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Old 10-13-2012, 05:43 PM   #51
hughrbeyer
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Re: Two centers making a connection or one- in a bujutsu body?

And how do you come to have a Dales pony in your Tohei pic?

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:00 AM   #52
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Re: Two centers making a connection or one- in a bujutsu body?

FWIW, I've only ever understood the four-legged animal to be a way of looking at how to move two connected people so that the other person is always kept balance deficient. You learn to connect (or not) to the other person, move them where there balance isn't and try to keep them there. To me, it's been something related too, but separate from what's going on in me.

As for going out and connecting to someones center and giving up your own, I'm pretty sure that obtuse way of going about things is only meant to be entry level. As soon as you're able to relaxedly connect to someone else, you have to start being just as aware of your own center as well. I've felt a few people at this point who were able to connect to me and put pressure on me without giving me any clear idea of where their center was and also put up resistance to me, making me feel like I was connected to them, but without giving up their balance to me. Essentially baiting me to give up more so they could take my balance.

I don't see how that's a bad thing. It becomes obvious pretty quickly, even against non-IS skilled people, that just making a connection isn't all there is to it.
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Old 10-14-2012, 09:05 AM   #53
sakumeikan
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Re: Two centers making a connection or one- in a bujutsu body?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Okay. But...when you talk about your experiences in an Aikido dojo its fine. When I talk about my abilities and experiences they are coined as "advertising" or "bullying." So I try to never talk about the very real outcomes anymore. When any Shihan I have ever met tries anything on me it is neutralized and fizzles out and they stare at me. They cannot make any sort of successful response. This has also worked with many other Martial artists of all types. That's my experience.

If there were a time and a place for both-doesn't someone need to know both?

I haven't read of or seen anyone who discussed both approaches. Did I miss something?
The same body skill to neutralize aikido teachers works against others in other arts. It also works well with weapons.
The answer is not to extend through anyone. I don't project ki like that. I keep it balanced in me. Therefore I release no energy.
I make no connection-to anyone.
I do not expose or share my center with anyone
They have no access to it.
Where has that been discussed?
Dan
Dear Dan,
While it may well be possible to neutralise a person in body art unless you are really skilled guy
I think you would struggle against people who are masters of kenjutsu /escrima or batto ho.Kendo masters can whop you as quick as look at you. What about Kyudo exponents /archery or a slingshot from a distance?Do you evade these as in the manner of O sensei [who reputedly saw bullets in flight]?Please explain your methods of dealing with these scenarios. Hope you liked Bristol. Good place to have a few glasses of wine. Did you by chance meet Mike Narey?? Cheers, Joe.
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Old 10-14-2012, 11:19 AM   #54
DH
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Re: Two centers making a connection or one- in a bujutsu body?

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Dear Dan,
While it may well be possible to neutralize a person in a body art unless you are a really skilled guy- I think you would struggle against people who are masters of kenjutsu /escrima or batto ho. Kendo masters can whop you as quick as look at you.
Why thank you Joe. It has gone very well- extraordinarily so as a matter of fact- for me and my guys, and continues today. I don't like to take all the credit though. How do you take credit for things... you were taught? We.... just decided long ago to stop just doing kata and take it out for spin in freestyle with fighters and with all types of weapons. I could tell you some pretty interesting stories that happened in open rooms with various experts and ranked people, but I won't. At least not here anymore. I save them for people I know.
I prefer to be a fan of aiki and not me.
Quote:
What about Kyudo exponents /archery or a slingshot from a distance? Do you evade these as in the manner of O sensei [who reputedly saw bullets in flight]?Please explain your methods of dealing with these scenarios. Hope you liked Bristol. Good place to have a few glasses of wine. Did you by chance meet Mike Narey?? Cheers, Joe.
I like what Kisshomaru said. People shouldn't believe such nonsense. And for that reason I won't bother to respond to it.

I very much enjoyed Bristol-more than London. It was so convenient to get places. London is a pain: Up at 7, walk to bus stop, get to train, screw up the hard to read schedule and weird tunnel ways to my stop, to get to a bus, to take a mule...to walk a mile an half to the seminar location. Eat breakfast -in hand- on the way if your lucky!
I was tired before I begin.

Whydon'tyouusethespacebarwhenyoutype?

Dan
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Old 10-14-2012, 11:40 AM   #55
DH
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Re: Two centers making a connection or one- in a bujutsu body?

Quote:
Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
FWIW, I've only ever understood the four-legged animal to be a way of looking at how to move two connected people so that the other person is always kept balance deficient. You learn to connect (or not) to the other person, move them where there balance isn't and try to keep them there. To me, it's been something related too, but separate from what's going on in me.

As for going out and connecting to someones center and giving up your own, I'm pretty sure that obtuse way of going about things is only meant to be entry level. As soon as you're able to relaxedly connect to someone else, you have to start being just as aware of your own center as well. I've felt a few people at this point who were able to connect to me and put pressure on me without giving me any clear idea of where their center was and also put up resistance to me, making me feel like I was connected to them, but without giving up their balance to me. Essentially baiting me to give up more so they could take my balance.

I don't see how that's a bad thing. It becomes obvious pretty quickly, even against non-IS skilled people, that just making a connection isn't all there is to it.
It ...is....fine. I see it as just low entry level / high level- work. Sort of like trying to use the popular spinal wave for power generation. It is a step up from normal day-to-day work, but no where near the pinnacle of the bodies potential. Connecting centers will see you owned at speed against someone using a better model of retained center. You can't and will never be able to connect -to them- in the first place, so all else, all theory is for not. I continue to have people stare at me blank trying to figure out what I am doing, including the Chinese big dogs I was told to go test with.
I'm not trying to change your mind about anything. Most people in Aikido do your model. Some Aikido teachers out teaching "internal power" teach that "make connection" and change your insides model. Don't get me wrong. As I said earlier, with people less skilled than you it works. It "feels" great, even amazing for people who don't have IP/aiki. It softly controls, it moves and motivate others. It is very easy to be lulled into sticking with it and thinking it's the bee's knees. However, if those same teachers meet someone doing the model I am discussing -they will simply...lose. They will be reactive and late. It isn't even up for debate. It continuously happens over and over. It is made worse when and if the person retaining center knows how to smoothly make change over and over under stress and remain neutral within themselves, and worse still ...if they can fight with it.

The retained center relies on "no connection.' It is moving in accord with yin and yang freely and it becomes a difficult endeavor to find their center at all, in the process of which, yours is exposed and has to react. To further the point once again, it is the main thrust for solo training- spanning generations. The Japanese opted mostly for prearranged paired training. The result, was two very different approaches to power and control.
The fellow who argued for "I am the universe" understood what I am saying. So didn't three top level Chinese Taiji teachers.
Dan

Last edited by DH : 10-14-2012 at 11:47 AM.
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Old 10-15-2012, 07:51 AM   #56
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Re: Two centers making a connection or one- in a bujutsu body?

Quote:
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I'm not trying to change your mind about anything. Most people in Aikido do your model. Some Aikido teachers out teaching "internal power" teach that "make connection" and change your insides model. Don't get me wrong. As I said earlier, with people less skilled than you it works. It "feels" great, even amazing for people who don't have IP/aiki. It softly controls, it moves and motivate others. It is very easy to be lulled into sticking with it and thinking it's the bee's knees. However, if those same teachers meet someone doing the model I am discussing -they will simply...lose. They will be reactive and late. It isn't even up for debate. It continuously happens over and over. It is made worse when and if the person retaining center knows how to smoothly make change over and over under stress and remain neutral within themselves, and worse still ...if they can fight with it.
I welcome having my mind changed, Dan. That's why I keep harassing you to come visit us. Though to be honest, I wouldn't call it changing my mind because in my experience so far, we're closer to being on the same page than not. I think anyone who put in the time and had the luxury of having some people to work out with would come to those conclusions pretty quickly unless they have something invested in doing only what they're doing, which I do not. I have nothing invested in the training beyond the enjoyment of it. When you practice and come up with ideas and they're wrong, you fix them and keep moving forward and on those rare occasions that those ideas turn out to be right, you pat yourself on the back for putting in the time and thought and then you keep moving forward.

January you said?
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:34 AM   #57
DH
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Re: Two centers making a connection or one- in a bujutsu body?

Quote:
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I welcome having my mind changed, Dan. That's why I keep harassing you to come visit us. Though to be honest, I wouldn't call it changing my mind because in my experience so far, we're closer to being on the same page than not. I think anyone who put in the time and had the luxury of having some people to work out with would come to those conclusions pretty quickly unless they have something invested in doing only what they're doing, which I do not. I have nothing invested in the training beyond the enjoyment of it. When you practice and come up with ideas and they're wrong, you fix them and keep moving forward and on those rare occasions that those ideas turn out to be right, you pat yourself on the back for putting in the time and thought and then you keep moving forward.

January you said?
Hi Jason
Yes, I can see you're pretty "clean" when it comes to not holding on and just examining an approach. The differences we are discussing here become strident the more stress that is applied. In short, that make connection and move the both of you model works in an aikido dojo doing waza- it is NOT going to work under freestyle fighting, and it will never work with people with developed centers and moving the way I am discussing.

Japanese Kata approach
How much power, how much center...is enough?
What does it look like under higher stress levels?
What does it look like against someone with a highly developed center who is not cooperating?
Does fighting ability validate an understanding of IS or Aiki?
Does IS or Aiki validate fighting skill?
Does rank...validate an understanding of either?
Those are the questions people should be also asking themselves.
It is interesting to note that these teachers, coming out of kata driven systems, don't really spend time interacting with people with highly developed centers, moving with retained centers, who have trained under extreme stress. Instead they tend to stay within a defined paradigm-thus their "development" and any discoveries they may have made come from the exact same input source they gave out. Hey, what's wrong with that, if you stay within those parameters it all works, you can pull off some really groovy stuff and the students will swear to God that were not cooperating-even while they were!

If people were to step-up, and to test themselves under serious stress they would make different discoveries and realizations about aiki, center, and training needs. There is a recent post about traditional arts dying in Japan, which echos another series of articles on the traditional arts of China dying. I really don't think it was the quality of the original arts that are failing. I think most of them were actually useful in their day. I think the problem is our inability to make them effective under modern stress and neutral "unaffiliated" analysis and critical examination. When is the last time you heard of a Menkyo in Koryu donning armor and going at it with boken or shinai...at speed in freestyle on a regular basis? Why then are we shocked that people who train like the dog bothers have made themselves very capable with weapons in the modern era. Certain Chinese ICMA guys have opened up to playing with grapplers and they will be better for it.

Again though-this is not my idea or my thoughts alone. This is a tried and true method that has worked for ages, hence all the solo training models. Beginning with the ability to retain a highly developed dynamic stability. It seems such a non argument that it speaks volumes to me when I see traditional people flummoxed by the very idea. After that it is learning how to use it and taking it out for a spin.

To repeat the opening post, does anyone think it was a smart idea to "make a connection" to Ueshiba's center? Takeda's? I certainly don't. And neither did generations of Asian martial disciplines.

Interestingly, the historical model of kata training finished with Musa shugyo. The idea was to go out and test ourselves, not go to other dojo's in our own systems who are all doing the same thing.
Test, Test, Test and prove you knew what you were talking about or die trying is a pretty severe challenge. But it made highly capable legends. Most people have no interest in doing what the greats did.

How is Jan 19 looking?
Dan

Last edited by DH : 10-15-2012 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:20 AM   #58
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Re: Two centers making a connection or one- in a bujutsu body?

Near as I can tell, most of the things I've seen described here are small steps towards what the full suite of skills and body development are anyways, as espoused by the various folks espousing them. Whether it's "two centers making a connection" or "mutually opposing spirals", I think the tenor of the debate would go a long way if whatever the theory is being espoused - that it's kept either within the framework of "here's how it lives within the overall discipline of Internal Strength" versus "here's how this training at this level makes for more effective martial application". Those are two separate arguments, tho related. I also don't think it helps that the discussion jumps from factual to anecdotal to sentimental all in a go as they distract from each other rather than reinforce any single point.

The stickler for me is the notion that the "make a connection and move your insides" is being propped up as the endgame of some "four-legged animal" approach. I don't think anyone has made that point - at best, I've seen it described as a training exercise and foundational approach to handling simple forces. Which is why I'm puzzled as to how it can be disproven as a method when near as I can tell it's intentionally stood up as a gateway checkpoint before you can do other things that are more complex along the spectrum of internal strength. Now, if you can't do some of the simple things within that framework, that's kind of a tell in its own way, but that's also a different discussion. But I think, unless your working definition of internal strength also includes fighting skills (which I think most have agreed is more a parallel framework that works with internal strength, depending on your style, art, etc.) and hypnosis activities - like I've seen also attributed to some teachers - it may make sense to be clear about what you're relating and where it fits within micro and macro considerations.

I kind of liken it to how you receive a simple push. There's being rooted and strong to receive a push. There's being soft and ghost-like such that the pusher never feels you, only the ground. There's being soft and connected so that the pusher doesn't feel like they can actually push you, etc. and so on and so forth. It's basically a drill to train how you handle simple loads. Is it the end-game? Hopefully not, as I actually think that would be stupid from both IS and fighting perspectives. But I do think it can be indicative of where someone is on the IS spectrum with how they choose to handle a simple force that's brought to bear on them. Does how you handle a simple force load indicate how well you can fight? Probably not, although if you can't take any load, even with basic muscular strength, balance and bracing - I'd be suspicious of one's ability to do much more. But I'd never make a final call based alone on that criteria.

And that's just on how you'd handle a simple push. If someone starts telling me that I shouldn't fight that way - I'm not going to bother debating them because, "DUH" (see here on Aikiweb from about 2004-2007 for lots of "DUH" discussions of that nature). If someone tells me they don't have to receive a push IN A TRAINING DRILL because they could move out of the way of the push - I'm not going to bother talking to them about internal strength. If someone says the best way to not get pushed is to punch the pusher in the faced, again, I'm not going to have a discussion with them about internal strength.

How about them apples? There's Macintosh, Gala, Pink Lady, Empire, etc. No, sir and madam, I do not wish to hear about your oranges. Or furthermore hear you say you know all about apples as you go on to describe the merits of Clementines as your resultant proof. Away with you to another tree, altogether, I say.

Last edited by Budd : 10-15-2012 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 10-15-2012, 12:20 PM   #59
chillzATL
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Re: Two centers making a connection or one- in a bujutsu body?

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How is Jan 19 looking?
Dan
no problems here. The venue info I emailed you previously should still be valid as well.
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:40 PM   #60
DH
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Re: Two centers making a connection or one- in a bujutsu body?

Budd

1. All primary concerns are: The manipulations of forces within you. You asked how it relates in a classical sense? This is covered in so many sayings, descriptions and models it is hardly worth mentioning. All point to the primary Motion in stillness, as the first level. the most important level as it sustains you and balances you and manipulates before contact. Hence solo work.
How it relates martially?
2. All secondary concerns are: the manipulation of force enacted upon you
a. You can join centers and manipulate force from outside within you. This is in my view late and reactive and can be played with. I also do not agree that it is a needed step. It implies -too all I have met who use it-,a passive body that is receiving. In and of itself this is not a method in keeping with any discussion I have had with Master class teachers, or have read of many others. Moreover, in a fighting sense, it is inferior.
b. You can manipulate forces within you that are continuously resolving yin and yang. Thus any force enacted upon you meets force in motion and action, thus reducing and redirecting upon contact. There was never an intent to make a connection, and there is a greatly reduced chance of playing your center. This can easily transfer from internal to external with a smooth transition and no break in either feel or load. There are various modes to accomplish this and not all agree.

I do not agree in the least bit that the best way to accomplish #2 The manipulation of force, is by passively connecting and then attempting connection to make kuzushi. While we agree that fighting is an ancillary or parallel issue, the deliverable results in that venue are in fact superior to the model of joining centers to move. Internal movement prior to motion accomplishes significant division and manipulation of initial force... upon... you without much thought as it is a constantly trained state. Thus #1 is faster, and harder to play with from the onset.

Ask LCD and then WHJ where a jin force starts. You might be surprised to see they do not agree. Then you can read certain amateurs stating it is THIS and always was THIS.
There any number of teachings and discussions involving Chen Yu, CXW, LCD, LCG, HJS, his ideas from CFK and Feng's, which do not all match and compare them to LDX or HJB and go on and on from there. DR has it's own basis of kuzushi in it's own model describing how motion precedes receiving. Now, add the internal non-visible component to that model and you have yin and yang present, this is expressed by Ueshiba as well in his discussion of heaven/earth/man "releasing the mountain echo" and ask why that is, then on to various chi gongs to move energy within as a constant state..... prior to and during actual motion.
When they contact motion in you, they are automatically reacting even when they don't realize it. And no...I am not talking about moving around...
Cheers
Dan
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:50 PM   #61
Howard Popkin
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Re: Two centers making a connection or one- in a bujutsu body?

how do you like my new signature ?

Cheers !

Howard Popkin
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:27 PM   #62
DH
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Re: Two centers making a connection or one- in a bujutsu body?

This also applies as a direct answer, Budd.
Cheers
Dan
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:30 PM   #63
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Re: Two centers making a connection or one- in a bujutsu body?

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how do you like my new signature ?

Cheers !

Hey now!!
I have and always will ask myself the same question....everyday!!!

Cheers
Dan
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:35 PM   #64
Budd
 
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Re: Two centers making a connection or one- in a bujutsu body?

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This also applies as a direct answer, Budd.
Cheers
Dan
Hah, I am still responding to your other post and I like Plato's Dialogues as a means of exploring a topic. Nor am I arguing against the importance of some of the things mentioned in your link. But I am questioning a bit the assertion you're making regarding how the connecting to others step is somehow both inferior to and not stressing the importance of managing the forceload within yourself.

Anyways, more to come in my other response. I do like where the discussion is going - especially, as you pointed out, some of the differences that people of greater stature in the community seem to be focusing on.
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:22 PM   #65
Budd
 
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Re: Two centers making a connection or one- in a bujutsu body?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Budd

1. All primary concerns are: The manipulations of forces within you. You asked how it relates in a classical sense? This is covered in so many sayings, descriptions and models it is hardly worth mentioning. All point to the primary Motion in stillness, as the first level. the most important level as it sustains you and balances you and manipulates before contact. Hence solo work.
How it relates martially?
2. All secondary concerns are: the manipulation of force enacted upon you
a. You can join centers and manipulate force from outside within you. This is in my view late and reactive and can be played with. I also do not agree that it is a needed step. It implies -too all I have met who use it-,a passive body that is receiving. In and of itself this is not a method in keeping with any discussion I have had with Master class teachers, or have read of many others. Moreover, in a fighting sense, it is inferior.
b. You can manipulate forces within you that are continuously resolving yin and yang. Thus any force enacted upon you meets force in motion and action, thus reducing and redirecting upon contact. There was never an intent to make a connection, and there is a greatly reduced chance of playing your center. This can easily transfer from internal to external with a smooth transition and no break in either feel or load. There are various modes to accomplish this and not all agree.
I think the key phrase is joining with someone's center from within you. How you do that is the name of the game. I've met a number of folks that were hard to move when someone was pushing on them with a dumb force but then got really easy to move when you knew how to muck with their sense of where down and up were going. So I'd say yeah, it's a combination of conditioning and skill with the result you're shooting for enabling kuzushi on contact because you are better developed. I've had some luck with folks that have in theory been training this stuff for multiple years but couldn't do basic jin things by getting them to use the "make a connection with their center" exercise - but I also acknowledge it is just a starting point and that there's a bunch of other things going on in tandem. Maybe folks that don't need to adjust their sensitivity regarding how additional forceloads get reconciled inside themselves don't need the step.

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I do not agree in the least bit that the best way to accomplish #2 The manipulation of force, is by passively connecting and then attempting connection to make kuzushi.
I do not agree either that you passively connect, nope. You need to understand how gravity and ground are reconciled inside you before you can effectively make someone else's gravity and ground part of the overall system. So, yeah, lot's of solo work to get there. Lot's of conditioning. But that piece of making somebody else's orbit part of your ecosystem - I guess we're going to disagree on the utility of training that as a discrete thing to develop sensitivity and layer in to the overall package as it becomes one thing.

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
While we agree that fighting is an ancillary or parallel issue, the deliverable results in that venue are in fact superior to the model of joining centers to move. Internal movement prior to motion accomplishes significant division and manipulation of initial force... upon... you without much thought as it is a constantly trained state. Thus #1 is faster, and harder to play with from the onset.
Well, yeah, in applications there's no time to do a step by step engage-act-react. Your body needs to be trained to handle itself. I don't think anyone's making the case for the training drill to be a technique you perform in a live environment. If your body hasn't developed the sensitivity to handle and adjust to external inputs in a live environment then you need to do more solo work and try it out with a partner against more moderate resistance.

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Ask LCD and then WHJ where a jin force starts. You might be surprised to see they do not agree. Then you can read certain amateurs stating it is THIS and always was THIS.
Nope, not surprised they don't agree based on where each came from, etc. The only certainty I'd subscribe to is that there's a baseline set of skills and rules that different people have developed to different degrees with different areas of focus. It gets more interesting as you get exposed to more people, for sure.

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
There any number of teachings and discussions involving Chen Yu, CXW, LCD, LCG, HJS, his ideas from CFK and Feng's, which do not all match and compare them to LDX or HJB and go on and on from there. DR has it's own basis of kuzushi in it's own model describing how motion precedes receiving. Now, add the internal non-visible component to that model and you have yin and yang present, this is expressed by Ueshiba as well in his discussion of heaven/earth/man "releasing the mountain echo" and ask why that is, then on to various chi gongs to move energy within as a constant state..... prior to and during actual motion.
Right and they all have different ways of alluding to the same or similar buzzterms to show they get it and are in the club. Considering some of the flare-ups that have happened based on lineage, style, etc. I think we're actually having a pretty healthy disagreement around a definition and training progression. If I understand you correctly, you're saying that resolving the forces inside you is primary - no argument here - then you go to how you need this in applications, fighting, etc. No argument there, either. What I'm arguing against is dismissing the "connecting centers" bit as a wrong step or unnecessary one. Managing the bits inside you in such a way that you automatically connect to someone and can manage them as well is awesome and the way to go. But I'm not convinced that advocating against training the extra sensitivity parts to link the "inside" to the "outside" isn't a worthy step in the overall progression.

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
When they contact motion in you, they are automatically reacting even when they don't realize it. And no...I am not talking about moving around...
Hah, I know you aren't - but, see, if I wanted to - I could borrow a similar argument to the one you gave and say, "Sure, that works on someone with little to no skill but meet someone that's resolved the forces inside themselves and can better manage yours as well you'll find that you can't manage the forces inside yourself very well and are easy to keep off-balance" ... yadda yadda ...

Anyways, this is a much better disagreement to have than those of the years before regarding "I know all this ki crap already" or "It doesn't exist!"

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Cheers
Dan
Always a pleasure.
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Old 10-16-2012, 01:07 AM   #66
James Sawers
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Re: Two centers making a connection or one- in a bujutsu body?

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Interesting question. O-Sensei learned aiki from Takeda; in his own development of it he created Aikido. Aikido, all the way back to the 1935 Asahi News demonstration, includes lots of the big ukemi we're familiar with. (Finessing here the question of whether in 1935 O-Sensei was doing Daito-ryu, Aikido, or something intermediate. Whatever he was doing, it included the big ukemi.)

Plus, he said that ukemi softens the joints, or knocks the ki loose in the joints. That's another translation I'd love to see Chris Li look at.

So the guy who knew all about aiki and created Aikido as a vehicle for expressing it didn't see a need to get rid of ukemi. He seemed to think ukemi was important to learning what he was trying to teach.

In our dojo, where our sensei is integrating aiki concepts into everything, ukemi is both feedback to nage and a martial response on the part of uke to keep themselves protected throughout the technique. (Ellis Amdur talks about this in Ukemi from the ground up--you keep yourself centered and protected until you can't anymore, at which point you roll out.)

So if I'm working with a kohai, and they're putting a technique on by trying to oppose force with muscle, I don't move. I don't freeze up, but I don't let them move me. If they try to deal with force by moving out of the way, or trying to move the point of contact out of the way, I move in on them to demonstrate that they've just opened themselves up. If they move even the littlest bit correctly, I allow myself to be moved by it, trying to remain open and sensitive to their movement so my response is genuine, not forced. Yes, I could shut them down, but that's not the point. This continues up to the point where I either have to lose balance or step out of the technique we're practicing and do something else. At that point, I take the fall.

This lets them practice and gives me practice feeling exactly what they're doing, so I learn where they're tense, where their weight is, and how they're trying to apply force.

Total agreement that this kind of ukemi is not just giving up and falling. At every point, I'm responding only as much as I need to--there's always the possibility of reversing the technique if nage screws up. And you have to maintain zanshin all through the roll and after. (One of Sensei's favorite tricks is, if you try to stand up from a fall too close to him, he just punches you on the way up.)

But from the outside, it doesn't look that different from anybody else's ukemi. It's all in the feeling.
Can't help but agree with Hugh, here. I would only add to: "It's all in the feeling", it's also all in the intent.

I also saw a few references that taking ukemi implies somehow that you have "lost" an encounter. This may be so, but I usually explain ukemi to my kohais that they are not taking ukemi for me (nage), but to protect themselves. Course, this is all in the training, particularly at the earlier levels. Later, resistance, reversals, etc, can all be factored in.

I agree with Budd when he states that you do not passively connect (in response to something Dan H. said:
Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
I do not agree in the least bit that the best way to accomplish #2 The manipulation of force, is by passively connecting and then attempting connection to make kuzushi.
with an attacker, but rather nage is actively connecting, blending, merging, creating that so-called unity, in order to take control of the situation and the attacker. I may be going beyond what Budd was saying, so the rest is my take on this.

"Motion in stillness". This caught my attention and I had to close my eyes and think about it for awhile before I got it (I think).

Anyway, I found this a facinating thread. I'm guessing that most of what Dan is saying here can best be understood by experiencing it. I hope one day to be allowed to take one of Dan H's seminars.

In Good Practice...

Jim
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:30 PM   #67
DH
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Re: Two centers making a connection or one- in a bujutsu body?

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I think the key phrase is joining with someone's center from within you. How you do that is the name of the game. I've met a number of folks that were hard to move when someone was pushing on them with a dumb force but then got really easy to move when you knew how to muck with their sense of where down and up were going. So I'd say yeah, it's a combination of conditioning and skill with the result you're shooting for enabling kuzushi on contact because you are better developed. I've had some luck with folks that have in theory been training this stuff for multiple years but couldn't do basic jin things by getting them to use the "make a connection with their center" exercise - but I also acknowledge it is just a starting point and that there's a bunch of other things going on in tandem. Maybe folks that don't need to adjust their sensitivity regarding how additional forceloads get reconciled inside themselves don't need the step.

.....I do not agree either that you passively connect, nope. You need to understand how gravity and ground are reconciled inside you before you can effectively make someone else's gravity and ground part of the overall system. So, yeah, lot's of solo work to get there. Lot's of conditioning. But that piece of making somebody else's orbit part of your ecosystem - I guess we're going to disagree on the utility of training that as a discrete thing to develop sensitivity and layer in to the overall package as it becomes one thing.
..... If I understand you correctly, you're saying that resolving the forces inside you is primary - no argument here - then you go to how you need this in applications, fighting, etc. No argument there, either. What I'm arguing against is dismissing the "connecting centers" bit as a wrong step or unnecessary one. Managing the bits inside you in such a way that you automatically connect to someone and can manage them as well is awesome and the way to go. But I'm not convinced that advocating against training the extra sensitivity parts to link the "inside" to the "outside" isn't a worthy step in the overall progression.
Training to link the inside to the outside is a requirement and is far more difficult to do correctly IMO than people give credit to. And.....it has nothing to do with connecting to someone else's center.

I think you, and many others advocating this lower level (lower/high level- not low level) work of connecting centers are missing some very important key factors that can see you undone at higher levels. And you are beginning...in the wrong direction. Try thinking of this. If you pushed on a Tibetin prayer wheel attached to a post and it turned...would have made a connection to your center? Or would its structure have just moved and you lost yours. Now, thinking of internals without or with movement; you can move inside or inside to outside, in a such a way that it doesn't expose your center, and anyone touching you, becomes part of you as ....you move. And it can be done without exposing your center to them but having theirs exposed to yours.
I have a nice paper somewhere arguing for that understanding out of China. And there was a nice video talking about hiding your center while taking theirs done by one of the Chen guys. No matter. I am sure everyone is happy doing there thing.

Quote:
Hah, I know you aren't (talking about moving externally)- but, see, if I wanted to - I could borrow a similar argument to the one you gave and say, "Sure, that works on someone with little to no skill but meet someone that's resolved the forces inside themselves and can better manage yours as well you'll find that you can't manage the forces inside yourself very well and are easy to keep off-balance" ... yadda yadda ...
Really?
Well...I can't wait to meet em.
I will only say that in relation to the type of movement and training I am talking about, there is a quite a bit of expert opinion that agrees with me. I will also add that ....I..... did what I was challenged to do in these very pages (unlike some)....I HAVE taken it to freestyle push hands with big dog experts in open rooms. Trust me-the last f-ing thing you would EVER want to do is to "make connection"...with their centers!!! As well I am doing it with MMA fighters and a ridiculous amount of Kali, Escrima, Koryyu, Aikido and Daito ryu teachers and others....and sparred with them?????
Thus far...things have gone very well for me.
And?
Anyone else done that....yet?
Anyone?
At least ...I...am stepping up and trying and experimenting
I have no ego about winning or losing. Nothing has changed from my wrestling days. If I win I win, if I lose I win because I learn. It's just more research for me...yeah!!!

Quote:
Anyways, this is a much better disagreement to have than those of the years before regarding "I know all this ki crap already" or "It doesn't exist!" Always a pleasure.
I feel the same. No more fighting and bad blood. but in all honesty...and fairness. I think it is partly because I and others have taken it out for a spin on an international scale and UNLIKE the ki war days.
We...deliver!! And in person, there isn't a damn thing that doubters have been able to say. To a man...they were stumped.
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 10-16-2012 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:14 PM   #68
Howard Popkin
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Re: Two centers making a connection or one- in a bujutsu body?

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post

We...deliver!! And in person, there isn't a damn thing that doubters have been able to say.
Cheers
Dan
Um...That's not true....."They say, How'd you do that? " and..."could you teach me how to do that ? "

Cheers

PS you were supposed to email me

Howard Popkin
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:56 AM   #69
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Re: Two centers making a connection or one- in a bujutsu body?

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Really?
Well...I can't wait to meet em.
I will only say that in relation to the type of movement and training I am talking about, there is a quite a bit of expert opinion that agrees with me. I will also add that ....I..... did what I was challenged to do in these very pages (unlike some)....I HAVE taken it to freestyle push hands with big dog experts in open rooms. Trust me-the last f-ing thing you would EVER want to do is to "make connection"...with their centers!!!

Cheers
Dan
Ok, question time. Hopefully you can show me what you mean soon enough, but until then it's a slow day at work so here goes:

How do you move someone if there is no connection? You have to, at some point, take the slack out of their body in order to move them. If I give someone my arm and tell them to move me by only using my arm, they either have to stretch my arm out away from me enough to take the slack out and make a connection to me in order to pull me or they have to find some way to get that connection pushing in, either by getting me to collapse my arm in a way that it gets connected to my center, getting me to introduce tension into my body to give them that connection or by finding some way to lock me and make that connection, yay or nay?

Now the above would be pretty rudimentary and would assume that I have no other ability to keep my center hidden if they do manage to get some sort of connection through the arm to the rest of my body, but as we know, even getting a connection through the arm to the rest of my body does not guarantee that they're going to get my center.

Make sense?

Last edited by chillzATL : 10-17-2012 at 09:10 AM.
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:59 AM   #70
DH
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Re: Two centers making a connection or one- in a bujutsu body?

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Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
Ok, question time. Hopefully you can show me what you mean soon enough, but until then it's a slow day at work so here goes:

How do you move someone if there is no connection? You have to, at some point, take the slack out of their body in order to move them. If I give someone my arm and tell them to move me by only using my arm, they either have to stretch my arm out away from me enough to take the slack out and make a connection to me in order to pull me or they have to find some way to get that connection pushing in, either by getting me to collapse my arm in a way that it gets connected to my center, getting me to introduce tension into my body to give them that connection or by finding some way to lock me and make that connection, yay or nay?

Now the above would be pretty rudimentary and would assume that I have no other ability to keep my center hidden if they do manage to get some sort of connection through the arm to the rest of my body, but as we know, even getting a connection through the arm to the rest of my body does not guarantee that they're going to get my center.

Make sense?
1. You are moving into martial tactics of either internal power or externally driven power. and they can overlap.
2. You are designing an example with a goal in mind of me trying to take slack out of someones arm. I don't wanna. Screw em. I'm not trying to make a waza work. I am going to play the person with an intact center and be predatory about it; taking their center when it is smart and opportunistic to do so. Whether by my design or their involuntary agreement (or both) or not, doesn't matter to me. I am still not going to "make connect" to a persons center.

Okay my turn. Going back to the original point of centers; who..is connecting or getting connected to who?
What causes Kuzushi in the first place? Is it always the same?
Does a train "make connection" to your center to toss you a hundred feet? Or is it intact and moving itself?
Using the age old Elephant models; If you push on an Elephant he doesn't need to "connect to you" in order to move you. He moves himself, you move with him. If you noodle your arm against the Elephant the slack won't be removed unless he is trying to do other things. Assuming he needs to do other things to off you.
What if there is some sophisticated management of forces within that Elephant to allow it to do much of the same thing by itself on the inside...without moving?

There is a reason that motion in stillness becomes stillness in motion. If you make it a goal to throw someone who is noodling or muscling up...does it change you internally? No, it doesn't. You stay intact and unchanged while you move and still retain and hide your center. What is moving on the outside is being driven by your center and it is affecting them but they are following through their own disconnected bodies until they either muscle up or collapse and you place them into a position of instability. In no way during the course of that is it necessary to reveal your center, or make a center to center connection. The external manipulation of your body can make their stability compromised as there is no way for them to alight with force on any part of you. For them its like sticking a finger into a blender all movement from within to without, getting off-lined and/or hit and kicked from any number of angles of a moving structure retaining its center. And...not caring one bit about yours.

In feel, it is opportunistic and non-dedicated multiples of force vectors happening at once. This is one of the reasons for Sam saying "My present is your future!" and me saying Aiki in me, before aiki between thee and me!" They...don't know what we are doing or how we are moving and they're striving to connect...to us...leaves them reactive to forces they cannot perceive and that have no wind up, as inyo makes them one. It makes aiki....at speed.
Dan

Last edited by DH : 10-17-2012 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 10-17-2012, 12:39 PM   #71
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Re: Two centers making a connection or one- in a bujutsu body?

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
1. You are moving into martial tactics of either internal power or externally driven power. and they can overlap.
2. You are designing an example with a goal in mind of me trying to take slack out of someones arm. I don't wanna. Screw em. I'm not trying to make a waza work. I am going to play the person with an intact center and be predatory about it; taking their center when it is smart and opportunistic to do so. Whether by my design or their involuntary agreement (or both) or not, doesn't matter to me. I am still not going to "make connect" to a persons center.

Okay my turn. Going back to the original point of centers; who..is connecting or getting connected to who?
What causes Kuzushi in the first place? Is it always the same?
Does a train "make connection" to your center to toss you a hundred feet? Or is it intact and moving itself?
Using the age old Elephant models; If you push on an Elephant he doesn't need to "connect to you" in order to move you. He moves himself, you move with him. If you noodle your arm against the Elephant the slack won't be removed unless he is trying to do other things. Assuming he needs to do other things to off you.
What if there is some sophisticated management of forces within that Elephant to allow it to do much of the same thing by itself on the inside...without moving?

There is a reason that motion in stillness becomes stillness in motion. If you make it a goal to throw someone who is noodling or muscling up...does it change you internally? No, it doesn't. You stay intact and unchanged while you move and still retain and hide your center. What is moving on the outside is being driven by your center and it is affecting them but they are following through their own disconnected bodies until they either muscle up or collapse and you place them into a position of instability. In no way during the course of that is it necessary to reveal your center, or make a center to center connection. The external manipulation of your body can make their stability compromised as there is no way for them to alight with force on any part of you. For them its like sticking a finger into a blender all movement from within to without, getting off-lined and/or hit and kicked from any number of angles of a moving structure retaining its center. And...not caring one bit about yours.

In feel, it is opportunistic and non-dedicated multiples of force vectors happening at once. This is one of the reasons for Sam saying "My present is your future!" and me saying Aiki in me, before aiki between thee and me!" They...don't know what we are doing or how we are moving and they're striving to connect...to us...leaves them reactive to forces they cannot perceive and that have no wind up, as inyo makes them one. It makes aiki....at speed.
Dan
Thanks Dan,

1. yep, I understand, though my way of doing would hopefully not rely on the external, hopefully.

2. I think you outlined the differences in perspectives perfectly. I'm relating most of this to trying to make a waza work while still maintaining those things in me vs. the more unpredictable scenarios you're coming from. I've found that a lot of times, depending on the other person, I have to "make connect" in order to make a particular technique work. Not always, but more often than not and those are the times that I try to do enough to get them going, but also keep my center away from them. It's always done with a mind towards what's going on in me and not giving that up just to make a connection or get the technique to work. Though I'm not going to lie, as you've said elsewhere, it's easy to get comfortable doing that and having it come back to bite me. I also get to practice with some non-aikido people who are better than me and I've experienced the other side as well where going and and trying to make a connection and make something happen got me had.

What causes kuzushi? Sometimes it's me, sometimes it's them coming in contact with me and sometimes it's them coming into me and me not being there.

As for the train and elephant, they don't overtly try to connect to me. They just are, doing their thing, until I get in the way and get knocked on my ass. They didn't change anything to get me there, it's just what happened when I got in the way of where they were going.

Quote:
If you make it a goal to throw someone who is noodling or muscling up...does it change you internally? No, it doesn't. You stay intact and unchanged while you move and still retain and hide your center. What is moving on the outside is being driven by your center and it is affecting them but they are following through their own disconnected bodies until they either muscle up or collapse and you place them into a position of instability. In no way during the course of that is it necessary to reveal your center, or make a center to center connection.
What you described there is really how I try to look at it and what I try to do, but as I said above, sometimes, depending on what you're getting and who it is, it's hard to not just go out and "make connect", take control and overpower disconnected floppiness with better structure. I think the point you're getting at in the thread, in general, is that making a connection isn't an internal vs. external thing, but one of tactics and one that if you get in the habit of operating that way, can get you in some bad spots, no matter what you have on the inside, right?

Good stuff Dan, thanks. Hopefully we'll get you down here in January and you can show me more first hand. Looking forward to it.
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Old 10-17-2012, 01:18 PM   #72
Alister Gillies
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Smile Re: Two centers making a connection or one- in a bujutsu body?

To connect or not to connect? Is that the question? Or is the question about being connected? If so, connected to what? Presumably the universe, if we are to believe what O Sensei said. But he did qualify that by saying the universe is inside you; that is, in each one of us. It obviously has an individual dimension, but is it exclusively so?

When two universes connect what do you get? Do you get mutual respect and harmony, or perhaps the opportunity to explore what that harmony is like and what it means? In social terms this means reaching an understanding about connection and proceeding along a path until that understanding is challenged and modified. This is a social dimension of connection, but is it exclusively so?

The answer is obviously a matter of experience and point of view - both of which are relative. IMO centre to centre connection is a training paradigm, nothing more nothing less. It has its uses and its limitations. Usefully, it enables two people to cooperate and learn together. At higher levels it should be forgotten about entirely. At higher levels its presence is your partner's advantage and your disadvantage.

At higher levels there is no centre, only opportunity - tsuki. For me that is a sobering thought, and if it does not strike a chord with anyone then you might profitably ask yourself: what am I doing? Martial arts begin and end with respect for good reasons.
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:57 PM   #73
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Re: Two centers making a connection or one- in a bujutsu body?

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Alister Gillies wrote: View Post
At higher levels its presence is your partner's advantage and your disadvantage.
Gillies Sensei, I really enjoyed reading this post! Thank you! May I ask if you would elaborate on your meaning in the section above?

Take care,
Matt

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Old 10-17-2012, 05:43 PM   #74
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Smile Re: Two centers making a connection or one- in a bujutsu body?

It is simple really. Presenting an obvious centre to your partner is creating an opening that can be exploited or manipulated. In sword - see Yagyu Munenori - a distinction is drawn between attacking the seen and unseen. Too obvious a preoccupation with centre is the 'seen'. This does not mean not to have centre, but instead advocates less attachment to it.
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:48 PM   #75
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Re: Two centers making a connection or one- in a bujutsu body?

Thank you, Sensei Gillies! I think I understand you better.
Take care,
Matt

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