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Old 10-31-2006, 01:57 AM   #76
Joe Bowen
 
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Re: Meeting with Dan Harden in Boston

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
...At a particular point people will realize whats happening inside of them by everyone's reactions around them. If they're doing their bodywork- then the only way they are going to get along is by purposely trying to wreck or at least give up the integrity of their training so they can be locked or thrown...Dan
Dan, I'm curious, when you teach your technique or style for lack of a better word, all you do is throw around or knock around your students? Are you ever thrown? Do they keep trying until eventually they can throw you? Is that the end state or goal of the training methodology?

Joe
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Old 10-31-2006, 05:34 AM   #77
Mike Sigman
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Re: Meeting with Dan Harden in Boston

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote:
I'd agree with you only up to a point. It doesn't take much experience or skill to use basic physical muscle. I'm 5'7" and weigh 195 pounds. Got about 5-10 pounds (at a guess) of fat around the belly but other than that, it's muscle. I can use basic muscle and push a good bit. That's all without adding in any skill or experience. So, to a point, people can judge. In fact they can try it at the dojo or home. Just stand relaxed and let someone push on you. It's what I did before I met Dan. lol, I still do it. For another test, let someone push on the side of your head, just using muscle, and see how you fare. At a base level, people can understand and judge some of what is going on.
Depends on what people know and what they don't know, Mark. Just as a quick, off the hip comment, what would have happend if you had pushed *upward* at 45-degrees in a direction to Dan's back, on a line orthogonal to a line drawn between Dan's two feet? He would have gone straight over, I'll be willing to bet. So it gets back to how you push and where, with jin/kokyu, with muscle, etc. In other words when you say you "pushed" Dan and couldn't move him, already I'm beginning to question why you didn't know enough to include basic comments like I'm making. And I'm just being clinical.
Quote:
On the other hand, I'd really like to hear your opinion on how or if one could use this "internal stuff" and incorporate it into Aikido? Dan's given his opinion. I'm going to try to post my thoughts on it, too.
Sure, these things can be used in Aikido, Mark. What I'm very carefully trying to say... and I've said it a number of times before... is that while the basic principles are the same, there are variations; and some of those variations are not useful or complete enough for Aikido.

This thing about Dan saying he's "just letting people know" (with the inference that he's in the know) is fine, but my comment repeatedly (the same comment I think Jim Sorrentino is trying to make) is that Dan seems more intent on saying "look at me, look at me" than in truly being helpful.

Hiroshi Ikeda unabashedly brought a karate guy (Ushiro Sensei) in order to provide Aikido people with some hands-on, useful information that Ikeda Sensei thought was beneficial for progress in Aikido. Ikeda didn't learna few bits and pieces and then present himself as a "knowledgeable expert".... he made every attempt to get information out there. He paid his dues.

Rob John tells specific exercises in his posts. I try to say what I can about *How To* and even provide illustrations and diagrams. Dan tells us about his feats of strength and how good he is. There's a very big difference, in my mind, in Dan's approach and other peoples'.

The idea that Dan is "prohibited" from telling "Koryu Secrets" has pretty much been shot down by Jim's discussion with Goldberg (or whoever). If Dan wants to say this stuff is useable for Aikido... we all agree and have agreed for years (with caveats on exactly how). If he wants to contribute something really useful that doesn't smack of another "advertisement about Dan Harden", he should do it. That's my challenge to Dan.

Same thing with some of these teachers that know the *real* secrets and subtle ones of Aikido. If they really know those things, they should be chiming into this conversation... because there's no way to avoid the fact that all of these things go hand in hand.

Best.

