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Old 09-01-2009, 01:41 PM   #1
rdavid445
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"Hidden in Plain Sight" - Specific Internal Training

I have a specific question for Mr. Amdur,

I haven't read through the whole book yet, but I have absolutely loved it so far. My question is this:

Would you be willing to discuss some of the specific internal training methods you've been practicing?

I ask because recently, through reading your books and doing some of my own research, I've become very interested in augmenting my own training with some internal practices. I know that the Aunkai sells a couple of DVDs, but otherwise, I'm a bit in the dark about how to begin a study of internal practices.
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Old 09-01-2009, 03:46 PM   #2
phitruong
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" - Specific Internal Training

Quote:
Robert David wrote: View Post
I have a specific question for Mr. Amdur,

I haven't read through the whole book yet, but I have absolutely loved it so far. My question is this:

Would you be willing to discuss some of the specific internal training methods you've been practicing?

I ask because recently, through reading your books and doing some of my own research, I've become very interested in augmenting my own training with some internal practices. I know that the Aunkai sells a couple of DVDs, but otherwise, I'm a bit in the dark about how to begin a study of internal practices.
not Ellis, but could pretend to be Ellis, if i am on stills and shaved my head and looked real fierce and ....

i was like you. saw a bunch of posting about internal and no aiki in aikido and so on. started to pay attention to some of the posters. some of the folks that i believed could get you started. no reason for the order.

Howard Popkin of Roppokai DR from NY. good luck in getting him to come out to OK. he goes where the big fishes go. i believed he got his aiki from fighting with big fishes. can't trust jewjutsu!

Dan Harden of somewhere north east. he hid in a big barn somewhere doing god awful internal/aiki stuffs with large animals or people, can't remember which. heard he also know a bit about blade smith. don't know if you can trust him either; he might try to sell you steak knives.

Mike Sigman of CO. don't know if you can trust a guy who has been breathing open mountain air. bit of a questioner who kept asking all these questions about details in internal training and why aren't aiki in aikido like O Sensei. it's not like he could do anything other than send you flying into the next county, laugh at you as you throw on various aikido locks, wouldn't move out of the way like a ton of bricks, so on and so forth. boring stuffs really. who wants to learn about those things really?

you already heard about aunkai. those guys just make you stand in horse stands for hours on end. only caused pain and suffering.

there are other folks who know internal stuffs that can't teach or won't teach. there are folks who know and can teach. there are folks who don't know and can teach as well as can't teach.

are you sure you want to go down the internal path? it's just lots of pain and suffering like eating a big burrito then attending functions at your in-law where you can't move a few paces away from the mother-in-law and the methane build-up. it's just going to make your life miserable.
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Old 09-01-2009, 04:16 PM   #3
thisisnotreal
 
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" - Specific Internal Training

that, my friend, is hilarious.*Lmao*
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Old 09-01-2009, 06:47 PM   #4
Ellis Amdur
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" - Specific Internal Training

Sorry - just saw this thread. My book doesn't get into the specifics of internal training (well the last chapter tells how to become Osensei in 16 easy lessons, but I suggest psychedelic mushrooms among the training tools, so I don't know how much I can be trusted . . .).

I am a beginner in this training method. Phi has named the most prominent people "out there" who are not ryu/martial art specific. I do not want to discuss details of my training, because any mistakes I might make, although they will eventually be corrected by my instructors, would live forever in the web.

For me, this book was similar to wandering past a table where someone had left a big jigsaw puzzle, and after idly fitting together some pieces, then feeling compelled to fit together the whole thing. And I was just walking past the table, anyway, on my way, originally towards something else!
And what was the jigsaw puzzle? The existence of IT within the Japanese martial paradigm, that's part of it. And a host of other things that make reading the book the best route to finding out what's in it.

I will say that I will consider it a personal failure if the only thing that I get from this journey is to have written a book <about> internal training. So back to training.

Best
Ellis Amdur

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Old 09-01-2009, 07:26 PM   #5
aikidoc
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" - Specific Internal Training

Those who are working on this stuff are all making mistakes. However, honest attempts at discussing what we are learning and feeling, all contribute to the journey. Given of course we don't get sidetracked with terminology arguments.

I'm working hard on learning to ground strongly with an impetus from some of Mikes videos. One thing I found out for example is that with multiple attackers grabbing morotedori that if I ground them on initial contact-not just connect with their centers but ground their centers as well then I can more them easier and I'm a hell of a lot harder to move. Even with two on each arm and one choking from behind. It also makes the unliftable body work better for me. I'm sure this is not new but no one taught it to me so I had to figure it out myself. That and some neat little pelvic tucks that unweight the uke. Just throwing it out.
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Old 09-01-2009, 07:28 PM   #6
rdavid445
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" - Specific Internal Training

Here's a question:

Would it be a worthwhile investment to buy the Aunkai dvds? And where can I find any of Mike Sigman's videos (I assume that's the Mike you were talking about)?
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Old 09-01-2009, 08:19 PM   #7
Ellis Amdur
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" - Specific Internal Training

Robert - straight-up, you got to find someone to train with. Videos are helpful, once you've been taught. I do not think you can learn properly form videos alone. I would check out the various t'ai chi teachers in the area. That is another huge area of bogusity - people who emulate ferns rather than willows - but it's a start. You should be able to feel what they have, too. You should be impressed with a kind of power - not tricks - but power that is out of proportion to the apparent effot. Or, you logically should be able to grab them or lock them, and it's like grabbing smoke.
I am NOT the person to certify at a distance who is good and who is not. But you gotta feel it and learn it in person.

Best
Ellis Amdur

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Old 09-01-2009, 08:43 PM   #8
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" - Specific Internal Training

Not that I am anybody, but I would second Ellis' recommendation. Videos are a waste of time unless you have worked with the person in the video. Even then I am not sure they are so helpful other than to help you remember the basics.

It is not until you actually lay hands on someone that you can even understand what it is that they are talking about. Even then it opens up more questions than answers..so while Phi was kinda being a smart ass...he is really pretty accurate..I had to laugh as it is damn accurate.

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Old 09-01-2009, 10:04 PM   #9
rdavid445
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" - Specific Internal Training

I, of course, understand that training personally with someone qualified would be ideal, so I'll start looking. Unfortunately, I live in Oklahoma, so there are A LOT of bogus martial arts teachers, tai chi included. There is a woman in my aikido class that teaches tai chi at our school on another night, so I may try that. Just have to find the time.
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Old 09-01-2009, 11:30 PM   #10
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" - Specific Internal Training

Quote:
Robert David wrote: View Post
I, of course, understand that training personally with someone qualified would be ideal, so I'll start looking. Unfortunately, I live in Oklahoma, so there are A LOT of bogus martial arts teachers, tai chi included. There is a woman in my aikido class that teaches tai chi at our school on another night, so I may try that. Just have to find the time.
Have you asked your sensei about specifics for training the internal aspects of the art? Maybe they are just waiting for someone to step up and show interest.

At least I'm always amazed at how many questions I have that I don't bother even asking my sensei. I wonder why that is?

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

Ultracrepidarianism ... don't.
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Old 09-01-2009, 11:45 PM   #11
rdavid445
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" - Specific Internal Training

Quote:
Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
Have you asked your sensei about specifics for training the internal aspects of the art? Maybe they are just waiting for someone to step up and show interest.

At least I'm always amazed at how many questions I have that I don't bother even asking my sensei. I wonder why that is?
Well, in the past, the school of aikido that I had been training at (Shodokan -Tomiki- Aikido/JAA) did not offer any sort of internal training. The drills and exercises we did outside of technical training pretty strictly focused on developing physical abilities, timing, ma ai, etc. And, I have to admit, that when I was really training at that school, I was dismissive of internal training concerns, wanting to focus on my technical development only. However, as I'm now training in the Jiyushinkai system, and am slowly being introduced to all that the organization has to offer, I'm definitely becoming more open to different approaches to Tomiki aikido, and will make a point of discussing it with my instructor.

Within the next few years, my wife and I may well be moving up into Mr. Amdur's neck of the woods, so I hope to be able to continue my research up there.

Last edited by rdavid445 : 09-01-2009 at 11:50 PM.
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Old 09-02-2009, 07:39 AM   #12
MM
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" - Specific Internal Training

Quote:
Robert David wrote: View Post
Well, in the past, the school of aikido that I had been training at (Shodokan -Tomiki- Aikido/JAA) did not offer any sort of internal training. The drills and exercises we did outside of technical training pretty strictly focused on developing physical abilities, timing, ma ai, etc. And, I have to admit, that when I was really training at that school, I was dismissive of internal training concerns, wanting to focus on my technical development only. However, as I'm now training in the Jiyushinkai system, and am slowly being introduced to all that the organization has to offer, I'm definitely becoming more open to different approaches to Tomiki aikido, and will make a point of discussing it with my instructor.

Within the next few years, my wife and I may well be moving up into Mr. Amdur's neck of the woods, so I hope to be able to continue my research up there.
I always have the best of things to say about the Jiyushinkai. Chuck Clark built a phenomenal organization and I have the utmost respect for quite a lot of the members. I started my aikido training out there at Shobu Aiki Dojo many years ago. I was out there a few years back on one of the hottest days ever in Oklahoma history. It'd be nice to visit again sometime soon ... but I don't think that'll happen this year. I would recommend training with the Jiyushinkai to anyone.

Back to the original topic. I would echo what Phi, Ellis, and Kevin have posted. It really does take some hands-on training to get a start.

I think a post by David Orange in another thread is applicable here:

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
I don't know that I would have ever been so interested in Sagawa or a book about him if I hadn't experienced Aunkai, though. Of course, Dan points to Sagawa, but in times past, when I've seen pictures of an old guy like that gesturing with his hand and sending people flying...I just wasn't interested. I used to think the photos and clips Okamoto were all fakery, too. And then I got hold of Ark and Rob and I could certainly feel the great potential of that kind of energy. I realized that those little hand gestures were conveying something I had never learned in aikido and had only rarely seen.

With Ark, Dan and Mike all teaching the fundamentals of internal power, I'm hopeful not only for the future of aiki in America, but specifically, I'm hoping this thread will bring up some technical concepts that can maybe aid in actual how to develop skills in manipulating those potentials.
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Old 09-02-2009, 09:03 AM   #13
phitruong
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" - Specific Internal Training

sorry about the little jest in earlier posting. it's all fun and game until some bugger messed with your ki and you couldn't do a thing about it.

serious advices follow (maybe)

1. invest a bit of time (a weekend or two) and go to those folks, whether workshop/seminar or call them up and ask them if you can visit to learn. ask them one question: "how do i train my body to do aiki works?" please hold the philosophy, moral imperative, pickles and mayo. just the how-to, thank you very much.

2. attitude when you come and train with these folks: please leave the "we are already doing that", "that's not aiki", "i have commune with O Sensei spirit and he said that's not the really stuffs", "i would like to pick up stuffs so i can declare myself an aiki-grand-lord-of-aiki" and so on at home; better yet, if you have those things, don't bother to come. shoshin, right? learn as much as you can and take notes.

3. go home and train like demon. most of those folks are. your focus is "i want to be able to kick their rear-end in the future". not that you want to, because they are nice folks, but it would give you incentive to train and to be better than they are. i am pretty sure, they are the kind of folks who would expect you to be better than them. this is what i called training ethics.

4. don't be surprised that they will withhold information from you. it's not because of some malice, but because until you get to a certain level, more information does you no good whatsoever. they won't give you calculus if you can't handle addition. also, pace your training, i.e. don't try to do algebra if you can't do subtraction.

i am sure other folks will give you good advices as well.
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Old 09-02-2009, 12:18 PM   #14
L. Camejo
 
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" - Specific Internal Training

Quote:
Robert David wrote: View Post
Well, in the past, the school of aikido that I had been training at (Shodokan -Tomiki- Aikido/JAA) did not offer any sort of internal training. The drills and exercises we did outside of technical training pretty strictly focused on developing physical abilities, timing, ma ai, etc. And, I have to admit, that when I was really training at that school, I was dismissive of internal training concerns, wanting to focus on my technical development only. However, as I'm now training in the Jiyushinkai system, and am slowly being introduced to all that the organization has to offer, I'm definitely becoming more open to different approaches to Tomiki aikido, and will make a point of discussing it with my instructor.
Sorry to hear that. I've been privy to some yet unpublished info that indicates (at least to me) that Tomiki was one of those who did develop quite a bit of the internal skills while training with Ueshiba M. This was at a time when things were still taught as Daito Ryu / Aikibudo. Apparently the internal development and Aiki training for Shodokan was blended within Tomiki's theories and training methods on Kuzushi. A recent seminar with Shishida Shihan provided even more information on this for my own training. A lot of what Shodokan calls "warm ups" and "drills" include internal training elements "hidden in plain sight" an example is Shotei Awase when done properly.

Having said that, I know many Shodokan dojo focus on shiai and competition-specific training and if this is ones primary focus one can forget about developing internal skills imho. This is funny however, since resistance tanto or toshu randori provides a very good opportunity to test ones internal skills and Aiki imho both as Tori and Uke, simultaneously.

The Jiyushinkai are really good guys however. I respect what they do a lot. Would love to train with them sometime.

Happy training. Hope you find what you are looking for.

LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
http://www.mushinkan.ca
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Old 09-02-2009, 12:35 PM   #15
Ellis Amdur
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" - Specific Internal Training

I read an interview with Ohba Sensei one time, which, for the life of me, I've never been able to find again. He described seeing Takeda Tokimune doing what was, to him, a pretty remarkable demonstration of aiki - I think it was being pinned down by four guys, and sending them flying with an apparently small movement. Tomiki sensei said something like, "Oh, that. Like this?" And did the same thing on Ohba (and maybe some others). The sense I got from the interview was that Tomiki thought these things kind of show-offy and didn't like demonstrating. And they may have been peripheral to his goals, I think.
I noted elsewhere the story told to me by Hal Sharp, 8th dan, Kodokan - where Tomiki sensei challenged the group of foreign kenkyusei at the Kodokan to throw him, sticking out one arm for an accommodating lever, and no one could budge him, and then he sat in a chair and did the same thing.
If these stories are accurate, and his skill was that high, imagine that all the politics had had no influence on him and somehow Tomiki sensei had managed to fully combine aikido-judo-Daito-ryu as a curriculum, with his modern scientific views.

best
Ellis Amdur

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Old 09-02-2009, 01:29 PM   #16
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" - Specific Internal Training

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
...If these stories are accurate, and his skill was that high, imagine that all the politics had had no influence on him and somehow Tomiki sensei had managed to fully combine aikido-judo-Daito-ryu as a curriculum, with his modern scientific views.
I agree. And, quite timely, lots of really great training methods "Hidden In Plain Sight" that have been overlooked for a long time.

I'm just coming to the end of your book Ellis (read it quickly first and now am close to finishing the second go-through with many more visits in the future as things take form in my questioning mind...) and am enjoying it as I have all your work. Thanks.

Best regards,

Chuck Clark
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Old 09-02-2009, 01:35 PM   #17
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" - Specific Internal Training

Larry, You're welcome to train with us whenever you get a chance. I look forward to feeling your Tomiki history in your practice. The more views we get the better.

Best regards,

Chuck Clark
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Old 09-02-2009, 02:11 PM   #18
rdavid445
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" - Specific Internal Training

Quote:
Larry Camejo wrote: View Post
Sorry to hear that. I've been privy to some yet unpublished info that indicates (at least to me) that Tomiki was one of those who did develop quite a bit of the internal skills while training with Ueshiba M. This was at a time when things were still taught as Daito Ryu / Aikibudo. Apparently the internal development and Aiki training for Shodokan was blended within Tomiki's theories and training methods on Kuzushi. A recent seminar with Shishida Shihan provided even more information on this for my own training. A lot of what Shodokan calls "warm ups" and "drills" include internal training elements "hidden in plain sight" an example is Shotei Awase when done properly.

Having said that, I know many Shodokan dojo focus on shiai and competition-specific training and if this is ones primary focus one can forget about developing internal skills imho. This is funny however, since resistance tanto or toshu randori provides a very good opportunity to test ones internal skills and Aiki imho both as Tori and Uke, simultaneously.

The Jiyushinkai are really good guys however. I respect what they do a lot. Would love to train with them sometime.

Happy training. Hope you find what you are looking for.

LC
The school I was at didn't really focus on shiai at all. My instructor was a lifelong judo and jujutsu student, and as such, approached aikido from a very technical standpoint (though I wouldn't say all instructors who come from a judo or jujutsu background are the same way). As such, while we may have been developing internal strength, etc. there was no awareness of those things being developed as a function of our training. It was never discussed, to the point where I thought IT was something separate from what I was practicing in Shodokan Aikido. As I look back on some of my training, I do see where the drills and exercises we did simultaneously trained distancing and timing, as well as reorganized our bodies, forming them to better express technique, which could be seen as the very beginning stages of internal training, I suppose.

Thank you, Mr. Amdur, for brining up the issue of internal training in aikido, in book form or otherwise. It's caused me to do a lot of thinking about my own training.
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Old 09-02-2009, 02:58 PM   #19
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" - Specific Internal Training

Interesting exchange here with Tomiki sensei on some of the Ki Test/internals.

AJ: We’ve actually come to an important point. There’s one thing I have a hard time explaining away and I am a skeptical person by nature, I like to see to believe. I don’t like to say, “Well, you know if he raises his hand all of his opponents just fall down.” However, I have in my possession films of Ueshiba Sensei. He takes a jo about 3 and 1/2 feet long and holds it out to his side. People come and push on it and he can hold them here from the side; from a perpendicular angle! That’s one thing. Another is this. He sits with his feet crossed underneath, hands relaxed three men come close before him and try to push him over. They can’t. Now either it’s all faked or people are doing it on purpose. If it’s true though I know of no physical principle which can explain those physical feats. This is why I wonder if what happened, was all faked or if he was at a very special “place?” I’ve seen these things on film with my own eyes….

Tomiki Sensei: This problem is one of modern physical education’s muscle training. It’s called isometrics. That is to say, by pushing or pulling you train either the outer muscles or the inner muscles. When you get perfect at this form of training you can hardly see any muscle movement at all during the exercise. When you can’t see any movement you are using the muscle very skillfully. But, in the educational field if you demand a similar level of perfection then you are making a big mistake. If anyone trains sufficiently it is possible to do it to some degree, but, of course, there are limits what a human being can do. Perfection is a problem of belief. Can we call it religious faith? If we have to disrupt our partner’s psychological state through some hypnotic technique it would not be a matter of religion as we usually think of the word. I for one, take the normal point of view that education appropriate for the general public is correct and I think aikido should be something usual, or normal, as well.
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Old 09-02-2009, 03:31 PM   #20
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" - Specific Internal Training

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
I read an interview with Ohba Sensei one time, which, for the life of me, I've never been able to find again. He described seeing Takeda Tokimune doing what was, to him, a pretty remarkable demonstration of aiki - I think it was being pinned down by four guys, and sending them flying with an apparently small movement. Tomiki sensei said something like, "Oh, that. Like this?" And did the same thing on Ohba (and maybe some others). The sense I got from the interview was that Tomiki thought these things kind of show-offy and didn't like demonstrating. And they may have been peripheral to his goals, I think.
Ellis Amdur
Hi Ellis,
http://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/en/oshie3.html

Describes a similar demonstration. No author cited on the website, but presumably it's Nariyama. Text below.

About the same time there was some special training with a Daitoryu Aikijujitsu teacher in the small dojo in the Japan Budokan and we joined in immediately. During his demonstration he showed a technique that left an impression on me in particular. He was spread-eagled face up on the tatami with four people holding his ankles and wrists and in an instant these four people were thrown off. We had difficulty believing this because it was difficult enough against just one person in randori practice or a match. It was a very strange spectacle but the talk of all my fellow students was that it didn't appear to be a fake technique. Later I asked Tomiki Shihan about it and his unexpected reply was, "I can do that anytime!". However, straight away I didn't believe him and doubt remained somewhere in my mind.

In July 1979, more than ten years later, the 2nd All Japan Competitive Aikido Meeting was held following on from the previous year. It was organised by the JAA and took place in Shihan's home town of Kakunodate in Akita prefecture. He had only just made a comeback from abdominal surgery in August of the previous year and taught with bandages wrapped around his abdomen. I was nominated as his uke for both days. It was an opportunity for him to show me the technique that I had been shown more than ten years earlier by the Daitoryu teacher. He did it very easily and without effort. Once again, needless to say, I was astonished at the depth of techniques.
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Old 09-02-2009, 03:34 PM   #21
Ellis Amdur
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" - Specific Internal Training

That's probably why I couldn't find it. It wasn't Ohba, after all!

Best
Ellis

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Old 09-02-2009, 04:11 PM   #22
Pat Togher
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" - Specific Internal Training

I seem to recall reading other examples of this - I'll see if I can scare them up from my pc at home. It may be in posts you wrote, though

Tomiki was a fascinating character,

Pat

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Old 09-02-2009, 09:05 PM   #23
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" - Specific Internal Training

Quote:
Pat Togher wrote: View Post
Hi Ellis,
http://homepage2.nifty.com/shodokan/en/oshie3.html

Describes a similar demonstration. No author cited on the website, but presumably it's Nariyama. Text below.

About the same time there was some special training with a Daitoryu Aikijujitsu teacher in the small dojo in the Japan Budokan and we joined in immediately. During his demonstration he showed a technique that left an impression on me in particular. He was spread-eagled face up on the tatami with four people holding his ankles and wrists and in an instant these four people were thrown off. We had difficulty believing this because it was difficult enough against just one person in randori practice or a match. It was a very strange spectacle but the talk of all my fellow students was that it didn't appear to be a fake technique. Later I asked Tomiki Shihan about it and his unexpected reply was, "I can do that anytime!". However, straight away I didn't believe him and doubt remained somewhere in my mind.

In July 1979, more than ten years later, the 2nd All Japan Competitive Aikido Meeting was held following on from the previous year. It was organised by the JAA and took place in Shihan's home town of Kakunodate in Akita prefecture. He had only just made a comeback from abdominal surgery in August of the previous year and taught with bandages wrapped around his abdomen. I was nominated as his uke for both days. It was an opportunity for him to show me the technique that I had been shown more than ten years earlier by the Daitoryu teacher. He did it very easily and without effort. Once again, needless to say, I was astonished at the depth of techniques.
I remember Nariyama Shihan doing that during one class. Only once though.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 09-02-2009, 09:36 PM   #24
Ellis Amdur
Location: Seattle
Join Date: May 2003
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" - Specific Internal Training

Peter!
1. Get him to do it again!
2. Ask him how he did it!
3. Ask him how he trained to do it!
(and if you get a chance to feel it, don't be a dive bunny! Just as he's putting it on, think to yourself JUDO!

BTW - Kobayashi was, by repute, another one of those guys who allegedly retained some of the pre-war training methods.

Man, I keep hearing these stories of people like yourself SEEING it, and somehow the "ma-ai" is just not right to ask. But I have found that, in fact, that's the ma-ai - they only tell you if you ask anyway.

Best
Ellis

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Old 09-03-2009, 12:32 AM   #25
L. Camejo
 
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Dojo: Ontario Martial Arts
Location: Mississauga, Ontario
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Re: "Hidden in Plain Sight" - Specific Internal Training

Quote:
Chuck Clark wrote: View Post
Larry, You're welcome to train with us whenever you get a chance. I look forward to feeling your Tomiki history in your practice. The more views we get the better.
Thank you for the invitation Clark Sensei. Hopefully one day soon I can act on it. I totally agree about sharing different views, sometimes all it takes is a slightly different point of view to illuminate a world of new possibilities.

Quote:
Robert David wrote:
...while we may have been developing internal strength, etc. there was no awareness of those things being developed as a function of our training.
I think this is an important point. Regardless of where one may be able to access this sort of training within Aikido, DRAJJ or any other system, the mental switch that happens when one is actually aware of what one should be trying to achieve is very important. It changes what may be a passive effect of general training (taking decades to make any progress) to a more active and targeted approach where one focuses on specific activities and exercises to attain specific goals, just like any other specific skill in training e.g. ukemi, atemi, kuzushi etc.

I think if nothing else, these discussions on internal power and books like HIPS have highlighted the need to have this sort of specific focus and awareness while under proper instruction if one is to develop any skill in it.

I guess one question we have now is how do we unhide it from plain sight in the few places where these elements still exist in Aikido practice.

Just some thoughts. Good discussion.

Best
LC

P.S. Finally received my copy of HIPS today. Should be an interesting time in training this week.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
http://www.mushinkan.ca
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