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Old 06-05-2008, 07:15 AM   #51
Mike Sigman
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote: View Post
If you don't mind, please give us your opinion as to when, exactly "very recently" might be. Thanks..
??????
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Old 06-05-2008, 07:18 AM   #52
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

Umm, you made a statement. I asked for a simple clarification and specific time frame. I think expounding upon it will help to evaluate the statement in and of itself. Was that not clear enough for you?

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Old 06-05-2008, 07:20 AM   #53
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

Oh, by the way... while we are at it...

Just whom do you mean when you use the term "Westerners"?

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Old 06-05-2008, 07:37 AM   #54
Mike Sigman
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

Shaun, why don't you try to clarify what it is you're asking and why? Fragmentary thoughts and questions don't appear to be effective.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 06-05-2008, 07:39 AM   #55
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Shaun, why don't you try to clarify what it is you're asking and why? Fragmentary thoughts and questions don't appear to be effective.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
OK, Mike. Thanks anyway.

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Old 06-05-2008, 08:13 AM   #56
DH
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

I'm not Mike but I think it's an interesting topic. He is spot on with 'Westerners" as a term. though I'd really love to find out just how prevelant this knowledge truly is in Asia. Knowing about them, and having any appreciable skills is a totally different thing.
Time and travel is showing just how poor the Asians are becoming at their own stuff as well. Less and less people care about this stuff anymore.

Westerners to me? Oh I'd say hundreds of Aikidoka I have met personally over the years who didn't have a clue, not a single clue. And some who had pieces in their bodies but couldn't describe what it was, nor how it got there. The typcial refrain being "I just trained." So forget being capable of passing on even the little they had.
Then, what may amount to thousands of various artists have spoken to over the net. All of which -either on the net or in person-would include every imaginable rank to the highest levels of the Japanese arts.
For me I can add-in recent forays into the Chinese arts. Which are far trickier, as many have the lingo down cold, and are useless in displaying anything power worth the having. And this would include lineage holders who were an embarrassment.
There are teachers in the Japanese arts and in the Chinese arts-especially the Chinese arts who have real power. You can debate just who they are and how many.
To say "Westerners missed it" does not have to mean every-single-person. But on the whole it is not only accurate, but those exact words have come out of the mouths of some serious teachers after feeling these skills.

I've no wish to debate it. Anyone who's "got it" is not going to sit here and say they are typical. In fact anyone who has got it will stand out instantaneously. They will be of note if anyone laid hands on them. Anyone who's got it usually is found reiterating "What happened to everyone else?"
Debating degrees and levels and skills sets is fine. Not the least of which is debating the idea of having these skills and training to use them in superior fighting methods such as MMA over most anything else-including Aikido.

Last edited by DH : 06-05-2008 at 08:20 AM.
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Old 06-05-2008, 08:52 AM   #57
Mike Sigman
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
To say "Westerners missed it" does not have to mean every-single-person. But on the whole it is not only accurate, but those exact words have come out of the mouths of some serious teachers after feeling these skills.
Actually, I said "most westerners" for the very reason that I did not mean "all westerners".

I agree with most of what you say, but I'm personally tired of beating that particular dead horse about people who don't get it; I'd rather just work with the ones who are interested, some of whom actually get it and will be the mainstays of the next generations.

I had a teacher in Denver years ago who had very recently come over from Beijing and occasionally he'd ask me to take over his Saturday morning public class if he was out of town. I'd help with whatever they happened to be working on, but one time I asked the teacher why he had never showed them how the body moved (with ki and kokyu power), since that was obviously the basic stage they never got past, no matter how many "forms" and "applications" they worked on. He just shrugged and said, "They either figure it out or they don't". I used to be mildly disapproving of that attitude toward his students, but the older I get the more I see how much it saves time and energy.

Notice how few people really show much of an interest, even in the case of, for instance, Ushiro Sensei's teachings even when they're recommended by Ikeda Sensei. Granted, I don't think Ushiro is clear in his exposition and how-to's, but still there's nowhere near a lot of interest even in a Japanese 'expert' who is recommended by a big name in Aikido. Either they figure it out and start looking for information or they don't. No use cudgelling anyone, particularly if they're sure they know the "secrets" already.

There will always be sheep and there will always be goats and there will always be more sheep than goats. It is the natural way.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 06-05-2008, 09:34 AM   #58
HL1978
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

The comparason with systema happens fairly often. I have zero first hand experience with systema so I would merely be parroting others have said.
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Old 06-05-2008, 10:04 AM   #59
Mark Jakabcsin
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

Quote:
Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
The comparason with systema happens fairly often. I have zero first hand experience with systema so I would merely be parroting others have said.
Just an FYI that if you want to gain some first hand experience Vladimir has a seminar in your area, Manasas, Oct 25 & 26th of this year. I am planning on being there.

Take care
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Old 06-05-2008, 02:53 PM   #60
HL1978
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

Quote:
Mark Jakabcsin wrote: View Post
Just an FYI that if you want to gain some first hand experience Vladimir has a seminar in your area, Manasas, Oct 25 & 26th of this year. I am planning on being there.

Take care
Thats right down the road from me, I should check it out.

For those who were knew to the Aunkai/Akuzawa, how would you describe the sensations you felt when you tried the exercises/demos with people who had been there before, or with Akuzawa or Rob?
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Old 06-05-2008, 03:50 PM   #61
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

The "Westerners" clearly don't get it. Although, there do seem to be a lot of "Westerners" winning in the UFC upon observation.

It would be nice if a taijiquan or other proponent would step up and show some application with minimal parameters. Yes, UFC has rules, but I think we can all agree friendly push-hands practice has quite a bit more rules.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 06-05-2008, 03:57 PM   #62
Mike Sigman
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

Quote:
Justin Smith wrote: View Post
The "Westerners" clearly don't get it. Although, there do seem to be a lot of "Westerners" winning in the UFC upon observation.

It would be nice if a taijiquan or other proponent would step up and show some application with minimal parameters. Yes, UFC has rules, but I think we can all agree friendly push-hands practice has quite a bit more rules.
And folks.... Justin is the archetypical representative of what Cheng Man Ching tai chi practitioners are. They're all like this, trust me. Living symbols of the personality of Cheng Man Ching and Robert W. Smith.
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Old 06-05-2008, 04:07 PM   #63
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

Justin

Happy to do push hands with you anytime.

Happy to spar UFC style with you anytime.

Happy to work with you with any parameters, minimal/maximal, or anywhere in between, as long as we maintain a modicum of safety.

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Old 06-05-2008, 04:23 PM   #64
statisticool
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

It is best to get data from the people promoting their theories about movement. So if someone says "Westerners" don't get this or that, and that the "Asians" really get it... responsible people look for proof of this assertion (vague as it is).

Of course, if one means "better" in terms of agreed-upon-rules (including use of levels of force), or seminar demos, then they are probably correct.

Although they like to make inference from this to real martial application, which is where the danger may lie.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 06-05-2008, 04:40 PM   #65
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

Well it is a bummer you didn't go to the seminar as then you would have been able to make a qualified statement based on your experiences with them.

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Old 06-05-2008, 11:32 PM   #66
Tim Fong
 
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

I thought the seminar turned out well. It was nice to meet a lot of folks in person, finally. I was happy to see that I have made progress since the last seminar in November, I can also see that there are many places that still need work. Specifically I think I have to work on receiving force vs. tolerating it.

Kevin,

I enjoyed talking with you during lunch and learning more about your perspective on martial arts. I did some thinking about the points you raised -- some were similar to conversations that I've had with Takeo in the past. Specifically, your comments about having to train your guys to be functional very quickly, reminded me of past conversations with Takeo. Takeo, Rob, Hunter and I kicked some of this stuff around after the seminar. Takeo wanted me to say that if you had any thoughts you wanted to communicate with him about this post, to just send him an email-- he doesn't want to participate in martial arts forums at all. I saw your recent posts in this thread too, about what the right balance is between connection training and sparring training. I think about that a lot too, because I don't get to train with Akuzawa as regularly as I'd like, so I have to test stuff out in sparring to keep from deluding myself.

The issue it seems in the military environment is how to incorporate connection/bodyskill training while still rapidly giving people usable combative skills. I seem to remember some reading about how the Army conducted tests to see which was better-- a limited introduction to grappling or a limited introduction to striking. The thrust of the article was that initial infantry training has a lot of other skills besides hand to hand... is that right?

Any connection/bodyskill training conducted in this paradigm might not be considered pure, however, that's not the point. The point would be to develop a system that was better than what would be there otherwise. Purity goes right out the window. I know, that I was happy to more or less stop sparring for a while and work on the conditioning exercises and re-patterning my movement. I understand that you and Takeo operate under a (justifiably) different paradigm.

My thought would be that the best way to look at this would be to evaluate other systems which had similar requirements -- namely, training people to fight quickly, while still including bodyskill/connection training. Rob has told me that in the beginning, Akuzawa had them train and condition for two years before they started sparring. After talking with you at lunch, I gather that would not be acceptable for your soldiers, because they need skills they can fight with right away.

For the purposes of this post I'll examine a few systems as case studies: kyokushin karate, Li Tai Liang's sanshou program, and the old time Japanese Self Defense Force toshu kakuto training.

Kyokushin
Kyokushin karate is well known for it's full contact striking (no face punches, clinching or ground game though) style of fighting as well as challenging tournaments. Mas Oyama, the founder of the style also had extensive contact with Kenichi Sawai, who founded Taikiken. Taikiken is an internal martial art that is derived from Yiquan, and it emphasizes a lot of standing postures.

Some kyokushin upper ranking guys have also done quite a bit of Taikiken, and at least two prominent ones that I know of have incorporated it publicly: Hatsuo Royama and Hajime Kazumi. You can find videos of both on Youtube. What is really interesting is that with Kazumi you can see over time how he has incorporated the Taikiken training into his movements more and more. Specifically you can see it here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAn9FP7e-y8

I've heard from a friend of a friend that Royama emphasizes the Taikiken standing practices to his students.

To really evaluate this of course you'd want to take a look at the competition records of the students over time. While the success of individual competitors might not be too indicative, the question is, what is the overall trend.

However, Kyokushin lacks a clinch game and a ground game. This is a result of the ruleset under which they fight. Thus, it might not be such a good model for a military combatives program that must address all ranges of fighting.

Li Tai Liang's Sanshou
Sanda is Chinese rules kickboxing. It allows (generally) standing strikes like muay thai, as well as throwing from the clinch. There is no ground game.

Li Tai Liang is a sanda coach from China who used to teach the Chinese police. Li is also a master of Xingyi, an internal art based on spear fighting. Xingyi , interestingly, is also the parent art of Yiquan/Taikiken. My understanding is that the Chinese police have to go through a fairly compressed hand to hand training program.

I have a lot less info on this than I'd like, but I did see some videos that were posted (briefly) of Li working sanshou methods with his students. It looked a lot like he was striking and throwing at the same time, somewhat similar to what I've seen from Akuzawa.

Since sanshou allows the clinch as well as strikes to the head, it probably is closer to an mma environment than kyokushin, and thus might be a closer fit for a military combatives program.

Old time JSDF Toshu Kakuto training
Akuzawa has emphasized that a lot of his training concepts came from a former JSDF instructor. The JSDF guy did a lot of bayonet (jukendo) training and that's where he got his bodyskills. All of what follows is from conversations I've had with Rob and Akuzawa. [Rob if you're reading this, jump in and tell me if I am getting stuff wrong] that a lot of the old time JSDF Toshu Kakuto training was based on Nippon Kempo, which allows striking, clinch and a limited ground game. You can see the modern stuff here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqdfKDBkqp4

I don't know if they still do a lot of the bayonet training, or if it's just exclusively ''sports'' type movement now.

It would be interesting to see how many people who were brought up in the old time system were able to pick up the bodyskills in addition to the regular rough and tumble methods.

Anyways, that's enough from me. I hope you find my speculation somewhat useful.
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Old 06-06-2008, 05:53 AM   #67
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Re: Akuzawa Sensei Seminar in the DC Area/Aunkai

Tim

It was good training with you and Takeo. IMO, you guys are on the right track with what you are doing. Better, you mindset at how you analyze and process things will lead you to be successful for sure!

I am going to post my response over on the Military Training Methodologies thread as it will probably cause significant thread drift way from the actual seminar topic.

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