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mathewjgano
10-06-2013, 03:09 PM
One thing that keeps coming to my mind when I read about intent in "6 directions" (i.e. all directions, right?) is zanshin. Do zanshin and 6-directional intent directly relate? What might that Venn Diagram look like (apart from "a pair of circles" of course :D)? If they relate, what are some of the physical differences you exhibit between having good zanshin and bad zanshin?
Whatever the case regarding zanshin may be, what are you doing to engage 6 direction intent? What is your understanding of it?

Rupert Atkinson
10-06-2013, 04:56 PM
In terms of left,right, front, back, up and down - I have always thought of it as the x, y, and z axes in 3D. And my way of analyzing stuff - well, for movement I like to think in 8 directions. So, when cutting with a sword, I like 8. But sometimes, 12, like a clock - because I want to be able to attack and defend from all directions, and you can only do that if you practice it. I think you can do whatever you like, as long as you do something. But for balance and body structure, both of the self and of your partner/opponent I think 6 is fine as it is just - logical.

I can't see how it is directly related to zanshin though. You do need to be aware/awake/alive, of course, always.

Cady Goldfield
10-06-2013, 06:04 PM
Matt,
It's more the wordless willfulness that precedes any action. When you reach for the cup of coffee, it's intent that initiates and drives the event, from the time you desire a sip of coffee, to the moment the cup is at your lips. Desire fires intent, intent initiates and effects action.

When we work the 6 directions we are also using that process to simultaneously push out and draw in, in all directions (6 directions really is 360-degrees of 3-dimensional direction -- a sphere, but we use 6 "compass points" to provide some context, especially for beginners).

mathewjgano
10-06-2013, 11:55 PM
Thank you, Rupert and Cady! Very cool!

As for zanshin, I think it was the idea of 360 degrees (omnidirectional/spherical) awareness that caused the association.
...the higher meaning of zanshin, which is a mental aspect maintained before, during, and after an action.
...zanshin is practiced as general awareness of one's surroundings, of which uke is just a small part.
I can see how they wouldn't necessarily be the same things; I'm guessing perhaps zanshin refers more to a mental state than a mind-body state? Being "in the moment" as opposed to being able to absorb and redirect (or whatever) instantly?

Lee Salzman
10-07-2013, 02:30 AM
In terms of left,right, front, back, up and down - I have always thought of it as the x, y, and z axes in 3D. And my way of analyzing stuff - well, for movement I like to think in 8 directions. So, when cutting with a sword, I like 8. But sometimes, 12, like a clock - because I want to be able to attack and defend from all directions, and you can only do that if you practice it. I think you can do whatever you like, as long as you do something. But for balance and body structure, both of the self and of your partner/opponent I think 6 is fine as it is just - logical.

I can't see how it is directly related to zanshin though. You do need to be aware/awake/alive, of course, always.

Just be aware, it's not movement (in space, external) here that's being looked at. Like Cady said, it is intent, that happens solely within the body-mind before any external movement has been involved. And the fact that it is called "6 directions" does not even mean that those are the lines we are actually initially working with, think of it just as a descriptive allusion, i.e. the cross-lines of fascia through the body, motivated with intent, can effect horizontal and vertical stability and are initially more important than any lines that would actually run horizontal on some imaginary 6 direction compass.

Thank you, Rupert and Cady! Very cool!

As for zanshin, I think it was the idea of 360 degrees (omnidirectional/spherical) awareness that caused the association.

I can see how they wouldn't necessarily be the same things; I'm guessing perhaps zanshin refers more to a mental state than a mind-body state? Being "in the moment" as opposed to being able to absorb and redirect (or whatever) instantly?

It is also possible that our understanding of zanshin was backwards all along. Rather, once we learn IP, we learn maybe our zanshin needs to draw more from our IP than our IP from what we may have mistakenly thought was our zanshin. :)

Carl Thompson
10-07-2013, 03:16 AM
Matt,
When you reach for the cup of coffee, it's intent that initiates and drives the event, from the time you desire a sip of coffee, to the moment the cup is at your lips.

FWIW I've heard exactly the same analogy used by a teacher who learned from Osensei.

Rupert Atkinson
10-07-2013, 04:08 AM
Just be aware, it's not movement (in space, external) here that's being looked at. Like Cady said, it is intent, that happens solely within the body-mind before any external movement has been involved. And the fact that it is called "6 directions" does not even mean that those are the lines we are actually initially working with, think of it just as a descriptive allusion, i.e. the cross-lines of fascia through the body, motivated with intent, can effect horizontal and vertical stability and are initially more important than any lines that would actually run horizontal on some imaginary 6 direction compass.


I have always followed the idea that in essence, everything is really quite simple. If something seems difficult, it is simply because you can't see it yet. If people make things complicated, it means either: they do not understand, or, they are trying to complicate things for no reason. Everything should be simple.

Cady Goldfield
10-07-2013, 11:00 AM
FWIW I've heard exactly the same analogy used by a teacher who learned from Osensei.

No surprise there, Carl, though I would have thought the cup would be of tea or sake, not coffee... :)
Desiring something and reaching for it is such a universal thing that almost everyone can relate, which is why it serves as an example of intent, in action.

Cady Goldfield
10-07-2013, 11:28 AM
It is also possible that our understanding of zanshin was backwards all along. Rather, once we learn IP, we learn maybe our zanshin needs to draw more from our IP than our IP from what we may have mistakenly thought was our zanshin. :)

Yep, that's going in the right direction.
Awareness begins -of ourselves- from within ourselves. In other words, when we work "internally," we have to become intensely aware of everything that we are doing "inside," and the effects it has on us. We also have to be aware of our immediate environment as that is what our physical bodies are dealing with - gravity, our spatial relationship to our surroundings, etc.

It's like concentric circles of awareness radiating outward, but starting from within us. The whole process of learning to cultivate IP and aiki heightens our awareness of ourselves and our environment; you can't be a closed vessel. Once we're aware of ourselves, we then work on awareness of and sensitivity toward the opponent and his processes. Then we can learn to use our internal manipulate both the intent and body of another, and even learn to read someone's intentions before they have initiated any actions.

jonreading
10-07-2013, 12:06 PM
I am with Cady and Lee.

From what I've been working on, 6 directions is based on the concept of tensegrity, a structure based upon tension. Bucky balls. The mechanic is resistant to compression or expansion pressure. It also has a natural tendency to distribute percussion through the structure to some extent.

The idea [I think] is to create structural integrity through the imagery/intent of "pulling" your key body points in 6 directions to create tensile pressure. As best as I can tell, in the beginning we use cardinal directions to help the imagery. Advanced imagery does not rely on either axis directions or linear restrictions.

The intent to create a tensile body does not appear to be the same as the consciousness of awareness. I reserve the right to change my opinion. In fact, in the beginning we noticed a distinct lack of awareness when focusing on creating our shapes. We had difficulty feeling if our partner was even pushing, let alone a qualitative sense. This observation indicating that the two are not the same as we could have some level of structure with no awareness, or greater awareness with no structure.

As a point of comment, six directions v. universal presence seems to be one of those "lost in translations" that maybe gave us a bit of mis-direction. I think Chris had a blog/facebook/something on this a while back. From what I remember, six directions is sometimes a reference to a larger imagery... I have several books myself that "being the universe" probably meant , "think six directions" or some such thing. I reserve the right to be wrong. However, given that issue it may not be clear when O Sensei was speaking literally or figuratively, especially if we understand being one with the universe as a comment about zanshin.

Rob Watson
10-07-2013, 12:28 PM
I have always followed the idea that in essence, everything is really quite simple. If something seems difficult, it is simply because you can't see it yet. If people make things complicated, it means either: they do not understand, or, they are trying to complicate things for no reason. Everything should be simple.

Calculus is simple ... unless you don't know algebra, analytic geometry, etc. The complex becomes simple when built on a solid broad foundation. A fine castle is not just a pile of bricks except that it is ... some piles are just a bit more orderly than others.

Rupert Atkinson
10-07-2013, 01:01 PM
Calculus is simple ... unless you don't know algebra, analytic geometry, etc. The complex becomes simple when built on a solid broad foundation. A fine castle is not just a pile of bricks except that it is ... some piles are just a bit more orderly than others.

You are right, of course. I learned calculus too and it was easy because my teacher was good. He showed us how to do it, and we could do it.

Carl Thompson
10-07-2013, 03:17 PM
No surprise there, Carl, though I would have thought the cup would be of tea or sake, not coffee... :)
You got me there... I think I've heard it variously as tea, beer, sake or just as "a drink" (nomimono).

Alfonso
10-08-2013, 12:33 PM
This extensive blog post covers the subject really well. It is fascinating to see how online conversation goes nowhere.

http://mikesigman.blogspot.com/2012/10/silk-reeling-aka-six-harmonies-movement.html

Janet Rosen
10-08-2013, 02:56 PM
The intent to create a tensile body does not appear to be the same as the consciousness of awareness.

Agree they are not the same. I see 6 directions as part of developing/training structure. I see intent as something one can use to alter structure as well as to do other things both inside oneself and in connection with a partner - I explicitly train my beginning Low Impact students in intent and tools for embodying/expressing it but not in 6 directions or tensile body.

Keith Larman
10-08-2013, 03:21 PM
It is fascinating to see how online conversation goes nowhere.

Yeah, that.

I just keep training by myself and hitting seminars. I don't try to explain because frankly while some makes perfect sense to me, most of that "enlightenment" on my part came while having someone push me or move me or adjust me or punch me or . . . None of the significant realizations happened while reading forums or blog posts.

I sat here for a few minutes thinking about this very topic. And realized most anything I would have written would be trite, empty, and probably wrong on some level. So I'm just gonna go work on a few things by myself instead. Much better use of my time.

Not to say these sorts of discussions and blogs aren't helpful, they are, but the things that significantly altered my understandings were all done in person. Shrug.

Chris Li
10-08-2013, 03:32 PM
This extensive blog post covers the subject really well. It is fascinating to see how online conversation goes nowhere.

http://mikesigman.blogspot.com/2012/10/silk-reeling-aka-six-harmonies-movement.html

Mike is talking about 6 harmonies in the above post (also important!), which is not quite the same as six directions.

FWIW, here's a little about 6 directions from Morihei Ueshiba (http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/morihei-ueshiba-budo-kamae/).

Best,

Chris

Alfonso
10-08-2013, 04:41 PM
Mike is talking about 6 harmonies in the above post (also important!), which is not quite the same as six directions.

FWIW, here's a little about 6 directions from Morihei Ueshiba (http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/morihei-ueshiba-budo-kamae/).

Best,

Chris

its somewhere in there , but I get your point. We do it too.

Cady Goldfield
10-08-2013, 05:15 PM
Yeah, that.

I just keep training by myself and hitting seminars. I don't try to explain because frankly while some makes perfect sense to me, most of that "enlightenment" on my part came while having someone push me or move me or adjust me or punch me or . . . None of the significant realizations happened while reading forums or blog posts.

I sat here for a few minutes thinking about this very topic. And realized most anything I would have written would be trite, empty, and probably wrong on some level. So I'm just gonna go work on a few things by myself instead. Much better use of my time.

Not to say these sorts of discussions and blogs aren't helpful, they are, but the things that significantly altered my understandings were all done in person. Shrug.

Well, we don't have to read this forum, or post to it. Yet... we do. :D
I wouldn't say that online discussions go nowhere. In some cases they do provide a bit of clarification. For those of us who train in the discipline, regardless of for how long, these forum discussions have their purposes, particularly when they can answer some questions or compare notes on things we are doing in our training.

Cady Goldfield
10-08-2013, 05:54 PM
its somewhere in there , but I get your point. We do it too.

I suspect that what you are doing is actually quite different from what was being described in Chris's wonderful translation. There is a very specific process going on there which has largely been lost or hidden in most contemporary schools of aikido, and in many formerly internal Chinese martial arts as well!

Alfonso
10-08-2013, 06:09 PM
I have absolutely no idea what you could be possibly talking about.

What I do has never been discussed here. Where could you possibly come up with a suspicion of my training?

truly fascinating

PS - if this is spurred by "we do it too" , I meant that in the typical jokey sense that is much often used in the IP world

thisisnotreal
10-08-2013, 09:08 PM
It is fascinating to see how online conversation goes nowhere.

Hi. I disagree in a way. I feel the real changes are in our lives. In some unexplainable way I feel linkedup with these strangers' and the way they see this multifaceted jewel. Like some insane cosmic class project where for once my partners are not complete leeches! I feel coupled to all who see the jewel gleaming. I am happy to see some old names on my screen, to know they are alive, and kicking, and learning and struggling to grab hold. And to read of their progress and to reflect upon mine.

its somewhere in there , but I get your point. We do it too.
could it be something like the following
-highlighted difference: precise delineation of very specific things. of course they are all coupled, but trying to isolate and i.d. the constituent components
delineate between
six harmonies ==> relationships in silk reeling movement
six directions ==> H.E.M. (heaven earth man, opening the body, tensegrity stuff as above)

----
Off topic; and to anyone who could say:
So roppo=six...Wondering about the name Roppokai. Is it about 6-directions?

regards,

Cady Goldfield
10-08-2013, 09:33 PM
PS - if this is spurred by "we do it too" , I meant that in the typical jokey sense that is much often used in the IP world

That's what did it. "We do it too" always raises a red flag. ;)
Carry on.

Michael Varin
10-09-2013, 02:59 AM
Yep, that's going in the right direction.
Awareness begins -of ourselves- from within ourselves. In other words, when we work "internally," we have to become intensely aware of everything that we are doing "inside," and the effects it has on us. We also have to be aware of our immediate environment as that is what our physical bodies are dealing with - gravity, our spatial relationship to our surroundings, etc.

It's like concentric circles of awareness radiating outward, but starting from within us. The whole process of learning to cultivate IP and aiki heightens our awareness of ourselves and our environment; you can't be a closed vessel. Once we're aware of ourselves, we then work on awareness of and sensitivity toward the opponent and his processes. Then we can learn to use our internal manipulate both the intent and body of another, and even learn to read someone's intentions before they have initiated any actions.

Could it be that after all these years aiki is actually, finally being mentioned in an "IP/IT/IS" thread?! By an "IP/IT/IS" proponent no less!

This is admittedly off topic, but I have never liked the use of terms such as "our internal" as used above. What is it that is being used? It requires further explanation and/or specification, and frankly, it's lazy.

Having said that, Cady, can you do this? Please, describe this skill in more depth. How does it manifest? How do you use it? Why is it important? And . . . whatever else you want to talk about.

RonRagusa
10-09-2013, 07:37 AM
Having said that, Cady, can you do this? Please, describe this skill in more depth. How does it manifest? How do you use it? Why is it important? And . . . whatever else you want to talk about.

Better still, how about a short video clip demonstrating it.

Ron

Cady Goldfield
10-09-2013, 10:13 AM
Could it be that after all these years aiki is actually, finally being mentioned in an "IP/IT/IS" thread?! By an "IP/IT/IS" proponent no less!

This is admittedly off topic, but I have never liked the use of terms such as "our internal" as used above. What is it that is being used? It requires further explanation and/or specification, and frankly, it's lazy.

Having said that, Cady, can you do this? Please, describe this skill in more depth. How does it manifest? How do you use it? Why is it important? And . . . whatever else you want to talk about.

Hi Michael,
First, "our internal" was not the complete phrasing; it was a typo. I'd think it would occur to everyone that "we can use our internal manipulate" is a weird configuration, as probably none of us have ever heard the word "manipulate" used as a noun. :crazy: I was typing rapidly, but my keyboard glitched and the keys didn't connect as I typed "manipulation of structure." By the time I noticed it, the editing time had expired and I figured I'd post something later. Thanks so much for supposing that I'm lazy. I prefer to think that I'm just preoccupied with other things right now.

Second, the "manifestation" is in the heightening of your sensitivity to "listen" with your body to what your opponent or partner is doing with his body. There is no tension in whatever you are using to make a contact point with your opponent. If your muscles are relaxed but not limp while you are maintaining your internal structure, then you will be able to feel even the slightest change or shift in your opponent and you'll be able to tell which way he is going to move. Even if he thinks he isn't shifting weight, changing angles or winding up, if he doesn't have a connected body he will have to shift something in order to move. A "connected" person can feel it. When you thus feel where the gap or weakness is in the opponent's structure, you apply aiki and whatever martial waza is appropriate to the moment.

When we discussed intent, and I mentioned that before intent is desire -- a wordless sense that triggers intent -- often another person can detect this desire-to-intent in another individual, even before the individual himself realizes it. There is a firing chain of "events," and you can feel the cues. Very experienced practitioners can even see those slightest-of-shifts in a person who desires, but whose cognitive mind has not yet realized.

What use is it? It's useful for tactical and strategic martial applications for whatever martial art you practice.

I can physically do this with someone who does not train IP/aiki, and I can "read" what he is going to do when there is at least one point of physical contact. This is not because I'm anything special, but because that's just one of the strengths of IP and aiki compared to the conventional way of moving the body (which represents the bulk of the martial arts training in the world).
Peers with whom I have equal skills, if they have greater body mass than I they will prevail over me IP-wise, but I may be able to read them if I "get there first" with my awareness.
As for those IP/aiki practitioners who are my senior in skill, I would not even pretend to believe that I could trump their skills unless they are distracted or having a bad day. I'll just have to keep on training. :)

Cady Goldfield
10-09-2013, 10:19 AM
Better still, how about a short video clip demonstrating it.

Ron

Hi Ron,
Not sure what you'd expect to see in a clip. Do you ever get to Boston?

Brett Charvat
10-09-2013, 11:22 AM
What I do has never been discussed here. Where could you possibly come up with a suspicion of my training?



-- That is an excellent question.

Cady Goldfield
10-09-2013, 02:44 PM
-- That is an excellent question.

My original comment was just a reaction to the "we do that too," a tiresome red flag which was later explained as having been a joke. I figured out that the poster trains @ ADV, where, IIANM, a certain IP/aiki "special someone" has been coming fairly regularly to teach, hence my encouragement to "carry on." ;)

Hey, I apologize for any misunderstanding and perceived presumptions. Now, could we all lighten up and move along?

RonRagusa
10-09-2013, 04:32 PM
Hi Ron,
Not sure what you'd expect to see in a clip. Do you ever get to Boston?

Actually Cady there's a lot that can be gleaned by just watching someone move. You have on more than one occasion referenced Sam Chin as good source material, so I looked him up on youtube and watched some of his clips. While what he's demonstrating isn't Aikido by any stretch, I can see that his power, stability, balance etc. are generated and maintained via a tight degree of mind/body coordination. That tells me that what we are discussing in the Internal Training in Aikido forum transcends any particular style.

I have also watched clips of Gleason and Ikeda and have experienced what George Ledyard has been working on first hand. Taking what I have seen and felt back to my own study of Aikido, I see many points in common even though the training methodologies may be different.

The highest level Aikido senseis I have had hands on experience with (S. Maruyama, S. Imaizumi and the late K. Toyoda) have all demonstrated what you would call IP/IS to a high degree. I know for a fact that Maruyama never went "outside" Aikido and surmise that Imaizumi and Toyoda both stayed within the fold also (tho' I'm open to correction there).

So while I'm not interested in taking up another art at this stage of my training I am mildly curious to observe what you folks do for exercises if only to see how they relate to what I'm doing within my own art.

Ron

RonRagusa
10-09-2013, 05:07 PM
Too late to edit. That's the late F. Toyoda.

R.

Bernd Lehnen
10-09-2013, 05:14 PM
Actually Cady there's a lot that can be gleaned by just watching someone move.....

The highest level Aikido senseis I have had hands on experience with (S. Maruyama, S. Imaizumi and the late K. Toyoda) have all demonstrated what you would call IP/IS to a high degree. I know for a fact that Maruyama never went "outside" Aikido and surmise that Imaizumi and Toyoda both stayed within the fold also (tho' I'm open to correction there).

Ron

Hi Ron,
If that's so, I feel they must in a way have had surpassed Tohei in this respect or the way you see IP/IS is somehow different from what I think Chris Li has pointed out via his translations. Tohei seemed to me not too different from very good technicians, admittedly very strong and always very relaxed. No "weird" power. Rather the epitome of natural movement....
Can't pin it down in words better and of course I might be wrong.

Best,
Bernd

chillzATL
10-09-2013, 07:26 PM
Hi Ron,
If that's so, I feel they must in a way have had surpassed Tohei in this respect or the way you see IP/IS is somehow different from what I think Chris Li has pointed out via his translations. Tohei seemed to me not too different from very good technicians, admittedly very strong and always very relaxed. No "weird" power. Rather the epitome of natural movement....
Can't pin it down in words better and of course I might be wrong.

Best,
Bernd

Probably best summed up as having pieces of the onion, but not the whole thing.

phitruong
10-09-2013, 07:42 PM
I thought the 6 directions are up, down, away from you, toward you, left hand for beer, right hand for foods. :)

have you ever notice whenever you go shoping with your spouse, doesn't matter which direction you go, it's wrong?!! of course, the external and internal harmonies disturbed. :D

jonreading
10-09-2013, 09:17 PM
Maybe I am reading the intention of some posts wrong. I am hoping we have some unclear humor and this thread is not degrading into a bully IP thing.

As some of the thread drifts towards a validation of what is IP, I think criticizing posters for not publishing "sufficient" information about their understanding of IP is inappropriate. If the comments are a little too dry, let's clarify when we are joking.

There are previous posts on this topic, many posted by IP proponents no longer on this forum. There are current threads containing IP content. Now we need to see videos. Great. Ledyard and Gleason both have DVDs for sale in which they address basic introduction material. Better yet, attend a seminar. You call BS? Visit the man and check yourself. You'll either be right or wrong.

I think right now any discussion on this stuff sits under a cloud of judgment just waiting to find the "a ha" moment which someone will use to discredit IP [in their mind]. It takes a lot a courage to post on this topic. It takes a lot of thinking to articulate on a basic level what is happening. There is no conspiracy to withhold information. This is new and exciting stuff that changes every time I have a conversation with someone. You gonna bust my balls because I don't feel safe enough to publish my personal training notes for you to tear down?

If you don't believe this stuff, God bless you. The beauty of Aikiweb is there are several threads to which we can contribute. But I would much rather foster a community encouraging people working with AIki/IP to express what they are feeling and how they are progressing their understanding of what is going on. You think its BS? Fine, then post back what we do in all the other threads when people talk about the weird s$%t they do, "That sounds interesting. Good luck with your training." I do not enjoy sounding like my mother, but I think 6 directions is incredibly important to aiki and I do not want posters to feel intimidated in sharing what they have picked up...including me.

That sounds interesting. Good luck with your training.

RonRagusa
10-09-2013, 10:11 PM
Hi Ron,
If that's so, I feel they must in a way have had surpassed Tohei in this respect or the way you see IP/IS is somehow different from what I think Chris Li has pointed out via his translations. Tohei seemed to me not too different from very good technicians, admittedly very strong and always very relaxed. No "weird" power. Rather the epitome of natural movement....
Can't pin it down in words better and of course I might be wrong.

Best,
Bernd

I never experienced Tohei first hand Bernd so I cannot voice an opinion regarding his Aikido. I have, however, experienced three of Tohei's most senior students and can attest that they each displayed power that belied their physical statures. I wouldn't call it weird since it simply seemed an outgrowth of their training.

Ron

Michael Varin
10-10-2013, 03:23 AM
Hi Michael,
First, "our internal" was not the complete phrasing; it was a typo. I'd think it would occur to everyone that "we can use our internal manipulate" is a weird configuration, as probably none of us have ever heard the word "manipulate" used as a noun. :crazy: I was typing rapidly, but my keyboard glitched and the keys didn't connect as I typed "manipulation of structure." By the time I noticed it, the editing time had expired and I figured I'd post something later. Thanks so much for supposing that I'm lazy. I prefer to think that I'm just preoccupied with other things right now.

Cady,

Often times, like many of us, I need to watch how I come across in writing. The lazy wasn't directed at you specifically; I've frequently seen people refer to "internal" and "internals" and I have never liked it.

I actually have really appreciated your posts of late. I feel like you are being very forthcoming about your practice.

I'm interested in further discussing some things that were raised in our posts. Personally, I believe they are critical, and for some reason they seem to get avoided. But I think I'm going to take it to another thread, because it really is getting outside the scope of six directions.

Michael Varin
10-10-2013, 03:34 AM
Maybe I am reading the intention of some posts wrong. I am hoping we have some unclear humor and this thread is not degrading into a bully IP thing.

As some of the thread drifts towards a validation of what is IP, I think criticizing posters for not publishing "sufficient" information about their understanding of IP is inappropriate. If the comments are a little too dry, let's clarify when we are joking.

There are previous posts on this topic, many posted by IP proponents no longer on this forum. There are current threads containing IP content. Now we need to see videos. Great. Ledyard and Gleason both have DVDs for sale in which they address basic introduction material. Better yet, attend a seminar. You call BS? Visit the man and check yourself. You'll either be right or wrong.

I think right now any discussion on this stuff sits under a cloud of judgment just waiting to find the "a ha" moment which someone will use to discredit IP [in their mind]. It takes a lot a courage to post on this topic. It takes a lot of thinking to articulate on a basic level what is happening. There is no conspiracy to withhold information. This is new and exciting stuff that changes every time I have a conversation with someone. You gonna bust my balls because I don't feel safe enough to publish my personal training notes for you to tear down?

