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Old 03-21-2007, 02:55 AM   #26
Kevin Wilbanks
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Re: Ki, Aiki, Aikido. The 'internal stuff' that never left Aikido

Well, my point was that there is a lot of exaggerated fantasical language being used to describe this stuff, and I doubt it's helping anyone understand it, or enhance persuasion or credibility with anyone who is skeptical. When pressed, what was blithely described as "unbendable arm", "not a trick", and requiring "no tension at all" has been revealed to be a moderately bend-resistant arm in which the mechanics of the demo prevent more than a marginal bending force to be applied to it, requiring a low to moderate amount of muscular tension to do properly, the purpose of which has little or nothing to do with actual arm bendability.

Being a skeptical, analytical person, I have always objected to this kind of hyperbole in Aikido instruction and coaching. Someone insisting that I 'just relax' signifies to me that I should crumple into a lump on the floor. Not useful. There is the argument of the sort that 'most people are so tense that it will send them in the right direction', but this sounds like a lame excuse to me. This is essentially admitting that you are telling students something that is literally wrong and likely misleading under the assumption that they are too stupid to be reasoned with properly. This is a 'dumbing down' process that is going to retard smarter students and convolute serious discussions among more advanced people about what is really being talked about.
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Old 03-21-2007, 04:12 AM   #27
Aran Bright
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Re: Ki, Aiki, Aikido. The 'internal stuff' that never left Aikido

Hi Mike,

Let me first of all say I 'resonate' with what you are saying. I myself come from the same aikido background as you. And I have the same question, is what is being taught by Tohei, and in our case K Maruyama, the same as what Mike S. et al are talking about? I have no bloody idea.

They ceratinly sound very similar, they even look somewhat familiar in demonstrations, the problem is I haven't felt these guys so I can't say for sure. I can say that Mike Sigman does refrence and study a lot of what Tohei teaches and says that they are the same fundamental principles.

I guess we can go around and around in circles with this stuff as we have seen many do already in the baseline skills thread (man that gave me a headache trying to get through all that) but the important question I think is there anything that can be gained by it? The discussion I mean. Can we get some training drills, skills or principles that we can turn into real results?

I think so, I have found by looking at what has been discussed, trying some of the ideas at home and in class I have achieved some real results. After getting some idea of the groundpath principle I went to training straight away and broke my Jo. (yeah thanks guys) This to me demonstrated that I was missing something in what I am doing and that i actually have bad technique, I was over using my right arm and drove straight through the middle of the Jo consequently breaking it. But heres the thing i could feel that there was a hell of a lot more potential in my body than what I was using.

Anyway, I think that you have already discovered a new way of testing by getting someone to push and pull on your arm, why not take it a step further and get someone to push in all different areas of your body?

I guess we need to test what we are doing and see if we can meet some of these tests that have been suggested for basic internal skills. This is only if we want to. If we are then found wanting I think that there is something that can be learnt.

Just my thoughts anyway,

Aran

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Old 03-21-2007, 04:54 AM   #28
Ecosamurai
 
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Re: Ki, Aiki, Aikido. The 'internal stuff' that never left Aikido

Quote:
Kevin Wilbanks wrote: View Post
Being a skeptical, analytical person, I have always objected to this kind of hyperbole in Aikido instruction and coaching.
That is how you prefer your teaching to be given to you. It is not hyperbole. It is terminology. Science has it's own language and terminology too. Such scientific language has a purpose when used in scientific publications but it is positively unhelpful in most aikido teaching situations. Unless of course you are teaching aikido to a group comprised entirely of scientists in which case you can commit monolithic dual avicide by engaging in science (i.e. teaching physiology) and teaching aikido concurrently.....

I think that picking apart the jargon instead of the exercise is unhelpful and, to an extent, petty. All things have their own jargonese associated with them. Including science and aikido.
Jargon is used by the group that created it in order to give the best tools for communicating principles. Think about it like this. If you've seen the film 'The Last Samurai' how many times did you hear a 'sshiiing' sound as a sword was drawn? All the time. Katana do not make these sounds when drawn. Likewise, horses to not make whinnying noises in the sorts of situations that you hear them make them in that film. But, reality is not the aim of the foley artist is it? Their aim is to convey an impression, a feeling of what's going on. Sometimes they tell little lies to do it because it can actually be helpful in communicating a bigger picture.

