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Old 04-07-2010, 05:55 PM   #51
ChrisHein
 
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Quote:
Charles Hill wrote: View Post
Major kudos to Chris and Mark for posting video!

Being able to see what you guys are talking about really raises the bar in any of these discussions. I will be sure to read what you write more carefully from now on.

Thanks.
I would like to see other people get those kudos as well, please post videos!

 
Old 04-07-2010, 07:12 PM   #52
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Quote:
Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
Not sure what you mean by vetted, and no one makes progress by leaps and bounds in this stuff, but just for the record, I have trained with Dan (and I am still training with Dan when I can) and although I am not 'vetted' by him, I have been told I have strong mental intent; which I have already stated elsewhere was simply an application of extending ki as I was taught in the ki society (which I believe led to your original question to me) - and to the best of my recollection, I was not told to stop that. Actually, I was told to quit being lazy and to do more.
Yes, the mental taxation is incredible and is reflected by guiding the physical components inside you - stretching the right things, releasing the right things, winding and synching the right things - and I think there's much more going on than "extending ki" (more on that, later), which doesn't mean that the mind doesn't "lead the ki" . . just that the presumption I took from your original post "I'll do you one better" is that you extend the ki and the other stuff just happens. If that's what you meant, then this is the part I do fundamentally disagree with because (and as you mention below) there's also an immense amount of physical conditioning that happens in order to reflect the extension of the ki.

Quote:
Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
As I believe was mentioned in other posts by Dan and Mike, they stated (paraphrase here) that Tohei had the right approach to IS, but that he did not take it to the next level. I believe that and I also believe that Dan and Mike have methods that do take it to the next level and that is why I too have taken my training to the next level with Dan - and no one said that there was not any body conditioning aspects with a lot of work and sweat - actually, after one of Dan's sessions, all you got is an aching body and a lot of sweat.
Bunch of stuff here . . I think the appeals to authority may be oversimplified, but don't disagree with the gist of the above. Basically, those are the two components of the puzzle I think are being addressed here . . and I think we need to keep highlighting that this stuff is BOTH mentally and physically exhausting. Since part of the disconnect and discourse that's happening (my opinion) in this thread is the highlighting of one over the other (by multiple parties and multiple ends of the spectrum) - rather than discussing how "this stuff" represents a trained skill conditioned in the body guided via intent (or "mentally handling forces via developed jin" . . or or . .)

Quote:
Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
I am a little puzzled by your obvious tone of condemnation towards my training approach to IS. All I did was answer your question related to how I extend ki. I am starting to think you set me up with a bit of troll here. If you think I am full of it, just state so, as I mentioned, I could care less of your, or anyone's opinion in this area that I do not currently train with. Actually, based on past experience with you, I never did expect you to agree with it anyway and was reluctant to share it at first, but I thought why not, it just may be of interest to someone.
Well, I am interested, or wouldn't have asked. Not a setup, not a troll - just trying to get out from people working on "this stuff" how they are approaching "how it works" .. and I think your model of "believing in Tohei's ki approach" or however you're organizing it is a beginning step into tricking the body to not use local muscle (at least how I've seen this stuff demonstrated from a couple sources) . . but then there's the refinement, conditioning, organization . . which are iterative and inform each other over time.

Hence, when you say that you move the "ki" first and imply that the other stuff gets moved appropriately by it . . I'm gonna definitely ask what the heck you mean by that

We don't gotta agree, but don't take my disagreement nor pushback on how terms are approached or defined as lack of interest or even necessarily condemnation. We're all presumably chasing this stuff and I'm keen to hear what other people are discovering along the way. It'll all work itself out down the road as more info is revealed and people develop their skills and get hands on each other (part of the "vetting process").
 
Old 04-07-2010, 07:20 PM   #53
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
I would like to see other people get those kudos as well, please post videos!
Yeah, I'm in a horrible position to do it right now - but give me some time and I'll work on getting something basic loaded up that I hope will at least prompt some more questions regarding structure and manipulating force paths inside you via mental direction inside your body (based on having put in the time to do some conditioning stuffs to handle this appropriately). It will hopefully be very basic and I might just post it up (the exercises) to give others a shot at tackling them first.

But Chris, to your point, I'm hoping it's something that:

1) Addresses your concern regarding structure only
2) Should logically progress from a structure drill to more of a "manipulation of forces inside you drill"

So give me some time and I'll see about getting something posted.
 
Old 04-07-2010, 08:49 PM   #54
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Quote:
Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
Yes, the mental taxation is incredible and is reflected by guiding the physical components inside you - stretching the right things, releasing the right things, winding and synching the right things - and I think there's much more going on than "extending ki" (more on that, later), which doesn't mean that the mind doesn't "lead the ki" . . just that the presumption I took from your original post "I'll do you one better" is that you extend the ki and the other stuff just happens. If that's what you meant, then this is the part I do fundamentally disagree with because (and as you mention below) there's also an immense amount of physical conditioning that happens in order to reflect the extension of the ki.
My intent (no pun) was to add another dimension to the comments of moving spine and hara, which is that the mind (as in ki/intent) leads the physical. It was by no means intended to mean that there is no need for physical conditioning to help establish those internal connections that make all that work.

Quote:
Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
Bunch of stuff here . . I think the appeals to authority may be oversimplified, but don't disagree with the gist of the above. Basically, those are the two components of the puzzle I think are being addressed here . . and I think we need to keep highlighting that this stuff is BOTH mentally and physically exhausting. Since part of the disconnect and discourse that's happening (my opinion) in this thread is the highlighting of one over the other (by multiple parties and multiple ends of the spectrum) - rather than discussing how "this stuff" represents a trained skill conditioned in the body guided via intent (or "mentally handling forces via developed jin" . . or or . .)
No disagreement with all that - actually, I think too much may be focused on the physical aspects all the time so I may have a tendency to talk more about the mental to help balance things out.

Quote:
Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
Well, I am interested, or wouldn't have asked. Not a setup, not a troll - just trying to get out from people working on "this stuff" how they are approaching "how it works" .. and I think your model of "believing in Tohei's ki approach" or however you're organizing it is a beginning step into tricking the body to not use local muscle (at least how I've seen this stuff demonstrated from a couple sources) . . but then there's the refinement, conditioning, organization . . which are iterative and inform each other over time.
Understood on your points here - although my recent posts were focused on Tohei's ki extension, his whole position on Mind and Body coordination has four principles; two of the mind and two of the body. A very simplified view of this supports what we both are saying that you need the mental and physical part to make aiki work.

Quote:
Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
Hence, when you say that you move the "ki" first and imply that the other stuff gets moved appropriately by it . . I'm gonna definitely ask what the heck you mean by that
Maybe that was poorly worded by me - my point was that the mind leads and the body follows as conditioned. The mind here can be expressed as extending ki or mental intent; whichever term floats your boat. Again, a mental and physical partnership or mind and body coordination.

Quote:
Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
We don't gotta agree, but don't take my disagreement nor pushback on how terms are approached or defined as lack of interest or even necessarily condemnation. We're all presumably chasing this stuff and I'm keen to hear what other people are discovering along the way. It'll all work itself out down the road as more info is revealed and people develop their skills and get hands on each other (part of the "vetting process").
Actually, we are probably in more agreement than what it may appear from this discussion - we are just approaching it from different points of view. Agree with the getting hands on each other, it is truly the quickest way to express your point of view and have it understood for what it really is - web discussions can only lead to more confusion and misunderstandings
 
Old 04-07-2010, 08:51 PM   #55
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Quote:
Michael Gelum wrote: View Post
Yeppers...can you?

I think most of us need to concentrate on training..not discussion.

Some of you esteemed gentlemen spend more time at the keyboard than training. You would develop more ability and understanding with more experience.

Train well,

Mickey
Hi Mickey,

The idea here is bring the discussion to the mats. My experience with most "my way or the highway" sensei is that they don't practise the 'aiki' of Aikido let alone understand the concept. Some even practise taichi on the side. They are dependant on leverage, muscle power and physical atemi to make their waza work. Even with 25 years or more years training (or should I say instructing) on the mats, they can't even internalize their aikido but their aiki-do is still legitimate thanks to Steven Seagal's movies.

