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Cady Goldfield
12-03-2013, 10:44 AM
It used to be rare to find videos of functional aikijujutsu on the Internet, but they are starting to appear. For those interested in seeing the effects of aiki and its martial applications, here is a primer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PlxpWywLiY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIl5tE-do8Y

mathewjgano
12-03-2013, 01:31 PM
It used to be rare to find videos of functional aikijujutsu on the Internet, but they are starting to appear. For those interested in seeing the effects of aiki and its martial applications, here is a primer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PlxpWywLiY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIl5tE-do8Y

Thank you, Cady! I haven't seen these ones yet, but I was recently enjoying some of his other videos. Do you know much about his history or lineage?

Demetrio Cereijo
12-03-2013, 02:23 PM
For those interested in seeing the effects of aiki and its martial applications, here is a primer.
Saw them some time ago. Thanks.

Rupert Atkinson
12-03-2013, 02:57 PM
I think good Jujutsu looks like Aikido and good Aikido looks like Jujutsu.
I like the stuff on those vids. But what is that guy wearing! But heck - look at us in our pyjamas.

Cady Goldfield
12-03-2013, 04:17 PM
Matt,
From what I have gleaned (and others have steered me toward) on the Internet, he is the former Edward J. Smith, AKA Edward Burns, AKA Tanemura Akahisa, and most recently Salahuddin Muh'min Mohammed. His past is... interesting to say the least. Not sure how much is verifiable; however, he does have aiki, and that's one of those black-and-white "ya gots it or ya don't" things.

Rupert, according to the various information out there, he is a recent convert to orthodox Islam and so wears the garb of Middle Eastern Muslim men.

sakumeikan
12-04-2013, 12:56 AM
Matt,
From what I have gleaned (and others have steered me toward) on the Internet, he is the former Edward J. Smith, AKA Edward Burns, AKA Tanemura Akahisa, and most recently Salahuddin Muh'min Mohammed. His past is... interesting to say the least. Not sure how much is verifiable; however, he does have aiki, and that's one of those black-and-white "ya gots it or ya don't" things.

Rupert, according to the various information out there, he is a recent convert to orthodox Islam and so wears the garb of Middle Eastern Muslim men.

Dear Cady,
Must confess I know little about converting to Islam.Is it mandatory to have the Middle Eastern garb?Do all Muslim converts avoid wearing suits/tee shirts etc?What is his lineage?Found the stuff fairly interesting.Makes a change from ortodox Aikido.Cheers, Joe.

Cady Goldfield
12-04-2013, 04:14 PM
Joe,
He has a rather eclectic and varied background, from what I can see. As for the customs of Islam, I suppose that the Internet harbors numerous information sites with varying degrees of objectivity and accuracy.

Aikibu
12-04-2013, 07:49 PM
Nice. :)

NagaBaba
12-04-2013, 08:54 PM
I would say 'martial applications' is a wishful thinking here, this guy is living in some kind of big illusion.

Cady Goldfield
12-04-2013, 09:40 PM
Szczepan,
Why is that? Please provide some clarification, based on your personal experiences and observations, to back up your opinion. That aside, I stated only that these are martial applications. Martial means that their intention is for some form of combat. Their effectiveness, or lack thereof, is subject to validation by testing under duress.

NagaBaba
12-05-2013, 09:02 AM
Hi Cady,
What is commonly understood by martial application is something similar to this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rpBvW376E5E

I still would not call it big stress, just normal martial interaction.

now if you look closely on attacker behavior on this video and on two videos you provided you may find the answer for your questions :)

Cady Goldfield
12-05-2013, 09:39 AM
Hi Cady,
What is commonly understood by martial application is something similar to this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rpBvW376E5E

I still would not call it big stress, just normal martial interaction.

now if you look closely on attacker behavior on this video and on two videos you provided you may find the answer for your questions :)

Lol! That had to hurt.
Aiki body training is something that is "on" when you're fighting, and you must maintain it that way, so that it will be available not only for driving technique, but also for stabilizing your body and re-directing the attacker's force to the ground and back up into him.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtxY3iepbO8&feature=youtu.be
(basic "peng" and structure for absorbing and projecting force, Sam F.S. Chin)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CS180RegUoc
(Alex Skalozub using internal body method via I Liq Chuan)

If the guy in the clip could do that, he would have had half a chance against that huge punching dude. :)

Or even this :) :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jt6MKqMuE0M&feature=youtu.be

Kevin Leavitt
12-05-2013, 04:00 PM
Cady, I think the point Szczepan is making is that the conditions in every example you have given is demonstrated in tightly controlled conditions. At best, what is demonstrated in the videos you provide are conceptual possibilities. I don't have any issues with the IS skills of say Sam Chin as he has a very good reputation.

However, we can't really ascertain how well Sam Chin would do in a situation with an non cooperative attacker from the video provided. Why? because the IS skills that are demonstrated under very controlled conditions are at the points demonstrated here theorectical possibilities and also do not account for the many other aspects and dynamics that occur in a fight.

For example, if we look at OODA loops, which are completely factored out of everyone of these videos. We cannot see the affects that the ability of an attacker to affect time and space, and to overwhelm or disrupt the decision making process of Sam Chin. We don't know what Sam would do if faced with an opponent that has suprised Sam and we don't know how Sam might ACT under such pressure as he attempts to ORIENT on the situation and deal with it.

I am not saying that Sam could not do well. I don't know for sure how he would do. That is my point. I don't know, because I have not seen him or any of the examples given applied under such pressure.

So, please don't think I am accusing him of anything at all. Just saying, we don't know.

We can postulate, imagine, or hypothesize how IS skills might help Sam or any of us....but until we see it..it is simply that and we cannot jump to conclusions about how much these things might really help us in a fight.

In fights we don't get to control the uke or the knowledge that we have of what is coming at us. If we can do that and control the variables of training, then it really does become possible to form appropriate responses and actions with enough training over time.

A good example is to place a towel on your shoulder then ask your uke to grab it before you do. Most of the time, you can prevent him from grabbing it. Why? because you control the scenario and you have a set strategy for a response already mentally formed. The laws of simple human reaction time, dictate that you will most of the time win. However, now try it by introducing a new variable, such as saying your Social Security Number backwards while he tries to grab it. You will lose EVERYTIME. Why? because you have entered a new variable and it changes the conditions or algebra in the equation.

Fighting works the same way.

So what Szczepan is saying IMO, is that you cannot ascertain from any of the videos that you provided that this is "good martial application". I agree with him on that as all the videos are primarily done in a lecture format that assume quite a bit of control by the teacher and do not appear to account for the loss of that control.

Now, you know alot more about IS than I do, so I will not comment on the IS skills that are exhibited in these videos. I'll take your word for it that there is good IS being transmitted. However, I do not see good martial application being demonstrated in any of these videos as it does not account for the conditions that are present in fights.

Cady Goldfield
12-05-2013, 04:28 PM
Kevin,
I understood Szczepan's point, and I agree with him and you that these are not "good martial applications." I was looking for clips that would show, at least somewhat, the cues that IS is being used to enhance the body's ability to manage force. The first clip is just that - a guy tries to apply force to Sam Chin, and is pulsed or bounced off. I have felt Sifu Chin. He has IS and aiki. When he first came to the U.S. back in the '90s, he took on all comers, and had posters all over NYC's Chinatown inviting anyone and everyone. A lot of tough people took him up on it. He has paid his dues. ;)

The second video shows some of his students (his senior student Alex Skalozub) and "grand-students" doing same in practice drills and demos, some of which have a higher level of stress applied. Yes, again the conditions are controlled, but my point there is that these students are able to maintain their "peng" even when in full mobility and response to another person.

The third clip was just for fun - to show that even someone who is not combat-trained can do "something" that can take a large person's punch off-line. If a young girl can do this -- albeit against rhythmic, non-killer punches, yet still incoming punches -- imagine how a fighter could implement these basic internal skills to gain an advantage against the committed puncher in Szczepan's clip. The defender in his clip... had nuthin'.

Kevin Leavitt
12-05-2013, 04:33 PM
Cady,

I hope I am not too over critical of all this. I respect your hard work and opinions. Frankly I am working on some methodologies for training right now so I am hyper focused on this stuff and I am probably a little myopic and over critical in my view points at this time.

My work is centering around developing a framework to accurately assess good and bad martial models. If we can pinpoint the elements of fighting and place them in a framework, then we can begin to assess the various aspects of what constitutes "appropriate" training and inappropriate training.

For example, these videos may well be appropriate for demonstrating various body skills and structures for what we are saying is the IS framework. However, if we look at it martially, we may say that it does not meet the criteria for martial application cause it does not account for A,B, and C.

I believe that once we have these frameworks, we can then begin blending them together somehow and seeing how the various outputs affect things as we inject new variables into our models. (or something like that!

For me, OODA is very important. I submit, probably the most important element maritally.

The lightbulb went off for me finally after deliberating on a stuck problem in my head for the last couple of years when watching the recent Knock-em out viral video.

It is shocking because it is so random. It represents an extreme and there is not much we can do about it and that scares us.

If you apply the concept of OODA, it explains it. for example, we can take no ACTION on it because we never get to Observe and Orient on it before we are the victim and it is over. It is at the extreme end of the OO spectrum of input/feedback. On the other end, we have a duel. Think of a old west gunfight. Very controlled, very specialized and it comes down to who is simply the fastest draw and who has the best skill at drawing that gun and shooting it.

In between we have everything else. Self defense might be closer to the Knock-em-out end, while IS training might be closer to the duel end of the spectrum.

We need to find the sweet spot in our training methods that one, are not based on simply getting knocked out, nor the other end where things are tightly controlled.

Our training paradigms need to account for the fact that our partner gets a vote in the situation and we cannot control what he or she might or might not do....(degree of cooperation).

We need to balance and develop training methods and spend some time with them that allow for this level of "aliveness".

I don't believe the IS training methods encourage this, because you cannot train IS in this environment. Unfortunately, we don't get good examples of IS guys applying this stuff uncooperatively either for some reason.

I'd hoped to get with Dan Harden this year in Germany, but he didn't make it over...I'd had high hopes that Dan was gonna bridge that gap for me personally as I have heard VERY good things about Dan in this area.

Anyway, sorry to be so extreme on this stuff. Hope this helps explain what my thoughts are.

Kevin Leavitt
12-05-2013, 04:35 PM
Kevin,
I understood Szczepan's point, and I agree with him and you that these are not "good martial applications." I was looking for clips that would show, at least somewhat, the cues that IS is being used to enhance the body's ability to manage force. The first clip is just that - a guy tries to apply force to Sam Chin, and is pulsed or bounced off. I have felt Sifu Chin. He has IS and aiki. When he first came to the U.S. back in the '90s, he took on all comers, and had posters all over NYC's Chinatown inviting anyone and everyone. A lot of tough people took him up on it. He has paid his dues. ;)

The second video shows some of his students (his senior student Alex Skalozub) and "grand-students" doing same in practice drills and demos, some of which have a higher level of stress applied. Yes, again the conditions are controlled, but my point there is that these students are able to maintain their "peng" even when in full mobility and response to another person.

The third clip was just for fun - to show that even someone who is not combat-trained can do "something" that can take a large person's punch off-line. If a young girl can do this -- albeit against rhythmic, non-killer punches, yet still incoming punches -- imagine how a fighter could implement these basic internal skills to gain an advantage against the committed puncher in Szczepan's clip. The defender in his clip... had nuthin'.

lol...no worries then! we just cross post! I am a little manic about this stuff right now!

Cady Goldfield
12-05-2013, 04:48 PM
lol...no worries then! we just cross post! I am a little manic about this stuff right now!

Addictive, idn'it? ;)

Budd
12-06-2013, 08:24 AM
Well and I think we're talking about a couple different things . . . (AGAIN)

1. IS skills - the vids are interesting and to my eye are useful to demonstrate how jin enhances basic jujutsu applications in a controlled setting.

2. Combative application - Honestly I'd treat IS like any other attribute in the strength matrix (assuming the raw physical traits of strength, endurance, speed, durability, etc. -- ooh RPG, RPG D&D - are agreed to be desirable attributes in hand-to-hand engagements). There are other complimentary advantages besides strength (balance, sensitivity), but the bottom line tends to be along the amount of power you can bring to bear. Which as has already been pointed out in the Ain't Necessarily So thread, raw strength will not guarantee success in combative engagements.

One more trailing thought - in IS to AIKI terms, one of the advantages that is also thought to be conferred is the ability "borrow" someone else's strength (aiki - but not due to just timing and superior position, though those things invariably help in the application). Where I agree with some is that the mechanism for training it to a basic degree of application skill still seems to be in paired partner waza. I actually think it's necessary to at some point take it into more "realistic" combative settings against partners that are going to change it up, surprise you, force you into more of an adaptive/reactive model rather than assuming you will always have the proactive approach.

Kevin Leavitt
12-06-2013, 11:15 AM
Good summary Budd!

Cady Goldfield
12-06-2013, 10:56 PM
One more trailing thought - in IS to AIKI terms, one of the advantages that is also thought to be conferred is the ability "borrow" someone else's strength (aiki - but not due to just timing and superior position, though those things invariably help in the application). Where I agree with some is that the mechanism for training it to a basic degree of application skill still seems to be in paired partner waza. I actually think it's necessary to at some point take it into more "realistic" combative settings against partners that are going to change it up, surprise you, force you into more of an adaptive/reactive model rather than assuming you will always have the proactive approach.

It's not "thought to be conferred," it most definitely is conferred, that an adept aiki practitioner can exploit someone else's force -- I prefer "exploits" and "force" to "borrow" and "strength." One is actively absorbing force and then re-directing it back into the opponent, combined with one's own generated force. This is focused as an attack on the opponent's attack.

An individual can generate a certain amount of force from utilizing his own body mass, gravity and internal movement; however, his return attack on the opponent will be much more powerful with the addition of the opponent's own force.

In Chinese internal martial arts, "fajing" is the term for explosive expression of force or power. There is "soft" fajing and "hard" fajing. The former, is the force of only the individual. The latter is the individual's force, augmented by the exploitation of the opponent's force.

So, where the solo vs. partner waza come in, is you train within yourself to generate power (IP) and aiki, and when you train with a partner, you learn to absorb and project not only your own force, but his as well, combined. The process is one and the same, but you need the partner to provide the extra force and the means by which to develop the on-touch ability to instantaneously receive and feed force from another.

Rupert Atkinson
12-08-2013, 12:51 PM
Hi Cady,
What is commonly understood by martial application is something similar to this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rpBvW376E5E

I still would not call it big stress, just normal martial interaction.

now if you look closely on attacker behavior on this video and on two videos you provided you may find the answer for your questions :)

As usual, can't argue with that, Szczepan! But - how to train? That is the question. I like the style of training shown in the original post vid as it matches what I do and I think it has helped me a lot. I have to say though, my Judo and Jujutsu have also helped. The soft aiki training adds to the hard Judo/Jujutsu/whatever training. otherwise, might as well just give up, hit the gym, and bulk up.

