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Old 11-08-2009, 03:29 PM   #1
ashe
 
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YouTube: Internal strength demo...

hey folks, hope your training is going well!

i just shot this real quick in class today to address some of the concerns about whether or not ILC training led to stiff and muscular type force.

from the video description;

Quote:
I have my partner put their feet behind their hips and do push ups so that it should be obvious that they are A) applying force on me and b) not in a stiff and rigid way and just show that from here I can be relaxed so that I can change yet still support my partners weight (i.e. channel their force down to the ground, which in ILC terms we call "absorb and project").
but i hope the clip speaks for itself!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CRc-6yULYI

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Old 11-08-2009, 04:51 PM   #2
DH
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Re: internal strength demo...

Hi Ashe
I don't want to start any kind of flap, but I really have to tell you that everything in that video can be done with external jujutsu waza, without the guy knowing a damn thing about internals.

There are sophisticated ways of using body mechanics that can mimic internal movement and some movement gives away slack, one side weightedness, and low-level internal understanding while demonstrating excellent technique. I have crossed hands with some "famous" Master class ICMA teachers who have been masquerading as expert internal guys for years- when in my estimation they are nothing more than really good jujutsu men. I just addressed some of this on RSF.

Too many guys on the ICMA side approach internal skills as the techniques or applications from Bagua, Taiji and so one without really having any IP to speak of. Others (many of which I assume you already know there) talk a very good game and know all the right terms, but who stink up the joint in person.
Its the same thing here. You have some people who pride themselves on their "knowledge" and parade about as experts- but in application against people with real skills or fighters they reveal themselves to be anything *but* experts.

Video
I am not saying you do not have internal connection to one degree or another, so please don't "read" into my comments okay?
If I felt that way I would say so, well... scratch that. actually I won't anymore. There isn't a fair and honest interest in having this discussion on the net as it will not bode well for many teachers making a living out there. Its harder still when experts in many arts can be identified as not having it, discussed in detail in their movement and then were they willing-tested and proved.
As people grow more aware of IP/ Aiki and assess and appraise its real value as the pre-eminent quality in the arts, it is going to be even more divisive. You simply cannot hide whether you have IP /aiki or not.

If your claiming to be an internal or aiki guy- producing video or teaching publicly is proving to be a lot tougher then it used to be to be considered an expert at aiki, and will only get tougher for those posing as experts in the field. or for that matter BETTER for those looking for instruction.

Testing
You might want to look at Arks "push out test" for comparison of less gaming and more basic internal connection displayed.
My test is even stricter than Arks.
I stand stalk straight with legs locked and arms out with no movement and instead of the guy "falling" into me I have them push into me with them in a figting stance and try to step into me without my manipulating them externally...at all. In other words I have to demonstrate "internal movement" without moving at all. There are dozens of guys here who can tell you what it feel like as I have done it to them.
Its just a more "clean" way to show IP aiki to those unfamilar with the concept and ability.

Still looking forward to playing with you guys.
Cheers
Dan
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Old 11-08-2009, 05:11 PM   #3
ashe
 
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Re: internal strength demo...

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Hi Ashe
I don't want to start any kind of flap, but I really have to tell you that everything in that video can be done with external jujutsu waza, without the guy knowing a damn thing about internals.
hey Dan, no problem. believe me i understand that the limited nature of ANY demo, especially one done via video, but hey, we gotta have something to discuss right? ;-)

there's pro's and con's to any demo, since it's basically showing just ONE thing or a couple things out of context (i.e. fighting).

In this case I like to have the guy really lean in and do the push up because many times, especially in a video demo, it can be hard to tell if the demo partner is really even applying force or not, or how much. at least in this case, it's obvious that force is indeed being applied.

i like to move around and show the relaxation because, of course, if you can't change and move than what good is the skill? basically i'm trying to make it a bit more obvious that these skills can actually applied during some kind of real movement.

my thing is that this sort of thing at he very least is not really possible using "arm and shoulder strength" unless maybe you can bench press 800 lbs.

EDIT- re: your comment about jujutsu waza, i would admit that my own skill level is actually only "mid-level" at least as far as ILC is concerned. (i'm only half way through the system) and we also say that this type of skill has to go through the three stages of structure, relaxation and then energy. my own level of skill on touch is pretty well into the "relaxation" kind of stage so again, right in the mid-level range of skill. i don't think there's any shame to admitting that, because at the very least we can show a cross section of skill from someone like my Sifu who has the whole package to someone who's only just on the way, but at least shows that the skills can be taught clearly.

Last edited by ashe : 11-08-2009 at 05:26 PM.

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Old 11-08-2009, 05:30 PM   #4
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Re: internal strength demo...

crap, can't edit again...

anyway, i'm always happy to get honest critisism as well, since i can learn how to better present what we're doing.

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Old 11-08-2009, 07:10 PM   #5
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Re: internal strength demo...

Quote:
Ashe Higgs wrote: View Post
since i can learn how to better present what we're doing.
??? Better present what you're already doing? If there's no real problem with what you're doing but the presentation, it shouldn't be too hard to fix.

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Mike Sigman
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Old 11-08-2009, 07:29 PM   #6
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Re: internal strength demo...

Quote:
Ashe Higgs wrote: View Post
crap, can't edit again...

anyway, i'm always happy to get honest critisism as well, since i can learn how to better present what we're doing.
It's an interesting demo, Ashe.

Would you be able to replicate what's done here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKxmKQqR1cU

or here,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtYDJ_XDVRU

and then talk us through the ILC logic. Like - how does he shut the guy down in the first clip and how would you do it? They seem to be compatible demonstrations (though Ark does lean a bit too far fwd's in these for my tastes, it's still the same principle...if it's the same principle?)

Last edited by bob_stra : 11-08-2009 at 07:32 PM.
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Old 11-08-2009, 08:39 PM   #7
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Re: internal strength demo...

Ashe
Ark is the guy in the grey track suit.
Now that we have a video for reference, once again; the way I do this is to stand with my hands straight out and in a neutral stance. It looks like I should just fall over backward, I then let the other guy stand in a fighting stance and try to walk trough me with our hands out straight.
Again as I said I don't "move" anything. At various points I bounce them, or plant them so they can't move at all, and all you see is me doing little body adjustments.
All that said, it's a test, so it all depends who's playing with who as they are learning.
And one more time, so as to be clear. I offered commentary only to outline that those methods are a much more clear way to eliminate any possibility to jujutsu being applied. It's all internal. Even then it goes from basic jin to more sophisticated body skills.
Cheers
Dan
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Old 11-09-2009, 06:04 AM   #8
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Re: internal strength demo...

Quote:
Ashe Higgs wrote: View Post
In this case I like to have the guy really lean in and do the push up because many times, especially in a video demo, it can be hard to tell if the demo partner is really even applying force or not, or how much. at least in this case, it's obvious that force is indeed being applied.
Hi Ashe,

Here's a vid of me showing a push test. There's a part in there where we show that the pushing person is really pushing. Basically, I move aside without giving notice. If the pushing person just stands there, you can see on the video that he wasn't pushing. On the flip side, the pushing person can pull away at any time, without warning, and if you move, then that's a good indication that you were fighting the force and not using internal skills.

For the aikido side of things, no resistance in aikido. So, if the pushing person pulls away quickly and you don't move, then you had no resistance. However, if you do move, then it's an indication that you were using muscle to push against the incoming force and you had resistance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVCZf53XIE0

Here's another push test we work on. Since we're all beginner's at this, we start slow and easy and build up to harder pushes. We didn't do the pull away quickly thing because I wanted to show the exercise more than how much effort was being exerted (which wasn't full force, btw.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gr17-NgGdSs
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Old 11-09-2009, 08:02 AM   #9
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Re: internal strength demo...

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Testing
You might want to look at Arks "push out test" for comparison of less gaming and more basic internal connection displayed.
My test is even stricter than Arks.
I stand stalk straight with legs locked and arms out with no movement and instead of the guy "falling" into me I have them push into me with them in a figting stance and try to step into me without my manipulating them externally...at all. In other words I have to demonstrate "internal movement" without moving at all. There are dozens of guys here who can tell you what it feel like as I have done it to them.
Its just a more "clean" way to show IP aiki to those unfamilar with the concept and ability.

Still looking forward to playing with you guys.
Cheers
Dan
Dan, just to clarify, the guy pushing is pushing on your hands specifically or are they allowed to push on your chest? If I read this correctly (that they're pushing on your extended straight arms) then you're basically at the out phase of a push-out, while the tester is allowed to be in a more supported 'stronger' stance. Correct?

The pushout is a great test and training device. We meant to use it as a quick warmup during Saturdays class and were still geeking out on it thirty minutes later...

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Old 11-09-2009, 08:11 AM   #10
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Re: internal strength demo...

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
Dan, just to clarify, the guy pushing is pushing on your hands specifically or are they allowed to push on your chest? If I read this correctly (that they're pushing on your extended straight arms) then you're basically at the out phase of a push-out, while the tester is allowed to be in a more supported 'stronger' stance. Correct?

The pushout is a great test and training device. We meant to use it as a quick warmup during Saturdays class and were still geeking out on it thirty minutes later...
Hi Chris,

Not Dan, but will give an answer. Yes. That pushout exercise is with arms extended straight out, locked, pushing on extended arms, not chest.

One of the interesting things that we'll do is that both people are at full arms length and you can't collapse the arms. Everything is done from there.
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Old 11-09-2009, 12:26 PM   #11
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Re: internal strength demo...

My arms are out but NOT locked, the elbows are a bit bent.
And Chris this is just one of a series of testing. The other is on body parts, and yet another is in throw attempts from mild to severe where you are again not allowed to do anything externally. Form there you go on to very specific movement drills to retrain the body to a new way of moving. Then it is back to testing all over again, over and over.

Of course in fighting you would never do that.
So, the key is to train
1. intent
2. recondition the body with intent
3. breath work where intent further supports the body
4. then train certain specific movements and paths to softly retrain the newly conditioned body. The body has to learn new ways to move with intent that are not the normal way to move or carry the weight.

Contrary to some of the misleading info that newbies are buying into. Not all internal method are the same, nor will they result in the same quality of movement in the body.

I want the most efficient and effective way to condition the body...and to fight with it -all out, with weapons and without. It just so happens it makes mince meat out of aikido and Daito ryu as methods of defense. It cuts right through anything they can deliver. But to put it another way, it makes thee, finest, most capable Aikido or Daito ryu in execution that I have ever seen or felt..

.
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Old 11-09-2009, 01:55 PM   #12
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Re: internal strength demo...

Thanks Dan, that makes sense, just wanted to clarify my mental image.

Ark had me do some similar stuff on him when I first met him in Tokyo. That was one of the "WTF?!?!" moments when he just stood there, square to me and had me just shove on him. All of my taijutsu stuff is telling me, "he's gonna be weak on this line" and yet all the physical sensation was that he was going to be nearly impossible to move.

We often do push testing integrated with our static postures work, so while someone is cycling through tenchijin or one of Neil's postures a partner will give pressure to various parts of the body and in different directions. Some angles are understandably easier to deal with than others, and if a push overcomes the testee, the tester backs off, lets them get stable again and tries it again.

The push-out has become one of my stock devices for convincing folks that what I'm working on really is different.

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Old 11-09-2009, 02:29 PM   #13
DH
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Re: internal strength demo...

As fun as pushing is -it's so low level that its bores the crap out of me. The real fun is in moving. The problem is that the movements have to be driven by a conditioned, intent driven body and the best way to train that at the beginning is...standing (solo) and then pushing.

Internal movement and conditioning of the body with that movement
Once the body connection is being established the real fun begins.
There are further things people need to learn that have to do with reconditioning the way the body moves and thus carries its weight and reacts to forces. They can get pretty complex and hilariously fun. Over time they change you in profound ways. Think of it like ways to actually use IP to create Aiki.

Things are not all the same and IMO there are methods that are indeed supperior for all out fighting. Even in You can face certain ICMA styles (who have internal conditioning) who move from their hips in tune with the shoulders and you could learn there is a different way to carry and train the body to move that will take other methods apart. Same thing with some ICMA "methods for fighting that are inane against capable fighters. I have covered that here before, where you get these noobs who try to fajin with the dantien to mingmen and do a power release. That might work on some people but on a fighter you might as well put a stamp on it, send it snail mail, and then text message its imminent arrival; even a decent high school wrestler is going to feel that coming. It makes me think that most internal guys have never actually met a good fighter.

There are other ways to power release that will actually work in a freakin fight, instead of that nonsense. As a fighter, or someone who thinks in martial terms, I'm just happy that there are guys focusing on breath work and fajin. It's less people for me to worry about in the future.
It's the same thing with lock resistance and manipulation. You can try and resist nikyo or Sankyo with just breath-power body conditioning till the cows come home. Breath power is great, but its only going to get you so far. And if its all you know...well...there ya go. There's a reason that most add it later in the training. I just hope folks aren't buying some of this crap from the internet blow hards that "breath training" is some kind of absolute to aikido training. There is a lot more to this than some weekend seminar is going to offer.

Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 11-09-2009 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 11-09-2009, 03:12 PM   #14
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Re: internal strength demo...

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Same thing with some ICMA "methods for fighting that are inane against capable fighters. I have covered that here before, where you get these noobs who try to fajin with the dantien to mingmen and do a power release. That might work on some people but on a fighter you might as well put a stamp on it, send it snail mail, and then text message its imminent arrival; even a decent high school wrestler is going to feel that coming. It makes me think that most internal guys have never actually met a good fighter.
Or you have never been shown by someone who could actually do it in a decent way?

For the record: I haven't seen/felt much myself with regards to fajin, but I'm curious what makes you so sure it's impossible to pull off a fajin with the dantien to mingmen against even a decent high school wrestler. If you'd say that it would just take to much effort to get a decent fajin with the dantien to mingmen to be worthit, that would be something else, btw.
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Old 11-09-2009, 03:24 PM   #15
Mike Sigman
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Re: internal strength demo...

Quote:
Joep Schuurkes wrote: View Post
I'm curious what makes you so sure it's impossible to pull off a fajin with the dantien to mingmen
I'm curious, too. Particularly since the mingmen is just the backside of the dantien. Even the statement is an oxymoron to anyone that knows how.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 11-09-2009, 04:04 PM   #16
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Re: internal strength demo...

Quote:
Joep Schuurkes wrote: View Post
Or you have never been shown by someone who could actually do it in a decent way?

For the record: I haven't seen/felt much myself with regards to fajin, but I'm curious what makes you so sure it's impossible to pull off a fajin with the dantien to mingmen against even a decent high school wrestler. If you'd say that it would just take to much effort to get a decent fajin with the dantien to mingmen to be worthit, that would be something else, btw.
It can be felt. And since we can't discuss Aikido teachers I won't discuss ICMA teachers. Since all this IP talk was supposed to be about research and going out to test and find men with power and I have done so- I'll be the first to let you know when someone can nail me in Chin na or nikyo or sankyo or can use elbow or shoulder bombs, toss me or even get much of anywhere at all in the TMA.
So far it hasn't happened.

Heres one back at ya.
Are you sure that it's not just the level of skill of the amateurs you have been talking to and reading from who are "impressed" by a skill that others can easily neutralize?
How sure are you that there is simply not better ways to train and move that can sense certain movement and neutralize it?
Is it from personal experience with testing powerful men in the TMA? Or is it because someone told you so?
If he's willing ya might want to ask Ark's opinion about that as well.

I'll give you that it is an interesting question.
So, while you are at it, ya might want to consider and think about just who is impressed by what and why that is and what it might say about both sides of the equation?
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 11-09-2009 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 11-09-2009, 04:13 PM   #17
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Re: internal strength demo...

I realize that you're superior to Wang Hai Jun and others you've met and bested and no one can do anything to you, but the question was what you mean by "dantien to mingmen". It doesn't make any sense. What do you mean by it? How is it done?

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 11-09-2009, 06:35 PM   #18
ashe
 
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Re: internal strength demo...

Quote:
Bob Strahinjevich wrote: View Post
It's an interesting demo, Ashe.

Would you be able to replicate what's done here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKxmKQqR1cU

or here,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtYDJ_XDVRU

and then talk us through the ILC logic. Like - how does he shut the guy down in the first clip and how would you do it? They seem to be compatible demonstrations (though Ark does lean a bit too far fwd's in these for my tastes, it's still the same principle...if it's the same principle?)
i think as dan said, it would depend on who i was playing with. we sometimes will practice spinning hands in the sort of parallel stance, but i think the goal is different, and posture would be different as well. like for us, we try to stay away from the open sternum posture, since it's "past the limit", according to tai chi principles (as they relate to the body).

that's not meant to be a dig at anukai stuff, since i don't know what they're working on here (it's always tough to comment on other arts).

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Old 11-09-2009, 07:11 PM   #19
Mike Sigman
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Re: internal strength demo...

Quote:
Ashe Higgs wrote: View Post
that's not meant to be a dig at anukai stuff, since i don't know what they're working on here (it's always tough to comment on other arts).
Hmmmmm. Well, it looks like a simple jin exercise to me. Like in, ummmm, lemessee.... OK, Tai Chi uses it. In Tai Chi they talk about: "The source of jin is: "It is rooted in the feet, issues through the legs, is governed by the waist, and is expressed through the fingers." Rooted in the feet and coming out through the hands/fingers is sort of a path from the ground, as in "groundpath" (which I realize a number of people on RSF are unfamiliar with ). But, if ILC doesn't use those things, I can see how it might be unfamiliar.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 11-09-2009, 07:38 PM   #20
ashe
 
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Re: internal strength demo...

Quote:
Joep Schuurkes wrote: View Post
For the record: I haven't seen/felt much myself with regards to fajin, but I'm curious what makes you so sure it's impossible to pull off a fajin with the dantien to mingmen against even a decent high school wrestler. If you'd say that it would just take to much effort to get a decent fajin with the dantien to mingmen to be worthit, that would be something else, btw.
it might be a wrong assumption, but i'll offer this anyway;

i think what Dan might be talking about is what we call "splitting force", where even though we consider the ming men to be the main yang point, and in the beginning we put a lot of stress on feeling the x from the ming men to the hands and fee and feeling that during projection, later on you learn to develop "splitting force" where you can choose any point on the body (usually the point of contact or somewhere close) and explode from there, using that point as the "base" rather than the ground itself. it's faster and doesn't telegraph.

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Old 11-09-2009, 07:56 PM   #21
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Re: internal strength demo...

Quote:
Ashe Higgs wrote: View Post
later on you learn to develop "splitting force" where you can choose any point on the body (usually the point of contact or somewhere close) and explode from there, using that point as the "base" rather than the ground itself. it's faster and doesn't telegraph.
If you pick an arbitrary point and "explode from there", how does that work, assuming Newton's Third Law of Motion still exists? Imagine this: I am on a skateboard facing my opponent (no ground support upon which to base my force) and I hit my opponent... what do you think happens? I'm having trouble imagining how a force appears as you've described it. Nice conversation, though, although it's tougher when it goes beyond the one-liners and gets into the facts of how something works, isn't it?

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 11-10-2009, 12:41 AM   #22
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Re: internal strength demo...

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Since all this IP talk was supposed to be about research and going out to test and find men with power and I have done so- I'll be the first to let you know when someone can nail me in Chin na or nikyo or sankyo or can use elbow or shoulder bombs, toss me or even get much of anywhere at all in the TMA.
So far it hasn't happened.
Cool. Your initial statement seemed stronger than that, but then again, I don't know how many of men with power you have tested by now.

Quote:
Are you sure that it's not just the level of skill of the amateurs you have been talking to and reading from who are "impressed" by a skill that others can easily neutralize?
How sure are you that there is simply not better ways to train and move that can sense certain movement and neutralize it?
Is it from personal experience with testing powerful men in the TMA? Or is it because someone told you so?
No.
Not very, but a lot depends on your training goals, of course. Do you want to fight with these skills or just explore the body skills as such?
No.
Mostly yes, but that's supported by some of the simple stuff I can do.

Quote:
If he's willing ya might want to ask Ark's opinion about that as well.
So that there will be two people that have told me so?

Quote:
So, while you are at it, ya might want to consider and think about just who is impressed by what and why that is and what it might say about both sides of the equation?
That's good advice. And the only way to find people with real skill.
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Old 11-10-2009, 01:57 PM   #23
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Re: internal strength demo...

Quote:
Joep Schuurkes wrote: View Post
Or you have never been shown by someone who could actually do it in a decent way?

For the record: I haven't seen/felt much myself with regards to fajin, but I'm curious what makes you so sure it's impossible to pull off a fajin with the dantien to mingmen against even a decent high school wrestler. If you'd say that it would just take to much effort to get a decent fajin with the dantien to mingmen to be worthit, that would be something else, btw.
Joep,
I find that the extreme backbow training is useful for more than just power-- also to gain awareness/conditioning of the use of the backside to off balance someone. One doesn't have to make some giant backbow movement to get this feeling, once you have trained it for a while.

It's one thing to have shenfa (body skill) ,but fighting in a modern striking environment means dealing with boxers who train their accuracy and target recognition on focus mits. Someone like that can be very dangerous, in my experience. Shenfa or no shenfa.

The real question, as I think you alluded to, is , what are a person's goals? There's only so much training time.

Tim
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Old 11-10-2009, 03:47 PM   #24
bob_stra
Location: Australia
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Re: internal strength demo...

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Ashe Higgs wrote: View Post
i think as dan said, it would depend on who i was playing with. we sometimes will practice spinning hands in the sort of parallel stance, but i think the goal is different, and posture would be different as well. like for us, we try to stay away from the open sternum posture, since it's "past the limit", according to tai chi principles (as they relate to the body).

that's not meant to be a dig at anukai stuff, since i don't know what they're working on here (it's always tough to comment on other arts).
Hi Ashe

Well no, tactics aside, I meant are you willing and able to replicate / film Akuzawa's setup and then provide your analysis of it? You've put one video out there, but as Dan says, there are many ways to do something like that, not all of which are 'internal'

If there was a 'standardized' thing to look it, it might make comparisons and discussions easier. Not that the pushout is the end all and be all, but it does seem to be a handy 'default' that most are familiar with.

FWIW. YMMV.

Last edited by bob_stra : 11-10-2009 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 11-10-2009, 03:54 PM   #25
DH
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
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Re: internal strength demo...

Quote:
Bob Strahinjevich wrote: View Post
Hi Ashe

Well no, tactics aside, I meant are you willing and able to replicate / film Akuzawa's setup and then provide your analysis of it? You've put one video out there, but as Dan says, there are many ways to do something like that, not all of which are 'internal'

If there was a 'standardized' thing to look it, it might make comparisons and discussions easier. Not that the pushout is the end all and be all, but it does seem to be a handy 'default' that most are fimiliar with.

FWIW. YMMV.
Which is why I do it the way I do. It severely limits motion. and offsets it to their advantage. Instead of the equal stances where you are both forward with feet side to side; letting them get in a braced fighting stance and allowing them to try to walk through you, with you in a stork straight stance really brings the message home. Internal motion comes to the fore; when you are not allowed to move.You just can't B.S. them or yourself.
The you can get down to the work.

Hmm..I don't mean B.S. as in fraud. I mean fooling yourself or masking with jujutsu skills. The way I do it is far more 'pure." Doubters can talk all they want- it brings the message home loud and clear that what is going on just isn't normal body mechanics.
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 11-10-2009 at 04:04 PM.
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