Happy training

David Y
 
Old 04-07-2010, 09:17 PM   #56
Mike Sigman
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Quote:
David Yap wrote: View Post
My experience with most "my way or the highway" sensei is that they don't practise the 'aiki' of Aikido let alone understand the concept. Some even practise taichi on the side. They are dependant on leverage, muscle power and physical atemi to make their waza work. Even with 25 years or more years training (or should I say instructing) on the mats, they can't even internalize their aikido but their aiki-do is still legitimate thanks to Steven Seagal's movies.
Nice post, David, and I'm glad people are beginning to get past the "aiki-diplomacy" and into the real world. I think it gets worse than that, personally.

I've seen people come to a workshop, be able to show absolutely nothing of any reals skills, but they're totally convinced that they "already know this stuff and their students assure them that they do"... the point being that they can't even clinically evaluate their own skills so the idea that they "teach" is an obscene joke upon their "students". "Students" being synonymous with "gulls" or fellow "seekers of fantasy". There's something wrong with the whole scenario, but it gets even worse when these guys claim "spirituality" and "namaste" and the rest of the spiel. Not to mention that you can't bring up the problem of "students" getting misled without violating the tenets of "aiki-speak" or psycho-babble.

I think Tohei actually did a pretty good job... he tried to set up "tests" that at least allowed people to have measurable standards. He could have done even better if he'd been firmer in his resolve and wasn't so beholden to the idea of setting up a 'school' of sorts.

To cut to the chase, I encourage people to speak bluntly but factually. Criticize, but be able to point to facts about the issues, not just comments about the messenger you don't like.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
 
Old 04-08-2010, 01:52 AM   #57
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

I still don't think we have any kind of agreed upon definition of "Aiki". We have talked a lot about structure though.

 
Old 04-08-2010, 03:20 AM   #58
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
I still don't think we have any kind of agreed upon definition of "Aiki". We have talked a lot about structure though.
How about we quote the founder on this, Aiki is the ability to make your opponent powerless.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
 
Old 04-08-2010, 05:50 AM   #59
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

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Chris Hein wrote: View Post
I still don't think we have any kind of agreed upon definition of "Aiki". We have talked a lot about structure though.
Not yet. But, we've all read the threads about aiki is this and aiki is that. Even in this one, we both have completely different views and definitions on aiki.

However, we did find something of a common ground in structure. While structure alone isn't aiki, it is a component. That's a start.

So, rather than jump completely ahead of ourselves and bandy about definitions of aiki, how about we start building up to aiki with some of the components?

With structure, we can see that it isn't just about being solid and resisting someone like a boulder. That'll just get you punched in the face. Resisting someone with muscular strength isn't structure. It's the opposite. Structure is the ability to withstand force while remaining 100% mobile.

Can everyone do that? And some of the answers will be yeah, of course. But, can everyone do that without resorting to timing and rhythm?

In a very basic exercise:

Can you replicate your push test with arms out (uke pushing on the right hand) and then pivot like I did on the non-loaded foot? Yes, it's easy to let the push go from right hand to left foot and let all the load be dedicated to the left foot. Everyone can replicate that but it isn't mobile. That left foot is pinned to the ground. So, structure must include mobility. To continue with a very basic exercise, while receiving the push from right hand outstretched, one must be able to:

1. pick up that left foot and move it without being pushed over.
2. hula hoop the hips to show that the hips are free to move and aren't locked down without being pushed over.
3. lift either foot freely, one after the other, while not being pushed over.
4. able to step forward into the push without losing alignment or structure *and* without leaning into the push.
5. stay upright and not lean forward if uke suddenly disconnects.

These are just the basics of structure. The better your structure, the better you will be at handling force/energy/loads.

How to spot if you are cheating:
1. If you lean and shift your weight onto the right foot, you aren't structurally sound. It just means that instead of the left foot being pinned, you just replaced it with the right foot and right side being pinned. The spine should stay in the middle of both feet.

2. If your upper body sways while you hula hoop your hips. Especially if your shoulder area gets pushed backwards from the incoming energy. Any instability in the upper body shows a lack of structure.

3. As #2, if your upper body gets pushed backwards as you alternate lifting the feet, then you're not structurally sound. And as #1, if you sway to load the other foot, then you're not structurally sound.

4. If you lean into uke, you're not structurally sound. You're more than likely using your body as a lever to push off of the legs and into uke. Keep the body upright and straight.

5. If you lean when uke suddenly disconnects, it means you were using muscle or leverage to push into uke.

For more exercises like this, see my vid of the push test to the head:

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

Please note that I do lean. Yep, not the greatest of structure. But, notice that I don't lean into uke as he disconnects (#5). So, it's not horrible, just not the best it should be.

If we can agree that exercises like these show good structure and if we can replicate these exercises, then it's a step toward how I define aiki. Without structure, there can be no aiki. Then we can move on to intent, which is harder to show on video, let alone spirals. How we get there with video, I don't yet have a clue.
 
Old 04-08-2010, 05:53 AM   #60
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Quote:
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Major kudos to Chris and Mark for posting video!

Being able to see what you guys are talking about really raises the bar in any of these discussions. I will be sure to read what you write more carefully from now on.

Thanks.
Thanks!
 
Old 04-08-2010, 06:20 AM   #61
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Darn, Mark, you part of the exercise test I was going to list is what you put up (shocker, I'm sure) . . also, I'd add a next level of funsies to the mix . . do some of those things while someone is applying a nikkyo to you

Looking forward to the mix, will put mine up at some point . . just not sure when.
 
Old 04-08-2010, 06:21 AM   #62
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

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Chris Hein wrote: View Post
I still don't think we have any kind of agreed upon definition of "Aiki". We have talked a lot about structure though.
How about "Aiki" is the coordination of movement both outside and inside the body.

David
 
Old 04-08-2010, 07:17 AM   #63
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
I still don't think we have any kind of agreed upon definition of "Aiki". We have talked a lot about structure though.
This is why you hear, constantly, that it has to be felt... It's the blind men feeling the elephant... everyone feels something different so it's hard for two people to completely agree on what it is.

today, my definition goes like this:

Aiki is the result of a body that is conditioned to instantly convey forces to and from the ground in a relaxed state, free of muscular force/tension and then manipulate that force both physically (movement) and/or mentally (intent).

and that's just based on what I've felt of the elephant so far and what my training is trying to accomplish. Next week I could meet someone who lets me feel another part of the elephant and my definition could change or at least expand.

Also, I made no mention of the various methods one can condition their body to convey those forces, of which skeletal structure is only one.

Last edited by chillzATL : 04-08-2010 at 07:22 AM.
 
Old 04-08-2010, 07:31 AM   #64
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post

How to spot if you are cheating:

2. If your upper body sways while you hula hoop your hips. Especially if your shoulder area gets pushed backwards from the incoming energy. Any instability in the upper body shows a lack of structure.
question: relax structure where upper, middle and lower move somewhat independently or connected? if you are connected, wouldn't moving your hips also moving everything else? in the same vein as your hand connect to your hara, and your hara moves wouldn't your hand moves as well? or am missing the point somewhere which is very likely?

i would add squatting up and down to make sure you don't brace the legs or circling the knees would work too or do both.

thanks
 
Old 04-08-2010, 07:38 AM   #65
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

going to add doing the macarena while being push
 
Old 04-08-2010, 07:48 AM   #66
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Also, a quick note on how much force is being delivered. While you're first training/conditioning "this stuff", it's more important to be able to do it right so that your body is learning the right way to behave under loads .. as you improve your abilities you can gradually handle stronger and more dynamic loads. So if you are going to share some efforts - there is really nothing wrong with showing it against a very light, static force and showing how "right" to do it.

YMMV
 
Old 04-08-2010, 08:11 AM   #67
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Quote:
Ahmad Abas wrote: View Post
How about we quote the founder on this, Aiki is the ability to make your opponent powerless.
That works for me. When you manipulate the opponent's incoming forces with your jin (er, "aiki") you negate their forces. If you negate the forces to points of no balance, opponent essentially defeats himself with his own forces. And that's the whole idea.

