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Old 06-23-2008, 09:17 PM   #76
rob_liberti
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Mark,

Over the years people have asked me - who is stronger - sensei A or sensei B. Id have to say I had no idea.

If there were 2 barbells that looked the same but had different densities. 1 weighs 1000 lbs. The other weighed 1 million lbs. and they are unmarked. If you ask me which one is heavier, I have no idea because I can't lift either of them.

I'm now yondan in aikido. I have some sense of what 1000lb sensei power is (I can budge it) and I still can't budge million pound sensei power.

I suspect that many people who can't tell the difference in Aukusawa's power compared to other aikido sensei may be facing the 1000lb - million lb problem.

I think it is telling that Ikeda sensei at 7th dan is looking into alternate sources for learning internal power. He certainly can tell- and is fairly well aware of who is heavy weight and who is a light weight in aikido.

Rob
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Old 06-23-2008, 09:57 PM   #77
Upyu
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
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
That's a sucky wiki article if you ask me
Doesn't even begin to cover anything really germane on the subject.

Remember, most guys in the chinese arts are just as clueless. They just have more vocabulary to work with so they sound prettier when they BS
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Old 06-23-2008, 10:12 PM   #78
Mike Sigman
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
That's a sucky wiki article if you ask me
Doesn't even begin to cover anything really germane on the subject.

Remember, most guys in the chinese arts are just as clueless. They just have more vocabulary to work with so they sound prettier when they BS
Actually, whoever wrote the article tried pretty hard (compared to some attempts I've seen in the past 25 years), but what he didn't know sorta jumps out at you.

I'm not a real big fan of the internal/external debate because the qi/ki/jin/kokyu skills are in both the internal and external martial arts. There are so many more variations than just those two of how they're developed and used that a simple dichotomy doesn't really work. On the other hand, there are a lot of distinctions between how they are developed and used, so often it looks pretty absurd when somone uses his White Crane-trained skills and tries to pass them of as Taiji, Xingyi, etc.

Same thing with Aikido, BTW.... if someone learns hard kokyu skills, that's fine, but Ueshiba and Tohei obviously used the softer approach to skills. But it's a good thing to see the level of discussion reach this far.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 06-23-2008, 10:25 PM   #79
Upyu
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Bill Danosky wrote: View Post
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?
I'm going to be nice, and sum it up real quick, nice n' dirty, just the way girls at the 109 in Tokyo like it

The subject can be roughly split into two subject Ki/Kokyu or Qi/Jin, although they're intertwined

(roughly speaking) Kokyu power = Jin power (Always differentiated from overt muscular power)

This is, for lack of a better term, a "weight" path that you direct out of the ground. (Ki soceity refers to it as weight underside).
It is a skill where you can direct the weight of the lower body, through the hands (and this is oh so general, no one shoot me please), without actually committing the weight of your body.
In other words, when you use "Jin" or "Kokyu" skill on someone and push them, if they were to suddenly remove themselves, you wouldn't fall over, in fact you wouldn't move at all.
This is achieved through something called 6 directional forces, where you basically create 6 opposing tensions within the body, keeping yourself in equilibrium at all times. There's another two, for a grand total of 8, but we won't get into that.
(I'd lay good money on the fact that this is what Ueshiba meant when he referred to Ki of Heaven Ki of Earth etc)

In short this "weight" path can be "willed" by the mind (nothing freaky, the body simply reorganizes itself to create a path to a different outlet, be it the hand, shoulder, top of the head etc)
But Kokyu power can be largely affected by leg strength, hence all the emphasis on training the legs in the beginning, not to mention the middle.

Ki = Qi/Prana etc
This encompasses several different uses of the body to train the same thing.
The character for Ki/Qi originally refers to Air, or pressure.
Hence the relation to breathing.
If you do breathing in a certain way, and are taught "what" to focus on, you condition a bunch of tissue under your body, the latest theory to all of this is that its the fascia, but who really knows.
Mike S. already posted a brief descrip of basic exercises and how-to's in the Baseline skillset thread.

