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Old 06-26-2008, 09:10 AM   #26
eyrie
 
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Actually, Mike does have a point... if you can't describe the basic parameters of what "it" is, all of which has a direct bearing on HOW to train "it" and the thrust of this thread.... then any credibility of what you say next basically amounts to little more than saying "just keep doing X for Y years and you'll figure it out" OR "yeah, we already do that...".

A very simple question was asked of me when I first broached the question... can you do aikido in the weightlessness of space? The next question was... can you do kokyu in space and if so, how? If not, why?

It doesn't take a physics major or even astronautical expertise to describe this in simple lay-person's terms... and I guarantee if you can answer this simply... (K.I.S.S.) - without reference to misogi, or some such rotational esoterica, you will kick yourself at how "simple" the whole thing is and yet how complex it can be to actually do "it". [OK, you don't have to post your answer... it's like a joke... either you get it and laugh to yourself or you don't. If you don't get it, don't worry... but keep it to yourself lest your Martial IQ be exposed even further... ]

Not only that, you will also see why certain people understand what others "in the know" are saying, and why it appears like some people seem to be "bashing" others over the whole thing....

And then maybe we can all get on with discussing how one trains "it"....

Last edited by eyrie : 06-26-2008 at 09:25 AM.

Ignatius
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Old 06-26-2008, 09:14 AM   #27
Mike Sigman
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
The invitation to my Dojo was not in any way shape or form a challenge but simply asking permission for you to share what you know with a group of willing and eager students. If you still don't trust what I am saying then I humbly refer you to a prior post by me here where I link to a Sister Dojo in Berlin Germany where they are also studying IMA for the purpose of making thier expression of Shoji Nishio's Aikido better.
William, I think an invitation to your dojo still evades the point. And let me not that I can think of a number of posts of yours where you've bragged on AikiWeb and Aikido Journal about how people visit your dojo and how poor they look in comparison, yada, yada, so the dojo comments you set yourself up for. Other people have noticed that same sort of smuggery in your posted comments (and commented to me about it), so I don't think you should dissemble too much about why you invite people to your dojo.

My point is that if you can drop "IMA", like you just did above in your quote, and you can talk about how it is practiced in your very dojo, there's logically nothing wrong with asking you to explain what you mean. The vague phrases "Misogi", "Tenkan", etc., are pretty obviously not to the point of the asked questions.

These things are all the same thing. The evasions and personal attacks when asked direct questions are one of the curious responses I've seen on this forum when someone doesn't really know the subject. That's why discussions on these internal topics get stymied... there's a certain group of people who want to insist that they know, teach, and are familiar with these things, but they too obviously can't factually support their discussion. Take a look at Shaun's post (a couple back from this one) and notice the immediate recourse to personal attack. That's part of the stuff that makes so many of us tired of portions of the Aikido community.

Incidentally, as a side note about how protective a lot of "sensei's" are about their status and how they'll play the "I know it, too" game even when it's become obvious that they don't really understand the topic.... this is why I tend to be selective about who gets on the QiJin list. The last thing I want to do is to provide ammunition (through what people post on QiJin) to some "sensei" who will simply turn around and use the information to draw students and notice to himself. These issues should be fairly clinical discussions without the constant resorting to esoterica, personal accomplishment, personal attack, and pseudo-spirituality. It's the game-playing that keeps the martial arts bogged down in the trenches.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 06-26-2008, 09:28 AM   #28
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Gernot and Shaun,

Thank you for letting us listen in on your conversation. It was extremely informative.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 06-26-2008, 11:32 AM   #29
Aikibu
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
William, I think an invitation to your dojo still evades the point. And let me not that I can think of a number of posts of yours where you've bragged on AikiWeb and Aikido Journal about how people visit your dojo and how poor they look in comparison, yada, yada, so the dojo comments you set yourself up for. Other people have noticed that same sort of smuggery in your posted comments (and commented to me about it), so I don't think you should dissemble too much about why you invite people to your dojo.
I will admit that early on I was a bit of a jerk but that was a few years ago. Some here may still be holding on to that... which is thier perogative... but I have decided to mature and move on. I challenge anyone here to present me with any story where someone has visited our Dojo and not been treated with the utmost respect and reverance or in reverse where I have visted them and not respected them...You won't find one negative experiance out there... Not One.. For you to even mention this when you personally have no experiance with me says quite a bit about you.

Quote:
My point is that if you can drop "IMA", like you just did above in your quote, and you can talk about how it is practiced in your very dojo, there's logically nothing wrong with asking you to explain what you mean. The vague phrases "Misogi", "Tenkan", etc., are pretty obviously not to the point of the asked questions.
And my point is that I have explained it as best I can.. There are reams of documentation and personal experiance written here and one only need to look for themselves

Quote:
These things are all the same thing. The evasions and personal attacks when asked direct questions are one of the curious responses I've seen on this forum when someone doesn't really know the subject. That's why discussions on these internal topics get stymied... there's a certain group of people who want to insist that they know, teach, and are familiar with these things, but they too obviously can't factually support their discussion. Take a look at Shaun's post (a couple back from this one) and notice the immediate recourse to personal attack. That's part of the stuff that makes so many of us tired of portions of the Aikido community.
Off course your tone and language have nothing to do with it right? We can throw throw Pathos and Ethos right out the window.
Again you lump me in with everybody else I would bet the house that if this discussion were done 'fact to face" we would reach a better understanding....

