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Old 07-20-2009, 09:40 PM   #26
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
This applies equally to ANY body of knowledge:
How do you know what's missing, if you don't know what IT is that you're looking for?








Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 07-21-2009, 02:40 AM   #27
jss
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
In the sense that muscle strength ideally shouldn't be the central force of the power, I'd have to guess that it is fundemental to the physical waza.
<snip>
Because it sounds like a lot of folks are essentially dismissing what a lot of other folks are doing...I could be reading too much into things though...and probably am
If it is fundamental to physical waza then you have no choice but to dismiss what a lot of other folks are doing. No matter how subtle and technically rich their use of muscle strength is, if they are not using internal skills, they are not executing the physical waza correctly and thus they are not doing aikido.
I'd say the reason you think you're reading too much into it is that most people have been quite polite about it or have been reluctant to accept the inescapable conclusion one has to draw after discovering the fundamental nature of these skills to aikido.

Last edited by jss : 07-21-2009 at 02:40 AM. Reason: quote-tag correction
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Old 07-21-2009, 07:26 AM   #28
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Quote:
Joep Schuurkes wrote: View Post
If it is fundamental to physical waza then you have no choice but to dismiss what a lot of other folks are doing. No matter how subtle and technically rich their use of muscle strength is, if they are not using internal skills, they are not executing the physical waza correctly and thus they are not doing aikido.
To say that you "have no choice" implies that you are a)qualified to make such a judgment, b)unbiased enough to make such a judgment and c)compelled to make such a judgment.

a) is probably rare.
b) is probably much more rare.
c) is absolutely rarest still, and yet an awful lot of people seem to feel that the making of such judgments is the reason why they were placed on this earth.

From my perspective, this is the A-number-one thing that has always bugged me most about aikido: it is packed to the rafters with people whose favorite recreation is passing judgment and condemning others as not practicing aikido. Couch it in all the elevated terms you want, but I can't help but see this as exceptionally childish behavior.
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Old 07-21-2009, 07:58 AM   #29
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Hi Mary,

That is why I couched it in the terms that I used. I think all too often we do waste a lot of time passing judgement on others, rather than making correct judgements for ourselves.

I'd like to hope that I come across as making correct judgements for myself, and sharing the information so that others can decide for themselves. As others have also stressed, there are all kinds of levels of this area of endeavor...I think each of us that decide this is the way to go, will also have to decide what level is appropriate for them, and what uses of the skills at that level are appropriate for THEIR aikido.

Frankly, this is difficult enough without a lot of the baggage that seems to come along with it.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 07-21-2009, 08:21 AM   #30
MM
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
To say that you "have no choice" implies that you are a)qualified to make such a judgment, b)unbiased enough to make such a judgment and c)compelled to make such a judgment.

a) is probably rare.
b) is probably much more rare.
c) is absolutely rarest still, and yet an awful lot of people seem to feel that the making of such judgments is the reason why they were placed on this earth.

From my perspective, this is the A-number-one thing that has always bugged me most about aikido: it is packed to the rafters with people whose favorite recreation is passing judgment and condemning others as not practicing aikido. Couch it in all the elevated terms you want, but I can't help but see this as exceptionally childish behavior.
Hmm ... let me play Devil's Advocate here.

On the other side of the fence, you have people stating, "what I'm doing is aikido. Those other folks are being childish in stating that I'm not."

But, that implies that the person on this other side of the fence is a)qualified to make such a judgment, b)unbiased enough to make such a judgment and c)compelled to make such a judgment.

From there, one could make the same assertions that you have about rarity. In fact, one could make the same assertions about childish behavior on this side of the fence. Sort of like a kid chanting, I am right, I am right while holding hands over his/her ears. Or more appropriately, I am doing aikido, I am doing aikido.

Okay, end Devil's Advocate.

Looking at the situation, I find one thing very interesting. Not that one side keeps stating internal structure and aiki. Not that one side keeps stating what I'm doing is aikido.

No, the very interesting fact is this: The side that keeps stating what I'm doing is aikido has a 100% conversion rate to the former side when directly, physically experiencing aiki from Daito ryu. This includes people from mudansha to high ranking yudansha in the Aikido World.

Now, certainly one could make the argument that these kinds of people who go out and experience stuff "outside" their organization are the kind of people who would be swayed. It is an argument that I have yet to hear from anyone. However, some of "these kinds of people" are those with 20 to 40 years of direct experience in the Aikido World. It is hard to lump them with younger, not so experienced people who might be swayed.

While the Internet created a dividing line, the opposite has happened in the "real" world. Many people from across organizations have come together and created bonds working towards making aikido better. It's hard to find easily swayed people in this kind of environment.

In the end, as someone has told me, "your training is in your hands".

Wishing you the best in your training.

Mark
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Old 07-21-2009, 08:42 AM   #31
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

That's not being a devil's advocate, Mark -- that's called "making stuff up". In five minutes of browsing through threads on aikiweb, I can show you a few dozen examples of the behavior I'm talking about. Can you provide me with a single example of your "devils' advocate" situation?

I don't care what elevated terms anyone wants to couch it in, I don't care what kind of sanctimonious aiki-high-ground you want to claim you stand on. It's petty, childish, sandbox behavior and I won't call it anything else.
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Old 07-21-2009, 09:03 AM   #32
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
From my perspective, this is the A-number-one thing that has always bugged me most about aikido: it is packed to the rafters with people whose favorite recreation is passing judgment and condemning others as not practicing aikido.
By "dismissing what other folks are doing" I mean deciding that these folks are not practicing the aikido I'd like to practice. As such I will treat them the same as all the other people training non-internal Japanese ju jutsu. And sure, I can learn a lot from these people about ju jutsu, but not about internal skills. And that's quite a fundamental divider.
But what I absolutely have no interest in doing is dismissing other people's aikido as worthless, just because it's not internal. If they find their practice valuable, more power to them. And to about the same degree I am not interested in visiting other aikido dojos and after finding out they don't have internal skills, point out to them they are actually not doing aikido. That would require a huge amount of arrogance.

It's basically what Ron said: I'll make my judgments about what I want my aikido to be, you do the same for yours. And hopefully we can have discussions in a way that enriches both our aikido.

That's the reason I said "you have no choice". If you accept that
Major: Internal skills are fundamental to aikido.
Minor: Most people's aikido lacks internal skills.
You cannot escape the conclusion that most people are not practicing aikido. So while I agree one needs to be qualified and unbiased to make such a judgment, I disagree when you say one needs to be compelled to make this judgment. It's just logic. Except if one desires to be the internal skills messiah of aikido, to go around and pass judgment on everyone's aikido, but I don't think anybody here has that ambition.
To be honest, it actually sucks big time to realize that most aikido dojos are not teaching what you want to learn.

Last edited by jss : 07-21-2009 at 09:15 AM. Reason: clarification in last paragraph
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Old 07-21-2009, 09:31 AM   #33
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
That's not being a devil's advocate, Mark -- that's called "making stuff up". In five minutes of browsing through threads on aikiweb, I can show you a few dozen examples of the behavior I'm talking about. Can you provide me with a single example of your "devils' advocate" situation?

I don't care what elevated terms anyone wants to couch it in, I don't care what kind of sanctimonious aiki-high-ground you want to claim you stand on. It's petty, childish, sandbox behavior and I won't call it anything else.
Well, Mary, if I *had* to choose one, I'd probably use your post. You would have to have direct experience with all those other people, that you like to call petty and childish, to be a)qualified to make such a judgment, b)unbiased enough to make such a judgment and c)compelled to make such a judgment.

If you'd enlighten me to all that experience which qualifies you to make such judgments, all the experience that allows you to see both sides to form an unbiased judgment, and the experienced reasoning of knowing both sides which compelled your judgment; I'd certainly provide an apology and offer to buy you dinner.

As it is, I can only offer to buy you dinner so that we can debate in person where the environment is more cheerful than this black-hole of an Internet. Ask anyone that knows me. I'm a likeable guy. I certainly am not picturing you as a villain.
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Old 07-21-2009, 09:41 AM   #34
Amir Krause
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

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David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Is it just the people who practice Aikikai Aikido who feel that something is missing in their practice ( internal strength, connection, intent, etc) or do the people who practice Yoseikan Aikido, Yoshinkan Aikido, Shodokan Aikido and Korindo Aikido feel that there is something missing also?

David
I guess as the only Korindo practitioner here, I too should answer, as vague as my answer is abotu to be:

I do not feel anything is mising in Korindo.
But that does not mean the "body of knowldge" Dan writes about is inlculded. I can not know of things I did not experiance.

The way I am taught, techniches often utilize structure (to borrow the chinise M.A. trm) and when muscular strength is used, it is normally the larger muscles and\or whole body movement against one part of the others structure. In this way a weaker lighter person can easily perfrom most techniques on an heavier stronger person, if the first one is less significantly less skilled. Yet, I doubt we are talking of the same thing - timing and sensitivity play at least as much as the structure in the way I am taught.

I would also point out that unlike Ueshiba aikido, Korindo is not based on Daito-ryu. For some reason, this seems to be an issue of this discussion.

Amir
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Old 07-21-2009, 09:41 AM   #35
Basia Halliop
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

It seems to become a question about who has the right to the name, in the end, which to me personally just doesn't seem important enough to argue about.

It seems more important to figure out if you personally are practicing what you wish to be practicing, and learning the skills you want to be learning, rather than what the correct name would be for what you're practicing. So I _can_ see the value of sharing different experiences of skills people have experienced and where they learned them or what they found personally valuable about them, in case others find they would like to learn more about this...

But if someone tells me what I do "isn't really aikido", it just seems like a silly thing to argue about, because I don't really care about what it's called (or even, frankly, who the heck invented it), as long as I get to keep studying what I'm studying.
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Old 07-21-2009, 09:47 AM   #36
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Well, Mary, if I *had* to choose one, I'd probably use your post. You would have to have direct experience with all those other people, that you like to call petty and childish, to be a)qualified to make such a judgment, b)unbiased enough to make such a judgment and c)compelled to make such a judgment.
Why would I need direct experience? I can see what they write right here. They state their views, and their views are what I'm judging them on. You're moving the goalposts, Mark.

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
As it is, I can only offer to buy you dinner so that we can debate in person where the environment is more cheerful than this black-hole of an Internet. Ask anyone that knows me. I'm a likeable guy. I certainly am not picturing you as a villain.
I'm sure you're a nice guy. I just think the whole debate is tedious and stupid, and I don't admire those who delight in passing judgment -- sight unseen -- on others' practice as "not aikido". The whole grasping after "internal skills" strikes me as being about 2% real and 98% a case of the emperor's suit of clothes. Is there reality to it? Sure. But it's also a convenient and irrefutable tool that you can use any time you want to claim superiority or proclaim another's inferiority. My practice is REAL aikido because it's soooo internal! Your practice is hard and physical and external and it sucks! What's that you say? You don't see that my internalness is all that? Well, that's just because you're just not internal enough. If you were, you'd get it, and you'd admit your inferiority and strive to be like me, but you don't get it, so that means you suck. Don't you see that any wannabee can put on this emperor's suit of clothes and get others to agree that yes indeed that is haut couture?

A self-referential argument. How convenient.
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Old 07-21-2009, 09:56 AM   #37
Lan Powers
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

touche'

Play nice, practice hard, but remember, this is a MARTIAL art!
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:25 AM   #38
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Quote:
Can you provide me with a single example of your "devils' advocate" situation?
Many. I think you just gave one above.

Quote:
I don't care what elevated terms anyone wants to couch it in, I don't care what kind of sanctimonious aiki-high-ground you want to claim you stand on. It's petty, childish, sandbox behavior and I won't call it anything else.
I'm sorry that's the way it comes across. Sincerely, if you can find me doing this, feel free to specifically break down the example and post it here. I will most certainly appologize to the board if that is what I do. It is certainly not MY intent. I cannot speak for others.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:36 AM   #39
rob_liberti
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

I've written this before:

For aikido, I would evaluate someone by questions like:
Can you do ikkyo without pushing?
Can you do iriminage without pulling?
Can you do shihonage without lifting?
(At the time, this was meant to be in terms of uke's without internal skills of course)

I do not know many people in any style of aikido who can do those things. But that is how I evaluated if people have "*it* in aikido before I knew anything about the internal skills I've been focused on lately.

