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Old 12-03-2006, 05:14 PM   #401
Thomas Campbell
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Re: Aikido: The learning of natural movement

Quote:
David Knowlton wrote:
[snip] a psychopath wielding a pair of pliers and tearing the ligaments in my crotch in the fall of 1981. [snip]
David
I would say that qualified as "having a bad day."

Yikes.
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Old 12-03-2006, 05:40 PM   #402
Mike Hamer
 
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Re: Aikido: The learning of natural movement

17 pages.....and going.....

To speak ill of anything is against the nature of Aikido
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Old 12-03-2006, 06:37 PM   #403
Cady Goldfield
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Re: Aikido: The learning of natural movement

So, does that make you feel like an Existentialist Creator, Mikel? You put the thread in motion and then left the universe.
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Old 12-03-2006, 09:42 PM   #404
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Aikido: The learning of natural movement

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
I was looking for a simple yes or no.
From a LAWYER?!? You should know better.
Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
I don't want to argue with ya bud. I'd rather get along.
It is an argument -- but who says we can't get along?
Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
Its for a common reference to discussion.
No. It isn't. It is to have me implicitly validate or agree with some unstated premises of your questions -- which I don't. No one in this forum is a gatekeeper to observation or applicable reasoning from it.
Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
Can you do....listen carefully now...all....of the things I described?
Yes?
No?
That's called cross-examination, and I am not playing by those rules here. It underlines the nature of the argument we are having, however. I've played this chess problem once or twice before, you see.

I have answered you from what I do and my own experience. Plainly, it is not the answer you want, but it is your answer. I do not see any point in engaging with arguments about the latent ambiguities and assumptions in your own question. If I am inadequate on this basis, by all means, please let Mike continue with the ad hominem rope-a-dope, and let us give up pretense of reason.

I do not judge that you have done so. So I won't.

I'll make my point another way.

First, I make the point that I have never, never, never said that these things are not effective or do not work in their own terms. I question the mechanicla understnadings of them so far offered, and seek a better description. But, for purposes of this discussion are they "natural" to aikido and what do you have to show that they are?

Second, try your immovable Skills against a knife. I would really, REALLY, suggest being willing to move and be moved, if I were you.

These grounding, neutralizing Skills of yours, what do they do for you in NOT BEING CUT? Beautiful tactical theory slain by an ugly strategic fact. There is no such thing as a knife defense, there is only complete, full and direct irimi, when all other avenues are closed. O Sensei placed his Aikido in that mode by the specific reference to his Yagyu training at the time of its revelation to him -- not getting cut is winning in the Yagyu mu-to training. Despite the nature of the jujutsu techniques he chose to broaden the teaching of that premise, its fundamental strategic dimension must remain -- Don't be there to get cut.
Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
There are many videos of Ueshiba doing the very things we are talking about. He is both absorbing force without moving, and rebounding that force back at the guy. Then he is absorbing and manipulating and redirecting it.
If we are talking about the "thigh push", "chest push" "seated push" or similar video clips that supposedly illustrate "not moving" then I will paraphrase another empirical, objective dissenter -- since I have seen them and know better:

"Il muove."

Same as every other video offered for this "not moving" business. It may be subtle but it is motion, and that motion is from some point of rotation to a point of extension, in each case I have been given to analyze, and can be clearly seen if you look for it and slow the video down. Give me more to analyze and I'll obligingly confess error -- if there are any that truly show NO movement. None have been offered so far, and I've looked at all that have.

"Il muove."

What O Sensei has said about not being "pushed over" and "not being moved", are not the same (per the videos) as what you seem to be saying about static immobility under load. If you are saying otherwise and that you are moving your structure adaptively (which you certainly suggested in your earlier description of training) then
...
never mind.

We are not in disagreement in that case -- except as to rooting or neutralizing being an aspect of aikido, as opposed to kokyu training.
Quote:
Dan Harding wrote:
Mindful of the fact that when Ueshiba came back from Iwama and saw his kid and all the young bucks training Aikido- he shouted "This is not my Aikido."
I'm starting to think if Ueshiba were alive today? You'd be telling him he is wrong too.
Since I doubt you are channeling O Sensei I'll simply say "No." I trained under an uchi deshi of Morihiro Saito. I'll note in passing the importance of buki-waza to the Iwama influenced schools to reinforce the point about the Yagyu as the strategic contribution to the approach of aikido that I have already pointed out.


Quote:
Dan Harding wrote:
And the method I was advocating was inferior.
You'll get none of that from me. Any effective tactical regime can be devastating within its sphere of operation.
Aikido is, as a strategic matter, "denial of ground" in which power is simply ineffectual, not countered. Which is why Aikido is, among budo, properly not bujutsu, a tactical portfolio -- but heiho, a strategic art, learned within a portfolio of Daito-ryu jujutsu technieues, Yagyu-ryu sword and allied mu-to arts.

I do need to know how to hold myself together as one piece, and to form a certain progessively adaptive shape, (but the same essential shape with many aspects), and to use this integrated dynamic structure to blend with attack -- all of which require kokyu.

That is without question related to the skills you advocate, which I have continually said, all the while differing on the mechnical interpretaiton of their function. But the application to "not being moved" in the sense of rooting or neutralizing is not properly aikido, any more than weightlifting is basketball, however useful it may also be to improving physical fundamentals.
Quote:
Dan Harding wrote:
And blows your theory all to hell.
Only based on YOUR assumptions -- which I do not share. Anyone can disprove a proposition if he gets to select the assumptions to apply. I always question the assumptions first.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 12-03-2006, 10:00 PM   #405
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Aikido: The learning of natural movement

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Why did O-Sensei show so many demo's where he could not be moved?
To prove that any strength can be defeated by superior strength? (and the Old Man was frightfully damn strong). And thus to show that an art not premised on relative strength does not suffer such a inherent strategic vulnerability?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
I can appreciate that you're a smart man, Erick, but I think it's fairly obvious that these skills, which are basic to Aikido ...
Flattery is lovely, but don't argue past me... I've never disagreed with you that jin and kokyu are related if not the same basic operating principles -- I've only disagreed
1) about the mechanical interpretation of them ( which you contend must not therefore be jin/kokyu)

2) whether rooting/neutralizing is natural to aikido (which, as you describe it, violates juji and priniciples of non-resistance by channeling ground reaction, directly counter to an input force. Equipoise can only be achieved in that way.)

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
...it's a waste of time to try and teach someone who already knows everything... the proverbial "cup is already full". You can continue now with the idea that you can do all these things (although I know someone in Central Florida that says you don't), but I'd suggest that you're just wasting time if you continue with that charade.
It is just as productive to write things to people who simply read what they want from it anyway, instead of what it says ...

Care to ask that person in Central Florida if rooting/neutralizing is proper ukewaza?? Let me know.

And like a certain Greek, I try to drink with cupped palms ...

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Not that I don't wish you luck, either.... but time is a'wastin'.
Some kind of hurry, here?

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 12-03-2006, 10:16 PM   #406
Ellis Amdur
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Re: Aikido: The learning of natural movement

I can't stand it. Erick - Ueshiba never got a menkyo in Yagyu Shinkage-ryu. He got one (a mid-level) after a few years studies in Yagyu Shingan-ryu, which doesn't have the muto principle whatsoever. Secondly, he apparently learned mostly jujutsu. He learned some Yagyu Shinkage-ryu in the mid-thirties, but he essentially cherry-picked information to begin to build his weapons theories and training that were not complete until after the war years. All lhis other studies were definitely augmentations in his development of his own art, but the core was clearly Daito-ryu. (plus supplemental, non-martial training from Shingon and neo-Shinto which he almost surely used to augment his power. I'm only jumping in because whatever the rest of your argument - which I'll honestly say I cannot understand - you are not factually supported in citing Yagyu Shinkage-ryu as a significant influence on Ueshiba's aikido.
BTW - to David Orange. I was walking thru a market in Taiwan one day and there was a medicine show - just like the old west in America, selling patent medicine that would cure anything and make you strong. Their demonstrators were a couple of kung fu guys, who did unliftable body, unbendable arm and some other of Tohei-type stuff - then a lot of other standard hard chi-kung stuff. Everyday stuff.
Best

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Old 12-03-2006, 10:29 PM   #407
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Aikido: The learning of natural movement

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote:
How do you guide an attacker without developing the body skills that Mike / Dan are suggesting here?
The question for me is not the kokyu -- it is the application in stopping uke's intent. If done right, the attack is like surfing a wave, I don't guide it, I move within its energy, along it's surface to where I am not in danger from it and the attack is not effective on me anymore.
Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
The connection training of carrying the weight and of the fascia system being joined causes the body to move as a unit and to hold itself.
Most poeple....wobble and fall apart quickly.
See, that I agree with. That connection has a shape and a name and endless variations of form.
Quote:
Gernot Hassenpflug wrote:
How do you propose to unbalance someone by your version of non-resistance? Assume the attacker is trained in a way that makes him balanced in all directions no matter what his attacking movement is.
This is equivalent to positing perpetual motion. The point of an an attack is to create a critical imbalance of kinetic energy so that energy can be balanced by an impact, or failing that by an internal recovery reaction. There is absolutely no way to avoid that critical moment where the balance shifts sign (positive to negative) adjusting from energy balanced in the target to energy balanced by internal reaction. Aikido lives in that place -- adding to the positive if it arrives a tad early or to the negaitve if it arrives a tad late.
Quote:
Gernot Hassenpflug wrote:
Thus if you move out of the way of the attack he does not become unbalanced.... [or bump him]
And moving out of the way -- is not Aikido, in and of itself, if it is done without connection or kokyu.
Quote:
Gernot Hassenpflug wrote:
How do you then guide such attacker without developing body skills along the lines pointed to by Mike, Dan et al here?
If we except the rooting/neutralizing business from any thought that it is aikido then fine, great kokyu training. It's all good. Help him by giving more of what he wants, either more attacking energy or more recovery energy, but acting in another plane from the one he is acting in, and thus not requiring power of any significant degree at all.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 12-03-2006, 10:45 PM   #408
Upyu
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Re: Aikido: The learning of natural movement

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
Second, try your immovable Skills against a knife. I would really, REALLY, suggest being willing to move and be moved, if I were you.

These grounding, neutralizing Skills of yours, what do they do for you in NOT BEING CUT? Beautiful tactical theory slain by an ugly strategic fact. There is no such thing as a knife defense, there is only complete, full and direct irimi, when all other avenues are closed.
Thought I'd jump in here just to say that, these body skills were developed with edged weapons in mind. In fact its almost a necessity if you want a higher chance at surviving an encounter with one when you get older.
Grounding, neutralizing are simply results from having the body skill. They are not the ends themselves.
In JMA, one aspect of edged weapon combat is bounded to the concept of "setsuna" or moving instantaneously, such that your opponent can't pick up what you're doing until its too late. By the same token, becoming skilled in this stuff means it becomes easier for yourself to read other people's movements as well.

Hino Akira demonstrates a bit of this in the following video, though I've seen better. Kuroda Tetsuzan comes to mind. Though this demo is much more explicit.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=On5eEyDvmLs


You can't irimi out of something you can't see or feel coming, because the movement literally starts from the "inside." There's no external manifestation till its too late. By the same token, if a regular guy, sans these skills, tries to cut you, its easier to see the movement as it comes and to take action accordingly. Consequently giving you the upper hand.
Really though, you need to experience it to understand how disconcerting it is. Video doesn't do it justice at all...nor does Hino Akira
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Old 12-03-2006, 10:47 PM   #409
Gernot Hassenpflug
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Re: Aikido: The learning of natural movement

Erick, not perpetual motion: Imagine the center giving energy in all directions at the same time, sometimes weakly, sometimes strongly, sometimes inwards, sometimes outwards. That's not imbalance, and to unbalance the partner, it now doesn't matter whehther he is giving or not, you need to break his center. It's not about any attack per se, and riding this doesn't enable you to control anything, it just saves you from oblivion temporarily :-)
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Old 12-03-2006, 10:52 PM   #410
Gernot Hassenpflug
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Re: Aikido: The learning of natural movement

