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Mike Sigman
02-18-2005, 12:08 PM
I understand that there is a slow way to break through - I think it sounds an awful lot like taichi - which I'm fine with. I think it can be done in aikido class, but I agree that sempai to help show the way are highly desireable. I have a shortage of them in my location, so any ancillary exercises, drills, or katas would be very helpful. I guess it seems to me that since I know the surface level social coordination so well, I am able to set up classes to help get people there in a linear, incremental (iterative maybe?) way. It seems like someone who knows the self coordination side should have been able to set up classes to help get people there in a linear, incremental (iterative maybe?) way. I assumed that is was Tohei (and Moriama sp?) sensei's tried to do. I think that since they didn't continue to do the basic waza (to my knowledge) it didn't transfer very well to those students without any background in basic waza - this is just from my very limited experience with Ki society in my area. I keep hoping that someone comes up with a list of principles I can follow about this area to help keep me on track (and spin my wheels less). So far I haveb't seen many beyond 'relax, extend ki, weight underside, keep center' or whatever they are. Training to eventually grasp the meaning of these ideas is one (very long) way. It seems like someone who done the work who is also very articulate might be able to express these ideas in an even more helpful way and speed the procress along.Well, as I've said before, I think that movement in Aikido, as in Taiji and many other martial arts, requires an investment in slow, mentally-directed movement at first. Rushing into fast, hakama-flowing movement or into competition is a waste of time. Cooperative movement and a lot of time practicing basic movements in order to change the basic way you move is critical.

Tohei, when he split from Hombu Dojo, wanted to be successful and he used the keystone of Aikido, "Ki", as his banner. It was a brilliant move and he supported the focus on Ki with a number of "exercises" or "tests" that point toward the basic skills. Essentially, the point I'd make is that the basic waza and exercises of traditional Aikido are more than adequate as practice media and the "tests" are sort of supplemental so that you can gauge your progress. I.e., all Aikido is the same, when done correctly, regardless of style.

I agree that Tohei's four points aren't very helpful because he never really tells you how to do anything. It's easy to say "keep your one point", but if you don't know what he's talking about you can imagine a large number of possible actions that might be called "keeping your one point"... and most of them wouldn't do more than occupy your imagination. ;)

I'll give a shot at explaining the Four Points a little more clearly. I'll need to break in into separate posts, because some of the explanations require that I do preliminary explanations. Just give me a minute to go put on my Nomex suit.

Keep One Point:
A good way to begin understanding "keep one point" is to have someone push against your stomach/dantien area with the palm of one hand (he should keep his elbow straight and you should have one hand holding his arm behind his elbow). You relax and let your back leg absorb all the push. Relax your lower back... now and always. See how far you can move backward to where your weight is more or less directly over the back leg... it's hard, like a balancing act, but it's good practice. When you're comfortable doing this and letting his push go through you to the ground, stay relaxed and move forward, letting the relaxed force of the ground move your partner (he should only be giving you around 5-10 pounds resistance) backwards ( he just sort of allows himself to walk backwards while maintaining a steady force to you). You should be able to walk almost as naturally as going down a sidewalk.

If you can walk forward using the ground conveyed through your middle to your opponent, then you can do the same thing with a slight variation. Put one hand against the sternum of your partner (his hands are by his side; he will simply be a "dummy" offering a slight resistance) and "pretend-feel" like his hand is still against your stomach and walk him backward again, using the ground to your middle straight to your hand. I.e., your hand should feel like it is just an extension of your middle. Notice how you're beginning to get a glimpse of "keeping your mind in your hara".

If you grasp the lapel of your partner's gi-top, pull them toward you about one step. When you pull, imagine that you are pulling using your belt (obi). Practice various pushes and pulls imagining that all pushes are really the middle pushing; all pulls are the middle (or the obi) pulling; the arms and torso are simply objects through which the pushes and pulls from the middle are transmitted.

If you are going to lift something, think of it like this. Imagine a flower-pot on a table at waist height. You walk up to the table, grasp the pot on both sides, and bend your knees so that you can "get under" the pot and "push it up with your middle". Over time, you can learn to walk up to the table, grasp the pot, and make a subtle shift in your middle and stance to "get under" the pot with almost no discernible movement. All lifting is really "pushing up from the ground" ... it is never "lift with the shoulder muscles".

To apply downward force, think of it like this. You are near a tree that has various long branches coming out horizontally, starting low to the ground. You walk up to one that is about crotch height and straddle the branch. To bring the branch down, you have only to somewhat drop your weight, which is centered within the crotch area.
Next you walk over to 2 horizontal branches that are about armpit height. Let the weight of your body be in your armpits and slightly sink to move the branches downward.
Next walk over to a single horizontal branch about chest height, put the backs of your elbows down on the branch and *bring your body weight to the elbows*. Don't try to do this to heavily or your other muscles will kick in. You want to do it lightly for a few months until your body learns to bring weight without a lot of tension.
Lastly, put your hands, palm down, on a branch (not too far away from your body) and sink down with the weight of your body in your palms.

With practice, you can put the weight of your body on any underside surface of your body. That's what "keep weight underside" means. But it involves you moving the weight of your middle to where you want it with your mind, doesn't it? Like in "mind and body coordinated"?

If you think about the four directions of "power" we just discussed, push, pull, up, down, they all involve using your middle as the source of power, in each case. I.e., you must practice doing everything with your middle, so you must focus on the middle in all movements: "Keep your one point". You cannot develop this form of power from the middle if you try to move too much weight or engage your primary muscles.... you must stay relaxed so that the mind can recruit the muscles it wants. I.e., don't relax so much that you fall in a heap on the ground, but stay relaxed.

I'll discuss "Extend Ki" in another post, Rob. Does any of that help?

Mike

rob_liberti
02-18-2005, 12:37 PM
Yes it does. I'm very glad you started posting here.

Some insight ocurred to me while reading your post. Gleason sensei often talks about how we set up initial tension and then release it while we are using our body's weight. This kind of sets up a more dynamic approach to using your middle without tension while doing waza. That is a fairly big difference in the way it seems that he does aikido and the way many others do (in that I never feel them set that initial tension up - because they are so busy blending and almost avoiding my push into their center when I grab them).

Also, if you grab my wrist, and I stay relaxed yet inflated (for lack of a better term) and keep my wrist up and fnigers down and walk in a direction that is just slightly going past your front you will be lifted up by just maintaining your grab (and having to walk backwards in the same way you suggested to maintain that grab). I'm not sure how that drill exactly fits into "weight underside" or is that extend ki?! That's the problem, I can do some of these things, but I can't map a term onto the experience so the terms say a bit meaningless to me! Sorry to add more (of my) confusion...

Rob

Mike Sigman
02-18-2005, 01:14 PM
Gleason sensei often talks about how we set up initial tension and then release it while we are using our body's weight. This kind of sets up a more dynamic approach to using your middle without tension while doing waza. That is a fairly big difference in the way it seems that he does aikido and the way many others do (in that I never feel them set that initial tension up - because they are so busy blending and almost avoiding my push into their center when I grab them). Bear in mind that I don't know Gleason Sensei or what he knows, so it's hard for me to comment intelligently on your description. Moving the middle is one thing.... connecting it to the hands at all times is another matter, as is coordinating that connection. That's what the practice is all about. Connecting the body can be thought of as having two things to worry about: a "push" using your middle can be said to more or less be transmitted from the middle by the "bones" (not totally true, but close enough for what I want to say); a "pull" using your middle can be thought of more or less as going through the skin, fascia, etc., along the outside of the body to the hara. Let's think of that outter return path as being sort of like a "suit", maybe like a Spiderman suit. You can practice by moving in the aikido exercises (notice how many of them involve large circular movements of the arms, which keeps the "suit" more or less extended and wrinkle-free). The Aikido warmup exercises are terrific for practicing this, when done slowly.

Some Chinese use standing postures to strengthen the connection of their "bones" and also to strengthen the connection power of their "suit". For instance, one old exercise to strengthen the suit's ability to convey down power from the middle to the palms was to put an inflated goat's bladder in a tub of water and stand for long periods letting the body's weight sink the bladder somewhat. There are a lot of tricks for strengthening the body to tie the middle with the rest of the body. Heck, think about the wrist exercises just about every dojo does. Think of the Sankyo one, which is said to "bring ki to the wrists and hands". The way it does that is for you to relax and allow the twist you are doing to your hand to wind all the way along the "suit" of your arm until you can feel it sort of twisting at your kidney area. And so on..... what I'm trying to get at is that I'm uncomfortable with the word "tension" except in a "stretched" sense. You have to be relaxed and develop these things over time. The "bone"/frame strengthening can be done very well with standing, too, but there are a lot of variations.Also, if you grab my wrist, and I stay relaxed yet inflated (for lack of a better term) and keep my wrist up and fnigers down and walk in a direction that is just slightly going past your front you will be lifted up by just maintaining your grab (and having to walk backwards in the same way you suggested to maintain that grab). I'm not sure how that drill exactly fits into "weight underside" or is that extend ki?! That's the problem, I can do some of these things, but I can't map a term onto the experience so the terms say a bit meaningless to me! I'm not sure I can exactly picture what you're trying to say with that example you used, Rob. Your hands, arms, shoulders, whatever should always be connected to your middle at all times and you should relaxedly always be in a position to take a moderate force from the front or the rear or either side or downward at anytime.... while at the same time you should be able to generate a push or pull in any direction. Just to reinforce that thought, imagine this: I am standing in front of you holding your lapels, the backs of my fists against your chest through the gi. With no movement of my body I can will different forces to my hands so that you feel a push (at any angle) or a pull (at any angle) or a lift or a downweighting. That's how much my hands must be connected to my middle and how much the mind is involved.

