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Old 06-19-2011, 09:16 AM   #301
Aikirk
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Re: Strength vs Ki.

Quote:
Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
Well, as long as you are open to learning new things, you will eventually find that which is right for you - sometimes that journey just does not take you where you thought it would

Greg
That is very true to life itself. You will have to open up to everyone and to yourself. Opening up and listening to what you feel is the key to everything.
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Old 06-19-2011, 09:52 AM   #302
gregstec
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Re: Strength vs Ki.

Quote:
Simon Kirk Sørensen wrote: View Post
That is very true to life itself. You will have to open up to everyone and to yourself. Opening up and listening to what you feel is the key to everything.
Exactly, it just has to be felt to be understood correctly for yourself

(and yes, there is a bit of a pun in the above)

Greg
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Old 06-19-2011, 10:31 AM   #303
RonRagusa
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Re: Strength vs Ki.

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
All in all, I think having to maintain a balanced mental/physical state under pressure, puts you in the zone, a place that people inherently understand is beyond the norm. Being able to flush the cares of the world and go there...by choice...is truly one of lifes pleasures. it is definitely not unique to Aikido practice...
Hi Dan -

My father was a self taught woodworker that I spent several years working for part time while I was in high school. He never studied a martial art but judging by the quality of his work and his demeanor in the shop I can look back now and say he displayed a very high level degree of mind/body coordination.

At work he was definitely in the zone, never hurried or harried, he moved from task to task with quiet grace and the unnerving calmness typically displayed by a master craftsman.

While I didn't stay with it long enough to approach his skill at working wood, I have found that same state on the mat when I train. It is, I think, what I value most about my study. The point is, I guess, that the full spectrum of Aikido training paradigms provide a wide cross section of people with the tools and opportunity to achieve that same state of being and students will gravitate to where the training provides them with what they are looking for.

Best,

Ron

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Old 06-19-2011, 10:41 AM   #304
graham christian
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Re: Strength vs Ki.

Quote:
Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
Yeah, but let's say on that journey you ask the friend to pay their half share of the cost and they say you invited me - then you say: so, you still need to pay; then your friend takes a swing at you - so, who leads that journey

Greg
Ahhh (yawn) good morning. ha ha. I see there's been a touch of 'it's not martial, it can't handle this or that going on. Same ol same ol alas.

Imagine me putting what you do down and calling it whatever. Amusing yet pointless really.

That's what I like about you Greg, as a whole you keep out of a lot of that unnecessary sabre rattling in comparison.

I expect questions like you gave above but only if the questioner is actually interested.

Ma-ai.G.
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Old 06-19-2011, 10:41 AM   #305
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Re: Strength vs Ki.

Quote:
Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
Exactly, it just has to be felt to be understood correctly for yourself

(and yes, there is a bit of a pun in the above)

Greg
I think I know, where you are heading. You own feelings are definitely a decievable thing not easily interpretable.
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Old 06-19-2011, 11:09 AM   #306
graham christian
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Re: Strength vs Ki.

Quote:
Simon Kirk Sørensen wrote: View Post
I back you on that. Even though i don't do Aikido any more, I begin to see that everything O'sensei said, he meant. He did not say things unnecessarily they all had meaning and truth to it. But it must be understood from a spiritual point of view, or much of it seems like a complete ramble.
Thanks Simon,

Isn't that one statement of O'Senseis fascinating? When a person really looks at what is being said there.

It says that through discipline you can rehabillitate and restore your true love for all. Now that takes courage. It shows there are principles of love to be learned and followed the results of which can be definite and real.

That alone is quite mindblowing for most.

Regards.G.
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Old 06-19-2011, 11:16 AM   #307
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Re: Strength vs Ki.

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Thanks Simon,

Isn't that one statement of O'Senseis fascinating? When a person really looks at what is being said there.

It says that through discipline you can rehabillitate and restore your true love for all. Now that takes courage. It shows there are principles of love to be learned and followed the results of which can be definite and real.

That alone is quite mindblowing for most.

Regards.G.
Yes it is. It's beautiful.
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Old 06-19-2011, 11:23 AM   #308
gregstec
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Re: Strength vs Ki.

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Ahhh (yawn) good morning. ha ha. I see there's been a touch of 'it's not martial, it can't handle this or that going on. Same ol same ol alas.

Imagine me putting what you do down and calling it whatever. Amusing yet pointless really.

That's what I like about you Greg, as a whole you keep out of a lot of that unnecessary sabre rattling in comparison.

I expect questions like you gave above but only if the questioner is actually interested.

Ma-ai.G.
Hi Graham,

First, I sincerely hope you do not think I am putting you down - I understand where you are coming from and I respect your position - it is just not mine

Second, I asked that question more to make a point that IMO no matter how hard you try to align yourself with someone to avoid confrontation, there will always be someone that just will not cooperate and they will attack and try to hurt you - at that point, you may need a plan B

Greg
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Old 06-19-2011, 11:24 AM   #309
gregstec
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Re: Strength vs Ki.

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Simon Kirk Sørensen wrote: View Post
I think I know, where you are heading. You own feelings are definitely a decievable thing not easily interpretable.
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Old 06-19-2011, 11:38 AM   #310
graham christian
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Re: Strength vs Ki.

Quote:
Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
Hi Graham,

First, I sincerely hope you do not think I am putting you down - I understand where you are coming from and I respect your position - it is just not mine

Second, I asked that question more to make a point that IMO no matter how hard you try to align yourself with someone to avoid confrontation, there will always be someone that just will not cooperate and they will attack and try to hurt you - at that point, you may need a plan B

Greg
Hi Greg. No I don't think you're putting me down and I think we respect each others views.

I was going to answer it in terms of 'can a surfer turn and fight the wave' or can a skydiver turn and fight his parachute?

I think you would get the gist of what I am saying there no?

In light of the statement above though I agree there will always be one so to speak and the answer to that is in the perameters of Ki Aikido as well as mine. Thus it's not so much a plan b as more of a standard operating procedure.

Regards.G.
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Old 06-19-2011, 12:21 PM   #311
Nicholas Eschenbruch
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Re: Strength vs Ki.

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
...
There is a quality to that mental/physical practice that infuses everything you do. I think it is what Ueshiba was on about. I have met Chinese grandmaster level guys who were at peace with themselves and filled the room with their presence. And against all of my earlier prejudices (again Ellis was right), I have now met Aikido teachers who are stellar people and exhibit that same open and calm demeaner.
Here's the clincher....I have also met and seen the same calm and openness toward life's adversity in.....seasoned grapplers...who's concerns were not only about fighting either!! Talk to some of the Gracies and you will quickly see it is lifestyle and outlook.
...
All in all, I think having to maintain a balanced mental/physical state under pressure, puts you in the zone, a place that people inherently understand is beyond the norm. Being able to flush the cares of the world and go there...by choice...is truly one of lifes pleasures. it is definitely not unique to Aikido practice: Think of going all out with swords and Naginatas wizzing at your head in a prolonged ninety step kory kata designed to tax you, and you will understand the idea of the zone...think of being wrapped up by a guy who outweights you and is pressing you and you have room to move unless you make room, and you can envision that zone.... in a different art! People find it in different activities, some people look for increased pressure to maintain it within, but I have a hunch everyone is still experiencing that same state of being.
Cheers
Dan
Great post Dan, thanks. It's these, quoted in other people's, that made me take you off my ignore list two years ago
Good decision that was. Have a great evening.
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Old 06-19-2011, 04:35 PM   #312
gregstec
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Re: Strength vs Ki.

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
I was going to answer it in terms of 'can a surfer turn and fight the wave' or can a skydiver turn and fight his parachute?

I think you would get the gist of what I am saying there no?

Regards.G.
What I get out of the above is: ' what will be, will be' - in some regards you are right, there will be times when you can not do anything and you need to just go with the ride

However, with the proper attitude towards training, you just may have been better prepared to not get your ass in that situiation in the first place

Best
Greg
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Old 06-19-2011, 04:51 PM   #313
graham christian
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Re: Strength vs Ki.

Quote:
Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
What I get out of the above is: ' what will be, will be' - in some regards you are right, there will be times when you can not do anything and you need to just go with the ride

However, with the proper attitude towards training, you just may have been better prepared to not get your ass in that situiation in the first place

Best
Greg
Couldn't agree more.

Regards.G.
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Old 06-19-2011, 05:07 PM   #314
gregstec
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Re: Strength vs Ki.

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Couldn't agree more.

Regards.G.
OK, brother, we got ourselves on the same page! - see, there is hope for humanity after all
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Old 06-19-2011, 08:00 PM   #315
graham christian
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Re: Strength vs Ki.

On reading through the thread again, on the whole it's been quite informative I think. It's actually managed to sometimes stay quite spiritual.

As in society the term spiritual, which in some past eras had a clear meaning and caused no adverse reaction by folk whether inside or outside the martial arts, it now has in this day and age strange connotations apparently.

Within zen it is very definite and disciplined. It is probably no doubt similar in Shorinji Kempo and other arts.

When by all accounts O'Sensei looked back over the centuries of what was called budo in Japan and said he was troubled by it and that led him to his realization that true budo was love, then I feel I have a similar view with regards to something else.

When I look back over the history of Japan for example I am drawn to the warrior monks, the Sohei etc. Every bit as disciplined as the samurai, every bit as skillful, every bit as feared or respected. (They even wore their swords with the blades facing down for those who didn't know that.)

However, being very spiritual and Buddhist one can only wonder why they were so fierce and combative. (Against each other and when taking sides in political samurai manoeuvring)

Personally I think it's down to the fact that without enough reality on the spiritual then no matter what robes you wear your still translating thins according to physicality and indeed analytical thought.(ego to be more precise, even if you think you are not)

Which brings me to a point of what I would call Misunderstanding when it comes to spiritual as in Aikido as I use it and indeed from my perspective how Tohei and no doubt some others use it. The term Martial.

I'm sure everyone has an opinion on what physically martial is.

I'm sure everyone has an opinion on what mentally martial is.

I'm not so sure everyone has an opinion on what spiritually martial is though for most always try to translate it in terms of mental and physical. Thus in my opinion there follows misunderstandings.

When you watch the end of the video of Tohei Sensei in the original post he is demonstrating cutting with the bokken according to his principles. He is also making a sly dig at those who think force is stronger which I hadn't see him do in other videos for he also seems to be ridiculing the 'formal' way of the sword.

However, whether I have misinterpreted the fun part there the point is it is very real to some the spiritual discipline, the Ki discipline he is using. It is very soft in it's execution to the doer, nothing to do with body mechanics but purely to do with extending Ki and weight underside. Such was his way and his spiritual emphasis.

Very effective by demonstration, very 'unstoppable' A good example of a way which doesn't mean to say that other ways cannot do similar.

Food for thought.

Regards.G.
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Old 06-20-2011, 05:32 AM   #316
Mark Freeman
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Re: Strength vs Ki.

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
However, whether I have misinterpreted the fun part there the point is it is very real to some the spiritual discipline, the Ki discipline he is using. It is very soft in it's execution to the doer, nothing to do with body mechanics but purely to do with extending Ki and weight underside. Such was his way and his spiritual emphasis.

Very effective by demonstration, very 'unstoppable' A good example of a way which doesn't mean to say that other ways cannot do similar.
Hi Graham,

I enjoyed your post overall, but have clipped and emphasised one small part, to disagree with, however, I may well be missing your point.

It is my understanding that extending ki and weight underside has a great deal to do with body mechanics. Although they are both mental in their origin, the correct body mechanics must be in place as the vehicle to allow the mind stuff to happen to proper effect. In effect the body must be relaxed, in balance, all movement coming from the centre.

I completely agree with you that the execution is very soft in it's execution, but for this to happen the mind has to have the correct body to back it up. This is particularly apparent when trying to teach the type of aikido that we both do. How many times have you had students who are trying to execute a technique, with softness, with extension, without struggle, but without the desired effect. They may even feed back that everything in their mind is towards that goal, but their body is scuppering their attempt. They engage shoulders when not neccessary, they hold tension in places they are not aware of, they hold their weight in the wrong place, their hands are not connected to centre, their co-ordination is not as complete as it needs to be.

I know you know all this, so it may well be me getting the wrong end of the stick, I don't want to be teaching granny any egg sucking here!

regards

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 06-20-2011, 06:47 AM   #317
graham christian
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Re: Strength vs Ki.

