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Old 06-09-2006, 12:26 PM   #576
James Young
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Just to be clear, I've never detailed what breathing methods I use for Ki training. Most of the explicative stuff I've posted has been on force manipulation and I've avoided the exact breathing mechanisms because they're complex, they need clear directions, there's a possible problem for people that over-do them, etc.

What I will say is that the "breathing methods" that encourage someone to do vague things in vague ways are pretty much useless. If you don't know exactly what you're trying to work, how to "acquire" those things to work them, what to look for, etc., you're wasting your time, as a general rule. Usually if someone glowingly enthuses about some "breathing method" or "ki training", etc., I ask them to show me what they can do now because of it that they couldn't do before. If there are no physically demonstrable results, we're kidding ourselves. But there's a lot of that going around.
Fair enough. I thought you mentioned some of your breathing exercises in general on a different thread but I may have confused you with another person. Sorry.

I agree that it is difficult to get any benefit from breathing methods when the specific goals of such practices is vague. That is exactly what I experienced as a beginner student doing the Ki no Renma exercises. Little benefit if any due to my limited understanding. I think it's also the same with some of the misogi practices. I know what the general goal may be (develop kokyu power, etc.) but I'm not sure all the time of what each exercise is specifically intended to foster.

My purpose in posting this Tada-sensei quote was just to emphasize that there are Aikikai teachers who place importance on developing ki and internal power as well. (It was suggested in prior post that the Aikikai would reject such teachers due to political motives or such.) My feeling is that such practice has given him "physically demonstable results" which can be felt in his aikido technique, and I think that's why he teaches it and emphasizes its practice in this article, but that's just my opinion as a neophyte in such matters. Others with more experience may have a different opinion on his ability in such matters.

Last edited by James Young : 06-09-2006 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 06-09-2006, 01:53 PM   #577
Mike Sigman
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
James Young wrote:
My purpose in posting this Tada-sensei quote was just to emphasize that there are Aikikai teachers who place importance on developing ki and internal power as well. (It was suggested in prior post that the Aikikai would reject such teachers due to political motives or such.) My feeling is that such practice has given him "physically demonstable results" which can be felt in his aikido technique, and I think that's why he teaches it and emphasizes its practice in this article, but that's just my opinion as a neophyte in such matters.
OK, I don't have a problem with that kind of opinion, but I would still challenge you to gather some specifics like "breathe this way to improve that thing" rather than just the idea that "So-and-so encourages breathing exercises and they're good". Be your own critic and challenge any "feelings" to see if you could defend your feelings with "factual results". If you check the Aikido, Karate, Taiji, etc., communities, you'll see that a LOT of people talk the talk. And many big, strong guys claim they have "got the results" when really they're still just big, strong guys able to overpower smaller people. Be very critical. Really practicing an effective martial art in a dedicated way is like going to heaven..... everyone wants to do it, but not yet.

My 2 cents.

Mike
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Old 06-09-2006, 03:58 PM   #578
James Young
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
OK, I don't have a problem with that kind of opinion, but I would still challenge you to gather some specifics like "breathe this way to improve that thing" rather than just the idea that "So-and-so encourages breathing exercises and they're good". Be your own critic and challenge any "feelings" to see if you could defend your feelings with "factual results".
Of course I'm somewhat limited by my own understanding and experience of the subject, but I do strive for that. As I get to listen to more teachings on the subject and feel the application from different people such as Ushiro-sensei at the Aiki-Expo I hope that I'm futhering my understanding more. That is why I've also been following this thread as well. However, that is good advice. Thank you.
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Old 06-11-2006, 04:37 PM   #579
Mike Sigman
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
Anyway, it is quite possible that what the systema guys do is different than what you are describing. I simply don't know. But the point of my post was to counter what I understood your assertion to be that it wouldn't be worth ones while to look to systema for training which would help develop internal power for use in Aikido. I do not believe that to be true. However, what that "internal power" might be could certainly be different than what you have described in your posts. Our areas of expertise are different. I have thirty years of daily Aikido experience which you don't have, you have some vast amount of experience in Chinese internal arts which I don't have. I suspect that my direct experience of systema in terms of training with the two senior Russian teachers is greater than yours and I do have almost daily interaction with serious systema instructors (since their school is on the other side of the wall from mine). So basically, not much discussion is possible for us. So, generally I just follow your posts with interest.

