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Old 06-28-2007, 12:22 PM   #1101
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
At the end of it I say place both hands on the wall and now "pop off" without moving.
.
Hmmmmm..... just a note that to someone unfamiliar with what you're saying, Dan, you've just said, in essence: "At the end of it I say place both hands on the wall and now "move" without moving.

Just to caveat your statement from my own perspective: in reality none of this is ever done "without movement". There is always some movement, even though it may be small, may be just the torso or legs moving, or etc.

Best.

Mike
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Old 06-28-2007, 01:19 PM   #1102
ChrisMoses
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Incidentally, I see a lot of comments about "the Chinese perspective" and the implication is that the Japanese perspective is somehow different. It's not. They are the same thing, although I admit it's confusing for someone who encounters a lot of terms, choices in translation, and so on in *both* Chinese styles and Japanese styles that are all talking about the same thing.
Mike, I think that you're missing the point of one of my earlier posts. Namely that from the Chinese perspective these things are all fundamentally the same, but from a Japanese they are not. I'm not taking either side by stating this, but rather offering a way for people to acknowledge their inherent biases. If you were to go onto a JSA forum for instance and tell them that all of the ryuha are essentially the same, you would be *generally* disagreed with. Yes, people will acknowledge there are some similarities, but it's just a different way of thinking about budo. Some don't even like lumping the JSA into a concept like JSA because they feel they are simply too different. We all have assumptions we bring to the table, it's just helpful to realize when we're making them.

Chris Moses
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Old 06-28-2007, 02:31 PM   #1103
David Orange
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Howard Chan wrote: View Post
David: here is the difference in your position vs Mike's, in plain English and without judgement:

David Orange wrote:
intent is "what you want to do."

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
The heart (the desire to do something) triggers the mind. The mind's intent triggers the qi. The qi leads the strength/jin.

You're referring to the first step ("heart") in Mike Sigman's quote above, not the second step: intent (yi).
You miss my point, Howard. Intent is what you want to do. Motivation is "why" you want to do it. Where Mike refers to "the heart (the desire to do something)" that's motivation. The "intent" is then to satisfy that motivation (motivation triggers the intent--which is why criminal investigators seek a "motive" when they want to know if someone acted with criminal "intent", for instance).

Quote:
Howard Chan wrote: View Post
Actually nobody really gives a damn about why I want to do move my arm, maybe I'm reaching for a donut, who cares.
Well, that's the issue of motivation at its core. Most people do most of what they do without really knowing "why" they do it. They can usually give a superficial reason, but if you look closely, you'll find that there are other positive reasons why the do want to do the thing as well as negative reasons why they don't really want to do that. Take the donut, for instance--even as one reaches for the donut, he's also thinking, "I really don't need to eat another one...."

That crosses motivations with his desire to lose weight. If it interferes with his action of taking the donut, and someone else gets it instead, he's really lucky. But applied to martial arts techniques, having crossed motivations interfers with intent and therefore interfers with action to a degree that could be fatal. In any case, you can only have clear intent when you have one, single clear motivation.

Quote:
Howard Chan wrote: View Post
The real issue is, "okay, now my brain is wanting to move my arm. HOW am I going to ACTUALLY cause my arm to move?"
The Feldenkrais approach is "How am I moving my arm right now?" It requires close observation of exactly what we do in that single, small movement.

Quote:
Howard Chan wrote: View Post
Untrained way (strength/li): "contract your bicep and your arm will move"
Semi-trained way (intent/yi): "focus on a particular visualisation/state of mind that will trigger structures in your arm that are not under direct conscious control, thus make it 'move by itself' "
I'm not sure what you're refering to there and if it relates to something I've said. In Feldenkrais, certainly, one does not "visualize" anything, but "feels" exactly what he's doing. If he's using more muscles than necessary, why is that? If he's using the wrong muscles, why is that? By placing the body in a restrictive position, then attempting the simple movement, one may find that he can't do the movement at all because he's been using the wrong muscles and failing to even activate the proper muscle. This has nothing to do with "visualizing" but with noticing how the movement should be done and the way you're actually doing it.

Quote:
Howard Chan wrote: View Post
I call it the semi-trained way because I think once you reach a high level all that "visualisation" stuff is instantaneous so that long-winded description is not accurate.
The only reliable action is direct, based on immediate perception. Intimate interaction with the environment cannot be achieved if one is actively "visualizing" anything. That can only interfere with immediate interaction. Only direct perception, through kinesthetic sense, allows accurate interation with the environment, including one's own muscles and mind.

