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Old 10-17-2013, 10:13 AM   #26
Ellis Amdur
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

Vectors in Aikido A lot of what I would write has been covered by the last few posters. This article is from 2005, and based on work I started in the 1990's. The commentary (on the page it is posted) reads:
Quote:
This is a copy of the "Sword and Spirit" Newsletter of November, 2005. Robert Wolfe presents an excellent description of my method of training aikido to lay proper groundwork for the study of striking methodology, free-style practice, counter-techniques and the inclusion of internal training methods. I will note that the physical organization presented in the photographs is not exactly congruent with how I recommend these solo training exercises should be executed, but it still remains an accurate compendium of the basic set of "taikyoku aikido.
Budd Yuhasz and I have immeasurably developed this since. If one defines technique as a "put your left foot 57% angle from . . .", but that's not technique. That's like taking apart a Rolex and walking around with one of the gears. A better word is waza, which is kata, distilled in a single movement. And kata is never one thing. And to his dying day, Ueshiba was doing waza (technique). Takemusu aiki was merely his freedom in applying it.

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Old 10-17-2013, 05:53 PM   #27
Cady Goldfield
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

No one said that Ueshiba and Takeda (or Sagawa, for that matter) were beyond technique, or that they didn't use technique. What was said is that they were able to spontaneously and instantaneously spew out endless martial combinations. I believe that the internal skills allowed them to be much more adaptable to changes in their opponents' movements, hence the applications could be more rapid-fire than they would have been had they relied on "external" power, as the latter would compromise their balance and structural stability and also require chambering and gross physical movement of the body, which slows things down.

They were doing the equivalent of jazz jamming, Takeda's followers seem to have mistaken those spontaneous combinations to be formal etudes to be memorized and written down, because if you look at the Daito-ryu and Aikido curriculums, they're full of combos. And some of the combos are not terribly practical or realistic.

For some years I was exposed to a Daito-ryu curriculum, presumably descended from tablets graven on the Mount, and while there was some very good stuff there, a lot of the stuff was convoluted "kata," overly involved affairs that I just can't imagine were the product of careful research. My guess is that they are more examples of some of the stuff that Sokaku rattled off because.... "Hey, let's see if I can pull this one off... Hey, I can!" and someone scrabbled to write it down.

Memorizing "one-step and three-step" kata ingrains habit. Habit is something you don't want when you're in a real conflict, IMO. What you want, is the ability to act spontaneously and to be able to rapidly change with any changes in the situation.

Martial conditioning is about learning basic strikes, kicks, how to exploit joints and nerve points, basic throws, chokes, etc. They're the building block techniques, an artless art -- pragmatic movement. What you choose to focus on (strikes and kicks? Throws and locks? Newaza?) becomes the artistic expression that represents style -- the "chassis" of vehicle. The engine that drives it is IP and aiki.

When Ueshiba did ikkyo (nee ikkajo) again and again, it wasn't the visual form of ikkyo that was the core of what was going on, it was the internal spirals and aiki-sage that was making that ikkyo happen. The same spirals and application of aiki can express themselves in an entirely different way should the attacker's atemi or angle of attack change to something else, or you decide to make the point of contact something other than the person's attacking arm. "Doing ikkyo" is just what happens when an attacker meets your aiki when he approaches you in a certain way, and you decide to engage him in a certain way.

Another thing to consider, is the "seder" of Daito-ryu. It is Jujutsu first; Aikijujutsu next; Aiki-no-jutsu last. Jujutsu waza give students something they can take to the bank right away; aiki takes longer and it's not clear how to apply it martially until you've had some martial conditioning. Then you can learn some "spot aiki" to apply to that conditioning.

In my own training, many moons ago I learned some basic DR jujutsu waza, including some of that convoluted, complicated stuff. A few koryu jujutsu waza to round it out. We learned specific applications of aiki to power the jujutsu waza, and we worked on aiki-no-jutsu. Occasionally, when one of us would start to whimper that we didn't know if what we had was martially effective, out came the randori. Simple randori, certainly not anything that I'd proudly place on YouTube (there was no YouTube yet). But it was still free-form and we didn't know what to expect. We did not rattle off step-by-step convoluted waza. What came out were the rock-bottom foundation basics -- throws, take-downs, grabs-into-chokes, etc. -- spontaneously generated, and powered by aiki. It didn't feel like techniques being executed, but more like "stuff happening." And this, with students who had not been training long enough to have "transcended technique." It was just the manifestation of an aiki body.
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Old 10-18-2013, 02:33 AM   #28
Michael Varin
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

I appreciate all the contributions to this thread so far. Ellis in particular was on fire and I agree with pretty much everything he said.

