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MrIggy
02-15-2017, 10:37 AM
So in general, with all of the commotion regarding the elusive "Aiki" (internal strength, power, jin or whatever), all i wan't to know is, is it worth it? The point being that there are rarely few people that have it, many of those that have it don't seem to have enough of it or are not on a very high level, many of them took years to develop it (even on a low level), the developing of it involved various methods that don't seem to be adequate to everyone's "needs", the ways of developing it are by testimonial evidence, among other places presented also here on aikiweb, in contradictory to regular training methods, so basically you have to involve a separate training method for developing Aiki and keep, or discard, the regular training method for the external type because if you have Aiki you essentially don't need the regular external training. I know a number of highly skilled people in Aikido, for which i know or at least have an idea how they developed their skills. By what i have seen and read in many places online they don't seem to possess Aiki but that still doesn't undermine their skills. Therefore should someone still spend time they would normally spend on practicing and developing the external skills on practicing how to develop Aiki, for which there is no guarantee it will develop to a certain "useful" level or at all, or face the fact that Takeda, Ueshiba, Horikawa, Sagawa, Okamoto and maybe some others simply were in the right place in the right time with regular teachers and also owned the much needed amount of talent for achieving such high level of skills in Aiki training. Also if there is some midpoint, using some amount of Aiki for regular external training, does it actually make any valuable difference? I mean if somebody attacks me from behind for a choke, or if i spar with a stricker, does that low level have any value in a conflict situation like that?

Demetrio Cereijo
02-15-2017, 10:57 AM
Are you invincible if you possess Aiki?

Of course. Ueshiba, Horikawa, Sagawa, Okamoto et al have never been defeated in a fight.

GovernorSilver
02-15-2017, 11:58 AM
If two Aiki-possessors fought, one of them would lose, no?

shuckser
02-15-2017, 12:28 PM
I guess I don't know anything about Aiki.

As far as I understand, the feeling is born and dies during an interaction. It doesn't exist in isolation. I mean, if you go to a bowling alley you'll see a lot of bowling balls. All loaded with potential energy. But none of them are near your hands, so whatever potential there is between you and them means nothing until you actually pick one up.

jonreading
02-15-2017, 12:29 PM
You are not invincible. Aiki is not magic.

Many of the people we value in the aiki arts possessed strong aiki skills. Of late, the number of contemporary people with similar reputations has dwindled. Internal power is not for everyone and I don't begrudge anyone either way. I have touched too many people with good ip/aiki, so I will say it's worth it.

Rupert Atkinson
02-15-2017, 01:35 PM
If you have been practicing awhile, you will likely be touching on aiki in many of your ordinary waza. It just needs pointing out, realizing if you like, then you can target it for development. There is no magic. It is just the way you use you body and your and uke's energy. Not magical ki energy, just the power that you generate and that which your uke gives you, or you lure him to give you, to deal with. It is totally practical but most people just skirt around the edges because they are not directed towards it.
It will not make anyone invincible because most people that practice aiki do it in a very limited - nice uke - environment. Even the so-called 'strong attack' we do is so predictable you have to be a fool to believe it is anything close to real.
Just my 2c.

MrIggy
02-16-2017, 05:11 AM
If two Aiki-possessors fought, one of them would lose, no?

I never heard of a similar situation so i wouldn't know.

PeterR
02-16-2017, 05:19 AM
I never heard of a similar situation so i wouldn't know.

They would never come to blows - probably spend their time arguing that only they possessed true aiki.

Minor digs aside - one of the older descriptions of aiki did refer to two swordsman in perfect harmony. Neither seeing an opening in the other.

Demetrio Cereijo
02-16-2017, 06:07 AM
They would never come to blows - probably spend their time arguing that only they possessed true aiki.

While performing parlor tricks.

PeterR
02-16-2017, 06:10 AM
While performing parlor tricks.

:D

Dazzler
02-16-2017, 06:42 AM
So in general, with all of the commotion regarding the elusive "Aiki" (internal strength, power, jin or whatever), all i wan't to know is, is it worth it? Is that really all you want to know Igor? If it is, why have you followed up with your own personal point of view?
Are you interested in the answer or not? You open from a position of not knowing about Aiki/IP.....yet still seem to offer your opinions on it.

The point being that there are rarely few people that have it, many of those that have it don't seem to have enough of it or are not on a very high level, many of them took years to develop it (even on a low level), Correct. There are very few people who have it. There are many that think they have it......and don't know what they don't know.
There are leaders in the field though, their names are not hard to find and there are more and more courses where these people teach.
In sharing this information a lot of ivory towers have been broken and a lot of ego's bruised.
Mine was.
I asked the same questions as you on Aikiweb 6, 7, 8 years ago....I argued with Mike Sigman, with Dan Harden because I didn't know what they were talking about and persisted in pushing my ideas back at them. Its no wonder they got frustrated.
But I made the effort to get to a seminar.....and the truth was instantly available.
I see exactly same thing today..... Jon Reading posts something to continue to share....and gets responses from people agreeing with him when the clearly don't know what he's trying to say....or even congratulating him on correcting the flaws in his Aikido practice while implying they of course have no need of such improvements because their Aikido is perfect.
Yes -- it does take a long time to develop. Doing Aikido forms is one thing. Doing them with Aiki is another. What do you want? A lifetime pursuit of perfection or a 10 week course in self-defence?
And there are degrees of aiki ...even a little starts to take practice from empty forms to something more...
the developing of it involved various methods that don't seem to be adequate to everyone's "needs",
Boo hoo! Thats a terrible shame....... What the heck. If you want to do something ....and you want to excel at it .....you will eat bitter. Those that aspire to excellence.....work hard for it. Period. Sometimes that means doing something thats not adequate to your needs. Either accept that your needs mean you have to set different targets. Or get some new needs.

the ways of developing it are by testimonial evidence, among other places presented also here on aikiweb, in contradictory to regular training methods, so basically you have to involve a separate training method for developing Aiki and keep, or discard, the regular training method for the external type because if you have Aiki you essentially don't need the regular external training. well...this issue really is that it has to be felt. Stick a video of regular Aikido up on Youtube....leave it open for comments.....and expect a flood of teenagers and keyboard warriors to rip it to shreds.
Even worse for the solo training thats a defining part of Aiki/IP.
Separate training method needed? Well yes....and no. In my experience the solo work is essential for rewiring the body & mind....but it can still be practiced in regular waza. Anyone that trains with me now compared to 5 years ago will feel the difference.... I know why that is and who deserves the credit.
You don't need regular external training? Well remove external and just consider the training. I train with Dan Harden so can't speak of other names in this field but Dan has a progression from solo training through to fighting using Aiki/IP. So you don't have to abandon the paired waza training.....but it will change as your body changes.
I know a number of highly skilled people in Aikido, for which i know or at least have an idea how they developed their skills. By what i have seen and read in many places online they don't seem to possess Aiki but that still doesn't undermine their skills. Therefore should someone still spend time they would normally spend on practicing and developing the external skills on practicing how to develop Aiki, for which there is no guarantee it will develop to a certain "useful" level or at all, or face the fact that Takeda, Ueshiba, Horikawa, Sagawa, Okamoto and maybe some others simply were in the right place in the right time with regular teachers and also owned the much needed amount of talent for achieving such high level of skills in Aiki training. I also know such people in Aikido and I'm very proud of time spent training with them. They have awesome skills and are great martial artists....but I feel they would have benefitted from the training I've received from my Internals guide. If nothing else their teaching would have been improved had they accessed the solo work as guidelines.
I also think they would have embraced the training .....no one is saying its a new invention...certainly not the people I've trained with. Its just not deployed throughout modern Aikido....not saying there aren't pockets of it -- there may well be....but it does indeed seem to have been lost...perhaps not adequate to peoples needs.
Face the fact that those names were in the right place, right time? What fact? Not good enough for me. Why should we accept an inferior level? At a time when so much information is available and people are willing to open up and share more.
Unfortunately we go back continually to not knowing what we don't know...and when someone offers information they are deluged with negativity.
I barely post here these days.....few of the IP crowd do. Its not worth the effort but this post on the back of Jons defence of Aiki has triggered this.
Doubtless I'll regret it and sink back to reading with despair shortly.
Also if there is some midpoint, using some amount of Aiki for regular external training, does it actually make any valuable difference? I mean if somebody attacks me from behind for a choke, or if i spar with a stricker, does that low level have any value in a conflict situation like that?
Sure -- power goes up, ability to cope with incoming power goes up. You still need strategy, tactics, a fighters mind and so on. Aiki alone is a skill, the icing on the cake from our art. As Jon Reading has said it doesn't make you invincible.
A punch in the face is still a punch in the face -- it hurts.
Bottom line is people don't know what they don't know....doubtless this post will also be ripped to shreds by some and embraced by others.
Is Aiki/IP worth it? Go train with someone that can demonstrate it, has students that can demonstrate it and can explain it then you'll know.

I've been on multiple seminars with many different people experiencing Aiki/IP......99% have loved it and the way its taught. Doesn't mean they'll all continue with it...its hard work.....but none of them come back here and cut it up because they know.

SeiserL
02-16-2017, 08:35 AM
Invincible? Don't have Aiki (yet) so don't know, but probably not, Aiki is a skill (mental/physical) set ...
Is it worth it? Depends what you want out of your training. For me, (the exploration/pursuit) is ...

GovernorSilver
02-16-2017, 12:41 PM
I never heard of a similar situation so i wouldn't know.

I have, at least in the form of epic virtual combat in these forums. :D

MrIggy
02-23-2017, 02:18 PM
Is that really all you want to know Igor? If it is, why have you followed up with your own personal point of view?
Are you interested in the answer or not? You open from a position of not knowing about Aiki/IP.....yet still seem to offer your opinions on it.
Correct. There are very few people who have it. There are many that think they have it......and don't know what they don't know.
There are leaders in the field though, their names are not hard to find and there are more and more courses where these people teach.
In sharing this information a lot of ivory towers have been broken and a lot of ego's bruised.
Mine was.
I asked the same questions as you on Aikiweb 6, 7, 8 years ago....I argued with Mike Sigman, with Dan Harden because I didn't know what they were talking about and persisted in pushing my ideas back at them. Its no wonder they got frustrated.
But I made the effort to get to a seminar.....and the truth was instantly available.
I see exactly same thing today..... Jon Reading posts something to continue to share....and gets responses from people agreeing with him when the clearly don't know what he's trying to say....or even congratulating him on correcting the flaws in his Aikido practice while implying they of course have no need of such improvements because their Aikido is perfect.
Yes -- it does take a long time to develop. Doing Aikido forms is one thing. Doing them with Aiki is another. What do you want? A lifetime pursuit of perfection or a 10 week course in self-defence?
And there are degrees of aiki ...even a little starts to take practice from empty forms to something more...

This isn't just my opinion, this is the general assessment of affairs surrounding the matter of Aiki, as written here and elsewhere. Even you pointed out general specifications of the matter. I can't argue about such a matter that i don't have any firsthand knowledge but also, as you pointed out, not even those who have much more knowledge can rationalize it to a degree of general realization and agreement. That's the whole point of my questions, are you invincible if you posses Aiki, and if not is it actually worth it then. That is in direct relation with your question, the last bold sentence, i can take a 10 week course and learn more relevant things from that then a "life time pursuit of "perfection". Not to mention that i can take the jujutsu aspect of Aikido or Daito ryu and in let's say 4-5 years take it to a serious degree of perfection. And not just me off course.

Boo hoo! Thats a terrible shame....... What the heck. If you want to do something ....and you want to excel at it .....you will eat bitter. Those that aspire to excellence.....work hard for it. Period. Sometimes that means doing something thats not adequate to your needs. Either accept that your needs mean you have to set different targets. Or get some new needs.

When i mean needs i mean needs to achieve the goal at hand. In the old days even Takeda taught people according to their personal, mostly physical, needs. How much of that is currently going on and how much is just the adaptation of an generally accepted mold, that doesn't actually fit everyone's needs?

well...this issue really is that it has to be felt. Stick a video of regular Aikido up on Youtube....leave it open for comments.....and expect a flood of teenagers and keyboard warriors to rip it to shreds.
Even worse for the solo training thats a defining part of Aiki/IP.

I am not concerned with idiots on youtube.

Separate training method needed? Well yes....and no. In my experience the solo work is essential for rewiring the body & mind....but it can still be practiced in regular waza. Anyone that trains with me now compared to 5 years ago will feel the difference.... I know why that is and who deserves the credit.

So certain levels of Aiki can still be achieved through regular training. Is it on a satisfactory level, for you personally, and in general with the concept of Aiki to which you have been presented to?

You don't need regular external training? Well remove external and just consider the training. I train with Dan Harden so can't speak of other names in this field but Dan has a progression from solo training through to fighting using Aiki/IP. So you don't have to abandon the paired waza training.....but it will change as your body changes.

And does that fighting include the waza techniques of Aikido or Daito ryu or can any technique be adaptable to Aiki? Again do you actually need the waza or any technique at all, as a vessel, for the proper "use" of Aiki or is just your body enough?

I also know such people in Aikido and I'm very proud of time spent training with them. They have awesome skills and are great martial artists....but I feel they would have benefitted from the training I've received from my Internals guide. If nothing else their teaching would have been improved had they accessed the solo work as guidelines.
I also think they would have embraced the training .....no one is saying its a new invention...certainly not the people I've trained with. Its just not deployed throughout modern Aikido....not saying there aren't pockets of it -- there may well be....but it does indeed seem to have been lost...perhaps not adequate to peoples needs.

So you are saying that in any instance it is worth it. The unfortunate thing is that certain Shihan's either spread incomplete knowledge or it wasn't understood on a proper level among their students so everybody else down the drain didn't get enough pieces to grasp the actual idea behind it all. Take for instance Hiroshi Tada, although he is a formidable Aikidoka, his way of teaching is basically "My way or the highway." and that's if you can grasp what "his way" represents.

Face the fact that those names were in the right place, right time? What fact? Not good enough for me. Why should we accept an inferior level? At a time when so much information is available and people are willing to open up and share more.
Unfortunately we go back continually to not knowing what we don't know...and when someone offers information they are deluged with negativity.
I barely post here these days.....few of the IP crowd do. Its not worth the effort but this post on the back of Jons defence of Aiki has triggered this.
Doubtless I'll regret it and sink back to reading with despair shortly.

One of the problems is that there is so much information out there that it's hard to discern which information is useful, in general as well on a personal level, and which is not. If you may please first answer the questions i asked before your getting back in reading with despair, i would be very grateful.

Sure -- power goes up, ability to cope with incoming power goes up. You still need strategy, tactics, a fighters mind and so on. Aiki alone is a skill, the icing on the cake from our art. As Jon Reading has said it doesn't make you invincible.

So technically speaking Aiki is an amalgamation of various exercises not a means to itself? Meaning whether i develop it through solo or waza or "something in between" training it's manifestation will be in accordance to what and how i have trained?

A punch in the face is still a punch in the face -- it hurts.
Bottom line is people don't know what they don't know....doubtless this post will also be ripped to shreds by some and embraced by others.
Is Aiki/IP worth it? Go train with someone that can demonstrate it, has students that can demonstrate it and can explain it then you'll know.

Now this is what i mean.

I've been on multiple seminars with many different people experiencing Aiki/IP......99% have loved it and the way its taught. Doesn't mean they'll all continue with it...its hard work.....but none of them come back here and cut it up because they know.

That's what i needed to know. Thank you.

MrIggy
02-23-2017, 02:21 PM
You are not invincible. Aiki is not magic.

Many of the people we value in the aiki arts possessed strong aiki skills. Of late, the number of contemporary people with similar reputations has dwindled. Internal power is not for everyone and I don't begrudge anyone either way. I have touched too many people with good ip/aiki, so I will say it's worth it.

When you say not for everyone, do you mean not everyone wishes to achieve it or can achieve it?

Dazzler
02-24-2017, 07:13 AM
When you say not for everyone, do you mean not everyone wishes to achieve it or can achieve it?

Can't speak for Jon....but my view everyone can achieve Aiki....but not everyone is prepared to do the work. Many like the aerobics, big throws, putting their instructor on a pedestal or just training the way they do because they love it just the way it is.

Accepting that the instructors that have gone before may not have transferred everything also means accepting that we the students aren't quite as special ....or as good as we thought. Not everyone can do this.

As for the work....Heck.....Rewiring the body and mind responses is hard. I often feel like giving up and going back to training how I used to because I suck so bad.

I doubt very much I'll ever get to the level I'd like too. But right now something in me says theres still time to travel a long way down the road.

jonreading
02-24-2017, 07:18 AM
When you say not for everyone, do you mean not everyone wishes to achieve it or can achieve it?

Yes. Both.

Not everyone will sacrifice what is needed to learn IP/Aiki. It's a lot of frustration, a lot of boring exercises, a lot of failure. I know this sounds harsh, but why don't we all look like swimsuit models? We know exercise is good, proper diet, no vice behavior... We are all individuals with the freedom to decide what we want to do with our training.

Not everyone has access to the education and resources to learn IP/Aiki. So there are some obstacles to getting access to learn this training. You work with what you got and many of our teachers "don't got" so that puts pressure on people looking to train to find access to a resource that is going to teach.

Demetrio Cereijo
02-24-2017, 07:19 AM
Igor, is not that complicated.

Aiki is retraining the body via set of exercises, it makes your aikido better or at least closer to the original aikido: what the Founder did.

Fighting is another thing and requires not only strength (internal, external or a combination of both) but also strategy, timing, mindset , viable techniques (those that not depend on partner collusion for them to work) and a lot other things. A body with aiki is useful for fighting but the other elements are also required, especially if your opponent knows what he is doing.

This kind of power is not for everyone because it requires lots of time and effort and, for performing mainstream aikido, is not really needed. Thousands of people are doing aikido without internal power and they're doing fine.

So, if you want to do aikido the most closely possible to what Ueshiba did, internal power is needed. If you want to do contemporary aikido then do what your instructors ask you to do and if you want to learn to fight... well, there are lots of places where you can learn how to fight.

grondahl
02-24-2017, 07:23 AM
Most people just like aikido because it´s a more interesting form of social excercise than ex body pump or aerobics. You get some excercise and can grab a beer afterwards.

I have a very hard time seeing that doing IP-work will be a mainstream thing anytime soon.

Dazzler
02-24-2017, 07:51 AM
....... That's the whole point of my questions, are you invincible if you posses Aiki, and if not is it actually worth it then.
Simple answer is No. Alrready said by others. O’Sensei is dead. Mike Tyson and Ali both got defeated. UFC guys lose every other week.
No one and nothing is invincible.
Millions of guys play football. How many are lionel Messi? ....
So whether its worth it is down to the individual.
20 years into Aikido this was the only way I’d found of continuing to grow in depth. Breath was easy....maybe more weapons.....maybe more techniques imported from other teachers. Whatever.....but this stuff......made sense of those that I hold in most respect. It was the final, hardest bit that is best learned through repetitive solo work....which in time floods into waza.
.......I can take the jujutsu aspect of Aikido or Daito ryu and in let's say 4-5 years take it to a serious degree of perfection. And not just me off course.
Ok........good luck with that. I thought I was pretty tidy.....then had my eyes opened by some international class performers. What I thought was perfection was somewhat short.

.......So certain levels of Aiki can still be achieved through regular training. Is it on a satisfactory level, for you personally, and in general with the concept of Aiki to which you have been presented to?
Well yes....I’ve touched people and its clear they feel different. The “elephant” of aikido is posted somewhere in related threads and lots of people that have hung around Aikido long enough have developed some of it. Put enough monkeys behind keyboards and the rewards for correct movement and feeling are bound to steer some in the right direction. For me personally though I feel this is the slow boat to china. Working specifically with Aiki/IP guru types had given much greater progress already than I feel I personally would have achieved.

.......And does that fighting include the waza techniques of Aikido or Daito ryu or can any technique be adaptable to Aiki? Again do you actually need the waza or any technique at all, as a vessel, for the proper "use" of Aiki or is just your body enough?
Even before Aiki/IP training I’d have answered same thing here. The techniques aren’t really techniques at all...they are tools to learn how to use your mind and body....Aiki/IP just added a whole new dimension to what the toolset can teach. In fighting there is no attachment to specific techniques....my instructor said “I move and something happens”....Bruce Lee endorsed “no fixed forms”.
All I say is those fighting with Aiki seem impossible to stop, read , block , hit or anything. Check out Alan Beebe “when I met Dan Harden” thread for his interesting experience if its still available.

.......So you are saying that in any instance it is worth it.
Yes.

.......
So technically speaking Aiki is an amalgamation of various exercises not a means to itself? Meaning whether i develop it through solo or waza or "something in between" training it's manifestation will be in accordance to what and how i have trained?
Not really. Using my own words I’d now say Aiki is the manipulation of ones body through utilisation of opposing forces evoked by the mind ;-) Am trying really hard there not to use my instructors exact words but it does not seem right to use his words and claim them myself. The point is that Aiki is a quality of feeling or body control and not an amalgamation of anything. Once you’ve developed it you can use it regardless of how you trained to achieve it.

.......That's what i needed to know. Thank you. Cool. In return ....thank you for asking about it. Its kind of gone off the radar here but clearly by the quality of some of the posts in recent threads it is gathering momentum and recognition as something that we should be considerate of if we are serious about our art.

Demetrio Cereijo
02-24-2017, 09:09 AM
I have a very hard time seeing that doing IP-work will be a mainstream thing anytime soon.
In aikido can become mainstream in a short time. There's only a handful org running shihan needed.

In less hierarchical and more performance oriented systems like sports... not going to happen.

MrIggy
02-25-2017, 09:09 AM
Yes. Both.

Not everyone will sacrifice what is needed to learn IP/Aiki. It's a lot of frustration, a lot of boring exercises, a lot of failure. I know this sounds harsh, but why don't we all look like swimsuit models? We know exercise is good, proper diet, no vice behavior... We are all individuals with the freedom to decide what we want to do with our training.

Not everyone has access to the education and resources to learn IP/Aiki. So there are some obstacles to getting access to learn this training. You work with what you got and many of our teachers "don't got" so that puts pressure on people looking to train to find access to a resource that is going to teach.

I would say this is the biggest problem. All of the knowledge in Aikido concerning the IP/Aiki has been marginalized so much that it's difficult for people to even grasp the concept behind it. The fact is that they are reluctant to sacrifice their time for something that is considered "magic or circus tricks". Also the idea that they can "sense some of it" in teachers who spent a lot years training in Aikido, but not fully developing it off course, usually means that they accept it just as a side effect of training rather then a skill set of it's that needs developing.

grondahl
02-25-2017, 10:27 AM
The fact is that they are reluctant to sacrifice their time for something that is considered "magic or circus tricks".

The ones that have felt seems to be convinced that it´s not magic. The ones that haven´t felt it argue about it online.

Demetrio Cereijo
02-25-2017, 11:30 AM
The ones that have felt seems to be convinced that it´s not magic. The ones that haven´t felt it argue about it online.

Maybe when the IP proponents switch from "stupid jin tricks" mode to "winning olympic medals" mode all this arguing could stop.

Rupert Atkinson
02-25-2017, 12:58 PM
So in general, with all of the commotion regarding the elusive "Aiki" (internal strength, power, jin or whatever), all i wan't to know is, is it worth it?

Most definitely. Just start the journey. I have been searching for quite some time. It is a tricky road, no one likes it, so you just have to keep going. I am certainly no master, probably never will be, but I have come across some amazing stuff that I now try to apply in my waza. First you have to seek and experience it. Then try to suss it. Then try to make it work in your waza. Easier said than done, but it is the whole point of Aikido, is it not? I would say - some of the stuff I have discovered I had kinda touched upon already - so the danger is to say, "Ah, yeah, I know that!" and dismiss it. This is what most people do. Just ... do it!

GovernorSilver
02-25-2017, 04:33 PM
The fact is that they are reluctant to sacrifice their time for something that is considered "magic or circus tricks".

Ikeda tried repeatedly to impress upon seminar attendees that the reason his ultra-efficient approach (you touch him, you're off balance. Just. Like. That.) is worth pursuing is, well, you neutralize the attack much faster. Who wouldn't want to finish off an attacker in one barely perceptible, yet quick and decisive movement?

Unfortunately, he has been unable to pass on his skills to those who have been attending his seminars for years, so who knows what the answer(s) are to that problem - clearly communication is one of the issues.

Dazzler
02-26-2017, 04:32 AM
Maybe when the IP proponents switch from "stupid jin tricks" mode to "winning olympic medals" mode all this arguing could stop.

You mean like the Olympic TKD people? oh dear....this was going going so well and then "stupid" & "tricks" are hurled around.

Theres nothing stupid about this work ....rewiring the brain is about as challenging as it gets.....if anyone thinks its a bunch of tricks.....you have not been training with the right people.

Oh well...I take solace in the growing numbers of those endorsing the work. Proportionally its far higher than it used to be so either the penny is dropping....or the brainwashing is so good that its affecting more and more people.

I don't think so.

Demetrio Cereijo
02-26-2017, 09:44 AM
You mean like the Olympic TKD people? oh dear....this was going going so well and then "stupid" & "tricks" are hurled around.

Sorry but the "stupid jin tricks" has been coined by well known internal training proponents who used to post here. I was merely using your lingo.

And Olympic TKD sucks, trust me, I know it well.

sorokod
02-26-2017, 01:47 PM
Sorry but the "stupid jin tricks" has been coined by well known internal training proponents who used to post here. I was merely using your lingo.
...

Service to the community: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=258985

Gene McGloin
02-26-2017, 02:23 PM
If you lack basic fighting skills, then no, you are not invincible simply because you "have" "aiki". You have to know how to use those skills.

Cady Goldfield
02-26-2017, 03:25 PM
There are enough people teaching it competently now, that you should go where the endorsements are, with a realistic expectation of being able to pick up something of value.

By endorsements, I mean recommendations from people who have trained for an adequate amount of time (as direct students, or participants in several or more seminars with one teacher) and have gained demonstrable, measurable skill and understanding.

I don't mean they must have expertise -- that will take some years of progressive study, training and development; however, they should be able to demonstrate and explain, to you, what they are doing on some level that is truly observable. Then you can make a reasonable assumption that the person they learned it from has some skills and the ability (and well-intentioned willingness) to teach it to others.

Demetrio Cereijo
02-26-2017, 04:22 PM
There are enough people teaching it competently now, that you should go where the endorsements are, with a realistic expectation of being able to pick up something of value.
Exactly.

MrIggy
02-26-2017, 10:04 PM
Igor, is not that complicated.

It would seem so Demetrio, but don't forget, these are Aiki(do) matters we are discussing here.

Aiki is retraining the body via set of exercises, it makes your aikido better or at least closer to the original aikido: what the Founder did.

That would be the ideal situation.

This kind of power is not for everyone because it requires lots of time and effort and, for performing mainstream aikido, is not really needed. Thousands of people are doing aikido without internal power and they're doing fine.

Ehh. Maybe hundreds.

So, if you want to do aikido the most closely possible to what Ueshiba did, internal power is needed. If you want to do contemporary aikido then do what your instructors ask you to do and if you want to learn to fight... well, there are lots of places where you can learn how to fight.