Hope that clarifies the point.

Thanks.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

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Old 06-28-2007, 02:44 PM   #1104
David Orange
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Christian Moses wrote: View Post
...from the Chinese perspective these things are all fundamentally the same, but from a Japanese they are not.
Mochizuki Sensei's perspective was that they all have a central common base, that you can master that simple centrality and all the different arts (which really are different arts) will become comprehensible and rather interchangeable.

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
...If you were to go onto a JSA forum for instance and tell them that all of the ryuha are essentially the same, you would be *generally* disagreed with.
I've had that problem, literally, for decades. I was saying it's basically "all the same" long before I went to Japan and I was getting "heated" (to say the least) opposition on that point. I met a guy who wore different dogi for judo, aikido and karate and would never think of wearing "cross" dogi to train in different arts. He got so mad he was just about ready to fight. That's because he didn't see things in the terms in which Mochizuki Sensei presented them. And very few people do.

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
...Yes, people will acknowledge there are some similarities, but it's just a different way of thinking about budo. Some don't even like lumping the JSA into a concept like JSA because they feel they are simply too different. We all have assumptions we bring to the table, it's just helpful to realize when we're making them.
Still, even with a central core (the human body, nervous system, musculature, skeleton, four limbs and a head connected via the torso), the arts are different arts and use methods which are highly refined in different directions. Simply--an art that emphasizes kiai refines that principle to such a high and sharp degree that its methods can become completely incompatible to one emphasizing ju or aiki.

And the Chinese arts are similar in that they emphasize certain principles and refine them to a highly distilled state that goes in quite a different direction from the Japanese arts--unless anyone can show me a Japanese art that uses the "silk-reeling" movement.

So, while there are commonalities, it's just as wrong to say that they many, many arts of China and Japan are "all the same" as it is to say there's no difference between them.

Best wishes.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

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Old 06-28-2007, 02:56 PM   #1105
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
Mike, I think that you're missing the point of one of my earlier posts. Namely that from the Chinese perspective these things are all fundamentally the same, but from a Japanese they are not. I'm not taking either side by stating this, but rather offering a way for people to acknowledge their inherent biases. If you were to go onto a JSA forum for instance and tell them that all of the ryuha are essentially the same, you would be *generally* disagreed with. Yes, people will acknowledge there are some similarities, but it's just a different way of thinking about budo. Some don't even like lumping the JSA into a concept like JSA because they feel they are simply too different. We all have assumptions we bring to the table, it's just helpful to realize when we're making them.
Well, that's not what I mean, Chris. If you meet someone with good skills in ki, qi, jin, kokyu, whatever in any of the Asian arts, it's the same thing. That's what I mean.

When you talk about going to a JSA forum and having an agreement on terminology, no, it won't happen. It doesn't happen on this Aikido forum, either. In fact, there is great outrage and argument about very simple assertions. Is that because of some real intrinsic difference between the "Japanese martial-arts approach" and the "Chinese martial-arts approach"? No. There is no real difference. The problem is general unfamiliarity (for whatever reasons) with basic terms and what the skills are.... not because there is any difference between Chinese and Japanese.

A more interesting discussion would be to take any "internal" skill from a Chinese or Japanese martial art (and trust me, all of them have slightly different approaches to terminology, but the giveaway is the work "ki" or "qi") and have someone try to argue that "there... see that skill XYZ? That's not part of the traditional qi or jin skills". I'd be happy to take that bet anytime. And not because I'm an expert.... simply because most of these things we're discussing are actually pretty low, basic-level stuff.

YMMV

Mike
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Old 06-28-2007, 03:09 PM   #1106
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

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David Orange wrote: View Post
And the Chinese arts are similar in that they emphasize certain principles and refine them to a highly distilled state that goes in quite a different direction from the Japanese arts--unless anyone can show me a Japanese art that uses the "silk-reeling" movement.
There are a LOT of permutations to the basic skills. "Silk reeling" (chan ssu jin) is just one of ways of manipulating the qi. There are linear ways (chou ssu jin). But the basic principles are the same.

In the ancient days of the Tang Dynasty and thereabouts, these skills were more widely known and used by many arts. Martial arts were king. "Reeling Silk", part of what is known as six-harmonies movement, was commonplace in many arts. The "Liu He" (six-harmonies) addendum to the name of many arts was common. Some of the current descendents of these ancient arts no actually use six-harmonies, even though it's still in the name of the art. Martial arts have declined. They have also declined markedly, as I'm sure you'd agree, in Japan. I wouldn't bet any money at all that NO Japanese martial art ever used "silk reeling", David. Research will most likely turn up some damned Koryu that actually has some in it.

There is no substantive difference between the principles of qi/ki and jin/kokyu-power in Chinese and Japanese martial arts. And Takeda Sokaku be hanged. He got his knowledge of ki/kokyu-power from somewhere in Japan and it looks to me now like that stuff is far more widespread among the good-ole-boys of the high levels of Japanese martial arts than we've realized for some time. It's just that it's not freely shown to people. Not even some gaijin who spent 15-years in Japan.

Someday I'll have to start listing the horror stories I know about people who spent years with name teachers in name schools and who were never shown this stuff. And I can match that with a *few* people who were shown good stuff. I know of a couple of westerners who were shown some really good stuff.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 06-28-2007, 03:15 PM   #1107
Mark Jakabcsin
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Re: Baseline skillset

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David Orange wrote: View Post
Mark, having read Dan's detailed description, I have to say, intent is still "what you intend to do." Whether that is a very big thing, visible to everyone around you, or a motionless, invisible inner movement, intent is "what you want to do."
I am not saying I understand what Mike and Dan are talking about when they discuss intent, hence I asked the question. As stated before my understanding of intent has expanded in recent years and some of what D & M are saying rings some bells, although that is not the same knowing with certainty. Any way, I will throw out the following thoughts on intent for the forum to dissect and mutilate (cheerfully I hope) at will.

Drill A): #1 and #2 face each other. #1 place his fist/hand on #2's torso (anywhere is fine). #1 slowly increases the pressure and attempts to push #2 over or at least to move. #2 resists moving. Notice the results and amount of struggle. It is best if #2 is considerably larger than #1.

B) Same drill but now as #1 attempts to push #2 he focuses on feeling #2's center and pushing into that center to move #2. Notice the results and amount of effort. #2 can even attempt to move his center to keep a connection from occurring. Study the out come.

C) Same drill but now when #1 places his fist on #2 he totally ignores #2 even to the point of limiting as much of the tactile feel as possible. #1 then slowly reaches forward, just like he is reaching for the donut mentioned above. Make sure during the reach not to get drawn into the feel of #2 or the need to push #2, simply reach for the donut. Notice the results and effort. Even have #2 move his center and see what if any difference that makes. Totally ignoring #2 and reaching for the donut can take some practice but I have found the results to be worth the effort.

So this leaves us with three different types or perhaps levels of intent. Drill A, #1 is focused on the whole of #2 and attempts to move the whole. This recognition of the whole changes the manner in which our body moves. In drill B, #1 ignores the whole and focus on a specific part of #2. This focus on a specific part of #2 by #1's brain affects the manner in which the body moves as compared to Drill A. In Drill C, #1 has no intent towards #2 at all and is simply moving casually. Again this movement is different than the other two and the results can be in line with what some of what Dan suggested above.

David, in your post #1082 your selection of words with regard to the bully highly suggest that you are very much in Drill A, possibly a little of Drill B but definitely not Drill C or above. I.E. To me there appears to be many more avenues to intent, feel free to ignore them all and argue away.

Take care,

Mark J.
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Old 06-28-2007, 03:38 PM   #1108
ChrisMoses
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Well, that's not what I mean, Chris. If you meet someone with good skills in ki, qi, jin, kokyu, whatever in any of the Asian arts, it's the same thing. That's what I mean.
Again, to quote ‘Joe vs. the Volcano', "I'm not arguing that with you."

