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Carsten Möllering
11-08-2011, 02:15 AM
In my experience hanmi is often taught with feet wide apart:
http://www.aikido-in-hildesheim.de/aikido/tachiwaza.jpg.
And some teachers emphasize an a even deeper stance like shown here.

I know one teacher who likes having his feet "close together" in hanmi and just relaxes his knees instead of "going deep".
Does this so called "stance of heaven (and earth)" relate to things thought or taught concerning IS?

Lee Salzman
11-08-2011, 02:57 AM
In my experience hanmi is often taught with feet wide apart:
http://www.aikido-in-hildesheim.de/aikido/tachiwaza.jpg.
And some teachers emphasize an a even deeper stance like shown here.

I know one teacher who likes having his feet "close together" in hanmi and just relaxes his knees instead of "going deep".
Does this so called "stance of heaven (and earth)" relate to things thought or taught concerning IS?

One way to look at it is that "heaven and earth" is not a stance, it is a method of coordinating behavior. So what position you hold your body does not matter to it, although how you coordinate your body may cause you to move in certain ways.

But wide stance, narrow stance, deep stance, high stance, is a separate issue from "heaven and earth". It refers to the idea that you can make two pathways running through the body: one channeling power down the body, another channeling power up it. Where these pathways are you can debate, but regardless, the body separates itself well at least into two actions: you've got two arms, two legs, two sides of your torso, etc. etc. and they're coordinated by two independent lobes of your brain with a tenuous amount of communication between them keeping them on the same page. The idea is to get in touch with that.

But as to the question of why you might experiment with different widths of stance is because of the overall effect they have on the angle of the legs as they run into the hips. In a higher stance, the line of the legs is more directed up, so it is perhaps more difficult for a beginner to figure out how to channel this support in horizontal directions. In a wider stance, the legs can more easily bridge force between the ground and horizontal directions, at least into the hips - getting the power up out of the hips to somewhere useful being an entirely separate and difficult bugbear.

Higher stance also means the leg/hips joints are more extended, so there is less room for them to further extend and using them to generate power will thus be trickier, but at the same time keeping the hip joint more extended will help prevent an extremely common form of structural collapse at the hip joint most people have, without them realizing it. But if you internalize the idea of extending power across the hip, rather than pushing the hip out of line, the higher stance is no longer relevant to this specifically.

But in the end, you need to learn to be comfortable channeling force with any stance to have truly free movement, by internalizing the ideas of coordination the positions may be trying to exaggerate and get you to recognize rather than just adhering to the form of things.

bob_stra
11-09-2011, 03:50 AM
In my experience hanmi is often taught with feet wide apart:
http://www.aikido-in-hildesheim.de/aikido/tachiwaza.jpg.
And some teachers emphasize an a even deeper stance like shown here.

I know one teacher who likes having his feet "close together" in hanmi and just relaxes his knees instead of "going deep".
Does this so called "stance of heaven (and earth)" relate to things thought or taught concerning IS?

Well, you could consider it as a rough 'foot in door' exercise, using the bones of the skeleton to route forces into / from the floor (ideally). Though it may be a bad one.

The issue arises if you become dependent on the back leg brace (because it feels strong). Makes it difficult to take the next step(s). The goal would be to show the kind of stability a back leg brace gives you without using a backleg brace...then begin moving with same.

IMHO

gregstec
11-09-2011, 08:34 AM
As Lee mentioned, the correlation of the term 'heaven and earth' as to a type of stance is not something I would say. Lee is also correct in his talk about the energies being routed within the body to establish balance. Personally, I like a more natural narrow stance - IMO, it allows for more flexibility in movement - of course, to be effective, those internal energies need to be correct as well :)

Greg

Carsten Möllering
11-10-2011, 03:26 AM
As Lee mentioned, the correlation of the term 'heaven and earth' as to a type of stance is not something I would say.
Well, I heard a shihan who studied with o sensei say that Ueshiba Morihei refered to standing with the feet closer than usually taught today as a "stance of heaven and earth".
So my question is wether there may be an "advantage" in terms of IS.

Thank you for your detailed explanations!

Lee Salzman
11-10-2011, 06:36 AM
Well, I heard a shihan who studied with o sensei say that Ueshiba Morihei refered to standing with the feet closer than usually taught today as a "stance of heaven and earth".
So my question is wether there may be an "advantage" in terms of IS.

Thank you for your detailed explanations!

I guess if "heaven and earth" in this case is implied to mean the balance of vertical forces, then it would still not be the stance that is important, per se, but the implications it had in terms of directions in forces in the body.

This is perhaps a kind of old and over-cited video, but it still is a good example of that: youtube link (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfwLXkMzTQQ). Where the boy is doing the squatting monkey exercise at the beginning, if you imagine a line dropping straight down through him representing a vertical axis of balance, then he is compressing around it, and then expanding back onto it. Then later you can see how that translates into other directions than vertical.

But with the hip joints kept in narrower width, the hip joints can more easily expand or compress about that particular line, since the legs can now extend directly under the upper body. But the benefit does not come from keeping the hips stiff and locked in that position, but rather the action of them actively balancing out the force of gravity that is acting against it - like in that upwards expanding part of squatting monkey. Like Bob was saying, it is not a bracing (= stiffened up) sort of organization you are seeking, but actively moving force between the legs and rest of the body.

gregstec
11-10-2011, 07:04 AM
Well, I heard a shihan who studied with o sensei say that Ueshiba Morihei refered to standing with the feet closer than usually taught today as a "stance of heaven and earth".
So my question is wether there may be an "advantage" in terms of IS.

Thank you for your detailed explanations!

To answer your question, yes, IMO, for reasons that Lee has explained. However, i still have not heard a narrow stance referred to as Heaven and Earth - however, I have heard the term Heaven and Earth used when referring to the balance of yin and yang within the body, which is core to IS :)

Greg

MM
11-10-2011, 09:25 AM
If I remember, most of the attributed translations from Ueshiba on the subject were about Heaven, Earth, and Humankind. Now, Humankind can also be Man.

As explained (and I'm not saying I have this understood correctly) to me:

Cosmologically, you have the forces of Heaven which represent one direction of energy, you have the forces of Earth which represent the opposite direction of energy and Man resides between the two. Where Heaven and Earth meet, you have man.

Now, take a step back and focus on in/yo ho of Daito ryu aiki. In/yo is yin/yang. The method of contradictory forces. So, in aiki, we have contradictory forces. up/down, out/in, etc. Always both, never one or the other. For Daito ryu aiki, these forces are spirals.

Overlapping the two, we can see that Heaven and Earth are the two contradictory forces of in/yo in Daito ryu aiki. Man is the person working/controlling/activating these forces.

In quite a lot of "unbendable arm" demonstrations, one is focused on some sort of visual imagery going out the arm. Typically, this is a water hose with water flowing out the arm. However, that is only one direction. In in/yo ho, there should be a contradictory flow of water coming into the arm. Granted, in this example, one is using a fire hose so, both directions are water. However, we are also talking basic structure and not the complex contradictory spirals of in/yo ho.

Going back to Ueshiba, we find he says (translated by John Stevens): The heart of a human being is no different from the soul of heaven and earth. In your practice always keep your mind on the interaction of heaven and earth, fire and water, yin and yang.

Ueshiba would visualize himself standing on Ame-no-ukihashi, The Floating Bridge of Heaven. Picture it thus:

The self circulation is the dynamics of the person being "Man". "Man", remember, is that area between Heaven and Earth. Imagine an infinite, ever-changing, ever-shifting geometric plane that is the boundary between two galaxies. One is flowing/moving in one direction, while the other flows/moves in the opposite direction. Each galaxies movement is a spiral motion. So, the area where they touch becomes a multitude of points with infinitely changing energies. For a simpler notion, look at the yin/yang symbol. The curvy "s" line between yin and yang -- that's "Man".

The Bridge of Heaven is the entire universe, comprised of those galaxies above. Fire and water.

Ueshiba is standing on that Bridge, being a point between Heaven/Earth and fulfilling the cosmic paradigm of Heaven/Earth/Man. He is becoming an avatar of the Universe whereby other outside entities that come into contact with him, become one with him.

For Ueshiba, the center of all this is his dantien/hara/whatever. This is where the spirals cross in the body and are controlled/created/changed/adapted/etc.

Then, on top of that, we have kotodama, but that is outside this discussion.

Anyway, if we look to in/yo ho, we find that Daito ryu aiki has the contradictory spirals in the body which are created/controlled by dantien. So, once you can create contradictory spirals and be able to use them, then you are on the path to having them naturally expressed in the body. No more creating -- you are the contradictory spirals. You become the entire yin/yang symbol as you have contradictory forces expressed by your body.

NOTE: The self circulation could also be related to Ueshiba's views of a circle. Ueshiba said (translated by Chris Li): In this thing called Aiki, first describe (draw) a circle. Drawing a circle is, in other words, opposing powers.

Now, Chris makes mention that: the word that is used for "opposing powers" is another way of referring to the "Hachiriki" or "Eight Powers" in "Ichirei Shikon Sangen Hachiriki" and refers to the eight variations of "in" and "yo" ("yin" and "yang") and their combinations into opposing pairs - an active force, a quiet force, a pulling force, a loosening force, a splitting force, a combining force, a melting force and a congealing force (you can see that each "in" force has a matching "yo" force).

So, Ueshiba may be making even more about in/yo in that he is saying that even "Man" is a complex contadictory force itself, standing between cosmic in/yo. Doesn't that blow your mind away? LOL!

Mark

gregstec
11-10-2011, 10:39 AM
Well, Carsten, there you have from Mark probably more detail on Heaven and Earth than you anticipated - however, if you want more info along those lines, feel free to pick up a copy of the Kojiki for more light reading :D

Greg

graham christian
11-10-2011, 04:38 PM
A thought from me on heaven and earth. I believe when talked about by Ueshiba he was referring to two things in essence. Heaven related to all things spiritual and earth related to nature, the way of physical things. Thus heaven and earth. How they basically work in harmony with each other is responsibility of you to learn thus you canbe the center of such.

Thus his words spoken as a spiritual person would imply he is standing as that, the center aligned with both heaven and earth.

Physically speaking about stance I would say this. In all martial arts or let's say boxing even when I have seen good trainers they all say that correct stance is a matter of equality as far as weight distribution to feet are concerned. This usually translates as you are standing or balancing actually on your centre axis, free to move in any direction at any time. You could do this from feet wide apart or close together if you get good at it.

Thus in my view heaven and earth is about being center of, thus balanced and that concept would apply to such a physical stance also.

Just an opinion.

Regards.G.

jbblack
11-10-2011, 04:56 PM
Check out Anno Sensei's forthcoming book:

http://www.aikidosantacruz.org/flyers/floating.bridge.pdf

Really looking forward to its release.

Marc Abrams
11-10-2011, 05:16 PM
Opinions are like rear-ends in that everyone has one. Just because you stick your rear end out, does not give that end any credibility. The work of Chris, Dan, and Mark (just naming a few) clearly illustrate NOT opinions, but well-researched meanings. Those well-researched meanings are relevant and credible and impact how we train in our art.

Marc Abrams

DH
11-10-2011, 05:46 PM
A thought from me on heaven and earth. I believe when talked about by Ueshiba he was referring to two things in essence. Heaven related to all things spiritual and earth related to nature, the way of physical things. Thus heaven and earth. How they basically work in harmony with each other is responsibility of you to learn thus you canbe the center of such.

Thus his words spoken as a spiritual person would imply he is standing as that, the center aligned with both heaven and earth.

Physically speaking about stance I would say this. In all martial arts or let's say boxing even when I have seen good trainers they all say that correct stance is a matter of equality as far as weight distribution to feet are concerned. This usually translates as you are standing or balancing actually on your centre axis, free to move in any direction at any time. You could do this from feet wide apart or close together if you get good at it.

Thus in my view heaven and earth is about being center of, thus balanced and that concept would apply to such a physical stance also.

Just an opinion.

Regards.G.
Graham
This is just more co-opting of Ueshiba's words to form personal views of your own that have nothing to do with the teachings of
Osensei.
Aikido teachers seem helplessly...almost hopelessly, lost in their understanding of their founders teachings. It's no surprise they just decided to make shit up and tell their own students some definition they invented.
Morihei Ueshiba was a student of Daito ryu and the Chinese classics. Aikido teachers should study his teachings IN CONTEXT of those models or have the intellectual honesty to simply say "I don't know what he meant." This nonsense of "Well, I think it means this or that... to me." is unprofessional and even uncaring of students who are trusting you.
Sometimes I think if he came back to life and started explaining things (particularly if it involved his internal power)...people would resent it and want to be let alone to go back to their own world they invented.
Dan

graham christian
11-10-2011, 06:02 PM
Graham
This is just more co-opting of Ueshiba's words to form personal views of your own that have nothing to do with the teachings of
Osensei.
Aikido teachers seem helplessly...almost hopelessly, lost in their understanding of their founders teachings. It's no surprise they just decided to make shit up and tell their own students some definition they invented.
Morihei Ueshiba was a student of Daito ryu and the Chinese classics. Aikido teachers should study his teachings IN CONTEXT of those models or have the intellectual honesty to simply say "I don't know what he meant." This nonsense of "Well, I think it means this or that... to me." is unprofessional and even uncaring of students who are trusting you.
Sometimes I think if he came back to life and started explaining things (particularly if it involved his internal power)...people would resent it and want to be let alone to go back to their own world they invented.
Dan

A rehash of your much repeated view. Thank you. Opinion stated as opinion is intellectually honest thank you. Professional merely means you make money so don't go there.

I have a different view to you yet I believe the same about if O'Sensei came back to life and saw what you think he meant. So what?

Intellectual honesty my foot. Understanding Ueshiba has nothing much to do with intellect and academics. Quite the opposite. So you carry on with your intellectual honesty by all means, be my guest.

Regards.G.

DH
11-10-2011, 06:23 PM
The things he said said and wrote have a pedagogy, Graham It is known and discussed in DR and the Chinese arts. Trying to co- opt it into individual opinion is a disservice to him and the art.
It seems very reasonable to me to expect people to research the context of a teachers views. If you did you would find it not so open to our own individual opinions. I rarely offer my own. They are his, in context of his own research, which you can duplicate on your own. I am quite sure you would arrive at the same conclusion ...devoid of opinion.
Dan

graham christian
11-10-2011, 06:42 PM
The things he said said and wrote have a pedagogy, Graham It is known and discussed in DR and the Chinese arts. Trying to co- opt it into individual opinion is a disservice to him and the art.
It seems very reasonable to me to expect people to research the context of a teachers views. If you did you would find it not so open to our own individual opinions. I rarely offer my own. They are his, in context of his own research, which you can duplicate on your own. I am quite sure you would arrive at the same conclusion ...devoid of opinion.
Dan

They have a pedagogy? What does that mean?

Lot's of things discussed in chinese arts and DR. You can even learn what he learned from Takeda aiki wise. You can learn from the classics he read. There's lot's of things you can learn about O'Sensei. You can learn from what others said. Thus you wind up with your opinion.

However amount of data doesn't equal understanding. This computers full of the stuff but understands zilch.

I am quite sure I would and do arrive at a different opinion, conclusion.

Regards.G.

Carsten Möllering
11-11-2011, 04:48 AM
... they all say that correct stance is a matter of equality as far as weight distribution to feet are concerned.
Oh?
This is different from what I learned from my teacher. In "standard hanmi" there is more "weight" on the front leg than on the rear leg. And our axis is not in the middle of both legs.
And there are forms of practice in which we shift the weight between the front leg and the rear leg in different.

---------------

Well, Carsten, there you have from Mark probably more detail on Heaven and Earth than you anticipated ...
Thank you Lee, Bob, Greg, Marc for your detailed explanations!
I appreciate that very much!!!
Actually this stuff is not completely new to me. ;)

Your profound answers don't seem to match my question, which I meant much more simple. Or maybe better: More "technical".
So the sentences which where most important to me are:
I guess if "heaven and earth" in this case is implied to mean the balance of vertical forces, then it would still not be the stance that is important, ...
i still have not heard a narrow stance referred to as Heaven and Earth
Me neither. Except this one mentioned citation.
And in none of the solo forms we practice we emphasize such a narrow stance.

But also Dan is right:
The things he said said and wrote have a pedagogy, ...
So is there something special to be learned keeping the feet more together than usually done?

---------------

I found a video. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=f5s8ZSDPPTA#t=41s)
Here it just said, that you can move more freely from this stance, but nothing about itself.

Maybe I mix things up ...

Tim Ruijs
11-11-2011, 05:37 AM
Aikido stance is rather unique when compared to other martial arts (karate=squared, kendo=rear foot on toes...).
It is an optimised balance between standing strong rigid (wide stance) and being fast and flexible (short stance). Everyone needs to find this balance to match their body and way of moving.

What you actually learn is to literally stay/stand balanced/centered.

Carsten Möllering
11-11-2011, 06:05 AM
It is an optimised balance between standing strong rigid (wide stance) ....
I don't think I would emphasize the "strong/rigid - element" in our hanmi. We don't try to "hold the ground" by using a certain stance/kamae.
It' more about connecting with aite, and leading one's own and also his feeling down, using this connection.

Do you sometimes do a technique just standing on one foot? You don't need a wide stance to be centered and grounded.

kewms
11-14-2011, 12:26 PM
Lot's of things discussed in chinese arts and DR. You can even learn what he learned from Takeda aiki wise. You can learn from the classics he read. There's lot's of things you can learn about O'Sensei. You can learn from what others said. Thus you wind up with your opinion.

They say the nice thing about science is that it's true whether you believe in it or not....

Similarly, the intellectual thread running from the Chinese arts, through DR, to Ueshiba Sensei is pretty well documented by historians who specialize in such matters. Ignoring that thread won't make it go away.

Katherine

kewms
11-14-2011, 12:29 PM
Oh?
This is different from what I learned from my teacher. In "standard hanmi" there is more "weight" on the front leg than on the rear leg. And our axis is not in the middle of both legs.

My teacher would argue with your teacher. He would say that a stance with more weight on one foot or the other is inherently unbalanced, and therefore vulnerable.

The proposition is testable. Stand in hamni and have someone push on the middle of your chest, and then on your upper back. Experiment with different weight distributions and see what happens.

Katherine

Carsten Möllering
11-15-2011, 05:32 AM
My teacher would argue with your teacher. ...
In my experience it's only the stundents who argue. ... :)
The teachers mostly don't need to ... :)

... Stand in hamni and have someone push on the middle of your chest, and then on your upper back. ...
Thank you!

Do you also do pushing from the side?
Why do you think hanmi has to be "stable" to the rear? + What is best for being pushed from / for pushing yourself to the front?
Do you try to move from hanmi having your axis on different positions? Do you feell differences?
Do you investigate the connection / the "way" back leg -> center / tanden -> front leg and backward? And if so: Does it feel different where you have your leg?

Tim Ruijs
11-15-2011, 06:07 AM
I don't think I would emphasize the "strong/rigid - element" in our hanmi. We don't try to "hold the ground" by using a certain stance/kamae.
It' more about connecting with aite, and leading one's own and also his feeling down, using this connection.

Do you sometimes do a technique just standing on one foot? You don't need a wide stance to be centered and grounded.

I am not sure you understand me correctly. What I am trying to say is that you can physically, regardless of Aikido, stand wide, which is strong, but rigid. Or you can stand narrow, but agile. In Aikido you find the balance between the two that fits your physique the best. Good starting point is a stance at about shoulderwidth.

I cannot think of any technique on one foot, but we do have techniques we stance is very narrow (e.g. koshinage and in some weapon work).

@Katherine
Agreed. Your stance should be neutral, in balance. The tests you propose are very good.

We often refer to the third point: points of unbalance. Two exist: one in front of you and one at your back. Imagine a line going through your front foot and rear. Now image a line perpendicular to it that goes through your center. This line is where you are weakest (unbalance) and you cannot divert forces downward. Bit technical but hopefully makes sense.

I use this in class to explain the 'no force' in Aikido. In every technique you attempt to direct aite in that direction, keeping him/her off balance.

phitruong
11-15-2011, 08:26 AM
We often refer to the third point: points of unbalance. Two exist: one in front of you and one at your back. Imagine a line going through your front foot and rear. Now image a line perpendicular to it that goes through your center. This line is where you are weakest (unbalance) and you cannot divert forces downward. Bit technical but hopefully makes sense.
.

i believed the IS folks would challenge those statements, in that, they can divert forces downward and/or in any direction they want. of course, those IS buggers would also said they can do other stuffs which seemed to defy logic too. in one of the post, mike sigman has a picture of a guy standing on one leg and another dude pushing. the picture has various color lines and so on (i think he liked to play with crayons :) ). there is a video of Ark where he stood in parallel stand and doing pushing with other folks.
some of our assumptions might not be as valid as we might led to believe.

Lee Salzman
11-15-2011, 08:43 AM
i believed the IS folks would challenge those statements, in that, they can divert forces downward and/or in any direction they want. of course, those IS buggers would also said they can do other stuffs which seemed to defy logic too. in one of the post, mike sigman has a picture of a guy standing on one leg and another dude pushing. the picture has various color lines and so on (i think he liked to play with crayons :) ). there is a video of Ark where he stood in parallel stand and doing pushing with other folks.
some of our assumptions might not be as valid as we might led to believe.

Well, we don't even need to get into IS, we can just appeal to what we can see from our own experience. What do you do most of the time with your feet, propelling yourself, and in what direction? Forward, roughly. As a species, I'd say we are pretty good with that whole bipedal walking forwards thing.

I think the problem is we lack imagination about setup. Now sure, if you want the contrived example of a person standing straight up, yep, it's gonna be difficult and require lateral thinking, but who says you need to go that off the map? Ask a person to help push a car, and they'll know what to do, aside from trying to politely decline the offer and tell you to call a mechanic, I mean physically. Ask a person to push a human, and they go stupid. :D

Tim Ruijs
11-15-2011, 09:01 AM
i believed the IS folks would challenge those statements, in that, they can divert forces downward and/or in any direction they want. of course, those IS buggers would also said they can do other stuffs which seemed to defy logic too. in one of the post, mike sigman has a picture of a guy standing on one leg and another dude pushing. the picture has various color lines and so on (i think he liked to play with crayons :) ). there is a video of Ark where he stood in parallel stand and doing pushing with other folks.
some of our assumptions might not be as valid as we might led to believe.

Really? So if he stands in front of me, feet apart (shoulder width) and I push him backwards he can withstand that force without stepping backwards, without losing posture? Seriously? SHOW ME!
When they 'lean in' they can counter the force; oppose it. You would feel 'resistance' build up. When they deflect, they lose posture, do not control distance any longer.