If you don't believe this stuff, God bless you. The beauty of Aikiweb is there are several threads to which we can contribute. But I would much rather foster a community encouraging people working with AIki/IP to express what they are feeling and how they are progressing their understanding of what is going on. You think its BS? Fine, then post back what we do in all the other threads when people talk about the weird s$%t they do, "That sounds interesting. Good luck with your training." I do not enjoy sounding like my mother, but I think 6 directions is incredibly important to aiki and I do not want posters to feel intimidated in sharing what they have picked up...including me.

That sounds interesting. Good luck with your training.

I don't want to harp on it, but this post should be directed as much to the proponents of "IP/IT/IS" as it should be to its supposed detractors.

jonreading
10-10-2013, 08:35 AM
I don't want to harp on it, but this post should be directed as much to the proponents of "IP/IT/IS" as it should be to its supposed detractors.

Michael, yes, I think as a general comment Aiki/IP tends to touch upon belief and curriculum, both topics being intimate areas that naturally create a sensitivity to criticism. The "you're not doing Aiki" comments can be off-putting when presented with apathy.

My comments were a little more specific to my perception of these threads and an expression of how I feel when debating whether I should post comments about my Aiki/IP training. When Dan teaches this stuff, you are on an emotional roller coaster. You experience what you are doing is in-effective, what he is doing is effective, you can see what he is doing, but you cannot do it yourself, then you accidentally do it right, he gives you some exercises and leaves. Seriously, you need like 12 steps to get over him. In our first seminar with Dan, he teased me because I went through these emotions visibly. This stuff is intimate and changes how you see aiki - one of the things I most appreciated about Dan was his ability to navigate all this s$%t with a smile, the criticism you needed to hear, and positive encouragement that makes you want to do it. To be clear, positive encouragement from Dan is something like, "you sucked a little less that time." Or, "That was less sh%^&ty." I respect that because all of my mentors share the same sensitivity to shattering your perception of what you thought you were doing.

In some respects, I believe the internal training is more intimate than external training. I can correct kata. Palm up? sure. More forward stance? Not a problem. Think about touching the wall, but don't move. What? Drop your pelvis. W\hat the f$%k is my pelvis and how does it drop? Don't babies cause that? You need the knowledge to understand how your body works, courage to try something that you have no idea how to do, and confidence your exposure is beneficial to your training. Standing for 10 minutes while believing you are training is tough.

To Ron's point, it seems to me thus far that there is a path to internalizing via external training. i.e. Practice kata for 10 years and your body will naturally start to make some movements differently. I think with good instruction and solid commitment this is a viable method of training. To be clear, it is not internal training, it is external training. Your internal development is a by-product of your external training. We have heard this bill of sale before with the polishing the mirror, victory over yourself, martial skill byproduct, etc. I have nothing against this teaching methodology. My observations are that it requires a competent instructor and significant commitment to training - I think both are in shorter supply today which means you have a smaller chance of actually getting it within a reasonable time period of training.

I think internal training is a more direct dissemination of curriculum. My observations thus far are that it requires a competent instructor and significant commitment to training. The difference I have seem is mostly in your ability to actually move with stability and power within a faster time frame.

In my exposure, the stuff is in aikido, it has just been striped from most of our exercises. I think within a period of time aikido instructors will be able to re-integrate aiki training into aikido and return the curriculum to its [more] original state. My opinion thus far on this stuff is a combination approach (surprise there). I think we need some external training to built a frame of reference and knowledge about our body. From that foundation I think the internal stuff has more meaning, sooner. In other words, if you can't make the shape of ikkyo, it is more difficult for me to help you do it better...

6 directions is one of those topics we looked at a few years back and starting spending some time researching. It was a key component in opening the door to start our transition from thinking externally to thinking internally. We started it from torifune. Ron wanted a video, I recorded this fall last year before I started doing any of the IP stuff - we were still ground pathing more that anything in this video. This was the progeny of a summer with some aikido people who were getting gooey. Its possibly difficult to tell, but all of the waza was instigated with a torifune movement, recession of the shoulders, expansion in the joints (active muscles, but not flexed), extended spine and the feeling of "sitting back onto a stool". Yes, we were putting some serious pressure into each other. We changed things significantly since getting into the Aiki/IP research, but this is a good example of what we were doing during our "groundpathing external structure conversion" period.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKpLAk-05BQ

Cady Goldfield
10-10-2013, 09:31 AM
Actually Cady there's a lot that can be gleaned by just watching someone move. You have on more than one occasion referenced Sam Chin as good source material, so I looked him up on youtube and watched some of his clips. While what he's demonstrating isn't Aikido by any stretch, I can see that his power, stability, balance etc. are generated and maintained via a tight degree of mind/body coordination. That tells me that what we are discussing in the Internal Training in Aikido forum transcends any particular style.


Ron, things can be gleaned from video if the viewer is experienced in what is being shown, and knows what to look for. For most, all that's seen is the effect, with no indication of what the cause is.
A video clip of someone working the "6 directions" would look like someone just standing there. If a partner were to push on the stander.... on the chest, on the back, on either shoulder, on a hip... what the viewer would see is the stander not budging or showing any signs of imbalance. And if the stander were to return the pusher's energy to him, you would see a person standing still, but the pusher getting popped or bounced back.
It wouldn't be very instructive in terms of how things are happening, though certainly the effects would interest people or cause them to say "That's fake!" ;)

Cady Goldfield
10-10-2013, 09:32 AM
Thanks, Michael. I understand your intentions now.
Starting another thread is a good idea.

Cady,

Often times, like many of us, I need to watch how I come across in writing. The lazy wasn't directed at you specifically; I've frequently seen people refer to "internal" and "internals" and I have never liked it.

I actually have really appreciated your posts of late. I feel like you are being very forthcoming about your practice.

I'm interested in further discussing some things that were raised in our posts. Personally, I believe they are critical, and for some reason they seem to get avoided. But I think I'm going to take it to another thread, because it really is getting outside the scope of six directions.

RonRagusa
10-10-2013, 10:34 AM
A video clip of someone working the "6 directions" would look like someone just standing there.

Understood.

If a partner were to push on the stander.... on the chest, on the back, on either shoulder, on a hip... what the viewer would see is the stander not budging or showing any signs of imbalance. And if the stander were to return the pusher's energy to him, you would see a person standing still, but the pusher getting popped or bounced back.

That's something I can relate to. We have always done a lot of these types of exercises as part of Ki development work. We practice this stuff both stationary and in motion; the motion being both with feet not moving and the feet free to move about. Moving with stationary feet while being pushed gives rise to some interesting configurations of posture in which stability and balance must be maintained.

When returning energy to the pusher, the result is more akin to like poles of two bar magnets being brought together, repelling rather than popping or bouncing.

It wouldn't be very instructive in terms of how things are happening, though certainly the effects would interest people or cause them to say "That's fake!" ;)

It ain't fake, it's good management of connection. :)

Ron

mathewjgano
10-10-2013, 11:01 AM
Thank you all for the great resources and food for thought so far! I've sat down to try and engage the topic more, but what I've had so far hasn't felt very well-formed and has generally been better said by others. However, in an effort to offer something rather than nothing:
Last night while practicing my evening solo work, I tried to remember anything that seemed to fit with the idea of generating intent and 6 directions. I had a lot of little half-formed ideas, but the main thing that came to my mind is what I've heard described as being between the moment of action and inaction.
I almost always begin whatever I do by trying to activate/induce tate musubi ("strong" vertical alignment/connection) in shizentai. I started deep breathing, channeling it as far down as I could muster, which caused a sense of stretching in the areas just above my hips...which is hard to maintain unless I'm breathing in, but I try. After a while this created a sense of an inner tube sitting on my hips. I was going for the creation of a distinct (more or less) ring to get a sense of being "full" in 360 degrees. I will then often raise (stretch/expand) and lower (release/settle) my tegatana(s) in an effort to settle my arms and torso before moving into kamae and starting over.
In between any movement though, I am always trying to generate intent by becoming familiar with the "space between action and inaction." It's a feeling of being on edge, but I'm as relaxed as I can muster.
Anyhow...my quick effort before going to practice the ancient art of Osoji! Have a great day everyone!

Bernd Lehnen
10-10-2013, 11:20 AM
Ron, things can be gleaned from video if the viewer is experienced in what is being shown, and knows what to look for. For most, all that's seen is the effect, with no indication of what the cause is.
A video clip of someone working the "6 directions" would look like someone just standing there. If a partner were to push on the stander.... on the chest, on the back, on either shoulder, on a hip... what the viewer would see is the stander not budging or showing any signs of imbalance. And if the stander were to return the pusher's energy to him, you would see a person standing still, but the pusher getting popped or bounced back.
It wouldn't be very instructive in terms of how things are happening, though certainly the effects would interest people or cause them to say "That's fake!" ;)

Things like that probably happen by "inadvertent activation". And training may be like building a strong belief system.
II still remember very well that very first short instant when a shihan, who previously had felt to me like over 90 kilogram, was on the verge to show koshi nage and was bounced back losing his balance, swaying, dark eyes wide open, instinctively asking "what was that". In fact there was nothing, no automatic body-response at all on my side, much to the surprise of both of us. I had done nothing to him, I just hadn't been ready to comply yet as, actually, I had been lost in an inner process I would describe as cheerily enjoying deep relaxation and a moment of conjoint inertia.
Delusion or not?
Isn't it only natural that everyone feels more than reluctant to write about this kind of experience openly on the net ?

Best,
Bernd

Alfonso
10-10-2013, 12:01 PM
Matthew, intent* is involved in 6 direction exercise. Phi , I thought it was up down front back , inwards outwards. not 6 sided dice orientation, but that is probably not going to make sense to people until it does.

Cady, Brett : I did my Aikido training at ADV from 98 to 2008, roughly, I passed my shodan exam in 2006 , Dennis Hooker and Fredric Rowell graded me. ADV is a school affiliated with ASU. I first felt "aiki" from Ikeda sensei around 98. People did not talk about aiki openly back then or now, because of uncertainty I think mostly. I started loooking into this around 2005 because of experiences at seminars with teachers of Aikido. My teachers were well versed in Aiki in the way that Michael Varin refers to it. But I also met other teachers like Henry Kono, that were doing unsual things which I wanted to learn more about.

I've spent most of my Internal Training time since 2006 on my own, on its own. It is very hard to learn to move all over again when you are doing something you have done well before. My training conisted of mostly standing and practicing 6 directions until I could develop enough to start teasing out the body logic.

While I was at ADV I lobbied for Dan to be asked over for many years. I am happy that he has made friends with my friends and my old teacher. My training though, is my own. I am putting together what I can based on the inescapable body logic that becomes available over time with practice. Mike Sigman has been very forthcoming.

I hope that helps clarify something for someone

phitruong
10-10-2013, 12:05 PM
I recorded this fall last year before I started doing any of the IP stuff - we were still ground pathing more that anything in this video. This was the progeny of a summer with some aikido people who were getting gooey. Its possibly difficult to tell, but all of the waza was instigated with a torifune movement, recession of the shoulders, expansion in the joints (active muscles, but not flexed), extended spine and the feeling of "sitting back onto a stool". Yes, we were putting some serious pressure into each other. We changed things significantly since getting into the Aiki/IP research, but this is a good example of what we were doing during our "groundpathing external structure conversion" period.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKpLAk-05BQ

how many times do i have to tell you that you can't manifest aiki/ip in 6 directions wearing aikido outfits? you just can't do it. it has to done with leotard. i just have to show you when i get to Atlanta. Also, your uke tanked for you. tell him, when i get there, i'll kick his other leg. :D

phitruong
10-10-2013, 12:16 PM
Phi , I thought it was up down front back , inwards outwards. not 6 sided dice orientation, but that is probably not going to make sense to people until it does.


aren't away from you and toward you comprised of front, back, open and close?

jonreading
10-10-2013, 12:24 PM
how many times do i have to tell you that you can't manifest aiki/ip in 6 directions wearing aikido outfits? you just can't do it. it has to done with leotard. i just have to show you when i get to Atlanta. Also, your uke tanked for you. tell him, when i get there, i'll kick his other leg. :D

NO MARTIAL ARTS ATTIRE, please. Andy had a bruise on the other side of his leg for like 3 days. It was like watching a guy catch his son's baseball bat in the crotch - it will always be funny.

mathewjgano
10-10-2013, 04:28 PM
Matthew, intent* is involved in 6 direction exercise.
Hi Alfonso, thank you! I didn't mean to suggest it isn't involved...would you mind elaborating a little on what you mean?
Take care!
Matt

Alfonso
10-10-2013, 05:34 PM
What I mean is yes, "intent" is involved. And that is too vague; "intent" employed to what ends? This is not a mindlessness practice it requires focus towards a goal. The trick that worked for me is to focus on placing your weight and the solidity of the ground (gravity, GRF) on an area of your body. As you change the "directions" you can start to "feel" things in your body. And that is something that needs to be worked on and strengthened.

Cady Goldfield
10-10-2013, 05:39 PM
Hi Alfonso,
Thanks for the background. In some ways it is similar to my own, although I was very fortunate to find an excellent teacher and training environment after training alone for some years. It is very difficult to go the "internals" route alone, and I give you a lot of credit for pursuing it.

jonreading
10-11-2013, 09:08 AM
For the research we did, try starting with some pole dancing...er... standing..er...hugging...trees. Pole standing or standing pole are good key words to find clips. If you have a local Chinese arts dojo, they can probably show you in person. I think when it comes to this stuff, you are way more likely to rush and not get it right. The exercise is simple - practice is hard. But, it gets you into a good basic stance - elongation of the spine, flattening of the back, pelvis resting below the spine and shoulders down. So don't skimp on the bent knees. You probably feel some discomfort in the "stretch" and your legs will protest the activity. In the beginning I would practice holding the posture for only many seconds in the beginning. After a while, I could listen to a song (I'm currently working on song #2). Yes, its that freaking hard. You'll also probably find you feel backward-[un]balanced because you're not pooching your butt out to counter balance your forward-leaning head. I am told this goes away. Oh, and don't tie your breathing to your posture, yet. In my experience, breathing is high on the pay scale - be satisfied you're not hyperventilating and save the fancy breathing for later.

Pole standing was the second exercise we worked on following torifune (6 directions). You can start to think 6 directions in pole standing, but in the beginning, the physical exertion will probably consume your attention. Eventually, we connected torifune to pole standing from the concept that torifune is pole standing with a foot dropped rearward and dynamic movement shifting forward and rearward. If you can't pole stand, then keeping that posture when moving ain't gonna happen.

As a note, we do not practice big movement tori fune. Our tori fune is more similar to a karate punch transfer, focusing on a erect spine, powered legs, shoulders down and natural extension with a focus on the connectivity of the elbow to the torso. The weight shift accompanies a slight opening and closing of the knees to maintain a strong base. This is not a critique against any other rowing exercise (unless you're not doing it that way, then you're are wrong, of course :)).

The strong base was our third exercise. We called it Dragon stepping. Later, I found out what we were doing was "slightly" different than a more correct version we learned. (This is an inside joke for our attendees at Dan's seminar last February). But, our basic understanding of dragon stepping got us going. Very active legs with the front knee "opened" to facilitate released the actively held potential energy, athletic bend in the knees to engage both sides of the leg and a nice rounded arch in the crotch (or "croarch").

I think these exercises helped us to prepare to see and understand the subsequent corrections we received without negatively impacting our training. It also helped that we had many friend visiting and keeping us honest.

Michael Varin
10-13-2013, 01:33 AM
Matthew, intent* is involved in 6 direction exercise. Phi , I thought it was up down front back , inwards outwards. not 6 sided dice orientation, but that is probably not going to make sense to people until it does.

Cady, Brett : I did my Aikido training at ADV from 98 to 2008, roughly, I passed my shodan exam in 2006 , Dennis Hooker and Fredric Rowell graded me. ADV is a school affiliated with ASU. I first felt "aiki" from Ikeda sensei around 98. People did not talk about aiki openly back then or now, because of uncertainty I think mostly. I started loooking into this around 2005 because of experiences at seminars with teachers of Aikido. My teachers were well versed in Aiki in the way that Michael Varin refers to it. But I also met other teachers like Henry Kono, that were doing unsual things which I wanted to learn more about.

I've spent most of my Internal Training time since 2006 on my own, on its own. It is very hard to learn to move all over again when you are doing something you have done well before. My training conisted of mostly standing and practicing 6 directions until I could develop enough to start teasing out the body logic.

While I was at ADV I lobbied for Dan to be asked over for many years. I am happy that he has made friends with my friends and my old teacher. My training though, is my own. I am putting together what I can based on the inescapable body logic that becomes available over time with practice. Mike Sigman has been very forthcoming.

I hope that helps clarify something for someone

For my edification, will you please tell us what aiki is in the way Michael Varin refers to it?

Alfonso
10-13-2013, 01:23 PM
For my edification, will you please tell us what aiki is in the way Michael Varin refers to it?

my bad. I mean

manipulate both the intent and body of another, and even learn to read someone's intentions before they have initiated any actions.

I shouldnt put words in your mouth.

Cady Goldfield
10-13-2013, 05:43 PM
manipulate both the intent and body of another, and even learn to read someone's intentions before they have initiated any actions.

Alfonso, that's one of the outcomes of aiki -- not aiki itself -- and I did not intend it to be a definition of aiki.

Alfonso
10-13-2013, 07:23 PM
manipulate both the intent and body of another, and even learn to read someone's intentions before they have initiated any actions.

Alfonso, that's one of the outcomes of aiki -- not aiki itself -- and I did not intend it to be a definition of aiki.

And yet it sounds a lot like "capturing the mind", which is how I was taught "aiki" operated. I can see you mean something different, whereas this "aiki" I was taught had more to do with manipulating perception. In any case it is confusing that the term aiki is used differently in different aikido circles. That includes the "spiritual" takes. I suppose I'm just making things more confusing than not.

How is this all related to 6 directions in internal training, and how this can be part or not of aikido?

hughrbeyer
10-13-2013, 08:15 PM
I was going to post these links earlier, but got busy and didn't have time to do it until now. To address the current topic though, I don't see aiki as about "capturing the mind' particularly, except, as Cady suggested as a consequence.

O-Sensei said "In this thing called Aiki, first describe (draw) a circle. Drawing a circle is, in other words, opposing powers. Without touching with even one finger your opponent will be sent flying." (Quoted by Chris Li in his blog (http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/aikido-structure-universe/#more-162).)

In my understanding, this circle of opposing powers is exactly opening in 6 directions, which is silk reeling. So, according to the founder, this skill is at the core of aikido. And it's the basis for creating in/yo, dual opposing spirals, putting Iganami in the left hand and Inazami in the right, and standing on the floating bridge of Heaven, all of which he also said were the basis for Aikido, but go read Chris' blog to find out how.

Trouble is all this stuff gets hidden in Aikido waza. So to respond to somebody's (Ron's?) question from earlier, here are some examples of IP/aiki showing up in demos when the demonstrator got tired of showing waza and decided to show the real stuff.

These are just examples picked out by me, choosing moments when there was little going on to distract from the aiki elements. Others might argue with me about what I'm seeing here--because internals are in fact internal, it's hard to be sure what you're seeing.

O-Sensei showing whole-body connection and elbow power at 2:51 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sJ6FmlGaXM&list=FLCSY8rGH4kyUbmtSMMrOjgQ&feature=player_detailpage#t=171)

O-Sensei doing the jo trick without a jo at 3:22 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=FLCSY8rGH4kyUbmtSMMrOjgQ&v=9sJ6FmlGaXM&feature=player_detailpage#t=202). This whole series shows whole-body and cross-body connection various ways.

Resisting a head push (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ws2Iczref5U&list=FLCSY8rGH4kyUbmtSMMrOjgQ&feature=player_detailpage#t=461), showing that whole-body connection includes everything at 7:41.

Here at 8:44 O-is Sensei dropping someone with just a push to the chest (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ws2Iczref5U&list=FLCSY8rGH4kyUbmtSMMrOjgQ&feature=player_detailpage#t=524). Then he sits on his head. I don't think that part is demonstrating aiki.

Here's some of the Asahi News demo, where he's bouncing the guy off with no technique (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=6DVOqqKoiIo#t=5)at all (5 sec in)

To show it's not just O-Sensei, here's Kanshu Sunatomari. I don't know anything about him, but I like what he's doing at 3:07 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=GzWWz7h4Vu4&list=FLCSY8rGH4kyUbmtSMMrOjgQ#t=187):

And here's my own teacher, Bill Gleason (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2knQQMFeZw&feature=player_detailpage#t=75).

And just because it's cute, O-Sensei getting thrown by an 8-year-old boy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ws2Iczref5U&list=FLCSY8rGH4kyUbmtSMMrOjgQ&feature=player_detailpage#t=424)at 7:10

Cady Goldfield
10-13-2013, 10:23 PM
Here's my understanding (and also what I am able to do): Opening up in 6 directions... front-back, up-down, side-side... and actually in all directions (so, infinite diagonals in between those 6 main points) creates a sphere (a structural "force field"), of which you are the center. It creates a very powerful stability in you and, coupled with the maintaining of an arcing body structure to direct and re-direct force to an from the ground, it creates what the Chinese internal arts call "Peng jing," the primary force used to power waza. Peng power is the core power of aiki-age and aiki-sage... manifestations of Peng (dunno any Japanese term for it) that involve rolling that invisible sphere in the direction you want uke's body to go. Or bouncing him off... or spinning him off tangentially (he feels his force moving away, as though on the surface of a spinning ball). Now you can add the spirals... and that's where silk-reeling comes in.

Silk-reeling is not the 6 directions or Peng; however, it works hand-in-hand with Peng, and also you're always working the 6 directions to maintain your structure, and in that regard when you are silk-reeling you are expressing the 6 directions. But the reeling itself is a specific thing -- setting in motion a constant In-Yo/Yin-Yang trade of opposing forces using a figure-eight type of movement from your kuas, combined with actions initiated from the feet and legs. This is the source of huge power which can be used to move uke irresistibly into a throw, or to power ate-waza, strikes and kicks. An experienced practitioner can do this without looking like they are overtly moving -- you won't see their hips or legs move, or just tiny, minute "twitches" maybe. The movements are so small and refined that they are generating great power with minimal motion in nage... but the effect it will have on uke will be magnified.

When you see someone do aiki-age on uke, then throw him off to the side, it's an exercise using Peng, and silk-reeling power. First, Peng to capture and unseat uke's center, then reeling him off into the throw.

jonreading
10-14-2013, 08:17 AM
And yet it sounds a lot like "capturing the mind", which is how I was taught "aiki" operated. I can see you mean something different, whereas this "aiki" I was taught had more to do with manipulating perception. In any case it is confusing that the term aiki is used differently in different aikido circles. That includes the "spiritual" takes. I suppose I'm just making things more confusing than not.

How is this all related to 6 directions in internal training, and how this can be part or not of aikido?

I learned kurai dori was taking the mind. Not aiki, but a building block of it. I also learned musubi was connecting to your partner. Not aiki, but a building block of it. Both can be done to a level of skill as to express similar properties to aiki. I think the aiki I am starting to identify is not these things, although these things are expressed in aiki. So is kuzushi. It's like I need a ven diagram or something.

Cady and Hugh have some great comments. I think the big difference in 6 directions is that that training is not dependent on a partner. Meaning that my ability to self-sustain my stability is the key component. Many aikido exercises actually require a partner. For example, kurai dori requires another mind to capture (take). Musubi requires a partner with who to be connected. Let alone the mental shift from doing something to someone to being someone.

So 6 directions for me has taken on a solo exercise feel; even if my partner is testing my stability, i am not creating a relationship with her. We have started changing our training to establish our stability first, then worry about musubi, kurai dori, kuzushi. So it is aikido, but we just have to make room for it in our training.

jonreading
10-14-2013, 08:23 AM
Oh, and aiki has different expressions. I am going to try to categorize then. I am working on a series of "stupid Jon tricks" to help practice the curriculum. Sorry, I couldn't resist...

sakumeikan
10-14-2013, 09:58 AM
Here's my understanding (and also what I am able to do): Opening up in 6 directions... front-back, up-down, side-side... and actually in all directions (so, infinite diagonals in between those 6 main points) creates a sphere (a structural "force field"), of which you are the center. It creates a very powerful stability in you and, coupled with the maintaining of an arcing body structure to direct and re-direct force to an from the ground, it creates what the Chinese internal arts call "Peng jing," the primary force used to power waza. Peng power is the core power of aiki-age and aiki-sage... manifestations of Peng (dunno any Japanese term for it) that involve rolling that invisible sphere in the direction you want uke's body to go. Or bouncing him off... or spinning him off tangentially (he feels his force moving away, as though on the surface of a spinning ball). Now you can add the spirals... and that's where silk-reeling comes in.

