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osaya
01-18-2013, 02:37 AM
Hi all, I'm wondering if anyone is aware of any easily accessible videos of Internal Training in Aikido practice? Whilst being conscious of the IHTBF concept, I'm wondering for those of you are doing Internal Training, if there are any online resources out there that can help illuminate the path for those of us who don't really have the opportunity to have direct contact with this type of work at this time?

I could may be completely way off-track here, but is this video by Endo Seishiro sensei (http://youtu.be/CFIaxVfGmNM) an example of internal training in aikido? or is this something else completely? thoughts and links would be most welcome. thanks in advance.

hughrbeyer
01-18-2013, 08:39 AM
The trouble with internal training is that it is, in fact, internal. Anything you can see on a video is not what you're working for.

You can see videos of the various tests--O-Sensei popping someone off a knee or shoulder, people pushing on his head and unable to push him over--but that's the demonstration, not the training.

I don't want to comment on what Endo Sensei is doing, but what he is describing in the subtitles is not internals.

Carsten Möllering
01-18-2013, 09:01 AM
I don't want to comment on what Endo Sensei is doing, but what he is describing in the subtitles is not internals.
When he teaches this during class he does not refer to internals. And he does not use words or terms that can be found when talking about internal practice.

Nevertheless: Feeling this, watching him when he just does it with his uke (not teaching but practicing himself) and teaching and practicing this at home myself made me listen up, when I read about internal training here.

So ...

... I think there is some relation ...

but I don't think, videos of Endo sensei will help to get into internal practice.
It's the other way round: When you get an idea of internal practice you will find things when practicing with Endo sensei or with some of his students.

Marc Abrams
01-18-2013, 09:11 AM
When he teaches this during class he does not refer to internals. And he does not use words or terms that can be found when talking about Internal Training.

Nevertheless: Feeling this, watching him when he just does it with his uke (not teaching but practicing himself) and teaching and practicing this at home myself made me listen up, when I read about internal training here.

So ...
... I think there is some connection ...
but I don't think, videos of Endo sensei will help to get into internal practice.
It's the other way round: When you get an idea of internal practice you will find things when practicing with Endo sensei or with some of his students.

Carsten:

I think that you make a very valuable point. If you are lucky enough to work with somebody who can accurately explain, teach and get you to do some internal stuff (eg.- Dan Harden) you suddenly become aware of what some people are doing. That is exactly how I have been able to decipher and better understand what Imaizumi Sensei is doing. It is not as though some people do not have some degree of internal "abilities/skills", it is that so few people can accurately describe it, teach it and help you do it.

Marc Abrams

Dazzler
01-18-2013, 09:12 AM
When you get an idea of internal practice you will find things when practicing with Endo sensei or with some of his students.

Even further than this...when you get an idea (in my case just a very little).....you start to find things in all 'regular' aikido and see how sometimes with just a change in emphasis the work of O'Sensei ....and the Aiki/IP folks becomes the same.

(just seen Marc say something very similar...so consider that seconded)

phitruong
01-18-2013, 09:47 AM
here is a video of Ikeda sensei talking about using breathing to aid your movement http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hB-knlRDZ8 using close and open body through breath

or this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=St7I0M2fx1c for dantien/hara movement

or this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0K3a9Z5DZnc - which sort of an SJT (stupid jin trick) where jin does not depend on structure. demo, not necessary training.

or this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epfWXEuEgYI - sort of basic "four-legged animal" and i am the control end. demo, not necessary training.

cross reference this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SP9FoeyLjDo with the aiki-taiso exercises
first movement is similar to open-close body to Ikeda video (tekubikosa and johokosa undo)
second movement - funakogi undo
third movement - ikkyo undo
fourth - sayu undo

problem is video won't show you what all the gazillion things going on inside the person body that the person is focus his/her intention on.

Carsten Möllering
01-18-2013, 09:47 AM
When I practiced with one of the very near students of Endo, I was struck, because he indeed did some things I knew from Dan ...

hughrbeyer
01-18-2013, 10:19 AM
Seconding what Marc said.

I've often felt at Ikeda Sensei seminars that he's on to something real, but he's struggling with systematizing it and developing a clear language and set of concepts for teaching it. Like trying to do higher mathematics and having to develop calculus from scratch.

And in my (very brief--thank you, Marc!) exposure to Imaizumi Sensei I had the experience Marc describes. He did something magic--struggled to reproduce it--then suddenly the light bulb went on. Elbow power! 5+5=10! And uke starts nodding and saying, yeah, that's it.

But without the language and concepts that Dan's been teaching, I would have been lost. It's a way to see what was always there, HIPS.

akiy
01-18-2013, 10:42 AM
Hi folks,

Rather than talking about what people do in their classes/seminars, please 1) refrain from pointing towards what one does "on the mat" as a replacement for discussion and, instead, advance the discussion through your writings (as referenced in the "Rules of Conduct" (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22168)) and 2) move the discussion back on topic of "easily accessible videos of Internal Training in Aikido"

PS: As before, I will be deleting posts that do not corresponding with the Rules of Conduct and may be handing out more moderation actions (especially to those with an already existing moderation history) which will include revocation of posting privileges, either temporary or permanent.

-- Jun

Keith Larman
01-18-2013, 11:11 AM
Mike Sigman had a series of three videos on "Internal Strength" years ago. I believe he pulled them from the market eventually (you'd have to clarify that with him, I'm going from a shaky memory). I do not know where you can find them today although I'm sure you could search around.

