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Old 04-03-2007, 01:13 PM   #26
G DiPierro
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Re: Aikido, Weight Lifting & Flexibility

I've been considering posting these clips in a few recent threads discussing what internal strength is and how it differs from external. Well, here they are. The first clip is internal strength, the second is not. If you look at their bodies it's pretty clear the second guy does serious weight training but the first does not. His arms are like toothpicks, yet he is performing feats of strengths comparable to the second, who has a much more developed physique. I'd say he is also doing them with much more relaxation.

Even though neither of these guys are martial artists, the debate between whether internal strength is better than external strength (or even pure technical fighting skill) is similar to a debate about which of these guys is "better." They are both very good at what they do, and very few people reading this could replicate either demonstration. However, what they do, and how they train, is very different, even though it might look somewhat similar on the surface.

Internal Strength:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=5f0O39nerAw

External Strength:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=eqh3gSwo4Wk
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Old 04-03-2007, 02:58 PM   #27
Mike Sigman
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Re: Weight-training and Ki/Kokyu

I'm having this sort of smiley kind of day because the stuff on ki/kokyu has been split off from Aikido discussions and weight-lifting is kept as an Aikido topic, with most of the "Aikido people" on the forum being happy about it. Ellis, I rest my case. Your "Hidden in Plain Sight" is not cynical enough. Maybe O-Sensei was simply objectively cynical enough to understand that the material was wasted on the masses.

Best.

Mike
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Old 04-03-2007, 03:17 PM   #28
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Weight-training and Ki/Kokyu

Again, a false correalation. If you would have presented videos showing two people doing the same things under the same conditions and then could demonstrate a distinction it would be a correalation.

Both represent core strength from a different set of physics because the dynamics of the situations are different, one uses the floor for support, the other guy, on the rings has a very tough situation to deal with with the rings moving and being suspended from the ceiling etc.

If you showed the yoga guy doing the rings in a different manner, then i'd be really impressed.

Both examples represent a mastery of many things physically, mentally, and emotionally.

I don't understand really how you draw a correalation or distinctly divide one into external the other into internal.

Yes, it is the same old argument, much in line with those that like to say that sport forms of jiujitsu and grappling cannot be internal or budo simply based on affinity.

Emotionally we'd like to believe that the yoga guy is doing internal stuff and the gymnast is external...based on affinitiy and identification with the labels we like to put on things...however, I don't think it is quite that simple.

Both are impressive athletes that have mastered things that require a command and certain level of mastery of the mind, body, and spirit.

Different set of parameters though!

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Old 04-03-2007, 03:43 PM   #29
DonMagee
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Re: Weight-training and Ki/Kokyu

I did aikido, lots of ki exercises, lots of rolling, lots of retraining my movement. I gained weight, felt sluggish, groggy, had stomach issues, and soreness in general.

I did bjj, did proper weight training (targeting improving strength in muscles using exercise that is directly related to what I am trying to do, like resistance bands on shoots, lunges, benchpress, kettlebells, etc. I started running, I have lost a LOT of weight. I'm healthier then I ever was, I no longer have the doctor telling me I'm a diabetic waiting to happen, I'm faster, stronger, more stable, I no longer hurt, I'm awake though the day, happier, I have more confidence, etc.

I can't find a single fault in strength training. I of course do not train to get bigger muscles, in fact, I want the opposite. I want the maximum strength I can get under 165 pounds. I also work lots of flexibility exercises using yoga movements (Although I don't take yoga because the instructors generally annoy me.)

I don't think lifting weights is the problem here. I think the problem is people reverting to the wrong ideas about lifting weights. Would you say that someone needs to not be a stock boy to build internal skill? Their job is similar to lifting weights. Part of my training was just simply lifting heavy things. It's one thing to say static weight lifting might be bad. It is another to say that building external strength is a bad thing. Is shrimp crawl drills with a 250 pound man on my chest weight training? I think it is. Is it counter productive to my training? Defiantly not, it build my endurance to the situation I find myself in. Of course the problem is balancing proper fitness with just becoming an over muscled troll.

But telling people not to peruse good fitness is rather silly.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 04-03-2007, 04:00 PM   #30
Haowen Chan
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Re: Weight-training and Ki/Kokyu

Mike Sigman didn't say everyone should stop weight training.

He said, if you're starting on a program of internal skills development, you should put your weights on hold for a while until you have internalised the skills to a high level, or it may confuse your body and slow down your study.

Thats very useful advice to newbies like me. I knew that weight training can increase muscle tension, which may possibly hinder the pursuit of "relax completely".... so when Mike says, better not (in the beginning), I think, yup, ok. The logic of it is totally self-evident.

The advice totally doesn't apply to anyone who is not actually deliberately training internal skills. In fact it may sound completely backwards and nonconstructive.... but it's that the reader is not in the right context to receive the message.

In that sense I think the thread split is good, to separate the different messages for the different audiences.
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Old 04-03-2007, 04:50 PM   #31
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Re: Aikido, Weight Lifting & Flexibility

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Aikido has some deliberate re-training-of-movement exercises, but most people slop through them as "warmup" exercises or vague ritualistic movements and miss the whole point.
Can we see the data you use to come to the "most people" conclusion? If not, please restate the above as your opinion.

Justin

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 04-03-2007, 05:39 PM   #32
G DiPierro
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Re: Weight-training and Ki/Kokyu

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Both represent core strength from a different set of physics because the dynamics of the situations are different, one uses the floor for support, the other guy, on the rings has a very tough situation to deal with with the rings moving and being suspended from the ceiling etc.
I just picked that video because it was the first one I found. Nothing special about the rings. If you want something on solid ground you can find plenty of clips of men's floor exercises on youtube.

Quote:
I don't understand really how you draw a correalation or distinctly divide one into external the other into internal.
Well there are a number of factors. The main one I mentioned was the noticeable difference in physique, since the thread was about weight training. I also stated that the yoga guy is more relaxed, as the question of relaxation was also brought up. But there are others as well. For me it is not so much a matter of individual elements as it is of watching the overall body movement.

Quote:
Emotionally we'd like to believe that the yoga guy is doing internal stuff and the gymnast is external...based on affinitiy and identification with the labels we like to put on things...however, I don't think it is quite that simple.
That really has nothing to do with it. Most people that do "yoga" don't have much in the way of internal skill. That yoga video I specifically selected because it's an example of someone who does. I would say that if you did a search on youtube for yoga the number of results that I would put in that category would be less than ten percent (perhaps much less).

Quote:
Both are impressive athletes that have mastered things that require a command and certain level of mastery of the mind, body, and spirit.

Different set of parameters though!
Exactly my point!

Last edited by G DiPierro : 04-03-2007 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 04-03-2007, 05:56 PM   #33
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Weight-training and Ki/Kokyu

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
I'm having this sort of smiley kind of day because the stuff on ki/kokyu has been split off from Aikido discussions and weight-lifting is kept as an Aikido topic, with most of the "Aikido people" on the forum being happy about it.
Mike,
This simply highlights the fact that people still do not understand exactly what goes into developing the structure you are talking about for internal power. It's a particular kind of conditioning.

I was talking to my Systema friends about this and the subject of kettle bells came up. Apparently Michael and Vlad don't recommend them. Some of the senior Systema guys use them but in very specific ways. It is my understanding that if used differently they can actually interfere with developing the kind of structure which the Systema guys are trying to develop.

I am assuming that you are pretty much saying something along those lines.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 04-03-2007, 06:18 PM   #34
Mike Sigman
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Re: Weight-training and Ki/Kokyu

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I was talking to my Systema friends about this and the subject of kettle bells came up. Apparently Michael and Vlad don't recommend them. Some of the senior Systema guys use them but in very specific ways. It is my understanding that if used differently they can actually interfere with developing the kind of structure which the Systema guys are trying to develop.

I am assuming that you are pretty much saying something along those lines.
I'm sort of saying the same thing, George, but allow me the caveat of not being sure that it's what the Systema guys are talking about. Bear in mind that I've made the point many times that there are many levels and grades of ability to do these things and it's quite possible to have some limited aspects in boxing, Systema, Judo, karate, you name it, and my main focus/worry would be whether those aspects were complete enough to warrant a viable comparison as an "internal strength" art.

That being said as a caveat, I would tend to agree. O-Sensei's jin-kokyu skills are pretty apparent in some of the videos (it's almost impossible to tell about the functional "ki" development since it would have to be felt). So undoubtedly O-Sensei's use of heavy garden implements included the use and practice of that strength... not the 'normal' strength that would be used in weight-lifting. Same with kettle-balls.... if someone knows how to use jin/kokyu, they're going to use the kettleballs in that specific way, not in the way a normal strength-and-conditioning person is going to use the kettleballs.

The idea is to change over from "normal" local use of limbs and power to the mind-directed jin/kokyu method which combines with the ki-development stuff. You can never make that change-over to a new way of moving if you practice a little bit of this and a little bit of that... you have to make the full commitment, even to lifting a coffee cup with jin, stirring the soup with jin, etc. That's essentially why I said (and it's not just me that has said it, by any means) that weight-lifting is simply counter-productive when you're trying to learn to move kokyu and ki with the hara. The problems with these conversations is that they're so incredibly obvious and basic that some of the rebuttals, etc., get a little hysterical.

Best.

Mike
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Old 04-04-2007, 09:16 AM   #35
Michael Mackenzie
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Re: Weight-training and Ki/Kokyu

Quote:
Same with kettle-balls.... if someone knows how to use jin/kokyu, they're going to use the kettleballs in that specific way, not in the way a normal strength-and-conditioning person is going to use the kettleballs.
Hi Gang,

Well I'll put my butt on the line on this one...

I've been training kettlebells for about six months now, and while I agree with Mike that they in no way indicate internal martial art practice (if one were to do that one might consider training an internal martial art...) there are some interesting principles at work that might be worth a good debate.

So here goes....

Weight through heels - we tend to keep our weight back and in the heels.

Legs and hips drive the movement - any of the standard kettlebell movements (swings, cleans, snatches) are solely powered by the legs and hips. My kettlebell instructor is forever yelling at me to "stop using your arms" or "let your legs do the work"

"Reverse" Breathing - We do a ton of it to stabilise the torso and help drive the movement.

So that's just a few thoughts. That being said, like anything (look on youtube, for example) there are tons of examples of how not to do it that are super-muscley, with people using way too much weight etc...

Any thoughts on how these principles might apply to aikido practice or where lifting in this fashion diverges and contraindicates IMA practice?

Best,

Mike
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Old 04-04-2007, 09:30 AM   #36
Mike Sigman
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Re: Weight-training and Ki/Kokyu

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Michael Mackenzie wrote: View Post
Hi Gang,

Well I'll put my butt on the line on this one...

I've been training kettlebells for about six months now, and while I agree with Mike that they in no way indicate internal martial art practice (if one were to do that one might consider training an internal martial art...) there are some interesting principles at work that might be worth a good debate.

So here goes....

Weight through heels - we tend to keep our weight back and in the heels.

Legs and hips drive the movement - any of the standard kettlebell movements (swings, cleans, snatches) are solely powered by the legs and hips. My kettlebell instructor is forever yelling at me to "stop using your arms" or "let your legs do the work"

"Reverse" Breathing - We do a ton of it to stabilise the torso and help drive the movement.

So that's just a few thoughts. That being said, like anything (look on youtube, for example) there are tons of examples of how not to do it that are super-muscley, with people using way too much weight etc...

Any thoughts on how these principles might apply to aikido practice or where lifting in this fashion diverges and contraindicates IMA practice?
Let me make 2 points, Mike. One, when I meet up with people who claim that they're practicing some aspects of "internal strength", "moving from the hara", etc., it only takes a couple of seconds to see what they've got. And I should note that even a good "external" Chinese art is going to use jin... so people need to broaden their horizons about this whole "internal" discussion.

So I feel for those skills. It's pretty rare that someone has them, out of all the talk about how to do it, special training methods, etc. Or, if someone has some aspects of internal strength, often it is quite limited to linear jin skils; the dantien stuff is non-existent (even though many people are sure that they are "using the dantien"... it turns out to just be their limited interpretation in most cases).

