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Old 06-23-2008, 01:13 AM   #26
Chris Li
 
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Re: AikidoEand AikiEo. Where are we at?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
a) From Aikidoka who have experienced them and how it is impacting their aikido,
b) From those who have read their reports and whether all these many reports have impacted their opinions, second hand as it were?
As a corollary, I would like to ask the same question of any Daito-ryu folks out there.

Sokaku Takeda has (supposedly) some 30,000 students and certified some 30 students as kyoju dairi (the same certification that Morihei Ueshiba got), and yet, according to Sagawa Yukiyoshi there was only one of those students who ever understood Takeda's Aiki - that being Sagawa himself, who kept it more or less to himself until the last years of his life.

Now, I trained with a variety of Daito-ryu folks in Japan, from various schools, but there were only a few that I thought had any kind of a real handle on the kind of internal skills we're talking about here - more or less the same kind of ratio that I've found in Aikido.

Do Daito-ryu folks feel that this "glasnost" is affecting their practice? And if so, is it affecting it in a good way?

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-23-2008, 01:20 AM   #27
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

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Perhaps I've never had this revelation because I remember in the very beginning of my training, it was stressed to me to relax, don't use muscle power, and to harmonize. Because of the thickness of my skull, it took many years of me trying to do Aikido, then I finally realized, oh, its that simple. Are you saying that the majority of Aikido practioners don't know this as well?
Then maybe you want to enlighten us on "what" is so simple about it.
It is simple, but it isn't at the same time, in fact this stuff gets pretty complex when you get down to it. For someone to say that it's "that simple" smacks of just not having gotten around enough to feel anyone with actual skill
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Old 06-23-2008, 06:00 AM   #28
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Hi John
Not hearing me huh? I guess I'll give it one last try. I don't know if you are being purposefully dismissive of my request for the thread, or are simply misunderstanding me.
This thread is not about me. It is about two things
a) The people in aikido who have felt these skills from Rob, Ark, Mike or me or in some cases combinations thereof and how it has impacted either there overall view of Aiki, view of aiki in aikido, and how the pursuit of it is impacting their aikido and how they train it within or without.
b) How the various reports here have impacted the community and a chance for that community to address those in aikido who have felt these skills
c) To NOT discuss the validity or doubts of these skills with the typical people. There are many threads available for that.

In response you have not done a or b and continue with c.-you continue to address me. Here's a helping hand John.
Answer Aikidoka's Kevin and Rob and their assertions.
Try addressing their observations by addressing them directly instead of replying to me. They outlined similarities and differences here and in many threads. Do that and you will be on your way to staying on topic. If not please leave the thread.

Last edited by DH : 06-23-2008 at 06:02 AM.
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Old 06-23-2008, 06:33 AM   #29
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

My impression of aikido LONG AGO was that it was the ultimate martial art available to us in the States. That the inventor took on all challenges and defeated them all easily. I continued with my practice thinking that I was learning something beyond the normal.

When I got into fights - and let me tell you - I got into many fights as a kid, and I tried things I was doing in aikido (not ikkyo, but entering and turning as people are coming at you trying to hurt you) and things didn't match up exactly to my hopes - I just chalked it up to:
1 - I need more training
2 - Some people are like Michael Jordan, and I'm not one of them

I just assume Osensei was a Michael Jordan of martial arts who trained like a nut in an inspired way.

I couldn't will myself to have natural talent, but I could train like a nut and be the best my natural talent level would allow.

As I got older, and I mellowed, I still wanted to excel martially - but my fighting days were clearly over. I wanted the health benefits of the martial training for sure, I wanted the martial (physical) testing/gauge of my emotional/spiritual development, and I wanted to give back to the art itself.

I found bullshido and thought that it might be about martial arts in general and just against people pretending to have credentials. There are many fakers in aikido (3rd kyus pretending to be 6th dans in their own self created independent organization). I read their stuff. I realized just how far aikido's image is generally from what my initial image of what aikido was supposed to be.

