Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Thanks for the discussion guys (Mike). Just wanted you to know I am following the thread with interest. I appreciate the candor and reality check that you run throughout the post Mike, it keeps things real.
Well, I don't want to be the only noise-maker on the thread. One thing that helps about a lot of these discussions, from my perspective, is that it often forces me to think how to say something, which means that I have mull over exactly what's happening. I.e., it helps me clarify for *myself* and makes me critically analyse, looking for all the places where I may be bullshitting myself.
This kind of strength can be unusually strong (depending on how well-rounded you have developed it and how good your training has been) and it is the basis for a surprising number of variations and permutations that you'd never think about until you're shown. It is the "jewel" of martial arts, to that extent. It allows really powerful hitting, throwing, taking of blows (you have to experience this, but it's almost magical), your strength increases extraordinarily (mainly because you wind up blending in the fascial structures into your muscular strength), and so on. Doing the practice winds up massaging the skin, the internal organs, etc., so your health and appearance are affected. It's a real benefit to life.
On the other hand, while it will make you stronger for a given amount of muscle and conditioning, it's more like 5 or 10 % stronger, not like superman. The real part of the "strength" aspect is in the clever way of automatically accessing the ground or gravity for power... the kokyu/jin. The combined kokyu/jin and body/fascia additives are pretty good. If the overall benefits weren't so good, though, and it all boiled down to just strength, I'd have a real question about devoting all this time for a strength that I could mostly replicate at Gold's Gym.
Trust me... I'm not kidding... the overall benefits are worth the effort. The trick is to find a way to get there without having to grovel all over Asia for bits and pieces of how to do it. If you can learn a fairly straight-forward and well-rounded approach to these skills, it is more than worth it. If all you can get is bits and pieces, don't spend that much time at it... go to the gym.