I'm not saying you can't use kettleballs to build up some aspects of internal strength.... I'm just saying you have to know how before you do it. You have to know how to do it before you use a bokken, too. I know from long experience that some of the posters who are "already doing this stuff" will be very embarrassed if they to to show their stuff to someone who really already knows. And I think they may have that suspicion..... hence the lack of people rushing to go compare notes.

O-Sensei used some heavy implements, but I have no doubt that he used them in specialized ways. If you watch his jo-kata where he pokes the jo up to heaven and moves it in a circle, you can see how completely he uses his dantien and his whole-body connection. He didn't get that from ordinary weight-lifting; it's more complicated than that.

Best.

Mike
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Old 04-04-2007, 09:36 AM   #37
Mark Mueller
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Re: Weight-training and Ki/Kokyu

Mike said

"Can someone who has learned this form of movement now use heavy implements and weights? Yes. But he'll use them quite differently from someone who doesn't know these movement skills.'

What if it was quite the opposite.....Moving and using heavy implements and tools develeped strong movement skills "intutitively and unconscouisly."

I come from a family of farmers and blacksmiths (but alas I was rasied a suburban kid for the most part.) I am close to 50 myself and I always love to listen to my dad and his 8 brothers discuss the chores that were a daily part of thier life which included moving full milk cans from the barn to the dairy house (Carrying one in each hand)......working for 8 straight hours in the heat of summer tossing 40-60 lbs bales of hay 6 - 8 feet onto the hay wagon., using a heavy blacksmith hammer to improvise a peice of equipment that needed to be replaced and all the hundreds of other physical jobs that running a tenant farm entailed.. None of these men were built like wegiht lifters or bodybuilders but I still see them today as some of the most solid individuals I have ever met....they scoff at exercise because why do that when you can be doing something useful ( my father dug a swimming pool usng only a shovel one time because he was concerned he was getting soft).

The point to all this was there was no conscoious thought on their part of connecting vectors, powers of force, ki or chi, etc. It was just work and their bodies adapted to the tasks in the most appropriate manner. In our modern lives we don't have the occasion to do a lot of physical tasks on the scale that they did ( and to some extent what a lot of the old japanese and chinese folks did). It was a hard life and our modern life is EXTREMEMLY less labor intensive.

So in listening to all these discussions I am beginning to think it is not about some super secret techniques or feel....but rather a way of life that these old masters lived that contributed to thier power (walking everywhere, carrying water, etc, etc. actually using their bodies.).

If I were a betting man (and had a time machine) I would bet there would be very few people on this board who could have put my grandfather (in his prime) on his keester regardless of their martial skills (he had none) but he could move a stubborn 1500 lb draft horse, swing a 9 lb hammer over a hot forge )(with either hand) all day and still work and maintain a farm.

And at the end of the day he was too f*cking tired to philosophize about how it all worked. He just got up and did it again the next day.

So how does that help us all? Not a damn bit....I just liked telling the story.
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Old 04-04-2007, 10:05 AM   #38
Mike Sigman
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Re: Weight-training and Ki/Kokyu

Good points, Mark. My comment would be that the same thing happened in China, India, etc...... but in those cultures, there was an unbroken tradition of thousands of years that allowed them to come up with even more sophisticated tricks of movements than you normally will see in hard-working farmers. Some of those clever tricks got converted to martial skills, particularly the jin/kokyu manipulation stuff. I think if you saw/felt it, you'd see the point immediately and agree that it's a sophisticated movement trick and that my theory of it coming from agriculture is probably not too far-fetched.

Good points.

Best.

Mike
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Old 04-04-2007, 01:41 PM   #39
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Weight-training and Ki/Kokyu

Interesting discussion. It made me think of a few things. Hi Mark how's it going? Haven't heard from you for a while!

Mark probably recalls working with Bob Galeone when he would work the crap out of us for most of our practice time and THEN would start training. I remember my 4th Kyu test with Bob where I had to excuse myself to prevent from puking, then we began the test.

Bob from time to time would also make us carry around a cement popsicle Uechi Ryu style to learn how to center and move while carrying these things. I still do this from time to time.

My BJJ teachers do the same thing. We train to the point of failure, THEN students will stop using muscle and begin to relax and use something other than muscle to move and be effective.

