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Old 09-15-2008, 12:52 PM   #26
akiy
 
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

I am one step away from closing this thread due to personal attacks and discussions.

Address the topic -- not the person.

Shape up, folks.

-- Jun

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Old 09-15-2008, 12:53 PM   #27
DH
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

At least lets keep some measure of civility. Credibility is different from a disagreement on point.
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Old 09-15-2008, 01:00 PM   #28
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
You ... lie. Lying. Liar. Falsehood. Untruth. Mendacity. Get a thesaurus, look it up. A big fat whopper.
Thems gong sau words

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Old 09-15-2008, 04:30 PM   #29
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Re: On Closing Threads

To clarify my earlier post, what hurt my eyes were the following words specifically:

"You ... lie. Lying. Liar. Falsehood."

I can't see how people can have discourse in an environment where those kind of statements are given a free pass and people who call them out are taken to task.

I'll be leaving the house now. Feel free to delete my account.
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Old 09-15-2008, 05:05 PM   #30
rob_liberti
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

Okay, how about everyone let that liar business go.

If we close this thread down before Erick has a chance to respond to me, then a bunch of thought work I did goes wasted. I would really like to get to the bottom of what he says he can do. I think it would be good for everyone. Not to win a fight, but to put a reasonable context around the source of the observations and analysis.

And Hi Mike. I hear your point.

Rob
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Old 09-15-2008, 10:13 PM   #31
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Erick, let's really get this over with once and for all.
If you are willing, and will be prepared to clarify your terms of art carefully. I take no issue with their use as long as we are both clear on what we are meaning.
Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
If you have at least that amount of skill - to not have a weakness in balance in the line through anus to navel - and can deliver force without weight, then state so now. Otherwise, everyone is going to continue to assume you cannot. But put an end to the assumption. If you cannot do these things state so as well. I'll even go first.
"force without weight." One of those terms of art -- and which differs from a physical convention since f=ma. That's fine as long as we are clear on the difference of convention. I will assume a bit and say that if you mean a strike or push, starting from contact or not, in which my center is not "leaning" or committing outside its stability zone at and continuing through the impact in order to create the impulse into the target -- done. I use no-inch punches to demonstrate/illustrate stable nagewaza projection. This was one of Mike's "instructor tests," as I recall.
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Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
I can do these things minimally. I can withstand a very good push square in the chest when I have 1 leg forward.
Ditto. You are the first person on a "chest push" to specify a " leg forward."
Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
I can even make the person pushing feel like they are being crushed down with my mental intention (which I assume controls fascia - but maybe it is just magic!)
Don't know what this convention is meaning, as it is a static display that does not fit with our common practice. On the other hand, when I "bow" ( like arrow not rei ) into a munetsuki, it buckles uke's balance downward. When I "bow" into a iriminage it has similar effect, and does not require foot movement to accomplish . It has elements of "shoulder bump" I suppose, since it feels very like the release of a no-inch punch but with a definite downward component

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Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
When my feet are should width apart, I openly admit that I have a bit more trouble but I'm getting there. (Note there is no configuration I can come up with where I would expect to successfully off balance Dan or some of his students on that line from anus to navel.
Another term of art. You will need to be clear what the significance of the line is to the manner of push, as you have simply named it not described it. Specifically, it is unclear where the contact is for the push. We do not train to push on one anothers hips, if that is suggested, so I would not be able to say off hand. On the other hand, I can stably hold an able two hand tekubitori push, from flat footed to tippy toe and in between.

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
I don't even think they would need to be paying attention to me while I tried to push and pull them off balance on that normally weak vector.)
I've knocked people down without doing anything who ran into me while I wasn't looking. Beyond that, set-up demonstraitons are different because they provoke conscious interference with a subconscious intuitive system.

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Erick, I will be shocked out of my chair if you state that you can do either of these things to any degree beyond total beginner.
Again, there are no objective standards so it cannot be said what degree one could establish. I do what I do, and I understand it as you have read. I have no need to assume other than Dan and his students are better at these isolated things, and even better able to swab decks with me. It does not alter my understanding one way or the other. Anyone can find someone better than they are. It is not clear to me that it is very significant except as a question of degree, since such things are not an explicit focus of my training.

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Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Nothing in aikido teaches these things to any degree. We just learn to avoid those weak lines and how to deliver force with weight that we protect a bit with certain set ups and angles. I sincerely doubt that anything in weight-baring hard physical labor teaches these things either.
I don't know what to tell you except that apart from a college semester in shotokan, that's it -- 22 years of aikido, summer radio tower climbing in college, lots of solo residential construction, and two deployments where I did learn (by necessity) to use solo training visualization work. AIkido teaches what I have learned, whether explicitly or not.

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
This kind of direct request was made earlier. You declined to answer so I believe we assumed you conceded the point that you cannot do it or teach it yourself. Please put an end to assumption on this matter.
I trust by now it is clear that recurrent uncivil responses to my observations (apart from yours and some others) has formed a firm conviction that unilateral hostility is no environment in which to ask for trust or belief, so, really, what was the point? Given the experience, I relate this expecting no better now -- but I have been surprised before.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 09-16-2008, 06:07 AM   #32
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

Just to be clear - you can push or pull Dan (or I assume Mike or Aukuzawa) with their feet shoulder width apart (without 1 foot forward) on any line in any direction and they will not lose balance - meaning their feet will not move regardless of the manner in which you push.

I'm making much better progress doing that, but I find I am stronger with 1 foot forward these days. (I used to not be! I practiced feet shoulder width apart a lot more initially, but I was cheating by bending forward with my knees way too much.)

The line from anus to navel is the traditional weak vector of people's stances. That weakness disappears if you have the kind of internal power and skills we are discussing.

The make the person crush down thing, has nothing to do with a bow - I'm not bending anything. Just moving my mind and assuming that is moving stuff inside that I can't tell. It really doesn't have much to do with the discussion other than to mention that there are really cool other things once you get beyond the structure stuff to some degree.

Your description of delivering force without weight is accurate enough for me. Obviously f=ma still.

My point is that these basic things to our training that we can all do are so different from what normal aikido teaches, that someone from normal aikido trying to make observations and analysis has GOT to be far off of the mark. I'm trying to help you as kindly as I can come to the conclusion that statements like 'Dan uses too much earth ki (or ground ki or whatever)' really is just silly. You and anyone else from normal aikido simple cannot know enough about what we are doing to make such observations and analysis.

Adding your insight - without the experience of what we actually do is counter productive and misleading to the people who want to understand what we are talking about.

Let me tell you, I'm not too thrilled about being an aikido teacher who is not allowed to discuss what I am teachign in my aikido classes in the aikido forums. But, I accept this is not my call, so I go here to a forum called non-aikido. If normal aikido people come in and start giving advice, I kind feel like - okay so where do I get to discuss these things with people who actually do them?

I'm happy to discuss what I am learning and try to help the uninitiated. But it seems like you were not taking the position of being the uninitiated and that is confusing to everyone.

I hope that clarifies my position.

Rob
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Old 09-16-2008, 07:14 AM   #33
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Adding your insight - without the experience of what we actually do is counter productive and misleading to the people who want to understand what we are talking about.

Let me tell you, I'm not too thrilled about being an aikido teacher who is not allowed to discuss what I am teaching in my aikido classes in the aikido forums. But, I accept this is not my call, so I go here to a forum called non-aikido. If normal aikido people come in and start giving advice, I kind feel like - okay so where do I get to discuss these things with people who actually do them?

I hope that clarifies my position.

Rob
Hello Rob,

To me, it does to some extent. However, I am curious whether you have discussed these issues with William Gleason? One of my own students in the Netherlands (a new 3rd dan) has attended training sessions with Akuzawa Sensei. He was very enthusiastic, but needed to tell me all about it. So we spent several hours discussing all the issues, including what he should teach in his own aikido dojo.

In reading threads like this, I feel that I am in the same position that Mr Gleason might be in: that students (quite rightly) are developing in ways of which the teacher might not have had precisely the same experience. I mention Mr Gleason because he is your main teacher and because he and I have trained extensively with Seigo Yamaguchi Sensei. So I suspect that we might see aikido in a similar way.

However, there is a 'messianic' element here, a seemingly compulsive sense of being 'initiated' and having a 'mission', that worries me. The corollary is that the supposedly 'initiated' are too ready to condemn those who have not had precisely the same vision, expressed in the same terms. I am reminded of the story about someone who recently entered Heaven. He was taken round by St Peter and encountered a wall. On being asked about the wall, St Peter replied, "Ah, this is for the Catholics: they think they are the only ones here".

As for the issue of where you discuss non-Aikido issues in an Aikido forum, the short answer is that this is Aikiweb, which is a forum dedicated to discussing aikido issues. So a blunt answer would be: create your own forum and also create the necessary 'spam' filters, so that you can enjoy your discussions in the Realm of the Blessed, without having to deal with people like Erick Mead.

I have read all the material that Mark gave in his early posts about how long it takes to achieve mastery (how long it took for certain uchi-deshi of Takeda and Ueshiba to achieve mastery) and, yes, it is hard to disagree with the evidence presented, always assuming that we are comparing apples with apples and not with oranges. However, I also tend to agree with the views recently expressed by Ellis in another thread.

Best wishes,

PAG

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 09-16-2008 at 07:17 AM.

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Old 09-16-2008, 08:04 AM   #34
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

Hi Peter,

Can you post a link to the thread that Ellis posted in recently? I think I missed it.

Thanks,
Allen

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Old 09-16-2008, 08:09 AM   #35
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

Peter
Bill Gleason came to train here. He was the 6th dan I refered to in an earlier post.
He did so after watching Rob's skills make a remarkable jump. after training for four hours we went to dinner. At dinner he stated that this ...this training...was what he was searching for throughout his career. It was the cornerstone power he was looking to find by researching the spiritual aspects of Ueshiba's life for his book.
He further stated that he was going on a teaching tour and -this training- was going to be outlined every where he went.
He came back to train the following week. It is my understanding that he will be incorporating this into his art for the remainder of his career.

Once again, and I cannot stress this enough. Mr Gleason was there and saw Taiji, Bagau, Daito ryu, MMA, Karate...teachers all present and training this way and every one of them stating this training was the heart of their art as well.
More'se the point, every, singel, one of them was certain, completely convinced of two things
a) That they were already doing "it" to one degree or another
after feeling me and my people
b) They were completelty wrong, could in fact NOT do it, and were going to spend the rest of their careers pursuing it.

You may see certain people replies to me, calling me a liar as equal to me stating they don't know the material, and how that "harms" their reputation.
I have a different sort of experience than you Peter.
What's it like for me to stand there and feel, touch, test, then see and hear so many Martial artists from shodan to Menkyo all say the same things, all share the same experience. Each one, all thought they knew too, only to find out they didn't.
Then to come here and find out about Mike and then Ark, who are strangely having such oddly similar experiences as me. It leaves me with certain observable points.
There is a body of knowledge unknown to the vast msajority of martial artists. We missed it.
Most don't even know what it is.
As one recent bagau student stated after coming here and feeling what he consideres essential to his art..
I thought I knew. I didn't know, that I didn't know.

This is my experience with most of the Martial artist I meet. That experience may be different from most of your experiences.

to answer your query to Rob about How this relates to Aikido, aikiweb and the non aikido forum?
That this is being discussed in the Non aikido forum I find quite poignant. It cam to aikido through Ueshiba's initial studies with Takeda, but it is and always was the very heart of Aikido and what all its movement and connection is based on.
Sadly, everyone I have met, and most I have read, are by an large almost totally ignorant of what it is, and most importantly ways to train it.

Last edited by DH : 09-16-2008 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 09-16-2008, 08:31 AM   #36
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

Well here are my personal thoughts about my aikido and the value to having a path. Everything I think seems to relate very well to everything Gleason sensei has taught me. Which is why I believe he was also so interested in this approach. I asked him to come with me because I was concerned that otherwise I would have to figure out on my own how to take things to the next level in terms of what aikido is and what is non-aikido.

As I understand it, the first degree blackbelt in aikido represents a concept called aratama (fire energy). This basically means having an undefeatable spirit. (You are also supposed to know basic waza from a technical perspective to defeat "external strength" in the symbolic attacks and be able to take ukemi from all basic waza.) The term "undefeatable" doesn't means you can beat anyone up (although I'm starting to redefine that in my mind these days) it means that if you get thrown to the ground 100 times you get up 100 times and are ready to do some more.

Taking ukemi from people who can throw you in random ways enough encourages physical "listening skills". This was super valuable because it became important to me to start really listening with my body. I felt people's emotions through that contact. I learned that my emotions were obviously being felt by my partner when I was uke. I discovered that if I were working out with a nage having who was having a bad day that I could just concentrate my joy as uke and within 3 throws or so the nage would be laughing. I could even do it to big shot senseis (any who actually listen with their bodies) and I could do it 100% of the time. I though wow I am a master!

Then I discovered that such communication (opening up the body and listening) when both people were doing it, made the communication bi-directional. (It's just that joy has a way of winning out over fear/insecurity or maybe just more plainly termed "lack of joy"). This was a problem for me as I was teaching everyone how to do this on both sides. I realized that I had to face myself. I could no longer be outwardly civil to someone and inwardly not like them - because they would feel it. I realized this and therefore I realized "I have to change". The intimacy made me face the differences between being civil and being respectful, between apologizing and being sorry, and between thanking someone and being grateful.

Luckily, having such "physical confidence" that I would always get up again, gave me the confidence to make the logical leap to the emotional level where I became willing to take emotional chances. I knew I would be able to pick myself up again. It was a tremendously valuable source of confidence to help me continue to make positive personal changes.

To me that is the shodan level of aikido and aikido's initial "special" value.

For nidan the lesson was nigitama (water energy). Basically this is getting very smooth transitions from technique to technique which just required a depth of understanding in applying the techniques. (The even levels of blackbelts seem to represent better usage of the power skills developed on the previous odd number ranks.) At nidan I was really trying to apply that kind of smoothness to my life in general. I also decided that I needed to change my eating habits so I wouldn't be having such sugar highs and lows (to keep things smoother).

For sandan the lesson was sakitama (growth energy). This is supposed to be the whole mind-body unification concept. (In sandan level we are just happy if you can get your mind and body doing the same thing as opposed to yondan level where they can be used separately to achieve an overall goal.) I pretty much blew it on that one. I had learned to hide my weaknesses in posture and stance so well in the nidan stage that I just then took advantage of knowing how to mess up other people's structural weaknesses in their attacks, and used my mental focus to add power to my external muscle movement to take further advantage of those situations. The only thing I really developed any internal power on at that rank was that I could remove all of the slack out of my forearm from elbow to the back of my hand. I had the idea that I needed to learn how to remove more slack but I thought I was going to do that learning the Alexander Method a bit in terms of extending and relaxing but not enough for me to understand how to really use mental intention and move within myself. I did decide that I had to start regulating my sleeping more. That was helpful.

For yondan the lesson was kushitama (perfect wisdom). While this is my current ranking, I would not claim perfect wisdom as one of my characteristics just yet! Here is where I started learning to really use my mind and body separately to achieve an overall goal. And I'm learning by training primarily with Dan these days. (Although I will ALWAYS look to Gleason sensei for aikido especially now that I think I will have a chance to one day really understand the hard work he put into studying the kotodama.) I also started stretching using Forrest yoga, Tai massage, active isolated stretching, and fasting. I got off of all pharma products. I started practicing non-violent communication. I learned to look for people’s feelings and in so doing become able to bypass my ego stuff and relate directly to people on my feeling level. (Still working on that one.)

I still have a long way to go. The interesting problem I have is that I am learning much more efficient ways of using my mind and body to the absurd degree that I am confident that I will be able to jump most of my students (and all new students) straight to yondan/godan aikido ability within 5 years or so (maybe faster as I have some really helpful insights in how to shorten the learning curve more using some stretching). The question is, am I cheating them out of the growth experiences I went through on my MUCH LONGER road to this skill level?

I think I won't, but I also think I need to get to the level of using these skills in ground fighting so people can further have to opportunity to work out their deeply rooted emotional insecurities in a physical way – and encourage that over just building bravado. This direction seems to take me out of "aikido proper" as it is taught today. I'm not saying that is a bad thing, but I'm concerned non-the-less.

There is a value to having aikido as a path. I don't want to lose any value while I try to improve things for the next generation.

Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 09-16-2008 at 08:39 AM.
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Old 09-16-2008, 08:48 AM   #37
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

Quote:
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Peter
Bill Gleason came to train here. He was the 6th dan I refered to in an earlier post.
He did so after watching Rob's skills make a remarkable jump. after training for four hours we went to dinner. At dinner he stated that this ...this training...was what he was searching for throughout his career. It was the cornerstone power he was looking to find by researching the spiritual aspects of Ueshiba's life for his book.
He further stated that he was going on a teaching tour and -this training- was going to be outlined every where he went.
He came back to train the following week. It is my understanding that he will be incorporating this into his art for the remainder of his career.

Once again, and I cannot stress this enough. Mr Gleason was there and saw Taiji, Bagau, Daito ryu, MMA, Karate...teachers all present and training this way and every one of them stating this training was the heart of their art as well.
More'se the point, every, singel, one of them was certain, completely convinced of two things
a) That they were already doing "it" to one degree or another
after feeling me and my people
b) They were completelty wrong, could in fact NOT do it, and were going to spend the rest of their careers pursuing it.

You may see certain people replies to me, calling me a liar as equal to me stating they don't know the material, and how that "harms" their reputation.
I have a different sort of experience than you Peter.
What's it like for me to stand there and feel, touch, test, then see and hear so many Martial artists from shodan to Menkyo all say the same things, all share the same experience. Each one, all thought they knew too, only to find out they didn't.
Then to come here and find out about Mike and then Ark, who are strangely having such oddly similar experiences as me. It leaves me with certain observable points.
There is a body of knowledge unknown to the vast msajority of martial artists. We missed it.
Most don't even know what it is.
As one recent bagau student stated after coming here and feeling what he consideres essential to his art..
I thought I knew. I didn't know, that I didn't know.

This is my experience with most of the Martial artist I meet. That experience may be different from most of your experiences.

to answer your query to Rob about How this relates to Aikido, aikiweb and the non aikido forum?
That this is being discussed in the Non aikido forum I find quite poignant. It cam to aikido through Ueshiba's initial studies with Takeda, but it is and always was the very heart of Aikido and what all its movement and connection is based on.
Sadly, everyone I have met, and most I have read, are by an large almost totally ignorant of what it is, and most importantly ways to train it.
Hello Dan,

Many thanks for posting this reply.

If I were in the US, you can be assured that I would come and seek you out and train with you, if you would accept me. Since I do not live in the US, I have to seek other ways, one of which is training with Akuzawa Sensei.

My question to Rob concerned the degree to which Mr Gleason understood the issues that Rob was grappling with. You have answered this question, and have answered it in a way that increases my respect for Mr Gleason as a teacher. I hope that you understand that if I had been Rob's teacher, I would have done the same.

As for discussing these issues here on Aikiweb, well, I think that in the last analysis we have to trust Jun's judgment.

Best wishes,

PAG

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Old 09-16-2008, 09:23 AM   #38
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

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Hi Peter,

Can you post a link to the thread that Ellis posted in recently? I think I missed it.

Thanks,
Allen
Hello Allen,

It is in the forum entitled 'On Closing Threads', at the very bottom of the Forums menu.

PAG.

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Old 09-16-2008, 10:03 AM   #39
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

Hi Peter
I have the utmost respect for Mr. Gleason. I was -very- impressed with his demeanor and his devastatingly honest assessment of himself and aikido in general in what he saw and felt. It is always remarkable to listen to men of such experience once they felt you to and had the materials presented elucidate on its relevance to their art.
I hold it in context of my experiences with those of equal time-in, in other art who have said the same things to me and more importantly to the others beside myself who are teaching this openly as a separate body of knowledge
I think the art of aikido should be honored to have a guy like Bill Gleason representing the art.
I could not say the same of some of the Japanese Shihan you guys sent over here and I have had the dubious honor of "meeting."
Were I interested in doing Aikido or asked where to go in New England I know who I would recommend.

It is yet another step, in the right direction for Aikido. We'll have to see what becomes of it. It was Bill who after feeling me and seeing me move who observed "This would wreak havoc on Aikido practice as we know it."
I couldn't agree more. I can't do aikido. Not that I don't know how, but that were my body to express and move in such big movements people would get hurt. Moreover, I can't be thrown with aikido technique. So it's going to be up to those in aikido to try and figure out how to introduce aiki into aikido to make something of it. In the end I think the art will no longer function or look the way it does now. In the hands of men with aiki- it will be both devastatingly effective and different.

I am pleased to hear you went to see and train with Ark. From what I hear my approach is different-softer in its approach, hopefully I will get there soon. This economy is killing my business, so we'll see.
The fact that you are pursuing this speaks volumes to me-of you, Peter. In a time where so many are lamenting the decline of the arts, I think ancient skill of internal power / aiki is about to make a comeback and take over the arts again. Not in the sense that everyone will get it. But that those with it are going to be looked at and regarded in a whole new light.

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I think it is well worth considering the trouble allot of this causes Jun. Jun had been kind enough to share some of his frustrations with the manner in which this topic is discussed. Therefore, I can't be neutral about it as I really feel for what Jun is trying to offer to his readers. He has asked me to try and extend some extra effort. You may be surprised to learn I have privately asked him to help me...to help him, where ever I can, in that regard.
That said, I am left to examine all sides as best and try to constrain myself in a lengthy debate when I know...all along, we are the ones who are not only right, about this topic, but in many respects we hold the knowledge this or that person kicking at us has been looking for all along!
So from the outside it may look one way to you / from my side sitting here and meeting, testing, and then listening to your adepts words after feeling it, then coming back here to read yet another guy thinking he gets it, and starts analyzing it- just starts to become so absurd, so ludicrous, and to be doing so in the Non- aikido related forum, that I just throw up my hands, or worse, get frustrated and fail in my response.

So, do I consider my input equal? No, quite frankly no, I don't. All I can say is, I get very frustrated, as I try to manage to live up to my promised efforts for Jun and Aikiweb.

If we review...I think some things become clear. The recent revelation of this training is causing problems all over the internet. On empty flower, E-budo, and here at Aikiweb. Moderators are having trouble with how to deal with some very ticked off senior MAers from all walks, who are sometimes friends of theirs and long time supporters with their own student base now being told they missed it. It's tough going. More and more people from the ICMA are meeting people from DR and Aikido, and they are finally...starting to get it. That there was, after all, a common bond that gave these Asian arts the magic we were all looking for. The smart guys are going after it.
Sadly there is no shortage of those who are waiting in line for their teacher to reveal it to them after the second scroll of knowledge is unrolled. I'm not really concerned with them as that personality type is not someone I'd be willing to show this to. This requires innovative more self-aware and critical thinking people.

So, here we sit, teaching some your teacherst, what they now call -the heart of aiki- and discussing it in the Non-Aikido forum.
For what reason?

The arguments
So, think of this. We were sent down here because of what we couldn't say up there in the aikido forums. Now we have stalkers coming down here to chastise and now we are not allowed to tell him -here-that he doesn't get this material? I really don't think telling someone they don't know the material under discussion is untoward or rude. This isn't the public school system where everyone passes. If you don't get it...you just don't get it.
In light of your comments and so many others I can't even keep track, it should be obvious that most still don't know the material. So having a pretender come to try and take part and being allowed to get away with it to fool others?
That is rude.

So here we have a conundrum.
This training is the very heart of Aikido. I really could care less that so many- tens of thousands-, have missed it and are fighting to retain their own corner of ignorance against the growing tide,
It is being judged vetted and adopted by so many its getting to be absurd, completely ludicrous to see it discussed here in this forum. In fact this forum should be names How to train for Aiki, the heart of Aikido and placed at the top of all things.
All other forums relegated to adjunct training in non- aiki...do related waza.
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Old 09-16-2008, 10:23 AM   #40
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

Dan,
I hope you do not underestimate the profound effect you have had on me, and I'm sure many others. It is of little consequence to me what forum you have been 'banished' to. I read your postings with great interest trying to glean as much as I can from your words until I am able to meet you in person and learn what I can from you. I have great respect for what you are doing, and see you as a pioneer in MA. I would be honored to learn from you. You have a standing invitation from me, to stop by my dojo anytime. You have said you have no interest in going to Las Vegas but there is a nice dojo there that could be rented for a great seminar. If you ever change your mind I would love to be a part of making that happen. Perhaps now that your business is slow you might be willing to do more seminars?
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Old 09-16-2008, 11:21 AM   #41
phitruong
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

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You have said you have no interest in going to Las Vegas but there is a nice dojo there that could be rented for a great seminar. If you ever change your mind I would love to be a part of making that happen. Perhaps now that your business is slow you might be willing to do more seminars?
Dan doing seminar in Las Vegas? such a chancy proposition; however if you play your cards right, you might be able to get him to show his hands.

Rob L., I was going to skip the whole Dan rank stuffs and looping around to the kyu. Oh wait! I am in kyu. Nevermind!

Eric, I did manual labor stuffs in Asia as well as in the States. not the same. However, we, farm boys, tend to be stronger than we look. It's the manure ki that powered our stuffs.

I attended a number of seminar with Ikeda sensei. big fan of his. bought lots of stuffs from bujin (methink, he got my credit card number memorized). his explanation of what he's doing bounced around in my head (lots of empty spaces) but wouldn't stick. Spent a weekend with Mike (missed Ark because of other commitment) and his explanations somehow made lots of sense, especially, when he shown it. light bulbs when off in my head the whole time. got the shoulder bump thingy a couple of times. he was being gentle (thanks Mike). What Mike shown was some very very basic stuffs, but it jumped start me a couple of years (at least from my point of view, others might say that I was an idiot). I now understand what Ikeda sensei meant when he said "change your inside" (methink) and could do some simple stuffs, like picking bottle from below with your hands on top or where i source my power. I went back and read through the stuffs that Rob John wrote and it made a lot more sense now than before. This stuffs aren't happen overnight. it will take constant and heavy personal commitment to make it work. don't have problem with that. we, farm boys, know about hard work and perseverance.

the previous masters, they didn't have the distraction of modern life; bet most of them don't even know how to cook or change diaper or building your fort out of furniture because your kids waging nerf war on you different times and places, different expectations.

on the non serious note, I was hoping to boost my aiki by going high tech using this ki supercharger http://www.happyaikido.com/yabaa-prod.php?p1=0&p2=5. hopefully, the alligator clips don't chaff my skin. If this work, then I am going to challenge all of you internal masters for a duel at the local dimsum.
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Old 09-16-2008, 11:29 AM   #42
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

Well, I there is a bigger issue to consider.

Many people WANT the ability of Osensei to be unattainable. It is an excuse to continue to do what makes us comfortable. Making him out to be a God pisses me off frankly. People then do the same thing to their shihan, and their teachers. They almost take pleasure in thinking that "I can never be as good as that guy...."

That is just not the way I am wired. I want to pass out Gleason sensei, Saotome sensei, Osensei, as well as Dan Harden, and whatever level Sagawa and Takeda were. And I want those people who are on this kind of wavelength to pass me out so we can push each other and support each other.

I have some ideas about stretching that may make it possible for people to learn the basics of what Dan is teaching in even much shorter time. Not only do I want to pass my teachers, I want my students to pass me - because I'm not a god (although if some one wants to write that about me on the women's locker room, then please by all means!).

One of the first rules of martial arts _should be_ that no one is on a pedastol. If you see someone up on one, do them a kindness and knock them down off of it (or take some lumps trying!).

I'm grateful to Mike Sigman for starting to discuss this stuff. I had no idea the level of efficacy that could be achieved by the average joe (meaning non-super physically gifted people like Michael Jordon for instance). I LOVE that this can be trained. You just have to be smart enough to hold so many things in your mind all at once.

I think one of the problems for people like Mike and Dan is that they really don't know what IS in aikido proper to know what to say to speak to us. If I had read that you could deliver power rapidly without committing weight and that you could completely resist a push or a pull in the typically weakest vector (through anus and navel) and further that people can maintain that kind of connection while moving rapidly around a dojo I would have looked more actively and found Dan a few years earlier. I think for them, they look at typical aikido people and don' know where to start. They probably think, wow that guy isn't very connected.

This is the issue in terms of "degree". I think Erick could barely imagine the degree of difference we are discussing. Asking about the orientation of where the feet are for the push test and thinking he can do it to some degree is fine. But when you put that degree in context, our best in aikido wouldn't be measured on the same scale of Dan or Mike or Aukuzawa or even several of their students. Which results in the "degree"of the uninitiated - while maybe far above average - to be considered basically zero.

Regardless, I continue to wonder if I can steal some of the ideas from the ki society type dojos to help transition normal aikido into aiki...do. I might have a niche there where I can be helpful. I'm fairly confident that I may end up being one of the go-to people in terms of body stretching exercises to increase the speed by which this stuff is learned.

Rob
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Old 09-16-2008, 02:35 PM   #43
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello Allen,

It is in the forum entitled 'On Closing Threads', at the very bottom of the Forums menu.

PAG.
Thanks Peter!

Allen

~ Allen Beebe
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Old 09-16-2008, 04:32 PM   #44
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

Quote:
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The line from anus to navel is the traditional weak vector of people's stances. That weakness disappears if you have the kind of internal power and skills we are discussing.
Statically, most of our work is done in seated kokyu dosa. The closest thing I can offhand see using that particular weakness is a technique wherein nage slides past the strike, pivoting behind and connecting the arms/hands to uke's hips or torso, typically, and then cutting down and back as nage moves forward again (but headed the same way as uke now). It's kind of an extended version of an aiki-otoshi, but without taking him over your hips. After training in three lineages I gave up on waza names as being too confusing a while ago, (I have to force myself to name them when we train) so don't ask me -- it's here somewhere I am sure:http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15096 .

The technique itself actually requires the inverse of the "force without weight" used in the no-inch punch, as one is drawing in, not extending. I can reverse most those of pretty well with an anchoring that stalls nage's attempted shift and then allows a slight reversing hip shift to throw him into kuzushi behind me (particularly those that use the arms to pull vice cutting motion).

A more static example is where uke is taking nikkyo and rather than the typical take-down it is reversed and (now that you make me think about it) also goes through the line from navel to anus even though uke is roughly in hanmi. I can hold that as uke at least unitl my wrist is sore enough to want to stop.

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
I'm trying to help you as kindly as I can come to the conclusion that statements like 'Dan uses too much earth ki (or ground ki or whatever)' really is just silly. You and anyone else from normal aikido simple cannot know enough about what we are doing to make such observations and analysis.
Since I would accept a comment on most of aikido as too exclusively emphasizing the "ki of heaven" I have always thought it was merely an observational comment -- not the criticism that is assumed. I don't mean nor did the person who made the comment mean anything other than that. "Ki of heaven/earth" is a structural and dynamic term -- none of us invented them, one is not superior to the other per se, nor are they some new-agey construct: http://books.google.com/books?id=ccJ...HqsTqvDzs45HWw
Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
I'm happy to discuss what I am learning and try to help the uninitiated. But it seems like you were not taking the position of being the uninitiated and that is confusing to everyone.
I am happier as well. And you are correct, but different paths does not mean that we cannot usefully relieve needless confusion between us. As you just demonstrated. All I am doing in most cases is commenting on the struggle( and it is a struggle to come up with ways of description that do not require too much in the way of explaining -- as for instance, "force without weight" which means neither "force" nor "weight" in the conventional sense. I would call it something else, but then you know that.

