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Old 11-09-2012, 06:29 AM   #1
HL1978
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Is aiki a clash of forces?

You can probably guess my thoughts based off this post.

Is aiki a "clashing" of forces, much like a Newton's Cradle? Well reading the characters which make up the word aiki would indicate otherwise. In a clash of forces, no mixing really occurs, one set of energy overcomes the other, yet much of what we see in practice is a clash where momentum, explosive power, or big redirecting movements, overcome an incoming force of an attacker . Likewise, aiki isn't cooperative where one yields to the other by choice.

So then how exactly does one create aiki without using momentum, explosive power, or redirecting movements?

How does one blend/mix their own energy without these three things?

Last edited by HL1978 : 11-09-2012 at 06:32 AM.
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:45 AM   #2
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

Quote:
Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
You can probably guess my thoughts based off this post.

Is aiki a "clashing" of forces, much like a Newton's Cradle? Well reading the characters which make up the word aiki would indicate otherwise. In a clash of forces, no mixing really occurs, one set of energy overcomes the other, yet much of what we see in practice is a clash where momentum, explosive power, or big redirecting movements, overcome an incoming force of an attacker . Likewise, aiki isn't cooperative where one yields to the other by choice.

So then how exactly does one create aiki without using momentum, explosive power, or redirecting movements?

How does one blend/mix their own energy without these three things?
Maybe use redirecting energy without external movement

Greg
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:07 PM   #3
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

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Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
Maybe use redirecting energy without external movement

Greg
Yeah, we don't see too much of that do we :P
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:46 PM   #4
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

Quote:
Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
External/athletic approaches recognize the benefits of relaxing the upper body, to let loads be carried by other major muscle groups and chain muscle movements together to exert onto an opponent.

Internal recognizes relaxation to so that other muscles may take up the loads (mainly in the middle of the body/hip, and not pushing back with the legs), and to let support structures of the body take up and transmit loads, by focusing on these sensations. This is not pushing back with the portions taking up the loads, rather they are taking up the load of the portions of the body above them.

The external approach results in pushing back against the opponent, even if in an direction an opponent is weak and thus there is no mixing of expended energy and no aiki. The internal approach allows for input of the opponents energy plus their own weight added to it and transmitted to/reflected off the ground, and meets a definition of aiki.
Hey Hunter,
First off, please let me say, thank you for this explanation! This seems to me, to be a rare, and thoughtful explanation about the difference between what is called "IP" (internal power) and "EP" (external power).

Quote:
External/athletic approaches recognize the benefits of relaxing the upper body, to let loads be carried by other major muscle groups and chain muscle movements together to exert onto an opponent.
This is pretty good. I think I believe something very similar to what you are saying here. And I'm pretty sure it's about right.

Quote:
Internal recognizes relaxation to so that other muscles may take up the loads (mainly in the middle of the body/hip, and not pushing back with the legs),
Okay, I don't want to get lost here. But I'm not sure I get what you are saying. Are you saying that the legs are not pushing back against any force?

If you are saying that, what is taking the force? If the legs aren't doing it, where is the weight of the load going?

I'm pretty sure that you are not saying that if we were to put an "IP" expert on a scale, then put a load on her, the scale woudn't change. If you are saying that please explain.

If you're not saying that, then the legs must be taking the load (assuming our "IP" expert is standing) because if they are not, what else is transmitting the load's weight to the scale?

Quote:
and to let support structures of the body take up and transmit loads, by focusing on these sensations.
Okay, now when you say "support structures" here, you are not talking about the legs? If I were to take a guess at what you mean I would say that you might be descriging the natural elasticity/structure of the tissues of the body. Please let me know if this is in error.

If you are saying that, don't you still have to include the legs, which are transmitting the force? If not please explane.

Quote:
This is not pushing back with the portions taking up the loads, rather they are taking up the load of the portions of the body above them.
I'm not sure here how the load is being "taken up" with nothing pushing against it. If I have a table, and I put something on the table, the legs of the table are pushing against the thing I put on the table, not via a muscular force, but by their natural alignment with the ground. If there is nothing pushing against the load, why doesn't the load fall to the ground?

