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Old 09-22-2009, 09:34 PM   #1
Buck
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What is "IT"?

There is allot of discussion on IT. Does Aikido have IT, what is IT, Doesn't Aikido have IT. What art does have IT which is missing in Aikido, etc. etc. etc. Some look at IT as I see it, as a Holy Grail. Something many go out in search of that isn't easy to find. Something that is coveted highly, but seemingly elusive. Will IT ever be found? Does IT really exist? What is IT, is there a general consensus among those searching for IT, or those who say they have IT? Is IT suppose to be a holy grail of sorts?

Seriously, IT is getting like Ki. It has so many different takes on IT, it is hard to define and everyone has their own definition of what IT is! So I ask what is IT?
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Old 09-22-2009, 10:41 PM   #2
akiy
 
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Re: What is IT

I am assuming that people are referring to "internal training" when they are referring to "IT" in many of the current threads.

Does that sufficiently answer your question, Philip?

-- Jun

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Old 09-23-2009, 12:43 AM   #3
Buck
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Re: What is "IT"?

Yes, and thank you. Seriously, I didn't know. I have nothing against Chinese internal training, but I didn't know ,that is, what IT meant. I thought it was a specific abstract principle of sorts that was escaping me. Now come to think of it, is as an object of its own self. Or IT is refering to the Chinese internal arts? I will assume the latter, or until other wise kindly corrected.

I was reading Ellis's last post in another thread and realized "IT" could mean so many things. And from all the posts I read it is treated in many post so differently. Like I said and was meaning in my first post, the meaning itself is like the Holy Grail. It is something eluding me. That was all.

Thanks again, Jun.

Last edited by Buck : 09-23-2009 at 12:45 AM.
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Old 09-23-2009, 12:54 AM   #4
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Re: What is "IT"?

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
YI have nothing against Chinese internal training, but I didn't know ,that is, what IT meant.
It's not just Chinese internal training. Some Japanese people who have IT and got it from (mostly) Japanese sources: Morihei Ueshiba, Sokaku Takeda, Yukiyoshi Sagawa, Tetsuzan Kuroda, Minoru Akuzawa.
Reading recommendation in this regard: Hidden in Plain Sight by Ellis Amdur.
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Old 09-23-2009, 01:13 AM   #5
Charles Hill
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Re: What is "IT"?

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
It has so many different takes on IT, it is hard to define and everyone has their own definition of what IT is! So I ask what is IT?
Mike Sigman promotes IT to develop IS (internal strength) and Dan Harden uses the word "aiki." Are these two things the same? I know that the two gentlemen have some differences of opinion, but do they agree on the result of IT?

Also, how would one know if someone had mastered IS/Aiki? What are the specific things they can do?
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Old 09-23-2009, 01:48 AM   #6
Upyu
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Re: What is "IT"?

Quote:
Charles Hill wrote: View Post
Mike Sigman promotes IT to develop IS (internal strength) and Dan Harden uses the word "aiki." Are these two things the same? I know that the two gentlemen have some differences of opinion, but do they agree on the result of IT?

Also, how would one know if someone had mastered IS/Aiki? What are the specific things they can do?
The specific feel, if you've never felt it before is downright weird. You feel your balance taken on the point of contact, even before they visibly move. As for specific demos, look at youtube for old videos of Ueshiba taking pushes to the head, the jo trick, and other situations which seem to require a lot of "strength" to accomplish.
Aiki as I see it, is a manipulation, a subset of IS(kill), backed by IS(trength).

Akuzawa holding someone back who's pushing on him while he stands on one leg is a specific demonstration of I(Strength & Skill).

You're in Japan, you should come check us out when you're in Tokyo
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Old 09-23-2009, 06:47 AM   #7
Mark Uttech
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Re: What is "IT"?

Onegaishimasu. This may seem an American, an eclectic, or even an outlandish zen answer, but IT is you. Once you understand that, you are already on the journey of your practice; the practice of your journey.

In gassho,

Mark

- Right combination works wonders -
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Old 09-23-2009, 09:19 AM   #8
Basia Halliop
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Re: What is "IT"?

OK, that's hilarious! I read a big chunk of that discussion, and if I recall even responded to something, and I actually never made the connection that IT was an acronym for internal training, even though everyone kept talking about IT and internal training constantly in the same sentence.

I honestly thought IT was being used to denote 'it', i.e., to say there's this thing that's important but hard to define or at least hard to get people to agree on a name for, so we're just going to keep calling it 'it', in capitals so we know it's a BIG 'it'.

The whole thing reads so differently now .
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Old 09-23-2009, 11:30 AM   #9
Alfonso
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Re: What is "IT"?

go back to the archives a few years, follow the perps

Quote:
Basia Halliop wrote: View Post
The whole thing reads so differently now .
indeed it does

Alfonso Adriasola
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Old 09-23-2009, 12:18 PM   #10
Dan Richards
 
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Re: What is "IT"?

Babies seem to have IT. IT seems to be that natural, intrinsic force and energy imbibed and emanating from what some might call god or nature or higher self. As we develop our ego - that artificial construct handed to us by society to get around in the world - we identify with the false self created by that ego, and IT becomes distorted and its flow through us, as channels, becomes blocked off to varying degrees.

Over time those blocks become dis-eases. If, and as, we learn that this false-ego ego is not who were are, we're then able to begin the journey - the return - to what, to us, seems like a higher and more true state. We begin to awaken from our slumber. At that point, and various points and planes along the way, we experience and "witness" something greater taking place. We - by disconnecting the rigid hold of our egos, and it's often erroneous ideas - begin to allow IT to work and flow and create through us again.

That's 2 from me, and 2 from IT.

Last edited by Dan Richards : 09-23-2009 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 09-23-2009, 12:28 PM   #11
MM
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Re: What is "IT"?

Quote:
Mark Uttech wrote: View Post
Onegaishimasu. This may seem an American, an eclectic, or even an outlandish zen answer, but IT is you. Once you understand that, you are already on the journey of your practice; the practice of your journey.

In gassho,

Mark
and

Quote:
Dan Richards wrote: View Post
Babies seem to have IT. IT seems to be that natural, intrinsic force and energy imbibed and emanating from what some might call god or nature or higher self. As we develop our ego - that artificial construct handed to us by society to get around in the world - we identify with the false self created by that ego, and IT becomes distorted and its flow through us, as channels, becomes blocked off to varying degrees.

Over time those blocks become dis-eases. If, and as, we learn that this false-ego ego is not who were are, we're then able to begin the journey - the return - to what, to us, seems like a higher and more true state. We begin to awaken from our slumber. At that point, and various points and planes along the way, we experience and "witness" something greater taking place. We - by disconnecting the rigid hold of our egos - begin to allow IT to work and flow and create through us again.

That 2 from me, and 2 from IT.
In my experiences, neither of the definitions above are what "IT" is in relation to the "Internal Training" that has been the focus of attention in recent years. I would refer to Rob John's post if I wanted to read what "IT" meant. And if you wanted to understand further what "IT" comprises, buy Ellis Amdur's new book, Hidden in Plain Sight. Read through the new threads about Ellis' book. And read through some of the threads in the Non-Aikido Martial Forum, specifically those where Rob, Dan, and Mike are posting.
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Old 09-23-2009, 12:42 PM   #12
dps
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Re: What is "IT"?

Quote:
Basia Halliop wrote: View Post
The whole thing reads so differently now .
Oh no, you mean IT doesn't mean Internet Technology???

David
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Old 09-23-2009, 03:59 PM   #13
Mike Sigman
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Re: What is "IT"?

Quote:
Charles Hill wrote: View Post
Mike Sigman promotes IT to develop IS (internal strength) and Dan Harden uses the word "aiki." Are these two things the same? I know that the two gentlemen have some differences of opinion, but do they agree on the result of IT?

Also, how would one know if someone had mastered IS/Aiki? What are the specific things they can do?
Well, look at Tohei's "ki tests" and Ueshiba's many demonstrations of the same phenomena.... they refer to it as "ki" or "ki strength". The term "ki" was originally used in Japanese to mean the same things "qi" means in Chinese: like so many other things, what ki is and what ki does has been established for a very long time.

Sokaku Takeda taught a form of aikijujutsu. He demonstrated ki skills and the use of ki skills to perform "aiki" is an old concept in Asian martial arts. The only confusing thing is the number of terms people have used in various arts (both China and Japan) to refer to those basic skills. So whatever personal skills Takeda demonstrated in terms of ki skills, they were based on the known ki skills from very far back. BTW, "Ju", as in "jujutsu" seems to also refer to "internal strength":
from
http://www.judoamerica.com/coachingc...ano-kata.shtml

The soft or internal arts were known popularly in China as jou-chuan, the characters for which are read in Japanese as "ju-ken," meaning "soft fist." It was common throughout that period to refer to all internal arts by this name. This may have played some role in the eventual popularity of the term jujutsu for these rough-and-tumble martial arts. Kano and others argued that there was nothing "gentle" or "soft" about Jujutsu, and that ju was hardly the over-riding principle of the arts. The arts were called "ju-arts" or jujutsu because they were based on internal methods and ki (internal energy), not because they employed no strength or force 7.

The training of internal skills is done with internal exercises aka "nei gong" and the styles that specialize in those developments are the "internal styles" aka "nei jia". They develop ki/qi skills and use the dantien to manipulate those skills. "Aiki" is just another term for the usage of those skills in a blending manner with an opponent's forces.

I think that sometimes the conversation is so Aikido and Daito-ryu focused that people lose sight of the fact that these skills have been around many hundreds (probably thousands) of years and Takeda didn't originate the skills, even though he certainly developed his own personal take on them in regard to the martial abilities he had. I.e., Takeda got his ki skills from someone (probably his father) and he worked on them and developed them as he did.

So, yes, we're all talking about the same things, generally. The only caveat that I repeatedly make is that there is a whole spectrum of levels and gradations of these skills out there. I.e., no two people had exactly the same abilities (think, e.g., Ueshiba and Tohei) in the same way that there are, for instance, guitar players who play blues, some play classical, some jazz, etc. Continuing the guitar analogy a bit, let's say that Ueshiba played classical guitar Aikido and that Tohei plays neo-Flamenco Aikido... people have to be careful and make sure (i.e., do thoughtful practice) that they don't wind up grabbing a guitar but playing Bluegrass Aikido.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 09-23-2009, 05:24 PM   #14
Alfonso
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Re: What is "IT"?

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Oh no, you mean IT doesn't mean Internet Technology???

David
information technology if you want to be anal


Quote:

The training of internal skills is done with internal exercises aka "nei gong" and the styles that specialize in those developments are the "internal styles" aka "nei jia". They develop ki/qi skills and use the dantien to manipulate those skills. "Aiki" is just another term for the usage of those skills in a blending manner with an opponent's forces.
I think that is clear and lucid as you can hope for a definition of "Aiki"


Quote:
BTW, "Ju", as in "jujutsu" seems to also refer to "internal strength":
so is aiki jujutsu an oxymoron?

Last edited by Alfonso : 09-23-2009 at 05:29 PM.

Alfonso Adriasola
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Old 09-23-2009, 07:16 PM   #15
Mike Sigman
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Re: What is "IT"?

Quote:
Alfonso Adriasola wrote: View Post
so is aiki jujutsu an oxymoron?
Well, the specialized physical strengths of "internal strength" have to do with harnessing the groundpath strength and the weight strength (Earth and Heaven) and manipulating them in the body (Man), but that would be one topic, the specialized strengths. Manipulating the specialized strengths in relation to an opponent's incoming force so that the two forces result in the attacker's force being negated, that's "aiki". What the Chinese refer to as Hua-jin ("neutralizing jin") or other names. Since all the styles use different names for the basic forces it can get confusing.

So "jujutsu" could just be the "techniques using internal strength", but "aiki jujutsu" would be "techniques using internal strength that blend with an opponent's forces and neutralize his attack" (opponent defeats himself). A good interview with Minoru Inaba translates this as "shut down your opponent's power", but I think it's more because the interpretter didn't fully understand what was meant (same idea, though):

http://funkybuddha.multiply.com/links/item/45 (about 2/3 way down)

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 09-23-2009, 08:42 PM   #16
Tenyu
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Re: What is "IT"?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post

So, yes, we're all talking about the same things, generally. The only caveat that I repeatedly make is that there is a whole spectrum of levels and gradations of these skills out there. I.e., no two people had exactly the same abilities (think, e.g., Ueshiba and Tohei) in the same way that there are, for instance, guitar players who play blues, some play classical, some jazz, etc. Continuing the guitar analogy a bit, let's say that Ueshiba played classical guitar Aikido and that Tohei plays neo-Flamenco Aikido... people have to be careful and make sure (i.e., do thoughtful practice) that they don't wind up grabbing a guitar but playing Bluegrass Aikido.
A great artist doesn't limit oneself by what a genre is supposed to be, going beyond the norm is in part what helps define and keep it alive. As long as the artist acts according to the principles: maintains good center and ground, plays in time and in key, is aware of the instrument's(uke) implicit demand, then one has freedom to create music and Aiki. That's what O Sensei did. There really are infinite katas of infinite beauty, yet they are all highly defined and limited by upstream determinative principles. I've noticed much of O Sensei's Takemusu Staff had recurring and recombinant Short Form Sets. I may eventually be compelled to transcribe all his recorded staffwork in notation if only because no one else has ever taken the time to do so. It's also fascinating to actually discover what's hidden in plain sight. Some of his work can be visually deceptive, appearing simple but difficult to perform.
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Old 09-23-2009, 09:24 PM   #17
Erick Mead
 
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Re: What is "IT"?

Well, since we are using esoteric terms...

IT is a combination of deeply interrelated mechanical and perceptual manipulations illustrated by a number of traditional images or concepts (juuji, asagao, ki, kokyu, etc.) that in practice form a seamless action. In purely Western terms, IT involves:

1) Asymmetrical, orthogonal & inverse stresses
2) Cusp stability behavior
3) Torsional shear strain conversion/dynamic precession
4) Complex harmonic motion
5) Remote tactile structural sense
6) Ambiguously perceived load paths
7) Resonant oscillatory buckling
8) Induced flexor/extensor reflexes

Or -- IT's the [spoiler]Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man.



(Not as much of a joke as you may think, or so says Monsieur Poisson)[/spoiler]

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 09-24-2009, 05:12 AM   #18
dps
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Re: What is "IT"?

The use of the natural body structure,body mechanics, biotensigrity.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ajowL0T4bM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNPgq...eature=related

David
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Old 09-24-2009, 05:17 AM   #19
MM
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Re: What is "IT"?

Here's my unbiased opinion.

You can take the advice of people waxing poetic about the zen of "IT" or you can go train with someone who actually has the Internal Training skills.

You can take the advice of amateurs trying to mechanically or with physics explain what "IT" is or you can go train with someone who actually has the Internal Training skills.

You can take the advice of people going on about infinite katas, etc or you can go train with someone who actually has the Internal Training skills.

As one small example:
It's pretty obvious that Ueshiba had people push on him constantly, throughout his years. And people couldn't move him. So, ask yourself, are you listening to people who can replicate this? It's been posted here that people with good "IT" skills can do this. Who do *you* want to listen to?
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Old 09-24-2009, 07:34 AM   #20
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Re: What is "IT"?

Cutting to the chase, correct IT is about relearning how to move; weight-lifting is done by moving in the same old way, unless you have fairly good IT skills and you know how to adjust the weight-training. The people who don't understand that will think weight-training is OK to do with Aikido, Taiji, Xingyi, Wujiquan, etc. Some of those will even be certain they at least have a grip on I.S. I've seen all of these discussions going on for years.

BTW, one of the big problems with these conversations is that there are a lot of levels of development in these skills. A beginner/neophyte unintentionally gives away what he knows/doesn't-know by what he says. But more experienced people also give away what they know/don't-know by what they say, too, because they're not fully aware of later developments-to-come. So all of these conversations are going to repeat themselves for years. Brace yourself.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 09-24-2009, 12:42 PM   #21
Tenyu
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Re: What is "IT"?

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
It's pretty obvious that Ueshiba had people push on him constantly, throughout his years. And people couldn't move him. So, ask yourself, are you listening to people who can replicate this?
Is holding ground, being immovable, doing nothing the ultimate goal of Aiki?

O Sensei was creating symphonies, with open eyes and ears how can one not be interested in them? What value is Aiki without beauty?
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Old 09-24-2009, 12:53 PM   #22
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Re: What is "IT"?

Quote:
Tenyu Hamaki wrote: View Post
Is holding ground, being immovable, doing nothing the ultimate goal of Aiki?
Probably not even close to being an ultimate goal; almost certainly rather closer to a beginner's finger exercises at the outset of the keyboard harmony training that generally precedes symphonic composition.

There is, after all is said and done, a difference between "going beyond" and "skipping over."

YMMV,

FL

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Old 09-24-2009, 12:55 PM   #23
Budd
 
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Re: What is "IT"?

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Fred Little wrote: View Post
There is, after all is said and done, a difference between "going beyond" and "skipping over."
Word.
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Old 09-24-2009, 01:15 PM   #24
MM
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Re: What is "IT"?

Skill level aside as push tests can convey various levels of skill --

We have, by numerous accounts, something that Ueshiba routinely did. ( http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14991 )

We have something that Ueshiba thought well enough of that he allowed himself to be taped. Remember the incident with Ohba where Ohba attacked earnestly and Ueshiba was furious? ( http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=501 ) Ueshiba seemingly only wanted to show specific things on demonstrations. It would appear push tests were in line with what Ueshiba wanted shown.

So, we have something which Ueshiba seemed to place some very high value on in that he did it quite often, was taped doing it, and very few could replicate. And those push tests *are* an indicator of "IT".

People can relegate push tests to some obscure corner if they want. They can rationalize them away. They can "replicate" them by not having the pusher use 100% effort. And they can completely ignore them. But, the fact is push tests were something Ueshiba valued.
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Old 09-24-2009, 01:15 PM   #25
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Re: What is "IT"?

Quote:
Tenyu Hamaki wrote: View Post
Is ...doing nothing the ultimate goal of Aiki?
m 2 c,
it is an exercise...and it is certainly not done through doing nothing... but by doing very specific things.. dynamically. hidden in front of your eyes...right there..... under the skin, in the muscles (effort) and the bones (alignment skill)
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