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Old 01-14-2007, 08:46 PM   #26
Mike Sigman
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Re: Stealing techniques

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
Ah... so it wouldn't help either if we all frolicked around in our underpants?
Depends on how sophisticated someone's power is, but generally (unless they also use the dantien/tanden for added power) you can't really see this stuff. That's why it's sometimes called the "concealed strength". If they just use "baseline" kokyu forces, like what I saw a few people do at the Shaner workshop, you won't be able to see much because they're only using a certain amount of force manipulation and a certain amount of "connectivity" in the body which is unseeable. One thing though is that someone who has worked on this stuff enough will have a "feel" to him... which is why it's desirable to touch someone to see what level of power they have.

If someone has gone the specialized route (the whole banana) of using the dantien/tanden for power, you can see the dantien move if someone is in their underpants. If someone uses the dantien/tanden but they're at a very high level where "movement approaches stillness", you may not even be able to see that when they're in they're underwear.
Quote:
So how do we steal what we can't see? Intuition? Kinesthetic awareness? Or do we have to be one of the gifted few as Jorge suggests - in which case, what need is there to steal? When all you need is an equally gifted teacher and have this "given" to you - because such things, as you say, are "reserved for the best and brightest".

So if the rest of us untalented mob have to resort to stealing anything in order to progress, what hope is there for any meaningful sort of baseline, if all we have is a partial frame of reference based on visible externalities?
Yeah, you raise some pretty good questions. With some experience and practice, you can learn to spot a lot of this stuff for the simple reason that no matter what someone calles it (qi, jin, ki, kokyu, Ki of the Universe, whatever), the basic principles are the same. So you start from the very safe idea that whatever they did must be based on the same core principles.... and that's always true. What Master Sum did is based on the same core principles that Ueshiba Sensei used. The differences were matters of sophistication and the focus of their specialties.

There is no easy answer to where people can become weekend wonders at this stuff, but on the other hand the good news is that once you get something of a handle on this stuff you can understand a LOT of techniques because you now know the basic principles. I.e., instead of needing the keys for every door in the house, you can go everywhere once you have the master-key.

What I'm getting at is that once you understand and can do some of the basics and you realize that "everything is the same thing", then you don't need to see people in their underpants... it will boil down to "they MUST be doing generally this, even if they've added a couple of tricks to it". So I could (as a theoretical example) look at Master Sum years ago and be clueless about how he was doing that bouncing. Later I could look at it and emulate it but nowhere near as well... I knew the basics which MUST apply. After that, once I knew more of the "add on" training things and had trained myself to some degree, I could look at him pretty much with certainty that I knew what he was doing and what his training focus was. Underpants or not.

So, the question is, how does a baseline level make the rounds in the Aikido world in the quickest amount of time? It's tricky. People should be falling on their knees at night, though, and be thankful that there are people like Ikeda Sensei in Aikido. And other innovative nice guys.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 01-14-2007, 10:27 PM   #27
eyrie
 
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Re: Stealing techniques

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
With some experience and practice, you can learn to spot a lot of this stuff for the simple reason that... the basic principles are the same.... once you get something of a handle on this stuff you can understand a LOT of techniques because you now know the basic principles. I.e., instead of needing the keys for every door in the house, you can go everywhere once you have the master-key.
And so we come back to the same basic premise, that unless one is taught how to spot these things (part of what I consider "stealing" as well), we have to rely on our experience and practice, and the good graces of our teachers to provide the necessary basic info.

So even if one starts with the premise that the basic principles are the same, how does one know what the basic principles are? If one is not told....?

Quote:
So, the question is, how does a baseline level make the rounds in the Aikido world in the quickest amount of time? It's tricky.
Indeed... as you mentioned previously... there are quicker and better ways to acquire such baseline skills, but as you also mentioned, holding back *some* info is a natural perogative.

Ignatius "Give me the @#$! pebble, old man!" Teo

Ignatius
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Old 01-14-2007, 10:36 PM   #28
Mike Sigman
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Re: Stealing techniques

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
And so we come back to the same basic premise, that unless one is taught how to spot these things (part of what I consider "stealing" as well), we have to rely on our experience and practice, and the good graces of our teachers to provide the necessary basic info.

So even if one starts with the premise that the basic principles are the same, how does one know what the basic principles are? If one is not told....?
It takes feel, not telling. If you notice recently when some people visited Dan Harden and he demonstrated some of the jin/kokyu things, there reaction was along the lines of "hey.... this is something new and different". Yet they had undoubtedly read descriptions, etc., in the past and sort of shrugged because it didn't sound all that different. You can't really get started until you feel it and you have to realize that there are layers and layers that can be built on top of it. But that initial layer is the start and I don't think you can "steal" an expert's techniques until you understand these skills... because assuredly an expert is using these skills.

Best,

Mike
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Old 01-15-2007, 12:48 AM   #29
eyrie
 
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Re: Stealing techniques

My bad... I meant If one is not shown or has felt these things.

My point is, you can be in the same room with a bunch of other people and some high-level shihan (with the skillz) shows all present this stuff, and goes around touching hands with people so that they can get to feel this stuff, the problem is, not everyone "gets it"....

Only those for whom a light bulb goes off will walk away and start thinking and doing in this new and different way.

Ignatius
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Old 01-15-2007, 04:35 AM   #30
Michael Cardwell
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Re: Stealing techniques

This is kind thread reminds me of the last seminar I attended with Frank Duran. He told everyone at the begging of the seminar that if they saw anything that they liked that he was teaching, that they could steal it and take it with them and make it their own.
I don't think that he was saying you had to "steal" techniques to learn them, but rather that he was teaching "his" aikido, and if you liked what he was teaching, then you could take it from him and make it your own. Although I must admit that I noticed that his no talking first demo version of techniques and the later versions were different...kind of a dumbed down version to help people who were having trouble.