The Aunkai has a series of videos but those are really intended for their students. Like many things, without the larger context you would likely only be led astray. But I'm an academic at heart so I bought copies for myself. And I've subsequently had the luck to play with someone who had hand's on training. But without more context I'm not sure how helpful they'd be.

There are also dvd's out there showing some of Kuroda's stuff. But again they appear to be designed as supplements for practicing students. Hence again probably limited value at best for anyone outside the style.

And all things considered I suppose there's nothing else I can tell you other than wishing you luck.

Chris Li
01-18-2013, 12:36 PM
Mike Sigman had a series of three videos on "Internal Strength" years ago. I believe he pulled them from the market eventually (you'd have to clarify that with him, I'm going from a shaky memory). I do not know where you can find them today although I'm sure you could search around.

I have them, but even Mike himself is kind of ambivalent about them these days, IIRC.

I agree with Hugh, what you can see in video is generally not that useful unless you already know what to look for to some degree. We've got lots of video of Ueshiba and it doesn't seem to help folks all that much.

Best,

Chris

Cady Goldfield
01-18-2013, 12:55 PM
A tangible lexicon for Internal Training, particularly for Western students, is only very recent, as in the past 10 years or so, largely thanks to a very small handful of individuals who have labored to create a comprehensive and transmittable language that is directly connected to physical training.

Earlier than the past decade, you had to go to Chinese systems, tai chi in particular, to get terminology that related to actual physical concepts and training methods that produce internal skills. And even then, if a teacher was not forthcoming in explaining and teaching what each of those terms represented, students came away with only partial or completely incorrect understanding.

The sayings and written teachings themselves are usually deeply couched in poetic, metaphoric language that is impossible to decipher without a guide who is willing to do so. Hence, all of the misunderstandings that have arisen from the doka and other sources of wisdom whose meanings have remained, until recently, largely hidden.

Krystal Locke
01-18-2013, 01:30 PM
problem is video won't show you what all the gazillion things going on inside the person body that the person is focus his/her intention on.

What could?

osaya
01-18-2013, 05:47 PM
... I think there is some relation ... but I don't think, videos of Endo sensei will help to get into internal practice.

fair enough. i wasn't sure whether the 'atari and musubi' bits of his video was just a different terminology of describing internal practice. thanks for the clarification.

here is a video of Ikeda sensei talking about using breathing to aid your movement http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hB-knlRDZ8 using close and open body through breath

or this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=St7I0M2fx1c for dantien/hara movement

or this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0K3a9Z5DZnc - which sort of an SJT (stupid jin trick) where jin does not depend on structure. demo, not necessary training.

or this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epfWXEuEgYI - sort of basic "four-legged animal" and i am the control end. demo, not necessary training.

cross reference this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SP9FoeyLjDo with the aiki-taiso exercises
first movement is similar to open-close body to Ikeda video (tekubikosa and johokosa undo)
second movement - funakogi undo
third movement - ikkyo undo
fourth - sayu undo

problem is video won't show you what all the gazillion things going on inside the person body that the person is focus his/her intention on.

Thanks for so much for the list Phi! Videos and words may never compare to direct contact, but I hope to be able to integrate at least some bits of it together. Please feel free to add more here whenever you come across something else. :)

But without more context I'm not sure how helpful they'd be.
And all things considered I suppose there's nothing else I can tell you other than wishing you luck.


I agree with Hugh, what you can see in video is generally not that useful unless you already know what to look for to some degree. We've got lots of video of Ueshiba and it doesn't seem to help folks all that much.

sounds like there is an extremely strong consensus that IHTBF before any videos as such would be remotely of use. i'll certainly take that on board and just hoard as much as i can until i get some direct lessons and come back to my little treasure pile. ;) thanks all.

Josh Lerner
01-18-2013, 06:52 PM
or this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epfWXEuEgYI - sort of basic "four-legged animal" and i am the control end. demo, not necessary training.



Hi Phi,

I'm going to take issue with that example for the purposes of bringing up a potential pitfall with assessing internal training methods and demonstrations.

The demo is interesting in that it illustrates one of the difficulties in internal training - differentiating what people say or think they are doing and what they are actually doing. Regardless of his level of internal development, what he is doing to move his uke requires no particular internal skill (if we are defining it as jin or ground force or some aspect of being able to use the ground and the entire body to transmit force), or perhaps minimal internal skill. When they grab his wrists, and he demonstrates how to move them using his body, what he is doing is a small movement of his own forearm (like you would do in suwariwaza kokyu-ho) to change the angle of their wrist so that it is physically impossible for them to be able to apply an effective force with their grip. Because they are trying to still hold on with strength, they have to disengage their shoulders (raising them) to try to maintain an angle with their arm that allows them to keep their grip. Disengaging the muscles that keep the shoulder blade down effectively nullifies your ability to transmit force between your arms and torso (unless, I suppose, you are freakishly flexible and strong). Coupled with the fact that the situation (demo being done by a shihan) calls for them to keep on trying to hold on no matter what, they have no choice but to be moved around.

