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Old 02-20-2008, 01:35 PM   #1
Timothy WK
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Internal-Aiki.com, a new forum for discussing all the "internal" stuff

I have opened up a new web forum specifically for discussing "internal" training and the aiki arts, Internal-Aiki.com. At the moment it's pretty empty, but you have to start somewhere.

Below is my intro to the site. You can read more about it [here].

Quote:
Internal-Aiki.com wrote:
Over the last few years, a fascinating discussion has developed in the aiki community about the very nature of "aiki" itself. This discussion has linked the mysterious power of such greats as Sokaku Takeda, Morihei Ueshiba, Horikawa Kodo, and Yukiyoshi Sagawa with the type of "internal" body mechanics typically associated with Chinese arts such as Tai Chi Chuan, Xingyiquan and Baguazhang. Though this idea was initially received with a fair amount of skepticism, an increasing number of practitioners are coming to view these body skills as the critical missing link between today's aiki practice and the much-sought-after abilities of our aiki forefathers.

As such, I believe the discussion has entered a new stage. No longer must proponents always argue for the existence of these abilities, or explain how these body mechanics differ from those the general public is familiar with. Rather, there is a growing movement among students of the aiki arts to seek out individuals who can demonstrate these abilities, and when possible, to begin training in them as well.

But despite the excitement surrounding this movement, the task to acquire these skills have been difficult for many. Due to the unfortunate rarity of qualified teachers, many individuals are forced to train at a distance, meeting up with teachers at seminars or on a personal basis a few times a year. But even when individuals are able to find experts in their own local area, many times these teachers are practitioners of non-aiki arts, leaving the individual with the task of incorporating these newly-learned skills and training methods into their pre-existing aiki-curriculum.

So with this all in mind, I have opened Internal Aiki. I hope it can be a place where those studying internal skills can discuss their training experiences, and where curious individuals can receive quality information on this type of practice.

--Timothy Kleinert

Aikido & Wujifa qigongs
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Old 02-20-2008, 01:38 PM   #2
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Internal-Aiki.com, a new forum for discussing all the "internal" stuff

Good Job! and best of luck.

Ron (I'll stop by soon)

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Old 02-20-2008, 02:03 PM   #3
Stephen Kotev
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Re: Internal-Aiki.com, a new forum for discussing all the "internal" stuff

No offense intended but can't we have those conversations here?

Stephen
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Old 02-20-2008, 02:22 PM   #4
MM
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Re: Internal-Aiki.com, a new forum for discussing all the "internal" stuff

Quote:
Stephen Kotev wrote: View Post
No offense intended but can't we have those conversations here?

Stephen
As Ron noted and I agree, "I am so tired of the bickering on the internal stuff on the net." Hopefully, Timothy can remedy that on the new forum. Plus, this stuff is relegated to the "Non-aikido" forum, so a new place might work better and create more harmony here on AikiWeb. It might be a win-win for all of us.

Mark
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Old 02-20-2008, 02:25 PM   #5
Cady Goldfield
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Re: Internal-Aiki.com, a new forum for discussing all the "internal" stuff

Now you just have to chum the waters or throw some bear bait over there to attract the Dans, Mikes and Arks of the world.
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Old 02-20-2008, 02:27 PM   #6
Stephen Kotev
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Re: Internal-Aiki.com, a new forum for discussing all the "internal" stuff

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
As Ron noted and I agree, "I am so tired of the bickering on the internal stuff on the net." Hopefully, Timothy can remedy that on the new forum. Plus, this stuff is relegated to the "Non-aikido" forum, so a new place might work better and create more harmony here on AikiWeb. It might be a win-win for all of us.

Mark
I totally follow you on this but it also becomes another place to check during the day. I think that regardless of the bickering the discussion of internal skills is of great value to Aikido.
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Old 02-20-2008, 02:56 PM   #7
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Internal-Aiki.com, a new forum for discussing all the "internal" stuff

I agree with you Stephen, to at least some extent. But there are some realities:

1) This is Jun's house

2) I believe (and I'm sure he'll correct me if I'm wrong) he desires to cast a wide net...allowing space for the whole aikido community.

3) Sometimes our discussions cause some friction with established elements in that community.

4) Thus his idea of a seperate section.

5) Refer to number 1

So...if some of us wish a home to discuss some of these elements without the proselytizing, backbiting, nay saying, etc.etc...

It's up to us to create it, or find appropriate places for it. Nothing wrong with that. Just the way it is.

