Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > General

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old 02-26-2008, 04:22 PM   #51
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,761
United_States
Offline
Re: why focus on internal power

If you don't train for "internal power" (by some definition), that doesn't mean you train for fighting or aggression. The persistence of this false dichotomy is very unfortunate.
 
Old 02-26-2008, 04:25 PM   #52
Cady Goldfield
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 875
United_States
Offline
Re: why focus on internal power

Ueshiba realized that internal body skills (in addition to the mental training) made him able to truly "Stop the Spear" -- the very essence of the Budo, and the acknowledgement that internal power makes one capable of -not- fighting or being aggressive.
 
Old 02-26-2008, 04:39 PM   #53
John Connolly
Dojo: NYC Icho Ryu
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 80
United_States
Offline
Re: why focus on internal power

Mary,

I don't believe that anyone has stated that not training for internal power means you are training for aggressive response or fighting.

I think what many people are saying is that with internal power, you can better make the choice to be aggressive or gentle.

I think you can do that without internal power development too. However, I also believe that the capacity to not harm one's attacker in a self-defense scenario is commensurate with one's personal ability/strength (however defined).

Last edited by John Connolly : 02-26-2008 at 04:48 PM. Reason: repetition of "also"

 
Old 02-26-2008, 05:13 PM   #54
Aikibu
Dojo: West Wind Dojo Santa Monica California
Location: Malibu, California
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,295
United_States
Offline
Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
John Connolly wrote: View Post
I'd be fine with it being moved, if all references previous on the same topic would also be moved. This is not a statement made in a vacuum. I was responding to the previously posted assertions about power, internal or otherwise, intrinsic in pacifism.
As was I... However to illustrate the logical fallacy of comparing two seperate historical groups as a rational proof using the above mentioned analogies may require a bit of time and digital space and it may not apply to the thread discussion.

I would welcome anyone who wishes to proof this rational argument using the referanced historical anologies.

William Hazen
 
Old 02-26-2008, 05:31 PM   #55
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,761
United_States
Offline
Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
John Connolly wrote: View Post
Mary,

I don't believe that anyone has stated that not training for internal power means you are training for aggressive response or fighting.

I think what many people are saying is that with internal power, you can better make the choice to be aggressive or gentle.
Maybe so. What I'm not so sure is that people understand the different possible meanings of "not training for internal power", and the differences between a non-goal and an anti-goal.
 
Old 02-26-2008, 09:07 PM   #56
George S. Ledyard
 
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,631
Offline
Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
It was because Ueshiba had internal power skills that he could espouse a philosophy of peace (as Rob pointed out). When he realized what it made the body capable of doing without having to resort to "waza," he could just stand there and let his attackers harmlessly bounce off him, or he could choose to do something else with it, expressing it outwardly through whatever techniques he chose to "make happen" -- which were invariably more powerful than technique effected without an internal "force" behind them. The thing is, the internal skills gave him a choice.

Old saying: We bargain from a position of strength, not from one of weakness. We're not in a position to bargain for anything, only to beg for mercy, when someone else's boot is on our throat!

This sounds harsh, but it's Nature, and is true whether talking about a physical confrontation, or a business deal. You have to have an edge; having power -- whether it's physical power, legal power, financial power or psychological/emotional manipulation power -- is that edge, though the latter three apply mainly to society and culture more than to the "Law of the Jungle."
Cady,
Look, this position is fine and can be justified by looking at normal reality. On some level the majority of people might very well accept some or part of this world view.

But O-Sensei fundamentally did not accept this view. In fact he outright stated in many places that this type of world view leads to destruction. I am not saying you are wrong... I am simply stating that O-Sensei did not believe this to be true and he created Aikido specifically to give us an alternative to this type of thinking. If you belive this is true then Aikido is not the art for you...

Can you do Aikido without buying into O-Sensei's vision? Sure you can. But why would you want to? If that is the world I am living in, then I would do a combat art of some sort. Why in the world would anyone who believes that its all about prevailing over others, that its really about the Law of the Jungle, why would anyone pick Aikido to do? If that's what I believed, I'd call up Ellis Amdur Sensei and ask him to accept me back into the Araki Ryu. That's an art that fits that world view perfectly... that's the precise environment in which it evolved.