The readers that know me and my Aikido can decide for themselves if they wish to take my advice and check out systema, at least the senior teachers. It has helped me immensely and I have done only a very little. I will say that, the systema folks I have encountered, and I don't mean just Vlad and his teacher but Vlad's senior students as well, are operating on a level of sophistication that one would see except at the very top most levels in Aikido, and not in many there.
I realize the above is from one of the older threads on the post, but I just saw perhaps my 3rd Systema video-clip like this one:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...6842&q=systema

Whatever people want to make of Systema is their own business, but I just wanted to reinforce the idea that the topics of ki/kokyu things I keep referring to are very different from what I'm seeing in the Systema stuff.

All the Best.

Mike
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Old 06-12-2006, 09:50 AM   #580
artic
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Hi,
I have been following this tread with great interest.
I am very interested in the topic.

Mr. Sigman, have you seen the recently released dvd "Systema hand to hand" ?
with Vladimir Vasilev demonstating a segment called "the wave"
It looks really powerful, the attacker gets thrown away with a wave like shaking , looks like this can be related to jin..?

Regards
Tom Sorevik
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Old 06-12-2006, 10:16 AM   #581
Mike Sigman
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Tom Sørevik wrote:
Mr. Sigman, have you seen the recently released dvd "Systema hand to hand" ?
with Vladimir Vasilev demonstating a segment called "the wave"
It looks really powerful, the attacker gets thrown away with a wave like shaking , looks like this can be related to jin..?
Hi Tom:

No, I haven't seen that video. Part of my puzzlement is why a questionable source like Systema is being recommended as a supplement for Aikido. AiKIdo uses the same ki/qi/kokyu/jin etc., skills that are straightforwardly and isolatedly discussed in Chinese and Japanese martial arts. Why someone who doesn't have much expertise in these skills would suggest that "Systema" has something necessary for good Aikido is simply beyond me. It boggles my mind.

It's like these assertions I read where "Alexander Technique", "Feldenkrais", "Modern Dance Movement", etc., etc., are "part of Aikido".... usually this is said by someone who doesn't have even a foggy idea what "mind intent" means. (I'm not talking about you, Tom... I'm just talking/thinking out loud).

The only fixed idea I've seen in the Aikido (and other MA's) community that seems to never die is that anyone's take on what Ki, etc., is must be valid, particularly if someone is a "name-recognized" teacher. It gets a little strange, if not downright bizarre. These skills are pretty darn fixed in what they mean... they're not open to everyone's free-style and sometimes embarrassing opinions.

If you understand what "ki" is, yes you can find vestiges of it in lots of martial arts just because that's part of how the body develops, to a certain extent. To use deliberate and cultivated "ki" skills is something entirely different, though. The idea that "this must be ki because it looks like it to me although I'm no expert" is one of the great unexplained phenomena in martial arts. . A "Wave" doesn't mean much by itself... there are "waves" that use jin mechanics and there are other "waves" of athleticism, etc.

Here's a video of Chen Youze doing part of one of the Chen forms... watch the first sort of punch/release upward as he turns. You can see a "wave" go from his foot up through his crotch, dantien, arm, etc. Yes, he's releasing power *along* a ground-path to the release is indeed "jin", but if he did it at normal speed you wouldn't see any of that winding... it would look purely linear. I.e., the "wave" is a method of training, not something you would concentrate on in an application itself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0pEk...arch=taijiquan

Aikido does not use this kind of winding, even though I hear a lot of talk about "spirals" in many Aikido movements. Full spiral movement is going to use the winding in the leg, the crotch, the waist, the torso/back, etc. Aikido doesn't do that. Any other "wave" is going to usually be a matter of subjective definition of what a "wave" is.

So to talk about "jin" or "kokyu power", a person needs to look at the source and direction of the power transmitted through the body, not necessarily at how the body winds or ripples. IMO.