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Is that because of some real intrinsic difference between the "Japanese martial-arts approach" and the "Chinese martial-arts approach"? No. There is no real difference. The problem is general unfamiliarity (for whatever reasons) with basic terms and what the skills are.... not because there is any difference between Chinese and Japanese.
Again, I'm not talking about the approach to martial arts or any underlying truth about those arts, but the *perceptions* about those arts within the two different communities. All of the Chinese based books I have contain references to different arts, nearly all of the authors have studies various styles, often from the same teacher. They are often presented as different ways of looking at the same thing. Agree? I imagine you would, since *your* primary background is through the Chinese arts, that would color how you observe other arts. There are exceptions over there too, I got into a heated debate with a bunch of mouth-breathers over on kung-fu world's forum over whether or not it was offensive for Kajukenbo schools to use "Kung Fu" and Chinese terms in their system, as they were really ‘krotty' and that was *totally* different. Now in the budo world (and particularly in Aikido) there is the very real *perception* that what they are doing is unique to them, even among similar arts from the same culture. I can't tell you how many (very senior) aikido teachers have told me that aikido has nothing to do with judo, jujutsu, tai chi or bagua and that not only will the study of any of these arts not only not help ones aikido to improve, but they will be absolutely detrimental to ones progress because they are *completely different*. I know that's crap, you know that's crap, a lot of people in this thread know that's crap, but that is a common *perception* in Japanese arts. Possibly as common as the Chinese *perception* that all wushu/kungfu are all aspects of the same martial truth. That any clearer?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
A more interesting discussion would be to take any "internal" skill from a Chinese or Japanese martial art (and trust me, all of them have slightly different approaches to terminology, but the giveaway is the work "ki" or "qi") and have someone try to argue that "there... see that skill XYZ? That's not part of the traditional qi or jin skills". I'd be happy to take that bet anytime. And not because I'm an expert.... simply because most of these things we're discussing are actually pretty low, basic-level stuff.
Again, you have to admit that this is interesting because of your bias towards this kind of training. Ask Rob about his experiences on kendo world. Many arts don't care. I guarantee Jon Bluming could care less what internal skills anyone has. He cares if he can get a good osoto gari on you and how fast you turn purple with him sitting on your chest. Go into a boxing gym and compare internal skills notes, hit up a Kosen Judo dojo. They would be about as interested as you probably are in a three hour study on the subtlety of how to grab a gi lapel for the best judo throw, or where to put the hands for the best nikyo. Now again, I'm not saying that they're right, or that they're not missing out on something that could really improve their training. Obviously, I've changed my whole training regimen based on this stuff, so I'm convinced. I'm just trying to make *everyone* aware of what biases we bring into this stuff. It's just like in aikido if you're used to training with one group and you mix it up with some other aikido people and they attack with a slightly different timing and it throws you completely off. If you live with a set of assumptions long enough, you lose the ability to recognize them as assumptions and that others may have different assumptions from yourself.

Chris Moses
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Old 06-28-2007, 03:45 PM   #1109
ChrisMoses
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Re: Baseline skillset

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David Orange wrote: View Post
And the Chinese arts are similar in that they emphasize certain principles and refine them to a highly distilled state that goes in quite a different direction from the Japanese arts--unless anyone can show me a Japanese art that uses the "silk-reeling" movement.
Frakly, the silk-reeling movement is one of the most obvious. There are several kata in my sword ryuha that incorporate the same internal dynamics. We run into this one constantly with our open hand stuff. Funny how a lot of the waza that uses this dynamic is much easier to do once you actually have an idea of what the exercise of silk reeling is actually doing/teaching.

So, back to Mike, this is a great example. You and I know that the silk-reeling movements apply to a lot more than just the exercise, and that what that exercise teaches is in a lot of basic movements, but to an external stylist, if things don't LOOK similar enough, are simply not the same.

Chris Moses
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Old 06-28-2007, 04:54 PM   #1110
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote:
Again, you have to admit that this is interesting because of your bias towards this kind of training.
Chris, I'm not sure if you realize it, but I had a total of around 21 years of judo, karate, and Aikido. What bias do you think I have? Frankly, I'd ask that you just accept that I'm telling the truth when I say that I'm ambivalent about whether something is "Chinese" or "Japanese".... I see them all as just related arts. Same car, different colors and bells and whistles... I only see the car.
Quote:
Ask Rob about his experiences on kendo world. Many arts don't care.
OK, let me revert to my usual bluntness. What you've been saying, and which I diplomatically commented on in my last post, is that most people are really so poorly educated in their own "Asian Martial Art" that yes, they argue incessantly from sheer ignorance. My point is that these role-playing segments of given arts do not represent the art itself. I.e., ignore those guys... don't seriously hold it against the art they claim to represent. Notice that I offered to shift to "high level" practitioners, so we don't have to acknowledge the average joe on e-Budo or Empty Flower or whatever.
Quote:
I guarantee Jon Bluming could care less what internal skills anyone has. He cares if he can get a good osoto gari on you and how fast you turn purple with him sitting on your chest. Go into a boxing gym and compare internal skills notes, hit up a Kosen Judo dojo. They would be about as interested as you probably are in a three hour study on the subtlety of how to grab a gi lapel for the best judo throw, or where to put the hands for the best nikyo. Now again, I'm not saying that they're right, or that they're not missing out on something that could really improve their training. Obviously, I've changed my whole training regimen based on this stuff, so I'm convinced. I'm just trying to make *everyone* aware of what biases we bring into this stuff. It's just like in aikido if you're used to training with one group and you mix it up with some other aikido people and they attack with a slightly different timing and it throws you completely off. If you live with a set of assumptions long enough, you lose the ability to recognize them as assumptions and that others may have different assumptions from yourself.
Fair enough. I agree with you.