If all that works so well why does every single martial art place one foot in front of the other (boxing, kendo, fencing, karate, kyodo, kungfu, wrestling, mu tai, bagua). The only one I can think of that does not do so is sumo, at least when they start. But even then look carefully what happens on contact (bodies turned, arms put rotating force in opponent)

No sir, nice try, but no cookie. Perhaps I am just ignorant stubborn, whatever.

Mind you, the exercises are valuable and have their merit, but no more than striking a boken a hundred times.

phitruong
11-15-2011, 09:03 AM
I think the problem is we lack imagination about setup. Now sure, if you want the contrived example of a person standing straight up, yep, it's gonna be difficult and require lateral thinking,


i get into trouble every time i use lateral thinking. just the other day, my wife yelled at me that she isn't going to clean the bathroom anymore. i said i was thinking laterally at the time so stuffs didn't go where i aimed. she said anymore lateral thinking will result in me laying out laterally. so i try to stay away from lateral thinking and stick with vertical.

I mean physically. Ask a person to push a human, and they go stupid. :D

you meant you can push someone into stupid? is this one of those hidden IS skill that i have not heard of? i don't think there would be much used for such skill, since most of us tend to go into stupid by ourselves. :D

Demetrio Cereijo
11-15-2011, 09:26 AM
If all that works so well why does every single martial art place one foot in front of the other (boxing, kendo, fencing, karate, kyodo, kungfu, wrestling, mu tai, bagua).

Because is an exercise/test of useful bodyskills which should not be confused by actual fighting?.

Lee Salzman
11-15-2011, 09:29 AM
Really? So if he stands in front of me, feet apart (shoulder width) and I push him backwards he can withstand that force without stepping backwards, without losing posture? Seriously? SHOW ME!
When they 'lean in' they can counter the force; oppose it. You would feel 'resistance' build up. When they deflect, they lose posture, do not control distance any longer.

If all that works so well why does every single martial art place one foot in front of the other (boxing, kendo, fencing, karate, kyodo, kungfu, wrestling, mu tai, bagua). The only one I can think of that does not do so is sumo, at least when they start. But even then look carefully what happens on contact (bodies turned, arms put rotating force in opponent)

No sir, nice try, but no cookie. Perhaps I am just ignorant stubborn, whatever.

Mind you, the exercises are valuable and have their merit, but no more than striking a boken a hundred times.

Well, look at the attached image, feet are still parallel, but independent sides of the body have formed structurally sounded force bridges in each direction. Central axis is still even vertical. No leaning, no loss of posture. But forces are no longer going where we would have otherwise expected. And this is just external. And this is from Greco-Roman wrestling (not what you were thinking :D). As I said, imagination about setup.

There are other reasons to turn stance slightly sideways, that have nothing to do with balance. Making a smaller target for strikes. But at the same time, you trade the opportunity of having equal distance to launch an attack from either side. I find myself using either to taste.

927

Tim Ruijs
11-15-2011, 09:31 AM
Because is an exercise/test of useful bodyskills which should not be confused by actual fighting?.

Bingo, we have a winner! Thanks. ;)

Tim Ruijs
11-15-2011, 09:36 AM
Well, look at the attached image, feet are still parallel, but independent sides of the body have formed structurally sounded force bridges in each direction. Central axis is still even vertical. No leaning, no loss of posture. But forces are no longer going where we would have otherwise expected. And this is just external. And this is from Greco-Roman wrestling (not what you were thinking :D). As I said, imagination about setup.

There are other reasons to turn stance slightly sideways, that have nothing to do with balance. Making a smaller target for strikes. But at the same time, you trade the opportunity of having equal distance to launch an attack from either side. I find myself using either to taste.

927

Agreed. I do not however do not get what you try to explain with the attached picture. Feet are still parallel? I see one in front of the other, and of the floor??? This person is pushed over easily. Can you please elaborate a bit? I would like to understand what you mean.

Lee Salzman
11-15-2011, 09:56 AM
Agreed. I do not however do not get what you try to explain with the attached picture. Feet are still parallel? I see one in front of the other, and of the floor??? This person is pushed over easily. Can you please elaborate a bit? I would like to understand what you mean.

Assume the orientation of the feet is actually parallel and on the floor. There is only so much I can manage with my bad XFig skills in Linux. :p

People are vastly harder to push over in this configuration than you would think. Or otherwise my practice would go a lot easier than it does. This structure is strong enough for me to drive in and break hooks on my arms, or drive in with my legs, and get under even while another person tries to do likewise, without losing balance in any direction. Even people with little training seem to get this pretty easy against resistance.

Pay not attention to the center axis, which we aikidoka are wont to focus on, but on the peripheral lines of the body, and how the approximate those green arcs, i.e. if you push on the hand, from either side, it goes down to the feet, not necessarily between the hands. Or pull on one hand, no problem, just extend with the other side. No harm, no foul. But this configuration is also extremely stable from the sides, so long as this configuration is not achieved by twisting the spine, hips, etc. but rather by orienting smooth bridges through the body.

kewms
11-15-2011, 10:42 AM
Do you also do pushing from the side?
Why do you think hanmi has to be "stable" to the rear? + What is best for being pushed from / for pushing yourself to the front?
Do you try to move from hanmi having your axis on different positions? Do you feell differences?
Do you investigate the connection / the "way" back leg -> center / tanden -> front leg and backward? And if so: Does it feel different where you have your leg?

Yes, if you want to test stability, side pushes are useful, too.

If a stance is weighted forward, then it's easier to be drawn off balance (and overextended) forward. If weighted backward, then it's easier to be overwhelmed by a strong attack. A neutral stance isn't vulnerable to either.

If your weight is on one foot or the other, that foot will be more difficult to move.

I'm not sure I understand your last question.

Katherine

kewms
11-15-2011, 10:50 AM
Really? So if he stands in front of me, feet apart (shoulder width) and I push him backwards he can withstand that force without stepping backwards, without losing posture? Seriously? SHOW ME!

Yes, that is the goal. It's not even that difficult. (I'm pretty much a beginner at IS stuff, and I can do it.)


If all that works so well why does every single martial art place one foot in front of the other (boxing, kendo, fencing, karate, kyodo, kungfu, wrestling, mu tai, bagua). The only one I can think of that does not do so is sumo, at least when they start. But even then look carefully what happens on contact (bodies turned, arms put rotating force in opponent)

For mobility.

Once you're stable in a shoulder-width square stance, being stable in hamni is relatively easy. Then the challenge becomes keeping that stability as you move.

Katherine

MM
11-15-2011, 03:46 PM
Really? So if he stands in front of me, feet apart (shoulder width) and I push him backwards he can withstand that force without stepping backwards, without losing posture? Seriously? SHOW ME!


Very few of us actually get over to Europe. However, recently, someone was over there and had several internal seminars. That person is scheduled to come back sometime next year. I would suggest going. In the mean time, maybe ask Janet Rosen about her post where she described pushing on someone and not getting anywhere.

Seriously.


When they 'lean in' they can counter the force; oppose it. You would feel 'resistance' build up. When they deflect, they lose posture, do not control distance any longer.


There is no resistance. Reference Janet's recent post about pushing. Then Ellis's post about Terry Dobson pushing experience with Ueshiba. Then other's. If you push and push and then suddenly let go, Ueshiba would just stand there looking at you. He didn't push back or resist to try to neutralize the push. It is a hallmark of internal skills. No leaning in, no resistance.


If all that works so well why does every single martial art place one foot in front of the other (boxing, kendo, fencing, karate, kyodo, kungfu, wrestling, mu tai, bagua). The only one I can think of that does not do so is sumo, at least when they start. But even then look carefully what happens on contact (bodies turned, arms put rotating force in opponent)

No sir, nice try, but no cookie. Perhaps I am just ignorant stubborn, whatever.


Many people equate internal skills with techniques. They are not the same. What you describe above is in reference to actual skills in certain martial arts. Learning those skills is separate from learning internal skills. Internal skills rewires the body to work differently and then you learn a martial art.


Mind you, the exercises are valuable and have their merit, but no more than striking a boken a hundred times.

Not the same at all.

Shadowfax
11-15-2011, 10:34 PM
Really? So if he stands in front of me, feet apart (shoulder width) and I push him backwards he can withstand that force without stepping backwards, without losing posture? Seriously? SHOW ME!


Seriously....Iv'e felt it. Iv'e done it. I can't do it consistently ,yet, but it has started to be integrated into my aikido, especially in ukemi. Enough so that a 6th dan commented to my teacher at a seminar this weekend that I am very hard to move. :D

In particular it comes in really handy when you need to freeze in a very awkward and unbalanced position while sensei explains something. Those opposing forces work wonderfully for keeping me from collapsing in a heap prematurely. :p

IHTBF.

Tim Ruijs
11-16-2011, 01:44 AM
Assume the orientation of the feet is actually parallel and on the floor. There is only so much I can manage with my bad XFig skills in Linux. :p

People are vastly harder to push over in this configuration than you would think. Or otherwise my practice would go a lot easier than it does. This structure is strong enough for me to drive in and break hooks on my arms, or drive in with my legs, and get under even while another person tries to do likewise, without losing balance in any direction. Even people with little training seem to get this pretty easy against resistance.

Pay not attention to the center axis, which we aikidoka are wont to focus on, but on the peripheral lines of the body, and how the approximate those green arcs, i.e. if you push on the hand, from either side, it goes down to the feet, not necessarily between the hands. Or pull on one hand, no problem, just extend with the other side. No harm, no foul. But this configuration is also extremely stable from the sides, so long as this configuration is not achieved by twisting the spine, hips, etc. but rather by orienting smooth bridges through the body.
Thanks for explaining. That makes much more sense. I will put it to practise in class and see what happens. However, it makes me wonder: if that posture/stance is much better than ordinary hanmi, why is not that we do that, nor did Ueshiba do that?

Tim Ruijs
11-16-2011, 01:47 AM
Yes, that is the goal. It's not even that difficult. (I'm pretty much a beginner at IS stuff, and I can do it.)

For mobility. agreed

Once you're stable in a shoulder-width square stance, being stable in hamni is relatively easy. Then the challenge becomes keeping that stability as you move.

Katherine
I am taught that your body should learn correct posture/stance and mixing styles would seriously interfere with that. For instance, mix karate and Aikido. the stance is completely different, how would your body know what to do? Muscle memory gets confused....

Tim Ruijs
11-16-2011, 01:52 AM
Seriously....Iv'e felt it. Iv'e done it. I can't do it consistently ,yet, but it has started to be integrated into my aikido, especially in ukemi. Enough so that a 6th dan commented to my teacher at a seminar this weekend that I am very hard to move. :D

In particular it comes in really handy when you need to freeze in a very awkward and unbalanced position while sensei explains something. Those opposing forces work wonderfully for keeping me from collapsing in a heap prematurely. :p

IHTBF.
Thanks for sharing. The use of opposing forces is something I do not focus on, but indirectly have students think of their 'other' hand when moving. Many tend to focus on the hand that is attacked...

Tim Ruijs
11-16-2011, 02:06 AM
Very few of us actually get over to Europe. However, recently, someone was over there and had several internal seminars. That person is scheduled to come back sometime next year. I would suggest going. In the mean time, maybe ask Janet Rosen about her post where she described pushing on someone and not getting anywhere.

Seriously.

There is no resistance. Reference Janet's recent post about pushing. Then Ellis's post about Terry Dobson pushing experience with Ueshiba. Then other's. If you push and push and then suddenly let go, Ueshiba would just stand there looking at you. He didn't push back or resist to try to neutralize the push. It is a hallmark of internal skills. No leaning in, no resistance.

Many people equate internal skills with techniques. They are not the same. What you describe above is in reference to actual skills in certain martial arts. Learning those skills is separate from learning internal skills. Internal skills rewires the body to work differently and then you learn a martial art.

Not the same at all.
Thanks for you comment Mark, much appreciated.
I can relate to proper posture/stance and direct applied forces to the ground in hanmi or squared stance. And indeed not lose balance when that force is suddenly removed. I objected against shoulder width stance (feet on same line, not one in front of other) and then still be able to do that without losing posture
Off course these are exercises, not martial skills. I have stated in a reply above that your body remember (muscle memory). How would your body know what to do when you keep changing the use of your body?
The comparision with boken work you do not agree on? That too is merely exercise and has no martial value...it is an exercise to maintain posture, strike correctly, relax.

Lee Salzman
11-16-2011, 02:13 AM
Thanks for explaining. That makes much more sense. I will put it to practise in class and see what happens. However, it makes me wonder: if that posture/stance is much better than ordinary hanmi, why is not that we do that, nor did Ueshiba do that?

Don't look into the stance too much. Like I said, that was one little microcosm of Greco-Roman to illustrate a point about imagination and conception, much like car pushing. But at the same time, the position of the feet are not integral to the stability of that configuration in the forward and back directions. You can go uneven, or go parallel, and maybe you gain some extra stability by going uneven, but traded for mobility, and on the other hand, the difference in stability is not enough to make or break stability there if you understand the basic ideas behind how to make that movement work.

And then again, the more sideways you turn, even while you gain stability/mobility from some places, the lateral movers of the body, you
lose some in those principally forward-backward movers (or up-down movers, if you want to call them that), so it is not a simple stability for mobility trade, it is in fact trading mobility in one place for mobility in another. As mentioned earlier in this thread, it is not about bracing things, it is about moving things.

This is Newton's third law of motion in action, not figuratively, literally. Everything is pushing off of something else wish slight changes in direction at each step until, a force that was going one way at one contact, ain't going there at the other. And on the other hand, it points out the body is not, apparently, one point, but a large collection of individual joints/levers which can be organized into more than one action at the same time. Biomechanical engineering for fun and profit.

There are wider principle on display there, though, that bear a striking resemblance (though not an equivalence), to things in discussion here and that I have learned elsewhere, just on different axes, writ larger, and running through different paths in this case. But yin-yang/in-yo, jin, harmonies, and other stuff. So in a sense, maybe Ueshiba did do it, in his own way, and you're looking to much into the external details of it, rather than the higher level organizing principles?

Tim Ruijs
11-16-2011, 02:35 AM
In general,
Thanks for the constructive comment you all gave. I made quite a bold statement and feel nobody got offended (nor was such intended!) and everyone stayed helpful. Cudos.

Lee Salzman
11-16-2011, 02:38 AM
Actually, one addendum I want to make, look at the beginning of this video, you'll see what I mean:

Youtube: arm drag (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWBrnVxpW7w&feature=related)

I didn't watch the entire video, so I can't vouch for its contents, but look at the first couple seconds.

Tim Ruijs
11-16-2011, 02:44 AM
Don't look into the stance too much. Like I said, that was one little microcosm of Greco-Roman to illustrate a point about imagination and conception, much like car pushing. But at the same time, the position of the feet are not integral to the stability of that configuration in the forward and back directions. You can go uneven, or go parallel, and maybe you gain some extra stability by going uneven, but traded for mobility, and on the other hand, the difference in stability is not enough to make or break stability there if you understand the basic ideas behind how to make that movement work.

And then again, the more sideways you turn, even while you gain stability/mobility from some places, the lateral movers of the body, you
lose some in those principally forward-backward movers (or up-down movers, if you want to call them that), so it is not a simple stability for mobility trade, it is in fact trading mobility in one place for mobility in another. As mentioned earlier in this thread, it is not about bracing things, it is about moving things.

This is Newton's third law of motion in action, not figuratively, literally. Everything is pushing off of something else wish slight changes in direction at each step until, a force that was going one way at one contact, ain't going there at the other. And on the other hand, it points out the body is not, apparently, one point, but a large collection of individual joints/levers which can be organized into more than one action at the same time. Biomechanical engineering for fun and profit.

There are wider principle on display there, though, that bear a striking resemblance (though not an equivalence), to things in discussion here and that I have learned elsewhere, just on different axes, writ larger, and running through different paths in this case. But yin-yang/in-yo, jin, harmonies, and other stuff. So in a sense, maybe Ueshiba did do it, in his own way, and you're looking to much into the external details of it, rather than the higher level organizing principles?
I like this. Thank you. It is actually not that far from my view at things ;)
The external details are a window that show how well the underlying principles are understood. This is how teachers judge their students. Do not tell me, show me. Let me attack you and feel what you try to do.

Carsten Möllering
11-16-2011, 04:25 AM
If a stance is weighted forward, then it's easier to be drawn off balance (and overextended) forward. If weighted backward, then it's easier to be overwhelmed by a strong attack.
Ah, I had a knot in my brain: I think I understand what you want to tell me.

A neutral stance isn't vulnerable to either.
Or is it just equally vulnerable to both? ;)
But yes, I think, I know what you mean. And in my first years of aikido I learned it exactly like you.

Then - with a new teacher - not only the position of the axis shifted, but also the way to organize the body changed.
You experienced that being stable is not only an issue of where you have your feet, didn't you? So if you can not be pushed over standing with parallel feet, don't you think a "similar effect" can be shown, standing in hanmi?

If your weight is on one foot or the other, that foot will be more difficult to move. Yes. But - other way round - it is easier to move oneself.

I'm not sure I understand your last question.
Hm, when standing in hanmi we imagine a force coming in and up from ground in the back leg (when doing breathing excercises we breath in trough the souls of our feet), going through the tanden/center and down and into the ground in the front leg. By positioning the feet a little bit open (the front foot doesn't show to the front but a little outward. And the rear foot shows a little forward) ther is a kind of "twisting" this energy coming up and going down. (In our imagination this energy doesn't flow in a "straight line".)

When I wrote "weight" in quotation marks, I meant this "dowstream" wich feels like weight but isn't really (sorry, can't do better in english words).
In the hara/tanden/center ... /pelvis ... there is a connection to the upper body and arms and the force is kind of lead and distributed by this area.

So ... I hope you could follow to this point ... the feeling of this flow and distribution of energy is different when your body axis is in the middle or in front third or in the rear third of the of your hanmi.
In the end I think it doesn't matter. But in my experience I just feel it better and can use it better when not standing symmetric.

Maybe this way of doing things is influenced by the experiences of my teacher in kenjutsu. But I'm not sure whether in this point there is connection.

Again: Thank you for thinking about my questions and answering!

Lee Salzman
11-16-2011, 05:01 AM
If your weight is on one foot or the other, that foot will be more difficult to move.

Yes. But - other way round - it is easier to move oneself.


Hmm, is it? Try an experiment: stand upright, in a parallel stance. Now try to jump off the ground as high as you can, by lifting your feet off the ground. Now try it another way: jump as high as you can, by pushing the ground away from you, and push your head away from your feet, all at once.

So are we to move as if burdened with a sandbag weight that we plop from place to place, or are we rather movers from top to bottom, where moving away from the ground is a pleasant side-effect, rather than the goal? The answer to this question is relevant to the question of how you move in such a way that parallel or uneven stance, one-side weighted or double-weighted, etc. does not significantly effect the outcome.

Gedanken: if there were no gravity, and you were in essence in a walled room in outer space, how would you move around using the walls? This is not a theoretical question and applies to ground fighting all over the place.

Carsten Möllering
11-16-2011, 05:56 AM
Try an experiment: .... :eek:
I'm sitting in a bureau which I share with my colleague. I don't dare to follow your advice right now ...

jump as high as you can, by pushing the ground away from you, and push your head away from your feet, all at once.
We often do exactlcy what you describe during aiki taiso.
It feels more like bouncing off the earth than like jumping.

... moving ... is a pleasant side-effect, rather than the goal?
I try to move not with my feetandlegs and not with my upper body/chest but with the hara or if possible tanden. It feels as if the feet are always there where and when needed.
It's the center that goes. And for this you are right, the weight or position of the feet doesn't matter I think.

... This is not a theoretical question and applies to ground fighting all over the place.
I have an image I think. But "in outer space" there is no possibility to move along the wall, which is what I want to do on earth? Or should I try to "reach the sky" in every step? Could you elaborate a little bit?

But I dont see the contrdaction - if it was one - to my cited statement? What do I not understand?

Tim Ruijs
11-16-2011, 06:17 AM
The mental image I just had is that you suddenly got from behind your desk and started jumping. Much to the amazement of your colleague. :D

in the no gravity room: think bouncing...

Demetrio Cereijo
11-16-2011, 06:20 AM
:eek:
I'm sitting in a bureau which I share with my colleague. I don't dare to follow your advice right now ...


Armdrag him first. Then you can jump all you want. :D

Lee Salzman
11-16-2011, 06:49 AM
:eek:
I'm sitting in a bureau which I share with my colleague. I don't dare to follow your advice right now ...

We often do exactlcy what you describe during aiki taiso.
It feels more like bouncing off the earth than like jumping.

I try to move not with my feetandlegs and not with my upper body/chest but with the hara or if possible tanden. It feels as if the feet are always there where and when needed.
It's the center that goes. And for this you are right, the weight or position of the feet doesn't matter I think.

I have an image I think. But "in outer space" there is no possibility to move along the wall, which is what I want to do on earth? Or should I try to "reach the sky" in every step? Could you elaborate a little bit?

But I dont see the contrdaction - if it was one - to my cited statement? What do I not understand?

I was more just thinking about the wonders of surface friction, and at the same time when all concerns of single or double weighting are removed. Wouldn't you know, human hands and feet are even adapted for it. :D

But, what would shifting your center, and not moving with the feet/legs or hands/arms, mean in an environment where you could not push just off and then rely on gravity to fall back down and forwards? If you just tried to shift your center forward, weightless, what would happen?

But like all gedanken, it's just a hastily thought up way of pointing out absurdities to help us re-examine what we take for granted.

Bonus gedanken: those walls are now made of perfectly frictionless ice. Now what? :p

phitruong
11-16-2011, 07:03 AM
In general,
Thanks for the constructive comment you all gave. I made quite a bold statement and feel nobody got offended (nor was such intended!) and everyone stayed helpful. Cudos.

it's all right. most of us have done the same at one time or another. encountered the IS folks gave me a whole different perspective. they expanded my boundary of what possible and challenged many of my assumptions. and here is the important piece. they did it with hand-on experience, and then show you the progression order how to train for it. there are folks who can demonstrate, but cannot teach. there are folks who can do both; these are rare breed.

when you rewired your body in IS mode, it won't be confused. actually, it will be confusing during the process. it feels more natural than you realized. have you notice how martial arts folks move differently when they are on the mat vs normally in their daily lives? one of the goal for IS folks is to move with IS all the time whether they are on the mat or not.

Carsten Möllering
11-16-2011, 07:08 AM
Thank you friends ...
... but this is a well-behaved bureau.
I'm working as a pastor. I just cannot jump on [or around] people just as I want to.

On the other side: It is as cold in here as if the walls where made of (frictionless) ice. So jumping maybe would be a good idea. (In a wider sense.)

Lee Salzman
11-16-2011, 07:16 AM
Thank you friends ...
... but this is a well-behaved bureau.
I'm working as a pastor. I just cannot jump on [or around] people just as I want to.

On the other side: It is as cold in here as if the walls where made of (frictionless) ice. So jumping maybe would be a good idea. (In a wider sense.)

It's cold here too, but luckily not as bad as last year... Last year I was an unwilling participant in a real life version of the ice experiment, while carrying two bags of groceries, walking down what appeared to be a perfectly fine side-"walk". Ukemi takes on a new meaning as well. Boy did the people in bar next door have fun watching me get out of that one. :D :o

phitruong
11-16-2011, 07:22 AM
Bonus gedanken: those walls are now made of perfectly frictionless ice. Now what? :p

OOHHH OOHHH *hands waving* This is Ed Gruberman, i know the answer to that! :)

Lee Salzman
11-16-2011, 07:38 AM
OOHHH OOHHH *hands waving* This is Ed Gruberman, i know the answer to that! :)

The walls are now heads, and you are a giant boot!

kewms
11-16-2011, 11:31 AM
I am taught that your body should learn correct posture/stance and mixing styles would seriously interfere with that. For instance, mix karate and Aikido. the stance is completely different, how would your body know what to do? Muscle memory gets confused....

And sometimes people do actually have trouble making their technique "work" as they start to incorporate IS skills. Which is probably one of the reasons why they rebel against the idea.

But I don't really think of the square posture as a "stance." More like the postural equivalent of a lab bench: a way of reducing the number of variables you need to deal with so that you can study a particular group of phenomena in their "pure" form.

Katherine

kewms
11-16-2011, 11:36 AM
Don't look into the stance too much. Like I said, that was one little microcosm of Greco-Roman to illustrate a point about imagination and conception, much like car pushing. But at the same time, the position of the feet are not integral to the stability of that configuration in the forward and back directions. You can go uneven, or go parallel, and maybe you gain some extra stability by going uneven, but traded for mobility, and on the other hand, the difference in stability is not enough to make or break stability there if you understand the basic ideas behind how to make that movement work.

Indeed. One exercise is to have someone continue to push you while you pick up one foot or the other, then while you move forward. (Have them take their hand away suddenly to see if you're leaning!)

Katherine

kewms
11-16-2011, 11:39 AM
Thanks for sharing. The use of opposing forces is something I do not focus on, but indirectly have students think of their 'other' hand when moving. Many tend to focus on the hand that is attacked...

As a next step, try thinking of a spiral stretching from the hand being grabbed (for convenience, let's say it's the left), across the shoulders, and around to the other (right) hand. To draw the person toward the left side, try extending the spiral from the right side.

Katherine

kewms
11-16-2011, 11:46 AM
Then - with a new teacher - not only the position of the axis shifted, but also the way to organize the body changed.
You experienced that being stable is not only an issue of where you have your feet, didn't you? So if you can not be pushed over standing with parallel feet, don't you think a "similar effect" can be shown, standing in hanmi?

Sure.

Yes. But - other way round - it is easier to move oneself.

Yes and no. Easier to move the "light" foot, maybe, but harder to move the "heavy" foot. Wouldn't you like to be able to move either? As nage, isn't shifting uke's balance onto one foot or the other one of the ways to achieve kuzushi?


Hm, when standing in hanmi we imagine a force coming in and up from ground in the back leg (when doing breathing excercises we breath in trough the souls of our feet), going through the tanden/center and down and into the ground in the front leg. By positioning the feet a little bit open (the front foot doesn't show to the front but a little outward. And the rear foot shows a little forward) ther is a kind of "twisting" this energy coming up and going down. (In our imagination this energy doesn't flow in a "straight line".)

When I wrote "weight" in quotation marks, I meant this "dowstream" wich feels like weight but isn't really (sorry, can't do better in english words).
In the hara/tanden/center ... /pelvis ... there is a connection to the upper body and arms and the force is kind of lead and distributed by this area.

So ... I hope you could follow to this point ... the feeling of this flow and distribution of energy is different when your body axis is in the middle or in front third or in the rear third of the of your hanmi.
In the end I think it doesn't matter. But in my experience I just feel it better and can use it better when not standing symmetric.

All this sounds very reasonable. Just a slightly different approach to the same goal.

Katherine

Tim Ruijs
11-16-2011, 03:41 PM
Actually, one addendum I want to make, look at the beginning of this video, you'll see what I mean:

Youtube: arm drag (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWBrnVxpW7w&feature=related)

I didn't watch the entire video, so I can't vouch for its contents, but look at the first couple seconds.

To extent his reach (arm connects inside upperarm) and rotate his body- to what we call his third point - and take his balance. When I watch a bit further I see fragment of how we start shihonage. Also he tends to move around the center of movement. We make ourselves the center of movement. Aite is more or less a satellite in our approach. Would this be exemplary of IS applied in technique?

Tim Ruijs
11-16-2011, 03:45 PM
As a next step, try thinking of a spiral stretching from the hand being grabbed (for convenience, let's say it's the left), across the shoulders, and around to the other (right) hand. To draw the person toward the left side, try extending the spiral from the right side.

Katherine
Would this be an exercise to prevent tori to think in moving his left arm, rather than his entire body? And thus focus on the other arm to move, which then off course through the body moves the left arm without putting strength in said left arm? If so, I understand. if not, please explain further.:sorry:

kewms
11-16-2011, 04:07 PM
Would this be an exercise to prevent tori to think in moving his left arm, rather than his entire body? And thus focus on the other arm to move, which then off course through the body moves the left arm without putting strength in said left arm? If so, I understand. if not, please explain further.:sorry:

At the most basic level, yes. At a more advanced level -- which I can't explain well because I can't do it consistently myself -- the "movement" is primarily internal, and therefore very difficult to actually see.

Katherine

Lee Salzman
11-16-2011, 07:42 PM
To extent his reach (arm connects inside upperarm) and rotate his body- to what we call his third point - and take his balance. When I watch a bit further I see fragment of how we start shihonage. Also he tends to move around the center of movement. We make ourselves the center of movement. Aite is more or less a satellite in our approach. Would this be exemplary of IS applied in technique?

The arm drag is not exemplary of applied IS, I guess most of the time anyway. But a good arm drag may as well be... iriminage? One side allows them to go their merry way, the other goes your way, in that case launched from... a parallel stance. If they resist the pull, well, more solidity for you to pull/drive yourself forward. If they don't resist, well, they just get... dragged. Fun side-effect of good external movement, one side drives the other, the other side drives the one. Did you push off them, or they push off you? Oh, looky that, you now have their back, what fun you two shall now have! Callooh! Callay! If you are invested in the outcome of who is the satellite, and who moved in absolute positioning in space, rather than in the relative positioning of the bodies, that belies a certain fixation on outcomes that is not becoming of slaying Jabberwocks. :D

Tim Ruijs
11-17-2011, 02:23 AM
The arm drag is not exemplary of applied IS, I guess most of the time anyway. But a good arm drag may as well be... iriminage? One side allows them to go their merry way, the other goes your way, in that case launched from... a parallel stance. If they resist the pull, well, more solidity for you to pull/drive yourself forward. If they don't resist, well, they just get... dragged. Fun side-effect of good external movement, one side drives the other, the other side drives the one. Did you push off them, or they push off you? Oh, looky that, you now have their back, what fun you two shall now have! Callooh! Callay! If you are invested in the outcome of who is the satellite, and who moved in absolute positioning in space, rather than in the relative positioning of the bodies, that belies a certain fixation on outcomes that is not becoming of slaying Jabberwocks. :D

Ok I had to read that about five times, but I think I understand... I understand that the body mechanics involved are relative, but we strive to moves a little as possible. Energy conserving, more efficient and faster. But this is no golden rule. In many techniques (e.g. irimi nage ura, in fact most ura waza) we obviously do move, but only after balance has already been taken.

BTW Never heard of Jabberwocks, now I did (look it up) and sure do not want to run into one :D

Thanks your input helped.

@Katherine
Glad I understand at least the basic level. I suppose more advanced level is about correct dosage.
Some shihan display a kind of impulse like technique and in that exact moment take the balance and execute a technique. I suspect this eventually everything you can see 'at the outside'.

Lee Salzman
11-17-2011, 05:48 AM
Ok I had to read that about five times, but I think I understand... I understand that the body mechanics involved are relative, but we strive to moves a little as possible. Energy conserving, more efficient and faster. But this is no golden rule. In many techniques (e.g. irimi nage ura, in fact most ura waza) we obviously do move, but only after balance has already been taken.

BTW Never heard of Jabberwocks, now I did (look it up) and sure do not want to run into one :D

Thanks your input helped.


Now, I only speak for myself, because mental linkages are funny things, and this particular mental linkage I am trying to decondition myself out of slowly, but... If I strive to move as little as possible, a very very nasty thing happens, my body fixates in space. This fixation, when delved deeper, is really tension in certain areas of my body that my mind is interprets as that thought of "keeping [insert something here] here".

A good example is, if I try to push myself away from the floor only, my hips actually "hold back", there is subconscious tension generated in my hip flexors. If I think of push the floor away only, my cervical spine and thoracic spine fixate, again, more subconscious tension. If I try to do both, while keeping my "center" in space, my lumbar spine fixates. The worst worst worst thing is if I fixate my head in space, this kills everything. If I stop investing in the outcome of any one thing staying in place, maybe the floor moves, maybe I move, I just stop caring, then suddenly, my movement is now unresisted, I spring into upwards extension. But the key there is that, that making the body "not care" is actually localized directional relaxation, the body not fighting its own action, and gradually I am trying to work into just associating pushing up with all those localized quirks of how my mind-body coordinates. Those subconscious mental linkages to my body I unwittingly built up in my first 30 years of life, time to kill those sacred cows. It is a process. Think how we might apply this to trying to move another human being. Investment in outcomes, aggression.

But this quirkiness also works in reverse, you can act on imaginary targets quite intensely, without moving at all, by purposely engendering that fixation, and then you can work on suddenly removing the target, and then a funny sort of thing happens...

Tim Ruijs
11-17-2011, 05:59 AM
Now, I only speak for myself, because mental linkages are funny things, and this particular mental linkage I am trying to decondition myself out of slowly, but... If I strive to move as little as possible, a very very nasty thing happens, my body fixates in space. This fixation, when delved deeper, is really tension in certain areas of my body that my mind is interpretation as that thought of "keeping [insert something here] here".

A good example is, if I try to push myself away from the floor only, my hips actually "hold back", there is subconscious tension generated in my hip flexors. If I think of push the floor away only, my cervical spine and thoracic spine fixate, again, more subconscious tension. If I try to do both, while keeping my "center" in space, my lumbar spine fixates. The worst worst worst thing is if I fixate my head in space, this kills everything. If I stop investing in the outcome of any one thing staying in place, maybe the floor moves, maybe I move, I just stop caring, then suddenly, my movement is now unresisted, I spring into upwards extension. But the key there is that, that making the body "not care" is actually localized directional relaxation, the body not fighting its own action, and gradually I am trying to work into just associating pushing up with all those localized quirks of how my mind-body coordinates. Those subconscious mental linkages to my body I unwittingly built up in my first 30 years of life, time to kill those sacred cows. It is a process. Think how we might apply this to trying to move another human being. Investment in outcomes, aggression.

But this quirkiness also works in reverse, you can act on imaginary targets quite intensely, without moving at all, by purposely engendering that fixation, and then you can work on suddenly removing the target, and then a funny sort of thing happens...
Interesting. I see what you mean. When I say do not move, I am sure you will understand, it does not mean I become entirely rigid like a stone statue. Perhaps displacement of the body in relation to the ground... basically reduce the number of actual footsteps....
I see many Aikidoka's first move their body and then (try to) unbalance aite. Again with move I mean footsteps.

I really like your take on "body fighting its own action". This has our attention in practise. Example: Why do you step back when you push? Uhm, I do know. Then stop doing that! Happens quite frequently.

Lee Salzman
11-17-2011, 06:08 AM
Interesting. I see what you mean. When I say do not move, I am sure you will understand, it does not mean I become entirely rigid like a stone statue. Perhaps displacement of the body in relation to the ground... basically reduce the number of actual footsteps....
I see many Aikidoka's first move their body and then (try to) unbalance aite. Again with move I mean footsteps.

I really like your take on "body fighting its own action". This has our attention in practise. Example: Why do you step back when you push? Uhm, I do know. Then stop doing that! Happens quite frequently.

The "when you push, why do you step back?" problem, how do you solve that? I never found the machinery to solve that within my aikido training, or maybe it was there, it was just never pointed out how the tools could be intended to solve it. Especially the fixation of the upright, rigid spine, and how it impacts the arms, this I am still working out of my body after years of training it in in aikido practice. And on the other hand, the answer to that question does not have to be a question of the body resisting its action, but of neglecting it in most places...

Carsten Möllering
11-17-2011, 07:16 AM
excuse me ...

Especially the fixation of the upright, rigid spine, ...
What do you mean?

Lee Salzman
11-17-2011, 07:59 AM
excuse me ...


Especially the fixation of the upright, rigid spine, ...


What do you mean?

It's a torque-minimization problem. Imagine an individual bone. Push or pull on the side of it, it is a lever, a brittle one, with shear, torque, etc. Push or pull instead on the ends, it instead bears tension or compression. Now if you are standing upright, like a statue, and push on something with your arm, your body is now one giant fused lever, exerting a big torque on you.

But if you laid out all the individual bones of the skeleton, and played a "one of these things is not like the other" game, the spine kind of stands out - well, not just the spine, but the spine is sure weird. When you are standing or walking, your spine is not actually straight, it has an S curve. Your spine is partly a shock absorber, a spring, it can twist and flex. So okay, when we sink the tail-bone, raise the skull as if on a string, etc. etc. this is straightening out the S-curve, making the spine into a better bridge from up to down, getting rid of those torques acting in the vertical.

But then again, the forces we need to express or bear are not always going straight up, or straight down, and we're not always just carrying a force from end to end, sometimes we're absorbing, sometimes we're generating. You want to push something in front of you, but the ground is below you, so if the spine is rigid, no matter how you orient it, it's just a lever or a really poor bridge with big stresses sliding off at the end points, with the force absorbing or generating capabilities of it having been stamped out by fixating it. So what do you do about it?

Tim Ruijs
11-17-2011, 08:13 AM
Think of someone that graps your wrist. Now the height at which you present your wrist is a major factor in how good you are able to divert imposed forces through your body (spine) to the ground. Many, many people present their wrist way to low, in which case the entire technique renders invalid (as aite no longer pushes forward, but downward). The next thing to consider is how your body is placed 'behind' your wrist. The contactpoint, your wrist, your center and ground contact are aligned such that you can indeed minimise torque 'spill'.
This off course won't work when you are rigid in either arms, spine, legs. Torque finds your weakest 'link' and overloads it easily, thus breaking your posture.
Hope this makes some sense. Pretty hard to describe properly.

Carsten Möllering
11-17-2011, 08:20 AM
I meant:

Did you learn the "fixation of the upright, rigid spine" as part or element of your aikido?
Then this would be different from what I try to develop.

Lee Salzman
11-17-2011, 08:58 AM
Think of someone that graps your wrist. Now the height at which you present your wrist is a major factor in how good you are able to divert imposed forces through your body (spine) to the ground. Many, many people present their wrist way to low, in which case the entire technique renders invalid (as aite no longer pushes forward, but downward). The next thing to consider is how your body is placed 'behind' your wrist. The contactpoint, your wrist, your center and ground contact are aligned such that you can indeed minimise torque 'spill'.
This off course won't work when you are rigid in either arms, spine, legs. Torque finds your weakest 'link' and overloads it easily, thus breaking your posture.
Hope this makes some sense. Pretty hard to describe properly.

Makes sense. It is good that you are thinking about these issues and presenting them to your students!

I meant:

Did you learn the "fixation of the upright, rigid spine" as part or element of your aikido?
Then this would be different from what I try to develop.

Sometimes it is explicitly pointed out, "have good posture", or other variations of this phrase. Other times you just learn it by induction watching your teachers, I point out, say Saotome Sensei, shihan of the organization I am a member of:

Youtube link: Saotome Sensei (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mDv85KPpKI)

Now, to a point, if you ignore the orientation of the spine, but pay attention to the shape of it, he is rather stoic most of the time. Occasionally he moves it, but either he is moving it so subtly that it's hard to see, or he's not moving it much on purpose, but either way, me, as a boots on the ground student, sees that, and the message is just "have good posture". And as you move down the hierarchy of teachers, they become progressively more stoic in their movements, not less. Now, maybe if you are a clever monkey, you can reason there are other deeper things going on there that can't be seen by naive eyes, but then maybe we ASU monkeys are not very clever. We are more monkey see, monkey do. :D

Carsten Möllering
11-17-2011, 10:25 AM
Ok, understood.

Do you see something different here (Endo, atari and musubi (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnHQmuGsB00)), as far as the spine is concerned?
Or does this lead in the same direction you are used to?

kewms
11-17-2011, 10:53 AM
@Katherine
Glad I understand at least the basic level. I suppose more advanced level is about correct dosage.
Some shihan display a kind of impulse like technique and in that exact moment take the balance and execute a technique. I suspect this eventually everything you can see 'at the outside'.

With someone like Saotome Sensei, uke's balance is already gone by the time he actually touches nage. Which of course makes technique very easy.

It's possible to accomplish that without "internal" skills of any kind, through timing, body movement, etc. But it becomes more difficult the more skillful the attacker is.

Katherine

Tim Ruijs
11-17-2011, 11:11 AM
With someone like Saotome Sensei, uke's balance is already gone by the time he actually touches nage. Which of course makes technique very easy.

This would actually be what I/we work on to achieve. the moment the attacker decides to attack me, he has already lost


It's possible to accomplish that without "internal" skills of any kind, through timing, body movement, etc. But it becomes more difficult the more skillful the attacker is.

Three different levels of practise exist (at least as we look at it): go tai (solid), ju tai (liquid), ki tai (gas). Where the first two the initiative lies with aite and the third at tori. One can imagine that more skilled attackers become more solid and thus harder to control. Note that solid does not mean statue like, but more to act in strong coherent way. Most of the time practise is done ju tai because it easier to learn the techniques (global form) and small errors will not disturb flow too much.

Lee Salzman
11-17-2011, 02:34 PM
Ok, understood.

Do you see something different here (Endo, atari and musubi (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnHQmuGsB00)), as far as the spine is concerned?
Or does this lead in the same direction you are used to?

That video seems to be a good start as far as things I would have liked to see from my aikido teachers. But the question is, when you look at his larger applied movement, where is it?

Youtube link: Seichiro Endo Shihan at 44th All Aikido demonstration (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oLRA63iQtA)

It doesn't look strikingly different from Saotome, so unless Endo goes out of his way to integrate that into all his teaching, I am not sure it would have been obvious just looking at him do technique.

phitruong
11-17-2011, 03:14 PM
Youtube link: Seichiro Endo Shihan at 44th All Aikido demonstration (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oLRA63iQtA)

It doesn't look strikingly different from Saotome, so unless Endo goes out of his way to integrate that into all his teaching, I am not sure it would have been obvious just looking at him do technique.

i would look at the 48th demo of Endo sensei, at the beginning where he dealt with ikkyo then iriminage.

Carsten Möllering
11-18-2011, 02:24 AM
When you watch this video of a seminar in Washington (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=7hg_ocGoBq8#t=63s) from the time where I zoomed in to the end of the clip, you may get an glimpse, of the use of the body or espacially the spine in this way of aikido.
If you don't want to watch the whole scene, please at least look at 2:05.

Is this more interesting?
And as far as I understand and experience it, this flexibility is always there. Even if you don't see it.
I think, an upright spine is ok. But it should be soft and flexible and should be able to "answer", should be "responsive". The whole body should work this way. At least this is, what I try(!) to achieve. ;)

Aahhh very very interesting! Thank you all for your statements. I have to think and that's enriching!

Carsten Möllering
11-18-2011, 02:54 AM
link: video of a seminar in Washington (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=7hg_ocGoBq8#t=63s)

Lee Salzman
11-18-2011, 02:58 AM
i would look at the 48th demo of Endo sensei, at the beginning where he dealt with ikkyo then iriminage.

When you watch this video of a seminar in Washington (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=7hg_ocGoBq8#t=63s) from the time where I zoomed in to the end of the clip, you may get an glimpse, of the use of the body or espacially the spine in this way of aikido.
If you don't want to watch the whole scene, please at least look at 2:05.

Is this more interesting?
And as far as I understand and experience it, this flexibility is always there. Even if you don't see it.
I think, an upright spine is ok. But it should be soft and flexible and should be able to "answer", should be "responsive". The whole body should work this way. At least this is, what I try(!) to achieve. ;)

Aahhh very very interesting! Thank you all for your statements. I have to think and that's enriching!

Believe me, I'm really looking at these videos and trying to see it, but I'm just not seeing it. At 2:05, I see the hips (some lumbar) flopping around, I see the skull (cervical spine) flopping around, which is indicative of a pliability in the area, but the thoracic looks fused, and when he's actually moving, it all seems stiff, fused. There is pliability, and then there is intentional mobility. It's one thing to allow outside forces to drive you into a position by not resisting it, but another to actually drive yourself into it. They don't necessarily cross over in terms of learning.

Tim Ruijs
11-18-2011, 03:04 AM
That video seems to be a good start as far as things I would have liked to see from my aikido teachers. But the question is, when you look at his larger applied movement, where is it?

Youtube link: Seichiro Endo Shihan at 44th All Aikido demonstration (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oLRA63iQtA)


In this vid at 0:14 and 1.07. This is what I meant by not moving your body by doings footsteps...
Oh, I really like Endo Shihan. Just watching him has a soothing effect :D

Tim Ruijs
11-18-2011, 07:01 AM
I just watched the vid Carsten pointed out. Endo is not showing any technique here, but more the flexibility your have, the freedom of movement you still possess, when your feet do not move. It is what we work on to develop and I guess Carsten does too. Move feet only when necessary (when for example ma ai no longer matches what we are trying to achieve with the technique).

Perhaps this can convey a little the way we work...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uI-fpTYGr8&feature=related

Lee Salzman
11-18-2011, 08:12 AM
I just watched the vid Carsten pointed out. Endo is not showing any technique here, but more the flexibility your have, the freedom of movement you still possess, when your feet do not move. It is what we work on to develop and I guess Carsten does too. Move feet only when necessary (when for example ma ai no longer matches what we are trying to achieve with the technique).

