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Old 09-07-2014, 02:52 PM   #401
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Quote:
Scott Burke wrote: View Post
And what better authorities do we have on such matters than say, oh, a University Mathematics Professor? Someone like renowned Aiki master and direct pupil of Daito Ryu Master Sagawa Yukioshi, (and retired Professor of Mathematics at Tsukuba University), Tatsuo Kimura! What luck! Someone who no doubt gets the physics side of the Aiki equation inside and out and who had the chance to train for over two decades with, perhaps, the greatest of Takeda Sokaku's pupils.
Heh. Mathematics and Physics departments hardly speak -- Physics uses certain subsets of math-- to the extent that they are physically applicable and result in useful or testable concepts. Mathematics is a airy beastie that travels realms of pure reasoned imagination grounded only in the formality of its own assumptions and operations. I learned more useful math -- including Diffy-Q --from my physics professor than I ever hoped to learn from anybody that taught out of the math department.

That doesn't mean mathematics is a lesser or not worthwhile discipline -- it's just that they don't really CARE about applications. In fact -- some of the most useful math concepts adapted by physicists -- in field dynamics -- are widely acknowledged as mathematically kludgy hodge-podges of debatable internal consistency and often involving artificially zeroing out infinities with virtual negative infinities to get testable finite quantities -- when the operation (∞ - ∞) is as undefined as dividing by zero. Yet it is remarkable useful, and actually and empirically successful. So, no -- I don't defer to Professor Kimura merely because he teaches maths.

More particularly I don't defer because Sagawa's own statements from that book don't support your reading of what Kimura has to say on the topic. In fairness to you, I'll quote it at some length to make my point -- so apologies in advance for the length ...

Quote:
Fortunately for us Kimura Sensei has written about his discoveries in the world of Aiki. Let's take a look at some select quotes of his from his book Discovering Aiki My 20 years with Yukiyoshi Sagawa Sensei. Maybe he'll talk about torsional shear, let's see!
I have read a translation of Transparent Power, so color me unimpressed with its transmission of much useful about HOW to train or WHAT to train -- beyond intense tanren (here for those interested) and the daily use of furibo -- the latter actually makes A LOT of sense, FWIW, as I see things.

Mostly, Sagawa is recounted as repeated chiding Kimura for NOT getting it -- so it appears that conceptually, at least, there is mostly a very frank acknowledgement about how little he can teach unless the student is just ready to "get" it. Sagawa acknowledges as much:
Quote:
Sagawa in "Clear Power" wrote:
You can't get good at something simply by repetition….Many people would say back in the day that all you had to do is practice, and more practice! But after I became able to think for myself I found that this wasn't so. The reason practitioners from some styles are weak and no good is because they do not train (Tanren) their bodies. The true execution of Aiki requires an enormous amount of solo training to condition the body (Tanren). Only amateurs think that techniques are enough and that training the body is unnecessary. They understand nothing…
It is not easy to attain. I didn't teach this myself until a little while ago. I waited for my students to discover this for themselves
That quote was from an unofficial translation of "Clear Power" I had access to referencing here in 2008 before an official English translation as "Transparent Power" was finally published in 2009.

Apparently, Kimura was eventually one of those who got it, to some significant degree. But what about any others successfully achieving what he did from him ? I see not much better success in transmission there than with Ueshiba -- even Takeda apparently managed only the two of them to that degree, as far as I have heard.
Quote:
Sagawa in "Clear Power" wrote:
Even if you train everyday all the while innovating yourself, it will take at least 20 years. Ten years or so isn't nearly enough time.
Sagawa has no secret, instant-aiki sauce to offer -- his only prescription is "decades" of tanren -- until you see it for yourself.

Quote:
Sagawa in "Clear Power" wrote:
I wrestled with the notion of how to make a technique work even if someone resisted me using all their strength since my Teens. The difference between noticing these things for yourself and having someone tell you is enormous.
...
- If you swing a bokuto a lot you will realize many things. That is the important part <of swinging the bokuto.> You will become able to do many other things in your training. However that is only building of the body and no matter how much you do this, it will not allow you to be able to do Aiki by simply pursuing these kinds of exercises. <Aiki> is separate. You must FEEL as much as you can when you take my hand. I learned much by being thrown by Takeda Soukaku and gained understanding about many different things through this process. You must be this sharp! Spirit is extremely important when fighting. And to never tense up.

- I once thought that being able to render < an opponent helpless,( implying draining them of their power)> no matter where I was touched or held on my body was everything. One day after many years of building my body through solo training, I was suddenly able to do Aiki with my body. I remember thinking at the time that always training and forging the body was extremely important. But this kind of realization is not something that can be taught. All you can do is to watch me <carefully> and absorb what you can.
...
So why can't it be taught, from Sagawa's perspective ? More on that shortly. On the one hand, you have to be after the right thing -- physically and conceptually -- on the other hand and as noted below -- no one can really give it to you.

Quote:
Sagawa in "Clear Power" wrote:
- Aiki is extremely difficult. Not everyone can do it. However if you <wish to achieve it> you have to train bit by bit in a manner that will allow you to achieve it. If you give up and simply go do your own thing, you will <never achieve aiki> and will cause you to stray even further <from the path>
But it isn't really esoteric either:
Quote:
Sagawa in "Clear Power" wrote:
... - Aiki is not mysterious. There is a logic to it. I immediately apply Aiki when executing my techniques and Kuzushi <my opponent.> I am allowed to do as I please because I have applied Kuzushi. I studied long and hard on what to do if I was held down strongly and unable to move. It was because of this that I was finally able to do Aiki with my Body (Tai Aiki.) You must research and study this.
I'll respond to the points you bring up, with some further counter-quotes of Sagawa:

Quote:
Scott Burke wrote: View Post
(Kimura speaking] I felt Sensei [Sagawa] had advanced to a higher dimension. His techniques were so wonderful that I shouted out mentally, "These techniques cannot be done by human beings. These are divine techniques!"

