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Old 01-20-2011, 03:41 PM   #76
Mike Sigman
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Re: Ikeda Sensei Demos of Ki

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Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
When they can do what these teachers can do in the types of situations that they can operate in, then their words carry more legitimacy than the those of the backseat drivers.
Heck, I'd be happy if people could just do the basics, rather than speculate ahead to what other people could do in "types of situations". Better to focus on current reality of what a person can do themselves rather than worry about other people to the point of obsession.

Mike Sigman
 
Old 01-20-2011, 04:27 PM   #77
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Re: Ikeda Sensei Demos of Ki

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
These things usually prove to be very interesting and I hear Mr. Ikeda is a gentleman and very open, so I look forward to it..
Ikeda Sensei certainly has lived up to my definitions of a gentleman and has always been open to anyone showing up on the mat.

I always look back on his seminar as some of my most influential and look forward to the next ones.

At one of the last ones I attended, I stepped up and really grabbed a hold of him. He smiled and said that I had already felt it many times. I said that I never feel it enough. He did something completely different as if to say I still had a lot to learn. And I look forward to learning it.

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!
 
Old 01-20-2011, 05:23 PM   #78
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Re: Ikeda Sensei Demos of Ki

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Heck, I'd be happy if people could just do the basics, rather than speculate ahead to what other people could do in "types of situations". Better to focus on current reality of what a person can do themselves rather than worry about other people to the point of obsession.

Mike Sigman
Mike:

I think that we all are trying to learn the basics, always to deeper levels. I was not speculating as to what those two gentleman can do. To me, the obsession is with those who try and dissect something/someone who they do not have enough real experience with. Worse than that, they are trying to do this when those two gentleman have no problem executing what they know when somebody is trying to tag them, while many of those dissectors cannot do the same.

I think that we are fortunate to have gentleman like that who avail themselves as much as they do while continually progressing in their own training. They generously teach us what they are doing while pushing themselves and us forward.

Marc Abrams
 
Old 01-20-2011, 05:45 PM   #79
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Re: Ikeda Sensei Demos of Ki

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Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
I think that we all are trying to learn the basics, always to deeper levels. I was not speculating as to what those two gentleman can do. To me, the obsession is with those who try and dissect something/someone who they do not have enough real experience with. Worse than that, they are trying to do this when those two gentleman have no problem executing what they know when somebody is trying to tag them, while many of those dissectors cannot do the same.
I'm not sure what you're trying to say, Marc. I have videos out in public and if people analyze/dissect those, it's fair game. In fact, it'd be a good public debate. Are you suggesting that people shouldn't analyze (without any personal comments, of course) demonstrations by particular people for certain reasons? I'm not clear on what you mean.

And by the way I'm assuming that you have some videos you can analyze of these "dissectors" where you're able to know what they can and cannot do, since you make a definitive assertion? The reason I bring this up is because I used to see a lot of people who, for whatever reason but usually personal jealousy, used to find every incident they could to denigrate Chen Xiaowang (or others), but they never really had experience with him themselves (other than polite meetings maybe). So I'm trying to be clear what you're analysing in which you definitively say what people can and cannot do. I'm assuming, since it's you, that there's not some shallow motivation, of course.
Quote:
I think that we are fortunate to have gentleman like that who avail themselves as much as they do while continually progressing in their own training. They generously teach us what they are doing while pushing themselves and us forward.
Well, that sounds good. BTW, speaking of "pushing us forward", why don't you and some of the other recently-trained experts join in these conversations of analyzing and explaining how things work? It would be helpful to the whole community if all of the people with new-found skills could engage in online discussion and explanation, sort of like we used to do on the old Neijia List. If someone knew something it was obvious and welcomely discussed. The BS-artists were flushed out pretty rapidly and one of the sure signs a conversation was being pushed to the BS levels was when things turned to a discussion of personalities. I'm certain that a good discussion of factual how-to's would be easy to start on AikiWeb, so why not put your training and insights about internal strength to a good and productive use? It would be good for the Aikido community.

Best.

