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Old 04-25-2012, 08:30 PM   #1
Matusiam
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IP : videos, explanations and hopefully more

Hi everyone,

Its my first post on the forum so please don't be to harsh on me.

I recently attended an aikido course in UK with Hiroshi Ikeda Sensei. I have seen him in France about 4 years ago and I could feel that he improved as well as his explanations of what he is doing. I'm not a dan grade, but I noticed that on the mat some people thought they had the skill he has, but to me it was obvious that they don't (I don't have those skills either to make things clear). Seems like everyone finds what they want to find. So my questions would be : where can I find genuine videos, papers, explanations of IP. What I understand that IP is a totally different art and its not really a martial art but can be put into one if the practitioner is willing to do so.

I hope that my question is clear.

With Kind Regards
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:03 AM   #2
bob_stra
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Re: IP : videos, explanations and hopefully more

Quote:
Mateusz Matusiak wrote: View Post
So my questions would be : where can I find genuine videos, papers, explanations of IP. What I understand that IP is a totally different art and its not really a martial art but can be put into one if the practitioner is willing to do so.
Hi Mateusz

In my opinion, I think the best, plain speaking source for this material are Mike Sigman's "How To: Internal Strength" videos. They use to be sold via plumflower press but that site is now defunct (?) so you may need to resort to more interesting measures to source them. I think Volume 2 is especially informative, but YMMV.

These may also be of interest to you -

Internal Strength Magazine

Mike's Aikiweb blog

Speaking of Mike, I've heard that plans are a-foot to host Mike in the UK towards the end of the year; you might like to contact him to confirm.

Of course, there are other resources as well.
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:23 PM   #3
Chris Li
 
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Re: IP : videos, explanations and hopefully more

Nothing against Mike, of course, but Dan Harden was in London two weeks ago and will be in Leeuwarden tomorrow:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Aikid...37561086285202

He's getting out to see both groups fairly regularly now. I'd recommend that you see both of them if you get the chance.

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-26-2012, 11:41 PM   #4
bob_stra
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Re: IP : videos, explanations and hopefully more

Heh; well nothing against Dan either, but my impression is that Dan doesn't talk about things online, which is what Mateusz was looking for as an entry point.

Last edited by bob_stra : 04-26-2012 at 11:53 PM.
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Old 04-27-2012, 01:51 AM   #5
Chris Li
 
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Re: IP : videos, explanations and hopefully more

Quote:
Bob Strahinjevich wrote: View Post
Heh; well nothing against Dan either, but my impression is that Dan doesn't talk about things online, which is what Mateusz was looking for as an entry point.
Sure - but Dan's actually there on a regular basis, and accessible as soon as tomorrow, if he's really interested.

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-27-2012, 01:57 AM   #6
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Re: IP : videos, explanations and hopefully more

I was going to say, when I said "nothing against Mike" I really meant "nothing against Mike" - we communicate fairly regularly and it's always friendly.

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-27-2012, 08:42 AM   #7
phitruong
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Re: IP : videos, explanations and hopefully more

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Sure - but Dan's actually there on a regular basis, and accessible as soon as tomorrow, if he's really interested.

Best,

Chris
reading and watching these stuffs are good if you have some hand-on experience with these IS experts. if you have not the hand-on experience, you will be have lots of confusing moments. actually, even if you have hand-on experiences, you would still have lots of confusing moments. hand-on with good explanations is like having a pair, but if you want a full house, you are going to have to work damn hard at it. of course, four of a kind is reserved for the asian, since we are just naturally good at it.

btw, i believed Wang Hai Jun is somewhere over there, Manchester, you might want to give him a try too.

Last edited by phitruong : 04-27-2012 at 08:46 AM.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:42 AM   #8
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Re: IP : videos, explanations and hopefully more

Quote:
Mateusz Matusiak wrote: View Post
where can I find genuine videos, papers, explanations of IP.
http://www.chenxiaowang.com/dvdchinaseries.html

As far as videos ... good a place as any to start as any.

Even with hands on time it still is a steep uphill climb ... best to find someone close and keep at it on a regular basis (3x a day is good).

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

Ultracrepidarianism ... don't.
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:22 PM   #9
Matusiam
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Re: IP : videos, explanations and hopefully more

Thank you very much for the replies gentleman. I was quite busy hence the late reply.

Unfortunate I don't know anyone that has these skills locally in order to practice it as often as 3 times a day. I also do realise that its not something you learn over night, and that it requires lots of retaining of your body as well as gaining new skills. I know how the IP feels like on the receiving end, so maybe I could look for some arts like qi gong or other that do focus on the internal element. Any ideas about this ? Maybe other suggestions ?
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:48 PM   #10
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Re: IP : videos, explanations and hopefully more

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Mateusz Matusiak wrote: View Post
Thank you very much for the replies gentleman. I was quite busy hence the late reply.

Unfortunate I don't know anyone that has these skills locally in order to practice it as often as 3 times a day. I also do realise that its not something you learn over night, and that it requires lots of retaining of your body as well as gaining new skills. I know how the IP feels like on the receiving end, so maybe I could look for some arts like qi gong or other that do focus on the internal element. Any ideas about this ? Maybe other suggestions ?
I think what Robert meant was practise 3 times day by yourself, without a teacher.

My journey started last year with a similar question: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19235).

I know little about gi gong, but in my understanding qi gong is related to internal training.
You may find someone locally offering qi gong lessons, but if you're looking for more than qi gong for relaxation and health, I think it's unlikely that you'll find it locally. There just don't seem to be that many good teachers for internal power available in the west. As an illustration, this weekend Dan Harden was here in the Netherlands, and about half of the students were foreigners coming to the Netherlands for the weekend just to train with him. And when he returns here in a couple of months, they'll be here again. Some have been chasing this stuff for years before they found a good teacher.

So I think you should watch out for a seminar near you. There are a couple of independent teachers who travel around the US and Europe giving seminars for small groups. Some teachers and seminars come up regularly in the Non-Aikido Martial Traditions forums. Their teachings have many similarities but there are differences (or so I'm told), so you may want to investigate a bit before you decide which seminar to go to.

In a seminar you can get your hands on the teacher, you'll see and feel him do stuff that may impress you, you'll learn exercises that will condition your body over time and you'll get to practise them with the other students so you'll be able to keep on practising on your own after the seminar.
If you keep on practising after the seminar, you'll feel some things subtly change in your body. Then after a couple of months of training, you could go to another seminar to get feedback and learn more.

That's more or less my story up to now.

Last edited by Dave de Vos : 04-30-2012 at 09:51 PM.
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Old 05-05-2012, 02:42 AM   #11
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Re: IP : videos, explanations and hopefully more

Hi Mateusz,
I understand your question quite well: I got to to a similar point during my journey. And I started to practice qi gong. It gave me a lot of benefits and I still do it. But there are some issues to consider.

Like you my background is a way of aikidō that refers more to the inner aspects and does not understand aiki as the blending of the exterior movements of tori and uke. (You mentioned Ikeda sensei, I practice with Endo sensei.)

1. Qi gong for sure will help you to understand your body better and it will give a feeling of the flow of qi in your body. You will learn to build a better structure of your body. "To stand better." You will become more relaxed. You will get aware of your body in a new way and will notice a lot of things going on you didn't feel before.

2. Reading into qi gong and daoist practice alltogether will make you familiar with a lot of topics and terms which are discussed in Ueshibas texts and which are discussed here on aikiweb: You will read about heaven-earth-man, about six direction, in-yo-ho and so on. So you will come to understand that the words of Ueshiba are not up in the clouds and are not only his thaughts, but taught elsewhere a lot.
Reading HIPS of Ellis Amdur will give you a nice intellectual connection between this world of daoist qi gong and Ueshibas aiki. And you will understand how worthfull the work of Chris Li is, who re-translates Ueshibas Texts, with a real understanding so he can more clearly express, what is meant in them, than other translators who didn't have a clue and had to put in their own understanding.

