Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Non-Aikido Martial Traditions

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 11-15-2009, 06:07 PM   #226
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Mechanical? BJJ? As Mike Sigman states about IT skills... that tells me alot about your knowledge of good Jiu Jitsu.
Hi Kevin:

As a favor to me if you use my name, please argue the facts of why jiu jitsu etc., use kokyu, and so on. For instance, this quote:

Quote:
Breathing? Well heck ya. All good BJJ instructors and players understand the importance breath and relaxation play in the process. Kokyu is very, very important.
That doesn't match my understanding of things at all, other than using the word "breath".

My best suggestion, which I've made over and over again is that if someone wants to set a baseline in which to show that they know I.S. skills well enough to show them, they should be able to easily replicate even the *static* so-called "ki-tests" of Tohei's exposition on Aikido. If they can do the static ki-tests, I'll talk with them. If they can do moving jin/ki without using the shoulders, I'll respect them.

Best.

Mike
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2009, 07:25 PM   #227
Lorel Latorilla
Location: Osaka
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 311
Japan
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Really? folks that do BJJ use no aiki/ki/kokyu? No one at all?

No one in Judo either? no one?

This is based on what experiences you have had? With how many people?

No kokyu at all?

A side issue of course....I think you missed my point of my post.

I have set by the side lines for the past couple of weeks and seen alot of folks post alot of things about jiu jitsu and what it is and isn't and frankly most of the stuff I have seen posted as examples of jiu jitsu were not very impressive and frankly embarrassingly poor examples of jiu jitsu.

It makes me wonder if maybe there have never really experienced good forms of jiu jitsu and that part of the issue is simply a big part of the confusion for many.

So when I see definitions of what jiu jitsu is and isn't I start going down my personal checklist.

Speed? Naw can't be it, I go very slow and don't use speed at all. Heck I am moving in slow motion most of the time.

Strength? Nope. I de-emphasize that as well and I am working very hard and reducing proprioceptions, feel, and reference points...all things my BJJ instructors emphasize.

Breathing? Well heck ya. All good BJJ instructors and players understand the importance breath and relaxation play in the process. Kokyu is very, very important.

Timing? Well that is a very important element in BJJ for sure. However, many of us in BJJ will play this down as well too and put ourselves in very bad positions and use very, very small and increasingly small movements to work our way out of bad situations. However, there may be a debate on if it is internal or external technique that is used to do this. I submit that it is a combination of the two at a higher level.

So, Mechanical? I don't think that is a fair description of what jiu jitsu is or should be....if that is what folks think JJ is, then it leads me to believe that they have had some very poor exposure to JJ as this has not been my experience.

At this point, I have enough experience with IT stuff to simply understand the basic concepts, to identify when I feel it, and to know when I am doing it and not doing it.

My personal goal is to synthesize eventually this stuff into my personal training of jiu jitsu.

I don't think some of the definitions and examples of jiu jitsu on here have been very good...personally I think there are alot of folks talking about jiu jitsu that have no real grasp or concept of what it is and isn't...it encompasses alot more.

The current SMEs on IT/IS skills have done a very good job I believe in the past few years defining how to train and isolate these skills in order to improve upon them.

What I have been fascinated with though, is how all of a sudden, everyone with a little exposure or practice is suddenly enlightened on what is and isn't (Insert here whatever you want).

Mechanical? BJJ? As Mike Sigman states about IT skills... that tells me alot about your knowledge of good Jiu Jitsu.

I agree to a degree that you can isolate out Jiu Jitsu (external) skills and Aiki (Internal) skills.

To be honest though, the folks I have seen defining the what is jiu jitsu have not really provided me personally anything useful at all when it comes to a good example of jiu jitsu.

I used to come on here and debate with Mike and Dan over IT and that I really thought that what they were describing was just good jiu jitsu. They told me that I needed to feel it.

So I have...and you know what...I agree...I see their point! I see it loud and clear.

I feel a little better about it now and what the difference is between external and internal skills.

They are correct and I am on board with them.

However, I keep seeing folks talk about Jiu Jitsu...and what it is and what it isn't...and I am beginning to think that not alot of folks really understand what good jiu jitsu is and isn't...aside from the whole IT issue.

Hey Rob Liberiti...this is not an attack on you by any means...so I hope you don't take it that way....I think what you are trying to do is a good thing by defining this...I simply want to discuss it as much as you do.

My fear though is that the what is considered jiu jitsu is being glossed over way too, too much....and that it is not getting much credit for what it is and what is going on...much the way the whole IT discussion is going.

So kudos to Rob for starting this discussion.

I'd be curoius to hear from anyone that is a brown belt or higher in BJJ there impression of this. Not sure how many are out there that read aikiweb...but I think they would take exception or find it laughable that JJ is mechanical.
Hey Kevin,

I think first before you say that high-level BJJ players are using aiki/ki/kokyu, you have to define what these things are (since you are using Japanese martial terms, you don't have to explain it in Chinese paradigms), and then once you have done that, you have to show specific examples of how these guys are using these skills. You can either do that by pointing it out in videos or refer to particular teachings from high-level BJJ players and how you interpret these things as IT/IS. Otherwise, people will not believe that BJJ uses aiki/ki/kokyu--you are not qualifying your statements.

