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Old 01-24-2011, 10:40 PM   #1
ChrisHein
 
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Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

I personally have had the very fortunate experience of training with an expert in Chinese internal martial arts. Through my training with him, I learned that Chinese internal martial arts, were not magical, but just the most efficient ways one could use the human body. As I studied, I learned that I could do, at least on some level, all of the typical demonstrations of internal power. As my studies progressed I realized that modern athletic training covers most, if not all of what could be learned in the internal martial arts.

However, here on Aikiweb there seems to be a notion that "internal" and athletics are very different things. That some how athletes cannot do the things that internal martial artists can do. I don't believe this to be the case. I believe modern athletics training actually teaches the core lessons of internal martial arts, but in a more dynamic and functional way.

So I'd like to ask, what is the perceived difference, and assumed superiority of internal martial arts over good athletics training?

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Old 01-24-2011, 11:37 PM   #2
JW
 
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Hi Chris. If you have found a way to train for what you want to get, that is a good thing. But anything you could be talking about (things that could be gained from "athleticism") is a different thing than what "they" are talking about.

Your question only computes if what you say is true from your experience is generally true for others-- that is, if you can get internal training from athleticism. But I hear people saying that they are going far and wide to learn how to train internals, via exercises that are not present in athletics. So.. I guess whatever they are talking about can't be gotten from athletics.

So can you clarify? Do you mean why do we perceive internal skill as superior to the very different thing of athletic skill? Or do you mean "given that internal skill is learned within regular sports, why are things like shiko better?"
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Old 01-24-2011, 11:51 PM   #3
Janet Rosen
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Chris, since I have little athletic training per se and don't know if it applies as you mean it (I've done some plyometrics and also some Pilates, and have applied them in general to how I move but don't consider them the same as what I learn from silk reeling or learning to move my center) - so may I ask you to go into detail of what you mean by athletics or athletic training? Thanks!

Janet Rosen
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Old 01-25-2011, 12:21 AM   #4
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Quote:
Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
Your question only computes if what you say is true from your experience is generally true for others-- that is, if you can get internal training from athleticism. But I hear people saying that they are going far and wide to learn how to train internals, via exercises that are not present in athletics. So.. I guess whatever they are talking about can't be gotten from athletics.
People do all kinds of strange things. I wouldn't make any assumptions, for myself, based on the fact that "they" go far and wide to do anything.

Quote:
So can you clarify? Do you mean why do we perceive internal skill as superior to the very different thing of athletic skill? Or do you mean "given that internal skill is learned within regular sports, why are things like shiko better?"
Why do you believe that internal is different then athletics? Why do you believe this is better?

Janet,
Athletics teach you how to move smoothly and from your center. The modern study of athletic movement (as one would find in football, basket ball, track and field etc) teaches any of the things I can think of that are learned in "internal". The language is different but the lessons are the same. It's hard to go into anymore detail without further understanding your knowledge of sports training.

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Old 01-25-2011, 12:43 AM   #5
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Athletics teach you how to move smoothly and from your center. The modern study of athletic movement (as one would find in football, basket ball, track and field etc) teaches any of the things I can think of that are learned in "internal". The language is different but the lessons are the same. It's hard to go into anymore detail without further understanding your knowledge of sports training.
The internal power folks will tell you that the lessons aren't actually the same, that IP focuses on manipulating the structure of your own body, while athletes manipulate the outside world. They will also point out that internal strength continues to develop as people age, while athletic strength inevitably declines.

I do think that the degree of body control that some athletes have (notably gymnasts, but others as well) is often underestimated by non-athletes, but I'm not aware of any athletic discipline that claims to produce the abilities that the IP folks claim to have.

Studying the training of Chinese gymnasts and weightlifters might be interesting, as the Chinese seem fairly free of training dogma, and willing to consider any approach that works.

Katherine
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Old 01-25-2011, 12:53 AM   #6
Michael Varin
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Wow. The confusion persists!

Chris asked a fairly straight forward, two part question.

1. What is the perceived difference between internal martial arts and good athletics training?

2. What is the assumed superiority of internal martial arts over good athletics training?

Jonathan,

Look at your post. You have stated conclusions, and then asked more questions. Chris was asking for your explanation. By simply providing the "what's, why's, and how's" you would have answered it, at least to the best of your present ability.

Quote:
Jonathan Wong wrote:
Hi Chris. If you have found a way to train for what you want to get, that is a good thing. But anything you could be talking about (things that could be gained from "athleticism") is a different thing than what "they" are talking about.
Why are they different? What are the differences?

Quote:
Jonathan Wong wrote:
Your question only computes if what you say is true from your experience is generally true for others-- that is, if you can get internal training from athleticism.
This is a false statement, and plays no role in answering this question.

Quote:
Jonathan Wong wrote:
But I hear people saying that they are going far and wide to learn how to train internals, via exercises that are not present in athletics. So.. I guess whatever they are talking about can't be gotten from athletics.
You guess? Why do you guess this?

Quote:
Jonathan Wong wrote:
So can you clarify? Do you mean why do we perceive internal skill as superior to the very different thing of athletic skill?
Yes! Why? And how are they very different?

Quote:
Jonathan Wong wrote:
Or do you mean "given that internal skill is learned within regular sports, why are things like shiko better?"
As far as I can tell Chris never required you to make that assumption, but if you feel it needs to be addressed, Why is shiko better? What does it provide that is not found in the realms of athletic training.

People, let's be more aware of our contributions to this forum. Let's move this discussion forward, instead of running in circles.

Let me help everyone. Good answers would be structured as follows:

1. The difference(s) between internal martial arts and good athletics training is/are [ ], because [ ].

2. The superiority of internal martial arts over good athletics training is [ ], because [ ].

And, of course, you can add any additional explanation that you think is necessary.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 01-25-2011, 01:12 AM   #7
Upyu
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Athletics teach you how to move smoothly and from your center. The modern study of athletic movement (as one would find in football, basket ball, track and field etc) teaches any of the things I can think of that are learned in "internal". The language is different but the lessons are the same. It's hard to go into anymore detail without further understanding your knowledge of sports training.
I think I mentioned this before, but Ark was a competitive gymnast before he started developing these skills and conditioning. And he would be the first to say that gymnastics had no overlap training wise, and in fact impeded his ability to learn his current skill set.

One problem lies in the language, you say "center" or "koshi" or whatever, we might say the same, but the physical meaning and development is completely different.

On one hand there's a specific physical development and control over the core, spinal erector muscles, obliques, diaphram etc that comes with the IS training, and then there's utilization of some kind of elastic property that develops in the body (whether its fascia or not is anyone's guess), not to mention a unique use of forces within the body etc, which, coupled together are simply "different" from what you see in modern sports.

Then you might say, "sure we use that too! Because I got my ass handed to me by someone that also uses those parts"

Well sure, we're only human with two arms and two legs, so the same parts are going to be used, but the manner in which they're used, and the way in which they are conditioned is going to be different.

I'd also caveat that "mechanically efficient" does not equal IS.
As in, I'm sure Vlad of Systema is extremely efficient at throwing someone using what someone perceives as being extremely effective or "effortless," but it still wouldn't be IS.
That doesn't make it bad or inferior, it's just simply not within the IS frame work.
Same applies to even some schools of Chinese arts, plus there's always shades of gray where some aspects might be used by some schools, but lacking in others.

I dunno, its just kinda obvious once you cross hands with someone that actually has it. Just because someone handed your ass to you easily, and got you to be able to replicate a couple of parlor tricks doesn't mean that the person had IS. If it were me, I'd go round a couple more "name" persons (not necessarily the ones mentioned here) and collect more data.

It's pretty cut and dry if you ask me, just go and check someone out already dude!
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Old 01-25-2011, 02:03 AM   #8
grondahl
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

It declines, but continous training will keep it at high levels if done correct.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1u0RVFpRNKU

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
They will also point out that internal strength continues to develop as people age, while athletic strength inevitably declines.
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Old 01-25-2011, 02:21 AM   #9
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
So I'd like to ask, what is the perceived difference, and assumed superiority of internal martial arts over good athletics training?
Internal martial arts = Exotic powers from orient.

Athletics = Ordinary western sport

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Old 01-25-2011, 03:26 AM   #10
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Hi - this is an interesting video, unfortunately in Chinese, showing how Zhang Zhi Jun's Taiji punch differs from the punch from "normal" martial artists (probably trained in sanda). He is in his 60s and quite well known for actually having fought in public and against some Shiorinji Kempo Challengers from Japan in the 1980s.

His punch is in terms of pressure ranks at the bottom which is bad, but the two things that they found, the vibration from the punch lasted much longer (i.e. the internal organs shook for longer causing more damage) and that the his use of all his muscles was pretty even and integrated (whole body power), measured using electrical readings compared to the others.

http://bugu.cntv.cn/life/science/zou...2/100843.shtml
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Old 01-25-2011, 08:18 AM   #11
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Internal martial arts = Exotic powers from orient.

Athletics = Ordinary western sport
This is exactly the reason. They are different and both indispensably useful in martial arts. Martial artists claim that internal skills don't require or are even hindered by athleticism because they do not understand what general physical preparation is and why it is not really optional for anyone undertaking any lifelong physical discipline. Similarly, athletes claim that martial arts is esoteric garbage because they have never had Mike Sigman swing a jo at them or been crushed by Ikeda Sensei.

Last edited by bkedelen : 01-25-2011 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 01-25-2011, 08:24 AM   #12
Janet Rosen
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Chris, I will admit complete ignorance of modern methods for teaching collegiate or pro athletics beyond that plyometrics is used in sports that involve jumping and cutting.
What I can tell you is that for many yrs in aikido I've been taught to "move from my center" but that qualitatively this sense of and use of center is different from what little I've started to explore more recently.

Janet Rosen
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Old 01-25-2011, 08:39 AM   #13
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
I personally have had the very fortunate experience of training with an expert in Chinese internal martial arts. Through my training with him, I learned that Chinese internal martial arts, were not magical, but just the most efficient ways one could use the human body. As I studied, I learned that I could do, at least on some level, all of the typical demonstrations of internal power. As my studies progressed I realized that modern athletic training covers most, if not all of what could be learned in the internal martial arts.

However, here on Aikiweb there seems to be a notion that "internal" and athletics are very different things. That some how athletes cannot do the things that internal martial artists can do. I don't believe this to be the case. I believe modern athletics training actually teaches the core lessons of internal martial arts, but in a more dynamic and functional way.

So I'd like to ask, what is the perceived difference, and assumed superiority of internal martial arts over good athletics training?
The answer:

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
I think I mentioned this before, but Ark was a competitive gymnast before he started developing these skills and conditioning. And he would be the first to say that gymnastics had no overlap training wise, and in fact impeded his ability to learn his current skill set.
Now, you can go into as much questioning as you want here on Aikiweb, but 2 of the 3 people have stated that it is different. No one ever said superior.

I would suggest going back to your "expert in Chinese internal martial arts" (sorry, but you didn't name him/her) and ask for more training because from your posts, it would appear (I say appear and am not stating a fact) that you have missed something in the training from this highly regarded teacher.

Perhaps some more training will provide answers to your questions because at least 2 of the 3 (most likely all three, but I don't remember the third addressing this issue. He probably did, but I just don't remember) all agree on the Internal Training being different than "modern athletic training".
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Old 01-25-2011, 08:59 AM   #14
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
I would suggest going back to your "expert in Chinese internal martial arts" (sorry, but you didn't name him/her)
Does not need to.
Dojo: Central valley Aikido, Shen wu.

Quote:
Perhaps some more training will provide answers to your questions because at least 2 of the 3 (most likely all three, but I don't remember the third addressing this issue. He probably did, but I just don't remember) all agree on the Internal Training being different than "modern athletic training"
Depends on what you call "modern athletic training" cause there are lots of modern athletic training methods. For instance: http://www.menshealth.com/fitness/un...muscles/page/1

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Old 01-25-2011, 09:16 AM   #15
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

There is no dichotomy. This will become part of the body of knowledge of sports medicine, it's already happening.

Alfonso Adriasola
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Old 01-25-2011, 09:30 AM   #16
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Quote:
Alfonso Adriasola wrote: View Post
There is no dichotomy. This will become part of the body of knowledge of sports medicine, it's already happening.
I agree with this.
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Old 01-25-2011, 09:35 AM   #17
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Quote:
Alfonso Adriasola wrote: View Post
There is no dichotomy. This will become part of the body of knowledge of sports medicine, it's already happening.
And the sooner the "usual suspects" start to work with universities, investigation centers, or practitioneers like Daniel James (who posts here in AW) instead in engaging in the usual A: "You suck" B: "No, you suck more and your momma is ugly" ad infinitum, the better.

IMO, of course

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Old 01-25-2011, 10:03 AM   #18
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
The internal power folks will tell you that the lessons aren't actually the same, that IP focuses on manipulating the structure of your own body, while athletes manipulate the outside world. They will also point out that internal strength continues to develop as people age, while athletic strength inevitably declines.
Katherine,
I understand that the "IP folks" say lots of things. They may or may not believe that the lessons are actually different, but this is still not a reason. Why are they different?

Saying that internal focuses on manipulating the structure of your own body, but athletics doesn't is not logical. Athletics is about properly aligning, moving and using the body. It teaches the principles of proper use of the physical body. There is absolutely no doubt that athletics focus on manipulating the the structure of your own body.

If internal martial arts don't manipulate the outside world, how do they interact with it? If internal martial arts don't have an effect on the world outside of the body, then how are they useful for anything, let alone martial arts.

Athletics have proven time and again to help people into old age. Look at Jack Lalanne (who passed this weekend at 96) He could do things that no internal martial artist could even touch. At 80 yeas of age he swam 1.5 miles, pulling 80 boats, each with 80 people in them. At half his age, 80% of people couldn't do that. Everyone dies, Ueshiba and Lalanne, who do you think was stronger at 80?

Rob John,
I find it strange that all the "internal people" who possess so much "internal power" are also athletes. Perhaps they are simply telling you that it's not athletics, but something else. Ark has more videos than any of the other internal people, he's also an ex gymnast and kickboxer (I'm sure he's done a few other athletic things as well). Strange that the more athletic they are, the more things they show.

As far as using the elastic nature of the body, sports people discuss this all the time. The language is different but they are talking about the same thing.

Athletics take less time to learn, are more clearly explained, more widely available, and demonstrate more effective ability.

Why is "internal" different then athletics? What can an internal martial artist do that a good athlete cannot?

Last edited by ChrisHein : 01-25-2011 at 10:08 AM.

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Old 01-25-2011, 10:08 AM   #19
Janet Rosen
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Great link - Thanks!

Janet Rosen
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Old 01-25-2011, 10:12 AM   #20
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Does not need to.
Dojo: Central valley Aikido, Shen wu.
I've never met or trained with Tim Cartmell. But, in all the time I've read about him, he seemed like the kind of martial artist that kept an open mind and got out there and actually trained with all manner of martial artists. Just look at the people he's trained with:

Quote:
I began training in Kung Fu San Soo with Ted Sias and later continued training with Jimmy H. Woo. In Taiwan, I studied Xing Yi Quan with Xu Hong Ji and later with his son Xu Zhen Wang. I studied Old style Yang Tai Ji Quan and Xu Xi Dao (an esoteric Crane style) with Chen Zhuo Zhen. My next Tai Ji Quan teacher was Lin Ah Long, who taught me the Yang and Chen Zhao Bao styles. I studied Yi Quan and the Internal styles with Gao Liu De. I studied the Old Frame of the Chen style with Xu Fu Jin. I studied Gao style Ba Gua Zhang and Chen Pan Ling style Tai Ji Quan with Luo De Xiu. In mainland China, I studied He Bei style Xing Yi Quan with luodexiub.gif (17025 bytes)Liang Ke Quan. I studied Sun style Ba Gua Zhang and Tai Ji Quan with Sun Jian Yun, Sun Bao An and Liu Yan Long. I studied Shan Xi Xing Yi with Mao Ming Chun.
Seriously, he seems like a very open minded martial artist who looks for quality people to train with. I would be that if someone came up to him and said, hey, Tim, there's a guy who says that his Internal Training methods are different than everyone else's and that he can also use these methods in an MMA environment, that Tim would keep his mind open and when the chance came, he'd look to train with that guy.

Point of fact, here's Tim himself:

Quote:
Tim Cartmell wrote:
I would only add that I believe it is important to respect the practitioners of all types of martial arts, regardless of the style. Remaining humble with an open mind is the only way to continuous improvement. You can learn something from just about everyone. I often tell my students, "if it works for you, it's good."
So, I thought that maybe there was someone else that Chris had trained with that he hadn't reported. You never know.

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Depends on what you call "modern athletic training" cause there are lots of modern athletic training methods. For instance: http://www.menshealth.com/fitness/un...muscles/page/1
Yep, and all those people are now Internal Martial Arts experts, right?

Knowing theory about how the body possibly works will never equal actual training to create a martial body. But you know this.

Mark
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Old 01-25-2011, 10:17 AM   #21
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Tim Cartmell is very open minded. So am I. I am just asking for someone who spends a lot of time doing the "IP" stuff as talked about here on Aikiweb to tell me how and why "IP" is better/different then athletics training.

It's kind of like someone saying, "this is so because I say it." And I ask," can you tell me why?" and they say, "you're so close minded, I just told you because I said so."

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Old 01-25-2011, 10:20 AM   #22
David Orange
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Athletics teach you how to move smoothly and from your center. The modern study of athletic movement (as one would find in football, basket ball, track and field etc) teaches any of the things I can think of that are learned in "internal". The language is different but the lessons are the same. It's hard to go into anymore detail without further understanding your knowledge of sports training.
I don't know of any athletic training that teaches coordination of ki through intent to move the body. Could you tell me where they're doing that?

Thanks.

David

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Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

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Old 01-25-2011, 10:21 AM   #23
kewms
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

I'm currently training in both olympic weightlifting and IP-influenced aikido(*). My sense so far is that the two take different approaches in search of different goals. I'm not yet knowledgeable enough in either to be much more precise than that, I'm afraid.

I will say, though, that your relationship to gravity is very different when your goal is to put an attacker on the ground than when your goal is to put a heavy weight over your head. Channeling the energy that an attacker helpfully provides is also very different than supplying all of the energy necessary to move a barbell from a dead stop. These guys
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tl9N...eature=related
clearly know something about explosiveness and structure -- that's double bodyweight they're lifting -- but I'm not sure it's the same stuff IP martial arts study.

My feeling is that both have important lessons to teach -- which is why I'm doing both -- but that they aren't the *same* lessons.

Katherine

(*) IP-influenced aikido = aikido in the dojo of one of the folks who is trying to incorporate IP into his art. Not going to get into the whole debate about what is and isn't IP, or who does or doesn't "get it."

Last edited by kewms : 01-25-2011 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 01-25-2011, 10:24 AM   #24
David Orange
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
Wow. The confusion persists!
Man, this stuff just eats you alive, doesn't it?

The question comes back to the same line as what is the difference between internal arts and external arts. External arts are athletics. So it's the same question. And that has been answered many times.

David

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Lao Tzu

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Old 01-25-2011, 10:38 AM   #25
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Why do you perceive "internal" superior to athleticism?

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Yep, and all those people are now Internal Martial Arts experts, right?
Wrong.

My point is "modern athletic training" encompasses lots of different approaches. You can't (well you can but I think you shouldn't) say all "modern athletic training" is the same thing. Except, of course, if you are a recognized authority on that matter, but I missed that part.

Quote:
Knowing theory about how the body possibly works will never equal actual training to create a martial body. But you know this.
Apples have been falling from trees since ever... Who needs to know what gravity is? Who needs science when the shaman can give you the answers? What about the possible uses of IS training in sports performance, medicine, rehabilitation, workplace ergonomics?

At least the "modern athletic training" people are helping to diminish the suffering of another human beings. Are you doing the same?

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