Personally, I think Jun hosts a fantastic site, and is EXTREMELY tolerent. I'd have kicked my butt off years ago.

Best,
Ron

Last edited by Ron Tisdale : 02-20-2008 at 03:00 PM.

Ron Tisdale
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Old 02-20-2008, 03:30 PM   #8
Aikibu
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Re: Internal-Aiki.com, a new forum for discussing all the "internal" stuff

I signed up. It would be good to have an Aiki forum.

WIlliam Hazen
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Old 02-20-2008, 03:37 PM   #9
Timothy WK
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Re: Internal-Aiki.com, a new forum for discussing all the "internal" stuff

Mark and Ron laid out the primary reasons for a new site. I agree with you, Stephen, that despite the bickering, the discussion still has value for the folks here at AikiWeb. But as I said in my intro, there are more and more people trying to learn this stuff long-distance. Thus, it's becoming more critical for folks to be able to find quality info on the web. The bickering and constant re-treading of old ground makes it difficult for folks to do that.

And I don't see this as some sort of conflict with AikiWeb (or any of the other popular Aikido sites). I like AikiWeb, I plan on continuing to check in here, and I'm sure others will too.

--Timothy Kleinert

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Old 02-20-2008, 03:42 PM   #10
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Internal-Aiki.com, a new forum for discussing all the "internal" stuff

Sounds good. I hate to have one more place to go, and I think the discussions could take place here. I do see how some might view the conversations as being too polarized and proselytizing in nature since we have a largely traditional and established community here that represents the whole of aikido.

As the conversations seem to get heated and somewhat divisive in nature, it might be best to move them to another site.

I'd love to see more people get on board of course, however, sometimes you have to wonder if you are attracting people or pushing them away!

I'd hate to be a part of the problem.

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Old 02-20-2008, 03:50 PM   #11
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Re: Internal-Aiki.com, a new forum for discussing all the "internal" stuff

Hi Timothy,

I wish you all the best for your new website! I hope it proves to create a successful and thriving community.

Best,

-- Jun

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Old 02-20-2008, 05:33 PM   #12
Mike Sigman
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Re: Internal-Aiki.com, a new forum for discussing all the "internal" stuff

It's a pretty interesting discussion and it brings up a number of points worth discussing (in whatever forum):

Quote:
TWK wrote:
Rather, there is a growing movement among students of the aiki arts to seek out individuals who can demonstrate these abilities, and when possible, to begin training in them as well.

But despite the excitement surrounding this movement, the task to acquire these skills have been difficult for many. Due to the unfortunate rarity of qualified teachers, many individuals are forced to train at a distance, meeting up with teachers at seminars or on a personal basis a few times a year. But even when individuals are able to find experts in their own local area, many times these teachers are practitioners of non-aiki arts, leaving the individual with the task of incorporating these newly-learned skills and training methods into their pre-existing aiki-curriculum.
I'd make the comment that others have made before: a number of the big "names" in Aikido went "outside" to get their ki/kokyu knowledge and skills. Tohei, Abe, and many more. Also, since it takes some time to cultivate the skills, my opinion is that if someone is given a reasonable entre' of understanding and practice methods, they shouldn't need a full-time instructor; they mainly need to put in the time/effort. Remember comments by Ueshiba M. and Tohei K. to the effect that they developed their skills over many years... as a long-time work.
Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
I agree with you Stephen, to at least some extent. But there are some realities:

1) This is Jun's house

2) I believe (and I'm sure he'll correct me if I'm wrong) he desires to cast a wide net...allowing space for the whole aikido community.

3) Sometimes our discussions cause some friction with established elements in that community.
I think the fact that ki/kokyu skills "cause some friction" is a problem, but not necessarily a problem that points to the people having the discussions. That ki/kokyu skills are part of Aikido is pretty well documented. That a lot of senior people in Aikido don't have those skills is probably the real problem. But I mentioned that looming problem a few years ago and frankly, I don't see any easy way around it.
Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Sounds good. I hate to have one more place to go, and I think the discussions could take place here. I do see how some might view the conversations as being too polarized and proselytizing in nature since we have a largely traditional and established community here that represents the whole of aikido.
Does the "traditional and established community here" really represent the whole of Aikido? I dunno. I recently used a quote from Inaba Sensei about what "aiki" is and I also used a quote from Ueshiba Sensei about a defining usage of "the secret of aikido". Yet I'd bet that very few in the "traditional and established community here" could substantively demonstrate these fairly obvious factors in Aikido proper. In other words, I'm not sure that the default definition about who is an "outside" and who is "traditional" is really true. It's a topic that merits some mainstream debate, IMO.

The fact that such a debate is relegated to a "non-Aikido" forum on this website says a lot about the "traditional and established community" and the size of the problem (and how long it has been growing). My personal opinion is that only a few people (comparatively) in the at-large and "independent" Aikido groups will initially begin to move. There needs to be freer discussions and perhaps Tim's attempt will be successful, over time. In the meantime, as has been noted, there are a growing number of people who have grasped the logic and who are moving forward.

Just to keep all of this in perspective, let me note that in reality there have been practitioners for many years who have acquired some aspects of these skills and who have been working apart from the "established Aikido community". Some of them for 20-30 years. What's happening now is that a broader access to the basic skills is creating an increasing number of people who are interested in developing these core Aikido skills and the main groups may not be able to keep this many people quietly muffled to the side with "oh.. ki... yeah, we already do that, too". It's going to get embarrassingly obvious who really does and who does not, fairly soon. But while that happens, I think sometime we need to recognize the tiny few independents that actually already had some skills and who quietly avoided any conflict and simply worked on their Aikido.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Last edited by Mike Sigman : 02-20-2008 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 02-20-2008, 06:11 PM   #13
eyrie
 
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Re: Internal-Aiki.com, a new forum for discussing all the "internal" stuff

Just a couple of points:

1. Jun has done a wonderful "aiki" thing for the aikido community by creating an online community which I believe lives up to its slogan of "serving the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information". This has been a decade long in the making and, I am sure, has not been an easy one for Jun.

2. Whilst outgrowth is sometimes necessary and inevitable, I think it is rather bad form to post a thread that draws people away from the very community which fostered its growth. If you're going to do that, then at least make the invitation by PM to the select few.

3. Conflict is an inevitable fact of life. I have not yet encountered a family or community (on-line or off) , where its members did not bicker, hurl invectives and insults or even come to blows. Whilst I do empathize with how others might feel over the constant bickering and personal insults, I agree with Stephen - it's another place to check in and spend time..

4. OTOH, I can also appreciate your frustrations with the noise to information ratio. I think people can and will do one of two things - leave OR ignore the noise - i.e. avoid it or learn to deal with it. I would consider it a different aspect of "training". Sometimes the noise can be a good thing. Other times it can dampen productive discussion. It's up to individual members to do what is necessary to restore balance. And there's always that "ignore button"... virtual, physical or otherwise...

5. There are several existing forums which deal with internal strength and the internal arts. At least one non-sectarian forum exists which deals with the topic in a more in-depth and open manner, to which a few of us here are already subscribed. I don't think it's that hard to get a personal invite to this forum - you just need to ask the right people... to "get your foot in the door".

In closing, I would like to echo Jun's best wishes that Internal-Aiki.com can create a successful and thriving community, and that it can attract the sort of people necessary for its continued growth. There's a lot more to it than just "building it and (hoping) they will come".

Ignatius
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Old 02-21-2008, 09:40 AM   #14
ChrisMoses
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Re: Internal-Aiki.com, a new forum for discussing all the "internal" stuff

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
Now you just have to chum the waters or throw some bear bait over there to attract the Dans, Mikes and Arks of the world.
Somehow, I doubt that's going to be a problem...

I think it's a good idea. One of the biggest problems I have with 'these' discussions on aikiweb is that they always seem to deteriorate into an argument that this line of study is worthwhile/different/you-have-to-feel-it. It gets very tiring if you know that's where it's eventually going to go. I call it, "The Curse of the Baseline Skillset Thread!" Always reminds me of the end of "Time Bandits" where the kid yells, "Mum, Dad, don't touch it, it's EVILLL!"

I know a lot of folks in these threads are also over on Qijin, but I'm more interested in internal skills specifically WRT aiki arts, not in and of themselves. I'm hopeful for the new forum, and honestly think Aikiweb may be the better for it too.

Chris Moses
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Old 02-21-2008, 10:25 AM   #15
Cady Goldfield
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Re: Internal-Aiki.com, a new forum for discussing all the "internal" stuff

Great scene from "Time Bandits," Chris. The seething, oozing black thing in the toaster oven. Then "fireman" Sean Connery's conspiratorial wink. The perfect ending. Unlike most of these aiki-related threads!
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Old 02-21-2008, 12:20 PM   #16
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Internal-Aiki.com, a new forum for discussing all the "internal" stuff

Quote:
Timothy Walters Kleinert wrote: View Post
I have opened up a new web forum specifically for discussing "internal" training and the aiki arts, Internal-Aiki.com. At the moment it's pretty empty, but you have to start somewhere.

Below is my intro to the site. You can read more about it [here].
Good luck! I do have one observation and hope you will take it in the spirit intended:
Quote:
Internal-Aiki forum: wrote:
... there have yet to be any scientific studies on the phenomenon.

For discussion on this forum, there is one definition that all participants MUST adhere to:

Internal movement is different.

It is different from modern western sports science. ... We can still argue about what exactly is behind internal movement (specific biomechanical processes, mystical energy, etc.), but as moderator, I will not tolerate any discussion that argues or otherwise implies that internal movement is simply "regular" body mechanics.
There are scientific studies of "regular" body mechanics, (which are, in fact, weirder physically than one may assume from perception or a generally intuited model of those mechanics). You acknowledge that there are NOT similarly done studies of these things that you contend are NOT "regular mechanics. As a result, you are making an unsupported conclusion, in advance of those objectively determined facts, that these things are NOT "regular" body mechanics.

This is simply to suggest to you that foreclosing that body of available knowledge may not help your inquiry. If you tried instead to to falsify such studies that are available, you may actually SHOW that the things you are observing are in fact "different" and CANNOT be "regular" body mechanics -- if it can be shown. Then you would be doing much to contrast the two and therefore doing much to actually illuminate the object of your study. Or, conversely, you might actually end up providing corroboration of the hypothesis that it is not, in fact, different. Which of those conclusions is more likely correct cannot be rationally judged at this point without doing that work.

I wish you well in the effort, and again, I hope this criticism is taken constructively as it is intended.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 02-21-2008, 04:20 PM   #17
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Internal-Aiki.com, a new forum for discussing all the "internal" stuff

I would contend that they are regular body mechanics from my short experience.

However regular people have not figured out how to do seemingly very simple things efficiently with those mechanics.

Once I saw and felt someone move very efficiently, transferring energy from the ground through a very focused point of contact, it makes sense. Nothing unusual or irregular about it. I am sure you could explain it all with physics if you took the time.

Problem is, at least with me, is that my mind, body, reactions, and proprioceptions all get in the way of that happening. Removing those things is what I am working on now, so I can do those regular body movements.

check out these two guys for some regular body movements that I also cannot do!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcUF3vGgwNc

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Old 02-21-2008, 04:46 PM   #18
Mike Sigman
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Re: Internal-Aiki.com, a new forum for discussing all the "internal" stuff

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I would contend that they are regular body mechanics from my short experience.

However regular people have not figured out how to do seemingly very simple things efficiently with those mechanics.

Once I saw and felt someone move very efficiently, transferring energy from the ground through a very focused point of contact, it makes sense. Nothing unusual or irregular about it. I am sure you could explain it all with physics if you took the time.
Absolutely. I've said that myself, many times. Now how about that emitted ki qigong? What do you think about that? You have to understand that it's actually a part of the same phenomenon, although I'd have to talk a while to make it clear (which I ain't a-gonna do, because it's way ahead of where the discussions are).
Quote:
Problem is, at least with me, is that my mind, body, reactions, and proprioceptions all get in the way of that happening. Removing those things is what I am working on now, so I can do those regular body movements.
Can't ask for more than that. Don't you wish you'd known about this stuff a long time ago?

Best.

Mike
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Old 02-22-2008, 07:08 AM   #19
Timothy WK
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Re: Internal-Aiki.com, a new forum for discussing all the "internal" stuff

The topic of whether the internal stuff is "natural" or unnatural", "regular" or "different" has been covered in the past... I'm pretty sure more than once. (It is "natural"/"regular" in so far as that everyone has the capacity for it, but "unnatural"/"different" in that it is a learned skill that is d@mn-hard to figure out without someone showing you how.)

It is simply a constraint of the new forum. I, along with many others, believe the internal stuff is based on "alternative" body mechanics to what the general public is used to. That is simply the viewpoint the new forum is interested in purposing.

--Timothy Kleinert

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Old 02-22-2008, 03:34 PM   #20
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Internal-Aiki.com, a new forum for discussing all the "internal" stuff

Quote:
Timothy Walters Kleinert wrote: View Post
The topic of whether the internal stuff is "natural" or unnatural", "regular" or "different" has been covered in the past... I'm pretty sure more than once. (It is "natural"/"regular" in so far as that everyone has the capacity for it, but "unnatural"/"different" in that it is a learned skill that is d@mn-hard to figure out without someone showing you how.)
Standing erect is a learned skill -- so is walking. Most of us figured those out without a great deal of directed training, just passive observation, trial and error. If -- and I'll just continue with hypothetical mode -- if the learning model you are suggesting is true, then the mere fact that it is a learned skill is not that informative.

A better learned skill model for comparison along the lines of what you are thinking may be swimming. There are, in fact, large proportions of people who do not swim at all, do so only haltingly, or with what amounts to a life-threatening lack of efficiency. And there are others, like me, for whom swimming is as "natural" as the learned skill of walking. Not that different in pattern of distribution in the population from the possession of martial physical efficiency.

Swimming, like martial art, is a critical survival skill. If it is not internalized and made intuitive it cannot be reliably effective in survival situations. I have had to teach adults who never learned to swim, how to swim, not merely for enjoyment, but in highly compromised survival situations. It was my introduction to the critical observation of bio-mechanics in what, to the people I was relating it to, often seemed counter-intuitive.

It was and remains important for people to learn from what they already know. The more you emphasize the differences in what is being taught from what they know, the more you divorce their new learning from the existing intuitive foundation that is necessary to make it function effectively. In teaching swimming, mere trial and error does not work -- or at least, not past one serious error that, at best, will destroy the trust of water needed to swim well. Nor did it work trying to directly "reconstruct" their mechanics based solely on an experienced impression of well-developed swimming motions. That typically confused existing "natural" actions and resulted, literally, in floundering.

It required, not merely a baseline understanding of fundamental "not drowning" to accomplish - but a "feel" for water, its nature and the ways in which the body CAN move in it. Negative reactivity of any kind impeded the development of the necessary "feel" of actual water and movement in it. In transitioning to the more efficient true swimming, it was vitally important to show the connections between what their bodies already knew to do and had done, and what their bodies needed to learn to do in the same intuitive manner -- if in a somewhat altered way. I find much of value in that experience. I have applied a great deal of what I learned to my aikido training and observing martial movements.

In short, for body skills on this order -- if you accept that efficient swimming and aiki are of the same order of developable body skill -- (apart from natural prodigies) there is no short circuit in the development of such skills apart from recapitulating the essential rudiments from which they are derived, and then following from those steadily along a slightly different but organically related evolution.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 02-22-2008 at 03:36 PM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 02-23-2008, 03:13 AM   #21
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Re: Internal-Aiki.com, a new forum for discussing all the "internal" stuff

Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote: View Post
I wish you all the best for your new website! I hope it proves to create a successful and thriving community.
Osu,
You are just class my friend and a most excellent host.
Rei, Domo.

Lynn Seiser PhD
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Old 02-25-2008, 08:19 AM   #22
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Internal-Aiki.com, a new forum for discussing all the "internal" stuff

Quote:
there is no short circuit in the development of such skills
Ah, who said ANYTHING WHAT SO EVER about a "short circuit"?

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:13 AM   #23
TomW
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Re: Internal-Aiki.com, a new forum for discussing all the "internal" stuff

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
In short, for body skills on this order -- if you accept that efficient swimming and aiki are of the same order of developable body skill -- (apart from natural prodigies) there is no short circuit in the development of such skills apart from recapitulating the essential rudiments from which they are derived, and then following from those steadily along a slightly different but organically related evolution.
Yes, but you and I both, at some point, had to be taught the essential rudiments of swimming since, as you pointed out, they are initially counter intuitive.

Some one on the internet can tell you they can swim, explain the fundamental movements, the fluid mechanics, buoyancy, etc., but until you actually see them swim, you really won't know if or how well they can.

Just some food for thought.

Tom Wharton

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Old 02-25-2008, 04:41 PM   #24
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
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Re: Internal-Aiki.com, a new forum for discussing all the "internal" stuff

There is also a huge difference in being able to swim as defined by being able to keep yourself afloat in water that is over your head and to do laps at the local pool...and being a world class athlete.

I am betting world class athletes share in many of the same kinesology, "extension/projection", and body mechanics that we talk about here.

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Old 02-25-2008, 04:51 PM   #25
Mike Sigman
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Re: Internal-Aiki.com, a new forum for discussing all the "internal" stuff

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I am betting world class athletes share in many of the same kinesology, "extension/projection", and body mechanics that we talk about here.
Hi Kevin:

How much are you willing to bet? I'll take any amount you want to offer. I've been doing these things a while and I think it's fairly easy to make some big bucks. As I hear it, if I had your money I could throw my money away. So I'd like to have it.

Best.

Mike
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