For internal skills I want to know:
Can you deliver force without committing weight?
Can you move freely without your balance being vulnerable to pushes and pulls on the line from anus to navel?
Are the hips driving your power or not? (added by Mark Murray)
How long did it take you to develop such things?

I suppose, IF the internal skills I am describing are *the* answer to how I evaluate someone in aikido, then pretty much almost no one has *it*.

IF there are other ways to do those things I listed as what I think is important in aikido devoid of internal skills, then I'm actually good with that. But I'd like to feel it myself. I'll show you mine if you show me yours.

Does this mean that people who do not measure up to *my* criteria are invalid or whatever? - no, it just means that *I* probably won't travel to try to learn from them. Everyone gets to decide for them selves.

Rob
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:37 AM   #40
Mike Sigman
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
The whole grasping after "internal skills" strikes me as being about 2% real and 98% a case of the emperor's suit of clothes. Is there reality to it? Sure. But it's also a convenient and irrefutable tool that you can use any time you want to claim superiority or proclaim another's inferiority. My practice is REAL aikido because it's soooo internal! Your practice is hard and physical and external and it sucks! What's that you say? You don't see that my internalness is all that? Well, that's just because you're just not internal enough. If you were, you'd get it, and you'd admit your inferiority and strive to be like me, but you don't get it, so that means you suck. Don't you see that any wannabee can put on this emperor's suit of clothes and get others to agree that yes indeed that is haut couture?

A self-referential argument. How convenient.
I think the ad hominem arguments sort of miss the point. One of the more realistic bases for debate seems to be (IMO) all the ki/kokyu demonstrations that Ueshiba, Tohei, Shioda, and others did/do for demonstration. If anyone thinks back to some of the posts in recent years, there were Aikido experts dismissing those demonstrations by Ueshiba et al as "parlour tricks" that had little to do with Aikido. Now a lot of people realize that those "parlour tricks" were instead actual demonstrations of some of the body mechanics of ki/kokyu skills. And that should have been obvious a long time ago.

So rather than have an argument that is based on the idea that "internal skills" is just a state of mind or pretense, why not take the argument to who can demonstrate well the typical static and moving "ki tricks"? I.e., "Show Me" seems to be a good way to go, although admittedly if someone simply won't take the time (after all these years) to go look they cannot be convinced. Ultimately, there are so many blatant clues in Aikido that these things are the norm (including copious comments in the literature that were misunderstood by many translators) that I don't see how anyone can miss the idea that the skills are a valid part of Aikido... and perhaps a crucial aspect which defines what Aikido is all about.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 07-21-2009, 11:09 AM   #41
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
In the end, as someone has told me, "your training is in your hands".
I'll say it again:






"Knowing and acting are one." Wang Yang-ming (J. -- Oyomei)

There are echoes here of an old error. Oyomei-gaku was abused by the Japanese nationalists. They believed that if they "knew" what had to be, then that justified their acting by any means to bring it to pass.

Their error was in applying Oyomei's principles as justification for their initial bias, rather than as a tool to explore the validity and limitations of both their initial understanding -- as well as their determination to act, and the choice of their manner of acting. What was meant as a check to action and a cause for reflection, was instead used as a license for action and a call to end all debate.

This is not an indictment of the putative aiki-bunnies or the near-messianic DTR aiki apostles, or anybody in between. According to this approach, everyone fails in various ways -- and in their own ways -- if they fail to think more actively and act more mindfully.

On the one hand, some claim superiority because they believe they know how to "act," but do not comprehend the principle of the action that they employ. This is error -- according to Oyomei. The result is that they perform actions they do not understand, within real limits or boundaries of those principles that they do not perceive -- until they exceed them, and generally, disastrously.

On the other hand, there are those that claim superiority because they "know" principles but then fail to act upon them or put them into practice. This is also error -- according to Oyomei. The result is that they fail realize the circumstantial and contingent limitations in employing the principles, until met with circumstances and contingencies their "knowledge" failed to account.

Through varieties of action, and careful reflection on the manner of and distinctions between forms of action, one can explore (and expand) personal limitations and envisioned possibilities in employing the principles -- and only to that limit may one be said to know and to act in a whole manner.

Everything else remains contingent.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 07-21-2009, 11:51 AM   #42
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Does someone who is color blind ever truly know it, or do they eventually just trust the people telling them so?
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Old 07-21-2009, 12:21 PM   #43
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
I just think the whole debate is tedious and stupid, and I don't admire those who delight in passing judgment -- sight unseen -- on others' practice as "not aikido".
Then every debate about the fundamentals of aikido is tedious and stupid. If I say "Skill A is fundamental to aikido and occasionally I meet aikido practitioners that do not have skill A.", I am judging the aikido of those people that do not have skill A as 'not aikido'. The fact that in this thread skill A = internal skills, is just coincidental.

Quote:
The whole grasping after "internal skills" strikes me as being about 2% real and 98% a case of the emperor's suit of clothes. Is there reality to it? Sure. But it's also a convenient and irrefutable tool that you can use any time you want to claim superiority or proclaim another's inferiority.
It's not irrefutable, as Mike pointed out. And anyone who uses it as the irrefutable tool you describe, should be ignored as the ignorant twits they are.
As far as these skills make a difference, they can be shown, they can be explained, they can be discussed about. If this was not the case, I might as well claim that I have an invisible pet elephant that actually throws you, although to anyone else but me, it just looks and feels like I am performing the technique myself. Should anyone care about this elephant? Apart from perhaps my shrink, I think not.

Basically, Mary, I think you have the following options:
- Argue why internal skills are not fundamental to aikido.
- Argue you have internal skills.
- Ignore the issue, because you don't have to believe everything that's said by some people on the internet.
- Continue as you're doing now.
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Old 07-21-2009, 12:23 PM   #44
Keith Larman
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

My experience fwiw... The following are my personal opinions *ONLY*. I am simply speaking for myself and in no way do I want my words to represent any group, style, etc. I am simply speaking as an individual...

I did other arts pre-aikido. Got pretty good at a couple different things. Kept watching aikido wondering "is that real?". I found that Seidokan had its world HQ near me so I did research on R. Kobayashi. Read through the history and lineage. Okay, trained often with Tohei and was there during the "early" years in Hawaii. And made hard decisions when Tohei split. And eventually split from Tohei himself. So I figured there was a place to go see if what I'd seen at demos were "real" (I was more a fighter at that point) as Tohei (and his students) was about as close to the "source" as I could get outside of Japan.

Went to a few classes and tried to keep an open mind. Many other students struck me initially as not having anything special going for them (yeah, I was cocky but trying to learn). But a few times some of the higher ranked sensei would demonstrate on me. And there I'd feel a power that I couldn't quite comprehend -- powerful but soft, hard to resist and hard to "take over". Grounded, smooth but undeniably forceful. I began to understand there was something there all along.

Fast forward a lot of years... I'm still learning. And I've come to realize that some really do have "it". Some teach "it" better than others. Some teach it somewhat overtly. Others teach it through technical details. But it is there. But I really like Mr. Amdur's title for his new book -- "Hidden in Plain Sight".

But then again I look around on the mat and find that most people (from all styles) are looking for very different things. Not surprising given each individual comes with his or her own expectations, baggage, needs and desires. And back to my original impressions -- some get "it", some don't, but then again, "it" may not be what they're looking for anyway. But... what *I'm* looking for I've found.

But I just don't know if it is the same "it" as everyone else is talking about.

I went to the Aikiweb seminar this year up in Seattle (thanks again Jun!). I felt a lot of "it" in Toby Threadgill. A *lot*! Enough for me to fantasize about relocating to Colorado... Aaron Clark showed a lot of "it" as well IMHO. A very different manifestation than Toby's, but very real nonetheless. And George Ledyard was speaking more in my the "aikido" vocabulary and interestingly enough the first thing he taught at the seminar was a technique that he presented as being somewhat different than conventional. Interestingly for me that was the way I had been taught that technique all along. So lots of "it" was there. And at that seminar it most certainly wasn't "hidden" in plain sight. It was just there.

