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Well, the last time a friend came into town that I train with from time to time, I had just come back from meeting Dan Harden. I tried to explain what I felt from Dan, and to replicate some of the things he had taught. Not much success.
This friend and I get together about twice a year with some local guys I know...one of which I have trained with for many years. He did aikido with me for maybe 10 or 11 years, and now does mostly tai chi. He and I went to Mike Sigman's seminar together, and we've been comparing notes, and trying to work some of the exercises. I've also been working some of Akuzawa Sensei's exercises, which I may have a better handle on since going to the seminar in Seattle.
Anyhow, it used to be when I got together with these guys, I got pushed all over the place. I just couldn't relax properly, my back was stiff, I wasn't used to the format, and I was a klutz. Last night, for the first time, I kind of held my own...enough to give them a decent workout anyway, and I actually got a few good solid grounded pushes in of my own!
I've been working the standing exercises, shikko, the breathing exercises, and trying to straigten out my posture. Really focusing on relaxing the lower back. Apparently, the effort is beginning to pay off.
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 peopl
Oi, I am so tired of the bickering on the internal stuff on the net. As a result, I will be starting my blog again.
I really appreciate Jun's hosting of this site, but at some point, I have to close off the bickering because I simply have no time for it. I have too many family and work commitments to waste time trying to convert people who aren't interested in going out and getting hands on experience with the folks who have made the nitty gritty details of this exploration what they do.
Bottom line...if you are interested in what I write, and would like to comment, please feel free. If you have hard questions, that's fine too. If you want me to prove what I'm trying to learn, in any fashion, show up on a mat, and train. Better yet, go see some of the people I will discuss, and get it from someone who is much further down the road than I am.