As I have tried to gently say in the last two posts, you are all satisfied with your terms of art, which is fine amongst the initiates. But, as you have seen, they require much explaining to relieve the confusion or ambiguity that they tend to create when using otherwise common terms with the uninitiated. When you say force I assume you mean "force" and only by dint of this controversy have we come the conclusion that your force does not mean that "force" and yet now we have agreed implicitly on what we mean. Alot of heartache at me over many posts has stemmed from trying to get defined or refined terms on similar points -- they have never been challenges or ukases on standards, they were just asking for what you just provided in two simple posts.

But using a convention also means that you remove barriers to participation in the discussion. To me that seems a good thing, but that depends on the purpose. It allows for placement of the particular study to be more closely compared in similar terms to other things. That reduces the air of unfamiliarity. I am very comfortable digesting and bringing often odd-seeming things within the margins of conventional descriptions and categories. That's most of what a lawyer does, actually -- not just argue for the sake of it, but to nail down proper names for things. To call a thing by the right name is the beginning of wisdom, say the Chinese. The cachet of perceived exclusivity by simple naming is seductive and has a very long history. It is worth begin concerned about, particularly when people get upset when you merely question the naming.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 09-16-2008, 07:43 PM   #45
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

Erick,

To clarify further using your hips as the primary generator for that kind of hitting it not going to work too well against people who have internal power and internal skill because the moment you shift your hips you will find that they instantly take your balance (probably without noticing).

Also, I do mean that people are hit and hit incredibly hard - so there is plenty of real force. It's just that the way we are doing it results in the weight of the body not traveling with it or bracing it so it is not easily taken advantage of. I have a good friend with a fantastically powerful 1 inch punch. But he braces to do it. It's powerful for sure, but it is way too committed in terms of structure - and the structural weakness it exposes him to if he were say fighting 2 people at the same time. He is an accomplished martial artiest. He now trains with Dan because aiki is so obviously better.

As far as that vector of typical weakness. I'm floored that it doesn't resonate with you. Think about shihonage. The uke is raised up on the line from anus to navel, then thrown down on the line from navel to anus. Kotegaeshi for example works the same way. There are a lot of other examples.

To be fair, I don't think that asking for more concretely defined terms is "all you are doing". I'm happy to clear up confusion. However, I think your observations and comparisons are very far off simply because you cannot comprehend the degree of power differential. Even if it is because of our terminology - it really doesn't matter. The question is what this new training means to the future of aikido - any other observations and analysis from so far off base is really just distracting and unnecessarily confusing when they are asserted in the declarative.

Hope that clarifies the issue(s).

Rob
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Old 09-16-2008, 10:31 PM   #46
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
To clarify further using your hips as the primary generator for that kind of hitting it not going to work too well against people who have internal power and internal skill because the moment you shift your hips you will find that they instantly take your balance (probably without noticing).
Hi Rob
Again to quote one visitor an ICMA fellow "I didn't know, that I didn't know"
And it explains certain peoples almost utter lack of ability to deal with this. I can only say the materila I am reading here once again clearly and definitively demonstrates an ignorance of this training and therefore any credibility in the discussion. This ICMA fellow I mentioned stood there- virtually unable to move. We laughed about it. But he was clearly stunned. I think it makes it demonstable that any discussion with him prior to that-with him expressing his views would have proved to be yet another dead end and a waste of time. Yet he was absolutely sure.
IHTBF once again comes to the fore since so far 100% of the time, people are faced with training that they are inept to explain or deal with and had to admit they were in fact...all along...wrong.

Quote:
Also, I do mean that people are hit and hit incredibly hard - so there is plenty of real force. It's just that the way we are doing it results in the weight of the body not traveling with it or bracing it so it is not easily taken advantage of. I have a good friend with a fantastically powerful 1 inch punch. But he braces to do it. It's powerful for sure, but it is way too committed in terms of structure - and the structural weakness it exposes him to if he were say fighting 2 people at the same time. He is an accomplished martial artiest. He now trains with Dan because aiki is so obviously better.
It bears repeating that the generation of that punch of his is entirely external, and he like some here, Would have virtuallly no ability to enter into a meaningful discussion. Sadly though there is an inverse to that. You can go on other boards where the discussion is laid out and detailed. I have trained with two particular internal folks who wrote very detailed and lengthy explanations...who it turns out, have nothing, I mean nothing by way of skills. So possuers exist in all forms. you really need to get out and test those who want to talk about things on the internet. So far the vast majority I have read over the years don't bring anything to the table. Others aren't worth having a discussion with, only because they still think they get it when its obvous they don't, and others just mislead the public, mostly due to pride

Quote:
As far as that vector of typical weakness. I'm floored that it doesn't resonate with you. Think about shihonage. The uke is raised up on the line from anus to navel, then thrown down on the line from navel to anus. Kotegaeshi for example works the same way. There are a lot of other examples.
I donlt go on about vecotr weakness because its a limited view. As you now know and have seen we just take the whole bodies center. People who move according to the methods outlined by folks in this thread just get dumped. Irs just more of the same stuff that all of you guys are existing and quickly walking away from. It certainly isnlt any type of training an aiki men should be advocating.

Quote:
However, I think your observations and comparisons are very far off simply because you cannot comprehend the degree of power differential. Even if it is because of our terminology - it really doesn't matter. The question is what this new training means to the future of aikido - any other observations and analysis from so far off base is really just distracting and unnecessarily confusing when they are asserted in the declarative.

Hope that clarifies the issue(s).

Rob
I think you have very neatly defined the core of the problem in discussing this. As you have now personally witnessed with so many other visitors from a myriad of arts, they were completely unprepared for both the power differential and the ability to have their balance and center taking that had them simply undone.

It is -or I should say it -should be-noted how many people with serious credentials and decades of experience in Budo, not the least of which is some of its highest ranked western teachers who have felt this type of training with various men, have admitted it was beyond them and they are training in it.

When you start getting out there to show and train I think you're going to run into what Mike, Ark and I have all over. That is, while It has been very encouraging to see substantial men embrace and admit to information and training beyond their experience. Others...just don't have it in them.

For that reason Mike's advice proves true. Concentrate your energy on those who are asking for help. Even then, weed them out to ones who will work.
Let the ones who are convinced of their training stay where the're at.
I think the real discussion is past these ever decreasing nayayers, or those who still presume to know this. Why do you waste your time talking with them?

Heres a question. What do you think the manner is going to be for the road to great mastery?
Does it even involve Aikido™ as we now know it? Or any other singular art?

Is there another great art...in the development stage?

Last edited by DH : 09-16-2008 at 10:44 PM.
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Old 09-17-2008, 04:27 AM   #47
rob_liberti
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

Understood.
Quote:
Is there another great art...in the development stage
I've been thinking we should call it "Sho shin rob"

If we come up with another name, maybe we can change the name of the "non-aikido" section?

However, "the way of aiki" fits so well. I was hoping to popularize what I'm doing now to the point that people not doing it wouldn't want to have seminars or open schools using the name "aikido" for fear of someone with aiki skills showing up.

Rob

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Old 09-17-2008, 08:43 AM   #48
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

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Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Understood.

I've been thinking we should call it "Sho shin rob"

If we come up with another name, maybe we can change the name of the "non-aikido" section?

However, "the way of aiki" fits so well. I was hoping to popularize what I'm doing now to the point that people not doing it wouldn't want to have seminars or open schools using the name "aikido" for fear of someone with aiki skills showing up.

Rob
Well I think Aiki...do is just fine, I meant to infer that the brand new art emerging was going to be aiki...do hopefully coming on strong as a powerful art against all manner of doubts these days in a brand new way
And while you are rigthfully concentrating on *you and your students*, I was thinking of everyone who is embracing this training with Mike, Ark, Ueshiro, Ikeda, etc.
As I say, I think Aikido™ as practiced as aiki...do will be seeing a resurgence that will remove all doubt in any quarter as to its power.
As for *that guy* showing up with aiki skills to shut everyone up? That will always be rare, but I hope it will start to include aiki...do guys showing up in DR dojos,the local MMA clubs and with ICMA students and teachers. Trust me, it can happen

Last edited by DH : 09-17-2008 at 08:48 AM.
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:07 AM   #49
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

Okay. I got the message.

So in this thread, how about to actually discuss "in what manner" which is what I would like to focus on discussing - anyone who is not obviously initiated to the skill set is more than welcome to PM me and expect replies. However, I will do my best to refrain from continuing to discuss the differences in this "non-aikido" forum. There is enough for people to search through anyway.

So back to "in what manner"?

I posted a lot of valuable personal gains I got from my path of aikido before I started learning internal power so directly.

I would like to make those valuable experiences available to my students in what I teach going into the future. Preserving the "waza" until shodan or something can do that to some degree but then we are back into the having to unlearn physical habits model.

How can I make such valuable things available teaching aiki directly? Suggestions?

Rob
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Old 09-17-2008, 11:51 AM   #50
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Re: How Long and In What Manner to Great Mastery?

I can say that for us there was a time when we flirted with the idea of "renaming", based on differences in technical syllabus (so called 'pre-war') and and training method, but in the end we decided that our teacher called it aikido, and it is aikido, so we are going to call it Aikido. Deal with it.

As far as "in what manner", Rob, I'm not sure it will be the problem you think it is.

As we do the kata, out understanding of the kata evolves, our ability to perform the kata evolves and our ability to express power in the kata evolves. In turn our unique expression, henka, evolve out of that and in turn our ability beyond or outside of kata and henka, pure art, let's say, arises from such a process.

This is the theory I was taught (in more than one venue) and it seems to be in operation in my training (but is in no way completed).

I suppose you could rearrange the pieces somewhat. I hear tell that the Chinese model has you standing and building power for years before they start teaching how to use that power in a form. It seems that the Japanese model is to teach forms and add power into them.

I think we all have experienced that jujutsu will work with raw leverage and muscle power. I think that is fine for some and you find that joy of athleticism in sport forms that dropped the rest away. Even in aikido, I'm sure that there are plenty for whom the joy of the physical workout in the company of friends is enough. But, if the kata are pure, they are always available, in my opinion, to receive power and propel one beyond form.

-Doug Walker
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