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Old 08-24-2006, 03:17 AM   #51
Upyu
Dojo: Aunkai, Tokyo
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Re: conditioning routines

Quote:
James Young wrote:
Once you reach a certain level of strength and firness and maintain that in my opinion I think you can benefit more from concentrating on those exercises that develop kokyu power rather than additional strength training. So I'm saying in my opinion both types of conditioning are important, the balance of which may be dependent on your personal fitness level and the level and focus of your aikido training.
THat's one way to look at it, only I think most people tend to get too stuck in the strength training rutt and develop bad habits in the way they use their muscles.(Pertaining to martial movement)
Most people that come to our class that have too much muscle end up having to "pare down" what they have, and then "rebuild" it in a sense.
Of course this has more to do in a neuro-muscular sense, but the essence being that doing strength training in the beginning might be beneficial, but its hard to tell when you should "stop".
In the end I think it's easier to start from scratch with zero strength training, since "tanren" in itself is physically rigorous...
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Old 08-24-2006, 03:38 AM   #52
Kevin Wilbanks
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Re: conditioning routines

Quote:
Robert John wrote:
But how you strengthen the muscle is all important since simply strengthening it can be detrimental to learning the "strength" skill we mentioned since it involves gaining control over the relax/contract nature of muscles.
First, how a muscle is strengthened is not detrimental to learning neuromotor skills involving the muscle, or to doing further training developing strength more specific to the targeted activity. General strength training may not help increase perfomance much, but it doesn't prevent anything. It's purpose in a training program is not to enhance the performance of specific activities, but to provide a fitness base, strengthen tissues, and help with injury resistance. The reason I initially suggested it is because many people who do Aikido are not in good general condition, do nothing outside of Aikido for strength or injury prevention, and I don't think optimal performance is an issue with most Aikidoists.

"Gaining control over the relax/contract nature of muscles" is almost a textbook definition of skill. It's not a good description of what I now see you are talking about. You are talking about sport-specific strength training. It is correct that well-designed exercises that are more specific to the movements of a sport activity have more carryover to the activity. It is also correct that it is not skill. (Note, that this is a different matter from the above discussion about some kind of near-effortless throwing power, which would be almost all skill at movement and alignment, and little strengthening at all.)

Why sport-specific strength exercises are more useful has to do with reasons that are mostly neural, some are biochemical, few or none have to do with raw physical factors like muscle size, bone density, or connective tissue strength. It is not a different kind of strength, it is simply strength developed via more relevant exercises, which is therefore more relevant to performance.

Other fitness qualities are far less movement-specific, but instead energetically specific, particularly various types of endurance. Even strength-related qualities fall into this category sometimes. Olympic lifts have been found to be so good at developing speed-strength/power qualities, that the carryover even to non-jumping or non-pulling actions is still good.

In essence, this is all just the principle of specificity. Almost all serious athletic training today is built on this model. However, sport-specific exercises are not done instead of general conditioning methods, but in addition to them. In fact, the Soviet conditioning models - which are the main influence on today's training methods - require their athletes to do nothing but general conditioning for a period of years before they are allowed to do anything specific to their sport whatsoever.

What you are seeing in these Judo people and whoever, is not a result of any kind of inhibition or detriment to learning or controlling their muscles that their weight training has done to them. Unless they use up too much of their recovery ability on their general strength training, there is nothing preventing them from adding the type of training you advocate. Since they already have excess 'raw materials' built up, the sport-specific training may even work better or faster for them. I still suspect that skill and talent are also factors.
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Old 08-24-2006, 06:38 AM   #53
Upyu
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Re: conditioning routines

Quote:
Kevin Wilbanks wrote:
First, how a muscle is strengthened is not detrimental to learning neuromotor skills involving the muscle, or to doing further training developing strength more specific to the targeted activity. General strength training may not help increase perfomance much, but it doesn't prevent anything.
I disagree, especially with relation to this bodyskill. If you stimulate the muscles too much through the use of weight based training, it can hamper development of this skill.
So far I've seen people that
a) Come into class simultaneously doing some kind of freeweights program (those tended to be people from Western based Muay Thai, Kyokushin, Submission fighting etc)


b) Come into class with either not much sportive athletic background, or those that had chosen to avoid a weight training program.

The progress between these two general different groups of people is interesting to watch, since it seems most people with a weight training backgrounds have a lot of "rewiring" to do and takes them much longer to "unlearn" than those with zero experience.

