PDA

View Full Version : Essential reading for internal skills (aiki) training


Please visit our sponsor:
 

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


Rabih Shanshiry
05-08-2010, 09:22 PM
To all those interested in internal strength....

What are the "must read" books on the subject? Specifically, books that have helped you train (how to) or conceptualize what you are training (theory).

So - for example - I wouldn't consider Transparent Power or Hidden in Plain Sight to be on this list - although both are excellent reads in their own right. They are more historical/biographical/anecdotal than practical.

...rab

Michael Varin
05-08-2010, 09:51 PM
Can we stop conclusively equating internal strength/skills to aiki?

They are not the same thing. It's lazy and/or dishonest to use the terms interchangeably.

Upyu
05-08-2010, 10:02 PM
Can we stop conclusively equating internal strength/skills to aiki?

They are not the same thing. It's lazy and/or dishonest to use the terms interchangeably.

Dunno, most of the quotes by Ueshiba, Takeda etc seem to point to it.
Seems someone is conveniently forgetting Ueshiba's quote about Tenryu :D

DH
05-08-2010, 10:26 PM
Can we stop conclusively equating internal strength/skills to aiki?

They are not the same thing. It's lazy and/or dishonest to use the terms interchangeably.
We could say
Discounting the lackluster majority and middlings opinions and sticking to the few living legends in the aiki arts...........they all pointed to it as the source. Not to mention that we now know that Takeda thought it so important, that he told people NOT to teach the solo training and the idea of conditioning the body openly.

So we coud arrive at the following idea.
1. Can we finally conclusively equate internal strength/skills to aiki?

2. They are the same thing. It's lazy and/or dishonest not to use the terms interchangeably.

Dan

Rabih Shanshiry
05-09-2010, 08:46 AM
Can we stop conclusively equating internal strength/skills to aiki?

They are not the same thing. It's lazy and/or dishonest to use the terms interchangeably.

Michael, I meant no offense. That is what aiki is to me. If you have a different understanding, then by all means you are entitled to it. We could discuss that in a separate thread if you'd like (though I think they've been already quite a few of those!).

Now if we could please return to the OP regarding recommended reading...

niall
05-09-2010, 10:02 AM
My first aikido teacher told me there were no good books on aikido and he gave me Zen in the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel and I still have it. I really liked it (and by chance just a couple of days ago I happened to mention it to someone on here). This is the Wikipedia link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zen_in_the_Art_of_Archery

dps
05-09-2010, 10:23 AM
To all those interested in internal strength....

What are the "must read" books on the subject? Specifically, books that have helped you train (how to) or conceptualize what you are training (theory).
in Books
So - for example - I wouldn't consider Transparent Power or Hidden in Plain Sight to be on this list - although both are excellent reads in their own right. They are more historical/biographical/anecdotal than practical.

...rab

Anatomy Trains: Myofascial Meridians for Manual and Movement Therapists by Thomas W. Myers

(....Myers explains how patterns of strain communicate through the myofascial 'webbing', contributing to postural compensation and movement stability.}

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&q=anatomy+trains&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=7563093552349210955&ei=N9LmS8r7D5-sM-fw9asM&sa=X&oi=product_catalog_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CDQQ8wIwAg#ps-sellers

David

DH
05-09-2010, 12:51 PM
Anatomy Trains: Myofascial Meridians for Manual and Movement Therapists by Thomas W. Myers

(....Myers explains how patterns of strain communicate through the myofascial 'webbing', contributing to postural compensation and movement stability.}

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&q=anatomy+trains&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=7563093552349210955&ei=N9LmS8r7D5-sM-fw9asM&sa=X&oi=product_catalog_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CDQQ8wIwAg#ps-sellers

David
Will not help you in how to train to involve what and how.
Dan

Rabih Shanshiry
05-09-2010, 08:45 PM
My first aikido teacher told me there were no good books on aikido and he gave me Zen in the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel and I still have it. I really liked it (and by chance just a couple of days ago I happened to mention it to someone on here). This is the Wikipedia link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zen_in_the_Art_of_Archery

I'm not sure how relevent this will be to IT, but it looks like a good read. Just grabbed it from Amazon. Thanks!

...rab

asiawide
05-09-2010, 08:52 PM
Well... if you didn't read what Rob(Upyu) posts, I think it's a good start. Then go to Japan to see Akuzawa or some others in the states like Mike Sigman or Dan Harden. :)

Thomas Campbell
05-09-2010, 10:39 PM
To all those interested in internal strength....

What are the "must read" books on the subject? Specifically, books that have helped you train (how to) or conceptualize what you are training (theory).



There are none. In over 12 years of study and practice around the world with IMAs, I built a library of literally hundreds of titles, in English, translated from English, commissioned translations of parts of others . . . out of which perhaps a handful of paragraphs even began to hint or suggest at the right direction for training the qualities of internal strength as I've experienced (in some others) in the last few years.

You are best off not wasting time reading about this shit. Every second spent reading is potential training time, irreplaceably lost. Every dollar spent on a book is money you could have spent traveling to train with people who actually have these skills.

Why, rab, when you are only an hour away from someone who not only can demonstrate these skills, but can show others how to train them, are you asking about books? Do you think Dan or Mike or Ark read books before they engaged in the shugyo level of training needed to glimpse even basic levels of internal connection? Do you think Takeda Sokaku read books?

The academic impulse is poison to this kind of training. Hard, systematic work, intuitive feeling, and most of all time is fundamental to making any sort of real progress.

If you absolutely must let others fill your mind with their incomplete understanding incompletely expressed, then browse this forum and e-budo.com for starters. Go back to 2006, maybe a little before. Take notes.

DVDs may help you a little more. Try Aunkai's DVDs for a beginning look at what is involved.

Contact people. Go see the ones who make the most sense to you. Get some hands-on time, be willing to make friends with the ground and sustain some bruises in order to understand the lesson.

Don't just settle for the famous names in this game. Buy Rob John a bagel sandwich. Suggest a really good fantasy novel to Mark Murray. Ask Alex Lee whether space really is the final frontier.

Keep in mind that any training approach has its limitations, and even if the proponent is personally capable of demonstrating internal strength at a high level, it does not mean that his/her understanding of what they do is correct, nor that they can effectively teach what they can do.

But practice. Find some people who will patiently work on these skills with you. Put in the time.

Why the hell are you still reading this post? You just lost 60 seconds you could have been training. Every moment--standing, sitting, even lying down--every breath is an opportunity to work on this stuff.

eyrie
05-09-2010, 11:32 PM
My first aikido teacher told me there were no good books on aikido and he gave me Zen in the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel and I still have it. I really liked it (and by chance just a couple of days ago I happened to mention it to someone on here). This is the Wikipedia link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zen_in_the_Art_of_Archery
You should read this for a different perspective. http://www.nanzan-u.ac.jp/SHUBUNKEN/publications/jjrs/pdf/586.pdf

Tim Fong
05-09-2010, 11:57 PM
Do you think Takeda Sokaku read books?

The academic impulse is poison to this kind of training. Hard, systematic work, intuitive feeling, and most of all time is fundamental to making any sort of real progress.


I think that the late Li Shuwen was, like Takeda, illiterate. He seemed to develop some skills nonetheless.

MM
05-10-2010, 08:09 AM
One of the best posts I've read. :) Well worth quoting again.

There are none. In over 12 years of study and practice around the world with IMAs, I built a library of literally hundreds of titles, in English, translated from English, commissioned translations of parts of others . . . out of which perhaps a handful of paragraphs even began to hint or suggest at the right direction for training the qualities of internal strength as I've experienced (in some others) in the last few years.

You are best off not wasting time reading about this shit. Every second spent reading is potential training time, irreplaceably lost. Every dollar spent on a book is money you could have spent traveling to train with people who actually have these skills.

Why, rab, when you are only an hour away from someone who not only can demonstrate these skills, but can show others how to train them, are you asking about books? Do you think Dan or Mike or Ark read books before they engaged in the shugyo level of training needed to glimpse even basic levels of internal connection? Do you think Takeda Sokaku read books?

The academic impulse is poison to this kind of training. Hard, systematic work, intuitive feeling, and most of all time is fundamental to making any sort of real progress.

If you absolutely must let others fill your mind with their incomplete understanding incompletely expressed, then browse this forum and e-budo.com for starters. Go back to 2006, maybe a little before. Take notes.

DVDs may help you a little more. Try Aunkai's DVDs for a beginning look at what is involved.

Contact people. Go see the ones who make the most sense to you. Get some hands-on time, be willing to make friends with the ground and sustain some bruises in order to understand the lesson.

Don't just settle for the famous names in this game. Buy Rob John a bagel sandwich. Suggest a really good fantasy novel to Mark Murray. Ask Alex Lee whether space really is the final frontier.

Keep in mind that any training approach has its limitations, and even if the proponent is personally capable of demonstrating internal strength at a high level, it does not mean that his/her understanding of what they do is correct, nor that they can effectively teach what they can do.

But practice. Find some people who will patiently work on these skills with you. Put in the time.

Why the hell are you still reading this post? You just lost 60 seconds you could have been training. Every moment--standing, sitting, even lying down--every breath is an opportunity to work on this stuff.

Rabih Shanshiry
05-10-2010, 09:38 AM
There are none...

You are best off not wasting time reading about this shit. Every second spent reading is potential training time, irreplaceably lost...

I was waiting for this post! I can't argue with it and appreciate the spirit in which the advice was given. On the other hand, I do enjoy a good read - especially on the plane when I travel for work. Anything to better deepen my understanding and inform my training would be valuable and lot more interesting than your typical inflight magazine.

Why, rab, when you are only an hour away from someone who not only can demonstrate these skills, but can show others how to train them, are you asking about books?

Books are no substitute for training or learning from a qualified teacher. I totally agree! I am doing what I can in that regard as well.

I have come across some books which seem to reinforce some of the basic ideas that I have been exposed to in training (Way of Power, Warriors of Stillness, etc.). I can't speak for Ark but it's apparent from their posts that Dan and Mike are both very well read. I'd put you, Mark, and a few other seekers in the same category too based on your posts. So at least it seems to be a common vice. :)

phitruong
05-10-2010, 09:42 AM
Why the hell are you still reading this post? You just lost 60 seconds you could have been training. Every moment--standing, sitting, even lying down--every breath is an opportunity to work on this stuff.

we are professional IS folks, not amateurs! we can train and discuss on aikiweb at the same time. :D
i am practicing as we speak or type or whatever. i am using my kokyu power to type, move my mouse, drink coffee/tea, and eat snacks. only amateurs need to go and train. :)

phitruong
05-10-2010, 09:50 AM
Why, rab, when you are only an hour away from someone who not only can demonstrate these skills, but can show others how to train them, are you asking about books?


whoa! Rab, you are a hour away from Dan and you sit here and asked about reading books? what wrong with you, dude?

Rabih Shanshiry
05-10-2010, 10:03 AM
whoa! Rab, you are a hour away from Dan and you sit here and asked about reading books? what wrong with you, dude?

Thanks Tom - see what you started! :)

Rob Watson
05-10-2010, 11:02 AM
You should read this for a different perspective. http://www.nanzan-u.ac.jp/SHUBUNKEN/publications/jjrs/pdf/586.pdf

Thanks very much for this ... so many parallels.

Tim Fong
05-10-2010, 11:43 AM
Ignatius,
Thanks for posting that, I was looking for it and couldn't find it. Always good to keep orientalism in check. :)

Tim

Erick Mead
05-10-2010, 12:06 PM
You are best off not wasting time reading about this shit. Every second spent reading is potential training time, irreplaceably lost.
Why the hell are you still reading this post? Simple.




MM
05-10-2010, 02:14 PM
To all those interested in internal strength....

What are the "must read" books on the subject? Specifically, books that have helped you train (how to) or conceptualize what you are training (theory).

So - for example - I wouldn't consider Transparent Power or Hidden in Plain Sight to be on this list - although both are excellent reads in their own right. They are more historical/biographical/anecdotal than practical.

...rab

Considering the string of posts, how about if we change the question? Instead of "must read" and "how to", how about books that are relevant to internal skills/aiki? I consider the below books as having interesting information but none of them are "how to" books.

If you have the time and want to spend the money, in no particular order ...

Get the Aikido Journal Back Issues and read them all. There are some jewels amidst all the reading (For example, some of Ueshiba's exploits). As Peter Goldsbury has pointed out, it's anecdotal so can't be construed as "proof".

Research AikiWeb Posts ...
Tons of information, including some "how to" posts. To narrow things a bit, most of the posts are probably within the last 4 years. Don't forget about becoming a contributing member and supporting AikiWeb.

Hidden in Plain Sight and Transparent Power ...
I haven't read TP yet. It's on my list. But HIPS is well worth reading.

Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method Vol 1 by Hong Junsheng ...
Another excellent book filled with jewels and gems.

A Life in Aikido: The Biography of Founder Morihei Ueshiba ...
Referred to me by Peter Goldsbury. Some interesting correlations and historical information.

One of the reprinted books, Budo, either 1933 or 1938ish ...
I forget which one it is, but one has quite a few photographs. Worth some detailed looks at Ueshiba's kamae/posture throughout.

... gotta cut this short ...

AllanF
05-10-2010, 06:05 PM
Hi Mark

Have you finished reading "Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method Vol 1 by Hong Junsheng"?

If so i would be very interested in hearing what you have to say about the English version. I have the Chinese copy but as my reading of Chinese isn't so good it has been hard going. My wife is not too enthusiastic to translate books on taiji.

Allan

Rabih Shanshiry
05-10-2010, 07:33 PM
Instead of "must read" and "how to", how about books that are relevant to internal skills/aiki?

Great suggestion - probably should have worded the OP better.

...rab

bernardkwan
05-10-2010, 09:16 PM
I have come across some books which seem to reinforce some of the basic ideas that I have been exposed to in training (Way of Power, Warriors of Stillness, etc.). I can't speak for Ark but it's apparent from their posts that Dan and Mike are both very well read. I'd put you, Mark, and a few other seekers in the same category too based on your posts. So at least it seems to be a common vice. :)

I would not recommend Warriors of Stillness. It is out of print and I hope it stays that way. It is full of pseudo-scientific mumbo jumbo and strange computer-generated imagery that is very unclear. When I looked at the figures they all looked like they had extremely compromised structure...

HL1978
05-11-2010, 09:13 PM
In my opinion you won't get much information out of any book, or even what is written online unless you are familiar with the skills already

Rabih Shanshiry
05-12-2010, 08:43 AM
In my opinion you won't get much information out of any book, or even what is written online unless you are familiar with the skills already

No argumment there but are there any books that you've found useful *after* getting hands on with Ark and others?

...rab

HL1978
05-12-2010, 09:52 AM
No argumment there but are there any books that you've found useful *after* getting hands on with Ark and others?

...rab

No, the best information seems to be online. As discussed before, it seems that many of the translators didn't have an understanding of internal skills so they may have misunderstood what the intent of the original writers were.