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Old 09-25-2008, 12:35 PM   #51
Mike Sigman
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

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Toby Threadgill wrote: View Post
What Mike and Dan's insights offer is valuable but risks becoming bit cultish when opinons are presented without the insight or direct experience to back them up. Something that really grates on me is saying go out and feel it and then commenting on something or someone you've never personally felt. Don Angier, Kuroda, Ryabko and Ushiro developed their internal skills in a different manner than those being promoted here. For people posting here to conclude that different methods for achieveing internal skills are either inferior or less efficient without DIRECT experience to make such a conclusion is so obviously flawed that it borders on arrogance.
Let me try to re-state some of my perspectives. I've seen Kuroda do some things on film.... they're standard fare (some of the demo's) for ki demonstrations and he appears to do them well, so I would stipulate that he uses "internal strength". I've seen Don Angier on video and my personal opinion is that he has *some partial elements* of internal strength tied into his waza, but it's not the same thing. Ryabko I haven't felt, and since I've never felt Toby or gotten a clear indication of whether he truly knows internal strength skills, I simply and neutrally put Ryabko on "hold" until I can make an intelligent observation. Ushiro I've watched personally. He certainly has skills, but like so many teachers in so many Asian martial arts do, I think that his skills are bounded/defined by the karate that he practices, in the main, and I'm not satisfied that his particular method and approach is a comfortable fit for the way that Ueshiba or Tohei practiced. That last is just a thought and is not something I dwell on daily.

What I'm saying is that just because someone has a "name" and gives workshops, I'm sort of stuck about who does what.... and I'm not going to fly all over the world just to find out whether it's a waste of my time or not. I'm going to go by the words of people who I know have some ability to recognize real skills and/or I'm going to go by my impression of what they post (what it does to assure me that they do or do not really have enough of these skills to make it worthwhile for me to go visit). But that's just me personally and my method that I've developed for cutting through the weeds over many years.

I'd suggest once again, as other people have noted, that very simple and basic dialogue and anecdotes on AikiWeb clued me that Ushiro, Rob John, Dan, Dave Shaner, etc., had these skills. Turns out this is true, so some posting about the basics in public forums has some benefits for the general populace. Other people, I'm generally left with having to just shrug my shoulders and say "I don't know, I don't know the skills of the people who are recommending them very well, so I have to stay in neutral and not say anything".

And BTW, in some cases I *do* know the skills of some of the people recommending so-and-so as "having it", so in some cases I know that people are being recommended by someone whose opinions are, IMO, not of great value for a recommendation.

The long and short of it is that there is no clear-cut answer in this topic.... it's another morass, so be careful out there.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 09-25-2008, 01:00 PM   #52
Toby Threadgill
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

Mike,

My god! We are finally in general agreement on something. How'd that happen?

All my best to you, sir

Toby Threadgill

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Let me try to re-state some of my perspectives. I've seen Kuroda do some things on film.... they're standard fare (some of the demo's) for ki demonstrations and he appears to do them well, so I would stipulate that he uses "internal strength". I've seen Don Angier on video and my personal opinion is that he has *some partial elements* of internal strength tied into his waza, but it's not the same thing. Ryabko I haven't felt, and since I've never felt Toby or gotten a clear indication of whether he truly knows internal strength skills, I simply and neutrally put Ryabko on "hold" until I can make an intelligent observation. Ushiro I've watched personally. He certainly has skills, but like so many teachers in so many Asian martial arts do, I think that his skills are bounded/defined by the karate that he practices, in the main, and I'm not satisfied that his particular method and approach is a comfortable fit for the way that Ueshiba or Tohei practiced. That last is just a thought and is not something I dwell on daily.

What I'm saying is that just because someone has a "name" and gives workshops, I'm sort of stuck about who does what.... and I'm not going to fly all over the world just to find out whether it's a waste of my time or not. I'm going to go by the words of people who I know have some ability to recognize real skills and/or I'm going to go by my impression of what they post (what it does to assure me that they do or do not really have enough of these skills to make it worthwhile for me to go visit). But that's just me personally and my method that I've developed for cutting through the weeds over many years.

I'd suggest once again, as other people have noted, that very simple and basic dialogue and anecdotes on AikiWeb clued me that Ushiro, Rob John, Dan, Dave Shaner, etc., had these skills. Turns out this is true, so some posting about the basics in public forums has some benefits for the general populace. Other people, I'm generally left with having to just shrug my shoulders and say "I don't know, I don't know the skills of the people who are recommending them very well, so I have to stay in neutral and not say anything".

And BTW, in some cases I *do* know the skills of some of the people recommending so-and-so as "having it", so in some cases I know that people are being recommended by someone whose opinions are, IMO, not of great value for a recommendation.

The long and short of it is that there is no clear-cut answer in this topic.... it's another morass, so be careful out there.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 09-25-2008, 01:06 PM   #53
Toby Threadgill
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

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Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Did Bob King or Joe Neal learn their skills doing kata or waza?
Hi Rob,

I'm not sure about Bob King. Joe Neal was a longtime student of Don Angier and learned his internal skills through kata before switching to Systema.

Systema training does not utilize waza or kata in the traditional sense but employs a totally different pedagogy based almost entirely on paired freestyle resistence training. We call this Shuho Kunren in TSYR.

Toby Threadgill
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Old 09-25-2008, 01:17 PM   #54
Aikibu
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

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Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
Toby has said it better than I ever could. I was fortunate to attend both Aiki Expos where I had a chance to feel and interact with all of the people he mentioned (including Toby himself).

Each of those people achieved skills and abilities from very different learning paradigms. Each of them are remarkably talented in what they do. I do not place time frames upon their learning paradigms, nor do I assume to believe that I understand them. I am lucky enough to train with good people who have different teaching paradigms who honor me by sharing their knowledge with me.

I, like Toby, do not know the answers, but am open to learning. As to making recommendations, I can only share with people my personal experiences and ask them to find their own.

Marc Abrams

ps.- Rob, Ushiro Sensei is in town in October. He is very gracious and would be more than willing to answer any questions you may have.
Agreed Toby stated my feelings as well...I have been to the expos "Felt" the Systema folks, Ushiro,Toby and others so I at least have a basic understanding.

I am just getting sick and tired of the Ad Authoritum Approach of some of the "experts' here and their circular arguments.

I also think that Sword based Gendai or Koryu Arts naturally teach you how to extend your "Aiki". Kuroda Shihan may not be "Aiki strong like Bull" It's a different Aiki all together just like ours.... but I guarantee you that for 95% of the Martial Planet your "A Game" will never touch his. LOL

I sure hope some get past their "expertise" and learn to share their toys with everyone else in the Aikiweb Sandbox.

William Hazen
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Old 09-25-2008, 01:20 PM   #55
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

Thank you for the clarification. It would be interesting to know if Joe Neal developed his internal skills through kata under Don Angier in under 6 years. But it is good to hear someone developed any internal skills by means of kata. I would like to know what skills he could manifest that were beyond the normal external skills as well. To me figuring out the criteria with which to discuss such things makes a lot of sense.

For aikido, I would evaluate someone by questions like:
Can you do ikkyo without pushing?
Can you do iriminage without pulling?
Can you do shihonage without lifting?
(At the time, this was meant to be in terms of uke's without internal skills of course)

If no, fine. But I probably won't be jumping on a plane for that seminar.

For internal skills I want to know:
Can you deliver force without committing weight?
Can you move freely without your balance being vulnerable to pushes and pulls on the line from anus to navel?
How long did it take you to develop such things?

I'm totally open to adding or revising my current list.

I believe Mike had some instructor test about pushing someone without moving your arms or back leg. I think I can do that to some degree now.
Mike also mentioned some good points about the ki tests in on of Tohei sensei's books. These are fine suggestions as far as I am concerned as well.

Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 09-25-2008 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 09-25-2008, 02:12 PM   #56
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

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Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
For aikido, I would evaluate someone by questions like:
Can you do ikkyo without pushing?
yes
Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Can you do iriminage without pulling?
yes
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Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Can you do shihonage without lifting?
yes
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Old 09-25-2008, 03:36 PM   #57
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

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Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
For aikido, I would evaluate someone by questions like:
Can you do ikkyo without pushing?
Yes.
Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Can you do iriminage without pulling?
Yes.
Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Can you do shihonage without lifting?
Yes.
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Old 09-25-2008, 04:01 PM   #58
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

Okay, well see that is not too hard.
So doesn't it seem like we should be able to do similar things for people who have "aiki" ? I would imagine that people who have aiki and teach aiki, would look at my list and write "yes", "yes", and "I frequently get new people to be able to say yes to these things in 4 or 5 years".

It doesn't have to be "my" list. I'm open to changing it. Dan mentions things like "heavy hands", the ability to resist throws and manipulations, etc... Maybe that is part of his list. I was trying to keep my list as simple as possible to distinguish between external and internal skills at just a very basic level.

Rob
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Old 09-25-2008, 05:33 PM   #59
Mike Sigman
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

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Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Okay, well see that is not too hard.
I think you'll find, Rob, that many people can "already do these things", just as Dan has found out. My suggestion is to just enjoy the fact that these are just more people who are already well on their way and that you never have to show anything to.



Regards,

Mike
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Old 09-25-2008, 06:19 PM   #60
Toby Threadgill
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Thank you for the clarification. It would be interesting to know if Joe Neal developed his internal skills through kata under Don Angier in under 6 years. But it is good to hear someone developed any internal skills by means of kata. I would like to know what skills he could manifest that were beyond the normal external skills as well. To me figuring out the criteria with which to discuss such things makes a lot of sense.

For aikido, I would evaluate someone by questions like:
Can you do ikkyo without pushing?
Can you do iriminage without pulling?
Can you do shihonage without lifting?
(At the time, this was meant to be in terms of uke's without internal skills of course)

If no, fine. But I probably won't be jumping on a plane for that seminar.

For internal skills I want to know:
Can you deliver force without committing weight?
Can you move freely without your balance being vulnerable to pushes and pulls on the line from anus to navel?
How long did it take you to develop such things?

I'm totally open to adding or revising my current list.

I believe Mike had some instructor test about pushing someone without moving your arms or back leg. I think I can do that to some degree now.
Mike also mentioned some good points about the ki tests in on of Tohei sensei's books. These are fine suggestions as far as I am concerned as well.

Rob
Rob,

Questions like this don't accomplish much. That's why talking about this stuff is almost impossible in my opinion. Its difficult to agree on technical parameters that aren't hobbled by semantics. You've got to get your hands on people.

Concerning Joe. I watched him take apart a quite experienced BJJ style grappler once without even breaking a sweat. The poor guy had no idea what was being done to him and this was before Joe ever heard of Systema. All he'd done at this point was some western wrestling, kendo and Yanagi ryu. It was a very humbling experience for the guy who's father & teacher was an early and quite accomplished student of Rorion and Rickson Gracie.

Toby Threadgill
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Old 09-25-2008, 07:23 PM   #61
Upyu
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

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Toby Threadgill wrote: View Post
Questions like this don't accomplish much. That's why talking about this stuff is almost impossible in my opinion. Its difficult to agree on technical parameters that aren't hobbled by semantics. You've got to get your hands on people.
I'd have to go with Rob on this one, questions like that can accomplish something.
Every time someone says that technical parameters are hobbled by semantics, I think back to my initial encounter with Mike here on Aikiweb. Both of us come from completely different backgrounds, but we were able to establish a common ground that was pretty damn obvious that we were talking in the same direction.
(I think someone at the time was calling me a twat for saying that power could be "generated" from the ground)

In my own personal experience I've found most that have a SOLID understanding of these skills have little trouble making headway with those kind of questions.

From my own contact with Systema, I'd also have to say that they have elements, but there are some crucial methods of using the body that they do not use.

For clarification, I don't mean that makes internals superior, but that Systema simply doesn't necessarily make use of the same things, although there is inevitably some overlap.

There's a couple people I know that have close hands on experience with Vlad and Ryabko, having trained for a good deal in Systema, and also studies under Ark.
It's always interesting to hear their comparisons, about the difference in feel between the three, not to mention the utilization, or rather non utilization of certain body mechanics.
Whether A or B is superior etc...well that's really a matter of taste that can only be made once you have a basic grasp of skills on both sides.

Last edited by Upyu : 09-25-2008 at 07:26 PM.
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Old 09-25-2008, 07:45 PM   #62
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

Do the people who answered yes to the aikido questions feel that those questions do not accomplish much? Was there any question about the semanics on them?

I think I can simply modify the questions for internal skills to be that I want to know:
1) Can you deliver force without committing weight with semantics about this idea not mattering to you at all?
2) Can you move freely without your balance being vulnerable to pushes and pulls on the line from anus to navel with semantics about this idea not mattering to you at all?
3) How long in your system does it take you to develop such things?

If your answer to these questions is 2 "yawns" with 2 nods, and "4 or 5 years" or less, them I'm very interested in your methods.

Rob
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Old 09-25-2008, 08:23 PM   #63
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Do the people who answered yes to the aikido questions feel that those questions do not accomplish much? Was there any question about the semanics on them?

I think I can simply modify the questions for internal skills to be that I want to know:
1) Can you deliver force without committing weight with semantics about this idea not mattering to you at all?
no
Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
2) Can you move freely without your balance being vulnerable to pushes and pulls on the line from anus to navel with semantics about this idea not mattering to you at all?
no
Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
3) How long in your system does it take you to develop such things?
That depends on how much I work on them. I am becoming more and more conscious of them since Mike, Dan, and the two Robs started writing about them. I would very much like to incorporate better and more efficient 'internal training' methods into my training paradigms.

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
If your answer to these questions is 2 "yawns" with 2 nods, and "4 or 5 years" or less, them I'm very interested in your methods.
my method sucks.
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Old 09-25-2008, 08:24 PM   #64
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

What Mike said... the questions discount the "degree" to which people think they can do (or think they "already do") the stuff detailed in those questions.

Ignatius
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Old 09-25-2008, 08:34 PM   #65
rob_liberti
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

Well, I don't know.
Mike and I argued about degree a while back.
If he asked me those questions, that would have really helped me. I'm not picking on Mike, how could he know what would have gotten through to me?

Rob
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Old 09-25-2008, 08:45 PM   #66
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

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Toby Threadgill wrote: View Post
Rob,
Questions like this don't accomplish much. That's why talking about this stuff is almost impossible in my opinion.
Actually conversations like this have accompished a great deal. Most importantly in separating those who rely on years of technical skills and waza, from those with some marginal parts and pieces of internal skill who have great waza, to those who have a deeper teaching to impart who are powerful in a different way and have great waza. Moreover they have generated hundreds of people going out to meet and have what did you call it?....DIRECT experiences to impart -instead of speculation-......about what training in these skills as a separate body of work and what these men can actually deliver with teaching a body of skills that is deep.
So while I appreciate your comments about Mike and I, and your asking people to consider what you believe is a wiser more "open" mindset , I find some of your earlier comments a bit condesending. Perhaps you should consider that you are talking to men with decades of experience.
Interestingly enough, many are comparing THOSE experiences with feeling You, Howard, Kiyama, Okomoto, Don, Ushiro, Saotome, Vlad, Robikof, Some Gracies, several serious ICMA masters like Wang Xiaowang, Wang Haijun, Luo Dexiu Lou Chengde with Mike, Ark, me
I should include those that are combining that with experience in grappling
I think your admonition in your earlier post of asking people to listen to your DIRECT experience rather than speculation is rather well met. Good advice.
I have been an unabashed supporter of that for years. You might want to consider just who you're talking too. You're talking to men who have been doing what you yourself are advocating and who are quite experienced themselves. Funny thing that.

No one has come back all hept up about the techniques of this or that art or guy.Seems they are smarter than that Toby. It seems these guys for some wierd reason were impressed with a teaching, not more waza. Most have seen and felt thousands of waza are quite jaded. Instead they were impressed by a teaching of body skills that was so deep and so different that it surprised them. Why? It was out of their experience.
So, I dunno, maybe using your own logic...they...deserve to be listened to. As they have already taken your advice. Further, they've gone where YOU haven't yet.
I dunno, just following your logic and advice. I mean I am meeting with men with some very serious rank and experience. I think the debate and those in it deserves more respect than that, no matter which side you're on.