A second point needs to be made that the middle is in the hands at all times during movement, not just statically. If I do let's say "Sayu Undo", but without moving my feet (to simplify). The arms go through a circle and wind up elbows-down like I'm dropping someone in a throw. If you think about that circle as you're doing it, the arms are pushed up, pushed horizontally, and then weighted down. The power of the middle must be moving the arms through every increment of the circle at all times. Learning to move like this takes a while. Making this sort of movement instinctive means applying yourself to all of your daily movements. Cooperative practice is a fine tool as long as you're analyzing each portion of your movement to be sure the middle is powering the direction of your body and the movment of your arms. Competing or too rough practice, IMO, will simply hinder development of these skills.

And hey..... we haven't even mentioned the tricky points and Ki stuff yet, have we??? :)

Mike

rob_liberti
02-18-2005, 01:28 PM
Good explanations!

Okay, well I did a poor job with my example. I was trying to describe how I can set up shihonage and let the movement of my legs be the primary uplifting force. So in katatetori shihonage omote, I basically drive in under your center (remarkably like a sword trust to maybe just under and just in front of your center come to think about it), and because of your grab you'll start to lift up. Is that keep weight underside? Or extend ki? Both? A little bit of neither?

Rob

Mike Sigman
02-18-2005, 02:04 PM
I was trying to describe how I can set up shihonage and let the movement of my legs be the primary uplifting force. So in katatetori shihonage omote, I basically drive in under your center (remarkably like a sword trust to maybe just under and just in front of your center come to think about it), and because of your grab you'll start to lift up. Is that keep weight underside? Or extend ki? Both? A little bit of neither?Well think of the directions of your power while at the same time being aware of where Uke's center is (particularly in relation to his feet). You would only need "weight underside" to bring something downward, but in the interests of always being in equilibrium (a MUST!), you should always have "potential underside weight" on all the downward surfaces of the body.

When you enter into an opponent with shihonage, let's imagine that your forearm comes into contact with his forearm (this makes my description simpler because it gives me a base to imagine from). So think what direction his forearm must be move in and that is the direction of the "push" from your middle. Push it through, up, over, down with your middle pushing and pulling the hands and arms through the complete range of motion. You must always be aware of what the opponent's balance is going through at the same time. The "heavyside down" of the whole body happens at the end as you complete the throw, assuming you're just dropping him straight down to the mat.

"Extend Ki" is really the idea of being in central equilibrium with the body ready to take a push to ground from any direction of to generate a force using the middle into any direction.

It's hard to explain some of these things as they begin to involve questions like "how do you lift someones arm by 'pushing up' when his arm is at my hip level?". As you get more skilled you can "get under" things lower and lower, etc., but my point is that I'm trying to keep the descriptions simple and more at an understandable-by-all level. So if it looks like I gloss over something, someone needs to ask. Another problem I have is that I know most of this stuff, but I've never really articulated it as a "whole picture" and I tend to assume some things are obvious when they may not be. Again... someone needs to ask because things just slip by my attention.

FWIW

Mike

Mike Sigman
02-18-2005, 02:19 PM
Incidentally, Rob, if a person is careful to exaggerate and watch their push through, up, over, and down in shihonage so that the middle-powered-by-the-ground is true all the way through, they'll develop the correct power over a lot of repetitions. If, when you do it like this using the correct power, you pay attention to what your middle is doing, you'll feel also move in that circe. That is the hara turning, as it should. After a lot of repetitions, the body exaggeration is not longer needed and it looks like you just walk through shihonage, but the middle will still quietly turn.

FWIW

Mike

rob_liberti
02-18-2005, 02:20 PM
Hump... This had taken a turn I hadn't expected. Just to explain my perspective, I specifically avoid letting my forearm touch the uke's forearm (really because I am trying to avoid the uke's shoulder having any chance of getting to my shoulder) which I can do as long as they maintain that grab. (If they let go, we move right into kokyu nage land or worse.)

You are suggesting a more sophisticated internal approach to doing waza that externally looks low level. Kind of funny...

At any rate, I try to keep my concentration on listening to what the partner's body is doing, and keeping some amount of tension in my finger tips. I'm fairly certain that I use more of my whole body than just my arms to lift the uke up. I really try to drive forward to encourage them to go up so that my arms can follow them up (pretty much like I do kokyu tanden ho actually).

I still am not clear on which one or more (or none) of the ki-principles mentioned that is. Sorry If I keep trying to drive this towards something I actually do. If that's just not working for you, then I'll think about this over the weekend and maybe try to do some of the drills you suggested and then start posting again from experience.

Rob

Mike Sigman
02-18-2005, 02:39 PM
Hump... This had taken a turn I hadn't expected. Just to explain my perspective, I specifically avoid letting my forearm touch the uke's forearm (really because I am trying to avoid the uke's shoulder having any chance of getting to my shoulder) which I can do as long as they maintain that grab. (If they let go, we move right into kokyu nage land or worse.)Ack... I knew when I said that about the forearm you'd object about the purity of it, but I was afraid the directions on the wrist might be unclear, so I opted to do in a way that the direction of power would be obvious.You are suggesting a more sophisticated internal approach to doing waza that externally looks low level. Kind of funny... It's a start. If I knew what your skill level was, I might have started somewhere else, but since I don't know.... At any rate, I try to keep my concentration on listening to what the partner's body is doing, and keeping some amount of tension in my finger tips. I'm fairly certain that I use more of my whole body than just my arms to lift the uke up. I really try to drive forward to encourage them to go up so that my arms can follow them up (pretty much like I do kokyu tanden ho actually).

I still am not clear on which one or more (or none) of the ki-principles mentioned that is. Sorry If I keep trying to drive this towards something I actually do. If that's just not working for you, then I'll think about this over the weekend and maybe try to do some of the drills you suggested and then start posting again from experience.

Well, there's a difference big difference between let's say "driving with the whole body" and being able to use the path from the ground of kokyu power. It's OK to sort of start with just "drive with the body, but you need to pay attention more to the paths. A lot of these things need to be seen and shown in person for clarity.

Mike

rob_liberti
02-18-2005, 03:06 PM
Okay, well, if you do a thrust with a sword to someone's mid section, are you suggesting that you maintain a path to the ground from every point, including the tip of the sword? That'd be a new variation of the jo trick if you ask me... -Rob

Mike Sigman
02-18-2005, 04:08 PM
Okay, well, if you do a thrust with a sword to someone's mid section, are you suggesting that you maintain a path to the ground from every point, including the tip of the sword? That'd be a new variation of the jo trick if you ask me...

Well, if you stand in a relaxed stance holding a jo sort of like a rifle with the butt between your upper arm and ribs and the hand on that side holding in the trigger area and your front hand on the "forestock" area, you should be able to ground a push easily into your back leg (front hand is the same side as the front leg, BTW). Feel the push with the sole of your back foot. That's called "bringing Ki to the tip of the weapon", FWIW. You can do the same thing with a sword. Extending the tip of a weapon is like telescoping out the ground path straight to your target. Guess what.... you do the same thing in fune-kogi-undo when the hands go out. Again, it's exaggeration at first, gradually leading the to point where movement of the hara is so small as to be almost unnoticeable.

The thing I described above is sort of obvious because the tip of the sword or jo is in line with the back foot. In the case of the jo trick, the push is not in line with the grounding foot, so that "connection" of the body I was talking about has to be fairly strong.

FWIW

Mike

Mike Sigman
02-19-2005, 09:42 AM
Your functional Ki thread is inhabited by yourself and one other person, I'm sure if anyone wants to join in there they won't be too scared to give an opinion.

Well, Rob, it was a fun experiment. Looks like we got Shodokan'ed. ;) If there's any more to be discussed on this topic, let's go to private mail.

All the Best.

Mike

tedehara
02-20-2005, 12:34 AM
Concerning your discussion regarding the Ki Society basic principles, I think you would be better having a face-to-face with a Ki Society instructor. My own instructor read Tohei's description of unbendable arm. Then he would go around trying it out (unsuccessfully) on everyone he knew. After he was shown how to do unbendable arm and other ki principles, he realized that you can't just read things in a book and expect to do it correctly.

If you're interested, there are listings for both Colorado and Connecticut at Ki Society USA (http://ki-aikido.net/KS-USA/framepage.html). I don't know if these places are easy to get to for you. However I think you could see more clearly from experiencing instruction at a dojo, rather than making assumptions from what you've read.

Ki and Chi are the same Chinese characters. But K. Tohei uses his own axioms that are different than traditional Chinese or Japanese concepts. There are also differences between writers in the Chinese and Japanese tradition, as well as differences between writers in each tradition. Ki/Chi is a concept that could go back to the Stone Age, so there are many different ideas about it. To assume that everyone is writing/talking about the "same" thing is not exact.

Mike Sigman
02-20-2005, 07:18 AM
Concerning your discussion regarding the Ki Society basic principles, I think you would be better having a face-to-face with a Ki Society instructor. My own instructor read Tohei's description of unbendable arm. Then he would go around trying it out (unsuccessfully) on everyone he knew. After he was shown how to do unbendable arm and other ki principles, he realized that you can't just read things in a book and expect to do it correctly.

