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 07-03-2007, 05:24 PM   #1201
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
There is so much that I would like to say to clarify this line of discourse, but I just can't bring myself to.
Odd. You and David don't seem to have any problem "bringing yourself" to do extended personality bashing.... suddenly when you're confronted with a very simple, factual question, you bail. If your contention now is that Akuzawa and Rob had nothing on you, as you're seemingly implying, and that it was just a matter of them getting you into odd positions, why not just state it. Then a quick shut down of my premise showing that you do indeed know how to do jin in "reeling silk" (which YOU claimed to do on this forum) would be nice. You do it and I'll simply say "I agree with you", as plenty of archived posts on this very forum will show you that I do when the occasion warrants it. As it stands, both you and David seem to bail and start name-calling when actual facts enter the discussion.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2007, 06:11 PM   #1202
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,504
United_States
Offline
Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Odd. You and David don't seem to have any problem "bringing yourself" to do extended personality bashing.... suddenly when you're confronted with a very simple, factual question, you bail.
You're getting confused again, Mike. Just when I thought you had figured things out.

You get "personality bashed" because that's the way you act toward everyone. Geez, your own comments seem to be invisible to you, but you notice the pea beneath your pillow.

I dealt with every aspect of every question you laid out (which were all basically accusations rather than questions). I answered more than you do because you simply hint around. Again, I say, you need your boils lanced.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
As it stands, both you and David seem to bail and start name-calling when actual facts enter the discussion.
Again, I laugh at you, Mike. You are the #1 basher and name caller. I just give you back what you put out. Cry when you find the cow on your porch.

David

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

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2007, 06:46 PM   #1203
Thomas Campbell
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 407
Offline
Re: Baseline skillset

This post is offered for those on the forum unfamiliar with Chinese martial arts terminology, particularly taijiquan terms.

Louis Swaim is an accomplished translator as well as a long-time practitioner of Yang style taijiquan. He writes that "chousi" means the pulling or drawing of silk. Swaim translates some passages of taiji theory, particularly from Wu Tunan, that imply that "chousi" perhaps shouldn't be considered a specific type of jin, but refers more to the way in which the jin is trained, that is, slowly, evenly, maintaining a sense of internal connnection. In this view, there would not be a specific "chousijin"; instead, all jins (peng jin, etc.) could be trained in a "chousi" manner--internally connected, without a break.

"Chansi" is more commonly used in connection with "jin," referring to the coordination of the winding and twisting movements of the body in martial practice--and particularly noted in Chen style taijiquan, where chansijin is first described in the book written by Chen Xin in the 1910s (and published posthumously in the 1930s).

You can have chansijin practiced in a chousi-like manner. On the other hand, I can pick my nose with chousi . . . but it might not be advisable to perform the same action with chansijin.

Chousi (drawing or pulling of silk) is a term referring more to the quality of internal continuity of movement (of any kind), and chansi(jin) refers more to a specific type of movement.

Here are some remarks Louis Swaim offered on the topic of chansijin and chousi:

chansi (reeling silk) [and] chousi (drawing silk). Some taiji authorities claim that these are both the same thing, but some say that they are not. Wu Tunan was one authority who argued that chansi and chansijin were part of the Chen tradition, but that these terms have no early textual support in the Yang tradition. Wu pointed out that the conspicuous mention of "drawing silk" in the Yang corpus is the line in the Mental Elucidation of the Thirteen Shi: "mobilize jin as though drawing silk" (yun jin ru chousi), and that it is clearly a metaphor. The terms chansi and chansijin, on the other hand, have to do with specific practices in the Chen tradition, and likely made their first textual appearance in Chen Xin's book written in the early 1900s.

and

Is the *term* chansijin proprietary to Chen martial arts tradition?

Do we have evidence of the term being used before its appearance in Chen Xin's book, written in the early 1900s? It could well be that Chen was passing along terminology that was well established in oral tradition, but how can that be corroborated?

Is there any evidence of the terms chansi, chansijin, or chousijin being used in early Yang tradition? The written record seems to indicate a negative answer on all three. There is a text in the Wu Jianquan tradition, in Wu Gongzao's book, that specifically elucidates the concept chansijin, but it was likely written after Chen Xin wrote his book, and may have been influenced by his writings.

In the earlier texts claimed as part of the Yang classical corpus, there is indeed the phrase "chousi"—used in a metaphorical way to describe a quality of movement. (As I have indicated in another post, "chousi" appears to be a well-established metaphor in usage beyond the realm of taijiquan.)


and

just to repeat Wu Tunan's comments:

‘If you pull the silk abruptly it will break, when you pull it improperly, the silk won't come out. This is a metaphor for training the energy (jin) of taijiquan. It cannot be excessively forceful, nor excessively fragile; it has to be just right. These kinds of metaphors are numerous, such as: "mobilize jin that is like well-tempered steel," "as though drawing a bow," and "issue jin as though releasing an arrow." There are some people, then, who have illogically contrived to make the words chou si be regarded as a designation for a kind of jin, even mistakenly giving explanations of some sort of "chousijin." We should ask, then, if it were possible to also have some sort of "releasing arrow jin," or "well tempered steel jin"—wouldn't that be laughable?'

I've seen other commentaries that use very similar explanations of the meaning of drawing silk, so I don't think Wu was alone on that point.


Maybe this just muddies things, but the intent was to offer some clarification for the discussion.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2007, 07:03 PM   #1204
Upyu
Dojo: Aunkai, Tokyo
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 591
Offline
Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
Yeah, Mike said it in post #1169:
"Silk Reeling is a form of movement with qi/ki and jin/kokyu-power. That's all it is."
Chih already summed up what I have to say about this.
Youre missing the point and misunderstanding what I meant.
But if it helps Ill spell it out, Reeling silk is "a" form of kokyu/jin/qi use, there are others.

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
Mike used it as an equivalent term. Otherwise, why even mention it? It's his effort at obfuscation....etc.
No not really, actually he made the distinction before in several other posts here on Aikiweb, if anything hes been consistent in his definition

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
And you reinforce my point that Reeling Silk is a highly refined and developed Chinese concept that is not found in the Japanese arts. That's all I said. There was no reason to mention "pulling silk" if it isn't related, was there?
Its related so far as qi/jin/kokyu skills are related

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
If Mochizuki said I understood aikido "pretty completely," then no one else's judgment (based on comments on a message board) really impresses me.
Well I dont think I need to say anything about that comment, it speaks for itself.
But beyond that, if you're going by that logic, the only person you could receive absolute affirmation would be Ueshiba, as far as Aikido goes anyways.

Anyways we could play that game all day.
In fact I could one up you by taking a couple quotes from Sagawa who said that anyone that described the skill of Aiki in philisophical terms as being "soft in the head" and "being so hoplessly stupid they could never dream to achieve aiki in 10,000 years."
Does that invalidate Mochizukis skill?
No.
But you should be able to understand whats going on in your body without relying on someone else's terms.
(Just my opinion on that matter)

You keep on dodging the question David...you wont describe the body skills in a coherent manner.

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
Well, your site and discussions revolve around rooting and the equalization of forces, front and rear, side-to-side and up-and-down. The old ways of training were a slow way to enforce those awarenesses throughout the body and to train them. The new ways, largely revolving around competition (for judo at least), destroy those balances by developing tokui to an extreme.
Unfortunately I understand the direction youre coming from and thats not it. It has nothing to do with being tokui, or not tokui, about training the sides equally in order to balance the body etc.
I could practice one side only and still develop the six directions.
Of course its wouldnt develop the otherside as much, but it would still be there. Youre discussing the neurological aspect more if you ask me.

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
Whatever I have developed of them (enough to easily do aiki age on a judo godan, at least) has come without even thinking of them as separate skills, so they would have developed without specific jargon or rationalizations.
Lets put it this way, if you understand the specific components that need to be worked on, maybe you could make the "next" leap in terms of skill.
All guys thatre accomplished and have these skills that ive met know exactly what theyre working on in their body.
JMA or CMA, doesnt matter.
Anyone that says, well I just do it without thinking about knowing what I was working on I call BS.
Its like a physicist saying, well I worked out xxx theory kind of naturally. I never really knew what I was working on, but as a by product I have complete mastery over it now.

It doesnt work that way.

Sure you might inately grasp some aspects of the theory but youll never be able to fully utilize or develop it.

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post

When has anyone talked about any kind of "qi development" without relying first and foremost on alignment of the body, grounding and tanren?
I dunno, tanren seemed to be a pretty new idea to a lot of members on this board.

Anyways, hopefully youll be able to conjure up a decent response, sans the mochizuki nutriding and explain things in your own terms .
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2007, 07:52 PM   #1205
ChrisMoses
Dojo: TNBBC (Icho Ryu Aiki Budo), Shinto Ryu IaiBattojutsu
Location: Seattle, WA
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 906
United_States
Offline
Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
Anyone that says, well I just do it without thinking about knowing what I was working on I call BS.
Its like a physicist saying, well I worked out xxx theory kind of naturally. I never really knew what I was working on, but as a by product I have complete mastery over it now.

It doesnt work that way.
Actually, that was my exact experience when I got my Physics degree, and a major factor in my decision not to go on to a PhD. In Chaos Theory, my teacher at one point wrote a massive formula on the board and said, "OK, I hope everyone can just visualize what this represents because I don't have any language for it. You either see it or you don't." Another handed out a one page hand written set of equations that we would, "need for the homework..." No explanation (and none on what he'd given us either, it was just a series of equations). That same quarter I was taking a 400 level applied mathematics class. We spent the first two months slowly building up to the first half of what my Physics professor wrote down on a piece of loose leaf paper and expected to be inherently obvious. Some people just do this stuff, and I think they are the worst ones to learn from because they cannot imagine what it is to not see it automatically.

Chris Moses
TNBBC, "Putting the ME in MEdiocre!"
Shinto Ryu Iai Battojutsu
TNBBC Blog
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2007, 08:04 PM   #1206
ChrisMoses
Dojo: TNBBC (Icho Ryu Aiki Budo), Shinto Ryu IaiBattojutsu
Location: Seattle, WA
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 906
United_States
Offline
Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
If your contention now is that Akuzawa and Rob had nothing on you, as you're seemingly implying, and that it was just a matter of them getting you into odd positions, why not just state it.
That has never been my contention, nor is it my implication. You were the one who brought up my being caught "flat footed" in Japan and I felt that warranted a response.

I can't make it any clearer than this: I mistook your initial comment to say that it was impossible that my ryuha (that you have never seen) has anything that could teach a silk-reeling *like* movement. I do not think you could say that without more information than I know you have. You later clarified what you were saying to the idea that there is no way I could possibly know enough about silk reeling to state what I had. You are probably right, I know what I feel when I'm *trying* it but I am no one to say if it's anywhere near right, so please disregard my comment. It *is* true that what *I* am doing internally when *I* practice the *very little bit* of silk reeling that I know is *very easily applied* to several kata from my ryuha. I however am not in a position to offer that as an example as I am simply not skilled enough at silk reeling to say. That last sentence should be read in all honesty, it was not sarcasm. Surely you don't have a problem with that?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
As it stands, both you and David seem to bail and start name-calling when actual facts enter the discussion.
Perhaps then you'd like to demonstrate your personal distaste for name calling by admitting that perhaps it was rude to call the head of my ryuha stupid, or is that asking too much? Or if you'd like to explain how calling someone's teacher 'stupid' is not a personal attack that would be fine too. Or is my asking that another personal attack? It seems reasonable to me at this point.

Chris Moses
TNBBC, "Putting the ME in MEdiocre!"
Shinto Ryu Iai Battojutsu
TNBBC Blog
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2007, 08:07 PM   #1207
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,504
United_States
Offline
Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post
This post is offered for those on the forum unfamiliar with Chinese martial arts terminology, particularly taijiquan terms.
Interesting, Thomas, and almost certain to draw some harsh criticism. Good luck with that.

In any case, having reviewed some videos of Chen stylists doing silk reeling exercises (including photos of Chen Xiao Want) and having read a good bit on this topic now, I am more convinced than ever that it does arise both directly and figuratively from literal silk reeling work. The silk reel is a wheel-like device and the movement of the Chen stylist was clearly compatible with a worker's turning that reel. And the whole-body movement allowed one to do so with the delicacy required in the taiji classics, warning "too fast and the thread breaks, too slow, it tangles," (paraphrased, lest Mike note a word out of place--the spirit is in place).

The repetitive references to physical silk threads and cocoons makes it clear that the movement is inspired by (ergo, "came from") the literal physical work of reeling silk.

Further, I find nothing at all similar in any Japanese art. Even though the Japanese, too, make silk, I've never heard of any reference to it in any relation to martial art and, likely, the physical way it is done is rather different than the almost peculiar way the Chinese do it, which yields tai ji.

Thanks again.

David

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

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2007, 08:17 PM   #1208
Upyu
Dojo: Aunkai, Tokyo
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 591
Offline
Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
Actually, that was my exact experience when I got my Physics degree, and a major factor in my decision not to go on to a PhD. In Chaos Theory, my teacher at one point wrote a massive formula on the board and said, "OK, I hope everyone can just visualize what this represents because I don't have any language for it. You either see it or you don't." Another handed out a one page hand written set of equations that we would, "need for the homework..." No explanation (and none on what he'd given us either, it was just a series of equations). That same quarter I was taking a 400 level applied mathematics class. We spent the first two months slowly building up to the first half of what my Physics professor wrote down on a piece of loose leaf paper and expected to be inherently obvious. Some people just do this stuff, and I think they are the worst ones to learn from because they cannot imagine what it is to not see it automatically.
Let me see if I can be a bit clearer, I understand what you're saying, so lets see if were crossing wires.
What I meant to say is that with regards to these skills, anyone that develops it to a high degree knows exactly what they're working on internally (physically and mentally speaking).
I think if you pressed that particular prof he could come up with an explanation on his own terms to some degree.
Whether or not he could express it well would be a different matter (and I could also understand why he would simply give up and say, *here guys figure it out* in order to weed out the unmotivated)

Personally Ive always been more partial to what Feynman said, on how if you really understand the subject, you should be able to explain it *well* on your own terms.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2007, 08:29 PM   #1209
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,504
United_States
Offline
Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
Youre missing the point and misunderstanding what I meant.
But if it helps Ill spell it out, Reeling silk is "a" form of kokyu/jin/qi use, there are others.
Sure. And there are peculiarly Japanese forms of that as well, influenced by Japanese culture and work styles, and yielding the peculiarly unique Japanese arts as silk reeling produces the unique forms of tai chi.

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
No not really, actually he made the distinction (reeling silk and pulling silk--DO) before in several other posts here on Aikiweb, if anything hes been consistent in his definition
Didn't see those.

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
if you're going by that logic, the only person you could receive absolute affirmation would be Ueshiba, as far as Aikido goes anyways.
Of course. But Mochizuki Sensei was as close as I could get to Ueshiba and now he, too, is out of reach.

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
Anyways we could play that game all day. In fact I could one up you by taking a couple quotes from Sagawa who said that anyone that described the skill of Aiki in philisophical terms as being "soft in the head" and "being so hoplessly stupid they could never dream to achieve aiki in 10,000 years." Does that invalidate Mochizukis skill? No.
Of course not. He didn't use "philosophical terms" to approach aiki. If you mean "the ura of kiai," that's a purely technical description, like all that he did. He did give another description once: basically, "If you are attacked by surprise, you don't shy away from the attack, but enter it: aiki attacks the attack."

Of course, that could also apply to kiai, which is why it's necessary to differentiate that aiki is the ura of kiai and takes "the opposite" approach--which is????

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
But you should be able to understand whats going on in your body without relying on someone else's terms.
I didn't rely on any terms at all. I didn't try to explain what was going on "in my body" except that I remained upright and unmoved and the opponent lost his balance and posture and fell into my kansetsu waza. So I never thought about describing what was going on inside: I just went by the feeling and never tried to describe it as long as it worked.

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
You keep on dodging the question David...you wont describe the body skills in a coherent manner.
hmm....that's sounding philosophical to me--something I avoided. It seems...I don't know...soft-headed?

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
Lets put it this way, if you understand the specific components that need to be worked on, maybe you could make the "next" leap in terms of skill.
Well, I never said I couldn't improve or be improved or that no one was better. But someone earlier attempted to quantify my level by explaining that I was not on the third level (or the fourth???--sounded way philosophical to me), at which you move through the opponent as if he were not there--even so far as to have no tactile sense of his being there.

Later, I realized that that sounded a little like what I've experienced when breaking objects, like bricks. I go right through them and when I do it right, I don't even feel the brick: it just parts before my hand and I feel nothing. So maybe he missed the point. Not that I can't be improved, mind you. I do refer to the aunkai website and I'm interested in what it says and I do want to meet Ark and feel what he does. Sounds very interesting.

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
All guys thatre accomplished and have these skills that ive met know exactly what theyre working on in their body.
Well, again, you're talking "these skills" and I'm talking specifically about aikido.

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
Anyone that says, well I just do it without thinking about knowing what I was working on I call BS.
And to what level of judo can you tell them that? sandan? rokudan?

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
Sure you might inately grasp some aspects of the theory but youll never be able to fully utilize or develop it. I dunno, tanren seemed to be a pretty new idea to a lot of members on this board.
I've got a guy you should visit in Holland. He says tanren training is the underlying aim of all traditional budo training. See if you can push him around. He came up the traditional way.

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
Anyways, hopefully youll be able to conjure up a decent response, sans the mochizuki nutriding and explain things in your own terms .
And I'll be able to do that when I start using your terms? I didn't use any terms at all but to say that Mochizuki Sense said of me, "Anta wa aikido o daibu wakaru. (You pretty well understand aikido. or You understand aikido for the greater part.)"

I never said I understand what you do, but Mochizuki Sensei said that I understood what Morihei Ueshiba was doing: aikido.

David

Last edited by David Orange : 07-03-2007 at 08:36 PM.

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

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2007, 08:33 PM   #1210
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,504
United_States
Offline
Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
Another handed out a one page hand written set of equations that we would, "need for the homework..." No explanation (and none on what he'd given us either, it was just a series of equations).
And the martial arts equivalent is that they just show you all these techniques without any kind of unifying principles (hardly) and it's up to you to work them out.

It's nice that there are people who are willing to give some of the underlying principles to martial arts, but the old teachers made you work out your own understanding on your own terms.

David

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

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2007, 08:47 PM   #1211
Upyu
Dojo: Aunkai, Tokyo
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 591
Offline
Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
It *is* true that what *I* am doing internally when *I* practice the *very little bit* of silk reeling that I know is *very easily applied* to several kata from my ryuha. I however am not in a position to offer that as an example as I am simply not skilled enough at silk reeling to say.
Just to put it out there, I think there's a difference in how *Silk Reeling* is being defined here by the both of you.

Chris is basing it on the movements and instruction he recieved from Andy Dale. When meshed with the internal manipulation hes working on now hes found it to have direct application to the sword work hes doing in his ryuha. (Which is I think definitely valid)

Mike is saying that Silk Reeling is the direct manipulation of the jin in a specific manner and that the movement is a result.

Looking at it in that aspect I'd define it as what was learned in the Silk Reeling "Exercise" as opposed to understanding Silk Reeling "Skill," if that makes any sense.

Stating that, maybe we can restart the conversation.

And as for silk reeling in Japanese swordsmanship...my personal guess is that "pulling" silk skill was more prominent.
It makes sense anyways. -> Anyone else also feel free to comment on this.

Arks mentioned several times that empty handed/Toshu(free hands) bodyskill probably becomes much more complex than the skill required for weapons work.
Btw let me clarify it since that definitely could be taken the wrong way.
While the requirements to use a weapon are extremely kibishii(unforgiving/exacting), the exact bodyskill developed and used on the side without a weapon probably becomes more complex than the skill developed and used with a weapon.
Hence my guess that maybe "silk reeling skill" wasnt featured too prominently in japanese weapons work, if at all and that pulling silk is more likely.

(Btw I'm defining pulling silk as a more linear useage of Jin than Reeling silk)

Oh.
And my teacher is the bestest and can smash all y'all with his pinkie Nyah!

(when he's on the turkey .... powah! )
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2007, 08:59 PM   #1212
Upyu
Dojo: Aunkai, Tokyo
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 591
Offline
Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
Of course not. He didn't use "philosophical terms" to approach aiki. If you mean "the ura of kiai," that's a purely technical description, like all that he did. He did give another description once: basically, "If you are attacked by surprise, you don't shy away from the attack, but enter it: aiki attacks the attack."
See, the problem is I don't see how thats a technical description.
It sounds to me more like a description of sempo/strategy.
What we're talking about is more along the lines of taijutsu.

Here's another description of Aiki, (just to show how many different explanations are running around there)
This comes directly from Sagawa via Takeda to one of his senior students.

"These days everyone argues about Aiki and what it is. The fact is, Aiki is simply the a state where both swordsman are in stalemate.
The term comes from Onoha ittoryu and implies that both swordsman are in a deadlock.
Aiki from Takeda implied that you were able to affect the other person even in this deadlocked state.
So in Aiki Age when you hold me down and I try to raise, we are in a state of Aiki, which I keep as I affect you."

The thread is about "Baseline skillset" unless you missed it.
We're trying to talk about the bodyskills implied.
Not the strategic or philisophical underpinnings.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2007, 09:11 PM   #1213
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,504
United_States
Offline
Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
See, the problem is I don't see how thats a technical description.
It sounds to me more like a description of sempo/strategy.
What we're talking about is more along the lines of taijutsu.
Put another way, kiai is the direct "plow them down, run them over, smash through them" approach. Aiki tailors its movement to the ura of the kiai movement. So while the ura of a punch would include "blocking" the punch with a forearm smash, that still conflicts somewhat with the strength of the punch and does not access the "pure ura" where the kiai leaves a void. Real aiki acts on the void part of the strength of the kiai (it goes where the punch has no power--typically, literally behind the punch). For as Ueshiba says, "I am already behind him." He uses "ura of kiai" only to refer to physical technique, which he never tired of discussing. He hated abstraction (when it came to budo) and he just brushed aside any attempt to explain technique as the workings of ki power.

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
"These days everyone argues about Aiki and what it is. The fact is, Aiki is simply the a state where both swordsman are in stalemate.
The term comes from Onoha ittoryu and implies that both swordsman are in a deadlock.
Aiki from Takeda implied that you were able to affect the other person even in this deadlocked state.
So in Aiki Age when you hold me down and I try to raise, we are in a state of Aiki, which I keep as I affect you."
I've heard that explantion of aiki as well. It's somewhat like, "When the attack comes by surprise, you don't shy away from it, but enter it."

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
The thread is about "Baseline skillset" unless you missed it.
We're trying to talk about the bodyskills implied.
Not the strategic or philisophical underpinnings.
Well, it goes hither and yon and one comment begets another. And one thing leads to another, so it has often verged onto aikido and even specifically to what "I" know or don't know, and the only way I have to address that is from my experience of body skills on the aikido mat and in real life. It goes into swordsmanship and that into strategy. Unfortunately, there's just no way to keep it terribly tightly restricted, so we end up covering varied ground.

Best wishes.

David

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

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2007, 09:47 PM   #1214
eyrie
 
eyrie's Avatar
Location: Summerholm, Queensland
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,126
Australia
Offline
Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
Unfortunately, there's just no way to keep it terribly tightly restricted, so we end up covering varied ground.
I disagree. Just as you wouldn't throw a beginner into the deep end and yell "Now swim!", I don't see why a discussion on baseline skillset should be anything other than baseline principles.

Likewise, when teaching someone a musical instrument for the first time, say a piano, you would start with middle C with correct fingering and work your way up from playing individual notes and then scales. All the time working with proper fingering and timing. You wouldn't give a beginner a classical piece and say "Now you play it" - not before they are familiar with individual notes, relaxed fingering, timing, and can play simple tunes before progressing to something a bit more advanced - based on the same basic skills acquired in the beginning.

So, how is a discussion on baseline principles in martial arts any different?

Ignatius
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2007, 09:13 AM   #1215
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post
This post is offered for those on the forum unfamiliar with Chinese martial arts terminology, particularly taijiquan terms.

Louis Swaim is an accomplished translator as well as a long-time practitioner of Yang style taijiquan. He writes that "chousi" means the pulling or drawing of silk.
The last time I corresponded with Swaim, some years back, he was still translating "jin" as "energy". When I pointed out that resident Chinese experts (I sent him the URL to Andreas Graf's interview with Chen Jumin) state flatly that it's a physical skill, he began to tell me that "energy" is one of the acceptable dictionary translations. My point is one that I've mentioned a number of times before.... translators can get you in trouble and in fact, they've contributed to the mess in the West for many years.

Let me give a very crude and incomplete *illustration* (nothing more than that and not all that accurate except as an illustration) of pulling silk and reeling silk: Have someone grab 2 or 3 fingers of your extended right arm and right hand in their fist and hold them firmly so that you can pull back with your body (not your arm or hand). Pretend your arm and hand are nothing more than a towel or piece of cloth and move your torso backward slowly until you can feel the stretch in your fingers, hand, arm, shoulder, and across your back. Your partner holding your fingers is now connected to your middle via a slight tensile stretch. No connection, no way to control the fingers with your middle except with normal muscle, right? So somebody who "doesn't use that extension of the body" for dantien control is blowing smoke. OK, so that's a crude example of "pulling silk" or "chousi jin". If you want to pull the guy toward you (or push him away), you just move the middle and the connection to the hand is conveyed by the slight extension and your power from the ground/dantien/jin.... your ki and your kokyu power, generally speaking in regard to this example.

Now if you use this same connection above and twist/turn the waist, that slightly stretched connection will twist and shorten, also adding to any pull you make with the middle. But it's still the same basic "slightly stretched connection and movement with the dantien" that reaches the grabbing opponent. In other words, it's just an extension of the basic principle and whether it's worth all the time it takes to train, yada, yada, yada.

The point is that the same "extension/connection of the body" and the same jin/kokyu-power are being used, regardless of the variations. Karate uses variations, but it's still a Japanese art. Aikido, jujitsu and other arts all have slightly different approaches and variations (many of which turn out to be *exactly* like different Chinese variations of the principles)... but the core skills are identical across the board.
Quote:
Swaim translates some passages of taiji theory, particularly from Wu Tunan, that imply that "chousi" perhaps shouldn't be considered a specific type of jin, but refers more to the way in which the jin is trained, that is, slowly, evenly, maintaining a sense of internal connnection. In this view, there would not be a specific "chousijin"; instead, all jins (peng jin, etc.) could be trained in a "chousi" manner--internally connected, without a break.
You know, Wu Tunan had this lifelong war against the Chen style and did everything he could to discredit the Chen style in favor of his own style. As a communist official, he was the one who insisted that his own style's "13 Postures" was the definition of Taiji and he made many other absurd claims. He famously lied about his age and claimed to be over 100 years old, but his ruse was sort of a joke in the martial-arts community... he died in his 80's, in reality. I.e. let's not use anything Wu Tu Nan says as credible. He was a liar and a charlatan.
Quote:
Here are some remarks Louis Swaim offered on the topic of chansijin and chousi:

chansi (reeling silk) [and] chousi (drawing silk). Some taiji authorities claim that these are both the same thing, but some say that they are not. Wu Tunan was one authority who argued that chansi and chansijin were part of the Chen tradition, but that these terms have no early textual support in the Yang tradition. Wu pointed out that the conspicuous mention of "drawing silk" in the Yang corpus is the line in the Mental Elucidation of the Thirteen Shi: "mobilize jin as though drawing silk" (yun jin ru chousi), and that it is clearly a metaphor. The terms chansi and chansijin, on the other hand, have to do with specific practices in the Chen tradition, and likely made their first textual appearance in Chen Xin's book written in the early 1900s.

and

Is the *term* chansijin proprietary to Chen martial arts tradition?

Do we have evidence of the term being used before its appearance in Chen Xin's book, written in the early 1900s? It could well be that Chen was passing along terminology that was well established in oral tradition, but how can that be corroborated?

Is there any evidence of the terms chansi, chansijin, or chousijin being used in early Yang tradition? The written record seems to indicate a negative answer on all three. There is a text in the Wu Jianquan tradition, in Wu Gongzao's book, that specifically elucidates the concept chansijin, but it was likely written after Chen Xin wrote his book, and may have been influenced by his writings.

In the earlier texts claimed as part of the Yang classical corpus, there is indeed the phrase "chousi"—used in a metaphorical way to describe a quality of movement. (As I have indicated in another post, "chousi" appears to be a well-established metaphor in usage beyond the realm of taijiquan.)


and

just to repeat Wu Tunan's comments:

‘If you pull the silk abruptly it will break, when you pull it improperly, the silk won't come out. This is a metaphor for training the energy (jin) of taijiquan. It cannot be excessively forceful, nor excessively fragile; it has to be just right. These kinds of metaphors are numerous, such as: "mobilize jin that is like well-tempered steel," "as though drawing a bow," and "issue jin as though releasing an arrow." There are some people, then, who have illogically contrived to make the words chou si be regarded as a designation for a kind of jin, even mistakenly giving explanations of some sort of "chousijin." We should ask, then, if it were possible to also have some sort of "releasing arrow jin," or "well tempered steel jin"—wouldn't that be laughable?'

I've seen other commentaries that use very similar explanations of the meaning of drawing silk, so I don't think Wu was alone on that point.


Maybe this just muddies things, but the intent was to offer some clarification for the discussion.
Yeah, well, the insistence that the Yang style used chousi jin was widespread until the late 1970's early 1980's and it's in a lot of books that way. Sometime in the 1980's someone in the Yang-style realized that if you claim only chousijin you're openly indicating that you don't have full and complete qi and jin because the full "natural" movement will always be with reeling silk, not the pulling silk. So the Yang family publicly stated that they use reeling silk, in the 1980's.

(Personally, I think that within the actual family, they always did. Originally, the Yang founder was not given permission to teach reeling silk, so the Yang style was always incomplete and only used the pulling silk).

But regardless, all of these things are always just variations of the basic ki/qi principles and the basic jin/kokyu principles. Always. The idea that somehow the Japanese arts and the Chinese arts are "different" is the sort of ignorance that continues to keep good western students in the dark.

Best.

Mike
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2007, 09:26 AM   #1216
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
Of course not. He didn't use "philosophical terms" to approach aiki. If you mean "the ura of kiai," that's a purely technical description, like all that he did.
How is "the ura of kiai" a "technical term? It's very common in Japanese to say things have an ura and an omote side... it just means more or less there's and obvious side and a "not easy to see" side. You could say that about just about anything and it's an observation, not a "technical description", for chrissake. It's like me saying that jin is "the concealed".... cool but that doesn't do anything but posture as "knowledgeable" and it conveys no real information.
Quote:
And I'll be able to do that when I start using your terms? I didn't use any terms at all but to say that Mochizuki Sense said of me, "Anta wa aikido o daibu wakaru. (You pretty well understand aikido. or You understand aikido for the greater part.)"

I never said I understand what you do, but Mochizuki Sensei said that I understood what Morihei Ueshiba was doing: aikido.
If you understood, you could explain. You cannot explain, and that has come up for several years, so let's just assume for the moment that Mochizuki was being nice and diplomatic with you until you're able to explain, shall we? I can tell you *dozens* of stories of people who thought their many-year teacher showed them everything and they didn't even know basics. And of course, they get extremely angry if anyone suggests that (many of them go right to personal attack and never have any facts to offer!).

The type of facts offered earlier in this thread.... that's what we're looking for. Not your assurances that you and Moch were tight.

Best.

Mike Sigman
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2007, 09:34 AM   #1217
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
I can't make it any clearer than this: I mistook your initial comment to say that it was impossible that my ryuha (that you have never seen) has anything that could teach a silk-reeling *like* movement. I do not think you could say that without more information than I know you have. You later clarified what you were saying to the idea that there is no way I could possibly know enough about silk reeling to state what I had.
I didn't "later clarify" anything. You misread my first statement and took offense because of your misreading.
Quote:
You are probably right, I know what I feel when I'm *trying* it but I am no one to say if it's anywhere near right, so please disregard my comment. It *is* true that what *I* am doing internally when *I* practice the *very little bit* of silk reeling that I know is *very easily applied* to several kata from my ryuha. I however am not in a position to offer that as an example as I am simply not skilled enough at silk reeling to say. That last sentence should be read in all honesty, it was not sarcasm. Surely you don't have a problem with that?
No problem at all. I'd like to see it. My caution was that you logically could not already be doing (as your post indicated) reeling silk. You personally. I thought it would just make you think, but I guess not.
Quote:
Perhaps then you'd like to demonstrate your personal distaste for name calling by admitting that perhaps it was rude to call the head of my ryuha stupid, or is that asking too much? Or if you'd like to explain how calling someone's teacher 'stupid' is not a personal attack that would be fine too. Or is my asking that another personal attack? It seems reasonable to me at this point.
Who is the head of your ryuha and where did I say that he was stupid? I generally never call people stupid, although it's possible to call one of their actions stupid. You'll have to clarify...... but if this is going to get off on another endless tangent where no "baseline skillset" info is offered, let's just move on, please.

Mike Sigman
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2007, 09:38 AM   #1218
DH
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
United_States
Offline
Re: Baseline skillset

Hopefully the air is clear and the pissing contests are over.
This is certainly not what I'm doing. I am surprised at this, since it stilll only involves waist / stretched spine movement. The twist is fine, but there is a "more" complete aspect to that idea of twisting you have that will tie together and involve far more connections in the body. I think it is easy enough to think of just -what- are you twisting and just -what- is connected-to -what? Oddly enough it involves your breath (in/yo ho) and just what it is doing to those "held fingers"...way out there. It sure as hell aint to let your arm go and move your middle. Thats why I said earlier before all the crap hit the fan that there was a move invloved way to accomplish what I think you are trying to do. At least in my limited expereince. That idea or model won't come near to filling the arms and extremities or being near as powerful as it can be. The framework and structural aspects are fine and will certainly move and up-end many MA'ers. I suppose it becomes a question of -if person a. has that aspect reaally developed thay can kick butt, but it doesn't mean there isn't a way to add to it. There is a softer,( and much harder to do) ...yet more flexible and powerful way to add to that framework /stetched power. At least in my view.

Last edited by DH : 07-04-2007 at 09:51 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2007, 10:51 AM   #1219
ChrisMoses
Dojo: TNBBC (Icho Ryu Aiki Budo), Shinto Ryu IaiBattojutsu
Location: Seattle, WA
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 906
United_States
Offline
Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
Let me see if I can be a bit clearer, I understand what you're saying, so lets see if were crossing wires.
What I meant to say is that with regards to these skills, anyone that develops it to a high degree knows exactly what they're working on internally (physically and mentally speaking).
Agreed.

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
I think if you pressed that particular prof he could come up with an explanation on his own terms to some degree.
Whether or not he could express it well would be a different matter (and I could also understand why he would simply give up and say, *here guys figure it out* in order to weed out the unmotivated)
Trust me, we pressed him. I had him for 5 separate 300+ level classes. I am convinced that it was simply the way he thought. His brain did not work like mine did.

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
Personally Ive always been more partial to what Feynman said, on how if you really understand the subject, you should be able to explain it *well* on your own terms.
Again I agree, but what happens when your *own* terms are some extremely complicated multi-dimension equations? Or, to bring it around to the martial topic, what happens when you *understand* internal dynamics by movements of deities through your body or strategies of budo by white lines of power? What happens if that is your own terms? The people who become really great teachers, are those with enough natural ability to do it, and an ability to transmit what they are doing to a properly motivated student *in terms that their students can understand*.

Chris Moses
TNBBC, "Putting the ME in MEdiocre!"
Shinto Ryu Iai Battojutsu
TNBBC Blog
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2007, 11:21 AM   #1220
DH
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
United_States
Offline
Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
Again I agree, but what happens when your *own* terms are some extremely complicated multi-dimension equations? Or, to bring it around to the martial topic, what happens when you *understand* internal dynamics by movements of deities through your body or strategies of budo by white lines of power? What happens if that is your own terms? The people who become really great teachers, are those with enough natural ability to do it, and an ability to transmit what they are doing to a properly motivated student *in terms that their students can understand*.
Hi Chris
I can agree to a point. There are plenty of talented guys who can't teach but can do. But I have always maintained the following.
a. This stuff isn't natural. It's different.
b. The only way to get it is through mental accumen. You simply must know what you are trying to accomplish. and even then its stupifyingly difficult to burn in to your body.
c. No one can find it on their own. Its has to be shown. You can of course build from there. But to discover it? No, not really.
d. Some stuff is ridiculous in that you have to imagine it long before you can make it happen. Which defies finding it by chance
So in the end anyone who is doing it, had to get there by mentally formulating and following through on a set path to re-wire. And so they "know" what they are about.

Last edited by DH : 07-04-2007 at 11:27 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2007, 11:31 AM   #1221
gdandscompserv
 
gdandscompserv's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,214
United_States
Offline
Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
c. No one can find it on their own. Its has to be shown. You can of course build from there. But to discover it? No, not really.
Somebody found it on their own.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2007, 11:44 AM   #1222
ChrisMoses
Dojo: TNBBC (Icho Ryu Aiki Budo), Shinto Ryu IaiBattojutsu
Location: Seattle, WA
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 906
United_States
Offline
Re: Baseline skillset

Dan I agree with everything you're saying there. I'm stating what I think *is* rather than *what should be*. I train with people who have a similar view to my own, but I have been told by many in the Aikido world that the *only* way to 'teach' someone aikido is to let them find it on their own. Ikeda Sensei basically says as much in his own guidelines for instructors. But then, the fact that I don't agree with that premise is why I find myself where I am, training with a few guys in a smelly basement (conveniently located to several equally smelly bars!).

Chris Moses
TNBBC, "Putting the ME in MEdiocre!"
Shinto Ryu Iai Battojutsu
TNBBC Blog
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2007, 11:56 AM   #1223
DH
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
United_States
Offline
Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
Dan I agree with everything you're saying there. I'm stating what I think *is* rather than *what should be*. I train with people who have a similar view to my own, but I have been told by many in the Aikido world that the *only* way to 'teach' someone aikido is to let them find it on their own. Ikeda Sensei basically says as much in his own guidelines for instructors. But then, the fact that I don't agree with that premise is why I find myself where I am, training with a few guys in a smelly basement (conveniently located to several equally smelly bars!).
Well hell I feel your pain. Its why I left martial arts wholesale for a very long time and only trained with a small group in an unfinished barn, willing to work this stuff with me.
After many years, when I went out again to some Dojos I remembered why I left in the first place. Most people will just never get it. It's just the way it is. But they're happy grabbin and rolling and "meeting energies" and having a support group at Dojo barbeque's. I see nothing wrong with that. In fact, I see many good things with that.
It just aint where I wanna be with my time.
Being left to "find aikido on their own" is just sooo Japanese and is everything that is wrong with aikido in one clear sentence.
Yet we see Ikeda seeking out Ushiro and particpating in a systema demo. So -he-is at least working on his own stuff.

Last edited by DH : 07-04-2007 at 12:01 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2007, 12:00 PM   #1224
ChrisMoses
Dojo: TNBBC (Icho Ryu Aiki Budo), Shinto Ryu IaiBattojutsu
Location: Seattle, WA
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 906
United_States
Offline
Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Who is the head of your ryuha and where did I say that he was stupid? I generally never call people stupid, although it's possible to call one of their actions stupid. You'll have to clarify......
Oddly enough, the original post seems to be gone from the boards, but you quoted yourself later, "Pooh. What you're saying implies that Mochizuki was too dumb to realize that you didn't get it." It could be argued that you didn't say "stupid", but I consider stupid and dumb to be synonyms. You could also say that I was implying that he was dumb, but that would be incorrect as well.

Chris Moses
TNBBC, "Putting the ME in MEdiocre!"
Shinto Ryu Iai Battojutsu
TNBBC Blog
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2007, 01:20 PM   #1225
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
Oddly enough, the original post seems to be gone from the boards, but you quoted yourself later, "Pooh. What you're saying implies that Mochizuki was too dumb to realize that you didn't get it." It could be argued that you didn't say "stupid", but I consider stupid and dumb to be synonyms. You could also say that I was implying that he was dumb, but that would be incorrect as well.
Er..... that quote actually says the reverse of Mochizuki being dumb, so that's no good for an example, is it? Now back to the question... you accuse me of calling someone stupid. I asked for support.

Mike Sigman
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Aikido DVDs and Video Downloads - by George Ledyard Sensei & other great teachers from AikidoDVDS.Com



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
Aikido Transmission and Class Size Kevin Leavitt General 30 03-02-2007 09:14 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:36 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