It's not just internal power, Ueshiba trained since his youth, Sumo, a couple of Ryuha's, Judo (somewhat), army sergeant, went to war, not to mention that he was a physical specimen, force of nature if you will. Takeda also, traveled intensively, got in near death situations, always on the alert, basically paranoid. That's how they lived. What i am wondering is did that life(style?) had effect on their achieving such high levels of Aiki in a relatively shorter time frame then other people. Makes one wonder.

Fighting is another thing and requires not only strength (internal, external or a combination of both) but also strategy, timing, mindset , viable techniques (those that not depend on partner collusion for them to work) and a lot other things. A body with aiki is useful for fighting but the other elements are also required, especially if your opponent knows what he is doing.

As for fights, you have to make a distinction between sport matches and street situations, war situations are a totally different topic. In matches you have to have a strategy, mindset, awareness of the fact that your opponent is also as much as prepared as you or even more, all of which you mentioned. But also you have to have in mind that you have time to prepare yourself, analyze your opponent, do extra physical training (weight training, strength training) if needed etc. On the street, mostly, it's your basic instincts, from which you develop everything else, that determine the outcome. That's were most Aikido people fail. Why? They never develop the proper instinct for such situations because they lack the desire for it. For instance several guys from my club (dojo) were/are doormen, they didn't/don't have problems applying Aikido. They don't deal only with your ordinary drunks, there were trained people among those they had to deal with, albeit not champions but still dangerous and sober. Everything else, experience, strategies, techniques comes from those instincts for which they had a desire to develop through their training. Most people, hell 90% probably, just don't have that desire. Like Peter said, they just wanna get some exercise and grab a beer afterwards.

As for the viable techniques, all techniques in Aikido are viable, but like i said, people don't develop instincts on how to use them. Here is a good idea of somebody who has a good instinct would use Kokyu Nage, at 7:08 and a similar move at 7:20: https://www.facebook.com/LawrenceKenshinBreakdowns/videos/1474587955885915/

Cady Goldfield
02-26-2017, 11:25 PM
Internal skills, aiki, are passed from teacher to student directly -- jikiden, direct transmission. It is inculcated largely through feeling what the teacher is doing inside his body, then intuiting those movements and processes oneself. There are also solo exercises (tanren, forging drills) that one can do to develop the internal mechanics, but jikiden is the primary way that aiki has traditional been taught.

In order to receive that transmission, a student has to have a lot of physical, hands-on training with the teacher or a senior student who has aiki, at least for an intensive period of time. Morihei Ueshiba evidently had adequate, intensive periods of training with Sokaku Takeda to develop the skills. His other physical training in bayonet, etc. had nothing... nothing to do with his development of aiki. That could come only by jikiden from someone who had aiki -- Takeda.

Here's an example of jikiden of aiki, from Horikawa Koko (deshi of Takeda, and founder of Daito Ryu Kodokai). Starting at 14 seconds into the video, he is giving a lesson.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8H4Fi43pPw

Cady Goldfield
02-26-2017, 11:50 PM
The above should have read "Horikawa Kodo," not "Koko"... late night typo. :p

Dazzler
02-27-2017, 03:23 AM
Sorry but the "stupid jin tricks" has been coined by well known internal training proponents who used to post here. I was merely using your lingo.
.

Hopefully things have moved forward considerably since then.

Dazzler
02-27-2017, 03:24 AM
Service to the community: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=258985

Thanks - some valuable resources in that thread that this forum is poorer without.

Demetrio Cereijo
02-27-2017, 06:55 AM
It's not just internal power, Ueshiba trained since his youth, Sumo, a couple of Ryuha's, Judo (somewhat), army sergeant, went to war, not to mention that he was a physical specimen, force of nature if you will. Takeda also, traveled intensively, got in near death situations, always on the alert, basically paranoid. That's how they lived. What i am wondering is did that life(style?) had effect on their achieving such high levels of Aiki in a relatively shorter time frame then other people. Makes one wonder.
I think Ueshiba's training pre-Takeda is not really relevant.

As for fights, you have to make a distinction between sport matches and street situations, war situations are a totally different topic.
Here we're going to disagree. Fighting is fighting, like swimming is swimming. There are core skills needed, it doesn't matter if you are a waterpolo player, a SEAL a surfer or a fisherman.

As for the viable techniques, all techniques in Aikido are viable,
You sure? How do you know?

MrIggy
02-27-2017, 08:12 AM
Simple answer is No. Alrready said by others. O’Sensei is dead. Mike Tyson and Ali both got defeated. UFC guys lose every other week.
No one and nothing is invincible.

Jon Bones Jones still hasn't lost though.

Whatever.....but this stuff......made sense of those that I hold in most respect. It was the final, hardest bit that is best learned through repetitive solo work....which in time floods into waza.

One of the most important things i was wondering about. Thanks for the answer.

Working specifically with Aiki/IP guru types had given much greater progress already than I feel I personally would have achieved.

Another important issue.

Even before Aiki/IP training I’d have answered same thing here. The techniques aren’t really techniques at all...they are tools to learn how to use your mind and body....Aiki/IP just added a whole new dimension to what the toolset can teach. In fighting there is no attachment to specific techniques....my instructor said “I move and something happens”....Bruce Lee endorsed “no fixed forms”.

I am not a fan of Bruce Lee anymore but i understand what you are saying.

The point is that Aiki is a quality of feeling or body control and not an amalgamation of anything.Once you’ve developed it you can use it regardless of how you trained to achieve it.

Another important issue resolved.

Cool. In return ....thank you for asking about it. Its kind of gone off the radar here but clearly by the quality of some of the posts in recent threads it is gathering momentum and recognition as something that we should be considerate of if we are serious about our art.

Most definitely.

jonreading
02-27-2017, 08:52 AM
Okay...

To bring back a couple of items...

1. Aikido has no presence in Olympics, and for that matter sport fighting, in general. Please point to the aikido people in sport fighting that are "'winning olympic medals' mode all this arguing could stop." This is an insinuation that mainstream aikido has a presence in sport fighting and Aiki does not. Otherwise, you are crafting a personal comparative that you, [Demetrio], will only consider the validity of aiki in a sport environment. If that is your test, then this is neither the thread, nor the best art for that comparative. As Darren pointed out, that is entirely not what we are talking about.
2. Stupid jin tricks are, by definition, elements of our training we have not been able to figure out in a larger context - that is why they remain tricks. In another thread, I addressed the issue of stupid jin tricks. Stupid jin tricks are the possession of mainstream aikido, not aiki.
3. Aiki is not fighting. Aiki is the body movement that maximizes body power in fighting. Yes, there are core skills you need to move correctly and without those core skills your body movement is disadvantaged. Fighting is not a core skill, it is a learned skill that lies on top of core skills like body conditioning or cardiovascular fitness.

I don't want to create confusion for readers in this thread. These elements not only confuse issues in this conversation, they are actually markers that indicate a lack of knowledge. For example, if you have only experienced stupid jin tricks, then you probably have not worked with a good IP person - This is not categorical, but it is correlative. Please keep the dialog clear so readers unfamiliar with internal power training or aiki training do not mis-perceive what we are saying. Or, if you are going to insert non-sequitur comments, please be clear about the irrelevance of the comment.

Internal power is a motor - it's a core element of how we move our body. It takes time to change how your body moves and relearn how to move within a fighting art. Frankly, I think this is a strong argument why many sport fighters and novice martial artists avoid the training. If your fight career is, say 8 years, and I propose a training methodology that requires 10 to become highly effective... I am not sure if that is a good option. If your training commitment is 2 days per week, and IP training requires consistent training 5-7 days a week... I am not sure it is a good option. Does that mean IP training does not teach highly effective movement? No. It simply means the expectation of training does not align with the training requirements.

MrIggy
02-27-2017, 09:08 AM
Here we're going to disagree. Fighting is fighting, like swimming is swimming. There are core skills needed, it doesn't matter if you are a waterpolo player, a SEAL a surfer or a fisherman.

Funny you should mention swimming and water polo. I remember a few years ago when my country played against the US in a water polo tournament. My country's players lost every ball possession race at the beginning of the quarters yet in the end they won i think every quarter and eventually the game. The US players were more technically sound on the actual swimming part but my country's players were more sound in the game playing part. So even though the core skills are indeed the same there is always a difference when applied in certain situations.

You sure? How do you know?

By researching of the most relevant techniques and how and were they can be applied but also to which purpose. They all follow basic principles but it depends on who and in which situation can apply them. The main problem i encountered in the process is that they are mostly not taught for, let's say, general situations, meaning adapting the technique to the situation. It's rather the situations that are adapted to the techniques. Off course you will say "Well that's Kata training for you!?" but there are also restraints in the Kata itself which don't allow somebody who trains in them to evolve from them with a much needed knowledge to advance latter on. It's pretty frustrating when i think about it.

grondahl
02-27-2017, 09:28 AM
Internal power is a motor - it's a core element of how we move our body. It takes time to change how your body moves and relearn how to move within a fighting art. Frankly, I think this is a strong argument why many sport fighters and novice martial artists avoid the training. If your fight career is, say 8 years, and I propose a training methodology that requires 10 to become highly effective... I am not sure if that is a good option. If your training commitment is 2 days per week, and IP training requires consistent training 5-7 days a week... I am not sure it is a good option. Does that mean IP training does not teach highly effective movement? No. It simply means the expectation of training does not align with the training requirements.

Another reason is that it´s not by any means a necessity for doing good martial arts.

MrIggy
02-27-2017, 09:36 AM
Internal skills, aiki, are passed from teacher to student directly -- jikiden, direct transmission. It is inculcated largely through feeling what the teacher is doing inside his body, then intuiting those movements and processes oneself. There are also solo exercises (tanren, forging drills) that one can do to develop the internal mechanics, but jikiden is the primary way that aiki has traditional been taught.

Are some of the general Aiki Taiso techniques good for developing Aiki, like torifune undo?

In order to receive that transmission, a student has to have a lot of physical, hands-on training with the teacher or a senior student who has aiki, at least for an intensive period of time. Morihei Ueshiba evidently had adequate, intensive periods of training with Sokaku Takeda to develop the skills. His other physical training in bayonet, etc. had nothing... nothing to do with his development of aiki. That could come only by jikiden from someone who had aiki -- Takeda.

Well that's good to know.

Here's an example of jikiden of aiki, from Horikawa Kodo (deshi of Takeda, and founder of Daito Ryu Kodokai). Starting at 14 seconds into the video, he is giving a lesson.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8H4Fi43pPw

Thank's. I've seen it actually before.

PeterR
02-27-2017, 10:01 AM
Okay...

To bring back a couple of items...

1. Aikido has no presence in Olympics, and for that matter sport fighting, in general. Please point to the aikido people in sport fighting that are "'winning olympic medals' mode all this arguing could stop." This is an insinuation that mainstream aikido has a presence in sport fighting and Aiki does not. Otherwise, you are crafting a personal comparative that you, [Demetrio], will only consider the validity of aiki in a sport environment. If that is your test, then this is neither the thread, nor the best art for that comparative. As Darren pointed out, that is entirely not what we are talking about.
2. Stupid jin tricks are, by definition, elements of our training we have not been able to figure out in a larger context - that is why they remain tricks. In another thread, I addressed the issue of stupid jin tricks. Stupid jin tricks are the possession of mainstream aikido, not aiki.
3. Aiki is not fighting. Aiki is the body movement that maximizes body power in fighting. Yes, there are core skills you need to move correctly and without those core skills your body movement is disadvantaged. Fighting is not a core skill, it is a learned skill that lies on top of core skills like body conditioning or cardiovascular fitness.

I don't want to create confusion for readers in this thread. These elements not only confuse issues in this conversation, they are actually markers that indicate a lack of knowledge. For example, if you have only experienced stupid jin tricks, then you probably have not worked with a good IP person - This is not categorical, but it is correlative. Please keep the dialog clear so readers unfamiliar with internal power training or aiki training do not mis-perceive what we are saying. Or, if you are going to insert non-sequitur comments, please be clear about the irrelevance of the comment.

Internal power is a motor - it's a core element of how we move our body. It takes time to change how your body moves and relearn how to move within a fighting art. Frankly, I think this is a strong argument why many sport fighters and novice martial artists avoid the training. If your fight career is, say 8 years, and I propose a training methodology that requires 10 to become highly effective... I am not sure if that is a good option. If your training commitment is 2 days per week, and IP training requires consistent training 5-7 days a week... I am not sure it is a good option. Does that mean IP training does not teach highly effective movement? No. It simply means the expectation of training does not align with the training requirements.

Its really hard to join into these conversations since invariably it becomes swamped in hyperbole. The idea that aiki makes one unbeatable is a recurring theme that leaves a sour taste in the more pragmatic. I think it is perfectly fair to ask for performance based proof and truth be told that has fallen short at least at the level of top performance fighting arts. When you say it makes you unbeatable that is exactly what is implied and beyond that it is really hard to measure.

At the risk of being told that I have no idea about aiki or IP training (also another recurring theme) there is hope if you isolate technique and pair it with certain exercises that are recognized by the lovers IP training. One of my favorite examples is the pairing of shote awase (a type of structured pushing exercise) with shomen-ate. It is really easy to see the connection between the exercise and the expression and to understand the result. Trained right you don't loose the ability in a more dynamic situation.

Demetrio Cereijo
02-27-2017, 10:02 AM
Hi Joe.

Okay...

To bring back a couple of items...

1. Aikido has no presence in Olympics, and for that matter sport fighting, in general. Please point to the aikido people in sport fighting that are "'winning olympic medals' mode all this arguing could stop." This is an insinuation that mainstream aikido has a presence in sport fighting and Aiki does not. Otherwise, you are crafting a personal comparative that you, [Demetrio], will only consider the validity of aiki in a sport environment. If that is your test, then this is neither the thread, nor the best art for that comparative. As Darren pointed out, that is entirely not what we are talking about.
I know there is no Aikido in the Olympics but, please tell me, which objective means of measuring the benefits of aiki developement could be used. You can have greco wrestlers/judo players/boxers... trained conventionally vs aiki trained ones... The people with better training will get better results.

Of course working on developing internal power is good and those who are into it had their aikido upgraded but still it seems they have not figured how to objectively quantify the results of their training.

2. Stupid jin tricks are, by definition, elements of our training we have not been able to figure out in a larger context - that is why they remain tricks. In another thread, I addressed the issue of stupid jin tricks. Stupid jin tricks are the possession of mainstream aikido, not aiki.
I missed that post.

3. Aiki is not fighting. Aiki is the body movement that maximizes body power in fighting. Yes, there are core skills you need to move correctly and without those core skills your body movement is disadvantaged. Fighting is not a core skill, it is a learned skill that lies on top of core skills like body conditioning or cardiovascular fitness.
I'm not going to disagree with that.

I don't want to create confusion for readers in this thread. These elements not only confuse issues in this conversation, they are actually markers that indicate a lack of knowledge. For example, if you have only experienced stupid jin tricks, then you probably have not worked with a good IP person - This is not categorical, but it is correlative. Please keep the dialog clear so readers unfamiliar with internal power training or aiki training do not mis-perceive what we are saying. Or, if you are going to insert non-sequitur comments, please be clear about the irrelevance of the comment.
Roger.

Internal power is a motor - it's a core element of how we move our body. It takes time to change how your body moves and relearn how to move within a fighting art. Frankly, I think this is a strong argument why many sport fighters and novice martial artists avoid the training. If your fight career is, say 8 years, and I propose a training methodology that requires 10 to become highly effective... I am not sure if that is a good option. If your training commitment is 2 days per week, and IP training requires consistent training 5-7 days a week... I am not sure it is a good option. Does that mean IP training does not teach highly effective movement? No. It simply means the expectation of training does not align with the training requirements.
Maybe you're right, but that sounds like some kind of weird excuse: Sports people are not going to engage in retraining their body for maximum performance because that takes a lot of time and work.

Sounds weird, isn't it.

Demetrio Cereijo
02-27-2017, 10:05 AM
Funny you should mention swimming and water polo. I remember a few years ago when my country played against the US in a water polo tournament....
All of them were competent swimmers.

By researching of the most relevant techniques and how and were they can be applied but also to which purpose.
By researching you mean exactly what?

MrIggy
02-27-2017, 10:24 AM
By researching you mean exactly what?

Meaning friendly sparing, drills, different types of strength workouts etc.

Cady Goldfield
02-27-2017, 10:36 AM
Are some of the general Aiki Taiso techniques good for developing Aiki, like torifune undo?

Originally, Morihei Ueshiba's exercises, such as funakogi undo, were meant to help strengthen specific aspects of internal body movement; however, the actual physical mechanics that were meant to be activated and strengthened, are no longer part of the exercises. So, contemporary aikido practitioners are doing "empty" movement, in most cases.

Even when the exercises are demonstrated by someone who is using the proper internal qualities, unless he or she is very explicit in explaining and demonstrating (such as in letting the students put their hands on the instructor's body where the actions are taking place) to students exactly what to recognize and activate in their own bodies, they will have difficulty actually doing the correct movements. There are "pre-exercises" that are intended to help students to simply recognize, isolate and activate very particular muscles and tissues, as well as breathing processes, before they can do the exercises that will further develop those functions. Until a student can recognize and activate each thing at will, the forging drills will be useless to him or her.

The same issues exist in other arts that were originally internal, such as in the Chinese internal martial arts (taiji chuan, bagua, hsing-i, yichuan, baji, etc.). Their forms are supposed to be driven by "the internals," but in many cases are now just arm, leg and torso movements driven by the practitioner's own immediate musculature, or by centripedal or whipping force generated by gross motor movements and stepping. When you meet, observe and compare "feel" with internal martial artists who have these skills, it becomes obvious that there is a very big difference in what is driving their movement and creating their body structure.

MrIggy
02-27-2017, 11:27 AM
Originally, Morihei Ueshiba's exercises, such as funakogi undo, were meant to help strengthen specific aspects of internal body movement; however, the actual physical mechanics that were meant to be activated and strengthened, are no longer part of the exercises. So, contemporary aikido practitioners are doing "empty" movement, in most cases.

Even when the exercises are demonstrated by someone who is using the proper internal qualities, unless he or she is very explicit in explaining and demonstrating (such as in letting the students put their hands on the instructor's body where the actions are taking place) to students exactly what to recognize and activate in their own bodies, they will have difficulty actually doing the correct movements. There are "pre-exercises" that are intended to help students to simply recognize, isolate and activate very particular muscles and tissues, as well as breathing processes, before they can do the exercises that will further develop those functions. Until a student can recognize and activate each thing at will, the forging drills will be useless to him or her.

The same issues exist in other arts that were originally internal, such as in the Chinese internal martial arts (taiji chuan, bagua, hsing-i, yichuan, baji, etc.). Their forms are supposed to be driven by "the internals," but in many cases are now just arm, leg and torso movements driven by the practitioner's own immediate musculature, or by centripedal or whipping force generated by gross motor movements and stepping. When you meet, observe and compare "feel" with internal martial artists who have these skills, it becomes obvious that there is a very big difference in what is driving their movement and creating their body structure.

Thank you for the complete explanation.

Cady Goldfield
02-27-2017, 11:37 AM
Internal power is a motor - it's a core element of how we move our body. It takes time to change how your body moves and relearn how to move within a fighting art. Frankly, I think this is a strong argument why many sport fighters and novice martial artists avoid the training. If your fight career is, say 8 years, and I propose a training methodology that requires 10 to become highly effective... I am not sure if that is a good option. If your training commitment is 2 days per week, and IP training requires consistent training 5-7 days a week... I am not sure it is a good option. Does that mean IP training does not teach highly effective movement? No. It simply means the expectation of training does not align with the training requirements.

How long it takes to develop usable internal skills depends on how it's taught, and the level of applied and instructional skills of who's teaching it. I am seeing people develop very good internals with two years of focused instruction and training (6 hrs/week plus solo practice at home). It's a separate discipline from technique and fighting skills, but in a well-rounded sports training regimen, fitting in 45 minutes or an hour a day for internals practice is not a huge investment, IMO.

If it's taking 10 years to gain adequate practical understanding and physical development, that might make a student want to question what and how he is being taught, if he is doing the work with due dedication. Even learning just basic internal structure and how to manipulate it simply, is enough to up a fighter's game compared to the conventionally trained competitors. With competent instruction and even a half hour per day of solo practice, you can have that in less than a year. It's the nuances of aiki, and of learning to read and act with an opponent, in combat and in martial expression -- that is the lifetime journey and the limitless art. But basic technical function? A couple of years.

Demetrio Cereijo
02-27-2017, 11:46 AM
It's the nuances of aiki, and of learning to read and act with an opponent, in combat and in martial expression -- that is the lifetime journey and the limitless art.
One can say the same about any art.

Cady Goldfield
02-27-2017, 11:48 AM
One can say the same about any art.

Yes, indeed.

jonreading
02-27-2017, 12:01 PM
Its really hard to join into these conversations since invariably it becomes swamped in hyperbole. The idea that aiki makes one unbeatable is a recurring theme that leaves a sour taste in the more pragmatic. I think it is perfectly fair to ask for performance based proof and truth be told that has fallen short at least at the level of top performance fighting arts. When you say it makes you unbeatable that is exactly what is implied and beyond that it is really hard to measure.

At the risk of being told that I have no idea about aiki or IP training (also another recurring theme) there is hope if you isolate technique and pair it with certain exercises that are recognized by the lovers IP training. One of my favorite examples is the pairing of shote awase (a type of structured pushing exercise) with shomen-ate. It is really easy to see the connection between the exercise and the expression and to understand the result. Trained right you don't loose the ability in a more dynamic situation.

A couple of questions have come from this post and Demetrio's. I am quoting Peter, but Demetrio's comments fall in line. Seriously, there are good questions out there. I pushed back on a few core issues in this thread because they create confusion and are simply untrue. I am going to call some things "silly" because I am trying to express how things look when you expand the argument outside of IP, but still hold to the comments that craft the dialog in IP conversations. Not wrong, just maybe not well-thought.

First, IP people don't say IP/aiki is invincible. No One. Not one. Why? Because if you are in IP training, you've come into contact with someone who has proven, without a doubt, that you are not invincible. This is more an indicator of someone who hasn't quite gotten into IP work, but is maybe inquiring about it. The reason it leaves a sour taste is that it becomes an argument thrust upon a conversation about IP - It's a false argument. There are several IP people out there in a variety of arts who are seriously powerful and interaction with their movement is something to behold and they are welcome to speak for their personal skills.

Second, IP is not magic. The fact is IP work is conceptually simple; this is actually a problem for many people who can't defend their model of movement when faced with better models of movement. This is another argument that is thrust upon IP conversations. If I were to describe any other body conditioning model in association with an athletic endeavor, everyone here, even the pragmatists, would agree. Should you practice proper running form if you play soccer? Should you strengthen your muscles if you play baseball? Of course. Do coaches argue about the "best" proper form running drills? Yep. In what analogy to another sport training methodology, would you conclude that form running makes you invincible? In another sport training model, would you conclude that body conditioning is a direct application of athletic skill? Nope. It sounds silly when viewed under a larger lens because the argument shows its distortion.

Third, there are many methods of tracking progress in internal training. You are welcome to apply what your methods of tracking progress comparatively. I just ask that you apply the same metric across aikido. To Demetrio's post I re-assert my question - if you are going to apply a sport-fight test metric to IP/Aiki, where is that metric in aikido? There isn't one. The nice thing about testing is you either apply the same test, or you don't. And it shows. Anyone who has been on Aikiweb for 2 months knows that we do nothing but excuse why aikido doesn't work in a fight. Heck, there is probably an active thread right now titled something to that effect right now. I want everyone to know how silly it is to then criticize a training model because it doesn't perform at "Olympic" quality sport-fighting levels.

There are far better arguments why (or why not) to use IP training models. There are several arts that use IP models that have a wealth of knowledge. There are individuals who cross-train in arts and can explain why one method is preferred over others. Ikeda Sensei often says something like, "big, strong, powerful people don't need martial arts. They can beat you up regular." He's right.

IP is not for everyone. The problem is it works better once you get it, which means in aikido your performance plateau becomes elevated. That's what our training is about, right? Elevating our skill. Just because [you] don't want to go down that path... What is your vision for training? Where do you want to be in 10 years? Projecting your current training model, will that get you there? What happens when your 20-something body turns into a 40-something body? Will your training model work? These are far better questions to ask of your training - the answers will tend to craft your training style. Your training style will develop your skill set. Your skill set becomes your aikido and will show who you are.

Demetrio Cereijo
02-27-2017, 02:57 PM
To Demetrio's post I re-assert my question - if you are going to apply a sport-fight test metric to IP/Aiki, where is that metric in aikido? There isn't one.
And there isn't one because... aikido people are scared to be put to test?

Anyone who has been on Aikiweb for 2 months knows that we do nothing but excuse why aikido doesn't work in a fight. Heck, there is probably an active thread right now titled something to that effect right now. I want everyone to know how silly it is to then criticize a training model because it doesn't perform at "Olympic" quality sport-fighting levels.
So... at what level aikido, even with aiki, does really performs?

Ikeda Sensei often says something like, "big, strong, powerful people don't need martial arts. They can beat you up regular." He's right.
As a small guy, I totally agree with him. Peope over 70+ kg should not be allowed to train in martial arts.

IP is not for everyone. The problem is it works better once you get it, which means in aikido your performance plateau becomes elevated. That's what our training is about, right? Elevating our skill.
Skill at collusive kata?

What happens when your 20-something body turns into a 40-something body? Will your training model work?
Old age and treachery...

RonRagusa
02-27-2017, 03:53 PM
What happens when your 20-something body turns into a 40-something body? Will your training model work?

Well, since you asked...

My twenty something body turned into a forty something body, which turned into a sixty something body, that in four months will turn into a seventy something body. So by my count, I've been employing the same training method for forty years (with modifications along the way as I discover new ways to train). My aikido abilities continue to grow, my power continues to grow even as it gets softer and more subtle and my body retains much of the suppleness I had in my youth. I would say, therefore, that yes, my training model still works.

Ron

Rupert Atkinson
02-27-2017, 09:20 PM
Originally, Morihei Ueshiba's exercises, such as funakogi undo, were meant to help strengthen specific aspects of internal body movement; however, the actual physical mechanics that were meant to be activated and strengthened, are no longer part of the exercises. So, contemporary aikido practitioners are doing "empty" movement, in most cases.

Spot on. Nuff said.

MrIggy
02-28-2017, 03:30 PM
Ikeda tried repeatedly to impress upon seminar attendees that the reason his ultra-efficient approach (you touch him, you're off balance. Just. Like. That.) is worth pursuing is, well, you neutralize the attack much faster. Who wouldn't want to finish off an attacker in one barely perceptible, yet quick and decisive movement?

Hiroshi Ikeda?

Unfortunately, he has been unable to pass on his skills to those who have been attending his seminars for years, so who knows what the answer(s) are to that problem - clearly communication is one of the issues.

On many levels.

Demetrio Cereijo
02-28-2017, 04:19 PM
Hiroshi Ikeda?

Yes.

GovernorSilver
03-02-2017, 08:50 AM
Hiroshi Ikeda?


Yes, the one and only.

BTW, I enjoyed working with bigger, heavier guys at his seminar. Good way to test whether the jin skills were working. Plus, most of them had upper bodies disconnected from the lower body anyway.

The smaller people seemed to get his teaching more easily. Except the really tricky ones like instant kuzushi on a partner punching you, by simply laying your forearm on top of the partner's punching arm. I had Ikeda-sensei do it to me - I felt jin of some kind entering my arm but it was very subtle - probably because my punch sucked (not full commitment).