Quote:
The external approach results in pushing back against the opponent, even if in an direction an opponent is weak and thus there is no mixing of expended energy and no aiki. The internal approach allows for input of the opponents energy plus their own weight added to it and transmitted to/reflected off the ground, and meets a definition of aiki.
I'm not sure I understand you are describing here at all. Could you please rephrase. Sorry.

I know you wrote lot's more, but I need to understand each piece in order. I think you have given a good start here. Thank you!

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Old 11-11-2012, 10:03 PM   #5
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

On the subject of load, it strikes me that a potentially erroneous assumption is that the applied load/force is somehow fixed and large. However when redirection takes place its not only redirecting the force but changing its magnitude by affecting the ability of it to be generated (as it is limited by the structure of the person applying it)

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Old 11-12-2012, 07:32 AM   #6
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

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Hey Hunter,
First off, please let me say, thank you for this explanation! This seems to me, to be a rare, and thoughtful explanation about the difference between what is called "IP" (internal power) and "EP" (external power).
I think its a lot more usefull than people yelling back and forth.

Quote:
Okay, I don't want to get lost here. But I'm not sure I get what you are saying. Are you saying that the legs are not pushing back against any force?

If you are saying that, what is taking the force? If the legs aren't doing it, where is the weight of the load going?

I'm pretty sure that you are not saying that if we were to put an "IP" expert on a scale, then put a load on her, the scale woudn't change. If you are saying that please explain.

If you're not saying that, then the legs must be taking the load (assuming our "IP" expert is standing) because if they are not, what else is transmitting the load's weight to the scale?
Gravity, of course is transmitting the weight to the scale, but its more about where the loads go in one's body. You want to, at first, passively let the force go to the ground. Most people have a tendency to push back against an incoming force (resisting it or redirecting it into a weak direction), but instead you want to relax and let it pass right through you. This is what Mike Sigman refers to as a ground path. At a more advanced level, you can push/pull, within yourself, in the same exact direction of the force being applied to you (not against it, but with it!) and add to it, to make it more powerful. If you do this in a relaxed manner, your legs will not get tired as they would when pushing back. It's rather counterintutive, because by relaxing, the person pushing is effectively pushing against the ground via your body, instead of only having them push into your legs.

Yes, you don't want to push back against any force. If you were to stand on a bathroom scale, and perfectly relaxed, you would see a total of your weight, plus the force of a person pushing on you. If you push back with the legs or anything else, that number will increase, because the resultant force will push yourself back. That is to say that when you push back against something heavy enough, strong enough, or more skilled than you, you will eventually push yourself away.

So for example, if I push on a big rock with my lower body, and then i start pushing with my upper body too, I start to actually push myself away, in part because of pushing from a higher point. When you do it with the legs only, or against a less skilled person, you won't notice the pushback. If you push back against someone who can access the ground directly without pushing back, you will push yourself back, because they are sourcing power even lower than you. For a long time, I thought I had to just source power lower and lower, until someone said to me, well you can't get lower than the ground, can you?

Quote:
Okay, now when you say "support structures" here, you are not talking about the legs? If I were to take a guess at what you mean I would say that you might be descriging the natural elasticity/structure of the tissues of the body. Please let me know if this is in error.

If you are saying that, don't you still have to include the legs, which are transmitting the force? If not please explane.
So in normal external movement, muscle groups generate power, and this power is transmitted via the skeletal structure. In reference to IS, its more along the lines of tensigrity. Sure, you can use the skelatal system as well as ligaments, tendons, fascia etc, but they are used to transmit forces to and from the ground, rather than from the muscles. The muscles can be used as well, but so long as they aren't pushing against the incoming force, because as we talked about above, that pushes yourself away.

Quote:
I'm not sure here how the load is being "taken up" with nothing pushing against it. If I have a table, and I put something on the table, the legs of the table are pushing against the thing I put on the table, not via a muscular force, but by their natural alignment with the ground. If there is nothing pushing against the load, why doesn't the load fall to the ground?
Right, in this case, the legs of the table are under compression. You want to be like the legs of the table, passively transmitting the forces to the ground under compression. You don't want to be like a fork lift, where a hydralic motor presses up against the weight of the load. Like I said earlier, the legs are being used as a passive conduit, you don't fight against the force. This passive transmission is just a foot in the door, entry level thing.

So, I think you lift weights right? The next time you go to the gym, walk around with a 35lbs weight in one hand (or heavier depending on your strength). Relax and have the weight hanging from your arm. Don't let any muscle hold it up. You will feel a stretch in your arm and shoulder, much like if you were trying to touch the ceiling. You will eventually feel the tendons being pulled on as well. That weight is now part of your body and you experience no muscle fatigue from holding it up, though the tendons may get sore. If the shoulder/biceps engage at all, its no longer part of your body, because you are pushing/pulling against it and you feel that resistance in the arm. You want to eliminate that resistance. Good weight lifters can do this sort of thing in terms of integrating weights (squats and olympic lifts are great for this), but they tend not to be able to integrate people into their bodies in such a fashion like they can with weights.

Eventually you want to figure out how to access that sensation from all positions (being "under" that weight), so that it feels the same as when it is hanging, as when your arm is parallal to the ground. For most people when they hold a 35lbs weight out in front of them at the end of their arm, they fall in that direction. If you relax and are under it, so that the weight becomes part of your body, you won't fall forwards, but neither will you be leaning backwards to offset the weight.

Quote:
I'm not sure I understand you are describing here at all. Could you please rephrase. Sorry.
It might make more sense in context with the above. With internals, you want to, at first, passively let the incoming weight/force reflect off the ground. You don't want to push against the incoming push. That only serves to unbalance yourself. If it goes into the ground, the other person pushes themselves away.
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:56 AM   #7
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

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Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
Well reading the characters which make up the word aiki would indicate otherwise.
Hunter,

One thing I wanted to ask you is, what's your understanding of the word and what's your academic background with regards to the Japanese language?

I took a couple of college-level courses, never lived in Japan or developed any fluency. But the way I understand it, kanji are evocative of meaning and not descriptive; meaning is highly dependent on context, and in some areas of Japanese thought, the context is such that there are several meanings at once.

One thing that has always perplexed me about is to what extent it carries a meaning of unity or oneness, as opposed to a joining of different things.

I.e. when "two" things come together - is this two things joining into a new whole, or is it as two halves reuniting into one thing.
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:26 AM   #8
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

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Cliff Judge wrote: View Post

I.e. when "two" things come together - is this two things joining into a new whole, or is it as two halves reuniting into one thing.
It depends - I can think of examples of both cases, as well as some others.

Best,

Chris

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Old 11-12-2012, 01:00 PM   #9
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

Hey Hunter,
Thanks for the reply.

What you outlined there sounds about right. I admit I only read it once, so maybe I missed something, but so far, I think I can agree with what you are talking about.

How is that different then something athletes do? I know, this is kind of vague, but I'm trying to get at why Internal might be different then external.

We both recognize that both "IP" and "EP" uses relaxation. And both use "ground-path" or the ability to direct something from an appendage/body part to the ground. And they both use good structure, they ability to hold the frame in a relaxed state. So, how is "IP" doing this differently or better then someone trained in an external method?

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Old 11-12-2012, 01:35 PM   #10
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
We both recognize that both "IP" and "EP" uses relaxation. And both use "ground-path" or the ability to direct something from an appendage/body part to the ground. And they both use good structure, they ability to hold the frame in a relaxed state. So, how is "IP" doing this differently or better then someone trained in an external method?
Really, really, really, really, really overly simplistic response would be that normal/external would be using "beauty" or "gym" muscles where an internal paradigm would be using support muscles to move/support different parts of the body. In the external model, when you 'relax' you introduce a lot of slack, in the internal model you may be relaxed but still recruited/engaged throughout the body.

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Old 11-12-2012, 02:22 PM   #11
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
Really, really, really, really, really overly simplistic response would be that normal/external would be using "beauty" or "gym" muscles where an internal paradigm would be using support muscles to move/support different parts of the body. In the external model, when you 'relax' you introduce a lot of slack, in the internal model you may be relaxed but still recruited/engaged throughout the body.
Okay, so you believe that professional athletes are not staying relaxed but still recruited/engaged? And this is the difference between "IP" and "EP", or a basic difference anyways?

