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Chris Knight
11-23-2011, 10:52 AM
Just to throw this out to someone,
in MMA events, i.e. UFC, professional fights of this nature, is the body skill displayed in any of the fighters, or do they rely on the training of musculature and techniques etc

Just wondering really if this has been utilised to any degree

Cheers

Chris

David Orange
11-23-2011, 12:09 PM
Just to throw this out to someone,
in MMA events, i.e. UFC, professional fights of this nature, is the body skill displayed in any of the fighters, or do they rely on the training of musculature and techniques etc

Just wondering really if this has been utilised to any degree

Cheers

Chris

I don't know about MMA and aiki, but I saw something amazing in a karate fight about 30 years ago.

It was a kyokushin (Mas Oyama--the bull-killer) knock-down/knock-out bare-knuckle fight between black belts. One guy threw a frightening round kick toward the other's temple. The opponent simply bobbed a couple of inches and the foot passed just above his hair. And it kept going, and the kicker's other leg came off the floor and his body continued the torque of the round kick and flipped over as he flew past the opponent and landed on his back about four feet beyond him.

It looked like aiki to me on the part of the opponent. It's close to what we used to call the "aiki-drop" where you bow in front of the attacker and he goes over in a no-touch throw.

Other than something like that, in modern MMA, look for Ric Ellis. His father is Henry Ellis, one of the pioneers of aikido and judo in England. Ric's a cage fighter. You might check out some of his clips via Google...

David

Gerardo Torres
11-23-2011, 12:44 PM
Manifesting (Ueshiba's) aiki requires specific body/mind training. So unless you have done this specific training I'm going to say no, you cannot manifest it in a fight or anywhere.

ChrisHein
11-23-2011, 01:23 PM
Yes. Not only do you see Aiki in MMA, you see it in professional sports all the time. American Football is a sport where you can see Aiki demonstrated quite often.

Aiki isn't something that only an exclusive few know about. Aiki is a universal principle. To think that a phenomenon as powerful and universal as aiki could be contained to one small method of study doesn't seem natural.

MM
11-23-2011, 02:58 PM
If we're talking about Modern Aikido's definition of "aiki", then you'll find it pretty much anywhere.

If we're talking about Morihei Ueshiba's aiki, then it's rare and isn't found in sports.

Kevin Leavitt
11-23-2011, 03:09 PM
if you are talking about the use of internal structure, fascia etc...yes we all use it. Some of us more than others. So I would say that high level fighters use it more than the average person. However, it is all realitive of course, so if the question IMO need to be framed in the concept of "how much" as compared to another fighter.

For what the guys that are really focusing on this stuff are looking at and assessing, i'd say that there is not a whole lot going on there as in order to be successful at this point in time in fighting it really is not that important to develop the use of the internal frame so you will see fighters not exhibiting much of this stuff.

In the future, I think we will see more use of it in sports in general as we re-learn better ways to use our bodies and the stakes begin to shift.

Michael Varin
11-23-2011, 04:21 PM
Have you watched any of Anderson Silva's fights lately?

The Leben, Irvin, Griffin, and second Okami fights come to mind. And the Sonnen fight for other reasons.

It appears to me that the Spider is not really afraid of losing and is beginning to explore what is possible. He displays extremely sensitive perceptive abilities, and seems to hit very hard while remaining relaxed and fluid, amongst many other interesting qualities.

I think any martial artist regardless of their style would enjoy watching Anderson. You just don't see that level of mastery very often.

I have no idea about the nature of Anderson Silva's training, but my guess is that he has put more time, thought, and attention into martial arts and fighting than 99.9% of us on this forum. . . Of course, I could be totally mistaken.

Manifesting (Ueshiba's) aiki requires specific body/mind training. So unless you have done this specific training I'm going to say no, you cannot manifest it in a fight or anywhere.

Can you definitively say that you know what Ueshiba's aiki is/was? And that you know all the manners in which someone can develop such an ability?

If something is real, it can be found.

Michael Varin
11-23-2011, 04:23 PM
If we're talking about Modern Aikido's definition of "aiki", then you'll find it pretty much anywhere.

If we're talking about Morihei Ueshiba's aiki, then it's rare and isn't found in sports.

You know, I don't think we ever pinned down a definition. . .

MM
11-23-2011, 06:51 PM
You know, I don't think we ever pinned down a definition. . .

I'm not being snide here. Just wanted to get that across. Forums just don't convey a lot.