If you're interested, there are listings for both Colorado and Connecticut at Ki Society USA (http://ki-aikido.net/KS-USA/framepage.html). I don't know if these places are easy to get to for you. However I think you could see more clearly from experiencing instruction at a dojo, rather than making assumptions from what you've read.

Ki and Chi are the same Chinese characters. But K. Tohei uses his own axioms that are different than traditional Chinese or Japanese concepts. There are also differences between writers in the Chinese and Japanese tradition, as well as differences between writers in each tradition. Ki/Chi is a concept that could go back to the Stone Age, so there are many different ideas about it. To assume that everyone is writing/talking about the "same" thing is not exact.Hi Ted:

Well, I appreciate the pointers. :)

I guess I'll just accept your opinion of things and mention in the friendliest of intentions that I've been to a few Ki Society dojo's in the past and I haven't seen any of them that I thought knew much about Ki. Besides, the demonstrable aspects of Ki come from what the Japanese learned from the Chinese and the Chinese, in turn, apparently got their substantive Ki practices from early Indian Buddhist monks.... but those practices don't go back to the Stone Age, I'm afraid. It's more like a "body technology" that was developed in India some time ago.

The Japanese Ki practices and the Chinese Qi practices (bear in mind there are a lot of variants, but the basic principles are the same.... they have to be) differ only in sophistication. But, I'm not trying to convince you. When I was taking Aikido, I was fairly frustrated by the dearth of real information and I wished someone would give me some clearer directions on how to actually start. In a sense, these few posts I'm going to make on some Aiki forums are only to refresh my memory of what's going on in the Aikido world and to mention a few things that I wish I had known 20-30 years ago.... i.e., I'm talking to the few people who are intellectually curious and I honestly expect only very few people to pay attention. ;)

All the Best.

Mike

Mike Sigman
02-20-2005, 08:09 AM
My own instructor read Tohei's description of unbendable arm. Then he would go around trying it out (unsuccessfully) on everyone he knew. After he was shown how to do unbendable arm and other ki principles, he realized that you can't just read things in a book and expect to do it correctly.

Incidentally, Ted. Normally I avoid discussions about the "unbendable arm" because there are actually several different ways that people do it, and a few of those ways are essentially "unbendable" by most people. In my opinion, there are actually 2 legitimate ways to do it and there are several different "visualizations" that will make it happen in a satisfactory way. The best way to get it to happen is actually similar to the way some stage hypnotists get a volunteer from the audience to stretch feet-to-head between to chairs (the "iron bridge")... i.e., there is a component of the subconscious involved in good utilization of Ki skills; visualization can help you access the subconscious, BTW.

But those points aside, have you ever thought about the mechanics of what happens in the "unbendable arm"? Do you think you can explain the mechanics? Or do you think no mechanics are involved? What does your instructor think, BTW?

FWIW

Mike

tedehara
02-20-2005, 11:23 PM
If Buddhist concepts are a revision of older Hindu ideas, then the idea of prana > chi > ki would therefore be traced back to India's prehistory. However the idea of a life force can be seen in western culture. Pagans, Gnostic, New Age and alternative thinkers like Wilhelm Reich or T. Galen Hieronymus have all used a concept like the life force in their theories. You can also see this concept being used by both past and present-day shamans.

The connection between life,death and breath giving a conclusion of some kind of life force is fairly evident to a casual observer. You run out of other options, especially if you aren't "distracted" by the theories of modern medicine, like ancient man was. I don't believe any one culture can claim having "discovered" this concept, since so many people across so many centuries have re-discovered, re-tuned and re-invented this idea.

I don't know the mechanics of unbendable arm, since I'm not a physiologist. You might be better asking Craig about this. As for the human bridge, that was explained in Ki in Daily Life where K. Tohei is photographed doing it.

Speaking of Chi, I'm looking for anything about the origins of Tai Chi and Qi Gong with anything about the development of Qi Gong. Please email me if you have anything.

Thanks
:)

Roy Dean
02-20-2005, 11:33 PM
All,

Interesting article.

http://www.mimagazine.com.au/02_DevelopmentKI.htm

Link courtesy of our friends at Aikido Journal.

Mike Sigman
02-21-2005, 09:56 AM
If Buddhist concepts are a revision of older Hindu ideas, then the idea of prana > chi > ki would therefore be traced back to India's prehistory. However the idea of a life force can be seen in western culture. Pagans, Gnostic, New Age and alternative thinkers like Wilhelm Reich or T. Galen Hieronymus have all used a concept like the life force in their theories. You can also see this concept being used by both past and present-day shamans.It's probably better to think of Ki, Prana, etc., as being catch-all terms from ancient times that are best translated as "unknown force", rather than "life force". Every unexplained force from blood sugar to electricity became "some aspect of mysterious unknown force Ki". The Japanese got the idea from the Chinese and they tend to mysticize the idea a bit (a few other and some regional groups do this to an extent, also). Just view Ki as an umbrella term because that's what it is. Start your search from there by sorting out the interesting bits.The connection between life,death and breath giving a conclusion of some kind of life force is fairly evident to a casual observer. You run out of other options, especially if you aren't "distracted" by the theories of modern medicine, like ancient man was. I don't believe any one culture can claim having "discovered" this concept, since so many people across so many centuries have re-discovered, re-tuned and re-invented this idea.Basically all you're doing is re-hashing the raison d'etre that convinced early man there must be a ki.I don't know the mechanics of unbendable arm, since I'm not a physiologist. You might be better asking Craig about this. As for the human bridge, that was explained in Ki in Daily Life where K. Tohei is photographed doing it.But surely you can't be interested in Ki without wanting to know how "Ki tests" work, can you? ;) This would be a good time to think about the Law of Thermodynamics, the creation of energy, and so on.Speaking of Chi, I'm looking for anything about the origins of Tai Chi and Qi Gong with anything about the development of Qi Gong. Please email me if you have anything.Well, you have to understand that qigongs have an ancient origin that has to do with the flow of strength in the body. When you push something, the flow goes *out* certain channels; when you *pull* something the power flows *in* certain channels. These were the "channels" that were the pre-cursors to the more refined "acupuncture meridians". The precursors and muscle-tendon meridians and strength/health are related to a posited "ki" flowing in the channels.

There are different kinds of qigongs. There's medical, Confucian, Taoist, Buddhist, and martial qigongs. As a martial artist, you should be most interested in learning a good martial qigong. Some of the Aikido qigongs are slightly martial; I suspect there's more to these that aren't shown outside of a small circle of people. Some of the Aikido qigongs appear to be Buddhist-derived. They are OK for qi-flow, but they won't do much for you martially. Insofar as books go, try "Qigong: The Secret of Youth" by Yang Jwing MIng... it is the translation of some of the earliest texts on qigongs, and they are martial qigongs. Try "Qigong Empowerment" by Shou-Yu Liang for a terrific overview of various qigongs in the different categories. Note that reading the descriptions won't tell you some of the important parts ... you need to find someone who knows. Another interesting book is "Anatomy Trains" by Thomas W. Myers. His book is about myofascial massage techniques, but the understanding of the fascia (which is heavily related to Ki) has gotten to the point where he has analysed the fascia planes to the point where, Lo and Behold, they look like the original muscle-tendon channels that the Chinese noticed and used!!!

FWIW

Mike

kironin
02-21-2005, 12:44 PM
All,

Interesting article.

http://www.mimagazine.com.au/02_DevelopmentKI.htm

Link courtesy of our friends at Aikido Journal.


More like a sad example of why it's never a good practice to repeat negative hearsay or denigrate other teachers as a preface to expounding on what you think is the truth.

What purpose is served other than to make yourself look insecure ?

otherwise a decent article, though it's too bad he depended on the opinions of others and never even did some training at the ichikukai or tempukai.

Mike Sigman
02-21-2005, 01:16 PM
More like a sad example of why it's never a good practice to repeat negative hearsay or denigrate other teachers as a preface to expounding on what you think is the truth.

What purpose is served other than to make yourself look insecure ?

otherwise a decent article, though it's too bad he depended on the opinions of others and never even did some training at the ichikukai or tempukai.Hmmmmm... I didn't notice anything particularly negative when I skimmed the article. All I saw was one more of thousands of articles that talk about Ki, but are vague and don't tell anyone how to do anything. Leading a simple life isn't going to develop Ki, either. You develop ki when you practice ki.

The confusing part of Ki terminology was highlighted when Auge spoke about ki and telepathy. Telepathy is indeed referred to as a Ki phonomenon in the Ki-paradigm. But we have to remember that ALL "unexplained forces" were relegated to "Ki" in the ancient times:
The energy you get from food is Ki.
The naturally-strong child has "hereditary ki".
The energy in air is Ki.
Blood sugar is Ki.
Lightning is Ki.
A horse's quivering flank is him using his ki.
Rainbows have Ki.
Prescience is from Ki.
And so on and on.

So this reliance on the old ki-paradigm (I guess it's really a meta-theory in that it's never predictive and always explicative) and oddities like denoting telepathy as Ki is somewhat aside from the body skills that are referred to as Ki. Classically, the specific group of body skills that are attributed to the certain strengths you get from breathing exercises and kokyu are:

Resistance to blows
Great strength
Marked increase in skin impenetrability
Heightened immune-system function
Attendant "magnetic field" feelings.

Those are the standard results one sees always relegated to ki phenomena, across all styles. Telepathy and the benefits of eating unsalted food are good discussion topics, but IMO they tend to just cloud the issues.