This nexus of tissue runs all through the body, connecting the organs as well as limbs etc, and runs thickest through the torso (hence the focus in a lot of arts on conditioning the middle).
If you condition this tissue to a substantial degree, torquing it can produce a significant amount of power which is separate from muscular power. Control over a certain part of the middle, as well as the illial psoas is critical. (Why do you think Tai Chi guys look fat Ueshiba had a substantial middle for his size as well)

Imagine a human shaped balloon filled with air. Twist the extremities, and you'll get a torquing effect that builds up in the body. Now release it, and you get power that is generated without "winding" the muscles necessarily. (Shioda doesn't use this torquing windup, but he uses something similar, it's dead obvious in a couple of his vids, same goes to Ueshiba)

Training the tissue/Qi is achieved by stretching (think shaolin, yogic exercises), breathing (everyone's favorite past time of navel contemplation) etc. But really any exercise should be a practice of the Kokyu Skill and conditioning of the Ki.

Combine it with your ability to "will a weight path" from your legs, along with control of the "Qi" in your body, which is trained through air pressure, stretching in various poses etc, and you get a potent combination of generating power which lasts much longer than sheer muscular power.

Ok, now someone post the quick n' dirty on some wiki so no one has to go looking through posts again.

And shoot me if I missed anything, that should be information overload as it is.
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Old 06-23-2008, 10:33 PM   #80
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
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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 Bill, why haven't you been one of the people explaining how all these things work, since it's so commonplace in your dojo?

Mike
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Old 06-23-2008, 10:54 PM   #81
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

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Ok, now someone post the quick n' dirty on some wiki so no one has to go looking through posts again.
Done. For future reference, it's here:
http://www.unleashingfong.com/martia...ernal_Strength
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Old 06-23-2008, 11:10 PM   #82
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
William Hazen wrote:
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!
Wow... just wow... your google-fu is strong... now can you please explain in your own words, in Aikido terms that people here understand? * says with extra humility and a cherry on top *

Ignatius
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Old 06-23-2008, 11:43 PM   #83
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
So Bill, why haven't you been one of the people explaining how all these things work, since it's so commonplace in your dojo?

Mike
With all due respect....

You are sooooo cute! and what a helpful question!

I have....to a very small degree within my limited articulation and knowledge and... with people like you Dan and the Aunkai folks I feel you are far better qualified to articulate the Tao of IMA...Again I have no doubts about the skills or experiance of any of you good folks...

The focus of our Aikido encompasses internal power as a natural result of good practice and indeed there are people in other styles of Aikido who have been mentioned that have it so its not just ours...

My Beef with this whole deal on Aikiweb is...Internal Power means nothing without proper character development in the philosophy of Aikido and that is something a few here miss...That is the purpose of Aikido for me anyway...If along the way I experiance that which is front of my nose why that is just a bonus. Inspired by Nishio Shihan, Joko Beck, and Pema Chodron I also try to follow the Bodhisattva way... Which in simple terms means in order to keep it one must give it away...In most of these discussions that genorosity of spirit is missing frankly... and thus it leads to folks getting bashed over the head by the IMA experts here and that is not in the the Aikido Spirit. The same experts use Aikido as a straw man without citing specific examples of the bias we stupid Aikidoka are ALL accused of having. LOL

Hell Robert John and you say even the Wiki is way off base...So why not do something productive like actually CONTRIBUTE to the Wiki...That is what Wiki's are for...

I never said I was an expert nor am I a neophyte either...So hopefully one of these days I will be blessed with the opportunity to learn exactly what you guys are talking about by experiancing it first hand and you just might be suprised at how good a student I can be. The Aunkai Seminars interests me greatly as the Senior Nishio folks in Japan highly respect Akuzawa Sensei.

By the way... I prefer to be addressed as William... Micheal.