Anyone with large shoulder muscles, pecs that are built up find the exercises especially excruciating (physically).

Kevin, I suggest you try the exercises outlined in the Training section, then let me know what your own personal feedback is
I'm just curious what your opinoin would be on them.
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Old 08-24-2006, 07:46 AM   #54
clwk
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Re: conditioning routines

Kevin,

This has to be quick because I'm running to work, so forgive me if I don't address your points specifically. I'll reply to what I think is the gist of your remarks. You suggest that since there is a fixed set of possible body structures to be used in generating strength of any kind, and since powerlifting can be shown to develop some of these extremely well, that powerlifting can *probably* be shown to develop all of them best, and is therefore the best supplemental conditioning method. Just for the sake of argument, let's even assume you are right that serious hardcore powerlifter's *do* strengthen even the various structures you've described more than anyone else - *for the specific exercises they train*. I know you suggest a broad and general class of exercises to try to spread this out as evenly as possible.

Even if that is the case, and I'm not really stipulating that, you should still consider that someone who could come the closest to training *all* relevant structures as *evenly* as possible for usage in *any* direction would be best off. There might be qualitative advantages to this 'evenness', as I'm calling it. You could say that this might be the point at which the skill and conditioning meet. Take the archer again, two archers: one trains both arms evenly to a strength of 100 pounds. The other trains one arm to 200 pounds, the other to 0 pounds. Ridiculous, I know - but you can see how the application of skill could be *seriously* affected by the nature of the conditioning - even if the raw, root, physiological-level conditioning is the same in both cases. Take another example of an aircraft. Not only are the physical properties of its body important, but also their shape. At some point these characteristics cannot be ignored. If you understand that *everything* has to follow the real underlying 'laws of body conditioning' which modern sports theory probably knows *a lot - but not necessarily everything about* - then you should be able to accept that there are training methods designed to dovetail perfectly with skill - to the point that they are inseparable from it. In this paradigm, perhaps a 100 pound spherically-available strength perfectly distributed through all available structures would be better than a 200 pound strength that had a 'splotchiness' and had even *any* weak points of less than 100 pounds. Do you see how this could be a totally different training goal than the power-lifter - even though many results of the training would overlap?

Food for thought. I have to run.

-ck

ps: an afterthought - you seem to be addressing a strawman I understand because it's common, but you need to know it's not what the knowledgeable posters are discussing here. This is the idea of using 'no strength' or that 'muscles are bad' or anything like that. The point is that there is good muscle use and bad, and most people who are thinking of starting a martial art are almost certainly biased toward bad rather than good use. Those people would probably be best served by retraining their neuro-musuclar habits - which is theoretically something that should happen in their budo training. I would bet that conditioning specifically designed to help with this also has that advantage over powerlifting - even if powerlifting can be shown in some cases not to *necessarily* worsen the problem.
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Old 08-24-2006, 09:53 AM   #55
Mike Sigman
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Re: conditioning routines

Quote:
Kevin Wilbanks wrote:
sport-specific exercises are not done instead of general conditioning methods, but in addition to them. .
When I inhale, there is a slight pulling under the skin over my whole body, but stronger in someplaces than in others. People off the street can feel it by lightly holding my arm, etc. I coordinate this "development" to allow my body to act as a unified whole when I use force. When I am struck with a blow, this "development" tends to prevent me from getting hurt. I make sure that aspects of this development are practiced within my body torso, also, BTW.

When I lift things, move things, accept incoming forces, this "whole body" development becomes part of the coordination of all that I do, so my coordination is radically different from "general conditioning exercises"... i.e., doing "general conditioning exercises" would hinder the development of this added body skill.

I also have the ability to direct force paths at will through or from my body... I use this skill to be a primary controller of most of my motion. It's an added factor that had to be trained into my movement. Doing "general conditioning" would be detrimental to learning how to do this stuff.

Chen Xiao Wang, the head of the Chen-style Taijiquan, has fairly undeveloped arms, yet he is extraordinarily powerful. He does the work with the lower part of his body and his middle and lets the arms only be conveyors of the forces. The use and training of muscle fibers is of course necessarily a part of all strengths, but it's not the full picture of what we're talking about. Ueshiba had a picture painted to show an extra-large middle.... the same kind of middle I'm talking about in this odd type of strength. So my comment would be that exhortations to do "general conditioning" are not always the best thing to suggest for martial arts that use these "internal strength" parameters.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 08-24-2006, 10:55 AM   #56
paw
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Re: conditioning routines

Robert,

Quote:
In fact the exercises I mentioned do the same thing, increasing bone density, tendon strength, tensile strength, density etc etc etc. But without increasing the muscle size significantly(For reasons maybe we can get into later)
Muscle development is either hyperplasia or hypertrophy. If I understand you correctly, you are suggesting hyperplasia, which increases the number of muscle cells with minimal size increase in the muscle. So, you are suggesting your exercises cause hyperplasia. Is that correct?

Quote:
First, how a muscle is strengthened is not detrimental to learning neuromotor skills involving the muscle, or to doing further training developing strength more specific to the targeted activity. General strength training may not help increase perfomance much, but it doesn't prevent anything.
Quote:
I disagree, especially with relation to this bodyskill. If you stimulate the muscles too much through the use of weight based training, it can hamper development of this skill.
To the best of my knowledge, Kevin is unquestionably correct in his assertion. The discrepancies that you claim you see in class could very well be explained by other factors rather than being determined by a "freeweight program". (Incidentally, that's an incredibly vast and vague description, imo. Bodybuilders, powerlifters and Olympic weightlifters have radically different training methodologies, and radically different athletic performance, but I would say all use "freeweight programs" as the core of their training.)

Quote:
Anyone with large shoulder muscles, pecs that are built up find the exercises especially excruciating (physically).
Gymnasts and Olympic weighlifters have large shoulder muscles and pecs, have you had any of them in our class? I suspect they would not find the exercises excruciating due to their flexibility. Off the top of my head, I suspect that individuals who find the exercises excruciating have flexibility issues, an issue independent of mucle size.


Mike,

Quote:
When I lift things, move things, accept incoming forces, this "whole body" development becomes part of the coordination of all that I do, so my coordination is radically different from "general conditioning exercises"... i.e., doing "general conditioning exercises" would hinder the development of this added body skill.
Here's another disconnect for me. "General conditioning exercises" is so vast and vague I have no idea what you mean. I would consider running, climbing, swimming, biking, stretching (and stretching focused activities like some forms of yoga) to be "general conditioning exercises", not to mention the myriad of methods used to develop strength. I can't imagine you mean that all of them hinder the development of this added body skill. Could you be more specific?

Regards,

Paul
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Old 08-24-2006, 11:10 AM   #57
Mike Sigman
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Re: conditioning routines

Quote:
Paul Watt wrote:
Here's another disconnect for me. "General conditioning exercises" is so vast and vague I have no idea what you mean. I would consider running, climbing, swimming, biking, stretching (and stretching focused activities like some forms of yoga) to be "general conditioning exercises", not to mention the myriad of methods used to develop strength. I can't imagine you mean that all of them hinder the development of this added body skill. Could you be more specific?
Trying to keep it as succinct as I can: this method of strength requires developing some skills and the fascia-related structures in the body, but at heart you could say it is a "recoordination of the normal ways we use strength" and we want to make this new way of moving as our instinctive, preferred strength. Any "general conditioning" that continues to rely on the 'old way of moving' is a hindrance to developing the 'new way of moving', if you see my point. You can't have someone who truly "moves from the hara" who also does weight-lifting using normal modalities, isolation, etc.

Granted, once you've acquired a good bit of the 'new way of moving', you can begin to go back to weight-lifing, rowing, whatever, and taking care to use the so-called "whole body" (although of course you can't do isolation training anymore.... you have to recoordinate your weight-lifting, etc.). You certainly need strength and conditioning.... but great care has to be made to clarify that *normal* strength and conditioning is a no-no.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 08-24-2006, 12:37 PM   #58
paw
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Re: conditioning routines

Mike,

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Trying to keep it as succinct as I can: this method of strength requires developing some skills and the fascia-related structures in the body, but at heart you could say it is a "recoordination of the normal ways we use strength" and we want to make this new way of moving as our instinctive, preferred strength.
What you're describing sounds like skill training to me.


Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Granted, once you've acquired a good bit of the 'new way of moving', you can begin to go back to weight-lifing, rowing, whatever, and taking care to use the so-called "whole body" (although of course you can't do isolation training anymore.... you have to recoordinate your weight-lifting, etc.). You certainly need strength and conditioning.... but great care has to be made to clarify that *normal* strength and conditioning is a no-no.
When I've mentioned weight training, I've been referring to multi-joint, full body movements. So, I'm not clear on what the objection is. I'm even more concerned that you're lumping in "strength" with "conditioning". In my mind, conditioning would encompass attributes in addition to strength: cardiovascular capability, stamina, power, speed, coordination, flexibility, agility and balance to name a few.

Now the drill that Robert described, certainly doesn't address many of the attributes I would associate with "general conditioning". And perhaps there are other drills that address other physical attributes. But my warning flag goes up when a methodology demands such a broad range of activities and methodologies must be discontinued.

Perhaps I've misunderstood your response?

Regards,

Paul
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Old 08-24-2006, 12:43 PM   #59
Kevin Wilbanks
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Re: conditioning routines

CLwk,

You need to re-read my argument, I never said a thing about powerlifting being the best supplementary training. My argurments were about strength and tissues. The kind of raw material strengthening you are talking about just doesn't happen without the application of massive force. I understand what these guys are talking about now, and it has nothing to do with building more, or more applicable strength in tissue structures, it has mostly to do with neural and biochemical elements of strength that are specific to movements done in certain patterns and at certain speeds, etc...

****

As for the rest, I am now willing to entertain that these "bodyskill" exercises are better than general weight exercises for improving Aikido 'performance' in a physical sense. If they are well-designed, they are sport-specific strengthening exercises, and they work better due to the principle of specificity. However, this insistence that concurrent or preparatory general weight training interferes with more specifc training, and how you imply that it does, is simply wrong.

You must have misinterpreted your anecdotes. I encourage you to get a copy of a basic exercise science text like 'The Essentials of Strength and Conditioning', by Bachele and Earle, and the indespensible 'Supertraining' by the late Mel Siff so that you can become familiar with the vast amount of study and research that has been put into issues like this.

Some kinds of training interfere with other kinds of training, but not in the way you suggest. For instance, if you lift weights so much that you have exhausted your body's recovery resources, additional specific strength exercises won't help and may actually make you weaker. This would be a poorly designed program. Too much endurance training can interfere with strength development, and vice-versa - this is also along the lines of a conservation of resources issue.

What you are suggesting is that doing an activity like lifting weights causes these motor neural patterns to become so entrenched that the trainee is incapable or learning new ones, or finds it very difficult. This is not how movement and motor behaviors work. If it was, we would have similar problems plauging our lives all the time.

How many times per week does one perform a particular weight exercise? Probably 100 to 200 total reps including warmup at most. Now consider running. Running 5 miles entails repeating the same stride pattern exercise maybe 8000 times. Many people do this several days per week. Some of them come to Aikido. Have you ever seen a runner about to do a tenkan, then involuntarily start running and slam into a wall? Of course not - despite the fact that by your reasoning, she has done an exercise probably around 200 times more likely to be entrenched in their system to interfere with motor learning. Consider an illustrator. Someone who draws can easily spend many times as much time drawing as the runner does running - maybe 50 hours per week or more. Have you ever heard of an illustrator who was incapable of eating his dinner because when he attempted to put fork to food, he instead couldn't help "drawing" with it? Or that moved his utensil around all jerkily like Frankenstein's monster because he had so much difficulty learning to eat after all that drawing?

If you think more about it, you'll see that problems like this would arise everywhere for us if your theory of motor learning were correct, and life would be a mess. The fact is that motor learning does not work like this. The only circumstances in which training has been found to interfere with the performance of a sports skill is in the case of simulation training, which consequently is rarely used. Simulation training is training an actual sport movement, except with a slight change - such as attaching a weight to a baseball bat or a rubber cable to a golf club, then trying to perform the movement as usual. This type of training has been found to disrupt the skills of athletes who have tried it, because the movement is so similar, that the neural patterns become somehow confused. So long as the movement is sufficiently dissimilar, this effect has not been found to occur.

Incidentally, this is the trick of sport-specific strength training - finding a movement that is similar enough to the sport movement that there is excellent carryover, but not so similar that it disrupts the skill.