I'm saying nothing about his actual level of skill, as I've never met him. I'm just saying that even if he is fantastically skilled, what he is demonstrating is not what he says he is demonstrating, and that what he is demonstrating does not require the use of the whole body as he says. He does say how you have to get their shoulder high but doesn't seem to connect that with "using your whole body". You achieve that by the small forearm movement coupled with your partner's agreement not to let their grip be broken.

Having said all that, if you actually have internal skill, the trick is probably easier to do, but it is not required. The "four-legged animal that you are in control of" skill would also be helpful, but again, not required if your partner a) can't apply an effective force due to the awkward angle of their wrist and shoulder, and b) is agreeing not to let go.

And of course the difficulty is this - does he know that what he is demonstrating is actually not what he says he is demonstrating?

Josh

Michael Varin
01-18-2013, 09:20 PM
Great point, Josh.

I do this sort of thing all the time. I have had it done to me. Using multiple uke always gets smiles and head shaking, but I don't think this is anything special. As uke, I have never once felt that I couldn't let go. As nage, I have never felt that my uke could not possibly let go. I don't want to comment on any level of "IP/IT/IS" that I have, because I don't really understand what that is, and, besides, I am quite sure it is deficient. I have been to only one of Ikeda's seminars, and no disrespect, but I did not feel that he offered anything that was particularly special.

phitruong
01-18-2013, 09:57 PM
And of course the difficulty is this - does he know that what he is demonstrating is actually not what he says he is demonstrating?

Josh

alot of stuffs happened inside, so if folks just looked at the outer appearance, they would imitate the wrong things. I was on the receiving end of that sort of demonstration before. before the arms moved, he did the SJT #1 (sink the qi) then aikiage with his dantien/hara, then all the arm movements. folks observed would think that it was his arm rotations that made uke's shoulders did the crunching thingy. that wasn't the ki.

last year, Ikeda sensei was focus on the attack side in one session. he would reach out with both of his hands, grab my gi lapels, and yanked me forward and then pulled me straight down to me knees. that was what everyone at the seminar saw, because i looked around and everyone was doing it that way. Ikeda sensei did that to me three times. what folks didn't know was how i felt. it was as though someone reached inside my guts, almost like a punch from the inside out, pull me up, forward, then my guts drilled straight down into the floor. there were no yanking, jerking, pulling feeling from the lapels of my gi. I asked him to slow down on the fourth and fifth times. he did at 1/3 speed. i cracked up laughing. he smiled and walked on. i now knew how he did it. part of the answer i got from training with Howie Popkin. what you see is not what is.

if i haven't been exposed to IP/IS stuffs and worked on it for awhile to change my body, i wouldn't have felt what he did. most folks can't feel it. it is what it is.

phitruong
01-18-2013, 09:58 PM
What could?

please see my answer to Josh.

hughrbeyer
01-18-2013, 10:02 PM
Jun asked for a little more detail about what I was describing above rather than just a reference to it. Let me see what I can do.

I was on the mat with Imaizumi Sensei most recently. He showed a sort of morote-tori kokyu nage where nage responds with a tenkan and then (assuming uke grabbed the right wrist) a horizontal clockwise movement of the hand ending by sending uke outside, to nage's right. The hard parts were, how to keep connection throughout the clockwise movement and how to send uke off to the right without forcing the movement.

My partner and I struggled with this. Every time my partner tried, at the last part of the movement I just let go--not because I was trying to be a jerk, but because it was so obviously unnecessary to hold on. I'm not sure what I was doing, but it wasn't working any better. So I got Imaizumi Sensei to throw me and it was essentially magic--no force on the contact point, no opportunity for me to regain balance, and on the final throw no force into the point of contact and therefore no reason or opportunity for me to let go--and yet I was irresistibly taken off balance and thrown.

So my partner and I get back together and we're still struggling because what was that, anyway? And then it clicks--Imaizumi is not putting pressure on the point of contact (the wrist grab). In the concepts that Dan teaches, he's using elbow power (ki out the elbow, not along the line of contact). He's using yin/yang at the point of contact (as much as he's coming in on one side, he's taking back on the other so that the point remains neutral). He's using 5+5=10 (as much intent on one side of the point of contact as the other) and then rebalancing (7+3=10) to lead uke offline and into the throw. Once I started applying those concepts, the throw started to work.

Now, I have no idea if Imaizumi formulates what he's doing to himself at all like that. But those concepts, which I got from Dan, helped me to make sense of the throw in a way that my partner, one of his students, recognized as being closer to the mark.

BUT--to bring this back to the topic of the thread--a video wouldn't show any of that. You'd see me taking the fall for Imaizumi and not for my partner and say it must be Shihan syndrome.

I'd say the same thing about the Ikeda video, BTW. When people try to do what Josh describes, they put force on the thumb or little finger and letting go is easy--desirable, even. My sensei can do this to me when I'm attacking open palm, so all he has to work with is my pressure into his center. It's not about angles and leverage. But you can't prove that with a video.

asiawide
01-18-2013, 10:39 PM
Buy the first dvd from Aunkai (or the new one from BAB Japan)
There are some basic exercises. Try to pick some of them like Shiko
and do them frequently. 3 or 4 times a week and 10 mins a day is
enough. Keep this for some months. When you come back to dojo,
you should have feel something different or others will tell you you feel
different. If you have the confidience the direction you are going to,
then inveset some money and time for teachers who are very open
to public like Akuzawa sensei. One caution is don't go low too much.
My 20won~

Jaemin

Marc Abrams
01-19-2013, 08:34 AM
Jun asked for a little more detail about what I was describing above rather than just a reference to it. Let me see what I can do.

I was on the mat with Imaizumi Sensei most recently. He showed a sort of morote-tori kokyu nage where nage responds with a tenkan and then (assuming uke grabbed the right wrist) a horizontal clockwise movement of the hand ending by sending uke outside, to nage's right. The hard parts were, how to keep connection throughout the clockwise movement and how to send uke off to the right without forcing the movement.

My partner and I struggled with this. Every time my partner tried, at the last part of the movement I just let go--not because I was trying to be a jerk, but because it was so obviously unnecessary to hold on. I'm not sure what I was doing, but it wasn't working any better. So I got Imaizumi Sensei to throw me and it was essentially magic--no force on the contact point, no opportunity for me to regain balance, and on the final throw no force into the point of contact and therefore no reason or opportunity for me to let go--and yet I was irresistibly taken off balance and thrown.

So my partner and I get back together and we're still struggling because what was that, anyway? And then it clicks--Imaizumi is not putting pressure on the point of contact (the wrist grab). In the concepts that Dan teaches, he's using elbow power (ki out the elbow, not along the line of contact). He's using yin/yang at the point of contact (as much as he's coming in on one side, he's taking back on the other so that the point remains neutral). He's using 5+5=10 (as much intent on one side of the point of contact as the other) and then rebalancing (7+3=10) to lead uke offline and into the throw. Once I started applying those concepts, the throw started to work.

Now, I have no idea if Imaizumi formulates what he's doing to himself at all like that. But those concepts, which I got from Dan, helped me to make sense of the throw in a way that my partner, one of his students, recognized as being closer to the mark.

BUT--to bring this back to the topic of the thread--a video wouldn't show any of that. You'd see me taking the fall for Imaizumi and not for my partner and say it must be Shihan syndrome.

I'd say the same thing about the Ikeda video, BTW. When people try to do what Josh describes, they put force on the thumb or little finger and letting go is easy--desirable, even. My sensei can do this to me when I'm attacking open palm, so all he has to work with is my pressure into his center. It's not about angles and leverage. But you can't prove that with a video.

Hugh:

:D :D :D

He's been hidden in plain sight in NYC for quite some time now....

Marc

Matt Fisher
01-19-2013, 01:46 PM
And of course the difficulty is this - does he know that what he is demonstrating is actually not what he says he is demonstrating?

Josh

Josh and others,

Two quick thoughts as I watched the video clip and read the posts in this thread...
1) Judging from Ikeda Sensei's appearance in the video (I've been going to his seminars for 20+ years), I would say that the event filmed was not recent but a number of years ago, quite possibly before 2005/2006. That is important because Ikeda Sensei didn't encounter Ushiro Sensei until 2005, and he has commented several times that meeting Ushiro Sensei and participating in his classes gave him a new language/conceptual framework for what he was working on in his own aikido.

2) My own observation of Ikeda Sensei's teaching over the time I have known him is that his use of language changes as he keeps exploring a theme for a period of several years. So what he says during a seminar now is different and often clearer/closer to the mark than what he was saying back in 2007 or 2008 when his seminars underwent a significant shift to the IS/IP perspective.

So the answer to your question and others related to it may lie, in part, in placing this particular video clip in the context of when it was filmed.

My $0.02, for what they are worth...

Matt

Josh Lerner
01-19-2013, 02:35 PM
In the spirit of trying to make my point as clear as I can about a topic that provokes massive amounts of heated debate and defensiveness on both sides, I'll repeat my points so as to avoid as many misunderstandings as is humanly possible.

The qualifiers -

1. I've drunk the internal Kool-Aide, I've experienced it from Dan, Mike, Ark, and many others, I practice it, I'm with you guys. This isn't an attack on any internal training premise or training method.

2. I'm not talking about Ikeda's abilities at all. Although I've never met him, I have no doubt that he is skilled in the way that people say he is.

3. What he is demonstrating is easier to do and more effective if you also have even a small amount of internal connection and "listening" ability.

4. I'm saying that what he is demonstrating is a different principle than the "whole body" principle he is describing, and that this is an important issue if you are using demonstrations to illustrate points.

My understanding of what Ikeda is saying is that if you don't use the whole body, it's very difficult to move someone if they are resisting you, but if you use your whole body, they will move easily. Adding a second uke seems to strengthen the point, because two ukes holding you down is in theory twice as much force as you have to deal with, so you would need to be able to generate twice as much force compared to working with just one uke.

So, my reading of what he is saying in simple terms:

Not using whole body = weak, can't move someone around.

Using whole body = strong, can easily handle or generate twice as much force, in the form of twice as many people.

IMPORTANT POINT: If that is not, in fact, what he is trying to demonstrate, then my point is moot and none of what follows is relevant.

My problem with the demonstration and explanation is that once you have disengaged the uke's shoulder like he does, they can no longer effectively apply any resistance and bring their body weight to bear on the wrist they are grabbing, which means that when you move them around it requires no particular strength or "whole body" usage on your part. Again, it helps if you do, but is not really required. I've had it done to me effectively by people who had little internal skill, and I did it long before I ever got into internal training.

