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Upyu
01-30-2011, 10:11 AM
Okay, video as I promised.

I'll be the first to say, my shikko doesn't look nearly as good as Ark's. I have also only done this exercise twice in my life, for about a total of 60 seconds. If I had a year to practice, I'm sure it would look much better. I wanted to get the video up quickly though, because I promised I would.

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

Rrm...again Chris, you'd have to get the ratio's right, and do it with someone a lot heavier to simulate the same kind of load/duress. (Remember, Ark's only what...140lb at most?)

That being said, when you do it next time flex the ankle of the leg being raised, and let me know if it changes the stability when you do the exercise.

Not a bad attempt, since you got solid core and leg strength, which is required by IS/IP.

The difference mainly lies in the fact that you're trying to raise your leg by "raising the leg." Ark raises the leg by pushing into the supporting leg with his core, which causes a rebound force that floats the leg that is raised. (There's also a particular look to the legs when they're used as a unit, which yours doesn't have) And so on and so forth. The devil is in the details.
No one ever said just cause you could do the exercise "you have IP" :D

As for the kokyu-ho demo, you blasted the guy, whereas Ark popped the guy up without the other guy letting go. A seemingly small but extremely "large" difference, which denotes that Ark's forces were connected to the other guy, as opposed to simply overwhelming the other person with superior force.

ChrisHein
01-30-2011, 10:27 AM
Chris, thank you for your reply. I've been thinking about them (letting them simmer on the back burner while I"m cooking dinner, actually, and writing while actual food simmers....).
From my perspective and mine alone, FWIW:
The exercises I'm working on plus others I hope to learn are all aimed, for me, to the goal of developing a very specific skill set.

What is this specific skill set? What can it achieve that other forms of training you've experience cannot?

I'm not aiming to throw people harder or faster but to work on a way to connect with my partner and then undermine him without the types of muscling I have felt in a lot of mainstream aikido.


becoming athletic doesn't mean that you have to use brute force when applying technique. Being stronger, more coordinated, and better conditioned are all assets that can only help you. If you choose to use them to physically force your opponent down, they could be used for that. If you want to use them to move smoothly, in time with your partner, effortlessly bringing the situation to a natural conclusion, being athletic can be used for that.

There is an idea about being athletic that disgusts me. It's the idea that being physically strong makes you stupid, brutish, and thuggish. Nothing could be farther from the truth. An athlete is elegant, graceful, and powerful. Training in athletics develops the mind, strengthens the the will and calms the body. Athletics training teaches one how to completely integrate the body and mind into one coordinated person. Too many of us think back to the high school jock who bullied everyone; you won't turn into him by training athletics.

You have provided in answer to me a list of skill sets under the heading of athletic training. Some I know, some I don't. But it strikes me that they are disparate and have different goals, build different types of skills. And I don't see how any of them work on what my understanding of internal power is.

This is at the heart of what we are talking about. What is your understanding of internal power? What will training in it give you that you cannot get from athletics training?

ChrisHein
01-30-2011, 10:40 AM
Rrm...again Chris, you'd have to get the ratio's right, and do it with someone a lot heavier to simulate the same kind of load/duress. (Remember, Ark's only what...140lb at most?)

Rob,
I've done this twice in my life, I'm not at good at is as Ark. Why does the weight make the IP not work as well? What are the limits on IP? Why do those limits exist?



No one ever said just cause you could do the exercise "you have IP" :D

Okay, but then can you describe to me, why doing it the way Ark does is better, physically, having more applicability than what I did? Why would doing it differently be better than what I did?

As for the kokyu-ho demo, you blasted the guy, whereas Ark popped the guy up without the other guy letting go. A seemingly small but extremely "large" difference, which denotes that Ark's forces were connected to the other guy, as opposed to simply overwhelming the other person with superior force.

Hmm, I can do it other ways, but let's let that go for a second. Why would "popping" someone up be better than "blasting" them back? What is more applicable about "popping" than "blasting".

stan baker
01-30-2011, 10:59 AM
Hi Chris
There is a difference between explosive power from IP and what you perceive as relaxed power. It is not going to be resolved through discussion.

stan

ChrisHein
01-30-2011, 11:12 AM
Hi Chris
There is a difference between explosive power from IP and what you perceive as relaxed power. It is not going to be resolved through discussion.

stan

Then we shouldn't talk about it?

DH
01-30-2011, 11:30 AM
I said it a few posts back; you have everything you need, your teacher says there is no difference, you are convinced there is no difference, your teacher outlined IP as relaxation and principles in application, and he does so both in books and in video. It seems obvious you are trying to make a case that there is no difference as well which is hampered by the fact that your only exposure to so called internal arts is with one teacher...who...sees no difference.
Seems to me that leaves you back at the starting point.

I wonder though...how is it that your teacher is correct and everyone else is wrong? I had a teacher, a shihan in Aikido, who told me in 1990, that Daito ryu was dead, there was no Daito Ryu anymore.
I'm glad I've always had more of a open mind about things. It seems to have benefitted me in the end.
Cheers
Dan

Cady Goldfield
01-30-2011, 12:04 PM
Then we shouldn't talk about it?

What's the point of continuous talk that just goes nowhere? I agree with Stan. "Discussions" here will just keep going in circles unless and until you actually go and get some hands-on time with the people who are openly teaching and training IP.

To a man (and woman), everyone on AikiWeb who has done this has come back to engage in enthusiastic conversation, comparing notes, asking questions and getting feedback. It's so much more productive than speaking from an uninformed position.

Discovering that "it's different" can definitely force one to step outside his or her comfort zone, especially if it means having to re-think everything that one has held true, for years. But anyone willing to take that chance may well find that they will gain much more than they lose in that discovery.

Janet Rosen
01-30-2011, 12:48 PM
Chris, I'm bowing out because we are going in pointless circles now; I have never had interest in trying to convince you but in replying to your question as it applies to my experience, training and goals; you are now ascribing beliefs to me I've never stated or inferred regarding athletes and sports. Caio.

stan baker
01-30-2011, 03:38 PM
Hi Chris

If you get some direct experience, then you can have some meaningful discussion.

stan

kewms
01-30-2011, 04:22 PM
Then we shouldn't talk about it?

What's to discuss? It's like talking about a restaurant you haven't visited or a movie you haven't seen. Beyond a certain point -- which I think we've already reached -- there just isn't enough shared experience.

Katherine

Demetrio Cereijo
01-30-2011, 04:45 PM
It's like talking about a restaurant you haven't visited or a movie you haven't seen. Beyond a certain point -- which I think we've already reached -- there just isn't enough shared experience.

I don't think that point has been reached.

mathewjgano
01-30-2011, 04:58 PM
There is an idea about being athletic that disgusts me. It's the idea that being physically strong makes you stupid, brutish, and thuggish. Nothing could be farther from the truth. An athlete is elegant, graceful, and powerful. Training in athletics develops the mind, strengthens the the will and calms the body. Athletics training teaches one how to completely integrate the body and mind into one coordinated person. Too many of us think back to the high school jock who bullied everyone; you won't turn into him by training athletics.
I've met no one (that I know of) who believes athletics makes jerks. I've met quite a bit more who believe jerks are attracted to competitive events (due to a need to prove something) and that athletics is a common place to find competitive events. Speaking as a competitor and athlete, I would agree with the latter. I've known plenty of chess-playing jerks...of course, many of them were fairly jaded by their abuse at the hands and mouths of jocks, but I digress.
I disagree that athletics teaches one how to completely integrate body and mind. I also disagree that "internals" do the same (key word being "completely"). Integration of some variety or another can come about through either and the specific things being integrated will vary between the two.
"Superior" is a tough term to work around because it's not as simple as one being better than the other. It depends on how it's being applied and how it relates to the rest of the individual's life. I disagree that "internals" is automatically better than "externals," but from what very little I think I've encountered, I do think it can make a big difference...particularly over the long haul where athletic ability will necessarily decline. From what I've gathered, internals are a bit more long-term in the ability to maintain one's prowess.
There is no way of knowing without direct exposure...and even that doesn't prove anything other than, possibly, a superior ability at specific tasks.
That all said, I should be clear I don't have much experience with internals. I believe I have some, but it's all relative and I don't have much developed with which to hold a comparison to other methods.

I think Dan's remarks about "soft" wrestlers speaks volumes about comparative functionality/superiority. That we don't see anyone in the professional levels of things making any claims about internals is also somewhat telling, though competitive professionals would have an invested interest in not sharing. Perhaps down the line we'll see folks attributing their ability to these kinds of practices, but as of yet it seems high-level athletics is easier to do...and certainly more prevalent.
Internals are just another approach with their own pros and cons. There seems to be something to the idea that it's helpful to consider them on their own (and not automatically connected to higher-level athletic training). These folks whose names keep getting mentioned seem to have approaches within that field which sound particularly functional. One more tool in the box to choose from, and like with my Makita power drill, the grape-vine of hype is probably on to something...it's certainly long enough.

Mark Mueller
01-30-2011, 05:47 PM
"What's to discuss? It's like talking about a restaurant you haven't visited or a movie you haven't seen. Beyond a certain point -- which I think we've already reached -- there just isn't enough shared experience."

Well its not like there are a lot of you out there kicking ass and taking names......and as long as there is vetting of people's backgrounds and not including people because of their associations.....maybe it's a restaurant where I don't necessarily want to eat.

Demetrio Cereijo
01-30-2011, 05:56 PM
And considering said restaurant is not ranked in Michelin, Mobil Travel, AAA or similar guides...

Cady Goldfield
01-30-2011, 05:58 PM
Mark,
It seems to me that there are enough people teaching the basics, internationally, that there are ample opportunities to get out there and experience it.

And, it's not necessary to go to someone who is "kicking ass and taking names." Just someone who can demonstrate and introduce you to what this stuff is, how it is beneficial -- what you can do with it -- and how to put it back into your aikido or whatever MA you train in.

Heck, how will you know whether a restaurant is worth eating at till you at least go for appetizers.

Demetrio,
A lot of "hidden gems" have not yet been discovered by Michelin or the other guides. You have to depend on the "locals" to point you to them. And nowadays, they will do that! Back in the olden days, the locals would just keep it to themselves so their favorite places wouldn't get overrun with tourists and curiosity-seekers, and the locals would have to wait in line for a table. ;)

George S. Ledyard
01-30-2011, 06:48 PM
Well, to sum up... not a single person that has done the type of training under discussion who posts here or with whom I am familiar, came away saying either "it was nothing special, we always did that" nor has a single one come away saying that he or she couldn't see how the work would make you Aikido better.

The only folks who are consistently doubting what has been asserted about Internal Training are folks who simply have not had ANY hands on with any of the folks who are mentioned here as the sources of experience for the rest of us.

Now someone may have trained with some teacher whom they believe is doing the same thing. Not having seen said other teacher, I couldn't comment. But the opinions expressed would say to me that no, what that teacher is doing is not the same as what Mike, Dan or Ark are doing. Because not one person who has trained with them thinks it is a standard set of athletic skills that can be train ed in the ordinary fashion. It is just not the case.

I have a certified trainer I work with at my gym. I have talked to her about the internal training and how it works. She is quite interested but it is clear that nothing in her experience covers this. It is different. She trains athletes, she is quite knowledgeable about how that is done. She stays up to date on the latest techniques and research. And as far as I can tell, there is nothing in her realm of experience that is equivalent.

So I too bow out... there is no way we can maintain the conversation between folks who have had direct exposure to the topic at hand and folks who have not. It's not like these guys are keeping this stuff secret. They are increasingly out there all over the place teaching, even internationally. Try it out and then come back and tell us you still feel you were right. I'll respect that.

ChrisHein
01-30-2011, 07:01 PM
I wonder though...how is it that your teacher is correct and everyone else is wrong?
Dan

Dan,
I would like to reiterate for, the third time now I believe, this discussion does not come from my teacher, it comes from me.

Who is "everyone"? By everyone do you mean the people who like your stuff? If this is the case, than you are correct. However if by everyone you mean the whole of the internal martial arts world, than you are in pretty deep waters, and that generalization is a foolish one to make.

Your group is a small group when compared to the rest of the marital arts community, it's far from everyone. Although you do try very hard to make it seem like a much larger group than it is. Speaking of my teacher, he has a MUCH larger seminar schedule each year than you do. He has authored many books, and has a rather large student base these days. If it's a matter of numbers that will sway your opinion, I'm sure you have fewer.

But none of this matters, not really. It seems to be of great importance to you though.

I would rather not speak of my teacher, or who has some kind of political advantage. I would rather speak to what is right in front of us. After all, it doesn't really matter if you have millions agreeing with you, if you can't do what you claim to.

We've come to a point in this discussion, where everyone is pretty much saying, "Okay already, I don't care who's right, I just like doing this stuff". I think that's cool, I think you should do whatever makes you happy, and makes you excited to come to class the next day. A little mystery in your life is awesome. And the idea of a mystical teacher who can do all sorts of seemingly amazing feats is fun!

However if you're going to say that Aikido is missing something without this elusive, mysterious, must be felt thing, I'm going to question it. If that makes you sad, than please, openly discuss it, show some videos, speak directly to the questions, and help us understand. If your stand point is simply that you like it, the quit trying to claim that Aikido is missing something without the guidance of your ilk.

Cady Goldfield
01-30-2011, 07:15 PM
Chris, have you even tried to read the other posts? Where does anyone say "I don't care who's right - it's fun!"? Looks more to me like people are saying, "Hey, Chris! We can't have a fruitful discussion with you until you at least go train even once with Dan, Mike or Ark." George Ledyard just said that if you were to do so, and still felt that athletic body methods and "IS/IP" body methods are the same, he'd respect that. I think the rest of the folks here would, too.

It's not about whether it's fun, Chris, it's whether this stuff is fundamentally different than the physical training paradigm you are familiar with. That was the purpose of this thread, right? It is different, but you will never be convinced by words nor -- I promise you -- by videos. You really need to bite the bullet and try a first-hand experience training with one of these people to inform your decision.

Till then, this thread may as well be closed for business. Unless, of course, you want to talk about restaurants.

Upyu
01-30-2011, 07:21 PM
Rob,
I've done this twice in my life, I'm not at good at is as Ark. Why does the weight make the IP not work as well? What are the limits on IP? Why do those limits exist?

Chris, I was merely saying that if you wanted to recreate the parameters, you'd have to match the ratio of weight as well. It's kinda like I sent someone to the gym on a powerlifting routine, extolled on the virtues of increased strength and what not, and they pick up a 10lb barbell, say "see I can do that too? so what possible benefit could it be to me to do this?"

IP is still strength + skill, just strength of a different kind. It uses the muscles, fascia and what have you, but with some tweaks that take some proprioceptive coaching.
IE there are still going to be physical limits imposed by how big a person's body is, their base strength capabilities etc. Put another way, all things being equal in IS/IP, Person A (let's say who weighs 200lb) would have an advantage over Person B (this is just physics). But if Person B has IP/IS and Person A doesn't, then it (not will absolutely) gives Person B a strength/skill advantage that CAN (notice I didn't say "will") tip the scales in Person B's favor.


Okay, but then can you describe to me, why doing it the way Ark does is better, physically, having more applicability than what I did? Why would doing it differently be better than what I did?

Well, done correctly it improves balance from odd angles, has applicability towards kicks, strikes and what not.
The whole "push down into the supporting leg to cause the other leg to rise" is a skill you'd use for throwing, the use of the core when bringing the leg down has multiple applications in enhancing the power of strikes from odd angles etc etc.

The way you're doing it now is simply an exercise in balance, strength and structure (not bad attributes to develop anyways).


Hmm, I can do it other ways, but let's let that go for a second. Why would "popping" someone up be better than "blasting" them back? What is more applicable about "popping" than "blasting".
You lose control over a guy, and if said opponent weighs as much or more than you, those kind of tricks tend to fall flat on their face. Its better to retain control of the person's balance. In the event that you mess up, you at least won't have dug your own ditch to hurl yourself into :D
AFWIW, you should probably be able to blast the guy you were working with way more, given the strength differences between you two. There's a couple simple mechanics you could add (if someone showed you how to do so) that could increase your power pretty easily in about 6 months of training or so.

Mark Mueller
01-30-2011, 07:28 PM
"Mark,
It seems to me that there are enough people teaching the basics, internationally, that there are ample opportunities to get out there and experience it.

And, it's not necessary to go to someone who is "kicking ass and taking names." Just someone who can demonstrate and introduce you to what this stuff is, how it is beneficial -- what you can do with it -- and how to put it back into your aikido or whatever MA you train in."

Cady, I have been fortunate enough to have been exposed to Mike S. and Ark...and a few of their students. Great guys, great stuff...but they leave it our there for you to decide..and given the opportunity to learn from them again I would jump at the chance. I've done the homework I know my preferences...

Michael Varin
01-30-2011, 08:58 PM
IP is still strength + skill, just strength of a different kind. It uses the muscles, fascia and what have you, but with some tweaks that take some proprioceptive coaching.
IE there are still going to be physical limits imposed by how big a person's body is, their base strength capabilities etc. Put another way, all things being equal in IS/IP, Person A (let's say who weighs 200lb) would have an advantage over Person B (this is just physics). But if Person B has IP/IS and Person A doesn't, then it (not will absolutely) gives Person B a strength/skill advantage that CAN (notice I didn't say "will") tip the scales in Person B's favor.

Hmm. This thread, which nearly imploded, did a complete one eighty and developed into a substantive discussion, is getting interesting. And people are bailing out now! It seems that we are on the verve of penetrating the "IP/IT/IS" discussion that has been going on here for a few years to new depths.

By the way, any number of things CAN tip the scales.

Keith Larman
01-30-2011, 09:04 PM
Well, I can't bow out yet since I never bowed in. So a passing post... ;)

I was recently talking with a friend of mine who has something like 30 years experience in aikido (outside of our group). He knew I had been to seminars by Threadgill, Harden and Sigman. And that I've been lucky enough to have met and trained a bit with students of Ark and Kuroda. Still working on meeting Popkin and Ushiro in person, but if finances allow... So he asked me about what was going on. So I tried to give him a bit of a run-down of the basic gist of the argument.

First off he pointed out that the whole premise of this internal stuff forces a reappraisal of what "aiki" really means, at least for a lot of people. And I think that is actually quite true. Many have great reservations because it seems like people are talking about different things, redefining what we already "know". FWIW I find this a fascinating topic as I am greatly interested in theories of meaning, communication, and what is sometimes called the philosophy of ordinary language (although this is anything but ordinary).

So, Chris, humor me for a minute.

Let's assume that Takeda and Ueshiba Morihei were in fact doing "aiki" in a sense more congruent with the models proposed by guys like Dan H et al. Early on Aikido was not exactly an art widely practiced. It wasn't a dojo in every "strip mall". It was exclusive and especially early on it was quite a "exclusive" thing. One great description I heard once was calling it a "finishing school" for martial artists. Those early deshi came in with extensive backgrounds and often multiple introductions. These were not beginners, not by any stretch.

Now let's also look at another idea... One proposed by Ellis Amdur in his book "Hidden in Plain Sight" (buy it, read it, if for no other reason but to support independent and valuable research). Here you see a possibility where these skills (if we assume these are the skills we are talking about) were developed by these people after extensive, high level training. That even taking repeated high level ukemi helped train the body in a certain way conducive to building long connections of muscle, tendon, fascia, etc. that could be used in a unified way, somewhat differently from how an athlete might approach it. In other words, a body that could do things in vastly more refined, subtle fashion with more control and sensitivity. The idea here is that this is *not* the body we're born with. It is not the body we build by lifting weights or running more. It's a body that's built via hard, specific work to learn to establish the structures, then learn to use them in a specific way.

Okay... What if some of these early deshi, through hard work, prior training, and in many cases going outside their arts (yoga, etc.) developed these bodies. Take Tohei as an example. He starts talking about "extending ki", "weight underside", etc. All attempts to communicate what he's feeling in his body as he does what he does. There is no thought of fascia, they likely didn't even know what the stuff was. So they're trying to communicate the "it" they feel as they do their stuff. Aiki. Unification. Oneness. Now when you have "aiki" you can "feel" their "one-point" and drop them over there. Because you are "one". Aiki. All good so far, right?

Okay, now consider students who don't have these structures. Who don't have the build, the training, and all the years put in to developing the skills. They hear "aiki". Oneness. The teachers have no idea that they developed this ability through aspects of their training. They just "felt it" one day and it clicked to some level or another. So while they took 10 or 20 years of hard daily practice to develop that body they don't realize that what they're feeling may in fact *be* a direct result of that 10-20 years of hard daily practice. Literally. In other words, the students without that body cannot possibly hope to "feel" what they're feeling because they simply don't have the conditioning required to feel it.

To the teacher not aware that the things they feel are a result of the these odd physical manifestations it is perplexing why the students can't feel what they feel. It's obvious, right? Just relax and connect. Easy, peasy. Of course it *is* easy for them -- they've got the structures, body and practice. But for the students, they don't have that background. They don't have the body. They don't have the structures. And no amount of adjusting foot positioning or placement is going to help.

But of course many techniques are based on sound jujutsu. The body only works so many ways. So we do what these teachers tell us. We relax (but we're not the same). We try to be solid (but we're not the same). And we move in a certain way (but it just ain't the same).

So naturally over time the "meaning" of works like aiki begin to reflect the "omote" meaning, at least in a sense. And Aikido grows in leaps and bounds. And dojo open up left and right. And kids programs start. Beginners start in martial arts in aikido. And because they never build the structures, the body, the awareness, the "meaning" of these terms become more focused on the omote. So for many the athletic version of aikido is the "powerful" aikido. Young, tough people toss each other around with strength and determination.

I am not placing a qualitative judgement on this. I think Aikido's greatest strength and paradoxically greatest weakness is its popularity. It evolved. It morphed. It became a lot of things to a lot of people.

But... What if these guys are right? I've felt some pretty amazing things done by guys like Dan, Toby and Mike. Things I've felt parts of with some Shihan I've been lucky enough to train with who have 30+ years of solid training.

For me the question is whether I should devote the time to learn the skills these guys are teaching. In each case of hands-on I was left with a rather "no question left" reaction. I find this stuff valuable. Because I think it enables a more refined, subtle, and truly interesting view into this stuff.

But... Aikido did evolve tremendously. And even if you grant me the assumptions of this post it *still* doesn't mean you need to agree. Because even if you agree with my assumptions, the meaning did evolve over time. And as Dan has pointed out, if you are happy with what you are doing, well, by all means -- that's great. I think there is value across the board for different people.

But I've met very few experienced martial artists who hold that view after spending some time playing with this. There is something there.

And finally... I have had people show me work they've done on swords asking me for my opinion as an "expert" (not something I'd actually call myself, but there you go). Many will demand to know why they are wrong. I will often suggest that they really need to get out and study the old stuff in person, hands-on, to really understand how they were done. It is a huge undertaking and most will never put in the effort. But some will still insist on me telling them how they are wrong. They insist that I need to explain to them to *their* satisfaction why it is that they really don't know what they're talking about. All while in the next breath they will say they've never really studied the real deal in hand. In that case, I'm sorry, they simply don't know enough to even begin to understand how wrong they are.

I'm not saying you are in that same category. But, until you actually get out and feel the stuff, well, you're insisting that someone teach you enough to change your mind all while you refuse to learn enough to make it even possible. The value of this stuff is completely independent of what you may understand or choose to learn. It is what it is. Get out and get hands-on. And I'd love to talk again at that point. Because I'd truly, sincerely be interested in what you had to say.

Michael Hackett
01-30-2011, 09:39 PM
Keith, a bright ray of sunshine on a rainy day. Well written.

gregstec
01-30-2011, 10:07 PM
Interesting discussions - to me this can all be summed up to the fact that we all are on the path of trying to understand budo. There will always be someone ahead of you on that path and always someone behind you. Those ahead should try to shed light on what they have learned and experienced for those behind - those behind should have the wisdom to embrace that light in the chance that it may shorten their journey - those that dismiss those that have gone before are guaranteed the long journey.

Greg

Demetrio Cereijo
01-31-2011, 02:32 AM
Demetrio,
A lot of "hidden gems" have not yet been discovered by Michelin or the other guides. You have to depend on the "locals" to point you to them. And nowadays, they will do that! Back in the olden days, the locals would just keep it to themselves so their favorite places wouldn't get overrun with tourists and curiosity-seekers, and the locals would have to wait in line for a table. ;)
Have been the chefs and the customers of that "hidden gems" spreading flyers around for about the last ten years?