Mike

Last edited by Mike Sigman : 10-31-2006 at 05:46 AM.
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Old 10-31-2006, 05:44 AM   #78
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Re: Meeting with Dan Harden in Boston

Quote:
David Orange wrote:
I don't think you'll find anything in the comments of people like Gozo Shioda and Morihiro Saito that meet your requirements for indicating that a given person "knows" anything or "can do" anything. I never read any comments by either of them that sound anything like what you seem to require.
What you mean is that you don't recognize the common information when you see it, David. Yet you "teach", so you can't conceive of the idea that you may be missing basic information. Therefore you continue to teach rather than search.
Quote:
Well, Mark is a moderator on at least one of the forums and he is an established judo guy and, I think, an aikido practitioner. That is the nice thing about rank (in judo, at least) and it's why I've said before that I would like to see claimants to the "internal stuff" get some rank in judo so that we can see on an impartial scale what kind of power they generate, just how immovable they really are.
I did judo for a number of years, David, and I competed in various cometitions when I was in the Marine Corps. So let's assume for discussion purposes that you're not telling me anything new. Insofar as anyone being a moderator of some internet talk-group, I have no idea what that signifies that is germane to this conversation.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 10-31-2006, 06:11 AM   #79
Mike Sigman
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Re: Meeting with Dan Harden in Boston

Just a last comment about Dan's lengthy post on what he did with Mark. Dan, that's all fine and good (although I can't imagine me ever posting something like that... so maybe that's the difference in our personalities), but if you look at your descriptions you didn't tell anyone anything useable. It comes off as just another Dan Harding anecdote about Dan Harding.

Let me digress a minute and discuss some people I met who were "senior students" of Mantak Chia. Mantak Chia is the son of some wealthy Thai merchants (IIRC) and he went around Hong Kong and other places paying to learn how to do a number of qigongs, theory, etc. If you read some of his books, they're interesting because they contain a number of Shaolin and Taoist stuff mixed up as a sort of hash that he calls "Taoist" (his students actually write the books, so their "understanding" has a creep factor). A lot of the theory is mostly correct (there are some errors, too), but some things are missing and a lot of the "foot in the door" initial definitions are missing (or not known). The students of Mantak Chia can demonstrate certain tricks/demo's and they have some skills.... although I would say they're limited. A good example would be that when they "root", his people tend to do it with a palpable tension. They also do not understand basic jin, so they have some weird ideas. The worst thing is that although some of what they know "could be used in Aikido", it's potentially going to lead people down the wrong path if they try to stick it in their Aikido.

This is the reason why I keep trying to get away from the "here's what I did to Joe Blow" stuff. There are *wrong* ways to do these things that can cause you to waste time. So it's worth trying to pin someone like Dan down to details to make sure that he's doing something that is honestly useable in Aikido in the way he is showing it to Aikidoists. When I question him, it's purely for that reason.

In Mantak Chia's group, I saw the results of 2 very serious mistakes in what was being taught. One of them led to the death of a woman by cancer because she felt assured the "qigongs" would protect her. The other was a way of training the qi that will almost undoubtedly lead to hypertension problems. In fact, I would not be surprised to hear that some people have had strokes or burst aneurisms with the particular approach they use, but I'd have to show you why I have that opinion.

Lastly, there is a lot more to these topics than we ever get to on this list. Some people have the idea that there are a couple of insights that they can learn which they then can add to their already smashing martial-arts knowledge. I thought that, too, at one time. It's deeper than that. So if you pick a route to go into these things, you need to have a good overall picture before you pick the door you go in through. All these discussions, whether it's Dan, Ushiro, Rob John, etc., etc., are good (regardless of any bickering content.... hey, that's just life), and if you look, the level of the conversations has been going up the last 2 years. That's good!

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 10-31-2006, 07:22 AM   #80
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Re: Meeting with Dan Harden in Boston

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Depends on what people know and what they don't know, Mark.
Hello Mike,
That's true of everything. As for me, I don't know anything about the internal arts.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Just as a quick, off the hip comment, what would have happend if you had pushed *upward* at 45-degrees in a direction to Dan's back, on a line orthogonal to a line drawn between Dan's two feet? He would have gone straight over, I'll be willing to bet.
I don't think it would have mattered. I tried a straight push backwards and one using my center diagonally downward through Dan's center. Those were just on the push to the chest.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
So it gets back to how you push and where, with jin/kokyu, with muscle, etc. In other words when you say you "pushed" Dan and couldn't move him, already I'm beginning to question why you didn't know enough to include basic comments like I'm making. And I'm just being clinical.
I'll agree that it does matter on the how and with what. Since I'm not practiced in internal arts, I had to use what I knew. Granted, it's limited but certainly not a beginner's level. And it definitely illustrates that there are things missing in the internal aspect to Aikido. That's the biggest and most important point here. As for why I didn't know enough ... well, that's a point you and Dan have been making for awhile now. Why isn't this stuff in Aikido? It's a question I can't answer right now. But it's one I hope to correct one day.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Sure, these things can be used in Aikido, Mark. What I'm very carefully trying to say... and I've said it a number of times before... is that while the basic principles are the same, there are variations; and some of those variations are not useful or complete enough for Aikido.
Could you explain in more detail, Mike? That's an interesting tidbit. Which variations do you think aren't useful or complete enough for Aikido. Remember, a lot of us reading this are beginners in the internal arts.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
This thing about Dan saying he's "just letting people know" (with the inference that he's in the know) is fine, but my comment repeatedly (the same comment I think Jim Sorrentino is trying to make) is that Dan seems more intent on saying "look at me, look at me" than in truly being helpful.

