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Old 02-10-2007, 12:49 PM   #522
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
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Re: Baseline skillset

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I agree with you that some will get left behind, not that it is their fault, they simply just don't know. And I was in that group until I came to Japan and felt something different, as you did. As I'm sure happens to everyone who has never felt it before, it opens your eyes and your mind and there's no going back.
I agree with you, but there's still an element of personal responsibility. I assume as a baseline that my perceptions are reasonably normal.... not lacking, but not super-normal. It didn't take me, with almost zero experience in Aikido (although I had other arts under my belt) to notice immediately that special feel when I encountered it. A lot of the experienced people who are missing it now *must* have had elements of the same clues presented to them and they didn't get it. Or chose not to. Or let peer pressure and "common wisdom" keep them from thinking thoroughly. Or whatever. I can't give them a complete pass. And yeah, I know that's "mean" (as Rob Liberti says) because I don't give them a pass and still "respect their many years of achievements and nice-guyness in the arts", yada, yada.... but without a little prodding, most of the people will still not move, even now. Take a look at Rob Liberti and a few others.... now that they've had an actual feel, they want to go learn this stuff (the stuff they were just mildly interested in as a casual topic before) just so they can pass me and kick my butt with what they've learned. Good for them. If that's what it takes to motivate people, well hey, whatever works.
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Many things you've said "ring true" as per my experience. Please recall that I have learned in the less spoken is better traditional Japanese style and thus lack the words to accurately describe the "feeling" of ki/kokyu in English.
Good point.
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In an earlier post you mentioned use of the back leg for "grounding". I've never really thought of grounding, as I said, I feel more centered than anything, but I am always interested in learning more. You said you might PM me with some information regarding internal forces. Hope you find the info and the time.
Well, if you go back and look, my comment about the back foot was more along the lines that it's the best way to start to learn these skills, not that you use the back-foot all the time. Once you learn them, you can use the front foot, the butt, your back, or whatever has access to the ground, etc.

Sorry about the PM, Eddie... I may have forgotten. I'll handle it now.

Best.

Mike
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