View Single Post
Old 01-31-2011, 08:57 AM   #280
MM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,996
United_States
Offline
Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Quote:
Daniel Lloyd wrote: View Post
I totally agree with Chris on all points/arguments. I don't see why everyone keeps attacking Chris like they do. Its good to think about things in a different way. So keep rocking the boat Chris!
Having an open mind and looking at "hype" with some disbelief is one thing. But, Chris isn't doing that.

Let me just summarize what we have so far *JUST* in this thread:

These people have said that athletics and IP are different: Katherine Derbyshire, Robert John, David Orange, Jonathan Wong, Hunter Lonsberry, Mike Sigman, Dan Harden, Lorel Latorilla, Lynn Seiser, Phi Truong, Josh Philipson, Greg Steckel, Jon Haas, Budd Yuhasz, Jason Casteel, Nicholas Eschenbruch, Brian Griffith, Mark Freeman, George S. Ledyard, Christopher Li, Stan Baker, Cady Goldfield, and Keith Larman.

This thread alone. Do you have any idea the training history some of the above people have? How much experience they have with top level aikido shihan? Who they have trained with outside aikido?

To put things even more in perspective, If we go outside this thread, we have other people that can be added to the above list. Some examples: Bill Gleason, Allen Beebe, Marc Abrams, Howard Popkin, and Ellis Amdur. If you include those outside of Aikiweb, the list gets a whole lot larger. If you include the students behind some of these teachers, the list is larger still.

Chris' response in a nutshell: I'm not going to believe personal experiences and testimony because it can be subjective. I find it an affront that these people are saying IP is aiki because you can learn aiki from any Aikido teacher. The problem is the manner in which Chris posted. IMO, there are no indications that Chris has an open mind. I've included all relevant posts below. Reread and see the continuing arc from Chris where he's already made up his mind and wants everyone else to change it on his terms. Not the definition of an open mind.

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
I personally have had the very fortunate experience of training with an expert in Chinese internal martial arts. Through my training with him, I learned that Chinese internal martial arts, were not magical, but just the most efficient ways one could use the human body. As I studied, I learned that I could do, at least on some level, all of the typical demonstrations of internal power. As my studies progressed I realized that modern athletic training covers most, if not all of what could be learned in the internal martial arts.

However, here on Aikiweb there seems to be a notion that "internal" and athletics are very different things. That some how athletes cannot do the things that internal martial artists can do. I don't believe this to be the case. I believe modern athletics training actually teaches the core lessons of internal martial arts, but in a more dynamic and functional way.

So I'd like to ask, what is the perceived difference, and assumed superiority of internal martial arts over good athletics training?
and

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Athletics teach you how to move smoothly and from your center. The modern study of athletic movement (as one would find in football, basket ball, track and field etc) teaches any of the things I can think of that are learned in "internal". The language is different but the lessons are the same. It's hard to go into anymore detail without further understanding your knowledge of sports training.
and

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Rob John,
I find it strange that all the "internal people" who possess so much "internal power" are also athletes. Perhaps they are simply telling you that it's not athletics, but something else. Ark has more videos than any of the other internal people, he's also an ex gymnast and kickboxer (I'm sure he's done a few other athletic things as well). Strange that the more athletic they are, the more things they show.

As far as using the elastic nature of the body, sports people discuss this all the time. The language is different but they are talking about the same thing.

Athletics take less time to learn, are more clearly explained, more widely available, and demonstrate more effective ability.

Why is "internal" different then athletics? What can an internal martial artist do that a good athlete cannot?
and

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
First I would like to say, the only way to move the body is by using intent to move the ki. It's not mysterious, that's the way we move. Our brain decides it wants to move (intent) sends a signal to the muscles (ki) and we start moving. This is normal, it does not take special training, well it does take the instinctual training that babies undertake.
and

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Athletes can do everything on your list as well or better than any internal person. That is my opinion, yours is apparently contrary to that, how do we prove our points with something other than our own speculation?

Other then saying, "they're just different" I didn't see any real answers.
and

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
If you guys would simply say "I don't know, but I like doing this stuff" at least that would be honest.
and

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
The problem with this is that all the lists presented are working under that assumption that what you think is happening is happening. It's circular reasoning. You won't question from outside of the belief that the stuff you are observing is happening the way you think it is. I am only questioning from outside of this belief, because I don't hold it.

I can't have someone push me in the wall with all their force, and simply walk away from the wall. Nor have I ever seen anyone else do that. I can however think of several situations where this could be made possible. I don't know what you are seeing, if you show it to me, I can work with it, but words are not doing it.