[snipped the rest]

Best.
Mike
IMO, everyone is entitled to their own way of life. So, the way I view it is that you, Dan, Rob, Jim, etc have your own way of training and your own way of talking about martial arts and your own way of doing things. I've read the explanations and exercises by Rob, I've read your posts and links and diagrams, etc. But my own opinion on the subject of internal arts is that this is one area where you really have to experience it and have someone show you how to do it in person to get a start on it. And 90% of us out there in the Aikido world are beginners. IMO anyway.

So I have no problems with how Dan approaches internal arts and the Internet. Whether or not he wants to detail things is up to him. I'm certainly thankful that he met me and showed/explained/answered all the things that he did.

The same goes for you, too. I'm thankful for everything you've put out there. And if I'm ever in your neck of the woods, I hope that I can stop by and say hello. Would be nice to meet you.

I've briefly met Jim at the Amdur seminar. I got to meet Dan for a few hours. I've talked to both on the phone. I've found both to be passionate about the martial arts and great people to know. I'm glad I met them.

My view, then, is that I don't really care all that much about how the Internet presence is shown, not shown, told, written, etc. Everyone (me included) has an opinion and something to say (I am writing a post , but I have enough trouble with this blasted hanmi exercise that I really don't need to add any more from the Internet. LOL!

Thanks,
Mark
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Old 10-31-2006, 07:31 AM   #81
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Re: Meeting with Dan Harden in Boston

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
What you mean is that you don't recognize the common information when you see it, David.

Regards,

Mike
I can't speak for David, but, I'll own up to this one. I definitely didn't recognize the common information and I teach Aikido. Moving with center now means a whole world of new things to me. That goes for a lot of the Aikido phrases that I've been told and taught. LOL. I never, ever, saw them in the light that I now see them. And I'm sure that'll change over time, too. It seems to me that the Aikido world is full of information about internal arts but the direct corollary to the physical world is/was/has been lost. The question is why? Any thoughts on that, Mike?

Mark
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Old 10-31-2006, 07:33 AM   #82
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Meeting with Dan Harden in Boston

Good on you Mark. I agree...jetison the posturing, meet who you can, try it out for yourself. Two people you respect don't get along? Who CARES? Train with anyone you can who has more of a clue. Something they give you doesn't fit or add up to where you're going? Move on down the road...there's a biscut that will work lying there for you to pick up.

Best,
Ron (I especially second the thanks to Mike, Rob, Dan and anyone else who ponies up the goods)

Ron Tisdale
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Old 10-31-2006, 07:44 AM   #83
Mike Sigman
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Re: Meeting with Dan Harden in Boston

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote:
I don't think it would have mattered. I tried a straight push backwards and one using my center diagonally downward through Dan's center. Those were just on the push to the chest.
Well, that tells me something, Mark. I never met anyone I couldn't push over with 2 fingers (or pull if they lean to resist it... and so many do).
Quote:
....is that while the basic principles are the same, there are variations; and some of those variations are not useful or complete enough for Aikido.....

Could you explain in more detail, Mike? That's an interesting tidbit. Which variations do you think aren't useful or complete enough for Aikido. Remember, a lot of us reading this are beginners in the internal arts.
Many people can root and can release some power (think, for instance, of Bruce Lee's 1-inch punch).... not many people can really move from the hara, though. They still use their shoulders. That would be the start of where a lot of things are missing. Someone can read Mantak Chia's book on "Iron Shirt Chi Kung" and get a reasonable idea about what Dan's discussion of "structure" is about and where the relationship of Rob's exercises come in to the picture. But like I said, even knowing those things, Mantak Chia's people were not doing anything that would long-term lead to the kind of Aikido that Ueshiba was doing because they lead down a somewhat different path of Shaolin practices. I.e., this stuff is more complex than it appears.... it's easy to learn a little bit and think you know a lot. When you learn of lot of this stuff you begin to realize that you only know a little.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 10-31-2006, 10:01 AM   #84
Mike Sigman
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Re: Meeting with Dan Harden in Boston

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote:
It seems to me that the Aikido world is full of information about internal arts but the direct corollary to the physical world is/was/has been lost. The question is why? Any thoughts on that, Mike?
You've hit on a question that I still haven't resolved after many years. Just a month or so ago I asked, once again, to a visitor of the Chinese persuasion ( ) where it is that so many Chinese, Japanese, etc., learn not to openly tell things to foreigners. I just don't get it.

Still, the information is out there and there are certainly clues to any long-term practitioner that he may be missing something basic. My too-often mentioned philosophical question is whether there is an ethics problem to any "expert" who didn't seriously follow the too-numerous-to-be-ignored leads or whether simple arrogance and assumption of knowledge blocked their progress.

And I say it without any false humility.... this stuff is more complicated than it appears on the surface. I only know a small amount. This is a complex subject of training and the majesty of it gave it an almost religious significance throughout Asia. But still... I think we're making progress. The only thing that will block progress will be the "hierarchies" stymying progress because they cannot accept the fact that there may be something out there that they don't already know. In fact, one of the most common heart-sinking responses I hear from long-term teachers who obviously don't know this stuff is "Oh yeah... we've been doing a lot of that for years and include it in every practice". So why, I always quietly ask myself, don't you have the skills to show for it???? Or why can't you easily explain it, along with all the connected phenomena?

Best.

Mike
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Old 10-31-2006, 10:53 AM   #85
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Re: Meeting with Dan Harden in Boston

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
You've hit on a question that I still haven't resolved after many years. Just a month or so ago I asked, once again, to a visitor of the Chinese persuasion ( ) where it is that so many Chinese, Japanese, etc., learn not to openly tell things to foreigners. I just don't get it.
LOL, well so much for finding an answer any time soon. The related question to this is , How do we bring it back? Or put it back? For those non-aikido people, it isn't near as important a question as those of us who are aikido people.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Still, the information is out there and there are certainly clues to any long-term practitioner that he may be missing something basic. My too-often mentioned philosophical question is whether there is an ethics problem to any "expert" who didn't seriously follow the too-numerous-to-be-ignored leads or whether simple arrogance and assumption of knowledge blocked their progress.
The info is there, yes. But, it is deceptive. No, strike that, it is very, very, deceptive and oft times misleading. Keep one point, move with center, relax completely, kuzushi on touch, unbalance uke, etc, etc, etc. There are tons of things said in the Aikido world that can be defined in multiple ways, layers, and meanings. I think the most significant aspect of all of this is that most of the attention has been upon uke and upon primarily influencing uke. Attention to internal roles of nage/tori have become secondary.

My theory is that influencing uke is easier to do than internal arts for tori. It's easier to understand and teach how to influence an uke. The internal aspect sort of got skipped for whatever reasons. And then as people branched out to form sub schools and sub branches, the watering down of the internal aspect was even greater. So, when things were said, such as move with center, the internal part of that was lost. In place, we find tori actually moving and attempting to keep center as he/she unbalances uke.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
And I say it without any false humility.... this stuff is more complicated than it appears on the surface. I only know a small amount. This is a complex subject of training and the majesty of it gave it an almost religious significance throughout Asia. But still... I think we're making progress. The only thing that will block progress will be the "hierarchies" stymying progress because they cannot accept the fact that there may be something out there that they don't already know. In fact, one of the most common heart-sinking responses I hear from long-term teachers who obviously don't know this stuff is "Oh yeah... we've been doing a lot of that for years and include it in every practice". So why, I always quietly ask myself, don't you have the skills to show for it???? Or why can't you easily explain it, along with all the connected phenomena?

Best.

Mike
Eh, well, there are always people around that block progress. In all facets of life.

IMO, my thoughts are that to most of us, we have been doing "a lot of that" for years. But, the internal meaning and direction was lost and something else was placed there. We don't have the skills to show for it because that part (internal arts) wasn't taught. It was thought that they were, because the meanings got inter-related and mixed together. We've never felt what true internal stuff feels like.

Mark
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Old 10-31-2006, 11:05 AM   #86
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Meeting with Dan Harden in Boston

I don't know about that last sentence Mark. Agreeing that there are levels and qualities that may differ somewhat from one internal tradition to another...and yet, I would class (from my meager base of experience) quite a bit of what Ikeda Sensei does as internal, wouldn't you? You touched him within a week of touching Dan...could you speak to what you think were the differences? Difficult question, I know...

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 10-31-2006, 11:11 AM   #87
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Re: Meeting with Dan Harden in Boston

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
I don't know about that last sentence Mark. Agreeing that there are levels and qualities that may differ somewhat from one internal tradition to another...and yet, I would class (from my meager base of experience) quite a bit of what Ikeda Sensei does as internal, wouldn't you?
Hi Ron:

So *why* would you say that about Ikeda? Not saying you're right or wrong... just suggesting that everyone needs to think more clearly about *why* they think they know something, already know something, already do something, understand something, etc. One of the reasons why there is so little "internal" skills in Aikido is because so many people are already so sure they understand them. And each time someone learns some little bit more than they already knew, they are too ready to say, "Aha!!! Now I *really* understand.... I think I'll start being a teacher! Heck, I even speaka da Japaneesa."

FWIW

Mike
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Old 10-31-2006, 11:27 AM   #88
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Meeting with Dan Harden in Boston

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I would class (from my meager base of experience)
...

Uh, nope, clearly not ready to teach yet. I specified my lack of qualifications quite clearly. I'll let Mark answer if he chooses...without stirring the pot, or prejudging what he does or doesn't know.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 10-31-2006, 11:46 AM   #89
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Re: Meeting with Dan Harden in Boston

I wasn't asking you to defend your qualifications, Ron, I was simply asking for the reasoning behind why you think some things are "internal". What is your basis for making that call? I hear it all the time... "So and so has some *real* internal skills", etc. Yet when pinned down, most people can't really quantify why they made that judgement call.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 10-31-2006, 12:01 PM   #90
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Meeting with Dan Harden in Boston

I didn't say that though...I simply asked Mark a question. I'll let him answer it, and see where the discussion goes...

But I'll give my base qualification for internal from what I've felt from Ikeda Sensei...I grab him, he makes no or little external movement, and my balance is disrupted. Sometimes not even enough to make me take a fall...but enough that he could then drive a train through the openings it presents him.

Best,
Ron

Last edited by Ron Tisdale : 10-31-2006 at 12:05 PM.

Ron Tisdale
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Old 10-31-2006, 12:22 PM   #91
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Re: Meeting with Dan Harden in Boston

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Ron Tisdale wrote:
I didn't say that though...I simply asked Mark a question. I'll let him answer it, and see where the discussion goes...

But I'll give my base qualification for internal from what I've felt from Ikeda Sensei...I grab him, he makes no or little external movement, and my balance is disrupted. Sometimes not even enough to make me take a fall...but enough that he could then drive a train through the openings it presents him.

Best,
Ron
Hi Ron,

Wow, I step away and the discussion continues without me. LOL.

It's a very good question, though. It is also one I've asked myself. What Dan did and what Ikeda did *felt* different. And that's a can of worms for me because I already have a hard time describing things, let alone something subtle, internal and new (to me).

I wouldn't, personally, classify what Ikeda did as "internal stuff" because I don't have the experience, the knowledge, and Ikeda never said it was. So, it could have been and it couldn't have been.

