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Old 07-06-2007, 07:47 AM   #1276
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: Baseline skillset

Now, now, what's with the hate talk.
I think Thomas and I are tracking fairly close on this; we read this thread to learn and we're all ears! So, my question is; are you here to teach us or to taunt us?
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Old 07-06-2007, 07:50 AM   #1277
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Uhm...no coincidence as my post #1266 was quoting David's post #1265 which referred to "sapping the opponent's energy"
Does it really matter that -you- chose to use the same term as me quoting David? What's up with that? I'm not keeping score or trying to arrive at a concensses here. We don't get along, and everybody else hates us both...er...yeah us!
No, I just meant that "sapping the strength" would be a good baseline skill, now that we've both brought it up within a few posts of each other. The topic has been discussed a few times in the past and, as I noted (I wasn't even thinking about David's comment), I mentioned once how it was done, but it's not that big of a deal because it still uses the same basic skills you mentioned.

And it's done the same whether in Chinese or Japanese martial arts, too. My beef in the recent flurry was this idea that Chinese and Japanese arts are somehow "different".... not in basics, they're not. And if anyone wants to name an example of something really different in principle, I'd be happy to hear it.

There's a saying: "There are many jins; but there is only one jin". The basic neijin (which is called a number of other things) is the core jin from which all other jins derive, and they are only variations of that one jin. This is the same jin that is the core of the Japanese arts (assuming the person knows how to do this) and the Chinese arts (assuming again it's not just some external techniquey thing). How could it be otherwise? Does someone think that "Ki" is somehow some different animal than "qi"?

FWIW

Mike
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Old 07-06-2007, 07:54 AM   #1278
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
All done with fascia.
Dan,
Would you be kind enough to explain "fascia" for me.
Please?
Thank You,
Ricky
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Old 07-06-2007, 08:14 AM   #1279
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I know the idea of Koryu must bother you because you are so sarcastic about it. Its as simple as your word. I presume that most guys are fairly honest. In some schools you have to pledge to not discuss the schools "goods" in public. So you're really a scum bag if you break your word. At least to me they would be. Other schools don't require an oath but you know they don't like things being taught openly. Its a relationship thing. There is a host of men in Japanese Koryu who take umbrage to your insulting those ideals and models. I think I understand where you're coming from, But I understand a koryu relationship as well and I respect it.
Fair enough, but look at it from my side, too. There are "Koryu" guys doing a lot of role-playing and you need to look at them as reason why the term "koryu" doesn't mean much to me.

Also look at the number of "koryu" guys who have posted on this and other forums who have all these "secrets", yet who obviously are clueless about basic ki/kokyu skills.... are they worthy of respect for only knowing part of the game, yet acting very lordlike in their "koryu" mantle?

You state that a lot of your skills come from your own research and experimentation. Fine. Good for you. But why didn't you get them from the "Koryu" whose secrets you make such a big deal of. Does that make me want to respect what's in Koryu? Think about it. I'm a true "outsider" and ritual relationships, particularly when they appear more assumed (the Masonic Lodge jape I made is pretty accurate about the way I feel) and they're inconsistent from group to group... seem like a waste of time to me.

And of course, people who are enthralled by being in a "group" with certain rituals, required protocols, pecking-order, etc., are disturbed by someone not adhering the rituals, etc. I mentioned that as a problem 3 years ago. If you think about it, the source of conflict is all the ritual stuff. When guys break down and visit people and start picking up skills, the first thing you'll notice is that in a *real* aura of friendship, everyone drops the ritual and protocol things. Do I think all the "Koryu" stuff is productive? No. And I'm not denigrating it nor do I have particularly strong feelings about it; I just don't see that it's very important. No offense meant. [/quote]

Mike
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Old 07-06-2007, 08:51 AM   #1280
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Ricky Wood wrote: View Post
Dan,
Would you be kind enough to explain "fascia" for me.
Please?
Thank You,
Ricky
From a budo perspective I mean.
And how you train/condition it.
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Old 07-06-2007, 09:00 AM   #1281
David Orange
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Actually Ueshiba did quite a bit of having folks pushing him now didn't he?
That is true, Dan. And a friend of mine, whose wife is Japanese, recently described meeting her uncle, an aikido teacher, who can sit on his butt, raise both feet in the air and you still can't push him. That's pretty incredible, but this guy personally tried to move him and he couldn't.