Alec Corper
12-09-2013, 02:49 AM
There are so many factors at play in this I hardly know where to start so forgive me if this is a touch incoherent. It seems there are several different issues all mixed together.
Being able to generate power does not mean you can deliver it.
Being technically skilled does not mean you are mentally ready.
being able to hit (or throw, whatever0 does not mean you know how to fight on after being severely traumatised.
Martial arts range from hobby through sport through art through self defence, and potentially combat.
The needs for the sportsman, hobbyist, artist, bouncer, policeman, soldier are all different and can't be trained with one approach.
Where are the elements of strategy, simulation, deception, weaponisation, etc., that should be part of the overall martial context.
IS/IP/Aiki will not prepare you for "fighting" any more than external arts will, unless "pre-emptive" awareness extends into all realms of potential conflict,and all realms of meeting that conflict, including use of terrain, position, voice , deception, weapons etc.
I'm too old to go back to fighting full contact but I am convinced of one thing, both through personal experience, and that of many people i knew and grew up with. If you really want to be able to "fight" with skill you need to be prepared to go out and look for opportunities to test your "spirit", for want of a better word. If you survive the first half dozen encounters you will open up the channels of survival instinct that need to marry with deep training to produce a combat ready martial "artist".
Also, with all respect to Szczepan, I don't think the video shows martial application, it shows a fighter who knows his goal, (put the guy away) and a martial artist who is defending himself in a sport fashion. The appropriate strategy would be to run away, or cry until you get close enough to go for vulnerable areas, or spit in his face to distract him. Instead of which he waves his hands in the air like a dog with his hair standing on end hoping to intimidate other dogs into believing he is bigger than he is.
The karate guy was lucky it was a sport duel or he probably would have been kicked to death whilst he lay there thinking,'WTF just happened?". Will IP?IS?Aiki help with that? Possibly, through good spherical power displacement you may get knocked backwards rather than down, you may even feel the energy coming and respond before or as it arrives, but I don't believe you can fuse internal training into external arts without fighting.
The few people I have felt with real power in IP have all fought outside of the dojo setting many times. in some case before their training and in other cases after. However the fusion and embodiment of theses skills comes from a deep visceral level and not only from training.
as i said my apologies for rambling, just a few thoughts, FWIW

Budd
12-09-2013, 07:41 AM
It's not "thought to be conferred," it most definitely is conferred, that an adept aiki practitioner can exploit someone else's force -- I prefer "exploits" and "force" to "borrow" and "strength." One is actively absorbing force and then re-directing it back into the opponent, combined with one's own generated force. This is focused as an attack on the opponent's attack.

Hah, thanks for walking into that one :) The problem is that a number of folks think they are doing pure jin type of work and when you put hands on them feel a muscley external frame based approach that - even when jin is present, isn't pure enough to enable much in the way of fajin nor aiki (more on that below). I don't really want to quibble over borrowing versus exploiting as they are simply imagery tricks to get the body to do something different than it normally would do. A simple test of aiki is if someone pushes on you, you realign yourself without much in the way of overt movement such that they push themselves away. So therefore grounding a push isn't aiki per se in this model. And you can see how pure someone's jin is if they activate local muscles in the shoulder/chest, etc to handle the load. Better conditioning and skill lead to the ability to handle greater loads (still within some definable human limits, etc.).

An individual can generate a certain amount of force from utilizing his own body mass, gravity and internal movement; however, his return attack on the opponent will be much more powerful with the addition of the opponent's own force.

Again, conflating training the goods in terms of Internal Strength (which is pretty much all about what's going on inside you) versus an application of AIKI (making someone else's strength your own). There's a couple very important components of internally generated power that have so far been ignored - that are critical to fajin and have nothing to do with whether there's another person or not.

In Chinese internal martial arts, "fajing" is the term for explosive expression of force or power. There is "soft" fajing and "hard" fajing. The former, is the force of only the individual. The latter is the individual's force, augmented by the exploitation of the opponent's force.

So, where the solo vs. partner waza come in, is you train within yourself to generate power (IP) and aiki, and when you train with a partner, you learn to absorb and project not only your own force, but his as well, combined. The process is one and the same, but you need the partner to provide the extra force and the means by which to develop the on-touch ability to instantaneously receive and feed force from another.

Cady, this is where I think we're going to diverge and disagree more thoroughly. I've never heard of any mainstream 6H art reference hard and soft fajin the way you describe. It sounds more like someone's individual interpretation that got gummed up somewhere along the way. I don't quibble so much with the need for application training as you summarize in your last paragraph, but again I'm not sure where you get your hard/soft fajin bracketing. Like I mention above, we haven't progressed past talking about basic jin and there's a whole bunch more criteria that goes on with good fajin that haven't been mentioned and are part of the individual skill/conditioning path.

NagaBaba
12-09-2013, 09:47 AM
As usual, can't argue with that, Szczepan! But - how to train? That is the question. I like the style of training shown in the original post vid as it matches what I do and I think it has helped me a lot. I have to say though, my Judo and Jujutsu have also helped. The soft aiki training adds to the hard Judo/Jujutsu/whatever training. otherwise, might as well just give up, hit the gym, and bulk up.
Hi Rupert,
I have no advices for 'internal training', I simply pointed that we should carefully use words to describe some behavior. I'd say using 'martial application' to describe the videos Cady presented is very misleading. IMO if there is no element of danger for defender, we should not call it martial. You may call is healthy gymnastic or something similar but not martial application.

NagaBaba
12-09-2013, 09:57 AM
Also, with all respect to Szczepan, I don't think the video shows martial application, it shows a fighter who knows his goal, (put the guy away) and a martial artist who is defending himself in a sport fashion.
I agree I should have chose different term. With this video I only wanted to illustrate the big difference in the way how attack is provided. In the videos Cady provided we can see ridiculously sloppy attacks where attacker behave as a well cooked noodle. Quite a nonsense from martial point of view.
The term 'martial application' should not be used for this kind of 'training'.

Cady Goldfield
12-09-2013, 10:03 AM
Szczepan,
By "martial application" I'm referring to the context of martial disciplines as opposed to, say, dance. By now, I'd think that most if not all who are participating in this thread already know that in order to apply any kind of principle or concept in a "real fight," you have to train that way.

Cady Goldfield
12-09-2013, 10:05 AM
Budd,
Lest you think I'm blowing past your post, I'm not -- I just don't have time at this moment to give it a thoughtful response. Will get back to you later. In the meantime, I'm happy, as always, to have been the perfect stooge for your setup. ;)

Kevin Leavitt
12-09-2013, 10:14 AM
Alec wrote:

Being able to generate power does not mean you can deliver it.
Being technically skilled does not mean you are mentally ready.
being able to hit (or throw, whatever0 does not mean you know how to fight on after being severely traumatised.
Martial arts range from hobby through sport through art through self defence, and potentially combat.
The needs for the sportsman, hobbyist, artist, bouncer, policeman, soldier are all different and can't be trained with one approach.

Hey Alec, thanks for the comments. Agreed, however, I think though that there are some commonalities for martial sportsman, bouncers, policeman, soldiers,, and those needing self defense skills. ( I can't speak hobbyist, and artist as I don't know what the definition of those would necessarily mean)

I think you can distill some common training themes and strategies used by everyone and come up with a good solid core, foundational practice, that provides feedback (measurable) and is adaptive.

I do agree that there will be various focuses based on specific needs and applications. For example, your needs for self defense may be different that the specific needs to conduct room clearings if you are a SWAT team member. However, at the base of SD there are some common themes.

I think when we look at integrating IS training, we should understand what constitutes "good martial training". To me, there are IS or Aiki test to provide feedback while you are learning these skills, then there are some good basic martial skills. if you are considering IS or AIki as a part of Martial training, then at some point, you have to have training that integrates/test/provides feedback in martially appropriate ways.

I think that is the crux of where the problem lay with much of the discussion concerning IS training and integrating it into a combative/alive environement. That is, what is appropriate and what provides good feedback?

Kevin Leavitt
12-09-2013, 10:20 AM
Szczepan,
By "martial application" I'm referring to the context of martial disciplines as opposed to, say, dance. By now, I'd think that most if not all who are participating in this thread already know that in order to apply any kind of principle or concept in a "real fight," you have to train that way.

Cady, my frustration has been that I this is difficult to do. Marc Abrams and I played around with it some when I visited him last year, but it is hard to integrate into "alive" training or "train as you fight" environment.

I think the whole point of Aikido and Systema was to provide a structure that would provide for the dynamic conditions that would begin to approach that of what we might find in life, albeit with still enough control in order to encourage good responses.

This stuff is tough. I do agree with Szczepan though, we need to be careful about the words we choose, I had the same thoughts he did when I first looked at the videos. These days I think it is better to not even pretend you are doing anything martial while training or testing/feedback for IS as it allows too much room for confusion and criticism!

Budd
12-09-2013, 10:25 AM
Kev,

I'd also consider the context of when IS was deemed most viable for martial applications was in providing the best technology to allow an armored person holding a weapon to cut/stab/kill another potentially armed and armored person. Layer on top of that the tactics, formations, company strategies, etc. that would make for warfare at different points in history, it would get very easy to dismiss IS from a component perspective if you remain focused on the macro-soldiering perspective.

I think that's what happens nowadays and maybe not without valid reasoning. There's a time investment in making IS (beyond the muscley frame-based jin stuffs) into something really ingrained and viable and it might not be something that makes sense for a lot of people interested in getting good at fighting, or for police, or soldiers, or bouncers, or <insert hobby/tradecraft here> . . because there's 1) No guarantee that the people that are taught the methods will spend the time and thought developing them to any beneficial degree 2) There may be other, faster methods that duplicate at least 50% of the perceived benefits (maybe more with all the accelerators factored in).

But I also think that given that this type of skill requires an immense amount of individual drive and ownership - it's not going to fit easily into the trappings of any style, hobby, profession - and will remain something that individuals pursue and chase and ultimately choose how much they want to market its value as a tangible asset.

Cliff Judge
12-09-2013, 10:30 AM
But I also think that given that this type of skill requires an immense amount of individual drive and ownership - it's not going to fit easily into the trappings of any style, hobby, profession

Incorrect! It fits perfectly into any of a multitude of religious ascetic frameworks. :D

Cady Goldfield
12-09-2013, 10:53 AM
Kevin,
I don't disagree; however, it also may not be accurate to limit one's concept of "martial" or "combat" to what people often envision -- fighting on a battlefield; being jumped by a band of big, armed thugs working for a drug lord; mercenary soldiers, crazed PCP maniacs with machetes, or whatever. There are varying degrees of assault, as well as varying degrees of competence by the attacker, and any use of a martial system to stop their attack is a form of combat, from the battlefield to a woman fighting off a rapist-murderer, or stopping a groping drunk. Women have successfully stopped the actions of groping drunks by using their learned skills, even though they did not train in an all-out manner. Should we give up training in our arts because we believe we can never use them successfully? If so, why even bother to consider martial arts training in the first place?

If we're going to consider "martial applications" as having only to do with all-out life-and-death training for (what we think will be) "real-life" conflicts, then maybe we could simply call this stuff "hopeful self-defense" skills rather than martial applications. But that probably would discourage a lot of people from ever training, and IMO it's better to have these skills than not. Then again, "self-defense" is probably more apt for the way most people in our societies will be applying them.

Alec Corper
12-09-2013, 11:12 AM
I think you can distill some common training themes and strategies used by everyone and come up with a good solid core, foundational practice, that provides feedback (measurable) and is adaptive.

I think when we look at integrating IS training, we should understand what constitutes "good martial training". To me, there are IS or Aiki test to provide feedback while you are learning these skills, then there are some good basic martial skills. if you are considering IS or AIki as a part of Martial training, then at some point, you have to have training that integrates/test/provides feedback in martially appropriate ways.

I think that is the crux of where the problem lay with much of the discussion concerning IS training and integrating it into a combative/alive environement. That is, what is appropriate and what provides good feedback?

I agree totally and am also researching and struggling with this question.
P.S. Sam Chin is here in March, we are only a hop over the border for you. Why not drop by? You'd be welcome.
Alec

Demetrio Cereijo
12-09-2013, 12:13 PM
If we're going to consider "martial applications" as having only to do with all-out life-and-death training for (what we think will be) "real-life" conflicts, then maybe we could simply call this stuff "hopeful self-defense" skills rather than martial applications.
I would support that.

But that probably would discourage a lot of people from ever training
Where is the problem?

Budd
12-09-2013, 12:16 PM
Incorrect! It fits perfectly into any of a multitude of religious ascetic frameworks. :D

I think you mean it fits incorrectly and incompletely into any of a multitude of religious ascetic frameworks ... :rolleyes:

Though since you bring it up, this type of training did use to connote "The Superior Man" precisely because it did require a degree of intellect, physical prowess, artistry and could be applied to martial technique, calligraphy, music, dance, etc. while also providing a degree of benefits in terms of a kind of strength that didn't fade as rapidly as gross motor muscle was thought to. I'll be interested if science ever really digs into the fascia, connective tissue phenomena as elastic strengtheners of whole body power and the degree it enables what kind of sports/athletic activity.

Kevin Leavitt
12-09-2013, 12:33 PM
Kev,

I'd also consider the context of when IS was deemed most viable for martial applications was in providing the best technology to allow an armored person holding a weapon to cut/stab/kill another potentially armed and armored person. Layer on top of that the tactics, formations, company strategies, etc. that would make for warfare at different points in history, it would get very easy to dismiss IS from a component perspective if you remain focused on the macro-soldiering perspective.

I think that's what happens nowadays and maybe not without valid reasoning. There's a time investment in making IS (beyond the muscley frame-based jin stuffs) into something really ingrained and viable and it might not be something that makes sense for a lot of people interested in getting good at fighting, or for police, or soldiers, or bouncers, or <insert hobby/tradecraft here> . . because there's 1) No guarantee that the people that are taught the methods will spend the time and thought developing them to any beneficial degree 2) There may be other, faster methods that duplicate at least 50% of the perceived benefits (maybe more with all the accelerators factored in).

But I also think that given that this type of skill requires an immense amount of individual drive and ownership - it's not going to fit easily into the trappings of any style, hobby, profession - and will remain something that individuals pursue and chase and ultimately choose how much they want to market its value as a tangible asset.

I agree. This is essentially what I was trying to say, but not as clear as you said it!

Kevin Leavitt
12-09-2013, 12:35 PM
I agree totally and am also researching and struggling with this question.
P.S. Sam Chin is here in March, we are only a hop over the border for you. Why not drop by? You'd be welcome.
Alec

Thanks for the invite! I'll see if I can, but I am on the road alot with my job and March is looking busy!

Cady Goldfield
12-09-2013, 04:07 PM
I agree. This is essentially what I was trying to say, but not as clear as you said it!

I also agree with that, and not for the first time. This is something that has been discussed multiple times here -- that this kind of developmental body training is not immediately and easily usable, and that there are a number of more efficacious and effective ways of accomplishing satisfactory results for sport application, LEO work, etc.

Cady Goldfield
12-09-2013, 07:54 PM
I agree I should have chose different term. With this video I only wanted to illustrate the big difference in the way how attack is provided. In the videos Cady provided we can see ridiculously sloppy attacks where attacker behave as a well cooked noodle. Quite a nonsense from martial point of view.
The term 'martial application' should not be used for this kind of 'training'.

