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Old 06-24-2008, 10:17 AM   #97
Dojo: TNBBC (Icho Ryu Aiki Budo), Shinto Ryu IaiBattojutsu
Location: Seattle, WA
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 910
Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Hi Mark, thanks for chiming in. I wanted to make a couple comments since I think I get what you're saying and I think a few people may have missed what you were actually getting at.

Mark Gibbons wrote: View Post
My impression of the seminar was similar to my impression of the posts about the topic on the internet. The words are the same as those I hear in daily practice at the dojo. I have fairly modest martial skills and a limited background. I couldn't tell a major difference in feel of the participants, Ark, Rob from the folks I think understand this stuff at my regular dojo. The people I expected to be good felt solid to varying degrees, just like at my home dojo. Please note, I'm not saying something different isn't there, I just don't know what to look for. One thing that commonly is brought up is to go to see someone and get enlightened as to IMA's. I don't think it's that easy.
So I take your comments here to mean that one of the confusions that carried over from the intarwebs to in-person was the similarity of terms. A further confusion for you was that you already felt many of these qualities in the folks you train with regularly, so whether someone is moving with a skill of 6,7,9, or 10, since you're on 4, it all feels better. That's absolutely true, and one of the things I see a lot in these discussions when folks say, "We do that" or "My teacher does that". It takes a certain level to be able to really appreciate *how* good someone/something is, even in person. I really hope you don't take that as a dig at you, but more of a confirmation of what you were saying.

As an aside, I got a chance to train with most of the folks you're talking about here a few months back at Howard Popkin's (excellent) seminar over at Aikido Eastside. It was one of the first times that I'd really gotten to touch hands with a few of them since I decided to focus my attention elsewhere, and from the numerous strange looks and giggles I got, I would wager that *they* were able to feel a real and qualitative difference in *me*. One (who outranks me by a few dan degrees these days) even asked if I would do private lessons with him. We've met a couple times and plan to get together more as our schedules permit. Again, that's not to diminish you (or him!) or what you're saying here, but if anything, to confirm what you're getting at.

Mark Gibbons wrote: View Post
I got to see Ark do some cool tricks. I got some hands on with him. We did Aki age(sp?) and I went flying. But, I'm a trained aikido uke. I felt two hard knife edges coming up under my sternum. I move in that situation. I'll grant Ark is strong, but please, the man has some serious technique as well. The tricks look much more like technique then some mysterious power generation to me.
I prefer the term "Feats of Awesomeness!!!" instead of "cool tricks" and look forward to them not only for their cool factor but for the refreshing burst of oxygenated blood that they bring my arms and legs as I join the throng in relaxed appreciation.

I'd also point out that Ark would probably not classify what he's doing as mysterious power generation either, that's why it's so teachable and approachable.

Mark Gibbons wrote: View Post
The effect on me of doing the exercises and the seminar was noticed by a lot of people. After a couple months people were saying I had gotten much softer. Technique started working on people that I'd never been able to do anything with before. What I had done, I think, was actually figure out how to not lean on people. I suspect I filtered what was taught into familiar categories and may have missed the whole point. But my mental imagery sure has more crosses and connections into the ground. I keep trying.

Regards and thanks,
That's awesome! I think it's an important point, that while the specific quality of Ark's abilities may have been hard for you to pinpoint, that after this limited exposure to some exercises and concepts, *what you were already learning* began to work better for you. I think that's the whole point of this discussion.

Keep trying!

In semi-related news, I'm going to be teaching one day a week at Seattle School of Aikido (Thursdays from 6-7pm) starting in July. If you (or anyone else in the Seatopolis) feels like stopping by I'd love to see you (drop-ins are welcome, they love visitors). The concept I'm working on for the class is "budo kihon" and will include about 50/50 Aunkai basic exercises followed by some basic jujutsu/principle based kihon waza (from the TNBBC/Icho Ryu). It's kind of an experiment, if there's enough interest I'll keep it up, and if not, no biggie. /shameless plug off

Chris Moses
TNBBC, "Putting the ME in MEdiocre!"
Shinto Ryu Iai Battojutsu
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