To latch onto Rob's post there: Kuroda Tetsuzan writes that the basic skills for techniques reside in developed "broken down control" (ability to control parts of the body separately). This makes a movement starting point invisible to ordinary persons, and adds to the illusion of super-high speed that masters seem to have (he makes a point of stating that the eyes lie, that what one sees is often illusory). He also says, as Rob does, that the skills are applied as though a sword was faced: he says there's nothing wrong with treating the opponent as a flesh and blood person if he is in fact on, but that is a lower level which seen from his sword tradition is not developed enough.
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Old 12-04-2006, 01:05 AM   #411
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Aikido: The learning of natural movement

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote:
I can't stand it. Erick - Ueshiba never got a menkyo in Yagyu Shinkage-ryu. He got one (a mid-level) after a few years studies in Yagyu Shingan-ryu, which doesn't have the muto principle whatsoever.
I'll certainly defer on that since I hardly have any claim to the biographical detail on that score. Older sources reported it as kaiden, some discussions in the last few years have had it uncertainly as shoden. It was my understanding that it is the sword school in which he attained highest honors, whether he reached kaiden or not, and a debate that I had not seen resolved. Although, on your authority I'll assume it so.
Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote:
I'm only jumping in because whatever the rest of your argument - which I'll honestly say I cannot understand - you are not factually supported in citing Yagyu Shinkage-ryu as a significant influence on Ueshiba's aikido.
He surely studied Yagyu, well as several others, although what relative emphasis the others had on the jujutsu or sword elements I certainly cannot say. It doesn't make a bit of difference to my observation that the overemphasis on the Daito ryu aspect in this discussion on natural movement, where some have strongly argued regarding Daito-ryu and importing Chinese jin concepts of rooting and neutralizing should or do define the learning of "natural" aikido movement.

There is no debate that Daito-ryu techniques are translated into aikido. My contention is that in discussing principles of movement or approaches to how technique is selected or adapted, we are speaking of heiho, strategic questions. That is where aikido distinguishes itself, in my mind. Not in particular tactical application.

The contention against the Daito influence on this point (of adaptive movement) and the primacy of kenjutsu in the revelation of Aikido to him is reported from O Sensei's own mouth. When asked about the origin of aikido he said that Aikido was not revealed to him by Takeda's Daito ryu training, which he specifically disclaimed. Instead, he said that
Quote:
O Sensei wrote:
The form of Budo must be love. One should live in love. This is Aikido and this is the old form of the posture in Kenjitsu.
http://www.aikidofaq.com/interviews.html

Some school of kenjutsu is referred to, the question being, which one?

My extension of this statement to Yagyu has substantial internal support in O Sensei's statement itself. Apart from "kenjutsu" he refers to it as the "old form." Yagyu was senior in service to the Tokugawa Shogunate, adopted in the reign of Iieyasu; Ono-ha Itto-ryu came in with the second Tokugawa shogun. It would have been correct to refer to Yagyu, as distinguished from Ono-ha Itto- ryu, in this way.

Takeda is reputed to have been taught Ono-ha Itto-ryu kenjutsu, with whose doctrines I am unfamiliar. If it has demonstrable connections closer than those laid out here for Yagyu in terms of its strategic principles and those of aikido, I will gladly defer on that point as well, and will have learned something into the bargain.

"Budo as love" and the Yagyu doctrine of katsujinken "life giving sword" are a close fit. Similarly, the "posture in kenjitsu" in the Yagyu katsujinken doctrine was founded on shuji shuriken, an esoteric concept described cryptically in the Heiho Kaden. Munenori's text describes shuji shuriken as joining "being" in the upward palm, and "non-being" in the downward palm in to one. This describes the the in/yo joining of the juji + figure.

There is also a Doka of O Sensei's with that very image of taking "in" in the left hand and "yo" in the right hand. This is tenchinage. While Daito-ryu has a version of this technique they call it aikinage -- the tenchi Heaven/Earth image of the technique name is only in aikido and is directly related to the juji + in/yo figure.

According the annotations, Yagyu Mitsuyoshi explained the secret doctrine of shuji shuriken as learning an enemy's mind from the cross-wise block, i.e -- juji +, That is very likely the "Cross of Aiki" as O Sensei wrote in several of the Doka that I already laid out above. Also as I discussed above, he referred to his art in a Doka as "jujido."

