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Old 06-27-2005, 08:36 PM   #51
Mike Sigman
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote:
Because without seeing the originals there would be no way to determine exactly what the author's interpretation was - especially because we're talking about material that is largely interpretive rather than factual.
Where is it even remotely interpretive to that extent, though? Do you think the Japanese are talking about something different when they say "ki" and the Chinese say "qi"? Do you think the Japanese theory of medicine and the way the body functions using the word "ki" is different from the system using the word "qi"? Do you think that the Yin-Yang dichotomous universe is different in Japanese than it is in Chinese? Do you think the 6 directions, the eight powers, the use of ki, body, mind, the relaxation needed for training, and so on and so on are referring to interpretively different matters?

How about the constant references to "harmony of the universe", do you think it's to be interpretted from the same common thought in Chinese philosophy? How about the repeated references to the mixing of earth and heaven (sometimes even fire and water), the ki of earth and heaven, etc., that are found repeatedly in Chinese discussions of how to do qigongs? How about the constant indications of "emptying yourself"... do you think they are interpretations of something different? "Su" versus "Xu"? Pronouncing the character "Bu" as "Take"? Do you think that the use of the standard qi demonstrations being the same as the standard ki demonstrations is a matter of two different things being displayed? Honestly, Chris, I was looking for some sign that I was reading it wrong and that the Japanese hadn't been given access to the qi training regimens (like the westerners haven't), but it's simply to obvious to ignore. O-Sensei had access to Buddhist qigong trainings.

Regards,


Mike
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Old 06-27-2005, 10:35 PM   #52
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Where is it even remotely interpretive to that extent, though? Do you think the Japanese are talking about something different when they say "ki" and the Chinese say "qi"? Do you think the Japanese theory of medicine and the way the body functions using the word "ki" is different from the system using the word "qi"? Do you think that the Yin-Yang dichotomous universe is different in Japanese than it is in Chinese? Do you think the 6 directions, the eight powers, the use of ki, body, mind, the relaxation needed for training, and so on and so on are referring to interpretively different matters?

How about the constant references to "harmony of the universe", do you think it's to be interpretted from the same common thought in Chinese philosophy? How about the repeated references to the mixing of earth and heaven (sometimes even fire and water), the ki of earth and heaven, etc., that are found repeatedly in Chinese discussions of how to do qigongs? How about the constant indications of "emptying yourself"... do you think they are interpretations of something different? "Su" versus "Xu"? Pronouncing the character "Bu" as "Take"? Do you think that the use of the standard qi demonstrations being the same as the standard ki demonstrations is a matter of two different things being displayed? Honestly, Chris, I was looking for some sign that I was reading it wrong and that the Japanese hadn't been given access to the qi training regimens (like the westerners haven't), but it's simply to obvious to ignore. O-Sensei had access to Buddhist qigong trainings.

Regards,


Mike
There's no denying that there are ties between Japanese and Chinese thought. There's also no denying that what Morihei Ueshiba wrote is closer to poetry than engineering. If you've ever translated anything you would know how hard it is to translate that kind of thing, and how hard it is to know what's going on without seeing the originals, no matter how in depth your knowledge of the subject matter.

Morihei Ueshiba expressing himself in terms of esoteric Shinto, but it wasn't just normal Shinto, but an odd variant created by Deguchi. To make matters worse, he fooled around with Deguchi's cosmologies to suit himself. Become fluent in Japanese, read the Kojikki and the Reiki Monogatari in the original, and you're probably off to a good start with preparing yourself to read Ueshiba. But only a start.

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-27-2005, 10:38 PM   #53
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

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O-Sensei had access to Buddhist qigong trainings.
by means of Daiteryu jujitsu? Omoto kyo? a combination? or somewhere else?

Rob
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Old 06-27-2005, 11:19 PM   #54
Mike Sigman
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

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Rob Liberti wrote:
by means of Daiteryu jujitsu? Omoto kyo? a combination? or somewhere else?
Who knows exactly what the source is? Ellis Amdur's post on the subject, while not by any means a final source, indicates that I'm probably underestimating when and how much of this information crept into Japanese training, thought, etc. If Ellis' source is to be believed, and I have a sinking feeling that it is, then I got lulled into the common legends as well and wound up not seeing how many arts, etc., all this could have come from in Japan. Of course, there was always the question of where Nakamura and others got their information, but again I was thinking Nakamura and a few others were extremely rare in their knowledge and so I was almost undoubtedly wrong in that first guess.

Mike
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Old 06-27-2005, 11:26 PM   #55
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

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Christopher Li wrote:
Become fluent in Japanese, read the Kojikki and the Reiki Monogatari in the original, and you're probably off to a good start with preparing yourself to read Ueshiba. But only a start.
Chris, I can only suggest in turn that you acquire some knowledge of functional qi things and take a look at some of the Chinese source material. It would complement your Aikido.

From my perspective, I only started doing Aikido because I saw some odd physical skills and I wanted to know how to do them... I had to go to other sources because information is so scarce in Aikido. However, once I gained some knowledge and perspective, I realized that these things are not rarities or obscurities if you look in the right places. Recognizing the common phrases in Ueshiba's writings may be something to debate, but when you add it with all the other things I mentioned, it's not worth quibbling over. Believe what you want, but it would help you to learn what the 8 powers (written out in Steven's translation, so there's NO doubt this is all the same thing) means and how it applies to the training in Aikido.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 06-28-2005, 12:30 AM   #56
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

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Mike Sigman wrote:
Chris, I can only suggest in turn that you acquire some knowledge of functional qi things and take a look at some of the Chinese source material. It would complement your Aikido.
And what's to say I haven't?

In any case, my comment wasn't on whether or not Chinese influences on Japanese thought exist, but on the validity of critiquing the accuracy of a translation without access to the original sources.

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-28-2005, 02:41 AM   #57
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

Mike,

One might wonder whether or not you're seeing things in the DOKA that you want to be there. Often times in translation things take on a different meaning. This is influences by many different factors. For example, while talking to a Taiwanese friend about the Aikido Kanji, she remarked that the Chinese would never use the character for harmony. in Chinese carries more of an "integration" connotation rather than a "harmonization" connotation. That's a big difference. If you have a Chinese dictionary look up the character for , then try to find it in your Japanese Kanji dictionary. The definitions may not match up. While the Japanese adopted a great many things from the Chinese, the separation of the two cultures eventually led to the evolution of these "borrowed" ideas, concepts and languages into something pretty distinctly Japanese. Look at the evolution of the Japanese sword as a good example. While it is a pretty safe bet that spiritual ideas and martial philosophies from China influenced the evolution of the spiritual and martial ideas in Japan, it would be a mistake to say that through studying Chinese you will understand Japanese.
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Old 06-28-2005, 08:16 AM   #58
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

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Christopher Li wrote:
And what's to say I haven't?

In any case, my comment wasn't on whether or not Chinese influences on Japanese thought exist, but on the validity of critiquing the accuracy of a translation without access to the original sources.
I understand your critique, Chris, and at a certain level, with limited clues, you're absolutely right. However, it's way beyond that. Do you think that O-Sensei's knowledge of some of the pet terms of qi development were actually terms that meant something else and derived from a different source? Do you think that he (and Tohei) used a lot of fairly standard qi demonstrations by some sort of coincidence? And so on?

It was interesting reading the Nonaka and Tohei interviews because I was left puzzled by the implications (actually it was pretty direct statements): O-Sensei used ki extensively in his Aikido. Tohei used ki in his Aikido but got his knowledge from Tempura Nakamura and re-added the used of ki into his Aikido so therefore Tohei's use of ki in Aikido was unique and different from O-Sensei's. In my personal opinion, that's a rather strange claim; the use of ki skills only covers a certain spectrum. Granted not everyone learns the full spectrum or the same spectrum that someone else learns, but ki skills are only fall into so many categories and if Tohei added ki back into his Aikido, he could generally speaking only catch up to O-Sensei, not claim to do something different, IMO.

In terms of common references, I meant to mention that one of the things about Chinese martial arts that surprised me (still surprises me, for that matter) is that while there is a level of my style against his style, overall there is a surprising codification of what is good, bad, body movements, attack strategies, and so on. They apply across the board and are considered traditional comments from earlier days. While the comments about qi are not as commonly seen, they're still pretty common and they tend to fall into well-known admonitions that once again apply across the styles, whether internal or external. And there are some specific ones that denote Buddhist derivation, Taoist derivation, and so on. I recommend Shouyu Liang's book "Qigong Empowerment" for people who want to get a great overview from a very qualified individual (note: he is one of my teachers, but he is well-known throughout China as a qigong and martial arts teacher).

Insofar as your first question, Chris: "And what's to say I haven't? ", I would have to ask why, if you know these things, you don't share them to your fellow Aikido practitioners? Are you deliberately masking them? How about Stevens... do you think he knows how to do these ki and kokyu things but deliberately doesn't mention them in his books?????

Regards,

Mike
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Old 06-28-2005, 08:29 AM   #59
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

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While it is a pretty safe bet that spiritual ideas and martial philosophies from China influenced the evolution of the spiritual and martial ideas in Japan, it would be a mistake to say that through studying Chinese you will understand Japanese.
Thanks, that was very well said. I was trying to develop that point for myself, but you got there directly, and I'm grateful. That's where I was trying to go with the idea of O-sensei not _directly_ leaning Chinese qigongs, but getting the influence indirectly from many sources that may have mutated, deconstructed, reconstructed, and evolved (not intending to mean better or worse because I couldn't possibly know) from whatever degree of depth that made it to Japan, over many generations according to Ellis's post about when the influences started.

My take on principles are that once you really "got it" you can express those ideas in many different ways. Some ways will favor the Japanese culture's approach to learning such things, and others will favor the Chinese culture's (or should I say cultures's - I don't know) way of learning things. I don't know if Steven's missed the point in his translations as much as maybe those things were very well translated, and they had already changed in expression to favor Japanese culture's ability to preserve the meaning by the time Stevens got to them. Maybe a little of both happened there...

Personally, I think we should study whatever we feel will help us most. I found a westerner who made a considerable amount demonstratable progress in his ability and that of his senior students. That's the path I follow most directly these days. I haven't found anyone willing/capable of teaching the degree of depth on these things from any other influence, but I'm always open to suggestions.

The only other (side line) point I want to make is that I keep reading the idea that these aspects of martial depth always eventually shake out to be on the physical level - sorry if I'm not expressing it just right. My point is that I cannot separate my physical body from my mind (assuming no body part is cut or torn off!). The model of mind, body, and spirit are one works for me. It makes sense to me that I learn aikido on every level. It's just that I trust the feedback I get from the physical level more at present - but I'm not sure that will always be the case.

Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 06-28-2005 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 06-28-2005, 08:32 AM   #60
Mike Sigman
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

Quote:
Joseph Bowen wrote:
One might wonder whether or not you're seeing things in the DOKA that you want to be there.
I agree that would be a possibility, Joseph, but as I pointed out the number of terms, the way they're grouped, the fact that they refer to "ki" often (unless you think "ki" is somehow different from "qi"????), the obvious usage of ki skills in O-Sensei's Aikido, and so on, make that possibility just about zero. There are enough people who are knowledgeable about these things agreeing offline, etc., that I don't consider it something I want to spend time defending. The main point is that someone really familiar with ki skills, how to develop them, etc., has no problem seeing that O-Sensei, Tohei, and some others in Aikido, are using fairly standard methods of training.... and they don't/didn't show them except to a limited few students. Anyone who thinks Tohei doesn't show more to his inner circle, for instance, is smoking whacky-tobaccy.
Quote:
Often times in translation things take on a different meaning. This is influences by many different factors. For example, while talking to a Taiwanese friend about the Aikido Kanji, she remarked that the Chinese would never use the character for harmony. in Chinese carries more of an "integration" connotation rather than a "harmonization" connotation. That's a big difference. If you have a Chinese dictionary look up the character for , then try to find it in your Japanese Kanji dictionary. The definitions may not match up. While the Japanese adopted a great many things from the Chinese, the separation of the two cultures eventually led to the evolution of these "borrowed" ideas, concepts and languages into something pretty distinctly Japanese.
Yet Bill Chen, an old friend of mine, born and raised on Taiwan and growing up doing martial arts, had no problem with Aikido usage of those 3 characters, except that it was a little old-fashioned. Although he did say that "he qi tao" was not a combination the Chinese would have picked to describe the same thing.
Quote:
Look at the evolution of the Japanese sword as a good example. While it is a pretty safe bet that spiritual ideas and martial philosophies from China influenced the evolution of the spiritual and martial ideas in Japan, it would be a mistake to say that through studying Chinese you will understand Japanese.
You're aware that the Japanese sword and some of the earliest examples now in museums full of Japanese swords turn out to have been made in China and in Korea? In this case, perhaps the Japanese sword's understanding can be enhanced by taking a look at the history, martial strategies, etc., of the original weapon from China.

I have never said there is no modification of Chinese things in Japan, because there obviously is. I'm not sure why this suggestion keeps coming up! But that leads to the question of whether modifications are positive or negative or whether they represent positive addition to the knowledge or whether the represent incomplete training. Good thoughts, though, Joseph.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 06-28-2005, 08:48 AM   #61
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

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Rob Liberti wrote:
My take on principles are that once you really "got it" you can express those ideas in many different ways. Some ways will favor the Japanese culture's approach to learning such things, and others will favor the Chinese culture's (or should I say cultures's - I don't know) way of learning things. I don't know if Steven's missed the point in his translations as much as maybe those things were very well translated, and they had already changed in expression to favor Japanese culture's ability to preserve the meaning by the time Stevens got to them. Maybe a little of both happened there...
And also, maybe Stevens simply doesn't know how to do these things, Rob. Frankly, from years of experience, I know that most people *don't* know how to do these things. And it's very easy to find out what and if they know from what they write or from a very quick physical demonstration. The *worst* think someone can do is pretend they do know because the charade fools no one who really knows. Seriously. It's a complete embarrassment to watch someone pretending they have some knowledge of some sort of skill when they don't even know enough about the skill to carry of the pretense. I cannot imagine being tolerated within the knowledgeable martial arts community if I was silly enough to let my ego lead me to that extreme.

I've tried to say a number of times that there are not many ways to "get it". There are many ways to say it and there are varying grades of doing it, but the ki skills are fixed and immutable. There is no "Japanese Way" and "Chinese Way" of doing these things. That's a forlorn hope and it is very telling when someone makes that kind of hopeful statement. The real question is what kind of ki skills and how advanced are they among the various Japanese martial arts. Period. It's not something they can "modify" into something else. The real and potential distortions in terminology and descriptions are minor and they have little impact on the subject matter. Sooner or later, as I mentioned before, some people in Aikido will move forward and begin utilizing sophisticated ki and kokyu technology... they will be the path-breakers... but those skills will not be anything different than what Ueshiba used, Tohei uses, the Chinese use in some arts, etc.... because it's all the same thing.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 06-28-2005, 10:02 AM   #62
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

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Mike Sigman wrote:
Sooner or later, as I mentioned before, some people in Aikido will move forward and begin utilizing sophisticated ki and kokyu technology... they will be the path-breakers... but those skills will not be anything different than what Ueshiba used, Tohei uses, the Chinese use in some arts, etc.... because it's all the same thing.
Mike
Yes, I agree Mike and it might even happen in countries other than China.

Gene
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Old 06-28-2005, 10:06 AM   #63
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

Mike,

I understand that we can say the human body and what it can do is common enough, but are you suggesting that you do not believe that the expression of any truth or set of truths can be represented differently by different people especially from different cultures?

It seems very unlikely that all of those expressions were written in Japanese - in a way that maintained the meaning as interpreted by the Chinese - and then were simply mis-translated. It seems more likely to me that of course the expression of any thing like that might change from one culture to another, and that the translation from where it was at that point in time to English might be just a bit off as well (but could be right on - I don't know about the translation as Chris explained better than I could).

I am sure that you believe there are only a very small number of ways to "get it" in its totality. You might be right. I don't know that to be true myself, and I suppose I question how it is that you "know" but that is not meant to be a personal attack.

Isn't that the point of calling it martial art as opposed to martial science. In science, there tends to be one way, or one of a very limited number of ways to approach a result. In art, the idea is that you are trying to express something that language isn't well designed for, so we have to make pictures, or poems, or dokas, etc. Expression would have to change from one culture to another - to my way of thinking - otherwise what exactly would be the difference between the different cultures?

Rob
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Old 06-28-2005, 10:10 AM   #64
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

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Gene Martinelli wrote:
Yes, I agree Mike and it might even happen in countries other than China.
I should have been clearer. The big problem in Aikido and many other arts is that there is this blockade of information (i.e., the ki and kokyu stuff). When I meant that Aikido would move forward, I actually meant that more of the "lay practitioners and teachers" (for want of a better term) would get and begin using these skills. China has nothing to do with it... they're just as bad, when it comes to hiding the information.

Mike
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Old 06-28-2005, 10:34 AM   #65
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

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Rob Liberti wrote:
I am sure that you believe there are only a very small number of ways to "get it" in its totality. You might be right. I don't know that to be true myself, and I suppose I question how it is that you "know" but that is not meant to be a personal attack.
It's a set of physically demonstrable and reproducible skills, Rob, it's not a figurative concept that can be interpretted at whim. And I'm not taking offense or giving offense... we're discussing an issue on-topic. How do I "know" this? Hmmmm. I can support it with a progressive logic and demonstrations, but you'd have to take my word on it while we're relying on internet posts.

Take a simple example (from the whole picture) like Tohei standing on one leg and letting his partner push against his forearm without being able to move him. Would you agree that to do that in a relaxed manner there's only an extremely limited way to do it and that the "best" demonstrations of it will always approach only one set manner of doing it? All of the demonstrable and reproducible aspects of ki and kokyu form a sophisticated grouping that forces how these things are done into set and immutable phenomena.

In other words, you might be able to cheat on a couple of "ki tests" like "unbendable arm", etc., but you couldn't cheat on ALL the demonstrable ki phenomena, at least not in the same way each time. The composite ki phenomena involve a singular conglomeration of related skills that can only be done in one way. If there was another way to do them, then yes, it would be a matter of interpretation.

Someone may happen onto a few of the phenomena and describe them with things like "water in a hose" or various other ways, but the method by which they're physically done, in toto, is fixed, even if the descriptions are not. When someone describes enough of the phenomena in a group such that it transcends reasonable probabilities, it doesn't matter what the descriptions are, providing they are reasonably close. That's why I've mentioned in the past that if someone really knows this subject, it will show in what they say or post, pretty quickly. The real problem, in my opinion, is that there's not enough information in the common pool for enough people to get started in a self-perpetuating way (for Aikido as a whole). These kinds of discussions and debates and worryings around the topic only serve a good purpose in delineating the baselines and, as Jun intended, disseminating what information there is within the pool.

Mike
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Old 06-28-2005, 11:12 AM   #66
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

I'm not questioning if you have any developed skills here. My basic disagreement is that while any set of physically demonstrable and reproducible skills can be common, the expression of how to learn/approach them, and how those expressions are interpreted is a major part of the "art" aspect which should necessarily be different in different cultures.

For a quick example, there was a Japanese kid that got shot in the States when trick-or-treating the wrong house. A friend in Japan was asked how this could happen. He couldn't explain it directly. He had to start with a series of suppositions like: Imagine you didn't have a job. The Japanese person looking for insight instantly responded with "I would get another job". Then he went on: Imagine if you couldn't get a new job. ... Then I would move to a bigger city. Imagine there were no new job in the bigger city or that you didn't have money to move and that you couldn't borrow money from any friends, and on and on, until the Japanese person looking for insight was totally out of options, and have that defeated "humph.." Then he could start to try to understand why someone like that might shoot a trespasser. This is just an example of some basic concepts that don't translate well from one culture to another. The idea of a kid getting needlessly shot is easy, and you could say there's no two ways about it, but the expression of the meaning of what happened is totally _foreign_ to that culture...

Anyway, I'll try to give more thought to this before jumping in again.

Rob
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Old 06-28-2005, 11:30 AM   #67
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
I'm not questioning if you have any developed skills here. My basic disagreement is that while any set of physically demonstrable and reproducible skills can be common, the expression of how to learn/approach them, and how those expressions are interpreted is a major part of the "art" aspect which should necessarily be different in different cultures.
Snip the story about trying to convey the idea of not having a job, robbery, etc. Rob.... Japanese understand the concepts of robbery and murder, yakuza, etc.

I don't think the problem is "different cultural concepts" in re the ki and kokyu things. I think it's more a matter of deliberately hidden and obscured information. O-Sensei was indicating certain general information in parts of his doka, but he was using terms that were also common in China to deliberately obscure the information. I don't think "art" has a lot to do with it or that "different cultures" should be the tangent.

Do you think that it's an accident or oversight that Tohei says "relax" and not a lot more, sometimes? Surely just "relaxing" won't give you ki skills and you and I know that. How about "use your center", "extend ki", "keep your one point", keep the heavy-side down", and so on. Do you think these are indicators of cultural phenomena or do you think they're ways of saying things while still obscuring them? I've seen that same "say a little, hide a lot" in the martial arts of most Asian countries, so my opinion is that focusing on exactly how Japanese people "say a little, hide a lot" is missing the point that it's a common phenomenon, IMO. When someone is "saying a little, hiding a lot" and the subject is ki and there appears a *series* of common obscuring phrases like "ki of heaven and earth", etc., I just don't see it as a big surprise.

Incidentally, I think we should make a list of all the phrases which "say a little, hide a lot" in Aikido. Like: "Relax", "use your center", "keep heavy side down", and so on. There's a great number of phrases that people should be saying, "explain this one to me" to their teachers, etc. Instead, everyone lets those obviously unclear statements go, just like everyone was afraid to say "but the emperor doesn't have any clothes on" because it might put them into the ranks of the innocent and honest.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 06-28-2005, 12:16 PM   #68
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

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Mike Sigman wrote:
Insofar as your first question, Chris: "And what's to say I haven't? ", I would have to ask why, if you know these things, you don't share them to your fellow Aikido practitioners? Are you deliberately masking them? How about Stevens... do you think he knows how to do these ki and kokyu things but deliberately doesn't mention them in his books?????

Regards,

Mike
Well, I can't answer for Stevens, but I haven't shared methods of doing kote-gaeshi over the internet either - do you think that I'm deliberately masking them? Or maybe it's just not the best medium for that kind of thing.

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-28-2005, 12:40 PM   #69
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

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Christopher Li wrote:
Well, I can't answer for Stevens, but I haven't shared methods of doing kote-gaeshi over the internet either - do you think that I'm deliberately masking them? Or maybe it's just not the best medium for that kind of thing.
I don't think it's a good comparison, Chris. I know some interesting things about kote gaeshi that I might reveal if someone asked me and if it was a topic of the proportion in Aikido and *numerous other martial arts* that ki is. Besides, ki is such a big topic (compared to kote gaeshi) that the comparison simply dies.

Do a quick websearch on kote gaeshi (and "kotegaeshi") and you'll find that there is extensive how-to information on the internet, coupled with photographs. There's no such information on ki, though, is there? If someone starts talking about kote gaeshi on the internet, most of us can get a general idea of "knows nothing, knows OK amount, really knows his stuff" from reading the post. And so on. Like I said, the comparison dies. If someone knows an OK amount about ki things, which in turn are a huge part of what Aikido really is, it will be obvious in their writings. If someone avoids or skirts the topic of ki, which is (again) a huge part of Aikido, the probability is that they don't know much about it. Would you agree that the knowledge of ki things and how to develop them is dismally low in Aikido, BTW?

Regards,

Mike
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Old 06-28-2005, 01:39 PM   #70
rob_liberti
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

According to that Tohei article, it seems that the ki and kokyu aspect of aikido was considered about 30% of what aikido was.

As I said, while I'm sure that Japanese understand the concept of murdering a foreign kid, and yet that does not mean there is a easy way to help someone in that culture really understand _why_ that kid got killed and have it be understood even if you speak fluent Japanese. I would actually be very surprised if it were any easier to explain it a member of the yakuza. The expression of ideas - even the same ideas - changes from culture to culture unless I'm completely misunderstanding what the meaning of culture is. If that expression results in a different translation into the westerner culture than you are expecting, I'm not convinced that the problem is with the understanding of the final translator.

The idea of collecting phrases that say a little and hide a lot is interesting. Filling in what is being hidden is going to be no small task. Maybe that would be something for the aiki wiki to let many people add how they understand those term, and maybe explain their background/context for that understanding - if possible.

Rob
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Old 06-28-2005, 01:53 PM   #71
Mike Sigman
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

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Rob Liberti wrote:
According to that Tohei article, it seems that the ki and kokyu aspect of aikido was considered about 30% of what aikido was.
Sure, but it's like 30% or a car or 30% of a rifle, not 30% of a bag of jelly beans or 30% of an electorate. It's an indispensable 30%, in other words.
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The idea of collecting phrases that say a little and hide a lot is interesting. Filling in what is being hidden is going to be no small task. Maybe that would be something for the aiki wiki to let many people add how they understand those term, and maybe explain their background/context for that understanding - if possible.
I don't know about AikiWiki so much, but someone should start a separate thread and see how many words or phrases we can come up with. There was a post from someone in the recent past who said his teacher always said "extend ki" but never explained how to do it. That would be a prime example of one the things I'm talking about. Think about it. If you heard that teacher say it and you, as an outsider, walked up and asked them to explain it, I think you wouldn't find out the true meaning of the term "extend ki" but you'd almost certainly discover the meaning of "huffy".

Mike
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Old 06-28-2005, 02:02 PM   #72
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

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It's an indispensable 30%
- no argument there. I wonder how much of the other 70% would have been there to support that development sans the external support ideas Tohei sensei came up from an alternate source.

I would expect that any request for such an explanation from anyone who owns it but never tried to put it into words would result in something that started with "grab my wrist." Probably because - in my opinion, the ability to express some things is a totally different skill than actually developing the skill.

Rob
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Old 06-28-2005, 03:02 PM   #73
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

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Mike Sigman wrote:
I don't think it's a good comparison, Chris. I know some interesting things about kote gaeshi that I might reveal if someone asked me and if it was a topic of the proportion in Aikido and *numerous other martial arts* that ki is. Besides, ki is such a big topic (compared to kote gaeshi) that the comparison simply dies.
Feel free to "reveal" away. I just don't feel (personally) that the medium is conducive to it, and even less so for "ki". A lot of people discuss abstract art on the internet as well, but I don't. It's not a matter of "secrets" or "revelation", just the way that I see the medium.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Would you agree that the knowledge of ki things and how to develop them is dismally low in Aikido, BTW?
Well, you'd have to define what "ki things" you're talking about, I suppose.

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-28-2005, 03:08 PM   #74
Mike Sigman
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

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Rob Liberti wrote:
- no argument there. I wonder how much of the other 70% would have been there to support that development sans the external support ideas Tohei sensei came up from an alternate source.
Well, I dunno. Think of Taiji for a moment to get your head outside the box. Without the "ki" part, it's not really Taiji, yet by far the most practitioners haven't got a clue that all the slow movement, etc., is purely for the development of ki and kokyu, etc. There will always be a core of Taiji that is focused around qi, jin, etc., and there will always be a larger number of people that do Taiji for looks, for "health" (although they misunderstand about qi and health, etc.), aesthetics, belief in magic, talk about the "Tao", exotica, esoterica, social, something to be a member of, etc. Aikido is pretty much the same way, in reality, except it's not quite as easy to do BS Aikido as it is BS Taiji, so Aikido will never have the numbers. Tohei's contributions were really only part of something that was already there... I haven't decided if he's really affected the big picture, though.

Mike
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Old 06-28-2005, 03:16 PM   #75
Mike Sigman
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Re: Koichi Tohei and Relaxation

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Christopher Li wrote:
Well, you'd have to define what "ki things" you're talking about, I suppose.
Well, you know... like how ki actually works, kokyu works, how to do it, etc. Don't you think, for instance, that the number of people who can exhibit simple kokyu-power is dismally low, considering the fact that kokyu-power is the basis for a huge number of the throws?

Mike
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