Certainly wasn't as decisive as the next day when I grabbed his wrist with a death grip and was thrown immediately. It was like grabbing a spinning drill bit.

phitruong
03-02-2017, 10:16 AM
i have aiki and i am pretty invincible. just the other day, i was fighting a bunch of walking dead ninja (what is the plural for ninja? is it ninji or ninny?). my aiki was unstoppable! then my lady shaking me and said "you got to stop watching martial arts movies before bed!"

MrIggy
03-03-2017, 10:08 PM
The smaller people seemed to get his teaching more easily. Except the really tricky ones like instant kuzushi on a partner punching you, by simply laying your forearm on top of the partner's punching arm. I had Ikeda-sensei do it to me - I felt jin of some kind entering my arm but it was very subtle - probably because my punch sucked (not full commitment).

Certainly wasn't as decisive as the next day when I grabbed his wrist with a death grip and was thrown immediately. It was like grabbing a spinning drill bit.

Well most Japanese are shorter people, as most Aikido teachers, then most of the students in the west part of the world. That's why most of their teachings work better for shorter people. I had to make some adjustments doing certain techniques but especially the principles behind the techniques. It's weird that many of the teachers in Aikido don't seem to understand that if i get in a too low of a stance that i am actually more likely to lose my balance then if standing a bit taller which is were i actually have a perfectly balanced stance. Ridiculous situations.

Cady Goldfield
03-03-2017, 10:29 PM
Perhaps one major reason for smaller people "getting it" more easily, is mindset. They don't expect to move or control larger people by using brute muscle strength, so are more open to finding other ways. Big guys instinctively use the "Big Guns" -- their shoulder- and upper-back muscles -- which is the antithesis of the process needed for making aiki. The shoulders and upper back must be relaxed, along with the biceps and triceps muscles of the arms, in order for force to be able to travel to the point of contact unimpeded.

People accustomed to using brute strength may take longer to learn to relax their conventionally-used muscle groups, and to be open to other means of getting the job done.

GovernorSilver
03-03-2017, 11:14 PM
Perhaps one major reason for smaller people "getting it" more easily, is mindset. They don't expect to move or control larger people by using brute muscle strength, so are more open to finding other ways. Big guys instinctively use the "Big Guns" -- their shoulder- and upper-back muscles -- which is the antithesis of the process needed for making aiki. The shoulders and upper back must be relaxed, along with the biceps and triceps muscles of the arms, in order for force to be able to travel to the point of contact unimpeded.

People accustomed to using brute strength may take longer to learn to relax their conventionally-used muscle groups, and to be open to other means of getting the job done.

Pretty much on point there.

At the Ikeda-Ledyard seminar, the small women black belts and this one particularly little man seemed to be doing good. They seemed to feel reasonably connected when I took ukemi for them, and I suspect some of them even got some jin ("aiki"? The Ikeda "make line to tailbone" stuff) working. There were some kids at the seminar too - I'm guessing 13-17 years old - but I think just about everybody took it easy on them; hard to say how much they actually "got". Hardly any adult wanted to discourage them by gripping too hard or being too heavy.

GovernorSilver
03-03-2017, 11:41 PM
Well most Japanese are shorter people, as most Aikido teachers, then most of the students in the west part of the world. That's why most of their teachings work better for shorter people.

I guess Ikeda as a native Japanese-speaking Aikido teacher is one of the exceptions. I am 5' 8". He is taller than me and also 25 lbs. heavier.

What he was trying to teach at the seminar does not rely on the size of the practitioner, but the practitioner's ability to use his/her own body. For example, to turn your forearm into a "spinning drill bit" that throws anybody who grabs your wrist; without any visible hip movement, you would have to have a pretty strong and mobile dantien/tanden, with well developed connections along the muscle-tendon channels of the body. None of those requirements are dependent on the height or weight of the body.

Ikeda's "make line to tailbone" kuzushi ability is also not dependent on the body's height or weight. It has something to do with taking control of another person's connections using one's intent. But only those who have strong connection within their own bodies can do this consistently. Ledyard did it to me. I was only able to do the same to him because he wanted to teach me; and Budd Yuhasz had just taught me how to use ground and gravity forces. I tried it on other people afterwards at the seminar but I have a lot of work to do... I should mention Ledyard is an even bigger, heavier guy than Ikeda (albeit one who can move like a cat), and Yuhasz isn't exactly tiny either.

I guess in summary, what Ikeda can do, and thus attracts people to his seminars, relies on what IP people call Up and Down force vectors (Budd calls them Ground and Gravity) and a well connected and developed dantien. I felt bad for the seminar attendees who didn't know about Ground/Gravity; that's the bare minimum I think to get anywhere with Ikeda's stuff. Under Budd's coaching, I found it was a lot harder to use intent on another person without reverse-breathing and the dantien - pity those who don't know about that either. I got the impression Ikeda expected people to know all this stuff from previous seminars. I don't know exactly what he taught in past years, but have heard he taught sitting meditation, partner exercises for force vector stuff, etc.

Cady Goldfield
03-04-2017, 12:09 AM
With the proper internal training, what makes a smaller person able to easily move and control the structure of a much larger person, is the difference in the structure.

Internal structure means the body moves as one cohesive unit, not in sequential chains of movements. Think of the way a karate punch is processed, or a baseball is pitched: There is a specific sequence of movements, rotations and releases that uses body parts individually, step by step. By contrast, internal movement is cyclical (Yin/Yang, or In/Yo), and everything is "on" with a job to do, not waiting its turn to do "its thing." When one thing moves, EVERYTHING moves. There is no beginning or end to the power production, only a constantly changing balance of In (Yin) force and Yo (Yang) force.

A small person who moves with a unified body, will move way more efficiently than a larger person who moves in "pieces" and cannot use all of his body mass together, in a controlled way. The smaller person "has more mass" than the larger one in that context.

MrIggy
03-04-2017, 01:27 AM
I guess Ikeda as a native Japanese-speaking Aikido teacher is one of the exceptions. I am 5' 8". He is taller than me and also 25 lbs. heavier.

Good for him and for you.

What he was trying to teach at the seminar does not rely on the size of the practitioner, but the practitioner's ability to use his/her own body. For example, to turn your forearm into a "spinning drill bit" that throws anybody who grabs your wrist; without any visible hip movement, you would have to have a pretty strong and mobile dantien/tanden, with well developed connections along the muscle-tendon channels of the body. None of those requirements are dependent on the height or weight of the body.

Something completely useful for a change.

Ikeda's "make line to tailbone" kuzushi ability is also not dependent on the body's height or weight. It has something to do with taking control of another person's connections using one's intent. But only those who have strong connection within their own bodies can do this consistently. Ledyard did it to me. I was only able to do the same to him because he wanted to teach me; and Budd Yuhasz had just taught me how to use ground and gravity forces. I tried it on other people afterwards at the seminar but I have a lot of work to do... I should mention Ledyard is an even bigger, heavier guy than Ikeda (albeit one who can move like a cat), and Yuhasz isn't exactly tiny either.

Well that is common sense. I have never understood those people who say "Just work on it and you will get it eventually.", not if you don't teach how and what to do and by example if needed. I watched several videos of theirs on youtube, good stuff in general.

I guess in summary, what Ikeda can do, and thus attracts people to his seminars, relies on what IP people call Up and Down force vectors (Budd calls them Ground and Gravity) and a well connected and developed dantien. I felt bad for the seminar attendees who didn't know about Ground/Gravity; that's the bare minimum I think to get anywhere with Ikeda's stuff. Under Budd's coaching, I found it was a lot harder to use intent on another person without reverse-breathing and the dantien - pity those who don't know about that either. I got the impression Ikeda expected people to know all this stuff from previous seminars. I don't know exactly what he taught in past years, but have heard he taught sitting meditation, partner exercises for force vector stuff, etc.

Sounds good that internal training is getting much needed recognition from high ranking instructors.

GovernorSilver
03-04-2017, 12:35 PM
The Aikido scene looks more interesting now than it did when I first tried it back in the late 1990s. Mike Sigman was starting to teach IS workshops. I think he mentioned Ikeda as one specific high-ranking Aikido teacher who had IS skills already... in the 1990s.

These days we have the likes of Ikeda, Ledyard, Harden traveling around teaching internal stuff to Aikidoka.

Ellis Amdur created Taikyoku Aikido (a 6H-driven style of Aikido) for certain Aikidoka, who then turned it into Taikyoku Budo and abandoned Aikido altogether. ;) I could see why they went in a different direction - some 6H stuff is just easier to learn and apply in a more grappling/wrestling oriented setting than in the traditional Aikido setting with the cultural trapping; because you have a bigger shared area of contact.

If you're a big guy, say 6' 3", 250lbs, it is not impossible for you to learn how to use Up/Down forces, reverse breathing, etc. - the fundamentals that you need for IP or 6H. You just might have to devote more time to standing practice than a smaller person. Standing at least 10 min. a day, training your upper body to stop working so much would go a long way to connecting your upper body to your lower body. One common advice is to focus on relaxing the shoulders when they start getting sore, but I find that pretty useless - not as effective as bringing Up force out to the hands, and maybe mixing in some Down force: that reduces the soreness much more reliably. Anyway, standing practice is one practice IP and 6H folks alike seem to agree on as essential.

Mary Eastland
03-04-2017, 12:47 PM
Well, since you asked...

My twenty something body turned into a forty something body, which turned into a sixty something body, that in four months will turn into a seventy something body. So by my count, I've been employing the same training method for forty years (with modifications along the way as I discover new ways to train). My aikido abilities continue to grow, my power continues to grow even as it gets softer and more subtle and my body retains much of the suppleness I had in my youth. I would say, therefore, that yes, my training model still works.

Ron

I would say so.

MrIggy
03-05-2017, 11:05 AM
The Aikido scene looks more interesting now than it did when I first tried it back in the late 1990s. Mike Sigman was starting to teach IS workshops. I think he mentioned Ikeda as one specific high-ranking Aikido teacher who had IS skills already... in the 1990s.

Interesting.

These days we have the likes of Ikeda, Ledyard, Harden traveling around teaching internal stuff to Aikidoka.

I am especially glad about Ikeda and Ledyard Sensei. I have heard great things about Dan Harden. No wonder he is teaching everywhere. I personally like the videos of Sensei William Gleason: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wClzppIDlIg , https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9i6AVhn0TQ8 .

Ellis Amdur created Taikyoku Aikido (a 6H-driven style of Aikido) for certain Aikidoka, who then turned it into Taikyoku Budo and abandoned Aikido altogether. ;) I could see why they went in a different direction - some 6H stuff is just easier to learn and apply in a more grappling/wrestling oriented setting than in the traditional Aikido setting with the cultural trapping; because you have a bigger shared area of contact.

I've heard of Taikyoku, i heaven't looked at the video yet though. As far as for the grappling/wrestling environment, you can do the same things with many or most Aikido techniques, there is no actual "cultural trapping", that's mostly present only when Japanese instructors don't wan't to explain something in matters of principals rather then "you have to do i it like this". I am amazed at the fact that even many non-Japanese instructors have this approach.

If you're a big guy, say 6' 3", 250lbs, it is not impossible for you to learn how to use Up/Down forces, reverse breathing, etc. - the fundamentals that you need for IP or 6H. You just might have to devote more time to standing practice than a smaller person. Standing at least 10 min. a day, training your upper body to stop working so much would go a long way to connecting your upper body to your lower body. One common advice is to focus on relaxing the shoulders when they start getting sore, but I find that pretty useless - not as effective as bringing Up force out to the hands, and maybe mixing in some Down force: that reduces the soreness much more reliably.

Just 10 minutes? Yes, but this is also taught on the technical side in the regular Aikido practice, that you should always move with you whole body, not just use your hands or legs separately, always through the hips. Although i can't claim high level of knowledge in the technical department i can't say i ever felt soreness in my shoulders.

Anyway, standing practice is one practice IP and 6H folks alike seem to agree on as essential.

And what exactly would be the difference between IP, Aiki and 6H, and what are their traits?

grondahl
03-05-2017, 11:37 AM
And what exactly would be the difference between IP, Aiki and 6H, and what are their traits?

Have you read Allen Beebes blog? https://trueaiki.com/blog/

GovernorSilver
03-05-2017, 02:43 PM
Just 10 minutes? Yes, but this is also taught on the technical side in the regular Aikido practice,

You practice zhan zhuang or similar standing practice in your dojo? That's interesting. How long do you guys stand in your dojo? I guess there would have to be a limit, unless your Aikido class is 3 hrs long.

I've never seen standing practice in our dojo. Aiki taiso, yes, but just standing holding a posture for 5 min. or more? Never seen it.

I started standing 5 min. and gradually increased the time. Around the 10 min. mark was when my shoulders would be sore from excessive tension and I'd be wondering if I forgot to set my timer. That was before I realized I could use Up jin to turn it off.

As for 6H and IP, well you've seen the discussion on the 6H group. I don't know any more details than you do about what they're talking about. I've tried reading the True Aiki blog but suspect the IHTBF rule applies - some things just don't make sense to me until I meet someone who can do the thing and show me how to do it. The things I do see in common are practicing holding a standing posture for time, and the concepts of Up and Down force vectors.

jonreading
03-05-2017, 04:56 PM
Well, since you asked...

My twenty something body turned into a forty something body, which turned into a sixty something body, that in four months will turn into a seventy something body. So by my count, I've been employing the same training method for forty years (with modifications along the way as I discover new ways to train). My aikido abilities continue to grow, my power continues to grow even as it gets softer and more subtle and my body retains much of the suppleness I had in my youth. I would say, therefore, that yes, my training model still works.

Ron

I am glad to hear that. This is almost entirely different than my experience. I don't sleep the same way, I don't eat the same way, I don't exercise the same way, and I don't drink alcohol the same way, to name just a few things. I also watch lots of Turner Classic Movies. My point is that I train differently - mostly from evaluating what I have done and if that is getting me where I want to go. I think it is a rare thing that any endeavor you start remains the same trajectory for the duration of your experience. I have changed my training several times to better meet where I wanted to go.

GovernorSilver
03-05-2017, 07:11 PM
I've heard of Taikyoku, i heaven't looked at the video yet though. As far as for the grappling/wrestling environment, you can do the same things with many or most Aikido techniques, there is no actual "cultural trapping", that's mostly present only when Japanese instructors don't wan't to explain something in matters of principals rather then "you have to do i it like this". I am amazed at the fact that even many non-Japanese instructors have this approach.


I don't want to misrepresent Taikyoku Budo, so I will just make the following comments about it - and I apologize for the "cultural trappings" comment if you found it offensive - I was thinking of attacks like yokomen uchi which simulate sword movement - these are not found in this system.

1. They work a lot out of this position, which I have not seen very much in Aikido:

http://www.judo-ch.jp/english/dictionary/terms/aiyotu/image/img01.gif

2. You really do have to learn how to use 6H skills: Dantian usage, Ground and Gravity jin, etc. to get anywhere in Taikyoku Budo. There are some fa-jin (explosive strikes) that are part of the core (Five Themes) of the system - definitely need 6H for them. Some stuff relies on being able to manipulate "connections" inside another person's body. I haven't worked with you in person so I don't know where you are with your 6H skills and how good you are at applying them to your Aikido, but I have worked with a fair number of Aikidoka who move without 6H skill, and they outnumber the few who do.

Maybe your Aikido has all of the above features - I don't know. Just reporting what I observed in Taikyoku Budo vs. Aikido.


Just 10 minutes? Yes, but this is also taught on the technical side in the regular Aikido practice, that you should always move with you whole body, not just use your hands or legs separately, always through the hips. Although i can't claim high level of knowledge in the technical department i can't say i ever felt soreness in my shoulders.


I don't believe regular Aikido practice alone helps big guys relax their upper bodies and not rely on upper-body strength to execute Aikido, based on working with big guys in Aikido dojos. I am not skilled at 6H stuff at all, but after instruction from Mike and Budd, and practicing 6H stuff on my own, I can feel when my partner's upper body is moving separately from the lower body. Of course my comments are based on my own experience.

The instructional course 'Integrated Strength", written by a guy who trained with Dan Harden, recommended 10 min. of zhan zhuang practice, for those new to zhan zhuang. As one progresses the practice time increases - at least in the book. I don't follow the book anymore because I recently met a Taijiquan teacher, and I'll leave it up to him to decide how much time I need to stand in zhan zhuang.

If you have practiced zhan zhuang for at least 10 min. without your shoulders getting sore, you could just be ahead of me in your 6H skill level.

MrIggy
03-05-2017, 09:26 PM
Have you read Allen Beebes blog? https://trueaiki.com/blog/

Yes, but i guess i'm gonna have to read it more thoroughly.

MrIggy
03-05-2017, 09:31 PM
You practice zhan zhuang or similar standing practice in your dojo?

No, sorry for being unspecific, what i mean't was that connecting your upper body to your lower body, no body movement distortion, is something that is supposed to be taught at the basic physical/external/technical level as well.

As for 6H and IP, well you've seen the discussion on the 6H group. I don't know any more details than you do about what they're talking about. I've tried reading the True Aiki blog but suspect the IHTBF rule applies - some things just don't make sense to me until I meet someone who can do the thing and show me how to do it. The things I do see in common are practicing holding a standing posture for time, and the concepts of Up and Down force vectors.

Mostly, same here.

MrIggy
03-05-2017, 09:48 PM
I don't want to misrepresent Taikyoku Budo, so I will just make the following comments about it - and I apologize for the "cultural trappings" comment if you found it offensive - I was thinking of attacks like yokomen uchi which simulate sword movement - these are not found in this system.

Not at all, i just wanted to mention that when you get to a certain point in practice and ask your instructor/sensei, what is the actual point of "this" and how can i use it in a more "combat efficient" manner all of those "cultural characteristics" seem to whither away. The problem is that many of them just don't talk about it openly.

1. They work a lot out of this position, which I have not seen very much in Aikido:

http://www.judo-ch.jp/english/dictionary/terms/aiyotu/image/img01.gif

Sleeve and elbow grab, a basic stance in modern Judo. I can understand why.

2. You really do have to learn how to use 6H skills: Dantian usage, Ground and Gravity jin, etc. to get anywhere in Taikyoku Budo. There are some fa-jin (explosive strikes) that are part of the core (Five Themes) of the system - definitely need 6H for them. Some stuff relies on being able to manipulate "connections" inside another person's body. I haven't worked with you in person so I don't know where you are with your 6H skills and how good you are at applying them to your Aikido, but I have worked with a fair number of Aikidoka who move without 6H skill, and they outnumber the few who do.

Well, given the fact that i have no actual idea of what they are i will have to say nowhere.

Maybe your Aikido has all of the above features - I don't know. Just reporting what I observed in Taikyoku Budo vs. Aikido.

Thank you for that. I understand the general difference.

I don't believe regular Aikido practice alone helps big guys relax their upper bodies and not rely on upper-body strength to execute Aikido, based on working with big guys in Aikido dojos. I am not skilled at 6H stuff at all, but after instruction from Mike and Budd, and practicing 6H stuff on my own, I can feel when my partner's upper body is moving separately from the lower body. Of course my comments are based on my own experience.

Well you have experience which i don't so i will take your word for it.

The instructional course 'Integrated Strength", written by a guy who trained with Dan Harden, recommended 10 min. of zhan zhuang practice, for those new to zhan zhuang. As one progresses the practice time increases - at least in the book. I don't follow the book anymore because I recently met a Taijiquan teacher, and I'll leave it up to him to decide how much time I need to stand in zhan zhuang.

How is it that he influenced your training so much?

If you have practiced zhan zhuang for at least 10 min. without your shoulders getting sore, you could just be ahead of me in your 6H skill level.

No, again sorry for being unspecific, what i meant was soreness through physical application of technique. not internal practice.

grondahl
03-06-2017, 02:38 AM
Yes, but i guess i'm gonna have to read it more thoroughly.

I have friends that trains for Dan that claims that the blog is pretty accurate. I think I can grasp the concepts theoretically, but it doesn´t make my training any better. It´s like training to be a sommelier by only reading about wine instead of tasting it.

GovernorSilver
03-06-2017, 07:11 AM
Sleeve and elbow grab, a basic stance in modern Judo. I can understand why.


That image was the closest I could find to the Taikyoku Budo grip, in which one hand is on the shoulder (not the collar) and the other is on the elbow (not the sleeve). Two points of contact for jin usage. Budd and Ledyard figured out that the greater the surface area of contact between partners, the easier it is for students to learn this kind of stuff. That's why the Taikyoku guys work out of this position, and Ledyard had us increase our contact area gradually after seeing us struggle with Ikeda's stuff.


How is it that he influenced your training so much?

No, again sorry for being unspecific, what i meant was soreness through physical application of technique. not internal practice.

No worries. I have not gotten sore from Aikido waza practice.

I am not sure about this question, though. So far, my biggest influences have been Mike Sigman and Budd Yuhasz. Budd, Ikeda, and Ledyard have shown me glimpses of higher level mind-body usage for martial arts that have inspired me to practice zhan zhuang and other 6H stuff more diligently.

jonreading
03-06-2017, 08:45 AM
The thought of letting an IP person getting two hands on something (like your gi top) without slack is pretty scary. But, I think contact closer to your "center" makes it easier to feel how your center is affected by movement. Judo grip is fine, push hands is fine, a boxing stance is fine. Ryote tori can be fine but the hands are pretty far away from the center, so I consider those movements more difficult.

From my experience, it's pretty tough to put IP/aiki into your movement until you've got a pretty good feel for the re-wiring of your body movement. We've been at it a little while and just now starting to feel where we should change our movement, let alone make it "combat" effective. We have noticed the movement transcends cultural barriers and sister arts, though.

I also encourage you to read Chris Li's blog (sangenkai). There is a lot of foundation evidence to start looking at the aiki body (Tohei's one-point) and the role of a connected body in aikido. While you'll find a lot of variation in what method of IP works best, I think there is a general consensus that you have to connect your body, however you do it. Then there's whole body movement, power production, and rotation. Allen's blog does a pretty good job of translating IP for aikido people.

Demetrio Cereijo
03-06-2017, 09:10 AM
Sleeve and elbow grab, a basic stance in modern Judo. I can understand why.
Off topic and completely unrelated to IP/Aiki.

Get a partner and 4 tennis balls. Put balls under the armpits and grab each other in classical kumi kata like in the image, Do randori. The one who lets the balls drop "loses".

GovernorSilver
03-06-2017, 07:02 PM
The thought of letting an IP person getting two hands on something (like your gi top) without slack is pretty scary.

Budd can explain better than me as to why this is a feature of training, because he's the one who took over the development of Taikyoku Budo after Ellis Amdur moved on to other things. I do remember him saying that more contact area between partners is better for learning purposes. As for actual combative or self-defense usage (as opposed to training/learning) against evil IP people, you should contact a qualified TB instructor with your questions.

MrIggy
03-07-2017, 12:41 PM
*collar and elbow

Cady Goldfield
03-07-2017, 12:47 PM
It doesn't really matter how or where you grab or hold a partner when training IP/aiki. It's the physical contact itself that allows you to "listen" to and change with each other's movements (even the smallest tensions or shifts), and to affect their structure and center of mass on contact.

MrIggy
03-07-2017, 12:47 PM
I have friends that trains for Dan that claims that the blog is pretty accurate. I think I can grasp the concepts theoretically, but it doesn´t make my training any better. It´s like training to be a sommelier by only reading about wine instead of tasting it.

Unfortunately this is one of those things where abstract contemplation and visualization can't help, unlike regular waza training. By everything posted here the best option is to get hands down training. Especially for the initial part.

MrIggy
03-07-2017, 12:57 PM
It doesn't really matter how or where you grab or hold a partner when training IP/aiki. It's the physical contact itself that allows you to "listen" to and change with each other's movements (even the smallest tensions or shifts), and to affect their structure and center of mass on contact.

While we are on the subject of surface, how do you apply Aiki against punchers and kickers? Do you use regular strategies like closing the distance?

Demetrio Cereijo
03-07-2017, 05:40 PM
While we are on the subject of surface, how do you apply Aiki against punchers and kickers? Do you use regular strategies like closing the distance?

Enjoy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXgfg9996NI & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVsadMi0GpM

Cady Goldfield
03-07-2017, 06:24 PM
While we are on the subject of surface, how do you apply Aiki against punchers and kickers? Do you use regular strategies like closing the distance?

Demetrio has already posted two good videos from Salahuddin Muhammad (Hontai Hakkei Ryu Aikijujutsu) that demonstrate how internal body method (IP/aiki) add concussive power and control of the opponent's structure. When you combine internal body method to waza, you can absorb/neutralize and redirect the opponent's force, and simultaneously set him up for myriad locks, take-downs, throws, pins, and other waza. The internal method is a body state that generates both power and manipulative (on the opponent's structure) control. Any waza -kicks, punches, or whatever - applied while maintaining and using that body state, makes the techniques very controlling and powerful.

To the guy punching or kicking, depending on what you choose to do with his force, the sensation to him is like hitting/kicking a rubber-coated brick wall or hitting a revolving or swinging door that goes away and then comes back and whacks him with double the force of the opponent's original strike or kick. It can feel ghostly (his punch's force "disappears") or it can be like hitting that rubber-coated brick.

The same process also allows you to punch, strike and kick back with tremendous concussive force that can penetrate deep into the opponent's tissues, if you choose to do so. The Chinese internal martial arts are famous for their "fajin" (which is also part of Japanese aikijujutsu, and called "hakkei") which is the explosive propelling of force.

NagaBaba
03-08-2017, 06:35 AM
Enjoy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXgfg9996NI & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVsadMi0GpM
Again zombi attacks as a reference for fighting :(

Demetrio Cereijo
03-08-2017, 06:55 AM
Again zombi attacks as a reference for fighting :(

What a surprise, isn't it?

jonreading
03-08-2017, 08:53 AM
Okay,

First, who posts a video of instruction, then criticizes it for lacking some element unrelated to the purpose of the video? That's at best trolling and at worst trying to disrupt the thread. Post a video that means what you say, or say, "there aren't great videos on this topic."

Second, aiki is not magic. if you do not know how to deal with punches and kicks, then you will still not know how to deal with punches and kicks... with aiki. Aiki is the foundation of your martial style. What you will notice is some styles are better integrated into aiki movement. Some people are better at altering fighting style to aiki movement. Aikido is supposed to address kicks and punches, the problem is that without the right foundation, it has a hard time resolving different attacks, kicks and punches included. This is, in a question, probably one of the best demonstrations that much of our movement does not have aiki, which is why much of our art has difficulty resolving a variety of movement and fighting styles.

First, learn the body movement of aiki. Then, learn a fighting style that lays on top of your body movement.

Demetrio Cereijo
03-08-2017, 09:17 AM
Okay,

First, who posts a video of instruction, then criticizes it for lacking some element unrelated to the purpose of the video?

That's at best trolling and at worst trying to disrupt the thread. Post a video that means what you say, or say, "there aren't great videos on this topic."

You talkin' bout me?

Cady Goldfield
03-08-2017, 12:45 PM
It's just Szczepan being Szczepan. :D He hasn't changed in 20 years, and never will. Even though he knows he is welcome to feel for himself, anytime, it's easier to be an armchair critic.

