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Old 03-09-2007, 03:54 PM   #13
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
Re: Aikido as External Art -or- Where's the Chewy Center?

Christian Moses wrote: View Post
No, I meant what I said. I think good aikido depends so heavily on having good internal skills, that it's a shame that it's not structured as an internal art, meaning one that works first to develop internal skills and then progresses to how to apply those same skills.
Then you're supposing that the "taught from the inside out" idea is a criterion and I've never seen it used as anything other than an offhand comment. Aikido does not use dantien controls the way the real "internal arts" do, so it won't clear the hurdle to be part of the internal styles, IMO. Aikido would have to use six-harmonies movement to be an "internal style" so I'd differ on the nomenclature, but I understand what you're trying to say now.
I'll respectfully disagree about the ki society. I think that if you have some internal skills, their tests confirm that, but I think they don't really work well to develop these skills from nothing. They do not teach you how to be, they might give you some feedback in your explorations, but they don't teach this the way that I have felt from the very little amount of internal training that I have done.
You're quarreling with how they start with internal training and how successful they are (which I'd agree with you, BTW), but technically they treat the internal skills as an intrinsic part of their curriculum. I absolutely agree that's the way it should be taught. *HOW* it's taught is the question, isn't it?

Chinese internal arts often have "jibengong" or basic exercises that are practiced in order to develop starter-level internal strength before forms, etc., are begun. Sometimes a year or two will be spent just doing jibengong. It's a good idea. Of course, sometimes students are shown the jibengong and not really told how to do them, so a person can still wind up doing an "internal" martial art in an externally-driven fashion.

But wait..... Kokyu-ho-dosa, Aiki-taiso, etc., are actually jibengong that have managed to get perpetuated as external exercises somehow. The problem might just be that there was a critical lapse in true transmission, either by fault of some teacher or by fault of some poorly-perceptive students. Regardless, my opinion is that the correct teaching methodology is right there in Aikido, waiting to be used once the basic skills get introduced correctly in a viable number of places. I.e., I'm fairly optimistic that change is not far off, as we speak. And as soon as a few people really get a handle on putting the basic ki/kokyu skills back into mainstream Aikido, I think they should toss the "outsiders" out. >> danged troublemakers<<


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