PDA

View Full Version : Tomiki Kenji's Attribution of Ueshiba's Skill to "Muscular Training"


Please visit our sponsor:
 

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


hughrbeyer
01-11-2013, 06:56 PM
For anyone to say what Ueshiba actually meant requires a lot of assumption (presumption).

Or it requires going to look. Bald assertions don't get anyone very far.

Related note, this one is for Chris H. From Aikido and spirituality: Japanese religious influences
in a martial art:

'Tomiki Kenji, for instance, attributed Ueshiba's skill to "muscular training which is part of modern physical eductation [sic]. It's called isometrics". [Pranin (ed.), Aikido Masters, 58]'

LOL. Yeah, it's just isometrics. Part of any decent physical training regimen. :rolleyes:

ChrisHein
01-12-2013, 12:18 AM
Tomiki did know Ueshiba better than any of us... ;)

Peter Goldsbury
01-12-2013, 06:09 AM
Or it requires going to look. Bald assertions don't get anyone very far.

Absolutely.

Related note, this one is for Chris H. From Aikido and spirituality: Japanese religious influences
in a martial art:

'Tomiki Kenji, for instance, attributed Ueshiba's skill to "muscular training which is part of modern physical eductation [sic]. It's called isometrics". [Pranin (ed.), Aikido Masters, 58]'

LOL. Yeah, it's just isometrics. Part of any decent physical training regimen. :rolleyes:

Hugh's quote is from Margaret Greenhalgh's MA thesis. In the book version, it appears on p. 36. Since Chris H and others might like to have the context, here it is.

"This failure to put Ueshiba's performance and experience into the context of Japanese spiritual traditions, however, has led scholars such as Guttmann and Thompson to treat accounts of his martial arts performance with disbelief. Such skepticism is not confined to scholars; some martial artists, both during Ueshiba's lifetime and in the present, have also doubted his achievement. Tomiki Kenji, for instance, attributed Ueshiba's skill to "muscular training which is part of modern physical eductation [sic]. It's called isometrics". Others, however, consider that Ueshiba's ability to throw his attackers with "what appears to be an ineffectual wave of the hand or a light, guiding touch to the attacker's body" were "eloquent testimony to his extraordinary spiritual and martial development".

Greenhalgh cites Stanley Pranin's Aikido Masters. Her quote is part of a lengthy response that Tomiki gives to a lengthy question.

The Question
"There's one thing I have a hard time explaining away even though I am skeptical person by nature. I have in my possession several films of O Sensei. In one he takes a jo [stick] about three-and-a-half feet long and extends it out to his side. Several students push at a right-angle to the jo and they are unable to move it. That's one phenomenon. Let me give another example. The founder sits with his legs crossed, his hands relaxed, and three student attempt to force him over by pushing against his head. They can't. Is this faked or is there some physical principle which can explain these feats?"

Tomiki's Response
"This is a matter of muscular training which is part of modern physical eductation. It's called isometrics. That is to say, we can train inner or outer groups of muscles by pushing or pulling. A person who is highly skilled at this form of training hardly exhibits any muscle movement at all during the exercise. When you can't see any movement the person is using his muscles very skillfully. But you are making a big mistake in the educational field if you demand a similar level of expertise from everyone. If a person trains sufficiently it is possible to do such things to some degree, but, of course, there are limits to what a human can do. Absoluteness is a problem of religious belief. I think we can call it religious faith. But if we have to disrupt our partner's psychological state through some hypnotic technique, it is not a matter of religion as I usually think of the word. I, for one, take the point of view that education appropriate for the general public is correct and I think aikido should be something normal as well."

The question and answer (with the spelling mistake corrected) appears in the revised version, Aikido Pioneers -- Prewar Era, on p. 44.

For AikiWeb students of Japanese, here is Tomiki's original response, with Romaji transcript. His Japanese is fairly straightforward. For ease of reference, I have repeated the translation, about which I have one or two reservations.

この問題は、現代体育学の、筋肉のトレーニングの事で、アイソメトリックスと言うんです。
Kono mondai wa, gendai taikugaku no, kinniku toreiningu no koto de, isometorikkusu to iun desu.
This is a matter of muscular training which is part of modern physical education. It's called isometrics.

それは、押したり引いたりすることによって、屈筋や心筋が働くわけですが、上手になると、筋肉が働くのが見えないんです。
Sore wa, oshitari hiitari suru koto ni yotte, kukkin ya shinkin ga hataraku wake desu ga, jouzu ni naru to, kinniku ga hataraku no wa mienain desu.
That is to say, we can train inner or outer groups of muscles by pushing or pulling. A person who is highly skilled at this form of training hardly exhibits any muscle movement at all during the exercise.

見えないところで筋肉をうまく使えるんです。しかし、それ(このような理論を隠しておいて、大道の安芸人のようなことをすることをさす)を教育の場にもってきたら、非常に おかしい事になってしまうんです。
Mienai tokoro de kinniku wo umaku tsukaerun desu. Shikashi, sore (kono youna riron wo kakushite oite, oomichi no akibito no youna koto wo suru koto wo sasu) wo kouiku no ba ni motte kitara, hijouni okashii koto ni natte shimaun desu.
When you can't see any movement the person is using his muscles very skillfully. But you are making a big mistake in the educational field if you demand a similar level of expertise from everyone.

 練習を積めばある程度できます。しかし、人間のやることには限界がありますよ。
Renshuu wo tsumeba aru teido dekimasu. Shikashi, ningen no yaru koto ni wa genkai ga arimasuyo.
If a person trains sufficiently it is possible to do such things to some degree, but, of course, there are limits to what a human can do.

絶対という事はこれは信念の問題でね。
Zettai to iu koto wa kore wa shinnen no mondai de ne.
Absoluteness is a problem of religious belief.

宗教的な信念とか、相手の精神状態を催眠術で狂わせるということになったら、普通の教育じゃないのです。
Shuukyoutekina shinnen to ka, aite no seishin joutai wo saiminjutsu de kuruwaseru to iu koto ni nattara, futsuu no kyouiku janai no desu.
I think we can call it religious faith. But if we have to disrupt our partner's psychological state through some hypnotic technique, it is not a matter of religion as I usually think of the word.

私は一般の、百万人の教育の立場をとって、合気道を普及しなきゃならんとかんと考えているのです。
Watashi wa ippan no, hyakumannin no kyouiku no tachiba wo totte, aikidou wo fukyuu shinakya naran to kangaete iru no desu.
I, for one, take the point of view that education appropriate for the general public is correct and I think aikido should be something normal as well.