Inaba Sensei said the same thing, BTW.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
 
Old 04-08-2010, 08:26 AM   #68
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

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Phi Truong wrote: View Post
question: relax structure where upper, middle and lower move somewhat independently or connected? if you are connected, wouldn't moving your hips also moving everything else? in the same vein as your hand connect to your hara, and your hara moves wouldn't your hand moves as well? or am missing the point somewhere which is very likely?

i would add squatting up and down to make sure you don't brace the legs or circling the knees would work too or do both.

thanks
It's a good question. One that i'll take the long way to answer.

First, let's take a look at a body builder/weight lifter who's lifting weights to gain muscle in the biceps. You start with enough weight to do a set number of reps, a certain amount of time. You condition and build the biceps so that they can handle more and more weight. This is what I call localized muscle usage. You are actively training specific muscles to "resist" incoming force or weight.

At some point, from building localized muscle groups all over the body, you'll become "strong".

Back to your question about connectedness. In building a structured body, you want whole body connectedness, yes. But you want it in a "relaxed" manner. (I think this is very important for later stages of training in spirals.) In other words, yes, definitely, the hands are connected to the feet, the elbows to the knees, the shoulders to the waist/hip area. You want that connection to completely avoid localized muscle usage.

Think of the bones as very flexible water hoses in the body. Think of the push as water coming into the body through a hose that connects the right hand (where uke is pushing) all the way through the body to the left foot where it goes into the ground. Now, think of localized muscle usage as a tightening of the hose such that it closes it off.

You can hula hoop the waist without moving the shoulders or knees because your structure is relaxed, flexible, and yet strong. The push doesn't affect those other areas. Now, if you have localized muscle usage, it blocks the flow and causes pressure to build up in other areas. While you may be strong enough using localized muscle usage to withstand a push to your outstretched hand, you will not be able to hula hoop your hips because it will destabilize your whole body.

I wouldn't do squatting because it changes the vector of the push and you can still "cheat" to accomplish the exercise.

Martial use?

If you're using localized muscle groups, your sensitivity goes down. You aren't relaxed enough to "feel" changes in uke's movements or attacks. Your whole body speed goes down because you're actively tightening or loosening (basically) specific muscle groups which takes more time overall. Adjusting to changes becomes slower because of this, too.

If you use a relaxed, strong, whole body structure, your sensitivity to change sharpens. You can move under pressure or force because your body isn't locked or resisting that incoming weight or pressure. Your speed goes up because you're moving in a very connected internal manner.

Think of a sword to sword interaction if you can get the sword to be a part of your structured, connected body. Just as you can withstand the push, the attacker won't be able to muscle your sword out of the way, won't be able to off balance you, won't be able to move forward without putting himself in danger. Of course, getting the sword to be as one with your structured body is very hard. But, hey, didn't someone famous say something about the sword is just part of your body?

Farther along in training, martial uses include being able to generate incredible power from minimal physical movements.
 
Old 04-08-2010, 09:55 AM   #69
Ernesto Lemke
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Hi Mark,

I really liked that vid. Thanks for putting it up.

Q: As you via intent shift the load from back to front foot, do you feel any change in the force vector as it is applied onto your partner?
I did this drill against a wall and noticed that as the front leg gets loaded, the compression of the body's structure increases and force runs up in a more diagonal/vertical line as opposed to the line when it comes out of/into the back foot. Of course, I just did it as of yesterday so I'm curious whether you keep your force going out in a 90 degree angle (aligned with your own arm that is).
Best,

Ernesto Lemke
 
Old 04-08-2010, 10:05 AM   #70
MM
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Quote:
Ernesto Lemke wrote: View Post
Hi Mark,

I really liked that vid. Thanks for putting it up.

Ernesto Lemke
Hi Ernesto,

Hope you're doing well. In reference to the video, which one? I posted several and I'm confused as to which one you mean.