To those who question what they see, yeah, it looks unrealistic if you have never experienced it firsthand. If you get a chance to visit someone like Salahuddin Muhammad, though, throw punches, hard shoves, pulls, kicks, whatever you like. See for yourself what it feels like when your hand or foot makes contact with something that feels like a brick wall. The uke throw committed attacks, but it is concussively painful to him to do so. He cannot penetrate nage's sphere.

Videos like this are instructional, not intended to be demonstrations of street fighting apps. They are to show principles and concepts that can then be trained at-speed and worked into a true fighting repertoire. To interpret these videos as anything other than that, is just setting up a straw man to knock down in criticism of this internal body method and its uses.

If you don't understand those principles, that's okay. But accept that you don't understand, and withhold your criticism until you have an -educated- opinion based on experience.

Bernd Lehnen
03-09-2017, 02:53 PM
Cady at least you have a clue, though I don't now, where or who you got it from.:cool:

Well,
it's nothing new that there will be always people who will think that what they know is all about there is. And, of course some of them talk about O-Sensei's aikido as if they had made it their own, after many, many years of diligent practice. Nothing to sneeze at, many years of diligent practice, but some of them, most of them I guess, never have felt, what we call aiki. So they can't, simply can't have a clue. Be they happy…it's their inherent right.

I myself didn't have a clue for many decades, I have to admit, although I formed some ideas and this at least opened up my mind. But when I met with Dan, the one who hasn't been allowed to speak for himself on this forum for some years now, not that he might care, I immediately felt something strange, something that gave me a clue.
It's got something to do with what Jon Reading is talking about here.

Of course, after many years of the typical training one might think, wow, what an extraordinary strong man, but then after he got you from the soft side and you equally felt immediate kuzushi, you might feel helpless.
What they say about old Ueshiba and his ability to kill or destroy with one strike, you will get the idea. It's the truth. At the same time you will appreciate to have met with a peaceful mind, who has been able to make this choice. The other good thing is that if you have an open mind, Dan might welcome you and teach you. He really can do and he can do teach. His teaching method develops by the hour and he's getting his stuff made comprehensible faster and faster.

But no-one is obliged to believe me. If you're lucky, you'll be invited to feel for yourself, but if you only look at those things we call aiki from outside or even only on video, then very likely you might think it's all fake like Tohei did when he first saw O-Sensei, but after he had felt…

Of course we have to rebuild our body and this takes some time and effort, but imho it's worth it.
Even an old man like me is making some progress now…

Best,
Bernd:)

Bernd Lehnen
03-10-2017, 08:17 PM
Sorry, I shouldn't have mentioned Tohei, because he has nothing to do with aiki, imho, he didn't get it and certainly didn't teach it.

Best,
Bernd

NagaBaba
03-11-2017, 08:00 AM
Videos like this are instructional, not intended to be demonstrations of street fighting apps.
And yet it is not what I understood from his explanations. But it had to be because of my poor English....

GovernorSilver
03-11-2017, 08:54 AM
Sorry, I shouldn't have mentioned Tohei, because he has nothing to do with aiki, imho, he didn't get it and certainly didn't teach it.

Best,
Bernd.

Aiki/IP people include the use of Up and Down (Heaven and Earth) force vectors in their theory and practice.

When Tohei spoke of "keep One Point, weight underside... " he was talking about Up force (aka "ground force"). At least some of the "ki tests" used by Ki Society and other Aikidoka influenced by Tohei test specifically for one's ability to use Up force.

So maybe he didn't get the total "aiki package" from Ueshiba but I wouldn't say he had totally "nothing" to do with aiki either.

Cady Goldfield
03-11-2017, 08:59 AM
And yet it is not what I understood from his explanations. But it had to be because of my poor English....

Again, he is speaking of concepts and principles. Demonstrations and lessons are not street fights. Keep in mind that when an untrained (in internal method) person hits or attacks someone who is trained, the more energy the attacker gives, the more painful and shocky it is to him when he attempts to hit, strike or kick. His energy is taken to the ground and then returned to him, augmented by additional force generated by nage.

It takes very little energy on nage's part to propel force and cause damage and pain to a person who does not have the means to neutralize and ground out that force. Salahuddin Muhammad is extremely careful when he is demonstrating on a student or seminar participant. That's why I have to say, again, that unless and until you encounter someone who has these skills, you will not be able to understand the how and the why of their application, or why demos like these have profound meaning.

Cady Goldfield
03-11-2017, 09:11 AM
It takes very little aiki to affect an opponent's structure. When the opponent attacks with force, it just increases the amount of energy that nage has available to work with.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PlxpWywLiY&t=4s

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

Cady Goldfield
03-11-2017, 11:16 AM
It takes very little effort to affect an opponent's structure when you are carrying your body in the "internal" methodology.

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

MrIggy
03-13-2017, 02:02 AM
Enjoy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXgfg9996NI & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVsadMi0GpM

I don't think these videos are a good reference to Aiki used against punches and kick's. He just seems to be parrying and closing the distance without any concrete usage of Aiki. None of this isn't something you wound't see in some Aikido dojo, of some other striking martial art for that matter. Thanks for the videos nonetheless. Does anybody know who this guy is affiliated to?

MrIggy
03-13-2017, 02:38 AM
It takes very little aiki to affect an opponent's structure. When the opponent attacks with force, it just increases the amount of energy that nage has available to work with.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PlxpWywLiY&t=4s

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

Similar stuff although he seems to include more of the instant kuzushi application in these videos.

MrIggy
03-13-2017, 03:03 AM
It takes very little effort to affect an opponent's structure when you are carrying your body in the "internal" methodology.

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

That move at 0:15 and 0:25 that he does i actually know that move, you can use just your knuckle for it, no fingers needed. At 4:07 he seems to doing Aiki, but again from a grab.

Cady Goldfield
03-13-2017, 09:20 AM
That move at 0:15 and 0:25 that he does i actually know that move, you can use just your knuckle for it, no fingers needed. At 4:07 he seems to doing Aiki, but again from a grab.

What he's doing is maintaining a deliberately maintained internal structure that absorbs the force of his partner's grab, and then using a small amount of internal manipulation (of specific muscles and fascia) to feed back into the partner's structure. The overt "moves" are just choices for how to deliver the force he is generating. He's "doing aiki" in all of these situations. That's what the demo is about.

Demetrio Cereijo
03-13-2017, 09:23 AM
I don't think these videos are a good reference to Aiki used against punches and kick's. He just seems to be parrying and closing the distance without any concrete usage of Aiki. None of this isn't something you wound't see in some Aikido dojo, of some other striking martial art for that matter. Thanks for the videos nonetheless.
What was you expacting to see?

Does anybody know who this guy is affiliated to?
http://www.aiki-arts.com/InstructorsAndStaff.htm

jonreading
03-13-2017, 11:46 AM
I'll throw out a couple of comments
1. Aiki does not show well on video. It's dangerous and difficult to show aiki principles in a "combat" scenario - it's just risky and results in injury. You're not gonna find too many videos that are 100% speed/power/etc. The thought of 100% with some of the IP people I have felt is just risking injury to my body. It's a better idea to understand the limitations of what you expect to see in a video and seek someone working on IP to get a better experience. At some point, you either need to trust a source, or seek the source to verify your trust in it. If you do neither, you are just pontificating about something that you are choosing not to resolve. Fish or cut bait, right?
2. These videos show kuzushi on contact and unusual power. I have talked before about the fact that every move you make that has aiki should demonstrate at least these two traits. Less movement is also a trait, and also exponential reaction (i.e. your partner moves more for the same movement you make). Sometimes, it's easy to spot an IP video with no markers of IP movement, which makes it suspect. It's probably more productive to think of this kind of research as forensic, with most of your information coming from multiple sources. I won't speak to right or wrong, but you can see some elements of aiki here.

Any time to touch your partner, there will be kuzushi on contact if you are using aiki. No if, ands, or buts. If your partner has balance after contact, whatever you are doing is not aiki. This happens before kata - kata is not a tool "get" kuzushi, it's a tool to apply technique. Now imagine kuzushi that breaks your ability to defend a punch or kick, coupled with some amount of power movement implemented in a punch or kick. It's not that aiki is doing anything crazy, but it disrupting your ability to defend yourself while increasing the power with which I can hit you - it's a double-whammy.

Cady Goldfield
03-13-2017, 09:10 PM
Jon, right. As I mentioned previously, all it takes is to try and give a good hard hit to someone with an internally-structured body and aiki, and you will never want to throw a second punch. It's like hitting a rubber-coated stone wall.

And yes, it's hard to see overt signs of aiki being used... though there can be some "tells" in the effects of instant kuzushi on uke's body- and diaphragmatic breath responses.

MrIggy
03-14-2017, 03:26 AM
What he's doing is maintaining a deliberately maintained internal structure that absorbs the force of his partner's grab, and then using a small amount of internal manipulation (of specific muscles and fascia) to feed back into the partner's structure. The overt "moves" are just choices for how to deliver the force he is generating. He's "doing aiki" in all of these situations. That's what the demo is about.

Yeah i get it, he is doing Aiki from a grab but for the move itself you don't need Aiki. Like i said you can use your knuckle to do it.

MrIggy
03-14-2017, 03:27 AM
What was you expacting to see?

Something i haven't seen before.

http://www.aiki-arts.com/InstructorsAndStaff.htm

Thanks for the link.

MrIggy
03-14-2017, 03:36 AM
And yes, it's hard to see overt signs of aiki being used... though there can be some "tells" in the effects of instant kuzushi on uke's body- and diaphragmatic breath responses.

So the small black guy is breathing heavily because Salahuddin is applying Aiki in his instant kuzushi? Is that a common side effect when Aiki is being applied to someone?

MrIggy
03-14-2017, 03:39 AM
Any time to touch your partner, there will be kuzushi on contact if you are using aiki. No if, ands, or buts. If your partner has balance after contact, whatever you are doing is not aiki. This happens before kata - kata is not a tool "get" kuzushi, it's a tool to apply technique. Now imagine kuzushi that breaks your ability to defend a punch or kick, coupled with some amount of power movement implemented in a punch or kick. It's not that aiki is doing anything crazy, but it disrupting your ability to defend yourself while increasing the power with which I can hit you - it's a double-whammy.

Now these are some good traits to have in mind. Thanks.

PeterR
03-14-2017, 05:02 AM
Now these are some good traits to have in mind. Thanks.

At the risk of being pedantic - I take exception to the use of kata in that description. It is entirely possible for aiki to be part of, and demonstrated, within a kata. Kata is not just a technique - but the sum of the engagement.

GovernorSilver
03-14-2017, 07:00 AM
At the risk of being pedantic - I take exception to the use of kata in that description. It is entirely possible for aiki to be part of, and demonstrated, within a kata. Kata is not just a technique - but the sum of the engagement.

George Ledyard did aiki (I think) to me by just holding my wrist with his hand. We weren't practicing a form or anything. To any observer, we just looked like two people standing there.

I tend to think of "kata"="form". As in, a karate form, or an Aikido 22-count jo form. Do you mean something different?

Demetrio Cereijo
03-14-2017, 08:16 AM
What was you expacting to see?
Multitasking and foreign language.... sorry.

@ Peter, I don't get your point.

PeterR
03-14-2017, 08:53 AM
Multitasking and foreign language.... sorry.

@ Peter, I don't get your point.

No real point - in case there was confusion I was talking about Jon's post quoted just before mine. The idea that somehow aiki must proceed kata just does not seem right to me (ok so there is a point - just not directly related to the thread).

Kata is not just a technique, it ranges from the initial closing of distance and the final separation and encompasses everything in between. The idea that application of aiki is somehow separate goes contrary to intent. Further, the idea that aiki stops when the ''technique'' takes over also grates. I would like to think one has aiki from the first contact all the way through to the end. Some older definitions talk about aiki before the first contact which I like the idea of but that is even more of a digression.

PeterR
03-14-2017, 09:07 AM
I tend to think of "kata"="form". As in, a karate form, or an Aikido 22-count jo form. Do you mean something different?

Usually, when one thinks of kata in Japanese martial arts, it is paired. Single person kata exist more in some arts such as karate and iaido but in aikido the vast majority of practice has an uke and a tori and therefore is paired kata based.

jonreading
03-14-2017, 09:32 AM
No real point - in case there was confusion I was talking about Jon's post quoted just before mine. The idea that somehow aiki must proceed kata just does not seem right to me (ok so there is a point - just not directly related to the thread).

Kata is not just a technique, it ranges from the initial closing of distance and the final separation and encompasses everything in between. The idea that application of aiki is somehow separate goes contrary to intent. Further, the idea that aiki stops when the ''technique'' takes over also grates. I would like to think one has aiki from the first contact all the way through to the end. Some older definitions talk about aiki before the first contact which I like the idea of but that is even more of a digression.

Kata is shape (sho), right? It's a methodology of training our bodies to move how we want them to move naturally. We practice math problems, we form run, we hit practice balls - there are any number of academic examples that use form to craft behavior. I am not knocking kata and it has it's place in our training. What I am saying is kata does not create aiki, per se. Now, we can argue about what we consider kata, but I am going to stick with the paired techniques we all learn in aikido. Kuroiwa sensei called the aiki exercises "ki no kata" and referred to them separate from the technical curriculum.

Often, our partner makes contact and we think, "Ah! now I will move and make kuzushi with kata." This is not aiki, and it is not the kuzuzshi to which O Sensei (and his deshi) referred. How many doka refer specifically to this concept? blah, blah blah, instantly I am behind him. Blah blah blah, no space for attack. Blah blah blah, cut him down in an instant. Why are we ignoring "instant"? Why are we ignoring multiple references to kuzushi on contact, a trait described by almost ever deshi who was ever interviewed when asked about attacking O Sensei. Because we can't do it, so it must be wrong. Or, better yet, a metaphor.

Aiki can be demonstrated with kata. It is a vehicle through which we do something creative with aiki. The problem is that most of our kata are devoid of aiki, which means the kata is not actually training aiki, it's training a shape. How do you change that? Move with aiki, then the shapes you create will be filled with aiki.

Just for giggles, have you ever watched an actor (or actress), play a role that is foreign to them? Like an athlete, or a martial artist? The character moves so badly, it is plainly obvious that he (or she) has no idea why he (or she) is moving? The old Seven Samurai movie comes to mind. I believe in production the movie was referred to as the "seven-year samurai", because Yoshio Sugino was unsatisfied with the way the main characters moved using a sword. Empty movement, indeed.

Cady Goldfield
03-14-2017, 10:34 AM
Yeah i get it, he is doing Aiki from a grab but for the move itself you don't need Aiki. Like i said you can use your knuckle to do it.

Right. There are overt techniques that appear overtly the same in both internal and external arts. Punches, strikes and kicks also may have seemingly identical counterparts as well. But, while they may have the same outward appearance, the way they are delivered (power-wise) and the effect they have on the opponent's body, are quite different.

Jujutsu is waza. Aiki is body method -- the power-driver. When aiki and jujutsu waza are combined, you get aikijujutsu. Aiki allows you to manipulate your own internal muscle, fascia and tendon in ways that reinforce your structure and generate power that can penetrate an opponent's structure without making much overt movement. Without the aiki, it is jujutsu... which is dependent on externally-applied leverage, vectors, and overt movement of mass to work.

Cady Goldfield
03-14-2017, 10:37 AM
So the small black guy is breathing heavily because Salahuddin is applying Aiki in his instant kuzushi? Is that a common side effect when Aiki is being applied to someone?

Yes, and the same effect occurs on large people as well. I have seen him apply the same thing to a 350 lb. Kodokan-ranked judoka and high-ranked jujutsuka. Same effect. He is manipulating his own mass in a way that goes through to the uke's center of mass and compresses his diaphragm and his joints.

Diaphragmatic compression is a halllmark of aikijujutsu.

PeterR
03-14-2017, 10:44 AM
Kata is shape (sho), right? It's a methodology of training our bodies to move how we want them to move naturally. We practice math problems, we form run, we hit practice balls - there are any number of academic examples that use form to craft behavior. I am not knocking kata and it has it's place in our training. What I am saying is kata does not create aiki, per se. Now, we can argue about what we consider kata, but I am going to stick with the paired techniques we all learn in aikido. Kuroiwa sensei called the aiki exercises "ki no kata" and referred to them separate from the technical curriculum.

Often, our partner makes contact and we think, "Ah! now I will move and make kuzushi with kata." This is not aiki, and it is not the kuzuzshi to which O Sensei (and his deshi) referred. How many doka refer specifically to this concept? blah, blah blah, instantly I am behind him. Blah blah blah, no space for attack. Blah blah blah, cut him down in an instant. Why are we ignoring "instant"? Why are we ignoring multiple references to kuzushi on contact, a trait described by almost ever deshi who was ever interviewed when asked about attacking O Sensei. Because we can't do it, so it must be wrong. Or, better yet, a metaphor.

Aiki can be demonstrated with kata. It is a vehicle through which we do something creative with aiki. The problem is that most of our kata are devoid of aiki, which means the kata is not actually training aiki, it's training a shape. How do you change that? Move with aiki, then the shapes you create will be filled with aiki.

Just for giggles, have you ever watched an actor (or actress), play a role that is foreign to them? Like an athlete, or a martial artist? The character moves so badly, it is plainly obvious that he (or she) has no idea why he (or she) is moving? The old Seven Samurai movie comes to mind. I believe in production the movie was referred to as the "seven-year samurai", because Yoshio Sugino was unsatisfied with the way the main characters moved using a sword. Empty movement, indeed.

Lot's of words but I am guilty of that too.

It really depends on what the technique within the kata is and how it is practiced. Some techniques within the aikido syllabus don't lend themselves to aiki just as the old Daito-ryu differentiated between jujutsu and aiki-no-jutsu techniques. For the ones that do - kata should be executed with aiki throughout. For the others, I personally think that there are places we can sneak in a little aiki. In either case, kata can be used to train aiki although I wont argue the point that often this is not done very well. I also wont argue the point that there are ancillary exercises that help train aiki more directly but kata does provide the bridge to applicability (if trained correctly).

As for instantaneous that is another issue and has further meaning than just a moment in time. I tend to read that as without pause which is potentially not quite the same thing. This does relate to kata training since by definition both sides know what is coming and it is very hard to train for the spontaneity this implies. Still it can be done if one is conscious of ones goals.

Cady Goldfield
03-14-2017, 10:46 AM
What was you expacting to see?

http://www.aiki-arts.com/InstructorsAndStaff.htm

Okazaki Shuji was a deshi of Yoshida Kotaro (the deshi of Takeda Sokaku who introduced Ueshiba Morihei to Takeda). Yoshida's Daito Ryu provided the aiki and also mokuroku from Takeda. Okazaki Sensei also studied extensively in two koryu: Kukishin Ryu and Takagi Ryu - the former being the source of the extensive weapons kata and applications in Hontai Hakkei Ryu, and the latter being a bodyguard art with many classical kata and waza specifically geared toward subduing and controlling an assailant or aggressive potential assailant. He also studied Kosen judo for its newaza. There may have been other influences, as well, but these are the principle ones.

The aiki of Hontai Hakkei Ryu comes primarily from Yoshida's Daito Ryu. Okazaki Sensei also "tweaked" the DR mokuroku to his own vision of practical applications, so while HHR-AJJ has this DR heritage, it is not, itself, Daito Ryu. It's an amalgam of neo-classical and koryu arts that are trained both traditionally and in a contemporary pragmatic "street applicable" way.

Cady Goldfield
03-14-2017, 10:51 AM
George Ledyard did aiki (I think) to me by just holding my wrist with his hand. We weren't practicing a form or anything. To any observer, we just looked like two people standing there.

I tend to think of "kata"="form". As in, a karate form, or an Aikido 22-count jo form. Do you mean something different?

Aiki is a body method that produces uncommon structural stability and power. It is not a technique or a "thing." So, yeah, it is NOT a form or pattern; certainly, not a form or pattern of waza.

Techniques are overt movements that can be applied with or without aiki. If without, then you must obtain power from some other method in order to drive the technique. For example, overtly stepping in tenkan produces the centripedal force needed to move and guide uke along.

When you apply aiki, you do not need to use overt tenkan to move uke. You initiate movement from inside yourself, manipulating your structure and tissues in such a way that the force comes out of you from the inside, not from having to step-move on the outside.

GovernorSilver
03-14-2017, 12:43 PM
Aiki is a body method that produces uncommon structural stability and power. It is not a technique or a "thing." So, yeah, it is NOT a form or pattern; certainly, not a form or pattern of waza.

Techniques are overt movements that can be applied with or without aiki. If without, then you must obtain power from some other method in order to drive the technique. For example, overtly stepping in tenkan produces the centripedal force needed to move and guide uke along.

When you apply aiki, you do not need to use overt tenkan to move uke. You initiate movement from inside yourself, manipulating your structure and tissues in such a way that the force comes out of you from the inside, not from having to step-move on the outside.

This is my understanding of the "aiki" that you and Jon are talking about.

George and I were not "doing kata", according to the definition posted. To anyone watching us in the garden that day, we appeared to just be taking turns holding each other's wrist - no stepping or other motion involved.

He was trying to show me how uke should connect to nage's center. He took hold of my wrist, I felt something like water - neither hot nor cold - come up my arm, then further into my body. He then coached me as I did the same to him. I was only able to even try doing it because I'd just been shown by someone else what Ground and Gravity forces were and how to use them.

Unfortunately for anyone dreaming of becoming an Aiki God, this stuff takes lots of practice, some of it can be boring/tedious, and downright uncomfortable if you have trouble letting go of upper-body tension.

jonreading
03-14-2017, 02:47 PM
From my perspective, aikido is aiki-do, the study of aiki. The point I am trying to make is that I don't want to do jujutsu - I want to train aikido. So what is the point of doing techniques that lack aiki? Do it 10,000 times and all you have practiced is 10,000 techniques that don't have aiki. Now you're an expert in techniques without aiki. This makes no sense.

Bernd Lehnen
03-14-2017, 03:04 PM
I was taught that O-Sensei never did anything twice. He was free-wheeling and nobody could follow. So they tried to imitate and created kata, so that they felt on secure ground. Mixing up kata and aiki doesn't make sense.
Best,
Bernd

Cady Goldfield
03-14-2017, 03:49 PM
Nice description of the sensation and feel, Paolo.
You were feeling the effects of what George Ledyard was organizing and moving within his body and directing through your structural alignment to your center of mass. Not waza, but if applied to waza, the waza would be infused with aiki and have a different kind of effect than just a straight jujutsu application.

And yes, it "doesn't look like anything" when you are just letting someone feel the process. Without applying it with a technique, it's just quietly affecting your structure from within. If he isn't applying enough force to collapse or move your structure -- but to just let you feel it -- than to someone watching, it will look like you are just standing there holding hands. :)

This is my understanding of the "aiki" that you and Jon are talking about.

George and I were not "doing kata", according to the definition posted. To anyone watching us in the garden that day, we appeared to just be taking turns holding each other's wrist - no stepping or other motion involved.

He was trying to show me how uke should connect to nage's center. He took hold of my wrist, I felt something like water - neither hot nor cold - come up my arm, then further into my body. He then coached me as I did the same to him. I was only able to even try doing it because I'd just been shown by someone else what Ground and Gravity forces were and how to use them.

Unfortunately for anyone dreaming of becoming an Aiki God, this stuff takes lots of practice, some of it can be boring/tedious, and downright uncomfortable if you have trouble letting go of upper-body tension.

Cady Goldfield
03-14-2017, 03:56 PM
From my perspective, aikido is aiki-do, the study of aiki. The point I am trying to make is that I don't want to do jujutsu - I want to train aikido. So what is the point of doing techniques that lack aiki? Do it 10,000 times and all you have practiced is 10,000 techniques that don't have aiki. Now you're an expert in techniques without aiki. This makes no sense.

Morihei Ueshiba originally taught aikijujutsu, and was handing out Daito Ryu aikijujutsu scrolls in his earliest days of teaching. Later, he formulated aikido by retaining just the bare-bones jujutsu waza necessary to serve as a vehicle for different ways of applying aiki body method to power them.
He became more esoteric, and it seems his students were unable to understand and learn the aiki aspect. When Kisshomaru took over the post-war dojo, the mechanics of aikido were completely changed to function on a different power driver (i.e. overt movement) instead of the original internal/aiki one. The strategy and tactics of contemporary aikido thus changed as well, to something nearly polar-opposite to that of aikijujutsu. Different drivers led to different arts altogether.

Now, some aikidoka are learning the old aiki method and reverse engineering it into their aikido. I suspect that they are finding that it changes the dynamic of their waza. Before long, it will lead to a change in the dynamic of martial strategy and tactical movement, too.

Brian Sutton
03-14-2017, 04:27 PM
No...

Bernd Lehnen
03-14-2017, 04:54 PM
.....Later, he formulated aikido by retaining just the bare-bones jujutsu waza necessary to serve as a vehicle for different ways of applying aiki body method to power them.
He became more esoteric, ....
o.

Where is there evidence? Is there?

Best,
Bernd

Cady Goldfield
03-14-2017, 05:05 PM
Where is there evidence? Is there?

Best,
Bernd

Depends on where your perspective and experiences are. Then, there are observations, combined with the known history of aikido, including interviews with deshi.

Peter Goldsbury
03-14-2017, 06:49 PM
Where is there evidence? Is there?

Best,
Bernd

Hello Bernd,

There is loads of evidence, but you need to read Onisaburo Deguchi's material and it is all in Japanese, some of it handwritten. However, I think the changes Cady mentioned will be relatively slow to appear in mainstream aikido.

Best wishes,

PAG

Cady Goldfield
03-14-2017, 08:14 PM
Peter,
Yes, I am sure that any change will be slow, and certainly not in all quarters of the aikido world. Rather, small groups or individuals will adapt their aikido and there will be those unique dojo with something different than the mainstream. But mainstream contemporary aikido is its own thing, an art in its own right, and will likely continue on as it is.

GovernorSilver
03-14-2017, 09:56 PM
Ikeda and Ledyard are trying to get Aikidoka to use this kind of power by teaching on Aikido seminar tours. That is how I met Ledyard - it was during lunch break during a seminar weekend.

Ikeda ended up spending the entire seminar trying to get people to achieve instant kuzushi off of a wrist grab - with no visible movement of the hips or just about any other body part of the nage. He was trying to get us to do it with "aiki" or force vector manipulation or whatever you want to call it. But we weren't able to demonstrate that skill to his satisfaction, so he never did move us on to more "fun shit to do with aiki" type material. It's like Greg Maddux wanting to teach us his trademark changeup pitch, but not being able to do it because we can't even get the basic leg kick right, let alone throw a basic fastball without breaking our shoulders.

GovernorSilver
03-14-2017, 10:15 PM
Nice description of the sensation and feel, Paolo.
You were feeling the effects of what George Ledyard was organizing and moving within his body and directing through your structural alignment to your center of mass. Not waza, but if applied to waza, the waza would be infused with aiki and have a different kind of effect than just a straight jujutsu application.

And yes, it "doesn't look like anything" when you are just letting someone feel the process. Without applying it with a technique, it's just quietly affecting your structure from within. If he isn't applying enough force to collapse or move your structure -- but to just let you feel it -- than to someone watching, it will look like you are just standing there holding hands. :)

Yes, when he took hold of my wrist, and asked "Feel that?", it was a WTF moment.

The problem with Ikeda was that he'd tell the whole room his intention before he did whatever to his uke, thus adding the question of "Is he really doing it, or is it the power of suggestion?". Of course Ikeda has a real skill, based on feeling him, but I think it would help his teaching if he did X to the uke, then told the room what he did instead of the other way around. Whereas, George sent his force to my shoulder or my front hip or whatever, THEN asked me "Where am I now?".

I forgot how I got George to even spend this extra time with me during lunch break. Good luck, I guess. Whenever he said "You're stuck at my shoulder" or that I'm stuck at some other area while trying to connect to his center, it was when I lost the connection to the ground force via my back foot - usually a shoulder tensing up, or maybe an elbow. Later on in the seminar, Ikeda scolded us for not being able to do what he does, because "you don't believe". To me, he's referring to the fact that this stuff is driven by intent - just like I can drink my beer by intending to reach for the mug and raise it to my lips. If you don't believe that your intent can drive something, nothing works. Of course, none of this stuff will work anyway without the required level of relaxation and active ground force.

I feel bad for the aikidoka who thought this seminar was a waste of time and money, but I found it worthwhile and inspirational. That's one of the reasons I keep practicing zhan zhuang (pole standing) regularly - it really is one of the best ways to force the upper body to relax while also training the use of the two basic force vectors. I could also see why not too many people are going to get this aiki thing or 6H or whatever one wants to call it, because who's going to carve out 15-20 min. of their day to just stand? Plus the other solo training that may be required? There's a video in which Chen Xiaowang says he practices standing for as much as 1 hr a day. Ok, he's a Taiji guy, not Daito Ryu, but still people adore his explosive power.

Cady Goldfield
03-14-2017, 10:47 PM
With all due respect to Ikeda Sensei, there must be much more explicit "instruction" than "you have to believe." It is a process, and must be taught as a set of conditions that create an effect.

In the Chinese internal arts, the saying is "I (or "Yi") - Qi - Li" -- in other words, Mind/Intent sparks Energy, which sparks Power. Some extend the saying to "Desire moves Intent; Intent moves Energy; Energy moves Power. Either way, it is a neuromuscular firing that turns the non-verbal drive of desire/intent to action. This is something that any athlete or dancer uses to do what they do. Even when you simply reach for a glass of beer to take a sip, that is the process you are going through. The desire you feel for a sip of beer sparks the mental intent to reach for the glass. The intent sparks the nerve synapses and the muscles, which respond and reach for the beer, bring it back to your mouth, etc. We do these things without conscious thought... we just "do."

With internal martial arts, we have to begin by consciously being deliberate and aware. Then we use that volition, or intent, to recognize and then deliberately isolate and activate very specific muscles, fascia and tendons to achieve the effects we want.

But first, the teacher has to tell you what those muscles and tissues are, and what to feel for. I think that many people do not know how to articulate this.

Yes, when he took hold of my wrist, and asked "Feel that?", it was a WTF moment.

The problem with Ikeda was that he'd tell the whole room his intention before he did whatever to his uke, thus adding the question of "Is he really doing it, or is it the power of suggestion?". Of course Ikeda has a real skill, based on feeling him, but I think it would help his teaching if he did X to the uke, then told the room what he did instead of the other way around. Whereas, George sent his force to my shoulder or my front hip or whatever, THEN asked me "Where am I now?".

I forgot how I got George to even spend this extra time with me during lunch break. Good luck, I guess. Whenever he said "You're stuck at my shoulder" or that I'm stuck at some other area while trying to connect to his center, it was when I lost the connection to the ground force via my back foot - usually a shoulder tensing up, or maybe an elbow. Later on in the seminar, Ikeda scolded us for not being able to do what he does, because "you don't believe". To me, he's referring to the fact that this stuff is driven by intent - just like I can drink my beer by intending to reach for the mug and raise it to my lips. If you don't believe that your intent can drive something, nothing works. Of course, none of this stuff will work anyway without the required level of relaxation and active ground force.

I feel bad for the aikidoka who thought this seminar was a waste of time and money, but I found it worthwhile and inspirational. That's one of the reasons I keep practicing zhan zhuang (pole standing) regularly - it really is one of the best ways to force the upper body to relax while also training the use of the two basic force vectors. I could also see why not too many people are going to get this aiki thing or 6H or whatever one wants to call it, because who's going to carve out 15-20 min. of their day to just stand? Plus the other solo training that may be required? There's a video in which Chen Xiaowang says he practices standing for as much as 1 hr a day. Ok, he's a Taiji guy, not Daito Ryu, but still people adore his explosive power.

GovernorSilver
03-15-2017, 06:43 AM
With all due respect to Ikeda Sensei, there must be much more explicit "instruction" than "you have to believe." It is a process, and must be taught as a set of conditions that create an effect.

In the Chinese internal arts, the saying is "I (or "Yi") - Qi - Li" -- in other words, Mind/Intent sparks Energy, which sparks Power. Some extend the saying to "Desire moves Intent; Intent moves Energy; Energy moves Power. Either way, it is a neuromuscular firing that turns the non-verbal drive of desire/intent to action. This is something that any athlete or dancer uses to do what they do. Even when you simply reach for a glass of beer to take a sip, that is the process you are going through. The desire you feel for a sip of beer sparks the mental intent to reach for the glass. The intent sparks the nerve synapses and the muscles, which respond and reach for the beer, bring it back to your mouth, etc. We do these things without conscious thought... we just "do."

With internal martial arts, we have to begin by consciously being deliberate and aware. Then we use that volition, or intent, to recognize and then deliberately isolate and activate very specific muscles, fascia and tendons to achieve the effects we want.

But first, the teacher has to tell you what those muscles and tissues are, and what to feel for. I think that many people do not know how to articulate this.

After the seminar, I was able to ask around a bit and what I gathered was that Ikeda taught some solo and partner training stuff at seminars in past years; including but obviously not limited to, "sitting zhan zhuang" and force vectoring between partners sharing a jo. He reportedly also spoke of dantien rotation exercise and exerting jin against a wall, counter tops, etc. Nobody though mentioned him explaining the 3 Internal Harmonies (of the Six Harmonies) which you mention above. In any case, Ikeda expected those who attended his seminars in past years to remember what he taught in the past and be actively practicing the stuff. I don't see though how this can work without a review of the basics. All the good workshops I've attended (in music as well as MA) always started with a review of the basics before proceeding to the funner, more advanced stuff.

Of the two basic force vectors, I found gravity trickier to use, even under the guidance of a teacher with good communication skills, in the most obvious scenario to use it: The single-leg takedown. I had trouble understanding that it requires intent to work. Again, this is with a good teacher actually supervising. I can only imagine just how much harder it is for random guy to learn to use it when the teacher is presenting it as "make line to partner tailbone", then walks around a crowded dojo in which random dude has only a 50% chance of the teacher coming to his side of the mat. "Make line" is a clear reference to intent ("Yi") but it was difficult for the teacher to communicate that the upper body must be relaxed, and there must be an active ground force.

Cady Goldfield
03-15-2017, 11:40 AM
I have heard and read about the same concerns from seminar attendees of other teachers of internal methods. One of the problems I see for teachers who do many seminars and have a lot of repeat attendees, is how to present material that will take the more experienced people to the next level, while also being able to address the needs of the first-timers and less-experienced attendees.

This is a relatively new "industry," and I suspect that most of these instructors are learning by trial and error. Those with seminar participants who have been to six or more sessions over the years, might be seeing these people more as students, and may want to work with them further and let assistants help the newbies. Maybe they should have beginner, intermediate and advanced seminars to address the different skill levels. My sense, though, is that this option is not so viable for instructors who are traveling long distances and need to ensure that there will be enough students enrolled in a seminar to make the trip viable. Hence, they may continue to offer just one seminar in a particular location, then dedicate part of one day to introductory basics/review, and the rest to introducing new material to the old-timers.

Whatever the issues are regarding the content of the seminars themselves, I do believe that the teaching language -- the ability to articulate principles and concepts -- is the biggest problem, and seems to be what is most confusing to seminar attendees. Unless a teacher is deliberately withholding some information or guidance , the chief obstacle to transmission of knowledge is usually in the way it's communicated. Some seem to still be struggling with being able to explain in detail exactly what each tanren/drill is supposed to accomplish, what specific body tissues and mechanics you must recognize and activate to do it, and how to test whether you are activating the correct things.

Remedy to this can be as simple as coming up with very basic pre-tanren mini-exercises that simply help you find a particular muscle or fascia sheet and make it move. Analogies and metaphors can also help. For instance, the "beer sip" one that I described earlier, can help you parse out the process of making an action that we do without deliberation, and take for granted. Now, apply that to consciously activating one specific muscle that you know is part of the "rotate dantian/tanden" process. If you know where and what that muscle is, you should be able to deliberately make it move... that's the same intent that makes you reach out with your hand to pick up a cup. See what I mean?

Another thing to consider: Each teacher has different jargon, terminology, and training drills, so cross-training at different teachers' events can add to the confusion. My recommendation to people wanting to learn these skills, is to choose one teacher and his/her method, and stick to it.

Don't expect to be an expert even after a lot of seminars. As I'm sure you know, the only way to get a complete education in this, as in any skill, is through direct transmission/jikiden from the teacher, over the course of years. But, it is reasonable to expect to learn some things about structure, energy use and force, that will improve and enhance your aikido or other art IF you take good notes, practice constantly and consistently, and correspond with others who are training the same way, to compare notes and help each other with understanding.

After the seminar, I was able to ask around a bit and what I gathered was that Ikeda taught some solo and partner training stuff at seminars in past years; including but obviously not limited to, "sitting zhan zhuang" and force vectoring between partners sharing a jo. He reportedly also spoke of dantien rotation exercise and exerting jin against a wall, counter tops, etc. Nobody though mentioned him explaining the 3 Internal Harmonies (of the Six Harmonies) which you mention above. In any case, Ikeda expected those who attended his seminars in past years to remember what he taught in the past and be actively practicing the stuff. I don't see though how this can work without a review of the basics. All the good workshops I've attended (in music as well as MA) always started with a review of the basics before proceeding to the funner, more advanced stuff.

Of the two basic force vectors, I found gravity trickier to use, even under the guidance of a teacher with good communication skills, in the most obvious scenario to use it: The single-leg takedown. I had trouble understanding that it requires intent to work. Again, this is with a good teacher actually supervising. I can only imagine just how much harder it is for random guy to learn to use it when the teacher is presenting it as "make line to partner tailbone", then walks around a crowded dojo in which random dude has only a 50% chance of the teacher coming to his side of the mat. "Make line" is a clear reference to intent ("Yi") but it was difficult for the teacher to communicate that the upper body must be relaxed, and there must be an active ground force.

GovernorSilver
03-15-2017, 06:22 PM
I had the time and some extra money, so I took advantage of the opportunity to attend the Ikeda-Ledyard seminar. No regrets on my part. I was just lucky that Budd's workshop was right before the seminar.

I'm not ready to focus on becoming invincible or an expert. If I can just get my MA seniors to stop nagging me to relax, that would be good enough for the foreseeable future. I understand they nag me because they have been able to see the tension in my body. But lately, they say I'm getting better - progress!

Cady Goldfield
03-15-2017, 06:29 PM
Like I said, anything you gain from this training will enhance your aikido and can take you to amazing places. Great that you are getting positive feedback from people who know what they are seeing/feeling in you. Good luck, keep up the good work, and enjoy your training. :)

I had the time and some extra money, so I took advantage of the opportunity to attend the Ikeda-Ledyard seminar. No regrets on my part. I was just lucky that Budd's workshop was right before the seminar.

I'm not ready to focus on becoming invincible or an expert. If I can just get my MA seniors to stop nagging me to relax, that would be good enough for the foreseeable future. I understand they nag me because they have been able to see the tension in my body. But lately, they say I'm getting better - progress!

Rupert Atkinson
03-15-2017, 11:50 PM
It takes very little aiki to affect an opponent's structure. When the opponent attacks with force, it just increases the amount of energy that nage has available to work with.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PlxpWywLiY&t=4s

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

I like what I see here - have seen these vids before - but I have to say, that a lot of my Aikikai experience in the UK and Japan was just like that. And ... it does NOT lead to the students being able to do aiki at all. Self-flying/falling uke syndrome is predominant everywhere.

If the aiki training does not target real aggressive resistance it can have no validity. Aikidoka are just too passive. Likewise in Jujutsu schools.

We must be passive to get the concept, of course, but then we must seek resistance to test it. If your uke falls over - you need a new uke because he is of no more use to you. You need to find someone you can't do it on to improve. BUT, if you go too far in the other direction, you just end up with what I call Aiki-Judo. Also, nagare training is not aiki training either. it is just compliance training. It is useful, but it does not lead to aiki.

But going back to the start ... those vids are excellent ... just ... go try it on an uncooperative uke. If you can do that .. then yes ... I will be impressed.

Demetrio Cereijo
03-16-2017, 03:45 AM
But going back to the start ... those vids are excellent ... just ... go try it on an uncooperative uke. If you can do that .. then yes ... I will be impressed.

But, but... uke is going to get killed!!!

Remember the tale of Ueshiba being asked by Admiral Takeshita to demo in front of a member of the Imperial family...

Cady Goldfield
03-16-2017, 09:17 AM
These are not self-flying uke, Rupert. They are mechanically impelled to move. Their structure is being controlled.

Many of these things can be done by pain compliance, but aikijujutsu waza driven by internals/aiki actually make uke go whether he "wants" to or not. That's why Ueshiba said "Aiki is making people do what I want them to."

What Salahuddin Muhammad is doing is these videos is -nothing- like Aikikai. Aikikai lacks the internal drivers employed here, and relies instead on overt movement and psychological tactics.

I like what I see here - have seen these vids before - but I have to say, that a lot of my Aikikai experience in the UK and Japan was just like that. And ... it does NOT lead to the students being able to do aiki at all. Self-flying/falling uke syndrome is predominant everywhere.

If the aiki training does not target real aggressive resistance it can have no validity. Aikidoka are just too passive. Likewise in Jujutsu schools.

We must be passive to get the concept, of course, but then we must seek resistance to test it. If your uke falls over - you need a new uke because he is of no more use to you. You need to find someone you can't do it on to improve. BUT, if you go too far in the other direction, you just end up with what I call Aiki-Judo. Also, nagare training is not aiki training either. it is just compliance training. It is useful, but it does not lead to aiki.

But going back to the start ... those vids are excellent ... just ... go try it on an uncooperative uke. If you can do that .. then yes ... I will be impressed.

jonreading
03-16-2017, 11:52 AM
Wanna hear about another metric to determine if you are doing aiki (or having aiki done to you)?Compulsion. Seriously. Often, we think of pain as a compliance mechanic, but aiki does not necessarily require it. Aiki feels more like you are compelled to move without a concrete understanding of why. This feeling has been described by several of O Sensei's students, as well as others practicing in the aiki arts.

So here is where I say to think back on everyone you work with and critically evaluate whether the exchange between you was compelled. Did you move only because it hurt? Did you move because you were told to move? Did you move as a act of charity? Did you move because it was the form? If that little voice in the back of your head said "yes," to any of these questions... Then you were probably not experiencing aiki (or moving with aiki). Simply put, if you were uke and you moved because you chose to move... If you were nage and you ever commanded your partner to move because otherwise she was not moving... There is usually a long silence here as the disbelief sets in. I'll wait...

Most of our aikido experience lacks aiki - we work out with students who don't possess aiki - we don't possess aiki - and our instructors often don't possess aiki. Sometimes, we go to a seminar or gets hands on someone and the difference is so great, we often say something like, "She feels like nothing I've felt!" Or, "He's softer than anyone I have touched!" Then there's the deshi favorite, "I didn't know what was happening to me." or go totally Eastern mystical, "In a flash I was unable to move." These are all concrete descriptions of the unique feeling of aiki and different from how we usually feel.

So after dropping that bomb... Demetrio's comment about O Sensei's demo makes sense. Most of us are used to training in a way that hearing an aikido person say, "with that move I could kill you," is pretty difficult to take seriously. We sometimes even giggle or chuckle as we say it. Here's how backwards we are though. O Sensei making a comment like that is something to chuckle at, yet I can't count the number of times on the mat someone told me to move because a devastating blow was coming my way if I didn't. And since it seems like I am insulting the world in this post, let me just continue on my streak... O Sensei could deliver devastating blows; many of us can't.

The honest truth is most of us are not familiar with that kind of movement or the feeling associated with it. Looking at a video without the experience to sympathize with what is happening makes for a difficult time to comprehend the reality of what we see. This is the core of it has to be felt, and the the problem with Internet-based conversations. Moving to a disadvantaged position is counter-intuitive to most fight science. In no practical way should we willfully move to a position that weakens our advantage. Why practice a system that asks you to disadvantage yourself? You shouldn't and you could look at this issue as yet another indicator that maybe we are not correctly moving.

Rupert Atkinson
03-16-2017, 12:57 PM
These are not self-flying uke, Rupert. They are mechanically impelled to move. Their structure is being controlled.
.

I have experienced the above in a few places - and in a few Aikikai instructors. Yes - I agree with you - it is very good - it is what we should be after - and all their students try to do it. But ... none of them can do it. Add my assertion is that when they are doing it, it is because they are just being too compliant. They become overly trained to react in that way. And .. I say .. that is why it becomes so elusive. I am guilty of it myself. Once infected - hard to get rid of - the compliance, I mean. Catch 22.

Cady Goldfield
03-16-2017, 06:45 PM
I have experienced the above in a few places - and in a few Aikikai instructors. Yes - I agree with you - it is very good - it is what we should be after - and all their students try to do it. But ... none of them can do it. Add my assertion is that when they are doing it, it is because they are just being too compliant. They become overly trained to react in that way. And .. I say .. that is why it becomes so elusive. I am guilty of it myself. Once infected - hard to get rid of - the compliance, I mean. Catch 22.

Test it on newcomers, people with no martial training. Preferably, big, huge guys. I have. :)

MrIggy
03-16-2017, 10:19 PM
Jujutsu is waza. Aiki is body method -- the power-driver. When aiki and jujutsu waza are combined, you get aikijujutsu. Aiki allows you to manipulate your own internal muscle, fascia and tendon in ways that reinforce your structure and generate power that can penetrate an opponent's structure without making much overt movement. Without the aiki, it is jujutsu... which is dependent on externally-applied leverage, vectors, and overt movement of mass to work.

Yes, that's what i get from the writings and explanations. Aiki is what made Daito ryu different then all the other arts of the time and still today.

Rupert Atkinson
03-16-2017, 10:30 PM
Test it on newcomers, people with no martial training. Preferably, big, huge guys. I have. :)

I test my stuff on whoever I can. My favourite guys are the ones it doesn't work on.

MrIggy
03-16-2017, 10:38 PM
Morihei Ueshiba originally taught aikijujutsu, and was handing out Daito Ryu aikijujutsu scrolls in his earliest days of teaching. Later, he formulated aikido by retaining just the bare-bones jujutsu waza necessary to serve as a vehicle for different ways of applying aiki body method to power them.

He also practiced and developed weapons techniques at the time, probably because he wanted to teach Aiki through them to soldiers in the army.

He became more esoteric, and it seems his students were unable to understand and learn the aiki aspect. When Kisshomaru took over the post-war dojo, the mechanics of aikido were completely changed to function on a different power driver (i.e. overt movement) instead of the original internal/aiki one. The strategy and tactics of contemporary aikido thus changed as well, to something nearly polar-opposite to that of aikijujutsu. Different drivers led to different arts altogether.

I wound't say completely changed, and definitely not with all deshi in the Aikikai. Even now there can be seen techniques identical to those of O'Sensei from some of the books he published, within the instructors from the Aikikai. The main difference is that there are so many variations that certain groups only do certain variations of techniques. Morihiro Saito, by all accounts, preserved all of the techniques just as he learned them directly from O'Sensei, also by many accounts Yoshinkan and Iwama are very similar in the execution in their techniques. What is in fact the main difference is the lack of Aiki exercises in all styles.

MrIggy
03-16-2017, 10:53 PM
While we are on the subject. Does anybody know about practitioners from Yoshinkan, Iwama or Shodokan who have dabbled in the world of Aiki and if they had more success in developing Aiki? I mean if the waza was mean't to be a vessel for Aiki, the practitioners from those styles, which are officially more authentic in the waza to that of O'Sensei, should have had it easier to develop Aiki.

MrIggy
03-16-2017, 11:05 PM
Most of us are used to training in a way that hearing an aikido person say, "with that move I could kill you," is pretty difficult to take seriously.

Depends on whom you are talking to. For the most part i agree that it's an outlandish claim, but only for the person making the claim. Not for certain techniques themselves.

MrIggy
03-16-2017, 11:18 PM
Why are we ignoring "instant"? Why are we ignoring multiple references to kuzushi on contact, a trait described by almost ever deshi who was ever interviewed when asked about attacking O Sensei. Because we can't do it, so it must be wrong. Or, better yet, a metaphor.

I wouldn't say people are ignoring rather "instant kuzushi" is thought of being a part of regular waza training dependent on timing and reaction not of Aiki for which most doesn't even know exist as a separate training activity. So in a sense it is a metaphor. Instead of being "Aiki kuzushi", controlling Uke with power gained from internal training regimes, it is "waza kuzushi", pure physical control of Uke based on external practices.

Rupert Atkinson
03-17-2017, 02:10 AM
I did Yoshinkan in Japan. It is 100% kata. Tori must do 'this', uke must do 'that'. Even their jyuwaza is kata. There was no freedom whatsoever to develop in your own way. Just ... repeat repeat repeat. But after 10 years of Aikikai I quite liked the attention to detail ... the techniques were good, but ... just techniques. But to only do that would drive me nuts. I did Tomiki (Shodokan) for 10 years as well (at the same time as Aikikai, more or less) - they too have lots of kata, but there was bit more freedom to bend the waza to suit yourself. But still, just lots of techniques. I have met a few Ki-Aikido guys that had some interesting takes on techniques; stole a few bits etc. Did an Iwama style in the UK for a while - it was power and leverage. Tired it in Japan briefly - just the same. Preferred Aikikai as it was more fluid. I have come across a few others that have some aiki, but I have never seen it successfully passed on to a student anywhere else. No aiki anywhere.

My first insight to aiki was Kanetsuka Sensei in the UK. Everyone tried to do it but only his #1 student at that time - Ezra Sensei - could do it. Have come across a few such people over the years. Or occasionally, someone does a technique on you and it works almost by accident ... and then you both struggle to recreate what the heck just happened :-)

Cady Goldfield
03-17-2017, 05:27 PM
My first insight to aiki was Kanetsuka Sensei in the UK. Everyone tried to do it but only his #1 student at that time - Ezra Sensei - could do it. Have come across a few such people over the years. Or occasionally, someone does a technique on you and it works almost by accident ... and then you both struggle to recreate what the heck just happened :-)

The Aikikai is purported to be sitting on a small amount of aiki/internal method -- vestiges of Morihei's skills -- that are taught only to select members, and certainly not to non-Japanese. While I have no verification of that, it would explain why some contemporary-Aikikai shihan seem to have some skills that other members to not.

As for Yoshinkan, I have not seen or heard of anyone under Shioda who received comparable skills to his. If there are any, they are sitting on those skills just as Shioda did, not perpetuating them in the art.

When you describe something "working almost by accident... and then you both struggle to recreate what the heck just happened...," that is truly a pity. If what you are describing is internal/aiki method, then there is a very cogent, specific process to teaching and learning it, and it is a damned shame if students are still being left to struggle without guidance. The teacher either has no clue how to teach it, even through direct touch, or he has no intentions of doing so. :/

Rupert Atkinson
03-17-2017, 06:54 PM
The Aikikai is purported to be sitting on a small amount of aiki/internal method -- vestiges of Morihei's skills -- that are taught only to select members, and certainly not to non-Japanese. While I have no verification of that, it would explain why some contemporary-Aikikai shihan seem to have some skills that other members to not.

As for Yoshinkan, I have not seen or heard of anyone under Shioda who received comparable skills to his. If there are any, they are sitting on those skills just as Shioda did, not perpetuating them in the art.

When you describe something "working almost by accident... and then you both struggle to recreate what the heck just happened...," that is truly a pity. If what you are describing is internal/aiki method, then there is a very cogent, specific process to teaching and learning it, and it is a damned shame if students are still being left to struggle without guidance. The teacher either has no clue how to teach it, even through direct touch, or he has no intentions of doing so. :/

I suspect most people pick up on things first by accident, and then follow it up by searching for more. That was my route. I think there is a lot of accidental discovery and then wrong directions being taken. I have met some people who can do aiki but they can't teach it. Even though they try, their students just can't get it - even if they think they can. If you have a teacher that is teaching you and you are learning, then that is certainly a good teacher (and student!).

Cady Goldfield
03-17-2017, 07:25 PM
I suspect most people pick up on things first by accident, and then follow it up by searching for more. That was my route. I think there is a lot of accidental discovery and then wrong directions being taken. I have met some people who can do aiki but they can't teach it. Even though they try, their students just can't get it - even if they think they can. If you have a teacher that is teaching you and you are learning, then that is certainly a good teacher (and student!).

There really are organized ways to teach this material. While the traditional upbringing of most internal martial artists has been "jikiden" from touch/hands-on, and very little verbal coaching, there are teachers in both the Japanese and Chinese internal martial arts who now have a "westernized" approach to imparting internals. They have parsed out all of the actual biomechanics, processes, even the specific muscles and tissues involved, and have created a solid curriculum for teaching and inculcating it. It doesn't have to be guesswork!

Currawong
03-17-2017, 08:03 PM
I wouldn't say people are ignoring rather "instant kuzushi" is thought of being a part of regular waza training dependent on timing and reaction not of Aiki for which most doesn't even know exist as a separate training activity. So in a sense it is a metaphor. Instead of being "Aiki kuzushi", controlling Uke with power gained from internal training regimes, it is "waza kuzushi", pure physical control of Uke based on external practices.

The way I see it is that is being referred to is development of Aiki to the point that it becomes one's natural and normal way of being. At that point physical contact with such a person results in "instant kuzushi" as force will be then be naturally absorbed, grounded and/or redirected.

One thing that comes to mind is an interview, with whom I have forgotten, where the interviewee talks about meeting Tetsuzan Kuroda and asking about his internal power exercises. Kuroda says, in effect, that in the past people would practice a kata so intensely that they eventually became the kata (emphasis mine) but nowadays people didn't have the time for that level of dedicated practice so he created the exercises to speed things up.

If we extend that thought to all we know and have experienced with Aikido masters becoming soft and moving people easily in their old age it starts to make a lot of sense. What the IP/Aiki training is about is developing that ability earlier in life.

Thinking about it, I don't like using the term "Aiki", not because it isn't the correct term, but because it is loaded with so many images and ideas that aren't what is being talked about. Something like "Body Structure Integration" might make more sense in English. Every time I think of it from a "Western" perspective, I think of someone like an Olympic hammer thrower whom through highly advanced sports medical analysis has developed the ability to put all his physical energy into the hammer through coordinated body motion, or a swimmer that must equally co-ordinate their whole body to optimally move through the water.

While we are on the subject. Does anybody know about practitioners from Yoshinkan, Iwama or Shodokan who have dabbled in the world of Aiki and if they had more success in developing Aiki? I mean if the waza was mean't to be a vessel for Aiki, the practitioners from those styles, which are officially more authentic in the waza to that of O'Sensei, should have had it easier to develop Aiki.

I did a little Renshinkai Aikido, which is Chida Sensei's offshoot. At my sensei's class, himself a student of Chida, we did a few practices of unbalancing people separate from the waza, similar to the kinds of things that Shioda would demonstrate, but much slower. I have no idea how much of that is a reflection of what is going on in the rest of Renshinkai though.

MrIggy
03-18-2017, 09:03 AM
The Aikikai is purported to be sitting on a small amount of aiki/internal method -- vestiges of Morihei's skills -- that are taught only to select members, and certainly not to non-Japanese. While I have no verification of that, it would explain why some contemporary-Aikikai shihan seem to have some skills that other members to not.


Even if they do teach them to non-Japanese instructors, and the Japanese instructors demand they don't teach them to their students, the non-Japanese instructors will not teach it out of respect/obedience to their master.

MrIggy
03-18-2017, 09:19 AM
My first insight to aiki was Kanetsuka Sensei in the UK. Everyone tried to do it but only his #1 student at that time - Ezra Sensei - could do it. Have come across a few such people over the years. Or occasionally, someone does a technique on you and it works almost by accident ... and then you both struggle to recreate what the heck just happened :-)

Even on the technical part, many Japanese instructors tend to have a different opinion on what from their curriculum is to be taught, how and where. It seems ridiculous sometimes to see two different Aikido clubs, that are officially affiliated to the same head dojo, do a series of the more basic techniques quite differently. So it's no surprise that, especially in the Aiki/IP department, things come done to accidents. This is regarding the Aikikai instructors off course. Why do they do it like that, i have no idea.

GovernorSilver
03-18-2017, 10:09 AM
Looks like Omori-sensei of Shodokan and Ando-sensei of Yoshinkan didn't get the memo about not teaching/showing internal stuff to any Westerner, in this TV program. ;)

Omori grounding a push from Western guy:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhDzWCmLd_0&feature=youtu.be&t=12m40s

Both the 6H and "aiki"/IP schools of thought state that the two basic forces are Ground and Gravity (aka "Heaven and Earth", "Up and Down"). Mike and Budd both introduce peeps to Ground by having you get a push from a partner, while you try to relax and allow the force of the push to travel to your foot. I don't know if Dan H. teaches the same way. Omori is doing at least that. It's also possible to use Ground and Gravity at the same time to neutralize the push - the pusher should feel like his/her push is "disappearing" instead of being met by the solidity of the ground (which happens when the trainee is only using Ground). Unfortunately, Omori doesn't explain much.

Here Ando openly mentions - in English, no less! - the Ground force.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhDzWCmLd_0&feature=youtu.be&t=29m31s

Alec Corper
03-18-2017, 01:29 PM
Looks like Omori-sensei of Shodokan and Ando-sensei of Yoshinkan didn't get the memo about not teaching/showing internal stuff to any Westerner, in this TV program. ;)

Omori grounding a push from Western guy:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhDzWCmLd_0&feature=youtu.be&t=12m40s

Both the 6H and "aiki"/IP schools of thought state that the two basic forces are Ground and Gravity (aka "Heaven and Earth", "Up and Down"). Mike and Budd both introduce peeps to Ground by having you get a push from a partner, while you try to relax and allow the force of the push to travel to your foot. I don't know if Dan H. teaches the same way. Omori is doing at least that. It's also possible to use Ground and Gravity at the same time to neutralize the push - the pusher should feel like his/her push is "disappearing" instead of being met by the solidity of the ground (which happens when the trainee is only using Ground). Unfortunately, Omori doesn't explain much.

Here Ando openly mentions - in English, no less! - the Ground force.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhDzWCmLd_0&feature=youtu.be&t=29m31s

Sorry can't see any IP here, only usual Yoshinkan style Kokyu ho. BTW that is similar to what Kanetsuka Sensei was doing when I began aikido back in 1991, definitely useful body training but not didactically 6 direction unified force training.
The only Aikikai teacher that seemed to have some kind of IP was, IMHO, Hiroshi Kato Shihan, one of Ueshiba's original student, now greatly missed. This was particularly to be seen and felt in his form of torifune and his weapons work.. I have trained with and taken ukemi from many of the Aikikai 8th Dans and only felt very smooth, perfectly timed waza.
None of this compares to my experiences with Dan Harden, Sam Chin, or Minoru Akuzawa. With respect to all these threads are a waste of time if you have not felt anything different to standard techniques, no matter how well performed. I seriously doubt anyone in the Aikikai is "sitting" on some hidden material.
Anyway it's all been said, aiki won't make you invincible, if you can't fight, you lose. If you can, then aiki will make you better. The rest is just noise.

grondahl
03-18-2017, 03:57 PM
The only Aikikai teacher that seemed to have some kind of IP was, IMHO, Hiroshi Kato Shihan, one of Ueshiba's original student, now greatly missed.

Shirata?

PeterR
03-18-2017, 04:49 PM
Looks like Omori-sensei of Shodokan and Ando-sensei of Yoshinkan didn't get the memo about not teaching/showing internal stuff to any Westerner, in this TV program. ;)

Omori grounding a push from Western guy:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhDzWCmLd_0&feature=youtu.be&t=12m40s

Omori was deshi to Nariyama when I was going through my kyu grades there. Every practice there were exercises designed to develop the grounding and focus - pretty much standard in Shodokan dojo everywhere. No secrets and no hyperbole but I guess that goes against some of the alternate dogma out there.

Tim Fong
03-18-2017, 04:52 PM
The Aikikai is purported to be sitting on a small amount of aiki/internal method -- vestiges of Morihei's skills -- that are taught only to select members, and certainly not to non-Japanese. While I have no verification of that, it would explain why some contemporary-Aikikai shihan seem to have some skills that other members to not.

As for Yoshinkan, I have not seen or heard of anyone under Shioda who received comparable skills to his. If there are any, they are sitting on those skills just as Shioda did, not perpetuating them in the art.

When you describe something "working almost by accident... and then you both struggle to recreate what the heck just happened...," that is truly a pity. If what you are describing is internal/aiki method, then there is a very cogent, specific process to teaching and learning it, and it is a damned shame if students are still being left to struggle without guidance. The teacher either has no clue how to teach it, even through direct touch, or he has no intentions of doing so. :/

Mori: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WRC_u_e3jM
Payet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSN68aHaRJA

GovernorSilver
03-18-2017, 06:19 PM
Omori was deshi to Nariyama when I was going through my kyu grades there. Every practice there were exercises designed to develop the grounding and focus - pretty much standard in Shodokan dojo everywhere. No secrets and no hyperbole but I guess that goes against some of the alternate dogma out there.

Sounds like I might enjoy training at a Shodokan dojo sometime. :cool:

Rupert Atkinson
03-18-2017, 10:24 PM
Sorry can't see any IP here, only usual Yoshinkan style Kokyu ho. BTW that is similar to what Kanetsuka Sensei was doing when I began aikido back in 1991.

I was in the BAF in the 80s. Kanetsuka trained at Shiseikan and I ended up there for awhile when I was an exchange student in Japan. Shiseikan at that time had a strong Yoshinkan bent, with a touch of Aikikai. I think they were in transition. A few years previously I was with Ando Sensei for a year. I have been about ... in my search. At that time, only Kanetsuka had 'something'. All we could do was to try to steal it. But it was good to at least know there was something to search for and that has stayed with me ever since. I should point out there were some teachers at that time (I was a mere nobody) that just could not do what he was doing and thought it was rubbish - too hairy fairy - and they left and made some new org. They concentrated on solid tech etc. But Kanetsuka had tremendous yet subtle power (during and after his cancer). I think they left because they just could not do it. He made all seniors look like total jerks at that time, as did Chiba Sensei, and some seniors just couldn't hack it. You had to lose your ego to train with Kanetsuka.

Cady Goldfield
03-18-2017, 11:07 PM
Mori: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WRC_u_e3jM
Payet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSN68aHaRJA

Thanks.
Mori looks like a "hybrid" of muscle strength and a small amount of meimon (back) work. Payet has some aligned structure, but need to see more video. Neither comes close to having the body method that Shioda had. At best, some people have gotten little bits and pieces, and no cogent body of knowledge/skills.

MrIggy
03-19-2017, 12:29 AM
The way I see it is that is being referred to is development of Aiki to the point that it becomes one's natural and normal way of being. At that point physical contact with such a person results in "instant kuzushi" as force will be then be naturally absorbed, grounded and/or redirected.

Agreed.

One thing that comes to mind is an interview, with whom I have forgotten, where the interviewee talks about meeting Tetsuzan Kuroda and asking about his internal power exercises. Kuroda says, in effect, that in the past people would practice a kata so intensely that they eventually became the kata (emphasis mine) but nowadays people didn't have the time for that level of dedicated practice so he created the exercises to speed things up.

If we extend that thought to all we know and have experienced with Aikido masters becoming soft and moving people easily in their old age it starts to make a lot of sense. What the IP/Aiki training is about is developing that ability earlier in life.

I agree on these parts, but as Peter pointed out:


It really depends on what the technique within the kata is and how it is practiced. Some techniques within the aikido syllabus don't lend themselves to aiki just as the old Daito-ryu differentiated between jujutsu and aiki-no-jutsu techniques. For the ones that do - kata should be executed with aiki throughout. For the others, I personally think that there are places we can sneak in a little aiki. In either case, kata can be used to train aiki although I wont argue the point that often this is not done very well. I also wont argue the point that there are ancillary exercises that help train aiki more directly but kata does provide the bridge to applicability (if trained correctly).

Therefore there has to be made a clear difference between which Kata should be trained early on for the sole purpose of developing Aiki, and which Kata should be trained because they are martially sound. Also refinement of certain Kata's and techniques, for the more combative approach, should be taken into consideration as well.

Thinking about it, I don't like using the term "Aiki", not because it isn't the correct term, but because it is loaded with so many images and ideas that aren't what is being talked about. Something like "Body Structure Integration" might make more sense in English. Every time I think of it from a "Western" perspective, I think of someone like an Olympic hammer thrower whom through highly advanced sports medical analysis has developed the ability to put all his physical energy into the hammer through coordinated body motion, or a swimmer that must equally co-ordinate their whole body to optimally move through the water.

The problem is that medical analysis, or pure scientific analysis for that matter, doesn't "analyze" well this kind of training. I don't think even some sort of analysis, besides the pure empirical ones by trainees, have ever been tried. A good thing that you mentioned an Olympic hammer thrower. My Sensei was a junior state champion in shot putting and also a third place in javelin throwing (maybe vice-versa). Anyway, her body movement and mechanics are highly coordinated plus she has that body explosion, or lurch, as though you were hit by a missile and then carried away with all of your momentum that you have given. In perspective it's quite the opposite from what is being explained as Aiki, although the main goal is the same, to turn the enemies attack into nothing. Many fencers would surely envy her on her body movement and explosion.

I did a little Renshinkai Aikido, which is Chida Sensei's offshoot. At my sensei's class, himself a student of Chida, we did a few practices of unbalancing people separate from the waza, similar to the kinds of things that Shioda would demonstrate, but much slower. I have no idea how much of that is a reflection of what is going on in the rest of Renshinkai though.

Probably not much i am afraid.

Alec Corper
03-19-2017, 04:41 AM
Shirata?

Hello Peter,
I never met Shirata. There are a group here in The Netherlands training under Alan Beebe who was a deshi of Shrata. He is also studying under Dan Harden, so undoubtedly they can trace a root of Aiki there. So, you are correct in rejecting my generalism, there are possibly others hiding out there away from mainstream Aikikai.

Tim Fong,
As someone who trains with Ark I am surprised at your choice of video examples. Mori looks very good at what he does but seems to rely on speed and youthful strength. That, plus collusive ukes, doesn't show much else to me. No disrespect intended. Payet shows a much more relaxed and dense body structure whilst retaining lightness, reminiscent of Shioda.

Videos generally fail to convey a premise for useful discussion unless we know what was supposedly being being demonstrated. Most push tests are unglamorous and, if really good, not much to look at. The kuzushi that occurs is imperceptible and the technique is born at that moment so it is easy to miss what happened just before.Added to this problem is that ukes rarely attack with intent and,if they do, it is along a predetermined path with a conditioned body response. It is interesting to try this against military or security guys ( as training :cool: or it's too dangerous). Sometimes it works, sometimes not, but the feedback is very different. Likewise playing with people without the Sensei/ deshi paradigm, where either can be uke or tori, such as freestyle tui shou, reveals a great deal about the quality of action within non- action. When you have no idea what will happen you have to "listen", and be able to act freely without intention clouding your mind, whilst your body remains full of intent at any every point of contact.

Tim Fong
03-19-2017, 01:20 PM
Hi Alec,
Keep in mind that I haven't seen or trained with Ark in several years now since he was last in Southern California. My opinions should be seen as mine alone.
At 7:33 in the video Mori pulls into himself
Mori looks very good at what he does but seems to rely on speed and youthful strength. That, plus collusive ukes, doesn't show much else to me. No disrespect intended.

None taken. Here is what I see in the video. At 7:33 Mori starts showing movement against a two handed wrist grab. At around 7:46 (https://youtu.be/3WRC_u_e3jM?t=7m46s) he pulls into himself, hence his bends forward, which is what completes the throw. I am pretty sure he does that by connecting the top and bottom of his body into one unit via the musculature in his core that connects the spine to the top of each femur, along with the fascial deep front line. His uke of course responds in the typical aikido fashion. He talks about locking his uke's body -- not sure if he's doing this with some internal spiral movement or not -- maybe. When I say connecting the top and bottom of the body together, I mean the ability to drop oneself down faster than gravity. Often the way people do this (or any forward throw is to relax and let their body mass collapse towards the ground. Pretty effective for heavier people. On the other hand, there is a way to literally pull the torso towards the ground, which is much stronger and also, if going straight down (i.e. dropping down into a squat) the person doing it will drop faster than they would with just gravity alone pulling them down. Around 8:39 Mori talks again about "solidifying [uke's] bone frame" and then shows a couple responses to an elbow grab. I kind of wonder if he's using his the flattening of the abdomen (tanden) to lead a spiral turning his arm in at 8:55. Mori's uke's do the typical aikido thing of providing one constant attack/force,and obviously in a freestyle situation is different. Around 10:29 or so Mori starts to show defenses to someone grabbing the front of the dogi. HIs partner is a fairly solid guy, and again, Mori says "solidify" which looks again to me like connecting the top and bottom of the body and pulling down.

Around 10:48 uke lifts Mori up on his toes, but because he connects top and bottom he regains control and moves uke. Around 11:49 uke lifts Mori completely off the ground, then there's a jump cut to a different camera angle for the throw -- wish I could see that from the same initial view.

Payet shows a much more relaxed and dense body structure whilst retaining lightness, reminiscent of Shioda.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSN68aHaRJA
Around :29 Payet points to himself and then I see him use his head to lead his spine (along with an inhale), as the left hand comes down against uke, which is how Payet is pinning the guy.

Here's a video of Payet showing tenchi nage:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8_GF5KiWT0
He shows locking up the hip via maintaining his own top bottom connection. Maybe some kind of spiraling through his hands also, can't really tell. But he is definitely manipulating the up/down, you see it at around :59 when he steps, and then off balances his uke by lifting him up. Then at 1:03, Payet drops again and uses the rising up from the drop to again manipulate the uke and off balance uke further, while Payet brings his back foot up simultaneously with his rise. Around 1:04 you see the effect of Payet's second step he lifts uke up more, and then using that off balance is able to continue to break uke down towards the ground when Payet lowers himself further.

I am pretty sure Payet is also using the mechanic of pulling into himself that I described above.

. Likewise playing with people without the Sensei/ deshi paradigm, where either can be uke or tori, such as freestyle tui shou, reveals a great deal about the quality of action within non- action.

I agree. The one thing I like about watching aikido videos and sometimes training with aikido people is that having a clear single vectored attack can make it easier (at first) to find the correct quality of movement. Learning to adapt to a changing force is something I have found to be easier within a push hands context.

Tim Fong
03-19-2017, 01:43 PM
HIs partner is a fairly solid guy, and again, Mori says "solidify" which looks again to me like connecting the top and bottom of the body and pulling down.
Should read as "his partner is a fairly heavy guy"

Cady Goldfield
03-19-2017, 07:09 PM
Not seeing anything "internal" in Payet. He has some relaxed alignment when static, but as soon as he steps and moves, his structure is gone and he is rocking on his feet, and leaning with his own center of gravity/mass compromised. There is no kuzushi on contact, which would be evident if his body were being held in an internal structure. And, he's using mechanical alignment-positioning in uke to get uke's upper body to go beyond his center of mass.

Alec Corper
03-20-2017, 03:17 AM
Not seeing anything "internal" in Payet. He has some relaxed alignment when static, but as soon as he steps and moves, his structure is gone and he is rocking on his feet, and leaning with his own center of gravity/mass compromised. There is no kuzushi on contact, which would be evident if his body were being held in an internal structure. And, he's using mechanical alignment-positioning in uke to get uke's upper body to go beyond his center of mass.

Agree pretty much. I don't see much evidence of "intent" driven structure, but I am not as strict as you are :D

Bernd Lehnen
03-20-2017, 05:40 AM
Not seeing anything "internal" in Payet. He has some relaxed alignment when static, but as soon as he steps and moves, his structure is gone and he is rocking on his feet, and leaning with his own center of gravity/mass compromised. There is no kuzushi on contact, which would be evident if his body were being held in an internal structure. And, he's using mechanical alignment-positioning in uke to get uke's upper body to go beyond his center of mass.

Although I pretty much agree, I wouldn't just look only for internal structure. Dan Harden sometimes goes into off mode on purpose to show something more clearly but you would be trapped because aiki is still there and works in any position. As I found out, myself, you simply can't pretend to have (no) aiki.

Best,
Bernd

oisin bourke
03-20-2017, 05:42 AM
Not seeing anything "internal" in Payet. He has some relaxed alignment when static, but as soon as he steps and moves, his structure is gone and he is rocking on his feet, and leaning with his own center of gravity/mass compromised. There is no kuzushi on contact, which would be evident if his body were being held in an internal structure. And, he's using mechanical alignment-positioning in uke to get uke's upper body to go beyond his center of mass.

Agree pretty much. I don't see much evidence of "intent" driven structure, but I am not as strict as you are :D

Although I pretty much agree, I wouldn't just look only for internal structure. Dan Harden sometimes goes into off mode on purpose to show something more clearly but you would be trapped because aiki is still there and works in any position. As I found out, myself, you simply can't pretend to have (no) aiki.

Best,
Bernd

Any chance any of ye will post a video of yourselves doing this "correctly", so we can see the difference?

Bernd Lehnen
03-20-2017, 05:51 AM
Any chance any of ye will post a video of yourselves doing this "correctly", so we can see the difference?

No.

oisin bourke
03-20-2017, 06:01 AM
No.

Thought not.

GovernorSilver
03-20-2017, 06:31 AM
Aiki in any position, eh? How about when you're lying in the park napping?

Alec Corper
03-20-2017, 06:42 AM
Sorry Oisin, I don't do videos because there will always be some jerk out there who wants to criticise my stuff, even if they don't understand what I'm doing. ;-)

oisin bourke
03-20-2017, 06:59 AM
Sorry Oisin, I don't do videos because there will always be some jerk out there who wants to criticise my stuff, even if they don't understand what I'm doing. ;-)
I assume that's not targeted at me. In any event, because ye were so free to criticize the videos others i thought it's only fair to give people an idea of what it is ye are criticizing. It's more productive imo.

Bernd Lehnen
03-20-2017, 07:22 AM
Oisin,
When I say I can't see it, that doesn't mean you couldn't.
So, please, what did you see?
Best,
Bernd:)

Demetrio Cereijo
03-20-2017, 07:40 AM
Sorry Oisin, I don't do videos because there will always be some jerk out there who wants to criticise my stuff, even if they don't understand what I'm doing. ;-)
At least you didn't say uke is going to die.

Alec Corper
03-20-2017, 07:45 AM
I assume that's not targeted at me. In any event, because ye were so free to criticize the videos others i thought it's only fair to give people an idea of what it is ye are criticizing. It's more productive imo.

Of course it is targeted at you. You are being critical of others being critical of others without being certain that is what they are doing.
Watching and seeing are 2 different things. If I can't feel someones technique I need to develop the ability to see. If iI can't feel and and I can't see how can I do. BTW, I'm not some punk, I started MA before you were born so get off your high horse.

respectfully yours (with a list of grades that don't mean diddly squat in the real world, unless you think they do))
Aikikai 5th Dan
Shinkendo Chuden Renshu Kaku
Toyama Ryu Battojutsu 1st Dan
Chuan She Chuan boxing Black Sash
Apprentice Instructor WDS

Alec Corper
03-20-2017, 07:48 AM
At least you didn't say uke is going to die.
Demetrio,
I would never say such a thing to anyone, not even if meant it :p

oisin bourke
03-20-2017, 07:54 AM
Of course it is targeted at you. You are being critical of others being critical of others without being certain that is what they are doing.
Watching and seeing are 2 different things. If I can't feel someones technique I need to develop the ability to see. If iI can't feel and and I can't see how can I do. BTW, I'm not some punk, I started MA before you were born so get off your high horse.

respectfully yours (with a list of grades that don't mean diddly squat in the real world, unless you think they do))
Aikikai 5th Dan
Shinkendo Chuden Renshu Kaku
Toyama Ryu Battojutsu 1st Dan
Chuan She Chuan boxing Black Sash
Apprentice Instructor WDS

I asked you to post a video of you doing something correctly that you crticise others for and you insult me.

oisin bourke
03-20-2017, 07:56 AM
Oisin,
When I say I can't see it, that doesn't mean you couldn't.
So, please, what did you see?
Best,
Bernd:)

You're the one making the statements Bernd, so why don't you show us a correct demonstration of what you're talking about.

Alec Corper
03-20-2017, 07:59 AM
Oisin,
You asked for other people to justify what you believe to be criticism. I would suggest you look in your own heart for who was doing what to who. I am not insulting you but that may not stop you feeling insulted. I do not know you, you may be excellent at what you do and be a very sincere man. You do not know me and i certainly don't feel the need to justify my observations.
God bless.

RonRagusa
03-20-2017, 08:02 AM
You're the one making the statements Bernd, so why don't you show us a correct demonstration of what you're talking about.

You're beating a dead horse my friend.

Ron

Alec Corper
03-20-2017, 08:07 AM
couldn't resist eh Ron?

Oh well thats me done for another 6 months or so.

oisin bourke
03-20-2017, 08:08 AM
Oisin,
You asked for other people to justify what you believe to be criticism. I would suggest you look in your own heart for who was doing what to who. I am not insulting you but that may not stop you feeling insulted. I do not know you, you may be excellent at what you do and be a very sincere man. You do not know me and i certainly don't feel the need to justify my observations.
God bless.

Alec, it's the same thing over and over: "He's not doing internal aiki that we learned from whoever.' Right, that's fine. If people post videos publicly it's up for discussion, so in that case why don't you or whoever show us what's going on? If you can analyse a high ranking aikido practicioner crtiically, I assume you know why and can demonstrate it. In any event, it's a lot more productive than trading insults.

Bernd Lehnen
03-20-2017, 08:17 AM
You're the one making the statements Bernd, so why don't you show us a correct demonstration of what you're talking about.

Dan doesn't and others, more able than I, dont. Reading your comments, certainly a wise decision.
By the way, I needn't, I haven't got a horse in it...
Good luck to you.

Best,
Bernd

Cady Goldfield
03-20-2017, 08:51 AM
Agree pretty much. I don't see much evidence of "intent" driven structure, but I am not as strict as you are :D

I don't see intent-driven mechanisms (i.e. tanden/meimon usage, etc.) for holding structure, either. But he does start with alignment and "relaxation" -- alignment of his joints. Because the alignments are passive (not held by intent-driven adjustments of sinew, fascia, specific muscle), he can't maintain them once he moves.

Cady Goldfield
03-20-2017, 08:54 AM
Any chance any of ye will post a video of yourselves doing this "correctly", so we can see the difference?

You are welcome to train with us anytime for hands-on feel and discussion. That is a sincere, and sincerely friendly, invitation.

oisin bourke
03-20-2017, 08:59 AM
You are welcome to train with us anytime for hands-on feel and discussion. That is a sincere, and sincerely friendly, invitation.
So that's a no to the video then. Okay.

Cady Goldfield
03-20-2017, 09:10 AM
So that's a no to the video then. Okay.

You can shoot video if you visit. :)

oisin bourke
03-20-2017, 09:15 AM
You can shoot video if you visit. :)
That just comes across as marketing to me. I'll pass.

Cady Goldfield
03-20-2017, 09:20 AM
That just comes across as marketing to me. I'll pass.

Are you serious?
That's unfortunate if you are. I lead a tiny AJJ study group in Boston. Also, I train in internal Chinese martial arts (Zhong Xin Dao/I Liq Chuan) and train in a study group for that, as well.
I don't make any money from aiki. It's just something I love to study and practice, and have been doing so for the past 19 years.

You are still welcome if you're ever on this side of the pond.

jonreading
03-20-2017, 11:45 AM
I would raise the argument that we (aikido community) will tolerate, and even positively comment on a video of someone performing, say ribbon aikido. Or dum aikido. Or start/stop compliant uke kata. Yet, as soon as a conversation of aiki comes up, "well, I would need to see it work to believe it." Really? do you think drum aikido works? Where are the street application videos? Or, zombie aikido, or kata aikido vids? There are none. We are talking about aiki movement and aikido movement, let's keep our evaluation process fair and stop pivoting our evaluative criteria.

Second, I have tried communicating that I believe aiki in aikido is actually very rare. I think the lack of video evidence is supportive of that belief and I am not surprised that good videos of aiki are hard to find. Why do we keep throwing up instruction vids to scrutinize? All that is happening is that we are recognizing that the videos don't support IP movement while putting someone under a microscope without even given in the subject the option to respond to a video that may not reflect what we are discussing, let alone the age of the video or skill of the subject in the video. I am unclear from where the feeling that the aikido community is obligated to provide a video for consumption concerning a point of discussion is coming. There are training aspects in aikido we discuss all the time without requiring video. The problem, I think, is that IP is something that actually is foreign to many so there is not common experience on which to draw.

Third, I am consuming this thread as an inquiry into the benefits of IP training, and the differences between IP and "regular" training. It's a compare/contrast conversation. For me, that is first a fundamental question of whether you believe you have aiki, and second a question of training to develop that skill. I think many people believe they have aiki; what we hear largely from the IP community is that most of us don't. If you don't understand and appreciate that reality, I think this thread is probably hard to follow. If you don't want to explore the issue, why are you even reading the thread?

I continue to point back to the honesty (if not tongue-in-cheek) and playfulness of the thread title, which correctly identifies a separation in experience so unique and to play with the thought of invincibility in movement, which is not actually a bad descriptor of someone who moves with aiki (if somewhat sensational). One could speculate that without that feeling in your movement, it is likely that you are not moving with aiki. For all the words on the internet, it won't change how you move.

Budd
03-20-2017, 01:56 PM
I check in periodically to see how the dialogue changes and it really hasn't since I've been watching this "debate" for more than 10 years - in that time I've been busy with training a lot of the areas that get discussed under the auspices of "internal strength". My perspective is that there's a set of common skills (and various flavors of information about them, depending on who you have access to) that get explored to various degrees regarding how to train the bodyskill of directing external forces (chiefly the naturally occurring ones of gravity and ground) and various conditioning methods to more effectively manage those forces in your body. In parallel (and this takes longer but is critical) is the bodywork to build the bones/muscles/tendon/tissue connections (to better propagate and issue the ground/gavity forces) which is different than just conditioning your body to respond to load.

Demetrio Cereijo
03-20-2017, 03:43 PM
I check in periodically ...
Hi Budd, time no see. How it is going?

Budd
03-20-2017, 05:55 PM
Hi Budd, time no see. How it is going?

Good and busy, Demetrio! How have you been? Have you gotten your hands on anyone doing this stuff?

RonRagusa
03-20-2017, 10:10 PM
I lead a tiny AJJ study group in Boston. Also, I train in internal Chinese martial arts (Zhong Xin Dao/I Liq Chuan) and train in a study group for that, as well.

Cady - I have two video links attached to this post that I looked up only to get a representative sample of the outer forms of the arts you study. The first is Sam Chin demonstrating I Liq Chuan (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpZrDT1GFKw) and the second is Seigo Okamoto demonstrating Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvPEU9mAX5Y).

It's pretty evident from the clips that the outer forms of both arts are decidedly different in appearance. Since both arts stress the generation of internal power, I'm wondering if they share common internal power training methods or are the training methods unique to the respective art?

Ron

Cady Goldfield
03-20-2017, 10:35 PM
Cady - I have two video links attached to this post that I looked up only to get a representative sample of the outer forms of the arts you study. The first is Sam Chin demonstrating I Liq Chuan (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpZrDT1GFKw) and the second is Seigo Okamoto demonstrating Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvPEU9mAX5Y).

It's pretty evident from the clips that the outer forms of both arts are decidedly different in appearance. Since both arts stress the generation of internal power, I'm wondering if they share common internal power training methods or are the training methods unique to the respective art?

Ron

Hi Ron,
While the outward expressions (the individual training exercises, the overt "shapes" and look, and the martial application) appear quite different, the actual mechanisms, principles and concepts are the same. That's where the creative artistry of expression comes in. If you were to see the exercises of I Liq Chuan training and the tanren (forging drills) of aikijujutsu, they might have some stylistic differences, but would actually be working the same processes to produce the same end products and results.

Think of the body method (aiki myoden, or "internal qualities") as the engine, and the martial-overt expression as the piece of machinery into which the engine is installed. The same engine can either fly a prop plane or drive a sports car.

Here is a clip of my aikijujutsu teacher, Salahuddin Muhammad. The same stickiness you see in Chin Sifu in his spinning demonstration, is being shown by Salahuddin Sensei in his sticky connectivity to his uke/teki.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NpoGWyKrtA&t=14s

oisin bourke
03-20-2017, 11:30 PM
Cady - I have two video links attached to this post that I looked up only to get a representative sample of the outer forms of the arts you study. The first is Sam Chin demonstrating I Liq Chuan (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpZrDT1GFKw) and the second is Seigo Okamoto demonstrating Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvPEU9mAX5Y).

It's pretty evident from the clips that the outer forms of both arts are decidedly different in appearance. Since both arts stress the generation of internal power, I'm wondering if they share common internal power training methods or are the training methods unique to the respective art?

Ron
You've gotten to the nub of it ron. A lot of the internal power authorities posting on forums like this are conflating arts that they have little to no knowledge of with their own systems and ideas. If people really want to get to grips with an art like daito ryu, they need to find an instructor within that lineage and train under them for a suitable period of time. It's not as sexy as attending seminars with internal power and chinese martial art teachers and then debating on the web, but there you go. Anyway, back to the usual conversation!

Cady Goldfield
03-20-2017, 11:48 PM
Some of the individuals who discuss internals here (and, I haven't heard any who claimed to be "authorities"), have trained in more than one of the arts and have gone through enough of the internal-body-building methods in both -- and have enough skills in both -- to make a cogent comparison,

Jim Sorrentino
03-21-2017, 08:03 AM
I check in periodically to see how the dialogue changes and it really hasn't since I've been watching this "debate" for more than 10 years - in that time I've been busy with training a lot of the areas that get discussed under the auspices of "internal strength". My perspective is that there's a set of common skills (and various flavors of information about them, depending on who you have access to) that get explored to various degrees regarding how to train the bodyskill of directing external forces (chiefly the naturally occurring ones of gravity and ground) and various conditioning methods to more effectively manage those forces in your body. In parallel (and this takes longer but is critical) is the bodywork to build the bones/muscles/tendon/tissue connections (to better propagate and issue the ground/gavity forces) which is different than just conditioning your body to respond to load.

Hi Budd,

You're right about the dialogue not changing, and not just on AikiWeb: http://rumsoakedfist.org/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=24695&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&sid=faa598d7186d81704e4dab3a54c8f6fc provides a thorough critique of Salahuddin Muhammad (formerly Edward J. Smith, alias Edward Burns, alias Tanemura Akahisa). I was amused to find myself agreeing with Dan Harden... >:-)

"Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose."

See you on the mat eventually!

Jim

PeterR
03-21-2017, 09:23 AM
You've gotten to the nub of it ron. A lot of the internal power authorities posting on forums like this are conflating arts that they have little to no knowledge of with their own systems and ideas.

Exactly - it could go both ways but it usually doesn't. I have a certain amount of sympathy for aikido people incorporating ideas outside of their own art to enhance what they are trying to achieve (if it helps go for it) but much less for the recurrent theme that this is what is good and true and all else is garbage. It is easy to pick holes in videos when that is the attitude and frankly IF I were to do the same I could be just as effective. We all see only what we want to.

Now that said - and more to the new Forum name (Internal training in Aikido) I will say that as I matured both in age and aikido I find what I work on and what I teach (to all levels) has changed. I will take more time with Shodokan exercises such as Shote awase or Hiriki no yosei ensuring the body positioning, intent and focus is understood and how those exercises translate into technique. Both those exercises (there are others) are key to developing aiki (forgive the almost pun) and although we never use the term IP there is a very distinct parallel. At the risk of the hyperbole I so despise your power of execution will go up exponentially.

Jim popping up un-expectantly reminded me of a visit to his place years ago and from that just how much things have changed. At that time aikido for me was all about timing and angles. I certainly taught differently when called upon - not sure if more effectively.

Budd
03-21-2017, 10:05 AM
Hey Peter, good to see you here (you, too, Jimmy) . .

Yeah, I think the way people are training is more organically evolving towards paying more attention to the conditioning stuffs. But there's some pretty deep material that can be explored there based on well-outlined content that on one hand I'm surprised it isn't getting more traction based on its being "built in" to the naming of the system so-to-speak. But given some of the nature of how Japanese arts have been passed on and they're evolution from organized koryu, to still organized gendai and even sports (let alone some of the hybridization), I guess I'm not surprised that it hasn't caught on more. Both for the reason that some of the systems tend to be highly codified without a lot of room for exploration outside of the approved curriculum (in some cases) or in other cases so much is available to explore that it's difficult to build a parallel training plan to make sure other "skills and conditioning" are being addressed that aren't already baked into the technical materials (I think Tohei tried to address this in a way).

And there are also legitimate reasons why it's not of interest to pursue. Folks looking to "belong" to their group may not want to be outsiders if the material is beyond the scope of comfort. Others may legitimately see faster routes to being more effective by the metrics they measure such things.

When I do check in, I'm pretty interested in where the polarized approaches come from (It's GREAT vs. I don't NEED it vs. I'm ALREADY DOING it) and I've kinda determined that so many other things beyond the clinical analysis of what's going on get attached (belief systems, community, compulsions, self-esteem etc.) that it's almost better that it remain its own thing outside the so-called mainstream. The seekers can get access to more and more information as well as people training this stuff so they can make hopefully more informed determinations - as well as demystifying some of "this stuff" so that the information is decoupled from preconceived notions of superiority, ingroup/outgroup, yadda yadda . .

Cady Goldfield
03-21-2017, 12:43 PM
Hi Budd,

You're right about the dialogue not changing, and not just on AikiWeb: http://rumsoakedfist.org/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=24695&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&sid=faa598d7186d81704e4dab3a54c8f6fc provides a thorough critique of Salahuddin Muhammad (formerly Edward J. Smith, alias Edward Burns, alias Tanemura Akahisa). I was amused to find myself agreeing with Dan Harden... >:-)

"Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose."

See you on the mat eventually!

Jim

Jim,
The "reviews" by him on Rumsoakedfist are false and uninformed. He has never met Salahuddin Muhammad, and has no first-hand information. I have trained with both.

Furthermore, the old posts about "Ed Smith," et al are also untrue and uninformed. It's easy to play armchair quarterback when you have no direct experience with someone. My suggestion is to actually meet and train with Salahuddin Muhammad, before you make any kind of public opinion. I did. His work is sound and genuine, he is a person of good character, and I would go to bat for his reputation anyday.

Jim Sorrentino
03-21-2017, 01:30 PM
Jim,
The "reviews" by him on Rumsoakedfist are false and uninformed. He has never met Salahuddin Muhammad, and has no first-hand information. I have trained with both.

Furthermore, the old posts about "Ed Smith," et al are also untrue and uninformed. It's easy to play armchair quarterback when you have no direct experience with someone. My suggestion is to actually meet and train with Salahuddin Muhammad, before you make any kind of public opinion. I did. His work is sound and genuine, he is a person of good character, and I would go to bat for his reputation anyday.

Cady,

My resources are limited, so I must weigh my study choices carefully. Having read all 23 pages of the RSF thread, I'll take your former teacher Dan's word over yours on this subject. From what I've heard, Dan knows a bit more than you about this stuff. >:-) Besides, there are several other skilled instructors, both inside and outside aikido, who offer an accessible, clean approach to aiki/IP, who are not carrying your current teacher's... baggage.

Jim

Jim Sorrentino
03-21-2017, 01:35 PM
Jim popping up un-expectantly reminded me of a visit to his place years ago and from that just how much things have changed. At that time aikido for me was all about timing and angles. I certainly taught differently when called upon - not sure if more effectively.

Peter,

You taught a thoroughly enjoyable class! You're welcome in my dojo any time. It would be interesting to compare notes...

Best,

Jim

Jim Sorrentino
03-21-2017, 01:46 PM
Yeah, I think the way people are training is more organically evolving towards paying more attention to the conditioning stuffs. But there's some pretty deep material that can be explored there based on well-outlined content that on one hand I'm surprised it isn't getting more traction based on its being "built in" to the naming of the system so-to-speak.

Hi Budd,

I agree, especially about "paying more attention to the conditioning stuffs." So far, I've found "the conditioning stuffs" to be the most accessible aspect of aiki/IP --- but that's just me. Others prefer a more codified ("kata-fied"?) approach. Not wrong, just different...

Jim

Cady Goldfield
03-21-2017, 03:03 PM
One pays one's money and makes one's choices. Choosing misinformation, libel and petty gossip over firsthand experience is not something rational people endorse, but there ya go.

Cady,

My resources are limited, so I must weigh my study choices carefully. Having read all 23 pages of the RSF thread, I'll take your former teacher Dan's word over yours on this subject. From what I've heard, Dan knows a bit more than you about this stuff. >:-) Besides, there are several other skilled instructors, both inside and outside aikido, who offer an accessible, clean approach to aiki/IP, who are not carrying your current teacher's... baggage.

Jim

RonRagusa
03-21-2017, 03:59 PM
While the outward expressions (the individual training exercises, the overt "shapes" and look, and the martial application) appear quite different, the actual mechanisms, principles and concepts are the same. That's where the creative artistry of expression comes in. If you were to see the exercises of I Liq Chuan training and the tanren (forging drills) of aikijujutsu, they might have some stylistic differences, but would actually be working the same processes to produce the same end products and results.

Thanks Cady. Would it then be fair to say that while there are different approaches to internal training, methods that produce equivalent end products and results are all converging on a single point despite their apparent differences?

Think of the body method (aiki myoden, or "internal qualities") as the engine, and the martial-overt expression as the piece of machinery into which the engine is installed. The same engine can either fly a prop plane or drive a sports car.

What you're referring to as 'the body method (aiki myoden, or "internal qualities")', I learned as the unification of mind and body. Specifically, the unification of intent and action within myself (centering). The unified mind/body then becomes the engine you referenced above.

Ron

Jim Sorrentino
03-21-2017, 08:20 PM
One pays one's money and makes one's choices. Choosing misinformation, libel and petty gossip over firsthand experience is not something rational people endorse, but there ya go.

"Misinformation"? You haven't provided me (or those here, or in other forums) with any information that would lead me to accept your opinion over Dan's concerning either aiki/IP or your teacher's grasp of it.

"Libel"? I'm an attorney, licensed in Maryland. Has your current teacher successfully pursued his cause in court? If not, please describe it accurately: it's an opinion with which you disagree.

"Petty gossip"? Aside from the redundancy of that phrase, see the discussion immediately above, and review the meaning of "opinion".

"Not something rational people endorse"? Accepting the opinion of someone who knows more than you about this subject seems quite rational --- and it saves me the time and money that firsthand experience would cost. :D

Jim

Cady Goldfield
03-21-2017, 08:27 PM
Ron,
Yes, it's kind of like that old saying about different paths leading up the same mountain. However, while there are different approaches that purport to be heading to the same pinnacle, there are stratifications among them that make it difficult to make a broad-brush statement that they all lead to the same point. Some systems only work certain parts of these methods and do not have some that other systems have. Practitioners develop some skills, but may not have certain ones that are evident in other systems. Other arts or systems do have equivalent training methods for the same effects, and if you touched hands with experienced exponents of each you would feel and recognize these shared processes and recognize that they have the same engine - just a different outward expression of its powers. So, it's a mixed bag... which is the case in any discipline.

Awareness and intent drive all of these actions for us, as well. Unifying intent with action.
We train in Boston, and if you and Mary ever come to that neck of the woods, you are most welcome. It could be fun to compare notes.

Thanks Cady. Would it then be fair to say that while there are different approaches to internal training, methods that produce equivalent end products and results are all converging on a single point despite their apparent differences?

What you're referring to as 'the body method (aiki myoden, or "internal qualities")', I learned as the unification of mind and body. Specifically, the unification of intent and action within myself (centering). The unified mind/body then becomes the engine you referenced above.

Ron

Bernd Lehnen
03-22-2017, 05:07 AM
...... I will take more time with Shodokan exercises such as Shote awase or Hiriki no yosei ensuring the body positioning, intent and focus is understood and how those exercises translate into technique. Both those exercises (there are others) are key to developing aiki (forgive the almost pun) and although we never use the term IP there is a very distinct parallel. At the risk of the hyperbole I so despise your power of execution will go up exponentially.
........
Parallels don't meet anywhere near...

Joking apart though , not a bad thing to do.
I'm still amazed about the anatomically grounded rightfully essential and overt effectiveness when I look at old pictures of Tomiki doing Daito ryu aka his aikido. He must have had something in spades. Equally I still adore Yamada Senta for having represented exactly this with beauty and grace.

Best,
Bernd

jonreading
03-22-2017, 11:05 AM
So here's some things that come to my mind:

Aikido has had 50 years to properly disseminate, consume, inherit, and pass on aiki training. What we consider mainstream aikido has done this poorly; academically speaking, the methodology of teaching is not defensible. We cannot produce aiki heavyweights using the methodology that has been in place. The people who have come out of aikido with some juice are doing so for other reasons than just aikido. Doing something that historically does not produce aiki and hoping for a different result is fantasy. Take any of these arguments outside of aikido, and the argument becomes ridiculous, right? Who would go to a college that only graduates .01% of its students? Worse, what about a college whose success rate is even lower unless the student is mentored by a single teacher? Unless what I am hearing from aikido is that the art is designed to withhold education from all but a select few, who would train this way?

When I started looking at internal power, it was because I felt I was not successfully learning under general "aikido" methodology. It turned out that internal power was an entire component of training that was glossed over, to be generous (and not done, to be accurate). But, the same can be said for aikido people to claim to use weapons. These are chunks of education that are not being treated fairly in aikido. While there may be individuals that are more successful with aiki, I am not sure I would claim aikido is successful with aiki. That is not say that individuals can't have success, or future instruction can't be altered to better teach aiki. A broken clock is right twice a day; so are we discussing a broken clock, or a clock that is right twice a day?

Alec Corper
03-22-2017, 12:36 PM
So we come full circle back to the beginning with virtually no change.
I think Budd sums it up perfectly

"And there are also legitimate reasons why it's not of interest to pursue. Folks looking to "belong" to their group may not want to be outsiders if the material is beyond the scope of comfort. Others may legitimately see faster routes to being more effective by the metrics they measure such things.

When I do check in, I'm pretty interested in where the polarized approaches come from (It's GREAT vs. I don't NEED it vs. I'm ALREADY DOING it) and I've kinda determined that so many other things beyond the clinical analysis of what's going on get attached (belief systems, community, compulsions, self-esteem etc.) that it's almost better that it remain its own thing outside the so-called mainstream. The seekers can get access to more and more information as well as people training this stuff so they can make hopefully more informed determinations - as well as demystifying some of "this stuff" so that the information is decoupled from preconceived notions of superiority, ingroup/outgroup, yadda yadda"

Especially the yadda yadda part. ;-)

Bernd Lehnen
03-22-2017, 12:59 PM
Hello Alec,

After hands on with Dan Harden I don't need more and more information but just to put in the work and time and the occasional reality check i.e. getting reminded by him how much I suck. We all usually have a lot of fun at his seminars and still learn something exceptional.

Best,
Bernd

Budd
03-22-2017, 03:36 PM
Bernd, not so speak for Dan, but at least he used to be among the biggest proponents to get your hands on multiple people to see what they're doing. I generally agree that you want to pick an approach to get time in and make progress against. The "tourists" or hoppers that go to the seminar of the week without really changing their fundamental approach to incorporate IS if there's gaps tend to make the least progress.

I do wish we could unwind the conversation of "do you do IS" or "is IS incorporated into your aikido" from the seemingly embedded conclusion that one's aikido is somehow "less" or not fulfilling for them. I can't reinforce enough that if you're enjoying your training and getting what you want out of it, then great. I just wish we could elevate the discussion from personalities and fabled traits to more "this is how it works within traditional definitions of "ki", "qi", "kokyu", "jin", etc. and align the buzzwords to demonstrable, explainable phenomena rather than storytelling, metaphysics and or mysticism.

Even the title of this thread is a bit troubling because unless it's a rhetorical eye-roll "air quote" question, then it's pretty blatantly absurd. Some baseline parameters are that NOTHING makes you invincible. Having more conditioning and skill tends to improve performance. There can be misalignment between IS approaches and an individual or group's aikido practice. There also doesn't have to be a conflict between exploring internal strength and maintaining a group association.

That said, I wish we could move the discussion further along for those in the aikido space that are currently working on these things - meaning how to align some of the breath, connection and intention work with more globally talked about things outside of any one martial art in the internal strength space.

Bernd Lehnen
03-22-2017, 04:36 PM
Bernd, not so speak for Dan, but at least he used to be among the biggest proponents to get your hands on multiple people to see what they're doing. I generally agree that you want to pick an approach to get time in and make progress against. The "tourists" or hoppers that go to the seminar of the week without really changing their fundamental approach to incorporate IS if there's gaps tend to make the least progress.

I do wish we could unwind the conversation of "do you do IS" or "is IS incorporated into your aikido" from the seemingly embedded conclusion that one's aikido is somehow "less" or not fulfilling for them. I can't reinforce enough that if you're enjoying your training and getting what you want out of it, then great. I just wish we could elevate the discussion from personalities and fabled traits to more "this is how it works within traditional definitions of "ki", "qi", "kokyu", "jin", etc. and align the buzzwords to demonstrable, explainable phenomena rather than storytelling, metaphysics and or mysticism.

Even the title of this thread is a bit troubling because unless it's a rhetorical eye-roll "air quote" question, then it's pretty blatantly absurd. Some baseline parameters are that NOTHING makes you invincible. Having more conditioning and skill tends to improve performance. There can be misalignment between IS approaches and an individual or group's aikido practice. There also doesn't have to be a conflict between exploring internal strength and maintaining a group association.

That said, I wish we could move the discussion further along for those in the aikido space that are currently working on these things - meaning how to align some of the breath, connection and intention work with more globally talked about things outside of any one martial art in the internal strength space.

Hi Budd,

Dan always says it's not about him or name dropping. But who could be more qualified to move the discussion further than he himself or any other genuine proponent in this realm? So I find it a real pity that he hasn't been allowed to take part in this forum for some time now.
I even can't see why this is so and don't know whether he would like to take part in this by now.
I myself can only impart my humble personal opinion and experience. Still, reading the posts of e.g. Jon Reading or Darren Sims and Chris Li's sangenkai blog might help considerably, though.

Best,
Bernd

RonRagusa
03-22-2017, 11:12 PM
Awareness and intent drive all of these actions for us, as well. Unifying intent with action.

Cady -

So it seems we have common ground when it comes to unifying intent and action as a training objective. In achieving that objective, I think we are coming at it from different directions.

From what I've read of your posts on the subject and what I learned from attending one of George Ledyard's workshops a few years back, you rely a lot on anatomical descriptions of how to attain solid, dependable internal structure (please feel free to call me on this if I've gotten it wrong).

To provide a brief overview, our process of developing the same dependable internal structure relies more on helping students recognize the feeling associated with having a dependable internal structure. Solo exercises (mainly the aiki taiso) and paired exercises, involving teaching the student to successfully deal with applied forces to various parts of their bodies both while stationary and in motion, are employed as a regular part of training to achieve this. Once a student knows what it feels like to perform with a coordinated mind and body it becomes a matter of slowly increasing the applied forces in order to reinforce and strengthen the feeling. The goal over time is to have the "correct feeling" of having mind/body coordination become the norm.

The integration of correct feeling with technique grows organically out of the practice.

We train in Boston, and if you and Mary ever come to that neck of the woods, you are most welcome. It could be fun to compare notes.

We don't venture out of the hills very often, but if we're ever going to be out your way I'll let you know.

Ron

Budd
03-23-2017, 08:49 AM
You're the one making the statements Bernd, so why don't you show us a correct demonstration of what you're talking about.

Hi Budd,

Dan always says it's not about him or name dropping. But who could be more qualified to move the discussion further than he himself or any other genuine proponent in this realm? So I find it a real pity that he hasn't been allowed to take part in this forum for some time now.
I even can't see why this is so and don't know whether he would like to take part in this by now.
I myself can only impart my humble personal opinion and experience. Still, reading the posts of e.g. Jon Reading or Darren Sims and Chris Li's sangenkai blog might help considerably, though.

Best,
Bernd

Hah, well there's years of content worth of discussions from multiple folks that are no longer posting - much of it still applicable even amidst the white noise. No offense to Jon, Darren or Chris, but I don't see a lot of how to's coming there, either. Happy to kick it off, though . . .

So, dealing with an incoming force - in an aikido context, when someone grabs you (either wrist or shoulder), using vanilla internal strength concepts, you'd want to as very basics have the ability to meet that grab with the appropriate balance of ground and gravity strengths - meaning, I can either let the force transmit through me to reflect off of the ground back into the grabber, floating them upwards, or allow the gravity strength to kick in to plant them on their front foot and glue the grabber to you. Then there's balancing both forces so that the grabber feels like they are floated and their ability to apply power to you is disrupted.

All three of the above can be explained as kuzushi on contact (though there's kuzushi before contact implications as well) and there's tactical and strategic reasons why one would want to emphasize one over the other - as just a basic training device to build conditioning and skill. - as well as being fully congruent in a physical sense with a practical definition of "aiki" as "harmonizing energy (or forces)", these initially being the naturally occurring forces of gravity pulling you down and the ground pushing you up and progressing from there.

But wait, there's more - the ability to cleanly do these things (and initially think of them as ideals to strive for and have training partners that help you progressively improve based on the type of grabs and attacks they deliver - i.e. less talking and theorizing and more giving you less dumb forces to deal with over time) *ahem* the ability to cleanly do these things has implications with regard to how you will make techniques work over time, how techniques do or don't work on you as well as the ability to leverage the elasticity of the body to greatly enhance the power available to you (how your body responds to and initiates movement, force, etc.).

And if you already do that (generally speaking, not you, specifically, Bernd), then cool, but my hope is we could then have a fruitful discussion around some of the topics I listed above as some of the table stakes to progressively training the body to be different. If you aren't doing something like this as a beginner step to a much more sophisticated way of moving and carrying the body, then the good news is that there are folks working on those very things that I'm sure will share more info if you approach them in a considerate manner.

FWIW

MrIggy
03-23-2017, 09:59 AM
I would raise the argument that we (aikido community) will tolerate, and even positively comment on a video of someone performing, say ribbon aikido.

It depends on the "community" and on the type of Aikido that is shown.

Yet, as soon as a conversation of aiki comes up, "well, I would need to see it work to believe it."

Because, in general, people think of it as something mystical just as much as O'Sensei's speeches and writings. Off course O'Sensei didn't help much with the way he taught/didn't teach Aiki.

Third, I am consuming this thread as an inquiry into the benefits of IP training, and the differences between IP and "regular" training. It's a compare/contrast conversation.thread is probably hard to follow.

More or less. Well, it's not that hard to follow if somebody is willing to read the posts, ask the right questions and highlight the answers.

MrIggy
03-23-2017, 11:05 AM
I do wish we could unwind the conversation of "do you do IS" or "is IS incorporated into your aikido" from the seemingly embedded conclusion that one's aikido is somehow "less" or not fulfilling for them. I can't reinforce enough that if you're enjoying your training and getting what you want out of it, then great. I just wish we could elevate the discussion from personalities and fabled traits to more "this is how it works within traditional definitions of "ki", "qi", "kokyu", "jin", etc. and align the buzzwords to demonstrable, explainable phenomena rather than storytelling, metaphysics and or mysticism.

OK, i'l bite. This isn't simply about whether somebody's Aikido is "fulfilling" or not, it's whether their Aikido can be actually used as a martial art. Many will say:"Oh, there's the missing ingredient from my Aikido practice, now i can finally use my Aikido against an unwilling, uncooperative opponent." when in fact the main reason their Aikido sucks is because they suck at training it. I just can't seem to understand how does somebody think they can use something so hard to attain in their daily training when they can't even attain good grounding in basic/regular/external training. The fact that they suck at one thing is unfortunately a pretty good indicator that they will suck at another unless they make some root changes. Not to mention if they try "adding Aiki" to something in the "real" context of martial arts.

Just out of curiosity, what would you define as a "stupid jin trick"?

Even the title of this thread is a bit troubling because unless it's a rhetorical eye-roll "air quote" question, then it's pretty blatantly absurd. Some baseline parameters are that NOTHING makes you invincible. Having more conditioning and skill tends to improve performance. There can be misalignment between IS approaches and an individual or group's aikido practice. There also doesn't have to be a conflict between exploring internal strength and maintaining a group association.

Based on the concept of what is used, when and how i would tend do disagree on the note that "nothing" makes you invincible.
When you are talking about misalignment, do you mean just the training part or some broader reference? As for the training part, from many of the posts here one would think that nothing of today's Aikido training, besides some of Taiso training, is aligned with IS training. It's also been mentioned that people tend to change the way they do their "regular" Aikido training so it's aligned to the internal training because of the before mentioned misalignment. What it your opinion on the subject?

