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Old 12-22-2006, 08:05 PM   #226
Adman
 
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Could I ask where you learned this exercise, Adam?
Ummm, sure. I'm not sure how it got started, but it was an internal game I played as a child (just pre-teen, I think). The product of a bored brain, I guess. It's a little difficult to describe the feeling. My challenge in the game was to not move anything. Not a twitch. Not even my breathing should change. In other words, don't jump the gun. I would make many "starts" and "stops" before moving. I always focused on one particular movement. I'm totally still one moment, then in action the next. Once I moved, I'd usually startle whoever was in the room. I'll still do it on occasion, just to surprise my wife. Otherwise, it's not something I do that often.

Thinking back, it might be one of the reasons for the hair trigger I seem to have in some things. I remember being able to explode out of the starting blocks in track, faster than the other guys (at least it felt that way). I wasn't a sprinter, though (I was a lousy long-jumper). I was toast after the first 20 yards.

thanks,
Adam
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Old 12-22-2006, 08:09 PM   #227
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

OK, thanks, Adam. I thought you were doing something else... your more complete description, etc., makes me think just misunderstood.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 12-23-2006, 02:52 AM   #228
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

FWIW Kashiwaya sensei was a very talented track and field player, and one of the mental constructs that he has offered me in terms of "passing" ki tests was that one should always feel as if they were in motion, or on the verge of motion as it were.... Like a sprinter on the starting blocks. But I never ran track so I guess I don't know.... never got too into running in circles... but wait! That's what we do in these fora! And I love that conjugation btw!

Cheers!
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Old 12-23-2006, 06:32 AM   #229
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

I'm wondering where in the O'Sensei's writings did he say anything like

"no one can claim high-level skills in Aikido (or other Asian arts) without a mastery of ki/kokyu skills"

because it sounds like a load of s...tuff.

Simply because if someone is claiming to "master ki", I'd ask them just how they are measuring ki. They typically don't have a good response, which leads me to think they are just being romantic and poetic and pseudoscientific about normal old physics, muscle and bone and mechanics.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 12-23-2006, 07:17 AM   #230
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

There is nothing normal or old about physics. If you really think you can use reductionist theories to explain everything in the universe, i'd ask you to talk to some of the brightest minds in the field of quantum physics.

There is much to be learned and discovered out there, and in many different ways and interpretations.

I feel sorry for the person who thinks that they have all the answers to life and can sum it up to normal old physics. How boring and simple the rest of their life must be.

Not sure if o'sensei ever said that above, but there really is no way you can acheive a high level of understanding of aikido without understanding Ki or Kokyu, it is the basis of the art.

Yes, there are those that lecture about it but can't do, and those that can do, and those that practice physically with others to better understand it.

Where do you fit into the equation?
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Old 12-23-2006, 07:42 AM   #231
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
If you really think you can use reductionist theories to explain everything in the universe, i'd ask you to talk to some of the brightest minds in the field of quantum physics.
I don't believe one needs to resort to quantum physics to talk about martial arts though.

Quote:
Not sure if o'sensei ever said that above, but there really is no way you can acheive a high level of understanding of aikido without understanding Ki or Kokyu, it is the basis of the art.
I'm wondering why a grand pronouncement on what it really takes to master aikido would mean if it didn't come from O'Sensei?

I'm still wondering how are you measuring ones' understanding of ki. If you just say 'by demonstration', I'm then wondering why it wouldn't be demonstrating just regular old physics, mechanics, efficient body movement, timing, and the like.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 12-23-2006, 08:18 AM   #232
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
"I don't believe Aikido lacks anything."

Who..........Will say they do exactly what Ueshiba was doing?
Where.......The modern equivalent of Ueshiba is currently practicing? I'd like to go meet him.
What.........Ueshiba was specifically doing?
When........It stopped being exhibited at his skill level?
Why..........We can't find anyone who can explain it and do it? Or even comes close?

Aikido, just like other arts-is a shadow of their founders. It is singular men and their vision and understanding who held the keys to their own arts.
Virtually everyone else is playing catch up.

Dan
I can agree with this. As long as we are trying to be like sensei, the best we will ever become is a very good copy, as copies are never as good as the original. There is a zen saying that goes something like "to become the master, do not follow in his footsteps, but chase after what he chased after". When you find the master, kill him.

