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Old 07-06-2007, 11:29 AM   #1301
Mike Sigman
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Re: Koryu and qijin

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
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.
Great post, Ellis. My opinion, from personal observation (i.e., write it in pencil, not in pen) is that even within a small, but knowledgeable community, there is always some degree of adding and borrowing to the core knowledge, so if someone's "got it", the question of where they got it can become an interesting but not really resolveable discussion. Look at some of the better-known names in Aikido... some had it, some didn't, and many of them got their information from different sources and perspectives.... and the degree of "aiki", it's sophistication, etc., often varied considerably. One reason, IMO, why it's better to just encourage people to get what they can where they can and sort it out later.

Best.

Mike
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Old 07-06-2007, 11:33 AM   #1302
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
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.
Don't get me wrong, Dan... I'm not saying that most people aren't nice guys, by any means. I'm just saying that koryu people aren't immune to human foibles anymore than the rest of us. But notice how you're defending koryu, etc., as somehow special and different, even as we speak. I understand it, it doesn't bother me in the least... but it's nothing but the information that interests me.

Best.

Mike
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Old 07-06-2007, 11:53 AM   #1303
DH
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
But notice how you're defending koryu, etc., as somehow special and different, even as we speak. I understand it, it doesn't bother me in the least... but it's nothing but the information that interests me.

Best.

Mike
Interesting. You said Koryu folks were snobs, I said no, they are not, They were nice, even warm people.
Now I am supposedly defending Koryu AND saying they are special?????
Sigh.
I have seen far more formality and snobishness in Aikido and Iai, then in Koryu, Judo, or jujutsu dojo.
I even coined a phrase.
In lue of substance you frequently find formality."
I dropped it because I started meeting some nice folks in Iai and Aikido.
But hands down the best atmoshperes I have seen were in judo, BJJ, and in Koryu.

Last edited by DH : 07-06-2007 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 07-06-2007, 12:11 PM   #1304
ChrisMoses
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Re: Koryu and qijin

Thanks Ellis, that was a great post.

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
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.
This is basically what I have been talking about in my posts that have caused Mike so much concern. I don't feel that it implies that your teachers were dumb, any more than it does mine. Dead horse? Perhaps.

Chris Moses
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Old 07-06-2007, 12:19 PM   #1305
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Sigh.
I have seen far more formality and snobishness in Aikido and Iai, then in Koryu, Judo, or jujutsu dojo.
Like I said, Dan, I'm more interested in where the good info is and not so interested in the personality aspects. My comment was more along the lines of koryu not being much different than anything else. Others' comments on other forums (and this one) support the idea that "koryu" can often be used as a trendy label, so I'm done arguing the point.

What happened to my question about fascia and someone being hard to lift?

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 07-06-2007, 12:19 PM   #1306
DH
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Re: Baseline skillset

But I think Ellis point is that he didn't know they were there and neither did his teacher. Again, you have to be shown how certain things work before others things start to make sense. Ellis can clarify but I think that's what he's saying. Its one of those "Aha!" moments. I had one five years after leaving a certain art. Sometimes you just arentl ready to hear or recieve things. I've said stuff to people over and over for 5 years.. only to have them look at me one dayt and say "Aha, I need to do this!" "Why didn't you just say so?"
I refrain from throwing chairs or shooting myself at those moments.
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Old 07-06-2007, 12:23 PM   #1307
DH
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Like I said, Dan, I'm more interested in where the good info is and not so interested in the personality aspects. My comment was more along the lines of koryu not being much different than anything else. Others' comments on other forums (and this one) support the idea that "koryu" can often be used as a trendy label, so I'm done arguing the point.
Fine with me. I didn't bring it up.

[quote=Mike Sigman;182842] What happened to my question about fascia and someone being hard to lift?

Regards,

Mike Sigman [/QUOT
Its been talked to death. But help yourself. Hasn't seemed to go far on this forum. Most don't know what to make of it as far as I can see. Help them out.
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Old 07-06-2007, 12:25 PM   #1308
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
What happened to my question about fascia and someone being hard to lift?

Regards,

Mike Sigman
Its been talked to death. But help yourself. Hasn't seemed to go far on this forum. Most don't know what to make of it as far as I can see. Help them out.
No, no... I was talking about one particular incident that you mentioned about using the fascia to handle someone.
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpo...postcount=1272
Regards,

Mike
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Old 07-06-2007, 01:27 PM   #1309
Ellis Amdur
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Re: Baseline skillset

Hi Chris - Well, let's imagine that there was bodyskills training inherent in the 8th gneration of Araki-ryu. And the teacher taught his 9th gen. students. And all of them thought - "why do I have to waste time on all these breathing skills, this stretching and coil and stance training, because I can really be an effective, quite violent fighter without that tedious practice? I'll just do more of the other training." And they'd be really good - there is historical evidence of that. (But they, like me, probably showed a lot of joint damage in their mid-fifties, if not earlier). AND - 10 generations down the line, I'd say, "Why were you so STUPID as to let this good stuff go!" Or, if the teacher decided not to teach it to the 9th generation because he wanted to keep some goodies to himself so he remained the alpha dog thruout, I'd say, "Why were you so SELFISH as to keep this good stuff to yourself." With absolutely no imputation of anything towards Mochizuchi, whom I've only seen a couple of times, I think the former question could be asked of a LOT of the 2nd generation-onwards-aikido shihan and the latter question very possibly asked of Ueshiba himself.
Then again, when I read that some of the greatest swordsmen of the Sengoku period received menkyo kaiden in two or three years, it is possible that a lot of teachers, concerning most students, thought, "pearls before swine," because one can certainly learn everything that "fast" if one puts in the mileage. Ten miles in one day, or ten miles in one month - the same ten miles. Why waste time teaching anyone who hasn't put in the miles - all they'd have then is an interesting allegation. And the more peaceful the era, the more one has the luxury of being lazy and thinking one can take 20 years to learn something.
All of which relates to a) Dan's frustration of repeating oneself to a student who can't grasp or won't listen b) and if things go to a certain point, Nishioka Tsuneo's statement to me is apropos. "'Hamon,' for me, is when a student obviously can't learn or is not willing to learn. In that case, I simply tell him he's doing great."

Best

Last edited by Ellis Amdur : 07-06-2007 at 01:31 PM.

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Old 07-06-2007, 01:36 PM   #1310
ChrisMoses
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Re: Baseline skillset

Ellis, just to be clear, my comments were about Mochizuki Takashi of Shinto Ryu Iaibattojutsu and not Mochizuki Minouru of the Yoseikan. I think your comments are completely valid in the context you present, but unfortunately don't really reflect the kind of teaching relationship that I enjoy with Mochizuki Sensei (that is to say your scenarios presume a long term, direct relationship with frequent instruction).

Chris Moses
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Old 07-06-2007, 01:45 PM   #1311
Ellis Amdur
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Re: Baseline skillset

Chris - Wow, I had no idea there were two. I thought Minoru was the person who developed Shinto-ryu. Anyway, as I said, my comments have nothing to do with any relationship you have with your instructor or ryu - just that you included me in the "dead horse" post above re "dumb." To tell you the truth, I have thought of some of my predecessors in exactly these terms. And looking around at extant koryu in Japan, I've frequently thought someone(s) somewhere were very cavalier if not stupid - because they must have been quite smug to settle for what they have, given what they could have had. In certain areas, I've gotten a beautiful zircon - and it angers me that I could have had a diamond, but for the choices of others before me.

Best

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Old 07-06-2007, 02:01 PM   #1312
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
What happened to my question about fascia and someone being hard to lift?
Perhaps you would tell us what you know about it.
Please?
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Old 07-06-2007, 02:16 PM   #1313
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Chris - Wow, I had no idea there were two. I thought Minoru was the person who developed Shinto-ryu.
Easy mistake to make since Robby studied with both Mochizuki Takashi in Shinto Ryu and Mochizuki Minouru at Yoseikan while he lived in Japan. The Shinto ryu I study is not based on the KSR portion of the Yoseikan curriculum, but an older (than Yoseikan, not Katori Shinto Ryu obviously) art founded by Hibino Raifu around 1890. Much of that early curriculum has been lost however in Japan though there is a small group in Brazil who still study the older curriculum including the kenbu portion. Something I hope to get to see in person sometime.

Chris Moses
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Old 07-06-2007, 04:58 PM   #1314
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Re: Baseline skillset

Dan Harden:

Your PM inbox is full again.
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Old 07-07-2007, 11:44 AM   #1315
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

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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 "

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.
You lead 'em with carrots and I'll smack their butts from behind, Rob. I guarantee you that some people have gone to see Dan *partially* because I got 'em so riled that they want to kick my butt. Regardless, most people will learn a little bit of basics (still using a lot of muscle, undoubtedly) and few will go on to real accomplishment. And few of that few will go to true whole-body skills. No matter how you manipulate them psychologically. It's up to them and few can understand what a big undertaking it is (why else would Ueshiba make such a big deal of it if anyone could and did get it?).

Maybe a good illustration of the common attitude is in a story like this: A couple of years ago, a woman who had been "teaching" Taiji for 14 years and who had "studied Taiji" for many more years came to see me and ask if I'd help her with her push hands. I worked with her nicely, led her through Jin 101, etc., but I explained that if she didn't change ALL of her Taiji into using this form of basic strength, none of her Taiji would be correct (recall to mind, if you will, Ushiro Sensei saying "no Kokyu, no Aikido). I was telling her the truth, as is obvious to the readers who have these skills, but she hit the roof suddenly. She said, "You can't tell me that everything I've been teaching and doing for 14 years is wrong! Some of it is right!".

What I'm getting at is almost no one is going to accept these things as more than a sort of interesting curiosity in "their Aikido" that is sort of like "Oh, Technique Alpha Bravo... yes, you must know that one in order to round out your already-fine Aikido, but you can get by without knowing it.". That's the natural attitude. What the hey.... we're safe, right, because none of our buddies can do that stuff, either, so there's no need to make an effort.

So the trick is how do you get people to make an effort, particularly when you know that even the people who make an effort only have a limited chance at success.

Incidentally, that woman I mentioned above had an assistant that started coming to our weekly push-hands gathering. Very smart lady... a bookkeeper by trade. She more than anyone else kept asking questions and trying to do things. About a month ago, things clicked for her and suddenly she started pushing all the guys around (and I had to be more careful!) and is easily the best push-hands person there. Her previous "teacher" cannot possibly do anything with Sarah, now, and Sarah also now realizes that she learned BS from the previous teacher for many years. It's a rare person that suddenly grasps and coordinates things, but when I've seen it happen, it's great to see. Some people get mad when they're challenged, but some people wind up getting there in spite of all else.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 07-07-2007, 07:28 PM   #1316
DH
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
You lead 'em with carrots and I'll smack their butts from behind, Rob. I guarantee you that some people have gone to see Dan *partially* because I got 'em so riled that they want to kick my butt.
Well actually I have now trained with maybe half a dozen folks who have trained with you and they have good things to say about your presentations and willingness to share. I have trained with maybe a dozen more who know about you and think you are difficult on the net but they have listened to those who say you are giving and nice in person. I've not met anyone who wants to get good just to kick your butt, whatever that means. Don't know why you brought that up, But folks who come to see me are clearly here for skills they don't have but want to learn.
That's all.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
No matter how you manipulate them psychologically. It's up to them and few can understand what a big undertaking it is
I tell them what they need to do and leave them alone. There's no money involved, rank, style what have you , so they can do what they want. Those who have trained here for up to 14 years do so with their own determination. I'd be embarassed to even think of trying to manipulated them in any way. I've never even thought in those terms.

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
So the trick is how do you get people to make an effort, particularly when you know that even the people who make an effort only have a limited chance at success.
Some people get mad when they're challenged, but some people wind up getting there in spite of all else.
FWIW
Mike
You can't make people make an effort. They do or don't. I don't challenge. I just do. They decide if it's something they want or not. In the mean time I just keep laughing, huggin em and making more friends. Just a view, FWIW.
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Old 07-07-2007, 07:44 PM   #1317
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Old 07-07-2007, 10:47 PM   #1318
Thomas Campbell
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Most eloquent remark I've seen from you in a long time, Mike.

Thanks.

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Old 07-09-2007, 12:05 PM   #1319
David Orange
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Adam Bauder wrote: View Post
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?
Adam, I mean actually pushing with the arm, lengthening it. Not a mental image.

Thanks.

David

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

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Old 07-09-2007, 12:36 PM   #1320
David Orange
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Re: Koryu and qijin

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Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
"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.
Ellis, an interesting comment, but I have to say I've never heard that definition from any other aikido teacher or group.

Second, I wouldn't think it really comes from a limited understanding of kiaijutsu because Mochizuki Sensei was a hard-line karate man as well as a swordsman and he did believe in kiai. He didn't think you could have aiki without it. So it had to be developed. He defined aiki as the ura of kiai when I asked him to explain aiki. I think it was at that same time that he saidthat if one has aiki, he does not shrink back from a surprise attack but attacks the attack. But he attacks specifically the ura of whatever attack form the attacker uses--be it a kick, punch, sword strike, whatever.

I think it would be mistaken to characterize him as having a limited understanding of kiai/kiaijutsu.

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
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.
Almost everything in human life is basically "kiai" oriented. You mention very specific and rather esoteric examinations of kiai (gogyo, yin/yang, etc.) that do seem to come directly from the Chinese. But these are esoteric refinements of what is effectively the omote of human life.

Aiki is the ura of all of that--the ura of everything.

And as for being able to affect the mind and body of the opponent at a distance, remember Takeda's statement that aiki overcomes the opponent mentally, at a glance, to win without fighting.

It may be a throwaway statement to say that aiki and kiai are omote and ura, but the fact that they are is worth deep consideration.

Best wishes.

David

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

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Old 07-09-2007, 12:50 PM   #1321
David Orange
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Chris - Wow, I had no idea there were two. I thought Minoru was the person who developed Shinto-ryu.
Ellis, that's probably because he was a big student of katori shinto ryu and was known for developing a lot of things in his own way. In fact, he did continue teaching the major kata of katori shinto ryu throughout his life, but, unkike Sugino Sensei, whom he says he introduced to KSR, Minoru Mochizuki modified the KSR forms rather substantially. But he never called it anything but katori shinto ryu.

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Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
I've frequently thought someone(s) somewhere were very cavalier if not stupid - because they must have been quite smug to settle for what they have, given what they could have had. In certain areas, I've gotten a beautiful zircon - and it angers me that I could have had a diamond, but for the choices of others before me.
Having read of Yoshio Sugino's phenomenal ability in judo despite his small size (and before there were weight divisions), then having seen his performances of katori shinto ryu, I have to believe that he was conveying every drop of what was to be had in that art. And I cannot believe that Minoru Mochizuki's was lacking, either.

Best wishes.

David

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

"Eternity forever!"

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Old 07-09-2007, 01:03 PM   #1322
David Orange
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
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".
Yes, it is, but you know what? That description EXACTLY covers the way a CHILD pulls against force. A CHILD uses "pulling silk" or "chousi jin" in his movement....

And the child will naturally add body twisting and turning to that energy, connected through the center to the ground.

What you describe above is exactly what I described in my Aikido Journal online blog about toddler movement. I took my daughter's outstretched hand, she pulled back and sank her weight as she stepped back. She had a direct line connection, extending my arm and connecting to my center.

So thank you for reinforcing my information on that subject.

Best wishes.

David

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

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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Old 07-09-2007, 01:15 PM   #1323
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
Yes, it is, but you know what? That description EXACTLY covers the way a CHILD pulls against force. A CHILD uses "pulling silk" or "chousi jin" in his movement....

And the child will naturally add body twisting and turning to that energy, connected through the center to the ground.

What you describe above is exactly what I described in my Aikido Journal online blog about toddler movement. I took my daughter's outstretched hand, she pulled back and sank her weight as she stepped back. She had a direct line connection, extending my arm and connecting to my center.

So thank you for reinforcing my information on that subject.
Ah, Jeez. This is ludicrous. You need to get someone to show you, David. A child does NOT use this kind of jin. I had 2 children and I'm a body-watcher-for-movement anyway. A toddler does whatever it takes. It puts a pacifier into it's mouth with just arm. It individually motivates limbs because reeling silk and pulling silk require levels of coordination that a child does not have. "These strengths must be learned; they are not intuitive". Old saying.

What you're saying is the equivalent of saying that a toddler naturally does polynomial equations, but forgetting that a child's brain is not that developed, even though it sounds cool. Pulling Silk and Reeling Silk are NOT "natural" movements in the sense that they're intuitive. "Natural" refers to following/in-harmony with the laws of physics. Attributing this type of movement to an immature human is far off the mark.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 07-09-2007, 01:22 PM   #1324
statisticool
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Re: Baseline skillset

I wish some qi/pengjin guru would step up and post a video of this 'low level' stuff that has been kept secret from Westerners who couldn't figure out the correct way to practice in a million years.

It would set aikido, taijiquan, and all other internal martial arts learning ahead by decades!

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 07-09-2007, 01:57 PM   #1325
David Orange
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
A child does NOT use this kind of jin.
They do what you described in your 'illustration'--"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."

Of course, they do it in a very subtle way and it's as easy to miss that as it is to break a strand of silk......

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
I had 2 children and I'm a body-watcher-for-movement anyway.
How long ago was that, Mike? Were your movement watching skills as highly developed then as they are now? Were you as attentive of them as you were other things? I've been watching children specifically for this kind of movement for about fifteen years, now.

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
A toddler does whatever it takes. It puts a pacifier into it's mouth with just arm. It individually motivates limbs because reeling silk and pulling silk require levels of coordination that a child does not have.
But the illustration you gave doesn't really require any special coordination. You just let the arm be like a towel and let the whole system connect. Children do that all the time. Of course, that is not the highest level, but it's consistent with your illustration.

As I've always said, this will not develop far unless we cultivate it in them and teach them how to cultivate it in themselves. But the "stuff" is there to be cultivated from the beginning.

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
"These strengths must be learned; they are not intuitive". Old saying.
That's why we have to cultivate it in them--but it's already "there" to be cultivated.

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Pulling Silk and Reeling Silk are NOT "natural" movements in the sense that they're intuitive.
No, not intuitive: innate--at least at the very fundamental levels as described in your illustration.

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
"Natural" refers to following/in-harmony with the laws of physics. Attributing this type of movement to an immature human is far off the mark.
But to say that the roots of it don't exist in human beings from birth is much further off the mark.

David

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

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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