FWIW

Mike

kironin
02-21-2005, 02:46 PM
Hmmmmm... I didn't notice anything particularly negative when I skimmed the article. All I saw was one more of thousands of articles that talk about Ki, but are vague and don't tell anyone how to do anything. Leading a simple life isn't going to develop Ki, either. You develop ki when you practice ki.


Well, look again at the bottom section of the third paragraph. Perhaps it just seemed a little obnoxious to me after having trained intensively for the past 5 days with two of the best senior most students of the author mentioned.

as for the rest, well in deference to Jun, I was not going to comment, but as a scientist, I am less interested in talking about Ki than in talking about mind and body coordination. The idea that mind and body are essentially one or as Tohei Sensei now likes to express it "the oneness of mind and body" fits quite nicely with modern neuroscience. Looking at the details of how to approach that in aikido seems much more productive for training.

Telepathy seems a more appropriate topic for Penn&Teller's Showtime cable show.

Mike Sigman
02-21-2005, 03:03 PM
Well, look again at the bottom section of the third paragraph. Perhaps it just seemed a little obnoxious to me after having trained intensively for the past 5 days with two of the best senior most students of the author mentioned.Ah, I see it. Actually, I saw it at first, but those kinds of political BS don't even register with me any more.as for the rest, well in deference to Jun, I was not going to comment, but as a scientist, I am less interested in talking about Ki than in talking about mind and body coordination. The idea that mind and body are essentially one or as Tohei Sensei now likes to express it "the oneness of mind and body" fits quite nicely with modern neuroscience. Looking at the details of how to approach that in aikido seems much more productive for training.

Telepathy seems a more appropriate topic for Penn&Teller's Showtime cable show.Well, as I've said a number of times, "Ki" is a catch-all term related to earlier times and it was an attempt to explain the things they couldn't explain for lack of scientific knowledge. I gave a list of things that are "Ki", but which are totally unrelated in our western-science paradigm.

Incidentally, there are some books, writings, etc., out nowadays by accepted and proven experts in Chinese martial arts with a long tradition of talking about "Qi".... but you won't find a word about "Qi" in those writings. The closest you'll get are some of the discussions that discuss involvement of the cerebral cortex in the training, etc., and how mental relaxation, etc., is used to strengthen the relationship of the mind and body.

The specific area of interest to be strengthened with breathing, unifiied body practice, etc., is the same area that is involved in automatic movement that occurs in the body and limbs after, for example, extended and relaxed standing practice.

Insofar as telepathy, I put it in the same category of as reincarnation. I don't believe in it.... although I may have in a previous life. ;)

Mike

Mike Sigman
02-21-2005, 03:25 PM
Ah, pooh, Craig. I just made an error based on my preconceptions and I apologize. As a point of information, there's more to the Ki/Qi thing in terms of "mysterious force". I can demonstrate this and I consider it to be a function of perhaps several items. I mentioned the book "Energy Medicine; The Scientific Basis" by James L. Oschman and that book covers (in what is to me a not-rigorous-enough way) some aspects of what some people "feel" as a mysterious force. I can demonstrate what he's talking about in a stronger and more detailed way than he's discussing. The second aspect that gets involved has to do with purely an *opinion* on my part that we sometimes all feel similar things because of the way we're wired. The third aspect has to do with suggestibility.... and I sometimes think the second and third things are strongly related. Anyway, I can show you some of the so-called "emitted qi" things that have had a historical impact on the general view of qi or ki. My sometimes-too-clinical mind doesn't focus on these things because I know that most experienced Chinese martial artists are aware of these phenomena but treat them as some side-effect with no great importance... and that's the way I also feel.

FWIW

Mike

Mike Sigman
02-21-2005, 04:28 PM
I don't know the mechanics of unbendable arm, since I'm not a physiologist. You might be better asking Craig about this. As for the human bridge, that was explained in Ki in Daily Life where K. Tohei is photographed doing it.It just dawned on me that "Craig" must be Craig Hocker, even though he's not in your dojo (I thought you were referring perhaps to your sensei).

Craig? Since you're of a scientific bent, would you like to take a shot at explaining the physical mechanics of the "unbendable arem"? Thanks. ;)

Mike

kironin
02-22-2005, 03:48 AM
Craig? Since you're of a scientific bent, would you like to take a shot at explaining the physical mechanics of the "unbendable arem"? Thanks. ;)
Mike

Someone has already taken a shot at it

http://ofinterest.net/UA/arm2.html#1

If I can find time this week, I'll take a shot because the answer given is a little too simplistic.

Mike Sigman
02-22-2005, 07:52 AM
Someone has already taken a shot at it

http://ofinterest.net/UA/arm2.html#1

If I can find time this week, I'll take a shot because the answer given is a little too simplistic.Ah, the notorious Stephen Goodson! I once explained to Goodson that I knew a number of people who "did the unbendable arm" and they all did it in different ways, so while his analysis might be good for some of them he wasn't analysing the entire spectrum. (Remember it was for this very reason I said I don't like the unbendable arm as a discussion point). Goodson is a member of the Washington DC area "Skeptics" and thinks of himself as a debunker. He has an article about something I ask some "teacher's" to do, when they claim they've had "umpteen years of experience". Of course, he's never seen it done, but had it described by some people who had seen me demonstrate it and show them how to get started (they had no dantien control or strength, so I showed them a rudimentary way to get started). After dozens of people told Goodson his description was totally off-base, he said he'd only take it down if I came and showed him the right way to do it. ;) I think we all know people like this. I'd forgotten about him. Thanks for the memories. :rolleyes:

However, let's leave his description as it is for the moment. All I'll propose is that he's offbase and has never really seen anyone do it well, as far as I can tell. I suggested once (via email) that instead of writing expose's on things he's only seen amateurs do, it might pay him to go see someone like Tohei, etc. As a Skeptic and a genius, though, Goodson, sees little sense in wasting the time.

So I'll await your thoughts with interest. This could be a good discussion.

All the Best.

Mike Sigman

rob_liberti
02-22-2005, 08:05 AM
These discussions about the unbendable arm trick, generally rapidly move into discussions about the iron bridge trick. In that example, there is not one big muscle supporting the extension/expansion of the entire body, but rather a bunch of muscles working together. Some have to relax, some have to tighten and hold, and they all have to work together.

I'm not talented enough to just consciously will each muscle to do what it needs to do. It seems like a big waste of time to think "bicep you relax, tricep you engage because we are doing the unbendable arm trick." Think about how much effort it would take to tell all of your muscles what to do for the iron bridge. I don't even know all of their names, or in what order I need them to start working. Forget about throwing a baseball or a punch for that matter to try to get that whip like motion. I've been told that if you hold your arm straight out in front of you with your thumb up, and then open you arm out to your side you are using completly different muscles than if you do the same motion with your thumb down. I know that when I used to lift free weights compared to using those machines, I had to develop some rudimentry control of what were called "control" muscles.

My point, is that if you have some imagery (like thinking about ki flow) _and some great posture_ you can get your body to move optimally (reflexively). If you train yourself to take conscious control of that, rather than inferferring with that natural process to try to get good movement, you will be MUCH better off.

Any tips or tricks towards that end, are valuable regardless of whether someone else can explain an alternative explanation for why the tricks work. I'd rather see someone put time into better imagery, or a linear/iterative training plan towards developing these ideas within the context of martial arts.

Rob

Mike Sigman
02-22-2005, 08:26 AM
These discussions about the unbendable arm trick, generally rapidly move into discussions about the iron bridge trick. In that example, there is not one big muscle supporting the extension/expansion of the entire body, but rather a bunch of muscles working together. Some have to relax, some have to tighten and hold, and they all have to work together.Well, playing devil's advocate, I could say that you're description could also apply to what a well-conditioned athlete would do in his attempt at iron bridge.

I'll defer to Craig and wait for his explanation, although I think you made some very good points, Rob.

FWIW

Mike

Moses
02-22-2005, 10:39 AM
I apologize for this step back, but if we could look at a re-clarification of the subject of Qi. If we could rid ourselves of extraneous material and focus solely on martial/practical Qi. That is intentionally setting aside the Chinese medical paradigm of Qi (let it live in its own world). As well as setting aside the other realms of the esoteric Qi paradigm (as being to broad and un-substantive for any definitive qualification). Personally I have had and continue to have a most difficult and frustrating time sorting out the mystical from the practical. I often wonder if the reason for, at least an aspect of the Qi paradigm, was to intentionally limit the accessibility of the higher levels of the pugilistic arts. As for what reason this may have been done, add your own thoughts. In reading this thread I find the concept of "functional Ki" seems to make sense, i.e. keep it practical. That is a paradigm using structure, vectors, gravity, and lastly cognitive awareness of these continually changing processes as a mode leading to higher martial expressions. Is this in line conceptually with "functional Ki"? Please elaborate either way,
Thanks, Moses

Mike Sigman
02-22-2005, 11:19 AM
I apologize for this step back, but if we could look at a re-clarification of the subject of Qi. If we could rid ourselves of extraneous material and focus solely on martial/practical Qi. That is intentionally setting aside the Chinese medical paradigm of Qi (let it live in its own world). As well as setting aside the other realms of the esoteric Qi paradigm (as being to broad and un-substantive for any definitive qualification). Personally I have had and continue to have a most difficult and frustrating time sorting out the mystical from the practical. I often wonder if the reason for, at least an aspect of the Qi paradigm, was to intentionally limit the accessibility of the higher levels of the pugilistic arts. As for what reason this may have been done, add your own thoughts. In reading this thread I find the concept of "functional Ki" seems to make sense, i.e. keep it practical. That is a paradigm using structure, vectors, gravity, and lastly cognitive awareness of these continually changing processes as a mode leading to higher martial expressions. Is this in line conceptually with "functional Ki"? Hmmmm. Let me try to be as simple as I can (it will help me formulate my thoughts).