So: Qi gong helps. For sure.

But!!!

You will still only learn external movements! Same thing like with most of aikidō. Qi gong digs a little deeper. But mostly it will not lead you straight into internal movement or IS or however you call it.
To get into this you need to find a teacher, who at least claims to teach internals.
This is my clear experience after having done things for some years and now for the first time having met someone who teaches explicetly internal work.

Second point, is what Dave said:
I enjoyed doing qi gong very much! It helps me to have a better day. But there is no cennection to martial / aikidō - practice. ("I can make my hands feel warm and prickling. - But not those of uke ...") So even with a lot of experience I didn't manage to transfer my qi gong into my aikidō. Except having a better posture and better equilibrium.
After just 2 1/2 days with someone who teaches explicetly internal work there is no question that this can be transferred to the martial arts.*
For sure. Makes a whole lot of sense!

So like Dave and others said: Find a teacher! Even travelling, it is worth it!
In my case this put all the pieces of the puzzle together and showed me the whole picture.
( Even if I suck: At least now I know I do ...)

Ganbatte!
Carsten

* And: Even without talking about qi or things like that my hands where warm and prickling! + In now understand my qi gong practice in a different way.

Last edited by Carsten Möllering : 05-05-2012 at 02:54 AM.
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Old 05-05-2012, 08:59 AM   #12
gregstec
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Re: IP : videos, explanations and hopefully more

I agree with Carsten on the Qi Qong stuff - I do it along with some of Tohie's stuff simply to help me better understand and control internal things in my body. Now knowing what to do with that added control is a different thing entirely - that is where a teacher working on internal power comes in.

Greg
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Old 05-05-2012, 07:10 PM   #13
Henrypsim
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Re: IP : videos, explanations and hopefully more

Mr. Mollering,
I started with Dan last year, went thru 2 seminars with him so far but I am also under Chris Li's dojo, so I have extra support. However, that does not mean I am "good" or know what I am doing, far far from it, it just meant that I think I am luckier than most. Back to what you said:

"lSecond point, is what Dave said:
I enjoyed doing qi gong very much! It helps me to have a better day. But there is no cennection to martial / aikidō - practice. ("I can make my hands feel warm and prickling. - But not those of uke ...") So even with a lot of experience I didn't manage to transfer my qi gong into my aikidō. Except having a better posture and better equilibrium.
After just 2 1/2 days with someone who teaches explicetly internal work there is no question that this can be transferred to the martial arts.*
For sure. Makes a whole lot of sense!

I had been practicing qi kung for health for many years, off and on. As much as health qi kung is different from martial arts qi kung as our limited knowledge tells us at this moment, I still suspect and strongly believe that they are transferrable. Example, when I first met Dan, I was trying to "show off" my qi kung to "impress" him and without more detail, he put me way way back in my place with his demonstration of what I was trying to do and he is a " martial arts" qi kung sensei as most of us would consider him to be. Hence my suspicion. I sincerely hope Dan won't be mad at me for telling you guys that otherwise I will need all the prayers I can get to survive his next visit to Hawaii in July . My purpose in telling you that is because I am so excited that you, Dave and I have the same suspicion and I really sincerely wish more people would take advantage to learn all they can from such a talented, powerful sensei as Dan who basically devout himself in helping others to see the "light" especially for those of us who has been practicing Ai-Do all this time but missing O-Sensei's vision of true Aikido.
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Old 05-06-2012, 03:14 AM   #14
Dave de Vos
 
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Re: IP : videos, explanations and hopefully more

Quote:
Henry Sim wrote: View Post
I had been practicing qi kung for health for many years, off and on. As much as health qi kung is different from martial arts qi kung as our limited knowledge tells us at this moment, I still suspect and strongly believe that they are transferrable. Example, when I first met Dan, I was trying to "show off" my qi kung to "impress" him and without more detail, he put me way way back in my place with his demonstration of what I was trying to do and he is a " martial arts" qi kung sensei as most of us would consider him to be. Hence my suspicion.
For me it's more than a suspicion. Solo training is required for acquiring internal power. I'm convinced that qi kung is an important part of internal chinese martial arts training that can lead to internal power as the existence of chinese grandmasters with power shows.