O-Sensei had a fundamentally different view. He specifically outlined a "new budo" that was completely different than this in orientation. I can't see any reason one would wish to do Aikido if it wasn't to try to understand his vision... There are certainly styles of Aikido which are not directly concerned with O-Sensei's spiritual ideals. But to the extent that one believes that they are more martial, more geared to towards real confrontation, one has to ask why choose them? Wouldn't some other style be more effective? Wouldn't a focus on weapons training be more realistic since combat has been about weapons since the first cave man bashed someone with a rock? If it's really about fighting, then I ask why Aikido at all?

Quote:
Chris,
"Meek" doesn't necessarily imply "weak," however, the kind of "internal power" you and Jen, and George, are talking about is not the internal power being discussed in the threads that perplexed Mary Eastland and caused her to open this thread.
I am quite aware what kind of internal power is being discussed. If I gave the impression that I thought that the power of the non-violent activists I mentioned earlier was of the same sort, then I apologize for being unclear.

Quote:
It was because Ueshiba had internal power skills that he could espouse a philosophy of peace (as Rob pointed out)
What I meant to say was that there is no essential connection between his having internal power skills and his espousal of a philosophy of peace. There are plenty of people who attained great internal power and did not espouse this view at all and there are plenty of people, some of whom I referred to, who did not have any internal power of the type we are discussing and did choose a non-violent, philosophy of peace as their path.

Internal power is the product of proper training, which I believe Rob, Mike, and Dan have all stated on numerous occasions. Basically, internal power is value neutral, it is a skill but could be used for good or evil. I believe that this was one of the reasons O-Sensei said he didn't want outsiders seeing his art, for fear it would be misused. It is "style neutral" as well in that, as Akuzawa points out, developing these skills will make any martial art more effective.

Aikido as an art requires a kind of letting go of the mind of conflict. I think that Mary, quite correctly in my opinion, was commenting on the fact that these discussions about internal power, while valuable from a certain standpoint, also show that the "mind of conflict" is alive and well in posters from all sides of the debate. While this might be just fine for those folks partaking in these discussions who are not Aikido people, since they never made any protestations about all this peace and love stuff anyway, it certainly shows an issue with many folks vision of what their Aikido is about.

I take the gist of Mary's post as being that, internal power or no internal power, if it isn't about somehow dealing with our own "mind of conflict" than it isn't what she wants from Aikido. I would say that this would have been O-Sensei's position... The art is about fundamentally altering the way in which you see yourself and everyone around you. It isn't about fighting; it's about not even having an enemy...

Don't try to put me in the "non-believer" category on this... I am firmly of the belief that this is important. I've trained, far too briefly, with Mike S and am in awe of his skills. When Akuzawa Sensei cam to Seattle, the seminar was held at my dojo and I had a great, but painful, time with Ark and Rob. These guys are incredible, and as I stated before, are better at what they do than 99% of the Aikido folks one would encounter.

But I am stating that "internal skills" aside, Aikido is a different kettle of fish and that one doesn't understand it as an art simply because one has mastered these skills. On the other hand, without some understanding of these skills, I don't think one can say that ones Aikido has much depth, regardless of what else one can do.

Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 02-26-2008 at 09:10 PM.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
 
Old 02-26-2008, 09:43 PM   #57
Cady Goldfield
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 875
United_States
Offline
Re: why focus on internal power

George, Ueshiba ultimately was able to form his world view and espouse peace and harmony BECAUSE he had the physical skills and power, not in spite of or in rejection of them. Those skills allowed him to be peaceful BY CHOICE, not because meekness was forced on him because he was unable to physically defend himself.

If anything, internal conditioning skills allowed him to show how physical power could be used in a way that did not harm an attacker, but kept the attacker from harming him.

Ueshiba also seemed quite pleased and to have no depletion of glee in that physical power, or demonstrating it, as an elderly man. That is pretty evident in all of those YouTube videos of Ueshiba bouncing big, young men off his chest, knee or shoulder, and all that good stuff.
 
Old 02-27-2008, 05:47 AM   #58
Kevin Leavitt
 
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Stuttgart, Baden Wurttemberg
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
Germany
Offline
Re: why focus on internal power

Cady,

Your position and choice of words is starting to head down a path of fundamentalist thinking, IMO.

I would agree that Ueshiba was able to effectively demonstrate the viability of aikido because of choice.

I think it becomes fundamentalist when you unequivocially state HOW he was able to demonstrate that.

I am not saying that he did not demonstrate or use internal skills to do this.

First, how would you know what he used, or what he felt like? Did you study with him?

Second, At what level of development or experience are you speaking from that allows you to pass judgement on what he is doing?

What I mean by that is this. Is it theory or assumption that you base your conclusions on? Or have you formed a hypothesis, and have developed a set of parameters and conditions upon which you can demonstrate or replicate what you think O'Sensei did?

If not, then you are basing your conclusion about what is going on by transpostion. That is, through the experiences or conclusions of others. That is, you are operating from a position based on faith that this is indeed what is going on, and then saying "I Know".

To me, this is fundamentalist thinking at it's best, and it can be dangerous to the yourself, society, and the art.

It represents, IMO, the kind of example that Mike Sigman was talking about when he was concerned about handing this out to "the wrong people".

That is, taking a little knowledge, and extrapolating it into something else before you possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities to do so.

This can happen intentionally or unintentionally.

Anyway, not trying to slam you in anyway, just think you should look carefully at the logic you are submitting in many cases to support your arguments.

I think George Ledyard and William Hazen bring up some good points worth looking at deeply.

I'd also offer this to your last post.

I can demonstrate or replicate the same endstate that Ueshiba had, based on your premise/definition with a handgun. I can have great power and CHOOSE to not use it and deal from a position of compassion.

I think the endstate of understanding that Choice or making compassionate choices is really the goal of aikido. I don't think Ueshiba, assuming that he had truely internalized his message, cared how we reached that point of enlightment, as long as we did.

He simply used aikido as a methodology or an allegory to do so.

Did he use internal skills? I am sure he did! He certainly reached out to a bunch of people and continues to do so today!

I'd also offer this as a lesson I am learning more and more importantly everyday.

He intended, I believe, that we would "Make Aikido our own". That is, that is becomes a personal journey and we should study it hard, and interpret it for ourselves. That is, to obtain the experiences through our studies and figure out how they open the doors to new information, knowledge, and wisdom. bettter yet, Open our Hearts.

To say things like "I know this is the right way". "I know this is how he did it", "You don't know" "He did not use this or that" is dissappointing and discouraging to me.

It means the same thing as "There is only one way!"

It is counter to "Open your heart", "Make Aikido your own", "Aikido can encompass all....".

The endstate of the art to me is much more important than the path.

Just somethings to think about!

 
Old 02-27-2008, 07:30 AM   #59
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
First, how would you know what he used, or what he felt like? Did you study with him?

Second, At what level of development or experience are you speaking from that allows you to pass judgement on what he is doing?

What I mean by that is this. Is it theory or assumption that you base your conclusions on? Or have you formed a hypothesis, and have developed a set of parameters and conditions upon which you can demonstrate or replicate what you think O'Sensei did?

If not, then you are basing your conclusion about what is going on by transposition. That is, through the experiences or conclusions of others. That is, you are operating from a position based on faith that this is indeed what is going on, and then saying "I Know".

To me, this is fundamentalist thinking at it's best, and it can be dangerous to the yourself, society, and the art.

It represents, IMO, the kind of example that Mike Sigman was talking about when he was concerned about handing this out to "the wrong people".
I'm not Cady and I'm neither one way or another on the philosophical worry about peace coming through force... but I hate to miss a good argument.

Couple of things. Cady doesn't need to be there to actually see on film a number of the things Ueshiba was doing. One thing Ueshiba, Tohei and others did was to use a lot of standard, Asia-wide "ki demonstrations" showing they couldn't be pushed over, unbendable arm, same general store-and-release methods of power, and so on. All the while talking about ki and kokyu power. Unless you want to hypothesize that Ueshiba, Tohei, and others are and were doing the same demonstrations with some different mode of power (trust me, that would be an absurd position to take), then you should give Cady credit for stating the obvious, *if* you've got a vague idea how these demos/tricks worked. And now you do.

Secondly, Ueshiba's Douka and writings refer to the same Yin-Yang cosmology that is used by the Chinese, even though it's sort of artlessly dressed up as "Shintoism", in some respects. The religion he used derives from Vajrayana Buddhism and even uses the same hand gestures and other rituals (and undoubtedly, training methods) within it. The cosmology referring to "harmony with the universe" means harmony with the physical laws of the universe. If you grab me, Kevin, and I use my mentally-directed ki/jin to add to your push (in a simple example), thus moving you away, then your own attack took you away because of aiki. We "blended", but in the refined sense. This is the type of ki usage that gives the old meaning of "harmony with the universe".... not a peace and love meaning. At a well-trained, higher level, any attack by an opponent is simply blended with via "aiki" and thus it becomes impossible for an opponent to really attack. Theoretically. But you should be able to extrapolate that now.

I think many of the western "peace and love" and "Ueshiba was about harmony" are taking a small part of the things he said late in life and blowing them out of proportion. Either that, or their are a *lot* of the original Uchi-Deshi who missed the point that some westerners think they see, if you look at the actions and words of the deshi.

Generally, I don't disagree with Cady, although I've never seen what she can do (puportedly, she's going to throw me around like a red-headed step-child if we ever meet!). My comment about this thread is that no one I've heard argue the peace and harmony routine has ever had full support for that thesis, but Cady's general argument can be pretty well supported by the available films, etc., of and by O-Sensei.

YMMV

Mike
 
Old 02-27-2008, 08:29 AM   #60
Cady Goldfield
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 875
United_States
Offline
Re: why focus on internal power

Kevin,
My posts addressed the nature of physical power, how it influences mental-emotional-spiritual power, and how it functions and serves "real world" application.

I'm surprised that you, as a military man, would be able to disassociate yourself from what you surely know to be true about the nature of power, to the point that you wouldn't apply that understanding to Ueshiba.

As for my ability to assess what I observe, I'd say that Mike has touched on it closely enough. In addition to that, I once spent some years in academe studying human/primate social behavior and power dynamics, as part of a larger study of primate evolutionary ecology. Gotta say that you can learn a lot about the nature (human and otherwise) of power and benevolence in that field.
 
Old 02-27-2008, 08:31 AM   #61
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,761
United_States
Offline
Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Aikido as an art requires a kind of letting go of the mind of conflict. I think that Mary, quite correctly in my opinion, was commenting on the fact that these discussions about internal power, while valuable from a certain standpoint, also show that the "mind of conflict" is alive and well in posters from all sides of the debate. While this might be just fine for those folks partaking in these discussions who are not Aikido people, since they never made any protestations about all this peace and love stuff anyway, it certainly shows an issue with many folks vision of what their Aikido is about.

I take the gist of Mary's post as being that, internal power or no internal power, if it isn't about somehow dealing with our own "mind of conflict" than it isn't what she wants from Aikido. I would say that this would have been O-Sensei's position... The art is about fundamentally altering the way in which you see yourself and everyone around you. It isn't about fighting; it's about not even having an enemy....
I try to approach aikido as I try to approach most other things in life these days: by removing as many of my filters as I possibly can (or at least being aware of them), and so trying to see what it actually is, rather than what my hopes or fears might make it. I think this has a lot to do with why I'm still training.

When I first started martial arts (taekwondo, back in 1990), I wasn't looking for self-discipline or a character-building experience or a peaceful spirit or the ability to kill the neighborhood drug lord with my bare hands. All I wanted was a form of exercise that wouldn't bore me into quitting. Other students started training at the same time I did, with various hopes and expectations -- of a spiritual breakthrough, of developing amazing physical skills in no time, of the rest of their life somehow falling into place around the seed crystal of martial arts training. I don't think it any coincidence that a year later, I was the only one still training.

The irony is that while I hadn't expected the kind of transformations my fellow beginners had hoped for, I nevertheless found them happening. They just happened in smaller and subtler ways, and much more gradually, than those who look for them are expecting. Physical changes happened, but also mental changes, life changes, and -- dare I say it -- spiritual changes too. I believe they happened through the alchemy that turns persistent practice into a form of gold, in which something is revealed that is beyond what you might expect. The exhausted mind isn't necessarily a peaceful mind, but the mind made quiet by the need to focus on one simple thing, combined with the body that is tired by honest effort, certainly provides the most important ingredients for being a restful, tranquil person. That personal, within-one's-own-body tranquility is peacefulness in its most atomic form. If individuals don't understand that peacefulness, can a larger peace even be possible? Fra Giovanni Giocondo said, "No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant." So I believe.

The struggle to reconcile learning fighting skills with peacefulness is a debate that I stay out of, for the most part. I tend to think that a fair amount of aikido "peacefulness" rhetoric is a shuck and jive, repeated as platitudes without a true sense of personal relevance -- but I recognize also that that's a judgmental attitude, so I try to keep a lid on it (not always with success). I do feel that some (many?) aikidoka fool themselves about their ability to use their techniques in a way that won't result in harm to their attacker. I believe if you use aikido techniques on a determined attacker, and you're successful, serious injury to your attacker is the probable result. I have no illusions about what it's like to be injured like that. I've had enough injuries, I know how much a dislocated joint hurts, and I know how long it takes to (incompletely) heal. If I train aikido, I have to be willing to accept the possibility that I will use it some day; if I accept that, I must also accept the possibility that I will seriously injure someone. I do not try to justify this before the fact, and I doubt I'd try to justify it after the fact. It wouldn't be okay, it would just be what happened, and I'd live with it. I'd have to live with having badly hurt another human being. I could not tell myself that he got hurt because of his own negative energies or some damn thing. He got hurt because I kotegaeshi'ed the bejesus out of his arm, and why that happened is another matter altogether -- it would not change the fact that I hurt him.

Likewise, I understand the logic of the argument that "true" peacefulness can only come from a position of strength, but I find that argument incomplete. Violence does not require power: look at powerless and disenfranchised people, and you will find plenty of violence -- towards self, towards others even less powerful, towards animals and inanimate objects and other things that cannot fight back.

I don't think aikido can claim any special ownership over the development of all this stuff. I think that a sincere practice of many things can bring you to this "present little instant" form of peace, and from there, everything's possible. I've been training aikido for less than two years now, so I try to avoid statements of what aikido is and isn't. I started training aikido not because it's "the art of peace", but because I moved to a new place where the only real dojo was an aikido dojo. I didn't expect (or want) to have Yoda for a sensei, or to achieve enlightenment, or anything like that. "Internal power", whatever that means, isn't a goal for me; it isn't an anti-goal for me. I just want to pursue my "present little instant" peace in a way that I'd found to work for me: within my body.
 
Old 02-27-2008, 08:58 AM   #62
jennifer paige smith
 
jennifer paige smith's Avatar
Dojo: Confluence Aiki-Dojo / Santa Cruz Sword Club
Location: Santa Cruz
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,049
United_States
Offline
Re: why focus on internal power

Honestly, I basically started Aikido to get out of the house and to focus my life when I was 21 ( yeah, I was a homebody even then!).
So every 'ki' / 'spritual'" bell or whistle that ever sounded internally or externally came of it's own accord and can be explained only by the name, Practice. I practiced, I learned, now there are labels for what I felt. whether they apply here or whether they apply to ki and spirituality is for someone else to parse, and it is simply for me to continue to practice and to feel and to recognize transitions inside and outside as an element of the path. I can guess, since this stuff had no name and no obvious expression in my life at the point I began aikido, that it emerged in the practice itself.But, maybe not. Either way, I still got it, get it, and am inspired of it.
that's me.

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
 
Old 02-27-2008, 09:15 AM   #63
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,761
United_States
Offline
Re: why focus on internal power

I hear ya, Jennifer -- same here: the experience preceded the label, not the other way around.
 
Old 02-27-2008, 09:25 AM   #64
Ecosamurai
 
Ecosamurai's Avatar
Dojo: Takagashira Dojo
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 519
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Have you ever tried one of the demonstrations for internal power? If not, try this: Stand with feet side by side, shoulder width apart. Have someone push straight back on your chest. You can even have them start with a little push and then an all out shove for all they are worth. Were you able to stand there while they turned red in the face?
That's one of the ones I have and on-off love-hate relationship with. I can do it to a degree but its difficult and I'm not too good at it at present, I keep having issues with the force getting directed towards my shoulders from time to time which is not the place it should go really, I need to be able to do it for my next aikido grading (one of our sandan tests involves a tester striking the chest before pushing against it while you stand with feet shoulder width apart, my understanding is that this is a common early to mid dan grade level ki soc test but I may be wrong), so time to start practicing!

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Also, as I've noted elsewhere for the Ki Society people. The exercises for internal work actually are training to accomplish Tohei's four principles. They are exercises which have a side benefit of getting one to relax completely (show me an aikido exercise that actually develops this), keep weight underside, keep one point, and extend ki. Actual exercises that elicit these principles.
Perhaps I'm misinterpreting this but I'm of the impression here that you're saying Ki Society exercises do not teach relaxtion except as a side effect. My own personal expereince has been that this is absolutely not the case. Teaching the relaxation you speak of and using various exercises to accomplish this is at the very heart of ki training in ki-aikido (quick caveat that I'm not nor have I ever been a member of the ki society but we've always been independent ki aikido).

I'd therefore interpret your post above as having limited experience of ki aikido, or possibly lots of experience of bad ki aikido or perhaps I've missed the essence of what you were saying.

In any case the original question was:

"Whenever a discussion on internal power comes up it turns into a fight about personalities.
Why do people seek internal power? Are we trying to beat each other up in a new way?"

For me, I used to do Tai Chi, then tried aikido and found that the aikido teacher was far better at this stuff and better at explaining it than my Tai Chi teachers, I also liked the philosophy of aikido more, so off I went to aikido.

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
 
Old 02-27-2008, 09:39 AM   #65
Aikibu
Dojo: West Wind Dojo Santa Monica California
Location: Malibu, California
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,295
United_States
Offline
Re: why focus on internal power

It's so simple really and allot good things have been said....

I was taught not to mistake any particular aspect of my training as the be all and end all of practice....

If there is any "controversy" it is that some have held up internal power as this be all end all of practice....

Pracitice is the be all and end all of practice and I wish that were enough... but like most spiritual beings trying to have a human experiance I too have a hungrey ghost and there in lies the rub.

More "power" to you whereever you are in your practice.

William Hazen
 
Old 02-27-2008, 10:12 AM   #66
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
United_States
Offline
Re: why focus on internal power

Excellent post Mary M., thanks for that.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
 
Old 02-27-2008, 10:18 AM   #67
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
United_States
Offline
Re: why focus on internal power

I'm not sure that statement is quite accurate, William. While some may have used the ki skills as a neccessary component to *really* doing pretty much *any* asian art, I have heard repeated statements about how timing, focus, movement, etc., are all a part of *how* this is used.

No one is saying study this to the exclusion of all else. There are some people who have said that in their particular journey, they want to develop these skills first, and then go to dojo or whatever to focus on a particular art. While that would not be my choice, I can accept their reasoning, and would not overtly critisize them for that choice.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
 
Old 02-27-2008, 10:22 AM   #68
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
I was taught not to mistake any particular aspect of my training as the be all and end all of practice....
I don't think "internal strength" (the ki/kokyu stuff) is the be-all and end-all of Aikido anymore than I think the alphabet is the be-all and end-all of English prose. The alphabet is just the building blocks that all the prose is based on.
 
Old 02-27-2008, 10:37 AM   #69
Timothy WK
Location: Chicago, IL
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 178
United_States
Offline
Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Mike Haft wrote: View Post
Quote:
Mark Murray wrote:
Also, as I've noted elsewhere for the Ki Society people. The exercises for internal work actually are training to accomplish Tohei's four principles. They are exercises which have a side benefit of getting one to relax completely (show me an aikido exercise that actually develops this), keep weight underside, keep one point, and extend ki. Actual exercises that elicit these principles.
Perhaps I'm misinterpreting this but I'm of the impression here that you're saying Ki Society exercises do not teach relaxtion except as a side effect. My own personal expereince has been that this is absolutely not the case. Teaching the relaxation you speak of and using various exercises to accomplish this is at the very heart of ki training in ki-aikido.
IME, they both feed into one another. Concentrating on the principles makes the exercises easier, while at the same time, practicing the exercises makes the principles occur more naturally and spontaneously.

--Timothy Kleinert

Aikido & Wujifa qigongs
 
Old 02-27-2008, 11:30 AM   #70
Aikibu
Dojo: West Wind Dojo Santa Monica California
Location: Malibu, California
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,295
United_States
Offline
Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
I'm not sure that statement is quite accurate, William. While some may have used the ki skills as a neccessary component to *really* doing pretty much *any* asian art, I have heard repeated statements about how timing, focus, movement, etc., are all a part of *how* this is used.

No one is saying study this to the exclusion of all else. There are some people who have said that in their particular journey, they want to develop these skills first, and then go to dojo or whatever to focus on a particular art. While that would not be my choice, I can accept their reasoning, and would not overtly critisize them for that choice.

Best,
Ron
I understand both what you and Mike are saying and I agree with it. What I don't understand is why this aspect of practice or more accurately thier understanding of this aspect is used to bash the rest of Aikido because most Aikidoka don't understand the internal dynamic or don't practice it...and then extrapolate this premise to include that somehow if you are an Aikidoka then how can you practice or know anything about Aiki? LOL A circular argument at best.

That is the only psuedo-controversy that I can see here...Argumentum Ad Athoritium.

I do not doubt anyone who has the gift of Aiki but do they have to make such a gaudy display of it? LOL

Respectfully Ron & Mike,

William Hazen

Last edited by Aikibu : 02-27-2008 at 11:37 AM.
 
Old 02-27-2008, 02:24 PM   #71
Kevin Leavitt
 
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Stuttgart, Baden Wurttemberg
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
Germany
Offline
Re: why focus on internal power

Cady,

Quote:
Kevin,
My posts addressed the nature of physical power, how it influences mental-emotional-spiritual power, and how it functions and serves "real world" application.

I'm surprised that you, as a military man, would be able to disassociate yourself from what you surely know to be true about the nature of power, to the point that you wouldn't apply that understanding to Ueshiba.

As for my ability to assess what I observe, I'd say that Mike has touched on it closely enough. In addition to that, I once spent some years in academe studying human/primate social behavior and power dynamics, as part of a larger study of primate evolutionary ecology. Gotta say that you can learn a lot about the nature (human and otherwise) of power and benevolence in that field.
I am honestly not trying to be argumentative or challenging. Definitely NOT looking to "throw down" by any means.

As a military man, I deal with things in very clear and concise terms. That is Tasks, Conditions, Standards and clear defineable endstates.

I'd be happy to discuss at great lengths real world applications of such powers in a very objectifiable way. That is defining the parameters, conditions, constraints, and standards..that is a framework upon which we can discuss or demonstrate how these apply in the real world.

It can be anything from working with primates, mental applications, spiritual, or martially. I think martially is what most people are interested in.

I offer this in a geniune and honest way, not in a "prove it to me way". I am way past accepting this method of training as I have bought into it and I am trying to implement it.

My main goal is to synthesize it into my training and find practical real world application on a daily basis.

So naturally I am eager to meet and/or discuss with those that can provide me that insight.

Mike can attest that I am no where near being able to do or replicate these skills enough to do so, and I probably need to just shut up and do what he has very graciously spent time with me on and come back to him after I have done my homework (which I will).

But, when I hear that there are those that have knowledge, can articulate, and can demonstrate real world application it certainly gets my attention and I would love to see the endstate of where I am trying to go!

So, real world applications do intrigue me, and I tend to spend time dissecting or "war gaming" the situations, parameters, and conditions that surround them.

That's what military officers get paid to do, and that is how I am wired.

 
Old 02-27-2008, 02:29 PM   #72
bkedelen
 
bkedelen's Avatar
Dojo: Boulder Aikikai
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 446
United_States
Offline
Re: why focus on internal power

Ki/Kokyu training continues to fail to bestow a sense of respect, etiquette, or humility upon its practitioners. This is an area where the non-ki/kokyu elements of nihon budo training seem to be much more effective. Aikido has more gokui than just aiki and kokyu, and they are just as important, even if they generate less enthusiasm on the internets.
 
Old 02-27-2008, 02:34 PM   #73
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: why focus on internal power

Quote:
Benjamin Edelen wrote: View Post
Ki/Kokyu training continues to fail to bestow a sense of respect, etiquette, or humility upon its practitioners. This is an area where the non-ki/kokyu elements of nihon budo training seem to be much more effective. Aikido has more gokui than just aiki and kokyu, and they are just as important, even if they generate less enthusiasm on the internets.
Sounds like another spiritual slap at someone by Benjamin Edelen. Benjamin, do you have anything to contribute to the conversation other than that? Why don't you start another thread on the gokui in Aikido that you know about and let's see how many of them are not dependent on ki/kokyu skills. It would be an interesting conversation.

Mike Sigman
 
Old 02-27-2008, 02:35 PM   #74
Kevin Leavitt
 
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Stuttgart, Baden Wurttemberg
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
Germany
Offline
Re: why focus on internal power

Mary,

Good post. I appreciate your honesty and insight. My experiences and comments parallel yours very much.

Quote:
The struggle to reconcile learning fighting skills with peacefulness is a debate that I stay out of, for the most part. I tend to think that a fair amount of aikido "peacefulness" rhetoric is a shuck and jive, repeated as platitudes without a true sense of personal relevance -- but I recognize also that that's a judgmental attitude, so I try to keep a lid on it (not always with success). I do feel that some (many?) aikidoka fool themselves about their ability to use their techniques in a way that won't result in harm to their attacker.
I would agree. Macroscopically I offer the same critique. However, I try too not to be judgemental and realize that there are different people in the world that come into this for many different reasons and endstates.

I think our responsibility and focus in the spirit of the art is to be honest and true with ourselves. If we do that then all this other stuff tends to take care of itself.

As Ghandi said, "be the change you want to see in the world". I think this is about the best we can do as human beings.

 
Old 02-27-2008, 02:44 PM   #75
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
United_States
Offline
Re: why focus on internal power

Hi Benjamin,

We've met, and enjoyed practice together. If I have failed to show a sense of respect, etiquette or humility, please be clear about where I have failed, and how I might improve.

Onigaishimas (spelling...),
Ron
Quote:
Benjamin Edelen wrote: View Post
Ki/Kokyu training continues to fail to bestow a sense of respect, etiquette, or humility upon its practitioners. This is an area where the non-ki/kokyu elements of nihon budo training seem to be much more effective. Aikido has more gokui than just aiki and kokyu, and they are just as important, even if they generate less enthusiasm on the internets.

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
 

Please visit our sponsor:

Aikido DVDs and Video Downloads - by George Ledyard Sensei & other great teachers from AikidoDVDS.Com



Closed Thread


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What is Weight Transfer(Taijuuidou)?? Upyu Training 87 10-17-2008 10:13 AM
An exercise that illustrates internal power Timothy WK Non-Aikido Martial Traditions 18 11-16-2007 06:52 PM
Internal Power in your Aikido Andrew Prochnow Non-Aikido Martial Traditions 48 04-03-2007 08:18 AM
Aikido as External Art -or- Where's the Chewy Center? ChrisMoses Training 130 03-17-2007 03:21 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:39 AM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate