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Old 08-05-2014, 10:19 AM   #126
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
I think, feeling (jap. kimochi, chin. qi) is what it's all about when it comes to aikidō.

I.e. aikidō practice - in my understanding - teaches or should teach "to get attuned to ...", to learn to feel, to develop a reliable feeling. And - most interesting - to learn to direct this feeling (kimochi/qi). Within one's own body - and via a contact/atari into the body of the attacker.
And practices such as striking our own limbs and body in warmups and tekubifuri-undo -- are exercises in precisely this development of feeling -- but it is not explained -- nor done mindfully, in most usage (IME).

Striking the body creates mechanical resonance-- and natural internal damping -- both of which have a distinct feeling . Tekubi furi-undo DRIVES a resonance throughout the body -- and can do the same with any OTHER body (fa jin, FWIW). Damping can be actively managed by inverse means. Kokyu tanden ho is the process of learning to feel remote structure through structure in contact -- akin to hearing with your bones -- and ears work because bones actually vibrate, FWIW.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:27 AM   #127
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
You haven't stated what the "mechanisms" you mentioned above are, but that is of no matter. Performance that is mind/body driven is neither wholly voluntary or reflexive. Nor is it a simple amalgamation of both. Unfortunately I don't have the terms to state clearly what I'm trying to say, but I know what I feel and that is: performance that arises from a coordinated mind and body is a synergy of both voluntary response and reflexive action whereby the gap separating the two is considerably narrowed.
... and it is those very concrete physical terms that I have sought and -- to some greater or lesser degree -- captured. We all need something like this in order to dispense with the ad hoc collection of mixed metaphor, confusedly cross-cultural jargon that hangs on all these arts like a mass of barnacles on ship. Needs scraping and a clean copper bottom.

The five basic mechanisms are deeply interrelated and given in no particular order of usage or relative importance -- but the key words will get you to resources worth your while:

1. Dependence of stability of human structure (and its disruption) on reflexive vertical oscillations (inverted pendulum stability) : This is THE fundamental ten-chi -- in-yo dynamic in human stability -- and which innately ties to the torsional/rotational extension/retraction aspects of how our bodies are constructed to operate (irimi-tenkan principle).

Which relates to:

2. The continuum or spectrum of gross rotations/oscillations (low frequency) and vibrations (high frequency). In the Doka this is the image counterpoised between on the one hand, the demon snake (most aikido waza/kata) (aspects of various jin manipulations in CMA) and on the other hand, the spirit (buzz) of bees -- tekubifuri, furitama (the endpoint of fa jin in CMA).

Which relates to:

3. Buckling mechanics, both simple (column) and compound (curved surface) -- the latter of which is the inside-out manner of "spherical rotations" -- also described as asagao (morning glory blooming), irirmi-tenkan principle and in the five bows and upper-lower crosses-arches.

Which relates to:

4. Interchangeablity of moment (static potential for rotation) and angular momentum (dynamic rotation); Loosely -- this is the principle that adopting the static form of a dynamic does structural work, and vice versa. (Dantien/hara -- but harder to conceptualize that way. More cross-pollinatedly -- upper/lower cross, upper/lower arches, five bows, the several jin mechansism of CMA etc. etc.. More prosaically aikido -- tegatana -- or hiji riki "elbow-power," or the "big toe" principle of aiki, and the much misconceived, misapplied, (and wrongly castigated) "spherical rotations" of Nidai Doshu.

Which relates to:

5. Torsionally AND vibrationally triggered, monosynaptic (very fast) reflexive arcs (exploiting Gogli tendon organs and muscle spindles) -- e.g. -- nikkyo=flexor and sankyo = extensor - These are exquisitely sensitive to resonance signals because of its intense structurally destructive potential.

