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Old 10-23-2013, 08:42 AM   #1
jonreading
 
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It's not You, It's Me

So we have an emerging concept of aiki, derived from strong internal power. There are a several major models out there and gaining some exposure. There are some differences of opinion about the details, even among the major proponents of the internal power models.

Clearly the aiki models contain elements that create a strong response, such a strong response as to craft perceptions within people who have yet to experience one or more training models. So what are the specific elements that you feel affect the validity of the model(s)? What would change your opinion? Are these measures of validity consistent with your exposure to other training models within Aikido?

For example, a previous comment made about all of the aiki models was, "how does it help me fight bad guys?" You could elaborate on this statement by identifying the specific model of aiki with which your exposure does not satisfactorily give you confidence to apply the model in applied waza.

Or, maybe the Chinese influence in some models is not consistent with your Japanese martial art. What model was too culturally difficult to translate into your training? Or, maybe there is no translation yet and you are not comfortable leaving aikido to get the information.

Or, maybe you believe its BS. What model were you exposed to that felt fake or contrived? Were you constantly being told how to attack or move in a manner not consistent with your fighting experience or training?

Or, maybe you don't yet have exposure to the various aiki models. What is your perception of the training? Why does it interest you enough to participate in discussion about it?

What's your story? I am really looking at discussing the bolded questions, but it is possible your own story is similar to one of the examples.

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Old 10-23-2013, 12:33 PM   #2
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it might be both of us

Oh go on then Jon I'll chip in...

Or, maybe you don't yet have exposure to the various aiki models. What is your perception of the training? Why does it interest you enough to participate in discussion about it?

I think I have some exposure to some, but I'm not sure yet. I guess I'm interested in it for the same reasons I'm interested in the other MA I practice, something interesting me and the wife can do together when the kids have left home.

What are the specific elements that you feel affect the validity of the model(s)?

efficacy, what I can see, what I can feel, whether it can be articulated by its chief practitioners in terms that make sense to me (without lots of metaphysical hyperbole) but that aren't exclusive (my way is the only way that works) or proprietorial (my way requires at least minimum attendance at x seminars at y cost)

What would change your opinion?

I don't have strongly formed opinions yet, just a set of criteria by which to form them, keen interest and a sense that there's probably something going on based on what I've seen and read and experienced in my own practice.

Are these measures of validity consistent with your exposure to other training models within Aikido?

Not just consistent with, they are strongly informed by it, our society practices a hybrid Aikido from a diverse lineage (Tohei, Chiba, Tamura), and borrows from others such as Nishio, is interested in what works and is practical, and consistently challenges assumptions then changes things when needed. It is also distinctly not about making money, marketing itself, establishing a brand, etc. I've encountered that approach in CMA and voted with my feet pretty quickly.

We started taiji and qikung practice shortly before starting Aikido, We find points of comparison and relevance to our Aikido every time we practice tj/qk and especially when we come across a new posture or exercise, to me the connections seem abundant and obvious. We practice with a 5th dan who has more than 20 years in both arts and is a great source of insight. We also practice with senior dan grades who as far as I know have never practiced any CMA or anything that would be understood as part of the IP/IS movement who nevertheless display shed loads of something pretty profound. The extent to which these guys manifest aiki or IS/IP would have to be judged by those who have a clearer definition of those concepts than I do at present getting on the mat with them.
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Old 10-24-2013, 09:40 AM   #3
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Re: It's not You, It's Me

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
So we have an emerging concept of aiki, derived from strong internal power. There are a several major models out there and gaining some exposure. There are some differences of opinion about the details, even among the major proponents of the internal power models.

Clearly the aiki models contain elements that create a strong response, such a strong response as to craft perceptions within people who have yet to experience one or more training models. So what are the specific elements that you feel affect the validity of the model(s)? What would change your opinion? Are these measures of validity consistent with your exposure to other training models within Aikido?

For example, a previous comment made about all of the aiki models was, "how does it help me fight bad guys?" You could elaborate on this statement by identifying the specific model of aiki with which your exposure does not satisfactorily give you confidence to apply the model in applied waza.

