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Old 08-05-2009, 10:35 PM   #601
dps
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

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Shaun Ravens wrote: View Post
If you are asking, "Can this be done from Ikkyo?
Maybe a better way of saying it would be "Can this be done with Ikkyo?".

Lee answered my question so I think he understood what I was asking?

David
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Old 08-05-2009, 10:37 PM   #602
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

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Is this also how you would behave if Dan H. came to visit your dojo?
Well, don't know if Dan is into baths, and I would of course temper it more towards American tastes, but otherwise, yes. That is how I would treat any teacher I invited to my dojo. I will go even further and say that I have said as much to Dan already in so many words.

I do this because that is what my teacher showed me as the proper way to receive someone of Dan's caliber, reputation and importance. I just hope it wouldn't make him feel uncomfortable. However, I was also taught that it would be improper to issue such an invitation without first being accepted as a student and spending time enough with Dan that he would feel coming to my dojo would be worth his while. I would do the same for Mike, too, should anyone really be interested. Alas, with the way things are at the moment, I am just trying to muster up enough to get back to Japan after my current six month commitment is complete before I undertake anything so grand as contemplating accepting a new teacher after some 20 years with Matsuoka Sensei. Then again cross training, while not my thing, is said to be nice.

Best in training to you and all...

.

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Old 08-05-2009, 10:40 PM   #603
dps
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

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Is this also how you would behave if Dan H. came to visit your dojo?
What about me? You know if I came to your dojo?

David
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Old 08-05-2009, 10:42 PM   #604
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

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Well, don't know if Dan is into baths, and I would of course temper it more towards American tastes, but otherwise, yes. That is how I would treat any teacher I invited to my dojo. I will go even further and say that I have said as much to Dan already in so many words.

I do this because that is what my teacher showed me as the proper way to receive someone of Dan's caliber, reputation and importance. I just hope it wouldn't make him feel uncomfortable. However, I was also taught that it would be improper to issue such an invitation without first being accepted as a student and spending time enough with Dan that he would feel coming to my dojo would be worth his while. I would do the same for Mike, too, should anyone really be interested. Alas, with the way things are at the moment, I am just trying to muster up enough to get back to Japan after my current six month commitment is complete before I undertake anything so grand as contemplating accepting a new teacher after some 20 years with Matsuoka Sensei. Then again cross training, while not my thing, is said to be nice.

Best in training to you and all...

.
Thank you for your reply Shaun. I now know a bit more about you than I did.
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Old 08-05-2009, 10:48 PM   #605
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Shaun,

I'm all for a meeting when I can manage it. I'm hoping for sometime next Spring. It will certainly be interesting comparing levels, approaches, and exchanging info in person. I've been the uke while Gleason sensei chanted kotodama as he threw me. I have sounds identified feelings in my body. I'm very excited to see where this kind of research goes as our levels of understanding in physical universal principles increases by leaps and bounds.

If a big sensei shows up to my place, I'll be nice to them and all, but I'm not into worshiping anyone. I don't want to be put on a pedestal and I certainly do not think it is kind or helpful to put that kind of pressure on anyone else. Now, I suppose if O-sensei showed up, I admit I would do a bit more kissing up because I would want to know about how he came back and what it was like while he was gone.

Rob

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Old 08-05-2009, 10:51 PM   #606
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

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Thank you for your reply Shaun. I now know a bit more about you than I did.
...Oh, no!!!

feel free to send me a private message noting any damage I have managed to do to myself and my public image. I really didn't think I could do any more damage, but...

.

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Old 08-05-2009, 10:55 PM   #607
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

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Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Now, I suppose if O-sensei showed up, I admit I would do a bit more kissing up because I would want to know about how he came back and what it was like while he was gone.

Rob
You mean Dan isn't teaching that sort of thing at his dojo? So he is holding back, after all!

Spring sounds about right, but you may find me lurking around your dojo before then complete with an old coffee cup with some coins in it and a scruffy beard and unwashed hakama. I'll be answering to the name, Slappy... just so you know.

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Old 08-05-2009, 10:56 PM   #608
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

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David Skaggs wrote: View Post
What about me? You know if I came to your dojo?

