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Dave de Vos
01-14-2011, 03:14 AM
I have some questions about training for Internal Strength.

I read quite a few posts about internal strength on AikiWeb, and I'm interested in learning more about it. But I am not quite sure what it is exactly. I've tried to find out more on YouTube. Is it something like this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ImebtD800M) or this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=So11cEIiRLQ)?

I also read that it is very much possible and even required to do a lot of solo exercises to improve ones internal strength. What kind of exercises are these? Are they something like this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7rn7xzD7JI) or this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CRc-6yULYI)? (Well, these examples aren't solo, but my wife might be an exercise partner)

Might these solo exercises be learned from video or would I require a personal teacher to teach me the right way to solo exercise? (I wouldn't know where I can find someone that teaches this kind of stuff in my area)

(Perhaps I should have started this topic under "Training", but I wasn't sure if this topic would qualify as an Aikido training topic)

Lorel Latorilla
01-14-2011, 03:26 AM
I have some questions about training for Internal Strength.

I read quite a few posts about internal strength on AikiWeb, and I'm interested in learning more about it. But I am not quite sure what it is exactly. I've tried to find out more on YouTube. Is it something like this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ImebtD800M) or this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=So11cEIiRLQ)?

I also read that it is very much possible and even required to do a lot of solo exercises to improve ones internal strength. What kind of exercises are these? Are they something like this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7rn7xzD7JI) or this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CRc-6yULYI)? (Well, these examples aren't solo, but my wife might be an exercise partner)

Might these solo exercises be learned from video or would I require a personal teacher to teach me the right way to solo exercise? (I wouldn't know where I can find someone that teaches this kind of stuff in my area)

You'd have to go to a teacher. This stuff has not been codified yet by Western science (although I think we're in an interesting transition) so there is no way really for you to glean anything from videos or discussion online. Even for those who have exposure to bodyskill, discussion can be difficult. This stuff is cloaked in metaphors, and while some take the liberty to create their own 'interpretations' about the metaphors, these metaphors point to an actual concrete physical process.

Dave de Vos
01-14-2011, 04:26 AM
You'd have to go to a teacher. This stuff has not been codified yet by Western science (although I think we're in an interesting transition) so there is no way really for you to glean anything from videos or discussion online. Even for those who have exposure to bodyskill, discussion can be difficult. This stuff is cloaked in metaphors, and while some take the liberty to create their own 'interpretations' about the metaphors, these metaphors point to an actual concrete physical process.

I was afraid that this would be the general answer to my questions, but I'm hoping that someone can offer more information.

Lorel Latorilla
01-14-2011, 04:43 AM
I was afraid that this would be the general answer to my questions, but I am still hoping that someone can offer some information.

1) It is a way of using your body to create a lot of force with physical efficiency, a way to increase your range of motion while staying balanced, and a way to take an opponent's balance without force and clashing.

2) Yes, the videos point to 'internal strength'. But whatever they do it or not depends on how they feel in real life. I would not judge until I have crossed-hands with the person.

3) Yes you have to do a lot of solo exercises. You are basically re-wiring your body and undoing movement habits that prevent you from expressing bodyskill. The exercises target and condition parts of the body that allow you to move with whole body. For example, if your abdomen moves, then your arm and legs, akin gear-like dynamic, should move as well.

MM
01-14-2011, 07:38 AM
I was afraid that this would be the general answer to my questions, but I'm hoping that someone can offer more information.

There is an upcoming seminar by Dan Harden in the Netherlands. Details here:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19224

I think a lot of your questions would be answered at this seminar. It might be full, but you can ask about a waiting list since some people drop out before the actual seminar date arrives.

Dave de Vos
01-14-2011, 07:55 AM
There is an upcoming seminar by Dan Harden in the Netherlands. Details here:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19224

I think a lot of your questions would be answered at this seminar. It might be full, but you can ask about a waiting list since some people drop out before the actual seminar date arrives.

Thank you for the tip.:)

That would be a wonderful opportunity indeed, but I read that it is for advanced students and teachers only (I understand that this is usually the case with Dan Harden's seminars). I just started training aikido four months ago, so I don't qualify at all. :(

phitruong
01-14-2011, 08:40 AM
That would be a wonderful opportunity indeed, but I read that it is for advanced students and teachers only (I understand that this is usually the case with Dan Harden's seminars). I just started training aikido four months ago, so I don't qualify at all. :(

mike sigman also has a workshop in europe if you can get to http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18499

or looking up this teacher, wang hai jun, if you can get to some of his workshops. if you get to his workshops, ask for two things: standing exercise and silk reeling.

i believed akuzawa of aunkai also give workshops in europe.

one thing, maybe two, about internal training. you need to acquire a certain attitude of persistent and perseverance. the statement "I just started training aikido four months ago, so I don't qualify at all" is a non-persistent statement. you ping dan and ask "can i come? can i come, please? pretty please? i'll buy you beers, dinner and whatever, if you let me come" and so on and so forth. be a persistent SOB. that sort of attitude is needed for doing solo exercises.

MM
01-14-2011, 08:40 AM
Thank you for the tip.:)

That would be a wonderful opportunity indeed, but I read that it is for advanced students and teachers only (I understand that this is usually the case with Dan Harden's seminars). I just started training aikido four months ago, so I don't qualify at all. :(

Usually, yes, but not always. If you're interested, email and ask. Better to be sure than to miss an opportunity.

DH
01-14-2011, 08:59 AM
Thank you for the tip.:)

That would be a wonderful opportunity indeed, but I read that it is for advanced students and teachers only (I understand that this is usually the case with Dan Harden's seminars). I just started training aikido four months ago, so I don't qualify at all. :(
Hello Sir
Yes, I have been reserving my efforts for teachers and advanced students. I have done two seminars for students, and I am now doing a couple of others. I reserve most of my efforts for teachers in response to feedback from students here that they could not get practice time in their dojos. Teachers are the ones that can assign time in classes, since they control things, so I got them involved.
Simple Idea really. 17 of the 19 seminars I have done were a commitment I made to support those original teachers.

I would also encourage you to look up Mike or Ark.I am continually told that most of the ICMA teachers are not going to teach you the goods for a very long time. Word to the wise.
Cheers
Dan.

HL1978
01-14-2011, 09:29 AM
since there isn't much discussion of Tohei's aikido system in this thread, it probably should be moved to the Non-Aikido Traditions forum.

You could go the ki-society route, but I only have 1 classes experience with them and have no idea if they have any dojo in your country. Their exercises will fit within an aikido context and discourage overt muscle use, but I do not believe that you are likely to be exposed to the full spectrum of skills mentioned in the Non-Aikido Traditions forum.

There are now Aunkai instructors in France and the Netherlands. There is probably contact information on the aunkai.net homepage or you can look around Leo Tamaki's blog. http://www.leotamaki.com/

If you have the opportunity, attend one of the seminars by Dan, Akuzawa, or Mike. You will at least get exposure to these skills, but it will take a lot of time and effort to figure them out most likely without a teacher or experienced partner. I don't want to sound discouraging, but you may go for years and find out that you were doing them all wrong.

Dave de Vos
01-14-2011, 09:57 AM
mike sigman also has a workshop in europe if you can get to http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18499

or looking up this teacher, wang hai jun, if you can get to some of his workshops. if you get to his workshops, ask for two things: standing exercise and silk reeling.

i believed akuzawa of aunkai also give workshops in europe.

one thing, maybe two, about internal training. you need to acquire a certain attitude of persistent and perseverance. the statement "I just started training aikido four months ago, so I don't qualify at all" is a non-persistent statement. you ping dan and ask "can i come? can i come, please? pretty please? i'll buy you beers, dinner and whatever, if you let me come" and so on and so forth. be a persistent SOB. that sort of attitude is needed for doing solo exercises.

Usually, yes, but not always. If you're interested, email and ask. Better to be sure than to miss an opportunity.

Hello Sir
Yes, I have been reserving my efforts for teachers and advanced students. I have done two seminars for students, and I am now doing a couple of others. I reserve most of my efforts for teachers in response to feedback from students here that they could not get practice time in their dojos. Teachers are the ones that can assign time in classes, since they control things, so I got them involved.
Simple Idea really. 17 of the 19 seminars I have done were a commitment I made to support those original teachers.

I would also encourage you to look up Mike or Ark.I am continually told that most of the ICMA teachers are not going to teach you the goods for a very long time. Word to the wise.
Cheers
Dan.

Thanks for the helpful advice, but I think it would not be appropriate for me to attend a seminar for teachers just yet (even if I were somehow allowed to participate), because I know so little about it that I don't even know whether it is something for me.

That's why I started the topic: I am looking for some informal introduction into the subject. To get a clearer picture of what it is about.

At this stage, travelling abroad to participate in seminars seem like an overkill to satisfy my curiosity.

Do I understand correctly that good internal strength teachers are so rare that seminars are about the only option for learning what it is?

,

MM
01-14-2011, 10:01 AM
Seems that this post is no longer needed ...

Dave de Vos
01-14-2011, 10:07 AM
since there isn't much discussion of Tohei's aikido system in this thread, it probably should be moved to the Non-Aikido Traditions forum.


I posted this topic in the general forum, because I was not sure where I should post it. Indeed it seems Non-Aikido Traditions would have been a better choice.

You could go the ki-society route, but I only have 1 classes experience with them and have no idea if they have any dojo in your country. Their exercises will fit within an aikido context and discourage overt muscle use, but I do not believe that you are likely to be exposed to the full spectrum of skills mentioned in the Non-Aikido Traditions forum.

There are now Aunkai instructors in France and the Netherlands. There is probably contact information on the aunkai.net homepage or you can look around Leo Tamaki's blog. http://www.leotamaki.com/

If you have the opportunity, attend one of the seminars by Dan, Akuzawa, or Mike. You will at least get exposure to these skills, but it will take a lot of time and effort to figure them out most likely without a teacher or experienced partner. I don't want to sound discouraging, but you may go for years and find out that you were doing them all wrong.

I'll be away the rest of today, but I will definitely look tomorrow. Thank you.

kewms
01-14-2011, 11:25 AM
Thanks for the helpful advice, but I think it would not be appropriate for me to attend a seminar for teachers just yet (even if I were somehow allowed to participate), because I know so little about it that I don't even know whether it is something for me.

Many "teachers" are at that same stage. They may have lots of aikido experience, but that doesn't mean they know much (or anything) about internal strength.

Katherine

DH
01-14-2011, 11:49 AM
It is still somewhat unpopular to say this (though that is on the wain) but Internal power is critical to aiki. I separate Tohei's one point model from aiki in general but it is none the less esential. That's why of those who encounter this training- they want it. The logic of it all, once felt; both defines and defends itself. It's only really debated from those who haven't trained it.
And of course you certainly don't have to be a teacher. Last, I continually point out that those training it and meeting up are having fun and learning...you know...like budo people do everywhere.
Cheers
Dan

kewms
01-14-2011, 12:15 PM
Do I understand correctly that good internal strength teachers are so rare that seminars are about the only option for learning what it is?

You can get lots of information online. Ask your favorite search engine for "internal strength and martial arts" and you'll find plenty of stuff.

But that kind of head knowledge won't really do you much good. It won't help you understand the difference in feeling between aikido techniques done with and without aiki, and it won't help you actually develop internal strength on your own.

Katherine

Upyu
01-14-2011, 03:01 PM
I posted this topic in the general forum, because I was not sure where I should post it. Indeed it seems Non-Aikido Traditions would have been a better choice.

I'll be away the rest of today, but I will definitely look tomorrow. Thank you.

Dave,

Just wanted to say that, as a beginner in the martial arts, you would have an easier time learning this stuff, since many teachers would have to undo years of ingrained habits (moving without IS).. Since there's a fundamental rewiring that has to take place, simply getting past the muscle memory from non IS driven movements can be maddening, and get in the way of learning this stuff.
Get exposed and started as early as possible ;)

SeiserL
01-14-2011, 03:09 PM
Just wanted to say that, as a beginner in the martial arts, you would have an easier time learning this stuff, since many teachers would have to undo years of ingrained habits (moving without IS).. Since there's a fundamental rewiring that has to take place, simply getting past the muscle memory from non IS driven movements can be maddening, and get in the way of learning this stuff.
Get exposed and started as early as possible ;)
Totally agree here.
The sooner the better.

DH
01-14-2011, 03:55 PM
Dave,

Just wanted to say that, as a beginner in the martial arts, you would have an easier time learning this stuff, since many teachers would have to undo years of ingrained habits (moving without IS).. Since there's a fundamental rewiring that has to take place, simply getting past the muscle memory from non IS driven movements can be maddening, and get in the way of learning this stuff.
Get exposed and started as early as possible ;)
+1
I would have to agree with this, with the exception of two Daito ryu people that have trained with me. Both were long time practioners who seem to have gotten things faster than most others. The idea of moving from center and the conditioning for other things seemed to gel with them faster. Might be something to that..might not.
Just say'n
Dan

Mike Sigman
01-14-2011, 04:09 PM
Dave,

Just wanted to say that, as a beginner in the martial arts, you would have an easier time learning this stuff, since many teachers would have to undo years of ingrained habits (moving without IS).. Since there's a fundamental rewiring that has to take place, simply getting past the muscle memory from non IS driven movements can be maddening, and get in the way of learning this stuff.
Get exposed and started as early as possible ;)

I agree with Rob on this. I think as things go forward, this problem (if you look in the archives I already mentioned this) is going to turn out to be one of the major obstacles. It's extremely tough for someone with "many years of experience" in non-I.S. movement to changeover to full I.S. movement. Usually what you get is a partial change, at best, or more probably the case that I mentioned in another thread where someones moves pretty much as they always have and insert some coarse usage of jin/kokyu where they need it in a technique. My experience leads me to bet that this partial approach is going to be the commonest result of "internal strength".

My experiences in a number of workshops over the years is that if a teacher and students come, the well-patterned movements of the teacher(s) tends to slow them down more than newby students.

Very hard-style arts' practitioners can be a worst-case scenario... you can look at it as a case where they have to unlearn so much that it actually puts them further off-base than a newby. In some cases, I have actively (but politely) discouraged some people from coming to a workshop. I thought it would be a waste of their money and the class' time. ;)

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Dave de Vos
01-14-2011, 07:56 PM
So you all agree it's best to start practicing internal strength right from the start.

That is great encouragement which leaves me no other option but to find a seminar where I can start learning it.:)

Erick Mead
01-14-2011, 08:48 PM
I have some questions about training for Internal Strength.

I read quite a few posts about internal strength on AikiWeb, and I'm interested in learning more about it. But I am not quite sure what it is exactly. I've tried to find out more on YouTube. Is it something like this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ImebtD800M) or this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=So11cEIiRLQ)?
You'd have to go to a teacher. This stuff has not been codified yet by Western science (although I think we're in an interesting ... while some take the liberty to create their own 'interpretations' about the metaphors, these metaphors point to an actual concrete physical process.

Concur in most respects . The videos are consistent with at least one Western approach to describe those physical processes which I have advanced, and do apply in very similar terms actually, especially in comparison to the first. I like the general descriptive and illustrative approach of the first, while the second (especially the first part) fits a mechanically derived image (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=428&d=1194975867) consistent with the mechanical principle I find applies. The "steel body" is an application of the same prinicple as the "shaking power" in the first, just very abrupt and conclusive.

Glimpsing the principle and practicing the principle are two different things; they aid one another but training is always key -- as these videos show it can be trained in many different frameworks, and its rudiments are within training forms or methods of many arts if observed carefully, though most are shown quite poorly and only hint at this as they are often shown.

Pay attention to the kokyu undo in aikido and how they move the body without conscious intervention. Some will say start with stillness and move to motion; some will say the reverse. Both are right if you see the operative principle, Both are wrong if you don't.

thisisnotreal
01-14-2011, 10:28 PM
Dave,

Just wanted to say that, as a beginner in the martial arts, you would have an easier time learning this stuff, since many teachers would have to undo years of ingrained habits (moving without IS).. Since there's a fundamental rewiring that has to take place, simply getting past the muscle memory from non IS driven movements can be maddening, and get in the way of learning this stuff.
Get exposed and started as early as possible ;)

I was wondering about the converse of this. Say, if your mom or dad or whatever and had a heads up on these skills...and you had subconsciously been absorbing them since you were little. Or like in say Chen village. What would the possibilities be if you only ever knew that..

gdandscompserv
01-14-2011, 10:39 PM
In some cases, I have actively (but politely) discouraged some people from coming to a workshop.
politely?
;)

DH
01-14-2011, 11:14 PM
I have some questions about training for Internal Strength.

I read quite a few posts about internal strength on AikiWeb, and I'm interested in learning more about it. But I am not quite sure what it is exactly. I've tried to find out more on YouTube. Is it something like this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ImebtD800M) or this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=So11cEIiRLQ)?

I also read that it is very much possible and even required to do a lot of solo exercises to improve ones internal strength. What kind of exercises are these? Are they something like this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7rn7xzD7JI) or this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CRc-6yULYI)? (Well, these examples aren't solo, but my wife might be an exercise partner)

Might these solo exercises be learned from video or would I require a personal teacher to teach me the right way to solo exercise? (I wouldn't know where I can find someone that teaches this kind of stuff in my area)

(Perhaps I should have started this topic under "Training", but I wasn't sure if this topic would qualify as an Aikido training topic)

Hi Dave
I missed this. To be clear neither this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ImebtD800M)
Or that (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CRc-6yULYI) is what you are looking for or will help you get where you want to go.
Cheers
Dan

Amassus
01-15-2011, 12:19 AM
Dave, here is a site I discovered while trying to find someone here in New Zealand that I could train with. He has lots of information about internal strength. Is he doing what Dan H, Mike S, Ark and the others are doing? Who knows. I hope to contact him and see if I can meet up.

http://tukylam.freeoda.com/index.html

I hope those pages help.

Best of luck,
Dean.

Dave de Vos
01-15-2011, 06:44 AM
mike sigman also has a workshop in europe if you can get to http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18499

or looking up this teacher, wang hai jun, if you can get to some of his workshops. if you get to his workshops, ask for two things: standing exercise and silk reeling.


To be clear neither this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ImebtD800M) or that (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CRc-6yULYI) is what you are looking for or will help you get where you want to go.


Dave, here is a site I discovered while trying to find someone here in New Zealand that I could train with. He has lots of information about internal strength. Is he doing what Dan H, Mike S, Ark and the others are doing? Who knows. I hope to contact him and see if I can meet up.

http://tukylam.freeoda.com/index.html

Ok, so http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIpue1bRzwc and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGARqgX9xuw might be closer to what is taught at the workshops and seminars?

Tony Wagstaffe
01-15-2011, 03:17 PM
You could try isometric/isotonic exercise......;)

Demetrio Cereijo
01-15-2011, 03:33 PM
:cool:
Or "How to Develop Aiki in 90 Days (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vz6s40M0CYg)".

David Orange
01-15-2011, 04:36 PM
Ok, so http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIpue1bRzwc and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGARqgX9xuw might be closer to what is taught at the workshops and seminars?

Dave, I'd encourage you to find a seminar that isolates the IS fundamentals from any form—or at least any long form—so that you're sure to get the core information. Then you can learn any form and apply the core information from the beginning. If you learn the form first, you have to revise it once you do learn the core information.

Mike, Dan and Minoru Akuzawa all teach those kinds of seminars, but Mike may present the purest basic principles with only the barest of form to bother with. Once you work from pure principles, you can be sure to build all your forms well.

I'd rather spend a weekend doing the silk reeling only, if they taught the core principles clearly, than to spend the same weekend learning the 18 step form in the other video. Learning all that form would probably not leave time to learn the inner workings of each part of the form, so it would be less useful, I believe.

Best to you.

David

SeiserL
01-15-2011, 05:07 PM
:cool:
Or "How to Develop Aiki in 90 Days (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vz6s40M0CYg)".
Would like to see it again with subtitles.

Dave de Vos
01-15-2011, 05:09 PM
Dave, I'd encourage you to find a seminar that isolates the IS fundamentals from any form—or at least any long form—so that you're sure to get the core information. Then you can learn any form and apply the core information from the beginning. If you learn the form first, you have to revise it once you do learn the core information.

Mike, Dan and Minoru Akuzawa all teach those kinds of seminars, but Mike may present the purest basic principles with only the barest of form to bother with. Once you work from pure principles, you can be sure to build all your forms well.

I'd rather spend a weekend doing the silk reeling only, if they taught the core principles clearly, than to spend the same weekend learning the 18 step form in the other video. Learning all that form would probably not leave time to learn the inner workings of each part of the form, so it would be less useful, I believe.

Best to you.

David

Thank you for your advice. The response I got to my inquiries has convinced me that I should indeed go to such a seminar to find out. Mike has given me access to the Qijin list, so I can be a bit more prepared. I am reading the introduction pages as we speak :)

David Orange
01-15-2011, 08:39 PM
Would like to see it again with subtitles.

It's a bunch of New Age stuff. No need to listen.

And then I can do agete on you next time we meet! :p

I'm having to listen to it over and again to get the general idea, but it seems close consideration of the exemplar is worthwhile.

Looks excellent.

Best to you.

David

David Orange
01-15-2011, 08:49 PM
Thank you for your advice. The response I got to my inquiries has convinced me that I should indeed go to such a seminar to find out. Mike has given me access to the Qijin list, so I can be a bit more prepared. I am reading the introduction pages as we speak :)

Very good. Think hard about all the fundamentals and remember that even on qi/jin, not everyone knows what they're talking about. I have that on good authority from Mike Sigman. He posted it, or something similar, on one of these threads. I think. Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about. Just remember not everyone does.

Meanwhile, if you want to check out some real root aikido, see my friend, Edgar Kruyning:

http://www.yoseikan.nl/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=77&Itemid=75

Best to you.

David

David Orange
01-15-2011, 08:51 PM
:cool:
Or "How to Develop Aiki in 90 Days (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vz6s40M0CYg)".

Excellent. I can't believe that's available.

You've done a public service!

Thanks.

David

Lee Salzman
01-15-2011, 11:27 PM
Excellent. I can't believe that's available.

You've done a public service!

Thanks.

David

To play devil's advocate, what in this video would really train aiki so efficiently that you could learn it in 90 days, or learn it at all? I don't see it.

It seems like many of the illustrated exercises might even teach you the opposite, the habit of keeping your body so rigid that the only thing left to drive the cut is the shoulders, like the man cutting with the sword in the video is doing.

In other cases his body is cutting itself in half before the force ever gets out his arm. Pay attention at the first exercise in 1:30. Look how the force is bleeding out his belt-line. In essence, he is using all the force from his lower body to try and break his spine in half, so that he can, at best, whiplash his arm weakly forward. Also watch how this is causing his front knee to fly over his own foot, uprooting him at the end. Then, as noted earlier, in later exercises, he is just so stiff most of the body is not even being involved at all.

Alfonso
01-15-2011, 11:37 PM
To play devil's advocate, what in this video would really train aiki so efficiently that you could learn it in 90 days, or learn it at all? I don't see it.

I dont see anything internal going on there, maybe I need better goggles. Lots of knee walking. There's a diagram that looks cool, but diagrams are easy to find, and I dont understand the dialogue , so it could be that the exercises shown could be used as internal training, but I dont see it.

Of course someone is going to say that's their uncle and who am I to say what. From where I stand , I dont see it either.

Lee Salzman
01-16-2011, 12:04 AM
I dont see anything internal going on there, maybe I need better goggles. Lots of knee walking. There's a diagram that looks cool, but diagrams are easy to find, and I dont understand the dialogue , so it could be that the exercises shown could be used as internal training, but I dont see it.

Of course someone is going to say that's their uncle and who am I to say what. From where I stand , I dont see it either.

The diagram is even possibly illustrating a postural defect, with a helpful visualization to reinforce the postural defect (hyperextension of lower back causing belly to protrude and bleed force down the front) with mental imagery, which is what he is doing actively in that first cutting exercise even. YMMV. :eek:

Mark Freeman
01-16-2011, 04:19 AM
To play devil's advocate, what in this video would really train aiki so efficiently that you could learn it in 90 days, or learn it at all? I don't see it.

Hi Lee,

This is my viewing of it too, although I don't understand the dialogue, so only have my eyes to trust.
I am always wary of any title that purports to give you something in a shorter time than is usually expected.

It seems like many of the illustrated exercises might even teach you the opposite, the habit of keeping your body so rigid that the only thing left to drive the cut is the shoulders, like the man cutting with the sword in the video is doing.

It's hard to know quite how ridgid his body is as it is possible to remain in posture with relaxation, but I completely agree about the cuts coming from the shoulders, apart from the arms it looks like there is no other part of the body being used, apart from being a anchor.

Although videos are interesting to watch and discuss, IMHO the way to learn aiki is to find someone who has it and can do it, then stay with them until you've got it too ( I bet it will take a bit more than 90 days ).

regards,

Mark

Dave de Vos
01-16-2011, 05:40 AM
Seeing the title and content of that video, I assume the tip was given in jest.

Lee Salzman
01-16-2011, 05:58 AM
Hi Lee,

This is my viewing of it too, although I don't understand the dialogue, so only have my eyes to trust.
I am always wary of any title that purports to give you something in a shorter time than is usually expected.

It's hard to know quite how ridgid his body is as it is possible to remain in posture with relaxation, but I completely agree about the cuts coming from the shoulders, apart from the arms it looks like there is no other part of the body being used, apart from being a anchor.

Although videos are interesting to watch and discuss, IMHO the way to learn aiki is to find someone who has it and can do it, then stay with them until you've got it too ( I bet it will take a bit more than 90 days ).

regards,

Mark

Remaining in that posture with relaxation while in motion is rigidity as well, in essence the body parts are frozen in space and just stabilizing in an unaware fashion, or the opposite mistake being whiplash effects, no? Does it matter if its done with heavy tension or none at all if its misdirected, or in this case, undirected? Now even if you had a teacher show you these exercises, would it help really help? If the teacher himself isn't sure how exactly the exercises help, may Flying Spaghetti Monster help the student...

These exercises, in essence, don't actually teach you what you need to do, if the implication is you need an understanding of what the thing is you're trying to learn to use them to learn it. Sure, you could do maybe do them in a way that could use aiki or internal strength or whatever, but you can do almost any other action as well, So shouldn't the chosen set of exercises actually help illustrate (make obvious) the flaws in our previous habits that need to be corrected and help point the way towards better corrected habits, with or without a teacher? That should be the criteria for any training regimen even if the goal is to learn in 90 months instead of 90 days, no? :D

Even if the video was linked in jest, it seems perhaps there is a major buyer beware notice to be pointed out by it and the subject of where and what you train...

Dave de Vos
01-16-2011, 06:29 AM
Remaining in that posture with relaxation while in motion is rigidity as well, in essence the body parts are frozen in space and just stabilizing in an unaware fashion, or the opposite mistake being whiplash effects, no? Does it matter if its done with heavy tension or none at all if its misdirected, or in this case, undirected? Now even if you had a teacher show you these exercises, would it help really help? If the teacher himself isn't sure how exactly the exercises help, may Flying Spaghetti Monster help the student...

These exercises, in essence, don't actually teach you what you need to do, if the implication is you need an understanding of what the thing is you're trying to learn to use them to learn it. Sure, you could do maybe do them in a way that could use aiki or internal strength or whatever, but you can do almost any other action as well, So shouldn't the chosen set of exercises actually help illustrate (make obvious) the flaws in our previous habits that need to be corrected and help point the way towards better corrected habits, with or without a teacher? That should be the criteria for any training regimen even if the goal is to learn in 90 months instead of 90 days, no? :D

Even if the video was linked in jest, it seems perhaps there is a major buyer beware notice to be pointed out by it and the subject of where and what you train...

