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Old 02-19-2007, 08:12 AM   #601
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
Truly, irony is lost on you people.
I may be slow at irony-spotting, but I'm pretty quick at watching lame recoveries.
Quote:
Inaba is criticizing the lack of certain toughness of both mind and training in today's aikido, something which sumo DEFINITELY does not lack. I do not fault that observation, I even agree with it in many respects -- although I do not draw the same conclusions from it that you do.

More to the point: Are you serious, that the secret in sumo you point to (as opposed to what Inaba alludes to) has to do with an ability to push more effectively against the ground?
Seriously... you need to go find someone that is willing to work with you on these things, Erick.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Last edited by Mike Sigman : 02-19-2007 at 08:15 AM.
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Old 02-19-2007, 10:23 AM   #602
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Robert John wrote:
Its tanren.
Its th3 ub3r secret. Its the training you do that you dont show the students
So -- the answer is "No"-- there is no video (the sine qua non for you folks, over his actual statements, it seems) of O Sensei teaching matawari, teppo or shiKo.
Quote:
Robert John wrote:
Lets also ignore the fact that Takeda was heavy into Sumo wrestling at an early age.
Of course, it may be a minute detail that Sagawa, Takedas oldest student told Kimura (his oldest student) to do Sumo Stomps at least 10,000 times a day to "change" the body.
-- And the similarly "minute" detail that O Sensei specifically demurred when asked if "discovered aikido" while learning from Takeda. He said, instead, it was "more accurate" to say that Takeda "opened his eyes to budo." It is a fallacy to state that Takeda ultimately knew more than O Sensei, merely because he taught him at one point.

Some variance between what Takeda taught him and what O Sensei desired to teach drove the separation from him.

You will say that it did not, most likely, but rather it was us poor folks out here in the hustings that separated from the "True Path" (tm).

But enough of suppositions. You have the answers, you say, so answer some more questions:

What was his reticence in giving the full credit for the genesis of the basic priniciples of aikido you all seem now to claim is automatically due to sumo drills advocated by Takeda?

What variant principles caused O Sensei to ultimately part ways with Takeda and seek his own path in budo that diverged from Takeda?

What evidence do you have that channeling ground resistance efficiently through your body (yes, a la sumo) is O Sensei's principle (which then distinguishes aikido) as opposed to a sound principle of Takeda's budo that he may well have learned, but then put aside in favor of the principles that he ultimately adopted and taught?

Are there not budo principles that are inconsistent with aikido's "principle of absolute non-resistance?"

Is O Sensei's direct statement to this effect that you all seem to reject (with much disdain and without bother of rebutting), merely foolish quibbling?

How does offering your body as a prop against the ground to an incoming force not involve structural resistance?

Cannot resistance be broken or crushed by sufficient application of force?

Is not crushing resistance by force very much among the first principles of most budo?

Was "unskillful" Konishiki unfairly criticized (sometimes uncharitably referred to as "meatbomb") in applying that principle to great effect?

Is not the converse principle is that a force cannot so easily destroy that which does not resist?

Do not both principles limit the operation of the other?

What was O Sensei's reticence in giving the full credit for the genesis of the basic priniciples of aikido you all seem now to claim is automatically due to sumo drills advocated by Takeda?

What variant principles caused O Sensei to ultimately part ways with Takeda and seek his own path in budo that diverged from Takeda?

If bodily structures cannot remotely equal the resistance of the ground, how will an old man who cannot get up the stairs by himself, not be overwhelmed and unite himself suddenly with the ground long before the ground typically yields.

Is that the kind of harmony that O Sensei was talking about?

Cannot material limits be exceeded locally by critically altered geometry, even if the forces involved in that alteration are not large globally?

Do not sinews in tension, even young ones, even organized into discontinouus compression tensegrity spaceframes, have material limits?

Do they not also have geometric parameters beyond which they cannot collectively function?

Is their mechanical role even relevant if one goes outside those parameters?

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 02-19-2007, 10:37 AM   #603
Ellis Amdur
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Re: Baseline skillset

BTW - apropos a comment Rob made. Ueshiba reportedly gave Kotani Sumiyuki (10th dan judo) a menkyo kaiden in DR/aiki-budo/aikido. Given that there is no record of Kotani as a deshi at the Kobukan or post-war, where and how long did he study? (I've told a story elsewhere about Earnie Cates, the great judoka, seeing Ueshiba PRACTICING at the Kodokan, throwing people around, and Kotani telling him to give the old man a try, that he will dump him in less than 10 seconds, which is what happened). I will bet that Ueshiba regarded all that Kotani did as all he needed to know on the technique side, and regarded him as lacking one thing - the ki/kokyu skills we discuss at such length here. And I'll further bet that he simply taught him the skills and Kotani practiced, checking in a few times, and Ueshiba deciding - "you've got it."
(NOTE: Kotani was a middleweight, and went to, I think, the 1932 Olympics in LA as a wrestler for Japan, although he'd never done it. A team mate was also middleweight, so he entered the heavyweight competition, and placed fourth.).
Best