Best.

Mike
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Old 06-28-2007, 04:58 PM   #1111
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Christian Moses wrote: View Post
Frankly, the silk-reeling movement is one of the most obvious. There are several kata in my sword ryuha that incorporate the same internal dynamics.
Well, just in order to not be rude and let that go in silence, I'd have to say that logically I don't see how you could be using the same internal dynamics as silk reeling, Chris. It's an open and shut argument, IMO, but I don't want to do it on this forum.

Best.

Mike
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Old 06-28-2007, 04:59 PM   #1112
DH
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Re: Baseline skillset

Hi Dave
You are wrong about the silk reeling in Japanese arts. As a private exercise it was thee very first thing I learned in DR. And I have had two masters of taiji tell me I was in fact doing a type of silk reeling "according to them." But I don't know taiji, from baji, from xing-I. But your are wrong about that as well, bud...sorry. From Feldenkras to toddler movement I really don't care to debate it. If you can do what I do-or better me at it -I'm all ears. I respect the way you play man-But I think you don't have a clue what I'm talking about.
Lets wait till we get together, mess around, shoot the breeze, talk budo crap and have fun. I'm bettin you are going to go what the hell? How did you do that? And...I'll show ya. I have no vested interest in being right or wrong I really don't give a crap. It's not a question of needing, or wanting to be right. I'll show you what I know. Then -if they will have you- go see Ark and Mike. Its Budo research, all the way. I think you'll have a blast.

Last edited by DH : 06-28-2007 at 05:10 PM.
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Old 06-28-2007, 05:17 PM   #1113
DH
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Re: Baseline skillset

Dave
Last thing. There's now dozens of folks who have felt various combinations of Ark, Mike and I. From Ark and I, Mike and I, Mike and Rob, etc. Then about six who have felt all three.
If you notice, they range in rank from shodans to yondans to menkyo's.
Take a hint.
No one is agreeing...with you.
How'd that happen? What does it mean?
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Old 06-28-2007, 05:33 PM   #1114
ChrisMoses
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Well, just in order to not be rude and let that go in silence, I'd have to say that logically I don't see how you could be using the same internal dynamics as silk reeling, Chris. It's an open and shut argument, IMO, but I don't want to do it on this forum.

Best.

Mike
That would be because of your extensive knowledge of my ryuha's curriculum or because it would be impossible to find something so intrinsically Chinese in a Japanese art?

Honestly, I think you just like to disagree with people sometimes.

Chris Moses
TNBBC, "Putting the ME in MEdiocre!"
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Shinto Ryu Iai-Battojutsu
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Old 06-28-2007, 07:40 PM   #1115
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Christian Moses wrote: View Post
That would be because of your extensive knowledge of my ryuha's curriculum or because it would be impossible to find something so intrinsically Chinese in a Japanese art?

Honestly, I think you just like to disagree with people sometimes.
Well, I only disagree when I'm pretty sure I'm right, Chris, and the person making the claim is wrong. Reeling silk is not as simple as a lot of people think it is. You can't just do "winding exercises" and be doing reeling silk. Reeling silk requires the ability to manipulate jin in all directions and it requires a cohesive body connection that takes a pretty good while to develop. If the stuff you encountered with Rob and Akuzawa was just basic jin (which is what it was) and you weren't familiar with it, how could you argue that you have the skills to be doing the full reeling silk?

What this boils down to is that the *perception* of the interpretation of a lot of these terms is still generally not up to what's really going on. I've met people who tell me that they are doing a form with reeling silk but I can't see it because "it's inside". Phooey. If you can do it small, you can do it large and also you can do the spiral equivalent of standing immobile to a push. The conversation usually gets changed right there, in my experience.