Which relates to No. 1 above.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 08-05-2014 at 11:35 AM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:59 AM   #128
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Quote:
Mert Gambito wrote: View Post
The body skills negate the "ability" (maybe that's a better word for what we're trying to quantify and qualify here) of the attacker while amplifying one's own, and the attacker never feels the normal ramp-up of "power" to meet his/her attack that results in a physical and emotional escalation of the clash.
... That ability is still demonstrable today, but then as now is extremely rare. For example, many folks have seen the photos of Dan Harden demonstrating Aiki-Age on Scott Burke recently in Hawaii. Why head-butt the guy, or bite is ear -- tactics that could very likely create the escalation you rightly state to avoid -- when you can simply use high-level aiki, if it's in your repertoire (also, imagine that same ability to move a man of Scott's size channeled into a throw or atemi if things don't end there)?
FWIW, this is a panel-by-panel illustration of a guy having his spinal reflexes popped for him. The guy trying to hold him down is actually potentiating his own reflexes -- by his own effort (equivalent to the Jendrassik maneuver ) -- which has the effect of amplifiying the magnitude of the reflexive response. The involuntary reflex action in his own body he ramped up to the point that the seated gentleman merely has to trigger the reflex arc and it pops -- like a compressed spring releasing faster (~25-50 ms) than his voluntary nervous system can even notice what has already happened (~100-200ms). Order of magnitude difference in latency of perception. This is not to diminish the art involved accomplishing that manipulation -- but it is why what you see is happening.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 08-05-2014, 02:20 PM   #129
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
... and it is those very concrete physical terms that I have sought and -- to some greater or lesser degree -- captured.
...
First I have to admit, that I don't really understand your "five basic mechanisms" because I simply lack the knowledge of physics. Simply not my buiseness, so this language doesn't speak to me ...

... which leads to my first question:
Does this knowledge help you to teach your students? Do they get what you mean and can they transform it into movement?

And - second question - can you? Does this knwoledge help you to delve into yourself, to change your body and soul and to develop new abilities?

But what is most important to me:
The language that is traditionally used does not only cover the physical aspects, but has also a energetic, psychological and spiritual Dimension.
Can you re-connect your physical language to those other dimensions? Do you want or need that after all?

Finally:
The phenomenon oft the language that is traditionally used to transmit knowledge in the context of CMA, Daoism, Buddhism, Shintō, ... aikidō ... has been studied scientifically at great length.
I think what you understand as imprecise, vague or ambiguous actually was intended. This language is a vehicle of transmission of knwoledge in itself. It is my actual experience that most important parts of the transmission get lost when it ist "demythologized" by converting it's meaning into only physical aspects.
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Old 08-05-2014, 04:28 PM   #130
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Without repeating the profane reaction just made -- it neither demonstrates aiki nor aikido ... I am sincerely interested in the source of that kind of visceral emotional, provocation or reaction -- simply from a set of carefully worked out observations based on facts, experience and and some straightforward physiology -- though not often seen applied in this context.

I've worked on developing these concepts -- in the open here for the most part -- in discussions groups and put them into context and development in blog posts -- It looks like somebody reads my blog posts, since it's in the top ten by views, if not comments. Not that this was my aim in writing them by any stretch. In fact, I am somewhat surprised at that, since I'll be the first to admit this technical an approach is not everyone's cup of tea -- whihc others have also said -- though in more endearing terms.

But knowledge isn't in preference to or in place of anything in any particular art or form of training. It is simply a way of categorizing and describing demonstrable actions and their causes in neutral terms that are not culturally bound. This may inform lots of ways of training-- but it is not dependent on nor require any particular method of training to make use of the knowledge -- so it ought not be a rice-bowl issue to anyone.

So truly, I wonder where it comes from and why. Is it the just loss of the mystique ? What ?

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 08-05-2014, 05:43 PM   #131
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
First I have to admit, that I don't really understand your "five basic mechanisms" because I simply lack the knowledge of physics. Simply not my buiseness, so this language doesn't speak to me ...
The beauty is -- IF you want to -- you can look it up in a text book or ready resource and turn to finding ways to apply it that pertain to your experience and situation -- and there is not just one way. Far less intermediating cultural references are required -- unless mechanical is a culture -- and some basic knowledge of mechanical and physiological concepts is necessary -- but not maths by any means.

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Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
... which leads to my first question:
Does this knowledge help you to teach your students? Do they get what you mean and can they transform it into movement?
Yes. It gives defined concrete images and concepts that can be applied more directly. Asagao - the blooming morning glory image, for instance is a concept reference that comes from the Daito line ( as I understand it) -- but encodes what we might in aikido call the irimi-tenkan principle, which is a far more thoroughgoing concept than just the gross tai sabaki of shifting forward and turning.

In mechanical terms, one way of illustrating this is the principle of the screw -- it can extend and retract position only if it also turns while doing so -- and along a characteristic and consistent spiral line. This is the mechanism of delivering kokyu tanden ho. This characteristic line is also related to the curves of freely swinging pendulums (lissajous curves) and to the curves of simultaneous tension and compression stress in the body under torsion. It is all of a piece and involves torsional stress or action on two axes at once which Ueshiba called Juuji (+) . He once referred to the art as jujido, in fact.

The bowing-unbowing of the wu gong (five bows) is an example of using principle of spherical structure and movement by framing the body around a spherical form as though plastered to a large ball. This takes on a structure with two different axes of curvature (the upper cross -- most obviously -- and which is also true (in a different way) of the helical screw of irimi tenkan. When the ball is before me, the body is concave in front vertically and horizontally, the tail is tucked, the lordosis becomes more "c" shaped, the upper back stretched, the chest closed, and the arms curving inward and down. The legs flex in compensation (in-yo) and the knees are over the toes.

If I imagine the ball to my rear instead of to my front, my body must reverse its curves on two axes. Spherical buckling -- which involves these rotations of plane curvature. It is as though I stretch back to the form of the large sphere behind me, instead of to my front. The arms twist out and opening, the lordosis of the spine becomes developed, the upper back contracted across the shoulders, the chest opening and the legs extending, with the weight toward the toes and the heels nearly coming up.

In spherical buckling -- when a thin concave metal plate reverses its curvature -- it often with great force because it concentrates stresses until it finally pops through. If these forms of action are done inversely from left to right it is ten-chi --one side rising, twisting and opening -- the other side falling, twisting and closing. It develops a characteristic turning about the support because the eccentricity of stresses in two different axes at once -- causes a form of stress that occurs on the third axis -- if you feel it, and you let it, and you can feed into and can drive it -- but not directly - it produces action in a direction you are not directly acting, spooky, in other words, in some contexts (like a gyro) and more obvious in others, such when twisting in two axes advances the screw forward in the third.

These are some examples of things that I can describe in these ways and easily result in immediate improvement on the mat.

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Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
And - second question - can you? Does this knowledge help you to delve into yourself, to change your body and soul and to develop new abilities?
Yes. It does and continues to do so.

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
But what is most important to me:
The language that is traditionally used does not only cover the physical aspects, but has also a energetic, psychological and spiritual Dimension.
Can you re-connect your physical language to those other dimensions? Do you want or need that after all?
This is not an either/or issue. The astronauts did not fail to understand where they were and how -- precisely how -- they were where they were, nor the difficulties in getting there -- but they did not experience any less the visceral and spiritual wonder of being in and witnessing space and the threshold of the universe off our ball of clay. Knowledge adds to experience -- it never subtracts.

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Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
Finally:
The phenomenon oft the language that is traditionally used to transmit knowledge in the context of CMA, Daoism, Buddhism, Shintō, ... aikidō ... has been studied scientifically at great length.
I think what you understand as imprecise, vague or ambiguous actually was intended. This language is a vehicle of transmission of knwoledge in itself. It is my actual experience that most important parts of the transmission get lost when it ist "demythologized" by converting it's meaning into only physical aspects.
I do not deny this. Much of what I glean from the Doka, though, is the physical images themselves -- which are not mediated knowledge, but as concrete and direct. Once the referent object or situation is manageably translated -- the physical image of the thing described provides the information, e.g -- "demon snake" and "spirit of bees." Mythology (Kojiki) also has these qualities, though at a greater remove, culturally from us, and requiring far more cultural curency to decode completely. This was a lesson that even few who heard it first hand received -- for historical reasons of the war and loss of the cultural heritage in Japan that rapid modernization had begun long before. The cultural background of those mythological images is also informative -- but the Doka poetry has the benefit of being visceral and concrete in ways that ordinary speech often is not.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 08-05-2014 at 05:46 PM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 08-05-2014, 06:20 PM   #132
kewms
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
Finally:
The phenomenon oft the language that is traditionally used to transmit knowledge in the context of CMA, Daoism, Buddhism, Shintō, ... aikidō ... has been studied scientifically at great length.
I think what you understand as imprecise, vague or ambiguous actually was intended. This language is a vehicle of transmission of knwoledge in itself. It is my actual experience that most important parts of the transmission get lost when it ist "demythologized" by converting it's meaning into only physical aspects.
Sometimes. Don't assume that all obscurity is intended to be convey knowledge, though. There are koans, yes. But there are also a lot of cases, especially in the martial arts, where obscure language was chosen precisely to hide the true meaning from outsiders. Even if the school's scrolls were stolen or copied, they would be meaningless to someone who had not received direct transmission from a master.

