"Unfortunately no one can be told what IP/IS/AIKI is. You have to see it for yourself."
- Morpheus... er wait no
... just those who have felt it.
I am a little late to this party but I feel the need to say some things that have been on my mind a lot since discovering Aikiweb and this particular discussion. Long post, I tend go over some points repeatedly but I am a little 'fixated' on this all right now. My apologies in advance.
I think that the number of "views" a thread has had is a better measure of how controversial and/or active a thread is rather than how positive or negative that topic may be.
My Vantage point:
The number of views of these IP/IS 'is your Aiki the same as my Aiki' threads could be for people like myself. I come back to this thread and all the others like it with Dan's posts because I am trying desperately to mine little bits of gold from them because of posts like this are exactly like me: Am I missing something in my study / training of Aikido:
... I had read hundreds of posts by him and others. It made me curious, but I had no idea how to start doing this myself. Or how it really worked. Even if there are some quite detailed explanations available in written form. And I was actually worried that if I actually did something, I'd end up spending a lot of time going in the wrong direction.
My current studies through what is known/called Iwama Ryu (though we just call it Aikido) is very specific on it not being 'mystical Ki' that flies out of your mind/hara/finger tips and your partner flies through the air without you laying a had on them. Nor does it allow or encourage 'noodle' arms either. Without going into to much about specifics, we are told, shown, demonstrated to that it is about the correct 'angles/lines' and creating the imbalance in your partner so that no real muscle is required to 'effect' the technique OR 'allow the technique to complete itself'. (Like gravity does the rest for you, not psychic energy or self induced hypnotism on your partners behalf.)
Last year I attended Bill Gleason Sensei's Easter Seminar in Canberra as I happen to fortunate enough to live there. I went as I was told that it would be a good chance to see similar (same?) stuff to what Dan talks about. I have to say I enjoyed it and I could not help but notice that it was not so different from what I was already being taught from my own teacher. I found this encouraging as I do get concerned about 'wasting my time by going down the wrong path.'
I am looking forward to attending it again this year in hopes of getting a better reference point as to what is being discussed here and what I am currently studying as I have had another year to absorb more of what my teacher is trying teach us.
This is me simply trying to find the closet connection to Dan to get some verification of my hopes that my current studies and path is close/similar and I am not wasting my time. Only in so much that I do believe in what Dan and others here talk about in regards accessing unusual power (not sure if this means more than usual) and being able to perform it while practicing Aikido.
... Trying to learn anything about this without direct exposure to someone who knows it is, IMHO, not possible. If you do go to a seminar with Dan, however, you will be greatly rewarded. Not a single day has passed since last April without me thinking of this stuff and trying to figure out how it works both mentally and physically.
And now, the discussions here and elsewhere, and Dan's statements, make perfect sense. I still suck at it, but at least I know why and can discuss it
This is exactly how I feel. Without direct exposure you will not truly understand or know. However I honestly have lost sleep over wondering about this. How can I get the exposure? Directly from Dan when:
1. He does not / can not come to Australia.
2. Traveling to Hawaii has already been talked about with my wife and she is fine with it however I am find it hard to justify the expense for a 2 and half day seminar over a weekend. Especially considering #3 and #4 below:
3. It seems he is selective about who is able to attend his seminars and I get the feeling I am not ranked nearly high enough to even qualify for the waiting list.
4. From the concept that 'This (IP/IS) is missing in most of the modern Aikido (as defined by a few to be the current Doshu's) and within my own study I can see that what we call basics is missing from a lot of 'modern / mainstream' Aikido. (I know as I once trained in it a long time ago but I have to accept that as just an isolated aspect as it was only my experience and perhaps only my teacher at that time.)
So again, I am not sure how much of what Dan and others like him have that is missing from what I am getting from my teacher(s) as the Aikido we practice is not like 'mainstream/modern/whatever you want to label it as' but I still want to go and feel and find out, rather eagerly, sincerely to learn as much as I can about what is out there.
@Nathan, and others in the same boat, I have all kinds of sympathy for you and none at all.
