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Old 04-10-2013, 12:44 AM   #41
Michael Varin
Dojo: Aikido of Fresno
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 567
Re: Tomiki Kenji's Attribution of Ueshiba's Skill to "Muscular Training"

What a great thread!!!

How could I have missed this?

It brings so many elements of the "IP/IT/IS" vs "being a trickster" vs "just being really good" argument together.

I want to address a number of statements in this one post.

Kenji Tomiki in response to Stan Pranin wrote:
Q: Permit me to change the subject at this point. In modern psychology, science is attempting to discover if phenomena like telepathy and the sixth sense exist. Someone who practices martial arts for a long period of time realizes that he's not only working on the physical level but that sometimes by adopting a certain mental attitude he can influence the attacker; that there is some element present which is very difficult to describe, but it is not technique. What are your feelings on the psychic areas? Is it possible to influence the power of your partner's attack?

A: I have my doubts on that point. I deny it though there are people who say things like that happen. However, I don't deny things like hypnosis or telepathy exist under certain spiritual conditions. In the case of budo there may be such things but they are the "outer limits," the result of very extreme psychological (spiritual) conditions, situations where it is a question of will I live or will I die, and these are conditions that we simply don't meet today. They just don't exist, and it's good that they don't. It's no good to fight.
No disrespect intended, but I cannot place much value on Tomiki's opinion of martial arts if he didn't understand that it is a psycho-physical interaction. Period.

John Powell wrote:
Was what Howard was going to me, demonstrating some IP which could be used to hold his position a "trick" or was it "useful?" I've no idea. Do I think that someone who could use that at need "make it useful" in a self-defense context, you bet your bananas.
Have you thought about it since??? What was happening? Why can't you explain it? Do you think Howard could do it in any situation?

By the way, the much maligned "Chris H." can do the very same thing (negating a push while standing square or on one foot or the other), and I'm not just saying that because he's my friend.

Mert Gambito wrote:
Also, a caveat: Howard's "two years" is not the same as just about everybody else's "two years", as has been described at length in the past.
Thank you for saying that. This can apply to others (on both sides), as well.

Benjamin Edelen wrote:
Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, bodyweight conditioning, gymnastics, swimming, cycling, rowing, and jumping rope are all multi-articulate movements that use as much of the body as possible, as intelligently as possible to accomplish tasks.

The much ridiculed discipline of bodybuilding is the *only* area of "western" training that isolates specific muscle groups, and you have trotted it out as a straw man with which to knock down a huge range of disciplines backed by success records going back in some cases thousands of years.
Thank you for saying that. There are a few other disciplines that could be added to that list.

Benjamin Edelen wrote:
I equate serious martial artists more closely with pro and semi-pro athletes than I do with my mom at the rec center. If you found yourself in a position to be overseen by a strength and conditioning coach to improve your sport performance, that coach will not have you doing lat pulldowns and hammer curl sets. He will teach you to clean and squat, do weighted chins, and run your ass off.

That methodology is so much more effective than the globo-gym methodology of selling gym memberships and hoping people will show up, that as of the last couple years the the fastest growing sector of the fitness industry is a return to old school barbell work but in a group training environment. We are actually in the middle of a strength and conditioning renaissance, with a huge increase in crossfit, barbell, parkour, climbing, and gymnastics facilities for adults happening all over the country.

My point is that talking about "modern" or "western" or "conventional" is a gross over-generalization that results in no meaning at all. Furthermore there is *tremendous* value in some of what is available in this space which could be lost if people assume that any trip to the gym will result in bodybuilding.
Thank you for saying that.

Hugh Beyer wrote:
and to be able to move freely even though you're suspended in the air.
As if gymnasts don't!

The body is the body.

Martial arts are martial arts.

Fighting is fighting.

It's time we start discussing this stuff seriously and honestly.

"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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