Same thing happened when I used to work back on a potatoe farm as a teenager growing up in Maine slinging and balancing barrels.

Also during my Ranger training you'd train past the point of exhaustion then "let go" and give into the pain. It was amazing to see how far I could push past what I thought was humanly and muscularly possible.

Not sure if this at all related to internal skills that Mike is training, but it seems to work for me.

I think weight training and physical conditioning to develop core strength can be applied in the same manner.

While I am a big guy, I am not built like a body builder...more like Tim Sylvia to be honest!

I have this one 23 year old Lieutenant that I just started training that wants to be a UFC type fighter....he is built like a body builder. Funny you'd look at him and say he was in great shape, yet he cannot last 1 minute fighting without gasing out. I found it interesting that he could look so good, yet be in such poor condition to fight.

We discussed his lifting routine, he does it Arnold style. Isolating muscle groups and doing high weight, low reps.

Since I found crossfit it changed the way I think about developing strength.

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Old 04-04-2007, 02:06 PM   #40
Kevin Wilbanks
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Re: Aikido, Weight Lifting & Flexibility

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
I already posted at least twice in passing years that I did an in-service for the teaching staff in physical therapy at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. I led them through some basic jin things. When I asked several of the doctorate level people if they had ever seen anything like it before, they hadn't and didn't know what to say about it since it was outside of their experiences. You, on the other hand, with nowhere near their credentials and teaching experience, are ready to talk about the "hubris" of anyone who doesn't let you argue by reason of authority, even when you're pontificating on something you've never seen. Why don't you go look before you disparage? Try Dan. After watching your superior posts a couple of times before, I already made up my mind that it won't be me. The people at UCHSC.... the ones with twice your credentials... are a lot less supercilious when they talk to people and I'm a delicate soul.

This is NOT some new coordination like ice-skating. It's a different way of coordinating the body entirely. IF you ever get to see it, you'll begin to understand it. I've seen people go nowhere for years because they thought they could just mix this stuff in with normal movement. Even people with a few basic skills often only go a little way because they never fully commit to changing the way they move/coordinate. It's part of the big spectrum of skills thing that I've mentioned before.

Even better.... there are people that don't get even the first skill because they're so convinced that there can be nothing they don't know that they just talk themselves into a standstill and don't even go look. The real thing that is going on is that Asian martial arts, including Ueshiba's stuff, has a very clever set of movement mechanics at its core.... i.e., the heavy-duty level of Asian arts is even brighter than we thought. Aikido is even cleverer than you think.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
I have tried to reason with you in the past, but found you unwilling or incapable of sticking to the point, understanding basic concepts or employing basic logic. In this very post you accuse me of employing arguments from authority, completely obvlivious to the head-exploding irony that these are the only kind of arguments you make, and I have not made one. Emotive, fallacy-ridden rhetoric reminiscent of AM radio hosts is not going to pursuade me of anything.

I probably haven't seen these 'internal skills' in person. I have read nothing from you that would make me interested to seek out such an experience. I am only a hobbyist when it comes to Aikido, and given what I do and what I get out of the practice, I don't see how developing the abilities you and others describe would be of any interest to me. Most of what I find interesting in nage's role has to do with not needing to use much force to unbalance and throw uke, so I'm not about to go to great lengths to develop strength - "internal" or "external" - for Aikido purposes.

My purpose in these discussions has been to object to claims that are plainly false or possibly even harmful to people. Discouraging people from healthful exercise is irresponsible. Telling people that dissimilar movement skills interfere with one another is false.

Your claims that the type of movement you describe is completely different from every other type of movement, exercise, and activity that has ever been studied, and that current knowledge of how neuromotor skills work does not apply, sounds extremely dubious to me. No matter how amazing I found it that someone was hard to knock over or could push me around in person, it would not change my views on this, as they are not based on emotion or anecdote.