Getting the connection through the wrist up into the shoulder is the key, and it is a distinct skill to be able to feel the pathway that allows you to unlock their shoulder, but it is a different thing than engaging whole body power and has only a minor connection to the amount of force you can absorb or generate through your body. And once you've unlocked the shoulder, it is easy to move them around.

Demonstrating with two people grabbing you is a demonstration of the fact that the force they are trying to apply is meaningless if they can't effectively apply it. It is not a meaningful demonstration of how whole body power allows you to be much stronger. It's like the demos that people love to do where you have a line of a dozen people pushing on you; all you have to do is deal with the first one, and then none of the force from the other dozen people matter. What it *looks*like is that you are magically able to deal with twelve times as much force, when it is really a demonstration of how easily your assumptions about what is going on will mislead you.

alot of stuffs happened inside, so if folks just looked at the outer appearance, they would imitate the wrong things. I was on the receiving end of that sort of demonstration before. before the arms moved, he did the SJT #1 (sink the qi) then aikiage with his dantien/hara, then all the arm movements. folks observed would think that it was his arm rotations that made uke's shoulders did the crunching thingy.

If the outer appearance is so misleading, though, why demonstrate that way? That would seem to be a very ineffective way of teaching, unless you are also acknowledging that point and explaining why the appearance is misleading. Although if that was just a public demonstration for the purpose of promoting the art or the teacher it is slightly more understandable. But it is an important point, especially when you are trying to teach a very subtle or difficult skill.



So my partner and I get back together and we're still struggling because what was that, anyway? And then it clicks--Imaizumi is not putting pressure on the point of contact (the wrist grab). In the concepts that Dan teaches, he's using elbow power (ki out the elbow, not along the line of contact). He's using yin/yang at the point of contact (as much as he's coming in on one side, he's taking back on the other so that the point remains neutral). He's using 5+5=10 (as much intent on one side of the point of contact as the other) and then rebalancing (7+3=10) to lead uke offline and into the throw. Once I started applying those concepts, the throw started to work.



Exactly. And let's assume that what Ikeda is doing is something similar. Or maybe he is doing the trick that I learned decades ago from my first aikido instructor where you let someone grab you and you offer them some very brief, slight resistance, then relax and note where their grab naturally pushes you, and you keep following that line and redirect it where you want it to go. That one is a trick that you can't see being done and you can't really notice it being done to you either, unless you are looking for it (and even then it can be hard to detect), and it feels like you are magically being forced to follow the nage. None of that has anything to do with "whole body power", which seems to be the skill he is demonstrating based on what he says. So you could also rephrase what Phi was saying and instead say "If folks just listened to what the instructor is saying, they would imitate the wrong things."

Peter Goldsbury
01-19-2013, 06:51 PM
The demo is interesting in that it illustrates one of the difficulties in internal training - differentiating what people say or think they are doing and what they are actually doing. Regardless of his level of internal development, what he is doing to move his uke requires no particular internal skill (if we are defining it as jin or ground force or some aspect of being able to use the ground and the entire body to transmit force), or perhaps minimal internal skill. When they grab his wrists, and he demonstrates how to move them using his body, what he is doing is a small movement of his own forearm (like you would do in suwariwaza kokyu-ho) to change the angle of their wrist so that it is physically impossible for them to be able to apply an effective force with their grip. Because they are trying to still hold on with strength, they have to disengage their shoulders (raising them) to try to maintain an angle with their arm that allows them to keep their grip. Disengaging the muscles that keep the shoulder blade down effectively nullifies your ability to transmit force between your arms and torso (unless, I suppose, you are freakishly flexible and strong). Coupled with the fact that the situation (demo being done by a shihan) calls for them to keep on trying to hold on no matter what, they have no choice but to be moved around.

I'm saying nothing about his actual level of skill, as I've never met him. I'm just saying that even if he is fantastically skilled, what he is demonstrating is not what he says he is demonstrating, and that what he is demonstrating does not require the use of the whole body as he says. He does say how you have to get their shoulder high but doesn't seem to connect that with "using your whole body". You achieve that by the small forearm movement coupled with your partner's agreement not to let their grip be broken.

Having said all that, if you actually have internal skill, the trick is probably easier to do, but it is not required. The "four-legged animal that you are in control of" skill would also be helpful, but again, not required if your partner a) can't apply an effective force due to the awkward angle of their wrist and shoulder, and b) is agreeing not to let go.

And of course the difficulty is this - does he know that what he is demonstrating is actually not what he says he is demonstrating?

Josh

I would like to take the discussion one step further and separate the matter of what is being demonstrated from the description of what is being demonstrated. You can imagine Mr Ikeda simply demonstrating what he is doing with no commentary, but it would still not necessarily be a demonstration of IP. My point is that even if you take away the commentary, you are still left with the problem of the gap between what people think they are doing and what they are actually doing and this would apply to others besides Mr Ikeda. It might apply to Morihei Ueshiba, for example.

Best wishes,

Josh Lerner
01-19-2013, 08:08 PM
Josh and others,

Two quick thoughts as I watched the video clip and read the posts in this thread...
1) Judging from Ikeda Sensei's appearance in the video (I've been going to his seminars for 20+ years), I would say that the event filmed was not recent but a number of years ago, quite possibly before 2005/2006. That is important because Ikeda Sensei didn't encounter Ushiro Sensei until 2005, and he has commented several times that meeting Ushiro Sensei and participating in his classes gave him a new language/conceptual framework for what he was working on in his own aikido.

