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Old 01-11-2008, 08:46 AM   #26
Mike Sigman
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Re: Workshop with Mike Sigman on Ki in Aikido

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Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Personally at this point, I've been most exposed to issues of correcting my "Frame" to be able to begin to access some of these skills. I am most interested in learning to capture someone's balance by absorbing their power and then feeding it back to them. Power releases are also of interest to me, but not as much.
It's sort of like a study of electricity. There are guys who do house-wiring, there are people who are into designing transformers, there are people who design Op-amps, and so forth. Sounds like different topics, but really it's all the same topic. The question is whether you should go to a vocational school and learn how to fix TV's or whether you're happier going to engineering school so that you can understand the theory that applies to everything. So I guess that while I nominally understand "different approaches", my mind doesn't work that way.... all of these *legitimate* approaches are simply variations of the same basic principles. There is only one electricity. There is only one ki/jin.

Best.

Mike
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Old 01-11-2008, 09:51 AM   #27
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Workshop with Mike Sigman on Ki in Aikido

I'd have to say that my limited experience says that Mike is right. My problem is getting enough of a foot in the door to understand enough to know what "specialties" will best meet my needs. And for that to be any use, I have to understand the basics first.

That's where I'm at...trying to get the basics...

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 01-11-2008, 10:31 AM   #28
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Re: Workshop with Mike Sigman on Ki in Aikido

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
It's sort of like a study of electricity. There are guys who do house-wiring, there are people who are into designing transformers, there are people who design Op-amps, and so forth. Sounds like different topics, but really it's all the same topic. The question is whether you should go to a vocational school and learn how to fix TV's or whether you're happier going to engineering school so that you can understand the theory that applies to everything. So I guess that while I nominally understand "different approaches", my mind doesn't work that way.... all of these *legitimate* approaches are simply variations of the same basic principles. There is only one electricity. There is only one ki/jin.

Best.

Mike
That seems a good analogy there Mike. Not because I understand internal body connection principals very well but because I understand electronics. And ohms law is ohms law is ohms law. The devil's in the details. But if one understands basic electricity, one can understand most any application of it. I suppose the same applies to basic ki/jin, in-yo, or whatever you call it.
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Old 01-11-2008, 10:38 AM   #29
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Re: Workshop with Mike Sigman on Ki in Aikido

Uh, yeah. What Ron and Mike said.

Mark
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Old 01-15-2008, 03:07 PM   #30
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Re: Workshop with Mike Sigman on Ki in Aikido

Hi Mike,

I have been following your threads here on Aikiweb and on Aikido Journal for a while now and it appears that your views on Ki principles are closely aligned with those I learned from my training in the early Ki Society back in the late 70s.

I was really looking forward to having the chance to train with you, but unfortunately, I have been informed by Bob & Budd at the Itten dojo that the workshop is full and there is no more room for anyone else. Consequently, I was wondering how long you were going to be in the area and if there may be a possibility of getting together informally for a short period of time. If not, do you have plans of coming back to the east coast some other time, and if so, what would be the chances of getting together then.

Also, your recent articles on Ki and Aikido on the Aikido Journal site are excellent. Like you, I grabbed an Aikido shihan about 30 years ago and have been searching for the secret that would lead to that same internal feeling ever since.

With your permission, I would like to quote your articles as views on Ki we agree with on our Aiki group's web site at aikikurabu.org

You can private email me if you like and I look forward to your response.

Best Regards

Greg Steckel
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Old 01-15-2008, 03:38 PM   #31
Mike Sigman
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Re: Workshop with Mike Sigman on Ki in Aikido

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Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
Hi Mike,

I have been following your threads here on Aikiweb and on Aikido Journal for a while now and it appears that your views on Ki principles are closely aligned with those I learned from my training in the early Ki Society back in the late 70s.

I was really looking forward to having the chance to train with you, but unfortunately, I have been informed by Bob & Budd at the Itten dojo that the workshop is full and there is no more room for anyone else. Consequently, I was wondering how long you were going to be in the area and if there may be a possibility of getting together informally for a short period of time. If not, do you have plans of coming back to the east coast some other time, and if so, what would be the chances of getting together then.
Hi Greg:

Well, the workshop cap is my fault; I simply have to have time to get around and feel what is going on inside of each person and there's a limit to how many people I can cover for each exercise. So the capped attendance was due to my insistence, I'm afraid.

I've already made my flights in and out of "The Sprawl" (hat tip to William Gibson), as the east coast is known, so unfortunately I'm not going to be there very long. I only do workshops sporadically and whimsically (it's not how I make a living) so I have no idea when I'll be back out that way.
Quote:
Also, your recent articles on Ki and Aikido on the Aikido Journal site are excellent. Like you, I grabbed an Aikido shihan about 30 years ago and have been searching for the secret that would lead to that same internal feeling ever since.
Thanks. I used that "feeling" to judge/compare things for a number of years. It's good yard stick when trying to find a teacher.
Quote:
With your permission, I would like to quote your articles as views on Ki we agree with on our Aiki group's web site at aikikurabu.org
If you think it will help someone, please feel free to use them as you wish.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 01-15-2008, 05:12 PM   #32
gregstec
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Re: Workshop with Mike Sigman on Ki in Aikido

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Hi Greg:

I've already made my flights in and out of "The Sprawl" (hat tip to William Gibson), as the east coast is known, so unfortunately I'm not going to be there very long. I only do workshops sporadically and whimsically (it's not how I make a living) so I have no idea when I'll be back out that way....
Hi Mike,

Thanks for the reply - hopefully someday I will be able to attend one of your workshops somewhere.

Have you given any consideration to putting out a training guide or summary of your approach to understanding these principles? I am sure there are many folks in the Aikido community that would be willing to part with a few dollars for something like that.

I wish you success in your endeavors and look forward to your continued thoughts via these forums.

Best

Greg
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Old 02-10-2008, 07:13 PM   #33
HL1978
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Re: Workshop with Mike Sigman on Ki in Aikido

anyone have a seminar report?
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Old 02-10-2008, 08:12 PM   #34
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Re: Workshop with Mike Sigman on Ki in Aikido

Yes. It was very eye opening and a great time. We learned many, many exercises that Mike feels will help us develop our aiki skills and power.

The report I can tell you is that it was probably the best use of my time spent an "aikido" seminar ever.

I don't think I could answer any specific questions as it will probably take me a long time to figure out what the hell I am doing! I will get back to you in about a year!

Also, I will probably have many more questions than opinions for a long while.

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Old 02-10-2008, 08:15 PM   #35
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Re: Workshop with Mike Sigman on Ki in Aikido

oh yea. Mike, it was a pleasure meeting you and working with you. I appreciate the patience, time, and your enthusiasm in working with me! I hope I can pay you back a little by learning some of what you gave us!

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Old 02-11-2008, 07:33 AM   #36
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Re: Workshop with Mike Sigman on Ki in Aikido

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
oh yea. Mike, it was a pleasure meeting you and working with you. I appreciate the patience, time, and your enthusiasm in working with me! I hope I can pay you back a little by learning some of what you gave us!
Completely my pleasure, Kevin. It was good to finally put a face to some of the names and to meet a bunch of good and smart people. I've talked to Fred Little and Ron Tisdale on the web since at least the mid-90's and finally got to meet them. It was fun all around. Many thanks also to Budd Yuhasz and Bob Wolfe for accomodating me and going to so much trouble.

I'm still stuck in the airports on the way back home, due to delays, so more when I get back.

Best..

Mike
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Old 02-11-2008, 09:40 AM   #37
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Workshop with Mike Sigman on Ki in Aikido

Hi guys, Sorry for the delay!

I'm going to be typing up some thoughts on this whole deal, but I have to thank a lot of people first...

Bob Wolff and the Itten dojo
Budd and Co.
Everyone who was patient enough to work out with me

And foremost Mike Sigman, for one of the best seminar experiences I've ever had, in terms of content and opening my eyes.

Just for kicks and giggles, a quote from the past (Mike in bold, otherwise me, from Oct. 2002):

Quote:
About grabbing...sniff. In real time, you already know most of the top tier don't grab anyway...they enter and *cut*. Its that whole sword thing.

Remind me to show you sometime what I did to someone who entered on me recently and wasn't aware of some ancient Chinese body technology. :^)
Good thing neither one of us was serious... it might or might not have worked (either side) in a real fight.
I believe what Mike is referring to is that shoulder strike he does...I can now say that there is no way in H_e_double_hockey_sticks I want to EVER get hit with that. And I do believe it would work in a fight. Very well.

Best,
Ron

Last edited by Ron Tisdale : 02-11-2008 at 09:42 AM.

Ron Tisdale
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Old 02-11-2008, 10:23 AM   #38
Robert Wolfe
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Re: Workshop with Mike Sigman on Ki in Aikido

Ron,

All thanks should go to Mike and to Budd -- Mike for the exceptional presentation of complicated material (and the astonishing amount of prep work he invested up front to insure that result), and Budd for 95% (or more) of the leg work on our side. I just made the registration form and cashed checks...

In addition to being an especially capable instructor, Mike is one of the most user-friendly guest instructors we've ever hosted.

My very deep thanks to Mike, and an ippon! to Budd for seminar coordination.

-- Bob
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Old 02-11-2008, 10:41 AM   #39
MM
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Re: Workshop with Mike Sigman on Ki in Aikido

Whatever you did or didn't do, Bob, I'll still say thanks for the seminar. No matter the level of commitment, you have been and are a very gracious host.

And definitely thanks to Budd and Mike. If you ever get a chance to meet Mike, don't pass it up.

It was a great workshop and I'm really glad that someone else thinks Budd is like a tank.

It was also nice to put more faces to names. Although the dinner conversation tended "to go there", it was still interesting. LOL.

Mark
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Old 02-11-2008, 10:46 AM   #40
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Re: Workshop with Mike Sigman on Ki in Aikido

I was going to start a new thread with the title "Mike Sigman's reign of terror is over" , but I guess I'll just post here. Thanks to Mike for taking the time to teach and to Budd and the rest of the organizers for putting the event together. It was great. I find it strange that threads on the topic of "internal strength" ended up in a forum named "non-Aikido martial traditions", as if internal strength were some miscellaneous subject not really pertinent to Aikido.
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Old 02-11-2008, 11:03 AM   #41
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Workshop with Mike Sigman on Ki in Aikido

Franco, I have to agree...I have come to believe that these training methods should be part and parcel of aikido, and the skills should be considered part of the basics. I don't know how that should happen, and I don't think I'm very far along that path...but the training and skills are needed, without a doubt.

As usual, Bob is too modest. It is rare indeed for a dojo cho to be as open to new material (BJJ, Ellis's material, Mike's material) and also to be so willing to intrust such important matters to one of their (relatively) new students. You deserve so much credit for fostering the level of serious dedication that your students display on a daily basis. All the best to you, and my hat is off...

Best,
Ron (Hey Mark, I promise not to go "there" for at least 1 week! )

Ron Tisdale
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:41 PM   #42
Robert Wolfe
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Re: Workshop with Mike Sigman on Ki in Aikido

"...so willing to intrust such important matters to one of their (relatively) new students."

Or maybe I'm just getting lazy…

I agree that the skills Mike presented need to be considered fundamentals, and we have to figure out the best means to introduce such consideration to our practice. That's going to be very tricky, not so much due to the nature of the skills as to the nature of the practitioners. Think of how many times Mike had to remind us to be proper uke in the context of this particular training, providing live but "stiff" resistance to allow nage an opportunity to sense the forces at work. Even without dealing with these internal skills, teaching students to be proper uke is in my opinion the most difficult aspect of aikido training. Trying to get people to provide proper, focused attacks, with follow up when appropriate, with serious mental intent, without being compliant or colluding when inappropriate, or just trying to defeat a technique they know is coming rather than trying to nail nage with the attack, is hard enough. Think of adding internal skills to this mix.

I'm reminded of Joe Simms' favorite quote, "Early success leads to further research." The opposite is true as well, and I can see students becoming very frustrated with an apparent lack of success with internal skills when the real problem is uke. Based on what we experienced over the weekend, my perception is that for most people the internal forces will be incredibly subtle to sense at first and will manifest only under really optimal training conditions (meaning a clued-in uke who knows how to provide an appropriate training platform).

But, hey, nobody said this was going to be easy.

-- Bob
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:57 PM   #43
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Re: Workshop with Mike Sigman on Ki in Aikido

Bob you bring up a good point concerning "proper uke". It was interesting the difference in Mike's methodology vice what I have considered in aikido in the past.

Prior to this, I would have said that this type of Uke was "incorrect" as it was not "responsive" in the nature of a "real attack".

You are correct that it is a challenge. It represents what I consider to be a huge difference. Many might interpret it as not being a "true attack" or "true pressure" therefore, invalidating the "reality" of our art.

Communicating and understaning the difference in this way of training is going to be a challenge. My partner and I had to be reminded many times that we were not doing it correct over the weekend!