My point isn't to belittle you or whatever you study, but to make you begin to question all these things that you think you know.... they already caught you flat-footed once in Japan, so don't let it happen again. Question everything.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 06-28-2007, 08:56 PM   #1116
ChrisMoses
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
My point isn't to belittle you or whatever you study, but to make you begin to question all these things that you think you know.... they already caught you flat-footed once in Japan, so don't let it happen again. Question everything.
Unless it's Mike Sigman apparently. Fine, I have no idea what I'm talking about, I have been found out. Darn, the gig is up.

Mike, I'm sure you're really good at what you do, and I could probably learn a lot from you. But I really wish you could offer just a fraction of the respect and benefit of the doubt that you expect from seemingly everyone else.

Yes, I was flat footed when I met Rob and Ark, *when I was playing by their rules and doing their exercises*. Funny thing happened when I was able to do what I knew. Like when Ark asked to show how Ikkyo didn't work on him and I slowly did ikkyo the way we do it (not a standard aikikai variety) and lo and behold it worked. He got up laughing and commented (paraphrasing), "Wow, he actually knows how to do ikkyo... OK now do it like you were an aikidoka..." And then later when Rob had me get in a mount position on him to show how the power release stuff we were doing applied to newaza, and guess what happened, nothing. His response? He didn't get mad at my challenging him on the ground, he laughed and said something like, "Yeah, well you know how to hold someone down, so pretend like you're in aikido trying to pin someone..." I know when there's something I can learn from someone else and I'm plenty willing to eat crow in public, but it's a mistake to think I'm an idiot. You know that if I was making this stuff up, Rob would certainly call me on it. A cup full of rocks has plenty of room for sand and water...

I don't think it's necessary to put, **all comments based on my current experiences and understandings and are subject to change should events outside of my current frame of reference occur** at the end of every post I make. We all operate from that space, it's a given. It's a different thing to say, "I don't see how you could say that..." and "You are wrong." I suppose it's that or you could agree with David, which option suits you more?

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Old 06-28-2007, 09:07 PM   #1117
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Unless it's Mike Sigman apparently. Fine, I have no idea what I'm talking about, I have been found out. Darn, the gig is up.

Mike, I'm sure you're really good at what you do, and I could probably learn a lot from you. But I really wish you could offer just a fraction of the respect and benefit of the doubt that you expect from seemingly everyone else.

Yes, I was flat footed when I met Rob and Ark, *when I was playing by their rules and doing their exercises*. Funny thing happened when I was able to do what I knew. Like when Ark asked to show how Ikkyo didn't work on him and I slowly did ikkyo the way we do it (not a standard aikikai variety) and lo and behold it worked. He got up laughing and commented (paraphrasing), "Wow, he actually knows how to do ikkyo... OK now do it like you were an aikidoka..." And then later when Rob had me get in a mount position on him to show how the power release stuff we were doing applied to newaza, and guess what happened, nothing. His response? He didn't get mad at my challenging him on the ground, he laughed and said something like, "Yeah, well you know how to hold someone down, so pretend like you're in aikido trying to pin someone..." I know when there's something I can learn from someone else and I'm plenty willing to eat crow in public, but it's a mistake to think I'm an idiot. You know that if I was making this stuff up, Rob would certainly call me on it. A cup full of rocks has plenty of room for sand and water...

I don't think it's necessary to put, **all comments based on my current experiences and understandings and are subject to change should events outside of my current frame of reference occur** at the end of every post I make. We all operate from that space, it's a given. It's a different thing to say, "I don't see how you could say that..." and "You are wrong." I suppose it's that or you could agree with David, which option suits you more?
I think you're missing what I'm saying, Chris. If we meet up, you can show me your reeling silk exercises. Regardless of the other stuff you were able to do, I'm talking about basic jin from a frontal push. You didn't know how that worked, regardless of the other stuff. If you didn't know how that worked, then logically the 4-directions of jin stuff you wouldn't know and ergo, whatever you do for "silk reeling" falls out of the equation. That's what I meant. "Silk reeling" is more complicated than just a "winding exercises thing"... it would require that you could maintain and use jin in a number of directions and since you didn't know the easy one, do you want to tell me that you know all the rest, so it doesn't matter? That's the logic. I'm going by what YOU have said happened and simply extending it. If it's going to cause you to have another fit, then OK, you already know it all, Chris. Good luck in your practice.