Thanks,
Mark
 
Old 04-08-2010, 10:07 AM   #71
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
question: relax structure where upper, middle and lower move somewhat independently or connected? if you are connected, wouldn't moving your hips also moving everything else? in the same vein as your hand connect to your hara, and your hara moves wouldn't your hand moves as well? or am missing the point somewhere which is very likely?

i would add squatting up and down to make sure you don't brace the legs or circling the knees would work too or do both.

thanks
Hi Phi,

Great response from Mark on this already. However, I thought I a saw a post from you somewhere where you mentioned you were in IT. If so, let's take a look at this from a network perspective as well - it just might help some of the technical types to better relate.

To me, I see available energy paths in the body to consist of muscle, bone, ligaments/tendons, and other parts of the fascia. The bone, muscle, and (to some extent) the ligament/tendon paths are mostly linear - the energy comes in and basically follows a straight path through to the destination. However, with fascia, there are multiple paths the energy can go at the same time and still reach the same destination.

If we look at this from a network/telecommunications perspective, consider these linear paths to be essentially dedicated point to point circuits; like Basic Digital Transport (BDT). Now let's consider the fascia to be a meshed network where there are multiple paths to route your data. Of course, in a meshed network you can lock down the routes to simulate point to point paths with a simple routing table, but why limit your options - best to setup a more complex route table that gives you the dynamic flexibility to change things based on the ever changing demand of your data throughput.

Most people have a simple route table for control of their internal energies, and when engaged with an external force, are simply dedicated to dealing with one force at a time that limits thier movements. Now lets say you set up a complicated meshed route table that can handle internal energies in multiple fashions at the same time so you now can handle dealing with ever changing dynamic external forces as well as add some of your own forces to the mix all at the same time. This is what internal aiki training can do for you by establishing new paths for routing energies that you thought were never there because you were locked down in a simple mode.
 
Old 04-08-2010, 10:14 AM   #72
ChrisHein
 
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Ok, back to our definition theme.

Ahmad Abas:
"Aiki is the ability to make your opponent powerless"

This isn't a definition, but a description. Who cares really, but, things like this can lead us crazy places. For example, are hand cuffs "Aiki", how about anesthetics? The idea of what it does is good, but too vague.

David Skaggs:
"Aiki" is the coordination of movement inside and outside of the body.

I personally think this is a pretty sound definition, certainly reasonable and complete. It fits what I'm talking about, how about for others? Still vague, but we are getting somewhere; no?

Jason Casteel:
Aiki is the result of a body that is conditioned to instantly convey forces to and from the ground in a relaxed state, free of muscular force/tension and then manipulate that force both physically (movement) and/or mentally (intent).

I think this is getting back to what I believe we are now calling structure. Am I wrong? Opinions?

On the note of structure, I would like to introduce the idea of "body skill". I would like to use this word to refer to someone who has the ability to use their body in a powerful manner. For example someone with good internal ability as Mike, or Mark might describe would have good "body skill". However I would like to use this word to describe more. For example some one who has lots of agility, strength, speed or coordination would have good "body skill" as well.

I have an idea that this word might become very useful shortly, as we start to approach an idea of what "Aiki" is.

Last edited by ChrisHein : 04-08-2010 at 10:25 AM.

 
Old 04-08-2010, 10:34 AM   #73
Brian Griffith
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Quick question for those who have been training/developing aiki for sometime...has/does your definition change as you develop...It seems to me as you learn/develop, the more your understanding (of aiki) changes/progresses and since the change is, from my very limited, understanding in "your own" body maybe that is why defining it for the masses is difficult.
 
Old 04-08-2010, 10:38 AM   #74
chillzATL
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post

Jason Casteel:
Aiki is the result of a body that is conditioned to instantly convey forces to and from the ground in a relaxed state, free of muscular force/tension and then manipulate that force both physically (movement) and/or mentally (intent).

I think this is getting back to what I believe we are now calling structure. Am I wrong? Opinions?

On the note of structure, I would like to introduce the idea of "body skill". I would like to use this word to refer to someone who has the ability to use their body in a powerful manner. For example someone with good internal ability as Mike, or Mark might describe would have good "body skill". However I would like to use this word to describe more. For example some one who has lots of agility, strength, speed or coordination would have good "body skill" as well.

