PDA

View Full Version : More on Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


Chris Li
07-01-2012, 07:21 PM
Today's new blog article:

More on Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven - Ansai Yamazaki and Ama-no-ukihashi-den (http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/archive/2012-07-01/more-on-aikido-and-the-floating-bridge-of-heaven)

Enjoy!

Chris

Ernesto Lemke
07-02-2012, 06:54 AM
Bam! Another great blog Chris! Thanks.

DH
07-02-2012, 10:08 AM
Excellent work Chris
All that is left is for people who want to actually practice Aikido the way the founder did is to first:

1. Embrace what he actually said (now that proper translations are available) instead of the low level uneducated material that was offered to us.
2. Find out what all of this technology is in its proper context.
3. Find people who not only know it but can demonstrate "unusual power" based on it, in a non-cooperative, non aikido setting.
(the above is a critical requirement since it disqualifies most everyone I have ever seen or felt in the art of aikido, including the Ueshiba family and most of the entire senior Staff )
4. Find people who can teach it.
(Rarer still, since many of those left who do have something...apparently cannot teach it, which explains the rest)

We have to fix ourselves. The Japanese will not (or in the more sincere ones) are incapable of helping much. The Japanese teachers who are willing and can teach are apparently very rare. We need to fully examine where the Western Staff is and where the Eastern Staff is and make critical assessments. I think it is obvious that the Westerners are going to obliterate the Japanese at both internal power/aiki development and the ability to cross train, test fight with aiki far past the cooperative model.
I don't mean this in any elitist, or racist view, rather it is a better ability to communciate with each other and to test without all the "Sensei" and "toe the line" requirements.
Thankfully, there are more and more Aikido teachers learning what Ueshiba's material was and where he got it from (it was not his), and are learning to manifest power that is going to surpass anything being produced in Japan. Moreover the the teachers training this way are even more in love with their akido ...now that they see how it was all supposed to actualy work in the first place.
As Gleason said at a recent seminar, when asked about IP/aiki development and its use in Aikido:
"How do you make this work in AIkido? There isn't anything in aikido that isn't this! You'r not really doing akido without it!"

Dan
"Standing on the floating bridge of Heaven" and wondering why everyone else isn't as well.

Jon Haas
07-02-2012, 12:56 PM
Looking for the "Like" button! :)

Jon

Excellent work Chris
All that is left is for people who want to actually practice Aikido the way the founder did is to first:

1. Embrace what he actually said (now that proper translations are available) instead of the low level uneducated material that was offered to us.
2. Find out what all of this technology is in its proper context.
3. Find people who not only know it but can demonstrate "unusual power" based on it, in a non-cooperative, non aikido setting.
(the above is a critical requirement since it disqualifies most everyone I have ever seen or felt in the art of aikido, including the Ueshiba family and most of the entire senior Staff )
4. Find people who can teach it.
(Rarer still, since many of those left who do have something...apparently cannot teach it, which explains the rest)

We have to fix ourselves. The Japanese will not (or in the more sincere ones) are incapable of helping much. The Japanese teachers who are willing and can teach are apparently very rare. We need to fully examine where the Western Staff is and where the Eastern Staff is and make critical assessments. I think it is obvious that the Westerners are going to obliterate the Japanese at both internal power/aiki development and the ability to cross train, test fight with aiki far past the cooperative model.
I don't mean this in any elitist, or racist view, rather it is a better ability to communciate with each other and to test without all the "Sensei" and "toe the line" requirements.
Thankfully, there are more and more Aikido teachers learning what Ueshiba's material was and where he got it from (it was not his), and are learning to manifest power that is going to surpass anything being produced in Japan. Moreover the the teachers training this way are even more in love with their akido ...now that they see how it was all supposed to actualy work in the first place.
As Gleason said at a recent seminar, when asked about IP/aiki development and its use in Aikido:
"How do you make this work in AIkido? There isn't anything in aikido that isn't this! You'r not really doing akido without it!"

Dan
"Standing on the floating bridge of Heaven" and wondering why everyone else isn't as well.

califax
07-09-2012, 04:19 PM
Today's new blog article:

More on Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven - Ansai Yamazaki and Ama-no-ukihashi-den (http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/archive/2012-07-01/more-on-aikido-and-the-floating-bridge-of-heaven)


To really understand just what kind of martial and spiritual dynamite this wonderful series of articles delivers, I recommend everyone to read
Eva Wong: Taoism, An Essential Guide (http://www.shambhala.com/authors/u-z/eva-wong/taoism.html) or some comparably good introduction into taoist language.

Now, if I only had a similar guide for mikkyo sects I bet this all could become even clearer yet...

davoravo
07-12-2012, 04:21 PM
Hi

I meant to post these 2 links on the thread as background about the way of the cross but they fit well here. They are discussion of Chinese qigong but seem to have a lot of similarity to what Ueshiba was saying. They discuss qigong as a path of "destiny". There seems to be two components, acting in accordance with the will of heaven and internal alchemy. Uniting heaven, earth and man (being a bridge between heaven and earth) is to act in accordance with the will of heaven and thereby act out one's will (actually heaven's will) in the world. In turn, practice of inner alchemy (qigong) will enable one to develop the will that creates changes in the world (or others) ie to be the sage that changes the world through non-action.

I think the second link is probably only readable after reading the first:

http://www.willmountain.com/v/Clinic/Mingmen-Dantian.pdf

http://www.spiritpathpress.com/chinese-medicine-books/articles/article_3guilingweb.pdf

Chris, I am a little confused. You talk about standing on the bridge as being in the centre of the spiral between In and Yo but is that more a description of what happens when the two gods step down off the bridge and descend to earth? It doesn't seem to matter much, the way they circle around the land they have created seems a strong echo if not a direct retelling of the events on the bridge.

Chris Li
07-12-2012, 04:45 PM
Hi

I meant to post these 2 links on the thread as background about the way of the cross but they fit well here. They are discussion of Chinese qigong but seem to have a lot of similarity to what Ueshiba was saying. They discuss qigong as a path of "destiny". There seems to be two components, acting in accordance with the will of heaven and internal alchemy. Uniting heaven, earth and man (being a bridge between heaven and earth) is to act in accordance with the will of heaven and thereby act out one's will (actually heaven's will) in the world. In turn, practice of inner alchemy (qigong) will enable one to develop the will that creates changes in the world (or others) ie to be the sage that changes the world through non-action.

I think the second link is probably only readable after reading the first:

http://www.willmountain.com/v/Clinic/Mingmen-Dantian.pdf

http://www.spiritpathpress.com/chinese-medicine-books/articles/article_3guilingweb.pdf

Chris, I am a little confused. You talk about standing on the bridge as being in the centre of the spiral between In and Yo but is that more a description of what happens when the two gods step down off the bridge and descend to earth? It doesn't seem to matter much, the way they circle around the land they have created seems a strong echo if not a direct retelling of the events on the bridge.

Hey David,

It might be clearer if you remember this passage from the first Floating Bridge of Heaven (http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/archive/2012-04-08/aikido-and-the-floating-bridge-of-heaven) article:

It is said that Aikido is "Standing on the Floating Bridge of Heaven". The Floating Bridge of Heaven is the turning of fire and water bound together. Fire moves water, water is moved by fire. Fire and water are one thing. They turn in a spiral. They are entwined through Ki. That is something that is enacted through the breath ("iki"). This breath ("iki") is Aiki.

So...Izanagi and Izanami are In and Yo, fire and water turn in an interchanging spiral that forms the connection between heaven and earth - in other words, they're not quite synonymous, although they are closely related (if you think of it that way the diagram in Morihei Ueshiba and the Way of the Cross (http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/archive/2012-06-03/morihei-ueshiba-and-the-way-of-the-cross) may make more sense). Also, there's a pretty good basic summary here of the basic concepts:

http://www.internalartsinternational.com/free/what-is-an-internal-art/

Best,

Chris

davoravo
07-13-2012, 02:41 PM
Hi Chris

thank you for the link. I think I am getting stuck on semantics. Ueshiba talks of standing on the floating bridge of heaven but what he describes is more like after Izanagi and Izanami have descended to earth and are circling the pole, procreating and creating (takemusu, if you will). I was strongly reminded of this by the youtube video of Mifune performing judo kata that David Orange posted on the Way of the cross thread.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBv2lJdH7vc (see third and fourth forms)

As I say, I think I am getting caught up in semantics and looking for distinctions that aren't there, and Ueshiba is referring to the whole story (or that this second part of the story is a metaphorical repitition of the first).

Chris Li
07-13-2012, 02:59 PM
Hi Chris

thank you for the link. I think I am getting stuck on semantics. Ueshiba talks of standing on the floating bridge of heaven but what he describes is more like after Izanagi and Izanami have descended to earth and are circling the pole, procreating and creating (takemusu, if you will). I was strongly reminded of this by the youtube video of Mifune performing judo kata that David Orange posted on the Way of the cross thread.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBv2lJdH7vc (see third and fourth forms)

As I say, I think I am getting caught up in semantics and looking for distinctions that aren't there, and Ueshiba is referring to the whole story (or that this second part of the story is a metaphorical repitition of the first).

Yes, it's easy to get too literal, and you have to remember that this is all a creation myth used by Ueshiba to explain something that it probably wasn't intended to explain originally (although he gets most things to fit pretty nicely).

Best,

Chris

HL1978
10-02-2012, 12:10 PM
http://ejmas.com/jalt/2007jalt/jcsart_sosnowski_0711.html

While this article lacks the specific IS background, its probably helpful in a general context of disucssion of martial arts and translation for those who may disagree with Chris's translations.

David Orange
10-02-2012, 06:01 PM
It might be clearer if you remember this passage from the first Floating Bridge of Heaven (http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/archive/2012-04-08/aikido-and-the-floating-bridge-of-heaven) article:

It is said that Aikido is "Standing on the Floating Bridge of Heaven". The Floating Bridge of Heaven is the turning of fire and water bound together. Fire moves water, water is moved by fire. Fire and water are one thing. They turn in a spiral. They are entwined through Ki. That is something that is enacted through the breath ("iki"). This breath ("iki") is Aiki.



I have been worried, though, by the idea that yin is on the left and yang is on the right and I was wondering about methods of combining them. I thought of O Sensei doing furitama, or "soul-shaking," where you hold the hands together at the hara and lightly bounce up and down. And I thought that's what he's doing there, balancing yin and yang in the two hands and spreading the energy through his body.

So I went looking for examples of furitama and found this article, which reads exactly right, but only if you understand the precise meanings of some gloss-over phrases:

http://www.budodojo.com/chinkon-kishin.htm

Furitama is practiced standing with the legs shoulder-width apart. The hands are placed together with the left hand over the right. A small space is left between the hands. The hands are placed in front of the abdomen and shaken vigorously up and down. Inhale to the top of the head rising up naturally. Then exhale to the bottom of your feet as you continue shaking your hands up and down. The exercise if finished in silent and still meditative kishin.

This chinkon exercise was intended to gather the spirits of the divine into ones center (added emphasis DO)... calming the spirit... vibrating the soul. It's an effective way to gather your thoughts, center your mind and focus your intention.

END OF QUOTE

This is the kind of statement that is easy for the mind to skip right off of and simply provide a meaning based on the image of "the spirits of the divine." And that, clearly is where so many people have gone tangent to the actual art.

Not only does it not say which spirits, given as plural. It doesn't say how many spirits. And since we know that Japan has kami all over the place, we might think it means "all the gods of Japan," as I think it's actually phrased in the story of Morihei at the well after surviving the Naval officer's sword attacks. There was a purple cloud and all the gods of Japan entered his body...I think.

But if we look at furitama as gathering the specific "spirits" of in and yo into our body and vibrating them along with the body and breath, then it really means aligning the body with the "principles" of in and yo to harmonize and energize it.

So suddenly that exercise looks like it has a lot more meaning than I ever imagined and I'm adding it to my research right away.

Thanks again.

David

MM
10-03-2012, 08:32 AM
I have been worried, though, by the idea that yin is on the left and yang is on the right and I was wondering about methods of combining them. I thought of O Sensei doing furitama, or "soul-shaking," where you hold the hands together at the hara and lightly bounce up and down. And I thought that's what he's doing there, balancing yin and yang in the two hands and spreading the energy through his body.

So I went looking for examples of furitama and found this article, which reads exactly right, but only if you understand the precise meanings of some gloss-over phrases:

http://www.budodojo.com/chinkon-kishin.htm

Furitama is practiced standing with the legs shoulder-width apart. The hands are placed together with the left hand over the right. A small space is left between the hands. The hands are placed in front of the abdomen and shaken vigorously up and down. Inhale to the top of the head rising up naturally. Then exhale to the bottom of your feet as you continue shaking your hands up and down. The exercise if finished in silent and still meditative kishin.

This chinkon exercise was intended to gather the spirits of the divine into ones center (added emphasis DO)... calming the spirit... vibrating the soul. It's an effective way to gather your thoughts, center your mind and focus your intention.

END OF QUOTE

This is the kind of statement that is easy for the mind to skip right off of and simply provide a meaning based on the image of "the spirits of the divine." And that, clearly is where so many people have gone tangent to the actual art.

Not only does it not say which spirits, given as plural. It doesn't say how many spirits. And since we know that Japan has kami all over the place, we might think it means "all the gods of Japan," as I think it's actually phrased in the story of Morihei at the well after surviving the Naval officer's sword attacks. There was a purple cloud and all the gods of Japan entered his body...I think.

But if we look at furitama as gathering the specific "spirits" of in and yo into our body and vibrating them along with the body and breath, then it really means aligning the body with the "principles" of in and yo to harmonize and energize it.

So suddenly that exercise looks like it has a lot more meaning than I ever imagined and I'm adding it to my research right away.

Thanks again.

David

Hi David,

IMO, it sounds like you're going in a different direction. If the floating bridge of heaven is the turning of fire and water together, think of in/yo. Think of contradictory forces moving around each other. You get something like the yin/yang symbol. Standing on the bridge is to be in the middle of all that.

No disrespect, but I personally wouldn't go by the article's explanations. If you're thinking that you're shaking your hands up and down, you're not doing what Ueshiba did. Again, all IMO. But, looking at millions of people who have trained aikido for 10-40 years who think that it's shaking their hands up and down to calm the spirit ... well, how far has it gotten any of them to Ueshiba's level?

So, it is something completely different. If you read some of Ueshiba's translated works (mostly by Chris), you find talk about how in was on one side while yo was on the other. Correlate that to some of the Chinese works and you find it very similar, sometimes identical. So, when you read about that "purple cloud", I would research some of the Chinese texts because there is mention of a purple light as a stage in internal training. Ueshiba was merely echoing many known martial things, just in his own spiritual way.

Ueshiba was training in/yo when he did all those exercises. Which explains why he gave the answer to Kono. Find inyoho. Train IP/aiki. Change the body. Then, when you move, techniques will be born. :)

DH
10-03-2012, 11:00 AM
David
This article is another example of missing the correct body parts, the correct sequence of those parts and more is the point- how intent makes in/yo even possible. Without knowing all of it, none of it has any real value or meaning to make anyone have unusual power of any kind.

None of the information on the site (http://www.budodojo.com/chinkon-kishin.htm) is helpful at all. Actually, much of the information on how these things are done is flat out wrong and will actually lead you astray. The descriptions will not help in any meaningful way to gain the type of power people are looking for. The descriptions offered are an overview of the obvious movement that in no way leads to real power. Why? It is no different from the way any typical external oriented martial arts school would do the exercises and results will be to feel like ...well, every other external oriented martial artist.
Is that what we are after?
Is that what Ueshiba felt like? Wasn't one of his trademarks was that he felt different?
Why was that?
How was that-if he was moving like the average person?
The answer is that he wasn't. His power building methods are along the lines of classical models.