Now, to the tough part. How it felt. What Dan did was, IMO, extremely subtle. I know that I can push. I know I can use center to affect balance. Beyond that, I couldn't for the life of me feel where my energy was going when I pushed Dan. I didn't feel like my energy was going into the ground, but something happened because I couldn't move Dan. When he told me to move my foot, I didn't feel any different than normal but couldn't lift my foot. I didn't feel heavy, or weighted or grounded, I just couldn't move that foot. Weird.

Ikeda was subtle and skilled. But there were slight differences in my body. I grabbed his wrist and held strongly with muscles (he set up that condition). He said to not let him move (so I added center -- my definition). He tested it with his muscles and you could feel the struggle. Then he relaxed (never moved) and said he had my balance. I knew it because the toes on my front foot were digging into the mat ever so slightly. I never felt the shift to take my balance, but I could feel my toes digging in.

That's the best way I can explain.

Mark
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Old 10-31-2006, 12:57 PM   #92
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Meeting with Dan Harden in Boston

Hi Mark, thanks for the answer. I'm going to mull it over befow answering though.

Best,
Ron

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Old 10-31-2006, 01:55 PM   #93
Mike Sigman
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Re: Meeting with Dan Harden in Boston

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote:
What Dan did was, IMO, extremely subtle. I know that I can push. I know I can use center to affect balance. Beyond that, I couldn't for the life of me feel where my energy was going when I pushed Dan. I didn't feel like my energy was going into the ground, but something happened because I couldn't move Dan. When he told me to move my foot, I didn't feel any different than normal but couldn't lift my foot. I didn't feel heavy, or weighted or grounded, I just couldn't move that foot. Weird.

Ikeda was subtle and skilled. But there were slight differences in my body. I grabbed his wrist and held strongly with muscles (he set up that condition). He said to not let him move (so I added center -- my definition). He tested it with his muscles and you could feel the struggle. Then he relaxed (never moved) and said he had my balance. I knew it because the toes on my front foot were digging into the mat ever so slightly. I never felt the shift to take my balance, but I could feel my toes digging in.

That's the best way I can explain.
Hey! The conversation just moved forward.

OK. So would you say what you described was "internal"? If what you're calling that is "internal", then you are making a distinction between what is called the "internal ki" and the "external ki", not the difference between the "internal" and "external" martial arts. That is, what you're describing is the manipulation of forces, or "jin" or "kokyu".... one of the two major features, as I've labeled them from the beginning.

Tell me how your feet were lined up, and Dan's, which foot you "couldn't move", etc., and I'll tell you how he did it. It is not what I say is particularly "internal", but it shows a basic control of jin forces. If you had had some control of jin/kokyu forces, you could have turned it back on him.

Incidentally, I'm unclear why you can't describe how this was done.... didn't he tell you how to do it?

Regards,

Mike
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Old 10-31-2006, 02:20 PM   #94
shodan 83
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Re: Meeting with Dan Harden in Boston

Please keep this going, this is fascinating!
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Old 10-31-2006, 03:03 PM   #95
Mike Sigman
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Re: Meeting with Dan Harden in Boston

Quote:
Eric Lingswiler wrote:
Please keep this going, this is fascinating!
It is fascinating, Eric. This idea of taking Mark's "untrained" force and adding to it in a certain way to negate it, lead it to a "hole" (we've mentioned this before) as a part of a waza, etc., is what is really meant by "Aiki". But doing it in a more or less static situation against someone who can't manipulate kokyu forces, etc., is (IMO) just the start of what "aiki" can do. In other words, we're discussing what I would consider to be the real door in Ueshiba's art. This is what Tohei and others were forced to go outside the art to learn, or at least to get the rudiments, so that they could begin to work it into the waza of Aikido.

The only objection I've made to some of the things Dan has said is against the potential idea that these things can be used as a "carrot" to entice others into your lair. Rob tells his exercises, the part that's needed to get your foot in the door; Ikeda brings in someone who knows kokyu and will at least show the beginnings of how to get there, etc., etc., and I can't fault that. In some ways, a teacher has to guide his students there in the best sequence/progression that he can, but having been on the receiving end myself of some teachers who know a little and dangle it like a carrot, I tend to object to any appearance of enticement for enticement's sake. So I tend to encourage Dan to say more. I encouraged Shawn Ravens to say more for exactly the same reason, if anyone remembers. Aikido wil stay mired if at least the basic information isn't shared around.