Katherine
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Old 08-06-2014, 03:51 AM   #133
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
The beauty is -- IF you want to -- you can look it up in a text book or ready resource and turn to finding ways to apply it that pertain to your experience and situation ...
But in which way does it help me to connect texts of daoist internal alchemy, buddhist lojong practice, teachings of Ueshiba osensei and in-yo-ho of certain koryū?
In which way does it help me to understand that a certain quality of movement is connected to a certain emotion, to a certain way of thinking - Or better: Not thinking?
In which way does it help me to realize that a change within me i.e. a different way of moving means a change of the world around me?

Quote:
It is all of a piece and involves torsional stress or action on two axes at once which Ueshiba called Juuji (+) . He once referred to the art as jujido, in fact.
I clearly don't think that the cross of yin/yang and kan/li refers to physical axes in the first place.

Quote:
Yes. It does and continues to do so.
Well besides all intellectual debates I think this is most important. If it works for you and if it is way you can go this is great!

Quote:
The astronauts ... but they did not experience any less the visceral and spiritual wonder of being in and witnessing space and the threshold of the universe off our ball of clay. Knowledge adds to experience -- it never subtracts.
I think this example doesn't take my point. Because I am stating that the language itself is meant to transmit not only physical but also energetical and spirituale knowledge. These dimensions are not added but are inherent. And not only that: They are constituent.
Working the body simply is spiritual practice in itself.
aikidō wa misogi desu.
Simply that.

Your example would take my point the moment that a trip to the orbit would be able to relliable show you god (or tao or buddha ...). And to show you your inner self in a way you can methodicaly work with it.

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
But there are also a lot of cases, especially in the martial arts, where obscure language was chosen precisely to hide the true meaning from outsiders.
Yes, I am very aware of that.

After I was gradually introduced to ura teachings, that actually helped me a lot to understand the usage of language in transimitting certain arts such as a budō or daoist practices.
I think it to be important to understand that - although this "language was chosen ... to hide the true meaning" - the language, the metaphors, the terms are not random!

While they don't mean anything to an uninitiated reader/listener or may even lead an outsider away from the true meaning, at the same time they provide precise information for the initiated student.
While the language is obscure to an outsider, the initiate can use that same language, terms, metaphors to get clear information, to learn, to comprehend the art.

You can read this "obscure language" very well - if you are shown how to read it by your teacher(s).

That is why I am sceptic, when people try to translate this language to seemingly better understandable terms or facts. It is my understanding that in this way the "hidden meaning" simply get's lost.
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Old 08-06-2014, 09:52 AM   #134
Keith Larman
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
The phenomenon oft the language that is traditionally used to transmit knowledge in the context of CMA, Daoism, Buddhism, Shintō, ... aikidō ... has been studied scientifically at great length.
I think what you understand as imprecise, vague or ambiguous actually was intended. This language is a vehicle of transmission of knwoledge in itself. It is my actual experience that most important parts of the transmission get lost when it ist "demythologized" by converting it's meaning into only physical aspects.
That may be true to *some extent*, however keep in mind that there are many levels of meaning involved in this discussion. Not to get too philosophical, but there is a difference between helping someone understand something esoteric about the nature of reality through metaphor or things like Zen Koan and then trying to explain how something is done physically and what "mechanisms" are in play to allow that to happen. We can talk about "ki" in almost mystical terms or we can talk about ki as in physical energy (or actually quite a few other things as well). The latter is vastly more amenable to a physics based discussion than the former, for instance.

So I think we need to tread carefully on things like this. Saying that there are many lessons learned through the vague and ambiguous is IMHO no doubt true. However, that doesn't mean the entire domain under discussion is vague or imprecise for that reason. Some is without question vague and imprecise because we lack a vocabulary which adequately explicates what's happening. It's like any field of science where as our understanding improves often the vocabulary is forced to grow, become more detailed, and develop more nuanced meaning for each term. So to those who argue that we have a vocabulary already, well, I understand that. But the vocabulary we have (which itself grew under the sort of conditions I'm talking about -- those who were actually doing this stuff trying to convey what it was they felt and perceived they were doing) is IMHO still rudimentary at best in terms of a more rigorous scientific standard. Of course some may not want to go that direction at all instead preferring the traditional approach, but some of us want (or maybe need?) to understand it in more modern, rigorous terms. I'm not happy with terms like "extending ki". Yeah, been doing this stuff for a while, but I don't have an answer to the question when a teenager asked me "Okay, yeah, but what does that *really* mean?" I want that answer. And I think we know vastly more about physiology, psychology, physics, etc. and as a result we are better situated now to hopefully expand the vocabulary some and maybe offer a better understanding. Which itself will hopefully allow the next generation to flesh it out more, bring more to life, strip some of the junk away and expose even more of what's *really* going on.

Now me, personally, I do not agree with Erick's analyses. Not at all. I've been on the mat with a lot of very good people, felt it in person, and being of a scientific background myself very little of what Erick writes, with all due respect, rings true for my direct experiences of it and subsequent training of it, whatever that "it" is. *That said*, I fully respect his attempt. I fully respect his approach. I think it he got out on the mat with some of the so-called "big dogs" and tried some of what he's saying he might change his course a bit. But... I have zero problem with him trying to formulate his theories and approach. And it's not to say that much of what he's talking about isn't good and interesting either. I just don't think it cuts to the heart of what's really going on, at least in my experience, my training, and my background as well. But more power to him.

So... I think the major problem facing this issue has long been a lack of an accurate theory and supporting, rigorous language that allows us to discuss it in a clearer, more precise way. Sure, there are many ideas present within many religions and martial arts that are more esoteric and "philosophical" that might require mental leaps of the practitioner. But we must resist the temptation to say "oh, it just is what it is because it's supposed to be vague". There are things that are vague for good reasons. Others, it seems to me, are vague simply because we don't really understand what's going on. But there are quite a few people working very hard to better understand that, even if I personally think some are on a better course than others. And that is good. The more the merrier.

End of deep thought of the day...

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Old 08-06-2014, 10:01 AM   #135
Mert Gambito
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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FWIW, this is a panel-by-panel illustration of a guy having his spinal reflexes popped for him. The guy trying to hold him down is actually potentiating his own reflexes -- by his own effort (equivalent to the Jendrassik maneuver ) -- which has the effect of amplifiying the magnitude of the reflexive response. The involuntary reflex action in his own body he ramped up to the point that the seated gentleman merely has to trigger the reflex arc and it pops -- like a compressed spring releasing faster (~25-50 ms) than his voluntary nervous system can even notice what has already happened (~100-200ms). Order of magnitude difference in latency of perception. This is not to diminish the art involved accomplishing that manipulation -- but it is why what you see is happening.
Erick,

I've been on the receiving end of this a few times -- both being sent upward (as shown) and backward (relative to the uke). More importantly, I've been on the receiving end of techniques from Dan that utilize similar "power", and collectively these experiences tell me what's going on doesn't don't fit the theory. For example, the Aiki Age can be done slowly. Granted, the uke won't pop up in the air in the same manner as documented, but he/she will nonetheless be compelled upward, e.g. to a standing position, within the context of doing this as a waza.

Mert
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Old 08-06-2014, 11:37 AM   #136
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

So is the bottom line go study with Dan or else you spend your life in the dark? I think perhaps it the journey is varied and every ones experience is valid and important to them.

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Old 08-06-2014, 12:37 PM   #137
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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So is the bottom line go study with Dan or else you spend your life in the dark? I think perhaps it the journey is varied and every ones experience is valid and important to them.
What are your goals?

If I were, say, a recreational fencer, I could probably have a lot of fun messing around on my own, watching video, maybe taking a few lessons now and then. But that isn't going to get me to the Olympics. And an Olympic fencer probably wouldn't be that interested in my opinions about the fine points of the art of fencing.

Katherine
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Old 08-06-2014, 12:48 PM   #138
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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So is the bottom line go study with Dan or else you spend your life in the dark? I think perhaps it the journey is varied and every ones experience is valid and important to them.
No. That's a false dichotomy. And it is an unfair characterization. If you are doing what you think is correct then it doesn't matter if someone else does not agree with you. I can accept perfectly well that what you are doing is sincere, correct, and valid for you. I am capable of disagreeing with someone while doing something different. You seem to take disagreement as condemnation.

It's a complex world, complex topic, lots of people doing different things, and lots of people doing it for very different reasons. Now let's all hug, sing kumbaya, and go on our merry ways.

Some topics are difficult to discuss. Sometimes people think you're criticizing what they do because you do something different from them. Which makes discussing why one thinks a certain path is better for them sometimes fraught with danger. Thar be dragons...