As long as Aiki is a technique done by human beings, it is impossible to think that you can do anything even if you understand it. However, once you begin to understand Aiki, you move into a freer world beyond the restrictions of physical bodies. You can progress at an unbelievably rapid pace beyond what would normally be possible....
...
For me now, at least, Aiki is not only one martial art technique, but rather it is something unknown which suggests that the ability of human beings is actually far beyond that which it is normally considered to be.
Quote:
... Stan Pranin:

"When I tested the small, stubborn 50 year old Kimura Sensei, I was completely controlled by him... My power of resistance was neutralized by the use of Sensei's stance and internal energy...Kimura Sensei clearly demonstrated to us the world of energy that exceeds the physical dimension."
From across the Pacific and an intervening continent, I swear I can hear the corpse of Sagawa going to high rev. I think such a pragmatic and tough-minded virtuoso would be aghast at such muddy-headed divinizing hero-worship. The "world of energy that exceeds the physical dimension?" Clarke's law is applicable here:

Quote:
Any sufficiently advance technology is indistinguishable from magic. --Arthur C. Clarke
What is more, Sagawa himself seems to agree with me on taking an independent and critical line founded in your own training and knowledge of the body -- and other concepts also:
Quote:
Sagawa in "Clear Power" wrote:
... You must take what you learn, and then innovate it based on your own ideas. ... No matter how much you learn something, if it is simply taught to you, you will forget it. However you will never forget something you acquire for yourself. It becomes you. In other words, teaching is simply a matter of giving the right hints. You must acquire that thing for yourself. Especially in the case of Aiki, it is an internal feeling which must be grasped.
It's not simply a matter of questioning everything either. You mustn't simply think that it's enough to be taught. Everyone's body type is different, so there is no guarantee that things will work out exactly the same way.
... I don't teach everything, and I can't teach everything. What I can teach is the foundation of how the skeletal system works. How your muscles and organs work upon that frame is for you to ponder and discover on your own. You can't simply fight using your bones alone.
This is why you can't simply do things as you are told. You must add the "meat" to this frame and widen your view. It's a funny thing, you can learn all there is to learn, but unless you grasp it for yourself you will never be able to actually "do" it.
He is by no means suggesting that thinking is a substitute for training -- but in Sagawa's view training is not any kind of a substitute for the necessary, constant and critical thinking either:

Quote:
Sagawa in "Clear Power" wrote:
You become stronger through your own training and innovation. If you lose and die in a fight, then it can't be helped. You must take responsibility for your own actions. Do not rely on others. ... Indeed, most important is that you keep on thinking. If you don't you cease to have any <good> thoughts. If you continue to think, then a new thought will pop into your head! And then you must write this thought down immediately so that you may try it out, otherwise you will forget it later. Writing this down is key.

You [speaking to Kimura] are always thinking about math, so you should be able to do even better work <as you go on>. The secret is in always thinking about it. The reason no one progresses or gets any better, stronger is because no one thinks. They forget about what they do in between practices. It has to become a part of your life.
(Kimura: "Even Gauss, and other mathematicians said the same thing.")
See! This is why you are no good. You don't do something simply because so and so said so. If you simply go through life by simply thinking you can copy people you'll never get anywhere. The only person that can do this is you. You must create your own understanding for yourself.
Take Aiki for example. There is no way to really teach this. Even if I could point at something that is Aiki I can't put it into words. You simply think you can learn everything from me, so you don't develop the habit to think for yourself. That is what divides people that are smart from whose who are not. Even with mathematics, its not as if you suddenly wake up one day able to do these things, am I right? This is the same with Bujutsu. It is about long periods of work, innovation, that you slowly over time become able to do these things.
... In the end its about accumulating your thoughts and having them act as the foundation for other thoughts. ...<If you decide because> others tell you so, or influence you, then it's no good. You must hold your own counsel. Decide for yourself what is right and what is wrong. ...
This is the crux of why Sagawa straightforwardly confessed he was unable to teach Aiki until the student had already grasped the rudiments: "Even if I could point at something that is Aiki I can't put it into words. " He had kinesthetic grasp -- but no articulable concepts to describe his feeling and action. Credit to him for his honesty -- but this inability to articulate it is hardly surprising, given the partly reflexive pre-conscious nature of what I name as the thing in question. Without an objective grasp of the mechanics and physiology -- it will seem always just at the edge of perception -- even for the virtuoso performer like Sagawa.

THIS is the EXACT deficit I been working to remedy. And I believe I have -- to be able to point at it and say WHAT this thing is. And I don't much care what anyone else has to say about it -- because I can SEE it. All my experience has prepared me to see it. All credentials of objectors to the contrary notwithstanding, I will not refuse to name the evidence of my "lying" eyes as to plain operations can I see.

A few other choices quotes of Sagawa about the primacy of seeing the principle over blindly following some training regimen handed to you that you really don't understand-- (from that earlier translation):

Quote:
Sagawa in "Clear Power" wrote:
However, if you train too much before you grasp the concept of Aiki, then this is no good.
This sounds like a conceptual guide or recognition-- even if completely kinesthetic and nonverbal -- is necessary to train effectively. IOW, you must know what you are training for -- if you are ever to develop it -- which is quite the paradox: to learn you must know, and you cannot know without learning .