2) My own observation of Ikeda Sensei's teaching over the time I have known him is that his use of language changes as he keeps exploring a theme for a period of several years. So what he says during a seminar now is different and often clearer/closer to the mark than what he was saying back in 2007 or 2008 when his seminars underwent a significant shift to the IS/IP perspective.

So the answer to your question and others related to it may lie, in part, in placing this particular video clip in the context of when it was filmed.

My $0.02, for what they are worth...

Matt

Hi Matt,

Excellent points, and to take them further, I've been contacted via PM by someone who wishes to remain anonymous but who was at that particular seminar, which was in 2000. They have given me permission to paraphrase their PM to use in this post.

The theme of the seminar was, in fact, how to change the angle at the point of contact to weaken the uke's upper body by either rotating (i.e. supinating and pronating) your forearm or by bending your elbow to disengage their shoulder. The point of this particular clip, from what they remember, was to then use that tactic (which was explicitly practiced right before the clip takes place) to move uke, using the whole body.

So this is now an even better illustration of the dangers of using out-of-context video clips; even though I was correct in my technical analysis of what he was physically doing, I was wrong about what he was trying to get across because I heard "use your whole body" in isolation from everything that went on for hours or days leading up to that moment, so both Phi and I misunderstood what point he was trying to make.

Dr. Goldsbury,

Also excellent points, but that is opening up a can of worms that probably deserves its own topic. Or its own dissertation. Thanks for adding to the thread.

Josh

phitruong
01-19-2013, 09:47 PM
1. I've drunk the internal Kool-Aide, I've experienced it from Dan, Mike, Ark, and many others, I practice it, I'm with you guys. This isn't an attack on any internal training premise or training method.


I didn't thought you were attacking, but just stating valid view points.

So you could also rephrase what Phi was saying and instead say "If folks just listened to what the instructor is saying, they would imitate the wrong things."

it worst than that. folks have to use all three senses: seeing the action, hearing the discription of the actions, and feeling the action. even that is still not enough. it's a miracle that anyone got the stuffs from Ueshiba at all. he could have told them about recipe for miso soup for all we know. :)

phitruong
01-19-2013, 09:53 PM
So this is now an even better illustration of the dangers of using out-of-context video clips; even though I was correct in my technical analysis of what he was physically doing, I was wrong about what he was trying to get across because I heard "use your whole body" in isolation from everything that went on for hours or days leading up to that moment, so both Phi and I misunderstood what point he was trying to make.

Josh

good info Josh. i ran into that particular demonstration a few years ago, so my frame of reference was different when i looked at the demo. my timing was off.

Matt Fisher
01-19-2013, 10:29 PM
I've been contacted via PM by someone who wishes to remain anonymous but who was at that particular seminar, which was in 2000. They have given me permission to paraphrase their PM to use in this post.

The theme of the seminar was, in fact, how to change the angle at the point of contact to weaken the uke's upper body by either rotating (i.e. supinating and pronating) your forearm or by bending your elbow to disengage their shoulder.

(SNIP)

Josh

Josh,

Thank you for the additional comment. The information you provide fits well with my memories of what Ikeda Sensei was teaching at that time...your sentence "how to change the angle at the point of contact to weaken uke's upper body" is something I remember Ikeda Sensei talking about a LOT in those years.

Your cautionary words about watching video clips out of context make perfect sense to me.

Regards,

Matt

Mert Gambito
01-20-2013, 03:55 AM
easily accessible videos of Internal Training in Aikido . . . that can help illuminate the path for those of us who don't really have the opportunity to have direct contact with this type of work at this time . . .

My understanding is that Bill Gleason will be visiting Australia on a regular or semi-regular basis (at least once a year) going forward. Here's the link to the webpage discussing an upcoming gasshuku featuring Bill in Canberra: http://www.aikidoutas.org.au/.

Bill is well acquainted with Dan Harden's training model, and one or more of the Australian folks who've trained with Dan may be at the gasshuku as well.

As for IP/IS training videos, feel free to check out what's been offered up (there are a few short videos of Bill on YouTube that touch on some aspects of IP/IS body skills). Just be prepared to have to unlearn then relearn many if not all key aspects of a given method, if/when you meet a qualified teacher of that method.

hughrbeyer
01-20-2013, 08:19 PM
Actually, Gleason Sensei and Dan will be teaching together in Hawaii, then Gleason is going on to Oz.

There are a few videos of Sensei on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/shobuaikidoofboston -- they're a year old, but good partial summary of how Sensei was building IP in to his Aikido at that time.

The trouble, of course, is that the train never stops moving...

Alex Megann
01-21-2013, 07:02 AM
I would like to take the discussion one step further and separate the matter of what is being demonstrated from the description of what is being demonstrated. You can imagine Mr Ikeda simply demonstrating what he is doing with no commentary, but it would still not necessarily be a demonstration of IP. My point is that even if you take away the commentary, you are still left with the problem of the gap between what people think they are doing and what they are actually doing and this would apply to others besides Mr Ikeda. It might apply to Morihei Ueshiba, for example.
Best wishes,

Hi Peter,

I think this applies particularly to one old teacher of yours: Kanetsuka Sensei. I believe he has a high level of this kind of skill himself, but - will all due respect to him - I think he struggles constantly to explain what he is doing: he uses a whole arsenal of metaphors, as well as many explanations in terms of physics (for which I feel I am a perpetual disappointment to him in my failure to clarify them), but the class is often more confused than edified.

