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Old 04-09-2007, 09:19 AM   #51
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

Oh sorry, I forgot I don't know anything. Thanks for reminding me, I forget sometimes. Sorry for the post.

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Old 04-09-2007, 09:34 AM   #52
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Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Oh sorry, I forgot I don't know anything. Thanks for reminding me, I forget sometimes. Sorry for the post.
Oh please. If you know these things, really know them, you could have posted in all the many threads on how they are done. Your questions alone would show that you know them. No one said you "don't know anything".... let's don't play victimhood as a distraction please.

If you already know how to do these ki and kokyu skills, why don't you explain the "how to" in this thread? There are many readers (a lot of them lurkers) who have some degree of these skills and who can spot who knows and who doesn't know, just by what is posted. It's a fun sideline game.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 04-09-2007, 09:50 AM   #53
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Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Oh please. If you know these things, really know them, you could have posted in all the many threads on how they are done. Your questions alone would show that you know them. No one said you "don't know anything".... let's don't play victimhood as a distraction please.

If you already know how to do these ki and kokyu skills, why don't you explain the "how to" in this thread? There are many readers (a lot of them lurkers) who have some degree of these skills and who can spot who knows and who doesn't know, just by what is posted. It's a fun sideline game.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
Incidentally Mike, while you're here. I know you've posted this stuff elsewhere but would you care to make a contribution to this thread? I'm curious as to what you think are good exercises for developing internal power. Genuinely.

I'm curious because I've heard the term 'feel the floor in your hands' and some similiar stuff around here lately and that is essentially 'weight underside' IMO. I find weight underside to be one of the more difficult things to explain to people and teach to them so I'm always looking for other ways to do it, as I'm sure are others. Anything anyone has to add would be nice.

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 04-09-2007, 09:53 AM   #54
Ron Tisdale
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Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

Nothing to contribute, just my appreciation for the thread and the general tone. Keep going...

Best,
Ron

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Old 04-09-2007, 10:18 AM   #55
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Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

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Mike Haft wrote: View Post
I'm curious because I've heard the term 'feel the floor in your hands' and some similiar stuff around here lately and that is essentially 'weight underside' IMO. I find weight underside to be one of the more difficult things to explain to people and teach to them so I'm always looking for other ways to do it, as I'm sure are others. Anything anyone has to add would be nice.
The general idea is to let Heaven and Earth pull from each side and Man is in the middle. Heaven and Earth should do the work.

If I hold up a teacup or a load on the top of my head, I should be letting my body structure transmit that load relaxedly to the ground so that the upward push of the ground is doing the work... all I need is a cohesive structure that holds my path to the ground in place. Since the solid surface of the ground is doing the work, I am in harmony with the universe. Someone pushing in from the side, etc., I also just form a path to the ground (it becomes automatic with practice, as you know).

If I am trying to exert a force downward, I want gravity to do the work. I.e., the weight at the center of my body. So I have to very relaxedly (and very lightly, at first) train the weight of my body to be where I want it. If someone is lifting up under by armpits, I have to allow them to hold the weight of my body which hovers just above the crotch area. If they lift up on one of my horizontal arms, I have to let them be lifting up on that same center of force around the lower dantien and crotch area. After a while, any upward push on my body.... which can only be done on an underside surface, of course... will be immediately connected with the weight at the crotch/lower-dantien.

As I get more skilled, these instantaneous referrals of forces to either the ground or to the weight (on the underside surfaces) become automatic. At that time, I am always "extending ki" in all directions.

Howzat?

Mike
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Old 04-09-2007, 10:24 AM   #56
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Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Oh please. If you know these things, really know them, you could have posted in all the many threads on how they are done. Your questions alone would show that you know them. No one said you "don't know anything".... let's don't play victimhood as a distraction please.

If you already know how to do these ki and kokyu skills, why don't you explain the "how to" in this thread? There are many readers (a lot of them lurkers) who have some degree of these skills and who can spot who knows and who doesn't know, just by what is posted. It's a fun sideline game.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
The thing is, I think in this case Kevin was just commenting on how "natural", "instinctive" and "efficient" movement are not the same, not necessarily suggesting that what he does is the same thing you do. He was attempting to contribute to the semantic discussion, based on his own experiences. I suppose one could say it wasn't really on-topic in a thread entitled "The internal 'how to' thread", but that's a different argument, and probably not one really worse pursuing.

