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Old 06-14-2009, 12:08 PM   #1
Chris Covington
 
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Re: Solo Training

Hi Dean et al,

I'll second the advice on cardio. I would also look into some weight training, focusing on total body stuff like cleans. I think everyone here agrees, unless you need to focus on an area that is weak, isolation exercises are only good if you want to be a body builder.

For your sword training I would spend a lot of time doing shomen cuts paying close attention to making the cuts as straight as you can. Slow down and make sure each one has perfect form and you have good breath/kiai. Some people have said 1,000 cut per day for three years will teach you the meaning of swordsmanship (see blog here: http://www.geocities.com/kendosuburi/). I think doing about 300-500 is good enough for most of us non-kendo/former kendo players. 100 cuts even done at a slow pace go by in just a few min.

I also like sumo shiko, leg stomps (I only do about 100 per day, although Konishiki I read sugested 300-500 per day). The Nihon Sumo Kyokai has put together an exercise program for non-rikishi to follow here: http://www.sumo.or.jp/eng/kyokai/kenko_taiso.html Lots of good stuff here.

I think if you can learn a little zazen or chigung to learn some good breathing methods to tie it all together you'll be doing well and you should be able to keep up with your peers in the dojo.

Chris Covington
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Old 06-15-2009, 10:20 AM   #2
Pat Togher
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Re: Solo Training

Quote:
Chris Covington wrote: View Post
Hi Dean et al,
I also like sumo shiko, leg stomps (I only do about 100 per day, although Konishiki I read sugested 300-500 per day). The Nihon Sumo Kyokai has put together an exercise program for non-rikishi to follow here: http://www.sumo.or.jp/eng/kyokai/kenko_taiso.html Lots of good stuff here.
Excellent!
Thanks for posting this Chris, I was just looking for something similar last week and came up dry.

To the OP:
I have two kids and a so I can completely relate to your question. Some solo training I can do around the house or work:
Gardening
Shadow boxing
Running stairs at work
Walk or jog at lunch break
squats/lunges - whenever I have a few minutes and the though occurs to me
I'm fond of the pileates video training stuff. Most of them take 45 minutes to an hour, but the dvd's often have an express or targeted workout that runs 20 minutes or so. I can do them when we get the kids down and before I am ready for bed, mornings would work, too if you can get up an hour early. I can't.
I've been considering putting together a set of irregularly shaped weights for the house - just common stuff in relatively awkward packages - jugs of water, bags of sand, etc. I have some hope that this will help with my judo

Pat
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Old 06-15-2009, 11:04 PM   #3
DH
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Re: Solo Training

Whatever you do ignore everything in that Sumo link Chris provided. It's nothing a martial artist wants to do. This is NOT the Shiko you have read us talking about nor want you want to be doing.
Although Lynn and Lee are pointing in the right direction, the solo training a martial artists wants to do is really not going to be learned on the net.

If everyone wants to do cardio thats great. Lifting, well...whatever. I'd be happy about that. Lifting will make them tight, light, and easy to fight. But keep your eyes and ears open for the people doing the other stuff-they will more than likely come out on top.
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 06-15-2009 at 11:11 PM.
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Old 06-16-2009, 12:04 AM   #4
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Re: Solo Training

Josh
I got the P.M. I am in the middle of a response to several of your many questions. Talk to you soon
Dan
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Old 06-16-2009, 12:08 AM   #5
Chris Covington
 
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Re: Solo Training

"Whatever you do ignore everything in that Sumo link Chris provided. It's nothing a martial artist wants to do."

Why not? Please enlighten us.

Chris Covington
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Old 06-16-2009, 12:25 AM   #6
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Re: Solo Training

It's an old topic here and on that other board from a while back. You can do a search function for it with either my name or Rob jons name. We have both given plenty of explanations. There are maybe a hundred-to a hundred and fifty students and teachers from several forums and arts; from DR to Aikido, Judo, Koryu, Karate, and MMA doing shiko in a more correct format in line with the original intent. If you can't find the correct information (you're a DR guy) ask around...that ain't it, that aint even on the same planet.

A quick idea is that it doesn't have a damn thing to do with stomping and strengthening your hips in that way. There are things you need to do to connect your lower body to your upper body so you move as a unit. Even then there are things you do that are more old school to connect body parts that later lead to spiral energy.
Personally I like Robs answer to a guy who once said he did hundreds of them a day.
1. Your either a liar
2. Your not doing them right
3. Or I want to meet you and come train with you!!
Guess which one was the answer in reply?

I have been doing them for years and there is no way on earth I can do that many. And...I have yet to meet the guy who can match me or keep up when they do them correctly or even make it to twenty!!
Good luck in your training
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 06-16-2009 at 12:38 AM.
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Old 06-16-2009, 01:48 AM   #7
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Re: Solo Training

Some of the technical details regarding Shiko as done by Akuzawa sensei are spoken of here;
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=701
But without hands on I don't think they are very useful other than giving one an idea of the true complexity of getting it right. There are so many things going on at once, I surmise that it would be very exhausting, both mentally and physically!
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Old 06-16-2009, 06:06 AM   #8
Tom H.
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Re: Solo Training

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Personally I like Robs answer to a guy who once said he did hundreds of them a day.
That was in this thread, and I was "the guy". You and Rob were both right, for the record.
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Old 06-16-2009, 09:07 AM   #9
thisisnotreal
 
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Re: Solo Training

I am trying to find the referred link referred to @here .
searching for '....t-31125.html' does not help.
Any idea?
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Old 06-16-2009, 12:12 PM   #10
Mike Sigman
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Re: Solo Training

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
A quick idea is that it doesn't have a damn thing to do with stomping and strengthening your hips in that way. There are things you need to do to connect your lower body to your upper body so you move as a unit. Even then there are things you do that are more old school to connect body parts that later lead to spiral energy.
Personally I like Robs answer to a guy who once said he did hundreds of them a day.
1. Your either a liar
2. Your not doing them right
3. Or I want to meet you and come train with you!!
Guess which one was the answer in reply?
I dunno.... I suspect that there are a lot of people out there who are sure they know what shiko does and how to do it. Yet probably there are missing parts from everyone's understanding, so it's probably more helpful to everyone who "knows" to discuss the exercise more openly, in case there's parts that they're missing. The "I know a secret" stuff is what continually (through the centuries) causes this stuff to get lost and to degrade because people don't know as much as they think they do. It's an endless cycle.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 06-17-2009, 09:08 AM   #11
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Re: Solo Training

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
I dunno.... I suspect that there are a lot of people out there who are sure they know what shiko does and how to do it. Yet probably there are missing parts from everyone's understanding, so it's probably more helpful to everyone who "knows" to discuss the exercise more openly, in case there's parts that they're missing. The "I know a secret" stuff is what continually (through the centuries) causes this stuff to get lost and to degrade because people don't know as much as they think they do. It's an endless cycle.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
I dunno I suspect there are people out there who know what they were taught and are unconcerned what people on the internet looking for information think of their training.
I can't speak to this idea you always bring up of "I've got a secret" Other than people just won't talk to you about what they do.
I have noticed that I have never heard of you showing Shiko or using it as a training tool, or much anything else substantial to anyone. Ark and I are demonstrating and teaching it. Rob and I have talked since I brought it up on E-budo years ago. Even more so about the differences in approach; back then Ark was talking about maintaining left and right axis and I openly discussed "Crossline" body work. I have noticed his more recent DVDs now include a translation of ..."Crossline" body work, or X line work. Which is a good thing since it sets up and works with the same paths in the body that lead to spiraling energy.

But where Ark and I both have people that have trained with us for a while- me being the longest with over sixteen years-I have never heard of any student base or history of people you have raised-up who have any substantial skills. "Do you have any students or groups that have trained with you for any lengthy period of time who can demonstrate clear and definable skills that they learned directly from you? Nothing recent, I mean week by week people from lets say- ten years or so ago,Mike?"

Dan
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Old 06-17-2009, 09:44 AM   #12
Mike Sigman
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Re: Solo Training

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I can't speak to this idea you always bring up of "I've got a secret" Other than people just won't talk to you about what they do.
How did this become another personal discussion about me, Dan?
Quote:
I have noticed that I have never heard of you showing Shiko or using it as a training tool, or much anything else substantial to anyone.
How does this become another discussion about me personally, Dan? My comment had more to do with "there might be more to it than some "experts" think, so maybe shiko is worth more discussion than just "I've got a secret". No personalities were mentioned by me.
Quote:
Ark and I are demonstrating and teaching it. Rob and I have talked since I brought it up on E-budo years ago. Even more so about the differences in approach; back then Ark was talking about maintaining left and right axis and I openly discussed "Crossline" body work. I have noticed his more recent DVDs now include a translation of ..."Crossline" body work, or X line work. Which is a good thing since it sets up and works with the same paths in the body that lead to spiraling energy.
Good ole Ark.... he's now learning stuff you've known for years. Attaboy. "Spiralling energy"? How does that work, Dan? Where did you learn all this stuff? Koryu? Which koryu? What koryu uses "spralling energy"? Why not discuss it out loud so we can see if you know more than just terms? Sounds like you've still got a mole on the QiJin list.
Quote:
But where Ark and I both have people that have trained with us for a while- me being the longest with over sixteen years-I have never heard of any student base or history of people you have raised-up who have any substantial skills. "Do you have any students or groups that have trained with you for any lengthy period of time who can demonstrate clear and definable skills that they learned directly from you? Nothing recent, I mean week by week people from lets say- ten years or so ago,Mike?"
Back to a discussion about widdle ole me, again? Why not just talk about Shiko?

Bear in mind that I'm still basically encouraging people to talk about these issues because I think it would be better for most peoples' practice if they did. What I've been opposed to from the beginning is these fiefdoms and mini-kingdoms because I think that's just going to start the cycle again, so my thing is to encourage more open discussion. If you want to answer the point instead of trying to turn the discussion to me (or to you, as seems to happen so often), why not engage the point and debate whether there might be some aspects to shiko out there that some of "experts" may not know?

Incidentally, there's a deja vu quality about how you don't want to publicly discuss things because of your koryu vows, but occasionally you do drop some nuggets, like the above about spiralling, etc. Oddly, those same nuggets have already been discussed, each time, on some other forum (like QiJin, for example). Amazing how in-synch we are sometimes. But the point I'd make is that regardless of avant-garde discussions about "spiralling" and other things, there's still more out there that is just as important, if not more important, to the topic. A more open discussion would ensure that people learn more and it would also stop the development of the mini-kingdoms and massive egos which are (IMO) so detrimental to good martial arts progress.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 06-17-2009, 10:39 AM   #13
Josh Reyer
 
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Re: Shiko Training

It's one thing to say that the way sumo wrestlers do shiko is "wrong" and useless for someone seeking proper martial training and conditioning. Professional sumo wrestlers train to use the whole body to move extremely large, heavy, and actively resisting loads, and they do a crap load of solo training meant to build up the connections in their body. But Dan is right about the sumo link above, in as much as it's a mere shadow of sumo training, meant as a commercial product for normal folks to get some exercise and to bring in some extra money to the Sumo Kyokai, with none of the heart of the real stuff meant for the dohyo.

Josh Reyer

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Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
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Old 06-17-2009, 10:45 AM   #14
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Re: Solo Training

Quote:
Ricky Wood wrote: View Post
Some of the technical details regarding Shiko as done by Akuzawa sensei are spoken of here;
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=701
Seems that some brave soul (cris693) has posted a clip of Aunkai shiko. here!
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Old 06-17-2009, 12:46 PM   #15
Mike Sigman
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Re: Shiko Training

Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
It's one thing to say that the way sumo wrestlers do shiko is "wrong" and useless for someone seeking proper martial training and conditioning. Professional sumo wrestlers train to use the whole body to move extremely large, heavy, and actively resisting loads, and they do a crap load of solo training meant to build up the connections in their body. But Dan is right about the sumo link above, in as much as it's a mere shadow of sumo training, meant as a commercial product for normal folks to get some exercise and to bring in some extra money to the Sumo Kyokai, with none of the heart of the real stuff meant for the dohyo.
Hi Josh:

Ultimately all these different takes on Shiko, "intent", ki, you-name-it, all *must* relate in a particular way to the cosmology stuff on A-Un, In-Yu, Ha-Heng, and so forth. These things were all developed and codified a long, long time ago around set principles and criteria. If someone in Sumo, for instance, is let's say "incomplete" in his Shiko, there is a set way for him to bring it back to "correct". If someone in a number of other arts do versions of "Shiko" (it's far more common than people think; it's not always called "Shiko" or done exactly the same way), whatever potential errors they have must be judged against that same ancient, core standard. In other words, just by "doing Shiko" someone is indicating that they are doing the ancient core principles and if they're wrong or incomplete for some reason, they can't say "in our style we do it this way". If it's not complete, it's not complete in relation to those ancient principles. So if someone says "here's the way to do it", but they themselves don't know the full old principles then they set themselves up to be easily exposed. Hence my suggestion that these things are probably best talked out before someone takes too firm a stance.

At the moment a lot of these things are just getting started and Shiko is a good component to think about and do. Personally, though, I think that people will ultimately understand these things far better if they understand the full set of principles, not just a few pieces. So if someone says "ignore the way so-and-so does his shiko", maybe it would be best if they put their reasoning down after having said something like that... it might start a good discussion.

Best.

Mike
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Old 06-17-2009, 12:59 PM   #16
John Brockington
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Re: Shiko Training

Josh-

Thanks for posting that version of shiko. I've seen it before, and while it is interesting and of some value as an Aunkai shiko demo, what I personally love about it is the pooch running around in the background (and sideground and foreground). Even the camera operator sort of starts to track on the dog's trajectory towards the end of the video.

John
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Old 06-17-2009, 03:38 PM   #17
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Re: Shiko Training

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
... understand the full set of principles, ...
How is this best done?

Last edited by thisisnotreal : 06-17-2009 at 03:45 PM.
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Old 06-17-2009, 03:59 PM   #18
Mike Sigman
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Re: Shiko Training

Quote:
Josh Phillipson wrote: View Post
How is this best done?
You have to start somewhere and get a good (not distorted) set of basics. But then you have to be smart enough to realize that everything is not as obvious at first as you think it is and you dig into the complexities. Whatever you learn or discover at any one time is not what you'll know with later developments, although a lot of people get a little bit of knowledge and think it's a lot. You have to keep going onward and upward. And whatever you say in terms of bragging can come back to haunt you, so it's naturally limiting.

Mike
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Old 06-17-2009, 04:07 PM   #19
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Re: Shiko Training

Makes sense, Mike. Thank you.

You pointed to linking w/ Cosmology.
Cosmology includes the massive subset of things that are religious.
Can you put any bounds on what set must correlate with these mental-physical effects? Would and could you say anything about the 'particular way' they must be reconciled?

Yes, I think this is an impossible question; but I want to know what you think.
Josh

Last edited by thisisnotreal : 06-17-2009 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 06-17-2009, 04:33 PM   #20
DH
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Re: Shiko Training

Quote:
Josh Phillipson wrote: View Post
How is this best done?
Josh
Get out and go to those who claim to know some things. Don't go to just one guy. go to several. Some are just starting out, some are just starting to teach, some may be on the net on fishing expeditions searching for information and pretending to have a depth of skill or knowledge they really don't have.
Talk is cheap
A good bet is to ask them..."Where are your students or people you have taught for more than just the recent year or two?" And see what they come up with.
Why?
On another level who cares what someone knows it's whether they can replicate it in you. Everyone who has been in the arts a long time has met guys who spin the B.S. and /or guys who are talented but cannot replicate their skills. The chief concern for someone looking is to learn. So who has proof they can teach what they know. See If they know something worth learning and whether they have the ability to teach!. If it isn't replicable and they cannot present anyone...be careful. And never settle for what one single guy tells you, no matter who it is.
The net.
I tell people to never settle for the self professed amateurs here either. Everyone who has trained with me goes out to train with Master level teachers in various arts; Daito ryu, Aikido, ICMA, and other various people or methods so they can think for themselves. You need to find out whats out there and who's got what. No one can judge for you. Only you can, You'll know who you want to train with
Cheers
Dan
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Old 06-17-2009, 04:40 PM   #21
Mike Sigman
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Re: Shiko Training

Quote:
Josh Phillipson wrote: View Post
Makes sense, Mike. Thank you.

You pointed to linking w/ Cosmology.
Cosmology includes the massive subset of things that are religious.
Can you put any bounds on what set must correlate with these mental-physical effects? Would and could you say anything about the 'particular way' they must be reconciled?

Yes, I think this is an impossible question; but I want to know what you think.
If you look at Ueshiba's douka, you'll see that a lot of the references are obscured with Shinto nomenclature, but it's still mainly Yin-Yang theory, albeit dressed up a bit with some of the Kojiki references, etc. Incidentally, for all practical purposes, the Kojiki came into being well after a lot of the Yin-Yang stuff was widespread in Asia. The subject is far too complex (and I'm not expert) to treat in a few sentences, but there's a valid question about "which came first, the chicken or the egg" in terms of "which came first, the body skills or the cosmology", in terms of Yin-Yang, Heaven-Earth-Man, and so on.

There is a confusing part of the old Chinese views where the universe is seen as being analogous to human characteristics and human characteristics are analogous to the way the universe operates. That's why there's that valid question of which came first. If the cosmology came before the understanding of the ki skills, what an improbable coincidence. I personally think it was the other way around, but it's too involved to go into here.

Regardless of all that, the "Heaven-Earth-Man" and A-Un (like in A-un-kai), In-Yo, Ha-Heng are the essence of the ki skills pretty much any way you look at it, so the "cosmology" aspect is not an irrelevant add-on to the discussion of the skills (which Shiko is a part of). If you look at Ueshiba's douka and the references, and you also look at the cosmological references to the same things in just about every legitimate traditional martial art in Asia, you'll always see these same things. It's not a religious justification; it's their way of saying "Aha, I know the secrets, too, and our martial art is also built on these ki things". I.e., the ki skills have a far wider impact on Asian martial arts than just Taiji, Aikido, and so on.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 06-17-2009, 04:51 PM   #22
Mike Sigman
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Re: Shiko Training

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
A good bet is to ask them..."Where are your students or people you have taught for more than just the recent year or two?" And see what they come up with.
That's actually a good question to look at from a number of angles, Dan. For instance, think how many good students (out of how many studied in the schools) people like Takeda, Ueshiba, Chen FaKe, Wang Hai Jun, or etc., etc., have or had. In Aikido, for instance, obviously Ueshiba had these skills and so did some of his students, to varying degrees, but look at how the knowledge of the skills was essentially lost down the line. That's a good entre' into the topic I've been suggesting that people "talk" a little more, even though talk is, as you say, cheap. Anyone can claim anything, but a knowledge of basics can't really be BS'ed to fool anyone with experience.

In a few years, I suspect that there'll be a lot more open discussions and a lot of today's claims will be looked back on humourously, so I'd suggest caution and a clinical approach.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 06-18-2009, 02:53 PM   #23
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Re: Shiko Training

How can something like >this< still be a mystery?

What is the best way to strengthen the core?
What is the best way to strengthen the back?

Isometrics? Plank/prone/side? Dead Lifts?
or ....Shiko? (to come full circle, pardon the pun)

Josh

P.S. Gents, Thank you for the sound advice.

PPS. Mike, any chance of any kind of functional description of what you meant by 'complete'? Other than the opposite of incomplete....that is.

Last edited by thisisnotreal : 06-18-2009 at 03:08 PM. Reason: myob
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Old 06-18-2009, 03:38 PM   #24
Janet Rosen
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Re: Shiko Training

Quote:
John Brockington wrote: View Post
what I personally love about it is the pooch running around in the background (and sideground and foreground). Even the camera operator sort of starts to track on the dog's trajectory towards the end of the video.
Randogi!!!

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Old 06-18-2009, 03:55 PM   #25
Mike Sigman
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Re: Shiko Training

Quote:
Josh Phillipson wrote: View Post
How can something like >this< still be a mystery?

What is the best way to strengthen the core?
What is the best way to strengthen the back?

Isometrics? Plank/prone/side? Dead Lifts?
or ....Shiko? (to come full circle, pardon the pun)

Josh

P.S. Gents, Thank you for the sound advice.

PPS. Mike, any chance of any kind of functional description of what you meant by 'complete'? Other than the opposite of incomplete....that is.
Well, the "complete" set of ki/kokyu/qi/jin skills is comprised of a set of interrelated factors... and I mean that they're *logically* interrelated. From one factor you can (theoretically) deduce all. For instance it's pretty easy to deduce why all factors *must* be related to Shiko.... if you have one factor, the rest must follow or the practice is incomplete. If you'll watch some of the conversations over the last few years, you'll see that other factors gradually begin to work themselves into the discussion as some of the "experts" gradually begin to realize some of the logical ramifications.

It's sort of like how just a few decades ago the Yang-style Taijiquan adherents were saying that they used "Pulling Silk" and that the Chen-style Taijiquan used "Reeling Silk". Unfortunately, there is an immutable logic (the same logic we're discussing about the ki things in Shiko, etc... these things are all related) that is impossible to avoid where the "complete" logic dictates that "reeling silk" movement is the apex of the logic. The Yang-style people realized this eventually and suddenly started saying that they used "reeling silk" movement, too. Saying it and doing it are two different things, I might add.

So as I watch these conversations develop and some people put down others with the implication that so-and-so's Shiko is incomplete, I realize that we're watching part of a developing process that will go on for some time. And as I said, years hence there will be some humorous retrospectives about people who claimed to be expert too quickly. That being the case, my suggestion has, and continues to be, that people develop a somewhat more open attitude about discussion. Why? Because at the level of current discussions, no real "secrets" are being discussed. That's simple role-playing and "look at me" stuff. For the arts to move forward, the discussions will have to be more open. Not that I discourage competition, of course. I think that's a good thing. But the discussions of these simple basics need to be more than "No real martial artist would do Shiko like that", while not adding more to the discussion.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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