Want to have a special edge in the home dojo that other dojo's don't have? There are plenty of other skills hidden in this bag of skills so that the revelation of basic material won't hurt. The point is to move things forward. Even if the established "hierarchies" in the various Asian martial arts would prefer the status quo, where they're the "Big Dogs". I personally respect the ones of us in the martial arts that are smart enough to admit we're all beginners and who make every effort to continue to improve rather than sitting on laurels.

Best.

Mike
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Old 10-31-2006, 04:08 PM   #96
MM
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Re: Meeting with Dan Harden in Boston

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Hey! The conversation just moved forward.

OK. So would you say what you described was "internal"? If what you're calling that is "internal", then you are making a distinction between what is called the "internal ki" and the "external ki", not the difference between the "internal" and "external" martial arts. That is, what you're describing is the manipulation of forces, or "jin" or "kokyu".... one of the two major features, as I've labeled them from the beginning.
Uh, you're losing me. Remember, beginner. LOL. I've only heard about "jin" in the last year or so.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Tell me how your feet were lined up, and Dan's, which foot you "couldn't move", etc., and I'll tell you how he did it. It is not what I say is particularly "internal", but it shows a basic control of jin forces. If you had had some control of jin/kokyu forces, you could have turned it back on him.
Ugh. Well, I'll actually have to refer back to Dan's post and his memory because we went over a lot of things in a short amount of time. And right now, my memory is jumbled on where the feet were and when.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Incidentally, I'm unclear why you can't describe how this was done.... didn't he tell you how to do it?

Regards,

Mike
Yeah, but you're talking to the beginner. What was explained to me -- I'm never going to get right explaining it back to anyone. Give me a year or so and maybe. Also, as Dan posted, there are some things I won't talk about.

Mark
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Old 10-31-2006, 04:26 PM   #97
MM
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Re: Meeting with Dan Harden in Boston

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
It is fascinating, Eric. This idea of taking Mark's "untrained" force and adding to it in a certain way to negate it, lead it to a "hole" (we've mentioned this before) as a part of a waza, etc., is what is really meant by "Aiki". But doing it in a more or less static situation against someone who can't manipulate kokyu forces, etc., is (IMO) just the start of what "aiki" can do. In other words, we're discussing what I would consider to be the real door in Ueshiba's art. This is what Tohei and others were forced to go outside the art to learn, or at least to get the rudiments, so that they could begin to work it into the waza of Aikido.
Ha, yes. Lead it to a hole. LOL. Must have missed those posts, but that's a good answer to my question of where did my energy go? Don't know if it's the right answer, but it sounds good.

And, IMO, this internal stuff is what is needed to be put back into Aikido, where it belongs.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
The only objection I've made to some of the things Dan has said is against the potential idea that these things can be used as a "carrot" to entice others into your lair.
I never, ever, got that feeling from Dan. Actually, it was probably more the opposite effect. I got information overload. In getting shown this stuff, having it explained, showing how to do it, talking about what's going on internally, etc, etc, etc, I only remember one question I asked that Dan said he wouldn't talk about. And that question pertained to history and not any of the Internal stuff that we did.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Rob tells his exercises, the part that's needed to get your foot in the door; Ikeda brings in someone who knows kokyu and will at least show the beginnings of how to get there, etc., etc., and I can't fault that. In some ways, a teacher has to guide his students there in the best sequence/progression that he can, but having been on the receiving end myself of some teachers who know a little and dangle it like a carrot, I tend to object to any appearance of enticement for enticement's sake.
My opinion is that Dan isn't like that. While he isn't posting stuff like Rob did or talking about it the way you are, he has his own way of presenting himself. If it looks that way on your end, I can definitely say from my experience that it isn't. No carrot and no appearance of enticement.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
So I tend to encourage Dan to say more. I encouraged Shawn Ravens to say more for exactly the same reason, if anyone remembers. Aikido wil stay mired if at least the basic information isn't shared around.
You can only say so much, though. Rob's pretty much given us exercises for a foot in the door. Everything else, for a beginner, is going to have to be a physical training session to actually get pointed in the right direction. To borrow a phrase from Amdur, it really is hidden in plain sight. But you'd need to be a genius to actually know how to read it and pick up the internal stuff on your own.

