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Old 01-14-2011, 02:14 AM   #1
Dave de Vos
 
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Training Internal Strength

I have some questions about training for Internal Strength.

I read quite a few posts about internal strength on AikiWeb, and I'm interested in learning more about it. But I am not quite sure what it is exactly. I've tried to find out more on YouTube. Is it something like this or this?

I also read that it is very much possible and even required to do a lot of solo exercises to improve ones internal strength. What kind of exercises are these? Are they something like this or this? (Well, these examples aren't solo, but my wife might be an exercise partner)

Might these solo exercises be learned from video or would I require a personal teacher to teach me the right way to solo exercise? (I wouldn't know where I can find someone that teaches this kind of stuff in my area)

(Perhaps I should have started this topic under "Training", but I wasn't sure if this topic would qualify as an Aikido training topic)

Last edited by Dave de Vos : 01-14-2011 at 02:23 AM.
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Old 01-14-2011, 02:26 AM   #2
Lorel Latorilla
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Re: Training Internal Strength

Quote:
Dave de Vos wrote: View Post
I have some questions about training for Internal Strength.

I read quite a few posts about internal strength on AikiWeb, and I'm interested in learning more about it. But I am not quite sure what it is exactly. I've tried to find out more on YouTube. Is it something like this or this?

I also read that it is very much possible and even required to do a lot of solo exercises to improve ones internal strength. What kind of exercises are these? Are they something like this or this? (Well, these examples aren't solo, but my wife might be an exercise partner)

Might these solo exercises be learned from video or would I require a personal teacher to teach me the right way to solo exercise? (I wouldn't know where I can find someone that teaches this kind of stuff in my area)
You'd have to go to a teacher. This stuff has not been codified yet by Western science (although I think we're in an interesting transition) so there is no way really for you to glean anything from videos or discussion online. Even for those who have exposure to bodyskill, discussion can be difficult. This stuff is cloaked in metaphors, and while some take the liberty to create their own 'interpretations' about the metaphors, these metaphors point to an actual concrete physical process.

Unless stated otherwise, all wisdom, follies, harshness, malice that may spring up from my writing are attributable only to me.
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Old 01-14-2011, 03:26 AM   #3
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Re: Training Internal Strength

Quote:
Lorel Latorilla wrote: View Post
You'd have to go to a teacher. This stuff has not been codified yet by Western science (although I think we're in an interesting transition) so there is no way really for you to glean anything from videos or discussion online. Even for those who have exposure to bodyskill, discussion can be difficult. This stuff is cloaked in metaphors, and while some take the liberty to create their own 'interpretations' about the metaphors, these metaphors point to an actual concrete physical process.
I was afraid that this would be the general answer to my questions, but I'm hoping that someone can offer more information.

Last edited by Dave de Vos : 01-14-2011 at 03:37 AM.
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Old 01-14-2011, 03:43 AM   #4
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Re: Training Internal Strength

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Dave de Vos wrote: View Post
I was afraid that this would be the general answer to my questions, but I am still hoping that someone can offer some information.
1) It is a way of using your body to create a lot of force with physical efficiency, a way to increase your range of motion while staying balanced, and a way to take an opponent's balance without force and clashing.

2) Yes, the videos point to 'internal strength'. But whatever they do it or not depends on how they feel in real life. I would not judge until I have crossed-hands with the person.

3) Yes you have to do a lot of solo exercises. You are basically re-wiring your body and undoing movement habits that prevent you from expressing bodyskill. The exercises target and condition parts of the body that allow you to move with whole body. For example, if your abdomen moves, then your arm and legs, akin gear-like dynamic, should move as well.

Unless stated otherwise, all wisdom, follies, harshness, malice that may spring up from my writing are attributable only to me.
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Old 01-14-2011, 06:38 AM   #5
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Re: Training Internal Strength

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Dave de Vos wrote: View Post
I was afraid that this would be the general answer to my questions, but I'm hoping that someone can offer more information.
There is an upcoming seminar by Dan Harden in the Netherlands. Details here:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19224

I think a lot of your questions would be answered at this seminar. It might be full, but you can ask about a waiting list since some people drop out before the actual seminar date arrives.
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Old 01-14-2011, 06:55 AM   #6
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Re: Training Internal Strength

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
There is an upcoming seminar by Dan Harden in the Netherlands. Details here:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19224

I think a lot of your questions would be answered at this seminar. It might be full, but you can ask about a waiting list since some people drop out before the actual seminar date arrives.
Thank you for the tip.

That would be a wonderful opportunity indeed, but I read that it is for advanced students and teachers only (I understand that this is usually the case with Dan Harden's seminars). I just started training aikido four months ago, so I don't qualify at all.
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Old 01-14-2011, 07:40 AM   #7
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Re: Training Internal Strength

Quote:
Dave de Vos wrote: View Post
That would be a wonderful opportunity indeed, but I read that it is for advanced students and teachers only (I understand that this is usually the case with Dan Harden's seminars). I just started training aikido four months ago, so I don't qualify at all.
mike sigman also has a workshop in europe if you can get to http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18499

or looking up this teacher, wang hai jun, if you can get to some of his workshops. if you get to his workshops, ask for two things: standing exercise and silk reeling.

i believed akuzawa of aunkai also give workshops in europe.

one thing, maybe two, about internal training. you need to acquire a certain attitude of persistent and perseverance. the statement "I just started training aikido four months ago, so I don't qualify at all" is a non-persistent statement. you ping dan and ask "can i come? can i come, please? pretty please? i'll buy you beers, dinner and whatever, if you let me come" and so on and so forth. be a persistent SOB. that sort of attitude is needed for doing solo exercises.
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Old 01-14-2011, 07:40 AM   #8
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Re: Training Internal Strength

Quote:
Dave de Vos wrote: View Post
Thank you for the tip.

That would be a wonderful opportunity indeed, but I read that it is for advanced students and teachers only (I understand that this is usually the case with Dan Harden's seminars). I just started training aikido four months ago, so I don't qualify at all.
Usually, yes, but not always. If you're interested, email and ask. Better to be sure than to miss an opportunity.
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Old 01-14-2011, 07:59 AM   #9
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Re: Training Internal Strength

Quote:
Dave de Vos wrote: View Post
Thank you for the tip.

That would be a wonderful opportunity indeed, but I read that it is for advanced students and teachers only (I understand that this is usually the case with Dan Harden's seminars). I just started training aikido four months ago, so I don't qualify at all.
Hello Sir
Yes, I have been reserving my efforts for teachers and advanced students. I have done two seminars for students, and I am now doing a couple of others. I reserve most of my efforts for teachers in response to feedback from students here that they could not get practice time in their dojos. Teachers are the ones that can assign time in classes, since they control things, so I got them involved.
Simple Idea really. 17 of the 19 seminars I have done were a commitment I made to support those original teachers.

I would also encourage you to look up Mike or Ark.I am continually told that most of the ICMA teachers are not going to teach you the goods for a very long time. Word to the wise.
Cheers
Dan.

Last edited by DH : 01-14-2011 at 08:03 AM.
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Old 01-14-2011, 08:29 AM   #10
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Re: Training Internal Strength

since there isn't much discussion of Tohei's aikido system in this thread, it probably should be moved to the Non-Aikido Traditions forum.

You could go the ki-society route, but I only have 1 classes experience with them and have no idea if they have any dojo in your country. Their exercises will fit within an aikido context and discourage overt muscle use, but I do not believe that you are likely to be exposed to the full spectrum of skills mentioned in the Non-Aikido Traditions forum.