Daniel Lloyd
01-31-2011, 07:21 AM
I totally agree with Chris on all points/arguments. I don't see why everyone keeps attacking Chris like they do. Its good to think about things in a different way. So keep rocking the boat Chris! :D

phitruong
01-31-2011, 07:40 AM
I totally agree with Chris on all points/arguments. I don't see why everyone keeps attacking Chris like they do. Its good to think about things in a different way. So keep rocking the boat Chris! :D

chris isn't the first one who had rocked the boat. there were many others who had done the same and had argued endlessly about what they knew and believed. they had went and got some hand-on and changed their mind.

you know years ago when we didn't have youtube or facebook or many others electronic communication means. on the words of some folks, we would hop on buses, train, planes and what not, to travel for hundreds of miles to attend seminars in hope to find some interesting things to learn. now a day, we seemed to be less willing to travel across the street to do the same.

Nicholas Eschenbruch
01-31-2011, 07:56 AM
I totally agree with Chris on all points/arguments. I don't see why everyone keeps attacking Chris like they do. Its good to think about things in a different way. So keep rocking the boat Chris! :D

Don't know. Seems to me more like somebody jumping up and down to rock a supertanker while the crew is trying to persuade them to come to the bar and have a cold beer... :D
Of course, different crew member try different approaches.

Phi Truong wrote: you know years ago when we didn't have youtube or facebook or many others electronic communication means. on the words of some folks, we would hop on buses, train, planes and what not, to travel for hundreds of miles to attend seminars in hope to find some interesting things to learn. now a day, we seemed to be less willing to travel across the street to do the same.

Great point. Either you are interested in finding out, then you go and find out. Or you are not, but then why spend bandwidth, or wait for the perfect descriptive language to appear.

I really dont see why anybody should get involved with the IS paradigm if they dont want to. I, for one, find it benefitial, it makes a lot of sense to me and is fun, but whatever rocks your boat. :) Also, I am just a hopeless athlete.

DH
01-31-2011, 08:37 AM
I totally agree with Chris on all points/arguments. I don't see why everyone keeps attacking Chris like they do. Its good to think about things in a different way. So keep rocking the boat Chris! :D

With comments like "stage Magic" and "tricks," "elusive , mysterious... must be felt" thing "quit trying to claim that Aikido is missing something without the guidance of your ilk?"
I think the one attacking ...is...Chris.

You might want to consider this.
Rip off the band aid and really look at the talking points and some pretty strong opinions come to light in Chris's argument. Take a cold look at what Chris is really saying'
That basically the hundreds of people who got up and went...are so gullible and ignorant that they were able to be fooled by parlor tricks and magic (even though they uniformly state it is a mental physical conditioning process).
That any ol athlete can do what they were fooled into thinking was different..Which implies that all of them are obviously not athletic and don't understand proper training (good grief has he meant some of the guys we have met at these clinics? ) so you could not tell the difference in your experience.
Now add in the athletes here who have got up to try this stuff out,that have and are training it and wrote in. They WERE dismissed.

Now, realize this now involves Shihan of different branches and so many 4th and 5th dans I lost count and some kid pretty much tells you that you don't know what you're talking about?
Now imagine you are several shihan who all talk to each other and are training this.

IMO, no one was dismissing or attacking Chris, they understand where he is coming from because to a man- they all felt that way too. Hell, I am one of the guys under the gun, and...I...am not dismissing him either, even with the implied insults. I get it because on any other day...I was Chris, it was exactly what I thought twenty years ago..
I mean that pretty much sums it up

What is really happening is that this movement to bring IP/aiki back into aikido is not only growing, it is reaching highly ranked people here and in Japan, one of whom is close to Doshu. Here is a quote from Doshu to that shihan/
"Yes I have heard, I can never do that stuff, if I did ...they...would kill me. I have to do the art the way my father did".

I can't help but to wish him well, In my view I am talking to myself twenty years ago,..
Dan

MM
01-31-2011, 08:57 AM
I totally agree with Chris on all points/arguments. I don't see why everyone keeps attacking Chris like they do. Its good to think about things in a different way. So keep rocking the boat Chris! :D

Having an open mind and looking at "hype" with some disbelief is one thing. But, Chris isn't doing that.

Let me just summarize what we have so far *JUST* in this thread:

These people have said that athletics and IP are different: Katherine Derbyshire, Robert John, David Orange, Jonathan Wong, Hunter Lonsberry, Mike Sigman, Dan Harden, Lorel Latorilla, Lynn Seiser, Phi Truong, Josh Philipson, Greg Steckel, Jon Haas, Budd Yuhasz, Jason Casteel, Nicholas Eschenbruch, Brian Griffith, Mark Freeman, George S. Ledyard, Christopher Li, Stan Baker, Cady Goldfield, and Keith Larman.

This thread alone. Do you have any idea the training history some of the above people have? How much experience they have with top level aikido shihan? Who they have trained with outside aikido?

To put things even more in perspective, If we go outside this thread, we have other people that can be added to the above list. Some examples: Bill Gleason, Allen Beebe, Marc Abrams, Howard Popkin, and Ellis Amdur. If you include those outside of Aikiweb, the list gets a whole lot larger. If you include the students behind some of these teachers, the list is larger still.

Chris' response in a nutshell: I'm not going to believe personal experiences and testimony because it can be subjective. I find it an affront that these people are saying IP is aiki because you can learn aiki from any Aikido teacher. The problem is the manner in which Chris posted. IMO, there are no indications that Chris has an open mind. I've included all relevant posts below. Reread and see the continuing arc from Chris where he's already made up his mind and wants everyone else to change it on his terms. Not the definition of an open mind.

I personally have had the very fortunate experience of training with an expert in Chinese internal martial arts. Through my training with him, I learned that Chinese internal martial arts, were not magical, but just the most efficient ways one could use the human body. As I studied, I learned that I could do, at least on some level, all of the typical demonstrations of internal power. As my studies progressed I realized that modern athletic training covers most, if not all of what could be learned in the internal martial arts.

However, here on Aikiweb there seems to be a notion that "internal" and athletics are very different things. That some how athletes cannot do the things that internal martial artists can do. I don't believe this to be the case. I believe modern athletics training actually teaches the core lessons of internal martial arts, but in a more dynamic and functional way.

So I'd like to ask, what is the perceived difference, and assumed superiority of internal martial arts over good athletics training?

and


Athletics teach you how to move smoothly and from your center. The modern study of athletic movement (as one would find in football, basket ball, track and field etc) teaches any of the things I can think of that are learned in "internal". The language is different but the lessons are the same. It's hard to go into anymore detail without further understanding your knowledge of sports training.

and


Rob John,
I find it strange that all the "internal people" who possess so much "internal power" are also athletes. Perhaps they are simply telling you that it's not athletics, but something else. Ark has more videos than any of the other internal people, he's also an ex gymnast and kickboxer (I'm sure he's done a few other athletic things as well). Strange that the more athletic they are, the more things they show.

As far as using the elastic nature of the body, sports people discuss this all the time. The language is different but they are talking about the same thing.

Athletics take less time to learn, are more clearly explained, more widely available, and demonstrate more effective ability.

Why is "internal" different then athletics? What can an internal martial artist do that a good athlete cannot?

and

First I would like to say, the only way to move the body is by using intent to move the ki. It's not mysterious, that's the way we move. Our brain decides it wants to move (intent) sends a signal to the muscles (ki) and we start moving. This is normal, it does not take special training, well it does take the instinctual training that babies undertake.



and


Athletes can do everything on your list as well or better than any internal person. That is my opinion, yours is apparently contrary to that, how do we prove our points with something other than our own speculation?

Other then saying, "they're just different" I didn't see any real answers.

and


If you guys would simply say "I don't know, but I like doing this stuff" at least that would be honest.

and

The problem with this is that all the lists presented are working under that assumption that what you think is happening is happening. It's circular reasoning. You won't question from outside of the belief that the stuff you are observing is happening the way you think it is. I am only questioning from outside of this belief, because I don't hold it.

I can't have someone push me in the wall with all their force, and simply walk away from the wall. Nor have I ever seen anyone else do that. I can however think of several situations where this could be made possible. I don't know what you are seeing, if you show it to me, I can work with it, but words are not doing it.

There is a standard point being made that I have to feel it to know it. I have in the past (although not yet in this thread) made the point that group think, mental suggestion, magic tricks and other means can be used to create these types of situations. Feeling it is not enough. You have to be able to objectively look at something physical. You must be able to step away from the emotions of the moment and see what is happening. However no one will put up anything concrete that can be looked at objectively.

David Blaine can do all manner of amazing things, but we all know he is a trickster. The fact that none of the IP IS or whatever you want to call them guys want to put out video, they hold tightly controlled seminars, and otherwise seem mysterious and vague should make you question it, unless you're working on faith.

and

First off, this comes from me, not my teacher. Second, the group of internal martial artists that is not the Aikiweb IP IS or whatever group is MUCH larger than this small group of internal. Most IMA would say Dan, Ark, Mike who? Your group is not that large, although you're working it, I'll give you that.

I could probably find 50 people who think chickens can speak English. People from all over the world, different people who have never met. I could put them on a forum together and try to tell them that chickens can not in fact speak English. Those 50 people would act like I'm crazy, because they all believe it. Looking at this small group it would be easy for them to say, "Chris, everyone is telling you the same thing, why don't you listen, chickens can clearly speak English."



and


I discount personal experience because it's subjective. In my head I might see dragons flying around, but that doesn't mean they are. Personal experience is a very real thing to you, but not necessarily to anyone else.


and

There is this slow creeping idea, that Aiki, as it relates to Aikido is what you guys call IP, IS or what have you. I disagree with this strongly.

I don't believe that IP is anything special, I've not seen or heard anything that would convince me to spend much of my time or energy on it. I do spend a lot of time on Aikido though, and I don't appreciate what I feel is the the hijacking of the word "Aiki". To have many here tell it, only Dan can do "Aiki" and everyone else is missing something. I do not buy it.

Would I give Dan $300, get time off work, get a hotel, and travel many hours to do something I don't think is anything special, no. Will I take 10 minutes out of my day to make a video, yes.

and


And again, if the opportunity arises I would go see some of these IP people that post so much here on Aikiweb. I'm not going to go way out of my way to do it, because I can't see anything in what they are doing that I don't understand.

The real problem I'm having here, is the theft of the word "Aiki" from the Aikido community. There is a strong vibe that Aiki is what some people call IP, IS, or what have you. I believe this to be very wrong. I believe you can learn "Aiki" from any reasonably skilled, regular, Aikido teacher. "Aiki" is already built into the system, you don't need to spend a lot of money, or go way out of your way to see one of a handful of teachers in order to study "Aiki".

The idea that only a few people possess this IP, and that you have to study with them personally to understand "Aiki", is a fallacy. This idea that IP is "Aiki" suggests that your Aikido is lacking if you don't study with one of these few teachers personally. I can't let that one go.

and

Things like being shoved into a wall full force, and being able to walk away effortlessly sounds like an issue of moving heavy weight to me. Now it could be an issue of mental suggestion, hypnosis, or some other condition of the mind. Is this what you believe IP to be doing, using the mind of your attacker against him? If this is the case, than I'm more than interested in debating it.



Now for the relevant posts by the other people:

The internal power folks will tell you that the lessons aren't actually the same, that IP focuses on manipulating the structure of your own body, while athletes manipulate the outside world. They will also point out that internal strength continues to develop as people age, while athletic strength inevitably declines.

I do think that the degree of body control that some athletes have (notably gymnasts, but others as well) is often underestimated by non-athletes, but I'm not aware of any athletic discipline that claims to produce the abilities that the IP folks claim to have.

Studying the training of Chinese gymnasts and weightlifters might be interesting, as the Chinese seem fairly free of training dogma, and willing to consider any approach that works.

Katherine

and

I think I mentioned this before, but Ark was a competitive gymnast before he started developing these skills and conditioning. And he would be the first to say that gymnastics had no overlap training wise, and in fact impeded his ability to learn his current skill set.

It's pretty cut and dry if you ask me, just go and check someone out already dude!

and

Well, an athletic person (say, a fighter) will have good movement, etc., but he won't have developed the ability to use ki at the direction of the mind.

Note that this ability without physical conditioning is in itself worthless. You don't "hit" someone with your ki: you hit them with your body. But if the body is conditioned to move and strike with mind/ki as the primary motivators (instead of primarily by muscular manipulation), the quality is different. Note again that this mainly applies to human-human interaction: not to things like pulling boats, though it will undoubtedly improve even that performance. For internal arts, a big part of the mix is how your mind/ki interacts with the opponent's mind/ki to influence his perceptions, feelings, intentions and therefore his actions. Much of the long-bouncing from an effortless old man comes about because the qualities of the movements in relation (and the feelings/perceptions in the mind/ki of the opponent) cause certain reactions in the attacker that lead him into worse and worse positions, where his efforts to correct himself actually help to propel him away.

A well conditioned fighter can probably beat a poorly conditioned internal artist. Because the ki only works effectively in coordination with the muscles, bones, fascia, mind and breath. So an internal artist will get better results with better physical conditioning. But no amount of athletic conditioning affects the mind/ki development because most of it involves things that actually weaken or constrict the ki, as Rob explained that Ark's gymnastics actually hampered his ability to develop internal power. Ark also said that most people who get involved in Aunkai just drop weight training because they find that it works against them. Dan has said similar things.

Hope that helps.

David

and


My answer: internal training teaches me to generate a different kind of force usage than I learned in normal life. I couldn't learn it from athletics, so that's why I see them as different. Of course it also could be because I am dumb, whereas if I was smart I could have learned this from athletics. Why is the new usage superior? Because it is teaching me aiki, which I failed to learn before.

So it's all in whether or not you are happy with your training (if you are getting what you want, then who is anyone to tell/convince you that something is superior?).

and


I think Rob gave a pretty good overview from a conditioning standpoint as to how the approaches differ, and how different schools/people might have mixes of internal/external. I certainly don't mind laying out some of the things typically associated with an internal approach that result in differences from good athletic training. I would be happy to do so in response to answering my question above.

and

It's a different usage of "athletics" though:


and


Have any number of people gotten up and gone out and met folks teaching it and came away understanding it is different than what they had thought and what they had trained their whole lives...yup..
Dan

and

Chris, you win. We will never get to your level of athleticism in martial arts because we're doing sub-par athletics training.:eek:



and

IMHO, it really isn't a question (or statement) that internal (subtle/energetic) is superior to athleticism (external/muscular).

Truly they complement and supplement each other.

Given the context, they each have their superiority in effectiveness.

Training in both perhaps is the wisest choice.

and

just want to point out a few things. modern athletics are just as specialize as IS folks. runner trains differently, than weight lifter, than gymnast, than high jumper, and so on. they are as specifics at IS training.

training IS doesn't mean you don't need to train in term of athletic stuffs. folks who trained IS still run, but they do it with a slight different focus. they still lift weights but with a different approach. they still do other physical activity but with a different approach to it.

when you only trained and get your info from one person, there is an element of faith involved. when you trained and get info from more than one person, then the faith part dropped severely. if folks have not realized by now, many of the IS folks that contributed on this forum and others, have encouraged folks to go and tried and learned with as many folks with different IS training approaches as they can.

and

JW and Rob John nailed it.
/thread

M2C
The primary reason internal is better, in a MA setting, is that the way the body moves and carries itself is alien and confounds the way normal people move. even athletic normal people. Touch one; and you will know in an instant. It is different and words will not convey this understanding. Like the story of Tenryu touching Ueshiba's arm...and knowing in a split second he was undone..

Go see.

and

As Katherine, I have had on-hands with both Saotome and Ikeda on more than one occasion, and yes, they can both do as she said, BUT not like what I have felt from Dan or Howard Popkin (my Aikijujutsu teacher) - both Dan and Howard are light years ahead in the internals than those two pillars of Aikido, not that they are bad, they just don't feel the same in the sense that I am I totally controlled by them when I touch them - both Dan and Howard do.

Greg

and

Usually I just skim these threads, shake my head, and go back to training, but on this one I hope I might have a beneficial perspective to offer.

Much of my study over the past 10 years has revolved around how to utilize exercise and conditioning to create the best budo-body. I studied sports science, Russian kettlebells, Russian Systema and ROSS, was a CST instructor under Scott Sonnon (circular strength training system) from 2004 to 2006, and also wrote a book on Warrior Fitness - conditioning for martial arts. I hope this establishes my knowledge base and belief in western exercise science and physical training. Also, to round out my background, I have been training in martial arts for almost 30 years, 22 of them in Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu.

In 2008 while reading E-Budo, I discovered a thread by a guy named Dan Harden talking about conditioning a "budo-body" in a way I had never heard of before. When Dan announced his teacher seminar back in August of 2009, I jumped at the chance. I'm not going to re-review the seminar here, but suffice it to say I came away with concrete exercises, examples, and principles on which to work and put into my own personal practice. At the time, I had asked Dan about combining the solo exercises he taught with my regimen of kettlebells and other western conditioning methods. Here's his reply from the 2009 thread:

Needless to say I followed his advice and gave up all other exercise and just concentrated on the solo work. The result after 6 months or so? People asking me - why are you so difficult to throw? :)

Now, here's the comparison part. Around April last year I had the bright idea to start lifting kettlebells, clubbells, sandbags, and doing all sorts of high intensity conditioning workouts. The results? After several months, I looked great, was very healthy and conditioned and physically strong, but here's the rub - I FELT just like everyone else. Training partners that had been having trouble throwing me and locking me were able to do so again much easier than before. So, my little mind got to thinking - what is my goal here? Do I want to be strong and conditioned as an athlete OR strong and conditioned as a budoka? I chose Budoka and quit lifting and once again began doing the solo work that Dan teaches. I now train this stuff for at least an hour every day and will not look back. To me, the difference is clear.

One last point. Internal is not superior to athleticism, it's a different methodology of training for a different result. As I said above, you need to decide your goal. It's not for everyone

Hope that ramble helps....

Jon

and

Nice, Jon. That pretty much gels with my experience when I started working on "this stuff". You have to rewire the body to a degree, otherwise you'll just do things the way you always did them.

and

Chris,
I'm a nub in this area skill wise, but I'm also trying to make a go of understanding what's going on in more simple terms, so I'll take a stab at it.

This is a very basic description and by no means complete or all encompassing, but you asked for an example of what it can do that typical athletics/muscle can't and I think this fits that bill.

and

Plus there are some great videos of Chinese IMA on youtube - but guess what, they won't convince the sceptics either, what a surprise! Because you cannot see how they do it, and because it does not look like MMA...

It also keeps amusing me in these threads how "group think" is always the other party.

and


as for the original question...I'm still searching for the individual/s who went and got hands on time with someone with this ability and says they are full of it...haven't seen it yet.

Brian Griffith

and


Nothing wrong with athleticism, nothing wrong with internal conditioning, they are both different though.

just my couple of pennies worth to add to this little debate.

regards,

Mark

and

The easiest way to answer is to look at the very paradigm you are describing. Athleticism declines over time. The first thing to go is speed. That's why virtually all athletic competitors in any area requiring speed are young. Then power goes. Almost every competitive sport which has folks engaging n competition throughout their lives have age divisions. It's true of fencing, golf, etc. anything in which the skills are based on athleticism.



and


Well, IP isn't a magical force. In a sense, you're right, I think, in that it's all "athletics" in the end. On the other hand, IP training involves training and conditioning your body to move and function in a way that is isn't normally done in conventional athletics.

Or that's the way it seems to me...

Best,

Chris

and

Hi Chris
There is a difference between explosive power from IP and what you perceive as relaxed power. It is not going to be resolved through discussion.

stan

and

What's the point of continuous talk that just goes nowhere? I agree with Stan. "Discussions" here will just keep going in circles unless and until you actually go and get some hands-on time with the people who are openly teaching and training IP.

To a man (and woman), everyone on AikiWeb who has done this has come back to engage in enthusiastic conversation, comparing notes, asking questions and getting feedback. It's so much more productive than speaking from an uninformed position.

Discovering that "it's different" can definitely force one to step outside his or her comfort zone, especially if it means having to re-think everything that one has held true, for years. But anyone willing to take that chance may well find that they will gain much more than they lose in that discovery.

and

Well, I can't bow out yet since I never bowed in. So a passing post... ;)

I was recently talking with a friend of mine who has something like 30 years experience in aikido (outside of our group). He knew I had been to seminars by Threadgill, Harden and Sigman. And that I've been lucky enough to have met and trained a bit with students of Ark and Kuroda. Still working on meeting Popkin and Ushiro in person, but if finances allow... So he asked me about what was going on. So I tried to give him a bit of a run-down of the basic gist of the argument.

Diana Frese
01-31-2011, 09:49 AM
This is a long thread, and I am very interested. But having read just a few of the posts I feel as if I can just drop in a thought then read the rest from time to time during the day, the week, etc.

It may even be a question: You are there with your students, you look at them, you watch them, something comes to mind and you try it to see if it helps....

I only had a small YMCA dojo for a few years. Did I teach IP? I don't know, but I borrowed a few exercises. None of us had had a baby, so instead of that example from Terry Dobson and others, I changed it to "groceries" turning and protecting your center was the point of the exercise as I had understood it to be.

Another example was what I called "sheetrock" similar to the judo exercise of hanging off the gymnasium bars by your belt, I had people lean forward in a relaxed manner balancing against the partner's outstretched hands, I think it was, and then when "nage" moved the uke fell forward enough to require a step to keep balance.

I considered this an example of not using muscle strength to move uke.

I was never the athletic type but I am interested in how to remember if I was doing or teaching IP in my regular YMCA classes where I had one assistant from Shorinji Kenpo and his own assistant as it worked out from Rugby. They loved training with each other and were a good help to the newer students.

At the time, I thought karate was strictly linear, so I asked Larry why he was picking up on so many of the circular things. He said Shorinji Kenpo is Japanese people trying to do Chinese things.

I have another question, does Shorinji refer back to Shaolin?

Please tell me if my post fits this thread or maybe another one. I will read more of your posts in this one either way. Thanks so much.

Chris Li
01-31-2011, 10:07 AM
This is a long thread, and I am very interested. But having read just a few of the posts I feel as if I can just drop in a thought then read the rest from time to time during the day, the week, etc.

It may even be a question: You are there with your students, you look at them, you watch them, something comes to mind and you try it to see if it helps....

I only had a small YMCA dojo for a few years. Did I teach IP? I don't know, but I borrowed a few exercises. None of us had had a baby, so instead of that example from Terry Dobson and others, I changed it to "groceries" turning and protecting your center was the point of the exercise as I had understood it to be.

Another example was what I called "sheetrock" similar to the judo exercise of hanging off the gymnasium bars by your belt, I had people lean forward in a relaxed manner balancing against the partner's outstretched hands, I think it was, and then when "nage" moved the uke fell forward enough to require a step to keep balance.

I considered this an example of not using muscle strength to move uke.

I was never the athletic type but I am interested in how to remember if I was doing or teaching IP in my regular YMCA classes where I had one assistant from Shorinji Kenpo and his own assistant as it worked out from Rugby. They loved training with each other and were a good help to the newer students.

At the time, I thought karate was strictly linear, so I asked Larry why he was picking up on so many of the circular things. He said Shorinji Kenpo is Japanese people trying to do Chinese things.

I have another question, does Shorinji refer back to Shaolin?

Please tell me if my post fits this thread or maybe another one. I will read more of your posts in this one either way. Thanks so much.

"Shorinji" is the Japanese reading for "Shaolin Temple". The founder of Shorinji Kempo actually had a connection to Daito-ryu through Hakko-ryu.

FWIW, the examples above aren't really what I think of when I think of the IP that most people are talking about here. I think that we're talking about a much more fundamental change in the way that the body is used and conditioned.

Best,

Chris

chillzATL
01-31-2011, 10:15 AM
I'm amazed that you guys have let yourselves get roped along this far.

Diana Frese
01-31-2011, 10:18 AM
Thanks for the historical reference.I have friends here who have studied types of Shaolin and I'm glad to know of the historical connection.

thanks also for the clarification I asked for based on the examples in my question, I'm certainly interested in reading more in this thread to learn more about how the body is used and conditioned .
That phrase tells me what I can learn about while reading further in this thread and I look forward to it.

DH
01-31-2011, 10:28 AM
Hello Diane
I teach a small group of people on Thursday nights in Wethersfield Ct. Mostly Aikido folks. Nice group and very small. Its free. If you want to join us and see what we are up to let me know. We're not hiding..nor are we exactly making money trying to help.
You bring your dancing shoes and I will bring my top hat and magic cape and do some parlor tricks!!
Then we can go to work!
Cheers
Dan

Lorel Latorilla
01-31-2011, 10:47 AM
I'm amazed that you guys have let yourselves get roped along this far.

I agree. Chris is intellectually dishonest and should not be engaged to the degree he's getting right now. I say ignore him until he touches hands with someone who claims to be doing something 'different'.