I'm not juding the usefullness or quality of execution of the exercises shown in the video. But IMHO these exercises have little to do with the IS exercises that are the subject of this thread. I also think that the poster was fully aware of that when he posted it.

Lee Salzman
01-16-2011, 06:47 AM
I'm not juding the usefullness or quality of execution of the exercises shown in the video. But IMHO these exercises have little to do with the IS exercises that are the subject of this thread. I also think that the poster was fully aware of that when he posted it.

Ah, the error could lie on my end because I was never good at discriminating what is sarcasm on these newfangled intertubes. :o Perhaps I misread the conversation that ensued from the initial link posting...

But still, how many might have looked at that video and its title, as well as its claimed origin, and decided they were actually legitimate training tools? Hell, not too long ago, I might have looked at the video and been fooled by it enough to consider it, rather than immediately picking it apart. Stuff like that, that is prescriptive video broadcasted for everyone to see and not just surface discussion, really deserves to be judged, so the unwary don't fall into the trap. If it has little to do with what is being discussed in this thread, it is helpful for us to understand why rather than assume we're all on the same page.

Perhaps it was the fact that I realized not too long ago I might have been fooled by certain aspects of the presentation of that matter that is what set off my pet-peeve meter in the first place, and hence I am judging the usefulness and quality of execution...

Dave de Vos
01-16-2011, 07:59 AM
Ah, the error could lie on my end because I was never good at discriminating what is sarcasm on these newfangled intertubes. :o Perhaps I misread the conversation that ensued from the initial link posting...

<snip>

If it has little to do with what is being discussed in this thread, it is helpful for us to understand why rather than assume we're all on the same page.

Perhaps it was the fact that I realized not too long ago I might have been fooled by certain aspects of the presentation of that matter that is what set off my pet-peeve meter in the first place, and hence I am judging the usefulness and quality of execution...

My untrained eye sees no flaws in the execution of these exercises and I'm sure one would build up strength by doing them. Even though the japanese term Aiki (the first part of aikido) can be translated as Internal Strength, I guess the video is just a commercial for selling a DVD with Daito-Ryu solo exercises. The 90 days claim seems purely commercial to me.

I know little about IS (that's why I started this thread) but from what have learned up to now, I would characterise IS exercises by deliberate, continuous, flexible, subtle and fluent whole body motion, focusing on leg strength rather than arm strength. To me, the exercises in the 90-days video don't really look like that. It looks more linear and more focused on arm strength (I could be mistaken though).

Tony Wagstaffe
01-16-2011, 10:56 AM
My untrained eye sees no flaws in the execution of these exercises and I'm sure one would build up strength by doing them. Even though the japanese term Aiki (the first part of aikido) can be translated as Internal Strength, I guess the video is just a commercial for selling a DVD with Daito-Ryu solo exercises. The 90 days claim seems purely commercial to me.

I know little about IS (that's why I started this thread) but from what have learned up to now, I would characterise IS exercises by deliberate, continuous, flexible, subtle and fluent whole body motion, focusing on leg strength rather than arm strength. To me, the exercises in the 90-days video don't really look like that. It looks more linear and more focused on arm strength (I could be mistaken though).

Nobody takes any notice do they......:rolleyes:

Mike Sigman
01-16-2011, 11:01 AM
I'm having to listen to it over and again to get the general idea, but it seems close consideration of the exemplar is worthwhile.
I'm pretty sure I see what they're trying to say, David, but I don't think it's particularly revelatory. I could say "do Taiji and you will get internal strength", but saying that and doing a form for you isn't going to tell you the myriad unsaid things that are going on.

For all practical purposes, those people are saying "do Tanren and you will develop Aiki". Really? Farm Out. ;)

2 cents.

Mike

markyboy64
01-16-2011, 11:07 AM
I have some questions about training for Internal Strength.

I read quite a few posts about internal strength on AikiWeb, and I'm interested in learning more about it. But I am not quite sure what it is exactly. I've tried to find out more on YouTube. Is it something like this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ImebtD800M) or this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=So11cEIiRLQ)?

I also read that it is very much possible and even required to do a lot of solo exercises to improve ones internal strength. What kind of exercises are these? Are they something like this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7rn7xzD7JI) or this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CRc-6yULYI)? (Well, these examples aren't solo, but my wife might be an exercise partner)

Might these solo exercises be learned from video or would I require a personal teacher to teach me the right way to solo exercise? (I wouldn't know where I can find someone that teaches this kind of stuff in my area)

(Perhaps I should have started this topic under "Training", but I wasn't sure if this topic would qualify as an Aikido training topic)

Aikido,Taiji,bagua,Yichuan ect are all based on exercises that involve the whole body to drop into the ground (gravity).
Taiji calls this cold power,other names are Ki or Chi.
In other words" You" bring everything to the table at once.

Here in the mysterious mountain town of Plymouth, England call it plyometrics.
Plyometrics is a modern term.I prefer the term used by the great Jedi master Sir Isaac Newton,he called it the third law of physics.

Moving from the centre,shaking of the waist,fajin, are terms used to mask what it really is and make money from something that is free.

A 7th dan Aikidoka tried to perform nikyo on me about ten years ago,although he was a lowly 6th dan then and failed miserably,even though he claimed before hand that nobody had ever stopped him doing one before in thirty years.
He said my ki was very powerful.A nice compliment I thought,from someone who had been koiche toheh's European uke in the mid 70s.

Aikido,Taiji/Bagua are simple arts.People who make them complicated are doing more art than martial.

Training for balance and proprioception is what will make you more powerful.
Training techniques will only allow you to fight off wheel chair bound muggers,should the shit hit the fan.

David Orange
01-16-2011, 11:19 AM
I'm pretty sure I see what they're trying to say, David, but I don't think it's particularly revelatory. I could say "do Taiji and you will get internal strength", but saying that and doing a form for you isn't going to tell you the myriad unsaid things that are going on.

For all practical purposes, those people are saying "do Tanren and you will develop Aiki". Really? Farm Out. ;)


Well, they are definitely promoting it as 90 Days to Aiki. It's not just the title, but it's in the written headings within the video.

Your points are well taken as are some of the other comments that look at what the people are actually doing.

I still want to study this clip, though, and work out what the narrator is actually saying.

I recently did a bunch of bokken work and after just a couple of days, my lower back was killing me. And for the first time I seriously thought, maybe the highly respected teacher who taught me this way made a mistake. Or maybe he just never bothered to correct the mistake I made over thousands of cuts in his presence. Maybe he doesn't really cut that way, himself. Maybe he has lower back trouble, too, and just bears it, which could explain a bit about his personality. So I've been doing some serious re-evaluation of my most fundamental use of bokken and I see some things in the clip that could be interesting to work with.

Well, someone's bound to put out a 30 day version soon, anyway...

Thanks.

David

kewms
01-16-2011, 11:39 AM
I recently did a bunch of bokken work and after just a couple of days, my lower back was killing me. And for the first time I seriously thought, maybe the highly respected teacher who taught me this way made a mistake. Or maybe he just never bothered to correct the mistake I made over thousands of cuts in his presence. Maybe he doesn't really cut that way, himself. Maybe he has lower back trouble, too, and just bears it, which could explain a bit about his personality. So I've been doing some serious re-evaluation of my most fundamental use of bokken and I see some things in the clip that could be interesting to work with.

I'll bet you arch your lower back while doing sword work. That both makes your lower back sore and makes you unstable, tending to tip backwards. Studying a video of yourself might be more useful than studying this (or any other) video.

Katherine

Mike Sigman
01-16-2011, 11:42 AM
Well, someone's bound to put out a 30 day version soon, anyway...
Well, in the spirit of things, I will teach everyone how to do "aiki" in one easy lesson. In order not to insult O-Sensei or even Daito-Ryu, I will form my own art and instead of calling it "Aikido", I will call it "Meik-do".

Send me a check for $300 to

Mike Sigman
P.O. Box 1129837-A
Lower BomFok, Indiana

And I will send you the secret video of how to Meik-do in one day on the internet. :D

Yours in Sincerity.

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
01-16-2011, 11:50 AM
Aikido,Taiji,bagua,Yichuan ect are all based on exercises that involve the whole body to drop into the ground (gravity).
Taiji calls this cold power,other names are Ki or Chi.
In other words" You" bring everything to the table at once.
You did OK until you tried to relate "Cold Power" to simple "whole body to drop into the the ground (gravity)". If it was that simple, no one would have bothered to make whole arts around it, unless they were simpletons.

I remember some guy who wrote an article for "Inside Kung Fu" once (some years ago) who told everyone that "reeling silk" was nothing more than people using the arch/bend of the back and releasing it for power. It was an interesting statement, but unfortunately it said one thing to people who knew less than he did and it said another very different thing to people who knew more than he did. But that's always the case, I guess.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Tony Wagstaffe
01-16-2011, 12:19 PM
What a load of B******s.........:crazy:

markyboy64
01-16-2011, 01:47 PM
You did OK until you tried to relate "Cold Power" to simple "whole body to drop into the the ground (gravity)". If it was that simple, no one would have bothered to make whole arts around it, unless they were simpletons.

I remember some guy who wrote an article for "Inside Kung Fu" once (some years ago) who told everyone that "reeling silk" was nothing more than people using the arch/bend of the back and releasing it for power. It was an interesting statement, but unfortunately it said one thing to people who knew less than he did and it said another very different thing to people who knew more than he did. But that's always the case, I guess.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

No I didn't do well Sir Isaac Newton did ;).
You did well not to argue with him.
Only simpletons do that,and quite a few internal martial artists do just that.

Cold power,fajin,silk reeling..just terms for whole body power,which all starts in the feet on" solid" ground.Being suspended off the ground or on a trampoline it's a different story.

The Bible was written by many people over 14 hundred years so I have been told,So I suspect the martial arts were developed in a similar fashion but a longer period by many, building on what had gone before and not always good either.

You see many people doing push hands training,or should I say sumo and then put on boxing gloves as if boxing was part of the art...something got lost in the sauce or source!

William Ewart Fairbairn took the crap out jujitsu and bagua and came up with the gentle art of murder.As yet the highest number of unarmed and armed kills of any martial art documented.The Chinese and Japanese skilled in their pyjama arts didn't do very well against it.Their ki and chi dissapeared.The American and British soldiers were only trained in it for short periods of time.

WHY? Because it worked even for simpletons!

mark;)

Mark Freeman
01-16-2011, 03:55 PM
Well, in the spirit of things, I will teach everyone how to do "aiki" in one easy lesson. In order not to insult O-Sensei or even Daito-Ryu, I will form my own art and instead of calling it "Aikido", I will call it "Meik-do".

Send me a check for $300 to

Mike Sigman
P.O. Box 1129837-A
Lower BomFok, Indiana

And I will send you the secret video of how to Meik-do in one day on the internet. :D

Yours in Sincerity.

Mike Sigman

The cheque is in the post Mike, I look forward to receiving the video ;)

regards

Mark

Demetrio Cereijo
01-16-2011, 05:32 PM
It seems I've not chosen the most appropiate emoticon in my previous posts. Anyway, Mr. de Vos, look for IS training with an open mind but be cautious (http://www.bartitsu.org/index.php/2011/01/e-w-barton-wright-on-how-to-pose-as-a-strong-man/).

DH
01-16-2011, 06:32 PM
Contrary to the noise, David, if you stick with the known fellows from here *they* have all been vetted by hundreds of students and teachers alike.
My advice is to get out to meet three or four of them to see what people are talking about,and get a feel for who you want to train with.
All the best
Dan

Mike Sigman
01-16-2011, 07:05 PM
No I didn't do well Sir Isaac Newton did ;). Sadly, Newton was not reknowned as an internal martial-artist. :confused:
Cold power,fajin,silk reeling..just terms for whole body power,which all starts in the feet on" solid" ground.Being suspended off the ground or on a trampoline it's a different story. Not true. See? You just learned something new. Free of charge. Hands Across the Sea, and all that.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Demetrio Cereijo
01-16-2011, 07:27 PM
Contrary to the noise, David, if you stick with the known fellows from here *they* have all been vetted by hundreds of students and teachers alike.
No disrespect intended for any of the "usual suspects" but, as probably David don't know these people are he can't be sure if "they" have been vetted by people like Huizinga, Rutten, Spijkers, Aerts or Bluming (for naming some people he probably knows or at least have heard about) or if "they" have been vetted by lesser skilled martial artists.

DH
01-16-2011, 07:50 PM
No disrespect intended for any of the "usual suspects" but, as probably David don't know these people are he can't be sure if "they" have been vetted by people like Huizinga, Rutten, Spijkers, Aerts or Bluming (for naming some people he probably knows or at least have heard about) or if "they" have been vetted by lesser skilled martial artists.
None taken. Caution is always a good thing.
David has been reading... and I am quite sure he will figure things out. He is going to hook up with Mike and also me, and I am sure he will meet Ark as well.
So far the people vetting these various skills as valid..(some are far more adamant, insisting they have revolutionized their understanding of their arts) include shihan, and a host of teachers and high ranked students in arts like Aikido, Daito ryu, Karate, judo, FMA, ICMA, and students and Menkyo in Koryu etc.
But...hey..whatever.:shrugs: far more and much better things are being shared behind the scenes anyway than on line, which is why as a movement, this continues to grow unabated between those sharing and trying to help and those diligently at work....and having fun.

Cheers
Dan

Budd
01-16-2011, 09:25 PM
But...hey..whatever.:shrugs: far more and much better things are being shared behind the scenes anyway than on line, which is why as a movement, this continues to grow unabated between those sharing and trying to help and those diligently at work....and having fun.


This pretty much sums it up for me. People are out there doing the work. People are getting together to see what the fuss is about. I don't care so much for some of the tones I see here on Aikiweb because they seem to all come at things from an agenda one way or another.

For me, the bottom line was that if you had questions around this, you should have been lining up to feel what people were doing several years ago. At this point, if you're just now deciding that you want to get a foot in the door, you're going to have some catch up. The good news is that you have pretty good chances of passing people who have felt these skills but aren't doing enough work because they think it's an "add-on" to what they already know.

If you seriously think this is a bunch of fruit-loops. I submit that you should go feel what people are doing (someone that's vetted, not someone that just says they can do it). I also challenge you NOT to be an asshole about it. Most of these guys will let you test them if you want at it - I encourage you to do so. Otherwise, why speak about something you clearly haven't a clue about?

Mike Sigman
01-16-2011, 09:45 PM
I also challenge you NOT to be an asshole about it. Most of these guys will let you test them if you want at it - I encourage you to do so. I like goofing around as much as the next guy, but in regard to "testing", there's a legitimate question about who "tests" and what they're really testing that can be a complex situation.

Think of this situation as an example: I give a regular workshop and cover the basics pretty well, show the logic, try to keep away from flashy demo's because if they try to do flashy demo's too quickly they're going back to normal strength and technique very quickly. At the end of the workshop I feel like I've done a pretty good job of laying out the big picture, the how-to exercises, I've encouraged everyone to try to drop the normal mode of movement for a few months while they try to get their foot in the door, etc. Class is over. Immediately 3 or 4 guys want to see if I'm good at push-hands, so sure I play around with them and bounce them around some... but what did they just do? They just proved that everything I just said in the workshop blew right past them; they have no real intention of changing the way they've always moved.

Or this situation. A guy who has been doing Aikido (or Taiji or karate.. you name the art) for "twenty-five" years and has a godan comes and wants to fool around a little bit to get an idea. He's impressed and swears I am godlike in my powers and he should know because he's a godan, right? Wrong. If he was a godan who knew anything about internal strength he would have already had some; since he doesn't, he's a beginner and his opinion is no more or less valid than another beginner's. So his 'seal of approval' is meaningless. I could be teaching him some jack-leg homebrew half-wrong largely guess approach to "internal strength", but if I use my 230 pounds to really lay some heavy smacks on him, I can make him a believer. Except that's not how it should work, is it?

All that being said, there's more to it than just making an impression. The way I always did it was that I went to a known expert in internal strength who may have had experience with Joe Blow and I asked: "How good is that guy?".... because in the early days I was smart enough to know that I didn't know enough to judge and my peers didn't either.

2 cents.

Mike Sigman

Budd
01-16-2011, 09:58 PM
I think the smart folks realize there's something missing and chase after it like a demon. Some people need to take a good thumping in order to look at things with fresh eyes. Hopefully from there, they circle back to behaving like smart folks. If not, hopefully they will at least encourage people to go figure it out for themselves. If not, maybe there's a chance they won't speak too much out of their bum.

Beyond that, it's kinda the normal state of affairs ;).

Mike Sigman
01-16-2011, 10:08 PM
I think the smart folks realize there's something missing and chase after it like a demon.Yeah, but the operative word is "smart". Someone who is not smart, or at least smart in this way of body mechanics, probably isn't going to make it past the "few cute tricks" level. When someone in Japan says "steal this technique" or someone in China shows you something and says, "Understand?", that means they're not going to tell you everything and that you have to logically figure a lot of it out through thinking and your practice. The reason this is the traditional way is because this way of movement has a number of complexities and no one can babysit you through every aspect of it.... you have to be able to think these things through. A lot of people will simply never get it or get much more than a few basic kokyu tricks or whatever. It's what I call the "I.Q. Threshold". But it's all part of the fun. If it was easy, it wouldn't be a Tao/Do... it'd be a hobby. ;)

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Budd
01-16-2011, 10:15 PM
If it was easy, it wouldn't be a Tao/Do... it'd be a hobby. ;)


Too true *sighs* :hypno:

Pauliina Lievonen
01-17-2011, 06:05 AM
One question I like to use to evaluate a workshop (of any kind) is: did I get any better? Not "was the teacher really awesome and impressive", but did I learn something that I can take with me and use to improve my skills in whatever the workshop was about.

I have been to workships (in other disciplines mind you) where I had a really good time, was very impressed by the teacher, but afterwards had to ask myself what if anything I actually learned. (And of course that could have also to do with me and not just the teacher. )

kvaak
Pauliina

Mike Sigman
01-17-2011, 07:27 AM
One question I like to use to evaluate a workshop (of any kind) is: did I get any better? Not "was the teacher really awesome and impressive", but did I learn something that I can take with me and use to improve my skills in whatever the workshop was about. I totally agree, Pauliina. If a person does not leave a workshop better than when they came in, it was a waste of time. A lot of people will sigh and moan about a workshop with Joe Blow and say "I learned so much!" and I just say, "Can you show me?". Perennial seminar goers are usually about the same, year after year. They would be better advised to stay home for the weekend and *think* and do some work. ;)

2 cents.

Mike Sigman

markyboy64
01-17-2011, 09:31 AM
Sadly, Newton was not reknowned as an internal martial-artist. :confused:
Not true. See? You just learned something new. Free of charge. Hands Across the Sea, and all that.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

My hands do reach across the sea ;)

My main internal arts teacher is an American,a former forensic investigator in the dynamics of violence in Yonkers.

The best and most powerful martial artist I have ever seen.

He would say mark my limey friend ;) why train for 30 years in tai chi when that level is attainable in 2 years.If only they had studied physics,they would understand how and what exercises for subtle but very powerful muscle control.

Mike, good discussion!
Hands across the pond as the yanks say!

Mark.

Lee Salzman
01-17-2011, 09:41 AM
He would say mark my limey friend ;) why train for 30 years in tai chi when that level is attainable in 2 years.If only they had studied physics,they would understand how and what exercises for subtle but very powerful muscle control.


Would you perhaps show us some videos of someone who has studied in this method for at least 2 years, or perhaps take videos of your own capabilities? If we are wasting our time, then it would become readily apparent to us if such was the case, and we would not merely have to take a few written words on the internet for it. Don't claim - show!

Mike Sigman
01-17-2011, 09:43 AM
My main internal arts teacher is an American,a former forensic investigator in the dynamics of violence in Yonkers.

The best and most powerful martial artist I have ever seen.

He would say mark my limey friend ;) why train for 30 years in tai chi when that level is attainable in 2 years.If only they had studied physics,they would understand how and what exercises for subtle but very powerful muscle control.
Well, that settles it then.... you win your argument by assertion by means of appeal to authority: your own and your teacher's. No way I can beat that.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Marc Abrams
01-17-2011, 09:55 AM
My hands do reach across the sea ;)

My main internal arts teacher is an American,a former forensic investigator in the dynamics of violence in Yonkers.

The best and most powerful martial artist I have ever seen.

He would say mark my limey friend ;) why train for 30 years in tai chi when that level is attainable in 2 years.If only they had studied physics,they would understand how and what exercises for subtle but very powerful muscle control.

Mike, good discussion!
Hands across the pond as the yanks say!

Mark.

Mark:

Would your teacher happen to be Mark Sternefeld?

Marc Abrams

Tony Wagstaffe
01-17-2011, 09:56 AM
I think the smart folks realize there's something missing and chase after it like a demon. Some people need to take a good thumping in order to look at things with fresh eyes. Hopefully from there, they circle back to behaving like smart folks. If not, hopefully they will at least encourage people to go figure it out for themselves. If not, maybe there's a chance they won't speak too much out of their bum.

Beyond that, it's kinda the normal state of affairs ;).

Sssssshhhhh.....:D

markyboy64
01-17-2011, 11:31 AM
Would you perhaps show us some videos of someone who has studied in this method for at least 2 years, or perhaps take videos of your own capabilities? If we are wasting our time, then it would become readily apparent to us if such was the case, and we would not merely have to take a few written words on the internet for it. Don't claim - show!

I never said you were wasting your time!
It was a quote from someone else.

However, do you think these original taiji,bagua masters trained 10 hours a day for 30 years before they were any good?
Take a look at top flight gymnasts..not many 70 year olds taking part.

Only you know if you're happy with your training!

markyboy64
01-17-2011, 11:34 AM
Mark:

Would your teacher happen to be Mark Sternefeld?

Marc Abrams

From one mark to another,about another Mark!

In short No...never heared of him!

markyboy64
01-17-2011, 11:45 AM
Well, that settles it then.... you win your argument by assertion by means of appeal to authority: your own and your teacher's. No way I can beat that.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Constructive arguments are better...challenge no-one, the first rule of self defence!;)

Take care- Mark.

Marc Abrams
01-17-2011, 11:54 AM
From one mark to another,about another Mark!

In short No...never heared of him!

Pray tell, who might it be? I happen to live in Westchester county and know a lot of the teachers in the area.

marc

DH
01-17-2011, 12:20 PM
Interestingly enough you can meet various seminar attendees from the tradiional arts, the internal arts and internal coaches with any number of people and they have made little to no progress, Of course, this also applies to any number of famous teachers students doesn't it? I have met many, so has everyone here. Why are we talking about this? Most, hell even martial art newbies understand why that is. I mean does any one need to be told this? I mean..really? Budo has always required that the budoka puts in the work....many do not. Smart people might ask,why if someone already knows this, why they would use that same realization as a standard to repeatedly bash the work of others. Best defense is offense? Sort of makes you go hmmm...

So yup, the onus is on those attending to do the work and to wind their way through those teaching things and see who has a method that will work for you
My best advice is to go and feel but more importantly, ask if the one teaching has any long term students (not seminar attendees) who have real power and skill that people have actually met. That one qualifier can knock out even true experts. Some people are NEVER going to get it to any serious degree, no matter what... others, just can't teach!! ;)

There is some serious three card monty being slung out there in budo land and this stuff is no different. The good news is that there are many people reading those who are doing the following; discounting real skill as false, real progress always as the wrong direction, those teaching (who have been tested by real experts) as liars, while tactfully suggesting that only they have good or pure answers...yet strangely they offer little if any real information, instead telling you, "to steal it" or to "figure it out on your own.".Budo people can be pretty sharp. More and more people are getting hip to the narrative.
I continue to suggest the best thing to do is to get out there and see for yourself. Meet as many people as you can claiming to teach this stuff..and also meet Japanese and Chinese experts supposedly doing this stuff and test yourself with them.
Good luck in your search
And wishing you the best
Dan

Budd
01-17-2011, 02:48 PM
Even more recently applicable, I'd like to see who's been chasing this stuff for a few years and making demonstrable progress . . that kind of thing.

Mike Sigman
01-17-2011, 03:22 PM
The good news is that there are many people reading those who are doing the following; discounting real skill as false, real progress always as the wrong direction, those teaching (who have been tested by real experts) as liars, while tactfully suggesting that only they have good or pure answers...yet strangely they offer little if any real information, instead telling you, "to steal it" or to "figure it out on your own.".Budo people can be pretty sharp. More and more people are getting hip to the narrative. I couldn't agree with you more, Dan. In fact, I've been putting out explicit information even on this forum (much more on QiJin, as you know) for at least 6 years. In fact, if you look at the current threads discussing some of Ikeda Sensei's attempts to explain things and the thread on "collusion", you'll see even more explicit information. I'd like to encourage you to do the same, knowing that you're interested it getting things out there.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

markyboy64
01-17-2011, 03:53 PM
What a load of B******s.........:crazy:

yours not working anymore ;)

DH
01-17-2011, 04:19 PM
Even more recently applicable, I'd like to see who's been chasing this stuff for a few years and making demonstrable progress . . that kind of thing.
But thats my point. They're all over the map, just like any traditional budo training. They're only going to make progress with good information and actual work. I have met students of the IP coaches and many Aiki legends and of ICMA legends and they.....
are all over the map. They range and feel like anything from your average high school wrestler who NEVER let go of muscle... to people....well... making progress! ;)
I just don't always assign their failure to the teacher (like some do and gossip about it in private). I think many time it's on the student. I have asked people right after I told them something and it's like it went right over their head. I have been in any number of seminars when I was learning where I was THEE ONLY one there with a notebook. People not getting it is a constant in budo...we all know that. So why is this any different at all? I don't think that will ever change
I think students are a better test (still not definitive, just better)., Ask if a teacher or IP coach has anyone they developed they can produce.;)
Cheers
Dan

Tony Wagstaffe
01-17-2011, 08:30 PM
yours not working anymore ;)

Naaaa taken up ninjutsu 'cause I vant to be inviiisiiible!!!!;) :D

Budd
01-17-2011, 08:56 PM
Naaaa taken up ninjutsu 'cause I vant to be inviiisiiible!!!!;) :D

Tony, you need to train more as I keep seeing you in these threads . . invisibile, pfft.

Budd
01-17-2011, 10:12 PM
But thats my point. They're all over the map, just like any traditional budo training. They're only going to make progress with good information and actual work. I have met students of the IP coaches and many Aiki legends and of ICMA legends and they.....
are all over the map. They range and feel like anything from your average high school wrestler who NEVER let go of muscle... to people....well... making progress! ;)
I just don't always assign their failure to the teacher (like some do and gossip about it in private). I think many time it's on the student. I have asked people right after I told them something and it's like it went right over their head. I have been in any number of seminars when I was learning where I was THEE ONLY one there with a notebook. People not getting it is a constant in budo...we all know that. So why is this any different at all? I don't think that will ever change
I think students are a better test (still not definitive, just better)., Ask if a teacher or IP coach has anyone they developed they can produce.;)
Cheers
Dan

I absolutely think the student has to take the onus and responsibility for the progress they make - regardless of who they train with or are associated with. I think even as the "details" of how this stuff works gets fleshed out in Western terms, I think the pedagogy of how it's best transmitted will hopefully also become more clear AND then the requirements and talents that will make the best students.