Silk-reeling is not the 6 directions or Peng; however, it works hand-in-hand with Peng, and also you're always working the 6 directions to maintain your structure, and in that regard when you are silk-reeling you are expressing the 6 directions. But the reeling itself is a specific thing -- setting in motion a constant In-Yo/Yin-Yang trade of opposing forces using a figure-eight type of movement from your kuas, combined with actions initiated from the feet and legs. This is the source of huge power which can be used to move uke irresistibly into a throw, or to power ate-waza, strikes and kicks. An experienced practitioner can do this without looking like they are overtly moving -- you won't see their hips or legs move, or just tiny, minute "twitches" maybe. The movements are so small and refined that they are generating great power with minimal motion in nage... but the effect it will have on uke will be magnified.

When you see someone do aiki-age on uke, then throw him off to the side, it's an exercise using Peng, and silk-reeling power. First, Peng to capture and unseat uke's center, then reeling him off into the throw.
Dear Cady,
Pray tell me what is /where is the kuas? I have tried to get a definition of this phrase on the net-no luck.Chinese is not my forte[except on a Chinese Restaurant menu].Same with the word Peng.It would seem that Peng equates with or is power generated by correct use of the seika tanden/hara/tantien.????
Perhaps the concept might be related to Kokyu Ryoku? Any answers would be welcome preferably on a twenty dollar bill. Have a niceday, Joe

kivawolfspeaker
10-14-2013, 10:26 AM
If I'm understanding this thread correctly, it seems to me that learning to open up and operate in all 6 directions at once is Aikido's equivalent of learning how to throat/overtone sing.

Cady Goldfield
10-14-2013, 10:46 AM
Dear Cady,
Pray tell me what is /where is the kuas? I have tried to get a definition of this phrase on the net-no luck.Chinese is not my forte[except on a Chinese Restaurant menu].Same with the word Peng.It would seem that Peng equates with or is power generated by correct use of the seika tanden/hara/tantien.????
Perhaps the concept might be related to Kokyu Ryoku? Any answers would be welcome preferably on a twenty dollar bill. Have a niceday, Joe

Hi Joe,
The "kua" is the area of the femoral joint, where the femur head rests within the pelvis. More specifically, it includes the muscles and connective tissues the surround the hip, and also the inguinal fold -- the visible crease along either side of the groin.

"Peng" is conceptually the quality of "fullness" that is created through manipulation of the body structure -- you're essentially making yourself into a "sphere" of outward-projecting force from your entire body. Yes, the tanden/dantien is involved, along with the meimon/mingmen. And all of the work of extending the spine, "rounding" the body to create a non-breaking arc-like path for force direction, are part of the process of creating and maintaining that state of peng.

In many contemporary aikido schools, it's that essence of "peng" that is missing from kokyu-ho type exercises, where you're in seiza with your partner holding your wrists down. Instead of muscle strength and tricks of timing to unbalance the partner, it should be peng, as expressed in aiki-age, doing the work.

Hope that helps. Sorry it's in electronic writing rather than on paper currency. :)

Cady Goldfield
10-14-2013, 10:54 AM
If I'm understanding this thread correctly, it seems to me that learning to open up and operate in all 6 directions at once is Aikido's equivalent of learning how to throat/overtone sing.

Hi Jen,
I've heard Mongolian throat singing, which is amazing. I couldn't say whether it's a comparison to working multiple directions in the body, though. Think of the latter as attaining a harmony or balance between pulling/pushing the joints and tissues of the body up-down, forward-backward, side-side. You can throw in criss-cross (left shoulder-right foot; right shoulder-left foot) for good measure. It is driven by mental intent (the "reaching of the cup of coffee" thing).

If that's how one manipulates the vocal cords to throat-sing, then that is very cool.

Cady Goldfield
10-14-2013, 04:18 PM
Hugh,
It occurred to me that it's the Six Harmonies you're thinking of, for creating spiral power... not the "six directions" that are just the shorthand for structure work and a component of peng.
Six Harmonies is a whole 'nother big discussion. :)

hughrbeyer
10-14-2013, 04:21 PM
Don't think so. I'm aware of the 6 Harmonies concept and I think you're right about it having more to do with spiral power. But it's not what I'm talking about above. What did I say that made you think so?

More later.

Alfonso
10-14-2013, 04:38 PM
Hugh, I dont agree with your definitions. I have met Gleason sensei and taken ukemi for him. He never said anything about silk reeling being what he does. I did not see any silk reeling movement from him. He did talk about aiki and izanami and izanagi, and asagao and aiki age and aiki sage; a lot.
I never heard him say Peng or Peng Jin, and he did not talk about 6 direction training either. I could clearly feel he used Jin ( what I call AIki) ; he was very able to do Aikido with it; and he and Ikeda sensei feel really really similar. It seems like technical terms from different chinese arts (yiquan, taijiquan) are being used to talk about related matters but not in the way people in those arts use them.

What I see here described as 6 directions sounds a lot like 'keep one point'.

Cady Goldfield
10-14-2013, 04:47 PM
Don't think so. I'm aware of the 6 Harmonies concept and I think you're right about it having more to do with spiral power. But it's not what I'm talking about above. What did I say that made you think so?

More later.

It just came to mind when you wrote: In my understanding, this circle of opposing powers is exactly opening in 6 directions, which is silk reeling. So, according to the founder, this skill is at the core of aikido. And it's the basis for creating in/yo, dual opposing spirals, putting Iganami in the left hand and Inazami in the right, and standing on the floating bridge of Heaven, all of which he also said were the basis for Aikido, but go read Chris' blog to find out how.

Maybe I'm just reading it the wrong way.
(Internal) spiral power certainly is part of the core of Ueshiba's aikido; the 6 Harmonies, as I understand them, involves the mechanics of that process, while "6 directions" is more or less our (we folks on the "aiki bus") shorthand for working the In/Yo process of building structure and laying the fundamental groundwork for making IP 'n' aiki.

hughrbeyer
10-14-2013, 10:11 PM
Hugh, I dont agree with your definitions. I have met Gleason sensei and taken ukemi for him. He never said anything about silk reeling being what he does. I did not see any silk reeling movement from him. He did talk about aiki and izanami and izanagi, and asagao and aiki age and aiki sage; a lot.

I never heard him say Peng or Peng Jin, and he did not talk about 6 direction training either. I could clearly feel he used Jin ( what I call AIki) ; he was very able to do Aikido with it; and he and Ikeda sensei feel really really similar. It seems like technical terms from different chinese arts (yiquan, taijiquan) are being used to talk about related matters but not in the way people in those arts use them.

What I see here described as 6 directions sounds a lot like 'keep one point'.

I think it's cool that you've trained with my teacher. Are you part of the group out there that has him come do seminars every year?

And you're not wrong, actually. I don't attempt to speak for my teacher, and I don't claim that whatever I say is what he says. Much of what I wrote above is not from him only; it's my synthesis from several places. I don't think he'd disagree, but it's not my place to say.

To take your points in order--differentiate pulling silk from reeling silk. Pulling silk is Chinese terminology for 6-directions, so far as I can tell. Reeling silk is pulling silk in movement. In practice this generally turns into spirals because that's the best way for a human body to manifest in/yo everywhere. But there's a lot more subtlety there, and a number of different models for how to move the body, so once you start moving there's no simple equivalence in the different terminology.

I also wouldn't attempt to assign "jin" to any simple Japanese or Aikido concept. The Chinese are systematizers in a way the Japanese are not, and there's a million different types of jin. Peng jin comes pretty close to 6-directions and chan si jin is close to spiraling, but I don't know enough to about the Chinese models to say if it's an exact match. I'm quite sure Sensei showed you spiraling.

As to your last point, yes, I think this all is very much what Tohei was getting at with "keep one point." But how? What does that mean? How do you work on it? Turns out there is a history and methodology around that.

It just came to mind when you wrote: In my understanding, this circle of opposing powers is exactly opening in 6 directions, which is silk reeling. So, according to the founder, this skill is at the core of aikido. And it's the basis for creating in/yo, dual opposing spirals, putting Iganami in the left hand and Inazami in the right, and standing on the floating bridge of Heaven, all of which he also said were the basis for Aikido, but go read Chris' blog to find out how.

Maybe I'm just reading it the wrong way.
(Internal) spiral power certainly is part of the core of Ueshiba's aikido; the 6 Harmonies, as I understand them, involves the mechanics of that process, while "6 directions" is more or less our (we folks on the "aiki bus") shorthand for working the In/Yo process of building structure and laying the fundamental groundwork for making IP 'n' aiki.

Crap. I wrote "...which is silk reeling" when I meant pulling silk. My bad. It's all the fault of the Chinese for confusing terminology. My apologies. Pulling silk corresponds to 6-directions which is balancing forces within yourself.

Once you have another person involved, then you have in/yo at the point of contact set into motion by spirals throughout the frame, which was what O-Sensei was talking about when he talks about Izanagi and Izanami. I think that's the same as reeling silk but I don't have the background to say.

So I think, once you understand that I was really talking about two separate layers of skill and once I fix my typo for pulling rather than reeling silk, that we're pretty much in agreement.

Mert Gambito
10-14-2013, 10:52 PM
Hugh, I dont agree with your definitions. I have met Gleason sensei and taken ukemi for him. He never said anything about silk reeling being what he does. I did not see any silk reeling movement from him. He did talk about aiki and izanami and izanagi, and asagao and aiki age and aiki sage; a lot.
I never heard him say Peng or Peng Jin, and he did not talk about 6 direction training either. I could clearly feel he used Jin ( what I call AIki) ; he was very able to do Aikido with it; and he and Ikeda sensei feel really really similar. It seems like technical terms from different chinese arts (yiquan, taijiquan) are being used to talk about related matters but not in the way people in those arts use them.

What I see here described as 6 directions sounds a lot like 'keep one point'.
I checked my notes from Bill's workshop in Hawaii, and I don't see references to "silk reeling" either, but there are references to "six directions", and "spirals" and "spiraling": terminology used by Morihei Ueshiba that is conceptually related to silk reeling (though if anyone feels that's open to discussion, I suppose we're in the right forum for that).

I agree with you regarding his ability to express aiki. One of the things I noted in meeting Bill was that he is adamant about expressing internal power within the context of aikido; and as a teacher using his understanding and interpretation of, and ability to express aiki to help enhance and polish a given aikidoka's understanding of the art as the student has come to cherish it -- vs. bolting on anything to aikido. Given his aikido CV, and via seeing his interpretations of waza and taking ukemi for him, I think he's a fine ambassador for the mission he's undertaken.

Gary David
10-14-2013, 10:56 PM
As to your last point, yes, I think this all is very much what Tohei was getting at with "keep one point." But how? What does that mean? How do you work on it? Turns out there is a history and methodology around that.



I agree with Hugh here in several areas. Back in the mid 70's I took some ukemi from Tohei Sensei, went through the ki exercises presented at the time and can see that the 4 principles that he talked could be connected with the solo exercises from Dan that are being worked by many of us now could be aligned with the 4. The problem then was there was no explanation, at least with the folks who I can in contact with.

Every time I heard some one use the term "keep one point" I ask how do you teach that and what is the feeling, the manifestation of that? Never got an clear approach to answering this until I started going outside of Aikido, getting hints that allowed me to put together some of the bits and pieces I have gotten over the years within Aikido. Dan put the final pieces in place to help me in my efforts to figure it out (as far as I have).

Just some thoughts here (partial connections)..... keeping one point is in part pulling silk, extending ki is using intent to pull silk, relaxing completely is getting the shoulders out of the mix, weight underside is sinking or dropping (not always a manifestation that can be seen physically) shoulders under elbows under hands and a lot more.

This whole thing is like a giant puzzle that has so many pieces with everyone working to put it together. It seems that many having put enough pieces together to see something that is comfortable for them, fits on top of what they have already are good with that and stop searching. I am ok with that and with everyone doing what they want. As for me after nearly 40 years of training and heading toward 72 years of age......I don't see that we even have the outer edge of the puzzle together. I know that old friends like John Clodig and Walter Muryasz, along with a new friend Dan Harden have helped me see more of the whole than I got to earlier. Along with other I have met along the way, Mark, Marc, Sean from i Liq Chuan and many more that helped with adding pieces.

My point here...get out and see what is out there.....then play with it, ask for hands on help and see where the pieces fall.

Gary

Cady Goldfield
10-15-2013, 07:48 AM
Yep, we're on the same page. Thanks for the clarification. I'm not well versed in the Chinese "tai chi classics" terminology, as my current work uses a different terminology, but they and the abstract metaphors drawn from the Kojiki certainly describe the body principles I've experienced. In my understanding. "silk reeling" is the term that refers to the process of working the kuas (with legs and feet) to create the "reeling" that generates spiral power.

Crap. I wrote "...which is silk reeling" when I meant pulling silk. My bad. It's all the fault of the Chinese for confusing terminology. My apologies. Pulling silk corresponds to 6-directions which is balancing forces within yourself.

Once you have another person involved, then you have in/yo at the point of contact set into motion by spirals throughout the frame, which was what O-Sensei was talking about when he talks about Izanagi and Izanami. I think that's the same as reeling silk but I don't have the background to say.

So I think, once you understand that I was really talking about two separate layers of skill and once I fix my typo for pulling rather than reeling silk, that we're pretty much in agreement.

phitruong
10-15-2013, 07:51 AM
To take your points in order--differentiate pulling silk from reeling silk. Pulling silk is Chinese terminology for 6-directions, so far as I can tell. Reeling silk is pulling silk in movement. In practice this generally turns into spirals because that's the best way for a human body to manifest in/yo everywhere. But there's a lot more subtlety there, and a number of different models for how to move the body, so once you start moving there's no simple equivalence in the different terminology.


i thought the pulling silk and reeling silk thingy were from the chen and yang taiji war. the chen guys said their stuffs were reeling silk. the yang guys said we pulled silk. of course we all know that back in the old days (new days too) that women lingerie made out of silk (men too because some of us like the smoothneess). of course, after the yang guys got slap a bunch of time by women out shopping at the market, they changed their tune. now they said they are reeling silk too. i remembered Sigman explained the whole reeling silk in the single arm waving thingy (similar to the queen thing but less aristocratic) which comprised of up, down, away from you, and toward you. didn't understand it at the time, but then one day (it was a bitter cold winter day in hell and they were serving kimchi with grits!) things just clicked and i understood it. don't ask me to explain it, but i can show you in person; only take about 5 min, more or less, a bit less than more, but more than most.

btw, don't ever jumping on a bed covered with silk sheets, wearing silk pajamas. you would slingshot yourself right off and get hot wax from candles that you setup for a romantic evening. damn hot wax!!


I also wouldn't attempt to assign "jin" to any simple Japanese or Aikido concept. The Chinese are systematizers in a way the Japanese are not, and there's a million different types of jin. Peng jin comes pretty close to 6-directions and chan si jin is close to spiraling, but I don't know enough to about the Chinese models to say if it's an exact match. I'm quite sure Sensei showed you spiraling.


When Ikeda sensei said "line", interpret that as "jin". also, there can be only one "jin". i always enjoyed the highlander movie. it's great that guys can walk around wearing school girl mini-skirt. and if you have problem with that, they would take off your head.


As to your last point, yes, I think this all is very much what Tohei was getting at with "keep one point." But how? What does that mean? How do you work on it? Turns out there is a history and methodology around that.


ya. it called silk reeling. it's the damn silk stuffs. did you know that deep fried silk worms are very tasty, a bit crunchy, with nutty flavor?

jonreading
10-15-2013, 09:29 AM
I think "keep one point" is a great reminder phrase. I am not sure if is the best way to teach the concept, but I think it is acceptable to use the phrase to describe that which your already know.

I think there needs to be a grain of salt taken with anything that requires equating Japanese and Chinese concepts. I understand that cultural relationship to be... complicated. I think in some cases, right now, the descriptions should be kept in cultural context and not "converted". Eventually, I think we will see a common terminology emerge.

Bill Danosky
10-15-2013, 09:38 AM
Matt,
It's more the wordless willfulness that precedes any action. When you reach for the cup of coffee, it's intent that initiates and drives the event, from the time you desire a sip of coffee, to the moment the cup is at your lips. Desire fires intent, intent initiates and effects action.

Interestingly, science has disproven this. Brain studies show that action PRECEDES decision.

The results have been repeated innumerable times and are the basis of considerable study currently.

Gary David
10-15-2013, 10:07 AM
I think "keep one point" is a great reminder phrase. I am not sure if is the best way to teach the concept, but I think it is acceptable to use the phrase to describe that which your already know.

I think there needs to be a grain of salt taken with anything that requires equating Japanese and Chinese concepts. I understand that cultural relationship to be... complicated. I think in some cases, right now, the descriptions should be kept in cultural context and not "converted". Eventually, I think we will see a common terminology emerge.

Jon
The very reason that hands on contact, feeling what is going on, is so important to getting it into a frame work you can use.....putting the work into a personal context.

Gary

Gary David
10-15-2013, 10:09 AM
Interestingly, science has disproven this. Brain studies show that action PRECEDES decision.

The results have been repeated innumerable times and are the basis of considerable study currently.

Bill
What precedes action? What gets it going?
Gary

Cady Goldfield
10-15-2013, 10:13 AM
I think there needs to be a grain of salt taken with anything that requires equating Japanese and Chinese concepts. I understand that cultural relationship to be... complicated. I think in some cases, right now, the descriptions should be kept in cultural context and not "converted". Eventually, I think we will see a common terminology emerge.

I believe that there are not "Chinese concepts and Japanese concepts" when it comes to the body method itself; rather, there are cultural differences in the ways they are described. For most, if not all, of them, they came to Japan via China, with Chinese terms for them. The Japanese did their best to come up with equivalent vocabulary, as well as a cultural context they could relate to (as in the the metaphor of the Kojiki for the concept of In/Yo (Yin/Yang).

Cady Goldfield
10-15-2013, 10:18 AM
Interestingly, science has disproven this. Brain studies show that action PRECEDES decision.

The results have been repeated innumerable times and are the basis of considerable study currently.

Hi Bill,
If you go back and re-read those studies, I think you'll find that they mean that action precedes cognitive decision. Non-verbal desire and intent precede the cognitive awareness (i.e. the "verbal" thinking part of your brain that "talks" in your head) that you desire or decide on something. Intent is way ahead of "you." ;)

Budd
10-15-2013, 10:41 AM
I think we're oversimplifying reeling silk a bit, but that's okay, it's common that different perspectives exist around the same core elements.

Cady, I like the sphere notion for neutral structure, but from a peng jin standpoint there may be a risk in losing the notion of the Qi of Earth whereby you're mentally manipulating the solidity of the ground through you (initially, then as you get better and more relaxed, you can do more with gravity as well) because in an initial practice, you don't usually have the connectivity to do much ground transmission without relying on bracing or structure.

I'm not going to presume that I know what's all being described by "spirals" and "spiraling power" but the windings of the feet through the frame certainly do play a part based on internal hand-foot connection, how much that connection has been conditioned and the relaxed skill in its use. I think there's some things left out when discussing silk-reeling with regard to dantian (tanden) and where sounds and the breath come into play both from a training/conditioning/skill and an application standpoint. Additionally, there are some body methods that help "close the circuit" so-to-speak when it comes to maintaining the full feeling when you're moving all parts together. Plus, the extraordinary amount of work/solo training needed to condition the right stuff (beyond rudimentary jin) in the body.

That being said, yeah six-directions and 6 harmonies (the internal harmonies for using qi and the external harmonies of how qi is expressed in a person's body) are not the same thing.

hughrbeyer
10-15-2013, 11:25 AM
I think there needs to be a grain of salt taken with anything that requires equating Japanese and Chinese concepts. I understand that cultural relationship to be... complicated. I think in some cases, right now, the descriptions should be kept in cultural context and not "converted". Eventually, I think we will see a common terminology emerge.

There's a lot to be said for this point of view. But these days, a lot of practitioners of Chinese and Japanese arts are getting on the mat together and finding correspondences, so it's inevitable that people try to understand the relationship.

Erick Mead
10-15-2013, 12:23 PM
Bill
What precedes action? What gets it going?
Gary
Reflexive cues -- REALLY fast ones. Faster than any possible voluntary motor repsonses. AND with a resulting control phase lag that is both unavoidable and NOT trivial.

See here (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=320008&highlight=reflex#post320008).

Erick Mead
10-15-2013, 12:52 PM
Here at 8:44 O-is Sensei dropping someone with just a push to the chest (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ws2Iczref5U&list=FLCSY8rGH4kyUbmtSMMrOjgQ&feature=player_detailpage#t=524). Then he sits on his head. I don't think that part is demonstrating aiki.

The former is easy to understand physically. The latter is just plain funny...

O Sensei has his hand descending as in a cut -- that happens to intersect the front of uke, causing him to be displaced slightly to the rear at the apex of the arc (you can see his stance shift) at this point. At this point his structure is pressed into O Sensei's hand (Ki-musubi) and the moment of his whole structure is poised in a potential rotation toward O Sensei, pressed against his hand.

Simultaneously, at the apex, the motion along the arc instantaneously changes sign from outward and down to INWARD and down,(in-yo transition) That is the along same rotation uke is poised to follow anyway. He cannot quickly enough reorient balance voluntarily to counter what his body is already doing reflexively, both because the change of sign is hardly perceptible until too late, and because it simply allows his reflexive action to follow its natural course and so provokes no reaction.

RonRagusa
10-15-2013, 01:08 PM
Interestingly, science has disproven this. Brain studies show that action PRECEDES decision.

The results have been repeated innumerable times and are the basis of considerable study currently.

From what I have been able to find, the question of whether or not action precedes decision is still open to question. Here's a blog post (http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/decision-making-in-the-brain/) on NeuroLogica Blog that deals with the issue.

Ron

Bill Danosky
10-15-2013, 01:25 PM
Reflexive cues -- REALLY fast ones. Faster than any possible voluntary motor repsonses. AND with a resulting control phase lag that is both unavoidable and NOT trivial.

See here (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=320008&highlight=reflex#post320008).

Hi Bill,
If you go back and re-read those studies, I think you'll find that they mean that action precedes cognitive decision. Non-verbal desire and intent precede the cognitive awareness (i.e. the "verbal" thinking part of your brain that "talks" in your head) that you desire or decide on something. Intent is way ahead of "you." ;)

This is when it starts getting very interesting to me. There is certainly a part of precognitive process that determines how you arrive at a certain state in life. Why are dung beetles obsessed with rolling dung? Why do humans obliviously reenact certain habitual patterns, again and again? "We're made that way." Might be the best answer we can come up with, but we very rarely observe it in action. Only when we have some kind of cognitive dissonance and are forced to reconsider things.

There seems to be both a subjective consciousness and an objective consciousness shown in that study. Some more primal, underlying part of you exists and creates the essential ground that your subjective self runs around in, so to speak. Our programming does seem to arrive from afar.

When many creatures- including humans- are deficient in a nutrient, they crave food that contains it, even though they have never attended a class in nutritional chemistry. I don't know how that works, either, but I think it's the same way.

JW
10-15-2013, 02:12 PM
Although there is much more content in this thread than I could even try to address, there are two topics that I can address especially well:

If I'm understanding this thread correctly, it seems to me that learning to open up and operate in all 6 directions at once is Aikido's equivalent of learning how to throat/overtone sing.

As someone who claims to be able to both overtone sing and express "ground strength" in all directions (to a small degree), I'd say the two are actually roughly opposites. Overtone singing is a process of analysis/reduction of complexity. You filter a complex tone to express pure tones. Whereas in internal strength, you work on a simultaneous combinination of pure expressions of ground to produce stability in all directions. One you strip down, one you build up. Anyway they do both share the idea of finding something pure and simple amidst a mess (your motor behavior being a mess before you start training).

Interestingly, science has disproven this. Brain studies show that action PRECEDES decision.

The results have been repeated innumerable times and are the basis of considerable study currently.

I'm going to agree with Cady - action can precede "conscious recognition" of decision-making, but the moment of decision making is really beside the point here. What your "consciousness" can perceive/infer (and when it can perceive/infer it) isn't the point. Intent can be separated from action as a simple trick of the motor system (that's what the coffee-cup demonstration is for). I think this has more to do with alpha and gamma motoneuron coactivation than consciousness - i.e. it is way downstream of consciousness.

Bill Danosky
10-15-2013, 03:10 PM
In any case, it's germane to the conversation, and I hope, isn't too big of a thread hijack. The value of Mu Shin becomes the topic, I suppose. My currently favored practice follows the Bhagavad/Bagger method- Drill the techniques until you are executing them optimally, or "master the strokes" in golf parlance. Then study the tactics and strategy. Then consider the wisdom of applying it, then transcend the process through detachment.

So drill, drill, drill the kihon. Get it perfect. Think about what makes sense to use in Jiyu Waza, and work that all out. But when you get up there, don't think about it. Concentrate on observing.

This is what I get from what we're discussing. For many years, I've said, "My Aiki brain doesn't do sequence." I'm closer than ever to understanding what I mean.

JW
10-15-2013, 03:49 PM
I don't have a problem with doing repetitive drills, or "my aiki brain doesn't do sequence." (I quite agree with that actually.) I would add "my aiki body doesn't execute smartly planned fine motor skills." Humans can do such behaviors so that we can build cool tools, and communicate with language, not so that we can do budo.

The coffee-cup demo exists just to show you what "intent" means. Then, 6-direction training exists just to get you to use intent in a meaningful way (strengthening the body as you go)-- it's a way which doesn't depend on plans or waza.

There's no sequencing or pre-planned actions in "appropriate fitting." So intent is indeed useful for sequence-free martial behavior.