There is a possibility that BJJ guys use aiki/kokyu/ki when they are grappling, but even if they do, I think it is only limited in that range of fighting. All those years of grappling, perhaps they can figure out intuitively the best principles to be aware of when they are affecting their opponents. Especially in the case of a smaller guy grappling, he's forced to not use his muscle and strength to achieve a submission. But then again, the guy can still be manipulating force vectors, angles of attack, etc., which is to say, good jiu-jitsu. We talked about this before but I don't believe BJJ will help you develop aiki/kokyu/ki skill in your body, because if it did, you'll definitely see more BJJ guys throwing heavy punches, accepting heavy punches, moving in a way that resembles guys like Ark, being more stable in take-downs, and just generally not going to the ground in general. Royce Gracie for example might be one of the best grapplers in the world, but man is his stand-up game pretty damn weak (not taking away the fact that he is a great fighter too).

Unless stated otherwise, all wisdom, follies, harshness, malice that may spring up from my writing are attributable only to me.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2009, 07:30 PM   #228
Kevin Leavitt
 
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Team Combat USA
Location: Olympia, Washington
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
United_States
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

No problem Mike. I understand.

Quote:
My best suggestion, which I've made over and over again is that if someone wants to set a baseline in which to show that they know I.S. skills well enough to show them, they should be able to easily replicate even the *static* so-called "ki-tests" of Tohei's exposition on Aikido. If they can do the static ki-tests, I'll talk with them. If they can do moving jin/ki without using the shoulders, I'll respect them.
I agree.

My issue is really not even related but a synonymous with the logic really in defining jiu jitsu.

that is, estabilshing a baseline of what JJ is.

I think the waters get muddied when we start talking about things. Aiki skills are hard enough to learn in a very controlled manner without starting to overlay JJ on them.

So, I guess my point is, which I didn't not do a good job at explaining is...how do you determine what is the difference between "Mechanical" Jiu Jitsu and what is Aiki Jiu Jitsu.

My struggle and challenge is integration of this stuff into whatever I am doing in JJ. I have not had much success in doing so.

In listening to you and reading your post, I have really become enlightened to your way of thinking, defining, and testing.

So, when we start to define AIki Jiu Jitsu...I am all ears as I believe I understand Aiki...and I believe I understand Jiu Jitsu...my issue is I don't understand Aikijiujitsu from what is discussed...to me it looks and sounds like good jiu jitsu.

So, I tend to gravitate back to your model of understanding...if you can demonstrate it is different from what I have experienced...then I am all ears (and feel) as to what it may be.

So, far, I have not felt or heard anything that leads me to believe that it is any different or special than good jiu jitsu.

I don't think I am making much sense right now...sorry.

but I do understand your model and method...it makes sense to me...

..And based on the criteria you estabish and test, along with Ark, Ushiro..etc....I certainly can't do these things (Aiki) with any degree of consistency or ease.

I suppose I am just voicing my frustration of reading what many are talking about and other than a few folks, I am not really getting that anyone knows what the hell they are talking about!

I suppose I need to take a break from Aikiweb for a while.

Every time I hear someone talk about Jiu Jitsu...I want to get on the mat with them and roll. That is, not the seminar uke/sensei demo crap...but full on, controlled, alive rolling in which they can demonstrate that they indeed have decent JJ skills...that they have Aiki skills...that they can demonstrate the difference between the two...they can do the Aiki test you outline...and they can show how it is done in a JJ manner without aiki successfully, and then they can show it with aiki show it with and without kokyu.

Maybe that paints a clearer picture of what I am looking at.

Sorry didn't mean to drag you into it other than to compare my way of thinking/rationale in the same line as yours.

At this point, I am not even sure why I care enough to write about it here...and simply get on with my own training.

  Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2009, 07:45 PM   #229
Thomas Campbell
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 407
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

10/21/09:

Quote:
Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post
Mike,

Is there any recent video of you that you could post that demonstrates some of your current IS work, or teaching specific points like "down" power? I've seen clips from some older videos that you made several years ago, but it would be interesting to see more recent video, say from the past couple of years, maybe from one of the seminars that you do. If not, that's fine.

Thanks.
Still wondering if there is any recent video of Mike's work available. Does anyone know?
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2009, 07:48 PM   #230
Kevin Leavitt
 
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Team Combat USA
Location: Olympia, Washington
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
United_States
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
Lorel Latorilla wrote: View Post
Hey Kevin,

I think first before you say that high-level BJJ players are using aiki/ki/kokyu, you have to define what these things are (since you are using Japanese martial terms, you don't have to explain it in Chinese paradigms), and then once you have done that, you have to show specific examples of how these guys are using these skills. You can either do that by pointing it out in videos or refer to particular teachings from high-level BJJ players and how you interpret these things as IT/IS. Otherwise, people will not believe that BJJ uses aiki/ki/kokyu--you are not qualifying your statements.