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
As for immovability what you fail to get is why that is such a profound step, David.
No, obviously, if you can do that and you can move at will, it's no joke.

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And AIki age is a huge mistake to bring up bud. Aiki age IS peng jin. And its tough to say "sap your energy" to me. Do you know "Why" its "saps your energy? Thats a bad terminology but I'll use it for the argument.
If aiki age is peng jin, I must have peng jin because I could do it to some pretty hefty people and Sensei (I can hear Mike passing blood at this moment) told everyone there, concerning me, "That guy is good at this!"

As to why it saps your energy, I understand it as a combination of firm posture and technique. When he grabs you, he's pressing you down: the next instant, he's hanging off the thing he was pressing down. With a firm posture (I never called it peng jin, nor did Sensei) and good timing, that would screw up the effort of some pretty big guys.

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More fun is anti-aiki. Not playing the Japanese game and stopping or stalling the possibility of it being used on you. These are not strategies or tactics they are body conditioning and rewiring. Some of which you then don't have to think about in use , others you choose to use.
Well, as I've said before, we had a lot of resistant randori, so I was used to advanced people stopping my technique, which you don't ordinarily see much in mainstream aikido, from my experience. And I could stop the technique of most people I worked with, if that was what I was trying to do....

Of course, I never thought about just trying to stand still and be immoveable. So I really have no clue how you would do that. And you are correct. I shouldn't say that no one has really provided any clue about...."what you're doing..." (why is it still so hard to put a name on it, though?). I appreciate your efforts and your attitude quite a lot.

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
And immovability is the source for all the other things that are highly mobile and retain the essence of the immovability in -your own- heightened and faster ...mobility. The central pivot is patently useless without the essence of immovability. And all the later fun stuff still starts with that building block. There are means and methods to putting this stuff together. Like most things you need to get 1.. before 2... then 3... and so on.
I'm looking forward to feeling what you do. I don't doubt you. But no one I ever trained with ever did it.

Actually, when I first started training, 1974-75, they were doing an exercise called tai atari, where the attacker would rush at the defender with both arms extended, like rushing at a door to shove it open. The defender would stand in place. The attacker would hit (atari) the defender's body (tai) in the upper/outer chest area with both arms outstretched and with the power of his whole body. The defender wouldn't "move" but did sort of shrug off the hit....

Of course, in those days, they were doing a whole different set of tai sabaki and the curriculum included no judo, karate or sword. They went to a less complicated tai sabaki and dropped the tai atari from the training around the same time.

Once in Japan, I was doing some of the old style tai sabaki and Sensei saw me and asked what I was doing. I told him this was what I had originally learned in yoseikan aikido. He just said, "Don't do that stuff." He seemed to think it was unnnecessary. It was a lot more complex than what he was teaching then.

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Other than insulting Mike I don't get what you mean by unnatural though. This stuff -is- unnatural in every way. And the hardest thing -which most new guys who have met us will tell you -is that the mind gives out before the body.
Well, we have to remain human and that's the essence of what I mean by unnatural in the sense of kichigai. It really means "crazy".

And "the mind giving out first" is part of that. There is a way that the mind gives out that we have to overcome. But there is a point of the mind "giving out" that should not be crossed. In the first case, you toughen your mind and discipline yourself. In the second case, you go crazy. Obviously, going crazy is not to the benefit of oneself or one's family. But even then, it might be necessary for a given individual to go beyond all bounds in order to get through that, back to real nature.

Zen devotees may go through that: "First a mountain was a mountain and the sky was sky....then the mountain was not just a mountain...the sky was not just sky. After enlightenment, the mountain was a mountain and the sky was sky."

"My miracle? I cut wood and carry water."

