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Old 04-08-2010, 12:00 PM   #75
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,996
Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Ok, back to our definition theme.

Ahmad Abas:
"Aiki is the ability to make your opponent powerless"

This isn't a definition, but a description. Who cares really, but, things like this can lead us crazy places. For example, are hand cuffs "Aiki", how about anesthetics? The idea of what it does is good, but too vague.
Yeah, I'd say this is more of a, "what can I do with aiki" type answer. It's like those "Love is ..." sayings. Sure, it helps narrow down things, but doesn't really define it in one saying. Might be a good approach, though.

Chris Hein wrote: View Post
David Skaggs:
"Aiki" is the coordination of movement inside and outside of the body.

I personally think this is a pretty sound definition, certainly reasonable and complete. It fits what I'm talking about, how about for others? Still vague, but we are getting somewhere; no?
Too simplistic and lacks quality.

Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Jason Casteel:
Aiki is the result of a body that is conditioned to instantly convey forces to and from the ground in a relaxed state, free of muscular force/tension and then manipulate that force both physically (movement) and/or mentally (intent).

I think this is getting back to what I believe we are now calling structure. Am I wrong? Opinions?
Better, but as you note, it doesn't really convey more than what a good, structured, internally skilled person can do.

Chris Hein wrote: View Post
On the note of structure, I would like to introduce the idea of "body skill". I would like to use this word to refer to someone who has the ability to use their body in a powerful manner. For example someone with good internal ability as Mike, or Mark might describe would have good "body skill". However I would like to use this word to describe more. For example some one who has lots of agility, strength, speed or coordination would have good "body skill" as well.

I have an idea that this word might become very useful shortly, as we start to approach an idea of what "Aiki" is.
Hmmm ... I guess I'd use structure to describe those people who are working on internal skills and I'd use "body skill" to describe people who use external methods. To me, good BJJ people definitely have a body skill. I even think some of them have some sort of structure at work. So, you see how both can actually apply to some people?

Then it gets worse because by the very nature of the training, people who have aiki to a decent degree also have agility, strength, speed, coordination, power, sensitivity, etc but in a much different way than other people.

Part of the problem is that when very high level jujutsu people are seen, it can "look" like aiki. But if you take one person and have them uke a technique for a jujutsu person and then an aiki person, that uke will always state that these two people did two very separate and different things. All the while, everyone else that's watching will say, the jujutsu and aiki person did exactly the same thing.

Part of the reason I started and kept to structure is that it is hard to replicate some things that can be done with structure. You almost have to use "cheats" to replicate them when there is no structure.

Hence, my example of the push test (my post #59) to an outstretched arm and the extra moves one makes to show that there is no "cheating". It would be nice if people would just give that a try.

Why? Because if you can't replicate that, then how can you use lines of energy along that structural pathway? Remember the Ki Society example of unbendable arm? Just thinking about water flowing out the arm is only a small fraction of what should be going on. Not only do you have a flow out the arm, but there should be a flow going inwards to the spine -- at the same time. In both arms. With an up and down in the spine. You're creating lines of intent built upon your frame (bones) to help create structure.

So, once you can get that going, then you start using intent along those pathways in exercises designed to work and build other parts of your body (this is where the fascia theory begins). You do this so that, for example in the push test to an outstretched arm, you aren't just letting force go through your body and hampering your mobility, but you're vectoring it into appropriate channels to improve mobility. Instead of the push routing to the opposite foot and pinning it there, you're vectoring that force within you so that you can pick that foot up and move no matter what kind of push is being received.

Then you work on a push coming in to a different area, say the shoulder or chest or hip. Then working on vectoring the force internally in various ways. I think Bill Gleason shows it better than I could explain: