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 > Open Discussions

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!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 06-21-2008, 09:01 AM   #1
Mary Eastland
 
Mary Eastland's Avatar
Dojo: Berkshire Hills Aikido
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,213
Offline
Men and Women and Developing Internal Power

As I was driving this morning it occured to me that maybe some men have a hard time understanding that strong internal skills can come from softness and co-operative training because they have never given birth.

Now before you get all pissy about this....think about the focused, centered power of bearing a child...it is incredible...never having felt this I can see where some men and some women who have not had children can doubt the power of softness, determination, nature and focus.

Just some random thoughts.....what do you think?
Mary
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2008, 10:06 AM   #2
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: tieing in the two threads : men and women and developing internal power

A question that we can probably not understand as of course men can't give birth. Just as women can't write their name in the snow, which actually takes some internal power to be able to make it legible.

(Sorry couldn't resist!)

Seriously, I would not even begin to know how to relate to have a discussion on this of the top of my head.

  Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2008, 10:29 AM   #3
Upyu
Dojo: Aunkai, Tokyo
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 591
Offline
Re: tieing in the two threads : men and women and developing internal power

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Now before you get all pissy about this....think about the focused, centered power of bearing a child...it is incredible...never having felt this I can see where some men and some women who have not had children can doubt the power of softness, determination, nature and focus.
I'm sure bearing a child is a feat that would make most men cry, including myself.

But for anyone that has a modicum of these skills would also know that the statement you made is basically comparing apples and oranges.
Internal skill comes from rewiring how you think and move, but is also dependent on conditioning. Lose one or the other and you'll always lose out on these skills. Anyone with decent internal skills had a tremendous amount of certain physical conditioning, whether it be Ueshiba, Shioda, or Tohei etc.
(All you have to do is take a look at Ueshiba's near nekkid figure when he was doing misogi to see the tell-tale signs of that physical conditioning.)

Who knows, maybe Ueshiba got his stuff from visualizing having birth
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2008, 01:08 PM   #4
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: tieing in the two threads : men and women and developing internal power

Rob wrote:

Quote:
Anyone with decent internal skills had a tremendous amount of certain physical conditioning
No kidding. I just finished my first 10 days of doing your exercises. I am frickin sore all over. Mainly upper back, lats, back of my legs, and obliques. Good stuff.

It is interesting. Never broke a sweat, everyday felt like I needed to do more when I stopped. by the end of the 10th day though I am pretty sore.

I am doing it at work as well as paired exercises with a partner. We get called all kinds of names and get eye brows raised.

  Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2008, 02:20 PM   #5
Janet Rosen
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Janet Rosen's Avatar
Location: Left Coast
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,964
Online
Re: tieing in the two threads : men and women and developing internal power

And I believe that any prolonged, intense and difficult experience, be it illness, childbirth, war, athletic endurance, that a person learns to deal with by integrating his/her physical and emotional responses will have the same affect.
In other words, its how the person goes in looking at it and then experiences it. And I suspect that not all moms experience childbirth as "focused, centered power". How one goes through childbirth depends on so many variables - age, education, culture, support, belief systems, expectations....

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2008, 03:10 PM   #6
Chris Li
 
Chris Li's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Sangenkai
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,087
United_States
Offline
Re: tieing in the two threads : men and women and developing internal power

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
As I was driving this morning it occured to me that maybe some men have a hard time understanding that strong internal skills can come from softness and co-operative training because they have never given birth.

Now before you get all pissy about this....think about the focused, centered power of bearing a child...it is incredible...never having felt this I can see where some men and some women who have not had children can doubt the power of softness, determination, nature and focus.

Just some random thoughts.....what do you think?
Mary
I think that your basic assumption (that child bearing women are better at "understanding that strong internal skills can come from softness and co-operative training") has yet to be established.

I've trained plenty of moms who had problems relaxing and moving softly - pretty much the same as anyone else.

Best,

Chris

  Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2008, 03:11 PM   #7
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: tieing in the two threads : men and women and developing internal power

When life is victorious, there is birth; when it is thwarted, there is death. A warrior is always engaged in a life-and-death struggle for Peace.
Morihei Ueshiba


Your heart is full of fertile seeds, waiting to sprout. Just as a lotus flower springs from the mire to bloom splendidly, the interaction of the cosmic breath causes the flower of the spirit to bloom and bear fruit in this world.
Morihei Ueshiba

Last edited by jennifer paige smith : 06-21-2008 at 03:15 PM.

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2008, 05:19 PM   #8
Mary Eastland
 
Mary Eastland's Avatar
Dojo: Berkshire Hills Aikido
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,213
Offline
Re: tieing in the two threads : men and women and developing internal power

I am not sure if was an assumption or just a reference point for me. Of course when I first started I had no idea about my center. Now that I do,.... I understand what happened when I gave birth in a new way. And I don't understand now and then...some things will always be in sacred mystery and that's all right with me.
Mary
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2008, 05:42 PM   #9
Chris Li
 
Chris Li's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Sangenkai
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,087
United_States
Offline
Re: tieing in the two threads : men and women and developing internal power

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
I am not sure if was an assumption or just a reference point for me. Of course when I first started I had no idea about my center. Now that I do,.... I understand what happened when I gave birth in a new way. And I don't understand now and then...some things will always be in sacred mystery and that's all right with me.
Mary
Assumption or reference point - there's no point in wondering about causes if the stated effect isn't valid.

Best,

Chris

  Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2008, 06:10 PM   #10
Bill Danosky
 
Bill Danosky's Avatar
Dojo: BN Yoshinkan
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 433
United_States
Offline
Re: tieing in the two threads : men and women and developing internal power

I know this'll put me in the man-pig hall of fame, but here it goes anyway:

Once you've conceived, and made the decision to go through with the pregnancy, childbirth is inevitable. Whether you're focused and centered, or scared witless and screaming for anesthesia. So I'm sorry, I don't think going through it confers any special wisdom or ability on the bearer. Although women who're inclined that way may find deep inspiration, and great women often do (Janet).

Now, before you get all pissy... I'm not marginalizing any mother's contribution, but IMO, it takes a lot more strength and character to raise a child than it does to have one. Therefore ALL concerned, involved moms and dads deserve credit and derive a benefit from it, regardless of the gender of the individual parent.

BTW, don't believe the way dads are portrayed on the average Windex or cereal commercial. Some of us actually have IQs with three digits!
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2008, 10:11 PM   #11
sunny liberti
 
sunny liberti's Avatar
Dojo: Shobu Aikido
Location: Connecticut
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 68
United_States
Offline
Re: tieing in the two threads : men and women and developing internal power

OK, I reeeeaaaaally don't want to get sucked in here, but this is a topic I'm passionate about, so I can't help myself.

All I'm going to say is that it's completely impossible to discuss this intelligently without defining the birth experience. Obstetrics model birthing - even so called "natural birth" in a hospital with a midwife, but still OB *model* of care - is the farthest thing from internal power, or an empowering experience.

I can certainly see that real honest orgasmic birthing is probably a real experience of internal power. I hold this opinion based on having met quite a few women who have experienced this. They have had some powerful experiences and been changed fundamentally. Most I know of have had a deepening of their physical practice. (I will add that I have met more of these women in yoga circles than anywhere else.)

I don't know first hand. Unfortunately, mine was born in a hospital.

I just can't stand to see this discussion keep going on a track that doesn't address this total disparity of birthing experience.

Carry on . . .

Last edited by sunny liberti : 06-21-2008 at 10:14 PM.

Sunny

A brave man dies once; cowards are always dying." --Moanahonga, Ioway
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2008, 11:33 PM   #12
Upyu
Dojo: Aunkai, Tokyo
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 591
Offline
Re: tieing in the two threads : men and women and developing internal power

Quote:
Sunny Liberti wrote: View Post
<snip>
All I'm going to say is that it's completely impossible to discuss this intelligently without defining the birth experience.
No it's impossible to discuss unless you can define what governs internal body mechanics, and an understanding of the basic body mechanics involved.

The fact that "friends in the yoga circle" share a similar opinion has no real bearing since I'd bet that 95% or more of those in yoga have the same misconceptions regarding "Internal" as those in the martial arts.

I apologize for coming off a bit harsh, but for anyone that can do these things, and that understands the logic and reasoning behind the conditioning and skills, you'd understand why the whole topic is nothing short of ludicrous.

It's like making an analogy with the throwing of bales of hay, it's both a trained skill and something that the body acquires through conditioning.
But to say that the female body can get a glimpse of what the skill of throwing bales hay is like through child birthing...
well I think you get the idea.

That being said, I'd posit that there is a "facet" of child birthing, especially with regards to breathing, and pressurizing of the body, that overlaps some of these skills. But unless you essentially worked on having a child everyday for several years, it's not something that merits discussion

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
No kidding. I just finished my first 10 days of doing your exercises. I am frickin sore all over. Mainly upper back, lats, back of my legs, and obliques. Good stuff.

It is interesting. Never broke a sweat, everyday felt like I needed to do more when I stopped. by the end of the 10th day though I am pretty sore.
Hehehe, after a while passes and you start to be able to kick in the contradictory tensions properly, trust me, you'll sweat like a pig even in winter
It'll make you wish that all you had to deal with was sore muscles

Last edited by Upyu : 06-21-2008 at 11:38 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2008, 08:10 AM   #13
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: tieing in the two threads : men and women and developing internal power

Couple of observations on Child Birth I think are worth mentioning. This is not meant to trivialize or discount the hardwork and contributions of a mother.

I think philosophically speaking childbirth can speak of the amazing things a women's body can go through and endures. For many women this is a very enlightening and spiritual process. One in which you are joined both physically and mentally with another human being (infant).

From that aspect I can see where you might label this an internal process.

I think many perceptions of aikido are akin to this. I know I went through this, and had expectations of aikido being a very transformative process. That is through the physical practice of aikido that I would form a connection mentally, spiritually, and physical and I would somehow gain a certain amount of enlightment through the process.

I had the same expectations When I completed Ranger School about 12 years ago. That is, through a shugyo like experience, that I would somehow gain insight to something greater.

In a way I did, I learned that the human is an amazing organism, We can endure much pain, and suffering. We can put ourselves through a great deal and not only survive, but thrive.

I also learned it was alot of hardwork and alot of it just plan sucked!

Anyway, back on subject.

However, for childbirth to be internal in the martial sense that we are talking hear it would need to produce certain skills and enstates. AND those endstates would need to be replicated and repeated over and over again.

I have not observed any correalation between women that have given birth with this martially or in any other manner from yoga, to gymnastics or whatnot.

If did lend significantly to the process, then we would see a distinction between Men, women that have given birth, and Women that have not.

I think you have to be careful about separating the phenomenon and not attributing experiences in other areas to this very real and physical practice of internal martial skills.

Sure childbirth can be a transformative experience spiritually and mentally. That is a big part of the process of growing as a human being. Which when you get down to it is why most of us practice aikido!

However, what most of us at some point and time fail to do is to correctly see the linkage between mental, spiritual, and physical.

I think aikido does a decent job of training this linkage, but I would argue that in many respects we are missing the boat on the physical development area.

Hence we have all these discussions about how aikido works in a real fight. How childbirth experience lends to doing stuff better physically, how Zen meditation makes us more "internal" thus my "aikido" is better.

  Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2008, 09:17 AM   #14
sunny liberti
 
sunny liberti's Avatar
Dojo: Shobu Aikido
Location: Connecticut
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 68
United_States
Offline
Re: tieing in the two threads : men and women and developing internal power

First, we need to address the crowbar separation between the birthing models. It's really critical to making anything meaningful out of this ridiculous discussion.

On the one hand, we have the obstetrics model of birthing. In that model, birthing is painful, and people come up with all sorts of inventive ways to manage that - from drugs to fruity things like counting, contrived breathing, etc . . . Still the fundamental idea is that it's pain. And because so many women do experience tremendous pain, it must be fact. Furthermore, many women feel that some form of this is empowering, because they were "tough" and had to dig deep to handle that level of pain. I had a horrific birth experience, full of pain that was considered medically unmanageable. (I'll spare everyone the details.) If people could magically come out of that experience with internal martial skill just for having dealt with pain, I would be one of them. And I ain't got it. What happens there is restriction, contraction, blockage of energy flow that we have to fight against our own bodies [doesn't this seem opposite of internal martial skill?!], struggle, and finally we dig deep to wrestle the baby out with fear and pain. That might be a little extreme to describe some women's experience, but it's some flavor of that, in the OB model.

Now, completely outside that paradigm, there are women who birth with no pain, but instead find that it's the most powerfully ecstatic experience of their lives. That they are in NO pain, the are completely energetically open, and that the child comes into the world cocooned in the mother's incredibly powerful energy. They don't struggle, they don't fight. Instead, they seem to become almost generators of incredible power and energy that seems to put the newborn in a trance with her energy.

Next, it seems there is wild speculation going on here where people on both sides of this discussion are drawing conclusions based on assumptions that over-stretch from their experience. Until I hear from a woman who has actually had a fully realized orgasmic birth - not anything that falls under the obstetrics paradigm (that was my original point) - *AND* has credible internal martial skill (against uncooperative attackers), this conversation can be nothing outside of wild speculation on both sides. And to pretend that anyone really is doing more than that looks a bit silly to me.

Quote:
Robert John wrote:
No it's impossible to discuss unless you can define what governs internal body mechanics, and an understanding of the basic body mechanics involved.
Robert, I think we are more in agreement than disagreement here. Just because it's my opinion that the discussion is pointless without defining what the hell actually happens in a birth experience (which I don't see as being altogether possible to do in the first place), doesn't mean that I don't also think that internal martial skill requires addition conditioning and training. And that that side of the comparison doesn't also deserve a good healthy dissection. It seems to me in my speculative state, that it's easier to talk about the body mechanics part - and I assume that many here will take that direction. It's darn near impossible to talk meaningfully about birthing alone, much less as it compares to martial arts!! Additionally, I can't go with any theory that a pain-based birth has anything to do with manifesting internal martial power.

Blissful birthing is probably an experience of internal power. An experience of it. It doesn't mean that I think those mothers can then go demonstrate internal martial skill. I'll also address, that while my husband and I are talking about this thread, his concern about where it's going is that we're very doubtfully talking about the same internal power. Just like there are many external powers, there are many forms of internal power. As my husband was saying to me: For instance, regarding the umbrella of external power - burning wood is different that lightning striking, which is different than water flowing . . . For internal power, there is the power to give, grow, and nurture life - and then there is tensegrity, holding multiple mental intention directions, storing power in the spine and releasing power from the spine, reverse breathing, etc.

I also noted that anything I say is speculation, as I have never birthed in that way, and have no internal martial skill. I specifically brought up yoga, so that it was clear exactly where my speculation is coming from. By the way, just as I don't waste my time with that 95% percent you mention in the martial arts world - which I happen to think is a generously low estimate - I also don't bother with fruity yoga either.

How this relates to internal power and birthing, I don't know if there is any overlap in blissful (ecstatic/orgasmic) birthing and developing internal martial skill. I don't know if the former seeds the latter in any way. Is that energy/power the same fundamental power that powers the trained tensegrity, etc . . . ? We can only each offer our observations and experiences. I've stated mine as clearly as I can. Once again - to drive this home - until I hear from a woman who has actually had a fully realized orgasmic birth - not anything that falls under the obstetrics paradigm - *AND* has credible internal martial skill (against uncooperative attackers), this conversation is nothing outside of WILD speculation on both sides. And to pretend that anyone really is doing more than that looks a bit silly to me.

All I really wanted to say about this in the first place was that if all you've ever been or seen a woman birthing in terrible pain, with or without drugs, you can't speak intelligently about how it does or doesn't translate to internal skill. The phenomena are not related. If you've birthed with such passion and joy that it was an energetic experience more than physical, AND you have real internal martial skills, I'd love to hear how you feel they are related or not.

Happy training,

Sunny

Sunny

A brave man dies once; cowards are always dying." --Moanahonga, Ioway
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2008, 09:40 AM   #15
rob_liberti
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
Location: East Haven, CT
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,402
United_States
Offline
Re: tieing in the two threads : men and women and developing internal power

A critical aspect to this that - we CAN compare these events in terms of the internal mechanics as Rob J was describing. To do so, we would need a women - that Sunny described - who could speak both languages - to provide the proper detail of the mechanics for the comparison.

Women who do not have the internal body skill developed to the point of dealing with uncooperative attackers cannot sufficiently describe the internal mechanics to compare these concepts in a meaningful or credible way, regardless of their birthing experience.

I'm typing this from across the room with an 11 foot pole - because I had vowed not to touch this thread with a 10 foot one.

Rob

PS. The male sea horse is the one that gets pregnant. And that is just as relevant to martial arts as the rest of this one.

Last edited by rob_liberti : 06-22-2008 at 09:47 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2008, 10:14 AM   #16
Upyu
Dojo: Aunkai, Tokyo
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 591
Offline
Re: tieing in the two threads : men and women and developing internal power

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
A critical aspect to this that - we CAN compare these events in terms of the internal mechanics as Rob J was describing. To do so, we would need a women - that Sunny described - who could speak both languages - to provide the proper detail of the mechanics for the comparison.
Agreed

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
I'm typing this from across the room with an 11 foot pole - because I had vowed not to touch this thread with a 10 foot one.
Awww, but see how much fun the 11 foot pole bought you? Maybe you should invest in some 20 foot ones for the real special ones

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
PS. The male sea horse is the one that gets pregnant. And that is just as relevant to martial arts as the rest of this one.
The male sea horse could kick my ass, no doubt
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2008, 10:24 AM   #17
Upyu
Dojo: Aunkai, Tokyo
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 591
Offline
Re: tieing in the two threads : men and women and developing internal power

Quote:
Sunny Liberti wrote: View Post
For internal power, there is the power to give, grow, and nurture life - and then there is tensegrity, holding multiple mental intention directions, storing power in the spine and releasing power from the spine, reverse breathing, etc.
That's where I'd disagree, I'd say the first is more an example of a western interpretation of these things, whereas for the most part the skills were more concretely defined having to do with the latter.

Quote:
Sunny Liberti wrote: View Post
All I really wanted to say about this in the first place was that if all you've ever been or seen a woman birthing in terrible pain, with or without drugs, you can't speak intelligently about how it does or doesn't translate to internal skill. The phenomena are not related. If you've birthed with such passion and joy that it was an energetic experience more than physical, AND you have real internal martial skills, I'd love to hear how you feel they are related or not.
No real argument from me on that

What is funny though, I'd add cautiously that the constrictions, retractions you talked about, could overlap with a part of the things used to build internal skills
It's why monks in China do weird things...like hanging weights from their genitalia...(there's a menu for women too, I'll leave that up to people's imaginations to figure out)

But like you said, it'd require someone with experience in both to make any kind of useful contribution on the subject
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2008, 11:35 AM   #18
sunny liberti
 
sunny liberti's Avatar
Dojo: Shobu Aikido
Location: Connecticut
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 68
United_States
Offline
Re: tieing in the two threads : men and women and developing internal power

Quote:
Robert John wrote:
That's where I'd disagree, I'd say the first is more an example of a western interpretation of these things, whereas for the most part the skills were more concretely defined having to do with the latter.
You'll have to take this part of the discussion up with Rob (hubby), if he hasn't already thrown out that 11 ft. pole. Or maybe you'll hit on this in a different thread? I know nothing about the latter things as they apply to martial training, and agreed to add that into my post to address his opinions about where the discussion was heading and what I was saying about it. I tried to point out who was saying what, and what part of it was not coming from me, but I don't think I did it very clearly. Apologies.

However, the one thing that strikes me about your comment, is that I don't believe a western view of power is any less valid that an eastern one. Martially - sure, no doubt. But just in general terms of forces acting in the universe . . . those former things are just as much power as anything, IMNSHO. I think that's why he wanted to bring up such diverse examples as eastern and western - to point out that the topic is just that huge in scope. Thus the relation to an "umbrella".

I don't know if that's what you're saying or not. But if it is, then yes, we disagree.

About the genitalia training, I should probably let Rob post this himself, as he thinks it's ssooooo funny . . . But when I was pregnant, he used to scare uptight family members when they asked about childbirthing classes and such, by telling them that we weren't bothering with that silliness - he was just kicking me as hard as he could in the crotch 3x a day to get me toughened up enough. I thought some of his aunts were going to faint!

Sunny

A brave man dies once; cowards are always dying." --Moanahonga, Ioway
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2008, 11:39 AM   #19
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,828
United_States
Offline
Re: tieing in the two threads : men and women and developing internal power

So -- please point me to a FAQ if there is one -- exactly what is "internal skill"? Or "internal power"? Maybe there's a coherent, consensus answer to that, but I expect what I'll hear is more like the blind men describing the elephant. At that point, seems like not only do we not have an adequate definition of the "birth experience", but we lack an adequate definition of "internal skill", which makes discussion of a connection between them much like arguing about the best route between the imaginary towns of East Cupcake and West Horseshoe.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2008, 12:00 PM   #20
sunny liberti
 
sunny liberti's Avatar
Dojo: Shobu Aikido
Location: Connecticut
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 68
United_States
Offline
Re: tieing in the two threads : men and women and developing internal power

Mary, your point is well taken. I don't think the blind men describing an elephant is a completely accurate simile though. I see it as more like a small number of people who can see very clearly (or at least enough to distinguish an elephant from, say, a horse) trying to describe the elephant to a bunch of blind men. I think a FAQ would be just about as productive.

My approach, while I'm in the blind man camp, is to work on my vision (meaning my body and my own skills) so that I have a chance of seeing the elephant for myself. Not to try to get others to give ever-better descriptions. I guess I'm lucky in that I have enough somewhat-sighted folks around me that I can see they are really onto something, though I don't know what that elephant looks like myself yet.

Last edited by sunny liberti : 06-22-2008 at 12:03 PM.

Sunny

A brave man dies once; cowards are always dying." --Moanahonga, Ioway
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2008, 12:45 PM   #21
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: tieing in the two threads : men and women and developing internal power

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
So -- please point me to a FAQ if there is one -- exactly what is "internal skill"? Or "internal power"? Maybe there's a coherent, consensus answer to that, but I expect what I'll hear is more like the blind men describing the elephant.
Hi Mary:

I don't know of any accredited "FAQ", but Koichi Tohei's book "This Is Aikido, With Mind and Body Coordinated" was written under the auspices of Hombu Dojo and so Tohei's comments and particularly his (and his students) demonstrations would qualify as a Rosetta Stone from which to derive the basis of something like a FAQ. In other words, Tohei's "Ki Tests" and demonstrations in that book were done at the time when he was still the chief instructor and the book was approved by Ueshiba M.... so the physical demonstrations of "ki" (aka "internal strength", etc.) are pretty concrete starting points. Of course a lot of people are going to offer opinions of what they think ki is, but my comment would be that before someone has the right to claim they know what ki is, they should be able to demonstrate all those simple examples in Tohei's book.

Based on conversations and my own experiences with a few of the regual AikiWeb posters who I consider credible about at least some aspects of internal strength, I don't think that baseline of "be able to do Tohei's ki tests" would be questioned by any of them. So maybe that's a good starting point? I don't know if Tohei ever had a baby, so I'll have to demur on that point of the discussion.

Best.

Mike Sigman
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2008, 01:08 PM   #22
DH
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
United_States
Offline
Re: tieing in the two threads : men and women and developing internal power

Hi Mary
All due respect. I think your idea of men not understanding internal skills and softness because they have not birthed a child is nonsense. They have not one single thing in common. I will assume you have this misunderstanding because you don’t have the first clue of what internal power truly is. I think you will be rather surpirsed-as most are- at feeling real internal power, probably for the first time in your adult life-if we meet and have some fun training together. I would be more than happy to show you how to get started. I'd be willing to betcha I am both softer and able to move everyone in your dojo at will and with ease. Then share and get you started on how to train some things-and you might laugh and have a grand ol time learning. I know I do.
BTW I'm pretty sure I don't know the little I know because i'm a successful dad- but rather from spending 18 yrs. training internal skills.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2008, 01:41 PM   #23
rob_liberti
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
Location: East Haven, CT
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,402
United_States
Offline
Re: Men and Women and Developing Internal Power

Here is a video of Osensei's wife giving birth to Kisshomaru while doing the jo trick. Notice how at time 3:05-3:15 in the video that she is having some trouble, and how at time 6:45-7:00 how much better she is at it as she gets closer to giving the birth.

Here is the link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=givemeabreak

Last edited by rob_liberti : 06-22-2008 at 01:56 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2008, 02:17 PM   #24
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: Men and Women and Developing Internal Power

Mary,

The only thing I can tell you is that you will go round and round with Mike, Dan, and Rob until you get with them and train.

I have my own definitions, facts, and assumptions...but I think I have a little better understanding of Mike and Rob's position and definition of the collective term "internal" from their perspective now that I have trained with them a little. (I haven't gotten with Dan, but assume he is in the same camp).

What I thought was "internal" that is the whole blending, getting off the line, harmony, being at one with your opponent with "no mind" definition of internal was changed and how they view "internal" is not that at all.

It is a very definitive and measurable feel.

From my understanding of what they are doing...I can't see how you can relate child birth as a method to give you any transferrable physical skill that might be labeled internal as these guys define it.

I will give you the whole mental and spiritual area of "internal" but not the physical.

FWIW, I have witnessed over 100 births as a young Air Force Medic working in Obstetrics many years ago, including the birth of my own son! Some where easy and some where very difficult. I had one lady laughing and smiling the whole time..that was wierd!

  Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2008, 06:27 AM   #25
Mary Eastland
 
Mary Eastland's Avatar
Dojo: Berkshire Hills Aikido
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,213
Offline
Re: Men and Women and Developing Internal Power

Good morning:

Thanks for your replies.

My idea of internal strength includes being resposible for my reactions to your reactions to my ideas.

Another idea of internal stregth would be to not use sarcasm to hurt others. I think this is where I have trouble with the development of internal strength without Aikido....the philosophy as I understand it tempers the internal strength with ideas that make us want to be responsible for our words and actions.

Mary
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Budo Bear Patterns - Sewing pattern for Women's (and Men's) dogi.



Reply


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


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:08 PM.



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