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Old 10-17-2009, 04:04 PM   #1
Rob Watson
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Who's got Internal Training and can and will teach it?

I start this thread in the hopes that a general list of where to go got some of IT can be compiled.

http://www.tigercrane.com/master.html

Anyone have experience with YC Wong? This school is in San Francisco.

Thanks

"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 10-17-2009, 07:36 PM   #2
M. McPherson
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Re: Who's got IT and can and will teach it?

Mr. Watson,

While I really applaud and encourage the effort to seek out instructors who not only possess some level of IS, but can actually teach it, I'd offer the caveat that you're opening a can worms with your request; as evinced by most of the threads on this forum dealing with IT/IS, a greater number of folks purport to have some understanding of what IT and IS are than can actually cogently describe even the most obvious, fundamental manifestations thereof (and as tough as these skills are to acquire, the various tests/expressions of basic competency -- and I mean basic -- are very easy to describe and engage in), let alone actually demonstrate the slightest IS skills.

I think what you're going to end up with is a never-ending list of shining recommendations from well-meaning folks who have misinterpreted decent external martial skill -- and even more likely, crappy external martial skill - as being the Queen of Our Dreams. All of which, inevitably, will deteriorate into a series of indignant counter-posts claiming that so-and-so has been unfairly left off the list, or ad hominem attacks on anyone challenging the efficacy of such-and-such an organization's martial skill and teaching methodology. I mean, it's great fun if you have a bucket of popcorn and a good comfy seat (and nothing more worthwhile to occupy your time -- which would be just about anything else), but I wouldn't expect to gain anything worthwhile to go on if I were you. As much as can be said for the current trend of collective interpretation (i.e. wiki-knowledge), this topic is most certainly not an example of consensus trumping credentials. Sorry, but the hive mind just won't cut it with regard to IS.

I don't mean to color your curiosity as wasted effort, either. As much as the noise overwhelms the signal in this topic, you've got a great resource here on Aikiweb for finding opportunities, but you're really going to have to do some hard work to find out what's what, and who's who (and I'm not even talking about starting this work once you find someone credible who can actually teach you how to begin). First off, there are three names bandied about here quite regularly who are agreed to have something tangible, powerful, and replicable by those who have laid hands upon them. So do your reading -- notice that everyone who meets these three heavy hitters (er, literally) comes away with their entire world view shattered as far as MAs go. Those who show the most skepticism seem to do so from behind a keyboard…or from an entrenched belief system. Second, doubt that these heavy hitters could possibly live up to all the encomia, and that all the accolades come from a bunch of easily hoodwinked asthmatics whose only martial experiences emanate from a joystick and computer screen. And so resolve to go find out for yourself, because as a martial artist you realize that understanding of any merit is highly somatic, often painful, and hard-earned. You're really in luck here, because two of the three figures you'll read about hold seminars offering you a chance to not only feel what all the hooha's about, but will teach you the skills to set you in the right direction. The third person is welcoming and extremely generous to all sincere inquiries. Third, take everything you feel and experience with a conceptual grain of salt, and then go seek out the other two, just to broaden your scope of understanding. This is not to say that these three teachers are the end-all-be-all, but you'll have an effective baseline for further comparison. Then when you drop by the (insert bitchin' esoteric name here) School of (insert bitchin', really popular martial art-du jour here), you'll know whether Dai-Soke Earle "Phoenix Claw" McGinty has the goods or not the second you lay hands on him (and, hey, he really might). The important part in all of this is that you go out and feel for yourself. Again, this is not to say that you won't get some good recommendations from your query, but you already have a well-recommended pool (tiny though it may be) from which to avoid a lot of wasted time and effort.

One last caveat: don't expect any of this to come to you; do expect to have to go far and spend time and money to get to it. It would be really great if one of the seminar teachers decided to hold a gathering near you, but most of the folks who've felt any of this have either driven or flown quite a ways to do so. Before being consumed by my graduate program, I made a few trips of six to seven hours to experience it; people like Mark Murray have driven or flown even farther. I can't begin to detail how valuable and rewarding the effort will be.

Best of luck,
Murray McPherson

Last edited by M. McPherson : 10-17-2009 at 07:49 PM.
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Old 10-17-2009, 09:16 PM   #3
Rob Watson
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Re: Who's got IT and can and will teach it?