I continue to encourge everyone to go out and feel everyone they can. I am quite comfortable with giving that advice. It does everyone a world of good.
Quote:
Concerning Joe. I watched him take apart a quite experienced BJJ style grappler once without even breaking a sweat. The poor guy had no idea what was being done to him and this was before Joe ever heard of Systema. All he'd done at this point was some western wrestling, kendo and Yanagi ryu. It was a very humbling experience for the guy who's father & teacher was an early and quite accomplished student of Rorion and Rickson Gracie.

Toby Threadgill
I feel like I stepped back in time.
Waza eh? Speed, power, heaviness and beating grapplers? Ok.
I know a number of guys with grappling experience having success against many other grapplers. Doing so with jujutsu waza new or old is just another day at the office. So what? Know what I think? That doesn't give them a ticket to the conversations we have been having here...from day one.

Teaching people to generate power and absorb loads, to draw in and capture and knowing how to train the body to support itself in opposites, retaining a central equilibrium and what supports what and how, and how to move with that retained balance with power in your hands with no wind-up, and doing so in a much more fluid and faster mode of moving...does.

All of the latest turn in the discussions to technique and handling people with waza says nothing to me. We each have decades of training with friends who are capable men at what they do and who handle other MAers. It's just more martial art talk to me, Why not include Randy into a discussion of internals he fast, grabbing him feels like a gorilla and is meaningless in this type of discussion.

Last edited by DH : 09-25-2008 at 08:56 PM.
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Old 09-25-2008, 09:07 PM   #67
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

Personally I think the positions can be expressed with a greater sense of respect for each others positions. And more than that, what about the people in the middle considering where to train and are listening to the debate? Many times we are talking to people with decades of experience in the martial arts. And some of those hold considerable skills. The subject is definitive, more so than some realize, less so than others state.
In either case the final arbiter is not those debating their positions-it is those out training.
I disagree with Toby on some aspects of this issue. But I like the guy and respect his position, his art and what he is trying to do. I just don't agree with him on all points.
That said we should all be comfortable debating here, and then knowing we can meet some day and have a beer. Come on guys, most here are people of substance, many are parents, husbands, wives, teachers. business men etc. I know I get angry at some of my own posts and others. But in the end the topic doesn't warrent ill-will.

Last edited by DH : 09-25-2008 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 09-25-2008, 09:18 PM   #68
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Waza eh? Speed, power, heaviness and beating grapplers? Ok.
I know a number of guys with grappling experience having success against many other grapplers. Doing so with jujutsu waza new or old is just another day at the office. So what? Know what I think? That doesn't give them a ticket to the conversations we have been having here...from day one.
We were supposed to buy tickets?
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Old 09-25-2008, 09:22 PM   #69
rob_liberti
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

Okay - well I do not mean to disrespect anyone.

Let me put it this way. So you go out and meet someone to feel their martial arts power or whatever. What questions are you asking (verbally or just physically)? I know what questions I am asking...

Rob
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Old 09-25-2008, 09:33 PM   #70
Mike Sigman
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

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Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
I'm not picking on Mike, how could he know what would have gotten through to me?
Ohmigod.... so many potential one-liners, so little time. Of course it was my lack of understanding about how to get through to you that was the problem. My apologies.

Mike
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Old 09-25-2008, 09:38 PM   #71
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

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Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Okay - well I do not mean to disrespect anyone.

Let me put it this way. So you go out and meet someone to feel their martial arts power or whatever. What questions are you asking (verbally or just physically)? I know what questions I am asking...

Rob
Questons? None, till after.
Give me one minute with hands-on. Internal power /aiki...happens. You can't hide it, you can't fake it and technique won't disguise it-don't let them do technique. Then you can experiment and play to explore as you try and take each other off your feet in a give and take. Its fun. Waza and grappling is optional.
For guys who have it and learned it through kata they can demonstrate what they know as well. Some, I have personally seen were limited, in various things where-even though they had some internal skills - those were assigned to certain movements. So you show them a more complete approach not dependant on shapes. forms or movements. Others, though still trained through kata, have a deeper understanding anyway. It's all fun, and still easily demonstrated.

All of the questions... lead to debate over intellectual understanding. Some say they can't articulate their understanding of what they are doing in their own bodies, others speak very well, but when you meet them can't do much. So, its catch-as-catch-can while debating.

Last edited by DH : 09-25-2008 at 09:46 PM.
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Old 09-25-2008, 09:42 PM   #72
Toby Threadgill
Location: Evergreen, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2006
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

Guys,

Okay...I'll agree that the discussions have brought this topic into the limelight and thats good. It's got people visiting one another. That's good too. But I'm still rather skeptical how much technical theory can really be discerned in verbal communication....That's all.

And, I'm admittedly a horrible writer so maybe that has something to do with my skepticism. I just can't really put into words what I do or what I feel from others.

Dan,

Concerning your post...I'm a bit confused by much of it but we regularly talk sideways to one another....so....I'll read it again after the stock market screens stop jumping in my head.....

Concerning this. I wasn't addressing you. Rob Liberti asked me:

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Thank you for the clarification. It would be interesting to know if Joe Neal developed his internal skills through kata under Don Angier in under 6 years. But it is good to hear someone developed any internal skills by means of kata. I would like to know what skills he could manifest that were beyond the normal external skills as well.
I thought my answer was obviously relevant to his question.

I'm off on a plane tomorrow and then very busy. Soon after that out of the country so I'll catch you gentlemen later.

Regards,

Toby Threadgill
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Old 09-25-2008, 09:53 PM   #73
DH
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

Have a safe trip and try to avoid some of those ...situations. Man you have some stories
We'll hash it out sooner or later. If we meet we'll laugh our butts of while doing so.
I want to keep the discussion up-beat though. If there is no essential intent for disrespect than the rest is just a debate on a topic dear to our heart. Sooner or later you'll agree with me too and we'll toss down a few while laughing about this thread.
You think YOU write horribly??? OMG.
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Old 09-25-2008, 10:03 PM   #74
Demetrio Cereijo
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,907
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Let me put it this way. So you go out and meet someone to feel their martial arts power or whatever. What questions are you asking (verbally or just physically)?
Can you kick my a**?

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Old 09-26-2008, 12:37 AM   #75
Aikibu
Dojo: West Wind Dojo Santa Monica California
Location: Malibu, California
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Can you kick my a**?
I have no doubt that based on what I have read and in private discussion with folks who experienced Mr Sigman Harden Threadgill and the others they have mentioned that yes they could kick mine and that's the point IMO of learning this stuff. The style of Aikido I practice emphasizes that it must be able to "handle" attacks by experienced Martial Artists and that is the only true gauge which one can measure Martial Effectiveness.
That being said my only objection to some of these discussions is the tone they take sometimes
I highly respect power which is the reason most Aikido does not work for me. Too many times when I attack most Aikidoka Aikido's fatal flaw reveals itself. most folks can't handle it outside of the practice paradigm of Uke/Nage. At least (it seems to me anyway) with Sword Based Arts ( and as Mr. Arillio has mentioned) you get used to the speed and timing of an attack. Folks who do not train with weapons in Aikido never really seem to experience the skill needed to handle opponents. Because most Aikidoka are not used to getting hit instead of entering with the intention of finishing/ending the conflict they flinch and focus on avoiding the strike or take down. Aiki is like a brick wall in my experience, and I have yet to win against a brick wall.

In a class setting I spend a great deal of time helping folks overcome the natural handicap of avoiding getting hit and have them try to understand they need to react by entering and to do all this while presenting an opening for their opponent to strike.

Let's call it the Aiki of learning how to Bull Fight. IMO Toreadors are some of the best Aikido practitioners on the planet.

If I am to follow Shoji Nishio's insistence That Aikido must be effective against other Martial Arts in order to be considered Budo then learning proper structure and Aiki is a natural expression of his philosophy.

William Hazen
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