There is a possibility that BJJ guys use aiki/kokyu/ki when they are grappling, but even if they do, I think it is only limited in that range of fighting. All those years of grappling, perhaps they can figure out intuitively the best principles to be aware of when they are affecting their opponents. Especially in the case of a smaller guy grappling, he's forced to not use his muscle and strength to achieve a submission. But then again, the guy can still be manipulating force vectors, angles of attack, etc., which is to say, good jiu-jitsu. We talked about this before but I don't believe BJJ will help you develop aiki/kokyu/ki skill in your body, because if it did, you'll definitely see more BJJ guys throwing heavy punches, accepting heavy punches, moving in a way that resembles guys like Ark, being more stable in take-downs, and just generally not going to the ground in general. Royce Gracie for example might be one of the best grapplers in the world, but man is his stand-up game pretty damn weak (not taking away the fact that he is a great fighter too).
Hey Lorel, I agree with your assessment, and you seem to understand the crux of the problem.

How about the concept of tenchi nage from the guard? How about if done properly from the guard there is an ever so slight off balancing that occurs in uke in which he cannot feel the shift, no reference point in which to recatch his balance? In order to do this correctly, how does/should kokyu play in this?

Why can't you put someone in the guard with consistent pressure and then work on connecting, breathing, and moving with intent etc? How about from the mount? why not? Ushiro showed me how to do this..it was pretty damn cool....I then went back, worked with one of my instructors and felt a similar shift..however, granted it was also combined with a great deal of other mechanics such as the UPA etc. I mean, you have to have other stuff going on too..not just IS.

Absolutely, you are correct it must be demonstrated to qualify my statements, I agree. I am not in a position to do so, as I don't have enough ability to do so.

I also agree that they figure out the best principle to use and that what they do is an amalgamation of stuff. I submit that it gravitates to a level of efficiency that "works". As I stated, my frustration is that I have not found an IS guy yet that can do this in a JJ sense. Maybe once I meet up with Dan I will...that is my hope.

Again, this is not a hit on the IT/IS stuff...I am finding it very helpful. It is the balance and integration and balancing the time spent training what things that concern me. As a professional, I can't afford to spend time not training the things I think are a good use of my time. Bottom line: BJJ has proven..IT, while useful has not found it's place yet in my balance of training time...hence why I am very interested and training in it...it is a question of how much time should I spend relative to other things I must do.

I agree, BJJ is not a good method for learning IT skills. Not at all.

I only got excited on this post when Rob started to define AJJ and the delineation of AJJ from JJ.

These days I am investing in alot of failure in training some in IT and trying to change how I approach my JJ. I am trying to take the things I am learning with body integrity, maintaining the cross, intention etc...and do these things while I am doing JJ.

While I feel it is helping...it is very slow..so hence I am very keen and perk up when I hear talk of AJJ...yet all the examples that seem to be provided, while maybe they have Aiki....I am dismayed at the display of JJ skill that I see in the videos...which gets me wondering.

Again, sorry but just frustrated I guess.

  Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2009, 07:50 PM   #231
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post
10/21/09:

Still wondering if there is any recent video of Mike's work available. Does anyone know?
Tell you what I'll do, Tom. I haven't put out any substantive videos of things since the mid-1990's, although I've put out a few specialized videos for some people on QiJin, etc. You put out a couple of videos of you even doing basic stuff, so we can get an idea of where you are in your skills and then I'll reciprocate by putting out some equally-telling videos. How's that?

Oh... and by the way... what do you even mean by "down power"? Is it something that has some explicit technical meaning or is it simply some sort of buzzword? Tell us what "down power" utilizes and what it means so we can get an idea of where you're coming from. Perhaps this can give us an idea of where an administrator on the Rum Soaked Fist forum, a "CMA" forum, sees things from.

Mike Sigman
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2009, 07:52 PM   #232
rob_liberti
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
Location: East Haven, CT
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,402
United_States
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

I would hope we all respect people regardless of their baseline skill set (seems like that is one of the rules of aikiweb actually LOL).

Kevin, if you want to full on wrestle with me, just visit. I'm not that good at wrestling so you may have a more fun visit if you wait another year or so - but it's up to you. Regardless, I'm open to be corrected on my opinions of these things - online or physically - (which is why I posted a follow-up to my initial late-night ramblings).

I think a lot of the tai atari drills don't make a lot of sense once you start developing more of an aiki-body, but again I'm just giving my lowly opinion. I hope it is respectable...