Bill Danosky
10-15-2013, 05:54 PM
I don't have a problem with doing repetitive drills, or "my aiki brain doesn't do sequence." (I quite agree with that actually.) I would add "my aiki body doesn't execute smartly planned fine motor skills." Humans can do such behaviors so that we can build cool tools, and communicate with language, not so that we can do budo.

The coffee-cup demo exists just to show you what "intent" means. Then, 6-direction training exists just to get you to use intent in a meaningful way (strengthening the body as you go)-- it's a way which doesn't depend on plans or waza.

There's no sequencing or pre-planned actions in "appropriate fitting." So intent is indeed useful for sequence-free martial behavior.

In my belief, truly appropriate fitting is a function of mastery on the second or third level, which can't be reached without exceeding the first. Unfortunately, that involves making one's aiki body execute smartly planned fine motor skills.

That's only my belief, though. Regarding the coffee cup, Alan Watts said the forest creates the bug. So if you find yourself reaching for a cup of coffee, it's because you're conditioned by your environment. Maybe you made the decision, maybe not. Maybe to some degree.

Maybe not.

Cady Goldfield
10-15-2013, 06:29 PM
Regarding the coffee cup, Alan Watts said the forest creates the bug. So if you find yourself reaching for a cup of coffee, it's because you're conditioned by your environment. Maybe you made the decision, maybe not. Maybe to some degree.

Bill, as Jonathan explained, the "reaching for the coffee cup" was simply an example of actions most people make without conscious thought. If not coffee, then tea, or water, or the alarm clock to turn it off, or the pet the cat. Whatever. The point is that something sparks that action, and it is not conscious thought. We don't think, "I shall pet the cat now," we just get an "urge" (desire) to pet the cat, reach out and do it. Desire sparks intent which fires the action, and can be sustained over long periods of time (i.e. it's not a chain sequence of events). Being aware of that state and being able to summon it at will, and to apply it continuously, is what allows us to do things such as work the 6 directions and "hold" them, even when moving.

Cady Goldfield
10-15-2013, 06:51 PM
Cady, I like the sphere notion for neutral structure, but from a peng jin standpoint there may be a risk in losing the notion of the Qi of Earth whereby you're mentally manipulating the solidity of the ground through you (initially, then as you get better and more relaxed, you can do more with gravity as well) because in an initial practice, you don't usually have the connectivity to do much ground transmission without relying on bracing or structure.

Hi Budd,
Not sure what you mean. The sphere is always there, both in neutral structure and when changing and acting. And connection with the Earth is always part of the equation, even when moving and stepping.
It's all about increasing layers of "stuff" we're doing, with the basic structure and holding of the (intent) sphere as the foundation.

kivawolfspeaker
10-15-2013, 07:25 PM
Although there is much more content in this thread than I could even try to address, there are two topics that I can address especially well:

As someone who claims to be able to both overtone sing and express "ground strength" in all directions (to a small degree), I'd say the two are actually roughly opposites. Overtone singing is a process of analysis/reduction of complexity. You filter a complex tone to express pure tones. Whereas in internal strength, you work on a simultaneous combinination of pure expressions of ground to produce stability in all directions. One you strip down, one you build up. Anyway they do both share the idea of finding something pure and simple amidst a mess (your motor behavior being a mess before you start training).



Ok, thanks for the clarification, I have a bit of experience with Mongolian throat singing from a friend introducing me to a couple of folk rock bands, but not a lot and thought I saw some sort of similarity between the two.

Michael Varin
10-16-2013, 02:41 AM
I believe that there are not "Chinese concepts and Japanese concepts" when it comes to the body method itself; rather, there are cultural differences in the ways they are described. For most, if not all, of them, they came to Japan via China, with Chinese terms for them. The Japanese did their best to come up with equivalent vocabulary, as well as a cultural context they could relate to (as in the the metaphor of the Kojiki for the concept of In/Yo (Yin/Yang).

I think you are conflating the concepts with whatever the phenomena may be.

They are not one and the same, and that is and has been a big problem with our "discussions" here.

There are always concepts. All of us have them. Some are closer to reality, and hence more useable than others, but none are ever reality.

Bernd Lehnen
10-16-2013, 07:29 AM
I think you are conflating the concepts with whatever the phenomena may be.

They are not one and the same, and that is and has been a big problem with our "discussions" here.

There are always concepts. All of us have them. Some are closer to reality, and hence more useable than others, but none are ever reality.

Well, I don't think she is nor that is anyone else.

Of course we shouldn't conflate the concept with the vocabulary/metaphor that is used to circumscribe the concept, either. But I can't see where this or that has happened to any of the IP/IS proponents in this thread.
Could you delineate how you derive your observation?

Best,
Bernd

Budd
10-16-2013, 09:56 AM
Hi Budd,
Not sure what you mean. The sphere is always there, both in neutral structure and when changing and acting. And connection with the Earth is always part of the equation, even when moving and stepping.
It's all about increasing layers of "stuff" we're doing, with the basic structure and holding of the (intent) sphere as the foundation.

What I'm saying is that so many components are already layered into the spherical force field structure thingy (relaxing, jin, body connections, change management against progressive loads, presumably dantian, etc.) as part of the overall equation that I find it may be challenging for people to understand the basic peng jin component well enough to do the raw work it takes to rewire themselves to move appropriately with just jin (and I know there are many applications of jin but there's just one jin - the application of the qi of earth). Anyways, more cautionary than me trying to accurately describe what you're doing since I only met you once like six or seven years ago. But some others I've met in the interim seem to get stuck on stretching their center out in so many directions that the purity of the ground strengths gets misplaced. Which is a different problem than some others have where they're trying to reach out with their middle in a way that it is given up.

jonreading
10-16-2013, 10:08 AM
I believe that there are not "Chinese concepts and Japanese concepts" when it comes to the body method itself; rather, there are cultural differences in the ways they are described. For most, if not all, of them, they came to Japan via China, with Chinese terms for them. The Japanese did their best to come up with equivalent vocabulary, as well as a cultural context they could relate to (as in the the metaphor of the Kojiki for the concept of In/Yo (Yin/Yang).

Sorry, I may have been a little muddy... To clarify, yes, I think ultimately both are taking about the same thing. Culturally, both the Japanese and Chinese are using their own ways of describing and conceptualizing a "thing". I think as proponents of each culture continue to work with each other to consolidate a common description of the "thing", we will be the beneficiaries of more clear instruction.

As any good Chinese action movie will clearly demonstrate, the Japanese are nothing but occupying oppressors robbing the Chinese of their culture, Fist of Legend. Sorry, couldn't resist more inappropriate humor.

Cady Goldfield
10-16-2013, 07:31 PM
What I'm saying is that so many components are already layered into the spherical force field structure thingy (relaxing, jin, body connections, change management against progressive loads, presumably dantian, etc.) as part of the overall equation that I find it may be challenging for people to understand the basic peng jin component well enough to do the raw work it takes to rewire themselves to move appropriately with just jin (and I know there are many applications of jin but there's just one jin - the application of the qi of earth). Anyways, more cautionary than me trying to accurately describe what you're doing since I only met you once like six or seven years ago. But some others I've met in the interim seem to get stuck on stretching their center out in so many directions that the purity of the ground strengths gets misplaced. Which is a different problem than some others have where they're trying to reach out with their middle in a way that it is given up.

Yes, it's a lot of "stuff" both to comprehend and to be able to do, and especially to sustain for extended periods. That's why the entire process should be broken down into its components, and each element worked individually, from the "ground, up" and then incorporated and worked together. Sam Chin has done this with his approach to internal development in I Liq Chuan (I have never seen a system more painstakingly analyzed and parsed out into step-by-step training!), and Dan Harden also has exercises that address the different qualities and concepts so students can incrementally build upon them.

Bill Danosky
10-16-2013, 07:59 PM
Regarding the coffee cup, Alan Watts said the forest creates the bug. So if you find yourself reaching for a cup of coffee, it's because you're conditioned by your environment. Maybe you made the decision, maybe not. Maybe to some degree.

Bill, as Jonathan explained, the "reaching for the coffee cup" was simply an example of actions most people make without conscious thought. If not coffee, then tea, or water, or the alarm clock to turn it off, or the pet the cat. Whatever. The point is that something sparks that action, and it is not conscious thought. We don't think, "I shall pet the cat now," we just get an "urge" (desire) to pet the cat, reach out and do it. Desire sparks intent which fires the action, and can be sustained over long periods of time (i.e. it's not a chain sequence of events). Being aware of that state and being able to summon it at will, and to apply it continuously, is what allows us to do things such as work the 6 directions and "hold" them, even when moving.

I get that. The issue I'm speaking to is, that thing that sparks the desire is the influence of the environment (or some unknown force). Let's say it's a guinea pig. Some people eat them. Some people pet them, some people hate them. Those people likely think they made those decisions, but it's much more likely they didn't.

But here is an important consideration- Go back to the test. Tell your subject, at a moment of your choosing, grab the coffee, pet the Guinea Pig or whatever. They are going to decide when. And they will- after they reach.

Cady Goldfield
10-16-2013, 09:32 PM
I get that. The issue I'm speaking to is, that thing that sparks the desire is the influence of the environment (or some unknown force). Let's say it's a guinea pig. Some people eat them. Some people pet them, some people hate them. Those people likely think they made those decisions, but it's much more likely they didn't.

But here is an important consideration- Go back to the test. Tell your subject, at a moment of your choosing, grab the coffee, pet the Guinea Pig or whatever. They are going to decide when. And they will- after they reach.

I get what you're saying. However, what we're discussing is the use of desire-intent to willfully initiate a specific kind of internal action, in this case for martial application. We're not talking of a subjective desire, but of awareness that we are intentionally using "intent" to do certain kinds of work within our bodies. IOW, "desire-intent" is a tool we use to achieve a specific thing.

Bill Danosky
10-16-2013, 10:43 PM
Okay, let me make sure I'm landing myself in your conversation, because you're right- it is about martial arts.

As it relates to Jiyu Waza, (IMO) Mu Shin is probably the optimal mindset, and calm observation is second. The primal you that precedes the decision doesn't want to get it's ass kicked either. You can trust it to take care of the heavy work. You can even watch, but stay out of the way.

At least, that's what I get from the data.

JW
10-16-2013, 11:12 PM
I'd like to second Budd's sentiment that training should focus on very simple use of ground, in the beginning. Getting carried away with the ideals you ultimately want in your training is dangerous. I think I wasted time when I should have just been pushing walls/bungee cords. Once you have a simple, clean skill, of course you can build on it.. but cheat yourself out of a good foundation, and whatever you end up with is just fancy elaborations of crap. I don't think anyone here would argue against this-- I just wanted to reiterate.

Regarding the decision-making vs conscious-awareness-of-decision stuff, I think it is reasonably clear that often our conscious minds only infer that decisions are made, and when. That's fine but it is beside the point for the topic of this thread. I agree it is something any martial artist should think about - no matter what method you train-- but it isn't quite the point here, see below.


As it relates to Jiyu Waza, (IMO) Mu Shin is probably the optimal mindset, and calm observation is second.

I agree with that too. But it is beside the point of this topic.

You could look at it this way: "intent" is a part of the motor system that has to do with the way force (input force, or your own muscles' force) is routed through the joints of the body. You can train it and use it either:
1. as something you volitionally use in martial techniques, i.e. NOT using mushin;
2. as something that is used in a way that is constant, rather than contingent on decisions and circumstance. i.e., a way compatible with "mushin."

Originally, I thought the inclusion of the "desire" stuff in the coffee cup demo was an eloquent way to incorporate a bigger picture into the demo. But it isn't the main point-- if you just sit, then relax, then go to reach for the cup BUT INSTEAD abort the reaching action before you have moved at all, that is enough for the main point. Who makes the decision, when, and why are all beside the point. The point is just that the body has a way to tense something inside, which is independent (separable through practice) from the action of the muscles that will subsequently fire in the reaching task. That "something" is ki, it is controlled by intent, and it can be used for something much cooler than how it is used without internal training, when someone grabs coffee the "regular way."

Bill Danosky
10-17-2013, 05:45 PM
You mean "intent" in the way that Don Juan explains it to Carlos Castaneda?

"In the universe there is an immeasurable, indescribable force which shamans call intent, and absolutely everything that exists in the entire cosmos is attached to intent by a connecting link."

Or something in the nature of Pranayam, Kundalini, etc.?

How are you using it in a cool way? Got a good demo?

Cady Goldfield
10-17-2013, 05:56 PM
Bill... Quick! Scratch your nose.
Don't think about it.

;)

Janet Rosen
10-17-2013, 07:48 PM
Bill... Quick! Scratch your nose.
Don't think about it.

;)

LOL! Still do this with my beginning Low Impact students, with the rest of us hanging onto their arms. :)

JW
10-18-2013, 12:22 AM
"In the universe there is an immeasurable, indescribable force which shamans call intent, and absolutely everything that exists in the entire cosmos is attached to intent by a connecting link."


I've seen the Castenada books. Weird stuff. You know, they also talk about "tendon energy." Castenada asks his teacher why they use the term "tendon," wondering if it is the wrong translation, since they talk about areas like the abdomen which are not big on tendons (compared to the limb joints for instance). He doesn't get a very good answer except that yes, that is the right translation.

The quote you provided is pretty big-picturesque and metaphysical, but I think there is a connection from that point of view. Intent controls ki, and ki makes connections between things. Metaphysical musings don't help your training though. There is a much more practical level to deal with, unless we are posting in the "spiritual" section maybe. And I can't talk about the degree to which any such practical side of the Castenada stuff is relevant.

Regarding demonstrations, I'm workin on it! But Ikeda sensei does great demonstrations. As a matter of intro to these videos, I'd like to point out that visualizations of forces, like "imagine water is shooting out of your arm like it is a water hose," or "imagine you are sitting on an inflated balloon" are simply tricks/tools to control intent in a large-scale way. There's no real difference between those types of visualizations and what happens when you "go to reach for a cup but abort the action right before you do it."

Here, Ikeda sensei (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9Zfpl1S5Cs#t=53s) uses the visualization of playing catch (i.e. intent) to control his body (and his body's connection to his partner) so that his partner falls down. It's something that makes uke move without forcing him against the directions in which he is strong.

Here, he points out (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JJDZuyO6WY) that the state of your intent in your core/body is the key to doing another similar type of kuzushi effect, against even more resistant ukes. He explicitly points out that fighting against their strength is different (and less effective) than using this intent-based trick. ("Right place" is the visualization here, rather than playing catch.)

Michael Varin
10-18-2013, 01:19 AM
Here, he points out (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JJDZuyO6WY) that the state of your intent in your core/body is the key to doing another similar type of kuzushi effect, against even more resistant ukes. He explicitly points out that fighting against their strength is different (and less effective) than using this intent-based trick. ("Right place" is the visualization here, rather than playing catch.)

Jonathan,

Ikeda is using a significantly different direction and body movement when he "succeeds" versus when he "fails."

Would he be able to use intent to go against their strength and be as effective? If yes, why don't we see him doing that?

Michael Varin
10-18-2013, 01:30 AM
On a side note, I'm really getting tired of people posting videos of Sam Chin and Hiroshi Ikeda in place of their own videos.

We are either going to use video or not. You are posting here and presumably engaging in this practice. If you want to post a video depicting some aspect of your practice, make one of yourself.

A swear some posters on AikiWeb have been trying to make a video for 4 or 5 years and can't seem to get it done. It's so simple these days!

jonreading
10-18-2013, 10:06 AM
On a side note, I'm really getting tired of people posting videos of Sam Chin and Hiroshi Ikeda in place of their own videos.

We are either going to use video or not. You are posting here and presumably engaging in this practice. If you want to post a video depicting some aspect of your practice, make one of yourself.

A swear some posters on AikiWeb have been trying to make a video for 4 or 5 years and can't seem to get it done. It's so simple these days!

At risk of sounding like a broken record, I want to make sure I understand this...

First, you are chastising posters who admit to their inexperience working with internal exercises for not posting videos memorializing their personal development and struggle. All of which, given your personal antagonistic attitude towards the subject, is likely only to be used as the foundation for non-constructive criticism. And you wonder why posters are not sharing their personal training?

Second, Sam Chin and Hiroshi Ikeda both represent their respective training methodologies for internal strength. You want to see the exercises, methodology and effect of internal training, both of these individuals can demonstrate their respective methods. You may criticize the effectiveness of their methodology in disseminating the skills, evidenced by the lack of students confident enough to put forth a video demonstrating their skills. I am unclear- are you criticizing these individuals because you believe their skills are lacking or because they are not competent to disseminate the skills to their students?

You come across as wanting to see something that is less than perfect. If you want to see internal strength, I think looking at the engineers of the material is the best route.

Cady Goldfield
10-18-2013, 10:41 AM
There are other reasons for not wanting to post videos, including not being comfortable posting martial arts stuff on a world-wide internet screen, being concerned about stalking and "challenges" from nutjobs, not wanting to be considered an "authorized representative" of someone else's proprietary material, and even just a desire for what little privacy remains to us in a mass-media world.

I'm sure that a number of us would be willing to meet up with others, in the spirit of goodwill, and demonstrate what we do, because in that instance there is a personal connection with those who are making the inquiry. But posting videos for mass consumption by complete strangers, is not a leap that most care to take.

Bill Danosky
10-18-2013, 11:10 AM
I like the concepts. As I've said, we haven't worked with mental constructs locally, so they're things I'm sounding out here. Bruce Lee used notions of the flowing, crashing, etc, characteristics of water to train for power punches and kicks. So I'm inclined to believe it. I'd like to know how it can be tested, though.

How has the scientific method been applied to it? Has anyone done comparative control tests? What data exists?

Bill Danosky
10-18-2013, 11:12 AM
Bill... Quick! Scratch your nose.
Don't think about it.

;)

Okay, help me play this out, because I'm interested in where this is going: I'm thinking I can't scratch my nose without thinking about it. Unless it itches.

Cady Goldfield
10-18-2013, 11:15 AM
Unless it itches.

You're heading in the right direction. Think out what's happening when your nose itches, and you just scratch it.

Bill Danosky
10-18-2013, 11:57 AM
Stimulus/response?

JW
10-18-2013, 12:01 PM
Jonathan,

Ikeda is using a significantly different direction and body movement when he "succeeds" versus when he "fails."


Yeah, and what is telling him the "right" direction to go in? Prescience? Or does he not have to worry about making the decision because of how he uses his body? If you want to get the direction right every time because you are smart, then fine. I'm dumb so I will use intent to make it easier for me.

There is a sensory aspect to "using ki," which is where the term "ting jin" comes from.

Anyway not only is this off topic (when was the last time we mentioned 6 directions), we're all really sick of people talking about Ikeda's videos so I should shut up, shouldn't I? Everybody here is obviously as good as he is, so why should we discuss videos of exemplars of our training methodology? We should make our own mediocre videos and ignore those who are far ahead of us.

Bill Danosky
10-18-2013, 12:24 PM
Yeah, and what is telling him the "right" direction to go in? Prescience? Or does he not have to worry about making the decision because of how he uses his body? If you want to get the direction right every time because you are smart, then fine. I'm dumb so I will use intent to make it easier for me.

There is a sensory aspect to "using ki," which is where the term "ting jin" comes from.

Anyway not only is this off topic (when was the last time we mentioned 6 directions), we're all really sick of people talking about Ikeda's videos so I should shut up, shouldn't I? Everybody here is obviously as good as he is, so why should we discuss videos of exemplars of our training methodology? We should make our own mediocre videos and ignore those who are far ahead of us.

I would still like to know how we measure it. It's much easier to make a case if you have evidence, data or something to that shows the training method improves something. What are the tangible benefits?

Budd
10-18-2013, 12:48 PM
I think this is the study from Stanford that most will reference as a primer

http://news.stanford.edu/news/2008/may7/med-taichi-050708.html

Otherwise, I think there's a pretty intentional stance from a number of sources that this stuff has to be felt in person hands on - not in a gong sau challenge way but in a "here's what is meant by unusual strength" kind of manner. I've had some walk-ins come visit me up in Buffalo, NY. I think most people are willing to do a show and tell if you're a genuine seeker rather than trying to force fit an agenda on the encounter.

Cady Goldfield
10-18-2013, 03:43 PM
The problem with the Stanford study, is that the grad students could measure only the overt movements the taichi (and, I think, baji) master was doing. There is no way as yet to measure or track the movements of mingmen, dantien, kwas, or the cycling of power from ground-to-ground. It would have been great if they could MRI his brain while he was "firing" intent... :D

Cady Goldfield
10-18-2013, 04:15 PM
Stimulus/response?

You might find the work of Benjamin Libet to be interesting (sorry it's Wiki, but actually not bad articles!):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Libet

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuroscience_of_free_will

When you scratch an itchy nose, the volition to move comes from a different part of the brain, a different brain function, than the conscious mind. The conscious mind catches on after the command to scratch has been fired off, but the micro-second timing of it is so fast that we "think" that we consciously made the decision.

When working on IP and aiki, a person actively -and with awareness- activates and manipulates that volitional, non-conscious brain function to activate the processes necessary to generate IP and effect aiki.

Some people suggest that it's mental imagery allowing us to fire off actions, but that's really an extra step, one step removed from the intent/volition itself.

Michael Varin
10-19-2013, 12:37 AM
Jon and Jonathan. . . Chill out my AikiWeb friends.

Step back from your keyboards and read what was written in context. You have both completely missed the point.

On a side note, I'm really getting tired of people posting videos of Sam Chin and Hiroshi Ikeda in place of their own videos.

We are either going to use video or not. You are posting here and presumably engaging in this practice. If you want to post a video depicting some aspect of your practice, make one of yourself.

I swear some posters on AikiWeb have been trying to make a video for 4 or 5 years and can't seem to get it done. It's so simple these days!

The way I read the posts, Jonathan Wong was asked, "How are you [personally] using it in a cool way?"

How can a video of Hiroshi Ikeda possibly show this?

I'm not tired of people discussing Ikeda or Sam Chin videos. When did I ever say that? Please don't mischaracterize my statements. I'm obsessed with aikido and the martial arts. I'll discuss the hell out of anything that anyone posts, and I enjoy when others do the same. I have nothing at all against these guys. I did not criticize them in any way in this thread. Please do not put words in my mouth. And believe me, if I criticize them I would make it clear, because I don't think anyone is off limits.

Not everything or everyone that challenges you in life is antagonistic.

Michael Varin
10-19-2013, 12:41 AM
Yeah, and what is telling him the "right" direction to go in? Prescience? Or does he not have to worry about making the decision because of how he uses his body? If you want to get the direction right every time because you are smart, then fine. I'm dumb so I will use intent to make it easier for me.

There is a sensory aspect to "using ki," which is where the term "ting jin" comes from.

You posted the video. You could've just answered the questions.

Bill Danosky
10-19-2013, 11:25 AM
When you scratch an itchy nose, the volition to move comes from a different part of the brain, a different brain function, than the conscious mind. The conscious mind catches on after the command to scratch has been fired off, but the micro-second timing of it is so fast that we "think" that we consciously made the decision....Some people suggest that it's mental imagery allowing us to fire off actions, but that's really an extra step, one step removed from the intent/volition itself.

This makes some sense. I am taking it that this is in pursuit of being quicker in your response to an attack. Surely it needs to be balanced against some kind of oversight, though, even if it's just through conditioning because it can be hacked. Let me explain with an example:

My pug totally owns me. She sits next to my chair at the table and begs for food, so I keep a pile of tiny treats and make her sit quietly before she gets one. My wife has noted that Abby can whine and jump up, and if I'm distracted or concentrating on something else, I will dish out without realizing it.

By the same mechanism, if I'm not carefully observing (as opposed to making real time decisions about techniques, which is not optimal) it seems like I'd be vulnerable to mistakes in judgement with fakes, feints or use of force.

Not that we're doomed to make those mistakes, probably something we can train for. What do you think?

JW
10-19-2013, 12:21 PM
I would agree that not everything that challenges you is antagonistic-- in fact I would even go a step further and say that NONE of the the things that are actually challenging can be. Only attitude can be antagonistic. I love these forums for the communication that comes out of lack of agreement. The above exchange with Bill Danosky is an example. I also love it when Szczepan or Demetrio pipe up. Even with very short posts they express discrete points that further the discussion. Michael, your post #106 looked like you were going to do similar, and I appreciated that.