I have an idea that this word might become very useful shortly, as we start to approach an idea of what "Aiki" is.
We're almost talking in circles Chris. I thought at this point it was clear that conditioning the body and that "structure" (again, not just skeletal structure) are a part of this picture, but not the whole picture. Without a body conditioned in this manner, you can't begin to effectively manage or work with these forces.

Body skill is not a new word around these parts in this context. As there is significant body training (or retraining) involved. Again, we have another divergence. What you call body skill, I would simply call body mechanics. No need to change terms or throw a new one into the mix, especially when you're trying to apply the same term to two completely different things.
 
Old 04-08-2010, 11:00 AM   #75
MM
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Re: Video definitions, "Aiki" and other terms.

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Ok, back to our definition theme.

Ahmad Abas:
"Aiki is the ability to make your opponent powerless"

This isn't a definition, but a description. Who cares really, but, things like this can lead us crazy places. For example, are hand cuffs "Aiki", how about anesthetics? The idea of what it does is good, but too vague.
Yeah, I'd say this is more of a, "what can I do with aiki" type answer. It's like those "Love is ..." sayings. Sure, it helps narrow down things, but doesn't really define it in one saying. Might be a good approach, though.

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
David Skaggs:
"Aiki" is the coordination of movement inside and outside of the body.

I personally think this is a pretty sound definition, certainly reasonable and complete. It fits what I'm talking about, how about for others? Still vague, but we are getting somewhere; no?
Too simplistic and lacks quality.

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Jason Casteel:
Aiki is the result of a body that is conditioned to instantly convey forces to and from the ground in a relaxed state, free of muscular force/tension and then manipulate that force both physically (movement) and/or mentally (intent).

I think this is getting back to what I believe we are now calling structure. Am I wrong? Opinions?
Better, but as you note, it doesn't really convey more than what a good, structured, internally skilled person can do.

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
On the note of structure, I would like to introduce the idea of "body skill". I would like to use this word to refer to someone who has the ability to use their body in a powerful manner. For example someone with good internal ability as Mike, or Mark might describe would have good "body skill". However I would like to use this word to describe more. For example some one who has lots of agility, strength, speed or coordination would have good "body skill" as well.

I have an idea that this word might become very useful shortly, as we start to approach an idea of what "Aiki" is.
Hmmm ... I guess I'd use structure to describe those people who are working on internal skills and I'd use "body skill" to describe people who use external methods. To me, good BJJ people definitely have a body skill. I even think some of them have some sort of structure at work. So, you see how both can actually apply to some people?

Then it gets worse because by the very nature of the training, people who have aiki to a decent degree also have agility, strength, speed, coordination, power, sensitivity, etc but in a much different way than other people.

Part of the problem is that when very high level jujutsu people are seen, it can "look" like aiki. But if you take one person and have them uke a technique for a jujutsu person and then an aiki person, that uke will always state that these two people did two very separate and different things. All the while, everyone else that's watching will say, the jujutsu and aiki person did exactly the same thing.

Part of the reason I started and kept to structure is that it is hard to replicate some things that can be done with structure. You almost have to use "cheats" to replicate them when there is no structure.

Hence, my example of the push test (my post #59) to an outstretched arm and the extra moves one makes to show that there is no "cheating". It would be nice if people would just give that a try.

Why? Because if you can't replicate that, then how can you use lines of energy along that structural pathway? Remember the Ki Society example of unbendable arm? Just thinking about water flowing out the arm is only a small fraction of what should be going on. Not only do you have a flow out the arm, but there should be a flow going inwards to the spine -- at the same time. In both arms. With an up and down in the spine. You're creating lines of intent built upon your frame (bones) to help create structure.

So, once you can get that going, then you start using intent along those pathways in exercises designed to work and build other parts of your body (this is where the fascia theory begins). You do this so that, for example in the push test to an outstretched arm, you aren't just letting force go through your body and hampering your mobility, but you're vectoring it into appropriate channels to improve mobility. Instead of the push routing to the opposite foot and pinning it there, you're vectoring that force within you so that you can pick that foot up and move no matter what kind of push is being received.

Then you work on a push coming in to a different area, say the shoulder or chest or hip. Then working on vectoring the force internally in various ways. I think Bill Gleason shows it better than I could explain:

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOs_G...eature=related
 

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