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Old 02-26-2008, 05:31 AM   #1
Mary Eastland
 
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why focus on internal power

Whenever a discussion on internal power comes up it turns into a fight about personalities.
Why do people seek internal power? Are we trying to beat each other up in a new way?

Here is my answer why I train in a style that focuses on devoloping Ki.
It is the path I was introduced to for starters. I didn't know this path was exactly what I needed but it was.
Maruyama Sensei stressed that Ki was the co-ordination of mind and body. It is not some magical power. He said O'Sensei could do it, Tohei could do it, He could do it and so could I. I believe him. We practice Ki exercises every class. We develop strength.
Along with this strength comes a compassion and understanding because we are practicing Aikido with a partner.
Having internal strength for the sake of beating another seems to have lost the point.
We read the ideas. Ron and I try what we like. It makes us think differently about old ideas. I appreciate this.
The cult of personailty and ego is distracting and meaningless. But it also seems like people are missing the point. Why become very strong in body if your mind and spirit are staying mean?
Mary

Last edited by Mary Eastland : 02-26-2008 at 05:34 AM.
 
Old 02-26-2008, 06:16 AM   #2
crbateman
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Re: why focus on internal power

Well said, Mary. Aikido is about balance, so what could be better than recognizing the importance of balance between mind, body and spirit? But I do stress balance, because I have also seen training where ki is over-emphasized. Some might disagree in either direction; I view it as a component, but not the component.
 
Old 02-26-2008, 06:25 AM   #3
Chris Parkerson
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Along with this strength comes a compassion and understanding because we are practicing Aikido with a partner.
Having internal strength for the sake of beating another seems to have lost the point.
I could not agree with you more. There was a time, in my youth, that all I wanted to do was to find the secrets of the Indians, Tibetans, Chinese, Hebrew Kabala, Celts, Mayans and even the cult of Mithros for that matter. That was a time when I had the time to do it and I was young enough to remain centered almost solely on my self. There was also no wife, no house, my parents were healthy, and my full time job was a "work-a-day-thing".

Today, I instinctively know that I do not have the time to lead a balanced life and do Martial Chi Gung a la CMA properly. On top of this, I began to take more time in meditation that is more outward than inward.

My meditations tell me that we are currently looking at a world that really needs positive and compassionate energy. The world's political leaders need wisdom to weather a mighty big storm that is breaking "heavy" this year. In fact, watch the storm greatly magnify around March 15 in a very big way. At least that is what I am getting from my meditations.

I am praying for peace....along with my Mayan, Celtic, Hopi, Tibetan, Sioux, and other friends right now. I know our "morphic resonance" joins together in the ether and does more good than what I might be doing for my own body right now.

On the home front, many of our female family members are "stressing out" and even getting lupus, cancers, shingles, strokes, etc. as they go overboard trying to make things right during a time in earth-energy when things just cannot be made right. Other more Yang-energy family members are thinking that they will get through this time by grabbing their shotgun and "can of beans" - ready to ward off the world.

It truly is a time for balance. It is a time for cosmopolitan compassion. My way, (the way I mentioned above) is simply my way. Others must look deep inside and decide their own way. All I would suggest is that they look to find the "balance" in whatever they do. They will know they have the balance when the following emerges:

Goodness, Peace, Joy, Patience, Compassion, Empathy, Transparency, Trust....

Today,we have more connectivity than ever before. because of it, we are also more challenged in how we learn to engage each other. We have built a wonderful "Tower" that connects the world with cyber inclusion, express flights to anywhere in the world, and expatriate work forces that span the globe. Now we stand at the brink of its own potential destruction. What will destroy it? The confusion of our tounges.
 
Old 02-26-2008, 06:30 AM   #4
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
We develop strength.
Along with this strength comes a compassion and understanding because we are practicing Aikido with a partner.
Having internal strength for the sake of beating another seems to have lost the point.
M2c... I think that kind of compassion only comes from having the ability to dish out serious harm to others. This stuff was kept close-vested because it gave you an edge in combat (ie the other person ending up more or less dead or battered).

Waxing philosophical is nice, but if you can't hold your own, its a moot point.

