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Old 01-17-2009, 12:14 AM   #176
R H
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

Here is another exercise that I think is more difficult to do and which I spent quite a bit of time working on with my teacher.
My teacher is a Menkyo Kaiden of Shinkage-ryu (under Watanabe Sensei), which I study. We were working on simple suburi, when I had the idea to ask him to grab the tip of my bokken. I wanted to see if I could raise my sword up with him resisting. Couldn't move at all. He interest in the concept, so we switched and after a bit of play he was able to do it quite well. Then we progressed to a jo (which he held just like a sword) and did the same thing. I was able to do it with a sword some, but didn't get to a point where I had much consistency and I never once succeeded with the jo.

The rules:
Stand vertically, and hold the sword just as you would naturally in chudan (middle position), which is basically having your hands at your bladder level with the sword tip pointing directly out in front of you at the same level. Uke stands directly in front of the sword and grabs the tip with one hand firmly, while standing erect, with the intention of preventing your movement.
With no movement other than your arms move your sword above your head just as you would when doing suburi. If done well the Uke will be lifted onto his toes effortlessly in one smooth motion and his arm will be lifted above his head, and he will suddenly find himself walking around to the back of the sword holder to keep up with the tip of the sword as it goes behind him. Although the uke will walk near you, he will not be able to punch, kick or touch you in any way. Then when you swing your sword back to the bladder position, he will be thrown to the floor directly in front of you at some distance of course.

In my opinion, this exersize is much more difficult than the first one and I would guess that those Sensei who do not do sword work may not be able to do this according to the rules I laid out above.
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Old 01-17-2009, 12:19 AM   #177
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Richard, I dunno. I'm having second thoughts about just "talking". How about I narrow it down to saying more "how things are done" rather than just "talking"? Would that work?
Mike Sigman
That sounds like a great idea, Mike.
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Old 01-17-2009, 02:34 AM   #178
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

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Well, if all 3 are termed "breath power", but they're all different, which one is it? Or do you have any different meaning yourself? I.e., what do YOU mean by "breath power"?

Regards,

Mike
Sorry, Mike, I have been in and out all day and have been writing bit by bit to answer questions, clarify thoughts, etc. It appears that I failed to answer this question, which I should have addressed first.

My point on breath power was that each teacher has a different "Breath Power". There is no one way, but each teacher used his own way effectively. My own perspective is that, I find that when I relax deeply with awareness, my breathing seems to naturally match with the other person's breathing, but the later is my own realization not a method I was taught. Relaxation being the key to the natural matching that I am referring to. I do not attribute that to any one teacher nor do I think that it is the best way or the only way - just something I noticed.

Does that make sense?
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Old 01-17-2009, 05:46 AM   #179
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

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Richard Haight wrote: View Post
<snip> My own perspective is that, I find that when I relax deeply with awareness, my breathing seems to naturally match with the other person's breathing, but the later is my own realization not a method I was taught. Relaxation being the key to the natural matching that I am referring to. I do not attribute that to any one teacher nor do I think that it is the best way or the only way - just something I noticed.

Does that make sense?
Sorry to butt in.
Richard, I understand full well the vagueness that comes together with the Japanese term of "breathing," but I think what Mike is gunning for is more a "what happens" when you breathe.
How does breathing in or breathing out contribute to power, how does it aid the body, or what effects do certain types of breathing have on the body.

The answer, at least from my own experience, isn't some vague answer that deals with relaxation, "matching", etc etc

There's a more practical effect on the body, mainly in terms of conditioning. Course, you have to have a certain amount of conditioning to feel it...if you don't then (and that "you" is not aimed at "you," I meant it generally) you won't be able to feel it.

Case in point, the one demo that you gave with the student gripping the end of the sword as the teacher raises and lowers it, while the student is unable to punch/kick, seems pretty easy, given someone with enough conditioning in the body (not of muscle tho).
Launching the guy on the downswing should be fairly easy for anyone conditioned enough, and could be indicative of someone that's trained to use the breath to store and release power.

