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Old 11-03-2012, 10:16 PM   #1
ChrisHein
 
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Defining the word "Aiki" and looking at the phenomenon it describes.

I have seen this growing interest within the internet Aikido community to define "Aiki" as a type of body skill that creates almost magical physical power. I'm very skeptical of this, and would like to attempt a discussion in order to help me develop my understanding or lack there of, in respects to the word "Aiki".

I am a professional Aikido teacher, making my living by teaching on a daily basis. Six days a week I'm in the dojo teaching, exploring and developing my understanding of Aikido. So naturally defining the word "Aiki" is important to me. Beyond an intellectual understanding of the word, it's important to me to be able to study the phenomenon that the word is describing. So I would like to explore the common definitions of the word, their social validity, and the tangible phenomenon these definitions are describing.

I have so far found three martial definitions of the word "Aiki":

A) A situation created by two people, of equal skill wherein neither can make a successful attack, locking them in a stand off.

B) The ability to understand, blend with, lead and manipulate the mind/intention of another person.

C) A body ability, that once acquired gives it's practitioner great physical power, making them seem unmovable and strangely forceful.

Definition " A" comes from somewhere between the 12th and 19th century Japan. It is used by several different martial arts systems. There is no doubt that this was, at least at one time the known and accepted definition of the word "Aiki" as it related to martial arts.

Is this how Ueshiba, and/or Takeda were using the word, questionable, but doubtful. I would love to hear any thoughts on this!

As far as it being an examinable phenomenon, yes it is. It is describing something that happens commonly, and we've all witnessed/been a part of. We can see it not only in traditional Japanese martial arts, but also in modern martial arts (when two boxers spend a whole round "feeling each other out") and in non martial situations (like in a verbal argument when both people stop and stare at each other). It is something that absolutely happens, and we can study it in many different situations.

Definition "B" comes from somewhere between the 19th and 20th century Japan. It is used mostly by Daito ryu, and Aikido, but does appear in some other modern martial arts (probably influenced by it's use in Aikido). This is basically the definition used by the Aikikai to describe Aiki.

Is this how Ueshiba and/or Takeada used the word, this is currently a hot bed of discussion, I would venture a guess that most people in the Aikido community believe it is.

As far as this being an examinable phenomenon, yes it is. We can see this type of exchange in many different sporting ventures, from Football to Sumo to Chess and Poker just about any competition the pits one against another. We can see how understanding ones mind, and their proceeding physical actions is possible, and can be studied in many different situations.

Definition "C" comes from, it's really hard to say, some proponents of the idea say that it's very old, although I don't think there isn't any historical evidence to prove such a claim. Most likely this definition comes from the late 19th or early to mid 20th century, perhaps Japan or the United States. It is used by some larger Aikido groups who put an enfaces on Ki, and several splinter Aikido and Daito ryu groups.

Is it how Ueshiba and/or Takeda used the word? Again, it's very hard to say, lot's of historical references are being made that suggest perhaps they were, but then again, neither of them were big on writing things down themselves, so it's hard (if not impossible) to say.

Can the phenomenon it describes be examined. Again it's very hard to say. There is a pretty strong belief among the proponents of this definition that very few people have IT (Aiki by this definition that is). So there is a very small pool of people that could be examined or tested. Among these people there is also lot's of discussion about who may or may not have it. Of those people, who may have it, to my knowledge none have offered themselves up for scientific study, or entered into a competitive venture where their ability gave them a clear and unusual advantage. In one since we could see if someone who claims to have this ability (Aiki by definition "C") seems to have physical power beyond what one of their size should have. However this power must involve another person. There is a necessity for this power to be used on another person, and not inanimate objects. So we can't rely on typical examples of physical power (like lifting heavy things, or moving quickly). There is also an expressed need that the power "be felt" in order to be understood, which by it's nature makes it subjective and not objective. This makes it very hard to examine. Can the phenomenon it describes be objectively examined? I'm not sure. If it can I would love to see examples.

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Old 11-04-2012, 03:05 AM   #2
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Re: Defining the word "Aiki" and looking at the phenomenon it describes.

oldie but goodie FWIW
Quote:
Yoshimine Yasuo - Budo Free Talk

Number 26 -- What is Aiki (2002/06/02)

There aren't many words which are misunderstood to the extent of the world Aiki. It is quite unfortunate that many dubious martial artist use this term purely for their promotional purpose. As of current state, as far as magazine or books are concered, thre are very few which provide correct information about aiki. If there are ten articles about aiki, probably at least eight of them are incorrect.

To reason why the matter has fallen to such sorry state is because aiki is very difficult to master. So only external forms have been transmitted and it is very rare to encounter genuine aiki techniques. Accordingly, even among people who call themselves Shinan (instructor), unfortunately, only few know it. When someone asks "What is aiki", often, answers are like "This is beyond the description by words" or even "It's transcendent ability". (You may not believe me but true). Hopefully, I think more open and modern/enlightened attitude will slowly change this and make aiki easier to learn.

Then, what is aiki? I will write technical or methodological detail in my book so pardon me if I'm brief. But anyway, stuff like magazine tend to describe aiki as something mysterious but in reality, aiki is very scientific. To cut the long story short, if you seek the origin of the word aiki, answer will reveal itself.

I wrote this few time in the magazine "Hiden" but aiki is originally kenjutu (Japanese sword arts) term and it describe a state where you and your opponent's seichu (central) line is face to face. (This word is used even in modern kendo as in original meaning). Easiest way to see it is to just pick up swords with your partner, hold it in the middle until the tip of the sword face each other. Obviously, this situation is stalemate. So you have to diver your opponent's tip of the sword. To do this is called "Divert Aiki". It's not even incorrect to state that entire koryu kenjutu techniques are based on methodology of diverting aiki. For example, in case of Shinkage ryu (shin=true kage=shadow ryu=style), they often use technique to enter diagonally to divert aiki. In case of Onoha Ittoryu (Ono branch of one blade style.), it's characteristic is in how to divert tip of the sword by central breakthrough. Aiki of Daitoryu is application of this principle of central breakthrough of Onoha Ittoryu into taijutu. That is, you deliberately force the state of aiki as in sword fight then proceed to break this state through penetrating into centreline of your opponent. Accordingly, the basic stance use the same one as Onoha Ittoryu. And in aiki, attack target are neck and hip (and occasionally chest) and this is, in fact, same as the thrust targets of Onoha Ittoryu.

Therefore, there are broader definition and narrower definition of the term aiki. The broader definition of aiki is the entire methodology of crushing opponent's attack stance through central penetration. This includes atemi (strike) into upper part of the body. Narrower aiki means techniques of neutralising attack from the contact, exemplified in technique, aiki age (aiki lift).

Now, as of aiki age, presently, even this technique are often misunderstood. Many people confuse this with Kokyuho in aikido. They looks alike but their purpose is completely different. That is Kokyuhou or Tenchinage in akido originally meant atemi into jaw with palm. In Daitoryu, there are no concept to push someone down with charge like in sumo. The correct concept is to uplift your opponent or smash opponent directly below and the techniques which exemplify this fundamental principle are aiki age (aiki lift) and aiki sage (aiki takedown). These two use entire body and are not mere hand techniques. Hence by looking at even one photo, one could tell whether someone has managed to do it or not. Extremely bad example is when one push someone down just by using body weight . If one do aiki age from kneeling position, if someone standing losing balance on top while you still haven't broken your kneeling and your back is straight, then it is the real deal. And if you have opportunity to experience aiki age, pay close attention to the feeling when you grab this person's arm. With someone who can really do this, there are rarely any sensation of grip because there is no collision of power. Accordingly, anyone who push back with force are out of question. And the biggest difference between correct aiki age and the incorrect one are whether one can make the movement smaller and smaller through training. If one try to push back with force or using body weight, one will never be able to do it. That is, true purpose of aiki is to utilise aiki in every taijutu technique by making it smaller and shaper through polishing your technique. That is why I mentioned in other place that if you got wrong teacher, you never make it.

As of side note, it is often said that the secret of aiki age is to "Open palms as in Asagao (morning face, common Japanese flower)" but this is often transmitted incorrectly. "Open palms as in Asagao" in fact point to the entire arm movement in aiki age and not pointing to how one open palm. The reason this theory has spread is probably due either to do with teacher intentionally hid it or someone who hasn't learned it properly spread it. Once you get used to aikiage, you can do it with your hands closed and the reason one have to open palm is only because it is easier to learn. An important point when you open palm is not to put too much force into your finger. This is bit difficult to get unless demonstrated in practice but in beginner's level, you open your palm like when you do paper in stone/paper/scissors. When expert do Aikiage, especially little fingers are very relaxed. And often this technique are split between Aiki of Kote, when someone grab your writs, and Aiki of Mune (chest) or Aiki of Karada (Body), when someone grab your collar or other such places but these two are the same. This is also easier to understand in demonstration but if you know the gist of it, the latter one is much easier one to do it.

Daturiki (Relaxlation) is another equally misunderstood word like aiki, and this world is also uttered in sort of aspiration as in the word aiki so I mention about it here just in case. Daturiki doesn't mean you don't use muscle. Even in aiki, one is of course using muscle. "To relax" simply means "use only necessarily muscle". The phrase "To issue ki" is same with this principle.

To add further, when he was alive, Sakawa Sohan swung steel training staff every days and someone said "That is just muscle work". This is like making speech with your pants down without understanding the fact that aiki as well as koryu kenjutu use entire body movement. In fact, it is natural to arrive at this kind of training if one think about what is needed in Daitoryu. (However, unless onelearned proper way to swing sword, one could damage one's body so I won't recommend it.)

As stated, aiki is in practice, very scientific. It is true it is based on rather sophisticated principle but it has nothing to do with mysterious transcendantalism. Therefore, to describe aiki mesteriously or even religiously is self evident sign that one hasn't got proper transmission. It is like someone wondering in amazement at magician's work because he doesn't know that magic is a trick. For magician, trick is easy to perform. And the fact that aiki is scientific mean that everyone, as long as they practice seriously can master it. To add further, in some part of Daitoryu, it is said that one can master aiki even if you can't lift anything heavier than chopsticks as long as you receive oral transmission but that is nonsense. This is because the effect of aiki differs according to individuals. Once you got the gist of movement, then you have to reduce the margin of error by applying aiki many many times to various different persons. That is to aim perfection through repetition of movements based on logic. This is the same in any martial arts.

That is it. This time it was rather metaphysical but as I said, I clarify more practical description of technique or theory in detail in my book. So pardon me for that. The next topic will be "utilisation and paradox in form"

It seems that the narrower technical defnition of aiki is a concept equivelant to kuzushi in judo. What is most interesting for me is that Morihei Ueshiba practiced Yagyu Shinkage ryu, the style mentione as the one who use tactic of diversion rather than penetration for breaking aiki. This seems very similar to discription of difference among taichi, xingyi and bagua.

If you imagine your opponent as a ball, xingyi will punchture the ball, bagua will divert the ball and taichi will become the ball.
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Old 11-04-2012, 03:31 AM   #3
grondahl
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Re: Defining the word "Aiki" and looking at the phenomenon it describes.

From Aikido Masters, p279-280.

Quote:
Tenryu wrote:
But the moment I touched him I was startled. I felt as if I had taken hold of an iron bar. Of course, I knew very well from my experience in sumo that it would be useless to struggle against him. I immediatly knew I had been defeated. However, I couldn´t just leave things like that and so I attempted to twist his arm up and out. He didn´t move an inch. I tried again with both hands, using all my might. But he used my strength against me and I fell down.
Sounds more like C than A or B.

But then again, does aiki only describe a phenomenon?

Last edited by grondahl : 11-04-2012 at 03:45 AM.
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Old 11-04-2012, 03:40 AM   #4
Mario Tobias
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Re: Defining the word "Aiki" and looking at the phenomenon it describes.

Aiki, in my interpretation, is ANY movement to engage in the most natural and straightforwardest manner to absorb uke in the goal of making two bodies into one.

If the movement is not natural and the most straightforward (ie the blending does not come automatically, not most efficient way to go from point A to point B), this is not aiki. My theory is that because of these 2 factors, you can do the techniques with minimal or no contact. Aiki is automatic in the point of view of nage in terms of his blending if these 2 factors are present. Aiki is automatic in the point of view of uke as to his response to nage's intention whether or not the engagement by nage has commenced.

Aiki IMHO therefore is not concerned only with nage's control of his mind, body and spirit to unify these but also tries to control uke's mind, body and spirit to unify everything into one body. During the technique, there is no nage nor uke but just one body until uke is thrown. This is just my theory. My 0.0001 cents.
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Old 11-04-2012, 04:24 AM   #5
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Defining the word "Aiki" and looking at the phenomenon it describes.

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Definition "C" comes from, it's really hard to say, some proponents of the idea say that it's very old, although I don't think there isn't any historical evidence to prove such a claim.
Have you tried to compare texts of Ueshiba to texts from qi gong?
There is a chapter in "The secret teachings of Aikido" that is named "Aiki is the Marvelous Functioning of Breath". If you have a comprehensive book on qi gong, you may read the capter of Ueshiba and try to use the qi gong book as a "dicitionary". I don't know, whether this works, when one does not practice qi gong or tai chi or another comparable art. But if so you will be able to translate Ueshibas words. Not only it's meaning, but you often will be able to translate them right into certain movements.
For different reasons this don't will work in an exact way. There will be many questions, depending on the translation of Stevens, on the different schools and ways of qi gong. And so on ...
But: You will get some clue, what Ueshiba is talking about.
(And he is clearly talking about something that is goining on within your own body. The relationship to a different person or body or society is something that can and will happen when the individual realizes aiki. You can use aiki in interaction. But the interaction is not described as "being" aiki in which way ever.)

This is about what the term "aiki" means. It's not about where the term itself comes from, is used first time and so on. This is a different matter.

So I think, aiki is not "a body ability", but it is a way to understand the interplay of body, qi and mind. To form and to train this interplay by certain methods. And finally - if possible - to use this interplay. Be it for getting healthier. Or be it martially.
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:52 AM   #6
Dave de Vos
 
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Re: Defining the word "Aiki" and looking at the phenomenon it describes.

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
... Can the phenomenon it describes be objectively examined? I'm not sure. If it can I would love to see examples.
I'm a bit puzzled. On the one hand you you seem to support version "B" and take a sceptical position towards "C", on the other hand "C" seems to interest you, as you are regularly involved in discussions about IP / IS.
I also note that you and Michael Varin seem to know each other (you mention him here http://www.aikidostudent.com/content/?p=324) and that you are both from the Aikido Fresno dojo. But reading his posts on AikiWeb, Michael Varin seems to be in the "C" camp. Apparently he even organised a Mike Sigman workshop in your dojo in march 2010 (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17415).

Do you and Michael Varin ever talk about this? Did you participate in Mike Sigman's seminar? Of course you don't owe me or anyone else an explanation, but all this does not make sense to me.
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:58 AM   #7
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: Defining the word "Aiki" and looking at the phenomenon it describes.

Quote:
Aristo Fanis wrote: View Post
oldie but goodie FWIW
Excellent!

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Old 11-04-2012, 10:30 AM   #8
DH
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Re: Defining the word "Aiki" and looking at the phenomenon it describes.

Why exhaustively repeat. Phi will have a fit!!
Is this a discussion or a disingenuous effort toward a foregone conclusion and closed mind?

A, B, and C, are one but C comes first as part of and to make A and B more efficient.

The confusion over C and how it could possible related to A and B, is because so few get C that it is a non starter in any discussion. Once you come to fully realize C the entire "discussion" or debate is resolved and makes perfect sense.