I don't think it needs to be pointed out that Takeda Sokaku was historically, (at least if you read interviews with Sagawa and others) a killer.
Even Ueshiba was a pretty uptight bastard before he joined the Omoto Religion.
Tohei - a pretty crude guy according to various annecdotes, but also pretty standard for guys that could walk the walk. You'll hear similar parallels in China. I think there was some Tai Chi dude who had a good rep, for his skills...and also for tearing through an entire brothel without losing his stamina

So maybe we can leave the whole "but shouldn't internal guys be wide-eyed nirvana chasing lotus eating buddhas" image alone and just focus on the skills.
 
Old 02-26-2008, 06:52 AM   #5
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Re: why focus on internal power

IMHO, it isn't about beating some one up, its about a natural developmental evolution for hard to soft and external to internal.

But I do agree that a lot of good content gets lost in the personalities. Thats the same with any topic. Its a "where ever you go, there you are" thing.

Lynn Seiser PhD
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We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
 
Old 02-26-2008, 06:54 AM   #6
Chris Parkerson
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
So maybe we can leave the whole "but shouldn't internal guys be wide-eyed nirvana chasing lotus eating buddhas" image alone and just focus on the skills.
I have seen people "turn the other cheek" out of fear and then try to acquire the acclaim of others as if they suffered humiliation for their "faith in some form of nirvana". If one turns the other cheek, it should be done without fear or it is really not pure compassion.

We should not negotiate out of fear but we should never fear to negotiate. Negotiation comes from strength. But strength must be balanced with compassion or it is some ugly form of bullying or self-acclaimed godship.

Rob John, I think I sent you the parts of the eopolitical world that I am currently meditating on. Come March 15, let's see how things develop.
 
Old 02-26-2008, 06:55 AM   #7
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
M2c... I think that kind of compassion only comes from having the ability to dish out serious harm to others.
Ever watch the TV programs entitled "Lockup" or "Lockup RAW"?
 
Old 02-26-2008, 07:16 AM   #8
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Re: why focus on internal power

The Movie Series "Kill Bill" probably insulted every martial sensibility I had, yet it was hilariously wise. One character, Pai Mei, was not sequestered on the mountain to purify his shen with "marrow/brain washing exercises. He was there because he had become so specialized that he could not relate to other people.

In retaliation, he became hard nosed and unfriendly...downright mean spirited. He was not an ascended master. He was just a lonely old man who probably was silently hoping for the death he was given by such an "ungrateful student".
 
Old 02-26-2008, 07:22 AM   #9
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Re: why focus on internal power

It was because Ueshiba had internal power skills that he could espouse a philosophy of peace (as Rob pointed out). When he realized what it made the body capable of doing without having to resort to "waza," he could just stand there and let his attackers harmlessly bounce off him, or he could choose to do something else with it, expressing it outwardly through whatever techniques he chose to "make happen" -- which were invariably more powerful than technique effected without an internal "force" behind them. The thing is, the internal skills gave him a choice.

Old saying: We bargain from a position of strength, not from one of weakness. We're not in a position to bargain for anything, only to beg for mercy, when someone else's boot is on our throat!

This sounds harsh, but it's Nature, and is true whether talking about a physical confrontation, or a business deal. You have to have an edge; having power -- whether it's physical power, legal power, financial power or psychological/emotional manipulation power -- is that edge, though the latter three apply mainly to society and culture more than to the "Law of the Jungle."
 
Old 02-26-2008, 07:34 AM   #10
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Re: why focus on internal power

Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint John of the Cross, Theresa of Avila, Hildegaard of Tubingen, and Mahatma Ghandi all had this internal power and did amazing things with it. Neither did they negotiate from weakness. Yet, they had no martial training.

Whatever way we choose to build internal power, let's do it with balance and compassion.
 
Old 02-26-2008, 07:41 AM   #11
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
Old saying: We bargain from a position of strength, not from one of weakness. We're not in a position to bargain for anything, only to beg for mercy, when someone else's boot is on our throat!