All kinds of sympathy, because I know how frustrating it is to be told you have to put hands on and you can't (yet).
None at all, because there has never been a time in the history of budo when it's been so easy to get ahold of this stuff. O-Sensei searched his whole early life for it, and when he finally found it on a godforsaken frozen island in north Japan he abandoned his wife and children for months to make a start on acquiring it. Others left the US and lived in Japan for years, studying diligently, only to have their own teachers say that they never taught the good stuff to them. We are living in the days of wine and roses, by comparison.
And IHTBF isn't a one-time thing, either. I recently got back from a IS/IP seminar with a whole new understanding of the most basic exercise and how it relates to my Aikido practice. And then someone made a comment about the Asahi News video and suddenly I could see the same insight operating in O-Sensei's movement.
Partly this is because I'm a little dense. But partly it's because insights come in layers, and when you've progressed enough to be ready for them. So you have to keep going back to the stream, because the water you drink from it is never the same.
I wanted to say that your earlier post on page 3 of this thread that summed up the general views and points of discussion was well thought out and summed things up generally very well. That being said, the one I quoted above made me feel a little disappointed because it may be easier than ever to get your hands on 'this stuff' now with teachers like Dan and your Sensei, Bill Gleason, but even for me, short of the seminar Gleason Sensei has in Australia, I have to be almost like those you mention who leave their homes and wives behind to go find out about 'this stuff'.
Part of me deeply aches to go find out, directly from Dan. You may have some idea what I mean when I say that. I have honestly lost sleep over it, been distracted at work over it (writing this post instead of working right now over it.) Talk my wife' ear off about it
, recommend Gleason Sensei's upcoming seminar in Canberra over this Easter to my Sensei and fellow students which she supports as is trying to arrange to come to. This is how passionate I am about finding out if we are in fact missing something.. and if so, start learning it and incorporating it with our training. The reason it is so deep a desire for me is because of the points already mentioned here by others and myself:
I believe my current studies are not too far off as I do not engage in "simple evasion, 'generic blending' and certainly not 'noodle arms' "as mentioned in one post some where in this thread or else where on the forum.
We are shown a kind of relaxed 'extension' that is coordinated with full body movement and structure consisting of: Alignment of the feet in the proper hanmi, the proper alignment of the hips, bending of the legs (not to much so no muscle actually engages so it does not get warm/tired.) alignment of the shoulders (relating to the hips) and through to the elbows and finally the fore arms and hands.
However all essential 'mechanics' of the body aside: I am still deeply curious because I read Dan's posts and more importantly, people from this forum who train with him and report back about
1. Unusual power (I read as more than normally possible with proficiency is mechanical technique alone)
2. Demonstration of shifting the partners balance with little to no external movement. Done by a means of controlling your internal structure/centre/:stuff: (What is this I don't even...)
3. No inch punch.
4. A few other such things that basically lead my imagination to one tying your internal organs into some kind of rubber band sling shot to generate 'power' not requiring your feet to be on the ground.
5. Solo exercises that one can do to develop this. (This I am certain I do not really have a starting point.)
So while I am happy enough with my studies in Aikido as we work with resistance and have to make things work from static beginnings and 'find the angles and lines' and slowly work our way up to basic movement or 'flowing' versions I still believe there is more to it than this.
That is why I when I read Dan's posts and those who were skeptics on this forum years ago who have gone and met Dan and found out first hand, come back here and post how it changed the way they want to train now. I have to know for myself. Was their training before similar to my own? If yes, then wow, what does he have?
There is this 'Before Dan and After Dan' aspect here and I desperately want to know what lies beyond the correct mechanical execution of a technique.
What happens 'inside' that is more than simple body movement through proper alignment etc..
Are there any IP people in Australia, perhaps in the CMA community that Dan may know through people he has trained etc.. that I could seek out (logistics allowing) that could show me the same thing Dan is showing? Who and where can I learn the solo exercises from?
Yes you can bet I hope to get some answer from Gleason Sensei at the end of this month.