Loose ends:
1. The context of Bill's question to me in post #102 was the previous 10 or so posts, the underlying theme of which could be summarized, "What is it you guys mean by intent?" You can even see that sentiment in the first sentence of 102 ("You mean 'intent' in the way that..."). So if you look at what I posted in context, it is indeed possible for me to further the conversation by using video of an exemplar. I don't have a video of me right now-- so my choice was to leave Bill's question hanging, or address it partially, and I chose the latter. Actually I think Ikeda's videos that I linked to answer both of the key points of this part of the thread: what is intent (as opposed to ideas dealing with desire and consciousness), and what is "cool" about how you can use it? I don't think my personal abilities are of more important in this particular discussion that answering those two questions. If my abilities were the main point and those other 2 points were not important to Bill or anyone else - then yes, me linking to those 2 videos would quite clearly be worthy of contention.
2. It's not "simple" for me to decide to make a video of something that I am still working on. If I beleive in my work then I won't sell it short by posting a half-assed video of it. If it looks like crap, is it because the concept is not good, or because I did it poorly? It might be more simple to get to that stage if I had a more regular partner practice schedule, or even a partner for a video itself. Or a practice space to use at my leisure. Then yes it might be more simple.
3. I didn't intent post #114 to be cryptic. The question is the first sentence. Two possible answers are provided. I offer one of these as a possibility, but discount it as far as my own practice. I then further emphasize my favored answer by the sentence set apart by blank lines. There is not anything intended to be left unasnwered in that post. I hardly think anyone would want me to be even more verbose than I already am, which is the reason for brevity when I think I can get away with it.
4. Although the rest of #114 is full of verbal irony, I think the information content is basically the same as much of this more verbose post... I'm sorry for expressing attitude when information will do. Does this post make more sense?

jonreading
10-21-2013, 10:15 AM
Jon and Jonathan. . . Chill out my AikiWeb friends.

Step back from your keyboards and read what was written in context. You have both completely missed the point.

The way I read the posts, Jonathan Wong was asked, "How are you [personally] using it in a cool way?"

How can a video of Hiroshi Ikeda possibly show this?

I'm not tired of people discussing Ikeda or Sam Chin videos. When did I ever say that? Please don't mischaracterize my statements. I'm obsessed with aikido and the martial arts. I'll discuss the hell out of anything that anyone posts, and I enjoy when others do the same. I have nothing at all against these guys. I did not criticize them in any way in this thread. Please do not put words in my mouth. And believe me, if I criticize them I would make it clear, because I don't think anyone is off limits.

Not everything or everyone that challenges you in life is antagonistic.

I think context here is everything. Your questions has been asked and answered, your continued pursuit of it is curious. I think my point was to ask why are you are criticizing those who have not posted a video of themselves, citing the ease in which a video can be created, but disregarding the quality of the content. Those who have not posted their videos (myself included) have cited, among a number of reasons, their personal discomfort in sharing their application for reasons of competency.

In lieu of a personal video, the posters have been sharing the training exercises they have inherited from proponents of internal training methods. These videos show the exercises the posters are working on. I asked for clarification because in continuing to ask to see personal videos of the same exercises, you are asking to see videos that will almost certainly be less helpful than the original videos. It seems your frustration is directed at the timeline during which you feel someone should have posted their expertise in aiki for your consumption. To me, that left 2 major valid criticisms: either you have a problem with aiki, as expressed by Sam Chin or Hiroshi Ikeda; Or, you have a problem with the competency in which these two people disseminate aiki instruction, as expressed by the lack of students willing to demonstrate their aiki. It sounds like you believe these guys have internal power, or at least do not have issue with their claim they have internal power. So that brings us to criticism 2.

For me, I spoke to Ikeda Sensei a few years ago about this topic because I felt previously his instruction (language barrier aside) was less than clear; Ikeda sensei dramatically changed his instruction to be more inclusive of aiki training and he has found new methods to disseminate the content. Both have had a positive change on his instruction, in my opinion. I told him so. But, aiki has a learning curve that exceeds your timeline. You're not gonna see expert videos on this stuff for a while.
Gleason, Ledyard... Hell, Ledyard just put up a online library that you can view on your computer. All these guys are sharing their exercises if you ask. They all have approaches of maximizing the training time frame to integrate this stuff into aikido.

This thread began with an inclusive request to share information about a specific exercise, yet somehow reached a point of criticism about things not shared. I continue to be amazed by the burden of proof placed upon proponents of aiki. I perceive that we pursue this topic with the vigor to invalidate a point, as illustrated by your criticism of excluded content, rather than discussion of the existing content.

Demetrio Cereijo
10-21-2013, 01:20 PM
I continue to be amazed by the burden of proof placed upon proponents of aiki.

A smart guy once said "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". Maybe he wasn't so smart.

Chris Li
10-21-2013, 01:25 PM
A smart guy once said "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". Maybe he wasn't so smart.

That was a reasonable argument when people like Dan weren't teaching openly around the world (I would have made it myself) - now, not so much.

Best,

Chris

Cady Goldfield
10-21-2013, 01:26 PM
A smart guy once said "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". Maybe he wasn't so smart.

But the evidence is there, and it has been laid out in plain sight. The training, or at least a chance to experience, is publicly available, and probably has never been so available in all of the history of this stuff.

Demetrio Cereijo
10-21-2013, 02:09 PM
But the evidence is there, and it has been laid out in plain sight. The training, or at least a chance to experience, is publicly available, and probably has never been so available in all of the history of this stuff.

Evidence like, for instance, today's equivalent feats of solidly beating a top Sumo guy in front of a multitude? trashing the Kodokan? being hired by Nakano School to teach combatives to high level spec-ops operatives? Because that is what aiki guys of yore is said they did. What are the martial feats of contemporary aiki proponents?

If these kind of entertaining discussions are still running, its your (pl) fault. Stop making excuses and running in semantic circles and start taking Naga/UFC/Olympics/Dog Bros gatherings/etc. by storm.for these are today's minimum standards of martial skill for everybody.

If you (pl) succeed, in a couple of days no sane individual will say there's no clear evidence availabe about the value of IS/IP/Aiki/wateverthename in martial arts. If you fail, you at least will have well deserved respect for trying. That's all.

jonreading
10-21-2013, 02:31 PM
Evidence like, for instance, today's equivalent feats of solidly beating a top Sumo guy in front of a multitude? trashing the Kodokan? being hired by Nakano School to teach combatives to high level spec-ops operatives? Because that is what aiki guys of yore is said they did.

What are the martial feats of contemporary aiki proponents?

If these kind of entertaining discussions are still running, its your (pl) fault. Stop making excuses and running in semantic circles and start taking Naga/UFC/Olympics/Dog Bros gatherings/etc. by storm.for these are today's minimum standards of martial skill for everybody.

If you (pl) succeed, in a couple of days no sane individual will say there's no clear evidence availabe about the value of IS/IP/Aiki/wateverthename in martial arts. If you fail, you at least will have well deserved respect for trying. That's all.

There are none. If you require that qualification, then you are not prepared to be in this thread.

If the topic of this conversation was somehow constructed to open for debate the argument of internal power within any competitive fight program, I would not be adverse to that discussion. My comment was more to illustrate the topic of this thread was the role of an exercise in developing internal power. Yet, the thread was hijacked to require proof that internal power exists.

If you don't believe internal power exists, then why would you contribute to a thread about an exercise to develop internal power? You're correct, trying to share this information on a forum seems to provide an avenue for posters to hijack the thread and trash the material. That is probably why most of the people doing this stuff have abandoned Aikiweb.

Moreso, how is there any ethos in a poster's comment about a topic to which they are adverse, about an exercise of which they have no knowledge? God bless the webernet, where everyone's an expert.

Chris Li
10-21-2013, 02:36 PM
Evidence like, for instance, today's equivalent feats of solidly beating a top Sumo guy in front of a multitude? trashing the Kodokan? being hired by Nakano School to teach combatives to high level spec-ops operatives? Because that is what aiki guys of yore is said they did. What are the martial feats of contemporary aiki proponents?

If these kind of entertaining discussions are still running, its your (pl) fault. Stop making excuses and running in semantic circles and start taking Naga/UFC/Olympics/Dog Bros gatherings/etc. by storm.for these are today's minimum standards of martial skill for everybody.

If you (pl) succeed, in a couple of days no sane individual will say there's no clear evidence availabe about the value of IS/IP/Aiki/wateverthename in martial arts. If you fail, you at least will have well deserved respect for trying. That's all.

Again, it seems that a higher bar is being set than is for conventional Aikido. Conventional Aikido folks say (mostly) that they're already able to do what Ueshiba did - which would include those feats, anybody calling for them to prove it in the UFC?

FWIW, I've got my share of stories (including some high level spec-ops stories), but it's better, IMO, to just go out and try for yourself.

Best,

Chris

Demetrio Cereijo
10-21-2013, 03:17 PM
Again, it seems that a higher bar is being set than is for conventional Aikido. Conventional Aikido folks say (mostly) that they're already able to do what Ueshiba did - which would include those feats, anybody calling for them to prove it in the UFC?

Well, there has been enough aikido folks who stepped on MMA rings for people to see their performance. Most of the doubts have been solved.

FWIW, I've got my share of stories (including some high level spec-ops stories), but it's better, IMO, to just go out and try for yourself.

Volunteering for Spec-ops was the only available option to serve close to home for me back in the day (mandatory military service). I didn't tried back then, I'm not going to try now.

Nice guys anway, and good training partners.:)

Demetrio Cereijo
10-21-2013, 03:31 PM
Didn't saw your post

If you don't believe internal power exists, then why would you contribute to a thread about an exercise to develop internal power?

I've said cleary long time ago what I believe about the existence of internal power. I don't deny it exists.

And about your "then you are not prepared to be in this thread"... that's Jun bussiness, not yours.

jonreading
10-21-2013, 04:04 PM
Didn't saw your post

I've said cleary long time ago what I believe about the existence of internal power. I don't deny it exists.

And about your "then you are not prepared to be in this thread"... that's Jun bussiness, not yours.

Demetrio-

I have read many of your posts, my comments are more rhetorical for the thread, not just you. I may have been murky in responding specifically to your comments or generically to the thread.

Yes, ultimately Jun is the moderator responsible for keeping threads on-base. Having moderated forums previously, I do not envy him. My comment is one of self-regulation and related to why we would participate in a thread, not if. In this thread alone, the level of competence is fairly clear from the content of the posts. I think the quality of the posts are evidence enough... mine included. For example, I have now spent more posts defending whether IP exists then describing the exercise... which is the topic of the thread.

bkedelen
10-21-2013, 07:10 PM
Your attempt to set the bar for what level is necessary to participate in the conversation is shameful. This is not the voices of experience section. Have you no common courtesy?

Bill Danosky
10-21-2013, 07:13 PM
Then let's pretend/agree that IP exists- just for the purpose of this discussion- and dig into "why".

Is it practical? How does it help me fight bad guys? And for the record- that is all I care about.

Cady Goldfield
10-21-2013, 08:04 PM
Bill, for those of us who practice and have - to varying degrees - IP and aiki, we don't have to pretend or even to agree. The condition just... is. It's not mystical or magical in any way. Its source is purely the product of mental and physical work.

The martial value is very evident, once you've when you've had the opportunity to experience both the "external" (conventional) way of generating martial power and stability, and the "internal" approach, IP allows you to create continuous power for deflecting, striking, kicking, etc. without having to chamber or reposition your body. Chambering and repositioning creates gaps an opponent can exploit, so eliminating it from your power-making is a distinct advantage.

Also, the structure of the body necessary for IP is a unified one; movement is not sequential chain reactions but a constant state. The alignment and arcing of the joints allows a person to re-direct force from an opponent -- neutralizing the force of an attack, sending it to the ground, and using it - augmented with one's own generated power - to attack the opponent. Instead of being forced backward, or pushed over, or being forced to bend back at the waist, the body remains a force-directing arc to the ground and back into the opponent. This grants great stability without bracing or committing mass and center to any exploitable point. These are just a small part of the benefits of IP over conventional method.

You know, Shioda did all this, though he doesn't seem to have transmitted much of it to ensuing generations. I think Chris already recommended that you look into Kodo Horikawa, a disciple of Sokaku Takeda and head of Daito-ryu Kodokai. It's pretty much old news that Shioda spent some time with Horikawa when he couldn't grasp what Ueshiba was talking about or doing, but could very much feel the power of Ueshiba's aiki. Shioda went outside aikido, back to Daito-ryu, to get what he was lacking. Horikawa evidently provided the necessary "enlightenment."

Cliff Judge
10-21-2013, 08:21 PM
Then let's pretend/agree that IP exists- just for the purpose of this discussion- and dig into "why".

Is it practical? How does it help me fight bad guys? And for the record- that is all I care about.

If it exists, then when you had to put hands on the bad guys, you can obtain the results you need with less strain on your muscles and soft tissue.

Where I fit into the whole argument is that I don't think the training methods these folks use have any relation to what Ueshiba and Takeda or any of their students except Sagawa did. This may not matter to you given where you are coming from.

The drawback is the IP training methods apparently take a lot of time and effort, though it seems like it sucks you in when you start doing it.

Cady Goldfield
10-21-2013, 08:28 PM
The drawback is the IP training methods apparently take a lot of time and effort, though it seems like it sucks you in when you start doing it.

Some people are "sucked in" simply because they are amazed at what these skills can do to enhance whatever martial art they're training in. When you find a better way of doing something, why would you not embrace it?

With a good teacher, an individual who already has grounding in an MA, and sticks to regular IP training, can gain some basic usable skills within a couple of years. If your livelihood depends on cage matches yesterday and tomorrow, that's probably not practical, but since MAs realistically are a hobby for most, unless you're a professional LEO, etc., it requires no greater time investment than that required to excel or to at least get proficient in any martial discipline.

Chris Li
10-21-2013, 08:35 PM
Then let's pretend/agree that IP exists- just for the purpose of this discussion- and dig into "why".

Is it practical? How does it help me fight bad guys? And for the record- that is all I care about.

Does it help you fight bad guys? Absolutely.

Is it practical? I suppose that depends on your point of view - from my point of view no martial art, MMA, BJJ, or whatever is really practical for fighting bad guys because the return on investment is so bad in relation to the years of work that you put it in - that is, for most people fighting bad guys just doesn't come up that often.

On the other hand, I enjoy it for its own sake, and there are a whole host of health benefits (many unique to internal training, if you follow that stuff).

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
10-21-2013, 08:40 PM
Your attempt to set the bar for what level is necessary to participate in the conversation is shameful. This is not the voices of experience section. Have you no common courtesy?

Which post was discourteous? My point was, if we're discussing whether something is "real" or not and setting a high bar for that proof then everybody ought to be held to the same bar, that's all.

Best,

Chris

bkedelen
10-21-2013, 08:54 PM
I was speaking to Jon, but I can see how a number of folks might identify their own posts on this subject.

Chris Li
10-21-2013, 09:03 PM
I was speaking to Jon, but I can see how a number of folks might identify their own posts on this subject.

Hmm, that's why I love the "quote" feature. :D

Best,

Chris

phitruong
10-21-2013, 09:28 PM
hey! which direction are you folks going? i am lost! my internal GPS isn't working right. which way to the nearest aiki party? 6 directions, 6 harmonies, 6 kind of liquor. it's the devil in the detail. :D

Cady Goldfield
10-21-2013, 10:15 PM
hey! which direction are you folks going? i am lost! my internal GPS isn't working right. which way to the nearest aiki party? 6 directions, 6 harmonies, 6 kind of liquor. it's the devil in the detail. :D

Six kinds of liquor? Is that what was meant by "raise the bar"? I thought about raising a beer at the bar, or raising hell at the bar. :D

Janet Rosen
10-22-2013, 12:27 AM
I thought it was beat me daddy EIGHT to the bar. Dang. Wrong again.

Michael Varin
10-22-2013, 02:57 AM
If the topic of this conversation was somehow constructed to open for debate the argument of internal power within any competitive fight program, I would not be adverse to that discussion. My comment was more to illustrate the topic of this thread was the role of an exercise in developing internal power. Yet, the thread was hijacked to require proof that internal power exists.

If you don't believe internal power exists, then why would you contribute to a thread about an exercise to develop internal power? You're correct, trying to share this information on a forum seems to provide an avenue for posters to hijack the thread and trash the material. That is probably why most of the people doing this stuff have abandoned Aikiweb.

Thread drift is par for the course here on AikiWeb. You've been around long enough to know that.

And not to play tit for tat, but I don't have to go back too many years to the hey day of "IP/IT/IS" on AikiWeb where it seemed like nearly every thread including some new members intros were "hijacked" by the "IP/IT/IS" crowd. It's just speculation, but that's probably why so many of the mainstay contributors from that time abandoned AikiWeb.

I think if you put stuff out there for discussion be prepared to encounter supporters and detractors. In the end those types of discussions have a way of bettering everyone who stays involved. Not so when everyone is just patting each other on the back with inside jokes and winky faces.

Michael Varin
10-22-2013, 03:02 AM
If it exists, then when you had to put hands on the bad guys, you can obtain the results you need with less strain on your muscles and soft tissue.

Where I fit into the whole argument is that I don't think the training methods these folks use have any relation to what Ueshiba and Takeda or any of their students except Sagawa did. This may not matter to you given where you are coming from.

The drawback is the IP training methods apparently take a lot of time and effort, though it seems like it sucks you in when you start doing it.

This is of great concern to me as well.

PaulF
10-22-2013, 04:34 AM
Phi - long island iced tea + random additional liquor of your choice?

Michael/Cliff - aren't there (inevitably) lots of similarities between the various internal arts and their training methods? Certainly we seem to be doing some very similar movements in qigong/taiji to those in aikdio, especially the undo exercises we use as part of our warm ups, and the focus on breath is a strong common thread, which my wife also relates to her yoga practice. Then there's dantien/hara/seika tanden, grounding, etc. I'm not sure what methods DH uses but from what I've seen of ILC and Aunkai there appears to be a lot of commonality.

Cady Goldfield
10-22-2013, 06:34 AM
This is of great concern to me as well.

Training methods may vary, but at the core they must be working the same things because they are developing very specific qualities and skills. Thus, if more than one system is producing people with the same skills and same scope and complement of skills, the differences in developmental training are superficial ones.

What Takeda did for personal training is likely lost to the mists of time, secrecy and lack of recorded records; the presence of aiki in members of succeeding generations is proof that it was successfully transmitted by Takeda's teaching; the presence of aiki in the descendants of those students indicates that whatever means they devised to teach aiki skills, was effective.

Sagawa revealed some of his training methods only late in life, but those with whom he shared it have aiki. Horikawa likewise was able to transmit aiki to selected students, as there are descendants of his training today who have aiki and are teaching it. They are also recognizing that the training methods other systems outside the Japanese internal martial arts have the same critical components, and likely pre-date anything that Takeda and his aiki descendants possessed.

Rather than worry about things, it is more productive to note that if one has IP and aiki, whatever means that was used to develop it was effective. But even more important, before one makes these pronouncements, one should actually go out and experience IP and aiki so everyone is on the same page regarding what is being discussed here.

jonreading
10-22-2013, 08:40 AM
Your attempt to set the bar for what level is necessary to participate in the conversation is shameful. This is not the voices of experience section. Have you no common courtesy?

Common courtesy is the self-regulation to post and contribute to threads which pique your interest and further the topic of the thread. The common courtesy missing here is to answer the questions of the thread and talk about an exercise that helps understand the feeling of 6 directions. Michael mentioned that drift are organic movements and I understand that people want to positively contribute to a topic. But this thread has now reached a point where probably the majority of the posts are not about the topic.

This thread drift hits close for me because several years ago I turned to Aikiweb in my search to check out "IP". In reading the threads, I would read a nugget of knowledge piled under many posts of drifted conjecture. Eventually, most of those posters left Aikiweb and even the nuggets started drying up. I think this thread was a great opportunity to provide the community some information about a basic exercise that introduces a core concept of internal power. Instead... history repeats itself.

Michael talked about a period of time where several IP posts drifted thread topics. My participation in many of those threads also commented on thread focus. Many of those posters were asked to leave the forum, or left of their on accord. This is not my first, nor will be my last (sorry Jun!!), comment to call out a significant thread drift that in my opinion changes the nature of the thread.

And to be clear, I am not setting a bar. I have no moderator status; I cannot delete posts. I am simply asking to keep our focus on-topic. I have read several posts that are relevant to a debate over the role of IP in aikido, but probably not germane to describing an exercise that by its nature requires consent that internal power exists and have a role in aikido. I think they would (and should) be excellent threads to contribute [to].

To your point about my comments establishing a quality of participation, we all should be speaking with a voice of experience. Some more than others. If we are not learning something from a contribution, can we still call it that?

Bill Danosky
10-22-2013, 09:34 AM
Thread drift is par for the course here on AikiWeb. You've been around long enough to know that.

And not to play tit for tat, but I don't have to go back too many years to the hey day of "IP/IT/IS" on AikiWeb where it seemed like nearly every thread including some new members intros were "hijacked" by the "IP/IT/IS" crowd. It's just speculation, but that's probably why so many of the mainstay contributors from that time abandoned AikiWeb.

I think if you put stuff out there for discussion be prepared to encounter supporters and detractors. In the end those types of discussions have a way of bettering everyone who stays involved. Not so when everyone is just patting each other on the back with inside jokes and winky faces.

True... LOL! Really true... Yep.... Absolutely right.

Demetrio Cereijo
10-22-2013, 09:37 AM
And to be clear, I am not setting a bar.

True, in fact you were complaining about the burden of proof placed upon proponents of aiki by the skeptics. A burden of proof that seems unfair to you. Well, life is unfair, deal with it.

You could have pointed the skeptics to your youtube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/jonreading1977/videos) (publicly available) and let them decide. If they like what is shown, then fine; if they are not amused.... fine too. No thread derailing, no e-drama, no passive agressiveness. Back to topic, the show must go on.
.

jonreading
10-22-2013, 09:57 AM
True, in fact you were complaining about the burden of proof placed upon proponents of aiki by the skeptics. A burden of proof that seems unfair to you. Well, life is unfair, deal with it.

You could have pointed the skeptics to your youtube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/jonreading1977/videos) (publicly available) and let them decide. If they like what is shown, then fine; if they are not amused.... fine too. No thread derailing, no e-drama, no passive agressiveness. Back to topic, the show must go on.
.

Wow. A link to my personal youtube. Well, Logan is 4 and Brynn is 2. Thanks for sharing that. Who cannot like Logan singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider?" I think he was 2 when we made that video. Making videos is so easy, I cannot believe we don't do it more...

Of course, I suppose you also could've just watch the video I posted earlier in the thread... But surely you've read my previous posts and felt that the video I posted did not demonstrate 6 directions better than my Star Wars voice over of Jabba the Hut.

Demetrio Cereijo
10-22-2013, 10:05 AM
Of course, I suppose you also could've just watch the video I posted earlier in the thread...
How do you think I've found your youtube channel?

jonreading
10-22-2013, 10:23 AM
I don't doubt it. I have a public profile in YouTube because my extended family is spread out and I use videos to share stuff with my family. I chose to share a link to a specific video, not a channel. Obviously, there's nothing up there that is truly sensitive; but I hope you can appreciate some sensitivity to sharing a channel that is predominantly [obviously] personal videos. Any vetting of my channel before publishing your post with the link would've revealed that fact. Also, I would be happy to send links to any videos I publish that I feel are illustrative in making my point or contributing to a thread.

I guess this is what to expect if you're stupid enough to share a video...

bkedelen
10-22-2013, 10:43 AM
What can I say to make you and your friends realize that what you are doing is putting people down and not raising them up?

If you are really in a position to help people, why don't you grow some leadership skills to pair up with those internal abilities?

You are so desperate to protect your position that you have abandoned its responsibilities.

This is the very heart of weakness. Exchanging the ability to make a difference for the chance to look good.

Demetrio Cereijo
10-22-2013, 10:51 AM
I guess this is what to expect if you're stupid enough to share a video...
Not stupid.... but zanshin lacking.

Now on (more or less) topic: You are a proponent of IP, your clips show the effects of IP/IS/Aiki training. Some people will say 'I want this' others will say 'do not want'.

What is the problem? Do you aiki people need thousands of born again aikidoka to feel your practise validated or what? Kick some asses and validate yourselves, like everyone has to.

Cady Goldfield
10-22-2013, 11:13 AM
I see training IP and aiki as the most authentic way to get closer to Ueshiba's vision, Takeda's world, or however one wishes to look at it. It also is a more effective and efficient way to do aikido... which is why it was at the core of Ueshiba's personal practice. In fact, it's a more effective and efficient way to do any martial art. But of course, that is not a priority for everyone.

There have been some very open and honest reports here on AikiWeb from individuals who were very critical of the IP/aiki group's claims, but who had the courage to seek out and experience it and came away with a better understanding of what those claims were. Some who did this decided that the power and aiki were real, and interesting, but the training was not necessary for them, based on their personal aims and goals of what they want to get from aikido. For others, IP/aiki became an essential and major focus for their aikido. In either case, these people at least went and sampled what they could of it before making any pronouncements or judgements.

It's all well and good to be a detractor of something, based solely on watching videos, but that will never give the person a true picture of what they are criticizing. The old refrain "it has to be felt" is not just a hackneyed cliche. It is the truth, which is why it has become the refrain to all of these contentious threads.

Chris Li
10-22-2013, 11:55 AM
Where I fit into the whole argument is that I don't think the training methods these folks use have any relation to what Ueshiba and Takeda or any of their students except Sagawa did. This may not matter to you given where you are coming from.

I believe that statement to be incorrect, but I'll leave that aside for now.

Let's assume that you are correct and that they didn't use those training methods.

Does it matter?

People today use a lot of training methods that Ueshiba never used.

Ueshiba never did the paired sword kata or two sword work that Saotome does. He never did the intricate Toho Iai system that Nishio devised. He never did the koshi-nage that were introduced by Kuroiwa and Nishio. He never did the Aiki Taiso that Koichi Tohei did. He never did the Ki no Renma that Hiroshi Tada does.

I see very few people wandering around saying "I'm concerned about all of those Italians spending so much time on Ki no Renma, since Ueshiba never used that training method...".

Best,

Chris

jonreading
10-22-2013, 12:20 PM
Not stupid.... but zanshin lacking.

Now on (more or less) topic: You are a proponent of IP, your clips show the effects of IP/IS/Aiki training. Some people will say 'I want this' others will say 'do not want'.

What is the problem? Do you aiki people need thousands of born again aikidoka to feel your practise validated or what? Kick some asses and validate yourselves, like everyone has to.

First, I am not a proponent of internal power. I have attended a seminar and see value in its training. Over the next several years I will commit time and resources to integrating internal power into my training. Once I have some time on the job, I will be happy to advocate specifically the methods of training internally. I find myself in a role of defending aiki because as I previously posted, at a time when I was looking for it I experienced personal frustration reading through the obviously prejudiced posts here on Aikiweb. I wish that those behind me do not experience that frustration. I don't care who believes it or not, but I would like to be part of the solution in providing helpful information about internal power. Now I find myself one of "you people".

What few video clips I have published are largely training that pre-dates my exposure to aiki and more specifically refer to the evolution of my personal training methods. The clip I posted predated my exposure to IP by several months. In my post I spend a minute describing the place that video holds in my progression. So no, my clips will not show any of the training that is typically considered "internal". What you see in my clips are my training methods and my style of aikido.

Several posts back, I made some comments about the direction of this thread - I have highlighted them below. While Demetrio's response is almost ver batum an inductive claim that my video is an example of the effects of IP, I also thinks its interesting to note that several posters have, in fact, busted my balls for my comments. I cannot think of a safer or more open forum in which to share my thoughts. But that's more because I don't have any leadership skills... or common courtesy.

Ben is right, I have found my last many posts in this thread devoted to defending aiki and not focused on the topic. This thread is obviously no longer about 6 directions and it is clear that it will not return to that topic...

Maybe I am reading the intention of some posts wrong. I am hoping we have some unclear humor and this thread is not degrading into a bully IP thing.

As some of the thread drifts towards a validation of what is IP, I think criticizing posters for not publishing "sufficient" information about their understanding of IP is inappropriate. If the comments are a little too dry, let's clarify when we are joking.

There are previous posts on this topic, many posted by IP proponents no longer on this forum. There are current threads containing IP content. Now we need to see videos. Great. Ledyard and Gleason both have DVDs for sale in which they address basic introduction material. Better yet, attend a seminar. You call BS? Visit the man and check yourself. You'll either be right or wrong.

I think right now any discussion on this stuff sits under a cloud of judgment just waiting to find the "a ha" moment which someone will use to discredit IP [in their mind]. It takes a lot a courage to post on this topic. It takes a lot of thinking to articulate on a basic level what is happening. There is no conspiracy to withhold information. This is new and exciting stuff that changes every time I have a conversation with someone. You gonna bust my balls because I don't feel safe enough to publish my personal training notes for you to tear down?

If you don't believe this stuff, God bless you. The beauty of Aikiweb is there are several threads to which we can contribute. But I would much rather foster a community encouraging people working with AIki/IP to express what they are feeling and how they are progressing their understanding of what is going on. You think its BS? Fine, then post back what we do in all the other threads when people talk about the weird s$%t they do, "That sounds interesting. Good luck with your training." I do not enjoy sounding like my mother, but I think 6 directions is incredibly important to aiki and I do not want posters to feel intimidated in sharing what they have picked up...including me.

That sounds interesting. Good luck with your training.

Demetrio Cereijo
10-22-2013, 12:40 PM
First, I am not a proponent of internal power. I have attended a seminar and see value in its training.
...
What few video clips I have published are largely training that pre-dates my exposure to aiki and more specifically refer to the evolution of my personal training methods. The clip I posted predated my exposure to IP by several months..

My bad. Sorry.

OTOH, you have provided valuable data for a theory I'm ellaborating. Thanks.

Mert Gambito
10-22-2013, 12:45 PM
Aspects of aiki-taiso of both Morihei Ueshiba and Koichi Tohei are incorporated into the training models of Dan Harden and Mike Sigman, to name a couple.

There are videos of Bill Gleason, for example, on YouTube folks can watch, but can't feel what's going on. Nonetheless, enjoy. It's good stuff on video, but again, better in person.

You are so desperate to protect your position that you have abandoned its responsibilities.
There is still such a profound disparity in ability between the IP teachers who've earned their reputations, and those learning from them (most folks discussing this material here, for example, began training within the past half-decade), that as of today, the responsible thing remains to refer inquiring parties to the source teachers. As previously stated, I suspect in a few years, while that disparity will remain (the credible IP teachers are gym rats for what they teach), there will be a number of folks who can adequately demonstrate principles and applications within the context of aikido, and some beyond it.

Kick some asses and validate yourselves, like everyone has to.
LOL, who is "everyone"? What percentage of martial artists across the board train to become consummate fighters? Most MMA folks I know, for example, enjoy practicing their standing game, rolling and sparring for the same reasons aikidoka enjoy waza and randori: the challenge of self-betterment with the help of like-minded people. And again, learning to fight and learning IP (as a dedicated body skill) are different things. At the judo dojo where my kids (and I sometimes) train, there are students who enjoy the technical aspects of the art, e.g. footwork and the finer points of establishing leverage; but are struggling to grasp the spirit and tactics that are important in randori and shiai. Then there's the opposite, where some have an instinct for the competition aspects, but often prevail by brute conviction and force. Becoming a good judoka requires a lot of work to meld both. Given the limitations in most people's daily schedules, when do you find time to "stand in six directions" for an hour or more a day on top of that? How much harder is it to pursue IP if you decide to divide time, or eek out a bit more time at the expense of other priorities, to incorporate striking and striking defenses standing and on the ground needed to operate in MMA? That said, there are a handful of folks in MMA and fighting arts who are pursuing IP skills through the same avenues as various aikidoka here. Don't hold your breath: I doubt they're reading these threads.

jonreading
10-22-2013, 01:01 PM
My bad. Sorry.

OTOH, you have provided valuable data for a theory I'm ellaborating. Thanks.

I'll be happy to help with what experience I have. Seriously.

hughrbeyer
10-22-2013, 10:14 PM
My, how the thread has degenerated since I last checked in.

Jon, I thought your Aikido videos were interesting, especially now that I know they preceded your intro to the IP stuff. I'll be in Atlanta in two weeks, can I come train with you? I'll send a PM.

Demetrio, you apparently wanted to throw mud at those videos but it seems you couldn't man up to make any specific criticism (#151). I hope the above is sufficiently clear to communicate what I thought.

Kinda interesting that almost no one has anything to say about the specific videos I did post back in #57. Y'all are plenty free with the noise, but when someone posts specific examples of O-Sensei doing this kind of stuff you look the other way? Fine, but it does reveal what you've got. (Which is nothing---this is the internet, so one has to be explicit.)

This is so stupid. I know a bunch of you guys on the hating side (can I say 'hating,' Jun? (For non-English speakers, I'm using it in the sense that my teen daughter uses it: haters gonna hate)) have some real skill. I know some of you guys have skills I don't have, and would like to have. They may or may not include the skills we're calling 'aiki', but that doesn't make them invalid or uninteresting. I'd much rather have a conversation about aiki over here and talk about your skills over there than spend all this time pissing on each others' shoes. Especially since the only way to resolve anything is to get on the mat together.

Michael Varin
10-22-2013, 11:52 PM
I know some of you guys have skills I don't have, and would like to have. They may or may not include the skills we're calling 'aiki', but that doesn't make them invalid or uninteresting. I'd much rather have a conversation about aiki over here and talk about your skills over there than spend all this time pissing on each others' shoes. Especially since the only way to resolve anything is to get on the mat together.

Hugh,

I hear where you are coming from. I want it to be this way too. I have for several years. But maybe it is time for "you guys" (I'm laughing while typing that) to relinquish the use of "aiki." I don't think you own it. I don't think it describes "IP/IT/IS."

Like Jonathan said, I'm probably a sicko, because if you would just call it kokyu or kokyu ryoku, I would find it much more palatable, and no less relevant, by the way!

The problem is, from my perspective, that these skills simply do not encompass aiki, an independent martial skill, as contemplated by Morihei Ueshiba.

Mert Gambito
10-23-2013, 12:34 AM
But maybe it is time for "you guys" (I'm laughing while typing that) to relinquish the use of "aiki." I don't think you own it. I don't think it describes "IP/IT/IS."

Like Jonathan said, I'm probably a sicko, because if you would just call it kokyu or kokyu ryoku, I would find it much more palatable, and no less relevant, by the way!

The problem is, from my perspective, that these skills simply do not encompass aiki, an independent martial skill, as contemplated by Morihei Ueshiba.

Michael,

A couple of the IP/IS methodologies utilized by contributors to this forum were primarily derived from Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu, so it's "aiki" at face value.

If Morihei Ueshiba felt strongly enough that a yoga-influenced path to aiki was deserving of praise bestowed on Koichi Tohei, then a methodology from within aikido's family tree shouldn't be disowned by aikidoka.

A man who trained with Ueshiba, regarded as a skeptic regarding those claiming representation of Ueshiba's prodigious aiki, has confirmed that Dan Harden's skills are analogous.

As previously stated, some IP/IS methodologies (including Dan's) include exercises analogous to some of those in aikido aiki-taiso.

It's aiki in the vein of Ueshiba by lineage, first-hand vetting and content.

Michael Varin
10-23-2013, 01:12 AM
It's all well and good to be a detractor of something, based solely on watching videos, but that will never give the person a true picture of what they are criticizing. The old refrain "it has to be felt" is not just a hackneyed cliche. It is the truth, which is why it has become the refrain to all of these contentious threads.

I really don't know where this was directed, but I felt obliged to respond. I am no doubt considered a detractor of "IP/IT/IS" here on AikiWeb. What may be missed is that I have tried on numerous occasions to "get hands on" with the top guys. At one point I arraigned to host a Mike Sigman workshop that fell through to no fault of his. I have attempted to attend five of Dan Harden's workshops and have not been allowed to attend. Yes. That does actually happen to some of us! Against my better judgment, I may attempt to attend his next workshop that I just saw advertised at ADV. I have attended two of Ikeda's seminars, although I was informed that this was before he was good at "IP/IT/IS" related stuff. I have also trained at one George Ledyard seminar, but again this was before he was exposed to "IP/IT/IS."

In July, I was in Hawaii and was able to train with Chris Li's group. I chose not to post about it for various reasons. It was only two occasions for a total of about four hours, plus another hour chatting with Chris. I liked Chris, not as much as the old guy Henry, who was such a character it would be hard to find a more likeable guy (Sorry, Mert. I don't know where you were! I was looking forward to meeting you.). I believe I conducted myself admirably. I knew I had a limited amount of time. I was curious and asked questions. I was attentive and respectful. I did not challenge anyone. I wanted to get "hands on" with Chris, and yet, I did not want to put the pressure of being the standard bearer of "IP/IT/IS" on him. I love Hawaii, I've been there numerous times, and I have no doubt that I will be going back. I would love to train with the Oahu group again.

That said, what they trained in was not aikido, and the skill they were attempting to cultivate was not aiki. And further, it wasn't a particularly martial expression of anything. For what it's worth, I have an Iwama style background (Why doesn't Saito's perspective and relationship with Morihei and aikido ever get mentioned in "IP/IT/IS" threads?!).

I don't want there to be any misunderstanding. I don't want it to seem like I went there and mastered the material in a matter of hours. I struggled to perform the exercises that they used; they were foreign to me, most likely taken from Chen taiji or synthesized from other Chinese arts.

Everything of quality in the martial arts, "internal" or "external," has to be felt, so please, don't hide behind "IHTBF" or attempt to hold that in place of rational discussion. . . which is all we can hope to do here.

Michael Varin
10-23-2013, 01:48 AM
Mert,

Kokyu is essential to aikido.

Michael Varin
10-23-2013, 02:00 AM
Obviously, there's nothing up there that is truly sensitive; but I hope you can appreciate some sensitivity to sharing a channel that is predominantly [obviously] personal videos. Any vetting of my channel before publishing your post with the link would've revealed that fact.

It's aiki in the vein of Ueshiba by lineage, first-hand vetting and content.

I'm not one for censorship, but if there's one word I could have banned from AikiWeb. . .

So many bad memories.

Chris Li
10-23-2013, 03:13 AM
That said, what they trained in was not aikido, and the skill they were attempting to cultivate was not aiki. And further, it wasn't a particularly martial expression of anything. For what it's worth, I have an Iwama style background (Why doesn't Saito's perspective and relationship with Morihei and aikido ever get mentioned in "IP/IT/IS" threads?!).

I don't want there to be any misunderstanding. I don't want it to seem like I went there and mastered the material in a matter of hours. I struggled to perform the exercises that they used; they were foreign to me, most likely taken from Chen taiji or synthesized from other Chinese arts.

I don't think that we ever got far enough to really get into a discussion of Aiki, but you'd have to tell me what you think Aiki is before we could really get to that (I'm not being snide, I just mean that I'd have to understand what you're discussing).

I know they look strange, but everything that we did came straight out of Japanese arts - and there was nothing that we did that I haven't done with Seigo Yamaguchi and other students of the Founder, including Morihiro Saito.

Of course, individual exercises vary, but that's true in conventional Aikido as well. Nishio didn't teach the same exercises in the same way that the Founder did, neither did Tamura or Tada - but nobody says that what they're doing isn't Aikido.

In the same vein, what Saito did was not really the same as what the Founder did either - he attempted to duplicate the form of the Founder, but the process was often quite different, he said as much himself on a number of occasions.

Best,

Chris

Mert Gambito
10-23-2013, 04:04 AM
Mert,

Michael,

Ah, hope you liked our open-air dojo. :-) The members of the study group I spoke with said you were a gentleman and pleasant to train with. Again, it's too bad that the internet gets in the way of proper human communication.

Kokyu is essential to aikido.
Based on what I understand of aikido, and aiki-jutsu (via the Hakkoryu window), I agree.

I mentioned Bill Gleason's videos earlier. I'd say what he's doing here is legitimately aikido, while being legitimately representative of Dan Harden's aiki model: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2knQQMFeZw.

While I wasn't there to meet and train with you in July, since I know the range of material that would've included what you worked on with Chris, Henry, et al; and Bill Gleason has taught here; I can say with certainty that what you tried out in Honolulu are body-conditioning drills that also drive Bill's waza in the video. I'd say in a couple years, a visitor to the park would experience more of a continuum from static solo and paired training through waza / waza-like applications. I suppose the folks you met in Hawaii are currently in a phase of training somewhat equivalent to isolated shugyo atop a mountain (in this case, a volcanic mountain, the majority of which is underwater). In any case, Chris has provided a first-hand corollary, so nothing else to add on my part re: your visit.

Michael, my earlier post says all that needs to be said regarding the legitimacy of Dan's model vis-a-vis aikido and aikido's family tree. I'm glad our exchange is relatively cordial, so I'll leave things at that. . . . though . . . what the heck is wrong with you regarding 'Vettes??

http://image.corvettefever.com/f/featuredvehicles/9832164+w799+h499+cr1+ar0/corp_0802_22_z%2Bcustom_chevrolet_corvettes%2B1965_396_425_chevrolet_corvette_st ingray_convertible.jpg

PaulF
10-23-2013, 04:21 AM
I would read a nugget of knowledge piled under many posts of drifted conjecture. Eventually, most of those posters left Aikiweb and even the nuggets started drying up. I think this thread was a great opportunity to provide the community some information about a basic exercise that introduces a core concept of internal power. Instead... history repeats itself.

I find myself in a role of defending aiki because as I previously posted, at a time when I was looking for it I experienced personal frustration reading through the obviously prejudiced posts here on Aikiweb. I wish that those behind me do not experience that frustration.

I think I'm getting there Jon, feels a bit like being invited to dinner at a dysfunctional household where the same domestic row has been running for years. We all love Aikido right? And aren't we meant to agree with our attacker's opinion and blend with them to redirect energies to a mutually non-destructive end?

I appreciate that by posting this I'm running the risk of dragging things into a meta-discussion rather than achieving anything constructive; I should probably just shut up at this point and wait and see if DH's seminar can shed light on the questions I've raised earlier.

Mert Gambito
10-23-2013, 04:48 AM
I think I'm getting there Jon, feels a bit like being invited to dinner at a dysfunctional household where the same domestic row has been running for years. We all love Aikido right? And aren't we meant to agree with our attacker's opinion and blend with them to redirect energies to a mutually non-destructive end?

I appreciate that by posting this I'm running the risk of dragging things into a meta-discussion rather than achieving anything constructive; I should probably just shut up at this point and wait and see if DH's seminar can shed light on the questions I've raised earlier.

Nov. 9 and 10? Enjoy, and take the ukemi needed to address your questions.

PaulF
10-23-2013, 05:37 AM
Thanks Mert, we're looking forward to it, although my questions are more around training methods/theory/pedagogy/origins than of the IHTBF variety but I'm sure I'll get some answers there too. I enjoyed Gleason's videos btw (also like what I've seen on Aunkai and ILC).

Cady Goldfield
10-23-2013, 07:29 AM
Michael,
My comments were general and not directed at anyone in particular. It just seems that after all these years, discussions of IP and aiki are no less contentious and no more fruitful than they ever were, despite more people being forthcoming here about their internal training experiences. It's unfortunate, but not really surprising, since there is no substitute for firsthand exposure. Even then, there are different levels of exposure, and of quality of the skills demonstrated. As there is only a small number of top-level practitioners who are willing to demonstrate and teach IP and aiki, the opportunity to connect with one of them is not there for everyone.

I commend your attempts to gain the experience, truly. Having followed the discussions for quite some time, I'm also aware that some of the doors have been closed to you, and that is inconvenient, but not the end of all possibilities. Others have pointed to Bill Gleason, who does seminars and has been training with "The Aiki Guy" for several years now and lives near him -- so he likely is training intensively with him on a regular basis. Although I have not met Mr. Gleason I am pretty sure that his skill is at a point now that could give you a sense of what Daito-ryu/Aikido aiki is, and where a person can go with it in today's aikido. If he ever does a seminar in an area accessible to you, that's where I'd recommend you spend your time and money.

When you watch IP and aiki training, it will not "look like aikido" because it is a body-training set that is separate from aikido and all other martial arts. When the body/mind is developed thus, the method is then applied to aikido waza. It's the "hidden power" that drives aikido waza.

The body method itself, when applied, is "invisible." When it is demonstrated, you "don't see it." What you see is the outer visual effects of whatever martial system's techniques or waza it's expressed within. When students watched Sokaku Takeda or Morihei Ueshiba demonstrate, they were watching the outer expression of IP and aiki. When they were uke who touched Takeda or Ueshiba, they were feeling the profound effects (not just power, but also the connectivity and "ethereal" control) of aiki - though they couldn't clearly describe or explain what it felt like.

I really don't know where this was directed, but I felt obliged to respond. I am no doubt considered a detractor of "IP/IT/IS" here on AikiWeb. What may be missed is that I have tried on numerous occasions to "get hands on" with the top guys. At one point I arraigned to host a Mike Sigman workshop that fell through to no fault of his. I have attempted to attend five of Dan Harden's workshops and have not been allowed to attend. Yes. That does actually happen to some of us! Against my better judgment, I may attempt to attend his next workshop that I just saw advertised at ADV. I have attended two of Ikeda's seminars, although I was informed that this was before he was good at "IP/IT/IS" related stuff. I have also trained at one George Ledyard seminar, but again this was before he was exposed to "IP/IT/IS."

In July, I was in Hawaii and was able to train with Chris Li's group. I chose not to post about it for various reasons. It was only two occasions for a total of about four hours, plus another hour chatting with Chris. I liked Chris, not as much as the old guy Henry, who was such a character it would be hard to find a more likeable guy (Sorry, Mert. I don't know where you were! I was looking forward to meeting you.). I believe I conducted myself admirably. I knew I had a limited amount of time. I was curious and asked questions. I was attentive and respectful. I did not challenge anyone. I wanted to get "hands on" with Chris, and yet, I did not want to put the pressure of being the standard bearer of "IP/IT/IS" on him. I love Hawaii, I've been there numerous times, and I have no doubt that I will be going back. I would love to train with the Oahu group again.

That said, what they trained in was not aikido, and the skill they were attempting to cultivate was not aiki. And further, it wasn't a particularly martial expression of anything. For what it's worth, I have an Iwama style background (Why doesn't Saito's perspective and relationship with Morihei and aikido ever get mentioned in "IP/IT/IS" threads?!).

I don't want there to be any misunderstanding. I don't want it to seem like I went there and mastered the material in a matter of hours. I struggled to perform the exercises that they used; they were foreign to me, most likely taken from Chen taiji or synthesized from other Chinese arts.

Everything of quality in the martial arts, "internal" or "external," has to be felt, so please, don't hide behind "IHTBF" or attempt to hold that in place of rational discussion. . . which is all we can hope to do here.

jonreading
10-23-2013, 08:16 AM
Nov. 9 and 10? Enjoy, and take the ukemi needed to address your questions.

I agree. Kick his ass. It's all BS. :0

Demetrio Cereijo
10-23-2013, 09:10 AM
Demetrio, you apparently wanted to throw mud at those videos but it seems you couldn't man up to make any specific criticism (#151).

Do you want me banned?

Cliff Judge
10-23-2013, 09:46 AM
Let's assume that you are correct and that they didn't use those training methods.

Does it matter?

You can believe what you want to believe. If you need to adopt a faith to drive a pursuit that is going to take a lot of time and consistent effort to achieve some result, then you might benefit from imagining that you are doing exactly what Ueshiba was doing and might some day be able to do the jo trick.

When you need validation of your faith from others, things get a bit weird. At the least you become a little annoying to people. Take it a bit further and you are going to be at odds with people who believe differently. But if you are an instructor and you are teaching things like this to your students, it can get really damaging to the whole system. Your students are going to listen to you. They might not buy it or like your paradigm shift in training and might "leave in droves." Or they might buy right into it and take the message to the streets, where they are going to encounter people who do things the old fashioned way and might have otherwise felt you were all practicing the same art. But you aren't, no matter which group is right. Eventually you won't have the people on the other side of town saying to prospective new students "If you are interested in Aikido you might also want to check out that dojo over there, they have a different teacher than us but they are really nice people." It will become "Yeah they do things very differently, that's not really Aikido that they are doing, there is this whole controversy about it."

Let me flip your proposition over for you. What if *I* am wrong and you guys are right? Dan's This Stuff method is actually the same exact method by which Sagawa gained his legendary skills, the same thing that Takeda only taught his senior students and admonished them only to teach to one or two of their students and never a foreigner? Dan was just the Edward Snowden or the Chelsea Manning of Aiki, just taking a long-kept secret and sharing it openly. Well aren't there at least some ethical issues to consider before you start spreading around information that was deeply proprietary? Aren't there some technical problems with taking something that was meant to be transmitted on a small scale, and very personally, and just handing that out at seminars? For example, what happens ten years from now when everybody has been talking about This Stuff but only a few people can actually do anything with it? Are you sure that won't have an impact on the "modern" Aikido world?

Maybe I am the only person who is worried about this or thinks anything of it, but my point is, any and all of the problems I have raised could really be avoided if you just dropped the whole bit with "the This Stuff method is the for-reals honest secret of Aiki that They didn't want you to know!"

If it ISN'T then you have not gone ahead and propagated a bunch of half-truths - you know not everybody who starts Aikido researches it on the internet, most people want to receive the history of their art from their instructors. There's some responsibility there to keep the upwards butt smoke under control. And you don't make happy with your Aikido neighbors who aren't interested, if your version of history involves what they are doing being a lie.

And even if it IS true, there really is a huge amount of explaining that needs to be done, because questions will keep coming up again and again. That's one reason why secrets are generally secret. Why bother rocking the boat? Get together in study groups and knock yourselves out, smirk to yourselves when somebody has something nice to say about Doshu's Aikido. Why bother trying to convince some east coast nidan that some historical link exists between your training methodology and what Osensei was doing?

jonreading
10-23-2013, 10:05 AM
You can believe what you want to believe. If you need to adopt a faith to drive a pursuit that is going to take a lot of time and consistent effort to achieve some result, then you might benefit from imagining that you are doing exactly what Ueshiba was doing and might some day be able to do the jo trick.

When you need validation of your faith from others, things get a bit weird. At the least you become a little annoying to people. Take it a bit further and you are going to be at odds with people who believe differently. But if you are an instructor and you are teaching things like this to your students, it can get really damaging to the whole system. Your students are going to listen to you. They might not buy it or like your paradigm shift in training and might "leave in droves." Or they might buy right into it and take the message to the streets, where they are going to encounter people who do things the old fashioned way and might have otherwise felt you were all practicing the same art. But you aren't, no matter which group is right. Eventually you won't have the people on the other side of town saying to prospective new students "If you are interested in Aikido you might also want to check out that dojo over there, they have a different teacher than us but they are really nice people." It will become "Yeah they do things very differently, that's not really Aikido that they are doing, there is this whole controversy about it."

