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Old 09-20-2008, 11:02 AM   #23
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
Re: On Talking About Internal Training

Dan Harden wrote: View Post
In regards to Howard and Toby:
They are both stand-up guys in their teaching and representing their arts. However, like it or not, agree or not. They are restricted and very unlikely to just show everything to everyone who decides to show up. That's just the way traditional arts are.
It doesn't mean they won't teach- if you're a signed up student. Demo's are a show and ask questions sort of thing, so go and ask questions.
Since they will show some things in public- people who have felt various internal guys and some ICMA masters can go feel these guys, ask questions and make some decisions. Then, more importantly feel their students.
Both arts, Daito ryu and Shindo Yoshin ryu have internal components. Fortunately or unfortunately they will not be let out or taught except to trusted students. As Allen stated there is no compelling reason to share. But Mike is also correct-probably more than he realizes- in that some in the traditional arts, (I happen to know a few who have argued with him) really haven't a clue-they just think they do. They argue from a point of being disenfranchised from within their own arts they are defending-and they don't even know it. It's sad to watch.
I think the techniques and strategies within any given martial-art are fair game for "secrecy". My comments about openness have never been related to the depths of any art or even specific training methods. I meant simply the basics. The basics are already out there... but the trick is that these are far more complex subjects than they appear on the surface. My general point is more along the lines of "why should I go study the 'depths' with someone when I'm not sure he even knows the basics?".

And of course I'm not a dummy... I hear the reasoning. But I then say to myself, why should I share anything on a public forum (like the many how-to's, diagrams, etc.) with someone who is not sharing back in return? In most cases, over many years of experience, I've found what we already know... most people don't know more than a few bits and pieces. So let's look at it from the perspective than an open discussion is actually a bonus for them, in most regards. If nothing else they gain in general knowledge which contributes to their own abilities and teaching curriculum, benefits their students, and so on. That's the essence of my position.

On the other hand, there are many people who don't know much but who grab what bits and pieces they can, cobble it together, and use it to reinforce their own power/position as a teacher with special knowledge. In that case an open forum actually works to the detriment of many well-meaning students because the 'teacher' is able to grab buzz-terms, etc., and parade them in class as his own intrinsic knowledge. Which is why we're careful about who gets onto the QiJin forum, in a nutshell. We don't want to contribute to the delinquency of a minor.
And all of them found out about internal training and found me through aikiweb.
BTW, I'm a little uncomfortable with this idea of identifying people who come to study or even implying such in public. We all start from ignorance and make our way up the ladder from there. I don't know any westerner who is in such a position that they're not closer to the bottom of the ladder than the top, so my personal opinion is that testifying for Jesus is probably a bit out of place at this early stage in reinstating these skills in various Asian martial-arts.

Granted it's a momentous issue, these basics that belong in Aikido, but let's remember that Tohei attempted to say exactly the same thing almost 40 years ago. Part of the failure of Tohei's training approach had to do with personality and politics. Maybe we'll be more successful this time if we leave the personality and politics out?


Mike Sigman

Last edited by Mike Sigman : 09-20-2008 at 11:05 AM.
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