MrIggy
03-23-2017, 11:54 AM
So, dealing with an incoming force - in an aikido context, when someone grabs you (either wrist or shoulder), using vanilla internal strength concepts, you'd want to as very basics have the ability to meet that grab with the appropriate balance of ground and gravity strengths - meaning, I can either let the force transmit through me to reflect off of the ground back into the grabber, floating them upwards, or allow the gravity strength to kick in to plant them on their front foot and glue the grabber to you. Then there's balancing both forces so that the grabber feels like they are floated and their ability to apply power to you is disrupted.

Would the bold part be the "Turn their attack into nothing" or do all three ways generally fall into that group?

All three of the above can be explained as kuzushi on contact (though there's kuzushi before contact implications as well) and there's tactical and strategic reasons why one would want to emphasize one over the other - as just a basic training device to build conditioning and skill. - as well as being fully congruent in a physical sense with a practical definition of "aiki" as "harmonizing energy (or forces)", these initially being the naturally occurring forces of gravity pulling you down and the ground pushing you up and progressing from there.

How would you define those implications? Timing of alignment of forces in your own body or something else?
So the general idea of Aiki being the blending or harmonizing the forces of you and your opponent is misguided, because the essential idea is to actually blend the forces of "heaven and earth" aka ground and gravity in you own body and use it to neutralize any foreign force, if possible of course, outside your body. Something like that?

But wait, there's more - the ability to cleanly do these things (and initially think of them as ideals to strive for and have training partners that help you progressively improve based on the type of grabs and attacks they deliver - i.e. less talking and theorizing and more giving you less dumb forces to deal with over time) *ahem* the ability to cleanly do these things has implications with regard to how you will make techniques work over time, how techniques do or don't work on you as well as the ability to leverage the elasticity of the body to greatly enhance the power available to you (how your body responds to and initiates movement, force, etc.).

So in general, my body, techniques, and everything else has to evolve over time to become aligned with the forces of gravity and earth, in my body, so that a can actually use them in a natural course of things? Or something similar to that?

If you aren't doing something like this as a beginner step to a much more sophisticated way of moving and carrying the body, then the good news is that there are folks working on those very things that I'm sure will share more info if you approach them in a considerate manner.


And that's one of the issues, who would you propose as being the best suitable teacher for a beginner in this process? If you rather would't answer i can understand that.

Budd
03-23-2017, 12:03 PM
OK, i'l bite. This isn't simply about whether somebody's Aikido is "fulfilling" or not, it's whether their Aikido can be actually used as a martial art. Many will say:"Oh, there's the missing ingredient from my Aikido practice, now i can finally use my Aikido against an unwilling, uncooperative opponent." when in fact the main reason their Aikido sucks is because they suck at training it. I just can't seem to understand how does somebody think they can use something so hard to attain in their daily training when they can't even attain good grounding in basic/regular/external training. The fact that they suck at one thing is unfortunately a pretty good indicator that they will suck at another unless they make some root changes. Not to mention if they try "adding Aiki" to something in the "real" context of martial arts.

I think you're modifying the intent of my original post (which is fine, it's a good subject and while the subject of the thread, I think it's a moot argument) from "what is your aikido intended to be able to do or achieve?" (with the implied component of "how are you measuring it?") to "can you use it as a martial art?" . . I'd counter that it depends on what you mean by "use" . . Personally, I had years of sport martial arts prior to ever doing aikido so I never came at aikido from the perspective of it being my sole source of martial effectiveness (and early on it was important that my aikido was consistent with my grappling, so I'd often linked them in my head as one thing even if the practices on the mat had certain guidelines in an aikido context versus judo or wrestling).

Just out of curiosity, what would you define as a "stupid jin trick"?

Grounding a push, floating somebody, etc. Something I can show someone how to do within one practice session.

Based on the concept of what is used, when and how i would tend do disagree on the note that "nothing" makes you invincible.

That's fine, we don't need to agree. I often detest absolutes - especially in the context of martial arts as my experience has been the opposite.

When you are talking about misalignment, do you mean just the training part or some broader reference? As for the training part, from many of the posts here one would think that nothing of today's Aikido training, besides some of Taiso training, is aligned with IS training. It's also been mentioned that people tend to change the way they do their "regular" Aikido training so it's aligned to the internal training because of the before mentioned misalignment. What it your opinion on the subject?

I think that there's different levels of practice with regard to internal strength stuffs and how many aikido places train. My personal experience has been that a lot of organized martial arts place just as much value on community, the rank structure, role-playing and other forms of sociological dominance/integration (which makes sense given the feudal-structures the more traditional schools came from, the quasi-military propagation from servicemen bringing it back from the East and the basic "pecking order" mentality that many schools reinforce, along with the costume role-playing aspects that also perpetuate the "fit in" model) that it makes it more difficult to spend the amount of individual attention that the internal strength practices demand when it's usually viewed as just another aspect that competes with Sensei's approval, can I beat up the other guy, did that person just block my technique to be a jerk, etc.

I do think the body changes as you go through this practice, but I've not had any trouble still showing up to aikido seminars and participating just fine every couple years (without doing anything other than just fitting into their dojo, practice, etc.). It's not how I prefer to train anymore, but it's still fun and I have friends that do it so it can be an enjoyable method to still relate to them. If I need to show someone the efficacy of internal strength, I ask them to joint lock me (pretty easy to counter when you know it's coming with stupid jin and basic connection - still kinda a stupid trick tho), then I offer to hit them with my shoulder from a zero wind up - usually ends the discussion of whether or not internal strength is effective or not. But then I'll show them how they can use basic jin (and even a little connection ) to counter a joint lock. Then I explain how I use the same but more developed principles to power the no wind-up shoulder strike. Usually by then people with some experience can extrapolate as to where it can logically fit into their existing aikido practice (presuming they do the work) and the same holds true for practitioners of other arts.

It's all related somewhere after all. But if you aren't doing some of the basics very intentionally, no matter the art, the specific development of internal strength thingies will be more accidental than something than can be mindfully trained, let alone optimized over time.

jonreading
03-23-2017, 12:23 PM
Speaking for myself, with regard to specifics of our training:

Chris's blog, and now Allen's blog, explicitly provide exercises for heaven/Earth/man balance and I don't have much else to contribute, which is why I often refer people to read those blogs, rather than just rewriting something. Heck, I will occasionally still refer back to posts Dan made on Aikiweb that are 5/10 years old, because they are relevant. There are several old school instructions, many from O Sensei, if you know where to look. Mostly, I feel the value of my comments do not lie in repeating something that has already been said, but providing my perspective based on what I have seen in aikido, often as a humor to a serious issue. Saying the same thing more times does not make it more or less true; as a matter of convenience it maybe brings things back to the surface...

At its heart, IP is a methodology to support internal stability and generate whole body power, right? You'll have a "all directions" camp, an orbit or rotation camp, maybe an "opposites" camp. What am I missing? From there, I think you have the specific conversation about body work exercises - foundation exercises that dominate your physical training. After that, you'll have some movement coordination and maybe get into application, if you're good (moving with yin/yang balance at the attraction point of pressure). You have a variety of arts that sit on top of some internal training methodology, with parallels in movement and internal training. Since we are aikido, largely the conversation is limited to aikido.

We just don't train it enough, or explain it enough, or challenge ourselves to do it enough before moving onto something else. Standing in some variation of zhan zhuang is not how most people want to spend their "training" time. We have shizentai, a natural stance that most aikido people use more similarly to kendo or karate, but not quite hanmi. We stand in HEM in shizentai. We stand in HEM in hanmi. Think we are successful all of the time? Nope. Transfer that mentality to aikido - paired exercises, techniques, free style. This is a difficult thing to do and I think we brush past the obstacle that is a practicality of function. We have pretty good instructions and way marks for our training, it's whether or not we listen to them or defer to another authority.

Demetrio Cereijo
03-23-2017, 12:44 PM
Good and busy, Demetrio! How have you been? Have you gotten your hands on anyone doing this stuff?
Been busy too.

I haven't personally interacted with any of the IP people, but people I know have and they're very happy, so I'm happy too.

Still doing BJJ, so I'm becoming the old small dude who goes Yoda on the big young guys. That's enough for me.

Been watching some of you in the youtubes, interesting work but.... don't you think your chi depot has grown too much lately?

Anyway, glad to see you back around here again.

Budd
03-23-2017, 12:46 PM
Would the bold part be the "Turn their attack into nothing" or do all three ways generally fall into that group?

Yes, generally speaking when I reply with a strong ground force up, you will often respond instinctively against it. Same when I reply with gravity redirection, you will push up against it. But if I combine those two in myself and make your incoming force part of that overall "ground/gravity/external force" I'm managing, I can make it much harder for you to feel any resistance from me as well as much harder to find a foothold to direct your own force into, ideally speaking.

How would you define those implications? Timing of alignment of forces in your own body or something else?

Really, it's learning to leverage the ground/gravity powers to direct all of your movements, then at the same time training your body to be very relaxed, but building powerful connections through the bone/muscle/tendon/connective tissue to optimally convey the ground/gravity powers so that when one part moves, all parts move. This can then be enhanced via that whole body connection in a way that creates an elastic wrapping that travels throughout the body and can be enhanced via breath and other pressures to greatly increase your available power. That latter bit takes a long time and you can't get there without doing the building blocks - also why there's so many permutations of skills and types of developed applications because of various components being absent or partially developed.

So the general idea of Aiki being the blending or harmonizing the forces of you and your opponent is misguided, because the essential idea is to actually blend the forces of "heaven and earth" aka ground and gravity in you own body and use it to neutralize any foreign force, if possible of course, outside your body. Something like that?

I think it's inclusive of all of those factors in that the "basic" forces of ground/gravity are always in play, but you and another person are also managing you your own body aligns and responds to those forces. The skill aspect is how well you can manage your own interactions with ground and gravity along with "hacking into" another person's management of same such that you are coordinating or "harmonizing" with all of the forces (your own, ground/gravity, another person) to make "aiki".

So in general, my body, techniques, and everything else has to evolve over time to become aligned with the forces of gravity and earth, in my body, so that a can actually use them in a natural course of things? Or something similar to that?

Yes, it's a gradual process - the very reason why in some systems you just spend time getting the alignment of body development, skill, conditioning, etc. first before you learn techniques or forms - the old axiom of "Taiji is easy to learn, but difficult to correct" in that if you learned to do the forms with the wrong body mechanics it's much harder to go relearn them with the correct movement when muscle memory and other things get in the way. But, it can't be insurmountable because nobody starts out moving "correctly" so there has to be allowances for going back to rewire, else there'd never be any proficient :)

And that's one of the issues, who would you propose as being the best suitable teacher for a beginner in this process? If you rather would't answer i can understand that.

It's a fair question and the best advice I can give is to try to meet with other people that are working on this stuff, or showing it in seminars - various folks have spoken up in support of Mike Sigman, Dan Harden, Akuzawa - though I'd say all three are doing something different even if using recognizable principles from above - Sam Chin has gotten good notices, for more formal traditional Chinese martial arts, most of the standard bearers of Chen village are often put up there as a league in their own for attainment, but it's also been said it can be hard to get the focus just on internal strength as it's partly family-owned intellectual property baked into their tradition.

More generically, I look for people that are willing to talk about the internal strength skills in very concrete physical terms, can show what they are talking about and are invested in helping me reproduce the same (or understanding what skill and conditioning I should expect to invest to get there). Those that can't separate the "how" internal strength works with "Look how tough I am or how well I can fight" I'm less interested in as I'm happy to scrap, but it's distracting to making progress in IS because then people jump to what they believe is effective rather than doing the work to develop their bodies (and it's a process that involves some degree in investing in "loss" if you have to undo a bunch of your existing development to rewire on to the IS track).

Any other questions I'm happy to answer in PM.

Budd
03-23-2017, 12:51 PM
Been busy too.

I haven't personally interacted with any of the IP people, but people I know have and they're very happy, so I'm happy too.

Still doing BJJ, so I'm becoming the old small dude who goes Yoda on the big young guys. That's enough for me.

Been watching some of you in the youtubes, interesting work but.... don't you think your chi depot has grown too much lately?

Anyway, glad to see you back around here again.

Hah, yup definitely working on it - was doing a powerlifting side study that did more growth in some areas than others ;) But getting back into more of the interval HIT stuffs for conditioning, so the body composition should start adjusting.

Some of my guys in MD are plugged into the mainstream BJJ groups, so it's been cool to see where they're finding value bringing the IS stuff into the game.

As long as you don't start sounding like Yoda . . .

GovernorSilver
03-23-2017, 01:09 PM
Standing in some variation of zhan zhuang is not how most people want to spend their "training" time. We have shizentai, a natural stance that most aikido people use more similarly to kendo or karate, but not quite hanmi. We stand in HEM in shizentai. We stand in HEM in hanmi.

I practice zhan zhuang because I haven't found anything more effective for eliminating excessive tension from my shoulders. There's been so many times that I thought I was suitably relaxed, but I actually wasn't. I guess it's one of those things that you stop noticing if you've had in your body for a really long time. I've tried less tedious and painful methods for supposedly relaxing the shoulders like stretching, doing yoga routines, drinking multiple shots of whiskey, etc. but nothing has given me the same kind of feedback and results as zhan zhuang practice.

My thinking was initially influenced by Mike Sigman and other practitioners Chinese MA who are big fans of standing practice. Budd of course has been a more recent influence. Mike recently stated that he has consistently observed progress in individuals who do some sort of standing practice for at least 3 months - it didn't matter if said individual had awareness of force vectors or what posture/position he/she stood in.

So do you practice standing in shizentai? How long do you typically practice standing in this posture? Under 2 min. or longer than that?

I've worked up to 18 min. in zhan zhuang. I'm not saying other people have to stand in that posture for that long. I'm definitely not saying one should stand in zhan zhuang or do any standing practice - just reporting what has worked for me. I use it to both train to relax my upper body, and to train the use of the two basic force vectors at the same time - so it's not a totally inefficient practice for me. ;)

GovernorSilver
03-23-2017, 01:13 PM
So, dealing with an incoming force - in an aikido context, when someone grabs you (either wrist or shoulder), using vanilla internal strength concepts, you'd want to as very basics have the ability to meet that grab with the appropriate balance of ground and gravity strengths - meaning, I can either let the force transmit through me to reflect off of the ground back into the grabber, floating them upwards, or allow the gravity strength to kick in to plant them on their front foot and glue the grabber to you. Then there's balancing both forces so that the grabber feels like they are floated and their ability to apply power to you is disrupted.

All three of the above can be explained as kuzushi on contact (though there's kuzushi before contact implications as well) and there's tactical and strategic reasons why one would want to emphasize one over the other - as just a basic training device to build conditioning and skill. - as well as being fully congruent in a physical sense with a practical definition of "aiki" as "harmonizing energy (or forces)", these initially being the naturally occurring forces of gravity pulling you down and the ground pushing you up and progressing from there.

But wait, there's more - the ability to cleanly do these things (and initially think of them as ideals to strive for and have training partners that help you progressively improve based on the type of grabs and attacks they deliver - i.e. less talking and theorizing and more giving you less dumb forces to deal with over time) *ahem* the ability to cleanly do these things has implications with regard to how you will make techniques work over time, how techniques do or don't work on you as well as the ability to leverage the elasticity of the body to greatly enhance the power available to you (how your body responds to and initiates movement, force, etc.).


Great stuff!

I do want to take up Rob's open invitation to come back for more Taikyoku Budo training (ok, more like cross-training), once I'm done with some family stuff that'll keep me occupied for the next few months. Looking forward to playing with these ideas at the Aikido dojo as well.

Budd
03-23-2017, 01:18 PM
Hey Paolo, yeah I'd def recommend you (and any others within the Maryland area interested in these things) keep up with Rob's group as they work on making progress in IS stuffs and layer it into their Taikyoku Budo expression. Also, their affiliation with Relson Gracie's org will be a good practical space for them to try these things in a different mode of sparring, etc.

jonreading
03-23-2017, 03:19 PM
I practice zhan zhuang because I haven't found anything more effective for eliminating excessive tension from my shoulders. There's been so many times that I thought I was suitably relaxed, but I actually wasn't. I guess it's one of those things that you stop noticing if you've had in your body for a really long time. I've tried less tedious and painful methods for supposedly relaxing the shoulders like stretching, doing yoga routines, drinking multiple shots of whiskey, etc. but nothing has given me the same kind of feedback and results as zhan zhuang practice.

My thinking was initially influenced by Mike Sigman and other practitioners Chinese MA who are big fans of standing practice. Budd of course has been a more recent influence. Mike recently stated that he has consistently observed progress in individuals who do some sort of standing practice for at least 3 months - it didn't matter if said individual had awareness of force vectors or what posture/position he/she stood in.

So do you practice standing in shizentai? How long do you typically practice standing in this posture? Under 2 min. or longer than that?

I've worked up to 18 min. in zhan zhuang. I'm not saying other people have to stand in that posture for that long. I'm definitely not saying one should stand in zhan zhuang or do any standing practice - just reporting what has worked for me. I use it to both train to relax my upper body, and to train the use of the two basic force vectors at the same time - so it's not a totally inefficient practice for me. ;)

So when we look at shizentai, we practice that posture in a similar manner to how you would perform yoga mountain pose. As the yoga name implies, we should be fairly immovable. We'll practice standing while a partner applies pressure because that's a pretty good indicator of success (as long as you are honest in understanding whether you are standing with fullness or simply using muscle). We'll also look at standing as part of furi tama; the vibration of furi tama coming from the manipulation of HEM. A partner can also push in furi tama, but when you "pulse" (i.e. shake your center), your partner should feel it - many aikido people shake with their hands so pressure on the stomach is unaffected. As a general rule, we spend a lot of time standing and working on the vertical aspects of our movement (heaven/earth) - anytime we are moving, we have the expectation that the movement should be done with that posture. This is my perspective to inherit a truly "natural" stance (shizentai).

Most of our standing exercises are pretty intense repetitions - hold for a short period of time (30 seconds or less), followed by a rest period. We'll work hard to create fullness in our posture, then extend that fullness into (and beyond) our hands and feet. We treat standing a little different than stretching, which we might do for a longer period of time. For example, we might stand against a wall for a longer period (maybe a minute) and press our heels, lower back, upper back, and head onto the wall to stretch, flatten, and broaden our back and stretch our vertical line. We will do it on the ground, too.

I feel tension in my shoulders and hips are perennial problems and generally speaking I am never soft enough. I try to stay away from "relaxed" because we are standing in a posture of potential energy - we are just trying to do it cleanly so the energy is 100% transferred, which means we don't muscles getting in the way of things.

Demetrio Cereijo
03-23-2017, 04:40 PM
Some of my guys in MD are plugged into the mainstream BJJ groups, so it's been cool to see where they're finding value bringing the IS stuff into the game.

As in causing inavoidable death, maiming and even worse things to other zhoozhitzoo players because they have t3h Internalz?

As long as you don't start sounding like Yoda . . .
More like Renato Laranja.

GovernorSilver
03-23-2017, 04:42 PM
Thanks for the explanation, Jon. Sounds like your standing practice is quite different, which is cool with me.

I got Jon Haas' book "Integrated Strength". He describes wuji standing, followed by zhan zhuang. He says in the book that he studied with Dan Harden, so I thought IP people were doing standing practice a certain way, but I didn't take into account that he also studies Yiquan, which is a CMA known for devoting tons of training time to standing practices.

Mary Eastland
03-25-2017, 08:07 AM
With "aiki" as described, are you defeating your uke?

Demetrio Cereijo
03-25-2017, 12:10 PM
Uke is always "defeated", with or without aiki being involved, for that is his role.

Mary Eastland
03-25-2017, 12:47 PM
Uke is always "defeated", with or without aiki being involved, for that is his role.

That is the fundamental difference between an aikido way and an aiki way.

Alec Corper
03-25-2017, 01:32 PM
The Doka of O Sensei according to Seiseki Abe:

The enemy comes running in to strike
At the instant of the attack
Avoid his strike with one step
And counter attack in that instant.

Of course the enemy is defeated. Use however is not an enemy, he or she Is either a partner in Shugyo or an unwilling actor in joint delusion.

Budd
03-25-2017, 01:50 PM
To train aiki from an IS skills or conditioning perspective- I don't think winning v losing should be factoring into it other than when choosing the setting to bring your IS skills to bear in an application sense. Certainly types of push hands, or aikido randori have more competitive elements, as does judo, but they also are intended to be training devices more so than outright competitive shiai. My personal opinion is that well rounded training should include all of those things in a martial arts setting, while I acknowledge that some schools may choose to focus on all or none of these things (hopefully they are also self-aware and honest about their marketing of this). But aiki, in as much as it aligns to the bigger category of internal strength in the Eastern sense, by itself is intended to describe a specific type of skill and conditioning, rather than any assumption of victory and defeat.

Mary, I think that aiki as originally designed was much more pragmatic about the harmonization with the natural forces we encounter as material world entities (gravity, ground, other entities, etc). I also think Ueshiba was pretty blatantly aligning to that in his writings, even as he layered in his religious beliefs around opening up to the divine and transforming the world via your connection to it. So I'd argue that the aikido as described by Ueshiba and then spread by his family and disciples is fully intended to include aiki as described here, while also agreeing that it also included more religious and psycho-sociological considerations, even as it was spread and influenced by the consumers and market world views of the 60s-80s.

Alec Corper
03-25-2017, 01:59 PM
A little more,

By means of the way
Call out the misguided enemy
Advance and persuade him with words of instruction
Through the Sword of Love.

Enlightenment or delusion?
Who is to say which person has which
Like the evening moon they appear and fade
Not one knows exactly when.

And from Ellis Amdur ( pleas accept my apologies for quoting you from "Duelling with O Sensei"

The sword itself was the embodiment of the principle of law founded upon hierarchy, the ruling warriors' power rooted in their submission to a web of obligations and loyalties to superiors, their weapons instruments of service rather than of freedom. In religious iconography, the Taoist sword cut through undifferentiated chaos, introducing deliniation into the universe, creating darkness and light, yin and yang, positive and negative and from this duality, the birth of the myriad forms of the universe. The Buddhist sword is the sword which cuts through illusion, the bright cold edge of mindful consciousness which requires one to face reality with open eyes and courageous heart.

Why don't we try to drop agendas, hidden or otherwise. Aiki does not make you invincible, nor does aikido produce a peaceful heart. I have found more serious concern about the meaning of violence amongst soldiers than I ever have amongst martial artists. We do not need to agree, we need to respect, and move on.

Mary Eastland
03-25-2017, 02:13 PM
But it really does create a peaceful heart and it matters how we talk to each other. When I hear people saying "i suck", I cringe because what we say matters.

I don't have an agenda...I just wish we could talk about this with a basic acknowledgement that we all understand it. That different ways can produce results.

So what usually happens is now someone will say we can't all win and "insert certain agenda" is the right way and that we just don't get it.

Aikido and aiki is transformative and can change us in ways that we don't even know. Connection matters and so does unbalancing. The idea of learning inner strength from a non competitive model does not have to wrong. It really is a novel idea. And it really works.

Alec Corper
03-25-2017, 02:13 PM
And a little more

"Blend the Ki within the self (ki-musubi)
Stand erect in the very center
Polish the spirit/mind (Kokoro)
"The Way of the Mountain Echo".

Which could be interpreted,
Heaven earth man standing, unified within self, the sphere of protection returning all energies without needing to apply self.

Alec Corper
03-25-2017, 02:22 PM
I agree with you Mary. We need to learn from a non- competitive model. I would only suggest that the alternative is not necessarily a "collusive" model. I think true cooperation is expressed in loving restistance to each others' flaws, wether technical or personal. All too often people say one thing and mean another, we all know this.
I don't know if we mean the same things even when we agree, let alone when we disagree. Unfortunately that is why IHTBF, as annoying as that may be. I am not always sure if when I am trying to study and practice aiki I am succeeding, there is as much potential for self delusion as anything else. That's why I need somebody to loan me their sincere and correct resistance, to help me try to shed delusion. For me this applies to all, from Shihan to beginner, in any art. So yes, today "I suck", but I hope a little less than yesterday. It keeps be from becoming inflated or satisfied.

MrIggy
03-25-2017, 02:29 PM
I think you're modifying the intent of my original post (which is fine, it's a good subject and while the subject of the thread, I think it's a moot argument) from "what is your aikido intended to be able to do or achieve?" (with the implied component of "how are you measuring it?") to "can you use it as a martial art?" . .

That wasn't my original intention but seeing as that there are a myriad of ways that people tend to "understand" Aikido i get what you are saying. Also, thanks for all the answers in the above posts.

Budd
03-25-2017, 02:36 PM
Yeah I tend to leave the qualitative assumptions of a person's skills until we meet and even establish if we are talking about the same thing. Here I'd rather keep it at the level of "how's it work" with as few unqualified buzzwords or jargon and as many descriptive terms as will help make sure peeps are having a productive dialogue around the topic.

Budd
03-25-2017, 02:37 PM
That wasn't my original intention but seeing as that there are a myriad of ways that people tend to "understand" Aikido i get what you are saying. Also, thanks for all the answers in the above posts.

Heard, Igor and you're most welcome.

RonRagusa
03-25-2017, 11:05 PM
We need to learn from a non- competitive model. I would only suggest that the alternative is not necessarily a "collusive" model. I think true cooperation is expressed in loving restistance to each others' flaws, wether technical or personal.

From a technical standpoint resistance should be both logical and relative to the experience of one's partner. Loving resistance to someone's personal flaws... I'm not sure I understand what you mean here. I try to accept where my partners are at any given moment and move forward from that point. Since an absence of personal flaws isn't part of my makeup, I do my best not to be judgemental of others.

All too often people say one thing and mean another, we all know this.
I don't know if we mean the same things even when we agree, let alone when we disagree.

It is ironic that the written word, which should be a straight forward form of communication, is so often confoundedly confusing. Part of the problem may be that people read thru their own personal, socially conditioned and cultural filters which can lead to differences in interpretation of the same sentence.

Unfortunately that is why IHTBF, as annoying as that may be.

When discussing the subtleties of aiki or mind/body coordination or whatever one wants to call it, it really is necessary to feel what's going on. I don't see that as unfortunate, it's just a fact of life. Does make discussing it via an internet forum a trifle difficult though.

I am not always sure if when I am trying to study and practice aiki I am succeeding, there is as much potential for self delusion as anything else. That's why I need somebody to loan me their sincere and correct resistance, to help me try to shed delusion.

Makes sense.

For me this applies to all, from Shihan to beginner, in any art. So yes, today "I suck", but I hope a little less than yesterday. It keeps be from becoming inflated or satisfied.

I tend to agree with Mary about the "I suck" phrase. Words matter even when used in jest or tongue in cheek. The negative image invoked by that phrase will work its way into one's psyche and adversely affect internal posture. To maintain my beginner's mind I prefer to think of myself as being always in the question. Knowing I'll never "arrive" is enough to keep both my feet on the ground and always looking to peel back the next layer of the aikido onion to see what else there is to learn.

Ron

Budd
03-26-2017, 08:34 AM
Since I think we have established that aiki doesn't make you invincible and while we may all have plenty to learn that doesn't mean we all suck. I'm going to start a new thread that can hopefully be more on "how to discussions".