The first rule of IT club is don't talk about IT club - IHTBF

The short list (not in any particular order):
Mike Sigman
Dan Harden
Ark
Toby Threadgill
Kudora Tetsusan
Ushiro Kenji
Donald J. Angier
Ikeda Hiroshi

The last 5 on the list can also be seen on Aiki Expo DVD's

Folks known to have hands on with members of the above list (not in any particular order)
I gleaned this from postings about Dan Hardens seminar work so I believe these folks have all been hands on with Dan Harden.
William Gleason
Marc Abrams NY
Rob Liberti CT
Tom Holz RI
David Orange AL
Lee Salzman
Mark Murray
Josh Drachman
Greg Steckel PA
Jon Haas NJ
Jeremy Alhouse MA
Andy Prochnow
Jill
Tim Garimaldi
Ray

For out in my neck of the woods William Gleason, Ikeda Hiroshi and Don Angier have or do give seminars at Aikido of Diablo Valley.

Feel free to add and send corrections!

Thanks

"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 10-17-2009, 09:27 PM   #4
Rob Watson
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Re: Who's got IT and can and will teach it?

Quote:
Murray McPherson wrote: View Post
One last caveat: don't expect any of this to come to you; do expect to have to go far and spend time and money to get to it.
Perhaps I've misunderstood .. I thought Dan Harden was focusing on instructing instructors so they can go out and instruct (was that not one of the reasons behind the recent seminar?). If only we can find out who those folks are then we can go and get some instruction.

Thanks

Last edited by akiy : 10-17-2009 at 09:38 PM. Reason: Fixed quoting tag

"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 10-17-2009, 09:36 PM   #5
brian p
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Re: Who's got IT and can and will teach it?

Quote:
Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post

Anyone have experience with YC Wong? This school is in San Francisco.

Thanks
Y.C. Wong's bagua is from Gao Yi-Sheng's line (different branch of Gao than mine though). Good people IME.
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Old 10-17-2009, 10:05 PM   #6
M. McPherson
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Re: Who's got IT and can and will teach it?

Quote:
Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
Perhaps I've misunderstood .. I thought Dan Harden was focusing on instructing instructors so they can go out and instruct (was that not one of the reasons behind the recent seminar?).
No, that definitely seems to be his intent, and it's an exciting trend. What I meant was that you've got three guys who are widely held to be lightyears ahead of most. There could be others, but these are three who a fair number of high rankers (in a variety of arts, but for the sake of this site, maybe it's enough just to focus on aikido sensei) say have the goods. So why not just cut to the chase and go to them first (if you have the opportunity), as opposed to having to weed through potentially questionable recommendations. And as much of a tired cliche as it can sound like, it really does have to be felt. Once you have, your radar for this stuff becomes a lot sharper.
You're absolutely right that, in time, this stuff will disseminate (that is, if people are working on it correctly, and consistently), but it won't happen right away. You may get some time with X-Sensei, Aikikai 6dan, who's been learning from one of these gents, and feel amazing things, but I'm willing to bet you it's only nascent ability. Better than people who don't know how to do this? Sure. Anywhere close to having a firm and consistent grasp on this? Maybe in a year or two. Or more - who knows?
That's why I recommend you (really, anyone who's interested in this) to politely contact one of the three who teach this regularly, and join the festivities. If you're able to do so, and practice this stuff consistently and actively, there's no reason to say you'll be much farther behind those 5th and 6th dan. The reason those high rankers are talked about so much isn't because they have any more inherent capacity for this stuff than you do, but because they're the ones who will be able to effect broader systemic change much more directly (or cause wider schismatic unpleasantness - again, who knows? Not a bad thing in either case).

Best,
Murray McPherson
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Old 10-17-2009, 11:32 PM   #7
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Who's got IT and can and will teach it?

Quote:
Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
The first rule of IT club is don't talk about IT club - IHTBF

The short list (not in any particular order):
Mike Sigman
Dan Harden
Ark
Toby Threadgill
Kudora Tetsusan
Ushiro Kenji
Donald J. Angier
Ikeda Hiroshi

The last 5 on the list can also be seen on Aiki Expo DVD's

Folks known to have hands on with members of the above list (not in any particular order)
I gleaned this from postings about Dan Hardens seminar work so I believe these folks have all been hands on with Dan Harden.
William Gleason
Marc Abrams NY
Rob Liberti CT
Tom Holz RI
David Orange AL
Lee Salzman
Mark Murray
Josh Drachman
Greg Steckel PA
Jon Haas NJ
Jeremy Alhouse MA
Andy Prochnow
Jill
Tim Garimaldi
Ray

For out in my neck of the woods William Gleason, Ikeda Hiroshi and Don Angier have or do give seminars at Aikido of Diablo Valley.

Feel free to add and send corrections!

Thanks
Hey Robert,
Put me down... I've played with every one of those people except for Dan H, some of them on many occasions.
- George

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 10-18-2009, 07:42 AM   #8
MM
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Re: Who's got IT and can and will teach it?

Quote:
Murray McPherson wrote: View Post
No, that definitely seems to be his intent, and it's an exciting trend. What I meant was that you've got three guys who are widely held to be lightyears ahead of most.
Hello Murray,

I'll add a short bit. When I met Rob John (who trains with Akuzawa), he had been training for 4-5 years. He was light years ahead of me. So, those training actively (not like me, I'm at a distance) with one of the big three are going to be very good in about 5 years. Some have been training for a year already. It really is going to be interesting to see how the US aikido world changes over time. A relatively short time.

What I think some people don't realize is that some of us have started teaching others. No, we can't do all the things the big three can do, yes we're still struggling with a lot of IT stuff. But, I know from personal experience that I can bring people up to my level of ability. I have two students who are nearly my equal and one that's progressing nicely (he only has about 6 months training in).

Instead of people having to wait 5 years for someone to get "good" enough to demo and teach, then have them teach some people who have to wait 5 years to do it all again, we're teaching right now. Dan's plan was brilliant and nothing anyone had ever thought of doing. Teach the teachers, yes. But, an added point that few have brought up. Take the IT back and start teaching now. So, now imagine 5 years from now ...
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Old 10-18-2009, 07:45 AM   #9
MM
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Re: Who's got IT and can and will teach it?

Quote:
Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
Folks known to have hands on with members of the above list (not in any particular order)
Mark Murray
I'm in WV currently. While I certainly don't have the skills (yet) to give anyone a demo that would impress them, I can teach what I've learned. As I said in my previous post, I have three students who are progressing nicely. Anyone is more than welcome to stop by and train with us.
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Old 10-18-2009, 07:46 AM   #10
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
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Re: Who's got IT and can and will teach it?

Quote:
Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
The first rule of IT club is don't talk about IT club - IHTBF

The short list (not in any particular order):
Mike Sigman
Dan Harden
Ark
Toby Threadgill
Kudora Tetsusan
Ushiro Kenji
Donald J. Angier
Ikeda Hiroshi

The last 5 on the list can also be seen on Aiki Expo DVD's

Folks known to have hands on with members of the above list (not in any particular order)
I gleaned this from postings about Dan Hardens seminar work so I believe these folks have all been hands on with Dan Harden.
William Gleason
Marc Abrams NY
Rob Liberti CT
Tom Holz RI
David Orange AL
Lee Salzman
Mark Murray
Josh Drachman
Greg Steckel PA
Jon Haas NJ
Jeremy Alhouse MA
Andy Prochnow
Jill
Tim Garimaldi
Ray

For out in my neck of the woods William Gleason, Ikeda Hiroshi and Don Angier have or do give seminars at Aikido of Diablo Valley.

Feel free to add and send corrections!
Well, I know some people that do Aikido and who would place pretty high on that list, but who don't make a lot of noise about themselves on this forum or otherwise. I.e., there are more choices than just those listed above. In terms of being able to help others learn the skills, I think it takes a lot longer to get real skills than seems to be indicated frequently on the forum, so while someone who is himself learning can help to some degree, he's still working through his own mistakes and can impart mistakes to would-be learners, too often. I.e., you'll have to be savvy in your choices.

I usually do a quick evaluation of people at the start of a workshop so that I can gauge the overall abilities people already have (and thus adjust what I want to say accordingly). Most of the time I'm a little surprised at how much lower peoples' skills are in relation to their own evaluation of themself; occasionally (and I've been seeing more of this in the last 4-5 years) I'm pleasantly surprised at how well some people have been developing. So it boils down to "you pays your money and you takes your choice". Given that a lot of this material is just barely making itself known, I personally would do a lot of thinking before I made a choice.

Another comment I'd make is that there are some people in other styles who may have skills and they're just not mentioned on this ASU-dominated forum. One rule I stuck to for many years was to look around long and hard before I'd commit myself to a teacher... it paid off for me. Another rule I had was to try to get a feel of the highest placed person in a style that I could so that I'd have an idea of what real x-style felt like and could pattern my goals accordingly. Not all of this is possible; it's just suggestions.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 10-18-2009, 10:43 AM   #11
Rob Watson
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Re: Who's got IT and can and will teach it?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Well, I know some people that do Aikido and who would place pretty high on that list, but who don't make a lot of noise about themselves on this forum or otherwise. I.e., there are more choices than just those listed above. In terms of being able to help others learn the skills, I think it takes a lot longer to get real skills than seems to be indicated frequently on the forum, so while someone who is himself learning can help to some degree, he's still working through his own mistakes and can impart mistakes to would-be learners, too often. I.e., you'll have to be savvy in your choices.
Absolutely. Not my intent to imply exclusivity of any sort. Certainly there is more than "the big three" and I'd just like to get a bit more meat on the bones so the rest of us schmucks have at least a bit more to go on than "go find someone"

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
So it boils down to "you pays your money and you takes your choice".
Choice is one thing but chance is more like it unless there is a bit more to go on so one can make an informed choice.

Like George Ledyard pointed out there are different manifestation of IP, IS, aiki, etc depending on the emphasis of the various arts one finds the skills in. If we don't know whos who, much less how IP, IS, aiki, etc is expressed in that art just what kind of chance do we have of making a decent choice?

I'm hard pressed to cull the postings here and isolate the distinctions between IP, IS, aiki, etc much less how the heavy hitters in their respective arts manifest them (certainly there are hints and one can make an educated guess). Either way it is a tough choice but hopefully it will become easier without too much more effort.

Thanks

"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 10-18-2009, 10:51 AM   #12
Rob Watson
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Re: Who's got IT and can and will teach it?

Quote:
Murray McPherson wrote: View Post
So why not just cut to the chase and go to them first (if you have the opportunity)
If one is able then by all means make the opportunity happen. Some of us are on a bit shorter leash. A weekend seminar is one thing but for long term consistent and timely instruction consistent face time is required (my opinion) so that means finding some one a bit closer to home. I'm not looking to be spoon fed it just for now some options are just not open. Not to mention there has got to be more than the "big three".

Quote:
Murray McPherson wrote: View Post
That's why I recommend you (really, anyone who's interested in this) to politely contact one of the three who teach this regularly, and join the festivities.

"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 10-18-2009, 10:57 AM   #13
Rob Watson
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Re: Who's got IT and can and will teach it?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Well, I know some people that do Aikido and who would place pretty high on that list, but who don't make a lot of noise about themselves on this forum or otherwise
Not to be pushy but how about some names? PM if you would rather, I'm selfish that way and can keep my mouth shut if required.

Aikido or not doesn't really matter to me.

Thanks

"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 10-18-2009, 11:10 AM   #14
Ernesto Lemke
Dojo: Seikokan , Leeuwarden
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Re: Who's got IT and can and will teach it?

Hello Mark (Murray),

Out of curiosity, how did you decide to and how do you divide your training time? Aikido and IT: 50-50? When you say you have a student training for 6 months progressing nicely, did you refer to his IP? And if so, how would you evaluate his aikido progress in comparison? Merely wondering. Especially so considering your comment regarding Rob John. When you say he was light years ahead, I take it you where referring to his IS. I recall Mike writing something to the extend of any martial expression ideally being proceeded or supported by IS fundamentals (I'm paraphrasing from memory so I certainly could be wrong in my assumption, if so, my apologies Mike).

For those of us who are trying to integrate or (re)introduce IT to their martial training, the way to do this poses quite a challenge.
The best of luck to all of us,

Ernesto Lemke

PS
As I mentioned on another thread, I find it remarkable the focus on IT/IP/IS is mainly concentrated in/on the US. When I read the list, with the exception of two instructors, the remaining individuals all live in the US and the majority of them rarely visit Europe. In fact, no European resident is noted on that list, or African, Russian, South American etc. for that matter.
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Old 10-18-2009, 11:29 AM   #15
Mike Sigman
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Re: Who's got IT and can and will teach it?

Quote:
Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
Choice is one thing but chance is more like it unless there is a bit more to go on so one can make an informed choice.

Like George Ledyard pointed out there are different manifestation of IP, IS, aiki, etc depending on the emphasis of the various arts one finds the skills in. If we don't know whos who, much less how IP, IS, aiki, etc is expressed in that art just what kind of chance do we have of making a decent choice?

I'm hard pressed to cull the postings here and isolate the distinctions between IP, IS, aiki, etc much less how the heavy hitters in their respective arts manifest them (certainly there are hints and one can make an educated guess). Either way it is a tough choice but hopefully it will become easier without too much more effort.
Well, first of all let me go back to something that I don't think has really penetrated very clearly.... these skills aren't unique to Aikido nor were they unique to Daito Ryu, nor are concepts for different styles/factions unique, and so on. Notice that Tohei has a separate ranking for the ki/kokyu skills outside of his Aikido ranking. Note that O-Sensei's cryptic quotes are obliquely sometimes and specific many times in quoting standard Chinese directions/admonitions about these skills.

When people start talking about "ki" and they have Yin-Yang dichotomy and "A-Un" and Five Elements, etc., we're talking about the same basic skills with the same basic rules and principles. Some Koryu or Aikido faction that uses different techniques and applications, that's fine but the basic ki skills by necessity must be the same, depending upon how purely they're done.

