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Old 01-19-2011, 02:37 PM   #125
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,511
Re: Training Internal Strength

Attilio Anthony John Wagstaffe wrote: View Post
I'm not saying genuine internal strength does not exist, what I would like to know is define internal strength..... I figure it to be conditioning, not "mystical power" or throwing imaginary "ki" balls...
Sure. I just don't recall anyone's mentioning "ki balls" on this thread. And I just did a whole thread on ki, but no one mentioned "ki balls" there, either.

As far as defining it, I'll put a summary out for comment.

Internal Strength training involves balancing and using six elements for martial effectiveness:

mind (intent)

Four of these elements are strictly physical, while ki is sort of mental/physical and "mind" is strictly mental.

Using the bones to carry force or bear weight instead of the muscles is one kind of internal strength. Likewise, using fascia instead of muscles is another.

But using bones, muscles, fascia and breath together (instead of mainly muscle) is a big beginning to IS.

However, I think it's the use of mind (intent) and ki that really make the difference in IS and "external" martial arts.

Notice that all these things have multiple functions and create multiple effects on the other elements: muscles can pull the bones out of alignment and "crimp" the fascia, making the breath shallow. Slack muscles can fail to transmit power through the system. Tight or slack fascia can do much the same. Plus, ki moves through the fascia, so any problem with the fascia will disrupt the actions of the ki. If the mind is too agitated, the ki will be agitated and the body will likely be tense and the breath fast and shallow. Unsettled ki will, in turn, unsettle the mind, which will weaken the body and any interactions with others.

So internal power involves conditioning each of the elements according to their nature and using the elements together with all the other elements.

The best way to do all this is to put the ki in the center of the body by directing it there with the mind, and to coordinate all efforts and movements through the center--which means actually developing the connections between the hands and the center and the feet and the center and the head and the center. And that means training specifically to drive body movement through movement of the center. It also means using the mind to direct the ki into the intended movement and using that ki movement to move the center and thus the body.

A lot of this comes naturally through regular budo training. But that can be (and usually is) haphazard, leaving the practitioner wondering, sometimes, how he achieved some spectacular result because he unknowingly did the right things together and later can't replicate the feat. It is only by consciously recognizing and conditioning each of the elements according to its nature, and coordinating their use together consciously that we can start to develop "internal" methods and do things by intent rather than happenstance.

So that's my general description of internal methods, which, I think, will hold true for any internal art. Anyone who knows better, please correct me.

Attilio Anthony John Wagstaffe wrote: View Post
I know "Internal" strength exists!! To some extent I have experienced it myself, maybe not to the levels that some have achieved, such as Dan and the like.... How does one gauge these things?
The best way to gauge these things is to put hands on people whom others recognize as skilled in these matters and judge for yourself if your approach comes up to the level of theirs. And then listen to what they tell you.

People say "it has to be felt," but I got a lot of feeling out of reading people's posts and hearing other people's descriptions of meeting powerful people. Those were the experiences that led me to go out and meet Ark and Dan and to keep trying to meet up with Mike.

Attilio Anthony John Wagstaffe wrote: View Post
What I am getting at or dismissing is throwing "ki" balls and the like, or shouting or "looking" at someone is going to throw them, it's just complete and utter nonsense, woo woo and "money" to me, we all know that.... or should do....
Yeah. We're all agreed on that. No one here has suggested any of those things. But we all suggest that you meet up with Mike, Dan, Ark or others known to have the goods. In one way, it saves you a lot of work to do this stuff. But that's only by doing a LOT of work to get there. It's both easier and harder than ordinary aikido and as they say, it's tougher for the mind than for the body. But it's exhilarating. Worth every minute.

Best to you.


"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"
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