Tony Wagstaffe
01-18-2011, 03:29 AM
Tony, you need to train more as I keep seeing you in these threads . . invisibile, pfft.

I was thinking of taking up woo woo so I can make a shroud where I can cover myself and ppffft ;) ......... :D

Do you make shopping baskets.....?

Now you see me now you don't........ pppffftttt

Budd
01-18-2011, 09:53 AM
I was thinking of taking up woo woo so I can make a shroud where I can cover myself and ppffft ;) ......... :D

Do you make shopping baskets.....?

Now you see me now you don't........ pppffftttt

So, where exactly do you see woo woo, Tony? Have you actually met anyone that is vetted as doing "this stuff"?

I train MMA, when I did aikido more formally, I was the anti-woo woo . . So, whatever assumptions you have immediately strike me as false and incorrect? Get me?

Nicholas Eschenbruch
01-18-2011, 10:07 AM
So, where exactly do you see woo woo, Tony? Have you actually met anyone that is vetted as doing "this stuff"?

I train MMA, when I did aikido more formally, I was the anti-woo woo . . So, whatever assumptions you have immediately strike me as false and incorrect? Get me?

+ 1
We are talking some seriously powerful people here, Tony, and your comments are quite obviously both uninformed and not very constructive.

As I am uninfomed myself most of the time, oh well....:rolleyes:
But at least try to be constructive, for the sake of the discussion here.

thisisnotreal
01-18-2011, 10:22 AM
+ 1
We are talking some seriously powerful people here, Tony, and your comments are quite obviously both uninformed and not very constructive.

As I am uninfomed myself most of the time, oh well....:rolleyes:
But at least try to be constructive, for the sake of the discussion here.

I was going to say the same but in a different way.
Tony - I see from your web page you teach ...for free. You obviously love Aikido practice. As luck would have it there seems to be an upcoming UK seminar (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19145)in the works. If I may be so bold, I would suggest you -try your level best- to get in and go meet Mr. Harden. I bet you ten quid that this is the most interesting and captivating thing you will have seen in Aikido...for a good long while, if not ever. Seems all you have to do is write a negative review (with a straight face, and sincerity) and you will get your money back. win-win.

no shit. i'd mail you the tenner. go see.

Demetrio Cereijo
01-18-2011, 10:29 AM
Tony,

I know Budd (online) since years ago. I have seen him (on video) at Bullshido throwdowns. He was a serious wrestler and not a bunny in any way.

If I pay some attention to the IHTBF people is (me being a doubting Thomas in nature), in great part because of him.

Of course you don't have to believe what I say, but I feel I had to say it.

Regards.

Nicholas Eschenbruch
01-18-2011, 10:42 AM
I was going to say the same but in a different way.
Tony - I see from your web page you teach ...for free. You obviously love Aikido practice. As luck would have it there seems to be an upcoming UK seminar (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19145)in the works. If I may be so bold, I would suggest you -try your level best- to get in and go meet Mr. Harden. I bet you ten quid that this is the most interesting and captivating thing you will have seen in Aikido...for a good long while, if not ever. Seems all you have to do is write a negative review (with a straight face, and sincerity) and you will get your money back. win-win.

no shit. i'd mail you the tenner. go see.

Great idea. Ten quid from me as well, in that case.

Shadowfax
01-18-2011, 11:32 AM
Sunday evening sensei introduced some exercises to us that come from this Internal Power concept. I have to admit I found them rather fascinating. Like flexing muscles I had not really realized were there. The effect on uke was rather dramatic when you got it just right.....I'm looking forward to continuing the exploration. :)

Budd
01-18-2011, 12:19 PM
Sunday evening sensei introduced some exercises to us that come from this Internal Power concept. I have to admit I found them rather fascinating. Like flexing muscles I had not really realized were there. The effect on uke was rather dramatic when you got it just right.....I'm looking forward to continuing the exploration. :)

If Garth hasn't already, I hope he gets a chance to see/feel what people like Mike, Dan, Ark are doing - as they are teaching IS things outside of martial art specific paradigms. Even going a step further and trying to get a feel of what the big dogs in Chinese systems such as Chen Xao Wang of Chen Taiji are doing. Get exposed to the talent pool that's out there. Mainstream aikido has a lot of work to do to get it back - but if there's any art that should have it ... aikido would be one.

Tony Wagstaffe
01-18-2011, 12:36 PM
Honestly guys don't you think I believe in it, can't do it??
To me it's all tricks and most cases, over collusion..... It's funny how those of you that have had serious training actually know exactly how to do it, through hard physical training and nothing else..... It is simple mechanics, I'm well aware of it, but the trouble is I cannot see what the fascination is......?????
I'm against the woo woo and ridiculous claims and the endless excuses not to train hard.....
Kenji Tomiki Shihan was able to do all of this kind of thing and never (rarely) demonstrated it..... It was in correct and proper training that one finds out how to do it, a strong inner core that can only be realised by hard training. No one taught me it, I just knew that I could do it....
So please save your money and put it to charity or something...;)

Nice of you to offer though, cheers :)

Shadowfax
01-18-2011, 12:42 PM
If Garth hasn't already, I hope he gets a chance to see/feel what people like Mike, Dan, Ark are doing - as they are teaching IS things outside of martial art specific paradigms. Even going a step further and trying to get a feel of what the big dogs in Chinese systems such as Chen Xao Wang of Chen Taiji are doing. Get exposed to the talent pool that's out there. Mainstream aikido has a lot of work to do to get it back - but if there's any art that should have it ... aikido would be one.

I think he did actually, just recently. Can't speak for him but I hear we are to expect some future visits with someone (Mark Murray?) who knows this stuff well.

Mike Sigman
01-18-2011, 12:45 PM
Honestly guys don't you think I believe in it, can't do it??
Hmmmmmm..... well.... no.

Mike Sigman

Budd
01-18-2011, 12:50 PM
Sorry, Tony - it's different.

I grew up wrestling and playing judo. Did aikido and karate in high school - a dabbling of kickboxing (really humorous kickboxing that proves that we all SUCK at some components of martial arts). Started back with aikido because I found an independent club that trained really hard and didn't like BS. Dabbled in traditional weapon systems.

Started back into boxing/grappling/MMA in 2005. Started getting interested in Internal Strength in 2007. Met Dan Harden that summer . . impressed enough that this is something "different" and also very, very worthwhile training that I started looking for other avenues to explore it. Met Mike Sigman in 2008. Still working on "this stuff" still getting together with other people interested in "this stuff". It's a long process - it's a different way to move.

Moved to a new location in the last year. Joined a MMA gym. Still working on "this stuff". Still making progress. Temporarily taking a break from the formal role playing side of martial arts that involves pajamas and lots of bowing.

This stuff is different. I hear lots of people say they "already do that" or that you "learn it through hard traning". This stuff is different. But I don't know that you're going to learn that for yourself if you've already convinced yourself you know it all already.

The thing is - I've always trained hard. To get anywhere with "this stuff" (beyond just talking about how awesome it is), you have to train harder than you would believe - ridiculous amounts of solo work and conditioning to transform your body. How powerful you are is based on how well your body is conditioned - simple as that. There's a skill component as well . . which is very mentally taxing . . after . .AFTER you've done a boatload of that work . .then you can realisticaly think about how you can apply it.

This is stuff is different. And it's bloody difficult. And time consuming.

But then - you show me any path/Way/Do/Tao that is worth a piss that isn't ;)

Tony Wagstaffe
01-18-2011, 01:41 PM
Sorry, Tony - it's different.

I grew up wrestling and playing judo. Did aikido and karate in high school - a dabbling of kickboxing (really humorous kickboxing that proves that we all SUCK at some components of martial arts). Started back with aikido because I found an independent club that trained really hard and didn't like BS. Dabbled in traditional weapon systems.

Started back into boxing/grappling/MMA in 2005. Started getting interested in Internal Strength in 2007. Met Dan Harden that summer . . impressed enough that this is something "different" and also very, very worthwhile training that I started looking for other avenues to explore it. Met Mike Sigman in 2008. Still working on "this stuff" still getting together with other people interested in "this stuff". It's a long process - it's a different way to move.

Moved to a new location in the last year. Joined a MMA gym. Still working on "this stuff". Still making progress. Temporarily taking a break from the formal role playing side of martial arts that involves pajamas and lots of bowing.

This stuff is different. I hear lots of people say they "already do that" or that you "learn it through hard traning". This stuff is different. But I don't know that you're going to learn that for yourself if you've already convinced yourself you know it all already.

The thing is - I've always trained hard. To get anywhere with "this stuff" (beyond just talking about how awesome it is), you have to train harder than you would believe - ridiculous amounts of solo work and conditioning to transform your body. How powerful you are is based on how well your body is conditioned - simple as that. There's a skill component as well . . which is very mentally taxing . . after . .AFTER you've done a boatload of that work . .then you can realisticaly think about how you can apply it.

This is stuff is different. And it's bloody difficult. And time consuming.

But then - you show me any path/Way/Do/Tao that is worth a piss that isn't ;)

Exactly........;) Self discovery, and I have trained very hard in my life, but am at the stage in my life where I would like to relax a bit now....;)
But as I said, thanks anyway....
Oh....... I don't know it all but I know a fair ol' bit....
In another few years I will say to you all......... it's all in the basics......:) :cool:

stan baker
01-18-2011, 06:39 PM
Hi Tony
It is not simple mechanics, you just do not have the experience with some one who has developed high level internal power.

stan

Tony Wagstaffe
01-18-2011, 06:43 PM
Hi Tony
It is not simple mechanics, you just do not have the experience with some one who has developed high level internal power.

stan

Fine.....

Marc Abrams
01-18-2011, 07:11 PM
Tony,

You have every right to not want to explore this stuff. It is simply your decision. You have heard from numerous people who have clearly articulated the differences in the "IT stuff" and pointed out that if you have not put your time in directly with this stuff, you really do not know it (and therefore cannot do it). You can pretend that you can do it, but you simply stand out as the prince without his clothing on. You can pretend that it is all nonsense and you still act like that same prince.

You have been offered opportunities to experience some of this stuff first-hand and you do not want to have to put your words to genuine reality tests. That is fine as well, because it is simply your decision. I would just respectfully request that you simply stop with the negative comments about things that you do not really know about and do not want to find out about. That way, people can continue to discuss aspects of an art that you do not believe in, want to do, etc. without having to digress to address your overly-testosterone based perception of your reality of things.

Regards,

Marc Abrams

DH
01-18-2011, 07:49 PM
There are people who not looking for this and could care less
There are people who do not and cannot fathom it exists in any real, meaningful, or useful way
There are people who have felt it and understand the power and now want it and are doing the work to get it
Not everyone who actually DOES have something...really has everything.
Not everyone who has something can teach it to others
Not everyone who actually has something really CAN use it in any meaningful way in fighting -a legitimate reason it has enjoyed a bad rep.

And everyone in the above examples is happy and is having a wonderful life...;)

All the best
Dan

Tony Wagstaffe
01-19-2011, 03:13 AM
Tony,

You have every right to not want to explore this stuff. It is simply your decision. You have heard from numerous people who have clearly articulated the differences in the "IT stuff" and pointed out that if you have not put your time in directly with this stuff, you really do not know it (and therefore cannot do it). You can pretend that you can do it, but you simply stand out as the prince without his clothing on. You can pretend that it is all nonsense and you still act like that same prince.

You have been offered opportunities to experience some of this stuff first-hand and you do not want to have to put your words to genuine reality tests. That is fine as well, because it is simply your decision. I would just respectfully request that you simply stop with the negative comments about things that you do not really know about and do not want to find out about. That way, people can continue to discuss aspects of an art that you do not believe in, want to do, etc. without having to digress to address your overly-testosterone based perception of your reality of things.

Regards,

Marc Abrams

Marc, I know what I know and that is good enough for me....
When I see these people in the ring/cage up against a real fighter who is not going to collude with this nonsense, abide by no rules, put their money on the line, then I will believe it.... until then......:D

Marc Abrams
01-19-2011, 06:46 AM
Marc, I know what I know and that is good enough for me....
When I see these people in the ring/cage up against a real fighter who is not going to collude with this nonsense, abide by no rules, put their money on the line, then I will believe it.... until then......:D

Dan Harden fits that bill. But then again, this has been pointed out to you, so "until then" has been met and yet still avoid the issue.

Marc

DH
01-19-2011, 08:23 AM
As a qualifier in the discussion, IP/aiki does not validate fighting skill. Fighting skill validates fighting skill. So any reasonable guy can say....so what?

Interestingly enough you have Rickson Gracie the families greatest fighter with a winning record ten times greater than anyone else in the family. He credits his power and conditioning to solo training, breath training, yoga, and taiji.
Ricksons choice of conditioning is but one component to his overall skills...skills honed by MMA...and fighting,
Do you think the guys who train for three years and lift really care or will listen? Do you think they even have the capacity to figure out the componants that beat them, when all of their coaches are into western methods?

Methods and conditioning
For the naysaers like Tony, they have their own very valid points. Why invest in a method that has not been proved? I had a guy-a serious MMAer from California- come to my teaching Seminar. He liked it alright, but he came to my dojo after, and wanted to put the gloves on and go at it with me.
Why?
He... didn't want to invest in a method that could not be vetted.
Why is that not to be considered intelligent as well?
Now,, I beat the ______ out of him in front of everyone there,.but what if my fighting skills were not up to snuff? Would it have invalidated Ip/aiki? Sadly to him....yes...it proably would have. It would have been a mistake in judgement, but I think he would have walked away.

If Rickson wasn't a good fighter...do you think we would be discussing his conditioning? That any one would care?
Takeda was a legend and killed people as well as fought many fighters.
Ueshiba was a good fighter in his middle years.
If they were not... do you think we would be discussing IP/aiki in the 21st century
That any one would care?
Wang Chu shins I.P. impressed Draeger, Relnick, Smith Blumming, Chiba, but apparently, only two of them were bright enough to actually go train with the man.

With IP/aiki too many people confuse it and think you are talking about some namby pambie aiki nonsense. I don't fault them at all. If I had not tested this and tested it time and again, you couldn't have gotten me to look at it twice. Hell, two years in.... I QUIT.
Why?
I couldn't get it to work when I sparred with my crew. Would I EVER go back now? Not on your life. This is the superior way to move and hit.

IP/aiki is unusual enough that you can do things normal people can't do. I show that and then leave it up to them to decide if they think they can use it in their arts or in fighting. Otherwise this turns into a Wild Wild West show with the fastest draw:rolleyes: I am willing to coach, I am not going to travel around fighting people anymore.

The poster boys that the kids see on the TEE VEE are the ones who get the fame, while the ones who made them... their coaches and trainers are the real stars. They were there before them and will be there after them. I thought it was great that in a program to laud Anderson Silva...Silva chose to show his family and his coaches and talk about them.

Methods and conditioning like MT, BJJ, Judo and Boxing are learning paradigms, greater than any ..one.. player; IP/aiki is greater than any..one..person, no matter who that person is.
Most intelligent Martial artists know this already.

IP/aiki is not needed to learn to fight and it does not teach you how to fight. As a conditioning system for knockout power and being hard to throw and for overall power it is superior and doesn't fade like normal strength. More importantly it is the cornerstone of what made the asian arts great.
And most intelligent people are listening and learning that as well

All the best
Dan

David Orange
01-19-2011, 08:29 AM
...I know what I know and that is good enough for me....
When I see these people in the ring/cage up against a real fighter who is not going to collude with this nonsense, abide by no rules, put their money on the line, then I will believe it.... until then......:D

Tony....are you a ring fighter?

Was Ueshiba?

Tadashi Abe?

You've heard from Budd, who does MMA and Dan, who trains MMA fighters and gets out with them on the mat...

"I know what I know and that is good enough for me..."

I remember saying something similar to Rob John a few years ago. And then I learned a little more and realized that what I thought I knew was not nearly good enough.

Sure, it's good enough for farthing around and telling stories over beer, but it's just a shadow of what real aiki can be.

Tell you what: just don't start posting computer renderings of force undulations and gyroscopic rotation and I'll let this be my last to you on this subject.

Best to you.

David

DH
01-19-2011, 08:54 AM
Hi David
I think comments like "people who are not going to collude with this nonsense" States the limits of Tony's understanding of the subject.
And that is NOT a put down to Tony. Hell I get where he's coming from all too well.
It just tells you of his exposure to real IP and real aiki. I mean come on, most reasonable people who can fight look at the aiki world and what they think is taiji and scoff. I think rightly so. I did too.
How in thee hell am I going to fault Tony for stating my own postion twenty years ago?

IP and aiki skills are a stand alone skill sets Marc and I were discussing this yesterday, but like it or not, approve or not, we are talking martial arts, and people want to see stuff that works. Some people have difficulty meeting and feeling some IP aiki coaches and "understanding" or figuring out, how it translates into actual fighting. I at least...try... to make it obvious. I haven't heard the word "collusion" applied to me when I am moving. I bet Ark as well. And from what I hear no one is going to be"colluding" with Mike any time soon either. I suspect there a dozens of guys here laughing their asses off at that comment...even though they get where Tony is coming from.
Cheers
Dan

Demetrio Cereijo
01-19-2011, 09:54 AM
Tony, are you aware of the relationship between Tadashi Abe and the Tempukai?
;)

The problem for people like Tony is the IT/IS coaches can not (for different motives) provide the names of fighters* who by, following their conditioning methods became the equivalents of, for instance, Rickson or Ribeiro with their yoga/ginastica natural. You'are asking for a serious leap of faith.

*Because this is a martial arts forum. If this were a surfing, contemporary dancing, soccer or another discipline forum we coud ask for similar examples.

David Orange
01-19-2011, 10:01 AM
Tony, are you aware of the relationship between Tadashi Abe and the Tempukai?
;)

I think maybe Tony has a background in boxing or some kind of serious fighting.

However...as a 4th dan in aikido, it's hard to believe that he has trained only with people who had ring experience--and were winners in all cases.

Can you elaborate on Abe and Tempukai?

Thanks.

David

David Orange
01-19-2011, 10:04 AM
How in thee hell am I going to fault Tony for stating my own postion twenty years ago?

Yeah. It was my position just about three years ago, too.:(

Thanks for your help and Mike's and Ark's and Rob's and Budd's and Jang's and Andy's and so many people who helped me see my error.

Best to you.

David

Demetrio Cereijo
01-19-2011, 10:15 AM
Hi David

Can you elaborate on Abe and Tempukai?

Q:You mentioned the Tempukai earlier. Tohei Sensei was also involved in that organization. Is that where he got his ki exercises?
A:I think he was influenced by the Tempu system, but those exercises were mainly his own creation after he went to Hawaii.

Q:Were you part of the Tempukai yourself? Tadashi Abe was.
A:Not me, but rather Abe. Tempu Sensei and O-Sensei were the only ones for Abe. Tohei Sensei was also a Tempukai member. So was my father, and Abe’s father who sponsored O-Sensei, and Tada Sensei as well.

Q:Were there any others among the main teachers?
A: There may have been. At that time in aikido there were the Tempukai group, and the group that was involved with the macrobiotics organization of Nyoichi Sakurazawa Sensei [known as Georges Ohsawa in the West].
Interview with Yamada Y. Sensei (http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=83)

Tempukai is the organization founded by Nakamura Tempu (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nakamura_Tempu)

I hope this helps.

DH
01-19-2011, 10:22 AM
Tony, are you aware of the relationship between Tadashi Abe and the Tempukai?
;)

The problem for people like Tony is the IT/IS coaches can not (for different motives) provide the names of fighters* who by, following their conditioning methods became the equivalents of, for instance, Rickson or Ribeiro with their yoga/ginastica natural. You'are asking for a serious leap of faith.

*Because this is a martial arts forum. If this were a surfing, contemporary dancing, soccer or another discipline forum we coud ask for similar examples.
Well, I think its obvious that I agree with that.
But following your logic...
TMA of all types Asian and modern have not yet produced the equivalent of those men either...and they never will. They are MMA people. Hence the reason I have been doing MMA most of my life. On the other hand I have produced men who can fight..and have fought. I don't know about other people and their students.
To further that point most MMA coaches of all types have not produced a steady stream of fighters with 368 to 1 records either. So the point is?

I still maintain that IP/aiki is...on contact... an obviously valuable skill and moreover feel different. either that or Tony is basically right in saying that hundreds of teachers, TMA and MMA people here are all morons.

We can't have it both ways, the logic in the debate has to run its course. If it is "collusion and nonsense" and yet as a skill set it is vetted by all these people...then
a) They are stupid, don't really get martial matters and are not to be judged as credible witnesses, or
b) They know they have encountered something very different from their prior experience..

But hey...why bust poor Tony. Mike says all the time that you can essentially throw out all these witnesses as well....because they don't get it and are poor judges of anything regarding IP and aiki.
So what do you have?
1. Tony says all the reports are nonsense and discounts them all.
2. Mike agrees! Further he continues to tell everyone who will listen that they should as well, That no one knows what they are talking about or what they felt in the first place no matter who it is from.

I don't fault anyone for arguing either way, I just am trying to follow the logic in the argument from all sides.
Just say'n
Dan .
. .

Demetrio Cereijo
01-19-2011, 10:42 AM
Well, I think its obvious that I agree with that.
But following your logic...
TMA of all types Asian and modern have not yet produced the equivalent of those men either...and they never will. They are MMA people. Hence the reason I have been doing MMA most of my life. On the other hand I have produced men who can fight..and have fought. I don't know about other people and their students.
To further that point most MMA coaches of all types have not produced a steady stream of fighters with 368 to 1 records either. So the point is?

The point is that following the training regime of, lets say for instance, the Ribeiro brothers or Rickson can be seen as a safer bet for those who are interested in obtaining fighting skills.

The point of aiki skills being stand alone skillsets useful in other disciplines can be approached the same way. If I wanted to point a contemporay dance friend towards an IT/IS coach and he asked me which top ballet company is working with him, what could be the answer? Something in the lines of "look around and find it yourself" or "you do not need to know that" or "check the guy first and then tell me"?

Demetrio Cereijo
01-19-2011, 11:41 AM
We can't have it both ways, the logic in the debate has to run its course. If it is "collusion and nonsense" and yet as a skill set it is vetted by all these people...then
a) They are stupid, don't really get martial matters and are not to be judged as credible witnesses, or
b) They know they have encountered something very different from their prior experience..
Or
c) Both a and b at the same time
d) They are correct but lack the ability to convince skeptics using words because IHTBF.

Alfonso
01-19-2011, 12:00 PM
how can you help being skeptical when you can find stuff like this
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGWWW7X2Lmo mixed in.

Its so easy to find incredible levels of hokeyness in this area , it's much safer to approach it with the gullibility dial set to minimum.

Tony Wagstaffe
01-19-2011, 12:13 PM
I'm trying to get the jist here....:confused:
I'm not saying genuine internal strength does not exist, what I would like to know is define internal strength..... I figure it to be conditioning, not "mystical power" or throwing imaginary "ki" balls
I know "Internal" strength exists!! To some extent I have experienced it myself, maybe not to the levels that some have achieved, such as Dan and the like.... How does one gauge these things?
I'll try and explain....... I can do all the "aiki" things with my son who has not yet practised aikido, but has a rational interest. He is very strong and well built for his age (19), so I use his sceptic attitude to do the "aiki" whilst he holds strongly or tries to escape from the waza that I apply (gently, I might add as I have no wish to hurt him) He tells me he is unable to resist, and feels totally off balance, or unable to move as he is helpless, so I am going by his response. I have also trained this way with all my students and ask them to resist with all they have, I still move them easily and make my waza successful. They don't doubt what I'm doing is fake....Maybe I am getting the wrong end of the stick here.....? All the so called "ki" tests I can do, so what is it I am supposed to be " Not getting"......?
I see these as body mechanics and knowing how to relax, the hard thing, is to do it whilst under pressure, that is where fighting skill comes in. If you are a bad fighter all the internal power in the world is not going to win the fight for you, only fortitude, skill and the mentality behind this will do that.....

What I am getting at or dismissing is throwing "ki" balls and the like, or shouting or "looking" at someone is going to throw them, it's just complete and utter nonsense, woo woo and "money" to me, we all know that.... or should do....:rolleyes:

Keith Larman
01-19-2011, 12:25 PM
Tony:

Well, having met and trained with a number of people who've responded to you in this thread I seriously doubt most would disagree with much of what you have written. And without question most have little use for the "shooting balls of ki" stuff.

Ellis Amdur in his book "Hidden in Plain Sight" posits an interesting theory that some develop some of these body attributes through the years of hard training including taking a lot of ukemi. Which to me as a guy interested in psych and epistemology is really intriguing. Because one could argue that if his theory is correct then many who have developed some of these skills through their training may have no idea that they've developed actual physical structures that others lack. Hence when they say things like "they relax under pressure" they're actually doing something substantially different from what their students are doing. And the simple fact is that they can't communicate what exactly they're doing because a) they don't realize what they're doing is something different from what they think they're doing and b) the student on the other end lacks the physical structures to be able to do it themselves no matter how hard they try to relax. Just as an example.

But I'm just plodding along myself trying to figure it out. Carry on...

kewms
01-19-2011, 01:25 PM
What I am getting at or dismissing is throwing "ki" balls and the like, or shouting or "looking" at someone is going to throw them, it's just complete and utter nonsense, woo woo and "money" to me, we all know that.... or should do....:rolleyes:

I think it's important to differentiate between training tools and practical effects, though. I'm not a fan of the idea of shooting ki balls out my fingertips, either, but thinking in those terms *does* have a clear and measurable effect on the guy holding onto my arm. Looking at my partner's eyes is more effective than looking at my own wrist. And so forth.

We can argue all day about what ki "really" is or what is "really" happening at a physical level to produce these effects. It's an interesting discussion, but from the standpoint of learning, teaching, and using this stuff, I just don't care. If a given visualization helps someone to do something I can't, or (better yet) helps them teach me to duplicate it, then I couldn't care less whether that visualization reflects physical reality or not. If you want to mock Tohei Sensei's ki exercises (or whatever), fine, but how does your aikido compare to his?

Katherine

Mike Sigman
01-19-2011, 01:37 PM
Trying to keep the "Training Internal Strength" topic-header in mind and include Tony into the larger picture....

I'm not particular concerned or put out with Tony's remarks; in fact, to me there's a certain amount of humor in reading Tony's writings, his biography on his webpage, and so on. Some classic reading. In a way Tony indicates that people attempting to do Aikido with so-called internal-strength skills don't understand the real, hard world of fighting as he knows it. I seldom get into these discussions for the simple reason that I've been in plenty of hard fights in my life, but I don't see where it has much to do with the topic. Someone can be good at "internal strength" and yet that tells us nothing about whether they're good at fighting or not. Some of the people who were good at internal strength in the last few centuries never did submission fighting but they killed a number of people in straight-out all-on-the-line fights. So they weren't any good at fighting? Please.

On the other hand, a, for instance, 23-year-old woman might have extremely good i.s. skills, but she might not last in an actual fight. Are her skills suddenly not valid because of that? That's a silly view. Getting internal strength skills is a separate topic from whether someone is a good fighter or not; the skills give an advantage in a fight, but they are not the full martial-art themselves.

On the other hand, as Ushiro Sensei noted: Aikido without kokyu skills is not complete.

If someone like Tony already knows everything, then I say more power to him. It's pointless to argue. Dan Harden made a point of mentioning people who, as they learned some basic things, "didn't know that they didn't know". Tony would undoubtedly fit into that category, as would a number of other people.

