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ChrisHein
11-03-2012, 11:16 PM
I have seen this growing interest within the internet Aikido community to define “Aiki” as a type of body skill that creates almost magical physical power. I'm very skeptical of this, and would like to attempt a discussion in order to help me develop my understanding or lack there of, in respects to the word “Aiki”.

I am a professional Aikido teacher, making my living by teaching on a daily basis. Six days a week I'm in the dojo teaching, exploring and developing my understanding of Aikido. So naturally defining the word “Aiki” is important to me. Beyond an intellectual understanding of the word, it's important to me to be able to study the phenomenon that the word is describing. So I would like to explore the common definitions of the word, their social validity, and the tangible phenomenon these definitions are describing.

I have so far found three martial definitions of the word “Aiki”:

A) A situation created by two people, of equal skill wherein neither can make a successful attack, locking them in a stand off.

B) The ability to understand, blend with, lead and manipulate the mind/intention of another person.

C) A body ability, that once acquired gives it's practitioner great physical power, making them seem unmovable and strangely forceful.

Definition “ A” comes from somewhere between the 12th and 19th century Japan. It is used by several different martial arts systems. There is no doubt that this was, at least at one time the known and accepted definition of the word “Aiki” as it related to martial arts.

Is this how Ueshiba, and/or Takeda were using the word, questionable, but doubtful. I would love to hear any thoughts on this!

As far as it being an examinable phenomenon, yes it is. It is describing something that happens commonly, and we've all witnessed/been a part of. We can see it not only in traditional Japanese martial arts, but also in modern martial arts (when two boxers spend a whole round “feeling each other out”) and in non martial situations (like in a verbal argument when both people stop and stare at each other). It is something that absolutely happens, and we can study it in many different situations.

Definition “B” comes from somewhere between the 19th and 20th century Japan. It is used mostly by Daito ryu, and Aikido, but does appear in some other modern martial arts (probably influenced by it's use in Aikido). This is basically the definition used by the Aikikai to describe Aiki.

Is this how Ueshiba and/or Takeada used the word, this is currently a hot bed of discussion, I would venture a guess that most people in the Aikido community believe it is.

As far as this being an examinable phenomenon, yes it is. We can see this type of exchange in many different sporting ventures, from Football to Sumo to Chess and Poker just about any competition the pits one against another. We can see how understanding ones mind, and their proceeding physical actions is possible, and can be studied in many different situations.

Definition “C” comes from, it's really hard to say, some proponents of the idea say that it's very old, although I don't think there isn't any historical evidence to prove such a claim. Most likely this definition comes from the late 19th or early to mid 20th century, perhaps Japan or the United States. It is used by some larger Aikido groups who put an enfaces on Ki, and several splinter Aikido and Daito ryu groups.

Is it how Ueshiba and/or Takeda used the word? Again, it's very hard to say, lot's of historical references are being made that suggest perhaps they were, but then again, neither of them were big on writing things down themselves, so it's hard (if not impossible) to say.

Can the phenomenon it describes be examined. Again it's very hard to say. There is a pretty strong belief among the proponents of this definition that very few people have IT (Aiki by this definition that is). So there is a very small pool of people that could be examined or tested. Among these people there is also lot's of discussion about who may or may not have it. Of those people, who may have it, to my knowledge none have offered themselves up for scientific study, or entered into a competitive venture where their ability gave them a clear and unusual advantage. In one since we could see if someone who claims to have this ability (Aiki by definition “C”) seems to have physical power beyond what one of their size should have. However this power must involve another person. There is a necessity for this power to be used on another person, and not inanimate objects. So we can't rely on typical examples of physical power (like lifting heavy things, or moving quickly). There is also an expressed need that the power “be felt” in order to be understood, which by it's nature makes it subjective and not objective. This makes it very hard to examine. Can the phenomenon it describes be objectively examined? I'm not sure. If it can I would love to see examples.

aristofanis
11-04-2012, 04:05 AM
oldie but goodie FWIW :)
Yoshimine Yasuo - Budo Free Talk

Number 26 – What is Aiki (2002/06/02)

There aren’t many words which are misunderstood to the extent of the world Aiki. It is quite unfortunate that many dubious martial artist use this term purely for their promotional purpose. As of current state, as far as magazine or books are concered, thre are very few which provide correct information about aiki. If there are ten articles about aiki, probably at least eight of them are incorrect.

To reason why the matter has fallen to such sorry state is because aiki is very difficult to master. So only external forms have been transmitted and it is very rare to encounter genuine aiki techniques. Accordingly, even among people who call themselves Shinan (instructor), unfortunately, only few know it. When someone asks “What is aiki”, often, answers are like “This is beyond the description by words” or even “It’s transcendent ability”. (You may not believe me but true). Hopefully, I think more open and modern/enlightened attitude will slowly change this and make aiki easier to learn.

Then, what is aiki? I will write technical or methodological detail in my book so pardon me if I'm brief. But anyway, stuff like magazine tend to describe aiki as something mysterious but in reality, aiki is very scientific. To cut the long story short, if you seek the origin of the word aiki, answer will reveal itself.

I wrote this few time in the magazine “Hiden” but aiki is originally kenjutu (Japanese sword arts) term and it describe a state where you and your opponent’s seichu (central) line is face to face. (This word is used even in modern kendo as in original meaning). Easiest way to see it is to just pick up swords with your partner, hold it in the middle until the tip of the sword face each other. Obviously, this situation is stalemate. So you have to diver your opponent’s tip of the sword. To do this is called “Divert Aiki”. It’s not even incorrect to state that entire koryu kenjutu techniques are based on methodology of diverting aiki. For example, in case of Shinkage ryu (shin=true kage=shadow ryu=style), they often use technique to enter diagonally to divert aiki. In case of Onoha Ittoryu (Ono branch of one blade style.), it’s characteristic is in how to divert tip of the sword by central breakthrough. Aiki of Daitoryu is application of this principle of central breakthrough of Onoha Ittoryu into taijutu. That is, you deliberately force the state of aiki as in sword fight then proceed to break this state through penetrating into centreline of your opponent. Accordingly, the basic stance use the same one as Onoha Ittoryu. And in aiki, attack target are neck and hip (and occasionally chest) and this is, in fact, same as the thrust targets of Onoha Ittoryu.

Therefore, there are broader definition and narrower definition of the term aiki. The broader definition of aiki is the entire methodology of crushing opponent’s attack stance through central penetration. This includes atemi (strike) into upper part of the body. Narrower aiki means techniques of neutralising attack from the contact, exemplified in technique, aiki age (aiki lift).

Now, as of aiki age, presently, even this technique are often misunderstood. Many people confuse this with Kokyuho in aikido. They looks alike but their purpose is completely different. That is Kokyuhou or Tenchinage in akido originally meant atemi into jaw with palm. In Daitoryu, there are no concept to push someone down with charge like in sumo. The correct concept is to uplift your opponent or smash opponent directly below and the techniques which exemplify this fundamental principle are aiki age (aiki lift) and aiki sage (aiki takedown). These two use entire body and are not mere hand techniques. Hence by looking at even one photo, one could tell whether someone has managed to do it or not. Extremely bad example is when one push someone down just by using body weight . If one do aiki age from kneeling position, if someone standing losing balance on top while you still haven't broken your kneeling and your back is straight, then it is the real deal. And if you have opportunity to experience aiki age, pay close attention to the feeling when you grab this person’s arm. With someone who can really do this, there are rarely any sensation of grip because there is no collision of power. Accordingly, anyone who push back with force are out of question. And the biggest difference between correct aiki age and the incorrect one are whether one can make the movement smaller and smaller through training. If one try to push back with force or using body weight, one will never be able to do it. That is, true purpose of aiki is to utilise aiki in every taijutu technique by making it smaller and shaper through polishing your technique. That is why I mentioned in other place that if you got wrong teacher, you never make it.

As of side note, it is often said that the secret of aiki age is to “Open palms as in Asagao (morning face, common Japanese flower)” but this is often transmitted incorrectly. “Open palms as in Asagao” in fact point to the entire arm movement in aiki age and not pointing to how one open palm. The reason this theory has spread is probably due either to do with teacher intentionally hid it or someone who hasn’t learned it properly spread it. Once you get used to aikiage, you can do it with your hands closed and the reason one have to open palm is only because it is easier to learn. An important point when you open palm is not to put too much force into your finger. This is bit difficult to get unless demonstrated in practice but in beginner’s level, you open your palm like when you do paper in stone/paper/scissors. When expert do Aikiage, especially little fingers are very relaxed. And often this technique are split between Aiki of Kote, when someone grab your writs, and Aiki of Mune (chest) or Aiki of Karada (Body), when someone grab your collar or other such places but these two are the same. This is also easier to understand in demonstration but if you know the gist of it, the latter one is much easier one to do it.

Daturiki (Relaxlation) is another equally misunderstood word like aiki, and this world is also uttered in sort of aspiration as in the word aiki so I mention about it here just in case. Daturiki doesn’t mean you don’t use muscle. Even in aiki, one is of course using muscle. “To relax” simply means “use only necessarily muscle”. The phrase “To issue ki” is same with this principle.

To add further, when he was alive, Sakawa Sohan swung steel training staff every days and someone said “That is just muscle work”. This is like making speech with your pants down without understanding the fact that aiki as well as koryu kenjutu use entire body movement. In fact, it is natural to arrive at this kind of training if one think about what is needed in Daitoryu. (However, unless onelearned proper way to swing sword, one could damage one’s body so I won’t recommend it.)

As stated, aiki is in practice, very scientific. It is true it is based on rather sophisticated principle but it has nothing to do with mysterious transcendantalism. Therefore, to describe aiki mesteriously or even religiously is self evident sign that one hasn’t got proper transmission. It is like someone wondering in amazement at magician's work because he doesn’t know that magic is a trick. For magician, trick is easy to perform. And the fact that aiki is scientific mean that everyone, as long as they practice seriously can master it. To add further, in some part of Daitoryu, it is said that one can master aiki even if you can’t lift anything heavier than chopsticks as long as you receive oral transmission but that is nonsense. This is because the effect of aiki differs according to individuals. Once you got the gist of movement, then you have to reduce the margin of error by applying aiki many many times to various different persons. That is to aim perfection through repetition of movements based on logic. This is the same in any martial arts.

That is it. This time it was rather metaphysical but as I said, I clarify more practical description of technique or theory in detail in my book. So pardon me for that. The next topic will be “utilisation and paradox in form”

It seems that the narrower technical defnition of aiki is a concept equivelant to kuzushi in judo. What is most interesting for me is that Morihei Ueshiba practiced Yagyu Shinkage ryu, the style mentione as the one who use tactic of diversion rather than penetration for breaking aiki. This seems very similar to discription of difference among taichi, xingyi and bagua.

If you imagine your opponent as a ball, xingyi will punchture the ball, bagua will divert the ball and taichi will become the ball.

grondahl
11-04-2012, 04:31 AM
From Aikido Masters, p279-280.


But the moment I touched him I was startled. I felt as if I had taken hold of an iron bar. Of course, I knew very well from my experience in sumo that it would be useless to struggle against him. I immediatly knew I had been defeated. However, I couldn´t just leave things like that and so I attempted to twist his arm up and out. He didn´t move an inch. I tried again with both hands, using all my might. But he used my strength against me and I fell down.

Sounds more like C than A or B.

But then again, does aiki only describe a phenomenon?

Mario Tobias
11-04-2012, 04:40 AM
Aiki, in my interpretation, is ANY movement to engage in the most natural and straightforwardest manner to absorb uke in the goal of making two bodies into one.

If the movement is not natural and the most straightforward (ie the blending does not come automatically, not most efficient way to go from point A to point B), this is not aiki. My theory is that because of these 2 factors, you can do the techniques with minimal or no contact. Aiki is automatic in the point of view of nage in terms of his blending if these 2 factors are present. Aiki is automatic in the point of view of uke as to his response to nage's intention whether or not the engagement by nage has commenced.

Aiki IMHO therefore is not concerned only with nage's control of his mind, body and spirit to unify these but also tries to control uke's mind, body and spirit to unify everything into one body. During the technique, there is no nage nor uke but just one body until uke is thrown. This is just my theory. My 0.0001 cents.

Carsten Möllering
11-04-2012, 05:24 AM
Definition "C" comes from, it's really hard to say, some proponents of the idea say that it's very old, although I don't think there isn't any historical evidence to prove such a claim.
Have you tried to compare texts of Ueshiba to texts from qi gong?
There is a chapter in "The secret teachings of Aikido" that is named "Aiki is the Marvelous Functioning of Breath". If you have a comprehensive book on qi gong, you may read the capter of Ueshiba and try to use the qi gong book as a "dicitionary". I don't know, whether this works, when one does not practice qi gong or tai chi or another comparable art. But if so you will be able to translate Ueshibas words. Not only it's meaning, but you often will be able to translate them right into certain movements.
For different reasons this don't will work in an exact way. There will be many questions, depending on the translation of Stevens, on the different schools and ways of qi gong. And so on ...
But: You will get some clue, what Ueshiba is talking about.
(And he is clearly talking about something that is goining on within your own body. The relationship to a different person or body or society is something that can and will happen when the individual realizes aiki. You can use aiki in interaction. But the interaction is not described as "being" aiki in which way ever.)

This is about what the term "aiki" means. It's not about where the term itself comes from, is used first time and so on. This is a different matter.

So I think, aiki is not "a body ability", but it is a way to understand the interplay of body, qi and mind. To form and to train this interplay by certain methods. And finally - if possible - to use this interplay. Be it for getting healthier. Or be it martially.

Dave de Vos
11-04-2012, 06:52 AM
... Can the phenomenon it describes be objectively examined? I'm not sure. If it can I would love to see examples.

I'm a bit puzzled. On the one hand you you seem to support version "B" and take a sceptical position towards "C", on the other hand "C" seems to interest you, as you are regularly involved in discussions about IP / IS.
I also note that you and Michael Varin seem to know each other (you mention him here http://www.aikidostudent.com/content/?p=324) and that you are both from the Aikido Fresno dojo. But reading his posts on AikiWeb, Michael Varin seems to be in the "C" camp. Apparently he even organised a Mike Sigman workshop in your dojo in march 2010 (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17415).

Do you and Michael Varin ever talk about this? Did you participate in Mike Sigman's seminar? Of course you don't owe me or anyone else an explanation, but all this does not make sense to me.

Rupert Atkinson
11-04-2012, 06:58 AM
oldie but goodie FWIW :)

Excellent!

DH
11-04-2012, 11:30 AM
Why exhaustively repeat. Phi will have a fit!! :D
Is this a discussion or a disingenuous effort toward a foregone conclusion and closed mind?

A, B, and C, are one but C comes first as part of and to make A and B more efficient.

The confusion over C and how it could possible related to A and B, is because so few get C that it is a non starter in any discussion. Once you come to fully realize C the entire "discussion" or debate is resolved and makes perfect sense.

Solo training
Why did Ueshiba continually discuss solo training and the individual model when asked about "aiki?"
When asked about aiki his drawing a circle and stating it is opposing forces has been mentioned by me several times and never addressed. Why and how does this make any sense in producing aiki what-so-ever?
When offering to define aiki his stating it was dual opposing spirals in the body makes sense how?
How does guest hand/ host hand and five and five make ten, seven and three make ten makes sense in solo first, then in an encounter?
Why were they ancient models re-quoted?
Discussing Koryu and vector approaches is interesting, though you are of course leaving out drawings of cones as multiple lines of force-starting once again with yourself.
How would Heaven/earth/man and six directions (other solo training methods taught as Katori and Kashima shrine) effect the founder of shinto ryu in such a profound way that he said no one could stop his ken once he understood them?
Why are those teachings thousands of years old?
Why do virtually all of the worlds high level arts focus on solo training?
In Taiji, what does it do to make jins? How are jins, aiki?

Paired encounters
How is the soft power gained and inherent in the type of solo training discussed by so many provide answers to several of the koryu models definition of producing the aiki offered in Yoshimine Yasuo's examples?
How would you successfully enter and overcome in those models? Lifting weights? Eating your Wheaties? Better timing? Then Aiki is timing and lifting weights?
Maybe solo training changes your body and organizes it in a sophisticated way that entering in and overcoming as outlined is so much easier that warriors noticed a profound difference ...thus giving this type of training a worthy notation as not only different but superior?

The masses are always right or the case for the lowest common denominator.
Why did certain men who stood out practice differently and so often point to the same methods; Solo training first?
What did solo training do for them to cause them to stand out in the first place?
What does "Stand out"....mean?

What does it mean to be arguing for a case... To feel like everyone else?

We can make a case for the gym rats being right; lift, run and practice timing. And that is all there ever was to doing those Asian arts better. I ain't bettin on that....ever.

The joining of Internal strength or internal power and aiki
I will make a case that solo training gained prominence because changing the body changed the way it responded and felt to the "majority" or masses. So much so, that the difference was profound and life altering for those who encountered it, that they sought out a means to train it. Hence those men in turn, stood out as different and dominant. The "feeling" they produced was soft power and aiki. This soft power creates aiki as a default state and also gave birth to aiki ....as a skill.
This is why Ueshiba could state "I...am aiki!" Or "I am the universe!"

It was this soft power that is inherent as part of you in a default state, that also produced a more sophisticated skill -that is also aiki. It was this that accomplished "the fitting in" models so described in the koryu models. In other words, Aiki exists as a state *and* a skill beyond the norm. So much so, that it stood out among warriors and fighters who were the masses of average Joe's. I find it perfectly natural that it is the average Joes, the masses, who are just as perplexed now as they were then.

It is precisely because of the masses not getting it that there is a yearning to know what the greats did. If not for the greats doing something out of the ordinary:
a. No one would have stood out.
b. No one would have felt different
c. We would not be here having this discussion.

The only real argument seems to be the masses wanting to argue that the results they gained (to feel like everyone else)
Is supposedly what those who did *not* feel like everyone else...were doing as well.
In other words...Do more of what the masses are doing....to be different?

Dan

ChrisHein
11-04-2012, 12:09 PM
From some things I've been reading of late, and something that Dan's comments were just flavored with is, I believe yet another definition of "Aiki". I think it goes a little something like this:

D) A body skill, that once acquired, allows your body to automatically adapt to movements and changes made by an attacker/opponent, that make the opponent feel strange, weak, unable to adapt to you.

This definition D is something that I feel is newly arising, and maybe I'm wrong but I also believe Amdur Sensei is kind of talking about (However I am still waiting my copy of HIPS, which should be here Monday).

Dave, Michael Varin and I train together on a regular basis, he teaches the Saturday class here at Aikido of Fresno. I don't know what "camp" Michael is in, I have a good guess, but I'd let him speak to it. I am in camp "A" and camp "B". I do believe Ueshiba was describing mostly camp "B", but due to some recent reading, it's hard to say exactly what he was talking about. I'm starting to become a fan of the idea that Ueshiba called anything he "Liked", "Aiki" and anything he didn't like not "Aiki".

I am interested in camp "C" because I teach Aikido (the way of "Aiki") it's important to understand the way of the thing you teach. I saw the usefulness of internal, studied it with an internal expert, got what I found useful and moved on. It does seem magical, at first but once you understand it, nothing that couldn't be basically understood/used in a year or two (in a non task specific context). I would also say that most all professional athletes are basically using internal in relation to their specific skill set. It's part of the reason professional athletes seem so amazing. So I don't understand the way that people around here are using definition "C" and exactly what it is that they are pointing too.

ChrisHein
11-04-2012, 12:31 PM
oldie but goodie FWIW :)

Thanks! That sounds like "Yoshimine Yasuo" is saying that Aiki is basically definition "A" and there are two main techniques to deal with that kind of situation, a raising technique (Aiki age) and a falling technique (Aiki Sage). Overall he is saying that Aiki as we use it, is the ability to weaken your attacker through superior position, and when in stale mate, use one of the major Aiki techniques to overcome them the instant they start to attack.

Chris Knight
11-04-2012, 12:57 PM
Are you saying you can connect your body in "a year or so"??? - boy do i wish that was the case! The body changing method takes years of daily torture for want of a better word. Its not just taking bits from an internal system!!

ChrisHein
11-04-2012, 01:00 PM
I'm saying that what I found, from training with an internal expert was pretty straight forward. Integrating that into your task specific context will, no doubt take some time.

Like a football running back, understanding the theory of what he needs to do is pretty straight forward, he can learn the exercises, drills and methods of training pretty quickly, he won't be a good running back for years to come. But he also won't believe the process is mysterious or that only a few running backs will ever be able to do it.

Dave de Vos
11-04-2012, 01:07 PM
I read your description of type "C" and type "D". I think your description of "C" would be closer to IP / IS and "D" to Aiki. C would then be a prerequisite for D.

DH
11-04-2012, 01:44 PM
From some things I've been reading of late, and something that Dan's comments were just flavored with is, I believe yet another definition of "Aiki". I think it goes a little something like this:

D) A body skill, that once acquired, allows your body to automatically adapt to movements and changes made by an attacker/opponent, that make the opponent feel strange, weak, unable to adapt to you.
This definition D is something that I feel is newly arising, and maybe I'm wrong but I also believe Amdur Sensei is kind of talking about (However I am still waiting my copy of HIPS, which should be here Monday).
The definition is not accurate and I don't think you are going to discover that definition in Ellis's book.

D. correctly stated is a result of and part of C. But I don't buy the automatic portion of.
It all begins with C. If you have studied internals in an internal art- you would understand all of this. In a classic model it is seamless.

I am in camp "A" and camp "B". I do believe Ueshiba was describing mostly camp "B", but due to some recent reading, it's hard to say exactly what he was talking about.
He continued to discuss solo training and self centered joining of forces as his model. And THAT...is so stunningly obvious to someone who trained internals (not internal arts) that it is a non starter. More importantly Ueshiba's views were consistent with a standard model. Yours is unique and all your own. more on that to follow.

I saw the usefulness of internal, studied it with an internal expert, got what I found useful and moved on. It does seem magical, at first but once you understand it, nothing that couldn't be basically understood/used in a year or two (in a non task specific context). I would also say that most all professional athletes are basically using internal in relation to their specific skill set. It's part of the reason professional athletes seem so amazing. So I don't understand the way that people around here are using definition "C" and exactly what it is that they are pointing too.
If you got internals in your training in an internal art, I have yet to read, or see or hear of it. Assuming anyone got *internals* because they studied an internal martial art is equal to thinking they got aiki because they studied Aikido.

I would say that your discussion point of athletes all having internals is empty and unsupported. You logically have to follow that with all exceptional martial artists are just superior athletes then.
.
I saw the usefulness of internal, studied it with an internal expert, got what I found useful and moved on. It does seem magical, at first but once you understand it, nothing that couldn't be basically understood/used in a year or two (in a non task specific context).
WHAT????
I would only state that this is the most stunning and unique example of "understanding internals" I have ever read. I think we should send notice to people who have spent 11 years in China and 44 years in Aikido....wasting their time.
Chris Hein got it in a year or two.
Tens of thousands of people could save a lot of time and money and travel from around the world to train with you.
All due respect, Chris, I propose that you don't know what internal training actually is, and why it takes so very long to learn.
Dan

DH
11-04-2012, 01:48 PM
I'm saying that what I found, from training with an internal expert was pretty straight forward. Integrating that into your task specific context will, no doubt take some time.

Like a football running back, understanding the theory of what he needs to do is pretty straight forward, he can learn the exercises, drills and methods of training pretty quickly, he won't be a good running back for years to come. But he also won't believe the process is mysterious or that only a few running backs will ever be able to do it.
So Chris
All things being equal
Training under an Aikido shihan (who lived in Japan for 11 years) makes that Shihan an aiki expert? And your logic being consistent, then anyone studying under said Shihan got it one to two years....right?

I think it is telling that you continue to equate athletics to internals and external blending to aiki.

DH
11-04-2012, 01:56 PM
Thanks! That sounds like "Yoshimine Yasuo" is saying that Aiki is basically definition "A" and there are two main techniques to deal with that kind of situation, a raising technique (Aiki age) and a falling technique (Aiki Sage). Overall he is saying that Aiki as we use it, is the ability to weaken your attacker through superior position, and when in stale mate, use one of the major Aiki techniques to overcome them the instant they start to attack.
No Chris
Overall it is ...you...who are saying that is your understanding of what he means.
There is a more profound ancient example for up and down energy and forces in the body. Its called heaven/earth/man, outlined by generations of extraordinary martial artists in different cultures..you might have heard of one of them; Ueshiba.

Aiki age/ aiki sage as positional dominance through rapid changes to arrive first or take him off his feet. Force his head down and press him into his legs then.....Sweep the leg... is just jujutsu, Chris. But hey..if that is all someone knows then that is all they know. They see everything through those glasses.

Your statements that Aiki is just moving around and timing and Athletes are internal experts too ..are going to present a hollow argument to thousands of Daito ryu practitioners and ICMA'ers as well. They know full well there is a higher order. A higher level of training.
But I suspect many are used to this sort of explanation. I tried tackling a different explanation for you. Oh well.
Good luck in your training
Dan

ChrisHein
11-04-2012, 04:47 PM
Dan,
No office but I'm not interested in talking about me. However would like to know more about what you and others think, I shared my experiences as part of a fair trade, to find out more from others.

I would like to discus the definition and phenomena that are attached to any definition of the word "Aiki".

Thanks.

ChrisHein
11-04-2012, 05:01 PM
I read your description of type "C" and type "D". I think your description of "C" would be closer to IP / IS and "D" to Aiki. C would then be a prerequisite for D.

Hey Dave,
I would personally define internal as it relates to what I learned from/of Chinese internal as:

The Ideally most efficient use of the body as a tool. Relating especially to physical structure and alignment.

Would you say this is something relating to "C" or something similar or something different all together? How and/or why?

I can see how "C" might be an important part of learning "D" but not a necessity. Could you briefly explain a bit more?

DH
11-04-2012, 05:01 PM
Dan,
No office but I'm not interested in talking about me. However would like to know more about what you and others think, I shared my experiences as part of a fair trade, to find out more from others.

I would like to discus the definition and phenomena that are attached to any definition of the word "Aiki".

Thanks.
I was hoping to do that as well. Try not to interject statements like
Chris Hein wrote:
I'm saying that what I found, from training with an internal expert was pretty straight forward. Integrating that into your task specific context will, no doubt take some time.

Like a football running back, understanding the theory of what he needs to do is pretty straight forward, he can learn the exercises, drills and methods of training pretty quickly, he won't be a good running back for years to come. But he also won't believe the process is mysterious or that only a few running backs will ever be able to do it.

I saw the usefulness of internal, studied it with an internal expert, got what I found useful and moved on. It does seem magical, at first but once you understand it, nothing that couldn't be basically understood/used in a year or two (in a non task specific context). I would also say that most all professional athletes are basically using internal in relation to their specific skill set. It's part of the reason professional athletes seem so amazing. So I don't understand the way that people around here are using definition "C" and exactly what it is that they are pointing too.
These are declarative statements and would cause people to uncomfortably discuss your source and the quality of the source material that lead you to these conclusions. As I stated, you are going to find others whose experience with "experts" in the internal arts differ quite dramatically from your views. In fact i would offer you that your views on what internals are is quite in the minority or those I have met who trained with Chinese internal experts for years on the mainland

I have every interest and intention of being polite. I think I left enough material for an intelligent response or thoughtful consideration.

Dan

ChrisHein
11-04-2012, 05:33 PM
I'm sorry if my statements offended you. Now let's get back to the discussion. Thank you.

HL1978
11-04-2012, 06:27 PM
Is aiki the same thing as jin? Is there a relationship?

One has to admit if it is something similiar, the chinese have a lot better terminology to describe it.

DH
11-04-2012, 08:33 PM
I'm sorry if my statements offended you. Now let's get back to the discussion. Thank you.
No apologies needed, Chris. No offense was taken.
My discussion points stand, most of them not yet addressed.
Cheers
Dan

Cliff Judge
11-04-2012, 10:05 PM
What if the word aiki, in native contexts, is no more specifically descriptive than the word internals?

john.burn
11-05-2012, 07:32 AM
Is aiki the same thing as jin? Is there a relationship?

One has to admit if it is something similiar, the chinese have a lot better terminology to describe it.

I suspect it's the same thing but we only ever use jin or line in my dojo - I've never used the word Aiki.

morph4me
11-05-2012, 07:37 AM
I suggest that these are not different definitions of aiki, but causes and effects, provided one starts with the premise that C is the definition of aiki.

If aiki is a body ability, that once acquired gives it's practitioner great physical power, making them seem unmovable and strangely forceful. then it stands to reason that once acquired, it would allow your body to automatically adapt to movements and changes made by an attacker/opponent, that make the opponent feel strange, weak, unable to adapt to you.

It would also stand to reason that two equally skilled opponents when looking for an opening would be in a situation created by two people, of equal skill wherein neither can make a successful attack, locking them in a stand off and that if one person was more skilled than his opponent that he would have ability to understand, blend with, lead and manipulate the mind/intention of his opponent.

In essence, it's like the blind men and the elephant, each describing a different animal because they each got hold of a different part.

HL1978
11-05-2012, 11:33 AM
What if the word aiki, in native contexts, is no more specifically descriptive than the word internals?

Actually, if you look at the radicals for the characters, it is fairly specific.

Mario Tobias
11-05-2012, 11:50 AM
I have a different view. It is not something IMHO which gives one great physical ability. It is an ability where you would put your partner to feel the effects of the laws of nature to its maximum.

Uke does not have one opponent but two: Nage and the laws of nature (eg gravity, leverage, centrifugal force, etc). My theory is that uke does not submit to nage per se but to the effects of the forces he uses. Everybody succumbs to the laws of nature. No one is immune. This is my interpretation of Osensei's saying that you are the universe.

That is why it is possible in the example of Endo sensei's case where he does not grab uke or in the case of Saito or Hikitsuchi sensei to do no-touch aiki techniques. You can also validate these theories in the dojo if you know what you need to use.

At it's highest level imho, you can actually "remove" nage during the technique and uke falls by himself since nage does not rely on himself per se for the technique but on the effects of the forces. It is the forces that are strong and immovable and it just reflects on nage. That is also why a lot of people view aikido's techniques as magical yet they are not.

As always, this is just my own interpretation.

ChrisHein
11-05-2012, 12:18 PM
I suggest that these are not different definitions of aiki, but causes and effects, provided one starts with the premise that C is the definition of aiki.

Hey Tom,
Thanks for the concise, and thoughtful reply.

If aiki is a body ability, that once acquired gives it's practitioner great physical power, making them seem unmovable and strangely forceful. then it stands to reason that once acquired, it would allow your body to automatically adapt to movements and changes made by an attacker/opponent, that make the opponent feel strange, weak, unable to adapt to you.

So you started with "C" here, and moved on to say how that makes "D". I got where you're going. However, to me, "C" (and maybe we just need a better definition of the phenomenon of "C") sounds like it is describing a kind of physical powerfulness. If we compared you to a child for example, you are much much more powerful then the child, to him you would seem unmovable and strangely powerful (Definition "C"). However your power over the child doesn't give you definition "D" "automatically able to adapt to movements and changes made by the child (ever had a kid surprise you with a hit to the face? HA). It also doesn't make the child feel strangely weak, he just can simply tell the you are more power then he is. Like if you arm wrestled one of the competitors from the "worlds strongest man", he would probably easily beat you, but you wouldn't feel strange, or weaker then normal. Definition "D" has a quality about it that requires a strangeness or otherworldly quality. Definition "C" seems to simply show great physical power.


It would also stand to reason that two equally skilled opponents when looking for an opening would be in a situation created by two people, of equal skill wherein neither can make a successful attack, locking them in a stand off and that if one person was more skilled than his opponent that he would have ability to understand, blend with, lead and manipulate the mind/intention of his opponent.

There is a problem here where we get into if one person were more skilled. That would eliminate definition "A" all together, because they are equally skilled. An example of this that I saw from Josh Reyder (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18203&page=6) he was saying that in Yagyu Shinkage-ryu when the word Aiki is used, they are talking about "Departing the Aiki" in a situation where both opponents were in a unity of "attack and defense".

Having the ability described by "B" seems to be a different type of phenomenon to me then a physical skill, or body ability.

In essence, it's like the blind men and the elephant, each describing a different animal because they each got hold of a different part.

I definitely agree with you here! The thing I'm trying to avoid/find our way through, is something like one of the blind men yelling "I can feel that the elephant is pink" and all the other blind men agreeing.

ChrisHein
11-05-2012, 12:22 PM
I have a different view. It is not something IMHO which gives one great physical ability. It is an ability where you would put your partner to feel the effects of the laws of nature to its maximum.

Uke does not have one opponent but two: Nage and the laws of nature (eg gravity, leverage, centrifugal force, etc). My theory is that uke does not submit to nage per se but to the effects of the forces he uses. Everybody succumbs to the laws of nature. No one is immune. This is my interpretation of Osensei's saying that you are the universe.

That is why it is possible in the example of Endo sensei's case where he does not grab uke or in the case of Saito or Hikitsuchi sensei to do no-touch aiki techniques. You can also validate these theories in the dojo if you know what you need to use.

At it's highest level imho, you can actually "remove" nage during the technique and uke falls by himself since nage does not rely on himself per se for the technique but on the effects of the forces. It is the forces that are strong and immovable and it just reflects on nage. That is also why a lot of people view aikido's techniques as magical yet they are not.

As always, this is just my own interpretation.

Hey Mario,
I think I get what you're saying. But in what manner does nage use the forces of nature against Uke. Does he use A, B, C, D, or do you have another definition of the phenomenon Nage is using?

Mario Tobias
11-05-2012, 12:48 PM
Hey Mario,
I think I get what you're saying. But in what manner does nage use the forces of nature against Uke. Does he use A, B, C, D, or do you have another definition of the phenomenon Nage is using?

It is a variation of D.

A example of a principle of mine is that ALL techniques can be categorized into one of the 3 simple mechanical levers. The resistance is uke's hara, the lever and fulcrums change depending on technique. This applies to ALL techniques even with virtual fulcrums. You as nage are just a tool to fully use the effects of nature.

Another example is making uke's spine deviate away from a perfect upright position to let gravity work for you. Even the smallest deviation has tremendous effect such that nage can do little work to topple uke.

ChrisHein
11-05-2012, 01:40 PM
Hey Mario,

This is what you would describe as "Aiki"? I would describe what you are talking about as "proper technique" using Mechanical advantage. Would you agree or disagree?

morph4me
11-05-2012, 01:43 PM
Hey Tom,
Thanks for the concise, and thoughtful reply.

So you started with "C" here, and moved on to say how that makes "D". I got where you're going. However, to me, "C" (and maybe we just need a better definition of the phenomenon of "C") sounds like it is describing a kind of physical powerfulness. If we compared you to a child for example, you are much much more powerful then the child, to him you would seem unmovable and strangely powerful (Definition "C"). However your power over the child doesn't give you definition "D" "automatically able to adapt to movements and changes made by the child (ever had a kid surprise you with a hit to the face? HA). It also doesn't make the child feel strangely weak, he just can simply tell the you are more power then he is. Like if you arm wrestled one of the competitors from the "worlds strongest man", he would probably easily beat you, but you wouldn't feel strange, or weaker then normal. Definition "D" has a quality about it that requires a strangeness or otherworldly quality. Definition "C" seems to simply show great physical power.

There is a problem here where we get into if one person were more skilled. That would eliminate definition "A" all together, because they are equally skilled. An example of this that I saw from Josh Reyder (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18203&page=6) he was saying that in Yagyu Shinkage-ryu when the word Aiki is used, they are talking about "Departing the Aiki" in a situation where both opponents were in a unity of "attack and defense".

Having the ability described by "B" seems to be a different type of phenomenon to me then a physical skill, or body ability.

I definitely agree with you here! The thing I'm trying to avoid/find our way through, is something like one of the blind men yelling "I can feel that the elephant is pink" and all the other blind men agreeing.

Chris,

I should have read a little more carefully before responding. I think that there is a component missing form the C definintion. In my mind C should read.

C) A body ability, that once acquired gives it's practitioner great physical power and sensitivity, making them seem unmovable and strangely forceful.

Which would make aiki a hybrid of C & D. The great physical power would be like the power of the ocean, always present but different depending on circumstances or conditions.

I also read A and B and being mutually exclusive, if A describes two people of equal skill, able to discern no openings anddemonstrating the ability to understand, blend with,each other, leading to a standoff and precludes either of them from being able to manipulate the mind/intention of another person.

I think that if you could find a way to blend all of your definitions into one all inclusive one, that would probably be the closest definition of aiki as I understand it.

DH
11-05-2012, 01:47 PM
So you started with "C" here, and moved on to say how that makes "D". I got where you're going. However, to me, "C" (and maybe we just need a better definition of the phenomenon of "C") sounds like it is describing a kind of physical powerfulness. If we compared you to a child for example, you are much much more powerful then the child, to him you would seem unmovable and strangely powerful (Definition "C"). However your power over the child doesn't give you definition "D" "automatically able to adapt to movements and changes made by the child (ever had a kid surprise you with a hit to the face? HA). It also doesn't make the child feel strangely weak, he just can simply tell the you are more power then he is. Like if you arm wrestled one of the competitors from the "worlds strongest man", he would probably easily beat you, but you wouldn't feel strange, or weaker then normal. Definition "D" has a quality about it that requires a strangeness or otherworldly quality. Definition "C" seems to simply show great physical power.

Having the ability described by "B" seems to be a different type of phenomenon to me then a physical skill, or body ability.
The child fighting an adult is actually part of a good example, just not the way you yourself have outlined the parameters.
The opponent feeling strangely weak is not something I care about at all. In the venues I have chosen to test this against neither is ukemi (which would be openly mocked) a requirement or consideration. So the descriptive model is flawed in my opinion.

What I am more interested in (while using the child/adult model) is:
1. Dynamic Stability
A very well developed dynamic stability. In and of itself this begins the process of the person who attains it as *feeling* very powerful and strong against forces in or out (push testing, waza etc.) The means to do this come solely from training in C. (Solo training, from your example) The idea of training solo (C.) is not something new...well...maybe it is to you...but it is ages old and Ueshiba constantly pointed to it.
You claimed to be so thoroughly versed in internal power that you "got it" in a year or two. Yet, solo training is thee corner stone to achieve internal power!. Yet ...here we see...you don't get that at all and assigned it to tricks you learned in a couple of years and are flummoxed to explain anything.
Anyway....
The admonition for solo training, Ueshiba talked about over and over. Many of his descriptive models for what aiki is involved solo training. It is spelled out in Ueshiba's copying of the traditional teachings and exact terminology of other cultures; heaven/earth/man, six directions, one point, spiral energy, etc. I won't go into that in detail since it is routinely dismissed by everyone here.

Shirata laid out the model from C to D to A and B in his poem:
Place the immovable body
In an invincible position
Release metsubushi
Until the opponent becomes
Non resistant...
There is that nagging immovable body again...doggon it!! ...Creating opportunities for D. A and B....that would not otherwise arrive and *feel* like an invincible position, and then have that work also produce blinding strikes and moves (no telegraphing and non-sourced power that feels unstoppable....Oh well. Lets not listen to him either. What does he know?

As parts of the whole....
a. I would only offer people to consider what it means to push and pull on someone and have them stand there looking at you-much more if they choose to engage you!! What "part" would that have in a confrontation? What advantage does that create in doing the rest of the requirements for budo or in fighting? What if the very act of pulling on someone, actually makes them stronger and causes you to feel almost magnetically "drawn-in" to them? What if pushing in to them causes you to feel repulsed back from them?
Where then would *your* power to do anything to them, matter?
What if that body quality removed slack and allowed them to move in a non- telegraphing manner that gave no signal and hence hard to read, was faster than normal, and could transfer weight on to you without giving you weight to use?
You are left with kicking and punching them or trying to out strategize them. Okay...
b. What if the training that caused the above also caused a body feel that felt like kicking and hitting a rubber tire and your power to do that sort of bounced off and you are only left with the face and balls?
c. Now what if, there were a way to use that body in motion so that all forces coming in were neutralized and absorbed and redirected ...as part of the initial training model without using waza or counters?
d. What if, the training inherent in C produces ALL of the above and then in the course of fighting, all of the above effects are amplified for certain reasons in using the body and that persons movement created aiki effects while their own punches and kicks were potentially knock out strikes in small distances?

In and of itself, a. b. and c. in my example above are all it usually takes to take apart shihan and other martial artists. I only have to resort to d. against fighters.

Where did this failure in understanding begin? Where does the fault rest? Interestingly the Yoshimine Yasuo interview echos my own findings, findings for which I was roundly criticized even when I was dead on accurate. Yoshimine is Japanese, so maybe it's okay for him to say it:
The reason why the matter has fallen to such sorry state is because aiki is very difficult to master. So only external forms have been transmitted and it is very rare to encounter genuine aiki techniques. Accordingly, even among people who call themselves Shinan (instructor), unfortunately, only few know it......Hopefully, I think more open and modern/enlightened attitude will slowly change this and make aiki easier to learn

The admonitions of the blind man doesn't require and Elephant. Often it leaves out the most common reason for this state of affairs.
The blind...leading the blind.

It seems that like me, Yoshimine doesn't really care what random people with no unusual power think about aiki when-as he says "Shihan don't get it either." As I quote often, neither did a ICMA teacher who said "Why argue with students?" Maybe the smart idea is to go to people with unusual power and find out their opinions on it.
I would suggest that on an Aikido forum, we would do well to begin a discussion of what aiki is ...by considering what the founder of the art had to say about...aiki. Aiki is solo training..his examples are a match, sometimes were actual quotations *borrowed* from Chinese sources for work spelled out in Koryu and Daito ryu. He continually pointed to solo training.

Searching high and yon for some whacked out, tricked out, new idea about how to feel ordinary -from students who feel ordinary- is a process that will lead no where, and accomplish nothing, other than to help you feel..well...as ordinary as your sources. Probably not a very good plan!!
Ueshiba, Aikido's founder, pointed out what to do. He laid out that aiki was:
C. leading to D. resulting in A. and B.

Dan

ChrisHein
11-05-2012, 02:10 PM
1. Dynamic Stability
A very well developed dynamic stability. In and of itself this begins the process of the person who attains it as *feeling* very powerful and strong against forces in or out (push testing, waza etc.) The means to do this come solely from training in C. (Solo training, from your example) The idea of training solo (C.)


So Dan, If I'm reading correctly, you are saying "C",( A body ability, that once acquired gives it's practitioner great physical power, making them seem unmovable and strangely forceful.) Is a type of dynamic stability? And this kind of dynamic stability comes from solo training?

If I've gotten that part right, what is this "dynamic stability"? I would describe dynamic stability as a way to quickly and spontaneously align my structure with the ground. Would you say that is a correct or incorrect definition of "dynamic stability"?

HL1978
11-05-2012, 02:49 PM
So Dan, If I'm reading correctly, you are saying "C",( A body ability, that once acquired gives it's practitioner great physical power, making them seem unmovable and strangely forceful.) Is a type of dynamic stability? And this kind of dynamic stability comes from solo training?

If I've gotten that part right, what is this "dynamic stability"? I would describe dynamic stability as a way to quickly and spontaneously align my structure with the ground. Would you say that is a correct or incorrect definition of "dynamic stability"?

Its an incomplete definition, as it doesn't require the use of structure. You can use structure, but it isn't a requirement for aiki. There is a great video from a seminar I attended a few years back which is private that goes over all of this and would be educational.

The notion of stability is very interesting, because it is this stability that makes one appear to have more weight, because they are able to get a greater percentage of their weight into a given movement. Simply put a someone weighing 175lbs who can access 60% of their weight, will feel heavier than 200lbs person who can only put 50% of their weight into a movement. Of course the heavier person has more potential, but can't access it. You have to essentially keep your weight committed straight down no matter what position you are in. This is much more challenging to do, than it sounds.

As for your initial question, there have been studies before with motion capture and other tools for people who are known to have IS. Check back around 2007 or 2008 for discussion of at least one on aikiweb. There are competition videos too, but most people keep them private as they keep most of the how too's for non-public consumption.

DH
11-05-2012, 03:00 PM
So Dan, If I'm reading correctly, you are saying "C",( A body ability, that once acquired gives it's practitioner great physical power, making them seem unmovable and strangely forceful.) Is a type of dynamic stability? And this kind of dynamic stability comes from solo training?
Well I said much more than that, Chris. Once again...why piece meal entire dialogues and expect a good outcome? You post things, I give lengthy answers with ideas and models. I get snippets for a reply.
Oh well
It's more than physical power, in fact "great physical power" is not a good description as you don't need that to produce what Sagawa called transparent power. Interestingly physical strength has routinely not done well with someone who can use IP/aiki.

If I've gotten that part right, what is this "dynamic stability"? I would describe dynamic stability as a way to quickly and spontaneously align my structure with the ground. Would you say that is a correct or incorrect definition of "dynamic stability"?
I would say that's what everyone ...says. To me it's equal to all the teachers I have met telling me they are moving from center, cutting from center, etc. Yet when touched...are doing anything but.
So, aligning yourself with the ground how?
How would it *produce* dynamic stability..or fail to entirely?
Why is dynamic stability only a part?
How is it only a part?
How would C lead to the other things?
I'm not the one who said he got all this internal stuff in a year or two and it is easy to do. You were. What I am discussing is not unique so....why am I explaining all this internal power stuff when you can do it?
Dan

ChrisHein
11-05-2012, 03:09 PM
Hunter,
I could be wrong, but isn't structure a necessity?

struc·ture
/ˈstrʌk tʃər/ Show Spelled [struhk-cher] Show IPA noun, verb, struc·tured, struc·tur·ing.
noun
1.
mode of building, construction, or organization; arrangement of parts, elements, or constituents: a pyramidal structure.