Solo training
Why did Ueshiba continually discuss solo training and the individual model when asked about "aiki?"
When asked about aiki his drawing a circle and stating it is opposing forces has been mentioned by me several times and never addressed. Why and how does this make any sense in producing aiki what-so-ever?
When offering to define aiki his stating it was dual opposing spirals in the body makes sense how?
How does guest hand/ host hand and five and five make ten, seven and three make ten makes sense in solo first, then in an encounter?
Why were they ancient models re-quoted?
Discussing Koryu and vector approaches is interesting, though you are of course leaving out drawings of cones as multiple lines of force-starting once again with yourself.
How would Heaven/earth/man and six directions (other solo training methods taught as Katori and Kashima shrine) effect the founder of shinto ryu in such a profound way that he said no one could stop his ken once he understood them?
Why are those teachings thousands of years old?
Why do virtually all of the worlds high level arts focus on solo training?
In Taiji, what does it do to make jins? How are jins, aiki?

Paired encounters
How is the soft power gained and inherent in the type of solo training discussed by so many provide answers to several of the koryu models definition of producing the aiki offered in Yoshimine Yasuo's examples?
How would you successfully enter and overcome in those models? Lifting weights? Eating your Wheaties? Better timing? Then Aiki is timing and lifting weights?
Maybe solo training changes your body and organizes it in a sophisticated way that entering in and overcoming as outlined is so much easier that warriors noticed a profound difference ...thus giving this type of training a worthy notation as not only different but superior?

The masses are always right or the case for the lowest common denominator.
Why did certain men who stood out practice differently and so often point to the same methods; Solo training first?
What did solo training do for them to cause them to stand out in the first place?
What does "Stand out"....mean?

What does it mean to be arguing for a case... To feel like everyone else?

We can make a case for the gym rats being right; lift, run and practice timing. And that is all there ever was to doing those Asian arts better. I ain't bettin on that....ever.

The joining of Internal strength or internal power and aiki
I will make a case that solo training gained prominence because changing the body changed the way it responded and felt to the "majority" or masses. So much so, that the difference was profound and life altering for those who encountered it, that they sought out a means to train it. Hence those men in turn, stood out as different and dominant. The "feeling" they produced was soft power and aiki. This soft power creates aiki as a default state and also gave birth to aiki ....as a skill.
This is why Ueshiba could state "I...am aiki!" Or "I am the universe!"

It was this soft power that is inherent as part of you in a default state, that also produced a more sophisticated skill -that is also aiki. It was this that accomplished "the fitting in" models so described in the koryu models. In other words, Aiki exists as a state *and* a skill beyond the norm. So much so, that it stood out among warriors and fighters who were the masses of average Joe's. I find it perfectly natural that it is the average Joes, the masses, who are just as perplexed now as they were then.

It is precisely because of the masses not getting it that there is a yearning to know what the greats did. If not for the greats doing something out of the ordinary:
a. No one would have stood out.
b. No one would have felt different
c. We would not be here having this discussion.

The only real argument seems to be the masses wanting to argue that the results they gained (to feel like everyone else)
Is supposedly what those who did *not* feel like everyone else...were doing as well.
In other words...Do more of what the masses are doing....to be different?

Dan

Last edited by DH : 11-04-2012 at 10:44 AM.
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:09 AM   #9
ChrisHein
 
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Re: Defining the word "Aiki" and looking at the phenomenon it describes.

From some things I've been reading of late, and something that Dan's comments were just flavored with is, I believe yet another definition of "Aiki". I think it goes a little something like this:

D) A body skill, that once acquired, allows your body to automatically adapt to movements and changes made by an attacker/opponent, that make the opponent feel strange, weak, unable to adapt to you.

This definition D is something that I feel is newly arising, and maybe I'm wrong but I also believe Amdur Sensei is kind of talking about (However I am still waiting my copy of HIPS, which should be here Monday).

Dave, Michael Varin and I train together on a regular basis, he teaches the Saturday class here at Aikido of Fresno. I don't know what "camp" Michael is in, I have a good guess, but I'd let him speak to it. I am in camp "A" and camp "B". I do believe Ueshiba was describing mostly camp "B", but due to some recent reading, it's hard to say exactly what he was talking about. I'm starting to become a fan of the idea that Ueshiba called anything he "Liked", "Aiki" and anything he didn't like not "Aiki".

I am interested in camp "C" because I teach Aikido (the way of "Aiki") it's important to understand the way of the thing you teach. I saw the usefulness of internal, studied it with an internal expert, got what I found useful and moved on. It does seem magical, at first but once you understand it, nothing that couldn't be basically understood/used in a year or two (in a non task specific context). I would also say that most all professional athletes are basically using internal in relation to their specific skill set. It's part of the reason professional athletes seem so amazing. So I don't understand the way that people around here are using definition "C" and exactly what it is that they are pointing too.

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Old 11-04-2012, 11:31 AM   #10
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Re: Defining the word "Aiki" and looking at the phenomenon it describes.

Quote:
Aristo Fanis wrote: View Post
oldie but goodie FWIW
Thanks! That sounds like "Yoshimine Yasuo" is saying that Aiki is basically definition "A" and there are two main techniques to deal with that kind of situation, a raising technique (Aiki age) and a falling technique (Aiki Sage). Overall he is saying that Aiki as we use it, is the ability to weaken your attacker through superior position, and when in stale mate, use one of the major Aiki techniques to overcome them the instant they start to attack.

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Old 11-04-2012, 11:57 AM   #11
Chris Knight
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Re: Defining the word "Aiki" and looking at the phenomenon it describes.

Are you saying you can connect your body in "a year or so"??? - boy do i wish that was the case! The body changing method takes years of daily torture for want of a better word. Its not just taking bits from an internal system!!
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Old 11-04-2012, 12:00 PM   #12
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Re: Defining the word "Aiki" and looking at the phenomenon it describes.

I'm saying that what I found, from training with an internal expert was pretty straight forward. Integrating that into your task specific context will, no doubt take some time.

Like a football running back, understanding the theory of what he needs to do is pretty straight forward, he can learn the exercises, drills and methods of training pretty quickly, he won't be a good running back for years to come. But he also won't believe the process is mysterious or that only a few running backs will ever be able to do it.

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Old 11-04-2012, 12:07 PM   #13
Dave de Vos
 
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Re: Defining the word "Aiki" and looking at the phenomenon it describes.

I read your description of type "C" and type "D". I think your description of "C" would be closer to IP / IS and "D" to Aiki. C would then be a prerequisite for D.
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Old 11-04-2012, 12:44 PM   #14
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Re: Defining the word "Aiki" and looking at the phenomenon it describes.

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
From some things I've been reading of late, and something that Dan's comments were just flavored with is, I believe yet another definition of "Aiki". I think it goes a little something like this:

D) A body skill, that once acquired, allows your body to automatically adapt to movements and changes made by an attacker/opponent, that make the opponent feel strange, weak, unable to adapt to you.
This definition D is something that I feel is newly arising, and maybe I'm wrong but I also believe Amdur Sensei is kind of talking about (However I am still waiting my copy of HIPS, which should be here Monday).
The definition is not accurate and I don't think you are going to discover that definition in Ellis's book.

D. correctly stated is a result of and part of C. But I don't buy the automatic portion of.
It all begins with C. If you have studied internals in an internal art- you would understand all of this. In a classic model it is seamless.

Quote:
I am in camp "A" and camp "B". I do believe Ueshiba was describing mostly camp "B", but due to some recent reading, it's hard to say exactly what he was talking about.
He continued to discuss solo training and self centered joining of forces as his model. And THAT...is so stunningly obvious to someone who trained internals (not internal arts) that it is a non starter. More importantly Ueshiba's views were consistent with a standard model. Yours is unique and all your own. more on that to follow.

Quote:
I saw the usefulness of internal, studied it with an internal expert, got what I found useful and moved on. It does seem magical, at first but once you understand it, nothing that couldn't be basically understood/used in a year or two (in a non task specific context). I would also say that most all professional athletes are basically using internal in relation to their specific skill set. It's part of the reason professional athletes seem so amazing. So I don't understand the way that people around here are using definition "C" and exactly what it is that they are pointing too.
If you got internals in your training in an internal art, I have yet to read, or see or hear of it. Assuming anyone got *internals* because they studied an internal martial art is equal to thinking they got aiki because they studied Aikido.