Most of the differences you see and hear about in the Aikido discussions are due to some differences in approach to technique or are due to different training approaches for the skills or how complete those approaches are. Let me give an example of what happens (this is true historically in many arts, going back in martial history where the ki/kokyu/qi/jin skills are used).

Say someone learns some rudimentary jin/kokyu skills and develops a fair amount of power and ki-blending, but they still use a lot of arm/shoulder, never fully learn to use the dantien, etc. Their techniques will reflect that incomplete acquisition of skills and someone in a related school may note that there is a difference in the way the techniques, trainings, etc., are done. That doesn't mean that the basic principles of the ki/kokyu skills changed... the differences are simply a result of how well the skills are fully known, etc. So I tend to dismiss this worry about "Aikido-related differences" and so on. The basic principles (the ones Ueshiba quoted from the Chinese classics and that many other style use as a settled codification) are the same.

Using the above example of someone who has incomplete or not-completely-understood skills, let's continue with the scenario in which they still use arm/shoulder, don't really know all the ins-and-outs of the hara/dantien usage, and so on. They practice in their own way for a number of years and they imprint this incorrect way of moving with the kokyu/jin skills. They still have power, etc., but they're limited (and there are other complexities too involved to go into in this post). All the students learn to move in this incomplete way and their techniques all follow suit. Can they change over to a more complete understanding? It's pretty hard to do, historically. There's a saying about this in Taijiquan that says: "Taiji is easy to learn, but difficult to correct". As proof, go look and see how many "senior Tai Chi instructors" don't really have any power, etc., because they learned and practiced some bogus method and could never change over, even after they meet truly qualified teachers.

So yeah... there's a lot of complexities to consider. Still, since all of this is just starting out, some of the results aren't going to be seen for a few years, but it'll be interesting to watch.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 10-18-2009, 12:54 PM   #16
Rob Watson
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Re: Who's got IT and can and will teach it?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Well, first of all let me go back to something that I don't think has really penetrated very clearly.... these skills aren't unique to Aikido nor were they unique to Daito Ryu, nor are concepts for different styles/factions unique, and so on. Notice that Tohei has a separate ranking for the ki/kokyu skills outside of his Aikido ranking. Note that O-Sensei's cryptic quotes are obliquely sometimes and specific many times in quoting standard Chinese directions/admonitions about these skills.

When people start talking about "ki" and they have Yin-Yang dichotomy and "A-Un" and Five Elements, etc., we're talking about the same basic skills with the same basic rules and principles. Some Koryu or Aikido faction that uses different techniques and applications, that's fine but the basic ki skills by necessity must be the same, depending upon how purely they're done.

Most of the differences you see and hear about in the Aikido discussions are due to some differences in approach to technique or are due to different training approaches for the skills or how complete those approaches are. Let me give an example of what happens (this is true historically in many arts, going back in martial history where the ki/kokyu/qi/jin skills are used).

Say someone learns some rudimentary jin/kokyu skills and develops a fair amount of power and ki-blending, but they still use a lot of arm/shoulder, never fully learn to use the dantien, etc. Their techniques will reflect that incomplete acquisition of skills and someone in a related school may note that there is a difference in the way the techniques, trainings, etc., are done. That doesn't mean that the basic principles of the ki/kokyu skills changed... the differences are simply a result of how well the skills are fully known, etc. So I tend to dismiss this worry about "Aikido-related differences" and so on. The basic principles (the ones Ueshiba quoted from the Chinese classics and that many other style use as a settled codification) are the same.

Using the above example of someone who has incomplete or not-completely-understood skills, let's continue with the scenario in which they still use arm/shoulder, don't really know all the ins-and-outs of the hara/dantien usage, and so on. They practice in their own way for a number of years and they imprint this incorrect way of moving with the kokyu/jin skills. They still have power, etc., but they're limited (and there are other complexities too involved to go into in this post). All the students learn to move in this incomplete way and their techniques all follow suit. Can they change over to a more complete understanding? It's pretty hard to do, historically. There's a saying about this in Taijiquan that says: "Taiji is easy to learn, but difficult to correct". As proof, go look and see how many "senior Tai Chi instructors" don't really have any power, etc., because they learned and practiced some bogus method and could never change over, even after they meet truly qualified teachers.

So yeah... there's a lot of complexities to consider. Still, since all of this is just starting out, some of the results aren't going to be seen for a few years, but it'll be interesting to watch.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
Hello Mr. Sigman,
Yes, this has been one of your consistent messages for several years. I got it and appreciate that there such differences, distinctions, subtleties and gradations to be found in a great many arts. I'm just looking for names to add to the list. After that we can work on a grading scale

Anyone who has a significant issue with your post has probably not been paying attention.

Certainly one of the areas of confusion as for application in aikido is the ability to absorb/dissipate/redirect solid blows to the body since we generally just move in such a way as to preclude the requirement to do so. I heartily concede that it would be a nice skill to have in cases one is unable to move in a 'traditional' way. I'm sure there are many more examples like this. As has been said by many others before there are different ways of expressing this stuff that may be peculiar to each art (or artist).

Thanks

"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 10-18-2009, 01:11 PM   #17
Mike Sigman
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Re: Who's got IT and can and will teach it?

Quote:
Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
Certainly one of the areas of confusion as for application in aikido is the ability to absorb/dissipate/redirect solid blows to the body since we generally just move in such a way as to preclude the requirement to do so. I heartily concede that it would be a nice skill to have in cases one is unable to move in a 'traditional' way.
Well, what you described as avoiding a hit (moving to the side, etc.) is part of "techniques and strategies", not the I.S. skills. I differentiate between the two. So does Tohei. So do many other arts. As far as I know, the i.s. skills seem to be in just about every imaginable Asian martial-art, BTW. Just as they're part of Tea Ceremony, calligraphy, traditional dances, and so on.

At the same time, many other arts also espouse and practice "moving aside" for exactly the same reasons that Aikido does; it's part of a very ancient concept of no-resistance. I think a lot of westerners have some vague karate-inspired idea that if someone punches you do a wiper-block, etc., but that's actually a caricature. Most arts are more sophisticated than that.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 10-18-2009, 01:12 PM   #18
MM
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Re: Who's got IT and can and will teach it?

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Ernesto Lemke wrote: View Post
Hello Mark (Murray),

Out of curiosity, how did you decide to and how do you divide your training time? Aikido and IT: 50-50? When you say you have a student training for 6 months progressing nicely, did you refer to his IP? And if so, how would you evaluate his aikido progress in comparison? Merely wondering. Especially so considering your comment regarding Rob John. When you say he was light years ahead, I take it you where referring to his IS. I recall Mike writing something to the extend of any martial expression ideally being proceeded or supported by IS fundamentals (I'm paraphrasing from memory so I certainly could be wrong in my assumption, if so, my apologies Mike).

For those of us who are trying to integrate or (re)introduce IT to their martial training, the way to do this poses quite a challenge.
The best of luck to all of us,

Ernesto Lemke

PS
As I mentioned on another thread, I find it remarkable the focus on IT/IP/IS is mainly concentrated in/on the US. When I read the list, with the exception of two instructors, the remaining individuals all live in the US and the majority of them rarely visit Europe. In fact, no European resident is noted on that list, or African, Russian, South American etc. for that matter.
Hello Ernesto,

Hope you're doing well.

I tried the 50-50 route. It wasn't working. After about 6 or so months of that, I went 100% Internal Training. And yes, when I said progressing nicely, I meant in IT. We're sort of at the point where we've begun to integrate our IT into dynamic movement. In other words, we're working on "techniques". But, not techniques for techniques sake, but working under a load in movement in a dynamic manner. Slowly. 100% focus in IT methodology and 0% focus on making a specific technique happen. That's after about 2 years of training.

When I met Rob John, I had no IT. He had 4-5 years of training and I've no doubt that had he wanted to try aikido techniques, I couldn't have stopped him. But, we weren't there for aikido, so that theory was never tested.

How do you integrate this into aikido training? That's a completely different subject. I think Rob Liberti started a thread on that at one time.

Personally, I look at it this way ... IT has a different training methodology to rework the body so that it functions in a very different manner than normal. It isn't intuitive or "natural". So, if someone is working on regular aikido training, that aikido training is going to oppose Internal Training at various times, sometimes as much as 100%. The question then becomes, what would you rather do?

It is worth noting that Ueshiba didn't have a technique based training methodology. It is worth noting that most of the schools of Ueshiba's students have a technique based training methodology, but have yet to produce anyone as skilled as them or Ueshiba. It is worth noting that Takeda didn't have a technique based training methodology, but had some methodology to create Ueshiba, Sagawa, Kodo, etc. It is also worth noting that none of the greats in aikido took very long (what, 10 or fewer years) to become very good.

So, train aikido techniques that burn in things in the body that are opposite IT methods, which will slow your progress in training aiki? Or train IT methods for a few years and then return to aikido?
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Old 10-18-2009, 01:16 PM   #19
Rob Watson
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Re: Who's got IT and can and will teach it?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Well, what you described as avoiding a hit (moving to the side, etc.) is part of "techniques and strategies", not the I.S. skills. I differentiate between the two. So does Tohei. So do many other arts. As far as I know, the i.s. skills seem to be in just about every imaginable Asian martial-art, BTW. Just as they're part of Tea Ceremony, calligraphy, traditional dances, and so on.