I have quoted the whole exchange because I think it gives a necessary context to Greenhalgh's explanation of Tomiki's so-called skepticism about Ueshiba's skills.

Apologies for the thread drift (since this post does not strictly concern the definition of 合気).

hughrbeyer
01-12-2013, 08:29 AM
Nice. Thanks, professor.

My interest in this is how it traces the loss of IP awareness down through the generations. Tomiki, who had a clue, looks at one of the standard IP party tricks and sees isometrics and skillful muscle use, not something appropriate for the general public. And presumably he saw the solo exercises as "isometrics" as well.

Sorta like Saito, asked about "opening the legs in six directions" and saying, "Oh, that means hanmi."

When the concept itself is lost, how can the word keep its meaning?

Demetrio Cereijo
01-12-2013, 11:11 AM
Thanks Prof Goldsbury,

For ease of reference, I have repeated the translation, about which I have one or two reservations.
And these are, if you don't mind?

Also, about Tomiki statement: But if we have to disrupt our partner's psychological state through some hypnotic technique, it is not a matter of religion as I usually think of the word, and considering his aquintance with Omoto-kyo believers like Nishimura Shutaro, would you say he was talking about the results of the psychic research some cult members were into?

OTOH, I think Greenhalgh is exaggerating a bit regarding Guttmann and Thompson 'disbelief'.

ChrisHein
01-12-2013, 11:26 AM
Nice. Thanks, professor.

My interest in this is how it traces the loss of IP awareness down through the generations. Tomiki, who had a clue, looks at one of the standard IP party tricks and sees isometrics and skillful muscle use, not something appropriate for the general public. And presumably he saw the solo exercises as "isometrics" as well.

Sorta like Saito, asked about "opening the legs in six directions" and saying, "Oh, that means hanmi."

When the concept itself is lost, how can the word keep its meaning?

The problem I have here, is it is looking for a specific answer. The assumption that there is an IP (unique internal power)- which is different then anything commonly understood. Then from that assumption you are looking to trace the loss of awareness for this IP.

It's no different then many IP people feel about those who look for answers to what was happening using modern athletics as an explanation.

Both view points are favoring assumption that what they feel is correct.

If we are going to find an answer (I'm not sure we ever will) we've got to try and look at the problem with a little less bias.

If we are looking for something, we'll find it. If we are looking for IP, we'll see that, if we are looking for normal athletics we'll find that. We need to look for the truth, instead of trying to prove our personal perspective correct.

hughrbeyer
01-12-2013, 04:48 PM
Actually, I agree with you on the subject of the basic issue. Finding what you expect to find isn't news.

OTOH, if one has a hypothesis that a certain skill set was lost, one can suggest possible logical consequences of that hypothesis--predictions suggested by the hypothesis. If those predictions are confirmed, then that adds credence to the hypothesis.

Possible predictions:
* We should be able to trace the progressive loss of the skills over time;
* We should be able to show how the skills were lost--why they were devalued;
* We should expect to find hints and reminders of the skills among most of the Founder's students;
* We should be able to tie the skill set back to prior arts and sideways to sister arts.

Confirming any of these predictions doesn't *prove* anything. It does lend support to the hypothesis, though.

ChrisHein
01-12-2013, 05:08 PM
OTOH, if one has a hypothesis that a certain skill set was lost, one can suggest possible logical consequences of that hypothesis--predictions suggested by the hypothesis. If those predictions are confirmed, then that adds credence to the hypothesis.

Possible predictions:
* We should be able to trace the progressive loss of the skills over time;
* We should be able to show how the skills were lost--why they were devalued;
* We should expect to find hints and reminders of the skills among most of the Founder's students;
* We should be able to tie the skill set back to prior arts and sideways to sister arts.

Confirming any of these predictions doesn't *prove* anything. It does lend support to the hypothesis, though.

I agree, but the problem is all of these are built on the assumption that there was something different to start with. I know I sound like a broken record, but here's where I'm going.

with your possible predictions.

First prediction. How do you know that our predecessors had skills we don't have? Before we can go about tracing how the skills have been lost, we need to first establish the existence of any different/special/unique skills.

Your second prediction makes the same assumption.

Your third prediction would be a good place to start, but before we can do that, we need an agreed upon model of these skills to find hints and reminders of them.

Your fourth prediction has the same problem.

So while I agree, that working from a hypothesis is a great way to go, we have to first establish the point we are going to build the hypothesis on.

So if we are going to look to IP to build our hypothesis about it's existence in the past, we first have to understand what IP is right now. Without this foundation we can't hope to use past information to confirm our suspicions.

We are in a better place if we start with athletics and work from the assumption that what Tomiki said was correct or incorrect. We know what athletics are, we know what isometrics are. So if we start anywhere I would guess the better part would be attempting to prove or disprove that Ueshiba was using isometrics to achieve the things he was suppose to be doing.

Peter Goldsbury
01-12-2013, 05:12 PM
Thanks Prof Goldsbury,

And these are, if you don't mind?

Also, about Tomiki statement: But if we have to disrupt our partner's psychological state through some hypnotic technique, it is not a matter of religion as I usually think of the word, and considering his aquintance with Omoto-kyo believers like Nishimura Shutaro, would you say he was talking about the results of the psychic research some cult members were into?

OTOH, I think Greenhalgh is exaggerating a bit regarding Guttmann and Thompson 'disbelief'.

Hello Demetrio,

The reservations concern two places:

1. 見えないところで筋肉をうまく使えるんです。しかし、それ(このような理論を隠しておいて、大道の安芸人のようなことをすることをさす)を教育の場にもってき たら、非常に おかしい事になってしまうんです。
Mienai tokoro de kinniku wo umaku tsukaerun desu. Shikashi, sore (kono youna riron wo kakushite oite, oomichi no akibito no youna koto wo suru koto wo sasu) wo kouiku no ba ni motte kitara, hijouni okashii koto ni natte shimaun desu.
When you can't see any movement the person is using his muscles very skillfully. But you are making a big mistake in the educational field if you demand a similar level of expertise from everyone.

Last night at the dojo I enquired of my Japanese colleagues about the reading and meaning of 大道の安芸人 / oomichi no akibito and no one knew. The issue was whether it meant the same as 大道芸人 daidou geinin, which means 'street performer': someone who does skillful things like conjuring tricks in the street.

