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Old 08-13-2008, 11:11 AM   #102
Lee Salzman
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 406
Re: "Aiki" in Russian Video Clips

Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Ya. I don't talk much about things that really are meaningless to read on the net. I have people doing them in person who fail to get it right. Why go through loong explanations that guarantee to have them screw it up? Here’s an example,
When doing Shiko "Open your pelvis, put your intent from your left foot to your right hand. Cross-line body work is very important. Draw yourself over with your right hand, "pull yourself back upright with your left leg pulling your right side hand back up, while your left hand draws your right leg up and you right leg is pulling down. Maintain and hold these six contradicting lines in your body; up/ down, left / right, front/ back, and while you are doing that hold a connection from your feet to each opposite hand. If you can; try rising up in the back and sinking through the front, at the same time. Do it till your intent is so refined that "your will" pops you off your own feet when you go back upright. Oops I see your spine let your sort of slide over and your postural alignment broke!" Er...good luck with that.
At any one point- with people doing these things together with me- they are failing to maintain something or other all over the place. So why talk about it on the net when they can’t do it in person? Another point that I cannot stress enough is that when I work with people I work with them individually. Everyone has their own kinks or sticking points to work through. I had one guy who has trained in ICMA has trained with Ark and Mike, understood the exercises and was working his butt off. He made progress, but was falling apart at a certain point every time. Its only after working with him hands-on (yes I think Ark or Mike would have spotted it too) that I realized his problem was that-although he knew exactly what to do and could describe things better than I do-his connections were a mess due to the way he "broke" under stress in his upper center. He couldn't tell what was falling apart or how to fix it. So what point would outlining exercises on the net be?
I think a whole bunch of us have been led down merry little paths by people who don’t know what they're doing. Whether by design or by innocence we still have a bunch of people who didn't get the magic, they Asian arts were known for and we are ourselves kept hearing about. I want to make sure that at least in my small contribution, I put tools in their hands they can use. I talk "about it" on the net, not how to do it.

See above. I think Arks, mine or anyone else’s on-line descriptions are a waste of time.
As has been previously discussed, time and opportunities to meet with people in person are very limited. So if we get even one occasion to meet up with someone and bring some homework to do over extremely long stretches of time without supervision, then any and all information is useful. I found your description of points of focus in the shiko exercise informative, having at least gone over the exercise with Akuzawa once myself, because you explained it in a different way than he did! You might have even misinformed me all the same, but if I'm banging away on stuff all by myself and likely to go wrong anyway, how does the added information hurt?

And even though managing all those intentions in one movement are complex and there will be some point where you break down where supervision would be helpful to point out where... there are "intentions for dummies" methods that make it a bit easier (not fool-proof, but easier) to self-study, by giving you more time to reflect on all the stupid stuff you end up doing wrong. You could break that shiko exercise down even further by treating it not as a movement, but a path along which you can pick out points of study. So you go along until you fall apart, and rather than keep moving through and skipping the problem, stop there, and just stay there for a while practicing the intents in that one spot, unmoving, until they are strong. Do that for a many points along the way so the coordination in each point is understood. Then go back to movement again. Am I possibly misinforming people by saying that? I'll take the risk!

I don't see a forum as a place for instruction so much as a virtual study group. We're all students here, so we can still discuss about things that are helping us, or mistakes we have made and worked through, or mistakes we think we're making and can't find our way out of, regardless of how complex the subject matter is.