"We". Well, I certainly know the definition. I've stood in rooms with a lot of higher ranked aikido people from across multiple schools and they certainly knew the definition. Not only that, but I heard a very common theme from people who had 20 to 40 years in the martial arts (not just aikido) after experiencing aiki -- they said, I can't do anything to you (you being the person with aiki) and I have absolutely no idea what you are doing. These people had experience fighting, sparring, judo, taiji, aikido, karate, taekwondo, etc and had seen and done a lot.

So when you say, "we", it really should be "I". Again, not being snide or anything. Just that I've talked to and seen too many experienced martial artists who have come to the same conclusion that I have after experiencing aiki first hand.

Now, I think Kevin is probably right in that some wrestlers, fighters, etc are probably using internal structure to a certain extent. And as you noted, some of the fighters are excellent. I certainly wouldn't want to get in the ring with them.

But aiki ... not really.

Kevin Leavitt
11-24-2011, 04:28 AM
Mark, after training with you guys, Mike S, Ark, Toby, and Ushiro, and arguing all those years about who gets it, who doesn't, and what is really going on...as you have always stated getting hands on is the only way to understand. I came to the conclusion that much of the argument was about what was aiki and what was not was pointless. However, what I clued in on was that everyone uses structure etc, some better than others and that arguing about what Aiki is and isn't and who has it and who don't was a very kindergarten level argument and focus.

What I clued in on was that some people out there knew how to develop and improve it than others and that is what I try and focus on now. Really all the arguments become moot, which is why you rarely see me discussing the issue any longer. Once you get to experience someone that understand it, and can isolate the skill set...yeah you get it and you move on.

So, I think trying to discuss or judge if someone is using aiki or not is a pointless debate that ends back up to the whole emotional debate that gets us no where. Not saying that you are trying to get there by any means!

I think alot of people see aiki training is some sort of holy grail "system" of internal training that will make them an ultimate warrior. There is much, much going on in fighting and resistance that requires as we have dicussed, positioning, timing, leverage, proprioception, muscles, fascia etc. Trying to isolate out like a mass spectrometer what is purely aiki and what is not, IMO is pointless. That is, unless you are trying to isolate out aiki training in order to better train it and enhance those skills. Hence the methods that Ark, Ushiro, Dan, and Mike tend to use.

I just think people need to focus on the bigger picture. No one fights in a purely aiki/internal way. I agree that you see in professional athletes at the highest level a better command of the body than amateurs. It by default must include many of the same functions/form that we see in the asthetics that practice internal strength training and skills. If you get with a high level wrestler they have tricks using fascia to reduce proprioception and increase the "what is going on" factor. Same with pro lineman. However, put them in an aiki class and sure...you'd say, "they know very little about aiki". They simply cannot reproduce it in the lab under the same conditions.

The good news for us is we need to recognize this and use this as validation that our time spent in some fashion developing these things is worth our time.

I am reading some Feldenkrais stuff right now. while he had a different agenda physically in improving his patients and clients, certainly you see a degree of understanding of the same principles.

Anyway, I think the discussion should center around "where do you see it", and "how are they using it"...and not "they are not using it' and "what is aiki anyway".

Chris Knight
11-24-2011, 08:04 AM
Anyway, I think the discussion should center around "where do you see it", and "how are they using it"...and not "they are not using it' and "what is aiki anyway".

not necessarily, if aiki as a body skill can be differenciated by feel and is that potent, is it not being utilised to it's full potential professionally, or do people not know about it, or do people not want to put in the time to train in this way...??

i've tried your question with my previous thread regarding ueshiba's aiki and looking at his video footage, only to find myself hitting my head against a brick wall :eek:

Marc Abrams
11-24-2011, 08:30 AM
Now, I think Kevin is probably right in that some wrestlers, fighters, etc are probably using internal structure to a certain extent. And as you noted, some of the fighters are excellent. I certainly wouldn't want to get in the ring with them.

But aiki ... not really.

Funny thing is that as an accomplished wrestler, I can say looking back that the very good wrestlers had certain common characteristics: 1) off-the-charts strength to weight ratio; 2) majority fast-twitch muscles (in comparison to slow-twitch); 3) Incredible stamina; 4) Great body awareness; 5) integrated body movements; 6) NASTY & HUNGRY, TESTOSTERONE-OVERLOADED; 7) AGGRESSIVE WOLVES. Some of the top guys had some rudimentary internal stuff going on, but I would not necessarily say that it was really much to talk about.