Yeah, maybe I should have said something like, "here's a guy using aiki and internals, using some jujutsu from an aikijujutsu system as the vehicle. The real-life applications are martial, but here the teacher is just giving a lesson to a new student so he'll get an overview of the system."

And, again...

1. These clips are of a lesson for a first-day, brand-new student. Everything is being done in slow motion, only to demonstrate and overview.
2. I called them "martial applications" because the manner in which aiki and technique are being applied is martial in nature, meaning it's not being used as dance steps, or as qigong exercises for health.
3. What interests me about these clips is not the jujutsu, some of which is pretty convoluted and impractical, is the aiki and internal power the teacher is using. In fact, a lot of stuff in the various aikijujutsu curriculums are... pretty convoluted and impractical, perhaps because the practitioners were slavishly imitating the stuff they saw Takeda Sokaku do. Takeda could likely pull off some pretty implausible stuff because he had aiki. People maybe mistook the techniques for the aiki, and thought that the crazy setups, locks, pins, etc. were what they should be doing.
4. I really don't have a problem with what the guy in the clips is doing, because I have felt that kind of aiki and power and know what the payback on even a "cooked noodle" attack feels like and does to your body. I frankly would not want to launch a full-force attack on someone who can use your punches' force against you instantaneously on contact.
5. I don't expect you to buy any of this, and that's okay too. Maybe someday you'll bite the bullet and finally go experience one of the legitimate aiki/internal arts people yourself, and then will be able to opine with some empirical data to back up your opinion in that area.

If he were meeting a full-bore attack from a competent fighter, the impact of an untrained body meeting an "aiki body"

Kevin Leavitt
12-10-2013, 01:48 AM
Kevin,
I don't disagree; however, it also may not be accurate to limit one's concept of "martial" or "combat" to what people often envision -- fighting on a battlefield; being jumped by a band of big, armed thugs working for a drug lord; mercenary soldiers, crazed PCP maniacs with machetes, or whatever. There are varying degrees of assault, as well as varying degrees of competence by the attacker, and any use of a martial system to stop their attack is a form of combat, from the battlefield to a woman fighting off a rapist-murderer, or stopping a groping drunk. Women have successfully stopped the actions of groping drunks by using their learned skills, even though they did not train in an all-out manner. Should we give up training in our arts because we believe we can never use them successfully? If so, why even bother to consider martial arts training in the first place?

If we're going to consider "martial applications" as having only to do with all-out life-and-death training for (what we think will be) "real-life" conflicts, then maybe we could simply call this stuff "hopeful self-defense" skills rather than martial applications. But that probably would discourage a lot of people from ever training, and IMO it's better to have these skills than not. Then again, "self-defense" is probably more apt for the way most people in our societies will be applying them.

Actually I think the way many martial arts are trained that it is "hopeful self-defense skills". Why? because the test/feedback mechanisms that are implemented are not adequate.

Agree there is a spectrum of violence. A grope by a drunk or an unwelcomed advance that does not stop I'd say is at one end and full out kinetic combat is at the other end.

I think though, that martial systems need to be "reasonable" in the approach to training.

On one end, a system that places a paradigm that we can talk our way out of most situations, that assumes a certain degree of rationalism and centers around avoiding conflict, or blending with conflict to be a perversion and is not "reasonable" As well as systems that are predicated on a high degree of personal skill or structure that assume that certain conditions are set and can be implemented or control. That is, systems that do not reasonably account for failure. On this end of the spectrum I don't think the model adequately accounts for the nature of conflict and/or violence.

On the other end, systems that are all about violence and attacking with overwhelming force. Predicated on "pre-emtive" striking, Always being ready, Always being on are correct either. We see this a lot in the "gun culture" self defense models. This too is a perversion of reasonableness. These systems too assume a certain degree of control and do not reasonably account for failure.

On both ends of the spectrum, we have a common theme. The lack of accounting for failure. Both extremes are predicated on control, and require that certain elements of control are present in the situation for success to happen.

So, when I look at martial models of success, I am looking for particular feedback dynamics to be present that address failure.

My interest in IS and "frame training" is that it can be useful in addressing failure. I think this is the real advantage in training IS. that is, how to I buy back time and space lost? How do I take failure and turn it into success.

For the most part I don't see this being done a whole lot in training.

So dealing with semi docile grouping drunks on a train. I think we can master that in a few quick classes on assertiveness and standing your ground. However, once it goes beyond that and we are in a physical point of failure...well that requires a great deal more training, and this is what Martial training should encompass with an emphasis on sound physical responses at the point of failure.

Kevin Leavitt
12-10-2013, 02:00 AM
I also agree with that, and not for the first time. This is something that has been discussed multiple times here -- that this kind of developmental body training is not immediately and easily usable, and that there are a number of more efficacious and effective ways of accomplishing satisfactory results for sport application, LEO work, etc.

I think there are elements of IS training that ARE easily usable and can be incorporated rather quickly. I think the issue is that we have is inadequate methodology for training and develop risk models/criteria that prioritize things for us.

I think the problem we have is a psychology of asceticism in those that tend to be attracted to IS training. I think the problem is that we say we cannot move on until we've mastered the whole body of knowledge. I think the problem is a lack of understanding of endstate and why we are training what we are training.

I think once you have a clear and concise understanding of endstate and when you develop models that provide appropriate feedback that things tend to fall in place and your training can be adaptive.

I do think there is a lack of understanding of IS skills and how to develop them and a lack of understanding/knowledge of modalities to train them. It sounds like a lot of folks over the past few years are now getting an understanding of these things which is a good thing!

Hopefully we will begin to see the development of an integrative approach into martial training in the near future.

I think the good news is that IS skills enhance training so much that we can integrate things learned fairly quickly with very positive results and you begin to find out that you really don't need to go very far to gain advantages martially. That may also be a bad thing as it might stifle training from those that get what they need and say "thanks, that is just enough to give me an advantage" and drive on.

I'd like to point out that I don't have an issue with asceticism. There is a need for expertise. I think what is lacking in our religious world today is monasticism. There are many examples out there that demonstrate the need for people to embed knowledge in subject matter expertise.

There is also a need for a balanced approach that allows for lay folk to integrate stuff into there daily lives.

Alec Corper
12-10-2013, 06:59 AM
"On both ends of the spectrum, we have a common theme. The lack of accounting for failure. Both extremes are predicated on control, and require that certain elements of control are present in the situation for success to happen."
Is not the essence of combat or any conflict the loss of control? Is not most martial training a demonstration of an unrealistic control over the attack, terrain, timing etc. especially gendai arts with one perfect end technique or one perfect strike that ends it all. Datu Kelly Worden of NSI, a formidable
fighter, as well as an excellent martial artist, (rarely found in the same person) always talks about flow drills from the standpoint that 7 out of 10 techniques will fail, miss, be ineffective in one way or another, and it is the ability to move on without losing power or structure that becomes a determining factor. Clearly a well developed internal power/skill/frame is an asset since the body/mind integration will be based upon instant change, being as close to neutral as possible with yin/yang manifestations.
This is as much a mental skill as a physical one. "Everyone has a plan till they get hit in the face". Better to have no plan than to freeze when the plan fails, better still to have a physical/mental skill set that allows immediate response.
Getting to that point is the problem.

Budd
12-10-2013, 07:57 AM
Here's where I am going to take some issue regarding the "need" for IS to be simplified and made piecemeal for folks to pick and choose what parts they will incorporate. (Kevin - you may not be saying that, but it seems to be a theme that keeps coming up) In some cases, certain facets of teaching can be adapted and optimized as has been shown in the evolution of sport martial arts. Other things, though, at least in the transmission maturity models that are available, do require a bit of the seeker adapting themselves to the training.

On one hand, I agree that from a utilitarian perspective, pursuing whole-banana 6 harmony martial art may not make sense for the person seeking fastest speed to market usable skills matrix - especially the seeker that's going to choose something of a grab-bag approach to training. There's too much investment of time regarding training correctly in something of a "faith-based" (god, I hate that approach) approach. The problem in that model is that you are utterly at the mercy of the person showing you the goods in that 1) they have the goods 2) are showing you the path to get the goods 3) you have the requisite talent, curiosity and dedication to acquire the goods through your own efforts after exposure to 1&2. (a bit of a damper in the notion that "everyone can do it", sorry)

That model is a hard sell because we are enough of a skeptical breed now with limited attention spans that have been told over and over that we are entitled to anything we want if we show up. The notion that no matter how hard you try you might fail is not something very marketable in martial arts land. The idea that you are completely responsible for your own progress once you've been shown some basic things - is also a hard sell for those that want to role-play, belong to a club, get constant reinforcement and attention rather than push themselves to do the work.

I liked the basic jin/aiki videos that Cady listed because I looked at them in context. It's showing how different applications of strength can create different effects when two people are physically connected. If you can't see how it's a different kind of strength, but are still curious, then you ought to go feel it. If you write it off as not useful, then fine, go about your way of training and good luck to you. Either way, get the information and process it, rather than assuming you have all the information already. Sheesh...

Rupert Atkinson
12-10-2013, 11:50 AM
I agree with Sz but I also really like the style of training on the original post. It is not training for fighting, it is training to develop certain skills to develop your ability to defend (and attack). I am sure the aggressor himself in Sz's vid would benefit greatly from this kind of training.

Cady Goldfield
12-10-2013, 12:16 PM
Budd and Kevin,
The interesting thing about the traditional aikijujutsu (i.e. Daito-ryu) training curriculum, at least as I'm familiar with it, is that students learn in stages how to use technique (in this case, jujutsu), how to apply "aiki" to those techniques (aikijujutsu), and then to develop a fuller and more "complete" internal body method through specific training in IP and aiki methodology (aiki-no-jutsu).

The systems are taught in that order, and when students begin training in the aikjujutsu "stage," they are learning discrete aspects of internal method -- not the whole "internal enchilada." They learn to create and apply aiki-age and aiki-sage, and learn a basic aspect of generating power through winding/wrapping.

Whether this approach was meant to protect the "deeper secrets" for the long-term, loyal students (for example), or to introduce a sophisticated concept in easy bite-sized bits, or other reason, who can say. But a resulting benefit of it is that practitioners get incremental pieces of the "internal" puzzle in a way that can be employed and applied in a "practical" way sooner than if they were to concentrate on just the internal conditioning from the get-go.

Budd
12-10-2013, 12:49 PM
Hi Cady,

I've always appreciated that method of DRAJJ from an academic perspective as it seems like a reasonable model to balance some application with deeper skills. I struggle with that in my own practice when folks ask me to show them things - in terms of I make a distinction when I'm working on IS principles and how they work, how my chosen martial style of expression works as a container for IS and then how to just move through the shapes (and basic application) of my martial style of expression. From what I hear, different DR groups have their own QC issues as much as any of the aikido groups do (which the Taiji groups are certainly no strangers to as well - heck pretty much any martial art is going to run into that if it gets big enough).

Thing is, the more I get exposed to IS, the more I wonder at the value of just grabbing what you can and adding it to your already fine practice (can maybe get some muscle jin that will add X percent to your game) or do you restart what you're doing from 0 and rewire how your body fundamentally moves (presuming you have access to a source that can give you the complete progression so you don't abandon something you were enjoying to chase a dead end).

Anyways, everyone gots to make their own choices with the information they have available.

Bernd Lehnen
12-10-2013, 02:21 PM
Budd and Kevin,
The interesting thing about the traditional aikijujutsu (i.e. Daito-ryu) training curriculum, at least as I'm familiar with it, is that students learn in stages how to use technique (in this case, jujutsu), how to apply "aiki" to those techniques (aikijujutsu), and then to develop a fuller and more "complete" internal body method through specific training in IP and aiki methodology (aiki-no-jutsu).

The systems are taught in that order, and when students begin training in the aikjujutsu "stage," they are learning discrete aspects of internal method -- not the whole "internal enchilada." They learn to create and apply aiki-age and aiki-sage, and learn a basic aspect of generating power through winding/wrapping.

Whether this approach was meant to protect the "deeper secrets" for the long-term, loyal students (for example), or to introduce a sophisticated concept in easy bite-sized bits, or other reason, who can say. But a resulting benefit of it is that practitioners get incremental pieces of the "internal" puzzle in a way that can be employed and applied in a "practical" way sooner than if they were to concentrate on just the internal conditioning from the get-go.

This is why the body work has to come at the beginning of a person's training, to create a foundation that will become the person's "true nature." Whatever he has wired in, is what he will fight with under duress. It is very difficult to un-do old training and replace it with another completely different method. And, it takes a very special ability to deconstruct an old foundation and build a new one; you have to very open and willing to break yourself down to build yourself back up differently.
I suspect that those people you mention, began their training with a more conventional "external" method, and came to internal training later in their careers, adding it to their arsenal rather than reconstructing themselves with it.

Looks as if DR people might be doomed to have a very long way to go.

Best ,
Bernd

Kevin Leavitt
12-10-2013, 04:56 PM
Budd wrote:

Here's where I am going to take some issue regarding the "need" for IS to be simplified and made piecemeal for folks to pick and choose what parts they will incorporate.

I'm simply saying that if you have the feedback mechanisms and measures correct and the methodology supports it, then you can develop appropriate responses.

These days I believe that a balanced approach that is not extreme in any one area is best. Again, provided that the correct feedback mechanisms and methods are in place.

I don't see it so much as picking and choosing if you stay true to our feedback mechanisms and methods. That is, you don't change them or shift them.

Once you have that, I think, on a personal basis, you can pick and choose to a degree. You can become adaptive as things don't work for you and other things do. Of course, you have to give it time in some cases. Somethings you may set aside until you have time, other things you may discard all together.

It may be simply that our goals are different. I have constructed feedback mechanisms and have adopted methodologies that I have found to support them. My feedback mechanisms and measures require that a certain level of martial proficiency is demonstrable and replicable under the proper measures and conditions. If a particular methodology can't deliver that, then I am apt to sit it aside.

Now it may be that I am simply dense and can't understand it. I've had those Aha! moments later for sure.

I'm not saying IS training needs to be simplified in one sense. Who I am to say that. But I am saying that I think that you can adapt certain things you find effective and responsive.

Again, I think it depends on your strategy, paradigms, and goals. My architecture and situation dictates that I spend time doing certain things, while prioritizing other things at a lower priority for any number of reasons.

It has nothing really to do with the validity of training. It could be due to different skill levels, access to the right people, or simply lack of interest. However, the driving force behind it all should be the criteria you define for yourself at this point in our martial careers.

I think all of us here are way past "do it because Sensei told you to."

Budd, I know you are! I think it boils down to simply differences in approaches. Too much time is wasted saying I'm right and your wrong. (Not saying this is what you are saying Budd!).

What is great I think is that we can get together, train and take away something productive. We can do this cause we both have established frameworks that allow us to make decisions.

This is all I a really saying. basically having an open source type architecture. Does this make sense?

Kevin Leavitt
12-10-2013, 05:01 PM
Budd wrote:

Thing is, the more I get exposed to IS, the more I wonder at the value of just grabbing what you can and adding it to your already fine practice (can maybe get some muscle jin that will add X percent to your game) or do you restart what you're doing from 0 and rewire how your body fundamentally moves (presuming you have access to a source that can give you the complete progression so you don't abandon something you were enjoying to chase a dead end).