DH
01-31-2011, 11:07 AM
I agree. Chris is intellectually dishonest and should not be engaged to the degree he's getting right now. I say ignore him until he touches hands with someone who claims to be doing something 'different'.
I think that's harsh. I think he is genuine in being convinced that people don't know the difference and for whatever reason, don't have the wherewithal to tell the difference in the first place. While I think that is a very tenuous argument, I think it is sincere.
I am not responding for Chris's sake but for readers who might feel the same or are confused or are unsure of the issues.
Cheers
Dan

George S. Ledyard
01-31-2011, 11:21 AM
I totally agree with Chris on all points/arguments. I don't see why everyone keeps attacking Chris like they do. Its good to think about things in a different way. So keep rocking the boat Chris! :D

Hi Daniel,
There's always a range on the forums... For instance, Tony W and I often see things differently. I think we each wanted something different from our Aikido, I think we each think different teachers represent the kind of Aikido we have pursued our whole lives.

So whatever disagreements we might have, no matter how strongly held, are still, in the end, just opinions. Our discussions are a matter of personal preference and personal opinion. I see no need to "jump on him" to defend my own point of view. We might have a spirited back and forth on some areas but he is absolutely entitled to his "opinion".

However, there is a point at which one can simply be wrong. It might be your opinion or point of view but it can still be wrong. Especially when one is stubbornly holding on to that opinion or point of view in the face of overwhelming personal, hands on experience to the contrary, well that starts to get folks a bit testy.

If you added up the collective experience of the folks who have been posting about internal stuff here, it would be a truly staggering amount of experience. I'd be pretty sure that collectively, just counting the folks who have weighed in on the Internal skills being different than athletic skills, we might add up to 800 or 1000 years of martial arts experience. These folks are from different arts, they are not from any particular organization, in some cases they don't even like each other and fight all the time... yet on this topic, they are clear. From the newest newbie in internal training to the most experienced these folks are in agreement, which is really saying something as you almost never see this many people all on the same page.

So, there comes a point at which any single individual, when faced with so much information to the contrary, especially when that individual has zero direct experience with any of the folks we are talking about here, when anyone with the least open mind would say, maybe there's something going on I need to find out about. Perhaps with so much information coming from such collection of folks with such varied and lengthy experience, one should decide that maybe they could be mistaken in their opinion. At least until he or she can get more information to back that opinion up.

Not all opinions are equal. Some opinions are simply opinions on subjects that are truly subjective. And other opinions cross the line into being unfounded. When an opinion consists of a set of statements, not backed up by direct experience, which are made in direct opposition to statements which are backed up by personal experience, historical reference, etc. then you pretty much have crossed the line into unfounded.

It's like trying to have a conversation with my old born again college friend about evolution, which he firmly disbelieved in. You could ask him how all those dinosaur bones got in the earth and he'd say, "God put them there". You'd ask why, he'd reply "It's a mystery". You ask him about Carbon dating of remains, he'd simply say the "scientists are wrong". No amount of factual information could cause him to reconsider his viewpoint for a second.

That's why folks get testy and some simply bow out and others push even harder, making it seem like they are "jumping on" a particular person. When you happen to also agree with the person being jumped on, it may seem unfair. But it is also unfair to expect the vast majority of folks who have experience with the subject at hand to suspend what they know to be true to make folks with no direct experience of what is being discussed feel validated in their opinions. It is possible to simply be mistaken.

ChrisHein
01-31-2011, 11:24 AM
Sorry, there are so many posts to reply to, that I'll just have to make some blanket statements.

What is IP, I really haven't seen any answers about that. Rob suggested that it's some kind of body skill. Others have suggested similar things. If this is the case, if IP is a body skill, then it seems to me that it would be an athletic practice. If this is the case, why aren't sports teams all employing IP teachers. We saw from Hunters example that at least NFL teams are aware of these types of teachers, yet they choose not to employ them.

Others have suggested that IP is some kind of, for lack of a better word, impulse that goes into your opponent's neuromuscular system, or something similar, and disrupts it. Is this what IP is?

These two seem like different things to me. Which one is more like IP? I'm only asking because different people seem to give slightly different answers. Is it a physical body skill, or is it some kind of energy that you send into someone else's body?

Demetrio Cereijo
01-31-2011, 11:31 AM
Here is a quote from Doshu to that shihan/
"Yes I have heard, I can never do that stuff, if I did ...they...would kill me. I have to do the art the way my father did".
Ninjas... Damn.
:D

A bit more seriously,

If in the last, let's say 50 years, thousands people all around the world have been buying an almost "empty" martial art as the real deal, why can't you guys & gals understand Chris concerns?

Demetrio Cereijo
01-31-2011, 11:34 AM
Not all opinions are equal. Some opinions are simply opinions on subjects that are truly subjective. And other opinions cross the line into being unfounded. When an opinion consists of a set of statements, not backed up by direct experience, which are made in direct opposition to statements which are backed up by personal experience, historical reference, etc. then you pretty much have crossed the line into unfounded.

It's like trying to have a conversation with my old born again college friend about evolution, which he firmly disbelieved in. You could ask him how all those dinosaur bones got in the earth and he'd say, "God put them there". You'd ask why, he'd reply "It's a mystery". You ask him about Carbon dating of remains, he'd simply say the "scientists are wrong". No amount of factual information could cause him to reconsider his viewpoint for a second.


George,

That's why some people here are asking for a scientific approach to the IS/IT issue.

And it's not happenning. Why?

Alfonso
01-31-2011, 11:36 AM
Ninjas... Damn.
:D

A bit more seriously,

If in the last, let's say 50 years, thousands people all around the world have been buying an almost "empty" martial art as the real deal, why can't you guys & gals understand Chris concerns?

No point replacing an empty can with another empty can? I posted earlier that the OP is not fair; IP is done with the human body. It can be analyzed in terms of modern sports medicine.

If you say energy = kinetic energy , sure, if you say energy = mc2 I suppose you could say energy is being thrown around.

Forces are being passed around; Load , Pushes, Pulling. If there is any link to esoteric stuff it is not what is being discussed here.

ChrisHein
01-31-2011, 11:38 AM
If you added up the collective experience of the folks who have been posting about internal stuff here, it would be a truly staggering amount of experience. I'd be pretty sure that collectively, just counting the folks who have weighed in on the Internal skills being different than athletic skills, we might add up to 800 or 1000 years of martial arts experience. These folks are from different arts, they are not from any particular organization, in some cases they don't even like each other and fight all the time... yet on this topic, they are clear. From the newest newbie in internal training to the most experienced these folks are in agreement, which is really saying something as you almost never see this many people all on the same page.

George,
If you were to add up the experience of everyone in the world who doesn't do IP it would add up to a much larger number than 800-1000 years, and we don't know if those people agree or disagree. If you add up the years of training for the non IP community (which is larger then the IP community by far) their years of training are MUCH larger then 800-1000 years of training, and they don't agree, we know this because they don't practice IP at all. If you add up the number of training years of people in the IP community that don't agree with the small group found on Aikiweb, you again get a much larger number of training years. If it's a matter of how many people agree, than this group is way out numbered!

But we all know it's not a matter of numbers. It's not political. It is what it is. And we have yet to find out what it is, at least not yet in this discussion.

kewms
01-31-2011, 11:46 AM
Sorry, there are so many posts to reply to, that I'll just have to make some blanket statements.

What is IP, I really haven't seen any answers about that. Rob suggested that it's some kind of body skill. Others have suggested similar things. If this is the case, if IP is a body skill, then it seems to me that it would be an athletic practice. If this is the case, why aren't sports teams all employing IP teachers. We saw from Hunters example that at least NFL teams are aware of these types of teachers, yet they choose not to employ them.

Others have suggested that IP is some kind of, for lack of a better word, impulse that goes into your opponent's neuromuscular system, or something similar, and disrupts it. Is this what IP is?

These two seem like different things to me. Which one is more like IP? I'm only asking because different people seem to give slightly different answers. Is it a physical body skill, or is it some kind of energy that you send into someone else's body?

Why don't you try it? Then you can draw your own conclusions about what's going on.

NFL teams don't spend a lot of money on dance instructors, either. That doesn't mean dance isn't a valid practice. Different training for different goals.

In your posts, I see two very questionable assumptions: first, the assumption that all body skills are definable in athletic terms, and second, insistence on a bright line between "mental" and "physical" skills. IP challenges those assumptions, but so do lots of other examples from lots of other domains.

Olympic rifle competitors make their hearts "pause" at the instant they take the shot. Sounds like a body skill to me, but I can't imagine any way in which conventional athletic training would develop it. Meditation and breath training, however, might.

Katherine

Demetrio Cereijo
01-31-2011, 11:46 AM
No point replacing an empty can with another empty can? I posted earlier that the OP is not fair; IP is done with the human body. It can be analyzed in terms of modern sports medicine.
"It can be analyzed" doesn't mean "It is being/has been analyzed".

Can anyone provide citations of peer reviewed published studies? I'm all ears (read: eyes)

If there is any link to esoteric stuff it is not what is being discussed here.
Big can of worms.

phitruong
01-31-2011, 12:00 PM
What is IP, I really haven't seen any answers about that. Rob suggested that it's some kind of body skill. Others have suggested similar things. If this is the case, if IP is a body skill, then it seems to me that it would be an athletic practice. If this is the case, why aren't sports teams all employing IP teachers. We saw from Hunters example that at least NFL teams are aware of these types of teachers, yet they choose not to employ them.



i believed i wrote somewhere about at the beginning part of learn IP skills, you need to rewire your body where most of the stuffs you have done before won't work, at least for a year or two, depends on how much change you need. kinda hard to tell the NFL football team, multi-billions industry, that for a year or two, the other teams will plow through your defensive line like hot knife through butter. would you jumping on that band wagon? i wouldn't if i was the owner of such team.

the term i used is IS (internal skills), not IP (internal power). it's learned skills to mind manage body movement for efficiency, for long duration, against various constraints such as size, speed, age that common folks could do to enhance their performance vs genius such as Ueshiba, Kano, Funakoshi. there is nothing magical about this. these are skills that were kept secret for a long time, and still are. these skills can be trained once you understand the various parameters and so on. also helped with folks who know to give a helping hand.

George S. Ledyard
01-31-2011, 12:00 PM
George,
If you were to add up the experience of everyone in the world who doesn't do IP it would add up to a much larger number than 800-1000 years, and we don't know if those people agree or disagree. If you add up the years of training for the non IP community (which is larger then the IP community by far) their years of training are MUCH larger then 800-1000 years of training, and they don't agree, we know this because they don't practice IP at all. If you add up the number of training years of people in the IP community that don't agree with the small group found on Aikiweb, you again get a much larger number of training years. If it's a matter of how many people agree, than this group is way out numbered!

But we all know it's not a matter of numbers. It's not political. It is what it is. And we have yet to find out what it is, at least not yet in this discussion.

Chris, This isn't what I am saying... Of course, on any given topic one can always find superior numbers on the side of the folks who have no knowledge of the subject. We can completely ignore, for the purposes of these discussions, that group of folks who have no opinion whatever because they haven't even heard the term internal skills. We can also discount the opinions of those martial artists who haven't heard of the topic and have no opinion. In fact, the vast majority of people have no opinion and can currently be discounted. I am only interested in talking about the very small, relatively speaking, community of folks who have expressed any opinion at all on the subject.

What we are talking about here is the community of folks who do have knowledge and experience with the topic at hand. Most folks who don't know, know they don't and simply do not express an opinion. So we don't need to consider them. So what we have is a very small group of folks, currently represented by you as point man, but I am sure you are not alone, who have expressed a viewpoint on a topic, with no direct experience of what the folks represented here do, that a very large number of people with direct experience of the subject differ with completely.

I cannot see at this point how any further argument or explanation would shift your viewpoint. The next step is to get some direct experience with one of the folks who we have been talking about. You can choose not to do some and that would be fine. Or you can choose to do so. At that point I think we can resume discussion. I am definitely interested in talking to someone who, after experiencing for themselves what the internal skills teachers are putting out there, still thinks they are standard athletic skills and not a paradigm shift in how one uses his or her body.

MM
01-31-2011, 12:06 PM
George,

That's why some people here are asking for a scientific approach to the IS/IT issue.

And it's not happenning. Why?

Yeah, it is.

Take the Modern Aikido world and think of all of them in a room.

Then take the IP/aiki people and put them in a room.

The Modern Aikido room is the control. The base. It's all the same in regards to comparisons to the IP/aiki room.

Now, slowly take subjects from the control room and add them to the IP/aiki room. Allow saturation. Remove subjects and report results.

The results? 100% of subjects state that what the IP/aiki people are doing is *not* what Modern Aikido people are doing. It is *different*.

I don't think you can get any closer to a scientific approach than that in this field/study/area of IP/aiki.

Alfonso
01-31-2011, 12:06 PM
this topic is a big can of worms.

A great place to start is on the physical plane. For example; Balance is a body-mind skill. Because mind is employed you can veer off into the largest can of worms you could possibly conceive; so let's leave aside the mind games a bit.

One aspect I think people are glossing over is that largely the interactions and examples used in this discussion involved having the "Internal guy" doing feats on the "Non-internal guy" . In my opinion the superiority comes from being able to do unexpected things that mess up your Non-Internal map of what's happening. That's a good advantage in a fight.

Demetrio Cereijo
01-31-2011, 12:28 PM
Yeah, it is.
...
I don't think you can get any closer to a scientific approach than that in this field/study/area of IP/aiki.
OMG!!!

JangChoe
01-31-2011, 12:37 PM
What is IP, I really haven't seen any answers about that. Rob suggested that it's some kind of body skill. Others have suggested similar things. If this is the case, if IP is a body skill, then it seems to me that it would be an athletic practice. If this is the case, why aren't sports teams all employing IP teachers. We saw from Hunters example that at least NFL teams are aware of these types of teachers, yet they choose not to employ them.


Probably because it doesn't give results immediately. Pro Athletes have a short lifespan in their careers, it wouldn't make sense for them to give up on all their old habits and train in this new bodyskill for a few years to see any benefit.

Also, not everyone will get it. Even in Chen village where everyone is exposed to this bodyskill constantly, there are reports of people who don't attain any of these skills.

Mark Freeman
01-31-2011, 12:42 PM
the term i used is IS (internal skills), not IP (internal power). it's learned skills to mind manage body movement for efficiency, for long duration, against various constraints such as size, speed, age that common folks could do to enhance their performance vs genius such as Ueshiba, Kano, Funakoshi. there is nothing magical about this. these are skills that were kept secret for a long time, and still are. these skills can be trained once you understand the various parameters and so on. also helped with folks who know to give a helping hand.

Hi Phi (that sounds good!:) )

the bolded section of your quote is for me the closest to what I think IS is, and the most efficiently said.

This whole subject just can't be seen as a body skills thing. The mind has a huge part to play in it all. The interesting thing is for me is, that the mind can only really play its full and active part, when the body has been trained to do as the mind tells it. An interesting and frustrating conundrum, that has plenty of potential for people to dress up as magic or mystical secrets. When they are in fact just a very specific set of learned mind/body skills.

The days of secrets are over, it is too easy now to see and debunk the charlatans, and there are plenty of folk who know how to do this IS/aiki stuff who are willing to share what they know.

Well done Phi for encapsulating endless words into a short crisp sentence ;)

regards

Mark

Mike Sigman
01-31-2011, 12:42 PM
These two seem like different things to me. Which one is more like IP? I'm only asking because different people seem to give slightly different answers.At the moment, I'll guarantee you that even the people who are named as "does I.S." are all doing different things, different levels of things, or have otherwise different understandings of what internal strength is. As I've said a number of times, this whole topic is in the beginning stages, particularly in regard to Aikido, so I wouldn't commit much to anybody or any set syllabus yet. That being said, there have been a number of posts over the years laying out what the differences are between I.S. and normal movement. It seems pointless to repeat the same explanations for everyone person that didn't see or understand what's been posted before. As many people have suggested, it's just easier to go see someone with purported skills and start building a data base. ;)

2 cents,

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
01-31-2011, 12:48 PM
The days of secrets are over, it is too easy now to see and debunk the charlatans, and there are plenty of folk who know how to do this IS/aiki stuff who are willing to share what they know.
Hmmmmm.. I don't know if the days of secrets are over. I have things that I reserve for people who I think are ready for them. Over the years I found that if you start showing bells and whistles along with the basic things, the gung ho guyz will all start trying to do the bells and whistles and their basics don't develop... so I try to separate different levels of information to different levels of people. That would be "secrets". ;)

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Michael Hackett
01-31-2011, 12:49 PM
Chris there are numerous body skills that are not athletic in nature. Not to be facetious, knitting, painting and calligraphy are, by my definition, body skills with no athletic component. Whether IS/IP skills can be translated into all athletics or a few is a question that I can't answer.

And Katherine, competitive marksmen don't pause their heartbeat, but rather take their shots between heartbeats.

Now, when is the next Dan Harden seminar? Are any scheduled for out here in the West Coast?

kewms
01-31-2011, 12:55 PM
And Katherine, competitive marksmen don't pause their heartbeat, but rather take their shots between heartbeats.

My understanding was that EKG studies had actually shown their hearts skipping a beat. But I can't find the reference at the moment so I could easily be mistaken.

In any case, the central point remains: not all body skills are athletic, and many body skills have both mental and physical components.

Katherine

MM
01-31-2011, 01:14 PM
OMG!!!

What?

You think science is advanced enough to actually be able to even begin to start an approach to IS/aiki? As advanced as the robotics field is today, they *still* aren't using humans as a base for programming. Instead, they're still using, well, basically, "what ifs" and "if then" kind of computing.

Physics can't even come up with a formula for when a human goes from a walk to a run cycle.

As advanced as CGI/animation is today, they *still* aren't using humans as a base for programming. Instead, they're doing motion capture to get the outward physical movements.

Best you'll get is an overview and even then, it's going to be as broad as the example I used. Heck, it's not even close to psych 101, but then again, nothing we have right now is even close to IP/aiki. The human body is far too complex. So if you think my answer was silly, think how others view the question for a "scientific" approach. :)

Demetrio Cereijo
01-31-2011, 01:28 PM
What?

You think science is advanced enough to actually be able to even begin to start an approach to IS/aiki?
Yes.

Best you'll get is an overview and even then, it's going to be as broad as the example I used. Heck, it's not even close to psych 101, but then again, nothing we have right now is even close to IP/aiki. The human body is far too complex. So if you think my answer was silly, think how others view the question for a "scientific" approach. :)
I don't think your answer was silly. Defeatist, or based in limited knowledge about science. As I don't know what is your field of expertise IRL I chose to think you are a defeatist :)

BTW, If i cared about what people thinks about me or my opinions I would not be posting against the "party line". You (pl) don't validate me.

HL1978
01-31-2011, 01:44 PM
OMG!!!

Depends.

If you are referring to it being analyised in a lab, certainly there has been some of that. I think some Tai Chi people have been analyized and linked to in the non-aikido traditions forum a few years back.

I can't speak for Mark, but if his comments were along the lines of, "Oh hey, that felt wierd and made my partner move in a strange way. How do I go about recreating that?" And then playing with various conditions in ones own body to recreate it, it sounds like the same process one goes through in the lab.

On an other related note, I had heard a few years back some Kinesiology guy checked out Akuzawa during an Aunkai class and basically said what he was doing was outside his own frame of reference. Now this wasn't in a lab, but I guess either he couldn't quite figure out what was going on without the right tools, or whatever Akuzawa was doing was fairly unusal compared to normal human movement.

Demetrio Cereijo
01-31-2011, 01:58 PM
Depends.

If you are referring to it being analyised in a lab, certainly there has been some of that. I think some Tai Chi people have been analyized and linked to in the non-aikido traditions forum a few years back.
Yes, I'm aware of that.

I can't speak for Mark, but if his comments were along the lines of, "Oh hey, that felt wierd and made my partner move in a strange way. How do I go about recreating that?" And then playing with various conditions in ones own body to recreate it, it sounds like the same process one goes through in the lab.
Sounds like but it isn't.

On an other related note, I had heard a few years back some Kinesiology guy checked out Akuzawa during an Aunkai class and basically said what he was doing was outside his own frame of reference. Now this wasn't in a lab, but I guess either he couldn't quite figure out what was going on without the right tools, or whatever Akuzawa was doing was fairly unusal compared to normal human movement.
I don't deny Akuzawa or any other skilled IS/IP can do unusual things. But that doesn't solve what IS/IP is and how operates.

HL1978
01-31-2011, 02:30 PM
Sounds like but it isn't.

I'm not a scientist, rather an engineer, so lab work for discovering new things and recreating them is outside my area of expertise. My fiancee is a Ph.D scientist specializing in biochemistry and it sounds like what my fiancee has done in the lab to me. :)


I don't deny Akuzawa or any other skilled IS/IP can do unusual things. But that doesn't solve what IS/IP is and how operates.

I would agree. We do however know what it is not:

It is not focusing on chaining together groups of muscles.

It is not focusing on hypnosis or suggestion, though expressing it can confuse/trick people due to lack of familarity.

It does not rely on using the arms/shoulders as a means of generating power.

What we can figure out from watching video is:

Motion tends to start in the middle of the body and propegate out, rather than starting at the leg and passing through the body out to a limb.

Power can be generated from compromised positions, so it doesn't soley require good alignment to generate power. Rotation isn't required.

People who feel IS practioners while they are doing their demonstrations report that they don't feel muscles tensing during the demonstrations. The practioners appear very relaxed.

People touching the IS person seem to loose their balance very easily.

Now this of course doesn't answer what exactly it is either. Analyising enough video, we could probably come up with a list of attributes which most might agree on in terms of what the effects of using it are, but still not have an idea how it is created within the body.
---------

Chris,

you can check out this video with a couple more demos here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXsMSoXrNgo&feature=player_detailpage#t=123s)

See if you can do what he is doing without your partner regarding weight transfer, plus pinky wrestling (at 4:27) is always fun too :) Cordelli's comments are interesting at 5:25. I have never felt the final demo, so I have no clue how that one works.

Mark Freeman
01-31-2011, 02:45 PM
Hmmmmm.. I don't know if the days of secrets are over. I have things that I reserve for people who I think are ready for them. Over the years I found that if you start showing bells and whistles along with the basic things, the gung ho guyz will all start trying to do the bells and whistles and their basics don't develop... so I try to separate different levels of information to different levels of people. That would be "secrets". ;)

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Hi Mike,

you are probably right, too big a generalisation to hold water. Of course there are things that will be reserved and taught to those that are ready for them, as well as things which are explicitly taught that the student just does not grasp, but with enough practice, a lightbulb moment occurs/can occur. If a lower level student is aware that the higher level student is being taught something, for their grade so to speak, is that a secret? The information is not known but they are aware that they will get it when they are ready.

I completely agree, without the basics in place, it doesn't matter what level of secret / information thats given, there are going to be problems.

regards,

Mark

chillzATL
01-31-2011, 03:13 PM
I think that if physics or whatever were interested, it could explain the majority of what's going on in IS/IP, but where's the interest? You need someone who is in that field of study to become interested or at least curious enough to want to take it on and then give them access to someone with a full range of well developed skills who also has the desire to be studied.

IMO it's a study of the relaxed human bodies ability to convey/transmit forces.

Mark Freeman
01-31-2011, 04:29 PM
IMO it's a study of the relaxed human bodies ability to convey/transmit forces.

relaxed bodies and minds Jason, bodies and minds.:)

Cady Goldfield
01-31-2011, 04:47 PM
I'm amazed that you guys have let yourselves get roped along this far.

Hope springs eternal. :)

Besides, it hasn't been a complete waste of energy. There have been some good posts from a number of people, and if Diana Frese takes Dan up on his generous invitation to train, then one more aikidoka will come back to AikiWeb with an informed opinion.

Cady Goldfield
01-31-2011, 05:30 PM
"It can be analyzed" doesn't mean "It is being/has been analyzed".

Can anyone provide citations of peer reviewed published studies? I'm all ears (read: eyes)

Big can of worms.

This video (now 4 years old) is fun to watch, and the motion-capture body sensors are rockin', but the student-researchers barely scratch the surface of what's going on:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HN88QIsMHqA&feature=player_embedded

Their mentor professor did a more in-depth study (see link below), but also failed to determine what Chen Xiang -- an IP-conditioned Baji and Taiji practitioner -- was doing. So, even with video with state-of-the-art motion-capture sensors, and top-flight scientific researchers at Stanford getting their hands on an "internal" martial artist, they still are baffled at the source of his power, and end up calling his IP source "Chi." :D The complexity and nuance of what he is doing within his body was not captured by the sensors,

http://www.qigonginstitute.org/html/Qi_Press/TaiChi%20Stanford.pdf

There is a lot of stuff published in medical and sports medicine journals, etc. concerning typical martial and combat arts. No shortage of stuff about "external" power generation (conventional hip torque-driven power, etc.) --

http://www.jssm.org/combat.php

But because IP and aiki are lesser-known body skills, and are not mainstream (especially not in the sports world), they are still under the radar for these researchers.