2. 宗教的な信念とか、相手の精神状態を催眠術で狂わせるということになったら、普通の教育じゃないのです。
Shuukyoutekina shinnen to ka, aite no seishin joutai wo saiminjutsu de kuruwaseru to iu koto ni nattara, futsuu no kyouiku janai no desu.
I think we can call it religious faith. But if we have to disrupt our partner's psychological state through some hypnotic technique, it is not a matter of religion as I usually think of the word.

I think the final sentence should be, 'it is not a matter of education as I usually think of the word'. I think this changes the emphasis of the paragraph somewhat.

Best wishes,

Demetrio Cereijo
01-12-2013, 05:43 PM
Thanks again.

It seems to me Tomiki saw the IP demos as something in the line of Lulu Hurst or Annie Abbott performances.

ChrisHein
01-12-2013, 06:08 PM
Wow, Thanks for the translations Professor! They really shed some new, and very interesting light.

Could you explain the comparison of 大道の安芸人 and 大道芸人 a little more? Are the implications of 大道芸人 that these are the kinds of skills shown by practiced performers (acrobats, magicians, jugglers, etc.). And he is likening these demonstrations to parlor tricks? Not so much saying that it is "athleticism" per se, but more like a physical talent trained for a specific demonstration?

ChrisHein
01-12-2013, 06:18 PM
Thanks again.

It seems to me Tomiki saw the IP demos as something in the line of Lulu Hurst or Annie Abbott performances.

I dont' know if you've read Lulu Hurst's auto biography or not. But it provides many interesting stories. One thing that I found remarkable about her story, is that she didn't even know how she did many of the things she did. It wasn't until much later in life (long after she stopped performing), and much thought about her stunts that she figured out what was really going on. I thought this was very interesting because it showed that even the performer themselves might not know how they are doing what they are doing.

Also, in the auto biography, she explains all of her stunts, the "Jo trick", from what I can tell exactly the way Ueshiba is demonstrating it, is explained by her. And it's a very good explanation- although different then the one I originally stumbled upon.

Demetrio Cereijo
01-12-2013, 06:24 PM
I dont' know if you've read Lulu Hurst's auto biography or not.
I have it somewhere, but I have not read it yet. I'll move it upwards in the queue.

Also, Sokaku was, for some time, a member of a circus troupe. Maybe he obtained some of his skills there.

ChrisHein
01-12-2013, 06:30 PM
Also, Sokaku was, for some time, a member of a circus troupe. Maybe he obtained some of his skills there.

HA!

Demetrio Cereijo
01-12-2013, 06:38 PM
Think in some kind of Derren Brown with fighting skills... a serious opponent. He can manipulate you both psychologically and physically. Put him in the Omoto-kyo environment back in the day, full of "spiritualists", "psychics" and "believers in the supernatural" and you'll have a legend.

Chris Li
01-12-2013, 06:47 PM
Hello Demetrio,

The reservations concern two places:

1. 見えないところで筋肉をうまく使えるんです。しかし、そ (このような理論を隠しておいて、大道の安芸人のような とをすることをさす)を教育の場にもってきたら、非常に おかしい事になってしまうんです。
Mienai tokoro de kinniku wo umaku tsukaerun desu. Shikashi, sore (kono youna riron wo kakushite oite, oomichi no akibito no youna koto wo suru koto wo sasu) wo kouiku no ba ni motte kitara, hijouni okashii koto ni natte shimaun desu.
When you can't see any movement the person is using his muscles very skillfully. But you are making a big mistake in the educational field if you demand a similar level of expertise from everyone.

Last night at the dojo I enquired of my Japanese colleagues about the reading and meaning of 大道の安芸人 / oomichi no akibito and no one knew. The issue was whether it meant the same as 大道芸人 daidou geinin, which means 'street performer': someone who does skillful things like conjuring tricks in the street.

2. 宗教的な信念とか、相手の精神状態を催眠術で狂わせると うことになったら、普通の教育じゃないのです。
Shuukyoutekina shinnen to ka, aite no seishin joutai wo saiminjutsu de kuruwaseru to iu koto ni nattara, futsuu no kyouiku janai no desu.
I think we can call it religious faith. But if we have to disrupt our partner's psychological state through some hypnotic technique, it is not a matter of religion as I usually think of the word.

I think the final sentence should be, 'it is not a matter of education as I usually think of the word'. I think this changes the emphasis of the paragraph somewhat.

Best wishes,

I think that you might be right on the second one, and it certainly changes the meaning.

For the first one, my hunch is that he's talking about a street performer - but a low-level one. A "cheap trickster" maybe.

I know that Tomiki studied things like Omoto-kyo in order to understand Ueshiba, but my impression from works like "Budo-ron" is that he tended to be more of a rationalist, a modern educator, like Kano.

FWIW...

Best,

Chris

Peter Goldsbury
01-12-2013, 07:01 PM
I think that you might be right on the second one, and it certainly changes the meaning.

For the first one, my hunch is that he's talking about a street performer - but a low-level one. A "cheap trickster" maybe.

I know that Tomiki studied things like Omoto-kyo in order to understand Ueshiba, but my impression from works like "Budo-ron" is that he tended to be more of a rationalist, a modern educator, like Kano.

FWIW...

Best,

Chris

Hello Chris (Li),

Thank you. This is my own view also. One of the problems here is that with 大道の安芸人, Tomiki might well have been using a phrase not now in common use. None of the 安芸人 in the dojo understood the phrase.

Best wishes,

PAG

Chris Li
01-12-2013, 07:30 PM
None of the 安芸人 in the dojo understood the phrase.


:D

Best,

Chris

Peter Goldsbury
01-12-2013, 09:16 PM
Wow, Thanks for the translations Professor! They really shed some new, and very interesting light.

Could you explain the comparison of 大道の安芸人 and 大道芸人 a little more? Are the implications of 大道芸人 that these are the kinds of skills shown by practiced performers (acrobats, magicians, jugglers, etc.). And he is likening these demonstrations to parlor tricks? Not so much saying that it is "athleticism" per se, but more like a physical talent trained for a specific demonstration?

Hello Chris (H),

Apologies in advance for what will be a lengthy post.

I shouldn't worry too much about the comparison of 大道の安芸人 and 大道芸人. I had a hunch that they mean much the same thing and Chris Li's posts strengthened this hunch. To see why, bear with me.

