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Old 08-17-2006, 11:46 AM   #26
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Competition again!!!

I'll let someone more versed in the details give a complete answer, but no, I don't believe that was the impetus for the creation of taiji / tai chi.

Best,
Ron

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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
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Old 08-17-2006, 12:01 PM   #27
Mike Sigman
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Re: Competition again!!!

Taiji was "created" or evolved as a martial art. There are some reasonable indications that it evolved from a precursor style in Shanxi Province which was transplanted to Henan Province by the Chen Family, who developed the art to the current Chen style (the other styles all derive from the Chen style, to one degree or another).

Fighting was very important in the early days; it was a necessary skill. The idea that the movements, tactics, etc., conformed with the universal cosmology is an idea that is common in Asian martial arts. "Moving 'naturally'", "not resisting", etc., etc., are common ideas that come from this cosmology and those explanations are pretty common. "In accordance with the Tao" is another way of saying sort of the same thing. In other words, people seem to take philosophical and behavioral implications from what were essentially more physical and cosmological tenets. I.e, some of the understandings of Taiji and other arts that are out there are stem from wrongly approriated comments about the cosmology.

There are adjunct concepts of Wu de, "martial virtue", that are somewhat in line with some of the Taoist stuff, but that shouldn't be confused as being the innate philosophy of the martial art. Chen's taiji has the idea that a truly skilled expert can respond to an attack with a massive strike (the "hard" response) or can simply choose to handle the opponent with a throw or a lock (the "soft" response). Because of the "balanced yin and yang" tenet, Taiji is supposed to be able to do either the hard or the soft.

Back to work.

Mike
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Old 08-17-2006, 09:03 PM   #28
Mike Sigman
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Re: Competition again!!!

Here's a demonstration of some push hands by Tung Fu Ling and one of his students, a long time ago on Hawaii:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGfE6...elated&search=
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Old 08-18-2006, 07:21 AM   #29
Dennis Hooker
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Re: Competition again!!!

Mike we have this wonderful old Chinese gentleman here in Orlando that teaches in a Park in early morning on Sunday. He is a retired physical education teacher from China and his son has a very nice restraint here in Orlando. He is quite old and shakes badly with Parkinson's I believe. If you lay a hand on him thinking you are going to calm or stop his shaking you soon find your whole body shaking instead. He is very quite and very humble and a delight to be around and one of the most powerful people I have ever felt. .

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Old 08-18-2006, 08:51 AM   #30
Mike Sigman
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Re: Competition again!!!

Quote:
Dennis Hooker wrote:
He is quite old and shakes badly with Parkinson's I believe. If you lay a hand on him thinking you are going to calm or stop his shaking you soon find your whole body shaking instead. He is very quite and very humble and a delight to be around and one of the most powerful people I have ever felt. .
Hi Dennis:

Well, Parkinson's is a sad disease, but it sounds like he's done what he can to ameliorate the effects with good care of his body. Good for him.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 08-18-2006, 09:44 AM   #31
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Competition again!!!

Hi Mike,

Did Tung Fu Ling study Bagua as well?

Thanks,
Ron

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Old 08-18-2006, 09:58 AM   #32
Mike Sigman
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Re: Competition again!!!

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
Did Tung Fu Ling study Bagua as well?
Hmmmmm.... I can't remember, Ron. It's been too long since I talked about the Tung family. You saw the typical "irimi nage" type move, didn't you? Unfortunately, that basic tactic is not only in Aikido and Bagua, but in many other CMA's as well, so it's hard to relate his turning moves to anything in particular.

If you notice, Tung blends rapidly and well with the movements of his opponent/student (actually, if you have any experience, you can pick up where the student actually thwarts Tung on a fair number of moves, so while this isn't real fighting, it's not fully cooperative, either). Essentially, I don't see anything that Tung isn't doing that would stun me to see Shioda or others use in Aikido. There's plenty of "aiki" to go around.

The thing that used to interest me in that old tape was that it gave me an opportunity to judge Tung's internal strength (this is a complicated topic, so I'm only going to be superficial). Tung is pretty powerful in his body conditioning. Many techniques are made or broken by the power of the person applying them and Tung is certainly powerful. Yet his power is nothing different from what I personally think a good Aikidoist should have.

So take a generic "Aikido", widen out the potential responses to include more impulse/instinctive manipulations of Uke (like Shioda did; like Tung does), and add power like Tung and some of the other Aikidoists have (but don't display, just as O-Sensei didn't)... and I think you have a pretty damned powerful art that doesn't need to go to karate, Taiji, Systema, etc., for "what's missing".

My opinion, FWIW.

Mike
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Old 08-18-2006, 10:01 AM   #33
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Competition again!!!

Thanks for the info! It is a very interesting clip.

Best,
Ron

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Old 08-18-2006, 10:18 AM   #34
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Re: Competition again!!!

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
widen out the potential responses to include more impulse/instinctive manipulations of Uke (like Shioda did; like Tung does)
Could you elaborate on this a bit? Is this about movement & 'techniques trees' (if X then Y, if A then B, etc), or something else?

EDIT: re-worded for (attempted) clarity

Last edited by Nick Pagnucco : 08-18-2006 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 08-18-2006, 10:29 AM   #35
Mike Sigman
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Re: Competition again!!!

Quote:
Nicholas Pagnucco wrote:
Could you elaborate on this a bit? Is this about movement & 'techniques trees' (if X then Y, if A then B, etc), or something else?

EDIT: re-worded for (attempted) clarity
Trying to keep it as succinct as I can, I think what I'm trying to say is that too many Aikido people are under the impression that "aiki" has a lot to do with arm/hand/wrist techniques at a certain "ma ai" (a word which reinforces the idea of always having a "distance" even though after you get started, "ma ai" disappears).... I'm saying that "aiki" can be done even with the bodies touching, at elbow distance, with your back or shoulder (as Shioda, Ueshiba, and others have done), etc. In other words, if you watch a generic Aikido demonstration, the techniques are restricted, ultimately restricting how Aikidoists engage in any real conflict. IMO. Needs to be opened up.

Go back and look at how Tung used his body touching the opponent to send the opponent away with kokyu power. That's what kokyu looks like; it can be done with any part of the body.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 08-18-2006, 10:49 AM   #36
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Re: Competition again!!!

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
In other words, if you watch a generic Aikido demonstration, the techniques are restricted, ultimately restricting how Aikidoists engage in any real conflict. IMO. Needs to be opened up.
ok, thanks for the clarification.
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Old 08-18-2006, 10:52 AM   #37
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Competition again!!!

Quote:
In other words, if you watch a generic Aikido demonstration, the techniques are restricted, ultimately restricting how Aikidoists engage in any real conflict. IMO. Needs to be opened up.
Actually, this is one of the great martial failings in *my* aikido, anyway. I find that having engrained a certain pattern of technique and form during training, when I step out of that format, I am not as comfortable as I'd like to be. Even when sucsessful at applying other paradigms, I tend to leave one paradigm for another. Blending them all together is still a challenge. Some progress has been made in this area, but not enough.

Oh well, something else to work on...

Best,
Ron

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Old 08-18-2006, 10:58 AM   #38
Dennis Hooker
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Re: Competition again!!!

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:

Trying to keep it as succinct as I can, I think what I'm trying to say is that too many Aikido people are under the impression that "aiki" has a lot to do with arm/hand/wrist techniques at a certain "ma ai" (a word which reinforces the idea of always having a "distance" even though after you get started, "ma ai" disappears).... FWIW

Mike

I always understood ma ai in Aikido to mean "appropriate" distance. It could be vary close, even touching. I am glade you qualified the aiki statement to say "too many Aikido People" because it certainly is not all Aikido people and in fact I think too many Aikido people think arm/hand/wrist techniques are Aikido.

Dennis Hooker: (DVD) Zanshin and Ma-ai in Aikido
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Old 08-18-2006, 11:05 AM   #39
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Competition again!!!

I was watching that clip again, and I think I see a *lot* of honesty in that relationship. I like how the teacher not only checks his student's balance and form, but also makes sure stupid openings aren't alllowed to creep in, like when he makes the student aware that his head is wide open to attack, or when the student starts to turn his back. He maintains a pretty high level of martial integrity, even though they are obviously working on some pretty specific body skills. The little foot sweep was nice, too...

That guy must be a really good person to study under.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 08-18-2006, 11:09 AM   #40
Mike Sigman
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Re: Competition again!!!

Quote:
Dennis Hooker wrote:
I always understood ma ai in Aikido to mean "appropriate" distance. It could be vary close, even touching. I am glade you qualified the aiki statement to say "too many Aikido People" because it certainly is not all Aikido people and in fact I think too many Aikido people think arm/hand/wrist techniques are Aikido.
Hi Dennis:

Yes, I was careful to qualify it for that very reason. However, "ma ai" is more of an initiating concept that derives from sword usage and the proper distance to begin an engagement. What I was saying was that this idea of "proper distance" and focus on arm-relationships causes a mental fixation about distance and arms in most Aikido practitioners.

If you go back and look at Ueshiba's demonstrations, yes, most of his stuff is arm-related, etc., but he does occasionally show that it doesn't matter and he, like Shioda, can be seen on film doing shoulder and back hits as part of his Aikido. Technically, knowing how to absorb and send back an opponent, even with your back, is a legitimate "blending with the opponent's force" (just resisting it wouldn't be, of course).

If you look at the core of the interractions in the Tung video clip, there was plenty of "aiki", it's just that it wasn't followed up with standard Aikido techniques.... but the "aiki" was there, even in very close engagements. My opinion is that more focus on exactly what "aiki" is, even in very close situations, would be helpful to many people in Aikido... more so than the pretty fixed repertoire that we so often see nowadays.

My 2 cents.

Mike
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Old 08-18-2006, 11:11 AM   #41
Mike Sigman
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Re: Competition again!!!

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
I was watching that clip again, and I think I see a *lot* of honesty in that relationship. I like how the teacher not only checks his student's balance and form, but also makes sure stupid openings aren't alllowed to creep in, like when he makes the student aware that his head is wide open to attack, or when the student starts to turn his back. He maintains a pretty high level of martial integrity, even though they are obviously working on some pretty specific body skills. The little foot sweep was nice, too...

That guy must be a really good person to study under.
Tung Fu Ling (Tung Hu Ling . I think they now spell it "Dong") died a few years ago. Diabetes. He has sons that teach in Hawaii and in L.A., but exactly how open they are is a matter often discussed (isn't it always, though?).

Regards,

Mike
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Old 08-18-2006, 11:12 AM   #42
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Competition again!!!

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Trying to keep it as succinct as I can, I think what I'm trying to say is that too many Aikido people are under the impression that "aiki" has a lot to do with arm/hand/wrist techniques at a certain "ma ai" (a word which reinforces the idea of always having a "distance" even though after you get started, "ma ai" disappears).... I'm saying that "aiki" can be done even with the bodies touching, at elbow distance, with your back or shoulder (as Shioda, Ueshiba, and others have done), etc.
One of the most idiosyncratic, but oddly enticing, examples given to me to try of what you are describing was the suggestion that the next time you go inot a men's restroom witht he typical swing in door, rather

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 08-18-2006, 11:16 AM   #43
Mike Sigman
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Re: Competition again!!!

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
One of the most idiosyncratic, but oddly enticing, examples given to me to try of what you are describing was the suggestion that the next time you go inot a men's restroom witht he typical swing in door, rather
Hmmmm.... I'm not sure where you're going with this men's room example, Erick, but don't leave us hanging (no pun intended!).

Incidentally, I will almost always attempt to shut or even open a door subtly (or if no one's around, with more "release") using my body. Like a kid with a skateboard, I'm always practicing, trying things.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 08-18-2006, 11:26 AM   #44
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Re: Competition again!!!

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Trying to keep it as succinct as I can, I think what I'm trying to say is that too many Aikido people are under the impression that "aiki" has a lot to do with arm/hand/wrist techniques at a certain "ma ai" (a word which reinforces the idea of always having a "distance" even though after you get started, "ma ai" disappears).... I'm saying that "aiki" can be done even with the bodies touching, at elbow distance, with your back or shoulder (as Shioda, Ueshiba, and others have done), etc.
[Slippery little "submit" key -- ain't it.]

One of the most idiosyncratic training examples ever given to me of effective tai sabaki at arbitrary distances as you are describing was this suggestion:

Try this the next time you go into a men's restroom (or ladies' for those so inclined) with the typical swing in, self-closing door. Usually, one pushes it open with the arm, or straightarm it with your weight behind the arm.

Try just walking into it completely upright, arms at your sides and pirouette in a tight tenkan-tenkai 360 degrees as you make contact -- 1) Notice how the door moves,and 2) Notice how little impact or disturbance you receive in doing so.

Now try on your favorite uke.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 08-18-2006 at 11:28 AM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 08-18-2006, 11:32 AM   #45
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Competition again!!!

Kirisawa Sensei often teaches a waza like that. Ushiro ryote dori tenkan or something like that for the name...non stance hand comes up like drinking a beer, tenkan without a pivot (body change) and cut down with the raised hand. When done well, I've seen uke either hammered into the floor or flung off across the room. Amazing amount of power...

Best,
Ron

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Old 08-18-2006, 01:05 PM   #46
Mike Sigman
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Re: Competition again!!!

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
One of the most idiosyncratic training examples ever given to me of effective tai sabaki at arbitrary distances as you are describing was this suggestion:

Try this the next time you go into a men's restroom (or ladies' for those so inclined) with the typical swing in, self-closing door. Usually, one pushes it open with the arm, or straightarm it with your weight behind the arm.

Try just walking into it completely upright, arms at your sides and pirouette in a tight tenkan-tenkai 360 degrees as you make contact -- 1) Notice how the door moves,and 2) Notice how little impact or disturbance you receive in doing so.

Now try on your favorite uke.
I'm just hoping that "your favorite uke" isn't standing at one of the urinals.
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Old 08-18-2006, 01:18 PM   #47
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Competition again!!!

[off topic] There is a really big guy on the site I work at, about 350 pounds at least. One of the other guys on the site is at the urinal, and all the other ones are full, and this big guy comes in and he already has it in his hand 'cause he HAS to go, and Bob (the little guy) sees the big one coming with it out already, and starts yelling and waving his hands "full house, full house, abort, abort!" [/off topic]

Sorry, I just couldn't help it, urinal stories always remind me of that...

Best,
Ron (there's got to be a way to tie that into aikido, but I'm laughing too hard...)

Ron Tisdale
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Old 08-18-2006, 02:30 PM   #48
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Re: Competition again!!!

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
I'm just hoping that "your favorite uke" isn't standing at one of the urinals.
NOT the image of freely flowing ki that we're REALLY looking for, Mike ...

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 08-26-2006, 08:23 PM   #49
phil farmer
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Re: Competition again!!!

Hi all,

I guess since I practice and teach Yoseikan, I can offer a comment or two about competition. George was right early on in the thread when he mentioned atemi and Yoseikan, we have long added atemi in what we do, this was Minoru Mochizuki's thinking and experience. He came back from Europe in the very early 50's and explained to O Sensei that pure aiki did not work in every experience he had with other styles and he often resorted to his judo, karate, or jiujitsu knowledge and skills to supplement.

Now a quick fast forward to today. Yoseikan Budo does competition on a regular basis. Hiroo Mochizuki Shihan's reasoning is that it is the closest we can come to actual combat and stil not injure one another. His believe is in the definition of "learning together" as the meaning of competition. We do have specific rules and wear full headgear with face mask, gloves, foot and shin guards and chest protectors with throat guards. We do free sparring types of competition with kicks, punches, throws and pins and use padded weapons as well. The goal, education, mutual learning in a safe environment.

Education and developing a "fighting spirit" is the goal. Safety is the second goal. Shihan feels that we live in a world where we all compete every day, tempering the spirit properly teaches us that it is truly not about who wins but what we learn during the process.

The information above is taken from an article written a few years ago by Hiroo Mochizuki. I hope this gives some new information about competition, at least where Yoseikan's view of it is concerned.

I also agree that the old view of one throw or one atemi can kill was reflective of a certain time and a certain mindset. The world changes quickly.

Phil Farmer
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Old 08-27-2006, 09:54 AM   #50
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Re: Competition again!!!

Quote:
Phil Farmer wrote:
Hi all,

I guess since I practice and teach Yoseikan, I can offer a comment or two about competition. George was right early on in the thread when he mentioned atemi and Yoseikan, we have long added atemi in what we do, this was Minoru Mochizuki's thinking and experience. He came back from Europe in the very early 50's and explained to O Sensei that pure aiki did not work in every experience he had with other styles and he often resorted to his judo, karate, or jiujitsu knowledge and skills to supplement.

Now a quick fast forward to today. Yoseikan Budo does competition on a regular basis. Hiroo Mochizuki Shihan's reasoning is that it is the closest we can come to actual combat and stil not injure one another. His believe is in the definition of "learning together" as the meaning of competition. We do have specific rules and wear full headgear with face mask, gloves, foot and shin guards and chest protectors with throat guards. We do free sparring types of competition with kicks, punches, throws and pins and use padded weapons as well. The goal, education, mutual learning in a safe environment.

Education and developing a "fighting spirit" is the goal. Safety is the second goal. Shihan feels that we live in a world where we all compete every day, tempering the spirit properly teaches us that it is truly not about who wins but what we learn during the process.
Phil Farmer
That sounds like a lot of fun. I"m not a big fan of wearing that much saftey gear though (I find it leads to me using the gear to my advantage such as not defending my head from blows while I work an attack. But I wish I could find a place like that near my to try out.

- Don
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