The actual method Ueshiba used poduced power. It is evident and testable in any person who dares claim they know.

Since these things are specific, known, and taught to "insiders" and they have gotten -and are getting- real results to this day. Since those teachings actually do work to produce soft power-and they have nothing to do with the descriptions offered-what does that say- I find it very odd that I have never, (not anywhere) read an actual description of these exercises coming out of Japan or western sources that had any value. The only sources are with certain new teachers coming out of the closet and really teaching from sources in Japan and China.
At least Ueshiba was pointing to and using more correct historical models and terminology so the recent work can be vetted among Budo-ka who know the pedagogy of the terms and concepts.

In the end, I suggest once again that people get very critical with these things.
If teachers want to write these things....fine
Go touch them and do not allow them to defend with waza. If they feel like any other Tom, Dick, or Harry...what does that tell you about their real level of understanding?

If they DO feel very different from ordinary folks...fine.
Ask to meet their students who have unusual power.

Only then will you know:
If they actually have something...
If they can and will teach it.
It's the only real chance we've got to get useful information.

Dan
P.S. There is a reason that the floating bridge can also be considered the void, and the essense of in/yo.

Fred Little
10-03-2012, 11:20 AM
Early Japanese definitions of the mitama, developed later by many thinkers like Motoori Norinaga, maintain it consists of several "souls", relatively independent one from the other.[3] The most developed is the ichirei shikon (一霊四魂?), a Shinto theory according to which the spirit (霊魂 reikon?) of both kami and human beings consists of one spirit and four souls. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitama)

As the quote above notes, the "four souls" construction applies to both kami and humans. How it applies in this or that individual's practice would depend greatly on whether the practitioner was working solely to unify his or her own "four souls," or to unify his or her own "four souls" with those of one or more deities, and if the latter, the particular attributes of those deities which the practitioner seeks to invoke. At its most extreme, the practice is used precisely to induce spirit possession, much in the manner of the Vodun practice of drawing down the loa to "ride" the worshipper. For a fuller discussion of chinkon-kishin in the context of Omoto practice, see Chinkon Kishin: Mediated Spirit Possession in Japanese New Religions, By Birgit Staemmler.

This construct is distinct from the Chinese In/Yo filter; Ueshiba used both, which would seem to suggest that he felt each had distinct strengths and weaknesses as principles by which either understanding or training might be ordered. One crude analogy would be that of the use of two lens filters on a camera or other optical instrument, each of which makes different aspects of the same scene visible.

For my own part, I'm quite skeptical of any effort to develop a quasi-mathematical relationship between In/Yo doctrine and Ichirei Shikon doctrine in which the four factors down neatly to the two, not that there's been any shortage of attempts to assert such a relationship over the past couple of centuries.....

YMMV,

FL

David Orange
10-03-2012, 11:26 AM
No disrespect, but I personally wouldn't go by the article's explanations. If you're thinking that you're shaking your hands up and down, you're not doing what Ueshiba did. Again, all IMO. But, looking at millions of people who have trained aikido for 10-40 years who think that it's shaking their hands up and down to calm the spirit ... well, how far has it gotten any of them to Ueshiba's level?

Thanks, Mark.

I guess I'm not writing as clearly as I thought. I was trying to say more or less what you said.

My point is that this article is a great example of the commonly seen explanations of these strange exercises O Sensei did, emphasizing the vaguely general "gods" of Japan when the subject is much more precise: the "gods" are specifically two--Izanagi and Izanami, or yin and yang, in and yo, and they are really principles of nature simply described as "gods" or "spirits." Furitama is about balancing those two principles specifically, rather than the general "calming the spirit and centering the mind."

Explanations like in the article allow people to believe the exercise is impenetrable because they don't know which "gods" they're calling into their bodies, how many "gods," or much else about it. Also, most people in the West don't really want to call unknown "gods" into their being, so they just skip that part and do the outer form as they can see from examples.

I was going to say, myself, that from the many teachers I've met who do that exercise, none has really impressed me with skill. Even before I started feeling the internals.

If you read some of Ueshiba's translated works (mostly by Chris), you find talk about how in was on one side while yo was on the other. Correlate that to some of the Chinese works and you find it very similar, sometimes identical. So, when you read about that "purple cloud", I would research some of the Chinese texts because there is mention of a purple light as a stage in internal training. Ueshiba was merely echoing many known martial things, just in his own spiritual way.

My post really wasn't very clear, was it?

I've been devouring Chris' translations on the floating bridge. Finally someone is telling us in clear language and with detailed meta-physical context, what Ueshiba said, what it meant and how it translated into what he was doing with his body.

The part that led me to furitama was the specific assignment of in to one hand and yo to the other when I know that this has to reverse almost constantly. Doesn't it? You don't always leave the left hand as in, do you?

That was the question that made me think of joining the hands at the hara for furitama.

I'm thinking that it's related to in on the left and yo on the right.

Find inyoho. Train IP/aiki. Change the body. Then, when you move, techniques will be born. :)

Which is takemusu aiki.

I never understood or even had much idea of what "takemusu aiki" meant except as a vague, general reference to harmony, which explains how aikido got in the shape it's in today--generally vague and general.

Thanks to Chris, Dan, you and many others, it's going to get a lot more specific from now on. And that's a tremendous help for me.

Thanks.

David

David Orange
10-03-2012, 12:21 PM
None of the information on the site (http://www.budodojo.com/chinkon-kishin.htm) is helpful at all. Actually, much of the information on how these things are done is flat out wrong and will actually lead you astray.

Yes. I posted that to show what people run into when they try to get deeper information on these things. Balancing in and yo in the body is translated as "gathering the spirits of the divine" into oneself, which is not helpful at all, even though it's true that Ueshiba describes in and yo as specifically two divine spirits, which are actually principles of nature--in and yo. The article makes it sound like some bizarre entourage of all kinds of sprites and goblins come out of nowhere and enter your body to make you a fighting dervish. People were willing to believe that because of the way Ueshiba whirled about flinging big men everywhere at will! No wonder he was always smiling. Also, you know, they used to call Takeda "little goblin," so articles like the one I posted leave the door open to interpreting a clear idea in a bizarre and useless form.

Chris Li's translations have just knocked that foolishness out of the picture (not speaking of the budodojo thing specifically, because it is sourced in the general ocean of standard aikido teaching as I've always heard it). I think we'll find that almost all of Ueshiba's references to "the gods" entering his body are specifically references to in-yo ho.

The thing about the purple clouds and "all the gods of Japan" was probably mistaken when O Sensei tried to explain what he meant about Izanagi and Izanami. To do that, he had to tell about all the other elements of that cosmology and left the listener unable to clearly understand that he was talking about embodying only in and yo.

Also, he used to tell Mochizuki things that got translated to us as "I just got that technique suddenly from God." Again--spontaneous generation of technique by the budo body balancing in and yo internally, which he talked about all the time as takemusu aikido, but passed to us as a very general reference to God or gods...or...what?.

It makes O Sensei more like a scientist than a religionist, when he can physically express the dynamic power of the principles of yin and yang in his body and movement. That's an art, but it is very precise and now we are finding that it's replicable! By ordinary humans! With no imps, sprites or demons required!

Wahoo!

The descriptions will not help in any meaningful way to gain the type of power people are looking for. The descriptions offered are an overview of the obvious movement that in no way leads to real power. Why? It is no different from the way any typical external oriented martial arts school would do the exercises and results will be to feel like ...well, every other external oriented martial artist.

Yes. I have always disdained that simple furitama exercise because I never met anyone who knew anything more about it than the external form and none of them had technique that could move me if I didn't just fall for them on purpose.

But when I began to feel the in/yo balance through work with the three dantiens, the arch in the legs and so on, I began to suspect that furitama was involved with Izanagi on the left and Izanami on the right...or vice versa...as I haven't yet memorized it that way....

And looking for information on furitama, I found this article as an example of how the lack of precise information on "the gods" simply made the explanations meaningless.

Is that what we are after?
Is that what Ueshiba felt like? Wasn't one of his trademarks was that he felt different?
Why was that?
How was that-if he was moving like the average person?
The answer is that he wasn't. His power building methods are along the lines of classical models.

I so wish this information had been available to me thirty years ago, that I'd had some of this knowledge when I lived with Mochizuki and trained with Washizu, Tezuka and Murai Senseis.

The actual method Ueshiba used poduced power. It is evident and testable in any person who dares claim they know.

And the sad, sad fact is that most teachers will pretty much tell you they don't know.

And on the other hand, they also have accepted that it's not knowable, that what they have is the deepest that can be learned or understood because Ueshiba was a religious man and a lot of what he did was "metaphysical." So they believe that only the kata of the standard aikido waza is all that is left and the only avenue to whatever improvement they can still make is a matter of doing those waza kata over and over until they can't do them anymore, and whatever they get from that, they have accepted as the best that can be gotten.

Their poor students...

Since these things are specific, known, and taught to "insiders" and they have gotten -and are getting- real results to this day. Since those teachings actually do work to produce soft power-and they have nothing to do with the descriptions offered-what does that say- I find it very odd that I have never, (not anywhere) read an actual description of these exercises coming out of Japan or western sources that had any value. The only sources are with certain new teachers coming out of the closet and really teaching from sources in Japan and China.

Well, thank God (specifically) for Chris Li's fantastic translations! And you were the one who motivated him to do it! So thank you, too!

And speaking of insiders, I'm fascinated every time I see William Gleason on vids. He's a great baseline example of what you say. You can't get much more impeccably mainstream in aikido than him. Aikikai hombu under Saotome's teacher???

But watching his recent videos, I can just feel the ukes sticking to him and the effortlessness of his movement.

I'm only making very incremental progress in this but I can do much more interesting stuff than I could just over two years ago, before I met Ark and Rob, then you, and felt the potentials of the soft power.... And it doesn't conflict with anything I learned in yoseikan. You can do the outer forms of yoseikan the same with or without it (actually not the same, though) and the performance with the internals will be softer but crisper, more effective but less exerting. If there is a conflict in this with yoseikan waza, it might be in the karate punching. I've almost completely quit that in favor of a xingyi approach, which does remain consistent with the in/yo ho as I'm coming to feel it.

P.S. There is a reason that the floating bridge can also be considered the void, and the essense of in/yo.

Yeah. I think that's what I was trying to describe in the thing on "crossing" the floating bridge of heaven. For most martial artists, it doesn't have a name. They know it only as the "chance" spot in the middle of their attack, where the opponent's unpredictable movement could spoil their technique. They must count on timing to aim a technique where the other guy is going to be when the attack arrives--knowing that he may not be there or may respond somehow to spoil it.

The thing is, they need to get through that "chance" moment as fast as possible, so they're trying to rush across this nameless void that Ueshiba and the ancients called The Floating Bridge of Heaven. And Ueshiba et al chose to stand right there in the middle of it as a way of life. So no wonder they were impossible for ordinary people to understand!

It's in the nature of the movement, but teachers often teach one further from it as they go.

Thanks for keeping on target on this. You're sort of like a table saw, cutting a clear, straight line. That's called "true," yeah?

The screams of protest also sound like wood becoming straight...

Thanks.

David

MM
10-03-2012, 12:32 PM
An interesting thing about Ueshiba is that he had peers in both Kodo Horikawa and Yukiyoshi Sagawa. There is video showing Horikawa doing the exact same push test, sitting on the mat cross legged, as Ueshiba. All three men stated similar things like their art was formless, that aiki changed the body, etc. Everyone who met them all said that they were very different and that what they were doing was not able to be understood. It was mysterious. All three did Daito ryu techniques the rest of their life.

Now, if we go by Sesame Street, which one of these three is not like the others? Morihei Ueshiba.
He adapted a unique spiritual ideology that the other two didn't.

If we look at this spiritual ideology and Omoto kyo, we cannot find other pure Omoto kyo followers who stood out like Ueshiba. Only those people who studied Daito ryu aiki as Ueshiba was taught, as Ueshiba taught, stood out. Even Abe, who had studied misogi for years before meeting Ueshiba, never stood out ... until after training with Ueshiba. Taking all these things with the fact that both Sagawa and Horikawa could do what Ueshiba could do, the only real conclusion is that it was their Daito ryu aiki training. Not the spiritual ideology given by Ueshiba.

So, when looking at all Ueshiba's talk of misogi, chinkon kishon, kami, Shinto Deities, etc, it must be a requirement to view them through the lens that is Daito ryu aiki to understand the concepts behind how to stand out in the aikido world like Morihei Ueshiba.

OR you could do just like the millions... let me repeat that, the millions (aikidoka, omoto kyo followers, misogi adherents, etc) who have yet to stand out like Ueshiba in over 40 years.

David Orange
10-03-2012, 12:40 PM
Early Japanese definitions of the mitama, developed later by many thinkers like Motoori Norinaga, maintain it consists of several "souls", relatively independent one from the other.[3] The most developed is the ichirei shikon (一霊四魂?), a Shinto theory according to which the spirit (霊魂 reikon?) of both kami and human beings consists of one spirit and four souls. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitama)

As the quote above notes, the "four souls" construction applies to both kami and humans. How it applies in this or that individual's practice would depend greatly on whether the practitioner was working solely to unify his or her own "four souls," or to unify his or her own "four souls" with those of one or more deities, and if the latter, the particular attributes of those deities which the practitioner seeks to invoke. At its most extreme, the practice is used precisely to induce spirit possession, much in the manner of the Vodun practice of drawing down the loa to "ride" the worshipper. For a fuller discussion of chinkon-kishin in the context of Omoto practice, see Chinkon Kishin: Mediated Spirit Possession in Japanese New Religions, By Birgit Staemmler.

Nice touch of perspective depth. It's no simple context, is it?

This construct is distinct from the Chinese In/Yo filter; Ueshiba used both, which would seem to suggest that he felt each had distinct strengths and weaknesses as principles by which either understanding or training might be ordered. One crude analogy would be that of the use of two lens filters on a camera or other optical instrument, each of which makes different aspects of the same scene visible.

Still a good analogy.

For my own part, I'm quite skeptical of any effort to develop a quasi-mathematical relationship between In/Yo doctrine and Ichirei Shikon doctrine in which the four factors down neatly to the two, not that there's been any shortage of attempts to assert such a relationship over the past couple of centuries.....

I wouldn't factor them down to in and yo, but I would wonder if it could be reduced to Heaven and Earth?

Gassho.

David Orange
10-03-2012, 01:13 PM
An interesting thing about Ueshiba is that he had peers in both Kodo Horikawa and Yukiyoshi Sagawa. There is video showing Horikawa doing the exact same push test, sitting on the mat cross legged, as Ueshiba. All three men stated similar things like their art was formless, that aiki changed the body, etc. Everyone who met them all said that they were very different and that what they were doing was not able to be understood. It was mysterious. All three did Daito ryu techniques the rest of their life.

Also, they were described as "emitting" or "issuing" aiki. They had it in themselves and it shocked other people on contact and lifted them.

...the only real conclusion is that it was their Daito ryu aiki training. Not the spiritual ideology given by Ueshiba.

So, when looking at all Ueshiba's talk of misogi, chinkon kishon, kami, Shinto Deities, etc, it must be a requirement to view them through the lens that is Daito ryu aiki to understand the concepts behind how to stand out in the aikido world like Morihei Ueshiba.

I think his references to Izanagi and Izanami were probably standard to in/yo ho as it had come down from Yoshimitsu Minamoto. Others may not have been standard in/yo ho, but were possibly shared by Sokaku Takeda, who was also deeply influenced by Shinto. Yet other beliefs and practices would have come from Omotokyo. And I don't know enough to delineate the differences...but I think Izanagi and Izanami may have been how all in/yo practitioners thought of it and only Ueshiba gave out so many hints. Also, Horikawa and Sagawa may have given out lots of such hints but not many people heard of them, compared to Ueshiba, who got so much attention. I don't think it was because he was really superior to them (and may not have been better at aiki), but he was a real promoter and he was really a missionary for Omoto Kyo, as well, so he built a kind of missionary art, filled with followers who, like so many missionaries, don't understand what they're selling.

Anyway, I'm guessing Izanagi and Izanami are almost always what he refers to when he mentions "gods" in relation to takemusu aiki.

Thanks.

David

DH
10-03-2012, 01:17 PM
I am interested in the self-claimed "spiritual pursuits" only when and if it produced the power Ueshiba had...in others! When allowed to run it's course and it leads to a dead end, we have some other considerations to review;
Did everyone else but Ueshiba miss it?
No? Okay?
If they got it...where are they?
Or maybe, just maybe, the Kami, and souls and other things that lie outside of the known standard internal practices actually were worthless as far as his...or anyone's power and aiki were concerned. Sure there are overlaps. Breath power is one of them. There are certain practices that produce good -although far from complete -results. It is practiced in different ways, some with breath, pressurized or not, others in chanting. But we can chant all day long, and chant in accordance with waza or movement patterns and miss an incredible amount of needed work to produce a bujutsu body. In fact that has and is happening right now.

For other concerns, people in the arts are always going to embrace the social, cooperative, community building aspects they attach to their budo pursuits. Which is fine, it just doesn't have anything to do with his soft power or aiki. There is a discussion to be had regarding a mental/physical state that involves the spirit in this kind of training. It is transformative and it is discussed in Koryu, in the ICMA as well as in Indian arts. I just don't think it is worth discussing with those who have no power to begin with. Although it seems like it on the surface, we would not be having the same discussion.

So, what I'm concerned with is;
Who has power from their practice?
What practice is it?
Is it singular genius? A "one-off?" Or, is it the same model, utilizing the same terminology used cross culturally and spanning eras. That pedagogy is irrefutable and telling. It not only produce power in Ueshiba, but Takeda before him, and others before him. As stated elsewhere we see the same terminology being used in India and China and being noted for power building methods.

It is the use of the same terminology in and of itself that blows up any idea of convergent evolution of similar models in agrarian cultures and instead points to the sharing of information, partly through shared cosmology, partly through labor, partly through a warrior cultures acquisition and pursuit of power. It is no coincidence to read of a shinto ryu adept describing heaven/earth/man and six direction theory...to produce power in 1451, then Ueshiba pointing to the same terminology for the same goals.

At this stage in the game, when it comes to this topic; from Shodan to Shihan, mokuroku to menkyo, I dismiss rank entirely. Instead, I look for results in the physical form of those claiming any understanding whatsoever...demonstrated in their own hands. It was NOT an academic exercise in the past when it mattered and it shouldn't be to us today. That said, we can judge degrees of accomplishment, skill and depth of understanding in results that can be tested. Cool waza is cool waza, fighting is fighting, weapons are weapons, and rank is rank- it doesn't mean people have any inkling whatever of this higher level material, even when they publicly claim otherwise. I think we have all heard enough clanging symbols and empty promises. We need to focus on absorbing the material, improving ourselves and our arts and heling each other move forward.
Dan

Chris Li
10-03-2012, 01:35 PM
I think his references to Izanagi and Izanami were probably standard to in/yo ho as it had come down from Yoshimitsu Minamoto. Others may not have been standard in/yo ho, but were possibly shared by Sokaku Takeda, who was also deeply influenced by Shinto. Yet other beliefs and practices would have come from Omotokyo. And I don't know enough to delineate the differences...but I think Izanagi and Izanami may have been how all in/yo practitioners thought of it and only Ueshiba gave out so many hints. Also, Horikawa and Sagawa may have given out lots of such hints but not many people heard of them, compared to Ueshiba, who got so much attention. I don't think it was because he was really superior to them (and may not have been better at aiki), but he was a real promoter and he was really a missionary for Omoto Kyo, as well, so he built a kind of missionary art, filled with followers who, like so many missionaries, don't understand what they're selling.

Anyway, I'm guessing Izanagi and Izanami are almost always what he refers to when he mentions "gods" in relation to takemusu aiki.

Thanks.

David

In the Kojiki they are called Izanagi and Izanami - but in the Nihongi (published just shortly after) they are called the gods of "in" and "yo", which seems fairly explicit to me.

It's also interesting to look at Ueshiba's rewriting of "kami" to "fire" and "water".

Best,

Chris

DH
10-03-2012, 01:51 PM
In the Kojiki they are called Izanagi and Izanami - but in the Nihongi (published just shortly after) they are called the gods of "in" and "yo", which seems fairly explicit to me.

It's also interesting to look at Ueshiba's rewriting of "kami" to "fire" and "water".

Best,

Chris
It is also incredibly relevant to understand that it is in the midst of these that we find power. And very few martial art teachers know how to do it. It is evident in their movement.
I mentioned a quote here from a personal discussion and push hands testing of a powerful ICMA teacher who arrived in Japan and taught Aikido and Daito ryu people. His comment about ki was interesting. He asked some heavy hitters in Japan; "Where is Yin (In)? Where is yang (yo)? Where then is this Ai-ki. You cannot pretend dantian. You will be found out."

His experiences echo my own. What does it mean when people "extend ki" or use "aik-ki" and yet you can knock em all over the place at will. They asked Ueshiba this. "Very simple" he said "You do not understand in and yo"....Ueshiba

Standing in the midst is a state where the mind gives out first in your training. You can have people stand in a room and have their bodies heat up to the point that you feel it in the room. This can be done in one way without specific breath patterning, and in another with breath patterning. This was supposed to be the state in various forms of Solo training, and in arts like yoga (which now substitutes EXTERNAL heat sources for what used to be internal in some systems) and was clearly demonstrated by Wang Chushin when his students would place their hands on his body in the winter to warm their fingers.
Dan

ChrisHein
10-03-2012, 03:46 PM
I have a small question about this part.

If you are standing in the center, and In and Yo are spiraling around you, then this process must represent something that is happening in yourself, that is being created within yourself. I make the distinction because this is a very different thing than a process that occurs between yourself and another person.

If you are standing in the center, and In and Yo are spiraling around you. How is that process happening within you? isn't In and Yo spiraling outside if you- because they are spiraling around you?

I also have a question about this quote.
The second Doshu interpreted Aikido as "the Way of fitting in with another person's Ki". However, it seems to me that Aikido is "Uniting body and mind and becoming one with heaven and earth. Specifically, the Way of fitting together the Ki of heaven and earth."

How do you take Tohei to mean this? Because to me, Tohei is saying that Aikido is a way of fitting with the force(ki) of the universe (heaven and earth), and not simply another person's ki. Saying that Aikido is about the big picture, and not just about fitting with a single person. That is, he means you shouldn't just use your Aikido to win a fight, or overcome a single person, but instead to fit yourself to the whole universe.

However to me, it seems like you are saying that Tohei means Aikido happens inside of yourself. To me Tohei is saying anything but that, he's saying that Aikido is a very big concept, and must be done with the whole of the universe- it's bigger then just me, or just them, but deals with everything.

Chris Li
10-03-2012, 04:04 PM
I have a small question about this part.

If you are standing in the center, and In and Yo are spiraling around you, then this process must represent something that is happening in yourself, that is being created within yourself. I make the distinction because this is a very different thing than a process that occurs between yourself and another person.

If you are standing in the center, and In and Yo are spiraling around you. How is that process happening within you? isn't In and Yo spiraling outside if you- because they are spiraling around you?

By "around you" I meant "around in you" - maybe that would have been clearer. Note that the original "This is standing on the Floating Bridge of Heaven and turning in a spiral. " doesn't say anything about accommodating outside forces.


I also have a question about this quote.

The second Doshu interpreted Aikido as "the Way of fitting in with another person's Ki". However, it seems to me that Aikido is "Uniting body and mind and becoming one with heaven and earth. Specifically, the Way of fitting together the Ki of heaven and earth."

How do you take Tohei to mean this? Because to me, Tohei is saying that Aikido is a way of fitting with the force(ki) of the universe (heaven and earth), and not simply another person's ki. Saying that Aikido is about the big picture, and not just about fitting with a single person. That is, he means you shouldn't just use your Aikido to win a fight, or overcome a single person, but instead to fit yourself to the whole universe.

However to me, it seems like you are saying that Tohei means Aikido happens inside of yourself. To me Tohei is saying anything but that, he's saying that Aikido is a very big concept, and must be done with the whole of the universe- it's bigger then just me, or just them, but deals with everything.

I read it that way because it fits with the classical model, which Tohei often cites, and because in this case Tohei is specifically contrasting these two ideas. Kisshomaru often spoke about the Universe, in other contexts, and Tohei would be aware of that.

I can see how you might read it that way in English - but I don't think that idiom works so well in the original. That's one of the tricky parts about reading deep meaning into a translation, where you are, by default, working in a different context.

Best,

Chris

DH
10-03-2012, 05:18 PM
I have a small question about this part.
If you are standing in the center, and In and Yo are spiraling around you. How is that process happening within you? isn't In and Yo spiraling outside if you- because they are spiraling around you?
This is a main tenent of all the internal arts Chris.
They are about using and manipulating your own forces within you so that other forces automatically get neutralized and managed along with yours.
It is where the tried and true axiums of:
"Motion in stillness and stillness in motion"
"Six harmonies" -three internal, three external
"When one thing moves, everything moves"...
all come from

Contrary to all thought to the contrary it is THEE definition of what aiki is.
Ai-ki in me before ai-ki between theen and me. The source of the jins in ICMA.
Everything else is just external, everyday martial arts. Nothing special, and nothing out of the ordinary that would have impressed most anyone.
It is also why they didn't teach it to everyone who went to Japan or China to learn. They still don't. I have met "Internal art teachers" who spent over a decade in China and have no internal power to speak of.

I also have a question about this quote:
The second Doshu interpreted Aikido as "the Way of fitting in with another person's Ki". However, it seems to me that Aikido is "Uniting body and mind and becoming one with heaven and earth. Specifically, the Way of fitting together the Ki of heaven and earth."

How do you take Tohei to mean this? Because to me, Tohei is saying that Aikido is a way of fitting with the force(ki) of the universe (heaven and earth), and not simply another person's ki. Saying that Aikido is about the big picture, and not just about fitting with a single person. That is, he means you shouldn't just use your Aikido to win a fight, or overcome a single person, but instead to fit yourself to the whole universe.

However to me, it seems like you are saying that Tohei means Aikido happens inside of yourself. To me Tohei is saying anything but that, he's saying that Aikido is a very big concept, and must be done with the whole of the universe- it's bigger then just me, or just them, but deals with everything.
Tohei had models which clearly demonstrate Aiki is within yourself first. But Ueshiba was better and more sophisticated in his movement than Tohei.
Ueshiba had it right when he said "I...am the universe" It all happens in you first. Managing forces within you. Which...can be complicated. and becomes automatic on touch with other forces.
It feels different
People continue to testify over and over and over..... good God over and over for a thousand years to last week on Aikiweb; THAT IT FEELS DIFFERENT.
Most everyone I meet?
They feel like everyone else.
Do you remember all those people who said "Ueshiba? Bah...he felt like everyone else!!!"
Nope. first words out of their mouth on contact was that he was different.
Aiki within me... before aiki between thee and me
Nothing has changed. Its an age old, well known internal martial art process that people who got to actually train in the internal aspects of the Chinese Internal arts, understand.
Dan

Erick Mead
10-03-2012, 05:21 PM
If you are standing in the center, and In and Yo are spiraling around you, then this process must represent something that is happening in yourself, that is being created within yourself. I make the distinction because this is a very different thing than a process that occurs between yourself and another person.
If you are standing in the center, and In and Yo are spiraling around you. How is that process happening within you? isn't In and Yo spiraling outside if you- because they are spiraling around you?By "around you" I meant "around in you" - maybe that would have been clearer. Note that the original "This is standing on the Floating Bridge of Heaven and turning in a spiral. " doesn't say anything about accommodating outside forces.
Best,

Chris
I'll simply show this, once more --- for those with eyes to see:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=509&d=1215185239

DH
10-03-2012, 05:27 PM
Nope. It won't work in the human body to produce anyone who would stand out and be fully recognized as having any unusual power whatsoever. In fact, it is fairly easy to cancel out that type of movement. It's a limited external mechanical model with no part in the discussion.

No need to debate. In person anyone using it will feel just like everyone else.
Case in point:
Can you tell us someone...anyone... known and widely recognized for unusual power up against some highly accomplished people.. who uses it and acknowledges your model as their source of internal power?
Dan

gregstec
10-03-2012, 07:14 PM
The way I see it is that from the day we are born, we enter the external and all our focus is on the external; we see all things from the inside out and the external is the baseline of where we need to be and it is the driving motivation for all our actions and thoughts. To better understand the internal, you need to reverse all that. Step outside yourself and look in to the internal and make that your motivating factor for action and thought - once you do that, the external will follow the lead of the internal; it becomes you. As Tohei said, you are the Universe!

Greg

David Orange
10-04-2012, 12:15 AM
Nope. It won't work in the human body to produce anyone who would stand out and be fully recognized as having any unusual power whatsoever.

When I look at that model now, I don't see it as I did before. It looked like what I thought the process was at the time, but since then, and since reading the floating bridge material and working with those ideas, this model appears as a general abstraction of principles of stress in a cylinder...only abstractly related to the human body. And when you try to relate it to Ueshiba's statements about amenominakanushi, the relevance of this model to me just disappears.

DH
10-04-2012, 10:09 AM
When I look at that model now, I don't see it as I did before. It looked like what I thought the process was at the time, but since then, and since reading the floating bridge material and working with those ideas, this model appears as a general abstraction of principles of stress in a cylinder...only abstractly related to the human body. And when you try to relate it to Ueshiba's statements about amenominakanushi, the relevance of this model to me just disappears.
Correct. It has no relation to Ueshiba's (well other arts as well) model of spiral movement whatsoever. That model will not work, and it expresses a profound misunderstanding of an age old method. When asked to name someone with extraordinary power who uses it...people come up empty. It is and will remain unvetted by extraordinary people- simply because it doesn't work.

I am kindly trying to challenge all of us to be more strict in our analysis. We should be chasing or embracing ideas and theories from people who feel different from everyone else in a given sample of martial artists. Our goal should be to be above...average. So, I am chasing a model that is both old and vetted for making Budo giants. To make people -above- average. To create a bujutsu body that stops everyone and is -as Ueshiba stated...the birthplace of technique.
Ueshiba's model, simply works. Moreover it is vetted in history, and it being vetted by Martial artists who are also Doctors, Chiropractors and Physical therapists around the world. It birthed Takeda, and Ueshiba, and Sagawa, and the founders of Koryu..it also birthed the greats in the Chinese arts and warriors in India. I'll stick with the winner, which down through the ages excelled and easily handled the people seeking....normal movement.
Unfortunately, it seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Today, just like before, the majority still cannot even conceive that their might possibly be a different way to move than what they...and their teacher know. Yet that is WHY these men excelled in the past.
I want us to embrace our own history and methods and for ALL of us to excel and raise the bar!! And to have fun doing it. :cool:
Dan

Marc Abrams
10-04-2012, 10:34 AM
I want us to embrace our own history and methods and for ALL of us to excel and raise the bar!! And to have fun doing it. :cool:
Dan

Dan:

Does that include us having to wear those silly pants/no shorts/ no capri,..... in order to have fun :eek: ?