Rob

old mcdojo had a form, aiki aiki do...
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2009, 08:05 PM   #233
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
My issue is really not even related but a synonymous with the logic really in defining jiu jitsu.

that is, estabilshing a baseline of what JJ is.
How is "jiu" which seems to have been an idiomatic description of I.S. before it came to be skewed into meaning "soft", really any different than anything else, Kevin? There's a pet-peeve I have on QiJin about people just using general terms instead of getting down to the nitty-gritty of defining exactly what is done and how. We can all say "I.S" and "I.P." but I get the feeling many people are throwing the term out without really understanding or being able to define what it is.
Quote:
I think the waters get muddied when we start talking about things. Aiki skills are hard enough to learn in a very controlled manner without starting to overlay JJ on them.

So, I guess my point is, which I didn't not do a good job at explaining is...how do you determine what is the difference between "Mechanical" Jiu Jitsu and what is Aiki Jiu Jitsu.
Why not start there, Kevin? Tell us what "aiki" means and then go on from there with functional comparisons?

Best.

Mike Sigman
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2009, 08:07 PM   #234
Kevin Leavitt
 
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Team Combat USA
Location: Olympia, Washington
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
United_States
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Hey Rob,

Long day, and alot of this did not come out of my mind the way I wanted it to.

Thanks for the invite and I do want to get with you one day.

I only meant to really say that I don't think the definition of AIki Jiu Jitsu is accurate and probably warrants a fair amount of discussion.

I think the synthesis of the two JJ and Aiki are not easy to define...I think Lorel actually is pretty spot on in his assessment.

Having not experienced someone that both does JJ and Aiki IS/IT training and can flip between the two, show me how they are separate etc...of course, I get frustrated at the talk of JJ that goes on here.

  Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2009, 08:18 PM   #235
Kevin Leavitt
 
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Team Combat USA
Location: Olympia, Washington
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
United_States
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
How is "jiu" which seems to have been an idiomatic description of I.S. before it came to be skewed into meaning "soft", really any different than anything else, Kevin? There's a pet-peeve I have on QiJin about people just using general terms instead of getting down to the nitty-gritty of defining exactly what is done and how. We can all say "I.S" and "I.P." but I get the feeling many people are throwing the term out without really understanding or being able to define what it is. Why not start there, Kevin? Tell us what "aiki" means and then go on from there with functional comparisons?

Best.

Mike Sigman
I guess I am still trying to figure out what AIki is Mike. Functionally at least. I suppose I am fairly dense. On a good night I can do a few static things that are true aiki, however I think the crux of the matter is I can't do it with any degree of ability to describe it in functional terms, which is probably why I have the issues I have.

However, the same is applicable to JJ skills. I feel fairly proficient in this area functionally so that is my base of understanding.

So, I try and relate from that functionally when someone says that is just JJ and void of aiki..yet they can't demonstrate to me functionally how JJ should work....not without the whole static set up thing going on which requires a great deal of contruct and positioning in order for them to do what they do.

Heck might as well call it Aiki training drills..and go back to doing the JO trick etc...cause I see no difference in that.

So, based on the Aiki logic, when someone starts talking about AJJ...I wanna demonstrate how AJJ is different from JJ...so I would ask the same question you do....tell me what JJ means and lets go from there...then tell me how JJ differs AJJ.

It is sort of the other side of the coin. On side is looking at the Aiki the other the JJ.

And I am not buying the whole "I'd show you, but I generate so much power Id have to hurt you to show you". I don't buy that, I think anyone with any degree of command of these skills/power and the ability to do JJ should be able to adequately demonstrate in a semi-non competitive, friendly randori situation and not hurt anyone at all.

I am wrong in this logic?

It has been a long night, and probably dug myself into a hole....but what the heck!

  Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2009, 08:35 PM   #236
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
It has been a long night, and probably dug myself into a hole....but what the heck!
I took that last sentence and put it first on purpose, Kevin, although not maliciously. No one gets anywhere without worrying these things out loud... and that's the basic premise of the QiJin forum: no one really thinking about these things can do it without actively mulling over lots of data, thoughts, and physical processes.

Quote:
I guess I am still trying to figure out what AIki is Mike. Functionally at least. I suppose I am fairly dense. On a good night I can do a few static things that are true aiki, however I think the crux of the matter is I can't do it with any degree of ability to describe it in functional terms, which is probably why I have the issues I have.

However, the same is applicable to JJ skills. I feel fairly proficient in this area functionally so that is my base of understanding.

So, I try and relate from that functionally when someone says that is just JJ and void of aiki..yet they can't demonstrate to me functionally how JJ should work....not without the whole static set up thing going on which requires a great deal of contruct and positioning in order for them to do what they do.

Heck might as well call it Aiki training drills..and go back to doing the JO trick etc...cause I see no difference in that.

So, based on the Aiki logic, when someone starts talking about AJJ...I wanna demonstrate how AJJ is different from JJ...so I would ask the same question you do....tell me what JJ means and lets go from there...then tell me how JJ differs AJJ.

It is sort of the other side of the coin. On side is looking at the Aiki the other the JJ.

And I am not buying the whole "I'd show you, but I generate so much power Id have to hurt you to show you". I don't buy that, I think anyone with any degree of command of these skills/power and the ability to do JJ should be able to adequately demonstrate in a semi-non competitive, friendly randori situation and not hurt anyone at all.

