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Old 06-01-2014, 05:07 PM   #51
Robert Cowham
Dojo: East Sheen Aikido and Kashima No Tachi
Location: London, UK
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Re:

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post

Yes, I'm thinking a lot. Reading a lot. Taoist classics about neidan, qi gong ... He also did.
There are the discussions with my teacher, pondering the explanations of Dan, listening to the lectures of Endō sensei ...

It helps a lot to have at least an idea of what to look for. And to have at least an idea of what the old have experienced. Maybe it's impossible to get something without knowing something. Well, actually I think it is not possible.
But I also know that you get nothing from just pondering, thinking, "knowing". You have to do it, to experience it, to make it live. And very often you understand just by doing. You do, you read - it suddenly fits, the words "open up".

So we have a circle we walk, round and round, while moving on ...
I'm generally always in favour of reading, but together with other things!

As regards doing stuff vs thinking about it, I read (!) Peter Ralston's book The Art of Effortless Power and his description of thinking/imagining things at an incredibly detailed level, and then being able to physically reproduce an action that you hadn't previously done (or at least done successfully) physically. Some studies (http://www.llewellyn.com/encyclopedia/article/244) back this up.

In my personal experience it has an effect too - not magical - but an effect. From what you have written above, it is the "experiencing", even if that is virtually, that makes the difference.
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Old 06-01-2014, 05:44 PM   #52
Riai Maori
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Re:

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Robert Cowham wrote: View Post
As regards doing stuff vs thinking about it, I read (!) Peter Ralston's book The Art of Effortless Power and his description of thinking/imagining things at an incredibly detailed level, and then being able to physically reproduce an action that you hadn't previously done (or at least done successfully) physically.
Hello Robert.

I went on a 2 day seminar here in New Zealand with Alan Roberts Sensei http://www.aikidonz.com/alan/ who is based in Auckland.

He is a 3rd Dan Cheng Hsin student of Peter Ralston.

Astonished and amazed. "Translucent Power" .

Cheers Richard

Last edited by Riai Maori : 06-01-2014 at 05:48 PM.

There is always 3 sides to a story, their side, your side and the TRUTH
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Old 06-02-2014, 05:38 AM   #53
allowedcloud
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Richard Campbell wrote: View Post
Hello Robert.

I went on a 2 day seminar here in New Zealand with Alan Roberts Sensei http://www.aikidonz.com/alan/ who is based in Auckland.

He is a 3rd Dan Cheng Hsin student of Peter Ralston.

Astonished and amazed. "Translucent Power" .

Cheers Richard
Hi Richard,

This is somewhat of a plug, but Bill Gleason sensei from Boston will be giving a seminar in Auckland next weekend (June 13th - 15th) where he will be teaching internal power concepts and how they're used in Aikido. Since he's only in the country once a year you'd be a fool to miss it

http://www.aikido.org.nz/Main/NewsAndEvents
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Old 06-02-2014, 06:01 AM   #54
Riai Maori
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Re: Bill Gleason

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Joshua Landin wrote: View Post
Hi Richard,

This is somewhat of a plug, but Bill Gleason sensei from Boston will be giving a seminar in Auckland next weekend (June 13th - 15th) where he will be teaching internal power concepts and how they're used in Aikido. Since he's only in the country once a year you'd be a fool to miss it

http://www.aikido.org.nz/Main/NewsAndEvents
Dear Joshua

Thank you for that.I cannot attend.

Regards
Richard

Last edited by Riai Maori : 06-02-2014 at 06:10 AM.

There is always 3 sides to a story, their side, your side and the TRUTH
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Old 06-02-2014, 11:15 AM   #55
Chris Li
 
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Re:

Quote:
Joshua Landin wrote: View Post
Hi Richard,

This is somewhat of a plug, but Bill Gleason sensei from Boston will be giving a seminar in Auckland next weekend (June 13th - 15th) where he will be teaching internal power concepts and how they're used in Aikido. Since he's only in the country once a year you'd be a fool to miss it

http://www.aikido.org.nz/Main/NewsAndEvents
He's flying out from here this morning, and there's no guarantee how many more years he'll be making the trip all they way down under. Best to catch him when you have the chance, you won't regret it!

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-02-2014, 05:50 PM   #56
Robert Cowham
Dojo: East Sheen Aikido and Kashima No Tachi
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Re:

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Richard Campbell wrote: View Post
I went on a 2 day seminar here in New Zealand with Alan Roberts Sensei http://www.aikidonz.com/alan/ who is based in Auckland.

He is a 3rd Dan Cheng Hsin student of Peter Ralston.

Astonished and amazed. "Translucent Power" .
It's good to experience this sort of thing. I have done a weekend with Peter Ralston himself, and also several seminars with Kevin Magee - great to work with. I didn't get hands on with Peter which is a shame. I have had a session with Jef Edwards - Peter's oldest student, and that was an incredible session.
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Old 06-02-2014, 06:47 PM   #57
Riai Maori
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Re:

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
He's flying out from here this morning, and there's no guarantee how many more years he'll be making the trip all they way down under. Best to catch him when you have the chance, you won't regret it!