Perhaps this can convey a little the way we work...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uI-fpTYGr8&feature=related

Maybe that's one way to put it, so long as the point is not that the feet are not moving, but that something is not allowing the feet to move in space, then I'd agree. The only difference between a step, a kick, a punch, a headbutt, etc., is whether there is something in the way, and where that something in the way is. You have to sincerely try to take a step, just in the same direction as the force is going, that's how the force transmits to the ground, that's how the force transmits to the target. Otherwise it's like trying to hold a skyscraper up with chocolate pudding; chocolate pudding is nice on its own merits, but it is not a building material. :D

Carsten Möllering
11-18-2011, 10:01 AM
Lee,regarding your last two comments, I dont think, I get your point. :confused:

Lee Salzman
11-18-2011, 12:05 PM
Lee,regarding your last two comments, I dont think, I get your point. :confused:

If your feet are not actively grasping and extending into the ground, either because they are totally relaxed to the consistency of chocolate pudding, or because they are just stiffened up into club feet, then they offer about as much ability to lift you up against the force of gravity or anything else as if they were nothing more than the same volume of chocolate pudding. So if trying not to move your feet leads to that, chocolate pudding feet, but really, chocolate pudding legs and chocolate pudding body. That's what I meant. Now I am hungry. :D

Carsten Möllering
11-22-2011, 02:44 AM
...If a stance is weighted forward, ...
I did put "weight" in quotation marks. It's more about the position of the (perpendicular) center line and "feeling" weight.
I am sorry: I can't express better

Well, when researching about torifune I accidentially came across some descriptions of the "bow stance" in tai chi (we have a lot of things in our way of aikido which seem to be kind of "parallel" ... ).
It was quite similar to what I learn about hanmi. Except the direction of the feet. Especially having the (perpendicular) center line not in the middle but in the front third. (was very concrete: 81 to 19)

Ken McGrew
12-01-2011, 04:49 PM
My teacher would argue with your teacher. He would say that a stance with more weight on one foot or the other is inherently unbalanced, and therefore vulnerable.

The proposition is testable. Stand in hamni and have someone push on the middle of your chest, and then on your upper back. Experiment with different weight distributions and see what happens.

Katherine

Assuming that Katherine is representing what she, her teacher, and other people drinking the same cool aid, would agree with regarding weight distribution and hamni, this statement may be revealing.

It is impossible to move without shifting weight from one foot to the next.
It is impossible to move quickly without lifting one leg, or both legs, completely off the ground.

All this internal magic stuff seems to equal not moving. What if the attacker has a knife? A sword? Multiple attackers? Multiple attackers with weapons. Sorry for the intrusion of reality.

As to what O Sensei thought about hamni, it is discussed in Budo. Assuming that people aren't going to argue that the translators failed to understand basic common words, we should be able to take what he said at face value. Also, there are photos. Looks like a pretty typical and modern stance, given his height, in even the old photos. If anything his stance narrowed, at times, as he got older (on video), which would contradict the arguments that the secret was learned from yada, yada, yada...

Ken McGrew
12-01-2011, 05:04 PM
With someone like Saotome Sensei, uke's balance is already gone by the time he actually touches nage. Which of course makes technique very easy.

It's possible to accomplish that without "internal" skills of any kind, through timing, body movement, etc. But it becomes more difficult the more skillful the attacker is.

Katherine

I'm afraid you may be seeing what you want to see. Saotome Sensei does a variety of different things depending on what Uke does. The narration of his videos (if you watch them thoroughly) explains this most clearly. He explains this in his books. He talks about this at seminars, invitation only trainings, Etc. Saotome Sensei is not ambiguous in how he understands how Aikido works nor what he wants us to be doing as his students.

Sometimes it's internal. Sometimes it's external. Sometimes Uke is unbalanced immediately. Sometimes he's not. Sometimes there's resistance and then the question is how to blend with/use that resistance (the Oyo Henka video). Often Sensei moves behind Uke, Uke turns to pursue, and then Uke is unbalanced by his own following motion. There are even step by step examples of the roles of Uke and Nage in his book Principles of Aikido, complete with pictures. The most common movement that Saotome Sensei performs is the backwards tenkan plus weight shift. Again, not secretly internal, not only internal, and not ambiguous. He teaches the leading, blending, body positioning, concept of Aiki.

Ken McGrew
12-01-2011, 05:20 PM
I just watched the vid Carsten pointed out. Endo is not showing any technique here, but more the flexibility your have, the freedom of movement you still possess, when your feet do not move. It is what we work on to develop and I guess Carsten does too. Move feet only when necessary (when for example ma ai no longer matches what we are trying to achieve with the technique).

Perhaps this can convey a little the way we work...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uI-fpTYGr8&feature=related

Watching Endo Senei at the demonstration, he shows a variety of approaches to Aikido, in a slow detail to emphasize the efficiency of movement. I don't see anything here that's particularly different or that demonstrates the supremacy of internal approaches of not moving. The seminar footage showed certain approaches that fit certain circumstances. The head push in the classroom is just an exercise. What if UKe had a knife in the other hand? What if it was randori? He might move differently.

As to the video of Peyrache Shihan, it starts with a video of O Sensei leading, body positioning, and moving a great deal. What Peyrache Sensei is showing is quite different from that in most cases. At times he looks good. At other times what he shows is against compliant static Uke. What if instead of waiting patiently to be thrown Uke stabbed Sensei with the knife in his dangling hand? It's ok to work on minimalistic movements. Older big men seem to gravitate towards this lately. But it is also necessary to train bigger movement. Small movements are not superior. You do what fits the situation.

Tim Ruijs
12-02-2011, 06:10 AM
Watching Endo Senei at the demonstration, he shows a variety of approaches to Aikido, in a slow detail to emphasize the efficiency of movement. I don't see anything here that's particularly different or that demonstrates the supremacy of internal approaches of not moving. The seminar footage showed certain approaches that fit certain circumstances. The head push in the classroom is just an exercise. What if UKe had a knife in the other hand? What if it was randori? He might move differently.

As to the video of Peyrache Shihan, it starts with a video of O Sensei leading, body positioning, and moving a great deal. What Peyrache Sensei is showing is quite different from that in most cases. At times he looks good. At other times what he shows is against compliant static Uke. What if instead of waiting patiently to be thrown Uke stabbed Sensei with the knife in his dangling hand? It's ok to work on minimalistic movements. Older big men seem to gravitate towards this lately. But it is also necessary to train bigger movement. Small movements are not superior. You do what fits the situation.I agree.
Thanks for sharing and your time taken to watch.
The vid (well sort of) consists of snapshots from seminars, not demo. (In my teacher's defense).
My teacher says the minimalistic movements prevent you to use the moment of the big movements to 'make' your technique work. He also says when aite is stationary you move, when aite is very agile, become stationary. So you adapt to the situation.

Carsten Möllering
12-02-2011, 06:33 AM
Endo Senei ... to emphasize the efficiency of movement.
What do you mean?

phitruong
12-02-2011, 06:55 AM
It is impossible to move without shifting weight from one foot to the next.


not hard. any junior grade taekwondo can do it. not only they can move without shifting weight, they can throw kick at the same time. it's their specialty.


It is impossible to move quickly without lifting one leg, or both legs, completely off the ground.


fall forward on your face would do it. folks in wheel chair can move pretty well too.


All this internal magic stuff seems to equal not moving. What if the attacker has a knife? A sword? Multiple attackers? Multiple attackers with weapons. Sorry for the intrusion of reality.


*off topics warning*

them internal folks really get into your space aren't they to cause so much reaction on your part? look liked they already took your space and you are in the process of defending back. in aikido, when an opponent took your space and you have to react, what does that call? what you don't realized is that many of those folks know a lot about edge weapons and multiple attackers than you realized. take Dan for example, do you know that he's a blade smith? another gentleman is a sword polisher and other stuffs. quite a few have done weapon based koryu arts. one gentleman is the current head of a koryu art. these folks have a tremendous wealth of knowledge and experience that offered up for the asking, if the asking is courteous and respectful. you know the whole "stealing techniques" thingy is really about paying attention to details and talk less.

a bit more off the topic, but a piece of unsolicited advise. one thing i learned from working in corporate america is that you don't piss off folks, because they could be your managers one of these days.

thisisnotreal
12-02-2011, 07:50 AM
All this internal magic stuff seems to equal not moving.
This is not right at all. Many of these conversations have been fleshed out already..

gregstec
12-02-2011, 11:59 AM
Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
All this internal magic stuff seems to equal not moving.

This is not right at all. Many of these conversations have been fleshed out already..

Very true Josh - Although it may appear that most of the IS talk is centered around static non-moving exercises, that is simply very basic stuff to build a foundation - the true goal is to establish the whole body balanced connection and maintain it WHILE moving. Also, I think Phi had some good comments on weight shifting and moving.

Just my opinion on things, and YMMV :)

Greg

DH
12-02-2011, 02:00 PM
Very true Josh - Although it may appear that most of the IS talk is centered around static non-moving exercises, that is simply very basic stuff to build a foundation - the true goal is to establish the whole body balanced connection and maintain it WHILE moving. Also, I think Phi had some good comments on weight shifting and moving.

Just my opinion on things, and YMMV :)

Greg
Good God. Imagine talking to some people about not moving at all while moving on the inside, or that punching air can give you knock out, bone breaking power. I have read these debates, been in these debates for decades. Never once...not even once.. did it end well for those guys arguing against it. What's the point about telling them how it leads to incredible mobility and stability without tellegraphed motion or wind up?

Ignorance takes on many faces. Phi is right, and you have pointed it out yourself -that since we all know the truth, and we know we are inescapably correct and their opinions always fail, in person, that even when they rage against the machine on the net, we need to hold our temper and try to remain polite. I mean I have been called a liar, a con man, a snake oil salesman, people discussing how much I make (I think an unprecidented slight) and any number of things in these pages, then see people get all huffy when I finally get ticked off. This, after not one of their teachers has been able to handle this, in person. Not even one. And then they all want to train it and we become friends! And I'm the one who has to be patient? Good God!
Dan

gregstec
12-02-2011, 02:28 PM
Good God. Imagine talking to some people about not moving at all while moving on the inside, or that punching air can give you knock out, bone breaking power. I have read these debates, been in these debates for decades. Never once...not even once.. did it end well for those guys arguing against it. What's the point about telling them how it leads to incredible mobility and stability without tellegraphed motion or wind up?

Ignorance takes on many faces. Phi is right, and you have pointed it out yourself -that since we all know the truth, and we know we are inescapably correct and their opinions always fail, in person, that even when they rage against the machine on the net, we need to hold our temper and try to remain polite. I mean I have been called a liar, a con man, a snake oil salesman, people discussing how much I make (I think an unprecidented slight) and any number of things in these pages, then see people get all huffy when I finally get ticked off. This, after not one of their teachers has been able to handle this, in person. Not even one. And then they all want to train it and we become friends! And I'm the one who has to be patient? Good God!
Dan

Yes, I know what you mean - for the most part I have been trying to avoid these antagonistic type of threads lately - however, when a statement is made that is absolutely not true, it is hard to stay out and not provide correct information - not necessarily to try and persuade the source of the incorrect information since some people are just set in their opinion, but more for those that may not have experience in the area being discussed to let them know the opinion of those that do have experience, etc.

By the way, what are you doing posting at this hour - should you not be on the road to somewhere by now? :D

Greg

DH
12-02-2011, 02:44 PM
Yes, I know what you mean - for the most part I have been trying to avoid these antagonistic type of threads lately - however, when a statement is made that is absolutely not true, it is hard to stay out and not provide correct information - not necessarily to try and persuade the source of the incorrect information since some people are just set in their opinion, but more for those that may not have experience in the area being discussed to let them know the opinion of those that do have experience, etc.

By the way, what are you doing posting at this hour - should you not be on the road to somewhere by now? :D

Greg
Theyr'e coming to get me!!!!
Wait...wasn't that a song in the 60's They're coming to take me away hah hah, to the... well. I guess you know where I am going. Seems to fit eh? On both levels!:o

gregstec
12-02-2011, 02:55 PM
Theyr'e coming to get me!!!!
Wait...wasn't that a song in the 60's They're coming to take me away hah hah, to the... well. I guess you know where I am going. Seems to fit eh? On both levels!:o

Probably the most astute thing you have said in years! :crazy:

kewms
12-02-2011, 08:09 PM
It is impossible to move without shifting weight from one foot to the next.
It is impossible to move quickly without lifting one leg, or both legs, completely off the ground.


It's impossible to discuss the fine points of physical technique via a text only medium. I'm not even going to try. My dojo has a very extensive and well-publicized seminar schedule; you're welcome to come train with us at any time.

Katherine

Ken McGrew
12-02-2011, 11:16 PM
It's impossible to discuss the fine points of physical technique via a text only medium. I'm not even going to try. My dojo has a very extensive and well-publicized seminar schedule; you're welcome to come train with us at any time.

Katherine

You constantly try. You dont try only when you're stumped.

If you don't shift your weight you die. It's that simple. How about having the courage to post one video of your amazing secret skills at use in defense against realistic attacks? By you I mean Harden or anyone who allegedly has the secret.

kewms
12-02-2011, 11:25 PM
You constantly try. You dont try only when you're stumped.

If you don't shift your weight you die. It's that simple. How about having the courage to post one video of your amazing secret skills at use in defense against realistic attacks? By you I mean Harden or anyone who allegedly has the secret.

Yes, you're right, I do try to help people who are actually trying to understand these concepts. But you're only looking for ammunition. Why should I give you any?

I don't claim to have any particular secrets. If you want to see what kind of training I'm doing, you're welcome to come to any of our seminars. I realize that Seattle is a long way, though, so I'd also encourage you to introduce yourself to Ledyard Sensei at Winter Camp. I'm sure he'd be happy to demonstrate these ideas in person.

Katherine

Ken McGrew
12-03-2011, 12:17 AM
Like I said. Lots of talk. But not the courage to post one video.

I'm not looking for ammunition. I'm trying to unravel the mystery of your secret from the sacred clues that leak out. You said your teacher considers it a weakness to have move weight on one foot than another. That's a clue that has lots of consequences when applied to a self defense situation. If you don't move you die. It's a simple truth. Therefore if you don't go against the basic balance posture that your secret seems to require you die.

There are times when your balanced posture would come in handy. Other times not so much. Aiki means to blend.

kewms
12-03-2011, 01:04 AM
There's plenty of video of my teacher available. You can decide for yourself whether he looks immobile.

A DVD set from Gleason Sensei's recent seminar at Aikido Eastside will be available soon. It was filmed just a few days before the post you responded to, and probably includes his discussion of this very issue.

As for "unraveling the mystery," that's easy. Quit trying to dissect message board posts and get some mat time with the people you're trying to understand.

Katherine

Ken McGrew
12-03-2011, 01:59 AM
So you are saying that Gleason Sensei is demonstrating the secret of in yo ho that Dan teaches?

If so then we can just look at his videos and cut out the middle man. Do all his videos represent this secret or just some?

kewms
12-03-2011, 02:35 AM
So you are saying that Gleason Sensei is demonstrating the secret of in yo ho that Dan teaches?

No.

I am saying that this particular seminar included discussion of weight distribution, the advantages of being center-weighted, and mobility from that stance. I have not yet seen the video, but I assume that it will also contain this material. That was the question you raised, and that is the *only* issue I was addressing in my post.

Katherine

Carsten Möllering
12-03-2011, 03:57 AM
Dear Ken,

I started this thread, asking a specific question: Does this so called "stance of heaven (and earth)" relate to things thought or taught concerning IS?

To show what I mean, I posted a specific video: I found a video. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=f5s8ZSDPPTA#t=41s)

I rose this question because this kamae is emphasized by the teacher of my teacher. He (often) is waiting for the attack this way. And he (often) uses this kamae when throwing.
So first aspect is to learn more aobut this stance, this kamae in itself.

I rose this question because I was taught aikido to be an "internal" martial art from the beginning of my practice some 18 years ago. I come from a completely different background and don' thave any connection with anyone oft the people using IS/IP who post here on aikiweb. (Which I regret deeply. I hope very much to have the oportunity to join a seminar with dan when he is back in Europe.) We used the term "internal" years before I ever heard of aikiweb. And we did visualisation practice or tanden practices long before I even knew that this isn't taught in every dojo.
So the second aspect of my question is to learn more about their specific understanding of this kamae.

And I got some very detailed and interesting answers which I appreciate very much!
And which show me clearly that I still have to learn a lot ... I just touched the surface.

So if you could give some hints about this specific kamae and it's context to inner training of the body or inner aspects of moving, I would be thankful.

If you just want to make clear that my question is dumb, I would also appreciate if you would tell me why.

But - if you just want to follow your personal interest and discuss the sence or nonsence of internal work - which colour it may have - and your personal conflicts of opinion with some specific people, I'd like you to not do this in this thread!

TimB99
12-03-2011, 08:29 AM
Aren't there a bunch of videos on Gleason floating around on youtube already?

Marc Abrams
12-03-2011, 08:52 AM
Videos can only provide just so much information. I would take Katherine's suggestion and add to it. I would suggest that Ken have himself video taped while George Ledyard, or Josh Drachman, or Bill Gleason demonstrates what Ken seems to defensive to be able to explore. I'm sure that Ken can find at least one of those seniors at the winter camp. The video tape can clearly indicate whether or not these seniors ended up being killed :D . Since Ken is a man who demands empirical proof, I would think that he would jump at this opportunity.

Marc Abrams

TimB99
12-03-2011, 09:06 AM
Aren't there a bunch of videos on Ledyard floating around on youtube already as well? :p

Dave de Vos
12-03-2011, 09:25 AM
Aren't there a bunch of videos on Ledyard floating around on youtube already as well? :p

Sure. Here's an interesting one, though I'm not sure if it directly relates to this topic: http://www.youtube.com/user/gledyard#p/u/4/abr1NuopOcY

Chris Li
12-03-2011, 10:32 AM
So you are saying that Gleason Sensei is demonstrating the secret of in yo ho that Dan teaches?

If so then we can just look at his videos and cut out the middle man. Do all his videos represent this secret or just some?

It's very hard to see what you're looking for on video unless you already know. Here's an interesting passage from Yukiyoshi Sagawa (who was actually in the room when Ueshiba was introduced to Takeda):

「私の合気はそとからいくらみても分からない。内部の動きで相手の力を抜いてしまい、形にはあらわれないからね、今では体中のどこをもたれても敵の力を抜いてしまう。もと は簡単な原理から出発しているのでが誰も気づかない。それに気づいたかどうかは合気あげをみればわかる。

"However closely you watch my Aiki from the outside you will not understand. That's because I remove the power from my opponent through internal movements that do not show in the outer form. Now I am able to remove the enemy's power no matter where on my body I am grabbed. The source of this begins from a simple principle, but nobody understands. You can see whether somebody understands by watching their Aiki-age.

Best,

Chris

Ken McGrew
12-03-2011, 11:13 AM
Here's where the other side starts to look disingenuous. These forums are full of these people analyzing videos in great detail, including those of O Sensei, but when it comes to videos of themselves or those they immolate they claim that there's no point as it can't be seen.

Humor us. Post one video of Harden doing his magic. There have been numerous posts and also private emails to me in which people say when you have Harden's gift things like getting off line, blending, Etc. don't matter. I want to see Harden do all the claimed things against multiple knife attacks. But I'll settle for one video of the exercises he teaches. Videos can be analyzed.

Ken McGrew
12-03-2011, 11:24 AM
Sure. Here's an interesting one, though I'm not sure if it directly relates to this topic: http://www.youtube.com/user/gledyard#p/u/4/abr1NuopOcY

I'm not sure this is on topic. But what do you see in the video related to in yo ho or anything else that you are trying to draw attention to? This is an example with narrative that can be analyzed closely regarding both Uke and Nage.

Chris Li
12-03-2011, 12:08 PM
Here's where the other side starts to look disingenuous. These forums are full of these people analyzing videos in great detail, including those of O Sensei, but when it comes to videos of themselves or those they immolate they claim that there's no point as it can't be seen.

Humor us. Post one video of Harden doing his magic. There have been numerous posts and also private emails to me in which people say when you have Harden's gift things like getting off line, blending, Etc. don't matter. I want to see Harden do all the claimed things against multiple knife attacks. But I'll settle for one video of the exercises he teaches. Videos can be analyzed.

It's very hard to see what you're looking for on video unless you already know.

It's no different from anything else. I'm fairly educated, understand basic mechanic and physics, but I have no idea what's what when I open the hood of my car. A couple of days walking through it with a mechanic and I should be fine. In that case a video would probably work, but when you're dealing with physical skills it's difficult to open up the body on video the way you would an engine - therefore, IHTBF.

If we could learn this stuff from video then everybody would be better, right? There's plenty of video of Ueshiba around - there's even plenty of videos put out by Saotome (I'm actually in one of them briefly).

In my experience, those kind of short video clips cause more problems than they solve with the peanut gallery. I imagine that's why many people (not just Dan) refuse to allow video to be publicly distributed. Hiroshi Ikeda does the same thing - he only gives certain video to people who have already done the training with him.

And once again - your description of Dan's "magic" is so far off base it's not even in the same ballpark. If you're genuinely interested then get to a workshop.

Best,

Chris

Ken McGrew
12-03-2011, 12:23 PM
Again, people in your circle use videos when it's convenient.

If Dan is doing what O Sensei did (A), and what O Sensei did can be discussed by people in your circle with the use of videos (B), then what Dan is doing can be observed in the videos just as easily as what O Sensei is doing can be ( = C).

At any rate, if it can't be seen and discussing it is useless, why does your circle try to dominate every discussion on Aiki web? People can't even keep you out when the thread says no IS stuff. It starts to look less like discussion and more like advertisement.

If you study O Sensei's videos carefully, and I have studied them in slow motion carefully, the most common characteristic that you should recognize is that he was constantly moving. Next you should recognize the variety of responses he showed that fit the situation. Third you should note that he stressed blending and no touch throws as the highest level of the art.


It's no different from anything else. I'm fairly educated, understand basic mechanic and physics, but I have no idea what's what when I open the hood of my car. A couple of days walking through it with a mechanic and I should be fine. In that case a video would probably work, but when you're dealing with physical skills it's difficult to open up the body on video the way you would an engine - therefore, IHTBF.

If we could learn this stuff from video then everybody would be better, right? There's plenty of video of Ueshiba around - there's even plenty of videos put out by Saotome (I'm actually in one of them briefly).

In my experience, those kind of short video clips cause more problems than they solve with the peanut gallery. I imagine that's why many people (not just Dan) refuse to allow video to be publicly distributed. Hiroshi Ikeda does the same thing - he only gives certain video to people who have already done the training with him.

And once again - your description of Dan's "magic" is so far off base it's not even in the same ballpark. If you're genuinely interested then get to a workshop.

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
12-03-2011, 12:34 PM
Again, people in your circle use videos when it's convenient.

If Dan is doing what O Sensei did (A), and what O Sensei did can be discussed by people in your circle with the use of videos (B), then what Dan is doing can be observed in the videos just as easily as what O Sensei is doing can be ( = C).

At any rate, if it can't be seen and discussing it is useless, why does your circle try to dominate every discussion on Aiki web? People can't even keep you out when the thread says no IS stuff. It starts to look less like discussion and more like advertisement.

If you study O Sensei's videos carefully, and I have studied them in slow motion carefully, the most common characteristic that you should recognize is that he was constantly moving. Next you should recognize the variety of responses he showed that fit the situation. Third you should note that he stressed blending and no touch throws as the highest level of the art.

1) I don't have a circle.
2) The only person here who says that Dan isn't moving is you.
3) I never said it couldn't be discussed, but you either have to have a certain baseline knowledge or experience for it to make sense, and/or you have to be willing to abandon a few preconceptions and actually discuss rather than challenge.

Best,

Chris

Marc Abrams
12-03-2011, 01:11 PM
Here's where the other side starts to look disingenuous. These forums are full of these people analyzing videos in great detail, including those of O Sensei, but when it comes to videos of themselves or those they immolate they claim that there's no point as it can't be seen.

Humor us. Post one video of Harden doing his magic. There have been numerous posts and also private emails to me in which people say when you have Harden's gift things like getting off line, blending, Etc. don't matter. I want to see Harden do all the claimed things against multiple knife attacks. But I'll settle for one video of the exercises he teaches. Videos can be analyzed.

Ken,

Why don't you humor us? Why don't we let you test Dan yourself? We will video tape it so that you can analyze it later. You talk about other people being disingenuous, yet you are not offering to test out people like George Ledyard, Josh Drachman, Bill Gleason, who are accessible within your own organization. Heck, you question their integrity as men of budo, they should be push-overs for someone like you. Try working you way through any of them and see where that gets you. Then again, you can always go for the full monty and go straight to Dan.

Bottom line: Before you start questioning the integrity and abilities of some people, maybe you should put some hands on, before flapping the gums too much.

Marc Abrams

Dave de Vos
12-03-2011, 02:19 PM
I'm not sure this is on topic. But what do you see in the video related to in yo ho or anything else that you are trying to draw attention to? This is an example with narrative that can be analyzed closely regarding both Uke and Nage.

I got he impression you were looking for some videos of aiki demonstrations by people who have been training with Dan.

The video does demonstrate aiki and sensei Ledyard has been training with Dan, so I guessed this demonstration could be related to what Dan teaches. That's why I brought it up (although it does not look like a demonstration of in yo ho particularly to my untrained eye).

Regards,
Dave

George S. Ledyard
12-03-2011, 07:22 PM
I got he impression you were looking for some videos of aiki demonstrations by people who have been training with Dan.

The video does demonstrate aiki and sensei Ledyard has been training with Dan, so I guessed this demonstration could be related to what Dan teaches. That's why I brought it up (although it does not look like a demonstration of in yo ho particularly to my untrained eye).

Regards,
Dave
I want to post a WARNING LABEL The only way to evaluate what Dan Harden or anyone else for that matter, is to get your hands on him personally. Not a long time student, certainly not a guy like myself who has done a few seminars. Not by checking out Gleason Sensei or anyone else. Get on the mat with Dan. Yes, Dan has changed my Aikido for the better. So has Howard Popkin, so has Toby Threadgill, Don Angier, Ushiro Kenji, etc. None of these folks are in any way responsible for how I have chosen to incorporate what they taught me into my Aikido.

Dan Harden is the first guy to admit that he does not do Aikido. He teaches "aiki" and a particular take on "aiki" at that. I also learned a tremendous amount from Endo Sensei. But his "aiki" is very different fro what Dan is doing. I am a hodge podge of influences and quite unapologetic about it. But don't try to make me representative of someone else's Aikido.

I know that every body wants to take the easy road and get a video and decide whether he's got the goods without taking any risks, without leaving the comfort of your own home... Well, unlike myself, Dan has not allowed folks to video him and you can't just go up on YouTube and download a clip and make a snap judgement. In the absence of direct information people start too go second and third hand sources... that's ridiculous. I had some tell me he thought Dan was full of it because he trained with someone who had worked with Dan and the guy was a jerk... that's crazy thinking.

Gleason Sensei and I are both Aikido teachers. We are not doing exactly what Dan is doing. Dan has, however been immensely helpful in helping both of us move towards where we wanted to be in our Aikido. But do not look to us for information about what Dan is doing. Go train with Dan... What you get out of that experience and what you do with it all may be totally different from what we have done.

On the other hand, if you want to check out some different ideas about Aikido technique, at least different than what has been the prevailing paradigm, then sure, come train with me or Bill Gleason or whomever. Then you will be able to converse knowledgeably about what we do. That still won't tell you what Dan is doing.

Ken McGrew
12-03-2011, 09:10 PM
Given the things that were said about Saotome Sensei I can't imagine how any of his students would associate with the people who are making them or aligned with those are. I certainly won't.

But nice effort to divert with personal attacks.

Ken,

Why don't you humor us? Why don't we let you test Dan yourself? We will video tape it so that you can analyze it later. You talk about other people being disingenuous, yet you are not offering to test out people like George Ledyard, Josh Drachman, Bill Gleason, who are accessible within your own organization. Heck, you question their integrity as men of budo, they should be push-overs for someone like you. Try working you way through any of them and see where that gets you. Then again, you can always go for the full monty and go straight to Dan.

Bottom line: Before you start questioning the integrity and abilities of some people, maybe you should put some hands on, before flapping the gums too much.

Marc Abrams

Ken McGrew
12-03-2011, 09:13 PM
I got he impression you were looking for some videos of aiki demonstrations by people who have been training with Dan.

The video does demonstrate aiki and sensei Ledyard has been training with Dan, so I guessed this demonstration could be related to what Dan teaches. That's why I brought it up (although it does not look like a demonstration of in yo ho particularly to my untrained eye).

Regards,
Dave

Exactly Dave. If it won't offend Ledyard Sensei we can use it as an example. Or any video you have in mind would be fine. I looked at the Ark Sensei videos. Great Kung foo but not very good Aikido for reasons I described earlier.

Marc Abrams
12-03-2011, 09:26 PM
Given the things that were said about Saotome Sensei I can't imagine how any of his students would associate with the people who are making them or aligned with those are. I certainly won't.

But nice effort to divert with personal attacks.

Ken:

Why don't you ask George Ledyard, Josh Drachman, Bill Gleason, Rob Liberti, etc. about why they do what they do. YOU are the one who is making personal attacks at others from the convenience of your keyboard. If you want to question their integrity and loyalty to their teacher, then feel free to sit down with Ikeda Sensei and Saotome Sensei with them and voice your concerns. Once again, get away from your keyboard and do so in person and enjoy the results of your endeavors.

When I had serious questions about who Dan Harden was and what he did, I had the personal integrity to not fall back on some cheap excuse about who I would associate with without even meeting the person in-person; I went out and met him. YOU seem to be the one who needs to get away from your keyboard and get up-close and personal with your comments, concerns, questions, etc. about what you think that you know. If you think that my response is an attack, then you are simply out of your league. I know full well that Jun would ban me permanently for really letting my words fly. Then again, I don't have a problem meeting the people who my words fly at either. You want to talk about integrity in budo then step away from your keyboard and step up to the plate. Maybe you will actually learn something that could benefit you, like the thread topic for example.

Marc Abrams

phitruong
12-03-2011, 10:22 PM
Why don't you ask George Ledyard, Josh Drachman, Bill Gleason, Rob Liberti, etc. about why they do what they do.

let it go Marc. go read the book from Takuan Soho.

Dave de Vos
12-04-2011, 08:59 AM
<snip>

Yes, Dan has changed my Aikido for the better. So has Howard Popkin, so has Toby Threadgill, Don Angier, Ushiro Kenji, etc. None of these folks are in any way responsible for how I have chosen to incorporate what they taught me into my Aikido.

<snip>

Gleason Sensei and I are both Aikido teachers. We are not doing exactly what Dan is doing. Dan has, however been immensely helpful in helping both of us move towards where we wanted to be in our Aikido. But do not look to us for information about what Dan is doing.

<snip>

On the other hand, if you want to check out some different ideas about Aikido technique, at least different than what has been the prevailing paradigm, then sure, come train with me or Bill Gleason or whomever. Then you will be able to converse knowledgeably about what we do. That still won't tell you what Dan is doing.

I picked that video because indeed videos of IS/IP/aiki incorporated in aikido are not abundant on the internet. I apologize for oversimplifying things by only mentioning Dan as a source for what you are incorporating into your aikido while I was aware that your efforts involve many sources. I only mentioned Dan, because sensei McGrew's inquiries seem to focus on Dan's teachings mostly, and because I don't know much about the teachings of others.

I looked at the Ark Sensei videos. Great Kung foo but not very good Aikido for reasons I described earlier.

Indeed, aunkai is not aikido. Nor is any of the other IS teachers teaching aikido, like sensei Ledyard explained very clearly. It is up to the students to incorporate it in their aikido.

Marc Abrams
12-04-2011, 09:26 AM
let it go Marc. go read the book from Takuan Soho.

I hear you Phil! Should I be eating daikons while reading the unfettered mind? Haven't read that one in a long time...

Thanks,

Marc Abrams

Mary Eastland
12-04-2011, 02:40 PM
In my experience hanmi is often taught with feet wide apart:
http://www.aikido-in-hildesheim.de/aikido/tachiwaza.jpg.
And some teachers emphasize an a even deeper stance like shown here.

I know one teacher who likes having his feet "close together" in hanmi and just relaxes his knees instead of "going deep".
Does this so called "stance of heaven (and earth)" relate to things thought or taught concerning IS?

Our hamni stance is a natural step forward. This stance is very stable. After contact is made with uke and uke is relaxed through...seeking the hamni stance again enhances balance which enhances the centered feeling or if you like IS.

HL1978
12-05-2011, 04:04 PM
Exactly Dave. If it won't offend Ledyard Sensei we can use it as an example. Or any video you have in mind would be fine. I looked at the Ark Sensei videos. Great Kung foo but not very good Aikido for reasons I described earlier.

To be fair, you didnt provide any time codes in post #458 in the Ueshiba's aiki thread. It would be fair to comment on Ark that his power comes from both Japanese sources (mentioned on other threads) and Chinese sources.

http://aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=297183&postcount=458

If we look at the Ukazawa Sensei who Hunter provided the link to, when we get to the level of application, you see the problems I said i worried about. While his karate/kung foo look great, and the exercises are fine, the aikido style throws don't look that good to me. There's a tendency to have to sweep or take a long time or use force because the momentum in Uke's body is gone. There is a place where Karate and Aikido overlap. Saotome Sensei shows that side as well. So he does some of the applications shown on these and other videos of Ukazawa Sensei. But the parts that look more like Aikido just don't look very good to me compared to most "modern Aikido," they take too much effort and too long to execute, his movement is not open or free, and don't look like they would be ideal in group attack situations. The Daito-ryu anniversary footage looked better to my eyes.

I think a few people can tell in some of Ark's videos when he kicks in some regular muscle, and when he has it as "pure" in terms of IS strength.

When one of the several IS people on the seminar circut touch you, they can let that power stay in you, or let it pass through you. The results look dramatically different and feel dramatically different. The person who lets it pass through you, which results in dramatic movement of your body, is being a lot more kind to you.

I'm not quite sure where Ark, or anyone else demonstrating IS stuff takes too long or too much effort to effect their opponent. What exactly do you mean by open and free? Are there specific videos and time stamps so that I can better understand your opinion? I'm not out here trying to vigorously defend Ark or the honor of IS, just want to better understand your viewpoint as it helps me to better frame my responses to people in the future.

Ken McGrew
12-05-2011, 05:35 PM
Hunter,

I believe there was another video that looked explicitly more like Ark Sensei's take on Aikido with more traditional throws. I don't see it here and am not inclined to dig it up.

When you look at the three videos posted in the link you provide you can see were what he does involves throws and when it does not. In video 2 0:11-0:14 Uke's movement stops and then he has to do quite a bit to get Uke down. 0:21-0:24 he shows nice blending as the kick goes by. Just pointing this out the centrality of blending. 1:20-1:24 again has to resort to tripping Uke. In video 3 0:12-0:13.

It's hard for me to believe you don't know what I mean by open and free movement. Look at Ark Sensei throw and then look at O Sensei.

Now I think Ark Sensei looks great. But his talents don't translate well for the more Aikido like techniques. That's because Aikido is a very large thing. It's not reducible to this in yo ho body conditioned internal strength. I know you think may think it is. But it's not. Just as Ledyard Sensei has stated.

I don't want to name all the teachers and Sempi I've had, Hunter, as they are under no obligation to defend my positions. Let's just say that I have been exposed to high level Chinese and Japanese martial artists from a variety of traditions from day one in my Aikido training. I do understand the sort of displays we are looking at here and that have been described. I know exactly what you mean about uprooting a person or causing internal damage to their organs alternatively. I respect them for what they are. I don't necessarily believe the source of these skills is what they are said to be. That doesn't matter in the end. What matters is that Aikido is something more than these particular skills. It can be done with or without these skills. There are certainly situations when they are more applicable than others.

Aikido is about freedom. It is the most free of all martial arts because it is about refusing to engage with the fight. Freedom requires the biggest possible range of possible responses. Aikido is also about a special training process between Uke and Nage.

To be fair, you didnt provide any time codes in post #458 in the Ueshiba's aiki thread. It would be fair to comment on Ark that his power comes from both Japanese sources (mentioned on other threads) and Chinese sources.

http://aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=297183&postcount=458

I think a few people can tell in some of Ark's videos when he kicks in some regular muscle, and when he has it as "pure" in terms of IS strength.

When one of the several IS people on the seminar circut touch you, they can let that power stay in you, or let it pass through you. The results look dramatically different and feel dramatically different. The person who lets it pass through you, which results in dramatic movement of your body, is being a lot more kind to you.

I'm not quite sure where Ark, or anyone else demonstrating IS stuff takes too long or too much effort to effect their opponent. What exactly do you mean by open and free? Are there specific videos and time stamps so that I can better understand your opinion? I'm not out here trying to vigorously defend Ark or the honor of IS, just want to better understand your viewpoint as it helps me to better frame my responses to people in the future.

Upyu
12-05-2011, 09:55 PM
Aikido is about freedom. It is the most free of all martial arts because it is about refusing to engage with the fight.

I dunno, you could say that about almost any martial art. And Ark gives plenty of demos where you don't harm the guy and use the same skill to avoid "conflict."
Same could be said about Taiji exponents uprooting or bouncing a person (that's being nice). Come to think of it, you could say that for most "internal" CMAs, and a number of other MAs as well.

phitruong
12-06-2011, 07:49 AM
I dunno, you could say that about almost any martial art. And Ark gives plenty of demos where you don't harm the guy and use the same skill to avoid "conflict."
Same could be said about Taiji exponents uprooting or bouncing a person (that's being nice). Come to think of it, you could say that for most "internal" CMAs, and a number of other MAs as well.

i thought what Ark's teaching was to build a martial body, i.e. a well internal balance body to do any kind of martial arts. that is the water in the bottle and not the shape of the bottle. is this what IS proponent goal, i.e. focus on the water (possibly passing it :) ) there is a video on youtube of Saotome sensei uproot and bounced uke; methink, it was one of the Rocky Mt Summer camp video. it's terrible that the taiji folks steal stuffs from us aikido.

as far as heaven and earth stance goes, if you grab the lower hand and try to lift up, you shouldn't be able to. and if you try to pull down the up hand, you shouldn't be able to either, because your body should have the up-n-down energy going in opposite directions. of course IS folks would ask about other directions as well, but for this we just went with the simple first, right? of course, the only other direction we should be interested in would be to the closest pub. :)

MM
12-06-2011, 02:40 PM
That's because Aikido is a very large thing. It's not reducible to this in yo ho body conditioned internal strength. I know you think may think it is. But it's not.


Shihan McGrew,

In reference to the Ueshiba's Aiki thread (closed), you stated the below quotes and called it "yo ho". I believe you were later corrected and the actual phrase was "in yo ho". With that in mind, please detail out the concept of "in yo ho". This way, readers will understand how you:

1. Never got the phrase right in the first place
and
2. Can categorically dismiss it out of hand so easily
and
3. Understand it so fundamentally well that you know aikido is "not reducible to this in yo ho body conditioned internal strength".

While you are at it, you also stated "My definition of Aiki is Saotome Sensei's definition of Aiki", so please detail out Saotome sensei's definition of aiki so that we can understand it better.

Mark


When applied to application it needs to be incorporated, that is internal unbalancing, into the things that make up waza. I would argue that the things that are called tricks are essential, that you can't escape them. I would disagree with the idea of yo ho that is described in that I think Ki is part of this.



The fact that you feel that you found some evidence for your interpretation does not prove that O Sensei had not expanded on the art in ways that were important and not the result of yo ho. Yo ho may be the secret for the grounding demonstrations that O Sensei did. That doesn't mean that they are the secret for everything else he did.

Ken McGrew
12-07-2011, 01:45 PM
Takeda Sokaku defined aiki in the following way:

“ The secret of aiki is to overpower the opponent mentally at a glance and to win without fighting.[22] ”

Tokimune Takeda, speaking on the same subject during an interview, said:

“ Could you explain in a little more detail about the concept of aiki?
Aiki is to pull when you are pushed, and to push when you are pulled. It is the spirit of slowness and speed, of harmonizing your movement with your opponent's ki. Its opposite, kiai, is to push to the limit, while aiki never resists.

The term aiki has been used since ancient times and is not unique to Daito-ryu. The ki in aiki is go no sen, meaning to respond to an attack.

... Daito-ryu is all go no sen—you first evade your opponent's attack and then strike or control him. Likewise, Itto-ryu is primarily go no sen. You attack because an opponent attacks you. This implies not cutting your opponent. This is called katsujinken (life-giving sword). Its opposite is called setsuninken (death-dealing sword).

Aiki is different from the victory of sen sen, and is applied in situations of go no sen, such as when an opponent thrusts at you. Therein lies the essence of katsujinken and setsuninken. You block the attack when an opponent approaches; at his second attack you break his sword and spare his life. This is katsujinken. When an opponent strikes at you and your sword pierces his stomach it is setsuninken. These two concepts are the essence of the sword.[8]

The above taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daitō-ryū_Aiki-jūjutsu

DH
12-07-2011, 02:03 PM
Takeda Sokaku defined aiki in the following way:

“ The secret of aiki is to overpower the opponent mentally at a glance and to win without fighting.[22] ”

Tokimune Takeda, speaking on the same subject during an interview, said:

“ Could you explain in a little more detail about the concept of aiki?
Aiki is to pull when you are pushed, and to push when you are pulled. It is the spirit of slowness and speed, of harmonizing your movement with your opponent's ki. Its opposite, kiai, is to push to the limit, while aiki never resists.

The term aiki has been used since ancient times and is not unique to Daito-ryu. The ki in aiki is go no sen, meaning to respond to an attack.

... Daito-ryu is all go no sen—you first evade your opponent's attack and then strike or control him. Likewise, Itto-ryu is primarily go no sen. You attack because an opponent attacks you. This implies not cutting your opponent. This is called katsujinken (life-giving sword). Its opposite is called setsuninken (death-dealing sword).

Aiki is different from the victory of sen sen, and is applied in situations of go no sen, such as when an opponent thrusts at you. Therein lies the essence of katsujinken and setsuninken. You block the attack when an opponent approaches; at his second attack you break his sword and spare his life. This is katsujinken. When an opponent strikes at you and your sword pierces his stomach it is setsuninken. These two concepts are the essence of the sword.[8]

The above taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daitō-ryū_Aiki-jūjutsu
More nonsense. And Mark didn't ask you for a wikepedia article. Since you continually speak for Saotome, and claim his aiki is yours; he asked you to define it for Saotome.

ChrisMoses
12-07-2011, 02:05 PM
DR has it's own transmission/ inheritance issues...

For a better understanding of the aiki of DR I would recommend Transparent Power (http://www.amazon.com/Transparent-Power-Tatsuo-Kimura/dp/1893447103/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1323288239&sr=8-1) AND some hands on time.

HL1978
12-07-2011, 02:21 PM
Takeda Sokaku defined aiki in the following way:

“ The secret of aiki is to overpower the opponent mentally at a glance and to win without fighting.[22] ”

Tokimune Takeda, speaking on the same subject during an interview, said:

“ Could you explain in a little more detail about the concept of aiki?
Aiki is to pull when you are pushed, and to push when you are pulled. It is the spirit of slowness and speed, of harmonizing your movement with your opponent's ki. Its opposite, kiai, is to push to the limit, while aiki never resists.

The term aiki has been used since ancient times and is not unique to Daito-ryu. The ki in aiki is go no sen, meaning to respond to an attack.

... Daito-ryu is all go no sen—you first evade your opponent's attack and then strike or control him. Likewise, Itto-ryu is primarily go no sen. You attack because an opponent attacks you. This implies not cutting your opponent. This is called katsujinken (life-giving sword). Its opposite is called setsuninken (death-dealing sword).

Aiki is different from the victory of sen sen, and is applied in situations of go no sen, such as when an opponent thrusts at you. Therein lies the essence of katsujinken and setsuninken. You block the attack when an opponent approaches; at his second attack you break his sword and spare his life. This is katsujinken. When an opponent strikes at you and your sword pierces his stomach it is setsuninken. These two concepts are the essence of the sword.[8]

The above taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daitō-ryū_Aiki-jūjutsu

On pages 72-73, of Tatsuo Kimura's book, at least in the Japanese version, Sagawa talks about aiki a bit differently more so on the physical side of sthings. My japanese ability had been considerably reduced as I havent regularly spoken or read japanese in a few years, but I can attempt a poor translation if you like.

I think the section has been quoted before in the 2005-2007 time frame, it is kind of amusing actually if you read it. As I recall it was fairly explicit and didn't require much interpretation or IS knowledge.

I'm not so sure if I would want to pull if pushed and push if pulled ala judo. As I mentioned in another thread that works fine on non IS people, but if you try it with someone who is working on IS and understands how to use it, it fails.

DH
12-08-2011, 11:32 AM
I'm not so sure if I would want to pull if pushed and push if pulled ala judo. As I mentioned in another thread that works fine on non IS people, but if you try it with someone who is working on IS and understands how to use it, it fails.
Yup.
The examples cited only further serve to prove the divorce from Ueshiba's aiki. Ueshiba was known for being able to cancel out that very thing. A reasonable person would ask; Why is it that in so many of the testimonies of his skill, they kept defaulting to discussions of his power.
Not his blending
Not his tenkan
Not even his movement

In an era and culture, which often times produced seasoned men that tested him...they continued to emphasize the very thing these modern adepts are shunning. Ueshiba's power was what impressed them. His own living examples are arguing in our favor for what the founder was in fact focusing on.

Then as now....the debaters do not last one moment in person. This venue is really all they have to cover what turns out to be an inability to effectively move or stop those who are advocating the Ueshiba method. Hence men like Shirata and Mochizuki looking at the post-war efforts and saying. "What you people are doing is not real aikido."
Then as now, people will balk, but they cannot pull it off any credible defense in person. Ueshiba knew what he was doing.

I have not seen read or felt anyone in aikido -arguing from the post war argument side- being able to both aptly describe, demonstrate and discuss the well known concepts of Heaven/earth/man or In yo ho. Examples being; John Stevens inability to translate the concepts that he admitted he had never heard of before, Graham not even knowing In yo ho was Yin yang, and McGrew calling it yo ho repeatedly...and arguing against concepts that were well known and Ueshiba made a lengthy study of them.
No other words need be spoken other than Ueshiba himself, when asked why no one could what he did, said. Simple. You do not understand In yo.
Nothing has changed.
Yo ho indeed.......
No harm no foul, But not knowing what the founder was talking about nor why he constantly brought it up and then demonstrated it...sort of removes these people from the discussion of what he was talking about by default.

I disagree with those who say that IP/aiki is only a part of Aikido. Without it...there is no Aiki...do, only jujutsu.
And that ladies and gentlemen is why you continue to fail when you meet those of us who are discussing, defining, and performing Ueshiba's Aiki.
He didn't invent it, nor did we...he caught on to the foundation of the Asian arts and discussed it continually. It should not be something that devides us, but rather unites us.
I think that is what he was hoping for. Without it; Aikido is not high level, it's just jujutsu, and not even very good jujutsu at that.
Dan

graham christian
12-08-2011, 12:38 PM
Yo ho ho, it's christmas!!! I still don't use that term. Yin and yang suffices. Everyone I speak to has heard of it so it suits me fine. Center and one point suits me too. Couldn't find a good English word for Koshi but there again I don't know the japanese for buddhanature or love or kindness or cutting through or center line or pressure point or relax completely or weight underside. Shame on me. Must mean I don't know anything about them.

I wonder why you don't call that stance the tenshin stance or some such rather than between heaven and earth? Mmmm. Not very Japanese.

Regards.G.

Mary Eastland
12-08-2011, 01:19 PM
Dan, you certainly are consistent with your message.

The thought that occurred to me when I was reading your last post was about leading the mind.
You certainly do that. Ueshiba was probably very good at it too, from the sounds of things.
Maruyama Sensei was.

My question for you is why is this all so important to you? Why can't you listen to what other people say?

Why can't Graham have his point of view and Ken his. Why take things so personally? Why not apply your centeredness and good IS skills to letting?

I think that is part of Aikido you will never understand.

Ken McGrew
12-08-2011, 01:27 PM
I don't speak for Saotome Sensei (please refer to him properly). These posts are petty. I provided the definition given by Takeda Sensei to avoid playing the petty game.

Saotome Sensei's books and videos are widely available. They require careful study. He addresses Aiki in these. Aiki is a complex concept. What Takeda Sensei and his son described as Aiki still fits. Certainly Aiki is also more than this. Saotome Sensei seems to have a broad definition of Aiki. It would be the same concept as that of O Sensei. If anything O Sensei broadened the concept of Aiki rather than narrowed it. Putting it this way isn't quite right, either, however. For O Sensei Aiki was not completely knowable by human beings. We only get glimpses of it. Aikido being a window into another plain of existence. I don't know if Saotome Sensei believes this completely himself. I do know that this is what O Sensei taught Saotome Sensei about the spiritual/metaphysical side of Aiki.

If there can be more than one side to Aiki, then can there be more than one way to demonstrate tenshinage? Can there be more going on in heaven and earth than grounding or internal strength? The jo trick is often brought out as an example of the secret of O Sensei's ability as are other grounding exercises. But is it possible that there is more than one way to avoid having the jo moved or being pushed over? For example, perhaps you can ground out or otherwise neutralize the pushing energy and weight in your own body. But you can also destabilize those pushing as a way to make their pushing have less effect. This is a rather easy way to do the jo trick. It accomplishes the same thing. The jo doesn't move much or move Nage.

DH
12-08-2011, 01:55 PM
Dan, you certainly are consistent with your message.

The thought that occurred to me when I was reading your last post was about leading the mind.
You certainly do that. Ueshiba was probably very good at it too, from the sounds of things.
Maruyama Sensei was.

My question for you is why is this all so important to you? Why can't you listen to what other people say?

Why can't Graham have his point of view and Ken his. Why take things so personally? Why not apply your centeredness and good IS skills to letting?

I think that is part of Aikido you will never understand.
Hello again, Mary
It's not personal. There are things that are not a point of view. There are things trained that have palpable results. These concepts are known and someone having a POV that is opposite of what they mean when they are teaching is not helping anyone is it? Morihei Ueshiba studied them and wrote about them, sometimes almost copying them word for word. It appears by their own admission that he and his students agree that many didn't know what he was talking about.

As for taking things personal? Well, I think the pot is calling the kettle black here. People have gotten wildly personal and attacked those of us discussing this. I am not overly concerned with the name calling and personal attacks; I do take objection to continually being told I...am equal to those who do it. I will contend with those who claim they know what we are talking about and obviously don't, that their movement does not address their claims of understanding. But, here’s the thing; that....Mary...is not an insult to their person. I do so without discussing them personally or resorting to name calling as some sort of validation for an ignorance of the material being discussed

Case in point;
Me telling Graham he does not understand a heretofore recognized concept, or the body connections that we are discussing does not equate to him calling me a con man in a thread that was nothing more than a prolonged personal attack; calling me a snake oil salesman, fraud, charlatan etc. .. Now does it? This of course flies in the face of dozens of personal testimonies of well trusted people here to the contrary. Did their witness deter the language used or approved? No. I think it is rather outrageous to discuss taking things to personal level…with me. I could line up many of the most senior people here who have mentioned the level of attacks I have endured are unprecedented on Aikiweb. I have my own opinions on that but I will keep them to myself.
I have a pretty consistent history of telling many here that they missed it. They do not understand what Ueshiba was talking about or doing. I know that is harsh, but it certainly isn’t personal. I also have a very consistent record of demonstrating it in person as well. And more's the point helping people to learn. Those people are very grateful and write about it. Mores the point they now....somehow even magically agree after training with several folks teaching this.

Last, believe it or not, contend or no. I am not playing games, leading someone’s mind, or trying to score points. For the most part, I am interested in the material and what it can for ....all of us. I hate the contention, and I don't like when it makes people feel bad about themselves. That said, there is a point where the material speaks for itself. As I usually say, not everyone gets an "A" but dog on if I am not doing my level best to help them get there. ;)
That ain't half bad.
Dan

DH
12-08-2011, 02:12 PM
I don't speak for Saotome Sensei (please refer to him properly).
We are not Japanese, nor living in Japan. It is quite acceptable to not call someone else's teacher....teacher. If you like, I will call him Mr. Saotome. But even just the family name is still acceptable from an outsider not his direct student. In the broader view, there is no insult.

These posts are petty. I provided the definition given by Takeda Sensei to avoid playing the petty game.
Actually what you avoided was a direct question asked since you repeatedly claimed to speak for you teacher and to know his definitions. What does Takeda have to do with anything?

What you have demonstrated is an ever changing, morphing opinion, that for the most part, was heavily laced with attacking people and their motives. Try and do better.
You have not defined heaven/earth/man, or anything else we do. To date, I don't recognize anything you have written that defines what we do. As many have told you-you have been pretty consistently...wrong. Now, it appears, (on the surface) that instead you are trying to work your way around it, saying there is more to aikido than it.

Pretty tough going as argument.
You don't know what it is.
So how do you define what is more or less than it?
Than what?
Strange reasoning to be sure. Sounds an awful lot like Stevens translating Six direction training as stand in hanmi to me and looking you dead in the eye and saying So what? I didn't know what it meant!
I guess that's okay until you meet budo-ka with a better education.

It is rare to hear ignorance of a known body of work; outlined, taught and written about for generations....defended so strongly. I think once people realize that 2+2 =4 their POV doesn't really matter now does it?
Dan

Demetrio Cereijo
12-08-2011, 02:18 PM
I wonder why you don't call that stance the tenshin stance or some such rather than between heaven and earth? Mmmm. Not very Japanese.

Regards.G.

I've summoned a shikigami and he says that is because "tenshin stance" would be "true heavenly stance".

But maybe he is kidding me, my in yo ho skills are poor so he is a bit out of control.

Demetrio Cereijo
12-08-2011, 02:21 PM
I don't speak for Saotome Sensei (please refer to him properly).

Then call him Saotome Shihan.

DH
12-08-2011, 02:30 PM
Then call him Saotome Shihan.
Ouch! :D :D :D :D :D

Chris Li
12-08-2011, 02:33 PM
Then call him Saotome Shihan.

Just an interesting note - I noticed that Mitsuteru Ueshiba was very careful to append "Shihan" to Saotome's name, definitely not "Sensei". Of course, because of his position he is extremely careful to speak in the politest manner about these things. Normal Japanese people are much more casual.

Best,

Chris

Marc Abrams
12-08-2011, 02:45 PM
I don't speak for Saotome Sensei (please refer to him properly). These posts are petty. I provided the definition given by Takeda Sensei to avoid playing the petty game.

Saotome Sensei's books and videos are widely available. They require careful study. He addresses Aiki in these. Aiki is a complex concept. What Takeda Sensei and his son described as Aiki still fits. Certainly Aiki is also more than this. Saotome Sensei seems to have a broad definition of Aiki. It would be the same concept as that of O Sensei. If anything O Sensei broadened the concept of Aiki rather than narrowed it. Putting it this way isn't quite right, either, however. For O Sensei Aiki was not completely knowable by human beings. We only get glimpses of it. Aikido being a window into another plain of existence. I don't know if Saotome Sensei believes this completely himself. I do know that this is what O Sensei taught Saotome Sensei about the spiritual/metaphysical side of Aiki.

If there can be more than one side to Aiki, then can there be more than one way to demonstrate tenshinage? Can there be more going on in heaven and earth than grounding or internal strength? The jo trick is often brought out as an example of the secret of O Sensei's ability as are other grounding exercises. But is it possible that there is more than one way to avoid having the jo moved or being pushed over? For example, perhaps you can ground out or otherwise neutralize the pushing energy and weight in your own body. But you can also destabilize those pushing as a way to make their pushing have less effect. This is a rather easy way to do the jo trick. It accomplishes the same thing. The jo doesn't move much or move Nage.

Ken:

I, for one, am glad that you are toning down your posts. If you remember back, I positively acknowledged your zeal. The deep, heart-felt desire to learn is critical to one's own progress.

Here are some tips to help you further along these lines:
1) Back off further from the insults "These posts are petty." Most of them were very pointed, factual and had a deeper context than you are able to see just yet.
2) If you don't speak for Saotome Sensei, then you should not also express to others what he thinks, what O'Sensei taught him, etc.. You are better off presenting your opinions of what you think something means. This is particularly the case, since you are not a direct student of Saotome Sensei.
3) If you want to explore topics like Aiki, FIRST, be open to and receiving hands-on with as many people out there who represent what they consider Aiki to be. I, for one, try and keep my mouth shut about defining these things. Despite my hands-on experience with a variety of people, it never ceases to amaze me how little I really know when I discover new layers and deeper understandings of these things that can even negate ideas that I previously held. Never lose a beginner's mind! I always joke with my students that they are always at risk of me telling that what I think now will soon be outdated. You might have shut a lot of doors with people who had a lot to offer you. You will now need to be more patient and humble so that some important doors can be opened again.
4) Respecting your seniors is an important aspect of budo. Your attacks to people who are really your seniors in a variety of areas makes it difficult if not impossible for them to assist you in your learning. Cases in point. Ellis Amdur Sensei was very, very close to Terry Dobson. He knew more about that man that almost anybody on the face of this earth. Telling him that he did not really know what his best friend meant was beyond absurd; Chris Li is a well-known interpreter and well-connected in the world of Aikido. Challenging his interpretations is like challenging the Shaq to a one-on-one game in basketball; Dr. Fred Little has a depth of knowledge about Japanese culture, like Dr. Peter Goldsbury, that far exceeds what we think we might know. This list goes on & on. These people have been of valuable assistance to many of us as we pursue similar journeys.
5) It is more important to discover what we don't know than to stay stuck on what we think that we know. A zeal for learning is about discovering the unknown.

Marc Abrams

Ken McGrew
12-08-2011, 02:51 PM
There are a group of people who are superior martial artists because they know the secret of Aiki in Aikido. They know that they know the secret because they know that they do.

They see O Sensei and they see him demonstrating the secret. In fact, they seem to believe that this secret is the only important thing that he was showing or even the only thing that he was showing. The rest of us can look at O Sensei performing the unmovable feats that they believe are proof of him doing what they are doing and we see him doing different things. I don't see the secret of in yo ho body body conditioning and neutralization. I see a combination of grounding, ki extension, and disrupting Ukes connection to the ground. The fact that I see other explanations is proof that I am an inferior martial artist who doesn't see the secret. Pretty much the entire Aikido world is inferior according to their way of looking at things.

We can't discuss what various teachers themselves said, or what O Sensei said, only what people in the IS camp say they said... even when we have them on film. Failure to conform to this rule results in endless personal attacks. Convenient.

Jun, can we have a non-IS section on Aikiweb?

This discussion has IS in the title so of course IS people are free to post in it. If they don't want any other perspectives discussed then they could start a sort of private discussion with parameters that only IS perspectives are welcome. Fine with me.

Mary Eastland
12-08-2011, 03:07 PM
Leading the mind is not a bad thing. Tohei said "lead the mind and the body will follow." The bodies do seem to go to you for IS.

Chris Li
12-08-2011, 03:11 PM
There are a group of people who are superior martial artists because they know the secret of Aiki in Aikido. They know that they know the secret because they know that they do.

I would say that most of them know because they have been there are done that. Just about all of them have had a wide range of experiences with a common thread - something changed for them after experiencing this stuff in person.

I've trained with Saotome, I've trained with just about every big name in Japan, in all of the major styles and even had some exposure to most of the branches of Daito-ryu. Other people have similar stories - they "know" because they've seen the elephant and know what's out there.


We can't discuss what various teachers themselves said, or what O Sensei said, only what people in the IS camp say they said... even when we have them on film.

Sure you can discuss it, what I'm saying is that you don't have all the information, so trying to cite incomplete information as absolute authority without considering the alternative is just...mistaken.


Jun, can we have a non-IS section on Aikiweb?

Jun, of course, is free to do as he sees fit - but I think it would be a shame, Aikido without IS is, IMO, no longer Aikido.

Best,

Chris

Marc Abrams
12-08-2011, 03:20 PM
There are a group of people who are superior martial artists because they know the secret of Aiki in Aikido. They know that they know the secret because they know that they do.

They see O Sensei and they see him demonstrating the secret. In fact, they seem to believe that this secret is the only important thing that he was showing or even the only thing that he was showing. The rest of us can look at O Sensei performing the unmovable feats that they believe are proof of him doing what they are doing and we see him doing different things. I don't see the secret of in yo ho body body conditioning and neutralization. I see a combination of grounding, ki extension, and disrupting Ukes connection to the ground. The fact that I see other explanations is proof that I am an inferior martial artist who doesn't see the secret. Pretty much the entire Aikido world is inferior according to their way of looking at things.

We can't discuss what various teachers themselves said, or what O Sensei said, only what people in the IS camp say they said... even when we have them on film. Failure to conform to this rule results in endless personal attacks. Convenient.

Jun, can we have a non-IS section on Aikiweb?

This discussion has IS in the title so of course IS people are free to post in it. If they don't want any other perspectives discussed then they could start a sort of private discussion with parameters that only IS perspectives are welcome. Fine with me.

Ken:

I was not personally attacking you and I am sorry that you read it this way. I was simply trying to encourage you to move in a direction that will lead to more fruitful conversations. Frankly speaking, there is nothing wrong with people have superior understandings of things in comparison to ourselves. Your entire rant is distorted. Before you decide for yourself that what you think is correct, EXPERIENCE the other positions first. If somebody does not agree with your position and or provides you with information that contradicts your position, it does not mean that it is a personal attack on you. Separating your ideas and beliefs from your ego is a healthy practice that I would highly recommend that you adopt. You will feel better about expressing your ideas and beliefs while making it easier for you to make corrections and additions to what you hold to be true. YOU are the one who talks about wanting to discuss ideas from various positions and yet you are the one who is most attacking to others who challenge your position. A famous family therapist had rules that he thought all therapists should adhere to. One of the most important to him was to cherish your impotence, because it is your most powerful tool for change. Being inferior is a gift you should learn to cherish.

Marc Abrams

HL1978
12-08-2011, 03:46 PM
There are a group of people who are superior martial artists because they know the secret of Aiki in Aikido. They know that they know the secret because they know that they do.

They see O Sensei and they see him demonstrating the secret. In fact, they seem to believe that this secret is the only important thing that he was showing or even the only thing that he was showing. The rest of us can look at O Sensei performing the unmovable feats that they believe are proof of him doing what they are doing and we see him doing different things. I don't see the secret of in yo ho body body conditioning and neutralization. I see a combination of grounding, ki extension, and disrupting Ukes connection to the ground. The fact that I see other explanations is proof that I am an inferior martial artist who doesn't see the secret. Pretty much the entire Aikido world is inferior according to their way of looking at things.

We can't discuss what various teachers themselves said, or what O Sensei said, only what people in the IS camp say they said... even when we have them on film. Failure to conform to this rule results in endless personal attacks. Convenient.

Jun, can we have a non-IS section on Aikiweb?

This discussion has IS in the title so of course IS people are free to post in it. If they don't want any other perspectives discussed then they could start a sort of private discussion with parameters that only IS perspectives are welcome. Fine with me.

Lets look a bit at something I said earlier, regarding letting energy stay in you or go through you, and how one could view the statement "aiki is love."

As I mentioned earlier, a teacher/IS person is being reallying nice to you if they are throwing you in such a manner that the power goes through you. They are showing "love" in that manner instead of using a shorter impulse to cause more pain or a stronger colision with the ground or other object. Using big arm movements (short vs long impulse), moving with your partner to blend in the "external" mode of movement (again a longer impulse), lessens the impact to a fully resisting opponent opon connection to their center. Of course, without connecting to the center of your opponents mass, these large "blending" motions are less likely to work on a fully resisiting opponent, whereas smaller motions are even less likely to work than the larger ones without a connection to the opponents center.

Why you may see so many people bring in IS into every discussion, is not because of some religious furvor, though it may appear to be. :D Once you are exposed, you see it nearly everywhere as it not only breathes life into the founders words in a rather concrete and tangible manner, but glimmers regarding the how and why of his movement begin to appear when you watch his videos.

chillzATL
12-08-2011, 03:56 PM
Lets look a bit at something I said earlier, regarding letting energy stay in you or go through you, and how one could view the statement "aiki is love."

As I mentioned earlier, a teacher/IS person is being reallying nice to you if they are throwing you in such a manner that the power goes through you. They are showing "love" in that manner instead of using a shorter impulse to cause more pain or a stronger colision with the ground or other object. Using big arm movements (short vs long impulse), moving with your partner to blend in the "external" mode of movement (again a longer impulse), lessens the impact to a fully resisting opponent opon connection to their center. Of course, without connecting to the center of your opponents mass, these large "blending" motions are less likely to work on a fully resisiting opponent, whereas smaller motions are even less likely to work than the larger ones without a connection to the opponents center.

Why you may see so many people bring in IS into every discussion, is not because of some religious furvor, though it may appear to be. :D Once you are exposed, you see it nearly everywhere as it not only breathes life into the founders words in a rather concrete and tangible manner, but glimmers regarding the how and why of his movement begin to appear when you watch his videos.

or the whole "absolute non-resistance" thing. Some might take that to mean we get out of the way, we don't impede uke, but since starting on this type of training I've seen how I can remain stationary, not move out of the way or get off the line and let you collide with me, yet still maintain "absolute non-resistance" with the forces you are sending at me. Even better when they find themselves in ikkyo and I still haven't moved my body... I'm standing on that damned floating bridge... and I don't plan on getting off it any time soon.

HL1978
12-08-2011, 04:06 PM
or the whole "absolute non-resistance" thing. Some might take that to mean we get out of the way, we don't impede uke, but since starting on this type of training I've seen how I can remain stationary, not move out of the way or get off the line and let you collide with me, yet still maintain "absolute non-resistance" with the forces you are sending at me. Even better when they find themselves in ikkyo and I still haven't moved my body... I'm standing on that damned floating bridge... and I don't plan on getting off it any time soon.

Yep, I would agree, just as in the push/pull example given earlier, though one will figure out that you can not resist, but be moved and its ok because you won't loose your balance, or it may result in aite bouncing off you as you as you mentioned above.

Actually, Jason, it would be a good thread to put a whole bunch of these phrases up for analysis.

DH
12-08-2011, 04:21 PM
.... Some might take that to mean we get out of the way, we don't impede uke, but since starting on this type of training I've seen how I can remain stationary, not move out of the way or get off the line and let you collide with me, yet still maintain "absolute non-resistance" with the forces you are sending at me.
... I'm standing on that damned floating bridge... and I don't plan on getting off it any time soon.
:D Typically a very disconcerting feeling for an uke...even more so with someone boxing you or trying to shoot you. They don't know where their power went, or why it...wait for it....echo's back at them. And forget trying to explain it to them...their heads go on tilt. One well known shihan and BJJ'er tried throwing my ass all over the place, then blindsiding me with a right cross... Later he told people "I couldn't do anything to him...He tried explaining it to me, but I didn't have clue what he was talking about." And yet I didn't use a single waza. And for our Mr. Mcgrew....guess what? I did not stand still.
There is a reason Takeda, Sagawa, Ueshiba, Kodo, hisa etc... were so obsessed with this training and didn't give crap about waza. There is simply nothing better. Anywhere. There is a reason it takes over dojos and people get obsssed...a damn good reason.

"The way of the mountain echo is intent, standing in the center of the connection between the ki of heaven and the ki of the earth"...Morihei Ueshiba
Once again an Asian classic that the post war guys self-admittedly couldn't wait for him to stop talking about so they could do more wrist twisties. :rolleyes:

But....here he we have Mr. McGrew not being able to define it...and yet telling us, aikido went by it and is more than things like this. Things he knows nothing about. Strange logic indeed.
Dan

chillzATL
12-08-2011, 04:21 PM
Actually, Jason, it would be a good thread to put a whole bunch of these phrases up for analysis.

I'd participate in that thread. Apart from the fun that is the training and it's good fun, one of the things I've enjoyed most about this training is how it's helped me to understand many of the things that Ueshiba said and did that nobody was ever able to explain to me.

hughrbeyer
12-08-2011, 09:29 PM
IS gets brought into every discussion because there are so damn many aikidoka practicing IS these days. Banish them all and you're banishing 3/4 of the main posters on aikiweb. That Harden guy with his mind-leading tricks... It's like Ionesco's Rhinoceros. Look around you. There are rhinocerosses everywhere.

Carsten Möllering
12-09-2011, 03:50 AM
This discussion has IS in the title so of course IS people are free to post in it.
Thank you very much!

My question indeed addressed people who practice the internals of aikido in the specific way which is synonym with IS/IP here. I was very happy when I found aikiweb being a place where those internal aspects - which are inherent in aikido - are discussed by people who have a certain way and understanding and who are obviously skilled using this way.
I was curious to better understand, how this certain people understand something, we teach at us.

But you conquered this/my thread - like you did with others - to pursue your personal crusade against ... I don't really know against what?

I'm not involved in the "problems" of the aikido scene in the US, and I'm obviously not taken serious by you.
So I'm watching this debate with an outsider's view. Your posts seem to be just personal. And they seem to be really hot tempered.
Having practiced aikido for some 18 years and being a scholar of the arts with theological, philosophical and historical background I don't see that your writings question the reader in a factual sense and they don't lead to new knowledge or insights. They just state (not even posit), what you want to be stated.

Jun, can we have a non-IS section on Aikiweb?
I really don't understand how aikido can be practiced without using internal aspects?
Isn't this common to all styles of aikido: Using the tanden, using in and yo. Using different forms of breathing. Using imagination/visualisation. And so on ... Doesn't everyone who practices aikido makes use of things like this, internal aspects of using the body? And doesn't everyone who practices try to "create" a body and a feeling that allows to use body and mind in a way that may be called "aiki"?
Endo sensei sometimes askes the students: How do you make aiki??? How??? And then makes us try to explore ...

True: There are different ways of understanding, doing, learning these aspects. Maybe almost contradicting ways.
I had some very interesting arguments with people who do ki-aikido (Yoshigasaki doshu) whether the "one point" is the tanden. Or if you nee to create cerstain skills of the body when it's the mind which leads the body anyway.
And I would be very glad to learn whether I understand (and like) what Dan Harden teaches. I was glad to be thrown by Ikeda sensei and to get to know his approach (or the first steps ...) I am glad to have my teacher who brings his experiences of koryu whith him and makes aiki more understandable. And so on.
You can discuss, study, practice. You can like or not, integrate or sort out. Depending on what you, your teacher, your style, your line of tradition think to be essential.

But I don't see how you can practice without the internal aspects at all. And how can you discuss aikido without talking about internal aspects? This wouldn't be aikido no more but would be just hollow.

Ken McGrew
12-12-2011, 09:35 PM
I think you need to define Aiki and internal.

Thank you very much!

My question indeed addressed people who practice the internals of aikido in the specific way which is synonym with IS/IP here. I was very happy when I found aikiweb being a place where those internal aspects - which are inherent in aikido - are discussed by people who have a certain way and understanding and who are obviously skilled using this way.
I was curious to better understand, how this certain people understand something, we teach at us.

But you conquered this/my thread - like you did with others - to pursue your personal crusade against ... I don't really know against what?

I'm not involved in the "problems" of the aikido scene in the US, and I'm obviously not taken serious by you.
So I'm watching this debate with an outsider's view. Your posts seem to be just personal. And they seem to be really hot tempered.
Having practiced aikido for some 18 years and being a scholar of the arts with theological, philosophical and historical background I don't see that your writings question the reader in a factual sense and they don't lead to new knowledge or insights. They just state (not even posit), what you want to be stated.

I really don't understand how aikido can be practiced without using internal aspects?
Isn't this common to all styles of aikido: Using the tanden, using in and yo. Using different forms of breathing. Using imagination/visualisation. And so on ... Doesn't everyone who practices aikido makes use of things like this, internal aspects of using the body? And doesn't everyone who practices try to "create" a body and a feeling that allows to use body and mind in a way that may be called "aiki"?
Endo sensei sometimes askes the students: How do you make aiki??? How??? And then makes us try to explore ...

True: There are different ways of understanding, doing, learning these aspects. Maybe almost contradicting ways.
I had some very interesting arguments with people who do ki-aikido (Yoshigasaki doshu) whether the "one point" is the tanden. Or if you nee to create cerstain skills of the body when it's the mind which leads the body anyway.
And I would be very glad to learn whether I understand (and like) what Dan Harden teaches. I was glad to be thrown by Ikeda sensei and to get to know his approach (or the first steps ...) I am glad to have my teacher who brings his experiences of koryu whith him and makes aiki more understandable. And so on.
You can discuss, study, practice. You can like or not, integrate or sort out. Depending on what you, your teacher, your style, your line of tradition think to be essential.

But I don't see how you can practice without the internal aspects at all. And how can you discuss aikido without talking about internal aspects? This wouldn't be aikido no more but would be just hollow.

Carsten Möllering
12-13-2011, 04:17 AM
I think you need to define Aiki and internal.

"Big" question. I'll try to sketch out ...

As far as I understand and try to practice aiki , it has got two main aspects:
First aspect is to organise oneself, body and feeling (kimochi) to get an integrated unity. This aspect of aiki can be practiced and developed through solo exercises.

Second aspect is connecting one's own body and feeling to another body by what we call "atari" (engegement, connection). And then to affect and controll the structure (not the movement) of this other body.

The first aspect is required to make the second aspect work.

Internal (I'm not talking about "IS" because this to me seems to be a specific, certain way of internal work.) to me means using not outer movements, but one's own body structure. In an extreme case there will be no visible movement of tori but uke's structure is affected nevertheless. The work is done within the body. (This doesn't mean at all that you don't move anymore!)
How this is done, there are different methods, ways: It may start with using the internal deep musculature whithin the torso and within the extremities, muscle we often are not aware of. Then it means using visualization which helps to bulid up and use the internal structure of our body. The using ki control, but in a different way than it is understood and done in ki-aikido as far es I knwo. Using in and yo aspects, like it also can be found in koryu. .... Things like that.

This in my eyes - even if I am not very skilfull and even if my describing is worse and completely incomplete - is the essence of how aikido works as far as I understand it. There is a lot to learn after, whithin and behind waza. And I don't know, how it can be done otherwise.

Is this more clear?

Budd
12-13-2011, 11:03 AM
To somewhat adjoin to the "definitions" and "sayings" discussion that's happening - while tying it back to the original thread title, here's some of how I look at "this stuff" (a lot I've been taught, some I've worked out, all is an ongoing exploration).

There's basically two natural forces at work on your body at any time: gravity pulling you down (Ki of Heaven) and the ground pushing you up (Ki of Earth). You can manipulate to a degree how your body relays these forces inside yourself - just via training your intent, which is something of a skill. You can further condition your body to better propagate these two directional forces (there's many different methods of doing this around a basically similar core set of principles) while also connecting your insides to build an unusual kind of strength. These things get combined over time and can give a significant functional power advantage in martial arts and sport - but by themselves do not necessarily replace functional application skill in martial arts and sports.

A side note - power here should be taken in a few ways. Power as in raw strength, is certainly there because you're using more of the whole body together as a connected unit, taking advantage of the natural elasticity of the ligaments and tendons, in addition to the raw strength of the bones and muscles - functioning as a connected and collective whole (again, caveats on purity of development notwithstanding). It's also a kind of "hidden" strength because it is less observable on the outside what's happening unless you know what to look for or feel- and even then can be masked in other ways (note: there's a reason so many traditional folks do demos wearing loose fitting kimono robey type things).

So there's a skill component and a conditioning component. Gross oversimplification, and there's lots of degrees of purity vs. application - depending on your approach - but this SHOULD (in my opinion) be thought of as very foundational work done to rewire the body and mind in order to better practice any martial art. And there may be advantages to one approach over another in terms of how it's packaged into a specific martial art or sport (performance enhancement vs. speed to market, etc.) -- but until even the basics are more widely practiced (if that is even feasible or likely), it's kind of a moot discussion on a broad level until there's a wider/deeper baseline level of skill/conditioning that more have achieved.

And all this aside - it doesn't mean just because you have IS skill/development you are a marvelous aikido practitioner, or MMA competitor, or BJJ player. There's absolutely advantages that are gained AND at least a number of traditional arts basically call out the conditioning/skills as the core component (AI-KI-DO anybody?). And if you're looking at the sayings of Ueshiba, I agree very strongly with what others have stated regarding comparing them back to Chinese sayings -- it does appear he was making his own case for "See, I get it, I'm in the club, too" with regard to tying his practice to the greater understanding of yin/yang, in/yo, etc. that was fundamental to the cosmology in Asian philosophy/culture - and externalized (pardon the pun) into a very practical form & application.

As always, FWIW and YMMV

George S. Ledyard
12-13-2011, 11:05 AM
My current working definition for "aiki" is using your partner / opponent's sensory inputs (including the intuition or 6th sense) to move their mind so they they move their bodies. Hence the statement made by one "aiki" teacher (I don't precisely remember which one said it) that "If you understand what was just done to you, it wasn't aiki". If you read interviews with folks who took ukemi from or tested the Founder, uniformly they don't use "active" verbs. It's never "he threw me" or "he did this or that..." It always seemed to be phrased "And I found myself flying across the room..." There was always this sense of the inexplicable...

Steering clear of the evil "I" word, it starts with how you organize your own body and how the intent can give you structure rather than the conventional use of muscular tension. This is usually trained starting with direct physical contact to provide immediate and increasingly subtle feedback. Later on, you start to realize that your partner / opponent begins to be affected long before he actually touches you. The mere act of organizing your self into a coherent and balanced whole has observable, tangible effect on a partner / opponent starting when he puts his attention on you. In fact, the REALLY good guys can effect you even when you have not consciously put your attention on them. In effect, they "hack your system". So, the result is that the act of using ones intent to organize ones structure eventually leads to the ability to use that intent to mess around with the other guy's structure.

Budd
12-13-2011, 11:10 AM
My current working definition for "aiki" is using your partner / opponent's sensory inputs (including the intuition or 6th sense) to move their mind so they they move their bodies. Hence the statement made by one "aiki" teacher (I don't precisely remember which one said it) that "If you understand what was just done to you, it wasn't aiki". If you read interviews with folks who took ukemi from or tested the Founder, uniformly they don't use "active" verbs. It's never "he threw me" or "he did this or that..." It always seemed to be phrased "And I found myself flying across the room..." There was always this sense of the inexplicable...

Steering clear of the evil "I" word, it starts with how you organize your own body and how the intent can give you structure rather than the conventional use of muscular tension. This is usually trained starting with direct physical contact to provide immediate and increasingly subtle feedback. Later on, you start to realize that your partner / opponent begins to be affected long before he actually touches you. The mere act of organizing your self into a coherent and balanced whole has observable, tangible effect on a partner / opponent starting when he puts his attention on you. In fact, the REALLY good guys can effect you even when you have not consciously put your attention on them. In effect, they "hack your system". So, the result is that the act of using ones intent to organize ones structure eventually leads to the ability to use that intent to mess around with the other guy's structure.

You bring up a good point - how you are organized does affect the other guy's perception of you. I think back to descriptions I've heard of sword duels where one opponent admits defeat because the other "has no openings".

DH
01-01-2012, 05:06 PM
You bring up a good point - how you are organized does affect the other guy's perception of you. I think back to descriptions I've heard of sword duels where one opponent admits defeat because the other "has no openings".
Quite an interesting thing to feel and to face. It is not something that is happenstance or luck, nor is it relegated to technique and timing. Most will struggle all their lives and yet never attain it. It will remain the ghost it was at the beginning all the way to the end for the pursued the wrong things.

Heaven/earth/man yet again (early 1500's) :
Tsukahara Bokuden
Founder of Shinto ryu
Founder of Hitotsu -tachi (one strike school):
After confining himself to Kashima shrine for one thousand days of meditation noted:
Swordsmanship can be divided into three spheres;
The advantage of the heavens
The advantage of the Earth
The combination of the earth and the heavens (manipulated by man)
This is the secret of Hitotsu-tachi
Happy new Year
Dan

DH
01-01-2012, 06:08 PM
Heaven/earth/man:

Swordsmanship can be divided into three spheres;
The advantage of the heavens
The advantage of the Earth
The combination of the earth and the heavens (manipulated by man)
This is the secret of Hitotsu-tachi......Tsukahara Bokuden (early 1500's)


"The way of the mountain echo is the spirit of standing in the center of the connection between the ki of heaven and the ki of the earth"....Osensei (1930's)

Both men were known to have extradorninary -weirdly potent- power according to the norms of their day-over four hundred years apart.
Dan

TheAikidoka
01-03-2012, 12:50 PM
Hi there to do with stance, in my training there a two, first called kamae with fee wide apart front foot slightly turner out with the heels in alignment, back leg only slightly bent with front leg well bent so you cant see your toes over your knee, this stance will be more identified by those who practice Yoshinkan style Aikido.

Second is simply hanmi, front foot forward toes only very slightly turned out or straight, slightly bent knee, rear leg points almost 90 degrees (if your right leg is forward) to the left, in what many call a T posture, with the back lefg slightly bent. The distance between the feet in comparrison to Kamae is at at least half the distance. Also the character HAN means Half, so HANMI means half stance, it also means you are showing half of your body to your opponent cutting down his options on how he may strike you, giving you an advantage. I beleive Saito Sensei (Iwama style Aikido) stressed the impoortance of hanmi over kamae.

Lastly a curve ball, there is shizentai, natural standing posture. Training like this in some ways is more realistic, in the sense you may not be in Kamae or hanmi when attacked, you would be in shizentai.
Oddly enough, if we examine our body movement when we practice aikido in fact we naturally move between all three,so to my understanding at the moment neither one should have more importance placed on it than another. However they should be trained and understood fully in there own right, only then can we see the illusion and truly understand no stance. In my humble oppinion.

Andy B

TheAikidoka
01-03-2012, 01:00 PM
On internal power, it is in this moment in you now. never in the future or past, its the eternal now, no voice to see no hert to hear. Heaven is right where you are standing and that is the place to train.
go through the small "gap". you creat space in your mind by "seeing space" this frees your mind from thought so your actions are not dominated by your thought, you access the internal power of you now, in this moment.
Your actions have no trace of thought or emotion "i hate this technique/person/situation so I will ppower throught it to get away from it"
if you cant disidentify with your mind and see who you really are everything else will be for naught. IMHHO.

Andy B

TheAikidoka
01-03-2012, 02:01 PM
[QUOTE
go through the small "gap". you create space in your mind by "seeing space" this frees your mind from thought so your actions are not dominated by your thought, you access the internal power of you now, in this moment.[/QUOTE]

Also on this point, you are neither dominated by your emotions this is important. you simply accept what is, in this case an opponent coming towards you, placing no judgement thought or emotion to the scene in front of you, you truly see this person is acting out his thoughts emotions and judgements which were created by the mind, he has temporarily "become his thoughts" he has mistaken his thoughts for who he truly "is". Here is the crucial bit if it could be described as such, when you see this in real life it creates compassion for your oppenent, because why would you want to hurt somebody who does not know what they are doing?

Jesus said "forgive them for they do not know what they do", I beleive these words were pointing this.

Thus your action becomes enlightened and the power wont be one of "trying to control the situation"
but simply let it be and I move in such a way neither harm has come to you or your opponent. In this sense harmony has been maintained you didnt "see it as violence" just a moment where you became intensly present so no more suffering could take place.

This is also devoid of time. Time is almost meaningless in this connected state of oneness with your attacker, imagine you could talk to an animal and asked what time is it he would say "well its now", you dont act from past experiences i.e if he does this i wil do that. No thats your mind speaking again. The idea of an attacker also becomes meaningless, you see the attacker as yourself, a human being who has temporarily become his emotion or thought and is acting it out, which is something we all do!
The level of succes in you training in this manor can be described as how peacefull you "feel" inside.

For me this is the essence of all martial arts and religions. IMHHO

Any thoughts?

In Budo Andy

Chris Li
01-03-2012, 02:11 PM
go through the small "gap". you creat space in your mind by "seeing space" this frees your mind from thought so your actions are not dominated by your thought, you access the internal power of you now, in this moment.

Also on this point, you are neither dominated by your emotions this is important. you simply accept what is, in this case an opponent coming towards you, placing no judgement thought or emotion to the scene in front of you, you truly see this person is acting out his thoughts emotions and judgements which were created by the mind, he has temporarily "become his thoughts" he has mistaken his thoughts for who he truly "is" Here is the crucial bit if it could be described as such when you see this in real life it creates compassion for your oppenent, because why would you want to hurt somebody who does not know what they are doing?

Jesus said "forgive them for they do not know what they do", I beleive these words were pointing this.

Thus your action becomes enlightened and the power wont be one of "trying to control the situation"
but simply let it be and I move in such a way neither harm has come to you or your opponent. In this sense harmony has been maintained you didnt "see it as violence" just a moment where you became intensly present so no more suffering could take place.

This is also devoid of time. Time is almost meaningless in this connected state of oneness with your attacker, imagine you could talk to an animal and asked what time is it he would say "well its now". The idea of an attacker also becomes meaningless, you see the attacker as yourself, a human being who has temporarily become his emotion or thought and is acting it out, which is something we all do!

For me this is the essence of all martial arts and religions. IMHHO

Any thoughts?

In Budo Andy

Yes - there's nothing wrong with the above, but it really isn't what most people are talking about when they're referring to "internal power".

Best,

Chris

TheAikidoka
01-03-2012, 02:22 PM
Yes - there's nothing wrong with the above, but it really isn't what most people are talking about when they're referring to "internal power".

Best,Chris

It is the place where true internal power is accessed from, when you stop everything else going on in the mind.
Koichi tohei said "the mind leads the body" descates said "i think therefore I am". Both are mistaken. you are not you mind. its the talking that stops the access. how many stories of you heard of people being able to pull off often super human feats when there has been a disaster, they are able to do this because all identification and mind activity has ceased, and they access this power through deep being and compassion. There is truly no thing more powerfull than love.

Also I remember reading somewhere on Aikido Journal O`sensei said something like" nobody is born with more or less internal/spiritual power than anyone else, its your state of being that matters".

Andy B

Chris Li
01-03-2012, 02:35 PM
It is the place where true internal power is accessed from, when you stop everything else going on in the mind.
Koichi tohei said "the mind leads the body" descates said "i think therefore I am". Both are mistaken. you are not you mind. its the talking that stops the access. how many stories of you heard of people being able to pull off often super human feats when there has been a disaster, they are able to do this because all identification and mind activity has ceased, and they access this power through deep being and compassion. There is truly no thing more powerfull than love.

Andy B

Like I said, what you're talking about is not what most of the other folks are talking about. Not that mental state has no relation - just that what you're talking about is not what's being discussed.

Also, the same thing goes for the "lifting the car off the child" thing that you're talking about. Good stuff - but not really what most of the folks talking about "internal power" are discussing.

Best,

Chris

TheAikidoka
01-03-2012, 02:44 PM
Like I said, what you're talking about is not what most of the other folks are talking about. Not that mental state has no relation - just that what you're talking about is not what's being discussed.

Also, the same thing goes for the "lifting the car off the child" thing that you're talking about. Good stuff - but not really what most of the folks talking about "internal power" are discussing.

Best,

Chris

I`m sorry chris I understand where your coming from, but if you look deeper at what i have said, you will find it is the exact same thing. No different!
Firstly this is not a state of mind! It is a deep state of "BEING" very alive very alert and extremely present.
Secondly nobody has more internal power than anybody else, its your depth of pressence, feeling the inner aliveness of this moment nothing else exists nothing else ever will.

I was practicing in this manor one evening and the enrgy field alive in me that I witnessed was overwhelming and my training partner felt it too, than it was gone, like all forms, but to maintain that is now my goal.

I dont think there is anything more internally powerfull than this.

Andy B

Chris Li
01-03-2012, 02:51 PM
I`m sorry chris I understand where your coming from, but if you look deeper at what i have said, you will find it is the exact same thing. No different! nobody has more internal power than anybody else, its your depth of pressence feeling the inner aliveness of this moment nothing else exists nothing else ever will.

I was practicing in this manor one evening and the enrgy field alive in me that I witnessed was overwhelming and my training partner felt it too, than it was gone, like all forms, but to maintain that is now my goal.

I dont think there is anything more internally powerfull than this.

Andy B

Sorry, but you really don't understand what I'm talking about. What I'm talking about is a specific physical process, capable of being physically conditioned and developed, that makes measurable, physical changes in the body. Of course, the mental state is important and essential, but that's far from the whole burrito.

Best,

Chris

TheAikidoka
01-03-2012, 03:16 PM
There is always something else to do ;-)

Did the buddha attain internal/spiritual power through training something?
I doubt it, all forms will die, gone gone gone forever gone.
The physical is only a very small part of the whole, there is more emptiness that makes you than physical matter. Its from stilnness that the internal power is accessed not from doing more things ;-) once this has been understood you realise the power and genius of Aikido.
All Aikido teaching points to this eternally present state of being, not a state of mind, mind doesnt even come into it.
This is why Osensei said Aikido is for everyone. Everyone has access to this power. how much more power do you want?

It is has and always will be in you, it cannot be anywhere or in any other form I.e some kind of training form, martial art form, any type of form will not get you there.
It simply is in you now. ;-)

Andy B

TheAikidoka
01-03-2012, 03:30 PM
I will try to clarify wehat I mean.

I enjoy Aikido because that is the form that seems to agree with me. But I do not get internal power from practicing Aikido form, that would never get me there. I realised this after practicing for fifteen years. :)

What was Imissing, what was lacking in this moment. My own stillness/emptiness/internal power/spiritual power. Whatever you call it does not quite make it, this is because we are oin the level of thought. the level of being is much much deeper.

The power comes from deep presence and aliveness in this moment in you. it does not come from some excercise and maybe I will fell it/get it in the future. No your back on the level of mind.

Internal power cannot function in the realm of mind though judgements labeling. its through your eternal power of presentness no more no less.

Andy B

Chris Li
01-03-2012, 03:38 PM
I will try to clarify wehat I mean.

I enjoy Aikido because that is the form that seems to agree with me. But I do not get internal power from practicing Aikido form, that would never get me there. I realised this after practicing for fifteen years. :)

What was Imissing, what was lacking in this moment. My own stillness/emptiness/internal power/spiritual power. Whatever you call it does not quite make it, this is because we are oin the level of thought. the level of being is much much deeper.

The power comes from deep presence and aliveness in this moment in you. it does not come from some excercise and maybe I will fell it/get it in the future. No your back on the level of mind.

Internal power cannot function in the realm of mind though judgements labeling. its through your eternal power of presentness no more no less.

Andy B

Like I said, that's all great - but not what I'm talking about. Just calling it by the same name won't make it so.

Best,

Chris

TheAikidoka
01-03-2012, 03:47 PM
Like I said, that's all great - but not what I'm talking about. Just calling it by the same name won't make it so.

Best,

Chris

It is the very same thing, feeling oneness with your attacker is the same oneness with this moment as it is. Because you see him for what he is you have the internall spaciousness to be able to act this is truly powerful true internal power, anything else is mumbo jumbo.

what will you have left when your eighty and all your physical power has gone and your muscles sagging with age and decrepedness, the eteranlly powerfull presence of being.

Andy B

hughrbeyer
01-03-2012, 04:10 PM
"Internal power" is a vastly overloaded term. Chris is telling you that when people here on Aikiweb use the term these days, they are talking about something quite specific, which has little relation to what you're saying. This isn't good/bad or right/wrong, necessarily--it's just a different topic altogether. And it's not about what's the "right" meaning of the words--though you can have that argument if you like. You're just being warned about how people have been using the words lately in this community. Many of the flame wars we have had have been fueled by some people using the term in a very specific sense while others use it much more generally.

So tell Chris thank you and keep your eyes open because when people respond they are likely to be responding from this different standpoint.

TheAikidoka
01-03-2012, 05:36 PM
Thank you hugh, Ive not mastered that part where I can explain what the teaching points to, because thats all it really does point!
I will try not to get hung up on the words thats why I tried to use different words that point to the same thing. It is in us all, just our perceptions/mind whatever you want to call it prevents us from acessing it.

For me the aim of martial arts points to this and through practicing the form you should be guided through the formless, because each create each other, they are both an illusion, at this state there is only being, and a deep sense of presence and stillness awakens and this is what I felt once and now im trying to search for it again, although I "know " this is uselsess. its not in the doing its in the being ;-)
Thats why for me all martial arts are relevant and no one is better or worse than another. The teaching always points to that which is within you, not something outside, or by doing this or that you will get it/feel it at some point in future, because it never comes in the future, its accessible only in this moment.

In Peace

Andy B

DH
01-03-2012, 06:32 PM
Morihei Ueshiba's teachings and doka were not unique, the concepts were not even his. Using his own colorful words he was never the less, many times, quoting others. Quoting skills and mental/physical training models established for generations. No one who actually knows and understands these things could even enter into a conversion with many who are making this stuff up in their own heads. There is a right and wrong. Telling someone they can adopt well known terminology and just make up any ol' fantasy about it and then challenge you back essentially saying that "Everyone is right about the terms" will get them and others, nowhere.

You can see it in the recent blog on standing on the floating bridge. The poem uses phrases like; Heaven/earth/man, motion in stillness, and standing in the middle and how that releases you from the mountain echo. It is a totally screwed up adoption of Morihei's own writings based on a well known powerful Asian training model. That blog entry actually conveys the opposite of Ueshiba's model, and only serves to further muddy the waters and lead people astray from Osensei's use of concepts well known throughout Asia-if not to the greater body of Modern Aikido-ka.
This co-opting of terms is as bad as the misstranslations that helped a generation miss the appropriate training to attain his skills. As seen here in the Kamae thread a while back with Ueshiba discussing six direction awareness in several places before during and after a technique and Stevens mistranslating that into "hanmi"...which doesn't have a damn thing to do with what Ueshiba actually said, much less the expansive idea of what the proper term actually means and can do for you.

Then we had another widely known concept of spiraling, and that at any one time you spiral up one side and done the other and you had a couple of long time aikidoka and Japanese speakers....totally missing that boat and discussing whether the appropriate translation for that Kanji was to eddy and swirl the legs. The reason? They still have no idea of the foundational teaching of spiral energy and how it is used in the body, and what it does to neutralize force and control it, not the least of which it being the foundation of a tremendous amount of the waza within the entire art.
Steven's has recently demonstrated the good credibility to admit he didn't have a clue what many of these things were. Also, that he just skipped over entire paragraphs of material that he found "untranslatable." Now we are learning these untranslatable things are, in many cases a road map of concepts to train internal power/aiki to create Ueshiba's power and skill.

The internet is it's own unique space where everyone can feel "equal" in a debate. Yet, in the real world, all the debates end...in person. Every one, every... single... one, who has these co-opted, personal fantasies of what these terms meant continues to fail to deliver in person up against those who know what they actually mean, and why they had value in Asian cultures spanning a thousand years. They had value because the mental aspects also delivered on the physical level.

It is no coincidence that every one of these modern practitioners-mostly Westerners- fantasizing over concepts and terms they have no understanding of always end up feeling just like every other Tom, Dick, and Harry, out there. The reason is that you can't make up stuff in your head and have it magically equal generations of well known concepts that are tried and true. But, people who actually do understand Ueshiba's training concepts and goals feel...well....they start to feel more like how he was often described. Most will never go back to the way they were training before.
Ueshiba was right after all.

Dan

hughrbeyer
01-03-2012, 09:22 PM
Well, that *is* the debate about what the proper use of the term is, and I guess this is as good a place to have it as any.

The thing is that with people like Andy, who appears not to have seen a lot of the IS/IP debate over the past years, you have to start with the idea that there's actually a debate to be had. Look at the exchange between him and Chris--if "internal power" has always meant only some misty spiritual awareness, how's he to know it means something quite specific here?

And "here" isn't the whole Aikiweb community, either. There are still a lot of folks who have followed the arguments and still aren't on board.

I am on board, but I understand why It's contentious. We could say, here's this new set of techniques called DH-waza and it's better than yours so you should learn it. And that would be bad enough. But we want to do worse--we want to say here's this old set of techniques called what teachers have always called it--"aiki" in Japan or "internal power" more generally. And, so sorry, the way you've all been using those words is missing the essence completely. And no, we don't want to cede the use of those words because they have actual historical meaning.

People have the right to demand that the case be made, and it has been made in my opinion, but it's scattered across lots of posts and personal contact--a lot of the language really only resonates if you know the internal feeling it's pointing to. It takes a lot of work to see the whole picture. And every new guy who comes along has to make the same journey over again. Maybe somebody should write a book or something. :cool:

And yes, the old translations have not been any help at all. BTW, I ran across another good example in Prof. Goldsbury's monumental Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation #11, where he discusses translations of Budo and Budo Renshu. Here's a translation from Budo by Larry Bieri, copied whole hog from the good professor's column:

いつ後から捕りに来ても後に目をつけて居て心の窓が全身に開かれ不意の敵襲に逢っても早速後が靈体一致して敏活な働を為さねばならぬ。

Itsu ushiro kara tori ni kitemo ushiro ni me wo tsukete ite kokoro no mado ga zenshin ni hirakare fui no tekishu ni atte mo sassoku ushiro ga reitai icchi shite binkatsuna hataraki wo nasaneba naranu.

Whenever an enemy comes to grab you from the rear, you should open on to your whole body the window of the spirit (Kokoro), which has eyes facing even to the rear. Your back must move instantly and vigorously with soul and body unified in response to the unexpected attack.


And here, Stevens translating Budo, with the same words but different orthography (and how literate Japanese manage to stay sane I do not know):

イツ後カラ捕リニ来テモ後ニ目ヲツケテ居テ心ノ窓ガ全身ニ開カレ不意ノ敵襲ニ逢ツテモ早速後ガ靈體一致シテ敏活ナ働ヲナサネバナラヌ。

Itsu ushiro kara tori ni kitemo ushiro ni me wo tsukete ite kokoro no mado ga zenshin ni hirakare fui no tekishu ni atte mo sassoku ushiro ga reitai icchi shite binkatsuna hatara wo nasaneba naranu.

as soon as the opponent attempts to grab you from the rear, you must open the eyes of your heart and the window of your mind, follow your intuition, and move swiftly and surely to the proper position to counter the attack.


Ouch. It seems clear that the first translation is trying to transmit real training advice, though the language is cumbersome and perhaps obscure (move your back vigorously?). The second seems to value flowery metaphor over fidelity to the original text. I'm afraid Stevens felt that he had to produce a book that people could understand--but all the real training information was in the hard-to-understand bits.

(Woo, first real post of the new year contains a tribute to TIE, which is a totally amazing series of columns. Happy New Year!)

DH
01-04-2012, 11:56 AM
It is the very same thing, feeling oneness with your attacker is the same oneness with this moment as it is. Because you see him for what he is you have the internall spaciousness to be able to act this is truly powerful true internal power, anything else is mumbo jumbo.

what will you have left when your eighty and all your physical power has gone and your muscles sagging with age and decrepedness, the eteranlly powerfull presence of being.

Andy B
This is another example of an aikido-ka making statements in direct opposition of relevant fact.
Ueshiba was known to have been escorted onto the mat and the ones holding him witnessed his body going from that soft old man feel to ballooning/ expanding and him turning to iron. So sad, as this will forever remain as just another story from the old days for the vast majority of people struggling along in their careers.

Andy
Hundreds of people around the world have now felt this in others and are beginning to do it themselves. This is part of heaven/earth/man that the Japanese have talked about down through the ages. It is a physical manifestation of mental control that actually changes both the quality of the body tissue, how it is organized and what it does to those who try to put force into it. It makes such a difference in any era, that the people who trained it stood out and were written about.
Nothing has really changed, as anyone who trains these things and does them...even just decently...still stands out in a room of budo people as does an art piece from the wallpaper.
Dan

DH
01-04-2012, 12:12 PM
Well, that *is* the debate about what the proper use of the term is, and I guess this is as good a place to have it as any.

The thing is that with people like Andy, who appears not to have seen a lot of the IS/IP debate over the past years, you have to start with the idea that there's actually a debate to be had. Look at the exchange between him and Chris--if "internal power" has always meant only some misty spiritual awareness, how's he to know it means something quite specific here?

And "here" isn't the whole Aikiweb community, either. There are still a lot of folks who have followed the arguments and still aren't on board.

I am on board, but I understand why It's contentious. We could say, here's this new set of techniques called DH-waza and it's better than yours so you should learn it. And that would be bad enough. But we want to do worse--we want to say here's this old set of techniques called what teachers have always called it--"aiki" in Japan or "internal power" more generally. And, so sorry, the way you've all been using those words is missing the essence completely. And no, we don't want to cede the use of those words because they have actual historical meaning.

People have the right to demand that the case be made, and it has been made in my opinion, but it's scattered across lots of posts and personal contact--a lot of the language really only resonates if you know the internal feeling it's pointing to. It takes a lot of work to see the whole picture. And every new guy who comes along has to make the same journey over again. Maybe somebody should write a book or something. :cool:

And yes, the old translations have not been any help at all. BTW, I ran across another good example in Prof. Goldsbury's monumental Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation #11, where he discusses translations of Budo and Budo Renshu. Here's a translation from Budo by Larry Bieri, copied whole hog from the good professor's column:

And here, Stevens translating Budo, with the same words but different orthography (and how literate Japanese manage to stay sane I do not know):

Ouch. It seems clear that the first translation is trying to transmit real training advice, though the language is cumbersome and perhaps obscure (move your back vigorously?). The second seems to value flowery metaphor over fidelity to the original text. I'm afraid Stevens felt that he had to produce a book that people could understand--but all the real training information was in the hard-to-understand bits.

(Woo, first real post of the new year contains a tribute to TIE, which is a totally amazing series of columns. Happy New Year!)
Well Hugh, taken in context with other correctly translated material, he was clear in drawing a distinction about intent driving the body, then progressively talking about intent relate to the soul. So when reading other passages and he opts to use soul moving the body, it makes sense. It should also be noted that this language was used by the Chinese as well for the same physical manifestation of the intent driven body being mind/ body or soul body.

I found another passage interesting where he also stated that your body must be trained so that when you move it unbalances them...essentially on contact. Does that sound familiar? What is one of the key differences you guys keep noting about the quality of the feel in someone who does this well? No need for waza as when they move your whole body moves with them. So when we take this admonition, combined with his repeated notation of intent-driven movement through in yo ho, again we see Ueshiba talking about his own skills much more explicitly than prevously realized. Unfortunately this was to an audience not always able to understand, nor others later to translate what he meant. As you now see, feel and are coming to know ; what was gibberish to them and to many modern aikido-ka, was work-a-day information to others. ;)
Dan

graham christian
01-04-2012, 02:12 PM
Thank you hugh, Ive not mastered that part where I can explain what the teaching points to, because thats all it really does point!
I will try not to get hung up on the words thats why I tried to use different words that point to the same thing. It is in us all, just our perceptions/mind whatever you want to call it prevents us from acessing it.

For me the aim of martial arts points to this and through practicing the form you should be guided through the formless, because each create each other, they are both an illusion, at this state there is only being, and a deep sense of presence and stillness awakens and this is what I felt once and now im trying to search for it again, although I "know " this is uselsess. its not in the doing its in the being ;-)
Thats why for me all martial arts are relevant and no one is better or worse than another. The teaching always points to that which is within you, not something outside, or by doing this or that you will get it/feel it at some point in future, because it never comes in the future, its accessible only in this moment.

In Peace

Andy B

Hi Andrew.
I like and agree with what you have been saying here. I too would have called that true internal perpective before but seeing all the different views on internal and realizing from what perspective they come from I decided to rename this view, which is purely spiritual by the way where the other 'internal' views are merely at the door in my opinion.

Let's say they are beginning to enter.

One thing I would say to you is this, when you experienced what you experienced you saw, had a glimpse of true internal 'power' at this point one may realize that internal and external combine as one. Thus I call it universal and no longer internal.

Happy new year.

G.

graham christian
01-04-2012, 02:23 PM
Morihei Ueshiba's teachings and doka were not unique, the concepts were not even his. Using his own colorful words he was never the less, many times, quoting others. Quoting skills and mental/physical training models established for generations. No one who actually knows and understands these things could even enter into a conversion with many who are making this stuff up in their own heads. There is a right and wrong. Telling someone they can adopt well known terminology and just make up any ol' fantasy about it and then challenge you back essentially saying that "Everyone is right about the terms" will get them and others, nowhere.

You can see it in the recent blog on standing on the floating bridge. The poem uses phrases like; Heaven/earth/man, motion in stillness, and standing in the middle and how that releases you from the mountain echo. It is a totally screwed up adoption of Morihei's own writings based on a well known powerful Asian training model. That blog entry actually conveys the opposite of Ueshiba's model, and only serves to further muddy the waters and lead people astray from Osensei's use of concepts well known throughout Asia-if not to the greater body of Modern Aikido-ka.
This co-opting of terms is as bad as the misstranslations that helped a generation miss the appropriate training to attain his skills. As seen here in the Kamae thread a while back with Ueshiba discussing six direction awareness in several places before during and after a technique and Stevens mistranslating that into "hanmi"...which doesn't have a damn thing to do with what Ueshiba actually said, much less the expansive idea of what the proper term actually means and can do for you.

Then we had another widely known concept of spiraling, and that at any one time you spiral up one side and done the other and you had a couple of long time aikidoka and Japanese speakers....totally missing that boat and discussing whether the appropriate translation for that Kanji was to eddy and swirl the legs. The reason? They still have no idea of the foundational teaching of spiral energy and how it is used in the body, and what it does to neutralize force and control it, not the least of which it being the foundation of a tremendous amount of the waza within the entire art.
Steven's has recently demonstrated the good credibility to admit he didn't have a clue what many of these things were. Also, that he just skipped over entire paragraphs of material that he found "untranslatable." Now we are learning these untranslatable things are, in many cases a road map of concepts to train internal power/aiki to create Ueshiba's power and skill.

The internet is it's own unique space where everyone can feel "equal" in a debate. Yet, in the real world, all the debates end...in person. Every one, every... single... one, who has these co-opted, personal fantasies of what these terms meant continues to fail to deliver in person up against those who know what they actually mean, and why they had value in Asian cultures spanning a thousand years. They had value because the mental aspects also delivered on the physical level.

It is no coincidence that every one of these modern practitioners-mostly Westerners- fantasizing over concepts and terms they have no understanding of always end up feeling just like every other Tom, Dick, and Harry, out there. The reason is that you can't make up stuff in your head and have it magically equal generations of well known concepts that are tried and true. But, people who actually do understand Ueshiba's training concepts and goals feel...well....they start to feel more like how he was often described. Most will never go back to the way they were training before.
Ueshiba was right after all.

Dan

Hi Dan.
I see you enjoyed my blog.

Happy new year to you and may your internal become universal.

Regards.G.

hughrbeyer
01-04-2012, 09:52 PM
I was certainly associating intent with soul when I read the passage on "soul and body unified". And "moving the back vigorously" makes a whole bunch of sense given how much of this work is driven by unifying the body through the back. It's one of the first things Sensei introduced to us and I keep coming back to it in my own practice.

O-Sensei referring to people being unbalanced on contact... that came up in recent discussions, didn't it? I think it came from one of his interviews, maybe the one with Kisshomaru. Yeah, that's another reference I understand totally differently now than I would have earlier.

Graham--thanks much, I was nuts trying to figure out Dan's reference :)

WRT the spiritual aspects... I don't actually disagree with much of what Andy wrote, understood only on a spiritual level. But I see that level as a layer on the Aikido level, which is a layer on the aiki, which is a layer on the jutsu. Without the lower layers of an effective martial art the spiritual layer is but a "beautiful and ineffectual angel, beating in the void his luminous wings in vain."

mathewjgano
01-04-2012, 10:05 PM
Well Hugh, taken in context with other correctly translated material, he was clear in drawing a distinction about intent driving the body, then progressively talking about intent relate to the soul. So when reading other passages and he opts to use soul moving the body, it makes sense.

Does "soul" here mean "tama?" Hara?

graham christian
01-04-2012, 11:32 PM
I was certainly associating intent with soul when I read the passage on "soul and body unified". And "moving the back vigorously" makes a whole bunch of sense given how much of this work is driven by unifying the body through the back. It's one of the first things Sensei introduced to us and I keep coming back to it in my own practice.

O-Sensei referring to people being unbalanced on contact... that came up in recent discussions, didn't it? I think it came from one of his interviews, maybe the one with Kisshomaru. Yeah, that's another reference I understand totally differently now than I would have earlier.

Graham--thanks much, I was nuts trying to figure out Dan's reference :)

WRT the spiritual aspects... I don't actually disagree with much of what Andy wrote, understood only on a spiritual level. But I see that level as a layer on the Aikido level, which is a layer on the aiki, which is a layer on the jutsu. Without the lower layers of an effective martial art the spiritual layer is but a "beautiful and ineffectual angel, beating in the void his luminous wings in vain."

High Hugh and happy new year to you.

That view of the spiritual side of Aikido is very prevalent and widely agreed upon. Alas. Until you do it.

For then you find out it is inherent in all layers but no one ever told you so to speak. The airy fairy stuff it's 'equated' with is not it, that's not spiritual but as long as people believe it is then they can also believe it's something for later or never at all and yet still look for that 'mystical' key.

Beautifully super effective. Oh and the void? If only you knew.

On the other hand such a spiritual journey, such a spiritual art done without spirit is a very confusing and disparate place.

Regards.G.

DH
01-09-2012, 09:24 AM
Contrary to what the pundits write; this model, this concept might as well be on the moon. They simply have no idea what they're talking about...or doing. In the end they move and feel like every other Tom, Dick and Harry. So, what is the real value of their opinions on these subjects? Nothing at all.
The next phase
1. Some will search to validate the concepts and become aware so they can talk about it, and adopt the language and use it in poetry (but still have zero).
2. For another, to find every known (and equally ill used) reference to aid in confusing and muddying the waters so they can reduce the real model to just anyones opinion on it. Truly just an attempt to do on the internet what they cannot do in person...reduce the playing field to eqal opinion. In person... (still they have zero). Heaven/earth/man in Ikebana Good luck with that.
3. Others will truly research and try to get an accurate understanding of it in Budo, so that (they don't have zero).
In the end though...there is so much talk...with everyone pretty much showing up in person...and they have zero understanding in their bodies and feel like your average gym rat or wrestler. The goal is really not for honest evaluation and growth, it is protectionism and validation for what they have been doing. Which has resulted in...so far as I know...a 100% failure rate in person.
At this point some would not change or honestly seek growth...just out of spite. Not a very bright or productive path or tactic for budo people to follow. Thank goodness there are smart people who are like good mechanics....actually doing something to fix what was broken. They will make the intellectual understanding of the concept meld with the physical ability to express it and create a budo in keeping with the classical model the exceptional warriors were always known for, and stood out in stark relief from....the budo wallpaper.
In that, nothing has really changed.
Dan

TheAikidoka
01-09-2012, 10:38 AM
Hi Dan, for me its not in the searching, its through it. when you have searched and searched and realise thats not "it" either, this directs your attention inwards. it is not what you "think" it is.

One teacher told me its in the feeling that counts, this also is a great message for internal power too.
Being is primary, before you were given a name before form. This is the narrow gate, where you can penetrate the mind, and destroy the mind of form. Then you are connected to life.

Here is a great example that came to me today.
Many people practice martial arts, hiking rock climbing, partake in sports e.c.t. why?
primarily the answer that comes after ambition wanting to feel healthy, self defense whatever the case maybe, is...... it makes me feel "alive".

Now here is what came to me.
If I feel alive when doing something i.e Aikido, hiking, playing with kids, meditating.
Then I must of been "dead" to the aliveness in every cell of my body in me, in every moment Before. How can this be? Because I was too identified with mind and thought.

I hope you can now see what I`m saying, you can feel the aliveness in the body when all thought of form and desire has been eliminated, martial arts sports and extreme sports may temporarily give you a gateway to this, but as soon as the activity has stopped the egoic mind comes back in and we become identified again with mind and become totally associated with our emotions, so associated in fact, that we believe that is who we are, not the aliveness that was present before. LIFE! Connected with all life.

You cannot lose it, it is always there, but most of the time we cannot feel it because of mind indentification.

In Budo

Andy B