Marc Abrams

Erick Mead
10-04-2012, 12:03 PM
When I look at that model now, I don't see it as I did before. It looked like what I thought the process was at the time, but since then, and since reading the floating bridge material and working with those ideas, this model appears as a general abstraction of principles of stress in a cylinder...only abstractly related to the human body. And when you try to relate it to Ueshiba's statements about amenominakanushi, the relevance of this model to me just disappears. Let me try.. if you will -- with two key sources -- Abe and O Sensei:

Abe Sensei said (http://www.doshinokai.com/Articles_files/Kojiki.pdf):

Speaking of the heart of "Kojiki", it is Minakanushi, who was created first. In other words, center is important. On flat surface, center of circle is important. Even though the shape changed to three-dimensional space, the center always locates the same spot. For instance, to talk about oneself, there are body and heart. Then, the matter is which one is Minakanushi. If body were Minakanushi, heart would be accessories. If heart were Minakanushi, body would be accessories.
In a case of Aikido, there are invisible heart and breathe there. And, if one trains the method of breathing mainly by oneself, one's own Aikido will be established. The way of training of body is depend on where one places Minakanushi. It means that heart, breathe, and body should be united and, when one practices, heart, breathe, and body must be located at the center.
"Exhale, stop breathing, inhale, hold breathing", each position of breathing method is the location of Minakanushi. The technique is changed by your decision of which one is main: Is inhale main?, is holding breath main?, is exhale main?, or is stopping breathing main? The choice can be made unconsciously by training. Therefore, the Aikido will be Aikido with harmony.

O Sensei said of breathing (http://www.cityaikido.com/osensei-memoirs.pdf) (taken from the Aiki news issue compilation):
When one has become skilled in leading the subtle applications of Aiki one may realize the honored virtue of Holy Creation. The breath will ascend upward in a rightward spinning spiral and descend again in a leftward spinning spiral, giving birth to the blending of water and fire. The continuous productive activity of friction is also produced. Means (Iki-musubi means the joining of the opposing divine elements representing the physical and spiritual aspects of life and is a homonym for the word life, "iki," and for the word breath, "iki." Musubi, is also homonym with possible meanings of blend/tie together; or generate/produce.) Sui-ka no musubi (water and fire musubi) is the ultimate root source of the multitude of things in the universe; it is without substance and limitless in its infinity.

Minakanushi is the kami of the Center in O Sensei's thought. Kami Musubi and Takamimusubi no kami are principles of action that proceed from and return to the Center. Abe Sensei uses various physical analogies of the relation of the Center to the peripheral -- or, if you will of the internal to the external.

The cylinder model is of shear in torsion -- which as Abe says, is just taking the Kami of the Center from flat circle 2D description into a spherical 3D perspective. O Sensei's "friction" is simply sliding action (which is the linear aspect of shear) -- like shears --scissor blades --slide past one another -- opposed but joined without conflict, at a single center of rotation BUT with an EXTENDING line of ACTION).

Shear creates a field action -- this is what makes aerodynamics work -- vortex field effects on a volume of air -- Breath is the correct dynamic analog -- A field effect is like twisting a flat cloth at a point and it will wind itself around the point of action -- like the scissors -- a point of central rotation and an extending field of action.

Try to do that from OUTSIDE the field of the cloth -- and it is not merely difficult -- it is IMPOSSIBLE to do the same action -- it will not work -- it only works by ENTERING WITHIN THE FIELD you mean to affect, and defining an essentially arbitrary center -- by the action within you and within the the field -- and in connection (musubi) -- and that is the form of the action that the field (opponent) will take on. The tighter the spirals, the more power they have -- but long period and short period actions have different kinds of action.

O Sensei is plainly speaking of field effects in his own understanding:
The kokyu breath sets up waves of motions or undulations in the ki of the vacuum of space.
Depending on whether these waves are vigorous or sluggish the various origins in the universe
are brought into being. Likewise according to the liveliness or dullness of these sinuous waves,
the coagulation or solidification of the spirit and the body is known.
When the congealing of the kokyu breath overflows to the spirit/mind and the physical
body, the breath then becomes one with the universe in a natural way, whether or not all goes as
you yourself wills it to be, and you will feel it spread out spherically into the universe. Then,
after that, you feel the kokyu which has once expanded to the universe recondenses back into the
self.
When you have become capable of this sort of kokyu breath, the spiritual reality/essence
will concentrate in the area around your self where you will perceive its presence. This very
thing is your guidepost for the first step toward the Subtle Functions of Aiki. These subtle uses
are necessities if Aiki is to be drawn out in a spontaneous and unwilled fashion.

The four stages of breath, as Abe describes - these take the 3D center and extend the Kami of the Center into expanding and contracting space AND time (rhythm) -- Breath (kokyu) thus describes the action of a 4D Center.

The halts of breath are the maximum potential points for such action -- at the cusp of the reversals -- the dynamic Center of the breath (Minakanushi) -- while the intake (Takamimusubi no Kami) and exhale (Kamimusubi no Kami) are EACH the simultaneous release from the Center AND gathering toward the Center of that potential ( i.e. --both inhale AND exhale each manifest both in and yo) and the ultimate action occurs through either one --- though in reversed modes -- as one can cut with equal power either advancing or withdrawing -- turning toward or turning away.

gregstec
10-04-2012, 01:50 PM
Dan:

Does that include us having to wear those silly pants/no shorts/ no capri,..... in order to have fun :eek: ?

Marc Abrams

Yes, and you must wear a plaid shirt with it :D

Greg

Marc Abrams
10-04-2012, 02:50 PM
Yes, and you must wear a plaid shirt with it :D

Greg

Okay Greg :sorry: ! If I wear the plaid shirt, you have to wear a tight vest! ;)

Marc Abrams

gregstec
10-04-2012, 02:53 PM
Okay Greg :sorry: ! If I wear the plaid shirt, you have to wear a tight vest! ;)

Marc Abrams

:eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:

Rob Watson
10-04-2012, 03:19 PM
I'll simply show this, once more --- for those with eyes to see:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=509&d=1215185239

Actually, exactly correct, except not for the body - At every point on and inside of the body. Still does not help in the slightest to 'do' anything of note.

David Orange
10-04-2012, 03:57 PM
Let me try.. if you will -- with two key sources -- Abe and O Sensei:

It strikes me as an elaborate abstraction not of aikido itself but of an analogy of aikido.

The real question is, would you demonstrate that your abstraction results in the kinds of things we're talking about? Can you show the power as well as diagram it?

A lot of Japanese English students have really good grammar on paper, but their pronunciation and spirit fall apart when they have to look at a Westerner and actually speak. And the same with my Japanese, only without the good grammar.

Likewise with a lot of aikido. It doesn't hold water. Or fire. Or both.

I can see how you related your picture to the words of the masters, but I don't feel a connection. It made me think of what I like to call Sazae-san Syndrome in language learning.

In listening to Japanese speakers, it took me a long time to realize that their topics of conversation were always shifting and the little story I'd made up of what they were talking about, which I thought was a single narrative, was just a collage of moments from four, five or six or more different discussions over just a few minutes. They talk about the weather, the families, work, and then maybe they start talking about a TV show they'd seen the night before. You think they're still talking about one of their own kids but they're talking about a cartoon character, and the next thing, they're talking economics and it ends up with the prime minister.

In other words, it seems like you're not really penetrating the real, flowing thing we're discussing, as if you're going straight while the man on the bridge is turning in a spiral.

For instance, from your quote of Abe Sensei:

"In a case of Aikido, there are invisible heart and breathe there. And, if one trains the method of breathing mainly by oneself, one's own Aikido will be established. The way of training of body is depend on where one places Minakanushi. It means that heart, breathe, and body should be united and, when one practices, heart, breathe, and body must be located at the center."

Even after all these years and what I've been learning, my impulse to the words "located at the center" is to feel my "one-point." Many people would read that English sentence and translate it as "located at the one-point" or maybe "hara."

What do you think?

As for the rest of it, it affects me like someone moving their hands around explaining a theory that might be right, like I do when I talk about Einstein, without personally being able to demonstrate the theory I think I generally understand. So no matter how I move my hands to draw my picture of the theory, all the power (whatever there is of it) is in my words and not in my hands.

In other words, if you don't have a million dollars, how credible will your "Make a Million Dollars" book be?

In other words, don't show your work. Show it work.

So now I'll make a video and post it.

Thanks.

David

gregstec
10-04-2012, 04:21 PM
In other words, don't show your work. Show it work.

Thanks.

David

I like that !

Greg

David Orange
10-05-2012, 12:06 AM
I like that !

Greg

Well, I'm not saying I've "got" it, but there is a big difference in my movement and abilities compared to 30 months ago. A big change in how I receive power and apply it, where it comes from in my body and, especially that it has transformed from "muscle-chaining" kinds of sequential movement to more due to the whole-body presence in place. It's springy (but not springy, more like Dan describes as like being a statue of hard rubber, or maybe like a shock absorber donut or something, solid springy...)yet softer than I've ever been. Yet I can produce more power with less effort.

And there is the mental side, too. It's a direct connection of awareness to the environment.

Lately, I've been thinking about how the fascia unites the body and also carries the ki...

How we interact with the six directions through our ki....

And then I thought, is the ki of the environment also reaching in toward me?

Of course, it is...but then I thought, where does the ki of the environment reside?

And I thought it resides in the "fascia" or "connective tissue" of the environment around us, meaning inside a room or out in a field or a forest or a bamboo grove. Can't you just feel a very different quality about each one of those places, just at perceiving the name of it? If you've ever been in a bamboo grove you probably feel it right now, just on thinking of it. That's the ki of the bamboo grove and it feels that way because of the connective qualities of the bamboo, its fibers, its shapes, its root system, the kinds of air that are caught in its foliage and everything about how that form manifests in large areas.

But you can feel a similar uniqueness about a forest, a field, the shore.

And you can feel it in any room. Like, think of being in a huge atrium at a hotel with dining, bar and a swimming pool all under a vast glass roof/wall.

Or think of the room you're in right now. What's around you?

If you do the six-direction training in the room where you are now...how do the walls affect your feeling about the six-direction forces?

I'm not saying they change it, but they may change your feelings while doing the exercises.

And that feeling is ki...so ....the ki of the room seems to me like it's affecting you by the shape of it and the substance of the walls and so on. Which is...the connective tissue of the room.

So the ki that resides in the connective structure of the room where you're training, you deal with that when you work with the six directions.

So now the big thing: can your ki "grab hold" of the ki in the environment so that your physical body is "supported" (or even pressed away) by the physical structure of the room around you, at a distance, but through your ki's "musubi" with the whole room around you in every direction: musubi with the walls around you, as if you were tied with ropes in the six directons

David Orange
10-05-2012, 12:39 AM
...musubi with the walls around you, as if you were tied with ropes in the six directions and couldn't be moved in any direction because the ropes are taut in every direction. You could relax completely, in that case, and no one could move you... assuming your body didn't get shredded....

This is also what I mean by "magnetically oriented to the six directions."

So you see what I mean about the "mental" side, right?

You start thinking like this and you'll know you're going somewhere, all right. But the white coats tie a little differently in there...

Seriously, though, I've been thinking about that a lot lately.

Anyway, my mind adheres more closely with my body now, than ever, and my body feels completely at ease, most of the time. And in times of heavy stress, I've developed a lot of capacity for dissipating that stress through the whole body, so that both mind and body carry stresses more evenly and with less strain, making me able to go on and on in a tough situation while staying fresher and more alert, more mobile and adaptable. And also freer with my mind so that I don't mind imagining any possibility.

I just don't come to any particular conclusions in any kind of hurry. You can hurt yourself doing the IP stuff if you don't know what you're doing, and part of that is being in too much of a hurry, so I don't get too fanatical about anything I'm not sure of. I'd rather understand it little by little than suddenly make great progress toward a stroke...

It has been known to happen.

I mainly post, as I've said before, to get feedback from people who really do understand, since it's difficult to get out and travel, having a seven-year-old and all...

I hope to get a couple of video clips online this weekend, among all the other stuff going on...

Best to you.

David

Robert Cowham
10-05-2012, 01:02 PM
...musubi with the walls around you, as if you were tied with ropes in the six directions and couldn't be moved in any direction because the ropes are taut in every direction. You could relax completely, in that case, and no one could move you... assuming your body didn't get shredded....

This is also what I mean by "magnetically oriented to the six directions."

Peter Ralston (of Cheng Hsin) talks about having awareness of the whole room at the same time (as well as being able to feel all of your body and all of your partners body). Challenging but in a good way

I hope to get a couple of video clips online this weekend, among all the other stuff going on...

Look forward to that:)

Erick Mead
10-07-2012, 10:54 PM
The real question is, would you demonstrate that your abstraction results in the kinds of things we're talking about? Can you show the power as well as diagram it? What are looking to see?

For instance, from your quote of Abe Sensei:

"In a case of Aikido, there are invisible heart and breathe there. And, if one trains the method of breathing mainly by oneself, one's own Aikido will be established. The way of training of body is depend on where one places Minakanushi. It means that heart, breathe, and body should be united and, when one practices, heart, breathe, and body must be located at the center."

Even after all these years and what I've been learning, my impulse to the words "located at the center" is to feel my "one-point." Many people would read that English sentence and translate it as "located at the one-point" or maybe "hara."

What do you think?

I think that when a hostile situation begins, the center of the participants is objectively undefined -- but the attacker invites the target to take the center. a person in harmony accepts this and so the two are subjectively in harmony to begin. If I make my heart ,my breath, my body the center in the way that draws all to the center then I can arbitrarily enter and my center becomes THE center, -- the objective center -- and then rest is less continued effort than it is continuing attention on maintaining the effect.

In other words, if you don't have a million dollars, how credible will your "Make a Million Dollars" book be?Ask Sandy Coufax how good a pitcher he honestly was and he would tell you he was as good as Norm Sherry could make him -- he had power but not control. I think experience makes observation relatable and applicable -- but observational aspects of knowledge are worthy topics.

Many pitching coaches -- were catchers, often back-up catchers. Why? Because they were good and constant observers -- as well as decent throwers in their own right, with experience to apply to their observations. While pitchers were busy pitching -- the catcher was watching the pitching, and better able to relate errors more immediately to his own throwing approach. Making pitching prowess the threshold measure on the value of observations would have left Sandy Coufax with a scorching but very unreliable fastball.

Some people learn martial arts to make themselves the best fighter possible. Some people try to help people become better people -- especially when they are being attacked. I don't think those objectives are all inconsistent. One's aim depends not only on talent -- but also perspective -- and target.

David Orange
10-08-2012, 09:17 AM
What are looking to see?

Well...NOT a diagram.

If you want to join the discussion, lay hands on the people you're discussing with.

Show that you can do what they can do rather than sending in these diagrams claiming they have something to do with the power being discussed.

In other words, if you had this kind of power that you say the diagram shows...then you would be eager to meet up with folks like Dan and Ark.

Last I heard from you, you'd never met either, or Mike Sigman, as I recall, and you have actually expressed fear of Dan...which indicates that you really don't have that power. So...why show us the diagram over and over when everyone with experience of the subject has said the diagram does not relate past an abstract concept that has nothing to do with how IP is used in the human body?

I mean...really...among black belts...why would you ask what we want to see?

David

Mary Eastland
10-08-2012, 09:59 AM
Wow...I thought we had agreed not to do this sort of bulling anymore.

David Orange
10-08-2012, 10:15 AM
Wow...I thought we had agreed not to do this sort of bulling anymore.

I wouldn't call it "bull" Mary.

Erick is sincere in showing us his diagram.

It may not be applicable anywhere except in his mind, but he has the right to post it over and over to answer a question it doesn't fit.

He may be mistaken, but you shouldn't call it "bulling". I'm sure he means well.

He just needs to test that...analogy, or whatever it is...against reality.

You know Leonard DaVinci made many intricate drawings of various flying machines. Very few of them had any remote chance of actually flying.

But suppose Leo came to the current day and continually posted his flying machine drawings on a board about aerodynamics and aircraft building.

Wouldn't the natural response be, "Prove it"? Build one and let's see it fly?

The problem with Erick's posts is that he not only posts things that the people recognized for IS/IP have told him they're irrelevant, but rather than prove it with a demonstration, he has cast serious aspersions on people like Dan. He has made personal attacks to cover an unworkable theory.

I notice that people who keep walking off cliffs tend to keep getting bumped about.

It's nature.

Erick Mead
10-08-2012, 12:01 PM
No, Mary. David and I are just gently ribbing ...

Erick is sincere in showing us his diagram.
...
You know Leonard DaVinci made many intricate drawings of various flying machines. Very few of them had any remote chance of actually flying.

.... an unworkable theory. Certainly, if you say so. Some of us are just stay-at-home tinkerers and thinkerers. Nothing worthwhile ever came of that, obviously....

Obviously, you are right and Leonardo's idea of human-powered flight by flapping wings -- just nonsense -- I mean, you know, obviously, -- nonsense (http://cleantechnica.com/2010/09/27/leonardo-da-vincis-human-powered-flying-machine-flies-video/). No one could actually do that....
Leonardo was hardly first -- Brother Eilmer beat him to it by about 400 years (http://wdtprs.com/blog/2009/05/magnificent-monks-and-their-flying-machines-they-go-up-diddly-up-up/) in actual gliding flight -- but no one was listening to him, either. (600 foot glide is pretty good as a first flight achievement -- even with a bad landing and a couple of broken legs).

It was true at the time that Eilmer and Leonardo worked these things out, that one could actually "fly" -- with far more effective range AND much more power using a trebuchet to launch oneself ballistically -- but even if the destination were thus achieved -- I think that misses the point by a wide margin ... and with a worse landing even than Brother Eilmer managed.

David Orange
10-08-2012, 02:15 PM
No, Mary. David and I are just gently ribbing ...

For anyone who puts on a black belt and especially someone who teaches and promotes people to black belt, my remarks really should be considered mild and humorous.

But accountants' humor is not always terribly funny either, and you also don't want to get them on the subject of whether your numbers add up because then they are not so humorous. We have to keep a balance between friendliness and real concerns that should not be misrepresented.

In IP/IS/AIKI, our baseline is not what Ueshiba said but what he did.

Anyone can mimic what he said but very few can mimic what he did and fewer can actually do what he did.

You have repeatedly given us this diagram and I have said it's valid for what it is: a drawing of forces in a cylinder. I can understand that what happens is shear, but the question is can you actually produce that effect and is it either the same as or on the same level as the effect produced by Dan, who tells you your diagram is unrelated to actually producing the effect.

You asked "what would you like to see?" and I simply said more or less, "Physical results. Not a diagram."

And the comments about your fearing Dan, that's not intended as any kind of personality or character flaw. It's like a horse trainer saying, "Your horse shies away from the third jump." It's just a fact.

As a teacher, I just see it as a proof that you need to become more congruent with your mind, ki and body. An able horse jumps. An able martial artist stands up and goes to the scary guy with the big voice and broad reputation and exchanges physical truth.

And if you don't have the mind/body/spirit congruency to do that, then we come to the point of character in how you deal with your own incongruence. I have plainly said "I'm afraid of that guy and I don't want to get around him." But I didn't then turn around and say, "Although I can do anything he can do."

If I could do what he can do, then I would have no fear of approaching him.

Another approach I could take would be to claim that he is known to hurt people, when that's not heard of with Dan.

So I have walked the rim of that precipice where your comments transition from mere matters of training approach and depth to questions of character.

I don't mention what you've said to attack your character but to say these are the kinds of statements where one might confuse bad character response for a matter of training error. I say it to show that line and emphasize what it means to cross it.

I had forgotten why I put you on Ignore for quite awhile and this exchange reminded me, but I've been thinking a lot lately and I felt like I could engage in this with you without some of the former rancor.

I mention it here to emphasize only that whatever your diagram represents, your fear of Dan shows that you have not become a wholly integrated mind/body/ki unit as the IS/IP training creates. The six-direction training exercises all the elements of the body, all the presence of the mind and all the content of the ki in a mutual stress fest.

The difficulty of the training is directly proportional to the incongruencies of the mind/body/ki unit. And the ability to produce stunning responses is proportional to the congruency of these elements. When the mind/body/ki is congruent, the body is soft but incredibly powerful without tai sabaki stepping and turning. The result of this is a body and mind that will step up to someone like Dan and say, "Please show me."

A horse trainer can lead the horse out of shyness on the third jump and a martial arts teacher can lead the martial artist out of the fearful state of incongruence of mind body and ki to be able to look a man like Dan in the eye with respect for what he can do rather than fear caused by what the student cannot do. It is a defect in training which can inhabit the spirit if not corrected by someone who knows how to do it.

As to Leonardo's flying designs, as far as I know none flew.

I'm a long-time recumbent cyclist and an avid follower of the human-power movement, especially the World Human Powered Speed Challenge. I am also a pilot with a long history in the Experimental Aircraft movement.

If you want to say that the video you linked shows Leonardo DaVinci's design, then you would have to say that I designed the 80+ MPH bicycle that holds the current world record from a few years ago. When I was living in Japan with no access to any information on recumbent bikes, I sketched all kinds of designs on napkins and in notebooks. I found the basic limits and restrictions of the recumbent design in placement of the body, the pedals and the wheels so that no parts would conflict and the drive train would work, but I never built any of my designs. Interestingly, I later saw production models of almost all of my general designs including the short-wheelbase, long wheelbase and compact long-wheelbase, with several variations of handlebar design and placement I had also imagined. So I was on the right track and Leonardo was thinking in the right directions but you could not build any of his designs straight from the drawings and fly the resulting creation.

I also have theorized on various designs combining recumbent cycle mechanisms like in the video you posted, with cutting edge hang-glider technology to create a vehicle you could use to ride up a hill and fly down, possibly even soaring and gaining altitude. But I wouldn't really want to ride on it.

Are you sure you would want to ride on the energy you describe with your shear diagram? The black belt inheres with not only willingness but eagerness to go and find that power and understand and take hold of it in his own body.

The video you show has no remote resemblance to Leonardo's design and does not flap the wings as Leonardo proposed, which is really the crucial element. It's a question, finally, of power and Leonardo's method of flapping was comically underpowered. It's clear that he was dreaming of the power he needed and his mechanism was a place-holder for the engine he could not create.

Another aspect of the modern design's power is that it partially depends on modern materials to reduce the amount of power needed and Leonardo could never have succeeded with the materials in his design.

So, please, don't quibble in abstraction. It flies or it doesn't, it jumps the gate or falters, it goes to meet Dan or Mike or Ark or someone reputed to have IP/IS/AIKI power...or it publishes an unworkable design again with claims that it can do the same thing....

Please reconnect with some baselines for the discussions.

Thanks.

David

Erick Mead
10-09-2012, 05:51 PM
For anyone who puts on a black belt and especially someone who teaches and promotes people to black belt, my remarks really should be considered mild and humorous. Quite.

In IP/IS/AIKI, our baseline is not what Ueshiba said but what he did. Anyone can mimic what he said but very few can mimic what he did and fewer can actually do what he did.

You have repeatedly given us this diagram and I have said it's valid for what it is: a drawing of forces in a cylinder. I can understand that what happens is shear, but the question is can you actually produce that effect and is it either the same as or on the same level as the effect produced by...

As to "fears," I will refrain from all issues of personality. I declared myself only at the instigation of those concerned. I will further say only the following: As a martial tactic, many who doubt themselves are drawn out by such rhetoric as yours -- I do not take anything amiss at all by your use of such devices to do so -- this is my stock in trade after all -- and it is certainly fair game toward your goals. As for me, "whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." What would you do, in similar circumstance? Forgo the trust earned, in favor of a manifest disregard ?

But as you say, the issue is not about personality but a concrete reality -- in this we are agreed. But concrete understanding takes several forms -- all grounded in the body AND the mind. Neither suffices alone -- nor has either any preeminence in martial action.

You asked "what would you like to see?" and I simply said more or less, "Physical results. Not a diagram." OK. What results ?

So, please, don't quibble in abstraction. It flies or it doesn't, it jumps the gate or falters, it goes ... someone reputed to have IP/IS/AIKI power...or it publishes an unworkable design again with claims that it can do the same thing...

No reputation is of any concern to me -- only trust.

There is nothing abstract. We are agreed that the diagram shows forces in a cylinder.

I know that the body is several series of connected chains of cylinders. This is obvious. I know and can feel the action of shear in the cylinders of my torso and limbs, and their segments. This is not obvious -- but can be learned. I know that the same principles of shear action that apply to the solid cylinder ALSO apply to the dynamic action of many objects in a chain. This is most certainly not obvious and takes some dwelling on to grasp -- but it is the fact of the matter.

I know that this series of connected cylinders has connections that vary in flexibility or stiffness according to my mind and my reflexive physiology. I can feel, observe and deploy this variability to good effect. I know that reflexive action can be molded and modulated by training and become deployable rather than merely reactive action, and in ways that are not predictable. I feel the ways in which those forces and reflexes are deployed and I observe the effects that they have -- dynamically and in setting the potentials within the body.

I gather that the most consequence to the teaching you advocate is in the role played by setting the potentials by mindful guidance in training. I have no doubt if you tell me it is effective. But whether it is more effective or not has never been a concern of mine -- my path is my path, not anyone else's -- nor mine theirs, necesarily.

The perspective that I have is that the dynamics and the potentials are one and the same, governed by the same action and physiology and that training and observing them both complement one another. The perspective I have is that the modulated reflexes -- keying into the reflexes of the opponent -- are a key component of the action AND the effectiveness of potentials.

The perspective I have is that the Aiki Taiso describe, illustrate and train BOTH the development of these potentials, and their relation to right dynamics. While the setting of potentials is hardly immune to conscious creation and use, the reflexive aspects are much less amenable to mindful guidance -- though they may certainly be shaped in mindful training (be it Aiki taiso, or Taiji, Sanchin or a few others besides, in which I see the similar things operating).

These things are however, in action, much more amenable to the unmindful and "inexhaustible creation" of the martial moment -- which -- as I see things in his own words and in his own reported action -- is much closer to what Ueshiba both advocated as a goal and DID as his singularly declared accomplishment. Takemusu Aiki. Not the sideshow tricks he did for the rubes.

I won't declare what I know and do to be what anyone else knows or does. Some people seem to take offense. But since you seem genuinely to care, how would you propose that I show you what you would like to see? Seeing as I won't be in Birmingham soon (nor ever have been, FWIW). The Alabama cousins keep to themselves, mostly.

Gary David
10-09-2012, 08:18 PM
The perspective I have is that the Aiki Taiso describe, illustrate and train BOTH the development of these potentials, and their relation to right dynamics. While the setting of potentials is hardly immune to conscious creation and use, the reflexive aspects are much less amenable to mindful guidance -- though they may certainly be shaped in mindful training (be it Aiki taiso, or Taiji, Sanchin or a few others besides, in which I see the similar things operating).

Eric
What you do is what you do......ok with that. My experience tells me that the Aiki Taiso while a movement set of exercises that are functional are missing some of the underlying points that make them truly effective in passing along IP/IS, that would make them a mindful training tool. Only the first level aspects were passed along....don't know if this was purposeful, just forgotten, not known or left for us to find out


I won't declare what I know and do to be what anyone else knows or does. Some people seem to take offense. But since you seem genuinely to care, how would you propose that I show you what you would like to see? Seeing as I won't be in Birmingham soon (nor ever have been, FWIW). The Alabama cousins keep to themselves, mostly.

Eric
Until folks get together to exchange ideas and practice on the mat with a casual setting there will never be a coming together. Of course folks will have to be willing to do this and to not hold on to tightly to concepts and ideas if they don't work.

Gary

David Orange
10-10-2012, 12:56 PM
Peter Ralston (of Cheng Hsin) talks about having awareness of the whole room at the same time (as well as being able to feel all of your body and all of your partners body). Challenging but in a good way

Well, here's my video of pulsing off the wall. Not much to it, but...FWIW.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iusVLvdukic&feature=youtu.be

David

Ernesto Lemke
10-10-2012, 02:15 PM
Thanks for posting David! I had the audio on quite loud the first time around so I was actually startled by your sudden outburst. :D Cool!
I noticed how you force yourself to take a lot of steps back, as if to either gain balance or dissipate what you generated. Quick suggestion, you may want to try and see if you can keep that connected feel so that when you "push" your whole body away, you stay in tact. I tried it myself just now and the first time around, I ended up much like you did. In my case my focus was mostly on the upperhalf of the body (little bow/unbow of the back). 2nd time I added a connected feel to the legs (bowing) and ended up with a less dramatic effect but more overall stability. More of a little leap.
Well anyway, FWIW and YMMV and so on and so forth... ;)
Thanks for sharing!

David Orange
10-10-2012, 06:56 PM
As to "fears," I will refrain from all issues of personality. I declared myself only at the instigation of those concerned. I will further say only the following: As a martial tactic, many who doubt themselves are drawn out by such rhetoric as yours -- I do not take anything amiss at all by your use of such devices to do so -- this is my stock in trade after all -- and it is certainly fair game toward your goals.

Mischaracterization of other people's statements is your stock in trade?

As I said before, when I say "fear," I'm not talking about your personality.

That's just ego.

What I'm talking about doesn't even have "personality" so much as a integrated unit of mind, body and ki in operation. There's no need to attribute martial arts responses to "personality."

As I said, it's like your horse balks on the third jump or your car starts shaking at 74 MPH, or you have a leak under your kitchen sink. None of those things have anything to do with "personality." They simply show the results of the training you have undertaken. It can be fixed by training and it will not affect your "personality" at all, except to allow you to express your real personality more fully and easily. It's only ego that makes you equate my statements about your martial congruence as a comment on your "personality."

Where "personality" does come into play is in blaming others for what happens when your kind of training runs into "the real stuff," which is someone whose mind/body/ki have become so congruent through six-direction training (and more) that they have become almost a single, solid unit, almost crystalline in unified harmony. Can't touch that. Or you'll fall down because the frequencies resonating in that crystal shock your system and senses and you can't affect the other person at all.

It seems you can feel this from Dan, across the atmosphere of America, and, unlike the budo spirit of the black belt, you are driven away by it. At the same time, you're drawn to it on the internet and you clearly would like to be included among those with some internal power. Claiming that a teacher like Dan is dangerous and acting in accord with that, guarantees that you, yourself, will not enter that field, like a horse that won't make that particular jump.

Balking on approach is a technical matter that can be fixed through training.

Accusing someone of "being known to hurt people" is an ego trait that can well infect the personality. It is much harder to correct this with training because it lacks certain spiritual elements that are included in the training.

So please consider the difference.

As for me, "whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."

Really.

OK. What results ?

Never mind.

I know that the body is several series of connected chains of cylinders. This is obvious. I know and can feel the action of shear in the cylinders of my torso and limbs, and their segments. This is not obvious -- but can be learned. I know that the same principles of shear action that apply to the solid cylinder ALSO apply to the dynamic action of many objects in a chain. This is most certainly not obvious and takes some dwelling on to grasp -- but it is the fact of the matter.

Yes, I can see how your diagram applies in those terms, now.

And now it's clear that this is absolutely NOT the same as I have experienced through Dan, Ark and Rob. They're not ripping your limbs off or breaking you in half, though what they do does nicely facilitate the ability to do that.

To the main engine of what they are doing, your diagram does not apply.

I know that this series of connected cylinders has connections that vary in flexibility or stiffness according to my mind and my reflexive physiology. I can feel, observe and deploy this variability to good effect. I know that reflexive action can be molded and modulated by training and become deployable rather than merely reactive action, and in ways that are not predictable. I feel the ways in which those forces and reflexes are deployed and I observe the effects that they have -- dynamically and in setting the potentials within the body.

That's called sensitive technique. It's not what Dan teaches.

I gather that the most consequence to the teaching you advocate is in the role played by setting the potentials by mindful guidance in training. I have no doubt if you tell me it is effective. But whether it is more effective or not has never been a concern of mine -- my path is my path, not anyone else's -- nor mine theirs, necesarily.

Quite so, as unique as Graham's.

However, since you concede this, kindly...stop presenting your diagram as an "explanation" of what the IP/IS group is teaching, would you? If "their path" is not yours, what do you get by glomming onto that whole field of endeavor and claiming some kind of inclusion in it?

That's really strange.

I won't declare what I know and do to be what anyone else knows or does. Some people seem to take offense. But since you seem genuinely to care, how would you propose that I show you what you would like to see? Seeing as I won't be in Birmingham soon (nor ever have been, FWIW). The Alabama cousins keep to themselves, mostly.

Erick...what offends me is attacking a man's reputation because you, yourself, lack the congruence to walk up and face him and learn the truth. That incongruence gets expressed as "fear" and the ego response has been "blame" of Dan. Your particular personality decided to express that by claiming that Dan has been known to hurt people.

Your problem is not in Alabama.

If you want to comment on Dan's ideas and posts, especially claiming to explain his abilities, then you need to prove that you can do what he does.

That's a tall order since Dan goes constantly all around the world meeting big people and experienced martial artists who cannot do what he does.

But at least have the decency to meet with him and find out for yourself what the real truth is.

David

phitruong
10-10-2012, 07:52 PM
Well, here's my video of pulsing off the wall. Not much to it, but...FWIW.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iusVLvdukic&feature=youtu.be

David

lock your arms straight out so you that don't use the arms and shoulders at all and try again.

David Orange
10-10-2012, 07:58 PM
lock your arms straight out so you that don't use the arms and shoulders at all and try again.

And I guess I'm not supposed to hold those springs in my hands, either?

An airbag in the wall?

David Orange
10-10-2012, 08:02 PM
lock your arms straight out so you that don't use the arms and shoulders at all and try again.

That does change things considerably. Right away, I started having to feel the force coming from the center instead of the arms.

I looked at several clips of myself doing ti the first way and selected the two that looked least dependent on shoulder.

But the arms were always bent.

The way you describe is very different.

David Orange
10-10-2012, 10:45 PM
lock your arms straight out so you that don't use the arms and shoulders at all and try again.

OK. Here's two clips where I'm trying to keep the arms straight.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geQ8r9MEAzM&feature=plcp

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vVEDvLsB3Q&feature=youtu.be

Comments appreciated.

David

David Orange
10-11-2012, 10:23 AM
OK. Here's two clips where I'm trying to keep the arms straight.

Comments appreciated.

How come your dantiens weren't aligned? Looking at those clips, you clearly don't understand anything about "stacking" the dantiens, which is where you claim to be getting your great power.

So maybe you're doing some kind of trick, but this is clearly not the kind of power we're discussing here.

Not very impressive.

David

David Orange
10-11-2012, 11:05 AM
Looking at those clips, you clearly don't understand anything about "stacking" the dantiens...

Not very impressive.



I noticed that this morning, myself. Actually, I felt my dantien alignment correcting itself and it felt very nice and right. And then I thought of the videos I did yesterday and I said, "It didn't feel this way when I did the vids. My mind was really more on the video than on my alignment and I was so involved in doing "the trick" that I didn't get all my elements congruent.

So there's what I mean about incongruence of mind/body/ki.

The body has to be organized correctly.
The ki has to be "on" (ki o tsukete) in the whole body, inhabiting all the connective tissue, muscles and bones.
The mind has to be right there with the ki.

It is all managed within the "closed" system of the "self"--the mind/body/ki.

When they're congruent, they're all doing the "same" thing, together, again like the band analogy, each actually doing different things, none doing "the" whole thing, and all their different doings create the final result. When the elements are congruent, each is doing "only" one thing

If the mind is somewhere else in time and space, it can't manage the harmony of ki and body. The dantiens don't slip into their proper alignment (it's a fairly subtle feeling, so there's no room for the mind to be doing something else. And it's not a big effort for the mind (once the basic alignment is understood). The mind doesn't have to strain. It just has to NOT be anywhere but running with the ki throughout the body. This kind of training seems to have less and less to do with outside matters. When your mind becomes like a fluid that courses through your veins and bones....it's different than when it's out flying all over time and space and thinking of all that stuff out there. It's keeping it down inside the body, with the ki, intimately down in every inner turn of the nine crooked paths...not worrying about politics or who said what...and why they were wrong...getting away from all that and cleaving almost heavily to the body...

That's congruence as I'm coming to experience it.

We know the body is "here," definitely.

The mind....well, scientists don't even agree that the mind exists. I say "It thinks. Therefore it am."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldPMifPbngc&feature=autoplay&list=PL651886475EF553E2&playnext=27

But the mind can do more than think and more than perceive. It can generate patterns and then create those patterns in the real world. It can fly through time and space. But when it comes to restraining itself to the nine internal crooked paths of the body....it is like a two-year-old child. It wants to run free and play without boundaries. The body is the ultimate boundary, so the mind tries to escape all that. One way to escape is to create patterns internally and reproduce those, somehow, in the "real world," whether it be techniques, organizations, fights, or arguments. Maybe it's just spreading an idea around among people.

So all that is just the mind running away from restricting itself internally to the body.

However, through ardent efforts in harmonizing the mind and the body (awase), the mind begins not to "generate" patterns but to find them within the self. These patterns are the real originals of which many "known" things are just the shadows.

As the mind body and ki become increasingly congruent, each element begins to pronounce itself in more profound ways.

The body becomes soft but correct. It moves easily but it becomes hard to stop and feels heavy and very solid on contact--even though it does not tense or brace but continues its own natural presence.

The mind becomes very penetrating and clear. It can receive information without being confused by abstraction, knowing, too, when to just brush something off. The mind, too, seems soft, but it can produce very heavy and crushing effect as well as "enlightening" effect. And the enlightening may be crushing and heavy--like Zen teachers bopping their students on the head or Jesus delivering one of his unique snappy comebacks. It can focus with the intensity of a laser beam as needed.

The ki becomes clear and smooth, attaining its own true nature, growing stronger and energizing the body. And it also becomes more subtly aware of the ki of the outer world, able to sense more subtle signals from nature and human beings. But far from making one a wizard, sending his ki out for this and that, the internal training leads one to keep the ki at home, and keep the mind there, too.

When each of these elements of "self" has become fully its own true self, and then these purified elements combine>>>>>>????????

The "self" comprising those pure and natural elements is a very different kind of being than before the training began. This is a person prepared to inhabit the center of Heaven/Earth/Man.

That is the kind of person who can stand on the floating bridge of heaven. The phrase describes not a mythological bridge in the air but an actual physical state, attained by training, that produces powerful results from both mind, body and ki.

So let me see if I can get another video up sometime today.

Thanks.

David

thisisnotreal
10-11-2012, 01:21 PM
David, you have a way with words, my friend. Quite a striking series of descriptions. Thank you for sharing this.

Lee Salzman
10-11-2012, 01:38 PM
David, you have a way with words, my friend. Quite a striking series of descriptions. Thank you for sharing this.

Damn straight. That was beautiful.

oisin bourke
10-11-2012, 02:21 PM
Very eloquent David.

I am reminded of something written by Steven Bachelor;

"We must learn to live vertically instead of horizontally."

David Orange
10-11-2012, 03:56 PM
Thanks, guys. I'm just trying to articulate what I'm experiencing and the changes this training is bringing about, completely apart from martial ability.

Therefore, it might be called academic or speculative BS, like the thing about our ki being able to connect with the ki around us, and through that, with the physical things around us, so that they can actually "support" us from a distance.

That was something I began to feel very subtly and I just threw it out there with the rest--not to say it's not true, but to acknowledge that it might be so subtle as to be, ultimately, meaningless.

But maybe there is something to it.

I post a lot of things hoping someone will chime in and correct me or give me a shift of direction that I can follow.

Yoroshiku.

David

gregstec
10-11-2012, 06:44 PM
Very eloquent David.

I am reminded of something written by Steven Bachelor;

"We must learn to live vertically instead of horizontally."

That really depends on whether you are on your back or on your feet :D

Greg

oisin bourke
10-11-2012, 08:17 PM
That really depends on whether you are on your back or on your feet :D

Greg

I don"t think it matters! You still are where you are and you can"t be anywhere else. I"ll have to go off and ponder that one though.

gregstec
10-11-2012, 08:26 PM
I don"t think it matters! You still are where you are and you can"t be anywhere else. I"ll have to go off and ponder that one though.

Pondering is good - it helps us grow :)

Erick Mead
10-12-2012, 11:55 AM
Eric
What you do is what you do......ok with that. My experience tells me that the Aiki Taiso while a movement set of exercises that are functional are missing some of the underlying points that make them truly effective in passing along IP/IS, that would make them a mindful training tool. Only the first level aspects were passed along....don't know if this was purposeful, just forgotten, not known or left for us to find out .. and probably all of the above ... From my perspective, what I describe as "potentials" exist at the the points of inherent reversal in the aiki taiso. If held in that relaxed extension (pace Tohei) they relate to things I see and feel happening in these issues as shown and discussed. Not saying "the same," but definitely related.

Until folks get together to exchange ideas and practice on the mat with a casual setting there will never be a coming together. Of course folks will have to be willing to do this and to not hold on to tightly to concepts and ideas if they don't work. ... and until that opportunity arrives -- we have our own work -- and this way of trying to discuss things, as usefully as we can.

I do not despair that there IS in fact and in rigorous concept, a neutral and objective way of describing things that does not fall back on metaphors or analogy -- though I think any such description should properly capture that all the metaphors and analogies that have proved to be practical aids in training -- and thus demonstrated a concrete relation to the objective action that occurs and which we try to describe. No one has Holy Writ on this.

Thanks.

David Orange
10-12-2012, 01:26 PM
.. and probably all of the above ... From my perspective, what I describe as "potentials" exist at the the points of inherent reversal in the aiki taiso. If held in that relaxed extension (pace Tohei) they relate to things I see and feel happening in these issues as shown and discussed. Not saying "the same," but definitely related.

Well, maybe related, abstractly. Why would the potentials exist only at the points of reversal?

Dan is talking about maintaining all the potentials at all points on the body and at every point of any movement. Various forces may have modulations, but the primary power is continually accessible. No wind-up or change of position (maybe no movement at all).

Not to be snarky, though it may sound that way, what if you wrote a book called "Aikido and the Dynamic Tube?"

You could fully explain your whole concept.

But if we think back on Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere...while that may have gone a little over...it had incredible illustrations. Very nice work that clearly described the ideas they represented.

So, in your book, would there be other illustrations than the one you have presented so far? Variations or versions of that one?

Or would you show some other ways to describe your ideas, maybe with human figures?

Because...what if Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere had been illustrated entirely with spheres? Some with lines going this way, some the other, some in black and white. Some with one line red and one line blue? Just remove all the human figures and you pretty much have that.

I just can't think it would have been quite the best seller it was (at least in aikido circles--I love my copy).

So I guess what I'm saying is, if you can't somehow demonstrate or meet with someone else, could you maybe draw a picture of what you're describing, with one or as many human figures as needed?

I put up my clip. Multiple clips. I even went in and made a snarky reply to my own post.

Could you just show us something that ties it all back to human beings?

Thanks.

David

Erick Mead
10-12-2012, 02:28 PM
I put up my clip. Multiple clips. I even went in and made a snarky reply to my own post.

Could you just show us something that ties it all back to human beings?
DavidI was wondering about that. Fair enough. And with Phi's locked arm, full extended shoulders profile in the first instance. Here ya go:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGrUAWVG6k0

Erick Mead
10-12-2012, 02:56 PM
Well, maybe related, abstractly. Why would the potentials exist only at the points of reversal? Technically, because a dynamic is no longer a potential. That's what potential means. In-yo operates in continuously complementary potential/dynamic. When a yo potential becomes dynamic -- it loses its potential, but the yin potential increases in inverse proportion until the yo dynamic is either exhausted or stopped - at which time yin potential is instantly and fully available. If one dynamic reaches any limit (i.e. -is stopped at any point) it simply returns instantly to the release the opposite potential into its dynamic, the same as when you reach the limit of the body's own extension in various aiki taiso. The actual spatial extension of limbs or the action is irrelevant -- as the pulse exercise shows.

So potential does not only exist at the end of the extension of the various aiki taiso exercises -- but that is where the potential can usually be felt FELT as a pure potential at a passive point -- without conscious intent (or trained action) to create it -- Also, the dynamic is naturally bled out to eliminate the noise of action from the perception of the potential in the pure structural condition at a natural dynamic limit.

The aiki taiso gives a reference point one does not have guess at as much for the bodily sensation to know what to aim for in training. That is, at least my perspective of it. Admittedly, they are done badly for this purpose in many, many places.

It is a reverberatory (oscillatory) conservation of momentum -- (yamabiko) -- even when not moving, that potential can be poised and held in the structure -- like this pulse example you prompted. It has long period undulatory aspects (the "demon snake" funetori, udefuri, (and I would say -- all conventional waza). It also has short period vibratory or pulse aspects (the "spirit of bees," furitama, tekubifuri, pulse strikes like the example at hand).

David Orange
10-12-2012, 07:24 PM
I was wondering about that. Fair enough. And with Phi's locked arm, full extended shoulders profile in the first instance. Here ya go:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGrUAWVG6k0

Do you feel like that's the same?

David Orange
10-12-2012, 07:30 PM
Technically, because a dynamic is no longer a potential.

Why would it be a dynamic if there's no movement?

That's what potential means. In-yo operates in continuously complementary potential/dynamic. When a yo potential becomes dynamic -- it loses its potential, but the yin potential increases in inverse proportion until the yo dynamic is either exhausted or stopped - at which time yin potential is instantly and fully available. If one dynamic reaches any limit (i.e. -is stopped at any point) it simply returns instantly to the release the opposite potential into its dynamic, the same as when you reach the limit of the body's own extension in various aiki taiso. The actual spatial extension of limbs or the action is irrelevant -- as the pulse exercise shows.

I'm not sure it's coming through to the physical world, Erick.

Your clip looks a little...koshi-centric, we might say.

Do you see that?

David

David Orange
10-12-2012, 10:22 PM
Your clip looks a little...koshi-centric, we might say.



Also, your legs are bent a good bit before the pulse and they straighten with the pulse, so that your center displaces to the rear ahead of both your head and your feet. The leg extension also turns it into a bit of a jump.