Or, maybe the Chinese influence in some models is not consistent with your Japanese martial art. What model was too culturally difficult to translate into your training? Or, maybe there is no translation yet and you are not comfortable leaving aikido to get the information.

Or, maybe you believe its BS. What model were you exposed to that felt fake or contrived? Were you constantly being told how to attack or move in a manner not consistent with your fighting experience or training?

Or, maybe you don't yet have exposure to the various aiki models. What is your perception of the training? Why does it interest you enough to participate in discussion about it?

What's your story? I am really looking at discussing the bolded questions, but it is possible your own story is similar to one of the examples.
Hello, Mr. Reading

I'd like to take a stab at your question:

The things I look for in the model is whether there is an understanding conveyed of the nature of attack and the center-to-center ki connection transmitted from uke. Also key for me is whether the model takes into consideration the responses uke may have if his defense reflexes are stimulated. With my spin on things, I consider it to be an optimum expression of a feasible model if the intention is that the attacker obtains healing in the process of his attack being fully realized.

One doesn't have to look to Chinese arts as the exclusive arts that call on ki - Aikido has included ki as its central element since its inception. Once Morihei Ueshiba was seen to uproot a tree that numerous farmers working together couldn't pull up. When his then uchideshi, Kanshu Sunadomari Sensei asked Osensei how he was able to single-handedly pull up a rooted pine tree, Osensei demonstrated by picking up a toothpick and said. "Like this."

It's interesting to me because it is the prime ingredient of the system of art I practice. This energetic manifestation that has been noticed since the earliest records of history has always been mystified even though it is fundamental. Because it is not yet objectively measurable, it is often considered imaginary, but then so is love. Is love imaginary or is it a real phenomenon to yet unsatisfactorily defined?

There are many people charting their own courses when it comes to understanding ki and aiki, particularly in the context of martial arts. Kisshomaru Ueshiba described ki no nagare, or stream of spirit, in the book Aikido as one of the fundamental elements of aikido along with spirit power as opposed to "force power." How can a student of ai-KI-do not be interested in ki? It is a constant source of wonder for me that some would practice an art they believe is based on a misconception. When I hear about people dismissing the founder as quaint or uninformed or primitive because spirituality informed his creation, I am incredulous. It's hard for me to imagine thinking I will be successful following the notions of a fool. Go figure…

In the navigation of largely uncharted waters, there are many now investigating and examining how ki functions in conflict situation. It is an emerging consciousness. That is one way to explain how two systems, or technologies, of effective non-violent responses were both during the first third of the 20th Century, Gandhi's methods on a massive scale and Ueshiba's on an individual scale. My prediction is that in the near future it will be hard to remember a time when ki was dismissed as a fantasy.
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:48 PM   #4
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Re: It's not You, It's Me

Part of my goal is to draw out the why an aiki model is somehow different than a ki model or a kata model, or any number of designed education methodologies. I assume that as practitioners of aikido, we would, on some level, concede aikido has ki. Yet... I guess the devil is in the details.

10 years ago, I would have told you aiki comes from years of training. Then I met aikido people with years of training and many of them were nice, good martial artists, but they did not have aiki. But, 10 years ago kata was what I needed in my training.

I think a real problem for people working in aiki models is developing the right balance of training. Modern aikido has had 40 years to refine the educational curriculum to find that balance, the most recent example of a major shift being the expulsion of weapons from the curriculum. Before then, many people began their aikido training with another art under their belt. This has been one of my more vocal criticisms of aiki training - the curriculum is almost a moving target because the instructors leading the way are in this flurry of renovation to make material palatable.

I think as the aiki pioneers improve their ability to communicate and share what they are doing, the world will get smaller.

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Old 10-24-2013, 02:02 PM   #5
Janet Rosen
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Re: It's not You, It's Me

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Part of my goal is to draw out the why an aiki model is somehow different than a ki model or a kata model, or any number of designed education methodologies..
I like that you are saying "different" rather than positing one method as better than another - I am playing with internal stuff myself, but also appreciate that aikido is a "big tent" with room for many forms of pedagogy and see no reason for disrespect of differing goals.

I have been thinking about this a lot based on my relatively limited exposure to what you are calling the "aiki model" (or internal training), working on integrating it into my aikido practice, and also as an instructor for beginners in my Low Impact class.

Personally, I find that "keep one point" (or "mind at one point"), "extend ki" etc are helpful metaphors or reminders, but in and of themselves do not explicitly teach what the body should DO in order to be able to do those things.

What I like with what you call the "aiki model" is that regardless of which particular person I have learned from (and there have been several) I'm given clear, specific instructions on how to organize my body structure and use it, in terms I can understand, based on finding pathways of intent and connection within my body and actually activating specific body parts (this is not a phenomenon specific to martial arts; my former myofascial trigger point therapist, before disappearing into the Yucatan, had me lean into my arms on a wall and touched the lowest point of my scapulae to get me to learn to be aware of and then to activate a specific muscle I'd never had any awareness of; I can now activate it with ease from any posture if I find my posture has gone "off").

I have changed my vocabulary a little to make it easier for newbies to understand - so "intent" or "energy" instead of or alongside "ki." I still make ample use of metaphors or visualizations (like fingers floating up, embracing the large beach ball behind your partner, looking at the four upper corners of the dojo, etc) because for many folks they are a quick way to get at least a temporarily improved structure, connection and movement. I'm finding that beginners who may look baffled to being told to organize their bodies around "principles" respond very well to specific directions about what to do with knees, hips, head, elbows, etc.

In terms of my own training, well, like I first said back in around 1998 or so...."my aikido sucks at a higher level"

Janet Rosen
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Old 10-24-2013, 03:16 PM   #6
Bill Danosky
 
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Re: It's not You, It's Me

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For example, a previous comment made about all of the aiki models was, "how does it help me fight bad guys?" You could elaborate on this statement by identifying the specific model of aiki with which your exposure does not satisfactorily give you confidence to apply the model in applied waza.
Well, I know what I was asking, but let's make sure I know what you're asking. Are you meaning "Aiki model" as it differs from an "IP model"? I have not personally experienced any "alternate" model that I felt impacted the practical application, so my answer to that is "It's all just really good technique."

My belief is that the mental constructs merely inform our physical training. Take Tai Chi as an example, when they envision smoke or fog moving through their body and into the ground. We all know there's really no smoke going from you into the ground, but maybe it makes you harder to move from a spot.

My concern is that one there- Does being rooted into the ground have martial value? It certainly assumes you can take a punch! People have said moving in six directions has to precede some physical movement. That would just have to slow down reaction time.

Or maybe it's like board breaking. Great demo, busting 12 bricks with your bare knuckles. But nobody is going to let you take seven practice swings and focus your Chi before you hit them, right?

When I am executing waza, I know where uke's center is. I can feel it. Ukes don't outrun my ikka jo. They float in Shiho Nage. I'm not bragging- I'm just saying those effects are available through other training methods.

So let's introduce a "Technique model". I am starting with just as much evidence as anybody else, and I can say, "It really works! Go train with Demetrio Cereijo, then get back with me if you still want to argue about it."

Last edited by Bill Danosky : 10-24-2013 at 03:19 PM. Reason: Closed my last quote.
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Old 10-24-2013, 03:22 PM   #7
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Re: It's not You, It's Me

I tend to be a "look to the source" type of person, so when I first started getting exposed to "internal strength", I started looking at it from an aikido perspective, which led to me looking at who was doing it from a Daito ryu perspective, which led to me looking at where those skills may have made their way over from China, which led me to looking at Southern vs. Northern models which ultimately had me land at the six harmonies definition via the neijia as the source of what I was starting to understand as "internal strength".

"Aiki" as it seems to be used here, is more an application of what I would consider "internal strength" principles, so I seem to stand with the folks that say without "internal strength" there isn't really "aikido" as the founder was describing it. I also think the founder was a bit of a nut with a god complex that allowed for a pseudo cult to spring up which his son then marketed the heck out of into a worldwide movement which has since been branded and re-branded to be whatever the heck people wanted it to be. So from the source of "aiki" comes many later versions and interpretations of "Aiki-do".

I don't really think "internal strength" or "aiki" is all that and a bag of chips for most people simply because the law of percentages dictates that the majority of the folks doing it will not 1) Work hard enough to get anywhere (it takes a TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF WORK) 2) Will not think through the logic and ramifications to the degree it takes to train the body to skillfully manifest the core tenets of 6h and then go back to 1 which is more physical training and conditioning.

I think what a lot of people are considering to be "internal strength" begins and ends with what would be normally classified as "stupid jin tricks" that can be applied with an understanding of ground/gravity power, plus cheated or amplified by bracing and solid physical structure (which is somewhat ironic because to really do "stupid jin tricks" well, you shouldn't need much bracing and structure, but that's a different convo). To Demetrio's point, if the extent of your martial arts practice is practicing ritualistic role-playing via dress-up and Asian cultural dancing, then this level of "internal strength" I describe is going to be pretty awesome.

If you look at the 6h definitions, then you'll see there are a bunch of deeper areas of study within the model of "internal strength" beyond ground/gravity (and there's some very specific implications regarding correct application of ground/gravity powers) and where they're bridged by types of long muscle and body connectivity exercises. The latter can be done with varying degrees of complexity and cohesiveness - which then gets into which parts of the body act as the control centers for these unified conditioning and skill building activities - THEN there's how they get applied in the physical sense which is why it's still kinda sorta handy to have a martial arts container that allows you to express them.

I think where it gets more interesting from an "internal strength" perspective is with regard to the type of body connectivity that results from the training, some pretty staggering implications regarding the amount of power you can generate when all the conditioned and connected gears work together and the notion of this type of study being part of what's referenced in the ancient texts regarding "the superior man". Especially as the body ages and certain types of musculature fade, there's some interesting evidence that suggests this type of cohesiveness retains greater potency into a more advanced age than the normal localized muscle development.

Do I think there's advantages to this type of training from a fighting/martial arts application standpoint - absolutely! But for folks in the sport fight game, I think there's better ways to train with faster time-to-market based on what's been developed already within the sporting sphere. Do I think there's opportunities for overlap, yes!! (been playing with that and I do think there are some acceleration potentials, but they hardly replace competency in standup, clinch and ground) Do I think "THIS STUFF" (internal strength and aiki) should belong in any and every martial art?? YES! BUT . . . they DO NOT REPLACE A MARTIAL ART . . . plus for those of you that don't want to work hard, this is definitely not the place for you to latch onto as a silver bullet magic power. It adds a ton more work and if you're stuck at only training it 3 nights a week, then this will at best be another kind of parlor trick.
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Old 10-24-2013, 03:35 PM   #8
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Re: It's not You, It's Me

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Bill Danosky wrote: View Post
Well, I know what I was asking, but let's make sure I know what you're asking. Are you meaning "Aiki model" as it differs from an "IP model"? I have not personally experienced any "alternate" model that I felt impacted the practical application, so my answer to that is "It's all just really good technique."

My belief is that the mental constructs merely inform our physical training. Take Tai Chi as an example, when they envision smoke or fog moving through their body and into the ground. We all know there's really no smoke going from you into the ground, but maybe it makes you harder to move from a spot.

My concern is that one there- Does being rooted into the ground have martial value? It certainly assumes you can take a punch! People have said moving in six directions has to precede some physical movement. That would just have to slow down reaction time.

Or maybe it's like board breaking. Great demo, busting 12 bricks with your bare knuckles. But nobody is going to let you take seven practice swings and focus your Chi before you hit them, right?

When I am executing waza, I know where uke's center is. I can feel it. Ukes don't outrun my ikka jo. They float in Shiho Nage. I'm not bragging- I'm just saying those effects are available through other training methods.

So let's introduce a "Technique model". I am starting with just as much evidence as anybody else, and I can say, "It really works! Go train with Demetrio Cereijo, then get back with me if you still want to argue about it."
Bill, where are you located? I think getting you to have some hands on time with people actually training this stuff would help illuminate the difference between what they are talking about and what you think they are talking about. Coincidentally, Shioda was considered by some of his broader budo peers to be among the closest to attaining the old man's level of skill in internal power (I know I know some say he got it via DR study with Horikawa, yeah yeah, prove it), but his expression of is was much more martial OR WAS IT . . my contention is that he was representative of Ueshiba before he softened a bit and was pursuing aikido as his religious expression.

Anyways, the following video clip is of interest to me:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXoMyD50MG0

Aside from some showmanship where Shioda's demo partner is throwing himself around, there's some really good entries by Shioda where he displaces and bounces the other guy's power back into himself to drop him - as well as some of the joint lock extensions where you can see that Shioda isn't applying the lock to the joint necessarily, but has the guy's balance and keeping the guy floated via his connection. Those would be two examples of "aiki" as it's being described here - which unless you have the body skill and conditioning, attempts to replicate will look much more external and Jujutsuey (technical term).

Anyways, my $0.02.
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Old 10-24-2013, 03:41 PM   #9
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Re: It's not You, It's Me

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Coincidentally, Shioda was considered by some of his broader budo peers to be among the closest to attaining the old man's level of skill in internal power (I know I know some say he got it via DR study with Horikawa, yeah yeah, prove it),
Well, back long before the Interwebz and YouTube, and even DVDs, I was sent a VHS cassette of Shioda doing an aiki demo that featured Daito-ryu Kodokai techniques. Dunno where else he would have gotten 'em other than from Kodo Horikawa, or maybe one of Horikawa's senior students. More likely the honcho, I'd think.
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Old 10-24-2013, 03:58 PM   #10
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Re: It's not You, It's Me

Quick thought: My aim is to make aiki work in an Aikido context. For that to happen, I find myself looking at other ideas (Chinese, other, whatever I have found in my search) because Aikido has few ideas that are effective. I aim to find what has been lost - I want my Aikido to work better. I think that is what we all want. I should also say, this is also, slowly, becoming what they want in Japan too. Aikido is not self-defence, it is The Way of Aiki - as I tried to clarify in that other thread - for me, I got all the self defence I need in Judo and Jujutsu etc. If you train for self-defence in your Aikido, you will never get even the slightest inkling of aiki.

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Old 10-24-2013, 04:35 PM   #11
Janet Rosen
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Re: It's not You, It's Me

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My belief is that the mental constructs merely inform our physical training. Take Tai Chi as an example, when they envision smoke or fog moving through their body and into the ground.
No different from visualization in aikido and equally useful and yes it DOES "merely" inform our physical training. It also, in any art, has its limits as I've noted in that it is still up to the individual to figure out how to translate the construct into a physical action.

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Bill Danosky wrote: View Post
People have said moving in six directions has to precede some physical movement. That would just have to slow down reaction time.
Difference between learning and having it integrated. If I am learning Spanish I have a slowed reaction time when formulating a reply to my patient's question. Once I'm more fluent, my answer just pops out, no delay. Same in martial arts or anything.

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When I am executing waza, I know where uke's center is. I can feel it. Ukes don't outrun my ikka jo. They float in Shiho Nage. I'm not bragging- I'm just saying those effects are available through other training methods.
Bill, I wouldn't disbelieve you. I agree there are many paths to the same set of abilities. I have felt what I consider to be my own goal, "devastating softness", from a few different people, in and out of aikido, and within aikido, from different backgrounds/styles.

My own personal take on it is that for some people in aikido, myself included, it seems developing the skill set they/we want, which is not explicitly technique-based, is not being taught consistently in many mainstream dojos and we have found a variety of alternate models that for us work well alongside our aikido. In addition to the folks mentioned in various threads here, I've picked up morsels of specific tips or exercises from brief encounters with folks in koryu arts, Systema and yes some mainstream aikido dojo too then again I'm pretty much an aiki-mutt.

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Old 10-24-2013, 04:43 PM   #12
Cady Goldfield
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Re: It's not You, It's Me

Bill Danosky wrote:
People have said moving in six directions has to precede some physical movement. That would just have to slow down reaction time.

Bill,
It's not physically external movement in six directions; it's working and arranging the structure from within so that there are dynamic tensions both pulling and pushing from all directions to create a constant state of stability and potential energy -- via the relaxation of muscles needed to create power. If those muscles were tense, their potential energy would already be used up and the person would be unable to move freely. But relaxed and supported by the skeleton, via aligned joints, they are free to be used and to permit rapid response and movement.
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Old 10-24-2013, 04:50 PM   #13
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Re: It's not You, It's Me

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So let's introduce a "Technique model". I am starting with just as much evidence as anybody else, and I can say, "It really works! Go train with Demetrio Cereijo, then get back with me if you still want to argue about it."
You'll be sending people to the wrong guy if they are looking for a "technique model".

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Old 10-24-2013, 04:54 PM   #14
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Re: It's not You, It's Me

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Janet Rosen wrote: View Post

I have changed my vocabulary a little to make it easier for newbies to understand - so "intent" or "energy" instead of or alongside "ki." I still make ample use of metaphors or visualizations (like fingers floating up, embracing the large beach ball behind your partner, looking at the four upper corners of the dojo, etc) because for many folks they are a quick way to get at least a temporarily improved structure, connection and movement. I'm finding that beginners who may look baffled to being told to organize their bodies around "principles" respond very well to specific directions about what to do with knees, hips, head, elbows, etc.
Janet
You get it..........
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Old 10-24-2013, 04:58 PM   #15
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Re: It's not You, It's Me

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"devastating softness"
My Grinchy heart just grew three times.
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Old 10-24-2013, 05:00 PM   #16
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Re: It's not You, It's Me

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You'll be sending people to the wrong guy if they are looking for a "technique model".
Don't sell yourself short, DC- O soto gari is a technique. So is Kimura...
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Old 10-24-2013, 05:05 PM   #17
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Re: It's not You, It's Me

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Don't sell yourself short, DC- O soto gari is a technique. So is Kimura...
Sure, but they wil be spending lots of time doing this kind of silly thing : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDG8HacqGx4

Last edited by Demetrio Cereijo : 10-24-2013 at 05:07 PM.

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Old 10-24-2013, 05:23 PM   #18
Janet Rosen
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Re: It's not You, It's Me

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My Grinchy heart just grew three times.
Not sure how to take that but to clarify what I mean by devastating softness is the folks who, instead of getting off a throw that makes me say "wow that was powerful", do a throw that makes me say "wow, how did I get on the floor?" because I never felt anything to resist.

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Old 10-24-2013, 06:28 PM   #19
Budd
 
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Re: It's not You, It's Me

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Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
Well, back long before the Interwebz and YouTube, and even DVDs, I was sent a VHS cassette of Shioda doing an aiki demo that featured Daito-ryu Kodokai techniques. Dunno where else he would have gotten 'em other than from Kodo Horikawa, or maybe one of Horikawa's senior students. More likely the honcho, I'd think.
That's a little thin, Cady, if he'd been dropping occasionally by the Kodokan and demo'd some judo throws would you extrapolate then that his power came from Mifune?
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Old 10-24-2013, 07:13 PM   #20
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Re: It's not You, It's Me

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Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
That's a little thin, Cady, if he'd been dropping occasionally by the Kodokan and demo'd some judo throws would you extrapolate then that his power came from Mifune?
Well, yeah, that's not much to go on. But then, he was applying those techniques with "textbook" aiki-sage, aiki-age and age-aiki-sage delivered in a manner consistent with that line of Daito-ryu. For someone who stated that he didn't understand what Ueshiba was talking about until late in life, it seems evident to me that Shioda did not get his meat-and-potatoes aiki from Ueshiba, but elsewhere... and then he understood what Ueshiba was talking about.
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Old 10-24-2013, 09:03 PM   #21
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Re: It's not You, It's Me

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Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
Well, yeah, that's not much to go on. But then, he was applying those techniques with "textbook" aiki-sage, aiki-age and age-aiki-sage delivered in a manner consistent with that line of Daito-ryu. For someone who stated that he didn't understand what Ueshiba was talking about until late in life, it seems evident to me that Shioda did not get his meat-and-potatoes aiki from Ueshiba, but elsewhere... and then he understood what Ueshiba was talking about.
Hah, I think some cherry picking may be happening. I suspect more facts may revealed about this in due course
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Old 10-25-2013, 04:52 AM   #22
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Re: It's not You, It's Me

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Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
That's a little thin, Cady, if he'd been dropping occasionally by the Kodokan and demo'd some judo throws would you extrapolate then that his power came from Mifune?
IIRC, Aiki athorities have stated clearly Mifune had not the goods.

OTOH, around that time there was an old Navy guy at the Kodokan... but that could take us to the fascist bunch of guys doing "psychical research" in pre-war Japan.

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Old 10-25-2013, 05:37 AM   #23
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Re: It's not You, It's Me

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
IIRC, Aiki athorities have stated clearly Mifune had not the goods.

OTOH, around that time there was an old Navy guy at the Kodokan... but that could take us to the fascist bunch of guys doing "psychical research" in pre-war Japan.
Links, please - I recall no such authorization under my watch (though, to be fair, I'm fickle about how much I care from day to day)
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Old 10-25-2013, 06:03 AM   #24
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Re: It's not You, It's Me

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Of those I have seen and also were shown by old Kodokan guys, they were more indicative of six-direction training, postural alignment, weight transfer, and also of more technical oriented movement, which Mifune shows and not much else. These are very, very basic things (which Keith and Toby allude to).While I am a fan, I think the internal connection is overplayed. There is no indication of deeper or higher level internal work that I have seen, just excellent...oh hell...superior- technical skill.
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpo...2&postcount=70

Bold mine.

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Old 10-25-2013, 09:10 AM   #25
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Re: It's not You, It's Me

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Well, I know what I was asking, but let's make sure I know what you're asking. Are you meaning "Aiki model" as it differs from an "IP model"? I have not personally experienced any "alternate" model that I felt impacted the practical application, so my answer to that is "It's all just really good technique."

My belief is that the mental constructs merely inform our physical training. Take Tai Chi as an example, when they envision smoke or fog moving through their body and into the ground. We all know there's really no smoke going from you into the ground, but maybe it makes you harder to move from a spot.

My concern is that one there- Does being rooted into the ground have martial value? It certainly assumes you can take a punch! People have said moving in six directions has to precede some physical movement. That would just have to slow down reaction time.

Or maybe it's like board breaking. Great demo, busting 12 bricks with your bare knuckles. But nobody is going to let you take seven practice swings and focus your Chi before you hit them, right?

When I am executing waza, I know where uke's center is. I can feel it. Ukes don't outrun my ikka jo. They float in Shiho Nage. I'm not bragging- I'm just saying those effects are available through other training methods.

So let's introduce a "Technique model". I am starting with just as much evidence as anybody else, and I can say, "It really works! Go train with Demetrio Cereijo, then get back with me if you still want to argue about it."
I think we have a kata model. I would advocate that, in fact, a kata-based teaching model is the main teaching model in aikido, as evidenced by the testing process. And the conventional argument to kata is exactly your point, if you do it well enough, long enough, you will be good.

I am trying to stay away from getting into internal power. From my experience thus far, there are a number of different methods to develop internal power - even the people teaching internal power are still discussing which ways are better or worse. I am trying to pick up at a point of "aiki is driven by internal power," not taking issue with necessarily how you develop internal power (only that you encompass these exercises).

Specifically addressing your comment about grounding... First, I think "grounding" is great example of an exercise about which internal power proponents debate. Regardless of the debate, I think the idea is not really to be affixed to the ground. Rather, the idea is more similar to the concept of creating a store of potential energy by compressing the lower body. Think karate punch, where you screw your feet into the ground to create a compressed energy that goes into your punch. Messisco sensei uses the imagery of floating in space to create this potential store; in space, you cannot "push" the ground.

I think there is some value in claiming the tangible benefits of a physical kata and clear objective criteria for "correct" movement. Kata is a great map of what to do. But, its a contrived shape upon which we agree to practice. Kata is not randori. In judo, for example, even for many excellent practitioners competitive judo is not kodokan judo. O soto gari as kata rarely looks like O soto in competition. So, is your opinion about brick breaking extended to the role of kata in randori? Is our randori partner going to give us 4 opportunities to throw them? Or, are we taking about an exercise that is intended to produce a result with enough practice. For example, is practicing board breaking in karate really about breaking boards? Or, is it really about focusing your efforts on correctly punching, the feedback of doing so resulting in your bare fist breaking a board. For someone who can do this exercise with regularity and needs no practice swings, what effect would that have in kumite?

Great comments.

Last edited by jonreading : 10-25-2013 at 09:15 AM.

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