Also at one point during training he told everybody that he was teaching advanced stuff because it didn't make any sense for him to hop on a plane and fly down to teach us basics, that is what we have our own sensei's for.

Michael.
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Old 01-15-2007, 05:00 AM   #31
raul rodrigo
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Re: Stealing techniques

This follows from TS Eliot's dictum: "Immature poets borrow, mature poets steal." I.e., they find something useful and make it their own instead of mechanically reproducing what they find.
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Old 01-15-2007, 08:22 AM   #32
Mike Sigman
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Re: Stealing techniques

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
My point is, you can be in the same room with a bunch of other people and some high-level shihan (with the skillz) shows all present this stuff, and goes around touching hands with people so that they can get to feel this stuff, the problem is, not everyone "gets it"....

Only those for whom a light bulb goes off will walk away and start thinking and doing in this new and different way.
OK, I agree. I see your point now. Yes, a lot of people don't have an established system of movement and coordination that allows them to feel more than the very obvious vestiges. It's such a new experience for them that they can't process it. Usually someone who hasn't had a lot of exposure to sports will have this problem.

Some people feel it and know that it's unusually powerful and they'll say "strong", but can't define it and they'll assume, because it's all they have experience with, that you're somehow using muscle.

Some people will touch you and immediately go, "What's that?" or "I can feel something odd about the way you move."

Usually, if you take the time to lead into it and are fairly explicative, most people will get it right away, though.

The real problem is that many/most people need continued guidance for a while in respect to what they are doing in their efforts to learn. At first they're so inexperienced that they can't tell when they've brought correct power (by willing it) to various parts of their body, so they really need a partner to give them feedback.

But you make a good point. I'm so used to that problem that I wrongly glossed over it.

Best.

Mike
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Old 01-15-2007, 08:52 AM   #33
raul rodrigo
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Re: Stealing techniques

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Some people feel it and know that it's unusually powerful and they'll say "strong", but can't define it and they'll assume, because it's all they have experience with, that you're somehow using muscle....
The real problem is that many/most people need continued guidance for a while in respect to what they are doing in their efforts to learn. At first they're so inexperienced that they can't tell when they've brought correct power (by willing it) to various parts of their body, so they really need a partner to give them feedback.
Exactly. A case in point: Our dojocho came back from Japan in 2005 with a bunch of new kokyu waza and exercises that he learned from Shingo Nakao, a student of Yamaguchi shihan. While this dojocho may be the most gifted aikidoka I know of in my country, he couldn't explain the waza all that well. In that sense, some things come too easily to him.

So while he could do them, the rest of us were just muscling our way through or else failing utterly. For one waza, I had to piece together what was happening from hints I found in other places—something that William Gleason said in a DVD and one very subtle move by Kuribayashi shihan in a seminar last year. So yes, I managed to do some stealing. But it took me over a year of trial and error to get to that point. Isn't this the kind of technical transfer that should be happening within the dojo walls in the first place? The way aikido is taught in general is way too haphazard, particularly given how the development of internal skills is so subtle and dependent on step by step feedback from a partner. And life is short.
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Old 01-15-2007, 01:28 PM   #34
jonreading
 
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Re: Stealing techniques

I like old-school instruction. On some man-level, the image of carrying buckets of water up a mountain have a sick appeal to them. Why else do we fantasize about such training? We love it, it may be sick and completely inappropriate for real instruction, but that won't stop our romantic notions about kicking palm trees, and punching iron plates (for those of you that still do this training, I mean no disrespect).

As an instructor, I view my job is to teach each student in a fair and compentent manner a basic curriculum of aikido. I don't hide secret moves, or talk in riddles or torture my students. My job is to cover a basic curriculum of training, those students that excel at that curriculum receive more advanced attention because I am able to spend less time teaching simple concepts and more time teaching complicated concepts.

I believe the role of the next level of instruction is filled by yudansha who are gracious enough to teach seminars to aikido students. Seminars are where skilled students are challenged to learn aikido without the assistance of their instructor, in a foreign environment. The seminar instructor may not show the basics of the technique, and the student must apply his basic understanding of aikido to unravel the technique sensei demonstrates. Seminars are daunting experiences to many aikido students for this reason; some students are insecure in their aikido training and education to openingly test their knowledge.

Give your students everything they need to succeed, let their ambition and committement determine if they succeed or not.
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Old 01-15-2007, 05:35 PM   #35
eyrie
 
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Re: Stealing techniques

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote:
As an instructor, I view my job is to teach each student in a fair and compentent manner a basic curriculum of aikido. I don't hide secret moves, or talk in riddles or torture my students. My job is to cover a basic curriculum of training, those students that excel at that curriculum receive more advanced attention because I am able to spend less time teaching simple concepts and more time teaching complicated concepts..... .Give your students everything they need to succeed, let their ambition and committement determine if they succeed or not.
I have been to many seminars (not just aikido ones) and touched hands with many high-level practitioners from a broad spectrum of arts. All I have met, were generous with their time and knowledge, and I have modelled my way of teaching in much the same way.

Yet, there are times when you simply cannot convey all there is to know to the student. There are some things which they must work out for themselves. Like the character, "Stick", played by Terrence Stamp in the movie Elektra, where he says, "Some lessons cannot be taught.... they must be lived".

I think "giving everything your student needs to succeed" really means, not so much teaching in the modern Western education sense, but providing the basic skills, means and opportunities to learn and experience. As a parent would, for the love of their child.

Ignatius
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Old 01-15-2007, 09:35 PM   #36
Erik Calderon
 
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Re: Stealing techniques

If the technique must come from oneself, then how can it be stolen?

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