David
David,

Was this for me?

...

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Old 08-05-2009, 10:56 PM   #609
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

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David,

Was this for me?

...
Yes.

David
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Old 08-05-2009, 11:32 PM   #610
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

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David Skaggs wrote: View Post
What about me? You know if I came to your dojo?

David
FWIW...
Hmm, well I run a private dojo on my property, so I am particular about who I let in. My senior students will tell you that getting in without an introduction and a letter of recommendation takes about six to nine months, and that's if I like the introduction, the letter of recommendation and the attitude they are presented in. Some people have been trying to see me for years. Thing is, they keep trying the same thing that didn't work last year.

Then again, there is always the occasional open enrollment call. It is rare, but it does happen. I don't think I have had any of those students stay longer than a month or two. I am not really surprised which is why I fall back to the approach I mentioned above.

Of course there is always Hatsu-Geiko, where it is traditional to open the doors and let anyone come on by. I even encourage my junior students to don fundoshi (I provide new ones for a small fee) and experience outdoor misogi using ice and snow. I am sure my neighbors think I am running some kind of crazy, male only underwear cult, but hey... I have been accused and guilty of much, much worse.

More importantly, any of my students will tell you that once you are accepted I am there to cater to your needs. I answer every question that comes to me, tell the source of my information and invite further questioning of my methods approach and sources. I let everyone feel anything and everything they want to experience and often let them come up with ways to try and stymie my explanation and effectiveness at every turn. I also make tea for my students, cook them macrobiotic meals at times and even make them medicine when they are sick... to mention just a few of the ways in which I attempt to share with the attitude with which my teachers shared with me, and one with which they would expect me to carry things forward...

David,

Feel free to contact me privately if are you interested in filling out an application... I promise to be as open as you are to the idea. Let's see how far that gets us...

Best in training to you and all...

.

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Old 08-06-2009, 12:45 AM   #611
dps
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

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Interestingly, the spiritual side of Aikido can only be explored from a place of martial integrity.
My feelings exactly Don.

Thank you.

David
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Old 08-06-2009, 12:59 AM   #612
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

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The stances are used as a framework within which coordination of movement is initially practiced. This is movement stopped to a point, such that coordination of movement can be more easily practiced. Once in movement, maintaining the coordination is much more difficult, and having the coordination reinforced to sufficient levels of automation within static postures makes attaining the coordination in movement simpler. Various postures are useful for representing various phases of movement and also because they place different loading patterns on the musculature that can enhance the learning of awareness within certain body areas. Once a sufficient base of coordination is built, it is to be practiced outside static forms or postures, so that in the end form is discarded in favor of spontaneous free movement and coordination is maintained regardless. Coordination there has various meanings, in terms of being able to engage the spectrum from relaxation to tension, an understanding of the transitions between them, and optimal patterns of musculature utilization for exerting force under varying circumstances.
What you described is very similar to the way I was taught the basic techniques of Aikido ( ikkyo, nikyo,sankyo, shiho nage, etc). Your explanation is a lot more detailed then what I received.


Thank You
David
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:30 AM   #613
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

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The coordination is primary, the positioning is not. I would not read too much into the external appearance of it, since that's not really the goal of it at all.
I agree the positioning is not the goal, but if the positioning were irrelevant, why would he give detailed instructions about his "oblique T-step"? And why not have a different positioning of the feet? Or perhaps Yao Chengguang (not that this stuff is originally his anyway) is smart enough to place his feet in such a way that he can most easily achieve his goals in practice?
I may not be all that knowledgeable about this internal stuff, but often plain old logic can get you a long way.
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Old 08-06-2009, 04:10 AM   #614
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

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Coordination there has various meanings, in terms of being able to engage the spectrum from relaxation to tension, an understanding of the transitions between them, and optimal patterns of musculature utilization for exerting force under varying circumstances.
And what makes this form of coordination superior to what for instance a good gymnastics coach can teach you?
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Old 08-06-2009, 07:59 AM   #615
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

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To simplify my perspective, let's say that the fundamentals of Aikido can exist along a spectrum that has martial effectiveness on one end and spiritual attainment on the other. I believe that O'Sensei's vision was to somehow unify these two elements so as to enrich the life of the practitioner as well as the condition of society. It is difficult to interpret O'Sensei from modern day America. ...
Interestingly, the spiritual side of Aikido can only be explored from a place of martial integrity.
I have learned to think in concrete images. Look at the diagram. See it.

If the upper pendulum is the Universe, Divine, God, choose your name, and the lower one is Man it shows an image of both a fundamental Order and essential but dependent Freedom.

The system does not sweep out the same path twice. While its motion is completely determined -- its ultimate path is not and both the human action and the divine action cooperate in the ultimate path that occurs. But, as with a child's swing, if you depart from the essential order that is the basis for magnifying your freedom then you just hang there, wobbling.

Now, seeing this image in concrete forms look at Morihei Ueshiba performing Chinkon Kishin with the jo. Tell me you do not see the dynamic of the image above in inverted form. "Calm the soul -- return to the Divine."

Martiality, mathematics and mysticism are not divorced.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 08-06-2009, 08:04 AM   #616
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

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Shaun Ravens wrote: View Post
I even encourage my junior students to don fundoshi (I provide new ones for a small fee) and experience outdoor misogi using ice and snow. .
Yet another good reason to live in the glorious South... Cut-offs, a rope swing and a coldwater creek, now there's some water misogi, boy!

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 08-06-2009, 08:26 AM   #617
rob_liberti
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

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Joep Schuurkes wrote: View Post
You mean as in the back foot rather pointing west-northwest than west? (when facing North.)
It is more about the hip orientation than foot rotation. How the back foot is rotated doesn't matter all that much to me as long as there is a clean path to the ground.

Erick, Oh my gosh...
"Martiality, mathematics and mysticism are not divorced" but it seems you want martiality and mathematics to be married before they meet... I keep getting that mental image of a lot of hand waving (or cool graphics) and someone saying "WHAT ABOUT NOW?!" Step 1 of a process to mathematically decribe something should be to go experience it, THEN describe it.

Rob
P.S. If "Slappy" wants to visit my dojo, call my cell so I make sure I'm there.

Last edited by rob_liberti : 08-06-2009 at 08:30 AM.

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Old 08-06-2009, 09:29 AM   #618
Lee Salzman
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

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Joep Schuurkes wrote: View Post
I agree the positioning is not the goal, but if the positioning were irrelevant, why would he give detailed instructions about his "oblique T-step"? And why not have a different positioning of the feet? Or perhaps Yao Chengguang (not that this stuff is originally his anyway) is smart enough to place his feet in such a way that he can most easily achieve his goals in practice?
I may not be all that knowledgeable about this internal stuff, but often plain old logic can get you a long way.
There are stories about Wang Xiangzhai calling himself "old man contradiction", because he advocated arriving at formlessness through methods. The Yaos have their methods, and other different practicioners of yiquan have different methods yet again.

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And what makes this form of coordination superior to what for instance a good gymnastics coach can teach you?
The extent to which the resulting skill is martially applicable. The final expression of those methods is explosive strength, and a certain kind of explosive strength that is developed along with the responsiveness and ability to change to employ it in unpredictable combat. The method of using stances and movements arises precisely because no fixed external loading pattern can recreate the variety and rapidness of movements that need to be trained.

Any discipline which helps develop awareness and control of muscles within the body is likewise helpful once that control is applied back into the yiquan training and reinforced in the more unpredictable martial context. My teacher really liked Olympic weight lifting, and I had another fellow student of my teacher who liked to use kettlebell lifts. Yiquan was meant to encompass whatever methods get you to the goal, not to be exclusive of them.

The implied question, though, is whether that has relevance to application in aikido? Given the recent experience I had with Dan, I now feel that where yiquan leads is sort of a 180 from where aikido leads, and that it is probably not a good example to hold up of training that would need to be reincorporated within aikido.
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:45 AM   #619
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

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Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Erick, Oh my gosh...
"Martiality, mathematics and mysticism are not divorced" but it seems you want martiality and mathematics to be married before they meet... I keep getting that mental image of a lot of hand waving (or cool graphics) and someone saying "WHAT ABOUT NOW?!" Step 1 of a process to mathematically decribe something should be to go experience it, THEN describe it.
He asked how they can be unified. I showed one way, illustrated by a simple model and a well known preference in training of O Sensei. It was responsive to his legitimate concern, though it may be not the answer he or you are looking for, but there it is. If one knew the answer one was looking for, one wouldn't keep asking, now would one?

The problem always is whether it was the right question. You seem to have become devoted to a particular idiosycnratic way of looking at these things. They are the same things. Doubt is not a basis for assumption. I believe what my senses and reason tell me -- and my reason more particularly because the subjective senses require objective interpretation.

Mine seems similarly idiosyncratic to you. But being unfamiliar to you is not the same as being idiosyncratic. I draw upon universally available images, constructs and relationships that anyone with basic sense of mechanics can begin to appreciate and dig into -- if they want to - which no one is compelled do to do if they don't. And God bless 'em.

I am not making argument. I do that for a living, and this isn't one. I just present good concrete images and known physical relationships of a fundamental nature that relate to this art. How do I know this? Because it is there to be seen and felt, quite simply. I am not reading those images into the art The art drew those those images out for me.

The thing about marriage is that distinction is not subsumed -- even though the entirety of two people is devoted to a common identity. So too, with different ways of knowing things. They can be a different as lightning and marshmallows and yet wholly identify with the same thing.

It is a sad man who cannot hold at least three wildly varying thoughts in his head at once. Certainly, he wouldn't stay married very long if he couldn't....

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:50 AM   #620
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

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Joep Schuurkes wrote: View Post
And what makes this form of coordination superior to what for instance a good gymnastics coach can teach you?
Mechanically? -- gymnastics is linear, inertial and avoids shear like the plague. What we are talking about is non-linear, inherently involves shear, and confounds linear assumptions about inertia.

But apart from that, not much really ...

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:06 AM   #621
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

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The implied question, though, is whether that has relevance to application in aikido? Given the recent experience I had with Dan, I now feel that where yiquan leads is sort of a 180 from where aikido leads, and that it is probably not a good example to hold up of training that would need to be reincorporated within aikido.
Why is that Lee?
Dan
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:25 AM   #622
Lee Salzman
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

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Why is that Lee?
Dan
It is fair to say that you showed me there is more than one way to skin the cat, which in this case, was probably an entirely different species of cat, for that matter. I'm not sure I can speak so much about what you do without making a total fool of myself, so I will avoid talking myself into a hole too much for the moment.

I think you put it best when you were saying "What receives, feeds." That didn't make to me sense before, but once I got to feel and see what that meant, yeah, it is something else.

It is fair to say that yiquan doesn't spend much time worrying about receiving, or for that matter feeding. You work on the ability to explode against a solid target the moment it presents itself, and preferrably before that moment. That difference of application seems to trickle down all the way to the bottom basic foundation of how it is all trained.

That and there were a lot of places I was breaking apart nor had adequate mobility while working on the exercises you showed us (as I said when you were adjusting me - I felt like I was going to the chiropractor), a lot of places that as I do the 'homework' and get greater awareness of those places and how to use them, it will be fun to incorporate back into the yiquan training and see how that improves it as well. What yiquan training I have done to date did not really prepare me to do those things, as anyone who worked with me might have noted.
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:55 AM   #623
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

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Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
There are stories about Wang Xiangzhai calling himself "old man contradiction", because he advocated arriving at formlessness through methods. The Yaos have their methods, and other different practicioners of yiquan have different methods yet again.
I just hope all those people have some very good reasons to use their specific methods to acquire their formlessness, because as every post-modernist knows: your formlessness is defined by the methods you used to acquire it.

Quote:
The method of using stances and movements arises precisely because no fixed external loading pattern can recreate the variety and rapidness of movements that need to be trained.
I think you're underestimating gymnasts. And most Muay Thai fighters seem to do fine in this respect without the stances and the movements of Yiquan, anyhow. So I still don't get what makes Yiquan's form of coordination superior.

Quote:
My teacher really liked Olympic weight lifting, and I had another fellow student of my teacher who liked to use kettlebell lifts. Yiquan was meant to encompass whatever methods get you to the goal, not to be exclusive of them.
Weight lifting won't get you there, in my opinion.

Quote:
Given the recent experience I had with Dan, I now feel that where yiquan leads is sort of a 180 from where aikido leads, and that it is probably not a good example to hold up of training that would need to be reincorporated within aikido.
I don't know your Yiquan and I don't know Dan's methods, but if they don't build on the same foundation skills (and body), at least one of them is wrong.
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Old 08-06-2009, 11:10 AM   #624
Lee Salzman
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

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Joep Schuurkes wrote: View Post
I just hope all those people have some very good reasons to use their specific methods to acquire their formlessness, because as every post-modernist knows: your formlessness is defined by the methods you used to acquire it.
Old man contradiction indeed.

Quote:
I think you're underestimating gymnasts. And most Muay Thai fighters seem to do fine in this respect without the stances and the movements of Yiquan, anyhow. So I still don't get what makes Yiquan's form of coordination superior.

Weight lifting won't get you there, in my opinion.
I think we are underestimating martial artists. My teacher had at one time incorporated some work on gymnastic movements into his own training because he felt it helped in areas. One of my teachers' students competes in muay thai, another sanda, another boxing, and I in brazilian jujitsu. It is a framework for taking what you do, and making it better and working it more intelligently than these disciplines would otherwise do so.

Quote:
I don't know your Yiquan and I don't know Dan's methods, but if they don't build on the same foundation skills (and body), at least one of them is wrong.
As you said, your formlessness is defined by the methods you used to acquire it, so I don't think there is need to invoke absolutism just yet.

Let's just keep in mind, I only brought this up because yiquan was brought up. Consider me and my rambling as a public service announcement: woe be unto all aikidoka who follow the path of yiquan, for it is a pursuit unto itself and doesn't necessarily take them on the path they may have originally been seeking. I've gone that way and that is what I've found.
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Old 08-06-2009, 11:59 AM   #625
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

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Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
It is fair to say that you showed me there is more than one way to skin the cat, which in this case, was probably an entirely different species of cat, for that matter. I'm not sure I can speak so much about what you do without making a total fool of myself, so I will avoid talking myself into a hole too much for the moment.

I think you put it best when you were saying "What receives, feeds." That didn't make to me sense before, but once I got to feel and see what that meant, yeah, it is something else.

It is fair to say that yiquan doesn't spend much time worrying about receiving, or for that matter feeding. You work on the ability to explode against a solid target the moment it presents itself, and preferrably before that moment. That difference of application seems to trickle down all the way to the bottom basic foundation of how it is all trained.

That and there were a lot of places I was breaking apart nor had adequate mobility while working on the exercises you showed us (as I said when you were adjusting me - I felt like I was going to the chiropractor), a lot of places that as I do the 'homework' and get greater awareness of those places and how to use them, it will be fun to incorporate back into the yiquan training and see how that improves it as well. What yiquan training I have done to date did not really prepare me to do those things, as anyone who worked with me might have noted.
Ah now I see. Be mindful that -that aspect is only the process for initial identification of paths in the body. It helps to clearly mark them. Later you pay with them, lets say; send them on their way, split and absorb or send, send back, or do some interesting neutral changing in your body that doesn't require an action on your part but they are controlled. It gets much more complicated than the initial steps.

Intent is extremely important, but everyone I have met and continue to meet- their structure is a mess. That is not going to be fixed by standing or intent alone. Force and movement is required to identify the many failures that need to be worked on.
If you noticed the many guys I played with- I "reacted" differently with each one. Why? Structurally they were all different and had different vulnerabilities to play with or strike into. So, intent- while being paramount to real power and sensitivity- has to be bolstered by a good structure which will lead to a familiarity or joining of these things- "in use."

I have played with other Yi quan guys who were very soft. I wonder what part your teacher had some odd or unusual ideas, what part you may or may not have understand his training.
To me softness, is the key to the best training out there.
Cheers
Dan
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