Josh Reyer

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Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
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Old 04-09-2007, 10:50 AM   #57
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Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

Yes Josh, you are correct, contributing to the semantic discussion concerning natural movement. I agree it was not a topic in line with the "how to" aspect, but it seems when we get into "how to", we inevitiably end up on semantics as it is difficult to describe concepts/feelings here.

Without an understanding of the semantics involved, I don't believe you can achieve some common ground to discuss things.

Never implied nor did I ever intend to imply any technical ability in this area, other than to reinforce that natural movement is not necessarily so natural.

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Old 04-09-2007, 10:59 AM   #58
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Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post

Howzat?

Mike
Awfully familiar actually. I read a quote by Morihei Ueshiba in an interview once, someone (wish I could remember who) was being interviewed and said that the founder would often say things like "A man stands between the Heaven and the Earth", which the person being interviewed viewed as a rather outlandish way of saying 'stand up straight'. He was likely correct in that what the founder probably meant was 'stand up straight', but he had some other things in mind too it seems. When I teach these things I usually try telling people to stand up straight and make themselves as tall as they can, then allow yourself to relax downwards from that posture.

I usually tell people that if a limb is being moved you have to imagine the tester isn't actually trying to move your limb, but they are in fact trying to move your centre, similar to what you described. The advantage that the many different ki tests have is that they put you in a variety of body positions both static and dynamic which make such coordination difficult, usually if you try to concentrate on copying only the movements you will fail the ki test. Often once you start to get the basic idea and can do the simpler ki tests you fail the tests which involve movement. You tend to be strong at the beginning and end of the movement and weak in the middle.

Who said this stuff wasn't in aikido...?

Mike

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
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Old 04-09-2007, 11:00 AM   #59
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Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

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The thing is, I think in this case Kevin was just commenting on how "natural", "instinctive" and "efficient" movement are not the same, not necessarily suggesting that what he does is the same thing you do.
My point was slightly different, Josh. "Natural" is actually a misleading word, in this case, and Kevin's discussing how learned skills are not "natural" is really a tangent to the classic meaning of "natural" in the internal sense (the thread is about "internal", BTW). "Natural" means conforming to the "natural laws of the universe" and qi and jin are considered part of that underlying and esoteric Nature. I.e., I understand quickly and easily what you and Kevin are referring to and I didn't miss the point. But my point is that in terms of "natural" movement, something quite different is meant in the Asian arts.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 04-09-2007, 11:13 AM   #60
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Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

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Mike Haft wrote: View Post
Awfully familiar actually. I read a quote by Morihei Ueshiba in an interview once, someone (wish I could remember who) was being interviewed and said that the founder would often say things like "A man stands between the Heaven and the Earth", which the person being interviewed viewed as a rather outlandish way of saying 'stand up straight'. He was likely correct in that what the founder probably meant was 'stand up straight', but he had some other things in mind too it seems. When I teach these things I usually try telling people to stand up straight and make themselves as tall as they can, then allow yourself to relax downwards from that posture.

I usually tell people that if a limb is being moved you have to imagine the tester isn't actually trying to move your limb, but they are in fact trying to move your centre, similar to what you described. The advantage that the many different ki tests have is that they put you in a variety of body positions both static and dynamic which make such coordination difficult, usually if you try to concentrate on copying only the movements you will fail the ki test. Often once you start to get the basic idea and can do the simpler ki tests you fail the tests which involve movement. You tend to be strong at the beginning and end of the movement and weak in the middle.

Who said this stuff wasn't in aikido...?
I dunno.... see my post about "nikkyo" to understand my perspective. So far, nothing you have said indicated to me that you already do these things quite to the full level. You may be doing a variant (like in the nikkyo example), but I'd bet good money that in many ways you're doing something quite different. The reason I say that is that this stuff is tricky to learn and someone who really does it would have said something noting the differences rather than indicating that it's normal stuff. If someone really can do the tricky stuff that it takes to understand this, they know the tricky stuff is there... if you see what I mean. The general descriptions, like in the nikkyo example, sound the same to someone who can do something close to it, but there's a very clear difference. And again, for the umpteenth time, I'm really careful about this stuff because I've been at times the student on the receiving end of some wasted years by teachers who thought they already "knew this stuff". It's not a "who's superior" sort of peeing match at all.