Mark
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Old 10-31-2006, 04:55 PM   #98
Tom H.
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Re: Meeting with Dan Harden in Boston

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Some people have the idea that there are a couple of insights that they can learn which they then can add to their already smashing martial-arts knowledge. I thought that, too, at one time. It's deeper than that.
I can feel my body changing, already affected by daily training in ways that talking about peng jin and kokyo online never could have .

These skills required re-training your body to stand and move differently -- I'd bet if you're only training a couple hours a couple times a week during a class you probably won't get your body to switch over. And if you don't get that new body, there are whole classes of foundational skills you will only be able to hypothesize about.

Last edited by Tom H. : 10-31-2006 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 10-31-2006, 05:09 PM   #99
Mike Sigman
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Re: Meeting with Dan Harden in Boston

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote:
Also, as Dan posted, there are some things I won't talk about.
So what if we all do that? As a matter of fact, it's already been done and Aikido as an art suffers from it. So does Daito Ryu suffer. So does karate, judo, the koryu, etc., etc. What is the point in Dan even discussing these things if "all he wants to do" is to tell people there is something missing? He's been doing that for years, so the job is done... why even bother to post????????????

Based on some of the posts Dan has made about things he can do and on the stress he puts on certain things, I feel like I can extrapolate comfortably that he's missing a lot of things that even an amateur like me knows. How about if I just say I'm going to make sure that Dan never has an avenue to find out these things? That's basically what this "sworn to never tell" stuff is, for all practical purposes, to a neophyte desperately searching for information. Is that the game we want to continue playing????? If even the basics can't be established as a talking point (mainly because the "basics" represent "high level" to some people), then what are we to do?

Of course, there are a number of things that must be personally shown and felt and explained before someone "gets it", so for most people it's pretty safe to talk about general principles and not feel like you're giving away the farm. However, there are things that if you're not told they exist, you never get a clue... how about if Rob or I or Ushiro, etc., etc., etc., all play that game? You can see logically that it leads to the same sort of dead-end that currently exists in a number of arts. We have to do more than this silly role playing and status-protection.

Time passes. This stuff is not easy to learn or to find information about. All the consequences of our egos, what we say and what we don't say need to be thought out carefully.

My opinion.

Mike
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Old 10-31-2006, 07:50 PM   #100
Gernot Hassenpflug
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Re: Meeting with Dan Harden in Boston

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote:
/../ What Dan did and what Ikeda did *felt* different. /../

What Dan did was, IMO, extremely subtle. /../ When he told me to move my foot, I didn't feel any different than normal but couldn't lift my foot. I didn't feel heavy, or weighted or grounded, I just couldn't move that foot. /../

Ikeda was subtle and skilled. But there were slight differences in my body. /../ Then he relaxed (never moved) and said he had my balance. I knew it because the toes on my front foot were digging into the mat ever so slightly. I never felt the shift to take my balance, but I could feel my toes digging in. /../
I can only add an anecdote, with the proviso that I know at least one person on this forum who has (with reason) a not very high opinion of the person in my story. One of the seniors at Abe Seiseki's dojo could take my balance in the same way as Mark described Dan doing (I do not imply that they are doing the same thing). I used to grab him (wrist, elbow, shoulder) for example, and he said "all your balance belong to us", although for me there was no difference in how I felt or in particular how I felt wrt the ground. But very slowly he would move just a millimeter to show me and I would feel that I had no leverage whatsover to resist. That was about a year ago. My opinion is that my "listening" skills were (are) not anywhere near enough developed to realize what was happening inside me. After all, balance does not need to mean "on the verge falling over and actively trying to stay upright", it may simply mean "aligned such that I am weak in a given direction". In particular, most of us are stiff in some part of our bodies (unable to relax), and if the partner can feel that hardness and push against it (presumably from a lower position inside their own body, and via the ground) then I cannot "relax and sink" to recover, but need to move the feet (or other joints fairly obviously) to get leverage to resist. If the partner's alignment is such that he can push through the hardness in my body into my feet, then persumably I cannot lift at least one of them.

Last edited by akiy : 10-31-2006 at 09:22 PM.
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