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Old 07-07-2007, 11:44 AM   #1315
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
Re: Baseline skillset

Robert John wrote: View Post
Dude, the only reason why Mike, despite his assholishness towards others gets respect from some because he has the skills and has demonstrated them...
I've felt it, Jim has felt it, George Ledyard made a post about it and no one came away saying "actually you were full of "#$#t "

Also, I seem to remember originally when I came onto this board, I had no idea who Mike Sigman was. But the concepts he put out to me clicked immediately and I was able to describe what I was training and doing in my body to a certain degree.
You lead 'em with carrots and I'll smack their butts from behind, Rob. I guarantee you that some people have gone to see Dan *partially* because I got 'em so riled that they want to kick my butt. Regardless, most people will learn a little bit of basics (still using a lot of muscle, undoubtedly) and few will go on to real accomplishment. And few of that few will go to true whole-body skills. No matter how you manipulate them psychologically. It's up to them and few can understand what a big undertaking it is (why else would Ueshiba make such a big deal of it if anyone could and did get it?).

Maybe a good illustration of the common attitude is in a story like this: A couple of years ago, a woman who had been "teaching" Taiji for 14 years and who had "studied Taiji" for many more years came to see me and ask if I'd help her with her push hands. I worked with her nicely, led her through Jin 101, etc., but I explained that if she didn't change ALL of her Taiji into using this form of basic strength, none of her Taiji would be correct (recall to mind, if you will, Ushiro Sensei saying "no Kokyu, no Aikido). I was telling her the truth, as is obvious to the readers who have these skills, but she hit the roof suddenly. She said, "You can't tell me that everything I've been teaching and doing for 14 years is wrong! Some of it is right!".

What I'm getting at is almost no one is going to accept these things as more than a sort of interesting curiosity in "their Aikido" that is sort of like "Oh, Technique Alpha Bravo... yes, you must know that one in order to round out your already-fine Aikido, but you can get by without knowing it.". That's the natural attitude. What the hey.... we're safe, right, because none of our buddies can do that stuff, either, so there's no need to make an effort.

So the trick is how do you get people to make an effort, particularly when you know that even the people who make an effort only have a limited chance at success.

Incidentally, that woman I mentioned above had an assistant that started coming to our weekly push-hands gathering. Very smart lady... a bookkeeper by trade. She more than anyone else kept asking questions and trying to do things. About a month ago, things clicked for her and suddenly she started pushing all the guys around (and I had to be more careful!) and is easily the best push-hands person there. Her previous "teacher" cannot possibly do anything with Sarah, now, and Sarah also now realizes that she learned BS from the previous teacher for many years. It's a rare person that suddenly grasps and coordinates things, but when I've seen it happen, it's great to see. Some people get mad when they're challenged, but some people wind up getting there in spite of all else.


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