Mike (who needs to unsubscribe himself from this thread and get work done...) Haft

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Old 03-21-2007, 05:14 AM   #29
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Re: Ki, Aiki, Aikido. The 'internal stuff' that never left Aikido

Quote:
Aran Bright wrote: View Post
After getting some idea of the groundpath principle I went to training straight away and broke my Jo. (yeah thanks guys) This to me demonstrated that I was missing something in what I am doing and that i actually have bad technique, I was over using my right arm and drove straight through the middle of the Jo consequently breaking it. But heres the thing i could feel that there was a hell of a lot more potential in my body than what I was using.

SNIP

Anyway, I think that you have already discovered a new way of testing by getting someone to push and pull on your arm, why not take it a step further and get someone to push in all different areas of your body?
With regards to the jo, I don't know exactly what you did so I won't comment except to say tell me more

I haven't discovered a new way of doing unbendable arm, I think that's always been there if you logically apply the principles taught. As my teacher often says. If you can do it one way and can think of other ways to do it. Do it. Why wouldn't you?

The whole point of all this is basically not to say Mike Sigman is wrong (he's not) but rather. Why do you need to do CMA exercises to develop this stuff when the exercises to do so are already in aikido? I'd bet that many of the people in aikido who don't know about these things probably do know the exercises used to develop 'internal power', I find it difficult to believe that they wouldn't, after all Tohei Sensei was the chief instructor of the aikikai for many years and the founder did this stuff all the time, they simply forgot how important they were. But it's still there if you look for it I think. But for some reason people seem to want to go elsewhere.

Mike Haft

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
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Old 03-21-2007, 06:05 AM   #30
DH
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Re: Ki, Aiki, Aikido. The 'internal stuff' that never left Aikido

Mike
Who knows? Where do I find them?
Do you know?
If you don't, how do you.. know where to look?
You said I should go to Essex to find it in your teacher. Has he read all the reports about MIke, Rob, Ark, Ushiro etc? I have outlined things I can do in a list. You said you can't do them. Have you read these reports to him? Men have traveled from all over to find this stuff. They have gone to certain men from word of mouth-just like you are doing here. They have reported back what they found. You are now telling the world that your teacher is equal to what these men have discovered.
Does he know your telling the world to come test him?

I think the dozens of men and teachers who have felt this stuff and have openly stated they were stumped would love to know they shouldn't waste their time that its already in Aikido, and maybe they can come see your teacher. Or you know where to go for them to find it.
Where Mike?


Another queston
Why haven't you, Eric, or Justin responded or replied to George L.Ron, Mark M., Murray M., Mark C., Rob, Stan, Chris, or any of the other men who have openly stated otherwise? The only thing I have read from you was to cut them up.

I find it quite odd that these things have been discussed as being quite surprising by those IN aikido. That they have been declared highly important and that they are are indeed at the core of Aiki. These men are your own.Yet, they go ignored. Now you come along and tell the whole community by implication to ignore them as well, and to go back to itself and do more kata and do the exercises only found in Aikido.

As for telling folks to ignore CMA or "other sources."
Let me aske one more question
Ueshiba had tremendous power -while- he was treaching Daito ryu.
How'd that happen?
From Aikido?
Ass-backward logic isn't a very good start, Mike.
Neither is an inability to read. Mike Sigman openly stated Ki Aikido was doing good stuff and was a good start. Where did -he- state people should leave and go do CMA?
He didn't.
But consider this.
1. He got his from CMA and research outside Aikido.
2. He has a very good reputation from teachers INSIDE Aikido.
You just reminded everyone Where he got his
and you don't have it

Dan

Last edited by DH : 03-21-2007 at 06:18 AM.
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Old 03-21-2007, 07:27 AM   #31
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Re: Ki, Aiki, Aikido. The 'internal stuff' that never left Aikido

Quote:
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You said I should go to Essex to find it in your teacher.
I said no such thing. He lives nowhere near Essex.

I said that I thought you might find it interesting if you trained with him, I know I do. I am not challenging the world to come and 'test' him. Where did you get that from? Think you're reading more into this than there is. As for my "Neither is an inability to read" I could justifiably say the same of you based on your aggressive and adversarial mis-interpretations of what I have said here.

I haven't said ignore CMA. I have said it is interesting and that people who talk about it have interesting insights. Because they do (I used to do CMA before I found aikido remember). I have said also that there is plenty of this stuff in aikido too if you look for it. I know there is because I have seen it. I also not only condone cross-training in things like this. I positively encourage it in myself and my students. But I always find myself coming back to the aikido I learnt because it was there more than anywhere else I have encountered. Maybe I just met bad teachers in the other stuff. Who knows?