That's why the Stanford people were so blown away by Chen. It's something they had never seen before in any of their athlete subjects. ;)

danj
01-31-2011, 06:38 PM
The first step in using western science as a tool to illuminate is to decide what to illuminate. IP is complex and so simple representative tasks that show IP, are measurable and are repeatable would be an important first step.
Often the trouble is that western science (reductionist) finds that a single example is proof enough that a phenomena can be explained, but that other disciples (based on catagorisation or examples) with say 'yes thats fine but what about .... and what about...' so the two approaches tend not to communicate so well.

I would say that some of the 'ki tricks' made popular by Kohei Tohei as some fairly simple examples of Ki that are quite measurable. The criticism is that these examples are too simplistic, prove nothing and thus the 'what about xyz' arises.

I would presume that there is some overlap between 'Ki tests' and IS and look to the forum members to suggest more that could be investigated.

ChrisHein
01-31-2011, 06:45 PM
IMO it's a study of the relaxed human bodies ability to convey/transmit forces.

This sounds like the field of athletics again.

Mike Sigman brought up some interesting stuff. So even among the those who are "in the know" there are arguments about what IP is. Why is there a difference of opinion? Are the different camps talking about drastically different skill sets, or are they simply talking about minor details. When Mike, Ark and Dan all get together can't we see the difference's and hash out what is the same?

I would like to ask Mike, Ark, and Dan how do you guys feel to each other?

Demetrio Cereijo
01-31-2011, 06:46 PM
Hi Cady,

I know that video, I've been around here (and around e-budo and Aikido Journal) for about 6 years. I remember well the ki wars. This issue has been discussed to boredom without the IS/IP people moving an inch from the IHTBF.

I don't see how someone can seriously say the article you linked is "an in-depth study" when others like this one (http://www.dkn-fitness.cz/Doc/Journal7.pdf) are common.

Anyway, I'm going to leave this thread and mind my own bussiness but I canīt help to think there is something fishy that makes the people who are promoting IP/IS avoid their skills being subjected to scientifical analysis while at the same time they have no problem in writing thousands of posts, for years, in various websites and forums. There is an insane amount of hours invested in promoting, discussing, debating, etc. IS/IP training and, as result: a handful of middle-aged middle-class, most of them hobbyist, martial arts practitioneers.

If you have the method to develop great balance, strenght that doesn't fade with age, coordination, psycho-physical integration, etc. and you're not thinking in the quality of life of senior citizens, victims of muscular degenerative diseases, manual workers, sports practitioneers approaching the end of their careers... so you are not knocking the doors of universities, hospitals, sientific societies, niosh and the like for getting them interested because your method works and you can prove it instead of spending your time and efforts in the intardnets then you are a very strange person.

IMO, of course.

ChrisHein
01-31-2011, 06:52 PM
I know that video, I've been around here (and around e-budo and Aikido Journal) for about 6 years. I remember well the ki wars. This issue has been discussed to boredom without the IS/IP people moving an inch from the IHTBF.

I canīt help to think there is something fishy that makes the people who are promoting IP/IS avoid their skills being subjected to scientifical analysis while at the same time they have no problem in writing thousands of posts, for years, in various websites and forums. There is an insane amount of hours invested in promoting, discussing, debating, etc. IS/IP training and, as result: a handful of middle-aged middle-class, most of them hobbyist, martial arts practitioneers.

If you have the method to develop great balance, strenght that doesn't fade with age, coordination, psycho-physical integration, etc. and you're not thinking in the quality of life of senior citizens, victims of muscular degenerative diseases, manual workers, sports practitioneers approaching the end of their careers... and you are not knocking the doors of universities, hospitals, sientific societies, niosh and the like for geting them interested because your method works and you can prove it but spends your time in the intardnets then you are a very strange person.

IMO, of course.

It does seem strange, from both a financial and civic minded standpoint.

Cady Goldfield
01-31-2011, 07:05 PM
Demetrio,
I didn't mean that the article itself was the "in-depth" study -- it was just to provide some reference about what the chief researcher was doing beyond the students who made the video above.

My point, basically, was what Mark Murray was saying in post #307: That there are a number of "things" happening in the body that cannot be observed in the way that your linked article explains an observable sequence or linear chain of "events." IP is not one discrete action or function that can be traced to one physiological event.

The tools for scientific inquiry don't exist yet for this area, probably because Western science hasn't gotten its meathooks into it yet. Like I said, it's still below the radar. The Stanford study is one of the first I've heard of, and they seem to be few and far between.

Demetrio Cereijo
01-31-2011, 07:15 PM
The tools for scientific inquiry don't exist yet for this area, probably because Western science hasn't gotten its meathooks into it yet. Like I said, it's still below the radar. The Stanford study is one of the first I've heard of, and they seem to be few and far between.

Cady, go to http://scholar.google.com/ and type tai chi + elderly in the search field.

chillzATL
01-31-2011, 07:20 PM
This sounds like the field of athletics again.

Mike Sigman brought up some interesting stuff. So even among the those who are "in the know" there are arguments about what IP is. Why is there a difference of opinion? Are the different camps talking about drastically different skill sets, or are they simply talking about minor details. When Mike, Ark and Dan all get together can't we see the difference's and hash out what is the same?

I would like to ask Mike, Ark, and Dan how do you guys feel to each other?

i'm not sure how what I said falls into athletics, in my opinion it be far more clincal.

It can only be one thing. They're talking about the same things, the same change in the way the body is moved and controlled. While there are varying methodologies, the core is essentially the same.

thisisnotreal
01-31-2011, 07:26 PM
Demetrio, What's your theory so far?

Cady Goldfield
01-31-2011, 07:33 PM
Cady, go to http://scholar.google.com/ and type tai chi + elderly in the search field.

Demetrio,
I did just that a few years ago. I was not surprised that none...NONE...of those studies even touched on IP.
The problem with these studies is that they address the "wrong" issues, largely balance and fall-prevention in mainstream tai chi practice -- which is overwhelmingly lacking in IP.

Just because tai chi is known as an "internal" art, doesn't mean that IP exists in the majority of schools and practitioners. And not just tai chi, of course, but all of the so-called internal MAs. If it were so common, we probably wouldn't be having this debate to begin with. ;)

chillzATL
01-31-2011, 07:39 PM
Anyway, I'm going to leave this thread and mind my own bussiness but I canīt help to think there is something fishy that makes the people who are promoting IP/IS avoid their skills being subjected to scientifical analysis while at the same time they have no problem in writing thousands of posts, for years, in various websites and forums. There is an insane amount of hours invested in promoting, discussing, debating, etc. IS/IP training and, as result: a handful of middle-aged middle-class, most of them hobbyist, martial arts practitioneers.

If you have the method to develop great balance, strenght that doesn't fade with age, coordination, psycho-physical integration, etc. and you're not thinking in the quality of life of senior citizens, victims of muscular degenerative diseases, manual workers, sports practitioneers approaching the end of their careers... so you are not knocking the doors of universities, hospitals, sientific societies, niosh and the like for getting them interested because your method works and you can prove it instead of spending your time and efforts in the intardnets then you are a very strange person.

IMO, of course.

Were it not for the internet, most of us would never have come by this information. It's not hiding here, this is the grass roots of it trying to get out. It's never been easy to come by, why do you think Ueshiba dedicated his life to it like he did and wasn't more forthcoming, with his hundreds ,maybe thousands of students, about how to REALLY get it?

bob_stra
01-31-2011, 07:56 PM
Demetrio,
I did just that a few years ago. I was not surprised that none...NONE...of those studies even touched on IP.


You might like these better, esp the third one

Kinematic and electromyographic analysis of the push movement in tai chi

http://bjsportmed.com/cgi/content/abstract/37/4/339

Conclusion: The eccentric muscle contraction of the lower limbs in the push movement of tai chi may help to strengthen the muscles.



ELECTROMYOGRAPHIC ANALYSIS OF TAI CHI

http://sciencelinks.jp/j-east/article/200623/000020062306A0864145.php

Abstract;The purpose of this study was to analyse electromyographic characteristics of Tai Chi. The subjects, six healthy men, performed; (1) the maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) of each tested muscle; (2) three forms in 24-style Tai Chi; (3) on a bicycle ergometer (100 w) and jogging (120m/s). For each muscle, the maximum integrated EMG for one second was computed and standardized by MVC(%MVC). The results were as follows: (1) High muscle activity was observed during Tai Chi. In five muscles, the %MVC exceeded 60%. (2) In the rectus femoris m., the %MVC of Tai Chi was 6.8 times that of the bicycle ergometer and 10.3 times that of jogging (p<0.01). In a similar way, in the tibialis anterior m., the %MVC was 7.1 and 4.8 times (p<0.01), and in the rectus abdominis m., the %MVC was 6.3 and 4.9 times (p<0.01). We conclude that Tai Chi might be useful as an exercise in muscle strength training. (author abst.)


Biomechanical Analysis of the Attack and Defense Techniques in Tai Chi Push Hands

http://ethesys.lib.ncku.edu.tw/ETD-db/ETD-search/view_etd?URN=etd-0724108-173854

Tai Chi (or Tai Chi Chuan, Taijiquan) is a kind of physical exercise developed from traditional Chinese martial arts. Tai Chi exercise is suitable for the elderly because it has been proven to be effective in preserving health and decreasing the risk of falling. Biomechanical analyses of the lower limbs and pushing movements of Tai Chi forms have shown the characteristics of Tai Chi exercise including lower center of gravity (COG), whole body coordination, conforming to kinetic chain, and larger range of motion. To date, biomechanical researches of Tai Chi lack three-dimension motion analysis, ground reaction force measurement on each foot, and activation patterns of major muscle groups. In addition, although Push Hands are more advanced movements, no biomechanical analyses of interactive Push Hands have been found.

To analyze the kinematic, kinetic and electromyographic characteristics of Tai Chi Push Hands, an experienced master was asked to defend and attack against two other subjects for three trials. Movements were videotaped and digitized using a motion analysis system with electromyography and two force plates.

The results indicate that when the master encountered pushing forces from the opponents, his COG moved downward and toward the rear foot to defend. During normal pushing, the master used his lumbar and upper limbs muscle to push, but could not move the opponents. In Tai Chi pushing, the master’s rear rectus femoris was highly activated during the whole movement process, but the upper limbs were only activated at the instant of pushing over the opponent. Although the vertical and horizontal force components of the rear foot in Tai Chi pushing were lower than those in normal pushing, the master could push over the opponent by Tai Chi pushing. In the evading with pushing technique, because the master first received the pushing force from the opponent, and then contracted his abdomen with twisting his waist to push over the opponent. The master’s erector spinae activation was higher than those in the upper limbs. Moreover, in this technique the ground reaction force on the rear foot is higher than that in Tai Chi pushing because the master received an additional pushing force from the opponent.

Regardless of the variety in Push Hands skills including resisting, pushing, or the evading with pushing techniques, they are conformed to the martial arts classics: “root on the feet, create force from the legs, be controlled by the lumbar, and finally appear in the fingers.” Because well experienced Tai Chi masters are rarely seen, the suggested future work is to recruit more non- and slightly experienced subjects for biomechanical comparison and statistical analysis. It is expected that the mechanisms for balance maintenance and falls prevention can be found, which will be valuable information for the elderly and Tai Chi novices.

phitruong
01-31-2011, 09:36 PM
Mike Sigman brought up some interesting stuff. So even among the those who are "in the know" there are arguments about what IP is. Why is there a difference of opinion? Are the different camps talking about drastically different skill sets, or are they simply talking about minor details. When Mike, Ark and Dan all get together can't we see the difference's and hash out what is the same?


nope. they didn't argued about what IP/IS is. they argued about the application of and the degree of mastery and teaching/learning approaches to IS and aiki.

just say that these guys are kinda eccentric. just accept they are as they are and everything would be fine.

Cady Goldfield
01-31-2011, 09:54 PM
)(snip)Anyway, I'm going to leave this thread and mind my own bussiness but I canīt help to think there is something fishy that makes the people who are promoting IP/IS avoid their skills being subjected to scientifical analysis while at the same time they have no problem in writing thousands of posts, for years, in various websites and forums. There is an insane amount of hours invested in promoting, discussing, debating, etc. IS/IP training and, as result: a handful of middle-aged middle-class, most of them hobbyist, martial arts practitioneers.

If you have the method to develop great balance, strenght that doesn't fade with age, coordination, psycho-physical integration, etc. and you're not thinking in the quality of life of senior citizens, victims of muscular degenerative diseases, manual workers, sports practitioneers approaching the end of their careers... so you are not knocking the doors of universities, hospitals, sientific societies, niosh and the like for getting them interested because your method works and you can prove it instead of spending your time and efforts in the intardnets then you are a very strange person.

IMO, of course.

Demetrio,
I don't believe that IP and its methods, particularly as they relate to martial arts and martial application, are a panacea for humankind's ills. They are a skill set that has various uses and benefits, but they are not a magic pill any more than being physically fit and eating a balanced and nutritious diet are "magic" for keeping a person healthy. In other words, there is no compelling reason to go around knocking on doors to try to force this on the health care industry. They'd think we're nuts. And they'd be right. :)

Besides, no one here invented IP or aiki. The West is just starting to get a grasp of what China's medical adepts and martial adepts have known for over a millenium, and their Japanese counterparts picked up on somewhat later. Millions of people practice tai chi for their health and wellbeing, and the Chinese have had qigong practices for just that purpose, so it's nothing new. At least, not there. What more could anyone here contribute, except to show aikido people how to put aiki back into their art?

I do accept that it is a little crazy that some folks spend so much time on any personal interest or hobby. Pursuit of art is inherently selfish. But, to be frank, people have a right to their hobbies and passions, especially if they do other good works that do contribute to the welfare of humanity. We all need a healthy outlet, no?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZdtM5p6ZkA

kewms
02-01-2011, 12:21 AM
This sounds like the field of athletics again.

Mike Sigman brought up some interesting stuff. So even among the those who are "in the know" there are arguments about what IP is. Why is there a difference of opinion? Are the different camps talking about drastically different skill sets, or are they simply talking about minor details. When Mike, Ark and Dan all get together can't we see the difference's and hash out what is the same?

I would like to ask Mike, Ark, and Dan how do you guys feel to each other?

In some cases, I suspect people are describing different parts of the elephant. In others, there's a true difference in skill level and understanding. In still others, there are simply different teaching metaphors being used to describe the same thing.

Katherine

TheAikidoka
02-01-2011, 02:04 AM
Hi chris, and greetings, I have not read all the posts in this thread, sio I appologise for any repeated opponion. But you ask a simple question, what can a "IP martial artist do, that a modern athlete cannot do" end quote. Here is my response from an Aikido perspective.

1 A modern athelete say a boxer, cannot use non resistance as an effective means to protect himself and the attacker from harm. The element of competion, and basically block with strength hit with strength to affect the desired result. AIkido is the Art of non resistance.

2 Aikido, composes of an element of total awareness of there surroundings, and whats happening internally at the same time. I believe modern athletics do not do this, lets take the high jump, you can see that the athlete is totally focused on one goal only "the bar", I do admit here breath control is very important, but lacking in total awreness.

3 Aikido trains the "human spirit" of compassion without losing your centre self. modern athletes trains the spirit of winning at all costs, the idea here is Aikido is victorious over competion because it is not concerned winning.

4 Aikido techniques themselves are designed to first do no harm, whilst say MMA, is the exact opposite of this theory. Aikido teaches to move in harmony with our opponents attack and more often than not there breathing too.
MMA is directly opposite to this, first put the person down with as much force possible to do this they have to injure thiere attacker as much as possible

5 A major part of the founders Aikido was his spiritual connection. If you have read homma sensei reflections on M saito sensei final days, you can easily see how Aikido helped to face his final challenge with poise, power, and as it appears without fear.
I believe modern sports do not have a spiritual element at all because it is too concerned with competion, and has no room to prepare us for this side of our elderly life.

These are just a few of my thoughts I`m sure there are others, and better people will be able to use better language to describe the differences.

In Budo

Andy B

Demetrio Cereijo
02-01-2011, 04:14 AM
Demetrio,
I don't believe that IP and its methods, particularly as they relate to martial arts and martial application, are a panacea for humankind's ills. ...

You missed this?

"I'm going to leave this thread and mind my own bussiness (sic)"

I've got better things to do.

@ Josh,
Demetrio, What's your theory so far?
My theory (mostly especulation) is mine. Move along, there's nothing to see here. Thanks.

@ Jason,
why do you think Ueshiba dedicated his life to it like he did and wasn't more forthcoming, with his hundreds ,maybe thousands of students, about how to REALLY get it?
He was all the forthcoming he could be considering his circunstances.

Mike Sigman
02-01-2011, 07:14 AM
In some cases, I suspect people are describing different parts of the elephant. In others, there's a true difference in skill level and understanding. In still others, there are simply different teaching metaphors being used to describe the same thing.
The problem is that the full spectrum of knowledge/skills within the "internal strength" topic is broader that a lot of people realize. It's like climbing a large tree with an inner-ear disorder; very easy to mistakenly go out onto a branch and think that you're near the top of the tree because you don't see much in front of you.

The great hindrance to progress is going to be, as usual, ego and pecking order. The are always a few nice, sincere, interested-in-the-topic people who will progress and there will be a number of people who can only see the issue of internal-strength as an aside which they can only view in terms of "how would this affect my image if I stoop to acknowledging that there is something important I truly don't know". I.e., the usual politics and personality enters into the discussion. But that's life.

Chris (Hein), I can appreciate your perspective, but I think that it's probably wisest to go see someone truly knowledgeable in i.s. skills in order to get a feel for the various potentials and then go from there. Perhaps if you visited to see Chen Xiaowang, Chen Youze, Chen Qingzhou, etc., people who tend to visit California yearly, you could get a feel for what a real expert does and then extrapolate back into Aikido. The present conversation seems to be based on the fact that you haven't seen or felt what is being talked about (not an unusual position), but IMO the truly curious would just go look and see first, and then perhaps argue that they didn't see anything unusual (a valid observation, perhaps, but only after a physical viewing).

Regards,

Mike Sigman

stan baker
02-01-2011, 07:37 AM
Hi Chris

I suggest that you see Dan he is more powerful then the taiji guys and can explain in detail what is going on. But you should experience the taiji guys and anybody else if have the chance, over the past twenty years that is what I have done and continue to do.

stan

DH
02-01-2011, 08:16 AM
Uhm...Stan, that is not a judgement I am interested in keeping up with, or supporting. This isn't the wild west with the quickest draw. Let's let each stand ...on their own.
Dan

Jaon Deatherage
02-01-2011, 09:28 AM
Internal is something I'll be using when I'm 80...long after the athletics have been left behind...

stan baker
02-01-2011, 09:43 AM
The main point I am trying to make is that Dan is actually teaching and explaining this material in detail. I don't think the chinese and japanese are doing that great.

stan

Cady Goldfield
02-01-2011, 10:09 AM
You missed this?

"I'm going to leave this thread and mind my own bussiness (sic)"

I've got better things to do.


Apparently, not until after he'd checked the thread at least one more time...
:p

ChrisHein
02-01-2011, 11:14 AM
This kind of reflects on what I would call traditional Aikido training, and not IP, but I think there are some interesting things in here.

Hi chris, and greetings, I have not read all the posts in this thread, sio I appologise for any repeated opponion. But you ask a simple question, what can a "IP martial artist do, that a modern athlete cannot do" end quote. Here is my response from an Aikido perspective.

1 A modern athelete say a boxer, cannot use non resistance as an effective means to protect himself and the attacker from harm. The element of competion, and basically block with strength hit with strength to affect the desired result. AIkido is the Art of non resistance.

This is a very slippery slope. I've been dan ranked in Aikido for about 10 years now. I've fought competitively, I've fought in the street, and I've had a few more serious altercations as well. While it is true, if you are much more skilled than your attacker, you can sometimes resolve the matter without anyone getting really hurt. It is unlikely that this will be the case if they are very aggressive and even come close to approaching your skill level.

If we are only talking about brief exchanges, and not a fight as a whole, then even competitive fighters show the use of nonresistance during a fight. Watch a Bjj match, you will see people going with the force of their opponent the whole match.


2 Aikido, composes of an element of total awareness of there surroundings, and whats happening internally at the same time. I believe modern athletics do not do this, lets take the high jump, you can see that the athlete is totally focused on one goal only "the bar", I do admit here breath control is very important, but lacking in total awreness.

While there are sports the require focused attention, there are also sports the require an open and aware mind. Take NFL quarterbacks for example. A quarterback must watch the whole field, find and open receiver, dodge incoming attackers, and focus on throwing the ball to a moving target, often tens of yards away; now that's awareness!


3 Aikido trains the "human spirit" of compassion without losing your centre self. modern athletes trains the spirit of winning at all costs, the idea here is Aikido is victorious over competion because it is not concerned winning.

While I agree, that at the high end of competition there is a real premium put on winning, there is much beyond this. My experience training with some serious athletes has made me respect competitive athletics as I never had before. I see that competition often fosters humility, honest, directness, and strength of character. This is because there is truth in competition. One must learn to accept this truth at the end of the competition, win or lose. I think, with the right coaches, modern athletics can be a true path to enlightenment.


4 Aikido techniques themselves are designed to first do no harm, whilst say MMA, is the exact opposite of this theory. Aikido teaches to move in harmony with our opponents attack and more often than not there breathing too.
MMA is directly opposite to this, first put the person down with as much force possible to do this they have to injure thiere attacker as much as possible

This is a point I care not to argue at this point.

5 A major part of the founders Aikido was his spiritual connection. If you have read homma sensei reflections on M saito sensei final days, you can easily see how Aikido helped to face his final challenge with poise, power, and as it appears without fear.
I believe modern sports do not have a spiritual element at all because it is too concerned with competion, and has no room to prepare us for this side of our elderly life.

The spirit is strongly enforced in athletics training. See 3.

These are just a few of my thoughts I`m sure there are others, and better people will be able to use better language to describe the differences.

In Budo

Andy B

Thanks for your thoughts, time and consideration.

Internal is something I'll be using when I'm 80...long after the athletics have been left behind...

Tell that to Jack Lalanne (RIP).

kewms
02-01-2011, 11:40 AM
Tell that to Jack Lalanne (RIP).

You keep mentioning him... while it is true that people who stay active can maintain a high degree of athleticism for a long time, it is *not* true that those people can continue to improve. Whatever Jack Lalanne could do at 80, I guarantee it was less than he could do at 30 or 40.

Katherine

Thomas Campbell
02-01-2011, 12:43 PM
You keep mentioning him... while it is true that people who stay active can maintain a high degree of athleticism for a long time, it is *not* true that those people can continue to improve. Whatever Jack Lalanne could do at 80, I guarantee it was less than he could do at 30 or 40.

Katherine

And Jack (RIP) at 30, 40 or 80 could not do what Sagawa Yukiyoshi (RIP) could do at 80. Different skill sets.

Thomas Campbell
02-01-2011, 01:34 PM
Different skill sets.

As has been noted in a number of previous posts on this thread. Sorry for the redundancy. :o

JangChoe
02-01-2011, 01:49 PM
And Jack (RIP) at 30, 40 or 80 could not do what Sagawa Yukiyoshi (RIP) could do at 80. Different skill sets.

Yep and Sagawa probably couldn't do anything Jack did in his 80's. Like you said different skill sets and results.

Cady Goldfield
02-01-2011, 01:59 PM
Thomas Campbell wrote:
Different skill sets.

As has been noted in a number of previous posts on this thread. Sorry for the redundancy. :o

IMO, it's still relevant to mention this because Sagawa provides a good illustration of the difference between those skill sets: It was noted (by Kimura, I think) that Sagawa, in his 80s and 90s, was too weak to open a container of juice -- a conventional use of muscle strength; yet, he was able to exhibit phenomenal IP and aiki, and to continue his extensive, daily solo training.

lbb
02-01-2011, 03:08 PM
This whole thread is starting to sound like that stupid joke about being able to play the piano after surgery.

Thomas Campbell
02-01-2011, 03:22 PM
This whole thread is starting to sound like that stupid joke about being able to play the piano after surgery.

I don't think I've heard that particular joke . . .

graham christian
02-01-2011, 03:28 PM
What about introducing IP to Aikido is like pouring a cup of oil into a sea of water?

Mike Sigman
02-01-2011, 03:56 PM
IMO, it's still relevant to mention this because Sagawa provides a good illustration of the difference between those skill sets: It was noted (by Kimura, I think) that Sagawa, in his 80s and 90s, was too weak to open a container of juice -- a conventional use of muscle strength; yet, he was able to exhibit phenomenal IP and aiki, and to continue his extensive, daily solo training.Huh? That doesn't make any sense. You could open the container of juice with normal strength *and* you could open it internal strength. Unless, of course, Sagawa really didn't have full internal strength and only specialized in some aspects of it. Nice story, but it doesn't ring true. "Internal strength" is still strength, but it is strength that is derived as 'other than muscle'.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Cady Goldfield
02-01-2011, 04:35 PM
I don't think I've heard that particular joke . . .