I would say that your discussion point of athletes all having internals is empty and unsupported. You logically have to follow that with all exceptional martial artists are just superior athletes then.
.
Quote:
I saw the usefulness of internal, studied it with an internal expert, got what I found useful and moved on. It does seem magical, at first but once you understand it, nothing that couldn't be basically understood/used in a year or two (in a non task specific context).
WHAT????
I would only state that this is the most stunning and unique example of "understanding internals" I have ever read. I think we should send notice to people who have spent 11 years in China and 44 years in Aikido....wasting their time.
Chris Hein got it in a year or two.
Tens of thousands of people could save a lot of time and money and travel from around the world to train with you.
All due respect, Chris, I propose that you don't know what internal training actually is, and why it takes so very long to learn.
Dan
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Old 11-04-2012, 12:48 PM   #15
DH
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Re: Defining the word "Aiki" and looking at the phenomenon it describes.

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Chris Hein wrote: View Post
I'm saying that what I found, from training with an internal expert was pretty straight forward. Integrating that into your task specific context will, no doubt take some time.

Like a football running back, understanding the theory of what he needs to do is pretty straight forward, he can learn the exercises, drills and methods of training pretty quickly, he won't be a good running back for years to come. But he also won't believe the process is mysterious or that only a few running backs will ever be able to do it.
So Chris
All things being equal
Training under an Aikido shihan (who lived in Japan for 11 years) makes that Shihan an aiki expert? And your logic being consistent, then anyone studying under said Shihan got it one to two years....right?

I think it is telling that you continue to equate athletics to internals and external blending to aiki.
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Old 11-04-2012, 12:56 PM   #16
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Re: Defining the word "Aiki" and looking at the phenomenon it describes.

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Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Thanks! That sounds like "Yoshimine Yasuo" is saying that Aiki is basically definition "A" and there are two main techniques to deal with that kind of situation, a raising technique (Aiki age) and a falling technique (Aiki Sage). Overall he is saying that Aiki as we use it, is the ability to weaken your attacker through superior position, and when in stale mate, use one of the major Aiki techniques to overcome them the instant they start to attack.
No Chris
Overall it is ...you...who are saying that is your understanding of what he means.
There is a more profound ancient example for up and down energy and forces in the body. Its called heaven/earth/man, outlined by generations of extraordinary martial artists in different cultures..you might have heard of one of them; Ueshiba.

Aiki age/ aiki sage as positional dominance through rapid changes to arrive first or take him off his feet. Force his head down and press him into his legs then.....Sweep the leg... is just jujutsu, Chris. But hey..if that is all someone knows then that is all they know. They see everything through those glasses.

Your statements that Aiki is just moving around and timing and Athletes are internal experts too ..are going to present a hollow argument to thousands of Daito ryu practitioners and ICMA'ers as well. They know full well there is a higher order. A higher level of training.
But I suspect many are used to this sort of explanation. I tried tackling a different explanation for you. Oh well.
Good luck in your training
Dan

Last edited by DH : 11-04-2012 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 11-04-2012, 03:47 PM   #17
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Re: Defining the word "Aiki" and looking at the phenomenon it describes.

Dan,
No office but I'm not interested in talking about me. However would like to know more about what you and others think, I shared my experiences as part of a fair trade, to find out more from others.

I would like to discus the definition and phenomena that are attached to any definition of the word "Aiki".

Thanks.

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Old 11-04-2012, 04:01 PM   #18
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Re: Defining the word "Aiki" and looking at the phenomenon it describes.

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Dave de Vos wrote: View Post
I read your description of type "C" and type "D". I think your description of "C" would be closer to IP / IS and "D" to Aiki. C would then be a prerequisite for D.
Hey Dave,
I would personally define internal as it relates to what I learned from/of Chinese internal as:

The Ideally most efficient use of the body as a tool. Relating especially to physical structure and alignment.

Would you say this is something relating to "C" or something similar or something different all together? How and/or why?

I can see how "C" might be an important part of learning "D" but not a necessity. Could you briefly explain a bit more?

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Old 11-04-2012, 04:01 PM   #19
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Re: Defining the word "Aiki" and looking at the phenomenon it describes.

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Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Dan,
No office but I'm not interested in talking about me. However would like to know more about what you and others think, I shared my experiences as part of a fair trade, to find out more from others.

I would like to discus the definition and phenomena that are attached to any definition of the word "Aiki".

Thanks.
I was hoping to do that as well. Try not to interject statements like
Quote:
Chris Hein wrote:
I'm saying that what I found, from training with an internal expert was pretty straight forward. Integrating that into your task specific context will, no doubt take some time.

Like a football running back, understanding the theory of what he needs to do is pretty straight forward, he can learn the exercises, drills and methods of training pretty quickly, he won't be a good running back for years to come. But he also won't believe the process is mysterious or that only a few running backs will ever be able to do it.
Quote:
I saw the usefulness of internal, studied it with an internal expert, got what I found useful and moved on. It does seem magical, at first but once you understand it, nothing that couldn't be basically understood/used in a year or two (in a non task specific context). I would also say that most all professional athletes are basically using internal in relation to their specific skill set. It's part of the reason professional athletes seem so amazing. So I don't understand the way that people around here are using definition "C" and exactly what it is that they are pointing too.
These are declarative statements and would cause people to uncomfortably discuss your source and the quality of the source material that lead you to these conclusions. As I stated, you are going to find others whose experience with "experts" in the internal arts differ quite dramatically from your views. In fact i would offer you that your views on what internals are is quite in the minority or those I have met who trained with Chinese internal experts for years on the mainland

I have every interest and intention of being polite. I think I left enough material for an intelligent response or thoughtful consideration.

Dan
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Old 11-04-2012, 04:33 PM   #20
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Re: Defining the word "Aiki" and looking at the phenomenon it describes.

I'm sorry if my statements offended you. Now let's get back to the discussion. Thank you.

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Old 11-04-2012, 05:27 PM   #21
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Re: Defining the word "Aiki" and looking at the phenomenon it describes.

Is aiki the same thing as jin? Is there a relationship?

One has to admit if it is something similiar, the chinese have a lot better terminology to describe it.
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Old 11-04-2012, 07:33 PM   #22
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Re: Defining the word "Aiki" and looking at the phenomenon it describes.

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Chris Hein wrote: View Post
I'm sorry if my statements offended you. Now let's get back to the discussion. Thank you.
No apologies needed, Chris. No offense was taken.
My discussion points stand, most of them not yet addressed.
Cheers
Dan
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:05 PM   #23
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Re: Defining the word "Aiki" and looking at the phenomenon it describes.

What if the word aiki, in native contexts, is no more specifically descriptive than the word internals?
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Old 11-05-2012, 06:32 AM   #24
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Re: Defining the word "Aiki" and looking at the phenomenon it describes.

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Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
Is aiki the same thing as jin? Is there a relationship?

One has to admit if it is something similiar, the chinese have a lot better terminology to describe it.
I suspect it's the same thing but we only ever use jin or line in my dojo - I've never used the word Aiki.

Best Regards,
John

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Old 11-05-2012, 06:37 AM   #25
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Re: Defining the word "Aiki" and looking at the phenomenon it describes.

I suggest that these are not different definitions of aiki, but causes and effects, provided one starts with the premise that C is the definition of aiki.

If aiki is a body ability, that once acquired gives it's practitioner great physical power, making them seem unmovable and strangely forceful. then it stands to reason that once acquired, it would allow your body to automatically adapt to movements and changes made by an attacker/opponent, that make the opponent feel strange, weak, unable to adapt to you.

It would also stand to reason that two equally skilled opponents when looking for an opening would be in a situation created by two people, of equal skill wherein neither can make a successful attack, locking them in a stand off and that if one person was more skilled than his opponent that he would have ability to understand, blend with, lead and manipulate the mind/intention of his opponent.

In essence, it's like the blind men and the elephant, each describing a different animal because they each got hold of a different part.

"Logical consequences are the scarecrows of fools and the beacons of wise men" - Thomas Henry Huxley
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