At the same time, many other arts also espouse and practice "moving aside" for exactly the same reasons that Aikido does; it's part of a very ancient concept of no-resistance. I think a lot of westerners have some vague karate-inspired idea that if someone punches you do a wiper-block, etc., but that's actually a caricature. Most arts are more sophisticated than that.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
Yes, and I mean it in the same way. If one has no IS skills to deal with the hit then one deploys the tactics to deal with it.

Plenty of folks around can teach the tactic (heck, I can do that) but that IS stuff ... still looking for names.

Thanks

"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 10-18-2009, 02:10 PM   #20
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
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Re: Who's got IT and can and will teach it?

Quote:
Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
The first rule of IT club is don't talk about IT club - IHTBF

The short list (not in any particular order):
Mike Sigman
Dan Harden
Ark
Toby Threadgill
Kudora Tetsusan
Ushiro Kenji
Donald J. Angier
Ikeda Hiroshi

The last 5 on the list can also be seen on Aiki Expo DVD's

Folks known to have hands on with members of the above list (not in any particular order)
I gleaned this from postings about Dan Hardens seminar work so I believe these folks have all been hands on with Dan Harden.
William Gleason
Marc Abrams NY
Rob Liberti CT
Tom Holz RI
David Orange AL
Lee Salzman
Mark Murray
Josh Drachman
Greg Steckel PA
Jon Haas NJ
Jeremy Alhouse MA
Andy Prochnow
Jill
Tim Garimaldi
Ray

For out in my neck of the woods William Gleason, Ikeda Hiroshi and Don Angier have or do give seminars at Aikido of Diablo Valley.

Feel free to add and send corrections!

Thanks
Robert:

I am very fortunate that my teacher, Imaizumi Shizuo, has always encouraged me to go anywhere and train with anyone to learn what I can about budo. I typically return from these trainings with my eyes more "open" than before to see what my teacher is doing (that I was not ready to "see" yet). He then feeds my awareness and gives me more stuff to work on. I realized that the only way that I would really be able to pursue this path was to open my own school so that I could ramp up my own training.

I consider myself very fortunate to have experienced some of the names on that list. Mr. Harden has been remarkably gracious in following up my participation in his seminar with a weekend of training at my school. I plan on continuing my work with him. He has an awful lot of stuff to offer in a friendly, funny and brutally honest manner (my type of environment). Ushiro Kenji has been another person who has remarkably gracious towards me. My school is now the only place that you can train directly with him in the United States. He will be at my school next weekend (10/24& 10/25) and there are still some spaces left for people to attend. I now also travel to Japan several times a year to train directly with him. His students, like Dan's students, are wonderful people whom you cannot help but become friendly with. Training with them is like training at Shin-Budo Kai. It is a place of friendship and honest training. These remarkable teachers create training environments that are genuine and unique.

I would be nothing other than a greedy rectum if I were to hold onto what I am learning. I am fortunate to have a school full of open-minded martial artists who are interested in this "grand experiment" that is my teaching. I aspire to be like Imaizumi Shizuo, who always says that he is passing on what he has learned from his teachers. He does not claim "ownership" despite the fifty years of personal touch that he now gives back to his teaching. I always strive to do the same and pass on what others have been gracious enough to share with me. I hope that as I learn more, my teachings can be a better reflection of those wonderful people who so openly and graciously share what they know with me. Until then, my students humor me and suffer through the little that I know to date !

Marc Abrams
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Old 10-18-2009, 02:59 PM   #21
Ernesto Lemke
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Re: Who's got IT and can and will teach it?

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Hope you're doing well.
Hello Mark,
Yes all's well around these parts. Thanks for asking. Still struggling though.

Quote:
So, if someone is working on regular aikido training, that aikido training is going to oppose Internal Training at various times, sometimes as much as 100%.
I hear what you're saying having experienced that myself to some extent. I'm not sure though if it's not more due to me being inexperienced and not being able to train directly with a qualified teacher on a weekly basis. As Mike mentions above, it may simply be the result of not knowing the full range of these skills. I'm trying to remain very mindful of that but it's a hard thing to accomplish on ones own.

Quote:
The question then becomes, what would you rather do?
Well that's a very good question isn't it? I'm not fully convinced if it's the methodology itself between which to choose or my comprehension and mastery of the methodologies (if solely based on what feels more rewarding I would choose IT). I'm aware of that of which I have little mastery, but unaware of what I'm unaware of.