But it's also evident that very few students of those chinese grandmasters can do what their teachers can, even after many years of training as loyal students.

This shows that there is essential information about why and how to train what, that you need to get there. There aren't that many teachers who know and understand the essentials, who are able to demonstate and who are willing and able to teach everything they know, for real, without holding back. And even less who will teach it to westerners, even if they are most loyal students for many years.

(I think I'm almost quoting some of Dan's posts here)
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Old 05-06-2012, 08:50 AM   #15
Gary David
 
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Re: IP : videos, explanations and hopefully more

Folks
All thinks considered (talking only about me) I see Dan, and another friend with great understand, as stretch goals. That is to say that putting all the needed elements together to be like them may not be possible.....I am looking at this in the same light as wanting to be a dominate 7' center in the NBA...maybe all of the tools needed may not be present and in the right combination.... That is not to say I won't be trying, but steps and steps and steps....happy with each level I reach.

One of my personal goals now is to add back in to the daily training in Aikido some of the results that can be achieved through the training that Dan provides. I am talking IP at this level, opening closing, and some use of intention. Just in the beginnings of this. As a friend said to me".....you can't do the adults drills until the children's drills are mastered"

I have trained with Dan three times and will see him again this year. I agree that solo training is a key element in this work and I believe that finding ways to incorporate the practice, principles and concepts where you can in your daily life is helpful..... sounds familiar.....

Gary
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:49 PM   #16
Matusiam
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Re: IP : videos, explanations and hopefully more

Wow !

So many post with useful and informative input - thank you very much gentleman. I was thinking that qi gong could help out in terms of internal training.

@Dave de Vos : So what internal art are you practising at the moment ? Who are you following (if that is not a secret) ?

Regarding the fact that not everyone gets to actually understand IP is maybe like tennis - you can play with your friend but only few get to the top of the ATP list... Just a guess.

Now, about Ki / Qi. I don't really believe that I can manipulate / bend Ki to my will (I'm not a monk of any kind that meditates every day and devotes his life for that purpose - hence I'm kinda doubtful that an average person can control Ki). I've came across people that are Ki practitioners. Lots of muscle power is involved - that is what I can say from my personal experience. To me the Ki thing could be explained in my own terms. As my background is tennis, when I play I don't really think about how to coordinate my arm, hips, leg (and the rest of the body) is order to play the ball across the court - that is my intent to play the ball there and my body simply follows. But this only happens because I have spend years drilling that (learning the body movement to actually perform the task), so when I think (intent) about playing the ball across the court then my body knows what to do without me thinking about my body. This way I focus on the game (tactics) rather then on how to get the ball to the other side. I can be wrong, but seems like there is alot of intent work in the internal arts. Based on the logic I've described above (I think its just called muscle memory) it looks like things like : "think your arm is very heavy" needs to backed up with a physical movement (it can be micro movement not really visible to the human eye) in order for the heavy arm to actually work (intent triggers muscle memory action related to it).

Also I'm not saying that practising an internal art will make me a fighter. Its just very interesting that actually apart from the set of techniques that you learn on the class there are much deeper things you can play with and try and incorporate into your training (obviously as I can see the path to get there is not an easy one, but if it would be simple then there would be no desire to try and learn it). Even Ikeda Sensei said that reading one book for 25+ years will not make you progress with your art and your (he mentioned) Aikido will not age with you. So staying in my comfort zone will result in me not learning anything new and always resigning back to what I know = no progress regardless of how many years of practice.

