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Old 07-24-2007, 08:53 AM   #79
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
Re: Understanding fascia and tensegrity

Al Gutierrez wrote: View Post
Are you saying aiki is primarily a sensitivity and response skill?
No, I didn't say that.
How do you define a "hole" in this case? When you say holes I immediately think of a weakness or weakpoint in their body structure, form, or balance, or perhaps a strategic gap. Is that what you mean? Or something else?
Well, it has to do with someone's balance, but it's more something you feel through the jin/kokyu connection. Shioda and others often just show their skill with "holes", if you'll watch some of the multiple-attackers stuff. In a superficial way, you could say "Oh, that's just balance", but it's a more subtle thing. "Listening" is a term that applies to it.
I agree that individual techniques such as ikkyo or kotegaeshi are of lesser importance - and I can relate to some of the other posts that emphasized the keeping or maintaining of one's "equilibrium" (form, one point, balance, structure, contradictory tensions, etc...). I learned it as 'keeping ones integrity'. But techniques are still important, you have to be able to apply the skill otherwise it's like those monks that could easily be pushed over.
I think it's easy to play the internal-strength card too much and miss the mark, too. Aikido without kokyu/internal-strength is not really Aikido... but someone with some internal-strength skills does not necessarily have any Aikido skills, either. In fact, my position is more along the lines that an Aikidoist without internal skills is no more than an amateur and someone with some internal skills but no real Aikido training is no more than an amateur commentator, either. Both miss the mark.

If you think back to the videos that show O-Sensei "bouncing" someone away who pushes on his chest, thigh, etc., that's cool ...and in a way those sort of demonstrations are used throughout Asian martial arts to show a glimpse of the "essence" of Asian martial arts. But those kinds of demo's can actually be done fairly easily and without a lot of training, yet the demonstrater may have no real martial skills at all. In fact, that's too often the case... the guys whom you see in so many different Asian videos from so many different styles are showing this acme of martial skills, but it's a facade. I'm reminded of an incident in which some yiquan guys challenged members of the Beijing SanDa team and the average yiquan guy lasted about 14 seconds... all those "bounce aways" skills, etc., didn't pay off, even though they really do nominally represent the essence of martial arts (that's a long discussion in itself, though).

On the other hand, just the techniques of Aikido (or other arts) can be meaningless, too. If we take a rudimentary technique like a simple "push", it's pretty obvious that there can be pushes using the jin/kokyu, etc., and there can be pushes using just arms and shoulders. Obviously, pushes (a technique, right?) using just arms and shoulder are wrong. Ikkyo and kotegaeshi using just arms and shoulder are wrong, too, by extension of logic. Pretty much everything can be extrapolated from that starting point.


Mike Sigman
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