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Old 02-19-2007, 10:47 AM   #604
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
What was his reticence in giving the full credit for the genesis of the basic priniciples of aikido you all seem now to claim is automatically due to sumo drills advocated by Takeda?
"You all"? Your sentence is complete BS, Erick. "Full credit for the genesis of the basic principles of Aikido" has not been claimed as "automatically due to sumo drills advocated by Takeda". You made that up out of whole cloth. The sumo drills are simply further "forging" drills, not the genesis of the basic principles.
Quote:
How does offering your body as a prop against the ground to an incoming force not involve structural resistance?

Cannot resistance be broken or crushed by sufficient application of force?
See.... you have this fixation. Your fixation is based on ignorance and like a mule, you're not going to budge forward an inch because, circularly, you're not mentally flexible enough to learn the new things that will get you past this point.

A globe of the planet has an axis through it and is therefore solidly affixed to the "ground". Anyone slightly off-center in attacking the globe simply causes the globe to spin. Without a good axis (the jin) this spinning is not nearly so effective. If by chance someone hits the globe dead-on, the axis is capable of telescopically retracting into itself and the ground and then expanding directly back into the incoming force. Ueshiba is shown on film doing exactly that. Your raucous bleatings about "resistance!" simply show that you don't understand more than the vague idea of what Ueshiba was saying, so you need to go gather further information.
Quote:
Is that the kind of harmony that O Sensei was talking about?
I don't think you understand the "harmony" that O-Sensei was talking about, either. It's a common theme in Asian cosmology and means "working with natural laws without resistance to those laws". A ball bouncing from the floor is a "natural law", but you misapply the meaning and recoil in horror because there is a momentary "RESISTANCE!!!! RUN FOR THE HILLS BOYS.... SHE'S A-PUMPIN' MUD!!! in that natural bounce.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 02-19-2007, 11:01 AM   #605
Adman
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
Do not both principles limit the operation of the other?
Just a thought. You can learn non-resistance through "resistance". I find it easier to learn to connect to a person (or the ground) through "resistance," first. Once I can do that well enough, while being as relaxed as possible, I can then learn to connect without "resistance". Seems to work for me, as far as I can tell.

But hey, I'm still young.

thanks,
Adam
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Old 02-19-2007, 07:01 PM   #606
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
BTW - apropos a comment Rob made. Ueshiba reportedly gave Kotani Sumiyuki (10th dan judo) a menkyo kaiden in DR/aiki-budo/aikido. Given that there is no record of Kotani as a deshi at the Kobukan or post-war, where and how long did he study? (I've told a story elsewhere about Earnie Cates, the great judoka, seeing Ueshiba PRACTICING at the Kodokan, throwing people around, and Kotani telling him to give the old man a try, that he will dump him in less than 10 seconds, which is what happened). I will bet that Ueshiba regarded all that Kotani did as all he needed to know on the technique side, and regarded him as lacking one thing - the ki/kokyu skills we discuss at such length here. And I'll further bet that he simply taught him the skills and Kotani practiced, checking in a few times, and Ueshiba deciding - "you've got it."
(NOTE: Kotani was a middleweight, and went to, I think, the 1932 Olympics in LA as a wrestler for Japan, although he'd never done it. A team mate was also middleweight, so he entered the heavyweight competition, and placed fourth.).
Best
Which makes all the points.
1. Ueshiba playing and practing still, even in his later years-and the fact that Internal skills can be used used in freestyle.
2. That Ueshiba recognized -with both this Judoka and with Tenryu that they can be taught separately
3. And with the Japanese fellow out of his league in wrestling placing fourth that they are not unstoppable.

There is so much being discussed about them we need to say again they are probably the best edge you have. But fighting is fighting. Anything can happen.

Cheers
Dan.
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Old 02-20-2007, 07:44 AM   #607
Dennis Hooker
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Re: Baseline skillset

Originally Posted by Ellis Amdur
(I've told a story elsewhere about Earnie Cates, the great judoka, seeing Ueshiba PRACTICING at the Kodokan



Just a side note and one off topic at that. Ellis remember Ernie Cates and his late wife Mary showing up at that little thing you, Chuck and I did a few years ago to see Chuck? After I did my thing Cates Sensei came up and said I am going to steal all that stuff. Made me feel about ten feet high. Then Chuck hijacked him and I never got to talk to him anymore. I hadn’t seen them for years and I just learned Mary passed away in May 2006. I used to do joint seminars with Ngo Dong the founder and grandmaster of international school of Coung Nhu in Florida and Mary Cates was one of his top students. Ernie Cates is one of those individuals one meets in life that stand out because of done deed not spoken word. To think O-Sensei handled him with such ease, as he often did so may in his life, still gives pause to consider his power.

Dennis Hooker: (DVD) Zanshin and Ma-ai in Aikido
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Old 02-20-2007, 10:33 AM   #608
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Are there not budo principles that are inconsistent with aikido's "principle of absolute non-resistance?"

Is O Sensei's direct statement to this effect that you all seem to reject (with much disdain and without bother of rebutting), merely foolish quibbling?
Linguistically, you're on very shaky ground here. Ueshiba never said anything about "non-resistance". The man spoke no English. What he said was that the principle of aikido was muteikou 無抵抗, which is not at all at odds when what Mike, Rob, and Dan have been describing. "Non-resistance" is a decent enough translation for muteikou, close enough for government work, as they say. But if you want to argue terms and definitions, you'll have to do it from the original Japanese.

Quote:
How does offering your body as a prop against the ground to an incoming force not involve structural resistance?
It may or may not involve structural resistance (depending on how you define that particular term), but it doesn't involve any teikou. Quite the opposite.

Quote:
If bodily structures cannot remotely equal the resistance of the ground, how will an old man who cannot get up the stairs by himself
Seriously, you don't actually believe that Ueshiba actually meant that he was really too old to go up the stairs by himself, do you?

As for sumo, we shouldn't underestimate the ki and kokyu skills present in that art, either, as this clip clearly shows. Watch carefully, and you can see the connection with the ground and the ki extension.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
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Old 02-20-2007, 10:34 AM   #609
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Re: Baseline skillset

I just spoke with Ernie Cates Sensei a couple of days ago. He is doing well and has made his way cross country a couple of times in the past few months in his sweet Mustang (on his own...) to teach seminars and just be by himself in the car. He's very active and, of course, misses Mary greatly. We are trying to cook up something to do together before long. I'll let you know when something jells.

If you get a chance to spend some time with him ask about this bit of time he spent with Ueshiba Morihei. Stories grow both with time, distance, and the number of people that hear and then pass on the story. It's always good to get it from the original source.

By the way, I'm still processing stuff I learned from you and Ellis a couple of weeks ago. Thanks again.

Chuck Clark
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Old 02-20-2007, 11:51 AM   #610
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post

Seriously, you don't actually believe that Ueshiba actually meant that he was really too old to go up the stairs by himself, do you?
Actually, O-Sensei in his last years required assistance to get up from seiza, handle stairs, etc. His body was pretty well beaten up in many ways. He could still go onto the mat and shift into extraordinary mode and go to town but when class was over the deshi would have to assist him to move around. I am sure he was quite serious when he referred to being too old to go up the stairs by himself...

George S. Ledyard
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Old 02-20-2007, 01:19 PM   #611
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
Linguistically, you're on very shaky ground here. Ueshiba never said anything about "non-resistance".
Quote:
O Sensei wrote:
We adhere to the principle of absolute nonresistance, that is to say, we do not oppose the attacker. From "Aikido" (1957) Kisshomaru Doshu, (tr.-- Pranin & Terasawa).
Online here: http://www.aikidofaq.com/interviews.html
Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
The man spoke no English. What he said was that the principle of aikido was muteikou 無抵抗, which is not at all at odds when what Mike, Rob, and Dan have been describing.
Source? If its from Second Doshu's "Aikido" why don't you post the original of the quoted translation and we can all parse it? I do not not have access to a Japanese version of the text.
Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
"Non-resistance" is a decent enough translation for muteikou, close enough for government work, as they say. But if you want to argue terms and definitions, you'll have to do it from the original Japanese.
Government is never close enough -- take it from one who has worked there. Argue with Pranin on the English translation text, not me... you forgot the to address the "absolute" part, though...
Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
It may or may not involve structural resistance (depending on how you define that particular term), but it doesn't involve any teikou.
抵抗 typically means "resistance" in a systemic sense, as in an electrical circuit or a suppressed political opposition movement, with the sense of the kanji = touch + confront.

All of these terms mean "resist" or "resistance" in varying connotations closer to the sense that Pranin's translation used in English. I have no idea which was used in the interview transcript

反対 hantai = "resistance/hositlity" with the sense of the kanji = anti + opposite, counterpart -- typically in an attitudinal sense of antagonism.

抗 戦 kousen = "resistance" with the sense of the kanji = confront + battle

抗 争 kousou = "resistance" with the sense of the kanji = confront + quarrel, strife

手 向 かい temukai = "resistance" with the sense in the kanji = hand + opposed

Of course, so does レジスタンス but I doubt you would find that in the original...


Quote:
As for sumo, we shouldn't underestimate the ki and kokyu skills present in that art, either, ...
Who did?

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 02-20-2007, 01:30 PM   #612
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Actually, I agree with what was said in the interview, because here is what is being said, albeit the translation can be questioned:

O Sensei: In Aikido, there is absolutely no attack. To attack means that the spirit has already lost. We adhere to the principle of absolute nonresistance, that is to say, we do not oppose the attacker. Thus, there is no opponent in Aikido. The victory in Aikido is masakatsu and agatsu; since you win over everything in accordance with the mission of heaven, you possess absolute strength.

I.e., O-Sensei is answering a question about the role of the Aikidoist and he stresses that an Aikidoist does not attack... thus the Aikidoist is not going to oppose an opponent. In that sense of no attack, I agree that there is no resistance to an opponent.

It appears Erick is ready an answer about the role of an Aikido response as meaning something to do with physics.

Mike Sigman
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Old 02-20-2007, 02:36 PM   #613
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

I've never had the pleasure of becoming a bete noire before. Fascinating.
Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post

<<de-"bait">>

... Ueshiba is shown on film ...
Yes. He is.
Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
... the "harmony" that O-Sensei was talking about ... means "working with natural laws without resistance to those laws". A ball bouncing from the floor is a "natural law", ... that natural bounce.
Arsenic, lead, uranium, and hogfarm lagoon liquor are all perfectly natural also. Doesn't make them very healthy -- to whatever degree.

From the same cited interview, O Sensei was speaking more carefully and more specifically on these points than Mike's dismissal of the point gives due credit. O Sensei was speaking, not of "non-opposition to natural laws" that lets balls bounce, but of "absolute non-resistance" to the physical force of an actual opponent or attacker:
Quote:
O Sensei wrote:
[[question alluding to aikido seen as "mystical"]]

O Sensei: It only seems to be mystical. In Aikido we utilize the power of the opponent completely. So the more power the opponent uses, the easier it is for you. ...

... Suddenly, from all directions, from behind bushes and depressions many soldiers appeared and surrounded me. They started to strike at me with wooden swords and wooden rifles. But since I was accustomed to that sort of thing I didn't mind at all. As they tried to strike me I spun my body this way and that way and they fell easily as I nudged. ...

... We adhere to the principle of absolute nonresistance, that is to say, we do not oppose the attacker. Thus, there is no opponent in Aikido. The victory in Aikido is masakatsu and agatsu; since you win over everything in accordance with the mission of heaven, you possess absolute strength. ...

[describing a one-finger pin] ... I draw a circle around him. His power is contained inside that circle. No matter how strong a man he may be, he cannot extend his power outside of that circle. He becomes powerless. Thus, if you pin your opponent while you are outside of his circle, you can hold him with your index finger or your little finger. This is possible because the opponent has already become powerless. ...

... Also, in Aikido you never go against the attacker's power. When he attacks you striking or cutting with a sword, there is essentially one line or one point. All you need to do is avoid this.
There is nothing in this that remotely hints at "bouncing" incoming forces from the ground back to the attacker, or interposing your own structure between the force and the ground. He specifically speaks of avoidance, of being "outside" the effective power of the opponent, of the opponent becoming powerless -- just as Inaba Sensei said, "Making his power "Zero." He is describing a different set of principles.

While I have not had the pleasure of his instruction directly, I did have the benefit of Ledyard Sensei's seminar following the last summer camp at which Ushirso Sensei was featured. His delivery of what he perceived as a key point that Ushiro Sensei had taught, fit very much into the context of O Sensei's statement: "There is essentially one line or one point. All you need to do is avoid this." The structural manipulation he demonstrated as having been shown by Ushiro, and its variations we practiced, was at once subtle and distinctly "slackening," not at all a "bouncing back." I did not find it at all unrelated or alien to the movements I have learned in my practice, but the isolated focus on refining the point was very much worthwhile.

Mike and Dan have largely and willingly left the path of aikido as it is practiced, finding that it did not suit them. That is fine. It simply may be that what Mike and Dan are getting at is not necessarily what O Sensei was getting at. Or what Ushiro Sensei has been getting at in the summer camps. It does not make their budo lesser. It also does not make aikido lesser either. I have never said anyone else's approach to budo was all wet. I am not remotely qualified to do that, even if it were not in bad taste to say. The favor has not noticeably been returned from certain quarters, I may note.

I am simply trying to distinguish what they are addressing from what I have come to understand in my training in aikido as it is practiced (and I've knocked around a bit), to better delineate those differences and the sources of them. Not from my own understanding, but from what O Sensei actually described as his goals for the teachers that he gave me to learn from, and who I am now working to emulate.

If I were to try to summarize the distinction between what MIke and Dan are addressing, and what O Sensei is addressing in purely Japanese concepts I would say it is more like he is talking about katsujinken and they are talking about satsujinto. O Sensei's description of his approach aloows the opponent's power life (more or different than than he wanted, maybe) wihitn its bounds, while Mike and Dan's approach negates or destroys the opponents power. Both are legitimate aspects of traditional budo. O Sensei even seems to allude to this in describing his revelation of aikido:
Quote:
O Sensei wrote:
While overwhelmed by this experience I suddenly realized that one should not think of trying to win. The form of Budo must be love. One should live in love. This is Aikido and this is the old form of the posture in Kenjitsu. After this realization I was overjoyed and could not hold back the tears.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 02-20-2007 at 02:43 PM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 02-20-2007, 02:55 PM   #614
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Adam Bauder wrote: View Post
Just a thought. You can learn non-resistance through "resistance". I find it easier to learn to connect to a person (or the ground) through "resistance," first. Once I can do that well enough, while being as relaxed as possible, I can then learn to connect without "resistance". Seems to work for me, as far as I can tell.

But hey, I'm still young.

thanks,
Adam
-- And one can learn rooting by understanding the critical margins of ukemi, finding where you must give up, and where you do not, and then understanding how to place oneself in relation to that margin so as to be outside his power even if he is applying it to you.

Finding out when I will yield is different from finding out how I will not yield -- even though they may explore the same boundary. Ask a fish which side of his critical boundary he is better suited for, or which requires less energy on his part ...

The one approach teaches non-resistance as a first principle, the other does not.

My question is, if we are to follow O Sensei's aikido, which did O Sensei intend?

Masagatsu agatsu.

I think the question is not as trivial as Mike and Dan obviously do.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 02-20-2007, 02:57 PM   #615
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Arsenic, lead, uranium, and hogfarm lagoon liquor are all perfectly natural also. Doesn't make them very healthy -- to whatever degree.
I see the standard Asian cosmology is beyond your grasp. Now you're going to miss what "natural" means. What next?
Quote:
Mike and Dan have largely and willingly left the path of aikido as it is practiced, finding that it did not suit them. That is fine. It simply may be that what Mike and Dan are getting at is not necessarily what O Sensei was getting at.
That would be bad, I suppose, if Dan and I and numerous other people were totally missing the mark on qi and jin and how Aikido uses it. But that's not what I see happening. I see neither Dan, nor Ushiro, nor me, nor Abe Sensei, nor many others disagreeing on the how's and what's of these skills. The only person I see that seems to disagree, while still claiming to "teach", is you. I would propose that the ki skills are pretty obviously the basis of Aikido and if you don't understand them, you have less right to "teach" Aikido than Dan or Ushiro or many other people. It's an interesting discussion. Who is more qualified in Aikido.... a sixth dan with no ki skills or an ikkyu with ki-skills. I put my money on the ikkyu with the baseline skills.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 02-20-2007, 02:58 PM   #616
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
As for sumo, we shouldn't underestimate the ki and kokyu skills present in that art, either, as this clip clearly shows. Watch carefully, and you can see the connection with the ground and the ki extension.
I was most intrigued by the bonfire of ki as the spectators were immolated at the end.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 02-20-2007, 03:52 PM   #617
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post

<<de-"bait">>

Regards,

Mike Sigman
Bete noire. Yep. Truly.

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
... I see neither Dan, nor Ushiro, nor me, nor Abe Sensei, nor many others disagreeing on the how's and what's of these skills ...
I have worked with some seriousness and commitment to technical detail, rather than airy metaphor, on the idea of rotational mechanics as being somehow important to fundamentals of aikido. I have advocated a view that, particularly in a training environment, one should be willing to be moved rather than resist attacking forces. I have analyzed kokyu movement in terms of manipulations made to shift the effective centers of the ordinary progressive limb and body rotations involved in common movement and attacks.

So, let's see what Abe Sensei has to say about any of that :
Quote:
Abe Sensei wrote:
Ame no Minakanushi ... the idea of "the importance of the center" ... He [Futaki] spoke of aikido as being circular movement, saying that one must find the center and lead all into the circles that surround it. The modern aikido we practice today is no different in the sense that we teach people to be their own centers, to work with centrifugal and centripetal forces to draw their partner into or around that center, thereby coaxing and cajoling the attacker into a position that allows him to be controlled. These circles can also be taken into three-dimensional form to become spirals. ...
... Another example would be the three of us participating in this interview. Since I'm the one speaking at the moment, I am Minakanushi. When you respond or ask another question, then you become that center. The center, in other words, is something that shifts.
http://www.page.sannet.ne.jp/shun-q/INTERVIEW-E.html

I would love to see Mike's calligraphy of 'minakanushi' 御中主.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 02-20-2007 at 04:02 PM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 02-20-2007, 04:04 PM   #618
ChrisMoses
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
O Sensei was speaking, not of "non-opposition to natural laws" that lets balls bounce, but of "absolute non-resistance" to the physical force of an actual opponent or attacker:
There is nothing in this that remotely hints at "bouncing" incoming forces from the ground back to the attacker, or interposing your own structure between the force and the ground. He specifically speaks of avoidance, of being "outside" the effective power of the opponent, of the opponent becoming powerless -- just as Inaba Sensei said, "Making his power "Zero." He is describing a different set of principles.
Erick, I really think you're missing some genuinely great stuff in that article you linked to. It's so obvious to me, that the fact that you don't get it doesn't give me much hope that even my pointing it out to you will help you see it, but perhaps a few others (or perhaps you) will.

First let's talk about your often quoted, "absolute nonresistance". Here's the line from the article:
Quote:
B: Then, in that sense, there is Aiki in Judo, too, since in Judo you synchronize yourself with the rhythm of your opponent. If he pulls, you push; if he pushes, you pull. You move him according to this principle and make him lose his balance and then apply your technique.

O Sensei: In Aikido, there is absolutely no attack. To attack means that the spirit has already lost. We adhere to the principle of absolute nonresistance, that is to say, we do not oppose the attacker. Thus, there is no opponent in Aikido. The victory in Aikido is masakatsu and agatsu; since you win over everything in accordance with the mission of heaven, you possess absolute strength.
So yes, OSensei does use what is translated as "absolute nonresistance". However, I don't think you quite get what (IMHO) he really means here. In fact, I think you're making a similar mistake to the interviewer in his followup question:

Quote:
B: Does that mean ~o no sen? (This term refers to a late response to an attack.)

O Sensei: Absolutely not. It is not a question of either sensen no sen or sen no sen. If I were to try to verbalize it I would say that you control your opponent without trying to control him. That is, the state of continuous victory. There isn't any question of winning over or losing to an opponent. In this sense, there is no opponent in Aikido. Even if you have an opponent, he becomes a part of you, a partner you control only.
Avoiding an attack does not equate to absolute non-resistance, nor does intercepting an attack pre-emptively, nor does using an attacker's force against them. All of these scenarios still accept an attacker and a defender. OSensei is claiming that Aikido is something other than that, specifically "a partner you control". Wow, did anyone else just catch that? That doesn't sound much like blending with an attack. Unfortunately, it's my opinion that this is way too far over the heads of most people. I'm more interested in what got OSensei to this headspace than the headspace itself. Like my old guitar teacher used to say, "You wanna sound like VanHalen, you gotta learn Clapton."

So let's look at some other parts of this thing. Earlier you stated that, "There is nothing in this that remotely hints at "bouncing" incoming forces from the ground back to the attacker, or interposing your own structure between the force and the ground. " I call shenanigans…
Quote:
B: Then, does that mean that you were associated with Tenryu for some period?

O Sensei: Yes. He stayed in my house for about three months.

B: Was this in Manchuria?

O Sensei: Yes. I met him when we were making the rounds after a celebration marking the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the government of Manchuria. There was a handsome looking man at the party and many people prodding him on with such comments as, "This Sensei has tremendous strength. How about testing yourself against him?" I asked someone at my side who this person was. It was explained to me that he was the famous Tenryu who had withdrawn from the Sumo Wrestler's Association. I was then introduced to him. Finally, we ended up pitting our strength against each other. I sat down and said to Tenryu, "Please try to push me over. Push hard, there's no need to hold back." Since I knew the secret of Aikido, I could not be moved an inch. Even Tenryu seemed surprised at this. As a result of that experience he became a student of Aikido. He was a good man.
(Emphasis mine) Quite frankly, that doesn't sound much like avoiding the line of the attack, but does sound an awful lot like, ""bouncing" incoming forces from the ground back to the attacker, or interposing your own structure between the force and the ground." Further…

Quote:
C: Were there any episodes while you were at the Toyama School?

O Sensei: Strength contests?...One incident took place, I believe, before the episode with the military police. Several captains who were instructors at the Toyama School invited me to test my strength against theirs. They all prided themselves in their abilities, saying things like: "I was able to lift such-and-such a weight," or "I broke a log so many inches in diameter". I explained to them, "I don't have strength like yours, but I can fell people like you with my little finger alone. I feel sorry for you if I throw you, so let's do this instead." I extended my right arm and rested the tip of my index finger on the end of a desk and invited them to lay across my arm on their stomachs. One, two, then three officers by themselves over my arm, and by that time everyone became wide-eyed. I continued until six men lay over my arm and then asked the officer standing near me for a glass of water. As I was drinking the water with my left hand everyone was quiet and exchanging glances.
Again, not a lot of avoidance of a line of attack, but for lack of a better phrase, ""bouncing" incoming forces from the ground back to the attacker, or interposing your own structure between the force and the ground." What else is in here?

Quote:
B: Was he the same Mihamahiro of Takasago Beya Sumo Wrestling Association?