As to my presumption that he got mu-to training whether legitimately (assuming the menkyo debate is resolved), the emphasis of Yagyu on its mu-to system (whether he was certified in it or not) certainly had to inform their curriculum otherwise. Munenori says precisely that in Heiho Kaden Sho, that postures, sword positions, distance, movement, mental focus, feints and attacks were all premised on mu-to. "No-sword is central to all important things." Hiroaki Sato, tr.

And O Sensei was nothing if not resourceful when it came to "stealing technique."

My level of reasoning on this point is at least as good as Dan's speculative leading questions about "Skills" that Kisshomaru Doshu is supposed to have dropped in transmission.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 12-04-2006, 01:17 AM   #412
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Re: Aikido: The learning of natural movement

Quote:
Robert John wrote:
Grounding, neutralizing are simply results from having the body skill. They are not the ends themselves.
I never had a problem with that. That grounding/neutralizing aspect, however, seems to be the be-all and end-all of this discussion on "natural" movement, and which is a very problematic concept to apply in terms of aikido, not that it may be fine for other arts. For some reason, however, it seems nearly a formulaic ticket to admission to this discussion.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 12-04-2006, 01:26 AM   #413
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Aikido: The learning of natural movement

Quote:
Gernot Hassenpflug wrote:
Erick, not perpetual motion: Imagine the center giving energy in all directions at the same time, sometimes weakly, sometimes strongly, sometimes inwards, sometimes outwards. That's not imbalance, and to unbalance the partner, it now doesn't matter whehther he is giving or not, you need to break his center. It's not about any attack per se, and riding this doesn't enable you to control anything, it just saves you from oblivion temporarily :-)
Springs?
Criticality is the problem, not balance perse. A ball will balance on top of another ball or in a bowl. The ball-on-ball is supercritical, the ball-in-bowl is sub-critical. A flat surface is critical

A point of changing sign is (at least) a critical point in any energy system. Any continuous linear transition between two sub-critical stablity regimes, must pass through a region of super-criticality (the hill between the valleys). There is no other way to get there. It can be exploited because it can go either way with almost no input.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 12-04-2006, 01:34 AM   #414
Upyu
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Re: Aikido: The learning of natural movement

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
I never had a problem with that. That grounding/neutralizing aspect, however, seems to be the be-all and end-all of this discussion on "natural" movement, and which is a very problematic concept to apply in terms of aikido, not that it may be fine for other arts. For some reason, however, it seems nearly a formulaic ticket to admission to this discussion.
Well, it's being used simply because it's the easiest context to talk about these skills. Besides this stuff being grade school level assuming you have the "skills," regardless of whether "xxx art" places importance on such and such movement.
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Old 12-04-2006, 05:03 AM   #415
DH
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Re: Aikido: The learning of natural movement

To add a correction Eric
No one but you was talking about static immovability "as a goal."
It is just one of many waysd to test ourselves here and there. No one advocated standing there like a dolt.

The body work expresses itself through movement. How you carry your weight and how you engage the whole of the body in movement; frame to tendon, upper and lower, side to side is a bound system. Everything moves...nothing moves. And...without moving you move on the inside.
Its better balance, rapid movement, unusual movement potential, heavy weighted hitting or moving ability, better overall strength and load carrying ability, better and more efficient movement overall, better ability to handle heavy weapons. It is these skills that allow me to cut through trees testing swords.

Its a whole body approach. And it was exactly these skills that enabled Ueshiba to be as you put it....freakishly strong. It had nothing to do with his using isolated muscle. It is the oft vaunted but rarely seen abiltiy of "putting your center.. in your hand."
Before you single him out and keep on going wiht this Yagyu thing and or the Ueshiba enlightenment phase.

Explain Takeda, Sagawa, Kodo, Hisa
Why were all these...Daito ryu men.... acknowledged to have the same type of skills, only....better?
Did they do Yagyu or is your upside down and backward logic now having Ueshiba teaching them these skills?

Odd that Takeda made Sagawa-arguably the very best in the modern world
Takeda made Kodo-incredible power and skill
Takeda made Hisa -same skills and even Hisa himself a student of Ueshiba flat out states that Takeds was far superior in his interview at Aikido journal
And Takeda? Eric......he made Ueshiba.

And as for what all this has to do with Aikido?
It is my belief that at a point Ueshiba realized he no longer needed to fight. With these skills he could control those coming at him and could repel them. It was not a far fetched ideal to have himself feel the strength in having opponents rebound off him or spin away and feel untouched. And then for him to begin to believe it can allow the vagueries of this world to be of little effect to one centered in it. These very skills were the engine that drove his "vision."
They are and were...his...Aikido.
Without them you just have another martial art.
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 12-04-2006 at 05:13 AM.
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Old 12-04-2006, 05:26 AM   #416
Mark Freeman
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Re: Aikido: The learning of natural movement

Quote:
It is these skills that allow me to cut through trees testing swords.
While not disputing your undoubted body skills Dan ( I agree with much of what I read of yours ), I have to stretch my imagination to see you cutting through 'trees' with a sword.
What sort of trees? how thick? Wouldn't it be more efficient to use a chain saw?

regards,

Mark

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Old 12-04-2006, 05:32 AM   #417
Mark Freeman
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Re: Aikido: The learning of natural movement

Quote:
Gernot Hassenpflug wrote:
Erick, not perpetual motion: Imagine the center giving energy in all directions at the same time, sometimes weakly, sometimes strongly, sometimes inwards, sometimes outwards. That's not imbalance, and to unbalance the partner, it now doesn't matter whehther he is giving or not, you need to break his center. It's not about any attack per se, and riding this doesn't enable you to control anything, it just saves you from oblivion temporarily :-)
Please humour me here Gernot, I am confused. How do you break someones centre? maybe it's just a missunderstanding of language (not uncommon on a forum)

regards,

Mark

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Old 12-04-2006, 05:59 AM   #418
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Re: Aikido: The learning of natural movement

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote:
While not disputing your undoubted body skills Dan ( I agree with much of what I read of yours ), I have to stretch my imagination to see you cutting through 'trees' with a sword.
What sort of trees? how thick? Wouldn't it be more efficient to use a chain saw?

regards,

Mark
I forge as a hobby Mark. Well...used to. I have no time these days.
I don't cut trees as a martial skill but to test the limits of what I make. Cutting 3" trees is quite a test for a blade. I've made swords, kukri, knives, machete for decades.
Cady's cut with me along with just about anyone who trained with me for a while.
Its always fun for me with those who think the katana is woo woo surpreme for cutting power to have them cut two handed with a 30" Katana, then I walk up with a 13" kukri and match them single handed cut for cut.
Blade shapes are an amazing thing. Anyone stuck on the Japanese way of things need look at yatagans and kukris and other Asian ideals for weapons and tools. Hmmm......just like internal power. Interesting.
Anyway thats forging and blade-making talk best kept for other forums or Jun will move it.
So back on track
It is the body skill training that allows for that kind of power. It's not muscle. The trouble I have in kata is that if you touch my bokken... you feel ground, folks assume its muscle or dedication of power. When in fact there is
a. No muscles being isolated and flexed
b. No dedicated-power
It's just movement
Having center in your hands is the same as having center in your monouchi. It's the same as if you push on someone. Its instant-on. Force in all directions.
With spear its even better. Tremendous power in a small area (point) of thrust.
Ever wonder why Ueshiba stabbed trees so much?
What was he doing? So many have assumed he was doing martial arts like they think of them. He was doing tenren of a different kind.

I gotta work
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 12-04-2006 at 06:07 AM.
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Old 12-04-2006, 06:25 AM   #419
Gernot Hassenpflug
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Re: Aikido: The learning of natural movement

Hi Mark,

That's the discussion that Mike, Dan, Rob et al. are pursuing. The answer of course is to have a better center, but the how's of that are in the solo training and hand-on feeling of what one is aiming for. Don't know if that's enough to humour you?

Dan, you made me laugh. My head is going to mush: I misread your first line as "forage" :-)
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Old 12-04-2006, 06:30 AM   #420
DH
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Re: Aikido: The learning of natural movement

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Gernot Hassenpflug wrote:
Hi Mark,

Dan, you made me laugh. My head is going to mush: I misread your first line as "forage" :-)
Well I imagine a few would say that's more in keeing with their view of my personality.

Dan
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Old 12-04-2006, 06:51 AM   #421
Mark Freeman
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Re: Aikido: The learning of natural movement

Quote:
Gernot Hassenpflug wrote:
That's the discussion that Mike, Dan, Rob et al. are pursuing. The answer of course is to have a better center, but the how's of that are in the solo training and hand-on feeling of what one is aiming for. Don't know if that's enough to humour you?
I'm never quite sure if they are all pursuing the same thing

I'm still not clear about how you break someones centre, maybe you could humour me some more.

I understand what it is to be 'centered' or my own prefered term is co-ordinated. I just can't quite get my head around how someone is going to 'break' it. I realise that if someone is not centered/co-ordinated, they are easier to move than one who is.

When I practice aikido I don't aim to break my partners centre, rather to join his to mine so that my movement becomes his.

anyway...

regards

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 12-04-2006, 07:23 AM   #422
billybob
 
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Re: Aikido: The learning of natural movement

Dan,

I appreciate your candor.

You said that aikido would be no fun for you now basically because you are unchallenged because of the level of skill you have developed.

After three years of judo I could take two sharp breaths and enter a state of hyper awareness - I could see in slow motion. It is a known ability, and was mentioned by Sensei George Ledyard at a seminar - he called it 'time-slipping'. Should I train to recover this skill or just train aikido and not worry about it? It seems that if I take a leaf out of your book - if I heal my body, and can see in slow motion then why train?

(i think this is devil's advocate mode of questioning; not just being a jerk)

David
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Old 12-04-2006, 09:19 AM   #423
Cady Goldfield
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Re: Aikido: The learning of natural movement

Mark,
The first time I cut with Dan (I'd been cutting air with bokuto/bokken for a few years, by that time, and had never held a "live" blade), he took an unmounted naginata blade he had forged, wrapped duct tape around the base for a "kashira" and handed it to me, pushed me toward a stand of white pine saplings and said "have at it." They varied in circumference from 1/2" to 3". Of course, I started with a half-inch trunk, being a bit apprehensive. When I cut through it easily, I moved on to 1" and eventually a 2" though it took me a couple tries to slice through that one (turned out it had a knot). Dan does 3" trunks easily, but he's a genuine Sword Guy (TM).

During the whole thing, I think my mouth was hanging open so wide the moths were flying in and out. I really didn't expect it to be that easy. You'd be surprised. I was. It gets addictive, by the way. Dan yelled at me and the other guys to quit cutting because he needed to keep some of the trees as a screen from the road. At that point, I realized he had just been using us as cheap landscape labor to thin out his pine grove.

Last edited by Cady Goldfield : 12-04-2006 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 12-04-2006, 09:21 AM   #424
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Aikido: The learning of natural movement

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
To add a correction Eric
No one but you was talking about static immovability "as a goal."
It is just one of many waysd to test ourselves here and there. No one advocated standing there like a dolt.
The high flagpole you all place over that aspect of "The Skills" certainly leads one to that conclusion, though, since I am not hearing a serious distinction. Since we were talking about "movement" I stupidly thought we would talk about actually moving.
Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
And it was exactly these skills that enabled Ueshiba to be as you put it....freakishly strong. ... It had nothing to do with his using isolated muscle. ...Explain Takeda, Sagawa, Kodo, Hisa -- Why were all these...Daito ryu men.... acknowledged to have the same type of skills, only....better?
I read what he wrote, and I see what he did, on video, and it is a matter of exploitation of principles not "freakish strength" as in the "one finger" pin of the sumo wrestler that O Sensei has recounted -- after indulging him first in a strength contest.

I've seen one or two people in this art I would credit with some "freakish strength" (even after becoming seriously debilitated), but they do not seem express that at all in their aikido, -- quite the reverse. Clearly, that early brutish training gave O Sensei an ability to get around the apparently ubiquitous, "Well, can you do THIS...?" threshold. The he-man, chestly-beating dominance games seemed to impede discussion of his art -- even back then.
Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
And Takeda? Eric......he made Ueshiba.
And a good teacher has students that excel beyond him ... It is no criticism of Takeda or Daito-ryu to suggest that O Sensei did so. O Sensei did not give Takeda or Daito-ryu training credit for the revelation of aikido. He specifically idenitifed it with "the old form of posture in kenjutsu" -- Yagyu, I conclude from the evidence I have. Maybe otherwise, if Ellis Amdur or anyone else can enlighten anything on that question. But some evidence of what, exactly, would be nice. I tend to assume the Old Man's veracity unless it is disproved to me...
Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
Ueshiba realized he no longer needed to fight. With these skills he could control those coming at him and could repel them. It was not a far fetched ideal to have himself feel the strength in having opponents rebound off him or spin away and feel untouched. And then for him to begin to believe it can allow the vagueries of this world to be of little effect to one centered in it.
As for the unstated premise that he was a senile old man with vainglorious delusions ... well -- you have me there -- I bow to superior reasoning.

Really though, I would just rather have the ad hominem arguments left on me and my pathetic efforts to work out the movement principles involved and their origins (where relevant). I see little point, much less entertainment, in heaping insults on the supposedly pathetic dead man, and, more to the point -- trying to debate who gets to take credit for an art that has inspired and taught people around the world in this short time through his efforts and those who followed him.
Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
And as for what all this has to do with Aikido? ... Its a whole body approach.
Yes it is. And it is about being moved by superior force -- but not at all in the way that it would move you if did not act adaptively and creatively to that superior force.
.
I'll give you my simple test question -- It's at least as relevant as chopping trees.

Do you surf??

Board, body or boogie, makes no never mind.

Do you surf?

If you do, then you would have the basic whole-body movement skills I am talking about, which I see in the videos offered so far, and the strategic fundamentals that go with them.

Except as regards all this rooting behavior, you have not discussed the "The Skills" in terms of principles of adaptive movement as a strategic question ( 兵法 ) vice a comparison of suites of tactics ( 戦術 ). If you would broaden it beyond that that would be meaningful to see if we really are tallking about differnt thigns or not.

I do not debate that Aikido took the Daito senjutsu virtually wholesale. But that's like saying the Plains Indians learned Spanish warfighting by getting horses to ride from the Spanish. What matters is what they did with them strategically, and that strategy determines the use of the same tactical asset.

More pointedly, we observed no advantage or superiority in the contest of September 11, merely because we had more and better airliners flying at the time than did the enemy. It's how they chose to use the same tactical asset that was so unlooked for and devastating. We didn't even recognize them AS tactical assets. (Tom Clancy being the notable exception on this score.)

You have not suggested how Daito maps onto the strategic principles that O Sensei wrote about in describing the funciton of aikido. If it were to map as closely or better than the Yagyu heiho principles that I have cited to, that would be something.

Juji (cross-shape) application of in/yo principle runs through O Sensei's own thoughts in the Doka, in the portions of Omoto that he adopted, and in the Yagyu shuji shuriken doctrine that lies at the root of its tactical suite and strategic paradigm -- and which is interlaced throughout with their exclusive mu-to ("no-sword") teaching.

Give me a better fit than these strategic principles, if there is one, in the context of "natural" adaptive movement, between Daito-ryu and Aikido.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 12-04-2006, 09:35 AM   #425
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Aikido: The learning of natural movement

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote:
I'm still not clear about how you break someones centre, maybe you could humour me some more.
...
When I practice aikido I don't aim to break my partners centre, rather to join his to mine so that my movement becomes his.
See, Dan. Surfing.

Be one with the wave -- or the wave will be one with you ...

The wave is bigger, badder, stronger, more powerful (and better looking) than I could ever possibly be. I just move my whole body about as I wish with the wave's power propelling me in a super-critically unstable mode. To do what I wish within that regime, however, first requires that I place myself in a certain defined form (of great variation) that allows myself to move as the wave moves me. Eventually, the wave must hit the beach or dissipate itself in deep water.

Who or what is in control ? Of what or of whom? And does that set of questions really have any meaning in this context, or that of aikido? The dynamic and its conclusion are both uncertain and inevitable.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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