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Old 06-29-2007, 07:12 AM   #1118
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Re: Baseline skillset

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And not because I'm an expert.... simply because most of these things we're discussing are actually pretty low, basic-level stuff.
Ah, but isn't that where the good's are?
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Old 06-29-2007, 07:26 AM   #1119
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Like when Ark asked to show how Ikkyo didn't work on him and I slowly did ikkyo the way we do it (not a standard aikikai variety) and lo and behold it worked.
Christian,
Are you suggesting that the standard aikikai variety of ikkyo would not have worked?
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Old 06-29-2007, 08:31 AM   #1120
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Christian,
Are you suggesting that the standard aikikai variety of ikkyo would not have worked?
That's correct, I doubt it would have, not a direct enough connection to uke's core and too many degrees of freedom to the rest of the body. edit- I should point out that both examples were done at training/demonstration (meaning far from full bore) levels of resistance and speed. I'm not asserting that I could slam and ikkyo on Ark whenever I wanted. Just wanted that clear.

Mike, I find it amazing how much we talk past each other. I took David's comment to be that there is no place in Japanese arts where we find anything like the movements of silk reeling. Based on my limited understanding of silk reeling (which would be at the very least comparable to David's, whose comments I was directly responding to) I have found numerous *similarities*, some rather striking. I don't think that's an unreasonable statement. Why didn't you comment on David's original assertion? Certainly he would face the same difficulty in making any statement about silk reeling, and therefore, his statement would be equally "wrong." What level of mastery do you consider a minimum before being qualified to make observations and opinions? That's a real question by the way, but you'll probably take it as another fit of mine.

Last edited by ChrisMoses : 06-29-2007 at 08:41 AM.

Chris Moses
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Old 06-29-2007, 11:25 AM   #1121
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Re: Baseline skillset

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I took David's comment to be that there is no place in Japanese arts where we find anything like the movements of silk reeling. Based on my limited understanding of silk reeling (which would be at the very least comparable to David's, whose comments I was directly responding to) I have found numerous *similarities*, some rather striking. I don't think that's an unreasonable statement. Why didn't you comment on David's original assertion? Certainly he would face the same difficulty in making any statement about silk reeling, and therefore, his statement would be equally "wrong." What level of mastery do you consider a minimum before being qualified to make observations and opinions? That's a real question by the way, but you'll probably take it as another fit of mine.
Yeah, but the difference is that you're working on other things and looking around, David's pretty much done and not really interested. I started to let it go (about the reeling silk), but I thought it might be helpful in terms of stopping you from wasting time if you understood that "reeling silk" as a term is bandied about as a buzzword by too many people and the actual usage means something pretty sophisticated. I said why it was sophisticated, I didn't just throw it out there or call anyone names or get off topic, etc.

David's perceptions of what the Chinese do is wrong, but it's usually a waste of time to get into any discussion with him, so I didn't bother.

While I am open to the idea (and probability) that some degree of six-harmonies movement remains (even vestigially) in Japanese martial arts, I'd question anyone that claimed them fairly closely in order to see whether they really knew them or not. It would be a breakthrough (in my explorations) to find someone in Japanese martial arts that really understood them because they're far more sophisticated than they appear on the surface. It would be social chat-level for me to just go "Oh, that's interesting" if someone made the claim.

I don't know if you followed the logic of what I said, but I'm pretty comfortable standing on it, Chris. If you want to probe it further, I can put you on the QiJin list provisionally and lay out the details. I'm not going to write that much just as an exercise for this forum, though, since it's not particularly of interest to most people doing Aikido.

Maybe we talk past each other. I'll try to do what I can to help avoid it.

Best.

Mike
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Old 06-29-2007, 12:17 PM   #1122
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Re: Baseline skillset