Guy breaks his arm, doctor sets it. Guy asks doctor, "Will I be able to play the piano?" Doctor: "Of course! Beautifully!" Guy: "Great! I've never played before."
(badaBOOM).

Mike,
Perhaps it's not the best illustrative anecdote, particularly since we don't know whether it was a screw-cap or a pop top. :rolleyes:
Maybe the weakness Kimura described was due to partial paralysis from the stroke -- who knows. I'd think, though, that if Sagawa could open a container of juice by any means, he would have, whether "internally" or "externally." Can't picture him having to ask someone to do it for him. His training during that period seemed like a polar opposite to his physical demeanor.

Mike Sigman
02-01-2011, 04:41 PM
Mike,
Perhaps it's not the best illustrative anecdote, particularly since we don't know whether it was a screw-cap or a pop top. :rolleyes:
Maybe the weakness Kimura described was due to partial paralysis from the stroke -- who knows. I'd think, though, that if Sagawa could open a container of juice by any means, he would have, whether "internally" or "externally." Can't picture him having to ask someone to do it for him.Could be Kimura was telling a "story". There are a number of stories just like that about Ueshiba, Cheng Man Ching, and many others, so probably it's de rigeur, just to prove that you've got the "True Stuff" (tm), to have a story that shows that you're so weak physically that you can't dress yourself but your 'power' still allows you to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Mike Sigman

lbb
02-01-2011, 05:15 PM
I don't think I've heard that particular joke . . .

"Doc, will I be able to play the piano after surgery?"

"Sure!"

"Awesome, because I can't play it now!"

Cady Goldfield
02-01-2011, 06:01 PM
Could be Kimura was telling a "story". There are a number of stories just like that about Ueshiba, Cheng Man Ching, and many others, so probably it's de rigeur, just to prove that you've got the "True Stuff" (tm), to have a story that shows that you're so weak physically that you can't dress yourself but your 'power' still allows you to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Mike Sigman

I supposed anything's possible, Mike, since we and our colleagues weren't there to bear witness.

But, Kimura seems like a humble mathematics professor not given to hyperbole. When one reads Kimura's writing, it's easy to get the impression that he is being a sychophant of sorts -- including the ways he both speaks to and writes about Sagawa -- but that is just the traditional Japanese way of showing proper deference and respect to one's seniors. And I doubt very much that even with such deferential speech and writing, he would make up tales to exalt his teacher. But maybe that's just me, the idealist. ;)

Kimura describes Sagawa at 80 as "youthful and well developed" -- but photos indicate that he wasn't a muscle-bulky person. More sinewy, maybe you could say, from his unique regimen. Quotes of him from "Transparent Power" do indicate that he himself made a distinction between conventional athletic conditioning, and IP/aiki methodology. Here are a few:

"Weight lifting and other forms of strength training can be good, but the muscles you gain are qualitatively different. By that I mean that your shoulders will be tense."

--------------
"One student who enrolled could lift 180-kilogram (almost 400 lb.) barbells. He appeared quite powerful. Nevertheless, he could not defeat anyone. I find that amusing. You can't beat anyone with strength alone. It may appear at first sight as if only physical force is being used, but in fact, there is another principle at work."

That can, of course, be interpreted as meaning you need fighting strategy, not just physical strength and force, but if taken in the context of Sagawa's dojo training environment, I think we can take it to mean that this over-bulked newbie was tossed around like a ragdoll because there is more than one kind of power, and the one he used was not the kind being taught at Sagawa dojo.

----------------
From Kimura (Sagawa had a heart attack at age 87; at age 90 he went for a followup exam and EKG):
"...When the doctor asked Sensei to do some exercise so that they could do a stress test on his heart, Sagawa surprised the doctor by performing 150 push-ups on the spot. The chart naturally showed some effect of the exertion, but then, when he was given the same stress test on his heart while he was using his Aiki technique to throw opponents, the readings showed absolutely no change in his heart condition, providing yet further proof that Aiki requires no strength at all."

Well, maybe that last line has a touch of hyperbole, but it does point to the difference between using muscular (athletic) power, and IP. The latter is, as has been said many times, a more efficient way of using the body.

Here's another one from Kimura (his POV of Sagawa's weight-lifter story above):

"A weight lifter from Sendai city who has the muscles to lift more than 180 kgs (400 lbs.) enrolled at Sagawa Sensei's dojo. He couldn't budge when I pinned him down, and he was deeply shocked when I threw him around easily ... For me, this experience reinforces the point that bujutsu is completely different from ordinary strength." (By bujutsu, I suspect Kimura means aiki as he knew it, via Sagawa-ha Daito-ryu.)

And, finally (lest I quote too much from a book, though I fear I've already done so), Sagawa avers that IP/aiki is something that one can continue to grow in throughout one's life: "Humans can continue to progress until the day they die," which he apparently did. He lived to be 95, so he and Jack LaLanne are perhaps equal weights on the opposite ends of the physical-training seesaw, with Sagawa representing how IP training can take you through life with always a new horizon to reach for, and LaLanne demonstrating how athletics, done right, can be part of a lifestyle that slows down entropy.

Mike Sigman
02-01-2011, 07:01 PM
I don't have a problem with any of that, Cady (including the bit of hyperbole that seems to pop up). My comment was two-part:

1. Stories about how someone couldn't do X physically but could become a demon-strongman throwing people around are fairly common.

2. Internal strength would include opening jars. Send me a jar of grape jelly and I'll open it and send it back as proof. ;)

Mike

thisisnotreal
02-01-2011, 07:39 PM
Chris, Couple of exceptional posts by Pete R::1 (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=175232#post175232), 2 (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=175254#post175254), 3 (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=175310#post175310), 4 (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=175521&postcount=155) (and this too (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=175247#post175247))..and perhaps most relevant (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=175508&postcount=149). HTH. fwiw. whatever.

JangChoe
02-01-2011, 07:51 PM
Maybe Sagawa couldn't open jars because he didn't practice his IS winding.

Cady Goldfield
02-01-2011, 08:26 PM
Well, like I said, we don't know if they were screw-top or pop top juice bottles, or cans that need an old-fashioned hole-punch can opener. Each calls for a different application of IS.
I'll send you a jar of grape jelly when you're 90, Mike, and you can send me back the video. ;)

Well, wherever there are very old folks who've been practicing IMAs for decades, certainly there must be plenty of stories of people who couldn't do X, but were demon-strongmen with throwing. That doesn't mean that Sagawa wasn't one of them. [IMO, "throwing" is kind of a lazy term for a full sequence of events, the last stage -- or product -- of which, is a throw or fall. The devil is in the set-up. That's where the IP and aiki are. Point being, he wasn't using just leverage like wrestlers, contemporary judoka and other more conventional athletes do. i.e., he was using an efficient body method that didn't require him to be muscularly strong.]

Heck, there's even such a story about Sokaku Takeda. He was, what, 5' tall and 100 lbs as an old man? He tossed around big people -- judoka, sumoka, important people's bodyguards. And by all reports he did it effortlessly. Sagawa describes Takeda lying in bed when he was in his early 80s, his right side paralyzed by stroke, and using aiki method to set up and throw people.

It doesn't mean that every disciple or student of every master is obliged to make up an apocryphal story to immortalize his teacher. These things actually do happen, they are memorable events, and they get recorded. Okay, so some get embellished with time, but Sagawa seemed pretty blunt (even when he was making ascertations about himself and his own position in the aiki universe.) )

Cady Goldfield
02-01-2011, 09:15 PM
Point being, he wasn't using just leverage and muscle strength, like wrestlers, contemporary judoka and other more conventional athletes do
Oops -- left that out. Long day shoveling snow outside, then shoveling b...er ... writing stuff indoors.

bob_stra
02-01-2011, 10:33 PM
He lived to be 95, so he and Jack LaLanne are perhaps equal weights on the opposite ends of the physical-training seesaw, with Sagawa representing how IP training can take you through life with always a new horizon to reach for, and LaLanne demonstrating how athletics, done right, can be part of a lifestyle that slows down entropy.

A cynic would look at such stories and wonder "That's great and all, but it seems that going the athletics route gave a better ROI, including the ability to open jars and wipe one's own ass into one's dotage"

IOW, I don't think that Octogenarian IP Superman argument is so compelling, from that point of view. :p

Cady Goldfield
02-01-2011, 10:46 PM
:) It does seem that way, doesn't it, Bob?
I think both men died of pneumonia, so ultimately their training methods and lifestyles proved no match for pathogens and age-worn immune systems. Entropy always wins.

Now we can waste some bandwidth on the obligatory fantasy "strength" match between them in their primes... (which, for Sagawa, seems to have been in his 80s,after a stroke). ;)

Diana Frese
02-01-2011, 11:16 PM
Thanks Dan, for the invitation and Cady for the reminder. I should have acknowledged earlier but I wanted to read more of the thread before posting. Still haven't caught up but it's a fascinating topic.

I see I should have let you know that my husband and I talked about it immediately with great interest. We haven't traveled much of anywhere in recent years out of the immediate vicinity,

Wethersfield seems to be upstate quite a bit but we are hoping one of our friends will drive. She lives even farther south but travels to other dojos sometimes, so we hope this works out.

thanks again we hope to see you and your group sometime this spring.....

bkedelen
02-02-2011, 10:25 AM
It is sad that these two great paths are still being discussed as if they are mutually exclusive.

Lorel Latorilla
02-02-2011, 10:32 AM
It is sad that these two great paths are still being discussed as if they are mutually exclusive.

Ha! Pretty much.

Rob Watson
02-02-2011, 11:13 AM
It is sad that these two great paths are still being discussed as if they are mutually exclusive.

It is sad that these two great paths are still being discussed as if they are mutually exclusive.

Well, I've laid hands on a fairly well developed (muscularly ,that is) powerlifter purported to have fairly well developed IS skills. Despite what one might say about the mutual exclusivity of internal versus external methods I suspect that if one just works on both they might be surprised. If anything the amount of effort may be more than twice as much as one would presume. Independent as opposed to exclusive or at least moderately contrarian (thus the requirement for extra effort). Honestly who has got the time and inclination to take on such a heavy load of work ... determination and will power in extra measure is a minimum requirement.

Imagine a blend of Jack Lalanne muscles and Sagawa IS skills. That is two lifetimes worth of dedicated daily effort ... anybody up for it?

DH
02-02-2011, 11:57 AM
I think it's damn near impossible. It's why I stopped lifting many years ago. Now I use weighted cables in certain inventive ways (I've written about the fun I have with the guys at the gym) and heavy pole shaking, certain offset weighted tools, iron bars and other things to develop and condition.
Hell pushing on a bungee cord stretched across a door frame is too much for many people. Their still all about shoulders. Which is nice, shoulders make good handles when they separate from the body frame!;)
As far as time spent...I dunno, seems to me that your average guy spends a lot of time sitting on his ass watching TV. I train, even while doing that. And training...should include everything you do all day long...these days that includes shoveling through 6' snow drifts!.
There are lots of ways to do that ...wrong.
Cheers
Dab

phitruong
02-02-2011, 12:02 PM
..these days that includes shoveling through 6' snow drifts!.
There are lots of ways to do that ...wrong.
Cheers
Dab

of course you do that wrong, shoveling snow that is. there is this thing called snow blower or the neighbor kids who need money for the next ipod. aren't you glad that i helped you out here? :)

DH
02-02-2011, 12:08 PM
of course you do that wrong, shoveling snow that is. there is this thing called snow blower or the neighbor kids who need money for the next ipod. aren't you glad that i helped you out here? :)

Hmmmm. Can't use a snowblower on gravel driveways and paths. Can't use neighborhood kids because there aren't any..halloween here is a ghost town. And I'm Scottish, so I wouldn't pay someone to do what I can do myself ;)
Cheers
Dan

Cady Goldfield
02-02-2011, 12:10 PM
Guys, they are different methodolgies, yes. Will conventional means of strength development (e.g. weight lifting, etc.) create obstacles for cultivating relaxed, "soft" power? Yes. You've heard it from IP practioners say this time and again. Sagawa said it constantly.

For someone just starting out in IP, the re-wiring needed for correct neuromuscular, structural development is hard enough; adding an unrelated training regimen that uses the body in a completely different way, will make IP way more difficult, confusing, and progress will be much slower if at all.

I know firsthand, because it's something I had to struggle with for many years, thanks to deep indoctrination in "external" MAs for decades prior. And others have said the same. Someone earlier on in the forum stated that when he went back to his former, athletic-type training, it undid all the hard work he'd put into IP training. Dropping the former resulted in restoring his ability in the latter.

That said, after a point in IP training, IME you can tell what sorts of athletics you can do, that won't make you flex your shoulders or get into other counter-productive habits. Sagawa did push-ups and likely did other familiar exercises, with no problems.

I know IP people who play golf, shoot hoops, do sit-ups and push-ups. But they gave up power lifting and other muscle-flex activities. There's one fellow who says that, try as he might, he can't throw a baseball to save his life, but I suspect it's because he has so refined his IP skills that he has completely wired out the "external hip torque" that powers a baseball as it does a karate punch, but which is counter-productive to internal power. ;)

Jeremy Hulley
02-02-2011, 12:15 PM
Cady,
That's funny for me in reverse. I couldn't throw a baseball with any zip at all until I spent some time with ark.But I know what you are saying..

Cady Goldfield
02-02-2011, 12:21 PM
of course you do that wrong, shoveling snow that is. there is this thing called snow blower or the neighbor kids who need money for the next ipod. aren't you glad that i helped you out here? :)

Phi, do you hang around kids much, these days? The ones in my neighborhood walk down the snowy road, their earbuds blocking out the sounds of snow shovels being wielded by elderly and middled-aged folks (such as myself), their eyes averted from seeing this travesty because they are glued to their text-messaging and games. :rolleyes:

It just wouldn't occur to them to attempt anything approximating physical labor.

Cady Goldfield
02-02-2011, 12:22 PM
Cady,
That's funny for me in reverse. I couldn't throw a baseball with any zip at all until I spent some time with ark.But I know what you are saying..

So, you throw without the windup? A no-inch pitch? :)

Janet Rosen
02-02-2011, 12:51 PM
of course you do that wrong, shoveling snow that is. there is this thing called snow blower or the neighbor kids who need money for the next ipod. aren't you glad that i helped you out here? :)

What's snow? Oh right... that white stuff I see on distant hilltops sometimes. I moved waaaay off center.... to where I intend to never have to shovel snow again.:)

Mike Sigman
02-02-2011, 12:53 PM
Guys, they are different methodolgies, yes. Will conventional means of strength development (e.g. weight lifting, etc.) create obstacles for cultivating relaxed, "soft" power? Yes. You've heard it from IP practioners say this time and again. Sagawa said it constantly.

For someone just starting out in IP, the re-wiring needed for correct neuromuscular, structural development is hard enough; adding an unrelated training regimen that uses the body in a completely different way, will make IP way more difficult, confusing, and progress will be much slower if at all.

I know firsthand, because it's something I had to struggle with for many years, thanks to deep indoctrination in "external" MAs for decades prior. And others have said the same. Someone earlier on in the forum stated that when he went back to his former, athletic-type training, it undid all the hard work he'd put into IP training. Dropping the former resulted in restoring his ability in the latter.

That said, after a point in IP training, IME you can tell what sorts of athletics you can do, that won't make you flex your shoulders or get into other counter-productive habits. Sagawa did push-ups and likely did other familiar exercises, with no problems.

I know IP people who play golf, shoot hoops, do sit-ups and push-ups. But they gave up power lifting and other muscle-flex activities. There's one fellow who says that, try as he might, he can't throw a baseball to save his life, but I suspect it's because he has so refined his IP skills that he has completely wired out the "external hip torque" that powers a baseball as it does a karate punch, but which is counter-productive to internal power. ;)

Hmmmmmmm..... frankly there are a number of issues that I'd disagree with either in the statements or the implications of the statements, Cady. You and I don't see internal-strength training in quite the same light. Not that I'm saying that to be disagreeable, but just to toss in a comment about a broad statement on internal-strength itself.

Mike Sigman

Janet Rosen
02-02-2011, 12:58 PM
Guys, they are different methodolgies, yes. Will conventional means of strength development (e.g. weight lifting, etc.) create obstacles for cultivating relaxed, "soft" power? Yes. You've heard it from IP practioners say this time and again. Sagawa said it constantly.......I know IP people who play golf, shoot hoops, do sit-ups and push-ups. But they gave up power lifting and other muscle-flex activities. There's one fellow who says that, try as he might, he can't throw a baseball to save his life, but I suspect it's because he has so refined his IP skills that he has completely wired out the "external hip torque" that powers a baseball as it does a karate punch, but which is counter-productive to internal power. ;)

All I know - which ain't much - is that when I'm in the dojo doing the ki exercises we warm up with, if I'm focusing on bringing in the IP work which I assume is the original reason for doing these exercises, I can't do a proper looking or feeling shomenuchi block. If I do a proper shomenuchi block, I quickly lose the feelingof moving my center (as opposed to moving my hips, which is what I've been doing for oh so many years). So yeah, this feels very much like two separate skill sets that need to be integrated

Cady Goldfield
02-02-2011, 01:02 PM
Could you describe what these disagreements are, Mike? Keep in mind that I'm speaking only from my personal experience, habits and opinion.

Keith Larman
02-02-2011, 01:14 PM
Hey, Cady, just wanted to say it's been great seeing you on-line again. Love reading your posts -- always gives me food for thought (like so many here).

Sorry for the interruption -- back to the regularly scheduled stuff...

Mike Sigman
02-02-2011, 01:15 PM
Could you describe what these disagreements are, Mike? Keep in mind that I'm speaking only from my personal experience, habits and opinion.

Cady, I could describe the problem but since it covers an area of internal strength that hasn't been discussed on AikiWeb (and only partially in the general, and leaky, QiJin forum), it would take too much background information to build up to it. I could show you in reasonably short order the logic and how it pertains, but without writing my little fingies off I couldn't do much good setting up the scenario here. However, by indicating the disagreement to you, at least I've pointed out an opinion I have (feel free to agree or disagree or make use of the information).

I noted the other day the comment from someone that I was somehow setting myself up as the expert on I.S. Not at all. I've never said any such thing. However, think of internal strength as being like having the ability to write expert iambic-pentameter poetry.... without claiming the ability to write expert i-p poetry I at least know enough to spot when someone doesn't know the full alphabet; when someone can't construct a proper sentence; when someone can't write paragraphs, and so on. My point is that what I see missing (my point of disagreement) is not a particularly advanced observation; at least 20 or so people who read this forum can spot the same thing I did and demonstrate the idea. The difference being that instead of sitting silently by, I'm pointing it out. So, that being said and with the intention only of making a point for potential newby readers, I offered my opinion. Please carry on. ;)

Best.

Mike

Michael Hackett
02-02-2011, 01:48 PM
Dang Janet, besides avoiding the snow, I'm having a very similar experience with the Aiki Taiso exercises. I think there is more work in store.....

phitruong
02-02-2011, 01:54 PM
Phi, do you hang around kids much, these days?

got two teenage boys. a few weeks ago when we had snow in charlotte, the conversation went as follow.

son a: dad can we go out and play in the snow and build the snowman?

dad: sure, as long as you clear the drive way first and the snow shovels are in the garage.

son b: but we want to play first.

dad: shovel first then play, then we will have hot coco.

son a: can we have pizza too?

dad: sure. and when you are done with the drive way, please clear the snow on my car parking outside too.

sons: can we also go see the green hornet when it come out?

dad: sure, once you are done with taking out the trash and put away your laundry.

sons: ok dad.

sometimes later..... dad looked out. the drive way were cleared so was the car. and kids were quite involved in building the snow domo.

sometimes later later... we sat watching re-run of air bender while eating pizza and drinking hot coco.

it's all how you blend with kids and manipulate their energy. all aiki really.

Cady Goldfield
02-02-2011, 02:47 PM
Mike,
So be it; you remain true to your usual operating procedure, telling someone they reveal their lack of understanding, and then telling them why you're not going to elucidate them.

I don't pretend to be the world's go-to person for IP information; my own training is inchoate and I do the best I can under my circumstances. On the topic of athleticism (i.e. "external" methods) vs. IP -- I've yet to see you weigh in with anything of substance other than peanut-gallery remarks. At least some people here are making an effort to do so.

However, you might be mistaking intentional limiting of discussion breadth and depth, with a complete lack of understanding or exposure to aspects of IS training other than shoulder relaxation. ;) You might be surprised to find that's not quite true, but you won't know because you don't think it's worth your while. That's okay.

Hey, I don't know much, but I can open stuck-tight jelly jars by "coiling" -- it used to drive my burly fiance nuts ("I must have loosened it up for you before you tried it..."). And I just shoveled out 60' of sidewalk and 100' of driveway filled with heavy slush-snow today in a way not unlike how I train with a heavy, solid steel pole. Not bad for a woman pushing 55. And I still have plenty of energy left to help the widow a couple houses away.

Cady Goldfield
02-02-2011, 02:59 PM
Hey, Cady, just wanted to say it's been great seeing you on-line again. Love reading your posts -- always gives me food for thought (like so many here).

Sorry for the interruption -- back to the regularly scheduled stuff...

Keith, that's really nice of you. Thank you. As long as it's clear that I am speaking strictly and solely from my own opinions. I reserve the right to be totally out in left field, and it should be no reflection on anyone but me.

Mike Sigman
02-02-2011, 03:02 PM
Mike,
So be it; you remain true to your usual operating procedure, telling someone they reveal their lack of understanding, and then telling them why you're not going to elucidate them.

I don't pretend to be the world's go-to person for IP information; my own training is inchoate and I do the best I can under my circumstances. On the topic of athleticism (i.e. "external" methods) vs. IP -- I've yet to see you weigh in with anything of substance other than peanut-gallery remarks. At least some people here are making an effort to do so. Cady, to you personally all I said was that I disagree, if you'll look at what I wrote. And I gave a serious reason why I don't want to write it all out... I don't have all day and the background information has not been discussed on this forum. Lastly, I've contributed to this same topic a number of times over the years and I've even personally offered to meet with Chris Hein the last time I was in California (we couldn't get it to work). What more can I do?

Mike

Cady Goldfield
02-02-2011, 03:12 PM
Cady, to you personally all I said was that I disagree, if you'll look at what I wrote. And I gave a serious reason why I don't want to write it all out... I don't have all day and the background information has not been discussed on this forum. Lastly, I've contributed to this same topic a number of times over the years and I've even personally offered to meet with Chris Hein the last time I was in California (we couldn't get it to work). What more can I do?

Mike

Mike, you stated: My point is that what I see missing (my point of disagreement) is not a particularly advanced observation;

But it requires you to type your fingers to the bone to express that observation in writing?

Mike Sigman
02-02-2011, 03:20 PM
Mike, you stated: My point is that what I see missing (my point of disagreement) is not a particularly advanced observation;

But it requires you to type your fingers to the bone to express that observation in writing?Yes, it does. Because it takes some background about internal strength which hasn't been discussed on this forum and I doubt seriously that you know what I'm talking about or you wouldn't have posted what you did. Ipso facto. Hence my comment that it would take a lot of writing to get there.

Mike Sigman

Janet Rosen
02-02-2011, 03:26 PM
Dang Janet, besides avoiding the snow, I'm having a very similar experience with the Aiki Taiso exercises. I think there is more work in store.....

Oh yeah.... glad I'm not alone at least :D

rroeserr
02-02-2011, 03:32 PM
Yes, it does. Because it takes some background about internal strength which hasn't been discussed on this forum and I doubt seriously that you know what I'm talking about or you wouldn't have posted what you did. Ipso facto. Hence my comment that it would take a lot of writing to get there.

Mike Sigman

"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" -Einstein

Keith Larman
02-02-2011, 04:00 PM
Keith, that's really nice of you. Thank you. As long as it's clear that I am speaking strictly and solely from my own opinions. I reserve the right to be totally out in left field, and it should be no reflection on anyone but me.

I would expect no more and no less. :) I expect to be wrong on a regular basis all by myself...

Mike Sigman
02-02-2011, 04:06 PM
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" -Einstein Even explaining something to your grandmother on a simple level can take quite a few words if you have to set up the basic premises.

Michael Varin
02-02-2011, 04:38 PM
I know firsthand, because it's something I had to struggle with for many years, thanks to deep indoctrination in "external" MAs for decades prior.
Maybe, you don't know what you think you know about "externals."

That said, after a point in IP training, IME you can tell what sorts of athletics you can do, that won't make you flex your shoulders or get into other counter-productive habits. Sagawa did push-ups and likely did other familiar exercises, with no problems.
The shoulder is a complicated joint with many muscles involved in its movement. Can you explain what you mean by "flex your shoulders"?

But they gave up power lifting and other muscle-flex activities. There's one fellow who says that, try as he might, he can't throw a baseball to save his life, but I suspect it's because he has so refined his IP skills that he has completely wired out the "external hip torque" that powers a baseball as it does a karate punch, but which is counter-productive to internal power.
But,
I couldn't throw a baseball with any zip at all until I spent some time with ark.
This is why I think this discussion still has much room for progress. I have heard people talk about "tense" or "flexed" muscles, but throwing an object is a classic example of where either of those things will sap your power.

It is already shaping up that our former competitive gymnast and sanshou fighter turned "internal" expert has a lot to offer golfers and baseball pitchers.

So what are these qualities? If there is no overlap and they are actually antagonistic to each other, why do we see these results?

kewms
02-02-2011, 04:40 PM
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" -Einstein

Nonsense.

Any explanation requires shared references between the person explaining and the listener. The less experience with the topic the listener has, the more detail the explainer will need to leave out. What remains may give the listener a surface understanding of the subject, but not the details they need to actually do something with that understanding.

For example, Einstein's own thought experiments give a good overview of how general relativity works and what it means. Understandable by any intelligent adult willing to put a little thought into it -- I've read his book. But I defy anyone to predict the observable effects of the sun's gravitational lensing without using some pretty serious math.

Even assuming it were possible to explain "what IP is" in terms that would satisfy the OP and those who agree with him, that explanation would be almost useless to someone trying to replicate IP-powered effects. As Janet said up-thread, you could contemplate your parasympathetic nervous system from now until November without making a whole lot of progess.

Katherine

Mike Sigman
02-02-2011, 05:07 PM
It is already shaping up that our former competitive gymnast and sanshou fighter turned "internal" expert has a lot to offer golfers and baseball pitchers.

So what are these qualities? If there is no overlap and they are actually antagonistic to each other, why do we see these results?It's a valid question, Michael. I can remember some workshops in years past I had some occasional women over 60 in the class and I was able to teach them (in an orderly progression) to the point that they could use a coarse jin to toss a large man backward through the air a little distance. So what they were using was a limited, coarse aspect of the greater internal-strength skills and training. Analogous to teaching a golfer or baseball player to doing a limited aspect of internal strength. If you want to do the Whole Banana (tm) of internal strength you have to train the body in a different way than normal movement; re-train the way you move completely. If you don't do a good re-training and you're at the same time constantly training, say, weight-lifting, with normal strength, you just never get there.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

rroeserr
02-02-2011, 05:17 PM
Nonsense.

Any explanation requires shared references between the person explaining and the listener. The less experience with the topic the listener has, the more detail the explainer will need to leave out. What remains may give the listener a surface understanding of the subject, but not the details they need to actually do something with that understanding.

For example, Einstein's own thought experiments give a good overview of how general relativity works and what it means. Understandable by any intelligent adult willing to put a little thought into it -- I've read his book. But I defy anyone to predict the observable effects of the sun's gravitational lensing without using some pretty serious math.

Even assuming it were possible to explain "what IP is" in terms that would satisfy the OP and those who agree with him, that explanation would be almost useless to someone trying to replicate IP-powered effects. As Janet said up-thread, you could contemplate your parasympathetic nervous system from now until November without making a whole lot of progess.

Katherine

So you like to do things you can't explain? If I ask you why you are doing why you are doing an IP exercise do you need a book or can you give a quick over view?

kewms
02-02-2011, 05:30 PM
So you like to do things you can't explain? If I ask you why you are doing why you are doing an IP exercise do you need a book or can you give a quick over view?

I think numerous "quick overviews" have been provided in this thread, and they don't seem to have satisfied the OP, while at the same time drawing justified criticism for not including the whole book.

I suspect most aikidoka -- no matter what their level, using IP or not -- would be hard-pressed to explain the biomechanics of what they're doing. That doesn't mean that they can't do it, or even teach it to others.

And so the insistence on detailed mechanistic explanations for everything seems to me to be most useful as a rhetorical club, rather than as a genuine attempt to develop further understanding.

Katherine

Janet Rosen
02-02-2011, 05:46 PM
So you like to do things you can't explain? If I ask you why you are doing why you are doing an IP exercise do you need a book or can you give a quick over view?

Again I'm going to analogy.
I have taught beginning painting classes. I can offer exercises for sharpening observation skills of color, principles of the relationship of colors in light and shadow, and give people the knowledge and skill they need to be able to mix colors.
Myself, after many years of painting - and I am by no means a master painter - I can look at almost anything and mix a color match to it using acrylic paint.
I do this with no real understanding of the optics, pigments or chemistry involved. I cannot explain it beyond metaphors like describing a color as "cooler" or "warmer."
Does this mean that I'm not actually matching the color or transferring the skill?

Keith Larman
02-02-2011, 06:52 PM
I think some are taking a counter example way too far. I don't think Robert was talking about giving an exhaustive account of biomechanical functions across the human body. What was given was a critique without much of an explanation as to what was wrong. To use an Einstein example it would be like insisting the twins would age at different rates in Einstein's twin paradox, then when asked why refusing to even describe the scenario Einstein laid out. If someone is going to wade into a discussion on time dilation and insist that the twin paradox is true *and* insist authoritatively that someone else clearly doesn't understand it, then they might want to be willing to offer up the basic gist of the Twin Paradox thought experiment. Maybe it is okay to say "I've covered this a thousand times before". Post a link to one of those explanations. Or one could give a reference to someone else, a book, whatever. I don't think anyone should expect a dissertation on time dilation with full annotations and equations. But if one is to offer up critique it is quite helpful to have something constructive to say as to why and what they might to do address it.

To use Janet's very good example her justification is exactly what she wrote. She teaches, explains, and shows the student what to do. The point here is that while Janet may not offer up a detailed explanation covering reflection, refraction, etc., she does offer up training and experience and I would think could offer up concrete examples of how one might do something. For instance, mixing yellow and red will give you orange. Not green. To "warm" up a certain tone one might try using less blue. Or more red. Or whatever. I'm out of my league there anyway... :o

But the point is the same and I don't think Einstein was being so very literal about it.

In other words, I see Robert's point. FWIW. It's something I try to remind myself about when I post nowadays on topics in my own area of expertise. I tend to avoid any comment, positive or negative, if I'm not willing or able to give a fairly straightforward justification. Otherwise it just looks like sniping from the peanut gallery. And in the end it does very little good.

Mike Sigman
02-02-2011, 07:37 PM
I tend to avoid any comment, positive or negative, if I'm not willing or able to give a fairly straightforward justification.

OK, then give a straightforward justification why Cady is right or why she is wrong. After all, you did all of this stuff with Tohei, so I suspect you can offer something to the discussion. As far as I can see, Cady asserted something authoritatively; I didn't challenge her to explain it in depth, I didn't suggest that she was "being her usual self", and I didn't make any shots about 'peanut galleries'. I actually think I did her a good turn by pointing out an error in her assertion; now she can go to her teacher and get him to explain it to her..... unless, of course, he agrees with her position.

2 cents.

Mike Sigan

Keith Larman
02-02-2011, 07:41 PM
Mike, I'm not saying she's right or wrong and I have no idea. Tis the point. Hence why I didn't say anything to her post. No idea, as you know, I'm just a beginner.

My point was intended to be a general one about Einstein's quote since I've found helpful in my own posting. Because I've gone down that road before offering critiques on things I had no means of responding to. I realized I can't answer everything on-line and sometimes, for me, it is better to simply not answer. Or to at least have something to be helpful.

I'm not claiming to have any answers here, Mike. I go to seminars trying to learn from you guys.

Keith Larman
02-02-2011, 09:07 PM
Thinking about it more and i"ll try to be more straightforward. Per request.

OK, then give a straightforward justification why Cady is right or why she is wrong.

I don't have an straightforward justification because the area I read that seemed to illicit the response was on the topic of "gym exercise" not necessarily being in conflict with developing IS but sometimes can be. Of course it was a fairly general and long comment, so let me post it again.

Guys, they are different methodolgies, yes. Will conventional means of strength development (e.g. weight lifting, etc.) create obstacles for cultivating relaxed, "soft" power? Yes. You've heard it from IP practioners say this time and again. Sagawa said it constantly.

For someone just starting out in IP, the re-wiring needed for correct neuromuscular, structural development is hard enough; adding an unrelated training regimen that uses the body in a completely different way, will make IP way more difficult, confusing, and progress will be much slower if at all.

I know firsthand, because it's something I had to struggle with for many years, thanks to deep indoctrination in "external" MAs for decades prior. And others have said the same. Someone earlier on in the forum stated that when he went back to his former, athletic-type training, it undid all the hard work he'd put into IP training. Dropping the former resulted in restoring his ability in the latter.

That said, after a point in IP training, IME you can tell what sorts of athletics you can do, that won't make you flex your shoulders or get into other counter-productive habits. Sagawa did push-ups and likely did other familiar exercises, with no problems.

I know IP people who play golf, shoot hoops, do sit-ups and push-ups. But they gave up power lifting and other muscle-flex activities. There's one fellow who says that, try as he might, he can't throw a baseball to save his life, but I suspect it's because he has so refined his IP skills that he has completely wired out the "external hip torque" that powers a baseball as it does a karate punch, but which is counter-productive to internal power.

So I'm not exactly sure what you took exception to in the post. Was it the whole flex the shoulders thing? I honestly don't know and I don't have an opinion on that since I'm just trying to figure out how to do the little I've been taught and I'm not exactly sure what she meant about it. I know that when my shoulder comes up and out I often can't do diddly the way I want to. But again I'm not sure exactly what she was getting at with that small snippet.

After all, you did all of this stuff with Tohei, so I suspect you can offer something to the discussion.

Hmmm. Lovely. Actually Rod Kobayashi started Seidokan after he left Tohei's group. So I'm not a student of Tohei and I wouldn't want anything I say here to be confused for anything pertinent to Ki Society today, certainly not directly. We did come from Tohei's direct lineage, however. As I understand the history of Rod Kobayashi-sensei (errors are mine and mine only) Kobayashi's first teachers were at Hawaii Aikikai. Yukiso Yamamoto, Kazuto Sugimoto, and Isao Takahashi. In 1961 after finishing his military service he was able to start training more with Tohei on his visits here as well as visiting Japan. Some time in the early to mid 70's (pre-split) he was the title of Chief Lectureship of Ki Development and the Chief Instructor of Shinshin Toitsu Aikido of the Ki Society Western USA. Kobayashi resigned from Ki Society and the Ki no Kenkyu Kai in 1981 to form Seidokan with a focus on ki training. So we do trace back to Tohei, but split off from Tohei in 1981 (30 years ago). Hopefully that qualifies where I came from.

So, all that context out of the way, I don't recall anyone ever talking about exercise outside the dojo. I know I've suggested to some people that they get out and get some basic cardio vascular work. Lord knows it is a struggle for me as well, but that's about blood pressure and general health. Most of the serious students I trained with had their hobbies of their own, but free time for athletic stuff was usually spent in the dojo. And the focus was always on testing throughout the aiki taiso, techniques, heck, anytime and anywhere.

WRT to shoulders, I still remember people whacking my on my shoulders at every point including in the aiki taiso telling me the shoulders need to stay down and attached to the whole body. Doing what I do I tend to carry a lot of tension up in my shoulders. So what I was told is that a raised shoulder can often be a sign of losing "unification of body". Heck, a lot of technique involve nage trying to get uke's shoulder up so they easily move them around. It is hard to think someone has adopted a principle of "weight settled down" or "weight underside" if their shoulder is up around their ears. So it is pretty basic although I can imagine there will always be exceptions.

WRT to whether doing exercises that loosen up the shoulder joint, or strengthen the joint outside of aikido, I have no idea.

WRT to traditional usage of the shoulder in Japanese martial arts, sword arts in particular do not look fondly on raised shoulders for a lot of the same reasons. And if you've ever practiced tameshigiri with a real sword you learn quite quickly the difference between a good cut and a muscled cut. Shoulders up on a difficult cut can actually hurt. I know a guy who sprained his shoulder doing a dodan due to overextension.

But again I don't recall anyone ever explicitly talking about exercise outside the dojo. Most were too busy trying to get as many hours on the mat as possible without ending up in divorce court.

I will say that I've known at least three major body builders who tried aikido. All three made little progress. They were generally easy to throw and they basically could only perform their throws with brute force and were often fairly easy to futz with when they tried.

I knew another guy who boxed a lot. Powerful punches. But again, softness, subtlety and sensitivity are not words I'd use...

And in my case I've had so many health problems and injuries that I've been focused more on exercises I'm doing with my physical therapist. Ironically he's increasingly getting into the whole body/fascia approach. And the body weight exercises and stretches I'm doing there look an awful lot more like things I've seen you, Dan, Toby, Ark (not in person yet), et al do.

But as I type all this I'm still not sure what the question is. Because Cady's post covered a lot of territory, really, and was quite vague. As such I didn't put too much import on much since I could easily think of "exercises" that would be helpful for IS (pushups by "pulling" yourself down to the ground with a wide placement of the hands to activate the complete connection internall then letting yourself essentially "spring" up as an example). And I could think of my body builder friends who quickly got no where at all.

So what's the question again? And what's the critique?

As far as I can see, Cady asserted something authoritatively; I didn't challenge her to explain it in depth, I didn't suggest that she was "being her usual self", and I didn't make any shots about 'peanut galleries'. I actually think I did her a good turn by pointing out an error in her assertion; now she can go to her teacher and get him to explain it to her..... unless, of course, he agrees with her position. -- emphasis added for clarity.


But I think this was my point. Unless I missed it you didn't point out the error in her assertion (that didn't read all that specific to me in the first place).

Mike Sigman
02-02-2011, 09:44 PM
But I think this was my point. Unless I missed it you didn't point out the error in her assertion (that didn't read all that specific to me in the first place).

I pointed out that there was AN error... the exact error I'll leave alone because it would, as I said, put me into the position of defending and giving out information, something I've done fairly freely on this forum a number of years, if you check the archives. Ask me sometime if I see you and I'll show you quickly why there's an obvious problem. ;)

Mike Sigman

Michael Varin
02-02-2011, 10:16 PM
As such I didn't put too much import on much since I could easily think of "exercises" that would be helpful for IS (pushups by "pulling" yourself down to the ground with a wide placement of the hands to activate the complete connection internall then letting yourself essentially "spring" up as an example).
Keith,

Would you care to expand on that? Especially "pulling yourself down" and how it relates to "activate the complete connection internall[y]"?

I realize that many tend to avoid questions that probe deeper, but I get the sense that you are not inclined to do that. And I don't really care what your level of expertise is. I'm just curious because this sounds very similar to the way that I would explain good pressing form.

Janet Rosen
02-02-2011, 10:46 PM
Keith,

Would you care to expand on that? Especially "pulling yourself down" and how it relates to "activate the complete connection internall[y]"?

I realize that many tend to avoid questions that probe deeper, but I get the sense that you are not inclined to do that. And I don't really care what your level of expertise is. I'm just curious because this sounds very similar to the way that I would explain good pressing form.

I also find myself fascinated by what Keith wrote because I relate it to some of the principles in Pilates (move down to move up) that I've incorporated into my aikido. So I'm also eager to read more on this.

Keith Larman
02-02-2011, 10:46 PM
Keith,

Would you care to expand on that? Especially "pulling yourself down" and how it relates to "activate the complete connection internall[y]"?

I realize that many tend to avoid questions that probe deeper, but I get the sense that you are not inclined to do that. And I don't really care what your level of expertise is. I'm just curious because this sounds very similar to the way that I would explain good pressing form.

Well, I can only explain it in somewhat subjective terms. But here goes. If you stand up, put your arms straight out in front of you with a slight bend in the elbow. Splay your fingers out with your palms now parallel to the plane of your body. Rotate your hands in place bringing turning your hand such that your thumbs end up pointing downward making your elbows rotate out. So you're kind of making a big, oblong circle. Hands just a little wider than shoulder width.

This is the starting position when you're in a standard pushup position on the floor. Hopefully that description makes some sense.

Now from here you try to engage a connection going all around from your arms across your back. It might help to think of expanding your back a bit. Now, with control, slowly lower yourself with a feeling like you're pulling yourself down to the ground "loading up" a spring. You should feel this in your chest, of course, but also across your back. Then to "push up" the feeling is like you "let go" and allow yourself to be pushed back up.

Try it some day when you're rested. Do a handful of regular pushups. Wait a while to recover completely and try it again using the above. Most will find they can do more in this way.

It is a good way to illustrate a more way of doing something that utilizes more than just the "assumed muscle" we would normally use. There is a sort of "store/release" thing going on here. But also learning to use more than just your localized muscle, instead focusing on distributing the load across a much longer group of muscles more evenly. Which makes for a more efficient pushup.

Of course the question begged here is why you would do an exercise this way. In context of this discussion *if* your goal is building bulging pecs and ripped deltoids, this probably won't help, if anything it will slow that down. It doesn't isolate muscles for the purpose of making the individual muscles stronger. The idea is to build more strength overall by learning to use more of your body to do each thing. Taking advantage of the internal connections to more completely use your body. Here the goal is being able to do more, more efficiently, with less energy. I.e., to the outside you look like you can do more pushups. And you can. But you're not really doing the same thing inside.

Sounds familiar in this thread?

I'll also point out that for those who are paying attention, there is quite a movement that has been going on in the last few years in the world of exercise. Many criticisms I've seen of modern exercise is based on stuff that is probably 10-20 years out of date. I've got friends who are personal trainers who are vastly more focused on "functional" fitness. Yes, weight bearing training still happens, but how it is done is totally different. Weight machines are in general not that helpful since they ignore the larger picture by the very nature of their design; isolating individual muscles or groups. Instead you're seeing more and more people doing things with heavy ropes, kettlebells, even long, heavy, flexible poles. In some ways it started with the focus on "core". Now they realize that it's about how everything attaches to the core and so all can be used at the same time, unified, connected. Any weakness in the chain and the whole things falls apart. So we're back to pushups done in more specific ways, lots of picking up heavy stuff and simply carrying it from point A to B. Swinging heavy sticks trying to control it with your entire body. Trying to put a wave down a long, heavy rope. Etc.

Edit added. Added since Janet posted as I typed. Yes, Pilates is another area where there is an increased focus on a more holistic approach to exercise. All good stuff. You'd think I'd be in better shape... Gonna have to cut the double-martini's at night since they tend to be followed by cravings for a sandwich. My problem is quite simple. Too much food... :) I love food. Sigh...

Keith Larman
02-02-2011, 10:57 PM
FWIW I have been known to teach that pushup to students before teaching them techniques from ushirodori (bear hug from behind in case terminology varies). Think about what you're doing when you extend your arms. Not an exact mapping, but the pushup is meant to stack the deck maximally for the pushup. We were taught to first bend the arms at the elbows when grabbed from behind. Think now of that movement as activating that same path you would "pulling yourself down". Now when you want to extend there is no slack, no delay, and a lot of power possible, if needed.

Extending further, thing about hand position in Funakogi undo (if you do it). Think why some focus so much on letting the wrist bend. Extend your arms with that same feeling as in the pushup but with the wrist bent down (as you'll see in the photos of Tohei). Keep the "tensioned" feel but now straighten the wrist. Something goes away. My sensei to this day still say that you bend those wrists so you don't "cut off the ki flow". If you feel that change when you do it, that's (I think) what they're talking about. This is something I've been told Tohei had said as well. If we assume they really are feeling this same something, is this a manifestation of a larger, physical connection? So are we talking about "energy" literally flowing or are we talking about very real connections in the body that we can condition and learn to utilize directly?

But again, I'm just a noob, so grain of salt.

rroeserr
02-02-2011, 11:22 PM
Yes, it does. Because it takes some background about internal strength which hasn't been discussed on this forum and I doubt seriously that you know what I'm talking about or you wouldn't have posted what you did. Ipso facto. Hence my comment that it would take a lot of writing to get there.

Mike Sigman

Hence your comment to make you sound smart. Ipso facto and all that. Why can't you post because you said X I can tell you that you aren't doing Y?

rroeserr
02-02-2011, 11:28 PM
Again I'm going to analogy.
I have taught beginning painting classes. I can offer exercises for sharpening observation skills of color, principles of the relationship of colors in light and shadow, and give people the knowledge and skill they need to be able to mix colors.
Myself, after many years of painting - and I am by no means a master painter - I can look at almost anything and mix a color match to it using acrylic paint.
I do this with no real understanding of the optics, pigments or chemistry involved. I cannot explain it beyond metaphors like describing a color as "cooler" or "warmer."
Does this mean that I'm not actually matching the color or transferring the skill?

So you just randomly mix together paints with no plan or explanation of what is happening? Or maybe you just proved my point that you don't know what you're doing well to explain it in simple terms?

You can't explain what is going on with IS than how do show what's different that shiko than squat for instance?

kewms
02-02-2011, 11:33 PM
I'll also point out that for those who are paying attention, there is quite a movement that has been going on in the last few years in the world of exercise. Many criticisms I've seen of modern exercise is based on stuff that is probably 10-20 years out of date. I've got friends who are personal trainers who are vastly more focused on "functional" fitness. Yes, weight bearing training still happens, but how it is done is totally different. Weight machines are in general not that helpful since they ignore the larger picture by the very nature of their design; isolating individual muscles or groups. Instead you're seeing more and more people doing things with heavy ropes, kettlebells, even long, heavy, flexible poles. In some ways it started with the focus on "core". Now they realize that it's about how everything attaches to the core and so all can be used at the same time, unified, connected. Any weakness in the chain and the whole things falls apart. So we're back to pushups done in more specific ways, lots of picking up heavy stuff and simply carrying it from point A to B. Swinging heavy sticks trying to control it with your entire body. Trying to put a wave down a long, heavy rope. Etc.


Which is actually more of a return to the pre-exercise machine era than anything radically new. It turns out -- as you said -- that isolation exercises are best used as a supplement to address specific weaknesses, rather than the core of a program.

Katherine

Cady Goldfield
02-03-2011, 12:33 AM
Maybe, you don't know what you think you know about "externals."

The shoulder is a complicated joint with many muscles involved in its movement. Can you explain what you mean by "flex your shoulders"?

But,

This is why I think this discussion still has much room for progress. I have heard people talk about "tense" or "flexed" muscles, but throwing an object is a classic example of where either of those things will sap your power.

It is already shaping up that our former competitive gymnast and sanshou fighter turned "internal" expert has a lot to offer golfers and baseball pitchers.

So what are these qualities? If there is no overlap and they are actually antagonistic to each other, why do we see these results?

Apologies for the late response. I've been shoveling out after the latest winter storm.

The comment about throwing a baseball was a tweak about the traditional way to pitch a ball, using a large, visible windup with the hip pulled back and the body mass concentrated on the pitching-side leg, then forward momentum and drop the lead leg, shifting the body weight to the front leg opposite the pitching arm, twisting the pitching-side hip forward, letting that rotation in turn whip around and out the (relaxed) pitching shoulder and arm, and letting that whip-wave reach the hand, where the fingers release the ball. (I learned pitching from a Little League coach a few years ago. :cool: )

It’s a set of discrete events that, while it requires parts of the body to perform in a well-choreographed sequence, doesn’t represent the actions of a connected, unified body. Each body part plays a one-step, in-turn role in transferring and building one-directional force (from the ground, out and away) and velocity from motor movements that begin and end – not a continuous, self-sustaining process. The large outer-hip muscles do the rapid turning to make torque, while the legs take turns providing passive support or counterweight (the lead leg provides counterweight when it is raised before dropping, the rear leg does so after the pitch and the full body mass is transferred to the front foot) and push-away resistance against the ground.

I originally came up in the “external” traditions of karate and boxing – hook, uppercut, jab, reverse/cross, etc. The process has many similarities to the baseball pitch for power generation. The basics (with slight variations for the different strikes/punches) involve pushing from the ground while inhaling, drawing back the hip using the outer muscles of the hip, then dropping the hips and center while both projecting oneself forward and twisting-snapping the punching-side hip forward, throwing out the (relaxed) arm, which twists, then tenses (with the fist) on impact as you exhale, and then relaxes and withdraws.

Some martial drawbacks of this approach (from firsthand experience) are the commitment of mass to one side of the body and also to the forward momentum. You’re throwing your entire body mass forward. It makes the puncher vulnerable to having his/her center taken in that moment when he/she is fully committed to delivering the body-mass payload in that punch. You use up your entire power “account” in each punch, and must re-chamber the hip for the next punch, creating time gaps that a quick opponent can exploit. And, on point of contact with the punch, the puncher’s body is also temporarily tensed and rigid and susceptible to unbalancing – another exploitable moment, however brief. If you encounter someone with good grappling skills, you’re sunk once they exploit that opening and get in.

By contrast, IP method is not a beginning-to-end sequential process with such obvious and visible movements; instead, everything is interwoven and interactive. Manipulations of, in part, the center, lower back, outer legs, spine, inner arch of the legs and groin, and even breath, create a dynamic, integrated body state and structure that is continuous as long as you have the willpower/mental intent to hold it, and is characterized by a stability that is very difficult to disrupt, and, a constant reservoir of available power and the ability to utilize it in many ways. You don't have to start-finish-restart. It's just always there.

People who are skilled in fighting with it can hit with almost all of their body mass while maintaining their central equilibrium – they don’t commit their body mass to forward momentum, they don’t double-weight (commit their body mass to one side of the body), they don’t have to chamber and re-chamber. Their limbs and body are relaxed and fluid, which enhances their mobility and quickness, and they can hit you with anything – hands, shoulders, knees, head – with that reservoir of power.

Even when the power is toned down, there is a penetrating quality to the strikes. IME and IMO, it’s very different than the percussive or projectile quality of “external” power generation. Body connection and force from opposing sets of spirals created by manipulations of the lower body are used for off-balancing, controlling and throwing as well as striking. And what’s more, they only need to use a minimal amount of effort to create extremely powerful results, and can receive force from an opponent, augment it with their own, and return it. It’s amazing what they can do with a body that is truly relaxed and connected. All around, it just looks to me like a more efficient and effective way to power one’s MA whether one focuses on P/K or throwing/grappling arts.

“Flexed” shoulders: It’s almost a given that when human beings are confronted, startled, or think they are going to fall, the first thing they do is draw up their shoulders and tense them. Sometimes it’s just a slight movement, sometimes grossly visible. Maybe it’s a throwback to ancestral brachiating as the “flight” part of the “fight or flight” instinct, I don’t know. But people do it. It takes a lot of practice to not tense the shoulders. That’s why those airport masseurs and masseuses do a “stiff” business.

Any good athlete knows that for anything to work – a golf swing, a ball pitch, a swimming stroke, the muscles of the shoulder and upper back can’t be tense, and you use –as minimally as possible- the muscles needed to hold your frame in proper alignment. Tensed muscles are muscles that have used up their potential energy and must relax again before they can be of any use.

In IP training, if you want to transmit force from your center up and out your arms, when power reaches tensed shoulder muscles, it is blocked there, the scapulas can’t rotate freely, and the shoulders become disconnected from the whole-body process of power transfer. Then, the inclination is for the person to use the muscles of their arm, shoulder and upper back to generate the power – instead of a unified/connected body.

Speaking from my own experience, weight-lifting, when you are trying to develop the ability to completely let-go those muscles, is counterproductive because during the peak of the lift those muscles are flexed and taut. It just reinforces what is already an ingrained tendency in most people. I also found it to be true that conventional karate and boxing (including, maybe especially, heavy-bag work) re-enforced the same flex action, and I had to give it up entirely to accomplish even what little I have in internal training. Maybe other people's mileage varies with their individual talent.

FWIW

Janet Rosen
02-03-2011, 10:53 AM
So you just randomly mix together paints with no plan or explanation of what is happening? Or maybe you just proved my point that you don't know what you're doing well to explain it in simple terms?

There is nothing random about it, but I also cannot tell you WHY I select, say an ultramarine blue instead of a cobalt blue to achieve a particular kind of purple, other than many years of experience distilled into/integrated into my brain/body about the relative properties of each paint color lead me to automatically reach for it.

My point is that in explaining/teaching the art of color mixing, there is nothing about the underlying science (optics or pigment chemistry) that needs to be understood or transmitted. I teach by metaphor like "cool color" vs. "warm color." And to teach a student about mixing purples, I have him mix the ultramarine with a red and the cobalt blue with the same read and compare the results. As a young person I was taught dios by master painters, and no, they didn't "know it well enough to explain it in simple terms" either.

And in fact in most aikido dojos I've been in the instructors resort to metaphor to get students to understand because different students receive/process the info differently. For instance with unbendable arm, a student coming from sports or dance will immediately understand what is meant by, and can implement, engaging core, then lats, then triceps, but most people will not understand what it means to engage any specific muscle in their body so need some kind of visualization or metaphor to get them to start approximating the movement.

jss
02-03-2011, 10:59 AM
By contrast, IP method is not a beginning-to-end sequential process with such obvious and visible movements; instead, everything is interwoven and interactive. Manipulations of, in part, the center, lower back, outer legs, spine, inner arch of the legs and groin, and even breath, create a dynamic, integrated body state and structure that is continuous as long as you have the willpower/mental intent to hold it, and is characterized by a stability that is very difficult to disrupt, and, a constant reservoir of available power and the ability to utilize it in many ways. You don't have to start-finish-restart. It's just always there.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the above sounds to me like you don't use store-and-release to power strikes. May I ask why not?

Cady Goldfield
02-03-2011, 11:38 AM
Joep,
That was my lack of articulation. The beginning to end sequential process I was referring to is the discrete set of large-muscle movements in the karate punch or ball pitch. It stops and starts linearly, and when the sequence is completed there is no energy stored for another use until the sequence is started again. In IP, the body is constantly in a state of potential-energy production. Instead of gross motor movements moving large muscle groups in a one-time act, you are continually manipulating less conventionally used sets of muscle and soft tissue, in a dynamic tension of opposing forces, to create potential energy -- that's what I meant about it always being there -- and it is available to be released at will.

There are so many others more adept both at demonstration and explanation,and I did not intend to venture this far with the topic. Only to say that my personal experiences on both sides of traditional athletic body usage and IP, to the extent that I've experienced it, have shown completely different sets of body dynamics.

jss
02-04-2011, 11:36 AM
Joep,
That was my lack of articulation. The beginning to end sequential process I was referring to is the discrete set of large-muscle movements in the karate punch or ball pitch. It stops and starts linearly, and when the sequence is completed there is no energy stored for another use until the sequence is started again. In IP, the body is constantly in a state of potential-energy production. Instead of gross motor movements moving large muscle groups in a one-time act, you are continually manipulating less conventionally used sets of muscle and soft tissue, in a dynamic tension of opposing forces, to create potential energy -- that's what I meant about it always being there -- and it is available to be released at will.

I donīt think we're talking about the same store-and-release here. The one I have in mind is largely a sequential process and at the end of it, it's not necessarily so that there's stored energy to release. The store is not always there: it's a specific skill on top of 'regular' internal movement.
And yes, you can train your body to always be in a cycle of store and release in which every release is also a store. But that's not a given. You actually need to train that after you learned how to do a single store-and-release.

There are so many others more adept both at demonstration and explanation,and I did not intend to venture this far with the topic.
No problem, we're near my limits of skill and knowledge anyhow, so I have little more to add. ;)

Mike Sigman
02-04-2011, 12:39 PM
Okay, video as I promised.

I'll be the first to say, my shikko doesn't look nearly as good as Ark's. I have also only done this exercise twice in my life, for about a total of 60 seconds. If I had a year to practice, I'm sure it would look much better. I wanted to get the video up quickly though, because I promised I would.

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

Heh. I have to tip my hat to Chris for putting that video up (I didn't see it at the time he posted). Thanks for helping to keep the bar raised, Chris. ;)

Mike Sigman

Cady Goldfield
02-04-2011, 01:15 PM
Hi Joep,
I think you’re right. I’ve been the recipient of IP power-releases like that, such as from someone splitting the spiraling force from the legs at the kua, using the power it creates, then stopping that process after "delivering." But, the winding process itself is maintained as a continuous process (along with suspending the center and spine in a matrix of opposing forces) for stability and being able to shift and hide center and body mass. The real adepts just move that way all the time, and the spiraling force is available to them to manipulate at will, such as with that force-split.

I’ve found that some of things, you can do continuously and they do have power in and of themselves without a start-and-end point. For example, maintaining a “downward” internal body dynamic keeps a continuous elliptical cycle from and to the ground. The body “becomes” that process, and if it connects to another body, that body will respond to its effects on contact. It makes strikes, punches and kicks very “heavy,” and is great for takedowns.

The only point I'd really wanted to make, was that the methods are different from those of traditional athletic training; it would be interesting to see how any of these concepts might be applied to athletics. I've seen them used only in a martial context, though I've actually found some things to be useful in my horticultural work.

HL1978
02-04-2011, 01:55 PM
Heh. I have to tip my hat to Chris for putting that video up (I didn't see it at the time he posted). Thanks for helping to keep the bar raised, Chris. ;)

Mike Sigman

I give Chris a lot of credit for doing a shot to shot remake of the original video. The effects on his partner look superficially similar to the other video, but he doesn't initiate his movement in the same way as the original.

Chris did a nice recreation of ark's demo at the end with the partner on his back. Again its not the same thing. For example I only recently learned that you are supposed to "be under" (I did my best to explan this via a previous post) your own lifted leg, but I have no clue how to actually do that yet as I only recently started to figure out how to be under my own arms. That being said, Chris did a good job of showing what strong muscles and balance can achieve,

If anyone is interested, I can give an attempt to point out the differences and hopefully have others chime in where I might be right or wrong.

Mike Sigman
02-04-2011, 02:25 PM
I give Chris a lot of credit for doing a shot to shot remake of the original video. The effects on his partner look superficially similar to the other video, but he doesn't initiate his movement in the same way as the original.

Chris did a nice recreation of ark's demo at the end with the partner on his back. Again its not the same thing. For example I only recently learned that you are supposed to "be under" (I did my best to explan this via a previous post) your own lifted leg, but I have no clue how to actually do that yet as I only recently started to figure out how to be under my own arms. That being said, Chris did a good job of showing what strong muscles and balance can achieve,

If anyone is interested, I can give an attempt to point out the differences and hopefully have others chime in where I might be right or wrong.Well, I look at it like this: Chris hasn't been exposed to internal-strength as we're discussing it, but that's neither here nor there. He's taking some typical "I.S." demonstrations (in this case from Ark, but they could be from anyone) and he's replicating them using good, normal strength. It's a heck of an opportunity to analyse and compare; telling Chris he's "wrong" about anything is beside the point, given the opportunity.

For instance, think of this: Chris when he kicks, etc., is basically tying himself together and hitting with his combined mass. True, he could be questioned about the difference in "muscle" versus "suit", let's say, but his response would rightfully be, "So let me see you kick harder". If you can't kick harder than Chris does, using your internal strength, then he's won the argument (in a limited respect) that there's no real need to spend the time studying so-called "internal strength", right?

So by providing a film of already-known I.S. demonstrations but done with 'athleticism', Chris provides a basis for a good discussion.

I believe that it was Michael Varin that made the point about teaching limited aspects of "internal strength" (read "ki" if you want to stay traditional) to golf and baseball players. To my eye, Chris did a somewhat muscular version of tying his body together as a unit to kick (as an example) and there is a lot more of the spectrum of internal strength that wasn't developed very well. His "explosive power" is pretty far off the mark, IMO, but who cares, he might say, he launched Uke... he laid it out there. Great discussion material if someone wants to provide a counter-video.... like some of the people who told him he did it wrong. ;)

FWIW

Mike Sigman

ChrisHein
02-04-2011, 03:03 PM
Great discussion material if someone wants to provide a counter-video.... like some of the people who told him he did it wrong. ;)


I was wondering if we were ever going to get back around to discussing the videos. Thanks Hunter and Mike for bringing this back up.

I'm sure there are qualities that the IP people are looking for, that I might not have met. My question is, how are these qualities manifested? As Mike said, if you can kick about as hard as I can, and you say you are doing it with internal, and I'm doing it external, why does that matter? If both roads lead to the same destination (a hard kick for example) than why choose one over the other?

Your answer might come in the form of, "internal is ultimately more powerful." That's fine, but lets see it. Let's see some video of things that can not be done with external power. Some video of things that can only be done with IP.

I've been working with structure and alignment more lately, and I've found that I can do somethings that even I thought I couldn't do just a short time ago. But I still don't think it's anything beyond good body use, that could be learned from any good sports coach. Anyways, the video match offer is still available, if anyone wants to put up some video.

Thomas Campbell
02-04-2011, 03:35 PM
I was wondering if we were ever going to get back around to discussing the videos. Thanks Hunter and Mike for bringing this back up.

Let's see some video of things that can not be done with external power. Some video of things that can only be done with IP..

Yes, let's. Hunter? Mike?

Mike Sigman
02-04-2011, 03:47 PM
Yes, let's. Hunter? Mike?Let's see yours, Tom.... you always jump into these things using someone else's name, so let's see something you can do. Or Stan. Or Marc. Mark Murray has stepped up and posted some stuff. My stuff is on record in a number of public places (including videos from the 90's). Let's see what a moderator of Rum Soaked Fist can do other than try to provoke people... after all these years of "internal arts" surely you guys have something to show for it.

Mike Sigman

HL1978
02-04-2011, 04:17 PM
I've been working with structure and alignment more lately, and I've found that I can do somethings that even I thought I couldn't do just a short time ago. But I still don't think it's anything beyond good body use, that could be learned from any good sports coach. Anyways, the video match offer is still available, if anyone wants to put up some video.

Sorry I didn't get back to you earlier regarding your PM. I'm trying to finish work on my house soon, so my time has been limited.

You might have missed it earlier, but you can try some of demos on this video too

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXsMSoXrNgo&feature=player_detailpage#t=123s

See if you can do what he is doing without your partner regarding weight transfer/flexon, plus pinky wrestling (at 4:27) is always fun too. Cordelli's comments are interesting at 5:25. I have never felt the final demo, so I have no clue how that one works.

I probably mentioned it earlier, but you should be able to replicate some of the stuff in your structure video, without having to use structure/muscle or in a compromised position.

Mark Freeman
02-04-2011, 04:47 PM
You might have missed it earlier, but you can try some of demos on this video too

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXsMSoXrNgo&feature=player_detailpage#t=123s

See if you can do what he is doing without your partner regarding weight transfer/flexon, plus pinky wrestling (at 4:27) is always fun too. Cordelli's comments are interesting at 5:25. I have never felt the final demo, so I have no clue how that one works.

Hi Hunter,

I haven't tried the little finger wrestling (but will give it a go) yet, but the final demo I tried out when I first saw it on the TV. It looked almost identical to an exercise I had practiced many times with my teacher. In our case it was to take the oustretched hand and by using co-ordination of mind and body, 'shake' the hand and lower uke towards the floor. It being an exercise, uke is not trying to resist, but if you try to muscle them down, it wont work.

Anyway, I watched what Kuroda was doing and he seemed to put his mind/ki on a particular spot on Crudelli's body, then did the hand shake, the result being as you see. When I tried this with a uke who had no idea what I was going to do, the results were the same.

It's not difficult to do, you just have to use relaxation and an active mind.

regards,

Mark

Thomas Campbell
02-04-2011, 05:28 PM
Let's see yours, Tom.... you always jump into these things using someone else's name, so let's see something you can do. Or Stan. Or Marc. Mark Murray has stepped up and posted some stuff. My stuff is on record in a number of public places (including videos from the 90's). Let's see what a moderator of Rum Soaked Fist can do other than try to provoke people... after all these years of "internal arts" surely you guys have something to show for it.

Mike Sigman

Let's see . . . asking for a video reference is provoking people? :) You're a little touchy these days, Mike. If I was specifically requesting video clips showing you demonstrating individually, I would have said so. I think Hunter's reference to Cordelli and Kuroda's video clip is a little more relevant than your reply, since he provided a link to the clip and some helpful accompanying observations. Kuroda's clip does seem to be an illustration of at least some aspect of internal skill without "athleticism." That's relevant to the subject of this thread. So let's see if we can stick to that without getting personal, OK?

I've seen your videos from the 90s. I purchased two sets of them in the 90s (long gone now), for study and for circulation among friends. I don't recall specific segments from those 1990s videos directly related to my request. I assume your understanding and skill have improved since you made those old videos. Your work in recent years is not on video in "public places" though. Since you brought it up, I think recent video clips of you would be good for people to see, because you have real skills, but if you don't want to share it outside of your private forum, that's your prerogative.

As for video clips of me, there is really nothing to show as far as demonstrating the difference between doing something with "athleticism" and doing it with internal skill, because I'm still largely a beginner with internal work--and quite secure with saying so, because I don't pretend to be an expert on this field of endeavor. I do seek out people who I think can help my progress, though, and will probably visit with Chris and Michael the next time I'm in their area, if they'll have me. I've worked with Chris' CIMA teacher, Tim, and learned quite a bit. And I've had the opportunity to work with you and Akuzawa and Dan Harden on occasion as well, also learning different things, all from people with internal skill vastly superior to my own.

Oh, and Mike . . . I'm not moderating RSF any more. Just to save you a few keystrokes on your next post.

Thomas Campbell
02-04-2011, 05:59 PM
To get back to the topic of this thread and illustrating the differences between use of "athleticism" and use of "internal skill," I think it depends on clear definitions of what we are looking at--and even with clear definitions, video clips may not clearly show the difference.

For example, if the following clip showing Chen Zhiqiang taking down a student did not have the English subtitles of Chen Bing's explanations and instructions, would a viewer be able to tell whether Chen Zhiqiang was using athleticism or internal skill . . . or a combination?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAicu-IPjMw

And consider specific instances in Chen Bing's narrative, where he talks about Chen Zhiqiang's avoidance of and borrowing (using) the opponent's force--is what Chen Zhiqiang doing in those parts of the video clip making use of athleticism or making use of internal skill?

Compare--or rather contrast--Chen Zhiqiang's clip above with Wei Shuren's clip below (Wei is the 80-year-old heavyset man in the light gray sweater-vest):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vaogb-2vdrU&playnext=1&list=PLD70450F1A4917A5A

Assuming that the movement of Wei's partner is not voluntary (and that is an assumption), is Wei inducing it by "athleticism" or by "internal skill"? Wei does not appear particularly "athletic".

I don't train aikido and so don't feel confident in selecting and commenting on aikido clips showing a difference between athleticism and internal skill. There seems to be some consensus here that Ikeda sensei's demonstrations show a level of internal skill.

Mike Sigman
02-04-2011, 06:14 PM
Since you brought it up, I think recent video clips of you would be good for people to see, because you have real skills, but if you don't want to share it outside of your private forum, that's your prerogative.You've commented publicly for a number of years on IMA's, Tom. Let's see something from you before you ask others to step up. Then ask some of the people to whom Chris was responding with his video to come up with videos. You're quick to make comments, but I've never seen anything substantive from you personally. And yes, you came to a workshop (I assumed wrongly that "Tom Campbell" in S.F. was just a coincidence in name for the guy in Seattle) and I'm not going to bother trying to tear you down or build you up by making this post about you and your abilities. But you tend to very selectively and partisanly make your comments and requests, so this time I'm bringing your skills into it. Show us something or say something intelligent or accurately analytic, but stop this habit of yours of pointing at everyone but yourself.

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
02-04-2011, 06:21 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAicu-IPjMw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vaogb-2vdrU&playnext=1&list=PLD70450F1A4917A5A
Those are two very different clips. Chen ZiQiang is demonstrating internal strength within a shuai jiao type context and the partner isn't stooging for him (although of course he's only playing his role in a filmed demonstration). CZQ's jin skills are pretty obvious. The second clip of Wei has a partner who is noticeably reacting after the fact, although Wei is certainly using jin. What we can't tell is how powerful Wei really is because of the cooperation by the partner. If you compare to the way Chris throws his partner away (look at the arm/shoulder/torso), it's pretty obviously different. What Chris is now asking to be convinced is why one way is "superior" to another.

Mike Sigman

Thomas Campbell
02-04-2011, 06:30 PM
You've commented publicly for a number of years on IMA's, Tom. Let's see something from you before you ask others to step up. Then ask some of the people to whom Chris was responding with his video to come up with videos. You're quick to make comments, but I've never seen anything substantive from you personally. And yes, you came to a workshop (I assumed wrongly that "Tom Campbell" in S.F. was just a coincidence in name for the guy in Seattle) and I'm not going to bother trying to tear you down or build you up by making this post about you and your abilities. But you tend to very selectively and partisanly make your comments and requests, so this time I'm bringing your skills into it. Show us something or say something intelligent or accurately analytic, but stop this habit of yours of pointing at everyone but yourself.

Mike Sigman

Mike--

Stop this habit of yours of telling others what they can or cannot post on open forums. It really demeans your otherwise positive contributions to this thread and others.

And remember that you were the one who raised the subject of your own videos (in post #417 on this thread). This thread isn't about you, though--it's about the difference between athleticism and internal skill generally, and is helped by video clips--of anyone--that illustrate the difference. I don't have any of myself, and apparently you aren't willing to show any of yourself here. Since this thread isn't about you or me, though, let's get back to intelligent and accurately analytic commentary on clips and issues, as I tried to do with the post on CZQ and WSR.

Mike Sigman
02-04-2011, 06:30 PM
Hi Hunter,

I haven't tried the little finger wrestling (but will give it a go) yet, but the final demo I tried out when I first saw it on the TV. It looked almost identical to an exercise I had practiced many times with my teacher. In our case it was to take the oustretched hand and by using co-ordination of mind and body, 'shake' the hand and lower uke towards the floor. It being an exercise, uke is not trying to resist, but if you try to muscle them down, it wont work.

Anyway, I watched what Kuroda was doing and he seemed to put his mind/ki on a particular spot on Crudelli's body, then did the hand shake, the result being as you see. When I tried this with a uke who had no idea what I was going to do, the results were the same.

It's not difficult to do, you just have to use relaxation and an active mind.
Mark, I'd simplify it and say that both demonstrations, pinky and pull, were still just examples of "make a firmly-connected unit and the move Uke's body/body-part with your middle". No difference. Same principle that Ikeda is teaching. You can make a firm connection through the bones or through the extended connection: Yang and Yin.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
02-04-2011, 06:36 PM
Since this thread isn't about you or me, though,Then think about that the next time you mention my name in a post.

Mike Sigman

Thomas Campbell
02-04-2011, 06:40 PM
Those are two very different clips. Chen ZiQiang is demonstrating internal strength within a shuai jiao type context and the partner isn't stooging for him (although of course he's only playing his role in a filmed demonstration). CZQ's jin skills are pretty obvious. The second clip of Wei has a partner who is noticeably reacting after the fact, although Wei is certainly using jin. What we can't tell is how powerful Wei really is because of the cooperation by the partner. If you compare to the way Chris throws his partner away (look at the arm/shoulder/torso), it's pretty obviously different. What Chris is now asking to be convinced is why one way is "superior" to another.

Mike Sigman

I know they are two very different clips--that's why I posted them together.

You're correct about the noticeable time lag in the reaction of WSR's partner. The explanation I've heard from students of WSR in Beijing and Singapore is that the comparative (with CZQ's clip) lack of physical engagement is because WSR is directly affecting his partner's intent or yi. The time lag is due to the disorientation of WSR's partner.

With CZQ the physical connection (to his partner) is much more immediate. I think there are moments in the clip when CZQ is muscling with his shoulders but there are other moments when his whole-body power and taking of his partner's center is just beautifully evident--even to a relatively unskilled eye like mine.

Thomas Campbell
02-04-2011, 06:45 PM
Then think about that the next time you mention my name in a post.

Mike Sigman

I did. Mentioning your name doesn't make the thread about you, Mike. If I post something about myself or maybe one of these days offer up a fresh video example of my own lack of skill, it doesn't make the thread about me. Let's get back on topic, shall we?

Sorry for the detour, Chris. Although WSR is considered "internal" by many, I only used his clip as an example of the broad range of what is talked about as "internal" martial art--and as a relatively clear contrast to CZQ's clip, which I think is closer to what you may be looking for. I'll go back over CZQ's clip and point out some moments of CZQ's internal skill that to my eye are distinct from "athleticism."

Mike Sigman
02-04-2011, 06:51 PM
The explanation I've heard from students of WSR in Beijing and Singapore is that the comparative (with CZQ's clip) lack of physical engagement is because WSR is directly affecting his partner's intent or yi. The time lag is due to the disorientation of WSR's partner.
OK, so the clip itself wasn't worth showing firstly because Wei's skill is questionable due to his use of an overly-compliant partner. When a bizarre explanation is offered on top of such a demonstration, it becomes horse manure and it's pointless bringing such a person into the discussion. In my personal opinion, any teacher who consistently uses compliant partners in filmed demonstrations of his skills is putting his reputation on the line because such a device is meant to sell his abilities to the ignorant and not to his peers or better.

YMMV

Mike Sigman

Thomas Campbell
02-04-2011, 06:55 PM
I'll go back over CZQ's clip and point out some moments of CZQ's internal skill that to my eye are distinct from "athleticism."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAicu-IPjMw

At 0:24, 1:32 and 1:40, I see whole-body power and connection in CZQ and his partner completely in his control without overt "muscling" by CZQ to dominate.

Lorel Latorilla
02-04-2011, 08:48 PM
I don't know why this thread has run its course. Nobody is saying that internal training is superior than athleticism.

For me, a small guy, internal training is my preferred choice of training (in C2C at least), because using my normal strength on a big guy will never work. So, I do what I can to learn how to acquire skills in getting 'under' a guy, and unbalancing him without overt external movements and my own strength, and also incorporating that into strikes, etc. Bodyskill encompasses those range of skills, and 'promises' the practitioner that they would acquire those skills if they train.