So there is a kind of unnaturalness that supports nature and a kind of unnaturalness that destroys nature. You can go a long time with the second kind of unnaturalness, but eventually, it leads to ruin.

Is what I was saying.

Thanks.

David

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

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Old 07-06-2007, 09:14 AM   #1282
David Orange
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Actually...it just means "crazy," and its a "housoukinsiyougo" ie, you're not allowed to use it on public television or radio.
I didn't know it wasn't allowed on air. Makes a bit of sense, though.

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Most japanese people dont pay attention to the meanings of "ki" in words. ^^;
Not a lot, but it's there and it's important to know why it's there. You can't understand western culture if you don't undertand that holiday comes from holy day, but we just had July 4 and it's a holiday even though it isn't a holy day.

Still, when the Japanese say someone is kichigai, they know what that means and it means what they say. Kimochi, kibun, kigen, all refer directly to ki as in feelings. Do they "mean" ki as in a mystical, mighty force of nature? No, they just mean feelings. But that's a big part of what ki is to the Japanese. And that's a big part of what it means in aiki and kiai.

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Robert John wrote: View Post
It's still vague David and still not talking about the Baseline skillsets that are the topic of this thread.
I know it's vague. There's a reason I posted it as that.

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Robert John wrote: View Post
Dude, the only reason why Mike, despite his assholishness towards others gets respect from some because he has the skills and has demonstrated them...
I've felt it, Jim has felt it, George Ledyard made a post about it and no one came away saying "actually you were full of "#$#t "
I knew a really kichigai fellow whom we called Burly Sam. No one disrespected Burly Sam because when he cut loose, you'd better not be around. I suppose if you can deflect a bokken, you can deflect a pool cue. But Sam would throw the pool balls at you: and not one, but ten or twelve in a matter of three or four seconds. In that sense, he was close to something Mochizuki Sensei told me. Fortunately for the world, he didn't have the discipline to make that a truly sustaining way of life. Last time I saw him, he was pretty broken down--though he was lashing a dagger to the end of a stick, which he intended to whirl around his head on a thong.....

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Also, I seem to remember originally when I came onto this board, I had no idea who Mike Sigman was. But the concepts he put out to me clicked immediately and I was able to describe what I was training and doing in my body to a certain degree.
I could see that he had a grasp of some principles of CMA, though he disputed direct quotes from Liang Shou Yu, whom he later claimed as a teacher. But even that skill doesn't entitle him to bull over everyone he comes into contact with. He could make most of his points without being...so....what was that word you used????

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Robert John wrote: View Post
Final check has to be in person of course, but still, if you have these goods, you should be able to describe them in physical components, simply because there are physical movements "inside" your body that are NOT vague at all
But even if someone makes vague descriptions, it doesn't mean that they don't understand--or even if they don't even think about what they're doing internally past a very basic level. Which is why I posted the particular comments I did. We'll go back to that in a post or two.

Thanks.

David

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

"Eternity forever!"

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Old 07-06-2007, 09:16 AM   #1283
David Orange
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
When I see posts getting longer and longer, I know from experience that someone is defensively picking the fly-specks out of pepper to maintain a defense.
Yes, Mike. I noticed that your last post was a lot longer than usual.

I'll be back.

David

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

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Old 07-06-2007, 09:31 AM   #1284
David Orange
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
So you've got this general description of a couple of "techniques" with no explanation of how they work in terms of the forces generated. I notice you try to make the request for a mechanical description some quirk that only Mike Sigman has, but let me assure you that many people work from those kinds of descriptions, David. And a lot of Asians do.
But why isn't that good enough for you, Mike? Isn't that what you do for that technique? That's how I applied it to the swordsman who visited and he responded. Isn't that response all I really care about? Who cares how I hold my tongue if the other guy jumps?

David

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

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Old 07-06-2007, 09:36 AM   #1285
David Orange
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Notice how I avoid discussions, as an example, of "unbendable arm". I know from experience that too often people are not talking about the same forces setup, so I avoid discussing "unbendable arm" unless they want to be fairly detailed in the exact forces. You see why. So asking for detailed force information is not some sneaky Mike Sigman trick.... it's what anyone with any sense would ask for.
As far as unbendable arm, you simply "extend" the arm rather than "resisting" the bend. People apparently find it easier to "extend" the arm if they visualize ki flowing "forward" out their arm. At least Tohei felt that it was good to describe it that way. But the truth is, you just extend the arm.

Now you can get into all kinds of things about how the body maintains its balance while you do that, but we've seen an example of where someone got Tohei off balance in that very thing so I don't see a need to go there. As far as the "unbendable arm," it's just extension.

David

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

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Old 07-06-2007, 09:43 AM   #1286
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

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David Orange wrote: View Post
As far as unbendable arm, you simply "extend" the arm rather than "resisting" the bend. People apparently find it easier to "extend" the arm if they visualize ki flowing "forward" out their arm. At least Tohei felt that it was good to describe it that way. But the truth is, you just extend the arm.

Now you can get into all kinds of things about how the body maintains its balance while you do that, but we've seen an example of where someone got Tohei off balance in that very thing so I don't see a need to go there. As far as the "unbendable arm," it's just extension.
OK, I have a friend visiting at the moment and I just walked out in the living room and asked him to just extend his arm. Then I pushed down on it in the approved manner. His arm bent. I followed your directions, so I don't know what went wrong. You got any ideas why that description didn't work?

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 07-06-2007, 09:51 AM   #1287
ChrisMoses
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Re: Baseline skillset

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It isn't silk reeling, as far as I know, just another method of internal manipulation. In a sense it's a "quick n dirty" way to generate internal tension. There is a "spiral" nature to it that eventually gets refined, but I do believe its fundamentally different from what Mike has been talking about since it isn't necessarily sourced from the lower dantien.
I was not claiming that this was silk reeling, just throwing out some stuff to think about.

Chris Moses
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Old 07-06-2007, 09:56 AM   #1288
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Fair enough, but look at it from my side, too. There are "Koryu" guys doing a lot of role-playing and you need to look at them as reason why the term "koryu" doesn't mean much to me.

Also look at the number of "koryu" guys who have posted on this and other forums who have all these "secrets", yet who obviously are clueless about basic ki/kokyu skills.... are they worthy of respect for only knowing part of the game, yet acting very lordlike in their "koryu" mantle?

You state that a lot of your skills come from your own research and experimentation. Fine. Good for you. But why didn't you get them from the "Koryu" whose secrets you make such a big deal of. Does that make me want to respect what's in Koryu? Think about it. I'm a true "outsider" and ritual relationships, particularly when they appear more assumed (the Masonic Lodge jape I made is pretty accurate about the way I feel) and they're inconsistent from group to group... seem like a waste of time to me.

And of course, people who are enthralled by being in a "group" with certain rituals, required protocols, pecking-order, etc., are disturbed by someone not adhering the rituals, etc. I mentioned that as a problem 3 years ago. If you think about it, the source of conflict is all the ritual stuff. When guys break down and visit people and start picking up skills, the first thing you'll notice is that in a *real* aura of friendship, everyone drops the ritual and protocol things. Do I think all the "Koryu" stuff is productive? No. And I'm not denigrating it nor do I have particularly strong feelings about it; I just don't see that it's very important. No offense meant.

Mike
I gotta work so I can't yak.
I understand all that, thanks. It confirms what I "thought" you thought. Koryu is many things but no one I have EVER met...ever..thought they were oh so cool or special or above everyone else for being in a koryu. Honestly Mike, I just haven't seen that attitude. If you notice most refuse to ever talk about it. I think sometimes that I can see you trying to break barriers to get information-If I'm wrong just tell me so. But the culture of a koryu just isn't condusive to someone thinking "they're all that." It wouldn't fit and they'd get set straight or set aside pretty fast.

Last edited by DH : 07-06-2007 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 07-06-2007, 10:01 AM   #1289
David Orange
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Re: Baseline skillset

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OK, I have a friend visiting at the moment and I just walked out in the living room and asked him to just extend his arm. Then I pushed down on it in the approved manner. His arm bent. I followed your directions, so I don't know what went wrong. You got any ideas why that description didn't work?
Have him open his mouth when he does it and check very carefully for how he is holding his tongue. Also, make sure he's lifting one of his big toes.

Seriously, I'd tell him to put more attention to really extending his arm, as if he's pushing against a wall behind your shoulder. That has worked for me against some humongous guys and that is the essence of what I do.

David

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

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Old 07-06-2007, 10:07 AM   #1290
David Orange
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Koryu is many things but no one I have EVER met...ever..thought they were oh so cool or special or above everyone else for being in a koryu.
The closest I've come to koryu was that we did katoris shinto ryu in the yoseikan hombu in Shizuoka. That and Sugino Sensei used to come around, or we went to his place. And I did not see any weird attitudes there.

But I've run into some weird attitudes from people in almost every kind of organization here in the states. Rather than koryu, per se, I think it's organizations and rank that are the root of such attitudes.

Part of it is the secrecy, part not being allowed to give away the teacher's special teachings, but to me, most of it comes from people thinking they have the right to police other people and attack and harass them for what they say about the holy art their organization represents. Of course, you can get that with a one-man-band kind of organization, too.

Best to you.

David

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

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Old 07-06-2007, 10:19 AM   #1291
ChrisMoses
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Chris, no one will be "doing" silk reeling in a kata or two. It's a very hard, long process of changing the way you move. You wouldn't "do it" here or there in a kata. Nor would it be included as part of a kata here or there.
I've already stated that my previous posts should be disregarded, I'm not trying to justify that my school 'does' silk reeling. I'm not making that claim. I have never equated simple winding motions with silk reeling, that was Mike's assumption of what I was doing. The examples I gave to Hunter were basic and general examples of places I have applied what I have gotten from the Aunkai (and other sources, yes like Andy Dale) to deepen my understanding of possibly why some things are done as they are in my ryuha. Isn't that the whole point of this baseline skillset stuff? Funny how the big premise seems to be, "You guys (meaning Aikidoka in particular) don't get what your art actually is or how to do it correctly, here this is what you're looking for!" That's awesome, thanks. But if that's the case, as people start to do this stuff more, it should be expected that that new knowledge is going to generate deeper understanding of what they have already been doing. This is exactly what I was talking about in the post where Mike decided that the only logical reason for this phenomenon was that my teacher's teacher was dumb. Is that the cost of agreeing with Mike? That as payment for some knowledge we must denigrate and insult those who have helped us come to where we have in our training? I don't accept those terms, and I don't think you're asking that of people either. But then, I'm not selling anything either and never have. My teachers pay dues and rent just like the rest of us, sometimes they wind up paying more because at the end of the month the bills have to be paid. I'm not on here to drum up students, or promote myself for seminars. And just to be clear, I don't think you are either Dan, it's completely obvious to me that you've been extremely generous with your time and attention. It sounds like your group works a lot like ours, a few guys from various backgrounds just trying to suck a little less every week. No big claims, no big demos, no patches, just a good amount of keiko, a lot of brutally honest feedback and liberal amounts of adult beverages to wash it all down. Check your ego at the door. The only people thrown out were those who either couldn't keep their ego in check or just didn't have the maturity yet to handle this kind of training environment.

Chris Moses
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Old 07-06-2007, 10:19 AM   #1292
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Mike
I gotta work so I can't yak.
I understand all that, thanks. It confirms what I "thought" you thought. Koryu is many things but no one I have EVER met...ever..thought they were oh so cool or special or above everyone else for being in a koryu. Honestly Mike, I just haven't seen that attitude. If you notice most refuse to ever talk about it. I think sometimes that I can see you trying to break barriers to get information-If I'm wrong just tell me so. But the culture of a koryu just isn't condusive to someone thinking "they're all that." It wouldn't fit and they'd get set straight or set aside pretty fast.
Dan, if you've been on forums all these years and you've never heard the term "Koryu Snobs", I don't know what to say. Trust me, it's a common idea and far from unique to just me.

I can think of a number of "koryu" people who I have seen post on a number of forums. Frankly, if I sense there is useable information that is outside of what I already know, I will simply ask. I have seen no koryu guy post on any forum who appears to know much in the narrow but crucial field we're discussing. And I've looked, just as I look at all sources. The idea that I'm trying to beat down barriers to get at heightened role and ritual games is ludicrous. Trust me. There are indeed information sources that I query out of curiosity, but I haven't seen anything in a koryu along those lines.

Did you see the koryu guy on this forum that opined that ki was "intention" and not worth much thought? Would you be interersted in studying with him, after that comment? Have you read any of the currently available books by western koryu guys and seen what they have to say about these skills? There's nothing there about the core skills that makes the read worthwhile, unfortunately.

I've seen what you've posted and not posted and later posted, etc., over the last couple of years and I've noted your comments about how you've worked things out on your own, etc. Think about that for a second..... just knowing that the koryu is not where you're getting most of your information, do you think anyone would be encouraged to go into your "koryu"? If you yourself have had to go outside of it to get your information? Absolutely not.

I'm interested in hearing your perspective develop just as I'm interested in hearing everyone's descriptions in case they come up with a better way, but I couldn't care less about koryu stuff, as I said. It adds nothing to this field of information, in my opinion.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 07-06-2007, 10:32 AM   #1293
ChrisMoses
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Re: Baseline skillset

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David Orange wrote: View Post
I
Not a lot, but it's there and it's important to know why it's there. You can't understand western culture if you don't undertand that holiday comes from holy day, but we just had July 4 and it's a holiday even though it isn't a holy day.
Are you sure you're in the south? Last I heard BBQ was still a virtual sacrament down there (I'm from VA) and nothing says BBQ like the 4th of July.

(That was humor, trying to lighten the clouds around here...)

Chris Moses
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Old 07-06-2007, 10:43 AM   #1294
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Seriously, I'd tell him to put more attention to really extending his arm, as if he's pushing against a wall behind your shoulder.
Does that "extension" or "push" involve any actual muscular firing? I'm sure when people hear "extension" they might think to reach more physically (like straightening the arm). I'm assuming you mean to reach more mentally (so-to-speak), to the point that you really are reaching, without actually contracting any of the muscles? Or am I off base?

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Adam
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Old 07-06-2007, 10:54 AM   #1295
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Re: Baseline skillset

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And of course, people who are enthralled by being in a "group" with certain rituals, required protocols, pecking-order, etc., are disturbed by someone not adhering the rituals, etc. I mentioned that as a problem 3 years ago. If you think about it, the source of conflict is all the ritual stuff. When guys break down and visit people and start picking up skills, the first thing you'll notice is that in a *real* aura of friendship, everyone drops the ritual and protocol things. Do I think all the "Koryu" stuff is productive? No. And I'm not denigrating it nor do I have particularly strong feelings about it; I just don't see that it's very important.
Well Mike, if you want to talk about how you can tell so much about what people actually know by what they post, you're making it pretty clear that you don't have much (if any) actual experience with any real koryu or traditional gendai budo ryuha. What you wrote there just doesn't describe the way *any* traditional or koryu ryuha that I have dealt with actually works. It sounds a lot like the fakers who like to talk up their histories, but that's not how it works in Japan or here. Koryu are like families not military units, there is a hierarchy of *respect* and trust but it is much more flexible than people who have not actually experienced that kind of relationship would realize. A lot of what is mistaken for tradition in modern Japanese arts and Karate actually came out of the militarization of the country between WWI and WWII.