@Henry Sim : Do you find any visible progress with what Mr Dan has been teaching you ? As I guess you have been given some solo exercises to do. Do you see any changes ?
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:48 AM   #17
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Re: IP : videos, explanations and hopefully more

Quote:
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I was thinking that qi gong could help out in terms of internal training.
It surely can. That Internal Stuff training is really some very potent kind of specialized qi gong.
But there are innumerate different sets and systems of qi gong exercises, trainings and practices, and they all have different objectives. Most western qi gong is just for improving overall quality of live. Though they can condition you somewhat regards whole body movement and can teach to feel Ki.
You can then transfer this into your martial training to spice it up.
Some systems are well integrated into martial arts and are meant to build Internal Strength. But you need an IP/IS-competent teacher to exploit them, and those teachers are rare, even in the so called inner martial arts.

Here's an exercize which is reportedly being useful for conditioning brain and body for IP, i.e. some people developed IP using this exercizes (and pole swinging). The video is "fast forward" - the exercize should be as slow as possible, taking at least 30 minutes for one run, to be effective.

Quote:
Mateusz Matusiak wrote: View Post
Now, about Ki / Qi. I don't really believe that I can manipulate / bend Ki to my will (I'm not a monk of any kind that meditates every day and devotes his life for that purpose - hence I'm kinda doubtful that an average person can control Ki).
You don't have to. And the conservative daoist approach to IS/IP is to just learn to let things happen.

Quote:
Mateusz Matusiak wrote: View Post
I've came across people that are Ki practitioners. Lots of muscle power is involved - that is what I can say from my personal experience.
Qi/Ki is just a shamanistic, philosophical, alchemistic, ..., model to explain things that happen in your body and your brain. Nothing magic there. It's all muscles, fascia, bones, nerves, physics, neurology and chemistry.
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Old 05-07-2012, 02:12 PM   #18
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Re: IP : videos, explanations and hopefully more

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@Dave de Vos : So what internal art are you practising at the moment ? Who are you following (if that is not a secret) ?
It's not a secret at all!
I would be talking about it all day long, if I thought anyone would be listening. My wife stopped listening long ago

I practise aikido and I also follow Dan Harden, but he does not teach aikido.

He doesn't really teach a particular art that I am aware of, but I think it can be characterized as based on aiki as an internal martial principle, a principle that can be found in the origins of several japanese martial arts, which probably originates from chinese internal arts. I'm no expert in all this, but there are lots of topics here on aikiweb and elsewhere about its history and the connection to aikido through O Sensei.

In his seminars, Dan teaches us to train in a way that will gradually build internal power for any martial art, not just for internal arts / aiki arts. Many of his students have a background in aikido and/or internal arts, but there are also students from other martial arts. Some of his students are fighters or weapon art students. I'm in it to become a good aikidoka, one that's soft and subtle, yet irresistible!
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Old 05-07-2012, 02:56 PM   #19
Dave de Vos
 
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Re: IP : videos, explanations and hopefully more

Quote:
Mateusz Matusiak wrote: View Post
Now, about Ki / Qi. I don't really believe that I can manipulate / bend Ki to my will (I'm not a monk of any kind that meditates every day and devotes his life for that purpose - hence I'm kinda doubtful that an average person can control Ki). I've came across people that are Ki practitioners. Lots of muscle power is involved - that is what I can say from my personal experience. To me the Ki thing could be explained in my own terms. As my background is tennis, when I play I don't really think about how to coordinate my arm, hips, leg (and the rest of the body) is order to play the ball across the court - that is my intent to play the ball there and my body simply follows. But this only happens because I have spend years drilling that (learning the body movement to actually perform the task), so when I think (intent) about playing the ball across the court then my body knows what to do without me thinking about my body. This way I focus on the game (tactics) rather then on how to get the ball to the other side. I can be wrong, but seems like there is alot of intent work in the internal arts. Based on the logic I've described above (I think its just called muscle memory) it looks like things like : "think your arm is very heavy" needs to backed up with a physical movement (it can be micro movement not really visible to the human eye) in order for the heavy arm to actually work (intent triggers muscle memory action related to it).
FWIW(from me as newbie), your thinking is very much in agreement with mine. Intent and drilling are paramount.
(and you'll need a teacher to tell you what and how to drill and to fix your mistakes, so that you don't drill bad habits and possibly damage yourself irreversibly, whether it's aikido, tennis or internal training)
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:37 PM   #20
Matusiam
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Re: IP : videos, explanations and hopefully more

@Dave de Vos :

That is good news that you have found someone to follow and to learn from. So do you feel that you actually are making some progress with what Mr Dan is giving you to work on (as part of your solo practice) I'm in no shape or form even thinking that you got to Ikeda Sensei level in one year or so, but there should be at least some kind of progress with what you have been told to do. I will be making a further post tomorrow as its 4:36 am here... Need some sleep
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Old 05-08-2012, 03:23 PM   #21
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Re: IP : videos, explanations and hopefully more

Ķ feel some progress. My stability is becoming better (it was crappy when I started and less crappy now). It also feels as if the drills become less awkward to do. I count that as progress.

I also feel sensations in my tissue when training, which over time has gradually expanded from the outside of my lower arms to my torso. This is not very useful (that I know of) but I think it is a part of the process.

I think my connections are getting better and I think I'm making some progress in developing and using dantien, but again, this is very gradual. Sometimes in aikido I try to consciously use my body the way I train, but that's not easy. I guess I have to solo train more until it becomes like second nature. Also, I'm only 4 kyu in aikido (since last month) so aikido by itself is already quite a challenge.

I only really solo practise about 3 hours a week, which is not very much. I also play around with my body when I'm stuck in traffic (which happens every day when I commute), but that probably does not count for much. I need to spend more time training.

Last edited by Dave de Vos : 05-08-2012 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:57 PM   #22
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Re: IP : videos, explanations and hopefully more

I also play around with my body when I'm stuck in traffic (which happens every day when I commute), but that probably does not count for much. I need to spend more time training.

Dave,
You have to be more careful for the non IS students reading that last statement.
This is a family show after all.
Greg

A day will dawn when you will yourself laugh at your effort. That which is on the day of laughter is also now.
Ramana Maharishi
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Old 05-09-2012, 12:36 AM   #23
dps
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Re: IP : videos, explanations and hopefully more

Where are the videos?

dps
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:00 AM   #24
chillzATL
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Re: IP : videos, explanations and hopefully more

Quote:
Dave de Vos wrote: View Post
I also feel sensations in my tissue when training, which over time has gradually expanded from the outside of my lower arms to my torso. This is not very useful (that I know of) but I think it is a part of the process.

I think my connections are getting better and I think I'm making some progress in developing and using dantien, but again, this is very gradual. Sometimes in aikido I try to consciously use my body the way I train, but that's not easy. I guess I have to solo train more until it becomes like second nature. Also, I'm only 4 kyu in aikido (since last month) so aikido by itself is already quite a challenge.
just my opinion, but the connection you mention in the first sentence above is hugely important, huge! As it relates to what you said in the second in regards to using your body that way when you do aikido, you should be working to feel that sensation or connection in everything you do, before, during and after. IMO, the whole second nature stuff will never happen until you start feeling those things outside of solo exercises doing every day life stuff. So work what you have, what you can feel and just continue to build.
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:50 PM   #25
Dave de Vos
 
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Re: IP : videos, explanations and hopefully more

Quote:
Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
just my opinion, but the connection you mention in the first sentence above is hugely important, huge! As it relates to what you said in the second in regards to using your body that way when you do aikido, you should be working to feel that sensation or connection in everything you do, before, during and after. IMO, the whole second nature stuff will never happen until you start feeling those things outside of solo exercises doing every day life stuff. So work what you have, what you can feel and just continue to build.
Yes, I think these sensations come from the connective tissues targeted by this training. Strangely though, some of the sensations don't feel like connective tissue to me. It feels more like coming from the skin itself. Sometimes I do feel that outside of training, but it's mostly accidental. I haven't really spent a lot of attention to it. I'm not aware that these sensations have a function, besides letting me know something is working different than before.
I like your tip. I'll pay more attention to getting these sensations outside of my training. Thanks!

Last edited by Dave de Vos : 05-09-2012 at 01:53 PM.
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