Last edited by Kevin Wilbanks : 08-24-2006 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 08-24-2006, 12:56 PM   #60
Mike Sigman
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Re: conditioning routines

Quote:
Paul Watt wrote:
What you're describing sounds like skill training to me.
Sure. And I think you'll find numerous statements to that effect from me in the archives of this and other forums. But I'm not talking about a skill that is an extension of normal movement. I'm talking about a skill that requires you to re-train even your basic way of movement before you attempt anything to do with "general conditioning". I.e., the re-training of the movement system is the primary point, *then* comes the conditioning. The previous comments indicated that general conditioning comes first or simultaneously and I (and Rob I think, although I don't want to speak for him) was stressing that all that normally done conditioning doesn't help you at all with these skills and are more than likely to take you further away from the goals.
Quote:
When I've mentioned weight training, I've been referring to multi-joint, full body movements. So, I'm not clear on what the objection is. [[snip]]
Perhaps I've misunderstood your response?
Yes. And that's what both Rob and I have been trying to say, because we've both encountered this and we both know that it's outside the realm of normal body mechanics. And we both know that other people, just like we did, would scoff at the idea that there could be something this big that hasn't been encountered before and which is not in the literature. Remember in the early 1900's when the suggestion was made to close the US Patent Office because they felt sure that all possible new things had been patented and explored?

When you talk of "multi-joint, full body movements", I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts that I could show you (it would take a little time and preface) a different way to weight lift and you'd go "Oh". I don't like to lose bets, so I'm very careful to only make bets I know I will win easily.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 08-24-2006, 02:28 PM   #61
Upyu
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Re: conditioning routines

Quote:
Kevin Wilbanks wrote:
<snip>.
Kevin, just try the exercises, and see what kind of feedback your body gives you.
能書きはいいから
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Old 08-24-2006, 07:34 PM   #62
clwk
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Re: conditioning routines

Quote:
Kevin Wilbanks wrote:
You need to re-read my argument, I never said a thing about powerlifting being the best supplementary training. My argurments were about strength and tissues.
Okay, I did; and I apologize for any mischaracterization of your position. I think my point is still valid though, even if you remove my conflation of your arguments about powerlifting and your preference for 'basic weight training' as a supplemental conditioning method.
Quote:
The kind of raw material strengthening you are talking about just doesn't happen without the application of massive force. I understand what these guys are talking about now, and it has nothing to do with building more, or more applicable strength in tissue structures, it has mostly to do with neural and biochemical elements of strength that are specific to movements done in certain patterns and at certain speeds, etc...
I guess that's that then. I've thrown in my piece in the hopes it might clarify something for someone, but I have no overarching desire to convince you and Paul. I'll just summarize my point again:

Given the choice between weight-based muscle training and exercises specfically designed to promote 'internal strength' - I would choose the latter if my goal were improved performance in Aikido. Even though these other exercises (whatever they may be) may have a skill component, they also have a conditioning component which is qualitatively different from what you would get from lifting weights in an ordinary way. This preference is connected to the hypothesis that the goal of a martial art like Aikido involves not only changing the pattern of how one behaves, 'skill', but also changing one's body itself, 'conditioning' - in a way different and in certain ways contradictory to what 'general conditioning' is likely to do. Moreover, the relationship between 'skill' and 'conditioning' is closer than can really be understood if you insist on a sharp dichotomy. Obviously not everyone will accept the truth of this hypothesis, and those that don't will probably therefore disagree with the conclusions that follow from the premise. Thanks for your patience.

-ck
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Old 08-24-2006, 08:37 PM   #63
Kevin Wilbanks
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Re: conditioning routines

Robert,

Sorry, still not interested. I let myself turn into a slob for almost two years and I've still got a whole lot of my own remedial work to do - no room on the dance card. I glanced through a couple of the exercises. They remind me of yoga insofar as the amount of tiny postural details involved. I don't think it is worthwhile to attempt to learn exercises/activities with such complex detail via reading a few emails. I wouldn't try to learn yoga or aikido from a book either. Such learning needs to be taught in person.

ck,

Mostly what you are describing is what I talked about above: sport specific strength training. There are several neural and metabolic elements of strength, which are more specific to certain movement patterns, speeds, etc... than not. These elements are not considered skill, and sound like what you are talking about. Identifying and studying these elements does not contradict a scheme of using clear defintions between strength and skill. One needs to have separate and clearly defined concepts to approach a complex activity like athletic training in the manner it is done at high levels today. In a sense, all divisions and categorizations are arbitrary - the point is to make sure they are consistent and useful. It sounds to me like you should read a basic exercise science textbook before making generalizations about how their definitions and terms limit what 'can be understood'. What is currently understood is quite impressive.