Hugh Beyer's quotation from Margaret Greenhalgh's thesis raised a few red flags. Greenhalgh was suggesting that Tomiki was skeptical about Ueshiba's skills. Here was one of Ueshiba's earliest students, senior to both Iwata and Shirata, trusted enough by Ueshiba to be sent to Manchuria to teach aiki-budo, and known for his very careful analyses of budo training, expressing skepticism about Ueshiba's art. Greenhalgh does not include anything by Tomiki in her bibliography, so I assume that she has not read anything he has written. Anyway, I went back to the interview she cites, and looked at it again in English and Japanese.

First of all, it is Stan Pranin who suggests skepticism, not Tomiki. He asks if the jo trick and the head-pushing trick are fake or can be explained in terms of some physical principle.

In his answer, Tomiki uses a device long favored by academics and politicians: he sidesteps the question. One could paraphrase the answer in the following way: ‘This mondai (issue, namely, whether there is a physical explanation for Ueshiba's skills) is a matter of what is called isometrics, which is muscle training in modern physical education. You can train group of muscles by pushing and pulling, and people who become good at this exhibit very little muscle movement.'

However, Tomiki then goes back to his main theme of physical education.

‘When you cannot see the movement, the person is using the muscles very skillfully, but if you bring this (false idea, namely, hiding the real cause and seeing the concealed movement like the cheap tricks of a street performer) into the field of education, this is a very strange situation.'

The Japanese text then has a new paragraph, in which Tomiki again discusses education (with the error in the translation corrected).

‘The acquisition of skills depends on putting in the hours of training, but the level of skill is open-ended and subject to human limits. If we think in absolutes, this is perhaps a matter of religious faith. However, if we disrupt someone's psychological state by a technique like hypnosis, this is not regarded as normal (physical) education. My viewpoint is that (physical) education is something for everybody and I also believe that aikido should be spread (i.e., regarded as something for everybody in the same way, and not regarded as the cheap tricks of a street performer).'

So I do not think that Tomiki was skeptical, so much as one seeking sound explanations. As Chris Li suggests in his post, he was the arch rationalist in the Kobukan Dojo and the brains behind the explanations in Budo Renshu and Budo. He demanded good ( = non-magical) explanations of what Ueshiba was doing.

Best wishes,

PAG

hughrbeyer
01-12-2013, 09:34 PM
Yes, Tomiki always struck me as a rationalist trying to bring "modern" approaches to such things as, for example, teaching a martial art. As such, he might have been prone to jamming old-style skills into the shiny new structure of "rational" education. So while flushing the mysticism and mumbo-jumbo from his system, he might have allowed a baby or two to slip down the drain as well.

Chris H, I'm not going to engage your arguments directly because they bore me. If you don't like the traditional framing of hypothesis proposition and disconfirmation, think of what we're doing as trying out different interpretive frames. Multiple interpretive frames may explain the same data and experiences--up to a point. You may eventually find that there are too many phenomena that your frame can't accommodate. At that point, a paradigm shift is in order. Until then, good luck with your search.

ChrisHein
01-13-2013, 12:17 AM
Thank you Professor.

Does it seem to anyone else like the issue of "fake" keeps getting in the way? Is there a different between a "cheap trick" a "good trick" and a "technique" other then the idea you hold about the person using the method in question?

I think we get into an issue of morality and ethics often, and this gets in our way of understanding what is going on. Is this what Tomiki is doing with the device you mention? That is to say, Tomiki was making a comment, that if we look at what Ueshiba is doing as something worthy of learning, it's educational. But if you try and take that same thing, and look at it as a "cheap trick" (大道の安芸人) it seems strange.

Then Tomiki goes on to say, that (I'm heavily paraphrasing to show my understanding of what I believe is going on) he believes that what Ueshiba is teaching is very worthy, and he believes it should be spread because it (whatever it is, be that isometrics or something else) is of value. So we shouldn't try to frame it as a "trick" or something of religious faith.

ChrisHein
01-13-2013, 12:22 AM
You may eventually find that there are too many phenomena that your frame can't accommodate. At that point, a paradigm shift is in order.

I'm not looking for a response here, and I'm not trying to antagonize you, I'd just like to clarify my position.

I haven't seen anything that would begin to make me have a paradigm shift. The only thing about the IP argument that I find compelling is that many people are interested in it, and those people are interested in the same martial art that I am interested in.

My real "search" is not for another kind of power, but instead to understand why people would believe that there is another kind of power.

ChrisHein
01-13-2013, 12:25 AM
Think in some kind of Derren Brown with fighting skills... a serious opponent. He can manipulate you both psychologically and physically. Put him in the Omoto-kyo environment back in the day, full of "spiritualists", "psychics" and "believers in the supernatural" and you'll have a legend.

My feelings are much the same as this statement.

Demetrio Cereijo
01-13-2013, 08:10 AM
The interview with tomili can also be found online in AJ website:

Part 1: http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=144
Part 2: http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=146

In Part 2 is where he adresses Pranin's questions regarding IP demos, also:

Q: Permit me to change the subject at this point. In modern psychology, science is attempting to discover if phenomena like telepathy and the sixth sense exist. Someone who practices martial arts for a long period of time realizes that he's not only working on the physical level but that sometimes by adopting a certain mental attitude he can influence the attacker; that there is some element present which is very difficult to describe, but it is not technique. What are your feelings on the psychic areas? Is it possible to influence the power of your partner's attack?

A: I have my doubts on that point. I deny it though there are people who say things like that happen. However, I don't deny things like hypnosis or telepathy exist under certain spiritual conditions. In the case of budo there may be such things but they are the "outer limits," the result of very extreme psychological (spiritual) conditions, situations where it is a question of will I live or will I die, and these are conditions that we simply don't meet today. They just don't exist, and it's good that they don't. It's no good to fight.

I always take the educator's point of view. The bujutsu of old were overwhelmingly dangerous. They were cruel and bloody. In sports, whether it is track and field or swimming or whatever, we have the world of real strength. The same strength but with the addition of cruel things made to cause injury (literally, "to make blood flow"). Thus, to make this something that is applicable to our own times we must remove these elements and make the arts into an armour that we wear for self-defense. In the case of judo we have to skip certain techniques, and then systemize movement. The problem is in that way of thinking.

Aikeway
03-01-2013, 04:37 AM
If hypothetically Tomiki believed that Ueshiba had unique internal power of some kind, would it be one of the things that he would think should be excluded from the average martial artist's knowledge in the new society?

JP3
04-07-2013, 08:32 PM
Taking a huge step of ... something, I'll try to put myself into Tomiki's boots and answer the previous question, trying to conceive of his background in education, physical training, and his analytically and rationality-based mindset, if you'll allow me that luxury.