4.
anything composed of parts arranged together in some way; an organization.


Because without structure, the body would just be a noodle. So we have to have some way to hold the body together (structure) in order to direct force to and from the ground. Am I incorrect in this assumption?

ChrisHein
11-05-2012, 03:15 PM
Well I said much more than that, Chris. Once again...why piece meal entire dialogues and expect a good outcome? You post things, I give lengthy answers with ideas and models. I get snippets for a reply.

Sorry about that Dan, There is lot's to digest in what you are writing, I would like to address it all, but I need to do it one piece at a time. Once I understand one idea, I'd love to get on to the next. Thank you and sorry for the trouble


So, aligning yourself with the ground how?
How would it *produce* dynamic stability..or fail to entirely?
Why is dynamic stability only a part?
How is it only a part?
How would C lead to the other things?
I'm not the one who said he got all this internal stuff in a year or two and it is easy to do. You were.
So.....explain all this internal power stuff.
Dan

Yeah, that's my question to you. I don't understand what you mean by these things. I would love to better understand your view on it. If you don't want to give your view point, I understand.

Rob Watson
11-05-2012, 03:17 PM
Hunter,
I could be wrong, but isn't structure a necessity?

Because without structure, the body would just be a noodle. So we have to have some way to hold the body together (structure) in order to direct force to and from the ground. Am I incorrect in this assumption?

I was always under the impression that 'stucture' in this context mean't holding specific postures or more generally using the bones as the pimary route to sustain forces through/in the body. Consider the octopus ... no bones yet ruthlessly efficient hunter - all soft tissue.

ChrisHein
11-05-2012, 03:25 PM
I was always under the impression that 'stucture' in this context mean't holding specific postures or more generally using the bones as the pimary route to sustain forces through/in the body. Consider the octopus ... no bones yet ruthlessly efficient hunter - all soft tissue.

The Octopus has muscles which it is using to create different structure. It also has teeth which have a very solid triangular structure that it uses to push through things (delicious fish!) Balloons don't have muscles or bones, yet the air pressure inside and the fabric of the balloon gives it structure. There are lot's of ways to make structure for alignments, but without structure you don't have anything really.

HL1978
11-05-2012, 03:41 PM
Hunter,
I could be wrong, but isn't structure a necessity?

because without structure, the body would just be a noodle. So we have to have some way to hold the body together (structure) in order to direct force to and from the ground. Am I incorrect in this assumption?

Given that you have some experience with chinese martial arts, I was assuming you were referring to the concept of structure as typically expressed in chinese martial arts. That is using certain alignment of the bones to transmit power. If you were referring to something else, please let me know.

Now since I can't post that video I earlier referred to, I will describe what happens. The guy giving the seminar has someone pushing on him in a position where his bones are in alignment where he can use structure. He then moves into a very compromised position where he is leaning over sideways with a bent spine (it looks like his body is making a C with his hips stuck way out to the side bent at the side instead of forwards) where he can't use that structural alignment to convey his opponents push into the ground. The pusher still can't effect him. If someone who doesn't understand jin, copies this shape, they tend to fall over when pushed.

This point of this is to show that the concept of jin (more specifically peng jin, as one's own body weight reflected off the ground) does not rely on structure. If one argues that you need second person for aiki, then jin isn't aiki, but to answer my earlier question, I guess it would be come aiki once you have a second person committing their weight/effort onto you.

So you can still convey weight into the ground and back into the opponent through connective tissue, tendons, joints etc, as well as through fascia, but you still need to commit this weight straight into the ground even when bent over. This is where Mike Sigman's suit model or discussion of the balloon man comes in. Sure, you can tense muscles to convey power too, but most people knows what happens, the body becomes stiff and you get taken advantage of.

Structure is great, and relatively easy to learn, but I'm not sure if it is really aiki or not, but it certainly can be used to convey forces very well.

ChrisHein
11-05-2012, 04:19 PM
Hey Hunter,
I wouldn't limit structure to bones. Any structure can be used to carry (alignment) force to the ground. Is this what you are describing when you speak of the video example? The demonstrator is not using his bones to transmit the force, but he is using his bodies structure in another way (like the earlier example of the octopus or the balloon)?

ChrisHein
11-05-2012, 04:28 PM
From what I'm getting so far, description "C" of Aiki A body ability, that once acquired gives it's practitioner great physical power, making them seem unmovable and strangely forceful.

Sounds like it is a type of "dynamic stability" involving the ability to align your body with the ground, making yourself seem very powerful and unmovable.

I guess what I'm asking for is broad strokes here, until I can get a clear understanding. Is this "dynamic stability" made by aligning your structure (not limited to bones, but may also include muscles, ligaments, and bodily pressures) with the ground. This is done so that anyone who pushes on you feels like they are pushing into the ground making you feel very powerful and seem unmovable. This alignment with the ground also gives you a strong and stable base from which you can deliver force, making you seem very physically powerful.

Rob Watson
11-05-2012, 06:58 PM
This alignment with the ground

Not just the ground but also being able to 'hang' ones body weight ... as in when I touch you and then hang my connected body onto the point of contact. Kind of a two way 'path' of sorts.

Dave de Vos
11-05-2012, 07:39 PM
Hey Dave,
I would personally define internal as it relates to what I learned from/of Chinese internal as:

The Ideally most efficient use of the body as a tool. Relating especially to physical structure and alignment.

Would you say this is something relating to "C" or something similar or something different all together? How and/or why?

I can see how "C" might be an important part of learning "D" but not a necessity. Could you briefly explain a bit more?

I think it's a way of distinguishing between internal and external training that internal training enables you to be stable and powerful even if your physical structure and alignment are compromised. It makes it harder for them to control you and easier for you to control them. I think that's "C".
At a more advanced level they won't even understand what's happening. I think that's "D".

Rob Watson
11-05-2012, 08:37 PM
I think it's a way of distinguishing between internal and external training that internal training enables you to be stable and powerful even if your physical structure and alignment are compromised.

I don't particularly like this phrasing ... when well connected internally I'm not going to be compromised. No matter the posture or alignment, etc. When I'm 'on' the only way I become compromised is when someone 'better' (internally speaking) disrupts me - then it kind of does not matter 'cause I'm hosed unless I can break away and reset (or get armed).

That again, I suck (in case you didn't know). But in a good way.

ChrisHein
11-05-2012, 11:57 PM
I think it's a way of distinguishing between internal and external training that internal training enables you to be stable and powerful even if your physical structure and alignment are compromised.

If your physical structure and alignment are compromised, what is making the force? It sounds to me, like what you are describing is no longer a body skill at all, but something different. Perhaps another definition would be needed.

Mario Tobias
11-06-2012, 04:35 AM
Hey Mario,

This is what you would describe as "Aiki"? I would describe what you are talking about as "proper technique" using Mechanical advantage. Would you agree or disagree?

I think it is much more complex than this. If this is the case, then there is no difference between Judo and Aikido.

D) A body skill, that once acquired, allows your body to automatically adapt to movements and changes made by an attacker/opponent, that make the opponent feel strange, weak, unable to adapt to you.

I think this is because there are certain positions where if you put that body in those positions he is unable to adapt or regain his balanced state. An example is the upturned palm during the ikkyo pin. An ikkyo pin can actually be done using just a thumb on the elbow as long as the palm is facing upwards. With minimal contact, uke won't be able to move. But if the case is that uke's palm is turned down during the pin, he can easily regain his balanced state no matter what weight you put into the arm.

This is not mechanical advantage in the sense that the resistance, fulcrum and lever are in the same locations for both cases, the only difference is uke's palm if it is up or down during the pin.

This palm up case is also applicable when you are doing kuzushi in preparation kotegaeshi and other techniques meaning that that side of the arm is weakest if facing up. Uke can't do anything during kuzushi. There is also the feeling from uke that he is being drawn to nage. Your role as nage is to find these positions and manipulate uke to assume those positions.

so I think it's

D) A body skill, that once acquired, allows your body to automatically adapt to movements and changes made by an attacker/opponent, that make the opponent unable to regain his balanced state

ChrisHein
11-06-2012, 12:19 PM
I think this is because there are certain positions where if you put that body in those positions he is unable to adapt or regain his balanced state. An example is the upturned palm during the ikkyo pin. An ikkyo pin can actually be done using just a thumb on the elbow as long as the palm is facing upwards. With minimal contact, uke won't be able to move. But if the case is that uke's palm is turned down during the pin, he can easily regain his balanced state no matter what weight you put into the arm.

This is not mechanical advantage in the sense that the resistance, fulcrum and lever are in the same locations for both cases, the only difference is uke's palm if it is up or down during the pin.

Hey Mario,
What do you think is happening in this situation that makes it difficult for Uke to get up from the pin? What makes turning the palm up or down have this effect?

I'm asking because I would like to know more about what you think the phenomenon causing this result is.

From what you just described, I would say you are describing something different then what I was getting from other people when I made an attempt at creating definition "D". To me, Definition "D" has a feeling that nage has trained his way to correctly make adjustments to the situation. But what you are describing, at least from what I read is related to something going on inside of Uke. This is why I said it seemed to me like "proper technique" and mechanical advantage. Maybe mechanical advantage wasn't far reaching enough, maybe I should have added "and/or inherent mechanical weaknesses in the body".

If I were going to make a quick definition of proper technique, maybe something like:
Proper technique: Taking advantage of inherent mechanical weaknesses in the body by means of a superior mechanical advantage.

This definition would allow for things that exploited either nage's superior mechanical advantage, or uke's inherent weaknesses (maybe what's going on with uke's palm in your description?).

Dave de Vos
11-06-2012, 12:24 PM
By compromised structure and alignment I don't mean that you're disrupted. I mean that you don't rely as much on posture. Even in postures that would not seem stable, you can be stable.

Mario Tobias
11-06-2012, 12:37 PM
Hey Mario,
What do you think is happening in this situation that makes it difficult for Uke to get up from the pin? What makes turning the palm up or down have this effect?

I'm asking because I would like to know more about what you think the phenomenon causing this result is.

From what you just described, I would say you are describing something different then what I was getting from other people when I made an attempt at creating definition "D". To me, Definition "D" has a feeling that nage has trained his way to correctly make adjustments to the situation. But what you are describing, at least from what I read is related to something going on inside of Uke. This is why I said it seemed to me like "proper technique" and mechanical advantage. Maybe mechanical advantage wasn't far reaching enough, maybe I should have added "and/or inherent mechanical weaknesses in the body".

If I were going to make a quick definition of proper technique, maybe something like:
Proper technique: Taking advantage of inherent mechanical weaknesses in the body by means of a superior mechanical advantage.

This definition would allow for things that exploited either nage's superior mechanical advantage, or uke's inherent weaknesses (maybe what's going on with uke's palm in your description?).

Frankly, I don't know. This is exactly what I am trying to discover at the moment why in such positions uke has an inherent weakness. The palm up example has many applications seen in many techniques. The thing is it is not even technique but alignment/position of the body. If the body has inherent weakness by such positions then I would believe the opposite holds true that there are positions that the body would hold inherent strength. Sorry but I don't know what goes on in the body why it has such an inherent weakness.

rroeserr
11-06-2012, 12:47 PM
Here's a video that has Chen Xiaowang being 'rooted' against a couple of different people - the video is corny, and it's Chinese, but it probably the closest video you'll find to the tenryu/osensei deal.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoMoPNz4W8M&feature=youtu.be

At 3:28 you can see him getting pushed on by a guy that is around 400 pounds.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoMoPNz4W8M&t=3m28s

At the end of the video is him trying to stay in the a circle getting pushed on by a strongman. Here's a the part where the strongman is pushing a semit-truck with a trailer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoMoPNz4W8M&t=13m55s

Here's the 3 1 minute rounds start at the end where the strongman tries to push Chen Xiaowang out of the circle.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoMoPNz4W8M&t=19m47s

I don't speak Chinese but I would like to know what the strongman is saying at the end after pushing on CXW.

chillzATL
11-06-2012, 01:28 PM
Frankly, I don't know. This is exactly what I am trying to discover at the moment why in such positions uke has an inherent weakness. The palm up example has many applications seen in many techniques. The thing is it is not even technique but alignment/position of the body. If the body has inherent weakness by such positions then I would believe the opposite holds true that there are positions that the body would hold inherent strength. Sorry but I don't know what goes on in the body why it has such an inherent weakness.

I don't know about the specific example you gave, but coming from a Tohei lineage a lot of things happen "palm up" and IMO the reason for this is that naturally turning your hand palm up, adds a feeling of structure/connection to the arm that isn't there palm down in the average person and that added structure makes doing some things in aikido feel easier/better. Now imagine you get that feeling through your whole body and can feel that way without having to "palm up". :)

morph4me
11-06-2012, 02:18 PM
Hey Mario,

From what you just described, I would say you are describing something different then what I was getting from other people when I made an attempt at creating definition "D". To me, Definition "D" has a feeling that nage has trained his way to correctly make adjustments to the situation. But what you are describing, at least from what I read is related to something going on inside of Uke. This is why I said it seemed to me like "proper technique" and mechanical advantage. Maybe mechanical advantage wasn't far reaching enough, maybe I should have added "and/or inherent mechanical weaknesses in the body".
.

Chris,

From what I've seen and experienced, aiki isn't about nage correctly making adjustments to a situation, it's more a matter of nage doing whatever he's doing and uke having no openings and no connection to nage's center, and having to try to react to something that they can't source.

DH
11-06-2012, 02:32 PM
Here's a video that has Chen Xiaowang being 'rooted' against a couple of different people - the video is corny, and it's Chinese, but it probably the closest video you'll find to the tenryu/osensei deal.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoMoPNz4W8M&feature=youtu.be

At 3:28 you can see him getting pushed on by a guy that is around 400 pounds.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoMoPNz4W8M&t=3m28s

At the end of the video is him trying to stay in the a circle getting pushed on by a strongman. Here's a the part where the strongman is pushing a semit-truck with a trailer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoMoPNz4W8M&t=13m55s

Here's the 3 1 minute rounds start at the end where the strongman tries to push Chen Xiaowang out of the circle.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoMoPNz4W8M&t=19m47s

I don't speak Chinese but I would like to know what the strongman is saying at the end after pushing on CXW.
And the interesting thing is on the multiplicity of what it causing the strong man's strength to fail
Is it really failing? In the purest sense...no! His strength is actually being applied. That's why he is tired. It's just being applied to a place where it has much less effect on CXW. There is more than one thing going on to make that work, and actually there is so much more he could do if he wanted to. This is just a power display without too much by way of active jins/aiki.

In more realistic encounters neither would be so dedicated to a static display with no real goal in mind other than a show. They would look more normal and be more fluid. The real work is having a strong guy who knows how to fluidly apply multiple and rapid changing force vectors in throws (jujutsu/judo) as well as set ups and punches and kicks....and then playing with those. Push hands is a playground for learning that and it leads to the ability to handle fighting stress-but only if you are willing to go down that road and deal with men with fighting skills. Everything else is cool as well. It's just choices and degrees on a theme.
Dan

ChrisHein
11-06-2012, 02:39 PM
By compromised structure and alignment I don't mean that you're disrupted. I mean that you don't rely as much on posture. Even in postures that would not seem stable, you can be stable.

It's hard for me to get at this. But I think what you are saying is that it may simply appear that you are not stable, when in reality you are stable. Is that correct?

Appearance really doesn't matter when we get down to the practicality of what we are doing. As long as you are stable, I would say you are stable, even if it looks/seems like you shouldn't be.

Now if you are physically stable, we can ask, "what is making you stable?" Is it your body, or is it some other "force"? If it is your body (your structure) making you stable (aligning), it is a body skill we are talking about. If it is some other "force", then we can take your body out of the equation, and we'll need a new definition, one that doesn't include "Body skill".

So appearance aside, is the body making itself physically stable, or is some other force making to body stable?

ChrisHein
11-06-2012, 03:07 PM
Here's a video that has Chen Xiaowang being 'rooted' against a couple of different people - the video is corny, and it's Chinese, but it probably the closest video you'll find to the tenryu/osensei deal.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoMoPNz4W8M&feature=youtu.be

At 3:28 you can see him getting pushed on by a guy that is around 400 pounds.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoMoPNz4W8M&t=3m28s

At the end of the video is him trying to stay in the a circle getting pushed on by a strongman. Here's a the part where the strongman is pushing a semit-truck with a trailer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoMoPNz4W8M&t=13m55s

Here's the 3 1 minute rounds start at the end where the strongman tries to push Chen Xiaowang out of the circle.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoMoPNz4W8M&t=19m47s

I don't speak Chinese but I would like to know what the strongman is saying at the end after pushing on CXW.

Hey Robert,
I would like to discuss this video in a different thread. I'll start one now!

Dave de Vos
11-06-2012, 04:30 PM
It's hard for me to get at this. But I think what you are saying is that it may simply appear that you are not stable, when in reality you are stable. Is that correct?

Appearance really doesn't matter when we get down to the practicality of what we are doing. As long as you are stable, I would say you are stable, even if it looks/seems like you shouldn't be.

Now if you are physically stable, we can ask, "what is making you stable?" Is it your body, or is it some other "force"? If it is your body (your structure) making you stable (aligning), it is a body skill we are talking about. If it is some other "force", then we can take your body out of the equation, and we'll need a new definition, one that doesn't include "Body skill".

So appearance aside, is the body making itself physically stable, or is some other force making to body stable?

I think structure and alignment is the normal way to prevent your body from buckling and toppling. I think structure and alignment is expressed in the physical orientation of body parts, like stance and bracing. I think most people can recognize it for what it is.

With internal training you condition your body. Over time it changes your tissues. It unifies your body. This allows you to use your body in ways that would not work with a normal body, because the physical orientation of the body parts would preclude stability from structure and alignment. In those circumstances a normal body would buckle or topple.

So I think it is the body itself (lead by the mind) making itself physically stable, but structure and alignment is not all there is. A conditioned body can derive a lot of physically stability from its own integrity and organisation, independent from stance and bracing.

ChrisHein
11-06-2012, 05:32 PM
Hey Dave,
Again, I think we need to get appearance out of the equation to better understand what is going on.

I think structure and alignment is the normal way to prevent your body from buckling and toppling. I think structure and alignment is expressed in the physical orientation of body parts, like stance and bracing.


I agree, and would say something very similar myself.


I think most people can recognize it for what it is.

Here we are getting back to appearance, which will get us in trouble in short order.


With internal training you condition your body. Over time it changes your tissues. It unifies your body.

This is also true of "external training", your muscles and body tissues change, becoming stronger, and more able. The unification of the body as it is used here is also no different than any other external methods, this is improved structure. From what I'm reading here, internal training and external training do basically the same thing. Is this correct or incorrect?


This allows you to use your body in ways that would not work with a normal body, because the physical orientation of the body parts would preclude stability from structure and alignment. In those circumstances a normal body would buckle or topple.


I'm not sure what is meant by "normal" body here. I also think you are suggesting that with an "internally trained body" physical orientation of the body parts is no longer important. If this is what you are saying, we seem again like we are getting away from "body skill", this is because if the orientation of the body is not important, it's not something the body is doing. To me this would mean that another force, other then the body is at work, and we are not talking about a "body skill". How do you feel about this?


So I think it is the body itself (lead by the mind) making itself physically stable, but structure and alignment is not all there is. A conditioned body can derive a lot of physically stability from its own integrity and organisation, independent from stance and bracing.

This would suggest that the ground is not important to internally trained body, at least not as a stabilizing factor. That would mean that an internally trained body would not need to be connected to the ground in order to be unmovable. Is this what you mean to say?

Dave de Vos
11-07-2012, 12:55 AM
Hey Dave,
This is also true of "external training", your muscles and body tissues change, becoming stronger, and more able. The unification of the body as it is used here is also no different than any other external methods, this is improved structure. From what I'm reading here, internal training and external training do basically the same thing. Is this correct or incorrect?


I think they are different. For one thing, it seems internal strength does not fade as one grows older, while athletic strength does.


I'm not sure what is meant by "normal" body here. I also think you are suggesting that with an "internally trained body" physical orientation of the body parts is no longer important. If this is what you are saying, we seem again like we are getting away from "body skill", this is because if the orientation of the body is not important, it's not something the body is doing. To me this would mean that another force, other then the body is at work, and we are not talking about a "body skill". How do you feel about this?


I think there is a physical orientation of body parts at work in the internally trained body. However the changes are different from the "external" way. It's not so much the direction of the long axis of the bones that matters. For example, changing the rotation around the long axis of bones is another way to change. It would be harder to see too. I think the changes of internal movement are more like that.


This would suggest that the ground is not important to internally trained body, at least not as a stabilizing factor. That would mean that an internally trained body would not need to be connected to the ground in order to be unmovable. Is this what you mean to say?

You want the ground because without the friction ground, you can be slid away easily. There is not much of a danger of buckling or toppling, because there are no stresses on the body.

ChrisHein
11-07-2012, 03:45 AM
Hey Dave.

I think they are different. For one thing, it seems internal strength does not fade as one grows older, while athletic strength does.

That does seem to be the way it seems/appears, but then again I don't see any internal masters of age winning any kind of athletic competitions against young men. So it might be a theory but I don't think there is any conclusive prof of this being the case.


You want the ground because without the friction ground, you can be slid away easily. There is not much of a danger of buckling or toppling, because there are no stresses on the body.

Isn't what you are doing to not "slide away" an alignment? If there are no stresses on the body, where is the force from something pushing on the body going? Shouldn't there be a stress at least at the point of impact? Where is the incoming force going?

HL1978
11-07-2012, 07:10 AM
Hey Dave.

That does seem to be the way it seems/appears, but then again I don't see any internal masters of age winning any kind of athletic competitions against young men. So it might be a theory but I don't think there is any conclusive prof of this being the case.



Sagawa didn't enter any competitions in his later years, but you will find accounts of him tossing around olympic level judoka in his 80's and the kyokushin kancho joining his dojo.

Dave de Vos
11-07-2012, 12:39 PM
Isn't what you are doing to not "slide away" an alignment? If there are no stresses on the body, where is the force from something pushing on the body going? Shouldn't there be a stress at least at the point of impact? Where is the incoming force going?

When you're standing on a frictionless surface, the effect of the push is that your body accellerates and slides away as a unit. There is no way to prevent this, regardless of internal strength or alignment.
That's why I said that you want friction from the ground.

ChrisHein
11-07-2012, 12:54 PM
When you're standing on a frictionless surface, the effect of the push is that your body accellerates and slides away as a unit. There is no way to prevent this, regardless of internal strength or alignment.
That's why I said that you want friction from the ground.

Ok, good we agree there, I would say the same thing myself.

Once I read someone ( I really wish that I could remember who) speaking of "centered" and "grounded". This person said that "grounded" was like wearing rubber soled shoes on a smooth marble floor, you stick to the floor and have lots of traction. He then said that being "centered" is like wearing wool socks on that same floor, and if anyone pushed you you would simply slide around, but not fall over. I don't know why, but when I first heard this years ago, it was very clear to me what this man meant by "centered" and "grounded". And that if you could be both centered and grounded, you would seem quite powerful.

So, if the above example is clear, I would say solid structure is like centering. The better you can hold your body, in whatever position it's in, the more structure you have, the more "centered" you'd be. Alignment is like grounding from the above. That's your ability to "stick" (for lack of a better word) to the ground.

If you're both centered, and grounded from the above, or have both structure and alignment, as I describe now, no matter what configuration you're in, you would be rather difficult to move.

How does this sound to you?

HL1978
11-07-2012, 01:33 PM
When you're standing on a frictionless surface, the effect of the push is that your body accellerates and slides away as a unit. There is no way to prevent this, regardless of internal strength or alignment.
That's why I said that you want friction from the ground.

Weren't there videos of Ikeda or someone standing on a wheeled cart and taking pushes? I forget what the end result of that video was.

Dave de Vos
11-07-2012, 02:26 PM
By the way, I'm not only talking about not buckling the torso, I'm talking about all the joints (shoulders, elbows, etc.).

Ok, good we agree there, I would say the same thing myself.

Once I read someone ( I really wish that I could remember who) speaking of "centered" and "grounded". This person said that "grounded" was like wearing rubber soled shoes on a smooth marble floor, you stick to the floor and have lots of traction. He then said that being "centered" is like wearing wool socks on that same floor, and if anyone pushed you you would simply slide around, but not fall over. I don't know why, but when I first heard this years ago, it was very clear to me what this man meant by "centered" and "grounded". And that if you could be both centered and grounded, you would seem quite powerful.

So, if the above example is clear, I would say solid structure is like centering. The better you can hold your body, in whatever position it's in, the more structure you have, the more "centered" you'd be. Alignment is like grounding from the above. That's your ability to "stick" (for lack of a better word) to the ground.

If you're both centered, and grounded from the above, or have both structure and alignment, as I describe now, no matter what configuration you're in, you would be rather difficult to move.

How does this sound to you?

Ok, so you say that by being centered you mean you hold the body by structure so that it won't buckle. I'd kind of expect that the structure would be fairly rigid, so you'd be easily toppled, so you wouldn't stick to the ground very well.

But you say you can be non-buckling (centered as you call it) and grounded in any position. To me that sounds a lot like "C". Are you saying you learned to do it in two years? And are you saying it was actually just a couple of tricks and athletic training?

HL1978
11-07-2012, 02:50 PM
By the way, I'm not only talking about not buckling the torso, I'm talking about all the joints (shoulders, elbows, etc.).

Ok, so you say that by being centered you mean you hold the body by structure so that it won't buckle. I'd kind of expect that the structure would be fairly rigid, so you'd be easily toppled, so you wouldn't stick to the ground very well.

But you say you can be non-buckling (centered as you call it) and grounded in any position. To me that sounds a lot like "C". Are you saying you learned to do it in two years? And are you saying it was actually just a couple of tricks and athletic training?

Wouldn't the first point be more along the lines of bracing, even if using structure, and thus a no no IS wise?

Dave de Vos
11-07-2012, 03:17 PM
Wouldn't the first point be more along the lines of bracing, even if using structure, and thus a no no IS wise?

Do you mean the non-buckling of joints? I mean non-collapsing, but in a soft way.

Like here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryhbmLcMWk8
He's soft and fluid, yet he does not collapse when forces are applied on him

HL1978
11-07-2012, 03:24 PM
Do you mean the non-buckling of joints? I mean non-collapsing, but in a soft way.

Like here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryhbmLcMWk8
He's soft and fluid, yet he does not collapse when forces are applied on him

sorry, i meant the line about being not centered.

ChrisHein
11-07-2012, 03:32 PM
But you say you can be non-buckling (centered as you call it) and grounded in any position. To me that sounds a lot like "C". Are you saying you learned to do it in two years? And are you saying it was actually just a couple of tricks and athletic training?

I would not go so far as to say any position at all, but lots of positions where it "seems/appears" that you shouldn't be stable.But you are stable, simply because you've learned to align your body in many different ways. Just because it "seems/appears" as if I shouldn't be physically stable doesn't mean that it's not a result of my physical structure being properly aligned with the ground. I'm saying that I learned the foundation of what I would describe as chinese internal in a few years, teaching me the foundation of how these things work. I am saying that athletic training is the foundation of all body skills. If we are talking about a body skill, the best way to improve that skill is through an athletic training. Trick is a bad word to use because of it's connotation. Principle, or technique work just as well, and don't suggest a mischievous goal.

Dave de Vos
11-07-2012, 03:39 PM
Ok, so you say that by being centered you mean you hold the body by structure so that it won't buckle. I'd kind of expect that the structure would be fairly rigid, so you'd be easily toppled, so you wouldn't stick to the ground very well.


Wouldn't the first point be more along the lines of bracing, even if using structure, and thus a no no IS wise?

Do you mean the non-buckling of joints?

sorry, i meant the line about being not centered.

Ok, yes I think a bracing structure would be unstable against forces other directions. I think that that bracing and stability don't match very well. But If I understand Chris correctly, he can do it.

Dave de Vos
11-07-2012, 03:51 PM
I would not go so far as to say any position at all, but lots of positions where it "seems/appears" that you shouldn't be stable.

Yes, that's what I mean as well.

But you are stable, simply because you've learned to align your body in many different ways. Just because it "seems/appears" as if I shouldn't be physically stable doesn't mean that it's not a result of my physical structure being properly aligned with the ground. I'm saying that I learned the foundation of what I would describe as chinese internal in a few years, teaching me the foundation of how these things work. I am saying that athletic training is the foundation of all body skills. If we are talking about a body skill, the best way to improve that skill is through an athletic training.

So you know how to do internal training, yet you do athletic training because it works better?
And with athletic training you mean running, calisthenics, weight training, that kind of stuff?

Trick is a bad word to use because of it's connotation. Principle, or technique work just as well, and don't suggest a mischievous goal.

I would rather not call it tricks. I only used that term trying to paraphrase some of your earlier explanations of what I would call internal power / aiki.

ChrisHein
11-07-2012, 04:09 PM
I think internal training, and modern Athletic training are getting at many of the same things. I believe what you would find lot's of modern athletes doing, and the results they are looking to achieve similar in goal, if sometimes different in method. I would go a step further and say modern athletic training is better then most methods found in internal, at least as far as developing the structure and aligning that structure goes.

By modern athletic training, I mean a process, not exercises (running, calisthenics, wight training)
If I were to outline the process modern athletic training takes, I would say it goes something like this:

1. develop the physical body- this is where your exercises come it. The first goal is to make the body strong. Improve strength, endurance, agility, explosiveness.

2. Learn how to properly use the body. Best ways to move, push, resist force. This is where we learn about structure and alignment.

3. Build procedural memory, sometimes called muscle memory. This is the process of making the actions needed for your physical pursuit automatic and second nature. If you were learning to box, how to cover and punch. If you were learning to wrestle, the holds you would use, and how to get into them etc.

4. Increase calm in the mind and relaxation in the body. This allows the athlete to deal with stressful situations without getting tunnel vision or physically over stressing the body (due to tension)

5. Improve overall awareness and attention. This is so our athlete can "see the entire field" and "stay in the game".

This is is a kind of example of what modern athletic training does. sound familiar? If you study Chinese internal it does. Although most modern methods are better.

When I say "athletic" I know most people picture sitting in a gym all day and getting buff, but athletics at least good athletics is much much more then this!

Dave de Vos
11-07-2012, 04:11 PM
Weren't there videos of Ikeda or someone standing on a wheeled cart and taking pushes? I forget what the end result of that video was.

I don't know. I'm not that familiar with (videos of) Ikeda.

Dave de Vos
11-07-2012, 04:41 PM
I think internal training, and modern Athletic training are getting at many of the same things. I believe what you would find lot's of modern athletes doing, and the results they are looking to achieve similar in goal, if sometimes different in method. I would go a step further and say modern athletic training is better then most methods found in internal, at least as far as developing the structure and aligning that structure goes.

By modern athletic training, I mean a process, not exercises (running, calisthenics, wight training)
If I were to outline the process modern athletic training takes, I would say it goes something like this:

1. develop the physical body- this is where your exercises come it. The first goal is to make the body strong. Improve strength, endurance, agility, explosiveness.

2. Learn how to properly use the body. Best ways to move, push, resist force. This is where we learn about structure and alignment.

3. Build procedural memory, sometimes called muscle memory. This is the process of making the actions needed for your physical pursuit automatic and second nature. If you were learning to box, how to cover and punch. If you were learning to wrestle, the holds you would use, and how to get into them etc.

4. Increase calm in the mind and relaxation in the body. This allows the athlete to deal with stressful situations without getting tunnel vision or physically over stressing the body (due to tension)

5. Improve overall awareness and attention. This is so our athlete can "see the entire field" and "stay in the game".

This is is a kind of example of what modern athletic training does. sound familiar? If you study Chinese internal it does. Although most modern methods are better.

When I say "athletic" I know most people picture sitting in a gym all day and getting buff, but athletics at least good athletics is much much more then this!

Thanks for explaining in more detail what you mean by athletic training. I can surely believe that this way of training can produce powerful martial artists. But there is no way for me to determine to which degree this could also produce similar results as internal training: "C" and "D".
Yet you don't agree that aiki versions "C"and "D" exist. That makes me think that your training results are not the same.
I'm trying to understand what you think.

ChrisHein
11-07-2012, 05:39 PM
Doesn't exist is hard for me to agree with. Not what it seems, or not "Aiki" might be more like what I'm getting at. If we compare my athletic outline to "C" and "D". I might say that 2. is like "C" and 3. is like "D". But I'm not really sure to be honest.

I personally feel that "Aiki" is something much larger then a body skill. I think it is a way of understanding the mind, definition "B". I feel that the ability to understand the mind is something that Aiki is getting at, that we really don't see in other systems/methods of study. But that is simply my view point, it could certainly be wrong or short sighted. I'm open to other definitions, but those definitions should be logical.

My main problem with "C" is that no one is really explaining it, what are we talking about? If it's a body skill, what makes the phenomenon it produces different then modern athletic training? If it is the same idea as modern athletic training, then why would we have to learn it from a very limited group of people? There are lot's of great athletic coaches out there.

People seem to be attached to this idea of unexplainable phenomenon. I don't yet see a need to believe anything that has been produced is unexplainable. But rather, is normal and widely available. If you can't explain something, investigate it. Talk about it openly, and let's hash it out. I am in the business (quite literally) of training myself and others in "Aiki". This is an important subject to me.

If we look at "C" and "D" who is our proof of something different then athletic training? We could make some historical guesses, but they are simply guesses, none of us were there, and stories tend to get bigger as time goes on. So we have to look at modern people who say they have "C" and/or "D" as far as I've seen, none of them have dominated any physical competitions, baffled scientists, or even presented something that I myself can't duplicate on some level. So naturally I believe that there is nothing more to "C" and "D" then athletic training can produce- except modern athletic training does a better job.

Dave de Vos
11-07-2012, 07:24 PM
Doesn't exist is hard for me to agree with. Not what it seems, or not "Aiki" might be more like what I'm getting at. If we compare my athletic outline to "C" and "D". I might say that 2. is like "C" and 3. is like "D". But I'm not really sure to be honest.

I'm not really sure either, if only because I'm not sure how much we agree on the meaning of C and D.
I'd say that 3 is waza. I think D / aiki would be proto-waza, perhaps between 2 and 3? I think C / internal power would be 1 and 2.

I personally feel that "Aiki" is something much larger then a body skill. I think it is a way of understanding the mind, definition "B". I feel that the ability to understand the mind is something that Aiki is getting at, that we really don't see in other systems/methods of study. But that is simply my view point, it could certainly be wrong or short sighted. I'm open to other definitions, but those definitions should be logical.

My main problem with "C" is that no one is really explaining it, what are we talking about? If it's a body skill, what makes the phenomenon it produces different then modern athletic training? If it is the same idea as modern athletic training, then why would we have to learn it from a very limited group of people? There are lot's of great athletic coaches out there.

I'm unconvinced that modern athletic training is really the same idea as internal training. Yes it is also about training the body and training how to use it, like your number 1 and 2. But I think the training methods are different. It's only the same idea in a very general sense. For example, internal training involves the mind a lot, already in point 1.

Yes, the number of good teachers teaching in the west is small. It will probably grow, but it takes time. Apparently there never were many good teachers and it's probably harder to transmit than athletic training.

People seem to be attached to this idea of unexplainable phenomenon. I don't yet see a need to believe anything that has been produced is unexplainable. But rather, is normal and widely available. If you can't explain something, investigate it. Talk about it openly, and let's hash it out. I am in the business (quite literally) of training myself and others in "Aiki". This is an important subject to me.

If we look at "C" and "D" who is our proof of something different then athletic training? We could make some historical guesses, but they are simply guesses, none of us were there, and stories tend to get bigger as time goes on. So we have to look at modern people who say they have "C" and/or "D" as far as I've seen, none of them have dominated any physical competitions, baffled scientists, or even presented something that I myself can't duplicate on some level. So naturally I believe that there is nothing more to "C" and "D" then athletic training can produce- except modern athletic training does a better job.

I understand your line of reasoning that you haven't personally encountered phenomena that cannot be explained by athletic training and therefore you see no reason to assume it exists. After all, believing every eyewitness account ever made means accepting UFOs and what have you.
On the other hand, only believing your personal experience means rejecting most of science. Where to draw the line is different for every person.

So I hope that one day the opportunity arises where you can get in physical contact with someone "vetted" and find out for yourself if your training produces something comparable (or better).

MM
11-08-2012, 07:47 AM
I think internal training, and modern Athletic training are getting at many of the same things. I believe what you would find lot's of modern athletes doing, and the results they are looking to achieve similar in goal, if sometimes different in method. I would go a step further and say modern athletic training is better then most methods found in internal, at least as far as developing the structure and aligning that structure goes.


If that's what you learned in your "internal training", then you missed out on a lot of stuff.


By modern athletic training, I mean a process, not exercises (running, calisthenics, wight training)
If I were to outline the process modern athletic training takes, I would say it goes something like this:

1. develop the physical body- this is where your exercises come it. The first goal is to make the body strong. Improve strength, endurance, agility, explosiveness.

2. Learn how to properly use the body. Best ways to move, push, resist force. This is where we learn about structure and alignment.

3. Build procedural memory, sometimes called muscle memory. This is the process of making the actions needed for your physical pursuit automatic and second nature. If you were learning to box, how to cover and punch. If you were learning to wrestle, the holds you would use, and how to get into them etc.

4. Increase calm in the mind and relaxation in the body. This allows the athlete to deal with stressful situations without getting tunnel vision or physically over stressing the body (due to tension)

5. Improve overall awareness and attention. This is so our athlete can "see the entire field" and "stay in the game".

This is is a kind of example of what modern athletic training does. sound familiar? If you study Chinese internal it does. Although most modern methods are better.

When I say "athletic" I know most people picture sitting in a gym all day and getting buff, but athletics at least good athletics is much much more then this!

I added bold to emphasize the point. You're broad brush of including all Chinese internal is wrong. In fact, at least one school's lineage from Chen Fake has written and taught about internal principles that go in a different direction than what you've posted. Your 1-5 cover more of the external principles than the internal. Nothing wrong with training like that. Most good athletes and martial artists do. But, it's external compared to the IP/aiki internal training we talk about.

gregstec
11-08-2012, 09:13 AM
I think too many people are trying to understand internal training by applying external concepts and principles as a baseline then looking in from the outside. IMO, you need to apply internal concepts and principles as the baseline and then look from the inside to the outside. If you want a little clue as to what I am talking about, just look at my tag line :)

Greg

HL1978
11-08-2012, 03:01 PM
Lets look at some differences and similarities between internal and external and whether or not aiki arises. This is a high level (30,000 foot) approach to both internal and external,and specific implementations may or may not include each element, nor might each element be in play at a given level of experience. That is to say this is not a be all and end all, and written by someone with relatively little experience, skill and conditioning. What is written below is applicable to striking as well as grappling type arts and weapons.

Aiki in this sense meaning a mix of ones own weight/energy rather than clashing between the energy of two opponents.

Relaxation:

External/athletic approaches recognize the benefits of relaxing the upper body, to let loads be carried by other major muscle groups and chain muscle movements together to exert onto an opponent.

Internal recognizes relaxation to so that other muscles may take up the loads (mainly in the middle of the body/hip, and not pushing back with the legs), and to let support structures of the body take up and transmit loads, by focusing on these sensations. This is not pushing back with the portions taking up the loads, rather they are taking up the load of the portions of the body above them.

The external approach results in pushing back against the opponent, even if in an direction an opponent is weak and thus there is no mixing of expended energy and no aiki. The internal approach allows for input of the opponents energy plus their own weight added to it and transmitted to/reflected off the ground, and meets a definition of aiki.

Hips:

External and internal approaches recognize the value of using the hips, but usually little instruction on how to use the hips is explicitly given in external approaches. What often results is using the waist and dragging the hips along, thus using a higher point in the body for a center of motion/gravity. This is particularly evident when seeing someone turn with the feet in a fixed position.

Internals use the hips, but unlike good external movement, the movement is not initiated from the hips. Movement is initiated from the middle which in turn moves the hips. The upper body is stacked onto the hips so that the upper and lower body is united together. Body movement is unified via open and close motions initiated on out through the hips and body rather than chained (sequential ) movements.

The External approach is a less efficient use of ones own weight and isn't as balanced due to a higher center of mass. Pushing back with the hips is a clash and not aiki. The internal approach unifies the body together, and allows one to push/pull within themselves in the same direction as the received push (and not against it), thus energy is mixed together and aiki is achieved. Energy can be returned to the opponent in alternate directions than what is received, but it is not required.

Body weight:

External approaches don't tend to consider body weight all that much except perhaps for targeting muscle groups for training purposes or physically dropping the body downwards to use gravity. They are interested in being stable, but the degree of stability is not achieved to the extent of an internal approach.

Internal approaches use body weight to make there movements heavy. Further they direct their bodies in such a way that they are extremely stable even in positions normally considered structurally weak. They don't rest their weight on their opponent, but since they are relaxed, the opponent they provide no committed weight for the opponent to use against them. Thus they feel very heavy to move and their movements are more penetrating and tend to unbalance the opponent on contact. Alternatively, the opponent gets zero feedback because they can't apply their own strength against the internal practicioner.

The external approach does use mass combined with ones own energy to create power (f=ma), but this is generally clashes with the opponent and is not used in the same direction. The internal approach adds weight, mixes with what is received and achieves aiki.

Being underneath:

External approaches recognize the value of a lower center of gravity, and will drop physically lower to apply body weight or to achieve a lower center of gravity. Those with a lower center of gravity have an inherent advantage. Some might push back with the legs or hips.

Internal approaches don't physically drop lower. They drop "internally" and don't try and push back from the legs or progressively lower areas of the body. They recognize the lowest point which force can be concentrated from is the ground. Some approaches mix an incoming force and push in the same direction as the received force to add to it and reflect it off the ground (its a wierd sensation if you can do it, normal pushing makes you lighter and fights against this incoming push, a clash and not aiki). A lower center of gravity due to shorter legs can have its advantage negated by an internal person as they are pushing directly on the ground.

The external physical drop is a clash between you and your opponent. The internal connection to the ground allows one to take the opponents energy and direct it into the ground thus it is taken within them, no clash results, and the opponent is pushed back as a result of "aiki."

Walking/ dynamic movement:

External movements result in limbs having all their weight on it and the opposite limb going light. Keeping all limbs heavy is not focused on. This results in movements which aren't penetrating and unbalanced movements which get taken advantage of and a constantly shifting center of gravity which teeter totters. In general, most people walk as a series of controlled falls where their weight is committed forwards.

Since internal movement has such fine control of balance, all the limbs are "heavy" and connected at all times to the ground and to each component of the body. This results in a penetrating impact as their weight is committed downwards at all time, and thus the whole body is connected to the ground at any moment.

The external approach leads to a lot of unbalance within ones self and thus rarely is an opponents energy able to be combined with the entirety of ones own. Big motions which rely on momentum may be required to effect an opponent and thus aiki is not achieved as momentum is a clash. Internal is always has the weight component/pushing off the ground (even in motion) due to extreme stability, thus aiki is achieved.

Pushing/pulling/momentum:

When pushed or pulled, external approaches do the opposite i.e. you push, I pull to take your balance. Alternatively, big circular movements or other forward body movements may be used to take an opponents balance.

Internal proponents don't rely on forwards momentum. When pushed or pulled, they may be moved or might not be moved, but as the opponent's energy is added to their own weight and directed into the ground, the opponent pushes and pulls themselves offbalance.

The external approach of momentum and big circular movements don't allow for the entire use of the body and result in a clash by pushing off in a different direction. The push/pull motion is a clash which relies on momentum to take balance and thus no aiki is achieved (and the middle is never used). The internal approach leaves one balanced and weight committed downwards (thus connected to the ground), adds to the received inputted energy, mixing results and you have aiki.

Breathing:

External approaches recognize the power of exhalation as an additive usually with a grunt. Inhalation is minimized and viewed as a suki (weakness).

Internal approaches use both an inhalation and exhalation to condition support tissues of the body, and to drive/initiate movement throughout the body. These support tissues may become stronger to take up loads, and apparently conscious control over them can be achieved with sufficient effort via solo training.

The external approach does not lead to aiki as it adds to a collision between you and the opponent. The internal approach is used to drive opening and closings of the body which add weight in the same direction as the opponent is directing energy. Thus their power is mixed with yours and aiki results.

Entering:

External approaches generally use "explosive" power generated view the hips and legs to enter and unbalance an opponent.

Internal approaches can "Explode" if they choose, but "explosive" or sudden movement is not required to unbalance. Internal body usage causes the opponent to effectively push themselves away (a feeling of lightness or no feedback).

The external approach requires explosive power to work, which is a clash as they overcome the opponent and no mixing occurs. The internal approach, causes a mixing and the opponent pushes themselves away.

Summary:

The internal approach results in the opponent doing all the work and moving themselves as their energy mixes with the internal guys weight/energy (hence why there is no feedback, heaviness etc). The external approach results in ones self doing all the work onto the opponent as they are using momentum, major muscle groups etc.

The vast majority of marital artists use a clash to move the opponent.

HL1978
11-08-2012, 03:45 PM
oops too late to edit, but aiki should be defined as Aiki a mix of ones own weight/energy with that of the opponent rather than clashing between the energy of two opponents.