I will repeat one more time. This stuff is in aikido. 'It' has never left. 'It' isn't in every dojo or every teacher, shock horror statistic: 50% of aikidoka are of 'below average ability', well duh. Learning CMA is useful stimulating interesting and complimentary to aikido, learning MMA is useful stimulating and complimentary to aikido. Seeing yourself and what you do from different perspectives is a valuable insight to gain and I would recommend it.

Please stop telling everyone who does aikido that they are not doing aiki because some of them are. Please stop telling everyone in aikido they aren't good martialartists because some of them are. Respect us and our efforts, discuss these things with us by all means (they are interesting!), do not, please attack us and the art we love and care about because you haven't been lucky enough to meet some of the really good teachers of the art. Please DO offer helpful and constuctive views on aspects of our training in a polite friendly and respectful manner. Please DO continue to teach the things you know to people whose main art is aikido and help them improve themselves and their aikido.

Koichi Tohei said:

"Even a one-inch worm has a half inch spirit. Every man respects his own ego. Do not, therefore, slight anyone, nor hurt his self-respect. Treat a man with respect, and he will respect you. Make light of him, and he will make light of you. Respect his personality and listen to his views, and he will gladly follow you."

Please do not continuously dismiss the efforts fo other people who do not necessarily share your views on the art of aikido. I'm trying hard to listen to you. Please don't let what you're trying to say get lost in the noise.

Regards

Mike

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
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Old 03-21-2007, 07:48 AM   #32
Aran Bright
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Re: Ki, Aiki, Aikido. The 'internal stuff' that never left Aikido

Dan,

Hi, if I may join the conversation at this point by asking a simple question. Where should we be looking in our aikido training for these skills? They must be there at some level at least?

I am willing to take for granted that you've got "the right stuff". Can you offer any suggestions?

Oh, the other point I wanted to make is this, as you can see Mike H. and I are georaphically challenged in terms of training with you, so the only thing that I have to go by are 'hints' where to look.

Aran

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Old 03-21-2007, 08:46 AM   #33
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Ki, Aiki, Aikido. The 'internal stuff' that never left Aikido

Quote:
Kevin Wilbanks wrote: View Post
I
By contrast, imagine a machine, in which the person whose arm bendability is to be tested is limited from moving in the horizontal plane by a fixed steel ring circling the middle of their ribcage - not clamped, just limited from moving more than a half inch. Now, to test their arm bendability, we'll set up two bars. One will be positioned inside the elbow set to move radially downward and toward their waist using the position of their shoulder as the rough pivot point. The other will be underneath their forearm, set to pivot roughly radially to the other bar, toward the bendee's head/torso. Each bar will be fitted with a pneumatic piston capable of exerting 5000 pounds per square inch. Do you still think any human that ever lived would be able to demonstrate "unbendable arm"?
Kevin, I completely fail to see the point of talking what could or could not be done on a machine."Aiki" in terms of technique is about two alive energy systems. Take "grounding" for instance. You can put a bear hug on someone and lift him up. If he knows how to ground out, he can shift his energy such that he will feel vastly heavier to the person lifting. If you had him on a scale, his weight wouldn't have changed but effectively, in terms of the interaction between the two people, his weight would feel as if it did.

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Old 03-21-2007, 08:46 AM   #34
MM
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Re: Ki, Aiki, Aikido. The 'internal stuff' that never left Aikido

My opinion on where to start/look at internal training. These aren't in any order; I just numbered them to keep them easier to read. The most important part is to find someone and get hands on training. If that isn't possible, then these are just my suggestions for stuff to do until you get hands on training.

1. Read the threads about training the body by Rob John:

First thread:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10763

Second thread:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10764

If you're doing the ki exercises, I'd suggest trying Rob's exercises in a manner that integrates the ki exercise principles.

2. Read the baseline skillset thread here:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11629
NOTE: Do NOT read any posts by Erick Mead and Justin Smith (statisticool). This will cut your reading down immensely and you won't be sidetracked. Pay close attention to posts by Dan Harden, Mike Sigman and Rob John. (I also find posts by Ledyard, Gernot, Cady, Ignatius, Hunter, Ellis, Moses, and Fong to be helpful.)