I am wrong in this logic?
Generally, I think you're correct. There's a difference between "aiki", though, and "I can kick your ass". As I noted in another post, the guy who thinks "I can kick your ass" is the ultimate gauge of Aiki had better be able to kick everyone's ass in the world or he's just set his own skills up to be worth nothing... assuming someone comes along and kicks his ass. Are we going to say that because Ueshiba in his 80's wouldn't have been able to "roll" with B.J. Penn now that Ueshiba didn't know anything worthwhile?

On the other hand, the guy who doesn't really know what Aiki is should be working at defining it precisely for what it is, rather than defining it in terms of what he already knows. One of the things I pointed out several years ago was that there would be a lot of "Oh yeah, we already do that" and "Oh yeah, understand that pretty well" would be the next stage in the development of I.S. skills. In a worst-case scenario (just to create an example) people who have a rough (but better than average) idea of what I.S. skills are will begin to define them for others, even when they don't really know themselves. In other words, what I predicted a few years back was that a lot of people would grab the terms and some rough skills, throw in some 'kick-ass', start teaching/pontificating, and begin the cycle back toward where no one really knows anything but the buzzwords.... just like where Aikido came from a bare few years ago. Instand experts. They'll put out shingles. Oh, wait.... that's what has always happened, hasn't it?

I'm not faulting or criticizing anyone, Kevin. I'm just suggesting that people delineate what they're talking about, rather than using the general terms. Honestly, I feel that there are going to be only a few people who really "get it" in Aikido. The "kick ass" part maybe some will get, but most won't. As I suggested some time ago... you should visit one of the Chinese experts who is really good just to get an idea of the kind of power someone can generate. It'll change your worldview and maybe give an insight into why Ueshiba was silly enough to think that real atemi was so important.

Best.

Mike Sigman
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2009, 08:48 PM   #237
Toby Threadgill
Location: Evergreen, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 166
United_States
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Kevin.

Ditto. You are right on in my book. Very few people have any idea what really good jujitsu is because they've never felt it in person. I keep saying this. Aiki is just a word utilized in an isolated family of jujutsu schools to describe a particular and rather ubiquitous set of principles. Other jujutsu schools embracing similar skills and principles just utilize different terminology. Aiki, Myoden, Nairiki, etc...These are basicly all the same skills manifesting themselves in ways uniquely linked to a particular schools curriculum. As Mike Sigman alludes to, not all traditions use them, understand them or can apply them, but these skills do exist in varying degrees in Japanese traditions outside the restrictive terminology of "aiki".

FWIW....I have rolled with several top BJJ guys and they are doing way more than basic (leverage based) jujutsu. In fact I'd say some of them like Carlos Machado are definitely embracing what many people define as "aiki" (Is this really that surprising?) but his manifestation of these principles are uniquely developed and tailored to operate in the environment of newaza.

When I observe really sophisticated martial arts application, regardless of environment or origin, I see varying manifestations of internal skills. Some more obvious and others less so.....

Toby Threadgill / TSYR

Last edited by Toby Threadgill : 11-15-2009 at 08:57 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2009, 09:17 PM   #238
Kevin Leavitt
 
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Team Combat USA
Location: Olympia, Washington
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
United_States
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Mike Sigman wrote:

Quote:
I'm just suggesting that people delineate what they're talking about, rather than using the general terms. Honestly, I feel that there are going to be only a few people who really "get it" in Aikido. The "kick ass" part maybe some will get, but most won't. As I suggested some time ago
Agreed. The short and concise version of what I was trying to express. Thanks!

  Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2009, 09:27 PM   #239
Kevin Leavitt
 
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Team Combat USA
Location: Olympia, Washington
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
United_States
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Toby Threadgill wrote:

Quote:
I have rolled with several top BJJ guys and they are doing way more than basic (leverage based) jujutsu. In fact I'd say some of them like Carlos Machado are definitely embracing what many people define as aiki principles (Is this really that surprising?) but his manifestation of these principle are uniquely developed to operate in the environment of newaza.
I wanted to write Something in response...but you covered it pretty well I think! Thanks.

  Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2009, 09:46 PM   #240
rob_liberti
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
Location: East Haven, CT
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,402
United_States
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Okay - another correction to my ramblings... (these are mostly not my words but I agree with them

Kevin, "mechanical" was not meant as "robotic" or "stiff."

Mechanical in that context was meant to express that jujutsu uses "externally" driven power mechanisms to make its techniques work. It also means that jujutsu focuses on manipulating and controling the "mechanics" of the human body -- particularly the articulated skeleton (though nerves, arteries, muscles, etc. are also attacked in various ways).

By contrast, aikijujutsu manipulates the above using aiki instead of externally driven power sources.

---
I guess I'm not following the logic against ass-kicking ability as a measurement. We learn aiki-body in martial arts to make our martial arts ability better. I'd think that if you cannot actually use it then isn't it... useless?! I don't know, I'm tired and a bit mentally foggy right now..

