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Old 07-14-2005, 09:37 PM   #214
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Rob Liberti wrote:
We agree kokyu movement is beyond normal strength. My opinion that power in movement beyond surface level "normal" strength in the aikido arena is at least a bit profound - meaning _to me_ "from the depths of your being" - to at least some relative degree since I think we continue to discover new deeper depths..
The problem here is that kokyu strength can certainly be beyond normal strength (although a weight-lifter, to grab an example, can have strength beyond someone's kokyu strength, depending on how hard a practice, size, etc.... so we still have to stay in the real world), but obviously not all supra-normal strength is kokyu. [[ Incidentally, there was a cute old saying that someone with really good kokyu/jin could beat a normal man, but a not a brass man or a wooden man... there's a reason.]]

Where you and I continually go at odds in this type of debate is that I try to explain how these strengths work, etc., as part of my thesis and you discuss "kokyu" assuming we must be talking about the same thing, yet you don't give a factual explanation to support the idea. That's what I meant about "facts". If we're not talking about the same thing... and if we are, you must understand it enough to be able to provide some factual support, how-to's, etc., at the least... then it's tough to start into a discussion about "gradations" since we're not even sure we're talking about the same "kokyu strength", if you follow my blunt, non-emotional viewpoint.
Regardless, we can say for the moment that O-sensei can be the max (as it's high enough for my point) and we can agree that the minimum is at least beyond normal strength, there exists a range of kokyu ability. I give example after example of people doing things at least beyond what I would consider normal strength, and you seem to suggest that those examples are probably not quite kokyu movement yet.
No, if you go look even at your last example, I'm satisfied with the *possibility* that you're talking about kokyu... I just wouldn't consider that level "profound". Again, what stops me from making a commitment is that you describe things that must be kokyu, in your opinion, but you've never given me any information that indicates positively you would be able to differentiate kokyu from something else. There's a reason for saying there's "internal", there's "external", and there's "rattan" (combination)... some things are mixtures. I hope you see the stumbling block for me.
I'm fine with that opinion, but it would be good to get a better picture of what you consider the bottom of the gradations since it seems to be a bit higher than what I would define as the minimum.
"Bottom of gradations" for whom? Beginner? Nikkyu? Sandan? Teacher? Student? You see my problem with the open question of "minimum level". In my mind, since Aikido is a ki and kokyu art and not just a "technique" art, there has to be a certain amount of those skills, IMO, to legitimize a "teacher" of the art. That's my opinion.

In the real world, I know that Aikidoists, like Taiji'ers, Xingyi, Bagua'ers, etc., for the most part are clueless that they're even missing something. Also, in the real world, I think that's always the way it's going to be. For instance, most people doing "Tai Chi" are doing hogwash role-playing and very darn few people (although I'm sure it's in the thousands) know how to use portions of real qi and jin... and again, that's to be expected. There will always be the separation of sheep and goats. So while I'll take a debate position, I'm not emotionally too concerned with it. The maximum worry I might have is that the "real true art" might be lost because there's so much not-Aikido around, but I honestly don't think that's a worry. I think there will always be a level of Aikido, Xingyi, Karate, etc., that will have the full skills and information and there will always be people with less-than-complete info. But it's good to talk these things through.

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