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Old 11-12-2012, 02:33 PM   #12
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Okay, so you believe that professional athletes are not staying relaxed but still recruited/engaged? And this is the difference between "IP" and "EP", or a basic difference anyways?
Don't know, I don't work with professional athletes. Would be pure speculation on my part. Please don't try to create a yes/no black/white litmus test from my extremely general statement.

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Old 11-12-2012, 03:04 PM   #13
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

Sorry.

I guess what I'm getting at is, have you ever played any sports, where you see this kind of relaxation while still engaged kind of thing is going on? I would describe this kind of thing in several sports I've played.

I see where this is going. I've got to feel it. Okay. And I guess what I'm saying is kind of the same thing, you've got to feel serious athletes. That's fair.

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Old 11-12-2012, 04:24 PM   #14
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

I think the days of the 'jock' or dumb athlete are over, at least in high performance sport. There are phenomenal resources available and applied in garnering of competative success for $$$, king and country. The access to biomechancal expertise, coaching, perceptual training, strengthening and conditioning and skill acquisition expertise are really impressive with many mechanisms quite well understood and put through the litmus test of competition.

enjoying the conversation, albeit from the cheap seats

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Old 11-12-2012, 05:57 PM   #15
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
Hunter,

One thing I wanted to ask you is, what's your understanding of the word and what's your academic background with regards to the Japanese language?

I took a couple of college-level courses, never lived in Japan or developed any fluency. But the way I understand it, kanji are evocative of meaning and not descriptive; meaning is highly dependent on context, and in some areas of Japanese thought, the context is such that there are several meanings at once.
Sure, while my undergraduate degree is in Electrical Engineering, I have a minor in Japanese language, with 32 credits in Japanese. I also spent a semester at 国際基督教大学 (International Christian University), and probably have spent a year and a half in japan in total with offers to work in an total japanese environment in both engineering and intellectual property (sorry, no eikaiwa work for me, but the Japanese still don't pay well enough compared to the US for engineers). I also spent a semester studying chinese, and I am learning at home as my inlaws don't speak english.

While I studied the language, I did not spend a ton of time on the history of characters, learning the meanings of radicals is a biproduct of the higher level courses where you spend a fair amount of time looking up kanji in a kanji dictionary. Going by radical gives you a hint of an interpretation of the character, but given that so many are in a more simplified form, the "story" may not quite be correct in terms of the origin, but may be good as a memonic device.

Lets look purely at the radicals of ai and ki, while not all kanji are pictograph's the radicals do tell a story. For those reading this thread, who are unfamiliar, radicals are the constituent components of the chinese characters, each of which have their own meaning.

For "go", awa(su), a(i), Nelson's japanese-english character dictionary uses kuchi (mouth) a 3 stroke radical as the root. When looked at pictorialy, the character is considered to be a rice pot with a lid, however the other 2 radicals are jin/hito and ichi, one. A lit fits on a pot, and joins the two together.

For "ki", you have three radicals, the bottom one is rice, the second is a lid, and the top one is air. Thus it pictorally represents steam coming off of rice with a lid on it, or pressure/air pressure. In chinese it can mean vapor or steam, in addition to its normal meanings in japanese..

So asides from the rice fixation, a given since it is staple, we have joining of air pressure. This idea of air pressure in a martial context is very important, as air pressure is used to not only condition tissues, but initiate movement from the middle (tanden/hara centric movement) and power that movement from the middle on out. I'm not going to go into the whole chinese cosmology of this, but you can read up on that on your own.

Thus through the use of air pressure and movement from the "middle", you join with the opponent to create aiki.

I can pull out my 国語辞典, if you want for a japanese to japanese definition, if you think it would be helpful to this conversation. None the less I'm hardly the first person to bring up this topic.

Or maybe if you eat a lot of rice you get a fat bellly :P

Quote:
One thing that has always perplexed me about is to what extent it carries a meaning of unity or oneness, as opposed to a joining of different things.

I.e. when "two" things come together - is this two things joining into a new whole, or is it as two halves reuniting into one thing.
Well, I can't speak on a scholarly level with regards to the entomology, as my minor is more in the usage and study of the language in a practical basis. My personal opinion is that its two things joining to create a new hole, in a martial context, but given that there are multiple meanings, I can't say which is more "correct."
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:07 PM   #16
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

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Chris Hein wrote: View Post
Hey Hunter,
Thanks for the reply.

What you outlined there sounds about right. I admit I only read it once, so maybe I missed something, but so far, I think I can agree with what you are talking about.

How is that different then something athletes do? I know, this is kind of vague, but I'm trying to get at why Internal might be different then external.

We both recognize that both "IP" and "EP" uses relaxation. And both use "ground-path" or the ability to direct something from an appendage/body part to the ground. And they both use good structure, they ability to hold the frame in a relaxed state. So, how is "IP" doing this differently or better then someone trained in an external method?
Sure, I've trained with or attended seminars with people who range from BJJ browns/purples, state power lifting record holders, army rangers, Kyokushin champs, guys with MMA records etc, none of whom could replicate the sensations you get when you touch someone who has IS. If they moved me dramatically, it was the result of a windup of power, momentum, rotation, physically dropping etc. Thats basically the point of Sigman's teacher test. If you push on the shoulder and you get moved without the teacher moving at all, then they have something worth studying.

None of the people I listed above, were able to do that, despite pretty good athletic backgrounds. There are guys who can generate considerable power, externally, but it has a different quality to the result. Mainly that it lacks the unbalancing sensation achieved with no windup.

Now we can see where some of this stuff used to be in other arts. For example in the judo kata, itsutsu no kata, you see some pretty "wacky" stuff. . Quite honestly it makes no sense, in modern judo, there's no waza, per say, no bunkai, and both gentlemen move in a very strange way. One guy "falls" backwards in a way that suggests he should be unbalanced backwards, but is obviously moving in a way that he is falling backwards because the choreography demands it. In some demontrations of this kata, you will see the uke standing on his toes as he goes backwards. To me this is an indication that IS was present at one point in judo, or its precusor arts, because you would have to utilize it to knock someone back in such a manner with no wind up, such that they can not regain their balance. Plus popping up on one's toes is another indicator. I could go into a bunch of other stuff in that video in terms of what it appears they should be demonstrating, but I would repeating stuff we all went over a few years back. I will note that various hachidan level judoka say, its achieved by moving the thumb and forefinger to knock the guy backwards, but in videos with that level of judoka, it still looks like this video.

Now I don't want to say that the only indicator of there being IS, is this unbalancing phenomena, but to me it appears to be a key constituent component of aiki.

On a side note, Dan John's videos are pretty sweet. What he is teaching isn't IS, but a component of what is needed to make it work, namely how to access the kua. You can have a look at one here.

Last edited by HL1978 : 11-12-2012 at 07:11 PM.
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:47 PM   #17
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

Well you do have a point, if athletes can do this kind of stuff (my claim) then why would professional athletes who attend these seminars not be able to understand/do it.

It's a good point.

And the point I'm always asking about in return, which would be, if these "IP" guys have such amazing power why aren't they out there winning gold metals at every Olympic event.

I think I hit on this earlier, and it answers both of these questions. All practices/sports have specifics, that must be learned in order to do the practice/sport. For example, a world class Tennis player is likely not going to be a great football player, unless they trained in that sport. So even though both the football player and the tennis player are athletes, the football player might have a crummy backhand, and marvel at the tennis player, and the tennis player might not be able to catch anything at all and be amazed at the football player.

So then we get down to the specifics of the demonstrations of "IP". Those are also specific skills that take some practice to get the hang of.

But there is an interesting question here, why don't the "IP" guys dominate in the fields where the should understand the specifics of the sport/practice. For example why aren't "IP" guys winning MMA matches?

Again, we might get into specifics of the practice. But if we look at a guy like Ark, he was a serious Kickboxer, I'm not sure if he was a professional kickboxer or not, but I know he was very serious. If "IP" offers a great physical advantage to it's practitioners, and it's practitioners know the specifics of a practice/sport, then why wouldn't that "IP" expert become a world champion at the sport he competes in?

So I would say specifics of a practice are the difference, they might be athletes all, but the different disciplines make it difficult to cross lines. However if an "IP" expert does have a serious physical advantage, and does train in a sport, he should be the best, or at least at the top of his field in that sport. Correct?

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Old 11-13-2012, 07:44 AM   #18
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

You really sound like you're still trying to reason yourself out of the need for a different training paradigm rather than getting out and just feeling it. That's like having a discussion about whether the stove is hot or not, just go feel it and see.

Traditional muscular strength can certainly make you very powerful.

IP doesn't make you invincible or guaranteed to be awesome at anything you try. An amazing tennis player probably has tens of thousands of hours developing their game. If you replaced those hours with a similar amount of time developing internal power, they wouldn't be as good of a tennis player.

One could just as easily make the argument that if you wanted to be a good fighter, you'd be better off training in a boxing or MMA gym than you would doing Aikido. You'll develop much better fighting skills much faster and have something that is more "streetable" in short order.

But you won't have aiki... That's what we're getting at with the training paradigms many of us are persuing. We don't want to just be a better fighter (although that's certainly part of the process) we would like to approach the skills that we have read about that enchanted us in the first place. *In my own view* the training paradigm that most people follow is very much like going to the gym and doing circuit training to develop aiki. The training model hasn't worked. Rather than develop internal skills that lead to real aiki (the stuff Sagawa and Ueshiba talked about) it has developed traditional muscular skills which is why it has always seem lacking when compared to what we read about the founder and his early generation.

When I first felt Rob John or Ark, my brain freaked out. They just didn't *feel* like other people. At the time, I probably had close to 40 lbs on Rob and had trained in the martial arts for a longer period of time, but I couldn't even push him backwards. He *felt* more solid and less affected by my movements than Hiroshi Ikeda did (just to put an example out there). No, I'm not saying Rob is a better aikidoka than Ikeda sensei, but he *felt* different. When one of our guys first felt Dan, his immediate response was, "You're f****ing weird man!" This was from a very skilled, very big, very well trained guy! Asked later what he meant, he just said, "That guy just feels fricking weird!"

One of the reasons I don't post much anymore is I just don't generally feel the need to constantly be justifying my training decisions. They're my own to make, just as yours are your own to make. Train however you want. But I don't have an obligation to convince anyone that my training paradigm is the one worth following. People will get out and feel it and decide for themselves, but no amount of written copy will ever convince everyone of the value I feel there is there. You make the effort and get out and feel it or you don't.

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Old 11-13-2012, 07:52 AM   #19
Cliff Judge
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

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Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
My personal opinion is that its two things joining to create a new hole, in a martial context,
So, I'd say that's a clash.
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:11 AM   #20
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

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So, I'd say that's a clash.
If a fly hits your windshield while you drive down the road at 70 mph it probably felt a clash.

Your car did not.

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Old 11-13-2012, 11:01 AM   #21
HL1978
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

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So, I'd say that's a clash.
Depends on how you define the word. As I set forth with my reference to a Newton's cradle, I tend to think of a clash as two objects moving towards one another. Much like two cymbals coming together. Definition 2 from dictionary.com states: to come together or collide, especially noisily: The cymbals clashed. Likewise the same source indicates that the word originated in the late 1400's from clap and dash.

Now if we are talking about two objects, both in motion, or in this case relying on motion as a primary means of generating in power you have a clash. Is there a combination of energy, absolutely. It is undeniable. However, the larger person, or person with better technique will win.

What I am referring to is more like one object impacting another object resulting in a deformation of the first object (an unbalancing effect) due to compression of the second object transferring forces into the ground. In this case, the energy of the first object, was combined with the weight/mass of the second, rebounded off the ground and moved the first object rather than both. To me this tends to be the stereotypical definition of aiki, yet this kind of power tends not to be what is practiced.

I don't believe its because you inherently need to be stationary to generate it, just that the larger component of the generated "aiki" is from transfer into/out off the ground, rather than rotation, explosive movement, weight shift, momentum, big circles (essentially what powers technique). This is more or less what the ki society tests are supposed to show, but I won't comment on whether or not they are practiced properly or not.

This is also a differentiator, in that if it is simply the result of two bodies moving together, outside of waza, then the person who can generate more musclar effort or has larger mass will win. Aiki does not require this, and thus a 90lbs woman, can hold off a 200lbs man as the 200lbs man can not access the ground. Anyone who has been to one of the Aunkai seminars and has had hands on with one of Akuzawa sensei's female students can attest to this.

Last edited by HL1978 : 11-13-2012 at 11:10 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 11-13-2012, 11:56 AM   #22
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

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Well you do have a point, if athletes can do this kind of stuff (my claim) then why would professional athletes who attend these seminars not be able to understand/do it.

It's a good point.

And the point I'm always asking about in return, which would be, if these "IP" guys have such amazing power why aren't they out there winning gold metals at every Olympic event.

I think I hit on this earlier, and it answers both of these questions. All practices/sports have specifics, that must be learned in order to do the practice/sport. For example, a world class Tennis player is likely not going to be a great football player, unless they trained in that sport. So even though both the football player and the tennis player are athletes, the football player might have a crummy backhand, and marvel at the tennis player, and the tennis player might not be able to catch anything at all and be amazed at the football player.

So then we get down to the specifics of the demonstrations of "IP". Those are also specific skills that take some practice to get the hang of.

But there is an interesting question here, why don't the "IP" guys dominate in the fields where the should understand the specifics of the sport/practice. For example why aren't "IP" guys winning MMA matches?

Again, we might get into specifics of the practice. But if we look at a guy like Ark, he was a serious Kickboxer, I'm not sure if he was a professional kickboxer or not, but I know he was very serious. If "IP" offers a great physical advantage to it's practitioners, and it's practitioners know the specifics of a practice/sport, then why wouldn't that "IP" expert become a world champion at the sport he competes in?

So I would say specifics of a practice are the difference, they might be athletes all, but the different disciplines make it difficult to cross lines. However if an "IP" expert does have a serious physical advantage, and does train in a sport, he should be the best, or at least at the top of his field in that sport. Correct?
IP is like having really good cardio. It can be an element of a great athlete, but it isn't the only thing. I think any IP proponent will tell you there are differences between IP and fighting, and that like good cardio it can make you a better fighter. This is kind of like how a gymnast or dancer, could, if so inclined, pick up judo fairly quickly due to a developed sense of balance and cardio.

Given that the pool of people with this stuff was pretty small, and that it was rather secretive, asian arts still aren't all that open about giving away this stuff. Its counter intuitive, but its a lingering cultural artifact. I figure if anyone, a westerner with exposure will do it, eventually.

Now as for dominating MMA (and other sports) there are a number of reasons, not necesscarily related to IS/IP. You can't just walk into the UFC, unless Dana White gives you a chance. You would have to work your way up of course, but it helps if your particular gym has connections to a particular promoter. I think what you are more likely to see are various guys doing very well on the amateur level. I know the aunkai guys regularly enter K2 matches.

There is another issue to. Once your body starts getting wired this way, if you step into a dojo, you will get flack for not moving "the right way". I know some amateur kick boxers who have this issue, and I've experienced it with nanadan/hachidans in kendo and iaido (and burned some bridges as a result).

Now I have seen Ark do some pretty interesting things. I have video of his first trap session where he sat in horse stance and hit 80% of the clay pigeons. A shotgun shooting stance looks nothing like that. Likewise he has shot pistol and rifle for the first time and done exceedingly well. I also have video of him hitting over 300 yards with a 3 wood shot after shot, despite not picking up a club in 10 years. He did remark after that he should be giving Golf Seminars rather than IS ones.

In this case, Ark has a really good base to develop off of, in that he can integrate the golf club or firearm into his body and thus due to his stability, is less effected by recoil, has less movement in the firearm and a better sight picture. In golf, he can better transfer his weight and effort into the ball. Either one would take considerable effort to get to an elite level, but perhaps less than someone starting from nothing.
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:00 PM   #23
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

So Ark is an awesome athlete, did kickboxing, knows internal, likes competing, yet is not, was not, a world champion kickboxer, or MMA title holder? That sounds super strange to me. Especially if his only competition is normal athletes who are not trained in "IP", and "IP" is a superior way of training.

I'm not saying that the guy isn't super skilled, and very powerful, he seems like a neat guy to me. But if "IP" gave one a huge advantage, and Ark has it, and he likes competing, why wouldn't he be a world champion?

You are right about the UFC, you can't just walk in. However they draw from the amateur fighters. If "IP" offers a huge advantage, actually any good advantage at all, I'm sure an "IP" expert would come through the ranks in very short order. Especially if they did something unique looking, seeming.

K2 is not a small event, it's a pretty serious event. I think it's great he's got guys competing in it! However if what they learned from Ark gives an advantage, and they are otherwise skilled kick boxers, why aren't they always winning K2 matches and becoming world champions? When a great coach comes around, everyone clammers to train with them. Why doesn't Ark have a huge stable of champion kick boxers?

See, I'm not saying that you can't learn anything from "IP". As I said earlier, learning from the internal model or learning from a modern sport model are not mutually exclusive. You can get lot's of great things from studying internal. However those things aren't any different then the things good athletes teaches. Athletes aren't just a bunch of stupid guys who force everything with their big muscles. They are guys who care about using their body as efficiently as possible. They study, and test, and experiment, all the time. They also have huge muscles, because muscles are useful.

So I'm not saying internal is useless, I'm saying it's not the only game in town. In my opinion it's not the best game in town. A way to show the difference I feel, is that "IP" experts aren't excelling beyond what any modern athlete can achieve in any sports or competitions, that I've heard about.

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Old 11-13-2012, 02:54 PM   #24
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

Depends on what you want and if you have the circumstances to fully commit to competition. I'm not in a position to comment on the aunkai and their members situation or competition results, but will say if you see the videos, they're pretty hilariously one sided against their opponents.

There have been a parade of MMA people who have felt IP practitioners and a lot of them have the same problem. You basically will have to quit what you are doing, more or less completely, and take up IP because it fundamentally changes how you work your body at all times. Its not something you can just plug in. Once you figure it out, then you can go back to what you are doing while continuing that sort of conditioning and skill development.

That's a pretty huge gamble for a competitor to take. Do I stick with what I know, or do I put competition on hiatus for a few years while I pick up this new skill? Part of this is because to make this stuff work, you have to give up all your strength and chase after things that make you feel unbalanced and weak. Its a rather counter intuitive process to basically give up what you have, in addition to realizing that waza more or less doesn't work on these guys. Now I'm not knocking anyone in particular, but there is an intelligence component too, in that you have to think about this stuff considerably in addition to putting in the training time.

Of course, if you get someone with skill in IP and he does well, you would expect tons of others to jump on the bandwagon.
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:20 PM   #25
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Re: Is aiki a clash of forces?

I know as well as anyone, that competing is more then just being good at something. I personally have felt the strain and stress of keeping up a competitive lifestyle. So I really don't expect every "IP" expert to be an MMA title holder, even if they have an advantage.

What I do find strange, is that in competitive sports, where people are looking for every single advantage available, including every little gimmick that comes down the road (trust me I've had some silly conversations about some crazy stuff with competitors), none of them switched to "IP" and then dominated their field.

If "IP" offers a strange and powerful advantage, even if it took awhile to get (which incidentally should be offset by the supposed fact that "IP" people can remain "powerful" late into life), that serious competitive athletes wouldn't be doing it, and showing results.

What about washed up athletes? Those who have grown to old to be competitive anymore because they don't have the muscle to do it any more. Many of them are very pissed off that they had to stop competing, why have they not found "IP" and been able to "get back in the game"?

If it's so different, and doesn't require what modern athletics are using, why aren't older athletes doing it, and staying competitive late into life?

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