Heck I don't know...I think it is a little of everything. sometimes you have to let go of things, rewire, and start over, sometimes you can add stuff. I don't think you can ever really abandon something as it is apart of you....set it aside...sure. again, I think it is about the midpoint or balance.

What I think is most dangerous is taking a fundamentalist or zealot approach that says you blindly abandon your old ways and accept the new without critical thought or measurements. I think fundamentalist thinking is a bad thing and very little good can come out of it, IMO and experiences.

Cady Goldfield
12-10-2013, 05:35 PM
Bernd,
Probably it is a long road for them, for a number of reasons.
I suspect there is a happy medium for instilling "internal wiring" even as one is learning a traditionally external technique set. A lot of guys go into these disciplines wanting something they can fight with as quickly as possible.

Coming is as a neophyte, people don't know what they don't know about the advantages of internal power over the more conventional athleticism, so there isn't always any incentive to desire internal training to be the focus at the beginning. Well, at least until they feel what it's like to cross hands with someone with high-level internal skills, who can apply them martially (or... as self-defense :) ).

Budd
12-11-2013, 10:28 AM
I hear you, Kevin, I'm that last person to advocate dogmatically approaching anything from the belief system perspective (it's one of the things incredibly wrong with so many martial arts practices that I've observed) EXCEPT when you see a desired skillset and the person charged with teaching you gives you specifics on how to acquire it. Then it's burn, burn, burn and train, train, train and if you don't get it it's because of 1 of 2 things 1) You weren't really taught how to get it (due to instructor lack of knowledge or a flaw in the approach to transmission) 2) You lack the ability to get it. Either of these things shouldn't take THAT long to suss out - but if someone reasonably says that you need at minimal a baseline of 6 months of focusing on building a foundational skill, that's not a bad spot to be able to self-identify "Do I have what it takes to dedicate this practice". If someone then tells you that practicing this thing alongside some other thing is not usually going to yield good results, but you do it anyway, then don't get the results you were after, whose fault is that? See what I mean?

I mean go to any martial arts seminar and you'll see people there just to keep doing what they've always done, regardless of what's being shown in the seminar. Not sure where this lens comes in of translating what's being presented into what's been preferred, but man is it ever on display. The ones with smart marketing angles just nod and smile and make people feel good about what they're doing while challenging that side of them that makes them work for approval, acceptance and maybe some tangible gain of physical work/benefit.

The ones that aren't willing to compromise while being explicitly upfront about the work required and the risk of failure - well that appeal is probably only going to be for the ones that are after the skill and don't care as much about joining/belonging/ feeling good .. maybe.

To your point about functional skills balancing against set parameters - Kevin, I don't disagree and it's a logical approach. From what I know about your dabbling with IS you haven't really had the inclination or opportunity to just focus on it for a sustained specific chunk of time (potentially putting some other things on hold). Given your stated purposes for training and the demands place on you by service, career, family, etc. - I'd be surprised if it was something you wanted to develop to any degree of depth as I don't know that the benefits would outweigh the cost. Yanno? (not trying to make this about you at all, but I don't think your perspective is all that unique and it's worth having that more common perspective be something transparent as a choosing mechanism for others to benchmark when deciding what to invest their time in)

Anyways, words words words, blah blah blah :)

oisin bourke
12-11-2013, 12:01 PM
Looks as if DR people might be doomed to have a very long way to go.

Best ,
Bernd

People on this thread going on about Daito Ryu don't know what they're talking about. Why don't you all decide on another art to give half-formed opinions about?

Cady Goldfield
12-11-2013, 12:34 PM
People on this thread going on about Daito Ryu don't know what they're talking about. Why don't you all decide on another art to give half-formed opinions about?

Or, perhaps more of those who have experience in one or more of the various branches and scions of that art could provide an informed opinion, as some have.

How can there be learning and understanding, if there is only reticence?

oisin bourke
12-11-2013, 01:34 PM
Or, perhaps more of those who have experience in one or more of the various branches and scions of that art could provide an informed opinion, as some have.

How can there be learning and understanding, if there is only reticence?

Reticence as in not divulging one's training history?:)

Anyway, you probably can guess my answer: If people want to have an informed opinion, they should sign up with a DR group and train to an appropriate level. People are free to voice their opinions on the internet of course, but they should be clear when they are giving advice on subjects they half understand.

Budd
12-11-2013, 01:58 PM
Oisin, I will say that generally I agree, regarding speaking with authority about an entire martial arts system, there should be some degree of experience and expertise.

That being said, speaking regarding what is observed. In this case, a video was posted regarding someone presumed to be doing basic DR Aiki. I looked at it and said it looks like jujutsu with jin/kokyu. Do you have a comment on the persons on the video or what was being shown?

Kevin Leavitt
12-11-2013, 04:09 PM
Good stuff above Budd and I don't disagree with any of it! thanks!

Kevin Leavitt
12-11-2013, 04:15 PM
People on this thread going on about Daito Ryu don't know what they're talking about. Why don't you all decide on another art to give half-formed opinions about?

would this be sort of like taking a trip to Scotland and trying a couple of different Scotches and then offering your judgement what is a good Scotch and what isn't? I'd say you might have a better understanding of what you like, but may not be able to discuss Scotch as a whole, or really offer an opinion of any real value as it relates the overall quality various Scotches or even be able to discern a good one from a excellent one.

Cady Goldfield
12-11-2013, 07:53 PM
Reticence as in not divulging one's training history?:)

Anyway, you probably can guess my answer: If people want to have an informed opinion, they should sign up with a DR group and train to an appropriate level. People are free to voice their opinions on the internet of course, but they should be clear when they are giving advice on subjects they half understand.

Where is advice about DR being given on this thread, and where was anyone asked for their training history?

The reason this thread was posted, was that some aikijujutsu videos have recently been uploaded onto YouTube that are among the few to show some measure of aiki, with kuzushi, being applied in a manner other than the ritualistic form in the more commonly seen AJJ videos (mainly from Japan) online. Since, in the past, there have been many requests to see videos of aiki/IP, I posted two clips that give at least some sense of how they "look" in application. That's really all there was to it.

Cady Goldfield
12-11-2013, 08:01 PM
would this be sort of like taking a trip to Scotland and trying a couple of different Scotches and then offering your judgement what is a good Scotch and what isn't? I'd say you might have a better understanding of what you like, but may not be able to discuss Scotch as a whole, or really offer an opinion of any real value as it relates the overall quality various Scotches or even be able to discern a good one from a excellent one.

I'd say that after a couple of belts of good Scotch, one's confidence in his opinions probably gets a lot stronger...

Someone might work for a distillery for a decade or more, then start his own distillery and practice making single malt Scotch for four or five years, decide he needs some exposure to other forms of whiskey and so goes to work for another distillery, for several years or more, that uses the same fundamental methodology to make a somewhat different whisky... equally good, but different.

After that, I'd think he has had enough experience to have an informed opinion and make some informed comparisons about Scotch, whiskey in general, and the whiskey distilling process.

Cady Goldfield
12-11-2013, 08:58 PM
Oisin, I will say that generally I agree, regarding speaking with authority about an entire martial arts system, there should be some degree of experience and expertise.

That being said, speaking regarding what is observed. In this case, a video was posted regarding someone presumed to be doing basic DR Aiki. I looked at it and said it looks like jujutsu with jin/kokyu. Do you have a comment on the persons on the video or what was being shown?

The person in the video claims to have been a student of Tanemura Katsumi, a student of Yoshida Kotaro.

Kevin Leavitt
12-12-2013, 12:20 AM
I'd say that after a couple of belts of good Scotch, one's confidence in his opinions probably gets a lot stronger...

Someone might work for a distillery for a decade or more, then start his own distillery and practice making single malt Scotch for four or five years, decide he needs some exposure to other forms of whiskey and so goes to work for another distillery, for several years or more, that uses the same fundamental methodology to make a somewhat different whisky... equally good, but different.

After that, I'd think he has had enough experience to have an informed opinion and make some informed comparisons about Scotch, whiskey in general, and the whiskey distilling process.

Agreed, and want to be clear I am not directing this at you or insinuating on any one on the thread. Just using an analogy.

However, I key thing that is missing is comparative criteria. Scotch makers and drinkers have agreed and test of quality etc.

In Martial arts, this is not the case. We don't necessarily have this type of thing. So, a better analogy would be to have someone making Scotch on his own for 20 years, never bothers to take it any where to expose it to criticism and judgement. AND he has managed to get some training from a few highly regarded Scotch makers and he buys the finest ingredients, yet somehow he can't quite put them together the right way. A few people drink it and think it is good, but they really have no clue about what else is out there in the world. They don't bother to execute any critical analysis of the Scotch.....but then go on internet forums and say that they have found the best scotch maker in the world....but he only produces it in small amounts, will only share it with a few people he selects, on the rare occasion a dissenter slips through the cracks, they side step this guy and he gets no more Scotch...that of which he really doesn't care anyway cause it sucks.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Scotch making world ignores this Scotch maker and his minions as they really could careless as he has no impact on their world, and they all believe his Scotch sucks anyway.

But the few drinkers that like it will say....but he uses the finest ingredients...same as everyone else, and he has trained with the best Scotch makers...it has to be good!

And then we go back into the do loop about arguing about "under what criteria does this constitute fine Scotch?"

I suppose if you like it, it doesn't really matter does it?

Fred Little
12-12-2013, 12:13 PM
Or, perhaps more of those who have experience in one or more of the various branches and scions of that art could provide an informed opinion, as some have.

How can there be learning and understanding, if there is only reticence?

Perhaps. It's possible.

That said, it's also possible that most of the people who have experience in/with one or more of the various branches and scions of that art, whether their experience was positive or negative, agreed at the outset of their engagement with them not to publicly disclose proprietary matters relating to those schools and they see no broader benefit -- as well as probable downsides -- in doing so.

Just a thought, ymmv.

FL

Cady Goldfield
12-12-2013, 04:17 PM
I get your point, Kevin.
Thanks for the detailed explanation.

Fred,
That's the obvious point, of course.

Though, this being an aikido discussion board, Daito-ryu being the parent art of aikido, and DR aiki being what made Ueshiba great... a natural curiosity about and interest in one's ancestry, beyond just the history, for some folks, is to be expected and is understandable. And seeing what Ueshiba could do with aiki has piqued interest in the methods themselves.

That some of the modern-day DR schools are not interested in engaging in discussions about their art is perhaps unfortunate, but also to be expected. But, as it happens, some of the contemporary senior exponents are talking about it, and some have even shared some surprisingly revealing and frank insights in interviews with Stanley Pranin. So, the resources for understanding are already out there and accessible, as are other sources for learning the internal skills themselves -- not proprietary to just one art, though specific exercises created by a school or individual for developing the skills certainly can be should be respected as such and not discussed by students of that individual or school.

hughrbeyer
12-12-2013, 08:28 PM
Kevin -- I'd love to hear more from you about how you go about getting "martially appropriate" feedback on new techniques. You say you're confident you can do this well--what does that look like? From where I sit, it seems like a hard problem. If you're too "realistic" then how do you measure the performance of a technique which you are not yet an expert at when you're forced back to habitual movement patterns just to survive? If you're too cooperative, how do you know if the feedback is real? (Scare quotes around "realistic" because, of course, it means "realistic within the context of an artificial situation in which both of you would really rather not maim anybody.")

When it comes to addressing failure, I don't know that you're giving enough credit to the IS approach. I know that both my teachers (one of whom is the Prince of Darkness himself) have emphasized recovering from a compromised position without a reset, and have talked about staying ahead in the OODA loop (though not using that term).

As to the question of how much build up time you need, I think you can in fact start to incorporate IS skills into normal training fairly quickly. I'm not operating anywhere near your level but in my own practice I started to see the impact fairly quickly. When a training partner said, "As soon as I touch you I'm off balance. How do you do that?" I was stunned--I had no idea I was having that effect.

On the other hand, people I trust very much say the opposite. So I may be running full tilt down a dead end. And there's no question you have to be willing to fail--if your attempt to use IS fails, you have to be willing to fail rather than resort to muscle or ju-jistsu to make it work. Otherwise, you're reinforcing the behavior you're trying to eliminate.

Kevin Leavitt
12-12-2013, 09:43 PM
Hugh,

I'll try and answer it as brief as I can. It may take a few post to communicate and clarify some of my points as some of this of course is non-verbal in nature.

The first thing I think is to change your mindset about training and isolation of techniques and concepts. Now you can take this to an extreme and totally do that if all you really care about is fighting well. For example I had a golf pro once a few years ago that was concerned about getting jumped at a golf seminar he was going to go to by a boyfriend of a girl he met somewhere along the way. He had no martial experience, I had three weeks to work with him and through about 40 hours of training we were able to significantly improve his ability to fight.

He didn't practice "wax on wax off" over and over, but narrowed our parameters down to those that he would most likely encounter, assessed where he was in the raw with what he already had for raw skills, and went from there. One extreme would have been to simply have a guy come up and jump on him and start beating the crap out of him until he "figured it out" that is, the equivalent of throwing him in a pool to teach him how to swim. The other extreme would have been to discuss theory and done a very technical focused approach. The equivalent of sitting on the side of the pool, watching others swim and practicing his swimming on the cement until he could do the strokes etc EXACTLY right (wax on wax off).

Somewhere in between is necessary. I'd equate swimming to learn how to swim "alive training", and training on the edge of the pool, "dead training" to make two overly simplistic terms to save digits.

So, to teach him quickly, we took an alive approach. However, you still need to balance safety and inculcating proper responses and instilling good habits. So, you have to slow things down somewhat to discuss the important parts.

In his situation, it was easy to teach in 3 weeks as we had a particular goal, a focus, and fairly narrow parameters. He wasn't there to master a whole art, learn techniques, or earn a belt...but simply to improve his understanding and spontaneous responses to what might happen to him in the near future. So yes, you can have success in 3 weeks. I think this is a different way of thinking about success in training.

BTW the book the Talent Code is a very good read on this subject and how you produce Talent and rapid results. I did this kinda thing two years before I found this book, and then found that the book did a wonderful job of explaining things I was already doing, and is done by many others.

The hard part here is to describe the actual transition from teaching technique to providing appropriate feedback. the best I can describe this is, you teach a little, then you fight a little. It is really the same concept as learning to swim. You start in the shallow end, practice some strokes and then you have to go swim and fail. Same with riding a bike. The endstate is very clear. You want to ride a bike. You balance training wheels and someone supporting you with actually riding. Your gonna fail when you let go. and fail alot. In both these examples you actually DO the thing you are learning to DO at some point.

I don't remember giving my kid lessons on how to turn the crank through a wax on wax off mentality.

I think another simplistic analogy would be teaching someone to ride a bike using the IS paradigm that is adopted by so many in Martial Arts. that is, to factor out failure. Imagine having him stand there for hours learning how to shift his weight and imagine being on the bike to simulate pedaling etc. The hope would be in a couple of years of this training to put him on the bike and he would ride the first time and never have to fall once he finally went live.

Sounds ridiculous but that is how many tend to approach training in Martial Arts.

Back to bike riding...I found the Germans do this the right way without training wheels. They buy their kids a little wooden push bike about the time they start walking and then the kid simply gets on the bike and begins to understand and inculcate the skills. This is an example of a model based on systematic and gradual escalation of skills acquired through failure and mistakes. It is an implicit training method versus and explicit or cognitive training method. In the US we culturally wait a little longer, then we must put on training wheels, and make them learn faster, the mistakes are more costly since the safety net is less and we have more tears...etc.etc...but in the end they learn to ride.

So, you have to first change your mind set.

I think the IS training is great. It works to some degree, but I don't seem to take the same approach which limits me to simply using IS. It has not proven to me to be a good approach/paradiigm to learning how to be more martially effective.

On the other hand, people I trust very much say the opposite. So I may be running full tilt down a dead end. And there's no question you have to be willing to fail--if your attempt to use IS fails, you have to be willing to fail rather than resort to muscle or ju-jistsu to make it work. Otherwise, you're reinforcing the behavior you're trying to eliminate.

When you say "make it work" I'd have to understand "under what conditions". I have no clue how you define success or failure. I think that makes all the difference in the world. If you are learning to ride a bike or swim, you don't really hear the conversations too much about only swimming using IS and not muscle...you swim. Now, as you enter higher levels of competition, sure you are gonna find people that are looking for an edge to be more efficient and more competitive...they will isolate things out and maybe train more specifically.

But, before they do that...they have learned simply to swim or ride a bike without thought to how they actually do that. I'd say the same should be true with any endeavor, you must train under alive conditions.

I know this is more complicated than swimming or biking in Martial arts as we have to limit ourselves more as safety must be factored in. but you also do this in swimming, you don't learn in the english channel!

It's not about failing in IS, its about failing in fighting first and then developing efficiencies to be successful. It is all based on the feedback mechanisms you have set up for yourself. Its about finding a methodology and training model that has inculcated the concept of aliveness in every training session and provide you rapid success and feedback.

Sorry to be so long winded and I probably have not answered your question exactly with respect to performance of specific techniques. You can't say ignore all techniques and just fight, but you also can't say don't fight until you've mastered all techniques. We can spend more time on that later if you want.

I really recommend reading the Talent Code and see how that might apply to your training.

Lee Salzman
12-13-2013, 03:59 AM
The hard part here is to describe the actual transition from teaching technique to providing appropriate feedback. the best I can describe this is, you teach a little, then you fight a little. It is really the same concept as learning to swim. You start in the shallow end, practice some strokes and then you have to go swim and fail. Same with riding a bike. The endstate is very clear. You want to ride a bike. You balance training wheels and someone supporting you with actually riding. Your gonna fail when you let go. and fail alot. In both these examples you actually DO the thing you are learning to DO at some point.

I don't remember giving my kid lessons on how to turn the crank through a wax on wax off mentality.

I think another simplistic analogy would be teaching someone to ride a bike using the IS paradigm that is adopted by so many in Martial Arts. that is, to factor out failure. Imagine having him stand there for hours learning how to shift his weight and imagine being on the bike to simulate pedaling etc. The hope would be in a couple of years of this training to put him on the bike and he would ride the first time and never have to fall once he finally went live.

Sounds ridiculous but that is how many tend to approach training in Martial Arts.

Back to bike riding...I found the Germans do this the right way without training wheels. They buy their kids a little wooden push bike about the time they start walking and then the kid simply gets on the bike and begins to understand and inculcate the skills. This is an example of a model based on systematic and gradual escalation of skills acquired through failure and mistakes. It is an implicit training method versus and explicit or cognitive training method. In the US we culturally wait a little longer, then we must put on training wheels, and make them learn faster, the mistakes are more costly since the safety net is less and we have more tears...etc.etc...but in the end they learn to ride.

So, you have to first change your mind set.

I think the IS training is great. It works to some degree, but I don't seem to take the same approach which limits me to simply using IS. It has not proven to me to be a good approach/paradiigm to learning how to be more martially effective.


This analogy falls completely flat for IS. IS is a different animal. Why? For the simple reason that it is replacing something we, by default, as a consequence of modern life if nothing else, and as a consequence of being taught wrong from the beginning... we all move horribly, utterly, depressingly, humiliatingly wrong. So half the problem of IS work is to get rid of all of these unconscious things, and then the other half to replace them with a better, conscious way of moving first. If we could all magically learn to move in the IS way from the beginning, then this model would apply. Sadly, we don't.

In many cases, with young athletes targeted for competitive levels, we don't hesitate to get them extremely young, in the single digit age category, and start training their movement to not be dysfunctional from the get-go for that chosen sport discipline, but somehow for MA we just put on blinders and expect people to magically have underlying movement foundations with no significant time spent training in it. That is bunk.

And to compound it further, even when we train IS, we spend most of the rest of the day un-conditioning the good and re-conditioning the bad habits with all the stuff we normally do, making it even harder. One response to that is to throw up your hands in defeat, let the bad way of moving stay, and just teach someone to know how to be violent and deal with violence with what they've already got, however dysfunctional. Fine, but it doesn't float my boat. I think many of us are looking for something different than that, though, because we have the luxury of exploring the alternative.

We don't take babies straight out of the cradle and expect them to jog half-marathons. We let them at least learn to crawl and walk first. Likewise, we shouldn't necessarily expect people to learn how to fight before they've learned how to move in a generalist way first. Some exposure to it at the start sure helps to keep focused, but after an introduction, I don't see much point. Been there, done that.

If you can go through the majority of your life moving in an IS way, completely unscripted/automated, then it's not much of a leap to start applying this in MA. But the reverse, to learn MA based on a foundation of bad movement, and then rewrite it to be with IS movement, not just every single bad movement habit you had before MA, well, that's really really difficult.

Then you put aiki skills above that IS foundation. IMO, the aiki skills have almost zero real-life application outside of a martial context that I can discern after wrapping my head around them for some years. They are so specific to moving people that it may well be completely worthless to understand or use them unless you're just a complete martial nerd who is really interested in being able to do it (as I am). But, if you have no IS foundation, the aiki skills are likewise completely worthless fluff. So, for me, the IS is already just a means to an end, to learn aiki. I've already learned how to box, how to wrestle, basic weapon sparring with/without armor/gear, etc. and realistically, it doesn't warrant spending much time on those anymore until my foundations are in order because all I can do is condition in more garbage that I need to simultaneously unlearn to do it right.

Kevin Leavitt
12-13-2013, 07:47 AM
After typing my post this morning, I went to the gym to work out with my guys. There were three young guys over on the mat grappling very hard. They went at it for a while, worked up a good sweat, but I don't think much learning was really being accomplished. Meanwhile, I was over working with my guys on processes, movement, balance...all the things you need to do to do things more efficient and correctly....then we grappled hard for 20 minutes, but it was not a free for all like the other guys over there rolling around. It was done in specific ways to reinforce specific things they need to master to get better.

So, I just want to point out the all "ALIVE" training is not necessarily GOOD training.

also wanted to comment, that I am not against IS training at all. If it is accomplishing what you want it to do, then that is good. One thing I realized as I drove in to work is some of what Lee comments on above, most of us are experienced and have developed skillsets in other areas. So, I would support and can see how isolating IS training for many is the right way to go.

My comments are directed at fighting and developing proper and efficient responses to doing that stating that I think this process is done incorrectly a lot in MA, and I believe there are better ways to train to accomplish this, if that is what you want to do.

I just wanted to clarify that I support those that study IS methods. I have too in the past and plan to do the same in the future. I just believe that unless you have developed correct methods for feedback for fighting, then whatever you learn will not really help you be better martially since you will essentially be conditioning yourself in a matter that could provide a false platform.

Not to pick on Cady at all, but when I see the videos she provided and I see the assumptions and conclusions being drawn that somehow this will directly translate to fighting, it raises my eyebrows because I see nothing remotely martial about that context. Has nothing to do with the amount of power or transmission of force etc being demonstrated. I also don't believe that was her intent for showing the videos after she has more than clarified her position!

Kevin Leavitt
12-13-2013, 08:27 AM
Lee,

This analogy falls completely flat for IS. IS is a different animal. Why? For the simple reason that it is replacing something we, by default, as a consequence of modern life if nothing else, and as a consequence of being taught wrong from the beginning... we all move horribly, utterly, depressingly, humiliatingly wrong. So half the problem of IS work is to get rid of all of these unconscious things, and then the other half to replace them with a better, conscious way of moving first. If we could all magically learn to move in the IS way from the beginning, then this model would apply. Sadly, we don't.


I agree and I think there are very good methodologies out there for doing this. I do much in my practice methods to try and communicate and instill good while doing away with the bad. I don't agree that you cannot combine this with good, solid, martial training that builds the ability to effectively fight. I think it can be done in parallel.

Feldenkrais and Alexander Technique are also built on this assumption and represent two very successful methodologies or premise that we are born, then we begin to do some things the wrong way, and cannot escape our paradigms and habits. These two systems based on that premise would also be seen as being helpful to building correct movement, posture, and responses.

However, while that may be the case, their is also a specificity to events and stress, and reprogramming the exact movements you will do as you will do them for real. For example, a concert violin player will go to AT for therapy to undo bad habits, but they will have to integrate this back into their concert playing under the same stress and conditions they will perform under or they will not be able to do that. Why would this be any different from martial arts? SO I'd support an IS approach for Martial Arts, however, it also needs to be integrated back into "train as you fight".

I don't really see how IS is a different animal, other than the methodologies you use to train things you want to encourage/discourage. It may be different than the way you have trained in the past, but I don't think that leads to the conclusion that it is a "different animal". I suppose I'd have to ask, different from what, and different in what way?

In many cases, with young athletes targeted for competitive levels, we don't hesitate to get them extremely young, in the single digit age category, and start training their movement to not be dysfunctional from the get-go for that chosen sport discipline, but somehow for MA we just put on blinders and expect people to magically have underlying movement foundations with no significant time spent training in it. That is bunk.


I agree, I think maybe we are saying the same thing? MY bike analogy I think is the same isn't it? you put a toddler on a wooden push bike and he operates it with certain parameters/conditioned established by the bike and he begins to learn how to balance. I think the problem is again, criteria, measures, and feedback. Martial Arts do a terrible job at this. Dojos opened up and a open minded public stepped in and was willing to abandon all forms of critical thought and analysis towards the endstates and did what they were told to do! crazy stuff. With basketball, you have a clear set of measures and it becomes apparent fast through feedback processes what works and what doesn't.

My premise is that if we do the same for MA, then the methodologies would evolve to correct ones without as much worry about intent. I believe that you'd see IS type methodologies be integrated into the training. I think maybe now, that for the experienced MAers out there, that they maybe needed to take a time out and relearn in a different way....maybe that was necessary for you.

My point is, I don't believe it is necessary for all. Pick the correct feedback, measures, and methods...and it will fall in place, and has in many disciplines.

And to compound it further, even when we train IS, we spend most of the rest of the day un-conditioning the good and re-conditioning the bad habits with all the stuff we normally do, making it even harder. One response to that is to throw up your hands in defeat, let the bad way of moving stay, and just teach someone to know how to be violent and deal with violence with what they've already got, however dysfunctional. Fine, but it doesn't float my boat. I think many of us are looking for something different than that, though, because we have the luxury of exploring the alternative

Lee not really sure what is going on in this paragraph. It seems that you have a particular way that you want to deal with fighting. Or maybe it is simply semantical differences concerning how we view violence. I am not sure that you can meet physical violence with anything other then physical violence. I don't subscribe ethics or morality to actions I'd take in a violent encounter. I respond with what I have to respond with. Hopefully, I have enough skill to use only what is necessary, but I Personally think that this may be where I part ways with many in the IS or Aikido paradigms/philosophies.

Fighting is fighting. You fight with what you have and what you can do. I think if you are not willing to bring 100 percent of yourself into a fight, or are only willing to fight if certain things are present then you are not really willing to go the distance, or can't. I think if you are learning to fight, you train under the conditions that you will encounter in a fight. You train primarily to win and to recover dominance if you are losing. I have students that have no clue about IS, they suck at it and will for many years, but they are improving in their ability to fight and as they are going, they are learning to move more correctly as they go. I don't buy that by doing this they are reinforcing bad habits, in fact bad habits don't get them success.

Now the guys I discussed in the other post where training, well, I didn't see where they are making progress simply by fighting, there does have to be some methodical approach.

So, it concerns me when I hear people say "i'm looking for something different than that?" I don't really know what that means. Could we be saying the same thing? or does "something different than that." mean that you want to achieve a level of proficiency that allows you to fight a random 20 year old at 50 and do it in such a way that it doesn't matter what position or advantage he has, you maintain structure and can control him, move him and do it rather effortlessly.

If so, I do this on a regular basis, yet I will also tell you I can't do one damn IS exercise proficiently.

So is it the endstate I laid out above, or does it go beyond that to some level of "something" that I have yet to really figure out what that means.

I still have a lot to learn and I learn a lot from the self identified IS practitioners. so, again, please, please don't think I am disparaging the methods or what they do. I am simply trying to understand integration into martial arts and end states. I think many of them are confused.

Personally, I think given certain parameters I have an understanding of IS. In fact I know I do. However, in others I do not. As I am a grappler/Jiu Jitsu guy, I understand it in that context and under those conditions okay...I can always improve mind you. However, in the standard ways that IS skills are typically taught, I am a fish out of water.

My point is that context and conditions of training count for a lot I believe. That is why I believe that you can learn IS as an isolated practice all you want. learn to walk, learn to do all the Jo tricks and all that stuff very well....yet when you are stress loaded under fighting conditions you have never experienced, that training will most likely go out the window if you have not trained in that manner.

Now I do believe that there is a degree of transferability of that training. I had a Parkour and movement specialist show up with no Jiu Jitsu experience once. While he did not know jiu jitus...when I told him to do certain things in positions, he got it immediately, where my white belts that had been training for a few months could never get it for a long while.

So, yes, I could see why guys like you that have lots of experience would step back and reset in the manner that you are doing.

We don't take babies straight out of the cradle and expect them to jog half-marathons. We let them at least learn to crawl and walk first. Likewise, we shouldn't necessarily expect people to learn how to fight before they've learned how to move in a generalist way first. Some exposure to it at the start sure helps to keep focused, but after an introduction, I don't see much point. Been there, done that.


I think maybe our experiences are different. I agree on crawling and walking first. I think you can do this a lot faster than we are doing it in MA. I have done it with people before. Again, it is highly dependent on how you view success. Maybe for you it is different as you have a different objective. But for fighting, nope not true, you can do this pretty darn quickly. Of course, some people are naturally more gifted than others. I don't subscribe to the "learn bad habits" by making mistakes paradigm. I subscribe to the opposite theory. Make more mistakes faster in a highly accountable feedback environment that is controlled and you will learn very rapidly. It doesn't take 5 10 or 20 years. of course, skill is progressive so that isn't entirely true either!

Anyway, thanks for your thoughts, and I think maybe a lot of what we are saying is semantics Lee, but still makes for a good discussion.

Cady Goldfield
12-13-2013, 08:38 AM
Hey Kevin,
What is relevant to me is the aiki/IP body in a martial (i.e.punching, striking, locking, choking, etc.) context. I'm not concerned with the efficacy of specific jujutsu techniques or whether they are "practical" in today's world for professionals who use combatives. IP and aiki can be applied to -any- martial or self-defense system in which human bodies are in direct connection and conflict, whether traditional or contemporary.

That the guy is showing how he connects and moves another body, instantaneously on-contact, using internal rather than conventional drivers, is the point. In the context in which he was presenting it, you can observe the effects on uke's breath, body alignment, and (in)ability to continue any kind of free movement or attack. It's a different means of kuzushi than that powered by conventional "external" drivers.

How would such skills not be relevant to modern-day hand-to-hand combat? Or the hard grappling you and your guys did today?

Training for IP/aiki and training to fight are -- as has often been noted -- two separate disciplines. If the two disciplines are conditioned-in in increments and combined in increments, we can observe the changes in the impact and effects the internal body method has on fighting at each stage of development. It is really fascinating both to witness and to experience for oneself.

With all due respect, Kevin (and I really mean that), I think you need more exposure to someone with good internal-power and fighting skills to see how the two tie together in a very practical way. If a certain someone does a seminar in your neck of the woods... ;)

Alfonso
12-13-2013, 09:50 AM
This video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gb_CC3GE18M shows a teacher working out with students in a cooperative but not scripted way. Chen Zi Qiang has been training IS since age 3, I don't think any of us will ever approach his level of conditioning; notice how non-superhuman it all looks like; and at the same time notice his body usage. The players are all doing the same thing. Don't confuse this with fighting please.

Budd
12-13-2013, 10:17 AM
I like this one, too http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HF8zJzmhO2c

Again, not to be confused with fighting . . .

Cady Goldfield
12-13-2013, 10:21 AM
Nice find, Alfonso.
Note how hard (impossible, actually, for these young guys!) it is to throw or lock him, and that he can easily reverse the students' attempted locks and take apart their structure. He also "listens" to his opponents' intent (which can be felt through even one point of contact to the body, even a forearm) and can detect the slightest opening, which he then fills so quickly it's like a vacuum sucked him into position.

These are all manifestations of the internal process he is constantly generating in those matches.

Alfonso
12-13-2013, 10:40 AM
I like this one, too http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HF8zJzmhO2c

Again, not to be confused with fighting . . .

This one illustrates what im trying to say too; I think when reading about IS skills it is easy to imagine something super hero like. But the descriptions are not wrong when you think about it. I feel the same is true of the criptic language associated with traditions who teach this. When you gain a bit of experience you realize the language is hard to beat as verbal descriptions go. Its a head scratcher really.

Kevin Leavitt
12-13-2013, 11:38 AM
Hey Kevin,
What is relevant to me is the aiki/IP body in a martial (i.e.punching, striking, locking, choking, etc.) context. I'm not concerned with the efficacy of specific jujutsu techniques or whether they are "practical" in today's world for professionals who use combatives. IP and aiki can be applied to -any- martial or self-defense system in which human bodies are in direct connection and conflict, whether traditional or contemporary.

That the guy is showing how he connects and moves another body, instantaneously on-contact, using internal rather than conventional drivers, is the point. In the context in which he was presenting it, you can observe the effects on uke's breath, body alignment, and (in)ability to continue any kind of free movement or attack. It's a different means of kuzushi than that powered by conventional "external" drivers.

How would such skills not be relevant to modern-day hand-to-hand combat? Or the hard grappling you and your guys did today?

Training for IP/aiki and training to fight are -- as has often been noted -- two separate disciplines. If the two disciplines are conditioned-in in increments and combined in increments, we can observe the changes in the impact and effects the internal body method has on fighting at each stage of development. It is really fascinating both to witness and to experience for oneself.

With all due respect, Kevin (and I really mean that), I think you need more exposure to someone with good internal-power and fighting skills to see how the two tie together in a very practical way. If a certain someone does a seminar in your neck of the woods... ;)

I was supposed to meet with that certain someone this year and he couldn't make it due to family issues. I have been trying! I've been hoping that he could show me how things work in the conditions and parameters I subscribe too.

How would such skills NOT be relevant? I am not arguing that they are not...if they are developed in such a way that allows them to be used under those conditions. That's been my point all along.

For example, doing the Jo trick and other aiki skills test are fine...just fine. However those things/skills are executed under very tight parameters and controls. (restrictive environment)....if you change the conditions, then what? that is what I am concerned with. How well do you fight in a given set of conditions?

So yes, I agree with you that maybe I need to be exposed to the right people. I am always open to that and that certain someone has basically said the same thing...so hence my wanting to get with him. It will happen in the next two years for sure as I move back to the US for sure!

Training for IP/aiki and training to fight are -- as has often been noted -- two separate disciplines. If the two disciplines are conditioned-in in increments and combined in increments, we can observe the changes in the impact and effects the internal body method has on fighting at each stage of development. It is really fascinating both to witness and to experience for oneself.


This is where I probably disagree...I think they can and should be trained in an integrated approach. Albeit, I also recognize that isolation of training techniques are necessary to reinforce training.

However, for me, why would you study with someone that can't demonstrate how to transition that methodology to the conditions and criteria you ultimately need to meet? That has been my on going issue with this topic. That is, integration.

I am looking for that certain someone that can show how to do that. My adopted training strategy is open enough to incorporate anything that proves to leads to where I am going!

Lets cut to the core of the matter. We've been having this discussion for almost 10 years now when certain people I think around 2004 and 2005 came on here and started discussing IS/IT training methods.

So where are we now? how are those folks doing? and how has it been integrated into various training regimes martially?

Recognizing that, of course, we have different people with different objectives in training. I think this would be a more positive and constructive conversation to have instead of heading off into the land of validating and invalidating IS/IT training.

I mean after close to 8 to 10 years of training, we should be able to definitively say where folks are in the process and how it has improved whatever they do and how it has informed/changed how they train. I am really curious about transference and integration. I mean, doing Jo tricks and AIki test are one thing, but we need to transcend this and put it to use at some point.

It is a shame that so many of the folks that are advocates are no longer posting here on aikiweb for various reasons.

I am asking because I am genuinely curious and want to see where everyone is. Me personally, I have sideline the training methods as a primary mode of training for a number of reasons. one, lack of good instruction and partners with interest. Two, I could not figure out how to justify spending my time doing this as it came at the expense of other things I was doing martially. I think those are the two main reasons.

However, I did find through my exposure that I was able to incorporate some of the concepts in what I do, and some of the concepts were already present in my training, we just needed to recognize it and work to enhance those things.

thanks for your patience on this Topic Cady!

Kevin Leavitt
12-13-2013, 11:55 AM
This video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gb_CC3GE18M shows a teacher working out with students in a cooperative but not scripted way. Chen Zi Qiang has been training IS since age 3, I don't think any of us will ever approach his level of conditioning; notice how non-superhuman it all looks like; and at the same time notice his body usage. The players are all doing the same thing. Don't confuse this with fighting please.

Thanks for the video. this is much more impressive to me, and I agree that it is cooperative in a non scripted way and it approaches closer to where we need to be martially.

However (you knew it was coming :)) As impressive as he is and he is impressive...his uke suck IMO, only the guy at 5 minutes to me shows any degree of skill really and he begins to have a hard time with him. It begins to look more like grappling and less like push hands, but they still are playing with in the boundaries of push hands...albeit pushing the boundaries, but there is STILL a lack of dynamic adaptability that is necessary to approach that needed to be considers uncooperative practice. (but you did say it is cooperative).

Also, it is still essentially a duel in my opinion. A duel that operates from a position of parity within a fairly narrow set of parameters.

This has nothing to do with this guys skills though as I am sure he is proficient at what he does. I'd like to see him against someone that decided not to play by the rules of push hands. It be interesting to see how he adapts and what happens to his structure and choices. My guess is it becomes less stylistic and he would have to default to things like clinching as he reached various points of failure when more parameters are entered. I'd be interesting to see how he works in a clinch and how what he is doing differs from what good grapplers are doing.

Demetrio Cereijo
12-13-2013, 12:34 PM
That the guy is showing how he connects and moves another body, instantaneously on-contact, using internal rather than conventional drivers, is the point. In the context in which he was presenting it, you can observe the effects on uke's breath, body alignment, and (in)ability to continue any kind of free movement or attack. It's a different means of kuzushi than that powered by conventional "external" drivers.

Uke is his student, and we are fully aware of how students react (even inconsciously) to their awesome masters.

BTW, another interesting clip (no fighting):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F75huga-Zz4

Kevin Leavitt
12-13-2013, 12:44 PM
I like this one, too http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HF8zJzmhO2c

Again, not to be confused with fighting . . .

Well I think this one is pretty decent and the level of resistance and adjustment to be about right where it needs to be for this stage of the fight (clinch). both guys are some what evenly matched, although clearly the asian guy has more skill.

Budd
12-13-2013, 01:03 PM
Also interesting that CZQ didn't have a problem that this stuff was recorded and distributed - I know some of the big dog BJJ folks are way paranoid about stuff getting recorded and have heard more than once at a seminar (once from one of the Gracies hiszelf ) "don't take this stuff out of context" whether it was drills or sparring in certain parameters.

Kevin Leavitt
12-13-2013, 01:05 PM
Uke is his student, and we are fully aware of how students react (even inconsciously) to their awesome masters.

BTW, another interesting clip (no fighting):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F75huga-Zz4

THis is a very interesting clip. There are several ways I think you can look at this. Marcelo Garcia is one of the best grapplers in the world right now. I would have expected him to do better actually. So, I think on one hand it gives merit to this other guy that clearly can hold his own standing against one of the best grapplers in the world.

That said, on the other hand, Marcelo in the end was still able to take him down and establish control on him, with a few exceptions where i'd say the other guy off balanced him, yet unfortunately, he never kept control of him. I think this is more of a byproduct of how he probably trains which is simply to use power to off balance versus gain control of the fight. Whereas Marcelo clearly has a paradigm of gain control and takedown to the ground. So, which is more important in a fight? hard to say really, I think a combination of off balancing and control need to be met in order to claim success.

It is clear to me that Marcelo understands his game and works to stay on the outside of him and use speed and timing to gain control. He also changes levels which is how he primarily gains control of him using double and single leg grabs. Clearly this is not considered within the realm of IS. However, it does work and it does overcome the guys IS game.

However, Marcelo doesn't completely dominate him either does he. So it is an interesting paradox to watch.

So which is more important to fighting? Well, I think it is clear that timing, speed, and agility count fo alot in a fight. If you subscribe to OODA as a process that accurately describes fighting, then I'd say it counts for alot, and that is clear in how Marcelo is able to stay on the outside of the fight and then quickly move in, change levels, and techniques to defeat his game.

However, what happens when you don't have speed, timing, and agility on your side? Well I think that the things the other guys matters a whole lot. You need structure and frame to overcome those things and I think he does it quite well.

I can't say for sure if Marcelo can do that too as I have never seen him do it. But, Marcelo is young, in shape, at the top of his game, and clearly he has a strategy that works for him in sport fighting.

Again, the parameters and conditions are limited, but this is even more unconstrained than the other two examples as you have two guys with two different backgrounds and skill sets trying to impose their strategies on each other.

I think this makes for a more interesting and productive environment and one in which you can have a fairly authentic dialogue about what works and doesn't work. Essentially the "group think" or "sensei worship" is removed and training and feedback can occur more spontaneously.

I must assume that Marcelo was spending time with this guy because he felt it was worth his while. It will be interesting to see how he adapts/adopts things into his training as he gets older and is no longer at the top of his athletic game.

Demetrio Cereijo
12-13-2013, 01:12 PM
I think Marcelo did well considering he's not a top guy at standup grappling. The ground game is where he shows his geniality.

Kevin Leavitt
12-13-2013, 01:22 PM
Also interesting that CZQ didn't have a problem that this stuff was recorded and distributed - I know some of the big dog BJJ folks are way paranoid about stuff getting recorded and have heard more than once at a seminar (once from one of the Gracies hiszelf ) "don't take this stuff out of context" whether it was drills or sparring in certain parameters.

Thats awesome.

Actually I think it has been well established that the Gracies are not the end all be all of everything martial. We can look to the UFC to see that. The had a strategy that was well played that complimented their strengths and they understood fighting (and still do) very well, and understood how they could exploit this in a grand way against other fighting paradigms that were based less on a realistic model. Hence we have Rorion the great promoter come up with the concept of UFC. (His great grandfather WAS a circus promoter).

The evidence is how once the Gracie's shattered the paradigm of fighting and what it really was, others began to understand this, and began to adjust there training. Couple that with the commercialization of UFC, the establishment of time constraints and judges decisions to turn it into a spectator sport, and now you have people that can train to defeat your strategy! And now you have MMA systems that have developed that are not really martial arts so much as they are training regimes for a sport. However, that is another issue all together.

I think the takeaway from this is a couple of things. 1. we learned (or should have learned) that in order to fight, you had to actually understand what the fight was about and you had to train to that fight. 2. That, fight strategies matter...ALOT and you need to adopt the right ones. ( I think this is the same as #1 though really. 3. That TMAs needed to change if they expected to be taken seriously after the public was now introduced to what fighting was really about and it wasn't mystical or secret.

about the comments about constraints and not taking things out of context and in certain parameters...yeah what comes around goes around, everything must be caveated of course. I think there is nothing wrong with it as long as we understand those caveats, parameters and we don't over attribute or make "huge jumps" in conclusions about possibilities when we don't take time to understand those caveats.

There is alot of stupid stuff going on in BJJ. ALOT. I have several guys I train with that will never progress very far because of their fascination with the latest techniques that are being employed in tournaments. i.e the Berimbolo comes to mind. It works initially because it is a new thing. It is not expected, and it upsets that whole OODA process. A few guys perfect it, and it works for them for a while until someone breaks the code on it, and then it becomes the norm and it no longer works again. Guys that base their games off the latest techniques are doomed for failure since they fail to gain a solid foundation in training and will always be behind since they are dependent on "tricks" and "feats of athleticism".

Great discussion!

Kevin Leavitt
12-13-2013, 01:23 PM
I think Marcelo did well considering he's not a top guy at standup grappling. The ground game is where he shows his geniality.

I was gonna say that too...but come one thats a cop out at his level. However, it does expose one of the big weaknesses in a grapplers game. I am sure if they would have been on the ground, it would have been a completely different set of tools being implemented.

Demetrio Cereijo
12-13-2013, 01:38 PM
There is alot of stupid stuff going on in BJJ. ALOT. I have several guys I train with that will never progress very far because of their fascination with the latest techniques that are being employed in tournaments. i.e the Berimbolo comes to mind. It works initially because it is a new thing. It is not expected, and it upsets that whole OODA process. A few guys perfect it, and it works for them for a while until someone breaks the code on it, and then it becomes the norm and it no longer works again. Guys that base their games off the latest techniques are doomed for failure since they fail to gain a solid foundation in training and will always be behind since they are dependent on "tricks" and "feats of athleticism".

Completely agree.

hughrbeyer
12-13-2013, 01:42 PM
... He also changes levels which is how he primarily gains control of him using double and single leg grabs. Clearly this is not considered within the realm of IS. However, it does work and it does overcome the guys IS game.