3. Read my thread about meeting Dan Harden:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11178
It's long, but there are some posts that are worthwhile. I remember Rob talking about shiko and training in one post.

4. Search youtube for "aunkai", "akuzawa" or similar words. Study how the movements are done and try to integrate the ki exercises with them. Mike has also posted links to vids on youtube or googlevids.

5. Go over to E-Budo and Aikido Journal and search their threads for topics about internal training.

I notice that Akuzawa goes to Europe every now and then. Also, Mike has posted several names of those who know these internal skills. Dan has posted at least one name, too. Search AikiWeb for those names or ask Dan and Mike who they are. If I remember correctly, I think at least one has seminars in Europe, possibly elsewhere. Look into their seminars and see if any come close to where you are.

Mark
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Old 03-21-2007, 08:57 AM   #35
Ecosamurai
 
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Re: Ki, Aiki, Aikido. The 'internal stuff' that never left Aikido

I'd also add to this one by Mark that concerning Akuzawa. I've been watching the youtube vids of him whilst eating my lunch. They are essentially equivalent to ki-soc exercises (no surprise there then nwhen you consider lineages and all that). They are just using and practicing these skills in a different environment with different emphasis. Ki Society dojo and those related to that family of aikido should be able to teach you these things. They also teach them as separate ki classes so you would have no need to practice aikido waza to 'get it' if you don't like aikido waza. You can always use them in your preferred MA in any way you see fit.

Mike

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
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Old 03-21-2007, 09:19 AM   #36
Mike Sigman
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Re: Ki, Aiki, Aikido. The 'internal stuff' that never left Aikido

Actually.... and I've personally seen them both..... Akuzawa's exercises are radically different from the Ki Society's approach. And I say that while not commenting on the efficacy of either method or exactly what each is focused on (they actually focus on 2 different things, too, but that seems to be a discussion better suited for a forum that focuses on body-mechanics).

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 03-21-2007, 09:20 AM   #37
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Re: Ki, Aiki, Aikido. The 'internal stuff' that never left Aikido

Quote:
Mike Haft wrote: View Post
I'd also add to this one by Mark that concerning Akuzawa. I've been watching the youtube vids of him whilst eating my lunch. They are essentially equivalent to ki-soc exercises (no surprise there then nwhen you consider lineages and all that). They are just using and practicing these skills in a different environment with different emphasis. Ki Society dojo and those related to that family of aikido should be able to teach you these things. They also teach them as separate ki classes so you would have no need to practice aikido waza to 'get it' if you don't like aikido waza. You can always use them in your preferred MA in any way you see fit.

Mike
*sigh* Mike, do you realize what you're conveying in your post?

Just as you have called Dan on lumping all Aikido people together, you have done the same thing in speaking for all Ki Society dojos. (Unless, of course, you've personally been to all of them and can vouch for them?)

Don't forget that you've watched a video of the Aunkai and determined that you know exactly what they're doing such that you can relate it to what you're doing. Eh? The Aunkai works on internal training, but from a video you can tell that "They are just using and practicing these skills in a different environment with different emphasis"?

Personally, It comes across as if you know exactly what Dan and Rob are doing without ever training with them. Not sure if that's what you are trying to convey.

Mark
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Old 03-21-2007, 09:29 AM   #38
Ecosamurai
 
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Re: Ki, Aiki, Aikido. The 'internal stuff' that never left Aikido

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
*sigh* Mike, do you realize what you're conveying in your post?

Just as you have called Dan on lumping all Aikido people together, you have done the same thing in speaking for all Ki Society dojos. (Unless, of course, you've personally been to all of them and can vouch for them?)

Don't forget that you've watched a video of the Aunkai and determined that you know exactly what they're doing such that you can relate it to what you're doing. Eh? The Aunkai works on internal training, but from a video you can tell that "They are just using and practicing these skills in a different environment with different emphasis"?

Personally, It comes across as if you know exactly what Dan and Rob are doing without ever training with them. Not sure if that's what you are trying to convey.

Mark
No it wasn't what I was trying to convey, thank you for pointing that out, my apologies for the confusion. I did say that a Ki Soc dojo should be able to. Not that it definitely could. Nor do I speak in anyway for the Ki Society seeing as I am not a member of that organisation.

My opinion of Aunkai was however as valid as opinions of the founder of aikido based on limited video footage. I did say however in the Aunkai review thread that I'd like to try some of the stuff they do. I'd also find it interesting to train with them I'm sure, and I would welcome the opportunity to do so if it ever arose. I'm sure I would learn a great deal.

However. In the limited amount of footage I saw here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAJVQMCWeOA

With the exception of the kicks as I do not regularly practice them (but after seeing the video am keen to try doing so again), I am quite content to say there is nothing else here that I cannot do personally myself, it is no different than Ki Soc derived internal training as I see it from my perspective, and, the most importatant point of all: I'm not very good at these things. There are many who are much better.

Mike

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Old 03-21-2007, 10:02 AM   #39
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Re: Ki, Aiki, Aikido. The 'internal stuff' that never left Aikido

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Actually.... and I've personally seen them both..... Akuzawa's exercises are radically different from the Ki Society's approach. And I say that while not commenting on the efficacy of either method or exactly what each is focused on (they actually focus on 2 different things, too, but that seems to be a discussion better suited for a forum that focuses on body-mechanics).

Regards,

Mike Sigman
Fair enough. My comments were only based on a few videos so feel free to correct me, it'd be interesting to compare and contrast methodologies of teaching. I only know that they look similar enough to the way I do things on a regular basis to be considered if not the same then close enough to being about the same principles and uses of the body and mind. Classification of this kind however is a road to madness, I spent a year studying taxonomy and I can vouch for the pointlessness of trying to label things with any great degree of precision. Rough approximate labels tend to be more useful in most cases than those containing masses of minutiae (in my experience of course)

Mike

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Old 03-21-2007, 10:13 AM   #40
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Ki, Aiki, Aikido. The 'internal stuff' that never left Aikido

I guess I have no doubt that many of the exercises in question are present in many forms of aikido, daito ryu etc. Where I have questions are:

1) are the exercises taught with hands on correction from the point of view of aligning the structure to best aid in the correct development of the internal connection and power skills.

2) is the logic of building these skills taught and understood clearly and methodically.

3) are these two items above wide spread.

Personally, I have seen portions of this type of development in various places, dojo, styles etc. But rarely have I seen anything approaching the system / logic / emphasis that Rob John, Mike S., and Dan display.

I don't believe I have ever seen such dramatic results either.

I think this should change.

Best,
Ron

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Old 03-21-2007, 10:36 AM   #41
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Re: Ki, Aiki, Aikido. The 'internal stuff' that never left Aikido

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
1) are the exercises taught with hands on correction from the point of view of aligning the structure to best aid in the correct development of the internal connection and power skills.

2) is the logic of building these skills taught and understood clearly and methodically.

3) are these two items above wide spread.
Really good questions.

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Personally, I have seen portions of this type of development in various places, dojo, styles etc. But rarely have I seen anything approaching the system / logic / emphasis that Rob John, Mike S., and Dan display.

I don't believe I have ever seen such dramatic results either.

I think this should change.
I'm pretty sure I've seen it but without meeting Mike or Dan in person it's pointless for me to comment on whatr I've seen compared to what they can do. Closest we could come would be a series of posts of video footage of it all and I personally have no desire to go there myself.

I've seen enough people in aikido unable to do these things correctly that I too think it should change. I've also seen plenty of people in MMA, CMA, BJJ, karate take your pick who are unable to do these thigns properly that I remain unconvinced that there is any one true great training method out there, my own preference is for aikido but thats just me. I think it's mostly if not totally about who your teacher is and how you as a person are. I think that's what counts more than anything IMHO

Regards

Mike

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Old 03-21-2007, 10:50 AM   #42
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Re: Ki, Aiki, Aikido. The 'internal stuff' that never left Aikido

Quote:
Mike Haft wrote: View Post
I'd also add to this one by Mark that concerning Akuzawa. I've been watching the youtube vids of him whilst eating my lunch. They are essentially equivalent to ki-soc exercises (no surprise there then nwhen you consider lineages and all that). [snip]
Mike
... what do you mean by that? Equivalent in what way?
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Old 03-21-2007, 10:55 AM   #43
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Re: Ki, Aiki, Aikido. The 'internal stuff' that never left Aikido

Quote:
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... what do you mean by that? Equivalent in what way?
I mean not the same but of equal worth in terms of internal skills. In other words the methods used to get you there are different but both are trying for the same stuff. Broadly speaking.

Mike
-C'mon computer, crunch those numbers so I can go home and get ready to go to the dojo.....

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Old 03-21-2007, 11:37 AM   #44
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Re: Ki, Aiki, Aikido. The 'internal stuff' that never left Aikido

Ron asks:

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Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
1) are the exercises taught with hands on correction from the point of view of aligning the structure to best aid in the correct development of the internal connection and power skills.

2) is the logic of building these skills taught and understood clearly and methodically.

3) are these two items above wide spread.
Been thinking about these. Computer is finished running the numbers and I'm off to go and get beaten about the head with bamboo sticks. But before I go, I'm gonna take a stab at answering these. Do Mike and Dan et al want to answer them too? It'd be a really good set of opinions on a really good set of questions I think. Worth adding to the mix.

1) Yes. At least that's the way I teach and am taught them.

2) Yes. At least that's the way I teach and am taught them.

3) No. Which is what it's all about I suppose. Dan and Mike et al. often say that you have to come to them and 'feel it' or something similar, they may be entirely right that this is the best and only effective way to make these things sink in in a lot of peoples training. On the other hand, have they tried going to large seminars and seeing what they are able to achieve by teaching in this sort of environment? I think it would be an interesting exercise to have them do that.

Regards

Mike

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
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Old 03-21-2007, 12:22 PM   #45
Tim Fong
 
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Re: Ki, Aiki, Aikido. The 'internal stuff' that never left Aikido

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Mike Haft wrote: View Post
I mean not the same but of equal worth in terms of internal skills. In other words the methods used to get you there are different but both are trying for the same stuff. Broadly speaking.

[snip]
I strongly disagree. All roads do not lead to the same mountaintop; there are different mountain tops. Broadly, both sets of exercises develop the body. However, I think that the Aunkai exercises train a larger number of elements

In the case of the Aunkai exercises compared to the Ki Society exercises:

1. I have not seen any Ki Society people use their exercises to develop the ability to take full power shots to the body. I have seen this in Akuzawa's students.

2. I have not seen that the Ki Society exercises develop the ability to deliver disruptive kicks/punches/strikes. I have felt this from both Akuzawa and his students.

Frankly, (2) is quite obvious from the videos. Someone can chastise me here for "failing to produce proper evidence" that the strikes do what I say they do. We could have a lot of semantic nit-picking on the use of the term "disruptive." However, I'd like to remind people that nothing is settled by sterile internet debate.

This DOES NOT mean that internet forums are useless; rather, that they are useful as a GUIDE for people to track down interesting/novel training approaches. I don't post here/read here to "prove" anything, but as a means of finding hints or insights into my own training.

Mike, in case you weren't already aware, Akuzawa will be in Europe for seminars very soon. I recommend that you go check him out. I think you'll find that what he's doing is of larger and more versatile application than the Ki Society work you are doing.

If , as you have said, what he is doing is basically the same as your Aikido training, you can have the satisfaction of coming back with a big "I told you so."

If not, then you'll have learned something.
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Old 03-21-2007, 12:27 PM   #46
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Ki, Aiki, Aikido. The 'internal stuff' that never left Aikido

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On the other hand, have they tried going to large seminars and seeing what they are able to achieve by teaching in this sort of environment? I think it would be an interesting exercise to have them do that.
Hi Mike,

I think large seminars are out...not enough hands on instruction at those. Plus, my own opinion is that we need more than one day...Mike S. has made these points several times, and now I think I agree with him...I don't think I understood before, but I'm getting a bigger picture now. Thanks for the earlier replies...

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 03-21-2007, 12:30 PM   #47
Kevin Wilbanks
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Re: Ki, Aiki, Aikido. The 'internal stuff' that never left Aikido

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Kevin, I completely fail to see the point of talking what could or could not be done on a machine."Aiki" in terms of technique is about two alive energy systems. Take "grounding" for instance. You can put a bear hug on someone and lift him up. If he knows how to ground out, he can shift his energy such that he will feel vastly heavier to the person lifting. If you had him on a scale, his weight wouldn't have changed but effectively, in terms of the interaction between the two people, his weight would feel as if it did.
The point of the machine was simply counter-example to the notion that unbendable arm is 'not a trick'. I think that it is a trick unless presented with disclaimers, as people are led to think that they are applying their whole weight to the bending, or an otherwise massive amount of force. In reality, they are essentially helping to keep the arm extended with their shoulder and limiting themselves when pulling on the elbow.

I had no problem with the exercise when it was presented to me, because my teacher said outright something like - this isn't as amazing a feat as it may seem, it's just an exercise to show you to extend your arm properly.