There are now Aunkai instructors in France and the Netherlands. There is probably contact information on the aunkai.net homepage or you can look around Leo Tamaki's blog. http://www.leotamaki.com/

If you have the opportunity, attend one of the seminars by Dan, Akuzawa, or Mike. You will at least get exposure to these skills, but it will take a lot of time and effort to figure them out most likely without a teacher or experienced partner. I don't want to sound discouraging, but you may go for years and find out that you were doing them all wrong.

Last edited by HL1978 : 01-14-2011 at 08:35 AM.
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Old 01-14-2011, 08:57 AM   #11
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Re: Training Internal Strength

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
mike sigman also has a workshop in europe if you can get to http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18499

or looking up this teacher, wang hai jun, if you can get to some of his workshops. if you get to his workshops, ask for two things: standing exercise and silk reeling.

i believed akuzawa of aunkai also give workshops in europe.

one thing, maybe two, about internal training. you need to acquire a certain attitude of persistent and perseverance. the statement "I just started training aikido four months ago, so I don't qualify at all" is a non-persistent statement. you ping dan and ask "can i come? can i come, please? pretty please? i'll buy you beers, dinner and whatever, if you let me come" and so on and so forth. be a persistent SOB. that sort of attitude is needed for doing solo exercises.
Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Usually, yes, but not always. If you're interested, email and ask. Better to be sure than to miss an opportunity.
Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Hello Sir
Yes, I have been reserving my efforts for teachers and advanced students. I have done two seminars for students, and I am now doing a couple of others. I reserve most of my efforts for teachers in response to feedback from students here that they could not get practice time in their dojos. Teachers are the ones that can assign time in classes, since they control things, so I got them involved.
Simple Idea really. 17 of the 19 seminars I have done were a commitment I made to support those original teachers.

I would also encourage you to look up Mike or Ark.I am continually told that most of the ICMA teachers are not going to teach you the goods for a very long time. Word to the wise.
Cheers
Dan.
Thanks for the helpful advice, but I think it would not be appropriate for me to attend a seminar for teachers just yet (even if I were somehow allowed to participate), because I know so little about it that I don't even know whether it is something for me.

That's why I started the topic: I am looking for some informal introduction into the subject. To get a clearer picture of what it is about.

At this stage, travelling abroad to participate in seminars seem like an overkill to satisfy my curiosity.

Do I understand correctly that good internal strength teachers are so rare that seminars are about the only option for learning what it is?

,
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:01 AM   #12
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Re: Training Internal Strength

Seems that this post is no longer needed ...

Last edited by MM : 01-14-2011 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:07 AM   #13
Dave de Vos
 
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Re: Training Internal Strength

Quote:
Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
since there isn't much discussion of Tohei's aikido system in this thread, it probably should be moved to the Non-Aikido Traditions forum.
I posted this topic in the general forum, because I was not sure where I should post it. Indeed it seems Non-Aikido Traditions would have been a better choice.

Quote:
Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
You could go the ki-society route, but I only have 1 classes experience with them and have no idea if they have any dojo in your country. Their exercises will fit within an aikido context and discourage overt muscle use, but I do not believe that you are likely to be exposed to the full spectrum of skills mentioned in the Non-Aikido Traditions forum.

There are now Aunkai instructors in France and the Netherlands. There is probably contact information on the aunkai.net homepage or you can look around Leo Tamaki's blog. http://www.leotamaki.com/

If you have the opportunity, attend one of the seminars by Dan, Akuzawa, or Mike. You will at least get exposure to these skills, but it will take a lot of time and effort to figure them out most likely without a teacher or experienced partner. I don't want to sound discouraging, but you may go for years and find out that you were doing them all wrong.
I'll be away the rest of today, but I will definitely look tomorrow. Thank you.
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:25 AM   #14
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Re: Training Internal Strength

Quote:
Dave de Vos wrote: View Post
Thanks for the helpful advice, but I think it would not be appropriate for me to attend a seminar for teachers just yet (even if I were somehow allowed to participate), because I know so little about it that I don't even know whether it is something for me.
Many "teachers" are at that same stage. They may have lots of aikido experience, but that doesn't mean they know much (or anything) about internal strength.

Katherine
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:49 AM   #15
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Re: Training Internal Strength

It is still somewhat unpopular to say this (though that is on the wain) but Internal power is critical to aiki. I separate Tohei's one point model from aiki in general but it is none the less esential. That's why of those who encounter this training- they want it. The logic of it all, once felt; both defines and defends itself. It's only really debated from those who haven't trained it.
And of course you certainly don't have to be a teacher. Last, I continually point out that those training it and meeting up are having fun and learning...you know...like budo people do everywhere.
Cheers
Dan
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:15 AM   #16
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Re: Training Internal Strength

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Dave de Vos wrote: View Post
Do I understand correctly that good internal strength teachers are so rare that seminars are about the only option for learning what it is?
You can get lots of information online. Ask your favorite search engine for "internal strength and martial arts" and you'll find plenty of stuff.

But that kind of head knowledge won't really do you much good. It won't help you understand the difference in feeling between aikido techniques done with and without aiki, and it won't help you actually develop internal strength on your own.

Katherine
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Old 01-14-2011, 02:01 PM   #17
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Re: Training Internal Strength

Quote:
Dave de Vos wrote: View Post
I posted this topic in the general forum, because I was not sure where I should post it. Indeed it seems Non-Aikido Traditions would have been a better choice.

I'll be away the rest of today, but I will definitely look tomorrow. Thank you.
Dave,

Just wanted to say that, as a beginner in the martial arts, you would have an easier time learning this stuff, since many teachers would have to undo years of ingrained habits (moving without IS).. Since there's a fundamental rewiring that has to take place, simply getting past the muscle memory from non IS driven movements can be maddening, and get in the way of learning this stuff.
Get exposed and started as early as possible
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Old 01-14-2011, 02:09 PM   #18
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Re: Training Internal Strength

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Robert John wrote: View Post
Just wanted to say that, as a beginner in the martial arts, you would have an easier time learning this stuff, since many teachers would have to undo years of ingrained habits (moving without IS).. Since there's a fundamental rewiring that has to take place, simply getting past the muscle memory from non IS driven movements can be maddening, and get in the way of learning this stuff.
Get exposed and started as early as possible
Totally agree here.
The sooner the better.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 01-14-2011, 02:55 PM   #19
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Re: Training Internal Strength

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
Dave,

Just wanted to say that, as a beginner in the martial arts, you would have an easier time learning this stuff, since many teachers would have to undo years of ingrained habits (moving without IS).. Since there's a fundamental rewiring that has to take place, simply getting past the muscle memory from non IS driven movements can be maddening, and get in the way of learning this stuff.
Get exposed and started as early as possible
+1
I would have to agree with this, with the exception of two Daito ryu people that have trained with me. Both were long time practioners who seem to have gotten things faster than most others. The idea of moving from center and the conditioning for other things seemed to gel with them faster. Might be something to that..might not.
Just say'n
Dan
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Old 01-14-2011, 03:09 PM   #20
Mike Sigman
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Re: Training Internal Strength

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
Dave,

Just wanted to say that, as a beginner in the martial arts, you would have an easier time learning this stuff, since many teachers would have to undo years of ingrained habits (moving without IS).. Since there's a fundamental rewiring that has to take place, simply getting past the muscle memory from non IS driven movements can be maddening, and get in the way of learning this stuff.
Get exposed and started as early as possible
I agree with Rob on this. I think as things go forward, this problem (if you look in the archives I already mentioned this) is going to turn out to be one of the major obstacles. It's extremely tough for someone with "many years of experience" in non-I.S. movement to changeover to full I.S. movement. Usually what you get is a partial change, at best, or more probably the case that I mentioned in another thread where someones moves pretty much as they always have and insert some coarse usage of jin/kokyu where they need it in a technique. My experience leads me to bet that this partial approach is going to be the commonest result of "internal strength".