And, I'll slip into anecdote to explain what I'm going to say. Sorry in advance.

If you folks have ever had the pleasure to train with Howard Popkin (daito-ryu) guy from West Hempstead, NY) you'll be able to immediately know where I'm going. No Jun, it's not daito oriented, it's aiki.

I went to an aiki-related clinic in OKC (Windsong Dojo) at which Howard was the principal instructor. He was talking primarily about the relationship between his daito stuff and our own Tomiki stuff, and the cross-over in places and differences in others, like one point of pressure/control vs. our aikido's (usual) 2, and judo's (usual) 3. He had the opportunity to warm everyone up one morning, and he dicided to take us through the internal stuff he'd been doing as learned from Dan harden for a couple of years and enjoying. Tough stuff, actually. Yes... isometrics.

People tend to poo-poo isometrics for some reason, I don't know why. They can leave an Olympic-level athelete lying on the floor like a beached trout in 3 to 4 minutes, you know.

Anyway, there we are, about 50 of us scattered about the mat, doing these things which are sort of hindu-ish, yoga-ish I suppose, not having ever done anything hindu-ish in exercise, and only watching cute girls doing yoga and thinking "You ain't gonna catch me doing that," so I skipped it except for the pleasant spectating.

So, we finish this seminar, and in the afterglow of a fun 3-day deal, a few of the hard cases are sitting around in the Windsong anteroom off the mat room, and I ask something, probably dumb, about "I know that stuff we did was probably good for us, in a fitness sense, but is it useful in a defense sense, other than just - a better developed body defends itself better - sense?" Howard laughed, jumped up and said, "Well, you're not a little guy, do you think you can knock me down?"

OK, anyone with any sense and more than a year on the mat knows that's a bear trap waiting to spring, right? So, I sort of demurred, and Howard just laughed, "No, not like a scrap. Let's do this thing. I stand here and don't do anything, and you come up and push me down. Hell, just try to push me back."

So, I look at him, and think, "Really?" Howards no willowy guy, he's ... maybe 5'9" or so, and not so slim, so maybe he's pushing 2 bills, and I'm more than a bit more in both directions, so I think, "Something is about to happen to me."

So, I ask, "Do we need to go out on the mat?"

He laughs at me again, and says, "Nah, you just put your hand on my chest somewhere, and shove, and I'll try not to let you move me."

"That's it?"

"That's it."

(Ratio is 6'3 & 225# vs. 5'9" & ~195#)

Picture Howard standing with his arms at his sides, stance is square. As far as I can (and anyone else, I asked afterwards), and he is just grinning at me, waiting.

He says, "no punching, that's cheating. I've only been doing this a couple of years." I grunt, and put my hand on his left shoulder, heel of my palm against his clavicle, and start to put my push on him.

It didn't feel like "nothing" was happening, I could feel his body doing... something, but he didn't move, he just stood there grinning.

I think about it, my not doing anything. I contemplate the angle I'm pushing at, and since I'm taller, I think, "Maybe he's dropping it into his heels since I'm giving him a down vector..." and shift my knees, dropping my waist to push parallel to the floor.

Grin.

I shift my hand to push on his sternum, then relax and move back to farther outside his clavicle.

Grin.

"Are you going to really try?" he says.

So, I laugh, and give him the whole thing, driving forward off the back leg, unbendable arm, exhalation on the body drop, small cough of power release.

Grin.

My arm starts to tremble, lower back is starting to shake, and my drive leg is telling me that it'd like to quit and go get a beer.

Grin.

I drop my head forward, finishing with a complete bridging of my body into Howard's chest at what is approaching a 45-degree angle, and then he laughed again.

"Check this out, it'll blow your mind."

And then he started picking up first one foot, then the other. I am not kidding. If I'd been watching it on TV, I'd have been saying, "Oh, that's BS. The guy really isn't pushing, he's just standing there." But ... I wasn't.

So, I said all of that to say this. Was what Howard was going to me, demonstrating some IP which could be used to hold his position a "trick" or was it "useful?" I've no idea. Do I think that someone who could use that at need "make it useful" in a self-defense context, you bet your bananas.

So, now, to Tomiki's statements, first about isometrics, then about tricks of stage performers.

Does it matter?

bkedelen
04-08-2013, 12:00 AM
A good amount of the solo training that is being prescribed in several internal skills camps is, in fact, isometric work. I think the main problem with Tomiki's straightforward commentary is that it sounds too modern and western to fit the bill for mystical martial skills training.

hughrbeyer
04-08-2013, 06:09 AM
I would describe none of the solo work we do as isometrics.

phitruong
04-08-2013, 07:30 AM
And then he started picking up first one foot, then the other. I am not kidding. If I'd been watching it on TV, I'd have been saying, "Oh, that's BS. The guy really isn't pushing, he's just standing there." But ... I wasn't.


that's because you were trying to move his body which is a big mistake. been there done that. you need to move his mind. try looking behind him and yell "big blue fin!", then shove. :)

bkedelen
04-08-2013, 07:53 AM
I would describe none of the solo work we do as isometrics.

Of course internal drills are very, very different from isometric exercises that you would be prescribed by a physical therapist, for instance, but any drill where there is no outside body movement neatly falls into the category of "isometric". The strict definition is met by the standing and partial squat drills done by every internal training group I have seen, for instance. My point is that Tomiki must have thought himself quite clever in selecting this explanation. It was the kind of statement that is both quite accurate and gives away nothing, and is therefore very typical of conversation on the topic.

jss
04-08-2013, 09:20 AM
Of course internal drills are very, very different from isometric exercises that you would be prescribed by a physical therapist, for instance, but any drill where there is no outside body movement neatly falls into the category of "isometric". The strict definition is met by the standing and partial squat drills done by every internal training group I have seen, for instance.
And any drill in which one breathes is a breathing exercise? ;-)
In my opinion the difference between isometric drills and standing practice (zhan zhuang) is so big, that if you put them in the same category, you're left with quite meaningless category.

OTOH, occasionally I do come across IS explanations that use Western anatomy in the same way as they were using qi, i.e. not as an attempt at scientific explanation, but as a model to shape your practice.
Don't know if this might apply to Tomiki, though.

JP3
04-08-2013, 09:44 AM
that's because you were trying to move his body which is a big mistake. been there done that. you need to move his mind. try looking behind him and yell "big blue fin!", then shove. :)

I'm sure that's what I was doing incorrectly. Thank you for reading my mind to know, that's helpful to me. And to think, all these years...

hughrbeyer
04-08-2013, 10:54 AM
What Joep said. And besides, check the dictionary definition, yo.

