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Old 06-04-2008, 08:09 AM   #26
MM
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

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Tom Holz wrote: View Post
It was great to see you guys again, Rob, as well as meet so many people from these forums. After a year and a half of practice, more and more of the material makes sense, and I have some new ideas to work on.

Tom
Hi Tom,

I didn't know you were going. Do you have any thoughts/comments to share on the seminar? It would have been nice to see/meet people, but I didn't make this one.

Thanks,
Mark
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Old 06-04-2008, 09:00 AM   #27
Tom H.
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Do you have any thoughts/comments to share on the seminar?
A few random comments:

* After two years of semi-consistent training, the aunkai material makes loads more sense in my body. I keep thinking that I want to go back to a martial art with techniques and forms, but every time I assess my situation, I decide on pure body development "for just one more year".

* My experience to date confirms some ideas that I took on faith a long time ago: there is a different way of moving and holding the body that requires extensive reconditioning, it's powerful stuff, and the rarity of people who have it is only exceeded by the rarity of people who teach it.

* I'm more convinced that Dan and Ark are using the same basic body skills with very similar goals. However, there are some subtle and important differences. I have some guesses, but want to work out the details for myself over the next few years.

* It wasn't my quads that were killing me the day after; it was my back. And not in a "my back is killing me" way. Interestingly, Ark made the comment that I wasn't using my back-side lines in push-out. That comment would not have made sense even six months ago, but now I know what he means a little bit.

* I also found one reason why I suck at agete much more than at push-out -- my shoulders are seriously out of whack. The good news is that knowing is half the battle!

I took material home to mull over in solo training, as well as inspiration to keep with the wow-it-sucks conditioning. I hope others did, too. I also saw some enviable Eureka moments, which are fun when they happen.

Tom

Last edited by Tom H. : 06-04-2008 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 06-04-2008, 09:40 AM   #28
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

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Tom Holz wrote: View Post
A few random comments:

* After two years of semi-consistent training, the aunkai material makes loads more sense in my body. I keep thinking that I want to go back to a martial art with techniques and forms, but every time I assess my situation, I decide on pure body development "for just one more year".
Ah, yeah. I'm in the same frame of mind. After one year, I looked back, took note that doing internal training and aikido training at the same time wasn't working out very well and decided to concentrate strictly on internal training. But, I think, well, I'll do a year more and then I'll go back to aikido. I'm afraid, though, that realistically, in a year, I'll still think as you -- one more year on internal development.

Thanks for the comments on everything else. Hopefully, I'll catch you on the mat sometime soon.

Mark
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Old 06-04-2008, 05:10 PM   #29
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

This review of the recent DC Aunkai seminar was posted by a CMA guy, Wolfram, at another forum:

My review of the Aunkai seminar and material presented:

1. Akuzawa - very nice guy. Akuzawa is a small, athletic Japanese man, and doesn't speak a lot of English. Did not "present" the majority of the material himself, but was very active in explanations and individual corrections. Akuzawa walked amongst us, making adjustments and corrections and doing demos to emphasize his points. I can imagine him being a great one-on-one teacher. Presents Aunkai as a collection of tools for "self-research."

2. Akuzawa's staff/students - Rob, one of the Tokyo class, was Akuzawa's main translator and also the main presentor. Rob's presentations and explanations were very clear. Never hesitated to answer a question, and never hesitated to present a question to Akuzawa himself when unsure of the answer. Of the staff, clearly the most advanced student. I watched him roll a little with a couple of guys, including an Army Combatives instructor. He did some very interesting things on the ground.

In addition, there were a few guys from the US who had done Akuzawa's first seminar and have been closely corresponding with him and each other online. I know that Hunter Lonsberry, the host, has been out to the Aunkai HQ a few times for extended training, but am unsure of the other guys. All of them presented various degrees of proficiency in the material presented, and all of them were at least "pretty good."

Akuzawa also brought along his student and webmaster (and perhaps gf or wife, didn't ask), Nori, who also did some presenting of material.

3. "Business side" of the seminar - not much of one. Waivers were signed and given to Hunter. Akuzawa had T-shirts and "review" DVD's for sale. I picked up both, since my own video camera died before the seminar started and I liked the t-shirt design. No big "push" to buy anything. Cost was $180 to me with pre-reg, $108 for full-time students. We went a full 7 hours both days.