Let me flip your proposition over for you. What if *I* am wrong and you guys are right? Dan's This Stuff method is actually the same exact method by which Sagawa gained his legendary skills, the same thing that Takeda only taught his senior students and admonished them only to teach to one or two of their students and never a foreigner? Dan was just the Edward Snowden or the Chelsea Manning of Aiki, just taking a long-kept secret and sharing it openly. Well aren't there at least some ethical issues to consider before you start spreading around information that was deeply proprietary? Aren't there some technical problems with taking something that was meant to be transmitted on a small scale, and very personally, and just handing that out at seminars? For example, what happens ten years from now when everybody has been talking about This Stuff but only a few people can actually do anything with it? Are you sure that won't have an impact on the "modern" Aikido world?

Maybe I am the only person who is worried about this or thinks anything of it, but my point is, any and all of the problems I have raised could really be avoided if you just dropped the whole bit with "the This Stuff method is the for-reals honest secret of Aiki that They didn't want you to know!"

If it ISN'T then you have not gone ahead and propagated a bunch of half-truths - you know not everybody who starts Aikido researches it on the internet, most people want to receive the history of their art from their instructors. There's some responsibility there to keep the upwards butt smoke under control. And you don't make happy with your Aikido neighbors who aren't interested, if your version of history involves what they are doing being a lie.

And even if it IS true, there really is a huge amount of explaining that needs to be done, because questions will keep coming up again and again. That's one reason why secrets are generally secret. Why bother rocking the boat? Get together in study groups and knock yourselves out, smirk to yourselves when somebody has something nice to say about Doshu's Aikido. Why bother trying to convince some east coast nidan that some historical link exists between your training methodology and what Osensei was doing?

Cliff, I just opened a thread for this exact type of post. I think you raise some good points here.

I am personally not of the notion that I need to validate the internal power model against anyone. I am not sure if that is a misconception. Most of the people who have jumped into the models have long since left these public forums and are working without any care as to what "other" people are doing. Aiki models seem to be the proverbial "red pill" that, when taken, lead students to seek elsewhere what they are not finding in modern aikido. I perceive this "we're not validating you" notion to be uni-directional from the entities being left, not necessarily the entities leaving.

But, throw these up on the other thread, I think you have outlined several common criticisms of aiki.

hughrbeyer
10-23-2013, 10:26 AM
Do you want me banned?

Um, no, not particularly. :confused:

If you mean that posting your honest opinion of those videos would get you banned, maybe you have an inflated sense of the value of your opinion. Which is not really a slam at you--there's nothing easier than criticizing an internet video, and the value of that criticism is pretty near zero if you don't know what the people on the video are trying to do or why it's interesting. If this thread hadn't gotten hijacked long ago, somebody might have started a conversation about what they're doing there, and what it has to do with IS. Oh, well. Another time.

Cliff, I need to say a word about this "it takes years and years to master IP/IS/Aiki" meme.

Yes, it does. And to master Aikido, or golf, or anything worthwhile. But it doesn't take years to start seeing the benefit.

Take me. I'm a shallow, impatient, short-term-thinking, quick-results kind of guy. If I don't see the point, I lose interest pretty quickly. I play music, but not a lot because I haven't got much talent so however much I put into it, I don't get that much back. The ROI (return on investment) isn't there.

IP hasn't been like that. Within a month, I was trying simple things and seeing a difference in uke's reaction. Within a year, I could see how moving this way was totally different (and more effective) than what I'd been doing before. Within 18 months, a new guy on the mat (so he didn't know anything about IP) asked, "How come as soon as I grab you I'm off balance? You didn't do anything!"

That doesn't mean that if we got on the mat together you'd be blown away. Maybe you're a connected kind of guy and could shut down my low-level IP skills right away. Maybe you're a bag of hammers and couldn't tell what I was doing at all. Maybe you'd assume I was stiff and using muscle because you couldn't move me. It just means that I'm way ahead of where I would be compared with what I'd be doing otherwise.

So the answer to your question of why anyone would sink time into this, the answer is: because it's immensely seductive and it puts my Aikido waza on wheels. Once you've felt that, you can't go back.

Cliff Judge
10-23-2013, 10:29 AM
Cliff, I just opened a thread for this exact type of post. I think you raise some good points here.

I am personally not of the notion that I need to validate the internal power model against anyone. I am not sure if that is a misconception. Most of the people who have jumped into the models have long since left these public forums and are working without any care as to what "other" people are doing. Aiki models seem to be the proverbial "red pill" that, when taken, lead students to seek elsewhere what they are not finding in modern aikido. I perceive this "we're not validating you" notion to be uni-directional from the entities being left, not necessarily the entities leaving.

But, throw these up on the other thread, I think you have outlined several common criticisms of aiki.

Jon,

Just to put a fine point on one thing - I am not at all talking about validation of the internal power model at all. I am talking about validation of the belief that the training methods being used are the original secret methods of Osensei, either the ones he was taught when learning Daito ryu, or ones he developed himself later on.

This is outside of the realm of things that are felt. It is entirely a matter of history and documentation. And in my opinion it matters.

Chris Li
10-23-2013, 10:47 AM
You can believe what you want to believe. If you need to adopt a faith to drive a pursuit that is going to take a lot of time and consistent effort to achieve some result, then you might benefit from imagining that you are doing exactly what Ueshiba was doing and might some day be able to do the jo trick.

I don't understand this at all - virtually everybody in Aikido "imagines" that they are, at some level, doing what Ueshiba was doing.


When you need validation of your faith from others, things get a bit weird. At the least you become a little annoying to people. Take it a bit further and you are going to be at odds with people who believe differently. But if you are an instructor and you are teaching things like this to your students, it can get really damaging to the whole system. Your students are going to listen to you. They might not buy it or like your paradigm shift in training and might "leave in droves." Or they might buy right into it and take the message to the streets, where they are going to encounter people who do things the old fashioned way and might have otherwise felt you were all practicing the same art. But you aren't, no matter which group is right. Eventually you won't have the people on the other side of town saying to prospective new students "If you are interested in Aikido you might also want to check out that dojo over there, they have a different teacher than us but they are really nice people." It will become "Yeah they do things very differently, that's not really Aikido that they are doing, there is this whole controversy about it."

I'm not particularly looking for validation of my, or any, faith from others. It's a discussion forum - we tend to put out our opinions, just as everybody does.

Theres nothing wrong with doing things differently - virtually every student of the Founder that I've ever trained with had their own approach and methodology. It doesn't seem to be "damaging to the whole system" - there isn't even a single monolithic "system" to begin with.

Your opinion, that we "aren't practicing the same art", is based on what?


Let me flip your proposition over for you. What if *I* am wrong and you guys are right? Dan's This Stuff method is actually the same exact method by which Sagawa gained his legendary skills, the same thing that Takeda only taught his senior students and admonished them only to teach to one or two of their students and never a foreigner? Dan was just the Edward Snowden or the Chelsea Manning of Aiki, just taking a long-kept secret and sharing it openly. Well aren't there at least some ethical issues to consider before you start spreading around information that was deeply proprietary? Aren't there some technical problems with taking something that was meant to be transmitted on a small scale, and very personally, and just handing that out at seminars? For example, what happens ten years from now when everybody has been talking about This Stuff but only a few people can actually do anything with it? Are you sure that won't have an impact on the "modern" Aikido world?

It's not nuclear technology, nobody's going to die of radition poisoning by accident. I can say absolutely that no vows are being violated, no oaths are being broken. Even if there were - that wouldn't be your problem, it would be a problem between Dan (or whoever) and another person.

It may have an impact - but anybody teaching may have an impact. Yamada objected to Saotome's impact when he first came to the US - are you saying that Saotome shouldn't have come and shaken things up?


Maybe I am the only person who is worried about this or thinks anything of it, but my point is, any and all of the problems I have raised could really be avoided if you just dropped the whole bit with "the This Stuff method is the for-reals honest secret of Aiki that They didn't want you to know!"

If it ISN'T then you have not gone ahead and propagated a bunch of half-truths - you know not everybody who starts Aikido researches it on the internet, most people want to receive the history of their art from their instructors. There's some responsibility there to keep the upwards butt smoke under control. And you don't make happy with your Aikido neighbors who aren't interested, if your version of history involves what they are doing being a lie.

And even if it IS true, there really is a huge amount of explaining that needs to be done, because questions will keep coming up again and again. That's one reason why secrets are generally secret. Why bother rocking the boat? Get together in study groups and knock yourselves out, smirk to yourselves when somebody has something nice to say about Doshu's Aikido. Why bother trying to convince some east coast nidan that some historical link exists between your training methodology and what Osensei was doing?

I'm not particularly invested in convincing you. It's a discussion forum and I discuss my opinions, just as you do.

They aren't just made up imaginings, there's quite a bit of support for the theory that conventional Aikido isn't really doing what Morihei Ueshiba was doing. Ellis, for that matter, wrote an entire book about the theory of internal training in Aikido and other Japanese martial arts.

Stan Pranin has been arguing that for years, and has amassed a huge amount of supporting documentation. His conclusions may (or may not) be different than mine, but the underlying arguments are quite similar. And of course, there is still a huge amount of material that is not even available in English yet, so we're far from the point where people can say that the party line is a foregone conclusion.

If you don't like and aren't interested in this kind of practice - then don't do it. It doesn't hurt you, any more then other people doing Yoseikan or Yoshinkan or Iwama does - and the founder's of all three of were deeply critical of conventional Aikikai Aikido in their time.

“What you guys are doing now isn’t real Aikido”
-Minoru Mochizuki to Nobuyoshi Tamura - more than 50 years ago, and Aikido somehow still survives

Best,

Chris

Demetrio Cereijo
10-23-2013, 11:02 AM
Um, no, not particularly. :confused:

If you mean that posting your honest opinion of those videos would get you banned, maybe you have an inflated sense of the value of your opinion. Which is not really a slam at you--there's nothing easier than criticizing an internet video, and the value of that criticism is pretty near zero if you don't know what the people on the video are trying to do or why it's interesting. If this thread hadn't gotten hijacked long ago, somebody might have started a conversation about what they're doing there, and what it has to do with IS. Oh, well. Another time.


Well, maybe you are right and haters gonna hate so here it goes:

Jon clips are perfect examples (amongst many others) of the sad state of contemporary Aikido as a martial art which has its cause, mainly, in purposeful poor transmission from the source plus much kumbaya singing, hippy dancing and new age sillyness since the early 70's. Lets not forget Jon is a Sandan in a major Aikido org with more than 15 years of training under his belt and dojo cho too. I see him as one of many unsuspicious victims of a pyramidal scheme organized by some smart japanese people leading a japanese org. However he is not morbidly obese... props to him.

IMO as he goes into IP/IS training I predict he (as many others following this path) is going to move from paleolitic to neolitic. Regarding martial skill thas a great achievement but, by today's standards thats not impressive. Even if he gets to Takeda Sokaku skill level in, lets say 10 years from now, he will be substandard by 2013 parameters, as the others who go into IS/IP trainin will be.

Blunt enough?

hughrbeyer
10-23-2013, 11:12 AM
Blunt, but pointless. "Sad state", "poor transmission", "kumbaya singing" -- can anybody relate these phrases to the video in any way? Do you say anything in your second paragraph worth paying attention to?

As I expected, and warned you, it's not Jon who looks the worse from your criticism.

Keith Larman
10-23-2013, 11:33 AM
Lets not forget Jon is a Sandan in a major Aikido org with more than 15 years of training under his belt and dojo cho too...

Um, I'm the dojo Cho at my dojo. Which means basically I get to do a ton of paperwork, generate invoices, make the runs to the bank, make sure there's change in the drawer if someone wants to buy something in cash, talk with the parent who thinks their little ADD ray of sunshine should be allowed to hurt other kids so they can learn to control themselves, then spend all my remaining time trying to deal with a rather large, diverse group of folk who are rather opinionated. So you see "dojo cho" as somehow relevant here? Frankly some of the time I think the reality is that I drew the "short stick" so to speak. Yeah, authority and all, but it has freaking well nothing to do with my aikido.

Nothing.

Yeah, blunt is one word to describe your post. There are others that come to mind. :(

Yeah, hey everyone, post videos. That will go well...

Frankly some were banned because they were popping up in damned near every thread hijacking the conversation. I didn't like that they were banned but I also fully understood how annoying the behavior was. What I find astounding is that now that a few have finally tried to start explaining what they can, the exact self-same freaking behavior is coming out, just from the other perspective.

Which reminds me why I pulled all this crap off my list... Keep getting sucked back in.

Demetrio Cereijo
10-23-2013, 11:33 AM
As I expected, and warned you, it's not Jon who looks the worse from your criticism.
Well, I'm not concerned about my e-image.

jonreading
10-23-2013, 11:34 AM
Well, maybe you are right and haters gonna hate so here it goes:

Jon clips are perfect examples (amongst many others) of the sad state of contemporary Aikido as a martial art which has its cause, mainly, in purposeful poor transmission from the source plus much kumbaya singing, hippy dancing and new age sillyness since the early 70's. Lets not forget Jon is a Sandan in a major Aikido org with more than 15 years of training under his belt and dojo cho too. I see him as one of many unsuspicious victims of a pyramidal scheme organized by some smart japanese people leading a japanese org. However he is not morbidly obese... props to him.

IMO as he goes into IP/IS training I predict he (as many others following this path) is going to move from paleolitic to neolitic. Regarding martial skill thas a great achievement but, by today's standards thats not impressive. Even if he gets to Takeda Sokaku skill level in, lets say 10 years from now, he will be substandard by 2013 parameters, as the others who go into IS/IP trainin will be.

Blunt enough?

Um... thanks for not calling me fat? I know the camera adds a few pounds...

I'm kinda at a loss for anything else to say... Thanks? I'll look to minimize my sad state of participating in a contemporary aikido pyramid scheme... Wait. You're advocating that I stay in Aikido? I'm so confused...

jonreading
10-23-2013, 11:37 AM
Um, I'm the dojo Cho at my dojo. Which means basically I get to do a ton of paperwork, generate invoices, make the runs to the bank, make sure there's change in the drawer if someone wants to buy something in cash, talk with the parent who thinks their little ADD ray of sunshine should be allowed to hurt other kids so they can learn to control themselves, then spend all my remaining time trying to deal with a rather large, diverse group of folk who are rather opinionated. So you see "dojo cho" as somehow relevant here? Frankly some of the time I think the reality is that I drew the "short stick" so to speak. Yeah, authority and all, but it has freaking well nothing to do with my aikido.

Nothing.

Yeah, blunt is one word to describe your post. There are others that come to mind. :(

Yeah, hey everyone, post videos. That will go well...

Frankly some were banned because they were popping up in damned near every thread hijacking the conversation. I didn't like that they were banned but I also fully understood how annoying the behavior was. What I find astounding is that now that a few have finally tried to start explaining what they can, the exact self-same freaking behavior is coming out, just from the other perspective.

Which reminds me why I pulled all this crap off my list... Keep getting sucked back in.

Dude, you're getting screwed. I have a stone seal and manacles of power. And groupies.

Keith Larman
10-23-2013, 11:48 AM
Oops, forgot the last thing I did in my official capacity -- run to Target for toilet paper and toilet bowl cleaner using my "dojo" debit card. But don't worry, I maintained zanshin and full martial awareness as I slid the Charmin in the cart...

Keith Larman
10-23-2013, 11:49 AM
Final words. This is why we cannot have nice things.

Chris Li
10-23-2013, 11:50 AM
Dude, you're getting screwed. I have a stone seal and manacles of power. And groupies.

Groupies...I've always wanted groupies... :D

Best,

Chris

Mert Gambito
10-23-2013, 12:01 PM
IMO as he goes into IP/IS training I predict he (as many others following this path) is going to move from paleolitic to neolitic. Regarding martial skill thas a great achievement but, by today's standards thats not impressive. Even if he gets to Takeda Sokaku skill level in, lets say 10 years from now, he will be substandard by 2013 parameters, as the others who go into IS/IP trainin will be.
It'll fall along a bell curve. Most people who undertake this path will appreciate it but not put in the time necessary, resulting in little or no net benefit to their martial skills.

Those who succeed will consider themselves, and be considered by those with whom they train, successful because they will surpass the current standards for success / high-end ability within their respective training environments: if 90% or more of your martial practice and application is within the confines of aikido waza, henka and randori, and within a given aikido dojo, then that's naturally what will set the bar.

There's a very good chance that 0% of IP/IS adherents -- including those training in MMA -- will aspire to become professional fighters, at least for the foreseeable future, whether in the UFC or in a lower-echelon organization, for reasons stated prior. I'm a big fan, for example, of Jon Jones' fight game. Maybe he'll show up in Honolulu one day, and we'll see how good his stand-up push-test game is. In the meantime, since I've been in Hawaii, to date, other than MMAists who already train with Dan Harden, only one MMAist has expressed enough interest in IP/IS to attend one of Dan's workshops here. Maybe Chris needs to change the name of his organization to "Sangenkai Gym".

Anyway, the opinions in this and other IP/IS threads also fall along a bell curve. It is as nature intended.

jonreading
10-23-2013, 12:03 PM
Well, maybe you are right and haters gonna hate so here it goes:

Jon clips are perfect examples (amongst many others) of the sad state of contemporary Aikido as a martial art which has its cause, mainly, in purposeful poor transmission from the source plus much kumbaya singing, hippy dancing and new age sillyness since the early 70's. Lets not forget Jon is a Sandan in a major Aikido org with more than 15 years of training under his belt and dojo cho too. I see him as one of many unsuspicious victims of a pyramidal scheme organized by some smart japanese people leading a japanese org. However he is not morbidly obese... props to him.

IMO as he goes into IP/IS training I predict he (as many others following this path) is going to move from paleolitic to neolitic. Regarding martial skill thas a great achievement but, by today's standards thats not impressive. Even if he gets to Takeda Sokaku skill level in, lets say 10 years from now, he will be substandard by 2013 parameters, as the others who go into IS/IP trainin will be.

Blunt enough?

On a more serious note, I recognize that I have imperfections. I recognize that when I memorialize myself, I memorialize those imperfections, transient or not, as they may be. Functionally, you have provided only an over-broad negative criticism of me (and possibly aikido). You have not positively contributed to the topic, nor provided your own advice. As it turns out, I see my training as persevering for 15 years of life in an art that I enjoy. I have met and parted with friends who cannot say that. I have a wife, great kids, a job and a roof over my head. I am dojo cho because my dojo needs me to be. I am in ASU because I value the instructors, the direction and the leadership of the organization. I sleep quite well at night and will answer to all of those criticisms with a head held high.

Blunt as your thread may be, it resembles little more than a collection of general frustrations applied in the same direction. And you don't even have manacles of power.

Mert Gambito
10-23-2013, 12:30 PM
Thanks Mert, we're looking forward to it, although my questions are more around training methods/theory/pedagogy/origins than of the IHTBF variety but I'm sure I'll get some answers there too. I enjoyed Gleason's videos btw (also like what I've seen on Aunkai and ILC).
Ask Dan to show you his version of torifune, as solo taiso, then take ukemi for it (remind him that you're relatively new to aikido [one of the CIMA practitioners in our study group literally wears a "no ukemi" shirt at workshops]).

He's readily shown other aspects and expressions of his methodology that tie into M. Ueshiba's and K. Tohei's models and exercises. I see that you have a CIMA background, and understand that there are CIMA practitioners in the UK study group, so I think you'll not only enjoy the discussions and hands-on demos that fall within the vertical relationship between Daito-ryu and aikido, but also the broader connections to skills and training in the CIMA.

Look forward to your comments and impressions after the workshop, if you're so inclined to share.

phitruong
10-23-2013, 01:01 PM
because i looked too good on camera, i won't subject you to over exposure of my greatness by making any video whatsoever. :D

going back to the topic of 6 directions. do we agree that at the very least two of the directions are up and down? folks differ in the other directions. for me, away from you and toward you are the other directions.

from my understanding that furitama where i saw aikido folks shaking their hands up and down to vibrate their whole body. a few years back, i was at Saotome's dojo (the shrine dojo in his backyard). He talked about this. at first, everyone was shaking the arms. Saotome sensei said "no arm". he demonstrated and looked like he bounced up and down. we bounced up and down. He stoped and said "no leg". so, "no arm" and "no leg", now what? he was telling us a story that O Sensei made him doing the furitama exercise, then when off somewhere. Saotome sensei was young and bored, so he just did for the shake of doing. O Sensei appeared out of nowhere and yelled at him for not doing it right. Saotome sensei said it's his job to show us what he was taught. He pointed to his hara and said "move inside". i heard Ikeda sensei said the same thing so many times. when i heard Saotome sensei said that, the dantien-movement lightbulb when "ding" in my head. i got one of those "aha!" moment. ya, i got it and you don't! what can i say, i am, being an asian, just naturally better at it than you guys! :)

here is an easy question for you guys, when you do down, do you have up too or just down; same goes for up? there is a related second question, but will wait for the next set of direction.

so let get back to topic and start with the up/down first, then move on to the next set of direction.

Janet Rosen
10-23-2013, 01:05 PM
Oops, forgot the last thing I did in my official capacity -- run to Target for toilet paper and toilet bowl cleaner using my "dojo" debit card. But don't worry, I maintained zanshin and full martial awareness as I slid the Charmin in the cart...

But did you extend ki when you squeezed it??? :D

Mert Gambito
10-23-2013, 01:16 PM
. . . when you do down, do you have up too or just down; same goes for up? there is a related second question, but will wait for the next set of direction.

so let get back to topic and start with the up/down first, then move on to the next set of direction.
Why would one tomoe ever leave home without the other, regardless of direction?

Bill Danosky
10-23-2013, 01:50 PM
It's well established that Yoshinkan Aikido is not about IP. But our Shihans still have the goods. I have taken ukemi from Robert Mustard Sensei and there is some crazy stuff going on there. But every time I think it's magic, somebody shows me the trick behind it. Now, 9 years on, I can pull a tiny rabbit out of a hat, and I know it's just good waza with a lot of nuance. IMO all those "old guys" were just really, really good. O Sensei didn't do anything but train and chant for most of his life. He should have been able to pull a few tricks.

hughrbeyer
10-23-2013, 02:50 PM
going back to the topic of 6 directions. do we agree that at the very least two of the directions are up and down? folks differ in the other directions. for me, away from you and toward you are the other directions.

6-directions:all directions::4 corners of the world::throughout the world

That is, it's not 6 literal directions only, it's shorthand for saying all directions. So the other two are forward/back and left/right.

here is an easy question for you guys, when you do down, do you have up too or just down; same goes for up? there is a related second question, but will wait for the next set of direction.

Yes. But opening in 6 directions happens before movement.

phitruong
10-23-2013, 04:11 PM
addressing both mert and hugh. for starting out with IP, you work with up/down. it seemed simple, but how often you see aikido folks only go one direction but not both at the same time. how often you heard folks said "keep the one point" but when you grab them, you absolutely certain that they only go one direction but not both. it's the simpliest thing, but how often we messed this up? ki of heaven, ki of earth, bridge over trouble water?

Cady Goldfield
10-23-2013, 06:04 PM
Eventually, you learn to expand and project out in all directions, creating the spherical feeling of "fullness" that is peng.

Gary David
10-23-2013, 09:24 PM
IMO as he goes into IP/IS training I predict he (as many others following this path) is going to move from paleolitic to neolitic. Regarding martial skill thas a great achievement but, by today's standards thats not impressive. Even if he gets to Takeda Sokaku skill level in, lets say 10 years from now, he will be substandard by 2013 parameters, as the others who go into IS/IP trainin will be.


I find this an interesting aspect of your over all comments.....what are todays standards as you see them, what do you see as the 2013 parameters and why would training in IP/IS make one sub-standard and on the outside to both? Standards and parameters being different things. Just asking.....Thanks
Gary

Demetrio Cereijo
10-24-2013, 05:50 AM
I find this an interesting aspect of your over all comments.....what are todays standards as you see them, what do you see as the 2013 parameters and why would training in IP/IS make one sub-standard and on the outside to both? Standards and parameters being different things. Just asking.....Thanks
Gary

Hi Gary

2013 was a typo, I mean 2023.

Anyway, what I tried to convey is people are trying to achieve what was considered top level in early 20th century, thats fine and a big advancement considering their current level. They are trying to rebuild the rotten Ford-T (a great car) they found in a barn with the original components, or at least with the most similar components they can find, and this is a great and commendable work. Thanks to people like Dan, Ark, Mike etc the tools, the materials and know-how are available and this is great

However, when they say they expect this restored Ford-T is going to perform like a 21st century Bentley... I feel the urge to slay cats Nansen style and hit people with the keisaku. Automotive technology has moved a bit in the last hundred years, isn't it?

I know this is futile, for the attachement and delusion are deeply entrenched, but has to be done.

Regards

Cady Goldfield
10-24-2013, 08:21 AM
Who came up with the concept of a "21st-century Bentley" pr is comparing IP/aiki to a Model-T Ford? :P These things may have been discovered and developed long ago, but they are not "old fashioned" or outdated notions. As far as I know, the human body still has the same capabilities and limitations as it did a thousand years ago, and there is nothing truly in what we can do with it (excepting for the messing around with the human genome and DNA from other species).