William Hazen
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Old 06-24-2008, 01:48 AM   #84
Upyu
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
<snip>Bodhisattva way... Which in simple terms means in order to keep it one must give it away...In most of these discussions that genorosity of spirit is missing frankly... and thus it leads to folks getting bashed over the head by the IMA experts here and that is not in the the Aikido Spirit. <snip>
Well, as I recall it, the only time anyone gets "bashed over the head" is when they start making unfounded claims, and stuff that just smaks of being "wrong." Unfortunately, I strongly believe, like some others, its not a subject where you can say "Well this is my take on it."
These are physical concrete skills, and to that end they can be described to a degree. Actually I'd point out that when I first met Mike S. on this board, he had NO idea who I was, but my descriptions of certain mechanics were such that we hit it off (even with my understanding being as elementary as it is), and he didn't jump down my throat

Generosity? Most of the guys here with the skills have actually been pretty "giving" as far as simple how-to's and explanations, and who might be a good start in getting your foot to these things. Most of these suggestions have transcended styles if I recall correctly.

Last edited by Upyu : 06-24-2008 at 01:50 AM.
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Old 06-24-2008, 02:04 AM   #85
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
Well, as I recall it, the only time anyone gets "bashed over the head" is when they start making unfounded claims, and stuff that just smaks of being "wrong." Unfortunately, I strongly believe, like some others, its not a subject where you can say "Well this is my take on it."
These are physical concrete skills, and to that end they can be described to a degree. Actually I'd point out that when I first met Mike S. on this board, he had NO idea who I was, but my descriptions of certain mechanics were such that we hit it off (even with my understanding being as elementary as it is), and he didn't jump down my throat

Generosity? Most of the guys here with the skills have actually been pretty "giving" as far as simple how-to's and explanations, and who might be a good start in getting your foot to these things. Most of these suggestions have transcended styles if I recall correctly.
Thanks...

I eagerly await your technical contribution to the discussion.

William Hazen
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Old 06-24-2008, 03:53 AM   #86
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
I see Rob L. has beaten me to it with his other thread...
Whoops... I meant Ron R... see... too completely relaxed....

Ignatius
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Old 06-24-2008, 06:26 AM   #87
Upyu
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
Thanks...

I eagerly await your technical contribution to the discussion.

William Hazen
Already did, check the posts I made on "Developing a martial body" thread
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Old 06-24-2008, 07:22 AM   #88
Timothy WK
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
Already did, check the posts I made on "Developing a martial body" thread
Training the Body for Martial Movement
Training the Body. Part 2: Exercesis

--Timothy Kleinert

Aikido & Wujifa qigongs
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Old 06-24-2008, 07:26 AM   #89
rob_liberti
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
I guess what I'm asking is how do I get good at this Internal Strength™ in Aikido quickly? And how do I get "stronger", faster? Which I presume everyone else contributing and/or lurking would want to know as well.
You go find someone on a faster track and train with them.
Same way you go learn to play a piano. You go find a piano teacher. they probably couldn't explain how to play the piano in a thread online either. Anything they can write would be very low level.

Mike and Aukuzawa are having workshops. Dan teaches for free at his barn. I've read several posts where he has invited some individuals to go work out with him. He even offered to visit some people. Or if you just can't bring yourself out of your hometown - and you live somewhere near something that might be fun for a small child, you can wait a while for me to develop a bit more and I'll go visit your dojo and show you what I know. I love traveling on vacation.

Rob
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Old 06-24-2008, 07:36 AM   #90
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Internal Skills

I have nothing to add. Just wanted to 'bookmark' this post for future reference.
In addition to all of the cool internal skills, there is one thing I want to learn from this thread; How the hell does one do that cool (TM) thingy?
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Old 06-24-2008, 07:39 AM   #91
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
You go find someone on a faster track and train with them.
Same way you go learn to play a piano. You go find a piano teacher. they probably couldn't explain how to play the piano in a thread online either. Anything they can write would be very low level.

Mike and Aukuzawa are having workshops. Dan teaches for free at his barn. I've read several posts where he has invited some individuals to go work out with him. He even offered to visit some people. Or if you just can't bring yourself out of your hometown - and you live somewhere near something that might be fun for a small child, you can wait a while for me to develop a bit more and I'll go visit your dojo and show you what I know. I love traveling on vacation.

Rob
Rob,
I'm a couple hours from Disney Land.
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Old 06-24-2008, 07:46 AM   #92
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

A "keys to the kingdom" trade! you're on! I'll have to practice a lot harder!

Rob
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Old 06-24-2008, 07:53 AM   #93
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

William
I don’t know of anyone in California training this way. I know of one teacher who possesses some real skills, but I watched him “not teach” whole rooms full of people dozens of times. His students clearly express his ‘not teaching” teaching. Most of whom probably are convinced they ‘got it” too.

In keeping within the goals of the thread-why not ask the many who have gone to test those who train this way?
I see no value in giving details-which are usually debated ad nauseum and are just more grist for the mill, when I see dozens of people here already bearing witness to the fact that while they thought they "got it" from aikido-and could do these things or have them in their version of Aikido™, just like you do-they didn't.
With very few exceptions-all I have met have thought they were doing these things too and then had to retract that statement. None, meaning no...one had anything even remotely resembling these levels of skills. Further they have openly stated while they felt things like it from their own teachers they remain convinced their own teachers would never stand a chance against the level of skill tested against the developed skills they felt from us amateurs. So why the debate and rehashing of requests and descriptions? For what purpose? It’s just more of the same to me. Give it a rest.
In light of all the conversations and witness accounts, going back to debating Rob, Mike or me, and asking for more descriptions and details, while also claiming you do them in your dojos is starting to sound rather silly-even desperate.

Now two years out and with hands on instruction and much detailed teaching those who have started to train this way are just starting to see changes in their bodies and practice. Continue monitoring and asking them, as I had hoped you would be doing in this thread. In the near future try to go learn from them. You will be behind and probably kicking yourself for not getting out earlier, but at least start! These people are going to become a new force in the arts.

Eric
Howard is in Florida occasionally. Why not go check him out and see what he does, show him what you can do. Maybe Howard will come back and tell us amazing things about Erik Mead. I find it extremely difficult to believe that someone like you, who claims these skills is in dojos and is not known. That's just too wierd. Something is wrong with that picture.

Last edited by DH : 06-24-2008 at 08:01 AM.
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:06 AM   #94
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Re: Internal Skills

Quote:
Ricky Wood wrote: View Post
I have nothing to add. Just wanted to 'bookmark' this post for future reference.
In addition to all of the cool internal skills, there is one thing I want to learn from this thread; How the hell does one do that cool (TM) thingy?
Go into word and type this
Aikido(tm) word will change it to Aikido™ cut and past into the Aiki-web post box.
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:21 AM   #95
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Erick
Howard is in Florida occasionally. Why not go check him out and see what he does, show him what you can do.
Not to speak for Howard, but he seems pretty open about going out to meet people, if you (Erick) wanted to bring him to your own dojo.

Chen Xiaowang will also be in Miami in October. He may not be what the mainstream considers "aiki", but his internal skill is suppose to be some of the best in the world.

--Timothy Kleinert

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Old 06-24-2008, 08:43 AM   #96
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Where are we at? California?

Quote:
Ricky Wood wrote: View Post
Rob,
I'm a couple hours from Disney Land.
To all those in California,

Well, it seems that work might send me to San Diego around Nov 7th-13th-ish this year. If anyone is in the area, would be cool to get together. I'll post something about it when things are for sure, probably September-October timeframe. I don't know California, so I don't know how far anyone is from San Diego. If I go, I'll be very close to the San Diego Convention Center.

Mark
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Old 06-24-2008, 09:17 AM   #97
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Hi Mark, thanks for chiming in. I wanted to make a couple comments since I think I get what you're saying and I think a few people may have missed what you were actually getting at.

Quote:
Mark Gibbons wrote: View Post
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.
So I take your comments here to mean that one of the confusions that carried over from the intarwebs to in-person was the similarity of terms. A further confusion for you was that you already felt many of these qualities in the folks you train with regularly, so whether someone is moving with a skill of 6,7,9, or 10, since you're on 4, it all feels better. That's absolutely true, and one of the things I see a lot in these discussions when folks say, "We do that" or "My teacher does that". It takes a certain level to be able to really appreciate *how* good someone/something is, even in person. I really hope you don't take that as a dig at you, but more of a confirmation of what you were saying.

As an aside, I got a chance to train with most of the folks you're talking about here a few months back at Howard Popkin's (excellent) seminar over at Aikido Eastside. It was one of the first times that I'd really gotten to touch hands with a few of them since I decided to focus my attention elsewhere, and from the numerous strange looks and giggles I got, I would wager that *they* were able to feel a real and qualitative difference in *me*. One (who outranks me by a few dan degrees these days) even asked if I would do private lessons with him. We've met a couple times and plan to get together more as our schedules permit. Again, that's not to diminish you (or him!) or what you're saying here, but if anything, to confirm what you're getting at.

Quote:
Mark Gibbons wrote: View Post
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.
I prefer the term "Feats of Awesomeness!!!" instead of "cool tricks" and look forward to them not only for their cool factor but for the refreshing burst of oxygenated blood that they bring my arms and legs as I join the throng in relaxed appreciation.

I'd also point out that Ark would probably not classify what he's doing as mysterious power generation either, that's why it's so teachable and approachable.

Quote:
Mark Gibbons wrote: View Post
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
That's awesome! I think it's an important point, that while the specific quality of Ark's abilities may have been hard for you to pinpoint, that after this limited exposure to some exercises and concepts, *what you were already learning* began to work better for you. I think that's the whole point of this discussion.

Keep trying!

In semi-related news, I'm going to be teaching one day a week at Seattle School of Aikido (Thursdays from 6-7pm) starting in July. If you (or anyone else in the Seatopolis) feels like stopping by I'd love to see you (drop-ins are welcome, they love visitors). The concept I'm working on for the class is "budo kihon" and will include about 50/50 Aunkai basic exercises followed by some basic jujutsu/principle based kihon waza (from the TNBBC/Icho Ryu). It's kind of an experiment, if there's enough interest I'll keep it up, and if not, no biggie. /shameless plug off

Chris Moses
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Old 06-24-2008, 09:35 AM   #98
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Re: Where are we at? California?

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
To all those in California,

Well, it seems that work might send me to San Diego around Nov 7th-13th-ish this year. If anyone is in the area, would be cool to get together. I'll post something about it when things are for sure, probably September-October timeframe. I don't know California, so I don't know how far anyone is from San Diego. If I go, I'll be very close to the San Diego Convention Center.

Mark
Keep me posted Mark.
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Old 06-24-2008, 09:57 AM   #99
Howard Popkin
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Chris,

Thanks ! It was a great seminar because it was a great group.

As you know, rank has very little to do with ability most cases.

Everyone else !

Roppokai Seminars - Most are welcome

1) Need ukemi
2) Need a good attitude
3) Need to like beer(optional but highly recommended for relaxation waza)

I usually don't focus on the internal stuff in public seminars, but I do show in slow-mo how we use the body aiki to create the technique. They don't work well without the body aiki. If you ask me, I might

I prefer not to be in these discussions about who has it and who doesn't. As soon as you grab someone who has a little of it, you will know:

a) Your neck usually snaps in a crazy whiplash-style motion
b) You feel like you fell into a vortex
c) The person doing the aiki can decide if you feel pain or just throw
d) If they decide on the pain, you will probably(very politely) ask them never to do it again
e) You balance is swept out from under you in a variety of different directions instantaniously.

If those things aren't happening, its a different type of technique. Not a bad one, just a different one.

Oh, also, the person doing the technique is relaxed, very soft, and not expending energy.

Hope that helps.

Be well,

Howard
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Old 06-24-2008, 10:06 AM   #100
DH
Join Date: Aug 2005
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Howard
Er...uhm....you just entered into one of those discussions. Welcome
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