Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Non-Aikido Martial Traditions

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 04-08-2007, 09:04 AM   #26
statisticool
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 534
United_States
Offline
Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

Quote:
Pete Rihaczek wrote: View Post
Not only are you not part of this discussion, but the very fact of you being involved kills any desire to share anything of substance.
I think you need to read the OP again.

Quote:
Here again you have the nerve to participate, with your signature an affirmation of your lack of character,
I think the signature is an affirmation of a highly guarded secret to the internal martial arts.

Quote:
The existence of people like you is why things aren't shared in public.
Why what is not shared? Parlor tricks? One thing that is obviously not shared in public venues, such as UFC-ish competitions, is the martial efficacy of any internal artist making claims that he cannot be pushed over.

I'm not sure why asking for evidence of martial efficacy of a martial art from martial artists who makes claims upsets some people so. Maybe they should not make claims?

Justin

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2007, 10:26 AM   #27
Ecosamurai
 
Ecosamurai's Avatar
Dojo: Takagashira Dojo
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 519
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

Quote:
Pete Rihaczek wrote: View Post
And for the record, I find these ki tests relatively meaningless. Once someone publishes a test, people can work on just doing whatever the test is. That's not the point. The point is that someone who can do these things could pass all manner of tests on the fly as a byproduct of their training. The reverse is not true - passing the tests doesn't mean you can do much of anything else. As a practical matter, if you know what you're looking for you don't need any tests, you can easily feel what someone knows. You can often see it by looking at them too, once you know what to look for. If you know it, tests are pointless, and if you don't know it...tests are pointless.
Actually, you're both right and wrong at the same time. Tests aren't meaningless. They are a learning tool. They are not the skill itself. They are a methodology used for helping a student acquire the skills you talk about and that's all. If you're doing this stuff right then the ki tests should help you to understand the fundamental principles being used and you should be able to apply them to anything you do. As I said in a previous post I can look at my students and tell if they're going to pass a test before I even lay hands on them.
Just like you described it, were I ever in the same room as Dan for example or Mike, I wouldn't have to ki test them to tell what they were like, you just see it.

The tests are tools for helping the student to learn the correct feeling. That's all. Also: "Once someone publishes a test, people can work on just doing whatever the test is" is simply untrue, eventually all the tests overlap in their methods, because you need 4 things to pass each and every one of them. Let's assume that you happen to be very good at unbendable arm. But not so good at the walking forward whilst being held from behind. In the beginning you may pass one test and not the other, but, as the tests get higher in level the things that make you bad at one test will make you bad at all of them. You cannot simply train for one and only one test because it doesn't work that way. They are a collection of tests designed to help you learn how to do 4 things, not 30 or 40 separate movements and scenarios, the tests do not work in isolation.

So basically the ki tests are exactly what you said they weren't. When you said:
"But does this really show what he's capable of? No. If you can duplicate these things, can you do what he does in the general sense? No. If you tried pushing him, grabbing him, putting a lock on him, taking a hit from him, would you be impressed, and know why people make a big deal out of it? Yes, very much."

Essentially what you said was that in those vids what Wang is doing are ki tests. Are they the root of his ability? No. Are they ways in which to demonstrate his ability? Yes. Which is exactly what ki tests are. The logic of using them as a learning tool goes like this: If I can duplicate the things that Chen Xiowang does in those vids I'm probably gaining some understanding of how he does these things. So if I continue to practise them and other 'tricks' like them I will continue to understand more about how he does them. Like I said learning tools, not to be thought of in isolation. They are not the skill itself, the skill itself is different.

Mike

PS - And for the record Chen Xiowang is 'cheating' when he does those things. When the guy's are pushing on him (one or 100 makes no difference) he has his hands (watch his right hand in the first part of the film in particular) on them and is redirecting their force and neutralizing it. It's not a very hard thing to do. The reason I know it's not a very hard thing to do is that I can do it and I'm not very good. Though to be fair I've never tried it with that many people all at once, most I've done is four, but I suspect after that the numbers mean nothing. Certainly, going from 3 to 4 people felt little different.