As for "top level," I think we could compare internal skills to playing a musical instrument. People have been playing violins for hundreds of years. Is the violin and outdated, outmoded instrument, and playing it an old-fashioned skill? I mean, we have digital technologies now, man! Why mess with a piece of wood and gut strings that break so easily, when you can make great music electronically?How many levels of playing skill do you suppose there are? What are considered to be "top level" skills? How many virtuosos are there?

Why is there a bar set so high for IP/aiki, with the expectation that many people will develop virtuoso skills?

Demetrio Cereijo
10-24-2013, 09:31 AM
Who came up with the concept of a "21st-century Bentley" pr is comparing IP/aiki to a Model-T Ford? :P
I'm not comparing IP/Aiki to a Model-T. Aikido with IP/Aiki is a mint condition fully restored with original pieces Model-T. The real and functional Model.T

Aikido without IP/Aiki is a moving teapot in the verge of self destruction, an accident waiting to happen if the rubber meets the road. The aikidoka lacking IP/Aiki who are looking for restoring his Aikido are totally conscious and fully aware about this fact: for years they have been buying, driving and selling others a defective vehicle.

As for "top level," I think we could compare internal skills to playing a musical instrument. People have been playing violins for hundreds of years. Is the violin and outdated, outmoded instrument, and playing it an old-fashioned skill? I mean, we have digital technologies now, man! Why mess with a piece of wood and gut strings that break so easily, when you can make great music electronically?How many levels of playing skill do you suppose there are? What are considered to be "top level" skills? How many virtuosos are there?

The problem is Aikido is not a violin, Koryu bujutsu is a violin. Aikido is a Rickenbacker 'frying pan'. So lets not compare apples and oranges, compare violins with violins or guitars with guitars or cars with cars.

Why is there a bar set so high for IP/aiki, with the expectation that many people will develop virtuoso skills?
Maybe because IP/Aiki proponents are the ones who claim superhuman levels of awesomeness and atractiveness. The bar has been set by them.

Cady Goldfield
10-24-2013, 09:40 AM
I don't see any claims of super-human abilities from the IP/aiki folks. Only the insistence that it is a more effective, efficient way to power martial movement and technique. Coming from individuals who have had extensive experience in both "external" and "internal" martial methods, I'd say that it is a valid claim. More so than criticism coming from people who have experience in only one of those approaches (whether "external" or "internal").

Gary David
10-24-2013, 10:27 AM
I know this is futile, for the attachement and delusion are deeply entrenched, but has to be done.

Regards

Demetrio
Thanks for the response and I understand your concerns reflected in the line above. I would add that the tools being offered by the IP folks I have touched are helpful regardless the model they are being applied to. With a Model T you get a better Model T.......with 2013 model you can improve it also.....these are just tools. What skill set people choose to apply them in is their choice....but they will still need to adapt them and seek validation from someone with higher levels of understanding.
Gary

Demetrio Cereijo
10-24-2013, 10:41 AM
I don't see any claims of super-human abilities from the IP/aiki folks. Only the insistence that it is a more effective, efficient way to power martial movement and technique. Coming from individuals who have had extensive experience in both "external" and "internal" martial methods, I'd say that it is a valid claim. More so than criticism coming from people who have experience in only one of those approaches (whether "external" or "internal").

So no the 'legendary skills' of Takeda, Ueshiba, Sagawa.... not high ranked judoka going airborne effortlessly, top swordsmen totally owned, no pro sumotori saying "oh crap, I'm done", no ninja style dissapearing and the like?

So what is left is a more effective, efficient way to power martial movement and technique. More effective and efficient than spending years dancing around with compliant partners who have the martial skill and technique of a lettuce? For sure, no doubt about it.

Cady Goldfield
10-24-2013, 11:09 AM
So no the 'legendary skills' of Takeda, Ueshiba, Sagawa.... not high ranked judoka going airborne effortlessly, top swordsmen totally owned, no pro sumotori saying "oh crap, I'm done", no ninja style dissapearing and the like?

So what is left is a more effective, efficient way to power martial movement and technique. More effective and efficient than spending years dancing around with compliant partners who have the martial skill and technique of a lettuce? For sure, no doubt about it.

That's all it ever was, Demetrio. Nothing more and nothing less. A more effective and efficient way of powering martial movement and technique, compared to the conventional methods of familiar athleticism. Takeda, Ueshiba, Sagawa, Horikawa, et al. represent the virtuosos -- the people so obsessed with aiki that they spent their lives honing and polishing it. They are the Niccolo Paganini, Yehudi Menuhin, Jascha Heifetz, Itzhak Perlman, et al. of their craft. The rest of us are varying degrees of great, good, so-so, and crappy. ;)

phitruong
10-24-2013, 11:58 AM
I don't see any claims of super-human abilities from the IP/aiki folks.

speak for yourself. i have leap tall building with a single bounce. it was a play house and was close call too. damn thing almost two feet high. i was faster than a speed bullets. i have dodge bullets from nerf guns many time. very good at it too. i am more powerful than the locomotive. i knocked a train off its track the other day with a flick of my toe. of course my kids yelled at me, "dad, watch where you walking! you knocked our train over!"

Cady Goldfield
10-24-2013, 04:22 PM
speak for yourself. i have leap tall building with a single bounce.

Well, that was due to the power of Chi... "Kim Chi."

Bill Danosky
10-24-2013, 04:47 PM
That's all it ever was, Demetrio. Nothing more and nothing less. A more effective and efficient way of powering martial movement and technique, compared to the conventional methods of familiar athleticism. Takeda, Ueshiba, Sagawa, Horikawa, et al. represent the virtuosos -- the people so obsessed with aiki that they spent their lives honing and polishing it. They are the Niccolo Paganini, Yehudi Menuhin, Jascha Heifetz, Itzhak Perlman, et al. of their craft. The rest of us are varying degrees of great, good, so-so, and crappy. ;)

But a Stradivarius is still the benchmark for violins because it SOUNDS THE BEST. Anderson Silva is the new Heifetz and he doesn't train IP. However, Steven Seagal does, so there you go...

Yeah, I have a point- Silva is a "technique" guy, and he can slow down time. Where's your Dan Harden now???

Chris Li
10-24-2013, 04:56 PM
But a Stradivarius is still the benchmark for violins because it SOUNDS THE BEST. Anderson Silva is the new Heifetz and he doesn't train IP. However, Steven Seagal does, so there you go...

Yeah, I have a point- Silva is a "technique" guy, and he can slow down time. Where's your Dan Harden now???

Steven Seagal trains IP? Not in any world that I'm aware of...

Dan Harden's in Massachusetts, so far as I know - where's Gozo Shioda now (and the point...)?

Best,

Chris

Cady Goldfield
10-24-2013, 04:57 PM
But a Stradivarius is still the benchmark for violins because it SOUNDS THE BEST. Anderson Silva is the new Heifetz and he doesn't train IP. However, Steven Seagal does, so there you go...

Yeah, I have a point- Silva is a "technique" guy, and he can slow down time. Where's your Dan Harden now???

Lol! I don't know whether Dan Harden has mastered Time itself, yet. Give him a minute... :D

Bill Danosky
10-24-2013, 05:48 PM
Steven Seagal trains IP? Not in any world that I'm aware of...

Dan Harden's in Massachusetts, so far as I know - where's Gozo Shioda now (and the point...)?

Best,

Chris

Yeah, it's one of his general responses to criticism of his (Seagall's) Aikido- They don't understand it.

So, yeah. Kancho's dead. Like Ueshiba, Tohei. My point? This Anderson Silva highlight video:

http://youtu.be/Xh84bPPNe8s

Skip the 45 second intro and see somebody who is really from another universe. And the CRAZY thing is, those are not his students or ukes. Those are the best trained, best developed fighters in the world trying to win millions of dollars. Henderson, Okami, Franklin, Griffin. VITOR BELFORT, Sonnen, Leben, Luter, the list of top, top, top level champions he makes look like complete busters goes on and on and on.

So my point- and I'm pretty sure among Demetrio's points- if you really want to see the state of the art of the 21st century, tune into what THIS GUY is doing. HE is at a level above everybody else. HE is tuned into something that helps him fight bad guys. HE has proof: over 4,400 consecutive days of UFC World Championship status.

Nobody is arguing about whether his techniques work or have martial value. We know, because he did with it what anybody who COULD, WOULD do.

Chris Li
10-24-2013, 06:29 PM
Nobody is arguing about whether his techniques work or have martial value. We know, because he did with it what anybody who COULD, WOULD do.

"Works" or "has value" depends upon what you're using for. I would say that they worked very well in a particular very specialized situation. Whether that would "work" in other situations - nobody knows. Certainly, I can think of any number of situations in which the answer would be "not so much".

Further, whether or not he could organize that into a transmittable form - and if that would be useful for the average person (probably not, IMO, based upon return on investment), is another question.

You ought to read Kyoichi Inoue's book on the Kojiki - it might rock some of your ideas about Yoshinkan, and about Shioda.

Best,

Chris

Gerardo Torres
10-24-2013, 07:11 PM
"6 directions and zanshin" got lost somewhere around post #12 or so. This is post #216 (yeah I know, I ain't helping). Perhaps this place needs to be re-named "WazaWeb", or ban the mention of "IP/IS" so people can stop pretending that a discussion can be had on the subject without degenerating into some kind of sub-YouTube comment section.

hughrbeyer
10-24-2013, 09:06 PM
There's a great idea, Gerardo. Ban the mention of IP/IS in the IP/IS subforum.

Bill D, did that link go where you meant it to go? Fascinating stuff, in its way, but it never did get me to any Silva footage.

Mert Gambito
10-24-2013, 09:21 PM
Bill D, did that link go where you meant it to go? Fascinating stuff, in its way, but it never did get me to any Silva footage.
Textbook example of why these discussions are so difficult. "Six directions" and "spiraling" were clearly present, just not in the IP/IS context.

Gerardo Torres
10-24-2013, 09:53 PM
There's a great idea, Gerardo. Ban the mention of IP/IS in the IP/IS subforum.
I was being facetious, of course, perhaps in frustration that even after all the IP/IS stuff got relegated to its own subforum, most topics end up entertainment the usual agendas: does this stuff exist, does it have any value, the personalities, etc., the latest being that one has to engage the likes of Anderson Silva in his own professional field to prove... something.

PS: That said, I was glad to have been introduced to Elvira Tassel's skillset. :p

jamie yugawa
10-24-2013, 10:26 PM
Yeah, it's one of his general responses to criticism of his (Seagall's) Aikido- They don't understand it.

So, yeah. Kancho's dead. Like Ueshiba, Tohei. My point? This Anderson Silva highlight video:

http://youtu.be/Xh84bPPNe8s

Skip the 45 second intro and see somebody who is really from another universe. And the CRAZY thing is, those are not his students or ukes. Those are the best trained, best developed fighters in the world trying to win millions of dollars. Henderson, Okami, Franklin, Griffin. VITOR BELFORT, Sonnen, Leben, Luter, the list of top, top, top level champions he makes look like complete busters goes on and on and on.

So my point- and I'm pretty sure among Demetrio's points- if you really want to see the state of the art of the 21st century, tune into what THIS GUY is doing. HE is at a level above everybody else. HE is tuned into something that helps him fight bad guys. HE has proof: over 4,400 consecutive days of UFC World Championship status.

Nobody is arguing about whether his techniques work or have martial value. We know, because he did with it what anybody who COULD, WOULD do.

I think that footage is more like vertical spinning force focused on the upper chest area.....

Michael Varin
10-24-2013, 11:39 PM
We've finally hit supercritical mass.

Bill Danosky
10-24-2013, 11:59 PM
I think that footage is more like vertical spinning force focused on the upper chest area.....

Ha ha. Halloween greetings for a friend of mine. That will cheer most people up. Anderson Silva's technique is different is several ways: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0xQjAW6Z-o

jonreading
10-25-2013, 10:47 AM
But a Stradivarius is still the benchmark for violins because it SOUNDS THE BEST. Anderson Silva is the new Heifetz and he doesn't train IP. However, Steven Seagal does, so there you go...

Yeah, I have a point- Silva is a "technique" guy, and he can slow down time. Where's your Dan Harden now???

Anderson Silva also took one on the chin and lost his title.

Anderson Silva is a professional fighter, whose job is to be strong, be fit and fight. And he is a fantastic technician, as are several other major fight names. And when he retires, he will open a gym and people will eventually say, "who?". Who knows, maybe in 50 years we'll also criticize his remarkable feats of talent as empty propaganda. Everyone knows UFC is fixed, right? (just kidding, for the record). In previous posts, I have discussed the role of expectation in making a commitment. I think for those of us who train, we cannot meet the expectation of performance similar to a guy like Anderson Silva. We do not possess the time, resources, and commitment to change our lives in a such a way as to meet that expectation.

So is your claim to identify Anderson Silva as the benchmark for expectation of performance? Do you feel that his commitment to train is consistent with your commitment? If not, then why is he an adequate representation of your expectation of skill?

Every time I watch Muhammad Ali fight, I think, "That guy was the best boxer ever." Then I remember who he is now. Earl Campbell was one of the best running backs to ever carry the football. Now he cannot walk, let alone run. I think we need to be considerate of what expectations we put forth so that we have a chance of meeting them. Otherwise, we end up comparing Bob Gibson to Nolan Ryan and we all know Nolan Ryan was the best pitcher ever. In either case, I will never pitch like Bob Gibson or Nolan Ryan.

I agree, Anderson Silva is a great fighter. I enjoy watching him fight because he represents a level of skill that I will not realize. That's why I watch a number of of athletics. The derogatory term "arm chair quarterback" is used to describe he who has not the talent to play, but the intellect to judge. In no way do I confuse my talent to lock a triangle choke with Silva's failure to keep his gloves up and his mouth shut. Everyone saw it coming... a baby could've gotten out the the way. Geez.

Bill Danosky
10-25-2013, 12:17 PM
Anderson Silva also took one on the chin and lost his title...I agree, Anderson Silva is a great fighter. I enjoy watching him fight because he represents a level of skill that I will not realize... In no way do I confuse my talent to lock a triangle choke with Silva's failure to keep his gloves up and his mouth shut. Everyone saw it coming... a baby could've gotten out the the way. Geez.

Please understand, I'm not saying we should all train like Anderson Silva. I'm not even slightly interested in that level of effort. My purpose in holding him up, is to say, "This is what it looks like when someone has a clear, yet indefinable advantage." Something that's more than inferred by the IP crowd, yet there's no outward indication of it being true.

Anderson was bound to lose at some point, btw. He just didn't take this fight seriously enough, but we know he'll bring out his A game in December. ;)

Mert Gambito
10-25-2013, 01:39 PM
"This is what it looks like when someone has a clear, yet indefinable advantage." Something that's more than inferred by the IP crowd, yet there's no outward indication of it being true.
Based on data you've personally obtained, true, and taken at face value.

Based on what others have sampled, the indications are there in spades -- and the advantages are definable because IP/IS methods are, well, methods seeking to develop specific qualities leading to definable advantages. Dan Harden, Minoru Akuzawa and Sam Chin all offer systems that seek to develop the body conditioning skills for users along the continuum of martial arts, up to and expressly including the fight game. I would love to get your impressions once you've collected data from any one or more of them (and I appreciate that your not averse to doing so).

jonreading
10-25-2013, 02:12 PM
Please understand, I'm not saying we should all train like Anderson Silva. I'm not even slightly interested in that level of effort. My purpose in holding him up, is to say, "This is what it looks like when someone has a clear, yet indefinable advantage." Something that's more than inferred by the IP crowd, yet there's no outward indication of it being true.

Anderson was bound to lose at some point, btw. He just didn't take this fight seriously enough, but we know he'll bring out his A game in December. ;)

Just waits til Hendricks puts one on GSP...

You point is exactly the reason why the it has to be felt line is important. When I bounced, I was often aggravated by patrons because I was smaller than the other bouncers. Why? Because my size was a more obvious indicator of competitive advantage.

I am not discounting the obvious indicators of competitive advantage, like size... or tattoos... But we shouldn't we also look at the not-obvious indicators, too? I think this is one of the tasks that IP proponents are still trying to market. I mean, imagine how difficult it is to reach a market that requires hands-on experience to sell what you are doing?

In the meantime:
http://static.fjcdn.com/pictures/How_8481f3_2926327.jpg

hughrbeyer
10-25-2013, 10:59 PM
This whole business of challenging the effectiveness of IP/IS skills is pretty funny, considering they're attached to someone who can dominate any room he walks into--and has had to do so. But I guess unless he's #1 on the cage circuit, it doesn't count.

I have to say tho, the more I look at that Silva video the more apparent it is to me that that has nothing to do with what I want from martial arts or who I want to be.

Michael Varin
10-26-2013, 02:15 AM
In no way do I confuse my talent to lock a triangle choke with Silva's failure to keep his gloves up and his mouth shut. Everyone saw it coming... a baby could've gotten out the the way. Geez.

Out of the way of what?

You are making a ridiculous statement.

Anderson fucked up... in a way, but 99.99999% of people could not have done what he did in his loss to Chris Weidman. I considered it art.

If you played taiji push hands with him, I bet you'd be surprised.

If you allowed knees and elbows from the clinch, every person who has ever posted on this website would end up knocked out.

If you allowed punching and kicking, every person who has ever posted on this website would get totally embarrassed. Yes. Dan Harden included.

Anderson has tapped into something that is beyond the realms of "IP/IT/IS" as discussed on these forums.

Chris Li
10-26-2013, 02:23 AM
If you allowed punching and kicking, every person who has ever posted on this website would get totally embarrassed. Yes. Dan Harden included.

Well, to be fair, Dan is twenty years older and Anderson keeps in fighting shape for a living. But anyway, this is one of those comparisons that would have been silly even if you had met either of them.

Best,

Chris

Michael Varin
10-26-2013, 02:29 AM
True that!

But I was just sayin'.

Michael Varin
10-26-2013, 02:31 AM
I have to say tho, the more I look at that Silva video the more apparent it is to me that that has nothing to do with what I want from martial arts or who I want to be.

Not that I find your statement outrageous or even out of the norm, but will you please elaborate?

Demetrio Cereijo
10-26-2013, 07:01 AM
This whole business of challenging the effectiveness of IP/IS skills is pretty funny, considering they're attached to someone who can dominate any room he walks into--and has had to do so.

If you allowed punching and kicking, every person who has ever posted on this website would get totally embarrassed. Yes. Dan Harden included.

Could you guys drop this kind of cultish behaviour, please.

hughrbeyer
10-26-2013, 01:28 PM
Not that I find your statement outrageous or even out of the norm, but will you please elaborate?

You tend to become what you train for. Cage fighting is cage fighting, and cage fighters are cage fighters.

Not sure what to make of the "cult" remark. I believe the accepted term is "sycophant."

It was maybe two years back that I remarked to our teacher how lucky it was that these IP skills were being introduced by someone who could back them up, because it gave them a lot of credibility. But it's in some ways beside the point--the skills are the skills, whoever has them.

Mert Gambito
10-26-2013, 02:13 PM
If you allowed punching and kicking, every person who has ever posted on this website would get totally embarrassed. Yes. Dan Harden included.

Anderson has tapped into something that is beyond the realms of "IP/IT/IS" as discussed on these forums.
Michael,

As has been previously mentioned, IP/IT/IS, as discussed on these forums, is a separate aspect of martial training than fighting. One does not mean beans regarding the other.

That said, Dan's forte with IP is not aikido, it's MMA. I suspect if they met, it would be an awesome exchange of dialogue, ideas and tactics, and both would learn from the experience. Maybe we'd end up spotting Dan and Steven playing Rock Scissors Paper in Anderson's corner during bouts.

Like I mentioned before, I and others have seen Dan send a trained MMAist literally flying via spiraling within the guy's mount. Granted, that was a friendly demo, but it was clear to the guy who went airborne, and the other MMAists present, that this is not something taught in MMA circles.

Budd
10-26-2013, 02:49 PM
I guess I get annoyed when people talk about IP enthusiasts like we've never rolled or put on the gloves and banged or gone rounds in an MMA context. As much as the people that talk about internal strength like it doesn't require some martial "container" to be applied against skilled practitioners. But there's a number of us with credible experience in sport combatives that are diving into internal strength studies. It's a conversation non-starter at this point.

Ecosamurai
01-31-2014, 07:47 AM
I agree with Hugh here in several areas. Back in the mid 70's I took some ukemi from Tohei Sensei, went through the ki exercises presented at the time and can see that the 4 principles that he talked could be connected with the solo exercises from Dan that are being worked by many of us now could be aligned with the 4. The problem then was there was no explanation, at least with the folks who I can in contact with.

That's usually the crux of the issue with Tohei Sensei's methods, I remember the problem well, my teachers kept telling me to 'keep one point' and I kept saying 'how?' The truth is the four principles are not the whole story so much as a condensation of what you need to do and an aid. He also has principles for doing aikido. Tohei Sensei's 4 & 5 principles are these:

4 Principles for unifying mind and body

Keep One Point
Relax Completely
Keep weight Underside
Extend Ki

5 principles for doing aikido

Ki is Extending (Extend Ki)
Know your opponent's mind
Respect your opponent's Ki
Put yourself in the opponent's place
Perform (Lead) with confidence


If I translate (based on my best understanding of course) into IP/aiki speak the four principles, they become

Keep One Point - initiate/coordinate from dantien/silk reeling
Relax Completely - do not oppose force, allow it to be redirected through your body, shoulders are a big issue here
Keep weight Underside - use elbow power (that one is a bit vague, sorry)
Extend Ki - manifest 6 directions


Further, there are three basic levels of ki tests, level one involves having basic physical coordination, you might draw a parallel here to kokyu-ho which are some of the methods you use to develop this basic level of coordination for such a ki test. The second level is to have a relaxed mind, which is to say if the tester applies a hesitation before touching you, you should not flinch or move, because you should not be anticipating the test. The third level is to not allow the testers ki to enter your body (bit of a misnomer if you ask me), it's fair to say that this level is where you are into redirecting force within yourself. An example might be if a tester pushes on an extended arm via your hand you should not allow that force to be transferred into your shoulders but into the floor. You have to have a relaxed elbow to do this, in other words, you must use peng-jin. In Tohei Sensei's system you must have passed tests on all three of these levels to get shoden in ki development, there are several ranks above and beyond this which should tell you something, obviously there's more to get on to but the details of that are not so clearly formulated as the first three levels of development.

Practising Tohei's methods has a tendency to leave bits of you stiff that shouldn't be, so you can develop terrific static power doing it, people can push on you pretty hard and nothing will happen. But it tends to encourage you to shut down movement because the teaching structure involves half and half ki and aikido. So you spend an hour or so learning how not to be moved, then another hour applying that to movement and waza and what you get is stiffness for want of a better word. I see lots of people brought up in this school (including me) who don't move their feet enough.
Also there is a tendency I've observed, to use this power to try to physically overcome an opponent, its quite common to see people brought up this way use peng-jin type stuff to more or less just drive over a partner like a tank. Being completely insensitive to what their partner is doing and only interested in flattening them. This is, IMO, technically not what Tohei Sensei was after, just an unfortunate side effect of the pedagogy used. Which of course means that pedagogy needs to be changed.

Mike

RonRagusa
02-01-2014, 10:45 AM
So you spend an hour or so learning how not to be moved...

I've come to see that not being moved isn't the point; it's a byproduct of learning how to manipulate the forces trying to enter my body and adversely effect my mind/body coordination. Practicing the exercises allows me to experiment with dissipating the force, letting it in and sending it back to uke amplified or stopping it at the point of contact.

Ron

hughrbeyer
02-01-2014, 09:45 PM
Ya. One of the things Howard Popkin likes to do is that once you're pushing on him and getting nowhere, he starts doing a little jig with his feet--and you still get nowhere. Point being that you can't move him, but he's still totally free to move however he likes.

Ecosamurai
02-02-2014, 06:42 PM
I've come to see that not being moved isn't the point; it's a byproduct of learning how to manipulate the forces trying to enter my body and adversely effect my mind/body coordination. Practicing the exercises allows me to experiment with dissipating the force, letting it in and sending it back to uke amplified or stopping it at the point of contact.

Ron

Which is exactly the problem, being immovable isn't the point, but the structure of the classes in the Ki Society and offshoots encourages the assumption that being immovable is what you are learning to do (it's not, but the assumption is the problem). When people test me I'm quite capable of moving my feet, wiggling my hips, even jumping up and down without them being able to 'move me', all I've found that means is that people think they need to be 'immovable' like me when I try to teach them how. They're immediately working from a false assumption, and therefore setting themselves the wrong criteria for success.

RonRagusa
02-02-2014, 07:10 PM
Which is exactly the problem, being immovable isn't the point, but the structure of the classes in the Ki Society and offshoots encourages the assumption that being immovable is what you are learning to do (it's not, but the assumption is the problem). When people test me I'm quite capable of moving my feet, wiggling my hips, even jumping up and down without them being able to 'move me', all I've found that means is that people think they need to be 'immovable' like me when I try to teach them how. They're immediately working from a false assumption, and therefore setting themselves the wrong criteria for success.

When teaching Ki development, I stress that what we're practicing trains our ability to achieve a specific state of mind/body coordination that is recognized internally via the feelings engendered and expressed externally via demonstrable effects in response to tests. I want students to realize it's the process that drives the end-state. Too many students concentrate on the expected (in their own minds) outcome and miss that actual learning how to get there.

Ron