Anyhow, as you say, sport-specific training does work better for improving performance, but is not unique to Aikido or its 'internal-ness'. This type of training is currently the dominant paradigm, used in virtually every type of sport training, all of which have unique movement and performance requirements. The prior paradigm was the use of nothing but general conditioning and skill training. Sport specific occupies a sort of middle ground, but it is not used instead of either pole. In beginning athletes, specific is used little and general conditioning more, in advanced athletes, general is de-emphasized in favor of specific. Often relatively standard weight exercises are considered part of sport specific training, depending upon the similarity of the movement pattern to the target activity.
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Old 08-24-2006, 09:27 PM   #64
clwk
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Re: conditioning routines

Quote:
Kevin Wilbanks wrote:
One needs to have separate and clearly defined concepts to approach a complex activity like athletic training in the manner it is done at high levels today. In a sense, all divisions and categorizations are arbitrary - the point is to make sure they are consistent and useful. It sounds to me like you should read a basic exercise science textbook before making generalizations about how their definitions and terms limit what 'can be understood'. What is currently understood is quite impressive.
I might look into it (did you make a title recommendation already?), but I don't have a lot of spare time. That's the source of the impasse, I think. It's not really worth anyone's while to delve deeply into one another's terminology. I am perfectly happy, in theory, to accept your assurance that the way the terms are used does not present any difficulty in understanding what is going on. My hesitation comes in that it is not actually clear that you understand what is being discussed. I'm willing to remain agnostic on the point though. In order to fully resolve the issue (in debate), someone would have to put in more effort than anyone is really willing to. I'm willing to sacrifice the ability to communicate with sports scientists for now; I'd rather focus on other things. If calling that 'sport-specific training' makes sense of it for you, that's fine with me. For what it's worth, I have no problem with the paradigm you describe in general, but - if the end result of applying that paradigm to Aikido is that folk avoid finding these other training methods, whatever you call them, then that would be too bad. It really doesn't matter who calls what what. What matters is how you train, right? I think what some people are suggesting is that some of these traditional, but little-known training methods are not less sophisticated than 'modern training methods', even if their English-translated vocabulary is less normalized yet. I can imagine a future in which the serious sports science you describe is applied to refine and squeeze the best performance out of traditional methods, and to understand them better at a scientific level. I think that's the direction of application though, rather than trying to incorporate these methods into the 'modern training paradigm'. It's just a different opinion and slant. Each of us is betting his training on a chosen approach, and I think that's fine. I'm not writing to prove you wrong, or even to try to resolve these issues - the dialogue's just not there yet. I'm just writing - as a practitioner, not an expert - so those like the original poster who have to choose a direction to bet on have a sense of the options.

Thanks for the conversation. Maybe someday one or both of us will have done the research necessary to find common ground.

-ck
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Old 08-24-2006, 09:50 PM   #65
paw
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Re: conditioning routines

Mike,

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
But I'm not talking about a skill that is an extension of normal movement. I'm talking about a skill that requires you to re-train even your basic way of movement before you attempt anything to do with "general conditioning".
Again, I'm concerned about the use of "general conditioning". I'm pretty sure I don't understand what you mean when you use the term. If I understand you, you're suggesting that one cannot run, bike, swim, lift, climb, jump, etc....without first training in this general skill. Considering that elite level athletes have been running, jumping, lifting, etc...without this skill makes me question that premise.

I imagine you're thinking, I don't understand what you're explaining, and I think that's true. I feel I bit like that tv show...I want to believe...

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
The previous comments indicated that general conditioning comes first or simultaneously and I (and Rob I think, although I don't want to speak for him) was stressing that all that normally done conditioning doesn't help you at all with these skills and are more than likely to take you further away from the goals.
What are the goals? What physical attributes does this skill develop? Strength? Cardio-vascular endurance? Stamina? I'm confused. I thought we were talking about improved aikido performance, but I'm getting the impression that you are talking about general athletic performance, which is significantly broader topic.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
When you talk of "multi-joint, full body movements", I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts that I could show you (it would take a little time and preface) a different way to weight lift and you'd go "Oh".
I don't know what you mean Mike. I'm sure you could show me a different way to lift weights. To be frank, that wouldn't interest me. I'm not interested in different, I'm interested in improved performance. What do you propose?



ck,

Quote:
Given the choice between weight-based muscle training and exercises specfically designed to promote 'internal strength'
As I mentioned before, muscles contract and relax. Bones and connective tissue strengthen when exposed to (appropriate) stress. Proper resistence training does that and that is well documented. I'm not sure what you mean by internal strength.


Regards,

Paul
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Old 08-24-2006, 10:12 PM   #66
clwk
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Re: conditioning routines

Quote:
Paul wrote:
I'm not sure what you mean by internal strength.
Right, and that's where this whole discussion is getting hung up. You and Kevin have a highly-specialized vocabulary relating to sports science, and there is also a highly-specialized vocabulary related to 'whatever it is'. I'm using the term 'internal strength' here, which is sort of a catch-all way of describing this whole skill set - a skill set which cannot be divorced from the specialized conditioning that produces it. The problem is that without actually getting a tactile feel for what is being discussed, it's a bit difficult to accurately conceptualize about it. If it were me - and it was, so I'm not being unliateral - I would just put it into the 'cannot judge yet' category and then investigate as much or as little as you feel it warrants. The only real shame would be if you dismissed the concept out of hand just because it is almost impossible to convey without also establishing some experiential basis to root the terminology. I don't mean anything mystical by this - it's just that you need a foothold into the discussion, and this cannot be established only through discussion. The best that discussion can do - probably - is lay the groundwork for further hands-on investigation. I wanted to believe I could work it out verbally too, but I just don't think you can.


-ck
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Old 08-24-2006, 10:12 PM   #67
Mike Sigman
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Re: conditioning routines

Quote:
Paul Watt wrote:
If I understand you, you're suggesting that one cannot run, bike, swim, lift, climb, jump, etc....without first training in this general skill. Considering that elite level athletes have been running, jumping, lifting, etc...without this skill makes me question that premise.
Did Ueshiba run, bike, swim, lift, climb, etc.? No. Not that he couldn't have accomodated something like that, it's just that the real focused experts train only within these parameters I'm trying to lay out. It is their whole life, Paul. What most westerners want to do is "have a piece of it". In other words, at heart most people are dilettantes, in actuality, in these arts. They make it part of their life, sort of like a badge.

I remember walking to the train station one night in Australia with Chen Xiao Wang. While we were walking along and talking, he was heavily "clomping" and twisting his arms. He was training this mode of skills in every spare moment of his time. Ueshiba had heavy iron garden tools made so that he could train even while gardening. When they can't sleep, many of the experts simply get up and do standing postures at night. Think about that level of making an art your "life".
Quote:
I imagine you're thinking, I don't understand what you're explaining, and I think that's true. I feel I bit like that tv show...I want to believe...
Yeah, I wanted to think there was something there for all that talk and that it wasn't just a bunch of Asian silly dreams. Turns out it's us westerners that are having the silly dreams. What you have to understand and believe is that it's there, but it's something you have to work for. You have to be sort of a dedicated nut like Rob John is.
Quote:
What are the goals? What physical attributes does this skill develop? Strength? Cardio-vascular endurance? Stamina? I'm confused. I thought we were talking about improved aikido performance, but I'm getting the impression that you are talking about general athletic performance, which is significantly broader topic.
First of all, you need to understand that what we're calling the "ki" and "kokyu" skills are actually a type of training regimen that came from *very* far back. Somewhere B.C.E. It's a very famous regimen and it gives unusual power and health, stamina, strengthened organs, body-structure support, etc., that it was a coveted thing to learn. As Shioda, O-Sensei, and many other Asians noted in writings, it is an "investment for your old age". It leads to the old stories of people who live long, immortality, super-powers, leaping high, great power releases, etc. In the case of Aikido the focus has been on the ability to manipulate force vectors, leading to the idea of "aiki", the ability to assimilate and add to any incoming force so that there is no conflict or stiffness-against-stiffness. If that is the case, then there can be no true "enemies". All is in harmony in the universe.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 08-25-2006, 12:44 AM   #68
Kevin Wilbanks
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Re: conditioning routines

ck,

If you only get one book on exercise science and training, get Supertraining, by Mel Siff. Some of it will be too technical - some of it is too technical for me. However, it is very well organized and lends itself well to looking at little pieces, like a reference book. Siff brought the kind of consuming passion attibuted to Ueshiba above to the rational, skeptical study of exercise and physical training.
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Old 08-25-2006, 03:50 AM   #69
deepsoup
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Re: conditioning routines

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Did Ueshiba run, bike, swim, lift, climb, etc.? No.
Er.. Yes he did.
He spent a lot of time working on general conditioning, and he built up a lot of muscle, before he'd spent much time at all studying martial arts.
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Old 08-25-2006, 06:11 AM   #70
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: conditioning routines

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Somewhere B.C.E.
huh?
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Old 08-25-2006, 07:29 AM   #71
Mike Sigman
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Re: conditioning routines

Somewhen B.C.E.???
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Old 08-25-2006, 07:34 AM   #72
Mike Sigman
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Re: conditioning routines

Quote:
Kevin Wilbanks wrote:
If you only get one book on exercise science and training, get Supertraining, by Mel Siff. Some of it will be too technical - some of it is too technical for me. However, it is very well organized and lends itself well to looking at little pieces, like a reference book. Siff brought the kind of consuming passion attibuted to Ueshiba above to the rational, skeptical study of exercise and physical training.
I used to read Mel Siff's webforum for a few years before he died of a heart attack. His stuff was good, clinical, and detailed, and exactly as unaware of some of the new discoveries about fascia properties, this form of "internal" training and force-vector manipulation, etc., as Kevin is. It's a new field for the West. And as clinical as I tend to be, I'm careful about saying something like that.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 08-25-2006, 10:38 AM   #73
paw
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Re: conditioning routines

Mike,

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Did Ueshiba run, bike, swim, lift, climb, etc.? No. Not that he couldn't have accomodated something like that, it's just that the real focused experts train only within these parameters I'm trying to lay out. It is their whole life, Paul. What most westerners want to do is "have a piece of it". In other words, at heart most people are dilettantes, in actuality, in these arts. They make it part of their life, sort of like a badge.
Ueshiba has been answered by deepsoup. Again, I'm confused by your reply. If you're talking only about Aikido, then I'm inclined to agree with your assessment about dilettantes. But if you're talking athletes, or martial artists in general, I would vigorously disagree.


Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
First of all, you need to understand that what we're calling the "ki" and "kokyu" skills are actually a type of training regimen that came from *very* far back. Somewhere B.C.E. It's a very famous regimen and it gives unusual power and health, stamina, strengthened organs, body-structure support, etc., that it was a coveted thing to learn.
No offense, but this is another warning flag for me --- something that is "ancient" yet "rediscovered". Considering the amount of money in modern athletics, and the types of individuals involved (people who will inject themselves with chemicals that have all manner of side effects just to achieve a tiny gain) I immediately find myself skeptical that a methodology, if effective, isn't as well known particularly is it's been around a while.

Maybe that's an unfair stance to take, but I'm sure you know that the "fitness' world is filled with a fair amount of charletons.

And I'm still not sure what you mean by "ki" and "kokyu". What physical attributes are being developed?

Regards,

Paul
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Old 08-25-2006, 10:52 AM   #74
Mike Sigman
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Re: conditioning routines

Quote:
Paul Watt wrote:
Ueshiba has been answered by deepsoup.
Not really. Ueshiba was strong as a young man, etc., and sure that was helpful starting into martial arts. But at some point he changed his training methodology obviously, since he espoused all the normal "use ki" things. So his "general conditioning" had to logically switch to "using his hara", "using his ki", etc. Deepsoup doesn't consider that, even though this switch to ki-type movement has been mentioned already, so all I concluded from Deepsoup's post was that he is unaware of these things/possibilites, not that he made a telling point.
Quote:
No offense, but this is another warning flag for me --- something that is "ancient" yet "rediscovered". Considering the amount of money in modern athletics, and the types of individuals involved (people who will inject themselves with chemicals that have all manner of side effects just to achieve a tiny gain) I immediately find myself skeptical that a methodology, if effective, isn't as well known particularly is it's been around a while.

Maybe that's an unfair stance to take, but I'm sure you know that the "fitness' world is filled with a fair amount of charletons.
And I'm still not sure what you mean by "ki" and "kokyu". What physical attributes are being developed?
I absolutely agree with you. I would have scoffed at the idea that something is "rediscovered" of any consequence and most of the things I have seen I would attribute to charlatanism. But some things are real and quite intriguing, it turns out. I simply didn't know them. What few things I can do allowed me to show some of the physiologists and kinesiologists of the medical school faculty in Denver. They hadn't heard of such things..... but they took the information in stride as a wrinkle on body mechanics without a great deal of flutter, without thinking that it was impossible for there to actually be something they had never heard of before. I'm not sure why you would find it surprising that there might be something you've never heard of before. That's a good way to block forward progress.

In terms of what the associated skills are with the ki and kokyu things, I've posted on that several times on this forum and they're archived. Sorry I can't give you the actual URL.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 08-25-2006, 10:55 AM   #75
Ron Tisdale
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Re: conditioning routines

But the search function works really well...

Best,
Ron (good to see you posting Paul)

Ron Tisdale
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