Thread: Vantage points
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:02 PM   #226
Mert Gambito
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 202
Re: Vantage points

Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Thanks Howard, I think that did help.

So Dan is teaching Daito ryu without the waza. That seems pretty simple to me.
Howard Popkin wrote:
What Dan has done is whittled out the "waza" and focused only on specific body skills that stem from Daitoryu.
Chris, I restated what Howard wrote because there is a difference vs. your above summary.

Dan has continued to refine his approach to teaching these body skills through the years -- but, as has been stated many times, the skills (e.g. six directions and spiraling) are not unique to a given art or era, though it's clear there are different flavors depending on the source. Dan's source/flavor happens to be Daito-ryu, and he's loyal to maintaining those discreet qualities, given their compatibility with other Japanese budo/bujutsu -- while ensuring his method is applicable across the gamut of internal martial arts.

So, it really is best to just accept the non-denominational slant Dan puts on his method. In Hawaii, for example, a couple days a week, you'll find several folks with long-time tenures in Aikido, various other gendai budo, and ICMA's (e.g. taiji, I-Liq-Chuan, bagua) training together to make each person a more skilled and powerful internal martial artist. Most of the time, there's no kamiza, no uniforms, no ryuha-specific dogma: just a bunch of folks in T-shirts, shorts and sandals training at the beach in a palm tree grove with a common worthwhile goal. While training together, we seek and explore IP/IS commonalities among what Dan teaches, what we've learned and are diving deeper into within our respective arts, and what we've gathered from others, such as Mike Sigman, who've been kind enough to share their knowledge with us.

Chris Hein wrote:
What I'm saying is, how do you know that? What logical evidence, beyond Dan himself, can do some impressive things- tells you that you are going to be able to do what Dan can do by studying with him.

This is one of the major problems with the "IHTBF" argument when we look at it as an example of a teaching model. If you played football with a top notch NFL running back, and he told you he could make you as good as he is- how do you know he can? If the answer is a simple, "because I played with him and he's really good", you must understand there is far more to teaching/learning/coaching then having a teacher, who is himself, very good.
First off, the training models offered by Dan, Mike, Ark and Sam Chin, for example, are highly systematic: do X to achieve Y in order to produce Z results. OK, for the sake of playing Devil's advocate, let's say that the folks I've met who are purportedly Dan's students and can demonstrate varying degrees of IP/IS are, in reality, shills who got IP/IS through some other manner. What's not refutable to me are the results achieved by every regular member of the Hawaii IP/IS study group. Familiarity breeds group-think and conditioned response? Well, when I was in L.A. visiting friends and family last month, a martial artist who I hadn't trained with in three years pushed on me to see what all the IP/IS fuss is about. I'm really slow on the uptake re: martial skills in general, so I'm no poster child for IP/IS; but I'll never forget the spontaneous puzzled, bemused reaction I received. Then: "You're under me, but you didn't move". I'd tried to describe "this stuff" to this person during the past couple years from time to time, and it usually devolved into an exercise in talking past one another (albeit politely). So yeah: IHT-definitely-BF.

Caveat: the above-described interchange occurred with a long-time past training partner who has well-honed ukemi skills, and so this person was ideal for noticing subtle differences in my particular ability after three years of being physically out of touch.

As for more experienced IP/IS exponents: Bill Gleason, who met Dan a few years before anyone in Hawaii did, is coming to Honolulu in March. Let's see if the anecdotes about him match the man's actual ability (to my knowledge, no one's cried "bullshido" re: Bill yet). As for Joe's concerns about what someone with high-level skills (i.e. multiple decades of experience and vetted by multiple sources) can and can't do in a non-cooperative environment . . .

I feel these statements are [especially the second one ] quite frankly tosh.Are you really saying that a kick or a punch by Kanazawa or Mike Tyson would have no effect here ?How would a choke techinique fail to work? Answers please in plain english if you will
. . . just standing there taking a punch or a choke isn't what IP/IS is about (as Dan says, you still have to know how to fight with it). In any case, here are experiences re: Yukioshi Sagawa of Daito-ryu made simple and plain by one of his students, in the event an interested reader hasn't come across this piece before: An excerpt:

The amazing thing is that his students (including myself) truly attack him all out. Sensei is 87 years old. This is unthinkable in other martial arts or sports. . . . In this art, which is generally considered to be the least practical fighting method, Sensei can always execute techniques on anyone who genuinely attacks him or seriously resists him.

The seniors who make these all out attacks on Sensei have been practicing the art for between 10 and 30 years and many of them hold high ranks in other martial arts as well. . . . What I am trying to say here is that although Sagawa Sensei can handle all these senior members as easily as one can twist a baby's arm, they are all men of an overwhelming ability rarely seen in other martial arts.

Sagawa Sensei can control these vigorous men with perfect ease 100 percent of the time.
Clarification: Sagawa had over 70 years of aiki-jujutsu training under his belt at the time the above was written. In light of that, I think it's reasonable that Dan paints himself as being within a continuum of experience and ability re: IP/IS, despite the pedestals often offered him here as one of the gold standards -- a status he's rightfully earned -- among IP/IS experts accessible to members of this community.

Personally, I don't care if Dan's skills are the same as what Sagawa had or are the aiki in Aikido as done by Morihei Ueshiba. Nonetheless, I recently commented about solo training in Hakkoryu bearing undeniable similarities to what Dan teaches and to what has been taught in Sagawa's dojo. If Ryuho Okuyama was a lesser light in Daito-ryu than, say Sagawa and Ueshiba (based, if nothing else, on degree of celebrity throughout the martial arts community), then who am I to think that Ueshiba would've gotten anything less from Takeda? And, to the main point of this thread, what would the opportunity to learn a proven method that develops ability a la what was described above re: Sagawa, that would've reasonably also been possessed by Ueshiba, be worth?

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