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Ron Tisdale's Blog Blog Tools Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 05-19-2004 11:52 AM
Ron Tisdale
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 38 (Private: 1)
Comments: 28
Views: 233,960

In General Review of Mike Sigman Workshop at Itten dojo, Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #32 New 02-19-2008 10:17 AM
This will be in a series of blog posts, please forgive.

This past weekend I was fortunate to spend two days trying to get a handle on something that has been kicked around in martial art circles for many eons…and yes, you guessed it…it's that dreaded KI word! Mike Sigman, a long time proponent of statements like "no jin, no Taiji", was kind enough to brave the criticisms of some pretty experienced martial artists, some of them no nonsense military types, and actually show what I've long been reading about on the ‘Net. This is going to be a tough review to write, because I have little to no familiarity with authentic Chinese arts, and because this review will also deal with some much larger issues.

It should be made clear that Mike's workshop was targeted toward an Aikido audience. Most (if not all) people attending are in Aikido or closely related arts. I actually would be especially interested in hearing from participants who disagree with my take on the skills displayed and their usefulness in Aikido. I believe that the skills Mike displayed and trained us in are crucial to our art, and that a great deal of the issues people have with Aikido are the result of a lack of exposure of people like myself to a solid understanding of at least some of the basics of using ki / aiki / kokyu in our training.

This is not a simple area for discussion. There are many political, organizational, and ego related issues surrounding this topic, and there are also many people who dismiss this entire area. "We already do that", "It's just good physics", "Only the fruitcakes waste time on that", "let's see you use it in the UFC" are all favorite responses when this topic comes up. I am coming to the strong belief that this is just as wrong as over mystifying it. Mike's posts on the topic are public record, and I think his approach (if I understand it well) is a good one. He seems to speak about the ki mentioned in the Chinese classics as a family of related skills / phenomena, and he highlights jin, or access to the ground path, as one member of this family which is of particular use to martial artists. Mike or others with a more complete understanding will have to take this area of definitions further…I simply am too new to this area to go further than that.
Views: 24657 | Comments: 5

RSS Feed 5 Responses to "Review of Mike Sigman Workshop at Itten dojo,"
#5 02-26-2008 06:07 AM
I think one of the most fun aspects of training is that this stuff is so applicable to *everything*. That is, not only do you have the enormous task of changing the way you move, but in return you get the full benefit of that change in whatever you do. The focus away from "technique" and more on "body use" makes this both hard work and liberating at the same time. I'm very happy to see you working at this, it gives me more motivation to see others writing about their own efforts.
#4 02-20-2008 07:15 AM
Ron Tisdale Says:
But I do truly believe I feel a difference, from using a combination of the standing exercises Akuzawa and Dan do (not enough of them though) and the breathing and imagery provided by Mike. I was able to replicate some of the easier tests with people applying nikajo right after the seminar. The issue for me will be training this stuff over a long time, and being able to maintain the structure in a yoshinkan setting. You know the strictures that can place on posture, etc. Best, Ron
#3 02-20-2008 07:14 AM
Ron Tisdale Says:
I have found in just the last week paying attention to the things Mike spoke of make a huge difference in being able to get closer to breaking balance on contact. Now, admittedly, this is in the context of aikido training, where you have to be aware that people are no where near resisting as in a live environment.
#2 02-20-2008 07:14 AM
Ron Tisdale Says:
Hi Keith! Good to hear from you. Another good person to ask in Charlie Burmeister (sp). He was at the Akuzawa seminar and at Mike's seminar. And his perspectives on yoshinkan are shaped by Parker Shihan as well, so he is a good source.
#1 02-19-2008 09:33 PM
Keith R Lee Says:
FYI, I am interested in hearing your take on this as a fellow Yoshiorc; especially having branched out to grappling (although after never getting any Aikido to work, I am suddenly having a flourish of Aikido come out in competition - it's great!) I feel that there is something to be had form a more internal take on training and would very much like to hear/learn about this through your experiences! Don't let close-minded on the board get you down.

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