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote: View Post
Hi Graham,

I enjoyed your post overall, but have clipped and emphasised one small part, to disagree with, however, I may well be missing your point.

It is my understanding that extending ki and weight underside has a great deal to do with body mechanics. Although they are both mental in their origin, the correct body mechanics must be in place as the vehicle to allow the mind stuff to happen to proper effect. In effect the body must be relaxed, in balance, all movement coming from the centre.

I completely agree with you that the execution is very soft in it's execution, but for this to happen the mind has to have the correct body to back it up. This is particularly apparent when trying to teach the type of aikido that we both do. How many times have you had students who are trying to execute a technique, with softness, with extension, without struggle, but without the desired effect. They may even feed back that everything in their mind is towards that goal, but their body is scuppering their attempt. They engage shoulders when not neccessary, they hold tension in places they are not aware of, they hold their weight in the wrong place, their hands are not connected to centre, their co-ordination is not as complete as it needs to be.

I know you know all this, so it may well be me getting the wrong end of the stick, I don't want to be teaching granny any egg sucking here!

regards

Mark
Hi Mark.
Yes, you are quite right in what you say and that particular point was made without enough explanation I fully agree.

It was however not completely without a reason for doing so. It was partially given for food for thought. I'll explain.

When showing someone how to do it I get them to try with force as hard as they can and to feel what it's like also. In other words get someone or me to do the same when they hold the bokken.

Then I show the difference as you will be aware of.

Next, on getting the person to experiment and practice it will be quite as you say, aligning properly, pointing out through observation the physical reasons for it not working, the mental reasons and then the spiritual reasons. All step by step so of course body mechanics are part of it.

In fact you could say in ANY motion body mechanics are in play obviously. The emphasis however changes completely or rather can change completely depending how confident or capable a person becomes.

For example demonstrating weight underside can be done from so called 'impossible' positions. 'Impossible' when looked at from the perspective of body mechanics or standardly correct physical posture.

I would say Tohei could stand sideways on and one handedly do the same thing for example. In fact no doubt he could do it with a soft hand let alone a bokken with his body facing another direction as he's let's say looking for or turning to meet another attacker let alone for demo purposes.

These things are all not a matter of conjecture but rather of individual capability. Degrees of, I would say.

Only a few months ago I was doing a similar demo in class, albeit against a jo, showing the difference to a student. Showing a hard strong cut and then he had to explain to the class what it felt like apart from them seeing the effect themselves. Then I did it with weight underside and with the intention of knocking the bokken straight down. It worked and he picthed foreward etc.

As it was all finished someone asked me the question what if. Oh no, another what if. This time it was what if you did it like you have said before with absolutely no intention to knock the bokken down but more spiritually.(They are used to the way I talk) Well, it was one of those times when you're asked not because they want to do it but to see the difference.

I found myself explaining first the differences in me mentally, physically and spiritually as to the approach needed. I jokingly said 'I suppose we would have to call this super soft.

Well, it was indeed super soft, meditative, still, but the effect was rather unexpected. The jo broke clean in half and the student was face down on the mat.

One of those times for quiet reflection. The purpose of the demo had been successful, namely potential. That added something or maybe lack of something, no doubt both, was for me to understand in myself.

The overall point here is that things may seem 'out there' but as with many so called spiritual martial artists who to me are too airy fairy the discipline is what's missing even on the spiritual side. It still does take a correct alignment of all three, spirit, mind and body. An awake spirit, a still mind, a relaxed body to put it simplistically.

You know what, I believe that many equate the spiritual side as passive and therein may be the misunderstanding.

Hope it doesn't come across as rambling.

Regards.G.
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Old 06-22-2011, 07:59 PM   #318
hughrbeyer
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Re: Strength vs Ki.

So bringing the thread back to its origin... I revisited this thread and ended up watching the video to the end. My comments above were based on only seeing what Tohei Sensei's students were doing at the beginning.

So what Tohei is doing is interesting and impressive, of course, but my question is--what's the relationship between what he's doing at the end and what his students are doing at the beginning? They must be doing what he's trying to teach, since he's chosen to highlight them. But are they living in even the same universe of aikido practice?
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Old 06-22-2011, 10:38 PM   #319
graham christian
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Re: Strength vs Ki.

Quote:
Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
So bringing the thread back to its origin... I revisited this thread and ended up watching the video to the end. My comments above were based on only seeing what Tohei Sensei's students were doing at the beginning.

So what Tohei is doing is interesting and impressive, of course, but my question is--what's the relationship between what he's doing at the end and what his students are doing at the beginning? They must be doing what he's trying to teach, since he's chosen to highlight them. But are they living in even the same universe of aikido practice?
Hi Hugh.

Could you be a bit more specific and I'll promise to answer as best I can.

Regards.G.
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:58 PM   #320
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Re: Strength vs Ki.

Jeez, you're making me work and it's past my bedtime. OK, here goes. I'm gonna appear to criticize the people in this video, but I expect they're very senior aikidoka and can withstand a little criticism from an internet nobody like me.

Look at the demos starting at 3:30 or so. Look at the height of nage's head as they execute iriminage. Bounce up to meet the shomenuchi, down with the attack, up again, down for the throw. Lots and lots of external movement. And clearly this is intentional, because Tohei Sensei illustrates it at 6:55. Action/reaction, push on uke and they push back.

And there's nothing wrong with this in itself, maybe, but look at the shihonage at 3:44. Action/reaction, uke goes down and comes back up--on balance. Then she stands there waiting for the throw. Happens several times.

Worse, look at the kotegaishis at 3:59. Now we've got uke doing the bouncy-bouncy thing during the attack. I'm sorry, but this is just meaningless.

Now look at Tohei himself. Most of his demonstrations he's starting with uke in a static position, which means he's not depending on momentum or action/reaction at all. Look at 5:07. Look at 5:26, which is superficially like some of the movements of his students, but look at his head and his center. No bouncy-bouncy at all, just connection. Look at 6:58 again. Ostensibly he's showing what his students did but again, it's not depending on momentum and tho there is action/reaction, Tohei is both causing the action and taking advantage of the reaction with little external movement and no change in the level of head or hara. He does get around to showing the full movement at 7:31, but it's like he has to work to show a tenth of the up and down movement his students show.

I think the point is made, but here are some more examples. Look at his shihonage at 9:34, which is sweet. It's slow, but there's no question he's got uke's balance the whole time, and look how little external movement he needs. Look at all his illustrations of dealing with a resisting uke which follow. No dependance on momentum or action/reaction, just ki and connection. Look at how he handles the shoulder grab at 20:28, which reminds me a lot of the Numata Sensei video I was admiring earlier.

I don't see any of this reflected in his students' movement. And it seems to me that emphasizing the big external movements is going to make it very hard for them to find and duplicate what he's doing. It's so subtle, it's easily masked by all that external movement.

So, just my reactions. This is as much about the training method as the waza itself, in a lot of ways.
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Old 06-24-2011, 12:51 AM   #321
graham christian
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Re: Strength vs Ki.

Quote:
Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
Jeez, you're making me work and it's past my bedtime. OK, here goes. I'm gonna appear to criticize the people in this video, but I expect they're very senior aikidoka and can withstand a little criticism from an internet nobody like me.

Look at the demos starting at 3:30 or so. Look at the height of nage's head as they execute iriminage. Bounce up to meet the shomenuchi, down with the attack, up again, down for the throw. Lots and lots of external movement. And clearly this is intentional, because Tohei Sensei illustrates it at 6:55. Action/reaction, push on uke and they push back.

And there's nothing wrong with this in itself, maybe, but look at the shihonage at 3:44. Action/reaction, uke goes down and comes back up--on balance. Then she stands there waiting for the throw. Happens several times.

Worse, look at the kotegaishis at 3:59. Now we've got uke doing the bouncy-bouncy thing during the attack. I'm sorry, but this is just meaningless.

Now look at Tohei himself. Most of his demonstrations he's starting with uke in a static position, which means he's not depending on momentum or action/reaction at all. Look at 5:07. Look at 5:26, which is superficially like some of the movements of his students, but look at his head and his center. No bouncy-bouncy at all, just connection. Look at 6:58 again. Ostensibly he's showing what his students did but again, it's not depending on momentum and tho there is action/reaction, Tohei is both causing the action and taking advantage of the reaction with little external movement and no change in the level of head or hara. He does get around to showing the full movement at 7:31, but it's like he has to work to show a tenth of the up and down movement his students show.

I think the point is made, but here are some more examples. Look at his shihonage at 9:34, which is sweet. It's slow, but there's no question he's got uke's balance the whole time, and look how little external movement he needs. Look at all his illustrations of dealing with a resisting uke which follow. No dependance on momentum or action/reaction, just ki and connection. Look at how he handles the shoulder grab at 20:28, which reminds me a lot of the Numata Sensei video I was admiring earlier.

I don't see any of this reflected in his students' movement. And it seems to me that emphasizing the big external movements is going to make it very hard for them to find and duplicate what he's doing. It's so subtle, it's easily masked by all that external movement.

So, just my reactions. This is as much about the training method as the waza itself, in a lot of ways.
Hi Hugh.
I'm pleasantly surprised by your work and your thoughts.Indeed also by your presentation. Now I've got to work to answer as best I can.

First let's take a look at the ukes in the beginning. I agree they have technical outnesses as you describe and no doubt are doing a degree of 'copying' as I call it rather than fully understanding what they are doing. Collusivity, some may call it.

Now I'll attempt to put it into perspective. Remember, all students when compared to the master look very different and much more collusive, it's natural really and should be expected so I am not surprised at all there.

Next I would say that I have seen Tohei do such in a similar manner also when he is exaggerating the motion and movement AND feeling so that observers can see kind of three dimensionally what's going on.

So what is the principle(s) he is talking about to the audience that he wants those ukes to show?

Well first let me point out two things, eventually two very different things though in the beginning called and seen as the same thing. LEADING.

There is leading the mind and there is leading Ki.

O.k. So he is trying to show the effect of leading the mind and some principles involved in that aspect. Which brings me to the down/up effect.

I can see you know the principle of push down the reaction will be up so you translate it as such, action/reaction. All good physically.

So back to the demo. Leading the mind Tohei style is difficult and takes time to understand in itself let alone then use the principles of it. Add to this that there is another factor of weight underside, (which comes from complete relaxation and at the same time 'flexible' yet 'unbendable' arm) involved. (as shown in his ikkyo exercises)

Now here's the corker. Down/up mind wise. If you lead and then drop the persons mind they will pitch foreward. It's a drop straight down. verticle, no nearly verticle, so he is dropping their mind.

Now to phase two, I call it the tennis ball effect. If you have learned to lead the mind you then learn how to bounce the mind. The effect on the opponent is not one even from their perspective that they are reacting against something they just feel taken and bounced.

I hope this gives you an insight as to what's going on. Try it physically and you can get a pitch foreward or even a jerk reaction back but you cannot get that same bounce, it's a totally different skill.

The students were no doubt doing what they practice in training and maybe even in their training they do it all in an exagerated fashion in order to improve their understanding but I must say that in training from moving attacks the other factors come into play so it can't really be compared to static visually so to speak until you are aware of all the other factors.

So also in their demo they are showing using that aspect of leading and bouncing the mind in various techniques. Just one aspect of the whole.

As the video goes on Tohei is no doubt adding and talking about other aspects as well, other principles. For example with the big guy from static where he is leading the mind and yet he has brought the other fella's centre line into the equation

By the time you get to 9-34 he is now showing principles of the circle as well. Beautiful.

On to shoulder grab you'll notice that although he is showing what not to do, ie: stand and push back, in so doing he cant help but let the persons energy go in and return back through his body and bounce the attacker off and thus you see what great koshi he had as well. (what i hear others calling ground force or something like that)

So that was his demo of what not to do and he proceeds to do some motions using a combination of principles.

Hope this gives you a clearer perspective on the video.

Regards.G.
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Old 06-24-2011, 08:19 PM   #322
hughrbeyer
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Boston
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Re: Strength vs Ki.

Thanks for the explanations. I'll need to cogitate on that for a bit.
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Old 06-25-2011, 08:27 AM   #323
Mark Freeman
Dojo: Dartington
Location: Devon
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,219
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Re: Strength vs Ki.

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Well first let me point out two things, eventually two very different things though in the beginning called and seen as the same thing. LEADING.

There is leading the mind and there is leading Ki.

O.k. So he is trying to show the effect of leading the mind and some principles involved in that aspect. Which brings me to the down/up effect.

I can see you know the principle of push down the reaction will be up so you translate it as such, action/reaction. All good physically.

So back to the demo. Leading the mind Tohei style is difficult and takes time to understand in itself let alone then use the principles of it. Add to this that there is another factor of weight underside, (which comes from complete relaxation and at the same time 'flexible' yet 'unbendable' arm) involved. (as shown in his ikkyo exercises)

Now here's the corker. Down/up mind wise. If you lead and then drop the persons mind they will pitch foreward. It's a drop straight down. verticle, no nearly verticle, so he is dropping their mind.

Now to phase two, I call it the tennis ball effect. If you have learned to lead the mind you then learn how to bounce the mind. The effect on the opponent is not one even from their perspective that they are reacting against something they just feel taken and bounced.

I hope this gives you an insight as to what's going on. Try it physically and you can get a pitch foreward or even a jerk reaction back but you cannot get that same bounce, it's a totally different skill.
Hi Graham,

This aspect of Tohei's aikido is fundamental to his particular 'way', others may have it in theirs but it is maybe not so apparent.

I spend a great deal of time with my students examining and practicing these principles, and you are right, they are not that easy to grasp - very easy to do when you have embodied the skill, but difficult to get rid of all the mind/body habits that get in the way of it happening effortlessly.

For me, leading ukes mind from the moment that they initiate the attack, is what makes the whole thing work. Lead the mind and the body will follow. The tennis ball effect is exactly as you describe, both powerful and slightly disorientating for uke.

I really enjoyed watching the video as I had not seen that one before. I wish I could understand Japanese, to hear his detailed instruction, I certainly recognised all of the principles being shown.

regards

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 06-25-2011, 09:20 AM   #324
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
England
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Re: Strength vs Ki.

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote: View Post
Hi Graham,

This aspect of Tohei's aikido is fundamental to his particular 'way', others may have it in theirs but it is maybe not so apparent.

I spend a great deal of time with my students examining and practicing these principles, and you are right, they are not that easy to grasp - very easy to do when you have embodied the skill, but difficult to get rid of all the mind/body habits that get in the way of it happening effortlessly.

For me, leading ukes mind from the moment that they initiate the attack, is what makes the whole thing work. Lead the mind and the body will follow. The tennis ball effect is exactly as you describe, both powerful and slightly disorientating for uke.

I really enjoyed watching the video as I had not seen that one before. I wish I could understand Japanese, to hear his detailed instruction, I certainly recognised all of the principles being shown.

regards

Mark
Hi Mark.
Yes, it was the first time I had seen that particular video and like you I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Isn't it funny as when you see one done from the way you understand you are looking at it almost in 3D and kind of say to yourself 'now that's what I'm talking about!'

Hence when I watch other styles I have to remind myself most of my understanding of what I'm seeing is assumption unless the person is communicating what they are doing.

This is also true the other way around when you see others commenting from a so called expert view when you can see by their comments they are well off the mark. All good learning both ways.

You know, before I came onto Aikiweb I never really used the term or thought of things in terms of internal and external as I used the terms hard and soft.

For me I thought you can't have internal without external and visa versa. We were taught to feel both and recognise both all the time and that both need to be in unison but no added significance. So it was all a matter and still is for me of what principles are being used.

When I teach a principle I teach how that same principle applies physically, how it applies mentally and how it applies spiritually. The effects of it inside and outside.

Anyway, gotta bounce, ha ha.

Resgards. G.
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Old 07-02-2011, 07:53 PM   #325
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
England
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Re: Strength vs Ki.

I wonder why I never hear any discussion on Toheis five principles of Aikido rather than the four principles of mind and body unification?

I conclude that many think that those four are the sum of his understanding.

Each of the five principles go as deep as you want them to go and take years to appreciate.

As a discipline his rules are more like a super discipline, a point missed by the majority unfortunately. That doesn't mean the way of teaching couldn't be improved by someone but merely that in terms of 'old school' well you can't get more old school than that.

This is why many don't last, impatience, the grass being greener on the other side, the usual story for most styles.

Regards.G.
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