Unless someone who is a proponent that "all athletics incorporate internal training" can show me that modern athletics (like Crossfit) can incorporate these skills, then I'm willing to drop whatever I know, escape the 36th ch4mb3lr of death, and do crossfit, as I will be getting both the benefit of training internal aspects, and also excellent cardio-vascular and functional strength training.

Tell me Chris, does Crossfit or other forms of training incorporate getting 'under' the applied weight of an opponent? How do they train it?

DH
02-04-2011, 08:52 PM
I don't know why this thread has run its course. Nobody is saying that internal training is superior than athleticism.
I am. It has some definitive advantages in actual fighting over athleticism; among which. It is much harder to feel coming as there is far less telegraphing, much harder to be thrown, big power in small spaces, less energy expended for yield. much better control, much better for potential for smaller people, and it remains thee best way to wield weapons...period.
The fact that most people who know a few things either can't fight for ______ or don't really know how it translates into more practical fields just hurts the overall message. The good news is that there is more direct teaching happening. Budo people are pretty sharp when given information. They will figure it out and not only start using it effectively, they will experiment as well .

Just say'n
Dan

Lorel Latorilla
02-04-2011, 09:03 PM
I am. It has some definitive advantages in actual fighting over athleticism; among which. It is much harder to feel coming as there is far less telegraphing, much harder to be thrown, big power in small spaces, less energy expended for yield. much better control, much better for potential for smaller people,
Dan

Well, I can't speak much about that, since I'm still a beginner. All I know is that training in this way is 'better' for me as a small guy as far C2C goes so I'm going to continue training it. I could probably kick hard, inflict knock outs, etc. if I were to train Muay Thai, but I wouldn't know how to get under the guy.

Michael Varin
02-05-2011, 05:26 AM
You might have missed it earlier, but you can try some of demos on this video too

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXsMS...ailpage#t=123s

See if you can do what he is doing without your partner regarding weight transfer/flexon, plus pinky wrestling (at 4:27) is always fun too. Cordelli's comments are interesting at 5:25. I have never felt the final demo, so I have no clue how that one works.

Hunter,

I saw your earlier post. I'd like to know what you find is so incredible or useful about the way Kuroda is stepping?

I originally saw this clip a few years ago, and was fascinated by it. I think Kuroda is excellent, and by the way, Kuroda appears to actually focus on aiki. But I taught myself how to step like that in only a matter of minutes. When I say "like that," I mean without any dorsiflexion of the weight bearing foot. Now let me be clear, I don't really understand this practice and may be missing some key components.

I really want to know, do you see some value in that type of movement, or do you just think it is difficult to do? Why?

On a different note:

If I remember correctly (and I'd like to think I do), you were going to post some videos of your own.

What happened with that?

HL1978
02-07-2011, 09:00 AM
Hunter,

I saw your earlier post. I'd like to know what you find is so incredible or useful about the way Kuroda is stepping?

I originally saw this clip a few years ago, and was fascinated by it. I think Kuroda is excellent, and by the way, Kuroda appears to actually focus on aiki. But I taught myself how to step like that in only a matter of minutes. When I say "like that," I mean without any dorsiflexion of the weight bearing foot. Now let me be clear, I don't really understand this practice and may be missing some key components.

I really want to know, do you see some value in that type of movement, or do you just think it is difficult to do? Why?

I've never worked on it myself, nor will I go out on a limb and say it is a required part of IS as I honestly do not know . I tend to expereince it due to kendo footwork as the toes are generally raised to enable pushing off the balls of the feet. When Kuroda switches his feet he doesn't seem to be pushing off the balls of his feel in the same manner as a kendoka might.

Kuroda's movement is very quick and relaxed. Perhaps that is one reason why it is so.

On a different note:

If I remember correctly (and I'd like to think I do), you were going to post some videos of your own.

What happened with that?

I filmed one with an explanation for the putting the weight of your hands into your crotch, but it was just with me in it. I didn't find it very helpful with only one person in it. I'll be meeting up with some people tomorrow morning and can film it then.

I don't know if I would call that explicit IS. Perhaps, "pre-IS" would be more appropriate. Either way, it winds up being a similar "effortless" sensation for both participants as what you get in some of the other videos shown.

HL1978
02-07-2011, 09:08 AM
I believe that it was Michael Varin that made the point about teaching limited aspects of "internal strength" (read "ki" if you want to stay traditional) to golf and baseball players. To my eye, Chris did a somewhat muscular version of tying his body together as a unit to kick (as an example) and there is a lot more of the spectrum of internal strength that wasn't developed very well. His "explosive power" is pretty far off the mark, IMO, but who cares, he might say, he launched Uke... he laid it out there. Great discussion material if someone wants to provide a counter-video.... like some of the people who told him he did it wrong. ;)

FWIW

Mike Sigman

I can do a video of course, but it won't look like Akuzawa. I use my shoulders way more than he does :D

Mike Sigman
02-07-2011, 09:13 AM
I can do a video of course, but it won't look like Akuzawa. I use my shoulders way more than he does :DYeah, but (and I'm really talking to everyone, not just you, Hunter), imagine how good you'd get if you had to put up occasional videos trying to show specific criteria. Chris, whether right or wrong in whatever he does, shows to me that he thinks a lot about things and he works with videos quite often to reinforce his comments and his thinking. I may disagree with Chris on some things, but I have to admire his grit. ;)

Mike

MM
02-07-2011, 10:01 AM
Yeah, but (and I'm really talking to everyone, not just you, Hunter), imagine how good you'd get if you had to put up occasional videos trying to show specific criteria. Chris, whether right or wrong in whatever he does, shows to me that he thinks a lot about things and he works with videos quite often to reinforce his comments and his thinking. I may disagree with Chris on some things, but I have to admire his grit. ;)

Mike

How about letting people admire your grit and post some videos, Mike? Imagine how good you'd get if you had to put up videos to show specific criteria, whether you were right or wrong.

mathewjgano
02-07-2011, 11:54 AM
How about letting people admire your grit and post some videos, Mike? Imagine how good you'd get if you had to put up videos to show specific criteria, whether you were right or wrong.

I've seen one of him doing nikkyo, though I do wish we'd see more videos in general from a variety of people. I understand "it has to be felt" but it does give some idea of the more external aspects...plus from what I gather, people in the know can tell certain things simply by watching.
I always find it interesting to see how people move. In my very beginner stages of body study I've found it somewhat useful...certainly from an "athletic" standpoint at any rate.

HL1978
02-07-2011, 12:27 PM
I've seen one of him doing nikkyo, though I do wish we'd see more videos in general from a variety of people. I understand "it has to be felt" but it does give some idea of the more external aspects...plus from what I gather, people in the know can tell certain things simply by watching.
I always find it interesting to see how people move. In my very beginner stages of body study I've found it somewhat useful...certainly from an "athletic" standpoint at any rate.

Others have said this before, and it seems to be true. It seems much easier to learn from what someone with an intermediate level of IS than someone with a highly refined level of IS is doing via video. It seems to be a lot more obvious as to what they are doing or what they are trying to do as the motions appear a lot more exaggerated.

thisisnotreal
02-07-2011, 12:47 PM
.. It seems much easier to learn from what someone with an intermediate level of IS than someone with a highly refined level of IS is doing via video. It seems to be a lot more obvious as to what they are doing or what they are trying to do as the motions appear a lot more exaggerated.Here (http://rumsoakedfist.org/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=10965&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&start=60#p191645)are some ideas about why that may be. And hints at what they are training (in going from 1 to 2)

mathewjgano
02-07-2011, 02:43 PM
Others have said this before, and it seems to be true. It seems much easier to learn from what someone with an intermediate level of IS than someone with a highly refined level of IS is doing via video. It seems to be a lot more obvious as to what they are doing or what they are trying to do as the motions appear a lot more exaggerated.

That fits with what ever can be said of my own training...and makes sense that we might be more able to pick up on what someone is doing when they're focusing on specific parts of the whole. Once the parts are more intertwined as a cohesive unit, it seems like it would harder to pinpoint any particular aspect of movement.

Also, Josh, thanks for that link! It was very interesting and seems to mesh with whatever sense I've come to think I have for what to focus on in my own study...though I'm not so sure of the "five" aspects ("internal" and "external"). My guess is that they might pertain to the "lines/locations" in the body related to the fingers/thumb (?)...which I'm fairly sure are important to the mudras used in different meditation practices...for example, the difference in feeling when extending ki out one finger more than another.

Michael Varin
02-08-2011, 06:53 PM
Regarding Kuroda's stepping without dorsiflexion:
I've never worked on it myself, nor will I go out on a limb and say it is a required part of IS as I honestly do not know . I tend to expereince it due to kendo footwork as the toes are generally raised to enable pushing off the balls of the feet. When Kuroda switches his feet he doesn't seem to be pushing off the balls of his feel in the same manner as a kendoka might.

Kuroda's movement is very quick and relaxed. Perhaps that is one reason why it is so.
Hunter,

I don't mean to single you out, because you seem to be coming from a genuine place, but I think this perfectly illustrates the importance of thoroughly, openly, and honestly discussing this material.

Twice you asked someone if they could perform a specific feat without having ever tried it yourself, or even understanding its significance or usefulness.

Earlier in this thread you were listed (admittedly, not by your own doing) as someone whose commentary supposedly added weight to the "IP/IT/IS" side of the argument.

If that doesn't raise some serious questions I don't know what would.

HL1978
02-09-2011, 07:53 AM
Regarding Kuroda's stepping without dorsiflexion:

Hunter,

I don't mean to single you out, because you seem to be coming from a genuine place, but I think this perfectly illustrates the importance of thoroughly, openly, and honestly discussing this material.

Twice you asked someone if they could perform a specific feat without having ever tried it yourself, or even understanding its significance or usefulness.

Earlier in this thread you were listed (admittedly, not by your own doing) as someone whose commentary supposedly added weight to the "IP/IT/IS" side of the argument.

If that doesn't raise some serious questions I don't know what would.

As much as I love talking about myself, this thread isn't about me. :D

I would certainly argue that I have been open about the extent of my abilities, what I can or can not do, as well what I am currently doing wrong in my own practice. I would certainly hope that no one would construe that I consider myself to be a teacher of internal strength, more like a hobbyist. I've been involved in these discussions for 5-6 years though so of course my name will come up as someone who has exposure to and has some knowledge of the theory of these skills.

I will go on the record, as there are plenty of people on this thread who have seen or felt me do all of the things shown in Akuzawa's video with the exception of the version of Shiko with someone on their back. Those with any degree of IS knowledge would likely note, as I have, that I am not preforming them in the way that Akuzawa does and that the way I would do it would unfortunately includes too much use of the shoulder. It would not feel the same as what is shown in Chris's video. While I have applauded Chris's video, he did do many of the things I listed as being "different" from an IS perspective.

When I listed some of Kuroda's demonstrations, I noted that they are typical of the types of things shown in internal martial arts demonstrations. Ellis Amdur discusses doing something similar the last part of Kuroda's demo for example (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=254966&postcount=79) Now that I think of it, Alex Lee did do some of those to me.

If one wants to see videos of me, there are a ton on Qijin on my training thread. Regretably, I no longer have access to the links so I can not present them on aikiweb. Most of them are flat out wrong in terms of movement, mainly utilizing structure supplemented by the quads, lower back and disconnected shoulders to initiate movement. Having to start over, has probably given me a better idea of what movement is correct and allows me to see when someone might not be moving correctly from an IS perspective.

I see no problem with presenting material to someone who has requested examples of IS skills that they can try to replicate externally. I don't think its dishonest or misleading to do so, if I can not or have not done all of those examples myself. I think I have been honest in doing so throughout this thread.

David Orange
02-18-2011, 04:25 PM
One good thing about athleticism is that there are clear winners and losers. In judo, for instance, we learn what it is to lose. This is something sorely missing in aikido since, never facing real resistance, many aikido people come to believe that they can't be resisted and that they can't lose. But we learn something valuable from losing and judo lets us experience that without having to die to learn it.

Another very important aspect of athleticism is record keeping. Through this means, we can compare athletes of various generations--though with changing rules and social conditions as well as equipment and training, the comparisons may not be strictly relevant.

Still, referring again to judo, we have well over 100 years of records of matches and a judo player can know just where he fits among the judo players of history.

Also, the ranks of judo allow a pretty fair reading of a person's strength. A shodan, for example, is a beginner. He may or may not have strength, but so far he has only demonstrated it to the shodan level. Likewise, a 6th dan in judo can be considered a pretty strong person. He or she has had to earn that rank against numerous other people of that rank or higher. And this standardization makes a judo 6th dan's opinion on matters of strength pretty strong. And this makes a judoka an excellent reference on matters of strength.

Anyone who can throw a judo 6th dan, in other words, must be considered pretty strong. And if he can do it over and again, without ever having seen the 6th dan in question, with no knowledge of the judoka's skill or style, we have to consider that person very powerful.

So when we hear of people like Sokaku Takeda, Morihei Ueshiba, Kodo Horikawa, Yukiyoshi Sagawa and others throwing multiple judo black belts, we can gauge quite a bit of strength.

But when people of judo 6th dan or higher universally say of those people that their strength was unlike anything he had ever encountered, we have to accept that the masters in question are doing something far different than athletics. Judo is based on Western physics and physical education methods, after all.

Does that negate the idea that "modern" athletic conditioning does not now teach the same kinds of things that the masters referenced were doing?

I think it fully negates it because judo is probably the world's most complete all-round athletic conditioning, requiring mastery of movement and technique from the toes to the top of the head. And most modern athletic conditioning falls far short of that whole-body complete athletic development because modern athletic training--especially for football--is highly specialized for specific activities. So modern athletic conditioning must lead people ever further away from the kind of full-body conditioning + internal conditioning and development found in the internal arts and internal strength development methods.

Even an internal master needs good cardio conditioning and good whole-body strength, but it does not follow that someone with good cardio and strength can even imagine what goes into internal strength development.

Best to all.

David

RonRagusa
02-18-2011, 06:32 PM
I think it fully negates it because judo is probably the world's most complete all-round athletic conditioning, requiring mastery of movement and technique from the toes to the top of the head. And most modern athletic conditioning falls far short of that whole-body complete athletic development...

Hi David -

I suspect there's a bunch of amateur wrestlers who'd take issue with that statement.

Best,

Ron

David Orange
02-18-2011, 07:19 PM
Hi David -

I suspect there's a bunch of amateur wrestlers who'd take issue with that statement.

Best,

Ron

I agree. However, judo and wrestling are pretty much cousins and Chris specified football players as his model of athletic conditioning. I almost said "judo and wrestling" but went for "most modern athletic conditioning." Wrestling certainly is up there with judo for all-round conditioning. And there may be an element of internal strength in wrestling, but if so, I think it's from the ancient roots and not from the modern scientific conditioning. But it's a point well taken. I consider wrestling, judo, gymnastics and soccer probably the best all around athletics that I will encourage my boy to pursue as he gets old enough. Certainly not football.

Best to you.

David

David Orange
02-18-2011, 07:49 PM
Hi David -

I suspect there's a bunch of amateur wrestlers who'd take issue with that statement.


Another point, though, is that there is no standard ranking in wrestling as in judo. So wrestlers don't fall into classes where you can judge their levels except by their win/loss records, which was part of my point about judo. If you can beat a judo shodan, you're probably pretty strong, but maybe a nidan can beat you. But if you can beat a 6th dan, you can probably handle most people of a lower rank. And the dan rank of judo can give you an objective idea of the individual's power because he's had to fight his way through lower power levels to that rank.

So if Horikawa could take on judo 6th dans regularly, you have to say he's pretty good. And if a judo 6th dan says Horikawa's (or Takeda's or Sagawa's) power is "like nothing he ever felt before," it's a good indication that Horikawa is doing something markedly different from high-level judo.

Also, we have lots of accounts of high-level judoka meeting the referenced masters and we have those judokas' accounts of it. We could surmise that most wrestlers would have the same reaction, but I'm not aware of any such accounts--meaning only that I'm not aware that those men encountered wrestlers.

It's not to say that judo is superior to wrestling (though didn't Kano take on a wrestler on a sea voyage once?) but I point it out because of the standardization of rank as an objective measure of strength for comparison to the aiki men.

Thanks.

David

DodgingRain
06-21-2011, 04:25 PM
Hmm this 'internal' training is different, so its hard to explain through words. If your looking for better looking abs, arms, or legs or something you will not find it here. Each part of the body is slowly developed to connect to the power of the rest of the body in a very slow, systematic way. That is why your biceps will not look big and sexy, because different muscles are being developed - specific muscles needed to transmit and convey the power of the rest of the body to the tips of the fingers. Your biceps may not get that much bigger, but stabilizing back/lat/tricep muscles may be strengthened to be able to transmit force from the lower body out to the hands efficiently. While bigger biceps get more girls, they get in the way of this clean route of power.
So instead of disjointly making random parts of your body strong and powerful, each part of the body is systematically trained to connect to the strength of the whole body. So rather than that one isolated area being developed, the structure and connection of the whole body is what is being developed and strengthened. That is kind of more difficult to see, but can definitely be felt. So individual parts of the body are not strenghtened individually, but rather strengthened to connect to the power of the whole body. Structure is developed, connection of the whole body is strenghthened, not individual areas piece by piece.
There also seems to be a progression of where the power is genereated from. As the body is conditioned and connected, you can begin to develop and strengthen areas of control for movement. Im not connected and conditioned yet, so Im still working on that for now.

hughrbeyer
06-23-2011, 11:47 PM
I'm not sure you're convincingly making the case for why internal training is different from standard athletics. Try to convince a powerlifter that a 700# squat doesn't require integrating the force of the whole body. Listen in to them talking about leg drive in the bench press. Look at Olympic weightlifters and tell me that pulling more than bodyweight overhead in one movement doesn't require that every part of the body be integrated and working together.

The big difference I'm finding is that the internal training works on strength and sensitivity together. Weights can be pretty much counted on to always push down (or in dynamic lifts, down modulated by momentum). Weights generally don't turn around and try to sock you--except when you forget and unload one entire side of the bar before the other.

So with weights you pretty much just have to worry about pushing or pulling harder. If you get stuck out of the hole in a squat, you grit your teeth and do your damnedest to push through it. Try that with a half-decent uke, and they're suddenly not there and their fist is in your face.

So as I see it, it's not just power, it's power with the flexibility and sensitivity to respond to a dynamic uke who is actively trying to do you harm. And it's power that doesn't just push out, but receives an active push (or pull) on you without allowing it to affect your balance or structure.

Aikibu
06-24-2011, 01:24 PM
In my experience Athletes learn faster and adapt easier than those with no athletic ability in almost any physical endeavor including any Martial Art. That's just a law of nature. Some of us have natural ability some don't. Elite Athletes further distinguish themselves by how hard they practice their craft. I know I am stating the obvious here...but after reading this thread I thought the point should be made.:)

William Hazen

Efe Yucemen
02-08-2012, 05:14 AM
Hello all,

Very interesting discussion!

Im not sure if this qualifies as "internal"but there is the concept of "spirit training", as can be found in many different external martial arts. Will power, determination, grit, whatever you want to call it.

I believe in aikido this is achieved in misogi training sessions with very high repetitions of suburi or newaza.

Im sure we have all witnessed many boxing, judo, bjj, wrestling (or even tennis) matches where this will power has determined the outcome.

Dont know if this answers the OP's question exactly.

Cheers

phitruong
02-08-2012, 07:54 AM
Im not sure if this qualifies as "internal"but there is the concept of "spirit training", as can be found in many different external martial arts. Will power, determination, grit, whatever you want to call it.

Cheers

two different things.

internal power = mind control of body internal structures to do some sort of physical work -> in contrast with athleticism. for example, Chen Taichi internal, koryu internal, and so on.

internal power = will power, toughness, strength of spirit, don't quit, etc and etc. for example, Ghandhi, Mother Teresa, and so on.

you will find folks argue the two points above against each others. pretty much talking pass each others.

notdrock
02-08-2012, 08:59 PM
Hi Chris,

I have often thought about if "internal" was "superior" to being athletic or not.

Issai Chosanshi has a great proverb in his book "The Demon's Sermon on Martial Arts" that is a discussion between a sparrow and a butterfly which I won't go into too much detail about but I think applies to this issue:

(Totally paraphrasing here) a sparrow expresses concern to a butterfly about having to become a clam in its next life. In a nut shell, the butterfly makes the sparrow think about if it regrets being a sparrow because for all it knows in its past life it could have been an Apache Gunship blowing stuff up. The sparrow says no because it thinks its always been a sparrow, and the butterfly is like "Well, when you're a clam you'll always think you were a clam because that is the chi which you will then carry, so don't worry.."

As a human evolves it become less and less likely that athleticism can be maintained. The youthful are genetically strong, fast and fit. Then the fear of becoming weak and elderly sets in, and we become like a sparrow fearing becoming a clam, so seek to reassure ourselves that "internal" is better than athleticism because we want to feel like we are heading into something better and not something worse. It's a part of what humankind has had in most civilizations, and that is the transformation from a child to an adult, a rite of passage. And like always its a scary thing.

So to me this is the seed from which the debate of "internal" being superior to athleticism stems. A fear of evolving and growing. The fact is, if one maintains his art, as age gets on athleticism declines, chi grows.

At the end of the day, we are what we are based on the chi the universe has given us. Maintain respect, morals and work hard, this is the crux of martial arts at its peak. It's fertilizer for being human :)

phitruong
02-09-2012, 07:43 AM
So to me this is the seed from which the debate of "internal" being superior to athleticism stems. A fear of evolving and growing. The fact is, if one maintains his art, as age gets on athleticism declines, chi grows.

At the end of the day, we are what we are based on the chi the universe has given us. Maintain respect, morals and work hard, this is the crux of martial arts at its peak. It's fertilizer for being human :)

your point of view is exactly why the debate became fierce. it's not about fear of growing old and getting weak, physically. budo folks are quite aware of their mortality. as i mentioned above, one is a physical training paradigm/method and the other, about attitude. a number of folks can't seem to separate the two. one can have good physical internal power to be unstoppable, but a wretched human being. one can be physically weak and feeble, but an incredible model person for a human. an example, a chen taichi master and Mother Teresa.

as a martial artist; Chen taichi master is better than Mother Teresa
as a role model of a great human being: Mother Teresa is better than Chen taichi master

here when we talked about internal power vs athleticism, we are talking about physical training paradigm, not about attitude.

Lee Salzman
02-09-2012, 08:37 AM
as a martial artist; Chen taichi master is better than Mother Teresa
as a role model of a great human being: Mother Teresa is better than Chen taichi master


You aren't even safe pulling out Mother Theresa as an example. Some people (http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/fighting_words/2003/10/mommie_dearest.html) seem to disagree (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WQ0i3nCx60) about even that. Maybe you should have picked Mary Poppins; she's not a real person so not as messy... maybe. :D

phitruong
02-09-2012, 09:18 AM
Maybe you should have picked Mary Poppins; she's not a real person so not as messy... maybe. :D

can't use Mary Poppins because she can fly like those chinese kungfu folks who flew around on top of bamboos and roof tops. talking about fighting on top of bamboo, the bamboo around here kept snapping off as i got on. i think the western bamboo aren't strong enough; certainly, it cannot possibly because i am a bit on the heavy side. :)

* ever notice good kungfu movie usually has fight scenes in bamboo forest or on roof top? *

Lee Salzman
02-09-2012, 11:56 AM
can't use Mary Poppins because she can fly like those chinese kungfu folks who flew around on top of bamboos and roof tops. talking about fighting on top of bamboo, the bamboo around here kept snapping off as i got on. i think the western bamboo aren't strong enough; certainly, it cannot possibly because i am a bit on the heavy side. :)

* ever notice good kungfu movie usually has fight scenes in bamboo forest or on roof top? *

Eh, but is it really internally powered flight if she needs an umbrella to do it? Those Chinese kungfooey dudes didn't need any umbrellas. If she's holding the umbrella, that's one less hand she can hold a weapon with. Don't think the umbrella would be able to function as a weapon either because she needed to hold it above her, so no hidden-sword-in-umbrella tricks are possible, unless she wishes to crash land on the kungfooey dude and impale him simultaneously with the umbrella, then the hidden-sword-in-umbrella trick is fine.

Janet Rosen
02-09-2012, 12:15 PM
Eh, but is it really internally powered flight if she needs an umbrella to do it? Those Chinese kungfooey dudes didn't need any umbrellas. If she's holding the umbrella, that's one less hand she can hold a weapon with. Don't think the umbrella would be able to function as a weapon either because she needed to hold it above her, so no hidden-sword-in-umbrella tricks are possible, unless she wishes to crash land on the kungfooey dude and impale him simultaneously with the umbrella, then the hidden-sword-in-umbrella trick is fine.

ALL UNECCESSARY. She has the Deadly Schoolmarm Stare of Death.

Patrick Hutchinson
02-09-2012, 01:59 PM
And the Circus Ponies are her Friends