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Old 06-23-2008, 12:09 PM   #51
Aikibu
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
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.
Well Dan if I sound like I have a beef with you then my apologies...I don't. I respect your skills and the opinions of those who have met you. I would welcome anyone here to come to our class and experiance our interpretation of Shoji Nishio's Aikido...I am sure that compared to yourself and the other IMA Masters here in the Aikido Website that my puny Hara has no comparision However what little skill I have I try to pass on inside the context of Aikido. Also I am much too humble and unskilled to command the respect of the masses....Most just know me as a guy that does good Ukemi and tries to open up folks to thier own pontential...There are thousands of us in Aikido.

The rest of your banter is typical and the kind of ribbing I get from my Irish Family in Boston where I was born so no worries there Boyo LOL

I hope you know I was being sincere when asking you who you knew out here who could help me and folks like me develop the internal skills you have or at least show me the right "compass heading." You consistently deflect the question or I am met with silence... No answer here or by PM...Well it's cool if you don't know...For me saying "I don't know" is completely ok and I say it often. Kind of liberating actually.

For the last few years I have seen you carry the flag on IMA/Aiki on different Budo related websites. I admire your efforts...

Perhaps someday we will meet and if I am not too old by then I would be more than happy to take Ukemi for you and experiance it first hand....

In the mean time I remain in blissfull ignorance I guess... Enjoying what little I do know of Aiki in Aikido... Irimi... Tenken... and those wonderful little spirals connecting my heart with that of my partner.

William Hazen

Last edited by Aikibu : 06-23-2008 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 06-23-2008, 12:12 PM   #52
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Dennis Hooker wrote: View Post
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
Hi Big guy
Good to see ya still around and not too, too fed up with the bantering. Good point about Aikido not being about technique. But minus waza I wonder just how many will have much else to offer.
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Old 06-23-2008, 12:14 PM   #53
Dennis Hooker
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Hi Big guy
Good to see ya still around and not too, too fed up with the bantering. Good point about Aikido not being about technique. But minus waza I wonder just how many will have much else to offer.
The sad fact from my experience Dan. Not many.

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

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Old 06-23-2008, 12:55 PM   #54
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

I only trained in aikido for about 4 years. Perhaps with greater understanding I could have integrated some of the things you taught me more effectively.

Right now, I have a hard time thinking how to do the "instant on" thing through the 90-degree angles of joint locks and such.

That isn't necessarily really aikido though, as Hooker sensei points out (hi btw)

Things can only be changed so much in an aikido class setting without lecturing happenning.

I do remember breaking down the classic tenchi-nage technique into something I could do without moving uke's arms and hands more than an inch or so out of alignment. I was shocked, though less so than the person I threw.

I also recall a certain god-like feeling to taking someone's balance and doing the flashy tenkans...

I never found anyone in aikido who could "own" me though. I could be over-powered through the gentle jujutsu, but no stunning power which made a mockery of rooting I'd learned through aikido and taichi. so I quit dojo hopping.

I did run into a Yoshinkan guy who got me hunting for one of their schools near me.

As an aside, I think I could maybe reconsile the aiki demonstrated to me by Howard Popkin. He went to great length to show me jujutsu and then jujutsu with a certain devistating flare and then breaking down the how and why of the flare part as technique and then principle.

That experience in itself would have gotten me out of the aikido world.

Perhaps things are different now. I've not hung out with aikido folks for a while.

jz
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Old 06-23-2008, 01:07 PM   #55
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Late to the thread but...I guess I could be in the group of people Dan was thinking of. I've been to two seminars with Akuzawa, meaning I did find it useful enough to go back. And I still do aikido. That said I'm a hobbyist, I train when I feel like it and so I haven't changed as much as I could have if I trained more. Dunno how coherent this will be but some random thoughts...

Oh, first of all, in another thread three different people mentioned carrying groceries. That is one activity where I often think of these things.

My teacher can still throw me around, and as long as he can, I don't see any reason to leave aikido.

One thing that has changed is that a couple years ago, I could make a connection to uke but it was very weak. Uke only needed to push a bit to wear me out and push through it. Technically it was maybe correct or at least in the right direction to what my teacher is working towards but I just couldn't maintain it. Nowadays I can make a connection and maintain it easier (well relatively speaking, just read on...).

My work as an Alexander technique teacher also has a profound influence on how I move and use my body. It also influences how I do the Aunkai exercises that I do, so I really don't know if the direction I'm going is at all the direction the rest of you are going. Just to be clear. At least I've now found a way that I can keep doing the exercises, for I while I couldn't because the dissonance was too great.

One of the most noticeable results I've had from solo training was after a Christmas holiday when I hadn't been to the dojo for three-four weeks. I had done some solo training every day, but only maybe 15 min. a day. First class after holidays, no sore muscles anywhere, nada. Usually I always really feel it after a break like that. If anything, that time I felt in better shape after the break.

I have showed some of the exercises to my dojomates. As far as I know no one does them outside of class. I sometimes do in the warm ups if I'm teaching.

The focus of the classes I lead (once every two weeks) has for a time now been maintaining structure. We've experimented with different things in the warm ups, like walking forward while someone is pulling you back by your belt (if you try to pull forward with your shoulders you just bend in half), or doing a tenkan while someone is hanging on your shoulders from the back. That second one is fun btw because people who turn with their shoulders will swing violently out of balance. Someone who keeps straight and turns as a whole will fling the"uke" away.

In know those are very crude ways to try and train this stuff but I was just trying to come up with something to give people an idea. Then when we go on to practice techniques we try to see where the moments are where either uke or tori loses structure in the same ways as what we had done in the warm ups. Lately I have an idea that some people are really on board with this and I don't need to keep reminding them so much anymore, so I've also been focusing on other stuff again. There are a couple of guys who really are quite stable on their two feet now that they've got the idea that it's allowed.

As for my own training I asked my teacher a while back what I should focus on right now. "You could work on what to do if uke resists more" was received with glee by the rest of the dojo. It's been very interesting because a couple of the guys I mentioned above, if they grab me and decide to stand as well as they can, more often than not I've lost it. I have to really try to connect to them as they grab to have a chance. And once we're in the middle of a technique, more often than not I lose them again because I can't move all through a technique and maintain my structure and connection to them at the same time.

Now Mark is going to go "see, you should stop training and just work on solo stuff for x years" but thing is, I do this for fun, and I think doing techniques is fun. So there. I don't care if I progress slower because of that.

Actually when I think about it the thing that I find most interesting in aikido is the... emotional, mental something like that, stuff. I could practice the things I'm most interested in quite well without paying so much attention to internal strength(tm). But hobbyist that I am, I feel like a more rounded hobbyist this way.

kvaak
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Old 06-23-2008, 01:25 PM   #56
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Is the purpose of this thread to disparage the have-nots or to congratulate the have-sos? I can never tell.
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Old 06-23-2008, 01:31 PM   #57
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Studying Daito-ryu and using the solo work I learned from the Aunkai have both completely changed my aikido. Right now I'm trying to find a balance in the dojo between doing things in the "classical form" but with internal mechanics and aiki versus giving time for my structure to "free play" in response to incoming force.

The challenge is finding how internal aiki can be maintained during aikido(TM, haha) movements. With my rudimentary understanding of internal movement and DR Aiki it can be fairly difficult...I assume it's not a fruitless endeavor considering the movements themselves were codified by an internally-trained DR man in the first place (Ueshiba-sensei!)

Rob MacPherson
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Old 06-23-2008, 01:43 PM   #58
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
I have no idea who has it or not and to what depth unless I work out with that person.
Ditto. This is not the forum for that. A point that seems lost on some people. That does not mean that it does not have its uses ...

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Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
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 -
Read this, especially look at the picture series on page 2. http://math.arizona.edu/~ura/031/Taf...son/Report.pdf. (The whip metaphor is not mine -- its Terry Dobson's originally. I just think it's not a metaphor.) Then consider what can be added to the falling weight of your arm (chain of bones) without the muscular use of it -- by inputting the oscillation of the center of mass to commence it. This is "kinetic linking." (probably familiar to you). Take your belt (pants belt is fine. and take a swing at an open door -- edge on to you (no good reason, it just makes a very satisfying target). If you go slow, its weak -- if you hurry it up too much, it's weak, -- if you modulate the swing to the natural frequency of the unfurling arms,. on the other hand, it hits the edge of the door with your entire weight behind it and is surprisingly powerful.

Ikkyo is like this in terms of shape, interval and energy. Finding the modulation with a dynamic partner vice a door requires much practice.

Structure, in this understanding, is related to kinetically linking, but it is NOT kinetic linking. Extending this dynamic observation, the body forms this shape and interval as a standing wave instead of a propagating wave -- hence the shapes of tegatana, the upper and lower arches, upper cross, hiriki no yosei, etc. are about keeping the correct shape to hold that seemingly stil dynamic contained. Balance is dynamic, always dynamic -- NOT static, and it is disrupted dynamically tied to the fundamental frequency of the body -- seen/felt in tekubi furi, furitama and funetori. The standing wave thus is statically expressed as moment, a potential for rotations, waiting to be released, but is actually an ongoing dynamic of the center of mass oscillating for balance continually -- and largely, reflexively.

There is a reflexive component that I am still fitting in but the rough parameters are becoming more clear. The shape/dynamic of the upper body affects the lower (and vivce versa). As example, hold two arms in properly shaped tegatana at chest level -- fingertips just touching -- shoulders down ,a d chraged with KI if you liek to think of ti that way. Note that the upper cross is engaged Now hook the fingers of one hand with the fingers of the other, and pull them against one another. It should feel the same as the first, and the upper cross should feel engaged.

The latter move is the Jendrassik maneuver. It biomechanically sensitizes and makes stronger the lower limb reflex arcs making them more sensitive in action. It can cause involuntary stepping movements, and so controlling or manipulating this route of dynamic tension correctly, aids in controlling the lower limb reflexes. This is true offensively and defensively. Thus, sankyo properly applied triggers reflexive extensors putting uke on tippy -toe, and the reversed spiral tension of the limb, (kotegaeshi, among others), triggers reflexive flexors and causes knees to buckle.

The art then comes in interacting in the right phase relationship to the structure of the other, phase-locking (0/360 phase) for tight musubi connection at point of contact, and juji (90 deg. phase) for resonant kuzushi, or spatially perpendicular action (ghosting), and avoiding conflict/resistance (180 deg. phase).

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
The whole thing seemed to be a trial and error approach with many metaphores. --- it is in his model where he has expressed that it is best for us to find these things ourselves.

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.
I don't have anything to promote -- only an interest in developing knowledge and application. I do what I do, and people can judge what they like. If people say he is worthwhile, who am I to say otherwise?

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
...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?
I don't have a side -- and my only concern is where these discussions seem bent on creating them. Not that it seems intended that way -- but it does seem to end up coming off that way. Rhetoric should support an argument -- not lead it.

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, 01:56 PM   #59
rob_liberti
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Benjamin Edelen wrote: View Post
Is the purpose of this thread to disparage the have-nots or to congratulate the have-sos? I can never tell.
Well I'm a have not, but I have to admit I enjoy a good congratulations as much as a bad disparagement. Seriously, no one in MMA will take aikido seriously unless someone in aikido kicks their ass doing aikido. And we all think - those bastards I hate them, how closed minded! The funny thing is that no one in aikido will take specific aiki training seriously unless someone with specific aiki training comes and kicks their ass.

My feeling is that Dan asked for feedback and that is the least I can do. I don't think I am the typical case. (My mother told me I was special anyway.) But if my experience and my feedback helps someone reevaluate these ideas who previously dismissed these ideas then I made a good investment. Maybe that person will learn such things and help me out someday in training.

If I can learn these skills and go jam the stink out of Gleason sense or Ikeda sensei - maybe they will get interested in Dan's approach and I'll have helped out the entire ASU organization. Or maybe I'll do this stuff and they will continue to plant me firmly on the mat no matter what I do as uke - that's fine too - I'll have much more baseline skill set to pick up what they are doing. Who knows... All I can say for now is that it makes training more interesting and fun.

Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 06-23-2008 at 02:01 PM.
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Old 06-23-2008, 02:12 PM   #60
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
I don't have a side -- and my only concern is where these discussions seem bent on creating them. Not that it seems intended that way -- but it does seem to end up coming off that way. Rhetoric should support an argument -- not lead it.
Agreed. I was thinking the same - when I decided we could all rally under something we can all agree about - which is what can we do to help each other improve. If challenging old ideas for new ones (or older ones as it were) is helpful then great. If you could meet Dan and totally own him - or be even steven on skills - or get totally owned, then it would be great to hear you explain some of your his bizzare aiki stuff in physics terminology because that might really speak to some people.

But it probably wouldn't speak to me at this point. I think that is something for AFTER I make some more physical power jumps using simple mental imagery and the duldrums of a lot of difficult practice. I would still read it and I would attempt to work out the free-body diagrams myself and try to see if I could use any conservation laws and differential equations to approach your ideas (but that's because I'm still a nerd who likes math; and I get really bored rocking my son when he is asleep but not deeply enough to transport him from rocking chair to bed.

Rob
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Old 06-23-2008, 02:46 PM   #61
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Love that post Paulina. You keep going what ever way you can.

Best,
Ron

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Old 06-23-2008, 03:35 PM   #62
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
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Love that post Paulina. You keep going what ever way you can.
Thanks Ron. You too!

kvaak
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Old 06-23-2008, 04:01 PM   #63
DH
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Benjamin Edelen wrote: View Post
Is the purpose of this thread to disparage the have-nots or to congratulate the have-sos? I can never tell.
Hi Benjamin
The purpose of the thread was spelled out quite clearly. I didn't want a rehash of who believes it or Mike, me or Rob, or who doesn't believe it. Enough already!

Probably due to my profession, I like to move in phases and clear goals. When I see stagnation in a project meeting or presentation, I endeavor to move the conversation forward. To that end, my goals in this thread were to address those prior Aikido™ nay sayers who now have come forward to feel, then continued in their training (not all have) , then to allow THEM to discuss their findings dilemmas, overviews, etc among and in front of the Aikido™ community, not on a separate forum.
So my request was for feedback from just those Aikido™ folks who came to train, and or feedback from those in the Aikido™ community who have now read all the reports, and if they wanted too, state why they believe THOSE folks, or do not believe THOSE folks.
Not whether or not they believe me, or Mike or Rob or Ark. But rather THOSE FOLKS from Aikido™ who now have changed their training to incorporate these skills. And that can be an interesting discussion. I have some opinions about the difficulties in training aiki in an environment that doesn’t welcome it, but I want to save that for later and hear some other opinions and feedback, maybe ask a few questions of my own.
The point being-ask them what they think- not me.

Last edited by DH : 06-23-2008 at 04:05 PM.
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Old 06-23-2008, 04:16 PM   #64
Howard Popkin
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Joel,

That was a very long time ago, but thanks for the compliments.

I don't think I knew too much about Aiki then(not that I do know), but my techniques have changed over the years based on Okamoto.

Best of luck in your training.

Howard
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Old 06-23-2008, 04:21 PM   #65
Bill Danosky
 
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Maybe it would clear up some of the arguments if someone could define what Internal Power is exactly.

You get the distinct impression that it's something very esoteric, like "The Force". Then sometimes it's described as more of a physical thing, having to do with obscure muscular development. Erick's description in post #58 seems most plausible from my sophomore point of view.

"Hands on" experience with "it" is hard to come by in Central Illinois so in the meantime, how about a little intellectual reinforcement?

What is it and how does it work?
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Old 06-23-2008, 04:40 PM   #66
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
John,

Even though it is all this stuff is "in Aikido". When I went to the two weekend seminars the thought kept running through my head.....

"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.

Maybe your experiences are different than mine, and myself and a few others are the exception (I think not), but that question keeps running through my mind.
I think some people need to believe that it's complicated or that they must absolutely in all circumstances use a japanese term, I catch myself doing it occasionally. We have this bizzare term "Pure reverse irimi" which translates as "step back."
Thinking on it we have about four different terms to avoid saying "step back."
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Old 06-23-2008, 05:22 PM   #67
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Well if I here some one say "just move from your hips" one more time, I think I am going to loose it! It simply dismisses all the mechanics that go into using your body, and it does nothing to actually help the person who has not developed the ability to do it, actually do anything other than be frustrated.

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Old 06-23-2008, 05:25 PM   #68
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Pauliina,

Good to hear from you! One thing I noticed is a similarity between language that you used when working with me with Alexander Technique and the language that Ark used to describe the "Frame" or "resting on your structure".

FWIW, as I told you a few months ago, I felt a great benefit out of what you worked with me on.

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Old 06-23-2008, 05:33 PM   #69
Aikibu
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Not whether or not they believe me, or Mike or Rob or Ark. But rather THOSE FOLKS from Aikido™ who now have changed their training to incorporate these skills. And that can be an interesting discussion. I have some opinions about the difficulties in training aiki in an environment that doesn’t welcome it, but I want to save that for later and hear some other opinions and feedback, maybe ask a few questions of my own.
The point being-ask them what they think- not me.
Well I think the Internal aspect of Aikido works just great! And again.....One moooooooore tiiiiiiime (say it just like the song) I don't know who or what Aikido environment does not welcome IMA... all I know is ours does along with other Waza too.

So drop by anytime and let's have some fun and learn from each other.

Maybe the trademark will disappear the same time the straw uke does.

William Hazen
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Old 06-23-2008, 06:42 PM   #70
Upyu
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Bill Danosky wrote: View Post

What is it and how does it work?
It's not esoteric despite Mike's description of the "mind intention" part of things. It's still very physical.
It's already been covered extensively in the "baseline skillset" thread, with a lot of "how-to's" and simple examples of how it works by Mike Sigman.

You're just going to have to do the leg work on your own dude
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Old 06-23-2008, 07:18 PM   #71
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

If you do, will you put it on a wiki. Seems like that;s been needed for sometime now. -Rob
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Old 06-23-2008, 07:36 PM   #72
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
If you do, will you put it on a wiki. Seems like that;s been needed for sometime now. -Rob
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internal_martial_arts

I found this faster than the the flicker of the Green Destiny in the hand of Wu Pang!

William Hazen
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Old 06-23-2008, 07:43 PM   #73
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fascinated reader

Well, speaking as one of the "readers" I think it's compelling what some folks have been describing...and it's refreshing to hear so much applause for internal methodology. If ever this dialogue changes into something more tangible for me, I'll do what i can to experience it. Until then it's mostly useless (for me) beyond an exercise in communication and discussion of possibilities. I find that stuff interesting though so I'll be around more than I probably should be.
That said I'm not surprised at the contention that has riddled this discussion. The nature of internet communication almost requires it, but the tone of this conversation has taken on a life of its own. I get the sense a lot of folks are trying to read between the lines and the conversations have taken on a lot of innuendo...I could be reading too much into it though.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 06-23-2008, 07:53 PM   #74
Mark Gibbons
Location: Seattle, WA
Join Date: Oct 2004
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

I attended a seminar with Akuzawa Sensei in November of 2007. I wondered how anyone would go about learning the things talked about, and where it would be practical to train in them. My impression of the seminar was similar to my impression of the posts about the topic on the internet. The words are the same as those I hear in daily practice at the dojo. I have fairly modest martial skills and a limited background. I couldn't tell a major difference in feel of the participants, Ark, Rob from the folks I think understand this stuff at my regular dojo. The people I expected to be good felt solid to varying degrees, just like at my home dojo. Please note, I'm not saying something different isn't there, I just don't know what to look for. One thing that commonly is brought up is to go to see someone and get enlightened as to IMA's. I don't think it's that easy.

I got to see Ark do some cool tricks. I got some hands on with him. We did Aki age(sp?) and I went flying. But, I'm a trained aikido uke. I felt two hard knife edges coming up under my sternum. I move in that situation. I'll grant Ark is strong, but please, the man has some serious technique as well. The tricks look much more like technique then some mysterious power generation to me.

The effect on me of doing the exercises and the seminar was noticed by a lot of people. After a couple months people were saying I had gotten much softer. Technique started working on people that I'd never been able to do anything with before. What I had done, I think, was actually figure out how to not lean on people. I suspect I filtered what was taught into familiar categories and may have missed the whole point. But my mental imagery sure has more crosses and connections into the ground. I keep trying.

Regards and thanks,
Mark
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Old 06-23-2008, 09:06 PM   #75
HL1978
Dojo: Aunkai
Location: Fairfax, VA
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Hi Mark,

I assume you attended the Seattle seminar? There were so many people there, so I can't recall if we met for sure or not.

Quote:
Mark Gibbons wrote: View Post
I have fairly modest martial skills and a limited background. I couldn't tell a major difference in feel of the participants, Ark, Rob from the folks I think understand this stuff at my regular dojo. The people I expected to be good felt solid to varying degrees, just like at my home dojo. Please note, I'm not saying something different isn't there, I just don't know what to look for. One thing that commonly is brought up is to go to see someone and get enlightened as to IMA's. I don't think it's that easy.
For clarification, did you feel any difference between Ark/Rob and the participants? What sensations did you feel when you had the opportunity to touch any of the attendees or Ark/Rob? What exactly do you mean by solid?

Quote:
I got to see Ark do some cool tricks. I got some hands on with him. We did Aki age(sp?) and I went flying. But, I'm a trained aikido uke. I felt two hard knife edges coming up under my sternum. I move in that situation. I'll grant Ark is strong, but please, the man has some serious technique as well. The tricks look much more like technique then some mysterious power generation to me.
Ark isn't exactly a huge guy. He weighs about 140lbs soaking wet!
Sure, technique is involved to a small extent, no one said zero technique happens, but it's more a result of a a trained skill in the body. So clearly when he does some of the demos with people who are coming up on double his weight, for example shiko (think sumo squat/stomps) with someone double his weight on his back something other than musculature or leverage must be going on.

A couple years back he invited me to try and break his pinky finger. I tried my best to really break his finger, at one point I was hanging off his pinky finger with just his finger holding me up. He later tossed me halfway across the room just by flicking the finger, not the whole arm. I stood there in amazement trying to figure out how he tossed someone who outweighs him by 40lbs who is in a position of superior leverage. At that point, I knew that something else other than superior technique or musculature had to be going on.

Quote:
The effect on me of doing the exercises and the seminar was noticed by a lot of people. After a couple months people were saying I had gotten much softer. Technique started working on people that I'd never been able to do anything with before. What I had done, I think, was actually figure out how to not lean on people. I suspect I filtered what was taught into familiar categories and may have missed the whole point. But my mental imagery sure has more crosses and connections into the ground. I keep trying.
Superficially at least, many of the exercises and the vocabulary should sound very familiar to most martial artists. Indeed one needs to only look on the Aunkai web page and many of the pictures at first glance look identical to many exercises many of us have done. Assuming one can feel how Akuzawa, Mike, and Dan feel different, the vocabulary should start to make sense as to why Ueshiba and others have used the phrases they did.

Keep up with the exercises and more an more things should start to make sense. If others are starting to notice that you have changed, or feel different then you are on the right track.
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