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Old 01-13-2011, 08:12 AM   #47
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
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Re: Ikeda Sensei Demos of Ki

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John Burn wrote: View Post
I think part of the problem with posting video's of people who think they are doing these things, which maybe they can, maybe they can't is that there's a greater presence of loutish, rude and dismissive posts appearing on aikiweb at the moment, one in particular is UK based, Henry, if you're reading this it's not you!
I'm always curious what people can do. When I push hands or try a demo with someone I'll often put myself deliberately in a bad position so that I can see what they'll do, but my main focus is on how they move. Many times at the start of a workshop I'll have everyone push me in the chest and I (usually) provide enough resistance for them to give me a good push, but (usually) not enough resistance to stop their push because if I stop their push I won't get a chance to feel how they use their strength and arms throughout the range of the push. My point is that I analyse people and forces and I'm not into some dreamworld fantasy where I do silly unworkable things to opponents where they stand there and shrug ruefully at me. I'm interested in real results and if the internal-strength things I do did not work, I wouldn't be silly enough to carry on with the grand delusion.

I've run into all ranges of people, from very strong, to weak, to absurd, to some bits of internal strength, to very good internal strength and I'm aware that most people really don't know what it is. Often on the internet you get people (many of them "seniors") who have no idea what you're talking about. They're used to meeting the sillies, so to some extent you can't blame, but they haven't taken that extra step in regard to seriously exploring internal strength in the way, perhaps, that Ikeda Sensei has done. Here's the thing. It takes a while to begin moving along the i.s. skills route, but as you improve you peripherally begin to realize that the people who are making the funny noises about i.s. are being left behind. You begin to realize that Joe Blow, the Go-Dan, is left with an Aikido (or Taiji or Xingyi or karate or whatever) that is actually a parody of what the art is supposed to be and that whatever they do they can now never catch you, even if they nominally outrank you.

So don't worry about loutish behavior; it has its own rewards. But along those same lines, I find the generally slow response toward learning I.S. skills to be intriguing in the same way. I think the biggest problem, seriously, is that people who are getting *some* exposure to i.s. skills are not thinking/analysing things enough. They become dependent upon someone telling them things (sometimes wrong things) and they follow by rote. What I'm suggesting is that people will improve far more quickly if they get into the habit of analysing and thinking/talking/demonstrating publicly. Sure, it's a little embarrassing, just as anything is when you put it publicly out there, but it will pay off so much more quickly than to sit there waiting too long to take the plunge.
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I'll happily try and capture what I was explaining earlier - even though on a scale of 1 to 100 in this stuff I'm not convinced I'm even on the scale yet. I've read things, I've been on the end of Ikeda sensei's technique a number of times over the past 10 years - so for a long time I've tried to figure it all out, I have idea's and theories about some of it but I'm looking forward to being given some more information that I'll understand to take it further.
First you have to be shown two things that need to be explained by feel: (1.) How to let the body use the solidity of the ground and the pull of gravity as replacements for brute strength. (2.) How to begin using breathing to actually (not imaginarily) begin training the body (this strengthening supports the forces in #1, and honestly increases strength and health factors). Unless you have those two basics in place, you really can't move forward and any analyses you do which actually just involve normal strength don't do you much good. You must have the two basic skills in place before you worry too much about 'applications' and the use of power. It takes a while to get things rolling, but when you do, progress is demonstrable.
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One thing I noticed when I was on one if Ikeda sensei's seminars last year was when I grabbed him morote dori he did something half ikkyo / half hiji nage on me and he probably threw me 15 or 20 times in very quick succession... Thing was, I had to ask him after what he was doing because I couldn't feel his body - I knew I had a good hold of him but it was completely empty, didn't feel a bump or anything. His answer was that he was hiding his body... Any ideas on that one?
Ikeda Sensei does most of his demonstrations by means of making a solid connection with Uke and then using his center to control the now-joined two bodies as one. There is a "path" or a "line" that you learn to utilize. Once you're aware of this path thing, you can also learn to not let a path exist if Uke is looking for one to use.
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Then there was his shomenuchi cut with a bokken and how yokomenuchi is the same cut, you're just moving your body into it but it's still a vertical cut. Never seen anyone explain that one in that way before. Probably should explain that one more as I'm maybe taking what he was saying out of context.
Without seeing the demonstration and hearing what was said in context I can't really guess intelligently about this one. Sorry.

Mike