4. My two-day impression of the material - Akuzawa's training in CIMA is very apparent and clear. If I had to make references, I would describe Aunkai as "Systema if invented by a Chen TJQ adept." While incomplete, this description works for IMA students to think about the methods presented. Theory-wise, Aunkai is all classical CIMA that I can see (although there may be some Daito-ryu and other more "internal" JMA influence as well). Akuzawa talks a great deal about spinal alignment and its foundation to feeling the ground connection. He also talks a great deal about axial rotations and conditioning the body. Movement in the Aunkai method is designed to help improve your root, create a "frame" from which to move and act, maximize the potential of your movement, and eliminate waste from any movement. Power and movement are all generated from a properly aligned spine. The material also helps stretch and condition the internal body.

5. Impressions of execution of Aunkai from demos - I really like my description of "Systema created by a Chen TJQ adept." Akuzawa's movements are very solid and rooted but flow with the adaptive energy I associate with Systema, although there is no "snakiness" or "weaving" (which Akuzawa interprets as wasteful). It's very apparent that he can and will hit you with any part of his body (possibly multiple parts simultaneously). His body connections are apparent. When he hits, it's with the rooted power that I associate with Chen Xiaowang's form demos - his root looks as solid as a rock. No apparent effort in any movement or demo, even when he was carrying around 240-pound guys on his back.

6. Attendess/Atmosphere - most of the attendees were Aikidoka, although I met a Silat/Shuaijiao guy, and somathai and Brady are Yin Fu BGZ. They came from all over the US, a good number of them flying out from the West Coast. The atmosphere was relaxed, respectful, and encouraging - no confrontational bullshit, no challenges being issued, testing one another definitely encouraged and allowed within agreed-upon parameters.

7. Would I recommend going to an Aunkai seminar? Yes. While CIMA people may not learn anything new from a theory perspective, the foundational exercises are great for spotting weaknesses in one's own practice. After doing the seminar, I found that my alignment and root awareness during circle walking has increased significantly. Push-out is very good as a pre-cursor to push-hands; in fact, I think that my partnered sensitivity training from other systems would have been better served by first doing Aunkai's push-out. In my opinion, the fundamental Aunkai exercises Akuzawa teaches are very useful for any CIMA (or any MA period). In fact, they seem to be largely be distilled from CIMA methods to begin with; Akuzawa's TJQ and XYQ training were both very apparent to me.

Non-CIMA people will probably benefit the most from the fundamental material. Most of the seminar attendees were Aikidoka, and most had never had "structure" training or theory explained to them. It seems to me that the good Aikidoka are the ones that can eventually intuit the structural training/theory that CIMA guys get from Day 1 (at least, that's what I was being told by the Aikidoka there).

8. Would I recommend going to more than one Aunkai seminar? Depends, as usual, on what the attendee's goals are. I would certainly go to at least one more, to pick up a few more exercises and to pick Akuzawa's brain.

9. My impression of Aunkai - I certainly think that Akuzawa has been able to create a very efficient way of developing internal fighting skills that can be passed on effectively. Some of his theory reminds me of Wang Xiangzhai's writings on Yiquan. Akuzawa and Rob's skills were definitely well-developed (of course, Akuzawa being far more formidable). The pedagogical process of Aunkai is clear, with multiple layers of depth and meaning that can be mined with reasonable clarity in a reasonable timeframe. It seems to me that training in Aunkai prior to any other IMA would give any CIMA "beginner" a definite edge over his peers. It also seems to me that training in Aunkai for any period of time would accelerate any CIMA student's progress. Furthermore, I believe that one could just do Aunkai on its own, provided that a good teacher is available (Akuzawa and Rob were definitely both good instructors).
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Old 06-04-2008, 06:07 PM   #30
Mike Sigman
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

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Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post
This review of the recent DC Aunkai seminar was posted by a CMA guy, Wolfram, at another forum: [snip]
Yeah, I saw that on EmptyFlower, but some of the comparisons are simply wrong. First of all, the comparison with Chen-style is completely off base because there is not a hint of "silk-reeling", the hallmark of Chen-style Taiji, in the Aunkai stuff. In fact the comment about "internal martial arts" is wrong and only conveys the common western misunderstanding about "external martial arts". "External arts" have all the ki/kokyu skills that "internal arts" have; they just use them differently. And so on. The description reads well for people that get confounded by martial-arts jargon, but even though I thought the review was thoughtful, I had to kind of write it off for the obvious errors that were included. Not that I don't appreciate the attempt.... it's just that some of the descriptions were just too glaringly wrong.

YMMV

Mike
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Old 06-04-2008, 07:09 PM   #31
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

I thought this was cool
Quote:
6. Attendess/Atmosphere - most of the attendees were Aikidoka
http://www.emptyflower.net/forums/in...99&#entry80299
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Old 06-04-2008, 07:39 PM   #32
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

Well, I have to defer, then. "Cool" overrides facts in some peoples' view of their martial arts.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 06-04-2008, 08:07 PM   #33
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

I'd have to agree with Mike S. that the silk-reeling of Chen is not really there in Aunkai. I also didn't quite get the comparison with Systema, other than that in a very broad sense that both Aunkai and Systema train basic body conditioning and then weaving that into movement. I think the author has trained in baguazhang, but I don't know what else.

Aside from that, the observation that his "partnered sensitivity training from other systems" (maybe referring to tuishou or roushou) would have benefited from first learning Akuzawa's push-out drill is interesting. There's probably some truth to that, in my experience.

Overall, I thought the perspective of a CIMA guy experiencing Akuzawa and his teaching was interesting. Three other CIMA practitioners were at that same seminar. The resonance (for the author) with CMA concepts points to the frequent observation--I think by Mike S.--that these training principles or insights are something of a common heritage across Asian martial arts.
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Old 06-04-2008, 08:22 PM   #34
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

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Robert John wrote: View Post
Thought I'd chime in here,

Er, about that,
a) Kevin and I didn't have time to really roll, and I have no illusions that the guy could turn me in a pretzel if we were going at it for real.
Hopefully I'll get a chance in the near future when we head back to DC for another round.

b) I was showing an example of how the "connection" could be used to reverse a submission attempt, in this case a Kimura. It was a demo, nothing more, neither of us were going all out.

c) He asked me how I could use the same stuff to get out from under side mount using these skills.
Other than shrimping/controlling the hips, or other "techs" I know for getting out of a side control, I don't have a direct answer as of yet (still working on that one). :-p (Dan H, you wanna spill some tips? )

d) I did roll with one other person, but again, it was a demo, not a sparring match.

Not that he needs me to back him up, but Kevin sucked it up and sweat just as hard, both physically and mentally.

Knowing how hard his training ethos probably is definitely gave me a kick in the rear to keep up my own training...I'm only sorry we didn't get the time to pick each other's brain on the mat for ground work.

FWIW
Thank Rob, I was going to say the same thing. I could see how some might interpret what we were doing as "rolling" but, as you say we were only discussing specific points concerning connection. Which I found interesting and got a better understanding of how Rob applies it in this context.

Keep in mind that "Rolling" implies a much more forceful and deliberate event in which two people or trying their best to submit the other within the constraint of a few agreed upon rules. Rob and I never even came close to doing that.

Also, as Rob discusses, I asked him about side control which I thought would be difficult to work as it is hard to establish a connection from because of the spines are perpendicular and the top person's hips are not connected in that case.

Again, a quick question and discussion right before lunch, nothing more than that. My impression is that it is still important to have and establish basic structure before you can do anything else. In this case it required Rob to create space and shrimp to either half guard or side control to create space and better structure to move from.

I don't believe Mike, Ark, or Rob would disagree with this, it is implied and common sense to me.

I do want to point out that the purpose of the seminar was the basics of developing and conditioning the body so that you could make better use of it martially...internally if you will. Along those lines, it was not the purpose to establish the martial effectiveness of Internal training, nor was it why I was there.

To me it is sort of like saying that running improves your martial ability....it is a true statement as stamina and cardio are important to being martially effective I think. However, no one would challenge a runner to a fight or even think that running in anyway would allow you to beat a MMAer. Yet we will do it with this training because it looks like it just might be martial..yea I could see how you make this association.

My impression of my short experience with both Mike Sigman's and Ark/Rob's training is that these are some very good methodologies for improving your martial body.

How effective will it be martially? Well I think that depends on the individual to apply it as they see fit.

For the two days I spent with Rob I would make this assessment. Impressive for someone that has only studied for 4 years. He has a good understanding of his body and has conditioned it to move in some very connected and effecient ways.

I would think that if Rob decided to walk into a big name MMA Gym, or even a BJJ dojo, he'd advance very rapidly and be very successful, same with aikido, or whatever sport, or kinetic activity he decided to pursue. That said, simply because he has developed this potential doesn't mean that he is immediately an expert in that game.

So take that for what it is worth. I didn't roll with him, so I can't vouch for his level of technical jiujistu skill, linked with the timing and speed etc...but I think it doesn't matter as he has developed a good base to learn those things if he ever decided that is what he wanted to do..that much I could tell.

So is this training worthwile. Yes it is. But I'd be careful to say that it will directly make you a better fighter, there is more to training than doing body work. This any more than it would make you a NBA basketball draftee contender!

I would point out that Ark and Rob do seem to be putting in the time to link it to these skills, so that needs to be considered...but body work in and of itself won't do it. Bottom line is that if you want to be a fighter with this stuff you are going to have to go out there and tap out alot, get hit, and try it over and over.

I think there are tradeoffs. You can spend 80 percent of your time doing this stuff and 20 percent of your time "rolling" and you will grow very slowly as a grappler. Or you can spend 20 percent of your time doing this stuff and 80 percent of your time "rolling' and grow very slowly internally. There is a balance.

Of course you could always just practice this for the sake that you enjoy it and for the benefits that connectedness and a strong core gives you when you consider quality of life as you age.

The thing that Ark, Rob, and Mike have made abundantly clear is this:

1. It is hard work
2. You must do it frequently.
3. Quality is more important than quality.
4. It is hard work.
5. but it can be done and there are proven ways.
6. It is up to you to apply it.
7. It is hard work, you must do it frequently.

Yes, I must say I was slightly embarrassed at how out of shape I am in this manner. I am in shape in other ways and can roll hard for several hours and wake up the next morning work out, and drive on without being sore. This training had me moving in ways that I normally don't move in, so I can only imagine if I do develop these weak areas they would only benefit me.

Thanks again, I appreciate the willingness to share this stuff fully as they do.

Yea hopefully we can roll next time Rob, I think it would be fun!

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Old 06-04-2008, 08:23 PM   #35
Mike Sigman
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

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Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post
Overall, I thought the perspective of a CIMA guy experiencing Akuzawa and his teaching was interesting. Three other CIMA practitioners were at that same seminar. The resonance (for the author) with CMA concepts points to the frequent observation--I think by Mike S.--that these training principles or insights are something of a common heritage across Asian martial arts.
I tend to be ambivalent about a lot of the opinions I read. But let's suppose that "three other" Aikido practitioners who didn't really understand the ki/kokyu concepts were at the workshop and they gave the opinion that "this stuff agrees heartily with Ueshiba's concepts". Would those be valid opinions or do you see what I'm suggesting that *all opinions are relevant to what the commenter really knows*? I'd suggest that because someone "practices any particular art" often has little to do with the opinion they voice. Even O-Sensei had some clueless students, so the opinions of "a student of O-Sensei's" needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

Best.

Mike Sigman
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Old 06-04-2008, 08:33 PM   #36
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

Perceptions are tricky...just like someone would interpret that Rob and I rolled, and then another person would deduce that because I was a purple belt in BJJ that it means that Rob has BJJ skills. You simply cannot make the inference based on an observation sometimes. (besides I am a sucky Purple belt!)

Not saying that Rob doesn't have skills, you just gotta be careful about observation and inferernce and transference.

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Old 06-04-2008, 08:36 PM   #37
Mike Sigman
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
How effective will it be martially? Well I think that depends on the individual to apply it as they see fit.
I dunno, Kevin. It's sort of like the guy in NYC who wanted me to fly to NYC so he could "kick my ass" and I didn't really feel compelled to fly to NYC just to respond to his blather. What I did was suggest that he meet up with a guy I knew, John Carlo, an ex-UFC guy and a MMA guy and try it on. Now a meetup like this would tell us very little about what the guy challenging me could do and how effective his weight-training, his cardio training, standing exercises, and so forth, could really do. What it would do was show him that John Carlo could kick his butt.

So using that kind of reasoning, all the weight-training, cardio, standing, etc., would not be any real good because in a martial situation, John Carlo (or a number of other people) could kick his butt. I don't believe that for a moment. This is the same logic I've tried to point out to you several times before. Your ground-game skill might be OK and your points of logic about the utility of it might be OK, too, but if I used your logic and pointed out to you that John Carlo could kick your butt and therefore "how effective it was martially" was disproven, you'd see the hole in my logic. Yet you can't see the same logic and simply research it clinically when it comes from the other side. Frankly, I give up.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 06-04-2008, 09:26 PM   #38
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

Mike,

It's been a long day for me. So either I didn't write something that communicated very well, or I don't understand what you are saying.

I agree with your first paragraph.

Not sure I am following you on the second paragraph. again, sorry it has been a long day for me.

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Old 06-04-2008, 09:50 PM   #39
Mike Sigman
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Not sure I am following you on the second paragraph. again, sorry it has been a long day for me.
Hi Kevin:

Well let me say it like this: you saw, for one easy example, some women "ground" a push at the workshop you were at. The obverse of the push was also done at the workshop... i.e., without a lot of muscular effort, although it wasn't in a real martial environment, they could generate (in a very simple way) a lot of force without a lot of muscular effort. That should be obvious and extrapolatable into a martial scenario. There's no real question about it.

There's also no real question, as another simple example, that cardio training is useful in a martial example, even if a 115-pound girl demo's it yet gets her butt kicked in a few martial examples involving "how effective it was martially". In other words, there is a level of analysis that you and I simply don't see eye-to-eye on, even though I think it's obvious.

You want to know if someone can "kick some butt with it" before you seem to think through all the ramifications. I don't. It's a matter of evaluation and you and I obviously evaluate things differently. "How effective it is martially" is sort of a side-issue with me... but then again, I witheld judgement for many years until I looked into the various facets/aspects of it. True, I admit that I weighted the fact that several thousand years of Asian martial artists considered it the smart way to go, but then, no one is perfect.

Best.

Mike Sigman
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Old 06-04-2008, 10:40 PM   #40
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

Thanks for the clarification Mike.

Actually I agree with your assessment of things. I think we do assess things differently.

I agree with your first paragraph, I think you can make a martial assessment and extrapolate application. However, I think it requires you to have a certain amount of experience in that particular area to make that assessment. Without it, and the abiilty to demonstrate it, then it is simply conjecture.

Obviously, you have a broad background martially and are able to make that assessment for yourself.

From my perspective, I see value in training in this way, and have some experience martially, yet not enough in training this way to really say how it will help me, although I think it will.

To a degree I have to operate a little on faith and patience to see if it does. Two weekend seminars certainly don't give me enough experience to make a fully qualified judgement in this area, so all I can do is say I think the investment will be worth the time, even if I might look critically at how the puzzle pieces might come together.

My point with the cardio analogy was probably not a good one. I am too tired tonight to try and dig myself out of that one.

My point was that the only way to learn how to fight is to replicate that environment with the actual elements as close as possible. That is, you would clinch, punch and kick for example...at full speed or near full speed. You can't do this by running, breathing exercises, or working the suit...you do it by replicating the conditions.

Ark did work some kicking and punching drills that were very clever. They were designed to reprogram the way we do that. Good stuff and I think they would go along way to improving your ability and maybe doing it differently.

However, those drills would need to be taken further and not be one sided. The other guy would have to be able to punch and kick back and we would have to introduce the clinch, takedowns etc for it to train all the other elements in fighting.

I can't judge how Ark does this in his training as Ark did not include this in the seminar. So I can not judge how well he integrates this into his more advanced classes. It was clear to me that Ark has spent some time mixing it up.

At the basic level though, it seems that the focus is developing a "martial base" first which i good. Many arts skip this point, and as I have already admitted, you guys have showed me where I have some tremendous gaps.

Yea I agree that it is "kick butt" test is important to me to a degree. I want the person I am studying with to be able to show me application and help me integrate it. My job and career have me wired that way where it is important that my practice is integrated into what I do.

On the other hand, just the simple fact that I am impressed with the demonstration of posture, power, and movement for the sake of doing it. All you guys CLEARLY have abilities and control that I don't and if for no other reason than being able to stand up straight out of my chair at age 80 without assistance then I'd say it is worthwile.

Mike, I agree that we see things some what different, but then again you have years of experience, wisdom, and perspective that I don't have, so that might account for the differences.

I am alright with that and have a great deal of respect for what you do and what you bring to the community.

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Old 06-04-2008, 10:42 PM   #41
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

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Keep in mind that "Rolling" implies a much more forceful and deliberate event in which two people or trying their best to submit the other within the constraint of a few agreed upon rules. Rob and I never even came close to doing that.
Kevin, Rob,

I understand your caution, but I wasn't asking "who won?" or anything of that nature. I just wanted to know if Kevin could feel anything out of the ordinary in terms of body connection the way I would imagine there is a different feel on the feet, as people have said. That's all. Obviously taken to a good level these skills must be useful or they wouldn't exist, nor would it be shrouded in secrecy in traditional circles if it sucked. I think we have enough testimony from various visits that the rest is up to how hard people are willing to work at it, as you, Dan, and others have said.
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Old 06-04-2008, 10:55 PM   #42
Mike Sigman
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
To a degree I have to operate a little on faith and patience to see if it does. Two weekend seminars certainly don't give me enough experience to make a fully qualified judgement in this area, so all I can do is say I think the investment will be worth the time, even if I might look critically at how the puzzle pieces might come together.

My point with the cardio analogy was probably not a good one. I am too tired tonight to try and dig myself out of that one.
I suppose what I'd say is that cardio seems to obviously give me a stamina advantage. Using jin gives me an obvious positional advantage without moving and gives me power without needing a lot of muscle. And so on. How someone uses those things and what martial system (and remember, all Asian systems that have lasted for thousands of years use these things, even though most westerners haven't really grasped this until very recently) of techniques and strategies and all sorts of other factors mean very little to me... I know an obvious advantage in physical factors when I see it without having to do a years-long study, prove it at all weight classes, and so on.

Again, as I said, Asians, with their *average* of six IQ points higher than us western-derivatives, thought it was a clever system for thousands of years before the UFC came along. And frankly, as fashionable as MMA is, it's still a sport with rules. Take a look at why they developed Pigua, Eagle Claw, etc., sometime, and realize that MMA-type combat is just a trend whose advantages and disadvantages were considered long, long ago in the grand scheme of things.

Best.

Mike

Last edited by Mike Sigman : 06-04-2008 at 10:58 PM.
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Old 06-04-2008, 11:01 PM   #43
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

Sure he felt differently than most people. That is the whole point of the conditioning, he is better developed in this way which allows him to move differently and make better use of his body.

However, as Mike Sigman points out, context is very important to me. Rob and I are simply pointing out that we didn't work this in that context, so I simply cannot say.

Sure the skills are useful, absolutely. Again context and being able to use them in a particular context is important. How useful? Well I think it is relative

Rob was able to show proficiency in many situations, however as he states in the side control situation, he is working on that one. Obviously, the skills were not useful to him in that situation.

Does that mean that the skills are not useful in side control? No, just that Rob has not figured out how. Better, at that moment, he couldn't demonstrate to me. I think if we would have spent a few more minutes that he could have showed me a few areas in side control were they could.

Now, have us slap hands and tell Rob to stop me from mounting him at full combat speed and demonstrate it, maybe he couldn't, maybe he won't be able to for many years. Maybe when he does figure out it won't feel any different than say a 6th Dan in BJJ.

It is really hard to say.

Does that mean that this training won't make him good or assist him in his game? No it does not.

It just isn't as easy as that.

What I'd say is this:

If your goal is to learn how to escape side control or prevent the mount, then that is what you train for using the same methods that my BJJ instructors teach. You do it over and over again, watching body positioning, working on your timing, developing your game.

Sure, you could spend time doing the exercises and they would help you...however, you will only get better at side control by practicing it.

So, when you say "are these skills useful", it is a loaded question that requires a complex answer, IMO.

again, I think it is a puzzle that you must take and piece together for yourself.

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Old 06-04-2008, 11:03 PM   #44
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

Thanks Mike, I agree.

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Old 06-04-2008, 11:11 PM   #45
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Thanks Mike, I agree.
I appreciate it, Kevin, but seriously it looks like if someone "got side control" on you it's worthwhile, but if they didn't, it's not worthwhile enough to pursue. That's a jungle of irrelevancy to me. Hell, I've seen personally and on TV some guy trying to shoot get knocked unconscious by full-body power. Do I dwell on that particular technique and think that proves it in all cases? Absolutely not. I simply evaluate the overall worth and stick to that part of the conversation. That's why I think you're evaluating things in a very limited paradigm. I have never heard of "side mount" being a great consideration on the battlefield; I *have* heard of a quick and immediate finish due to massive power being a positive factor.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 06-04-2008, 11:25 PM   #46
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

Mike,

Yes I suppose I am looking at things possibly in a limited paradigm. It is what I know, and what everyone else I study with knows.

The Shoot example is a good one. It is one Rob and Ark and I discussed.

I asked Ark about it specifically. Apparently the way Ark moves if you go low for a shoot, he does not sprawl, but moves inward using his body in the manner that you describe. He showed me, albeit at a slow speed.

It is intriguing and something I plan on working on as I go along. Does it mean I will abandon my sprawl from here on out and not continue to work on it? Heck no, that would be stupid right now.

What it means is that I will keep it in mind and work on it. That is try to expand my limited paradigm for other options that may not have been considered by the status quo.

He showed me at a very slow speed. I would have been hesitant to work faster as it might have gotten me hurt the way he moves. Again, context. It is hard to say.

However, in order to do this, it will require me to continue to train, adopting maybe some new methods, while continuing to have guys shoot on me. Maybe sometimes I will sprawl, maybe sometimes I will try a new way, lose, and keep losing till I get it right.

You are correct, I am considering a limited paradigm. It is one I am hesitant to abandon outright until I have proven to myself that there is a better way.

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Old 06-04-2008, 11:38 PM   #47
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

Mike wrote:

Quote:
I have never heard of "side mount" being a great consideration on the battlefield; I *have* heard of a quick and immediate finish due to massive power being a positive factor.
Yes, I think this is a good example of our different perspectives. Your paradigm filters out side control as a factor in combat. it is infact a factor...not necessarily a desirable one, but a factor.

In CQB you run into side control.

There is a hierarchy in fighting. To soldiers it is a common sense one. If you have a gun and range you shoot it, why would you consider empty hand if you hand a rifle? Seems logical I know.

You use the most lethal and effective means you have at your disposal. Again, hierachy.

In a CQB environment, there are scenarios in which you lose your weapon and are off balanced taken down and are in a bad position on the ground.

We can break those positions down into several generic ones. Rear mount, Mount, Side control, and Guard. (listed in order of hierachy of "least favorable to favorable),

So it is important to know how to maintain integrity and improve your position. Inject weapons and things get even more interesting.

Anyway, it is a factor and one you must train.

In a perfect world the good guys use their guick and effective means to incapacitate, but in reality it is not always that easy.

So, in this area, to dismiss side control as a martial consideration is of a limited paradigm on your part.

Again, though, the difference as you and I come at a common ground from two different paradigms or strategies for implementation.

I don't think that either position is wrong, we have different focuses.

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Old 06-04-2008, 11:41 PM   #48
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

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Well, I have to defer, then. "Cool" overrides facts in some peoples' view of their martial arts.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
Calm down Mike. I have no idea if the review in question is accurate or not. I was referring to the "most of the attendees were Aikidoka" comment. It seems that aikidoka are getting out. I think this will be good for the art. That's what's cool.
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Old 06-05-2008, 08:12 AM   #49
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
So, in this area, to dismiss side control as a martial consideration is of a limited paradigm on your part.
But I didn't "dismiss" any technique, Kevin. I pointed out that basic contributive factors to power, cardio, etc., are, IMO, much more important than individual techniques. Certainly techniques must be learned, but I think the focus on power, cardio, stamina, etc., and ways to improve those basics is a more logical point to look at and discuss rather than focus on the idea that "until someone can kick my butt, what they have to say about martial arts is of little real utility". That was my original point. I evaluate basic strengths/advantages and worry about the techniques stuff completely separately. I would be quick to focus in on the utilility of something like jin/kokyu even if the I could kick the butt of the person showing it to me. Hence my comment that you seem to evaluate things from a different perspective than I do.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 06-05-2008, 08:12 AM   #50
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
...and remember, all Asian systems that have lasted for thousands of years use these things, even though most westerners haven't really grasped this until very recently...
Hi Mike,

If you don't mind, please give us your opinion as to when, exactly "very recently" might be. Thanks.

.

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
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