This sounds harsh, but it's Nature, and is true whether talking about a physical confrontation, or a business deal. You have to have an edge; having power -- whether it's physical power, legal power, financial power or psychological/emotional manipulation power -- is that edge, though the latter three apply mainly to society and culture more than to the "Law of the Jungle."
What are you "bargaining" for Cady? And how does your internal power help you "bargain" for those things?
 
Old 02-26-2008, 07:48 AM   #12
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Re: why focus on internal power

Chris,
Inner emotional strength is one thing and is of enormous weight and great value. But the kind of internal power being discussed concerning Ueshiba is, alas, boringly physical in nature. It is mechanical, physical power generated internally, and expressed physically.

But it was this very plain, physical-mechanical skill that allowed Ueshiba -- a martially-minded man reputed to have something of a temper -- to cultivate the kind of internal power you refer to.

Saints often become saints because they were martyred -- physically destroyed. In the martial world, it is the physical that is being discussed, not the Higher Nature. Physical survival.

Gandhi took non-resistance and physical meekness as far as a man could, and it succeeded because he had the psychological/emotional manipulation power "bargaining chip" I mentioned above. It worked because he knew with whom he was dealing -- that the British had a moral conscience, and could thus be reasoned with. But Gandhi, when told about the Jews' plight in emerging Nazi Germany, suggested quite earnestly that the Jews should lie down in front of the Nazis in passive non-resistance, letting the Nazis do what they would, without complaint. Gandhi had no idea that Nazis and Hitler did not operate under the moral principles that the British did.
 
Old 02-26-2008, 07:53 AM   #13
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Re: why focus on internal power

Ricky,
Heck, not everyone is girding his or her loins for combat.
I went into MAs initially for self-defense, which speaks for itself. Very plain and basic pragmatism. But I just plain fell in love with the nuances of the process and training, and the challenge of seeing how far I can take it in a lifetime. What can you do with it as you age? Evidence is -- seeing all the aged people who have enormous power, even in their 80s or 90s -- that it's the stuff of a lifetime pursuit. Look what Ueshiba could do in his 80s. Besides, it's a lot of fun.
 
Old 02-26-2008, 07:57 AM   #14
Ron Tisdale
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Whenever a discussion on internal power comes up it turns into a fight about personalities.
Why do people seek internal power? Are we trying to beat each other up in a new way?
Interesting...none of the seminars or open sessions that I have gone to have had anything to do with people beating each other up in ANY way. So my question to you is, what venue have you gone to where Internal Skills (TM) were touted and people behaved that way? If you haven't gone to one of the venues, then how exactly are you qualified to speak to what was on display?

Internet discussions about where the weight should be (front or back foot), what is the angle of the feet, whether you should block or not, all show a great deal of personality and ego. Are you saying that it exists only for Internal Skill (TM) discussions? If so, I beg to differ...

Quote:
It is not some magical power.
Ah, even in the internet discussions here, who said it was??? I think I smell a red herring...

Quote:
The cult of personailty and ego is distracting and meaningless. But it also seems like people are missing the point. Why become very strong in body if your mind and spirit are staying mean?
I agree...and it seems the internet is full of personality and ego. Yet when I've taken the time to go and meet people face to face, I've seen very little of this. Strange, isn't it?

Best,
Ron

Last edited by Ron Tisdale : 02-26-2008 at 08:01 AM.

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Old 02-26-2008, 08:30 AM   #15
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Whenever a discussion on internal power comes up it turns into a fight about personalities.
Why do people seek internal power? Are we trying to beat each other up in a new way?

Here is my answer why I train in a style that focuses on devoloping Ki.
It is the path I was introduced to for starters. I didn't know this path was exactly what I needed but it was.
Maruyama Sensei stressed that Ki was the co-ordination of mind and body. It is not some magical power. He said O'Sensei could do it, Tohei could do it, He could do it and so could I. I believe him. We practice Ki exercises every class. We develop strength.
Along with this strength comes a compassion and understanding because we are practicing Aikido with a partner.
Having internal strength for the sake of beating another seems to have lost the point.
We read the ideas. Ron and I try what we like. It makes us think differently about old ideas. I appreciate this.
The cult of personailty and ego is distracting and meaningless. But it also seems like people are missing the point. Why become very strong in body if your mind and spirit are staying mean?
Mary
Hello Mary,

Have you ever tried one of the demonstrations for internal power? If not, try this: Stand with feet side by side, shoulder width apart. Have someone push straight back on your chest. You can even have them start with a little push and then an all out shove for all they are worth. Were you able to stand there while they turned red in the face?

Not many can do that. Yet, I see quite a few people brush this off like it was not worth the effort to even read about it. But, if you take a moment to view what is going on, you can see some very practical applications here. One, you are able to manipulate an incoming force (in this instance, it can be a fairly powerful force) in a safe manner. Two, you aren't actually hurting the attacker. Three, you aren't really doing "something" to the attacker, rather you are just working "internal stuff" within you. Four, you aren't resisting anything. There is no resistance. Five, you are neutralizing an attack. Think of a simple wrist grab with more power. Six, you are working on a certain mentality which is entirely focused on you, rather than on an attacker. That means, spiritual-wise, you are making a better you without having to stoop down to the level of the attacker (remember, this is a static exercise, not a technique or waza.)

Those are just simple applications of what is going on in this static exercise.

So, why work on internals? Can you see any benefit to the above?

Also, as I've noted elsewhere for the Ki Society people. The exercises for internal work actually are training to accomplish Tohei's four principles. They are exercises which have a side benefit of getting one to relax completely (show me an aikido exercise that actually develops this), keep weight underside, keep one point, and extend ki. Actual exercises that elicit these principles.

As I've noted elsewhere, the internal exercises also develop a very relaxed but integrated upper body. It takes the muscles out of the shoulders. Show me aikido exercises that actually do this. Or do we just keep hearing ... relax. relax. relax more?

I'm getting long winded here. As a final note, I'll ask you and everyone else a question. Have you met Mike or Dan? Because I'll reiterate what I've said before ... once you meet them, their Internet posts take on a whole different conveyance. Not only that, but I have found both to be:

1. Very helpful.
2. Very nice.
3. Great teachers.
4. Very skilled.
5. Well worth travel, time, and money.

IMO,
Mark
 
Old 02-26-2008, 09:05 AM   #16
Chris Parkerson
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Re: why focus on internal power

cady,

I came to the de ision early on that if I wanted to practice lunified motion" in my Tai Chi and Aiki, I would also need to practice unifying the spirit and my life as a whole. This was quite counterintuitive for my Cartesian mind and how corporate life wants to keep you compartmentalized. For me, this was the biggest win on the martial path. The microcosm of mechanical movement taught me about the macrosm.
 
Old 02-26-2008, 09:07 AM   #17
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
It was because Ueshiba had internal power skills that he could espouse a philosophy of peace (as Rob pointed out). When he realized what it made the body capable of doing without having to resort to "waza," he could just stand there and let his attackers harmlessly bounce off him, or he could choose to do something else with it, expressing it outwardly through whatever techniques he chose to "make happen" -- which were invariably more powerful than technique effected without an internal "force" behind them. The thing is, the internal skills gave him a choice.
Strictly speaking, this isn't true. Plenty of people have made the commitment to a "philosophy of peace" with no martial capability whatever. Their "internal power" was just plain guts.

Gandhi had that kind of power, so did the first monk to burn himself alive at the beginning of the Viet Nam War. The civil rights workers who sat down at the integrated lunch counter, knowing that they'd be beaten, even killed, they had the power...

If you look at the folks who have attained the kind of "internal power" used in martial arts, it is very rare that you find this kind of non-violence. That's why O-Sensei was so radical. Power can be a trap. If you look at the folks who have it, most are "fighters". Why do people do martial arts in the first place? I think it is clear that most folks get into the arts because of fear. Many of the legendary figures one reads about were sickly as kids, or had some traumatic incident which made them feel powerless as children.

People who are obsessed with the power side of these arts, whose primary concern is being able to beat any opponent are often simply trying to paper over these fears with a facade of power.

The martial arts are full of these folks, as Rob mentioned. Folks who attained tremendous power to destroy but who were still so fear based in their fundamental thinking that they could barely interact with their fellows. I look around and I see folks I've known for 30 plus years who wouldn't hesitate an instant to go up against three attackers with sticks but who can't simply have a conversation with their peers for fear of being judged.

O-Sensei was a radical in his martial arts world in that he saw a way to take the training that he had done and create something that went beyond fighting. It was radical enough that many of his own students couldn't go there with him. If you look at a guy like Shioda Sensei, he wanted no part of the spiritual trappings which the Founder put onto the art as it developed. For him it was about the power.

I am not trying to say, in any way, that the "internal power" issue isn't important. If you want to attain the top level of skill in our art, that is an important component. I outweigh Saotome Sensei by 200 lbs and he can pulse me straight back onto my butt when I grab him. If you want to be able to relax like Yamaguchi Sensei or Endo Sensei, you can't do it without a strong structure, period. If you don't have the internal development, then the only other way to put structure into your form is through muscle tension. And if you are using muscle tension, you aren't doing aiki.

But I am saying that you can be highly skilled in "internal power" development and not be doing Aikido. It's not Aikido just because it has "aiki". Daito Ryu is not Aikido. Yanagi Ryu is not Aikido. Aikido is a creation of Morihei Ueshiba. He created our training out of what had gone before. It isn't about fighting, it's about not fighting. Period.

But folks use that fact as an excuse for having poor technique. Many of the folks one encounters who are most concerned with the peace and harmony side of the art have weak and deficient technique. They have almost no understanding of what "aiki" means as it relates to physical technique. Consequently, they really have no ability to actually connect their philosophical / spiritual ideas with their technique.

On the other hand, one sees Aikido people for whom "application" is everything. These folks have always been there, right from the beginning... How did the Founder "market" the art? With displays of technical skill and power. I think that most of the folks who started Aikido after seeing him did so because they wanted to be able to do what he could do. That was "the hook". Some, as they trained with the Founder, were able to go far beyond that simple desire and see the larger picture which O-Sensei was outlining. Others never did. They just wanted the power. I think that the majority of the deshi fell somewhere in between, finding O-Sensei's deep spirituality compelling but obscure and they still wanted the "power" m,ore than anything else.

There is a lot of discussion about what O-Sensei meant when he said that "no one was doing his Aikido". There have been attempts to maintain that this was due to the fact that no one was training the way he and and martial skills were falling short. I see absolutely no evidence that this was the case. What I see as O-Sensei's great concern was that no one understood the spiritual foundation upon which he based his art. Everybody just wanted the power...

These streams have to be brought together if Aikido, as O-Sensei envisioned it, is to be preserved. Sure, go take what you can from Dan H, Akuzawa, and Mike S or anyone else who has the goods in the "internal power" area. Train with folks who understand "aiki" like Kuroda, Angier, Threadgill, Okamoto, Popkin, or any other Sensei who can show you something. Every one of these people is better at what they do than 99% of the Aikido folks you will run into.

But then I say, bring it home. Take what you have learned and bring it back into Aikido. Don't devolve Aikido into something it was not intended to be in an attempt to rediscover its fighting roots. If that's what you want, go do Daito Ryu, it's a better version of that than Aikido is.

At the same time do not content yourself with technical mush overlaid with platitudes. Holding hands and singing Kumbaya is not Aikido. Being nice to people is not Aikido. Finding a way to get along is not "aiki". The kind of understanding of how peace and love relate to Budo comes with hard training. If you want to understand O-Sensei's Aikido, you better start doing technique with "aiki" . O-Sensei's Aikido was about an understanding of the fundamental energetics that govern the universe. If the energetics of your practice are fundamentally false from the start, you have no hope of discovering what the Founder's message really was.

O-Sensei was unique in that he took a background in fighting arts and discovered for himself the truth of not fighting. The reason that no one is doing "his Aikido" is that people either fall into one of two camps.

The fighters are simply worried about how they can use Aikido to defeat some ill defined set of threats that exist in their world; imminent and threatening enough that they will spend their adult lives preparing for these encounters. Most will never actually have the encounter, but they will be ready when they do...

The idealists do Aikido as some sort of dance of Peace. They have little or no interest in how Aikido technique is applied. Most have no background in other martial arts, in fact if they weren't doing Aikido, they wouldn't be doing martial arts at all. They do strikes but can't actually strike, they do throws but can't actually throw. Anyone who shows them this fact is labeled as "unharmonious" and is pressured out of the community so that the collective illusion that something is actually going on can be maintained.

None of this was O-Sensei's Aikido. O-Sensei trained with the attitude of shin ken shobu, the live blade encounter. For O-Sensei understanding of the spiritual could be made manifest in the physical through his waza. It was through an understanding of what kind of "connection" was required to defeat an opponent with "aiki" that he discovered for himself the underlying connectedness of all things. If you don't understand that through your technique you don't understand it the way O-Sensei understood it.

Aikido is in danger of losing any connection with what the Founder taught and did himself. Fighting isn't it. But training properly will simultaneously increase your ability to do so and reduce your need or desire to. Training should increase your sense of connection to other human beings, if it doesn't it's not Aikido. Training should make you less fearful. if it doesn't it's not Aikido. Training should develop a sense of how to meet conflict expansively rather than by contracting. If it doesn't, it's not Aikido. You should be able to demonstrate every aspect of your understanding of spiritual principles on the mat via physical technique. If you can't, you are not doing Aikido.

These discussions of internal power are about an aspect of Aikido technique that is lacking. They are not about Aikido as a whole. Attaining these skills does not mean you can do or even understand Aikido. That is a far larger issue and can't be done without actually practicing... Aikido.

Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 02-26-2008 at 09:13 AM.

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Old 02-26-2008, 09:34 AM   #18
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Re: why focus on internal power

George - the finest post I've seen. Excellent. Excellent.

To me, this why I don't practice an art called "the power of Ki-do" or Aiki-jujutsu or Aiki-jutsu. Aikido is a "whole nother thing" and I agree, it is getting lost.

Excellent.

Larry Novick
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Old 02-26-2008, 09:58 AM   #19
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Re: why focus on internal power

Thanks Sensei Ledyard...

I have met and trained with a few people that have "internal power" in a variety of arts including Aikido....

It's just a natural result of thier practice and like one Senior Yudansha told me... "It's right in front of you can you see it?"

Funny thing is to a person they don't see internal power as the be all end all "focus/goal" in practice. They see as a step along the path to becoming a better human being...

It is true the some reach that step faster than others and like Roshi said once along time ago "It very is dangerous to cling to Satori and imagine the result is you're something more than human...You will cease to "grow" until you can let go of it."

I am reminded of this every time I grasp the hand of some 5th Kyu and he/she remains unimpressed with my magical powers. LOL He/She just wants to learn.

You can focus on any aspect of the Martial Arts you wish too but once you acheive your "goal" What then???

WIlliam Hazen

Last edited by Aikibu : 02-26-2008 at 10:08 AM.
 
Old 02-26-2008, 10:30 AM   #20
Cady Goldfield
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Re: why focus on internal power

George,
Internal "guts" and the higher nature are, as I agreed earlier, of great value and weight, but, as I also pointed out, they work on the assumption that others can be swayed through reason and/or emotion, and will yield. In Gandhi's case, the British yielded because they were malleable. Because of their value system, they could be moved. Nazis, on the other hand, were not bound to that morality or value sense, and no amount of passive resistance would work on them. They would just shoot the passive bodies where they lay.

In some aspects of life, it is necessary to be physically powerful, because the opponent cannot be reasoned with nor swayed through his values and emotions. That is where the martial arts sphere exists, and why physical power and capability are crucial in Nature.

Pleading for and attaining mercy, and the acceptance of one's subordinant position may be a survival strategy, but one must be content with accepting -- rather than forging -- the terms of the "agreement."
 
Old 02-26-2008, 10:35 AM   #21
Mike Sigman
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Re: why focus on internal power

In reading this thread, I think different people are defining what they mean by "internal power" in whatever way they see fit. Probably, if everyone understood what "internal power" was, there wouldn't be this mishmash of statements equating "strong personal strength" and various other things as "internal power".

I agree (and have said numerous times) that someone who can use ki/kokyu power is not necessarily doing Aikido. Aikido takes practice and knowledge. On the other hand, I don't see how anyone who does not have ki-power can be said to do Aikido or even "aiki". The idea that the ki skills are some side-issue to Aikido, like whether you wear a hakama or not, really highlights what a problem there is in Aikido today. And in other arts, as well, I should add.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
 
Old 02-26-2008, 10:39 AM   #22
Chris Parkerson
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Re: why focus on internal power

Sensei Ledyard,

Again, cudo's to you. A true scholar and wise leader.
 
Old 02-26-2008, 10:49 AM   #23
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Chris Parkerson wrote: View Post
Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint John of the Cross, Theresa of Avila, Hildegaard of Tubingen, and Mahatma Ghandi all had this internal power and did amazing things with it. Neither did they negotiate from weakness. Yet, they had no martial training.

Whatever way we choose to build internal power, let's do it with balance and compassion.
Hello Mr. Parkerson ( or Chris ),

I'm gentled to read your well spoken posts. They are truly wonderful and I'm glad you didn't jump ship when the online 'resistance training' began in relation to your thoughts....not that you would.
I could try to paraphrase what I'm hearing from you in my own terms, but it would simply serve to say that I independently have reached the same platform or bridge,if you will, of understanding. I too hear and feel the resonances of the times and know that our production of good ki is an essential ingredient in the recipe of world preservation.

And, perhaps my own ego is speaking here when I say, if one would look back at some of the posts that I've written about self-defense they would find a discussion about men and women defending the health and the lives of women by tuning up our vibrations in practice. Not to say men don't need it. I'm just watching women I love suffer at unprecendented rates and then die. It almost got me, too.

So our thoughts must change by whatever balance each one of us needs to strike. Each one. Not by arguing, right, but by turning our own cheeks by turning to our practices again and again.


And if y'all would indulge me for just another second about this turn the other cheek thing I would like to say that the Christian point of turning the other cheek is to demonstrate to another person that they cannot hurt you and therefore that person remains innocent due to our ability to connct to our fortified core. Again, this isn't an idea; It is a product of practice. It is a product of peace.



thanks,
jen

Last edited by jennifer paige smith : 02-26-2008 at 10:51 AM.

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
 
Old 02-26-2008, 10:59 AM   #24
Mike Sigman
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Re: why focus on internal power

I remember visiting a dojo one time on my travels because I wanted to practice. The technique was a shomenuchi-kokyunage. I attacked my woman partner and as my slow, cautious shomenuchi came down she turned off to the side, turning, and pointed to the mat in front of me. I stood there confused. She became angry (as so many "spiritual" people are wont to do when the world doesn't do what they'd like to make it do) that I wasn't conforming and rolling myself away. I like to think that she had a bit more of the "internal power" that some of the posters are talking about in this thread. But that's not the traditional sense of what it means. Perhaps people should define how the "internal power", the "ki" they're talking about works in an actual technique of Ueshiba's Aikido, so that we can get a baseline definition going of what "internal power" is?

Regards,

Mike Sigman
 
Old 02-26-2008, 10:59 AM   #25
Cady Goldfield
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Re: why focus on internal power

I realize that many people practice aikido as a vehicle for the development of spiritual and character qualities. As long as no one gets the idea that they are practicing a -martial- art, that's fine. And if that's the case, the quest to develop pragmatic physical defense skills is not necessary. If your environment doesn't include violent people who are unresponsive to emotional/spiritual appeals, such as those with drug-induced psychosis, hardened street criminals, or such, then you will never need those skills. Actually, I assume -- and am glad -- that none of you live in such an environment. I had to for some years, and wouldn't wish it on anyone.

But you know, Ueshiba could kick butt. He retained the -physical/mechanical- internal skills he learned from Takeda in Daito-ryu, but applied them to advance his later-obtained spiritual purposes. Re-acquiring them into your own aikido would allow you to do the same, and would open up a window to a whole new world that will amaze you with its potential.

Just sayin'.

Last edited by Cady Goldfield : 02-26-2008 at 11:02 AM.
 

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