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Old 11-22-2006, 08:54 AM   #208
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,616
Re: Aikido: The learning of natural movement

Mike Sigman wrote:
Well, I'd disagree. I don't know of a single westerner who I'd consider skilled in Taiji, Bagua, etc.... the same missing elements in Aikido are usually missing in almost all western teachers of Chinese martial arts. ...
Christian Moses wrote:
I don't really have a good concept of "jin mechanics" as a term, I'm almost exclusively a budoka and Chinese arts and terms are totally new to me (and after all this is aikiweb).
Doesn't matter. "Jin mechanics", "ki tests", "ki demos", "fa jin", "rooting", "neutralizing" (in the ki/kokyu sense), "listening".... all that stuff is the same stuff.... Chinese or Japanese martial art, regardless.
I do not find the equivalence here. There is nothing "missing" here, any more than a snake or a shark is "missing" legs, or a bull is "missing" fangs and claws. All dangerous things are not dangerous for the same reasons.

I do not deny the points Mike raises about internal arts (even while differing on our understadnig of the precise mechanics of them), they are just not aikido in the way he describe them and their use, and the way in which the nei-jia are typically explained to function..

While I have no problem with "Ki tests" etc. as means to discover and explore different modes of coherent movement, they are not aiki either. I have seen everything from Saito's tightness and flow to Tohei's frighteningly dissmissive throws. I have felt version of these from students in their lineages. I have seen (and felt) modes of body carriage as different in their own ways as the Tohei lineage is different from Yoshinkan.

They are all aikido. They are NOT working on the same principles as the nei-jia. The aspects of carriage and movement could not be more different. Yoshinkan (no offense) body carriage is far divorced from prescriptions of nei-jia and internal power, however it is underestood in mechanical terms. However, it, like Tohei's art, all works as aikido.
Mike Sigman wrote:
The ki, kokyu, jin, etc., stuff is what they really mean by "natural" movement. It's not a reliance on muscular movement; it's a return to using the strengths of ground-support and gravity (the ki of heaven and the ki of earth) as the power behind our movements, rather than just brute force.
It is a comfort knowing that Mike is around to clarify what we really mean.

I don't know nuthin' 'bout no jin mechanics. (Well, I do, but I don't need to in this instance, and they have little to do with aikido, per se.) I do know about mechanics. Power is the capacity to do work. Aiki is premised on the opponent providing all the power he or she desires to commit. That power has to have resistance in-axis to do external work, however, otherwise it is just creating addtional internal momentum, i.e. -- more potential energy, not actual energy coverted to work.

Nei-jia, however you understand it mechanically, is about internal power, creating implied momentum (springs, Mike???), if you will, that counters external momentum of attack. That is resistive in principle ("rooting," "grounding," "neutralizing"), even if internally focussed, or whetehr it is viewed as an instrumental and passive channeling of ground resistance.

It is, therefore, not aikido. Aikido is not resistive.

Aiki is about work -- but not about my power, internal or otherwise. It is about HIS power, and it is about my selection of mechanics to convert all fo his added momentum to actual work, typically, in impacting the ground. These are mechanics that translate that power into a differential axis in which the axial control that the opponent has committed behind that power is no longer connected to it, robbing him of the ability to further direct that momentum he created with his power.

I convert that momentum mechanically, perpendicularly (juji), taking it onto a different axis in which he has not established any control. If he exerts power on that new axis in an attempt to wrest back that control, well, ... away we go again, all the while departing his center, movign from axis to axis to axis, as he surrenders his power by continuing to express it against no resistance.

Coming at the problem direct, but going sideways. Back to David's point about the naturalness of aiki movement -- Aikido is a sophisticated game of tag. Or tag is cradle training in budo. Or both.

Here's wishing you joy in battle.


Erick Mead
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