I could see some of that in my own second video, but much less in the first and third. And while the first could be attributed to a lot of arm, the third comes from pretty straight arms, straight legs and very little shoulder. But none of the clips shows the correct alignment of the three dantiens, so the power in my clips is still pretty low.

Why don't you try it with straight legs?

And what about push-out? Many examples of Ark's style can be seen. Can you demonstrate that?

This pulse off the wall is almost exactly the same, but with the arms fully extended. The pulse must come with both arms and legs already fully extended.

David

Erick Mead
10-14-2012, 02:33 PM
Your clip looks a little...koshi-centric, we might say.

Do you see that? Sure. Same as yours, your shirt just makes it less apparent-- but your hips pop out first, as well (At least in your second one (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geQ8r9MEAzM&feature=plcp) -- your first and third were taken down. )

That is to be expected if it is is done as a pure reaction transfer back from the wall (see below) .

Also, your legs are bent a good bit before the pulse and they straighten with the pulse, so that your center displaces to the rear ahead of both your head and your feet. The leg extension also turns it into a bit of a jump.
Not actually. The lower center is where the power comes from to generate the pulse action -- and thus -- if the structure is at full extension (rigid in essence) that is where the wall's reaction is seen -- showing that everything above the lower dantien is in the precise line of the delivery of the momentum transfer pulse. Newton's Cradle (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JadO3RuOJGU&feature=related).

If anything else were out of line it would buckle at that point -- If my shoulder moved back first, you would know the power was from the upper cross or arms. The center buckles because everything else was in line. Since it was not bounded for the input -- it is not bounded for the output either -- if -- the body is transferring the pure reaction. The only things that move are at the end of the momentum transfer chain at that center -- and the legs are just being pulled along.

If you actually go and do the stop motion on it you will see my center drive about an inch forward to generate the pulse -- and that's where the return reaction arrives, in a pure reaction chain ( which in this case is coming form both the wall and the ground. Both reactions arrive at the same time and the center buckles to the rear -- like my taped together pencils buckle upward (in my other video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmglyhCi6VE&feature=player_detailpage&list=ULJmglyhCi6VE)) when compressed from both ends -- the hips are driven up and back -- and only then do the legs lengthen to follow.

If I ground the strike and do this while in contact with a person they are driven back about the same amount. Essentially, we just punched ourselves with a reflection of the no-inch punch off the wall. Like a wave reflected off the beach.

But you know, these kinds of isolated linear power transfer things are not the most interesting behaviors that multiple pendulums exhibit (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JadO3RuOJGU&feature=related) -- And those are unlinked pendulums --

If we link them, things get even more interesting considering that every one of our limbs is a linked double pendulum (http://www.myphysicslab.com/dbl_pendulum.html) -- Run the java app for a bit and look at the pattern it generates on the graph and then go and look at my "dynamic tube" of torsional shear again.

FWIW -- the "three dantiens" form an inverted double pendulum (ftp://www.myphysicslab.com/beta/Inverted-double-pendulum.html). -- which is stable in the inverted position -- if and only if it is oscillating on its support . I believe we aikidoka call that condition furitama-- The pulse is simply half of that native stability oscillation halted suddenly against a barrier (a target or the earth) -- creating a unidirectional wave peak.
Why don't you try it with straight legs?

Well, I didn't because it's your exercise, you had not suggested it, and phi did not correct anything on that point...:D

Second, because it is unnatural and unstable for the legs to be completely rigid more than instantaneously to transfer energy -- which they were.

Plus -- Tiggers bounce.... ;)

David Orange
10-14-2012, 07:57 PM
Sure. Same as yours, your shirt just makes it less apparent-- but your hips pop out first, as well (At least in your second one (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geQ8r9MEAzM&feature=plcp) -- your first and third were taken down. )

No, they're still up. You just look directly under the word "Straight" in the title, where it says 8 videos, and click for a list.

And I may be biased but I think the rear movement of the hips is much less in the third and first, but especially the third.

And you'll see that my legs are not bent at all, straight, as they would be in the push out exercise.

Yours, in fact, are well bent before the pulse and you extend them as part of the pulse, so it is more of a jump than a whole-body pulse.

The way you describe "driving" with your center is also not what is meant in this context. We're talking about a release of power with almost no movement (and one inch driving with the center as you describe it is a good bit of movement).

The legs can't "lengthen to follow" the hips if they're already straight. And if you've actually been jumping, they won't be going anywhere anyway if you try to do it with straight legs.

So to watch what you're doing, you don't seem to be generating your results in any way related to IP, but just through regular external movement.

You're talking mechanical movement when we're talking something closer to electrical. It requires proper mechanics, but they're different than those used to produce the muscular power you're showing.

(on why you don't try it with straight legs)
Well, I didn't because it's your exercise, you had not suggested it, and phi did not correct anything on that point...:D

Well I showed it with straight legs. Compare the two vids--well, yours to any of mine--and tell me again it's the same when you look at the leg movement.

Second, because it is unnatural and unstable for the legs to be completely rigid more than instantaneously to transfer energy -- which they were.

Well, that should be obvious. As in push-out, it's there to limit you and make you find power from a completely different source. You're using the same source as everyone external.

Your comments about undulating pendula also miss the point concerning the three dantiens. The relation of the dantiens is not the same as between pendulums singly or doubly connected. The use of the connective tissue damps out the possible oscillations, which are really just the "wobble" of an unstable body and which bleed off the power in transit from the ground to the hand. That's why "aligning" the three dantiens is important. That's why when I felt the alignment becoming self-adjusting through habit induced by awareness from training, I intuited suddenly that I could do this pulse off the wall and presented my ideas for review.

I got feedback and I responded to it with two extra videos for critique because I am sincere in seeking really to understand this subject, both in my mind and in my body.

I hope you'll see this comment in that light because within your incongruence I do some light of sincerity in your comments. You're just completely misunderstanding the topic.

Best to you.

David

wxyzabc
10-14-2012, 08:56 PM
Hya David

I really enjoyed reading your posts...beautifully written..

I was a bit surprised by your pulsing video and went off to try it just for fun. I don't get why you would want to knock yourself backwards though or what benefit there is to that? I don't move position but tanden and other things will adjust to keep me stable in the same position.

I'm guessing it's the wall that should be moving...be difficult to do though ^^

All the best

Lee

David Orange
10-14-2012, 11:00 PM
I really enjoyed reading your posts...beautifully written..

I was a bit surprised by your pulsing video and went off to try it just for fun. I don't get why you would want to knock yourself backwards though or what benefit there is to that? I don't move position but tanden and other things will adjust to keep me stable in the same position.

I'm guessing it's the wall that should be moving...be difficult to do though ^^


Thanks, Lee. I appreciate that.

I read the get-off-the-wall problem posted as a test of how you were organizing your body: can you get yourself off the wall without stepping or jumping, from straight-arm distance from the wall with straight legs. How do you get yourself away from the wall? was the question as I remember it.

Lately, I've really been aware of aligning the "three dantiens" and I felt my body automatically correct that alignment recently, which made me think about some other connections in my body and I suddenly felt a capacity to transfer large amounts of energy with minimal effort. I thought, "I'll bet I could bounce myself off a wall with this." But I wasn't thinking of that old challenge. It was just an idea that suddenly hit me and then I remembered that it had been posted as a challenge a couple of years ago, maybe on the Baseline Skills thread or Teacher Test...

Which makes me think it might be a stage of development of IS skills where you realize you can do this.

Of course, it's related to fa jing, in the Chinese arts and development of IS/aiki in the Japanese style.

You can do it with all your power going into the wall, but unless the wall breaks, the power has to come back into you and the more power you put into it, the more will rebound into you. Something has to give.
I realized that improper alignment of the dantiens would drive the rebound into my lower back and cause injury. And a certain alignment will make you able to deliver your maximum power to the wall. And I think that will be more than your body will be able to ground agains a truly immoveable object. One of you has to lose ground or your body will be injured.I've heard this is why you see tai chi guys hop away from the partner in push hands. They felt that the other guy's power would hurt them if they tried to absorb it and rather than really being driven away, they unground themselves and let the force sort of bounce them up and away without harm.

On the other hand, if you're pushing a moveable object, like a human being--and especially one that is unbalanced and slightly ungrounded....you can really ground yourself and put a high percentage of your potential power directly into driving him a pretty good distance. And it's possible to do that without hurting him. Or you could focus the power into him or drive him down hard.

And I think this getting off the wall problem is a recognized stage in the process of developing that kind of power.

Now what I'm looking at is doing it with as little movement as possible, to see how much I can do it with pure intent.

Does that explain it better?

David Orange
10-14-2012, 11:03 PM
I'm guessing it's the wall that should be moving...be difficult to do though ^^


Also, that "wall" is really only two small surfaces of sheetrock in front of my hands.

I have broken a few bricks with my bare hands in my time, so I think I could actually put both my hands through the wall with that move. I just have reasons not to want that to happen, either...:eek:

wxyzabc
10-14-2012, 11:37 PM
Hya David

Thats a really nice decription...thank you. Well I found the only way to get of the wall I could see is when the body adjusts the spine and centre...the feet stay in position. It's hard to explain ^^ but I don't propel myself backwards. Actually there's no need to move imho...nothing needs to give..all the internal energies automatically build up, adjust through 'everything' not just dantian and then go to earth. Then everything is stable..

It's interesting and kept me amused here for a bit ^^

I think the Japanese built really light walls so they could look hard you know ^^ you'd be amazed how easy they are to break. Wouldn't want to argue with a brick though...

Lee

David Orange
10-15-2012, 12:40 AM
Hya David

Thats a really nice decription...thank you. Well I found the only way to get of the wall I could see is when the body adjusts the spine and centre...the feet stay in position. It's hard to explain ^^ but I don't propel myself backwards. Actually there's no need to move imho...nothing needs to give.

Were you able to get off the wall?

What are you studying in Japan and where? Aikido, presumably. Karate? Judo?

Cheers.

David

wxyzabc
10-15-2012, 03:37 AM
Hya David

Yeah getting of the wall is no problem. I specialise in aikido but can do karate etc but don't usually practise it with partners : )

I live up in Saku, Nagano but basically got pushed into the "you will never be seen" box by the good people here...^^

Lee

David Orange
10-15-2012, 08:18 AM
I live up in Saku, Nagano but basically got pushed into the "you will never be seen" box by the good people here...^^


I have some relatives in Nagano. Nice place.

wxyzabc
10-15-2012, 08:39 AM
It's fantastic...especially in winter..brilliant snowboarding : )

Erick Mead
10-15-2012, 06:22 PM
On the straight legs check PM for a laugh-- I'll find a better space for it The way you describe "driving" with your center is also not what is meant in this context. We're talking about a release of power with almost no movement (and one inch driving with the center as you describe it is a good bit of movement).

You're talking mechanical movement when we're talking something closer to electrical. It requires proper mechanics, but they're different than those used to produce the muscular power you're showing. What you describe as "close to electrical" is a description of an involuntary reflex -- uncontrolled, in a sense -- but not undirected, in another sense. Like grabbing a hot wire -- things just happen. It can be deployed with intent-- just not in the way we would , say, pick up a chair and move it around the table. It seems to me the same thing you are talking about , because I get that sense of it when I do it.

Your comments about undulating pendula also miss the point concerning the three dantiens. The relation of the dantiens is not the same as between pendulums singly or doubly connected. The use of the connective tissue damps out the possible oscillations, which are really just the "wobble" of an unstable body and which bleed off the power in transit from the ground to the hand. That's why "aligning" the three dantiens is important. That's why when I felt the alignment becoming self-adjusting through habit induced by awareness from training, I intuited suddenly that I could do this pulse off the wall and presented my ideas for review.

Damped or not -- they are still pendula -- and pendula behave like pendula even when damped. The "bounce" of the inverted pendula of the three dantien are inherent to our VERY odd form of stability (http://nldlab.gatech.edu/w/images/f/fb/LeeGustavo_Inverted_Pendulum_Final_Report_.pdf), in comparison to almost all other creatures. There is no getting away from it, unless you go on all fours.

The region of stability is large and occurs at a variety of amplitudes and frequencies (Fig 2 in the link) . You will note that the lowest energy/lowest amplitude of the stable region at is at 10 hertz with a very short amplitude ("the spirit of bees")-- the lowest frequency is the 5 Hz bottom of the shaded region - a longer amplitude, lower frequency undulation ("the demon snake") -- These just happen to be the resonant frequency (5Hz) and first harmonic (10 Hz) of the human body and the signature oscillations of funetori and furitama, respectively.

Resonance introduced into such a system in this equation will drive it out of its stability -- and furitama is at the resonance frequency of the body -- that why it bounces everything in the body when done right -- and that's how you know when it is right. The big peak in the middle marks the boundary between the oscillation/undulation destabilizations, and large amplitude funetori actions that lead to destabilization of the freely rotating variety (most conventional waza) located in the upper right section of the graph. So waza are not outside this paradigm, they are simply only one side of the behaviors that this full understnading of what is happening presents.

Put into a person at that CORRECT resonant energy and the pulse we are playing with rings them like a bell --taking apart their stability at a level of the physics that it requires to BE stable. Ikeda Sensei does this routinely -- and to very amusing effect -- which I have felt and which was precisely the reason for my undertaking this particular line of inquiry.. Control of one's oan damping ability (an aspect of "internal" stuffs) can minimize the effects of resonance in oneself as well.

The "pulse" is the actuation of that reflexive oscillation in one go, like cracking a whip.
Furitama and related oscillatory exercises "tune in" to that fundamental resonant frequency and allow us to voluntarily actuate or potentiate it -- which is quite different from voluntary directed motor control -- and which you all seem to describe with the word "external." The oscillations also actuate the damping "fascia" smooth muscle, allowing one to sense their action, and causing the structure to strengthen and become more unified and more effective in damping.

The "external v. internal" scheme of definition seems in one of its senses -- to me at least -- to be a distinction between conscious voluntary motor control and actuated and potentiated reflexive actions that are set in motion but not directed throughout the action by conscious attention or effort. The sense -- for me at least-- is that something is happening that is not strictly under directly actuated guidance -- more like ballistic guidance -- like a whip or chain -- even when slow.

If anything, voluntary motor control serves in this capacity - as you seem to suggest -- to control the amount of damping present in the body when used in this manner of action. I see much value in many of the exercises that are shown and spoken of -- in learning to work with control by damping the body's structural responses and in learning the reflexive actuation that this pulse business is a part of. What I use my twisty balloons to illustrate (http://www.aikiweb.com/blogs/but-why-7854/big-balls-o-aiki-water-fire-4146/)-- how to maintain the same essential damping "tone" in every part of the body while also still able move more or less freely as one wishes. The only thing I am doing voluntarily is holding the reins more or less tightly as the action occurs when my structure is affected somehow. It is like a sword cut -- you don't strike with it - you more or less just unleash it.

I got feedback and I responded to it with two extra videos for critique because I am sincere in seeking really to understand this subject, both in my mind and in my body.

I hope you'll see this comment in that light because within your incongruence I do some light of sincerity in your comments. You're just completely misunderstanding the topic. I am in agreement with your sentiment in the first instance -- and as to the latter point, let us reserve judgment and see what we may see... shall we... ?

David Orange
10-15-2012, 07:57 PM
What you describe as "close to electrical" is a description of an involuntary reflex -- uncontrolled, in a sense -- but not undirected, in another sense. Like grabbing a hot wire -- things just happen. It can be deployed with intent-- just not in the way we would , say, pick up a chair and move it around the table. It seems to me the same thing you are talking about , because I get that sense of it when I do it.

No, Erick, not a reflex and not uncontrolled. I'm talking about a wave of energy that doesn't feel physical to the attacker. It feels beyond physical.