Incidentally, there have been people who posted on this forum (and others) that I can tell they do indeed understand the basics of this stuff (Dan or Rob would be examples that pop to mind, but there are a few others). But there are levels of this stuff. I can tell where someone's level generally tops off by the way they describe things; and I'll bet someone better than me can understand where my level tops off. But I would be able to spot who was better than me from what they say... then I'd go check them out personally and I'd learn from them. The last thing I'd try to do would be to argue them to a standstill because I would, as I've said before, prefer to progress myself than to impress beginners or students. I'm always looking to learn. Maybe that's why I don't spend my time having a school and being a teacher. I don't think I'm good enough yet.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 04-09-2007, 11:32 AM   #61
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Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

Ok, I'm going to give up on the word natural for now. It is getting us into a lot of trouble.

I think we have to try and understand what we are talking about before we go any further though.

What is a way to "prove" you have internal power? If internal power is just subjective to peoples opinions it might not be a real thing at all.

What would you offer up as a proof of internal power? And could you find a video demonstration of it? And if this video demonstration can be duplicated is that proof that the duplicator has internal power, or would the person duplicating still have to meet the approval of others before we deemed him internally powerful?

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Old 04-09-2007, 12:27 PM   #62
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Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
I dunno.... see my post about "nikkyo" to understand my perspective.
Got a link? Must've missed that one.

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
So far, nothing you have said indicated to me that you already do these things quite to the full level. You may be doing a variant (like in the nikkyo example), but I'd bet good money that in many ways you're doing something quite different.
That's entirely possible. I don't think so but we'll leave it at that. I myself am usually the first to admit that I don't do these things to the full level, I'm just a student of them. I've said that many times Mike. I think I'm only now just getting to the beginning understanding of the really good stuff, every day lately it seems I have lightbulb moments where things I thought I knew become much clearer and I realise that they are in fact something slightly different. But I'm pretty sure, well as sure as I can be, that I've seen the real deal (and I'm not just talking about my own teacher here either). So either way we're left with the notion that what I do in my training isn't exactly what we're really talking about (something I freely admit), what is less certain is whether that's because I'm just not that good yet or whether it's because it is actually something different. I'm betting the former, you can put your money on the latter. We'll see what we come up with....

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The reason I say that is that this stuff is tricky to learn and someone who really does it would have said something noting the differences rather than indicating that it's normal stuff.
I don't agree with that statement. Remember my whole position has always been that these things are a part of aikido (not all of it to be sure) and are not actually absent as many people have assumed. Given that point of view I'm bound to begin by saying that things are more similar than different. One of the reasons I've been trying to start more useful threads is to discuss the subtleties and differences in more detail, I may be wrong in my first assumption that these skills are are the same, only time will tell. Certainly there are differences, and if it's what you want to hear then I'll give details of the one of the differences I've noticed.

Rob talks about 'the cross' used to generate power. These things are not commonly taught in ki aikido, usually because we're not trying to learn how to kick and punch with large amounts of power. We are instead trying to learn to be centred and move in such a way that we can absorb and re-direct the power of an attacker. The two skills are not the same, but they are related to each other IMO. That's one quick difference for you. Sound reasonable?

I've found it, like you I suspect, quite ironic that discussions about the founders internal skills which are what made him so noteworthy as a martial artist IMO are in the 'non-aikido martial traditions forum'. For now I think that's where they should stay for the sake of maintaining aikiweb as the pleasant place it has always been. What I find even more ironic and always have done is that people are looking outside of aikido for something that as far as I'm aware is still inside it. People would rather go to Tai Chi teachers to learn this stuff than to the guys who are students of the founders chief instructor.... politics.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
If someone really can do the tricky stuff that it takes to understand this, they know the tricky stuff is there... if you see what I mean. The general descriptions, like in the nikkyo example, sound the same to someone who can do something close to it, but there's a very clear difference. And again, for the umpteenth time, I'm really careful about this stuff because I've been at times the student on the receiving end of some wasted years by teachers who thought they already "knew this stuff". It's not a "who's superior" sort of peeing match at all.

Incidentally, there have been people who posted on this forum (and others) that I can tell they do indeed understand the basics of this stuff (Dan or Rob would be examples that pop to mind, but there are a few others). But there are levels of this stuff. I can tell where someone's level generally tops off by the way they describe things; and I'll bet someone better than me can understand where my level tops off. But I would be able to spot who was better than me from what they say... then I'd go check them out personally and I'd learn from them. The last thing I'd try to do would be to argue them to a standstill because I would, as I've said before, prefer to progress myself than to impress beginners or students. I'm always looking to learn. Maybe that's why I don't spend my time having a school and being a teacher. I don't think I'm good enough yet.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
Well FWIW my general impression is that a lot of folks have dismissed Tohei's approach out of hand because: 'it's aikido, and these things aren't done in aikido anymore so ki soc stuff can't be right or even close to what we're talking about'. Someone who studies with Dan recently mentioned that supposedly unbendable arm takes a few years to learn and even then it's not the same as what Dan does. Unbendable arm at it's lowest level is something that can be taught in a couple of minutes not a couple of years. Comments like that make it quite obvious that he was totally unaware of what is actually taught in ki soc circles and has dismissed it out of hand. It isn't any wonder to me then that he would be impressed with what Dan can do if that's the place he's coming from. That doesn't mean that what Dan does isn't worthwhile or impressive. I'm just pointing out that there is a lot of misunderstanding of ki soc ki development exercises and general methodology. I'm pretty sure that you yourself suffer from that from time to time too Mike, based on the things you've said. I have a suspicion that you've probably not spent as much time with ki soc or their derivatives as you would have us think.

Of course I could be wrong, but that's just an impression I get from reading what you say. It's not intended as a personal attack, so please don't take it as one.

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 04-09-2007, 12:51 PM   #63
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Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

I pretty much agree with what you've said, Mike. The only addendum to point out is that my time visiting Ki-Society dojo's was reasonably extensive, although most of it was a long time ago... and the general level was not very high at that time. Could be me, could be my memory, could be that I'm accurately reporting what I saw, too.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 04-09-2007, 12:54 PM   #64
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Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

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Someone who studies with Dan recently mentioned that supposedly unbendable arm takes a few years to learn and even then it's not the same as what Dan does.

Mike
Got a link? Must've missed that one.

Mark
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Old 04-09-2007, 01:00 PM   #65
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Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

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I've found it, like you I suspect, quite ironic that discussions about the founders internal skills which are what made him so noteworthy as a martial artist IMO are in the 'non-aikido martial traditions forum'. For now I think that's where they should stay for the sake of maintaining aikiweb as the pleasant place it has always been. What I find even more ironic and always have done is that people are looking outside of aikido for something that as far as I'm aware is still inside it. People would rather go to Tai Chi teachers to learn this stuff than to the guys who are students of the founders chief instructor.... politics.
I just laughed and sent messages to a bunch of people to go look. It basically just confirms the point that there is a perspective badly awry in Aikido among many people. Even more strangely, it implies that Ikeda Sensei is probably not a good judge of what is or is not in Aikido, since he's bringing in an outsider to teach "kokyu" at workshops.

There's a more subtle discussion of these topics on other forums that avoids the politics, so I tend to spend more time there. I think the people in Aikido who are actively attempting to collect useful information for their Aikido have already begun to do so. Most of the others will go back to sleep as soon as the noise dies down.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 04-09-2007, 04:17 PM   #66
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Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

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Got a link? Must've missed that one.

Mark
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12141

Post number 8: "Let's take the "unbendable" arm trick. Supposedly, in a few years, most can do it, right?"

It wasn't intended to be a slight on you saying that you know. I deliberately didn't mention your name for that reason. My point was only that if you start off with a point of view that doesn't include even a basic understanding of unbendable arm, then when you see something like the things that Dan can apparently do it's gonna look really impressive. As opposed to the way you may see it if you know something already.

Mike

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Old 04-09-2007, 05:10 PM   #67
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Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

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Ok, I'm going to give up on the word natural for now. It is getting us into a lot of trouble.

I think we have to try and understand what we are talking about before we go any further though.

What is a way to "prove" you have internal power? If internal power is just subjective to peoples opinions it might not be a real thing at all.

What would you offer up as a proof of internal power? And could you find a video demonstration of it? And if this video demonstration can be duplicated is that proof that the duplicator has internal power, or would the person duplicating still have to meet the approval of others before we deemed him internally powerful?
I would not rely on video from it, because if the person in it has skill, it will only be visible to someone else who has some level of that same skill. To anyone else, it may look staged, or they probably can't tell the difference anyways.

The best way is firsthand experience. I had the opportunity to touch Mike, and despite the fact that I don't have much of anything of these skills, I could recognize similarities between him and Akuzawa when I tried to push him. Even if you don't have any skill, it is readily apparent when you push against someone who doesn't have it and someone who does. Further, it feels just completely different when that same person strikes you, grabs you etc. (There is a reason I fly to japan every couple months besides having random Korean girls buy me drinks and sleeping on Rob's floor )

The second best way is to rely upon the testimony from others who have felt it or others recognized to have it to some degree. We have plenty of those people around here on Aikiweb.

I must stress, the best possible way is to feel it first hand, and hopefully glean someting from it. there is undoubtably different levels of it, and for me at this time is is more about consistancy than anything else.

As for "how to" you can follow some of the exercises Rob posted, but I think it is really hard to get the "intent" without someone else there to help you, though I have a feeling that overall stability may improve (for example learning to do ashiage).

Last edited by HL1978 : 04-09-2007 at 05:13 PM.
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Old 04-09-2007, 05:14 PM   #68
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Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

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http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12141

Post number 8: "Let's take the "unbendable" arm trick. Supposedly, in a few years, most can do it, right?"

It wasn't intended to be a slight on you saying that you know. I deliberately didn't mention your name for that reason. My point was only that if you start off with a point of view that doesn't include even a basic understanding of unbendable arm, then when you see something like the things that Dan can apparently do it's gonna look really impressive. As opposed to the way you may see it if you know something already.

Mike
But unbendable arm that is taught in a few minutes isn't anywhere near unmoveable arm, is it? That was my whole point. But, if you give someone years of training, then shouldn't that unbendable arm also be the unmoveable arm? It should if they're doing internal training, no? You missed the whole point of my post. Again, if the ki exercises are the same as internal training, then you'll see both with unmovable arm. That's the point. And whether or not the Ki Society has these exercises is the open question that I never answered. Mostly because it depends on the dojo in question, not the society overall.

Mark
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Old 04-09-2007, 07:32 PM   #69
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Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

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What would you offer up as a proof of internal power? And could you find a video demonstration of it? And if this video demonstration can be duplicated is that proof that the duplicator has internal power, or would the person duplicating still have to meet the approval of others before we deemed him internally powerful?
Thought I'd replied to this one, but I don't see it.

How can anyone offer a video of the famous "concealed strength"? You've seen tons of video of Ueshiba, Shioda, and others using so-called "internal strength"... but you can't see it, even if it's obvious that what they do has some power.

Try this one and see if you can spot the very small moves and the massive power. The "student" is actually another well-known teacher and he doesn't shill for CXW because he has a reputation to uphold, too:

http://www.neijia.com/CXWCB.flv

Can you see how this sort of power is actually helpful to m.a.'s?

Mike
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Old 04-09-2007, 07:36 PM   #70
eyrie
 
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Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

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Chris Hein wrote: View Post
What is a way to "prove" you have internal power? If internal power is just subjective to peoples opinions it might not be a real thing at all.
It is only subjective to the extent that there are varying degrees of skill usage and abilities. Therefore, any attempt to prove or disprove one's ability to harness internal power is subject to one's ability to do such things at a similar level of skill and ability. Which can only be gauged in a hands-on setting.

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What would you offer up as a proof of internal power? And could you find a video demonstration of it? And if this video demonstration can be duplicated is that proof that the duplicator has internal power, or would the person duplicating still have to meet the approval of others before we deemed him internally powerful?
Various videos pointing to such abilities have already been offered up - here and in other threads, most notably the baseline skills thread. What more proof do you need? It seems to me that more information and examples presented as evidence does not seem to be accepted as proof unless people first change their perceptions and beliefs. That such evidence may serve to influence one's perception is always a possibility, however, unless a paradigm shift occurs, that is unlikely to occur.

So, I don't think it is so much "the approval of others" as it is the ability to utilize one's body in ways that are considered internal... as opposed to external, and not so much the ability to "duplicate" such proof, but to approach such skills with some degree of ability and understanding.

Ignatius
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Old 04-09-2007, 07:40 PM   #71
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Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
What is a way to "prove" you have internal power? If internal power is just subjective to peoples opinions it might not be a real thing at all.
It is only subjective to the extent that there are varying degrees of skill usage and abilities. Therefore, any attempt to prove or disprove one's ability to harness internal power is subject to one's ability to do such things at a similar level of skill and ability. Which can only be gauged in a hands-on setting.

Quote:
What would you offer up as a proof of internal power? And could you find a video demonstration of it? And if this video demonstration can be duplicated is that proof that the duplicator has internal power, or would the person duplicating still have to meet the approval of others before we deemed him internally powerful?
Various videos pointing to such abilities have already been offered up - here and in other threads, most notably the baseline skills thread. What more proof do you need? It seems to me that more information and examples presented as evidence does not seem to be accepted as proof unless people first change their perceptions and beliefs. That such evidence may serve to influence one's perception is always a possibility, however, unless a paradigm shift occurs, that is unlikely to occur.

So, I don't think it is so much "the approval of others" as it is the ability to utilize one's body in ways that are considered internal... as opposed to external, and not so much the ability to "duplicate" such proof, but to approach such skills with some degree of ability and understanding.

Ignatius
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Old 04-09-2007, 11:35 PM   #72
eyrie
 
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Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

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Chris Hein wrote: View Post
What is a way to "prove" you have internal power? If internal power is just subjective to peoples opinions it might not be a real thing at all.
It is only subjective to the extent that there are varying degrees of skill usage and abilities. Therefore, any attempt to prove or disprove one's ability to harness internal power is subject to one's ability to do such things at a similar level of skill and ability. Which can only be gauged in a hands-on setting.

Quote:
What would you offer up as a proof of internal power? And could you find a video demonstration of it? And if this video demonstration can be duplicated is that proof that the duplicator has internal power, or would the person duplicating still have to meet the approval of others before we deemed him internally powerful?
Various videos pointing to such abilities have already been offered up - here and in other threads, most notably the baseline skills thread. What more proof do you need? It seems to me that more information and examples presented as evidence does not seem to be accepted as proof unless people first change their perceptions and beliefs. That such evidence may serve to influence one's perception is always a possibility, however, unless a paradigm shift occurs, that is unlikely to occur.

So, I don't think it is so much "the approval of others" as it is the ability to utilize one's body in ways that are considered internal... as opposed to external, and not so much the ability to "duplicate" such proof, but to approach such skills with some degree of ability and understanding.

Ignatius
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Old 04-10-2007, 01:50 AM   #73
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Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
But unbendable arm that is taught in a few minutes isn't anywhere near unmoveable arm, is it? That was my whole point. But, if you give someone years of training, then shouldn't that unbendable arm also be the unmoveable arm? It should if they're doing internal training, no? You missed the whole point of my post. Again, if the ki exercises are the same as internal training, then you'll see both with unmovable arm. That's the point. And whether or not the Ki Society has these exercises is the open question that I never answered. Mostly because it depends on the dojo in question, not the society overall.

Mark
If I missed the whole point of your post you missed the whole point of my point. Namely that someone who thinks the way you do/did (you mentioned it elsewhere too and it was quite telling that you didn't know what unbendable arm was at all) about the exercises is going to be far more impressed when they see the real thing than someone else might. That was all. Didn't mean that what you said was wrong, and the ki exercises are and aren't internal training all at the same time, they're just a tool used by a teacher to teach these things. Not the skill itself, people always misunderstand the methods used because they see with a beginners eye the emphasis being placed on the exercises, just as others have said that people practice only the external waza and not the internal skill. The advantage the ki tests have is that they are a way of measuring and assessing that has been formally codified and that they focus on a few movements of the many possible ones that are most illustrative of the feeling you need to attain (when you do it correctly that is, which is of course what your instructor is there for).

Mike

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-Martin Luther King Jr
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Old 04-10-2007, 03:52 AM   #74
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Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
I just laughed and sent messages to a bunch of people to go look. It basically just confirms the point that there is a perspective badly awry in Aikido among many people. Even more strangely, it implies that Ikeda Sensei is probably not a good judge of what is or is not in Aikido, since he's bringing in an outsider to teach "kokyu" at workshops.

There's a more subtle discussion of these topics on other forums that avoids the politics, so I tend to spend more time there. I think the people in Aikido who are actively attempting to collect useful information for their Aikido have already begun to do so. Most of the others will go back to sleep as soon as the noise dies down.

Regards,

Mike
Glad I could provide you with some merriment then

As far as Ikeda Sensei goes, I don't know the man except to say that I would quite enjoy the opportunity to practice with him one day. I really don't much care what his view of this stuff is. I'm sure that he, like many other aikidoka some of who couldn't care less about 'internal skills' have much to offer everyone. I've noted over the years that people without the skills so often discussed lately are plenty good at what they do and definitely worth learning from in many many ways. I certainly wouldn't consider running around telling everyone who does aikido that they need to do it the way I do it, it'd just be a version of my style/art/sensei is better than yours and I'd come accross as a big fat loudmouth. Certainly most aikidoka I've ever met both online and off would never be interested in hearing such things and would likely take offense at it (I remember the ki-wars in the 90s on aikido-l well enough for that, and I only caught the tail end of them, they were mostly done by the time I joined in 97, and sure enough when ever I opened my mouth to talk about these things I sounded like a big fat loudmouth). I suspect that this is why a lot of people have gotten annoyed at all this recently (including myself). Anyway that's not the point of this thread so that's all I'll say about it or it'll just take a nosedive into the abyss.

If I get time later I'm gonna go through the baseline skills thread again and re-read Rob's stuff. I've been thinking about a few things that might be worth adding to the how-to discussion. We'll see.

Mike

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
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Old 04-10-2007, 04:20 AM   #75
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Re: The internal 'how to' thread... let's hope

Just found Mike's nikyo description as he mentioned in an earlier post in this thread.:

"I can go to various dojo's and be shown "nikkyo" and as a "joint lock" it is fine and it "works martially". Some people will immediately jump into the discussion with "timing" and "from your center" and "stand in this angle to apply it" and "how to use it in a bar fight or combat with the enemy" and so on. All of that is fine and is "martial" and different people have different takes on it. AND it works! So therefore, they all "know nikkyo". I admit they can do nikkyo, but it's not really a version (by most people) that O-Sensei or any other skilled Asian martial artist is going to concur with as being correct if jin is not being used to do it. And there are degrees of jin. You don't have any really impressive jin power until your "middle" is extremely powerful. Your middle isn't going to be extremely powerful and connected out to your arms and legs until your "ki" is developed with breath, intent, stretches, and etc."

I'll expand on it the way I was teaching it a few weeks ago. Start with the nikyo where you hold your partners wrist at shoulder level (let's assume you're holding the uke's left hand in your left hand and at your right shoulder) and turn the hand's palm back towards him. A common mistake is that people usually begin by thinking that the left hand is the one that 'does the nikyo', this is not the truth at all, the left hand should be the anchor that uses weight underside to turn the palm outwards and back towards uke (if your left shoulder is tense you aren't using weight underside).

Often with this technique nage takes the right hand and places it on ukes left shoulder. They then draw down the length of ukes arm until reaching the wrist (one of my students went to a Yamada Sensei seminar in Edinburgh not so long ago and this was how Yamada did the nikyo to him so I assume it's fairly common and that people will be familar with it). The right hand then comes to rest on ukes wrist and the nikyo is applied with the familiar 'wringing action'.

IMO there are a few common mistakes made with this (mistakes meaning that internal stuff isn't used, if you're not aiming to use internal skills then they probably don't count as mistakes). They are:

People assume the left hand does the nikyo, if anything it would be the right hand (actually it's both but it helps if emphasis is placed on the right at the beginning as the left is commonly favoured).

People try to 'draw the ki' down ukes arm towards their wrist in a physical way, often dragging their hand along the top of the arm and causing uke to physically resist them in the process, so basically the opposite of what your after in the first place (i.e. no resistance from uke)

Lastly and most importantly. People 'gather ki' from uke into their chest area as this is where all three hands involved in the technique are located, this encourages tension in shoulders and evokes physical resistance from uke. To make it effective, gather ki into your own belly/centre and lightly touch ukes arm instead of dragging your hand along it (last summer my teacher touched my arm as lightly as is possible and I just hit the deck, I've never felt anything like it, it was so gentle as to beggar belief, and it really hurt).
When applying the nikyo, your shoulders shouldn't move unless your hips do. It sometimes helps if you think of your right foot sliding forwards as the thing that applies the nikyo rather than your hands.

That would be a brief description of how to do that particular nikyo with a slightly more 'internal' mindset. It's only a brief and basic description, there is a great deal more to it but it might be useful. I've only touched on the basics as I'm sure Mike will tell you, he left a huge amount out of his description (more than I did). Also it is easy to think you are doing those things when you're not, and I'm not just talking about sitting at the computer and reading the descriptions, it happens in lessons too. When I've explained things people have said to me "But I am doing that" when they clearly aren't and worse, they know they aren't because their nikyo isn't working and mine is. Yet they still say it..... I suppose I did too back in the day.

Mike

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
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