Quote:
Incidentally, as a side note about how protective a lot of "sensei's" are about their status and how they'll play the "I know it, too" game even when it's become obvious that they don't really understand the topic.... this is why I tend to be selective about who gets on the QiJin list. The last thing I want to do is to provide ammunition (through what people post on QiJin) to some "sensei" who will simply turn around and use the information to draw students and notice to himself. These issues should be fairly clinical discussions without the constant resorting to esoterica, personal accomplishment, personal attack, and pseudo-spirituality. It's the game-playing that keeps the martial arts bogged down in the trenches.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
I understand your point of view...But I think you should look in the mirror... It won't be me staring back at you. I have offered to make a connection with you here... accept my ignorance... and give you the opportunity to teach and you have chosen to step on me and use me as a soapbox to complain about 'certain portions of the Aikido" community...ect ect ect....

Again...all I know is I have done my best to make a connection with you over the last few months and for the most part you have refused it...

I'll just keep on trying I guess. LOL

Namaste' (Gee do I have to technically explain Namaste too LOL)

William Hazen
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Old 06-26-2008, 12:10 PM   #30
Mike Sigman
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
There are many, many valid ways of expressing the concept of an irreducible concrete reality. I don;t think any one here is contending there is any different concrete reality we are talking about -- and the resort to ad-hom assumptions about people's bonafides of understanding (vice levels of skill in performance, which are not at issue here, given Dan's framing of the topic) doesn't change that.

Some ways of approach are mythopoetic and more ritualized (Abe, for example, and Shaun follwoing himon that particular theme of O Sensei). Some adopt the mythic elements lose the ritualized components (losing a significant functional component of that scheme, IMO, and enter a slippery slope to aiki-bunnydom).
I feel like your argument is a another one of those fallbacks to "there are many valid approaches" idea that is usually the first signal of trouble. There are many paths... but there are many wrong paths, too, it must be recognized. The chances of a wrong path are much greater than a correct path. There are, as I said, a few simple concepts like the ground and weight (aka "the ki of earth" and "the ki of heaven" and other perspectives about the same thing) that anyone who really knows these things will spot right away. That's been the case, in my years of experience, over and over again. I've never seen anyone who really had these skills that couldn't pick up the basics in the sort of simplified conversations we've had. So the idea that there are some westerners, raised in the world of western-technology and forces, *not* native or ancient Japanese, who are grooving on "mythopoetic" and vague directions... yet who are deriving substantive results that they just can't explain... Well, I'll leave that one to you.
Quote:
Some are relentlessly pragmatic (Dan) to the near exclusion of conceptualized expression. Some are able, but self-critical open ended inquirers (Rob L.). Some are knowledgeable of a body of non-western empirical systematic understanding, (Mike S.) That is so comprehensive in its own terms, it does not easily make room for alien concepts, like physics.
I think we've been through this a couple of times. I don't know what Dan thinks, since I've never seen him really explain much. The simplified cross-paradigm approach I tend to use tends to try to highlight the classical Asian ki/qi-perspective, but it's matched against reasonably clear vector physics and practical explanations. Your personal opinion that the explanations should conform to pure equations, etc., I simply reject because it would be as meaningless as describing how to ride a bicycle using angular-moment, inertia, and so forth. While you continue to *demand* that descriptions suit your criteria, you must be aware by now that many people seem to be making great strides without the math and they're well-beyond you in understanding now.

But regardless of all the arguments and "here's my way", the basics are easily attainable through fairly simple discussion. If someone really knows these things, there are never any of these endless arguments. If someone doesn't know, but wants to pretend that he does, there are invariably endless arguments, personal attacks, and no real specifics.

In the case where some specifics have been offered in the past by the "I know it, too" people, a few specifics have been clear enough to allow those with some grasp of basics to understand that the basics weren't understood by the "I know it, too's".

The problem is that the conversations devolve into bickering and tangents because of a few people who publicly want to maintain their facade. Almost every time. And these are such simple and productive topics to be having, if it weren't for the games-playing. Maybe that's why it takes outsiders to Aikido to get anything done in Aikido?

YMMV

Mike Sigman
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Old 06-26-2008, 12:17 PM   #31
Mike Sigman
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
Off course your tone and language have nothing to do with it right? We can throw throw Pathos and Ethos right out the window.
Again you lump me in with everybody else I would bet the house that if this discussion were done 'fact to face" we would reach a better understanding....

I understand your point of view...But I think you should look in the mirror... It won't be me staring back at you. I have offered to make a connection with you here... accept my ignorance... and give you the opportunity to teach and you have chosen to step on me and use me as a soapbox to complain about 'certain portions of the Aikido" community...ect ect ect....
OK, so again no facts, but a lot of personality stuff. I'm well aware that a lot of people want to play some sort of ritual "us warriors in Aikido with our Hagakure etiquette" stuff and that it's offensive if someone doesn't want to play. Maybe a good discussion that merits debate; but not here and now. You've started a loop going where you have vague non-answers tied in with personal attack again. Instead of worrying about how anyone looks in the mirror, try to do the hard stuff and stick to facts, physical principles, and so on. If someone doesn't like you because you're not playing the proper role-playing games, you can still be satisfied that you're having a productive and factual discussion.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 06-26-2008, 03:02 PM   #32
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Gernot and Shaun,

Thank you for letting us listen in on your conversation. It was extremely informative.

Best,
Ron
Hi Ron,

Well judging by one particular poster, you would think it a bad thing. In any case, my sense is that others like yourself, can appreciate or public inquiry for what is meant to be - a public inquiry.

It may only have been every few years, or so, but I always enjoyed the time I got to spend on the mat with Gernot. His command of Japanese and his willingness to translate some of the longer conversations were always very helpful. I look forward to being able to train together and see how his time in Tokyo has enhanced his core basics.

If you are interested, you can read my response to Dan Harden's interesting line of questions.

.

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
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Old 06-26-2008, 03:06 PM   #33
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Always interested, while often incapable of worthy contributions.

Best to you,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 06-26-2008, 03:10 PM   #34
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Shaun You raise some interesting points. I think the straight arm / straight leg method is so rudimentary that I wouldn't even consider it.
Hi Dan,

Rudimentary is an interesting word in that it could be taken in a good way to mean basic, or elementary, or it could be taken in a bad way to mean simple or childish. I want to make it clear, I do not speak for anyone but myself. I certainly do not want someone thinking that my anecdotes regarding any particular teacher or my publicly stated thoughts on a particular teacher's methodology amount to an endorsement of me or my thoughts by that particular teacher. I teach Aikido. Period. I do not teach Misogi-no-Gyo. While I am considered a sincere seeker of O-Sensei's Misogi, I do not consider myself qualified to teach it. In my opinion only Abe Sensei is qualified to teach O-Sensei's misogi. That is why I introduce my students directly to Abe Sensei. I certainly share my thoughts on the subject. I certainly have opinions about the subject. I certainly know what I have been told I can and can not share about the subject. However those things are a matter for personal contemplation, not political or egotistical debate. I, like you, simply want people to make up their own minds based upon what they see feel and hear. That is why I have always given my students direct access to all of my current martial influences. What they choose to do with that is their own thing and not a reflection on what I have chosen to do with the same access over the years.

Having said that, with regards to the straight leg/arm model, I would say, what's wrong with starting (most everyone) with a rudimentary concept and allowing them to move forward from there at their own pace? We all have to start somewhere. Unfortunately many will for one reason or another not move forward much at all, so why show everyone something most will never end up absorbing?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post

a) How long would he train people to do that before he moved them forward?
b) How did he move them forward?.
c) What do you do internally when you do your misogi?
d) Is it in line with Abe sensei or different?
a) & b)
Be it far from me to criticize or even think I know enough to judge why Abe Sensei chooses to move anyone forward. For all I know he may have chosen to keep some people back. I can only speak for myself. My feeling is that, by and large, dojo members move forward at their own pace inside of the typical hierarchical system expected to be found at traditional Japanese dojo. There are exceptions to the rule, of course. I honestly believe that all things being equal it is the individual's attitude, aptitude and ability (in that order) that determine whether they find an open door through which to move forward. How far forward, and when depends upon where there is a breakdown in the sequence of those three traits. As for how Abe Sensei moves someone forward, again only speaking for myself, he showed me other things when I was ready for them.

c)
Well, Dan, now you are getting kind of personal... Should I ever come to know you directly I would have no issues telling or showing you most everything that has been shared with me. However, I could more than likely write several books on the subject. The first one might be the "What I am doing when I do X" of misogi. The second might be the "The importance of O-Sensei's misogi. The third, more of a memoir, might be my personal path via misogi. Suffice it to say that it is very similar to much of what you or Mike might be doing, in whole or part, in that it is physical, repeatable, and designed for prolonged growth, health and maintenance of the head/heart/hara (mind/spirit/body). At the physical level the gyo integrate dynamic stimulation, tension and relaxation of various body systems, breathing methods, visualizations, mantras ...etc. It also involves manipulating the blood, oxygen and carbon dioxide levels within the muscles, organs (lungs, kidneys, stomach and brain, and let's not forget the largest one, the skin) so as to create a instantly flexible, expandable, contactable, mesh or framework upon which connectivity, movement and techniques may be built. At the non-physical level the gyo integrate the power of will, intention, fortitude and direction. Where these two paths cross can be said to be where kotodama comes into play. However, kotodama-no-gyo is not something anyone here is talking about and that would be because there isn't anyone so qualified.

d)
I used to think so. Then sometimes I realize that there are subtleties which I have yet to discover. I also believe that some of the ones I have discovered for myself may be ones that Abe Sensei could not broach given our different cultures and personalities. In any case, I am only beginning to deepen my understanding of how to apply these things to my practice. I am sure mike, akuzawa or yourself could all help me move forward quite a bit in that department.

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Just how does Abe's misogi or other methods affect his technical expression of aikido? In what manner?
I couldn't possibly know this. However, venturing an educated guess, I would have to say that Abe Sensei is in a unique place in that he is one of the highest ranking living masters of two completely different traditional art forms, Aikido and Shodo. I would say that he is the Micheal Jordan of Shodo and the Yoda of Aikido, combined. My sense is that given the way in which he is known for teaching the two arts at the same time, that Misogi is the place at which they overlap in terms of both the physical and non-physical elements. I know of certain situations where students who were too close to him when he was writing larger calligraphic scrolls had their breath stopped and couldn't move until he completed the brush stroke.

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
To another point. I'd probably be careful of sensei comparisons. They remain a hot button of who got what and whether or not the teacher changed and when, and each students own perception of the quality of that expression.
Example: There are those that are abso-freaking-lutely convinced that Kannai was the bomb and had it all. You don't want to know my opinion. And one of his students told me it was because I never saw the "real deal" from him.' I said "er....oookay." and never talked about it again.
I completely agree with you there. As I said in my last post, I know that students go to Abe Sensei's dojo hoping to feel something, learn something or steal something, but come back wondering why they missed it completely. I know of one person on this very board who showed up, didn't get what he thought he should get, and then had only bad things to say about his experience.

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I had a bagua teacher try to toss me and instead he bounced himself off of me in front of his student. The student defended himself and his teacher. I have seen that same student singing the praises of that teacher all over the net about how awesome he is. How do you have a successful and meaningful discussion with the student on the internet? You can't. Students are convinced their teacher has it or they wouldn't be there would they?
I had quite a few of those, myself over the years both inside and outside of Aikido. But anyone can beat someone, or be beaten by someone else on any given day, so I am not putting too much stock in this or that instance for me, you or anyone else for that matter.

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
So if we want to talk about teachers, why not just skip to technical discussion instead of teacher / student relationships; who got what and when and so forth, and instead lets focus the discussion on:
What 'it" was, and if it was worth the having. Otherwise I'd just as soon skip the teacher thing all together and talk about what WE are doing.
Thanks
Well, Dan, perhaps this is where we differ, but only time will tell. As for the importance or value in discussing teacher/student relationships, I am surprised that you, or Mike weren't one of the first to say, "Don't wait, go directly to those who know." Let's face it, for most students that isn't the teacher they have now. As for technical discussions with regards to different teachers, I believe we need to level the playing field. Mike likes to talk about Tohei, Shioda, O-Sensei and the like with quite a bit of authority. Interestingly, he never met any of them. But according to the rules of Mike, he didn't really need to. While I would agree with him on some basic level, I disagree with him completely about most of the conclusions he has unfortunately jumped to. Not the baseline ones about similarities. Heck, anyone who knows already understands where these things meet. However, there just seems to be some issue with acknowledging the importance to where styles, teachers and paths differ. As an example, what if you felt the same way about Tohei Sensei as you do about Kanai Sensei? And then up comes Mike spouting his many half-baked conclusions based upon someone that you have a very low opinion of? Or the opposite, what if Mike came up and started telling you all about your teacher and how he really meant this when he said that, and he was really showing that when he did this, but he never actually talked to your teacher, or studied with him or any of his close students? Which might be worse, the disservice Mike might be causing with his continuously tapping keyboard, or the disservice you might be causing if you didn't properly respond with what you know to be true from firsthand experience? I mean we all are trying to bring about a consensus here, I know. However, I am wondering how do we do that when the minds of the most outspoken people in the discussion are obviously closed? Tell me. Please.

.

Last edited by Misogi-no-Gyo : 06-26-2008 at 03:19 PM.

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
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Old 06-26-2008, 03:42 PM   #35
Mike Sigman
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote: View Post
In my opinion only Abe Sensei is qualified to teach O-Sensei's misogi.
Are you saying that Abe Sensei learned his Misogi-no-gyo from O-Sensei?
Quote:
Mike likes to talk about Tohei, Shioda, O-Sensei and the like with quite a bit of authority. Interestingly, he never met any of them.
Excuse me... can you give me a cite for this "quite a bit of authority"? No, wait, there's a couple of people who like to characterize things I've said and then who go quiet when asked for a cite. So let's not re-hash the proven. But when you make an assertion like that, Shaun, you shouldn't get excited when called out.
Quote:
But according to the rules of Mike, he didn't really need to. While I would agree with him on some basic level, I disagree with him completely about most of the conclusions he has unfortunately jumped to. .
Well, great, Shaun. Why don't you state what you have a problem with and support it with a logical rebuttal, etc., instead of vague character attacks? Give us and example of a statement I made, then tell us what you think is wrong with it and why. This is a logical step, believe it or not, in a lot of debate in the civilized world.

Reading your comments on Misogi-no-gyo, you've dropped some of the completely wrong comments about breath and breathing from a couple of years ago, but the rest of your assertions seem to be the old "I can't tell you because it's a secret; give me a call and we'll set up a meeting at my dojo". In reading your recent posts, you seem to still set yourself up as an expert, but you give no credentials other than "some secret stuff Abe told me". That's fine, but if I set myself up as some sort of expert like that, I'd expect people to question me. Yet you take offense.

The way I read some of these posts is that someone wants to represent themself to the world as something of an expert and yet they face-savingly want to get some information. Dan's motives appear to be *completely* different from mine, so let me be clear that I separate myself from him or what he knows.

Me personally, I consider these skills to be fairly deep and worth serious discussion of the facts, the how-to's, different approaches to the basis skills, and so on. That happens to be pretty much the only way I'm going to do it. Am I going to play some sort of fake-Hagakure etiquette or play-Budo games, trying to make the topic some role-play aspect? No. Is that going to hack off a few people who are deeply into role-play or other absorptions? Of course.

But what happens is that the more clinical thinkers will get involved in a no-nonsense approach and discussion. They will also see the justification for some of the questions I ask when I question some of the role-play assertions. So if you want to keep worrying about some imagined personal contention between you and me or me and a very few other people, please feel free to do so. Frankly, when you start a critical and clinical discussion of facts, how-to's, etc., I think you'll find that all your personal problems with me tend to go away. The problem seems to happen when you claim facts or an approach or a status but you can't support it with facts. So try a few hard facts.... I've mentioned probably the best entre' baseline several times, if you'll go back and read my posts.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 06-26-2008, 08:43 PM   #36
Dan Austin
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote: View Post
I know of certain situations where students who were too close to him when he was writing larger calligraphic scrolls had their breath stopped and couldn't move until he completed the brush stroke.
Come again?
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Old 06-26-2008, 09:55 PM   #37
rob_liberti
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote:
I know of certain situations where students who were too close to him when he was writing larger calligraphic scrolls had their breath stopped and couldn't move until he completed the brush stroke.
Quote:
Dan Austin wrote: View Post
Come again?
I buy it. Almost everyone stopped posting just reading about it.
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Old 06-26-2008, 10:19 PM   #38
Dan Austin
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

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Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
I buy it. Almost everyone stopped posting just reading about it.
Dang, you're right! WoooooOOOOOOoooooo.....
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:32 AM   #39
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

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Shaun Ravens wrote: View Post
I know of certain situations where students who were too close to him when he was writing larger calligraphic scrolls had their breath stopped and couldn't move until he completed the brush stroke.
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Dan Austin wrote: View Post
Come again?

I have had quite a few interesting experiences that lead me to guess that most of us will ever really only know some very low level stuff. I have had my heart stopped dead in my chest, pounded into and held down on the ground by someone standing several feet away, seen someone get their mind scrambled almost to the point they were salivating, have experienced the real one inch punch, more like one inch touch (it lifted me straight up off the ground and threw me back 10 feet in mid air.) These are merely experiences which open students up to higher level possibilities. Wish I could do them, though...


.

Last edited by Misogi-no-Gyo : 06-27-2008 at 11:47 AM.

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Old 06-27-2008, 11:39 AM   #40
DH
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Come on guys
What on earth does this have to do with my thread?
Both of you have made great points on topic and off. Can you leave your great on-topic ideas and views here, and take the rest to maybe a Misogi thread? I'll most certainly follow it.
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:43 AM   #41
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Come on guys
What on earth does this have to do with my thread?
Both of you have made great points on topic and off. Can you leave your great on-topic ideas and views here, and take the rest to maybe a Misogi thread? I'll most certainly follow it.
Sorry Dan,

I respect your wishes. Nuff said, I removed it.

Did you really want me to post it in a new thread?

Seriously?

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Old 06-27-2008, 11:51 AM   #42
DH
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Yes
Actually I was hoping Jun would do his voodoo magic.
I think the argument/debate you two keep having is enlightening for many people for a host of reasons.
FWIW, I also think the two of you are talking past one another and reading too much into the motives behind the answers. Not my argument though,,,,
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:53 AM   #43
Mike Sigman
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

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Shaun Ravens wrote: View Post
It would be wonderful if you stated your point instead of just asking open-ended questions that smack of something sinister behind it. In any case, here is what Abe Sensei has said about it: (snipped for relevance)
Here's what you said, Shaun. And it's been discussed before, if you'll look in the archives:
Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote:
In my opinion only Abe Sensei is qualified to teach O-Sensei's misogi.
As you're aware (or aware in the past, but seem to have forgotten) Abe Sensei openly stated that there were parts of the training and rituals that O-Sensei did not show him. Your claim for Abe as being the only person qualified to teach O-Sensei's misogi is your own claim, not Abe Sensei's. You may think that you're doing him a favor, but you're not, when you make claims that he does not for himself.

Insofar as the rest of your lengthy spiritual discussion... pass. I still have not seen any direct facts from you yet that relate to the topic at hand. Erick Mead fairly accurately indicated the ways that facts can be presented; your contribution has not fitted in any category. As I've noted several times, all of these things are the same thing.

Even Ueshiba's misogi had to conform in terms of the general baselines, as all these approaches to ki/kokyu must. My suggestion several times has been that if you want to claim that you have special knowledge about these things, surely you can contribute a little about the basics to establish the a foundation for your remarks? And frankly this is the same sort of suggestion I've made for a number of years, Shaun. It's not an insult in a debate to ask someone to establish the basis for his position.

Either you have some facts or you don't. If you don't have any facts, then perhaps you'd consider the possibility that your anger is misplaced if you blame the person asking for the facts?

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 06-27-2008, 12:28 PM   #44
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
As you're aware (or aware in the past, but seem to have forgotten) Abe Sensei openly stated that there were parts of the training and rituals that O-Sensei did not show him. Your claim for Abe as being the only person qualified to teach O-Sensei's misogi is your own claim, not Abe Sensei's.
Regards,

Mike Sigman
Once again, Mike, you have misread and misquoted me. I clearly said, IN MY OPINION, Abe Sensei is the only person qualified to teach it. I did not say Abe Sensei said he is the only one qualified. Of course, you are didn't come out and say it, but are you implying that there is someone else that is qualified? Or is this merely a case of you, once again saying, "Mikey don't need no Misogi, everything the same."

Oh, and since you are all about stating facts and citing references, for once please give us the exact citing where Abe Sensei says, O-Sensei didn't show me the "X" of the misogi-no-gyo he refined and transmitted. PLEASE!!!!!!

Best of luck...

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Old 06-27-2008, 12:48 PM   #45
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Re: Misogi and Internal Training

The moving of these posts to this thread came just after I posted the following Looooooonnnnnnnnggggggg post. I removed it from the other thread as Jun was creating this one and it was lost (intentionally) in the mix. I want to qualify what I am choosing to repost it, as although some of you have it via email, it would not have shown up or be maintained here on Aikiweb. Dan hinted that Mike and I may be reading past each other and misreading each other's motivations. That is a fair statement, and one that should be addressed. As far as motives, I don't think anyone could really say what Mike's are, but Mike. As far as mine, well, truthfully, its simply about pointing out long-term misconceptions about both Misogi and Aikido.

For years there were many misconceptions that there was some great divide between "Do" of say, Aikido and the "Jutisu" of say Daito Ryu Aiki Jujitsu. Some of these were proffered up by Don Dreager or his contemporaries. Later we come to everyone and their sister repeating axioms like "if you want to learn the art of martial arts, study the "DO" but if you want to learn the martial of martial arts, study the "Jutsu." Now of course we realize that this is only the westerner's misunderstanding of something that in fact is not separate at all. Just like every tenkan has irimi, and yin and yang or heads and tails, these are only relative concepts to one another. Aikido is Misogi. That is what makes this discussion not merely important, but key in understanding the art of the founder. Mike and I agree on many things, but we do so from very different perspectives. Mike's point seems to be that these "baselines" which he has determined to be the important ones are the only way through which he will approach the subject, and that noting the uniqueness of the founder, his art form and his methodologies would be irrelevant to his preferred baselines. I would agree with him in that once you are interested in commonalities, uniqueness has no place. However, I strongly disagree with the idea that only commonalities matter. So, in an effort to flush out more ideas from this "Contentious Debate" as Mike seems to see it, here is the post...

,

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Are you saying that Abe Sensei learned his Misogi-no-gyo from O-Sensei?
Hi Mike,

It would be wonderful if you stated your point instead of just asking open-ended questions that smack of something sinister behind it. In any case, here is what Abe Sensei has said about it:

Quote:
Seiseki Abe Sensei, Shihan 10th Dan wrote: View Post

ENCOUNTER WITH MISOGI
It was there that I found my growth as a calligrapher moving toward to an impasse. It was about that time that I first encountered Kenzo Futaki's Misogi no Renseikai (Misogi Training Society). Kenzo Futaki was a Doctor of Medicine and a pre-war student of Morihei Ueshiba. This Misogikai was a group dedicated to exploring and teaching methods that could be used to draw on a kind of "psychological" or "spiritual" strength beyond mere physical strength --what we might now call misogi (purification) to draw out" ki". It sounded like exactly what I needed. The application date had already passed, but they made an exception for me and I was able to join the first session, which was conducted as kind of "training camp" consisting of about a week's worth of seminars.

Was the Misogikai the creation of Futaki Sensei himself?

Yes, he was the one who set it up, although the training methods taught were derived from those formulated by Bonji Kawatsura [philosopher who organized and formalized Japanese misogi practices], which were taught at the Misogikai by one of Kawatsura Sensei's students, Ken Tatsumi.

What were some of those practices?

There are eight major ones. Standing under cold water (mizu no gyo) is one of the more well known. The eight include norito no sojo, mizu no gyo, furitama no gyo, ameno-torifune no gyo, chinkon no gyo, otakebi okorobi and ibuki no gyo, genshoku no gyo, and bunkon touitsu no gyo.

Are these practices related to the Omoto religion?

What Futaki Sensei and Kawatsura Sensei were doing was based not on religion, but on traditional Japanese customs and mores. Misogi practices are really nothing more than specific formalization of various customs commonly followed by the Japanese in their daily lives in ancient times. They are not, in other words, derived from Indian Buddhism or Chinese Confucianism, but from ancient Japanese practices that are clearly documented in works like the Kojiki (Records of Ancient Matters). Kawatsura Sensei's work involved casting these in accessible forms that anybody can pursue.
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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
But when you make an assertion like that, Shaun, you shouldn't get excited when called out.
...are you calling me out, Mike? Gosh, you seem to have so much frustration. Why don't you just go ahead and ask me out, already?

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Well, great, Shaun. Why don't you state what you have a problem with and support it with a logical rebuttal, etc., instead of vague character attacks? Give us and example of a statement I made, then tell us what you think is wrong with it and why. This is a logical step, believe it or not, in a lot of debate in the civilized world.
Mike, since you love to ask people to go back and do your work for you by citing your past remarks, I guess I'll just have to ask you to do the work. Go back and read my old posts, or my private messages and emails to you where I spoke very plainly about issues with which I held contention and why. In fact, you never replied to those, either. With regards to logic and debate, sorry, but I am not interested in debating you, nor interested in pursuing the logic missing from several of your martial, cultural and ontological hypothesis.
Actually Mike, here is a case in point. Two in fact. let's take a look, shall we?
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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Reading your comments on Misogi-no-gyo, you've dropped some of the completely wrong comments about breath and breathing from a couple of years ago,...
You should be careful Mike. You almost made it sound like I now know what I am talking about with regards to breath and breathing (although, I am sure you would probably just take credit for that, too, along with re-educating all of us KI-challenged, Aikido folk...) You see, I haven't dropped anything. I haven't changed anything. It was you who "stated" that I was wrong in the first place - all according to... you. But you never proved anything about your theories, nor mine. You did state that since mine were different than yours, that mine were, therefore wrong You did the same thing, twice just in the past few days. The first is where I made some statements about Misogi. You then went on some sort of rant about mysticism and esoterica. I never included anything with regards to those subjects in my post. You both, misread me, and misquoted me. Both indicate that you concluded that I must hold some opinion about misogi being mystical, so that you can dismiss my opinions outright. However, you are simply not correct. Say it with me... (Mike was wrong). The second instance, when you questioned from whom Abe Sensei learned misogi, or who knows, maybe even questioning if Abe Sensei was privy to O-Sensei's Misogi, is interesting on two levels. The first is that you truly believe that because you read a bunch of articles about the subject, maybe even this one or this one that there isn't anything that someone else may know about the subject that you may not have been able to consider before coming to perhaps some very inaccurate conclusions, just like you did with regards to my thoughts and opinions about KI, Kokyu, Misogi and Aikido. The second level is that Abe Sensei's points seem to contradict things you have said on some levels as well as introduce other levels that are seemingly absent from your myopic approach to traditional Japanese Martial Arts training.

In any case, let's just leave it there for now.

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
but the rest of your assertions seem to be the old "I can't tell you because it's a secret; give me a call and we'll set up a meeting at my dojo". In reading your recent posts, you seem to still set yourself up as an expert, but you give no credentials other than "some secret stuff Abe told me". That's fine, but if I set myself up as some sort of expert like that, I'd expect people to question me. Yet you take offense.
Last things, first.
Mike. You are offensive. Worse, you don't really care that you are offensive. You park in someone's driveway, knock on their door, and then proceed to tell the homeowners your opinion about their Internal Decorating. I am not offended by you because you can't help yourself, treat everyone who disagrees with you the in the same manner, and ultimately have no clue as to the sorriness in which you are held. If you were incapable of growth I would pity you. But that is not the case, you just choose to be singular in dimension.

Next Item
I don't know the nature of your teacher/student relationships because you choose not to talk about them. Worse, you publicly invalidate the entire value of such relationships in Traditional Japanese Budo along with those who choose to publicly acknowledge the importance of it in their own training. However, in traditional Japanese Budo, and I suspect, many other cultural arts, there are ALWAYS secrets. However, there is a complete difference between having someone tell you to keep something they share with you to yourself, or to share it only with your senior students and wishing to choose to not share it with rude, dingleberries on the internet either because they "call you out" to do so, or threaten to invalidate your pedigree amongst themselves or their cohorts.

Secrets
  • Yes, I trained with Abe Sensei.
  • Yes, he shared things with me that are sensitive in nature.
  • Yes, he told me things and asked me not to repeat them.
  • Yes, he showed us Gokui, (secrets) with regards to Shodo, Aikido, Misogi, Kotodama, and other things.
    and
  • Yes, we know you don't like it!

The bottom line is, Aikido is Misogi. Now, just to be clear, Do you claim to be an authority or expert on either?

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
The way I read some of these posts is that someone wants to represent themself to the world as something of an expert and yet they face-savingly want to get some information.
Okay, so that is the way you read it. Sorry, you are wrong. I tell everyone who comes to me for instruction the same thing, my role is to prepare you to meet my teachers. They are the experts. Please be ready when you meet them. When I share something that is mine, I say, "this is my current understanding." When I share something that someone shared with me, I say, "This is from Sensei so and so." I also say things like, "If you are worried about getting jumped, study Krav Magra. If you want to compete take MMA classes and most importantly that Aikido is the path that begins with first learning to control yourself, and depending on who you are, that may take a really long time."

If that is misrepresentation in any way please be so good as to be specific on how so. As for what you call face-saving, I call that being open to another person's point of view. I don't come into the picture having done all the research, having made up my mind. I am not the one who appeared to the IMA community saying, "...its all the same..." regardless of my theories, understandings or abilities I don't teach IMA seminars because;
  • I would consider that disrespectful to the masters of the art form
  • I might not be spot on when it came to my understanding, theories or ideas.
  • that would be considered rude to civilized people everywhere.

And for the love of god, please do go on any rants about how I am only trying to protect the aikido hierarchy, my groups handle on the thrown or the money flow. I have a small, private dojo who isn't interested in any of that.

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Dan's motives appear to be *completely* different from mine, so let me be clear that I separate myself from him or what he knows.
CAPTAIN OBVIOUS STRIKES AGAIN!