Best,

Chris
Hello Chris.

My sensei shall be attending along with numerous other Aikidoka I know. Hopefully some one will bring back the experience.

Regards
Richard

There is always 3 sides to a story, their side, your side and the TRUTH
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Old 06-03-2014, 03:30 PM   #58
Robert Cowham
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Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
relax the mind....
I like Peter Ralston's story about learning to relax the body. He asked a Chinese teacher about this and the answer was, "first relax your mind". "Yes sifu, but while I am learning how to do that, do you have any advice as to practices for my body". "Relax your mind!" Over time he realised that this was indeed the answer...

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Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
Mentally, you should be friggin' Atlas, lifting the heavens while still with roots burrowing deep into the earth, or like a black hole of intent with force being chewed up as it spirals in with intent shooting back out the poles. Really, your mind should be a damned force of nature to be reckoned with. Become an avatar of the kami and all that jazz... remember? Where does the mind relax?
So inspite of the previous quote, I agree that there is a huge amount to be gained by learning to work with intent.

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
It depends on how you define "relax". A "black hole of intent" is more or less the opposite of the goal of many meditation practices, for example.
To this I think there is a big difference for example between contemplation practices and a variety of meditation practices. It is worth googling "enlightenment intensives" regarding this. It is related to the Zen koan methods - "holding your koan".

Quote:
John Powell wrote: View Post
My own concept of ki is one's getting to a state of trained muscle memory where no extra effort is used to place the body - while moving in and with and sometimes against (yes, against - that's where a lot of our explosive-looking techniques live) the uke/opponent while at the same time holding the posture of the body and extremeties (if extremeties are used in the technique being examined) in the most efficient way possible.
I agree. For me good things happen via intent, but also continued body practices to relax more and yet still achieve results. Peter Ralston calls this "Effortless Power". I enjoyed a recent seminar with Patrick Cassidy where he introduced various exercises including intent based ones that had a major effect on people.

My first 9 months in aikido was Ki Aikido in Italy. There were a couple of experiences I had that it took me nearly 20 years to replicate! These days I am looking to work with body conditioning (huge amounts of relaxing) as well as intent/imagination. The more work I do, the more that phrases such as "Keep one point, keep weight underside" really mean something.

From work on the tanden though, I find increasingly that focus there and by that I mean intense focus there, pays benefits elsewhere. A comment elsewhere in this thread about sweating does not hold true in my experience - if you focus hard on tanden while at the same time seeking to relax elsewhere in the body - you can be sweating buckets...!

Intent etc is great, but there are physical effects and conditioning of the body that just take (hard) practice. Moving from the center starts out by being the whole pelvic region. Then it becomes more focussed and a smaller area in the abodomen which is still related in an elastic sense to the rest of the pelvis and connected with the rest of the body...
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Old 06-05-2014, 11:33 AM   #59
jonreading
 
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Talking Re:

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Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
So long as calm is interpreted maybe more as evenness, as what was that thing that crazy old man who we occasionally pay homage to before handwaving and politely dismissing said - a union of opposites? - but not as a lack of will. I have been stingingly called 'lazy' of mind in jest by a certain someone enough to know that there needs to be Herculean intent bubbling beneath the surface, and even then, it is usually never enough, all the while the body struggles to remove the roadblocks to letting it out. Always need more!
I think if we are consolidating around a consensus that "relax" is referring to the process of reducing the over-use of muscles, then it stands to reason that the definition applies similarly to relaxing the mind. That is, we are not talking about the cessation of activity, only the reduction of unnecessary activity. The reduction in activity allows for greater focus on intent. I am not sure if the empty-ing mind version of meditation is what we are shooting for when we train aikido.

As an athletic comparison, Michael Jordan used to speak about "just playing" basketball. He didn't think about the fans, the boundary lines of the court, the shot clock, his opponent, whatever. Instead, he would think about playing and all those elements were simply part of playing, not warranting his focused attention. His focused attention remained on playing.

So in analogy, it is our intent that requires our full attention. Intent leads mind, mind leads ki, fill in whatever other variation of this saying you know. The other aspects of our training (our partner, our waza, our spectators, etc.) should not require our full attention as they should be part of the larger picture - moving our self with unity and support. But that would be too much like spontaneously expressing aiki... takemusu something or other...

After all, if we are doing the empty-mind thing, should every blonde have a black belt? Sorry... couldn't resist...

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Old 06-05-2014, 12:07 PM   #60
lbb
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Re:

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Jon Reading wrote: View Post
I think if we are consolidating around a consensus that "relax" is referring to the process of reducing the over-use of muscles, then it stands to reason that the definition applies similarly to relaxing the mind. That is, we are not talking about the cessation of activity, only the reduction of unnecessary activity. The reduction in activity allows for greater focus on intent. I am not sure if the empty-ing mind version of meditation is what we are shooting for when we train aikido.
Well, it's mushin, so yeah, why not?
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Old 06-05-2014, 10:07 PM   #61
hughrbeyer
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Re: "take the strength out of your shoulders."

Recently heard from my teacher on the mat: "The way to relax your shoulders is to stop trying to do things that are hard."

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
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