The way to convince me would be to develop a clear way to measure or test the performance of these skills, then organize a controlled study showing that lifting weights or going for a run inhibited learning them or decreased performance. If it held up to scrutiny, you would not only prove your point, but probably revolutionize the world of exercise science and possibly neurological medicine itself. Good luck with that.
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Old 04-04-2007, 02:32 PM   #41
Mike Sigman
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Re: Aikido, Weight Lifting & Flexibility

Quote:
Kevin Wilbanks wrote: View Post
I have tried to reason with you in the past, but found you unwilling or incapable of sticking to the point, understanding basic concepts or employing basic logic.
That's nice, but you don't address at all the fact that I've done this (well, some of it, since I only spent an hour and a half and was trying to give a thumbnail of the more interesting bits) in front of well-credentialed group of physiologists, kinesiologists, and so on. I get out and demonstrate, research, look for holes in the logic, etc, just to be sure that I'm not spouting malarkey; you critique from your keyboard.
Quote:
My purpose in these discussions has been to object to claims that are plainly false or possibly even harmful to people. Discouraging people from healthful exercise is irresponsible. Telling people that dissimilar movement skills interfere with one another is false.
First of all, no one has been "discouraged from healthful exercise". At best, counter-productive exercise has been discouraged. So your insinuation is false. Dissimilar movement skills is where your problem is... you just can't picture it because you're unfamiliar with it, yet, thinking back over posts to AikiWeb, I've made more than a few fairly clear comments about what is going on. You either don't remember them or you didn't pay attention when I said it. Rather than waste any more time, let me suggest... once again.... that if you have some interest, get out and see before you start arguing. If you don't have any interest, why are you even bothering to post on the issue?
Quote:
Your claims that the type of movement you describe is completely different from every other type of movement, exercise, and activity that has ever been studied, and that current knowledge of how neuromotor skills work does not apply, sounds extremely dubious to me. No matter how amazing I found it that someone was hard to knock over or could push me around in person, it would not change my views on this, as they are not based on emotion or anecdote.

The way to convince me would be to develop a clear way to measure or test the performance of these skills, then organize a controlled study showing that lifting weights or going for a run inhibited learning them or decreased performance. If it held up to scrutiny, you would not only prove your point, but probably revolutionize the world of exercise science and possibly neurological medicine itself. Good luck with that.
Well, I stand by what I say. I demonstrate it. I know reasonably well what is going on in most cases, although some of the so-called qi/ki development stuff (in relation to fascial structures, beathing exercises, etc.) I'm not totally clear on because they're somewhat less explainable than I thought they'd be. However, a lot of it is uncharted indeed in terms of western physiology. Not unexplainable, just uncharted waters.

In terms of convincing you, I think I could do it pretty easily... but I don't want to, in your case. Your archived comments are enough for the moment.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 04-04-2007, 03:24 PM   #42
Ecosamurai
 
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Re: Weight-training and Ki/Kokyu

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
my theory of it coming from agriculture is probably not too far-fetched.
I saw a documentary where a Shodokan teacher (back in the 1970s IIRC) expressed similar views when describing the difference between eastern and western MA. He said he thought eastern MA movements came from farming where you stayed relatively still and repeated movements often using tools. Whereas western ones were based on hunting, which is why you see boxers dancing around etc etc...

Interesting theory. Wish I could remember the documentary.

Mike

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
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Old 04-04-2007, 03:40 PM   #43
Ecosamurai
 
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Re: Weight-training and Ki/Kokyu

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
My BJJ teachers do the same thing. We train to the point of failure, THEN students will stop using muscle and begin to relax and use something other than muscle to move and be effective.

Same thing happened when I used to work back on a potatoe farm as a teenager growing up in Maine slinging and balancing barrels.

Also during my Ranger training you'd train past the point of exhaustion then "let go" and give into the pain. It was amazing to see how far I could push past what I thought was humanly and muscularly possible.
I think that maybe this is the sort of thing that was being experienced by Koichi Tohei when he would stay up all night practicing misogi and then go to the dojo so tired that nobody in the dojo could throw him except..... O Sensei.

My teacher does things like this to us, the idea being to remove the students ability to use physical 'strength' and have them only able to use coordinated 'internal strength'. It doesn't work however if you don't have any understanding of the internal stuff, cos if you take away strength and have nothing there to use instead then you just fall down So I don't think it trains ki/qi in itself, it's just a tool to force you to use it, i.e. to change your body/muscle memory or something like that.

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 04-04-2007, 04:04 PM   #44
Marc Abrams
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Re: Weight-training and Ki/Kokyu

I have not seen anywhere in this thread where Mike and Dan say that weightlifting is not good for you. They are saying that it will almost definitely interfere in your ability to be "soft" so as to be able to utilize internal energy. This does go directly to the issue of "muscle memory." If you are trying to teach yourself not to tighten your muscles when faced with a force vector, then you must practice developing the sensitivity to maintaining your softness (lack of muscle tension, particularly in the arms and upper body) when responding to force vectors.

When you lift weights, the first thing that you do is to grip the weight. This is causing a contraction of the muscles far away from your center. This is starting a process that Mike and Dan are talking about learning NOT to do. There are many ways to keep one's muscles tone without having to resort to weight lifting. If you are trying to develop good "muscle memory" in order to learn the "internal aspect" of an art, then it takes intense practice without having your body experience another type of "muscle memory" that runs directly opposite to what you are trying to achieve.

I frankly am amused at the decidedly negative reactions and responses that Dan and Mike receive. These guys are sincere in trying to help us improve our Aikido. You don't have to like the messenger or the manner in which the message is conveyed, in order to still be able to take in the information that they are providing us. I wish people would stop trying to reflexively defend against what they are pointing out to us. O'Sensei was always open to being exposed to other martial arts. Why is it that people need to try and be so insular regarding Aikido? Are these people who need to always disagree with Dan and Mike so insecure? People could agree to disagree, but they should at least try and experience the message before simply discounting it as something that you do not want to hear.

Marc Abrams
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Old 04-04-2007, 04:38 PM   #45
Haowen Chan
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Re: Weight-training and Ki/Kokyu

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Mike Haft wrote: View Post
I saw a documentary where a Shodokan teacher (back in the 1970s IIRC) expressed similar views when describing the difference between eastern and western MA. He said he thought eastern MA movements came from farming where you stayed relatively still and repeated movements often using tools. Whereas western ones were based on hunting, which is why you see boxers dancing around etc etc...

Interesting theory. Wish I could remember the documentary.

Mike
Was it "way of the Warrior"?

http://www.youtube.com/results?searc...r+aikido+kendo
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Old 04-04-2007, 04:39 PM   #46
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Re: Weight-training and Ki/Kokyu

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Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
I frankly am amused at the decidedly negative reactions and responses that Dan and Mike receive. These guys are sincere in trying to help us improve our Aikido. You don't have to like the messenger or the manner in which the message is conveyed, in order to still be able to take in the information that they are providing us. I wish people would stop trying to reflexively defend against what they are pointing out to us. O'Sensei was always open to being exposed to other martial arts. Why is it that people need to try and be so insular regarding Aikido? Are these people who need to always disagree with Dan and Mike so insecure? People could agree to disagree, but they should at least try and experience the message before simply discounting it as something that you do not want to hear.


Marc Abrams
Not sure if that's the whole issue. I've been reading aikiweb since it started. Was a member of aikido-l for years before that. The aikido internet community is amusingly reminiscent of an AA 12 step program sometimes I think. How would your average alcoholic take it if a clean and sober guy walked into their meeting and started criticizing them for being alcoholics? They might have a point, they may even be completely right, but they'd still be doing something rather rude.

I'm glad that Jun made these non-aikido forums, it's kinda like having a good chat in the doorway to the room the aikidoholics are having their meeting in Mike and Dan have interesting things to say and I find it interesting reading them. I don't think they mean anything other than good. I just think that it's important to understand there's a community that has plenty to offer in terms of knowledge and advice freely shared and accepted, a community that may or may not think there are more important things to aikido than martial effectiveness and internal power. If you come to an aikido forum you should respect those views IMHO, even if you disagree with them.

YMMV

Mike

EDIT: I should add that by respect I don't mean that Dan and Mike don't necessarily respect them. Just that I sometimes find it hard to understand the motive for their postings. Or understand what they are hoping to achieve (if anything at all, might just be intellectual curiosity rather than an agenda, depends how you read things I suppose...).

Last edited by Ecosamurai : 04-04-2007 at 04:45 PM.

