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Old 11-18-2012, 09:27 AM   #6
Gary David
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Location: Long Beach, CA
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 332
Re: Internal vs External -- The Discussion?

Keith Larman wrote: View Post
Okay loosen your belt. I'm feelin' chatty again...

I think there are all sorts of things going on in this training with a variety of effects. And probably vastly more than I currently can grok. I think there is a very real move towards learning to relax entire chains of connections to allow "just enough" tension and a chain-long even use of the entire chain rather than the tension in small parts overriding and unbalancing the whole thing. So in one sense it's "just" using your body more efficiently. Sure. But it is *really* hard to do. And some of these guys are offering up training exercises to help you do just that. There are exercises for developing awareness of each point along the chain so you can learn to relax or use even the smallest little thing up to the entire chain. Then there are ideas of "counter-balancing" these long connected chains to allow the person to utilize their entire body for the smallest of movement. To "punch" using virtually every part of the body. To remain solid by using the entire body in a counter-balanced, massively complex structure. And then there's muscle activation. What is "let your ki flow" really mean? And relaxation? How about considering the idea of learning to in a sense "activate" all the muscles, including counter-balancing muscles, so they're primed to move already (ki extending) yet keeping them relaxed at the same time. In other words being able to "connect" the muscles up through a sort of awareness and "feel" so they're ready to move instantaneously when you decide to move. Not through dynamic tension (one holding the other back) but through already having them in balance, activated, relaxed but "connected up".
Keith You and I both have experienced a number of folks who have extended the boundaries in these areas who are willing to share their approach as well as their personalities. Several of them I still have close contact with....must be the similar personalities.

Keith Larman wrote: View Post
Now all that said there is also the point that some of this is likely totally irrelevant to many people. Aikido itself is loosely defined as the various directions, off-shoots, etc. all went in their own directions. And whatever the training is today is what it is today. And there are those who rather like and enjoy exactly where it is today whether it has these things or not. ................... Things have evolved and maybe this stuff really is totally irrelevant to many people. And maybe it is totally and completely critical to others. So be it. Tis why I often shrug and walk away from guys who insist on reframing what I've told them of my experiences to fit their understandings then waving it away. Different web, different experiences. And if that person isn't willing to get out there and actually experience and instead just wants to discuss it from a position of ignorance, well, fine, but much of this will be lost on those who've not experienced it at the higher levels.
Over the years I have been involved I have met others who I shared special moments where I could not understand how what had happened happened...and these folks didn't talk to it or share the ways to work towards the skills/understanding/whatever needed for me to reproduce what had taken place past the idea of coming to training everyday. I am not talking about impressive timing or blending as most think of it here, rather unexplainable things like what might be called destabilizing me before I attacked in a way that would not allow me to set to attack.....a situation that cleared like a light turning off. I have also been moved off when I know I shouldn't have been without understanding how this is been done. What it did do for me was to drive me to look more closely at what was out there.....and look for alternatives to finding what I was looking for to....I got out and felt it.

Keith Larman wrote: View Post
For those interested, get on the mat with those who apparently can do. If you find value, great, pursue it. For those not interested, well, what's the big deal? Yeah, there's going to be enthusiastic folk out there saying "this is the bestest stuff evvvvver!". Ignore them because they're talking about themselves. For those wondering somewhere in between, well, if you get a chance take a look. If not, that's fine too. Make the judgement yourself.

I think this stuff is going to invariably influence a lot of people. Just like the warm, fuzzy new age stuff influenced a lot of Aikido in the 60's and 70's (for better or worse). And Aikido is going to become even more varied as a result. It's okay, that's how things go.

So get used to it.
This I agree with.......Thanks for taking the time to write all of this.....

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