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2007, 10:30 AM   #28
Ecosamurai
 
Ecosamurai's Avatar
Dojo: Takagashira Dojo
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 519
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

Quote:
Justin Smith wrote: View Post
I'm not sure why asking for evidence of martial efficacy of a martial art from martial artists who makes claims upsets some people so. Maybe they should not make claims?
As I said in the first post. Martial effectiveness aside, let's try to make this a discussion of internal principles and how to teach them. Not whether or not they are useful in UFC, or useful against a tank or whatever. That said however, feel free to troll away if you think it'll be helpful....

Mike

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2007, 01:32 PM   #29
statisticool
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 534
United_States
Offline
Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

Quote:
Mike Haft wrote: View Post
Martial effectiveness aside, let's try to make this a discussion of internal principles and how to teach them. Not whether or not they are useful in UFC, or useful against a tank or whatever.
How can martial effectiveness be put aside? We are talking about martial arts done by martial artists, no?

If they are ways of moving more efficiently they should be able to be used in any movement, no?

Justin

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2007, 01:41 PM   #30
Ecosamurai
 
Ecosamurai's Avatar
Dojo: Takagashira Dojo
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 519
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Mike,
I agree with your points, but not your reasoning. An unconscious person is pretty natural. No one has to learn to pass out and relax they just do it. So it's a matter of unlearning some unnatural behaviors (when conscious) not a matter of learning something different.

I'm not trying to be a jerk, but honestly I think you guys are making this stuff out to be way harder then it is. I'll try your ki tests and report back how I did. Hmm, I may even make a video.
Yeah, but like I said, the word 'natural' is a pain in this respect, better not to use it at all than risk getting bogged down in a semantic argument about 'natural movement' IMO internal stuff is decidedly unnatural movement, if it were 'natural' everyone would do it from birth. Clearly they do not do so or there would be so much discussion of it here.

I would also say that unlearning a behaviour is learning something different, and yet again we run into the problem of the word 'natural'. Honestly you see the word appear from time to time in the writings of Koichi Tohei and it troubles me then too. When he refers to natural as in standing naturally I think he's probably talking about something different than you are. But I could be wrong, I'm pretty sure that I know what it is that he is talking about, but I'm having a bit of trouble with your descriptions, sorry

Also as I said before. They aren't my ki tests, and what I've described is only a basic bit of stuff, even were you to attempt what I'd written you might not be doing the right stuff. That's where instructors come into the picture. As I've said before, the tests aren't the skill itself, and passing or failing them isn't what it's about, they are a learning tool and you need an instructor there to talk to you about what you're doing when you try these things.

Regards

Mike

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2007, 01:42 PM   #31
Ecosamurai
 
Ecosamurai's Avatar
Dojo: Takagashira Dojo
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 519
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

Quote:
Justin Smith wrote: View Post
How can martial effectiveness be put aside? We are talking about martial arts done by martial artists, no?

If they are ways of moving more efficiently they should be able to be used in any movement, no?

Justin
Of course they should be, and they are (I use them all the time in a non-martial context as well as a martial one). But that is simply not the topic of conversation, at the moment.

Mike

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2007, 08:51 PM   #32
Pete Rihaczek
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 61
United_States
Offline
Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

Quote:
Mike Haft wrote: View Post
Like I said learning tools, not to be thought of in isolation. They are not the skill itself, the skill itself is different.

Mike

PS - And for the record Chen Xiowang is 'cheating' when he does those things. When the guy's are pushing on him (one or 100 makes no difference) he has his hands (watch his right hand in the first part of the film in particular) on them and is redirecting their force and neutralizing it. It's not a very hard thing to do. The reason I know it's not a very hard thing to do is that I can do it and I'm not very good. Though to be fair I've never tried it with that many people all at once, most I've done is four, but I suspect after that the numbers mean nothing. Certainly, going from 3 to 4 people felt little different.
I think you just reiterated my point. Your ability to duplicate any of them does not make you Chen Xiao Wang. I don't think they're very effective as learning tools either, or else we'd have a lot more Chen Xiao Wangs as well. If you got the chance to see what your level is compared to his, I think you would abandon the notion that ki tests as a learning tool will allow you to bridge the gap in ability. This is obviously not how these guys learn to do this stuff, there is serious work to be put in, and that's the real how-to.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2007, 09:25 PM   #33
Ecosamurai
 
Ecosamurai's Avatar
Dojo: Takagashira Dojo
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 519
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