My experiences in a number of workshops over the years is that if a teacher and students come, the well-patterned movements of the teacher(s) tends to slow them down more than newby students.

Very hard-style arts' practitioners can be a worst-case scenario... you can look at it as a case where they have to unlearn so much that it actually puts them further off-base than a newby. In some cases, I have actively (but politely) discouraged some people from coming to a workshop. I thought it would be a waste of their money and the class' time.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 01-14-2011, 06:56 PM   #21
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Re: Training Internal Strength

So you all agree it's best to start practicing internal strength right from the start.

That is great encouragement which leaves me no other option but to find a seminar where I can start learning it.
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Old 01-14-2011, 07:48 PM   #22
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Re: Training Internal Strength

Quote:
Lorel Latorilla wrote: View Post
Quote:
Dave de Vos wrote:
I have some questions about training for Internal Strength.

I read quite a few posts about internal strength on AikiWeb, and I'm interested in learning more about it. But I am not quite sure what it is exactly. I've tried to find out more on YouTube. Is it something like this or this?
You'd have to go to a teacher. This stuff has not been codified yet by Western science (although I think we're in an interesting ... while some take the liberty to create their own 'interpretations' about the metaphors, these metaphors point to an actual concrete physical process.
Concur in most respects . The videos are consistent with at least one Western approach to describe those physical processes which I have advanced, and do apply in very similar terms actually, especially in comparison to the first. I like the general descriptive and illustrative approach of the first, while the second (especially the first part) fits a mechanically derived image consistent with the mechanical principle I find applies. The "steel body" is an application of the same prinicple as the "shaking power" in the first, just very abrupt and conclusive.

Glimpsing the principle and practicing the principle are two different things; they aid one another but training is always key -- as these videos show it can be trained in many different frameworks, and its rudiments are within training forms or methods of many arts if observed carefully, though most are shown quite poorly and only hint at this as they are often shown.

Pay attention to the kokyu undo in aikido and how they move the body without conscious intervention. Some will say start with stillness and move to motion; some will say the reverse. Both are right if you see the operative principle, Both are wrong if you don't.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:28 PM   #23
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Re: Training Internal Strength

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Robert John wrote: View Post
Dave,

Just wanted to say that, as a beginner in the martial arts, you would have an easier time learning this stuff, since many teachers would have to undo years of ingrained habits (moving without IS).. Since there's a fundamental rewiring that has to take place, simply getting past the muscle memory from non IS driven movements can be maddening, and get in the way of learning this stuff.
Get exposed and started as early as possible
I was wondering about the converse of this. Say, if your mom or dad or whatever and had a heads up on these skills...and you had subconsciously been absorbing them since you were little. Or like in say Chen village. What would the possibilities be if you only ever knew that..
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:39 PM   #24
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Re: Training Internal Strength

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
In some cases, I have actively (but politely) discouraged some people from coming to a workshop.
politely?
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:14 PM   #25
DH
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Re: Training Internal Strength

Quote:
Dave de Vos wrote: View Post
I have some questions about training for Internal Strength.

I read quite a few posts about internal strength on AikiWeb, and I'm interested in learning more about it. But I am not quite sure what it is exactly. I've tried to find out more on YouTube. Is it something like this or this?

I also read that it is very much possible and even required to do a lot of solo exercises to improve ones internal strength. What kind of exercises are these? Are they something like this or this? (Well, these examples aren't solo, but my wife might be an exercise partner)

Might these solo exercises be learned from video or would I require a personal teacher to teach me the right way to solo exercise? (I wouldn't know where I can find someone that teaches this kind of stuff in my area)

(Perhaps I should have started this topic under "Training", but I wasn't sure if this topic would qualify as an Aikido training topic)
Hi Dave
I missed this. To be clear neither this
Or that is what you are looking for or will help you get where you want to go.
Cheers
Dan
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