The problem with the "didn't know I didn't know" stuff is that it's not over yet. Some of the great attacks on peoples' characters happened during the great "Ki Wars" in various forums (Aikido-L, AikiWeb, etc.) and some of the people involved in the attacks (or sympathetic to them) have begun to realize that there was indeed something there that they hadn't known before. My viewpoint is that the same situation is still going on... the ki/kokyu topic still has a number of areas that people are unaware are even there. My point is that Tony falls into a recognizable category, but everyone should still be careful to understand that the same trap of "not knowing that I didn't know" is a continuing trap, not something now relegated to the past, so in effect Tony's not in a unique position....give him some slack. Don't worry about what Tony doesn't know, worry more about what you (we) don't know that can come out later and make us all look like chumps. Keep looking; comment less. ;)

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Demetrio Cereijo
01-19-2011, 01:48 PM
Some of the people who were good at internal strength in the last few centuries never did submission fighting but they killed a number of people in straight-out all-on-the-line fights. So they weren't any good at fighting? Please.
Lots of people have been killed by people with zero IS.

Tony Wagstaffe
01-19-2011, 02:45 PM
Trying to keep the "Training Internal Strength" topic-header in mind and include Tony into the larger picture....

I'm not particular concerned or put out with Tony's remarks; in fact, to me there's a certain amount of humor in reading Tony's writings, his biography on his webpage, and so on. Some classic reading. In a way Tony indicates that people attempting to do Aikido with so-called internal-strength skills don't understand the real, hard world of fighting as he knows it. I seldom get into these discussions for the simple reason that I've been in plenty of hard fights in my life, but I don't see where it has much to do with the topic. Someone can be good at "internal strength" and yet that tells us nothing about whether they're good at fighting or not. Some of the people who were good at internal strength in the last few centuries never did submission fighting but they killed a number of people in straight-out all-on-the-line fights. So they weren't any good at fighting? Please.

On the other hand, a, for instance, 23-year-old woman might have extremely good i.s. skills, but she might not last in an actual fight. Are her skills suddenly not valid because of that? That's a silly view. Getting internal strength skills is a separate topic from whether someone is a good fighter or not; the skills give an advantage in a fight, but they are not the full martial-art themselves.

On the other hand, as Ushiro Sensei noted: Aikido without kokyu skills is not complete.

If someone like Tony already knows everything, then I say more power to him. It's pointless to argue. Dan Harden made a point of mentioning people who, as they learned some basic things, "didn't know that they didn't know". Tony would undoubtedly fit into that category, as would a number of other people.

The problem with the "didn't know I didn't know" stuff is that it's not over yet. Some of the great attacks on peoples' characters happened during the great "Ki Wars" in various forums (Aikido-L, AikiWeb, etc.) and some of the people involved in the attacks (or sympathetic to them) have begun to realize that there was indeed something there that they hadn't known before. My viewpoint is that the same situation is still going on... the ki/kokyu topic still has a number of areas that people are unaware are even there. My point is that Tony falls into a recognizable category, but everyone should still be careful to understand that the same trap of "not knowing that I didn't know" is a continuing trap, not something now relegated to the past, so in effect Tony's not in a unique position....give him some slack. Don't worry about what Tony doesn't know, worry more about what you (we) don't know that can come out later and make us all look like chumps. Keep looking; comment less. ;)

FWIW

Mike Sigman

I wish I did know everything Mike or I wouldn't be so ruddy poor...:rolleyes:
I'm trying to put the rational into this and take out the "mystical", Make it accessible to anyone interested, who wants to develop their skills in this way and get out of the "trap" of thinking they know "aiki" :hypno: but really don't....?
How to get their waza to work in a shorter time and not take twenty years to achieve it..... I also believe there are a lot of lazy people in aikido, who cheapen it and make it look ridiculous, I'm after making it real and tangible for those willing to put the effort into it, as after all it's what it takes is "effort" and lots of it !!
That is or seems to becoming a rare commodity these days.....
Am I wrong in saying this?...... :straightf
Maybe we should take out the words "aiki" and "kokyu" and try to translate it into something that people can understand, grasp and put into practice..... this would go along way into getting rid of the argument that will undoubtedly go on for some time yet..... I'd put money on that!!! Actually, no I wouldn't as I don't have any.....

Mike Sigman
01-19-2011, 02:55 PM
Maybe we should take out the words "aiki" and "kokyu" and try to translate it into something that people can understand, grasp and put into practice..... this would go along way into getting rid of the argument that will undoubtedly go on for some time yet..... I'd put money on that!!! Actually, no I wouldn't as I don't have any.....

Tony, those words have pretty practical meanings, but if you had already known that you wouldn't have posted the things that you posted. Hence, you don't know some pretty important things and your "observations" are explained. As I said, that doesn't bother me in the least (what you know)... I'm tickled to see you carry on with whatever it is that you're doing, so don't get me wrong.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

DH
01-19-2011, 02:58 PM
Lots of people have been killed by people with zero IS.
Isn't that the point?
No one...not one...is saying it's necessary to fight or will teach you to fight. IMO,it is a great aid though, should you choose to do so.

I...am stating that:
a) it is the cornerstone of the Asian arts.
b) It is the source of aiki
c) it IS a better more efficient way to do martial arts
d) it doesn't diminish with age like normal power does

Seems to me that those advocating it are NOT over-selling it. A good way to put it is to quote Some teachers
Bill Gleason "This is what I went to Japan to find."
George Ledyard "I wasted about 25 years training in a way that one day I realized would never result in the skills my own teacher had."
Ikeda has so many You would have to look them up.
Howard told everyone here what he Thought
Two Daito ryu Shihans changed their training on being shown certain ways to train.
It is rather interesting that people with up to 45 years experience in Budo made a dynamic shift upon feeling those who train this way!.
Everyone else can keep lifting, doing cardio and circuit training as far as I'm concerned. I wish them well.
All the best
Dan

Tony Wagstaffe
01-19-2011, 03:09 PM
Tony, those words have pretty practical meanings, but if you had already known that you wouldn't have posted the things that you posted. Hence, you don't know some pretty important things and your "observations" are explained. As I said, that doesn't bother me in the least (what you know)... I'm tickled to see you carry on with whatever it is that you're doing, so don't get me wrong.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

I have my vays of extracting vhat I need to extract. Maybe I have it maybe I don't, but I relate to what some of you are trying to say here and that is a good thing...... I am a cynical old bastard when I get down to it, so I won't apologise for the sarky humour, it had a purpose.....;)
Nothing personal, believe me, I'm quite cuddly really.....;)
You now have my interest.......:)

Mike Sigman
01-19-2011, 03:12 PM
A good way to put it is to quote Some teachers
Bill Gleason "This is what I went to Japan to find."
George Ledyard "I wasted about 25 years training in a way that one day I realized would never result in the skills my own teacher had."
Ikeda has so many You would have to look them up.
Howard told everyone here what he Thought
Two Daito ryu Shihans changed their training on being shown certain ways to train.
It is rather interesting that people with up to 45 years experience in Budo made a dynamic shift upon feeling those who train this way!.
That's great news. They were happy to find out what they didn't know before (Hmmmm.... if it's the "cornerstone" of their art, how were they shihans?). Imagine how happy they would be if they find out there are some extremely important aspects to add on top of the ones they've recently found! Then again, ignorance can be bliss, as we've seen in the past from the number of people angrily denouncing the idea that there was anything that they didn't know.

My comment is more or less along the lines that a lot of these skills are just getting started (re-started, actually) and I think there are more surprises to come if people can get an information source. Overall, these conversations are pretty interesting to watch, but frankly I just view them as some of the preliminary approaches to a difficult, but desirable objective. I was probing around 5 or 6 years ago trying to get an idea via anecdotes about Tohei exactly how much he really knew. It's a productive area, IMO.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
01-19-2011, 03:14 PM
I have my vays of extracting vhat I need to extract.Then you're all sorted out and I'm happy for you.

Best.

Mike Sigman

David Orange
01-19-2011, 03:37 PM
I'm not saying genuine internal strength does not exist, what I would like to know is define internal strength..... I figure it to be conditioning, not "mystical power" or throwing imaginary "ki" balls...

Sure. I just don't recall anyone's mentioning "ki balls" on this thread. And I just did a whole thread on ki, but no one mentioned "ki balls" there, either.

As far as defining it, I'll put a summary out for comment.

Internal Strength training involves balancing and using six elements for martial effectiveness:

bones
muscles
fascia
breath
ki
mind (intent)

Four of these elements are strictly physical, while ki is sort of mental/physical and "mind" is strictly mental.

Using the bones to carry force or bear weight instead of the muscles is one kind of internal strength. Likewise, using fascia instead of muscles is another.

But using bones, muscles, fascia and breath together (instead of mainly muscle) is a big beginning to IS.

However, I think it's the use of mind (intent) and ki that really make the difference in IS and "external" martial arts.

Notice that all these things have multiple functions and create multiple effects on the other elements: muscles can pull the bones out of alignment and "crimp" the fascia, making the breath shallow. Slack muscles can fail to transmit power through the system. Tight or slack fascia can do much the same. Plus, ki moves through the fascia, so any problem with the fascia will disrupt the actions of the ki. If the mind is too agitated, the ki will be agitated and the body will likely be tense and the breath fast and shallow. Unsettled ki will, in turn, unsettle the mind, which will weaken the body and any interactions with others.

So internal power involves conditioning each of the elements according to their nature and using the elements together with all the other elements.

The best way to do all this is to put the ki in the center of the body by directing it there with the mind, and to coordinate all efforts and movements through the center--which means actually developing the connections between the hands and the center and the feet and the center and the head and the center. And that means training specifically to drive body movement through movement of the center. It also means using the mind to direct the ki into the intended movement and using that ki movement to move the center and thus the body.

A lot of this comes naturally through regular budo training. But that can be (and usually is) haphazard, leaving the practitioner wondering, sometimes, how he achieved some spectacular result because he unknowingly did the right things together and later can't replicate the feat. It is only by consciously recognizing and conditioning each of the elements according to its nature, and coordinating their use together consciously that we can start to develop "internal" methods and do things by intent rather than happenstance.

So that's my general description of internal methods, which, I think, will hold true for any internal art. Anyone who knows better, please correct me.

I know "Internal" strength exists!! To some extent I have experienced it myself, maybe not to the levels that some have achieved, such as Dan and the like.... How does one gauge these things?

The best way to gauge these things is to put hands on people whom others recognize as skilled in these matters and judge for yourself if your approach comes up to the level of theirs. And then listen to what they tell you.

People say "it has to be felt," but I got a lot of feeling out of reading people's posts and hearing other people's descriptions of meeting powerful people. Those were the experiences that led me to go out and meet Ark and Dan and to keep trying to meet up with Mike.

What I am getting at or dismissing is throwing "ki" balls and the like, or shouting or "looking" at someone is going to throw them, it's just complete and utter nonsense, woo woo and "money" to me, we all know that.... or should do....:rolleyes:

Yeah. We're all agreed on that. No one here has suggested any of those things. But we all suggest that you meet up with Mike, Dan, Ark or others known to have the goods. In one way, it saves you a lot of work to do this stuff. But that's only by doing a LOT of work to get there. It's both easier and harder than ordinary aikido and as they say, it's tougher for the mind than for the body. But it's exhilarating. Worth every minute.

Best to you.

David

Mark Gibbons
01-19-2011, 03:54 PM
Just to resolve something that bugged me on these types of threads, Ark is Minoru Akuzawa Sensei. Also see Aunkai.

Mark

phitruong
01-19-2011, 04:02 PM
. But we all suggest that you meet up with Mike, Dan, Ark or others known to have the goods. In one way, it saves you a lot of work to do this stuff.
David

nah! shouldn't meet those guys. what do they know? tony, sounded like you got a handle on things. just live it alone.

david, we are going to get together to compare notes one of these days. those guys in atlanta just don't know how to party. :)

Dave de Vos
01-19-2011, 04:05 PM
Just to resolve something that bugged me on these types of threads, Ark is Minoru Akuzawa Sensei. Also see Aunkai.

Mark

Thank you for clearing that up. I had been wondering who Ark was, but in the mean time I figured out that Ark had to be him.

phitruong
01-19-2011, 04:16 PM
Just to resolve something that bugged me on these types of threads, Ark is Minoru Akuzawa Sensei. Also see Aunkai.

Mark

what bugged me is that he didn't have some simple name that easy to remember, like joe-bob or billy-bob or just bob. what was he thinking? it's hard enough to learn his stuffs. we have to remember his name as well? :)

aikilouis
01-19-2011, 04:55 PM
What I'm interested in is Henry Ellis's opinion, if he reads this thread.

IS is apparently something that has not been transmitted systematically enough in aikido over the years, and since he is probably the most experienced of all of us in this forum, and that he was an important actor of the beginnings of aikido in his country, I am wondering if the stuff that is being brought up here is making him connect some dots between things that he experienced or witnessed in the hands of the earlier pioneers like Abe sensei.

On a personal note, the necessity of internal strength as the motor of aikido technique was quite clear to me from the moment I started training and watched O Sensei's films (especially the very oldest one). I obviously couldn't articulate it at the time, but if you take out the internal element, aikido technique is very counterintuitive compared to arts that define themselves by a strong emphasis on percussion or grappling.

David Orange
01-19-2011, 05:03 PM
david, we are going to get together to compare notes one of these days. those guys in atlanta just don't know how to party. :)

Can you show me where to get the zebra-skin Speedos?
:p

David

Tony Wagstaffe
01-19-2011, 07:27 PM
Sure. I just don't recall anyone's mentioning "ki balls" on this thread. And I just did a whole thread on ki, but no one mentioned "ki balls" there, either.

As far as defining it, I'll put a summary out for comment.

Internal Strength training involves balancing and using six elements for martial effectiveness:

bones
muscles
fascia
breath
ki
mind (intent)

Four of these elements are strictly physical, while ki is sort of mental/physical and "mind" is strictly mental.

Using the bones to carry force or bear weight instead of the muscles is one kind of internal strength. Likewise, using fascia instead of muscles is another.

But using bones, muscles, fascia and breath together (instead of mainly muscle) is a big beginning to IS.

However, I think it's the use of mind (intent) and ki that really make the difference in IS and "external" martial arts.

Notice that all these things have multiple functions and create multiple effects on the other elements: muscles can pull the bones out of alignment and "crimp" the fascia, making the breath shallow. Slack muscles can fail to transmit power through the system. Tight or slack fascia can do much the same. Plus, ki moves through the fascia, so any problem with the fascia will disrupt the actions of the ki. If the mind is too agitated, the ki will be agitated and the body will likely be tense and the breath fast and shallow. Unsettled ki will, in turn, unsettle the mind, which will weaken the body and any interactions with others.

So internal power involves conditioning each of the elements according to their nature and using the elements together with all the other elements.

The best way to do all this is to put the ki in the center of the body by directing it there with the mind, and to coordinate all efforts and movements through the center--which means actually developing the connections between the hands and the center and the feet and the center and the head and the center. And that means training specifically to drive body movement through movement of the center. It also means using the mind to direct the ki into the intended movement and using that ki movement to move the center and thus the body.

A lot of this comes naturally through regular budo training. But that can be (and usually is) haphazard, leaving the practitioner wondering, sometimes, how he achieved some spectacular result because he unknowingly did the right things together and later can't replicate the feat. It is only by consciously recognizing and conditioning each of the elements according to its nature, and coordinating their use together consciously that we can start to develop "internal" methods and do things by intent rather than happenstance.

So that's my general description of internal methods, which, I think, will hold true for any internal art. Anyone who knows better, please correct me.

The best way to gauge these things is to put hands on people whom others recognize as skilled in these matters and judge for yourself if your approach comes up to the level of theirs. And then listen to what they tell you.

People say "it has to be felt," but I got a lot of feeling out of reading people's posts and hearing other people's descriptions of meeting powerful people. Those were the experiences that led me to go out and meet Ark and Dan and to keep trying to meet up with Mike.

Yeah. We're all agreed on that. No one here has suggested any of those things. But we all suggest that you meet up with Mike, Dan, Ark or others known to have the goods. In one way, it saves you a lot of work to do this stuff. But that's only by doing a LOT of work to get there. It's both easier and harder than ordinary aikido and as they say, it's tougher for the mind than for the body. But it's exhilarating. Worth every minute.

Best to you.

David

It's funny you know, but having read everything here and pondering it I would say, that I'm pretty close to what you have all said here, (with thanks) so maybe I have found it but have not come to a complete conclusion as yet. Is that possible?
I have felt true power in the way you all describe and it is laughable, but at the same time tangible, strangely enough it was more from judo than aikido as I suspect there are very few in aikido that actually have the goods, which I might add I have felt to, from those instructors, in the past who I have had the pleasure and luck to encounter....
They have passed it onto me without realising they had it to, (or did they?) as hardly any of them rarely mentioned "ki" or internal power, just posture and making use of that posture from the centre....
What I "feel" does seem to emanate from my "core" or should I say stomach area and it has a "feeling" of coming from the core out to the extremities, that is my hips, legs, chest, arms, and seems to "explode" (kind of) through the wrists right through to my fingertips.... it's kind of exhilarating..... maybe I have it, maybe I don't.... it is hard to describe, but I wouldn't call it "mystical"....... more of a feeling of coming together at the right moment........:hypno: Hope that doesn't sound weird, but it's the only way I can put it into words.....

Mike Sigman
01-19-2011, 08:11 PM
What I "feel" does seem to emanate from my "core" or should I say stomach area and it has a "feeling" of coming from the core out to the extremities, that is my hips, legs, chest, arms, and seems to "explode" (kind of) through the wrists right through to my fingertips.... it's kind of exhilarating..... maybe I have it, maybe I don't.... it is hard to describe, but I wouldn't call it "mystical"....... more of a feeling of coming together at the right moment........:hypno: Hope that doesn't sound weird, but it's the only way I can put it into words.....'You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother.' — Albert Einstein

The first thing I'd point out is that the ki things are a lot more complicated than a few jin/kokyu tricks, but most people trying to cobble together an 'understanding' of ki/kokyu/qi/jin skills haven't gotten far enough to grasp that fact yet. So the entire spectrum of knowledge is a lot more than most people are thinking in these early stages.

The kokyu/jin things are fairly simple to lead someone into and to describe. It doesn't take a lot of convoluted rigmarole to explain kokyu, even though it looks mysterious to someone who hasn't seen it. I've watched various people who had unclear understandings of kokyu/jin try complex and vague descriptions, and I've really tried to consider the idea that they learned by feel and never fully analysed the skill. Maybe. More likely their understanding is just incomplete. Watch Ikeda Sensei's attempts to describe (he has some videos out) sometime. It's interesting.

In terms of the Whole Banana (tm) of ki/kokyu/hara/misogi skills, most of what people are talking about now is not quite half. So if someone really had a broad view of the topic, describing the ki stuff that is being talked about on this thread isn't that much. If you understood the whole, I'm sure a man of your prestige and ability could easily find the words.

Because a lot of these physical but not intuitive skills have been lost in the past, there is a strong indicator that there's more to these things than a lot of the superficial approaches would now suggest. The main thing I'm worriedly watching is how many "experts" (often the same 'experts' who swore there was no such thing in very recent years) will step up and start teaching 'students' that which they themselves don't fully know/understand. I think it may well turn into a case of the schlemiel spills his soup on the schlimazel.

2 cents.

Mike Sigman

David Orange
01-19-2011, 08:47 PM
It's funny you know, but having read everything here and pondering it I would say, that I'm pretty close to what you have all said here, (with thanks) so maybe I have found it but have not come to a complete conclusion as yet. Is that possible?

I will always believe that traditional aikido and judo training will give you a tremendous amount of the conditioning that makes IP possible, but unless you learn specifically what it is and exactly how you make it happen, you can't really control it. It will show up strangely from time to time but you won't be able to do it at will. And Ueshiba and Mifune could seriously do it at will. As could Shioda, apparently. But Mochizuki, who was uchi deshi to both Ueshiba and Mifune, pretty well dismissed it--at least as far as talking about it. I think he had it and passed it to some people, but in general, he was teaching technique. So whatever I got from him remained in the subconscious and I didn't get intentional control over that aspect, though I did get pretty good in various techniques. So it's possible to get some IP without knowing it, but to have control, you have to understand it consciously.

I have felt true power in the way you all describe and it is laughable, but at the same time tangible, strangely enough it was more from judo than aikido as I suspect there are very few in aikido that actually have the goods...

I agree. I would say that most of it I've felt was in judo men or judo practice. Though I can think of a few moments among the shihan at the old yoseikan hombu when strange things happened, but no one commented on it.

They have passed it onto me without realising they had it to, (or did they?) as hardly any of them rarely mentioned "ki" or internal power, just posture and making use of that posture from the centre....

Still, it is an art, and art is never accidental--unless the artist wants it to be...in which case it isn't....

But it has to be conscious and for reliability, it has to be understood.

What I "feel" does seem to emanate from my "core" or should I say stomach area and it has a "feeling" of coming from the core out to the extremities, that is my hips, legs, chest, arms, and seems to "explode" (kind of) through the wrists right through to my fingertips.... it's kind of exhilarating..... maybe I have it, maybe I don't.... it is hard to describe, but I wouldn't call it "mystical"....... more of a feeling of coming together at the right moment........:hypno: Hope that doesn't sound weird, but it's the only way I can put it into words.....

Sounds great. I think that's the essence. But to develop that you have to put technique aside for awhile and look at the essence in great detail. So at this time, I'm pretty much formless and I've only begun to understand some of these matters. Most of what I say is to get feedback from others who know more.

Hope you can meet up with some of these guys soon.

Best to you.

David

Upyu
01-19-2011, 09:35 PM
?) as hardly any of them rarely mentioned "ki" or internal power, just posture and making use of that posture from the centre...

Tony, the truth is that even beginners can for the most part articulate whats happening on a physical level. And good posture has little to do with IS, evem though it can make it easier to develop and add to the overall power, its much easier to be led astray (thats speaking from personal experience as well) The fact that you made that statement gives away how much you know.
While I wouldn't say you're completely off base with your statements concerning the core, I've heard so many "oh we do that too" only to find it isn't the case.
I'd say that just because you can replicate any number of "aiki" demos, there are a number ways to execute them in varying arrays of "external" ways, all the way down to pure "internal", with various shades of gray in between. I'm guilty of this as well, which is why i never assume that I "get it."

Course, it's always helpful to have acess to a coach who can do these things, and cross check your insights. Self perception disorder is a huge buzz kill in these pursuits :D

*edit Mike beat me to it, thats what I get for posting something i wrote pre work out and throwing it up there without checkin the thread

Hellis
01-20-2011, 05:34 AM
What I'm interested in is Henry Ellis's opinion, if he reads this thread.

I am not interested in debating in this fathomless subject. I will reply to Ludwig's request..Despite my opinions once being dismissed on this forum with " What does Henry Ellis know ? he is just a dinosaur of Aikido " ....I thought it was a rather nice comliment :)

I do agree with much of Tony's thinking on this subject. As I gather he is as dismayed as I am at much of what we see being offered in the name of Aikido...

I have never seen any of my early teachers do what I would call mystical techniques or its scientific term BS, Kenshiro Abbe - Tadashi Abe - M Nakazono - M Noro - along with Tada - Tamura - Ichimura and my long study with Chiba Sensei........

.What I have seen in all of the above and K Abbe more than anyone else is amazingly powerful technique, not just the execution of the technique, but a power that if I was asked to describe it? I could only say it was a combination of a great technique with internal power or strength.....With Abbe Sensei, one always knew you were ````going ```` how you went was up to you, you would be thrown...... The great Judoka Kimura Sensei once described his only loss to K Abbe as " It was like fighting a shadow ".

At the Hut Dojo in the late 1950s early 60s, we had a young dan grade named Trevor Jones, he was one of the first of eight dan grades in the UK. All the other seven dan grades were a little older and harder . Derek Eastman and I still discuss the special power that young Trevor had, I have not seen that in any other person. Noro Sensei thought he was special and sent him to Japan ( that is another story )
There are many displays of amazing ``stuff `` in Aikido, much, or most can only be done with the teachers own students.
When someone has been in Aikido a long time as I have, it is painful to watch someone ( example ) doing Aikido with ribbons, claiming this to be good for movement, perhaps a laxative would offer better movement..........

Henry Ellis
http://aikidoarticles.blogspot.com/

Gorgeous George
01-20-2011, 06:14 AM
perhaps a laxative would offer better movement...

A brilliant putdown. :)

phitruong
01-20-2011, 06:20 AM
Can you show me where to get the zebra-skin Speedos?
:p

David

i hate to inform you but you IP power just isn't strong enough to handle the zebra-skin speedos. it might crack your aiki and causes tightness in places that would interfere with your development. :D

phitruong
01-20-2011, 06:51 AM
What I have seen in all of the above and K Abbe more than anyone else is amazingly powerful technique, not just the execution of the technique, but a power that if I was asked to describe it? I could only say it was a combination of a great technique with internal power or strength.....With Abbe Sensei, one always knew you were ````going ```` how you went was up to you, you would be thrown...... The great Judoka Kimura Sensei once described his only loss to K Abbe as " It was like fighting a shadow ".


the question would be, can it be taught systematically with achievable results that doesn't take 20 years to accomplish?

sure, you see and hear folks mentioned that they, either themselves or in someone else, have done those mysterious power and so on, but mostly accidental. the question is can it be trained and controlled at will, instead of accidental occurrences. i am pretty sure that sort of questions have been asked by the asian martial arts for millenniums. It's a teachable skill, not the snake oil stuffs. in so far that the chinese (possibly Indian too) developed the language to describe various components of such practices. i don't think the japanese was that advance, since they had not developed the language to even describe it.

the point is internal strength/IP/IT and aiki are systematically trainable skills. it's not the be-all of martial arts, but an important component of it, possible one of the foundational stones. my guess is that many arts have made this the secret ingredient of their secret sauce (wonder if more folks know about this stuffs, would it still be secret?). and yes, it might shorten the time for you be good at whatever martial arts that you are doing, but it doesn't mean it easy or require less training; in fact, it's the opposite. not many can or willing to travel this road; it's hopeless for the fast food generations.

David Orange
01-20-2011, 08:32 AM
...Despite my opinions once being dismissed on this forum with " What does Henry Ellis know ? he is just a dinosaur of Aikido " ....I thought it was a rather nice comliment :)

I'm honored just to be on the same thread with you, Sir T.Rex!

I hope you'll never stop posting.

I do agree with much of Tony's thinking on this subject. As I gather he is as dismayed as I am at much of what we see being offered in the name of Aikido...

Do you mean "woo-woo" or the internal power training?

I've been sick of the woo-woo for decades.

But the internal power is quite another subject.

I have never seen any of my early teachers do what I would call mystical techniques or its scientific term BS, Kenshiro Abbe - Tadashi Abe - M Nakazono - M Noro - along with Tada - Tamura - Ichimura and my long study with Chiba Sensei........

I don't think anyone on this thread looks for anything "mystical" in training--just the essence of what real power means in Asian martial arts.

What I have seen in all of the above and K Abbe more than anyone else is amazingly powerful technique, not just the execution of the technique, but a power that if I was asked to describe it? I could only say it was a combination of a great technique with internal power or strength.....

Did any of those guys ever demonstrate immovability in a natural stance against a push, or several people pushing?

I knew a fellow once in Alabama who was in his seventies (a long time ago) who started jujutsu in 1917. Looking back, when I tried to push him around in judo, it was like pushing on a makiwara post. He was much smaller than I, but I couldn't move him at all. He would flex a little, but I couldn't make him move his feet unless he wanted to, and then he would flex back into me and send me flying. He certainly never would have classed himself with K. Abbe or his peers, but he remains among the top five or six I've ever met.

Are you talking about that kind of power? Flexible, but so very hard.

The great Judoka Kimura Sensei once described his only loss to K Abbe as " It was like fighting a shadow ".

And then untouchable as well as both immoveable and unstoppable. Really beautiful.

At the Hut Dojo in the late 1950s early 60s, we had a young dan grade named Trevor Jones, he was one of the first of eight dan grades in the UK. All the other seven dan grades were a little older and harder . Derek Eastman and I still discuss the special power that young Trevor had, I have not seen that in any other person. Noro Sensei thought he was special and sent him to Japan ( that is another story )

I've seen your website. Have you considered writing a book? Maybe Stan Pranin would publish it. I'd buy it.

There are many displays of amazing ``stuff `` in Aikido, much, or most can only be done with the teachers own students.

But the people you mention could do amazing things with anyone, couldn't they? (and we're not interested in the goo-goo, woo-woo)

When someone has been in Aikido a long time as I have, it is painful to watch someone ( example ) doing Aikido with ribbons, claiming this to be good for movement, perhaps a laxative would offer better movement..........

I think watching that would have the same effect as a laxative!:D

But did your teachers really develop all that power simply through practice of the standard techniques? Just think of all those guys, as powerful as they were, being the students of Morihei Ueshiba. And as powerful as he was, being well below the level of Sokaku Takeda! I just can't see that calisthenics and regular aikido and judo technique would have created that kind of power in those men. And we all hope that you can shed some light on what they did below the surface.

Thank you.

David

Tony Wagstaffe
01-20-2011, 09:29 AM
nah! shouldn't meet those guys. what do they know? tony, sounded like you got a handle on things. just live it alone.

david, we are going to get together to compare notes one of these days. those guys in atlanta just don't know how to party. :)

Sssssh...;)

Tony Wagstaffe
01-20-2011, 09:36 AM
I am not interested in debating in this fathomless subject. I will reply to Ludwig's request..Despite my opinions once being dismissed on this forum with " What does Henry Ellis know ? he is just a dinosaur of Aikido " ....I thought it was a rather nice comliment :)

I do agree with much of Tony's thinking on this subject. As I gather he is as dismayed as I am at much of what we see being offered in the name of Aikido...

I have never seen any of my early teachers do what I would call mystical techniques or its scientific term BS, Kenshiro Abbe - Tadashi Abe - M Nakazono - M Noro - along with Tada - Tamura - Ichimura and my long study with Chiba Sensei........

.What I have seen in all of the above and K Abbe more than anyone else is amazingly powerful technique, not just the execution of the technique, but a power that if I was asked to describe it? I could only say it was a combination of a great technique with internal power or strength.....With Abbe Sensei, one always knew you were ````going ```` how you went was up to you, you would be thrown...... The great Judoka Kimura Sensei once described his only loss to K Abbe as " It was like fighting a shadow ".

At the Hut Dojo in the late 1950s early 60s, we had a young dan grade named Trevor Jones, he was one of the first of eight dan grades in the UK. All the other seven dan grades were a little older and harder . Derek Eastman and I still discuss the special power that young Trevor had, I have not seen that in any other person. Noro Sensei thought he was special and sent him to Japan ( that is another story )
There are many displays of amazing ``stuff `` in Aikido, much, or most can only be done with the teachers own students.
When someone has been in Aikido a long time as I have, it is painful to watch someone ( example ) doing Aikido with ribbons, claiming this to be good for movement, perhaps a laxative would offer better movement..........

Henry Ellis
http://aikidoarticles.blogspot.com/

I can't wait to get my my dinosaur certificate Henry!! I've put mine on the back of the toilet door 'cause I like to look at them while I'm "meditating".....;) and regenerating my "ki"
But it would have to be a junior "dinosaur"......

Tony Wagstaffe
01-20-2011, 09:45 AM
the question would be, can it be taught systematically with achievable results that doesn't take 20 years to accomplish?

sure, you see and hear folks mentioned that they, either themselves or in someone else, have done those mysterious power and so on, but mostly accidental. the question is can it be trained and controlled at will, instead of accidental occurrences. i am pretty sure that sort of questions have been asked by the asian martial arts for millenniums. It's a teachable skill, not the snake oil stuffs. in so far that the chinese (possibly Indian too) developed the language to describe various components of such practices. i don't think the japanese was that advance, since they had not developed the language to even describe it.

the point is internal strength/IP/IT and aiki are systematically trainable skills. it's not the be-all of martial arts, but an important component of it, possible one of the foundational stones. my guess is that many arts have made this the secret ingredient of their secret sauce (wonder if more folks know about this stuffs, would it still be secret?). and yes, it might shorten the time for you be good at whatever martial arts that you are doing, but it doesn't mean it easy or require less training; in fact, it's the opposite. not many can or willing to travel this road; it's hopeless for the fast food generations.

That's a good explanation, sounds about right to me....:)

Tony Wagstaffe
01-20-2011, 09:49 AM
But did your teachers really develop all that power simply through practice of the standard techniques? Just think of all those guys, as powerful as they were, being the students of Morihei Ueshiba. And as powerful as he was, being well below the level of Sokaku Takeda! I just can't see that calisthenics and regular aikido and judo technique would have created that kind of power in those men. And we all hope that you can shed some light on what they did below the surface.

Thank you.

David

I've a feeling I know what it is.......
But I aint telling you.....:D

Hellis
01-20-2011, 10:25 AM
I'm honored just to be on the same thread with you, Sir T.Rex!

Now that got a smile :)

I hope you'll never stop posting.

Do you mean "woo-woo" or the internal power training?

There are so many things out there under a variety of names that warrant a BS icon...Deep down people know what they are doing is genuine or BS, you don't need to smell it.

I've been sick of the woo-woo for decades.

Look after your health, I am afraid you will get a lot sicker.

But the internal power is quite another subject.

I doubt you can buy that, I believe it is what comes with the serious training package.

I don't think anyone on this thread looks for anything "mystical" in training--just the essence of what real power means in Asian martial arts.

You must be missing a lot of the threads and messages :straightf

Did any of those guys ever demonstrate immovability in a natural stance against a push, or several people pushing?

Yes, I did see that a few times, I think Noro Sensei was more into that than the other teachers.

I knew a fellow once in Alabama who was in his seventies (a long time ago) who started jujutsu in 1917. Looking back, when I tried to push him around in judo, it was like pushing on a makiwara post. He was much smaller than I, but I couldn't move him at all. He would flex a little, but I couldn't make him move his feet unless he wanted to, and then he would flex back into me and send me flying. He certainly never would have classed himself with K. Abbe or his peers, but he remains among the top five or six I've ever met.

Are you talking about that kind of power? Flexible, but so very hard.

Abbe Sensei spent a lot of effort in both Judo and Aikido on the power of relaxation.

And then untouchable as well as both immoveable and unstoppable. Really beautiful.

The early teachers were first Judoka, Abbe 8th dan ~ Abe 3rd dan ~ Nakazono 6th dan also Chiba was a Judoka. I found their Aikido more powerful....very different to teachers who had never studied Judo.

I've seen your website. Have you considered writing a book? Maybe Stan Pranin would publish it. I'd buy it.

I have one book " Positive Aikido "...It comes with a warning inside the front cover, not to buy this book if you are looking for fantasy Aikido or floating around the planets ( something to that effect ).
If my health is OK ? I hope to get to NM this year to work on the next book as we have so much material to add...Positive Aikido is available on Amazon...

But the people you mention could do amazing things with anyone, couldn't they? (and we're not interested in the goo-goo, woo-woo)

They had amazing technique with many yeras of dedicated practice.

I think watching that would have the same effect as a laxative!:D

One would think so, the guy was so pleased with himself that he has made several vidoe's, I guess he is a believer.

But did your teachers really develop all that power simply through practice of the standard techniques? Just think of all those guys, as powerful as they were, being the students of Morihei Ueshiba. And as powerful as he was, being well below the level of Sokaku Takeda! I just can't see that calisthenics and regular aikido and judo technique would have created that kind of power in those men. And we all hope that you can shed some light on what they did below the surface.

All the afore mentioned lived a life of Budo.
When Kenshiro Abbe Sensei arrived in the UK in 1955 at the invitation of the LJS, he felt that the British dan grades did not respect him ...Sensei at 40 yrs of age, walked along a line of 33 dan grades, he challenged them all to full contest...He then told each dan grade what technique he would use, and he also informed them whether it would be a left or right handed ..They all gave their best, Sensei easliy beat them all...........

Regards

Henry Ellis
http://aikido-controversy.blogspot.com/

DH
01-20-2011, 11:07 AM
I find the general discussion to have taken a weird turn
Internal strength is woo woo now?
Yet we are then given examples of a few Aikido teachers who sparred with a legendary Judoka and felt like "Fighting a ghost" with no explanations of how that could be.
We are told.."I think I know what they did but I am not going to tell you."
Along with anyone talking about internal power is "prancing with ribbons"...even though plenty of people have stated it is anything but.

To Tony and Henry
I can only say you are exhibiting an incredible amount of hubris to your own senior practitioners to assume -you and you alone - get what B.S. practice means- considering you came into the discussion commenting that your own years of experience and the value of YOUR OWN opinions were discounted by others here..you then proceeded to discount those of your peers.

I won't correct you for chastising your fellow 6th dans and Shihans (who have actually got up away from their keyboards and felt and tested those of us teaching this stuff),opinions nor will I correct you for dismissing the opinions of hundreds of MA people here to include teachers of Aikido, DR, Judo, Karate and FMA as well as practitioners of MMA as meaningless either. Apparently...you....never having felt, seen, or understand what they are discussing, understand it all better than they do.

I am mindful that neither of you have said anything of value relating to the topic other than to point to others you think "had it"...which is fascinating because.... with your next breath...
you dismiss your peers who say the same thing about us as not only "having it" but showing how to train it.
A very interesting, albeit totally illogical, approach to a discussion IMO, it cancels out everyone in the discussion as an idiot and not having an opinion worth listening to. It reminds of someone else's approach to debating I often critique here.
Oh well. I bear you no ill will.
Continue on.

Dan

Demetrio Cereijo
01-20-2011, 11:28 AM
Yet we are then given examples of a few Aikido teachers who sparred with a legendary Judoka and felt like "Fighting a ghost" with no explanations of how that could be.
This is not what Ellis said. There were not 33 aikido dan grades (and much less teachers) in all the UK in 1955 and the "fighting a ghost" was Kimura description of an event happened years before Abbe Sensei met Ueshiba.

And while you applaud MMA and Judo, you give no credence to Judo and MMA practitioners who themselves have stated here this type of training has worth to their practice.
Tell'em who they are. Via PM if they don't want their names made public, but tell them: "I'm coaching X guy, who is member of the Y team" and let them decide what to do or what to think about the value of IT/IS training

DH
01-20-2011, 11:44 AM
This is not what Ellis said. There were not 33 aikido dan grades (and much less teachers) in all the UK in 1955 and the "fighting like a ghost" was Kimura description of an event happened years before Abbe Sensei met Ueshiba.
I was referring to Abbe, and others they mentioned. Where he got it Tomiki got it and others like Ueshiba, got it, wasn't germain to the point.

Tell'em who they are. Via PM if they don't want their names made public, but tell them: "I'm coaching X guy, who is member of the Y team" and let them decide what to do or what to think about the value of IT/IS training
They are right here and have written in many times, others have been written about- and they span so many different arts and MMA that I am sick of writing the same thing over and over.. I have no interest in cutting and pasting to try and prove some point that will just be dismissed.
I see no interest in a logical debate, If someone isn't following the years of discussion and holds some very strong opinions while dismissing everyone else's, that's fine by me. While I have no interest in beating the dead horse all over again, I did want to point out the logic for others. .
Cheers
Dan

Demetrio Cereijo
01-20-2011, 12:01 PM
I see no interest in a logical debate, If someone isn't following the years of discussion and holds some very strong opinions while dismissing everyone else's, that's fine by me. While I have no interest in beating the dead horse all over again, I did want to point out the logic for others.
Cheers
Dan
No problem Dan.

aikilouis
01-20-2011, 03:40 PM
I am not interested in debating in this fathomless subject. I will reply to Ludwig's request..Despite my opinions once being dismissed on this forum with " What does Henry Ellis know ? he is just a dinosaur of Aikido " ....I thought it was a rather nice comliment :)

I do agree with much of Tony's thinking on this subject. As I gather he is as dismayed as I am at much of what we see being offered in the name of Aikido...

I have never seen any of my early teachers do what I would call mystical techniques or its scientific term BS, Kenshiro Abbe - Tadashi Abe - M Nakazono - M Noro - along with Tada - Tamura - Ichimura and my long study with Chiba Sensei........

.What I have seen in all of the above and K Abbe more than anyone else is amazingly powerful technique, not just the execution of the technique, but a power that if I was asked to describe it? I could only say it was a combination of a great technique with internal power or strength.....With Abbe Sensei, one always knew you were ````going ```` how you went was up to you, you would be thrown...... The great Judoka Kimura Sensei once described his only loss to K Abbe as " It was like fighting a shadow ".

At the Hut Dojo in the late 1950s early 60s, we had a young dan grade named Trevor Jones, he was one of the first of eight dan grades in the UK. All the other seven dan grades were a little older and harder . Derek Eastman and I still discuss the special power that young Trevor had, I have not seen that in any other person. Noro Sensei thought he was special and sent him to Japan ( that is another story )
There are many displays of amazing ``stuff `` in Aikido, much, or most can only be done with the teachers own students.
When someone has been in Aikido a long time as I have, it is painful to watch someone ( example ) doing Aikido with ribbons, claiming this to be good for movement, perhaps a laxative would offer better movement..........

Henry Ellis
http://aikidoarticles.blogspot.com/

Thank you for your answer.

Michael Hackett
01-20-2011, 08:07 PM
OK, now that this has strayed so far, I have a couple of questions. Based on this discussion, and similar ones I've followed here in the past, as well as "Hidden In Plain Sight", I've become really curious about IS, IP, or whatever the hell it is. I enjoy my Aikido training and enjoy training hard with a martial attitude and I enjoy the subtle little movements too. I've been lucky enough to get tossed around a little by some really good folks, often wondering what just happened, so I think there is something there.

Based on an earlier posting I looked up Silk Reeling and watched a number of videos and read any number of blogs. So I gave it a try and after several hours of experimenting have found something interesting. After perhaps a hundred repetitions I got the feeling that my center was either pulling or pushing my arms into the movements and had almost no sensation of moving my hands and arms - they just went where they were supposed to. Am I heading in the right direction, or do I need to buy a bicycle helmet?

In any event I plan to attend one of MIke or Dan's classes at the soonest opportunity.

Lee Salzman
01-21-2011, 12:09 AM
OK, now that this has strayed so far, I have a couple of questions. Based on this discussion, and similar ones I've followed here in the past, as well as "Hidden In Plain Sight", I've become really curious about IS, IP, or whatever the hell it is. I enjoy my Aikido training and enjoy training hard with a martial attitude and I enjoy the subtle little movements too. I've been lucky enough to get tossed around a little by some really good folks, often wondering what just happened, so I think there is something there.

Based on an earlier posting I looked up Silk Reeling and watched a number of videos and read any number of blogs. So I gave it a try and after several hours of experimenting have found something interesting. After perhaps a hundred repetitions I got the feeling that my center was either pulling or pushing my arms into the movements and had almost no sensation of moving my hands and arms - they just went where they were supposed to. Am I heading in the right direction, or do I need to buy a bicycle helmet?

In any event I plan to attend one of MIke or Dan's classes at the soonest opportunity.

Keep the center, but now add the arms back in. Then add in the legs. Then the upper back and shoulders. Then the hips (both). Then the the waist/sternum area (left side, right side, back side, front side). Then the rotational surfaces of the legs. Then the ankles, feet, and toes. Then the rotational surfaces of the arms, the wrists, and fingers. Then the neck. Then realize you what you thought were those various parts were not, but rather misconceptions, and do go back and do it all again... Then if it's parts of your body and you're not using it yet, add it in too... This is why a teacher helps...

Tony Wagstaffe
01-21-2011, 04:49 AM
OK, now that this has strayed so far, I have a couple of questions. Based on this discussion, and similar ones I've followed here in the past, as well as "Hidden In Plain Sight", I've become really curious about IS, IP, or whatever the hell it is. I enjoy my Aikido training and enjoy training hard with a martial attitude and I enjoy the subtle little movements too. I've been lucky enough to get tossed around a little by some really good folks, often wondering what just happened, so I think there is something there.

Based on an earlier posting I looked up Silk Reeling and watched a number of videos and read any number of blogs. So I gave it a try and after several hours of experimenting have found something interesting. After perhaps a hundred repetitions I got the feeling that my center was either pulling or pushing my arms into the movements and had almost no sensation of moving my hands and arms - they just went where they were supposed to. Am I heading in the right direction, or do I need to buy a bicycle helmet?

In any event I plan to attend one of MIke or Dan's classes at the soonest opportunity.

It's about being rooted throughout your movement Mike, its all it is, Don't resist where you don't have to, keep your centre and don't worry about which attack they will use, have faith in your wallet and waza and it will all come together sooner than later. Practice with resisting partners, forget all the airy fairy stuff, as that does not work.... it's about being soft and hard...Practice your aikido against punches, fast attacks, kicks punches, whatever, you name it and just keep doing it, put yourself out on the edge and it's surprising what you will come up with.....;) :hypno:

Lee Salzman
01-21-2011, 05:17 AM
It's about being rooted throughout your movement Mike, its all it is,

This is sort of like saying sending people to Mars is just about making a really big explosion with some people on top in a metal cannister. The devil is in the details, no? You can either just try strapping a bunch of different missiles to a bunch of different vehicles, or you can employ rocket science...

Same for the word "rooted". You can show up at the dojo and practice techniques, and maybe if you are lucky, after umpteen years, your body might absorb some patterns you are not conscious of that make you "rooted", and if you are extremely lucky, maybe you can consciously identify then what your body is doing. Or you can go in reverse, you can identify what structure is, and then you can practice it and reinforce it, without the foreplay, and then go back and test it in real combat situations once you've got it.

In 10 years of random MA practice, simple ideas like how the lower spine drives through the hips into the legs, or how the spine bridges that into the upper body, I just never got, and the way I was going, I would have never gotten them, not in decades more. Hell, if someone just told me to go "reel some silk" for 10 years, I wouldn't have gotten it either. But when someone gives you specific, comprehensible things to try, and that cause an immediate and perceptible difference in the level of power you can generate, and then gives you ways to strengthen it and reinforce it, the game changes. Practice smarter, so that when you practice harder, you get smarter results.

Upyu
01-21-2011, 05:44 AM
It's about being rooted throughout your movement Mike, its all it is..., forget all the airy fairy stuff, as that does not work.... :hypno:

Yea, its simply about being rooted :rolleyes:
I dunno why it takes so long for people to get such a simple concept, or why the Chinese and Japanese write volumes upon volumes regarding this stuff.

And I'd avoid airy fairy conditioning routines like Shiko, suburi, spear training and the like. After all everyone knows that IS requires almost no physical conditioning, especially the legs and waist <snicker>

David Orange
01-21-2011, 07:34 AM
Yea, its simply about being rooted :rolleyes:
I dunno why it takes so long for people to get such a simple concept, or why the Chinese and Japanese write volumes upon volumes regarding this stuff.

I remember arguing with you that the six directions are simply the directions of balance that any weight lifter has to manage to keep the weights stable as he lifts.

A little experience with the Aunkai showed me that just being aware of those directions is a very different thing from actually tuning he body to a high degree of orientation to those six directions simultaneously.

As Lee said, the devil is in the details.

Thanks.

David

Mark Peckett
01-21-2011, 07:37 AM
I haven't checked every post on this thread, so it's possible I'm repeating what someone else has said somewhere else, but Shioda sensei wrote:

As Shioda sensei wrote "They (martial arts) must not become mere intellectual exercises, the fundamental budo 'conduct' must not be treated lightly, and the 'way of technique' must not be neglected as a form of spiritual and physical training."

I believe he wished to emphasize the idea that the essence of Aikido - ki - would express itself to those who practice and follow basic techniques diligently.

In my opinion, the secret to developing internal strength is to go to practice, train hard and ki will come. You will feel it on a day when everything felt right and effortless. Thinking too much about it gets in the way of its development, like a kink in a hosepipe.

phitruong
01-21-2011, 08:11 AM
Based on an earlier posting I looked up Silk Reeling and watched a number of videos and read any number of blogs. So I gave it a try and after several hours of experimenting have found something interesting. After perhaps a hundred repetitions I got the feeling that my center was either pulling or pushing my arms into the movements and had almost no sensation of moving my hands and arms - they just went where they were supposed to. Am I heading in the right direction, or do I need to buy a bicycle helmet?



you need a bicycle helmet. :)

it's a good start. the progression is doing standing post exercise first. this is the basic but pretty advance once you get into it. once you have done standing post, if you have any legs left, you start with silk reeling. it's like standing but with added dimension of full body winding/coiling/spiral/whatever. my experience was with the chen taiji approach. i found it very exhausting, mentally and physically, after 1/2 hour doing it. you really need some experienced teacher to give you a starting point; otherwise, you will wandering in the woods for a long time where you might find the way or you might get lost. with a good teacher, you could short-cut some of the pitfalls.

after silk reeling then you progress into static push-hand, then dynamic push-hand, then you realize that dynamic push-hand is really the simplified/advance (ya, i know, you will understand what i am talking about once you get there) aikido. that's the systematically way to build IP/IT body to power whatever martial arts movement that you practice, be it aikido, judo, karate, kungfu, joe-bob jujitsu, ...etc. training the body doesn't make you a skillful warrior, that depends on the rest of your warrior-ship training. it just gives you an edge over the other blokes in term of surviving or not.

David Orange
01-21-2011, 08:17 AM
I believe he wished to emphasize the idea that the essence of Aikido - ki - would express itself to those who practice and follow basic techniques diligently.

In my opinion, the secret to developing internal strength is to go to practice, train hard and ki will come. You will feel it on a day when everything felt right and effortless. Thinking too much about it gets in the way of its development, like a kink in a hosepipe.

I won't go into my history too much, but I left the yoseikan dojo, where I was uchi deshi to Minoru Mochizuki, when I had twenty years of aikido training (2 as uchi deshi, 5 in Japan). I did not attain ki during those 20 year. Nor did I attain it in the 15 years following, when I concentrated on kihon waza (which Mochizuki Sensei told me I taught excellently. Actually, he said to me, "You are the best in the world at teaching yoseikan kihon waza.")

I discovered ki in myself after spending a few years seriously studying the arguments and very tough training methods of Mike Sigman, Minoru Akuzawa, Rob John and Dan Harden. The turning point was in deep contemplation of the differences in usage of muscle, fascia, bone, breath and mind in the context of "six-directional contradictory tensions" as Rob described it. (See thread "Ki Eureka" in the "non-aikido martial traditions" forum.)

I put in almost 40 years of technique practice without getting it. Just a few years among the internal people (and most of that through reading and discussion on aikiweb and e-budo) gave me the breakthrough.

There are few people I respect more than Gozo Shioda, but don't forget that he went outside Ueshiba's aikido, to Kodo Horikawa, for deeper understanding. How do you compare him to aikido teachers who only trained in the "mainstream," through technique?

Best to you from the other Birmingham.

David

MM
01-21-2011, 08:43 AM
I believe he wished to emphasize the idea that the essence of Aikido - ki - would express itself to those who practice and follow basic techniques diligently.


In this thread alone, these people disagree with your theory:

Lorel Latorilla, me, Phi Truong, Dan Harden, Hunter Lonsberry, Robert John, Mike Sigman, Josh Philipson, David Orange, Lee Salzman, Budd Yuhasz, Marc Abrams, Nicholas Eschenbruch, Stan Baker, Demetrio Cereijo, and Keith Larman.

People outside this thread who would, IMO, disagree include: Bill Gleason, George Ledyard, Rob Liberti, Tom Holz, Andrew Prochnow, Howard Popkin and Ellis Amdur.

Add to that list, the hundreds who have gone to workshops of Akuzawa, Sigman, and Harden.

Now we look at the worldwide population of Aikido in all its schools and how millions of people have done techniques for anywhere from 1 year to 40+ years and we have not reproduced another Shioda or Ueshiba.

The focus on techniques was a modern change instilled into what became Modern Aikido for the world. Ueshiba never preached techniques. In fact, his art was formless. Students griped that they rarely saw a technique twice.

Now that the world has practiced Modern Aikido and its techniques since, let's say, 1960, where have people progressed? Where are the peer level people of Shioda? Shirata? How about Ueshiba? Even some of the direct students have said that they haven't reached Ueshiba's level. What does that say for their students?

What has Modern Aikido been doing for 50 years? Techniques. Doesn't 50 years of focused study on techniques with no worldwide appearance of anyone like Shioda or Ueshiba state something very definitive?

Techniques are not the way of aiki, in other words, techniques are not aikido. Techniques are more like the sounds of kotodama. By that, I mean techniques are the byproduct of what should already have happened in the body. Aiki is a martial body training method to enhance martial skills.

Training for aiki is different. If you believe you can achieve aiki by training techniques or taking ukemi, then you are in good company with millions of people worldwide ... who have not come close to the skill level of people like Shioda or Ueshiba.

Tony Wagstaffe
01-21-2011, 08:44 AM
Yea, its simply about being rooted :rolleyes:
I dunno why it takes so long for people to get such a simple concept, or why the Chinese and Japanese write volumes upon volumes regarding this stuff.

And I'd avoid airy fairy conditioning routines like Shiko, suburi, spear training and the like. After all everyone knows that IS requires almost no physical conditioning, especially the legs and waist <snicker>

That's your quote not mine, I didn't mention shiko, suburi, spear or whatever you like as that is obvious to basics and conditioning......:rolleyes:

As I say it's all in the basics.......

gregstec
01-21-2011, 09:25 AM
In this thread alone, these people disagree with your theory:

Lorel Latorilla, me, Phi Truong, Dan Harden, Hunter Lonsberry, Robert John, Mike Sigman, Josh Philipson, David Orange, Lee Salzman, Budd Yuhasz, Marc Abrams, Nicholas Eschenbruch, Stan Baker, Demetrio Cereijo, and Keith Larman.

People outside this thread who would, IMO, disagree include: Bill Gleason, George Ledyard, Rob Liberti, Tom Holz, Andrew Prochnow, Howard Popkin and Ellis Amdur.

Add to that list, the hundreds who have gone to workshops of Akuzawa, Sigman, and Harden.

Now we look at the worldwide population of Aikido in all its schools and how millions of people have done techniques for anywhere from 1 year to 40+ years and we have not reproduced another Shioda or Ueshiba.

The focus on techniques was a modern change instilled into what became Modern Aikido for the world. Ueshiba never preached techniques. In fact, his art was formless. Students griped that they rarely saw a technique twice.

Now that the world has practiced Modern Aikido and its techniques since, let's say, 1960, where have people progressed? Where are the peer level people of Shioda? Shirata? How about Ueshiba? Even some of the direct students have said that they haven't reached Ueshiba's level. What does that say for their students?

What has Modern Aikido been doing for 50 years? Techniques. Doesn't 50 years of focused study on techniques with no worldwide appearance of anyone like Shioda or Ueshiba state something very definitive?

Techniques are not the way of aiki, in other words, techniques are not aikido. Techniques are more like the sounds of kotodama. By that, I mean techniques are the byproduct of what should already have happened in the body. Aiki is a martial body training method to enhance martial skills.

Training for aiki is different. If you believe you can achieve aiki by training techniques or taking ukemi, then you are in good company with millions of people worldwide ... who have not come close to the skill level of people like Shioda or Ueshiba.

Since Mark was kind enough to leave my name off his 'A' list, I thought I would jump in with my own comment here. :)

Actually, there is a chance that waza may put someone into a position where aiki would manifest itself, but it would be totally by chance and not by design. I am sure there are those on his list that did experience this and said to themselves: "Wow! that is neat, now just what did I do to make that happen?" and then it was gone...

Bottom line is that this stuff can be taught and learned in a systematic fashion with the proper guidance from a more qualified individual - it won't happen overnight, but it won't take 20 years either.

To me, this is the primary focus of my study and the waza is just a chance to practice and manifest the aiki, which I mostly do Daitoryu Aikijujutsu since I find that DR offers a better selection of more subtle techniques that really lend themselves to the manifestation of aiki.

Greg

Mark Peckett
01-21-2011, 09:30 AM
I didn't realise I was such a heretic with so much of the aikido community ranged against me!

All I was saying is that perhaps people spend too much time worrying about ki, when if they relaxed and worked on their basics, ki would come.

To quote Homma sensei:

"(discover) through daily practice inside and outside the dojo" but not "adopting another's definition blindly." According to Homma sensei Aikido is the "training of the mind" which expresses itself through breathing. When one's mind, body movement, and breathing are in harmony with the surroundings, one experiences the true meaning of Aiki.

He explains it a lot better than I did, I think.

Budd
01-21-2011, 09:59 AM
It is in the basics, but there's two components in the basics - skill and conditioning. Just conditioning over time without training skill explicitly in the internal strength pieces will result in having some strength, some conditioning, but it will focus on external and localized muscles not working optimally together through a connected body. It will also affect your ability to deliver and absorb power as the correct conditioning over time allows for you to increasingly bring "all of you" to a single point in space across a number of directions (up, down, front, back, side, side and any combo).

The skill portion has to do the the intent working to manifest physically to affect changes in your body that's been correctly conditioned to allow these things to happen. Look at some of the big dog internal Chinese martial artists and how powerful their legs are, how quickly they can go from feeling ghostly soft to immoveable in an instant - not from applying a technique, but just being. Having that be something of a baseline skill that you can then apply to any martial art.

Just training exercises and techniques without the correct skills/connection understanding creates potentially at least a much longer road to any skill and the likelihood of attaining varying levels of incompleteness in the basic body mechanics of "how this stuff works".

Michael Hackett
01-21-2011, 10:01 AM
Thank you all. Believe me, I understand the value of a teacher - learning something through experience is like taking the test before the instruction. My curiosity overcame me and I wanted to take a quick look. Now my curiosity is greater.......

Upyu
01-21-2011, 10:13 AM
That's your quote not mine, I didn't mention shiko, suburi, spear or whatever you like as that is obvious to basics and conditioning......:rolleyes:

As I say it's all in the basics.......
So maybe you want to take a stab at why spearing or shiko is so important from a conditioning OR skill point of view?

And which shiko exercise do you think I'm referring to?:D

chillzATL
01-21-2011, 10:36 AM
The focus on techniques was a modern change instilled into what became Modern Aikido for the world. Ueshiba never preached techniques. In fact, his art was formless. Students griped that they rarely saw a technique twice.

you constantly assert this Mark, but Ueshiba DID teach techniques, even in his later years and it's hard to dispute that he intended them to be a key part of the developmental process.

gregstec
01-21-2011, 11:24 AM
Since Mark was kind enough to leave my name off his 'A' list, I thought I would jump in with my own comment here. :)

Actually, there is a chance that waza may put someone into a position where aiki would manifest itself, but it would be totally by chance and not by design. I am sure there are those on his list that did experience this and said to themselves: "Wow! that is neat, now just what did I do to make that happen?" and then it was gone...

Bottom line is that this stuff can be taught and learned in a systematic fashion with the proper guidance from a more qualified individual - it won't happen overnight, but it won't take 20 years either.

To me, this is the primary focus of my study and the waza is just a chance to practice and manifest the aiki, which I mostly do Daitoryu Aikijujutsu since I find that DR offers a better selection of more subtle techniques that really lend themselves to the manifestation of aiki.

Greg

I just had a private PM where we discussed this in a little more detail. So let me just add some clarification to my post.

There are just so many things that have to come together at the right time to manifest true aiki, and that just will not happen from just training waza. However, my point really was to just state that waza (or other movement) could by chance bring together a piece here or a piece there that is required for aiki, but without knowing what it was because of a lack of knowledge and training in aiki, it would be lost.

Greg

Demetrio Cereijo
01-21-2011, 11:37 AM
In this thread alone, these people disagree with your theory:

Lorel Latorilla, me, Phi Truong, Dan Harden, Hunter Lonsberry, Robert John, Mike Sigman, Josh Philipson, David Orange, Lee Salzman, Budd Yuhasz, Marc Abrams, Nicholas Eschenbruch, Stan Baker, Demetrio Cereijo, and Keith Larman.

Disclaimer: I don't have the IHTBF nor I have put my hands (nor any other part of my anatomy) on any of the "usual suspects". I'm not a member of this group and have some issues on how IS/Aiki training is "marketed".

@Mark Peckett
That said, I think your theory about training in basics leading to aiki (aiki as manifestation of IS/IT) have a serious problem: Basic skills aquisition (kihon kata) is not about attributes developement. Attributes (IS/Aiki), if any, developed via basic training are a) by serendipity; b) after years and years of kihon; b) in a non conscious manner, so they are mostly ineffable and unteachable to the next generation of students.

The IS coaches claim to have found/developed especifics methods for attributes developement, and here are people who, after trying said methods, they say they work.

Serious scientifical peer reviewed studies about performance increases due to following said methods have not been published afaik.

MM
01-21-2011, 11:58 AM
you constantly assert this Mark, but Ueshiba DID teach techniques, even in his later years and it's hard to dispute that he intended them to be a key part of the developmental process.

Hmmm ... as a technicality, one could state, Ueshiba taught techniques. As a matter of actual truth, though? People complain that I post too many quotes of interviews and articles. So, instead, let's just consider ...

Consider pre war where Ueshiba was actively traveling and "teaching". While he was at one place "teaching", who was teaching at all the others?

Consider the pre-war schedule where there weren't that many hours of being taught by Ueshiba but rather many hours of practice with peers and seniors.

Consider pre-war students saying they often did techniques with seniors.

Consider the prewar film and notice how Ueshiba "taught". Who actually learned techniques from Ueshiba in that film?

Consider Mochizuki complaining that Ueshiba completely pared down the Daito ryu syllabus into just a small number of techniques. If techniques were Ueshiba's focus, then why did he trim so much?

Consider many of the students of Ueshiba complaining that he wouldn't show a technique twice. Did he "teach" a technique? Sure. But, was he really teaching or just doing the good old show and you have to steal?

Consider post-war when Ueshiba was in Iwama. Who taught at Tokyo?

Consider post-war when Ueshiba was traveling around, who taught at Iwama or Tokyo?

Consider the post war training schedule at Tokyo where Ueshiba only "taught" the morning class. And even then, many of the students complained he talked away most of the time.

Consider Ueshiba's daily routine at Iwama. Who actually put together a jo and bokken syllabus? Wasn't Ueshiba.

Consider Ueshiba's trips to Manchuria. Who taught while he was gone?

Consider the demonstration by Ohba where Ueshiba had to use valid, martial skills and not what he wanted to show.

Consider that when picked as uke by Ueshiba if a student didn't attack the very specific way that Ueshiba wanted, that student didn't get picked as uke again.

Consider who it actually was that put together techniques at hombu to create a systematized syllabus? Wasn't Ueshiba.

Consider that Ueshiba himself viewed what he did as a spiritual ideology using his students rather than Ueshiba focusing on telling his students that they must do more techniques.

Consider Ueshiba yelling at the students practicing techniques that they weren't doing his aikido. If techniques were the focus, then what exactly were they doing wrong by imitating what Ueshiba had showed them?

Now, jump to Sagawa. Consider that Sagawa states aiki is a body training method and it isn't about techniques.

Consider Sagawa, Kodo, Okamoto, Ueshiba all said their art was formless. Not a myriad of techniques, but formless.

Consider Takeda not teaching the same techniques twice. Closing his doors because he didn't want people to see the actual training method as it was too easy to "steal".

Consider Tokimune, Hisa, Kodo, Sagawa, Ueshiba all having solo training exercises that did not get shown. Where are the techniques?

Oh crud, there's just too many "considers" out there. You want to focus on techniques, more power to you. IMO, you'll never get Ueshiba's aiki doing that. You will get Modern Aikido's definition of aiki. Either way, if you're happy about your training - that's what matters.

MM
01-21-2011, 12:05 PM
Hi Demetrio,

I was only saying that you have issues with the technique focused theory. In fact, in your second paragraph below, you go into details about how you think training in basics leading to aiki have a serious problem. That's all I was doing when I included you.

Mark

Disclaimer: I don't have the IHTBF nor I have put my hands (nor any other part of my anatomy) on any of the "usual suspects". I'm not a member of this group and have some issues on how IS/Aiki training is "marketed".

@Mark Peckett
That said, I think your theory about training in basics leading to aiki (aiki as manifestation of IS/IT) have a serious problem: Basic skills aquisition (kihon kata) is not about attributes developement. Attributes (IS/Aiki), if any, developed via basic training are a) by serendipity; b) after years and years of kihon; b) in a non conscious manner, so they are mostly ineffable and unteachable to the next generation of students.

The IS coaches claim to have found/developed especifics methods for attributes developement, and here are people who, after trying said methods, they say they work.

Serious scientifical peer reviewed studies about performance increases due to following said methods have not been published afaik.

phitruong
01-21-2011, 12:07 PM
Disclaimer: I don't have the IHTBF nor I have put my hands (nor any other part of my anatomy) on any of the "usual suspects". I'm not a member of this group and have some issues on how IS/Aiki training is "marketed".

.

demetrio, you want to join the "Mouldy Rope" group. i am trying to apply for membership of that group. heard good things about it, at least, the partying part, S&M possibly with whips and so on. :D

Budd
01-21-2011, 12:28 PM
He explains it a lot better than I did, I think.

Yes, Mark, but by appealing to Homma's "authority" and "understanding" in addition to saying that you think "ki will just come" - seems more like a "belief system" than an explicative "here's how it works".

Howard Popkin
01-21-2011, 01:38 PM
Hey Mark,

Thanks for including me, but Tony doesn't think I can fight anyway, so clearly I'm not a good person as a reference.

He thinks I only buy "snake oil", even when I offer my address for people to come visit.

Sorry to detract from the quality of your list.

Best wishes,

Howard

Tony Wagstaffe
01-21-2011, 01:44 PM
I didn't realise I was such a heretic with so much of the aikido community ranged against me!

All I was saying is that perhaps people spend too much time worrying about ki, when if they relaxed and worked on their basics, ki would come.

To quote Homma sensei:

"(discover) through daily practice inside and outside the dojo" but not "adopting another's definition blindly." According to Homma sensei Aikido is the "training of the mind" which expresses itself through breathing. When one's mind, body movement, and breathing are in harmony with the surroundings, one experiences the true meaning of Aiki.

He explains it a lot better than I did, I think.

Count me in as another heretic Mark ;)

My thoughts are that unless you enter the arena of randori and shiai and have actually been in real altercations you can never know your real ability. That's all there is to it, snake oil and all.....

chillzATL
01-21-2011, 01:47 PM
Hmmm ... as a technicality, one could state, Ueshiba taught techniques. As a matter of actual truth, though? People complain that I post too many quotes of interviews and articles. So, instead, let's just consider ...

I think it's because you post random one-line anecdotes to support your position (but it's not really yours is it?) and don't appear to attempt to apply any logical thought of your own to them.

Consider pre war where Ueshiba was actively traveling and "teaching". While he was at one place "teaching", who was teaching at all the others?

other people teaching doesn't mean he didn't teach techniques... did they just make up those techniques while he was away?

Consider the pre-war schedule where there weren't that many hours of being taught by Ueshiba but rather many hours of practice with peers and seniors.

same as above, Mark. I guess that Shioda, Shirata, Tohei, etc all just made up techniques themselves. Shocking they all look like the same techniques. Must have been the Kami..

Consider pre-war students saying they often did techniques with seniors.

same as above, Mark.

Consider Mochizuki complaining that Ueshiba completely pared down the Daito ryu syllabus into just a small number of techniques. If techniques were Ueshiba's focus, then why did he trim so much?

He took a selection of techniques that best fit the principles he wanted to transmit. Why have 182 techniques when 50 cover everything you feel needs to be covered?

Consider many of the students of Ueshiba complaining that he wouldn't show a technique twice. Did he "teach" a technique? Sure. But, was he really teaching or just doing the good old show and you have to steal?

Stan has videos of him teaching techniques. Not just demonstrating and walking away, but showing and explaining. Unfortunately there is no audio to go along with it, but it's quite obvious that he's discussing the principles behind what he's doing.

Consider post-war when Ueshiba was in Iwama. Who taught at Tokyo?

Saito just imagined all of those techniques I guess huh??

Consider the post war training schedule at Tokyo where Ueshiba only "taught" the morning class. And even then, many of the students complained he talked away most of the time.

lectures or not, he still taught techniques

Consider Ueshiba's daily routine at Iwama. Who actually put together a jo and bokken syllabus? Wasn't Ueshiba.

completely insignificant

Consider that when picked as uke by Ueshiba if a student didn't attack the very specific way that Ueshiba wanted, that student didn't get picked as uke again.

Everyone remembers things their own way. My own instructor, who was a direct student, traveled with him and took ukemi for him has said that this was in response to people taking a dive for him or not attacking him honestly. Those people would usually get dumped, sometimes hurt and not asked to be uke again. but again, this is just dancing around the topic and has nothing to do with him teaching techniques.

Consider who it actually was that put together techniques at hombu to create a systematized syllabus? Wasn't Ueshiba.

So... Shioda did this too you know..

Consider Ueshiba yelling at the students practicing techniques that they weren't doing his aikido. If techniques were the focus, then what exactly were they doing wrong by imitating what Ueshiba had showed them?

Because what they were doing didn't exhibit any of the principles that were the core of his art...

Now, jump to Sagawa. Consider that Sagawa states aiki is a body training method and it isn't about techniques.

yet sagawa still taught techniques...

Consider Sagawa, Kodo, Okamoto, Ueshiba all said their art was formless. Not a myriad of techniques, but formless.

Eventually yes, but you have to walk before you run. Every one of those people you mentioned TEACH TECHNIQUES.

Oh crud, there's just too many "considers" out there. You want to focus on techniques, more power to you. IMO, you'll never get Ueshiba's aiki doing that. You will get Modern Aikido's definition of aiki. Either way, if you're happy about your training - that's what matters.

I just don't get how you are so oblivious to the bouncing ball of logic Mark. Sure, blindly doing techniques is not going to get you what Ueshiba had. The techniques were his vehicle to apply and develop the principles that were the core of his art, up to a point at least, then ones ability to express aiki becomes formless. If you are doing things to develop the body so that it can properly do the techniques, then the techniques aren't a problem.

kewms
01-21-2011, 01:47 PM
I didn't realise I was such a heretic with so much of the aikido community ranged against me!

All I was saying is that perhaps people spend too much time worrying about ki, when if they relaxed and worked on their basics, ki would come.

To quote Homma sensei:

"(discover) through daily practice inside and outside the dojo" but not "adopting another's definition blindly." According to Homma sensei Aikido is the "training of the mind" which expresses itself through breathing. When one's mind, body movement, and breathing are in harmony with the surroundings, one experiences the true meaning of Aiki.

He explains it a lot better than I did, I think.

I'm afraid I'm not familiar with Homma Sensei's aikido. I *am* familiar with the aikido of a number of people on Mark Murray's list. When they say IS is something different from "really good basics," I believe them.

Katherine

Lee Salzman
01-21-2011, 01:56 PM
Disclaimer: I don't have the IHTBF nor I have put my hands (nor any other part of my anatomy) on any of the "usual suspects". I'm not a member of this group and have some issues on how IS/Aiki training is "marketed".

@Mark Peckett
That said, I think your theory about training in basics leading to aiki (aiki as manifestation of IS/IT) have a serious problem: Basic skills aquisition (kihon kata) is not about attributes developement. Attributes (IS/Aiki), if any, developed via basic training are a) by serendipity; b) after years and years of kihon; b) in a non conscious manner, so they are mostly ineffable and unteachable to the next generation of students.

The IS coaches claim to have found/developed especifics methods for attributes developement, and here are people who, after trying said methods, they say they work.

Serious scientifical peer reviewed studies about performance increases due to following said methods have not been published afaik.

The pedantic question is: what's a basic? Almost everything in aikido that is labeled a basic requires a priori understanding of the mechanics of power in the body to do them and actually get something out of them. If you spend decades just trying to figure out what you're supposed to get out of the stuff, so that you can later go back and get something out of it, then, wow, where'd the time go? So, are they then basics, or actually advanced applications?

Even innocent seeming things in aikido like funi-kogi undo, kokyu-dosa, kokyu nages, suburi, or even much hyped IS exercises like shiko, silk reeling, or even standing, I don't think any of these are basics. They are tools to ingrain habits, but what habits are you building? Techniques are even worse, the ultimate tool for ingraining habits we brought with us to the dojo, rather than the ones we want to take out of the dojo, but what if what we were sold as basics below all those fancy aikido techniques all this time were actually techniques too?

It's not about IS in the end. I think it's about being conscious of what you're trying to build and validate, before you go in and do the work. If you're not, you're just chasing your tail. If you're doing IS work, that applies double (oh boy have I wasted too much time chasing my tail there)! But hey, we're sold on this idea, "the basics will transform you, don't think about it, just do it", and it peeves me just as much to hear it coming from the IS crowd too. But nah, you transform the basics, not the other way around.

gregstec
01-21-2011, 02:08 PM
Hey Mark,

Thanks for including me, but Tony doesn't think I can fight anyway, so clearly I'm not a good person as a reference.

He thinks I only buy "snake oil", even when I offer my address for people to come visit.

Sorry to detract from the quality of your list.

Best wishes,

Howard

Don't you mean buy and sell snake oil? which reminds me, thanks for that last batch you sold me, keep it coming - good stuff :)

Best

Greg

Demetrio Cereijo
01-21-2011, 02:23 PM
Hi Demetrio,

I was only saying that you have issues with the technique focused theory.

Yes, and big ones.

@phitruong
Thanks but I lack time and resources for proper IS training. Maybe later.

@Lee Saltzman

The pedantic question is: what's a basic?
I should have used 'fundamentals' as forming or serving as an essential component of a system or structure .

David Orange
01-21-2011, 02:33 PM
Count me in as another heretic Mark ;)

My thoughts are that unless you enter the arena of randori and shiai and have actually been in real altercations you can never know your real ability. That's all there is to it, snake oil and all.....

Why would you imagine that everyone who has spoken to you has not been in that arena?

I got my shodan in judo in Japan fighting a Japanese-Brazillian who was a street fighter in Brazil and was about 5th dan over there, but they made him retest for shodan under the Japanese system. I didn't beat him, but they gave me shodan largely just for being willing to take the fight to him. They said "his eyes have an animal spirit."

Do you have actual ring experience?

David

Howard Popkin
01-21-2011, 07:25 PM
Hey Tony,

Just so you know, I'm no spring chicken, but...

You are talking to me about snake oil ?

http://www.fatbustingmadesimple.co.uk/about-me

You are promoting a weight loss system ???

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWCvqhMFp48&feature=player_embedded

I'm thinking you and I can talk about this over a couple if pints and a buffet eh ?

To quote a good friend, "Cheers".

Howard

Upyu
01-21-2011, 08:03 PM
My thoughts are that unless you enter the arena of randori and shiai and have actually been in real altercations you can never know your real ability. That's all there is to it, snake oil and all.....

Wow...that would validate...like all three of the names discussed in these various threads. Running out of excuses yet? (the smallest of them being Ark, weighing in at...65 kg? ) :D

Tony Wagstaffe
01-21-2011, 09:19 PM
Hey Tony,

Just so you know, I'm no spring chicken, but...

You are talking to me about snake oil ?

http://www.fatbustingmadesimple.co.uk/about-me

You are promoting a weight loss system ???

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWCvqhMFp48&feature=player_embedded

I'm thinking you and I can talk about this over a couple if pints and a buffet eh ?

To quote a good friend, "Cheers".

Howard

Those that have tried it have found it works, so I have no problem with it, just making use of something I have discovered for myself. Nothing to do with aikido. Looks as if you could do with losing a few pounds....:D

Tony Wagstaffe
01-21-2011, 09:23 PM
Why would you imagine that everyone who has spoken to you has not been in that arena?

I got my shodan in judo in Japan fighting a Japanese-Brazillian who was a street fighter in Brazil and was about 5th dan over there, but they made him retest for shodan under the Japanese system. I didn't beat him, but they gave me shodan largely just for being willing to take the fight to him. They said "his eyes have an animal spirit."

Do you have actual ring experience?

David

Yes..... in and out of it

DH
01-22-2011, 01:03 AM
Deleted

Lorel Latorilla
01-22-2011, 02:16 AM
I dont know why people bother.

Ignore the guy, leave him to whatever he knows, while we explore with child-like fascination this subject called 'internal strength' or bodyskill.

Mark Peckett
01-22-2011, 04:41 AM
I'm afraid I'm not familiar with Homma Sensei's aikido. I *am* familiar with the aikido of a number of people on Mark Murray's list. When they say IS is something different from "really good basics," I believe them.

Katherine

http://www.amazon.com/s/qid=1295692840/ref=sr_gnr_spell?ie=UTF8&search-alias=aps&field-keywords=gaku%20homma

thisisnotreal
01-22-2011, 08:15 AM
I dont know why people bother. Personally, I thought it was because of his seniority, his certainty, and his unabashed nature, and fearlessness to tell the truth as he saw it. Either way it would have been a hell of an experience, and he would have made an honest, if dubious, but interesting and credible witness (on another continent) to what is being discussed.

Howard Popkin
01-22-2011, 08:49 AM
So Tony, let me get this correct :

1) You don't believe in IS because you have never seen felt it, its just "tricks" .

On aikiweb you have hundreds of VERY high ranking martial artists across the board who tell you it exists, but from your video, you have no idea what they are talking about.

2) You are a slightly chunky man (as am I, by they way) who claims to have a magic system for weight loss.

We only have you to believe, but since you have seen the results for yourself, we should be on board.

See the problem here ?

Seriously, no offense intended (yes, that's the way Webster changed offence for us Americans)

I just think someone who in interested in the more martial side of it should get their hands on someone who can do this stuff and then make an accurate evaluation.

Hey, that' s sounds familiar !

Again, I wish you no ill will, I just think you have no experience in this area.

Best wishes,

Howard

Tony Wagstaffe
01-22-2011, 10:30 AM
So Tony, let me get this correct :

1) You don't believe in IS because you have never seen felt it, its just "tricks" .

On aikiweb you have hundreds of VERY high ranking martial artists across the board who tell you it exists, but from your video, you have no idea what they are talking about.

2) You are a slightly chunky man (as am I, by they way) who claims to have a magic system for weight loss.

We only have you to believe, but since you have seen the results for yourself, we should be on board.

See the problem here ?

Seriously, no offense intended (yes, that's the way Webster changed offence for us Americans)

I just think someone who in interested in the more martial side of it should get their hands on someone who can do this stuff and then make an accurate evaluation.

Hey, that' s sounds familiar !

Again, I wish you no ill will, I just think you have no experience in this area.

Best wishes,

Howard

Then I don't....

I know what I believe in and that's good enough for me....
My version of "internal strength" is different to yours and it works for me.
I don't really care what you think so it doesn't really matter....
I don't have a problem as I believe in what I see and experience.
I have felt what you "allude" to and I know what it is in my mind.
I do not care if I am right or wrong as I have not reached perfection in these things that you so boldly claim to be able to do, and I most probably won't...... according to the scriptures of Howard Popkin........ There is more to life than just seeing a dojo, and martial arts, day in day out, which I have done for most of my life since starting.
But I am now at the time of life where I feel that it's not so important that I become obsessed with it.
I stay reasonably fit through my training regime and have started to enjoy the fruits of all that hard work, which has kept me relatively younger than most, so I'm quite content in that respect.
It's hard enough just surviving at present with money being short, let alone seeing if I can project somebody half way across a dojo, which is fun when I can get round to it and have a dojo, but we don't take it too seriously.....depends on the size of the dojo.....
.
Ranks don't mean a thing to me, as they are only numbers. Some earned, most a joke....

I have to try and make a living the same as everyone else on this planet, and I'll do it as I please. If people are satisfied, then good. If not, I give them their money back.... As you do:hypno: ?

As for my aikido? It has worked for the people that have tried my version and it works for both them and me........ no mystical "ki" just as it is..... Those that put the effort in get the results....
We don't need to explore why it is, it just is..... some can't, some can.... End of story

Take care and have a happy "ki" inner strength? filled life......:D

kewms
01-22-2011, 10:38 AM
http://www.amazon.com/s/qid=1295692840/ref=sr_gnr_spell?ie=UTF8&search-alias=aps&field-keywords=gaku%20homma

Yes, I know who he is. But I haven't trained with him.

Katherine

Howard Popkin
01-22-2011, 11:18 AM
Tony,

Funny, sounds fairly similar.

I'm old, a little fat, and I have a total knee replacement as of December 08.

I work two jobs and I'm recently married. Life is busy.

To me, IS, IP, Aiki, whatever you want to call it has been an intellectual pursuit since 1979.

How can I do less and affect people more ? Its way past being about fighting, even though the ability to use it in a fight is paramount, in my opinion.

If you get a chance, Go see Dan Harden when he is in the UK. I think you will find a way to practice, without ukemi, that suits us slightly abused older guys really well, while adding some crazy power to your skills.

Again, go feel it, then make an educated decision.

If I am ever in England, I'd be happy to get together and work out. Totally on the level, no nonsense, just two old budo guys seeing different things.

Best wishes,

Howard

P.S. oh, one more thing... I haven't claimed anything, except the old and fat part :)

Tony Wagstaffe
01-22-2011, 12:45 PM
Tony,

Funny, sounds fairly similar.

I'm old, a little fat, and I have a total knee replacement as of December 08.

I work two jobs and I'm recently married. Life is busy.

To me, IS, IP, Aiki, whatever you want to call it has been an intellectual pursuit since 1979.

How can I do less and affect people more ? Its way past being about fighting, even though the ability to use it in a fight is paramount, in my opinion.

If you get a chance, Go see Dan Harden when he is in the UK. I think you will find a way to practice, without ukemi, that suits us slightly abused older guys really well, while adding some crazy power to your skills.

Again, go feel it, then make an educated decision.

If I am ever in England, I'd be happy to get together and work out. Totally on the level, no nonsense, just two old budo guys seeing different things.

Best wishes,

Howard

P.S. oh, one more thing... I haven't claimed anything, except the old and fat part :)

That's fine...... Nor do I........ I have lost weight recently after being able to free a back and shoulder problem, which is getting better. It stopped me training for a year and more and the weight ballooned a bit for a while, as I was not allowed to do anything strenuous. It was very frustrating as I had to ingest anti inflammatory medicine. I still had to work, being self employed, it drained me physically..... hence my absence on this site.....
I am back to a regular training regime of isometric/isotonic exercise, usually when I find the time. Generally 3 - 4 times weekly of an hour, some times more. It's my way of training without having to take the punishment anymore. I fear my fighting days are fast coming to an end and I feel that I do not have to prove anything anymore.... But I will hit back if someone hits me.....:) I'm not the worlds best fighter or aikidoka, but I'm certainly not the worst.
If you have a spare dojo and mats I would appreciate it. I don't have the resources anymore, so be my guest......
Trying to set one up here is mind boggling and is in no way straight forward like it used to be...... :rolleyes:
I had hoped to get started this month, but that is being held back by CRB checks coming forward. 40 quid for sod all.....
Can't really afford tatami/matting so will now most likely be a non starter, unless somebody kind can help me out.....
Yeah come and train, exchange ideas...... fine by me
:)

C. David Henderson
01-22-2011, 02:44 PM
Hey Tony,

With the training you describe, it's my bet you'd understand a lot of the exercises this "IS" training involves the first time you saw it. Plus, it is supposed to train the kind of strength us old guys need.

FWIW, my friend.

Tony Wagstaffe
01-22-2011, 04:26 PM
Hey Tony,

With the training you describe, it's my bet you'd understand a lot of the exercises this "IS" training involves the first time you saw it. Plus, it is supposed to train the kind of strength us old guys need.

FWIW, my friend.

It's no real secret......

Take care..... ;)

MM
01-22-2011, 04:56 PM
I just don't get how you are so oblivious to the bouncing ball of logic Mark. Sure, blindly doing techniques is not going to get you what Ueshiba had. The techniques were his vehicle to apply and develop the principles that were the core of his art, up to a point at least, then ones ability to express aiki becomes formless. If you are doing things to develop the body so that it can properly do the techniques, then the techniques aren't a problem.

Dunno. I think it's pretty clear, cut and dried. Ueshiba didn't really teach techniques. In his mind, the art was formless and whatever technique happened to occur was the result of his spiritual ideology intertwined with Daito ryu aiki. He never used techniques as a way to become formless or to develop aiki.

Aiki News Issue 063
… in our time, Ueshiba Sensei didn't teach systematically. While we learned we had to systemize each technique in our mind so it was very hard. Ueshiba Sensei didn't have techniques. He said: "There are no techniques. What you express each time is a technique."

George S. Ledyard
01-22-2011, 05:32 PM
Tony,
It has already been commented on many times that one of the common reactions in these discussions of internal skills is "oh yes, we do that too." When you state It's no real secret...... you are essentially saying the same thing. Well, I have been doing martial arts for 40 years one way or another. Having trained with no teacher that was even mediocre in his art, I can honestly say that I have a fairly informed opinion on what these guys are talking about.

Why do you think Ellis Amdur wrote a whole book on who had these skills, to what degree, and where did they get them. If it all was no real secret, I think everyone would have them. They do not. The majorty of the Aikido folks I have been on the mat with either don't have them at all or only have them to a degree.

Having trained at least briefly with the big three IS guys who either post here or who have students who do, I can say that in certain areas I have seen no Aikido teachers who have developed these skills to the same extent. What they do is different. I am not saying that their Aikido is better, because in fact none of them are Aikido people. But each of these people has the ability to do things with his body that is quite simply absent from post war Aikido in general. And I have not seen much that would indicate to me that the 30's guys who did have some of this knowledge found a systematic way to transmit it. I have seen the top Yoseikan, Shudokan, guys in the world, I have trained with folks from just about every style of Aikido there is and I can honestly say that some styles are farther away from manifesting these skills than others, none of them has the depth or sophistication of understanding of these skills. My own teacher Saotome Sensei is, in my opinion, still the best Aikido practitioner I have ever put my hands on. At 130 lbs he has always been able to handle me effortlessly, even when I had 200 lbs on him. He clearly has some of these skills, as does Ikeda Sensei. But I can assure you that they don't do nor can they explain these skills to the degree that is being discussed here.

The idea that it's "no real secret" is quite simply a smoke screen that acts to make you feel all right about what you have done over the years based on no direct or hands on knowledge of what these guys are doing. For myself, I have no problem admitting that these guys are doing things that I can't do yet. It doesn't make my Aikido any less... but I would like to understand what these guys understand. I'd also like to understand a lot of stuff that I think these guys do not understand. I look around and see a bunch of folks not willing to admit that there's much they don't understand.

I find that interesting myself because for me, the more I have trained the more I have found that I don't understand. So when I see things that I know I previously have been unaware of, that I have never encountered anyone who talked about them or could teach them, and I am someone who gets out, travels, has cross trained for years, and then I hear someone like you stating it's no real secret... well, I think that's just an example of that "boy thing" of not ever wanting admit there's something he doesn't know. Sort of like the frustration women have with their husbands never stopping to ask for directions... they'd rather be lost and late than to admit they needed help.

IS stuff is a subset of skills. It is not the sum total of Aikido. It is a set of skills that would allow one to take his Aikido to the highest level and the folks at that highest level all have some. But few, if any, have spent their adult lives focused just on developing these skills. The guys posting on here about these skills have done so and have developed a detailed understanding of these skills that simply is not generally found. I am sure your Aikido is quite competent. I looked at your video clips. You don't lose a thing by admitting that someone might have some juice you don't. It just means that someone worked on some stuff you didn't. You can do many things I am sure that these guys can't. But when i see folks close themselves off to new influences bases on complete lack of actual information, it seems sad. The folks out there who can benefit most from the work that these teachers have done and the generosity that they have shown in being willing to share this work with the Aikido community are the people just like us. We've had the best Aikido training available. I know of no source from within the Aikido community who can show me how to get to the next level. I have already trained with the best. It sounds like you've had quality training as well. I think it is just plain silly to think that what you know is so all encompassing that you can't admit that any of these folks doesn't understand some stuff you don't.

Oh, and don't worry, I think the IS guys do exactly the same thing. I have heard them say about Systema that's it's the same stuff and I am pretty sure that much of what they do is fairly unique in conception and execution. They judge someone like Ushiro Kenji Sensei solely through the lens of their IS experience and whereas much of what he does is the same thing they are doing, he is doing quite a bit that they are not, and I have seen little sign that they wish to cop to that either. So, we are all limited by our own experience.

It was Ushiro Sensei in his second book What you know is the enemy of learning I think that pretty much sums it up right there. The folks here know an awful lot and that creates an attendant set of limitations as well. Since the nature of things is pretty much limitless, I far prefer to focus on what I don't know, and that seems to be expanding all the time no matter how much knowledge I seem to accrue. That expanding dimension of what I don't know seems to pull me along continuously and in the process of what I do know seems to be increasing exponentially.

Mike Sigman
01-22-2011, 05:44 PM
Oh, and don't worry, I think the IS guys do exactly the same thing. I have heard them say about Systema that's it's the same stuff and I am pretty sure that much of what they do is fairly unique in conception and execution. They judge someone like Ushiro Kenji Sensei solely through the lens of their IS experience and whereas much of what he does is the same thing they are doing, he is doing quite a bit that they are not, and I have seen little sign that they wish to cop to that either. So, we are all limited by our own experience.

Hi George:

I think these two things, the Systema relationship to I.S. and Ushiro Sensei's I.S. are good topics. Personally, even though a few people (not many) have stated their opinion that Systema uses internal strength, I haven't seen it. Perhaps I'm wrong... however, if someone could detail where and how Systema uses actual internal strength, I'd like to listen to the details/facts.

In terms of Ushiro Sensei, I think it's a pretty easy discussion... can you give some specifics about your statement "he is doing quite a bit that they are not"? What is Ushiro Sensei doing that is different from basic internal-strength? Can you point to an example? A video would be great.

Thanks.

Mike Sigman

George S. Ledyard
01-22-2011, 06:54 PM
Hi George:

I think these two things, the Systema relationship to I.S. and Ushiro Sensei's I.S. are good topics. Personally, even though a few people (not many) have stated their opinion that Systema uses internal strength, I haven't seen it. Perhaps I'm wrong... however, if someone could detail where and how Systema uses actual internal strength, I'd like to listen to the details/facts.

In terms of Ushiro Sensei, I think it's a pretty easy discussion... can you give some specifics about your statement "he is doing quite a bit that they are not"? What is Ushiro Sensei doing that is different from basic internal-strength? Can you point to an example? A video would be great.

Thanks.

Mike Sigman

Well, I am not talking about the physical side of technique but rather what I would call the "energetic side". There is a huge amount that he and the Systema guys do which relates to the action of consciousness on the partner / opponent. Ushiro has a set of DVDs that show him doing class in Japan but unless someone has posted clips on You Tube I am not going to post things from his DVDs.

Also, I would tend to agree, to the limit of my understanding, that Systema is not using internal strength in the manner you would mean. That doesn't mean thet Vlad or Ryabko could kill you with a strike that looked like nothing, but it isn't what you guys are doing and that was more my point.

I am not a student of Ushiro Sensei although I have been on the mat with him far more times than I've managed with you guys. I am good friends with both of his personal American students and have discussed what he teaches at length with them. The work contained in his kata, like Sanchin Kata, is straight internal power training. But I only throw him out along with Systema, which I also only do periodically, for folks to think about. Ushiro Sensei will be at my dojo in October of 2011 and folks can decide for themselves.

In terms of overall emphasis in the training, there is a greater similarity between Systema and Ushiro Karate than with what I have seen of the IS work. There is a huge emphasis on how consciousness effects your own body, the opponent's body, how the quality of that consciousness ie emotional content for instance totally changes how the energy of a strike transfers to what is struck, etc. Perhaps you guys do teach that and I have only seen your most basic exercises. But as I said to Tony, I think the "we do that" syndrome cuts both ways. And in my experience you guys, as fantastically skilled as you are no less likely to reject something outside your paradigm as the other folks I know. That's simply my experience, which being limited to short contacts with you guys, so generously provided by you guys I might add, could be wrong. I am not fixed on any of this as it all falls outside of what I consider my area of expertise, which is limited to the Aikido I have worked out so far.

I am no more an "expert" on what he does than I am at what you do. Both things have effected and improved my Aikido but I am not an appropriate person to be "representing" here. I simply post as a sort of consciousness raising effort. I think every serious student of the art should check you and Ark and Dan out. I think they should play with Howard and Toby whenever they can. I absolutely believe that they should experience Vladimir or Michael Ryabko and Ushiro Kenji. Then they can decide for themselves. These guys all live here or come here to the US, often several times a year. You guys have made yourselves very available to all of us. It's just a matter of effort required for folks to get the exposure. Then they can decide what they think and their opinions will be far better than anything I'd say about it.

graham christian
01-22-2011, 07:49 PM
Hi, I'm confused. Why has this thread been moved to this section?

Regards, G.

phitruong
01-22-2011, 08:31 PM
Thank you all. Believe me, I understand the value of a teacher - learning something through experience is like taking the test before the instruction. My curiosity overcame me and I wanted to take a quick look. Now my curiosity is greater.......

thought i mention a pitfall (with punji sticks). IS/IT/aiki isn't an add-on skill, as in you just learn it and attach, like velcro, to your already great skill sets. it requires a major change in your body. while your body goes through the change, your martial arts will suffer greatly, i.e. what worked before often won't work. This is detriment to teachers or folks of high rank in martial arts. teachers have a responsibility teach and their students cannot wait for the teachers to re-acquire the skill level. for others, their current martial arts training is detriment to their IS/IT/aiki training. there are folks who had quit their martial arts in order to focus on IT/IP/aiki training and waiting for a time when they are ready to rejoin their martial arts practices. in many ways, i admired teachers like Gleason sensei and others who want to pursuit this path. it takes great courage and humility for folks of their position to do this.

if you keep at it and not worry whether your martial arts practices work or not for awhile, and let your body relearns the good way of moving. one day, you realize that your martial arts take a jumping leap over many walls in your path. remember, pride and ego will do their best to deter you. those who said they have no pride or ego, this is the test.

i remembered reading about Endo sensei where he started the IS practice while he was high ranked. he said none of his aikido techniques work. he had to ask his uke to take ukemi for him anyway, i.e. tanking it for him. it took him many years to rewire his body. today, his aikido is phenomenon. what i felt from Endo sensei, i felt the same in Ikeda sensei.

beware of this pitfall (i have unhealed scars from it).

Lorel Latorilla
01-22-2011, 09:39 PM
Well, I am not talking about the physical side of technique but rather what I would call the "energetic side". There is a huge amount that he and the Systema guys do which relates to the action of consciousness on the partner / opponent. Ushiro has a set of DVDs that show him doing class in Japan but unless someone has posted clips on You Tube I am not going to post things from his DVDs.

Also, I would tend to agree, to the limit of my understanding, that Systema is not using internal strength in the manner you would mean. That doesn't mean thet Vlad or Ryabko could kill you with a strike that looked like nothing, but it isn't what you guys are doing and that was more my point.

I am not a student of Ushiro Sensei although I have been on the mat with him far more times than I've managed with you guys. I am good friends with both of his personal American students and have discussed what he teaches at length with them. The work contained in his kata, like Sanchin Kata, is straight internal power training. But I only throw him out along with Systema, which I also only do periodically, for folks to think about. Ushiro Sensei will be at my dojo in October of 2011 and folks can decide for themselves.

In terms of overall emphasis in the training, there is a greater similarity between Systema and Ushiro Karate than with what I have seen of the IS work. There is a huge emphasis on how consciousness effects your own body, the opponent's body, how the quality of that consciousness ie emotional content for instance totally changes how the energy of a strike transfers to what is struck, etc. Perhaps you guys do teach that and I have only seen your most basic exercises. But as I said to Tony, I think the "we do that" syndrome cuts both ways. And in my experience you guys, as fantastically skilled as you are no less likely to reject something outside your paradigm as the other folks I know. That's simply my experience, which being limited to short contacts with you guys, so generously provided by you guys I might add, could be wrong. I am not fixed on any of this as it all falls outside of what I consider my area of expertise, which is limited to the Aikido I have worked out so far.

I am no more an "expert" on what he does than I am at what you do. Both things have effected and improved my Aikido but I am not an appropriate person to be "representing" here. I simply post as a sort of consciousness raising effort. I think every serious student of the art should check you and Ark and Dan out. I think they should play with Howard and Toby whenever they can. I absolutely believe that they should experience Vladimir or Michael Ryabko and Ushiro Kenji. Then they can decide for themselves. These guys all live here or come here to the US, often several times a year. You guys have made yourselves very available to all of us. It's just a matter of effort required for folks to get the exposure. Then they can decide what they think and their opinions will be far better than anything I'd say about it.

Great post George. I've personally trained with both Vlad and Ark, and while there are cross-overs, they are definitely doing different things. Vlad is ridiculously strong (not strong in the muscular strength btw, his muscles are soft) and very very nimble. On the other hand, Ark is of course very strong, and has strikes that can take your balance right away. But if you silence your mental talk, you can feel different things when you are standing in front of these guys. With Ark, you know not to f*** with him, because you can feel his intent to bring you down. With Vlad, it's weird--you can't feel his intent, his ki, or whatever. He hides it. But at the same time, you feel that he knows what you can do, based on how you're standing and where you are initiating movement from. This all lends into being sucked into a black whole (as opposed to Ark just bowling you over with his power in all directions--like being in a blender). Hiding your intent, your skills, whatever, until it is needed is a big part of Systema--that's why they never assume stances.

Now, I think you can reach that plain of 'hiding' intent until you are fairly well-connected and can move well, which in that case, Ark's system can help you with the foundation for these other skills needed for bujutsu. I personally am going through a period where I am getting interesting glimpses of this 'ki' stuff that Ushiro Kenji and Vlad and Mihkail obviously know about. Conditioning is a big part of Systema (for the most part, they condition the connective tissues like the joints etc. through bodyweight exercises and sometimes kettlebells) but seeing as Systema is a full-blown martial system--the focus is not on conditioning. However, stuff like awareness training, and breathing stuff (which I still do today) to manage fear or stress in combat are the crown jewels of Systema...and this is something that the internal guys need to be aware of as well (breath training is only used to condition the body, and not something to manage, say, fear in your body). I've trained in the Mecca of North America Systema in Toronto, but none of the guys, and some of them are really good, there can replicate what Vlad can do. There is a lot to be said about having a good connected body that moves well--this is essentially the basis for the 'ki' things that advanced Systema/Ushiro Karate (I might go to a seminar here in Osaka) gets into I believe.

'Ki' on its own is pretty weak. From what I see of Ushiro, he teaches this stuff at a very early stage. I have students that have very strong ki-ai, and use it to control other students, and sometimes even the teacher, but I know I can kick their asses (little grade sixers). Noticing ki in the other person and using your ki-ai to dominate them is of course a core part of bujutsu--using that with a connected, skilled body is high level martial arts. Vlad can express this in spades, and I think all that hiding 'intent' stuff is part of the training he got as a Special Operations soldier. I've personally never experienced Ark do this, so I'm not gonna say whether he can do it or not. However, if he was trained in this stuff, I'd say he'd get it fairly quickly, because I know he already uses psychological elements (his ki-ai is more "I'm gonna bowl you over, mofo.."--at least that's what I felt) to affect the opponent.

Michael Hackett
01-22-2011, 09:43 PM
Phi,
I have experienced punji stakes before - didn't like 'em much. I don't know that I'm willing to leap over your metaphorical punji pit until I get a chance to attend one of the workshops and feel it for myself. At the last AikiExpo I got to feel Ikeda Sensei and got to train directly with Ledyard Sensei. Ikeda Sensei felt like a ghost to me and Ledyard Sensei was just simply a terrific practitioner. If he is seeking this stuff, there must be something to it that I don't understand. Thanks for the warning. I may just fall in.

Mike Sigman
01-22-2011, 09:46 PM
Well, I am not talking about the physical side of technique but rather what I would call the "energetic side". There is a huge amount that he and the Systema guys do which relates to the action of consciousness on the partner / opponent. Ushiro has a set of DVDs that show him doing class in Japan but unless someone has posted clips on You Tube I am not going to post things from his DVDs.

Also, I would tend to agree, to the limit of my understanding, that Systema is not using internal strength in the manner you would mean. That doesn't mean thet Vlad or Ryabko could kill you with a strike that looked like nothing, but it isn't what you guys are doing and that was more my point.

I am not a student of Ushiro Sensei although I have been on the mat with him far more times than I've managed with you guys. I am good friends with both of his personal American students and have discussed what he teaches at length with them. The work contained in his kata, like Sanchin Kata, is straight internal power training. But I only throw him out along with Systema, which I also only do periodically, for folks to think about. Ushiro Sensei will be at my dojo in October of 2011 and folks can decide for themselves.

In terms of overall emphasis in the training, there is a greater similarity between Systema and Ushiro Karate than with what I have seen of the IS work. There is a huge emphasis on how consciousness effects your own body, the opponent's body, how the quality of that consciousness ie emotional content for instance totally changes how the energy of a strike transfers to what is struck, etc. Perhaps you guys do teach that and I have only seen your most basic exercises. But as I said to Tony, I think the "we do that" syndrome cuts both ways. And in my experience you guys, as fantastically skilled as you are no less likely to reject something outside your paradigm as the other folks I know. That's simply my experience, which being limited to short contacts with you guys, so generously provided by you guys I might add, could be wrong. I am not fixed on any of this as it all falls outside of what I consider my area of expertise, which is limited to the Aikido I have worked out so far.

I am no more an "expert" on what he does than I am at what you do. Both things have effected and improved my Aikido but I am not an appropriate person to be "representing" here. I simply post as a sort of consciousness raising effort. I think every serious student of the art should check you and Ark and Dan out. I think they should play with Howard and Toby whenever they can. I absolutely believe that they should experience Vladimir or Michael Ryabko and Ushiro Kenji. Then they can decide for themselves. These guys all live here or come here to the US, often several times a year. You guys have made yourselves very available to all of us. It's just a matter of effort required for folks to get the exposure. Then they can decide what they think and their opinions will be far better than anything I'd say about it.

George, I appreciate your reply. Put yourself in my place and read both yours and Lorel's replies, though, and look for an explicative answer to what I asked for. I'm not seeing any substantive answers to what I asked for explicitly, although the emotional-context is quite high and the descriptive words are moving. Of course it's possible that this is the wrong forum to ask explicitly for examples, but I just thought I'd throw it out there. ;)

Best.

Mike Sigman

Lorel Latorilla
01-22-2011, 10:05 PM
To quote George:

"Also, I would tend to agree, to the limit of my understanding, that Systema is not using internal strength in the manner you would mean. That doesn't mean thet Vlad or Ryabko could kill you with a strike that looked like nothing, but it isn't what you guys are doing and that was more my point."

Budd
01-22-2011, 10:09 PM
Well, I am not talking about the physical side of technique but rather what I would call the "energetic side". There is a huge amount that he and the Systema guys do which relates to the action of consciousness on the partner / opponent. Ushiro has a set of DVDs that show him doing class in Japan but unless someone has posted clips on You Tube I am not going to post things from his DVDs.


I actually think this would be a fantastic topic of discussion to get more into - as Marc and I have talked offline about this regarding Ushiro. I think it's important to point out where this potentially adds value to someone's martial arts practice - even if ends up not being the same as what people are talking about from the "internal strength perspective". Before anyone gets defensive - I'm not saying it is or isn't - as I've not experienced Ushiro nor Ryabko. But where I think the interesting overlap is going back to Ikeda - as he's showing basic Jin and connection things in the video demos that are out there (which should be easily explainable if you understand the basics) - but if there's a different/additional component regarding the "energetic work" as espoused by Ushiro or Ryabko - I'd love to hear about it.

And those that do get exposure to it - my challenge back would be - how's it work? I think those are the conversations we need to be having - because on one level people are training to be the best aikido practitioners they can be, but I'd heartily disagree that many of these practices can be looked at as "add-ons" . . more like they have to be foundational in the overall practice - those that are trying to keep performing the chosen art and incorporate these foundational skills have the extra challenge of rewiring the fundamentals while still conforming to the "shape" of their practice (and Ushiro's quote about what you "know" being the enemy to learning is dead on in that regard).

So, I have pretty dogmatic views of what's considered IS based on my biases - fine with admitting that. But that doesn't mean I'm not interested in what others are doing. Certain types of formats are going to appeal to me more than others and I'm not terribly mobile right now with the young 'uns. Another couple years (which I think will be well-spent carrying on with the re-wiring and conditioning the Internal Strength demands above all else, then goofing off with the MMA folks while picking up something new, like fencing maybe) and I'll be more mobile to get out and about again. 'Til then I gotta pick and choose. But that doesn't mean I don't want to participate in the discussion with those getting out and about and doing the work to transform their bodies.

Because I think that's what's going on at the end of the day with the Internal Strength skills - you're fundamentally changing how your body moves and responds - not via technique, it's a deeper level thing about how it carries itself that then effects everything - a basic touch, a technique, any body-to-body connection. This other area that's being spoken to - "energetics" I'm curious and want to hear from the people doing the work . . does it fall in the IS space legitimitely? How? Why?

Let's have the discussion. I'll make the effort to get hands on, too, but I've written a number of times in detail how my training has changed and taken shape already with what I'm working on, now, so those doing this "energetic" stuff - pony up, huh? ;)

Tony Wagstaffe
01-22-2011, 10:35 PM
Well, I am not talking about the physical side of technique but rather what I would call the "energetic side". There is a huge amount that he and the Systema guys do which relates to the action of consciousness on the partner / opponent. Ushiro has a set of DVDs that show him doing class in Japan but unless someone has posted clips on You Tube I am not going to post things from his DVDs.

Also, I would tend to agree, to the limit of my understanding, that Systema is not using internal strength in the manner you would mean. That doesn't mean thet Vlad or Ryabko could kill you with a strike that looked like nothing, but it isn't what you guys are doing and that was more my point.

I am not a student of Ushiro Sensei although I have been on the mat with him far more times than I've managed with you guys. I am good friends with both of his personal American students and have discussed what he teaches at length with them. The work contained in his kata, like Sanchin Kata, is straight internal power training. But I only throw him out along with Systema, which I also only do periodically, for folks to think about. Ushiro Sensei will be at my dojo in October of 2011 and folks can decide for themselves.

In terms of overall emphasis in the training, there is a greater similarity between Systema and Ushiro Karate than with what I have seen of the IS work. There is a huge emphasis on how consciousness effects your own body, the opponent's body, how the quality of that consciousness ie emotional content for instance totally changes how the energy of a strike transfers to what is struck, etc. Perhaps you guys do teach that and I have only seen your most basic exercises. But as I said to Tony, I think the "we do that" syndrome cuts both ways. And in my experience you guys, as fantastically skilled as you are no less likely to reject something outside your paradigm as the other folks I know. That's simply my experience, which being limited to short contacts with you guys, so generously provided by you guys I might add, could be wrong. I am not fixed on any of this as it all falls outside of what I consider my area of expertise, which is limited to the Aikido I have worked out so far.

I am no more an "expert" on what he does than I am at what you do. Both things have effected and improved my Aikido but I am not an appropriate person to be "representing" here. I simply post as a sort of consciousness raising effort. I think every serious student of the art should check you and Ark and Dan out. I think they should play with Howard and Toby whenever they can. I absolutely believe that they should experience Vladimir or Michael Ryabko and Ushiro Kenji. Then they can decide for themselves. These guys all live here or come here to the US, often several times a year. You guys have made yourselves very available to all of us. It's just a matter of effort required for folks to get the exposure. Then they can decide what they think and their opinions will be far better than anything I'd say about it.

That's fair comment George, and I'll try to take on board constructive views to anything these guys have to offer..... I get the feeling that I'm not that far removed from what IS training is about, but see it in another context...... I call it isometric/isotonic training which has been around for millennia in one form or another. Gymnasts are past masters at it. It must have similarities...... Thanks.... :)

Lorel Latorilla
01-22-2011, 10:45 PM
I actually think this would be a fantastic topic of discussion to get more into - as Marc and I have talked offline about this regarding Ushiro. I think it's important to point out where this potentially adds value to someone's martial arts practice - even if ends up not being the same as what people are talking about from the "internal strength perspective". Before anyone gets defensive - I'm not saying it is or isn't - as I've not experienced Ushiro nor Ryabko. But where I think the interesting overlap is going back to Ikeda - as he's showing basic Jin and connection things in the video demos that are out there (which should be easily explainable if you understand the basics) - but if there's a different/additional component regarding the "energetic work" as espoused by Ushiro or Ryabko - I'd love to hear about it.

And those that do get exposure to it - my challenge back would be - how's it work? I think those are the conversations we need to be having - because on one level people are training to be the best aikido practitioners they can be, but I'd heartily disagree that many of these practices can be looked at as "add-ons" . . more like they have to be foundational in the overall practice - those that are trying to keep performing the chosen art and incorporate these foundational skills have the extra challenge of rewiring the fundamentals while still conforming to the "shape" of their practice (and Ushiro's quote about what you "know" being the enemy to learning is dead on in that regard).

So, I have pretty dogmatic views of what's considered IS based on my biases - fine with admitting that. But that doesn't mean I'm not interested in what others are doing. Certain types of formats are going to appeal to me more than others and I'm not terribly mobile right now with the young 'uns. Another couple years (which I think will be well-spent carrying on with the re-wiring and conditioning the Internal Strength demands above all else, then goofing off with the MMA folks while picking up something new, like fencing maybe) and I'll be more mobile to get out and about again. 'Til then I gotta pick and choose. But that doesn't mean I don't want to participate in the discussion with those getting out and about and doing the work to transform their bodies.

Because I think that's what's going on at the end of the day with the Internal Strength skills - you're fundamentally changing how your body moves and responds - not via technique, it's a deeper level thing about how it carries itself that then effects everything - a basic touch, a technique, any body-to-body connection. This other area that's being spoken to - "energetics" I'm curious and want to hear from the people doing the work . . does it fall in the IS space legitimitely? How? Why?

Let's have the discussion. I'll make the effort to get hands on, too, but I've written a number of times in detail how my training has changed and taken shape already with what I'm working on, now, so those doing this "energetic" stuff - pony up, huh? ;)

Hi Budd,

I remember a conversation that a notable martial artist had about ki-ai--it was really enlightening for me. He basically took the idea of 'ki-ai' that you often hear Kendo or Karate people do when they go for an attack--all that was to psychologically disorient and manipulate the opponent (this is how the 'energetics' work). Some ki-ais work to freeze the opponent (instill fear in the person, and disrupt breathing patterns) or make them run away. There are also ki-ais that are not necessarily shouted--that is they are silent. But it is all done in a manner to disorient the opponent psychologically. Martial artists are not the only ones that can use this skill--this guy talked about Obama, seducers, bullies, etc. using this to control other people, to control crowds. This same man mentioned that you don't need bodyskill for ki-ai (someone can scream at you and ki-ai at you all you want but can collapse at your feet due to having a weak body), but bodyskill can make your ki-ai better. I think this question is best asked for those guys who are in a Koryu, as I know Koryu systems have this ki-ai component in their arts.

I'm learning this on the go (experimenting with it) and have not personally trained this as a separate skill set in, say, a sogo bujutsu school, so I don't think I can offer any advice on how it's trained. All I know is that it is out there, and that I have experienced it, and it has little to do with 'internal strength' and doesn't necessarily fall in the field of 'IS" (I don't think George said anything that this is another form of 'internal strength'--just another skill set separate from IS), although one can make the case that 'internal strength' can make ki-ai sharper. And ki-ai on its own is worth nothing--you can have a strong ki-ai but you can still get knocked out and punched in your face if you don't know how to move.

Budd
01-22-2011, 11:09 PM
Yeah, definitely outside my strengths - actually have been working on that on my own as the "controlling/hiding of intent" was very present when I dabbled in koryu, I had not really given much importance to it until the last year or so.

I think from a combatives perspective, I'd be interested in learning more, for sure. But would still come back to the standpoint of wanting to dig into how it works - as part of the overall corporate knowledge base. It doesn't minimize the amount of training and work that goes into being successful, but hopefully removes some of the mystique so that its place as an explicitly trained skillset is more readilly catalogued and identified.

Lorel Latorilla
01-22-2011, 11:28 PM
Yeah, definitely outside my strengths - actually have been working on that on my own as the "controlling/hiding of intent" was very present when I dabbled in koryu, I had not really given much importance to it until the last year or so.

I think from a combatives perspective, I'd be interested in learning more, for sure. But would still come back to the standpoint of wanting to dig into how it works - as part of the overall corporate knowledge base. It doesn't minimize the amount of training and work that goes into being successful, but hopefully removes some of the mystique so that its place as an explicitly trained skillset is more readilly catalogued and identified.

Oh I'm definitely with you there. And I think George's post was good in the sense that there are other things that we need to train besides and separate from bodyskill. And Ushiro and Vlad and Mihkail just some guys in the lime light who are known for this stuff and possibly have a regiment in training these skills. Now we can get into a conversation about how to train this. Any takers? :D

DH
01-22-2011, 11:38 PM
Hmm...interesting turn.
Internal power, how it effects and creates aiki, the complexities of aiki, breath-power, Ki, now Koryu, (sogo bujutsu at that) intent, Kiai,projecting Ki into cones of awareness-say with long weapons, hiding intent...certainly an interesting mix.
Cheers
Dan

Budd
01-22-2011, 11:40 PM
Oh I'm definitely with you there. And I think George's post was good in the sense that there are other things that we need to train besides and separate from bodyskill. And Ushiro and Vlad and Mihkail just some guys in the lime light who are known for this stuff and possibly have a regiment in training these skills. Now we can get into a conversation about how to train this. Any takers? :D

Right - perhaps it's different from bodyskill, but it also sounds different enough from a tactic/technique (I don't know, giving it benefit of the doubt in hopes someone can 'splain it better) that it's more foundational work, too? Asking . .

David Orange
01-22-2011, 11:47 PM
...With Ark, you know not to f*** with him, because you can feel his intent to bring you down. ...Ark just bowling you over with his power in all directions--like being in a blender...

That's definitely who I met! Great description of the man and of his power!

Best to you.

David

David Orange
01-23-2011, 12:06 AM
I get the feeling that I'm not that far removed from what IS training is about, but see it in another context...... I call it isometric/isotonic training which has been around for millennia in one form or another. Gymnasts are past masters at it. It must have similarities...... Thanks.... :)

Yeah. If you're relating it to isometrics/isotonics, you're definitely on the external level. Saying it in any other way would just be to politely waste your time.

George Ledyard put it kindly. The "other context" you mention is called "external" martial arts.

And you're sort of trapped on an ego level of insisting that you "do that, too," on these threads. Everyone keeps telling you you need to get hands on some of the leading practitioners and that's really the only good advice you can get, though some of us have gone into extensive detail about the specifics. I got a lot of good out of being told down on these matters, but that was because I really started studying what was really being said and I seriously contemplated those things, leading to a series of very interesting insights--first on fascia/connective tissue and, more recently on ki (and the ki recognition came directly from deep consideration of the fascia/connective tissue)--but these insights were also fueled by looking at videos of Ark and Rob and trying the exercises they showed, then meeting Ark and, a year later, Dan.

It's not simple or easy and it is very definitely hidden in plain sight. You can have two men, side by side, doing exactly the same forms, but one can be using internal principles and, though he will look the same as the other guy (to most observers), he will be far more powerful.

In short, until you've met some of these serious teachers, you should just forget any notion that you're close to what they do and spend a lot more time thinking about what some people are so kindly trying to explain to you about the internal method.

Gambatte.

David

Dave de Vos
01-23-2011, 04:20 AM
Hi, I'm confused. Why has this thread been moved to this section?

Regards, G.

At the start of the thread some remarked that this subject fits better in the Non-Aikido Martial Traditions forum. I realised that they were right, especially now that I see how the conversation unfolds.

I checked the Non-Aikido Martial Traditions forum and read that it was created for topics like these. I started this thread in the wrong forum because I am new here so I am not familiar yet with the purpose of each forum.

So yesterday I asked Jun to move the thread to the forum where it belongs.

Best Regards,
Dave

Aikirk
01-23-2011, 04:45 AM
Well, I'm doing IP/IS too, but in many ways not like Mike, Dan or Ark I would think, but instead a lot like Vlad or Raybko.

I recently quit Aikido, because of me realizing, that the teachers who have done this for 20 or 30 years still are talking about the past masters is if they were gods, so I would certainly never reach any level like that.

Now I'm not at all as experienced as you guys, but I take martial arts training serious and it must work in order to get me satisfied. And this works on a whole other plane than "regular" Aikido.

I do Kyusho Aiki Jutsu (which is an art and not only IS/IP practice) and have crosstrained with Aikido for a while, but found that my Aikido training hampered the KAJ-training. But the KAJ-training quickly improved my Aikido, and in a matter of months, I started to feel that the yudansha's techniques were less effective on me. Not stating that I was anyway near them speaking of technique or understanding of Aikido, but I became way better grounded, softer and composed. In other words they where no longer taking my balance in a way I would have expected black belts to do.

This is not to take anything from Aikido which I enjoyed and still miss sometimes. But there is an huge difference from great Aikido technique, to internal power as i felt in the KAJ-training, and is now trying my best to learn.

I'll try to explain what we do, but as I'm a beginner and these things MUST be felt, it will naturally be incomplete.

We have a close connection to Systema, and once or twice a year Vlad and Ryabko come by Denmark to do a seminar which is to mutual benefit. We steal some of their way of moving while they learn from our extensive knowledge on pressure points. I have yet to meet either Vlad og Ryabko, but that is on my to-do list.

We too, are learning how to transfer energy to deliver huge power in our punches. We learn how to focus our breathing to remain unharmed. We learn to send back energy when punched or merely send the energy into the floor.

We learn the kind of movement Systema does, where good center and posture, breathing, absolute softness and flexibility are critical. We often do movement exercises where three or four people are pushing or punching you trying to unbalance you where you will have to be very soft and to let the force go through you.

Also we practice our punches on each other, not on sandbags. The one who's taking the punch must be totally soft and without tension and the other guy must be just as soft. Mostly we do it on the stomach area. This is also to remove the fear. And then there is infinite ways of taking the punch and delivering the punch.

Intent and visualization are also key factors to KAJ, but they are complex and have a much deeper meaning, and I would not know where to start if I were to explain them.

But what really separates us from the Systema in my mind, apart from the Kyusho, is the way we deal with energy. But this is rather controversial and I don't wish to ruin a great thread.

Our master is Tony Kauhanen who is finnish, and visits us from time to time to do seminars. And from what i've heard and seen, he is "up there".

The chief instructor in my club is in some ways up there too, although he is virtually unknown. But there have been MMA-fighters delivering punches to his stomach only to find out that he's not the least affected. One time a MMA or kungfu guy wanted my instructor to punch him in his stomach with real intent only resulting in this guy having to lie flat on his back the next two weeks because the punch went so deep it affected some old back injury. And he wasn't even close to giving everything he had.

Well that was a long ramble from one who is as excited about this as I guess you are. But it was also for you to see that this is happening many other places and in unrelated schools.

Michael Varin
01-23-2011, 05:31 AM
On aikiweb you have hundreds of VERY high ranking martial artists across the board who tell you it exists, …
Hundreds? Not sure I've seen all those guys posting. Maybe 8 to 10… maybe.

but from your video, you have no idea what they are talking about.
Video is almost useless. This stuff has to be felt. No one can tell what's actually going on in a video.

You can't have it both ways!

Michael Varin
01-23-2011, 05:35 AM
Deleted
Dan,

Why in the world did you delete your post suggesting Mr. Wagstaffe should meet up with you when you are in the UK to discuss aikido and "internal strength" over a few beers?

Hmm...interesting turn.
Internal power, how it effects and creates aiki, the complexities of aiki….
So, is or is not aiki "internal power"?

It's time you clearly define these things, if you are going to be the self-proclaimed expert.

oisin bourke
01-23-2011, 05:36 AM
But what really separates us from the Systema in my mind, apart from the Kyusho, is the way we deal with energy.



What's the difference between "kyusho" and "energy"?

Aikirk
01-23-2011, 05:56 AM
What's the difference between "kyusho" and "energy"?

We are all energy and everything we do has to do with energy one way or another. In this way there is no difference, but if you understand Kyusho as the teaching of pressure points and energy as the manipulation of energy or flow of energy, that I think is what I mean.

Energy is certainly not restricted to the application of pressure points and pressure points do not have to be struck with energy to work, though this helps. Though I must admit that one must have a certain knowledge of meridians and so forth, if one wishes to do Kyusho on a higher level.

So there is the ordinary energy which any physicist can tell you about, and there is the chi/ki energy which is a chapter to it self. I don't know that much about it, but it's there and it can be felt and manipulated.

You question was a rather broad one, so I hope this answared most of it.

Lorel Latorilla
01-23-2011, 06:24 AM
Dan,

Why in the world did you delete your post suggesting Mr. Wagstaffe should meet up with you when you are in the UK to discuss aikido and "internal strength" over a few beers?

So, is or is not aiki "internal power"?

It's time you clearly define these things, if you are going to be the self-proclaimed expert.

You really don't like Dan, eh Michael? :crazy:

Lorel Latorilla
01-23-2011, 06:29 AM
Right - perhaps it's different from bodyskill, but it also sounds different enough from a tactic/technique (I don't know, giving it benefit of the doubt in hopes someone can 'splain it better) that it's more foundational work, too? Asking . .

Well, if we're talking bujutsu, everything we do is a tactic, even re-wiring our bodies--it's a tactical decision I think ;).

Awareness of intents is absolutely crucial in bujutsu (which is different from sport fighting). For instance, if you were to go to the Philippines, your awareness has to be sharp; if you were to come in with that "Oh I know some jin skills' or 'I got bodyskills' attitude there and not stay humble and on the watch and not hide your 'intent' or 'ki-ai', you'd find yourself on the nasty end of a sucker shank.

Just a thought.

Lorel Latorilla
01-23-2011, 06:32 AM
projecting Ki into cones of awareness-say with long weapons

Never heard of this one :p. Care to expand, Dan :D ?

Tony Wagstaffe
01-23-2011, 06:59 AM
Yeah. If you're relating it to isometrics/isotonics, you're definitely on the external level. Saying it in any other way would just be to politely waste your time.

George Ledyard put it kindly. The "other context" you mention is called "external" martial arts.

And you're sort of trapped on an ego level of insisting that you "do that, too," on these threads. Everyone keeps telling you you need to get hands on some of the leading practitioners and that's really the only good advice you can get, though some of us have gone into extensive detail about the specifics. I got a lot of good out of being told down on these matters, but that was because I really started studying what was really being said and I seriously contemplated those things, leading to a series of very interesting insights--first on fascia/connective tissue and, more recently on ki (and the ki recognition came directly from deep consideration of the fascia/connective tissue)--but these insights were also fueled by looking at videos of Ark and Rob and trying the exercises they showed, then meeting Ark and, a year later, Dan.

It's not simple or easy and it is very definitely hidden in plain sight. You can have two men, side by side, doing exactly the same forms, but one can be using internal principles and, though he will look the same as the other guy (to most observers), he will be far more powerful.

In short, until you've met some of these serious teachers, you should just forget any notion that you're close to what they do and spend a lot more time thinking about what some people are so kindly trying to explain to you about the internal method.

Gambatte.

David

Whatever..... sensei:rolleyes:

Howard Popkin
01-23-2011, 07:15 AM
Hundreds? Not sure I've seen all those guys posting. Maybe 8 to 10… maybe.

Video is almost useless. This stuff has to be felt. No one can tell what's actually going on in a video.

You can't have it both ways!

Mike,

I was referring to the caliber of people I have personally seen at these classes.. Shihan's, Menkyo's, and some just all around serious fighters that have been thrown on their collective behinds by some of the IS people.

Don't take my word for it, go check it out for yourself.

Howard

Budd
01-23-2011, 09:20 AM
Well, if we're talking bujutsu, everything we do is a tactic, even re-wiring our bodies--it's a tactical decision I think ;).

Awareness of intents is absolutely crucial in bujutsu (which is different from sport fighting). For instance, if you were to go to the Philippines, your awareness has to be sharp; if you were to come in with that "Oh I know some jin skills' or 'I got bodyskills' attitude there and not stay humble and on the watch and not hide your 'intent' or 'ki-ai', you'd find yourself on the nasty end of a sucker shank.

Just a thought.

Yeah, but I'm not quite talking bujutsu, yet . . I'm still differentiating specific components and in this case - rewiring the body so that you ARE different - as opposed to learning to apply a technique or tactic in a new way . . fine line but an important one, I think. So, what I'm trying to tease out around the "energetics" work is whether it's something you learn to do or something you become after correct training . . (some systems have these all bundled together so that you can't break them apart - but because enough people are calling out the "energetics" work as its own thing - I'm thinking it merits examination).

Mike Sigman
01-23-2011, 09:24 AM
Shihan's, Menkyo's, and some just all around serious fighters that have been thrown on their collective behinds by some of the IS people.
It's pretty hard to really learn internal strength and it's not some simple thing like waza that can easily be defined and added to someone's "already excellent Aikido" like a merit badge. I'm really curious what learning internal strength at the beginning stages, which most people are at, has to do with being thrown on one's behind. I really get the feeling that a lot of people are mixing up technique with internal strength. Note that even Tohei gave different ranking in internal strength and technique... there is a difference between the two.

2 cents.

Mike Sigman

David Orange
01-23-2011, 10:06 AM
Video is almost useless. This stuff has to be felt. No one can tell what's actually going on in a video.

You can't have it both ways!

It doesn't go both ways. You can't see how good someone is in video, but you can pretty well see if they're bad.

Not that Tony is showing "bad" aikido, but you can see that it's pretty much standard aikido and that it's not employing anything like what Dan and Ark do. And, of course, Howard has tremendous experience in the Roppokai, so he's seen a lot of people and has a pretty good ground to look from.

David

DH
01-23-2011, 11:29 AM
Howard Popkin wrote:
Shihan's, Menkyo's, and some just all around serious fighters that have been thrown on their collective behinds by some of the IS people.

It's pretty hard to really learn internal strength and it's not some simple thing like waza that can easily be defined and added to someone's "already excellent Aikido" like a merit badge. I'm really curious what learning internal strength at the beginning stages, which most people are at, has to do with being thrown on one's behind. I really get the feeling that a lot of people are mixing up technique with internal strength. Note that even Tohei gave different ranking in internal strength and technique... there is a difference between the two.
2 cents.
Mike Sigman
You think that's a difference that only you can see? You challenge people to get out and test and then challenge the credibility of those that have.
You talk to people as if they cannot tell the difference between external and internal or be able to separate IP from waza particularly those in an art that routinely separates aiki from waza, all while telling people on the internet, IHTBF, obviously because IT CAN BE FELT AS DIFFERENT
All while turning around and telling those same people that even then they can't tell the difference between what they felt and what is real IP. Making a tacit argument that YOU and well...God only knows who else.....can.
all while the ICMA themselves talk endlessly about the internal and external being combined in harmony and proved through a blending of internally driven external testing,
All while you challenge all information and offer nothing but baby steps in return, while alluding to you knowing more, while publicly stating you will not offer it as people need to "figure it out for themselves"
All while stating the Japanese arts had no IP then changing your own mind and stating there was more there than you thought
All while certain of us lowly Japanese artists have now met and crossed hands with grand masters of those internal arts...who suck just a bad as many of the teachers being discussed here. And met other grand masters who had genuine power but who could not simply overcome us dumb Japanese artists.
All while you admitted that certain ICMA grandmaster level guys handed you your ass...through...uhm...IP...in use.
We are all on a journey and learning, killing the messengers and killing the message is a disservice to the debate. I keep hoping for better.
Dan

David Orange
01-23-2011, 12:11 PM
Whatever..... sensei:rolleyes:

Tony, I don't list myself as "Sensei" anywhere--but I see that you do on your website...

Rather, just think of me as your "kung fu brother," trying to give you a hand.

As Ushiro Sensei said, "what you know is the enemy of learning."

Good luck.

David

Howard Popkin
01-23-2011, 12:33 PM
Well, I have seen many waza.....:D

kewms
01-23-2011, 12:52 PM
As Ushiro Sensei said, "what you know is the enemy of learning."


To get good at something -- anything -- you first have to be willing to be bad at it. The more experience you have, the bigger the risk that is, whether you're Tiger Woods retooling his golf swing, or an aikido instructor who pays his bills (or not) based on his ability to show stuff on the mat. I can totally see why someone would be unwilling to take that risk. I just object when they spend their time throwing rocks at people who do.

Katherine

Budd
01-23-2011, 12:58 PM
Agreed - you have to be "okay" with admitting that you suck at a potentially important part of martial arts practice, that's step one - then you can actually spend the time doing the work to change that (and it takes time and a lot of work, no two ways around that).

Tony Wagstaffe
01-23-2011, 01:00 PM
Well lets see some your stuff then lads...... I'm really interested.....
Put it up on video and lets see it......

Budd
01-23-2011, 01:37 PM
Hi Tony, I don't do much in the way of vids around "applications" right now as my big focus has been solo conditioning and then periodically working out at the MMA gym (in which case, it doesn't "look" much different from what others are doing - and I'm intentionally staying under the radar there and using it as a lab).

I don't know that anyone's bothered filming "classical aikido with IS, yet", but here's a vid of Minorou Akuzawa (Ark) that I found that has some reasonable demo stuff in terms of how basic power can be delivered through a conditioned body. Take a look. Then talk to some of the people who have felt him in person.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpP_HmoJoHg&NR=1

David Orange
01-23-2011, 01:41 PM
Well lets see some your stuff then lads...... I'm really interested.....
Put it up on video and lets see it......

It wouldn't help you to see anyone who's "learning" this internal power. You might think you see something in it that you can do.

What you need to see is someone who's highly developed in it like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snYlMC6gUoM&feature=BF&list=PL906370E04928099C&index=65

In this one, watch carefully at 0:54!

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfo8bOC0414&feature=related

Budd
01-23-2011, 01:49 PM
Here's Chen Bing showing some basic applications of power releases in a grappling context at an MMA gym:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIc5NIfrnJs

Aikirk
01-23-2011, 02:21 PM
If you are interested in a different approach to IS/IP than Akuzawa:

Tony Kauhanen, the master of Kyusho Aiki Jutsu, is showing the techniques.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKsPrVrw7QM&feature=autoplay&list=PL3BC7A506B12492B2&index=5&playnext=2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Npdxk6t8KIY&playnext=1&list=PL3BC7A506B12492B2&index=3

Budd
01-23-2011, 02:48 PM
If you are interested in a different approach to IS/IP than Akuzawa:

Tony Kauhanen, the master of Kyusho Aiki Jutsu, is showing the techniques.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKsPrVrw7QM&feature=autoplay&list=PL3BC7A506B12492B2&index=5&playnext=2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Npdxk6t8KIY&playnext=1&list=PL3BC7A506B12492B2&index=3

Simon, which parts of these videos would you say are demonstrating Internal Power and what are the underlying principles (e.g. conveying the solidity of the ground into a hit, unbalancing someone on contact, etc.)?

David Orange
01-23-2011, 03:15 PM
If you are interested in a different approach to IS/IP than Akuzawa:

Tony Kauhanen, the master of Kyusho Aiki Jutsu, is showing the techniques.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKsPrVrw7QM&feature=autoplay&list=PL3BC7A506B12492B2&index=5&playnext=2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Npdxk6t8KIY&playnext=1&list=PL3BC7A506B12492B2&index=3

Is he associated with George Dillman?

Thanks.

David

Aikirk
01-23-2011, 03:18 PM
Simon, which parts of these videos would you say are demonstrating Internal Power and what are the underlying principles (e.g. conveying the solidity of the ground into a hit, unbalancing someone on contact, etc.)?

I will point them out then. What is done, is very subtle and purely internal. It can be difficult to see, but I will try to show you the most "Aiki"-like techniques. He also uses energy transmission and softness to activate pressure points and that's why the uke often look likes he's throwing himself to the mat. Trying to apply the same pressure points with ordinary force will not do anything close to this.

So really he's using it all the time, but the most obvious places are:

First video (kauhanen is actually not in this video, it is his students showing the techniques.)
0.50 - 1.32: This is very advanced, but as far as I understand, he uses a combinationen of aiki and energy-draining techniques.

Second video
0.04 - 0.05, 0.16 - 0.19 and 0.48 - 0.52
He is using energy to put great power into his punch. It looks like nothing, but will go very deep.

0.59 - 1.02
Energy manipulation. Don't ask me how he does it, but it's definitely internal and in every way insanely high level. It's a view of what can be done, more than a way to train or defend yourself.

This is certainly a different way to percieve internal power than fx Ark does it.

Aikirk
01-23-2011, 03:30 PM
Is he associated with George Dillman?

Thanks.

David

Yes, he has studied pressure points with George Dillman in the early 90's.

Kyusho Aiki Jutsu is a system which lends from Kyusho Jitsu, Jack Hogan Karate and Ryabko/Vasiliev-Systema. You may know Evan Pantazi, Jim Corn or Gary Rooks too.

And yes I know some people view George Dillman as a fraud, but as I said these no touch energy techniques are statement performances and its very difficult to perform on people who are standing in balance and actively resisting the techniques. Just like aikido waza where uke must actively allow nage to lead his/her energy and not block the technique by standing still and turning nages wrist purple. :)

Tony Wagstaffe
01-23-2011, 03:40 PM
Come on impress me.......

Now we are getting some truth here, as I thought bullshit...

Lets see it in the cage up against a real fighter..... until then bullshit......

Hellis
01-23-2011, 03:54 PM
Come on impress me.......

Now we are getting some truth here, as I thought bullshit...

Lets see it in the cage up against a real fighter..... until then bullshit......

Would you care to repeat that !!!!! Rik asked me to add :D

Henry Ellis
http://aikido-controversy.blogspot.com/

Budd
01-23-2011, 04:01 PM
Tony and Henry - which parts are bullshit? Or are you saying that unless someone who says they do internal strength fights in a cage match, you aren't going to believe it?

Tony Wagstaffe
01-23-2011, 04:08 PM
Tony and Henry - which parts are bullshit? Or are you saying that unless someone who says they do internal strength fights in a cage match, you aren't going to believe it?

All of it...... you got it......

Aikirk
01-23-2011, 04:11 PM
Come on impress me.......

Now we are getting some truth here, as I thought bullshit...

Lets see it in the cage up against a real fighter..... until then bullshit......

To begin with:

I respect your skills and experince. Judging from your video, your Aikido techniques look very solid.

Kyusho Aiki Jutsu is not a sport. MMA is a sport, and if i wanted to fight in a cage, MMA would be fitting.

But in real life self defense the training must be different. MMA does not teach you knife defense or strategy in multiple opponents encounter. Kyusho Aiki Jutsu does this. MMA does not prepare you for the no-rules competition called the real world.

The dynamics in a real world assault are different from a staged competition. Both my instructors have done competition karate earlier and knows. People often comes running at you, holding a knife to your throat and generally attacks in a much more unpredictable way than fighters in a cage do.

When having reached shodan or a level where you know what you do, we train full speed encounters. Primarily from multiple opponents attack. But not for long as it is not called "one-second fight" for nothing.

Remember that the videos are demonstrations of some of the things this art can do, and not purely self defense. Things have to be slow so people can see what is being done. Believe me, these techniques are lightning fast and powerful in full speed.

Budd
01-23-2011, 04:13 PM
All of it...... you got it......

Okay, I'm done. At this point you are just sitting in a corner with your hands over your ears going "LALALALALALALALALALALALALA" ..

Budd
01-23-2011, 04:20 PM
To begin with:

I respect your skills and experince. Judging from your video, your Aikido techniques look very solid.

Kyusho Aiki Jutsu is not a sport. MMA is a sport, and if i wanted to fight in a cage, MMA would be fitting.

But in real life self defense the training must be different. MMA does not teach you knife defense or strategy in multiple opponents encounter. Kyusho Aiki Jutsu does this. MMA does not prepare you for the no-rules competition called the real world.

The dynamics in a real world assault are different from a staged competition. Both my instructors have done competition karate earlier and knows. People often comes running at you, holding a knife to your throat and generally attacks in a much more unpredictable way than fighters in a cage do.

When having reached shodan or a level where you know what you do, we train full speed encounters. Primarily from multiple opponents attack. But not for long as it is not called "one-second fight" for nothing.

Remember that the videos are demonstrations of some of the things this art can do, and not purely self defense. Things have to be slow so people can see what is being done. Believe me, these techniques are lightning fast and powerful in full speed.

Simon, I'm not going to endorse what you've shown to be indicative of internal strength as I train it or understand it - I'd also disagree with your remarks regarding cage fighters. But at this point I'm not feeling like a debate on any of this as I think the baseline for discussion has skewed into unrelated and irrelevant tangents.