Exit, stage right...
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Old 08-06-2014, 01:21 PM   #139
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

This subject is not difficult to discuss. It is being discussed. And some people's stuff is dismissed.

27 years of training is a serious commitment. My mind and eyes are open.

Demonstrating aiki and demonstrating aikido are not the same thing. Some aikido I have come across is completely devoid of aiki.

The aikido I train in has aiki. It is a serious part of our training.

Disagreement is not condemnation. Being dismissive to another's idea is.

What is shown in that series of clips featuring Dan was described in an interesting way by Erick Mead. I can't always understand what what Erick writes yet I understood his description of that.

He may be right or wrong. We did what the clips showed. It wasn't that hard.

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Old 08-06-2014, 01:24 PM   #140
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
What are your goals?

If I were, say, a recreational fencer, I could probably have a lot of fun messing around on my own, watching video, maybe taking a few lessons now and then. But that isn't going to get me to the Olympics. And an Olympic fencer probably wouldn't be that interested in my opinions about the fine points of the art of fencing.

Katherine
Not sure what your reference to recreational fencer has to do with anything. I am not a recreational aikidoist so I am not sure how it apples.

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Old 08-06-2014, 01:54 PM   #141
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Not sure what your reference to recreational fencer has to do with anything. I am not a recreational aikidoist so I am not sure how it apples.
People train (in anything) for a wide variety of different reasons, and with a wide variety of different goals. There are many different paths up the mountain, but advice relevant to one path may not be relevant to another.

So, if you don't value the particular skills that Dan teaches, that's fine. That's your path, and more power to you.

However, the people who *do* value those skills are on a different path, and one that they perceive as superior. (Of course. That's why they're on it.) They are likely to consider your experiences irrelevant to their training. As you are likely to consider theirs irrelevant to yours.

Which is where the question of goals comes in. The more you care what the rest of the world thinks of "your" aikido, the more important encounters with that world are going to be. Saying "we do that" isn't going to be as effective in shaping outside opinions as having someone put their hands on you and say, "Yeah, that's what Mary is doing, too."

A lot of people with a lot of experience have found what Dan is doing transformative. If you don't, that's fine. But if you haven't actually put your hands on him, don't expect people to value your opinions in the matter.

Katherine

Last edited by kewms : 08-06-2014 at 02:04 PM.
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Old 08-06-2014, 02:13 PM   #142
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Thank you for the advice, Katherine.
I have been around this discussion for a long time. I have been to a workshop by your teacher and I didn't seen anything different or as effective as what we do.

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Old 08-06-2014, 02:25 PM   #143
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Thank you for the advice, Katherine.
I have been around this discussion for a long time. I have been to a workshop by your teacher and I didn't seen anything different or as effective as what we do.
*shrug* He hasn't shared his perception of your aikido, and I haven't personally trained with you, so I don't feel qualified to have an opinion one way or the other.

Katherine
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Old 08-06-2014, 02:47 PM   #144
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Quote:
Mert Gambito wrote: View Post
I've been on the receiving end of this a few times -- both being sent upward (as shown) and backward (relative to the uke). More importantly, I've been on the receiving end of techniques from Dan that utilize similar "power", and collectively these experiences tell me what's going on doesn't don't fit the theory. For example, the Aiki Age can be done slowly. Granted, the uke won't pop up in the air in the same manner as documented, but he/she will nonetheless be compelled upward, e.g. to a standing position, within the context of doing this as a waza.
Reflexes are not all sudden and catastrophic in effect. Stroking the sole of a foot with a blunt object normally causes an involuntary flex downward of the toes, for instance (if reversed, it is the Babinski sign -- and may mean CNS damage).

I am aware that aiki-age it is also done slowly and do so with greater or lesser success. The reflexes we are talking have two main types and operate in two different ways. Stretch reflexes and tendon reflexes, and which can trigger and inhibit muscle actions -- first, by prompting contraction on the agonist or synergist muscles, and second, by inhibiting the antagonist muscles on the opposite side of the limb (reciprocal inhibition).

The knee-tap reflex test is the kind of sharp stretch reflex resulting in sharp reaction -- not unlike what the panel sequence showed. But lower magnitude forces triggering the muscles spindles create more subtle reflex effects. The Jendrassick effect shows there are known correlated stretch reflex connections between the upper and lower limbs -- nikkyo and sankyo exploit this in precisely inverse ways -- mainly because the twist in each is reverse from the other -- and so differ in which muscle spindles are on the synergist versus the antagonist side of the spiral line of stretch (shear tension) -- that triggers the reflexive action. The reflexes also have some left-right connections as well, which are typically inverse (contralateral) , i.e. - flex on one side vs. extend on the other side (an aspect of ten-chi, FWIW).