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Me personally, I consider these skills to be fairly deep and worth serious discussion of the facts, the how-to's, different approaches to the basis skills, and so on. That happens to be pretty much the only way I'm going to do it.
Mike, if you would only follow your own words you would do so much more to assisting those of us who, regardless of Art, skill, ability, understanding or personality have a sincere interest in IMA.

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Am I going to play some sort of fake-Hagakure etiquette or play-Budo games, trying to make the topic some role-play aspect? No. Is that going to hack off a few people who are deeply into role-play or other absorptions? Of course.

But what happens is that the more clinical thinkers will get involved in a no-nonsense approach and discussion. They will also see the justification for some of the questions I ask when I question some of the role-play assertions.
I can't even begin to understand what is going on in your head that would have you spend so much time thinking about any of that enough to type it out on a keyboard, much less let on that these are your actual concerns in life in a public martial arts forum. As for your assertion about what other people may see about you, I would do a whole lot more investigating the opinions of those who openly can't stand you rather than anyone who might sing your praises or ignore you altogether. You will get much more honesty out of the former group than the later.

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
So if you want to keep worrying about some imagined personal contention between you and me or me and a very few other people, please feel free to do so.
Mike, sorry to have to inform you that you are not the subject of my thoughts or imaginations. I am not worried about you, what you say, what you do, who you talk to. As for imaginary contentions, I beg to differ. Remember, you decided to actually "call me out..." as you like to put it, even though it was based upon your incorrect assumptions about my thoughts on mysticism, esoterica, secrets, blah, blah, blah. If anyone is imagining anything, well that would be you.

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Frankly, when you start a critical and clinical discussion of facts, how-to's, etc., I think you'll find that all your personal problems with me tend to go away.
Dr. Sigman, what are my problems, again? How do I solve them, again?

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
The problem seems to happen when you claim facts or an approach or a status but you can't support it with facts. So try a few hard facts....
You just don't like that I don't follow Mike's rules for debate. Are you really stuck at such a high-school level of debate. Have you even seen a high school debate lately? Bunch of silly, elitist, arrogant quasi-activists who speak so fast over everyone else's point just to try and make everyone (anyone, really) believe what it is they are saying. It would be nice if you elevated the discussion above debate. Be open to learning something from others - even people you may disagree with or (gasp) not even like much.

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
I've mentioned probably the best entre' baseline several times, if you'll go back and read my posts.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
That has to be my favorite McSigmoid of all time. I'll say one thing for ya, you certainly have mastered how to reveal so much about your strange, inner-self goings on in one sentence. Masterful!

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Old 06-27-2008, 01:37 PM   #46
Nicholas Eschenbruch
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Re: Misogi and Internal Training

Ravens Sensei,
wow, thanks so much for your recent posts on this topic (IMA, misogi, and "how to discuss it"....) ! Please continue!
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Old 06-27-2008, 01:44 PM   #47
tuturuhan
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Re: Misogi and Internal Training

There is an old spanish saying (paraphrased): Tell me who your friends are and I'll tell you who you are.

There are those who talk and their are those who do. There are those who see the glass half full and those who see it as half empty and every action has an equal reaction.

Some claim to have "It", others want "it" and many aren't aware that they already have "it". I for one look at the results of it. What is the by product of "it"?

As such, expertise/mastery/genius is most often proven by the results "of the technique in combat". For me and others of "like spirit" "it" is the ability to bring prosperity and protection to our families.

Obviously, some of us practice all the time. We attempt to get better. We try not to delude ourselves. We test our skills. We do. As a result...we are successful and prosperous. We are having fun given the fact that there is still water in our glasses.

Who are your friends?

Sincerely
Joseph T. Oliva Arriola

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Old 06-27-2008, 02:28 PM   #48
tuturuhan
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Re: Misogi and Internal Training

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Nicholas Eschenbruch wrote: View Post
Ravens Sensei,
wow, thanks so much for your recent posts on this topic (IMA, misogi, and "how to discuss it"....) ! Please continue!
Sensei Ravens,

I concur. Your responses were cogent, bold, humorous and insightful. You are a better man than I Gunga Din.

Sincerely
Joseph T.Oliva Arriola

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Old 06-27-2008, 02:28 PM   #49
Mike Sigman
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Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

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Shaun Ravens wrote: View Post
I have had quite a few interesting experiences that lead me to guess that most of us will ever really only know some very low level stuff. I have had my heart stopped dead in my chest, pounded into and held down on the ground by someone standing several feet away, seen someone get their mind scrambled almost to the point they were salivating, have experienced the real one inch punch, more like one inch touch (it lifted me straight up off the ground and threw me back 10 feet in mid air.) These are merely experiences which open students up to higher level possibilities. Wish I could do them, though...
Ah well, I guess I've just been around Asian arts too long, Shaun. What you're describing, except for the punch, says more about you than anything else. That's why those demo's are referred to by so many Chinese as "psychological power". We used to ask people to try these things on us. But if this is where the conversation is going, I'm bailing. Arriola's your man.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 06-27-2008, 02:31 PM   #50
Mike Sigman
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Re: Misogi and Internal Training

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Joseph Arriola wrote: View Post
There is an old spanish saying (paraphrased): Tell me who your friends are and I'll tell you who you are.
There is another saying to the effect "you are known by your enemies". Some people will ruin your reputation if they are your friends or give you compliments.

Mike Sigman
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