The funny thing is that I was trying to work with the local, high school wrestling team. The coach, who outweighed me by 100lbs. could not move me and I could move him around easily (he was an accomplished wrestler as well). He could not really wrap his head around what I was doing and how I wanted to train the team to accomplish it. He dismissed it as not practical! I laughed and told one of the wrestlers (who is a student when not in season) that it is not practical getting more for less ;) . The problem was that he would have to change some major training components and he was simply satisfied with what he had, rather than achieving the things that I showed him that his wrestlers were capable of doing. Nice, free offer on my part that was not accepted and left me with some more free time for me to work on the fact that I still suck :D !

Marc Abrams

DH
11-24-2011, 09:00 AM
You beat me to it.I was going to bring up wrestlers. Most people have never had contact with good, soft, intelligent, wrestling.
People confuse connection, and intelligent non-localized flexation with internal power....it's not! There ways to learn connection, and some overlap. So soft muscular, whole body, movement can mimic internal power. For many connection will be enough for their entire career. I have met shihan who had that connection. I kiddingly call it "the Shihan feel." But make no mistake, it is not the same thing.

The Daoist knew that it takes an intelligent and disciplined mind to learn internal strength. One of my teachers said you teach jujutsu first and see what type of people they are before you decide to teach them aiki. On the other hand I asked him once about teaching, and he said "Never teach young people, there minds aren't developed enough yet to to learn this. Have them do jujutsu."

Training intent, training contradictory force-a key componant that has nothing to do with soft wrestling or external timing, internal cancellation of forces, power generation, and the use of contradictory as active force and maintaining it, of course trained connection, but then training a sophisticated usage to have a continuous flow that creates aiki on contact is never going to be found in the fighting arts...unless you train this stuff first. An unfortunate side effect of this new public exposure is people who really do not know the difference and really do not know what they are talking about will confuse the two and only serve to create a new false perception.

Aiki is not someone ducking and a kick missing the mark and the kicker falling down. That's timing and it happens at TKD schools with fifteen years olds. Good luck with that.
I really dont know which is worse; not knowing about it at all, or being presented a path that you thought was correct but turned into a dead end. I think we have seen that too many times before.
For my part I have been training with wrestlers since I was a kid and have cousins who are Collegiate Greco Roman wrestling champs. Learning IP/aiki and learning to use it in free style MMA and traditional and modern weapons has been a life long pursuit of mine. Current misguided perceptions not withstanding, I don't expect the internet to co-opt the results of forty years of research anytime soon.
Off to peel Squash
Dan

Mary Eastland
11-24-2011, 09:19 AM
Butternut?
I appreciate that Aiki would work with wrestlers and MMA guys and that they probably use it if they know how.
I also appreciate the quiet internal strength that comes from Aikido. The focus may be different but I bet the results might be the same.
Happy Thanksgiving to those that celebrate and Happy Day to the rest of you.

Chris Knight
11-24-2011, 09:24 AM
Training intent, training contradictory force-a key componant that has nothing to do with soft wrestling or external timing, internal cancellation of forces, power generation, and the use of contradictory as active force and maintaining it, of course trained connection, but then training a sophisticated usage to have a continuous flow that creates aiki on contact is never going to be found in the fighting arts...unless you train this stuff first. An unfortunate side effect of this new public exposure is people who really do not know the difference and really do not know what they are talking about will confuse the two and only serve to create a new false perception.

yes that makes sense.. Im wondering though has anyone trained this stuff and then used it in a professional environment, like the UFC or similar, or is this not known about or just ignored as being not essential?

DH
11-24-2011, 10:02 AM
yes that makes sense.. Im wondering though has anyone trained this stuff and then used it in a professional environment, like the UFC or similar, or is this not known about or just ignored as being not essential?
Why does professional? Act as a qualifier?
Every one of those guys trained as amatuers and had many non profesional fights. Some of the best fighters in the world remain amatuers. Do you recall how many times amatuers...showed up and kicked everyones ass. Most recently a profesional tire changer who walked in an kept winning.

If you want to now consider something other than the T.V. II know it's hard.....:D (see smiley face)
Yes, there are men who can kick ass with internal power and aiki and can actually fight with it. And yes...they feel different.

Chris Knight
11-24-2011, 10:07 AM
f you want to now consider something other than the T.V. II know it's hard.....

ha, you know us brits, obsessed with ninjas and commercial rubbish like the x factor... :D

DH
11-24-2011, 10:19 AM
;) Butternut?
I appreciate that Aiki would work with wrestlers and MMA guys and that they probably use it if they know how.
I also appreciate the quiet internal strength that comes from Aikido. The focus may be different but I bet the results might be the same.
Happy Thanksgiving to those that celebrate and Happy Day to the rest of you.
I'm sorry what was that...is there another type of squash? ;) ;)
I looove Butternut!!!
No, I do not believe that wrestlers and MMA guys use aiki. Moving out of the way is not aiki. It's low level martial arts skills and timing. Evasion is not it.
And the connection that I was talking about is not aiki either.

Quiet internal strength does not come from aikido. That's why so few in aikido have it and Shihan keep going outside to find it. I have seen very few in the art who have developed it, and none so far who have developed it to what I would consider a high level. Also, I have yet to personally feel anyone who had something past basic connection....and they...all agree with that. It will be interesting to see if that changes. If it does I will be the first to state it here. Honestly, I would be thrilled!!

Quiet? I have no idea what that means. :D :D
Internal Strength has nothing to do with gentle or aggressive, that's a choice of use.
It is trained quietly before it is used at speed, but in use can and should be fast and powerful even explosive to neutralize force. There is a reason Ueshiba said his atemi can kill and that atemi is vital to the art.
The consistency of his argument should therefore be; solo training for Aiki (union of opposites) in the body, then in/yo in movement,....that makes connection inside you...then connection between the two.
Aiki in me...before Aiki between thee and me.
Happy thanksgiving as well
Dan

David Orange
11-24-2011, 11:43 AM
I am reading some Feldenkrais stuff right now. while he had a different agenda physically in improving his patients and clients, certainly you see a degree of understanding of the same principles.

Anyway, I think the discussion should center around "where do you see it", and "how are they using it"...and not "they are not using it' and "what is aiki anyway".

Glad to hear you're reading Feldenkrais. I don't think he's trying to communicate aiki but just a deep ability to feel what we're doing in our own bodies and to choose better movement whenever we recognize a choice. And as we do that, we become able to recognize finer and finer distinctions in what we're doing.

I think a lot of the internal training that is so physically hard is designed to achieve by sort of "brute force" what Feldenkrais does from the opposite direction--almost no force at all, then less and less force as you go along.

Then when you meet someone like Dan or Ark, you can better feel what's happening and you can learn it with less strain, maybe.

I understand your feelings about discussion of aiki, based on pure utilitarian need to get many things done. But remember that a lot of people here have been investing their lives in "aiki" arts for decades and it is natural that, if they hear that they've misunderstood or been mislead as to the nature of aiki, they're going to want to discuss that and there will be a lot of emotion involved in it. The sense of self is deeply involved. I think if people's concept of aiki can be expanded and deepened, it's good for the understanding of self as well.

Thank you.

David

DH
11-24-2011, 12:32 PM
I think a lot of the internal training that is so physically hard is designed to achieve by sort of "brute force" what Feldenkrais does from the opposite direction--almost no force at all, then less and less force as you go along.
What do I teach by way of solo training that requires brute force?
Everyone I know is mentally exhausted... looong before their bodies give out. Softness is the corner stone of all that I do. Even the rather well known hits and kicks are just softly....done quickly. There is no qualitative change in me to dissolve force, direct force or drill someone. It's all the same. Moreover, the softness one feels, or the hardness one feels, when contacting someone who knows what they are doing...is usually their own force being echoed back at them.

I understand your feelings about discussion of aiki, based on pure utilitarian need to get many things done. But remember that a lot of people here have been investing their lives in "aiki" arts for decades and it is natural that, if they hear that they've misunderstood or been mislead as to the nature of aiki, they're going to want to discuss that and there will be a lot of emotion involved in it. The sense of self is deeply involved. I think if people's concept of aiki can be expanded and deepened, it's good for the understanding of self as well.
Thank you.

David

Good points about emotional investiture.
I have seen little by way of good teaching of aiki from the Japanese. There are a few for sure, but widespread? No way. Overal their teaching model leaves a lot to be desired, and their aiki model is awful. On the whole, it's all external, and waza based.

Dan

Mary Eastland
11-24-2011, 02:17 PM
Did you notice how Georges St. Pierre came back really different? Something happened in his training other than he got be a lot bigger.

Another one that I noticed was the guy that beat the Siberian heavy weight guy in wrestling in the Olympics some years ago..they both had something special. (sorry i don't remember names very well.)
Butternut is best, but I like Summer and zucchini too. ;)

David Orange
11-24-2011, 02:23 PM
Aiki is not someone ducking and a kick missing the mark and the kicker falling down. That's timing and it happens at TKD schools with fifteen years olds. Good luck with that.

Well, Dan, what's it called when O Sensei does the "aiki drop" as we used to call it--dropping into a bowing position in front of the attacker and causing him to fly over?

That kind of movement is really different from the attacker's movement, which I call kiai movement. The aikido movement is designed to match and adhere to the ura of the kiai movement.

Of course, this is the classic "blending-through-movement" but there is something to the argument that that kind of response has pulled many a side of bacon from the flames. And you see both OSensei and Shioda doing a good bit of it.

So do you just classify that kind of movement as an element of ju-jutsu--not even the omote of aiki, but unrelated to aiki?

It seems that that kind of movement must be related to aiki because of the backward design of it, completely contrary to what a fighter would expect...but not unlike what a child might do.

I want to deepen my understanding of aiki, but it seems there has to be a relation between head bobs (Mas Oyama trained in DRAJ with Yoshida Kotaro, you know), aiki drops and general tenkan. Otherwise, why is it so backward from normal fighting?

This is something I haven't figured out and I'm really asking for perspectives on it.

I really dont know which is worse; not knowing about it at all, or being presented a path that you thought was correct but turned into a dead end. I think we have seen that too many times before.

I think never knowing would be worse. As long as you live you can start again. But how can we determine which path is correct from the beginning? It seems like you just have to keep investigating, experimenting and going for the deeper insights.

Off to peel Squash
Dan

Peeling squash?

How do you use those?

Best to you.

David

David Orange
11-24-2011, 02:28 PM
;)
I'm sorry what was that...is there another type of squash? ;) ;)
I looove Butternut!!!

That explains it. I always think of yellow, crook-neck squash and there's not much to peel with those. But butternut is superb....except that I always just cut it in half and baked it, skin and all...

David Orange
11-24-2011, 02:58 PM
What do I teach by way of solo training that requires brute force?

I'm talking about the traditional hours-in--horse-stance kind of thing and a lot of what I saw with Ark. I'm saying those things seem largely to force young, strong people to feel because they are so strong and active that it takes a lot to get through to them. I'm saying that the Feldenkrais first teaches you not to do arduous things but to do tiny, soft things to make you able to feel. And then any physical discipline you approach will be more accessible.

Everyone I know is mentally exhausted... looong before their bodies give out.

Not me. I get exhausted much faster than that...:D

Softness is the corner stone of all that I do. Even the rather well known hits and kicks are just softly....done quickly. There is no qualitative change in me to dissolve force, direct force or drill someone. It's all the same. Moreover, the softness one feels, or the hardness one feels, when contacting someone who knows what they are doing...is usually their own force being echoed back at them.

That's the mountain echo?

Rob said that Ark could only throw me so far because I put so much strength into my push. I can't believe I'm so strong!

Good points about emotional investiture.

It's emotional and intellectual, too, and physical. And there's the faith you put into your teachers, that they know the truth of the matter and that they're teaching it to you....

It's not easy to just let go of all that, but I think that's a core principle of budo: never forget the beginner's mind.

I have seen little by way of good teaching of aiki from the Japanese. There are a few for sure, but widespread? No way. Overal their teaching model leaves a lot to be desired, and their aiki model is awful. On the whole, it's all external, and waza based.

It was the Feldenkrais training that made me realize that aikido is not only designed backward to the attacker's technique, but it's taught backward to the learner--from the myriad techniques and outer form to the inner connection to self. If they really wanted you to learn, they would teach from the self, outward to technique. I based my teaching after that on standing upright and moving naturally, showing how the techniques are built out of natural movement, teaching the movement first and identifying the keys to technique. Which was a big step beyond just teaching technique, but remained far short of real internal usage.

So I'm looking forward to learning more from you.

Thanks.

David

Pauliina Lievonen
11-24-2011, 03:48 PM
Everyone I know is mentally exhausted... looong before their bodies give out.Almost everyone you know. :p

How's the neck btw?

Speaking of vegetables, I happened to find some parsley roots at the shop this week. Yum. Tastes a bit like parsnip but better. My body really likes my ancestors diet of meat, fish, root veg and berries...

kvaak
Pauliina