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Old 02-11-2008, 02:06 PM   #44
ChrisMoses
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Re: Workshop with Mike Sigman on Ki in Aikido

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Prior to this, I would have said that this type of Uke was "incorrect" as it was not "responsive" in the nature of a "real attack".

You are correct that it is a challenge. It represents what I consider to be a huge difference. Many might interpret it as not being a "true attack" or "true pressure" therefore, invalidating the "reality" of our art.

Communicating and understaning the difference in this way of training is going to be a challenge. My partner and I had to be reminded many times that we were not doing it correct over the weekend!
Great points. I think a lot of people mistake what's going on during class as scenario based training as opposed to lessons to get glimpses at some deeper more fundamental truths/lessons. I did a one night guest instructor thing recently at a local Aikido dojo and we were working a very slow systematic cross hand grab kotegaeshi. One student called me over to ask about the ukemi. He asked if he should be grabbing and yanking, or grabbing and pushing or grabbing so that he could sucker-punch or kick nage. I responded that he might just grab as if it was an exercise in Aikido class and try to connect to his partner's center through the grab. No momentum, no tricks, just solid physical connection so that nage could really see when what he was doing worked, and when he had nothing. That's surprisingly hard for most folks (in my experience anyway).

I wasn't there for Mike's seminar, so hopefully that's along the lines of what you were saying. If not, apologies for the misunderstanding.


Chris Moses
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Old 02-11-2008, 02:30 PM   #45
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Workshop with Mike Sigman on Ki in Aikido

I just added the issue mentioned above to the outline of my review...give me a couple of days to complete it, since work is a little crazy.

This is an important issue...and it should be understood first that this is a mode used to begin to understand and develop the entry level skills...so please, no critiques about it not being UFC ready...

Best,
Ron

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Old 02-11-2008, 03:00 PM   #46
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Re: Workshop with Mike Sigman on Ki in Aikido

Hey Chris:

If I understood Mike correctly, he wanted uke to make a "solid" grab so as to allow nage to get a feel for the connection between uke's and nage's centers, and then be able to affect uke's center. Usually the grab had to be "stiff" but with a small force, not at all with the intent of actually overpowering nage, but just to connect. Whenever Mike went around and grabbed you, he was very gentle, but the connection was right there.

Somebody asked "what if uke's grab is limp?" and Mike's answer was along the lines of "then I step on their foot".
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Old 02-11-2008, 03:18 PM   #47
ChrisMoses
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Re: Workshop with Mike Sigman on Ki in Aikido

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Franco Cuminato wrote: View Post
Hey Chris:

If I understood Mike correctly, he wanted uke to make a "solid" grab so as to allow nage to get a feel for the connection between uke's and nage's centers, and then be able to affect uke's center.
Thanks, cool. Sounds like what I was talking about.

Quote:
Franco Cuminato wrote: View Post
Somebody asked "what if uke's grab is limp?" and Mike's answer was along the lines of "then I step on their foot".
Even for slow 'static' interactions, there has to be an attack. A lot of times for us, that 'attack' is just uke trying to get into nage's spine through the limb(s). Even in this context, someone has to be attacking. If uke isn't going to attack, nage might as well do it!

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Old 02-11-2008, 03:45 PM   #48
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Workshop with Mike Sigman on Ki in Aikido

In the context of the exercises he presented, I would be hesitant personally to even use the word "attack", or even consider them in the context of "martial". they were simply exercises to develop certain physical responses.

It could have been Alexander Technique, Yoga, or a multitude of other things.

You could do this stuff and never even become "martial".

I think this is the challenge you face when coupling it with martial training. We immediately want to get to the martial.

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Old 02-11-2008, 03:49 PM   #49
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Re: Workshop with Mike Sigman on Ki in Aikido

Sorry, I was probably using the term "attack" a bit too broadly. You could substitute the word "connection" if you prefer.

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Old 02-11-2008, 03:56 PM   #50
Robert Wolfe
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Re: Workshop with Mike Sigman on Ki in Aikido

Kevin,

That's it, exactly. My earlier post was incomplete. What I was trying to say is that we expect a lot of different things from uke -- some things are vastly different depending on the context, some might even be apparently contradictory, but optimal training depends on uke being up to whatever is needed.

I believe Mike also mentioned at least once something along the lines of, "Training isn't fighting."

-- Bob
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