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Old 04-04-2007, 04:41 PM   #47
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Re: Weight-training and Ki/Kokyu

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Yup, that was the one. Thanks!

Mike

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Old 04-04-2007, 05:28 PM   #48
Gernot Hassenpflug
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Re: Weight-training and Ki/Kokyu

In Japan (don't know about other Asian countries) there is a fairly standard theory that the difference in the culture of Asian nations, including Japan, China, and Korea, compared to Western European nations, is owing to the communal nature of the culture of rice cultivation. That this led directly to the cooperation among individuals, to the specific walk (toe down first, shoulders back) and various other "natual" movements.

Last edited by Gernot Hassenpflug : 04-04-2007 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 04-05-2007, 05:48 PM   #49
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Re: Aikido, Weight Lifting & Flexibility

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Kevin Wilbanks wrote: View Post
I probably haven't seen these 'internal skills' in person. I have read nothing from you that would make me interested to seek out such an experience.
I think that has to do with the fact that some internal gurus flat out refuse to showcase their amazing skills in UFC, or heck, even much more tame events like sumo or taijiquan push hands contests.

I mean, if they can't be pushed over, you think it would be easy for them, and besides that, a great venue to get people interested in developing their brand of internal strength.

Justin

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Old 04-06-2007, 12:20 AM   #50
Kevin Wilbanks
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Re: Aikido, Weight Lifting & Flexibility

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
That's nice, but you don't address at all the fact that I've done this (well, some of it, since I only spent an hour and a half and was trying to give a thumbnail of the more interesting bits) in front of well-credentialed group of physiologists, kinesiologists, and so on. I get out and demonstrate, research, look for holes in the logic, etc, just to be sure that I'm not spouting malarkey; you critique from your keyboard.
OK, I'll bite once more. What the hell. This is a perfect example of the kind of fuzzy rhetoric that shows a complete lack of basic thinking skills I was pointing to. To start with, this is an argument from authority. Google a logical fallacy site and look it up. The argument is made all the more flimsy by the fact that these credentialled authorities remain nameless. Things really take a dive from there. What does the fact that you did something impressive in front of some nameless authorities prove? I'm sure they were impressed. I'm even willing to believe they had never seen anything like it and were mystified. So what? Did you write out explicit propositions on a blackboard that were directly contrary to basic principles of neuroscience and get them to agree they were true? That's what we are talking about here.

Even then, it would still be a fallacious argument from authority, but it would be one that would carry some small weight. Find me one credentialled authority that is willing to claim that doing a few basic resistance training exercise sessions for 20-30 minutes two or three times per week will interefere with the performance of any kind of movement skill whatsoever, other than movements extremely similar to the resistance exercises themselves, and sign his or her name to the statement. One. Then you will at least have a halfway credible-sounding fallacy. If you got that much, maybe you could also get this authority to explain why, and then we'd really have something.

You seem to have this simple-minded, irrational mindset that anyone who disagrees with you on any point no matter how particular, disagrees that whatever you are doing in terms of internal skills is good or real or something, and then it's all about a referendum on the value of internal skills. You can't simply wipe out all opposition to every particular claim you make by asserting the goodness or realness of your practice, or dispel all counterarguments by showing someone something impressive.

It's all colossally beside the point. I have no opinion about most of the 'internal skills' debate. You have made very specific claims about very specific things that you obviously don't understand anything about. It's clear that you don't even understand the epistemological issues involved in making such a claim, or how you would go about validating one. What you have are hunches based on your own anecdotal experience, but nothing remotely approaching proof or even a half-assed attempt at conducting a disinterested study. No control group. No placebo group. No account for stastical significance. Have you ever even heard of observer-expectancy effects or subject-expectancy effects?


You've got nothing but arguements from authority - mostly that of your own judgement. This might be sufficient basis for teaching people how to do some internal skills, but it is miles away from sufficient basis to be making anti-scientific claims regarding something as specific as whether or not someone spending less than 1% of their time doing an activity interferes with doing another unrelated one. While you are Googling the logical fallacy page, look up 'unwarranted generalization'.

Last edited by Kevin Wilbanks : 04-06-2007 at 12:33 AM.
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