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Old 06-11-2012, 08:03 PM   #1
graham christian
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My Spiritual Aikido.

This is a brief description of the spiritual side of Aikido according to yours truly. Different to how you have been taught maybe, nonetheless, my view and my way.

I'll give a few facets, principles and thus a look into my world.

Love. Ah, budo is love. Love is firstly to do with space, yours and the others spiritual space. We all have spiritual space. To translate ie physically and geometrically you would start by recognizing and feeling your own spherical space around you. The whole concept of Japanese bowing rather than shaking hands I put down to this respecting of personal space.

So the operating principles which go with this are 'being with' and 'oneness.' Co-existence.

So we have a loving space, expansive, all embracing, the 'heart' of Aikido. It is hard to believe that space as such can have any effect and yet the more real it gets to you the more effect it has and thus comes about reality of Kokyu.

As the spiritual principle thus is 'be with' then there cannot be any against. Thus I say there is no against in Aikido and thus there cannot be opposition. To be with, share as one space. Thus you enter in order to be with and be one with.

Eventually you are being space, loving space connecting with the others space and 'heart' and it is very non-physical. You are aware of the inflow and outflow, the yin and yang for as space you feel it like breathing. Kokyu.

The next facet I give you is light. The soul as I call it is not related to space although they all work with each other and is Aikido discipline wise related to the center line and the sword. The effect is opening. The correct spiritual feeling you put through the sword or focus with from center line is eventually light. Thus we get light and the warmth of love of Kokyu is heat.

Prior to that I would say the feeling is degrees of calmness, calm focus. It opens as does a sword. It opens space. Thus you can cut through and by doing so you are opening. The sword that cuts through self is opening your heart and soul. This feeling is developed through practice of tegetana and bokken.

Center. From center Ki flows. From center Ki enters. Center is the gateway, the gateless gate between the void and heaven, the spirit of Aikido. Centre is also the place of stillness, an infinite stillness and relates to the energy of life itself, thus Ki. The principle with center is acceptance. With acceptance you can fel, perceive, blend with. With acceptance you can also allow and let go of. Thus from center and stillness can you see the pathways of Ki and love and light and understand the motions. Whilst center line connects heaven and earth, center is the gateway to all, the center of the cross. Whilst center is non- resistive acceptance center line is neutral.

Koshi. Some may call this the lower dantien or various things. Spiritually koshi is the void, emptyness, the 'u' of kotodama. It is what brings about weight underside in Ki Aikido. It is the nothing from which comes everything. It is the connection with mother nature and all forms physical and life forms. It is what you become aware of and feel when you truly let go. Whereas kokyu is space then koshi is infinite capacity thus can receive anything. The ground force or gravity effect is thus all to do with Koshi. Thus from Koshi you can give and receive. You can receive into nothing and you can give nothing. You can find this nothing is not 'nothing at all.'

Now each of the above could be considered different forms of power for they are all effective. Koshi has the added thing of finality, completion, and thus feels much more powerful, or can do, especially to the receiver. For instance a nikkyo done with Koshi is the nikkyo the other goes down with complete certainty and feels like a ton weight did the nikkyo. A nikkyo done with kokyu the person goes down with complete certainty yet wonders why for they feel good.

Yet all in all there is another spiritual principle which comes from Koshi and that is non-disturbance. It like using power to non-disturb and yet move the mountain. Another strange feeling at both ends for the doer and the one being moved.

Hara. Together these form Hara and bring about humility and compassion and non-resistance. They bring about in life and Aikido the spirit of joy from hara. The way of peace.

These are some of the spiritual facets and principles which of themselves when adhered to through discipline bring harmony to the mind which in turn brings harmony to the body. Spirit, mind , body.

A brief outline for your indulgence.

Peace.G.
 
Old 06-12-2012, 11:23 AM   #2
SteveTrinkle
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Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

a lifefe is either all spiritual or not spiritual at all. No man can serve two masters. Your life is shaped by the end you live for. You are made in the image of what you desire.
Thomas Merton
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/au...QyuHgHgip1L.99

 
Old 06-12-2012, 01:38 PM   #3
graham christian
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Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony. -- Thomas Merton

I prefer this one.

Peace.G.

Last edited by akiy : 06-12-2012 at 02:53 PM. Reason: Removed quote tag
 
Old 06-12-2012, 01:44 PM   #4
Rob Watson
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Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

The depth of ones spirituality is directly proportional to their closeness to the experience of death. You want real deep spirituality? Hug death.

"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.
 
Old 06-12-2012, 02:00 PM   #5
graham christian
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Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

Quote:
Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
The depth of ones spirituality is directly proportional to their closeness to the experience of death. You want real deep spirituality? Hug death.
A bit dark. Hug life, it's much more spiritual.

Peace.G.
 
Old 06-12-2012, 02:04 PM   #6
Chris Parkerson
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Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

Quote:
Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
The depth of ones spirituality is directly proportional to their closeness to the experience of death. You want real deep spirituality? Hug death.
And, in the process, divest of wealth, power and fame. We all do anyway, soon before we die.

Merton was pretty good at that. So was Bede Griffiths. And boy did they get opened up in the process.

namaste,

Chris
 
Old 06-12-2012, 04:39 PM   #7
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Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

Quote:
Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
The depth of ones spirituality is directly proportional to their closeness to the experience of death. You want real deep spirituality? Hug death.
Perhaps this is the ura to the same thing I would articulate more or less as "hug life."
Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
A bit dark. Hug life, it's much more spiritual.

Peace.G.
Just saw this. Not sure if it's "more" or not though.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 06-12-2012 at 04:42 PM.

Gambarimashyo!
 
Old 06-12-2012, 05:53 PM   #8
graham christian
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Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Perhaps this is the ura to the same thing I would articulate more or less as "hug life."

Just saw this. Not sure if it's "more" or not though.
I see it this way. Spiritual form love to light to spirit et.al all work together in the true nature of things thus they all welcome, support, invite , 'hug' each other.

The mind however produces many fears and negatives Including the concept of death. Being attatched to such ways of thinking we may feel it's good to hug death but to me that's mental not spiritual.

An interesting thought I offer you:

I said earlier that in the way I do Aikido it goes spirit-mind-body. In that order and indeed I would say that order of importance and that order of magnitude.

Now for those who believe in a different order then this is what generally happens. They have the mind leading the spirit. Thus they have the spirit doing negatively according to the minds instructions and thus against it's true nature. Thus ego rules.

Peace.G.
 
Old 06-12-2012, 06:07 PM   #9
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Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Perhaps this is the ura to the same thing I would articulate more or less as "hug life."
Just saw this. Not sure if it's "DON'T SEE THIS AS"DARK"ACTUALLYI THINK IT'S PRACTICALAND REALISTICI RECENTLYI HAD A STROKEMY OWN EXPERIENCE OF "HUGGINGDEATH"CAN'T SAY THISMADE ME SUDDENLY SOME KIND OF ENLIGHTENED BEING OR FILLED ME WITH SPECIAL WISDOM, BUTIDO HAVE A DRAMATICALLY CHANGED PERSPECTIVEANDMY AIKIDO PLAYS AMAJOR YOLE IN MY EFFORTS TOWARD RECOVERY

Last edited by akiy : 06-12-2012 at 06:19 PM. Reason: Fixed quote tag

 
Old 06-12-2012, 06:42 PM   #10
graham christian
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Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

Quote:
Stephen Trinkle wrote: View Post
Just saw this. Not sure if it's "DON'T SEE THIS AS"DARK"ACTUALLYI THINK IT'S PRACTICALAND REALISTICI RECENTLYI HAD A STROKEMY OWN EXPERIENCE OF "HUGGINGDEATH"CAN'T SAY THISMADE ME SUDDENLY SOME KIND OF ENLIGHTENED BEING OR FILLED ME WITH SPECIAL WISDOM, BUTIDO HAVE A DRAMATICALLY CHANGED PERSPECTIVEANDMY AIKIDO PLAYS AMAJOR YOLE IN MY EFFORTS TOWARD RECOVERY
I commend you and wish you well and am sure Aikido will help as you say.

Facing a near death experience is indeed a very spiritual experience and not 'dark' at all. Those who have had such were also hugging life wouldn't you say?

Hugging death thus may be wise when it is necessary but meanwhile hugging life is the or should be the daily course.

Peace. G.
 
Old 06-12-2012, 08:30 PM   #11
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Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

Those unable to lovingly embrace death have no aptitutde to truly love.

"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.
 
Old 06-12-2012, 08:51 PM   #12
Chris Parkerson
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Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

Quote:
Stephen Trinkle wrote: View Post
Just saw this. Not sure if it's "DON'T SEE THIS AS"DARK"ACTUALLYI THINK IT'S PRACTICALAND REALISTICI RECENTLYI HAD A STROKEMY OWN EXPERIENCE OF "HUGGINGDEATH"CAN'T SAY THISMADE ME SUDDENLY SOME KIND OF ENLIGHTENED BEING OR FILLED ME WITH SPECIAL WISDOM, BUTIDO HAVE A DRAMATICALLY CHANGED PERSPECTIVEANDMY AIKIDO PLAYS AMAJOR YOLE IN MY EFFORTS TOWARD RECOVERY
Greetings and gratitude for your story.
If I may ask, was it a left brain stroke or a right brain stroke?

Have you read, Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor's book "Stroke of Insight"?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0670020745

Or seen her talk on TED?
http://www.ted.com/talks/jill_bolte_...f_insight.html

Could you relate to the spiritual opening? Bede Griffiths' mystical consciousness skyrocketed after his stroke. Many of the Christian mystics had suffered strokes as well.

Gratitude,

Chris
 
Old 06-12-2012, 11:10 PM   #13
Chris Parkerson
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Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

By the way, Tuturuhan Joe Ariola, A student of Princess Josephina's soft style of Eskrima, Chinese arts, and a contrinutor to this site several years ago, suffered a stroke. I recently visited him (April) at his home. Here he is jousting staff against Tai Chi sword. Joes' world has flourished immensley since his stroke about two years ago.

One mark of a Shaman is that most have had near death experiences. He is now moving freely between both the linear and timeless fields. His mystical downloads are spot on. Truly an amazing man.

Puha

Chris

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Last edited by Chris Parkerson : 06-12-2012 at 11:14 PM.
 
Old 06-13-2012, 12:21 AM   #14
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Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

Quote:
Stephen Trinkle wrote: View Post
Just saw this. Not sure if it's "DON'T SEE THIS AS"DARK"ACTUALLYI THINK IT'S PRACTICALAND REALISTICI RECENTLYI HAD A STROKEMY OWN EXPERIENCE OF "HUGGINGDEATH"CAN'T SAY THISMADE ME SUDDENLY SOME KIND OF ENLIGHTENED BEING OR FILLED ME WITH SPECIAL WISDOM, BUTIDO HAVE A DRAMATICALLY CHANGED PERSPECTIVEANDMY AIKIDO PLAYS AMAJOR YOLE IN MY EFFORTS TOWARD RECOVERY
Nicely put! I agree it's not dark...unless by "dark" we mean it's hard to look into. I think it might have been another way of saying "hug life," since both life and death seem inseperable. I study Jinja Shinto a little and have heard it described that Shinto isn't so concerned with death...which I took to be a way of saying, "we'll cross that bridge when we get there; embrace life now because that's where we're at."
I wish you a speedy recovery! I've got family who had a stroke and while I know it can be difficult, what I've come away with is how amazing the brain is at adaptation; learning new ways of doing things; growing.
Take care!
Matt

Gambarimashyo!
 
Old 06-13-2012, 12:31 AM   #15
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Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

Quote:
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Those unable to lovingly embrace death have no aptitutde to truly love.
I'm not sure I agree...but I'm not sure I understand, either. I accept death as apparently inevitable. When I stop worrying about things like it (i.e. embrace the fact of its apparent inevitability), I feel more free to embrace the moment, to be in the middle of now. I think if I had no experience/awareness with/of death I could still truly love though...and that is why I am inclined to think I might disagree.
Who knows? Surely not me...and if I do, I'm not aware of it.
Take care,
Matt

Gambarimashyo!
 
Old 06-13-2012, 12:53 AM   #16
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Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
I see it this way. Spiritual form love to light to spirit et.al all work together in the true nature of things thus they all welcome, support, invite , 'hug' each other.

The mind however produces many fears and negatives Including the concept of death. Being attatched to such ways of thinking we may feel it's good to hug death but to me that's mental not spiritual.

An interesting thought I offer you:

I said earlier that in the way I do Aikido it goes spirit-mind-body. In that order and indeed I would say that order of importance and that order of magnitude.

Now for those who believe in a different order then this is what generally happens. They have the mind leading the spirit. Thus they have the spirit doing negatively according to the minds instructions and thus against it's true nature. Thus ego rules.

Peace.G.
Interesting. I'm not sure I think the concept of death is necessarily fear-based, though I certainly agree it tends to evoke such feelings in people.
Thank you for the food for thought...er...spirit!
Take care,
Matt
p.s. sorry for so many posts right after each other.

Gambarimashyo!
 
Old 06-13-2012, 01:17 AM   #17
Janet Rosen
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Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

Quote:
Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
Those unable to lovingly embrace death have no aptitutde to truly love.
Children....I had no concept of death when as a tiny young child loved for the first time, my very first best friend, a friend of the family's German Shepard....

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
 
Old 06-13-2012, 08:07 AM   #18
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Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

Coming close to death, your own or another's, is truly a IHTBF thing. My advice is to not think about it, not speculate about it, and above all not reach for it; it will come to you soon enough. And once it does, my advice is to go back to life, don't think about it, don't reach for it, don't hold onto it. It is not your time.
 
Old 06-13-2012, 08:56 AM   #19
Chris Parkerson
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Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

In my own Buddhist practice, I have specifically meditate upon death and impermanence as a priority as a means of fully experiencing my many attitudes that are hidden within me. In fact, I have conducted experiments in lifestyling to support this meditation.

For instance, I took my food budget for 6 months and donated it to a homeless food kitchen. I only ate what they served. For six months I gave away my agency as to when I ate, what I ate and with whom I ate. It was amazing what arose within me; how many feelings I had repressed about disease, the smell of poverty, the psychic pain of hopelessness andy prudish preferences as a organic food snob.

Some of the results of this action is that I chose to live in an inner city community. Our non-profit organization we created helps people in crisis. I now donate nearly 50% of my income annually to the
non profit and, after taxes, live on about 23% of my income. Most of the food I eat comes from the garden. We have 2,000 veggie plants this year. And folks who help in the garden are changing their eating patterns from KFC and McDonalds to fresh home cooking. Their kids are getting their hand in dirt; learning that actions have consequences and care produces immediate results.

This all came out of meditating upon death and impermanence. Now, living simply and simply living.

Namaste,

Chris
 
Old 06-13-2012, 10:36 AM   #20
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Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
For instance a nikkyo done with Koshi is the nikkyo the other goes down with complete certainty and feels like a ton weight did the nikkyo. A nikkyo done with kokyu the person goes down with complete certainty yet wonders why for they feel good.
Quote:
I said earlier that in the way I do Aikido it goes spirit-mind-body. In that order and indeed I would say that order of importance and that order of magnitude.
Graham
Thanks for sharing. The first partial quote from the original entry and the second partial from a later entry seems to me to open space to ask a question about the how of the body. Putting aside the order of things, i.e. Spirit, Mind, Body......how do you work the body to allow it of be an effect part of the whole when doing nikkyo? How do you train (drills, etc.) to have the body work in doing nikkyo using your Koshi approach? Is it different training for the Kokyu approach? For me doing nikkyo is a body closing activity on my part and I am trying to effect the other persons feet. I want them light on their feet . With uke my intent goes through the their elbow, through the lower back and through the leg to the ground, breaking the connection, My hold on the uke's wrist and such is like a hug that can't be broken, their is a weight drop, a weight shift, I keep my center/dantien pressurized and I close...a feeling to my light drawing in rather than expanding.

For all of these elements there are drills, some of them solo drills. A whole bunch of folks provide these kinds of practices to help with the whole. what kinds of practices or drills do you use for your body practice?

Thanks

Gary
 
Old 06-13-2012, 10:53 AM   #21
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Hi Chris,
That is very humbling! Thank you for sharing that! It's amazing to me how comfortable we get with our own part of the world and how uncomfortable we can get when we experience something distinctly different.
I was lucky enough to take part in a "charity tour" in Cambodia and it was interesting to see how people resonded to the deprivations we were witness to. In particular, I thought it was interesting that some folks were surprised when an overt expression of resentment was displayed (a child drew his finger across his throat at us). One person said, "that was odd." I thought I understood it right away. As nice as it is that we were there to help in some way, the sense of dignity of those we sought to help wasn't much of a consideration. We were outsiders coming in on an air-conditioned bus and snapping pictures of people in their daily lives. Imagine someone coming to your home and looking with pity as they make you the object of their interest. Some folks are naturally going to resent it, whether out of a sense of shame, or pride, or what have you. That such an idea never seemed to occur to some folks initially made me resentful. I by no means grew up in poverty, but I lived closer to it than most Americans do and part of me found it outrageous. After thinking about it I had to admit we're all limited by our experiences, and some of us simply have few points of reference to form much understanding.
So where I've come to with all this is the idea that spirituality is another way of finding universal qualities...or put another way, of connecting to disparate realms of this very vast reality. I tend to think spiritual endeavors have a purpose of finding what connects us all and operating from there to arrive at greater understanding and greater cohesion of interaction. To my mind this is very much in keeping with kaiso's vision for Aikido and why I've been so attracted to it as a medium for fostering spirituality...despite being somewhat uncomfortable with sharing in my spirituality.
I can see a parallel here with Graham's idea of starting from the spiritual and proceeding to the mental and then to the physical.
...For what it's worth.
Take care,
Matt

Last edited by mathewjgano : 06-13-2012 at 10:56 AM.

Gambarimashyo!
 
Old 06-13-2012, 10:55 AM   #22
C. David Henderson
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Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

A preference to "hug life" is, from a buddhist perspective, a classic example of dualistic thinking. For those who might be interested:

Quote:
For Buddhism, the dualism between life and death is only one instance of a more general problem, dualistic thinking. Why is dualistic thinking a problem? We differentiate between good and evil, success and failure, life and death, and so forth because we want to keep the one and reject the other. But we cannot have one without the other because they are interdependent: affirming one half also maintains the other. Living a "pure" life thus requires a preoccupation with impurity, and our hope for success will be proportional to our fear of failure. We discriminate between life and death in order to affirm one and deny the other, and, as we have seen, our tragedy lies in the paradox that these two opposites are so interdependent: there is no life without death and -- what we are more likely to overlook -- there is no death without life. This means our problem is not death but life-and-death.
The Nonduality of Life and Death: A Buddhist View of Repression, page 164, David Loy (2000,University of Hawaii Press) from http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-PHIL/davloy.htm

From the Gospel of Phillip, something markedly similar:

Quote:
Light and Darkness, life and death, right and left, are brothers of one another. They are inseparable. Because of this neither are the good good, nor evil evil, nor is life life, nor death death. For this reason each one will dissolve into its earliest origin. But those who are exalted above the world are indissoluble, eternal
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-dualism

David Henderson
 
Old 06-13-2012, 11:11 AM   #23
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Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

David,

You are certainly right about dualism. Nondual mind is a rare thing in this world. For the moment we use words, most of us make differentiations, judgements and thus, become dualistic. In my practice, I have chosen to make friends with our dark side. I embrace both evil and good, clean and dirty, life and death. By not repressing it, they emerge in their raw form. They are me. I am everything. Non-dual manifests, if only for a moment.

Namaste,

Chris
 
Old 06-13-2012, 11:20 AM   #24
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Matthew,

I think Graham is on to something. This whole struggle between him and the IS/IP folks is likely about something other than his spiritual experience of Aikido. I have used my own Aiki practices as internal yogas of the heart, and by doing so, gave augmented my understanding of compassion and non-judgment.

Chris
 
Old 06-13-2012, 11:44 AM   #25
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Quote:
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Matthew,

I think Graham is on to something. This whole struggle between him and the IS/IP folks is likely about something other than his spiritual experience of Aikido. I have used my own Aiki practices as internal yogas of the heart, and by doing so, gave augmented my understanding of compassion and non-judgment.

Chris
Chris
If we are to find common ground we need to understand each other starting with what is the easiest to get to....".....how do you train your body to work as part of the whole?.....what kind of practices do you do to effect the body's functioning to do these things? How do you condition your body? Spirit and mind can be strong...weak body means nothing good happens. And you know that John has drills to help with this, that is what Dan is talking about at this stage is the body work, and that others are out there offering their approaches.

Graham likely has drills, solo training and partner training....other than just waza... to effect the conditioning... that is what I am asking.

Gary
 

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