where it's working the pathways internally and vectoring the force/push/energy within such that there is no dedicated weight on one foot/leg.

If you're working on pushing against the wall, then when you push, you should work to maintain freedom in both feet. While pushing on the wall, you should be able to lift one foot, then the other, back and forth while keeping the same pressure on the wall

By having no dedicated weight do you mean you don’t allow force to compress your structure? Or that you have the ability to transfer that compression via intent so there is no isolating of your own structure? Or maybe something else :D ?
(BTW with pathway you mean something similar as groundpath right? Different question, I know).
In any case, I hear what your saying with having freedom in both feet in the sense that I try and train to change groundpaths (pathways) via intent regardless of the stance I’m in. Still, I find it hard to imagine when standing in say a neutral stance (like the way you are standing in the vid but solo, no partner, no support but the ground) to be able to lift up one foot without changing the rest of the structure. To my mind the central axis must shift to one of the two side axes to prevent the structure from collapsing.
Which reminds me, I was encouraged to train this drill for instance, and I’m sorry, but I don’t own a camera to film it but even then, you would just see me standing still (groaning, making funny faces, but not moving) :

Stand in an upright position, feet parallel, one side attached to the wall. Now raise the foot that’s the furthest from the wall.

There are a number of variations of drills working with a wall but that’s another topic. Regarding the version above: I can't do it (raise the foot) but it does train certain things.
Best,

Ernesto

gregstec
04-08-2010, 03:47 PM
i like the network analogy. take it a bit further, when you touch another person, you establish a network link between your network cloud with the other person network cloud, so now the information can flow both way through the connection. so depends on how good you are, you can reach into the other person network and manipulate the information (read energy flow).

Yeah, once you put them into your layer 3 MPLS Ethernet VPLS cloud, you can put them anywhere you want, at any time, and at anyplace simultaneously :D

David Yap
04-08-2010, 08:47 PM
Then working on vectoring the force internally in various ways. I think Bill Gleason shows it better than I could explain.

Similarly...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cKh7VPfp2I&feature=related

ChrisHein
04-08-2010, 11:05 PM
I just finished class. I had my students push on me quite a bit. I could easily do everything described thus far.

I think I can do any demonstration of this stuff that any one else can. If you don't believe me, make a video of you doing something, and I'll copy it. I think all this talking has made you guys think this stuff is harder then it really is.

Ernesto Lemke
04-09-2010, 01:00 AM
I think I can do any demonstration of this stuff that any one else can. If you don't believe me, make a video of you doing something, and I'll copy it.

In reference to the drill I suggested above; I mentioned I can't do that. I know you didn't write it but did you also try that one and succeeded? If so, I would sure love to see that.
BTW
I wasn't taught this drill with the idea that one was supposed to succesfully raise the leg the leg, rather, you pay attention to what happened inside. FWIW
Best,

Ernesto

Mike Sigman
04-09-2010, 08:25 AM
I think I can do any demonstration of this stuff that any one else can. If you don't believe me, make a video of you doing something, and I'll copy it. I think all this talking has made you guys think this stuff is harder then it really is.Hi Chris:

Well, I'm looking at the topic of defining as opposed to a challenge. I started to post yesterday that I think the real problem with the defining aspect is (after reading some of the posts) simply that a person can only define in terms of what he knows. Some pretty explicit definitions (yet simple) definitions have been offered so far and my opinion is that the reason some of them get rejected is that the people who are rejecting them just don't understand the basic principles yet. I.e., the people who don't know how to do these things can't see the point of some fairly obvious 'definitions', yet once they've been shown I feel that they will simply nod and shrug at the obvious.

Another problem with the videos has to do with what can happen to interpretations of what is seen. I'm not a great exponent of the "jo trick"... and in my opinion Ueshiba never really pulled it off in the filmed attempts I've seen (he *may* have been able to do it better when he was younger and stronger). That being said, I see something entirely different in what he was attempting to do than you do in your explanation that has to do with suggestion, and so on.

Watching what you do and how you do it, my impression is that I can do a number of things with "aiki" that you can't do, but that's because your definition of "aiki" is quite different in understanding from what I understand; from what I know I can do some demonstrations that your "structure" approach simply doesn't allow for. As I mentioned to you previously, "structure" is not so important in the way I do things. I also posted a picture of two of Tohei's students doing a good basic example; I think that picture on one-leg should be a defining static example that people should be able to do well, since the dynamic examples can be a lot more sophisticated.

However, while I'm interested in the topic of approaching a definition, I'd already begun to drop out because I think the discussion is impossible to bring to fruition until everyone understands how to do these things at a basic level. Then the definition would be simple, IMO: it would be more a matter of using terms that truly define in the simplest and most accurate manner.

Best.

Mike Sigman

tlk52
04-09-2010, 10:28 AM
"two of Tohei's students doing a good basic example"

FYI: I believe that the person standing on one leg is Rod Kobayashi

Aikibu
04-09-2010, 11:26 AM
"two of Tohei's students doing a good basic example"

FYI: I believe that the person standing on one leg is Rod Kobayashi

Correct and in my brief experience with him he definitely had Aiki. :)

William Hazen

Rob Watson
04-09-2010, 11:48 AM
To me, I see available energy paths in the body to consist of muscle, bone, ligaments/tendons, and other parts of the fascia. The bone, muscle, and (to some extent) the ligament/tendon paths are mostly linear - the energy comes in and basically follows a straight path through to the destination. However, with fascia, there are multiple paths the energy can go at the same time and still reach the same destination.

I don't think fascia works quite this way ... what little contractile force the fascia does contribute perform is very slow and quite modest. The enervation and receptors (pressure, acceleration & relative position, etc) however 'alert' and perhaps participate in 'recruitment' of disparate muscles to become coordinated and share the load thereby minimizing the local effects while contributing to the 'connectedness' we are talking about.

The energy is not carried by the fascia so much as its 'character' is determined used as part of a feedback loop such that musculo-skeletal configurations can be adjusted to accomodate the load. Exactly how this control system operates (the algorithm if you will) is what is being conditioned by all the training. This is oversimplified but I think gets at the gist of it (my sense anyway).

DH
04-09-2010, 12:33 PM
I've had a series of emails and phone calls asking why I am not participating. Chris's comments sum it up.
I think I can do any demonstration of this stuff that any one else can. If you don't believe me, make a video of you doing something, and I'll copy it. I think all this talking has made you guys think this stuff is harder then it really is.
Chris,
You have never once expressed any understanding of what I have been discussing in our communications here. You can chalk it up to semantics or definitions and call it a day- I don't. I am as equally confident as you that there is no way you could deliver on what I discuss here. It is evident in the way you move and in your videos and in all the descriptions offered. I believe that will prove out in person. Aiki as you describe in your "leading the mind" and blending ideas are more of the same basic jujutsu principles talked about my any number of good jujutsu men-your teacher and his teacher included. So at least on my end, I am most certainly not talking about aiki as anything you have described-it is far more complex and rich than that. I would be far more interested in your opinion after we met and crossed hands

I've heard this debate for fifteen years and other than more and more people getting out and now rewiring their thinking and approach, the debate is not moving forward. I have yet to meet or see the man from the JMA who has displayed what I would consider a really accomplished physical understanding of what is being discussed here-and most certainly not anyone in Daito ryu or Aikido. It is always a more basic absorb / project model, and their movements express openings and balance issues for the simple reason that they don't have enough aiki in-balance within their own bodies, much less in their interaction with others. It all remains "budo light," "kata based" theory which just doesn't develop the body enough. The resultant body condition and connection understanding from their training is easily gotten around or through. Absorb and project just doesn't cover the range of what you will encounter and how your body can generate tremendous relaxed "snapping" power through in/yo ho on toward a fuller range of freedom in movement.
The hold back or lack of fuller development is readily evident in the movements of many of the teachers and supposed masters in the JMA. You can "see" where they are going and where they could make changes that would give them a deeper development in power generation internally and externally but their fixed training models would not lead them toward those potential discoveries.

Once you start physically discussing the theory and use of IP/aiki in a free fighting format and fighting with weapons, the crowd gets decidedly thinner and reverts back to kata and traditional roles and definitions for aiki. I suspect it was always that way.

Connecting the Mind/ body through intent, is a process that takes time. Learning ways to use that connection externally in movement that will negate force-in while allowing for force-out in perfect balance is a process as well; a process that is NOT all the same. The lack of discussion of that aspect is (for me anyway) defining in these debates-for the simple reason that aspects of that critical balance of in/yo ho are not even brought up. It's always about absorbing and casting, or the more rudimentary leading (as in Chris's chair example). That anyone is still discussing those jujutsu principles this far along says everything

The use of that connected body creates aiki connections in ways most people have no understanding of, cannot see, and really have no ability to judge. Even those that have a bit of understanding of what to shoot for, have trouble effectively using it in a truly martial context as they don't know where it can lead to or be utilized under what types of pressure; from mild aikido and push hands to sustained pressure in fighting. It is most assuredly NOT all the same.
Saying you can deliver center in your hand is quite an accomplishment, doing so is another.
Saying you can deliver with any part of your body at any time in free movement is another;
Saying you can do so at the end of a weapon and actually being able to do so outside of kata, at speed, is a whole other world.

Factors that determine aiki in weapons engagement are most certainly internal and body driven but also involve projection and spiral energy that simply cannot be duplicated by external means or mimicing. I think that the majority of people in the Martial Arts are outside of that paradigm. As such, or should I say because of that, personal engagements are the best solution to a debate.

I know I didn't extend any specific definition of aiki...I would just rather do it in person. For some reason I don't get into a debate there.

Dan

Keith Larman
04-09-2010, 01:27 PM
Correct and in my brief experience with him he definitely had Aiki. :)

William Hazen

Yup, that is the late Kobayashi-sensei. He split from Tohei and started Seidokan in 1981 fwiw. As a matter of fact we were doing a variation of that ki test in our advanced class at HQ last Friday night. With beginners they get light pressure to help teach them that the point isn't pushing back. It is about structure, but also learning to control the incoming energy internally. We go from 2 feet on the ground to one in the air with the partner giving constant and ultimately very strong force. There are lots of tests like this and they're all about training the body, intent, etc. It's not *just* structure. And it's not *just* suggestion. It's learning to use the body "correctly" to absorb and direct things where you want them to go.

I'll print out the photo and show it to his family this weekend and see if anyone remembers when it was taken, etc. Just fwiw.

Adman
04-09-2010, 01:43 PM
"two of Tohei's students doing a good basic example"

FYI: I believe that the person standing on one leg is Rod Kobayashi

If you're referring to this image...
http://www.neijia.com/OneLegPushOriginal.jpg

...then, I think the one standing on one leg is Iwao Tamura.

Keith Larman
04-09-2010, 01:48 PM
If you're referring to this image...
http://www.neijia.com/OneLegPushOriginal.jpg

...then, I think the one standing on one leg is Iwao Tamura.

Yeah, could be too. I keep looking at the photo and now that you mention it I'm not sure anymore. After posting my reply and thinking more about it I sent a copy of the image to the Kobayashi family to ask them to to take a look... It sure looks a *lot* like Kobayashi, but... I don't recall him ever being in those books...

dps
04-09-2010, 02:31 PM
I don't think fascia works quite this way ... what little contractile force the fascia does contribute perform is very slow and quite modest. The enervation and receptors (pressure, acceleration & relative position, etc) however 'alert' and perhaps participate in 'recruitment' of disparate muscles to become coordinated and share the load thereby minimizing the local effects while contributing to the 'connectedness' we are talking about.

The energy is not carried by the fascia so much as its 'character' is determined used as part of a feedback loop such that musculo-skeletal configurations can be adjusted to accomodate the load. Exactly how this control system operates (the algorithm if you will) is what is being conditioned by all the training. This is oversimplified but I think gets at the gist of it (my sense anyway).

For the function of fascia ( including tendons and ligaments) and transmission of energy through the fascia watch this video,
http://www.anatomytrains.com/explore/galleries/show/id/40

and this interview of Stephen M. Levin, MD FACS ( Fellow of the American College of Surgeons),
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ajowL0T4bM

This research by Helene M. Langevin, is about the use of the connective tissue that covers and interconnects with all the parts of the body as a communications network matrix.

"Connective Tissue: A body-wide signaling system.",
http://www.anatomytrains.com/explore/galleries/show/id/52

David

ChrisHein
04-09-2010, 03:04 PM
Again, a bunch of chit chat, but no one says "yeah I'll make a video"

If anyone can do any kind of demonstration that I can't duplicate, then I'll shut up and listen. However I repeatedly hear "I can tell by your movement that you don't have (insert magic word here)" or " you could not possibly do what I do because I can (insert magic jibber-jabber here)". Why not show how you can do these things; well maybe because you can't.

I've been around internal quite a bit. I have studied a great deal under a very well known teacher. I have fought with the dog brothers done mixed martial arts, and competitive jiujitsu. I've been around the block, and I'd love to share. However I am constantly stone walled by those unwilling to demonstrate any actual ability outside of their comfort zone. Sure there is lots of talk about challenges and sparring sessions, but it's just talk as far as I can tell.

Why is making a video so complicated? If you can do anything that I haven't seen before, I would love to talk about it.

Mike Sigman
04-09-2010, 03:27 PM
Hi Chris:

Well, let me point out something I said in a previous post:

Another problem with the videos has to do with what can happen to interpretations of what is seen. I'm not a great exponent of the "jo trick"... and in my opinion Ueshiba never really pulled it off in the filmed attempts I've seen (he *may* have been able to do it better when he was younger and stronger). That being said, I see something entirely different in what he was attempting to do than you do in your explanation that has to do with suggestion, and so on.

My point was that your explanation and copying of the jo trick wasn't very accurate. In other words, a film of an incident (the jo trick) did not result in you duplicating the feat. So let's be open-ended about your replication of any feat you see on film/video... agreed?

I've been around internal quite a bit. I have studied a great deal under a very well know teacher.

I dunno. I know a couple of guys who studied on Taiwan for about 12 years and they "did internal" ... except they really couldn't. Yet they were "around internal quite a bit" and their teacher was a very well-known Taiwanese CMA teacher (Hong Yi Xiang). My point is that being around teachers doesn't necessarily mean a lot.... it's a lot more important that the teacher actually showed something. In the case of the two guys on Taiwan, their very well-known teacher made a commitment to the local martial-arts council that he wasn't showing these things to foreigners. I.e., it just goes to show you never can tell (a la Chuck Berry). ;)

At the moment, there is some discussion on QiJin about the advantages of these skills and how they give an advantage in martial-arts.... but now some people are beginning to see that if they show everyone how to do these things, the advantage can disappear. If nothing else, there are levels of these skills and by showing them beyond a basic level (e.g., on video) someone moderately knowledgeable may learn a trick that they didn't know before. As I've posted in the past, I think the basic level of these skills should be made more available (and I work toward that end); showing demo's just to one-up someone doesn't appeal to me.

That being said, I'm not opposed to anyone I've worked with discussing basics, etc., in an attempt to delineate a viable definition of "aiki". I think it's a worthwhile endeavor.

Best.

Mike Sigman

thisisnotreal
04-09-2010, 03:30 PM
At the moment, there is some discussion on QiJin about the advantages of these skills and how they give an advantage in martial-arts.... but now some people are beginning to see that if they show everyone how to do these things, the advantage can disappear.
That sounds really interesting, Mike.

Keith Larman
04-09-2010, 04:13 PM
Well, I can only talk about myself. I've learned a ton in the last few years from various sources and I'm just trying to figure out how to proper incorporate it into what I do. Yeah, snippets have begun to show up a bit in what I do when I teach my own classes, but otherwise, I'm just working on myself right now. As always there is the statement that Kobayashi-sensei was well known to utter on occasion -- do what I tell you to do and *not* what *you* *think* you see me doing. I hear it all the time from our Chief Instructor who studied directly with Kobayashi-sensei for decades now. And in the last few years that has taken on new meaning for me.

Most are content with the appearance. Or are content with what they think is happening because that is comfortable, familiar, and self-reinforcing. Lately I've been rebuilding a lot of what I thought I knew. Every time in my progress when I start to feel comfortable that usually means I'm missing something important. So it becomes important to go out, play, mix it up, and learn somethin' new. Let the karma run over my dogma kinda deal.. ;)

Time with Mike helped me along that way recently although it turns out I was in the midst of a major physical problem that I didn't realize was severely impairing my ability to practice. Same is true of times I've seen Toby. Heck, the Aikiweb seminar with Toby, Aaron Clark and George Ledyard expanded my vision and blew up my self-image enough as it was... And now that I'm starting to feel relatively human again it's time to push things even more.

I guess my point is... Get out there, open your mind, and experiment/experience this stuff from a variety of sources. Eventually someone does something that makes you go "oh...". Or maybe not -- maybe you've had it all along.

Anyway, just trying to muddle along avoiding the convenient
complete rejection on one side and the blind hero worship on the other.

Josh Lerner
04-09-2010, 04:15 PM
Yeah, could be too. I keep looking at the photo and now that you mention it I'm not sure anymore. After posting my reply and thinking more about it I sent a copy of the image to the Kobayashi family to ask them to to take a look... It sure looks a *lot* like Kobayashi, but... I don't recall him ever being in those books...

Actually, I am pretty sure that is the late Fumio Toyoda, who was my instructor's instructor way back when. His picture was replaced with someone else's in later editions, probably because he left Tohei and started his own organization.

Josh

Keith Larman
04-09-2010, 04:20 PM
Okay, I see the resemblance there as well. Sigh...

phitruong
04-09-2010, 04:31 PM
Actually, I am pretty sure that is the late Fumio Toyoda, who was my instructor's instructor way back when. His picture was replaced with someone else's in later editions, probably because he left Tohei and started his own organization.

Josh

you know that we asians do look alike, right? :D

Keith Larman
04-09-2010, 05:38 PM
you know that we asians do look alike, right? :D I mentioned that to my wife who is Japanese (via Hawaii) after she caught me staring at some other asian woman. "oh, I thought that was you, honey..." That couch sure was comfy...

Josh Lerner
04-09-2010, 06:27 PM
I mentioned that to my wife who is Japanese (via Hawaii) after she caught me staring at some other asian woman. "oh, I thought that was you, honey..." That couch sure was comfy...

It's a relief to hear that we all make the same mistakes.

Josh

Rob Watson
04-09-2010, 09:27 PM
For the function of fascia ( including tendons and ligaments) and transmission of energy through the fascia watch this video, etc

Not quite. For example cut one rubber band and watch what happens to the tensegrity structure ... if ones arm is severed do the legs fall off? Not quite.

Also, note that the paper referenced speaks to signaling pathways (still not solidly established) and nothing about load bearing. Granted fascia does bear loads (like holding ones organs in place, etc) but in primarily static modes. I would be more open to entertain ideas about how fluids acting incompressibly transmit force but it leaves one to wonder what is the 'pipe' and take note of the required properties of said 'pipe' when under pressure.

Not to derail the thread but if fascia is held up as a component of aiki it requires much firmer evidence.

Perhaps we should delay the 'how' of aiki until the 'what' of aiki is settled a bit more -particularly if one wishes the list the functions of fascia amongst the hows.

Mike Sigman
04-09-2010, 11:18 PM
Not quite. For example cut one rubber band and watch what happens to the tensegrity structure ... if ones arm is severed do the legs fall off? Not quite.

Also, note that the paper referenced speaks to signaling pathways (still not solidly established) and nothing about load bearing. Granted fascia does bear loads (like holding ones organs in place, etc) but in primarily static modes. I would be more open to entertain ideas about how fluids acting incompressibly transmit force but it leaves one to wonder what is the 'pipe' and take note of the required properties of said 'pipe' when under pressure.

Not to derail the thread but if fascia is held up as a component of aiki it requires much firmer evidence.

Perhaps we should delay the 'how' of aiki until the 'what' of aiki is settled a bit more -particularly if one wishes the list the functions of fascia amongst the hows.One of the things I've watched for many years is how the legends and theories have grown unchecked. The whole "fascia" thing has developed a life of its own, once the term "fascia" made its way into the jargon back in the mid-1990's (and yeah, I've listened to various people swear that they came into it based on their own brilliant understanding). My suggestion is that people stop theorizing about how "fascia" plays a role in these things until they get a better idea. These posts are archived, after all. ;)

The schematics and freeze-dried photos of fascia have absolutely nothing to do with the conversation. Fascia having its own motile functions has very little to do with it, also. Instead of theorizing because there's a keyboard handy, maybe it's better to spend some time finding info and practicing.

Cutting to the chase... most of the fascia discussions are simply off-center, as Rob is gently trying to point out.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Keith Larman
04-09-2010, 11:27 PM
It's a relief to hear that we all make the same mistakes.

Josh

Yeah, I also learned that Asian women have no sense of humor about some things. Even after a decade or two of marriage. ;)

Janet Rosen
04-10-2010, 01:02 AM
Yeah, I also learned that Asian women have no sense of humor about some things. Even after a decade or two of marriage. ;)

"even", Keith....or "especially" ? (G,D,R) :)

Michael Varin
04-10-2010, 03:38 AM
I thought this was a video thread.

Why have only two men posted a total of seven original videos?

And still no attempt at a definition for aiki.

And for those who blindly insist that aiki = internal strength = structure, not the slightest shred of proof that Ueshiba ever considered this to be aiki.

Michael Varin
04-10-2010, 03:40 AM
At the moment, there is some discussion on QiJin about the advantages of these skills and how they give an advantage in martial-arts.... but now some people are beginning to see that if they show everyone how to do these things, the advantage can disappear. If nothing else, there are levels of these skills and by showing them beyond a basic level (e.g., on video) someone moderately knowledgeable may learn a trick that they didn't know before.

What is this? 1656 Japan?

Josh Reyer
04-10-2010, 03:57 AM
I thought this was a video thread.

Why have only two men posted a total of seven original videos?

And still no attempt at a definition for aiki.

And for those who blindly insist that aiki = internal strength = structure, not the slightest shred of proof that Ueshiba ever considered this to be aiki.Except the whole jo trick thing, and the push test with Tenryu. Some people may insist, and you're free to disagree, but they are hardly insisting blindly.

DH
04-10-2010, 06:12 AM
Michael Varin wrote:
I thought this was a video thread.

Why have only two men posted a total of seven original videos?

And still no attempt at a definition for aiki.

And for those who blindly insist that aiki = internal strength = structure, not the slightest shred of proof that Ueshiba ever considered this to be aiki.
--------------------------

Except the whole jo trick thing, and the push test with Tenryu. Some people may insist, and you're free to disagree, but they are hardly insisting blindly.
As well as the many references to how Shioda and others trained with push-testing and breath training, and the push tests mentioned in the fighting spirit of Japan with an aiki-jujutsu teacher and the use of center. You could also lump in solo training, breath training with questions of push testing and still come up with an interesting list of suspects!!
As far as fascia being involved in the training and just what came into who's jargon and when is concerned it is worth noting: Mochizuki's mention of it in an AJ interview, Richard Kim (student of Yoshida Kotaro Daito ryu and Yanagi ryu) discussion of breath training in an interview (I believe from the early 80's) and the results it had on the skin and bone thickening among adepts. It was highlighted by a story he told of one of his training partners having his arm broken and the doc's noting the thickness of the bone, I didn't care about the story as much as I found these interviews and references "cross checks" for other sources mentioning the same things. Case in point; I found Mochizuki's comments and his calling fascia, "long muscle" in the written AJ's from the early nineties particularly interesting, since I first heard the term used by a Japanese Daito ryu shihan. He was discussing breath and the effects it had on "long muscle" and then being corrected by an American physical therapist who told him the proper term was fascia. There was a reference to breath training and fascia as well in a book on DR published in Europe. There was another reference somewhere -I think it was in Takeda Tokimune's in-house circulars in the late seventies for students in reference to aiki-in-yo ho and how it effected the tissue in connecting the arms and legs to center.
So here we see references to skin, bones, and fascia from different teachers...all connected to who and what art? ;) Since they were discussing it in interviews in the 80s (late in their careers after they were famous) -how long had they been training it? And in that time and place is it another coincidence that they were also known for unusual power?

I also found Sagawa's decision to bring up and then deny breath-training note worthy, if not fascinating, as I know he taught breath-power as a specific training to at least one teacher.

Again, all these references are by whom? Should we consider it coincidence that the Japanese teachers who were mentioning it and discussing it were oddly enough men well known for unusual skills and unusual power? Is that worth our attention?
It seems odd to insist the knowledge of this stuff is everywhere in Asia- then not acknowledge the various sources of it being discussed and taught by....Asian teachers!
The one interesting and overriding factor in all of this, is that when we trace the routes of aiki back to the greats in the art- why do we run into these stories of solo training, push-testing and breath power?
And why it seems that over-and-over, these men were just like us. Among their peers -only one would listen as hundreds of others got lost in waza.
The more things change.....
Dan

Takahama
04-10-2010, 06:49 AM
It is my understanding that O Sensei's use of the term 'Aiki' stemmed from his Omoto Kyo experiences; i.e. a mystical concept that suggests some kind of union or coming together of oneself with the universe. It is interesting to attempt to define 'Aiki' from a martial viewpoint, but it is also worth considering that the Founder himself might have defined it primarily from a religious or spiritual viewpoint.

DH
04-10-2010, 08:13 AM
It is my understanding that O Sensei's use of the term 'Aiki' stemmed from his Omoto Kyo experiences; i.e. a mystical concept that suggests some kind of union or coming together of oneself with the universe. It is interesting to attempt to define 'Aiki' from a martial viewpoint, but it is also worth considering that the Founder himself might have defined it primarily from a religious or spiritual viewpoint.
That would be at odds; not only with his many quotes about martial use- including many comments about his atemi being deadly- but also from his actions; including going to judo dojos and dislocating someone's hip with an atemi, and his training of military people-including ultra right wing types. Were his message meant to be purely spiritual he would never have lived his entire life in...martial arts! You would also never have known his name in the first place. It was his martial prowess that gave him fame, and not his spiritual beliefs, which none of his students ever claimed to truly understand.
I think all the spiritual jargon was greatly misunderstood and among some people in Aikido it is become something of a new age, animistic, add your own quasy-spiritual belief, add-on at your pleasure, type deal that it never really was meant to be in the first place.

Dan

dps
04-10-2010, 08:22 AM
Perhaps we should delay the 'how' of aiki until the 'what' of aiki is settled a bit more -particularly if one wishes the list the functions of fascia amongst the hows.

The understanding of how something works leads to better insight to what something is. The using of archaic words from a culture most of us have no idea about and definitions that have morphed over centuries of use is not helpful nor is the use of individual personal definitions. Using medical knowledge of how the body works provides a common base to define the term "Aiki".

A word is worth a word, a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million words and actually experience is priceless.

So on a medium where actually experience is not possible why not use that which is closest to actually experience, video?

Why wouldn't those who know the most be willing to post video explaining what they know.

At the moment, there is some discussion on QiJin about the advantages of these skills and how they give an advantage in martial-arts.... but now some people are beginning to see that if they show everyone how to do these things, the advantage can disappear.....

That being said, I'm not opposed to anyone I've worked with discussing basics, etc., in an attempt to delineate a viable definition of "aiki". I think it's a worthwhile endeavor.

Why are you opposed to anyone you have not worked with trying to discussing basics?

David

gregstec
04-10-2010, 08:25 AM
One of the things I've watched for many years is how the legends and theories have grown unchecked. The whole "fascia" thing has developed a life of its own, once the term "fascia" made its way into the jargon back in the mid-1990's (and yeah, I've listened to various people swear that they came into it based on their own brilliant understanding). My suggestion is that people stop theorizing about how "fascia" plays a role in these things until they get a better idea. These posts are archived, after all. ;)

The schematics and freeze-dried photos of fascia have absolutely nothing to do with the conversation. Fascia having its own motile functions has very little to do with it, also. Instead of theorizing because there's a keyboard handy, maybe it's better to spend some time finding info and practicing.

Cutting to the chase... most of the fascia discussions are simply off-center, as Rob is gently trying to point out.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Wow, did not expect my fascia comment to explode into such a detailed conversation. My point was simply that fascia is a component that helps distribute the load and not that it was the lone bearer of it, and I do not think that a single energy 'pipe' is established in it. How all that works is well above my pay grade :)

My network analogy was simply an attempt to show that incoming energy does not have to be channeled in a single linear manner - maybe it was not such a good analogy for aiki after :)

best

Greg

dps
04-10-2010, 08:38 AM
My network analogy was simply an attempt to show that incoming energy does not have to be channeled in a single linear manner - maybe it was not such a good analogy for aiki after :)

It is a good analogy.
The fascia is a network of connective tissue that involves all parts of the body. Modern medical research shows the body uses this network as a means of distributing incoming and outgoing energy, stresses and loads throughout the body. It also shows that it is a mechanical communications network and possibly a electrical communications network that supplements the nervous system.

David

gregstec
04-10-2010, 08:45 AM
For the function of fascia ( including tendons and ligaments) and transmission of energy through the fascia watch this video,
http://www.anatomytrains.com/explore/galleries/show/id/40

David

As a sailor, I can relate to the points in this video - and I m sure there are similar points in aiki, just not sure how to express it all though.


Greg

dps
04-10-2010, 08:52 AM
As a sailor, I can relate to the points in this video - and I m sure there are similar points in aiki, just not sure how to express it all though.

GregDoes understanding how the sails and stays work using the incoming energy of the wind and distributing it throughout the sailboat causing the boat to move through the water (outgoing energy) make you a better sailor?

David

dps
04-10-2010, 08:55 AM
Or would you rather use an explanation that the ki of the boat pushes against the ki of the air to overcome the ki of the earth to move the boat? Thus we have aiki. :)

David

thisisnotreal
04-10-2010, 08:59 AM
selected Doka:
The vast Universe!
The Way of Aiki to become
The light of all mankind
Opening all the world.

Put the active principle (yo) into the right hand
Turn the left into the passive (in)
And so guide the adversary.

With "Eiiii" cut him down!
That enemy that lurks within
Instruct him with "yah"
Guide him with "Toh".

Pour your spirit and heart
Into daily technical training
To approach the many through a single principle
This is "The Way of the Fighting Man".

Always and always
Pour yourself into technical training
To face the multitude as if it were one
Is the Way of the Shugo-sha.

First master the techniques of Aiki
The way of the Gods
Then no enemy will ever attack.

Though we may honor it
We can never praise enough
The godly technique of the Way of Aiki
The godly technique of the small gate.

The purification techniques (misogi-waza)
I have learned from God and Revelation
Aiki is built by the god(s).

Masakatsu and Agatsu
By Aiki with the spirit of the Godly Parent
Save and invigorate
Your own body and soul.

The Way of the Gods!
Give in to the life of the Universe of
Heaven and Earth
Thus draw nearer and nearer
To a spirit who serves the Godhead.

The Way of our Gods!
The clear and those red and white
The Way of Aiki is one of the divine techniques
To which only a narrow gate does lead.

Mobilize all (your) powers through Aiki
Build a beautiful world
And a secure peace

Even the most powerful human being
has a limited sphere of strength.
Draw him outside of that sphere
and into your own, and his strength will dissipate.

"You must realize this!
Aiki cannot be captured with the brush
Nor can it be expressed with the mouth
And so it is that one must proceed
to realization."

Blend with (ki-musubi) the
Universe of Heaven and Earth (tenchi)
Stand in the center (of all)
In your heart take up the stance
Of "The Way of the Mountain Echo." (Yamabiko)

Blend the ki within the self (ki-musubi)
Stand erect in the very center
Polish the spirit
mind (kokoro)
"The Way of the Mountain Echo".

In the self-mind standing always
In the very center of it I do live
The stance (kamae) of Love is
"The Way of the Mountain Echo.

Aiki!
The root of the power of love
A love that must grow ever broader.

This world is built up
Of living-life (iki-inochi) of the breath of life (iki-inichi) and the
saving power of the Universal (iki-inochi)
All spinning and flourishing
The jewel-like Aiki of the Spirit (tama-no-aiki).

Left and Right
Cut or parry
Discard all thought of them
The human spirit must rush instantly in!

Aiki!
A way so difficult to analyse
(But one needs only to) follow
The natural rotations of the
Heavens.

Aiki is the power of harmony between all things
Polish it ceaselessly
You people of the Way.

The honored techniques of Ki
May manifest the spirit of the Great Snake
Or that of Bees
To make such spirits (tama) appear
Is the Way of Takemusu.

The precious techniques of Ki!
They, the spirits (tama) does subdue and pacify
IN these techniques of misogi purification
Please direct us, Oh gods of Heaven and Earth!

In these teachings listen most
To the rhythm of the strike and thrust
To train in the basics (omote)
Is to practice the very secrets of the art.


Q: Did O Sensei ever define Aiki clearer than he did in his doka?

and; as per this thread; At some point descriptions of a thing, and or it's properties, methods or connections are a workable 'definition', are they not? I was puzzling at that prior comment.

thisisnotreal
04-10-2010, 09:02 AM
I think all the spiritual jargon was greatly misunderstood and among some people in Aikido it is become something of a new age, animistic, add your own quasi-spiritual belief, add-on at your pleasure, type deal that it never really was meant to be in the first place.
Dan
Yes, I agree with this.

thisisnotreal
04-10-2010, 09:19 AM
i like the network analogy. take it a bit further, when you touch another person, you establish a network link between your network cloud with the other person network cloud, so now the information can flow both way through the connection. so depends on how good you are, you can reach into the other person network and manipulate the information (read energy flow).

Are we talking about aiki, or really kinky sex?
Sorry. joke... but it is a clever analogy. or...after thinking.... is it...an analogy?
I mean, aren't we ultimately networked atoms, molecules, cells, electrical and chemical energy, nerves, organs, software/body patterns?. I can definitely see how the esoteric terms/phrases/philosophies stuff starts to creep in here when you try to talk about *everything*. The network thing is a neat idea, guys. thanks.

Mike Sigman
04-10-2010, 09:28 AM
What is this? 1656 Japan?

Well, no, but people in some arts actually compete in martial arts tournaments, etc., and while it's not as life-threatening in a tournament as it was in feudal Japan, you still don't want to rush out and give away all your knowledge/skills if they're giving you an advantage, right? I.e., there's nothing wrong with people being careful not to give away their knowledge and skills to every Tom, Dick, and Harry who demands it. ;)

Besides, a lot of Aikido people are in this I.S. pickle simply because Ueshiba didn't teach the skills openly... and he's not from 1656 Japan.

Best.

Mike Sigman

thisisnotreal
04-10-2010, 09:28 AM
Or would you rather use an explanation that the ki of the boat pushes against the ki of the air to overcome the ki of the earth to move the boat? Thus we have aiki. :)
David
I know you are being tongue-in-cheek, but I think about it this way (yes thats' M 2 C):
the words and thoughts come to us through time, from a different place, social context, and way of thinking of...almost everything. it is a different way of mapping -the same physical things- to descriptions/view of how and why it works. I do not think there are always one-to-one correspondences of concepts from the world-view of one to the other. Isn't there that saying; "Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet."

thisisnotreal
04-10-2010, 09:33 AM
..because Ueshiba didn't teach the skills openly... and he's not from 1656 Japan.

I wondered about that for a long time; I kind of thought that was cause there was probably a promise to Takeda Sokaku not to (much like Sagawa mentions he was told). Any thoughts?
If there wasn't, and he didn't....why didn't he? Cause it's hard? But he came so close by teaching Aikido to so many worldwide. It's puzzling
Josh

edit: you know what; i take this back. it is no different than any martial art. the best is kept secret, is it not. and only shown to the deserving few.
as it always was, i can only assume.
what in life, isn't like that?

gregstec
04-10-2010, 09:34 AM
Does understanding how the sails and stays work using the incoming energy of the wind and distributing it throughout the sailboat causing the boat to move through the water (outgoing energy) make you a better sailor?

David

Actually, yes! - I have seen captains out on the water get into a bit of trouble when the wind kicks up make the wrong adjustment because they did not a have a good understanding of how those relationships work in their boat. :)

gregstec
04-10-2010, 09:37 AM
Or would you rather use an explanation that the ki of the boat pushes against the ki of the air to overcome the ki of the earth to move the boat? Thus we have aiki. :)

David

now we are getting somewhere :D

dps
04-10-2010, 09:47 AM
I know you are being tongue-in-cheek, but I think about it this way (yes thats' M 2 C):
the words and thoughts come to us through time, from a different place, social context, and way of thinking of...almost everything. it is a different way of mapping -the same physical things- to descriptions/view of how and why it works. I do not think there are always one-to-one correspondences of concepts from the world-view of one to the other. Isn't there that saying; "Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet."

Yes but thousands of years ago, hundreds of years ago even 40 years ago the access to knowledge and the ability to communicate between people has vastly improved. Forty years ago I could not ( from Youngstown, Ohio, USA ) post a video on the Internet and someone from Japan, China, England, etc view it almost immediately . So the separation of place, culture, social context and way of thinking is diminishing at a rapid rate meaning a move toward the twain meeting more often.

David

gregstec
04-10-2010, 09:48 AM
Are we talking about aiki, or really kinky sex?
Sorry. joke... but it is a clever analogy. or...after thinking.... is it...an analogy?
I mean, aren't we ultimately networked atoms, molecules, cells, electrical and chemical energy, nerves, organs, software/body patterns?. I can definitely see how the esoteric terms/phrases/philosophies stuff starts to creep in here when you try to talk about *everything*. The network thing is a neat idea, guys. thanks.

Interesting - instead of being packet switched like in an IP network or label switched in a MPLS network, we are atom or molecule switched in the body network - no, I got it, we are ki switched in the body :D

thisisnotreal
04-10-2010, 09:52 AM
So the separation of place, culture, social context and way of thinking is diminishing at a rapid rate meaning a move toward the twain meeting more often.
i disagree.
and I disagree with your comments on videos too, since i'm being disagreeable (albeit disagreeably (yeah i stole it mike))

what is increasing at a rapid rate is the amount of superficiality. that is not a slam on you; but a slam on society's use of all these wonderful modes of communication. fluff; no content mostly.

adverts and porn

dps
04-10-2010, 09:54 AM
Or would you rather use an explanation that the ki of the boat pushes against the ki of the air to overcome the ki of the earth to move the boat? Thus we have aiki. :)

David

I'm sorry, I forgot about the water ki between the boat ki and the earth ki. :)

David

dps
04-10-2010, 09:58 AM
i disagree.
and I disagree with your comments on videos too, since i'm being disagreeable (albeit disagreeably (yeah i stole it mike))

what is increasing at a rapid rate is the amount of superficiality. that is not a slam on you; but a slam on society's use of all these wonderful modes of communication. fluff; no content mostly.

adverts and porn

In communications when you turn the gain up you not only amply the carrier signal that carries the information wanted but also the noise that is not wanted.
That is what filters are for, to diminish the noise.

David

thisisnotreal
04-10-2010, 10:02 AM
In communications when you turn the gain up you not only amply the carrier signal that carries the information wanted but also the noise that is not wanted.
That is what filters are for, to diminish the noise.

David

sorry; didn't see that post. you were still on my ignore list.:]

thisisnotreal
04-10-2010, 10:04 AM
Interesting - instead of being packet switched like in an IP network or label switched in a MPLS network, we are atom or molecule switched in the body network - no, I got it, we are ki switched in the body :D
You mean there is an intelligent/controlling energy within the human body? That's what i was thinking. Some would say: Isn't that obvious? Isn't that 'life' itself? interesting

gregstec
04-10-2010, 10:06 AM
I'm sorry, I forgot about the water ki between the boat ki and the earth ki. :)

David

Yes, the water is a 'ki' component in keeping your boat afloat :D

gregstec
04-10-2010, 10:19 AM
You mean there is an intelligent/controlling energy within the human body? That's what i was thinking. Some would say: Isn't that obvious? Isn't that 'life' itself? interesting

I am rapidly moving into the realm of silly with a lot of tongue in cheek comments this morning - I would not take them all that seriously at the moment - but then again, maybe there is some stuff 'hidden in plain sight' being masked in some esoteric form :) but, then again, maybe not - you decide for yourself :D

Would love to stay and chat, but it is a beautiful day here in central PA and I need to go out and disrupt the ki of my lawn (cut the grass) :)

thisisnotreal
04-10-2010, 10:20 AM
me too. was fun. thanks for the :)

dps
04-10-2010, 10:21 AM
Hopefully this will give a place for those who are trying to push their ideas about "Aiki" to post some videos, to help clear up what it is that they are talking about.

Great Idea.

I will try to contribute a video in the near future but don't expect much.

If the experts are reluctant to share a video here then maybe some of their students can, unless they are forbidden to.

David

ChrisHein
04-10-2010, 11:25 AM
Great Idea.

I will try to contribute a video in the near future but don't expect much.

If the experts are reluctant to share a video here then maybe some of their students can, unless they are forbidden to.

David

I like your ki boat, on ki water with ki wind analogy. I think that is the way Ueshiba would have described it as well!

Keith Larman
04-10-2010, 12:27 PM
I wondered about that for a long time;

FWIW it is a concept that has never bothered me all that much. I tend to think that the information has always been there "hidden in plain sight" to steal Mr. Amdur's wonderful title. Some of the direct students picked up on it quite well for as varied reasons as their backgrounds. Some didn't. Some got the gift while the rest just got the gift wrap. Not that the gift wasn't always there -- they just weren't able/willing/ready/whatever to find it.

In part I think this happens because of difficulty in explaining *what* precisely was going on with those who "got it". They had trouble. Tohei, I think, put out a rather comprehensive approach with his ki tests, aiki taiso, etc. I remember hearing things like curving the fingers down in funakogi to keep ki flowing. Okay, didn't get it then, but if I'm "listening" to my body now I can feel a difference in my internal connections now if I do it correctly. Heck, I find I can get that feeling without curving my fingers now. So what is that feeling? Something new? Something that was always there? Something I built?

I don't know. I just keep training to hopefully feel it more.

Some people today are arguing that they've come up with a better way to teach this stuff. Some are going back to the Chinese arts with the argument that China was where that special "whatever" came from. Others are doing their own thing in training the body (Ark et al). I've not had the pleasure of working with Dan, but he's apparently got his version of windings, grounding, balanced spirals, etc. going as well. To some of us wandering about intersecting some of these things there is a familiarity. But it is still devilishly difficult to describe in words. Difficult to show in video if you don't already know what you're looking for.

Compound all of that with the normal and natural expansion of terminology as Aikido became a phenomena that transcended simple martial arts. In some ways it became all things to all people, at least all people of a certain mindset. And that would further obscure some of those basic foundations.

Me, I'm just training more. I'll get out to see Toby again soon. And hopefully Mike will be out again here later in the year again. And I'll keep pestering my sensei about experiences with Tohei, Kobayashi, etc. All while things I've heard from those who've come before who seemed to have something different and powerful seem to jibe quite well with what I'm hearing now. Just maybe a better explanation, more fleshed out ideas, etc. all making it easier to approach. Not necessarily easier to *do* or necessarily easier to demonstrate on-line, but easier when you get together and feel a few things, get a few corrections, then work on it for a while. Kinda like all martial arts training. Or most any non-trivial training.

So was it all hidden? Or were those who had it just had varied success putting it into words and communicating it to their students. The lack of a good teaching method doesn't mean the subject is invalid...

Just a train of consciousness post after rereading most of this stuff...

Rob Watson
04-10-2010, 02:34 PM
I don't know. I just keep training to hopefully feel it more.

Most of us will agree there is something there worth finding. In the effort to make the art our own we wrap it in terms and concepts we find best suited to our abilities and comprehension. Those who refuse to look will not find it despite hard training. Even if we to find it and attempt to make it our own but still use the wrappings and trappings of our teacher we may find ourselves unable to transmit the gifts and soon the gift fades upon passing.

Those who are satisfied with their progress soon fade as well. Never be satisfied and always question what one knows (this itself is a high art) and progress will never cease.

It doesn't matter if you call it long muscle, ki waves or fascia unless it aids in understanding and transmission but it does help if it is also right (whatever that means). If the understanding is there then it should be able to be conveyed in writing, spoken word and also in video as well as in person. Usually the fault can also be found in the audience simply not understanding the presentation. Maybe it is all right there in the doka but we just don't understand. I prefer the gift wrapping to be less spectacular/flashy than the gift - the trappings become a trap.

I'm with Mr. Larman, I don't know, so I keep looking and I'm never satisfied. Even if I don't know I am able to detect BS pretty well-hopefully that is enough to keep me from straying too far afield.

Mike Sigman
04-10-2010, 04:54 PM
It doesn't matter if you call it long muscle, ki waves or fascia unless it aids in understanding and transmission but it does help if it is also right (whatever that means). In Aikido Shugyo, Gozo Shioda tends to talk about kokyu power, although I think that some ideas probably got a little frazzled by the compilers and translators of the book. Technically kokyu power is a physical manifestation of ki, so I would prefer 'kokyu power' to 'aiki' because 'aiki' is technically a usage of kokyu ('jin' in Chinese).

Regardless of the terminology, Shioda says at one point in his book that these types of trainings are an investment for old age. This saying about old age is a common saying in Asia and while it somewhat refers to the strength issues that stay with you into old age, the strength issues are really an adjunct of some of the training mechanisms which have a positive effect on your health well into old age. So there's a lot more to it than just the strength issues... yet a lot of these discussions focus on "aiki"/jin/kokyu/ki/fascia/etc like it is primarily a strength skill. Just thought I'd toss that in for the record.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Takahama
04-10-2010, 06:50 PM
That would be at odds; not only with his many quotes about martial use- including many comments about his atemi being deadly- but also from his actions; including going to judo dojos and dislocating someone's hip with an atemi, and his training of military people-including ultra right wing types. Were his message meant to be purely spiritual he would never have lived his entire life in...martial arts! You would also never have known his name in the first place. It was his martial prowess that gave him fame, and not his spiritual beliefs, which none of his students ever claimed to truly understand.
I think all the spiritual jargon was greatly misunderstood and among some people in Aikido it is become something of a new age, animistic, add your own quasy-spiritual belief, add-on at your pleasure, type deal that it never really was meant to be in the first place.

Dan

Yet without the existence of the network of Omoto Kyo believers, Aikido would never have gotten off the ground in the first place. My point about the 'Aiki' definition was an attempt to insert a touch of historical perspective into the discussion. It would not be helpful to deny the influence of the Omoto Kyo religion and Deguchi himself on O Sensei in those days. Furtehrmore, just a cursory glance at O Sensei's doka will reveal that his use of the term 'Aiki' was applied to spiritual/mystical experiences. Your points about the new age, quasi-spiritual misunderstandings of the present day cannot be disagreed with - but that is a different topic.

When I read the various discussions in this thread, it struck me that what is being defined would be more likely termed Kokyu Ryoku by Japanese Aikido people.

Apologies to the OP for a semantic thread drift.

gregstec
04-10-2010, 07:00 PM
In Aikido Shugyo, Gozo Shioda tends to talk about kokyu power, although I think that some ideas probably got a little frazzled by the compilers and translators of the book. Technically kokyu power is a physical manifestation of ki, so I would prefer 'kokyu power' to 'aiki' because 'aiki' is technically a usage of kokyu ('jin' in Chinese).

Regardless of the terminology, Shioda says at one point in his book that these types of trainings are an investment for old age. This saying about old age is a common saying in Asia and while it somewhat refers to the strength issues that stay with you into old age, the strength issues are really an adjunct of some of the training mechanisms which have a positive effect on your health well into old age. So there's a lot more to it than just the strength issues... yet a lot of these discussions focus on "aiki"/jin/kokyu/ki/fascia/etc like it is primarily a strength skill. Just thought I'd toss that in for the record.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Hello all - back from the yard work and some hot tub and beer misogi (hot tub external and beer internal :) )

Nice smooth shift into the TCM arena, Mike ;) I will bite on your comment. Although I have some training in this area (Tohei's kiatsu) I have found less success with it than with Tohei's approach to martial application. However, with that said, it does not mean I have not had positive experience in this area. I just do not have empirical evidence that would meet scientific standards - it is very personal and I do not talk much about it - unless, of course, it is well passed midnight and we are sitting at the bar together and you say you want to know me better ( Navy training 101: when in a foreign port (or any bar) just tell them what they want to hear so you can achieve your objective) :D

Seriously, IMO, I believe there is something going on there, but I just do not know enough to provide any logical insight into it.

As others have already mentioned elsewhere, "Your mileage may vary"

Greg

gregstec
04-10-2010, 07:03 PM
Apologies to the OP for a semantic thread drift.

If any thread needed a semantic drift, this is it :D Great comments, and very welcome...

Greg

gregstec
04-10-2010, 07:35 PM
Since this thread is about aiki definitions, let me just throw this out for some thought.

Aiki - let's just break this up into a very high level view.
Ai: harmonious, join, blend, synchronize, be one, etc.
Ki: energy, force, etc.

So, at a very basic level, we have energy being NOT conflicted with, but more agreed with and more being aware of, etc.

In this very high level viewpoint, everyone posting in this thread has a legitimate view point on aiki - Chis with his view of timing with the energy in an external environment (chair thing) and the others with their view of dealing with the blending in an internal manner. Neither perspective is wrong, but neither perspective is authoritative as well since neither perspective developed the term aiki, nor owns it.

So, in the words of an innocent victim: "Why can't we all just get along" (that sounds like aiki to me as well :) )

Greg

thisisnotreal
04-10-2010, 08:19 PM
Greg, This!< (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmPRHJd3uHI) :p

Mike Sigman
04-10-2010, 09:28 PM
In this very high level viewpoint, everyone posting in this thread has a legitimate view point on aiki - I disagree with this viewpoint. When people start thinking that "all views are legitimate" then there is something very wrong.

Ki/kokyu/jin/qi skills work under a fairly rigorous logic. I.e., everyone's viewpoint cannot be 'legitimate'. If you go back a few years, there are a number of posts by various high-ranking dans, 'experts', etc., that are pretty telling *in light of the few steps forward a number of people have made*. In the next few years, even more people will realize that they have put themselves into various untenable positions that are now archived in the forums.

My point is not to trivialize but to encourage people to think very hard and to realize that each thing they say is archived and therefore they should really put a lot of thought into what they say, plus have what Dale Carnegie used to call "the right to speak" (i.e., you should know the subject you're opining about) ... as opposed to thinking that each observation they make is just as valid as anyone else's.

I can remember being in a discussion with a number of Asian martial-arts teachers of various levels and one comment made was that the better teachers tended to be very clinical and oriented toward the physical sciences... while the average western student seems to be a liberal-arts type who thinks that all feelings are valid.

O-Sensei, as well as his precursors, tended to be of the stricter, "martial-arts has precise definitions" type than the "all viewpoints are legitimate" framing, IMO.

The current threa topic is about definitions, in a sense (video), of 'aiki'. I agree with Takahama that the actual subject is kokyu-power (as people are discussing it), but regardless, let's all remember Dale Carnegie's admonition about having "the right to speak". Even Dale was aware that there are a lot of people in this world who will speak knowledgeably about a topic without having the least ability to show it. My recommendation would be to opine, but to opine with specifics rather than to speak with the assumption of authority.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

phitruong
04-10-2010, 09:54 PM
personally, i can't define aiki or even demonstrate it. haven't been around the block (stay mainly in my own yard most of the time) nor have the experiences most martial artists. my thoughts run along the line, if you have never being punch in the face, i can describe with every terms known to man along with every communication methods, you won't know what it feel like until you actually get punch in the face. thus, the terms It Has To Be Felt. Ikeda sensei said many times that if folks see video of him or even watch with their own eyes, they would think that what he does is fake. as someone who has been on the receiving end of him, there is nothing fake about it. same goes to Mike Sigman, Howard Popkin and Endo sensei who i had the honor of being on the receiving end of their aiki (or whatever). i can honestly say that they feel the same and different from the rest of aikido folks that i have encountered. i like the feel of these few teachers where each brought to the table different aspects of the same aiki (or whatever that they do).

now if you want to discuss the basic training of such thing (the undefined stuffs), then i might be able to contribute to the discussion or maybe not.

*just a padawan (you have to figure out of jedi or sith)* ;)

dps
04-10-2010, 10:21 PM
I disagree with this viewpoint. When people start thinking that "all views are legitimate" then there is something very wrong............
......... My recommendation would be to opine, but to opine with specifics rather than to speak with the assumption of authority.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

personally, i can't define aiki or even demonstrate it........
....... now if you want to discuss the basic training of such thing (the undefined stuffs), then i might be able to contribute to the discussion or maybe not.

*just a padawan (you have to figure out of jedi or sith)* ;)

This thread has a topic and allowing for a little thread drift is ok but these post are just muddying the waters.

If you want to talk about basic training training then start another thread.

If you don't like the specifics being opined then post your video and opine your specifics.

David

HL1978
04-11-2010, 07:11 AM
Since this thread is about aiki definitions, let me just throw this out for some thought.

Aiki - let's just break this up into a very high level view.
Ai: harmonious, join, blend, synchronize, be one, etc.
Ki: energy, force, etc.

So, at a very basic level, we have energy being NOT conflicted with, but more agreed with and more being aware of, etc.

In this very high level viewpoint, everyone posting in this thread has a legitimate view point on aiki - Chis with his view of timing with the energy in an external environment (chair thing) and the others with their view of dealing with the blending in an internal manner. Neither perspective is wrong, but neither perspective is authoritative as well since neither perspective developed the term aiki, nor owns it.

So, in the words of an innocent victim: "Why can't we all just get along" (that sounds like aiki to me as well :) )

Greg

My opinon here as a former aikidoka, is that whomever can replicate the same feats as the founder probably has the better definition. Given that so few can actually do so, makes me think that their understanding of "aiki" is flawed and there is a flaw in the teaching methodology.

gregstec
04-11-2010, 08:16 AM
Greg, This!< (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmPRHJd3uHI) :p

Yeah, well, maybe...:)

gregstec
04-11-2010, 08:47 AM
I disagree with this viewpoint. When people start thinking that "all views are legitimate" then there is something very wrong.

I agree from your perspective. However, my point was simply that if you broke Aiki into Ai and Ki, and took those terms in a very broad sense, you could loosely support more than one view on aiki - simple semantics here.

Granted, that once you start using aiki in a certain context, than there needs to be a commonly understood and agreed upon definition to facilitate a smooth exchange of information.

The current threa topic is about definitions, in a sense (video), of 'aiki'. I agree with Takahama that the actual subject is kokyu-power (as people are discussing it), but regardless, let's all remember Dale Carnegie's admonition about having "the right to speak". Even Dale was aware that there are a lot of people in this world who will speak knowledgeably about a topic without having the least ability to show it. My recommendation would be to opine, but to opine with specifics rather than to speak with the assumption of authority.

I agree wholeheartedly about your authority point - IMO, the only people that can truly speak authoritatively on this would be Ueshiba or Takeda - but, that is not going to happen, so we will continue to have the multitude of views from many different martial camps all claiming this is aiki - this will never change no matter how many videos or posts are placed in this thread.

IMO, the only way to settle this and get an authoritative position is to try and get aiki trademarked, and then that would only be good in that jurisdiction. :)

Greg

(as Mike says, FWIW ;) )

gregstec
04-11-2010, 08:53 AM
My opinon here as a former aikidoka, is that whomever can replicate the same feats as the founder probably has the better definition. Given that so few can actually do so, makes me think that their understanding of "aiki" is flawed and there is a flaw in the teaching methodology.

In the absence of Ueshiba and Takeda to speak for themselves, your point about those that can replicate their feats is very valid. But, then the question arises: "Are they doing it exactly the same way" :D

Nevertheless, IMO, very good points to consider. :)

jss
04-11-2010, 09:33 AM
However, my point was simply that if you broke Aiki into Ai and Ki, and took those terms in a very broad sense, you could loosely support more than one view on aiki - simple semantics here.
Ok, but what's the point to your point? If we increase the boundaries of what 'aiki' can mean, more people will hold a correct definition of 'aiki'? Indeed, simple semantics, but I don't see what's the use of that. Except perhaps to be able to say to people: "Sure, you do aiki[do] too," which is kind of belittling. (Not implying that is your purpose, btw. It's the best reason I can think of. evileyes)

Granted, that once you start using aiki in a certain context, than there needs to be a commonly understood and agreed upon definition to facilitate a smooth exchange of information.
Do you think aikido is a specific enough context?

gregstec
04-11-2010, 10:37 AM
Ok, but what's the point to your point? If we increase the boundaries of what 'aiki' can mean, more people will hold a correct definition of 'aiki'? Indeed, simple semantics, but I don't see what's the use of that. Except perhaps to be able to say to people: "Sure, you do aiki[do] too," which is kind of belittling. (Not implying that is your purpose, btw. It's the best reason I can think of. evileyes)

My point is simply that IMO you should take a look at things from the other person's perspective so you have a better understanding of where they are coming from - I am not saying you have to agree with it, but it is nice to know nonetheless.

Wow, never had "evileyes" thrown my way before - better be careful, or I will throw a ki ball your way that will disrupt your harmonious existence in this universe :D

Do you think Aikido is a specific enough context?

IMO, no - there is just too many different views of Aikido going on as well - therefore, the reason we have so many different views on aiki.

For the record, personally, I am in the aiki definition camp with Dan, Mark, Mike, and others with similar internal views. But that does not mean I do not try to understand where those that do not agree with us are coming from.

FWIW, my recent posts were simply intended to maybe get folks trying to take a view of things from a perspective different than their own - nothing more and nothing less.

Greg

MM
04-11-2010, 11:02 AM
I agree from your perspective. However, my point was simply that if you broke Aiki into Ai and Ki, and took those terms in a very broad sense, you could loosely
support more than one view on aiki - simple semantics here.


Hope you don't take this personally, but I'm going to disagree here. As Peter Goldsbury, Josh Reyer, and a few others have posted here on Aikiweb, breaking down some Japanese words into individual components doesn't always work properly.

Historically, we can see this from a passage in A Life in Aikido. It's on page 285 of my book and talks about "Aikido itself is connected to the love of the heart." Same para. "Aiki sounds just like Ai ki (love energy), and the meanings are connected as well." Not the same. Aiki is not Ai ki. They can be connected but one must have a basis of aiki first.

In fact, Ueshiba makes note of them both as being the heart of Budo.


I would like people to understand that the first character in the word Budo is made up of characters whose meaning is that the shield blocks the spear. I want them to realize that the philosophical heart of Japanese Budo is both Aiki (unifying the energies of ki) and Ai ki (the ki energy of love and compassion).

It's why I post that aiki is the martial underpinnings of aikido. And aikido is the way of aiki. It isn't the way of ai ki. It's why Ueshiba said people didn't have to follow his spirituality in aikido. A spirituality grounded in the principles of ai ki would suffice, provided one had aiki to connect the two.

I'd like to once again give my thanks to Peter Goldsbury for suggesting this book to me. Thank you! It has a wealth of information in it. :)

To reiterate the martial and the spiritual and how Ueshiba thought of himself. A Life in Aikido page 293.


I could have taken the path of philosophy or religion and reached a respectable level of proficiency, if I had delved into their mysteries. But I felt my calling in life was to follow the path of the martial arts. I am not a man of religion - I am a martial artist.

There is a definitive quality to aiki. Everyone who gets their hands on someone who can use aiki to a decent level understands that definitive quality. They can't reproduce it, but they understand that aiki is not about timing and body placement. There is no support for multiple views on aiki.

Although with ai ki being connected to aiki, there can be many, many different views on aikido ... but the most basic quality of aiki must be there. Jujutsu + ai ki does not equal aikido.

And if you think most aikido has aiki, I leave you with this from the same book. While the para is mostly regarding demonstrations, it shows the concept held by Ueshiba Morhei of keeping "the secret of aiki".


True Budo involved struggle, and invoked the stakes of life and death, so he (Ueshiba Morihei) felt that its inner secrets should be transmitted only to sincere seekers. He believed that to show the secrets freely to outsiders would be immoral, a kind of devaluation or disrespect for the art.

gregstec
04-11-2010, 11:20 AM
Hope you don't take this personally, but I'm going to disagree here. As Peter Goldsbury, Josh Reyer, and a few others have posted here on Aikiweb, breaking down some Japanese words into individual components doesn't always work properly.

Actually, I do take it personal, since personally, I am with you on the points in your post :)

I agree that the splitting of Aiki into Ai and Ki is not the way aiki in the aikido context should be looked at - however, it appears that others have taken that approach in their view of aikido. Therefore, my posts making some points that maybe that's where one could look to gain a better understanding from that perspective - as I mentioned in my last post, nothing more and nothing less.

Greg

jss
04-11-2010, 01:36 PM
Wow, never had "evileyes" thrown my way before - better be careful, or I will throw a ki ball your way that will disrupt your harmonious existence in this universe :D
Could you notify me in advance when you do that? I'd love to be able to post that on youtube. ;)

thisisnotreal
04-11-2010, 02:24 PM
True Budo involved struggle, and invoked the stakes of life and death, so he (Ueshiba Morihei) felt that its inner secrets should be transmitted only to sincere seekers. He believed that to show the secrets freely to outsiders would be immoral, a kind of devaluation or disrespect for the art.



I see.
Since that is the model O Sensei put forth; do you think it 'disrespectful' that we try to approach the subject matter directly?

thisisnotreal
04-11-2010, 02:39 PM
Hi Dan,
That was very interesting.
I have nothing smart to say...just some thoughts to offer.

Connecting the Mind/ body through intent, is a process that takes time. Learning ways to use that connection externally in movement that will negate force-in while allowing for force-out in perfect balance is a process as well; a process that is NOT all the same.
Some of the training of static pushing and intent exercises are aimed more at the former, are they not? My naive view is like this:
1/ establish body held in supported suspension
2/ maintain that in movement with/without contact.
3/ change continuously
?
.. to use that connection externally in movement that will negate force-in while allowing for force-out in perfect balance is a process as well; a process that is NOT all the same. The lack of discussion of that aspect is (for me anyway) defining in these debates-for the simple reason that aspects of that critical balance of in/yo ho are not even brought up.
I would love to know more about this. Are you talking about a kind of way of exploding with force, whilst maintaining the body's support in opposition?

That anyone is still discussing those jujutsu principles this far along says everything

I guess there will always be a distribution, and there will always be people new to it, just starting, too..


The use of that connected body creates aiki connections in ways most people have no understanding of, cannot see, and really have no ability to judge. Even those that have a bit of understanding of what to shoot for, have trouble effectively using it ..as they don't know where it can lead to or be utilized
Yes, I think it is bewildering.


Saying you can deliver center in your hand is quite an accomplishment, doing so is another.
Saying you can deliver with any part of your body at any time in free movement is another;
Saying you can do so at the end of a weapon and actually being able to do so outside of kata, at speed, is a whole other world.

Very interesting.
..and mildly depressing.
Josh

jss
04-11-2010, 02:43 PM
I see.
Since that is the model O Sensei put forth; do you think it 'disrespectful' that we try to approach the subject matter directly?
Well, obviously we're all sincere seekers, so it's not a problem.

gregstec
04-11-2010, 03:38 PM
Could you notify me in advance when you do that? I'd love to be able to post that on youtube. ;)

Sure thing - that would certainly put an end to some of the discussions going on around here :)

thisisnotreal
04-11-2010, 06:42 PM
Well, obviously we're all sincere seekers, so it's not a problem.

yeah. um. im' not sure why you're so sure

thisisnotreal
04-11-2010, 09:31 PM
An opponent to whom this technique has been applied suddenly becomes unable to release his grip, finds the power draining out of his attack as he is floated upwards, and becomes subject to control by the will of the person applying the technique.
from< (http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=183)

DH
04-12-2010, 10:06 AM
I've been around internal quite a bit. I have studied a great deal under a very well known teacher. I have fought with the dog brothers done mixed martial arts, and competitive jiujitsu.
I think you've been around good jujutsu quite a bit. It's more than likely from what I have seen in your own videos and Tim's that you are confusing good jujutsu and good tactics, with IP/ aiki. I would be the last to quibble since I happen to like good "juts" and live weapons. I just don't confuse technical applications and principles with Internal power/ aiki.
It is even easier when considering a limited art like Aikido-limited meaning typically no punches, kicks, and free style weapons.
In more complicated venues, its easy to see how people equate/confuse good technique with Internal power or aiki though. good waza can feel ghosty and see you trapped and thrown. And lets face it good hard punching is "good enough" for most everyone. I've not seen your internal power connection demonstrate anything I would consider internal power, instead its "internal martial arts" technical moves. I'm not saying he doesn't know anything internal but using your own ideas of "video evidence as evidence" he has never shown it. It's well known he has very good jujutsu, I see he has now dumped shen wu and gone all BJJ -but for this topic...so what?

As far as how and where the technical meet internal power-another teacher related to him tried to throw me in that Bagua "cross the arm over the body line" and toss me from the shoulder and waist move... he bounced himself off of me at his own seminar without me even doing much at all. This of course could lead to many defining openings in live play, but "winning" or "losing" is still not the point, Chris. Good jujutsu will do that just fine. That teacher had very good jujutsu principles and moves. I just never confused that with internal power.

I've been around the block, and I'd love to share. However I am constantly stone walled by those unwilling to demonstrate any actual ability outside of their comfort zone. Sure there is lots of talk about challenges and sparring sessions, but it's just talk as far as I can tell.

Why is making a video so complicated? If you can do anything that I haven't seen before, I would love to talk about it.
Well I'm not sure why this is a pissing contest. "All talk" means what- it's not true? Is that really what you want to say? Ark, Rob, myself and my guys have sparred with any number of MMA, BJJ, Judo, Karate and Silat/ Kali people in-house and on their turf. I am spending the weekend teaching at a karate and MMA seminar BECAUSE of the results of my sparring with a few of their top men. Why do I have to be interested in doing videos? To prove what, to whom? And about what? IP/ aiki will add to anyones game, but it doesn't teach you how to fight.

Again, a bunch of chit chat, but no one says "yeah I'll make a video"
If anyone can do any kind of demonstration that I can't duplicate, then I'll shut up and listen. However I repeatedly hear "I can tell by your movement that you don't have (insert magic word here)" or " you could not possibly do what I do because I can (insert magic jibber-jabber here)". Why not show how you can do these things; well maybe because you can't.
I understand your point Chris, but the fact that you cannot tell the difference or see the difference in movement yourself when watching something with limited technical applications like aikido (where it is even MORE clean and obvious to see the difference in application compared to MMA) when more and more of those who are training this way can see the difference...doesn't really make the point you want to make.
Dan

DH
04-12-2010, 10:36 AM
Edit time ran out:
Chris
All in all, I can see where you are confusing fighting ability- with internal power and aiki. It's just missing the point entirely. They do not necessarly equate.
From my experience (so far) playing with some IP guys..they can't fight at any level or standard I would personally find acceptable yet they had power and aiki.
I have played with good grapplers who had very good understanding of principles, movement and displacement,(never to be taken lightly) and what you call "structure." While some were relaxed in movement far more than others...they still had zip for internal power/ aiki.
I have played with some decent, connected aikido and Daito ryu people...who were good technically..but were thrown or handled with IP/Aiki and could nothing (technically) to stop it from happening.
It think it can get confusing to understand the difference in what people think they are seeing from what is happening.
Dan

Aikibu
04-12-2010, 12:12 PM
Edit time ran out:
Chris
All in all, I can see where you are confusing fighting ability- with internal power and aiki. It's just missing the point entirely. They do not necessarly equate.
From my experience (so far) playing with some IP guys..they can't fight at any level or standard I would personally find acceptable yet they had power and aiki.
I have played with good grapplers who had very good understanding of principles, movement and displacement,(never to be taken lightly) and what you call "structure." While some were relaxed in movement far more than others...they still had zip for internal power/ aiki.
I have played with some decent, connected aikido and Daito ryu people...who were good technically..but were thrown or handled with IP/Aiki and could nothing (technically) to stop it from happening.
It think it can get confusing to understand the difference in what people think they are seeing from what is happening.
Dan

Wow...What a great post...Dan I'll make no bones about it here...I am not interested in making my "fighting technique" better...Let's face it... I will be 50 this year and I practice Aikido for other reasons which is the reason I am interested in your form of IMA

What I want to know is what health and "spiritual" ( I know a very loaded word in Aikido) benefits does your IMA hold for someone like me...An average run of the mill regular dude...Don't get me wrong I can still mix it up and practice hard but I am interested in the benefits of Solo Training for Health outside of the Dojo where the mustard meets the hotdog...

The fact it may partially turn me into some sort of super duper Aiki man is beside the point and meaningless to me.

I will be back in MASS sometime this summer hopefully. :)

William Hazen

ChrisHein
04-12-2010, 12:52 PM
Dan, you can't make a video?

rroeserr
04-12-2010, 01:12 PM
I would like to see other people get those kudos as well, please post videos!

Here's the thing. Say I make a video of a guy shoveling dirt. He could be using convention muscle, convention way of moving, etc. Or the guy could be using internal power. Either way it would look like a video of a guy shoveling dirt. Replace shoveling dirt with a a judo throw, or a shiho-nage or whatever. It doesn't look much different. Heck you can have two people standing straight up and down - one person can be standing the normal way, and the other could be using internal power. It's easier just to go feel someone.

DH
04-12-2010, 01:16 PM
Dan, you can't make a video?
Chris
I have no interest in doing so, many have asked to film me.
You can continue to suggest other reasons why that is (all that I have seen from you are negative) but in light of the number of people I have met and trained with -who read these pages- and the dozens I have sparred with openly, your negative suggestions regarding my motivations are starting to sound a bit silly. Let's be fair to each other; let's leave it that you can't understand or do not agree with my reasoning for not creating video. That would at least be a fair criticism of me on your part, while also sounding more credible. I thought your earlier comment about "feeling stone walled in your efforts" was also fair. That's preferable to the more negative connotations about motives- that I find counterproductive to the discussion, particularly, since I have offered to meet-up with you in person more than once.

You might want to note that there are many budo teachers in established arts, who support a tradition, charge money for ranking and who are very public- who also will not allow video. I am none of the former, but I am certainly not unusual in the later.

Cheers
Dan

ChrisHein
04-12-2010, 02:22 PM
particularly, since I have offered to meet-up with you in person more than once.

When did this happen? I'm not even aware of a time when you and I were less then 1000 miles from each other...

You are unable to make a video demonstrating any ability. I understand.

Jon Haas
04-12-2010, 02:27 PM
Dan, you can't make a video?

Chris,

I completely understand your viewpoint and, prior to meeting and getting hands on Dan, I might have agreed with you. But after training with Dan a few times and being able to feel what he's been talking about on these forums for years, I can honestly tell you - video won't help. It won't answer any of your questions. In fact, it may actually create more confusion and consternation. As trite as the saying is, this stuff especially, has to be felt. :)

Jon Haas
www.warriorfitness.org

JW
04-12-2010, 02:29 PM
Hi all-

Either way it would look like a video of a guy shoveling dirt.

I think this is an important point. But-- the reason I am still in favor of people using video to drive discussion is the uke. Videos of solo exercises may very well be a bad idea (might confuse rather than clarify), but in discussing the nature of aiki, I'd like to see videos where an effect is caused in the uke that would be definitive of what aiki is and is not.
If I can achieve it, I will video it for discussion!

DH
04-12-2010, 02:52 PM
I took note of your ignoring the body of my response.
When did this happen? I'm not even aware of a time when you and I were less then 1000 miles from each other...
I offered for you to come here several times and that I would buy you dinner..

You are unable to make a video demonstrating any ability. I understand.
Since there are dozens of men who read these pages, who have tried and know what it feels like to spar with me...I'll let your statement stand for what it's worth.

I understand the baiting game and deliberate choice of language you've chosen. Instead of forthright discussions with honest intentions and language you just want to play adolescent internet games which I will not take part in.
This ends our discussion.

Dan

DH
04-12-2010, 03:02 PM
Wow...What a great post...Dan I'll make no bones about it here...I am not interested in making my "fighting technique" better...Let's face it... I will be 50 this year and I practice Aikido for other reasons which is the reason I am interested in your form of IMA

What I want to know is what health and "spiritual" ( I know a very loaded word in Aikido) benefits does your IMA hold for someone like me...An average run of the mill regular dude...Don't get me wrong I can still mix it up and practice hard but I am interested in the benefits of Solo Training for Health outside of the Dojo where the mustard meets the hotdog...

The fact it may partially turn me into some sort of super duper Aiki man is beside the point and meaningless to me.

I will be back in MASS sometime this summer hopefully. :)

William Hazen

Hello William
I agree. I wouldn't cross the street for another jujutsu technique. I always said we would get along in person.
I have a meeting to get to. I'll answer you later tonight
Cheers
Dan

jss
04-12-2010, 03:03 PM
Here's the thing. Say I make a video of a guy shoveling dirt. He could be using convention muscle, convention way of moving, etc. Or the guy could be using internal power. Either way it would look like a video of a guy shoveling dirt. Replace shoveling dirt with a a judo throw, or a shiho-nage or whatever. It doesn't look much different.
But it would look somewhat different and that should be enough if one were to make a video specifically to illustrate the difference between conventional movement and internal movement.

ChrisHein
04-12-2010, 03:40 PM
I offered for you to come here several times and that I would buy you dinner..

Dan, you know that you live on the opposite side of the country, right? That is a long way to go for dinner.

I do know of people from bullshido.net who live in your city, who wanted to meet you. You turned them down.

I would be happy to meet with you if I am ever 3000 miles closer. Or if you are ever in California, PLEASE come by. Otherwise the offer is kind of empty, isn't it?

We were never having a discussion Dan. You've typed lots of things about your ability, disparaged my ability, and dodged everything else.

DH
04-12-2010, 04:13 PM
Chris
Thank you for a more considered reply. If I make it out that way you will be among the first to know.
As far as dispagaring comments on your efforts:
If you check, you might find that you made videos and made statements about your videos; that many people have commented on, and several of which were far more critical than mine. Most notably your weapons videos and your "opinions of weapons" drew some fire- from several people in Koryu- which many found off the mark. Those were critical discussions. I do not agree with your take on many things. Sorry if you took it personally-not my intent.
Dan

ChrisHein
04-12-2010, 04:36 PM
...

David Orange
04-12-2010, 08:00 PM
...I'd like to see videos where an effect is caused in the uke that would be definitive of what aiki is and is not.

If I can achieve it, I will video it for discussion!

Looking forward to your vids.

Meanwhile, I'd say the clips of William Gleason, posted earlier in the thread, are excellent examples of what you describe. He looks like he's caught the drift and I don't think his uke exaggerates.

And it looks like Gleason Sensei has advanced considerably since last August.

Best wishes.

David

Stormcrow34
04-12-2010, 08:17 PM
I’ve had a little extra time on my hands lately, and I could very well be way off base, but the more I read here on this topic, the more I have a sneaking suspicion that a part of aiki, (maybe the foundation) is the opposite of muscle contraction.

I wonder if there is a way to train to move with complete, whole-body, muscle extension. Perhaps that’s what is meant by being “connected”,” fascia”, “long muscle”,” softness in hardness/hardness in softness”, etc.

If a muscle, say the bicep for example, is contracting against some resisting object and the object suddenly gives way, what happens? Sounds like kuzushi to me. What if, instead of the muscle fibers of the bicep contracting to bend the arm against resistance, the muscle fibers of the triceps were somehow extending to drive that same movement? If the hypothetical object suddenly gives way while the triceps was extending, I wonder if the reaction would be the same. Wouldn’t the movement be counter-balanced by the extension going in the opposite direction? Now, if I could train to move my whole body with muscle extension, wouldn’t I have superb balance? How awesome would it be to be impervious to kuzushi?

Sorry for rambling. I just had to get that thought out of my head, it's been gnawing at me for months now.

Michael Varin
04-13-2010, 04:33 AM
Meanwhile, I'd say the clips of William Gleason, posted earlier in the thread, are excellent examples of what you describe. He looks like he's caught the drift and I don't think his uke exaggerates.

Sticking with the theme of definitions, I would say that depends on what your definition of "exaggerates" is ;)

They are facilitating his demonstration. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but it must be recognized for what it is.

So depending on exactly what you choose to believe is being demonstrated, you may well find that it is being exaggerated.

MM
04-13-2010, 06:43 AM
from< (http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=183)

I think that was a great article to post. :)

The bold and underline are my emphasis.


Whenever I thought about hijinobashi aiki I could easily recall both what Hisa Sensei had said about it and the feeling of his wrist and the back of his hand as he applied it, which made it all the more vexing that I couldn't do it. After a while I just started to forget about it and I stopped trying to figure it out. Then it happened one day, some time after Hisa Sensei's passing, I had an opportunity to take up the problem once again, and after studying it from a variety of angles, I finally discovered the needed principle that would allow me to do hijinobashi aiki successfully. Once I understood, it all seemed so simple! I realized that the key had been right under my feet all the time.

Even better, I also realized that this new-found principle could be applied to a wide range of situations other than katatedori, so that no matter where my opponent attempted to grab me or my clothing I could use it to do an effective technique without necessarily having to turn his palm up and reverse his wrist in the usual way typically done in jujutsu techniques. No matter what the specific starting position of my opponent's wrist or hand, I was able to straighten his elbow in an instant by applying just a little force in a particular way, in the process sending a shock to his body that sometimes even penetrated to his very center via his abdominal region. An opponent to whom this technique has been applied suddenly becomes unable to release his grip, finds the power draining out of his attack as he is floated upwards, and becomes subject to control by the will of the person applying the technique.


Sounds a bit like aiki age principle. Not only that, but the "stickiness" is also mentioned ("unable to release his grip"), and one of the defining qualities of aiki quoted by others -- "subject to control by the will of the person".

Looking for definitions of aiki? It's right there in that article. How many angles of jujutsu were tried and failed before the principle became clear? It isn't about angles and timing and body placement. That's all jujutsu.

NOTE: that doesn't mean jujutsu is something horrible. Quite the opposite. Jujutsu can be an awesome thing. But it is a separate entity from aiki.

MM
04-13-2010, 07:05 AM
I've had a little extra time on my hands lately, and I could very well be way off base, but the more I read here on this topic, the more I have a sneaking suspicion that a part of aiki, (maybe the foundation) is the opposite of muscle contraction.

I wonder if there is a way to train to move with complete, whole-body, muscle extension. Perhaps that's what is meant by being "connected"," fascia", "long muscle"," softness in hardness/hardness in softness", etc.

If a muscle, say the bicep for example, is contracting against some resisting object and the object suddenly gives way, what happens? Sounds like kuzushi to me. What if, instead of the muscle fibers of the bicep contracting to bend the arm against resistance, the muscle fibers of the triceps were somehow extending to drive that same movement? If the hypothetical object suddenly gives way while the triceps was extending, I wonder if the reaction would be the same. Wouldn't the movement be counter-balanced by the extension going in the opposite direction? Now, if I could train to move my whole body with muscle extension, wouldn't I have superb balance? How awesome would it be to be impervious to kuzushi?

Sorry for rambling. I just had to get that thought out of my head, it's been gnawing at me for months now.

Personally, I wouldn't explain it that way ... but in theory it's close to how I'm looking at things. Mostly, I wouldn't explain it that way because I'm trying not to activate bicep or tricep muscles at all, even together. Course, I might be trying to get them to the microsecond pre-stage of movement.

In other words getting my brain to send the signal that I want to pick something up. My hand grabs the object and at the very microsecond that my biceps would physically contract to lift, I don't let them do that but keep them at that pivotal point. At the very same time, I'm getting my brain to send the signal that I want to push that object down and at the very microsecond that my triceps would physically contract, I don't let them do that but keep them at that pivotal point. Contradictory forces using both biceps and triceps, without the actual physical contraction of those localized muscle groups. But, yet not really the actual physical extension of them either.

Same concept with the ki unbendable arm trick. You imagine a flow of water going out your arm. What really makes that work? You're sending a signal to the brain to "push" something outward but not really letting your muscles contract physically to finish the job. Except, as I mention, you have to have contradictory forces going, so outward is only 1/2 of the "intent" needed.

How do the arms tie in to the body? The shoulder area. Which, for me, is a huge obstacle because of muscles wanting to physically fire and get in the way. Once localized muscle groups (for example pecs, or biceps or quads) fire and physically contract/expand/whatever, that restricts "ki flow" as some would say. Intent outwards and inwards, from and to the spine. The shoulder joint, in that contradictory force does not get pulled outward nor does it get jammed inwards by force. That shoulder joint becomes the connection point for the arms to the upper cross.

Rinse and repeat with entire body. Structure.

gregstec
04-13-2010, 07:56 AM
Sticking with the theme of definitions, I would say that depends on what your definition of "exaggerates" is ;)

They are facilitating his demonstration. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but it must be recognized for what it is.

So depending on exactly what you choose to believe is being demonstrated, you may well find that it is being exaggerated.

Just curious as to what part of Uke's performance you think the Ukes are exaggerating - the vocal grunt or the range of their movements?

Thanks

Greg

gregstec
04-13-2010, 08:03 AM
from< (http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=183)

As Mark has already pointed out, and IMO, there are a couple of very valuable Aiki gems in that article :)

Greg

gregstec
04-13-2010, 08:42 AM
Same concept with the ki unbendable arm trick. You imagine a flow of water going out your arm. What really makes that work? You're sending a signal to the brain to "push" something outward but not really letting your muscles contract physically to finish the job. Except, as I mention, you have to have contradictory forces going, so outward is only 1/2 of the "intent" needed.

IMO, I call this a relaxed outward stretch with no muscle tension in any direction, and in order to maintain the in/yo concept, I view the other as an outward stretch as well; just that it is a mirror image in the opposite direction,

How do the arms tie in to the body? The shoulder area. Which, for me, is a huge obstacle because of muscles wanting to physically fire and get in the way. Once localized muscle groups (for example pecs, or biceps or quads) fire and physically contract/expand/whatever, that restricts "ki flow" as some would say. Intent outwards and inwards, from and to the spine. The shoulder joint, in that contradictory force does not get pulled outward nor does it get jammed inwards by force. That shoulder joint becomes the connection point for the arms to the upper cross.

Koretoshi Maruyama teaches that you should visualize that the arms and legs are tied into the body at a small X' located in the lower part of the back centered over the spine. If you look at the X from the back, the upper left point of the X is where the right leg starts, the upper right is tied to the left leg, the lower left is tied to the right arm and the lower right is tied to the left arm. When you move any arm or leg, you should mentally visualize the movement for that arm or leg is actually starting and coming from those points of the X - and it is crucial that there is absolutely no muscle tension in any of your movement paths and that the shoulders are completely relaxed with weight underside, etc.

Anyway, FWIW, that is how he presents it :)

thisisnotreal
04-13-2010, 09:00 AM
IMO, I call this a relaxed outward stretch with no muscle tension in any direction, and in order to maintain the in/yo concept..


is it important that there is 'no' muscle tension, or rather that it is perfectly balanced and (mutually) supported? And..moreover...that there is 'no local' firing...but rather an 'open' 'distributed' strength?

how does power build/accrue if there is no tension? What happens when you need strength now?

thisisnotreal
04-13-2010, 09:12 AM
What is Aiki? (http://forum.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?t=26663)
hmm...

Mike Sigman
04-13-2010, 09:26 AM
hmm...

The writer blows off "Kokyu" as being central, but then he goes on to say in his last sentence:

Isn't aiki (and jujutu in general) as well as CMA the art of mastering jing but expressed in different contexts?

The problem is that kokyu is simply jin, at its core, yet the writer thinks kokyu is some kind of normal-physical power, it seems. As the old saying says (and I've mentioned this a number of times in the past): "There is only one jin. All jins come from the one jin". So kokyu, "fa jin", "aiki age", aiki itself (which is an application; kokyu is a ryoku), etc., etc., are all based on one power. If you learn how to do that one power and then learn a number of its sophisticated usages, you can use them in numerous martial arts, despite the many various terms found in many various Asian martial-arts for that same basic jin-derived power.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

gregstec
04-13-2010, 10:09 AM
is it important that there is 'no' muscle tension, or rather that it is perfectly balanced and (mutually) supported? And..moreover...that there is 'no local' firing...but rather an 'open' 'distributed' strength?

how does power build/accrue if there is no tension? What happens when you need strength now?

Not sure how to answer that for you other than to just tell you how I imagine it, which is to mentally focus on absolutely no muscle tension anywhere (other that the small amount to maintain stability) while my mental image is of pushing my bones out in a spiral motion pulling on and twisting my ligaments and tendons as I extend out. I believe that will also be pulling and twisting on the attached muscles as well, but I try not to think of that so I will not have a tendency to tense those muscles up. Again, MO and not an authoritative statement on anything. ;)

Greg

thisisnotreal
04-13-2010, 10:20 AM
hi Greg,
Thanks. It occurs to me that you and Mark are talking about...veeery soft work. Focusing on .. something different than i had in mind. More about isolating the intent..to focus/feel the changes as they occur on the body. Sensitivity work? To work directly with the changes invoked by intent. Closer? (but still no cigar, i bet..)
; )
always interesting.

gregstec
04-13-2010, 10:32 AM
hi Greg,
Thanks. It occurs to me that you and Mark are talking about...veeery soft work. Focusing on .. something different than i had in mind. More about isolating the intent..to focus/feel the changes as they occur on the body. Sensitivity work? To work directly with the changes invoked by intent. Closer? (but still no cigar, i bet..)
; )
always interesting.

Soft is a good thing ;)

thisisnotreal
04-13-2010, 11:21 AM
i see that cake up there, beside your name....Happy Birthday Chris!
have a good one, Dude.
Josh

ChrisHein
04-13-2010, 12:54 PM
Thanks Josh.

I can see we are going to need a thread defining "Ju" as well. There seems to be the decided opinion of an aiki camp, that jujutsu is simply all that stuff we do that is easily explainable.

I consistently see the word jujutsu used whenever something is perceived as simple or less important (i.e. angle, timing, leverage etc).

"Ju" is another principle, different then "Aiki". "Ju" has to do with yielding to force. While angle, timing, leverage and all of these other components are a part of jujutsu, they are also components in Aikido, Aikijujutsu, Aikijutsu, and most martial art systems (that I know of). These concepts shouldn't be relegated to a heap of stuff we call "simple" . Further we should give the respect to Jujutsu that we give to the Aiki related arts. Different but equal.

While "Aiki" as I understand it, is my main focus. I still use and appreciate the principle of "Ju". Further to think that things like angle, leverage etc. are not important to Aikido, is to ignore the forms. Aikido forms consistently use angle, leverage and many other "simple" concepts.

rroeserr
04-13-2010, 01:00 PM
Personally, I wouldn't explain it that way ... but in theory it's close to how I'm looking at things. Mostly, I wouldn't explain it that way because I'm trying not to activate bicep or tricep muscles at all, even together. Course, I might be trying to get them to the microsecond pre-stage of movement.

In other words getting my brain to send the signal that I want to pick something up. My hand grabs the object and at the very microsecond that my biceps would physically contract to lift, I don't let them do that but keep them at that pivotal point. At the very same time, I'm getting my brain to send the signal that I want to push that object down and at the very microsecond that my triceps would physically contract, I don't let them do that but keep them at that pivotal point. Contradictory forces using both biceps and triceps, without the actual physical contraction of those localized muscle groups. But, yet not really the actual physical extension of them either.

Same concept with the ki unbendable arm trick. You imagine a flow of water going out your arm. What really makes that work? You're sending a signal to the brain to "push" something outward but not really letting your muscles contract physically to finish the job. Except, as I mention, you have to have contradictory forces going, so outward is only 1/2 of the "intent" needed.

How do the arms tie in to the body? The shoulder area. Which, for me, is a huge obstacle because of muscles wanting to physically fire and get in the way. Once localized muscle groups (for example pecs, or biceps or quads) fire and physically contract/expand/whatever, that restricts "ki flow" as some would say. Intent outwards and inwards, from and to the spine. The shoulder joint, in that contradictory force does not get pulled outward nor does it get jammed inwards by force. That shoulder joint becomes the connection point for the arms to the upper cross.

Rinse and repeat with entire body. Structure.

If you look at a lock like kote-gaeshi done properly it goes all the way from your wrist (forearm), scapula, to your spine, hip, and on down to the ground. So basically you have just been wound up, and if you stay relaxed it goes right through your shoulder. You can take your hara and unwind yourself. I think that's what your supposed to be doing in the wrist lock warmup exercises. Anyways part of me thinks that a component of internal power is moving yourself using a similar mechanism that Don Angier called commutative locking - just in reverse.

Later,
Robert

Mike Sigman
04-13-2010, 01:10 PM
I can see we are going to need a thread defining "Ju" as well. There seems to be the decided opinion of an aiki camp, that jujutsu is simply all that stuff we do that is easily explainable.

I consistently see the word jujutsu used whenever something is perceived as simple or less important (i.e. angle, timing, leverage etc).

"Ju" is another principle, different then "Aiki". "Ju" has to do with yielding to force.Hi Chris:

I'd disagree. I think that basically "kokyu", "Ki strength", "aiki", etc., has intertwined usage that is the same as "ju" originally referred to. Here's a comment from Steven R. Cunningham (the whole paper is at
http://www.judoamerica.com/coachingcorner/kano-kata.shtml ) :

Kano extensively studied the Tenjin Shinyo Ryu Jujutsu which is a fusion of Shin no Shindo Ryu and Yoshin Ryu. Yoshin Ryu (Yo, meaning "willow tree," and Shin, meaning "heart or spirit") was de-vised by a doctor from Nagasaki named Shirobei Yoshitoki Akiyama. Akiyama had studied battlefield and healing arts in Japan, and is thought to have been accomplished in Jujutsu. Wishing to extend his knowl-edge, Akiyama went to China to study in the 1600s. There he studied medicine, katsu (life-restoring tech-niques), and various martial arts, especially striking arts and their use as applied to vital areas (kyusho-jutsu). He also studied Taoism, Taoist healing and martial arts, and acu-punc-ture. The centerpiece of the art he created by incorpor-ating his training in China with Japanese methods was a syllabus of 300 techniques. This represented an infusion of the "soft" or "internal" martial arts of China into Japan 6.

The soft or internal arts were known popularly in China as jou-chuan, the characters for which are read in Japanese as "ju-ken," meaning "soft fist." It was common throughout that period to refer to all internal arts by this name. This may have played some role in the eventual popularity of the term jujutsu for these rough-and-tumble martial arts. Kano and others argued that there was nothing "gentle" or "soft" about Jujutsu, and that ju was hardly the over-riding principle of the arts. The arts were called "ju-arts" or jujutsu because they were based on internal methods and ki (internal energy), not because they employed no strength or force 7.
FWIW

Mike Sigman

thisisnotreal
04-13-2010, 01:22 PM
Chris,
May I ask, how do you understand the Hakaru Mori article?
What about the principle of aiki age, as Mark presented for consideration? How does this all fit together, with your point of view? They seem, to me, to be at odds.
Curious to hear your opinion.
For instance; why did the technique elude him..and then open up into something else he could do from myriad positions/encounters? What was perfected?
i do not know

phitruong
04-13-2010, 01:48 PM
I consistently see the word jujutsu used whenever something is perceived as simple or less important (i.e. angle, timing, leverage etc).

"Ju" is another principle, different then "Aiki". "Ju" has to do with yielding to force. While angle, timing, leverage and all of these other components are a part of jujutsu, they are also components in Aikido, Aikijujutsu, Aikijutsu, and most martial art systems (that I know of). These concepts shouldn't be relegated to a heap of stuff we call "simple" . Further we should give the respect to Jujutsu that we give to the Aiki related arts. Different but equal.

While "Aiki" as I understand it, is my main focus. I still use and appreciate the principle of "Ju". Further to think that things like angle, leverage etc. are not important to Aikido, is to ignore the forms. Aikido forms consistently use angle, leverage and many other "simple" concepts.

i don't see anywhere that folks said angle, leverage, timing and distance aren't important to aikido or any other martial arts. if you read the quote from Hakaru Mori - "I could use it to do an effective technique without necessarily having to turn his palm up and reverse his wrist in the usual way typically done in jujutsu techniques. No matter what the specific starting position of my opponent's wrist or hand, I was able to straighten his elbow in an instant by applying just a little force in a particular way, in the process sending a shock to his body that sometimes even penetrated to his very center via his abdominal region. An opponent to whom this technique has been applied suddenly becomes unable to release his grip, finds the power draining out of his attack as he is floated upwards, and becomes subject to control by the will of the person applying the technique."
he still used angle and leverage, but in a different way using "aiki" which doesn't required him to change his body position or his opponent position to be affective. his whole body embodied aiki which can be applied in any direction at any time at will. it's a state of being, i.e. what are timing and distance of "already there". ju and go are terms. to a martial art person, soft and/or hard is just a matter of will/intent.

MM
04-13-2010, 02:01 PM
Thanks Josh.

I can see we are going to need a thread defining "Ju" as well. There seems to be the decided opinion of an aiki camp, that jujutsu is simply all that stuff we do that is easily explainable.

I consistently see the word jujutsu used whenever something is perceived as simple or less important (i.e. angle, timing, leverage etc).

"Ju" is another principle, different then "Aiki". "Ju" has to do with yielding to force. While angle, timing, leverage and all of these other components are a part of jujutsu, they are also components in Aikido, Aikijujutsu, Aikijutsu, and most martial art systems (that I know of). These concepts shouldn't be relegated to a heap of stuff we call "simple" . Further we should give the respect to Jujutsu that we give to the Aiki related arts. Different but equal.

While "Aiki" as I understand it, is my main focus. I still use and appreciate the principle of "Ju". Further to think that things like angle, leverage etc. are not important to Aikido, is to ignore the forms. Aikido forms consistently use angle, leverage and many other "simple" concepts.

I'm not really sure where this came from. In fact, I actually state:


NOTE: that doesn't mean jujutsu is something horrible. Quite the opposite. Jujutsu can be an awesome thing. But it is a separate entity from aiki.

So, I'm confused as to where I've labeled jujutsu as: simple, easy, or less important.

The NOTE quoted above isn't the first one I've added about jujutsu and I certainly haven't posted any disdain for jujutsu. Unless "Jujutsu can be an awesome thing" can be misread as being disdainful?

However, this thread wasn't about jujutsu. It was about defining aiki. When people toss out terms like timing, leverage, and body placement, I point out that those aren't defining terms for aiki but rather for jujutsu. No adjectives of simple, easy, less important were used to qualify either term: aiki or jujutsu.

ChrisHein
04-13-2010, 02:34 PM
Mike,
I'm not sure what you mean by disagree, or rather what it is you are disagreeing with. The guy who wrote the article seems to be making a statement about how "Ju" is not soft. I would agree with that. A bow (from bow an arrow) has what I would call "Ju", yet it is in no way soft. Soft is a horrible description of "Ju" in my opinion. If you'd like to know more on my thoughts on "Ju" http://www.aikidostudent.com/content/?p=149 . Ju is not soft it's yielding like a willow tree (coincidence?).

As for "Ju" relating to internal arts I also think the man who wrote the article is correct. However what I would call internal and what you might call internal are perhaps different animals.

Josh,
I could only read the first part of the article, so I don't know if there is more I need to read. But from what I read in the first part describing "hijinobashi aiki" I would say he's talking about what has been called "out reaching". The ability to feel into someone's body, feeling how their structure aligns and adding just a bit to it to achieve the results you are looking for (locked elbow, kuzushi, etc.).

I do this with my students while we apply nikyo from the shoulder. I move through their bodies locking them up as I go. Moving from my feet to their feet with feeling, taking the slack out of each joint as I go. At first my students do the same thing as Hakaru Mori was describing. First they do it badly. Then they try and copy me exactly, it still doesn't work. Eventually the thoughtful ones get what I'm talking about and can do it as well. Seems magical until you understand it, like most things. I think this principle is not "Aiki", that doesn't mean that it's unreasonable to call it "Aiki" I see how the word could fit it, that's just not what I call it.

To the others,
if you don't feel you are stigmatizing anything as "just Jujutsu" don't worry about it. I just got the feeling several times that there was a stigma forming around Jujutsu. Maybe I'm off base, and if it doesn't pertain to you, ignore it.

dps
04-13-2010, 03:24 PM
Koretoshi Maruyama teaches that you should visualize that the arms and legs are tied into the body at a small X' located in the lower part of the back centered over the spine. If you look at the X from the back, the upper left point of the X is where the right leg starts, the upper right is tied to the left leg, the lower left is tied to the right arm and the lower right is tied to the left arm. When you move any arm or leg, you should mentally visualize the movement for that arm or leg is actually starting and coming from those points of the X - and it is crucial that there is absolutely no muscle tension in any of your movement paths and that the shoulders are completely relaxed with weight underside, etc.

Anyway, FWIW, that is how he presents it :)

Can't quite visualize your description.

Here are two pictures that show the fascia connection at the location you described. You can see that there is a cross connection that describes an X.

http://www.anatomytrains.com/explore/galleries/show/id/160?page=14

http://www.anatomytrains.com/explore/galleries/show/id/160?page=2

David

dps
04-13-2010, 04:11 PM
I've had a little extra time on my hands lately, and I could very well be way off base, but the more I read here on this topic, the more I have a sneaking suspicion that a part of aiki, (maybe the foundation) is the opposite of muscle contraction.

I wonder if there is a way to train to move with complete, whole-body, muscle extension. Perhaps that's what is meant by being "connected"," fascia", "long muscle"," softness in hardness/hardness in softness", etc.

The fascia "is responsible for maintaining structural integrity; for providing support and protection; and acts as a shock absorber". (http://www.search.com/reference/Fascia).

If the fascia is responsible for structural integrity of the body then whole body movement does not require the muscles to move above the waist.

David

Mike Sigman
04-13-2010, 04:35 PM
Mike,
I'm not sure what you mean by disagree, or rather what it is you are disagreeing with. The guy who wrote the article seems to be making a statement about how "Ju" is not soft. I would agree with that. A bow (from bow an arrow) has what I would call "Ju", yet it is in no way soft. Soft is a horrible description of "Ju" in my opinion. If you'd like to know more on my thoughts on "Ju" http://www.aikidostudent.com/content/?p=149 . Ju is not soft it's yielding like a willow tree (coincidence?).

As for "Ju" relating to internal arts I also think the man who wrote the article is correct. However what I would call internal and what you might call internal are perhaps different animals.
Hi Chris:

Well, I've spent a lot of time over the last 25-30 years checking with a lot of known/recognized martial-artists from Asia just to be sure that I wasn't developing some independent/personal definition of what internal-strength is, how it works, etc. Of course, the initial aspects have to be shown, felt, etc., to start the conversation, but after, in terms of definition (even the definition in Aikido, jujitsu, etc.) is very easy. It's easy to show, it's been defined for ages, there are concrete displays of the associated powers (and Ueshiba, Tohei, and others were doing the same or related demonstrations, believe me).

What you call "internal" is undoubtedly interesting, but since the real parameters of "internal" are already pretty well defined, it's probably best to understand that people can't have personal definitions that will stand up as "also being correct".

I'll be more than happy sometime to try to at least thumbnail and show the basics to you so that you can see a broader view of the topic. A good starting place, as I've said many times before, is to analyse the why's of that one-legged standing demonstration put on by Tohei's students. It's a good first step in understanding what's really involved and it's also easy to see that the type of structure involving the spine (that you were talking about) isn't the main issue.

Best.

Mike Sigman

ChrisHein
04-13-2010, 05:29 PM
I would be super happy to meet with you and "feel" what you are talking about. Again I would be surprised if it is not something I am familiar with, but I'm open to learning something new!

gregstec
04-13-2010, 06:37 PM
Can't quite visualize your description.

Here are two pictures that show the fascia connection at the location you described. You can see that there is a cross connection that describes an X.

http://www.anatomytrains.com/explore/galleries/show/id/160?page=14

http://www.anatomytrains.com/explore/galleries/show/id/160?page=2

David

If you take the first picture and place an X over it, that would be about right...

gregstec
04-13-2010, 06:42 PM
If the fascia is responsible for structural integrity of the body then whole body movement does not require the muscles to move above the waist.

David

I think I have heard that somewhere else before ;)

dps
04-13-2010, 08:36 PM
I think I have heard that somewhere else before ;)

Really, well they stole it from me 'cause I discovered it first. :D

David

Stormcrow34
04-14-2010, 08:42 AM
Personally, I wouldn't explain it that way ... but in theory it's close to how I'm looking at things. Mostly, I wouldn't explain it that way because I'm trying not to activate bicep or tricep muscles at all, even together. Course, I might be trying to get them to the microsecond pre-stage of movement.

In other words getting my brain to send the signal that I want to pick something up. My hand grabs the object and at the very microsecond that my biceps would physically contract to lift, I don't let them do that but keep them at that pivotal point. At the very same time, I'm getting my brain to send the signal that I want to push that object down and at the very microsecond that my triceps would physically contract, I don't let them do that but keep them at that pivotal point. Contradictory forces using both biceps and triceps, without the actual physical contraction of those localized muscle groups. But, yet not really the actual physical extension of them either.

Same concept with the ki unbendable arm trick. You imagine a flow of water going out your arm. What really makes that work? You're sending a signal to the brain to "push" something outward but not really letting your muscles contract physically to finish the job. Except, as I mention, you have to have contradictory forces going, so outward is only 1/2 of the "intent" needed.

How do the arms tie in to the body? The shoulder area. Which, for me, is a huge obstacle because of muscles wanting to physically fire and get in the way. Once localized muscle groups (for example pecs, or biceps or quads) fire and physically contract/expand/whatever, that restricts "ki flow" as some would say. Intent outwards and inwards, from and to the spine. The shoulder joint, in that contradictory force does not get pulled outward nor does it get jammed inwards by force. That shoulder joint becomes the connection point for the arms to the upper cross.

Rinse and repeat with entire body. Structure.

Thanks Mark, this and other responses here on this thread certailnly gives me a lot more to gnaw on.

dps
04-14-2010, 10:57 AM
Personally, I wouldn't explain it that way ... but in theory it's close to how I'm looking at things. Mostly, I wouldn't explain it that way because I'm trying not to activate bicep or tricep muscles at all, even together. Course, I might be trying to get them to the microsecond pre-stage of movement.

In other words getting my brain to send the signal that I want to pick something up. My hand grabs the object and at the very microsecond that my biceps would physically contract to lift, I don't let them do that but keep them at that pivotal point. At the very same time, I'm getting my brain to send the signal that I want to push that object down and at the very microsecond that my triceps would physically contract, I don't let them do that but keep them at that pivotal point. Contradictory forces using both biceps and triceps, without the actual physical contraction of those localized muscle groups. But, yet not really the actual physical extension of them either.

Same concept with the ki unbendable arm trick. You imagine a flow of water going out your arm. What really makes that work? You're sending a signal to the brain to "push" something outward but not really letting your muscles contract physically to finish the job. Except, as I mention, you have to have contradictory forces going, so outward is only 1/2 of the "intent" needed.

How do the arms tie in to the body? The shoulder area. Which, for me, is a huge obstacle because of muscles wanting to physically fire and get in the way. Once localized muscle groups (for example pecs, or biceps or quads) fire and physically contract/expand/whatever, that restricts "ki flow" as some would say. Intent outwards and inwards, from and to the spine. The shoulder joint, in that contradictory force does not get pulled outward nor does it get jammed inwards by force. That shoulder joint becomes the connection point for the arms to the upper cross.

Rinse and repeat with entire body. Structure.

Muscles do not contract instantly. There must be a build up of action potential to a threshold for the muscle to contract.

"Action potentials are generated by special types of voltage-gated ion channels embedded in a cell's plasma membrane.[2] These channels are shut when the membrane potential is near the resting potential of the cell, but rapidly begin to open if the membrane potential increases to a precisely defined threshold value. When the channels open, they allow an inward flow of electrical current, which produces a further rise in the membrane potential. This then causes more channels to open, producing a greater electrical current, etc. The process proceeds explosively until all of the available ion channels are open, resulting in a large upswing in the membrane potential, often to the extent of briefly reversing its polarity......."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Action_potential

At which time the muscles contract.

David

dps
04-14-2010, 08:44 PM
Here is an excerpt from a video from Ken Gullette.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7rn7xzD7JI

from his DVD on his website, http://www.internalfightingarts.com/home.php?varset=s:415-pm:p

David

Budd
04-14-2010, 09:04 PM
Hand to foot connections, path to the ground, hmmm sounds like stuff that's been mentioned before . .

Michael Varin
04-15-2010, 05:04 AM
Just curious as to what part of Uke's performance you think the Ukes are exaggerating - the vocal grunt or the range of their movements?
Their movements.

I actually believe the grunts are real, because of the relatively quick and dramatic adjustments that were made and the fact that the uke don't appear to be the most nimble people.

Taking part 2 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NMqvFeiwzY) for example, the uke is maintaining a light perpendicular push into nage and adjusting with his circular movements. Nothing about nage's movements compels uke to do so.

None of this should come as a surprise. If you have practiced aikido seriously for more than a year and a half and cannot recognize these things, you are at a major disadvantage.

john.burn
04-15-2010, 06:54 AM
Talking about ukes exaggerating... OMG! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GmXEYGqfIU&feature=related

gregstec
04-15-2010, 08:48 AM
Their movements.

I actually believe the grunts are real, because of the relatively quick and dramatic adjustments that were made and the fact that the uke don't appear to be the most nimble people.

Taking part 2 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NMqvFeiwzY) for example, the uke is maintaining a light perpendicular push into nage and adjusting with his circular movements. Nothing about nage's movements compels uke to do so.

None of this should come as a surprise. If you have practiced aikido seriously for more than a year and a half and cannot recognize these things, you are at a major disadvantage.

Thank you for your reply. Your response is an excellent example that supports the position of those that state that videos of IS/IP will show you absolutely nothing about what truly is going on; especially to those not having any actual IS/IP experiences - it just has to be felt to truly understand.

IMO (which is based on actual hands-on experience with Gleason Sensei doing this exact same exercise) is that the grunt has nothing to do with uke not being nimble nor making any adjustments - if you have ever had your center taken by someone with true IS/IP, you would know exactly where those uncontrollable grunts come from - some folks will grunt louder than others, but you will grunt nevertheless :)

As far as your comment on part 2, IMO (again based on actual first hand experience) uke is not maintaining a light push; it is moderate to heavy. And as long as uke maintains the push (which is his role in this exercise) nage will be able to move him at will as long as nage maintains the connection to uke's center - actually, a harder push allows for a more pronounced movement of uke. This is not a technique nor a demonstration, it is simply a paired exercise to explore connections and how internal energies can be applied. Although Bill is showing movement on his part to effect Uke's movement, the exercise can also effect Uke movement from no discernible movement of nage - again, an exercise in internal application, not a focus on externals at all.

The things that are shown in this video are really some basic stuff and most people with a foot in the door of true IS/IP, can show it as well - I am certainly not an expert here, but I can do this as well as teach it; which has become evident from a couple my guys just recently demonstrating the same stuff...

I believe your last comment comes across a bit authoritative and on the personal side, so I will provide a personal response. I was going to post something on the sarcastic side here, but I think I will simply just call it as it is. I started my Aikido journey in 1976 and I see from your web site profile you started in 2000...

ChrisHein
04-15-2010, 11:28 AM
Greg,
I don't want anything I say to be personal.

Suggesting that 10 years of dedicated martial arts training is small compared to your 34 is silly. If you both studied medicine, you'd both be doctors. Comments like this keep our martial art in the dark ages.

The demonstration you are discussing is cooperative. Just because you don't "think" it is when you are doing it doesn't change that fact. Could he do that on someone with no Aikido training, who wasn't interested in playing along? From what I can see, no.

This could be shown on film very easily. Do it on a street corner, like David Blaine. Ask some passers by to try your "experiment". Sounds like a lot of work, and I wouldn't blame you for not trying it. But the door is open if you'd like to try.

The suggestion that this stuff is impossible to show on film leads me, as an objective person, to believe what you are talking about is false.There have been a myriad of very odd answers about this "power" that some are calling "Aiki". Answers that a skeptical person, like myself, finds preposterous.

Again my video offer stands. If you can do something on video that I can't duplicate, I'd love to see it.

Aikibu
04-15-2010, 11:58 AM
Greg,
I don't want anything I say to be personal.

Suggesting that 10 years of dedicated martial arts training is small compared to your 34 is silly. If you both studied medicine, you'd both be doctors. Comments like this keep our martial art in the dark ages.

The demonstration you are discussing is cooperative. Just because you don't "think" it is when you are doing it doesn't change that fact. Could he do that on someone with no Aikido training, who wasn't interested in playing along? From what I can see, no.

This could be shown on film very easily. Do it on a street corner, like David Blaine. Ask some passers by to try your "experiment". Sounds like a lot of work, and I wouldn't blame you for not trying it. But the door is open if you'd like to try.

The suggestion that this stuff is impossible to show on film leads me, as an objective person, to believe what you are talking about is false.There have been a myriad of very odd answers about this "power" that some are calling "Aiki". Answers that a skeptical person, like myself, finds preposterous.

Again my video offer stands. If you can do something on video that I can't duplicate, I'd love to see it.

I've gone back and forth with this over the years but I think a good point is brought up...

The Western Mindset is the Scientific Method...and all Chris is asking for is that if you claim knowledge or experience in "Aiki" or "Jin" I personally don't doubt you but... for our purposes here on Aikiweb Why can't you "proof" your knowledge or at least make an attempt?

I know Mark Murry and Mike Sigman and some others have attempted to visually demonstrate IMA so that's a start but we could expand this...into a line of inquiry if we wish.

Perhaps I should write a letter to Myth Busters? LOL

William Hazen

thisisnotreal
04-15-2010, 12:13 PM
Akuzawa (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snYlMC6gUoM) example?

DH
04-15-2010, 12:41 PM
Chris Hein writes: This could be shown on film very easily. Do it on a street corner, like David Blaine. Ask some passers by to try your "experiment". Sounds like a lot of work, and I wouldn't blame you for not trying it. But the door is open if you'd like to try.
You like to set up propositions and proposals for things that have already occurred.
Lets see:
I have done this sort of testing and much more stressful ones in gyms with power lifters, in gyms with College football players, in MMA schools, in Judo clubs, with ICMA teachers (who had no vested interest in me succeeding).
Now lets add seminars with oh...maybe 60 or so people who read these pages. At the time they were total strangers..some of whom did not like me very much at the start -several of whom openly tried to screw with me while I was just demoing a static drill, and that didn't work either. Others have seen me spar -at speed- with the same body principles maintained and intact and unwavering with experienced grapplers while they got thrown over and over and or hit and kicked without being able to effectively stop me from doing so.
Now add twin sticks, knife and sword.
Now add Ark and others to the list who have also done similar things.

The burden of proof is no longer on the men who can do these things. They have stepped up and demonstrated so many times in so many open or even hostile environments to include MMA, Shoot fighters, BJJers, Judo players, Aikido, Karate, various ICMA teachers, systema, Daito ryu, one and on, all with dozens of witnesses who openly talk about it. I think that it is the detractors counter arguments that are sounding rather hollow. It's equal to saying "I don't understand it- so it doesn't exist."
Dan

DH
04-15-2010, 12:54 PM
I've gone back and forth with this over the years but I think a good point is brought up...

The Western Mindset is the Scientific Method...and all Chris is asking for is that if you claim knowledge or experience in "Aiki" or "Jin" I personally don't doubt you but... for our purposes here on Aikiweb Why can't you "proof" your knowledge or at least make an attempt?

I know Mark Murry and Mike Sigman and some others have attempted to visually demonstrate IMA so that's a start but we could expand this...into a line of inquiry if we wish.

Perhaps I should write a letter to Myth Busters? LOL

William Hazen
Hello WIlliam
To prove out something that is already well known and many people have been taught to do for hundreds of years?;)
It's not magic now is it?
The stuff I have seen on video is very rudimentary aynway.
As I said in an earlier post; some kid saying "if it isn't on video, it didn't happen" just validates his own stupidity from "the world revolves around me" mentality.

People who want this will find it. Comments like "I don't understand it, so it isn't real" is common enough. I like the fact that the doubters have gotten out to test things and go see many different people. Qualifying or invalidating things based on your own -lack- of experience is never a good idea, getting out there and putting your theories on the line is a good way to go.
Dan

C. David Henderson
04-15-2010, 01:29 PM
Your response is an excellent example that supports the position of those that state that videos of IS/IP will show you absolutely nothing about what truly is going on; especially to those not having any actual IS/IP experiences - it just has to be felt to truly understand.


I can't be certain, but I didn't read this as stating "it can't be shown on video," but that video restricts what can be experienced to a 2-D visual image, and this limitation on sensory input fosters misinterpretation of what is occurring in terms of our existing preconceptions.

I think the point of the skeptics may turn on the idea that something which is supposed to make a such a fundamental difference in power and performance ought to look fundamentally different, even on video.

When things do look very different, a skeptical person may rightly wonder -- but is the difference real.

I guess that is where IHTBF.

JW
04-15-2010, 01:34 PM
wow, the exact features that are shown on video as demonstrations of aiki by itself (what we are going for) is being criticized as proof of the video being strongly cooperative (what we are trying to avoid).

I think for our purposes, when we make videos we should attempt to show 2 things for the sake of avoiding the "it's not real" discussion:
1. In addition to showing the demonstration/exercise working, show it fail, and
2. Demand that the uke show the effect of eliminating cooperation.

In terms of defining aiki on video, I thought Gleason Sensei's uke moving to the side was definitive.. if he had no choice but to do that. Could he disconnect or refuse to move to the side? Would be nice to see on video that he couldn't (not the purpose of Gleason's video.. but for our videos would be a good thing to keep in mind).

bob_stra
04-15-2010, 02:10 PM
I can't be certain, but I didn't read this as stating "it can't be shown on video," but that video restricts what can be experienced to a 2-D visual image, and this limitation on sensory input fosters misinterpretation of what is occurring in terms of our existing preconceptions.

I think the point of the skeptics may turn on the idea that something which is supposed to make a such a fundamental difference in power and performance ought to look fundamentally different, even on video.

When things do look very different, a skeptical person may rightly wonder -- but is the difference real.

I guess that is where IHTBF.

I think so, too. They way I'm reading it (and btw, I'm not referencing anyone in particular) is -

What's being suggested (covertly and overtly ) is that there's no point to videos (of oneself or others) displaying these skills, if the person viewing them cannot recognize what's being shown. IOW, such videos are not informative - they're noise (at best) or misdirection (at worst).

Of course, with several avenues for hands on instruction regularly available in the US, someone serious about this stuff should be able to find one of the 'known to have skill' guys and get hands on.

If you're a martial artist with any kind of mat time, you should be able to deduce within minutes (if not seconds) whether the other guy is doing something worthwhile and novel. (I'm assuming the person in question has actual genuine intentions rather then engaging in one upmanship or self congratulation)

Seems to me something like that should be common sense. Or, as a pithy sig line would have it -

Algorithm for investigation into Internal Strength: "Are you retarded?" - YES/(NO)-----> "Then use your f**king brain"

FWIW. ICBW.

Erick Mead
04-15-2010, 02:29 PM
To prove out something that is already well known and many people have been taught to do for hundreds of years?;)
It's not magic now is it? No, not magic -- but physics can be good or bad and remain stuck on mistaken one for a fairly long period of time ... like the sun, you know -- which, plainly, goes around the the earth, right ??? ;) --

Similarly, it was never observations that were in error -- it was the physical interpretation. -- That is really all that is lacking as far as definition goes ... There's only so much one can do with Ptolemaic epicycles, I mean, really. ... one can plot an orbit in those terms ... but for heaven's sake -- why would you want to ..??

Some people eschew the need for any accurate physical description -- (and yet for reasons not readily apparent continue in discussions online). Others rely on things that are simplistic and understandable and suggestive -- but in a key way are fatally flawed as a physical description -- like vectors. Vectors commute. you can easily run them backwards and get where you started from ... except that you can't -- in the real world ...

You cannot trivially reverse the process describing a real world 3d rotation in vector terms. The math will seem right but the result -- to our more refined powers of perception -- will be jerky and artificial and full of gaps. Real world 3d moments, waves, and rotations don't commute -- ask any capable video simulation game designer you may know. Use the word "quaternion."

In a situation involving actual 3d degrees of rotational freedom, using vectors has this naughty problem of creating a situation called "gimbal lock" in control systems. They had to rip out whole suites of control circuitry in the Apollo program because of this problem. Imagine trying to compute time-rate-distance problems on a spherical grid within ten feet of the North pole -- that's the control problem that causes gimbal lock. Not consciously -- but the body has very flexible reference systems for the controls that it uses -- and they can be trained, and in some case substituted -- that is what we are talking about.

In rough terms, once the delicate mechanism is out of alignment, there is no control mode that can accurately take you from the compromised position straight back along the path in reverse to the starting position. The sudden discontinuity of linear reversal creates a non-linearity in the other degrees of freedom that defeats the linearity of the reversal along the line attempted -- "you can't get there from here" -- You can only keep going the long way round on all three axes to get back to the original position -- which of course one is likely to overshoot without a great deal of training in this kind of "navigation" -- instantaneously, of course -- ideally.

This does not require much gross movement, though they certainly can be used (see the aiki taiso) and are the same thing -- but does require, by whatever means, that the same conversion occur, which can be by a wave or pulse (see, again, the aiki taiso) which is equivalent to the gross rotations.

It is hard to see that on video for the same reason -- unless you are attuned to the nature of the problem -- because small changes are disproportionately "folded up" at the cusps or poles of reversal and when unfolded become arbitrarily large.

In case you did not notice your body is a control system -- as well as the machine it controls. The phenomenon of actively using this "gimbal lock" against an opponent whose body and perception is not keyed to the correct perception and whose mode of action is not adapted to the right control scheme is directly presented in applications of aiki -- most typically in aspects of kokyu tanden ho, and in others, the "shudder drops" which are immense fun -- and "pops and drops" (or aiki age and aiki sage, if you prefer) applications of various kinds.

Like at a beach -- any sudden discontinuity (ground, extremity, or the point of uke's bad alignment) breaks the wave -- catastrophically, and yet continuous transitions, even rapid ones, reverses it seamlessly -- like the run-up on a steep beach or the intersection of two waves -- the latter of which is a most useful way of looking at the problem IMO, YMMV.

Aikido is surfing ... people.

Marc Abrams
04-15-2010, 02:44 PM
Greg,
I don't want anything I say to be personal.

Suggesting that 10 years of dedicated martial arts training is small compared to your 34 is silly. If you both studied medicine, you'd both be doctors. Comments like this keep our martial art in the dark ages.

The demonstration you are discussing is cooperative. Just because you don't "think" it is when you are doing it doesn't change that fact. Could he do that on someone with no Aikido training, who wasn't interested in playing along? From what I can see, no.

This could be shown on film very easily. Do it on a street corner, like David Blaine. Ask some passers by to try your "experiment". Sounds like a lot of work, and I wouldn't blame you for not trying it. But the door is open if you'd like to try.

The suggestion that this stuff is impossible to show on film leads me, as an objective person, to believe what you are talking about is false.There have been a myriad of very odd answers about this "power" that some are calling "Aiki". Answers that a skeptical person, like myself, finds preposterous.

Again my video offer stands. If you can do something on video that I can't duplicate, I'd love to see it.

Chris:

You have Mike Sigman gently saying that you are scratching a surface in some areas and chasing your tail in others. He is kind enough to meet with you and work with you to show you that you do not know what you do not know until you experience it.

You have Dan Harden bluntly telling you that you are off-base and has also offered to meet with you. He too is willing to show you that you do not know what you do not know until you experience it.

Both of these men are highly respected and accomplished in the area that you are trying to pursue. Both of them are being honest and open with you. What looks phony frequently is and what is real in the IP world also looks phony. That makes viewing video tapes to be difficult at best. Your challenges are simply assuming that you know more than you do. Instead of posturing on the web, spend some money and travel to work with either Mike or Dan. It will be a wise investment. The path you are currently on is simply looking like a person backed into the corner, trying to appear invulnerable. I would love to hear a report from you after spending a weekend training with either one of these accomplished gentlemen.

Regards,

Marc Abrams

gregstec
04-15-2010, 02:55 PM
Greg,
I don't want anything I say to be personal.

Suggesting that 10 years of dedicated martial arts training is small compared to your 34 is silly. If you both studied medicine, you'd both be doctors. Comments like this keep our martial art in the dark ages..

Doctors ? - Maybe - but I would be semi-retired making a bundle on the lecture circuit as well as mentoring all the up and coming medical talents while he would be struggling to make a living dodging all the malpractice litigation :D

Chris, I am not taking anything you say personally. However, I did take the last comment from Michael as personal since it implied I did not have the experience to see what he assumed was so obvious in the video, so I responded accordingly - If we look at 'Sempai' to mean 'one who came before' than I believe I was his Sempai in Aikido before he was even born. However, enough of that - he made the comment and I responded accordingly; now let's just focus on the facts.

The demonstration you are discussing is cooperative. Just because you don't "think" it is when you are doing it doesn't change that fact. Could he do that on someone with no Aikido training, who wasn't interested in playing along? From what I can see, no...

You keep calling Gleason's video a demonstration, it is not. It is a paired exercise shown by him at a seminar that has roles to follow by both uke and nage (much like any wasa) so the concepts and principles of the exercise can be explored by both parties. No one has ever said it was a demonstration of a real attack and a real response. In addition, I never said I did not think it was cooperative, but the level of cooperation is no more than what you find in any interaction between uke and nage where uke provides a honest attack and nage responds accordingly to the energy being exerted; which in this exercise is more than it appears. What I did imply was that the assumption and comments that uke's actions are being exaggerated as you and Michael have stated in your posts is wrong. My point being was that when you jump in with assumed observations of a video simply based on what it looks like to you, will not present a very valid point of view because you have no experience with the individual in the video. And now you add to your misplaced opinion by stating that someone that does have hands on experience with that individual is wrong because you just don't believe it's real; that is a pretty absurd position to take. Also, as far as being able to do that exercise with someone that has no Aikido training? absolutely! I have a new guy with less that 2 month's time on the mat, and in one extended session, I had him doing exactly that, plus more stuff along those same line - being new, he had no conditioned uke responses at all; but he did follow the role of uke (which by the way does not consist of moving where nage says to nor to exaggerate anything as well) for those exercises so the application of internal energies could be internally felt and the subsequent external movements observed.

This could be shown on film very easily. Do it on a street corner, like David Blaine. Ask some passers by to try your "experiment". Sounds like a lot of work, and I wouldn't blame you for not trying it. But the door is open if you'd like to try.

The suggestion that this stuff is impossible to show on film leads me, as an objective person, to believe what you are talking about is false.There have been a myriad of very odd answers about this "power" that some are calling "Aiki". Answers that a skeptical person, like myself, finds preposterous.

Again my video offer stands. If you can do something on video that I can't duplicate, I'd love to see it.

Since Dan has already jumped in on this part of your post, I won't say much here other than I don't see how you will be able to truly duplicate anything from a video if you don't have a clue as to what the internal cause and effect is - you may be able to mimic the movements ( and if you did, you would call it cooperative) but to actually duplicate all that is going on is impossible unless you been there and done that.

Greg

dps
04-15-2010, 03:43 PM
I can't be certain, but I didn't read this as stating "it can't be shown on video," but that video restricts what can be experienced to a 2-D visual image, and this limitation on sensory input fosters misinterpretation of what is occurring in terms of our existing preconceptions..

How much greater is the misinterpretation of just the written word?

Does not pictures and videos help to clarify the written word?

David

C. David Henderson
04-15-2010, 03:45 PM
Yes, worth a thousand words. Experience -- many more.

gregstec
04-15-2010, 03:46 PM
I can't be certain, but I didn't read this as stating "it can't be shown on video," but that video restricts what can be experienced to a 2-D visual image, and this limitation on sensory input fosters misinterpretation of what is occurring in terms of our existing preconceptions.

Exactly - a video can show an IS\IP exchange, but you will only capture the two dimension visual aspect of any external component. But it can not explain what is truly going on with the internal stuff, both the internal physical and definitively not the mental part. Also, it's important to keep in mind that there could be an internal energy exchange between uke and nage where neither one shows any outward movement at all - now how would someone explain that from a video ? :)

Greg

Keith Larman
04-15-2010, 03:51 PM
Ah, heck, it doesn't always matter even when you're standing right there. I chuckle when a sensei of mine will have someone kinda locked up and he'll say "now I have him, now I don't. Did you see the difference?" Huh? No. No I didn't... The uke, on the other hand, is usually nodding enthusiastically.

That's something I've seen Toby Threadgill do a few times at his seminars. "Now I have him, now I don't, now I have him..." Huh? What? So I invariably offer up my arm ("Mongo need feel"). Okay, yup, I feel it.

Videos often show clues. Video often shows when someone *doesn't* have it. But sometimes the outside looks good but the inside ain't there. So...

Go train with someone who has it. Then decide. Which reminds me -- I need to send a check for an upcoming seminar. Mongo need feel some more... :)

dps
04-15-2010, 03:52 PM
Yes, worth a thousand words. Experience -- many more.

So why the reluctance of some to post videos when they have already posted pictures.

http://www.iay.org.uk/internal-strength/issue-1/how-to.htm

David

C. David Henderson
04-15-2010, 03:54 PM
Can't say, David, but I understand your point.

Regards.

dps
04-15-2010, 03:54 PM
Videos often show clues. Video often shows when someone *doesn't* have it. But sometimes the outside looks good but the inside ain't there. So...

So along with the video give a written explanation.

David

Keith Larman
04-15-2010, 04:34 PM
So along with the video give a written explanation.

David

Or one can walk away from the comfort of the computer screen and go to a seminar...

I get people asking me sword polishing questions all the time, often posed as "I've never been trained how to polish a sword, but I don't understand why you..." If you have to start the statement with "I've never done it, I've never felt it, I'm completely untrained, I've never gone to a seminar, or I've never left the comfort of hiding behind my computer screen" you really should be saying "thanks for sharing what you can" rather than "I want more -- my inexperienced and untrained ego isn't satisfied yet. Please me. Make me happy according to what my ignorant brain totally lacking experience and context says I need."

Pffft. This ain't a spectator sport. Until you get out there and actually test it out it is nothing more than mental masturbation.

JW
04-15-2010, 04:58 PM
I think I finally get what you guys are saying. If a person sees something that looks to him like what he does normally, but the uke is behaving strangely.. then it just looks like over-compliance on the uke's part. (And to some degree, it almost always DOES have some over-acting mixed in, so that confuses things even more.)

The cynic in me says you're right and making video does not improve the conversations, which already suffer from "I already do that." The optimist in me says that if we are very honest in making and watching videos, we can get somewhere by using video-- even if it is just something like post a vid, and people take it or leave it.

The cynic in me likes to be called a "realist" and usually dominates.

Aikibu
04-15-2010, 05:14 PM
Hello WIlliam
To prove out something that is already well known and many people have been taught to do for hundreds of years?;)
It's not magic now is it?
The stuff I have seen on video is very rudimentary aynway.
As I said in an earlier post; some kid saying "if it isn't on video, it didn't happen" just validates his own stupidity from "the world revolves around me" mentality.

There are now a number of shows on Cable where folks seek out and discover the various Martial Arts and "experience them" for the audience and personally I find them very informative and enjoyable. Why not have Ark Mike Sigman or You on one?

People who want this will find it. Comments like "I don't understand it, so it isn't real" is common enough. I like the fact that the doubters have gotten out to test things and go see many different people. Qualifying or invalidating things based on your own -lack- of experience is never a good idea, getting out there and putting your theories on the line is a good way to go.
Dan

Dan you have no quibble with me there... but how many of you guys are out there... 3...A dozen...It took me 4 years to find a style of Aikido How much time should I waste finding an IMA guy who walks the walk. Everytime some new dude pops up here You or Mike or one of Ark's guys shoot them down...

Time is short and I see no reason not to share what you know and help others to find "it"

Despite how some folks feel about Chris's "presentation" he has a valid point. :)

William Hazen

At least O'Sensei thought Aikido should be shared with the world so If Aikido lacks Aiki then what are we waiting for...LETS SHARE IT! :)

dps
04-15-2010, 05:21 PM
Why do the proponents of "it has to be felt to be understood" spend so much time and words trying to describe what it is that is to be understood on internet forums? Especially if words are the least way of conveying meaning.

David

Keith Larman
04-15-2010, 05:30 PM
Why do the proponents of "it has to be felt to be understood" spend so much time and words trying to describe what it is that is to be understood on internet forums? Especially if words are the least way of conveying meaning.

David

Because like most non-trivial things involving physical interaction it is interesting to talk about. And those who have found things they find interesting and edifying like to talk about them.

Why do so many who question and argue never actually go out and hit a seminar? You'd think there'd be more shrugging with statements like "hmmm, interesting, I've never felt that" instead of some of the things you read. I didn't have much to say apart from asking simple questions now and then until I hit a few seminars and workshops. I wasn't sure whether what was being discussed was similar/related/on the same level as what I had already experience. Afterwards I find myself asking fewer questions as I try to better understand what I felt in person and how it relates to what I have been taught over the years. Lots to digest.

Me, I'll stick with an occasional seminar and keep struggling to learn. So now I shrug. [shrug] and bow. [Bow]

Keith Larman
04-15-2010, 05:31 PM
I'll also add that some of the rather bombastic posts by some on either side of the discussion don't do much good either. Lots of ego to go around. But then again, that's not exactly unusual in the world of martial arts either. So I shrug again... :)

Keith Larman
04-15-2010, 05:34 PM
And damn, I find that I mistakenly erased the first line response to your post. Sorry about that.

What I had wrote in response to this

Why do the proponents of "it has to be felt to be understood" spend so much time and words trying to describe what it is that is to be understood on internet forums? Especially if words are the least way of conveying meaning.

David

was this.

because that's the way to convey information on a discussion forum... Discussion.

Mike Sigman
04-15-2010, 05:40 PM
Why do the proponents of "it has to be felt to be understood" spend so much time and words trying to describe what it is that is to be understood on internet forums? Especially if words are the least way of conveying meaning.
David, let me encourage you to go to one of Dan's workshops.

Best.

Mike Sigman

dps
04-15-2010, 05:42 PM
Because like most non-trivial things involving physical interaction it is interesting to talk about. And those who have found things they find interesting and edifying like to talk about them.

And there are those who like to talk about them, look at pictures and videos.

Why do so many who question and argue never actually go out and hit a seminar?
Because there are those who do not have the time or money to go to a seminar. Videos would help these people.

You'd think there'd be more shrugging with statements like "hmmm, interesting, I've never felt that" instead of some of the things you read.

And there would be more interest if we could see a video.
Video on the Internet is a very powerful way of getting your viewpoint across to a lot of people.

David

Keith Larman
04-15-2010, 05:54 PM
Yeah, but in watching the response to video above it certain hasn't helped, has it?

I've had many people ask me to train them to polish over the last decade. They beg, they plead, they do all sorts of odd things. I've had people tell me I have a responsibility to pass on what I worked so very hard to learn.

I say the same thing everytime -- come on by and I'll let you watch what I do. If you stick with it I'll show you more.

Exactly two people have ever taken me up on the offer to come watch. Two.

If you can't make a seminar, well, then you can't. Fine. That doesn't magically change the reality of the situation anymore than the guy who couldn't be bothered to spend an hour to drive out to watch me polish to learn something. I can't satisfy everyone's idle curiosity. he wanted me to explain it via e-mail. It doesn't work that way. It's like learning Aikido by reading a book but never stepping on the mat. Simply doesn't work past some intellectual familiarity.

You want it bad enough to get there. If you can't, so be it. But none of that changes the reality of the situation. That it can't be communicated to you in *your* preferred mode is your issue, not anyone else's.

ChrisHein
04-15-2010, 07:03 PM
Dan,
For someone like myself, who lives on the opposite side of the country, we cannot see your demonstrations at the local gyms, and seminars. For someone like myself, your claims are simply claims. You could make a video of one of your many encounters with the local strong men, then we could see what you are doing.

I do know of some gentlemen from bullshido.net who live on your side of the country. They would like to meet you. Why not let them come by and you can show them your abilities? It is easy for you to throw trained fighters around. You can kick and punch them, and they can do nothing to stop you. Why not let some of these fellows come visit. Even if you won't allow them to make video, we could hear their, as unbiased judges, opinions.

I hope to be meeting with Mike Sigman in August. If he can do anything that I am unfamiliar with, be assured I will let everyone know. I really don't feel the need for anymore power. However I am interested in the use of the human body, and a new (to me) way to use it is very interesting.

aikilouis
04-16-2010, 01:26 AM
Dan,
For someone like myself, who lives on the opposite side of the country, we cannot see your demonstrations at the local gyms, and seminars. For someone like myself, your claims are simply claims.
You forget that some very credible people in aikido get out of their way to recommend experiencing what Dan, Mike and some others demonstrate. Hell, Ellis Amdur actually wrote a book where he basically confessed that after decades of budo study those essential things had escaped him ! George Ledyard met those guys and was convinced. In France, Leo Tamaki invites Minoru Akuzawa regularly and studies under Kuroda sensei. Even if it's not entirely conclusive, it should still account for something.

You could make a video of one of your many encounters with the local strong men, then we could see what you are doing.
We already know the reactions : "they are tanking for him, they are his friends, too much collusion, I'm not impressed", etc. I don't know anything about Dan Harden's real abilities, but I understand his stance : he doesn't owe anyone anything, he doesn't want this stuff to force him to do something he doesn't want to. It's also a good way of selecting students. If some people are motivated enough to come and see him AND THEN work out by themselves to develop those skills, then he will put up the effort and train with them.

I do know of some gentlemen from bullshido.net who live on your side of the country. They would like to meet you. Why not let them come by and you can show them your abilities? It is easy for you to throw trained fighters around. You can kick and punch them, and they can do nothing to stop you. Why not let some of these fellows come visit. Even if you won't allow them to make video, we could hear their, as unbiased judges, opinions.
Are you talking about the same Bullshido site that I know ? Anyway, Rob John posted in that site, invited people in Tokyo, and one of them went. He returned convinced, not only that Akuzawa's method was powerful but also that it was completely unusual.

I hope to be meeting with Mike Sigman in August. If he can do anything that I am unfamiliar with, be assured I will let everyone know. I really don't feel the need for anymore power. However I am interested in the use of the human body, and a new (to me) way to use it is very interesting.
Mike Sigman is a precise and generous instructor, very open to questions. I'm confident that if you go and do what he says, you'll have your foot in the door. The only frustrating thing with his seminar is that you realise how much personal work you have to put on before what he demonstrates works for you.

bernardkwan
04-16-2010, 02:13 AM
Ok so this video is not Aikido - but I think this demonstrates some of the internal principles. He seems to be taking on all comers so it doesn't seem faked. Also noted is that the opponents also don't have great structure and seem to be amateurs, which I think shows that they are not necessarily his students taking a dive.

http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=-5818603197896187088#docid=3750127237799207837

David Yap
04-16-2010, 02:37 AM
...The only frustrating thing with his seminar is that you realise how much personal work you have to put on before what he demonstrates works for you.

I agree on the frustration part. I have not attended Mike's seminar but I have brief experience with some taichi guys and aikido masters who can walk the talk. There is no guarantee that the personal work that you put in will make it works for you. Internal skill are definitely not for morons. Most time, you have to wait for the light bulb upstair to lit up and continue to be lighted up.

Then, there is always the peer pressure. Imagine a group of yudansha having a same rank and all having invested an equivalent amount of time in aikido but in the group only one or two has a grasp of aiki. Ideally, one would declare "I don't have it, please teach me" but, the pride in some will say "I don't believe in Ki or aiki" or "I will wait for later to learn it". Frustration can also cause some to abandon aikido for another MA (which they don't need to apply their mental faculty) or leave the group to go back to the enclosure of the 'my way or the highway' sensei where they find aikido can always work. Years down the road, with the lack of interest in "aiki", Aikido can then be referred to as Kiaido.

FWIW.

David Y

phitruong
04-16-2010, 10:29 AM
Pffft. This ain't a spectator sport. Until you get out there and actually test it out it is nothing more than mental masturbation.

but i thought we, aikido folks, enjoyed mental masturbation. i mean, how are we going to achieve mutual mental orgasm if we don't? incidentally, the battery power of aiki in aikido has run out for me, so i need to get new internal power for better vibe results from mental masturbation. :D

keith, you have a fan club that i can sign up? :)