Mark Freeman wrote:
Did you have an oportunity to take ukemi from Shaner Sensei? Did he in your opinion have the ki/kokyu skills that you talk about, in other words does he walk his talk?
I did not take ukemi from Shaner. I had originally planned to, but during some of the practices, he came around and demonstrated the partial technique we were working on and I could feel what his power was. Oddly enough there was one person in the room whom I had never met who waited for the proper opportunity (protocol-wise) to touch me for exactly the same reasons. I had to smile... see? you can find surprising things at a workshop.
There is often something like this going on in martial arts, as I am used to it. Often, only a handshake is needed; sometimes you only have to watch someone move a little bit. I felt like I learned what I wanted to learn without formally taking ukemi.
Although I practice 'ki' aikido a la Tohei Sensei, my own teacher has translated some of his sayings into phrases which he feels are perhaps easier to embody. An example would be 'keep weight underside' he changed to 'have a light posture'. Different phrase but similar outcome. I guess as we are not part of the Ki Society, he is free to interpret his own experiences and try put them accross to his students as he sees as being most useful for learning.
Well, Shaner's description on the weight understand and his physical demonstrations showed that our core understanding of that one aspect is the same, without any discussion. He has a slightly different take on some perspectives about other aspects and I am taking a while to mull over his approach. Of course, in some things I think we differ widely, but bear in mind that I know many very skilled people in these areas and as long as my own position is functional and it doesn't stray too far from the general spectrum, I'm not too concerned about relatively minor differences between practitioners. It's not a bad thing.
I can see your point about 'terminology', and at the end of the day the hoped for end result is to help people gain the 'correct' mind/body state that is required to perform aikido as it was intended.
It seems from your posts that people were making progress in the right direction, which has to be a good thing, doesn't it? or am I reading you wrongly?
The approach of Shaner Sensei was not bad at all, although it was quite a bit different than what I would use. I think he could be far more clear than he is... but he himself probably is taking the cue on his explanations from the way that Tohei Sensei taught him.
One of my perceptions was that some of the attendees shifted their practice to accomodate Shaner's instructions, but with the feeling that as soon as they got back to their home dojo they would revert to the "real stuff" (tm). In other words, the ideal, hoped-for end-result is always fighting many, many factors.
I feel like the Ki Society is making some progress overall, but I think that many of them would have progress far more if the terminology and knowledge were made clearer. The "One Point" idea is OK, but the "One Point" does not float by itself in space; at all times the "One Point" is supported by the ground... it IS the ground. And from the One Point there is always
a radiated solidity of the ground going to all parts of the body. At the same time, the "One Point" is also always
the full weight of the body potential to all parts of the body (that weight will always be on the underside, of course). These are the two basic powers from which all powers come, Heaven and Earth. We are stretched out between them.
There is some progress.... my comment is that there should be much more progress. Certainly there are a lot of skills beyond the simple ones that everyone kept hovering around. (Not that I am an expert in all the ki/qi skills, BTW... I'm a dabbler).