When aiki-age is done slowly the predominating effect is less from the triggering of, say, the extensor muscles to actively lift you, but an inhibition of the antagonist flexors, resulting in an imbalance of forces on the limb such that the unbalanced normal tone of the extensors now lifts you -- mainly because it is unopposed by the balancing force on the opposite side of the limb. That's why it seems hard to notice why it is happening or control it, because the reflex action is not doing anything to lift you -- but merely stopping part of you from doing what it normally does without you noticing to begin with.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 08-06-2014 at 02:56 PM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 08-06-2014, 03:12 PM   #145
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Keith Larman wrote: View Post
We can talk about "ki" in almost mystical terms or we can talk about ki as in physical energy (or actually quite a few other things as well). The latter is vastly more amenable to a physics based discussion than the former, for instance.

Now me, personally, I do not agree with Erick's analyses. Not at all. I've been on the mat with a lot of very good people, felt it in person, and being of a scientific background myself very little of what Erick writes, with all due respect, rings true for my direct experiences of it and subsequent training of it, whatever that "it" is. *That said*, I fully respect his attempt. I fully respect his approach. I think it he got out on the mat with some of the so-called "big dogs" and tried some of what he's saying he might change his course a bit. But... I have zero problem with him trying to formulate his theories and approach. And it's not to say that much of what he's talking about isn't good and interesting either. I just don't think it cuts to the heart of what's really going on, at least in my experience, my training, and my background as well. But more power to him.
Science proceeds by close observation and repeatedly taking the chance to make surmises that may well be usefully and carefully -- wrong. And then doing it again, and again ... etc. etc.
And when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be true.


Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 08-06-2014, 04:26 PM   #146
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Keith Larman wrote: View Post
Some topics are difficult to discuss. Sometimes people think you're criticizing what they do because you do something different from them. Which makes discussing why one thinks a certain path is better for them sometimes fraught with danger. Thar be dragons...
Eric Voegelin wrote an essay titled "On Debate and Existence" in the 60's about such problems of debate. I revisited it -- and it has this:

Quote:
Rational argument could not prevail because the partner to the discussion did not accept as binding for himself the matrix of reality in which all specific questions concerning our existence as human beings are ultimately rooted; he has overlaid the reality of existence with another mode … called the Second Reality. The argument could not achieve results, it had to falter and peter out, as it became increasingly clear that not argument was pitched against argument, but that behind the appearance of a rational debate there lurked the difference of two modes of existence, of existence in truth and existence in untruth.
Of the present topic -- there are differences in terms of acceptable evidence to various people -- or our approach to the truth, as you term it -- but I do not really think that, in the main, anyone -- with but a few possible exceptions, falls in the latter category. But I suspect a few have harbored the suspicion that some on the other end might.

That sense of suspicion seems to drive the danger you note -- and some of the occasionally heated comment (noted above) is testament to it. But this is not, I think, the more fundamental divide that concerned Voegelin -- I don't think that really is in play here. Everyone on this topic seems genuinely interested in the truth of WHAT works, as well as WHY it works -- and how best to make it work better.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 08-06-2014, 10:42 PM   #147
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Reflexes are not all sudden and catastrophic in effect. Stroking the sole of a foot with a blunt object normally causes an involuntary flex downward of the toes, for instance (if reversed, it is the Babinski sign -- and may mean CNS damage).

I am aware that aiki-age it is also done slowly and do so with greater or lesser success. The reflexes we are talking have two main types and operate in two different ways. Stretch reflexes and tendon reflexes, and which can trigger and inhibit muscle actions -- first, by prompting contraction on the agonist or synergist muscles, and second, by inhibiting the antagonist muscles on the opposite side of the limb (reciprocal inhibition).

The knee-tap reflex test is the kind of sharp stretch reflex resulting in sharp reaction -- not unlike what the panel sequence showed. But lower magnitude forces triggering the muscles spindles create more subtle reflex effects. The Jendrassick effect shows there are known correlated stretch reflex connections between the upper and lower limbs -- nikkyo and sankyo exploit this in precisely inverse ways -- mainly because the twist in each is reverse from the other -- and so differ in which muscle spindles are on the synergist versus the antagonist side of the spiral line of stretch (shear tension) -- that triggers the reflexive action. The reflexes also have some left-right connections as well, which are typically inverse (contralateral) , i.e. - flex on one side vs. extend on the other side (an aspect of ten-chi, FWIW).