Chris Moses
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Old 07-06-2007, 11:13 AM   #1296
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Christian Moses wrote: View Post
Well Mike, if you want to talk about how you can tell so much about what people actually know by what they post, you're making it pretty clear that you don't have much (if any) actual experience with any real koryu or traditional gendai budo ryuha. What you wrote there just doesn't describe the way *any* traditional or koryu ryuha that I have dealt with actually works. It sounds a lot like the fakers who like to talk up their histories, but that's not how it works in Japan or here. Koryu are like families not military units, there is a hierarchy of *respect* and trust but it is much more flexible than people who have not actually experienced that kind of relationship would realize. A lot of what is mistaken for tradition in modern Japanese arts and Karate actually came out of the militarization of the country between WWI and WWII.
Er, that wasn't my point. My point was that I hadn't seen any refined knowledge of qi and jin skills in what little "koryu" exposure I've had, so I simply haven't been interested.

In terms of "no one is like that", I'll repeat the same question I made to Dan.... you've never heard people talk about "koryu snobs"? I certainly have, and from numerous sources. I don't get involved, but I'm certainly aware from that comment that not all people agree with your down-home, friendly assessment of "koryu". But then, that parts a side issue that I have little interest in because my interest is generally not in what skills anyone has, it's more along the lines of how they do any variations (if they know some, which is rare, on the whole) and how they describe things. Martial techniques within koryu or any other martial art can be excellent and I'm aware of a lot of that stuff, but that's not really my interest.

My position is more that the qi and jin skills are held up as the *basis* of Asian martial arts and that's why you see the Yin-Yang, the A-Un, and all that in every Asian martial art of substance. I look for that. I run into a martial group, style, ryu, "koryu", etc., where the members have little knowledge of the qi/jin/ki/kokyu stuff, I know immediately that whatever "secrets" they have within the organizations are going to be hollow. So why spend my time there? The traditional sayings about "self-cultivation" override the study of technique.

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Mike Sigman
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Old 07-06-2007, 11:33 AM   #1297
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Er, that wasn't my point. My point was that I hadn't seen any refined knowledge of qi and jin skills in what little "koryu" exposure I've had, so I simply haven't been interested.
And again, you demonstrate a lack of understanding about the koryu. Where would you, an outsider, have an opportunity to experience and evaluate these skills? *Japanese arts hide things.*

Here's some logic for you:

You say, "qi and jin skills are held up as the *basis* of Asian martial arts." but you also say, "I hadn't seen any refined knowledge of qi and jin skills in what little "koryu" exposure I've had..." How do you reconcile that? If "qi and jin" skills are the foundation which all "Asian" martial arts are based, why don't you think they exist (your premise, not mine) in the arts that form the basis for *Japanese* martial arts? Wouldn't that be a real difference between Chinese and Japanese arts? What evidence do you have besides your word that all Asian martial arts consider ki/qi and jin skills as their core skillset? You seem to be refuting your own assertion.

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Old 07-06-2007, 11:36 AM   #1298
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Re: Baseline skillset

Thanks
I disagree with the snob comment-which I really think is a biased view from folks outside in. I know some of the top folks in the country, if not the planet and I see folks willing to share, open up their homes and lives, genuinely open attitude and most even hate to be called sensei!! Just can't see the point is all.
I agree with everything else. Including the martial skills vs body skills commentary. I think it makes your interest and obversely the lack of interest, clear.
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Old 07-06-2007, 12:16 PM   #1299
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Koryu and qijin

It is very likely that several hundred years ago, these skills were quite prevalent, and varied considerably from ryu to ryu (with, I will agree and emphasize, the same core). One bit of evidence for this is that there are a number of stories of sword masters - with no major record of jujutsu training - who get in a beef with sumo wrestlers and dominate them. There are vague references in these stories to body skills, etc. An example would be an account in Lives of Master Swordsmen, regarding the founder of Hokushin Itto-ryu. I can think of almost no koryu practitioners today who would have any ability to stand against a medium level amateur sumo player.