Mike Sigman
 
Old 01-20-2011, 07:23 PM   #80
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Re: Ikeda Sensei Demos of Ki

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Yup, found mine tucked away in an old cardboard box from about ten years ago when my wife was looking for her stuff....and...I lost weight!!!
I'm hoping for sweats and an informal get together.
Dan
That's how I like to roll these days, too - I don't have as much patience for the roleplaying aspects right now. But each circumstance has its own appropriate entree'.
 
Old 01-20-2011, 07:37 PM   #81
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Re: Ikeda Sensei Demos of Ki

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Budd:

I use to love it when the "young bloods" would give me shit about going to the dojo 2-3 times a week, when I had four kids at home. I would just tell them that I would patiently await to see how many times they attended after they got married and again, after they had children. I still have the last laugh on that one....
When it was just one, it was easier to find ways to include him at the dojo I belonged to then, as the dojo was kind of home away from home and the wife trained, too. With two, there's no ability to tag team and the new gym I'm more of just another participant/shmoe there to work out - so not as conducive to integrating babies into the training.

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The changes in Ikeda Sensei are impressive. It is equally important to note that he attributes a lot of these changes to his work with Ushiro Sensei. People can dissect what these teachers do on forums to their hearts are content. When they can do what these teachers can do in the types of situations that they can operate in, then their words carry more legitimacy than the those of the backseat drivers.
That reads a bit as a backseat comment to the backseat commenting. I think if we keep the conversations at the level of "Here's how I think it works" and "here's what I'm doing to get it to work" - in this case, looking at the vids of Ikeda that are available and trying to dissect that . . it can go a ways towards then bridging that gap towards being able to "do" and then "do better" what the teachers are trying to show us.

On that note, if there's folks that Ikeda, or Ushiro (or anyone else) are more successfully transmitting (or maybe better put are more successfully learning what is being taught) their knowledge - I think that's also fair game to being looked at from the standpoint of the "how to's" and "how's it work" because folks like that can hopefully make it more understood for the rest of us.

If we start going down the path of insisting that "You cannot conceive of the stupendous awesomeness of this or that practitioner" .. then that's going to be its own self-limiting trick bag (along the same lines of why some people try to keep Ueshiba on this pedestal of unattainable ability).
 
Old 01-20-2011, 07:52 PM   #82
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Re: Ikeda Sensei Demos of Ki

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
I'm not sure what you're trying to say, Marc. I have videos out in public and if people analyze/dissect those, it's fair game. In fact, it'd be a good public debate. Are you suggesting that people shouldn't analyze (without any personal comments, of course) demonstrations by particular people for certain reasons? I'm not clear on what you mean.

And by the way I'm assuming that you have some videos you can analyze of these "dissectors" where you're able to know what they can and cannot do, since you make a definitive assertion? The reason I bring this up is because I used to see a lot of people who, for whatever reason but usually personal jealousy, used to find every incident they could to denigrate Chen Xiaowang (or others), but they never really had experience with him themselves (other than polite meetings maybe). So I'm trying to be clear what you're analysing in which you definitively say what people can and cannot do. I'm assuming, since it's you, that there's not some shallow motivation, of course. Well, that sounds good. BTW, speaking of "pushing us forward", why don't you and some of the other recently-trained experts join in these conversations of analyzing and explaining how things work? It would be helpful to the whole community if all of the people with new-found skills could engage in online discussion and explanation, sort of like we used to do on the old Neijia List. If someone knew something it was obvious and welcomely discussed. The BS-artists were flushed out pretty rapidly and one of the sure signs a conversation was being pushed to the BS levels was when things turned to a discussion of personalities. I'm certain that a good discussion of factual how-to's would be easy to start on AikiWeb, so why not put your training and insights about internal strength to a good and productive use? It would be good for the Aikido community.

Best.

Mike Sigman
1) There is limited information that can be gained by observing videos. I guess that I am not at such esteemed levels that I can gained all-knowing information from videos. Maybe one day.... .

2) As to people who like to backseat drive, nothing is gained by calling people out. When you train with certain people, you know who attends the events as well. When people who have not had any hands-on are commenting, you know who they are as well. I frankly do not see where you find me telling people definitively about what others can and cannot do.

3) People put videos out for a variety of reasons. If people want to spend their time coming to "final conclusions" based upon them, then so be it. That is not the way I choose to spend my time.

4) Kindly show me where I have ever described myself as a "recently trained expert." People that know me, know my opinion of the word "expert." My life experiences to date lead to what I can and cannot do today. I consider myself a student on the road of learning. I am ahead of some, even with others, and behind others. I am simply concerned with learning from those ahead of me and sharing what I have learned with those that are even with me and behind me on that life-long road of learning. To me, the day that I believe I have nothing left to learn from others, should be the day I pass on.

5) I have a monthly blog that I put on my website and is also available on the Aikiweb each month. The blog serves as a tool for the learning of myself and my students. I leave it to others to decide as to whether or not anybody finds it of use. If it is, fine; if not, fine. When I think that I have a good idea of "internal strength", I will be sure to post a blog on it to try and win your praise (maybe not).

Regards,

Marc Abrams
 
Old 01-20-2011, 08:04 PM   #83
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Re: Ikeda Sensei Demos of Ki

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When I think that I have a good idea of "internal strength", I will be sure to post a blog on it to try and win your praise (maybe not).
Well, if you have a good idea (in my perception), I will tell you; if you say something I disagree with, I will tell you and I will be exact in describing the actual physical reasons of why or why not. If you use vague general terms with no rational explanation, I will ask you to explain, just as I would expect you to ask me to explain exactly what I meant if I used some vague terms like "spiralling energy" or something similar. Truth and facts first. When conversations stay on a level like that (no personalities) about why or why not, everyone benefits.

Regardless of what you think your position is in terms of overall knowledge of internal-strength mechanics, you should post them. It will give you an opportunity to formulate and articulate your thoughts and you will learn even more through the process. Others will also benefit from the exchange.

Mike Sigman
 
Old 01-20-2011, 08:06 PM   #84
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Re: Ikeda Sensei Demos of Ki

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Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
When it was just one, it was easier to find ways to include him at the dojo I belonged to then, as the dojo was kind of home away from home and the wife trained, too. With two, there's no ability to tag team and the new gym I'm more of just another participant/shmoe there to work out - so not as conducive to integrating babies into the training.
Going from one child to two is always the hardest! Going from 2 on up, much easier! NYC dojo is one hour each way (two hour class). My wife and I made major sacrifices to allow us to continue with our training. I fully understand your situation. Raising a family is all about major sacrificing.....

Quote:
Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post

That reads a bit as a backseat comment to the backseat commenting. I think if we keep the conversations at the level of "Here's how I think it works" and "here's what I'm doing to get it to work" - in this case, looking at the vids of Ikeda that are available and trying to dissect that . . it can go a ways towards then bridging that gap towards being able to "do" and then "do better" what the teachers are trying to show us.

On that note, if there's folks that Ikeda, or Ushiro (or anyone else) are more successfully transmitting (or maybe better put are more successfully learning what is being taught) their knowledge - I think that's also fair game to being looked at from the standpoint of the "how to's" and "how's it work" because folks like that can hopefully make it more understood for the rest of us.

If we start going down the path of insisting that "You cannot conceive of the stupendous awesomeness of this or that practitioner" .. then that's going to be its own self-limiting trick bag (along the same lines of why some people try to keep Ueshiba on this pedestal of unattainable ability).
I look at things differently. I like to get together with people and actively train together and hash out things. We both are old wrestlers, so we both know how important hands on is in working things out. I currently work with a growing bunch of wrestlers. There is no substitute for experiencing what they actually do, as opposed to what I think I see on video or from the stands. I frankly find using video after I work with someone can be a little more useful. I do not engage in idolizing others. If I can learn something from somebody, that is great. If I can't, it is my loss. It's too easy to pick apart things "wrong" or not good enough. It's a lot harder finding useful information in the most unlikely places.

Regards,

Marc Abrams
 
Old 01-20-2011, 08:25 PM   #85
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Re: Ikeda Sensei Demos of Ki

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Going from one child to two is always the hardest! Going from 2 on up, much easier! NYC dojo is one hour each way (two hour class). My wife and I made major sacrifices to allow us to continue with our training. I fully understand your situation. Raising a family is all about major sacrificing.....
Totally agreed - just now . . with #2 . . JUST NOW starting to feel human again with her at 6 months old. So hopefully can start getting back into the normal training model .. however, a wrinkle is that I'm a bit bored with MMA at the moment and looking for something a little different. I kind of want to try out fencing for a while, just to do something completely different. Then just drop by the MMA gym periodically to work out - but I don't seem to be as into it when it's my main activity. (total thread drift, I know)

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Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
I look at things differently. I like to get together with people and actively train together and hash out things. We both are old wrestlers, so we both know how important hands on is in working things out. I currently work with a growing bunch of wrestlers. There is no substitute for experiencing what they actually do, as opposed to what I think I see on video or from the stands. I frankly find using video after I work with someone can be a little more useful. I do not engage in idolizing others. If I can learn something from somebody, that is great. If I can't, it is my loss. It's too easy to pick apart things "wrong" or not good enough. It's a lot harder finding useful information in the most unlikely places.
Meeting hands on is the way to go. Hashing things out is best. Agreed that video is not a substitute. I don't think anyone's arguing that. What you can somewhat derive is to take a demonstration and exercise and say, "Based on my understanding of the principles at work, here's what's happening" and then lay it out there - see who agrees, argues, etc. And in the course of that, hopefully raise the corporate knowledge of all the participants (if enough people have enough of the basic vocabulary).

In the next year or so I should free up to move around more and get back on the "meeting" circuit. Right now, if someone wants to get together to hash things out - I'm game. Enough people know me from a few years ago and know what I'm doing now are intrigued at the differences in approach - so I have people come visit now and again to work on things. That's enough to keep my plate full until I can get more mobile again to travel and see what others are doing (had to pass up more than one tempting invitation in the last couple of years, unfortunately).

Last edited by Budd : 01-20-2011 at 08:26 PM. Reason: quotes
 
Old 01-20-2011, 08:51 PM   #86
Mike Sigman
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Re: Ikeda Sensei Demos of Ki

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5) I have a monthly blog that I put on my website and is also available on the Aikiweb each month. The blog serves as a tool for the learning of myself and my students. I leave it to others to decide as to whether or not anybody finds it of use.
Marc, I took a look at a few of your blogs. Since you don't define many terms with precision, I couldn't mesh a lot with what you're saying. In some aspects of things you and I have radically different perspectives, but simply say "each to his own". Well... there was one blog where you talked about people breathing sometimes while pulling their diaphragms upward that I would take exception to: if air is coming into your lungs the diaphragm *must* be going down. Other wise air would be pushed out of your lungs.

In terms of Ushiro Sensei's demonstrations, I found a video on YouTube that has a number of varying demonstrations. Trying to stay focused on Aikido or Aikido-like demonstrations, I didn't see anything that I thought was mysterious or not easily demonstrated to be an example of basic kokyu/jin, for the most part. If you disagree, I'd like for you to point out an example, please. My point is that it's not difficult or particularly moot when someone demonstrates basic kokyu, even on video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlvGlCP9R8Q

BTW.... can you see an example of Ushiro Sensei using "intention" as you described "intention" on your blogs? I'm curious about how you're using the term.

Best.

Mike Sigman

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlvGlCP9R8Q
 
Old 01-26-2011, 07:50 AM   #87
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Re: Ikeda Sensei Demos of Ki

Hope I didn't leave Marc floundering about specifics. My point was generally that even someone with pretty moderate skills can tell most of the kokyu/jin applications for what they are when seeing them on a video. It's not something that no one can do. Hence, you'll notice that some people are cautious about putting out videos... they understand that their level can be deduced pretty quickly on a video. However, once the ego worries are gotten past (hey, we all have to start somewhere), great progress can be made in some of the video analyses.

Going back to Ikeda Sensei, I like his stuff and it's very clearly good Aikido. One of the problems I have is the story I hear with the implication that Ikeda recently "learned ki things" is this:

First, think about the descriptions I gave about the unity connection and center as a basic principle. All kokyu/jin tricks will be variations of that principle (with a couple of fluorishes and skill-levels tossed in, of course). If you look at some of the videos of the Rocky Mountain Summer Camp that George Ledyard posted, you can see Saotome Sensei not only doing touch-and-control ki/kokyu demonstrations, he does them very well. Going back further in Saotome Sensei's film history, I have also found instances of the same skills.

Secondly, I used to occasionally go to Boulder and attend classes, some of the time with Ikeda Sensei teaching. I went during the days of the Dome dojo, the warehouse dojo, and once attended formal class in the current dojo. While I can see that Ikeda has learned some things in recent times, they're not far-removed from what he already knew and they're certainly not different from what Saotome Sensei does.

Incidentally, I haven't tried to look through the archived posts, but if Ledyard Sensei still has those videos he posted of the last Summer Camp, I'll be happy to point out (and explain) where what Saotome Sensei does is exactly what Ikeda Sensei is doing in some of his recent videos. Since Saotome Sensei learned from Ueshiba Sensei, I think the proper conclusions can be reached.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
 
Old 01-26-2011, 08:05 AM   #88
Marc Abrams
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Re: Ikeda Sensei Demos of Ki

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Hope I didn't leave Marc floundering about specifics.
Mike:

Maybe you did not read or remember Jun's request to us. Please allow me to assist you. Here is what Jun wrote:

Hi folks,

Please start discussing the topic rather than the people behind the topics.

Thank you,

-- Jun

If you have trouble remembering this, please let me know, it would be my pleasure to assist you in providing you with some suggestions to help with memory retention.

If you noticed, I have no interest in saying anything public about you and would suggest that you do the same.

Regards,

Marc Abrams
 
Old 01-26-2011, 08:49 AM   #89
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Re: Ikeda Sensei Demos of Ki

Mike,

I'd agree that it's not something he's just picked up - but certainly something he's refined of late and is trying to explain it a lot more. I first saw him something like 10 years ago and have some footage of him from the 80's at home, he's still doing many of the things from back then in the here and now... just a lot smaller and more refined. He does attribute much of this to Ushiro sensei, he's mentioned it quite a few times now.

I am still to get my interpretation of his demo filmed, hopefully this week or next. Might be easier to see what I took from him telling us to move our centre... Might post it in the other place mind you .

Best Regards,
John

www.chishindojo.co.uk
 
Old 01-26-2011, 09:09 AM   #90
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Re: Ikeda Sensei Demos of Ki

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I'd agree that it's not something he's just picked up - but certainly something he's refined of late and is trying to explain it a lot more. I first saw him something like 10 years ago and have some footage of him from the 80's at home, he's still doing many of the things from back then in the here and now... just a lot smaller and more refined. He does attribute much of this to Ushiro sensei, he's mentioned it quite a few times now.
Fair enough, John. I think that lays it out more clearly in the way that I also see it. I've seen Ikeda Sensei over a long length of time and the "just learned it" story was not, IMO, quite accurate. That he learned things from Ushiro Sensei is good and Ikeda Sensei does acknowledge it. It'd be a nice clinical discussion to have on a martial-arts forum sometime.
Quote:
I am still to get my interpretation of his demo filmed, hopefully this week or next. Might be easier to see what I took from him telling us to move our centre... Might post it in the other place mind you .
Fair enough. Given the contentions about videos on this forum, I'd suggest a quieter place.

Best.

Mike
 
Old 01-26-2011, 09:22 AM   #91
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Re: Ikeda Sensei Demos of Ki

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post

Incidentally, I haven't tried to look through the archived posts, but if Ledyard Sensei still has those videos he posted of the last Summer Camp, I'll be happy to point out (and explain) where what Saotome Sensei does is exactly what Ikeda Sensei is doing in some of his recent videos. Since Saotome Sensei learned from Ueshiba Sensei, I think the proper conclusions can be reached.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
What Ikeda Sensei, and the rest of us, got from Ushiro Sensei was an organized set of explanations that made many of the elements Saotome Sensei had always had but did not explain, clear as discrete pieces that could be looked at and worked, distinct from other elements. Saotome Sensei largely just did stuff. Nothing was ever pointed out.

When Sensei and I were watching one of Ushiro Sensei's classes, he commented that he had been teaching the same things for well over 35 years. My comment back to him was "Yes, Sensei, but Ushiro explains it."

As someone who has taken ukemi from Ikeda Sensei for 35+ years, I can say that, while the outer form of his techniques is much the same, what he is doing is on another level and the experience of taking ukemi is quite different.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:00 AM   #92
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Re: Ikeda Sensei Demos of Ki

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
What Ikeda Sensei, and the rest of us, got from Ushiro Sensei was an organized set of explanations that made many of the elements Saotome Sensei had always had but did not explain, clear as discrete pieces that could be looked at and worked, distinct from other elements. Saotome Sensei largely just did stuff. Nothing was ever pointed out.
Hi George.

After all those years being taught this way, finding there are people like Ushiro Sensei, did you feel somewhat betrayed by Saotome Sensei?

 
Old 01-26-2011, 10:13 AM   #93
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Re: Ikeda Sensei Demos of Ki

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As someone who has taken ukemi from Ikeda Sensei for 35+ years, I can say that, while the outer form of his techniques is much the same, what he is doing is on another level and the experience of taking ukemi is quite different.
Hi George,

Yep, I completely also agree with this. I got thrown by Ikeda sensei 5 or 6 months ago in a way I've never felt before, actually, I couldn't feel his his body. Looks more refined, feels a lot more powerful.

Hopefully I'll get back out to summer camp one year soon (ish). Be good to train with you again.

Best Regards,
John

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Old 01-26-2011, 10:22 AM   #94
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Re: Ikeda Sensei Demos of Ki

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
What Ikeda Sensei, and the rest of us, got from Ushiro Sensei was an organized set of explanations that made many of the elements Saotome Sensei had always had but did not explain, clear as discrete pieces that could be looked at and worked, distinct from other elements. Saotome Sensei largely just did stuff. Nothing was ever pointed out.

When Sensei and I were watching one of Ushiro Sensei's classes, he commented that he had been teaching the same things for well over 35 years. My comment back to him was "Yes, Sensei, but Ushiro explains it."

As someone who has taken ukemi from Ikeda Sensei for 35+ years, I can say that, while the outer form of his techniques is much the same, what he is doing is on another level and the experience of taking ukemi is quite different.
Thanks for the input, George. It sounds, to my ear, like a pretty realistic assessment.

Ikeda Sensei is now attempting to teach a measured form of discrete information, in his own way. I think it's a very good thing. If such a thing had occurred while I was taking Aikido, I would probably have stayed with Aikido, at least much longer. Regardless, it doesn't hurt to try figure out what he's trying to do through his demonstrations.

What do you think about discrete teaching in dojos of basic kokyu skills (like the ones Ikeda Sensei is showing)?

Mike Sigman
 
Old 01-26-2011, 10:33 AM   #95
DH
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Re: Ikeda Sensei Demos of Ki

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Hi George.

After all those years being taught this way, finding there are people like Ushiro Sensei, did you feel somewhat betrayed by Saotome Sensei?
George wil answer you but I would like to point out that many of the Japanese teachers who got some things got them from kata and intuitive feel and tips. When asked- they are being honest that they cannot explain it. It is the same with some of the Chinese teachers as well.
Others were told and can tell you...but they might not
Others know and they will not tell you.
And yes there is a "Don't teach the white people" syndrome that still exists here and there that is ugly and not popular to discuss.
Why do you think that Sagawa did not want his book translated?
If sources are to be believed there are a lot of foreign students in China who know matter how long they train were never going to get the goods. They got some good fighting principles and came home as "go to guys" for their years in China, but it didn't take long to see they were not in the same league There are even some jokes told about it.
It is interesting to see just how many non Asians truly get it from Asian teachers. Let's wait and see what white people get what from certain Asian teachers. A recent head teacher was quoted in 2010 for stating -in Japan- that "the gokui is reserved for the Japanese.".

Now you have to add in the Asian teaching model which doesn't typically explain things in detail in the first place anyway.
Please note I am not saying all Asian teachers will not teach-thats ridiculous. .
Dan
 
Old 01-26-2011, 03:56 PM   #96
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Ikeda Sensei Demos of Ki

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
What do you think about discrete teaching in dojos of basic kokyu skills (like the ones Ikeda Sensei is showing)?

Mike Sigman
As I said in another thread, if it were entirely up to me I would focus a large percentage of the training at the very beginning of a student's Aikido career on these things. Certainly , every class for some period of time.

Even with my still remedial understanding of this work, I can pretty much get almost any student to successfully experience pretty much anything I have seen him do. So, I am trying to incorporate some of this work at early levels so that folks, even when they don't know many techniques know what it should feel like, trust that there is a way to do it that is quite different than what they thought when they came in the door, and that they can do it too, it's not just something "special" teachers can do.

Since there is an expectation that my students be able to do what other students from other dojos in our organization can do after a similar time in grade, I still focus on waza more than I think should be done at the beginning stages. You cannot get your Shodan doing discrete ki exercises. no matter how well you do them. And I am part of a larger community and need to have my students fit into that.

If I did entirely what I think would turn out the very best students in the long run, I'd spend five years preparing the ground and then start teaching , more waza once folks knew how to use their bodies properly. That would include movement as well as more static skills. What I do now is a compromise.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 01-26-2011, 04:50 PM   #97
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Ikeda Sensei Demos of Ki

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
After all those years being taught this way, finding there are people like Ushiro Sensei, did you feel somewhat betrayed by Saotome Sensei?
Absolutely not... frustrated by the whole lack of principle based instruction but not "betrayed" at all. I was the luckiest guy alive to have met Sensei. almost by accident, if you believe in accidents. From the first hour` of my training I was exposed to what is still the best Aikido I have ever encountered, and at this point I have encountered a lot.

If I hadn't had Sensei for a teacher, I would not necessarily even understood what Ushiro was saying, what Kuroda was doing, just how amazing Angie was. I might have done what lots of others did and written it all off and gone right back to doing what I had been doing before. Lots of people have done just that. There were 700+ people at that first Aiki Expo ten years ago. I'll bet no more than 10 - 20 % of them came back with their training transformed.

Saotome Sensei gave me my love of Aikido, he gave me a sense of the Founder's presence in my training which I have never lost. He taught all of us to move straight at the threat and not ever back up (energetically anyway). From the start I knew there was a profound mental component to Aikido, that technique started long before physical contact was ever made, he made me comfortable with weapons work and let me see that weapons and empty hand were integral to Aikido, at least the kind I wanted to do. And he set the standard for clean, effective, and effortless technique that has been my pot of gold ever since.

And the single greatest gift he ever gave his students was, not just the support or encouragement to look outside Aikido for training, but the actual instruction to do so.

So, while other folks debate whether this person or that person has anything to offer us as Aikido people, I have been out there for years looking for whomever could show me something. I'll train with anyone I think can show me something worth while as long as they aren't abusive. They don't even have to be personable. Sensei created that attitude, and amongst teachers I have encountered, it is a very rare gift.

The folks who want to assign blame in all this are wasting energy that could be better spent. Sensei has done the best he could and is still actually trying to get better at his explanations, because he ahs seen with his won students how that has helped them, not to mention seeing how "success" functions in motivating effort. But his great gift was that he trained like a complete manic and made the sacrifices to do so, came to America and lived off nothing, and spent every cent he had on setting up the transmission to a bunch of us newbies. And the Aikido we got to see every single day was as good as it gets.

Anything he couldn't give us because he didn't know how to has been available from somewhere else if we took the trouble to find it. Some have and many have not. But, I for one, feel blessed rather than "betrayed".

Don't lose perspective on this whole thing. Back in the seventies when I started, there was almost no awareness of much of we discuss daily on these threads. Daito Ryu was completely misunderstood and even maligned within the Aikido community. I thought aikijutsu was pretty much the same as jujutsu and Aikido was the "soft" art. Even if I had read that there was another way of looking at things, there were every few places on could have gone to find it, and almost no awareness of the people who did have the goods that we might have sought out. The American Koryu folks who have been so influential were all still in Japan. The most senior Americans outside of Hawaii were 4th Dans. There was no internet, all the books on Aikido fit on one shelf of a small bookcase, I know because I owned them all. There were more translations of the Tao Teh Ching available than there were books on Aikido. Aikido Journal was a pamphlet that was zeroxed and stapled together.

So, for folks who were not encouraged by their teachers to be widely aware of other arts and get some training in them, it was easy to be be unaware of what was out there. The rather arrogant attitude that many folks had about Aikido, that it was the best martial art, that we had the moral and spiritual high ground over other arts, that O-Sensei was the greatest martial artist who ever lived was a huge disservice to the Aikido community because it encouraged people to be far too parochial in their attitudes about things. We are still paying for that now. There are still Japanese Shihan heading major organizations whose senior students have to sneak out to train outside the standard paradigm. There are far more people starting to experience these new ways to think about and train with these outside teachers of all sorts than can publicly admit they are doing so. It's folks like me, who don't have to hide the fact from their teachers who can blab all about it on-line.

Anyway, the amount of information out there now is exponentially greater than when I started and the possibilities of training with with really top level teachers both from within Aikido and from outside is so much greater that it makes what went on in the seventies look like nothing by comparison. All this, why would I want to do that stuff is really just a hold over from times in which folks couldn't find much even if they did want to. I think folks should be feel blessed that there are places to go to get new persepectives rather than sit there thinking they don't need to change anything or blaming some teacher for not knowing how to communicate what he was doing very well. These days the training and teachers are available with far less work than at any time our history. Sensei told me that this was the way to get better and I have been doing so ever since. That's a far better gift than anything he could have taught me technically.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
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Old 01-26-2011, 07:55 PM   #98
Matt Fisher
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Re: Ikeda Sensei Demos of Ki

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
What Ikeda Sensei, and the rest of us, got from Ushiro Sensei was an organized set of explanations that made many of the elements Saotome Sensei had always had but did not explain, clear as discrete pieces that could be looked at and worked, distinct from other elements. Saotome Sensei largely just did stuff. Nothing was ever pointed out.

(SNIP)

As someone who has taken ukemi from Ikeda Sensei for 35+ years, I can say that, while the outer form of his techniques is much the same, what he is doing is on another level and the experience of taking ukemi is quite different.
George,

I wonder if getting the organized set of explanations from Ushiro Sensei not only gave Ikeda Sensei the tools to point out specific things, but also put him in a better position to explore and refine his own technique in a way that resulted in your experience that the ukemi for his technique is now quite different.

That has certainly been my experience in recent years seeing Ikeda Sensei; how he presents things now has put me in a much better position to refine and develop my own technique more effectively (even as my body has become "worse" from the progression of muscular dystrophy). I have had similar experiences in other areas of my life, where being given better tools to explain/present something not only helped me communicate better to others what I wanted to say but also changed the rate at which I could improve.

Matt Fisher
 
Old 01-27-2011, 08:46 AM   #99
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Re: Ikeda Sensei Demos of Ki

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
BTW, speaking of "pushing us forward", why don't you and some of the other recently-traineded experts join in these conversations of analyzing and explaining how things work?
If someone knew something it was obvious and welcomely discussed. The BS-artists were flushed out pretty rapidly and one of the sure signs a conversation was being pushed to the BS levels was when things turned to a discussion of personalities.
Why are you insutling Marc....again?
You bring people into every discussion and passive agressively go after them.
The poor chaps who are just starting out and then comment? You immediately jump on them as "recently trained experts" Or "BS artists"
Can you point me to where you have used that insult for your own people? No?
This is used as an insult ONLY to those who train with others in an attempt to control the conversation..
Every single person you have done it to has corrected you for the insults but you continue unphased.

Is anyone else getting this yet? Jun?
Stop it Mike...just stop it. No one deserves this level of disrespect from you.
Dan

Last edited by DH : 01-27-2011 at 08:57 AM.
 
Old 01-27-2011, 09:31 AM   #100
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Re: Ikeda Sensei Demos of Ki

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Why are you insutling Marc....again?
You bring people into every discussion and passive agressively go after them.
The poor chaps who are just starting out and then comment? You immediately jump on them as "recently trained experts" Or "BS artists"
Can you point me to where you have used that insult for your own people? No?
This is used as an insult ONLY to those who train with others in an attempt to control the conversation..
Every single person you have done it to has corrected you for the insults but you continue unphased.

Is anyone else getting this yet? Jun?
Stop it Mike...just stop it. No one deserves this level of disrespect from you.
Dan
Hmmm... I think you just cut and pasted a comment about the old Neijia List to manufacture an insult to someone who is not you.

Mike Sigman
 

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