The Chinese developed a view of the world that sees things and explains things in terms of a catch-all word they called "Qi". Sort of a unified theory using super-strings, if you will. That's confusing to what we're trying to say because some aspects of physics, physical laws, etc. get snared in the terminology. So keep that in mind.

There is/was an almost worshipped bit of body-technology which apparently came from ancient India, in some form. That view of the body focused on mechanisms which we see, to some extent, in our western technology, but which we never associated in any grouping of phenomena in the West. And it's best to view it that way.... we see and explain the world as a certain "grouping" of phenomena based around western technology; the "qi paradigm" saw the world and explained it based on a different grouping of phenomena. Unfortunately, the qi-paradigm as a whole doesn't withstand the reproducibility criterion (of western science) as well as western science does, but that doesn't mean they don't have something to say.

The Chinese medical explanations of health, etc., actually are part of the Qi/Ki that we're calling "functional Ki" in this thread. Take a look at:
http://www.uvm.edu/annb/faculty/PDFs/257.pdf

In essence, they're finally seeing a system of logic to acupuncture meridians and the common factor is fascia and fascial planes (and of course, some of the points are just neural nexi or other things). Some of the current theories about direct-current properties involved in the fascia can be read in the book I mentioned the other day, "Energy Medicine" by James L. Oschman. The functional Qi/Ki things have to do with fascia, as well, plus some thrown in physics and the mind manipulating some physical tricks AND some voluntary controls of normally autonomous body functions. I.e., except for the screwed up definitions which attribute things too vaguely and too broadly to "Qi" or "Ki", the hopelessly mystical-sounding "Ki" stuff is not all that mystical and falls within the realms of physical laws that we recognize.

That being said, we're back to the "how to" world of Ki things and functional usage. I can explain how and show how to do most of these things, but to do them right involves some practice (surprise!!! It's amazing how many people think they can do something once they understand it academically, but it always takes practice). What's interesting to me is to hear other peoples' thoughts and approaches and to see if anyone has some extended knowledge of the traditional practices associated with Aikido. So I'm enjoying the discussion and listening to explanations like Craig's or others, because the only way to learn is to keep talking and working. ;)

Regards,

Mike

Moses
02-23-2005, 02:51 PM
Mike, thank you for the elaboration on Qi/Ki. Unfortunately I don't have much time right now, so this will be quick. Looking back at your original post discussing Tohei's four points, please allow me to switch genres to the Chinese arts, it seems (from understanding your previous writings on the subject) that you are referring to a "PengJing" characteristic via an Aikido explanation. Would this be fair to assume? Please correct me if I am wrong. What I am most curious about is the nature of this facial (structural/weight bearing) relationship to the mind (cognitive faculties). Is this type of structure/movement indicative of itself, or is dependent upon an additional factor, such as Qi? Assuming this is related to other factors related to facial structure, i.e. the iron bridge and the unbendable arm, etc. Also are we speaking of Qi as a function of Yi?
Thanks, Moses

Mike Sigman
02-23-2005, 04:06 PM
Looking back at your original post discussing Tohei's four points, please allow me to switch genres to the Chinese arts, it seems (from understanding your previous writings on the subject) that you are referring to a "PengJing" characteristic via an Aikido explanation. Would this be fair to assume? Please correct me if I am wrong.Well, the substantive parts of Ki, kokyu, etc., are the same substantive parts as in Qi, peng jin, etc.... i.e., the "names" don't particularly mean much because all the related phenomena are the same. They have to be, unless you want to posit they're something entirely different, of course.

The only issue I have with some of the Ki terminology is that it's more primitive and has an artificial religious connotation. Granted there are some Chinese views of Qi which have religious or "spiritual" connotations, but to a lesser degree. Part of the looming problem is that modern skilled practitioners with very remarkable powers in Qi, internal strength, etc., are avoiding the term "Qi" and are going to discussions of "internal strength", "cerebral cortex", etc. I.e., it will work its way into the Japanese descriptions fairly soon now and will have an effect on "Universal Ki" discussions. Heads up! ;) What I am most curious about is the nature of this fascial (structural/weight bearing) relationship to the mind (cognitive faculties). Is this type of structure/movement indicative of itself, or is dependent upon an additional factor, such as Qi? Assuming this is related to other factors related to fascial structure, i.e. the iron bridge and the unbendable arm, etc. Also are we speaking of Qi as a function of Yi?It's a complex topic. Really, there are 2 separable discussions that have to do with "jin" and "Qi". "Kokyu" power is the closest idea of what jin is, but there is a slight distortion (actually, that's one of the reasons I got into these discussions... to see if anyone had a clearer idea of Kokyu variations in order for me to get more of a feel of what and how the Ki transmission came through Japanese lines).

Technically "Ki" as a body trait involves the 4 or 5 skills that I enumerated in another post (with Jin/Kokyu being part of what I called "strength"). But if you'll allow me to split the 2 apart for conversational purposes (they actually can be separate, yet intertwined), let me roughly describe Ki as the subconscious/myofascial relationship that qigongs, etc., develop, while Kokyu has a basis in the mind's ability to recruit different musculatures while changing the origins of forces.

A lot of the aspects of Qi/Ki development are apparently missing from the Japanese experience. Someone mentioned an Aikikai technique (I've seen this one, in years past) of raising the arms over the head and then clinching the fists while drawing the arms down. This is a classic functional qigong. It's related to the famous qigong where weights are lifted by a rope tied to the genitals and many various other qigongs, if you understand the principles. It's even related to the way that the body will harden the area over an appendicitis as a protective measure.

On the jin/kokyu side, I can see where I'm going to potentially have a problem about "relaxation" and "ki". But basically, you can think of it as forming paths. The idea that someone just relaxes and "extends ki" and people have difficulty pushing them is OK up to a point, but if that were strictly true you wouldn't need postures or you wouldn't notice that some foot positions were more awkward than others, would you? I can withstand pushes from all sorts of angles, but I am helped by understanding how relaxing and "sinking", letting the body automatically shift vector forces, etc., work in the physical world. Notice in this video clip that Saito (?) or someone is pushing O-Sensei... watch the adjustments and slight lean. http://www.neijia.com/jotrick1.avi

The "structure" you're asking about can be done by the mind assigning paths of muscle, but it is also augmented by the development of "Ki/Qi" like I briefly mentioned in the paragraph above plays a role and strengthens the "paths". I hope that was a clear enough answer to your question ... rushing around too much today.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

tedehara
02-27-2005, 06:03 AM
In the first place, a human being possesses a mind and a body, but these alone are not enough. An activating force is required to connect the mind and the body, and this is the ki in Aikido; it is this that completes the trilogy of ki, mind and body.A possible English translation for ki is thought, intent or will. If you want to raise your arm, you think it and it is your thought that raises your arm. The mind moves the body. The mind uses ki to move the body.

K. Kaku goes on to summarize his interview with K. Ueshiba in The Mysterious Power of Ki: Although the founder had a deep interest in philosophy, he probably would not have known of the philosophies of ancient India. However, he appears to have come to the understanding that what he called the 'expert use of ki' is synonymous with that state in which the mind and the body are unified and in harmony with the universe, a state that he achieved through many years of physical and spiritual training. The 'expert use of ki' means making ki work exquisitely and allowing the body to work in harmony with the mind. The founder discovered that the expert use of 'ki' could be realized through subtle changes in breathing.Because of political differences, some people believe that K. Ueshiba and K. Tohei are ideologically separate. But here you have K. Ueshiba discussing ki as thought, the mind and body as one and being in harmony with the universe. An emphasis on breathing is also stated. This similarity of views could reflect their mutual understanding of the founder.

Mike Sigman
02-27-2005, 09:15 AM
A possible English translation for ki is thought, intent or will. If you want to raise your arm, you think it and it is your thought that raises your arm. The mind moves the body. The mind uses ki to move the body.Hi Ted:

I think you're perhaps leaving out a stage. The general statement is along the lines of "heart leads mind, mind leads Ki, Ki leads strength". For instance, imagine you're standing like Tohei does with the forearm in front of chest, ready for your partner to test your stance. Your "heart" refers to your desires, in the sense that you "want" a path or whatever to be in your forearm; the desire for that path triggers the mind to act; the mind makes the Ki go to the forearm; when your partner pushes your arm he feels your "strength" (more or less "kokyu"), which is the manifestation of your Ki. Of course, you'll notice that the idea of a separate "want" or "heart" is a little different than the western view in that we think of our "desires" as also being a part of the "mind".K. Kaku goes on to summarize his interview with K. Ueshiba in The Mysterious Power of Ki:Because of political differences, some people believe that K. Ueshiba and K. Tohei are ideologically separate. But here you have K. Ueshiba discussing ki as thought, the mind and body as one and being in harmony with the universe. An emphasis on breathing is also stated. This similarity of views could reflect their mutual understanding of the founder.This is the part of your post that I'm having trouble figuring out. My personal opinion is that there is no ideological difference between what Kohei, Shioda, Ueshiba (M or K) believed... they just had slightly different ways of saying things or expressing the functional aspects of Aikido. I.e., there are no real differences, as far as I see, other than a few incidental details.

I'm on a trip, using a notebook computer with a tiny keyboard, so pardon if my words and thoughts appear a bit terse. It's laziness. ;)

Mike

tedehara
02-28-2005, 02:16 AM
Hi Ted:

I think you're perhaps leaving out a stage. The general statement is along the lines of "heart leads mind, mind leads Ki, Ki leads strength".This sounds like the Chinese mind. The Chinese love the baroque, shadows within shadows and variations within variations. The Japanese mind is just the opposite. KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) drives much of the Japanese Arts. Certainly Ki No Kenkyukai H.Q. (KNK - Ki Society Headquarters) simplifies things. They would not put in an added stage if they didn't need it. For instance, imagine you're standing like Tohei does with the forearm in front of chest, ready for your partner to test your stance.You're not testing the stance or posture. You're testing mind and body coordination. It's not just physical. Your "heart" refers to your desires, in the sense that you "want" a path or whatever to be in your forearm; the desire for that path triggers the mind to act; the mind makes the Ki go to the forearm; when your partner pushes your arm he feels your "strength" (more or less "kokyu"), which is the manifestation of your Ki.Current thought I'm told from KNK is to think down where contact is made. If your arm is out stretched and a person is holding your wrist and pushing towards you, you should be thinking down from where they're holding. Their energy should be thought of as doing straight down, like following a plumb line into the ground. There is no path, no force going through your body down your legs and into the ground. Just think "down".

KNK has been using a point-to-point movement instead of thinking along a path. If your arm moves in an down-up-down motion, don't think of it as moving along a path, but just bring your arm to the down point then up point then second down point. KNK also uses an interesting visualization during the transition (up) point....This is the part of your post that I'm having trouble figuring out. My personal opinion is that there is no ideological difference between what Kohei, Shioda, Ueshiba (M or K) believed... they just had slightly different ways of saying things or expressing the functional aspects of Aikido. I.e., there are no real differences, as far as I see, other than a few incidental details...That's your perspective, it's not something that is held by everyone. I was using the similarities between K. Tohei and K. Ueshiba to try and make a point, not a political statement.

rob_liberti
02-28-2005, 07:32 AM
Okay Ki/Qi guys. When I hold my arm out and someone pushes down, sometimes I get an ache in the back of my shoulder or back muscles(s) why I try to maintain my position. (I generally move to avoid any position where they are able to do that to me.) If I didn't move, is there any advice about how to better deal with such a push to avoid the muscle ache? I am interested in moving down to the down point and moving up to the up point (or the second down point which I assume must be higher than the first), or finding a ground path would be fine with me too. The more ideas I get to try to work on solving a problem like that the better.

Rob

rob_liberti
02-28-2005, 08:43 AM
<rant - not against the folks contributing to this thread, but it seems like this thread would be one of the better places for me to be heard on this related issue>

I keep hearing people say (and reading posts) that "aikido is simple" as if that means it is easy. People claim or seem to imply that you have to "_just_ not do" things for aikido to work, and that everyone can do aikido at any time; basically it's just in us and we simply get in the way of it.

This is only a half truth as far as I'm concerned. Certainly aikido (beyond surface level total beginner stuff) can happen at anytime but if the person being attacked is not well trained, I'd say they are probably one of those people who are naturally squarely over their center, have excellent posture, are very reflexive in their movement, and/or happened to get incredibly lucky.

I find those romantic ideas to be a bit of a trivialization of the amount of work and training needed to progress. Yes, of course reflexive movement is innate and we need to get out of the way of our reflexes - but NO and here is the bottom line - reflexes don't know anything about strategy especially with regard to subtle energetic communication used to blend with attackers!

The best reflexive people I know in aikido tend not to set things up optimally because they have that "reflexive" crutch going for them. They tend to blend very well before connection is made, but not so much as connection is made (setting up optimal kokyu ryoku experience).

My opinion is that you have to actually put time and hard work into learning, not only, how to consciously control reflexive movement, but also, to develop a feel for what you should be consciously directing for optimal results. You have to actually practice to get better at not interfering with reflexes. Also, there are times when it is very helpful to change the way you think about how energy is flowing in your body to relate to the uke in a more detached manner or to encourage keeping an uke more attached to you. (Of course, you can probably figure out how to do it without visualization, but developing using the energy imagery is slow enough, so why develop even slower?).

Just this weekend, I realized that the way I was trying to get to uke's blind spot was totally interfering with my attempt to continually lead with hara. I guess my point is that aikido is multifaceted and this idea of "just let it happen" offends my work ethic towards learning and optimizing.

I'm sure "aiki just is" and that "aiki is simple" and all of those other phrases are true, however, I would never count on just letting that kind of thing happen just because it works out by accident once and a while.

I feel that when people say "aikido just happens" they mean "accidental aikido can just happen". I'm training to be able to do "repeatable aikido with varying ukes."

The path (of aikido) towards manifesting your true self which can be continually tested for feedback by escalating drama from your partners is very difficult, and non-trivial. It takes complete rethought and retraining of movement.</rant>

Any training tips like what's been going on in this thread towards getting repeatable aikido "_just_ happening" are very appreciated.

Thanks,
Rob

kironin
02-28-2005, 12:09 PM
<rant - not against the folks contributing to this thread, but it seems like this thread would be one of the better places for me to be heard on this related issue>

I keep hearing people say (and reading posts) that "aikido is simple" as if that means it is easy. People claim or seem to imply that you have to "_just_ not do" things for aikido to work, and that everyone can do aikido at any time; basically it's just in us and we simply get in the way of it.

This is only a half truth as far as I'm concerned. Certainly aikido (beyond surface level total beginner stuff) can happen at anytime but if the person being attacked is not well trained, I'd say they are probably one of those people who are naturally squarely over their center, have excellent posture, are very reflexive in their movement, and/or happened to get incredibly lucky.



there is a difference between K.I.S.S. and saying that something does not require a lot of training. In fact in all the martial arts I have done, it seems to take a lot of training to get one not to add unnecessary, sometimes counterproductive movements. In fact in the last year after watching Ellis Amdur's critique of the way many Aikikai groups do Ikkyo irimi(omote) and how it leads them right into a ground grappling match if uke is not "giving up", it taught me a greater appreciation of why Tohei Sensei teaches a "simpler" ikkyo with less angles of movement and steps.

simple does not equate to easy especially if you want to be able to perform well under an adrenalin dump. If one is worried about the
self-defense side, one had better be thinking about simplified movements because competent fine motor control like what is required for some of the more complicated things people have fun doing in the dojo just isn't going to be there for the majority of trained people. You can also can count on being not as relaxed as in the dojo, so I would want to practice being as relaxed and fluid as possible in the dojo. Under stress, I won't be as relaxed or calm but with a lot of practice I will be a bit more relaxed and calm than the other guy.

Tohei Sensei can spend a day on drilling your posture, on how you walk and stand and sit and put out your arm(s), and people will complain and bitch about not getting to the good stuff (I have done that :-)) and not realize he is giving them the good stuff. Not all the fancy moves, but just being and looking to be a hard target to begin with, being very difficult to take down, responding reflexively by relaxing and not tensing.

I don't think I ever seen anyone who was just a natural though I am sure some exist. Those who do it simply or make it look simple have usually trained a long time.

rob_liberti
02-28-2005, 12:53 PM
Thanks, I knew I ranted in the right place!

Hey Craig, any advice about the ache in the back/ back shoulder muscle(s) problem? I only really know how to avoid it - instead of how to deal with it. Am I alone on that problem?

Rob

kironin
02-28-2005, 02:21 PM
Hey Craig, any advice about the ache in the back/ back shoulder muscle(s) problem? I only really know how to avoid it - instead of how to deal with it. Am I alone on that problem?
Rob

This is purely a guess. No guarantees implied. I am not exactly sure what you mean by push down (is this unbendable arm ?, is this someone grabbing you ? )

try bringing your hand up to your chest level by just using only your elbow joint and then do a shoulder check. I like
to roll my shoulders a bit in this position because I can feel if I started to hold or am holding tension in shoulder muscles (traps, delts, etc.). Take stock of it feels and then extend your hand forward to about the position where your elbow would have the bend if your arm was hanging naturally at your side. you may feel some tension a little chest or fron part of shoulder, make sure this is an "expanding open feeling" and the chest remains open and the knees stay relaxed/flexible to keep the lower back relaxed.

their should be a lightness, floating feeling maintained as pressure is applied, in counteracting of force is done with the lower body. The back and shoulder and arm just maintain where they are. This I find hard to describe without getting either to detailed or too physiologically inaccurate - it
is a combination of body/kinesthetic sense and proprioceptive responses and sense of touch.

Mike Sigman
02-28-2005, 04:08 PM
This sounds like the Chinese mind. The Chinese love the baroque, shadows within shadows and variations within variations. The Japanese mind is just the opposite. KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) drives much of the Japanese Arts.Uh oh.... I can't resist this one. :) The "Japanese mind" is so different that they adopted the whole concept of Ki and how it works from the Chinese, but the Japanese do it differently? The same Japanese that borrowed the clothing, hair-do's, shoes, manufacturing methods, swords, alphabet, measuring system, etc., etc., part and parcel from the Chinese? That theory is not only baroque, but "gopher baroque", Ted. ;) You're not testing the stance or posture. You're testing mind and body coordination. It's not just physical.Then why do they physically test it, if it's not physical, Ted?Current thought I'm told from KNK is to think down where contact is made. If your arm is out stretched and a person is holding your wrist and pushing towards you, you should be thinking down from where they're holding. Their energy should be thought of as doing straight down, like following a plumb line into the ground. There is no path, no force going through your body down your legs and into the ground. Just think "down"."Down" is a direction, implying a path, Ted. I.e., why not think "up" when someone pushes you, if there is no concern for a path and direction? Besides, the force does not dissipate within the body when someone is pushed; it is easily measured at the soles of the feet, so it ends up somewhere... ergo, there is a "path".KNK has been using a point-to-point movement instead of thinking along a path. If your arm moves in an down-up-down motion, don't think of it as moving along a path, but just bring your arm to the down point then up point then second down point. KNK also uses an interesting visualization during the transition (up) point.Oh, I don't quibble about "different visualization".... the thought I'd offer is that a number of different visualizations can lead to the same physical results. What we're after is the most effective visualizations, not a dogma about "acceptable" visualizations, IMO.

Regards,

Mike

Mike Sigman
02-28-2005, 04:13 PM
Okay Ki/Qi guys. When I hold my arm out and someone pushes down, sometimes I get an ache in the back of my shoulder or back muscles(s) why I try to maintain my position.Hi Rob:

Regardless of whether you are doing it right or wrong (without seeing and/or feeling it, I have no way of knowing, you might be getting an ache because your muscles are tired!!!;) Joking aside, I often watch experienced martial artists of various styles tell beginners to "relax, relax!" when their own "relaxation" is not really because they themselves are relaxed, but because their muscles have become condtioned to doing certain actions and/or holding certain postures. Wouldn't you agree this is often the case?

Regards,

Mike

Mike Sigman
02-28-2005, 05:13 PM
I keep hearing people say (and reading posts) that "aikido is simple" as if that means it is easy. People claim or seem to imply that you have to "_just_ not do" things for aikido to work, and that everyone can do aikido at any time; basically it's just in us and we simply get in the way of it.

This is only a half truth as far as I'm concerned. Certainly aikido (beyond surface level total beginner stuff) can happen at anytime but if the person being attacked is not well trained, I'd say they are probably one of those people who are naturally squarely over their center, have excellent posture, are very reflexive in their movement, and/or happened to get incredibly lucky.

I find those romantic ideas to be a bit of a trivialization of the amount of work and training needed to progress. Yes, of course reflexive movement is innate and we need to get out of the way of our reflexes - but NO and here is the bottom line - reflexes don't know anything about strategy especially with regard to subtle energetic communication used to blend with attackers!

The best reflexive people I know in aikido tend not to set things up optimally because they have that "reflexive" crutch going for them. They tend to blend very well before connection is made, but not so much as connection is made (setting up optimal kokyu ryoku experience). Not a bad rant, as rants go, Rob ;)

There seems to often be a misunderstanding of what "innate" and "natural" mean in many Asian discussions. For instance the way the body is used to move or manipulate using "ki" is considered "the natural way", yet it is not meant that we naturally move like this, it's meant that we have to train to "regain" this sort of "pre-birth" strength that babies, etc., are reputed to have. I.e., to be that kind of "natural" isn't the way most westerners think of when they say "natural". The same is true of "instinctive" ... the practical idea is to train something so that it replaces the "instinctive" way we now move. The idea that Aikido should be "natural" and "instinctive" implies a lot of training for those strengths and responses to develop.... not that "it just happens if you'll relax your body and let it react instinctively". If it just came naturally we could stay at home in the lounger. ;)

Mike

kironin
02-28-2005, 06:49 PM
Then why do they physically test it, if it's not physical, Ted?"Down" is a direction, implying a path, Ted. I.e., why not think "up" when someone pushes you, if there is no concern for a path and direction?

actually, I prefer not to think. :D

and just float.

Ted didn't say it's not physical

he said it's not JUST physical

besides, the physical test is not a direct test of Ki or oneness of mind and body, it is a test of the physical side effects of having oneness of mind and body. The measurement done properly is just as valid as many measurements made in modern physics that indirectly measure some property of a thing.

a couple of examples
presence of a neutrino (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3877337.stm)

Functional MRI, based on a technique called "blood oxygen level dependent" scanning. (http://www.economist.com/displayStory.cfm?Story_id=2246166)

kironin
02-28-2005, 06:52 PM
There seems to often be a misunderstanding of what "innate" and "natural" mean in many Asian discussions. For instance the way the body is used to move or manipulate using "ki" is considered "the natural way", yet it is not meant that we naturally move like this, it's meant that we have to train to "regain" this sort of "pre-birth" strength that babies, etc., are reputed to have. I.e., to be that kind of "natural" isn't the way most westerners think of when they say "natural".

Very well said.

What you have said is made very clear to us all the time as the way Tohei Sensei means "natural" or "innate" .

We train to regain this.

Craig

Mike Sigman
02-28-2005, 07:54 PM
actually, I prefer not to think. :D Cogito, ergo sum. :) besides, the physical test is not a direct test of Ki or oneness of mind and body, it is a test of the physical side effects of having oneness of mind and body. The measurement done properly is just as valid as many measurements made in modern physics that indirectly measure some property of a thing.

a couple of examples (snip example of neutrino and MRI) Hmmmmm. Craig, I don't think those are good examples, particularly if you're implying that the complexity of physical and mathematical inferences in neutrino detection, etc., is paralleled by the subjective criteria of a "ki test". Without even approaching or rebutting that inference, we could rig some simple tests of static physics and vector analysis that would fairly clearly point to simple physics and kinesiology as causative agents rather than unquantifiable forces. Let's use Occam's Razor rather than assume an unwarranted complexity. :)

Of course, I believe in live and let live and I have no problem with your convictions at all. However, I think I can teach most people fairly rapidly how to do the various Ki tests (naturally, "expertise" will take a little longer, but nothing exorbitant) without using the same visualizations or approach as a "universal Ki" ... i.e., I think these things are in the physical realm and are actually "skills" that can be replicated without necessarily resorting to the particular visualizations you favor. Granted, they are somewhat unusual skills and skills not normally encountered in western kinesiology, but I feel fairly safe in my position. In fact, to be quite candid, these things are also described as "skills" by many Chinese... i.e., my position isn't really very unusual. But you have your position on it and I have mine... and I'd be happy to help rig physical tests to show that we needn't resort to the frontiers of modern science or to unquantifiable energies to explain these things. ;)

Regards,

Mike Sigman

tedehara
03-01-2005, 04:19 AM
Uh oh.... I can't resist this one. :) The "Japanese mind" is so different that they adopted the whole concept of Ki and how it works from the Chinese, but the Japanese do it differently? The same Japanese that borrowed the clothing, hair-do's, shoes, manufacturing methods, swords, alphabet, measuring system, etc., etc., part and parcel from the Chinese? That theory is not only baroque, but "gopher baroque", Ted. ;)Let's take this closer to home. The Japanese play baseball. They learned it from the Americans. However Japanese baseball is different from American baseball. They have developed their type of baseball in less than a century. How long have they had those things you mentioned from China? Does a katana look and function like the Chinese sword it was taken from?

There is a noticeable difference between the Chinese and Japanese, just as there is a difference between India and China. Even though they share a concept like prana/chi/ki, their definitions or manifestations of that concept are not the same...."Down" is a direction, implying a path, Ted. I.e., why not think "up" when someone pushes you, if there is no concern for a path and direction?You can think up/down or you can think to either side. What you don't want to think is towards you, because then you'll be receiving their power.Besides, the force does not dissipate within the body when someone is pushed; it is easily measured at the soles of the feet, so it ends up somewhere... ergo, there is a "path".Certainly I would agree there are force vectors on the body. Yet the psychology of the person should not allow them to receive any of that power. That will maximize their effectiveness.
Oh, I don't quibble about "different visualization".... the thought I'd offer is that a number of different visualizations can lead to the same physical results. What we're after is the most effective visualizations, not a dogma about "acceptable" visualizations, IMO..At the start of a chess game, there are a large number of moves. However if you want to have a playable middle game, your number of candidate moves becomes much smaller. As you start playing, the number of candidate moves can become very small.

Similarly, if you want a certain physical result, you begin a series of choices to obtain that result. This process may involve visualization. That visualization must take into account the changes that will occur during this process. Therefore the possible visualizations available for actual use, will be much smaller in number. e.g. All roads may led to Rome, but there are only a few practical routes to get there.

rob_liberti
03-01-2005, 08:07 AM
To me the most effective thing is for me to learn how to do something in a couple different ways becuase comparing and contrasing helps me figure out what's really happening.

No doubt that I must be muscling my arm out when I feel that ache from being pushed from that position. (I'm not telling anyone to relax _like me_.) In general, I am pretty good at lengthening and widening, and balancing my expansion. But, when I do certain things like kotegeri (rotate the tip of the sword clockwise - as you move left, and then cut for a wrist as you move forward) my right arm - which is basically just the fulcrum and barely moves gets that ache if I repeat this drill for a short while. I assume I need to learn how to hold my arm more efficiently, but I had no good insights to this. I think I got something pretty valuable from Craig's response. I think I hold my arm out too straight in that position (I don't think I have my elbow bent to the degree it would have been in when my arm hangs naturally to my side) . I have a lot of practice to do.

In that example, I don't know how to imagine a ground path and I have no idea how to imagine a first or second down but I'd like to read more about that.

I also hit this ache once and a while when some sempai puts a ton of weight on my arms in free waza - but I just bend my legs more and move with it to avoid this alignment problem. With sword, you are holding the weight, so it's not too easy to avoid.