Quote:
Pete Rihaczek wrote: View Post
I think you just reiterated my point. Your ability to duplicate any of them does not make you Chen Xiao Wang. I don't think they're very effective as learning tools either, or else we'd have a lot more Chen Xiao Wangs as well. If you got the chance to see what your level is compared to his, I think you would abandon the notion that ki tests as a learning tool will allow you to bridge the gap in ability. This is obviously not how these guys learn to do this stuff, there is serious work to be put in, and that's the real how-to.
Actually I think we're saying the same thing from different ends. You seem to have missed my point that ki tests aren't actually how you learn this stuff, you learn it by being taught it by an instructor, probably in much the same way you're thinking of. The tests are just the tool for that purpose. Suppose for example that Chen Xiao Wang teaches this stuff by having his students adopt a stance/position or demonstrate a movement(s). He then corrects their movements and gives advice, telling them what they were doing wrong and so helping them to develop the correct feeling to achieve the ends he's aiming for, he uses metaphors to illustrate the feeling they need to aim for and gives them feedback on their performance. That's the ki test pedagogy right there. Only the ki test methods have a basic curriculum commonly taught as a minimum criteria for not only teaching this stuff but assessing rank in ki development.

How do you know there aren't more Chen Xiao Wangs? What makes you think others aren't putting in serious work?

Regards

Mike

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2007, 09:39 PM   #34
Haowen Chan
Location: Pittsburgh
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 91
United_States
Offline
Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

Pete: Respectfully, what is "serious work"? I'm curious.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2007, 10:36 PM   #35
ChrisHein
 
ChrisHein's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Fresno
Location: Fresno , CA
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,638
United_States
Offline
Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

Mike.
I think we are capable of doing them from birth. It's that whole baby squeezing your hand thing. When a baby can squeeze your finger very strongly, he is simply using himself correctly. I think people who are "natural" athleats, are simply people who didn't learn as many bad habbits as the rest of us. I also think athleats do most things "internally".

  Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2007, 11:01 PM   #36
eyrie
 
eyrie's Avatar
Location: Summerholm, Queensland
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,126
Australia
Offline
Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

I dunno Chris... what you call "natural" is completely unnatural and counter-intuitive. What is "natural" is that our reticular activating system is pre-programmed for flight or fight response. One of the primary reasons it is difficult to tell someone to try "relax" harder... it's completely counter-intuitive to do so, particularly when under duress.

As for babies doing what they do intuitively is not because it is "natural", it's because they haven't yet been subjected to environmental conditioning.

There's a big difference between "natural" movement and "internal" movement. Picking my nose and scratching my butt might be completely natural...(or unnatural... depending on your perspective) but whether that is internal or external is quite another thing...

Which leads us to what exactly is the definition of "internal"? Until this is addressed and agreed upon, the rest of this discussion is moot.

Ignatius
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2007, 11:45 PM   #37
Gernot Hassenpflug
Dojo: Aunkai, Tokyo
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 319
Japan
Offline
Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

Hi Ignatius, I think the "internal" is too wide. IIRC Mike Sigman pointed out several times in the past that there are "internal body mechanics" which are used by a wide variety of Asian martial arts, regardless of whether the arts are currently classified as "internal" or "external", then there are specific internal mechanisms which could be used to specify whether an art qualifies as "internal". For most of us, the latter is not really of interest at the moment, as we struggle to come to terms with the baseline internal body mechanics. I think that is what you were referring to, but thought it might help to elaborate.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2007, 11:50 PM   #38
Pete Rihaczek
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 61
United_States
Offline
Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

Quote:
Mike Haft wrote: View Post

How do you know there aren't more Chen Xiao Wangs? What makes you think others aren't putting in serious work?

Regards

Mike
Well, you used the phrase "learning tool", which is fine as far as your description goes, I just question how much they really contribute to learning.

The number of real masters of this stuff is very small, relative to the available pool of practitioners, which wouldn't be the case if all the people who have been exposed to ki tests made good progress. The existence of various tests doesn't seem to be much of a factor in getting people to an impressive level of skill. Some of these guys, like Chen Xiao Wang in particular, are frighteningly powerful. You don't get that just from being told "keep weight underside", and then a few years of pirouettes and you're there. There are bigs chunks of fundamental information missing from the basic stage to the impressive power and ability stage. That all-important information is very closely guarded.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2007, 11:58 PM   #39
ChrisHein
 
ChrisHein's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Fresno
Location: Fresno , CA
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,638
United_States
Offline
Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post

As for babies doing what they do intuitively is not because it is "natural", it's because they haven't yet been subjected to environmental conditioning.
Yes, this is the way I am useing natural. Current enviromental conditioning is not natrual. The natural state of man is to hunt and gather. Those are the conditions we evolved under.

  Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2007, 12:00 AM   #40
Pete Rihaczek
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 61
United_States
Offline
Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

Quote:
Howard Chan wrote: View Post
Pete: Respectfully, what is "serious work"? I'm curious.
Effortful practice directed toward the goal of achieving particular motor patterning and the body conditioning to go with it. In other words just practicing your Aikido moves over and over will make you skilled at doing that, but it isn't going to make you feel like "steel wrapped in cotton" or otherwise make anybody scratch their head and wonder how the heck you produce a lot of unusual power, and all the rest of the Ueshiba-like qualities that get so many people into Aikido in the first place.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2007, 12:26 AM   #41
Pete Rihaczek
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 61
United_States
Offline
Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Yes, this is the way I am useing natural. Current enviromental conditioning is not natrual. The natural state of man is to hunt and gather. Those are the conditions we evolved under.
Chris, with all due respect there is no reason whatsoever to think humans naturally used something like the dantien articulation of the sort that you'll see among many good practitioners. That is an unusual and obviously deliberately learned skill.

In a more general sense, evolution dictates that natural movement is efficient. Our primitive ancestors could not afford to waste calories. If you need to grab something light with your hand, you naturally use local arm strength because that's the least energy demand to get the job done. That is not what the internal mechanics being discussed are about, in one sense they are about getting your whole body involved even if you only need to move your arm. It sacrifices calorie efficiency in order to allow more power to be expressed without losing it somewhere or exceeding the tolerance of part of the linkage. That's just one facet of their unnaturalness, but one is enough to torpedo the notion that this is natural movement by any definition of natural.

To use an off-the-wall example, most people have probably experienced something like this: you open the refrigerator, go to grab the milk, and it goes BWANG! as you hit the top of the fridge with it because it's nearly empty when you expected it to be full. Your brain judged how much arm power you would need to lift it, and before you could adjust you overshot it. Similarly if we imagine it were filled with lead as a joke, many people would practically fall over or at least become unbalanced from the unexpected load. That is the "natural" way of doing everyday things, the "external" way. That is not the way it would be done with internal mechanics. Now you can try to become really fast at sensing and adjusting how much force you apply in what direction so that you stop yourself from overcompensating, and this is what most people do as they develop skill. The internal approach is to move in such a way that your structure isn't going to become easily disrupted by the unexpected size or direction of a force, among other things. This gives the ability to react instantly and have power available instantly, rather than having to regain structure first, and then react, maybe overshoot again, have to regroup, etc. The martial utility of such skill should be rather obvious, and that's only one facet of it. In no way shape or form is it natural or anything that can be learned without *unlearning* what you do naturally, and trying to completely repattern movement.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2007, 01:12 AM   #42
ChrisHein
 
ChrisHein's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Fresno
Location: Fresno , CA
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,638
United_States
Offline
Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

Pete,
I get what you are saying. But our ancestors also had to jump on top of prey, and drive spears into huge animals. This requires great force. The body evolved in a manner that can generate this force.

It's the way we were designed to work, and deviating from natural movement (the way our body was designed by evolution to work) will only impair our abilities and not add to them.

I believe talk of the dantain is more confusing then helpful. It's just another vague word that is hard to pin down. Firstly it's from a foreign culture (for most of us). Secondly it's an old world word.

If we want to define amongst ourselves what it means that's great, but otherwise it's just confusing.

  Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2007, 02:25 AM   #43
eyrie
 
eyrie's Avatar
Location: Summerholm, Queensland
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,126
Australia
Offline
Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
But our ancestors also had to jump on top of prey, and drive spears into huge animals. This requires great force. The body evolved in a manner that can generate this force.

It's the way we were designed to work, and deviating from natural movement (the way our body was designed by evolution to work) will only impair our abilities and not add to them.
That may be so.... but I doubt it. As Pete said, "internal" mechanics requires rewiring/reprogramming the motor-neural pathways in a specific way, which is counter-intuitive to what you describe as "natural" movement. Whilst it may certainly aid in adaptation for hunting/gathering, the only hunting/gathering activity anyone is inclined to do these days, involves a trip to the supermarket, and wrestling the trolley with the dickie wheel.

Quote:
I believe talk of the dantain is more confusing then helpful. It's just another vague word that is hard to pin down. Firstly it's from a foreign culture (for most of us). Secondly it's an old world word.

If we want to define amongst ourselves what it means that's great, but otherwise it's just confusing.
If it helps, "internal" means... using your middle, and more pertinently, your lower abdomen, to power ALL movements, supported by the ground, and expressed thru the extremities, in a "loose" (i.e. relaxed but tensioned) manner, and without engaging the use of the large muscle groups. Which would seem hardly natural nor intuitive now, would it?

Ignatius
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2007, 02:37 AM   #44
Upyu
Dojo: Aunkai, Tokyo
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 591
Offline
Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
I believe talk of the dantain is more confusing then helpful. It's just another vague word that is hard to pin down. Firstly it's from a foreign culture (for most of us). Secondly it's an old world word.

If we want to define amongst ourselves what it means that's great, but otherwise it's just confusing.
Actually Chris, it's only a "vague" word for those without access to a teacher that doesn't have those skills. For those that have access to a teacher with the skills, and to those that have the skills, it's not vague at all

Certainly Abe Sensei in Kyoto isn't "vague" at all when he talks about the tanden and what to do with it.

Last edited by Upyu : 04-09-2007 at 02:39 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2007, 02:53 AM   #45
ChrisHein
 
ChrisHein's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Fresno
Location: Fresno , CA
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,638
United_States
Offline
Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

Ignatius,

I know what Pete said. I disagree with what he says. The fundamental disagreement we are having is: I think internal is natural, and Pete thinks it is unnatural. Now we are trying to hash out what we do agree on.

The quote you used was talking about the word "dantian" not the word "internal".

Moving your body in the way I described seems pretty natural to me. I've also seen people walk in off the street that use their body naturally this way. When you find a “gifted” athlete, this is what I believe people are referring to.

Rob John.
Yes, you know what your teacher means by dantain. And I know what mine means by it. And I know how I use it, and you how you use it, but that doesn't mean we agree on what the word means.

  Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2007, 08:51 AM   #46
Ecosamurai
 
Ecosamurai's Avatar
Dojo: Takagashira Dojo
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 519
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

Quote:
Pete Rihaczek wrote: View Post
Well, you used the phrase "learning tool", which is fine as far as your description goes, I just question how much they really contribute to learning.

The number of real masters of this stuff is very small, relative to the available pool of practitioners, which wouldn't be the case if all the people who have been exposed to ki tests made good progress. The existence of various tests doesn't seem to be much of a factor in getting people to an impressive level of skill. Some of these guys, like Chen Xiao Wang in particular, are frighteningly powerful. You don't get that just from being told "keep weight underside", and then a few years of pirouettes and you're there. There are bigs chunks of fundamental information missing from the basic stage to the impressive power and ability stage. That all-important information is very closely guarded.
No, I agree that you don't, but I attribute that more to the student/teacher relationship than the methodology itself. For the record, I've seen plenty of people who have learned things using the Tohei method that appear (key word) at least as powerful as Wang does in the film I've seen of him. Hell I can even do a lot of the 'trick's he demonstrates. Like you said, just being told to 'keep one point' doesn't help if you don't already know how, but in a class these things are explained and actively taught.

Seems to me that you may have made up your mind about this stuff before experiencing it properly, I could be wrong but that's how it's looking to me at present.

Put it another way. In Tai Chi, the chi kung exercises are ki tests as are the forms themselves. My Tai Chi teacher used to ask us to stop at any point in the form and he would point out weaknesses in what we were doing, he also had us practice 'ward off' against punch bags to 'develop our chi' though he never said how exactly we were to develop it, just that hitting things would do it. When I went to aikido I found someone who was actually explaining all these things in a way I could understand. Imagine a Tai Chi form of X moves and your teaher happened to notice that all his students found it helpful for developing their overall internal skill if he singled out one or two movements of the form and had them work on those in a more focused way. Later when they have absorbed this info he notices that other movements seem to help when they are focused on. Eventually he gets to a point where he no longer has to focus on specific movements which seem the most helpful in teaching the internal skills because they have learned them and they can apply them however they choose. The Tai Chi teacher is developing ki tests (or in this case chi tests). All that has happened in the ki soc is that the ones developed by Tohei Sensei have become a standardized part of the curriculum.

Regards

Mike

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2007, 09:05 AM   #47
Ecosamurai
 
Ecosamurai's Avatar
Dojo: Takagashira Dojo
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 519
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Pete,
I get what you are saying. But our ancestors also had to jump on top of prey, and drive spears into huge animals. This requires great force. The body evolved in a manner that can generate this force.
Er actually it didn't. Human body structure has little to do with hunting, more to do with locomotion (in our case walking) and having hands free to gather food and use tools. Our bodies in structure resemble closely those of the other great apes who do not hunt with spears and jump on prey. At least that's what I was taught a few years ago during my MSc.

If someone were to hold out their arm and it were totally immovable I wouldn't call that natural, I'd say it was decidedly un-natural and quite an impressive skill. Yet most people can't do this. Let's assume that gifted athletes can, they have to train hard to be so good at what they do, it isn't like they're born being able to run 100m in 10sec. They have to train for it. Your use of the word natural and all it implies would have us think that cavemen could do all these things and that we have lost the ability over thousands of years as we have become more modern. Perhaps it was lost when Adam had a fruit salad he wasn't supposed to? Perhaps this is a reflection of what happens as we move from childhood to adulthood? We lose our natural ability to move naturally and fall down and cut our knee and run to our mothers crying?

Sorry I just don't believe it. I understand where you're coming from but I think the logic and language you're using is thwarting your argument. This movement isn't intuitive in my experience, it's a skill that has to be learned like any other. You position that it is natural movement possessed by athletes isn't totally wrong. If you watch films of Parkour for example the exhibit a good amount of mind and body coordination, same as other sports. Trouble is that amount of coordination is just the beginning step in my experience, there is a great deal more to learn.

Regards

Mike

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2007, 09:49 AM   #48
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
I know what Pete said. I disagree with what he says. The fundamental disagreement we are having is: I think internal is natural, and Pete thinks it is unnatural. Now we are trying to hash out what we do agree on.
Sure, but this is an old problem that has been commented on in many of the classical texts. These movements are "natural" in the sense that they follow the "natural" lay of the muscles and tendons and they use the "natural" laws of gravity and the support of Heaven and Earth. However, these ways of movement are not "natural" in the sense that people naturally do them. They must be learned; they are not instinctive. Many, many amateurs think that "natural" somehow implies "instinctive"... that is totally wrong.

Regards,

Mike
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2007, 10:04 AM   #49
Kevin Leavitt
 
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Stuttgart, Baden Wurttemberg
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
Germany
Offline
Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

Mike I would certainly agree with that the movements you describe are not "Natural". I don't like using that word since it is too broad. What is natural for one, is not natural for another, and what is natural may not be the "best way" to respond in a situation.

I spend an most of my time teaching my guys how to move properly (as well as myself). I have never had someone come into the dojo and use proper posture, connecting the hips, arms, posture and move correctly in response to an antagonist. Never!

Sure I have had wrestlers and others that seem to have connected it better than others, but everyone can learn to improve.

So I would say that grappling correctly is NOT instinctive. Aspects of it certainly are. Heck I was just watching my 7 year old rolling around on the lawn with his buds...they instinctively do many things such as mount, side control, turtle etc...however they use what you would call alot of disconnected, and not so efficient movement.

So I would agree with you in this respect, that many movements have to be learned, or things unlearned as the case may be.

  Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2007, 10:08 AM   #50
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I spend an most of my time teaching my guys how to move properly (as well as myself). I have never had someone come into the dojo and use proper posture, connecting the hips, arms, posture and move correctly in response to an antagonist. Never!
We are NOT talking about the same things, Kevin. You need to go see these things.... so we're back in the same rut.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Cool Rain Productions - Since 1976, the exclusive source for "Aikido in Training" Book/DVD Series



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ki, Aiki, Aikido. The 'internal stuff' that never left Aikido Ecosamurai Non-Aikido Martial Traditions 74 03-22-2007 10:22 AM
Aikido as External Art -or- Where's the Chewy Center? ChrisMoses Training 130 03-17-2007 04:21 PM
aiki ethics and internal training jeff. General 19 12-14-2006 08:12 AM
Practical internal training ? Mark Gibbons Training 113 12-13-2006 03:54 PM
Thread Ratings akiy Announcements & Feedback 2 05-01-2001 08:06 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:56 PM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate