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Old 08-24-2007, 10:25 AM   #1576
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
It's like training in this stuff. Everybody says, "oh, well, we already do that"...but no one seems to actually want to do the solo work it entails (me too, just as lazy as anybody).
Hi Ron:

One of the great nuggets of interest I've seen over the years (not just with Aikido people; all styles) is that someone (usually a teacher) will be at a workshop and it is apparent to everyone there learning that the teacher simply has no previous skills in these things. In fact, often a complete newbie can do much better than the teacher. So there is an embarrassing silence while everyone simply works and progresses. Near the end of the work, the teacher has achieved a modicum of skill in some minor steps that are meant to be what he/she starts their new training on. Instead, the modicum of skill is turned into a "see, I already knew this stuff".... he/she and the students troop back home and continue working the same wrong stuff they've worked for years. Next time I see them.... no progress. Ego is the biggest killer of progress..... and the years keep rolling by.

Best.

Mike
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Old 08-24-2007, 10:32 AM   #1577
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
(BSing and physics on the internet is easy...doing the actual travel, exploration, and work is hard)
Whaat???
Well, if I wasn't posting I would be working.
I think everybody understands this basic tenet.
I know if I won the lottery I would spend a whole lotta time traveling and learning from all sorts of folks.
Oh where are the budo Kami when you need them?
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Old 08-24-2007, 10:36 AM   #1578
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Baseline skillset

This is exactly why I keep finding aikido is sooo difficult. There are so many pitfalls, so many misdirections, so many places to get off the path. I do that already, oh that's nice, but you ignore the full import, the play acting, etc.

You guys are lucky on a couple of fronts...the connection to Shirata Sensei, being surrounded by different traditions that explore the same material from different angles...it really helps.

Someone joked once about me going after Daito ryu at one point, and now going after this...I think they missed the point that sometimes to find and really understand what you have at home, you have to put all that aside and go elsewhere for a time. The exposure to Daito ryu was not in any way wasted...and this won't be either, even if I never get beyond the basics.

Best,
Ron

Quote:
Doug Walker wrote: View Post
It is interesting, the question of "we have that." What has happened for us is a discovery that we did "have" it, but we weren't giving it enough attention and what we had needed to be sharpened/corrected/refined in our practice.

I can't say where it came from other than our teacher who was a student of Ueshiba, but since meeting Rob and via discussions like these we have renovated and revivified this practice. People already complained about us being "too strong" before, now, just you look out.

Another thing. "We have that" is a dangerous idea as well. Many is the time when I have heard that phrase and what has followed was not the same at all. The proof always is in the execution.

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
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Old 08-24-2007, 10:39 AM   #1579
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Baseline skillset

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I think everybody understands this basic tenet.
Not so sure myself. In this very thread, in just the last 2 pages, we have folks listing their priorities...and getting out to see and feel this isn't on the list.

If everyone understood...oh, never mind.

B,
R

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
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Old 08-24-2007, 11:08 AM   #1580
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
I hope you're not finding me to be too defensive, Erick, if anything, I'm just trying to encourage you (and everybody else - that's me, The Encourager!) to embrace my philosophy of "I may not know, so I'll go find out" . . . especially if you feel obliged to participate in these Non-Aikido discussions
Not at all. I fully agree with it. No issues.

I am used to following my own perception of the traditional framework. It has been fruitful for me, so why would I abandon it? In part I see things differently in many areas owing to either my nature, experience or both. Other paths, and where people fall ahead or behind on any path do not really concern me, as long as we can at least try to help one another. No one's help should be refused with a demeaning opinion given about the value of the offer, even if it is refused for that reason. I try to live by that rule. It is simply rude, and therefore per se poor budo. Giving offense without cause or provocation is simply bad strategy, among its many other faults.

As you say "I may not know" and certainly do not know completely, but I know what I know and do what I do, and it requires no validation by anybody. The threshold for me to up and go see if what I know is at variance -- in what parts or in what degree or in what terminology --from whoever else there may be, at my pleasure, is rather high.

After all, if mind-body-ki unity is to be approached through training we must attend to each of them. Lots of discussion about the body and feeling through the body. The mind part is lagging, as is broadening the terms describing the nature of ki in operation, and of relating the mind to the body and to thoperaiton of ki in their interaction. Why shouldn't you make the brain work as hard as the body to properly train and expand your mental perception and critical observation and insight as much as your physical perception and strength? There's my focus.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 08-24-2007, 11:15 AM   #1581
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Baseline skillset

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The mind part is lagging, as is broadening the terms describing the nature of ki in operation, and of relating the mind to the body and to thoperaiton of ki in their interaction.
I'm a little confused...are you saying what folks are describing is lacking the mind?

The mind leads the qi. The mind is perhaps the most crucial part of setting up the pathways I can think of.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 08-24-2007, 12:02 PM   #1582
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Re: Baseline skillset

Have to concur with Ron (again - sheesh, people will start talking). . . it's been said more than once that these force-manipulations are mind-directed. Another person has said more than once that when training this stuff, the mind gives out before the body.

Erick, I'm glad you have confidence in knowing what you know. I am usually lucky enough to know what I think I know right now, on any given day, which may conflict with the previous day - I mean I try to develop and maintain a corporate body of knowledge that grows, expands and remains integrated with appropriate joins and indexes (dammit, my DBA nature is showing), but I also try to keep it linked to the transactional processor in my noggin - where things are always in flux and getting updated with new input.

Ultimately things get run through filters, but I try to keep them a little further behind the scenes so that I don't prevent, block or firewall off my exposure to important data.

Last edited by Budd : 08-24-2007 at 12:03 PM. Reason: Wu Tang Style
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Old 08-24-2007, 01:19 PM   #1583
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
I'm a little confused...are you saying what folks are describing is lacking the mind?
Hardly. The focus of what they are describing is more predominantly focussed on the body's sensation and the action premised on that sensation mediated by the mind, whereas I am looking critically at the mind's perception of the action and the objective action that is occurring. The fact that the descriptions used (even if highle effective for your training) are more figurative and mine more technical is to be expected because of what I am looking at. One is not "better than the other anymore than my right is "better" than my left for hitting people. It depends on the need and the circumstance is all.

The reason the respective views may sometimes seem fuzzy is because we are on opposite sides looking at each other through the same darn crystal ball. Which is a great metaphor, actually. We can each appear distorted and upside down to the other, whereas objectively both of us are upright. Understanding the disconnect of intense perception is better if we broaden our gaze a bit, and allow for the two modes of perception at the same time.

The body can lie to the mind, the mind can lie to the body and either one can lie to itself. If this were not true then deception would not work in war and, of course, it does, and marvelously well. Merely assuming that all perceptions are objectively true as I perceive them to be can cause serious conflicts, internally and externally. Objective reasoning from critical observation is a part of the mind that cannot be dispensed with, even if it is also not the entire truth.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 08-24-2007, 02:57 PM   #1584
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
If you want your ideas respected, try doing the best you can in the approved "path" approach (the same approach I've seen diagrammed and explained by both Japanese and Chinese trying to put these things in writing) or go meet someone knowledgeable and show them what you can do. As you will remember, your insistences about "resistance" pretty much shot you out of the water as a knowledgeable commentator.
On the contrary, his ideas are pretty interesting. He certainly doesn't have to fit the identical mold of how a few people believe force works.

As far as this "approved path approach". I don't think anyone is doubting that people write in those terms. What is curious, is that apparently no one can seem to explain precisely how it is different from regular ol movement but most say that it is different.

