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Old 08-16-2007, 10:30 AM   #101
Walker
 
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Re: Ellis Amdur's Post on Aikido Journal

Quote:
Mike Haft wrote: View Post
I don't think that's true at all, aikidoka talk about it a lot, they just don't call it seme...

Regards
Mike
So you are saying that aikidoka talk about attacking a lot? Given how often one hears "step off the line of attack" and "uke attacks and I tenkan" I find that hard to believe. I'm not even sure your average practitioner would be comfortable with the concept of an attacking nage at a basic philosophical level.

Mike S,
I would just say that while I believe you have to have your internal ducks in a line so to speak, that concept extends beyond the corporal body into things generally described as mind and spirit. In our practice (with Allen -- full disclosure) the venue for first experiencing those aspects is ken. We're pretty much in agreement on the bodyskills aspect. Without the bodyskills anything else is just an fragile shell to be cracked.

addn: That's cool you studied Japanese. Did you keep it up? I failed miserably with Chinese, but have been enjoying Japanese when not completely frustrated.

Last edited by Walker : 08-16-2007 at 10:34 AM.

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Old 08-16-2007, 11:04 AM   #102
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Re: Ellis Amdur's Post on Aikido Journal

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Doug Walker wrote: View Post
Mike S,
I would just say that while I believe you have to have your internal ducks in a line so to speak, that concept extends beyond the corporal body into things generally described as mind and spirit. In our practice (with Allen -- full disclosure) the venue for first experiencing those aspects is ken. We're pretty much in agreement on the bodyskills aspect. Without the bodyskills anything else is just an fragile shell to be cracked.
Hi Doug:

Well, like I said, I'm simply stating a preferred interpretation... although I haven't seen anything yet that persuades me that my take is even probably wrong. The functional progression would usually (traditionally) go something like external power, then ki power, then reiki (that's flaunting it), then shin. While idiomatically the connotation can develop into "spirit" (and I don't have any problem comprehending that take on it, at all), my suggestion was that originally "ki-ryoku" as a *basic tenet* probably referred exactly to ki power. They would normally do this to show that they were cognoscent of functional ki power (all styles tended to do this). If you have a style indicating a few basic tenets, where "ki-ryoku" seriously only referred to "spirit", then you would have essentially a dumb style, so to speak, and they weren't dumb. Martially I'm sure every sword style had their own approaches to functional ki usages and by elimination, I'm betting the "ki-ryoku" covered that aspect.

Of course, I could be wrong. But I'll stand on my bet.
Quote:
addn: That's cool you studied Japanese. Did you keep it up? I failed miserably with Chinese, but have been enjoying Japanese when not completely frustrated.
No, I just meant that I understood the general formation of words/phrases and that I wasn't missing the aspect you pointed out.

Best.

Mike
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Old 08-16-2007, 11:44 AM   #103
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Re: Ellis Amdur's Post on Aikido Journal

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Hi Doug:
If you have a style indicating a few basic tenets, where "ki-ryoku" seriously only referred to "spirit", then you would have essentially a dumb style, so to speak, and they weren't dumb.
I'm sure way back in the day, the creators of kendo were true masters of old-school kenjutsu and knew what they were talking about when they said "ki'... but modern kendo is now somewhat far removed from its roots. A modern kendo master in the standard kendo context saying "ki" very likely means "spirit"; however possibly when they speak in the kenjutsu context it definitely could mean body skills.

From what I can see of modern kendo, the physical aspect can be covered with conventional muscle, but the mental aspect has levels upon levels of pure mind-skill ("spirit") which is awesome to see at high levels. Unfortunately body skills is a bit of a third wheel in this particular budo: you don't actually need all that whole-body short power to be really, really good at kendo regardless of your age, physiology etc... unlike no-rules real slice-and-dice combat kenjutsu. So in a way kendo really is a "reduced" version of kenjutsu... but training the mental game more than the physical makes it more relevant to modern life, and great fun too.
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Old 08-16-2007, 11:51 AM   #104
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Re: Ellis Amdur's Post on Aikido Journal

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Howard Chan wrote: View Post
I'm sure way back in the day, the creators of kendo were true masters of old-school kenjutsu and knew what they were talking about when they said "ki'... but modern kendo is now somewhat far removed from its roots. A modern kendo master in the standard kendo context saying "ki" very likely means "spirit"; however possibly when they speak in the kenjutsu context it definitely could mean body skills.
I dunno, Howard.... if you saw any of the conversations on this forum a couple of years ago, some of the same offerings about what "ki" meant were made right here on this forum. Depends on what you know, how you use or interpret the term, I suspect.
Quote:
From what I can see of modern kendo, the physical aspect can be covered with conventional muscle, but the mental aspect has levels upon levels of pure mind-skill ("spirit") which is awesome to see at high levels. Unfortunately body skills is a bit of a third wheel in this particular budo: you don't actually need all that whole-body short power to be really, really good at kendo regardless of your age, physiology etc... unlike no-rules real slice-and-dice combat kenjutsu. So in a way kendo really is a "reduced" version of kenjutsu... but training the mental game more than the physical makes it more relevant to modern life, and great fun too.
I very much disagree with that assessment. It's sort of like you're arguing that all the techniques in Aikido can be done with external strength so therefore the discussions about "ki" as anything but spirit aren't really necessary. In my personal opinion, that would rather miss the point.

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Mike
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Old 08-16-2007, 11:56 AM   #105
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Re: Ellis Amdur's Post on Aikido Journal

I think you're right Mike! If we don't try to get to the roots of physical and mental power then aikido becomes dancing and kendo becomes tag with bamboo sticks. Well maybe not that bad but why see only half a movie if you can try to see the whole screen. Thanks for the reminder.
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Old 08-16-2007, 04:09 PM   #106
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Re: Ellis Amdur's Post on Aikido Journal

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
If you have a style indicating a few basic tenets, where "ki-ryoku" seriously only referred to "spirit", then you would have essentially a dumb style, so to speak, and they weren't dumb. Martially I'm sure every sword style had their own approaches to functional ki usages and by elimination, I'm betting the "ki-ryoku" covered that aspect.

Of course, I could be wrong. But I'll stand on my bet.

Best.
Mike
At a certain level we are just talking about terms so no harm, but I am wondering if you take functional ki uses/ki power as subsumed under "ki-ryokyu" what then would "kokyu-ryokyu" signify as we have been discussing to this point?

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Old 08-16-2007, 04:17 PM   #107
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Re: Ellis Amdur's Post on Aikido Journal

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Doug Walker wrote: View Post
So you are saying that aikidoka talk about attacking a lot? Given how often one hears "step off the line of attack" and "uke attacks and I tenkan" I find that hard to believe. I'm not even sure your average practitioner would be comfortable with the concept of an attacking nage at a basic philosophical level.
Well then maybe thats just down to the way we do things where I train then. But then, I've never met an average person let alone an average aikido practitioner so I don't really know what you mean for certain.

Mike

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Old 08-16-2007, 05:03 PM   #108
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Re: Ellis Amdur's Post on Aikido Journal

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Doug Walker wrote: View Post
At a certain level we are just talking about terms so no harm, but I am wondering if you take functional ki uses/ki power as subsumed under "ki-ryokyu" what then would "kokyu-ryokyu" signify as we have been discussing to this point?
Kokyu power is just Ki power with an additive... i.e., it is still ki-power. "Reiki" is sort of "full-blown ki but indeterminate about jin power". So you're right, it's actually a terms discussion and not much more.

The confusing thing to most people is that "ki-power" or "ki" is an umbrella term that covers perhaps too much territory. When Tohei stands solidly against a push, he calls it "ki strength" or "ki power" ("ki-ryoku"), but I would call it more "jin", since I attempt to focus/clarify a bit more.... regardless, we're talking about the same thing. "Ki" is the generic term... so the "ki-ryoku" is *probably* (IMO) derived from the functional usage of ki power and is not meant to be only "spirit" (although by extension, "spirit" can be a part of "ki").

The flippant answer to your question about when "kokyu-ryoku" is used would be to say, "Oh, you're talking about Aikido". What I would mean is that various arts call the same basic power by different names and if nothing else, that simply indicates how many centuries this sort of skill has been around.

Best.

Mike Sigman
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Old 08-16-2007, 06:08 PM   #109
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Re: Ellis Amdur's Post on Aikido Journal

Hey, I'm all about flippant answers so I'm down with that.

It just struck me that we have two terms -- kokyu ryokyu and ki ryokyu (for which we have a definition in standard usage) -- so we needn't double up. Kokyu ryokyu for ki power and ki ryokyu for will/spirit power. Nothing lost and everything doesn't become a hammer.

Just a thought.

Last edited by Walker : 08-16-2007 at 06:10 PM. Reason: spelling

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Old 08-16-2007, 06:14 PM   #110
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Re: Ellis Amdur's Post on Aikido Journal

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Doug Walker wrote: View Post
Hey, I'm all about flippant answers so I'm down with that.

It just struck me that we have two terms -- kokyu ryokyu and ki ryokyu (for which we have a definition in standard usage) -- so we needn't double up. Kokyu ryokyu for ki power and ki ryokyu for will/spirit power. Nothing lost and everything doesn't become a hammer.

Just a thought.
Well, I still, for the fourth time, concede the "maybe", but "kokyu ryoku" is not understood by most people to be a subset of "ki ryoku" (not "ryokyu"), but rather as "breath power" or "timing". I'm perfectly happy with anyone translating "ki-ryoku" as "spirit" if they want. We all have to ante up.

Best.

Mike
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Old 08-16-2007, 07:37 PM   #111
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Re: Ellis Amdur's Post on Aikido Journal

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[snip] I found that to be true when I started studying Japanese in 1965. [snip]
Mike Sigman
Do you speak and/or read Japanese, Mike?
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Old 08-16-2007, 07:39 PM   #112
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Re: Ellis Amdur's Post on Aikido Journal

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Do you speak and/or read Japanese, Mike?
I was actually moderately fluent in spoken Japanese at one time, although my reading skills were only rudimentary, Justin. Let's get back to the subject.

Mike Sigman
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Old 08-16-2007, 11:12 PM   #113
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Re: Ellis Amdur's Post on Aikido Journal

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
I was actually moderately fluent in spoken Japanese at one time, although my reading skills were only rudimentary, Justin. Let's get back to the subject.

Mike Sigman
I'm actually Thomas, Dan . . . er, sorry, Mike.

I was genuinely curious. I'm impressed, because I don't consider Japanese an easy language to master at any level. I'm studying Chinese now; it's a lot of work, and it will be a long while before I can claim even moderate fluency.

More to the point, it adds credibility to your understanding of the context of some of the Japanese terms like ki and kokyu that pervade this discussion.
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Old 08-17-2007, 07:05 AM   #114
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Re: Ellis Amdur's Post on Aikido Journal

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Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post
I don't consider Japanese an easy language to master at any level.
Spoken Japanese is considered to be one of the easiest languages to learn, overall. Not that any language is "easy" or the nuances obvious, but if someone wants to at least "get by" in a spoken language, Japanese is considered a good choice.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 08-19-2007, 08:59 AM   #115
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Re: Ellis Amdur's Post on Aikido Journal

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I was actually moderately fluent in spoken Japanese at one time, although my reading skills were only rudimentary, Justin. Let's get back to the subject.
haha too funny.

But like others, I'm too am curious how long you studied Japanese and Chinese. It matters because you are discussing Japanese and Chinese words and concepts.

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Old 08-19-2007, 10:00 AM   #116
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Re: Ellis Amdur's Post on Aikido Journal

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Justin Smith wrote: View Post
haha too funny.

But like others, I'm too am curious how long you studied Japanese and Chinese. It matters because you are discussing Japanese and Chinese words and concepts.
He's got the concepts as far as they pertain to this stuff Justin (and you can take that from someone who IS fluent in Japanese, in spades )
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Old 08-19-2007, 01:06 PM   #117
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Re: Ellis Amdur's Post on Aikido Journal

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Robert John wrote: View Post
He's got the concepts as far as they pertain to this stuff Justin (and you can take that from someone who IS fluent in Japanese, in spades )
Whether bellowing above the cries of salarymen in karaoke bars, or parsing acerbic commentary on obscurely-expressed physical culture and martial training practices, Rob John is the man in Japan for translation.
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