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notdrock
03-13-2012, 03:04 PM
Hey all,

I think Zhangzhuang (standing meditation) would be very very beneficial to Aikido practise. For those who don't know, it's a postural exercise which most Chinese internal arts are based upon and creates excellent structural strength in bone position and tendon strength with the avoidance of using muscle.

Be interesting to see if it would be a good catalyst for Aikido :)

Osu!

Luke

Janet Rosen
03-13-2012, 03:55 PM
Yep

gregstec
03-13-2012, 04:10 PM
:)

Greg

Jon Haas
03-13-2012, 04:15 PM
Well then you might find this pretty interesting as the author is a 15 year Aikido student as well as a teacher of Yiquan. :)

An Introduction to Yiquan: Martial Arts, Health, and Physical Fitness (http://warriorfitness.org/2012/03/05/an-introduction-to-yiquan-martial-art-health-and-physical-fitness/)

Rob Watson
03-13-2012, 05:20 PM
creates excellent structural strength in bone position and tendon strength with the avoidance of using muscle.

Tendons connect bone to muscles ... you can't make tendons strong without using muscles.

Besides, one should shoot for a 'proper' balance between bone, muscle, connective tissues and pressure systems as opposed to obsessing over one or the other or one over the other. Let's not forget about the brain/nervous system while we are at it.

Doing standing drills wrong will not help anything, even aikido.

gregstec
03-13-2012, 06:17 PM
It is my understanding that there is way more involved than just strengthening bone and tendons without using muscle. Actually, muscle is involved, but it is not intentionally tensed. There is also a big mental component involved as well. With all that said, IMO, stillness meditation/exercises can be extremely beneficial in learning the internals - however, as with all things, you need a good coach/teacher to make sure you are getting it right.

Greg

sakumeikan
03-13-2012, 06:37 PM
Hey all,

I think Zhangzhuang (standing meditation) would be very very beneficial to Aikido practise. For those who don't know, it's a postural exercise which most Chinese internal arts are based upon and creates excellent structural strength in bone position and tendon strength with the avoidance of using muscle.

Be interesting to see if it would be a good catalyst for Aikido :)

Osu!

Luke
Dear Luke,
Perhaps Aikido could help improve Zhangzhuang? Aikido is sometimes called moving Zen.Zen practice in itself requires one to study meditation .Usually sitting {Za Zen], but can be standing form.Cheers, Joe.

phitruong
03-13-2012, 07:12 PM
Hey all,

I think Zhangzhuang (standing meditation) would be very very beneficial to Aikido practise. For those who don't know, it's a postural exercise which most Chinese internal arts are based upon and creates excellent structural strength in bone position and tendon strength with the avoidance of using muscle.

Be interesting to see if it would be a good catalyst for Aikido :)

Osu!

Luke

try this thread http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19216&page=2

worked well for me so far

Allen Beebe
03-13-2012, 08:08 PM
Below are some random thoughts in no particular order . . .

Actually solo sitting practice, standing practice, breath practice and movement practice has long since been a part of some individual’s Aikido practice.

Besides Makoto no Kokyu breath practice, Shirata Rinjiro also taught a series of solo exercises which were practiced at the beginning of every training session I attended as near as I can remember, which was from 1986 until sensei’s death in 1993. [I find it interesting that Tomiki, Shioda and Shirata, are all well regarded Aikidoshi who all trained with Ueshiba Morihei (and his teacher too BTW) and all developed solo body movement exercises. {Later Tohei did as well.}] Shirata sensei’s series of body movement exercises begin in seiza (seated movement in stillness) then gradually progress to standing, then locomotion (stillness in motion), and finally end in standing hanmi (back to motion in stillness). There are thirteen exercises counted in all but actually solo body movement exercise #0 (which entails quite a bit of instruction actually) is included so there is really 14 all together. Those in addition to separate practices such as shiko. (Shirata sensei’s shiko was a bit different from Sumo’s, Akuzawa’s and others. It was a bit more like the way Sagawa’s shiko is represented in Hiden magazine.)

BTW, the practice was, and can, also be applied to weapons. Just hold a weapon. Well, obviously to anyone familiar with standing practice there is a lot more to it than that. But from the outside that is the “big difference” from standing without a weapon.

So solo body movement practice has existed in Aikido since . . . Ueshiba did solo body movement practice (and started calling it Aikido.) And breathing practice has existed in Aikido since . . . Ueshiba did breathing practice (and started calling it Aikido.) And, movement in stillness practice has existed in Aikido since . . . Ueshiba did movement in stillness practice (and started calling it Aikido.) [And, yes, all of those practices pre-dated Aikido] And it should be NO big surprise that his students should replicate those practices. In fact THAT should be EXPECTED I would think.

The big question is . . . which of Ueshiba’s students demonstrated the traits that are the normally expected outcome of those practices???? Demonstrating those traits would be evidence that they understood the practices properly and under went them productively. Finally it can be reasonably asked, who now knows those practices and can teach them AS EVIDENCED BY THEIR DEMONSTRATION OF THE TRAITS THAT THE PRACTICES ARE SUPPOSED TO PRODUCE?

Succeeding in finding such an individual it seems reasonable to seek instruction from from them. Failing in that, it seems reasonable to look elsewhere. (Is it reasonable to continuously visit a barber shop expecting to learn how to play piano when all you witness and experience is the cutting of hair . . . because the sign outside says, “Piano Lessons” and the barber says that his instructor in barber college was a great piano player?)

Of course my underlying assumption is that one wishes to reproduce a unique phenomena demonstrated by an individual (Ueshiba Morihei for example) rather than just mimicking the outward appearance of the practice of such an individual. Or, stranger still, mimicking the outward appearance of an individual possessing the ability to produce a unique phenomena demonstrating the application of that unique phenomena by various means (martially applied for example) while believing that such a mimicking WAS the actual application of the phenomena (Aiki or Kokyu Ryoku for example). My underlying assumption is that the end goal is to demonstrate the valued phenomena one’s self. This would be true whether that phenomena were the lifting heavy objects, disappearing and reappearing, reading other’s thoughts and intentions, prevailing in a martial encounter, seeing bullets as dots of light and dodging them, producing Aiki, causing others to have paranormal experiences, pounding mochi particularly hard, manually farming in an incredibly powerfully manner, channeling certain kami while avoiding being possessed by a badger or fox, etc. This being the case, it seems reasonable to me that one would wish to seek instruction towards their desired goal by one that can reliably demonstrate that desired goal and/or phenomena. Or better still, seek instruction from one that can reliably demonstrate the desired goal/phenomena AND has reliably produced others that could do the same.

Chris Li
03-14-2012, 12:57 AM
Below are some random thoughts in no particular order . . .

Actually solo sitting practice, standing practice, breath practice and movement practice has long since been a part of some individual's Aikido practice.

Yeah, what he said... :cool:

Best,

Chris

Alec Corper
03-14-2012, 04:42 AM
:cool: Yes, except that translating it as standing meditation suggests a mediation done standing up. Motion in stillness, as Allen mentions above, is the yang to stillness in motion, or is it the other way round;)
However, try doing it. It is extremely physically demanding past the 5 minute mark when the shakes set in. Unless you can find a way, either through experimentation or detailed instruction, to change the way your structure accepts and reroutes gravity, you can't do it for long. This, in turn, teaches the body another way to accept and redirect power, recruits the fascia system, instead of using separate muscles, creates whole body strength, and leads to tensegrity, a wonderful word. Most of us who are trying to do this stuff find it a hell of a lot more difficult than it sounds. It makes it harder for people to throw you, without muscular resistance, and it makes it easier to throw, without muscular force. It's value tens to be more evident in free style tui shou than in predefined waza practice. The old CMA guys swear by it and when you feel people who have done a lot they have a relaxed solidity that is impressive.

Rob Watson
03-14-2012, 12:34 PM
It makes it harder for people to throw you, without muscular resistance, and it makes it easier to throw, without muscular force.

All the folks I've seen or met that exhibit the traits attributed to this type of training have well toned muscles. Gotta stay realistic here ... this type of training augments. The muscles are just used a bit differently than normal and I find more of them working together to spread the loads is what is happening. On a scale of 1-10 I'm a self proclaimed 2 ... others may suggest a different 'rank'.

DH
03-14-2012, 12:56 PM
Dear Luke,
Perhaps Aikido could help improve Zhangzhuang? Aikido is sometimes called moving Zen.Zen practice in itself requires one to study meditation .Usually sitting {Za Zen], but can be standing form.Cheers, Joe.
Not in any manner that has ever been shown, trained, discussed or written.
The founder embraced these training models and would probably either be hosting internal training to fix aikido or out doing it himself.
I am positive that once he looked around...one way or another he would be involved in this new movement.
Dan

chillzATL
03-14-2012, 01:05 PM
Below are some random thoughts in no particular order . . . *snip*


Allen,

Are Shirata sensei's solo exercises outlined anywhere online? I've searched tandoku dosa and tandoku renshu, the two names that came to mind when looking, and found very little. Having seen some of the others takes on solo training I've always been curious of his. Thanks.

jackie adams
03-14-2012, 01:23 PM
I have always considered by self an open minded person. I am willing to explore new avenues where I can relish in that "Ah ha" moment.

@ Luke Hobbs

Do you feel Aikido meditation is lacking where Zhangzhuang could help? What advantages do you find in the Chinese mediation that inspired your question?

Michael Douglas
03-14-2012, 03:14 PM
I'm with Jason in asking for more info ... regarding mostly this stuff ;
Besides Makoto no Kokyu breath practice, Shirata Rinjiro also taught a series of solo exercises which were practiced at the beginning of every training session ...

... There are thirteen exercises counted in all but actually solo body movement exercise #0 (which entails quite a bit of instruction actually) is included so there is really 14 all together. Those in addition to separate practices such as shiko. (Shirata sensei's shiko was a bit different from Sumo's, Akuzawa's and others. It was a bit more like the way Sagawa's shiko is represented in Hiden magazine.) .
Where may we see some of this?

Chris Li
03-14-2012, 03:41 PM
I'm with Jason in asking for more info ... regarding mostly this stuff ;

Where may we see some of this?

In Oregon. :D

Best,

Chris

woudew
03-14-2012, 03:54 PM
In Oregon. :D

Best,

Chris

End of July in the Netherlands ;)

Janet Rosen
03-14-2012, 05:47 PM
I have always considered by self an open minded person. I am willing to explore new avenues where I can relish in that "Ah ha" moment.

@ Luke Hobbs

Do you feel Aikido meditation is lacking where Zhangzhuang could help? What advantages do you find in the Chinese mediation that inspired your question?

I'm not Luke
But for me the issue is not "meditation" per se but the focus on stance, weight, center, fascia, etc that is elicited during this specific form.

notdrock
03-15-2012, 12:59 AM
Tendons connect bone to muscles ... you can't make tendons strong without using muscles.

Besides, one should shoot for a 'proper' balance between bone, muscle, connective tissues and pressure systems as opposed to obsessing over one or the other or one over the other. Let's not forget about the brain/nervous system while we are at it.

Doing standing drills wrong will not help anything, even aikido.

I am referring to not using muscular strength solely as a way of holding up force. Afterall, if a bridge is not built with the correct "posture" it will collapse no matter how strong the materials holding it up. Zhangzhuang actually increases nervous system regularity and function around the body as a whole.

notdrock
03-15-2012, 01:24 AM
I have always considered by self an open minded person. I am willing to explore new avenues where I can relish in that "Ah ha" moment.

@ Luke Hobbs

Do you feel Aikido meditation is lacking where Zhangzhuang could help? What advantages do you find in the Chinese mediation that inspired your question?

Zhangzhuang is basically re-teaching the human body how to stand naturally before having unnatural hic-ups. For example, our society is heavily based upon front focus (computing, writing, driving, mowing etc), and we now have an un-natural tendancy to hunch, and to collapse our chest area and pulling our shoulders forward . Adding to it that most of these jobs are done in a sitting position, you then get the added effect of sticking the bum/tail bone out, thus having an exaggerated "S" shaped posture that ends up all out of whack. You then end up having un-natural tension all over the body to counter this. This tension can easily be taken advantage of by a person acute at Aikido.

Keeping this in mind, most of the truly great martial artists had not encountered this problem of forward focusing, sitting work. For example, farming is done through strong posture-work, technique and both front and rear focus (lots of digging, carrying etc). So the shoulders are pulled back slightly and the tailbone is naturally tucked under the hips.

Zhangzhuang is designed to boost postural strength and therefore a strong foundation. A martial art is an expression of a person, and can only be as strong as the person expressing it.

Given the Western way of life in that most people don't practice 10 hours a day, something like Zhangzhuan could be very helpful to people.

Just a thought.

notdrock
03-15-2012, 01:26 AM
Tendons connect bone to muscles ... you can't make tendons strong without using muscles.

Besides, one should shoot for a 'proper' balance between bone, muscle, connective tissues and pressure systems as opposed to obsessing over one or the other or one over the other. Let's not forget about the brain/nervous system while we are at it.

Doing standing drills wrong will not help anything, even aikido.

Ah yeah I meant ligament sorry :)

notdrock
03-15-2012, 01:35 AM
It is my understanding that there is way more involved than just strengthening bone and tendons without using muscle. Actually, muscle is involved, but it is not intentionally tensed. There is also a big mental component involved as well. With all that said, IMO, stillness meditation/exercises can be extremely beneficial in learning the internals - however, as with all things, you need a good coach/teacher to make sure you are getting it right.

Greg

What he said...

Allen Beebe
03-15-2012, 02:49 PM
I'm with Jason in asking for more info ... regarding mostly this stuff ;

Where may we see some of this?

Hi Guys,

Probably the best thing to do would be to visit Dan when he is in the UK and ask him. He is familiar with Shirata's Tandokudosa AND he CAN DO (That is vital BTW.) The next best thing might be to visit The Netherlands. The Zwolle and Leeuwarden groups both know the Tandokudosa and also have had the advantage of Dan's input into what he sees in them. {We all are at the beginning stages of "mining" their potential.}

I'll be in the Netherlands in July (as was posted) and will lead a weekend seminar devoted to this topic. (I did so last year as well, but this year, based on feedback, I plan to spend more time explaining and demonstrating how the Tandokudosa directly relate to any Aikido waza. I won't be teaching waza BTW, just providing examples of the essential connection. In my opinion these exercises are not just for building IP/Aiki (there are separate ones for that too, like Shiko) I think they were "constructed" to not only develop IP/Aiki but also to illustrate the "path to the waza" typically practiced by Aikidoka and in Daito Ryu (remember Shirata studied Daito Ryu under Ueshiba.) I teach the way I was taught, first come the Tandokudosa, other IP/Aiki exercises, and other basics. Only after those are mastered does one move on to waza. We have the long standing saying, "You suck, you stay!" So after decades of training TDD I realized I'd missed the mark, and well, "You suck, you stay!" We've gone back and been working on this stuff for a couple years now. (In other words, no waza for years now.) Please keep that in mind when you read what follows . . .

As for posting descriptions, illustrations, or video here (or pretty much anywhere), I think it would be pretty well pointless, a disservice really. Think of the topic of this thread . . . the description standing, the illustration standing, the video showing someone . . . standing. I know it is disappointing but, direct instruction, from someone who understands, can do, and can teach (and is willing to provide repeated correction) is truly essential. Just take my example for instance. I was just got out my dusty box of video tapes of Shirata sensei last night and we were watching them. Sensei was highly unusual for his time in that he was gentle, patient, potent and would demonstrate, break down, explain, repeat, even provide handouts of lists of related techniques, etc. He was truly one of a kind, and I was a devoted student who would video, annotate,and train 7 days a week . . . and I still missed some of the most important things that sensei taught EXPLICITLY. You don't know what you don't know.

If any of you find yourself in Oregon please give me a holler!

All the best,
Allen

phitruong
03-15-2012, 03:43 PM
If any of you find yourself in Oregon please give me a holler!
Allen

What! you meant we have to go Oregon or Netherland to get the stuffs? sheesh! i have problem getting out of the state. you guys are taking the IHTBF too far. oh wait! it's legal in the Netherland, right? :D

Howard Popkin
03-15-2012, 03:58 PM
What! you meant we have to go Oregon or Netherland to get the stuffs? sheesh! i have problem getting out of the state. you guys are taking the IHTBF too far. oh wait! it's legal in the Netherland, right? :D

Phi, you kill me :)

Allen Beebe
03-15-2012, 04:48 PM
Phi, you kill me :)

Oh no! Phi killed Howie! :eek:

No, Phi, you do not have to come to Oregon or the Netherlands to "get the stuffs!" In fact I highly doubt that anyone I know in Oregon or the Netherlands would be so bold as to claim to have "the stuffs." What we do "have" is Shirata sensei's method for developing "the stuffs" and relating it to the other "stuffs" in Aikido.

I highly doubt that killing anyone, even the likes of Howie, is legal in the Netherlands! Although I'm pretty certain that torture must be legal because the Dutch haven't hesitated to continuously torture me with their delicious cheeses, refreshing beer, beautiful riparian scenery, prolific art, gorgeous women and their silly sense of humor for over a decade now! (Some unfortunates miss out on all of that by just hanging out in the red light district or coffee bars. :confused: )

Allen Beebe
03-15-2012, 04:56 PM
BTW, can we make, "Phi killed Howie!" t-shirts? I see a future in this!

woudew
03-15-2012, 04:57 PM
BTW, can we make, "Phi killed Howie!" t-shirts? I see a future in this!

Can i pre-order a patch please?

Dave de Vos
03-15-2012, 05:23 PM
(Some unfortunates miss out on all of that by just hanging out in the red light district or coffee bars. :confused: )

I think you mean coffee shops (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis_coffee_shop).
Coffee bars are establishments where you can actually get a cup of coffee ;).

Allen Beebe
03-15-2012, 05:28 PM
Can i pre-order a patch please?