If you're anywhere near Pajala, Sweden next month, I'll show you.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 06-12-2006, 03:43 PM   #582
artic
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Hi Mike,
thanks for the informative reply.
Nice clip of the Chen style jin wave.

Unfortunately I am busy when your visit to Lappland is happening,
I am sure it`s going to be nice up there.
I`ll send you a pm so you can give me your full Europe schedule.

Regards
Tom
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Old 06-12-2006, 06:25 PM   #583
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Hi Mike, beginning of next month or end? I'm going to be in northern Finland after half July or so...

kvaak
Pauliina
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Old 06-12-2006, 06:57 PM   #584
statisticool
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Mike wrote:

Quote:
You can see a "wave" go from his foot up through his crotch, dantien, arm, etc. Yes, he's releasing power *along* a ground-path to the release is indeed "jin", ...
Ie, he had a wind-up, turned his waist, and punched.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 06-12-2006, 06:58 PM   #585
Upyu
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Justin Smith wrote:
Mike wrote:



Ie, he had a wind-up, turned his waist, and punched.
fuznack! another drive by!

lol
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Old 06-12-2006, 07:10 PM   #586
statisticool
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Robert John wrote:
fuznack! another drive by!

lol
Do you think something else was going on in his movement?

Feel free to share.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 06-12-2006, 07:34 PM   #587
statisticool
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

I was just 'translating' since not everyone on a Japanese martial art board is a Chinese martial artist.


A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 06-12-2006, 07:59 PM   #588
Upyu
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

My bad

I know your intentions are genuine, but to put it bluntly your translation sucked.
That being said, if I swing by the East Coast this year, I'd be more than happy to show you hands on the differences being talked about in this thread
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Old 06-12-2006, 08:15 PM   #589
Mike Sigman
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Pauliina Lievonen wrote:
Hi Mike, beginning of next month or end? I'm going to be in northern Finland after half July or so...
Hi Pauliina:
I'll be in Pajala on the from about July 5-9 and doing a workshop the last 2 days. Undoubtedly it will be an interesting experience and a very pretty countryside. If you're going to be anywhere near the area, PM me and I'll promise to buy the first round. Emil can buy the second.

Best Regards,

Mike
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Old 06-12-2006, 08:17 PM   #590
statisticool
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Robert John wrote:
That being said, if I swing by the East Coast this year, I'd be more than happy to show you hands on the differences being talked about in this thread
I'm sure you would be.

But, Robert, you didn't explain how you would translate it.

Last edited by statisticool : 06-12-2006 at 08:26 PM.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 06-12-2006, 08:20 PM   #591
statisticool
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Aikido does not use this kind of winding, even though I hear a lot of talk about "spirals" in many Aikido movements. Full spiral movement is going to use the winding in the leg, the crotch, the waist, the torso/back, etc. Aikido doesn't do that.
Can you explain why one would even expect aikido to have a spiral exactly like taijiquan?


Journal of Asian Martial Arts, Vol 11, No. 4, 2002,

"Aikido: The art of the dynamic equiangular spiral"

by Paz-y-Miņo G., & . Espinosa, A.

is an interesting read about spirals in aikido in any case.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 06-12-2006, 08:27 PM   #592
Mike Sigman
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Justin Smith wrote:
Can you explain why one would even expect aikido to have a spiral exactly like taijiquan?
Since I just said that Aikido does not use spiralling like Taiji does, why would I explain "why one would even expect aikido to have spiral exactly like taijiquan"?????????????????????????
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Old 06-12-2006, 08:34 PM   #593
statisticool
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Since I just said that Aikido does not use spiralling like Taiji does, why would I explain "why one would even expect aikido to have spiral exactly like taijiquan"?????????????????????????
I guess I wasn't sure why the "even though" in

"Aikido does not use this kind of winding, even though I hear a lot of talk about "spirals" in many Aikido movements."

?

Last edited by statisticool : 06-12-2006 at 08:36 PM.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 06-12-2006, 09:27 PM   #594
Upyu
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Justin Smith wrote:
I guess I wasn't sure why the "even though" in

"Aikido does not use this kind of winding, even though I hear a lot of talk about "spirals" in many Aikido movements."

?
Difference (and anyone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong), is that the winding that MIke is talking about, is a winding of the "structure".
In essence it's a winding up of the skeletal structure while the body stays in place(this is put really really simply, so dont shoot me),

while most "spirals" Aikido talks about is spiral "movement" generated by physically displacing the body.
(That being said, it doesn't mean they don't have jin/kokyu skills, just that it's generally linear, hence the whole "extend ki", "extend that" paradigm, and there's nothing wrong with that either)

There is a difference between the two, but you'd have to feel it hands on. Words can only convey so much for this kind of stuff ,unfortunately.
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Old 06-12-2006, 09:47 PM   #595
Mike Sigman
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Justin Smith wrote:
Ie, he had a wind-up, turned his waist, and punched.
Incidentally, the "winding" or "spiralling" shown in that video clip is sort of the same 'body fabric' that Ueshiba was showing unusual strength in during the 'jo trick'. But it has to be developed. We know that Ueshiba had it developed on his arms and back, from what he showed, but I doubt that he had developed it through the legs and crotch in the way the Chinese guy on the video did.


FWIW

Mike
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Old 06-13-2006, 03:00 AM   #596
Gernot Hassenpflug
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Hi Mike, Rob, forum,

Quickie only: spirals....yes, we do here that a lot. I used to think the spirals were on the outside, but they're not, they're at the core of, say, the arm (joined to the ground). When Abe sensei stops his breath, there is a kind of winding of the line from contact to ground, but no overt movement of the arm muscles at all. This I guess is the manipulation of the pressure suit by the breath. This stopping of the breath seems to create some "tension" (for lack of a better word) along the lower back and back of legs down to the ball of the foot, which can be released either at the following instant after stopping the breath, or at a later stage, without letting go the breath pressure. None of this involves any movement of the arm muscles and bones locally, but the contact line seems to receive a twist initially, and a anti-twist and outward impact on release. I don't know if this is anything like what Mike is saying about Chinese arts, nor - disclaimer - am I 100% sure of what exactly Abe sensei is doing. But definitely the pressure is not let off at the center once it is collected.
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Old 06-13-2006, 09:31 AM   #597
Mike Sigman
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Nice post, Gernot. From what you've said in the past, I think Abe Sensei knew/knows a goodly amount of these things. And there are some others, too, from what I've been hearing. Problem is that these are like "point-sources" of the good information and it's not spreading in the community. Then again, whether everyone in a particular martial art should really know how to do these things is probably an issue which doesn't have consensus agreement. Abe may feel like these things are best kept restricted. It's his knowledge to do with as he pleases; more power to him.

Mike
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Old 06-13-2006, 09:39 AM   #598
Ron Tisdale
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

I don't think he keeps it hidden...at least in the seminar I was at, he was very open about it. Learning it...that's a different kettle of fish. I am not even aikikai, but he was very open with me. That may be due to the fact that I was there with some of his foriegn students though.

I also like your post Gernot.

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 06-13-2006, 09:48 AM   #599
Mike Sigman
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
I don't think he keeps it hidden...at least in the seminar I was at, he was very open about it.
Does that mean you can do these things, Ron? No offense, but I have a lifetime of hearing how "So-and-so was so open and I learned so much at his seminar".... then I ask them to demonstrate on me what they "learned how to do".

Granted at most seminars there's a certain amount of "gathering tidbits of information".... but I don't think someone should leave a seminar without being able to do something they couldn't do when they walked in (assuming reasonable intelligence, of course). Too often we meet/know people whose martial art looks and feels pretty much like it did 10 years ago, 20 years ago, whatever. I never listen to those peoples' recommendations about workshops, frankly.

Again, not trying to be negative, Ron, but obviously people in Aikido are NOT being "very open" or we wouldn't be having these conversations after all these years, eh?

Mike
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Old 06-13-2006, 10:01 AM   #600
Ron Tisdale
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Re: The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...owa#post120164

should answer your questions. As I said above, being taught this and learning it yourself can be two very different things. I'll leave it up to those who have trained with me as to whether or not I've learned anything and can put it into keiko.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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