I don't really feel qualified to say how useful it ultimately is as an Aikido drill. I just thought the jargon being used to describe it sounded excessive.
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Old 03-21-2007, 12:38 PM   #48
Mike Sigman
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Re: Ki, Aiki, Aikido. The 'internal stuff' that never left Aikido

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Mike Haft wrote: View Post
Dan and Mike et al. often say that you have to come to them and 'feel it' or something similar, they may be entirely right that this is the best and only effective way to make these things sink in in a lot of peoples training. On the other hand, have they tried going to large seminars and seeing what they are able to achieve by teaching in this sort of environment? I think it would be an interesting exercise to have them do that.
I've done large seminars in the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, etc., for about 13 years and have developed some fairly focused methods of teaching a lot of these things to groups. The problem is that:

(1.) you can't do more than scratch the surface in a 2-day (6 hours a day) workshop. The topic tangents get away from you and you have to focus on only a few of the available tangents in a workshop or you get nothing done. Most people can only learn a little bit at first simply because the skills are new and because their bodies are not trained to use real kokyu/jin forces... so they can go but so far.

(2.) Most people also never go very far, even after a workshop, because they don't really analyse and they don't really work. I've seen "teachers" and "senior students" with "many years of experience" who couldn't find their butts with both hands because they keep playing with "forms" and rituals and never truly make the effort to change over to jin strength, etc. These people spend far too much time going to seminars and grabbing the latest fad of the month when they should just work.

The point being that even a refined teaching method isn't going to work for most people. I've finally quit beating myself up because the success ratio is so small.

Lastly, let me point out, Mike, that if your "logic" (see #2) was really that good, you should be able to logically explain how many of the things in past discussions were done. That's what many of these threads were about. You say you can do them, so why not let's see your analyses of how they word, as you teach them?

Mike Sigman

Last edited by Mike Sigman : 03-21-2007 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 03-21-2007, 12:45 PM   #49
Mike Sigman
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Re: Ki, Aiki, Aikido. The 'internal stuff' that never left Aikido

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The point of the machine was simply counter-example to the notion that unbendable arm is 'not a trick'. I think that it is a trick unless presented with disclaimers, as people are led to think that they are applying their whole weight to the bending, or an otherwise massive amount of force. In reality, they are essentially helping to keep the arm extended with their shoulder and limiting themselves when pulling on the elbow.

I had no problem with the exercise when it was presented to me, because my teacher said outright something like - this isn't as amazing a feat as it may seem, it's just an exercise to show you to extend your arm properly.

I don't really feel qualified to say how useful it ultimately is as an Aikido drill. I just thought the jargon being used to describe it sounded excessive.
I have never liked the "unbendable arm" trick (I've mentioned this before) because there are too many ways to come close to doing it, so everyone I know claims to be able to do it, even though most of them are doing it quite differently from each other. Even at the Ki-Society workshop I attended in December, I could feel that different yudansha were doing it slightly differently, in many cases.

A better example of, at core, the same thing would be to take a steady push to the chest and ground it. In reality, the "unbendable arm" is just a variant of that exercise, when done correctly. In fact, ALL of the ki demonstrations are, at core, variations of either that exercise or the "unliftable" exercise.... or a combination of the two. But watch out, I said that glibly and glossed over the fact that there are some sophisticated extensions of the 2 core demo's I just mentioned.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 03-21-2007, 05:12 PM   #50
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Re: Ki, Aiki, Aikido. The 'internal stuff' that never left Aikido

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Well, my point was that there is a lot of exaggerated fantasical language being used to describe this stuff, and I doubt it's helping anyone understand it, or enhance persuasion or credibility with anyone who is skeptical. When pressed, what was blithely described as "unbendable arm", "not a trick", and requiring "no tension at all" has been revealed to be a moderately bend-resistant arm in which the mechanics of the demo prevent more than a marginal bending force to be applied to it, requiring a low to moderate amount of muscular tension to do properly, the purpose of which has little or nothing to do with actual arm bendability.
I found http://ofinterest.net:16080/Ua/ to be quite useful at times.

I think the same things when I hear of the common ones in the Chinese traditions, like so and so in Chen Village or wherever supposeldy touching someone lightly and sending their opponents' feet touching the ceiling, etc. It is like peoples' critical thinking heads out the window when it comes to martial arts, and physics and common sense doesn't apply, and all stories are accepted.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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