Rob

old mcdojo had a form, aiki aiki do...
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2009, 09:52 PM   #241
Kevin Leavitt
 
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Team Combat USA
Location: Olympia, Washington
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
United_States
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Same here Rob (tired) I will look this over and respond tomorrow after some sleep and thought. thanks for your post.

  Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2009, 07:18 AM   #242
MM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,996
United_States
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Thanks Rob...based on that definition, then I'd classify most BJJ as Aiki jiu jitsu. interested in your thoughts on that.

Again, interested in other's perspective on this.
Kevin,
I'm going to disagree with you in quite a few places. BJJ isn't aiki ... and by that small statement, it can't be aikijujutsu.

Now, I'm not saying that BJJ is bad or wrong or that it can't have high level skill. Really good BJJ people can have amazing and valuable skills. So, with what I'll post, keep in mind that I'm not denigrating jujutsu at all. I'm just posting that, IMO, BJJ isn't aiki.

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Speed? Naw can't be it, I go very slow and don't use speed at all. Heck I am moving in slow motion most of the time.

Strength? Nope. I de-emphasize that as well and I am working very hard and reducing proprioceptions, feel, and reference points...all things my BJJ instructors emphasize.

Breathing? Well heck ya. All good BJJ instructors and players understand the importance breath and relaxation play in the process. Kokyu is very, very important.

Timing? Well that is a very important element in BJJ for sure. However, many of us in BJJ will play this down as well too and put ourselves in very bad positions and use very, very small and increasingly small movements to work our way out of bad situations. However, there may be a debate on if it is internal or external technique that is used to do this. I submit that it is a combination of the two at a higher level.
All of those are qualities of very good jujutsu and do not equate to having aiki. If you have those qualities then you have some very good jujutsu skills. But, having those qualities doesn't mean you have aiki.

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
So, I guess my point is, which I didn't not do a good job at explaining is...how do you determine what is the difference between "Mechanical" Jiu Jitsu and what is Aiki Jiu Jitsu.
Couple of things here.

Let's say that jujutsu is the application of using "holes" to exploit weaknesses in the other person's defenses. It's a study in how to "mechanically" position people such that you weaken their structure. That's how I view the "mechanical" part. It isn't mechanical as in blocky movements, but in how one views the application. We have two feet, so mechanically, we are (for the most part) unstable if you draw to a triangle point. A joint only moves in certain ways, so you are unstable if that joint is pressured in a manner that it isn't supposed to work. Jujutsu is the mechanical study of how to take advantage of all these weaknesses.

Now, good jujutsu can be soft, flowing, centered, slow or fast, and doesn't require a lot of muscle to accomplish. In fact, if you have bunched, tight muscles, you're not going to be good at jujutsu. If you just speed through things, no good. Etc. So, just because I define jujutsu as mechanical, doesn't mean it has to be muscle-ridden or have blocky movements.

NOTE: Just read Rob's post. I agree.

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
Okay - another correction to my ramblings... (these are mostly not my words but I agree with them

Kevin, "mechanical" was not meant as "robotic" or "stiff."

Mechanical in that context was meant to express that jujutsu uses "externally" driven power mechanisms to make its techniques work. It also means that jujutsu focuses on manipulating and controling the "mechanics" of the human body -- particularly the articulated skeleton (though nerves, arteries, muscles, etc. are also attacked in various ways).

By contrast, aikijujutsu manipulates the above using aiki instead of externally driven power sources.
Rob
If you're soft, centered, and flowing, you have to have some skill. And here is where I think the confusion starts. I think that some good jujutsu people can have pathways/conduits in their body that allow one way transmissions. In other words, they can feel like a soft wall. They can let the other persons energy go through them into the ground. It allows for less energy to move, you feel stronger, your sensitivity is high, and you can be soft and quick when needed.

But, all of that is not aiki. For a few reasons -- not the least of which is that aiki requires yin/yang, or in/yo. In a crude way of stating it, the flow goes both ways at the same time. Not very helpful, I know. IHTBF.

So, no, I don't believe those good jujutsu people that have been mentioned here by you and Toby have aiki. I think they have skills that, maybe, someone can define as "internal" in some manner and that these skills are very soft, relaxed, and require a basic pathway system inside the body. But, IMO, they aren't aiki.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2009, 08:24 AM   #243
Kevin Leavitt
 
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Team Combat USA
Location: Olympia, Washington
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
United_States
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Thanks Mark...I really do appreciate you taking the time to post this.

I suppose I am waiting to feel/see someone demonstrate these differences in a jiu jistu context.

Mark wrote:

Quote:
So, no, I don't believe those good jujutsu people that have been mentioned here by you and Toby have aiki. I think they have skills that, maybe, someone can define as "internal" in some manner and that these skills are very soft, relaxed, and require a basic pathway system inside the body. But, IMO, they aren't aiki
Maybe we can get together sometime with a few others in the know on Jiu Jitsu and then you guys can show me the difference between good jiu jitsu with and without Aiki....that would be really awesome!

  Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2009, 08:28 AM   #244
Demetrio Cereijo
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 2,212
Spain
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
Lorel Latorilla wrote: View Post
guys throwing heavy punches, accepting heavy punches, moving in a way that resembles guys like Ark, being more stable in take-downs, and just generally not going to the ground in general.
Fedor?
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2009, 10:20 AM   #245
Toby Threadgill
Location: Evergreen, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 166
United_States
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Kevin,
I'm going to disagree with you in quite a few places. BJJ isn't aiki ... and by that small statement, it can't be aikijujutsu.

&

So, no, I don't believe those good jujutsu people that have been mentioned here by you and Toby have aiki. I think they have skills that, maybe, someone can define as "internal" in some manner and that these skills are very soft, relaxed, and require a basic pathway system inside the body. But, IMO, they aren't aiki.
WTF....????

Mark, how can you make this statement? It is absurd from the very get go. You do know Kito ryu, TSR and Yoshin ryu all taught various forms of IT/aiki? Why couldn't there be some manifestation of aiki in BJJ? Do you have enough direct hands on experience to make such a prognostication? I think not.

The reason this topic is so interesting to so many is because these skills have such broad application. The message Dan, Mike, Ark and others, including me, keep harping at is these skills are foundational. They have existed in many diverse pursuits for a long time but the problem has been how they are taught and why they have not been more accessible. Ellis's recent book presents a compelling story that addresses how these skills either remained underground ( in the koryu schools ) or were "Hidden in Plain Sight" (in modern budo traditions like aikido). Apparantly they are still hidden from some people who love to wax eloquently about them.

I have actual hands on experience with a few of the top BJJ guys around. I likewise have had decades of hands on experience with several instructors in Daito ryu/aikijujutsu who are attributed with manifesting the high levels of "aiki". ( This includes two headmasters. ) Plus, I'm no spring chicken myself given my teacher and his internal skills, so.......I dismiss your opinion absolutely.

Many years ago I met a guy who was an advanced student of a respected aikijujutsu headmaster. We talked about the recent hype concerning Gracie jujutsu. At the time I only had cursory knowledge of BJJ and told him so. He told me he attended a Gracie seminar and was going to visit the Gracie Academy in California. In time he had the opportunity to roll with Rickson, Royce and Helio Gracie in person. He later told me, "Some of the top Gracie guys are doing aikijujutsu on the floor It's amazing. The principles of internal body manipulation and the utilization of their base are the same. You've just got to rewire how you look at their skills to recognize the principles." He then told me about a drill he participated in where Helio would completely off balance him in the guard without even moving. ( If that's not "aiki" I don't know what is! ) The only criticism he had for the Gracies was how they were teaching these skills. He said it was almost like these skills were reserved for the Gracie family members and a few highly ranked others. He said only this limited group of top practitioners seemed to be capable of manifesting what he deemed aiki principles. ( Does any of this sound familiar? ) He said Rorion eventually asked him where he had trained before because he was asking questions they only expected from very advanced students. He explained to Rorion what Daito ryu was and what aikijujutsu principles were. He said Rorion nodded with a wry smile and responded that these sorts of questions were best reserved for him and his brothers.

No aiki in BJJ?

____

Everyone wants to segregate, to put budo skills in nice little boxes. This is this, and that is that, with a wall of separation between them. In fact the development and application of body skills are not black and white like you seem to think they are but instead all shades of grey. The common thread to determine what Kevin is talking about is in the principles driving these diverse "IS" skills. Many different traditions Chinese - Japanese - whatever....have their own name for these internally based skills and "may" apply them in a unique or particular manner determined by the specifics of each martial tradition. To claim that someone in BJJ can't be manifesting "aiki" in one form or another demonstrates you either can't recognize these skills outside your limited understanding of them or that you must be talking about a different "aiki" than I or any of the other experienced practitioners here talk about and teach.

( FWIW - I hate terms like aiki because no one can define exactly what "aiki" is. (I say tomato, you say tomato. ) I prefer internal skills because that is more accurate reference to what so many people are talking about. )

Toby Threadgill / TSYR

Last edited by Toby Threadgill : 11-16-2009 at 10:34 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2009, 10:47 AM   #246
ChrisMoses
Dojo: TNBBC (Icho Ryu Aiki Budo), Shinto Ryu IaiBattojutsu
Location: Seattle, WA
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 919
United_States
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Great post Toby.

I get so very tired of these lists and arbitrary distinctions. All they do is help us put people into boxes.

"He has aiki, he doesn't..."
"It's all jujutsu, there's no aiki..."

I've had so many PMs and emails from people that basically said, "Hey (Toby, Howard, X) Sensei are going to be in my area, do they have internal skills? I'm only going if they have internal skills..."

Who am I to say? They're good, they can throw me, I learn something every time I train from them. Are they internal mastahs? I duuno, I'm still wrapping my head around what that means. I mean I've heard arguments from folks that Ark isn't doing "real" IMA because it's too much like Southern Kung Fu and not 'real' internal skills.

This is me caring, ready?



OK, you got me, I can't even pretend to care... Not even online...

I suppose some of the stuff I'm doing now might be considered internal. When I'm teaching, I never go beyond the terms 'structure' or 'frame'. If people get something from what I'm doing, and I continue to feel that I'm progressing then that's all I'm really concerned about. I see videos of Mifune judan and think, damn, there's a lot there, a lot of subtle-powerful stuff. I can learn from that. I watched a Systema video from Kevin Secours recently mostly on grappling and said, damn, I need to work on that stuff, it follows from all the other structure stuff I've been working on.

Is it aiki? Is it internal?

Maybe, probably, don't care. It's good and it makes me better.

/rant over.

Chris Moses
TNBBC, "Putting the ME in MEdiocre!"
Budo Tanren at Seattle School of Aikido
Shinto Ryu Iai-Battojutsu
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2009, 11:17 AM   #247
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
Toby Threadgill wrote: View Post
He then told me about a drill he participated in where Helio would completely off balance him in the guard without even moving. ( If that's not "aiki" I don't know what is! ) The only criticism he had for the Gracies was how they were teaching these skills. He said it was almost like these skills were reserved for the Gracie family members and a few highly ranked others. He said only this limited group of top practitioners seemed to be capable of manifesting what he deemed aiki principles. ( Does any of this sound familiar? )
That's a pretty good example, Toby. In most first-time/begginer/general-purpose workshops I lead people through a number of jin/kokyu drills and end up showing people how to do that item. It is technically "aiki" because it lets you blend your internally-generated forces with the forces/resistance of your partner and off-balance him without moving. But just because someone can do that trick during a first workshop, does that mean that they are accomplished in the sense that they have good "internal" skills? Not in my opinion. People who mostly use arm/shoulder, have no dantien development, etc., can learn to do that type of skill, but it's just a rough facet of the whole-body skills, so it doesn't mean a lot in terms of the whole picture.

So this idea of "aiki" being proof of much escapes me, too, in terms of any overall definition.... there's a lot more to it than what many of the conversations indicate.

Another real problem with not being able to do more that a few aspects of jin/kokyu training is that while someone may think that now his Aikido (or other art) is "internal" and that he has arrived is that he can pattern himself into a type of movement that forever the realm of shoulder and muscle with odd bits of jin/kokyu showing through. Because of that permanent patterning, it's very difficult to change after that. Yet people who learn a few bits and take off "teaching it" are pretty certain to fall into that category.

Just a comment. People can and will do what they want and I'm fairly content to watch them take off in any direction they want to go.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2009, 11:19 AM   #248
ChrisMoses
Dojo: TNBBC (Icho Ryu Aiki Budo), Shinto Ryu IaiBattojutsu
Location: Seattle, WA
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 919
United_States
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Also, please read my post with Chris' "wow this is just funny..." and not "Grrr, Chris is mad at the world" voice. That gets lost in the text sometimes.

Chris Moses
TNBBC, "Putting the ME in MEdiocre!"
Budo Tanren at Seattle School of Aikido
Shinto Ryu Iai-Battojutsu
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2009, 11:44 AM   #249
Tim Fong
 
Tim Fong's Avatar
Dojo: Aunkai
Location: California
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 181
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
Toby Threadgill wrote: View Post
WTF....????
He said Rorion nodded with a wry smile and responded that these sorts of questions were best reserved for him and his brothers.

No aiki in BJJ?

Toby Threadgill / TSYR
Hi Toby,
I spoke with someone recently who attended a seminar with a man who is an instructor under Rickson. The seminar was about what they call "invisible jujitsu." According to the guy I spoke with, they talked about how to "start the energy in one place in your body, and bring it to another to really make the technique work." Rickson's people consider these small, invisible details to be very important.

No kidding.

Best,
Tim
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2009, 11:47 AM   #250
Tim Fong
 
Tim Fong's Avatar
Dojo: Aunkai
Location: California
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 181
Offline
Re: Internal Power Development Methods

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
But just because someone can do that trick during a first workshop, does that mean that they are accomplished in the sense that they have good "internal" skills? Not in my opinion. People who mostly use arm/shoulder, have no dantien development, etc., can learn to do that type of skill, but it's just a rough facet of the whole-body skills, so it doesn't mean a lot in terms of the whole picture.
Mike,
That's an interesting point that you raise. Do you think that you could elucidate for us what you view as the "whole picture?"

Best,
Tim
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Yoshinkan and "aiki" MM Non-Aikido Martial Traditions 105 05-14-2010 12:59 PM
What is "IT"? Buck Language 210 10-15-2009 10:42 PM
Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 14 Peter Goldsbury Columns 38 07-31-2009 11:19 PM
Aikido as External Art -or- Where's the Chewy Center? ChrisMoses Training 130 03-17-2007 03:21 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:32 AM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2017 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2017 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate