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Old 02-02-2011, 01:03 PM   #201
Keith Larman
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Re: Aikido training - Why are you searching for internal strength?

Alan:

Just wanted to say "great post".

I see many nuances to exercises I have been taught (and thought I was teaching myself) for years. Those nuances are not a change per se, just an enlargement, enlightenment, or maybe "re-expansion" of what it was supposed to be. It certainly points to the problem of not understanding the "what and why" of what you're doing. Or a danger I point to all the time in my work about assuming you understand something. Make changes to tradition with great care. It's not what you think you know that bites you in the butt; it's what you don't know you don't.

Good stuff.

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Old 02-02-2011, 01:11 PM   #202
Keith Larman
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Re: Aikido training - Why are you searching for internal strength?

Oh, and Alan's great post derailed me. I was simply going to post that I pursue the internal strength stuff because I can see how it can improve my aikido. To me it is like watching someone else do the same kind of work you do. Years ago I was watching a good friend and fellow craftsman carving a katana tsuka shitaji (wood sword handle core). He did a few things a bit differently than I did. So I asked why he did some of the things and he asked me what I did. So I showed him. I don't know about him but I walked away from that long afternoon with a few new ways to approach things. And I hope a more complete set of skills.

I don't see why this sort of thing even gets questioned. If you feel you've got all you want and/or need, life is really good. If you see or feel something that seems like it could help you, life is really good.

I guess some think that it somehow diminishes the "memory" or "authority" of their original teachers. I have yet to meet a top notch high quality instructor that didn't subtly change things. Or have slightly different approaches. In our group Rod Kobayashi-sensei removed some techniques from our syllabus replacing them with slightly different techniques that are somewhat unique to us. Cool. He was always modifying, revising, changing, and improving. Because that's what drives the very best.

I am also a firm believer in ensuring you have the basics down first. For me, I didn't feel like I had even the slightest understanding of the basics until I hit sandan. From then on it has been me trying to figure out how to do those things better. And I see so much refinement and possibility in the internal aspects.

We can debate until we're blue in the face about when/if/how this stuff belongs in Aikido. I see no conflict. I just keep pursuing it the best I can, as well as my body will allow. And having a series of physical issues has made it quite obvious *to me* that pursuing the internal stuff will be a significant way for me to not only improve my aikido but also heal my body and deal with the issues I have. I can't keep overpowering everyone with muscle.

Ramble of the day for me.

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Old 02-02-2011, 01:28 PM   #203
phitruong
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Re: Aikido training - Why are you searching for internal strength?

i am going to state the thought that folks think about but don't want to voice it.

i am searching for internal stuffs because i want phenomenon cosmic power! where you all bow down to me as your new aiki god and offer up your foods, drinks and women. and when i said foods, i don't mean the stuffs that are growing and moving about at the back of your refrigerator about about. water isn't consider as drink; that's for torturing. and actually, you can keep the women; no point inflicting pain and suffering to my aiki god-like self.
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:49 PM   #204
Allen Beebe
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Re: Aikido training - Why are you searching for internal strength?

Actually, for me, I'm not so much into obtaining power in astronomical proportions unless I were to become equally endowed with wisdom in astronomical proportions . . . but I seriously doubt that I'll obtaining either soon. So I guess that's why I'm not too concerned about it.

~ Allen Beebe
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Old 02-02-2011, 03:41 PM   #205
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Aikido training - Why are you searching for internal strength?

I am not looking for Internal Strength because I have it. Whenever I post this I am told I don't have it by people who have never met me and have no way of knowing what I have. To to this I say, bull. You have no idea what I have. You can say whatever you want on the internet. I don't have to go looking out side Aikido because it has never been missing. I started getting stronger when I started training. Correct feeling continues to develop. I think that Aikido people go outside the art to look for whatever it is they are missing because they feel less disloyal to their teachers. If they go looking for it in a "step child" dojo they will be admitting that Aikikai is missing something and Tohei was right.
Mary
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Old 02-02-2011, 04:33 PM   #206
kewms
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Re: Aikido training - Why are you searching for internal strength?

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
I am not looking for Internal Strength because I have it. Whenever I post this I am told I don't have it by people who have never met me and have no way of knowing what I have. To to this I say, bull. You have no idea what I have. You can say whatever you want on the internet. I don't have to go looking out side Aikido because it has never been missing. I started getting stronger when I started training. Correct feeling continues to develop. I think that Aikido people go outside the art to look for whatever it is they are missing because they feel less disloyal to their teachers. If they go looking for it in a "step child" dojo they will be admitting that Aikikai is missing something and Tohei was right.
Mary
And the thread was going so well... do we really have to drag politics into it?

In my experience, both the Aikikai and Tohei lineages can produce excellent aikidoka. And both lineages can produce terrible aikidoka. If people are worried about proving which is "better," they're likely to miss out on some excellent training experiences.

Katherine
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Old 02-02-2011, 04:41 PM   #207
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Re: Aikido training - Why are you searching for internal strength?

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
I am unfamiliar with much of today's ki society though, so I plead ignorace beyond this observation.
Ditto.

I find it hard to get into their seminars being from the Aikikai.

What exposure I have lets me think that Aikikai has the technical proficiency and waza application but the Ki-Society has the connection and energy flow. Perhaps the gestalt is that the sum of the two together is greater than the sum of its parts alone.

I still try to sneak in whenever I can.

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 02-02-2011, 04:51 PM   #208
RonRagusa
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Re: Aikido training - Why are you searching for internal strength?

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Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
Ditto.

I find it hard to get into their seminars being from the Aikikai.

What exposure I have lets me think that Aikikai has the technical proficiency and waza application but the Ki-Society has the connection and energy flow. Perhaps the gestalt is that the sum of the two together is greater than the sum of its parts alone.

I still try to sneak in whenever I can.
Hi Lynn -

You're welcome to visit us any time you're in the Western Mass area. Although we're now independent we trace our lineage back to Tohei Sensei thru Maruyama Sensei and still include internal work as an important part of our daily practice.

Best,

Ron
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Old 02-02-2011, 05:11 PM   #209
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Aikido training - Why are you searching for internal strength?

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
And the thread was going so well... do we really have to drag politics into it?

In my experience, both the Aikikai and Tohei lineages can produce excellent aikidoka. And both lineages can produce terrible aikidoka. If people are worried about proving which is "better," they're likely to miss out on some excellent training experiences.

Katherine
It is already here, Katherine, just because things are not talked about doesn't mean they don't exist. I am not saying one is better than the other. I am saying it seems like anyone who is looking for internal strength is coming from an Aikikai background...I could be wrong about that.
Mary
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Old 02-02-2011, 05:36 PM   #210
kewms
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Re: Aikido training - Why are you searching for internal strength?

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
It is already here, Katherine, just because things are not talked about doesn't mean they don't exist. I am not saying one is better than the other. I am saying it seems like anyone who is looking for internal strength is coming from an Aikikai background...I could be wrong about that.
Mary
Which -- even if true -- could mean that Aikikai is missing something that is present in Tohei's lineage, but could also mean that Aikikai is more diverse and more open to outside influences.

Again, my experience does not indicate that either group produces noticeably better (or worse) aikido.

Katherine
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Old 02-02-2011, 05:51 PM   #211
Janet Rosen
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Re: Aikido training - Why are you searching for internal strength?

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
It is already here, Katherine, just because things are not talked about doesn't mean they don't exist. I am not saying one is better than the other. I am saying it seems like anyone who is looking for internal strength is coming from an Aikikai background...I could be wrong about that.
Mary
I have trained with both.
I believe that the stuff is "there" in the ki exercises but also believe that most folks never "get it" because it isn't explicitly taught ( at least in the Ki Society and offshoot dojos I"ve visited or trained in; admittedly my longer and/or more frequent experience is w/ Aikikai ) Many folks seem to think and train as if moving one's center is physically moving the entire pelvis/hip structure as a unit.
I will admit this is a case of YMMV, again, due to my experience being not that extensive.

Janet Rosen
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Old 02-02-2011, 05:56 PM   #212
Mike Sigman
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Re: Aikido training - Why are you searching for internal strength?

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Again, my experience does not indicate that either group produces noticeably better (or worse) aikido.
My experience says the same thing, but I would caveat that, all things being equal, Ki-Society is more poised *technically* to incorporate internal strength because there is already some there, even though, IMO, it's not taught anywhere near as clearly or extensively as it could be. Also IME I find far too many Aikikai people to be stiff and muscular.... no offense (I'm now an outsider looking back in and exempt from the wrath of "seniors"). Being stiff and muscular is almost impossible to change for most people. If someone is able to change some things, I'm always quick to acknowledge it; if they can't change, I'm not going to be the diplomatic bump on the log that pretends out loud that everything is OK. That's not fair to beginners and believe it or not I still identify with beginners getting caught up and harmed by political BS.

2 cents.

Mike Sigman
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Old 02-02-2011, 06:34 PM   #213
Allen Beebe
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Re: Aikido training - Why are you searching for internal strength?

LOL, FWIW my first Aikido teacher (5-6 years) was a student of Tohei when Tohei first broke with the Aikikai and was trained to be one of the "new elite." He definitely thought that the sun rose and set on Tohei and was rather reluctant to even acknowledge Ueshiba Morihei . . . well such was the time. I definitely learned things from my first sensei.

I went to Japan with a letter of introduction to Tohei sensei, but he was back in the U.S. Now I was basically taught that those outside of our organization were devil's spawn and should be avoided at all costs. But then, I will probably never be accused of being overly conforming . . . I trained with all the sensei's I could in the Tohoku region. To my knowledge they were all Aikikai, which at the time I assumed meant that they all trained the same way . . . the devi'ls spawn way. So, when I first started I stunk at what they did which wasn't a big surprise, but I tried to learn "their" way. Dojo after dojo I was told, "Oh no. Not like that! That is wrong because X, Y, Z. and ours is right because of A, B, C. It was the same in pretty much every dojo and I quickly became rather depressed. There was no "One true way." There was a whole lot of "our ways."

My primary teacher, the one I referred to in my post, pre-dates Tohei by about a decade. He thought the about Ueshiba Morihei the way my first teacher thought about Tohei sensei. I think he became a member of Aiki-kai by default after the Aiki kai was established, and remained so until the end of his life, out of dedication to his teacher. However, I was never Aikikai, because my teacher never asked me to join although he did give his full approval of the opening of my dojo . . . which I'm almost certain would have NEVER been approved of by the Aikikai. I definitely learned many things from my primary teacher.

Personally I like small groups, rather informal organizations and strong personal relationships. I find I learn best in those circumstances whether it be training in techniques, internal strength, or spiritual development. But that's me. I agree with what Keith wrote when he said:

"If you feel you've got all you want and/or need, life is really good. If you see or feel something that seems like it could help you, life is really good."

But that's just me too. For my part, I was sharing my reasons for training internal strength, which, mistakenly or not, I thought the thread was about. Of course everyone has their own experiences, feelings, reasons, etc. If we didn't there would be no need for sharing I suppose.

~ Allen Beebe
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:12 PM   #214
Thomas Campbell
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Re: Aikido training - Why are you searching for internal strength?

Quote:
Allen Beebe wrote: View Post
What better way to pay back my teacher for all that he gave to me? I do no disservice to his legacy. On the contrary, I think I OWE it to his legacy to continue as best I can in his foot steps: Walk humbly. Train like hell. Think. Learn from those I can (regardless of rank of stature) and share the best I can with those that wish to train with me. (Regardless of "rank" or stature).
Nicely expressed, Allen. Thank you.
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:17 PM   #215
Howard Popkin
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Re: Aikido training - Why are you searching for internal strength?

Hey Al,

I hear ya. Nicely said.

See you soon,

Howie
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Old 02-03-2011, 05:43 AM   #216
Dazzler
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Re: Aikido training - Why are you searching for internal strength?

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
It is already here, Katherine, just because things are not talked about doesn't mean they don't exist. I am not saying one is better than the other. I am saying it seems like anyone who is looking for internal strength is coming from an Aikikai background...I could be wrong about that.
Mary
Yes you are.
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Old 02-03-2011, 06:34 AM   #217
DH
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Re: Aikido training - Why are you searching for internal strength?

Quote:
Daren Sims wrote: View Post
Quote:
Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote:
It is already here, Katherine, just because things are not talked about doesn't mean they don't exist. I am not saying one is better than the other. I am saying it seems like anyone who is looking for internal strength is coming from an Aikikai background...I could be wrong about that.
Mary
Yes you are.
Most definitely. You can add in; Iwama, Aikikai, ASU, Yoshinkan and....Tohei's group just in my experience alone. Not to mention Karate, Judo, Daito ryu, ICMA and FMA to boot.
Cheers
Dan
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Old 02-03-2011, 09:43 AM   #218
gregstec
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Re: Aikido training - Why are you searching for internal strength?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Most definitely. You can add in; Iwama, Aikikai, ASU, Yoshinkan and....Tohei's group just in my experience alone. Not to mention Karate, Judo, Daito ryu, ICMA and FMA to boot.
Cheers
Dan
Just to add a comment to some of this stuff about the diverse groups and the levels of IS.

My initial training was from the early days of the Ki Society and primary teachers were David H Kalama and Koretoshi Maruyama, who was Tohei's first chief instructor of the Ki Society; who by the way, is not related to Shuji Maruyama of Mary's lineage and the founder of the Kokikai in Philadelphia. Since then I have trained with AAA, AWA, ASU, Iwama, and some independent groups that were a mixture of styles. Currently, my waza training is Daitotryu Aikijujutsu as taught by Howard Popkin. Of all those groups, the only two that had any level of IS stuff going on was the old Ki Society and the Daitoryu training. However, neither of them had the level of IS that I have experienced from Dan.

As previously mentioned by some others, Tohei's training can provide for a good basic foundation to help get your foot in the door for IS. However, it does not go to the next level that teaches how to obtain that aiki body. Of the two, the Daitoryu, as taught by Howard, was my first glimpse into what that next level could be - and then I met Dan and he has further opened that door.

So, for those that say their current Aikido training brings them IS, well maybe to some level, but it has been my experience that there is way more to learn outside of the many diverse Aikido communities.

Greg
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Old 02-03-2011, 12:52 PM   #219
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Re: Aikido training - Why are you searching for internal strength?

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
You're welcome to visit us any time you're in the Western Mass area.
Thank you.
I don't usually get up that way, but if I do I am taking you up on your kind offer.

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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