No PATCHES!! Patches are the scourge of the martial arts! Did Iizasa Ienao, Ittosai Kagehisa, Kamiizumi Nobutsuna, or Musashi Miyamoto wear a patches?!?! NO! NO THEY DID NOT!

But, if they probably DID wear shitagi. And what is shitagi if not an undershirt? And what is a t-shirt if not a undershirt? So wearing a t-shirt IS highly cool!

Now, it could be argued that they also probably wore fundoshi. And those that would make such an argument would probably also assert that fundoshi are nothing more than underpants. And they might think it "cool" to wear underpants in public as depicted in some of the more bawdy ukiyoe. In fact I've heard it rumored that some present day martial artists actually train in and compete in their underpants . . . ew! I'd sooner compete in a gi covered with PATCHES . . . and we all know how tasteless that would be.

So . . . patches NO, t-shirts YES. Fundoshi . . . well, let's just say, "context is everything."

Allen Beebe
03-15-2012, 05:31 PM
I think you mean coffee shops (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis_coffee_shop).
Coffee bars are establishments where you can actually get a cup of coffee ;).

You see? I just can't keep up with the Dutch sense of humor . . . I mean laws. So which one of those two can one legally smoke at now . . . I mean smoke tobacco?

Rob Watson
03-15-2012, 05:45 PM
Ah yeah I meant ligament sorry :)

Ah, so, ligaments connect bones together. Learning how to arrange ones bones to bear the bulk of the load while using muscle to 'simply' maintain such a posture is a first step - kindergarten really. Based on what meager bits I've managed to figure out there is way more to it (IT) that that. Managing loads in awkward positions (bones not 'properly' lined up) is still quite possible but not with just bones/ligaments and muscles to maintain that posture (think the jo trick for example).

Transitioning from working with simple linear forces/loads through the body (step one) to using a spiraling action requires more 'stuff'. The language kind of fails/misleads here and my current level of understanding on this spiraling business has not been 'vetted' by someone more experienced so I may be out in left field - sure am able to deliver/manage much higher loads than when using linear methods. Also, awkward postures with no real bone alignments can bear loads instead of just collapsing as before. Seems like real progress but it sure is easy to fool ones self in these endeavors.

Gotta say that the use of the psoas major (connects the legs to the lower back and 'bypasses' the hips) and lat. dorsi (connects the hip ridge and lower spine to the arms bypassing the shoulder) muscles are pretty important. Good tonus is important.

Rob Watson
03-15-2012, 05:57 PM
No PATCHES!! Patches are the scourge of the martial arts! Did Iizasa Ienao, Ittosai Kagehisa, Kamiizumi Nobutsuna, or Musashi Miyamoto wear a patches?!?! NO! NO THEY DID NOT!

Dang, I thought mon were patches ...

Dave de Vos
03-15-2012, 06:03 PM
You see? I just can't keep up with the Dutch sense of humor . . . I mean laws. So which one of those two can one legally smoke at now . . . I mean smoke tobacco?

Smoking tobacco is illegal in coffee bars as well as in coffee shops. Smoking cannabis is allowed in coffee shops as long as you don't mix in tobacco. However, the Dutch Food and Drugs Administration are not authorized to check joints for the presence of tobacco.
Yep, Dutch law is as weird as that.

Allen Beebe
03-15-2012, 06:17 PM
Dang, I thought mon were patches ...

Preposterous!

Read:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mon_(emblem))

You will find no mention of patches! :rolleyes:

(If you don't read it on the inter web must be true.)

A "patch" is something I find whilst house training my dog! :mad:

Allen Beebe
03-15-2012, 06:20 PM
Smoking tobacco is illegal in coffee bars as well as in coffee shops. Smoking cannabis is allowed in coffee shops as long as you don't mix in tobacco. However, the Dutch Food and Drugs Administration are not authorized to check joints for the presence of tobacco.
Yep, Dutch law is as weird as that.

See?????

I tell no lies!

Allen Beebe
03-15-2012, 06:27 PM
So to bring this back on topic . . . if one were to stay in the Netherlands, and if one weren't a smoker of any variety, and if one didn't drink coffee either, or find one's self diverted by a "window display," one might find themselves standing outside waiting for one's friend who does smoke or "what not" and one might then use their time productively by practicing . . .

Zhangzhuang

and one might actually not look all that strange provided one were standing outside the proper establishment . . .

Garth
03-15-2012, 06:34 PM
Patches ,Patches.?!? We don't need no stinkin patches"

I can't believe I came up with that one first. or did I ? I didn't read all the way back

Garth
03-15-2012, 08:29 PM
Okay I know that was bad but I didn't mean to kill the thread:crazy: :crazy:

BEleanor
03-15-2012, 08:53 PM
Yes. It takes a lot of self control and concentration. It hurts, actually! It seems to be making a big difference for me after just a couple of months of regular practice. I haven't been doing much aikido during that time (recent knee surgery) but the little I have done seems to indicate a lot of potential benefits from standing practice. For one thing, my posture and awareness of alignment are better. Also I am learning to redefine "relaxed". That said, I can barely get through 20 minutes yet.

B

Janet Rosen
03-15-2012, 09:57 PM
No PATCHES!! Patches are the scourge of the martial arts! Did Iizasa Ienao, Ittosai Kagehisa, Kamiizumi Nobutsuna, or Musashi Miyamoto wear a patches?!?! NO! NO THEY DID NOT!

PATCHES?
We don't have to show you no stinkin' patches.

Dang, Gregory beat me to it. But I got the quote right :-)

Garth
03-16-2012, 07:26 AM
Staying off topic of course Janet,
I think both lines were in there, yours finishing mine:D :D :D :crazy:

On a serious note, are we talking sitting meditation here versus visualization and moving meditation(aikido, sword practice)?
Because the subject of how much of each should be done time wise has come up in my dojo.
The ratio given was double the sitting meditation to actual practice.
And shouldn' t a certain vocabulary of techniques or movement be "internalized" as second nature before trying to meditate for "no mind"
Just throwing that out there
G

chillzATL
03-16-2012, 08:45 AM
As for posting descriptions, illustrations, or video here (or pretty much anywhere), I think it would be pretty well pointless, a disservice really. Think of the topic of this thread . . . the description standing, the illustration standing, the video showing someone . . . standing. I know it is disappointing but, direct instruction, from someone who understands, can do, and can teach (and is willing to provide repeated correction) is truly essential. Just take my example for instance. I was just got out my dusty box of video tapes of Shirata sensei last night and we were watching them. Sensei was highly unusual for his time in that he was gentle, patient, potent and would demonstrate, break down, explain, repeat, even provide handouts of lists of related techniques, etc. He was truly one of a kind, and I was a devoted student who would video, annotate,and train 7 days a week . . . and I still missed some of the most important things that sensei taught EXPLICITLY. You don't know what you don't know.

If any of you find yourself in Oregon please give me a holler!

All the best,
Allen

Allen, Thanks for the reply.

I was mostly interested in the similarities in outward form to Tomiki's tandokudosa and the other handful of styles that have similar solo exercises. It was more of an academic curiosity than anything instruction related. Thanks again.

Allen Beebe
03-16-2012, 08:47 AM
With regards to my post, and I think many Zhangzhuang practishioners, this is a "third element."

First of all, all meditation practices are not the same. Many individuals assume that they are. Also, in my experience most individuals that express their opinion about meditation do not have a broad basis or significant depth to their perspective. That said, we have mind/bodies, that which develops the mind/body can be beneficial. However, depending on one's goals, some practices are more productive than others and when the goal is narrowed, some practices can be seen as counterproductive or neutral.

The idea of Aikido as "moving meditation" is more "idea" than actual practice in most cases in my experience.

In both cases, neither necessarily lead, and there is little evidence to show a significant link to, the kind of "weird" power appied in the internal arts including Aikido, that put them on the map in the first place.

The standing and locomotion (I like that word as opposed to "moving," because the use of "moving" in juxtaposition to sitting or standing impies a stasus that is not real.). Practice that achieves the "weird" power exibited martially by the internal martial arts practitioners that put their martial arts "on the map" by being significantly different than the norm is (duh ;) ) significantly different than the norm!

So I would suggest that there is practice different from normal sitting and normal Aikidi/Sword, that produces unique results. The confusing factor is that it can LOOK LIKE practice one already has done experienced, BUT can be differentiated by the results demonstrated. For example two people may bake the same pie using the same ingridents and even the same recipe. If the results come out significantly different, someone is DOING something significantly different, even if it isn't visible. I want to learn from the better pie maker such that I can make a better pie.

(Pi is different than Phi BTW, which is different than the Howie killer!)

Allen Beebe
03-16-2012, 08:53 AM
Allen, Thanks for the reply.

I was mostly interested in the similarities in outward form to Tomiki's tandokudosa and the other handful of styles that have similar solo exercises. It was more of an academic curiosity than anything instruction related. Thanks again.

Perhaps closer to Shioda's look than to Tomiki (although they are all in the ball park) and not too similar to Tohei, IMHO, FWIW.

:)

chillzATL
03-16-2012, 08:57 AM
Perhaps closer to Shioda's look than to Tomiki (although they are all in the ball park) and not too similar to Tohei, IMHO, FWIW.

:)

Interesting, thanks!

phitruong
03-16-2012, 01:16 PM
(Pi is different than Phi BTW, which is different than the Howie killer!)

i was standing around and minding my own business, then whammo... turned into Howie Killer. i heard the tuna whispering to each others, "he took out howie the aiki fish killer without doing anything! this guy is bad! real bad! we should send him caviar as tribute!"

went to a seminar with Wang Hai Jun (WHJ), and before we did Silk Reeling, he would make us do the standing thingy. he would walk around and poke at you and telling you that you need peng here and peng there. first i thought that i didn't have enough punkness. i was going punk his rear-end, but one look at his huge legs, i was thinking that he could punt me to the moon. it was good for him that i didn't try to punk him so he didn't wasted a good punt.

for a while i was a bit puzzled over WHJ teaching approach on standing before silk reeling. lately i started to see the wisdom of that approach. i started to feel the same sort of silk reeling winding/unwinding inside my body while doing the standing thing. i would breakout into sweat in no time at all, then my wife told me "hey, why are you stand so close to the fireplace and your ass is smoking!" arrgggh! :D

phitruong
03-16-2012, 01:28 PM
No PATCHES!! Patches are the scourge of the martial arts! Did Iizasa Ienao, Ittosai Kagehisa, Kamiizumi Nobutsuna, or Musashi Miyamoto wear a patches?!?! NO! NO THEY DID NOT!
"

i thought Musashi had a patch that said "if you can read this patch, you are dead!" :)

dave9nine
03-16-2012, 01:52 PM
Not in any manner that has ever been shown, trained, discussed or written.
The founder embraced these training models and would probably either be hosting internal training to fix aikido or out doing it himself.
I am positive that once he looked around...one way or another he would be involved in this new movement.
Dan

To add to this discussion (and others like it), i wanted to share this video i came across recently and, now, in light of the experienced voices in here promoting the internal aspects, cant stop thinking about:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MC6DC8X5wA&sns=fb

the most intriguing part of it is where the man discusses the meditation practice he uses, and the importance of ying-yang, which he calls in-yo (sp?)

it seems very plausible that o-sensei had the ability that this man has (had?) and applied it to budo, in which case, it seems to me anyway, that all aikidoka should be trying to figure out how to access and develop it...

-dave

Garth
03-16-2012, 02:57 PM
Interesting video. Bursting the paper into flame was a little tough to take but interesting none the less.

Question for Allen Beebe. So, many different practices for many different goals? OR. different practices for same goal (unified body/mind).

I know there are too many to list but so far we have.

1)Standing, Reeling Silk etc for development of IS
2)Sitting - no mind - meditation- quieting the chatter/ Zanshin?
3) Aiki ken and and Aikido or waza/techniques or locomotion
4) visualization which can fit into 1 and 3 not 2 so much

Im kinda getting the feeling there is overlapping circles of influence here.
Of course my understanding is rudimentary on all three, but I value all opinions
unless you dont believe in 1, 2,3 or 4 and then also would like an opinion as to why not?:eek:

Eric in Denver
03-16-2012, 03:31 PM
Interesting video. Bursting the paper into flame was a little tough to take but interesting none the less.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3rhGctGl2Q&feature=related

:D

dave9nine
03-16-2012, 04:46 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3rhGctGl2Q&feature=related

:D

i know.

there are indeed other videos that "debunk" chi/ki. but do they? or do they just debunk the people shown? (frankly, i dont know what to make of it..)

the thing about this guy that is interesting is that he initially didnt want to share, and ended up going back to the shadows as it were after he felt ashamed for trying to promote it; would someone trying to gain fame etc. do such a thing?...

there are some videos of the foo-foo ki guys doing no touch throws, etc., but then, there is also some footage of o-sensei doing this..hmm...

my challenging questions for us (or maybe just for me):
1. would o-sensei's ki "powers" have stood up to scientific 'mythbusters'?
2. did his legend have anything to do with this stuff, or was he 'unbeatable' based strictly on physical budo skill?
3. how does the answer to #2 have implications for aikido training?

-dave

Allen Beebe
03-16-2012, 04:53 PM
Interesting video. Bursting the paper into flame was a little tough to take but interesting none the less.

Question for Allen Beebe. So, many different practices for many different goals? OR. different practices for same goal (unified body/mind).

I know there are too many to list but so far we have.

1)Standing, Reeling Silk etc for development of IS
2)Sitting - no mind - meditation- quieting the chatter/ Zanshin?
3) Aiki ken and and Aikido or waza/techniques or locomotion
4) visualization which can fit into 1 and 3 not 2 so much

Im kinda getting the feeling there is overlapping circles of influence here.
Of course my understanding is rudimentary on all three, but I value all opinions
unless you dont believe in 1, 2,3 or 4 and then also would like an opinion as to why not?:eek:

It seems reasonable to me to look to the available evidence in our attempt to draw a conclusion. There have been, and are, individuals exhibiting certain unusual phenomena. What sort of training do they all have in common?

1) Yes. Training that is that or training that is similar to that, that produces the same result.*

[Here I insert my usual caution. Is it possible to train something that APPEARS to be exactly that or similar to that and not achieve any results . . . clearly the answer is, yes. So one should find someone that can demonstrate results and see what it is that they are doing to achieve the results and replicate it until they can do the same or better. Otherwise ones RESULTS assert that one is doing something similar in APPEARANCE but different in SUBSTANCE.]

2) No. All do not have this in common.
3) No. All do not have this in common. Application can be vastly different in appearance, or similar, or not at all.
4) Yes. Visualization in conjunction with some sort of non-locomotion and locomotion IP/Aiki training. (I don't equate locomotion to waza, just movement from one point to another - relative to sitting/standing training which does not move from one point to another (across the floor for example.)

*Clearly in APPEARANCE there is more than one way to develop IP and/or Aiki. Clearly APPEARANCE does not assure results. One must actually be training the same THINGS that are needed to be developed to express IP and/or Aiki. To put a finer point on the matter. I do not believe that either Dan or I claimed that Dan's way or Shirata's way are the only "path up the mountain." However, each of those paths have something in common . . . arrival at the summit. There are other paths, that arrive there too. The question is, is one on a path that arrives actually take one where one wishes to go? Once again, I like evidence rather than hearsay. What makes Shirata sensei's practice unique is that it happens to come from within Aikido (sort of) and was practiced within Aikido, and was recognized as leading in the proper direction by someone some believe can DEMONSTRATE knowledge and experience of a "higher elevation than most many, many others can DEMONSTRATE.

I think I will be away from a keyboard for the weekend so I hope that helps.

Good training!,
Allen

Robert Cowham
03-16-2012, 05:46 PM
Has anyone had experience of Taikiken? Kennichi Sawai studied with Wang Xangzhai (to some degree at least - reports of it being a senior student told not to give out the real stuff also abound) - and as a result did basic standing plus sparring - that seemed to be pretty much it.

There are a variety of videos around of Sawai and his students.

I have done a certain amount of standing over the years, because it was encouraged by Inaba sensei - who had Sawai sensei in to teach at the Shiseikan. I make no great claims as to expertise, but certainly encourage people to explore this practice.

Garth
03-16-2012, 06:06 PM
It seems reasonable to me to look to the available evidence in our attempt to draw a conclusion. There have been, and are, individuals exhibiting certain unusual phenomena. What sort of training do they all have in common?

1) Yes. Training that is that or training that is similar to that, that produces the same result.*

[Here I insert my usual caution. Is it possible to train something that APPEARS to be exactly that or similar to that and not achieve any results . . . clearly the answer is, yes. So one should find someone that can demonstrate results and see what it is that they are doing to achieve the results and replicate it until they can do the same or better. Otherwise ones RESULTS assert that one is doing something similar in APPEARANCE but different in SUBSTANCE.]

2) No. All do not have this in common.
3) No. All do not have this in common. Application can be vastly different in appearance, or similar, or not at all.
4) Yes. Visualization in conjunction with some sort of non-locomotion and locomotion IP/Aiki training. (I don't equate locomotion to waza, just movement from one point to another - relative to sitting/standing training which does not move from one point to another (across the floor for example.)

*Clearly in APPEARANCE there is more than one way to develop IP and/or Aiki. Clearly APPEARANCE does not assure results. One must actually be training the same THINGS that are needed to be developed to express IP and/or Aiki. To put a finer point on the matter. I do not believe that either Dan or I claimed that Dan's way or Shirata's way are the only "path up the mountain." However, each of those paths have something in common . . . arrival at the summit. There are other paths, that arrive there too. The question is, is one on a path that arrives actually take one where one wishes to go? Once again, I like evidence rather than hearsay. What makes Shirata sensei's practice unique is that it happens to come from within Aikido (sort of) and was practiced within Aikido, and was recognized as leading in the proper direction by someone some believe can DEMONSTRATE knowledge and experience of a "higher elevation than most many, many others can DEMONSTRATE.

I think I will be away from a keyboard for the weekend so I hope that helps.

Good training!,
Allen

Okay thanks for the reply . Hopefully I get you before you go train the weekend away.:D

No mistake , I am not saying or even implying that IP is the ony way to go or that anyone has made that claim. As matter of fact it is what occupies most of my thoughts now.
My question is , which is answered now in my slow but thorough pondering brain is what competes or conflicts most or do we make room for it all in training.
And the answer is ..........
According to what your goals or which summit you wish to attain
"it" is in yourself
Has quite the ability to cut away all the BS and posers that there may be
Good and Better!!!!
Greg

Lee Salzman
03-17-2012, 12:33 AM
Has anyone had experience of Taikiken? Kennichi Sawai studied with Wang Xangzhai (to some degree at least - reports of it being a senior student told not to give out the real stuff also abound) - and as a result did basic standing plus sparring - that seemed to be pretty much it.

There are a variety of videos around of Sawai and his students.

I have done a certain amount of standing over the years, because it was encouraged by Inaba sensei - who had Sawai sensei in to teach at the Shiseikan. I make no great claims as to expertise, but certainly encourage people to explore this practice.

I have looked at Sawai's book, and it is a strange animal. It explains almost nothing of how to train "Ritsu-zen" for developing ki, other that he does it is and it is important. In some cases he hints at things about what the exercise actually is, but effectively, it is more what seems either willfull omission or purposeful disinformation of what he knows. It could be that he did not practice the mental activity at all, but the occasional hints he throws out indicate otherwise.

But this ties into a wider point:

WXZ talked extensively about mental activity, mental activity that is not visualization, but rather producing bodily effects by conscious activation of the mental faculties that control them. Those practices where you only just stood there and practiced methods of relaxation were regarded only as 'health' standing and had no carry-over to combative ability, in opposition to 'combat' methods which practiced the development of unified force combined with explosive reaction. You seek to build real ability, not the ability to conjure pictures in your mind.

(Paraphrasing, since it has been ages since I read the exact words) WXZ talked, in one of his translated writings, about things like standing as if he was assailed by many blades all at once and deflecting them away as if they could not touch him. Sawai talks about a spinning top, seemingly still, yet anything that touches it is dashed away, or a fish swimming in a pond, where a small stone dropped in the pool makes the fish instantly swim away. That is not to say these are visualizations they employed, they are rather descriptions of what it felt like when they practiced, and what the practice produced.

And that is to say, in the theme of the combat methods, the standing is but only a small part and is by no means any secret-sauce. If you know what to work on while standing, you also know what you need to work on in movement, which is more important than the incidental fact of you just standing or you just moving - you can work the qualities in either, but movement is more important for bridging to combat. If you just think it is just standing there, or just moving, then you get almost nothing out of these practices likewise.

At least for me, the health methods had no carry-over to the combat methods, zero, because they just tend to focus on relaxing the body rather than working towards a unified body in movement and one that is able to instantly react. And for the combat methods, it was vastly easier to learn various qualities dynamically and occasionally refine them statically where necessary, because static postures hide activational failures, whereas dynamic movements make it obvious when something is not working or working badly.

Robert Cowham
03-17-2012, 09:45 AM
I have looked at Sawai's book, and it is a strange animal. It explains almost nothing of how to train "Ritsu-zen" for developing ki, other that he does it is and it is important. In some cases he hints at things about what the exercise actually is, but effectively, it is more what seems either willfull omission or purposeful disinformation of what he knows. It could be that he did not practice the mental activity at all, but the occasional hints he throws out indicate otherwise.

But this ties into a wider point:

WXZ talked extensively about mental activity, mental activity that is not visualization, but rather producing bodily effects by conscious activation of the mental faculties that control them. Those practices where you only just stood there and practiced methods of relaxation were regarded only as 'health' standing and had no carry-over to combative ability, in opposition to 'combat' methods which practiced the development of unified force combined with explosive reaction. You seek to build real ability, not the ability to conjure pictures in your mind.

(Paraphrasing, since it has been ages since I read the exact words) WXZ talked, in one of his translated writings, about things like standing as if he was assailed by many blades all at once and deflecting them away as if they could not touch him. Sawai talks about a spinning top, seemingly still, yet anything that touches it is dashed away, or a fish swimming in a pond, where a small stone dropped in the pool makes the fish instantly swim away. That is not to say these are visualizations they employed, they are rather descriptions of what it felt like when they practiced, and what the practice produced.

And that is to say, in the theme of the combat methods, the standing is but only a small part and is by no means any secret-sauce. If you know what to work on while standing, you also know what you need to work on in movement, which is more important than the incidental fact of you just standing or you just moving - you can work the qualities in either, but movement is more important for bridging to combat. If you just think it is just standing there, or just moving, then you get almost nothing out of these practices likewise.

At least for me, the health methods had no carry-over to the combat methods, zero, because they just tend to focus on relaxing the body rather than working towards a unified body in movement and one that is able to instantly react. And for the combat methods, it was vastly easier to learn various qualities dynamically and occasionally refine them statically where necessary, because static postures hide activational failures, whereas dynamic movements make it obvious when something is not working or working badly.

Very valid points.

Fairly traditional Japanese (and not uncommon in China either) teaching method to "just stand" and if you do it long enough you will discover some stuff. I certainly believe this does have an effect, but it is sub-optimal (in the short term at least). Having sought out some Yiquan practitioners I discovered a number of mental exercises which made things more interesting and more effective. Have also had useful insights from people such as Mike Sigman and Dan Harden among others.

As I understand Sawai's teaching - the sparring sessions are a way of educating people about the benefits of the basic standing - and a feedback mechanism.

Interestingly, I am also starting to appreciate the long term benefits of not giving away too much - making students work for their knowledge. It's a way of filtering out the less motivated. I see pros and cons for both approaches.

Lee Salzman
03-18-2012, 02:26 AM
Very valid points.

Fairly traditional Japanese (and not uncommon in China either) teaching method to "just stand" and if you do it long enough you will discover some stuff. I certainly believe this does have an effect, but it is sub-optimal (in the short term at least). Having sought out some Yiquan practitioners I discovered a number of mental exercises which made things more interesting and more effective. Have also had useful insights from people such as Mike Sigman and Dan Harden among others.

As I understand Sawai's teaching - the sparring sessions are a way of educating people about the benefits of the basic standing - and a feedback mechanism.

Interestingly, I am also starting to appreciate the long term benefits of not giving away too much - making students work for their knowledge. It's a way of filtering out the less motivated. I see pros and cons for both approaches.

Testing in sparring is really essential to make use of what is gained in practice, but it is no substitute for actually having been shown what to practice, it is just a complement to it. And it's weird, I just can't imagine Sawai didn't learn about mental activity in zhan zhuang since WXZ was so vocal about it publically, but maybe that could be the strange reality of the situation under which Sawai was in China in the first place and the hostility thereof, and the fact that we have a lot of WXZ's translated writings now, but presumably Sawai would not have access to them at the time.

On the other hand, WXZ was quite vocal and gave several interviews. But at the same time, there were probably other arts that did plenty of the just-stand-there-mabu or just-stand-there-santi that Sawai would have encountered, so it seems also unlikely he would be so taken by the practice if he thought that's all the tricks WXZ had, otherwise why would he be so insistent on trying to train under WXZ? WXZ allegedly bested him despite all Sawai's previous training, but there were probably no shortage of people in the whole of China who could have managed that, since WXZ was good, but he was no super-hero and had several defeats on record.

All in all, there are just so many what-ifs with Sawai that could only be answered by an actual student of his... :confused:

I think the idea of "filtering" is a bit wrong-headed. Now, on one level, you could say that you are trying to protect information from people who, well, might be independent minded and simply not want to use the information the same way in which the teacher does. They are just being human, whereas the teacher is just being a control freak.

At the same time, finding anyone who is going to train the full depth of the material is going to require a lot of exposure, because people who are obsessed about any one given activity are rare, and you can't predict what will trigger a person's interest and obsession with a subject. So by limiting his options, the teacher is both losing out, and as said before, is likely a control freak of the sort that prevents his own students which he may actually care about from growing into independent minded and self-sufficient martial artists.

It's not an easy subject to pass on and requires a lot of personal time and attention to do that, and that in and of itself will filter out people unintentionally, so no need to do it intentionally on top of that.

This is to say nothing of the fact that if the teacher is not showing the student anything of interest, why should the student show an interest and devotion to him? There's a lot of unimpressive stuff under the name of yiquan out there, and the good ones don't really do enough to draw people to them. Maybe they're happy with that, but a lot of students who actually do want to find a good teacher and study hard, never get the opportunity, since all they find is the quacks.

Funnily enough, WXZ himself spoke of the master-disciple system being harmful and an impediment to learning...

Allen Beebe
03-20-2012, 08:56 AM
Okay thanks for the reply . Hopefully I get you before you go train the weekend away.:D

No mistake , I am not saying or even implying that IP is the ony way to go or that anyone has made that claim. As matter of fact it is what occupies most of my thoughts now.
My question is , which is answered now in my slow but thorough pondering brain is what competes or conflicts most or do we make room for it all in training.
And the answer is ..........
According to what your goals or which summit you wish to attain
"it" is in yourself
Has quite the ability to cut away all the BS and posers that there may be
Good and Better!!!!
Greg

Well, I am saying that IP is the way to go if one wants Aiki. IP is not Aiki, but IP is necessary for an individual to produce Aiki. As it is true that, the summit one reaches is determined by the path one takes. If one wishes to reach the summit of Aiki, one must be sure to tread the Way of Aiki fully to its summit. (As any path that reaches the summit can be rightfully called a "summit path.". There may be many paths up the "mountain of Aiki" but the validity of each TRUE path is evidenced by its reaching the goal of Aiki.)

Treading the path and reaching the summit will be determined and evidenced, soley by what one DOES rather than by what one SAYS.

chillzATL
03-20-2012, 10:16 AM
so I went back and reviewed Shioda's solo exercises. I find them quite similar to Tohei's exercises, though certainly not in the way he demonstrated them. There's little in the form that doesn't exist on both sides at least. The largest difference that I see and feel is the effect that Shioda's kamae has on the overall feeling in me. That feeling is something that, IMO, is missing from Tohei's stuff as practiced and, to my eyes at least, as demonstrated by him. Odd considering that he was around in the old days, it all came from the same source and his stuff was obviously approved by the man himself. It's also interesting to see things in Tohei's stuff that existed in DR, at least as practiced by Sagawa, but doesn't seem to appear in Ueshiba's early kobukan offshoots. It would be interesting to know the evolution there. layers of the onion!

Garth
03-20-2012, 03:30 PM
Well, I am saying that IP is the way to go if one wants Aiki. IP is not Aiki, but IP is necessary for an individual to produce Aiki. As it is true that, the summit one reaches is determined by the path one takes. If one wishes to reach the summit of Aiki, one must be sure to tread the Way of Aiki fully to its summit. (As any path that reaches the summit can be rightfully called a "summit path.". There may be many paths up the "mountain of Aiki" but the validity of each TRUE path is evidenced by its reaching the goal of Aiki.)

Treading the path and reaching the summit will be determined and evidenced, soley by what one DOES rather than by what one SAYS.

So as you say, many paths same summit. But is this not evidence that few were able to replicate what OSensei was doing at his level? Because they were treading a path a few yards a away but not the same exact path and therefore could not understand what he was actually doing , (IOW they could not see the motion in stillness nor understand the instruction. Eventually a few did attain aiki but a much harder/longer path? And not as good.?
And to keep answering some of my own questions, I guess sitting practice(meditation ) will Not develop much Aiki?
And I guess you liked my signature line at the bottom ;)
Thanks Allen!

Allen Beebe
03-20-2012, 03:39 PM
“Old” is a relative thing I guess. Relative to each other Tohei began in 1940, Shirata and Shioda began at the beginning of the 30’s, Tomiki began studying with Ueshiba in 1926. So there is difference of about 6 years between Shioda/Shirata and Tomiki and a difference of almost 15 years between Tohei and Tomiki.

Tomiki, Shirata and Shioda (in order of entry) all received licenses (more than one I believe) in Daito Ryu from Ueshiba regardless of what the art was called during their training. And Ueshiba’s Daito Ryu teacher Takeda Sokaku would occasionally come and teach at Ueshiba’s dojo during this time. Seemingly these individuals, if they learned Aiki, likely learned Daito Ryu Aiki (as reflected in the licenses awarded by Morihei and, perhaps, the presence of Takeda in the dojo occasionally at the time.)

KIsshomaru Ueshiba is said to have begun his training in about 1937.

Tohei began training just before the name Aikido began to be officially used, and after ties with Takeda had been severed. Tohei claimed that the only thing he learned from Ueshiba was relaxation. (We are left to believe that Mind/Body coordination and consequently Ki-Aikido came via Tohei’s study with the Tempukai or perhaps via personal discovery.)

All of these men were given responsibilities and, presumably, “approval” by Ueshiba Morihei. Clearly “approval” alone did not equate to similarity, or even compatibility.

Sagawa said that he learned Aiki from Takeda early on, and also claimed, similarly to Ueshiba and Tohei, that what he developed was unique from his teacher.

Two things are clear to me, as evidenced by innumerable students of these famous teachers:

The difference that *makes the difference* is not contained in outer forms but in inner ability manifested outwardly.
Learning from, attending a seminar, or being a student of and individual who CAN manifest outwardly their inner ability (even if it their heartfelt wish is to teach you) is NO guarantee that you will learn and manifest that ability yourself.

chillzATL
03-20-2012, 04:04 PM
old is definitely relative. I'd never quite thought of the timeline. It would certainly be interesting to hear some stories if Takeda had shown up when someone of Tohei's...personality... had been there. anywho..

I have little interest in the outward forms as outward forms. I just enjoy exploring them to see what's there with more opened eyes. Much like yourself I would imagine.

question: Did Shirata Sensei stress kamae in the same way as Shioda?

Allen Beebe
03-20-2012, 05:18 PM
So as you say, many paths same summit. But is this not evidence that few were able to replicate what OSensei was doing at his level? Because they were treading a path a few yards a away but not the same exact path and therefore could not understand what he was actually doing , (IOW they could not see the motion in stillness nor understand the instruction. Eventually a few did attain aiki but a much harder/longer path? And not as good.?
And to keep answering some of my own questions, I guess sitting practice(meditation ) will Not develop much Aiki?
And I guess you liked my signature line at the bottom ;)
Thanks Allen!

I would say, all summit paths, by definition, lead to the summit (yes, some may be more direct than others), BUT not all summits are the same. If I wish to reach the summit of Mt. Hood (Aiki), I'll be careful to take a path that leads to the summit of MT. HOOD (Aiki) and I'll seek the guidance of someone who has been to the summit of Mt. Hood (Aiki), knows the path (Way) well and has led others successfully to that goal, as evidenced by their manifestation of Aiki.

There does not appear to me to be a direct correlation between sitting practice (meditation) and the acquisition/manifestation of Aiki. However, as some sitting practices can lead to a profound ability to control consciousness and sometimes bodily processes not normally thought be be controlled by consciousness, and since both IP and Aiki require an unusual degree of intent and bodily control, it seems reasonable to me that such a practice might, while not the same (Compare the number of meditators vs the number of individuals exhibiting IP/Aiki to any appreciable degree.) may be, at the very least, not detrimental to the acquisition and/or manifestation of IP/Aiki in the same manner that, for example, resistance training is, at least at the initial states, counter productive to the acquisition and/or manifestation of IP/Aiki.

Thank you for your expression of appreciation for my posts. My general philosophy is: Those that can't do (to any appreciable degree) [and that would be me right now] shouldn't talk (rather they should think and train until they can DO to an appreciable degree) . . . or post in this case. However, I have been "encouraged" to share and continue sharing despite the awkwardness I feel in doing so. In the mean time I continue to think and train with my peers with the help and guidance of one (and his able friends ;) ) who can DO.

It is for the aforementioned reason that I have also begun to speak of and share the solo body movement exercises taught to me. About a year ago I was asked why I don't share them. I responded that I do, those that train with me practice them from the start. I was then asked why I don't share them with others? I responded that most don't wish to learn them. I was then asked how someone can wish to learn something they don't know about? I didn't have a adequate response to that question, so last year I began teaching the exercises explicitly (not in conjunction with waza) in public. But, again, I point out that the outer forms are not the same as the inner ability manifested outwardly. I'm working on it.

Allen Beebe
03-20-2012, 06:26 PM
old is definitely relative. I'd never quite thought of the timeline. It would certainly be interesting to hear some stories if Takeda had shown up when someone of Tohei's...personality... had been there. anywho..

I have little interest in the outward forms as outward forms. I just enjoy exploring them to see what's there with more opened eyes. Much like yourself I would imagine.

question: Did Shirata Sensei stress kamae in the same way as Shioda?

It is difficult for me to answer that question for the following reasons:

1) I am one student of Shirata sensei, certainly not the sole representative. (I'm sure you know that, but for the sake of integrity I feel compelled to write it down nevertheless.)
2) I would have to be aware of the way that Shioda sensei "stressed" kamae, and I unfortunately am not.

I can state the following:

I personally find how Shioda sensei's students perform their solo body movements (including their kamae) to be qualitatively different from what I see Shioda sensei doing. (The same can be said of Shirata's students I suppose.)

Shioda sensei's movement appears to me to me more inline (but not identical to) qualitatively Shirata sensei's movement than Shioda's students are with Shioda.

I think I read that "Yoshinkan kamae" has the weight distributed something on the lines of 70/30 towards the front? My understanding of Shirata sensei's instruction with regards to Kamae (which changed slightly BTW depending on what was required at the moment) was that the weight was to be 50/50 (almost) all of the time (one must be centered in the self ALL of the time.) Also, the position of the groin area should be held similarly to the position acquired in the practice of shiko. (That is the shiko "sumo stomp," not knee walking.) In fact one's entire body should be "shiko like" which is why shiko was taught. This is important because most individuals allow that area to collapse or become acute especially when standing the hanmi position regularly taught by Shioda and Shirata senseis.

Probably of most importance was the teaching that kamae is more than a "physical posture" (which is best thought of as a dynamic processes rather than a form of stasis) but also a "mental attitude" (which is also best thought of as a dynamic processes rather than a form of stasis). There is a depth to these teachings that cannot be addressed here. I'll just mention that one should be emanating outwardly and inwardly, at once, in (four, eight or ten) directions (I don't recall sensei using 6) First there is up and down (Heaven, Earth, we are in the middle) then the four cardinal directions (Yeah that makes 6, but I don't recall that number being used. Like I said though, I'm just one guy.), then 8 (the diagonals) then ten (the eight plus up and down.)

This coincided with his teaching of the Ken. One should be open in all directions, when one goes in one direction there must be an equal amount in the opposite direction. This was especially true if one moved backwards. While moving backwards one must be POWERFULLY moving forwards. Also, one must be "on" in each direction like a charger pawing the ground impatient to bolt. It first this is clunky but, I was told and have some experience with, in time the chunkiness refines to a hum. So your body/mind will hum. If you have a weapon it should hum. This isn't a "pretend" or "hippy dippy" thing. It is a real, visceral, reproducible experience. It also isn't machismo. It has NOTHING to do with machismo.

In fact, that "hum" should be "feel able" at a distance.

The question is sometimes asked (in the context of Ken), "What if the opponent doesn't feel or recognize that (the "hum")?" The answer (in the context of Ken): "They die stupid."

No resource pertinent to the task at hand physical or mental is "off line."

One more thing (well lots more things but you know . . .), sensei's kamae changed with and without a ken I found. Without a ken there was still sensei "there" (to my mind at least), it was scary at times, but sensei was "around" to ameliorate the situation. With a ken in his hands his kamae changed such that (to my mind at least) sensei "wasn't there" anymore. It was, I imagine, a bit like looking into the face of a alligator, nothing personal . . . strictly business. Dealing with that was a study in kamae itself.

So, yeah, kamae . . . important mostly for reasons well beyond angles and such. How about with Shioda sensei?

Garth
03-20-2012, 07:33 PM
Thank you for your expression of appreciation for my posts. My general philosophy is: Those that can't do (to any appreciable degree) [and that would be me right now] shouldn't talk (rather they should think and train until they can DO to an appreciable degree) . . . or post in this case. However, I have been "encouraged" to share and continue sharing despite the awkwardness I feel in doing so. In the mean time I continue to think and train with my peers with the help and guidance of one (and his able friends ) who can DO. Quote

Allen,
This is also me, same boat or path, although it sounds like you are much further up the path than I.
And "you see" or have "seen" more people at the summit than I and it is vitaly important that you continue to share, awkward as it may seem, there is more appreciation out there than you think
:)

chillzATL
03-21-2012, 08:10 AM
It is difficult for me to answer that question for the following reasons:

1) I am one student of Shirata sensei, certainly not the sole representative. (I'm sure you know that, but for the sake of integrity I feel compelled to write it down nevertheless.)
2) I would have to be aware of the way that Shioda sensei "stressed" kamae, and I unfortunately am not.

I can state the following:

I personally find how Shioda sensei's students perform their solo body movements (including their kamae) to be qualitatively different from what I see Shioda sensei doing. (The same can be said of Shirata's students I suppose.)

Shioda sensei's movement appears to me to me more inline (but not identical to) qualitatively Shirata sensei's movement than Shioda's students are with Shioda.

I think I read that "Yoshinkan kamae" has the weight distributed something on the lines of 70/30 towards the front? My understanding of Shirata sensei's instruction with regards to Kamae (which changed slightly BTW depending on what was required at the moment) was that the weight was to be 50/50 (almost) all of the time (one must be centered in the self ALL of the time.) Also, the position of the groin area should be held similarly to the position acquired in the practice of shiko. (That is the shiko "sumo stomp," not knee walking.) In fact one's entire body should be "shiko like" which is why shiko was taught. This is important because most individuals allow that area to collapse or become acute especially when standing the hanmi position regularly taught by Shioda and Shirata senseis.

Probably of most importance was the teaching that kamae is more than a "physical posture" (which is best thought of as a dynamic processes rather than a form of stasis) but also a "mental attitude" (which is also best thought of as a dynamic processes rather than a form of stasis). There is a depth to these teachings that cannot be addressed here. I'll just mention that one should be emanating outwardly and inwardly, at once, in (four, eight or ten) directions (I don't recall sensei using 6) First there is up and down (Heaven, Earth, we are in the middle) then the four cardinal directions (Yeah that makes 6, but I don't recall that number being used. Like I said though, I'm just one guy.), then 8 (the diagonals) then ten (the eight plus up and down.)

This coincided with his teaching of the Ken. One should be open in all directions, when one goes in one direction there must be an equal amount in the opposite direction. This was especially true if one moved backwards. While moving backwards one must be POWERFULLY moving forwards. Also, one must be "on" in each direction like a charger pawing the ground impatient to bolt. It first this is clunky but, I was told and have some experience with, in time the chunkiness refines to a hum. So your body/mind will hum. If you have a weapon it should hum. This isn't a "pretend" or "hippy dippy" thing. It is a real, visceral, reproducible experience. It also isn't machismo. It has NOTHING to do with machismo.

In fact, that "hum" should be "feel able" at a distance.

The question is sometimes asked (in the context of Ken), "What if the opponent doesn't feel or recognize that (the "hum")?" The answer (in the context of Ken): "They die stupid."

No resource pertinent to the task at hand physical or mental is "off line."

One more thing (well lots more things but you know . . .), sensei's kamae changed with and without a ken I found. Without a ken there was still sensei "there" (to my mind at least), it was scary at times, but sensei was "around" to ameliorate the situation. With a ken in his hands his kamae changed such that (to my mind at least) sensei "wasn't there" anymore. It was, I imagine, a bit like looking into the face of a alligator, nothing personal . . . strictly business. Dealing with that was a study in kamae itself.

So, yeah, kamae . . . important mostly for reasons well beyond angles and such. How about with Shioda sensei?

Allen,

Interesting stuff, thanks for taking the time. I have no direct exeprience with the Yoshinkan, so all of my referencing is from print or video. I believe they hold to a 60/40 weight distribution, but my interest was really more in the foot positioning, specifically as it relates to their solo exercises. I recall finding that foot positioning such an odd thing as it's completely foreign to our practice and I guess I haven't thought about it since my training took its current turn. That kamae combined with some of their exercises (and oddly, even ours) produces an interesting sensation from hand to foot across the body. Even just standing it has an interesting feel to it through the legs/middle and seems to extend the stretch of some of the more linear exercises into the legs. It's definitely something I never would have noticed without that outside training, so it's easy to see how the value of these kinds of exercises gets glossed over. I also found it interesting that Shioda was pretty clear in saying that this isn't a fighting stance, but was to "instill the center line". He also has some interesting things to say in regards to the "energy" of the body in practice that somewhat mirrors your comments from Shirata sensei.

Good stuff and thanks again for sharing. Feel free to do so any time the urge strikes you! :)

Dazzler
03-21-2012, 08:36 AM
....... I also found it interesting that Shioda was pretty clear in saying that this isn't a fighting stance, but was to "instill the center line". He also has some interesting things to say in regards to the "energy" of the body in practice that somewhat mirrors your comments from Shirata sensei.

)

Reading through a lot of recent threads there's clearly a lot of resistance to the suggestion that Aikido practice could be refocussed to improve the development of 'Aiki'.

Yet a statement like this suggests that what is proposed by the Aiki/Ip fraternity isn't necessarily plugging a gap that was never filled in Aikido but more about restoring it to its original glory.

Just an observation.

FWIW

D

chillzATL
03-21-2012, 08:46 AM
Reading through a lot of recent threads there's clearly a lot of resistance to the suggestion that Aikido practice could be refocussed to improve the development of 'Aiki'.

Yet a statement like this suggests that what is proposed by the Aiki/Ip fraternity isn't necessarily plugging a gap that was never filled in Aikido but more about restoring it to its original glory.

Just an observation.

FWIW

D

I wouldn't say refocused to improve, but refocused to once again include and IMO that resistance is slowly melting away. While the methods some are using to get there might be different on the surface, the real content is much the same. It's interesting (at least to me) to see what was actually there, the efforts that were made to pass it along and how some of that stuff can be reintegrated into practice along with some more modern methods to rebuild what was lost.

Allen Beebe
03-21-2012, 08:49 AM
Allen,

Interesting stuff, thanks for taking the time. I have no direct exeprience with the Yoshinkan, so all of my referencing is from print or video. I believe they hold to a 60/40 weight distribution, but my interest was really more in the foot positioning, specifically as it relates to their solo exercises. I recall finding that foot positioning such an odd thing as it's completely foreign to our practice and I guess I haven't thought about it since my training took its current turn. That kamae combined with some of their exercises (and oddly, even ours) produces an interesting sensation from hand to foot across the body. Even just standing it has an interesting feel to it through the legs/middle and seems to extend the stretch of some of the more linear exercises into the legs. It's definitely something I never would have noticed without that outside training, so it's easy to see how the value of these kinds of exercises gets glossed over. I also found it interesting that Shioda was pretty clear in saying that this isn't a fighting stance, but was to "instill the center line". He also has some interesting things to say in regards to the "energy" of the body in practice that somewhat mirrors your comments from Shirata sensei.

Good stuff and thanks again for sharing. Feel free to do so any time the urge strikes you! :)

Thanks Jason,

With regards to the feet. If one considers that it is best (health wise) to keep them in line with the knee, one can see that the hanmi of Shioda/Shirata doesn't really supinate the foot, but rather the femur maximally. This is juxtaposed by an equally maximal pronation of the femurs during Shirata's tenkan movement. What causes the femur to be rotated maximally in either direction is also of primary importance. So one goes further down the rabbit hole of creating Ip, and then Aiki within one's self. Of course this is elementary stuff, but without a strong foundation to build off of everything that comes afterward can only be facade and sophistry.

All the best,
Allen

Dazzler
03-21-2012, 09:11 AM
I wouldn't say refocused to improve, but refocused to once again include and IMO that resistance is slowly melting away. While the methods some are using to get there might be different on the surface, the real content is much the same. It's interesting (at least to me) to see what was actually there, the efforts that were made to pass it along and how some of that stuff can be reintegrated into practice along with some more modern methods to rebuild what was lost.

I guess refocussing to once again include ...would improve the end result.

There's certainly a growing appreciation and interest of the subject I agree.

For my own part i'm fascinated how an insight into this area can transform well trod training practices and illuminate areas previously unnoticed.

I still hear some pretty strong resistance though...who knows ...maybe there are some people out there who really do have this in their regular practice. its not beyond the realms of possibility...my belief though is that most would change their opinion once they got some hands on with the leading players in this revolution.

Cheers

D

Allen Beebe
03-21-2012, 09:17 AM
Reading through a lot of recent threads there's clearly a lot of resistance to the suggestion that Aikido practice could be refocussed to improve the development of 'Aiki'.

Yet a statement like this suggests that what is proposed by the Aiki/Ip fraternity isn't necessarily plugging a gap that was never filled in Aikido but more about restoring it to its original glory.

Just an observation.

FWIW

D

Hi Daren,

If one reads Chris Li's fine blogs, one can quickly come to the conclusuion that the founders of all IP/Aiki arts were part of a "fraternity" of sorts. As for me, I"ve trained with "outsiders" to Aikido for years (after sensei's death) rather than within Aikido because I found more commonality, friendship and acceptance with them than within Aikido. Some acused me of going "outside Aikido" for further training (to plug a hole) . . . Wrong! I went "outside Aikido" so I could further learn, train and develop Aikido as origionally taught to me!

I'm probably more jaded about the present state of Aikido and its future than most of my "outside" friends. On the other hand I've probably trained with more Aikido folks in the past year or so than I'd trained with in the ten years previously. That is a remarkable change in my Aikido world that I am enjoying.

Allen Beebe
03-21-2012, 09:19 AM
Wish I could learn to spell!

Dazzler
03-21-2012, 09:32 AM
Wish I could learn to spell!

Never mind the spelling ..its the quality of what you are saying that counts.

As you observe...your Aikido world is changing. Mine is too and while sometimes I feel critical of some practices, generally I feel very positive about the winds of change sweeping Aikido.

interesting times.

Chris Li
03-21-2012, 10:16 AM
I also found it interesting that Shioda was pretty clear in saying that this isn't a fighting stance, but was to "instill the center line".

Inoue (the Yoshinkan one) used to say much the same thing - that the kamae was not really "correct", but that they found that it developed the center line more quickly.

Best,

Chris

Eric Joyce
03-21-2012, 04:09 PM
Reading this thread got me thinking of something that Mark Murray had put together a few years ago worth reading. Here is the link: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-14340.html

gregstec
03-21-2012, 06:20 PM
Wish I could learn to spell!

One of the hidden side affects of training with Dan and learning his aiki is that you get the dark side as well and will subconsciously start to spell as well as he does :D:D

Greg

Akeman1963
03-21-2012, 08:56 PM
i know.

there are indeed other videos that "debunk" chi/ki. but do they? or do they just debunk the people shown? (frankly, i dont know what to make of it..)

the thing about this guy that is interesting is that he initially didnt want to share, and ended up going back to the shadows as it were after he felt ashamed for trying to promote it; would someone trying to gain fame etc. do such a thing?...

there are some videos of the foo-foo ki guys doing no touch throws, etc., but then, there is also some footage of o-sensei doing this..hmm...

my challenging questions for us (or maybe just for me):
1. would o-sensei's ki "powers" have stood up to scientific 'mythbusters'?
2. did his legend have anything to do with this stuff, or was he 'unbeatable' based strictly on physical budo skill?
3. how does the answer to #2 have implications for aikido training?

-dave

******************

My opinion is:

1) yes
2) yes, and no not just physical
3) O'Sensei's students have witnessed his power and admitted to not fully exposing themselves to his power; it is also not about winning and losing, beating or getting beat, it is about harmonizing

I know little, but I do believe. If you speak of what others cannot accept then it is not harmonious.
Those who achieve enlightenment risk losing it by speaking of it.
The spiritual path must be explored to gain your own answers.

My apologies, Kevin

DH
03-21-2012, 09:25 PM
Jason Casteel wrote:
I also found it interesting that Shioda was pretty clear in saying that this isn't a fighting stance, but was to "instill the center line".
Inoue (the Yoshinkan one) used to say much the same thing - that the kamae was not really "correct", but that they found that it developed the center line more quickly.

Best,

Chris

It doesn't matter to me who said what...those stances will never instill a center line and you will be knocked off of it by those who truly know what a center line is...every time..... done and done.
There is a superior method and that isn't it and that is all there is to it.

I know the typical budo refrain of give everyone a hug and applaud their efforts as equal. My only comment would be that it is fortunate we live in the hobby era of Budo instead of the professional era. In the era when this type of "advice" cost you your very life, this "advice" (if it ever even existed back then) vanished along with you, leaving the people with "good advice" to advance better teaching methodologies.

This is also an era of better education and access. It's only a matter of time before the better teaching wins by exposure. Against real information for moving from center....the bad advice simply fails, over and over and over.
It was always this way when people tested each other freely. How could it be any other way?
Dan

Chris Li
03-21-2012, 09:52 PM
It doesn't matter to me who said what...those stances will never instill a center line and you will be knocked off of it by those who truly know what a center line is...every time..... done and done.
There is a superior method and that isn't it and that is all there is to it.

I know the typical budo refrain of give everyone a hug and applaud their efforts as equal. My only comment would be that it is fortunate we live in the hobby era of Budo instead of the professional era. In the era when this type of "advice" cost you your very life, this "advice" (if it ever even existed back then) vanished along with you, leaving the people with "good advice" to advance better teaching methodologies.

This is also an era of better education and access. It's only a matter of time before the better teaching wins by exposure. Against real information for moving from center....the bad advice simply fails, over and over and over.
It was always this way when people tested each other freely. How could it be any other way?
Dan

Well, that's the real trap - that things work well for the limited situation for which they are developed. So everything seems OK until...;)

Best,

Chris

Allen Beebe
03-22-2012, 09:03 AM
Well, that's the real trap - that things work well for the limited situation for which they are developed. So everything seems OK until...;)

Best,

Chris

Classic "Karate Kid" pitfall: "If do right, no can defence!"

Works just fine . . . Until the second episode! ;)

(Watch all the episodes and you'll prove you can "eat bitter." Get the tshirt and you'll prove your last name is Popkin! :p )

[btw doesn't Danny Kamekona own a restraunt in Seattle where certain Bad Budoka Bunnies hang?]

Allen Beebe
03-28-2012, 08:49 AM
Classic "Karate Kid" pitfall: "If do right, no can defence!"

Works just fine . . . Until the second episode! ;)

(Watch all the episodes and you'll prove you can "eat bitter." Get the tshirt and you'll prove your last name is Popkin! :p )

[btw doesn't Danny Kamekona own a restraunt in Seattle where certain Bad Budoka Bunnies hang?]

My bad. It is Yuji Okumoto in KK2 and owner of Kona Kitchen!

http://www.konakitchen.com/about-yuji.html

kvnmcwebn
03-28-2012, 09:15 AM
Its hard to find a good teacher for this stuff but if you do you're in luck. Over few lessons I had with an Yi Chaun master I spent hours try to "empty the chest". Afterwards my power increased. Before the master I was learning with went back to china he told me, you can do standing on your own but it won't be Yi Chuan. That is to say that it requires constant posture correction, both internal and external, from a master to progress. You can't correct your own deviations in posture because you don't realize that you have them, at least the subtle ones. GM Chen Xiaowang is a great teacher of standing meditation, he can correct posture inside and out. The thing about standing is that your body isn't moving but your energy is opened up big time, that's why the posture has to be perfect. Posture correction from a master feels like getting accupuncture, all of the blocks of chi flow are released.