Justin

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Old 08-24-2007, 05:15 PM   #1585
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
As you will remember, your insistences about "resistance" pretty much shot you out of the water as a knowledgeable commentator.
Debates over nuance of idiomatic translation aside, the concept of interacting with "no resistance" of whatever degree has distinct and very applicable mechanical meaning to exactly what I am talking about, and have described in operation.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 08-25-2007, 12:43 AM   #1586
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Hardly. The focus of what they are describing is more predominantly focussed on the body's sensation and the action premised on that sensation mediated by the mind
Not really Eric, it takes both.
Which is why more than a couple bujutsuka have said that this stuff isn't for those lacking in the IQ department.

Lets put it this way,
lets say for a second you are right. That your descriptions are spot on. I don't see how they help train or improve the skills being discussed. Of course, that might change with a hands on session and you showed me "how" to train and what to focus on. But if I were a betting man I'd say you wouldn't be able to show anything substantial.
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Old 08-25-2007, 08:14 AM   #1587
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
I am used to following my own perception of the traditional framework. It has been fruitful for me, so why would I abandon it? In part I see things differently in many areas owing to either my nature, experience or both. Other paths, and where people fall ahead or behind on any path do not really concern me, as long as we can at least try to help one another. No one's help should be refused with a demeaning opinion given about the value of the offer, even if it is refused for that reason. I try to live by that rule. It is simply rude, and therefore per se poor budo. Giving offense without cause or provocation is simply bad strategy, among its many other faults.
See, this is where my experience says that there is not really any "help" involved in the discussion. It's more of a cry for "face".... "gimme face, even if I don't quite know this stuff, because a lot of my life is invested in 'being somebody'". That's more the way I read it. Because "help" has already been given with discussion, facts, diagrams, and so forth. Help in relation to issues that are easily reconciled with traditional training in both Japan and China and the terminology and functional deeds that they do. That's help. A number of people with disparate experience recognize both the discussion and help and are able to communicate. You cannot.... but you want sort of an "equal" if not "superior" recognition and you revert to techno-speak. And there is no reason to cater your whim, as far as I can see.

From the beginning, this has been an interesting dialogue on AikiWeb. I'm fully aware that anything I say can and will be examined in the future for basic mistakes, so I'm very careful when I suggest something that it's not open to coming back and biting me in the butt in the future. It's very basic stuff. If it's gets the least bit more complicated, I'm careful to caveat "if's" and "maybe's". And none of it is stuff that can't be shown to be the same as traditional ki/kokyu stuff.... much of it is explained in darned close to the same explications found in more-focused literature from Japan and China. That's the functional "help" I've tried to provide. What deliberate help have I gotten in return from you, Erick? Or people like Justin or Ricky Wood or etc.?

What it all boils down to is that this is a difficult time for a lot of people in Aikido. I've been through the same things and had to go back to scratch about 3 times.... thank god I wasn't a "teacher" and didn't have any status/position I felt I had to safeguard; I probably would have had a far worse time.

Now, I'm not going to suggest anyone in particular, because everyone seems to have a different facet of the overall knowledge and a different approach to teaching it, but I'd suggest that rather than getting stuck in this "we're all equals in this knowledge and we must 'help each other'" stuff, you simply get out there and enlarge your data-base. The gods help those that help themselves.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 08-25-2007, 11:23 AM   #1588
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
What deliberate help have I gotten in return from you, Erick? Or people like Justin or Ricky Wood or etc.?
Sorry Mike. I didn't know you were asking for help.
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Old 08-25-2007, 11:31 AM   #1589
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
It's more of a cry for "face".... "gimme face, ... That's more the way I read it.
If you ever decide to go into psychology -- don't give up your day job.

Bottom line. I have found use in thinking in these terms and taking things apart conceptually and then physically to put them back together. That's the root meaning of discipline -- taking things apart to understand them. I am fully aware it is but one part of that understanding.

I post my thoughts for two reasons. One -- to see if anyone is interested in discussing these things in these terms, as there is very little place elsewhere for that realistic possibility. And two -- to see if useful and comparative things can be learned with people who are deepening knowledge in other terms. On the latter point a few have offered their good faith observations here and in PM in that spirit of useful exchange of ideas. Some have not. I'll leave it others to decide which is the wiser course.

As to the first point, few here appear interested in that approach, which is fine, and merely means I need to keep working on it alone. Whether it seems more likely or not from anyone else's perspective to bear fruit they are interested in is sort of beside the point.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 08-25-2007, 02:50 PM   #1590
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Doug Walker wrote: View Post
It is interesting, the question of "we have that." What has happened for us is a discovery that we did "have" it, but we weren't giving it enough attention and what we had needed to be sharpened/corrected/refined in our practice.
It has been brought to my attention that my statement might be misread/misunderstood to read that we have added elements to our curriculum that were not present in our practice prior to these discussions. I did not mean to imply that at all.
I believe Allen is planning to make a statement about this point.

-Doug Walker
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Old 08-25-2007, 03:57 PM   #1591
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Re: Baseline skillset

Hi Doug and Ron,

I read your posts and had a minor heart attack. I think I understand what you both meant but I am concerned that what you wrote might be misconstrued by others with negative implications for the reputation my teacher.

Specifically, I want to avoid the implication that I am adding to, or changing in anyway, what I was given by my teacher. I have tried for decades NOT to do this. It simply isn't necessary. Believe me when I say that there is already PLENTY there to begin with, both quantitatively and qualitatively. The years have simply served to drive that point home.

Ron, I agree that having trained with Shirata sensei is an advantage. He provided a terrific example of someone, who was widely recognized as being "one of a kind," willingly sublimating his ego to pursue further insights into the teaching of his teacher. That, along with his insistence that what is practiced must actually function, makes it easier to sublimate my ego and willingly keep my eyes open for clues as to what I'm "not getting" about what I've been taught and adjust myself accordingly. This process takes place every practice, and hopefully throughout my life.

Furthermore, he faithfully transferred his understanding of Aikido in an open way which included the contents of the Daito Ryu Mokuroku taught to him by O-sensei to the summation of his learning well after O-Sensei's death. That is an advantage too because there is so much contained therein.

As near as I can figure, this happens to include (for those with the eyes to see) everything required to achieve the "promises" of Aikido. The trick is, my understanding of what he taught (and perhaps his understanding too) has been, and continues to be, limited by what I was, and am, capable of learning/understanding. So, as I've said in other posts, I've made "self discoveries" of things that I realize he explicitly taught earlier . . . I just didn't "get it" at the time. Still, the knowledge/potential was contained in the form, so to speak, and I've faithfully tried to maintain the form. That investment is "paying off" and I'm beginning to understand and have those understandings confirmed.

As far as outside influences are concerned, I actually try to be on guard against my pre-conceptions. We always learn and understand based on past knowledge, so prejudice is almost inevitable, however I at least try to be aware that this could be happening and be ready to "try on" new ideas. I try to do this as much as possible when learning from others.

So the advantage of studying other things isn't in allowing those other things to change or influence the content of my Aikido, I try NOT to do that. Rather, the advantage is in gaining new perspectives, conceptions, nomenclature, and most particularly experiences. These all work globally to change how one thinks, and that can change everything to a certain degree.

As far as my school goes, "we" have what "we" have. It isn't necessarily the same "it" that others do, but it would seem (based on physical interaction) that what I was taught certainly holds much in common in both training and, based on my limited interaction, with the potential results. (BTW, I couldn't have made the claim for similar results 10 years ago . . . but then I'm a slow learner!)

I only agree with the statement that "we weren't giving it enough attention and what we had needed to be sharpened/corrected/refined" to the extent that that statement applies to EVERYTHING we do. But then again, I'm Doug's Aikido teacher so my opinion/perception might simply be biased and/or defensive. There is a delicate balance to be maintained. One can have internal skills but no martial ones, and one can have martial skills but no internal ones. I'm trying to teach and develop both. It isn't easy.

I have found that my very limited (but most enjoyable) training with Rob, and reading the discussions included here, have "renovated and revivified this practice" to the extent that these experiences have influenced my thinking about what I've been doing for decades. Furthermore, in the case of Rob, he specifically has had a "renovating and revivifying" effect on one particular practice that I was instructed to pursue when I was first introduced to Shirata sensei's Aikido by Nakajima Masanori Shihan, and that is the practice of Shiko. (That is the sumo squat thing.) Thank you most kindly for that and everything else Rob! I look forward getting together again soon. I still stink though . . .

So there you go, my long-winded response. Hope it isn't overkill, but my teacher's "Cred" is very important to me.

Now, back to the regular programming I hope!

Quote:
Doug Walker wrote:
It is interesting, the question of "we have that." What has happened for us is a discovery that we did "have" it, but we weren't giving it enough attention and what we had needed to be sharpened/corrected/refined in our practice.

I can't say where it came from other than our teacher who was a student of Ueshiba, but since meeting Rob and via discussions like these we have renovated and revivified this practice. People already complained about us being "too strong" before, now, just you look out.

Another thing. "We have that" is a dangerous idea as well. Many is the time when I have heard that phrase and what has followed was not the same at all. The proof always is in the execution.
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Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
This is exactly why I keep finding aikido is sooo difficult. There are so many pitfalls, so many misdirections, so many places to get off the path. I do that already, oh that's nice, but you ignore the full import, the play acting, etc.

You guys are lucky on a couple of fronts...the connection to Shirata Sensei, being surrounded by different traditions that explore the same material from different angles...it really helps.

Someone joked once about me going after Daito ryu at one point, and now going after this...I think they missed the point that sometimes to find and really understand what you have at home, you have to put all that aside and go elsewhere for a time. The exposure to Daito ryu was not in any way wasted...and this won't be either, even if I never get beyond the basics.

Best,
Ron

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Old 08-25-2007, 04:25 PM   #1592
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Bottom line. I have found use in thinking in these terms and taking things apart conceptually and then physically to put them back together.
...
I post my thoughts for two reasons. One -- to see if anyone is interested in discussing these things in these terms, as there is very little place elsewhere for that realistic possibility. And two -- to see if useful and comparative things can be learned with people who are deepening knowledge in other terms.
...
Whether it seems more likely or not from anyone else's perspective to bear fruit they are interested in is sort of beside the point.
Well said!

Justin

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Old 08-25-2007, 06:20 PM   #1593
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Re: Baseline skillset

Hi Mike,

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Hi Ron:

One of the great nuggets of interest I've seen over the years (not just with Aikido people; all styles) is that someone (usually a teacher) will be at a workshop and it is apparent to everyone there learning that the teacher simply has no previous skills in these things. In fact, often a complete newbie can do much better than the teacher. So there is an embarrassing silence while everyone simply works and progresses. Near the end of the work, the teacher has achieved a modicum of skill in some minor steps that are meant to be what he/she starts their new training on. Instead, the modicum of skill is turned into a "see, I already knew this stuff".... he/she and the students troop back home and continue working the same wrong stuff they've worked for years. Next time I see them.... no progress. Ego is the biggest killer of progress..... and the years keep rolling by.

Best.

Mike
I see this at many (most?) clinics and seminars I've attended even at the level of the student executing the exact same error; usually the "my teacher teaches the exact same thing" sort of error and missing some important nugget of information due to the effort spent validating their existing training.

Regards,

Tarik Ghbeish
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Old 08-25-2007, 07:02 PM   #1594
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Re: Baseline skillset

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Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
I see this at many (most?) clinics and seminars I've attended even at the level of the student executing the exact same error; usually the "my teacher teaches the exact same thing" sort of error and missing some important nugget of information due to the effort spent validating their existing training.
Hi Tarik:

Yeah, I was just thinking about a rather stunning Aikido example of essentially the same problem that I recently saw. You know, my gut feeling is to avoid the anecdote and tell everyone to not trust anyone (not even me!) and go and see the best representatives of all the different arts that you can. That's what all really professional/dedicated martial artists do anyway, so let me encourage it, please. Even the "best teacher" you've ever seen and whom you may have modelled your life after can only put on their knickers one leg at a time.... i.e., they're human and may really NOT know everything.

Get Out There And Look.

Mike
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Old 08-25-2007, 08:11 PM   #1595
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Re: Baseline skillset

Budo guys have been "getting out" there for decades and meeting these "great teachers" who do not show even their own inner guys. Some moving to China, to Japan, coming home with rank and no real power. There is absolutely nothing new in that. And on any other day many have stated -right here-just that scenario happening to them in their own arts, and that, all to often. In fact, so many senior men have said just that very thing on these many threads as to make any debate of it all but moot.

If people are truly serious: try meeting teachers who have something and that have students who can replicate what they themselves are doing. At least to some substantial degree-keeping in mind years-in and closeness. If they don't, consider just what that say's.

You can ignore the nobodies contributing so much noise about these skills here, and give the straight, all too familiar road of "Budo professionals" who are out there teaching a try, and see where it goes. Or, you can get busy thinking, testing, experimenting and finding people who may be willing to share what they do. Then, test them as well.
Either way; think, test, and consider real progress You've only got just so much time.

Last edited by DH : 08-25-2007 at 08:25 PM.
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Old 08-26-2007, 06:28 PM   #1596
Thomas Campbell
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
[snip]Of course, it's not a perfect membership (we even have some guy who surreptitiously sends Dan the QiJin stuff, apparently [snip]
Mike
Curious.
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Old 08-26-2007, 10:04 PM   #1597
Shannon Frye
Dojo: Aikido Fellowship of VA / Chesapeake Va
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Re: Baseline skillset

I know I'm REALLY late to this party, but neither of the links to the aforementioned videos work anymore.
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Old 08-27-2007, 09:49 AM   #1598
jennifer paige smith
 
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Dojo: Confluence Aiki-Dojo / Santa Cruz Sword Club
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post

I post my thoughts for two reasons. One -- to see if anyone is interested in discussing these things in these terms, as there is very little place elsewhere for that realistic possibility. And two -- to see if useful and comparative things can be learned with people who are deepening knowledge in other terms. On the latter point a few have offered their good faith observations here and in PM in that spirit of useful exchange of ideas. Some have not. I'll leave it others to decide which is the wiser course.

As to the first point, few here appear interested in that approach, which is fine, and merely means I need to keep working on it alone. Whether it seems more likely or not from anyone else's perspective to bear fruit they are interested in is sort of beside the point.
As for Eric,
I have consistently found your posts to be helpful in expressing experiences I have actually had in a language of intellect I feel others could relate to. Without any previous ( or, perhaps, current) experience of one another personally I have been grateful for your skills. Because for me, it isn't so much that I'm the one who said it or who knew 1st, but that the information and expression gets out.
There is both help and fruit in that tree. Please continue to branch.
Thanks,
Jen

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
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Old 08-27-2007, 10:04 AM   #1599
Mike Sigman
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Re: Baseline skillset

Well, Erick, I have to admit that with Jennifer and Justin supporting your methodology and elucidation, it gives people some pause. Hmmmmmm

Regards,

Mike
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Old 08-27-2007, 10:23 AM   #1600
MM
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Re: Baseline skillset

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Well, Erick, I have to admit that with Jennifer and Justin supporting your methodology and elucidation, it gives people some pause. Hmmmmmm

Regards,

Mike
Now, Mike, you need to warn me when you post something like that. I nearly spewed RC all over the monitor. LOL.

And I definitely agree, it does give people some pause. Perhaps not in the way others view it.

Mark
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