What you're describing is the sense you get when you do it the way you do.

That's not the sense you get when you do it right.

I'll be looking forward to your vid with straight legs and arms.

David

oisin bourke
10-22-2012, 03:55 AM
On being vertical and not horizontal, I came across this quote from an Aikido teacher called Tanimoto
quoted by Lee Price:

"It's basically what you see. Tanimoto sensei says that even though he's taking ukemi here "his heart is still standing"..which allows him to do this....i.e he doesn't lay down and "give up" but maintains awareness and connection at all times. Of course in every dojo/organisation there are people of different strengths/sensitivity, and every uke is different too...so what feels cold for some feels hot for others. This is a simple explanation btw...

I should say that there is a great sense of joy in his practise and this is reflected in everyone who trains with him. Practise is quite simply a pleasure and good fun too. It's very important to maintain the correct feeling towards your partner..he happily says he always feels love for anyone he practises with. "

wxyzabc
10-22-2012, 04:34 AM
Hya Oisin,

It should be noted that there is a great difference in language usage and patterns in English and Japanese. What we might expect to hear we often don't....things just don't translate so well sometimes ; )
After spending time here though you can develop a certain skill at making sense of it all....but when we meet I usually just ask my girlfriend what he said ^^ and you know his on mat time is huge.
A lot of what is communicated here in Japan is in the way of feeling or feelings. What is natural for one is not for another...until they begin to become similar and then it's easier to understand. And the general feeling is that a tree doesn't grow in a day...and in Japan it's better to be a flower than a weed...so most are quite strong :)

It's interesting, and you have to keep a light hearted view on things a bit. I always find it amusing when I ask people about a new place they went too and what it was like..and they always talk about the food...nothing else. Hence each place is famous for having some food speciality...lol....we just don't communicate the same at all ^^

Lee

oisin bourke
10-22-2012, 05:30 AM
Hya Oisin,

It should be noted that there is a great difference in language usage and patterns in English and Japanese. What we might expect to hear we often don't....things just don't translate so well sometimes ; )
After spending time here though you can develop a certain skill at making sense of it all....but when we meet I usually just ask my girlfriend what he said ^^ and you know his on mat time is huge.
A lot of what is communicated here in Japan is in the way of feeling or feelings. What is natural for one is not for another...until they begin to become similar and then it's easier to understand. And the general feeling is that a tree doesn't grow in a day...and in Japan it's better to be a flower than a weed...so most are quite strong :)

It's interesting, and you have to keep a light hearted view on things a bit. I always find it amusing when I ask people about a new place they went too and what it was like..and they always talk about the food...nothing else. Hence each place is famous for having some food speciality...lol....we just don't communicate the same at all ^^

Lee

Hi Lee,

Having lived in Japan for close on nine years, I know what you"re getting at:)

If you could post the original statement, I"d love to read it. It chimed with statements I have heard in Japan from various sources.

Regards,

wxyzabc
10-22-2012, 05:45 AM
Hya Oisin

We were walking towards a pub/restaurant when I asked about it...I don't know what he said in Japanese to be honest...sorry. Generally though, as you know most Japanese don't like to talk too deeply about things. It's an unusual view for some but also pretty straight forward...you can talk about things all day but it won't change a thing ^^

Lee

wxyzabc
10-22-2012, 05:56 AM
Hya Oisin

I just checked with my partner and she confirmed he said the following to her (which she translated for me)

"たっとってもねとってもおなじ、合気道はあいきどう"

All the best

Lee

oisin bourke
10-22-2012, 06:58 AM
Hya Oisin

I just checked with my partner and she confirmed he said the following to her (which she translated for me)

"たっとってもねとってもおなじ、合気道はあいきどう"

All the best

Lee

That"s great Lee, thanks for that.

That chimes with David Orange"s earlier posts IMO, though it"s a bit more concise:)

Erick Mead
10-23-2012, 12:04 AM
No, Erick, not a reflex and not uncontrolled. I'm talking about a wave of energy that doesn't feel physical to the attacker. It feels beyond physical.

What you're describing is the sense you get when you do it the way you do.

That's not the sense you get when you do it right.

I'll be looking forward to your vid with straight legs and arms.

David
The table leg glue still has to set up. I understand your point. And when the table recovers or a I find a better vantage (my wife does not allow any MA in the house -- can't imagine why... and we just had our last Iaijutsu seminar in the old dojo and are moving shop this week -- so probably be next week before I can I have our new space to accommodate you -- my partners have not yet banned MA in the office -- but let's not mention the table, shall we?)

I have gotten away from this sort of thing, mainly because most people don't work through things this way-- I am aware of this -- but you expressed interest in a true understanding -- and regardless of our disagreement about whether I have an understanding related to yours or not -- I will tell you where the development of my understanding puts me.

However -- it is not "beyond physical" -- I can SEE it -- I can see what I am talking about in your video (each of them, actually). I can stop video motion with clicks that freeze at 12-15 frames per sec of video -- about half the frame rate. Close to two frames at a click. If you will bear with me, I can explain both the nature of the action and your (accurate) perception of it -- consistent both with what I see you doing and what I know I am doing -- and what I now see that all the aiki-taiso train for .

There are reflexes and there are reflexes. For instance, the reflex when I pop my hand in uke's visual field, right in front of this face. The "base" parts of the visual centers of the brain interpret this as an extremely high closure rate and fire motor neurons to cause the head and structure to move reflexively to avoid a presumed impact. Done right -- uke's structure is falling all over itself to be somewhere else. This visual reflex can be habituated downward and reduced to almost nothing -- boxers and other close-striking arts do this all the time.

It can also be habituated upward -- and triggered -- not directed exactly -- but potentiated and released.

That is still a neural path going to the visual reflex center of the brain (sup. colliculus), processed for a bit, then a signal down the spine to motor neurons to move, bypassing the visual awareness center in the visual cortex (awareness). More or less, the visual awareness and the motor reflexes get the signal at roughly the same time -- so you are aware of moving just as about the same time as you are aware of the visual disturbance that caused the reflex to occur. Your perceive almost no gap in the stimulus and the response -- but there is in fact a lag from the stimulus to the action -- you are just not aware of it..

This takes about 50-100 ms (avg. ~75 ms =0.075)sec from stimulus to action (latency). For comparison, well-trained voluntary visual-motor skills have a latency of more than 100 ms (0.1) sec from stimulus to action, nearly twice as slow. Fit but untrained people punch with a latency of about 300 ms. The fastest punch measured of an English boxer and one of Bruce Lee's students clocks in at just about 100 ms from signal, close to the voluntary motor speed limit.

Withdrawal reflex arcs (snatching a hand back from a hot object) are spinal reflexes which do not involve the brain at all -- other than the eventual awareness of what just happened. This is one of what are called "polysynaptic" reflexes, as they involve more than one . They typically involve just three nerve cells -- the sensory neuron, a relay neuron and the motor neuron, which is two synapses (the slow parts of the nervous system). They tend to be on the "slow" side of the true spinal reflexes around that 75 ms mark.

So -- for a trained person -- the order of event, action and perception is:

Stimulus = 0
Polysynaptic reflex = 75ms
Awareness of stimulus = 75ms
Awareness of reflex = 150ms

A monosynaptic reflex, though, is something else (two nerves, one sensory, one motor, one synapse, ...in the land of Mordor , where... never mind...) . These are the tendon reflexes and the stretch reflexes -- which respectively contract or relax a muscle group in response to possibly structurally dangerous loads.

A monosynaptic latency is on the order of 20-45 ms -- call it 30 ms =0.03s, twice as fast as, or even better, as the visual or pain flinch reflexes. Your conscious awareness latency is more on the order of the visual flinch awareness, (75 ms). d

Stimulus = 0
Monosynaptic reflex = 30ms [IN]
[No real awareness of structural stress stimulus]
Awareness of reflex = 75ms
Recovery phase of reflex = 50 -100 ms [YO]
Voluntary reaction to reflex 175 ms

This is the sequence that is disturbing to the conscious mind -- because we do not -- without training -- consciously sense or recognize the structural stimulus that causes the reflex. Or we feel it but we do not know at all how to interpret it. It is occurring at a level way below the conscious mind. If you learn how to deploy it -- to put it in Kevin Leavitt's preferred OODA terms-- this is WAAAAY inside his loop... And this is why I feel that puzzling this out -- in my view -- is a necessary component -- what is happening -- is just out of view and we need some way to get at it .

We know something happened -- we know we did something in response. By the time we voluntarily react -- in-yo action has already got hold done its thing and passed on. And so, by the time you have decided what to do about the stimulus -- even if you DID perceive it -- your body has already acted, and so whatever you decided to -- it was already wrong -- overcome by events.

Then you become aware that it was wrong and your brain is now countermanding -- and you still have no fricking clue what is really going on. Sensorimotor whipsaw. You are trying to act and your responses are -- quite literally -- just beyond the edge of your perception and control.

AND ..to add spice to this sauce -- the nature of the tendon and stretch reflexes at issue does another thing -- if the reflex relaxes one muscle group it triggers the interneuron going to the antagonist muscle on the opposite side of the limbs, (quad vs. hamstring) making it contract -- If the reflex contracts a muscle group -- it blocks the interneuron to the antagonist , locking it out and preventing it from contracting

--And by blocking the antagonist muscle group it deeply confounds any voluntary response.

The result being that the limbs actuate in one direction, and one direction only -- but then they recover when the reflex action subsides. In-yo. The muscle power usually sapped by the constant resistance action of the opposed muscle group is very suddenly gone. AND, ... with the extension-limiting effect of the opposed musculature removed -- the limbs, do not merely flex or extend, they actually lengthen (or shorten -- the reflexes go both ways, and with force suddenly, and by suddenly I mean closer to 30ms sudden than 100 ms.

The actions of unleashing the extension/retraction are actually torsional, not in a plane -- because muscle insertions on the bones are not lined up in a plane with the bone -- they spiral around the line of the limb just so slightly like leaves or vines grow spirally around a stem. Prove this to yourself.. place your hands palm up, fingertips against the wall, arms at full extension and put your feet as close to the wall as you can without falling backwards. Now, try to turn your hands palm down, and then palm out. You will fall back with only a much slighter rotation, and I doubt you can get even to palm down..

Any training which focuses on two things should facilitate using this to advantage: 1) it needs to train in working through the natural spiral forms of the resulting reflexive actions -- and avoid the push-pull levered action of most voluntary movement; and 2) it needs to grasp the innate cycle of reflex/recovery (furitama/funetori) which can both drive this cascade in our own bodies to protect our structure, and provoke it in others to destroy theirs. I see this in Aikido, in Taichi and other CMA, in Ark's work and some others, and I see it in what you showed in your video.

Training in the large sweeping forms of aiki-taiso, habituates the trained body to the condition that will exist and that it must learn to modulate when it finally "catches-up" to what it already did. It will never be able to direct the action directly. But with enough training the voluntary motor "lag" is effectively shortened -- because the patterns of movement for this type of action are very typical. It cannot be driven like voluntary movement -- but it can be potentiated by training and when triggered it can be "surfed," if you will -- like a feed-forward control system. And like your knee-tap reflex you can learn to overmodulate to preemptively suppress or temper it - but not in reaction -- that's too late.

Other aiki taiso habituate the sudden torsional stresses that most effectively trigger them. Others train vibrations. The triggers for these reflexes are also responsive to vibrations -- particularly for hyper-destructive resonant frequencies (furitama). Vibrations induce other interesting things with the smooth muscle fascia, which clench into a fixed position after a few cycles -- as any one who has raked a yard can attest. And are also particularly responsive to oxytocin -- the "love" hormone -- but not adrenaline. But that is beyond the topic of the particular action at issue and its perception -- which is what we were talking about..

wxyzabc
10-23-2012, 03:57 AM
Hya Erick

Wow...that's a fantastic piece of scientific writing. I sometimes come on here as in Japan I don't have so many people to talk to that have anywhere near basic fluent English. When I write it helps me not to forget basic spelling etc...

Where did you get the information from on reflexes etc? that's just nuts...but in a nice way of course : )

Lee

Erick Mead
10-23-2012, 04:59 PM
Hya Erick

Wow...that's a fantastic piece of scientific writing. I sometimes come on here as in Japan I don't have so many people to talk to that have anywhere near basic fluent English. When I write it helps me not to forget basic spelling etc...

Where did you get the information from on reflexes etc? that's just nuts...but in a nice way of course : )

Lee Likewise. ;)
It is no particular secret. -- but I uploaded some resources on reflexes and things that cause or disturb them I have gathered in the last few years. I have also added some on vertical vibration and inverted pendulum stability -- you know, for dessert -- Kinesthetic mochi. :D

Knock yourself out:

https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B3rVDSZUUsMgaUlwbFpBanVnZ3M/edit

David Orange
10-31-2012, 12:08 PM
Hya Erick

Wow...that's a fantastic piece of scientific writing...

It's too bad that so much "scientific" thinking on a subject often leads so far from the truth.

Lately, I've been re-reading Melville's Moby Dick, in which the author presents numerous examples of the errors made by scientific authorities concerning the nature of the whale, most interestingly this one, in Chapter 55, entitled Monstrous Pictures of Whales:

"...let us glance at those pictures of leviathan purporting to be sober, scientific delineations, by those who know. In old Harris's collection of voyages there are some plates of whales extracted from a Dutch book of voyages, A.D. 1671...In one of those plates the whales, like great rafts of logs, are represented lying among ice-isles, with white bears running over their living backs. In another plate, the prodigious blunder is made of representing the whale with perpendicular flukes.

Nor are the most conscientious compilations of Natural History for the benefit of the young and tender, free from the same heinousness of mistake. Look at that popular work 'Goldsmith's Animated Nature.' In the abridged London edition of 1807, there are plates of an alleged 'whale' and a 'narwhale.' I do not wish to seem inelegant, but this unsightly whale looks much like an amputated sow; and, as for the narwhale, one glimpse at it is enough to amaze one, that in this nineteenth century such a hippogriff could be palmed for genuine upon any intelligent public of schoolboys.

But these manifold mistakes in depicting the whale are not so very surprising after all. Consider! Most of the scientific drawings have been taken from the stranded fish; and these are about as correct as a drawing of a wrecked ship, with broken back, would correctly represent the noble animal itself in all its undashed pride of hull and spars. Though elephants have stood for their full-lengths, the living Leviathan has never yet fairly floated himself for his portrait. The living whale, in all his full majesty and significance, is only to be seen at sea in unfathomable waters; and afloat the vast bulk of him is out of sight, like a launched line-of-battle ship; and out of that element it is a thing eternally impossible for mortal man to hoist him bodily into the air, so as to preserve all his mighty swells and undulations. And...even in the case of one of those young sucking whales hoisted to a ship's deck, such is then the outlandish, eel-like, limbered, varying shape of him that his precise expression the devil himself could not catch.

...the only mode in which you can derive even a tolerable idea of his living contour, is by going a whaling yourself; but by so doing, you run no small risk of being eternally stove and sunk by him."

end of quote

Despite all his scientific portraiture of the Leviathan of Internal Power, Erick is, unfortunately, one of those who has never "gone a whaling" himself, precisely for fear of being "eternally stove and sunk" by the likes of Dan Harden. Nor has he yet laid hands upon such deep-diving types as Minoru Akuzawa or Mike Sigman. And his explanations, I'm afraid, are on a par with such "scientists" as Frederick Cuvier, who may have been quite knowledgeable in many subjects, but whose drawing of a Sperm Whale is criticized by Ishmael as "not a Sperm Whale, but a squash."

Put your faith in the accounts of those who have been there.