And it's not just nitpicking on the word used. If you use that word to mean one thing in western sports, and the same word to mean something different in eastern martial arts, and then say the two are the same because you are using the same word, you have left the path of wisdom.

Mert Gambito
04-08-2013, 01:32 PM
Of course internal drills are very, very different from isometric exercises that you would be prescribed by a physical therapist, for instance, but any drill where there is no outside body movement neatly falls into the category of "isometric". The strict definition is met by the standing and partial squat drills done by every internal training group I have seen, for instance. My point is that Tomiki must have thought himself quite clever in selecting this explanation. It was the kind of statement that is both quite accurate and gives away nothing, and is therefore very typical of conversation on the topic.
After I had knee surgery, my physical therapy included working with a strength-and-conditioning coach who recommended isometric exercises as part of a regimen to help strengthen my knees. The prevailing western take regarding isometrics, like dynamic resistance training, is to focus on specific muscle groups, which is opposite of the IP/IS training, i.e. whole-body, approach without expressly engaging muscles. IP/IS training, in fact, has strengthened my knees noticeably beyond what I was able to achieve through conventional PT.

It's a bit of a well-worn declaration around these parts, but it's true: how many people do internal martial arts, knowing they're supposed to be doing whole-body conditioning in stillness and slow motion while eschewing muscle use, but can't handle the push of a 6'3", let alone 3'3" uke after several years or decades of training? (Nothing more ego-checking than to have a decent IP/IS practice session, only to go home and have your grade-school kids push up against your hara and immediately force you into stepping backward). So, I agree with Hugh that putting IP/IS training methodology into too big of a descriptive box doesn't help.

As for Kenji Tomiki, if he did associate Morihei Ueshiba's aiki with run-of-the-mill contemporary physical education, then that's where the thought of him talking in code about aiki as IP/IS gets a bit dodgy.

Also, a caveat: Howard's "two years" is not the same as just about everybody else's "two years", as has been described at length in the past.

bkedelen
04-08-2013, 07:25 PM
The prevailing western take regarding isometrics, like dynamic resistance training, is to focus on specific muscle groups, which is opposite of the IP/IS training, i.e. whole-body, approach without expressly engaging muscles.

This is factually incorrect and I wish people with little or no exposure to modern strength and conditioning would stop talking about it until they earn an opinion the way everyone else has to: with a couple years on some rings or under a barbell.

Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, bodyweight conditioning, gymnastics, swimming, cycling, rowing, and jumping rope are all multi-articulate movements that use as much of the body as possible, as intelligently as possible to accomplish tasks.

The much ridiculed discipline of bodybuilding is the *only* area of "western" training that isolates specific muscle groups, and you have trotted it out as a straw man with which to knock down a huge range of disciplines backed by success records going back in some cases thousands of years.

To my knowledge no one has ever suggested bodybuilding as a path to developing martial arts skills, much less as an alternative to internal skills. Few athletes other than bodybuilders even considers it a fitness methodology because of a long track record of poor skill transfer to other activities, a drawback that is widely assumed by everyone else in fitness to be the curse of training muscles in isolation.

Note I am not implying that any of those disciplines will serve you better than internal training in developing Aikido skills, I am merely trying to clear up the factual errors being presented.

bkedelen
04-09-2013, 08:39 AM
Further clarification:

I think some people here may be assuming that "isometric" means to isolate a single muscle group, which it does not. Isometric drills are any static posture that requires opposing forces to maintain, such as the iron cross, L-sit, or holding a partial squat.

An isometric muscle contraction is a contraction that maintains the length of the muscle instead of shortening it.

Isometrics have absolutely nothing to do with muscle isolation or bodybuilding, and isometric training is not, as a general rule, part of the training protocol for bodybuilders. It is much more in the wheelhouse of strongmen, gymnasts, and other bodyweight enthusiasts.

Mert Gambito
04-09-2013, 10:05 AM
This is factually incorrect and I wish people with little or no exposure to modern strength and conditioning would stop talking about it until they earn an opinion the way everyone else has to: with a couple years on some rings or under a barbell.

Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, bodyweight conditioning, gymnastics, swimming, cycling, rowing, and jumping rope are all multi-articulate movements that use as much of the body as possible, as intelligently as possible to accomplish tasks.

The much ridiculed discipline of bodybuilding is the *only* area of "western" training that isolates specific muscle groups, and you have trotted it out as a straw man with which to knock down a huge range of disciplines backed by success records going back in some cases thousands of years.

To my knowledge no one has ever suggested bodybuilding as a path to developing martial arts skills, much less as an alternative to internal skills. Few athletes other than bodybuilders even considers it a fitness methodology because of a long track record of poor skill transfer to other activities, a drawback that is widely assumed by everyone else in fitness to be the curse of training muscles in isolation.

Note I am not implying that any of those disciplines will serve you better than internal training in developing Aikido skills, I am merely trying to clear up the factual errors being presented.
Benjamin,

I stand by what I said regarding the "prevailing western take" regarding isometrics and dynamic resistance training. Remember: the prevailing beliefs are those of the public at large. When the average Joe or Jane signs up for a gym membership with the thought of doing resistance training, what is he/she typically shown and sold (see photo below)? How many people who have greatly benefited from resistance training for years maintain a disciplined schedule of "upper-body days and lower-body days", whether they do high weight, low reps, or vice versa? Etc.

http://www.home-gym-bodybuilding.com/image-files/commercial-gym.jpg.jpg

Also, based on my experience, I agree with you regarding isometrics. I didn't equate it to bodybuilding, but rather specifically pointed out a regimen for rehab was imparted to me: very different goals. And, also to your points, the reason the coach suggested isometrics was to strengthen more than just a given muscle, but rather everything needed to stabllize the knees. Nonetheless, the focus was specifically on muscles, which IP/IS training expressly avoids.

bkedelen
04-09-2013, 10:29 AM
Your point about a what you might see in the average globo-gym is valid, but doesn't take into account the whole picture.

I equate serious martial artists more closely with pro and semi-pro athletes than I do with my mom at the rec center. If you found yourself in a position to be overseen by a strength and conditioning coach to improve your sport performance, that coach will not have you doing lat pulldowns and hammer curl sets. He will teach you to clean and squat, do weighted chins, and run your ass off.

That methodology is so much more effective than the globo-gym methodology of selling gym memberships and hoping people will show up, that as of the last couple years the the fastest growing sector of the fitness industry is a return to old school barbell work but in a group training environment. We are actually in the middle of a strength and conditioning renaissance, with a huge increase in crossfit, barbell, parkour, climbing, and gymnastics facilities for adults happening all over the country.

My point is that talking about "modern" or "western" or "conventional" is a gross over-generalization that results in no meaning at all. Furthermore there is *tremendous* value in some of what is available in this space which could be lost if people assume that any trip to the gym will result in bodybuilding.

Mert Gambito
04-09-2013, 01:19 PM
My point is that talking about "modern" or "western" or "conventional" is a gross over-generalization that results in no meaning at all. Furthermore there is *tremendous* value in some of what is available in this space which could be lost if people assume that any trip to the gym will result in bodybuilding.
Benjamin,

If the topic was "What is Western Strength Training?", then I whole-heartedly agree. However, given that the qualities needed for successful development of the qualities that allow Howard, et al to stand on one foot and negate a full-power push while seeming relatively nonchalant about it -- which is where this aspect of the discussion started -- the generalizations hold: specifically for the purposes of differentiation from IP/IS training in the Asian internal martial arts.

hughrbeyer
04-09-2013, 08:33 PM
I think some people here may be assuming that "isometric" means to isolate a single muscle group, which it does not. Isometric drills are any static posture that requires opposing forces to maintain, such as the iron cross, L-sit, or holding a partial squat.

This definition is incomplete, and may explain why you're confused. As the exercises you cite suggest, isometric drills are for the purpose of developing muscular strength. IS drills aren't.

It's actually an interesting thought experiment to think how something like the iron cross could be turned into an IS drill, because it might illustrate the differences. So you might be told to hold the position but think about the strain being taken not by the lats but moving it around to different parts of the body. Maybe you'd visualize the hands connected by bungee cords to the small of the back. You'd certainly be told to relax (!) and to be able to move freely even though you're suspended in the air.

The exercise is silly, but points out some of the differences. E.g.: the strain's in the wrong direction, so the visualization doesn't really make sense. There are no alternative deep muscles (so far as I'm aware) to take the strain. And it's not whole-body because the legs aren't in the picture.

But that's what you're talking about --this thing that is ridiculous and silly is equivalent to what the IS people or doing. It's not.

It's still a duck.

Michael Varin
04-09-2013, 11:44 PM
What a great thread!!!

How could I have missed this?

It brings so many elements of the "IP/IT/IS" vs "being a trickster" vs "just being really good" argument together.

I want to address a number of statements in this one post.

Q: Permit me to change the subject at this point. In modern psychology, science is attempting to discover if phenomena like telepathy and the sixth sense exist. Someone who practices martial arts for a long period of time realizes that he's not only working on the physical level but that sometimes by adopting a certain mental attitude he can influence the attacker; that there is some element present which is very difficult to describe, but it is not technique. What are your feelings on the psychic areas? Is it possible to influence the power of your partner's attack?

A: I have my doubts on that point. I deny it though there are people who say things like that happen. However, I don't deny things like hypnosis or telepathy exist under certain spiritual conditions. In the case of budo there may be such things but they are the "outer limits," the result of very extreme psychological (spiritual) conditions, situations where it is a question of will I live or will I die, and these are conditions that we simply don't meet today. They just don't exist, and it's good that they don't. It's no good to fight.

No disrespect intended, but I cannot place much value on Tomiki's opinion of martial arts if he didn't understand that it is a psycho-physical interaction. Period.

Was what Howard was going to me, demonstrating some IP which could be used to hold his position a "trick" or was it "useful?" I've no idea. Do I think that someone who could use that at need "make it useful" in a self-defense context, you bet your bananas.

Have you thought about it since??? What was happening? Why can't you explain it? Do you think Howard could do it in any situation?

By the way, the much maligned "Chris H." can do the very same thing (negating a push while standing square or on one foot or the other), and I'm not just saying that because he's my friend.

Also, a caveat: Howard's "two years" is not the same as just about everybody else's "two years", as has been described at length in the past.

Thank you for saying that. This can apply to others (on both sides), as well.

Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, bodyweight conditioning, gymnastics, swimming, cycling, rowing, and jumping rope are all multi-articulate movements that use as much of the body as possible, as intelligently as possible to accomplish tasks.

The much ridiculed discipline of bodybuilding is the *only* area of "western" training that isolates specific muscle groups, and you have trotted it out as a straw man with which to knock down a huge range of disciplines backed by success records going back in some cases thousands of years.

Thank you for saying that. There are a few other disciplines that could be added to that list.

I equate serious martial artists more closely with pro and semi-pro athletes than I do with my mom at the rec center. If you found yourself in a position to be overseen by a strength and conditioning coach to improve your sport performance, that coach will not have you doing lat pulldowns and hammer curl sets. He will teach you to clean and squat, do weighted chins, and run your ass off.

That methodology is so much more effective than the globo-gym methodology of selling gym memberships and hoping people will show up, that as of the last couple years the the fastest growing sector of the fitness industry is a return to old school barbell work but in a group training environment. We are actually in the middle of a strength and conditioning renaissance, with a huge increase in crossfit, barbell, parkour, climbing, and gymnastics facilities for adults happening all over the country.

My point is that talking about "modern" or "western" or "conventional" is a gross over-generalization that results in no meaning at all. Furthermore there is *tremendous* value in some of what is available in this space which could be lost if people assume that any trip to the gym will result in bodybuilding.

Thank you for saying that.

and to be able to move freely even though you're suspended in the air.

As if gymnasts don't! :eek:

The body is the body.

Martial arts are martial arts.

Fighting is fighting.

It's time we start discussing this stuff seriously and honestly.

Mert Gambito
04-10-2013, 01:40 AM
Was what Howard was going to me, demonstrating some IP which could be used to hold his position a "trick" or was it "useful?" I've no idea. Do I think that someone who could use that at need "make it useful" in a self-defense context, you bet your bananas.
Have you thought about it since??? What was happening? Why can't you explain it? Do you think Howard could do it in any situation?
By the way, the much maligned "Chris H." can do the very same thing (negating a push while standing square or on one foot or the other), and I'm not just saying that because he's my friend.
Michael,

Just to add some clarification: Dan Harden does not need to create a "structure" with the uke, i.e. nage touching uke's pushing arm(s) with one or both hands (http://youtu.be/rT3wkxr0Jq4?t=1m14s), to negate a push while standing on one or both feet. The uke simply pushes, and the only point(s) of contact between the nage and uke are where the uke is pushing on the nage's body.

Presumably, since Howard trains in Dan's method, and Howard is known for being relatively immovable when pushed, Howard is also able to do the same thing, without the need to create a structure. However, hopefully John will return and clarify the conditions under which Howard did the push-test demos.

JP3
04-14-2013, 07:58 PM
"Have you thought about it since???"

Yes, and ya didn't need all the extra question marks to make your point...

"What was happening?"

If I could have told you that, I probably would have, wouldn't I?

"Why can't you explain it?"

Because, as I "thought" I made perfectly clear in my original post, I don't have the slightest clue how it works, because, since I don't have the proper background in the IP stuff, I don't know what's happening. I think of the body's internal structure as a system of levers working on a lattice structure, and it was very clear that my conception is WAY to simplistic. That is as far as I've gotten with it. Flying around to train the way Howard does is for Howard, not for me, since I've got a kiddo in college (not to say that Howard doesn't, but there it is). I would LOVE to know.

"Do you think Howard could do it in any situation?"

No, I don't. He made it clear that he felt he was in the learning state with this stuff, and he was trying to sponge as much of it as he could from Dan harden, and he didn't really understand everything that was happening. Humble. I had hands on him a couple times during the day, and only in that structured setting was he doing what he did with that demo. Put Howard in a judo situation, hands already on movement initiated, and he's as human as any other very damn dangerous, high-level martial artist would be. Scary dangerous human, but human and "within the normal range" if you will. That one demo violated physics, so I obviously don't understand what was happening adequately. I did like it though, a lot.

* By the way, if you guys get a chance to train with Howard, it's a great time. He's not only scary-good at what he does, but he's also hilariously entertaining while doing it.

"By the way, the much maligned "Chris H." can do the very same thing (negating a push while standing square or on one foot or the other."

I don't malign Chris, his stuff sounds spot-on to me. Why is he "maligned?" Just because I can't do something that someone else can do doesn't make me malign them. I can dunk a basketball. Can Chris? Does that make him bad-talk me? I mean, he can bad talk me all he wants because I'm good looking or whatever, I'm not going to throw mud for no personal reason. There's apples and oranges in the world, both are fruit, and both are enjoyable.

Wow, that was a long reply post. Apologies.

RonRagusa
04-14-2013, 09:54 PM
Here's a simple idea. Replace the human pusher with a hydraulic press that will apply a horizontal force to the chest of the person being pushed that is of equal magnitude to the human's push. The human's push will go from zero to some maximum over an interval of time. Have the force of the press increase over an identical period of time until it reaches the maximum.

Will the results be the same?

Ron

Janet Rosen
04-14-2013, 10:18 PM
* By the way, if you guys get a chance to train with Howard, it's a great time. He's not only scary-good at what he does, but he's also hilariously entertaining while doing it.


Yep, it was a treat to meet and train w/ him in Seattle about a yr and a half ago and have been waiting ever since to get another chance - coming up next month! :)

Lee Salzman
04-15-2013, 12:38 AM
Here's a simple idea. Replace the human pusher with a hydraulic press that will apply a horizontal force to the chest of the person being pushed that is of equal magnitude to the human's push. The human's push will go from zero to some maximum over an interval of time. Have the force of the press increase over an identical period of time until it reaches the maximum.

Will the results be the same?

Ron

Short answer: no.

Long answer: It is not that you are purposely trying to take the pusher apart, but his own push will take him apart, by magnifying any faults in his own connectivity, if he is not as connected as the human being pushed. The better connected wins. Now if we have an evil pushing machine of doom, that is going to be quite unlikely that it would have severe mechanical faults in its structure, assuming it is made out of some metal of quality better than swiss cheese and adequately secured to the ground with more than chewing gum.

Chris Li
04-15-2013, 05:18 AM
Here's a simple idea. Replace the human pusher with a hydraulic press that will apply a horizontal force to the chest of the person being pushed that is of equal magnitude to the human's push. The human's push will go from zero to some maximum over an interval of time. Have the force of the press increase over an identical period of time until it reaches the maximum.

Will the results be the same?

Ron

Yes, if you can duplicate the mechanics of a human push exactly - they're quite different from a hydraulic press, so it's not the same test.

Best,

Chris

JP3
04-15-2013, 09:16 PM
OK, we've had a "Yes" and a "No" on the Human vs. Hydraulic press question Ron posed.....

.... and I'm still wondering which I think is right.

Plastic?

Janet Rosen
04-15-2013, 10:07 PM
Yes, if you can duplicate the mechanics of a human push exactly - they're quite different from a hydraulic press, so it's not the same test.

Best,

Chris

I agree. A human pushing on me is subject to screwing up his posture, having an itchy nose, getting faked out by something I do, shifting his weight, not to mention continually readjusting sometimes not realizing it etc....

phitruong
04-16-2013, 07:52 AM
OK, we've had a "Yes" and a "No" on the Human vs. Hydraulic press question Ron posed.....

.... and I'm still wondering which I think is right.

Plastic?

inflatable doll? John, i didn't know you are into that sort of thing! so shocking? :D

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yang_Lu-ch%27an
Yang replied that there were only three kinds of people he could not defeat: men of brass, men of iron and men of wood.

David Orange
04-22-2013, 09:04 AM
I agree, but the problem is all of these are built on the assumption that there was something different to start with.

If what Ueshiba was doing was the same as what his students were doing, why didn't they understand his speaking? Why could none of them translate his words? And why could none of them approach what he did?

However, there were people who could do what he did: Horikawa, Sagawa and a few others.

Takeda was able to pass his severe power to his students. Why did none of Ueshiba's students show power of that level?

But Hugh's example of the translation of "open the legs in six directions" as "hanmi" is a great example of documented loss of the specific information that Ueshiba taught but which didn't make it through to the students.

The six-direction concept is not new. It's also not a part of modern athletics training. There is some relation to "isometrics," but it goes much further than modern athletics and also exercises less than muscles and tendons: this kind of "isometrics" gets down to an isometric of forces themselves and also isometrics of the "intent" of the mind--isometrics on the level of where the intention to move becomes actual, physical movement. Isometrics on the level between body and mind. Really internal.

JP3
04-22-2013, 07:08 PM
inflatable doll? John, i didn't know you are into that sort of thing! so shocking? :D

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yang_Lu-ch%27an

Aww.. c'mon man... stop making fun of my wife.