Quote:
It is worth noting that Ueshiba didn't have a technique based training methodology. It is worth noting that most of the schools of Ueshiba's students have a technique based training methodology, but have yet to produce anyone as skilled as them or Ueshiba. It is worth noting that Takeda didn't have a technique based training methodology, but had some methodology to create Ueshiba, Sagawa, Kodo, etc.
Then again, look at Toby Threadgill (whom I'm NOT comparing to Ueshiba lest I'm mistaken). He's noted for his IS also while primarily teaching from a kata based approach. I guess a lot of the pitfalls of this approach is covered in Takamura Sensei's excellent article on Shu-ha-ri.
So here at least is one example of a training methodology where the outcome of IS does not require solely focusing on IT.
Best,

Ernesto Lemke
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Old 10-18-2009, 03:32 PM   #22
DH
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Re: Who's got IT and can and will teach it?

Mr. Lemke

1. IT is not dependant on an art but there are pitfalls to just blowing off some methods contained in the arts on how to USE IP.
2. Then again, it's another HUGE pitfall to look at someones fighting ability and equate that or use it as support for his IP -which may very well be less than stellar as a complete set of IP/aiki skills.
3. Then again someone with very good internal power does not necessarily know how to use it in a martial context.

I have seen all of the above-up close and personal.

Have fun winding your way through the maze, as others have for generations before you. The only real difference I would caution against in the modern age is listening to people telling you what to do, and what is best for you in your art.
I am big advocate for getting out and about and deciding on your own.
Cheers
Dan
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Old 10-18-2009, 04:32 PM   #23
MM
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Re: Who's got IT and can and will teach it?

Quote:
Ernesto Lemke wrote: View Post
Hello Mark,
Yes all's well around these parts. Thanks for asking. Still struggling though.
When training internal skills, or aiki, I think we all struggle quite a bit.

Quote:
Ernesto Lemke wrote: View Post
Then again, look at Toby Threadgill (whom I'm NOT comparing to Ueshiba lest I'm mistaken). He's noted for his IS also while primarily teaching from a kata based approach. I guess a lot of the pitfalls of this approach is covered in Takamura Sensei's excellent article on Shu-ha-ri.
So here at least is one example of a training methodology where the outcome of IS does not require solely focusing on IT.
Best,

Ernesto Lemke
Hmm ... I was thinking of the aikido world.

Outside that ... as Ellis Amdur mentions in his book, quite a few koryu had some sort of Internal Training.
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Old 10-18-2009, 04:36 PM   #24
Rob Watson
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Re: Who's got IT and can and will teach it?

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Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
I aspire to be like Imaizumi Shizuo, who always says that he is passing on what he has learned from his teachers. He does not claim "ownership" despite the fifty years of personal touch that he now gives back to his teaching.
Hello Mr. Abrams,
Please call me Rob (Robert is OK but when I hear that I know my mom has busted me and I'm in trouble).

Watching Imaizumi Shizuo on the friendship/aiki expo DVDs it is clear he is very enthusiastic about his training and no doubt a good time is had by all.

While I'm not certain I read an invitation in your message don't be surprised if I happen to show up sometime uninvited and take liberties of your hospitality! I've done worse ... I would not hold my breath though since I'm on a short leash for now.

If I had a dojo you, and anyone, would be most welcome to come any time.

Thanks

"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 10-18-2009, 05:09 PM   #25
Ernesto Lemke
Dojo: Seikokan , Leeuwarden
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Re: Who's got IT and can and will teach it?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I am big advocate for getting out and about and deciding on your own.
Thank you for your thoughtful reply. Ernesto is fine by me. Mr. Lemke would be my father.

As I mentioned on two other threads, around these parts there's little to go by as far as I'm aware. Having said that, I haven't really looked into the CMA apart from training a couple of times with a friend who studies baghua (sp?) and taichi. The experience I took from that was that I was better at grounding his stuff, floating him in turn and maintain my structure during freestyle grappling. But he would be the last person to claim to be an authority of any kind so this says as much about him as it does about me. Again, I'm just starting out on IT, maybe training 'seriously' about a year and a half.

If you don't mind me asking, when you started getting out and about, at what time in your personal learning process where you able to discern what was IS and what wasn't. Or did you happen to already know IS prior to outside exposure? Was there some defining point or pointers you could share that would be helpful for those like myself who have to rely mostly on self study?

Evidently, please don't feel obligated to answer. I'm asking this mainly because I used to do the seminar route but after affiliating with my current teacher, anything else pailed in comparison. That is, anything else within the aikido community.
The pitfall I perceive with the suggestion of doing the rounds is that as a beginner without 'loyalty' (not me) to some tradition/school/style etc. one could end up as a bastardized stylist since there is no foundation with which to compare the input with. So maybe one ought to have some basic level of experience in order to be better able to differentiate the IS/IT/IP from the other stuff.

Merely typing out loud after midnight and wine...
Best regards,

Ernesto Lemke
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