What is Aikido lacking? In itself, as Mr. Mead pointed out that like a duck it lacks nothing that matters to itself. However, in regards to the way, it lacks everything that is not it. It does not have the beauty of the kicking forms of Tae Kwon Do, it does not have powerful punches of boxing, nor the grappling strategies of BJJ. I am not saying that these are deficiencies, but they are not there no more that a duck has the teeth of a tiger. The same could be said for all the branches of Aikido, the Aikikai, ASU, Iwama, KI Aikido, etc. The only true way is no way.

-John Matsushima

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Old 12-23-2006, 08:47 AM   #233
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Justin Smith wrote:

Quote:
I'm wondering why a grand pronouncement on what it really takes to master aikido would mean if it didn't come from O'Sensei?

I'm still wondering how are you measuring ones' understanding of ki. If you just say 'by demonstration', I'm then wondering why it wouldn't be demonstrating just regular old physics, mechanics, efficient body movement, timing, and the like.
Go to a good dojo and find out.

I had Saotome sensei demonstrate it to me years ago.

I have had Steve Van Fleet, a MMA fighter demonstrate it to me.

As well as a few others.

You won't know what is going on until you have experienced it for yourself.
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Old 12-23-2006, 09:41 AM   #234
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Justin Smith wrote:
I'm still wondering how are you measuring ones' understanding of ki. If you just say 'by demonstration', I'm then wondering why it wouldn't be demonstrating just regular old physics, mechanics, efficient body movement, timing, and the like.
I've demonstrated these things a great number of times and sometimes to professional physiologists, kinesiologists, doctors, etc. One of the things I can do, none of us can fully explain, but it's something I was taught how to do and I essentially only follow the mechanics to get there. There other 99% of the ki things I do are, as I have said repeatedly, "skills". I.e., they fall into into the purview of normal physical laws without question. The problem is that they're skills that take training and practice... out of the ordinary use of body mechanics... Justin doesn't have these skills, so he can't conceive of them and he thinks the way to get someone to show him is to be challenging and personally offensive.


Mike Sigman
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Old 12-23-2006, 09:47 AM   #235
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Joe Proffitt wrote:
FWIW Kashiwaya sensei was a very talented track and field player, and one of the mental constructs that he has offered me in terms of "passing" ki tests was that one should always feel as if they were in motion, or on the verge of motion as it were.... Like a sprinter on the starting blocks. But I never ran track so I guess I don't know.... never got too into running in circles... but wait! That's what we do in these fora! And I love that conjugation btw!
Hmmmmm... that's an odd one. I would never have guessed Kashiwaya would say something like that. Although I met Kashiwaya Sensei a few times in the early 80's, I didn't have the skills I have now, so I was unable to judge anything about what he could do. I'd like to see him and get a better idea of this description. I do something totally different than that. However, we all tend to use different visualizations that are often just our personal way of triggering the same basic responses.

Best.

Mike
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Old 12-23-2006, 10:09 AM   #236
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Justin Smith wrote:
Simply because if someone is claiming to "master ki", I'd ask them just how they are measuring ki. They typically don't have a good response, which leads me to think they are just being romantic and poetic and pseudoscientific about normal old physics, muscle and bone and mechanics.
There are two keys to Aikido.

One is finding the proper shape of techniques. The other is finding the sense of the control of the interaction.

OK -- three things: The reasons why we want to do one and two in the first place. And many more besides, but those are relevant to the discussion.

Really, whatever works to improve technique in training is fine, however metaphorical or non-reductionist in origin. I've trained my voice almost entirely by a coach talking about head voice, face voice and other images having no bearing on the sound path whatsoever.

Traditional Eastern knowledge tends to have overlapping categories where western knowledge has exclusive categories. Ki is a descriptive empirical system that has aspects of all three of the key points mentioned above, that in Western terms are treated separately. Traditional Eastern knowledge has ways of dealing with the conceptual overlap that categorical Western knowledge deals poorly with. Communicating the "feel" is one of its stronger points.

Training metaphor, actual physical mechanisms and "feel" or control dynamics are all complementary and inform one another, in the East and in the West. But they are not the same in Western terms. If we mix them up incautiously, we get bad metaphor, bad physics and bad training.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 12-23-2006, 10:17 AM   #237
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Mike Sigman wrote:

Quote:
The problem is that they're skills that take training and practice... out of the ordinary use of body mechanics... Justin doesn't have these skills, so he can't conceive of them and he thinks the way to get someone to show him is to be challenging and personally offensive.
There are many people in the DC area that could demonstrate them. In fact, I may be there soon as well! The problem I think you run into is that with a non-compliant uke, which I am more than happy to work with, There is some strength skills involved to make up the slack (at least at my level), and for someone with little or no skill at all, things would happen so fast for them, that they would not really grasp or understand what is going on to be able to identify what is happening.

I am know key master by any stretch of the imagination, frankly I suck at demonstrating it, so I would tend to leave this to others more skillful than I. I have had enough training though to tell someone when I am using good principles and when I am not. Just can't demonstrate it well to others.

I think you are damned if you do and damned if you don't. Go too easy and slow where they can feel and read it, and they say, well, that is simple physics or well it won't work on a non-compliant uke. Go too fast and they say, you are using strength, or I don't see it/feel it.

Yea I suppose it is all simple physics, but I do believe that physics is anything but simple.
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Old 12-23-2006, 02:14 PM   #238
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
You won't know what is going on until you have experienced it for yourself.
You won't respond to just how you are measuring ki and why a demonstration of it wouldn't just be demonstrating just regular old physics, mechanics, efficient body movement, timing, and the like. OK.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 12-23-2006, 02:23 PM   #239
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
There are many people in the DC area that could demonstrate them.
Are these "many people" able to spar in MMA gyms using these skills?

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 12-23-2006, 02:26 PM   #240
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
I've demonstrated these things a great number of times and sometimes to professional physiologists, kinesiologists, doctors, etc. One of the things I can do, none of us can fully explain, but it's something I was taught how to do and I essentially only follow the mechanics to get there.
You or the unnamed others not being able to explain it doesn't mean therefore it is some incredible skill, it just means you and the unnamed others are not able to explain it. You're basically admitting an argument from ignorance, that you don't understand the physics therefore it must be beyond others.

Can you share this skill with us? Just what is it (maybe post a video), and who are these people that cannot explain it? Perhaps some of us around here could figure it out..

Quote:
The problem is that they're skills that take training and practice... out of the ordinary use of body mechanics... Justin doesn't have these skills, so he can't conceive of them and he thinks the way to get someone to show him is to be challenging and personally offensive.
Suggesting that one spars at an MMA gym is offensive? Well, only to someone that doesn't spar, I guess.

Considering that these skills are claimed to take years to train, no one apparently can use them in full contact and resistance sparring (ie. in real life self defense uses of a martial art), only doing fixed applications, and they are probably being talked about poetically by romanticizing normal movement and physics, they aren't really as interesting as claimed, at least the variety that some expound on.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 12-23-2006, 02:28 PM   #241
Janet Rosen
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
Training metaphor, actual physical mechanisms and "feel" or control dynamics are all complementary and inform one another, in the East and in the West. But they are not the same in Western terms. If we mix them up incautiously, we get bad metaphor, bad physics and bad training.
Cool thoughts, Eric. Thank you.
We often forget that metaphor is the most common form by which teachers express in words what they are trying to convey via the body. And some people respond to one metaphor, some to others.
Brings to mind a wonderful book I read that compares classical (NOT modern) Chinese and "western" (Greek mostly) medicine in terms of how they envision what the human being is. The Expressiveness of the Body and the Divergence of Greek and Chinese Medicine
by Shigehisa Kuriyama . HIGHLY recommended.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 12-23-2006, 02:43 PM   #242
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Justin wrote:

Quote:
You won't respond to just how you are measuring ki and why a demonstration of it wouldn't just be demonstrating just regular old physics, mechanics, efficient body movement, timing, and the like. OK.
I can measure it by having you go NHB with me. In such a demonstration I would control and submit you without raising my heart rate or breaking too much of a sweat while you, on the other hand would probably be gassing hard trying to use strength to control the situaiton.

Again, you'd have to define what regular old physics is. Sure, it is all the things you say above...never said it wasn't. It is absurd to think that KI is somehow above and beyond the natural order of the world. All I am saying is that things are much more complicated than you are reducing them too.

There is much to be said for kotodama, and other such things dealing with vibrational energy and such, however, I do not pretend to understand these concepts, I am simply open to the possibilities that I do not understand everything.
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Old 12-23-2006, 02:48 PM   #243
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Justin wrote:

Quote:
Are these "many people" able to spar in MMA gyms using these skills?
Some of them are able too. I am able too (on a very rudimentary level based on my skill level in aikido), however, you would probably not say that I was using aikido, as you would be technically focused instead of principally focused.

I would not presume to say that they would go the MMA route since most of these individuals are on a different set of priorities and focus in there training and are not really in the business of proving what they are doing in the manner that you speak.

I can tell you as a MMA kinda guy, I have learned alot from these individuals and they are worth spending time with for what they can teach you.

There are many different levels and ways to understand things that don't involve MMA. MMA is not the criteria on which everything should be judged.
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Old 12-23-2006, 02:55 PM   #244
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

On another note, go to Lloyd Irvin's school and train with some of his guys. They will more than adequately demonstrate these principles in a MMA/Grappling type of environment. Of course, they probably won't be able to discuss it using the same language as they understand it more implicitly than tacitly.

It does not take years to develop skills of this kind. It does take many, many years to perfect them to a level considered to be mastery.
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Old 12-23-2006, 03:01 PM   #245
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

BTW, Justin...what skills exactly do you want demonstrated and in what scenario or rules, constraints do you want to employ to isolate the conditions in which one would interact with you?
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Old 12-23-2006, 03:31 PM   #246
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

I do Justin. So does Rob John So does Ark or used to. So does Tim Cartmell on a national level. So does two CMA guys I know. I also know of a just a few guys who are talking and training with some of the highest ranked guys in the UFC about this very topic.

You doubt it because you don't now of it or have felt anyone with skill. Anyone I know of who can "actually" do these things or has trully felt those who can- very naturally see it as a way to move and think in -any venue-. They, it appears, to a man, dissagree with you.
Wonder why that is?
It's like I said ten years ago on the net. They are undeniable- just not well known....here. But, times are changing.

To make things simple, Justin. If you could suddenly move around and forces coming into you are bouncing off and people tell you they cannot enter or find it very difficult to enter to do.....anything. Yet ....you have not done anything resembling a technique to them. I will bet that you ...just like all the men I have met say..."Thats valuable. How can I do that?
Power is power, throw resistance due to a connected body and the power naturally generated by one are just simply undeniable once felt. I am so sure of that that I'd say anyone with even a whisper of martial experience who could feel someone with these skills will have no other reaction.

Here, I soflty repeat. No one. Not one. Of anyone has felt this and came back here has said. "Naw its only limitied and static and really isn't worth the time. They, to a man talk about the practical use.
How'd that happen?

I believe in the fulness of time, everyone one who is not practiing these things or at least ackowledges them will find themsleves being measured....by them.


With any luck MMA will never be the same again either. At least there- many- like me, are not style brainwashed. They are also not stupid. They recognize power when they see it. And they are already getting ahead of the curve in that many of them STILL remain in and practice traditional arts as well and then go out and test them on those unwilling to fall over for them.

Should be an interesting decade. I'm looking forward to it.

Dan

Last edited by DH : 12-23-2006 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 12-23-2006, 05:02 PM   #247
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
I do Justin. So does Rob John So does Ark or used to. So does Tim Cartmell on a national level. So does two CMA guys I know. I also know of a just a few guys who are talking and training with some of the highest ranked guys in the UFC about this very topic.
How does one distinguish what you're talking about from just talking about efficient movement, timing, balance, and normal old physics?

Quote:
You doubt it because you don't now of it or have felt anyone with skill.
I've felt people who've claimed this skill. What can I say, I guess I wasn't sensitive enough to distinguish it from regular ol movement.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 12-23-2006, 05:27 PM   #248
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Incidentally, the answer about kokyu/ki etc., being different from normal strength was asked to Frank Burczynski, trainer of the top MMA team in Germany, after he had participated in a workshop in Berlin. He's a *very* bright guy and a very experienced fighter. His answer was "For me, yes". Post #18:
http://www.kampfkunst-board.info/for...64/index2.html

The interesting part (not that Justin really wants to know... his real purpose on this forum is obvious) is that his god, Cheng Man Ching, clearly differentiated between this form of strength and "li". If CMC was so wrong, why is Justin such a fanatic follower, hosting webpages in adulation of Cheng Man Ching? Weird, isn't it?

Cheng Man Ching emphasized relaxation, BTW, as the key to learning the qi skills. Cheng also did a reasonable (not great, though) dissertation on how the strength differed from normal strength, in a chapter of his book "Thirteen Treatises".

Cheng also emphasized the role of the fascia in qi/ki skills, FWIW.

Last, but not least, Cheng was sort of a crackpot who challenged famous fighters in his youth and got the crap beat out of him (his real forte was in painting). Because Cheng's popularity arrived in the US via Robert Smith at just the time the New Age was in ascendancy, Cheng became a fad with the New Age elite, in many cases. Notice that Justin's websites and comments to everything possible to indicate that he is smarter than mortal man. The perfect Cheng Man Ching'er.



Mike
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Old 12-23-2006, 07:20 PM   #249
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
John Matsushima wrote:

What is Aikido lacking? In itself, as Mr. Mead pointed out that like a duck it lacks nothing that matters to itself. However, in regards to the way, it lacks everything that is not it. It does not have the beauty of the kicking forms of Tae Kwon Do, it does not have powerful punches of boxing, nor the grappling strategies of BJJ. I am not saying that these are deficiencies, but they are not there no more that a duck has the teeth of a tiger. The same could be said for all the branches of Aikido, the Aikikai, ASU, Iwama, KI Aikido, etc. The only true way is no way.
But issue here seems to be that today's aikido is, in fact, missing an essential part of what it HAD when Ueshiba conceptualized it from both the internal and external skills Takeda gave him. The internal was lost from the mainstream, which is very evident to those who have trained in kokyu/ki/internal skills. That aikidoka believe there is "nothing missing" from their art is reminiscent of a person who has been blind from birth. He either accepts or rejects ohers' word for it what he is missing, because he can not conceptualize what he has never had. Those who have, or have experienced, what Ueshiba had, know what's missing and are saying that aikido could once again be so much more than it is now, returning to Ueshiba's vision and perhaps even recouping some of his brilliant absorption and enaction of the principles that made his aikido great.

Last edited by Cady Goldfield : 12-23-2006 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 12-23-2006, 07:25 PM   #250
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Re: How to teach and train relaxation

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
I do Justin. So does Rob John So does Ark or used to. So does Tim Cartmell on a national level. So does two CMA guys I know. I also know of a just a few guys who are talking and training with some of the highest ranked guys in the UFC about this very topic.

You doubt it because you don't now of it or have felt anyone with skill. Anyone I know of who can "actually" do these things or has trully felt those who can- very naturally see it as a way to move and think in -any venue-. [snip]

Should be an interesting decade. I'm looking forward to it.

Dan
I don't know what Justin has experienced, but I can offer a perspective as a student of Chinese martial arts . . . and that is that what Dan Harden is talking about will change your perspective once you get hands-on experience with the sort of internal connection and internal strength skill that Dan, and Mike Sigman, have labored in great detail to present here and on other forums.

Of the folks listed by Dan, I can personally vouch for Tim Cartmell being able to demonstrate and help you experience for yourself what internal connection feels like in a relatively static setting . . . and then go on to demonstrate its use in one-on-one or two-on-one free-form application situations. Tim uses his own skills several times a year in fighting tournaments, very successfully.

The skills can be shown, exercises and drills to help train them in the student's own body can be taught . . . but to truly make them a part of you will take long, diligent, intelligent practice and continuing testing and refinement. That's not meant as a cliche . . . I'm just coming to appreciate how easy it is to go awry with "internal" training. Merely doing what the teacher says or demonstrates isn't nearly enough. You really have to move and feel what is going on inside your own body. And the testing is essential, because it is easy to delude yourself that you're getting it right.

I work with two teachers in the Chinese internal martial arts right now who both find that the ideas expressed by Akuzawa Minoru, Dan and Mike, all from different backgrounds, resonate with how they understand their own training from the Chinese martial arts. They demonstrate similar skills (though to what level I can't say, since I haven't trained with, for example, Dan). In other words, there is an understanding that crosses cultural boundaries of martial arts practice. I've just begun working with a student of a Japanese koryu whose training methods also aim to develop similar skills. He believes that such skills carry over readily into traditional weapons practice.

Dan has worked with two leading teachers of different lineages in Chenshi taijiquan, one of whom taught in Japan, including to Japanese exponents of Daito-ryu, several years ago. Dan just worked for the second time with a Yang style taiji student in the line of the late Lee Shiu Pak, who vouched for Dan's very real internal skills.

Mike has been studying and training and showing his own evolving understanding of these skills around the world for many years. He gets out and meets people from a lot of different martial arts backgrounds. These aren't dummies and dilettantes coming to Mike's seminars. They are able-bodied, serious MA practitioners who want to get an insight into what "internal skill" means and how to train it.

My point isn't to laud Dan, or Mike, or Akuzawa, or Cartmell. Their skill and their work stands on its own. My point is that these guys are not the only ones who see the value of internal skills and work hard to cultivate them. The three teachers I have the privilege of working with now have independently found merit in the ideas expressed in these discussions.

You can't learn these skills from Internet forums. But you can learn of them, learn about them, and learn some of the people who might point you in the right direction, if you enter into the discussions with an open mind.
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