Last edited by Upyu : 01-17-2009 at 05:48 AM.
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Old 01-17-2009, 06:28 AM   #180
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

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Robert John wrote: View Post
Sorry to butt in.
Richard, I understand full well the vagueness that comes together with the Japanese term of "breathing," but I think what Mike is gunning for is more a "what happens" when you breathe.
How does breathing in or breathing out contribute to power, how does it aid the body, or what effects do certain types of breathing have on the body.

The answer, at least from my own experience, isn't some vague answer that deals with relaxation, "matching", etc etc

There's a more practical effect on the body, mainly in terms of conditioning. Course, you have to have a certain amount of conditioning to feel it...if you don't then (and that "you" is not aimed at "you," I meant it generally) you won't be able to feel it.

Case in point, the one demo that you gave with the student gripping the end of the sword as the teacher raises and lowers it, while the student is unable to punch/kick, seems pretty easy, given someone with enough conditioning in the body (not of muscle tho).
Launching the guy on the downswing should be fairly easy for anyone conditioned enough, and could be indicative of someone that's trained to use the breath to store and release power.
Well, I have been able to do that sword thing myself, but I did not do any particular "Breath Method" in order to accomplish it. I was not able to do it with the jo. The distance between uke and I was just too great (for my level) in regards to the jo. I would have to try this technique again (with breath limitation - ie specifically not breathing through the technique) in order to find out if breath had anything to do with it or not. Maybe I am naturally using my breath correctly when I successfully do this technique and thusly my few successes were due to having developed some breath skill or lucky breathing. I will play with over a period of time and see what comes of it.

Do you feel you have developed enough breath conditioning to do this sword thing or even the jo thing? If so, I would love to hear how your experiments with it go when you try it out. Try out the other one too (maybe your theory will make it work for you).

Your breath theory reminds me of something I learned from Ushiro Sensei. It seems to me that he uses breath as a way to create even expansion in his body (like a sphere), which makes him very strong without the use of external muscular strength. I messed with that breathing for a while and found that it was useful for a variety of things (being able to absorb blows) and preventing people from taking your balance, etc. Most people when they breath in expand their chest which causes the upper spine to change position and bend slightly backwards on the intake and then go forward again on the exhale. This is a loss of structural integrity. In normal breathing this is happening to everyone but on such a small level that they don't notice it. If you ask someone to take in a large breath and observe how their body moves when they do it, it will become obvious. If you point this out to them, then they will easily perceive it in themselves. Of course there are other biological aspects to proper breathing, like endurance, carbon dioxide expulsion which clarifies thinking and heightens awareness increases relaxation, etc.

If I recall correctly, Kuroda Sensei could do all his stuff while not breathing. I seem to recall a discussion about "breath power" in the dojo. As I don't train there now, I can't be sure on that account though.

Last edited by R H : 01-17-2009 at 06:32 AM.
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Old 01-17-2009, 07:08 AM   #181
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

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<snip> The distance between uke and I was just too great (for my level) in regards to the jo. I would have to try this technique again (with breath limitation - ie specifically not breathing through the technique) in order to find out if breath had anything to do with it or not. Maybe I am naturally using my breath correctly when I successfully do this technique and thusly my few successes were due to having developed some breath skill or lucky breathing. I will play with over a period of time and see what comes of it.
<snip>
Your breath theory reminds me of something I learned from Ushiro Sensei. It seems to me that he uses breath as a way to create even expansion in his body (like a sphere), which makes him very strong without the use of external muscular strength.
<snip>
Hi Richard,

Appreciate the reply
Actually we don't really focus on the breathing where I train, but I know some elementary components of it, and it overlaps with my own training.

The expansion you mentioned Ushiro using is more what I was referring to. Inhaling can "close" the body, while exhaling can expand/opens "something" in the body.

I can do the test you mentioned as well, but I most definitely could probably not do it with the Jo, lol.

Using the breath "correctly" can only enhance the ability to do the test, and shouldn't prevent a person from completing it.
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Old 01-17-2009, 07:19 AM   #182
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

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Hi Richard,

Appreciate the reply
Actually we don't really focus on the breathing where I train, but I know some elementary components of it, and it overlaps with my own training.

The expansion you mentioned Ushiro using is more what I was referring to. Inhaling can "close" the body, while exhaling can expand/opens "something" in the body.

I can do the test you mentioned as well, but I most definitely could probably not do it with the Jo, lol.

Using the breath "correctly" can only enhance the ability to do the test, and shouldn't prevent a person from completing it.
Hi Robert,
Thanks you. I should make it clear that I have never been a student of Ushiro. I merely observed him up close during demonstration he gave in Tokyo some years back. I recall him talking about breath power, and I just started experimenting with it on my own and found the expansion thing. There is also a rising a falling aspect to breathing that maybe of use...
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Old 01-17-2009, 07:45 AM   #183
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

Robert, I just watched a few videos of Aunkai instructor. It is the first I have ever heard of him. What he is doing reminds me a lot of Jeet Kune Do, which I studied back in the states. My instructor moved a lot like him. My instructor was a student of Steve Golden.

I find it interesting that on the website it mentions about having a connected body. I agree that this is definitely a key to any good martial art. Most people disconnect with each movement they make which causes them to have to use muscular strength instead of skeletal structure. I recall Ushiro Sensei talking about using breath to connect the body. He discussed this rather thoroughly in the demonstration he gave. But inherently the body is connected naturally, so Martial artists need to learn how to stop disconnecting it (unlearn bad movement habits).

Oh, forgot to mention that when you do the sword exercise it should be able to be done slowly and in one smooth motion. Speed is not of importance. Of course, it can be done quickly, but sometimes people cheat by using speed to substitute for lack elsewhere, so it is good to start slowly. I'd be rather curious to find out if Akasawa Sensei is able to do these exercises. By the way, does he ever speak of Sagawa Sensei? What was his impression? Maybe you could answer these questions through a private message to me.

Last edited by R H : 01-17-2009 at 07:52 AM. Reason: Add an afterthough.
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Old 01-17-2009, 09:50 AM   #184
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

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Regarding the video, I have never seen any uke respond like that to any techniques of any teacher I have had hands on experience with. Have you felt this teacher and had a similar response (ie the jumping around well after contact has been broken)?
IIRC he took a class from me once in Houston (in the 1990's) when I gave some classes at a national tournament . His name is Peter Young. That kind of stuff is blarney and the students must want to believe very badly to act like that. My point was that those students would talk just as seriously about the <<searches for kind word>> phenomena on that video as someone who does serious work. To avoid discussing anecdotal phenomena, I was suggesting that we stick to more practical "how to" discussions.

Can you explain, for instance, how Kuroda did the two tricks at the end of the video that I pointed to earlier? If so, then possibly there is a baseline for *functional* discussion. If you don't understand the physics of what he did then we may not have the grounds for a discussion.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 01-17-2009, 10:57 AM   #185
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

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Oh, forgot to mention that when you do the sword exercise it should be able to be done slowly and in one smooth motion. Speed is not of importance. Of course, it can be done quickly, but sometimes people cheat by using speed to substitute for lack elsewhere, so it is good to start slowly. I'd be rather curious to find out if Akasawa Sensei is able to do these exercises. By the way, does he ever speak of Sagawa Sensei? What was his impression? Maybe you could answer these questions through a private message to me.
Hi Richard,

I'll pm you later for sure, but yes the premise for most exercises of these types is that they have to be done slowly since the skill involved doesn't have anything to do with speed/explosive movement.
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Old 01-17-2009, 11:48 AM   #186
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

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Hi Rick,
I would imagine that many of Horikawa's advanced students can perform the exercise I detailed as it is not a very high level thing. Come to Japan for some extensive training (develop a relationship) and then pose some aiki challenges for the purpose of exploring pertinent techniques. So long as it applies to a technique you are learning, I can't see why a teacher would turn a request like this down.
Richard,
Thank you for inviting me to Japan. That is currently not an option for me. However, I've heard there are some people here in the states that can teach such skills as well. I hope to be able to train with them some day. Enjoying your input to the thread, so please continue.
Ricky
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Old 01-17-2009, 06:30 PM   #187
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

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IIRC he took a class from me once in Houston (in the 1990's) when I gave some classes at a national tournament . His name is Peter Young. That kind of stuff is blarney and the students must want to believe very badly to act like that. My point was that those students would talk just as seriously about the <<searches for kind word>> phenomena on that video as someone who does serious work. To avoid discussing anecdotal phenomena, I was suggesting that we stick to more practical "how to" discussions.

Can you explain, for instance, how Kuroda did the two tricks at the end of the video that I pointed to earlier? If so, then possibly there is a baseline for *functional* discussion. If you don't understand the physics of what he did then we may not have the grounds for a discussion.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
I agree that a "How to" would be ideal for the people on this board. But it is not a question of can I explain how to. Instead it is simply a fact that I promised I would not do such a thing. How could I ever look my teachers in the eyes again after breaking such a promise to them? I don't think I could look myself in the eyes for doing that.

As a last note, in my experience, not all principles are about physics (just to clarify). human physiology, Natural human response, the way we use our senses, our intent, etc are all heavily in play here. Of course physics played a great part in our evolution, but I don't think you meant that.

Apologies

Last edited by R H : 01-17-2009 at 06:45 PM.
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Old 01-18-2009, 07:00 AM   #188
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

Due to some behind the scenes talk and internet investigation I came to what is being called "ground strength". I do not disagree with this in any way as being a common fundamental to all internal martial arts. It is amazing how rarely you see people who know and can do this. I recognized this in my own training some time back - fundamentally it's precise posture. However, I didn't call it "ground strength".

If you look over the tests I wrote about, you will see that my limitations create a situation that requires precise posture. There are other things at play there as well, but it is enough to say we have common fundamentals or a common tree trunk. The branches may be different.

Thanks for the fun discussion everyone.
Richard
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Old 01-18-2009, 02:15 PM   #189
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

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Due to some behind the scenes talk and internet investigation I came to what is being called "ground strength". I do not disagree with this in any way as being a common fundamental to all internal martial arts. It is amazing how rarely you see people who know and can do this. I recognized this in my own training some time back - fundamentally it's precise posture.
Well, this is appropriate to my "argument" that there needs to be a bit more open debate. Based just on what you're saying, I'm fairly sure that you don't really understand what I personally would call a good groundpath. There are all sorts of levels, slight misunderstanding, etc., etc., and the benefit to open discussions of the baseline skillset is that a common dialogue is established. I think it helps everyone.

People who are trying to get the skills defined so that they know what to build will benefit. People who have some level of skills can improve themselves by formulating and articulating what they think they're doing, thus refining their own understanding. People who have some "status" (rank, etc.) but who don't really have these skills can continue trying to gather information so that they can say "I was already doing that" get to continue kidding themselves that they'll be able to get away with it ( kidding..... well, a little bit. ). People in different arts get to be able to see the commonalities in all the other arts. And so on.

On the other hand, if no meaningful dialogue is established, sure there are some good reasons why someone might not want to join in, but my suggestion is that if they don't know as much as they think they do then they wind up getting left behind... so there might indeed be a reason, a compelling reason, for even people with "secrets" to get involved to a larger extent.
Quote:
If you look over the tests I wrote about, you will see that my limitations create a situation that requires precise posture. There are other things at play there as well, but it is enough to say we have common fundamentals or a common tree trunk. The branches may be different.
But I'm not convinced of that yet. So far, in regard to the best common example (Kuroda's video: the two tricks at the end) we haven't been able to hash out enough particulars for me to agree. Your comments about "precise posture" don't sound right to me because (as shown in Forrest Chang's "Simple Jin Tricks", stuff I do, stuff other people do, etc.) precise posture is not a real necessity for someone who has these skills. Heck, in the Kuroda video example where they're laying on the floor... that's a good example of how to use jin/groundstrength and not need a special posture. Timing? I would discard that from the conversation because "timing" is a key to any technique whether good jin/kokyu skills are used or not? Breathing synchronization with the opponent? Pooh... that flunks the IQ test, if you think about it. Using the Kuroda "laying on the floor pinky arm-wrestling demo" as an example of using jin/kokyu/groundpath/whatever does anyone see where "timing", synchronizing breath with the opponent, or special posture is a requirement? Not really. My point being that it's easier to focus on the actual skills/strengths of ki/kokyu stuff and debride the discussion of nonessentials. If Tohei is standing on one leg and withstanding a push from Uke, where are "timing", "breath synchronization", or "correct posture"? If Tohei, standing on one leg, absorbs the push and returns it with interest (without overt movement), where do we need those same extraneous factors? I.e., let's try to trim the discussion before anything else.

Speaking of those factors above reminds me of a video on YouTube. I know how to do this and it doesn't require precise posture, timing (other than the obvious), or synchronizing with Uke's breath:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZdtM5p6ZkA

Best.

Mike Sigman

Last edited by Mike Sigman : 01-18-2009 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 01-18-2009, 06:05 PM   #190
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

Mike, my tests specifically exclude any possibility for timing to come into play (have you tried them?) Please do, and discover what I am referring to. I think you are misunderstanding what I am saying and I have misunderstood you on a symantic level (I don't think I am right now though).

You most definately do not need timing to make basic skills work. Kuroda doesn't use timing for what he is doing in the video you linked. We are in agreement here.

I do not claim to have secrets (nor have I). I am merely saying that the curriculum of Daito-ryu training is secret and it is not for me to talk about publically. I don't think I know very much at all - did you infer that I thought I did. I have no rank as there is none in our dojo, nor do I have the right or even attempt to represent my ryu-ha. I have a long ways to go, and I make (have made) no claims to the contrary.

Regarding my ground strength skills, they may well be way off base. I might be in utter confusion about everything we are doing and walking in the dark, but if you recall, I stated from the outset that I am no authority and to take my two cents with a huge bag of salt. What I meant by precise posture may not be what you think, as what I meant by it would allow for sitting, laying down, bending over, standing, etc (shizentai).

Regarding secrets, The fact is that a great deal of Koryu are secretive. The reasons for this vary, and they are not all ill-intentioned. I am not a teacher and They are not my secrets, so I am not trying to kid anyone or paint some big image of myself. I came here merely to clear up some misunderstandings about some of the teachers that are taking flak here without good cause. You asked me to participate in a discussion here, and I did my best to within the restrictions that I have agreed to with my ryu-ha. Half-assed never works and I should have known that from the start.

Thanks for the discussion.
I appreciate what you are trying to do. I think your path is a good one. Please keep it up.

Regards,
Richard

Last edited by R H : 01-18-2009 at 06:16 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:46 AM   #191
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

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Mike, my tests specifically exclude any possibility for timing to come into play (have you tried them?) Please do, and discover what I am referring to. I think you are misunderstanding what I am saying and I have misunderstood you on a symantic level (I don't think I am right now though).
I didn't try your tests, Richard, mainly because I don't think words ever convey those things very well. If you have a video showing exactly what you mean, I'll give it a try. However, please note that the reactions of Uke were a primary consideration of mine. For instance, I noticed long ago that the student of a teacher can get thrown far more easily than a non-student. [quote][[snipsky]]

Quote:
Regarding secrets, The fact is that a great deal of Koryu are secretive. The reasons for this vary, and they are not all ill-intentioned. I am not a teacher and They are not my secrets, so I am not trying to kid anyone or paint some big image of myself. I came here merely to clear up some misunderstandings about some of the teachers that are taking flak here without good cause. You asked me to participate in a discussion here, and I did my best to within the restrictions that I have agreed to with my ryu-ha. Half-assed never works and I should have known that from the start.
As I said, I think that each person has to do what he wants to do. In my own way I'm careful about who I show things to, so that's a form of exculsivism, too. However, I'm trying to step around the "secrets" guys and make sure that the more open and sharing get a head start on the "secrets" groups so that the long-term effect of "secrets" doesn't lead everyone back into the morass again.

Best.

Mike Sigman
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Old 01-20-2009, 07:51 AM   #192
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

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As I said, I think that each person has to do what he wants to do. In my own way I'm careful about who I show things to, so that's a form of exculsivism, too. However, I'm trying to step around the "secrets" guys and make sure that the more open and sharing get a head start on the "secrets" groups so that the long-term effect of "secrets" doesn't lead everyone back into the morass again.
you folks got way too much secrets. quite unhealthy to keep all those stuffs in. it's not like us low-minded folks be able to practice them, unless we are genius. if there were genius among us, we would have banned the bugger already.

wonder how long those koryu folks can keep the secrets and not go by way of the dinosaurs. and wonder if i should taking bets.
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Old 01-20-2009, 11:04 AM   #193
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

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Phi Truong wrote: View Post
you folks got way too much secrets. quite unhealthy to keep all those stuffs in. it's not like us low-minded folks be able to practice them, unless we are genius. if there were genius among us, we would have banned the bugger already.

wonder how long those koryu folks can keep the secrets and not go by way of the dinosaurs. and wonder if i should taking bets.
Pretty soon there won't be any around to kick our arses!
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Old 01-20-2009, 07:07 PM   #194
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Your comments about "precise posture" don't sound right to me because...precise posture is not a real necessity for someone who has these skills.
What would you say if "posture" was replaced with "physical structure"? I ask because I've heard described what sounds like a specific way of moving, couldn't that be described as a specific internal shape to the body? ...A specific internal posture?

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Old 01-20-2009, 07:26 PM   #195
Mike Sigman
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
What would you say if "posture" was replaced with "physical structure"? I ask because I've heard described what sounds like a specific way of moving, couldn't that be described as a specific internal shape to the body? ...A specific internal posture?
Well, if you make the terminology vague enough anything will fit. There is no "internal shape"; there is "intent". The "Divine Will" as Ueshiba put it.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 01-21-2009, 07:41 AM   #196
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

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Ricky Wood wrote: View Post
Pretty soon there won't be any around to kick our arses!
don't need them to kick our asses! I've been working on IS stuffs so I can kick my own ass. If my intent is focus enough and if I can relax my lower back enough and if I can prevent my shoulder muscles from tensing, I can send ground energy through my ass, by way of hara/dantien, and push it all the way up to my ears.

of course the easier way is to form an ass-kicking organization, where you come over to my place and kick my ass, then I'd come over to your place and kick your ass. we would call the organization as aikido ass-kicking organization with secret ass-kicking techniques such as how-to kick ass up through aiki-age or kick ass down through aiki-sage approaches. membership fees apply because we need folks to pay for the privilege of getting their asses kick.

*back to work on making ass-cover pads*
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Old 01-21-2009, 03:15 PM   #197
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

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Phi Truong wrote: View Post
don't need them to kick our asses! I've been working on IS stuffs so I can kick my own ass. If my intent is focus enough and if I can relax my lower back enough and if I can prevent my shoulder muscles from tensing, I can send ground energy through my ass, by way of hara/dantien, and push it all the way up to my ears.

of course the easier way is to form an ass-kicking organization, where you come over to my place and kick my ass, then I'd come over to your place and kick your ass. we would call the organization as aikido ass-kicking organization with secret ass-kicking techniques such as how-to kick ass up through aiki-age or kick ass down through aiki-sage approaches. membership fees apply because we need folks to pay for the privilege of getting their asses kick.

*back to work on making ass-cover pads*
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Old 01-24-2009, 10:49 AM   #198
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Well, if you make the terminology vague enough anything will fit. There is no "internal shape"; there is "intent". The "Divine Will" as Ueshiba put it.

Regards,

Mike
Hi Mike,
I've been tossing this around in my head for the last few days and I was wondering if you'd be willing to expand on this a little.
Was your remark about internal shape meant to describe the non-rigid quality (e.g. I know "posture" often implies a non-moving form) of the internal workings?
Also, what do you mean by intent here?
Take care,
Matt

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Old 01-24-2009, 11:31 AM   #199
Mike Sigman
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
I've been tossing this around in my head for the last few days and I was wondering if you'd be willing to expand on this a little.
Was your remark about internal shape meant to describe the non-rigid quality (e.g. I know "posture" often implies a non-moving form) of the internal workings?
Also, what do you mean by intent here?
I think I wrote some sort of similar explanation on A.W. a few years ago, but I have no idea where it is. I can give you a *rough* idea, but let me emphasize that it's an incomplete idea and there's more to it:

Stand upright, feet about shoulder or a little-more width. Let a partner push into (and very slightly downward) your right should and you try to relax, let the left leg compress from the push, and the left foot should be the resting place for the push. Naturally the body "structure" is what conveys the push down to the foot, but in this case the "structure" is standing in for something I can't tell you quite how to do in writing.

Then have the partner stop pushing and walk around and push on the left should, all the same thing, etc., so that the push winds up in the right foot. Try not to move any part of your body in between the pushes. Just first accept the push into the left foot from the right shoulder and then accept the push into the right foot from the left shoulder. You can feel that there has to be a minor re-arrangement inside the body to accomodate the force coming from the different directions and you kind of "set up" in order get ready for the push from different sides. That "setting up" is done via "intention". If you learn to hit, push, receive-forces, manipulate, etc., this kind of intention path of strength to and from the ground, your skills will increase. But since you don't have to move to do these intention changes, there really is no "shape". I can lay on the ground and mentally change where and what direction forces are going through my body. I can lean over into odd positions and manipulate these same kinds of forces. So it's not "shape"; it's intention.

When Ueshiba let the Sumo wrestler push on him, Ueshiba responded by meeting the Sumo wrestler's force with a force that Ueshiba arranged mentally. That force "blended" with the Sumo wrestler's push and negated the push. So Ueshiba used the "Divine Will"... and he called it the secret of Aikido. Of course other arts use these force/ki/kokyu/jin skill manipulations, too, as part of "blending", hitting (atemi), and so on. There are more extensive discussions about these skills on QiJin, if the above didn't answer your questions.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 01-24-2009, 01:35 PM   #200
Cady Goldfield
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Re: Using ki-skills for "aiki" in Daito-Ryu

As an aside:
That whole area of "intention" is starting to get the attention of Western physiologists who are looking into the role that fascia (internal connective tissues).

Thusfar, they believe that the fascia are the first thing activated by the mind when we make a willful intention to do something (such as scratch an itch, reach for a cup, etc.). in turn, fascia fire the muscles into action. Fascia contain a relatively small number (compared to muscle) of nerve cells related to the kind in muscle, and that they can be fired to expand and contract, though far more slowly than muscle does.

So, maybe when internal methods are being employed, we are somehow exploiting that fascia activity in the space between "intent" and "action."

It'll be interesting to see what they conclude, particularly since Chinese and Japanese "internal" practitioners have intuitively known and exploited these factors for centuries.

Last edited by Cady Goldfield : 01-24-2009 at 01:40 PM.
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