I remarked to him a year or so ago that he never explains to us what precisely he is doing to his uke, and his only partially helpful reply was something along the lines of "tori and uke are one, so uke moves". He has also said things like "I swallow my partner into my hara, and then sick him out again" and "cut your partner down to his knees then back up again", but these are again hints, rather than concrete instructions. I am starting to understand a little of this kind of imagery, but all the same I often wish he would tell us what he feels in his uke's body when he moves (perhaps in the way that Ikeda Sensei says "find partner's tailbone").

Feeling his aikido in person tends to be a completely different experience from listening to him teach (and to some extent from watching him demonstrate): trying to work out from this limited exposure what he is doing - and also what he is not doing - is fascinating and frustrating in equal measures. As Phi says, the experience of holding a teacher's arm can give an altogether different impression than watching someone else do it.

What he has been saying in recent years, which I am taking more and more seriously, is that his aikido is based on just a few solo exercises: torifune, furitama, qigong-style arm-swinging, as well as the makko-ho stretches. He also used to practise a sequence of suburi (either with a bokken or shinai, or empty-handed) from seize, kiza, sonkyo and kibadachi stances. Nevertheless, he still teaches even these exercises mainly in the old style of demonstration and repetition, with little in the way of explanation of body structure and alignment. He often cites the model of "stealing" the art from a teacher: he admits that he is only just understanding in recent years some things he watched his own teacher do forty or fifty years ago, and perhaps he is expecting us to absorb these things almost passively and then process them unconsciously in the same way.

Alluding back to the subject of this thread, he has released teaching videos over the years which are very useful in learning the form of his aikido, but these are purely formal demonstrations of technique with no explanations at all.

Alex

Robert Cowham
01-21-2013, 01:52 PM
I think this applies particularly to one old teacher of yours: Kanetsuka Sensei. I believe he has a high level of this kind of skill himself, but - will all due respect to him - I think he struggles constantly to explain what he is doing: he uses a whole arsenal of metaphors, as well as many explanations in terms of physics (for which I feel I am a perpetual disappointment to him in my failure to clarify them), but the class is often more confused than edified.

It's been quite a while since I last had a class with Kanetsuka sensei - maybe I should have another look!

It's a classic problem and one that all teachers fall in to: doing one thing and explaining something else - and (most of the time!) without meaning to. I try to listen to explanations as well as watch and feel, but pretty much always give precedence to what I see and feel!

There are advantages of learning from senior westerners for example (if you are western yourself of course) - they can explain things differently which might help with common culture/language etc - at least there are fewer barriers for transmission. This assumes they have properly understood things of course but I believe there are increasing numbers who have, or at least have very significant knowledge.

hughrbeyer
01-21-2013, 07:43 PM
It's a classic problem and one that all teachers fall in to: doing one thing and explaining something else - and (most of the time!) without meaning to. I try to listen to explanations as well as watch and feel, but pretty much always give precedence to what I see and feel!

Excuse me, but this set off my bull meter. Really? All (even "most") teachers can't explain what they do?

I've known teachers who don't. But those who are good, and try, but can't?

Never met one.

(Edit: Well, there is the discussion of Ikeda Sensei upthread. But he's explaining what he's doing with the vocabulary he has available. He's not doing one thing and saying another.)

osaya
01-22-2013, 04:35 AM
My understanding is that Bill Gleason will be visiting Australia on a regular or semi-regular basis (at least once a year) going forward. Here's the link to the webpage discussing an upcoming gasshuku featuring Bill in Canberra: http://www.aikidoutas.org.au/.

Thanks Mert! That gasshuku is definitely on my radar. :)

Actually, Gleason Sensei and Dan will be teaching together in Hawaii, then Gleason is going on to Oz.

There are a few videos of Sensei on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/shobuaikidoofboston -- they're a year old, but good partial summary of how Sensei was building IP in to his Aikido at that time.

The trouble, of course, is that the train never stops moving...

awesome resource. that's what i'm talking about. thanks Hugh!

Robert Cowham
01-22-2013, 05:48 PM
Excuse me, but this set off my bull meter. Really? All (even "most") teachers can't explain what they do?

I've known teachers who don't. But those who are good, and try, but can't?

Never met one.

(Edit: Well, there is the discussion of Ikeda Sensei upthread. But he's explaining what he's doing with the vocabulary he has available. He's not doing one thing and saying another.)

I should clarify that I didn't mean that good teachers *always* fail to explain well what they are doing, but that they *sometimes* explain something different to what they are actually doing, without necessarily realising it.

In my experience this occurs sufficiently often that it is worth pointing out (could it even be "all teachers some of the time, some teachers ... - maybe an exaggeration!). Or maybe it is all my fault in that I understand something different about what and how they are doing something than what they explain.

Learning by observation and feeling is a very useful skill which ought perhaps to be more prized than it is. Having said that, I also value very highly some explanations, and have found that I can learn much more sometimes from teacher X who is (in aikido terms) lower ranked and perhaps less skilled than teacher Y, because teacher X explains in a way that makes sense to me, whereas teacher Y has to overcome perhaps a language and cultural barrier. I agree with George Ledyard that there are some truly excellent western teachers who have great understanding and can explain things really well, have a great track record of teaching, and yet aren't valued as highly as they should be (as evidenced by attendance at their seminars for example).

Does that make sense? If it's still all bull, then maybe just check my surname and consider it hereditary ;)

hughrbeyer
01-22-2013, 10:31 PM
Huh. I have to say, my experience is more that the teacher says "X! Do X!" and then months later I realize, "Damn! It works if I just do X! Why didn't anyone tell me that?"

Alex Megann
01-23-2013, 06:16 AM
Huh. I have to say, my experience is more that the teacher says "X! Do X!" and then months later I realize, "Damn! It works if I just do X! Why didn't anyone tell me that?"

I think this is very true, but unless you are some kind of prodigy it takes a lot of training before you can "just do X". For instance, when Ikeda Sensei says "move partner's tailbone", most people in the class think "what the hell?", but I am just getting to a stage where I kind of understand what this involves - not that I can do it reliably with an arbitrary partner.

In the same way, Kanetsuka Sensei has said "cut partner's knees": I am now getting an inkling of how this is even possible when the partner is holding you by the arm. When he does shihonage on me I can feel that he is doing just this - with anyone else, my arm starts to move first, but with him my feet move first. In this case I can now see that the best way to accomplish this is simply to "cut partner's knees".

I think this is similar to Michelangelo's famous statement about starting with a block of marble and being able to see the horse inside it that he will eventually carve, and then chipping away "everything that is not horse".

Alex

Erick Mead
01-23-2013, 10:18 AM
My point is that even if you take away the commentary, you are still left with the problem of the gap between what people think they are doing and what they are actually doing and this would apply to others besides Mr Ikeda. It might apply to Morihei Ueshiba, for example. It might. In fact it almost certainly does -- for the same reasons -- and the present efforts are not at all immune to the same problem.

A tangible lexicon for Internal Training, particularly for Western students, is only very recent, as in the past 10 years or so, largely thanks to a very small handful of individuals who have labored to create a comprehensive and transmittable language that is directly connected to physical training. .. and as such -- is subject to the exact SAME forms of error in idiosyncratic perception and choice of verbal analogies (however systematic) that plagued Ueshiba, Tohei, Saito, Abe, and as noted, Ikeda as well. And this is true regardless of its success in relating the demonstrated skill -- ONCE DEMONSTRATED. It provides no guide to observe --indpendently -- the results of a properly objective and empirical concept -- which, if properly conceived should be observable, in any setting, by anyone -- subject only to their conceptual grasp and ability to observe critically.

The sayings and written teachings themselves are usually deeply couched in poetic, metaphoric language that is impossible to decipher without a guide who is willing to do so. Hence, all of the misunderstandings that have arisen from the doka and other sources of wisdom whose meanings have remained, until recently, largely hidden. .. and this latest effort -- though divorced from poetic and mythic image -- is no less simply an attempt to find other forms of analogous images for descriptive purposes : e.g. --

"Do <this> [applying action]."
"<This> is [insert descriptive <name of action>]."
"<Name of action> is [insert <analogy> here.]"

In other words, whether we are using loose mythological concrete images or loosely analogized mechanical images -- it is and will remain simply a system of labels for a demonstrated action. Ueshiba's was such, and so far as is disclosed by those pursuing the current endeavor -- it is not different except in their preferred basis for analogies in choosing their labels.

It is not a conceptual system tied to empirically objective mechanics, bio-mechanics or anatomy. Only working out the empirically correct ties to objectively understood mechanisms and anatomical statics and dynamics will put the subject on truly different and less arbitrary footing.

Why would one choose any other "lexicon" than a proven successful lexicon of physical and mechanical concepts worked out over the last 500 years. Biomechanics is younger -- but hardly less empirical at this point. The Chinese and Japanese have followed us in applying this kind of knowladge in every other field of physical endeavor -- why are we -- in our efforts -- so devoted to conceptual approaches that the originators of these applied physical arts have systematically abandoned in every other ?

There has been resistance to this effort to define more rigorously the correct conceptual framework -- though why, I cannot imagine. Many seem to actively deny the usefulness of a conceptual understanding as though it is irrelevant -- even though their own choices of language in analogy imply conceptual frameworks -- rightly or wrongly.

It seems to me better that we should proceed much more explicitly, objectively and correctly -- rather than implicitly and -- as the history on point shows -- ultimately, unknowingly, when the labels and actions become dissociated -- as they regularly have been.

Dave de Vos
01-25-2013, 12:55 AM
There are a few videos of Sensei[Bill Gleason] on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/shobuaikidoofboston

Here is a recent one and a very nice one too!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2knQQMFeZw

asiawide
01-25-2013, 02:22 AM
Here is a recent one and a very nice one too!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2knQQMFeZw

My impression is that modern aikido is built on top of many work arounds. Don't know why but such know-hows help techniques work easier and better. Please see this. At the end of the video, the teacher says

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-zyIQFivYA

1. just turning this.... (this helps.. but what about not turning at all?)
2. only use the weight of arm.... (what if add body weight?)
3. put it on top of him.... (only weight of arm? or ??)

It's not so hard to put nage's weight on top of uke through arms. You can instantly feel like uke is standing on the air regardless of how hard he grabs nage. Untrained uke can't resist it. But if the uke do some solo exercises, it's damn hard to do.