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Old 04-09-2007, 11:45 AM   #35
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
Re: Internal strength in bowling, fencing, golf, etc.

Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Sure at a certain level of understanding I teach the concept of kokyu.
Well, without going any further than that, my comment was justified and a viable point, wouldn't you agree?

There were a group of people on the old Neijia List who left in a huff to form their own list because they were insulted at the idea that anyone would accuse them of teaching and being senior students and not understanding "peng jin" (the core jin of Taiji, but the meaning is more like "exended ki"). It was pretty funny because their outraged statements still showed that they just didn't understand what they were teaching. To cover their tracks, some of them came up wih the idea that they were perfectly qualified to be teaching Tai Chi at a "Kindergarten Level". I.e., they were qualified to teach the basics and didn't claim to teach advanced stuff. One of them started using the phrase "Caveat Emptor" to show that it wasn't his fault if he was teaching things wrongly.

But here's the real problem. The basics of the arts that use so-called "internal" skills are the internal skills themselves. The techniques in so-called "internal" arts are built around that internal form of strength. So, for instance, a person cannot really teach a "kokyu throw" if he can't exhibit and teach basic kokyu power. There's a disconnect that is logically inescapable with the idea of teaching "basic level" kokyu, ki, jin, fajin, or whatever, if the basics are not there. It's like saying, "OK, even though I don't know the full alphabet myself, I can at least teach basic essay writing". It doesn't compute.

Now don't get me wrong, Kevin.... this applies to all of us in many arts and I've been guilty of it, too... I'm not singling you out. The major point I've been making is more that people need to go back and get this basic, very important stuff, and then reconfigure around it.

And of course, based on long experience, I expect resistance from people who are "teachers".... they will naturally resist the idea that there is some basic topic about which they know little or nothing. So I prepped the discussions for that fight ("insultingly" as some wounded teachers have put it) a long time ago. Without being "insulting" and instead being "nice and diplomatic", what would happen is that the existing hierarchy would simply roll over and crush any discussions containing the idea there was anything they were lacking. I.e., there's an unavoidable conflict as this fairly critical time... and my option is simply to go straight into it, pretending that there are a few people who, like I was, really want to get ahead but who are trapped by the existing hierarchies and protocols.

By not "respecting" the position and protocols in place, I/we are naturally going to be construed as "rude" by some people. But that's unavoidable. Some people will see the point and some won't. C'est la vie. The question is not about personalities or rudeness, but "is there something there to make this circumvention of protocol" justifiable? I'm sure of it. Ikeda Sensei and Ushiro Sensei are sure of it, too. So are the many others who have seen it. It's what O-Sensei referred to in his douka.


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