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While I am open to the idea (and probability) that some degree of six-harmonies movement remains (even vestigially) in Japanese martial arts, I'd question anyone that claimed them fairly closely in order to see whether they really knew them or not. It would be a breakthrough (in my explorations) to find someone in Japanese martial arts that really understood them because they're far more sophisticated than they appear on the surface. It would be social chat-level for me to just go "Oh, that's interesting" if someone made the claim.
Yeah, I was not making the claim that my ryuha teaches six direction harmonies through silk reeling on a sophisticated level. I agree with you that it's just not how the Japanese teach/transmit either. The Japanese hide things, even from their own students. Some eventually get the goods, most don't. Much is lost along the way, sometimes in a very short period of time. I now 'know' the entire curriculum of my ryuha, so I'm at the stage where I get to go back through everything and see why it's laid out the way it is. Many people in kata arts lose sight of what exactly kata are (lessons) and mistake them for scenarios. The idea is that "OK, I now know the kata, I know it all. What's next." The kata really only serve as a framework to ensure that certain lessons are passed on. To use a simple example, I know a lot of people who have studied tai chi for years and have no idea how any of this stuff works. Even I can tell that they have no idea, but the shell of the form is 'correct'. I know that the silk reeling is a deep and complex study. I also know that I've only seen a portion of it, but I have been introduced to some of the concepts, and I'm not talking exclusively about the Aunkai stuff. That educates what I've been told from others and helped me create a framework to approach it. But as you commented on a while ago, sometimes you learn something from one person, only to have a lot of depth of meaning filled in from somewhere else. But when you find yourself feeling similar stuff doing a similar motion you kind of wonder, "Hmm, I wonder if that's one reason why this kata is here? Is this someone's external way of trying to nudge their students towards this? Interesting..." So much of the depth of knowledge in Japanese budo was left on the battlefields of WW2, that it's no wonder that things exist as they do.

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Maybe we talk past each other. I'll try to do what I can to help avoid it.
That would be great. I don't mind being wrong, but it drives me crazy to not be understood. I also feel that if you (or anyone else) is willing to go through the trouble of saying, "You're wrong," they have and obligation to say why and what is correct (in their view). That's part of the process of dialectic, of coming to a shared understanding. If that isn't what's going on, then there's no point to participating in these forums. I hit that with Chris Li a lot these days, "No, you're wrong, go read this book that is in a language that you can't read..." Not helpful at all. And I do realize what it's like to offer something and have someone else say, "Oh yeah, we do that too..." when you know that they don't. This even happens to me in person. It's a bummer, but it's par for the course with subtle stuff.

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Old 06-29-2007, 12:32 PM   #1123
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Re: Baseline skillset

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But when you find yourself feeling similar stuff doing a similar motion you kind of wonder, "Hmm, I wonder if that's one reason why this kata is here? Is this someone's external way of trying to nudge their students towards this? Interesting..."
Well, almost undoubtedly, if you trace the roots of Okinawan Karate (mainly the Southern White Crane offshoots, I mean) you'll find a number of vestigial "silk reeling" (six-harmony) characteristics. For instance, the twisting forearm/fist punch is actually an old trick from silk-reeling practices that adds greatly to the power if someone's full-suited qi is developed. As just a twisting-arm punch, it's not much one way or the other to justify the twist. But the point is that just because there are vestigial components that look like silk-reeling, that doesn't mean that the silk-reeling actually carried over. One of the reasons six-harmonies type movement died out in so many arts is because to really do it takes a lot of work and focus over a long period of time, (IMO).
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That would be great. I don't mind being wrong, but it drives me crazy to not be understood. I also feel that if you (or anyone else) is willing to go through the trouble of saying, "You're wrong," they have and obligation to say why and what is correct (in their view).
Yeah, but go back and look. I did say why, at least to the extent that if you had understood, you would have taken the next step in the discussion and told *me* why what I said was right or wrong or applied or didn't apply. As it was, you defensively named a couple of extraneous things that you did to Rob and Akuzawa and then you made bad noises at me personally, which caused me to run from the room crying and stamping my little feet and shaking my golden curls.

I wouldn't expect you to know the intricacies of silk-reeling, Chris. I was just saying, FYI, that it's doubtful you've really been exposed to silk-reeling. Knowing that may save you a lot of time in the future.

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Mike Sigman
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Old 06-29-2007, 12:52 PM   #1124
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Re: Baseline skillset

I'm done here, I just don't know how to talk to you Mike. That's too bad.

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Old 06-29-2007, 03:17 PM   #1125
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Re: Baseline skillset

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...if you (or anyone else) is willing to go through the trouble of saying, "You're wrong," they have and obligation to say why and what is correct (in their view). That's part of the process of dialectic, of coming to a shared understanding.
Yeah. That's why I always wonder why you want to say my ideas about child movement are wrong, but you can't come up with any actual reason. Like a lot of people, you seem to be simply offended at the idea that what you've worked so hard to 'learn' was already in your nervous system and you've actually been working against it by trying to replace it with something you think is better. It's all in the kata.

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