When aiki-age is done slowly the predominating effect is less from the triggering of, say, the extensor muscles to actively lift you, but an inhibition of the antagonist flexors, resulting in an imbalance of forces on the limb such that the unbalanced normal tone of the extensors now lifts you -- mainly because it is unopposed by the balancing force on the opposite side of the limb. That's why it seems hard to notice why it is happening or control it, because the reflex action is not doing anything to lift you -- but merely stopping part of you from doing what it normally does without you noticing to begin with.
Hello Erick Mead,

I have to ask, are you really disputing Mert Gambito's eye witness account and first hand experience?!?

IMO, in this instance that Mert Gambito is more credible than your second hand experience.

Sincerely,
Tristan Abara
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Old 08-06-2014, 11:48 PM   #148
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
FWIW, this is a panel-by-panel illustration of a guy having his spinal reflexes popped for him. The guy trying to hold him down is actually potentiating his own reflexes -- by his own effort (equivalent to the Jendrassik maneuver ) -- which has the effect of amplifiying the magnitude of the reflexive response. The involuntary reflex action in his own body he ramped up to the point that the seated gentleman merely has to trigger the reflex arc and it pops -- like a compressed spring releasing faster (~25-50 ms) than his voluntary nervous system can even notice what has already happened (~100-200ms). Order of magnitude difference in latency of perception. This is not to diminish the art involved accomplishing that manipulation -- but it is why what you see is happening.
Heh.
Hee hee.
Aheh. Ha,
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAWOOOHAHAHA!!!
Ah ha heh ha*cough cough* ow hah....
Oh man, sorry. Ahem!. <popping the spinal reflexes> AHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

Yeah no that ain't it.
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:59 AM   #149
Chris Li
 
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Thank you for the advice, Katherine.
I have been around this discussion for a long time. I have been to a workshop by your teacher and I didn't seen anything different or as effective as what we do.
Just to be clear, you're talking about George here, yes?

Best,

Chris

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Old 08-07-2014, 06:44 AM   #150
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Keith Larman wrote: View Post
... there is a difference between helping someone understand something esoteric about the nature of reality through metaphor or things like Zen Koan and then trying to explain how something is done physically and what "mechanisms" are in play to allow that to happen. We can talk about "ki" in almost mystical terms or we can talk about ki as in physical energy (or actually quite a few other things as well).
My point actually is to not split that up. I am convinced that the texts I have in mind, be it daoist texts of internal alchemy or certain texts of Ueshiba, connect information about the nature of reality, about how to live (or become immortal) and about how something is done physically in the very same sentence.
And I think this is characteristic for the used language. And is needed because of the underlying philosophy/spirituality: You can understand the spiritual nature or reality via physical practice. Body work is the vehical of enlightenment. Not only breathing, but using your limbs and core in certain way leads to philosophical knowledge and spiritual awakening ...

Quote:
However, that doesn't mean the entire domain under discussion is vague or imprecise for that reason. Some is without question vague and imprecise because we lack a vocabulary which adequately explicates what's happening.
I think most of the language is very precise. Problem is, it does not match our habits. We are not used to deal with certain terms and ways of thinking. But that is true for every foreign language we encounter.

Quote:
... I don't have an answer to the question when a teenager asked me "Okay, yeah, but what does that *really* mean?" I want that answer.
I think a worldview that only acknowledges something as *real* when it can be expressed in westen, scientific language or when it does fit into a westen, scientific paradigm does not meet the standards of the texts I have in mind. Nor does it - in my eyes - help to pass on a budō or an art like nei gong.
I think that given language is not deficient in the way it lacks the scientific knowledge of our age but it is adapted to it's content.

So when I put qi in my fingertips that does really mean that I put qi in my fingertips. I can do it, it happens, uke can feel it and is affected by it.
When a student asked me some time ago about what qi is , I gave him some qi gong exercises ...

Quote:
And I think we know vastly more about physiology, psychology, physics, etc. and as a result we are better situated now to hopefully expand the vocabulary some and maybe offer a better understanding.
It is my actual experience that those very old texts know a lot more then "we" do today.
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