Quote:
Sagawa in "Clear Power" wrote:
No matter how accomplished a person is, he is never perfect. Never hold what he says to be gospel. If you do, then it will obstruct your own determination to innovate and find things out for yourself. You must take what you learn, and then innovate it based on your own ideas.
...
No matter how much you learn something, if it is simply taught to you, you will forget it. However you will never forget something you acquire for yourself. It becomes you.

There are many things in this world that people still do not understand, so you must not have any pre-conceptions about things. This applies to Aiki as well. This is why I can continue to innovate and change my Aiki.
...
You can't get good at something simply by repetition….Many people would say back in the day that all you had to do is practice, and more practice! But after I became able to think for myself I found that this wasn't so.
I think you need to read Professor Kimura more closely and reflectively than you are doing:

Quote:
Scott Burke wrote:
I'm not going to argue with an Aiki master/mathematics professor.
I don't know that I am arguing with him -- but I am not at all above doing so. As a genuine scholar, he would welcome me doing so-- and Sagawa himself, as seen above, would not value meek acceptance of whatever you are told...

Quote:
Sagawa in "Clear Power" wrote:
You must possess instant intuition. Do not become obsessed with frames or shapes. ... You must always be ready to defeat any opponent in front of you. You build upon this spirit. In the end it is about spirit clashing against spirit. This applies to everything. A person with weak will could never move hand nor foot against his opponent. A real match is about who will be cut down. If you are weak willed, you will be cut down instantly.
SAGAWA demands that you think and arrive at valid concepts yourself. Iron sharpens iron as much in the contest of mind on mind as body on body. So why object to constructive dispute about concepts and making us have to THINK about what we are doing -- what it REALLY is, objectively -- and WHY it differs from things that aren't that? Is that not what ALL training is about?

Last edited by Erick Mead : 09-07-2014 at 03:07 PM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 09-08-2014, 07:50 AM   #402
jonreading
 
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Dan Richards wrote: View Post
Good point. Maybe we should call them "tastings," I dunno. There are "seminars" which by the very word, people are going to expect to actively participate and learn, not just watch a "demo."

I think there are more of them, but you've got to go back to that great mom n' pop pizza shop, or the microbrewery, or small farm. The quality is going to be inherent at that scale, but once you start trying to franchise and increase the production of scale, the quality goes down.

And as far as visiting other schools to get students; we could liken that to walking in with your own brand of microbrew to a loud sports bar. 1. You're getting into someone else's business. 2. Most of the people there just want a good buzz, want to watch the game, want a cheap and near-frozen tasteless beer, and don't give a crap about your Belgian Saison you've been perfecting for five years.

And in my case, and I think for many other Aiki people, I'm not looking to take away students from other arts and have them join "my school." I don't have "a school." In fact, I like that these people train where they train, and come to me for tools and skills that they can insert into their own training. I have students who are actively training in Wing Chun, Aikido, JKD, etc. - some of them are seriously into it -- training hard for 6+ hours every week. They come to me once a week and we work together for a couple of hours. And often they bring other people from their schools to train with me. I'm not only not a threat to their school or their teachers, I'm giving them skills they can use within their own training classes at their schools. I even get indirect comments from their teachers, through the students, that the students are showing a lot of improvement, are more solid and sensitive, and that their techniques are a lot more effective. I don't even call what I do "Aiki," I just call it eclectic martial arts or just training. So, when the Wing Chun guy trains with me, he's training Wing Chun, the JKD guy is training JKD, the Aikido girl is training Aikido, etc.

Yes, well, you have to be interested in beers. Something to get your foot in the door. And have some experience. And that's why I'm usually only interested in training people who already have a reasonable background in, and who are actively training, martial arts.

But many people, like your girl who doesn't have a working knowledge -- and probably doesn't even want one -- is more than happy to enjoy her mass-produced beer that's served colder than 40 degrees. And she could be energetic and confident in her opinions, and she has a right to be. "Well," she says, "I don't really like beer all that much, and I like it really it cold, and I don't want too many calories, and I like something dependable I can find at most places. And I like Bud Light Lime 'cause it's just fun and makes me feel good and it reminds me of my trip to Mexico. Trying other beers just gives me a headache." And her opinion is 100% legit. And screw your IP lager and Aiki ale.

The point is, in most cases, people who are seeking something of a more esoteric quality are going to seek it out. And they know that. Some of the best teachers don't advertise, don't have websites, are hard to find, are hard to contact. don't post on forums, don't make elaborate videos. don't have a dojo in a strip mall, don't try to revolve what they do around a commercial school, don't try to make a living as a martial artist...

But I think there's a good groundswell, and it's catching on. And there is information out there, and there are people out there, and resources, and conversations, and hands to touch, and body skills to learn. And in that way there's never been a better time to be into this stuff. It's just that it's never really going to be "out there" on a large scale. Just like heirloom tomatoes are hard to find, but worth the effort for a small portion of the market who appreciates the quality of experience.

Martial arts is already a subculture in our society. And IS/IP/AIki is an even smaller subculture within that. It's always been like that, and it will always be like that. But just the fact that there's more information and communication is a pretty amazing thing, I'd say.