Anyway, thanks - Rob

Mike Sigman
03-01-2005, 08:53 AM
Let's take this closer to home. The Japanese play baseball. They learned it from the Americans. However Japanese baseball is different from American baseball. They have developed their type of baseball in less than a century.Maybe their baseball is slightly different, Ted, but the basics are still the same. Otherwise, U.S. teams wouldn't be recruiting some Japanese players. How long have they had those things you mentioned from China? Does a katana look and function like the Chinese sword it was taken from?Er, Ted.... you haven't shown "time=radical change", particularly in relation to the topic at hand, so this is all off-topic. There is a noticeable difference between the Chinese and Japanese, just as there is a difference between India and China. Even though they share a concept like prana/chi/ki, their definitions or manifestations of that concept are not the same.That's simply an argument by assertion, Ted. :) Besides, the basics of prana, ki, qi are indeed the same, just as jin, kokyu, and shakti are basically referring to the same phenomenon that arises because the human body essentially functions the same in these relationships. You can think up/down or you can think to either side. What you don't want to think is towards you, because then you'll be receiving their power. Make no mistake, Ted... in the example we're talking about, you ARE receiving the power, no matter what you think or don't think. The question is what happens to that power, not what you think. Something affects that power and causes the pusher to feel a solid resistance.

Let's take it a step at a time. Generally speaking, the laws of physics say all force, energy, and matter are in a balanced equation. When you say "energy", in essence you are talking about bookkeeping in which the books must always stay balanced. "Energy" is measureable and if you postulate a "resisting force" on one side of the equation, you have to show cause on the other side of the equation. So my first question is: "how do you explain the cause of the resistance the pusher-on-the-forearm feels?" in terms of what is actually causing that particular solidity? Certainly I would agree there are force vectors on the body. Yet the psychology of the person should not allow them to receive any of that power. So if someone punches me in the face I can use "psychology" in such a way that it doesn't "allow" the punch to have any effect on me??? ;) But we're getting closer to the real discussion, Ted. HOW does psychology negate a push to the forearm such that the pusher feels a tangible resistance?

Good discussion.

Mike

Mike Sigman
03-01-2005, 09:02 AM
In that example, I don't know how to imagine a ground path and I have no idea how to imagine a first or second down but I'd like to read more about that. Rob, there are specific answers about how to do this, but it's sort of a "second-generation" question. I.e., there are things that someone should understand first and then the answer to this part comes into play. What you're looking for has to do with some of the points of "how to" I've already mentioned and it also includes something to do with the question by Ted about why the chin is tucked in, why Yoshinkan thinks they should spread their fingers, and so on. My position is that trying to explain beyond the level a conversation on the web can support is probably a waste of time. If I had had some indication that we were all on the same plane in general understanding, I wouldn't mind laying out my views on each facet, but my impression is that we need to keep the conversations focused around a few simple topics until we either reach a consensus of understanding or (and this appears quite possible on this forum) basic ideas are simply rejected. ;)

Regards,

Mike

Ron Tisdale
03-01-2005, 10:37 AM
I think what we really need is a workshop where we could share ideas and basically tear them apart and build up from there. :)
Ron (aren't there aikiweb workshops or something?)

Moses
03-01-2005, 10:46 AM
Mike Sigman wrote:
So my first question is: "how do you explain the cause of the resistance the pusher-on-the-forearm feels?" in terms of what is actually causing that particular solidity?

I can't figure out how to do the fancy quote in a box?

Well from looking at the development of this thread, it seems that the discussion lays with its process, i.e. some form of path either mental and/or physical needed to deal with the reality of a push. My opinion is both have to be present.

Here is my thought at a possible explanation. Using the Chinese model of the micro/macro cosmic orbit is a simple and workable model for basic path relationships (up and down); understand I do not mean to imply it is limited or restricted only to this. As far as I can tell it seems that the "mind" is used largely in two ways:

1) the mind consciously adjusts the structure, "bones" for lack of a better word, and the musculature, i.e. creating a structure that is efficient in form, connected,and balanced.

2) again it seems that the mind acts consciously as a receptive control point moving (i.e. motor control typically left to the unconscious aspect of the mind) the incoming vectors along the prescribed paths, in this case into the ground.

It seems that in this case solidity comes not from pushing on a "strong" individual, which may be the case, but rather you are pushing into the ground, i.e. the individual simply acts as a conduit.
Any thoughts?
Moses

Mike Sigman
03-01-2005, 11:10 AM
I can't figure out how to do the fancy quote in a box? Click on the little box in the lower right-hand corner of a post. Edit to suit. If you need secondary boxes, it's easy to form the HTML code with square brackets, and "QUOTE" in the first one, "/QUOTE" in the closing one. Well from looking at the development of this thread, it seems that the discussion lays with its process, i.e. some form of path either mental and/or physical needed to deal with the reality of a push. My opinion is both have to be present.

Here is my thought at a possible explanation. Using the Chinese model of the micro/macro cosmic orbit is a simple and workable model for basic path relationships (up and down); understand I do not mean to imply it is limited or restricted only to this. As far as I can tell it seems that the "mind" is used largely in two ways:

1) the mind consciously adjusts the structure, "bones" for lack of a better word, and the musculature, i.e. creating a structure that is efficient in form, connected,and balanced.

2) again it seems that the mind acts consciously as a receptive control point moving (i.e. motor control typically left to the unconscious aspect of the mind) the incoming vectors along the prescribed paths, in this case into the ground.

It seems that in this case solidity comes not from pushing on a "strong" individual, which may be the case, but rather you are pushing into the ground, i.e. the individual simply acts as a conduit.
Perfect. Actually, we use these "paths" every day, all the time, in minor ways as we push, pull, resist acceleration, etc. This is a specialized and deliberate use of a trick the body has in its repertoire; it is also often shifted into a very sophisticated version of the trick (i.e., like any skill, higher levels of usage can look almost magical). There is also a component of allowing the subconscious to meld into the trick so that the power increases. But basically, you stated it pretty well. ;)

Mike

kironin
03-01-2005, 02:19 PM
Craig, I don't think those are good examples, particularly if you're implying that the complexity of physical and mathematical inferences in neutrino detection, etc., is paralleled by the subjective criteria of a "ki test". Without even approaching or rebutting that inference, we could rig some simple tests of static physics and vector analysis that would fairly clearly point to simple physics and kinesiology as causative agents rather than unquantifiable forces. Let's use Occam's Razor rather than assume an unwarranted complexity. :)


You are reading too much into what I said. I am saying that the physical test is a perfectly valid indirect method of taking a measure of the person's mind and body coordination. You are adding the complexity and unquantifiable forces to the discussion. I am not. However, there is a long history of
scientists using themselves as the detection or monitoring device in experiments and in some cases it still goes on so I don't think much of your point as long as there are reproduceable results by many observers. Subjective does not equate to wrong. Quantifying is not always needed to answer a question.

A while back I was reading a book by a very highly regarded neurologist. He spent some time making the point that in his years of experience he had found that the many simple physical tests he could do on a patient in a few minutes in his office were quite good at diagnosing the specific neuropathology. This simple quick indirect approach is considered is considered "old-fashioned" to new graduates who he said are becoming more reliant on high tech and not spending sufficient time to become well trained in these lo-tech methods. The problem was the hi-tech methods like MRI are indirect methods also with built-in assumptions that need to be well-understood but tend to be forgotten with all the nice pictures and numbers being spit of the computer. It's human nature to tend to forget that what you are looking at is not the actual thing you are trying to measure. It's a technological pitfall that people fall in to all the time.

kironin
03-01-2005, 02:26 PM
There is also a component of allowing the subconscious to meld into the trick so that the power increases. But basically, you stated it pretty well. ;)
Mike

"allowing" "the" "to meld" ?

I guess we need to have a discussion now of what we are defining as subsconscious. ;)

Mike Sigman
03-01-2005, 02:43 PM
You are reading too much into what I said. I am saying that the physical test is a perfectly valid indirect method of taking a measure of the person's mind and body coordination. You are adding the complexity and unquantifiable forces to the discussion. I am not. Although I understand what you're saying and I generally agree, I don't agree completely. Of course you caveated by saying "measurement done properly", but that's the rub of these tests... there is often a subjective component to what is "proper". I remember once encountering some people who held an "immoveable" stance that included great rigidity. When I tried to delicately say I thought they were a little stiff, they were outraged and insisted that they were completely relaxed. :cool:

However, focusing back on your comments about mind and body coordination, why not give me your take on how something like the so-called "unbendable arm" works in relation to mind and body coordination and let's see if we can find a commonality of approach?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
03-01-2005, 02:59 PM
I guess we need to have a discussion now of what we are defining as subsconscious. ;) Well, maybe that merits discussion, but not necessarily now, before we have some basis about the actual factors involved in "Ki tests". Insofar as I can tell, there isn't an actual accord about what is happening mechanically (other than a solid-feeling resistance, hopefully passive) and I've offered up the position that I'm not too concerned with the actual visualizations (whether the mind is empty, visualizes scenario A, or visualizes scenario B). I'm assuming that your subjective judgement of "measurements done properly" is pretty much in line with what I've seen at a few Ki-Aikido dojo's, which is generally in agreement with what I've also encountered among some fairly skilled Chinese practitioners.

Let's assume for the moment that we are generally talking about the same phenomenon and let's take the fairly general example of Tohei standing while someone pushes on his forearm. One of the first questions is, "given the same 'feel' to replicating that particular test, are there actually two different ways of doing it and arriving at the same results and 'feel'?". I'd like to suggest that such an instance is improbable. Would you agree?

Regards,

Mike Sigman