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Old 01-09-2008, 08:09 AM   #17
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
Re: Workshop with Mike Sigman on Ki in Aikido

Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I will be there. Any thing I (We) can do in the interim that will make it more productive for us once we are there?
Not really, Kevin. Just come in with the idea that it's some new topic, not an adjunct of something you already know. My main worry is brain fatigue and trying to download a lot of information before that brain fatigue begins to win out. Keeping blood sugar up, even though we won't be working physically hard, will help keep the brain-fade at bay.

Everyone will have some demonstrable skills when they leave, but of course those will just be on a par with any new martial skills.... they're not going to be up to any really useable level until the person takes them home and works on them for a while.

There are usually two kinds of demanding workshops. One would be a couple of days on the mat, new "techniques", lots of hard work, and a gi that weighs 20 pounds every day, just from the sweat-soaking. The other kind of hard workshop would be, for instance, learning and memorizing an entire weapon form, say about 3 times the length of the 31 jo-kata; your brain simply fries.

However, both of those workshops involve people working within more or less known skills. This workshop is going to work, for almost everyone, with new skills and at the same time build those skills up to fairly sophisticated levels of usage. It's the newness stacked on newness that tends to get a lot of people, although the people who are overly patterned with hard muscular usage can simply run into a wall sometimes, too.

So I'm suggesting that people prepare for being relaxed, alert and also think over the idea of defeating any strongly-patterned muscular habits. But I'll do as much as I can to point out where the muscle problems lie, as we work our way through a logical approach.

Just for fun, here's a simple exercise for people to try; the general principle will be very germane to the workshop. Stand on one leg, well-balanced, near the corner of a wall. Put your fingertips against the wall and push with the fingertips so that there is about a half-pound of force going to each wall. Try to push solely with the grounded foot and not let the shoulders kick in. Watch how much the shoulders kick in, because that's the way you're used to doing things. That's just an illustration of the kinds of muscle patterning that can interfere with learning.


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