Actually, one of the first IS applications I was shown outside my own dojo was a defense against a double-leg grab. I sucked at it, but sucked worse without it. :rolleyes: And I recently had a good time with another group exploring the use of IS against Judo submissions. It's not all push hands.

Going back to the analogy of learning to ride a bike: The IS situation is like teaching a kid to ride a bike after he's gotten really good with training wheels. (A friend was bitching about this the other day.) All the kid's instincts are wrong--if he feels himself going over he throws his weight over to that side and bounces off the training wheel. When he gets to a real bike, he's got to re-learn all his responses from the ground up, because on a real bike they just put him in the dirt.

Better than training wheels is to give the kid a scooter. I told my kids when they could ride the scooter, I'd teach them to ride a bike. They learned the right balance skills and responses on the scooter, where consequences of failure were minimal. Then learning to ride a bike took about half an hour.

I think that's a close analogy to what you're talking about. Training skills and building them up in an environment where you can afford to fail, and then moving to more stressful situations.

Trouble with the analogy is to make it accurate you have to assume the training wheels are always there. At any moment if you get blocked or pinned or just feel overmastered, it's tempting to pull them out and use them. From your point of view that might not be a problem--use the IS skills where you can, use your other skills where you can't. But if those other skills get in the way of IS, what then? It's like Tiger Woods spending a year retooling his swing--he had to quit competing for that year because during that time he sucked. If he competed, he'd have to pull out the swing he was trying to get rid of, so he had to stop altogether.

Which is what I meant about having to be willing to fail. You have to be willing to land in the dirt rather than use the training wheels. Everybody has to make their own call on whether that's worth it.

Kevin Leavitt
12-13-2013, 01:43 PM
Since we are posting Marcelo vids. Here is one with Eddie Bravo on the ground. I think it demonstrates some decent Jiu Jitsu. I'm not a fan of Eddie's really, but he is good. What I like it the degree of control and use of contact, balance, and movement throughout their grappling. Marcelo on the ground uses less athleticism and speed. Against a good grappler, he must use other things.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1ueQaJSOIg

IS in this? well I think so, but it is not pure and it is combined with alot of other things as is required to work against a uncooperative and equally skilled opponent.

Kevin Leavitt
12-13-2013, 01:48 PM
Hugh wrote:

But if those other skills get in the way of IS, what then? It's like Tiger Woods spending a year retooling his swing--he had to quit competing for that year because during that time he sucked. If he competed, he'd have to pull out the swing he was trying to get rid of, so he had to stop altogether.

Thats a very good point I think. I think this is the point the Lee, Budd and a few others are making. Of course, they are with years and years of experience, so I think that this is different for them than it may be for others.

I know when I stalled out as a purple belt in BJJ, I had to really step outside of my context and only work on specific things to get past that. It was hard as I had to lose alot. I had to let go of what I knew and retool. However, I did it within the context of my current training criteria as well.

I'd say the same about Tiger, he reset, but I am sure he still worked well within the parameters of feedback mechanisms that supported his golf game. As long as we are cognizant about those things, then we can train correctly and rapidly integrate what we learn back into our "game".

Budd
12-13-2013, 02:31 PM
Kevin - that part (as I'm sure you're aware) I agree with 100%. Just being a black belt doesn't mean you can fight (or are a spiritual leader, or healer, or all the other cultish nonsense that a martial arts teacher con man will try to tell you). Having brute strength, internal strength, stench strength, grip strength, quip strength or toe strength won't automatically make you a better fighter. YET AMONG EQUALS ANY ONE OF THOSE ATTRIBUTES CAN PROVIDE AN ADVANTAGE IN THE RIGHT CONTEXT.

Can we get this crafted on stone somewhere. Take a picture and just post the picture anytime anyone else starts talking about fighting, or internals or or or . . .

Howsabout some AIKACHOOJITSU. I'm going to drink now.

Ban me, please.

Kevin Leavitt
12-13-2013, 02:57 PM
Iol....yeah...I need to be banned as well! but it's been a great conversation. intoxicating and addictive! have a great weekend!

Cady Goldfield
12-13-2013, 03:45 PM
Uke is his student, and we are fully aware of how students react (even inconsciously) to their awesome masters.



That's a valid point in many situations, but keep in mind that the very large person had never trained with this person - it was his first experience. The instructor is going very easy on him because of that, but even so, you can see how easily he can control the big guy's center, and his reaction the the whole experience, at the end of the second video.

Demetrio Cereijo
12-13-2013, 05:27 PM
That's a valid point in many situations, but keep in mind that the very large person had never trained with this person - it was his first experience. The instructor is going very easy on him because of that, but even so, you can see how easily he can control the big guy's center, and his reaction the the whole experience, at the end of the second video.

Sorry, I was thinking in this clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRYbfTP-1AA

(Note to self: Do not read various threads in different forums at the same time)

Cady Goldfield
12-13-2013, 06:00 PM
I was supposed to meet with that certain someone this year and he couldn't make it due to family issues. I have been trying! I've been hoping that he could show me how things work in the conditions and parameters I subscribe too.

How would such skills NOT be relevant? I am not arguing that they are not...if they are developed in such a way that allows them to be used under those conditions. That's been my point all along.

For example, doing the Jo trick and other aiki skills test are fine...just fine. However those things/skills are executed under very tight parameters and controls. (restrictive environment)....if you change the conditions, then what? that is what I am concerned with. How well do you fight in a given set of conditions?

Those jo tricks and other demos are meant to be just that -- demonstrations of IP and aiki in and of themselves, outside of a martial context. A lot of the "old masters" in Japan and China did such things - perhaps to amuse and amaze, and to attempt to show observers something that otherwise would be invisible unless one is in direct physical contact with someone who is "doing stuff" on the inside.

This is where I probably disagree...I think they can and should be trained in an integrated approach. Albeit, I also recognize that isolation of training techniques are necessary to reinforce training.

Actually, you aren't disagreeing with me, as that is pretty much what I was referencing, when I mentioned conditioning-in the skills in increments, and likewise combining them in increments.

I said that they represent two separate disciplines; I did not say that they should not both be practiced concurrently, as part of the same art and curriculum. It's not really cross-training so much as it is recognizing two separate sets of exercises, training drills and goals that will be combined to create a product that is greater than either of its component parts.

Some systems start out just doing fighting apps, then add internals to them. Others start with internals, then later show how to fight with them. Still others embed the internal stuff within the martial technique, and the "shape" of the technique is specifically designed to be powered by internal methods (as opposed to conventional movement).

It's interesting that even in some very conservative systems that started out with jujutsu or chin-na technique, adding internals to them later in the curriculum, some of the senior teachers are advocating for introducing the internal training at the beginning so students can start inculcating an "aiki" body before they can wire in bad habits from external technique training. This is a very wise move, IMO.

However, for me, why would you study with someone that can't demonstrate how to transition that methodology to the conditions and criteria you ultimately need to meet? That has been my on going issue with this topic. That is, integration.

I am looking for that certain someone that can show how to do that. My adopted training strategy is open enough to incorporate anything that proves to leads to where I am going!

Lets cut to the core of the matter. We've been having this discussion for almost 10 years now when certain people I think around 2004 and 2005 came on here and started discussing IS/IT training methods.

So where are we now? how are those folks doing? and how has it been integrated into various training regimes martially?

Recognizing that, of course, we have different people with different objectives in training. I think this would be a more positive and constructive conversation to have instead of heading off into the land of validating and invalidating IS/IT training.

I mean after close to 8 to 10 years of training, we should be able to definitively say where folks are in the process and how it has improved whatever they do and how it has informed/changed how they train. I am really curious about transference and integration. I mean, doing Jo tricks and AIki test are one thing, but we need to transcend this and put it to use at some point.

It is a shame that so many of the folks that are advocates are no longer posting here on aikiweb for various reasons.

I am asking because I am genuinely curious and want to see where everyone is. Me personally, I have sideline the training methods as a primary mode of training for a number of reasons. one, lack of good instruction and partners with interest. Two, I could not figure out how to justify spending my time doing this as it came at the expense of other things I was doing martially. I think those are the two main reasons.

However, I did find through my exposure that I was able to incorporate some of the concepts in what I do, and some of the concepts were already present in my training, we just needed to recognize it and work to enhance those things.

thanks for your patience on this Topic Cady!

Yes, it's really unfortunate that most of those 2004-2005 folks are no longer on this board to tell their tales. However, I have remained in contact with some of them, and they comment on their progress from time to time. People -are- learning this stuff and incorporating it into their various arts. I don't know anyone using them specifically for combatives, however. Mainly, they're being used in aikido, AJJ, and some Chinese arts.

For myself, I have been training in IP/aiki since 1998, and I have some very decent power and skills which I am now learning to use in different ways than what I originally came up in. The learning process never ends, and mixing it up makes things more balanced, challenging and interesting. However, my area of interest, both for personal training focus and for teaching, is in self-defense, particularly for women and children, being that I'm female. I'm not really interested in pursuing male ritual combat (which is what at least 90% of the stuff you're talking about, ultimately is) anymore, although that is how I have had to train for the past 40 years. Self-defense, as I see it, is very intense in its own right... not just about stopping drunken gropers. On some levels, it shares common aspects with combatives training, IME. But there are some tactical and strategic aspects to it that differ from the traditional male-perspective approach, and that's what I am investing a lot of my energies into analyzing and forming into a practice that can be taught and learned by others.

(As an aside, it always amused me to read the quotes of the Great Internal Masters who stated that "a woman or small child can defeat a much larger and more powerful man..." with their internal MA; yet, where is the roll call of female students they produced, other than perhaps their wives, by osmosis and association, and the rare female disciple?)

Internal training has more than met my hopes and expectations for efficacy in my area of focus.

For you, I really believe that once you have engaged with someone who can show you clearly how fighting and IP/aiki work as one unit, you will have no doubts about how it compares in effectiveness to fighting that is driven by conventional body movement. And for your specific interests, I can't think of a better person to do that for you than... well, you know who.

Cady Goldfield
12-13-2013, 06:58 PM
Sorry, I was thinking in this clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRYbfTP-1AA

(Note to self: Do not read various threads in different forums at the same time)

Demetrio,
That clip was discussed on another discussion board, too. Although it looks like uke is jumping and throwing himself around, it's not an act and it's not self-hypnosis. He has to move that way for a couple of reasons: one, because some of the stuff is excruciatingly painful and he's instinctively trying to remove himself from the painful pressure, and, two, because uke is being propelled by force -- that you can't see, but you can note the cues in nage.

It's locking him up (controlling his alignment), and stuffing him downward into his center of mass, among other things. Nage can cause uke to jerk in different directions by subtly "pulsing" force through uke's center via the point(s) of contact and slightly moving his own direction... which then makes uke have move that way too, like he's stuck to the agitator of a top-loading washing machine.

If you watch nage's waist you may be able to see a slight jerking as uke gets moved to the side. Watch nage's lower abdomen and lower-to-mid-level of his back when uke is either popped up on his toes or "stuffed" downward. You might be able to see a very subtle rolling or contraction-expansion of the lower abdomen and stretching or expansion of his back.

When uke jerks back and forth, or flops like a ragdoll, his body is mirroring what nage is doing, in much smaller and more concise movements, inside his own body. Think of a whip making big, rolling snaps although the whip wielder is making only tiny movements of his own body and arm.

So, yeah, it looks contrived and fake, but ... having been exposed to that kind of stuff myself, uke's movements are entirely "normal" and expected.

Budd
12-13-2013, 07:35 PM
Demetrio,
That clip was discussed on another discussion board, too. Although it looks like uke is jumping and throwing himself around, it's not an act and it's not self-hypnosis. He has to move that way for a couple of reasons: one, because some of the stuff is excruciatingly painful and he's instinctively trying to remove himself from the painful pressure, and, two, because uke is being propelled by force -- that you can't see, but you can note the cues in nage.

It's locking him up (controlling his alignment), and stuffing him downward into his center of mass, among other things. Nage can cause uke to jerk in different directions by subtly "pulsing" force through uke's center via the point(s) of contact and slightly moving his own direction... which then makes uke have move that way too, like he's stuck to the agitator of a top-loading washing machine.

If you watch nage's waist you may be able to see a slight jerking as uke gets moved to the side. Watch nage's lower abdomen and lower-to-mid-level of his back when uke is either popped up on his toes or "stuffed" downward. You might be able to see a very subtle rolling or contraction-expansion of the lower abdomen and stretching or expansion of his back.

When uke jerks back and forth, or flops like a ragdoll, his body is mirroring what nage is doing, in much smaller and more concise movements, inside his own body. Think of a whip making big, rolling snaps although the whip wielder is making only tiny movements of his own body and arm.

So, yeah, it looks contrived and fake, but ... having been exposed to that kind of stuff myself, uke's movements are entirely "normal" and expected.

Cady, I like this one considerably less than the other one featuring this fellow. Even for a demo, the person receiving this should not be allowing themselves to be a locked up dummy. If he was learning anything he wouldn't have to sell the nonsense and could just keep himself safe by absorbing this stuff appropriately while still allowing the demonstrator to show the efficacy of his skills. Grr. Dumb. Too much of this nonsense in aiki-land and martial arts in general.

Kids, don't train to give yourself up like a punching dummy.

Cady Goldfield
12-13-2013, 08:26 PM
Cady, I like this one considerably less than the other one featuring this fellow. Even for a demo, the person receiving this should not be allowing themselves to be a locked up dummy. If he was learning anything he wouldn't have to sell the nonsense and could just keep himself safe by absorbing this stuff appropriately while still allowing the demonstrator to show the efficacy of his skills. Grr. Dumb. Too much of this nonsense in aiki-land and martial arts in general.

Kids, don't train to give yourself up like a punching dummy.

Yeah, I would like to have seen some serious resistance on uke's part.

The one thing I will say in defense of this kind of lesson approach, though, is that when you feel what it's like to give a really committed attack on someone with this kind of body conditioning, you NEVER want to do it again. It can be -that- shocky, painful, compressive, and also head whip-lashing. If we had trained full-speed, we'd have been so wrecked all the time that it would have kept a lot of students sidelined more than they'd be on the mats.

I had some bad injuries and cumulative damage from years of training even at a moderate or "lite" intensity, and some resulted in permanent damage, though- fortunately - they're things I can live with. And it's not just because I'm a woman; even large, strong men can get wrecked from hard training in this discipline. It is what it is.

BTW, that little bit at the very end of this clip... watch it again. The instructor does something that was done to me many a time over the years (and I learned to do, as well... :D ) ... and the student mutters "It sucks..." as he recovers on the ground. That was one of the most frequent remarks heard in the dojo where I trained. Over and over again, we would shake our heads in utter amazement as we said that little phrase after we'd gotten our breath back. And everyone would nod.

Kevin Leavitt
12-14-2013, 05:06 AM
Those jo tricks and other demos are meant to be just that -- demonstrations of IP and aiki in and of themselves, outside of a martial context. A lot of the "old masters" in Japan and China did such things - perhaps to amuse and amaze, and to attempt to show observers something that otherwise would be invisible unless one is in direct physical contact with someone who is "doing stuff" on the inside.


Well, maybe we are all past this ridiculous level of argument in our understanding now and everyone understands that it is a means to an end and not the end state itself. I think as knowledge increases and we have people that begin to integrate IS things into their pursuits then we can have discussions that center around better models of applications than simple push hands or jo tricks. However, I do understand the need for those things to communicate through a constrained and controlled practice.

Some systems start out just doing fighting apps, then add internals to them. Others start with internals, then later show how to fight with them. Still others embed the internal stuff within the martial technique, and the "shape" of the technique is specifically designed to be powered by internal methods (as opposed to conventional movement).

so it appears that maybe there are several ways of training. One being a very ascetic "don't do anything else" approach for a very long time until you have burned this stuff in. A second one that says train the separate, but concurrent. and a Third that says, that the training is integrated (implicit) in the same system of training. I'd also say there is a fourth one that is really like #3, but recognizes that while the training may be imbedded in the system, you will have to recognize that certain drills, kata, and exercises will have to be performed that transmit this knowledge.

I think the methods used by Feldenkrais or AT may be of importance since they have proven to be successful in helping people reshape habits. Not saying that these two should be the way to train IS, but I think there is some merit in looking at their methods as successful ones that may prove to be of some importance when considering how to balance your training.

Finally, which I think is the most important point, you need to develop a clear and concise feedback plan for your martial practice. It may vary depending on your goals.

One thing that concerns me with the "IS revolution" over the past 10 years is that maybe people are not adjusting there feedback methods. That is, if you practiced a martially anemic practice before, such as some of the aikido some people do, then look to new methods of IS training to "get martially better", and you STILL use the same old feedback process you used before to test yourself, then you are never going to get better martially, you will still be anemic once your meet a sincere non-compliant, constantly adaptive uke.

So, for me, I would look at maybe adjusting your feedback mechanisms and maybe incorporating new ones that serve as a better measure of how IS training can be implemented and useful to you.

Look, I am a realist I think. I am approaching 50 now....so I would have no pretense that I am going to head out to the nearest MMA gym and bang it up with some young guys. I've had a Torn LCL, MCL, and ACL this past year as well as AC separation doing this stuff...so those days are having to be put behind me now!

However, I do think that you can still adapt "honest" stress loaded processes of uncooperativeness and aliveness that do not require you to get hurt while still holding yourself accountable.

For myself, I have been training in IP/aiki since 1998, and I have some very decent power and skills which I am now learning to use in different ways than what I originally came up in. The learning process never ends, and mixing it up makes things more balanced, challenging and interesting. However, my area of interest, both for personal training focus and for teaching, is in self-defense, particularly for women and children, being that I'm female. I'm not really interested in pursuing male ritual combat (which is what at least 90% of the stuff you're talking about, ultimately is) anymore, although that is how I have had to train for the past 40 years. Self-defense, as I see it, is very intense in its own right... not just about stopping drunken gropers. On some levels, it shares common aspects with combatives training, IME. But there are some tactical and strategic aspects to it that differ from the traditional male-perspective approach, and that's what I am investing a lot of my energies into analyzing and forming into a practice that can be taught and learned by others.

Thanks for sharing this Cady. I think it is important to understand how each of us is attempting to integrate our training into accompishing specific goals and objectives.

Mine are changing and evolving. I am recognizing that 20 year old knuckleheads don't want to listen to an old guy much and I find that I get hurt when trying to take them on! There are alot of people out there looking to improve and do something better. There certainly are different ways to reach different people and as we get older our perspectives and practices will certainly change and grow I hope.

hughrbeyer
12-14-2013, 08:59 AM
One thing that concerns me with the "IS revolution" over the past 10 years is that maybe people are not adjusting there feedback methods. That is, if you practiced a martially anemic practice before, such as some of the aikido some people do, then look to new methods of IS training to "get martially better", and you STILL use the same old feedback process you used before to test yourself, then you are never going to get better martially, you will still be anemic once your meet a sincere non-compliant, constantly adaptive uke.

Yup.

So, for me, I would look at maybe adjusting your feedback mechanisms and maybe incorporating new ones that serve as a better measure of how IS training can be implemented and useful to you.

And what new feedback mechanisms do you think would be useful?

Kevin Leavitt
12-14-2013, 12:24 PM
Which methods you use to create a feedback system depends on what it is that you want to do with what you have learned. I am going to assume that for most of us, it is going to center around self defense.

I have a bias, like everyone else, so you must keep that in mind. I am bound by my training experiences, but I think they are pretty good ones.

First, I think we have to recognize that every action takes place within a decision cycle, regardless of if it is implicit or explicitly made. OODA I think provides us a good model of that. I think John Boyd did a pretty good job of developing a syntax and a framework that describes how fighting works regardless of the number of opponents, time, distance, space, weapons etc that are being used. I think whatever methods you use needs to take the OODA decision cycle into account.

So, a good way of training recognizes that one person is typically behind (losing) and one person is typically ahead (winning). Your training methods need to take this into account and you need to incorporate such things as being overwhelmed, confused, and in really bad positions. You must learn to manage fights from being behind in that process and to recover from such positions. I think all self defense situations should assume that you are surprised by the confrontation of what is happening to you, you are disoriented, and need to develop default habits and behaviors to recover to better positions.

TMAs tend to do the opposite. From my experiences, they tend to take the paradigm that the best way to learn is to learn good posture, habits, and the practice from a "zero mistake mentality".

I don't think this is entirely true in Aikido if practiced correctly, as the roll of uke should be that of one in a bad position and you are trying to recover. I think this is why our teachers have stressed that the role of uke is the most important. Although, Aikido tends to address the midrange fighting skills where we commonly will engage with weapons, and does not practice the grappling range, which in my opinion is where most H2H encounters are going to end up, either in the standing clinch or on the ground. Or, the break contact and the fight either goes back to weapons range or the fight dissapates due to police, bystanders, or cooling heads prevail.

The other thing that is lacking in many practices is the implementation of good randori. This is where the OODA effects are really practiced and you get to make your mistakes under near real pressure.

I think randori is avoided because many feel that it degrades to a grappling fight and that it becomes pointless to listen to two guys literally grapple force on force while the literally "grunt".

There is some truth to that and I agree. The irony of it is that the two guys gravitate to that grappling range and grunt it out because that is where fights go in reality. So the real issue is that the aikido school has not adequately developed skills in this range so I agree that it is pointless unless you have spent some time training them in this range.

I suspect that this wasn't an issue for 1930s and 1940s Japanese Aikido students that grew up in a culture of newaza. Aikido would be like someone taking a bunch of BJJers and introducing them to one of the IS gurus.

So, yes, I have a bias, and it is that the grappling range of fighting needs to be practiced and mastered to some degree.

I think there are several reasons for this:

1. It is realistic to expect fights to go to standing clinch and one or both opponents will end up on the ground. if it goes on for a while traditional standing aikido randori eventually ends up here for a reason!

2. I think it is the safest way we can practice randori that provides the needed stress and overload that allows and accounts for failure. That is opposing OODA loops, or you can call it ALIVENESS if you want.

3. It is much easier to communicate body skills, connection and correct movement from ne waza than from standing. For me, Aikido is like PhD level stuff when you try to establish connections.

So, if you accept these things, then there are really only so many positions you are going to end up in on the ground and your practice should center around these positions and you should learn how respond (ACT) appropriately from those positions.

You don't need to adopt the whole curriculum of BJJ or the newaza of Judo for ground self defense. Although both systems do have decent elements that can be used.

Standing and clinch work should also be worked. I would tend to turn toward Muay Thai and Krav Maga style things. Both those systems are very brutal, but what I think is good about them is that they do a good job of recognizing that action must be decisive, fast, and overwhelming, especially with Krav Maga. It is predicated on violence of action and recognizes the importance of the OODA cycle. Both systems also contain both kicks and punches as well.

Again, you don't have to adopt everything out of those systems, but if you train along the lines of them with the degree of intensity that they do, well I think there is merit there.

I am sure some out there reading this are cringing about this. The counter argument is that these methods do not inculcate good form, good habits, will reinforce the bad.

I think it depends on the knowledge of the instructors, how he or she uses it as a method, and with what else it is combined with in training.

Demetrio Cereijo
12-14-2013, 04:04 PM
Yeah, I would like to have seen some serious resistance on uke's part.

The one thing I will say in defense of this kind of lesson approach, though, is that when you feel what it's like to give a really committed attack on someone with this kind of body conditioning, you NEVER want to do it again.
Maybe if he were attempting a really realistic, competently executed attack instead of the infamous 'really commited attack' .... who knows?

Cady Goldfield
12-14-2013, 05:44 PM
Maybe if he were attempting a really realistic, competently executed attack instead of the infamous 'really commited attack' .... who knows?

Well, here's where I'll ask you to indulge me by letting yourself assume, even if just for a moment, that I am capable of making a really realistic, competently executed attack. :)

When I first started training in an internal-based system, I had already been training in karate, boxing and TKD ("old" TKD that was really karate...) for over 20 years, and also had some training in a couple of "external" Chinese systems and a bit of arnis. I had made a very focused study of punching, both for power and tactical/strategic fighting use. I was... pretty good at it... to the point that when I showed up for co-ed sparring class at my karate school, the instructor would make me wear these ridiculous-looking 18-ounce gloves.

So. Here is what happened to me when I asked the AJJ/internals guy if I could throw "a few punches" and he said, "Go ahead"... and I launched a very aggressive punching attack:

1. I couldn't land a punch on him. He made what seemed to be tiny movements just absorbed all the power and force from my punches. I felt like I had... nuthin'. Nada. No habia ningun poder o fuerza.

2. When he chose to, instead of just absorbing my force, he returned it, along with his own force which he was generating internally. It felt like I was punching a stone wall wrapped rubber.

3. He added a little more power to #2, and my arm was "frozen" in place - I was not able to retract it - and I was bounced backward without being able to figure out how it happened.

In the subsequent years of training, I learned more variations on that theme. including what happens when you work certain angles that lock the alignment of the wrist, elbow, shoulder, and hips seemingly instantaneously with uke's punch. So, not only can it be excruciatingly painful; it also instantly captures uke's center (kuzushi), and puts him in an unaligned and compromised position that does not allow him to launch another attack, even if he still has the will to do so.

That's why I give credibility to the person who is uke in that video. It is possible, certainly, that he anticipates what is going to happen to him and so is reluctant to make a committed attack. That, however, is entirely understandable to me, having been there and done that. I see the familiar cues in both nage's and uke's bodies that tell me what they are doing, and what is driving the movement.

Demetrio, I have always been a skeptic, but it wasn't until I sought out and got my hands on this kind of training that I had enough information to determine that it's legitimate. If I hadn't, I would have had the same reaction, and made the same comments that you are making. I'm pretty sure I understand, then, where you're coming from and I'm glad you're not just buying this without more data. I hope you have the opportunity to get that exposure someday.

Demetrio Cereijo
12-15-2013, 02:46 PM
Well, here's where I'll ask you to indulge me by letting yourself assume, even if just for a moment, that I am capable of making a really realistic, competently executed attack. :)

I can accept you are capable ot that.

So. Here is what happened to me when I asked the AJJ/internals guy if I could throw "a few punches" and he said, "Go ahead"... and I launched a very aggressive punching attack:
Did you charged at him throwing punching combos with the intention of sending his head to geostationary orbit? you know, like if he has just raped your daugter, killed your dog and set your house ablaze?

1. I couldn't land a punch on him. He made what seemed to be tiny movements just absorbed all the power and force from my punches. I felt like I had... nuthin'. Nada. No habia ningun poder o fuerza.

2. When he chose to, instead of just absorbing my force, he returned it, along with his own force which he was generating internally. It felt like I was punching a stone wall wrapped rubber.

3. He added a little more power to #2, and my arm was "frozen" in place - I was not able to retract it - and I was bounced backward without being able to figure out how it happened.


This send us again to 'IP experts are so impervious to attacks that they do not need to know how to fight'

In the subsequent years of training, I learned more variations on that theme. including what happens when you work certain angles that lock the alignment of the wrist, elbow, shoulder, and hips seemingly instantaneously with uke's punch. So, not only can it be excruciatingly painful; it also instantly captures uke's center (kuzushi), and puts him in an unaligned and compromised position that does not allow him to launch another attack, even if he still has the will to do so.

That's why I give credibility to the person who is uke in that video. It is possible, certainly, that he anticipates what is going to happen to him and so is reluctant to make a committed attack. That, however, is entirely understandable to me, having been there and done that. I see the familiar cues in both nage's and uke's bodies that tell me what they are doing, and what is driving the movement.

Demetrio, I have always been a skeptic, but it wasn't until I sought out and got my hands on this kind of training that I had enough information to determine that it's legitimate. If I hadn't, I would have had the same reaction, and made the same comments that you are making. I'm pretty sure I understand, then, where you're coming from and I'm glad you're not just buying this without more data. I hope you have the opportunity to get that exposure someday.
Maybe someday I could get the opportunity. But meanwhile, if the body allows, I'll stick with 'old man jits'.

A question, if you don't mind. What exactly can you do against a, lets say, run of the mill collegiate wrestler or judo blackbelt of your size in full randori?

Cady Goldfield
12-15-2013, 04:24 PM
Did you charged at him throwing punching combos with the intention of sending his head to geostationary orbit? you know, like if he has just raped your daugter, killed your dog and set your house ablaze?

At first I wasn't sure, so I threw strong but rhythmic punches. Then when I saw that I wasn't getting them through, I did go all-out and tried to knock his head off. Not only could I not get anywhere near his head, he also changed his game to not just absorb my attacks, but also to send force back. It was extremely painful... to me. Like hitting a stone wall coated in rubber.

This send us again to 'IP experts are so impervious to attacks that they do not need to know how to fight'
Well, the point of our encounter wasn't for me to fight him, but to feel what "internal power" was. I wasn't crazy enough to think that a middle-aged woman was going to all-out fight a guy who outweighed me by 70 lbs and was built like a rock fortress. ;) But in the years that followed, I had many opportunities to watch others more closely matched in size and muscle bulk attempt to fight him, and they were all outmatched.

A question, if you don't mind. What exactly can you do against a, lets say, run of the mill collegiate wrestler or judo blackbelt of your size in full randori?

That's a fair question. Honestly, I didn't try randori with anyone outside of my training venue back when I was in a dojo environment, although in later years I tried some things out in "freestyle" self-defense training demos against people I'd never previously met or trained with, and it came out quite well. Beyond that, I can only offer a few anecdotes: #1 A friend's wrestler son did try to take me down and couldn't. That was just playing, though. #2 One day, I was going into a store, and just as I was nearing the door, a heavyset, stocky man shoved the door open and dashed out, and right into me... and he bounced back a couple of feet onto his butt. #3 A judoka friend (a blackbelt but older than I, and who hasn't been on the mats in a couple of decades) tried to reap and throw me, and couldn't budge me off the ground. His technique was actually still quite good and he outweighed me by at least 50 lbs. But he couldn't find or take my center, nor could he "muscle" me.

Sorry I can't offer much more than that for now. As a woman in the throes of later middle-age, I'm not inclined to test myself in all-out ritual male combat, but I will be experimenting more with this stuff when I work on developing a self-defense focused training curriculum (for women and small people of either sex) in the future.

Kevin Leavitt
12-15-2013, 09:38 PM
Cady, thanks for sharing! appreciate it!