Re: Workshop with Mike Sigman on Ki in Aikido
"...so willing to intrust such important matters to one of their (relatively) new students."
Or maybe I'm just getting lazy…
I agree that the skills Mike presented need to be considered fundamentals, and we have to figure out the best means to introduce such consideration to our practice. That's going to be very tricky, not so much due to the nature of the skills as to the nature of the practitioners. Think of how many times Mike had to remind us to be proper uke in the context of this particular training, providing live but "stiff" resistance to allow nage an opportunity to sense the forces at work. Even without dealing with these internal skills, teaching students to be proper uke is in my opinion the most difficult aspect of aikido training. Trying to get people to provide proper, focused attacks, with follow up when appropriate, with serious mental intent, without being compliant or colluding when inappropriate, or just trying to defeat a technique they know is coming rather than trying to nail nage with the attack, is hard enough. Think of adding internal skills to this mix.
I'm reminded of Joe Simms' favorite quote, "Early success leads to further research." The opposite is true as well, and I can see students becoming very frustrated with an apparent lack of success with internal skills when the real problem is uke. Based on what we experienced over the weekend, my perception is that for most people the internal forces will be incredibly subtle to sense at first and will manifest only under really optimal training conditions (meaning a clued-in uke who knows how to provide an appropriate training platform).
But, hey, nobody said this was going to be easy.