However, I believe at least one of my initial thoughts has been validated by the direction this thread took.

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
It is often stated by proponents of "IP/IT/IS" that the techniques of aikido (and presumably other styles) are unimportant; that "IP/IT/IS" operates outside of technique.

In my very limited experience, I would have to say I disagree. In my admittedly short exposure to "IP/IT/IS" I found that everything shown was technique based. It may not be what many would call a formal technique, but technique I believe it is. In my opinion, it really comes down to what distinctions the practitioner is able to make.
I often like to begin in a very grounded place. . . dictionary definitions.

Technique (noun):

1. the manner and ability with which an artist, writer, dancer, athlete, or the like employs the technical skills of a particular art or field of endeavor.

2. the body of specialized procedures and methods used in any specific field, especially in an area of applied science.

3. method of performance; way of accomplishing.

4. technical skill; ability to apply procedures or methods so as to effect a desired result.

Technical (adjective):

1. belonging or pertaining to an art, science, or the like: technical skill.

2. peculiar to or characteristic of a particular art, science, profession, trade, etc.: technical details.

3. using terminology or treating subject matter in a manner peculiar to a particular field, as a writer or a book: a technical report.

4. skilled in or familiar in a practical way with a particular art, trade, etc., as a person.

5. of, pertaining to, or showing technique.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 10-18-2013, 06:43 AM   #29
PaulF
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

Quote:
Dan Richards wrote: View Post
In the video link I posted with Chef Ramsey, he literally says he wants to "get his hands" on the beef rangoon - as if it's something he can possess in a box. And the Maylasian lady tells him to drop all that, and instead gain an understanding of what she's showing him. Ramsey even says towards the end of the video, "You've really helped open my eyes." And that's exactly what Ueshiba credited Takeda with - opening his eyes to budo.
It's a really interesting parallel. Unfortunately the link is blocked by C4 in the UK due to copyrighted content which is a pity as I'd love to see Ramsey getting nonplussed by this approach.

So following what others have been saying as well kata is the analogue of the recipe, and if we only know how to cook from recipes we can't cope when there's a change in the available ingredients (inputs) or desired dish (output) just as if we get ingrained by kata we can't spontaneously react to unpredictable attacks.

As per Rupert's last post, I think the many many repetitions of (dynamic) kata give a solid grounding in technique to the extent that it then becomes reflexive so I don't have to think "this punch looks more like a yokomen style haymaker than tsuki jab so I will need to corner-step and blend or get in before it gets going" which I obviously won't have time to think and then do. Watching the way our senior grades run through kata after class, whilst they are doing things in a set sequence to a particular attack there's always a lot of variation in response depending on physiques, maai, attack speed, etc., especially when working in trios, and they're obviously not doing this consciously.

To return to the analogy I guess this is like doing an awful lot of cooking with a wide range of ingredients following many different recipes in different books until the point where you can be presented with any particular range of ingredients and within a few minutes think of several good dishes you could cook without a recipe (the MasterChef creativity test).

The key seems to be coming to an understanding some fundamental principles about cooking/aikido/IPIS without which no amount of ingredients (techniques) or recipes (kata) will be of much use. I know this is a point Rupert makes early on in his book

Quote:
It is the principles we should be searching for; they are the same in each art. No art has a monopoly on the principles, although certain arts might be said to emphasise certain principles. The principles determine the form, of which there are many variations. It is therefore strange that it is usually the forms that determine the art. This has to be a mistake. If we research the principles, then there can be no determining the forms. If you search for the principles and come to understand them, your forms will be limitless
http://discovering-aikido.com/

By way of illustration (I'm sure we've all got examples) I sent this link to my wife this morning with the observation that it had some nice practical application stuff of what we do in Taiji as well as things that looked a lot like ikkyo and sumi-otoshi, to which she replied that there was sokumen iriminage and kaitenage in there as well.

By strange coincidence we have been discussing the "cake model" during a workshop on evaluation this morning, following which a colleague sent this email around (while I've been writing this) in response to one of the regular "birthday cakes in kitchen" messages

Quote:
It's also my birthday today. I attempted to make Jamaican marrow cake last weekend but used an incorrect process (recipe) which impacted negatively on my output (cake). I considered outsourcing to achieve the outcome (buy a cake), but this would have resulted in a negative impact (unhealthy cake for HQ staff and more serious financial implication for me). I therefore decided to revise my process (recipe) which will result in a healthy and delicious outcome that falls within budget (Jamaican marrow cake) and has a healthy impact on everyone. But you will have to wait until Monday.
I'm now hungry and going for lunch
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Old 10-18-2013, 09:19 AM   #30
Budd
 
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

Well and my perspective with aikido is that anything that is a throw or push to gently subdue an attacker is equally a destructive atemi with any part of your body against the other person's (whatever point of contact you get, you should be able to issue incredible force through, if training internal strength is your bag). The taiji techniques in the youtube video linked above are pretty consistent with that as well, any throw or push is masking the strategy of "get close in, unleash overwhelming force hit, then disengage".
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Old 10-18-2013, 11:17 AM   #31
Cliff Judge
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
No one said that Ueshiba and Takeda (or Sagawa, for that matter) were beyond technique, or that they didn't use technique. What was said is that they were able to spontaneously and instantaneously spew out endless martial combinations. I believe that the internal skills allowed them to be much more adaptable to changes in their opponents' movements, hence the applications could be more rapid-fire than they would have been had they relied on "external" power, as the latter would compromise their balance and structural stability and also require chambering and gross physical movement of the body, which slows things down.

They were doing the equivalent of jazz jamming, Takeda's followers seem to have mistaken those spontaneous combinations to be formal etudes to be memorized and written down, because if you look at the Daito-ryu and Aikido curriculums, they're full of combos. And some of the combos are not terribly practical or realistic.
You don't need internal power for spontaneous technique. There is no "A implies B" relationship there. I don't think the two have anything to do with each other at all, though there is plenty of room to quibble.

I tend to think if you want to develop Takemusu Aiki, the long and arduous quest for internal power will set your timeframe back a lot, particularly the intent-driven way you guys advocate training. After years of being in your heads you are somehow supposed to let it all flow? Good luck.

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
For some years I was exposed to a Daito-ryu curriculum, presumably descended from tablets graven on the Mount, and while there was some very good stuff there, a lot of the stuff was convoluted "kata," overly involved affairs that I just can't imagine were the product of careful research. My guess is that they are more examples of some of the stuff that Sokaku rattled off because.... "Hey, let's see if I can pull this one off... Hey, I can!" and someone scrabbled to write it down.

Memorizing "one-step and three-step" kata ingrains habit. Habit is something you don't want when you're in a real conflict, IMO. What you want, is the ability to act spontaneously and to be able to rapidly change with any changes in the situation.
You don't seem to have a very good understanding of what kata training is and what it is supposed to give you. It also doesn't sound like you had very good Daito ryu training.

I think Takeda was very much a showman and when he was on the road teaching Daito ryu he was in part, selling amazement, wonder, and mystery to the bulk of his students. So it may well be that the syllabus of Daito ryu is inflated.

But I don't think his career would have lasted long if he was teaching an empty vessel. Regardless of whether there was a simple secret that he taught only his closest students and cautioned them to never show them in public because they were so easy to pick up on (though I think this only comes out of accounts from Sagawa and Horikawa?) if the hundreds of other kata were not useful for getting to these principals, then word would get out and people wouldn't sign up for 10-day seminars with the guy.

A kata, particularly a koryu jujutsu kata, is a training tool. It is designed to instill techniques and principals. I think you could actually term them habits, and they are ABSOLUTELY what you want to have in a combat situation. A kata may or may not be applicable to a common situation, or even a real situation, depends on the system. But it will set up open-ended systems of response in the nervous system and the practitioner will react in a way that is intended by the system's founder and instructors.

A well-designed kata delivers feedback as it is executed - if your posture is incorrect the throw will not work, if you use too much muscle uke will land over there instead of right here - but you cannot begin to know what is going on without an experienced instructor who can correct your form, and/or an experienced sempai who will stand there and not move unless you do the right thing.

I have lately been using the term "external" and "internal" in terms of training methodology - an internal system would be one that uses imaging and a mental process to find the proper form and build skill, whereas an external system relies on the instructor teaching and reinforcing an external form, which the practitioner internalizes and builds skill from there.

Either way, what you DO in a live situation is act spontaneously. Whether you like it or not. No one who has ever written on the subject of combat skills or self defense tactics has ever had much positive to say about how useful the conscious mind is in a life or death situation.

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
In my own training, many moons ago I learned some basic DR jujutsu waza, including some of that convoluted, complicated stuff. A few koryu jujutsu waza to round it out. We learned specific applications of aiki to power the jujutsu waza, and we worked on aiki-no-jutsu. Occasionally, when one of us would start to whimper that we didn't know if what we had was martially effective, out came the randori. Simple randori, certainly not anything that I'd proudly place on YouTube (there was no YouTube yet). But it was still free-form and we didn't know what to expect. We did not rattle off step-by-step convoluted waza. What came out were the rock-bottom foundation basics -- throws, take-downs, grabs-into-chokes, etc. -- spontaneously generated, and powered by aiki. It didn't feel like techniques being executed, but more like "stuff happening." And this, with students who had not been training long enough to have "transcended technique." It was just the manifestation of an aiki body.
You did some Aiki training (no offense but it sounds like either you weren't into it or it wasn't very good), you did some free training. You were able to react spontaneously in the free training, and you responded with Aiki. I'll take your word for that because I don't think Aiki is something that "powers" anything. Regardless, this is no reason to believe that you were able to respond spontaneously because of your aiki training.

Last edited by Cliff Judge : 10-18-2013 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 10-18-2013, 11:55 AM   #32
Bill Danosky
 
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
...Regardless, this is no reason to believe that you were able to respond spontaneously because of your aiki training.
There's no reason to believe anybody responds spontaneously to anything. It's a contradiction in terms.

By the way, "Technique, IMO." It does someone no good to respond with movements that don't work. If you are ultra quick at doing poor wristlocks, what good is it?

My point here is that these are advanced concepts, and I don't think anybody can put them to much benefit unless they have trained their body to do the techniques right FIRST. You don't get to be O Sensei by just doing what he did last. It took him 75 years to get that good.
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Old 10-18-2013, 01:00 PM   #33
Cliff Judge
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

Quote:
Bill Danosky wrote: View Post
There's no reason to believe anybody responds spontaneously to anything. It's a contradiction in terms.
How are you defining these terms? I've got response as "a reaction to a stimulus" and spontaneous as "uncontrived and unplanned".

Quote:
Bill Danosky wrote: View Post
By the way, "Technique, IMO." It does someone no good to respond with movements that don't work. If you are ultra quick at doing poor wristlocks, what good is it?

My point here is that these are advanced concepts, and I don't think anybody can put them to much benefit unless they have trained their body to do the techniques right FIRST. You don't get to be O Sensei by just doing what he did last. It took him 75 years to get that good.
To get you up to speed on the last thirty years of this argument, there are basically a bunch of people who don't believe that Osensei actually spent much time at all making his techniques work. He spent that time training in more esoteric modalities, and these gave him certain skills which allow his techniques to work much better than they could if he had spent time training techniques.

I personally advocate kata training, but I think the point of kata based training in Aiki arts is to give you a vehicle by which you develop the special skills without thinking about it.
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Old 10-18-2013, 01:16 PM   #34
Bill Danosky
 
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
How are you defining these terms? I've got response as "a reaction to a stimulus" and spontaneous as "uncontrived and unplanned".

To get you up to speed on the last thirty years of this argument, there are basically a bunch of people who don't believe that Osensei actually spent much time at all making his techniques work. He spent that time training in more esoteric modalities, and these gave him certain skills which allow his techniques to work much better than they could if he had spent time training techniques.

I personally advocate kata training, but I think the point of kata based training in Aiki arts is to give you a vehicle by which you develop the special skills without thinking about it.
Spontaneous is defined by Merriam Webster as "performed or occurring as a result of a sudden inner impulse or inclination and without premeditation or external stimulus." So as it relates to Aikido, what are you harmonizing with, when external stimulus is absent? This is a very esoteric subject and is fraught with misunderstanding.

I'm not a person who's inclined to disbelieve something based on a lack of evidence, when it's obviously inferred. We can't measure the animating spirit of organisms, but we can tell when it's there and when it's not. We can't measure Ki, either. But how can we measure it's effect, so we can know if developing it matters?
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Old 10-18-2013, 01:23 PM   #35
Cliff Judge
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

Quote:
Bill Danosky wrote: View Post
Spontaneous is defined by Merriam Webster as "performed or occurring as a result of a sudden inner impulse or inclination and without premeditation or external stimulus." So as it relates to Aikido, what are you harmonizing with, when external stimulus is absent? This is a very esoteric subject and is fraught with misunderstanding.

I'm not a person who's inclined to disbelieve something based on a lack of evidence, when it's obviously inferred. We can't measure the animating spirit of organisms, but we can tell when it's there and when it's not. We can't measure Ki, either. But how can we measure it's effect, so we can know if developing it matters?
There are plenty of other definitions that make more sense when talking about human actions:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spontaneous

Quote:
spon·ta·ne·ous adjective \spän-ˈtā-nē-əs\
: done or said in a natural and often sudden way and without a lot of thought or planning

: doing things that have not been planned but that seem enjoyable and worth doing at a particular time

Full Definition of SPONTANEOUS

1: proceeding from natural feeling or native tendency without external constraint
2: arising from a momentary impulse
3: controlled and directed internally : self-acting <spontaneous movement characteristic of living things>
4: produced without being planted or without human labor : indigenous
5: developing or occurring without apparent external influence, force, cause, or treatment
6: not apparently contrived or manipulated : natural
When I use the term I mean "uncontrived and unplanned."

Last edited by Cliff Judge : 10-18-2013 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 10-18-2013, 01:44 PM   #36
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Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
You don't need internal power for spontaneous technique. There is no "A implies B" relationship there. I don't think the two have anything to do with each other at all, though there is plenty of room to quibble.

I tend to think if you want to develop Takemusu Aiki, the long and arduous quest for internal power will set your timeframe back a lot, particularly the intent-driven way you guys advocate training. After years of being in your heads you are somehow supposed to let it all flow? Good luck.

You don't seem to have a very good understanding of what kata training is and what it is supposed to give you. It also doesn't sound like you had very good Daito ryu training.

I think Takeda was very much a showman and when he was on the road teaching Daito ryu he was in part, selling amazement, wonder, and mystery to the bulk of his students. So it may well be that the syllabus of Daito ryu is inflated.

But I don't think his career would have lasted long if he was teaching an empty vessel. Regardless of whether there was a simple secret that he taught only his closest students and cautioned them to never show them in public because they were so easy to pick up on (though I think this only comes out of accounts from Sagawa and Horikawa?) if the hundreds of other kata were not useful for getting to these principals, then word would get out and people wouldn't sign up for 10-day seminars with the guy.

A kata, particularly a koryu jujutsu kata, is a training tool. It is designed to instill techniques and principals. I think you could actually term them habits, and they are ABSOLUTELY what you want to have in a combat situation. A kata may or may not be applicable to a common situation, or even a real situation, depends on the system. But it will set up open-ended systems of response in the nervous system and the practitioner will react in a way that is intended by the system's founder and instructors.

A well-designed kata delivers feedback as it is executed - if your posture is incorrect the throw will not work, if you use too much muscle uke will land over there instead of right here - but you cannot begin to know what is going on without an experienced instructor who can correct your form, and/or an experienced sempai who will stand there and not move unless you do the right thing.

I have lately been using the term "external" and "internal" in terms of training methodology - an internal system would be one that uses imaging and a mental process to find the proper form and build skill, whereas an external system relies on the instructor teaching and reinforcing an external form, which the practitioner internalizes and builds skill from there.

Either way, what you DO in a live situation is act spontaneously. Whether you like it or not. No one who has ever written on the subject of combat skills or self defense tactics has ever had much positive to say about how useful the conscious mind is in a life or death situation.

You did some Aiki training (no offense but it sounds like either you weren't into it or it wasn't very good), you did some free training. You were able to react spontaneously in the free training, and you responded with Aiki. I'll take your word for that because I don't think Aiki is something that "powers" anything. Regardless, this is no reason to believe that you were able to respond spontaneously because of your aiki training.
Cliff-

I think there are some interesting comments in here:
1. I think the state of aikido specifically refutes the A then B relationship. There are undoubtedly people practicing aikido with no internal power or even a desire to learn about internal strength. I think the argument is a qualitative assessment of the proficiency expressed by the individual practitioners.

2. I think internal power training inherently applies a greater burden of training. You can see that as either pushing back the timeline of training, or increasing the training regime. I think in either case it is fair to expect the commitment to achieve that level of proficiency is extra-ordinary. Again, not everyone will want to undertake that path. I think the issue is that aiki was not previously thought a tangible achievement; rather, it was considered a intangible expression if you stayed the course long enough.

3. Kata in aikido is damaged. The roles of uke and nage have taken on undesirable properties which [negatively] affect the relationship within kata. I think we need to work on our kata to return to a state of logical and impassioned interaction with clearly communicated feedback for both roles.

I still waffle on the role of habit in stress environments. One of my military friends spoke about an issue in basic training surrounding the trainees habitually removing their headgear following a movement exercise. The issue was that the trainees became used to removing their gear following a long run. For every story I hear like this, I will hear another about the importance of automation.

I think the idea of stability with internal training is designed to create a natural state of being on which you can base your action. When I played athletics, this natural state was coached under the "athletic position" - a state of potential energy to be focused in action.

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Old 10-18-2013, 01:59 PM   #37
Cliff Judge
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

Jon,

My post was mostly on the topic of freeflowing technique. I don't think you got that.

My personal belief is that imagery and intent training works against the goal of developing the ability to react spontaneously and appropriately to the movement of the universe. I have always thought the traditional Japanese training model was designed to take the mind out of the equation and I keep thinking that is a better and better idea the longer i do it.
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Old 10-18-2013, 02:13 PM   #38
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

The irony (on a number of fronts, especially that the sibling thread currently active in this folder is 6 Directions, which some have mistaken for 6 Harmonies) is that so many martial arts still reference the 6 harmonies (Liu He) in their arts' core tenets (the suspicion is that it's a *wink wink nod nod* to those others in the know that the system is part of the "me too I haz universal strength powers") - namely with aikido talking about man bridging heaven and earth by using the INTENT as the gateway to do so, which pays nice reference to the 6 Harmonies whereby the 3 internal harmonies are using Yi (INTENT) to reflect the power of the earth (and gravity) in the body.

If you look at kata - it's as much about teaching strategy, tactics, etiquette, etc. that are part of a martial art and it's cultural underpinnings as it is how to fight. There's a well known precedent of many of the practitioners learning all of the kata, while only a chosen few were shown the gokui (secret teachings) that meant they had true mastery, were inheritors, or approved to transmit the full body of knowledge.
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Old 10-18-2013, 02:20 PM   #39
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

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Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
You don't need internal power for spontaneous technique. There is no "A implies B" relationship there. I don't think the two have anything to do with each other at all, though there is plenty of room to quibble.
The difference is that the IS/IP/Aiki work gives you a level of freedom that Aikido without these skills does not have. (Speaking as someone with 20 years in Aikido followed by 4-5 years training IP while continuing my Aikido training.) If I use timing, blending, and flow (in addition to joint locks and similar mechanical techniques) I'm very much constrained by what uke is doing. If uke is unbalanced as soon as he/she touches me, and can't put force into me with a strike or a grab, I can pretty much do what I like. (Within limits, of course. Standing in front of a punch still doesn't work.)

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My personal belief is that imagery and intent training works against the goal of developing the ability to react spontaneously and appropriately to the movement of the universe. I have always thought the traditional Japanese training model was designed to take the mind out of the equation and I keep thinking that is a better and better idea the longer i do it.
I think you don't understand how imagery and intent are used. They don't lead to being "in your head" any more than kata training does--much less so, in fact.

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
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Old 10-18-2013, 02:38 PM   #40
patrick de block
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

The distinction I learned was between waza and kata. Kata is waza +, and by that I mean that waza are what you do and kata are the waza with how to do it. This + can be certain movement principles or they can be IP/IT/IS. Another distinction is omote and ura, where omote is what you see, the surface and ura is what you don't see, the backside.

And I think it is telling that most pre-war students all had solo-exercises and some post-war ones too.(I don't know what every aikido teacher does or did.) Clearly they felt the need to teach that + outside of the waza.

And as an analogy, I learned to play the piano and my teacher insisted that I played music and not just the notes.
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Old 10-18-2013, 03:17 PM   #41
Cliff Judge
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

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And I think it is telling that most pre-war students all had solo-exercises and some post-war ones too.(I don't know what every aikido teacher does or did.) Clearly they felt the need to teach that + outside of the waza.
I don't think Takeda taught solo training exercises to any of his students, and I don't believe those who developed their own meant for them to be a method for developing internal power. I mean, Sagawa probably did, but it is pointless to try and chase his material down because he is dead and did not exactly seed the earth with a legion of devotees. Ueshiba left us the good old rowing drill, maybe that's something.

I am really pretty sure the techniques were the training tools for developing the power.
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Old 10-18-2013, 03:28 PM   #42
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

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I am really pretty sure the techniques were the training tools for developing the power.
Interesting that one of the only things that all of the folks that have demonstrated any proficiency with this kind of skill and strength have agreed on is exactly the opposite of this ....
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Old 10-18-2013, 03:28 PM   #43
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

Ueshiba left us the good old rowing drill, maybe that's something.

Well, it would be something if people actually understood what Ueshiba's rowing exercise really was, and the actual mechanics of it. Most contemporary aikido would be working in an entirely different way than it currently is.
What most people evidently are practicing these days, is the mimicking of the external appearance of the rowing exercise.
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Old 10-18-2013, 03:37 PM   #44
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

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Interesting that one of the only things that all of the folks that have demonstrated any proficiency with this kind of skill and strength have agreed on is exactly the opposite of this ....
This is interesting only if there is a well-verified link between the strength you are referring to when you say "the folks that have demonstrated any proficiency with this kind of skill and strength" and the power i am referring to when I say "the techniques were the training tools for developing the power."

If you start from the assumption that they are two different things, it is not that big of a deal.
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Old 10-18-2013, 03:37 PM   #45
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

You misinterpreted much of what I wrote, but I chalk it up to the difference in experience and exposure. I know what I know, and that's the way it is. If we were on the mats together, I would demonstrate what I'm describing. As is, you're entitled to your opinion, but you don't really have the complete picture. That's fine, but please don't presume to make a pronouncement on the quality of my past training, without firsthand knowledge.

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You don't need internal power for spontaneous technique. There is no "A implies B" relationship there. I don't think the two have anything to do with each other at all, though there is plenty of room to quibble.

I tend to think if you want to develop Takemusu Aiki, the long and arduous quest for internal power will set your timeframe back a lot, particularly the intent-driven way you guys advocate training. After years of being in your heads you are somehow supposed to let it all flow? Good luck.

You don't seem to have a very good understanding of what kata training is and what it is supposed to give you. It also doesn't sound like you had very good Daito ryu training.

I think Takeda was very much a showman and when he was on the road teaching Daito ryu he was in part, selling amazement, wonder, and mystery to the bulk of his students. So it may well be that the syllabus of Daito ryu is inflated.

But I don't think his career would have lasted long if he was teaching an empty vessel. Regardless of whether there was a simple secret that he taught only his closest students and cautioned them to never show them in public because they were so easy to pick up on (though I think this only comes out of accounts from Sagawa and Horikawa?) if the hundreds of other kata were not useful for getting to these principals, then word would get out and people wouldn't sign up for 10-day seminars with the guy.

A kata, particularly a koryu jujutsu kata, is a training tool. It is designed to instill techniques and principals. I think you could actually term them habits, and they are ABSOLUTELY what you want to have in a combat situation. A kata may or may not be applicable to a common situation, or even a real situation, depends on the system. But it will set up open-ended systems of response in the nervous system and the practitioner will react in a way that is intended by the system's founder and instructors.

A well-designed kata delivers feedback as it is executed - if your posture is incorrect the throw will not work, if you use too much muscle uke will land over there instead of right here - but you cannot begin to know what is going on without an experienced instructor who can correct your form, and/or an experienced sempai who will stand there and not move unless you do the right thing.

I have lately been using the term "external" and "internal" in terms of training methodology - an internal system would be one that uses imaging and a mental process to find the proper form and build skill, whereas an external system relies on the instructor teaching and reinforcing an external form, which the practitioner internalizes and builds skill from there.

Either way, what you DO in a live situation is act spontaneously. Whether you like it or not. No one who has ever written on the subject of combat skills or self defense tactics has ever had much positive to say about how useful the conscious mind is in a life or death situation.

You did some Aiki training (no offense but it sounds like either you weren't into it or it wasn't very good), you did some free training. You were able to react spontaneously in the free training, and you responded with Aiki. I'll take your word for that because I don't think Aiki is something that "powers" anything. Regardless, this is no reason to believe that you were able to respond spontaneously because of your aiki training.
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Old 10-18-2013, 03:47 PM   #46
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

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Ueshiba left us the good old rowing drill, maybe that's something.

Well, it would be something if people actually understood what Ueshiba's rowing exercise really was, and the actual mechanics of it. Most contemporary aikido would be working in an entirely different way than it currently is.
What most people evidently are practicing these days, is the mimicking of the external appearance of the rowing exercise.
See the thing is, he had ample opportunity to explain it. He either didn't teach it properly, and it's gone, forget it, or he explained it plenty properly and people are, by the by, getting out of it exactly what he had hoped they would. I don't know which is true, but unless you trained under him directly I don't think you know either.
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Old 10-18-2013, 04:00 PM   #47
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

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I am really pretty sure the techniques were the training tools for developing the power.
Maybe my answer is pointless.

As I said, I don't know what every teacher ever did or does and I've never done the rowing exercise although I think it is one of those +.

Tomiki has a set of solo-exercises and also paired exercises which are done in every bloody lesson. And I can relate every move in his kata to those sets. And that's not because I am such a genius but because I was taught to do that.
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Old 10-18-2013, 04:01 PM   #48
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

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You misinterpreted much of what I wrote, but I chalk it up to the difference in experience and exposure. I know what I know, and that's the way it is. If we were on the mats together, I would demonstrate what I'm describing. As is, you're entitled to your opinion, but you don't really have the complete picture. That's fine, but please don't presume to make a pronouncement on the quality of my past training, without firsthand knowledge.
Sorry, I did not mean to offend or step outside of the rules of the forum. Your account of your training seemed really unenthusiastic to me and I was reacting to that. I don't know how much of a timeframe you glossed in that paragraph but it seemed like a confusing and compressed process and I honestly don't think that's a good way to learn a kata-based koryu system like Daito ryu.

It is highly possible that I misinterpreted what you said, but I'm really going to stand by my assertion that you don't need to train aiki - given a broad range of definitions of aiki - in order to be able to produce spontaneous technique.
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Old 10-18-2013, 04:05 PM   #49
Cliff Judge
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

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Maybe my answer is pointless.

As I said, I don't know what every teacher ever did or does and I've never done the rowing exercise although I think it is one of those +.

Tomiki has a set of solo-exercises and also paired exercises which are done in every bloody lesson. And I can relate every move in his kata to those sets. And that's not because I am such a genius but because I was taught to do that.
Hmmm. Good point. You know, I think Tomiki's exercises are exactly the kind of technique that Michael was talking about when he started the thread.
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Old 10-18-2013, 04:13 PM   #50
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

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There are plenty of other definitions that make more sense when talking about human actions:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spontaneous

When I use the term I mean "uncontrived and unplanned."
Thank you. I'm not meaning to split hairs over the proper use of vocabulary. I am just trying to sort of evaluate the concept. Somehow, there should be a scientific comparison made between a control study and a test group. It sounds like the world wants to know if a tangible benefit can be proven by some kind of data.
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