So, again, we should ask: What's more important? Quanity or quality? Because we reach a point where the returns are diminishing, and the more you get of one, the less you get of the other.
Yes, you have to go back to the individuals who are personally working (with success) on aiki. This is not an organizational issue, I think, beyond those organizations that allow this experimental study. I think a poster asked some personal questions about Saotome sensei and ASU. Yes, I think Saotome sensei does aiki. I think he had difficulty transmitting it and I think he is trying to transmit it. That is why I am ASU - I have seen no other organization support the individuals who are taking on aiki in the US like ASU. I think most of the people who trained extensively with O Sensei admit they never understood 100% of what was going on. In this sense, yes, our transmission line was damaged. There are people who have personally taken on a revival challenge to find those aspects that were not transmitted.

Second, I think a big issue is that, yes, you are challenging people beyond their comfort zone and working ability. This is not necessarily negative, but I previously posted about challenging psuedo-religious and philosophical oriented perceptions in aikido. Not everyone is going to welcome that challenge, whether they accept it or not.

It is not unreasonable to speculate that transmitting aiki is like throwing spaghetti at a wall - some of it will stick and some will not. For me, arguing about who stuck and if their students stuck is somewhat just an exercise, unless it is to disclose where one can find aiki first-hand. The argument for me, is that there are others who learned aiki, outside of aikido. There are others who were able to transmit aiki. The pressure still falls on [us] to find aiki and say, "this is where I found aiki and I think y'all should give her a try."

I think if [we] are infirm about what we even want to call aiki, it is tough to argue who has it. Further, to argue about people who had it, in a lineage that we do not train... There is a living aiki out there on which aikido people, and friends of aikido people, are working.

To this I would also say that everyone's opinion is not valid as a methodology of definition, nor a form of absolution. Drinking Bud Light does not proves Bud Light is a good beer, only that you have chosen to drink Bud Light, for whatever reason. Doing aikido does not prove that you are doing aiki, only that you are doing something that you want to do (presumably). Nor does it prove that what you want to do is what we call aikido. "Do it if it feels good," is not proof positive we are making good decisions... The 70's should tell us that .

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Old 09-08-2014, 07:52 AM   #403
Dan Richards
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Erick, I think your post #401 [above] is one the most enlightening writing examples on Aiki I've ever seen.

Chris McKinley's posts on Myelination at RSF mirror what Sagawa was addressing, in that. 1. It's not practice, practice, practice that's important, but the right kind of practice. 2. That thinking/contemplation of the process is actually a large portion of building the Aiki body. Thinking is part of the practice.

Last edited by Dan Richards : 09-08-2014 at 07:54 AM.
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:53 AM   #404
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
How is the difference meaningful? I think there's pretty universal agreement that training is necessary if one is to achieve "aiki" effects. So does it really matter whether the thing being trained is control of one's own body or alignment with external forces? Or, as I see it, both? How does the "effect" vs. "skill" question change the teaching methodology?

Katherine
Because there are multiple ways to cause Aiki. Internal power - which is a different thing entirely than Aiki - is perhaps one way to cause Aiki, but it is not the only way.
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Old 09-09-2014, 01:36 PM   #405
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Change it how Carsten? You can change how the body does things but you cannot change the stuff from which it is made.
I think the most important aspect in this regard is that you can change the condition/quality structure of your fasciae and you can build them up. You can "train" the fascia, so to speak.

Quote:
Perhaps you are referring to changing how the body behaves in different situations?
Quote:
Quality is a subjective term unless you are referring to measurable effects. So when you use the word quality, how are you using it?
I meant "quality" in the sense of "the way how you are moving". So changing the conditions of the body (Recruiting fascial tissue; Reducing the muscle tone at rest - which is different from just relaxing; Opening the joints; and some other things ...) leads to a change of how the body behaves.

In concrete - and over-simplified - terms:
Moving by using the fascia and opening the joints i.a. is fundamentally different (= a different quality) from moving using the muscles in the first place.

Quote:
Different in what ways? ...
Well, in ways I hinted at above.
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Old 09-10-2014, 02:22 PM   #406
Mert Gambito
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Internal power has survived and been successfully transmitted through the ages via the metaphor-based tanren model, which has only been taught to a few hand-selected folks per generation in certain ryu/ryuha (perhaps Sagawa, despite teaching his tanren, remained selective in terms of who got the most transparent vs. obfuscated instruction), and must be sought outside of the formal curriculum in others (e.g. mainline aikido) by the few that perceive its presence and value. (On a personal note, after years of suspecting it existed, I was pleased to learn that Hakkoryu has a formal solo training regimen codified by the shodai soke.)

The point being, given that say, on average less than 1 out of every 100 folks in a given ryu/ryuha per generation (far less in aikido, i.e. much, much, much < ~12,000:~"1.2 million" [as cited by the Aikikai]) being provided or getting a hold of and training to proficiency in a metaphor-based tanren model, when it is in play in the hands of the dedicated, intuitive and talented -- since that's who's picked for transmission after many years of amassing gold stars with the current knowledge-holder or has the chutzpah to go find then grab the brass ring for him/herself -- it has proven to be quite a successful way to transfer very complex knowledge and body skills.

Now, such models are publicly available. The dedicated, intuitive and talented will still rise to the top over time, but I'm all for seeing where a greater sample size takes us.

Can more of a literal approach do better than an Escher-like approach in terms of how we wire our minds to transform ourselves? Again, time will tell if something more new fangled can replicate or surpass what's proven to work. (At least IT has survived to the present day in various codified forms, vs. something else very sublime and old fangled like how the pyramids were built.)


Last edited by Mert Gambito : 09-10-2014 at 02:35 PM.

Mert
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Old 09-11-2014, 09:57 AM   #407
dps
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Quote:
Mert Gambito wrote: View Post
)The point being, given that say, on average less than 1 out of every 100 folks in a given ryu/ryuha per generation (far less in aikido, i.e. much, much, much < ~12,000:~"1.2 million" [as cited by the Aikikai]) being provided or getting a hold of and training to proficiency in a metaphor-based tanren model, when it is in play in the hands of the dedicated, intuitive and talented -- since that's who's picked for transmission after many years of amassing gold stars with the current knowledge-holder or has the chutzpah to go find then grab the brass ring for him/herself -- it has proven to be quite a successful way to transfer very complex knowledge and body skills.
Are these actually statistics or your guesses?

dps
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Old 09-11-2014, 10:42 AM   #408
Cliff Judge
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Quote:
Mert Gambito wrote: View Post
Internal power has survived and been successfully transmitted through the ages via the metaphor-based tanren model, which has only been taught to a few hand-selected folks per generation in certain ryu/ryuha (perhaps Sagawa, despite teaching his tanren, remained selective in terms of who got the most transparent vs. obfuscated instruction), and must be sought outside of the formal curriculum in others (e.g. mainline aikido) by the few that perceive its presence and value. (On a personal note, after years of suspecting it existed, I was pleased to learn that Hakkoryu has a formal solo training regimen codified by the shodai soke.)

The point being, given that say, on average less than 1 out of every 100 folks in a given ryu/ryuha per generation (far less in aikido, i.e. much, much, much < ~12,000:~"1.2 million" [as cited by the Aikikai]) being provided or getting a hold of and training to proficiency in a metaphor-based tanren model, when it is in play in the hands of the dedicated, intuitive and talented -- since that's who's picked for transmission after many years of amassing gold stars with the current knowledge-holder or has the chutzpah to go find then grab the brass ring for him/herself -- it has proven to be quite a successful way to transfer very complex knowledge and body skills.
I am not so sure about "through the ages." You make it sound like "metaphor-based tanren models" for developing internal power existed outside of Daito ryu. There is scant evidence for that, and multitudes of commonsense reasons why it is unlikely. Not the least of which is your assertion that it is "quite a successful way to transfer very complex knowledge and body skills."

"Oh yes, here I have hit upon this method of teaching these incredibly useful skills which seems to work all the time as long as I can get my lazy, uninterested students to practice. I must make sure nobody ever learns this."
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Old 09-11-2014, 05:44 PM   #409
Mert Gambito
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
I am not so sure about "through the ages." You make it sound like "metaphor-based tanren models" for developing internal power existed outside of Daito ryu. There is scant evidence for that, and multitudes of commonsense reasons why it is unlikely. Not the least of which is your assertion that it is "quite a successful way to transfer very complex knowledge and body skills."

"Oh yes, here I have hit upon this method of teaching these incredibly useful skills which seems to work all the time as long as I can get my lazy, uninterested students to practice. I must make sure nobody ever learns this."
These models and their metaphors are typically largely Taoist or have a strong root in Taoism. That stuff's pretty old, and accordingly certainly not limited to Daito-ryu.

Happy to restate my key point. If so few people historically have been taught how to effectively utilize the metaphors, the work is difficult and requires a lot of effort and dedication over the course of years (how many people wash out before 3 months is up trying P90X, let alone while undertaking a type of training that measures ability to reach baseline competency in portions of or whole decades?) and yet the models survive and people with demonstrable internal power and skills continue to be produced via those models, it's logical to conclude that they are quite successful.

Last edited by Mert Gambito : 09-11-2014 at 05:48 PM.

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Old 09-11-2014, 09:17 PM   #410
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Mert Gambito wrote: View Post
...yet the models survive and people with demonstrable internal power and skills continue to be produced via those models, it's logical to conclude that they are quite successful.
Lessee -- if 1 out of a 100 get it using those methods-- that's less than 1% successful (i.e. -- not "quite").

I'd say that's a margin crying out to be beaten.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 09-12-2014, 03:58 AM   #411
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
I am not so sure about "through the ages."
What makes you doubt?
As Mert said "these models and their metaphors are typically largely Taoist or have a strong root in Taoism. That stuff's pretty old, and accordingly certainly not limited to Daito-ryu."
You can find it in certain koryû.
You can find it in Chinese arts.
The daoist texts that talk about it, are pretty old.
...

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Old 09-12-2014, 07:51 AM   #412
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Lessee -- if 1 out of a 100 get it using those methods-- that's less than 1% successful (i.e. -- not "quite").

I'd say that's a margin crying out to be beaten.
In the other aiki post, I talked about our attitudes towards excusing performance proficiency. The same comments apply here. We sit back and train within a model that gives us an excuse not to pay attention, an excuse not to be critical of progression, an excuse not to transcend the education and an excuse not to excel. Why are we surprised when you can count the number of world-reknown proficient aikido people on 2 hands (maybe three) .... out of a million+ people training? The numbers out there are pretty bad. That's Mert's point. Why are we sticking with a teaching model that has given us very low success rates?

Backing up, my intention in my differentiation is to start to whittle down those numbers. I want to identify the people that accelerate training and comprehension. And not because they have a black belt, or do aikido or whatever, but because they do aiki. Should there be a high correlation of aiki and aikido people? Absolutely. Is there? That's an argument.

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Old 09-12-2014, 09:32 AM   #413
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Why are we sticking with a teaching model that has given us very low success rates?
you know that folks are going to challenge your idea of "success", right? i meant if they are training for some sort of peace and harmony stuffs, aren't they "success" in their own right? you see where i am going with this, right?

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 09-12-2014, 10:06 AM   #414
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Why are we sticking with a teaching model that has given us very low success rates?...That's an argument.
Until you are able to derive a metric by which Aikido success can be measured it's not really much of an argument. And even if you manage to come up with said metric, it's really only going to measure success that's applicable to your particular training paradigm.

And Phi, how would you measure success?

Ron

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Old 09-12-2014, 10:35 AM   #415
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

My thoughts exactly.

We have a number of reasons/goals for doing aikido - not one of them easily measured.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 09-12-2014, 11:04 AM   #416
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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And Phi, how would you measure success?

Ron
to convince you all that i am the greatest aikidork since slice bread.

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Old 09-12-2014, 11:16 AM   #417
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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In the other aiki post, I talked about our attitudes towards excusing performance proficiency. The same comments apply here. We sit back and train within a model that gives us an excuse not to pay attention, an excuse not to be critical of progression, an excuse not to transcend the education and an excuse not to excel. ... I want to identify the people that accelerate training and comprehension. And not because they have a black belt, or do aikido or whatever, but because they do aiki. Should there be a high correlation of aiki and aikido people? Absolutely. Is there? That's an argument.
This post there was interesting, and -- just 'cuz -- last night we trained what Gleason showed. I used his examples -- but my explanations. I was pleased that my three relative noobs (well, one is bar bouncer -- and one has a CMA background -- but neither have anything that adds to this) were doing single point contact kuzushi by the end of class - and with minimal movement. We did that first one and the second one and then combined them into a one-handed ikkyo, no grabbing allowed. We didn't get to the third -- but I'll have some thoughts on that below.

So, my critique of the explanations:

First -- six directions -- it's not wrong-- and I know this has lineage and backup -- and I don't care -- it is confusingly counter-intuitive, not in the good way, and unnecessarily so.

"Six directions" is more simply just the three axes of space -- three is simpler than six and three axes puts it into sixth-grade coordinate graphing imagery - and a more immediate grasp of the significance of juji -- right angle orientations. People play lots of video games now -- lets' give them the benefit of the doubt on actual spatial geometry comprehension and imagination.

Second -- "expanding in all directions at once " -- also again not wrong -- and again, confusingly conflated.

Three axes means three - simultaneous -- axial expansions. Spherical expansion/contraction is accurate geometrically -- but also confusing -- because -- we aikidoka are not spherical -- (though some may tend that way ). Strictly and topologically we are "spherical," but that beyond one particular usage can be confusing (even stricter, topologically speaking -- we are toroidal, with a tube running through the middle --- but that just get's icky )

Torsion or expanding/contracting vortices, though, displays the same simultaneous 3-axis dynamic geometry as the expanding/contracting sphere -- think, water going down a drain. And for the geometry sticklers -- a drain-water cyclone or whirlpool funnel approximates half of what's known as a pseudosphere (look it up). OK fine, here.

And what we did in class: I taught two basic images -- the sphere and the drainwater funnel -- and two basic body actions, one expanding, one contracting.

The expanding/contracting sphere (dare I say, the dynamic sphere ) is the pneumatic jack of the lungs and diaphragm writ large. The sphere orients the needed double curvature of the stress applied in the body -- one curve horizontal to the floor and one curve vertical.

The expanding or contracting spiral funnel gives a correct and intuitive image of the linear orientation of applied stress of your own body (intent, if you prefer, again a needlessly confusing image) that creates three axis expansive or contractive effect. I pointed out the the streamlines in the drainwater funnel -- or the vine winding itself around the intersecting limb.

I explained the concept of field action -- like the whirlpool draws those streamlines across the whole surface of the water, or a hurricane 300 miles away can be seen to make clouds right over you circulate the wrong way. The point was to create that intensity of oriented stress dynamic in their body and let its field expand to occupy -- and affect everything connected in the whole interaction.

And like I said -- they got it -- and in one class went from correct body structure, stress orientation (intent), principle of dynamic action, and into a basic applied waza initiated on a point of contact only. They quickly saw for themselves the radical difference between one or two axis stress or rotation and the three axis variety, and toward the end began correcting themselves, when they got it wrong. They could distinguish "an effect" from "the effect," and the conditions necessary to do the one and not the other,

The transverse axis component of expansion (opening the chest) they get easily (once they distinguished this from rotating the waist -- but they tended to confuse the fore-and-aft extension component from the the vertical expansion component when the arm is engaged. To cure this -- I had them practice the vertical expansion compoent in isolation -- holding a jo vertically at full arm extension with one end resting on the floor and lift the end just off the floor using their breath alone. That worked, and then things went swimmingly.

We then practiced the inverse contracting phase also shown by Gleason to kuzushi.

We also played with the second example -- which is a more forthright cutting shear (te giri), exploiting the rotational stress implied in the coupled engagement of the arms -- if you don't try to stop it.

After practicing this to effect kuzushi to the engaged push, we then used the expanding phase we had practiced for the contact kuzushi of ikkyo and the contracting phase as foundation of the cutting mechanism of ikkyo -- and initially without the off-arm engaging uke's shoulder at all, to be sure that the action was correct and not dependent on forcible displacement.

On the last example from Gleason Sensei's video clip, this was IMO an example of the same stress field principle in action. In other words, applying the stress (intent, as you prefer) applicable in a movement elsewhere, the arm engages the uke into the same stress field though the point of contact where it is being restrained. Then the restraint is led where the stress field is directed. We'll play with that one another day, but it is just a different orientation of kokyu tanden ho with a more diffuse contact.

A word on intent. Is this really a useful training tool or image? What does the work is the stress field that enables a movement -- and thus again-- it's not wrong to say "intent" because the body disposes its stress to accommodate an intended action or load bearing activity. Zhan Zhuang sensitizes you to how much of this is going on and constantly. Intent implies that you already know how you are going to have to deal with the load -- and that is just not the case, and unnecessary since the body's mechanisms are more nimble and effective than your voluntary compensations ever could hope to be.

But people can be shown where and how they should be feeling and deploying stress, and people who have not developed good proprioception to begin with may have no idea what kind of felt stress the correct "intent" should exhibit. I think it adds nothing -- and distracts from what proximately causes the effect sought. The point is to introduce this manner of structural effect to the body's own mechanisms and let them eventually take over -- which requires training to build up.

But I do not think they are going to do that without being introduced to it -- and intent implies that they ought to know it before being introduced. Stress in the body can be shown and manipulated to illustrate both error and correction, and so allow the individual to get a correct interpretation of the stress and how to train the body in dealing with it.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 09-12-2014, 11:21 AM   #418
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

FWIW -- The pseudosphere is this:



Tenchi accurately disposes the expanding/contracting spiral geometry to form a full pseudosphere --

(Can it be? ) --- the Fire Spiral -- "draining" up.



And the Water Spiral draining down:




Avatar Korra could not be reached for comment whether there are Air and Earth spirals to complete the set.

Oh wait:


Last edited by Erick Mead : 09-12-2014 at 11:28 AM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 09-12-2014, 11:30 AM   #419
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Talking Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
In the other aiki post, I talked about our attitudes towards excusing performance proficiency. The same comments apply here. We sit back and train within a model that gives us an excuse not to pay attention, an excuse not to be critical of progression, an excuse not to transcend the education and an excuse not to excel. Why are we surprised when you can count the number of world-reknown proficient aikido people on 2 hands (maybe three) .... out of a million+ people training? The numbers out there are pretty bad. That's Mert's point. Why are we sticking with a teaching model that has given us very low success rates?

Backing up, my intention in my differentiation is to start to whittle down those numbers. I want to identify the people that accelerate training and comprehension. And not because they have a black belt, or do aikido or whatever, but because they do aiki. Should there be a high correlation of aiki and aikido people? Absolutely. Is there? That's an argument.
So Jon, whom would you say are the 10-15 "world-renown proficient aikido people"?

Train Hard,
Jason
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Old 09-12-2014, 11:35 AM   #420
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
This post there was interesting, and -- just 'cuz -- last night we trained what Gleason showed. I used his examples -- but my explanations. I was pleased that my three relative noobs (well, one is bar bouncer -- and one has a CMA background -- but neither have anything that adds to this) were doing single point contact kuzushi by the end of class - and with minimal movement. We did that first one and the second one and then combined them into a one-handed ikkyo, no grabbing allowed. We didn't get to the third -- but I'll have some thoughts on that below.

So, my critique of the explanations:

First -- six directions -- it's not wrong-- and I know this has lineage and backup -- and I don't care -- it is confusingly counter-intuitive, not in the good way, and unnecessarily so.

"Six directions" is more simply just the three axes of space -- three is simpler than six and three axes puts it into sixth-grade coordinate graphing imagery - and a more immediate grasp of the significance of juji -- right angle orientations. People play lots of video games now -- lets' give them the benefit of the doubt on actual spatial geometry comprehension and imagination.

Second -- "expanding in all directions at once " -- also again not wrong -- and again, confusingly conflated.

Three axes means three - simultaneous -- axial expansions. Spherical expansion/contraction is accurate geometrically -- but also confusing -- because -- we aikidoka are not spherical -- (though some may tend that way ). Strictly and topologically we are "spherical," but that beyond one particular usage can be confusing (even stricter, topologically speaking -- we are toroidal, with a tube running through the middle --- but that just get's icky )

Torsion or expanding/contracting vortices, though, displays the same simultaneous 3-axis dynamic geometry as the expanding/contracting sphere -- think, water going down a drain. And for the geometry sticklers -- a drain-water cyclone or whirlpool funnel approximates half of what's known as a pseudosphere (look it up). OK fine, here.

And what we did in class: I taught two basic images -- the sphere and the drainwater funnel -- and two basic body actions, one expanding, one contracting.

The expanding/contracting sphere (dare I say, the dynamic sphere ) is the pneumatic jack of the lungs and diaphragm writ large. The sphere orients the needed double curvature of the stress applied in the body -- one curve horizontal to the floor and one curve vertical.

The expanding or contracting spiral funnel gives a correct and intuitive image of the linear orientation of applied stress of your own body (intent, if you prefer, again a needlessly confusing image) that creates three axis expansive or contractive effect. I pointed out the the streamlines in the drainwater funnel -- or the vine winding itself around the intersecting limb.

I explained the concept of field action -- like the whirlpool draws those streamlines across the whole surface of the water, or a hurricane 300 miles away can be seen to make clouds right over you circulate the wrong way. The point was to create that intensity of oriented stress dynamic in their body and let its field expand to occupy -- and affect everything connected in the whole interaction.

And like I said -- they got it -- and in one class went from correct body structure, stress orientation (intent), principle of dynamic action, and into a basic applied waza initiated on a point of contact only. They quickly saw for themselves the radical difference between one or two axis stress or rotation and the three axis variety, and toward the end began correcting themselves, when they got it wrong. They could distinguish "an effect" from "the effect," and the conditions necessary to do the one and not the other,

The transverse axis component of expansion (opening the chest) they get easily (once they distinguished this from rotating the waist -- but they tended to confuse the fore-and-aft extension component from the the vertical expansion component when the arm is engaged. To cure this -- I had them practice the vertical expansion compoent in isolation -- holding a jo vertically at full arm extension with one end resting on the floor and lift the end just off the floor using their breath alone. That worked, and then things went swimmingly.

We then practiced the inverse contracting phase also shown by Gleason to kuzushi.

We also played with the second example -- which is a more forthright cutting shear (te giri), exploiting the rotational stress implied in the coupled engagement of the arms -- if you don't try to stop it.

After practicing this to effect kuzushi to the engaged push, we then used the expanding phase we had practiced for the contact kuzushi of ikkyo and the contracting phase as foundation of the cutting mechanism of ikkyo -- and initially without the off-arm engaging uke's shoulder at all, to be sure that the action was correct and not dependent on forcible displacement.

On the last example from Gleason Sensei's video clip, this was IMO an example of the same stress field principle in action. In other words, applying the stress (intent, as you prefer) applicable in a movement elsewhere, the arm engages the uke into the same stress field though the point of contact where it is being restrained. Then the restraint is led where the stress field is directed. We'll play with that one another day, but it is just a different orientation of kokyu tanden ho with a more diffuse contact.

A word on intent. Is this really a useful training tool or image? What does the work is the stress field that enables a movement -- and thus again-- it's not wrong to say "intent" because the body disposes its stress to accommodate an intended action or load bearing activity. Zhan Zhuang sensitizes you to how much of this is going on and constantly. Intent implies that you already know how you are going to have to deal with the load -- and that is just not the case, and unnecessary since the body's mechanisms are more nimble and effective than your voluntary compensations ever could hope to be.

But people can be shown where and how they should be feeling and deploying stress, and people who have not developed good proprioception to begin with may have no idea what kind of felt stress the correct "intent" should exhibit. I think it adds nothing -- and distracts from what proximately causes the effect sought. The point is to introduce this manner of structural effect to the body's own mechanisms and let them eventually take over -- which requires training to build up.

But I do not think they are going to do that without being introduced to it -- and intent implies that they ought to know it before being introduced. Stress in the body can be shown and manipulated to illustrate both error and correction, and so allow the individual to get a correct interpretation of the stress and how to train the body in dealing with it.
Whew! Erick, if it took you as long to explain it as it did for me to read it, it's a wonder that you guys had any time to practice it!

Seriously, I think your point is well made, namely that there are numerous ways of looking a what's actually going on. And I don't think that's a bad thing. People learn stuff in all sorts of ways and if someone can demonstrate a certain thing then who cares what imagery was used in the teaching?

Ron

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Old 09-12-2014, 11:51 AM   #421
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

http://youtu.be/mmzL2ygYrxk

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Old 09-12-2014, 11:53 AM   #422
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

One post! That was quick.

Honestly, the metric won't matter. You should still be motivated to find a teaching model that maximizes your potential to succeed.

Once we identify the metric, it will set the expectation. If you want to claim, "I measure my aikido by showing up, and I show up every night." fine. I will know what you value about your training when I make my personal assessments about your skill. For example, if I am in it for the peace, I have to think, "Am I more at peace? What are metrics for this? Lower blood pressure? Less anxiety? Better sleep? Yep. This is real for many people, possibly even for health concerns. But, it's not aiki. And there's nothing wrong with that as long as everyone knows it. Its like black mail - it doesn't work unless you participate in the continued deception.

The rub is that we don't want a metric because it damages the fantasy and challenges our opinions. Worse, it can set measurable goals. For some people, aikido is like duct tape. We wrap up whatever ails us in aikido and the problem is fixed. PTSD? Train Aikido? Obesity? Train Aikido. Bipolar? Train Aikido. Domestic violence? Train aikido. Is aikido really the best solution to treat these ailments? Probably not. But its what we want to do and so we'll do it to the discredit of any reasonable evidence to seek a better solution.

Ultimately, if you don't know what you want, why would you expect me to listen to you tell me what I should want? It is foreign to me that we would spend time, money and effort to train so diligently in something and yet be so unclear as to what we want to get our of our training that we can neither express it in writing nor evaluate our progress in achieving that goal.

We are so afraid of the wrong answer that we refuse to give an answer.

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Old 09-12-2014, 12:14 PM   #423
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Quote:
Jason Rudolph wrote: View Post
So Jon, whom would you say are the 10-15 "world-renown proficient aikido people"?

Train Hard,
Jason
Why is this important to you? Why is my list important to your training? Other that to start a tangent? Or, maybe solicit me to make an awkward list that could possibly cause some people to bristle at the notion of being excluded? Saotome Sensei, Ikeda Sensei and Endo Sensei are my list; I would throw in Tissier sensei since he often represents aikido in international events. There are other great people out there, but do not meet either the world platform recognition or do aikido.

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Old 09-12-2014, 12:19 PM   #424
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
and your point is.

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Old 09-12-2014, 12:51 PM   #425
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Re: Demonstrating aiki, demontrating aikido.Same thing ?

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
Why is this important to you? Why is my list important to your training? Other that to start a tangent? Or, maybe solicit me to make an awkward list that could possibly cause some people to bristle at the notion of being excluded? Saotome Sensei, Ikeda Sensei and Endo Sensei are my list; I would throw in Tissier sensei since he often represents aikido in international events. There are other great people out there, but do not meet either the world platform recognition or do aikido.
Jon,

You made the statement. I was merely asking you to state (back up) whom you believe meet that criteria. You mentioned three aikido practitioners only 7-12 more to go......If not, then why make such a broad based comment? I realize that this does not affect my training after all this is a discussion board and we are discussing things.

Train Hard,
Jason
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