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Old 12-14-2008, 01:05 PM   #1
jessem
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Internal Strength Workshop with Mike Sigman

Internal Strength Workshop
with Mike Sigman
February 20-22nd, 2009
Austin, Texas

This will be a two day non-denominational and semi-private workshop
for martial artists who are interested in learning more about the
underlying principles of internal strength that serve as a foundation
in many of the traditional arts such as Taiji, Aikido, Ba Gua, and
Xing Yi.

Topics covered will be step-by-step functional basic jin and qi
development with physical results assured. Movement with qi/jin,
exercises, and various related topics depending upon time and
interests of people in the group.

Mike Sigman has been a practitioner of Asian martial arts for 45+
years. He was the former publisher of Internal Strength magazine, and
the list-owner for QiJin, the only web-forum that deals exclusively
with the how-to's etc., of internal strength, training, and body
mechanics.

The cost will be $180 paid in advance for both Saturday and Sunday OR
$100 per day at the door. Attendance will be limited to 20-30
participants max.

For more information or to reserve a spot, please contact Scott Prath
at: scottwprath at hotmail dot com
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Old 12-14-2008, 01:52 PM   #2
Voitokas
 
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Re: Internal Strength Workshop with Mike Sigman

Sounds cool - I wish I were closer...

I am not an expert
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Old 01-23-2009, 03:38 PM   #3
jessem
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Re: Internal Strength Workshop with Mike Sigman

bump, workshop is coming up soon. great time of year to visit austin
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Old 01-24-2009, 01:42 PM   #4
lbb
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Re: Internal Strength Workshop with Mike Sigman

Yah, if I had the vacation time and travel budget! Oh well, some day I'll finally get to meet Mike.
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Old 01-26-2009, 04:01 PM   #5
Mike Sigman
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Re: Internal Strength Workshop with Mike Sigman

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Yah, if I had the vacation time and travel budget! Oh well, some day I'll finally get to meet Mike.
You still boating, Mary? You can come out when the Spring runoff is here and tackle the big whitewater instead of those puny creeks you guys call rivers.

Mike
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Old 01-26-2009, 07:02 PM   #6
lbb
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Re: Internal Strength Workshop with Mike Sigman

We have a creek here that will give you the opportunity to listen to God. If you're lucky, he'll say, "Not yet."
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Old 01-26-2009, 07:53 PM   #7
Mike Sigman
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Re: Internal Strength Workshop with Mike Sigman

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
We have a creek here that will give you the opportunity to listen to God. If you're lucky, he'll say, "Not yet."
Come out here and see what God could have done for your creeks if only he'd had the money.
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Old 02-01-2009, 04:08 AM   #8
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Internal Strength Workshop with Mike Sigman

Quote:
Jesse Marandino wrote: View Post
Internal Strength Workshop
with Mike Sigman
February 20-22nd, 2009
Austin, Texas

This will be a two day non-denominational and semi-private workshop
for martial artists who are interested in learning more about the
underlying principles of internal strength that serve as a foundation
in many of the traditional arts such as Taiji, Aikido, Ba Gua, and
Xing Yi.

Topics covered will be step-by-step functional basic jin and qi
development with physical results assured. Movement with qi/jin,
exercises, and various related topics depending upon time and
interests of people in the group.

Mike Sigman has been a practitioner of Asian martial arts for 45+
years. He was the former publisher of Internal Strength magazine, and
the list-owner for QiJin, the only web-forum that deals exclusively
with the how-to's etc., of internal strength, training, and body
mechanics.

The cost will be $180 paid in advance for both Saturday and Sunday OR
$100 per day at the door. Attendance will be limited to 20-30
participants max.

For more information or to reserve a spot, please contact Scott Prath
at: scottwprath at hotmail dot com
Good luck with the weekend, Mike... I wish I could be there. I even have friends there I could have stayed with but I am teaching up here in Seattle the same weekend. Hard to be two places at once. I'm sure folks will be suitably impressed.
- George

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 02-01-2009, 08:39 AM   #9
Mike Sigman
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Re: Internal Strength Workshop with Mike Sigman

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Good luck with the weekend, Mike... I wish I could be there. I even have friends there I could have stayed with but I am teaching up here in Seattle the same weekend. Hard to be two places at once. I'm sure folks will be suitably impressed.
Thanks, George. We'll meet up again sooner or later, I'm sure. I never thought about people being impressed... my main worry is always getting enough information across correctly, condensed enough, and in such a way that the next time I see them *I'll* be impressed. And you know, some of these guys really do get it and the next time I see them I feel pretty good. But I'm always trying to find a better way to say/show it.

Best.

Mike
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:14 PM   #10
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Internal Strength Workshop with Mike Sigman

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Thanks, George. We'll meet up again sooner or later, I'm sure. I never thought about people being impressed... my main worry is always getting enough information across correctly, condensed enough, and in such a way that the next time I see them *I'll* be impressed. And you know, some of these guys really do get it and the next time I see them I feel pretty good. But I'm always trying to find a better way to say/show it.

Best.

Mike
For most folks, unless they have access to someone teaching this material on a daily basis it's a gradual process. I keep picking up pieces a bit at a time. I got some very good stuff from the Akazawa seminar we had at my dojo. I can't do many of their exercises because my knee is so screwed up; my attempts left me limping for a week afterward. But I picked up some small tidbits that I later realized connected to some other elements I'd been working on and the result was a huge shift.

Gleason Sensei came for his yearly seminar in the Fall and showed us some very good stuff he'd gotten from working with Dan Hardin. It took me a bit to connect it but once I did I felt like my body understood the internal logic of it very quickly.

We have a Roppokai Study Group now under Howard Popkin Sensei's supervision and all sorts of changes are coming through that channel.

And I have regular exposure to some very good Systema work. It's helped my breathing a lot and I've stolen all sorts of ideas about how to train from them.

And of course, Ikeda Sensei is digesting what we got from Ushiro Sensei even faster than I am and I get to see how he is changing every few months.

My Aikido is such a mish-mash of stuff at this point... It's a very good thing that Saotome Sensei doesn't believe that Aikido has a "style" or that we are all supposed to look like him. I'd be exiled and forced to change the name of what I am doing to "Saotome Ha George Ryu Mish-Mash Do" or some such. I feel lucky in many ways that I am not in a Koryu in which I would be charged with mastering, preserving, and handing down a certain set of forms and principles. I'm free to let my direction go where it will and I have been blessed with encountering fantastic teachers who have been willing to share what they know; yourself amongst them although only briefly, unfortunately. I don't get to do as much as I'd like, as I have to balance my own training with my living which involves passing on what I've already figured out to as many folks as I can. But the two concerns are quite compatible so far. I get very a positive reception to what I am doing, which in turn supports my attempts to seek out more training for myself.

I was talking to my friend the other day who is one of the local Systema teachers. I said that I find that almost everyone training would like to be better but won't even "cross the street" to do it. The number of people who will go out of their way to get new stuff is small. But if you drop it in their laps, they are quite happy to work on it and are overjoyed to be getting better. That's good for folks like me as it keeps me employed.

I think there is change taking place. I see a big willingness for the folks at the second tier level, the 4th and 5th Dans, to get out there and expose themselves to new things. More so than the folks at the top levels of 6th and 7th Dans. There are exceptions... a few really well established top level teachers are still training and changing. Ikeda Sensei should be a model for everyone in this regard. He is better every time I see him. But I think that it is the next generation of teachers who will start integrating the material from the various sources we see available today.

Anyway, I hope I'll get a chance to play with you again sooner rather than later.I have a much better idea of what questions I'd like to ask than last time we met.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:58 PM   #11
Mike Sigman
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Re: Internal Strength Workshop with Mike Sigman

Hi George:

Well, overall I think things sound pretty positve. Insofar as a "mishmash" of thing goes, my recommendation is that people stop and think carefully "what's really going on here?" because there is an underlying logic and principles that are not all that complex. If it looks very complex and it involves a doing a lot of exercising by rote, then it's time to step back and *think*... it can't be that hard.

Another problem can come about with "touch deafness" (sort of like "tone deafness"). I remember watching a lot of people in the western Tai Chi community start chasing after various experts because "this guy is powerful" and "that guy is powerful" and "that guy kicked my butt", but most of the people (let's face it, they were novices) could not differentiate between one guy's type of power and the next guy's type of power. So "Bob feels strong in the same way that Harry does, to me, so they must be doing the same thing" happens a lot. I.e., they're not able to discern who is doing what, who is using muscle/tension, who is "purer", etc., and of course if it's shown using "technique", many people cannot analytically separate the type of power from spiffy technique. It gets confusing. Heck, a lot of the "name" Chinese Tai Chi teachers in the West actually only have a superficial knowledge of Tai Chi, but they stick in some power from White Crane, Long Fist, etc., and because they can do some type of "Fa jin", everyone thinks these guys are "Tai Chi Masters". You see the problem.

So what I'm saying is basically positive and "godspeed", etc., but also "be careful out there", like on Hill Street Blues, in the old days. Boil it down to a few principles. Look for the commonalities, not the differences. I assure you that someone who really has good ki/kokyu skills *must* be using the same core principles as anyone else who does some variation, but there are levels of purity and there are a lot of ways to use ki-muscle combos that may be harder for the just-starting to catch onto. The devil is in the details.

One thing I'd suggest that people can use as a comparison is to constantly reference back to what Ueshiba, Tohei, Shioda, Inaba, and others say and do/did. They weren't just fumbling around in the dark; they knew what to do and what the basic principles of ki were for Aikido training. They never did something deliberately outside of correct Aikido training just to throw people off. So you can gauge by what is/was known and demonstrated by these people and compare it to what you're doing in order to keep your wings level with the horizon.

Best.

Mike

Last edited by Mike Sigman : 02-01-2009 at 01:01 PM.
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Old 02-03-2009, 09:59 AM   #12
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Internal Strength Workshop with Mike Sigman

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Boil it down to a few principles. Look for the commonalities, not the differences. I assure you that someone who really has good ki/kokyu skills *must* be using the same core principles as anyone else who does some variation, but there are levels of purity and there are a lot of ways to use ki-muscle combos that may be harder for the just-starting to catch onto. The devil is in the details.
Thanks, Mike. In general my experience would agree with your statement. I have encountered some areas in which there seem to be quite different principles at work in different styles. Just as an example, the way I was taught to strike was just a not very sophisticated version of what you do. I see the principles at work in good karate, wing chun, kali, etc. Some folks are far better at it than others but the foundation is the same.

But then you run into folks like the Systema people whose striking methodology is quite different. What I feel from their instructors is distinctly different from what I felt from you, or any other martial artist I have been struck by. Their explanations for what they do are completely different than any I ever had in other arts. So I do think it is possible that there are some fundamental differences in approaches that can be explored.

I get something valuable from all of these investigations so I keep chugging along. But I do have some level of confusion as to why certain folks can do what they do. By the time you get to someone like Michael Ryabko who can drop someone without you seeing any impact, it starts to be fairly mind bending. Certainly humbling.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 02-03-2009, 10:23 AM   #13
Mike Sigman
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Re: Internal Strength Workshop with Mike Sigman

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Thanks, Mike. In general my experience would agree with your statement. I have encountered some areas in which there seem to be quite different principles at work in different styles. Just as an example, the way I was taught to strike was just a not very sophisticated version of what you do. I see the principles at work in good karate, wing chun, kali, etc. Some folks are far better at it than others but the foundation is the same.

But then you run into folks like the Systema people whose striking methodology is quite different. What I feel from their instructors is distinctly different from what I felt from you, or any other martial artist I have been struck by. Their explanations for what they do are completely different than any I ever had in other arts. So I do think it is possible that there are some fundamental differences in approaches that can be explored.
It would be an interesting experiment, George. Next time we meet let's take turns, privately, and describe as fully as we can exactly how we hit. You first. And then let's compare our notes and see what the similarities really are. I think it's a complex topic, in other words, that may have common core priniciples, but the percentages of things and the add-ons can muck up the argument.

Best.

Mike
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Old 02-15-2009, 10:05 AM   #14
Abasan
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Re: Internal Strength Workshop with Mike Sigman

I sincerely wish I could go for this seminar. One day mike.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 02-15-2009, 10:15 AM   #15
Mike Sigman
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Re: Internal Strength Workshop with Mike Sigman

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Ahmad Abas wrote: View Post
I sincerely wish I could go for this seminar. One day mike.
It would be a pleasure to see you, Ahmad.

Incidentally, I've decided that my main focus in Austin and in the D.C. workshop (after basics, etc., are done) is going to be a focus on "aiki" in various situations and in doing several simple exercises that should long-term develop the body along internal strength lines. I.e., so that if someone does these exercises without a nearby teacher they'll still continue to develop.

Best.

Mike
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Old 02-23-2009, 11:47 PM   #16
Abasan
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Re: Internal Strength Workshop with Mike Sigman

"so that if someone does these exercises without a nearby teacher they'll still continue to develop."

A youtube post would be great if that's at all possible.

My work is not taking me to the USA at all nowdays. But maybe if things go well not too far off into the future.

Regards.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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