Much of what guys like Dan Harden, Mike Sigman, et al (ignoring their differences) are pointing to has a resonance with me. And since I do tend to explore other styles I have noticed that the emphasis seems to vary quite a bit. Ironically some of the styles that have reps for being technically demanding and "powerful" have seemed (in my experiences) to have less of that illusive "it" for me. That doesn't mean they aren't fantastic -- I think they are! Just not the same flavor of "fantastic" that I'm looking for. And on the other side some of the really softer ones seem to lack *it* almost completely having moved into what I think of as a sort of empty shell of cooperative role-playing. Really not my cup of tea.

But... "suum cuique". Truly. I'm a lot more relaxed about this stuff than I used to be.

I'm rambling. Back to productive work for me.

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Old 07-21-2009, 01:09 PM   #45
Mike Sigman
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

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Keith Larman wrote: View Post
But I just don't know if it is the same "it" as everyone else is talking about.
I was sort of astounded as I began to see more and more of the big picture that these skills were foundational in Asian martial arts. As I've mentioned before, the Yin-Yang (In-Yo, A-Un), Five Elements, etc., etc., preludes you find in almost all the arts is not some acknowledgement to tradition for tradition's sake, as so many people think, it's actually an acknowledgement of the raison d'etre for these arts.... the core ki/qi skills. The people who have been around martial arts for a while should have an epiphany just from the ubiquity of the Yin-Yang concepts. It refers to these skills.

So yeah, it means that a lot of people are doing arts that miss the basic point, but frankly that's considered the norm (over hundreds of years) and is not all that surprising to a knowledgeable Asian martial artist. Many/most western Asian-martial-arts aficianados cannot get their head around the concept that *they* may be missing something essential to the very martial-art they feel they are expert in (and they have the belts and diplomas to prove it!). And that too is considered the norm.

But from there on up are a number of stages of learning the basic skills that offers the same trap.... at each level of accomplishment, many people feel like they've "got it". And there's always a higher level. So nobody is safe in resting on their laurels or bragging what they can do *now*... there's more ahead. So yeah.... it's not all the same "it". Remember that Ueshiba did a certain level and variant of "it".

In my opinion, Aikidoists should learn what they can where they can, but they need to keep open the idea of different approaches and emphases and focus on what Ueshiba did. However, that's not to gainsay the differences in "it" that Tohei did/espoused, Shioda did/espoused, and so on. Those are valid variations on the theme.

My two cents.

Mike Sigman
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Old 07-21-2009, 01:28 PM   #46
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

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Joep Schuurkes wrote: View Post
Then every debate about the fundamentals of aikido is tedious and stupid. If I say "Skill A is fundamental to aikido and occasionally I meet aikido practitioners that do not have skill A.", I am judging the aikido of those people that do not have skill A as 'not aikido'.

The fact that in this thread skill A = internal skills, is just coincidental.Basically, Mary, I think you have the following options:
- Argue why internal skills are not fundamental to aikido.
- Argue you have internal skills.
- Ignore the issue, because you don't have to believe everything that's said by some people on the internet.
- Continue as you're doing now.
First, in fairness to her YOU have to define the terms of the argument you are intending to make -- and state "Skill A" in objective mechanical terms. If you cannot, or simply choose not to -- then whatever you are able to do (which I do not question in the least) -- you do not understand either in its limits or its potential. While I do not deny the reality of IHTBF as part of the equation, I do deny the ability of anyone in discussion to determine what any one else has already felt or done. The only way to do so is to have a model -- but unless it is an objective mechanical model, it suffers from the same metaphorical mismatch -- like having an argument in two different languages over the proper name of water. "Water!" "Mizu! "Water!" "Mizu!"

Define what "it" is -- in plain, objective mechanical terms, then you can more easily determine whether anyone else is discussing the same thing while describing it in a different subjective metaphor.

Metaphorical descriptions are slippery unless you can relate each of them to an objective basis. And further, more meaningful discussion is foreclosed -- as is so often the case -- unless an objective definition is stated. I have done so, and so far (IMO) no one has stated a better one, but you are perfectly free to criticize or disagree with it, or substitute another one, and I in fact, I invite it.

A mechanical basis alone is not rich enough to communicate the exceedingly critical aspects of developing and following "feel." But with a mechanical model you can see even wildly different metaphorical descriptions that all fit the same objective core. Then the different metaphors enrich each other and are able to work with one another instead of conflicting all the time..

In other words, until you do that, the ringing of the changes on this type of discussion will continue, without end and without the truly meaningful development that it clearly deserves.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 07-21-2009, 01:35 PM   #47
Basia Halliop
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

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Many/most western Asian-martial-arts aficianados cannot get their head around the concept that *they* may be missing something essential to the very martial-art they feel they are expert in
It's very hard to define 'essential' though in an objective way... it depends on the person's goals, doesn't it? I mean I guess you could define it in a historical way (i.e.,to what degree is what such and such a person is doing really the 'same' art as some person in a previous generation was doing). To judge whether someone is successful at something (anything), you need to know what they are trying to do. Again, to me it seems like mostly a debate about names.
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Old 07-21-2009, 01:39 PM   #48
Mike Sigman
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Define what "it" is -- in plain, objective mechanical terms, then you can more easily determine whether anyone else is discussing the same thing while describing it in a different subjective metaphor.
Interestingly enough, traditional transmission and teaching of these skills rejects that "define ..in mechanical terms" notion out of hand. They rejected it out of experience over long centuries that showed it had to be felt, demonstrated, and so on. The general approach is that there can be no true transmission without "it has to be felt". That's also the way you know if someone really knows anything, generally. Someone with experience can tell at a touch or often can watch someone for mistakes that would not be correct if real skills were being used. Similarly, it's possible to read someone's descriptions, if they're far enough off, and have an idea of what they really know.

FWIW

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Old 07-21-2009, 01:51 PM   #49
Mike Sigman
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

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Basia Halliop wrote: View Post
It's very hard to define 'essential' though in an objective way... it depends on the person's goals, doesn't it? I mean I guess you could define it in a historical way (i.e.,to what degree is what such and such a person is doing really the 'same' art as some person in a previous generation was doing). To judge whether someone is successful at something (anything), you need to know what they are trying to do. Again, to me it seems like mostly a debate about names.
Well, your argument appears to resolve to the old trope of "Aikido is whatever you want it to be". Hence we wind up with ideas that Aikido is self-help psychology or conflict-resolution or "Aikido is the Dance of the Souls" (as I was once fiercely admonished by a woman at the Boulder Aikikai!), and so on.

Generally, I try to avoid that sort of discussion by pointing to "ki" demonstrations in Aikido that were done by Ueshiba, Tohei, and others. They called those physical demonstrations "ki", so that tells us that "ki" has a tangible aspect and is not just whatever you want it to be. It can be shown/demonstrated.

So if there is a tangible "ki" in "Ai-ki-do", someone who is just rolling around in a pair of black culottes and assigning definitions to words like "ki" at whim is not really doing Aikido. In other words, the equivalency argument doesn't really work when it is examined closely; there *is* a general but acceptable definition of "this is Aikido" and "this is not Aikido" that overrides an argument like "goals". If someone purports to do Aikido, they should stay somewhat within the demonstrable aspeces (including "ki tests) of Aikido; otherwise they may be doing something else while propping that something else against the reputation of an art developed by Ueshiba Morihei. It becomes an ethical discussion at that point.

Frankly, I still think that the basic ki-tests are a good foot in the door for everyone to attempt. As understanding and ability in those ki-tests progresses, progress is also going to be made in understanding Aikido.

YMMV

Mike Sigman
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Old 07-21-2009, 01:54 PM   #50
thisisnotreal
 
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Re: Is It Missing In Everybody's Aikido?

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Define what "it" is -- in plain, objective mechanical terms,
Too hard. Not useful.

i.e. describe in mechanical terms how to properly ballet dance the Nutcracker (or any other physical thing requiring insane amounts of refinement and practice).

will. never. happen.

plus this specific 'It' (it=aiki) is so weirdly out of the normal realm of experience.

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