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Old 06-23-2008, 07:03 AM   #26
rob_liberti
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Re: Men and Women and Developing Internal Power

You are valid and we love you. Really.

One of the most important aspects of aikido is makoto. Truth can be the most respectful thing to give someone - especially on an online forum (where you are making a tactic agreement to such things).

Honestly, all DUE respect, after 4 or 5 of these tiresome "please validate me" threads, one might expect a little sarcasm. Also, my impression of this one is that it has the flavor of 'let's bring in pregnancy to wrong foot any opposition from those men'. Much like shaming opposition to your ideas with "to not use sarcasm to hurt others". It's a pattern.

To address your issue with my post, I truly had no intention to HURT anyone with my sarcasm. I assumed anyone posting such things had enough internal strength to let such things roll off their back. It's the same internal strength I used for the critical self-honestly to eliminate my need to hide behind being tedious and pretentious.

Peace and truth - Rob
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Old 06-23-2008, 07:06 AM   #27
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Re: tieing in the two threads : men and women and developing internal power

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
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.
Mike, thanks, you're a pal -- I'll stroll by Silky Way and pick up a copy this week. Sounds like a good place to start.
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Old 06-23-2008, 07:46 AM   #28
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Men and Women and Developing Internal Power

If they are so tiresome why don't you ignore them and let someone who might relate post. I think a lot of people who might be interested in talking about things other than what the few of you speak of don't post because it isn't a safe place to do so.

Blaming me for your sarcasm shows you have no internal skills...better head back to Dan's so he can tell you more of how to think and what to say.
best Mary
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Old 06-23-2008, 07:48 AM   #29
rob_liberti
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Re: tieing in the two threads : men and women and developing internal power

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Mike, thanks, you're a pal -- I'll stroll by Silky Way and pick up a copy this week. Sounds like a good place to start.
Total aside but ...Some dude puled a knife on me and my friend (LEO) when walked to our car from the Silky Way. (I know it is not a terrible section of town, but my friend verbally provoked the street beggar and things escalated). I had just bought an iaito and had it in my hand. So it was a crocodile dundee moment. He puled his knife, I drew my sword and yelled "AWESOME!". My friend drew his gun, while the guy was running away, and had to re-holster it. I really wish I had said something better, but it's still a pretty good story.

Back to the thread. I support Mike's position in this topic - it's much more well thought out than mine which was - just visit people and you'll instantly know if they have it or not.

Rob
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Old 06-23-2008, 08:03 AM   #30
rob_liberti
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Re: Men and Women and Developing Internal Power

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
If they are so tiresome why don't you ignore them and let someone who might relate post. I think a lot of people who might be interested in talking about things other than what the few of you speak of don't post because it isn't a safe place to do so.

Blaming me for your sarcasm shows you have no internal skills...better head back to Dan's so he can tell you more of how to think and what to say.
best Mary
My position is that internal power is an umbrella term. I have some, not ALL. I can't make a baby. And I cant always appease a baby either...

If you want to be ignored that's up to you. If you want to discuss internal skills you are going to draw attention to yourself by posting on an online forum about them - and about how some men can't understand that your soft cooperative approach is so great because we can't have a baby.

Why isn't it safe for posters? No one punches through the monitor. Why can't the strength of your argument and position be the safety you rely on? There were MANY non-sarcastic points made against your position that you failed to address. Opting to shame yourself some insulation isn't going to draw out the many posters too intimidated by my post to rally to support your position.

As far as Dan and I are concerned, we argue and often. And if it gets heated it could really turn into a real fight --- and I'd lose. But that's martial arts for you. The interesting thing is that some of his women students are VERY good at aiki (relative to me for sure). I think women DO have an edge in developing soft power - I keep wanting to engage muscles that many women have given up on long ago.

Rob
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Old 06-23-2008, 08:05 AM   #31
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Re: Men and Women and Developing Internal Power

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
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
I hope you don't include me in that. I firmly disagree with you Kiddo. Big time-but, I'm doing so with sincere respect, not pretending to be nice. I would rather have you leave the door open so you can at least feel it, yak it over, debate over some fine wine and a good meal and maybe make a friend from unexpected places.
BTW I don't control Rob- I wouldn't even try. I don't think Sunny can control Rob...oh hell I don't think Rob controls Rob.
I prefer not to take these things too seriously. I have fun. Life's too short.

Last edited by DH : 06-23-2008 at 08:14 AM.
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Old 06-23-2008, 08:23 AM   #32
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Re: Men and Women and Developing Internal Power

Dan!! Shutup, man!!! Don't let Rob know I can't control him!!!!! Sheesh!





OK, seriously though, why do you think I send him off to take a beating from you as much as I can? I know it's good for him. And I sure as hell can't do it!

Last edited by sunny liberti : 06-23-2008 at 08:34 AM.

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Old 06-23-2008, 08:46 AM   #33
Upyu
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Re: Men and Women and Developing Internal Power

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
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
I could bring up the story about how one Chinese tai chi master at the turn of the century would run amock in brothels, and laid claim to fame as being able to tire out all the girls without him breaking a sweat...er you know in what way,
Or how about Ueshiba saying you had to have enough vitality in you to open a hole in Shouji paper

Morals and skills are separate Mary.
Much like being a master brick layer has no bearing on whether the guy is the town "#$#"$#"le
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Old 06-23-2008, 09:25 AM   #34
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Re: Men and Women and Developing Internal Power

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
I could bring up the story about how one Chinese tai chi master at the turn of the century would run amock in brothels, and laid claim to fame as being able to tire out all the girls without him breaking a sweat...er you know in what way,
Or how about Ueshiba saying you had to have enough vitality in you to open a hole in Shouji paper

Morals and skills are separate Mary.
Much like being a master brick layer has no bearing on whether the guy is the town "#$#"$#"le
Are they though?...maybe the difference is what makes Aikido (the way I practice it..I am not trying to define it for others)different?
To look at my responses and take responsibility ....like when I was just not so nice to Rob. I would like to blame him for my response but I can't because I did it ...not him.

And Dan, I get it.... that you disagree with me and you are not nasty. Invite is still open....
best Mary
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Old 06-23-2008, 09:52 AM   #35
rob_liberti
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Re: Men and Women and Developing Internal Power

Mary,

I'm only attacking some of the ideas expressed as one might expect when such an idea is put before an online forum. And Dan is right, sometimes I can't control myself.

I didn't realize you were seriously not bing nice to me. I thought you were making a self deprecating joke - since you were being sarcastic yourself about me going back to Dan for him to tell me what to think and what to say - after saying how my sarcasm was so bad of me and all.

As far as irresponsible behavior goes, I just see a difference with "blame" and expected consequences. I don't blame a ball for dropping if I throw it up in the air.

If you are really mad at me, you can always chose to harness your internal power and lighten up. If not then I'm apparently too dumb to understand the depth of your light hearted internally powered responses.

Rob
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Old 06-23-2008, 09:58 AM   #36
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Re: Men and Women and Developing Internal Power

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
And Dan, I get it.... that you disagree with me and you are not nasty. Invite is still open....
best Mary
No, Mary, don't go! Don't take the open invite! Step away from the invite.

I don't think my ego could handle *yet another* woman tossing me around like a rag doll.

(Yes, done as humor. Or for those across the pond, humour.)
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Old 06-23-2008, 10:29 AM   #37
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Re: tieing in the two threads : men and women and developing internal power

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Total aside but ...Some dude puled a knife on me and my friend (LEO) when walked to our car from the Silky Way. (I know it is not a terrible section of town, but my friend verbally provoked the street beggar and things escalated). I had just bought an iaito and had it in my hand. So it was a crocodile dundee moment. He puled his knife, I drew my sword and yelled "AWESOME!". My friend drew his gun, while the guy was running away, and had to re-holster it. I really wish I had said something better, but it's still a pretty good story.
Actually, I think that's a great line -- certainly better than "that's not a knife". I have this mental image of a guy who suddenly gets a look on his face like Santa Claus just handed him an extra set of presents, yelling, "AWESOME!" -- and the panhandler having the presence of mind to determine that a)this is not the reaction you expect to get when you pull a knife on someone and b)it's time to go now. I really wish I could have seen it.

That area has been my stompin' grounds since I first came to Boston. It's civilized enough in most ways, but for some reason it's always had the testiest panhandlers I've encountered anywhere in the city. After years of working in the 'burbs, I'm once again working downtown, and once again Silky Way is only a few blocks from my workplace. The only thing that keeps this from being a bank-buster is my inability to pick a book from the selection on their shelves. Mike's got me started, though!

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Back to the thread. I support Mike's position in this topic - it's much more well thought out than mine which was - just visit people and you'll instantly know if they have it or not.

Rob
He's one clueful fella, is Mike. I have no idea if I would recognize it if I encountered it, but I do know enough to not spend too many cycles trying to define it in the abstract. My question was more like 10% Socrates and 90% wiseguy: as in, "Do you know what this 'internal skill' thing, whose presence you assert or deny, is?" (for no particular value of "you"). I'm perfectly fine with "know if when I see it" as an answer.
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Old 06-23-2008, 10:35 AM   #38
John A Butz
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Re: Men and Women and Developing Internal Power

Re: Skills and morality, I have to strongly disagree with you Mary. While an individuals personal practice may be informed by his or her personal morality, the acquisition of physical skill does not inherently improve the quality of a person.

As an example, look at professional athletes, individuals who train at a level that most of us never will, aiming for performance that only a very few can achieve. If disciplined practice somehow made us better people, then we would never have news reports about professional athletes and their various brushes with the law/drugs/whatever.

Of course, pro athletes are not training in internal skills, as defined by Mike/Rob/Dan, but a skillset, any skillset, has NO inherent morality. In fact, if we are referring here to a martial skillset, the whole point of such skills originally was to wage war, on one scale or another. Warriors did not practice internal skills, sword work, or grappling to improve themselves morally. They practiced so that they would have a slightly better chance of coming out of a life or death encounter on the alive side of the equation.

My sensei has said that in over 25 years of training, the total of his moral education derived from martial arts was that 1) in a fight you will probably get hurt, so don't fight and 2) Don't hurt uke, because he will be throwing you next.

This is not to say that the pursuit of budo has no positive side effects. One can become more fit, more self-confident, more sure of oneself, more powerful, and have a large group of like-minded individuals to share a common interest with. But none of these things imply an inherent morality.

In many ways expecting martial arts to make you a more moral person is simply as ridiculous as expecting any other advanced skill set which requires dedicated practice to make you a more moral person. We don't hold engineers, computer programmers, concert pianists or any other profession or discipline to a higher set of morality simply because of the skills they pursue. Why should we do that with martial practice?

I would posit that the acquisition of moral strength is a seperate practice in and of itself, one that requires as much time and discipline as the acquiring of physical skills.

Sincerely,
--John A Butz
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Old 06-23-2008, 10:52 AM   #39
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Re: Men and Women and Developing Internal Power

When I started aikido in my early 20s, I had a few conflicting notions going on. I'm quite sure I still have some remaining . . . Of course, one doesn't know they are conflicting when we have them, but in any case this is a little bit about what I've learned along the way.

One of my stated reasons for decided to train aikido is to deal with people better. More gracefully, in any case. Not a strong suit of mine, and I thought aikido would help me a lot with that. Very well.

I also had the idea that aikido would be something that would only attract people who were aware and kind and all those lofty ideals about it. The brutes would go to whatever other MA they did, but that people who were looking for something deeper came to aikido dojo.

So, I experienced about 5 years of frustration, and I didn't really understand why. I was indignant that people were being . . . people. Regular old people, with all our jerkiness and foibles. But this was aikido! (I don't know how I was expecting to get all that practice at dealing with people more gracefully, in the perfect haven I imagined aikido was . . . but what can I say? These things are not always logical.)

Then I started going to Zen Mountain the Gleason Sensei. I thought, well, buddhists who do aikido - that must be where it's at! They must be really peaceful!!

They were just like everyone else. People. Just folks.

On the drive home of one of the seminars, Gleason Sensei asked me what was going on - he always knows when his students are spinning things in our minds. So I told him how disappointed I was. In his usual way, with one perfect stroke, he said: Hmmm, yes. Those who find the path are the ones who most need it.

And that completely unstuck me from that weird dichotomy I was in. I got it. We're all just folks being folks.

The best we can ever hope for is awareness. And ever-deeper, or increasing awareness is great. Morality is in many ways an illusion. I'll see if I can find a quote I like about awareness vs morality . . . back in a bit . . .

Last edited by sunny liberti : 06-23-2008 at 10:54 AM.

Sunny

A brave man dies once; cowards are always dying." --Moanahonga, Ioway
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Old 06-23-2008, 11:03 AM   #40
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Re: Men and Women and Developing Internal Power

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Are they though?...maybe the difference is what makes Aikido (the way I practice it..I am not trying to define it for others)different?
But you're trying to have a conversation with others, at which point it makes some sense to try and work from consensus definitions. Morals and skills are separate, as evidenced by the many people who are very skilled at something but have the morals of a gutter rat (or, conversely, the many people who are quite moral but not particularly skilled at anything). It's a matter of objective fact that morals and skills are not necessarily correlated in human beings. Now...you may feel that it's incumbent on you to develop a level of morality that's commensurate with your skill, but that's a choice: if you fail to do so, your head's not going to explode.

Ramble mode on: the aikido community has something that I've not observed in any other martial art, and it still makes me scratch my head: this seeming need or desire to create final and authoritative definitions for things that are nebulous by nature and not easily defined -- or at least, not easy to arrive at a consensus definition for. In karate, you don't get these endless debates about what is karate, what is karate for, am I/are you doing Funakoshi's karate, etc. You don't get people looking at someone else's gedan barai and saying, "THAT IS NOT FUNAKOSHI'S KARATE!" although they might critique your technical execution. So, where consensus definitions are hard to derive, karateka seem more inclined to not get too terribly knotted about it, while in the aikido community, there are those who seem to use that fact to their advantage, to assert a kind of authority -- to lay claim to a term, and assert that those that don't fit their definition of it are a bunch of fakers. I've tried to understand this...thing...in the aikido community in more charitable terms, and I still fail to see the good in it. John Ralston Saul, in The Doubter's Companion, talked about how there's a certain mindset that seeks to gain the authority to define terms, because by defining the terms, they can control the dialogue (and ultimately, the truth). I see people accusing others of "not doing aikido", and it strikes me that it's often used like an Orwellian accusation of thoughtcrime: it doesn't need to have any substance, it's just a bully club.
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Old 06-23-2008, 07:33 PM   #41
rob_liberti
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Re: Men and Women and Developing Internal Power

I was under the impression that there were 5 off-shoots from Funakoshi sensei all claiming to have gotten it right (and the other 4 got it wrong). Maybe I misunderstood what I was told. -Rob
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Old 06-23-2008, 09:21 PM   #42
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Re: Men and Women and Developing Internal Power

Okie Dokie, what in the world does giving birth and Aikido's internal power even get in the same sentence? Hopefully not sounding harsh or belittling but consider the following:

1. Aikido is a martial art and not lamaze class. It was started my a male and it's roots are all male dominate systems of killing people.

2. Aikido being a Japanese art in origin and birth was started in a male dominate society. The Japanese I think up until what the 1970's had women walk 3 feet behind the men! For all those living or lived in Japan isn't still a male dominate society. Aikido has a sexist past, I am sure some women think of O'Sensei as being a male chauvinist sexist pig.

3. O'Sensei didn't write down anything I know of about giving birth, how to, techniques that use ki etc. O'Sensei audience when he wrote was to men, and not women giving birth.

4. There are no techniques in Aikido that teach giving birth or internal power and child birth.

5. Not all women think giving birth is equated with a magical experience to a Ben and Jerrys.

6. Or do all women think child birth is a one upmanship on men. Believe you me.

Aikido's internal power shouldn't be related, equated, or otherwise to child birth. Child birth isn't about defeating your enemy. To relate the two is making Aikido into something it isn't, a lamaze class. There is no way you can tell me anything in Aikido will help with child birth that Lamaze already hasn't done better, more complete, or more effective, and unlike Aikido you don't need to take ukemi for 20 years trying to learn it. Lamaze teaching methods to help women internally resist that "OH GOD GIVE ME THAT [ choice cuss word ]SHOT NOW! moment during child birth for so many women. The concept of internal power is not about that moment or the long hours of labor.

That was my noodles thrown in the pot.

Last edited by Buck : 06-23-2008 at 09:31 PM.
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Old 06-23-2008, 09:56 PM   #43
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Re: Men and Women and Developing Internal Power

You also have to look at the anatomy of birth and women. All women are different. I have seen women come into give birth in spandex aerobic outfits, Lamaze ready, in super physical condition and abandon by any attempts at Lamaze collapsing from exhaustion only after several hours in the first stage of labor.

I have seen women deliver will little pain and effort. It as if they skipped the first two stages of labor.

Then there is the ever popular express birth of a C-section. Women really requiring it are not included.

I don't marginalize women because they are able to give birth, I just glad they can do it and I can't. But to credit them for having some greater internal power then men is not accurate. It really is female sexist thinking.

My point is no two women or births are the same. How can internal power be equated with a natural biological process women have no control over (unless they get an Epidural or decide a C-section). Women are pretty much at the mercy of nature while suffering until the uncontrollable moment of birth arrives. There is nothing of Aikido or any other internal power about it. Every woman's bodies ,pregancy, Labor: pain threshold, endurance, and delivery is handled by each women differently. Each woman has a different birthing experience.

Last edited by Buck : 06-23-2008 at 10:03 PM.
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Old 06-23-2008, 10:33 PM   #44
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Re: Men and Women and Developing Internal Power

Finally,

We can say that internal power is aiki, which is applied to the enemy to defeat them. How is this to translate to a women in labor, is a women with great internal power defeat her own child, or shoot the baby with ease out the birth channel like a spit wad?

Internal power has to do with generating more power that can be transferred through the body, in our case as Aikidokas, to throw the enemy to the ground with ease. Striking the enemy with internal power at the right instance- most alluding to Aikido weapons for victory. What does that have to do with giving birth.

Women don't like pain and women on the whole if they could wouldn't ever go through labor if they didn't have to as we know.

I personally feel in most instances child birth depletes the mother's energy, and doesn't produce it. It depletes her mind and body like nothing else. It takes the life out of them. Internal power is being confused with those women that have a better endurance then others. These women with better endurance that are held up over others as unrealistic models of internal power. When speaking of internal power of women it is providing women with a false image of childbirth thus, misleading women. Allowing women to think they have some great internal super power when they really don't. The only internal power women have is the ability to carry and deliver another human. That has nothing to do with the internal power of martial arts.

Last edited by Buck : 06-23-2008 at 10:42 PM.
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Old 06-24-2008, 05:31 AM   #45
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Re: Men and Women and Developing Internal Power

I could I had prefaced this thread with parameters like Dan did with another thread.
It would have been to any women who have had a good experience with natural child birth and who have trained in Aikido for at least ten years...;o)
My question would be: have you had any connection in these experiences and if you don't want to post publicly could you PM me?

Mary
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Old 06-24-2008, 06:11 AM   #46
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Re: Men and Women and Developing Internal Power

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
I was under the impression that there were 5 off-shoots from Funakoshi sensei all claiming to have gotten it right (and the other 4 got it wrong). Maybe I misunderstood what I was told. -Rob
Oh, sure, you can find it if you look for it. It's just not constantly in your face everywhere that karateka are found.
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Old 06-24-2008, 06:37 AM   #47
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Re: Men and Women and Developing Internal Power

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
I could I had prefaced this thread with parameters like Dan did with another thread.
It would have been to any women who have had a good experience with natural child birth and who have trained in Aikido for at least ten years...;o)
I'm in agreement that parameters are very much needed. But As I laid out upthread in that post that I'm sure most of the men here stopped reading at the first sentence . . . I think the parameters need way more limitation to something that has even a remote chance of linking these things, and then a woman who is accomplished in BOTH to talk about it.

IOW, I don't think that 10 years of aikido and "natural" birthing - as I distinguished as meaning drug-free but still an obstetrics model birth (that's not really natural, strictly speaking) - has the remotest chance of drawing any sort of legitimate correlations to each other.

10 years of aikido training does not magically bestow any knowledge of internal martial skill, and birthing without drugs does not mean that the mother experienced the generation of energy that I described upthread, that may have some relationship to the eventual developing of internal martial skills.

So my parameters, as I said in that really graphic post, would be a women who have credible internal martial skill against uncooperative attackers, *AND* who have had orgasmic birthing experiences, in which they generated power and energy throughout the birth process.

Last edited by sunny liberti : 06-24-2008 at 06:46 AM.

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Old 06-24-2008, 07:16 AM   #48
rob_liberti
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Re: Men and Women and Developing Internal Power

Buck,

Here is the best way I can relate these concepts for you.

internal - just means inside - as opposed to outside
power - is the ability to do, act, or produce

If you can produce a baby inside your body - that's well within the definition of internal power.
Doing that takes human energy. I'm assume that it is the same human energy that powers internal martial arts, sneezing, and everything else humans do.

Can some birth experience help a women access such human energy that it can be channeled into internal martial skills? It's a valid question. I don't know that answer.

In terms of physics:
power is work per time in units of watts or horsepower (or in this case humanpower)
work is energy transfered on an object (force times displacement) in terms of joules (newton meters)

So basically, the amount of "internal power" can be thought of as humanpower within the body
which means it is work done within the human body per time
which means it is force generated within the human body multiplied by how much displacement we can move things/people per time

and conversely - it must also be the stabilizing force.

I have found that I can generate more of that force by improving my structure and my mental intentions. It is soft power, and I can test it against some degree of uncooperative attackers.

Can a powerful birth experience help with some mental intention tie ins with stabilization and pushing an object out to internal martial skills? Maybe...

Does it mean a man cannot understand internal martial skills devoid of those birthing experiences - nope.

Rob
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Old 06-24-2008, 11:01 AM   #49
lbb
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Re: Men and Women and Developing Internal Power

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Buck,

Here is the best way I can relate these concepts for you.

internal - just means inside - as opposed to outside
power - is the ability to do, act, or produce
By that definition, though, what power produced by human beings isn't internal power? Isn't that just another way of saying "the power we produce"?
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Old 06-24-2008, 11:08 AM   #50
rob_liberti
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Re: Men and Women and Developing Internal Power

Fair enough. It was the only way I could tie these things together.
Rob
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