I got interested. I wondered if I could learn the aiki I was learning in aikido well enough to apply it to MMA and dominate in that arena. The problem is that I don't learn such skills so quickly, and I was not sure I'd still have a good enough body to do MMA with aiki by the time I extracted enough aiki from aikido to do what I wanted (have a good throwdown with a bunch of bullshido folks). Work gets pretty frustrating, and a good "fight" takes out a lot of stress (even if it is not an all out try to kill the other guy type of street fight). So I started looking for other people who went this direction. And I found some help. We'll see what happens...

I think aikido deserves a better martial reputation. If that's not your thing, FINE, but you might benefit (your dojo numbers for sure) might benefit from SOMEONE - ANYONE in aikido actually helping the martial credibility a bit.

Anyway, something to think about. (or not - that's okay too, I'll think about it myself).

Rob
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Old 06-23-2008, 06:46 AM   #30
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Rob
So have you seen anything recently in your training aiki outside of aikido™ -where these skills could in fact make aikido™ more martially sound and viable in a more pressing environment? Have you seen at least a "potential" for aiki power that could deliver as promised?
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Old 06-23-2008, 07:05 AM   #31
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
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John,

"why didn't anyone wearing a hakama ever explain it so clearly as these guys wearing sweats and tee-shirts?"

it is in there, but I think we as a community have done a very poor job of codifying and communicating it.
I won't answer for John, whom I know. But I think it is because early on we accepted nomenclature for our physical comprehension as a substitute for intellectual comprehension. Ki, Aiki, Kokyu, Musubi Takemusu, all are valid objective concepts, but initially, it is hard to get over the change in manner of moving so that more commonplace concepts like "push" "pull" "stand" and "move" are hard to segregate from the manner of prior experience without a different category of naming. I mean this of any serious fighting art.

One of the first things that I realized when I began to break the nomenclature down (not to destroy it but to reshape in my native terms) and teach for new guys is the change that must occur under threat if one is to fight well. It is quite simply demonstrated -- fight or flight -- for flight the body tenses, the Cg rises and one is prepared to dart away. To FIGHT on the other hand, the body must relax the undercarriage compressing it slightly, and all the body's frame has to pull relaxedly into itself, gathering into the threat within itself, as it were (first action of irimi?), and not away from it.

That's why I am so (annoyingly to many, no doubt) seriously exploring the physics of relaxed, linked structures and the biomechanics that go with it. It is helping to put some Western objective content into the nomenclature. The purpose is not to replace the traditional nomenclature - it captures concepts in a different ordering than we do, and is useful in its own right for that reason. The purpose is to relate it more clearly to our ordering of those essential principles.

The guys in sweats and tee-shirts are not burdened by the nomenclature -- but then, they do not take the benefit of it either. It is rich in its own right, and the baby should be held onto -- whatever one does with the bathwater.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 06-23-2008 at 07:12 AM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 06-23-2008, 07:17 AM   #32
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
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This thread is not about me. It is about two things
a) The people in aikido who have felt these skills from Rob, Ark, Mike or me or in some cases combinations thereof and how it has impacted either there overall view of Aiki, view of aiki in aikido, and how the pursuit of it is impacting their aikido and how they train it within or without.
b) How the various reports here have impacted the community and a chance for that community to address those in aikido who have felt these skills
c) To NOT discuss the validity or doubts of these skills with the typical people. There are many threads available for that.
.
Well -- I can't comment on a. since I have never met any of you guys (although one of my students has met Rob in Paris).

I am well qualified to comment on b though -- I feel this thread is hugely important and underpins the biggest problem in Aikido today…and for many years,

Which is simply that many many thousands of us hide behind an easy translation and do not or will not accept what aikido means.

Pretty inflammatory stuff -- I don't mean to be so I'll offer some thoughts -- not really my own but those of my instructors teacher, Pierre Chassang of France.

Similarly to the discussion here there was a discussion between Pierre and Arikawa Sensei in Paris during 1993.

In discussing the differences between much of the ‘Aikido' practiced at that time which in the opinion of both differed from that originally taught by O'Sensei, Pierre used the expression ‘Modern Aikido'.

This was met by Arikawa with "Chassang, there is only one Aikido, one only; there cannot be two. Aikido is unique…Modern Aikido! It makes no sense"

In order to discuss Arikawa preferred the term "Budo Sportif"

Anyway -- for me this equates to Dan's Aikido(TM) and to others Aikido-lite.

But why so much concern about a name? Its just a label …isn't it? Or is it?

Where did Aikido the name come from? Was it chosen by O'Sensei or agreed by a group? I'm way to young to know.

However, after 1942 Aikido became the name of O'Senseis art.

Why?

Aiki had existed for many years, as an art, as a name, and as a way for many. So why suddenly should O'Sensei change it?

Cutting very much to the chase -- Pierres offering from translations of Japanese kanji / Chinese Hanji is thus;

Ai - unify
Qi - energy
Dao -- Tao

If one choses to consider this, then by definition the principles of the Tao become fundamental to Aikido ….because that is what it says on the tin. Its what is name describes.

Furthermore, the concepts outlined specifically by Rob John earlier in this thread become the base of what Aikido is.

Ignore them and you lose what is Aikido.

Having defined Aikido…if anyone is still reading this heresy…then what next ?

How to work towards it?

This is even harder to agree. Who is right? O'Sensei? Tohei? Tamura? And so on.

Probably all right to differing degrees.

Yet they are not all the same.

For some the training methodology differs. Rob and Dan seem to place great store in solo practice (if I read correctly), Pierre Chassange espoused Kotai, Kotai and always Kotai .(For him this solid practice is the square of Aikido..as per other thread).

As long as you work towards Aikido then that is good.

But when the practice is drawn to the flashy, large ukemi and the always compliant uke then Aikido can be lost and Budo Sportif takes over.

Kevin Leavitt points out the difficulty of teaching and working at this core. For most students their expectations of what Aikido is does not match the truth.

So the dilemma is where to pitch a class …assuming you have the choice as you can only teach what you know.

Where that level is …who knows? I know I personally stray towards the more exciting stuff on occasion and I know we teach syllabus mostly which is not really the crux..

I take some sugar with my coffee too to make it a bit more palatable.

But if we don't compromise we have no student base, and ultimately no dojo unless some benefactor would like to sponsor our hardcore in the pursuit of excellence.

Realistically a trade off is needed …but for me this is part of the long term goal to preserve the training environment on order to work towards Ai-Ki-Dao.

So to answer the question -- I'm drawn to this thread like a moth to a flame, and while the major contributors do not have a monopoly on internal skills , (nor claim to), they do have clearly relevant insights into the core of what I believe Aikido is.

So thankyou.

D

"That which people who practice the martial arts call Aiki is fundamentally different to what I call Aiki" -O'Sensei
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Old 06-23-2008, 07:25 AM   #33
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
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Not to rehash an old dead (or most likely closed) thread. At that camp during one of Ikeda Sensei's classes he said (paraphrasing here), "because of Ushiro Sensei I am only now understanding how Saotome Sensei is able to do his aikido".

Personally, I think all the tools for internal training are in Aikido its the know-how that is lacking.

Tim Anderson
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Old 06-23-2008, 07:31 AM   #34
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Rob
So have you seen anything recently in your training aiki outside of aikido™ -where these skills could in fact make aikido™ more martially sound and viable in a more pressing environment? Have you seen at least a "potential" for aiki power that could deliver as promised?
Absolutely.

This is one of those rare cases where I would have preferred to talk (write) less and just let my body do the talking. (I've been dealing with sick wife and being 100% child playmate lately so I'll have to write!)

The person who can out-structure the other person has a clear advantage. Most of the aikido things we learn is basically to that end. The aiki training is incredible for that. Defending takedowns with aiki structure is highly advantageous. There are other aspects I find incredible that I'll only call "soft power" that blows through most people's structure.

Extending that to using the aiki type striking makes one devastating. I saw Tom Holtz (sp?) a person with 1 year of training hitting a heavy bag a LOT harder than I could (and I have a few more years in martial arts - and multiple martial arts - than he does!). I'll get there.

Making center connection on contact is also highly advantageous. If I'm truly going to deal with multiple SKILLED attackers, I'd like to waste a lot less energy in movement.

I still believe in finesse with power. Not sure how, but my belief is that in general I should eventually be skilled enough to not only have a successful throwdown with some bullshido folks - but SO SKILLED that I can actually make my form look like aikido basic waza just to frustrate them and blow their minds.

Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 06-23-2008 at 07:35 AM.
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Old 06-23-2008, 07:41 AM   #35
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
a) Making center connection on contact is also highly advantageous.

b) I still believe in finesse with power. Not sure how, but my belief is that in general I should eventually be skilled enough to not only have a successful throwdown with some bullshido folks - but SO SKILLED that I can actually make my form look like aikido basic waza just to frustrate them and blow their minds.

Rob
a. goes along way in making b happen. In order to do a., very well, allot of other skills come to the fore. It is actually my hope that men stay in aikido and manage to do b. And I'll be right behind you applauding, when you pull it off. If you keep training-you will.
You have already stated that you can see some crossover in what Gleason sensei does (Saotome line) in some of his movements. Has your training aiki...do helped in your aikido™? Can you see a way to help others students?

Last edited by DH : 06-23-2008 at 07:55 AM.
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Old 06-23-2008, 07:52 AM   #36
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Tim Anderson wrote: View Post
Not to rehash an old dead (or most likely closed) thread. At that camp during one of Ikeda Sensei's classes he said (paraphrasing here), "because of Ushiro Sensei I am only now understanding how Saotome Sensei is able to do his aikido".

Personally, I think all the tools for internal training are in Aikido its the know-how that is lacking.
Fair enough. The problem is not with the statement but with the improper gloss that critics with an agenda tend to give it (i.e -- that it implies "(until Ikeda met Ushiro) I (Ikeda) did not (understand/was not able to do) aikido"). Nothing could be farther from the truth. That statement was in front of his primary teacher and a (welcome) stranger, and thus to speak well of himself or his ability or understanding in such context would be the height of personal disrespect and arrogance.

Having said that, the essential point goes back to my discussion earlier about breaking out of received nomenclature -- in order to fulfill that nomenclature in both concept and practice. Ushiro does that in the context of his own art, and it is that mode of thinking about the training that seems to me most important aspect of the collaboration they are all engaged in.

But then, I am reading it as in agreement with what I personally already see. Seems to me everyone else that same problem, too, just from a different perspective. That's why intellectual objectivity in the content is the most critical thing to me, right now.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 06-23-2008, 08:14 AM   #37
Dennis Hooker
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Watching someone do something from a little different perspective sometimes helps us understand better what we already know.

Dennis Hooker: (DVD) Zanshin and Ma-ai in Aikido
https://www.createspace.com/238049

www.shindai.com
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Old 06-23-2008, 08:17 AM   #38
Tom H.
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Extending that to using the aiki type striking makes one devastating. I saw Tom Holtz (sp?) a person with 1 year of training hitting a heavy bag a LOT harder than I could (and I have a few more years in martial arts - and multiple martial arts - than he does!). I'll get there.
Wow, that's a bizarre thing to hear said, even more so coming from you! (The context, for anyone interested, is that I have no creditable martial arts training, very little athletic background, no muscles from weightlifting, no experience in any fight ever, and I have only been working the internal stuff for about two years.)

Last edited by Tom H. : 06-23-2008 at 08:26 AM.
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Old 06-23-2008, 09:28 AM   #39
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
You have already stated that you can see some crossover in what Gleason sensei does (Saotome line) in some of his movements. Has your training aiki...do helped in your aikido™? Can you see a way to help others students?
INTENTION:
Training aiki has help my aikido in that I really didn't totally buy into putting my mind on the person in different areas while I moved. It seemed to be easily explained by something like mass hypnosis - or overly wanting to please the teacher or something. Aiki training sold me on the idea and my aikido has dramatically changed for the better.

Some of the things Gleason sensei describes in terms of aikido waza are remarkably clearer now. The basic rules he explained like no pushing (think ikkyo), no pulling (think iriminage), and no lifting (think shihonage) make a lot more sense.

His tenchi nage and kokyu tanden ho is remarkably more accessible now that I have a lot more faith in where to put my intention. Kotegaeshi and the rest of the kansetsu waza are all clearer because I'm doing things much more like the way he does them.

STRUCTURE:
I also notice that Gleason sensei doesn't stand where he dumps his weight down his front like so many in aikido. He stands much more like Dan stands. Aiki training has convinced me to really look at this, explore it, and make it my own.

OTHER STUDENTS:
Well, if anything I ever wrote was going to get me in trouble - this will be it: Gleason sensei has aiki in his aikido much more well defined than most I've encountered. I've seen so many people (no not all but MANY) in aikido get confronted by his aikido and RUN away from it as fast as possible. People do not want to deal with how far away they are from what he's got. George Ledyard sensei has remarked something about this like -if you like your aikido you probably won't like Gleason's sensei's aikido. You get the idea. Basically my impression is that many people in aikido don't even tend to want to be challenged by something beyond them in their OWN art. Kevin was talking about the 80/20 rule and it seems to be more like 95/5.

Anyway, there is little chance that *I* was going to QUICKLY develop aiki from Gleason sensei's aikido because I believe I would need him to be my training partner 8 hours a day for several years. You can certainly get a bit of it through touch. My typical experience is that I'll already have much more stability than my average training partner, so they grow more quickly and I grow MUCH more slowly in those situations.

I don't even know if the Dan Harden approach is "better" for any other reason other than I get a lot more one on one time with a major aiki-sempai working with me and not allowing me to get so much in the way of myself. The rest of the approach MAY be better, but who knows. It is what it is. I take the good with the _possibly_ not as good (maybe better). It has the added bonus of teaching me very direct things I can practice myself, AS WELL AS teach me MMA skills that I'm interested in.

On to the question more directly. I don't see MANY students getting too helped by this UNLESS I can make the personal connection with them such that they do not feel the need to run and hide to protect their "training belief system" that they have an ego investment in. The only way is charismatic power with passionate students open martial truth - with them then YES this training will help them tremendously. I know some - not many.

The main thing is to get it myself and be available as a resource to those people in aikido (or elsewhere).

This is not in the discussion, but I see myself also putting the time into this, into the supporting yoga, into MMA for fun, and also probably on my knees begging Shaun Raven's to share his misogi exercises with me (maybe even a trade when I get better enough to have something worth trading). I think there is something important to that training. I just have to prioritize where I put my time based on my own personal realities.

Very distracted today, sorry if I missed anything.

Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 06-23-2008 at 09:30 AM.
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Old 06-23-2008, 09:34 AM   #40
Mike Sigman
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
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Again, Mike didn't really show us nothing new..just told us alot of stuff about "HOW" to do it a little more correctly, and WHY you want to do it. and emphasized that you need to do it ALOT.
Well, if you're talking about various exercises, I didn't use anything new that no one had seen. However, I'd say that the actual mind-directed skills (and related aspects) were new to most people, because no one showed being already to do them, except for some people that had been exposed before (Kevin Sutter had learned his skills from someone else, but he had some good skills).

The reason I say that is that from experience I've seen people talk themselves into "oh, this is just a variant of stuff I was already doing" and they never go anywhere because that's honestly how they see it. It then becomes a waste of time, because it means they didn't really get it.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 06-23-2008, 09:40 AM   #41
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
As a corollary, I would like to ask the same question of any Daito-ryu folks out there.

Sokaku Takeda has (supposedly) some 30,000 students and certified some 30 students as kyoju dairi (the same certification that Morihei Ueshiba got), and yet, according to Sagawa Yukiyoshi there was only one of those students who ever understood Takeda's Aiki - that being Sagawa himself, who kept it more or less to himself until the last years of his life.

Now, I trained with a variety of Daito-ryu folks in Japan, from various schools, but there were only a few that I thought had any kind of a real handle on the kind of internal skills we're talking about here - more or less the same kind of ratio that I've found in Aikido.

Do Daito-ryu folks feel that this "glasnost" is affecting their practice? And if so, is it affecting it in a good way?

Best,

Chris
That's a very timely question. I can only speak for my own practice. The best things about these conversations are that they stimulate concepts and approaches that I can bring to practice and try out. Sometimes these approaches elicit very postive responses in the dojo and can lead to more detailed, fruitful conversations from my seniors.

However, Aikido (in general) generally encourages practicioners to "make the art their own" and that includes bringing in influences from other arts relatively freely. Daito Ryu is a lot more traditional (conservative?) so one simply cannot practice too differently from the fundamentals of the art.

Some of the "internal power" talked about here DOES seem to have direct relevance to my practice, however some of the practice methods mentioned seem to build power contradictory to DR "aiki". Also, "aiki" in Daito Ryu seems to have many facets that have not been covered in these posts.

It's worth mentioning that the different schools of DR seem to have very different appoaches to developing aiki. There was a lengthy article by the Kodokai published in HIDEN magazine last year here in Japan, where they quite clearly distinguish between the approaches to training within the main DR schools.

Anyway, I personally find these conversations fascinating. I had planned to meet with Rob John of the Aunkai a few years back but life got in the way. Hopefully, I'll be in Tokyo in the autumn and I'd love to meet up then. Maybe after then I'll have a clearer idea of how these skills and DR aiki fit (or otherwise.)

Oisin Bourke
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Old 06-23-2008, 10:05 AM   #42
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post

I most certainly do not and have not ever considered Aikido™ as expressing aiki in any meaningful way, with much or most of what I have seen being either completely wrong in its approach, or just marginally in the right direction.
It reminds me of wondering how you set off from N.Y. trying to get to England and ended up in west Africa.
Time and distance.
All you need do, is give someone a compass just a few degrees off and have them set sail.
And around the mulberry bush you go. I guess unless one practices Aikido in order to learn to express Aiki it is a waste of time as all that happens is you will get "lost" After reading digital reams of you defending this view and attacking the Non Aiki Aikidoka all I can say is whats new?

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If Kevin, Mark, Rob, and others can now more or less say the same things I and others have been saying for years-where do others in Aikido ™ now stand on the issue?
Is the community which has been traveling in large numbers in the wrong direction still behind relegating these discussions to Non-Aikido Martial Traditions Discussions of all non-aikido-specific martial traditions
Or is it finally realizing- by the witness of an ever increasing number of ranked Aikido™ teachers- that this is and was in fact Aiki…do all along and just that many people in Aikido™ missed it.
I stand where I have always stood...Centered relaxed and laughing...I have an open mind have been there and done that and am still willing to learn....I know Aiki and it's in Aikido....We can banter back and forth about my knowledge of it and if I really can express it blah blah I can continue to ask you to provide me with information and teachers here on the West Coast for which you contniue to remain silent... and I will still be here.... confident that while I may not be an IMA "master" my 'scant" knowledge of the Aiki in Aikido is good enough to serve me and my fellow Aikidoka...

So tell me something new....LOL

William Hazen
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Old 06-23-2008, 10:12 AM   #43
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

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teachers here on the West Coast
Now we're talkin'! Anybody???
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Old 06-23-2008, 10:17 AM   #44
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

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Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Some of the things Gleason sensei describes in terms of aikido waza are remarkably clearer now. The basic rules he explained like no pushing (think ikkyo), no pulling (think iriminage), and no lifting (think shihonage) make a lot more sense.
Strangely enough, those rules make perfect sense to me.

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Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
... waza are all clearer because I'm doing things much more like the way he does them. ... Anyway, there is little chance that *I* was going to QUICKLY develop aiki from Gleason sensei's aikido because I believe I would need him to be my training partner 8 hours a day for several years.
If I may be so bold, what I perceive in what you have said is the reason that I am doing what I am doing. You do not presently have reliable categories in which to fit what you see/feel when you see/feel it. Hence you are somewhat stuck learning it "beyond" category, which is always more difficult, because without category one has trouble replicating situations to study them more closely for various defects that need cleaning up. The training systems that regularize things differently may help you find something that makes sense without having to directly attack those category questions within the physical model of aikido.

I have no brief on a be-all-end-all set of categories, I just want one that seems to be notably missing -- a valid physics model for the action used in aikido. It has to be variant from the familiar and standard linear force-vector model, because the action of aiki, it seems to me, is meant to defeat the linear force-vector model at a fundamental level.

And so I keep working on it. As openly as I know how, warts and all ... http://www.aikiweb.com/blogs/but-why-7854/

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 06-23-2008, 10:48 AM   #45
rob_liberti
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Erick,

I'm certainly not saying you don't have it. I have no idea who has it or not and to what depth unless I work out with that person. And people change. I remember when I really disliked Ikeda sensei's ikkyo - now I like it very much. Did he change, did I - probably both.

Those rules makes perfect sense when he does such things to me. But when I go to do them, I was left with other hints like - let your arms drop by their weight alone - the various ki society principles (which are good to test but not so great for getting you there directly), put your mind here (which I wasn't 100% buying into), stand like this, etc.

The whole thing seemed to be a trial and error approach with many metaphores. We would swing kesagiri and he could tell by the sound of the cut on our partner's sword if we were improving or not. I couldn't tell myself. When things started looking good, Gleason sensei will take ukemi to feel it and check it out. He gives great help - but it is in his model where he has expressed that it is best for us to find these things ourselves. I don't think I am physically or mentally talented to do that in any QUICK way.

I like his way. His power and finesse are wonderful. I also like Dan's way and I think I have a chance of learning such things much more quickly because of it.

I'm sure that people like yourself and William Hazen have some good aiki yourselves. I think if you were to meet Dan you'd probably be surpised at the degree of aiki he commands. Maybe not, but I'd bet some money on it. Regardless, if not, aikido needs more people with aiki, and if Dan is helping me, then he's fundamentally on your side (the side of building up more aikido folks with good aiki), right?

Rob
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Old 06-23-2008, 10:53 AM   #46
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Rather I was hoping for interesting feedback regarding the preponderance of evidence via personal witness by the hundred plus who have felt these things, and whether or not that "witness" has been excepted by the community of readers, considered as a curiosity, or dismissed alltogether.
I don't know. And really, what little I do know of aiki, isn't enough to make any kind of decent demonstration. So, really, the only medium left is talk. And as the old saying goes, talk is cheap. But, I was fortunate in that two people who I talked to jumped right onto the bandwagon. They did so only from my reports.

Nearly a year after that point, one of them was able to attend Sigman's workshop. And that radically changed his perceptions.

So, in an overall sense, I think that for those of us who have gone, we're only going to receive from organizations, at best, a modicum of interest and at worst, dismissal. We have better chances on the one-on-one encounters outside of normal aikido training. And with each other.

Until someone gains a semi-decent skill level to be able to show, rather than tell. After that point, it's going to be interesting to see what organizations do.

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I was also asking for feedback from those who have begun to research on how it has impacted their view of Aiki in the larger sense, and how it has affected their view of Aikido™. Verses their growing understanding of aiki and the way of training aiki and using aiki in their own Aiki…do.
As Rob stated ... I'm sure we'll catch flak for some of what we say ...

The aiki that includes all the current definitions, the blending, the harmonizing, the turning, etc is 100% without a doubt, unequivocally, and completely wrong.

I'm sure I lost quite a few readers with that. Let me add something for those that are left. Just because of that paragraph above, it doesn't mean it invalidates one's training. I think that if people reread what those of us who have gone have done ... well, what have we done? Let's see ... Ron is still with Yoshinkan. Rob is still with aikido. Kevin, yep still there. Not one of us really changed our goals, nor have any of us said that our training was a waste of time.

Instead, we acknowledged that there is a much better way of gaining the true skills behind aikido. A way of actually becoming on par with Tohei or Shioda or Tomiki that doesn't take 40+ years. And that there is a different "aiki" and it is what the greats had. Not what most of us have come to define as blending or harmonizing.

But from here is where I believe I am diverging from Rob and Kevin. They both are still trying to incorporate this into teaching and training in current aikido environments. I don't believe it can be done unless the whole class structure is changed. And Kevin touched on that in one of his posts. I think he's right. It's either lose students and lose the lease or pander to the masses.

I made that choice. I'd rather find one or two people who will work with me and work in my garage if I have to. First, there's no way Rob, Kevin, Ron, Budd, or I can in any way provide quality instruction in these things. We're too new and too much of a beginner to do that. Second, the training is tedious, focused, and not very "flashy". Most people want flashy. Third, you need quite a bit of students to pay for overhead of a dojo. This stuff, in the beginning, takes a lot of hands on time. One person teaching a group of twenty isn't going to get much done.

There are only a few choices that make sense.

1. If you have a dojo that you have to pay to keep open, then have the current aikido training going and work on the real aiki separately. Don't try to merge the two. The dojo will suffer for it in the end.

2. Work on it with a few people wherever you find a place. And after a few years, if you want to try to run a dojo, go for it. But, after a few years, I don't think you're going to want to run a dojo. The nature of this training runs contrary to that mind set.

I'm currently not training aikido. I view it as a temporary thing. I'm training aiki so that I can do aiki...do, as Dan calls it. And a nagging, ugly little thought/idea has been percolating in my brain for a little while now. When I stopped the aikido training, my plans were to return in a couple years after I had a better grasp of aiki. But that nagging thought is telling me that it won't happen. And I think it's right.

My view of what aikido means has changed, but that's it. I still train in that vision. But, no, I don't train aikido anymore. I'm training aiki...do and I don't think I'm going to step back into that other world of training. It will be interesting to see what the next 3-5 years bring.

Mark

Last edited by MM : 06-23-2008 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 06-23-2008, 11:00 AM   #47
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Hi William
I've no beef with you. I'm glad you have these skills. How about helping out others like Ricky. I've not met anyone in Aikido™ who can truly stand out -though I am quite sure they are there. I'm glad you're stepping up.There is simply no way you can posess these skills and not stand out head and shoulders above those around you. So, I am sure you must be well known in your area for these skills. How about helping out. Can I send some folks your way to test you and have you teach? That would help in California.

Eriik
Can we get some folks over to you in Florida? I am sure there are some people on the boards from Daito ryu and from the Internal Chinese arts and Aikido who woud show up.would like to learn these skills from you. Any takers? Why not help out?

Last edited by DH : 06-23-2008 at 11:12 AM.
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Old 06-23-2008, 11:52 AM   #48
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Confused Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Hey Dan,

When I met mike some 8 or 9 years ago, he seemed to believe aikido could be performed using the system of movement he was teaching. While I don't recall aikido technique being taught by him, he did show how to counter aikido technique using ground strength.

On the other hand, I can't help but wonder at anyone who has trained with you and continues to follow aikido. I'd really like to know how that is working for them as well.

I love aikidoka. They're friendly and smart and cuddly and loving and welcoming and they even smell good... sometimes...

I imagine judo executed with the internal power would be more coherent than what aikido would mutate into.

Your teaching has changed so much over the past decade. The bruising remains the same and the pragmatism. I guess they're the same thing.

Joel Zimba
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Old 06-23-2008, 11:59 AM   #49
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

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Joel Zimba wrote: View Post
Hey Dan,
Your teaching has changed so much over the past decade. The bruising remains the same and the pragmatism. I guess they're the same thing.

Joel Zimba
Well I can't help but imagine it will continue to morph as I / we grow. I have no teaching syllabus so we sort of go as the wind takes us. It's a relief over having to adhere to a set regimen and someone looking over my shoulder.
What bruising?
So how have you seen these skills affect or change your approach?
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Old 06-23-2008, 12:04 PM   #50
Dennis Hooker
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

That is a big part of the problem. Too many people believe Aikido is a set of techniques. There is no Aikido techniques there are techniques used by Aikido and those come from other arts principle Daito Ryu.

I will not be drawn into a continuous dialogue and I hope this tread moves back to constrictive discourse and of course people can come and train with me. The dojo always welcomes folks of a like mind. We may both learn something and that is always good.

Hello Dan

Dennis Hooker: (DVD) Zanshin and Ma-ai in Aikido
https://www.createspace.com/238049

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