O Sensei: Yes. He was from Kishu Province. When I was staying at Shingu in Wakayama, Mihamahiro was doing well in the Sumo ranks. He had tremendous strength and could lift three rods which weighed several hundred pounds. When I learned Mihamahiro was staying in town, I invited him to come over. While we were talking Mihamahiro said, "I've also heard that you, Sensei, possess great strength. Why don't we test our strength?" "All right. Fine. I can pin you with my index finger alone," I answered. Then I let him push me while I was seated. This fellow capable of lifting huge weights huffed and puffed but could not push me over. After that, I redirected his power away from me and he went flying by. As he fell I pinned him with my index finger, and he remained totally immobilized. It was like an adult pinning a baby. Then I suggested that he try again and let him push against my forehead. However, he couldn't move me at all. Then I extended my legs forward, and, balancing myself, I lifted my legs off the floor and had him push me. Still he could not move me. He was surprised and began to study Aikido.
Again, it sure sounds like he's ""bouncing" incoming forces from the ground back to the attacker, or interposing your own structure between the force and the ground."

Now, let's make a list of modern aikido teachers who we feel would match the same feats against comparable partners? Yeah, that's about the same list I have… And that's why so many of us are looking elsewhere, because this is the kind of stuff that people like Akuzawa are doing right now and they're willing to show people what they did to get there.

Chris Moses
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Old 02-20-2007, 04:10 PM   #619
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
I have approached with some seriousness and commitment ot technical detail, rather than airy metaphor, on the idea of rotational mechanics as being somehow important to fundamentals of aikido.
Your "idea" of "rotational mechanics" is no more clear and concise than the "airy metaphors" because, as has been noted, you can only speak generally with your idea. Your idea has nothing explicative about the subject of the thread, "baseline skillset". Your idea is about waza and you seem to willfully want to avoid discussing the "baseline" skills that Ueshiba, Tohei, and many others exhibit with static, "resistive" examples. I.e., you should have stopped while you were behind. Now you are approaching a position of open ridicule, despite bolstering your arguments with your CV.
Quote:
So, let's see what Abe Sensei has to say about any of that
Quote:
Abe Sensei wrote:
Ame no Minakanushi ... the idea of "the importance of the center" ... He [Futaki] spoke of aikido as being circular movement, saying that one must find the center and lead all into the circles that surround it. The modern aikido we practice today is no different in the sense that we teach people to be their own centers, to work with centrifugal and centripetal forces to draw their partner into or around that center, thereby coaxing and cajoling the attacker into a position that allows him to be controlled. These circles can also be taken into three-dimensional form to become spirals. ...
... Another example would be the three of us participating in this interview. Since I'm the one speaking at the moment, I am Minakanushi. When you respond or ask another question, then you become that center. The center, in other words, is something that shifts.
http://www.page.sannet.ne.jp/shun-q/INTERVIEW-E.html

I would love to see Mike's calligraphy of 'minakanushi' 御中主.
Hello? Hello? We're not talking about waza, Erick. I'm not sure how many times that has been pointed out to you, but you continue to show that you don't understand the baseline skills by confusedly returning to waza, time after time.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 02-20-2007, 05:18 PM   #620
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Your idea is about waza and you seem to willfully want to avoid discussing the "baseline" skills that Ueshiba, Tohei, and many others exhibit with static, "resistive" examples.
AVOID DISCUSSING!
That is one sin I can safely say I am NOT guilty of !

Mike cannot define the terms of debate (waza/baseline) to avoid discussion when when his own cited video examples tend to rebut his position. I have AT LENGTH examined, analyzed and described here each of the video examples of O Sensei Mike has offered as proof of proposed resistive mechanics -- in what he holds out as sterling examples of the baseline skills according to his interpretation. They do not prove Mike's point, which Mike repeatedly assumes and then ignores.

Here: In no particular order -- Chest push, Thigh push, Head push (and the jo trick as lagniappe in the last one)

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpo...6&postcount=96
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpo...5&postcount=78
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpo...&postcount=371

Careful visual observation does not show what Mike says is occurring. WITHOUT EXCEPTION, when viewed in stop frame the vidoes offered do NOT show static resistance with a rebound from ground through the center. They show demonstrable limb and postural mobility to AVOID any direct line of force or moment arm to his center (just as he himself said) AND sequential rotations -- imparted by either centripetal or tangential means to manipulate the opponents center, as Abe generally describes.

It was true of the "jo trick" video, the seated head push video, the chest push video, the thigh push video. It was true of the video of the ninety-year old Chinese gentleman that was also offered a while back. There is no "bounce" from the ground in any of these. In the one of the chest push videos he is actually poised on one toe in a near piruoette tossing the guy! Mike and others are the apparent victim of an optical illusion that does not stand up to careful scrutiny.

If Mike wants to stick to training metaphor, more power to him, but he ought not pretend that has described any mechanical basis of "baseline skills" in operation in these examples he has given. The arguments and observations I present dispute what he claims "baseline skills" actually are in mechnical terms.

Disagreeing with my model is fine. Rebutting it is fine. Destroying it, or questioning it, with contrary evidence is fine.

Pointlessly degrading me so as to avoid substantive response proves nothing, at least, nothing about the mechanics. Pretending I have not addressed his evidence is ... well, that would be "bait" that I'll not rise to.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 02-20-2007, 05:32 PM   #621
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Christian Moses wrote: View Post
Erick, I really think you're missing some genuinely great stuff in that article you linked to. It's so obvious to me, ... So let's look at some other parts of this thing. ... doesn't sound much like ... , but does sound an awful lot like, ... ... it sure sounds like he's ""bouncing" incoming forces from the ground back to the attacker, or interposing your own structure between the force and the ground."
"Sounds like" is not "is." Go look at the video of the head push. It seems to be close to what it "sounds like" Tenryu and Mihahiro were doing when O Sensei sat down and said to push him.

Stop frame it with the pause button -- read my analysis I linked to above -- and then answer this question. How do you push on a prop that won't bear your weight without falling over yourself?
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Christian Moses wrote: View Post
...match the same feats against comparable partners?
Is that why you are in this -- to match feats?

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 02-20-2007, 06:37 PM   #622
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Is that why you are in this -- to match feats?
Yes, I hope to make a living doing strong man routines traveling with Gypsies one day. Thanks for asking.

Chris Moses
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Old 02-20-2007, 06:41 PM   #623
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
"Sounds like" is not "is." Go look at the video of the head push. It seems to be close to what it "sounds like" Tenryu and Mihahiro were doing when O Sensei sat down and said to push him.

Stop frame it with the pause button -- read my analysis I linked to above -- and then answer this question. How do you push on a prop that won't bear your weight without falling over yourself?
Is that why you are in this -- to match feats?
Yeah well, here's the essence of your analysis.... you think Ueshiba is making deliberate small motions that are part of your "rotational movements" theory. He's an old man that his trying to keep his jin path solid against an incoming push. You're so busy trying to justify an absurd theory that you don't even offer the common-sense viewpoint as a "maybe". Good luck in your search for a clue.


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Mike Sigman
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Old 02-20-2007, 06:50 PM   #624
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
...
Mike cannot define the terms of debate (waza/baseline) to avoid discussion
I think the terms are quite clear... there should be no debating as to what the terms are. We are specifically talking about baseline skills - not technical waza. This point has been reiterated many times before, and sadly... you still don't get it.

Yes, we are talking about mechanics (at the very base), but there is a whole lot more that isn't really being discussed here, that I would consider part of the baseline. Stuff like mind-willed forces, breath pressurization etc.

You, OTOH, are talking about the application of a completely different type of (i.e. rotational) mechanics as applied to waza. We're talking about the very core of all Asian martial arts, which has nothing to do with technical application - i.e. waza, or rotational mechanics or joint articulation, and everything to do with ki/kokyu/jin. Again, this point has been reiterated several times, and sadly... you still don't get it.

We're talking about stopping men dead in their tracks - when they come to attack, push, pull, shove, hit, punch, kick, grab, whatever. We're talking about basic martial skills (the literal meaning of "gongfu", not the stylized choreography of HK flicks from the 70's).... martial skills that, on a very basic level, allow you to absorb that force and do "something" with it - and that "something" is NOT technique.

We're talking about having someone push on you and they feel like they can't move, or lift their foot without falling over, or getting bounced off as a result, much less move you. Having someone pull on you, and feel like they're trying to uproot a tree. Having someone hit you and they feel like they're hitting a brick wall. Or you hitting someone, without a windup, and they feel like they've been hit by a sledgehammer. Having someone grab you and they feel like they've been tasered, and sapped of all their power. All of which DO NOT involve waza.... just standing there and "connecting". No rotation, no "resistance" no opposition, no apparent outward movement, no nothing.

We're talking about the kind of connection that makes you one with your attacker, and they become a part of you that you control. No resistance... but by "standing firmly between Heaven and Earth".

We're talking about basic martial skills applicable to a broad spectrum of Asian martial arts. We're talking about Martial Arts 101. Basic gongfu... something that a lot of people think they're doing, and a lot of teachers think they're teaching, at the same time not knowing that all the waza in the world is not IT, and without IT, waza is merely empty skill.

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Old 02-20-2007, 09:43 PM   #625
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Re: Baseline skillset

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Actually, O-Sensei in his last years required assistance to get up from seiza, handle stairs, etc. His body was pretty well beaten up in many ways. He could still go onto the mat and shift into extraordinary mode and go to town but when class was over the deshi would have to assist him to move around. I am sure he was quite serious when he referred to being too old to go up the stairs by himself...
When Ueshiba trained Tenryu, he was 56 years old.

Josh Reyer

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