There is a standard point being made that I have to feel it to know it. I have in the past (although not yet in this thread) made the point that group think, mental suggestion, magic tricks and other means can be used to create these types of situations. Feeling it is not enough. You have to be able to objectively look at something physical. You must be able to step away from the emotions of the moment and see what is happening. However no one will put up anything concrete that can be looked at objectively.

David Blaine can do all manner of amazing things, but we all know he is a trickster. The fact that none of the IP IS or whatever you want to call them guys want to put out video, they hold tightly controlled seminars, and otherwise seem mysterious and vague should make you question it, unless you're working on faith.
and

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
First off, this comes from me, not my teacher. Second, the group of internal martial artists that is not the Aikiweb IP IS or whatever group is MUCH larger than this small group of internal. Most IMA would say Dan, Ark, Mike who? Your group is not that large, although you're working it, I'll give you that.

I could probably find 50 people who think chickens can speak English. People from all over the world, different people who have never met. I could put them on a forum together and try to tell them that chickens can not in fact speak English. Those 50 people would act like I'm crazy, because they all believe it. Looking at this small group it would be easy for them to say, "Chris, everyone is telling you the same thing, why don't you listen, chickens can clearly speak English."
and

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
I discount personal experience because it's subjective. In my head I might see dragons flying around, but that doesn't mean they are. Personal experience is a very real thing to you, but not necessarily to anyone else.
and

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
There is this slow creeping idea, that Aiki, as it relates to Aikido is what you guys call IP, IS or what have you. I disagree with this strongly.

I don't believe that IP is anything special, I've not seen or heard anything that would convince me to spend much of my time or energy on it. I do spend a lot of time on Aikido though, and I don't appreciate what I feel is the the hijacking of the word "Aiki". To have many here tell it, only Dan can do "Aiki" and everyone else is missing something. I do not buy it.

Would I give Dan $300, get time off work, get a hotel, and travel many hours to do something I don't think is anything special, no. Will I take 10 minutes out of my day to make a video, yes.
and

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
And again, if the opportunity arises I would go see some of these IP people that post so much here on Aikiweb. I'm not going to go way out of my way to do it, because I can't see anything in what they are doing that I don't understand.

The real problem I'm having here, is the theft of the word "Aiki" from the Aikido community. There is a strong vibe that Aiki is what some people call IP, IS, or what have you. I believe this to be very wrong. I believe you can learn "Aiki" from any reasonably skilled, regular, Aikido teacher. "Aiki" is already built into the system, you don't need to spend a lot of money, or go way out of your way to see one of a handful of teachers in order to study "Aiki".

The idea that only a few people possess this IP, and that you have to study with them personally to understand "Aiki", is a fallacy. This idea that IP is "Aiki" suggests that your Aikido is lacking if you don't study with one of these few teachers personally. I can't let that one go.
and

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Things like being shoved into a wall full force, and being able to walk away effortlessly sounds like an issue of moving heavy weight to me. Now it could be an issue of mental suggestion, hypnosis, or some other condition of the mind. Is this what you believe IP to be doing, using the mind of your attacker against him? If this is the case, than I'm more than interested in debating it.
Now for the relevant posts by the other people:

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
The internal power folks will tell you that the lessons aren't actually the same, that IP focuses on manipulating the structure of your own body, while athletes manipulate the outside world. They will also point out that internal strength continues to develop as people age, while athletic strength inevitably declines.

I do think that the degree of body control that some athletes have (notably gymnasts, but others as well) is often underestimated by non-athletes, but I'm not aware of any athletic discipline that claims to produce the abilities that the IP folks claim to have.

Studying the training of Chinese gymnasts and weightlifters might be interesting, as the Chinese seem fairly free of training dogma, and willing to consider any approach that works.

Katherine
and

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
I think I mentioned this before, but Ark was a competitive gymnast before he started developing these skills and conditioning. And he would be the first to say that gymnastics had no overlap training wise, and in fact impeded his ability to learn his current skill set.

It's pretty cut and dry if you ask me, just go and check someone out already dude!
and

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
Well, an athletic person (say, a fighter) will have good movement, etc., but he won't have developed the ability to use ki at the direction of the mind.

Note that this ability without physical conditioning is in itself worthless. You don't "hit" someone with your ki: you hit them with your body. But if the body is conditioned to move and strike with mind/ki as the primary motivators (instead of primarily by muscular manipulation), the quality is different. Note again that this mainly applies to human-human interaction: not to things like pulling boats, though it will undoubtedly improve even that performance. For internal arts, a big part of the mix is how your mind/ki interacts with the opponent's mind/ki to influence his perceptions, feelings, intentions and therefore his actions. Much of the long-bouncing from an effortless old man comes about because the qualities of the movements in relation (and the feelings/perceptions in the mind/ki of the opponent) cause certain reactions in the attacker that lead him into worse and worse positions, where his efforts to correct himself actually help to propel him away.

A well conditioned fighter can probably beat a poorly conditioned internal artist. Because the ki only works effectively in coordination with the muscles, bones, fascia, mind and breath. So an internal artist will get better results with better physical conditioning. But no amount of athletic conditioning affects the mind/ki development because most of it involves things that actually weaken or constrict the ki, as Rob explained that Ark's gymnastics actually hampered his ability to develop internal power. Ark also said that most people who get involved in Aunkai just drop weight training because they find that it works against them. Dan has said similar things.

Hope that helps.

David
and

Quote:
Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
My answer: internal training teaches me to generate a different kind of force usage than I learned in normal life. I couldn't learn it from athletics, so that's why I see them as different. Of course it also could be because I am dumb, whereas if I was smart I could have learned this from athletics. Why is the new usage superior? Because it is teaching me aiki, which I failed to learn before.

So it's all in whether or not you are happy with your training (if you are getting what you want, then who is anyone to tell/convince you that something is superior?).
and

Quote:
Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
I think Rob gave a pretty good overview from a conditioning standpoint as to how the approaches differ, and how different schools/people might have mixes of internal/external. I certainly don't mind laying out some of the things typically associated with an internal approach that result in differences from good athletic training. I would be happy to do so in response to answering my question above.
and

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
It's a different usage of "athletics" though:
and

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Have any number of people gotten up and gone out and met folks teaching it and came away understanding it is different than what they had thought and what they had trained their whole lives...yup..
Dan
and

Quote:
Lorel Latorilla wrote: View Post
Chris, you win. We will never get to your level of athleticism in martial arts because we're doing sub-par athletics training.
and

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
IMHO, it really isn't a question (or statement) that internal (subtle/energetic) is superior to athleticism (external/muscular).

Truly they complement and supplement each other.

Given the context, they each have their superiority in effectiveness.

Training in both perhaps is the wisest choice.
and

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
just want to point out a few things. modern athletics are just as specialize as IS folks. runner trains differently, than weight lifter, than gymnast, than high jumper, and so on. they are as specifics at IS training.

training IS doesn't mean you don't need to train in term of athletic stuffs. folks who trained IS still run, but they do it with a slight different focus. they still lift weights but with a different approach. they still do other physical activity but with a different approach to it.

when you only trained and get your info from one person, there is an element of faith involved. when you trained and get info from more than one person, then the faith part dropped severely. if folks have not realized by now, many of the IS folks that contributed on this forum and others, have encouraged folks to go and tried and learned with as many folks with different IS training approaches as they can.
and

Quote:
Josh Philipson wrote: View Post
JW and Rob John nailed it.
/thread

M2C
The primary reason internal is better, in a MA setting, is that the way the body moves and carries itself is alien and confounds the way normal people move. even athletic normal people. Touch one; and you will know in an instant. It is different and words will not convey this understanding. Like the story of Tenryu touching Ueshiba's arm...and knowing in a split second he was undone..

Go see.
and

Quote:
Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
As Katherine, I have had on-hands with both Saotome and Ikeda on more than one occasion, and yes, they can both do as she said, BUT not like what I have felt from Dan or Howard Popkin (my Aikijujutsu teacher) - both Dan and Howard are light years ahead in the internals than those two pillars of Aikido, not that they are bad, they just don't feel the same in the sense that I am I totally controlled by them when I touch them - both Dan and Howard do.

Greg
and

Quote:
Jon Haas wrote: View Post
Usually I just skim these threads, shake my head, and go back to training, but on this one I hope I might have a beneficial perspective to offer.

Much of my study over the past 10 years has revolved around how to utilize exercise and conditioning to create the best budo-body. I studied sports science, Russian kettlebells, Russian Systema and ROSS, was a CST instructor under Scott Sonnon (circular strength training system) from 2004 to 2006, and also wrote a book on Warrior Fitness - conditioning for martial arts. I hope this establishes my knowledge base and belief in western exercise science and physical training. Also, to round out my background, I have been training in martial arts for almost 30 years, 22 of them in Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu.

In 2008 while reading E-Budo, I discovered a thread by a guy named Dan Harden talking about conditioning a "budo-body" in a way I had never heard of before. When Dan announced his teacher seminar back in August of 2009, I jumped at the chance. I'm not going to re-review the seminar here, but suffice it to say I came away with concrete exercises, examples, and principles on which to work and put into my own personal practice. At the time, I had asked Dan about combining the solo exercises he taught with my regimen of kettlebells and other western conditioning methods. Here's his reply from the 2009 thread:

Needless to say I followed his advice and gave up all other exercise and just concentrated on the solo work. The result after 6 months or so? People asking me - why are you so difficult to throw?

Now, here's the comparison part. Around April last year I had the bright idea to start lifting kettlebells, clubbells, sandbags, and doing all sorts of high intensity conditioning workouts. The results? After several months, I looked great, was very healthy and conditioned and physically strong, but here's the rub - I FELT just like everyone else. Training partners that had been having trouble throwing me and locking me were able to do so again much easier than before. So, my little mind got to thinking - what is my goal here? Do I want to be strong and conditioned as an athlete OR strong and conditioned as a budoka? I chose Budoka and quit lifting and once again began doing the solo work that Dan teaches. I now train this stuff for at least an hour every day and will not look back. To me, the difference is clear.

One last point. Internal is not superior to athleticism, it's a different methodology of training for a different result. As I said above, you need to decide your goal. It's not for everyone

Hope that ramble helps....

Jon
and

Quote:
Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
Nice, Jon. That pretty much gels with my experience when I started working on "this stuff". You have to rewire the body to a degree, otherwise you'll just do things the way you always did them.
and

Quote:
Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
Chris,
I'm a nub in this area skill wise, but I'm also trying to make a go of understanding what's going on in more simple terms, so I'll take a stab at it.

This is a very basic description and by no means complete or all encompassing, but you asked for an example of what it can do that typical athletics/muscle can't and I think this fits that bill.
and

Quote:
Nicholas Eschenbruch wrote: View Post
Plus there are some great videos of Chinese IMA on youtube - but guess what, they won't convince the sceptics either, what a surprise! Because you cannot see how they do it, and because it does not look like MMA...

It also keeps amusing me in these threads how "group think" is always the other party.
and

Quote:
Brian Griffith wrote: View Post
as for the original question...I'm still searching for the individual/s who went and got hands on time with someone with this ability and says they are full of it...haven't seen it yet.

Brian Griffith
and

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote: View Post
Nothing wrong with athleticism, nothing wrong with internal conditioning, they are both different though.

just my couple of pennies worth to add to this little debate.

regards,

Mark
and

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
The easiest way to answer is to look at the very paradigm you are describing. Athleticism declines over time. The first thing to go is speed. That's why virtually all athletic competitors in any area requiring speed are young. Then power goes. Almost every competitive sport which has folks engaging n competition throughout their lives have age divisions. It's true of fencing, golf, etc. anything in which the skills are based on athleticism.
and

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Well, IP isn't a magical force. In a sense, you're right, I think, in that it's all "athletics" in the end. On the other hand, IP training involves training and conditioning your body to move and function in a way that is isn't normally done in conventional athletics.

Or that's the way it seems to me...

Best,

Chris
and

Quote:
Stan Baker wrote: View Post
Hi Chris
There is a difference between explosive power from IP and what you perceive as relaxed power. It is not going to be resolved through discussion.

stan
and

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
What's the point of continuous talk that just goes nowhere? I agree with Stan. "Discussions" here will just keep going in circles unless and until you actually go and get some hands-on time with the people who are openly teaching and training IP.

To a man (and woman), everyone on AikiWeb who has done this has come back to engage in enthusiastic conversation, comparing notes, asking questions and getting feedback. It's so much more productive than speaking from an uninformed position.

Discovering that "it's different" can definitely force one to step outside his or her comfort zone, especially if it means having to re-think everything that one has held true, for years. But anyone willing to take that chance may well find that they will gain much more than they lose in that discovery.
and

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
Well, I can't bow out yet since I never bowed in. So a passing post...

I was recently talking with a friend of mine who has something like 30 years experience in aikido (outside of our group). He knew I had been to seminars by Threadgill, Harden and Sigman. And that I've been lucky enough to have met and trained a bit with students of Ark and Kuroda. Still working on meeting Popkin and Ushiro in person, but if finances allow... So he asked me about what was going on. So I tried to give him a bit of a run-down of the basic gist of the argument.
  Reply With Quote