It is very fair to say that these skills were almost completely lost by the end of the 19th century - otherwise, Takeda Sokaku would not have been regarded as unique and remarkable. (BTW - I believe I have traced where Takeda got these skills - I'll be releasing this info soon on Aikido Journal and then later in a book, Hidden in Plain Sight )
Evidence that the frame without the heart is still there is Akuzawa - in what he's "recovered" from Yagyu Shingan-ryu. I'd seen the top folks in most of the lines many times, and it was obvious that they just had motions, not the essence. I do not know if Akuzawa has actually recoved pure Yagyu Shingan-ryu essential training, or if he used the kata (shape) of their basic movements and "filled" them with discoveries of his own, an amalgam of all he's trained.
There are also a few schools which have extant bodyskills training - Kuroda Tetsuzan, for one. I can think of several others - and honestly, I would be breaking a promise to even mention the names of the ryu - without trust, the people in question would not have even told me anything about it. But I can think of a few schools that actively and dedicatedly train in solo breath work.
But most have totally lost it. Several generations ago. And it is unlikely that it could be recovered - at least as it was.
The whole secrecy issue - the dilemma is that if someone is taught something under a promise of secrecy, then one is a betrayer to reveal it - unless one has the authority to do what one wants with the tradition, being a lineal successor. A dilemma, nonetheless - because, there can also be a faux-secrecy, "clubbish" clique in many koryu, when they have little to nothing worth hiding. Having no fear of being tested, one rests on one's assumed laurels. Hence "koryu-snob" - which I've seen both in Japan - (a lot) and on the internet, as well as "koryu-wankers" (my term - I DO have a legacy!)
BTW - "Aiki as ura of kiai." This formulation is Mochizuki's - and further, kind of common in aikido circles. But it is not general, and is kind of a "throw-away" line, to attempt to distinguish "aiki" from kiai, a concern of aikido folks more than any others, and comes from a limited understanding of kiaijutsu.
Much more common in koryu is a more sophisticated and detailed delineation of kiai, using gogyo (five element theory), for example, with variations of yin/yang, etc., association of kiai with seasons, body parts, etc. See Jikishin Kage-ryu, for an example. Again, a lot of this info has been lost, but it is intimately related to the development of body skills - what is emphasized in kiai, as opposed to kokyu or ki cultivation is a simultaneous organization of one's own body and psychological effect on the opponent at a distance - as should be the emphasis is in weaponry.
Bottom line - most koryu are truly Kage-ryu - mere "shadows" of their former selves. Further, those few ryu that do still have that knowlege are usually quite protective of it - which is probably the reason it survived in the unique permutations of the basic skills that they developed. Further, a lot of ryu are running on fumes - claiming special status or skill based on what people used to know and be able to do - not what they can do.
My final evidence - it was my firm conviction that the two ryu which I am licensed to teach had no history of "bodyskills," in the manner that is being discussed on this forum. But as I am learning a little about these skills elsewhere, I am starting to see, inherent in some things I took for granted, that these skills might have "used to" have been there. It must have been a long time ago, however, as Sagawa Yukiyoshi, a menkyo in Araki-ryu, dismissed it because it didn't have, in his view, "aiki."

Best

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Old 07-06-2007, 12:21 PM   #1300
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Christian Moses wrote: View Post
Here's some logic for you:

You say, "qi and jin skills are held up as the *basis* of Asian martial arts." but you also say, "I hadn't seen any refined knowledge of qi and jin skills in what little "koryu" exposure I've had..." How do you reconcile that?
Think of it like this. I meet some guys who do "Lost Track" (hidden stuff) Taijiquan. I talk to them and see what they have to say. I touch hands maybe, if someone wants to do it. They didn't understand basic talk and when they meet someone who does know the basics they can't demonstrate the basics. But they have "secret forms" that they're forbidden to show. Do you think I'm interested in seeing the "secret forms" that produced these guys?

Qi and Jin skills are the basis of Asian arts, but that doesn't mean everyone that does Asian arts knows how to do them. Do you see the logic now of why the "koryu" (and a lot of other things) don't interest me much? If, on the other hand, I met of, heard of, talked to, whatever, some koryu guys (or other guys from some discipline) and they had some intriguing information *distinctly derived from their koryu studies*, I'd be interested and I'd be tolerant and more amenable, even if they were a bit of self-horn-blowers. But I'd still question them. Most of my questions are not offensive to someone who can really walk the walk and who is really interested in pursuing the arts to the limits of knowledge.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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